Class Notes         Photo Archive                      In Memoriam                Email Our Website


Russell S. Reynolds,Jr.

Carl B. E. Shedd
Assistant Secretary

Charles B. Johnson

James W.M. Monde
AYA Delegate

Allan C. Rabinowitz
Chair of Agents

Class Council

Theodore Armbrecht
Willis C. Arndt
Harris J. Ashton
David L. Banker    
Richard G. Bell
William L. Bernhard
Robert Blankfein
Howard M. Brenner
Robert  A. Bryan
W. Murray Buttner
Donald K. Clifford, Jr.
Christopher A. Forster
John A. Franciscus
Frederick Frank

Richard Gilder

William W. Grant
James A. Greer II
Gerald Grinstein
Irving F. Jensen, Jr.
Charles B. Johnson
Steven J. Kumble
Carlton F. Loucks
J. Kenneth McDonald
Thomas L. McLane
Robert A. Martin
Bruce E. Meacham
Russell W. Meyer, Jr.
James W.M. Monde
T. Ballard Morton, Jr.
William K. Muir, Jr
C. Paul Pesek, Jr.
Robert C. Quinlan

E. Leigh Quinn
Allan Rabinowitz

Russell S. Reynolds,Jr.
Carl B. E. Shedd
Joel E. Smilow
George L. Spaeth
Daniel H. Strickler, Jr.
Daniel N. Swisher
James Thompson
CharlesT. Treadway III
Charles G. Watson


Extra copies of 60th Reunion
Highlights available. Just email website!


Yale pummels Princeton 44-30!

President Salovey celebrates win with Yale 54 Mini

Yale-Harvard mini in New Haven
Forget the score but check out
photos of
classmates that turned out.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute honored its co-founders, Dick Gilder and Lew Lehrman, at a gala on May 14th.   More info at:

Y-P Mini Reunion '12z  Seattle
  Sept. 12-16, 2012
 See who attended

  Does anyone have photos to share?


Heads: Business Lessons from an Executive Search Pioneer by Russell S. Reynolds Jr. and Carol E. Curtis (May 21, 2012)


Sandy Muir's latest book has just been published.  He wrote it "to explain America to those who live in other countries, but I'm immodest enough to think it might interest you as well."  You can get it on or ask for it at your local bookstore.
(My author's name, incidentally is 'William
 Ker Muir, Jr.)"

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale Athletic Department has announced the 2011 recipients of the George H.W. Bush ’48 Lifetime of Leadership Award. The class of 2011 Bush Award winners include Harris Ashton ’54.
Ashton, who earned three letters for the football team, served as the chairman, president and CEO of the General Host Corp. from 1970 to 1997. He was the chief administrative officer for the company for three years. In addition he was on the board of directors for Bar-s Food Company, 49 Franklin Templeton Group of Funds and RBC Holdings (USA) Inc. A graduate of Columbia Law School, he was a trustee for the United Cerebral Palsy Research & Education Foundation and was on the board of directors for the Madison Square Garden Boys & Girls Club.


John Scales awarded Yale Medal
John N. Scales is the quintessential volunteer – never hesitating to say “yes” when asked to help out and step in. A pillar of the Yale Club of Pittsburgh, Scales has served on its board since 1991 and on the Alumni Schools Committee since 1995. He has also served as an AYA Delegate from 1996-1991 and later was elected to the AYA Board of Governors.  Back in 2001 during Yale's Tercentennial Scales originated an idea of giving thirty-two books to high schools and local town libraries in honor of Elihu Yale’s gift of thirty-two books that started Yale and the Yale library. More recently, he has gotten involved in a number of the new initiatives that are part of the AYA Strategic Plan, serving as a Regional Director for the Yale Day of Service and as a volunteer speaker on Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) programs.

Harvard-Yale Mini Reunion 2011
(Forget the score - see photos!)

Buckley, If Not God, Returns to Yale
Read opinion in WSJ


Photo: copyright Justin Merriman Photography

Heritage Foundation Honors Richard M. Scaife
Vice Chairman Receives Clare Booth Luce Award

Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, (at right) presents Tribune Review publisher, Richard Scaife (seated) the Clare Boothe Luce Award at a reception on Thursday evening at the Duquesne Club, Downtown. The Clare Boothe Luce Award is the foundation's highest honor. It gives the honor periodically to recognize individuals who are essential to advancing America's conservative principles. Past award recipients include President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,
author and political columnist William F. Buckley, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman and his wife, and fellow economist, Rose Friedman.


Read this great tribute to Dick Gilder

Obie Clifford honored for 
The Wild Center


Boston Mini-Reunion- 2010
 Minutemen deliver hat trick!
San Francisco, Washington and now Boston!
Special credit goes to Jim McNeely, 
Phil Heymann  Bob Martin and all the 
Minutemen for their event planning and
coordination efforts.

Photo review:
Welcome dinner at the Harvard Club
Thompson Island cruise and clambake dinner
Lectures at the Harvard Law School
Somerset Club dinner and dance

ames Thompson
Charles T. Treadway,iII
Charles G. Watson
Howard H. Wi

Photos by Elliot Novak
music by the Branches Steel Orchestra


55th Reunion sets new record:
$66,545,454 and still counting!
143 classmates and 113 guests 
 Read all about it in our class notes here

Irv Jensen presented a giant check to Fiona Baker of the university
Photos of our reunion 

See who signed up, click here  (not final list)

Can Mory's be saved?  
Have an opinion or an idea?  Let's hear from you! 
Email Our Website

Yale Daily News articles about Mory's
Mory’s schedules comeback for fall ’09
Labor Costs helped tople Mory's


Smilow Cancer Hospital will Open in 2009
ale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and Yale University announced
 that Joan and Joel E. Smilow (Yale College '54) gave a major gift
 to support the new, 14-story cancer hospital currently under
 construction at Yale-New Haven. The comprehensive patient
 care facility will be known as the Smilow Cancer Hospital. 
  Full story.

Surveillance Sanity

Read the WSJ editorial op-ed, Oct. 31, 2007

Visit the Dick Thornburgh Collection at the 
University of Pittsburgh


Charles B. Johnson (left) and Nicholas F. Brady (right) were
 presented with Nathan Hale Awards by President Richard C. Levin
 in honor of their gift supporting the expansion of the 
Grand Strategy Program.  Story

Need some levity?  Email of the year

Gerald Grinstein retires with class 
Read WSJ story

Class of 1954 Chemistry Building
officially opened

Click here to see Yale article

 Astonishing College Admissions Tactics
The class of 1967 Listserve brought to our attention the eye-opening magazine articles below.  Page urls may change, so if you are unable to secure the articles, email our website and we will forward them by email.
GETTING IN  The social logic of Ivy League admissions 
Does Meritocracy Work?
The Best Class that Money Can Buy

USN&WR Top National College Rankings 2006

We would like to encourage your submissions --articles, books, etc. that you believe would be of interest to our class.

Letter to T.D. classmates from Jay Greer
We welcome more correspondence from classmates as space in the Class Notes is limited.

Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
has gala opening on July 4th, 2006
Read the N.Y. Times story  More information is available as well at the  museum website.

Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman: Interviewed on C-SPAN  Read the History New Network review

Chris Forster gets Yale Medal!
"Commitment to Yale has been your byword for fifty years.  Forging a record of peerless service to the University and your class, you have served as Class Secretary, Treasurer, Class Council member, 40th 
and and 45th Reunion Co-Chair, and as an active leader of your
 class's Reunion Gift Committees."

New assignment for Dick Thornburgh
(CBS/AP) CBS News on Wednesday named former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and retired Associated Press president chief executive Louis D. Boccardi to an independent panel to probe a story about President Bush's National Guard service.

Gilbert Grosvenor awarded Medal of Freedom

Photo: Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

In a June 23 ceremony at the White House, George W. Bush awarded the National Geographic's Chairman of the Board with the country's highest civilian honor- second only to the Medal of Honor given by Congress for military valor.  "We honor him todav for his good stewardship of a great American Institution," said the President.

To learn more about the award and the other recipients this year, go to the Medal of Freedom website.

From the Anonymous Class Survey:

What books do we read and 
who are our favorite authors?

Here are our favorite actors,
actresses, movies and music

What are our favorite electronic toys?

What is our personal net worth and
and how does it vary by occupation,
geography and happiness level?






 Early-bird class notes from
 Russ Reynolds, class secretary

Read them here first!


As mentioned in the last edition of our Class Notes, the Class of 1954 is having a mini reunion in Palm Beach, Florida, January 18th – 21st, 2016.  We have an incredible committee, all of whom are working hard to make this an unforgettable experience for all of us.  The committee consists of: Harris Ashton, Bill Bernhard, Howard Brenner, Chuck Bullock, Pim Epler, Charlie Johnson, Jack Kindel, Buddy Thompson, and Leigh Quinn.  Can you imagine a better team?  Please make plans to be with us in Palm Beach for this special occasion.  All of our mini reunions have been terrific in different locations.  This one will be the best, I’m sure. 

Special arrangements have been made with the West Palm Beach Marriott for a group rate of $199 per night.  Call them at 800.376.2292 and mention the Group Code YLRYLRA to make a reservation.

July- August 2015 Notes
Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary
600 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, CT  06830

I’m thrilled to advise you that our industrious and creative classmates in Palm Beach are organizing a mini-reunion for the class of 1954.  We will meet in Palm Beach from Monday, January 18 until January 21, 2016.  Various events, dinners and activities are being planned with departure scheduled for Thursday, January 21st.  Details will follow, but please mark your calendars accordingly so we can enjoy the warm weather and hospitality of 8 of our classmates in that area, including Charlie Johnson, Harris Ashton, Bill Bernard, Chuck Bullock, Buddy Thompson, and several others.  All of our mini-reunions have been a great success and I suspect this will be the best yet!

Fred Frank has graciously agreed to chair the 54/65 Fund, representing our class­’ eternal optimism.  You will be learning more about this, but please put this fund in your plans, if at all possible.

 Joel Smilow, has made a gift to fund completion of construction of Coachella Valley Rescue Mission’s new 10,000 square foot Annex that was scheduled to be completed in March of this year.

 Joel and Joan stay in the Coachella Valley (greater Palm Springs) during the snowy months.  Great weather – no humidity – no mosquitoes – surrounded by snowcapped mountains. More importantly, the atmosphere is quiet and everything is easy to get to unless you elect to get on freeways to Los Angeles or San Diego – both roughly two hours away. They had dinner with John & Carol Newsome, who spend 4 weeks in the desert every year.

George Langworthy called me and we had a good chat.  He pointed out many of the cultural and civic attributes of Kansas City, Kansas, and suggested we consider having a class event in the heartland of America.  What he said made a lot of sense, and I’d appreciate reactions, for 2017 or 2018!  Several classmates have had other good ideas too, which are most appreciated.

 If you have not read the Reverend Robert Bryan’s fascinating book The Flying Parson of Labradour and the Real Story Behind Burt and I, you should get a copy.  We have a number of exceptional classmates who have been so successful in so many different ways.  Bob Bryan’s example of courage, leadership, faith, and tenacity is an inspiration and highly recommended reading.

 The Whiffenpoofs of 1954 are making two appearances in Maine in late June to benefit local island charities – 13 members.  10 classmates!  They will also appear on North Haven Island, hosted by Jonathan Bush, ’53, another Whiff.


George Fahy, died on March 6.  George spent time in the Navy before working for the Bell Telephone Company in New Haven, then as commissioner of telecommunications for the General Services Administration in New York City and Boston.  He and his wife Sue lived in Madison, Connecticut, Hingham, Massachusetts and Midlothian, Virginia, before retiring in Naples, FL.

 Frederick “Fritz” Suppes, died on April 16, 2014 in Caledonia, Wisconsin.  He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann Suppes (nee Schultze).  A memorial gathering was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, followed by a Memorial Mass.

 Please stay in touch and let me know what you’re doing – our class is remarkable and we are all doing a lot of great things, which I will communicate when possible.  Thanks!

March-April 2015 Notes

Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary
600 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, CT  06830

The mini-reunion steering committee is formalizing plans for yet another sensational Class of 1954 mini reunion in Palm Beach from January 18 – 21, 2016.  Please plan your winter to make sure you attend this event!  Palm Beach is a fascinating city with many cultural, athletic, and natural attractions, including swimming, tennis, golf, art centers, music, great restaurants, etc.  Our committee consists of Charlie Johnson, Harris Ashton, Buddy Thompson, Chuck Bullock, Bill Bernard, and Jack Kindel.  Save the date!

George Starcher and Diane and are happy to return to the US after more than 50 years living and working in France, Switzerland and Italy. They are in Sarasota.  After Harvard (MBA ‘56), he spent three years in France in the US Army Finance Corps.  After three years with McKinsey, he was transferred to Europe to work in their Geneva, Paris and Milan offices.     

 Hendon Chubb has just published The Curious Magpie: A Collection of Facts Opinions and Utopias in the Form of an Eccentric and Philosophical Encyclopedia, available on Amazon.  One friend says it's good bathroom reading.

 Ben Hopkins, who lives in Hawaii, is learning and doing permaculture on his 30 acres near Hilo, in the Hawaiian islands.  Permaculture is the future – if we have one, he says.  It is holistic, pro-active, ecological design for sustainability. 

 We are compiling a list of classmates’ publications per Bob Redpath’s suggestion in a previous edition of the Class Notes.  I can mail or e-mail it to you if you would like a copy. 

