The Yale Alumni Magazine is owned and operated by Yale Alumni Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation independent of Yale University.
The content of the magazine and its website is the responsibility of the editors and does not necessarily reflect the views of Yale or its officers.
The surprise announcement late last year that provost Alison Richard was leaving Yale to become the vice chancellor of Cambridge University touched off a flurry of new appointments that have dramatically changed the face of the University’s top administration.
Less than a month after Richard’s announcement, President Richard Levin named Susan Hockfield, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, to be the new provost. Then, a scant three weeks later, came the news that Peter Salovey, chairman of the psychology department, would serve as the new dean of the Graduate School.
Levin had the highest praise for all three scholars and expressed confidence that the new appointments would only build upon and enhance the accomplishments of those who formerly held the positions.
Noting Richard’s skill in balancing the University’s budget and achieving more faculty diversity during her tenure as provost, Levin said, “She inspires us all by her unwavering commitment to excellence and her unfailing good judgment. She listens, she cares, she reflects, and she acts with a decisiveness based on both reason and compassion.”
Richard joined the Yale faculty in 1972. She chaired the anthropology department from 1986 to 1991 and was the director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History from 1990 to 1994. During her nine years as provost, the University recovered from a series of multimillion-dollar deficits, and austerity measures such as deferred maintenance and a faculty cap were lifted. Her fiscal management skills were surely attractive to the overseers of Cambridge, a university that is dealing with an annual deficit of roughly $15 million.
Though Levin left little doubt that Richard’s departure from Yale is a big loss, he expressed deep confidence in her successor, Susan Hockfield. “She has been a remarkably effective leader of the Graduate School and has fostered an unprecedented sense of community within it,” he said. “Susan has built an impressive array of programs to serve the needs of students and helped to strengthen graduate programs throughout the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine.”
Hockfield came to Yale in 1985 and was named a full professor of neurobiology in 1994. Four years later, Levin appointed her dean of the Graduate School, where she took the initiative in improving the quality of life for graduate students. These steps included extending stipend, tuition, and health care support; creating a monthly Graduate School newsletter; establishing a matriculation ceremony to welcome new students; and creating an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
In naming Salovey to succeed Hockfield, Levin praised the psychology professor’s “special talent for bringing out the best in people” and in “fostering collaboration.” He called Salovey an “inspired teacher” and “devoted mentor” who has won awards for his pedagogical skills.
Salovey, who got his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, did his graduate study at Yale. He completed his doctoral work in the department of psychology and joined the faculty in 1986. He has served as chairman of the psychology department for the past two and a half years. Salovey’s appointment marks the first time a past president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate has become Graduate School dean.
Salovey started his new job immediately. Hockfield’s appointment became effective on January 1, and Richard is on sabbatical in Madagascar, where she studies lemurs, before starting her new job this fall.
Campus Debates Israel Divestment
First it was South Africa, then the tobacco industry. Now, there’s a new divestment debate roiling on campus: Should Yale sell its shares of companies that do business in Israel?
The grassroots divestment movement, which has been percolating at universities around the country since last spring, is now starting to gain some traction at Yale, where two groups of students and faculty are calling on Yale to exert its economic leverage on the Israeli government to change its policies toward the Palestinians.
“The whole premise of Israel is built on the illegal occupation of the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza, which it has the power to do because of the backing of the United States and U.S. corporations,” says Sam Bernstein '05, a member of the Yale chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
Bernstein sees strong similarities between Israel today and South Africa 20 years ago. “Israel is an apartheid state based on Zionism,” he says. “There are many parallels between the treatment of blacks under apartheid and the exclusion of Palestinians from mainstream life by the Israeli government.”
Another student group known as the Yale Divest from Israel Campaign has launched a petition drive, calling on the University to sell all its holdings in Israel. The petition and a Web site, www.yaledivestnow.org, were announced in November in a paid advertisement in the Yale Daily News.
On the opposite side is Yale Friends of Israel (www.yaledontdivest.org), an equally passionate student group that denounces divestment as a means to achieve peace. “It is an immoral and completely illegitimate way for them to delegitimize the nation of Israel,” says Emily Scharfman '05, co-president of the group. “Anyone who knows the facts knows there’s no apartheid in Israel. That’s not a sound argument.”
So where does the Yale administration stand? “The University has faith in the guidelines that have been adopted [to respond to divestment requests],” says Yale spokesman Thomas Conroy.
A key step in that process is for a group to present its case before the University’s Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility. School of Management professor William Goetzmann, who chairs the committee, says that Israel divestment forces made a preliminary presentation last April. If the group makes a more formal presentation this year, Goetzmann says, he will convene a broad-based meeting to allow speakers on all sides of the issue to air their views. The committee would then make a recommendation to the Corporation, which has the final say on all divestment issues.
Whiffs Perform for Pretend Prez
The Whiffenpoofs may have to consider adopting a new anthem. After four days of hair stylists and make-up artists, socializing with television stars, and performing for an audience of 115 million, it might be hard for them to sing “We are poor little lambs who have lost our way” with straight faces any more.
