Alumni Notes: January/February 2015

Thanks, as usual, to Al and Peggy Atherton for a great party that warmed us inside and out following a cold, cold afternoon at the Bowl watching Yale defeat Princeton. Their house on Bradley Street, once you find it, is one of residential New Haven’s gems, once occupied by former president Charles Seymour and, later, by Alison and and Duke Henning, the master of Saybrook during our time. Al had gathered some fellow Whiffenpoofs from 1954 and 1959 to serenade us, including Al, Ed Greenberg and George Buchanan. On hand, most with their wives, were the gameday regulars and some others, including Herb Hallas, Bob Ittner, George Piroumoff (back with Rose from their new home in Texas), Bob Ittner, Charles Griffith, Ben Gertz and , of course, our durable Class Secretary, Joe Staley. I know there were others but I wasn’t taking notes.

Earlier in the day, much earlier, Joe had presided over a Class Council meeting where we were introduced to this year’s recipients of The Class of 1959 Fund For Excellence awards, which are modest grants that support Calhoun students in summertime and extracurricular ventures they would not otherwise be able to afford and are not underwritten by Yale. Among other activities, selected students a partcipated an investment seminar in Boston, a conference on AIDS in Peru, a global debating championship in India, and the World Economic Forum in Davos. There were nine recipients in all.

There was some interesting business transacted, including discussion of another possible mini-reuniuon, this one in Seattle. More on that in a later column.

Winston Lord was on hand for the game, having delivered a speech the night before on China hosted by the Yale China Economic Forum. Winston, the first U.S. ambassador to the Peoples Republic, and retired president of the theCouncil on Foreign relations, had just returned from a trip to China, Japan and Singapore.

Just as I was about to push the “send” button on these notes I had word from Charlie Hoyt that Fred VanderKloot’s colleagues on the Yale Record are in the early stages of creating an award in Fred’s memory that will recognize especially meritorious service to the Yale Record, where Fred was a stalwart. The “Kloot Award” was announced by another Record alumnus, Don Watson, at Fred’s memorial service at the Yale Club in late October. Original funding has been provided by Charlie, Don and Dyer Wadsworth. There will be more on this excellent idea in a later issue. The three founders will be reaching out to former editors and officials at the Record as well as other classmates.

Speaking of Don Watson, who keeps getting prizes of one sort or another, he recently received the American Solar Energy Society’s Pioneer Award for his contributions to “sustainable architecture” including, of course solar-powered buildings. Don has been writing about an advising on the subject for more than four decades.

Pete Elebash, who a few years ago departed the real estate game in Millbrook, N.Y., for the warmer and gentler breezes of West Palm Beach, has written an autobiography, “The Last Resort,” available e on and, both paperback and e-books. You can Google the book title and Pete and get a fix on it there. The book traces Pete’s journey from Florence, Ala., to Choate and to Yale (there is no way to overstate the shock of coming from the small-town South to a boarding school in the Northeast,” he writes) — and then goes on to chronicle the rest of his life. “It is an adventure story, fast-paced and outlining the perilous path I tread for many many years. It is a wonder that I have lived to see my 78th birthday.” This news, too, came just the other day, so I have not read the book.But given the author’s come-on (and irrepressible personality) , I certainly will.

Ed Norton, who had a distinguished career as a lawyer and government servant, died of colon cancer at a hospice center in Washington on Aug. 28. The son of a letter carrier in New York who pushed his sons to excellence, Ed later graduated from Columbia Law School, served in the Navy, worked at private law firms, served in high positions at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration and became an important civic leader in the District of Columbia. He was married until the early 1990’s to Eleanor Holmes Norton, a prominent civil rights lawyer and head of the U>S> Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Jimmy Carter. Ed, an immensely attractive and interesting guy, had many Yale friends in the Washington and New York areas. Our condolences to his son, John, and his daughter, Katherine.