 One of our classmates recently donated a shell for the women’s crew, which shortly will be luxuriating in the Gilder boathouse!  The shell is named “Class of 1954”.  The thought was that it’s great for the women’s crew to have a boat that was given by an all male class!

 It is my sad duty to report that Sandy Muir, our Class Secretary for the first ten years of our alumni lives, died on February 26th.  As an undergraduate, Sandy captured the friendship and the hearts of the Class of 1954 very quickly.  His leadership as Class Secretary was outstanding.  He formed the Class Council and brought people together, fostering the spirit which has made our class one of the greatest classes ever.  Sandy’s ability to rearrange his life to cope with the horriffic effects of polio, was an inspiration to everybody who knew him.  He taught American political science to generations of students at the University of California, Berkeley for over 30 years.  Sandy embodied the spirit of the Class of 1954 as well as anyone.  An impressive celebration of his remarkably successful life took place on the Berkeley campus on March 7th.  Among our classmates who attended were Obie Clifford, who spoke on behalf of the class, Bob Martin, Mason Willrich, Dick Bell, Ranny Galt and Russ Reynolds.  John Bush, ’53, was also one of the speakers, and Sandy McCormick, ’53, was also there. 

 Lee Lockwood died July 31, 2010.  After attending Yale, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and served in the Army, in Munich.  He married Joyce in 1964, with whom he had two children.  Lee was a photojournalist who captured political, military and civilian life in Communist countries.  He interviewed Fidel Castro and documented the experience of an American POW in North Vietnam.  He authored several books, and his month long visit to North Vietnam was a cover story in Life magazine in 1967.

 Theodore F. Schomburg, died on November 6, 2014 in Denver.  Ted served in the Army after Yale, and earned an M.S. from Colorado School of Mines.  He worked in the oil industry and as an industrial engineer.  Ted loved classical music and sang in several church choirs, as well as the Savannah Symphony chorale.

 Melvin Meyer, M.D. died on January 8th in Brattleboro, Vermont.  After Yale, Mel graduated from the University of Washington Medical School and served in the Navy for three years as a medical officer before his medical career.  He married Betty in 1964, and had four children.  Beginning in 1979, Mel and Betty served as missionaries through the United Methodist Church and spent several years overseas before moving to New Hampshire in 1986.

 Decatur H. Miller III, died on February 2nd, in Baltimore.  Deke served as a Lieutenant in the Army, then earned his degree from Harvard Law School in 1959.  He began his career at Piper & Marbury, left when he was named Maryland Securities Commissioner in 1962, returned to the firm in 1963, and was named Partner in 1967.  He was Chairman from 1987 to 1994.  He was President of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a director of the College Bound Foundation, and President of the Board of Trustees of Calvert School.  He was also a Chairman of the Equal Justice Council of the Legal Aid Bureau.

I’m sad to report that Hal Chase died on February 16th.  His wife, Julie, noted that “his love for Yale continued throughout his life”.   Hal had a 25 year career with Chase Manhattan Bank before he and Julie acquired Kidsbooks, a school bookfair company, which they operated for 15 years.  He ran the New York City marathon at age 49 and was a highly regarded contributor to the town of Greenwich, where he lived.

 January-February 2015 Notes

Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary
600 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, CT  06830

Charles B. Johnson, Treasurer

The Whiffenpoof Alumni Association sponsored a reunion event in New Haven on September 19th and 20th.  About 120 young and old Whiffs showed up, with about 60 guests.  There was some fabulous singing and rehearsing at Battell Chapel followed by dinner at LoRicco Tower Ballroom.  A number of a capella quartets competed for the prize to replicate the silver dollar quartet, which sang so well for several decades in an earlier generation.  Among the attendees at the reunion were our classmates Jim and Nancy Monde, Obie Clifford, Bruce Meacham, Peter Coughlan, and Russ and Debbie Reynolds. 

 Alice and Jack Rogers continue to have a good time on the east coast of Florida in the winter and the cool water of Penobscot Bay in the summer.  They feel lucky to have 8 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, ranging in age from 18 to 2 years, and continue to feel younger than reality.

 Rod Wood made it to the reunion, and is looking forward to the 65th!  His health is very good, though he hasn’t yet made it back to golf.  He is traveling, and got in a trip to Germany last year.  Visiting his four kids and twelve grandchildren is his main pursuit.


Richard W. Murphy is aging gracefully at Leisure World of Maryland in Silver Spring.  He has decided to give up golf because his neuropathy adversely affects his swing and putting.  After 67 years, however, he thinks it's time to retire.  In August 2014, he, Luda, Julie, and enjoyed a visit to Newfoundland, a land of rugged beauty and friendly people.

 Dick Hiers loved Bob Redpath's suggestion in the previous Class Notes regarding compiling a list of classmates’ publications.  It got him thinking about books, professional journal articles and other important publications by members of the amazing class of 1954.

 He listed these class authors:  Ric Arias, Bobo Dean, John Franciscus, George Frear, David Harned, George Jacoby, Ballard Morton, Walt Pincus, Gaddis Smith, George Spaeth, Wally Stuhr, Dick Thornburgh, Sib Towner, myself, and Mason Willrich, in addition to musical publications, by Dick Gregory (who did several Whiff arrangements) and the late Al Loeffler, an internationally known composer.  Please let him know if there are others. (Sandy Muir –Ed.)

 Dick suggested that perhaps the Class Council might draft someone to run the project, or that the AYA or staff at the Yale Library could assist.  Any ideas?

 Otis Bradley reports that he survived in the securities business for 56 years, 8 months and 15 days and is now “retired”.  He is starting a newsletter, which I strongly recommend you read because the first two he did are absolutely terrific.  Otis’s specialty is technology and he’s been through ten downturns in the economy quite successfully.  Let him know if you are interested at 212.888.6400.

 Dick Thornburgh suffered a mild stroke on June 21st.  After recovering in rehab, he is using a cane, but a preexisting illness which affects lower extremities with pain and numbness, impacts the pace of his recovery.  He and Ginny are planning to move to Pittsburgh to be closer to family.

 Dr. Robert W. Baker, Jr. was a 4th generation dentist in Tulsa, Oklahoma for almost 40 years.  He attended Yale and The University of Oklahoma, before obtaining his dental license from the University of Missouri.  He served in the Army during the Korean conflict.  He passed away in February.

 Burnham Riggs died on August 12th.  He was a founding member of the Duke’s Men singing group at Yale, and served in the Army.  He earned an MS degree in Social Work from Boston University and dedicated most of his career to the Department of Mental Health.

 Doug Putnam enlisted in the Army following Yale, and served in Germany for two years before embarking on a career as a stock broker in Boston and Hartford.  An active Republican, he was elected State Senator for the 5th District in 1977.  Doug passed away on August 23rd.

 It is with sadness that we also report the death of Joe Pinto, whose memorial service was on September 12th in New York.  Joe worked in investment banking and in the container leasing industry before forming an investment partnership firm.  

 I received a nice letter from Ted Hoopes with the sad news that his roommate, Bob Todd died in Pittsburgh on September 15th.  Bob worked for PNC Bank for 28 years before retiring.  He was on the boards of several organizations and enjoyed wintering in Naples, Florida.

 After graduating from Yale, Vincent Campbell spent two years as a First Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, then received an LLB from Pennsylvania Law School.  After a short time in private practice, Vincent joined Westinghouse Electric, eventually becoming Assistant General Counsel before retiring in 1994 and moving to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.   He passed away October 5th Florida.

 Send in your news and stay well!

 November-December 2014 Notes

Bill Hopewell alerted me to the upcoming exhibition of Dick Polich’s contribution to the art world at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, New York from August 27th – December 14th, 2014.  Local classmates may want to visit the exhibit.  Dick is still hard at work overseeing one of the world’s leading foundries which has produced some fabulous works of art.

 Dick Gilder gathered a few of our classmates in Dark Harbor, Islesboro, Maine in July, including David Banker, Obie Clifford, Bill Bernhard and yours truly.  The beat goes on.  Dick and his wife Lois Chiles are scheduled to be honored by Yale for their magnificent gift to the Sterling Library on September 5th. 

 The Class Council meeting will be held in New York on Thursday, November 13th, and a report will be forthcoming on the Council’s deliberations.  I hope everyone knows that any class member who would like to, is welcome to attend the class council meetings.  Let your Secretary know if you have any interest.

 It is my sad duty to report on the loss of several classmates:

 Gavin Robertson died May 11th in Paradise Valley, AZ after a brief battle with cancer.   He served in the USMC as a 1st Lieutenant, and enjoyed a 27 year career as an SVP of Human Resources and the Board of Directors at Morgan Construction Co. in Worcester, Mass. before retiring to Arizona in 1989.  He was an avid sports fan, sang in his church choir, and listened to classical music.

 Peter Mulloney died at home in Pittsburgh on May 18th.  Following his years at Yale, Peter served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and spent his entire career at U.S. Steel, retiring in 1997.  He was a founder of the Pittsburgh Marathon and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of La Roche College. 

 Edward F. Molyneux, Jr. died in Rhinebeck on May 27th of pancreatic cancer.  Edward spent 30 years on the advertising business, winning numerous awards for his work.  After moving to Rhinebeck, NY in 1973, Edward ran his own freelance advertising company, retiring in 1994, spending many happy years gardening, rooting for his beloved New York Yankees and trying to keep up with his children.

 Edward Molloy passed away on July 6th in Maine.  After being a star quarterback at Yale, he spent four years in U.S. Navy, enjoyed a long career in life insurance and real estate sales, and worked at LL Bean until retiring in 2006.  His lifetime interest in sports continued with Little League coaching and umpiring, and enjoyment of tennis and golf.  Ed volunteered with many local charities, including the United Way and Junior Achievement.

 Sherman Magidson died in Chicago on July 7th.  Following his service in the U.S. Army, Sherman earned his JD from Northwestern in 1959.  He had a long, distinguished career as a criminal defense attorney in Chicago while simultaneously writing for daytime television dramas such as The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful at CBS.

 Harry Riley died on July 22nd in Westwood, Massachusetts. Following his graduation from Yale, he acquired an MBA from Boston College and spent over forty years in banking, of which thirty-eight were with BayBanks Inc.  He loved the arts and was passionately involved as creator, patron, and supporter. Harry appreciated the beauty of flowers and found great joy in tending to his beautiful gardens.  

 Please plan to attend the various events we are invited to at Yale this fall, especially the Yale-Princeton game on Saturday, November 15th, in our glorious skybox with a great reception lunch in the Smilow Field House following the game at which the Whiffenpoofs of 1954 will provide some entertainment.

See you soon!

October-November 2014 Notes   

Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., Secretary

 Charles B. Johnson, Treasurer

 Whew!!  Our 60th reunion was one terrific experience for everyone involved, especially me, having been talked into becoming your reunion Chairman by our persuasive Chairmen of the nominating committee, Joel Smilow and Paul Pesek.  The class expresses its deep appreciation to Allan Ryan, for making outstanding prints of his famous bulldog painting, which hangs in the lobby of Mory’s, available to all our reunion attendees, and to Carl Shedd for sharing his priceless bulldog photo, which was framed in Lucite for all reunion guests.

United Kingdom residents Bob and Cecily Redpath enjoyed their first reunion and are looking forward to the next.  Fortified by hearing aids in both ears amidst the tumult of what might be Yale's loudest class, Bob discovered that a high proportion of the classmates that he talked to, (Bryan, Dudley, Heymann, Hiers, Muir) had published books. He wonders if it might be an idea to ask classmates to send a list of their publications to a central source to record the literary accomplishments of the class?  Any volunteers?

 John Franciscus has created a wonderful DVD of photos of the reunion, complete with accompanying piano music, Cole Porter, Whiffenpoofs, etc.  Those who would like a copy of the DVD should e-mail him at

 As many of you know, the William K. (Sandy) Muir Jr. Leadership Award Endowment was established a few months ago at the University of California at Berkeley.  A recent report about the endowment indicates that it was initially supported by a significant number of people, perhaps 150, and that the endowment supports two seniors currently at the University.  A number of classmates have contributed to the fund, which of course should grow over the years.  For those who have not yet taken the opportunity to contribute, online gifts can be made with a major credit card at .   Any questions should be directed to Mr. Marc Levin at (510) 643-6476 or  I can’t think of anyone who is a more appropriate honoree for such an award as Sandy, who I know is most appreciative of everyone’s efforts. 

 As a ”high tech” entrepreneur, Paul Pesek greatly appreciates that Dick Glowacki recently gave a gift to the Entrepreneurship Initiative for funding at SOM. Dick said that “Entrepreneurs are shaping the economy of the future”. When we graduated from Yale, technology start-up companies were almost unknown. In addition, Dick established a Glowacki scholarship fund for undergraduate architecture majors as an honor to Vincent Scully, Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art Architecture.


 John Sherry died on October 30th in Virginia after teaching “Business and Hospitality Law” in the Hotel School at Cornell for 25 years. Along with his father, who also taught at Cornell, he wrote “The Law of Innkeepers: for Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Clubs”, which is the standard reference text in hospitality law.

 Schuyler Goodwin died last December. No other information is available

 Dr. Hubert Allen was a gastroenterologist in Chicago and the Mayo Clinic, who died in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 11th.   He was Roger Strong’s brother in law. I think that our class had a doctor in every medical specialty that exists.

 Joe Marinan was another New Haven resident who died on March 10th. He was a member of Mensa, which is an organization whose members have attained a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of intelligence.

