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Yale 62

Archived Coffee Hours

Our April ’24 Coffee Hour: Lifelong Learning

On April 4, we were joined by psychologist Jesse Geller, who spoke about the importance of learning throughout our lives, and also by Lauren Summers from YACOL (Yale Alumni College), who spoke about the program and the many opportunities it affords Yale alumni to never stop learning. Please enjoy the informative recording.

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Our March ’24 Coffee Hour on Artificial Intelligence

On March 7, Professor Brian Scassellati joined us to let us know what’s happening with AI on campus. Enjoy this wonderful recording!

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Our February ’24 Coffee Hour: Jimmy Hatch

On February 1, a day before Punxatawney Phil issued his decree for the year, we sat down with an undergraduate who will become an alumnus with the Class of ’24, James “Jimmy” Hatch. We listened as he told us about his life, and how he rose from challenging beginnings to joining the Navy, where he earned the right to become a SEAL, then finally, through a series of remarkable events, landing in New Haven as an Eli Whitney scholar at Yale. Retired SEAL, wounded veteran, author and scholar; his is an amazing story; please enjoy the recording above.

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Our January ’24 Coffee Hour: Israel and Hamas

On January 11, we welcomed several speakers to help us discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza. Classmate Howard Kaufman spoke to us, and he was followed by members of our late classmate Steve Buck’s family: Steve’s widow, Hala Buck, their daughter Leila Buck, and their son-in-law Adam Abel. Please view this earnest, information-packed recording to see what we learned from our presenters, and please comment here.

Leila also provided us with links to sites with additional information on the topic:
        • Breaking the Silence
        • Jewish Voice for Peace
        • Standing Together

Our December Coffee Hour: Finding Faith in a Perilous World

On December 7, 2023, our Coffee Hour focused on the spiritual aspect of our lives, and featured three classmate speakers with different takes on the topic: Rod Quainton, Bill McGlashan and Paul Wortman. We experienced some minor technical difficulty, so we didn’t show Paul’s slides, but they are available for everyone to see here. Moderated by our well-spoken, always thoughtful Lee Bolman, this Coffee Hour is well worth viewing and worthy of our contemplation. Please enjoy the recording of this meaningful, profound event.

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Our November Coffee Hour: China

On November 9, we were treated to an insightful Coffee Hour centered on China and its contours of current internal power. Our own inestimable Kent Hughes once again lent his vast knowledge of China to the talk, as did Dan Mattingly, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale, our expert guest who studies authoritarian politics and historical political economy with a focus on China. We were joined in the hour by classmate Sherm Cochran, retired Professor of Chinese History at Cornell, who added his own well-considered comments and questions to our time. Please enjoy the recording of the most remarkable event.

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Our October Coffee Hour

Additionally, Professor Shore shared with us several resources which can be helpful in understanding the current state of events in Ukraine. Please visit the Coffee Hour comments page for her list, and to leave your comments, as well.

Our Sept. 7, 2023 Coffee Hour: Politics


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Our August 3, 2023 Coffee Hour: Climate Change


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Our July 6, 2023 Coffee Hour: “Singing at Yale”

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Our June Coffee Hour: Yale Admissions, with Jeremiah Quinlan

Dean Quinlan’s slides are here. Comments? Please make them here.

Our May Coffee Hour: Venezuela to Yale and Beyond

On Thursday, May 9, we learned about a remarkable Venezuelan family which sent not one, not two, but four brothers to Yale in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Two brothers, Rodolpho “Rody” Salas and Jacobo “Jack” Salas, were our classmates. In the first half of the Coffee Hour (shown above), Rody and Jack, joined by brothers Henrique “Henry” ’61 and Gustavo ’64, spoke to us about life in their home country, about coming to Yale, and where their lives have taken them since those days.

Related to this Coffee Hour, we offer a link to a recording of Gustavo Salas being interviewed by an international journalist in Stockholm after receiving the Right Livelihood award.

In the second part of the Coffee Hour, Rody and Jack spoke about how life has changed in Venezuela since their boyhoods.

