Wednesday, December 12, 2018

YWAA: Save the Date, 2019

Yale a cappella groups the New Blue and the Spizzwinks (top and above R) will sing in Chappaqua Feb. 3. Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos will address Yale alumni and guests in Chappaqua Mar. 7. (New Blue, Spizzwinks and Yale photos)
February 3

The Spizzwinks and the New Blue, a cappella groups from Yale, will perform in concert at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, Sunday, Feb. 3, at 1 pm.

The Spizzwinks, formed at Yale in 2014, return to Westchester after performing in Scarsdale in 2013 and 2015. The group plans to sing in Iceland, Seattle and China this coming spring and summer.

The New Blue is Yale's oldest female a cappella group, formed in 1969, the year Yale's undergraduate population included women for the first time. Laura Clapp '21 of Scarsdale sings with New Blue.

In 2018, the Whiffenpoofs and Red, Hot & Blue performed in separate concerts in Rye.

YWAA will host the concert. Details will follow.

March 7

Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos will present a lecture to Yale alumni and friends in Chappaqua.  Details will follow.  Santos is best known for having taught arguably the most popular course ever among Yale undergraduates, "Psychology and the Good Life," when over 1,200 students enrolled last spring.

The course is also known as the "Happiness" course and is labelled "The Science of Well-Being" in an online adaptation of the same.

Santos also acts as Head of Silliman College at Yale.

The scheduled lecture is part of YWAA lecture series.  Click YWAA Lectures for more about the series and Yale professors who have visited Westchester over the last several years.

Monday, December 10, 2018

YWAA: Year in Review, 2018

Hugh Price '66 Law addressed Westchester residents in January at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, reflecting on a career in civil rights and as leader of the National Urban Leaqgue
Under the leadership of president Tim Mattison '73, YWAA continued to engage Yale alumni, families and community members in 2018 with a series of events--both old and new, including traditional activities, student debate, community service, Shakespeare, and the popular lecture series from Yale professors. 


Hugh Price '66 Law addressed the Westchester community at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, Jan. 15, where he reflected on his long career in civil rights.  Price served as CEO of the National Urban League from 1994-2003.  In 2017, he published his memoirs This African-American Life, which recounts his days growing up in Washington, D.C., his time in New Haven as a Yale Law student and as a community leader, and his tenure at the Urban League.  

Suzanne Cleary '83, president of the Jay Heritage Center, co-hosted the event, the Annual Literary Tea. 

In January, Maggie Favretti '85, who retired this year from the faculty at Scarsdale High School, received the Thomas Sobol Award for community service for continuing leadership of the Scarsdale Sustainable Garden Project.  The garden has produced thousands of pounds of food donated to food pantries in the Westchester area.

Scarsdale students and others in the community clean, plant, and harvest the garden each year. In 2018, Favretti and her Scarsdale high school crew again sponsored the garden as a Yale Day of Service event in May. She has received other awards for the garden and for other service activities at Scarsdale High School, where she taught social studies. 

Yale men's basketball once again finished as one of the top four team in the Ivy League and earned a berth at the Ivy basketball tournament at Penn in Philadelphia, Mar. 11.  Yale lost to Penn during the tournament, but during an intermission of its game, the League honored Scarsdale native Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., '84 as one of the best Ivy League players ever.  

At Yale, Graves scored 2,090 points from 1980-84 and captained the 1983-84 squad.  Graves was a standout at Scarsdale High School before he performed at Yale. 


Peter Santhanam '85 Ph.d., YWAA board member, once again led the Westchester Yale Book Awards program, which recognizes top students in the junior class at Westchester area high schools.  In 2018, the program presented awards to over 50 students, who received a copy of Yale Law School's Fred Schapiro's The Yale Book of Quotations.  

Danny Keller '18 of Rye sang as a baritone with the The Whiffenpoofs of Yale and got the opportunity to sing in his hometown when the The Whiffs appeared at the Rye Presbyterian Church Apr. 15.  Keller also served as business manager and announcer for the group. 