 Bob Light owned an engineering consulting firm in Guilford, CT where he was involved in several boards, commissions and groups. Bob died on April 3rd in the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

 Jack Campbell, who lived in Canton, was described as a “true scholar whose intellectual curiosity knew no bounds”, died on April 8th. Jack was a golf enthusiast who studied the game with an intensity that didn’t always translate on the course”, which could apply to most of us. Jack was an executive at Cigna for 32 years.

Bill Posey was a Phi Beta Kappa at Yale who was a beloved teacher and Interim Headmaster at St. Andrew’ School in Boca Raton, Florida for 30 years. He was honored as the first “Master Teacher” at the school upon his retirement.   He died in Palm Beach on April 13th.


Dick Graves served in the Air Force as a command pilot with the rank of Major for 22 years. He also served as Wing Executive Officer at bases in New York and North Carolina.  He died on April 19th in North Carolina


Richard Mellon Scaife died July 4th.  He left Yale after one eventful year and went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh.  He become the owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, managed several Mellon family foundations and gave financial support to many political organizations.





(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary

1235 Lyman Ave, Wayzata, MN 55391



It was terrific! We broke every record in the book!

 Russ Reynolds, the reunion chairman, his committee, and Stacey O’Donnell and Karen Jahn of the AYA, ran a wonderful, inspiring reunion

 CLASS GIFT  - We gave a record $220 Million, which exceeds the previous Yale record for a 60th reunion of $56 million (by the class of 1951) by a factor of 4 times! The gift without Charlie Johnson’s college contribution was $63 million due to Fred Frank and his crew of fund raisers. A special thanks to the three musketeers of Charlie Johnson,  Dick Gilder, and Joel Smilow who lead our class to this amazing gift.

 ATTENDANCE– Thanks to Wiz Arndt and his Attendance Committee and to Murray Buttner and his gang of YAF agents, and (possibly) to the fact that there was no charge for the reunion, we broke the record for attendance for 60th reunions with 183 classmates and 154 guests for a total of 337 attendees.


We all gathered in the Pearson College Courtyard under the tent on Thursday evening and heard Dr. Thomas Lynch, the Director of the Yale Cancer Center, tell us about the remarkable work that Yale is doing at the Center and especially at the Smilow Cancer Hospital,  that has made Yale a world  leader in cancer research and treatment.

 On Friday, we learned about the two beautiful new residential colleges which are largely being funded by Charlie Johnson’s gift. We then remembered our classmates who have died since our last reunion. But, instead of reading all 90 of their names, we printed a booklet that compiled all the obituaries that I wrote for this column for the past five years..  The Reverend Ian Buckner Oliver, the Pastor at Battell Chapel, spoke about remembrance and lead us in a moment of prayer.

 We all attended a “Town Hall” Meeting with a panel of distinguished classmates including Jerry Grinstein, the moderator, Dick Thornburgh, Gaddis Smith, Walter Pincus, and Charlie Johnson.  Each panelist made a short statement on “How did the Yale experience affect me?” This was followed by a lively question and answer discussion about subjects such as Yale’s Chinese venture.

 The Class Dinner was very classy with elegant table settings, formal servers, an orchestra and candles! President Peter Salovey spoke and praised the Class of 1954 for its amazing financial support and how we have helped Yale in many other ways. Russ Reynolds  presented AYA awards “In Recognition of Distinguished Service to the Yale  College Class of 1954” to Bruce Meacham, Charlie Johnson, Carl Shedd, Murray Buttner and Fred Frank. Russ also gave me a large drawing of the Harkness Tower which I will hang in my study.

 On Saturday, we toured “The Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center”, which was built with funds from our 54/50 Fund. After dinner, I turned over my symbol of office ( a bundle of Yale wooden pencils) as Class Secretary to my successor, Russell Reynolds . I also announced that Charlie Johnson will be the new Class Treasurer. I then presented Russ Reynolds with an engraved silver Wine Cooler as a token of our appreciation for running this magnificent reunion. The evening ended with a Cole Porter review at the University Theater next door. A great reunion for a great class!

 Carl Shedd is assembling these events with photos and an updated Class Directory for a CLASS OF 1954 60th  REUNION BOOK which will be sent to the entire class soon!



The class council, at its meeting on November 21, 2013, at the urging of Bob Quinlan, voted to designate the $3.3 million Class 54/60 Fund that was organized by Dick Gilder in 2004, to be added to “The Class of 1954 President’s Discretionary Fund. This fund was started in 2004 as part of the famous 54/50 fund gift to Yale. At the time of the council meeting, the existing Fund amounted to approximately $700,000 which means that the Fund could amount to $4 million by June 2014. This is an endowed fund, which means that the earnings of an estimated 5% ($200,000) a year can be used for Yale related programs and projects as determined by the President of Yale without requiring approval of the Corporation. The online “Giving to Yale” website describes the President’s Fund as follows:

“The President’s Fund exists to open new avenues of discovery and channeling resources to the pursuit of novel ideas. The fund supports new courses, technology and research. It pays for student travel abroad and their participation in competitions, performances and community service projects of every variety. This flexible funding also helps to launch specialized programs and to seed campus-wide initiatives. Donors may take part with gifts to permanently endow its activities.”


We are getting ready to celebrate our 60th reunion on May 29 through June 1. Russ Reynolds, the Reunion Chairman, promises that it will be one of the greatest reunions of our class. Because of our class generosity, Yale will absorb the reunion charges, including lodging if you stay in a residential college. If you stay off campus, you will pay those charges, but may get a discount. Our program speakers will include our new Yale President, Peter Salovey. Fred Frank is heading the Class Gift Campaign which we expect will set a new record.  Carl Shedd is publishing another outstanding Class Reunion Book with cartoons from the New Yorker. Because of Yale’s financial incentive, the great program for the reunion, and Wiz Arndt’s attendance committee, we expect a record turnout. Make your reservations now if you haven’t already done so.


If you walk into the Main Lounge of the New York Yale Club, you will see five portraits of Yale graduates who were Presidents of the United States of America in the last 106 years. They are: William Howard Taft Yale 1878, Pres 1908-12,Gerald Ford, LLB ’61, Pres 1973-76, George H.W. Bush BA’46 Pres 1988-92, , Bill Clinton ’73 JD Law Pres 1992-2000, and George W. Bush ‘68 BA Pres 2000-08. No other University in the world can make that claim. (Harvard has only four Presidents). It is significant that Yale and Harvard graduates have served as President of the U.S.A. for 50 out of the past 102 years! If some of the pundits are correct about Hillary Clinton (”73 JD Law), Yale can claim a sixth President by 2016. It is clear that Yale’s unique strength is that it has provided more world leaders than any other institution in the world. Yale’s “Mission” Statement must include  Yale will continue to provide leaders for the United States of America and for the world!”



George Langworthy was in Perth for the Australian Mensa Annual Gathering in December, where he went to ballets, operas and ate mud bugs,” just so he could tell me he did!” Because Mensa is an organization of geniuses, mud bugs must be wonderful to eat!


Sid Bogardus, who died in October, was in the Strategic Air Command when SAC was our main deterrent to nuclear war. Like many of us, he used his Korean GI bill to pay for is MBA from HBS. He was an investment banker until he retired and then focused on the development of innovative environmental technologies which could “change the world”. He was very involved with St. Bernard’s school where he prepped before Yale.

 Peter Benelli also got a Master’s degree from Harvard after the Air Force and became the Headmaster at Thayer Academy which he served for 24 years, even longer than our Rick Levin. He also taught in the International Education program at Framingham University at various sites including Brazil, Venezuela, Turkey, Taiwan and Bahrain. He died in December.

 Richard Gallen, who died in December, was a Phi Beta Kappa at Yale and a graduate of Yale Law School. He founded a publishing company as well as other successful firms. He funded a scholarship that has helped many graduate students in the Princeton Slavic Department which Professor Charles Townsend, his roommate at Yale, has lead for several years. (See my notes for November with Charles’ Czech poems).

 John Brainard died in December. He spent his early career in aerospace followed by 29 years with IBM before retiring early to join his wife, Carol, as a real estate broker in Colorado. I remember John as a fast halfback on our JV football team and a star on the Yale track team.

 John Van Buren, who lived in Newport RI and devoted much of his life to that historic city, died last December. He served on the Board of the Naval War College Foundation, the Newport Hospital, With a Master’s degree in Architecture, he supported Newport’s historic buildings and sites. He was presented with The Naval Meritorious Public Service Award for his untiring service to his community.



 (Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary

1235 Lyman Ave, Wayzata, MN 55391



The Class Council had a special meeting about Yale’s mission and its implementation prior to its regular November meeting. Topics included Yale’s Mission, Academic Focus, Admission Policies, Ratings and several other deep thoughts. We may continue at the 60th reunion to include every classmate who would like to share his wisdom!  Meeting notes.


Minnesota may seem remote to many of our class, but it has a strong Yale contingent dating from some old families who were founders in the 1890s of the great grain, flour milling, railroad and lumber businesses such as General Mills, Pillsbury, Cargill, Northern Pacific and Weyerhauser.

 I have been a member of an investment club in Minnesota (Twin City Investment Trust) that was started in 1960 by a bunch of Yalies from the classes of 1951 and 1952 including John Driscoll, Bill Hartfiel, John Hartwell, Jim Howard, Whitney MacMillan, Harry McNeely, Dick Slade Ted Weyerhauser, Doug Head and Howard McMillan. Soon afterwards, they added Jack Taylor (‘54,), Angus Wurtele  (’56) and me.

 Our early investments weren’t very good because we treated the fund as “play money” and invested in some ultra risky ventures. However our careers and lives were more successful:

Fifteen members were CEOs of companies with more than 400 employees

Five of these companies were “Fortune 500” companies or a private equivalent (Cargill)

One member was the Attorney General of Minnesota

Another member was a six term US Congressman

 After 53 years, we still have occasional lavish meetings, and we have finally made money in the stock market because our investment committee has been totally inactive and has not met, nor has it bought or sold any stocks since 2001! The ultimate buy and hold!

 Charlie Workman is not inactive! In fact, he plays tennis every day in Carmel, California and he and his partner reached the finals of the senior (over 80) Northern California doubles championship match on October 8, 2013.

 Joe Neumeier, Tuck Craven and Jim McNeely and wives, along with Abigail Manny, attended the inauguration of Peter Salovey and toured the Yale campus. They found the graves of Yale Presidents including Griswold, Brewster, and Giamatti in in the Grove Street Cemetery and recommended that we tour the cemetery as part of our reunion.

 The Yale University Press just published a biography written by Berel Lang entitled “Primo Levi, The Matter of a Life” in its book series, “Jewish Lives”. Another of Berel’s books, “Ethics, Art, and Representations of the Holocaust Essays in Honor of
Berel Lang ” 
has just been published by Rowan and Littlefield, and is available from Amazon Books. Berel is a Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany. He was a Professor of Humanities at Trinity College for many years.

 By now, you are probably aware of Charlie Johnson’s gift of $250 million to Yale for two new residential colleges that will provide for additional students. Each year Yale turns down thousands of qualified applicants simply because it does not have enough living space.  We don’t think that one of the colleges will be named “The Yale Class of 1954 College” even though it would nicely match “The Yale Class of 1954 Field” (formerly known as the “Yale Bowl”).

 George Spaeth is not retired and is still active as the Glaucoma Research Medical Director of the famous Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia which is the world leader in glaucoma research, patient care and training. He is deeply involved with the research and providing service to afflicted patients. The Glaucoma Service just celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Ball honoring those who have made Wills Eye outstanding, most particularly, George and his late wife, Ann.


As we slowly fade out of the mainstream, our children are hitting their stride, and we take pride in their accomplishments. Art Stock’s daughter Catherine Y’80, participated in the academic procession of President Salovey’s installation, representing Connecticut College where she is a Professor of History.

 John Scales’ daughter, Lisa has become the Executive Director of the Greater Pittsburgh First Bank, and Lowell Kay Hansen has a son “making the National Forest Service proud in Alaska


I talked to Ed Bransome at the Boston mini reunion in June, 2011, which he gamely attended, although he was ailing with Parkinson’s disease of which he ultimately died last October. During his many years of medical practice, he was a professor of medicine at Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in LaJolla CA and Chief of Endocrinology at the Medical College of Georgia.

 Hap  Golden was a rock in the Yale offensive and defensive line (remember, we played both ways in those days),  and he continued to be involved in football by coaching the Conestoga (PA) High School in addition to his teaching duties for more than 25 years. He also owned the Taco House restaurant in Center City, Philadelphia. Hap died in October



The controversial “The Bell Curve” is a book about how our IQ is very important to our success at almost everything. It notes that graduates from the top ten universities, including Yale, have an average IQ of 130 or are in the top ½ % of the population.  It states: “Starting in the 1950s, a handful of institutions became magnets for the very brightest of each year’s new class. In these schools, the cognitive level of the students rose above the rest of the college population.”

 “A large portion of the Freshman Classes of 1950 at Harvard and Yale came from a few of America’s exclusive boarding schools; Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover alone contributed almost ten percent of each class.” However, by 1960, Harvard (and Yale) had been transformed from a school primarily for the northeastern socioeconomic elite into a school populated by the brightest of the bright, drawn from all over the country”

 ‘The distinction of Harvard and Yale from other schools has become greater when you look at the scoring of the SAT- Verbal tests. Scoring above 700 is forty  times more concentrated in the freshman classes at Yale and Harvard than in the national SAT population at large –and the national SAT population is a already a slice off the top of the distribution.”


