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Children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman '63LLB accepted the Yale Law School Association Award of Merit on October 9 and spoke the next day at Sunday morning worship in Battell Chapel. Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, criticized America’s record in caring for its children, citing the dangers of firearms and widespread child poverty. Noting the billions spent on national defense, she said, “What’s the sense in protecting [children] from the enemy without when they are being killed every day from the guns within?”



Speaking as a Chubb Fellow on October 7, George Pataki '67, the Republican governor of New York, used his address to explain his party’s concept of “compassionate conservatism.” Pataki argued that despite the popular perception that liberal policies are more compassionate, New York’s poor suffered during what he called “a 20-year unfettered experiment in liberal government” before he was elected in 1994.




He’s best known to Yale students as Will Smith’s Uncle Phil on the situation comedy Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but James Avery is also a noted Shakespearean actor. Avery, who talked about his life and work at a Branford College master’s tea on October 19, was at the Long Wharf Theatre to star in an all-African American production of Much Ado About Nothing, set during the Harlem Renaissance.



Former provost Judith Rodin, who is now president of the University of Pennsylvania, returned as a Chubb Fellow on October 12 to advocate a role for universities as “exemplars of a new kind of civic engagement.” She said universities should incorporate public service into academic programs and promote dialogue with the community beyond the campus. “We can only create real, solid community by debating—even arguing—with each other over important matters,” said Rodin, “not by ignoring or suppressing them, especially when we disagree.”




Jonathan E. Soderstrom has been named the third director of Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, which oversees the commercial development of research discoveries made at Yale. Soderstrom, who has been the office’s associate director since 1996, succeeds Gregory Gardiner. Soderstrom was with Lockheed Martin Energy Systems and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory before coming to Yale. He says the office can improve on its record of converting research breakthroughs into revenue-producing licensing agreements. “We are nowhere near our potential,” he says.


Close-Up: Joyce Maynard ’75


Joyce Maynard

While answering questions at an Ezra Stiles College master’s tea on November 3, Joyce Maynard '75 paused and reached for a loose-leaf binder beside her. “I’ve never done this before, and I will never do it again,” she said, “but at Yale, I’ll do it.” She went on to read to about 100 listeners the first letter she received from author J.D. Salinger, beginning a correspondence that would lead her to quit Yale after her freshman year and move in with Salinger, who was then 53 years old, in New Hampshire.

Maynard, the author of several books, is best known for her latest memoir, At Home In the World, in which she wrote for the first time of her year with Salinger. The book was savaged by critics and op-ed writers who felt she had violated Salinger’s famously guarded privacy.

The product of an alcoholic family, Maynard was precocious intellectually but sheltered socially. While a freshman at Yale, she wrote a cover story for the New York Times Magazine about her generation. It was that article that prompted Salinger’s letter, which praised her talent and urged her to be wary of those who would exploit it. “It was as if Holden Caulfield was speaking just to me,” said Maynard.

After her year with Salinger and a subsequent time alone in New Hampshire, Maynard returned to Yale briefly in 1974 to act in a play and live in Ezra Stiles (though she never enrolled again as a student). She went on to get married and divorced, raise three children, and write prolifically. Unlike Salinger, she has lived a decidedly public life, writing frequently about herself and hosting a Web site (www.joycemaynard.com) with a devoted following. As Salinger told her, bitterly, when she saw him for the first time in 20 years, “The problem with you, Joyce, is you love the world.”  the end


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