YWAA and the Yale Westchester Alumni Schools Committee hosted admitted students in Bronxville at the annual Admitted Students Reception Apr. 11. A record 35,206 high school students, including a few hundred from Westchester, applied to the Yale Class of 2022.  Admissions official Debra Johns and three current Yale students were panelists and allowed admitted students in Westchester and their parents to ask questions about the Yale experience. 

David Shimer '18 of Chappaqua and Kaitlin Cardon '20 of White Plains responded to questions about student life, residential colleges, trips abroad, and favorite Yale cuisine.  Shimer was an editor in chief of the Yale Daily News, earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in history, and had just been awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford.  Cardon, a resident of Timothy Dwight College, recounted her travels abroad as a student in Morocco and her experience as an R.O.T.C. student.

(William Primps '71 concluded his years as leader the Westchester alumni-interview program in 2018.  Dana Sands '83, YWAA board member, assumes his position as Chair.)


For Yale's annual Day of Service May 12, Yale alumni sponsored events around the world, and alumni, friends and family members volunteered for a day to serve the community in unique ways. In Westchester, Jason Sandler '16 M.D. and Yang Li '12 hosted a Habitat for Humanity site, where volunteers helped build a house in Yonkers.  

The Yonkers project was the first time it participated in Yale Day of Service. The Scarsdale Sustainable Garden Project hosted volunteers May 19. 

In June, Yale's men's lacrosse team defeated Duke to win the NCAA national championship before 30,000 lax fans in Foxboro, Mass.  It was the Bulldogs' first title, although Yale records show Yale winning a championship in 1883 before the existence of the NCAA. 

Ben Reeves '18, team captain, scored 62 goals during the season.  The team also featured four members from the Westchester area:  Aidan Hynes '20, who played at Mahopac High School; Ted Forst '19 and Owen Jones '18, who both helped Bronxville High School win a state championship, and Will Cabrera '21 of Scarsdale.  Yale finished its championship year with a 17-3 record. 

Marc Lapadula, Yale professor of screenwriting, presented a lecture in Chappaqua as part of the YWAA Lecture Series, coordinated by YWAA board member Rich Fabbro '76.  Before about 80 invited Yale guests, Lapadula named and explained his list of the most important films in American history.  His list included the following:

The Jazz Singer
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
The Graduate
Easy Rider


At Boscobel in Garrison, YWAA hosted its annual outing at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Aug. 19.  Richard II was the performance for the evening, and once again Murray Biggs, Yale lecturer in Shakespeare, returned to lecture on the play and prep Yale alumni and guests for the show under the big white tent along the Hudson River. 

In years past, YWAA-Boscobel has hosted outings of such performances as The General from America, Macbeth, Othello, The Winter's Tale, All's Well That Ends Well, and Hamlet.


Maya Lin '81, '86 Arch., best known for her design of the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, who continues to produce work around the world from her home base in Westchester, is presenting an exhibition through Jan., 2019, "A River Is a Drawing," in Yonkers. 

The exhibition at the Hudson River Museum pays homage to the Hudson River. It features several works from Lin, all with themes recognizing the history and importance of the river or using the river as a background or setting. 

William Nightingale '53 and Dana Sands '83, YWAA board members, led the 22nd annual Westchester Debate Competition Oct. 26. This year, the German International School hosted college and high school teams in White Plains.  

With socialism vs. capitalism being the topic for the evening, Yale's debate team faced off against Princeton and emerged the winner of the college competition.  Rye native Charlie Barton participated for Yale. Yale also defeated Princeton in 2014, 2015, and 2017. Harrison High School won the high school round.

Yale's oldest co-ed, a cappella group, Red, Hot & Blue, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, sang in Westchester in Rye at the Osborne (Retirement Community) Auditorium, Oct. 19. The Yale singers were joined by the Princeton Wildcats, Princeton's highly regarded women's a cappella group.

