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YAM Notes: May/June 2009

By Gregory A. Weiss

Van Velsor Wolf was elected in November 2008 to a one-year term as national chairman of the American Cancer Society. He says: “It will be challenging but lots of fun,” and that it will involve “lots of travel (Geneva, Mumbai, etc.).” In the meantime he will continue in his active law practice with Snell & Wilmer LLP in Phoenix.

Jim Kaplan reports, “Sandy Shapleigh has invented a terrific card game called Rangoon Two-Handed Bridge, which is easy to learn even if you’ve never played contract bridge. He and I collaborated on an article about Rangoon for the May issue of Games magazine, and we’d love to get feedback from classmates who try it.” Their e-mail addresses are Shapleigh76@comcast.net and jkaplan105@aol.com.

We know this news is a little over a year late, but what the heck—better late than never! On March 6, 2008, at a dinner in New York for the 15th annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards, JamesBo” Bodurtha was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by Institutional Investor magazine, through one of its publications, Fund Directions. Bo is an independent director and chairman of the compliance committee of more than 80 mutual funds with assets exceeding (in March 2008!) $70 billion, for BlackRock. He was previously an independent director for the Merrill Lynch Funds, before it merged with BlackRock earlier in 2007. From 1980 to 1993, he was a partner in the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, where he chaired the firm’s investment company and capital markets practice. At the same dinner, Woodrow Campbell Jr., partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, was a nominee for Independent Counsel of the Year. Woody served as counsel to a number of BlackRock-advised funds during 2007 when seven different fund boards were consolidated down to three. He also serves as counsel to the independent trustees of Fidelity Investments. In separate news of Woody, our New York informants advise that an exhibition of his Ansel Adams-like photographs will be showing until June in 3rd Avenue’s famous (as the headquarters of none other than Bernie Madoff) “Lipstick” building.

Here’s an idea that we submit to the class: Is there any interest in class trips? This is something that has been done quite successfully by the Class of ’57. They started 11 years ago, when they were about our current age, and have made one trip a year to places like India, China, and Israel/Jordan. Their groups vary in size, but are in the 20–30 range. Approximately 50 ’57 classmates have participated in at least one of the trips. They are for two or three weeks and are usually in October. Yale considers them a great success because of the class camaraderie they generate. If anyone is interested in participating in such trips, please let us know. Whether or not we could get them organized is a question for another day.

Speaking of class events, the following is Tim Wollaeger’s eagerly awaited report on this year’s annual class Winterfest: “Classmates and spouses gathered in Beaver Creek, Colorado, on Sunday, January 23, for four days of skiing and socializing. Hosted by Tim and Cindy Wollaeger, we were blessed by favorable traveling conditions and lots of snow. This was the 11th annual class ski trip, the first of which was in 1999, also in Beaver Creek. The group was a little smaller this year than in the past, as a few joints were being replaced, interest in golf in warmer climates was increasing, and wives were awaiting the births of new grandchildren. A highlight was Rich Look on piano for a sing-along of Yale songs and his special version of Heartbreak Hotel’ in Japanese. Another was the awarding, by surgeon Russ Dilley to the many participants who have metal replacement body parts, of honorary membership in ‘Club Titane’—the emblem of which is a sort of medal hanging from a neck ribbon made of titanium surgical facet screws. We also enjoyed a sleigh ride in a snowstorm to dinner at an on-mountain restaurant. Winterfest ’10 is being planned by John Valiente for Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We hope you will join us.”

By now Bruce Murrie should be a grandfather. His older daughter, Elizabeth, was due January 2. Bruce, who lives in DC and works at the U.S. Department of Education, is happy to have his younger daughter, Martha, back in the U.S. after two years in New Zealand.