YAM Notes: January/February 2006

By Richard Banbury, Notes Correspondent

When Peter Green’s father was a Marine Private on Guam during the Second World War, he fell into the job of operating WXLI, the local armed forces radio station.  Peter’s new book, Dad’s War with the United States Marines, is described by the author as “a family memoir with some first-ever reported information about what transpired on Guam toward the final days of World War II”.  It turns out that on August 14, 1945, Ben Green intercepted a Japanese government transmission indicating that the acceptance of the surrender terms would soon be announced.  He then broadcast that news over “the Mosquito Network” of Armed Forces Radio, having scooped the worldwide radio and print media.  You can check it out and buy the book by going to www.dadswar.net.

Now 60 years later, we have a much different relationship with the Land of the Rising Sun.  Kan’ichi Asakawa, a Yale Professor of the History of Japanese Civilization, will hopefully be remembered by the creation of a pan-Asian peace garden next to the Center for the Study of Globalization on the Yale campus.  That project and many others involving Yale’s connections with Japan are being promoted by Chuck Schmitz, who has been working with Rick Levin to expand the University’s links with Japan and restore “some balance in its Asia perspective”.  Ryozo Kato, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, has been an inspirational influence on the bilateral initiative to establish visiting faculty and student fellowship programs connecting New Haven and Tokyo.

Do you know the way to Santa Fe?  For those who haven’t yet visited this 16th Century Spanish outpost, the history and culture of the city are well worth the trip.  Nor should one ignore the local artists, including Peter Lewis Chapin.  Retired from his academic career as an art history teacher at Drew University in New Jersey, Peter has established himself as an acclaimed painter and printmaker.  Prior to his westward migration, various shows in Manhattan helped to enhance Peter’s reputation in the art world.  With a little advance notice, classmates are likely to get a tour of Peter and Honey’s beautiful home in the mountains just north of Santa Fe.  Peter recently defended Vincent Scully’s new book Yale in New Haven:  Architecture and Urbanism in the Letters column of this magazine.  Rebutting certain comments made by an earlier critic, Peter lauded Scully’s work as “a vivid and compelling spiritual and ideological history” relating to the architecture and social dynamics of American cities.

On the flight out to New Mexico, you might even find Susan and Phip Hirsh seated in the row behind you, as Nicki and I did during a recent excursion to that tri-cultural state.  Phip and Susan were headed for Santa Fe to visit friends and attend a pediatrics conference, and we were fortunate to run into them again at the impressive Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts.  From considerably south of Santa Fe, Bob Severance, retired from his position as a software designer, reports from Las Cruces that he is spending his spare time taking advanced math courses.

There has been quite a bit of press recently about the four Kenney brothers and their very generous gift as part of the Yale Bowl restoration project.  Brian Kenney and his three brothers all played varsity football at Yale, and the Kenney family gift is earmarked to enlarge and modify the “Halftime Room”, used by Yale team-members, coaches, and the officials on game days.  The project is being spearheaded by Jerry Kenney, ’63, who is deservedly proud of the fact that one or more of the Kenney brothers played every Saturday in the Bowl for a period of 14 consecutive years.   Athletics at Yale have also animated the philanthropic energies of Sam Heyman, who has made a significant leadership gift for the expansion and renovation of the Cullman Courts, the all-season indoor tennis facility at Yale which will now be named the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.

Traveling from San Diego to Washington D.C., Dr. Bob Resnik leveraged his assignment as a medical conference speaker to enjoy a tasty dinner at Sam and Harry’s Steakhouse in Alexandria with Lana and Doug Guiler, his old roomie in Pierson.  When back on the West Coast, Bob teaches baby docs at UCal San Diego Medical Center.

If you are looking for a litigation lawyer in Milwaukee, you would be wise to retain Bill Levit.  Although he concentrated on East Asian History at Yale, Bill was subsequently captured by the world of justice and jurisprudence, and has now been awarded by his inclusion in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Moving South.  After serving as Senior Vice-President for a myriad of the major hospitals in Rhode Island, Bob Feldman has returned to Nashville, where he expects to find more time for tennis, golf, and digital photography.  Bob’s thirty years of experience in fundraising for colleges and medical centers will be put to good use while he performs some part-time consulting in that field.  The road from Providence to Nashville ran through New Haven last Fall, where Bob could be seen at Yale Bowl with daughter Alexandra, class of ’99, who is now laboring as a lawyer in Manhattan.

Mates with a background in government service, and particularly those with experience in international and military affairs, are encouraged to contact Pete Knudsen, who is coordinating our undergraduate summer fellowship programs.  Pete can be reached at (203)230-3000 or pknudsen@ecoair.com.