Classmates & Activities

July 5, 2024   Conrad Cafritz writes in: “I recognize it is incongruous to have a student starting as an undergraduate but this is the case for my son, Alexander, Class 2028. My wife and I took the boy, then 9, to our 55th Reunion. During a presentation to some 300 members and wives of the Class, Professor Paul Kennedy asked for questions. The third question emanated from next to me. To my shock (and horror) it was Sasha asking about which tank Churchill favored. Professor Kennedy treated the questions with a gentle respect. This past year Sasha was able to watch the 23 sessions of Professor Timothy Snyder on The Making of Modern Ukraine on YouTube. Timothy Snyder enjoys a reputation beyond Yale analogous to that of Vincent Scully during our tenure at Yale, and it is indeed fortuitous to be able to visit his class via today’s technology.”

April 12, 2022   during our Tuesday Tea Talk on Ukraine, classmate and eastern Europe business expert Mike Tappan read to us all the poem he had written on the war. Click here to read Mike’s Poem, Mariupol.

December 1, 2021   $125 million. Classmate Oscar Tang, trustee of the Met, and his wife, Agnes Hsu‐Tang, have made the largest capital gift in the Met’s history. The following item was written by Robin Pogrebin for The New York Times.

Oscar Tang, a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Agnes Hsu-Tang, his wife, made a game-changing gift that will help build a long-sought Modern and contemporary art wing and provide a home for Leonard Lauder’s Cubism collection. Credit: Eileen Travell/Metropolitan Museum of Art

Seven years after announcing ambitious plans to rebuild its wing for Modern and contemporary art — which then had to be put on hold because of financial problems — the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday announced that it had finally secured a lead donation of $125 million, the largest capital gift in its history, from its longtime trustee Oscar L. Tang and his wife, Agnes Hsu‐Tang, an archaeologist and art historian. The wing will be named after them for a minimum of 50 years.

“It is coming from within the Met,” said the museum’s director, Max Hollein, in a telephone interview. “It shows the confidence the museum has in this very important project.”

With their donation, the Tangs join a rarefied group of philanthropists who have made game-changing gifts of $100 million or more to underwrite cultural building projects (and secure naming rights). These include the oil-and-gas billionaire David H. Koch, benefactor of New York City Ballet’s renovated Lincoln Center home, in 2008; the private equity billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman, for the New York Public Library, in 2008, and a new cultural center at Yale, in 2015; and the entertainment mogul David Geffen, whose 2015 gift went toward the gut renovation of the former Avery Fisher Hall.

The gift represents an important leap forward for the Met project, which is now expected to cost about $500 million and calls for creating 80,000 square feet of galleries and public space with an architect to be announced this winter. An earlier design by David Chipperfield had ballooned in price to as much as $800 million.

While the Met still has to raise the remainder of the money, Daniel H. Weiss, the museum’s president and chief executive, said that “we’re not concerned.”

“We know what it’s going to cost more or less to build it, to staff it,” he continued. “Our finances are very stable.”

The museum, which last year projected a shortfall of $150 million because of the pandemic, has responded by raising money, cutting expenses and reapportioning costs. The Met has also taken advantage of a two-year window in which professional guidelines were relaxed to permit museums to sell works of art to help cover operating expenses.

Weiss said the museum had not yet determined whether it would seek funds for the project from the city, which owns its land and building.

Tang, the first American of Asian descent to join the Met’s board 30 years ago, said he was moved to support the museum’s efforts to upgrade the mazelike, awkwardly configured Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, which has been considered problematic ever since it was first completed in 1987.

June 23, 2021   Our Tuesday Tea speaker for July 6 is classmate David Sellers, who will be talking about The House Of The Future that he designed and oversaw the construction of in Warren, VT. The article you may wish to read in preparation for the Tuesday Tea is here.

April 20, 2021   We received a copy of an email (below) that classmate Dick Sigal had sent to President Salovey. We responded that, with Dick’s permission, we would post his email on our class website. He responded to us with:

[I’d] Be delighted if you do.