A few of us attended a “Reunion Workshop” at Yale in September where we discussed the AYA”s recommended programs and activities for reunions. Russ Reynolds and his committee are devising different and original activities that include provisions for canes and walkers for our upcoming 60th Reunion on May 29 –June 1, 2014.


Al Rabinowitz and his wife, Leah, traveled with14 other Yalies and their family members to Eastern Europe with the Global Alumni Leadership Exchange. They visited several universities in Latvia, Sweden, Poland and Belarus, to exchange “best practices" for developing alumni loyalty and fund raising. Most of these of these schools are relatively new and are anxious to learn how to deal with these issues. They were overwhelmed by the story that Al told them about our 54/50 Fund, and they may try to do something similar at their schools. Al is making us famous all over the world!


The Yale Club of New York presented “ A 2013 football preview on September 9 with Joel E. Smilow ’54 and Head Coach Tony Reno discussing the upcoming season”. Joel was a play by play announcer for WYBC of the Yale football games team while we were undergraduates, and has been active supporter of Yale football since then.


Jeremy Spear, Y78, sent me a note that his father, Nat Spear, passed away at his home in Manhattan on May 22 at age 82. He is survived by his wife, Josette, three children, and four grandchildren. Jeremy apologized for the “ brevity of this passage”. It was one of his Father’s wishes not to bring undo attention to his life’s work or his personal interests

 Kenneth Fletcher Bick, of Oro Valley, Arizona, passed away February 19, 2013. After obtaining his BS, MS, and PhD in Geology from Yale, Ken began his teaching career at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He spent the next 31 years of his distinguished career at the College of William and Mary where he founded the geology department in 1961 and taught until his retirement in 1992.  He spent his retirement years traveling extensively with his wife, Elise, playing tennis, and was very active in his community.  He was most proud of his role in shaping the outstanding undergraduate geology program at William and Mary and the students he taught, mentored, and inspired throughout the years.

 Waldo Sweet, who spent most of his life in and around New Haven, died in August. He was the President of Wood’s Lighting Protection Co and was active in the Middle Street Boys Club.

 George Lawrence, who died August 2, was in Bosnia as a volunteer with UNICEF during the Bosnian war, which he described of an “experience of considerable meaning” He also met his wife, Azra, while a Fullbright Professor of Psychology at Sarajevo University in 1999. In retirement, he became a licensed clinical psychologist and treated adults like us. We could have used him in our Class Council meetings!

 Bill Dickson’s obituary, surprisingly, was right next to George Lawrence’s in the Washington Post in the August 22, 2013 issue. Bill was a career officer of the United States Information Agency. He was posted in USIA offices all over the world, including Greece, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, France, South Korea, and the Soviet Union. He was chief of the U.S.S.R, division and chief of the European division of Voice of America, and headed the European Fulbright academic exchange program. In retirement, he worked for international academic exchange programs.



Last November, at our annual Class Council meeting, we entered in to a lively discussion about Yale in regard to its mission, its academic focus, its admission policies, its “ranking” as compared to its peers, athletics and activities versus academics and other pertinent issues. Of course, in our wisdom acquired in our 80 year life span, we had many brilliant thoughts and a great meeting- which even got better with drinks and dinner!

 Many of us felt that this conversation should continue with a longer meeting that would be more than two hours. Consequently, we are expanding the November 19 Class Council meeting at the Knickerbocker Club in New York to a full day with an agenda for this conversation. All members of the class are always welcome at the Council meeting, however, we currently only have space for 40 to 50 people, or an additional 15 to 20 classmates. If you would like to attend and give us your deep thoughts, please let me know by email ( and we will try to squeeze you in. If we have too many interested classmates, we may have to rent Yankee Stadium. George Spaeth will be coordinating the discussion and if you have any brilliant ideas, you may contact him at (

 We will be discussing Yale’s academic focus, and its relationship to its major competitors. The July issue of the Harvard Magazine (yes, they have a magazine too) has an article from the President, Drew Faust about the technology surge at Harvard. She notes that forty percent of the undergraduates are now STEM concentrators (science, technology, engineering and math).

 A new book by Yale graduate, Nathan Harden, “Sex and God at Yale” (Porn, Political Correctness and a Good Education Gone Bad”), may ignite a spirited discussion about Yale’s mission and how this liberalism effects Yale.


Georgetown University awarded Walter Pincus an honorary doctor of laws degree in May. His citation included “Walter  Pincus represents the very best that investigative journalism has to offer. His articles have quite literally changed the world. In 1977, he disclosed that the military was developing a neutron bomb. An uproar ensued, and President Jimmy Carter shelved the program.”

 The Legal Intelligence, the oldest law journal in the United States, honored Dick Thornburgh with a Lifetime Achievement Award which is given to individuals who have helped shape the law in Pennsylvania and the world

Social Pages

I read the New York Times Social Pages every Sunday with the hope of finding a classmate in the photos and have been relatively successful. I spotted a photo of Russ Reynolds, our next Class Secretary, in the June 9 issue, standing next to television personality, Fareed Zakaria, accepting an Award from the International House Organization which promotes cross-cultural understanding.

 A Gift to Yale

Dick Gilder and his wife, Lois Chiles, have given Yale  $20 million to restore the Nave of  Sterling Library in honor of  outgoing Yale President, Rick Levin and his wife, Jane Levin. Dick and Lois are featured on the cover of ELI, the Yale magazine that chronicles the major gifts to Yale. President Levin granted Dick an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, and called him “the most creative of philanthropists”. Dick was the driving  force behind our 54/50 class gift of $90 million to Yale in 2004 which was use for the building of two science buildings and the renovation of the Yale Bowl (now called the “Class of 1954 Yale Field). He has also made significant gifts to NY Central Park, the Yale Gilder Boat House and the Rose Center (with Eli Rose) for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History, along with many other notable programs. This will be added to our 60th reunion class gift which is poised to set a new record.


Charles Drummey ran in 20 marathons and triathlons, but after an injury, reduced his running to only 10 miles a day! He was a Selectman for the town of Simsbury CT and a volunteer fireman there. He was involved in estate planning at Cigna and was a partner in the firm of Murtha Cullina Insurance Co. in the world’s insurance capital, Hartford, CT.

 William Rague died in April, He was the Executive Vice President of the Westport Bank of Connecticut and was involved in civic activities in Bethel CT.

 James McKinster died in July 2012. He was a Captain in the US Navy where he served for 25 years and his funeral was performed aboard a US Naval vessel from the Norfolk, VA port.

 Robert Mercer was a true space and nuclear scientist He was a Flight Test Engineer who worked with the first astronauts, training and evaluating them. He was the Principal Investigator for experiments performed during orbits of the moon. The astronauts gave him a U.S. flag that went to the moon in the Apollo 16 orbiting spacecraft. After NASA, he formed a company that created complex systems that travel both within the earth’s orbit and to distant planets.

 Donald Robotham was a banker from Connecticut who became a rancher-cowboy. He was a senior executive at the United Bank of Denver for thirty years while he acquired three ranches and became a true westerner. His obituary stated that contributions to his memory should be given to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.




We should all re-read our Class of 1954 graduation Yearbook. It contains several essays about whom we were and who we might become. It appeared that the Class of 1954 was the least likely to succeed when this was written.

We were called the “Silent Generation” and the essays written by classmates used phrases such as; ”We had no ebullience, no spontaneity; We had no youth”; We did not create;” “We did not laugh”; “We led few crusades” and it was difficult to find cause for optimism”  - but it was added that “There may be written a different story” .This turned out to be the most accurate statement!

These articles also observed that Yale’s extra-circular activities were over emphasized, and that ‘our undergraduate years had become a gigantic heeling competition.’ It was significant that during our four years at Yale, that the public Tap Day was abolished, that we were becoming scholastic “Grinds”, and that drinking had fallen off. It was speculated that “Yale is no longer a Finishing School for the Rich”. All of this suggested that we were “dull” boys and believed “in all work and no play”. – It seems to have paid off!!

 It is possible that our seriousness of purpose is what made us productive. We were also very lucky, because one article pointed out that 1953 was the most prosperous year in the history of the United States until then. These factors helped to launch our class to 60 years of “extraordinary” accomplishment,


We all saw Yale win the NCAA hockey championship in April, and heard the references that the last Yale hockey team to be selected for the NCAA tournament was in 1952. My neighbor, Howard McMillan (’52) was able to bring up a team photo of the Yale 1952 hockey team on his big screen TV, and I was able to identify our Sophomore  classmates Leigh Quinn, Sam Yonce, Wally Kilrea and Hayden Owens. We are in the big leagues again after 61 years!

 Our 54/50 fund was highlighted in the Jan/Feb issue of this magazine. It was about the “famous class of 1954” when “Richard Gilder “54 suggested that the class handle the investment of their 50threunion gift themselves although some at Yale saw the class’s proposal as too risky, but ’54 invested with Joseph McNay ’56. He turned their relatively modest fund into a staggering $90 million”. 

 Charles Townsend has been a Professor of Slavic Languages at Princeton for 36 years and must have been appreciated by eighty of  his former students who gave him a party and a  ”festschrift” ( scholarly articles written in a professor’s honor). He is now an avid limerick writer, and when he found out that I was 50% Bohemian (Czech), he sent me some limericks in Czech and English about Yale. He can also translate the Whiffenpoof’s Entrance song.

 V devatenact set padesat

Jsme prirsi na Yale studovat

Naucii jsme se zit

A taky poradne pit.

A divky dobre milovat.

 It was in Nineteen fifty, old buddy

We arrived at Yale mostly to study

There we learned how our lives to spend

And our stiff elbows how to bend.

And turn the girls into putty.

 Karl Lamb is a Professor of Political Science who helped start the Santa Cruz campus of the University of California that was organized on the “Oxford plan” as a series of residential colleges. He also taught at Annapolis as Dean for 14 years.. He has written 45 articles and seven books of an “academic bent”, but now, has written a novel called “Ragtime in the Rockies”. It is about the Jazz Age coming to a small town in Colorado with a clash of cultures and involving the Ku Klux Klan. It is available from Amazon and is a good read.

            Murray Buttner, our class Chief of Agents, who has done an outstanding job for several years, was honored at the Yale Alumni Funds annual Chairman’s Awards last October “which honors some of the most dedicated volunteers for Yale”. This was featured in the Winter issue of ELI “a publication for Yale’s most generous donors”.

 In December, Pete Grant and his family fled a fierce forest fire that was ½ mile from his cabin in Estes Park. Co. He then decided to go to England to visit his cousins where they have not a forest fire in several centuries.

 Class Officers- In order to prevent a war of succession like many South American  countries have recently experienced,  the Class Council, in its wisdom, has elected ‘Vice’ Officers who will become active  in June, 2014 or upon our demise. Russ Reynolds, in addition to his 60th reunion duties, will become the Class Secretary and Charlie Johnson will become Class Treasurer at the reunion.


Carlos Punceles reports that one of his Grandsons is Venezuela’s amateur golf champion and one granddaughter in married to Maurcicio Rodos who is running for President of Ecuador. His family is doing well, but Venezuela is not!

 Bob Hoffman announced that he now has 17 grandchildren, but did not mention how he is planning to send them all to college!


Ken Bick died very suddenly of a heart attack after a game of tennis in Tucson, AZ. I have been told that this is a very real problem for those of us over 80, so don’t chase those deep lobs in the far corner! Ken taught geology At Washington and Lee as well as William and Mary for 30 years.

 Donald Robotham, who died in April, was well known as a Senior Executive at the United Bank of Denver, but in real life, he was a life long rancher and cowboy who owned three ranches in Colorado over a period of 30 years. Originally from Connecticut, after Yale, he “whole-heartedly embraced and lived a western way of life”



Why is our 80th Birthday such a big deal?

Most of us have turned 80 in the last 12 months and our 80th birthday seems to be the most significant birthday after 50. It must be that we are celebrating the fact that we made it this long, and, compared to 50 years ago, and the Class of 1904, it is a big deal!

  It also testifies that the world has made incredible progress in just 50 years. The Yale Class of 1904 was born in 1882 and did not have a long life expectancy. An article recently found from the Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Victoria, Canada) dated July 3, 1883 entitled “ Average Duration of Human Life” states: “The average length of life is about 28 years” and “Not more than one in 500 reach the age of eighty years of life”. In extreme contrast, 63% of our class is still alive to celebrate our 80th birthdays whereas  the Yale Class of 1904  had 288 members at graduation, and if the statistics proved correct, it is likely that no one in the class lived to be 80


Send me your 80th birthday interesting event – (Blowing out all your candles in five breaths is not newsworthy).

 David Murray celebrated his 80th birthday by competing in the 80-84 age event in The US Masters Swimming Nationals. He placed 3rd in an 800 m free style race and medaled in two other individual and two relay events.

  Dick Thornburgh, as former Governor of Pennsylvania and the Attorney General of the United States, combined his 80th birthday celebration, which was a river boat trip for charity, with the 5th anniversary of the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy which brings distinguished speakers to the University of Pittsburgh Law School to discuss subjects such as “The Future of Nuclear Power”.

