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YAM Notes: July/August 2006

By Gregory A. Weiss

40th Reunion

June 1 marked the start of the hurricane season, and guess what blew into New Haven: 304 classmates bedecked in custom-fitted, blue-and-white-striped Yale ’66 blazers. We had lots of rain, lots of great people, and lots of fun! Our attendance set a record: 34 percent of our classmates (38 attending their first reunion), and more than 525 in total. We consumed 76 cases of wine. And the rain-drenched 35th, and now the 40th, prove that the more it rains, the better times we have!

By dinner on Thursday more than 300 had arrived. The meal, served under the tent in newly renovated Davenport College, featured Niman Ranch steaks supplied by Mike McConnell and Calera wines donated by Josh Jensen (whose meats and wines, respectively, were highlights of all the main meals). The afternoon was spent quietly moving in. A group of golfers, organized by Tom Slater and Ned Snyder, teed off on the Yale course at 1 p.m., and another group started play early on Friday. All 44 golfers luckily dodged the rain.

Friday afternoon’s main event was a reprise of the “Class Adventures” discussion that was so popular at the 35th. Led by Tim Wollaeger, it featured brief stories by more than a dozen classmates. Highlights included Clark Abbott’s computer-aided description of his climb to the Everest base camp, Alex Yablonsky’s hilarious story of being arrested by soldiers on an Arab desert, and Dean Potter’s story of a scrape with the law and life on the lam. After the discussion, we hustled over to Battell Chapel for a memorial service led by Tom Porter, Steve Clement, Ben Liptzin, and Jed Mannis. New to the service for this reunion was an In Memoriam booklet, initiated by Biff Folberth, which included written memorials to each of the 15 classmates who had died since the 35th. As part of the service, the authors of the memorials gave two-minute, moving oral remembrances of the 15.

After a class photograph with attending classmates decked out in their new blazers, a crowd of more than 520 gathered for the class dinner on Friday night. Ted Elliott’s two pinot noirs from his Elliott Family Cellars paired beautifully with Niman Ranch dry-aged sirloins. Tom Porter’s invocation, recalling our class’s heritage from the civil rights movement, was especially memorable. Co-class secretary Biff Folberth introduced Alumni Fund co-chairman, Bob Brundige, who announced the $22-million-plus class gift and our 86 percent participation, and honored the many class agents who were involved in the fund-raising effort. Bob and Stephen Billard, who created our splendid website, were honored with AYA distinguished service awards. After dinner, we were entertained by the Whiffenpoofs of ’66. As the night wore on, many moved to the Davenport Common Room to be led in song by Damon Baker at the piano and then entertained by the dazzling Rich Look, whose rendition of “Heartabreaka Hotel” in Japanese is an enduring favorite.

Thanks to Ted Shen, a group that numbered over 80 was given a private tour on Saturday morning of the newly renovated Louis Kahn art gallery building by gallery director Jock Reynolds. Another group made their way to the boathouse for the traditional class row organized by Will Rodgers and Waring Partridge. The principal event on Saturday afternoon was a class panel entitled “The Road Less Traveled.” Led by Steve Clement, the panelists were Jed Mannis, Rob Van Leeuwen, Gene Dattel, and Tom Wilner. They were articulate and inspirational in describing diverse ways in which they were contributing to society. After their presentations numerous classmates came forward and described various socially beneficial endeavors in which they were involved. We were then joined during pre-dinner cocktails by university president Rick Levin, resplendent in his own Yale ’66 blazer, and Mrs. Levin. During dinner awards were given to the three classmates who had come the farthest: Denis Gray (Bangkok), Steve Nelson (Hong Kong), and Jitendra Singh (New Delhi).

It was an incredible four days. Dozens of people contributed, but the one guy who made it all happen was reunion co-chairman Cary Koplin. His devotion to Yale and our class is extraordinary. The standing ovation we gave him at the class dinner was a small token of the thanks we owe him. Co-chairman Greg Weiss had a great time learning at the foot of the master.

