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19 October 2006

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News from the Yale family in Germany

News from and about Yale




Stammtisch in Frankfurt next week to
toast centennial of A. Whitney Griswold

A. Whitney GriswoldFor the Yale Club’s next 4th-Friday-of-the-month informal Stammtisch get-together in Frankfurt — at 7:30 p.m. on Friday 27 October — we will return to our old stomping grounds: the wine pub Fidelio Weinkeller (Bockenheimer Landstraße 1-3, tel. 069 725758). Come and enjoy a relaxing evening — and have a bite to eat if you like — with Yale friends new and old. As always, no sign-up is required.

By a wonderful coincidence, this month’s get-together falls on the 100th birthday of A. Whitney Griswold (Yale College ’29), Yale’s president from 1950 to 1963. So we’ll toast “Whit” with a few rounds and hear reminiscences from anyone who knew him. If you were at Yale during the Griswold years, your first beer will be on the house!

Fidelio Weinkeller is a short walk from the S-Bahn’s Taunusanlage station (one stop from Frankfurt Hauptbanhof on any S-Bahn line) or the U-Bahn’s Alte Oper station (on the U6 and U7 lines). There are several parking garages nearby. For a scalable Google map showing the location that you can zoom in on for more detail, or print out, click here.

A. Whitney Griswold was born on October 27, 1906, in Morristown, New Jersey. When he graduated from Yale in 1929, he was voted the wittiest member of his class, and he hoped to become a journalist. But he wound up gravitating to the world of academia, earning his PhD in history from Yale in 1933, and rose through the faculty to become a popular teacher. He was only 43 when he was sworn in as Yale’s president, and soon became a national figure for his defense of academic freedom.

Griswold is credited with improving the University’s finances during his 12½ years in office. When he took over in 1950, Yale was running an operating deficit almost every year, and in his first annual report (in 1951) he said that “the nation’s privately endowed universities faced a financial crisis so severe that their existence depended on the immediate discovery of new sources of income.” But a dozen years later, he had overseen a significant boost in the University’s endowment — from $121 million to over $325 million— and an impressive building program. The Yale Art Gallery’s Kahn Building, Ingalls Rink, Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges, Paul Rudolph’s Art & Architecture Building, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Kline Biology Tower, Kline Chemistry and Geology Laboratories, Kline Science Library, and the Wright Nuclear Structure Facility were all built or started during his administration. He also increased faculty salaries dramatically, tripled Yale’s budget for science, and oversaw the creation of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center.

Griswold is remembered too for shepherding the career of Kingman Brewster, Jr. (Yale College ’41), whom he selected as Yale’s provost in 1959. When “Whit” died of cancer in April 1963, it was no surprise that Brewster was chosen to succeed him later that year. Griswold’s foresight in grooming Brewster is all the more remarkable in the light of later history: when each of the following three Yale presidencies ended (Brewster’s in 1977, Bart Giamatti’s in 1986, and Benno Schmidt’s in 1992), year-long searches for a successor were required, with no clear-cut choice initially apparent.




Yale freshman from Germany writes home

Thomas KoeningWe haven’t properly introduced you to Yale’s newest student from Germany, Thomas König, but hey, we’re going to make up for lost time. A member of Yale College’s Class of 2010, and currently a resident of Lawrance Hall on Old Campus, Thomas has been writing a regular column called “Mail aus Yale” for the website of Der Spiegel — Europe’s biggest (and probably Germany’s most influential) weekly magazine — to provide a running description of what it’s like to be a German student at an Ivy League school in the United States. Thomas graduated from high school in Neuss, just across the Rhine from Düsseldorf, and was accepted at 11 of the 13 universities he applied to.

In his latest submission (which you may view here), he relates how surprised he was recently when, upon returning to his dorm room at nearly 3 in the morning after a late-night study session in Sterling Memorial Library, he was suddenly struck with the thought: “I’m home.” Scarcely two and a half weeks had passed since his stressful moving-in day, he says, and yet “I felt like I’d already been here for months.”

Thanks to Katie Dana (Yale College ’05) for alerting us to Thomas’s on-line column. “His comments about the friendliness of Old Campus and the abundance of activities and student groups ring very true,” she says. “It sounds like he has plunged head first into Yale life!”





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

  • Daniel Bathe, who spent the past two semesters at the Economics Department at Yale and is returning to Germany this month.
  • Hedda Ferris (Yale Graduate School ’05, ’06, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry), who is living in Rottenburg a. Neckar following her recent move back to Europe.
  • Lorenz Kampschulte, who did research on his doctorate at Yale from April to August of this year. He writes, “Even though my research stay at Yale was relatively short, I would be pleased to stay in touch with other Yalies in Germany!” Lorenz is currently working as a scientist at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
  • Thomas König (Yale College ’10, Pierson), from Neuss. See previous article.
  • Kelsey Lents (Yale College ’05, Saybrook), who has been living in Berlin since late summer of last year.
  • Autumn Pierce (Yale College ’96, Davenport), who is living in Frankfurt.



