November Alumni Notes
Most of you who were at the Reunion or heard or read about that splendid weekend will remember the proud announcements about the 1962 attendance in New Haven and our large class gift to Yale.
Now, we have some updates. Class Gift Chair Steve Danetz (New York) confirms that the final number is an impressive $11,484,471 with 64% of classmates participating. For the statisticians in our bunch, this puts us about the same, okay slightly behind last year’s gift from the class of 1961. Steve also advised that Yale has changed its methodology for computing the numbers to a system, which combines the total gifts from a class over the five years between Reunions.
Turning to our attendance, we fell into a trap that one AYA administrator called "Reunion Folklore." It seems that just about every year, one or more classes thinks they have been told that their attendance is a record. Like any good or bad news, the word spreads quickly.
Turnout was a highly enthusiastic and very satisfied 207 classmates, which made us fourth at 24.7% in 40th Reunion percentage since data started being collected with the class of 1950. A fact that I suspect few of you know was that our class was smaller at the time of admission than virtually all of its immediate predecessors. As a result, we are unlikely to be record setters but are doing just fine as everyone who attended the Reunion can attest.
Still on numbers, we only know about half of your e-mail addresses. We have more than 400 addresses but assume that between 80-90 % of you are on e-mail. E-mail is one of our best and least expensive ways of communicating so we’d appreciate your supplying missing, new or changed addresses to your toiling corresponding secretary. While I am at it, please remember to send along fresh material for the Alumni Notes and to look at and participate on the class web site at http://www.yale62.org.
Turning to some sad news, we learned that John Opladen (Philadelphia) died of a heart attack last March. John started at Yale with the Class of 1958 but affiliated with 1962 after three years in the Army. He lived in Calhoun while at Yale and majored in Economics. Surviving John are his former wife, Maidie Franklin, and one son. John Jr. is a first lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division, which recently returned from Afghanistan.
From what we know, John was a man with many interests, who as the years went by succeeded in spending his time doing what he most enjoyed. After getting an MBA at Harvard and years in sales with Coca Cola, he switched to earning a living as a teacher and actor appearing as an extra in 15 movies and working in eight plays. To fill the gap between acting paychecks, he taught business courses at St. Joseph's and Drexel.
On the brighter side, Peter Torreggiani (Malta), who was with our class freshman year, married Sharon Lynn Allison of Wichita, KS on 02/02/02. They were back for a visit in September. Tad Ogden’s (New York) son Fred (Yale Class of 1993) married Neeta Sharma (Yale Class of 1994) on May 11, 2002 – another example of the kind of romance that was not available in our day.
Ellis Wisner (Washington D.C.) is a teacher working in a challenging setting. For several years, he has been at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy. Ellis notes that "many members of the school community have relatives and other ties to Israel, so there is obvious concern. Many graduating seniors take a year in Israel between school and college, so their families and they are deeply involved with recent Mideast developments."
Roman Weil (Chicago) recently found himself on the front page of the New York Times, commenting on how ill-prepared many members of the audit committees of corporate Boards of Directors were for the issues they were now facing. Roman and other professors from the University of Chicago, Stanford and Wharton taught a successful two-day seminar attended by more than 65 such Corporate Board members. Roman originated the idea for the course saying &qout;we aim to differ from our competitors, who put on schmooze fests. This is more instruction and less war stories than some other programs with the same goals." He said that those attending treated the material very seriously. They didn’t show off, as this sort of student often does.
Kudos go to Charlie Mills (Glen Cove,NY) for an article in Vol. 17, No. 4 of the Touro Law Review on the Veterans' Benefits Jurisprudence of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Probably not light reading but no doubt substantial.
On the lighter side, but sometimes concerning weighty subjects, are Firesign Theater’s regular appearances on NPR’s "All Things Considered." I caught Phil Proctor (Los Angeles) and his three fellow zanies in a recent send-up of the Bush Administration’s global policies.
Two summer travelers offered glowing reports. Kent Ravenscroft (Washington D.C.) and wife, Patti, visited their beloved Paris and discovered "another amazing restaurant, on Ile Saint Louis, called Hiramatsu, French haute cuisine, open just 6 months, the Chef the first Japanese to get a Michelin Star ever! If I were only fluent," Kent says, "like my wife and children I would know what all those delicious French women were saying to (or about) me!"
Dick Barnet (New York) also was in Europe with some of his students from Mount St. Vincent teaching a course called "Art in Northern Italy." Dick said that the trip almost was canceled because of 9/11, but that he was delighted it proceeded and is already planning another program for next summer in France.
WyllysTerry (Wayland, MA), passed along news of two more grandchildren, born during the summer while he was in Castine, ME. He and Marianne Lee plan to return to their boat in Trinidad and spend the winter cruising the coasts of Venezuela and Columbia. Last year, it was the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba and Mexico. Oh well, someone has to do it.