Last December, the venerable a cappella singing group appeared on a holiday episode of the NBC series The West Wing in which the gentlemen songsters were snowed in at the fictional White House of president Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen). Portions of three of their songs were heard on the soundtrack, including an extended rendition of “O Holy Night” that played over a closing montage.
“It was phenomenal, amazing, and wonderful,” says Whiffenpoof Kevin Sladek about the experience. Fellow Whiff Courtney Williams was equally giddy. “Allison Janney is ridiculously nice,” he says, referring to the actress who plays press secretary C.J. Cregg. “She’s the most elegant, glamorous person I’ve seen in my life.”
The feelings of awe, it seems, were mutual. When the group arrived at the studio, Sladek says, they were warmly greeted by the show’s creator and producer Aaron Sorkin, who told them, “This invitation to come on The West Wing might be big for you guys, but however big it is for you, it’s much bigger for us.”
As they prepared to return to New Haven, the Whiffs tapped Sorkin and Sheen as honorary members. Williams said Sheen took delight in the fact that while he was now a Whiffenpoof, “the real president, who actually went to Yale, wasn’t.”
Nonprofit Center Moves to SOM
In 1977, when Yale’s Program on Nonprofit Organizations (PONPO) was launched, the term “nonprofit,” let alone any deep understanding of how such groups fit into the economic mainstream, barely existed.
But that’s all changed. Last October, PONPO moved from its former home at the Divinity School to SOM, where it became part of the new Nonprofit Management Center.
“It seemed like a natural step to move PONPO to the School of Management,” says Sharon Oster, an SOM professor who will co-direct the new program with deputy dean Stan Garstka. “We already have a reputation of commitment to nonprofit ventures, so it made sense to create one sizeable program at SOM.”
“If all goes well, it could be a wonderful thing,” agrees former PONPO director Peter Dobkin Hall. “I certainly don’t think it could be in better hands.”
This isn’t a claim Hall would have made a quarter of a century ago. In the early days, he says, the group’s relationship with the University was less than ideal. “PONPO had an international reputation, but nobody at Yale knew we existed,” he says. Still, the program’s researchers managed to do groundbreaking work that led to much of the basic literature on the nonprofit field.
Founded by University President Kingman Brewster, political economist Charles Lindblom, and law professor John Simon, PONPO was the first academic center in the world to sponsor basic research on philanthropy, voluntarism, and nonprofit organizations. Initially headquartered at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, PONPO has inspired the creation of more than 100 similar organizations around the country.
Oster says the program’s research mission won’t change, but its scope will become more international and will encompass a wider range of institutions in the nonprofit sector. “This is consistent with the direction Yale has taken as an increasingly global institution, and also a recognition of the role of nongovernmental organizations in contemporary society,” she says.
PONPO represents only a portion of the new Nonprofit Management Center. The rest comes from a $4.5 million grant from the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts to launch business ventures designed to help philanthropic organizations generate outside revenue.
Library to House Saarinen Papers
Few architects are more strongly linked to Yale than the late Eero Saarinen (1910–1961), who studied, taught, and built at the University. Such a connection made Saarinen a natural subject for a new effort by the University Library to acquire papers and drawings by prominent architects. Some 600 tubes of Saarinen’s drawings, along with project specifications, personal files, and photographs, are currently being catalogued after having been given to the Library recently by Saarinen’s successor firm, Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates of Hamden.
The new acquisitions complement a collection of papers and records that Saarinen’s wife had given to the Library in 1971. The collection provides a detailed look at the creative process of a man that School of Architecture dean Robert A. M. Stern calls “the most artistically adventurous architect of his generation.” Besides his well-known works at Yale—Ingalls Rink and Ezra Stiles and Morse colleges—Saarinen was acclaimed as the architect of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and the TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Richard Szary, the University Archivist, says the acquisition is part of an effort to collect papers of architects with Yale connections. “Our collections in the arts have always come in serendipitously,” he says. “We wanted to get more focused and more detailed in our documentation of the arts at Yale.” Szary says Stern has been working actively with alumni to secure donations of not only papers from their practice but also their student work.
Teachers Institute Turns 25
The Yale–New Haven Teachers Institute had a lot to celebrate at a November 13 gala benefit at the Omni Hotel. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Institute, which is the country’s oldest sustained partnership between a University and its home community designed to improve teaching in public schools. In addition, the event honored Howard Lamar, the former Yale President who has played a major role in the Institute’s success since he helped establish it in 1977.
To date, more than 500 New Haven teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels have taken part in the Institute’s seminars, which are led by Yale faculty. The teachers use the seminars—and their access to Yale’s libraries—to create curricula for their classrooms. In 1998, the Institute received a major grant from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund to help establish similar partnerships in Pittsburgh, Houston, Albuquerque, and Santa Ana- Anaheim, California
Calvin Trillin '57 served as master of ceremonies for the event. The evening’s most anticipated speaker, though, was actor and education advocate Bill Cosby, who issued a challenge to the Institute and the University to improve public schools. “How do you grade a teacher where the system is an 'F'?” asked Cosby, referring to “lower economic dungeons” where students struggle with basic learning.
