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3 November 2005

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News from the Yale family in Germany

News from and about Yale



DusseldorfYale Club evening in
Düsseldorf set for Nov. 11

Thanks to the perseverance of Düsseldorf resident Wenzel Bulst (Yale Law School ’03), the Yale Club’s first-ever Stammtisch in Düsseldorf will be held on Friday evening of next week, November 11, in the historic old restaurant Zum Schiffchen (Hafenstraße 5, tel. 0211-132421) at 8 p.m. There don’t appear to be as many members of the Yale family in Düsseldorf as there are in other major German cities — but as long as there are some, that’s a good enough excuse to get together for beer, food and fellowship!

So if you’re in the Düsseldorf/Köln/Dortmund area, or if you think you’ll be passing through on the evening of Friday 11 November, do mark your calendar now and join us. No RSVP necessary — just come and meet Yale friends new and old. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to check with Wenzel by e-mail.





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

  • Peter Baldwin (Yale College ’78), a professor of history at UCLA, who is dividing his time this year between Berlin and London.
  • David Campbell (Yale College ’94), who is working in Berlin as a Robert Bosch Fellow at the Ecologic Institute for International and European Environmental Policy, a consulting firm.
  • Bardo Fassbender (Yale Law School ’92, ’99), who is on the faculty of law at Humboldt University in Berlin.
  • Franz Mayer (Yale Law School ’95), who is on the faculty of law at Humboldt University in Berlin.
  • Karin Matussek (Yale Law School ’99), who is working at the Berlin office of the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
  • Ulrike Münch (Yale School of Nursing ’05).
  • Peggy Preciado (Yale Graduate School ’87, ’95), who teaches and conducts writing workshops in Frankfurt.
  • Angelika Siehr (Yale Law School ’87, ’95), who is on the faculty of law at Humboldt University in Berlin.



Luncheon with Law School dean
draws Yale Clubbers in Berlin area


Dean Koh (2nd from right) enjoys the hospitality of the Yale family in Berlin last week. Photos courtesy of David MacBryde.

An intimate lunch with Yale Law School dean Harold Hongju Koh attracted an enthusiastic group of Yalies in Berlin last Wednesday afternoon, October 26. The lunch was held in the library of the historic Café Einstein, a venerable institution long frequented by the capital’s university and business communities. During the two-hour luncheon, Dean Koh updated the group on activities at Yale in general and the Law School in particular.

Yale Club of Germany president David Ilten reports that Dean Koh spoke of the remarkable admissions success of the Law School, which has made Yale “the” law school of choice for many years now. (In the group of students admitted last year, for example, of the 190 who were accepted at both Yale and another well-known Ivy League law school near Boston, 185 of them chose Yale.) He also detailed the significant progress made in admissions on the undergraduate level, which made Yale the most selective school in the Ivy League last year.

He reviewed the extensive renovation, upgrading and expansion of his school’s facilities within the Sterling Law Buildings in recent years, and mentioned the challenges of finding additional space. One possibility for future expansion, he suggested, might be the New Residence Hall — often referred to as the “Swing Dorm” — just one block from the Law School, which is currently being used to house successive waves of undergraduates who are displaced during the year-long renovation of their residential colleges. Once this renovation sequence ends in September 2008, the Swing Dorm might provide space for Law School’s growing roster of senior faculty members, who are no longer bound by a mandatory retirement age.


Left to right: David MacBryde, David Ilten, Harold Hongju Koh.

Dean Koh also discussed several briefs the Law School had prepared for the Supreme Court recently on the death penalty and various civil rights issues — age discrimination being one of these. And he answered questions about a feature article in the September/October issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine which looked at the efforts of a team he led to Guantanamo Bay back in the 1990s on behalf of Haitian refugees who were being detained there without legal counsel.

Among the Yale Club members who attended the lunch were David Campbell (Yale College ’94), Charles Elworthy (Yale Graduate School ’88), Bardo Fassbender (Yale Law School ’92, ’99), Fred Flindel (Yale College ’47), David Ilten (Yale College ’60), Karin Matussek (Yale Law School ’99), Franz Mayer (Yale Law School ’95), David MacBryde (Yale College ’64), Hans-Jochen Mengel (Yale Law School ’87), and Angelika Siehr (Yale Law School ’90). David Ilten reports that the lunch was “delightful” and that it gave those attending a real chance to converse with Dean Koh and with each other.




College fairs held in Munich, Berlin

College FairThanks from all of us to two stalwart Yale Clubbers who pitched in to staff the Yale booths at recent college fairs — Craig Ferguson (Yale College ’92) at the fair in Munich on Monday 17 October, and David MacBryde (Yale College ’64) at the one in Berlin on Wednesday 19 October. Both of them report that they were very busy and that there was a good deal of interest in Yale by local students who are considering studying in the United States.