I am very disappointed that the Board has not instructed the Yale President to recognize that Yale can neither stand by nor stand down to this threat to democracy. I know there are many Yale alumni with perhaps serious financial clout who might withhold contributing to its endowment if Yale recognized by name Trumpism as classic authoritarianism and not at all entitled to deference as partisan politics. My response to the Yale board regarding such fear of financial loss is those are exactly the alumni that Yale should be addressing to teach the danger of Trump and his minions, because there will be no Yale as an institution of independent scholarship under an autocracy. Please include this writing as the reason I am waging this campaign to convince Yale to stand up and spread the word on how to meet the most serious intellectual challenge to America ever, well beyond McCarthy and Wallace and which must be won by changing the minds of those caught in the Trump cult. Cruz, Howley Jordan and others who espouse the fiction of a fraudulent election may feel free to counter their political colleagues but may listen and learn from their colleges, or else be labeled the acolytes of Hitler who despite well know published bigotry became chancellor under a rule of law and then undertook authoritarianism.

The Salovey email:

From: Richard Sigal
Date: April 19, 2021 at 1:18:23 PM EDT
To: Peter Salovey
Subject: Lux Et Veritas

After reading How Democracies Die (and Snyder, Appelbaum, Turner and Kennedy), I fail to understand how my elite university can fail to publicly condemn the rise of authoritarianism through Trump and his cohorts and use the excuse of not engaging in partisan politics. January 6 was more than just a skirmish but was a warmup and a warning as Trump almost succeeded in stopping Pence from announcing the result and was ready to rule under martial law.

President Biden is leading the nation to restore the balance of politics with honest political debate, but history teaches that effort may not be enough. Even corporate America is seeking to stop efforts to intimidate voting as certain states seek to legitimize restrictions to favor Trump’s base of voters.

Where are you, where is the Board? What more evidence of this threat does Yale need? The role of our university is not to be a fan and Trumpism is not a game. His threat to destroy our institutions during his administration is documented. And by failing to honor the transition, to not acknowledge he lost and to have converted to his cause a caste of elites comparable to those who supported Hitler are facts. Yale’s mission to shine the light and teach the truth demands Yale not only to lead but to encourage every educational institution to coordinate in a smart way to put out the conflagration of Trumpism.

Please get out of the Tower and become our Paul Revere. That to me is your job at this time. It may not be what you thought it was but there you are and there is no excuse

Thank you. Richard Land Sigal ’60

April 15, 2021   Ed Elmendorf reports that John Negroponte was a guest speaker at Ed’s UN Association Graduate Fellows Program, on ‘Power at the United Nations: An Iraq Case Study.’ John has had ample experience with power at the UN and beyond: He was US Ambassador to the UN and US Ambassador in Iraq when President George Bush (’68?) demonstrated American power by invading Iraq but failed to obtain UN Security Council endorsement, and then served as Founding Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State.

September 2, 2020   Jim Andrews sent in the following:


Today is the anniversary of VJ Day — Victory over Japan. The Japanese surrendered on this day 75 years ago, bringing an end to World War II.

My Dad served in the Navy aboard a Light Cruiser, USS Springfield, in the Pacific Theater during that war. He served in the 3rd Fleet under Admiral Halsey, and in the Fifth Fleet under Admiral Spruance.

Before she sailed from Boston Navy Yard, our family was privileged to go aboard, and had dinner in the wardroom, to celebrate brother John’s 10th birthday. I was 6 and Mary was 4. Shortly thereafter, she got underway, sailing down the Atlantic Coast, through the Canal, and into the South Pacific. A fast ship going in harm’s way

My Dad had battle stars for Saipan, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. He later told me they first encountered the kamikazes at Leyte Gulf, coming in by the dozens. At Okinawa the kamidazes came in waves of hundreds. The Navy lost more men in ships at Okinawa than the Marines lost on the beaches.

Following the surrender in Tokyo Bay, my Dad was allowed to go ashore in Yokosuka, which he described in Biblical terms, ‘not one stone upon another.’

He finally returned home in January 1946 in the rank of Lieutenant Commander, unhurt and grateful to a Divine Providence for sparing him.

Here are photos of his ship, and of the officers of the USS Springfield standing and seated on her fantail. My Dad is seated, second row, third in from the right.

May God bless America and keep her safe.


August 3, 2020. Ed Elmendorf has sent a letter to the Pompeo Commission, commenting on its proposed Report on Human Rights.

Click to read it in its entirety.

John Walker: activities after retirement (received February, 2020)

I retired at the first opportunity in part to free Donna, my wife, from some household responsibilities so that she could pursue her career full time. I took up a domestic life, meeting the children after school, grocery shopping, and cooking. The cooking has led me to compete in baking competitions at the Ionia County Fair, where I generally pick up a few Blue Ribbons for pies, cookies, or bread.

