Monday, April 30, 2012
A quarter century on, Yale & New Haven have been renewed and rebuilt. Our classmate Michael Morand has been in the thick of campus and community renaissance as Yale's associate vice president for New Haven affairs and now as the University's deputy chief communications officer. He'll lead us on a tour of old Yale now renewed, new Yale inconceivable in 1987, and the rebuilt fabric of New Haven, focused on the residential colleges, Broadway, the dramatic transformation of Yale & the Dixwell neighborhood, Ingalls Rink, the new residential college site, Science Hill & Hillhouse Avenue, and the new.
Meet on Broadway outside the Apple Store near the Yale Bookstore.
Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
We will try to post the figures next Monday -- if you register now you might be able to move your college up the rankings!
With reunion just a few weeks away, some of you may still be thinking about whether you should join the hundreds of classmates who have already registered. We thought it might be helpful if we shared our thoughts on what our 25th Reunion is, and is not, about.
First what it is not about. Reunion is not about accomplishments and accolades, or who has attained fame and fortune. And, reunion is not about measuring how life has stacked up to the dreams we had 25 years ago. All of us have had struggles and disappointments. We have not met a classmate who contends that their life has turned out just as they had planned. We have all lived enough life to know that we must cherish the good times and find the strength to endure the more challenging times.
Next, what it is about. At its core, Reunion is about people -- reconnecting with friends and classmates who share a common bond. It's about finding out what kinds of lives others have built, what they have overcome, what they have done to grow, what passions they have pursued and where they are going next. That's what so interesting and exciting about seeing our classmates again.
When everyone sees each other a few weeks from now at Reunion, we will no doubt be tempted to focus on the basic questions that help us peg where each other are -- where do you live? what do you do for a living? do you have kids? etc. These questions are natural, and are a lot like the questions we asked all those many years ago during Freshman year -- where are you from? where did you go to high school? what college are you in? Ultimately, though, we didn't make friends with people, we didn't get to really know those we got to know, based on these basic questions. We got to know our friends because of what kind of people they were, what passions they followed, and whether they could make us laugh or think or grow -- and that is precisely what we should be thinking about when we go to Reunion.
That is why we have worked to put together a great reunion; and, that is why we would really like to see everyone there.
We really do hope to see you at Reunion. Log on to www.aya.yale.edyu/reunions and register today. We will all be glad you did.
Lisa, Tim and Darcy
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Class of 2012,
I became sick of commencement speeches at about your age. My first job out of college was writing speeches for the governor of Maine. Every spring, I would offer extraordinary tidbits of wisdom to 22-year-olds—which was quite a feat given that I was 23 at the time. In the decades since, I've spent most of my career teaching economics and public policy. In particular, I've studied happiness and well-being, about which we now know a great deal. And I've found that the saccharine and over-optimistic words of the typical commencement address hold few of the lessons young people really need to hear about what lies ahead. Here, then, is what I wish someone had told the Class of 1988:
1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings. Look around today. Certainly one benchmark of your postgraduation success should be how many of these people are still your close friends in 10 or 20 years.
2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. I'll spare you my personal details, other than to say that one year after college graduation I had no job, less than $500 in assets, and I was living with an elderly retired couple. The only difference between when I graduated and today is that now no one can afford to retire.
3. Don't make the world worse. I know that I'm supposed to tell you to aspire to great things. But I'm going to lower the bar here: Just don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up. Too many smart people are doing that already. And if you really want to cause social mayhem, it helps to have an Ivy League degree. You are smart and motivated and creative. Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. They are right, but remember that "changing the world" also can include things like skirting financial regulations and selling unhealthy foods to increasingly obese children. I am not asking you to cure cancer. I am just asking you not to spread it.
4. Marry someone smarter than you are. When I was getting a Ph.D., my wife Leah had a steady income. When she wanted to start a software company, I had a job with health benefits. (To clarify, having a "spouse with benefits" is different from having a "friend with benefits.") You will do better in life if you have a second economic oar in the water. I also want to alert you to the fact that commencement is like shooting smart fish in a barrel. The Phi Beta Kappa members will have pink-and-blue ribbons on their gowns. The summa cum laude graduates have their names printed in the program. Seize the opportunity!
5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. Yet the message we are sending from birth is that if you don't make the traveling soccer team or get into the "right" school, then you will somehow finish life with fewer points than everyone else. That's not right. You'll never read the following obituary: "Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place."
6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.
7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Great quote, but I am willing to bet that Teddy's mother wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer.
8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it's also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship. That's just not how we usually think of it.
9. It's all borrowed time. You shouldn't take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. I offer you the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.
10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
Good luck and congratulations.