 The current Yale Whiffenpoofs, surprised me at my 80th birthday party by emailing me a “Happy Birthday Paul” video. My daughter, Julia, (without my knowledge), convinced the Whiffs to do this by telling them that I am the current Secretary of "The Extraordinary Yale Class of 1954".  They quickly made an arrangement of the song and performed it just before a concert in their tuxedos. They only did this because they had heard of our amazing class and wanted to serenade all of us. This was a tribute to our class and it was meant for all of us 80 year olds.

 George Starcher was still skiing on his 80th birthday and was hiking up the mountains in France- no more chair lifts! He was a senior Partner of McKinsey in Paris and Milan and is a very active member of the Baha’i faith. He is the cofounder of the European Baha’i Business Forum and is writing a history of the organization.


Barrie Rich, Our Class Secretary from 2004 to 2009, died January 11, 2013, from cancer. He had been living in a Senior Care facility in Branford CT for the past two years while he was under treatment at the Smilow Cancer Hospital in the Yale Medical Center. Barrie was central to starting our highly successful tradition of mini-reunions which has strengthened our class and brought us together. He was behind the great minis in San Francisco and Washington DC., and guided me while I have tried to carry on his tradition of events and class participation. Barrie was a Senior Vice President of Citibank and most of his career was spent in exotic places which included Beirut, Jeddah, Dubai, and the Indian sub continent. He and his wife, Marguerite, visited and lived in more than 100 countries.

 Dr. Gibbons Cornwell, MD, was a F86 jet pilot before he became a doctor and Dean of the Dartmouth Medical School and Medical Director of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Gibb retired as a Professor of Pathology and Medicine in 1995 and died in February 2013 in Lyme, NH, where he chaired the Lyme Foundation and developed three computer-based animated interactive programs for Dartmouth Medical Students.

 Tom Shutt, another member of our Class Council, died in January. He was the ninth employee of Trammel Crow, and as a Managing Partner, he was instrumental in the amazing growth of the company that became the world’s largest real estate developer (500 million sq ft of buildings). He was very active in Dallas organizations including the  expansion of the Dallas Museum of Art. Although he was in a wheelchair for his last few  years, he managed to attend Council meetings and mini-reunions.

 Dr. William Willis, PhD, who was a “towering presence” in the field of particle physics, died in November.  He was a member of the Yale faculty and a Professor of Physics at Columbia University. He was also a physicist at CERN, where he was involved in the experiments that lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle that occurred last year (this discovery changes the entire concept of matter –look it up on Google).  Bill made “seminal contributions” to nuclear physics, especially in searching for new forms of matter at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He was the author of 357 publications. –Whew!

 Dr. Lewis James, MD, a Phi Beta Kappa who guided me through Freshman calculus class, died on Christmas Day. Lew was the top graduate in his class at Harvard Medical School, and in addition to being a distinguished pathologist and frequent lecturer at Harvard, Yale and Tufts Medical schools, he loved Yale and attended many football games and several of our mini-reunions. He was a regular panelist on NBC radio and television program “Mind Your Manners” in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

 Dr. James Wilhelm, PhD, our class valedictorian, died in December. He was a professor at Rutgers University for 43 years, an author of more twenty books and a world renowned scholar of Ezra Pound, Dante and medieval literature. His comment in our 25th reunion book was “Yale has matured from a prep-school supplement with a golf course and the Bowl to a genuinely international place of learning”


At our November Class Council meeting, we talked about how Yale is “ranked”  as compared to other Colleges and Universities. We thought about Yale’s future. Should we focus on our historical strengths or branch out into new areas? Needless to say, Yale does very well and is certainly one of the “Best Universities” in the world!

 This year’s issue of the US News & World Report “Best Colleges “rates hundreds of colleges and Universities in many categories. It is primarily meant for high school students who are deciding which schools that they should apply to.

 The most important category is “Best National Universities” where Yale is ranked Number 3 with an overall of 99 points versus Harvard at Number 1 with 100 points and Princeton at Number 2 with 100 – points. The major factor in this category is  “Undergraduate academic reputation” (which is an opinion poll of professors and high school counselors). A minor category is “Alumni Giving Rate” which apparently indicates how well the alumni liked the school. Princeton beat everyone with 63%  participation, versus Yale (3) and Harvard (4) with 37%.  (Those of us who have been the Chief Class Agent of the Yale Annual Fund, suspect the validity of Princeton’s recording method.) 

 Yale did not do so well in the Engineering category with a ranking of 34th, behind Stanford (2), Princeton (10) and Harvard (23). However, our class has given three out of the six Science buildings added at Yale since 1992 in our effort to strengthen Yale’s technology sector.

 Not surprisingly, no credit is given for outstanding football, hockey, singing, fraternities, publications and good fellowship. Our Class graduation yearbook devoted most of its articles on these functions – the world was different in 1954!

Yale’s new President, Peter Salovey, was featured (with a photo) as a “Newsmaker” in the November 16, 2012 issue of Science Magazine (the ultimate technology publication which I can hardly understand) as a “Researcher to Head Yale.” “Salovey, 54, is well known for advancing studies of emotional intelligence.” I assume that he will study our class because we are unemotional but very intelligent!


 Joel Smilow, and his son William, have given a substantial gift to the University of Pennsylvania to support Penn Medicine's transitional research activities, naming the The Smilow Center for Translational Research in the Raymond and Ruth Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. It also establishes the William Smilow Professorship in the field of cardiovascular medicine and the William Smilow Award for Innovation in Clinical Excellence which helps research teams accelerate targeted scientific discoveries for a wide range of diseases and train the next generation of physicians –scientists. ‘While the exact gift amount remains undisclosed, it is the largest capital gift to the University’s $3.5 billion Making History fundraising campaign, and among the top gifts in Penn’s Medicine history.

 Herbert Zohn was featured in “Partners Through Giving“  from the Yale Office of Planned Giving, for establishing his seventh charitable gift annuity toward scholarships at the Yale School of Art. Herb opened an art gallery in New York in1979 and he founded an organization that is dedicated to rehabilitating New York’s Riverside Park.


 Dick Heirs, who has a BA, BD, MA, and a PhD degree from Yale, is still writing significant books. The latest is Women’s Rights and the Bible. A review in the Journal of Law and Religion describes it as: “Richard Heirs successfully demonstrates that women’s role in the Old Testament times was more powerful, and their legal rights more secure that common wisdom would suggest. Modern advocates for women’s rights should find this text helpful.”

Fourteen bell ringers, performed a well-publicized concert entirely of music written or arranged by Walt Farrier.  It took place at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem, Oregon, for a packed church, and received an uncomfortably long standing ovation. (Walt’s words). At Yale, Walt, who was in the Yale Band and the Yale Glee Club, was the first arranger for the Duke's Men. He has had a career as Director of Choral Activities at Texas Lutheran University, and then at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and is still singing, composing, arranging and teaching voice.

Tom Briggs, who spent several years as a professor at Oklahoma University Health Sciences, has made “a clean break with professional life “, and has focused on running marathons! In fact, he has become obsessed with marathons, and recently ran in Newport RI, which completed his record of running in all 50 states – since he retired! He has also run marathons in all seven continents on this planet. He wrote “How long can I keep this up? It gets harder every time!” My advice is –You should consider running a marathon on the planet Krypton, where you must have been born! 


Richard Howarth, who died in December, was a U.S. foreign service officer in Belgium, Burma, Hong Kong and Singapore. He was also a counter intelligence officer during the Korean war and he spoke fluent Mandarin, Burmese and French. Is there a “James Bond” connection here? (He was the same age as Sean Connery). In our 50th reunion book, he expressed his opinion that “Yale is not, and should not, be a trade school’, but should focus on a “worldview that balances many factors”.

 William Loving, who was a founder of the Janus Fund and a retirement investment adviser, died last October. His 25th reunion year book comments included, “I live in the Colorado mountains, a half mile from our nearest neighbor”, and that he was ranked nationally in competitive target shooting. He was one of our class’s true “Mountain Men”.




As most of you may know, we have annual Class Council Meetings in New York the Thursday before Yale’s last football game of the season. You are all invited to attend and enter into our deep discussions. You can find the minutes of the meetings on our class web site. The Class Treasury is our checking account for reunions, class mailings, this magazine and other financial events It is financed by our class dues and income from these events The Class Treasurer, Irving Jensen, reported that 347 classmates (which is 54% of the 645 living members of class), gave $95 each this year to support the class functions. The balance in the treasury on September 30, 2012 was $162,139 after the income and expense from Seattle mini reunion, and other events. –We are solvent!

 Murray Buttner, the Class Chief Agent, reported that 353 classmates (55% of the class) gave $223,478 to the Yale Annual Fund (YAF) this year. This money is used by Yale for general purposes as undesignated funds and supports a wide range of services and expenses.


With Rick Levin’s retirement, our class council is pondering the future of Yale in terms of its rankings with other Ivy schools, its academic emphasis, its athletic programs, its admission polices and other essential factors. We discussed these issues at our Class Council meeting on November 8, with all 25 attendees offering significant viewpoints. We will continue this discussion by assembling ideas and comments from our council. I will try to consolidate and summarize these observations in a “white paper” and send it to our non- engineers for editing and revision. Several members suggested that we meet again in the next few months to discuss these issues further.

 We encourage all classmates to send your ideas to me at or to other council members, about how you feel that Yale can be the leading educational institution in today’s world wide society and economy.


The current President of Yale, Rick Levin and his wife Jane, attended our class reception in the Smilow Field Center after the Princeton Game. I told him that our class is very grateful to him for convincing us to give Yale the $63million in our 54/50 fund in the year 2000 immediately to build the Environmental Science Center and Chemistry Research Building, instead of waiting four years for our 50th reunion, because our fund would have sunk by 50 % if we had kept it for a few more months due to the “dotcom’ market crash that year. In addition, the new President elect of Yale, Peter Salovey, who is the current Provost of Yale, attended with his wife, Maria Moret. Both Rick and Peter (who was born after we graduated from Yale), praised our class for our generosity and our support of Yale. (They did not actually call us “Yale’s Greatest Class, but we knew it in our hearts). Also, Tony Reno, Yale’s football coach, discussed his plans for making Yale a greater football power. However, this is classified information that cannot be published.

The Whiffenpoofs gave their best performance in my memory (I think). You will really miss the action if you don’t attend THE GAME next year. It’s worth a trip from a long distance. Pete Shears flew in from Ohio with his son, Doug, Yale class of 1991, Charlie Johnson came from San Francisco, I travel from Minnesota while John Franciscus always comes from Puerto Rico.


Doctors in our class rarely retire. Louis Cooper, who has been a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, and the Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital for 25 years, is still on a quest to eradicate measles, rubella and congenital rubella through the Measles and Rubella Initiative (MRI). He was the keynote speaker this year at the annual MRI meeting and received the Abraham Jacobi Award from the

American Medical Association for his work. Dr. Jacobi is considered the founder of pediatrics in the U.S.

 Alvin Lucier, who is still a professor of Music at Wesleyan University, is also running at full speed, with a new book, Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music, just published by the Wesleyan University Press. In addition, the Alter Ego ensemble, recently presented a concert of Alvin’s works, including the premier of Two Circles, based on the architecture of Carlo Scarpa, at the Venice Biennale.


John Brainard died suddenly in August in Parker, Colorado. He was one of our track  and football stars at Yale, and became a real “Rocket Scientist” while working on the Martin Marietta Titan missile program before he joined IBM, where he spent 26 years.

 Sam Yonce, one of Yale’s stalwart hockey defensemen, died in September from complications from surgery. Sam worked on Wall Street for 34 years when it was a highly respectable profession without demonstrators chanting outside the door. He was a great sportsman, belonging to at least eight organizations devoted to camaraderie and competition.

Sig Sandzen
, who died unexpectedly on July 11, was one of the outstanding hand surgeons in the country.  He published several books including Atlas of Acute Hand Surgeries, Wrist and Hand Fractures, and Management of Complications of Hand and Wrist Problems. He developed his reconstructive procedures when he served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. Sig was very involved in The Nature Conservancy.




Irving Jensen, our dedicated Class Treasurer, who keeps fit by walking 3 miles every day, informs me that our class had 645 living members on June 30, 2012 which is 66% of our graduating class of 983. In addition, we lost only 18 classmates in the previous 12 months. At this rate, most of us will be collecting Social Security payments for many more years! Irving knows this kind of information because he duns each of us for our class dues every year.


Those of us who started high tech companies in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s often saw newer technologies replace our “world changing ideas”.  It is exciting to know that a least one of our classmates is still working 70 hours a week to change the world through technology. Alex Wormser, the inventor of a new coal gasification system, has been an innovator in the energy field since he became fascinated with gas turbines on a field trip while at Yale. After a career at GE in the gas turbine department, he started Wormser Energy Solutions that has developed a novel dual –fluidized –bed coal boiler for industrial use. It eliminates the oxygen previously required by other coal gasification systems and it emits only a quarter of the Carbon Dioxide emissions of natural gas power plants.

 Walter Pincus was interviewed on August 19 on CSPAN Q&A. He discussed his long career at the Washington Post and his recent writings on national security and defense issues. He has written critically of some of the spending in the Pentagon’s defense budget, and he related his role in the Valerie Plame investigation involving media leaks and the CIA. Walt also worked for the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic and Senator William Fullbright,

 George Langworthy is a airplane devotee, and he sent me photos of some of his airplanes, which included a 1946 Taylorcraft, a 1960 Beech Debonair, A 1967 and a 1970 Cessna Turbo 210. He started a small airline in Missouri with two DC-3s. He is also a Founder and Trustee of Johnson County Community College which has 32,567 students in Kansas City, and is the largest college in Kansas.