We sail our 14 foot catboat each summer, preferably among the Les Cheneaux Islands in northern Lake Huron. We have hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail and the North Country Trail as well as several long distance trails in Britain. British trails generally present frequent opportunities for refreshment and rest. On American trails the long-distance hiker must carry shelter and supplies, but can enjoy isolation and wilderness.

I have learned how to sing and have become a regular participant in community theatre: Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, musicals, comic opera, and grand opera, always in the chorus, never as a principal. As a member of the University of Michigan Choral Union I was in the chorus for the Grammy-winning recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. I sang, at one time or another, in concerts conducted by Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Mariner, and Leonard Slatkin.

After forty years at one address Donna and I moved, last year, to a home without any stairs. We are lucky enough to have one grandchild living nearby. We see her nearly every day. Two others live in Texas and one in London.

November 20, 2019

From: Robert Hanke
Subject: Veterans’ Day Parade, New York City, 11Nov2019

To friends and family:

With so much that is negative in the news these days, you might take a moment to read about New York’s 2019 5th Ave Veterans’ Day Parade and see a few photos of an old Marine colonel.

The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, of which I am a director, was chosen by New York to be this year’s lead float — which the City kindly provided for us. While we have several four-star generals on our Board, they could not be there, so I was asked, as the senior officer present, to be the Marine representing the Foundation at the front of the float.

It was a humbling honor to experience tens of thousands of Americans 15 to 20 deep along the sidewalks and in the buildings above for several miles up 5th Ave, all there supporting America’s Veterans. There were no protests, no negative signs, no critical posters. I waved to thousands of cheering Americans standing on the streets of New York, while also returning the salutes of many fellow veterans. The current times and troubles of our Nation seemed to be suspended in time. This was a different dynamic from the one we so often read or hear about in the news. But there is a united America that is still with us, even here on the streets of New York, supporting and appreciating some of the best of America, with no one complaining, no one protesting — just a sea of smiling, respectful, friendly faces.

It was a special moment in American life, a bit overwhelming for me and quite unexpected – standing on that float — a respected symbolic hero, an “unknown soldier” to the thousands of cheering spectators who had no idea who I was. They were just there, cheering for all of us. I was proud to be a part of it and felt fortunate to have been a stand-in for that symbol, if only for a short moment in time.

Colonel Hanke
USMC (Ret.)

On November 5, 2019, we included this info on Burning Man festival:

Burning Man

On August 12, 2019, Reynold Ruslan Feldman wrote:

Hi John,

Thanks for your work on behalf of both Yale and our class. You’ll remember me as “Steve Feldman.” After I became a Christian during my time at Yale Graduate School, I took on a new name in the tradition of Simon-Peter and Saul-Paul and am now legally “Reynold Feldman,” occasionally with my Yale Ph.D. in English tagged on. More recently I added a Sufi name, “Ruslan.” So among other things, I’m a Jewish Christian (Episcopalian) Sufi. Go figure! Someone has to be right!

But all that is not what I’m writing about. Basically after I retired from my career as an English professor, academic dean and vice president in the 1990s, I started writing so-called “trade” books, mainly on practical wisdom, what it is and how to gain it. My 6th or 7th book on that topic, depending on how you count, just came out on July 26th from John Hunt Publishing, England. Co-authored with Sharon Clark, an author in the Bay Area, it consists of 150 one-page essays on different aspects of wisdom, each with a journal prompt for the reader. It is doing quite well out of the box and in two weeks has sold close to 1,000 copies. Obviously, I’d like our classmates to know about the book, WISDOM FOR LIVING–LEARNING TO FOLLOW YOUR INNER GUIDANCE. They can purchase a copy in paperback or e-book formats online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, any classmate who emails me at that they’ve bought one or more copies, I’ll donate $2/copy to our class fund.

Here, for your information, is what the cover looks like:

You can learn more about this and my other books at my author’s website:

Best personal wishes and many thanks. I have very positive memories from our time together 60+ years ago,

Reynold (ne’ Steve)

On July 25, 2019, Tom Miller wrote:

The big news is that I’ve been working with a group of Bay Area Chefs and food people to support the social and economic change being called for by the people of Puerto Rico. Two representatives of our small non-profit, Green Cities Fund, were in San Juan last week during the demonstrations, and prior to that, in June, we helped organize the first island-wide economic and social responsibility conference which brought together over 200 local and foreign participants. The conferees discussed changes in Puerto Rico’s social and economic structure needed to fight corruption, extreme poverty and make the island more self-sufficient. The meeting was highlighted by our gift of a simple tractor developed by an American millionaire for small farms which can be manufactured and assembled in Puerto Rico. We are in the process of organizing educational trips to Puerto Rico in much the same way that we have organized trips to Cuba for many years. Anyone interested in an interesting and exciting trip to Puerto Rico can contact our non-profit at for more information.

