Welcome Class of 72′ to our Alumni website. Here you can register for an account, take part in our alumni community, read articles, browse photos, and stay in touch. Thanks for visiting.

Class Updates

Yale Startup Ecosystem, from Ezra Doner

Dear Classmates,
A number of you relayed that you were interested in hearing more about the startup ecosystem at Yale and in the New Haven area.

Accordingly, in early February, I spoke with Josh Geballe, Senior Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation https://provost.yale.edu/people/josh-geballe.

From the conversation:
Last year royalties to Yale (from “commissionable” IP generated by Yale faculty + affiliates) totaled some $50M, which he said was below that of peer institutions. He said that’s in part why he was hired a year ago, to head Yale Ventures which was launched in 2022.

Yale Ventures page: https://ventures.yale.edu/

Josh pointed to the $5M Roberts Fund as “a new initiative launched in 2022 to accelerate the engine of innovation at theYale School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS).” Quoted text from the website https://ventures.yale.edu/roberts-innovation-fund

Fund announced here: https://seas.yale.edu/news-events/news/yale-announces-5m-roberts-innovation-fund-commercialize-engineering-faculty-discove.

He encouraged any of us who are interested to attend the Yale Innovation Summit on May 31 / June 1 https://ventures.yale.edu/news/save-date-yale-innovation-summit-2023.

Finally, when I referenced how new ventures can benefit New Haven, he said New Haven is currently “booming,” with lots of new commercial and residential buildings in the “triangle” between the Med School, Union Station, and Wooster Square. And he pointed to New Haven being featured in the annual NYTimes photo feature “52 Places to Go in 2023.” https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/travel/52-places-travel-2023.html New Haven is . . . #50 ! Text includes:

Connecticut’s third-largest city is a historic, mostly walkable and bikeable seaside town with distinctive neighborhoods, an encyclopedic collection of great American architecture, a thriving cultural life and one of the best food scenes in the country for a city of its size (134,000).

Founded in 1638, it’s a place where people have always tinkered with, mused about and challenged the status quo, which is why the New Haven Preservation Trust is now looking at saving the modernist buildings of the 1970s, which many see as disastrous examples of urban renewal. Discover one of the best of these brutalist concrete buildings by checking into the new Hotel Marcel, named for its architect, Marcel Breuer. Recently renovated, it’s become the first completely solar-powered, energy-neutral hotel in the United States.

Check out NXTHVN, a cutting-edge, community-focused arts center founded in 2019 in two abandoned factory buildings in the Dixwell neighborhood that has become the heart of a vibrant African American artists’ community. And then treat yourself to a great meal — maybe crispy artichokes with Parmesan aioli and pork belly with Tuscan cabbage and apple mostarda — at the recently opened Villa Lulu.

Ezra Doner

Yale Assembly Notes, from Ezra Doner

Dear Classmates,

This past fall, class officers asked me to serve a three-year term as class delegate to the Yale Assembly, and on November 10-11, I attended my first Assembly.

The Assembly is held annually in November, usually on the Thursday and Friday just before the final home game of the football season. (As you may recall, traditionally, Harvard is the last game of the season, and Princeton the second to last.) Due to Covid, this was the first in-person Assembly since 2019.

Classmates I saw at the Assembly included Class Secretary Rob Bildner, Class Treasurer Frank Krejci, plus Connie Royster, Steve Calkins, and Michael Shaffner.

By the way, “Assembly” is a shorthand. The event’s full name is Yale Alumni Association Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation. On the event page, https://alumni.yale.edu/yaa-assembly-yale-alumni-fund-convocation, YAA describes the Assembly as its “signature program for volunteer leaders.” The role of delegates, like myself, is to “represent their constituency at the Assembly and Convocation and share information about Yale today with that constituency.”

This year, delegates attended on behalf of more than 150 organizations and affinity groups, including more than 50 Yale College classes, half a dozen (or so) Yale graduate and professional schools, and something like 70 regional and international clubs (the latter as far flung as Bolivia, Korea and Vietnam). Also represented were such cross-degree year, cross-region groups as Yale Day of Service, 1stGenYale, Yale Latino Alumni Network, Yale GALA: LGBTQ Alumni, and the Whiffenpoofs.