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Our April Coffee Hour: “The Pursuit of Happiness in Later Life”

On Thursday, April 13, we held a rousing Coffee Hour with guest expert Dr. Leo Cooney, Prof. Emeritus, Yale Medical School and developer and first head of its Geriatric Section, along with classmate speakers who gave reports of choices they’ve made in their current lifestyles. Dr. Cooney also gave us his slides he presented during his talk. Please view them and/or download them, as you prefer.

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Our March Coffee Hour

On March 2, our Coffee Hour participants convened to talk about what it was like for several of us to have had “multi-vocational experiences” over the course of our working lifetimes. Several classmates started us off on the topic by sharing their own experiences, and then we moved into a full-group discussion of it. We hope you enjoy the recording!

Please be sure to share your own thoughts on the topic here.

Our February 2 ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour

Let’s keep the discussion going! Add your comments here.

Our New Year ’23 Y62 Coffee Hour!

Our first ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour of 2023 featured a quick review of the midterm elections, to see how we mgith have done on our predictions made in last September, and to discuss where the country may roll on from here. It was an energetic talk filled with agreements and disagreements, but unfailingly cordial ones. Enjoy the recording!

Comments? Please make them here. Please make them here. Thanks.

Our November ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour

Our November 3rd Coffee Hour focused on Yale Admissions and how a well-designed class might be selected. Communications Team member Lee Bolman created a powerful presentation that classmates then used as a springboard for their own discussions in small “breakout” rooms (not recorded). Then we all reconvened the one large group at the end to share our discussion outcomes. Lee’s slides are available here.

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“The Legacy of Thornton Wilder” – Our October Coffee Hour

At our regularly scheduled ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour for October, we sat down with classmate Tappy Wilder, who has worked as his late Uncle Thornton’s Literary Executor since 1995. He tells us the story of how all of that transpired, and, joined by Thornton Wilder Estate Program Manager Rosey Strub, he lets us in on what’s happening with the ongoing interest in Thornton’s many timeless works. (Watch the recording to the end to find out the truth about the “real” Grover’s Corners!)

In addition, we have a link to the new mini-documentary out on Thornton (“Thornton Wilder: It’s Time”), shown in part at our Coffee Hour. Here is the complete documentary at this link. Are you looking for more about the Wilder family in Maine? Rosey supplied this link to us. Finally, how would you like to produce your very own Thornton Wilder three-minute play? You can! Tappy has provided us all with a copy of “Flamingo Red” right here! Enjoy, everyone!

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Our Sept. ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour. “Midterm Elections: Fateful for Democracy?”

On Thursday, September 1, we had a lively discussion about a few of the upcoming midterm political races, starting off with updates by classmate residents of Arizona (Bob Breault), Georgia (Rod Hunter, Roscoe Sandlin) and Pennsylvania (Jack Merrick). Ably moderated by Communications Team member Lee Bolman and brought into sharp focus by our newsman classmate Al Chambers, the 90-minute meeting was enlightening, engaging and fun. Enjoy the recording, and be sure to leave your own comments on the comments page.

Y62: Our August ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour on “Surviving Yale”

On August 4, we held our “First Thursday’ Coffee Hour. Small group chat is not shown in the recording (not possible in the software we use), but everything from the large group is here. Enjoy the recording!


Our Y62 Coffee Hour: July 7, 2022. Taking Apart The News

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Our Y62 Coffee Hour, June 1, 2022

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Our May 5th Coffee Hour

For those of you who would like to see what happened at our May 5th Coffee Hour, the event’s recording is posted above. If you have any comments you’d like to make on it, please make them here. Thanks!

Peace Corps: How We Served, How It Impacted Our Lives

Our April ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour was devoted to the experiences of some of our RPCVs (returned Peace Corps volunteers). It was a fascinating 90 minutes as we heard from 6 classmates who traveled to distant parts of the world, as volunteers in the program. We finished up with a quick update about our 60th reunion, coming right up June 9-12. Please enjoy the recording.

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Y62 Coffee Hour: Focus on Ukraine

On Thursday, March 3, we met to discuss the current crisis in Ukraine. The recording of our event is above.

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Please note: during this span of time, we didn’t always record the Coffee Hours, so you will find that not every month is represented in the recordings.