 I spotted a photo of Elihu and Susan Rose in the New York Times on July 15 who were attending the opening of The Paris Opera Ballet at the Lincoln Center. (Looking for classmates photos in the social section is the primary reason that I take the Sunday Times out here in the prairie.)

 Dick Thornburgh is in the news in almost every issue of our Alumni magazine because he is still very active in interesting activities. His most recent speech was in June which he delivered to the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, which occurred 72 days after he became Governor of Pennsylvania. His speech discussed emergency communications before cell phones and the internet and how it is critical to focus on the solution and not to focus on “Emergency Macho” designed to make the officials look good. He later met with top Soviet emergency officials in Moscow in 1979 and warned them of the risks of nuclear reactors, but was reassured that” Soviet reactors were so safe that they could be installed in Red Square” –seven years before the disastrous Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.


 Terry Williams died suddenly on July 21. Like many in our class, he joined the McKinsey Consulting Firm in 1959 and served as the Managing Partner of the Washington DC office for fifteen years. He served on the Board of numerous non-profit organizations including the Presbyterian Homes Retirement Communities, the National Museum of Natural History, the Easton Academy Art Museum.

 Evans Rose, who was the Managing Partner of the Rose, Schmidt and Halsey Law firm; a Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, and several Foundations; a Director of many corporations, and was very active in Pennsylvania politics, died on July 20. Dick Thornburgh, said at his funeral, ”Ev Rose never ran for or held statewide public office, but he was a giant in the Pennsylvania Republican Party for several decades”



TO OLD TO GOVERN?                                                                                                   Mike Madison, the Chairman of the Association of Yale Alumni, has sent me several letters urging me to nominate classmates for the Yale Board of Governors. However, the Yale Corporation’s rules state that no one over 65 can be nominated and no one over 70 can serve on that Board, which the AYA adheres to. I wrote to Mr. Madison and pointed out that they are missing an important segment of Yale graduates (us) who are the greatest donors to Yale and who represent the “Dear old Yale” that existed before women, diversity and Vietnam. There are approximately 18,000 living Yale graduates who are 65 years old or more, which is 25% of all living Yalies, and this group has given most of the money raised by all classes from 1945 through 2011! Also, as I pointed out, many of us are still working (some for money) and are active, healthy and are all above average! Chairman Madison responded by indicating that he would consider this situation and sent my message to the AYA Nominating Committee.



Since my complaint (and possibly others) the AFNC reconsidered the age policy and recommended that the Yale Corporation revise its rules, which the Corporation actually did by increasing the maximum age to be nominated from 65 to 72 years!! We still have to lobby to increase the maximum age to 80! My thanks to Mike Madison.


When this column is published, many of us have just returned from our Seattle mini-reunion which was undoubtedly a great success. Out next class gathering is scheduled for the Princeton game at Yale on November 10. As usual, we will have a mini-breakfast and a maxi–lunch in the Skybox at the game, followed by a cocktail party in the Smilow Field Center which Rick Levin, the President of Yale, and his wife often attend. Be alert for a notice!


 Russ Reynolds book “HEADS is hot off the presses of McGraw Hill Publishing Co. subtitled “Business Lessons from an Executive Search Pioneer”. Russ describes the origins of his firm in 1969 and the other big three search firms in the 1970s, and how he retired from Russell Reynolds Associates in 1990 and started RSR Partners which recruits Directors as well as CEOs. It is a very interesting read. Russ talks about how he and his partners (including Tom McLane) transformed the “headhunting’ business into a professional service with offices all over the world. He has included several stories and observations about leadership and tips for executives who are being recruited.

 Columbia University Press has published Mike Armstrong’s new book called They Wish That They Were Honest”. Mike was Chief Prosecutor for the Knapp Commission in the 1970s and now heads Mayor Bloomberg’s commission on police corruption. Mike claims that he merely dictated his memories over the years which were turned into this book. It  includes characters such as Frank Serpico, who was made famous by the 1973 movie, “Serpico”  who was played by Al Pacino ”. The book also refers to real wire taps, “wired” conversations and more. Very exciting!



George Spaeth is as active as ever, getting awards from Jefferson Medical College and the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, as well as giving presentations to the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Disabled, the International Glaucoma Research Foundation, Union Medical College, the annual meeting of the Association of Research & Vision in Ophthalmology , the American Ophthalmological Society.  Also, he was the keynote speaker at the European Glaucoma Society. Whew!


Most of us are celebrating our 80th birthdays this year, and Dick Thornburgh did it big by holding a river cruise Birthday Celebration on July 15 as a benefit for the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. Jack Taylor and his country music band held a rollicking 80th celebration in June for 200 people. Let me know of your unusual 80th birthday celebration- if it’s quirky enough, I will publish it!

 The Cost of Living in 1932, when most of us were born, was incredibly low.  A New House cost $6,515, a New Car was $610, Gasoline was $0.10 a gallon. The average Income was $1,652 per year, and tuition to Yale was $400 per year. We entered the world on the cheap, but our class is the most generous in Yale history!

Peter Millard and his wife Ann, gathered several classmates for their 50th anniversary,  including Mike Armstrong (see above), David Banker, David Lindh, Bob Quinilan, Dan Strickler,  and Archie van Beuren


Bob Barbee, who spent the majority of his career as a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Arizona after graduating from the University of Chicago Medical School, died in May. He traveled widely and was an avid rose gardener who was deeply involved in the Arizona Nature Conservancy.

 David Clark, who died in February, was also a Professor ( Humanities) at Hope College in Holland Michigan and a visiting professor at several other Universities in Chicago, Japan and England. He has also been Chairman of the Holland Human Relations Commission and several other community service organizations. He specialized in the research of Renaissance Artists.




You can still register for this extraordinary gathering on Sept 11 -14 of our “Extraordinary Class” (see our website). The reunion combines technology, art, and history, with good fellowship. The schedule includes cocktails at the house of the Chairman of the event Jerry Grinstein;  tours of the Boeing “Dreamliner” airplane factory; the famous Space Needle; Dinner at the Rainer Club; tours of the Microsoft campus and the Gates Foundation, the Chihuly (the famous glass artist) Boat House, a boat trip and a tour of Bainbridge Island, and the Museum  of Flight. You will have some free time to wander through the fabulous Market in downtown Seattle or watch salmon swimming upstream (like us). The reunion winds up with a grand dinner and a concert by the New Whiffenpoofs (it is rumored that some new whiffs are even taking singing lessons!)


I recently re-discovered a treasure of statistics about our careers in our 25th reunion yearbook. Law and Finance made up 27% of our class of 983 members. The major careers in 1979 were Law (137), Banking, Finance and Brokerage (128), Education (96), Medicine (92) and Sales (59). In 1979, very few of us had careers in those sectors that are now frantically hiring technically trained graduates for careers in Engineering, Electronics and Science (81), and Manufacturing (29). For some reason, we were not inclined to work in fields that paid badly, but helped and cared for others, such as Social Work (2), Ministry (13) and Government Service (19). I don’t know, nor will I speculate, on the significance of these numbers! It is unlikely that the Yale Class of 2012 will show this same career distribution at their 25th reunion in 2037.


I strongly recommend that everyone reread the 25th reunion yearbook (if you still have a copy). In addition to these interesting career facts, you should read it to see what we thought of ourselves and the world in1979. An article by Gaddis Smith is very nostalgic and is worth a reread alone. The book also reports that a library search showed that 145 members of our class had published more than 400 articles, books, plays, poems and other material that appeared in print as of January, 1979. Egads, how many publications do we have now?

 Bob Martin sent an article to me from the April 8 San Francisco Chronicle which was entitled “Charles Johnson, top Giants owner, keeps a low profile”. Charlie has acquired an increasing number of shares of the investor group that rescued the Giants from bankruptcy in 1992, and now owns the biggest percentage of the team. The article also covered Charlie’s life, including his Yale years playing football and waiting on tables his freshman year as requirement of his scholarship from the Yale Club of Montclair NJ. It noted that Charlie has great voice, and became a Whiffenpoof three years ago when it was reorganized (see above).


Albert Schweitzer was a role model for George Spaeth that drove him to play the organ, encouraged his interest in religion, and influenced him to become a physician and an innovator in caring for patients. It is therefore fitting that George has been awarded the Albert  Schweitzer Leadership Award in the Philadelphia area.

 The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy sponsored ‘A Symposium on the Future of Nuclear Power” at the University of Pittsburgh on March 27-28. He opened the Symposium by stating  “there could be no more appropriate venue for this event than Pittsburgh, where nuclear power was born”


Howard Shoemaker died on April 10. He was one of our 19 classmates who were practicing architecture in 1979 (see above), and was a partner in the architectural firm of Douglas Orr, deCossey, Winder and Assoc. of New Haven. He worked on the Choate School dormitories, The Child Study Center at Yale, Knights of Columbus Museum and the Mt. Ascutney Condominiums. He was also an avid painter of water colors and one of our class artists.

 Alan Foster, who performed in hundreds of musicals including roles in the Schenectady Light Opera Company and other regional theater groups, died in March. He also produced many plays and won numerous regional theater awards. His career at

General Electric included engineering and management positions in the high temperature alloy metallurgy sectors, and was involved in several patents that remain central to core engineering improvements in GE. He was also an avid sailor and skier.

 Charlie Crowley, who was twice named the “Professional Agent of the Year” by the National Association of Insurance agents, died on April 24. He was the President of Hemingway-Lewis Insurance Agency and was very involved in insurance industry activities, as well as the Council of Boy Scouts and Cheshire Academy. Charlie was a history and civil war buff who visited most of the battle fields.


(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary  E-Mail

MINI REUNION:  If you haven’t sent your reservation to our greatly anticipated mini reunion in Seattle that starts on September 12th and ends with breakfast on the 16th, do so immediately, because Jerry Grinstein is limiting the number of guests to less than 500 people because that is the maximum that the local fire department will allow him to fit into his house for the welcome reception!


Science had become a major focus of the Yale curriculum and our class has significantly been involved in this program. I have a photo in my den of the stainless steel monument that is stands next to the Environmental Science Building which states:

This monument is dedicated to the 72 members of the Yale College Class of 1954 who invested in the Yale 54/50 Fund established in1981. Presented to Yale upon the 50th Reunion of the Class, this fund built two landmark research facilities

                        The Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center(2002)

                        The Class of 1954 Chemistry Research Building (2004)


Our contribution was a major factor in Yale’s new dedication to Science and Technology. Those of us that dragged ourselves up “Engineering Hill” at 7:30 AM to master “Quantitative Analysis”, are cheering this emphasis.

Who are the students that now trudge up the hill? The Yale Scientific magazine is an excellent publication and is written and published by Yale students.  While reading the masthead, I was surprised by the overwhelming ethnic majority of those students.  It appears from their names that 50 out of 70 of the members of the staff and contributors are from Southeast Asia and China, and half are women!! The Editor in Chief is Gennifer Tsoi, and the. Publishers are Chidiebere Akusobi and Anusha Raja.

LAKE WOEBEGON, SCIENCE AND DIVERSITY: Garrison Keeler of the “Prairie Home Companion” radio program on PBS describes the mythical town of Lake Woebegon, Minnesota, as a place “Where the kids are all above average”. This year I interviewed five candidates for Yale, and have found that all of them are way above average! They all are brilliant, all are first in their class, all very personable, and all are highly motivated. It is highly significant that they are all dedicated to science and want to make their contribution to the world through science! I told them that Yale is also now emphasizing science more than ever, and that our class has supported that effort in a big way! I hope that some of them attend Yale which can give us some diversity in our scientific student population.

BOOKS: in December, George Spaeth received a $500,000 grant from Merck to study his new method for measuring how vision affects what people can actually do. In the meantime, he published his 19th and 20th books. One is Ophthalmic Surgery, Principle and Practice, which is now in its 4th edition and is probably the standard text book of ophthalmic surgery around the world. The other is Family Voices, which is a collection of poetry and prose of five generations of his family and is available at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.

PHILANTHROPY: The Wall Street Journal issue of February 17 (page 19A) featured Joel Smilow (with a great drawing/ photo WJS portrait) in an article under “Donor of the Day”. It stated that Joel uses four characteristics for his personal philanthropic philosophy which are: “Do it now, leverage the gift, make a difference and get accountability”. Joel has been a great influence on our class giving pattern which, along with the 54/50 program and large individual gifts, has made the Yale Class of 1954, the class which has given more to Yale than any other class in history! Joel is not a fan of endowments and says “What you’ve done is transfer wealth, but nothing much is happening” He dislike anonymous giving, preferring instead the “if he can do that, I can do that” motivation of a named gift. In talking to Joe, he pointed out that his naming of the Yale football coach positioning in 1988 was the first ever endowment of a coaching position in Yale’s history. Today there are close to 20 coaches holding endowed positions.

In that spirit, Herb Zohn has established a Scholarship Fund in his name for the Yale School of Art, and he mentions Josef Albers and Deane Keller as two of his outstanding teachers when he took the “wonderful classes”

OBITS: Bernard Pelly  A life long resident of Seattle, after a long career in the shipping business, died in November.