Here’s the banner our friends were carrying during the demonstrations:
Puerto Rico banner

Additional news is that my wife, TT Nhu, and I recently attended the 50th anniversary of the plastic and reconstructive surgery hospital I set up in Vietnam with Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran Dr. Arthur Barsky. The hospital treated hundreds of war-injured children during the war, including Kim Phuc, the terror stricken napalm-burned little girl photographed running from her village. The hospital, aided by Japan and Australia, is now greatly expanded and is a national center. It was so moving to see once again, the wonderful Vietnamese staff (now retired) we worked with 50 years ago


On April 23, 2019, Bob Sugarman wrote:

John. Many thanks for taking this on. Since I do the Notes for our law school class, I know it’s not as easy as one might think. One advantage that you have is that you have many more classmates to write about. Dick probably reported on some of this so feel free to ignore that which he did. After retirement from my law firm in 2008, I spent 3 years as National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League and then 2 years as Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is the umbrella organization of the Jewish community with over 50 members. The latter ended in 2015 and since then I have been reengaged — my word for retirement. We babysit every Monday for our three little granddaughters, ages 6, 4 and 2. We spend a lot of time going to the basketball, baseball and soccer games of our older grandkids, who range in age from 18 to 13. I sing in a Community Chorus and spend a fair amount of time training for triathlons which I’ve been doing since 2000. I’ve done 3 in the Maccabiah games in Israel — two silvers and a bronze — and plan to do another in 2021. I have two on my schedule for this summer. I continue to play golf, not nearly as well as I used to. One of my regular partners is Dick Sigal. Finally, I still stay involved in ADL and the Conference and continue to do pro-Bono litigation at the firm. I love my life, am grateful for it and don’t take it for granted for a second.

One question. I have long been puzzled that I was admitted to Yale. I came out of James Monroe High School in the Bronx — not a stellar academic institution. John Slowik was the first Monrovian to go Yale a year before I did and his brother Ed was in our class. They were super bright and also track stars. I was a good NYC High School swimmer but nowhere near the caliber of the Yale teams. I was active in extra curricular activities, including being President of the GO my senior year. With all of that, I still wonder. My question is whether I could look at my admissions file which, I assume, would provide the answer. Many thanks. Bob

And later that same day, John Wilkinson replied:

Dear Bob,

Thank you for this full and physically exhausting update on your rich life.

The 1960 Executive Committee agreed today to refer class note readers to obituaries, eulogies, remembrances, etc. posted to our class website.

I think that we should do the same for the living when they submit a report which cannot be edited adequately for our limited space. Yours certainly is one.

Dick Sigal joined our meeting today in his capacity as right arm to Rusty Wing for the 60th reunion. It was good to see them after so many years.

As for your admissions folder, I doubt that it still exists and, if it did, would not be released in your lifetime. Besides, a committee in 1956 made a wise decision, proven by a life well lived.

Thanks for writing.


Rob Lisak has graciously allowed us to share his film, “Bart’s Bench: A Conversation Between David Sellers and Mark Aronson,” here on the class website. Many of us will recall that, at our 30th Reunion, we decided to commission the bench as a class gift to Yale, in honor of our beloved classmate and former Yale President Bart Giamatti.

At the time of our 55th reunion, Dan Horowitz published his book about our class, On the Cusp. Integrating data collected for that book with mortality data for the class, he and Steve Kunitz analyzed survival rates according to various characteristics listed in the class book published when we graduated. The following article describes the results. Click to view.

Rich Banbury pens some new and original science fiction for your summer reading enjoyment. Read it here.

Rob Hanke writes to President Salovey, Dean Holloway, and Calhoun Alumni

“Nan’s Favorite”
short fiction by Rich Banbury

Some Homework for the Class of 1960
courtesy of Al Veerhoff

QUITTING – or The Confessions of a Veteran Oarsman
by Emory Clark

“The Green Fields of the Mind”
by A. Bartlett Giamatti

Various postings circa 2005