Music of German-born Yale composer returns to his birthplace at last

Frank LewinThe music of retired Yale professor Frank Lewin (Yale School of Music ’51, photo) has been performed for the first time in the city of his birth — Breslau, Germany, which is now Wroclaw, Poland. A special concert there last Saturday night, October 30, presented a choral performance of Lewin’s exquisite Requiem Mass for Robert F. Kennedy, which he wrote in 1968-69. The vast Church of St. Mary Wyspa Piaskowa was full, and the audience gave the piece a standing ovation at its conclusion.

Lewin was born in Breslau in 1925 and emigrated to the United States in 1940. He studied composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale and received his Bachelor of Music degree there in 1951. He has edited and composed music for countless documentary, feature and TV films, including the score for The Defenders; one of his two operas, Burning Bright, premiered in New Haven in 1993. He taught composition at the Yale School of Music from 1971 to 1992, and has written extensively on film music and recording, including two monographs published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Although Lewin, who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey, was too frail to travel for last weekend’s performance, he was ably represented there by his daughters Naomi (Yale College ’74) and Miriam (Yale College ’80).



Yale singing group plans visit in March

Something  ExtraThe Yale undergraduate women’s close-harmony a cappella singing group Something Extra is planning a concert tour of Germany during spring break next year (March 4–18, 2006). Details and itineraries have not been established yet. The 18-member group, which was founded in 1977, is looking to line up performance gigs and home stays.

The Yale Club of Germany is looking for one or more volunteers to be our liaison with the group and to help arrange their home stays with families in various cities. If you’re interested in helping out or learning more, please e-mail Bob Bonds (Yale College ’71).



New engineering and chemistry
buildings dedicated at Yale

Two major buildings that have been under construction on campus for several years have been completed and offically dedicated in the past few weeks.

  • Malone Engineering CenterThe new Daniel L. Malone Engineering Center, on the southeast corner of Prospect Street and Trumbull Street next door to the Watson Computer Science Center, was formally inaugurated on October 10. Designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates, the 5-story building has panoramic views of Science Hill and East Rock on every floor and houses research labs, seminar rooms and offices for chemical, physical and biomedical engineering. Its construction was made possible by a $24 million gift towards the project’s funding from John C. Malone (Yale College ’63E), a pioneer in the communications media industry. The building is named for his father, the late Daniel Malone, who spent most of his career as an engineer with G.E.

    The Malone Engineering Center’s site is adjacent to the long-abandoned Farmington Canal. The building’s design is unusual in that it has a limestone facing on its Prospect Street front (top photo) but a curved glass facade on its Farmington Canal side (bottom photo). The final stage of construction in recent weeks has seen landscape upgrading of the latter area in preparation for it becoming part of the Farmington Canal Greenway, a pedestrian/bicycle walkway under development since 1992 that will eventually run from New Haven Harbor all the way north to Cheshire and perhaps beyond. For the Yale Bulletin & Calendar’s complete coverage of the dedication, click here; for the Engineering Department’s coverage, and more about the building, click here.
  • Chemical Research LaboratoryThe new Class of 1954 Chemical Research Laboratory, named for the Yale College class that contributed a substantial portion of its $50-million cost, was officially dedicated on October 24. The three-story, 105,000-square-foot brick and brownstone building is at the northern end of the existing chemistry complex, forming a new courtyard through its link to the Kline Chemistry Laboratory. The building, which chemistry professor John Tully calls “a jewel that will attract new faculty and students and enhance research and teaching,” contains 37 state-of-the-art four-person laboratories for hood-intensive research in organic, inorganic and bio-organic chemistry.

    Research in the new facility has already begun, including work on solar energy involving a collaboration between scientists in the different branches of chemistry among various universities. Before the dedication, Yale hosted a symposium featuring presentations by chemists from different universities, all in the five branches of chemistry.

    “This is the first new heavy-duty hard-core science building at Yale,” President Richard C. Levin said at the dedication ceremonies. “The opportunity to raise Yale science to national pre-eminence has never been better.”

    In his remarks at the dedication, University provost Andrew Hamilton — himself a distinguished British organic chemist — said that when Yale was first courting him to join the faculty, one of the incentives mentioned was the promise of a new chemistry building. “That was in 1995,” he quipped, “and that was my first taste of Yale time.”

    For the Yale Bulletin & Calendar’s complete coverage of the dedication, and much more about the building itself, click here.



With historic record gift in hand,
School of Music to abolish tuition

Thomas DuffyBeginning next year, students at the Yale School of Music will no longer have to pay tuition, thanks to a $100-million anonymous donation that was announced last Friday.

The donation — the largest single contribution in the school’s history — will let the school do away with tuition starting next fall for all students, including those already enrolled. “This donation has allowed us to accelerate a plan that will make a big impact on our ability to attract the best and brightest,” said acting dean Thomas Duffy (photo).

Currently, tuition for the music school is $23,750 per year, and graduates from the program often leave school with $30,000 to $40,000 in debt, Duffy said. “Somebody who obviously has the talent to amass this kind of money thinks we are important, and that’s a very comforting thing,” he told the New York Times. “These [School of Music] alums generally don’t go out and become captains of industry, nor do they become rock stars. This is a very unprecedented situation.”