Those who attended: J. Abbott*, R. C. Abbott*, Adams , Allen*, D. Anderson Jr.*, P. Anderson*, Armstrong*, Augusta*, Badman III, Bahn*, D. Baker*, F. Baker III*, Balfour III*, Barbiero*, H. Barry III*, T. Barry*, Beattie*, Beinecke , Berg Jr., Berkman*, Bernhard , Berv*, Bethea Jr.*, Beutler*, Bickford , Billard*, Blair II*, Blanck*, Bland II, Blossman*, Bockstoce*, Bodurtha*, Bonebakker , Bonoff ’67 , Bowser*, Bradford*, Braman , Breed II*, Briley ’67 , Broadfoot II*, Brody , Brookover*, G. A. Brown Jr., G. C. Brown*, Brundige Jr.*, Bryden*, Bundy III*, Burr*, Butler*, Campbell III*, Carnwath Jr.*, Carrington Jr.*, Chang , Chen , Cheung*, Christensen Jr.*, Clark*, Clement III, Clippinger Jr., Condliffe*, Copp Jr., Crawford*, Crocker , Cross , Crotty , Crutcher*, Cullen , Dalby , Dattel*, Day , DeVries*, Dilley*, Dunn*, Dworken Jr*, Eberle*, Edelman*, Elliott , Fargo , Farmer*, Farnam*, Farren Jr.*, Faville Jr.*, H. Ferguson*, L. Ferguson III*, Fiorito , Fitzgerald*, Floyd , Folberth III*, Folland*, Fox*, Foy*, Frame*, Freeman*, French Jr., Gastwirth , Gearreald Jr.*, Gerard*, Gilhuley*, Gisolfi , Glazier*, Gordon , Gray*, H. Green , R. Green , W. Green*, Greene*, Greenwalt , Greenwold*, Groninger*, Grubin*, Guterbock*, Mrs. Jocelyn Hamilton , Hamlin , Hammock Jr.*, Hannay III, Harpold , Harris II, Harrison Jr*, Hart , Hartley IV*, Harvey*, Hassig , Hayes*, Hazard*, Hazel*, Hecht , Hegg*, Heinemann*, Heintz , Heizer III*, Hickey*, Hill*, Hirschmann , Hoak Jr., Holbrook , Howard*, Howe III, Hurley , Hyman Jr.*, Israel*, J. Jensen , L. Jensen , G. Jones*, J. Jones III*, Jubitz Jr., Kahn*, Kalba*, Kaplan*, Karetsky*, Karshmer*, Kaufman*, Keeney III, Kennedy*, Kerry , Kitch*, Knott*, Koplan*, Koplin*, Kornblet*, Kornblum*, Korsten*, Kruze , Laidley , Landis*, Landwehr*, Larsen*, Lear*, Lease*, Lebovici*, G. Levin Jr.*, J. Levin*, Lewis , Liberman , Lindburg , Lindsay*, Liptzin*, Lonergan*, Look*, Lovejoy*, Lynch , Maher*, Mallory , Malovany*, Mandell*, Mannis*, Marschner*, McCaffrey*, McCarty*, McClelland Jr*, McConnell*, McGrath , McGregor*, McNamee III, Meierding , Mette*, Miller*, Mills*, Mitchell*, Moffett , Mogul , Monahan*, Mullin*, Munson*, Murrie , Nagle , S. Nelson , W. Nelson*, Niebling*, Norton II*, O’Brien*, O’Connor , Okie*, Opladen*, Osborn , Palmer*, Parish*, Parry*, Partridge III*, Patterson , Peterson , Pinkham , Platt , Porter Jr.*, Potter , Pratter*, Price*, Putzel , Quigg*, Raymond , Rebassoo*, Reid III*, Ressler , Reuben , Reynolds*, Rigney , Riordan*, Rodenhausen*, Rodgers III*, Romaine Jr.*, Romeyn*, Rosenberg*, Rule , Samford III*, Sandler*, Sanford*, Sawyer Jr*, Schachtel , Scott Jr.*, Self Jr.*, Senzel*, Shelov*, Shen*, Shurly III*, Singer*, Singh , Skubas , Slater*, Smith Jr., Smylie , Snyder III*, Soper , Stanberry Jr*, Stein , Stevens , Stokes Jr., Streltzer*, Stripling*, Swindells , Swinger , Swingle*, Theodore*, Thorne , Tilghman*, Timbers*, Tolbert , Tuleja*, Tynes*, Ulery Jr., Upton III*, Van Leeuwen*, von Kaenel*, C. Walker , L. Walker*, Warren Jr.*, Watkins Jr., Weidner*, Weiler III*, Weiss*, Weller*, Westcott Jr., White Jr.*, Whitman*, Whitridge , Whittemore*, Whittredge II*, Willever*, Williams III*, Wilmot , Wilner , Woleben , Wolf*, Wolfe , Wollaeger*, Worth*, Yablonsky , Yolles , Zaleski Jr,

* = with guest(s)