— Adapted from "10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said," by Charles Wheelan. To be published May 7 by W.W. Norton & Co.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
On Saturday, May 12, more than 4,000 Yale alumni, staff, students, family, and friends will make a difference in their local communities across the United States and around the world as part of the fourth global Yale Day of Service.
Service for society is a core tradition at Yale, both among students in New Haven and with generations of alumni and friends around the country and across the globe. The Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) has been organizing and supporting this worldwide mission with the annual day of service since 2009.
This year, Yale alumni will gather in service at hundreds of sites. Many of these projects are catalysts for ongoing community service by alumni throughout the year. All Yale students, staff, faculty, family, and friends are invited to participate. Site and registration information can be found online at www.yaledayofservice.org.
The program includes work with community partners in 36 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, as well as sites in Nigeria, Switzerland, Japan, China, India, the Netherlands, Canada, Israel, Australia, Germany, Cameroon, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ghana, and the Netherlands. Examples of a few of the nearly 200 sites include:
- In the Dominican Republic, volunteers will work with the Saint George School in Santo Domingo and Yspaniola, a Yale student organization-turned-nonprofit that helps marginalized Batey communities of Dominicans and Haitians in the Dominican Republic empower themselves through university scholarships, leadership training and community development.
- Among the many sites in greater Los Angeles, the Yale Club of Southern California will be registering people in the Be the Match national bone marrow registry as part of “Mandi’s Challenge” in honor of Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011).
- Volunteers in New Haven will volunteer at East Rock Park, in addition to work at a dozen other sites.
- The Yale Club of Boston’s sites include wok with The Harvest Food Pantry in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a nonprofit that offers a fully-stocked clothes closet and gives away close to two tons of free food a month.
What kind of music will you be playing at Reunion? Curious minds want to know.
Deney Terrio and the Solid Gold Dancers (Class of '87)
Dear 80's Dancing Icons,
Thanks so much for the note. We will definitely have music at Reunion. It will be good music. Really good music. Music you can dance to. Music you can enjoy. Music you will know.
We are giving the DJs a simple rule: the Music should be from the 80s. Preferably nothing released after May 28, 1987.
And, we will be taking requests. So, please do pass along any special song you would particularly like to hear. We'll make sure that the DJs get the list.
Friday, April 27, 2012
In other words, we are on track to having one of the best attended 25th Reunions ever. Hope you can join in the fun!
Register now, by clicking here.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
What should I wear to Reunion? I want to look nice, but I also want to be comfortable.
Fashionable 40 Something
We completely understand. We have received a lot of questions about attire at reunions. Here are a few pointers:
- This is a party. It is supposed to be fun. Dress comfortably and be ready to have a good time.
We will welcome you whatever you are wearing.
- Here are some more concrete suggestions:
- Lunches: The lunches are in the tent on Old Campus. Think shorts, jeans, maybe a collared shirt, maybe not. For women, summer dresses might also fit the bill.
- Friday dinner: This is in the tent. What you wore during the day works just fine. Some might dress up a little bit, probably not a lot of ties. It is supposed to get a little cooler in the evening, too, so a sweater might be appropriate. Bring your dancing shoes.
- The Saturday dinner is in Commons. It will be a very nice event. Some may feel the desire to wear a coat and tie or a snazzy dress. Others, will be a bit more casual. Again, dancing shoes are a must.
- We have a guarantee from President Levin that there will be no rain, so no need for foul weather gear. (Seriously, check the weather by clicking here before you come.)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
To register, click here.
Click here for Do's and Don'ts
Click here for Remembering People's Names
Click here for Looking Fabulous at Reunion
Click here for Pictures from our Time at Yale
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Parents Magazine Launches Limited-Run "Parents Radio" Series on SiriusXM–Featuring Y87’s Diane Debrovner
Diane Debrovner is on the radio . . . click below for all the details
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Parents magazine today announced the launch of "Parents Radio," a limited-run six week series featuring top editors from Parents as well as a wide range of experts discussing thought-provoking parenting news, tackling common parenthood problems and offering expert advice on health, child behavior and family relationships. The show will include calls from parents across the country and listeners can also ask questions interactively via Facebook and Twitter.
Each week Parents Editor-in-Chief Dana Points and Deputy Editor Diane Debrovner will be joined by fellow mom, host and radio veteran Wesley Weissberg. Together, the three hosts have six kids worth of parenting experience to share via hilarious stories, honest and entertaining commiserating and "it worked for me" advice. Many of the show's topics will come directly from the pages of Parents, which reaches 15 million readers each month and another 4.5 million unique monthly visitors via Parents.com.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Thanks to the leadership of Darcy Troy Pollock, our reunion will be green this year, very green. Please click here to read how we will be making our reunion sustainable.
“We hope to instill in our students, staff and faculty a full understanding of what it means to be a part of a sustainable tomorrow. I look forward to having the entire Yale community join as we work to create a sustainable environment.”