Assembly activities included speeches, panel discussions, awards to alumni leaders, tours of new campus facilities and, of course, eating. This year’s theme – Yale’s Global Initiatives – was on display during many of the panels and award ceremonies, as was the broad gender, ethnic, and racial diversity of Yale’s alumni community.

Maybe it’s just me, but what I didn’t hear at the Assembly was anything new about mission. In his welcome remarks, President Peter Salovey stayed with the familiar, saying “It is Yale’s responsibility to share light and truth [. . .].” While acknowledging the “alarming consequence [of] the dissemination of falsehood around the globe,” he just emphasized that “we work toward the discovery of truth on campus[.]” For now at least, the mission of “light and truth” continues as it has been.

On top of that, the information flow at the Assembly seemed plainly designed as one-directional. There was no formal channel for attendees to pose questions or offer feedback. The role of delegates may be to “share information about Yale today,” but that’s to be based on the information presented.

Here’s one question I arrived and left with. By way of background, every two weeks, I zoom with members of my Morse freshman cohort, and just before the Assembly, I asked them: “What do you want to know about Yale?” As it turned out, they wanted to know why Yale hasn’t spun off new businesses which serve as a growth engine for New Haven, the way Stanford has for Silicon Valley, Harvard and MIT for Cambridge, and Duke, UNC and NC State for the Research Triangle. At the Assembly, there was no obvious forum for this question. But I will try to tee it up for the next Assembly.

To be clear, the premise of my unanswered question may be incorrect. Maybe Yale is spinning off new businesses which serve as a local grown engine. I don’t know . . .

If any of you have any questions about Yale, feel free to get in touch. Maybe I’ll be able to get answers.

In closing: In preparing this report, I found these useful links about the Yale alumni community:

This page lists events open to and in some cases hosted by the Yale alumni community.

List of 380 Yale alumni organizations and shared interest groups.

List of 178 regional clubs

List of volunteer opportunities

This is the YAA’s own report of the Assembly.

Ezra Doner

Check out the 50th Reunion Book Directory Website Here










(Click on “Watch on YouTube” to view.)

A Note from Rob Bildner, Class Secretary


I am ecstatic that by every account our 50th reunion was an enormous success, beginning with a fabulous turnout of  almost 500 classmates and guests. I had a wonderful time and am particularly proud of our inspiring programming that hit the bullseye. As a classmate expressed, the programming-  from the “moth” talks to the authors salon to the sessions on grandparenting, becoming an environmental advocate and “Bright College Years” – featured learning from each other, not just sitting in a room listening to talking heads and “experts. This set the tone as we chilled out with old friends and made new ones. And who could forget , as some of us whirled around on the dance floor, our classmates’ guest performances with the Regressions from vocalist Craig Mason to violinist Jim Caron? How much fun was that? Bottom line: We came together as a ‘72 community in a joyous, stimulating 50th reunion weekend.

How do we follow up from the reunion? For one, you can share your photos through the Google Photos link set up by Corresponding Secretary Jonas Zdanys. Click on this link  https://photos.app.goo.gl/oyf9hNrpzuPmnhYi8  and you will be able to upload your photos, see your  classmates’ photos and even download the ones you like. Secondly, we recorded the program sessions and Memorial Service (unfortunately we were not able to record the author’s salon) for the almost ⅓ of our class who were not able to attend the reunion and those who attended and want to revisit these superb sessions. Eventually you will be able to access these recordings and we will keep you informed when both are ready for your viewing. Our classmates Ken Barish and Mick Smyer told me they will make some of their handouts and slides from their excellent presentations available through our class website. Finally, keep your eye out during the summer for the Class Book featuring entries from over 500 classmates. Do some bench pressing to get ready for the book – it is over 1,000 pages!

Finally,  I am very grateful that many of you took the time to tell me during the weekend how much you appreciated our hard work to plan this event.  I am thankful as well for the opportunity to continue my service as Class Secretary and give back to the Yale community that so enriched my life and that of my family.

