YAM Notes: November/December 2007

By Rich Banbury

Seniors can be juniors.  Governor Jodi Rell, using exceedingly good judgment, nominated Barry Schaller to the Connecticut Supreme Court in August.  Having been unanimously approved by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, Barry was sworn in as the junior justice of that esteemed Court, and has settled into the important tasks of hearing oral arguments and rendering scholarly Opinions, a role which he previously fulfilled with distinction on the Connecticut Appellate Court.  Unlike New York and a few other odd states, the Supreme Court in Connecticut is indeed supreme, acting as the final authority on all civil and criminal matters, subject only to review by the United States Supreme Court.  The breadth of Barry’s legal scholarship is further illustrated by his new treatise entitled Understanding Bioethics and the Law, which is being released this month by Praeger Publishers.  Among the accolades is the following from Carolyn Mazure PhD, a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale School of Medicine:  “With remarkable clarity, Judge Schaller identifies the pressing issues at the interface of law and biotechnology.  He illustrates convincingly that the use of litigation to resolve ethical concerns raised by the development of science, medicine and technology should be the method of last resort …”.  John Paris, a Professor of Bioethics at Boston College, lauds Barry’s ability “… to explain the arcane and sometimes mysterious ways in which courts transform ethical issues into a legal context”.  Bioethics is a cutting edge academic field and a subject about which Barry has lectured and taught at Wesleyan, Trinity, and Yale.

Congratulations to Carolyn and Stew Gilman who were recently married and have settled into their “newly remodeled nest in Westwood.”  Stew is still laboring as an architect in Los Angeles, while Carolyn is the executive assistant to the Dean of the Pepperdine Business School.

As an unofficial goodwill ambassador to Bhutan, Dr. Frank Williams continues to perform volunteer medical care and teaching during his semi-annual trips to that Himalayan kingdom.  Frank’s home base is in the Sunshine State, practicing ophthalmology in Clearwater at an elevation barely above sea level, in rather stark contrast to Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan, which is reported to be 24,835 feet.

On the other coast of Florida, Palm Beach Gardens is the new home for Susan and Dick Seidman, who is finally retired after forty-three years of practicing law in Connecticut.  Don’t assume that this loyal Bulldog will not be seen at Yale Bowl this year, which will be his sixty-seventh consecutive season attending at least one home football game.  That’s not a misprint, and not even surprising in light of the fact that Dick’s dad, Judge Saul Seidman, walked through the portals of the Bowl during an amazing run of 77 consecutive years.

Another class doc, Kevin Harrington, reports from Mill Valley that he has retired from the practice of orthopedic surgery and academic medicine in San Francisco.  Kevin is now flourishing as a painter and antiquarian book collector, but floundering in his attempts to master the mysteries of golf.

Back from Baghdad, where he managed oil, gas and electricity reconstruction operations, Tom Cranmer is optimistic about the future of that troubled land.  He reports that, despite an antiquated infrastructure, “the fully staffed Iraqi government ministries are doing all the work of running the operations”.  Tom further observes that 95% of Iraqi citizens just want to educate their children and “live normal lives in a democracy”.  Having returned unscattered to Great Falls, Virginia, Tom is now striving to become a professional portrait painter.

The new Cullman-Heyman tennis center will include eight indoor courts and an area dedicated to the history of tennis at Yale.  Athletic Director Tom Beckett, in announcing the state-of-the-art facility, thanked Sam Heyman for his generous leadership role in underwriting the project.

The Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees has renamed one of the school’s buildings  Jones Hall to honor Joel Jones, who served as President of the school for over a decade and retains the title of President Emeritus.  Under Joel’s leadership, Fort Lewis, situated in Durango, Colorado, significantly expanded its enrollment and the number of academic majors, as well as undertaking the construction of several new buildings, including a Center of Southwest Studies.  Joel entered Yale with the class of 1959 but received his degree in American Studies with our class.  He subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in English from Miami University and a Doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.  On a personal note, I played with Joel for Davenport on our two-time inter-college championship football team.  Joel was a terrific quarterback and instrumental in our back-to-back victories over Winthrop House,

The Harvard House champ both years.  Bob O’Connell, Fred Reker, Bob Gould, Tom Miller and Bob Walsh were among the gritty gridiron guys on those teams.