YWAA board member William Nightingale '53 organized the affair. Both groups from Princeton and Yale sang selections in jazz, pop and the American songbook.

Red, Hot & Blue previously sang at the Osborne three other times, including a concert this past March and concerts in 2015 and 2017. The group celebrated its 40th last year with tours to France, Seattle, China and Puerto Rico. Next semester it plans concerts in Brazil and Washington, D.C.
Harvard organizers of The Game in 2018 decided to try something different.  Yale-vs.-Harvard in football for the 135th time was moved from Harvard Stadium to baseball's storied Fenway Park in downtown Boston.  

The baseball diamond was redesigned into a football grid-iron, and 34,000-plus Yale and Harvard fans squeezed into the ancient park to witness the Bulldogs vs. Crimson, both with winning records but not enough to share an Ivy championship with Princeton. 

Yale kept it close, but Harvard escaped late to surge to a 45-27 victory in a game Yale "should've and could've" won. Fenway, after all, proved to be a museum-piece of a setting in the middle of the Boston skyline.

In 2019,  first up on the YWAA schedule is a double-header a cappella concert Sunday, Feb. 2 (1 pm) featuring Yale's Spizzwinks and the New Blue at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua.  Details will follow.

For YWAA highlights and summaries in past years (from 2013-2017), click HIGHLIGHTS

Red, Hot & Blue, Yale's oldest a cappella group, performed twice in Westchester in Rye in 2018 (YWAA photo)

Scarsdale native Earl Graves, Jr., '84, received an award as one of the top players in the history of Ivy League basketball during the Ivy League basketball tournament in March in Philadelphia (YWAA photos)

David Shimer '18 from Chappaqua and Kaitlin Cardon '20 from White Plains returned to Westchester as guest panelists at the annual YWAA and ASC admitted-students reception in April (YWAA photos)

Yale's men's lacrosse team won the NCAA national championship in June by defeating Duke in Foxboro, Mass. The team included four Westchester residents. (Yale Athletics photo)

In a lecture as part of the YWAA Series, Marc Lapadula, Yale professor of screenwriting, listed his most important films in American history for the audience in Chappaqua (YWAA photos)

YWAA returned to Boscobel in August for a performance of Shakespeare's Richard III. Yale lecturer Murray Biggs spoke to Yale alumni and guests before the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival actors took the stage

Maya Lin '81, '86 Arch. presented an exhibition paying homage to the Hudson River, "A River Is a Drawing." The showing lasts through Jan., 2019, in Yonkers

In White Plains in October, Yale met Princeton again in college debate as part of the annual Westchester competition.  Six high school teams followed. (YWAA photo)

In the 135th Game, Yale and Harvard clashed, but this time in baseball's Fenway Park in downtown Boston. Harvard found a way to win, 45-27. (YWAA photos)

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Game, 2018: Should've, Could've

Yale's offense amassed  411 yards, but couldn't keep pace with Harvard, as the Crimson took the 135th Game, 45-27.

At the 135th Game, Harvard triumphed.  But This Game, in Boston on a chilly, windless Saturday afternoon (Nov. 17), will be allotted into the category of "should've (won), could've won."  At least for Yale, which finished the 2018 campaign at 5-5 after having won the Ivy League last year. The Bulldogs could've won this contest. 

Yale appeared to hang in tightly with Harvard's swift, agile squad for three quarters.  Yale even squeaked ahead early in the second half.  Tired, young, and worn down in the fourth quarter, its defense succumbed and allowed Harvard to escape for easy touchdowns. Harvard won what Yale should have won, 45-27, halting Yale's two-game streak over Harvard. 

This Game will also be The Game at Fenway Park.  Harvard organizers decided to set the game at the aging, but well-maintained, hallowed grounds of the Boston Red Sox (which, by the way, had just won the 2018 World Series).

