Neil Stuart Waterman, Jr.

Neil Stuart Waterman, Jr.

Died November 8, 2000

Neil Stuart Waterman Jr. was born May 25, 1943 in Washington DC. A member of Branford, Mike was on the varsity football team and played intramural basketball. He was the social chairman for Delta Kappa Epsilon.

After Yale Mike married Linda Clark, whom he called “ a constant friend, companion, lover and resource.” They had one son, Whitney, and two step children, Brooke and Neil. He spent a year at Columbia’s graduate business school and did a short stint in the Air Force until he failed his flight physical. Mike and Linda made their home in Dallas where Mike was an entrepreneur. His companies were involved in plastics, aviation, technology and retailing. He chaired the Governor of Texas’ Science & Technology Council back in the 1980s. He and Linda owned a commercial cow-calf ranch.

For a while Mike expanded his investment interests to South America and divided his time between Buenos Aires, a home in Santa Fe, NM and his cattle ranch in Rosebud, Texas. He served as a director of St. Mark’s School of Dallas, Episcopal School of Dallas and PBS station KERA-TV. He was chapter chairman of the Young Presidents Organizations of Dallas and acted as interim executive director of YPO International.

Writing for our 25th reunion Class Book, Mike revealed the thinking that was going on behind his success. “A large number of diverse personal and family experiences have led me to the understanding that achievement, whether academic, business, civic or social, is only one aspect of a balanced life. . . Accordingly, as I plan for the next 25 years, my thoughts are focused on creating a capability to enjoy a broad range of experiences. Not that I expect to abandon achievement, but rather I am hopeful of being able to ‘achieve’ in a number of areas in which this word would have been scarcely applied in my formative years. Continuing to raise children and ultimately grandchildren, learning more about various aspects of nature and the arts and contribution to the betterment, even in a small way, of my fellow man, now rank equally with my desire to continue to find creative satisfaction in developing new and innovative business concepts.”

Mike died ten years after writing that on November 8, 2000.

H Lawrence remembers:
We are reminded that it is the journey not the destination, in our lives. Mike, Captain of Yale’s U GUYS for two consecutive years loved his journey. Battered, bruised, taped from ankles to elbows, Mike gave more than 100 percent each minute of each football practice. He loved the mud, the challenge, the fellowship of friends. In the darkest day, the coldest practice, Mike’s snort, his wise crack and his punctuating laughter picked us up. He found inner glory by slugging it out – he contributed though his enthusiasm, his work ethic and his desire to journey well and joyfully. He contributed like an all-star, yet he was a most humble man. Never a starter, always a finisher, that was Mike Waterman. No, he wasn’t a headliner, but to us, he was an underliner. His character and his work (and life) ethic made a difference to all his teammates and his classmates. Mike helped us enjoy our respective journeys, and gave us a model as we sought our relative destinations.

Timothy Merrill remembers:
Mike was the glue, if not the soul, of the football team. Though he didn’t start many games, he was with us all four years. His stories and jokes, and his labels (the “ fougawes” squad) held us together. “Fougawes” stood for “who the fuck are we?” They were the guys who didn’t start or even get much playing time on the field but were an integral part of all our practices, playing the coming opponent’s offense or defense, participating in drills, always on call for whatever the coaches wanted – as in “U GUYS get over here and play some defense.” The starting teams had names (we were into platooning) like Apaches (defense), or the Green team (offense), and Mike thought, appropriately, that the other guys should have a name, too. His label stuck for the rest of our years at Yale.