Dick Grimm, by our 25th reunion, had been a lawyer, a Senior (?) Parachutist with the 101st Airborne, a McKinsey consultant, and the CEO of Technicare Corporation. Later, he was the Chairman of two hospitals in Cleveland and was affiliated with the famous Cleveland Clinic. I just came across a letter from Dick from August, 2004 after our 50th reunion about our mutual friend, Dick Hughes, who died just a few weeks after the reunion. It is clear that we have reunions to see old friends –perhaps for the last time.

(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary  E-Mail 


John Scales wMas awarded the Yale Medal in November, which is the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni to honor outstanding individual service to the University. John is the fourth member of our class to be awarded this honor. Previous honorees of the Class of 1954 are Joel Smilow in 1993, Dick Gilder in 2002, and Chris Forster in 2004. John has been very active in the Yale Club of Pittsburgh, was a member of the AYA Board of Governors, and has been involved in several AYA initiatives including the Yale Day of Service.


The minutes of the Class Council meeting of November 17, 2011 have been posted on our Class web site ( I urge you to read the minutes and the other wonderful information on the site – your photo may be there! There are no provisions in the Class Constitution for the nomination and qualifications of new members, re-election of current members, nor categories of membership. Consequently, the Council has adopted a policy for the nomination and election of new Council members which is included in the Class minutes.

Joel Smilow has now added a 7th name to his portfolio of medical institutions that he has supported with major gifts.  The latest, close to his home, is the Bridgeport Connecticut Hospital which now houses the Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute.  Also, a new Smilow Boys & Girls Club of America Clubhouse opened on December 2nd in Mecca, California. Many members of our class have used these institutes and hospitals.


Many members of our class have sent their email address to the AYA, but if the rest of our class would do the same, we could send urgent and critical messages to the class immediately, if not sooner, by email. This would speed up our communications by at least 45 days and save about $1,000 for printing, envelopes, stuffing and postage for a general class mailing. Yale claims that it does not sell or distribute these email addresses to loan sharks or porn sites. If you have not yet done so, please email Stacey O’Donnell, our AYA contact, at or phone her at 203- 432-1955. Her mailing address is

Stacey O’Donnell


PO Box 209010

New Haven, CT 06520-9010


Bill Day has published The Pretorius Stories for his grandchildren and the 8-12 set. Amazon and several other distributors are offering it and have sold a thousand copies.

Dick Heirs new book is Justice and Compassion in Biblical Law.  “Based on the author's background in both law and religion, the book compares biblical with modern Anglo-American jurisprudence, finds many unexpected similarities, and points to areas where modern law fails to achieve levels of justice and compassion found in biblical law.  In short, the book is a study in ethics and social policy." 

Dick Thornburgh wrote a very interesting article for the Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine

Entitled “ The Challenge of Over-Criminalization” which states that minor and unintended offenses are being incorrectly punished. This detracts attention from serious crimes and “makes a mockery of the United States much vaunted commitments to justice, the rule of law and human rights’.


George Larwence is still practicing Clinical Psychology in Falls Church, VA. We may still be able to convince him to analyze our class to determine what really makes us tick!

 Ed Bransome has attended several of our mini-reunions although he has had Parkinson’s Disease since 2008. He hopes that his therapy will enable him to resume his golf game (I hope that my therapy will enable me to quit my golf game!)

 CLASS STATISTICS     JUNE 30, 2011       JUNE 30, 2010    VARIANCE

Living Members                     663        67.4%        679    69,1%      (16)  2.3%

There were 983 Graduates in the Yale Class of 1954


Tom Woodward died on October 31. As an architect, Tom designed and built ski resort condominiums (that some of us may have stayed in) in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Steamboat Springs and Telluride. Later, in the 1990s, Tom became a wood sculptor whose works have been shown around the world. We saw some of his beautiful Mobius design sculptures at our 50th reunion.

Bob MacKay, who died on November 18, was a man of all seasons. He was an Air Force pilot, a sorority cook (how did he get that job?), a San Francisco lawyer, a hiking trail advocate, a singer who performed in rest homes and an actor who was a fixture at the Marin County Shakespeare Co.

 Chamberlin McAllester died on October 27. He and his twin brother Bob McAllester  were law partners and lived on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Chamberlin was a Major in the Tennessee Air National Guard – a natural result of his membership in the Yale Aviation Club.

 Peter Gavin died on July 16, 2011. He lived in Annapolis MD, where he served as the (unpaid) varsity sailing coach at the Naval Academy. He was the President of Corporate Finance of Washington, DC and chaired the Investment Committee of the Calvert Group of mutual funds. He solo sailed several thousand ocean  miles on his sloop named the Antietam after the aircraft carrier that he served on while in the Navy.

(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary  E-Mail 


Last August, Rae and I were at a small dinner party that was held at a 100 year old house that is situated on a beautiful pond that glowed golden at sunset. It seemed like that this is that time of our lives – in a golden late summer. It was a gathering of old friends that included Jack Taylor and his wife Mary. As we toasted our friendships, we realized that all five couples had been married to their spouse for more than 50 years and that we had all celebrated our Golden Anniversaries!  This may be normal for our class (63% of us were married to our first wife as of our 50th reunion), but it is rare for American society (54% of all marriages now end in divorce).  Again, our class is goldenly blessed.


The Seattle mini reunion dates have been set for September 13-16, 2012.  Although Jerry Grinstein, who is running the reunion, was the CEO of Western Airlines, Delta Airlines and Burlington Northern Railroad, he has not yet offered special discount fares for classmates traveling from New York.


The Smilow Cancer Hospital has entered into a research partnership with the Yale Medical School and Gilead Sciences for studying the genetic basis of cancer and developing novel targeted therapies for patients is areas of unmet medical need.

 Charlie Johnson, our class’s only billionaire*, made a $10 million commitment to establish the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy to be located within the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale. This Center will focus on the Kissinger papers which Henry Kissinger donated to Yale. Also, Forbes Magazine listed “America’s Most Expensive ZIP codes with 94010 –Hillsborough, CA as number four, with Charlie’s photo as a typical resident. It’s the same photo as Forbes used in its Billionaire issue.

 Pim Epler is still sailing with “The Sailing Club of the Chesapeake” on the Canal De Medici” in France.  How does that work?

Bill Foerster, is another classmate that has failed “Retirement 101”,  is still practicing plastic surgery in Oklahoma City with “excellent eyesight, a steady hand and actually has retained his physical and mental abilities”. He is also in the antiques restoration business which seems to have the same purpose as his surgery.

 Likewise, Vince Pantalone, has been a probate judge in Cecil County MD, and is now been appointed to the Maryland Conference of Orphans’ Court Judge. He says that semi retirement allows him to actually enjoy being judge—is that possible? He is also taking courses in Judiciary Training to prepare for the next 20 years!


Russ Reynolds is finishing a book that will be called HEADS , the story of an executive recruiter . The book is being published by McGraw Hill and it is about the fascinating world of executive search as seen through his eyes. 

I read Sandy Muir’s book FREEDOM IN AMERICA,  which I announced in the last  Class Notes, and found it to be  fascinating reading. He clearly lays out what American freedom is, how it got started,  how it has flourished and why freedom  has been a major factor in the success of this nation.  

This American freedom was referred to by Dick Thornburgh, our class’s only Governor/US Attorney General*, in his remarks made on September 11, 2011 at ceremonies  dedicating a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001 who were on Flight 93 that crashed in central Pennsylvania, thwarting the plan to crash the plane into the  White House.  

Jack Battick and his wife, Nancy just published “The Vital Records of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, a three volume set totaling 1,968 pages with 61,300 name entries of births, marriages and deaths from the mid-18th century to the 1920s. The publication has been praised because so many individuals from Maine migrated to the rest of America, because of its relevant value to a much wider audience than just current  residents.


Bill Usher, our class’s only Major General*, was married in April after being single for 20 years . This kind of thing is becoming an epidemic since it is the second marriage in our class this year.  Let me know if you or any of our classmates has been married recently. Our class could set another Yale record – of the most marriages of Yalies that are over 78 years old!


Malcolm Wallop, our class’s only U.S. Senator* who represented Wyoming from 1977 to1995, died at his ranch near Big Horn on September 14. Major articles about Mal appeared in every major newspaper in the country, including the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He was a staunch Conservative and worked closely with President Ronald Reagan on tax reform and the Strategic Defense Initiative. He was outspoken and not politically correct, possibly due to his life as a cattle rancher or because his grandfather who was an English Aristocrat who sat in the House of Lords.

* To the best of my knowledge. If there are others in our class, let me know.

(Cy) Paul Pesek, Secretary  E-Mail 

We are continuing to beat the longevity tables and had 663 members of our class alive as of June 30, 2011 which is 67% of our or   iginal class. It must be due to clean living, stout hearts and brilliant intellects.  


When I receive information and obituaries about classmates that have died, I am constantly impressed by their lives and their accomplishments. I then started re-reading our 50th reunion yearbook and many of the statements by our classmates. Almost all of these statements revealed an amazing productive, creative life. Before it is too late, write your memoirs which tell the world how you would like to be remembered. Your children, grandchildren and several generations will be fascinated about what makes you tick!  There are several books available on writing memoirs which will probably help you. ( I am going to get one before I write my own memoir -which I will not publish in this column (see below)! Send me a one paragraph synopsis, and I may publish it in the Class Notes if it is not too scandalous.


The Seattle mini-reunion has been set for mid-September 2012.  Jerry Grinstein, as Chairman, has already lined up several great events and has prom

ised that the weather will be almost perfect. Seattle , which used to be known for timber and fish, is now the software capital of the world. It has many fascinating markets, buildings, waterfront restaurants, and trips to islands and towns. Highlights include the Seattle Art Museum with totem poles, the Space Needle, Pioneer Square (old town), and the Olympic Sculpture Park. The class of 1952 had a mini-reunion in Seattle two years ago and we will closely inspect their agenda.


The Whiffs may be having too much fun based on their gathering at Harbor
Springs, Michigan last July hosted by John Franciscus and Buddy Thompson who have summer homes in that beautiful town. They sang at several events and concerts and were the toast of the town (like Bermuda ?). The group included whiffs Bruce Meacham, Obie Clifford, Tom McLane, Charlie Johnson, Nick Peay, Russ Reynolds, Hugh Ravenscroft, Peter Coughlin, Jim Monde and Oak Thorne. In addition, Grant Beadle showed up at one of the parties, but they wouldn’t let him sing!


Dick Harris has written a series of books that includes “TWOGETHER”, a novel about two Jewish cousins that left Lithuania in the mid 1880s to avoid conscription in the army and came to America not speaking English and struggling to make a life. They end up in Grantsburg , Wisconsin , not far from St. Paul where Dick was born and lives now. Dick has also written “ 787 Superior Street ” ( A Mysteriousness”) about shenanigans at the turn of the Century – mostly in Duluth , Minnesota .

Ballard Morton taught at the College of Business and Administration at the University of Louisville after a serving as the CEO of Orion Broadcasting. He wrote “Gladly Learn”  (Leadership, Learning, Teaching and Practicing”). It is about his approach to preparing students for the real world of business.


Malcolm Wallop - Read obit in the New York Times

Elliot Marcus died on July 25. He was a Professor of Neurology at Mass General Hospital and wrote several books as part of his extensive teaching career at Tufts New England Medical Center and the UMass Medical School . His major interest was teaching neuroscience and neurology and he established the neuroscience teaching program at Tufts. He also coauthored four neuroscience textbooks. Elliot was an active member of the American Neurological Association. He came to Minneapolis in September, 2010 for the ANA annual meeting and ventured out to the exurbs (Wayzata) to have dinner with Rae and me. He was an extremely interesting and sociable person.

Marty Whitmer, a member of our Class Council, died on August 13. Marty worked for Texas Industries in Dallas and then founded Whitmer and Associates, a business consulting firm. His obituary in the New York Times stated that he was a skilled fly fisherman and smoked cigars, which I remember at our Council meetings before clubs banned cigars along with cell phones.

 Harvey Andruss died on July 14. He lived in Bloomington , Minnesota where he was active on city planning commissions and in state politics. He was an executive of St. Paul Linoleum and Armcom Distributing. He and his wife retired to Wisconsin and started a gift shop in their log home.



It may seem early to start planning our 60th reunion, but we want to make it a great one and will plan several activities on our own rather than completely depend on the AYA. It should be a celebration because so many of us will still be around– You may remember my analysis of our longevity in my notes of May, 2010, which indicated that 55% of our original class will be with us in 2014, and we are doing much better than that. If you would like to be involved in the reunion planning and activities, please let me know.


Bill Day discovered distance running at age 55, competing in dozens of races, including 37 marathons and a 50 mile ultra-marathon. For some reason, most of these races took place in exotic places like Dublin , Moscow , Tokyo and Beijing . At the age of 80, he ran the Ottawa Marathon (“to give his granddaughters something to chatter about”). He claims that he is hanging up his long distance shoes forever –probably to make the rest of us feel less slovenly. He plans to attend our 75th reunion.

 George Langworthy has been running a technological marathon for many years. He wrote a prize winning article for a computer magazine on Optical Storage in 1986 at the same time that the company that I started was building high resolution displays for SUN Microsystems engineering workstations. It was an exciting time for all of us. e He  He also recently discovered that he has 18 patents issued (how could he forget?). In addition, he started and /or owned several companies including car rental, digital storage and real estate development companies.

Tom Richey was married to Sheila Decker on July 16, 2011. She knows what she is getting into because she came to our Boston mini-reunion to check out our class… and she agreed to marry Tom anyway!