Have a great summer!


Rhonda Singer, ’72 YAA Rep, Reports on Latest Assembly

RHONDA SINGER, our Class of 1972 YAA representative, has filed the following report on the most recent YAA Assembly:
The Assembly and Convocation 2021, a combined activity of the Yale Alumni Association, and the Yale Alumni Fund, took place, virtually, from November 4 through November 6. The theme, as expressed by President Peter Salovey, was “Collaborating for Impact – Yale’s Multidisciplinary Approach to Global Challenges”, an endeavor which he described as having a “nearly existential urgency”. With a strong focus on climate change, which the whole of Yale is addressing, President Salovey described efforts across campus, by engineers, scientists, and humanists, to break down interdisciplinary barriers and prepare future leaders for the challenges ahead. With the introduction of Yale’s newest School, the Jackson School of Global Affairs, and a major $100 MM gift from FedEx, Yale is exploring issues of global health, political instability, and cyber warfare, on a global scale.
Thursday’s session opened with a wide-ranging panel for alumni on Non-Profit Governance and Best Practices in Starting a Non-Profit organization, as well as a presentation on 1st Gen. Yale, led by its founder, Lise Chapman, ’81.
In the Opening Plenary Session, President Salovey held a dynamic conversation with Secretary John Kerry on climate change. Secretary Kerry emphasized that, while we’re not where we need to be, climate change can be managed successfully, and that the next 10 years are crucial. He sees the world as being in a “moment of global responsibility”,and is undergoing a technological transformation that is the biggest since the Industrial Revolution. He stressed the need for a united global effort, with a strong role for universities. Secretary Kerry said that there is “no automatic pilot for democracy”, and that the cause now relates to our freedom and liberty. Yet, he concluded optimistically that managing climate change ” is so do-able”, and in fact cheaper to do than not to do.
Friday’s session led with a spirited description of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, by alum Jim Levinsohn, a founder of the School, which is to open officially next fall. The School is organized around four key areas of global challenge: 1) international security, 2) international economics, 3) international social, political, and economic development, and 4) the global “public good”, including climate change and global health. The aim is to create a best-in-class School, tightly integrated with the rest of Yale, and building bridges with Yale’s Schools of Management, Law, Environment, Public Health, and other schools. There will be a new undergraduate Global Affairs Major in Yale College, as well as a graduate program, with a strong “ladder” Faculty, supplemented by Jackson Senior Fellows (who are policy professionals), with an aim to have graduates go on to careers in government, NGO’s, and the private sector.
The next session, entitled “Joint Degrees Making an Impact: A Conversation with Yale Deans”, was led by Dean Tamar Gendler, and featured the Deans of the Divinity, Environment, Management, and Public Health Schools, all of whom described the many and varied joint degree programs offered by their schools.
The following session, “Beyond Tradition: Certificate Programs in Yale College”, was led by Dean Marvin Chun. The panelists explained that Certificate programs functioned as a form of “minors” or ‘miniature majors” in various interdisciplinary fields, such as Education, Global Health and Energy Studies, and reflected a high level of skill obtained by the student in the fields. Students commented that they liked having “something to show for it”, upon completion of a certificate program. Interestingly, participants asked if such certificate programs could be made available to Yale alumni.
An additional session, entitled “Environmental Justice: Toward a More Sustainable and Equitable Future For All”, continued to explore the large themes of climate change, public health, and economic security. The speakers acknowledged the difficulties in measuring progress in these areas, while emphasizing the necessary value of social justice as the overall aim.
At Saturday’s session, three current Yale Trustees, Annette Thomas, Carlos Moreno, and Chip Goodyear, emphasized their mission of advancing President Salovey’s goals, and recognized the importance of respect both for Yale’s individual community members, as well as for the University as a whole.
All in all, the Assembly overcame the limits of the virtual platform, and its speakers and participants managed vibrantly to convey the current goals and aims of Yale’s global impact efforts.


Photos by Ed Tan, Karen Gantz, Rob Bildner, Hux Miller, Kay Hill, and Deborah Bernick.

