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YAM Notes: March/April 2006

By Gregory A. Weiss

Tom Press’s daughter Alex graduates from Sewanee this spring, “just about 40 years to the day that I graduated from Yale,” says Tom. “Barbara and I plan to be in New Haven for the reunion and look forward to seeing old friends and classmates.” In a similar vein, Robert Smallridge, MD, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, writes, “Our younger daughter, Laura, a school social worker in Connecticut, [was] married on October 22 in the same chapel at the Washington National Cathedral that Betty and I were married in [40] years ago, the summer of my graduation from Yale.” Congratulations to the whole family.

Peter Gisolfi received the Westchester County Yale Outstanding Service Award in November at a banquet in White Plains. Noteworthy service to the people and communities of Westchester and important contribution to Yale are the fundamental requirements for the award. Peter heads the largest architectural firm in Westchester, responsible for the building and renovation of many Westchester schools, libraries, historic structures, and other properties, and is chairman of the City College School of Architecture. He also is responsible for the comprehensive renovation, restoration, expansion, and transformation of Timothy Dwight College and for the reconstruction of Rosenfeld Hall. In attendance, and reporting on a great acceptance speech from Peter, were Len Stokes, Al Warren, Biff Folberth, and their respective spouses.

Law professor Patrick Randolph [received] the Great Wall Friendship Prize from the Beijing, China, municipal government at a ceremony in Beijing on January 12. The prize, described as Beijing’s highest award given to a foreigner, is for outstanding contributions to China over the course of a career. Only about 20 foreigners receive the prize each year, most of them businesspersons who have brought significant employment and investment to the area. Since arriving at Peking University to teach as a visiting professor in 1994, Pat has returned annually, building up a wide array of programs and activities involving students, faculty, government leaders, and real estate lawyers and developers throughout China. He has also lectured widely in the U.S. on Chinese real estate matters. Pat has accomplished all of this despite the fact that he is not a specialist in Chinese law, speaks virtually no Chinese, and maintains a significant presence in his “real” career as a real estate law professor and legal consultant here in the United States. Realtor magazine, a publication of the National Association of Realtors, named Pat one of the 25 most influential people in American real estate in 2001.

Some important news from Case Whittemore: “On June 25, 2005, I married Patricia Moreland Linn at my house on the Piankutank River near the Chesapeake Bay in Deltaville, Virginia. Patty and I plan to spend the warm months in Virginia (Richmond and Deltaville) and the cold months at her home near Tampa. Blessed with good health, I spend my time racing sailboats (usually with my son), maintaining our homes and boats, and occasionally delivering other people’s cruising boats. I am looking forward to our 40th reunion.” David Mette has retired (“for the second time!”) and moved from Boston to St. Mary’s, Georgia, near Jacksonville, Florida.

Jeffrey Lewis writes, “The Conference of the Birds, the second novel of what I hope will be my Meritocracy Quartet, was recently published by Other Press, as well as the paperback edition of the first book of the quartet, Meritocracy: A Love Story, which in a lot of ways is a kind of Class of ’66 book.”

Some very big news from Duncan Campbell: “Joyous news to share. In December 2005 I became the latest member of our class to step from the ranks of the never-been-married when I wed the beautiful-in-every-way Edna Brillon, Native American healer and teacher from British Columbia. We were in Puerto Rico for me to MC and moderate a series of dialogues in an international gathering of the Alliance for the New Humanity, convened by Deepak Chopra. Completely unexpectedly and without pre-arrangement, we were married during the celebration on the last night of the conference in the El Yunque Rainforest in the Luquillo Mountains, abode of the Taino deity Yukiyu, ‘god of happiness and well being.’ It was officiated by Marianne Williamson with 432 witnesses, and completed with Woodstock-style dancing in the rain to Tommy Boy Productions’ latest hit ‘The Love Generation,’ worthy of an Indian ‘monsoon wedding.’ Then four days later we married again in an intimate ceremony in Old San Juan overlooking the ocean, with the sun setting and the full moon rising and Venus brightly shining down as later twilight went into night, when fireworks suddenly, synchronistically arose from La Perla. We felt very blessed and filled with gratitude then and to be able to share it with you now. Edna and I divide our time among our home in Boulder, Colorado, British Columbia, and the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, where I teach the Art of Dialogue in a spa constituting a twenty-first-century Esalen Institute.”

Not that anyone needs another reason to come back to our 40th reunion beyond a great program, great food, wine, and venue, and, most importantly, great camaraderie, but do take notice! All returning classmates will receive an individually sized, fully constructed blue-and-white-striped Yale ’66 reunion jacket manufactured in Canada by the same company that supplies the P-rade coats for that small prep school in New Jersey. The high-quality, certain-to-be-coveted “Koplin’s poplins redux” of our 30th reunion bar coat have been fully underwritten by a group of anonymous classmates and not one dollar of your reunion fee or our class treasury will be tapped for the cost of this special memento of our graduation from Yale in June of 1966.