YAM Notes: November/December 2016

By Richard Banbury, Notes Correspondent
E-mail: banburysixty@aol.com

Peter Wells, Secretary

In his friendly dissection of our class, On the Cusp, Dan Horowitz carves out a group of existentialists. Thinking large, their question was who are we and who can we be. The answer of course is elusive. Certainly to reject the 9-to-5, coat-and-tie world. The path of Marx may have been temporarily tempting, but was clearly revealed as a false dictum. Of this brilliant coterie, most were ensconced in Directed Studies. In this mix of scholars, Dan appoints Newman as the new man. Charlie Newman, who came to Yale from Northfield, Illinois, sadly left body and spirit on March 15, 2006. Dan publishes a profile of Charlie as “a passionate, brilliant, blustery young man. He energized the classroom and the small gathering of students with his biting wit and penetrating questions” (page 186). David Brooks, borrowing from a Robert Boyers essay, remembered Charlie as “inspired intensities of admiration and interest” (ibid). Like most of our philosophical classmates, Charlie chose the academic path, as a writer, editor, and professor at Washington University in St. Louis. One of the themes in Dan’s opus was our collective need to achieve an authentic and genuine life. Thinking back on those years, we all felt that way, perhaps on a cultural basis more than philosophical. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye we still remember, which motivated us to reject the beaten track, as did Dustin Hoffman on the screen in The Graduate, as well as Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Sinatra also tipped the glass when singing “My Way,” favoring the theme of individuality.

By which high schools did the local townies of our class matriculate to the Old Campus in September of 1956? From Hillhouse, a public high school, there were 16; graduates from Hopkins, a private day school, were 11. Dan Horowitz was one of the Hillhouse cluster. Another three came from Wilbur Cross, the second high school in New Haven. Governor Cross (1885, 1889PhD) spent most of his years as the Sterling Professor of English Literature and dean of the Yale Graduate School. A man for all seasons, Professor Cross served as governor of Connecticut from 1931 to 1939.

The Yale Educational Travel program has scheduled “The Pride of Southern Africa” for February 1–16, 2017. The academic leader just happens to be Harvey Feinberg, another of the 16 from Hillhouse. Harvey has a PhD from Boston University, in addition to a Fulbright grant and an award from the American Philosophical Society. Harvey is now professor emeritus of history at Southern Connecticut State University.

We think of Yale as a very old academic institution, being the third earliest American college. After all, the learned tutors of circa 1701 schooled their eager pupils in Saybrook and then New Haven, both of which were domains of a British Colony. By comparison, the first College of Cambridge was founded in 1284, when Hugh Balshom, Bishop of Ely, dedicated Peterhouse, more than five centuries earlier than the Books of Elihu Yale. As a group of scholars in Cambridge town, the history even goes back to 1209. Jim Taylor studied economics from Trinity Hall College (“The Hall”) at Cambridge from 1960 to 1962. Hugh Taylor, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, studied at The Hall from 1962 to 1964. Both of the brothers had extraordinary experiences during their two years at The Hall. In order to fully appreciate those academic studies, Jim and Hugh several years ago created and funded the Taylor Travel Awards (TTA) to establish the Joint Yale–Cambridge University Biomedical Research Program. By way of this program, Cambridge students are chosen by their faculty to spend summers experiencing hands-on practical research at Yale Medical School, fully supported by TTA. These fellowships mirror the Heinz and Aspin fellowships, which were also endowed partly by Jim’s fund-raising and personal participation. In a dinner at Mory’s last summer, the six TTA fellows discussed their experiences at Yale. As a thankful guest at that dinner, I had the opportunity to meet these budding physicians and scientists.

Olivia St. Clair, a 72-year-old successful sculptress living on Cape Cod, has been charged with the murder of her wealthy industrialist lover. Such is the setting of Silent Suspect, Tony Hawthorne’s first novel. The plot is complicated by the fact that the crime occurred 50 years ago, Olivia is mute, and her lawyer is a Cape Cod novice. (There is no statute of limitations for murder.) The book is published by Bookbaby and is available through Amazon ebooks. If you have any comments and/or compliments, you can reach Tony at thawth@comcast.net.

Don’t forget a visit to our website at Yale60.org, including, sadly, some recent obituaries.