March/April 2022 Class Notes

March class seminar: “The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and early ’70s.” It will feature classmates Mac Farmer, Gordon Gibson, and Herb Rothschild ;who will reflect on their personal involvements in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. All classmates are encouraged to listen in, relate their own experiences, ask questions, make observations, and participate in our first-ever 1961 conversation regarding civil rights. The program will be hosted by Andy Block. Lou Allyn will let us know the date.

April class seminar, Wednesday, April 20, 1 p.m. EST: “The China Reckoning” featuring Michael Auslin, Hoover Institution. A quick Internet search will list an impressive background describing Auslin as an American writer, policy analyst, historian, and scholar of Asia. The program will be hosted by Ed Cantor.

Back in November, as part of our class seminar series, Bob Budnitz and Wilford Welch presented a stimulating state-of-the-art seminar on nuclear energy generation past, present, and future.

Frosty Smith and Ed Cantor remind us to mark our calendars for the mini-reunion in New Haven, October 13–16, 2022.

Alan Blanchard’s memorial thoughts: “Friends, I wanted to be sure all of you have seen what I think is a marvelous ‘package’ of memorable moments by and for the Yale Class of 1961 last spring. I recently asked Lou Allyn, Jennifer Julier, and others if there was a way that I could access the memorial service we did last June as part of our reunion last May. Within 15 minutes, marvelous Jennifer was back to me with exactly what I asked for. Then, a couple of days later, Lou sent this ‘full package’ that gave me the entire memorial service. You can access it on our class of 1961 website under ‘60th Reunion’ then lower down, click on ‘60th Reunion Memorial Service Program.’”

Scott Merritt sent along a one-liner saying he had a stroke a while ago but is better now. He was also happy to report that his three sons and two grandsons were also doing well.

Ed Cantor brings to our attention the recent passing of Jonathan Spence. In the January 3 issue of Yale News, President Salovey referred to Spence as “unsurpassed as a scholar and teacher.” Ed reminds us that when Spence came to Yale on a Mellon Fellowship, he affiliated with the class of 1961. Ed also says that over the years when he talked to Spence, he always considered himself as a classmate and spoke at one of our minis.

Obituaries: Webmaster Lou Allyn maintains a roster of obituaries at, where you can scan the list of names and click to read the tributes. The following names reflect the most recently received memorials: Bruce Berger, John Kenna, Habib Ladjevardi.

By Paul Carl Capra ’61, ’65BD