Our 45th Reunion: June 7-10, 2007
By Al Chambers
Ann Arbor, MI
June 24, 2007
Photo credit: Tansy Blumer
This is a special edition exclusively on the 45th Reunion. There are two goals. One is to provide a pleasant visual and text reminder to the 130 classmates and 97 spouses and partners of what a fine time we all had in New Haven. The other is to provide those who were unable to attend with a glimpse of both the activities and the people who were there.
Why not start your tour by looking at the about 250 photos provided by eight volunteer photographers and arranged as separate slide shows displaying each cameraperson's viewpoint. You'll see lots of faces and smiles; a few classrooms; how good Yale looked starting with our Pierson College headquarters, and plenty of music, dancing and eating. Sincere thanks go to Tansy Blumer, Bill Doying, Rob Flint, Tim Hall, Cindy Hummel, Mike Kane, Barbara Oliver and David Scharff. They did a wonderful job.
Now, take a look at the Reunion Reflections submitted by about 20 different attendees. Some talk about their youth; others their aging, some about wine and women, but all were glad to be at the Reunion and renewing old friendships and making new ones.
The final results of the 45th Reunion Survey are in, as well as some interesting data and correlation from our longtime Smith survey partner, Celine Sullivan. She titled her piece, "Boys and Girls ... together?". A total of 143 classmates did the Yale version, including eight that participated in the few days after the Reunion when you asked that we re-open the site for latecomers.
Unbeknownst to us, AYA videotaped our Saturday afternoon sessions on both the 45th Reunion Survey and the panel discussion led by David Scharff on the impact that Yale had on a handful of classmates. Thanks for participation and wise observations go to Bob Connery, Tony Giamei, David Hummel and John Stewart. The survey results presented by Al Chambers and Celine Sullivan brought some surprises and disagreement but left the group feeling quite good about themselves. The quality of the video is not good and there are serious audio problems on the survey discussion video with Celine Sullivan's mike, but some of you may enjoy being reminded of what was said. If you choose to look at the survey video, you can open the results at the same time and follow the slides and the commentary simultaneously.
Look down the scroll on the front page to find a short letter from outgoing Secretary Kirk MacDonald. The new class officers, Jim White as Secretary, David Honneus as Treasurer and Mike Kane as Corresponding Secretary, were ratified by the Reunion group. There also is information about how to buy 45th Reunion clothes and souvenirs with 25% of proceeds going to the class treasury and an update on the status of our '62 fund raising for Yale.
There are a number of classmates whom I believe merit mention.
At the top of that list is David Honneus, who did such a fine job as chair of this Reunion. The arrangements and schedule were excellent. Throughout the weekend David was always around welcoming people as they arrived, even as late as Saturday evening, making people feel comfortable and handling the minor unexpected developments. What's more, he clearly seemed to be enjoying himself.
Everyone turned out Friday afternoon to hear Steve and Hala Buck share some of their experiences about the Arab world and having lived in the Middle East for more than 30 years. They offered important insights not only about the region but also about life in general. Our special invitation professor, Akhil Amar, also held everyone's attention with his view on the creation and power of the U.S. Constitution. He and his wife joined the class for Friday evening as well. There was no AYA video at the British Art Museum Auditorium on Friday.
Roman Weil was back with a new set of wines to taste, which was a treat for the people who joined him in a café-like atmosphere in the Pierson Buttery (how many remember that word?)
Vic Miller, now public with his amazing array of tattoos, wrote an amusing tongue-in-cheek skit for our Friday night entertainment. Vic asked that credit also go to David Finkle, who assisted and edited the skit by e-mail from London where he was on his annual trip as a theater critic. A cleverly-assembled cast including Kate and Jim Litvack, Jill and David Scharff, Joann and Ben Gottlieb and Gary Salenger brought home the story of how Yale '62 fought off an effort by the University Administration to force us to return to school. It seemed that we all were one class short of what was required to graduate. Yale College Dean Peter Salovey was a good sport in joining the cast playing himself.
Our '62 Whiffenpoofs, as usual were spectacular. Not only do they always show up in numbers but also they get such pleasure in entertaining their classmates and being together. At the all-class Music program at Woolsey Hall Saturday afternoon, the '62 segment drew the greatest applause highlighted by yodelers Dixie Carroll, Louis Mackall and Biggie Moore, as well as dynamic soloists Tom Cutler and Bill Gross. A number of classmates reportedly solved Tom's crossword puzzler that was part of the '62 Reunion packet.
Also special mention goes to Whiffenpoof Louis Mackall for his caring devotion to Tom Luckey and the wonderful moments Saturday evening when Tom was made an honorary member of the group. And then Tom followed, in his own irrepressible style, leading the entire '62 assemblage in the "Star Spangled Banner" as he called for the nation to take back its anthem and its flag.
There was a good bit of talk already about organizing mini-Reunions in the next few years. A couple of classmates said they were inclined to be the organizers in some definitely alluring locations. Many classmates wore their 2005 D.C. Mini-Reunion black polo shirts. The smaller group from the 2005 Hong Kong Mini Reunion was so clearly glad to see each other again. This was a group, which really bonded, despite having not known each other well at Yale or in subsequent years.
English professor Lee Patterson gave one of the "Morning at Yale" lectures on his specialty of the Middle Ages and Philology. It turned out that Lee, who probably knows more about Yale than any other classmate, having spent a good part of his adult life at the University, had never attended a Reunion. That changed Saturday when he decided to join the group and renew acquaintances. As Lee wrote on this web site a few years ago, he thinks Yale is better than ever and still keeps improving. I don't think he would get much argument from those who were at the 45th.