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1980 - 25th reunion

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2005 - Autumn


Our 25th reunion was graced by good weather and a good crowd. Twenty-one classmates came, many with their spouses, and some with children. We enjoyed the traditional clambake Friday night, the sherry lunch Saturday and a wonderful class dinner at the Quinnipiack Club. The dinner was made special as each classmate shared memories and updated the group on the events of their life over the last 25 years—it barely seems possible as most people looked very much the same.

The California contingent included Sittiporn Bencharit and wife Reylina. They have two children. Sittiporn has been happily engaged in a private GI practice for 18 years. He says, “Keep in touch, be here at the 50th and support the medical school.” Cesar Molina, irrepressible as ever, came with wife Linda from Los Altos. He has a satisfying career as a cardiologist and still meditates. He was eager to show photos of his two daughters. Of special note, Cesar has a winery for sale and he provided samples of his award-winning wine at the class dinner. Nancy Todes Taylor is assistant chief of dermatology with the Permanente Medical Group in San Rafael, Calif., where she does mostly laser, skin cancer and cosmetic dermatology. She and husband Graham have two children. She goes to Australia (where her husband comes from) “almost all the time.”

The mid-section of the country was represented by Walter Williams, who is a professor of radiology at University of Arizona Medical School. Walter had the honor of seeing one of his two sons, Steven Williams, M.D. ’98, finish this year as chief resident in plastic surgery at Yale. Walter also reports that he has a serious hobby as an amateur radio operator. Craig Brooks passed through at the class dinner and recounted some of his adventures working as an ER physician for Aramco in Saudi Arabia for the last 12 years. Craig, his wife, Agneta, and their two children are moving to Colorado (someone has to keep those ski slopes busy!).

From Miami came Eddie Alfonso, one of our stalwart class agents, and wife Molly along with one of their children, Eduardo. Eddie is busy as a professor at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Eddie and Molly have two other children, well into their 20s and engaged now in challenging careers. Patricia Brown, from Bethesda, Md., has experienced a number of transitions this year. “With the death of my father, I’m now a middle-aged orphan.” Another change has been taking on a new position at the FDA reviewing new medicines for dermatology, while at the same time maintaining a toehold in clinical practice.

The Big Apple contingent included Al Siu, who is professor and chair of geriatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Al and wife Margaret have two fairly young children. Al proved his devotion to them by wishing them goodnight by cell phone at the Friday clambake. Jonathan Jacobs dropped by for the class dinner. He is professor of general internal medicine at Cornell. He and his wife, Carolyn, have two boys. Jonathan is proud to have been able to start a $75 million aids treatment program in New York City as well as a program in Nigeria. David Goldberg is busy in nearby New Jersey with his skin laser and surgery practice. He and wife Rachel have four children, one of whom wants to be a doctor despite today’s challenges to the profession.

Never having left the comforts of New Haven are Gary and Debbie Dyett Desir. Gary, a nephrologist, is chief of medicine at the Connecticut VA Healthcare System, West Haven campus, and associate chief at Yale. Debbie is a rheumatologist in private practice. Together they have four children. Gary recalled how he met his wife while sharing an anatomy table. Jean Bolognia is professor of dermatology at Yale and her husband, Dennis Cooper, is also on the faculty, in oncology. Inside sources tell us Jean has become well-known within the specialty of dermatology for serving in a number of leadership positions and for having been the co-editor of what is becoming a popular dermatology textbook. Ann (Henderson) Hoeffer, social chair for this reunion and greatly appreciated, continues to be happy in her private pediatric practice. Ann and husband Ben Bradburn have two daughters. Larry Young and wife Lynn Tanoue (M.D. ’82) have three children. Larry is a professor of medicine in cardiology and Lynn is a pulmonologist. Larry states that it is special to be a part of the university community. Barbara Fallon and husband Bennett Bernblum live in nearby Old Lyme, Conn., and have two children. Barbara is in private practice in oncology and an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. Rose Papac was Barbara’s mentor at Yale.

Marty Silverstein, from Newton, Mass., has a continuing career with the Boston Consulting Group. He helps biotech and biopharm companies improve their product development process. He and wife Andree, a dermatologist, have two children. Mary Hill Wise from Rochester, N.Y., came to the reunion on Friday. She practices holistic medicine and with husband Robert has four children.

The final crew consists of three classmates who graduated in 1981 but maintain ties to the Class of 1980. Phil Lee and his wife, Diane, share a psychiatry practice in New York City and together have two children. Charles Shana is a gastroenterologist in practice for the past 15 years in Newport, R.I., and Fall River, Mass. He and wife Miriam have two sons. Donald Moore, wife Christine and daughters were present at many reunion events. Donald practices internal medicine and is on the faculty at Cornell. Donald also is past president of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine and was honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

OK, you laggards out there: you missed a good time (and some really fine wine). The 30th is only five years away, so mark your calendars now. See you all there.

Patricia Brown