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Alumni Notes: January / February 2017

By the time you read this you should have plenty of communication about the 55th reunion of our interesting bunch this June 1-4. In the Gen-Z lingo that supposedly is replacing "awesome," the days will be "lit" (like a fire), and I hope you have taken the poll, helped the planners by indicating your preliminary interest (or regrettable lack thereof), and are waiting for the registration form to arrive in March. In case you zoned out when you saw the fall posting on our website or the various lively letters, the theme is " Reconnect, Reflect, and Renew." We'll be in Jonathan Edwards, and the committee has bagged provocative speakers including our Shakespeare dramaturg, Peter Saccio. If you don't have a hotel room yet, get one - they're a bit scarce. You should book now, even if you might decide later about attending, at www.visitnewhaven.com /accommodations. Campus housing will be plentiful and available when you register. If you still have not responded to this siren song (no, it's not the Song of Suzy - at our age?), you'll probably get a phone call soon.

A record 35 responses on the commentary page of our website were provoked this fall by the letter to alums from President Salovey about free speech in a genuine community. Lee Bolman summed up a general feeling of pleasure when he wrote, "It's good to see that our class can maintain a tone of civility even as we disagree, particularly in light of the rhetorical tone of the election just finished."

A real contribution to such civility came via a link that Roman Weil posted amid the commentary on our site. It leads to a "marvelous" letter written by a Princeton alum, David Kennedy, the distinguished historian on the Stanford faculty, "laying out the difference between memorializing and memory." Roman said he was sure the Yale committee on naming would read this letter "and learn from it," adding that for us, "it will help you understand why you can abhor slavery and still support continuing to name the college for John C. and the university for Elihu."

If you missed our late fall website, you can munch your heart out - and go to the site at www.yale62.org - for items about or by Rick Light, the sculptor; Dave Hummel, the world traveler (with photos by his wife, Cindy, showing walls in Israel as a counterpoint to the proposed one on the Mexican border); Fred Appell, musing on sex and sculpture; Jon Saari on the earlier wave of immigration to the US by Finns; and Dave Finkle, reporting on the posters he saw as our class representative at the annual convocation of the Association of Yale Alumni, two days after the election.

Soon, if it hasn't happened already, we expect the website to have excerpts from a nice holiday present idea - Alex Garvin's gorgeous new book about how the growth of commodious, accessible, de-automobiled city centers, renewed and kept up with both public and private funds, are key answers, all over the world, to the question that is the book's title: What Makes a Great City. We hope, too, for a January website discussion of rumors about why Yale sports teams are disappointing, and we'll show Tom Chapman and his wife's nice safari in Africa.

Whether you go so near or so far(i), please send in that good ol' personal and professional news.



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