The Can Kickers are coming to Germany!

The Can KickersLeslie Kuo (Yale College ’03, JE), based in Berlin, has booked a German concert tour for the Can Kickers, “a wild old-time trio out of New London, Connecticut, who are guaranteed to make even the grumpiest wallflowers square-dance to their high-energy bluegrass and country tunes.” As the group’s publicity blurb says, “Punk beats on a banjo, frenetic fiddling, and a washboard-smashing drummer — they make old-time music new.”

The Kickers started touring the United States in 2000 and now, over 500 shows later, they are bringing their “new-old” American sound to Germany. Leslie wants to let everybody in the Yale family know about their upcoming tour, since she presumes lots of us do like American music! She says you can find the Kickers coming to a café, club, or Wohnprojekt near you:


Tue. 24 Oct.

Berlin: Busking at Kreuzberg Turkish Market,
Kottbusser Damm bridgel, 5-7pm


Fri. 27 Oct.

Neuruppin: Mittendrin


Sat. 28 Oct.

Hamburg: Hasenschaukel


Sun. 29 Oct.

Hamburg: Yoko Mono


Mon. 30 Oct.

Berlin: New Yorck59


Tue. 31 Oct.

Berlin: Beat Club Kreuzberg


Thu. 2 Nov.

Weimar: Gerberstraße 1


Fri. 3 Nov.

Erfurt: Besetztes Haus


Sat. 4 Nov.

Leipzig: Gieszer16


Sun. 5 Nov.

Chemnitz: Subway to Peter

And more to be announced at the Can Kickers website. Thanks, Leslie!



Beinecke Plaza was all lit up for the launch of the "Yale Tomorrow" campaign.

Hewitt Quadrangle was dramatically lit up for a reception on the evening of the campaign’s launch, with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library bathed in a soft blue glow.



University launches ‘Yale Tomorrow’
capital campaign with $3 billion target

Yale officials, alumni and friends gathered on campus on September 30 to mark the official launch of the “Yale Tomorrow” campaign with a day-long program that highlighted the University’s past and current strengths and explored its goals for the 21st century.

The day featured presentations by noted faculty and alumni on topics ranging from the ways that Yale graduates have shaped the world over the centuries to the scientific and medical breakthroughs now being made in campus laboratories; a multimedia presentation in Sprague Hall narrated by actor Sam Waterston ’62 B.A.; a sunset reception on Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza); and an official launch dinner in Commons for several hundred distinguished guests.

President LevinAt the dinner, President Levin told those assembled that the campaign would seek to raise $3 billion over the next five years, and revealed that more than $1.3 billion of this amount had already been raised during its “quiet phase” begun in 2004 — an announcement that brought a standing ovation. “I seek your support to ensure that the accomplishment of recent years is not remembered merely as a bright moment in Yale’s long history,” he said, “but rather as the foundation for a Yale of permanently greater breadth and strength.” He also emphasized that “we need to complete the transformation of Yale from a local to a regional to a national to an international university.”

The campaign seeks increased funding for every school and department at Yale, with needs grouped into four principal areas: undergraduate education, the arts, the sciences, and the world. Among its many exciting specific goals are a major new facility for the Yale School of Drama and a new campus for the Yale School of Management. For more on the campaign, visit the Yale Tomorrow website.




Update on new campus construction

Our last newsletter mentioned that the pace of renovations and new construction at Yale is currently at its highest level since the $2-billion campus makeover began in earnest back in the mid-1990s, and included updates on six major projects underway to renovate existing buildings. This time around we’re going to do the same for the current crop of projects involving construction of new facilities:

Elm Street DevelopmentThe new Elm Street Development opened last month, filling a gap on the block of Elm Street just beyond the Yankee Doodle that had long been occupied by an asphalt-surface parking lot between two commercial buildings. This nicely scaled structure, which was designed to mesh with its older neighbors on either side and with the back of Davenport College just behind it, incorporates rooms for 46 students on its upper floors.

These rooms are now being occupied by seniors from Silliman College, which is undergoing a 15-month renovation. Students displaced by the residential college renovations are usually housed in the “Swing Dorm” on Tower Parkway across from Morse College, but Silliman is so large that not all of its students could be housed there. Thus, the Elm Street Development is handling overflow from an overflow facility! It hasn’t been announced what the new building will be used for after the Silliman renovation is complete, but it probably will provide undergraduate annex space for Yale College in general rather than becoming part of Davenport.

In a first for a Yale dormitory, the ground floor is earmarked for commercial use, to maintain and improve the fabric of the Broadway-area retail district. This space will house the Manchester Grill, a sports-themed restaurant specializing in American bistro food. Residents have their own private entrance off a garden at the back of the building (lower photo above), reached through an archway. For additional photos, click here; for a Yale Daily News article on the Manchester Grill, click here.