“We have to put more soldiers out there, not more money,” he said. “We are teachers. We are people who get up at four in the morning because some child doesn’t 'get it' and we are trying to figure out what 'it' is.”
Cardboard and garbage bags on the windows keep out the draft in the small mat room on the fifth floor of Payne Whitney Gymnasium, where members of the Yale wrestling team practice every weekday afternoon. Some days, when 10 or 12 wrestlers crowd in, space is at a premium. On other days, though, the room suits just fine the 3 or 4 who make it to practice.
The varying turnout is normal for a club sport, a status the team has held since being cut from the varsity ranks in 1990 to help Yale comply with Title IX, a federal law requiring gender equity in college athletics. As a club sport, the wrestlers lack the visibility of Yale’s varsity teams, but they have achieved successes that almost any Yale team would envy. In 1998, they won the national championship in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association—a mixture of student-run clubs and young varsity programs. Yale wrestlers are routinely named All-Americans in the NCWA, among them Kevin McGill '02, 2001 national champion in the 184-pound weight class, and David Farrell '03, third nationally in the 285-pound class.
While some, like Farrell, have been wrestling since high school, the club team also invites novices to join. Ryan Bonfiglio, who was the volunteer coach last year before becoming the coach at Princeton, said some of his greatest successes occurred with the team’s least experienced members. “When you get them out on the mat winning matches against guys with experience, that is a great feeling,” he said.
But while the opportunities for neophytes and the flexible degree of commitment are advantages of club status, the team also faces regular scheduling, transportation, and money problems. “If [Yale] ever wanted to be serious about wrestling, to be successful on a consistent basis, it would have to be a varsity sport,” says former captain Farrell, who was a first team All-Ivy offensive lineman in football.
Yale’s wrestlers have tried unsuccessfully to reclaim their varsity status over the past decade. Their situation is not unique: Because so many Division I schools have cut varsity wrestling in order to comply with Title IX, the National Wrestling Coaches Association has sued the Department of Education over its enforcement of Title IX. (The Yale Wrestling Association, an alumni support group, is among the plaintiffs.) As a result, the Bush administration has appointed a commission that will review the enforcement of Title IX.
Changes to Title IX enforcement could have sweeping effects on college athletics, but for now, Yale’s wrestlers get by without varsity status and the benefits it confers. Farrell and his teammates continue to practice their sport in relative anonymity.
“It is the hardest sport I have ever done, by far,” says Farrell, who risks injury and the ire of his football coaches each time he takes to the mat. “At the end of the match, when you stand up from the mat and your body is aching and sweating, but you’re victorious, that’s when you know it’s worth it.”
Yale Precision Marching Band member Kathryn Dana '05 carried a Seussian sousaphone at the Harvard game.
Yale administrators may have decided the University’s early admissions policy needed changing, but a record number of applicants took advantage of Yale’s binding early decision program in its final year. The admissions office reported a 23 percent increase in early-decision applications over last year. Yale will switch to a non-binding program next year.
Seniors Chesa Boudin and Prateek Tandon are Oxford-bound next year: The two were among this year’s 32 Rhodes Scholars. Boudin also received a Marshall Scholarship, as did Keira Driansky and Kristina Weaver.
Two students and six University employees were arrested, but it was the Yale–New Haven Hospital police that got slapped on the wrist. First, the state’s attorney’s office dropped trespassing charges against the eight, who were arrested while handing out union pamphlets at the hospital. Then the city’s police commission moved to revoke the constables' arrest powers as a result of the incident, a decision that Mayor John Destefano Jr. is expected to uphold. The arrests occurred amid a union organizing effort at the hospital.
New Haven-area residents are increasingly happy with the Elm City. According to a study commissioned by Market New Haven, a marketing partnership between the city and Yale, 47 percent of residents polled have a positive impression of New Haven, up from 35 percent four years ago.
Swedish meatballs and furniture with names like “Poang” and “Bror” may soon be within easy reach of the campus. The low-budget, high-design Swedish retailer IKEA plans to build a store at Long Wharf on the site where a shopping mall was slated to go before it was scrapped last year.
Tom Cole and Denise Majette joined the ranks of Yale alumni in Congress last month. Here is a post-midterm election look at Yale graduates in office:
Home at last: The men’s basketball team emerged with a 5-5 record after spending the first two months of its season in non-conference road games. Among the highlights were winning the Phoenix Classic tournament and beating Manhattan at Madison Square Garden.
Freshman volleyball player Jacqueline Becker was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year in December. The Newport Beach, California, native is the fifth Eli to win the award.
Twin sisters Kate and Laura O'Neill '03 won first and second place, respectively, in the 5,000-meter race at the Northeastern Invitational in December. Their times made them eligible for the NCAA Indoor Championship in March.
Men’s hockey coach Tim Taylor notched his 300th win on December 28 as the Bulldogs beat Bowling Green 5-1.
©1992–2012, Yale Alumni Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Yale Alumni Magazine, P.O. Box 1905, New Haven, CT 06509-1905, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org