Duffy declined to discuss the donors, but said the pledge was a single gift. He credited President Levin with helping steer the money towards the School of Music following years of sustained contact with the donors.

Levin himself noted that the tuition waiver will be unique among nondoctoral graduate programs at Yale. Ph.D. students at the Graduate School do not pay tuition, but this is the first time the waiver has been introduced at one of the University’s professional schools.

Former music school dean Ezra Laderman said the donation will make it easier for Yale to attract top students to its programs. While Yale has consistently ranked as one of the U.S.’s top five or six professional schools of music, peer institutions offered more competitive financial aid packages in the past, Laderman said. “We know we’ve lost many students because we couldn’t compete with the financial aid offered by schools like Juilliard,” he said. The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia is the only other graduate music program to guarantee a tuition waiver to every student.

Matthew Barnson (Yale School of Music ’07) says he left another graduate school that offered him a living stipend to attend Yale’s program, even though he had to accept some debt. “I don’t know a single other music school in the country, perhaps the world, that’s going to have an endowment like this,” he said. “It’s going to be very, very tough for anybody to turn it down.”

For the School of Music’s press release on this story, click here; for the Yale Daily News article, click here; for the New York Times article, click here (may require free registration with the NYT website).



Davenport College reopens
after 15-month-long renovation

Davenport CollegeDavenport College reopened in September after the completion of a major renovation project that lasted more than 15 months. It has been completely rewired with fiber-optic cabling, and its mechanical, electrical and telecommunications systems have been thoroughly modernized. Its common facilities, including the computer cluster, dining hall, library and basement, were reorganized and renovated — changes similar to those made in the colleges previously renovated. All public spaces now have air conditioning, and handicapped accessibility has been increased throughout the college.

The revamping of the basement spaces includes several new facilities that Davenport will share with neighboring Pierson College, including a state-of-the-art theater.

Since 1998, Yale has been completely renovating one residential college each year. Work begins as soon as students vacate the college in May, and continues around the clock for 15½ months until September of the following year. During the academic year while the college being rebuilt is closed, its students live in the New Residence Hall (the “Swing Dorm”) on Tower Parkway across from Morse College.

Already complete are renovations to Berkeley (1998-99), Branford (1999-2000), Saybrook (2000-01), Timothy Dwight (2001-02), and Pierson (2003-04). Renovations began in May on Trumbull (2005-06), with Silliman (2006-07) and Jonathan Edwards (2007-08) next in line after that. Detailed work schedules have not yet been announced for the remaining three colleges — Calhoun, Ezra Stiles, and Morse — but their renovations are not expected to be so extensive that they will have to be closed for an entire academic year. Ezra Stiles and Morse are the newest colleges, having opened in 1962, and Calhoun received an intensive renovation in 1989.

The Davenport cycle, by the way, has an interesting postscript: a separate follow-on project to add a four-story annex adjacent to the north side of the college. This is currently under construction in what used to be an asphalt parking lot on Elm Street next to the retail block that includes the Yankee Doodle diner. The annex will add about 40 beds to Davenport on its top three floors, and provide storefront or restaurant space at street level. Once complete at the end of summer 2006, it will initially house students from Silliman during that college’s renovation year, since Silliman’s population is too large for all of its students to be accommodated in the Swing Dorm. In September 2007 the annex will revert to Davenport.



Yale Club of Germany

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

Treasurer/Alumni Schools Committee
David MacBryde (Yale College ’64)
Tel. 030 8229625 (Berlin

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

Newsletter/Mailing List
Bob Bonds (Yale College ’71)
Tel. 06122 95590 (Wiesbaden)

Membership: If you are an alumnus of any Yale school or a friend of Yale, you are automatically considered a member of the Yale Club of Germany. Welcome!

Mailing list: To add your name to the Yale Club’s mailing list, to change your address, or to notify the Club that you’re leaving Germany and should be removed from the list, please click here to let Laura and Bob know. You can also ask them who else is in your area, since they try to keep track of Yalies throughout Germany.

Interviews: The Yale Club is always looking for alumni to interview local high-school students who are applying to Yale College. If you would like to help out or learn more, please click here to e-mail our ASC director, David MacBryde.

Yale Book Award: If you interested in presenting the Yale Book Award at a high school in your area, click here to let David Ilten know.

Contributions: The Club does not assess dues, but asks its members to make an modest annual contribution (€20 suggested, but any amount is welcome) to help fund Club activities such as the Yale Book Award. To contribute, please arrange a bank transfer (Überweisung) to the Yale Club’s account. (For those of you new to Germany, this is the standard method for making payments here — as common in Germany as writing a check in the U.S.) Account details:


Bank (Kreditinstitut des Begünstigten):

Degussa Bank, Frankfurt


Bank Number (Bankleitzahl, or BLZ):



Payee (Begünstigten):

Yale Club e.V.


Payee’s Account Number
(Konto-Nr. des Begünstigten):

22 1278

If you have questions or need a receipt for the Finanzamt, please contact our Treasurer, David MacBryde (contact details above).