Science Hill Garage• The 3½-story Science Hill Parking Garage is being built just north of Ingalls Rink on empty land behind the back yards of houses that front along Prospect Street to the east and Mansfield Street to the west. Scheduled to open this December, it will also accommodate parking for hockey games and other events held in Ingalls Rink. (In this photo, taken looking south, the north end of the rink is visible to the left beyond the construction site.) The 352-space garage is being constructed partly underground and will be extensively landscaped to minimize its visibility from the adjacent residential neighborhoods.

A parking garage may not seem like a big deal, but this one will allow Yale to achieve several key recommendations of the “Framework for Campus Planning” study issued in 2000. By providing space for cars that currently park in Lot 22 on Whitney Avenue, just north of the Peabody Museum and Kline Geology Laboratory, it will enable the University to proceed with a large new biology research facility there. By providing slots for dozens of cars that currently park “off-street” along Prospect — in front of all those stately 19th-century homes now used as Yale academic offices, whose once-beautiful front yards have long been covered with asphalt to accommodate employees’ vehicles — it will let those yards be converted back to gardens and grass as part of landscaping improvements up the west side of Science Hill. And by eliminating the sea of parked vehicles that permanently engulf Ingalls Rink, it will allow Yale to landscape the surrounding area so that this masterpiece can be viewed as architect Eero Saarinen intended. For additional photos, click here.

New art building

TOP: An artist’s model of the new art building designed by Charles Gwathmey, as seen from York Street. The original A & A Building designed by Paul Rudolph is on the left, with the Yale Daily News building on the right. BOTTOM: the construction site as it appeared at the end of July.

• Ground was broken this summer for a new 7-story History of Art Building that will soon begin arising at 200 York Street, adjacent to the A & A Building. It will house the History of Art Department and an expansion of the art and architecture library. Designed by the New York firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates under the watchful eye of veteran modernist Charles Gwathmey (Yale School of Architecture ’62), the building is scheduled to open at the end of summer 2008.

Part of the project includes a complete renovation of the original A & A Building, designed by Paul Rudolph, now 43 years old. This landmark building has been marred by a patchwork of repairs over the years, and the renovation will restore it to the purity of Rudolph’s original design concepts while improving amenities throughout. The two buildings will share a ventilation system, and a new bank of three large elevators will replace the two smaller ones that currently serve the A & A Building alone. In May 2007 the School of Architecture will temporarily move to the new Yale Sculpture Building currently under construction on Howe Street (see next item down) to leave the A & A Building empty for its year-long renovation. For additional photos, click here; for a copy of a New York Times article on the challenges facing Gwathmey and Yale in renovating the A & A Building, click here.

Yale Sculpture BuildingFor more than 35 years, the Yale School of Art’s sculpture students have worked in Hammond Hall, a cavernous structure (originally built in 1904 as a metallurgical laboratory) one block south of Ingalls Rink. The students have always loved the huge open interior to work in, but they’ve been less enthusiastic about being so distant from everyone else at the School of Art: Hammond Hall is more than a mile away from Green Hall, the School’s main building on Chapel Street. Now, a new 51,000-ft² (4,750-m²) Sculpture Building is under construction one block west of Green Hall, in the block bounded by Edgewood Avenue and Park, Chapel, and Howe Streets, which will house both graduate and undergraduate programs.

The $52.7-million project also includes a 3,000-ft² public sculpture exhibition gallery on Edgewood Avenue, a 288-space parking structure on Howe Street, and street-level retail space. For additional photos, click here.

Yale-New Haven Cancer CenterAt 497,000 ft² (46,170 m²) and a budget of $467 million, the Yale-New Haven Cancer Center will be one of the largest buildings ever constructed in New Haven. Although not a University project, strictly speaking, Yale is contributing to it, since many parts of the complex will be used by the Yale Medical School. Ground was broken last month, and the hospital is scheduled for opening in 2009.

The new facility will integrate all of Yale-New Haven Hospital’s oncology patient services in one building specifically designed for cancer care. The 14-story main tower will include 112 in-patient beds, outpatient treatment rooms, expanded operating rooms, infusion suites, diagnostic imaging services, a specialized women’s cancer center, including the Yale-New Haven Breast Center and the GYN Oncology Center, and floors for diagnostic and therapeutic radiology. As Marna Borgstrom, president and CEO of Yale-New Haven Hospital, puts it: “This magnificent facility will rival any in the nation.” For additional photos, click here.


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.

Yale Club of Germany Prize: We are in the “quiet phase” of a long-term program to raise at least €20,000, with an eventual goal of €100,000, to endow this award for presentation to exceptional high school students in Germany who have been accepted to Yale. If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute to this worthy effort, please 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).