Y62 Coffee Hour: The Environment

COP26Editor’s Note: Part I. We had what many thought was one our stronger Coffee Hour sessions November 4 on Climate Change and the Glasgow COP26. For those of you who attended and stayed with the Zoom, we say thank you. We are truly pleased that we were able to fix the technical glitches and that the first portion, including our moderator and three classmate presentations, as well as our poll, can be seen below in the order that was intended. There now are none of the larger video or audio disruptions encountered during Bill Reilly’s fine pre-recorded interview with Gary Richardson. Running time 49:56.

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Editor’s Note: Part II. The second recording from the November Coffee Hour runs 38:10 and includes lively opinions and proposals on the Climate Change challenge from classmates and our panel.

Former President Barack Obama gave a carefully crafted and well-delivered speech yesterday in Glasgow, which was praised by many but criticized by others for not demanding more action from the wealthier nations. The meeting winds up on November 12. We expect to post additional material early next week.

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Y62 ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour

If you’d like to comment on this excerpt, or read the comments of fellow classmates… CLICK THIS LINK

Y62 ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour:
Our Retired MDs Talk About Aging

On Thursday, September 2, half of our Coffee Hour was devoted to three of our classmate retired physicians talking about some of the realities of aging. In order of appearance in this excerpt of the meeting, they are Jim Kelly, neurologist, John Wickenden, orthopedic surgeon, and Bob Lefevre, pioneering hospice and palliative care physician.

Comments on this brief excerpt? Please make them here.

Our ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour: August 5, 2021

On Thursday, August 5th, we held our regular “First Thursday” Coffee Hour. Our topic was a challenging one with many facets to it: “Income Inequality.” We invite you to review the meeting via the video we’ve posted above.

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Our July Coffee Hour

For our ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour this month, we featured a discussion about treatments for COVID – specifically, vaccines or eschewing vaccines. Moderated by Lee Bolman and Tim Hall, Dr. David Johnson and Earl Staelin spoke from their perspectives. The first 30 minutes are the presentations; the remaining 25 minutes contain the Q&A period.


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The May Coffee Hour Surprise

At the Y62 Coffee Hour on May 6, the conversation about our experiences with the pandemic triggered a debate about health and the Covid vaccines. Earl Staelin argued for a holistic view of health, emphasizing nutrition and lifestyle, and expressed significant doubts about the short- and long-term effects of the Covid vaccines. David Johnson, who led an earlier Coffee Hour focused on Covid, spoke from his experience as an endocrinologist and argued that the evidence for the safety and efficacy of the vaccines is very strong. Part of their dialogue is in the video above. Several Coffee Hour participants expressed interest in continuing this conversation in a future event.

Do you have comments you’d like to make about the clip we’ve shown above? Please make them here.

COVID: A Y62 Coffee Hour Presentation and Discussion

Classmate Dr. David Johnson provided an expert, fascinating brief on what we know of the novel coronavirus that’s eclipsed our lives for the past year, and patiently answered our many questions with factual, extremely helpful information. Thank you, David! Here’s the full recording:

Comments? You can make them here.

Coffee Hour: Our Post-Election Discussion

Ed. Note: On Thursday, November 5, following our national election, Y62 classmates gathered to discuss their thoughts on the results, yet to be finalized as of this writing. Classmate Kent Hughes once more skillfully moderated the discussion. A few of the highlights of the 90-minute session are shown in the video above. We continue to experience a few glitches but we’re gaining some ground in that arena, and are grateful for your patience. Speakers in order of their first appearance: Kent Hughes (moderator), Roman Weil, Bob Breault, Bob Barnes, John Hatch, Tom Noonan, Jerry Griffin, Earl Staelin, Peter Cohen and Bob Oliver.

To comment on this, our second “highlights reel,” click here.

We Weigh In On The Elections

Ed. Note: On Friday, October 23, following the final Presidential debate for this year, Y62 convened a special post-debate, pre-election virtual Coffee Hour online, moderated by our own Kent Hughes. We’ve put together just a few of the highlights of the 90-minute session. You will see that we are using more technology but that it’s learning process. We had a few glitches but hope you will bear with us. Speakers in order of their first appearance: Kent Hughes (moderator), Chris Cory, Fred Appell, John Stewart, Rodger Gabrielson, Bob Breault, Lee Bolman, Tony Carbone. We think we know how to make modifications before our next Coffee Hour November 5, just two days after the election, when we will again produce a highlight video.

To comment on this “highlights reel,” click here.