The Game, 135, was an experiment, a bold change of venue and perhaps a maneuver to attract others who normally would not attend. The experiment meant large throngs of Yale and Harvard students, alumni, families and other guests broke tailgating habits of Yale Bowl and Harvard Stadium and convened in the middle of the Boston cityscape in a stadium geometrically arranged to fit a baseball diamond, not a football grid-iron. 

One end zone was situated where home plate had been. The other end zone was inserted in front of the center field bleachers.  Organizers rolled out new turf to fill the infield.  Groundskeepers sprinted onto the field during time outs to tend to the precious infield grass. 

Nearly 35,000 fans from Yale and Harvard bought the experiment and made the best of watching football from dugout seats, baseball bleachers, and cramped boxes meant for keeping up with balls and strikes and fly balls to deep right.  Organizers even arranged for a corporate sponsor (UBS) and a pre-game flyover, when jets roared above the stadium seconds after the Yale and Harvard bands finished the national anthem. 

Harvard followers held camp along the right-field line.  Yale students and fans were posted behind home plate and along the first-base line. Harvard and Yale football players shared a sideline, which ran parallel to Boston's famous Green Monster outfield wall.  When it performed at halftime, Yale's band faced the end zone where Yale students by the thousands piled behind the home-plate screen.

This Game featured the usual taunts from Yale and Harvard students, who behind different goal posts sat about 100 yards away from each other.  It featured the decades-old, fourth-quarter strip from Yale undergraduates. Band members wandered on the field with residential college flags (now 14 in total). It had tributes to over 20 players from the storied 29-29 Game from 1968, the 50th anniversary of Yale surrendering 16 points in the last 42 seconds. (The quarterback of That Game, Brian Dowling '69, was an honorary captain at This Game, 2018.)

Because this was a major league baseball park filled with high-powered speakers blaring pop songs, Yale and Harvard fans danced and wiggled every time powerful beats blared.  A highlight, most will agree, was the chance for most of the 35,000 to sing along to Boston's favorite anthem, "Sweet Caroline" in the second half. Yale and Harvard joined together in a spectacular chorus in unison. 

Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings '20, a leader in each of Yale's previous two victories over Harvard, injured his leg in the Penn game.  So a first-year quarterback from California stepped in to battle the Crimson.  After a first-quarter interception, Griffin O'Connor '22 settled into Game spotlight and flung passes all over the field with ease. In shot-gun formation, he often took two, three steps back, cocked his arm, faked one way and rifled the ball the other way. Sometimes he overthrew his Yale receivers, but wasn't overwhelmed by The Game's history. 

He tossed a touchdown pass, ran for another, and totaled 328 passing yards.Sophomore running back  Zane Dudek '21, who had been injured all season, surprised Yale onlookers with 66 rushing yards. By the fourth quarter, the Bulldog offense simmered. The defense turned lackluster, listless. Harvard scored at will with long passes and long runs. Just like that, Harvard had scored 45 in total.    

The close, tense affair was no longer close and tense in the waning minutes. But everybody stayed to bask in Fenway glory, celebrate something different, and enjoy a museum-piece of a setting in the middle of Boston's skyline--even if Yale should have and could have won This Game. 


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Yale, Princeton Debate in White Plains

College debaters from Yale and Princeton were followed by high school debate teams at the annual debate competition in White Plains, Oct. 26, 2018 (YWAA photos)

Once again, debate teams from Yale and Princeton journeyed to Westchester to compete and present arguments about a pressing topic of contemporary times.  The German International School in White Plains hosted the 2018 edition of the competition Friday, Oct. 26.  Judges selected the Yale squad as this year's tournament winner after each team had taken separate sides of a topic that pitted the pros and cons of socialism and capitalism.

The debate, sponsored by YWAA and the Princeton Alumni Association of Westchester, continues a YWAA tradition now over 20 years old.

For Yale, Rye native Charlie Barton was joined by teammate Quinn Crawford '21.  Raymond Xu and Preston Johnston, both sophomores, represented Princeton. Martin Sklar, Princeton-Westchester's president and Debate Co-Chair acted as moderator of the event.  Yale also won the event in 2017 at Arsdley High School.  Princeton won in 2016.

