YAM Notes: January/February 2010

By Rich Banbury

The amorous adventure of naval officer Jamie Morrison begins in Italy when, at the opera, he encounters Catrina LoGado, the beautiful daughter of a rich and aristocratic wine baron.  After a year of passion in Sicily, where the sauce is not all that’s hot and spicy, the couple marries and comes to America.  While living in Boston and then Philadelphia, Jamie becomes enormously successful and wealthy in a business career.  I wouldn’t dare imply that there might be autobiographical elements to Bill Peace’s new novel Fishing in Foreign Seas.  It should be noted, however, that Bill is a retired Navy officer and that he and his bilingual wife Anna own a summer villa on the North coast of Sicily.  In the novel, Jamie eventually faces and resolves moral and ethical challenges, both personal and professional in nature.  Fishing in Foreign Seas (460 pages) is published by Eloquent Books and marketed through the Strategic Book Group (1-888-808-6190), and is also available on Amazon.com. 

Retired as a clergyman, Jim Lodwick also hopes to join the ranks of class novelists.  Although Jim tends a garden at his home in South Bend, he spends much of his time outside of the Hoosier State, enjoying his summer cabin in Vermont and wintering in balmy Mexico.

As president-elect of the international Society of Actuaries, with 20,000 members, Don Segal is scheduled to become president in October.  After his victory in a four-way contested election, Don announced his intention to emphasize the Society’s research capability and to provide rapid-response research to support public policymakers.  With a long and distinguished career in the actuarial world, Don was recently honored with the 2009 Jarvis Farley Service Award at the annual meeting in Boston of the American Academy Actuaries.  It’s nice to know that Don, an officer at J.P. Morgan Chase, is affiliated with one of our savvy and still prosperous financial institutions.

Although they were not acquainted while living in the same Vanderbilt entry in 1956-57, Ed Elmendorf and John Negroponte recently realized that connection when Ed, in his capacity as President of the United Nations Association of Washington, introduced John as the speaker at a model United Nations Conference.  Reflecting on Vanderbilt, I wonder if there is any truth to the old story that the architect set sail for Europe and the building contractor, misreading the plans by 180, put the courtyard on Chapel Street rather than facing the Old Campus.

One of the few classmates who were married during our undergraduate days, Dick West wistfully confesses that he and JoAnne have a 50 year old son.  When in the wonderful state of Oregon, look for DickieJo’s restaurants, named for Dick and JoAnne by two of their sons who own and operate that restaurant chain.  Dick enjoys the title of Dean Emeritus, having retired from his distinguished academic career as Dean of the Stern School of Business, New York University.

In 1998, football coach Hugh Wyatt wrote an article for Scholastic Coach magazine describing the strategic advantages of an offensive formation which he had designed and which he named Wildcat after the mascot of his high school team.  Hugh now reflects “with great delight” on the recent success and popularity of his brainchild, name and all, in collegiate and professional football.

Having rejected a fleeting thought of retirement, Owen Cylke has accepted a position as Director of the World Wildlife Fund Macroeconomics Program Office, inspired by positive developments in that organization as well as a new administration in Washington.  The Program Office supports public health and environmental goals in Africa, at both conceptual and advocacy levels.

At a Yale Geology Department’s conference on climate change in November, Tom Cranmer distributed a paper arguing that “the cap and tax” approach will cost the economy two million jobs and lower the GDP by one percent, without making a significant impact on carbon dioxide levels or the world’s climate.  Bob Giegengack, an outstanding academic geologist at the University of Pennsylvania, also attended the conference, where he and Tom shared dinner and their common conservative approach to climate change, emphasizing the role of natural forces rather than human activities.

The time for submitting words and pictures for the 50th Reunion Book has been extended to mid-January, so there should still be a window for individual participation in that project.  These ungraded essays can be either personal or philosophical, funny, serious or nondescript.  At the time of the Reunion, which runs from June 3rd to June 6th, our Class, like all others, will present a Reunion gift to the institution which played a central role in shaping our moral and intellectual personae.  Dave Clapp, John Levin, Jim Ottaway, and Dave Wood are co-chairs of the Reunion Gift Committee, working in concert with Tim Ritchie, who is our Alumni Fund chair.  Please be receptive to their entreaties.