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21 July 2005

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In this issue: news from the Yale family in Germany

In this issue: news from and about Yale



FrankfurtNext get-together in
Frankfurt tomorrow night

The Yale Club’s next 4th-Friday-of-the-month Stammtisch in Frankfurt will be at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow evening — Friday, July 22 — in the Fidelio Weinkeller (Bockenheimer Landstraße 1-3, tel. 069 725758), a short walk from the U-Bahn’s Taunusanlage station (one stop from Frankfurt Hauptbanhof) or the Alte Oper. No RSVP necessary — just come for a drink with Yale friends new and old. Questions? E-mail to Bob Bonds (Yale College ’71) or call him during office hours at 06122-955916.




A warm welcome to two new members of the Yale Club of Germany that we’ve learned about since the last newsletter:

  • Craig Ferguson (Yale College ’92, Calhoun), who will be moving to Ingolstadt, north of Munich, for nine months beginning in August.
  • Emily Levine (Yale College ’01, Saybrook), who is currently during PhD work in German history at Stanford and will be moving to the Hamburg area in September.



Paleontologist John Ostrom (1928-2005)

John OstromJohn H. Ostrom, one of the most influential paleontologists of the 20th century, died on Saturday at the age of 77 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Ostrom, who was emeritus professor of geology and geophysics at Yale and emeritus curator of vertebrate paleontology at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, was renowned for sparking a revival in scientific research about dinosaurs and their ancestral link to modern birds.

Although Dr. Ostrom had long since withdrawn from the field work of fossil hunting, his discoveries had a profound effect on dinosaur research in the last half of the 20th century, shattering stereotypes and inspiring sweeping changes in thinking about their lives and times. His work attracted many young researchers to dinosaur studies, a field that had been moribund for several decades.

Ostrom first made history in 1964 when he discovered the remains of a previously unknown type of dinosaur in central Montana. It had large claws and an inner toe that stuck out like a sharply curved sickle. After further research, Dr. Ostrom determined that the claws and feet belonged to a fleet, predatory dinosaur that lived 125 million years ago. He gave it the name Deinonychus, meaning “terrible claw.”

But he was perhaps even better known for becoming the leading proponent of the link between dinosaurs and birds, sparked by a discovery he made in 1970 while studying specimens in a museum in the Netherlands. “Ever since I’ve had to give up field work,” Dr. Ostrom told a reporter years later, “I’ve said the best discoveries are made in museum storerooms.”

Ostrom is survived by a generation of former students and other paleontologists influenced by his discoveries and interpretations of dinosaurs, birds and early flight. At the Peabody Museum stands one of his prized legacies: the reconstructed skeleton and a fleshed-out model of Deinonychus. The museum boasts that the creature Michael Crichton called Velociraptor, the terror of the book and movie “Jurassic Park,” is “really our own Deinonychus parading around under an assumed name.”

In 1999, Dr. Ostrom presided over a symposium in his honor at Yale. Former students and other scholars spoke of feathered dinosaurs and concluded with a tribute to their teacher and colleague. They hailed Deinonychus as “one of the most famous dinosaurs of all time” and told Dr. Ostrom, “You have led the renaissance in thinking about dinosaurs and have revolutionized our concept of them.”




Yale purchases 1.3-acre plot north of
Grove Street Cemetery as infirmary site

The New Haven Register reports that Yale has just purchased a 1.3-acre empty lot near the junction of Lock and Canal Streets from the City of New Haven for $900,000. The weed-choked lot (marked by a star on the map below), north of the Grove Street Cemetery, will be the site of Yale’s new University Health Services building, replacing the current structure on Hillhouse Avenue.

No timetable has been announced for the new building, but associate vice president Michael Morand of Yale’s Office of New Haven Affairs said the new facility will be designed by 2007. University Health Services houses is the health-care provider for Yale students, faculty and employees.

The site just purchased is at the east end of the same block where Yale is currently constructing the Rose Center, which will house the new headquarters of the University Police as well as the Yale-Dixwell Learning Center and other community facilities. That building is scheduled to open this autumn.

Yale map

“These are good complementary 24-hour uses that add to the sense of safety and vitality in the neighborhood, which has obviously enjoyed a tremendous renaissance in recent years,” Morand told the Register. He was referring to the transformation of nearby public housing into attractive single homes and duplexes in a development called Homes at Monterey.

Yale has also agreed to make a gift of $250,000 to improve the nearby Ella Scantlebury Park and to provide community health-education classes to residents of the Dixwell neighborhood, which is west of the site. Alderman Drew King said that residents in the area were working “hand in hand” with Yale on the project, and the health facility will be a “blessing to the neighborhood.”

New Haven economic development project manager Anthony Bialecki said that the Yale projects are “a great mix for the area.”




Yale Club of Germany

David Ilten (Yale College ’60)
Tel. 069 622680

Alumni Schools Committee Chairman

David MacBryde (Yale College ’64)
Tel. 030 8229625

Laura Sprague Sudhaus (Yale College ’88)
Tel. 06198 501700

Bob Bonds (Yale College ’71)
Tel. 06122 95590 (office)

  • If you want to check in with the Yale Club of Germany to let us know you’re here (hooray!) or that you’re leaving (sob!), or if you need to change your e-mail address or other contact information, please let Laura know. She can also help you connect to other members of the Yale family in your area.
  • If you’re interested in interviewing high school students in your area who are applying to Yale, please let David (MacBryde) know. He can always, always use more interviewers.
  • If you’re interested in presenting the Yale Book Award at a high school in your area, please let David (Ilten) know.
  • If you have anything to contribute to the newsletter — flea-market classifieds, news on what you’re doing these days, etc. — please send it to Bob. He would love to hear from you. Thanks!