Class Notes: March/April 2021

Class Notes: March/April 2021

By John M. Pinney

I hope all who read these notes have been vaccinated and are still being careful. In the last edition, I expressed the hope the vaccine(s) would have arrived by now, and they have. However, here in Maryland Phase 1B progresses slowly due to supply shortages. It’s now clear that our hope of rescheduling our 55th reunion is gone, as Yale has understandably canceled all in-person reunions for this spring. Our dedicated reunion planners will now reconvene to come up with ideas for virtual programs through May and June to try to compensate for the loss. Stay tuned.

While on the subject of virtual gatherings, nearly 100 classmates and widows registered for the second ’65 Zoom event on December 16, featuring David Swensen. Hopefully our efforts to make sure you’re all getting the word about these programs have paid off and everyone who wanted to tuned in to the January 27th session with Bob Woodward and the February 17th session with David Hawkins. If you’re still not getting the word, please email me and we’ll make sure you get the notices. Thanks to the efforts of Dennis Mack and Bob Hammond, we’ve set the schedule through April, with the March program devoted to discussion of the pandemic and vaccines, and the April session with John Shattuck sharing his views on the foreign policy challenges facing the new administration. I want to give an additional shout-out to our YAA representative, Jennifer Julier, whose help in setting up and running these programs has been invaluable.

David Roscoe provided a fascinating look back at the answers we gave to the Class of ’65 2020 Election Survey question: How will the 2020 presidential election process end? Needless to say, an assault on the Capitol was not one of the multiple-choice answers, and only 2 percent chose “constitutional crisis.” The 50 percent who chose “concession by the losing candidate” were clearly guilty of wishful thinking, and Inauguration Day was not one of the choices for timing. You can find the full results of the survey on our website

The many efforts made to keep us connected since cancellation of our 55th reunion have not gone unnoticed. The YAA held an award ceremony on January 13 during which ’65 was one of the classes awarded an executive director’s Special Award for Extraordinary Reunion Resilience. And on December 8, Bruce Alexander received the Yale Medal in a virtual ceremony. Dennis Mack was among those classmates who watched online: “The Yale Medal award ceremony (virtual) for this year just finished. As you might know, the Yale Medal is Yale’s highest honor and one of the five recipients this year was our classmate, Bruce Alexander. In making the award, Yale noted that many of us want to make a mark on the world but ‘your mark will be for centuries.’ Congratulations, Bruce.” Amen.

Brief notes: Dick Wolff reported: “The Alumni Schools Committee recognized my 35-plus years of service encouraging and interviewing applicants by awarding me their Ambassador Award. I was slightly abashed to be with some very impressive other recipients. Few things have given me greater pleasure than finding and talking to the fabulous kids who want to go to Yale. Heartbreaking that the Admissions office can’t admit more of them! But the quality of those admitted is superb, and Yale is so much better for being co-ed instead of our years of exclusion. Both my son (’95) and daughter (’97) would attest to that, I know.” 

Hugh Levick posted the following: “I wrote you over a year ago about the HEAR NOW Music Festival which I created in L.A. some ten years ago. We had to postpone the 2020 festival, but in 2021 we will be presenting a prerecorded festival of 35 new music compositions by L.A. composers. By 2022 we expect to be able to return to the live concert format for the festival.” More on Hugh’s festival is available at And Landon (Bunky) Carter and his wife, Diane Covington-Carter, sent these enviable holiday greetings: “Normal, mask-free life here feels a bit strange, as we watch the rest of the world struggle to fight the pandemic. We’re hoping that New Zealand’s success can be a beacon of hope during these challenging times.” 

I received notification from the YAA of the loss of two more classmates. Bill Christian died on December 5, 2020, at his home in Pasadena, California, after a long battle with cancer. And George Dillon died on April 1, 2020. I’ve noticed more of you are visiting the class website and posting remembrances—please take some time to visit and read the many interesting and inspiring comments from classmates, and post your own.

Stay safe, keep wearing masks even when you get vaccinated, keep sending me news, and make sure to join our Zoom programs.