Friday, March 6, 2020 – Welcome dinner at 6PM – Joe’s Stone Crabs of South Beach
Saturday, March 7
Morning tours:
– Walking tour of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District
– Curator’s tour of Wolfsonian Museum of Art and Design
Lunch: on your own.
– Tour of the Design and Art Districts of Miami, including a docent led tour of the De la Cruz Collection.
– Visit to Miami’s newest museum, International Contemporary Art Miami.
– Tour of the Wynwood Art District
Cocktails and dinner at Rhouse Wynwood
Sunday, March 8
– Visit to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
– Brunch at Glass and Vine in the historic Peacock Park, Coconut Grove.


To donate make checks payable to Yale University. In the memo line, write “Class of 1972 Women’s Scholarship Fund.” Check the “Other” box and write in the exact name of the fund. Online follow the directions at https://secure.yale.imodules.com/s/1667/giving/17/form.aspx…
When you receive your tax receipt/thank-you letter, make sure it specifically references this fund. Please note that contributions to the Class of 1972 Women’s Scholarship Fund do not count toward annual fund credit but do count toward reunion class credit.

ANOTHER WAY TO GIVE–Consider making a bequest to the Class of ’72 Women’s Scholarship Fund: Designate the exact name of the fund, the Class of ’72 Women’s Scholarship Fund, at Yale University, in your will. If interested, you may also contact Mary Beth Congdon at Marybeth.congdon@yale.edu in the planned giving office.

“Sixteen years ago the women of the Class of 1972 created an endowed scholarship for transfer students called The Yale ’72 Women’s Scholarship Fund. The recipient for the past three years has been Rona Ji ’18. She transferred to Yale as a sophomore, like the women of 1972 who started this scholarship in 2002 in honor of our 30th Reunion. Rona has embraced all that Yale has to offer. She recently graduated with a dual major in economics and ethnicity, race, and migration. Her most rewarding experience outside the classroom was with Yale Building Bridges, which brings high-achieving college students to teach English in rural China. Rona helped expand this program to deal with mental health and gender equality. She has given back to the local community by tutoring through New Haven Reads. Rona has been involved in the Yale China Economic Forum, and spent a semester abroad in Beijing. A talented musician as well, Rona played the flute with the Yale Band in Australia following graduation. Later this summer she will teach in the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, before starting her MBA at the Yale School of Management with a view to working in US and Chinese commerce relations. Cynthia Brill, Carol Whitehead, Ann Linden and Connie Royster have been involved in shepherding the fund over the years. It now has over $300,000 in assets with contributions from many of our pioneering class of women, and has provided scholarship assistance to numerous talented women transfer students. This scholarship fund continues to accept donations. Thank you!”

Yale Reunion

Reunion Links

AGING WELL PANEL: Thursday, June 1, 2017.:

Mick Smyer’s (BK) presentation, “Is There a Secret to Aging Well?”  the class of 1972’s AGING WELL panel at our 45th reunion. Mick, Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University, has provided us with his slides. Click here: 6-1-17SmyerAgingYale72PDF

Here is the full article that formed the basis of Mick’s presentation:  https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/how-shall-we-age/

Helen Kivnick (ES), Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota, gave a presentation at the AGING WELL panel at our Class of 1972 45th Reunion, June 1, 2017. Here are the slides from her presentation: https://yale72.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/KivnickAgingWellFrYOU-6-1-17notes.pdf

REUNION PHOTOShttps://yale72.org/photo-galleries/reunion-photos/

PERSONAL REMEMBRANCES FROM THE 45TH REUNION MEMORIAL SERVICE: https://yale72.org/notes/personal-remembrances-45th-reunion-memorial-service/ 

Website Tip – How To Find Obituaries Of Class Members

How To Find Obituaries Of Class Members:

To see RECENT OBITUARIES of class members, go to the menu item “In Memoriam” under “CLASS NEWS” in the righthand column on every page. To see ALL OBITUARIES, go to the menu item “In Memoriam” in the drop-down menu under “THE CLASS” in the blue heading on every page.