Roger Rosenthal’s Report to the Class from the November 2013 AYA Assembly
March 22, 2014 in Essays, Events, Notes
Report to the Class of 1972 from the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) Assembly
From Roger Rosenthal, Class AYA Representative
Let me begin by saying how honored and flattered I was when our Class Secretary Rob Bildner asked me to represent the Class for the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) and the annual Assembly held each November. I very much look forward to this work on behalf of the Class and for Yale.
My first “duty” as the Class Representative involved attending the annual Assembly in New Haven which took place at the end of the week preceding this year’s Yale-Harvard Game. The Class was well-represented with Secretary Rob Bildner, Corresponding Secretary Bill Fowkes, and Treasurer Frank Krejci also in attendance. (During the Assembly, we also saw Jim Hartman, Rusty Pickett, and Connie Royster, who were representing their home alumni associations or various constituencies. Please forgive me if there were other class members in attendance who I failed to include here.)
I learned something that I had not known before and that is that each Assembly has a Theme. This year it was New Haven’s 375th Anniversary. The first day of the Assembly included lectures on New Haven’s first 375 years (it was the first planned city in America) and on New Haven today. The lectures were followed by an afternoon bus tour of the “new” New Haven, highlighting neighborhoods near campus and the impact of New Haven’s rapidly growing biotech industry. This was followed by breakout sessions on economic development in the city, public education, and the “student experience” in New Haven today. The changes in New Haven and Yale’s impact on the city are not without controversy, but the changes are quite striking compared to the period when we were in residence in New Haven. The evening featured the Yale Medal Dinner awarded to six individuals including former Yale President Richard Levin and his wife Jane Levin.
The second day of the Assembly began with a brief University update by President Salovey, followed by a very important session which featured many special projects undertaken by alumni groups and local chapters and clubs from around the country and the world. We saw videos or heard reports from many groups such as Yale Women, Yale Blue Green (which wants students and alumni to be inspired about the issue of environmental sustainability), Yale for Life, Yale Musical Theater of the Air, YaleGALE, and the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance, among many other groups. Projects presented included those undertaken by local alumni clubs (such as the “adoption” of an elementary school in a low income area of West Asheville by the Yale Alumni Association of Western North Carolina, the Community Service Summer Fellowship Program of the Yale Club of Washington, DC, and food related events and activities during Foodtober of the Yale Alumni Association of New York).
After that very interesting and energizing session, your class officers met for several hours at the Rose Alumni House to discuss and explore the possibility of the Class holding events in a variety of locations around the country and maybe an event that would bring together all members of the Class sooner than our more formal five year Reunion. Stay tuned for news on that front as it develops.
In the afternoon, your officers attended an AYA workshop on that very topic of class get-togethers—what activities Yale classes have undertaken between reunions bringing together class members in certain cities or holding a reunion in a central location for all members to assemble. Early that evening, I attended the AYA Volunteer Leadership Awards Reception and had a very enjoyable informal dinner at a local restaurant where I met a good number of other alumni from classes both earlier and later than ours.
Saturday morning Rob Bildner and I staffed the Class table at the Alumni Village before the Yale-Harvard Game. It was fun to see many of our classmates who attended The Game. The less said about the game the better, but it was great to be back in the Yale Bowl, which I had not visited in many years.
All in all, it was a very productive and interesting time in New Haven. I especially enjoyed getting to know a bit of the “new” New Haven, which during Reunions I do not really get to visit since our activities are centered on campus, as well as meeting other Yalies from a variety of different years. One of my reasons for accepting this position, aside from wanting to contribute to our Class and to Yale, was to get to see some of our classmates, other Yalies, and Yale itself a bit more often than just once every five years at Reunion. Your class officers are working to bring that opportunity to the whole Class through additional events in between reunions.
Best regards to all from the Class of 1972 and their families!
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