The Missing Class Notes

The Missing Class Notes

September 20, 2018 in Notes

The Yale Alumni Magazine has informed us that the company that handles the mailing of the magazine mixed up their mailing lists and sent out the wrong version of the September/October 2018 issue of YAM to Yale College alums–a version without our class notes. They promise to send everyone a print copy of the missing notes in the near future. In the meantime, here are the notes for the Class of 1972:

William Ivor Fowkes, Corresponding Secretary, E-mail:

Dear Classmates,

To state the obvious—modes of communication evolve. Just as most of us write very few letters these days, opting instead for emails or text messages, so, apparently, many of us prefer newer ways to keep in touch with our fellow classmates. All of which is a convoluted way of saying that I’ve received no news—none—directly from members of our class in the two months since the last edition of these notes were submitted to the Yale Alumni Magazine. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve been completely in the dark. Fortunately our relatively new Yale Class of 1972 Facebook Group (which is replacing our Facebook Page, soon to go dark) is providing a forum that classmates seem increasingly comfortable using as our main communication medium. So, here’s some news gleaned from the Group:

Connie Royster (JE)and Elizabeth Spahn (TC)attended a Yale Alumni Service Corps trip to Cape Town, South Africa—or more specifically, the township of Philippi. This trip represented the Corps’ first work in an urban rather than rural setting. According to the Corps’ website, the work involved a local non-profit founded by a Yale graduate whose mission is to help local community entities empower citizens to gain equal access to quality education opportunities. Connie and Elizabeth don’t provide many details in their postings—and I look forward to hearing much more about their experience—but they do provide a video of a local community choir serenading them and a photo of Connie in South African garb.

Also posted is a fascinating chain of comments about coeducation sparked by a posting by Lars Grape (CC). Lars started out in the class of 1971, but after a year spent back in his homeland, Sweden, returned to a campus that had gone coed in his absence. Comments on the change included Marianna Steriadis’s (JE)observation that, after four years at an all-girls private prep school, it was “like going to heaven.” Meanwhile, Cal Nordt (JE)reports that after being in coed public schools all his life, he found that something was missing in the classes he attended his freshman year. From some of the comments you get a sense of the empowerment we felt back in those days, since people are convinced that coeducation happened because we the students demanded it. While some accounts elsewhere suggest that there were many other factors at work in the decision, my own recollection of those days confirms that Yale did make many of us feel as if they did listen to us—on this and many other issues—and that we ran the place. This recollection stands in contrast to my experience at other colleges and universities where it seemed as if the administration or the faculty held the balance of power. With all of this as background, we look forward to the celebrations planned for next year, the 50thanniversary of coeducation at Yale College. Please share any thoughts you may have about the anniversary or your time at Yale during that transition.

Since I haven’t received any emails lately and just shared the best posts from our class Facebook Group, I’ll now turn to one last fount of information about classmates, though somewhat less timely—our Reunion Yearbook. If you haven’t already looked it over, I encourage you to do so now. Here are some interesting tidbits I found:

Scott Addison (MC): In the “Life Since Graduation” section, he writes, “. . . In mid-’96, drawn to St. Louis by Rainbow Gatherings in legal crisis (and a redhead): launched Fed lawsuits against police roadblocks on public assembly (MO’96, FL’98), then settled in to anchor research & outreach—and traveled widely supporting 1stAmendment cases & related civil rights projects all over the country. Rivermont ’07 – a hobbit house by the River north of St. Loo – a craftsman’s scholarly life, building and writing; still doing the Gatherings’ legal work, got deep in Occupy St., Ferguson, urban issues & land trusts. Woods out back; music down the road, friends around town…Family far but still close, keeping up with old chums & lovers.”

Vicki Jane Hammond (DC):“In many respects, my life started when I moved to California in 1977. Perfect place for me, at a perfect time. First, right in San Francisco, living in a funky warehouse space. Then in a houseboat in Sausalito, with my office in a shipyard, watching brown pelicans from my windows. Half that space for painting, half for my freelance work. And rowing in an open-water single scull when I seemed to have Richardson Bay all to myself. That California is gone now, and I recently moved further north. Still doing the same work—and nearly finished writing a novel (a long-delayed goal).”

Matthew Frederick Lopes, Jr. (PC):“Most of my life, and that of my wife, was spent in New Haven having been born, both of us, at Grace New Haven Hospital now Yale-New Haven Hospital. Working for Yale, the State, and City of New Haven has been fulfilling. Upon reaching retirement, we decided to move to somewhere without snow and ice. We chose Costa Rica and have settled into a comfortable life with many American and Costa Rican friends over the past six years.”

Karen Jane Daykin Youngstrom (ES):We left the city (Shaker Heights outside of Cleveland) and built a home on 15 acres in somewhat rural Wyoming. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, we rise at dawn to a beautiful sunrise nearly every day, and enjoy caring for our horses, pastures, and garden. Never a dull moment.”

Finally, a Yearbook entry that seems apt for our current political climate. William Nemir (CC): In the “Professional/Volunteer Career” section, he writes, “I spent much of my professional life advising publicly elected boards—helping them reconcile divergent views and find a way to keep working in the face of mounting political pressures. I saw both gratifying generosity of spirit and painful weakness of character in the process. Sometimes in the same people. It was an education.”

Until next time: please share any news you have so that I can post it on our class website and/or in these bimonthly class notes—or go ahead and post it directly on our Facebook Group.




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