 I only get the New York Sunday Times to see if anyone in our class appears in the “Evening Hours” photos. This week, (July 3) Eli Rose was photographed at the Caramoor Music Festival. I will continue to look for the rest of you New Yorkers.

  I received a clipping from the Wall St. Journal entitled ‘Donor of the Day” about Dick Gilder who gave $1million to Northfield Mount Hermon secondary school. Dick said that his time there was “the most meaningful experience of my life”. (Even more meaningful than 54/50?) The new theatre will be named in honor of his actress wife, Lois C. Chiles, who serves on the board of the Yale School of Drama.

I read an article a few weeks ago that stated that the most moving memorial in Washington DC is the Korean War Veterans Memorial.  Dick Polich‘s art foundry, Polich Tallix, enlarged and cast the 17.6 foot sculptures in stainless steel for the artist, Frank Gaylord. The sculpture portrays American Soldiers on patrol in Korea .  Dick’s foundry also cast the Torosaurus  that stands in front of the Yale Peabody Museum .  Dick still works full time at the foundry and would be pleased to give a tour to any members of the class who are interested.  See his web site at

Charles Townsend’s granddaughter Justine Appel, is joining the Yale Class of 2015, and his daughter, Erica graduated in the Yale Class of 1980, to give him a three generation Yale family. Do we have any more of these children-grandchildren families in our class? (previous generations don’t count)


Sandy Muir has a new book out in August called Freedom in America which celebrates and (hopefully) explains what makes our country work and what causes its exceptional degree of personal freedom”. These are basic issues in our current political and sociological concerns. Sandy and Pauli recently visited Bob and Cecily Redpath in England at their cottage near London . Bob has been a city planner, a social anthropologist and family counselor in England for more than a half century. He appeared at the Princeton game last November without a British accent!


Dan Gibbens died on June 4. He served the University of Oklahoma for fifty years as a law professor and a faculty representative to the Big 8 and the Big 12 conferences. He was an avid fan of Oklahoma football and often fished at Lake Fishhook , Minnesota so he had to be a good guy.

John Blakesley spent much of his retirement as a Docent at the Yale Center for British Art which he enjoyed and noted in his 50th reunion notes “I get to spend a lot of time with third graders”. He spent thirty years at J.C. Penney Company and even more years sailing his thirty one foot ketch (made of solid teak) on Long Island Sound. He died in

 Tom Cornell died suddenly in March in Dunedin Florida . His obituary notes that he was a grandfather of nine



Our recent reunions and mini-reunions have been well attended for many good reasons -They were great fun, included splendid programs, were held in interesting locations, and were a good way to renew old friends and meet classmates. We are planning a mini-reunion in Seattle in the Fall of 2012, so be alert and plan ahead!  

The Class of 1954 Football Weekend min-reunions at the season’s last home game have been a unique tradition for our class since for 17 years. They have included Friday night dinners, Saturday breakfasts with a speaker, the luxurious 50 yard line “Skybox” seating and lunch, and a cocktail party at the Smilow Field Center after the Game – often with President Rick Levin and his wife in attendance and the Whiffenpoofs. They have been a key to our class unity and success. A notice will be sent out soon about the Harvard Game mini- reunion this year.  

Attendance at:                    Classmates                    Total

Mini-Reunions                    Number                   With Guests

San Francisco                            88                                157                 

Washington DC                       120                                222                 

Boston                                      67                                125

Harvard Game   2009               44                                  85

Princeton Game 2010               41                                  94

55th Reunion                          143                                256

Total                                      503                                939



Our class continues to start new careers and explore new paths 13 years after our “retirement” at age 65. Dick Heirs has written a comprehensive guide to the Bible and he is completing a five year term as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Journal of Law and Religion.  George Starcher, after a career as a senior partner with McKinsey in Paris and Milan , founded, and continues as President of the European Baha’I Business Forum, a net work of 300 members in 45 countries. It conducts research and publishes papers on corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship and ethics.  

 Mike Birt, (my old roommate) worked at 3M (Minnesota Mining & Mfg Co), including assignments overseas (I visited their magnificent apartment in Milan ) and then retired, and has been a consultant to 3M for planning and marketing for the last 19 years. He is still at it and has a consulting company called E.M, Birt Enterprises Inc. which is a full time job after 52 years –he may be the oldest living active employee/consultant. He might be the reason that 3M continues to be one of the best companies in the world.  

Ballard Morton taught at the College of Business and Administration at the University of Louisville after a serving as the CEO of Orion Broadcasting. He wrote “Gladly Learn” (Leadership, Learning, Teaching and Practicing”). It is about his approach to preparing students for the real world of business.  


The recent Japanese nuclear disaster was preceded 32 years ago by the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in Pennsylvania in 1979, just 72 days after Dick Thornburgh was sworn in as Governor of that state. It was the first serious nuclear accident in the world (creating the “China Syndrome” panic), and Dick struggled with the uncertainties and conflicting reports as he managed the response that avoided any deaths or resulting injuries, which was a much better outcome than Chernobyl or Japan.  


Dick Bell was honored on April 16 by The National Wildlife Federation for his leadership of the Connecticut River Salmon Association, efforts to restore the Atlantic Salmon in the Connecticut River basin . Last year, George Spaeth was given the Weisenfield Award by the Association of Research & Vision in Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field of vision research. This year, he was given the first Franceschetti Award by The University of Geneva named after the Professor who lead the world famous Dept of Ophthalmology there.


 (Joe) Clayton Stephenson, a member of the Class Council, died on April 24. He spent his entire career at Union Carbide and retired as Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chairman of the company. Even when we were all sophomores at Yale, we knew that Joe would become a major corporate executive because he looked one in his pin striped suits. After retirement, Joe returned to Yale as an Alumni Student. He was the principal sponsor of the Human Origins exhibit at the Peabody Museum . At our 50th reunion, he endowed a Professorial Chair in Anthropology.  

John Newman died unexpectedly on March 21. He worked at United Technology Corporation for 25 years in the Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky aircraft subsidiaries. He was buried with military honors due to his service in the Navy. Larry Newman (no relation) died on March 29. He was also in Navy and the Reserve for 24 years retiring as a Commander. He was an editor and columnist for Dayton News and Journal Herald for 30 years.    


Carl Shedd has loaded our class web site with information about our reunions, honors, classmates and now, a sneak preview of future Class notes! It has dozens of photos of events and people, mostly taken by our accomplished class photographer, Elliott Novak. Check it out at 


The QLF (Quebec Labrador Foundation) honored The “Venerable Archdeacon of Quebec”, Rev. Bob (Blaster) Bryan on October 21, 2010 with the QLF “propeller” award for his fifty years of flying the Quebec North Coast in his “aircraft ministry” to several remote settlements and villages. Obie Clifford is the Chairman of the QLF Board, and an article includes photos of both of them at the ceremony. Bob said in his note that Russ Meyer, as Chairman of Cessna Aircraft, provided much of the support of Bob’s Cessna 185 plane that he flew for more than 20 years.  I had earlier sent Blaster an unpublished photo of the “Venerable” Cougars hockey team of 1953 (the Yale Junior Varsity) The Archdeacon is seen flexing his muscles without a shirt on! I look confused with a hockey glove on my head, and Rutger Smith, Jim Manny, Alex Blumenthal, Dwight Bartholomew, Ben Chapman and Grant Beadle appear disinterested.

Delta Airlines, which is now the biggest airline in the world, was reorganized, expanded  and guided through bankruptcy by Jerry Grinstein in the years 2004 through 2007. Prior to that huge task, he was CEO of Western Airlines in 1985-1987, CEO of Burlington Northern Railway in 1989 -1991, and was awarded “Railroader of the Year” in1991. In his spare time, he was a partner in a major law firm, on the staff of four congressional committees and active in several political campaigns. His Wikipedia page notes that “Mr. Grinstein’s mix of almost grand-fatherly demeanor and his down-to-earth communication approach enabled him to be singularly able to restore the family atmosphere at Delta despite tremendous external pressures.” (Being 75years old has its merits!). Based on these accomplishments, we feel that Jerry is probably competent to run our mini-reunion in Seattle in 2012 with the help of Bob Martin and the AYA!

Peter and Naomi Rosenblatt were honored by the American Jewish Committee on November 19. Peter was the fourth member of our class to be honored in New York City in October-November 2010! Peter’s public service included service as an officer of the US Army, as an assistant district attorney of New York County, as a member of Lyndon Johnson’s White House staff and as an ambassador and personal representative of President Carter to the negotiations on the future political status of the US Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (the Marshall and Caroline Islands captured from the Japanese in WW II) which resulted in the creation of three new countries. He has also served on many official and unofficial foreign policy organizations and is an active leader of the American Jewish Committee. In the private sector he has practiced law since graduation from Yale Law School and is a member of the Washington , DC law firm of Heller & Rosenblatt.

“Naomi Rosenblatt, is one of our class wives who are published authors. She is also a psychotherapist who has spoken widely to various media, church, synagogue, university and other groups.. She is the author of two books on the Bible, Wrestling With Angels, about the Book of Genesis, and After the Apple, which illuminates the lives of 17 Old Testament women who, lacking any rights, used their wiles and risked everything “to give birth, to win their husband’s love,” and even, in the case of the infertile Sarah, to put “another woman into her husband’s bed so that he can father a child with her”….pretty racy stuff!

“Naomi and Peter, parents of a daughter and two sons, Daniel, ‘80 and David, ’90, and grandparents of seven, must certainly be contenders for the class record for years of marriage, given their wedding date of July 1, 1952!”


Several people have responded to my inquiry about listening to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra on Dec 7, 1941, when they heard the announcement that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor . One was Paul Rubinstein (’55) who was listening because his father, Arthur Rubinstein, was the soloist at that concert.  

Ed Weaver, who was a professor of chemistry at Mount Holyoke College for 40 years, died in December. He was an accomplished classical pianist and sang with the South Hadley Chorale. In his 50th reunion notes, he stated that if he “really had talent, he would have been a professional musician”.  

Jay Kislak who was the Chief, Infectious Diseases at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York , died last October. He stated in our 50th yearbook, that he stopped seeing patients in 2000, but continued teaching full time. After  9/11, he focused on the threat of bioterrorism and “found his career more exciting and relevant than ever”.  

Eric Godfrey died in March 2010. He was the President of Collyer Real Estate in Providence RI .  

Roland Smith of West Chester PA,  died in December. He was a third generation employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad and was a founder of the Hershey Mill Train Club.  


Timing is Everything………


It is widely known that the Yale Class of 1954 is exceptional and 
that its members are all above average and that we are all smart 
and good looking (like the folks in Lake Woebegone on 
Garrison Keiler’s Praire Home Companion”). However, our
success appears to be partially due to the year of our birth
 as explained in the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. 
He makes a strong case for success that depends more upon 
circumstances than upon raw ability.


We are the products of a “demographic trough” in 1932 with the 
lowest births recorded in the United States with 17 births per 
1000 that followed a large surge from 1915 through 1929. This 
resulted in small class sizes, less competition (A. Whitney Griswold,
 the President of Yale, told us at our Freshman welcoming 
speech that Yale had to take us because we had no competition 
since there were fewer males born in the US in 1932 than in 
any year since 1846!


We too young for WWII; we were draft exempt during the 
Korean Conflict (which ended a month before our graduation); 
we got jobs more easily; we worked during the greatest growth
 of an economy that the world had ever seen; we grew older during 
the greatest medical advances in history; and we lived according to
 traditional values before drugs. If we had been born two years
 earlier or two years later, we would have not had the advantages
of no competition. In addition, Viagra was invented just in time!

Yale Princeton Mini 2010
See reunion photos by Elliott Novak  ________________________

Yale Harvard Mini 2009 
See reunion photos

by Sandy Muir

Comment on this article

Could Bart Giamatti have stopped steroids?

NFL’s Williams Named Football Coach
Tom Williams, a defensive assistant for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, has been named the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. Williams coached at the college level for 11 years before joining the NFL. A captain on the Stanford University football
team, Williams served on the collegiate coaching staffs at Hawaii, Stanford, Washington and San Jose State before his tenure at Jacksonville. Williams is the first African American head football coach at Yale and the second ever in the Ivy League.

Yale Shuts Out Princeton 14-0
and weather shuts out bowl                  Photos

Photos by Elliott Novak
The grand dedication of the Yale Bowl 
Class of 1954 Field at the Coxe Cage Nov'07
Harvard 37, Yale 6.  N.Y. Times story
(But Y'54 scored at half-time!) 
 Photos of dedication and game 
Photos by Elliott Novak, Carl shedd
The Washington, DC Mini-Reunion 
has a record turnout - Photos

Photos by Joyce and Elliott Novak, Carl Shedd

Photos by Elliott Novak

San Francisco not so Mini-Reunion
A good time was had by all April 20-23 thanks to the great efforts 
and planning by the reunion committee composed of Bill Bardeen, 
Charlie Johnson, Bob Martin, Sandy Muir, Ivan Poutiatine, 
Barrie Rich, Bill Stone '52, Wally Stuhr, Tom Swartz, 
Putney Westerfield '51, and Mason Willrich.
Lots of pictures -click on  "photos" and be patient!

Photos by Elliott Novak, Carl Shedd

Welcome dinner at the St. Francis Yacht Club - Photos
Friday Daytime activities - Photos
Dinner at the Pacific-Union Club -
Saturday Daytime activities - Photos
Class Dinner at Carolands Chateau -

Sunday Farewell Brunch at Top of the Mark -