YAM Notes: March/April 2022

Alan Caplan and Owen Cylke have joined Pete Knudsen to form a committee of three to plan future class teas on Zoom. Formerly known as “Tuesday Tea,” seven have been posted on the class website: Dr. Sten Vermund on vaccination; Professor Sarbani Basu on our nearest star, the sun; Dean Robert Blocker on Yale’s music programs; Dave Sellers, a retrospective on his career as an architect; Ambler Moss on key issues confronting the US; Professor Paul Kennedy on lessons of history; Professor Paul Bracken on China.

Readers of the NY Times learned in December that Oscar Tang and his wife, Alice Hsu-Tang, have donated $125 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to rebuild its Modern and Contemporary Art wing. This is the largest capital gift in the Met’s history. “This country has been good to me—good to both of us,” Oscar said. “And we want to put our stamp on it.”

Frank Williams has written again, not merely to assure us of his continuing practice of ophthalmology in Florida and Bhutan, but also to enumerate his efforts to remain physically active: managing a cattle ranch in Colorado, flying his hot air balloon, running every day, alpine and cross-country skiing, snow shoeing at 10,000 feet in search of his annual Christmas tree. If you are curious as to how (and why), you can learn more at the reunion this spring.

Four more obituaries have been added to the memorial section of our website:

Richard Banbury. Civil litigator, defense counsel for the Mohegan Tribe, and longtime member and leader in Connecticut legal oversight committees, Dick is best remembered and valued by us for his 18 years as scribe of these notes. His love of all things Yale, especially football, was total.

Alexander (Sandy) Lawton. “A life in science, rich in inspiration” is the title of Sandy’s obituary. A groundbreaker in the bridged fields of immunology and rheumatology, he was noted for combining research, teaching, and leading younger scientists through their own experiments, often to significant careers much like his storied own.

James Lyman. Biophysics was his undergraduate major. After earning an MAT at Yale Graduate School, Jim selflessly dedicated his life to teaching physics for 41 years to high school students in Port Washington, New York.

Edwin Pearson. Ned was a man of science who earned his PhD in physics at Duke researching microwave spectroscopy and enjoyed a full professional life in academia and in the private sector. Both his home state of Illinois and adopted Massachusetts received his devoted attention.

“Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to us.”—Leon Trotsky

Tempus fugit, sumus hic.