YAM Notes: November/December 2014

By Rich Banbury

The two guys who are planning the 55th Reunion, Al Puyear and Harry Mazadoorian, as well as the mates who are in charge of the Aspin, Branford, and Heinz Fellowships, are collecting the names of all classmates who have participated in the selection panels for those three programs, which are special and unique to our class. If you fall into that category, please advise any or all of the following, including the years and the specific Fellowships: arvinmurch@sbcglobal.net; tyamin@nyc.rr.com; anpuryear@aol.com; and hmazadoorian@comcast.net. If you’re not sure of the years or Fellowships, please make notification anyways, with the approximate years. In time for the Reunion, there will be a Fellowship booklet published for the history of our class, as well as celebrating the extraordinary students who have participated in these wonderful programs. Harry and Al are crafting various tours of new exhibits and facilities, perhaps the new spectacular School of Management, as well as stimulating class panels. Make sure you’ve carved out next May 28th to the 31st for this promising gala.

Under a blue sky, for the third straight year, Peter Parsons stroked the full 2 kilometer ocean swim race at San Padro, deAlcantara in southern Spain. The oldest competitor by two decades, Peter finished ahead of several stragglers in a respectable time of 35 minutes and 41 seconds. A talented one-legged swimmer, who has mastered the English Channel, bested our guy by a full ten minutes.

Earlier this year, Peter Ness participated in a Calhoun only reunion in New Haven, opening multiple opportunities to converse with present day Hounies. Some of those conversations included privacy issues, which can be complicated in the densely populated entries housing both genders. No surprise, Peter reports that intimate relationships need a private location to be expressed. Skirting that delicate topic, teasing the imagination, Peter reports that the two Calhoun squash courts have been replaced by common areas, pool tables, and a café. There were also seminars. One of the panel members was William Howard Taft IV ’66, a lawyer who has served three presidents in various positions at the State Department. Entrepreneurship at Yale was one of the subjects, including the success of multiple undergraduate start-up businesses, many of which involve software applications. One example involves public school teacher performance ratings by gathering data from all constituencies, including students, parents and other teachers. On a parallel track is the Yale Enterprise Institute at the School of Management. Peter is engaged as a mentor for that Institute. Finally, one of the seminars addressed the issue of whether the college name should be changed, due to Senator John Calhoun of South Carolina having supported slavery. By that logic, should the name of our country’s capital be changed because George Washington owned slaves?

From West Palm Beach, we learn that Alan Gilison’s golf bag continues to be a friendly companion in that elusive quest to score one’s age. From June 15th to July 4th, Alan carved out four rounds under his then age of 75. In one round of particularly good fortune, Alan scored a two under 70, for a personal record of 5 strokes less than his age. Alan is not the only successfully competitive member of the family. Susan has participated in five consecutive years at the United States Open Bridge Tournament, and continues to accumulate major Life Master points. Alan further notes, with deserving high praise for his spouse, that she has trumped professional bridge players with national and international reputations. Susan is also a superb sculptress. She has recently completed a stone sculpture weighing over 500 lbs., and her work decorates the Gilison home, as well as the homes of many extended family members.

Monroe Price has a lot on his professional plate, as Director of the Annenberg Center for Global Communications Studies in Philadelphia, as well as professor (and former Dean) at Benjamin Cardozo Law School in New York. His recent book, Freedom of Expression, Globalization and the New Strategic Communication (Cambridge University Press), is summarized by Monroe as “more or less about my scholarly activities over the last decade.”   As a very special project, Monroe and Aimée, an art historian trained at Yale, have given the Yale Art Gallery a collection of prints from the Taller De Grafica Popular, an artist workshop that was active in the 1930’s in Mexico City and was known as a pioneer in the school of visual advocacy. Many years ago, Monroe joined Aimée in her search for TGP prints, hunting in remote archives, obscure museums, and the homes of artists and collectors, making sure that the price was right. Living within a community known as “spouses of art historians,” Monroe further describes their focus on “what was neglected, deaccessioned, left over at the margins of lives and institutions.” He has produced an artful paper, On Collecting, which nicely details the life of the art collector, something like a personal provenance. The Yale Art Gallery has a special showing of Aimée’s and Monroe’s collection, which will be on exhibit through January 31, 2015.

I could use some help from the mathematicians, existentialist philosophers, or other interested classmates. Is the span time infinite or finite? If infinite, then any finite segment of time would approach zero. If so, wouldn’t that require that our measurable 76 years would actually have to be experienced in less than a second? So it seems to me that time must be finite, but I need time to think about it.