Joshua Levin, Administrative Law Judge in New York State, and former Scarsdale mayor Jon Mark judged the event.

This year's event followed the traditional program, where high school teams follow and compete after the collegians are done.  Before they take the stage, the college debaters coach the high school students.  Horace Greeley faced off against Hackley before Blind Brook competed against Harrison.  Judges determined Harrison to be the final high school winner.

Horace Greeley was represented by Krishna Ramaswamy and Dorothy Low.  Zach Yusaf and Zara Yusaf debated for Hackley.  Adena Kibel and Aidan O'Neil were Blind Brook's debaters. The Harrison winning debaters were Rebecca Anderson and Giobanni Cutri, both juniors.

The annual Westchester debate is funded in part by the William Nightingale '53 Debate Fund.  Nightingale continues his two decades of involvement as a Co-Chair of the event.  YWAA board member Dana Sands '83 acts as Senior Chair of the event.

Yale debaters were selected as victors in 2014 and 2015. A team from Brown defeated Harvard and Yale teams in 2013.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Red, Hot & Blue in Rye, Oct. 19

Yale's Red, Hot & Blue sang at the Osborne in Rye in 2017 (above) and returns for another engagement with the Princeton Wildcats, Friday, Oct. 19, 2019 at 7:15 pm. The concert is free.
Yale's oldest co-ed, a cappella group, Red, Hot & Blue, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, returns to Westchester in Rye at the Osborne (Retirement Community) Auditorium, Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:15 pm.  Yale alumni, guests and friends of a cappella are invited to attend the concert at no cost.  The Yale singers will be joined by the Princeton Wildcats, Princeton's highly regarded women's a cappella group. 

YWAA board member Bill Nightingale '53 is coordinating the affair.  Both groups from Princeton and Yale will sing selections in jazz, pop and the American songbook.

Red, Hot & Blue has previously sung at the Osborne three other times, including a concert this past March and concerts in 2015 and 2017. The group celebrated its 40th last year with tours to France, Seattle, China and Puerto Rico.  Next semester it plans concerts in Brazil and Washington, D.C.

The Osborn is located at 101 Theall Rd. in Rye.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Yale vs. Princeton in Debate, 2018

Debaters from Yale will meet their foes from Princeton at the 22nd annual Westchester Debate Competition in White Plains at the German International School on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.              .

The competition will also include area high school teams, who will compete after the Yale-Princeton affair. Once again it is sponsored by YWAA and Princeton's Westchester alumni club. 

Yale gets a chance to defend its Westchester title after having defeated the Princeton group at Ardsley High School in 2017.   Blind Brook won the high school debate last year. Princeton defeated Yale at Ardsley in 2016. Yale took the title in 2015 in Armonk.

High school teams this year will include those from Blind Brook, Hackley, Harrison and Horace Greeley.

The competition, the prizes for which are funded in part from the William Nightingale '53 Debate Fund, includes topics in current events, politics and history.  Teams spar by delivering arguments in favor of or against the issue or question presented.

Ardsley has hosted the event in recent years, but this year's event moves to the German School. Byram Hills, the Hackley School, the Masters School and Blind Brook have also hosted the debate in the past decade.  

Yale and Princeton once again headline the night.  In other years, Yale's team has competed against squads from Brown and Harvard.  After the college students compete, they help coach the high school teams before they present. 

Nightingale and Dana Sands '83, YWAA board member, are Yale coordinators of the event. Martin Sklar is the Princeton coordinator.

For more about the history and tradition of the debate program, sponsored by YWAA, click YWAA-Debate.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Maya Lin's Tribute to the Hudson

Maya Lin '81, '86 M.Arch. pays tribute to the Hudson River in an exhibition this fall in Yonkers.
Best known for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and known, too, at Yale for her design of the Women's Table, a tribute to women at Yale, Maya Lin '81, '86 M.Arch. will be featured at an exhibition "A River Is a Drawing" in Yonkers from October through January, 2019.

