March Alumni Notes
Initial response to the idea of a Class Mini-Reunion in Hong Kong in October 2004 has been moderately encouraging - not enough to make a commitment but sufficient to proceed with further planning. Within the coming weeks, we'll develop the outline of a schedule, including exact dates, and share that with you in this space and by e-mail. We also are contacting a few other classes to see if there might be interest in joining us. More to come. Indications of interest, questions and suggestions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two classmates are involved in entirely different aspects of nuclear research. Michael LeVine (Upton, NY) joined Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1968. He is fortunate enough to be able to divide his time between Long Island and CERN in Geneva, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, working on implementing real-time computing systems for data acquisition for Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and CERN's Large Hadron collider. In what sounds like quite an idyllic life, Michael says he finds time for "a lot of sailing, both on Long Island Sound and in Europe. I participated in five charters in Europe in the two years I was stationed in Geneva: Ionean Sea, Croatian coast, Côte d'Azur, and Atlantic Brittany." The LeVines (Dreania Yale MS '70), have a daughter, Dana, Yale '99 , who is now in her third year of veterinary medicine at Cornell.
Gary Richardson (Boise, ID), is a nuclear watchdog serving as the Executive Director of the Snake River Alliance. Gary explains that the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory is the United States' second largest nuclear facility after Nevada. His group is opposing an increase in storage of nuclear wastes in Idaho. Starting in 1977, Gary was the first organizer of the Idaho Conservation League, which is how he "got to know and love the state. I learned to flyfish and ski here and decided to stick around." Later jobs included five years with Idaho Public Television and ten years doing Public Relations for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Gary "has been practicing Buddhism for several years in a Vietnamese tradition" and recently took a trip to Vietnam. Highlights of his experience are on the class web site (www.yale62.org). He commented that "in spite of our mutual past, the Vietnamese people are warmly accepting of Americans; I have seldom felt so welcome as a stranger, even in American communities."
Our sincere thanks go to Fred Appell (Minneapolis) for advising that his long-time friend, Basil Keiser, (West Redding CT) died December 15. Fred wrote that Basil "continued to play hockey throughout his life until he was weakened by cancer. Basil drove to Yale Medical Center for blood treatments twice a week until the fall of 2002, essentially fighting for all he was worth until the end. Basil was interested in conservation and music. He spent time on efforts to improve a local watershed and save substantial tracts of suburban land from development. Basil's guitar stood beside the altar at the memorial service January 15 while music that he had composed and recorded played in the background." www.yale62.org, (New York City), like Fred a classmate from St. Paul's, gave a eulogy.
Reverend Peter Sipple (Philadelphia) writes, "For the past 18 months I have helped raise funds for a large social service agency. The experience of raising money for the homeless, foster and kinship care and troubled families has revealed to me a component of our society that I knew little about." Peter continues, "Having tried to raise funds for independent schools for nearly three decades, I'm finding this work a much easier 'sell.' Many Americans still recognize that if they have it, they're in a position to help others who do not." At the same time, the musical Reverend Sipple is organizing a Choral Workshop and Concert Program with David Tang (Yale '89) for the Yale Club of Philadelphia and Yale Glee Club.
Chip Neville (West Hartford, CT) has been retired for less than a year but is still engaged in writing mathematics papers. "Old mathematicians never die," he says, "they just disappear in a cloud of chalk dust." Why on Earth do I write mathematical papers for fun? I guess it is hard to explain to non-mathematicians, but mathematics has a very supportive communal culture, and I get a real kick out of discovering something that may be new. I always wanted to be a mathematician when I grew up, but a very heavy teaching load at Central Connecticut State made research of any sort difficult. Now that I am retired, it is wonderful to have the time to pursue my muse." Chip also developed a series of lectures to accompany his first post-retirement paper." For the very, very brave," he offers, "the paper(s) and slides for the lectures are available at http://www.cwnresearch.com/research." More important, Chip added, is that now he and wife Judi can spend more time with family. Last year, that included climbing part way up Mt. Shasta with daughter Rachel and attending daughter Anne's wedding in San Diego.
George Grumbach (New York City) retired several years ago from active law practice but says that he stays "reasonably busy as the chair of an esoteric nonprofit that provides insurance services for hospitals, nursing homes and other social service agencies. It has been fun learning a vast amount about the insurance industry that I never knew. I'm also still on the boards of the Mount Sinai Medical Center and School; The Children's Storefront, an independent school in Harlem that takes a cross-section of community kids from pre-school through 8th grade . . . it's a wonderful place, and New Yorkers for Parks, which exists to publicly advocate better parks in New York City."
George is not enamored with the Bush Administration and its politics. "I view their policies as reactionary and cynical. I hope the First Amendment survives; I hope the writ of habeas corpus survives; I hope we keep a progressive tax structure; I hope we don't permanently repeal inheritance taxes; I hope we don't gut or overturn Roe v. Wade; I hope we don't have another war; I hope we don't further degrade our environmental protections; I hope we do something about global warming; I hope we move toward universal health coverage; I hope we continue to try to help disadvantaged minorities. I don't think that this Administration sincerely shares any of my hopes."
Space is available for classmates to argue the other side on any of these issues in brief in these columns or in greater detail on our web site.