President Richard Levin 2010
As many of you know, Kathy has been integral in the success of the AYA Strategic Plan by inspiring and motivating alumni to be “Ambassadors for Yale.” She is Chair of the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange -- having produced nearly all of the YaleGALE trips ‑ and has been a producer for the Yale Alumni Service Corp and the Yale Alumni Chorus. Kathy served as an officer on the AYA Board of Governors and has long served on the Council of the Yale Club of New York City, becoming the first women to serve as President of the Club in 2006 – 2008. In 2011 Kathy was awarded the Yale Medal for her outstanding service to Yale.
College Percentage of Registered Classmates
Although this isn't a competition, some colleges clearly have some work to do here.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
In the most dramatic way possible, my story has demonstrated the unprecedented reach of social media to bring about real change. But what pleases me most is that we now seem to be in the midst of a broader national conversation about what is in our food, how that information is disclosed, and whether corporations or consumers are best served by our regulatory agencies. It's my hope that the LFTB episode will lead to a demand for ever-greater transparency in our food supply, a development which is long overdue.How my 'pink slime' petition took off | Bettina Elias Siegel | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Friday, April 6, 2012
Read about James Esseks, our classmate, and the work he is doing for the LGBT community:
Every day is a day to celebrate James Esseks, director of the ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and AIDS Project. How could we not? He's wicked smart, strategic, organized and charming to boot.
But today there's even more reason to toot his horn. Last night, James was awarded the 2012 Community Vision Award from the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York. It is an award presented annually "to honor individuals or organizations with a distinguished record of service to the LGBT community, including a sustained commitment to achieving equal rights for all members of the LGBT community." It makes us proud to see James recognized for what he is; a true leader in the effort to achieve equal rights for the LGBT community.
New Haven, CT April 20-22, 2012
Preparations are under way for the second Yale Latino Alumni Reunion (YLAR2) to be held in New Haven, April 20 through April 22, 2012. We know that those of you who attended the first reunion can’t wait to come back and we’re excited about hosting those of you who were unable to make it the first time around. Your second chance to attend is finally here!
Home | latinoreunion.alumni.yale.edu
The Class of 1987’s own Tamar Gendler is the professor of one of Yale’s new open courses. Can’t wait to take Professor Gender’s class. Click below for more details!
Seven new Yale College courses — in subjects ranging from the great 20th-century American novelists and the philosophy of human nature to financial markets and organic chemistry — have been added to Open Yale Courses, the University's open educational initiative. The content for each of these courses is available for free to anyone with access to the Internet.
The seven courses, along with 35 posted previously, are featured on a redesigned website, which offers many new user-friendly options and is optimized for mobile devices. Participants may select courses by professor, course title, and recording date, and watch lecture videos directly from their browsers with the most up-to-date embedded video format. Chapters highlighting key lecture topics have been added to the videos and transcripts, allowing users to navigate forward and backward with greater ease.
Each course, recorded in its entirety as it was presented to Yale College students, is taught by one of the University's most distinguished faculty members. Open Yale Courses may be accessed at http://oyc.yale.edu/. The courses are available in high-definition video and audio formats, and they offer the experience of the Yale classroom. Closed captioning is provided for each course, as well as searchable transcripts, syllabi, reading assignments, problem sets, and other materials. Users have the option of downloading video and audio files of Open Yale Courses to follow at their convenience. No registration is required for these courses, and participants do not earn academic credit from Yale nor do they interact with the professors.
Open Yale Courses is one of the most frequently visited Yale websites. It has received over 3.8 million unique visits since its debut in December 2007 and has delivered over 40 million page views since May 2009. In an effort to increase accessibility and to allow faster downloading of the materials, Open Yale Courses media content is also available at Yale's YouTube and Apple iTunesU channels.
The material has been accessed approximately 27 million times through these channels alone. Apart from the United States, the greatest number of visitors to Open Yale Courses comes from China, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, Germany, Brazil, India, Russia, Australia, and Taiwan.
The new courses and their instructors are:
• “African American Studies 162: African American History: From Emancipation to the Present” (Jonathan Holloway, professor of history, African American studies, and American studies)
• “American Studies 246: Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald” (Wai Chee Dimock, the William Lampson Professor of English and American studies)
• “Chemistry 125b: Freshman Organic Chemistry II” (J. Michael McBride, the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Chemistry)
• “Economics 252: Financial Markets–2011” (Robert Shiller, the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics)
• “Geology and Geophysics 140: Atmosphere, Ocean, and Environmental Change” (Ronald Smith, the Damon Wells Professor of Geology and Geophysics)
• “History 210: The Early Middle Ages, 284-1000” (Paul H. Freedman, the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History)
• “Philosophy 181: Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature” (Tamar Gendler, professor of philosophy and cognitive science)