YAM Notes: November/December 2015

By Rich Banbury

The time has finally come! In this electronic age, when communications to large numbers of people can simultaneously be activated by touching the send button, the Class of ’60 has retained a savvy and experienced professional to shepherd our class website. Welcome Jean McKillop who has assisted other classes, including ’62, in organizing their websites. From the coast of Maine, not far from Bar Harbor, Jean is a partner in DowneastHost.com, an internet service company. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Keene State, a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies, and is certified as a high school English teacher, topped off by a friendly and enthusiastic persona.

The site will continue to be Yale60.org. There are of course many advantages to communicate with each other through the site, in addition to this column. Such things as poetry, short stories, long papers, and photographs will all fit nicely to the site. At this point in time, there is an ad hoc committee to filter materials before forwarding to Jean for posting. Items which would be more suitable for the site than the class notes should be sent to the Committee, comprised of Peter Wells (pwellsct@gmail.com), Arvin Murtch (arvinmurtch@spcglobal.net), John Wilkinson (john.wilkinson@yale.edu), and your scribe (banburysixty@aol.com). It would be efficient to send submissions to all committee members, not for editing but for soft screening in the event of something that might be out of bounds or theoretically susceptible to an electronic viral exposure. There have been rare occasions when someone in another class has been motivated by factors other than humor, friendship or high character. Nothing has changed with respect to the class notes for publication. There is a word limit on the Alumni Magazine notes, which dwindles for the older classes, and this column will eventually be posted on the site.

Due to those word constraints, and the reunion issue, some items were deferred. One such was the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation’s 20th Annual Gala at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. There were over 800 guests at the event, which helped to raise more than $1,500,000 for the families of wounded or fallen Marines and Federal Law Enforcement Officers. Rob Hanke was honored by the Foundation and received a standing ovation following his inspirational remarks. Rob is a highly decorated Marine pilot who was in service during the Vietnam era and the Cuban Crisis. The honor was presented by General Joseph Dunford, who serves as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rob’s other honors include the Distinguished Flying Cross and Legion of Merit. Among his long list of achievements, Rob also served as a NASA test pilot for the Gemini and Apollo projects.

In an Alumni Magazine article about the retirement of Rick Levin, John Pepper was quoted in the context of Levin’s bountiful bonus, which apparently initiated some concerns about the perceived largesse. John was in an excellent position to appreciate President Levin’s achievements, as the Corporation’s Senior Fellow in 2003, and later as a Vice President of the University. Having many years of experience as a top-tier corporate leader, and knowing many others, John stated that Rick Levin was “as talented a leader as I have seen in any walk of life.”

There has been a good deal of discussion about an off-campus reunion on the west coast, most likely the Los Angeles area.

Here is a salute to Steve Johnson, whose tracing of the Class with his talented and themed illustrations in our various Reunion Books, has been something of an over-the-years pictorial journal. Steve’s work may make you think of Garry Trudeau, whose cartoons blossomed in the late 60s as Bull Tales with his Yale Daily News strip, now of course epic Doonesbury. Encouraged by Peter Parsons, Steve does his creative drawings in Carmichael, California.

When the last dollar was counted, our gift to Yale for the 55th Reunion topped out at an incredible $11,300,000. Quite the job for our Gift Tri-Chairs John Levin, John Pepper, and David Wood.

A number of classmates who follow the Yale Football fortunes have quite suddenly also become Indianapolis Colts aficionados. If you don’t know why at this time, then there is no need asking.