YAM Notes: November/December 2023

By John A. Wilkinson ’60, ’63MAT, ’79MAH

John Bing has joined the class executive committee. Other members are Bob Ackerman, Donald DellDoug Guiler, Rob Hanke, Peter Knudsen, Harry Mazadoorian, Arvin Murch, Jim Taylor, Peter Wells, John Wilkinson, and Rusty Wing.

Kudos to the committee of Alan Caplan, Own Cylke, and Peter Knudsen, which oversees the Tuesday Tea Program. Recently added to the class website is the presentation of Rachel Fine, executive director of the Schwarzman Center, known to us in 1956 as Commons. The slides of the renovation, restoration, and expansion of the facility into a multi-purposed student venue are stunning. Rachel is the daughter-in-law of Tony Hawthorne.

By the date these notes are published, the talk of Samuel Moyn, professor of both jurisprudence and history will have been added. Professor Moyn, who specializes in international law, human rights, and the law of war, will have explained some of the crises confronting America’s courts.

Penelope Laurans, senior adviser to the university, wrote on the 34th anniversary of the death of Bart Giamatti, including a video of Bart reading his “Green Fields of the Mind.” Published in the alumni magazine in 1977, it retains a fresh relevance. You can find the video on Google.

Ted Stebbins, in a note informing me of the death of Jonathan Hufstader (see obituary summary below), describes Jon as “a terrific guy, a friend since second grade; warm, intelligent, totally lacking the cynicism and ambition that marked many of us.”

Peter Benfield writes, anticipating the obituary summaries below, “Ave atque vale. Hail and Farewell.” These words of Catullus conclude his funeral poem, fully supplied by Peter in both Latin and English translation. Recalling his high school Latin better than I, Peter begins with Horace’s carpe diem, adding Horace’s poem of inevitable departure, again, thankfully, in both languages.

Five obituaries recently added to the Class of 1960 website:

Harry Altman. Obstetrician and gynecological surgeon, national guard veteran, Harry spent his retirement years serving as chairman of the board of his hometown bank and host of an annual charitable golf tournament supporting his parish school. He also attended to an extensive family, including four great-grandchildren.

David Clapp. His long, distinguished career with Goldman Sachs and specialty in municipal finance made Dave a valued adviser to many boards, both professional and philanthropic, including the SEC, the Museum of the City of New York, Arthritis Society, University of Miami, Bard College, especially his alma mater, Kent School, and many others. His “bigger-than-life personality” was cherished by all he befriended.

Frank Furst. With an MBA from Michigan and a stint with Andersen as a CPA, Ned returned home to Freeport, Illinois, to become the third generation to lead the family company, Furst-McNess. He served on the boards of Stephenson County, his local school district, his bank and hospital, and, as a Yale-inspired history buff, the Lincoln-Douglas Society.

Robert Giegengack. Davidson Kennedy Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Bob was a total citizen of Penn, both in its governance and as a teacher. He chaired the academic review committee, headed the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program, founded and chaired the Institute for Environmental Studies, while earning the Lindbeck, Ira Abrams, and College of General Studies Distinguished Teaching awards, among others. His research spanned five continents.

Jonathan Hufstader. Emeritus professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Jonathan first lived after Yale College as a Benedictine monk at Portsmouth Abbey, where he taught French and religion, coached sailing, and served as headmaster. His second career, after earning his PhD at Harvard, was at UConn for 20 years. There he raised a family, taught literature and poetry, published on Irish poetry, studied Torah, and relished UConn basketball.

Tempus fugit, sumus hic.