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YAM Notes: January/February 2014

By Gregory A. Weiss

Jeff Koplan was honored with the China Friendship Award in late September in Beijing. The award is the highest honor that the Chinese government gives to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China. The ceremonies included many wonderful stories of Jeff’s 30-plus years of service in China shared by his Chinese and US colleagues. China launched the annual award in 1991 and has so far honored 1,299 foreign professionals working in the country.

Jeff Lewis has published a new novel: The Inquisitor’s Diary. As described on one of the jacket blurbs: “Written in the thoroughly convincing voice of a seventeenth-century friar doing the bidding of the Inquisition, this gorgeous novel pits a mute prisoner’s moral integrity against the unraveling certainty of his pious captor. At the end of Jeffrey Lewis’s unforgettable, exquisitely rendered story, I closed the book and wept. Where has this author been all my life?”

By the time this column appears in the alumni magazine, a group of intrepid classmates and their spouses and friends will be about to start the 16th annual class winterfest, this year in Park City, Utah, in late January. Tales of epic snows and steep and deep challenges will no doubt be recounted in the next issue.

Several classmates have reported retirements. John Lindburg “retired in July of 2012 as the vice president and general counsel of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. However, I continue providing services as a consultant to RFE/RL and other US international broadcasters. I love retirement!” Denny Tippo retired from the University of Tennessee as of June 30, 2013. And Gray Bethea is “now retired, remarried, and living peacefully in Atlanta, with two grown sons not far away. Waiting for the 50th reunion.”

A couple of others, however, are still working away. Ben Liptzin, MD, reports that he is traveling to New Zealand to present two papers and explore the South Island. He is currently a visiting professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester. Tim Tunney, senior VP/investments with UBS Financial Services in Irvine, California, is “still working—harder than ever—and have four grandchildren. Can our 50th reunion really be this close? Ouch!”