Alumni Notes: July/August 2014

These brief notes are written on deadline in the afterglow of a truly terrific 55th Reunion, three days of great music, good food and warm fellowship, masterfully orchestrated by the reunion co-chairs, Austin Hoyt and the late Fred VanderKloot. It was a consistently invigorating weekend, but any highlight reel would have to include the tour of the breathtaking renovations of the Yale Art Gallery; a Friday afternoon concert featuring chamber music performed by three student beneficiaries of Steve and Denise Adams’s fabulous 50th Reunion gift to the music school, as well as the legendary Contiguglia twins, John and Richard, still going strong 55 years later; and a well-attended and richly informative class panel showcasing the insights of Dick Celeste on the state of higher education, Alex Boyle on the challenges to U.S. competitiveness abroad, and Winston Lord on China.

Music has always been one of Yale’s signatures, and our weekend, was full of music, not just the twins but also the Whiffs, in fine voice night after night, and Alki Scopelitis, whose trio made Friday’s cocktails doubly refreshing, and the excellent Joe Holmes Swing Band, which almost blew all 138 of us (plus spouses and significant others) out of the JE Courtyard Saturday night.

Here’s a digital link for those who could not attend the concert: The password is YSMlistenlive. And here’s a link for the Yale Wretched, a charming parody of the old Yale Record by surviving editors Don Watson, Dick Bentley, Dyer Wadsworth, Evan Weisman and Bob Pellaton. They let me write for it.

Sunday morning’s memorial service, with Rabbi Bill Cutter once again superbly officiating, provided a touching if solemn coda to the proceedings. The names of those who have passed away since the last reunion were read out, including three who have not so far been noted here.

Fred VanderKloot died of a heart attack in his New York apartment one month before the reunion he helped put together with Austin. Fred had careers in real estate and investment banking, and a wonderful wife in Mim, who bravely attended the reunion. Fred was also a tireless friend of Yale, who represented the class on the AYA, chaired our mini-reunion in Chicago, served on the class council and helped forge our relationship with Calhoun College. A terrific guy and a great loss. Mim accepted a special award honoring his service. He is also survived by daughters Kathryn and Pamela.

A.J. Cronin died last year in New York after a long illness. The son and namesake of a hugely successful author, whose childhood included stops in Bel Air, Nantucket, New Canaan, Bermuda and France, carved out a distinguished career as an engineer at NASA and the Control Data Corporation, where he was director of government programs, and resided variously in Potomac, Md., Nantucket, the Bahamas and Mexico. He was a genial and generous soul with a great sense of humor, and an excellent golfer. He is survived by his widow, Anne, a daughter, Alexandra, and two sons.

Bill Krauter died in December of renal failure. Yet another Yale loyalist, he was the spark plug of the Tucson Yale Club, hosting an annual Yale-Columbia holiday party.Armed with an MBA from Columbia, Bill had a long career in the brokerage business and retired as a Vice President of UBS. He leaves his wife, Lenie, and a son, Michael.