YAM Notes: January/February 2008

If the October mini-reunion in New York orchestrated by Ed and Sue Greenberg was even remotely a preview of our 50th, which Ed is also running, then we are in for a whale of a 50th. The Greenbergs put together a truly memorable three days, beginning Thursday evening with cocktails at the Yale Club and ending Sunday noon with brunch at the University Club, and in between a dazzling array of walking tours showcasing New York’s historical sights (including the downtown neighborhoods where waves of immigrants first settled), visits to museums and galleries, a football game against Columbia (for those who dared), a festive dance on Friday night and a spectacular dinner cruise around Manhattan on Saturday night.

The weather was mainly dismal, until Saturday evening, but nobody seemed to mind very much. I counted more than 80 classmates, most with spouses and significant others, for a total crowd of well over 150, our largest mini-reunion ever. Somehow we squeezed in a Class Council meeting, to continue our reunion planning, and formally anointed Sandy Weiner as the editor of the 50th reunion book, a thankless task that is now in good hands.

It was also a chance for your corresponding secretary to catch up with lots of people, whose doings will be reported in future issues. Two other classmates, however, definitely deserve notice here — Herb Rule, who flew all the way from Arkansas for one night and for one purpose, to witness the investiture of Joe Staley as his successor as the class’s representative to the Association of Yale Alumni. Herb, who also ran our 45th Reunion, has done a wonderful job for our class and for Yale, and Joe, one of our hosts at the Santa Fe reunion, and another smooth guy from south of the Mason-Dixon line, is the perfect choice to succeed him.

Dick Lightfoot sent me news of Steve Adams, including something from last year I had missed entirely, probably because Steve is one of those very successful people who prefer to stay quietly below the radar and, since his companies are private, has no need to beat the drum on Wall Street. The Alumni Association at Stanford University, where Steve received his business degree after Yale, honored him with its 2006 Arbuckle Award, its highest honor. An accompanying press release from the university noted that the entire group of Adams Companies would rank 150th on the Forbes list of privately held firms if it were a single company.

Meanwhile, Steve and his wife Denise continue to add to their vineyard holdings, which now number eight in Bordeaux. Dick and Judy visited one of them following an AYA trip last summer to Normandy. Dick advises that we be on the lookout for the 2005 Chateau Fonplegade St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe, which is being released right about now. Check the Adams Wine Group for further details

Jack Maresca, who has been doing his best to bring business investment to some of the world’s poorest countries, has been named Rector and CEO (a great combo title) of the University for Peace, which was established by the United Nations in 1980 and has its main campus in the hills near San Jose, Costa Rica.The university runs various programs around the world and offers degrees international law, sustainable development, human rights gender conflict and other subjects related to world peace. Jack’s objective is to expand the university’s reach around the world. Though Jack is on the road all the time, and is continuously fundraising for one noble purpose or another, he maintains a residence in Geneva, and continues as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Business Humanitarian Forum, which is currently running projects in Afghanistan, Jordan, Southern Africa and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In October, the Yale Athletic Department announced that the annual men’s lacrosse tournament, a jamboree of various teams, would be renamed the Christian Prince Memorial Tournament to honor the memory of Christian Prince, son of Ted and Sally Prince. Christian, a standout lacrosse player and a universally admired young man, was killed on the Yale campus in the winter of 1991. A scholarship was endowed in his memory not long after his death.

With great sadness we report the death of one of most generous and loyal classmates, Alan Friedman, who died in New York on Oct. 28, shortly after receiving a kidney transplant. Alan had hoped to attend the mini-reunion and throw a party in his Riverdale home after the Columbia game, as he has in the past. But when he heard that a kidney had become available, he went immediately to the hospital, where what appeared to have been a successful operation went somehow wrong. Herb Hallas spoke at the memorial service in New York, along with Alan’s three daughters — Wendy, Kathryn and Amy– and Ed Greenberg and Ben Gertz were among those who attended. Alan’s wife Carolyn can be reached at her home, 474 West 246th Street, Bronx, NY, 10471. Donations can be made in Alan’s memory to an organization he helped found after receiving a liver transplant many years ago, Transplant Recipients International Organization, Manhattan Chapter, P.O. Box 122, Throgs Neck Station, Bronx N.Y. 10461.