Alumni Notes: March/April 2016

A Save the Date card arrived reminding our household of the next mini-reunion,in Seattle, Sept.14-17. Fabulous meals, a tour of Lake Washington and the Space Needle, a visit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and much, much more. Consider this another reminder; indeed, your registration material should have arrived by now. Check the refurbished class website for further details.Once again, it’s at

From Peter Pastreich comes a note summarizing where he’s been and where he’s at as he reflects on a near-lifetime devoted to the care and feeding of symphony orchestras. Peter retired in 1999 after 22 years as Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony, and spent the next decade consulting with orchestras and arts organizations in the U.S. and Europe, After one final full-time post as Executive Director of the Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Peter has been almost wholly occupied with consulting and with mediating labor disputes in about a dozen orchestra and opera company labor negotiations. He and his wife now divide their time between Sausalito and Provence. To whom does he give credit for such a fruitful career? The late Keith Wilson, who asked Peter to serve as tour manager of the Yale University band a million or so years ago.

Dick Posner has occupied plenty of space in this column over the years, not least because he had occupied plenty of space elsewhere — in his many books (sixty-four since 1973, counting new editions), and in his many opinions during roughly 35 years as a highly respected member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which encompasses Illinois, Indiana and Wlsconsin. Here, though, comes another excellent summary of his protean career, this one by a legal expert and writer I happen to know — Lincoln Caplan, who served with me on the Editorial Board of the New York Times and is himself married to an appeals court judge. The piece appears in the January-February issue of Harvard Magazine and is accessible online. It cannot be easily summarized here but it is well worth reading — fascinating as biography (Dick was only 16 when he arrived as a freshman in New Haven, I discovered, and among his main interests was William Butler Yeats) and impressively detailed as to Dick’s philosophy, his contributions to legal theory and his trenchant criticisms of the judiciary, including, most pointedly, the Supreme Court. .

One of our most reliable correspondents over the years, and now, it appears, one of our most durable, has been Craig Lewellyn, who retired a few years back after a distinguished medical career, much of it in emergency military preparedness, to what he anticipated would be a somewhat quieter life in a townhouse in West Palm Beach. Then came quadruple cardiac bypass surgery, followed by three month of rehab, his 56th wedding anniversary, and a more or less seamless return to biking, kayaking, surfing with his son Scott in Baja and making music on his alto and baritone saxophones.

This month’s roll call:

Rolf Clark, naval officer and teacher, died recently in Fort Lauderdale. Rolf had an amazing childhood. His parents, Gertrude and Hans, formed a vaudeville act that toured the world; Rolf and his sister Lucie rounded out the act performing gymnastic stunts. The family came to the United States one jump ahead of Hitler, and settled eventually in California, where his mother got remarried to a Yosemite ranger. An outdoorsman and excellent skier, Rolf went to Exeter on full scholarship and then to Yale, after which came a 20-year career as an officer in the Navy. After that came a series of teaching posts at the graduate level in and around Washington. He took up tennis in his 40’s and actually wrote a book on the subject, called Breakthrough Tennis. He is survived by his sister Lucie and two children, Kelly and Robert, who alerted me to his death.

We also lost Joseph Richey, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Joe was a founder, senior executive and director of several companies in the Cleveland area, chiefly Invacare, a leading manufacturer of medical devices.. He was active in civic affairs and was a trustee of two distinguished institutions, Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland Clinic. His wife predeceased him, and he is survived by four children.

As a final note, I want to commend the editor of this magazine, Kathrin Day Lassila, for her measured article in the last issue of the YAM that brought much-needed reporting, balance and perspective to the recent disturbances at Yale.