YAM Notes: March/April 2019

By Rich Banbury

Well, the time has come when the hitter has made his final swing, and the next batter will advance to home plate. It has been both my privilege and obligation to write this column over the past 18-plus years. A good friend, John Wilkinson, will take over the class notes. When Bart Giamatti was the president of Yale, John was the secretary of the university and was Bart’s right hand. John has remained in New Haven and knows those whose hearts and minds are keepers of our mother Yale.

I first authored this column for the class in October 2000. As the university was on the verge of celebrating its 300th birthday in 2001, it seemed appropriate at that time to balance our history with a look at the classes of 1760 and 1860.

The Class of 1760 was 33 in number, including two sets of brothers. The official history of the class informs us that “the Corporation met in April 1760 at the time of the annual senior examinations, but the only business transacted was in relation to the better discipline of students,” specifically pertaining to their consumption of rum. President Thomas Clap was exasperated by “the extravagance and intemperance with which Commencement had been attended in years past.” Two students were discovered in possession of “a small cagg of rum [which was] seized for the King,” and were threatened with expulsion. When the other students heard the news, they all refused to go to graduation, based on their equal transgressions. Finally, in the autumn there was a graduation for all.

The Class of 1860 graduated on the eve of the Civil War. Yale’s archives identify that class as having 168 members. After the cannons fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, 73 classmates of the 168 were called to service. Of that number, 67 were uniformed in blue while 6 in gray. One can only speculate whether classmates might have fired upon each other during those four years while the nation bled.

In my November 2000 column, I passed along a challenge from Dick Strub, corresponding secretary of the Class of 1961, asking if our class had more marathon runners than ’61. After months of collecting data, we announced in the May 2001 issue that we had 21 such runners among us: Dorrance Belin, Jon Blake, Clint Brooks, Tom Cathcart, Bob Daehler, Craig Deutsche, Charlie Duell, Ted Gamelin, Fred Jacobson, Wayne Jostrand, Jack Knebel, Tony Knerr, Ed Leavitt, Carl Lohmann, Hank Meier, Steve O’Brien, George Rieger, Guy Spear, Nick Storrs, Peter Wells, andFrank Williams. Our cross country captain was Jon Blake, with an eye-popping run of 2:33 at Boston in 1963, finishing among the top ten Americans. Bob Daehler’s Boston run in 1985 was highlighted by Sports Illustrated when he and daughter Kirsten glided through the Wellesley campus, racing to the cheers of her classmates. Dick Strub announced in his May column that ’61 had just 15 marathon runners in their class. In 1961’s 40th reunion report, printed in the Summer 2001 Yale Alumni Magazine (Page 53), Strub recognized our victory: “Congratulations to the Class of 1960 who outran us in the Marathon challenge. (Oh well, we tried.)”

More recent news: Monroe Price was honored last October at Cardozo Law School marking his retirement after 41 years, during which time he was dean for nine years and the law school would gain better ratings and a higher profile. Attendees included Monroe’s wife, Aimee, who is highly recognized as a French chevalier for her work in art history. Thanks to Jonathan A. Weiss for reporting this story.

Bob Giegengack and his wife of over 50 years, Fran, have moved from Dover, New Hampshire, to their new habitation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Bob, having received a PhD in geology from Yale, retired from a long career on the earth and environmental science faculty at Penn, prior to moving to Dover.


Three Bulldogs


Note from Class Secretary Peter Wells“Brother Banbury, as he announces above, is ending an 18-year stint as our class corresponding secretary with this, his last column. Just think: 18 years of researching and creating, all against never-ending tight deadlines and for the financial reward of zero. His work has always been selfless, insightful, and superbly communicated, and we, his classmates, have benefited greatly. Well done, Richard, and many, many thanks from all of us.”