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Class of 1963: 50th Reunion

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2013 - Spring


If you didn’t make it to our 50th Reunion celebrations in New Haven, because you just couldn’t make it, then it is what it is, and we missed you. If you didn’t make it, and you could have made it, we missed you too, but you made a really bad decision.

Thirty-two classmates participated in the festivities (plus Cynthia Livingston, representing Peter’s memory), and with guests included, there were about sixty warm bodies for a raucous and spirited four-hour long class reception and dinner at the Quinnipiack Club.

Classmates and guests in attendance included Art Ackerman, Carol Ackerman, Rick Back, Milly Back, Wayne Brenckman, John Conte, Jim Dalsimer, Dudley Danoff, Hedva Danoff, Nancy Denehy, Andy Edin, Becky Edin, Mike Fessel, Kathleen Fessel, Bill Friedewald, Jacquie Friedewald, Dave Fulmer, Carol Ann Fulmer, Alex Gaudio, Chris Gaudio, John Gennari, Emily Gennari, Peter Gregory, Bob Grummon, Ben Harris, Janis Harris, George Holsten, Libby Holsten, Brian Judd, Ellen Judd, Hal Kaplan, Barbara Kaplan, Ed Larkin, Sally Larkin, Craig Llewellyn, Gail Llewellyn, Cynthia Livingston, Richard Shader, Ned Lund, Judy Lund, Vin Marchesi, Herb Meltzer, Sharon Meltzer, Bob Mueller, Marnie Mueller, Dorothy Otnow Lewis, Jay Pomerantz, Farida Pomerantz, Alan Shapiro, Wendy Koppel, Ellen Steinbaum, Tom Tillack, Peter Tishler, Sigrid Tishler, Larry Tremonti, Monica Tremonti, Helen Nanovic Walsh, Al Wise and Charlene Wise.

Unable to attend, but wishing they could, and submitting contributions to the class book, as well as sending greetings and best wishes to all, were, Rick Almond and Barbara Almond, Dave Bryson, Gordon Cohen, Judy Davis, Alan Flaxman,Jim Howard, Steve Joseph, Sheldon Pinnell, Bill Porter, Tom Savignano, Joe Stevens, Lee Talner, Rich Thompson, Jim Wepsic, and Jerry Winer.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of virtually all those attending, and the helpfulness of the alumni office staff, the reunion was a great success. The camaraderie, friendliness, the reminiscences, and the mellowness of our eighth decade made our time together more interesting and ever more enjoyable than any of our previous reunions—sentiments expressed much more eloquently by Peter Gregory in recent note. Peter commented, “At the risk of being irreverent, I asked myself ’Why is this night different from all other nights?’ or in this case ’Why was this reunion different from all other reunions I have attended?’ ” I think it was just the feeling of goodwill, camaraderie and absence of a sense of competition. Bob Grummon, in expressing his worry about coming, said it was the concern he wouldn’t measure up in some way. And, that subtle undertone of who has done better pervades all the reunions that I have attended—it was true of the 25th. I went over to Bob afterwards and said “You know, Bob, no-one gives a [darn] about what you did or anyone else did. Now the important issues are more essential—happiness, appreciation of others, and family.” But, also important was the size of the group attending. It allowed each of us to find something unexpected or new in a large number of different people. At the end, there were still classmates I hadn’t talked to, and wished I had. And, our age of 75 helped because in all but a few cases, the main professional effort was well behind us. And, finally, I was impressed with the quality of the presentations and the candor of the dean. It was a quality effort and made me feel proud of the place.

We missed those who did not attend, and missed, even more, our departed classmates: Millard Amdur, Miguel Alonso, Browning Hoffman, David Holden, David Langtry, John Mahoney, Sally Marchesi, Robert Margulis, Thomas Peters,Marvin Skolnick, Gary Van Galder, and Peter Livingston, whose wife, Cynthia, in Peter’s memory, graced our reunion with her presence and inspirational generosity. We were also pleased to have the opportunity to meet her husband, Dick Shader. We are equally inspired and proud that Cynthia took the occasion to make a gift of $580,000 to the medical school to establish the Peter B. Livingston, M.D. ’63 Fund for Excellence in Teaching. Income from the fund will support faculty efforts to create clinical skills curricula and to mentor students as they develop those skills. [For more details about the gift, go to and check the May/June 2013 issue.]

The weather, the meetings, the preparations (thanks, Debby, et al.) and the Dean’s aggiornamento contributed to a weekend made memorable by paper-weight size medallions, presented to all members of the Class of 1963 in attendance to recognize their admission to the Samuel Kushlan Society, and by the sheer exuberance and enthusiasm of the participants. And in closing, will any of us ever forget Dorothy Otnow Lewis’s narrative of her session with the “appealing” serial killer and sex offender, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the assorted reminisces of our various strange and funny (educational!) interactions, fifty-plus years ago, with our “Hall of Fame“ YSM faculty.

Alex Gaudio and Hal Kaplan