The exhibition at the Hudson River Museum explores and pays homage to the Hudson River. It features several works from Lin, all with themes recognizing the history and importance river or using the river as a background or setting.

The works will be placed in several areas of the museum.  They include drawings and sculptures. Some will feature the Hudson in the background. Some will be representations of the river. Other drawings will include rivers from around the world, along with the Hudson. 

In announcing the project, Lin observes rivers as "fluid moving drawings--delineated and drawn out." She explores not only the river's shape and its flowing, but wants to study its history and "movement in time and space."

Over the next few months, she will publish an exhibition catalog and plans to lecture on the planning and purpose of her work. 

Yonkers is Lin's professional home. In 2014, she and her art-collector husband Daniel Wolf     purchased an old Yonkers jailhouse and converted it into a working studio and gallery near the Hudson River. The panoramic views of the Hudson and the Palisades, she told the Journal News then, were major reasons why they moved to Yonkers. "The breathtaking views from the doorsteps of the Hudson inspires a vision as unique as the building itself."

At Yale, Lin has received an honorary degree and served as a trustee on the Yale Corporation.

For more information about Lin's work in Yonkers, click Hudson River Museum (Yonkers).

Monday, August 20, 2018

Back to School, 2018

(YWAA photos)
In the waning days of August at Yale, there is always a calm before the late-August invasion of students--old and new.  This year, Yale welcomes the Class of 2022.

Yale, in late August, is quiet, as the campus gears up for the fall. Special summer sessions are ending, and special orientation programs have begun.  Familiar grounds on Old Campus and along Hillhouse Avenue are as verdant as they will ever be throughout the year. Some might contend the campus is as clean and spruced up as it will ever be--before students return to swarm courtyards, streets, Cross Campus and Broadway and before the slush of winter comes.

The new one-year-old residential colleges (Franklin and Pauli Murray, above) get a dusting up, as well.  Favorite pizza hangouts, less crowded and noisy now, prepare for the September rush.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Boscobel, 2018: Richard II

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will perform Richard II at this year's YWAA Boscobel outing, Aug., 19 (HVSF photos)
YWAA returns to Boscobel in Garrison, N.Y., Sunday, Aug.  19, hosting an afternoon of lecture and picnic outing before the evening culminates with a Shakespeare performance of Richard II by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.  

The afternoon lineup features the pre-show lecture from Yale lecturer Murray Biggs, who for years has prepped Yale alumni and guests with colorful insights and special watch tips before they ventured over to the big white tent at Boscobel for the evening production. 

Yale alumni and guests will also have a chance to lounge on the grounds of Boscobel and observe summertime scenes on the Hudson River shores before the actors take the stage. 

The Murray lecture at the Hastings Center starts at 4:30 pm.  The Richard II performance follows at 7:30 pm (after the picnic).

To purchase tickets for the lecture and performance, click YALE-WESTCHESTER and follow instructions. Or contact YWAA board member Rich Fabbro '76 at 914-391-3707. 

Davis McCallum directs the HSVF's Richard II, and Richard II himself will be portrayed by actress Julia Coffey, not unusual when the HSVF presents its interpretations of Shakespeare's works. 

In early July, Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout called Coffey's performance of the king as "distinctive" while "pivoting from arrogance to desperation so smoothly."   He also praises director McCallum's staging:  "(McCallum) works his usual visual wonders--no director in America is more adept at moving around a big cast."

In years past, YWAA-Boscobel has hosted outings of such performances as The General from America, Macbeth, Othello, The Winter's Tale, All's Well That Ends Well, and Hamlet.  

Monday, June 25, 2018

Six Films That Changed America

YWAA's lecture series resumed in Chappaqua May 29 when Yale's Marc Lapadula spoke on America's most influential movies. (YWAA photos)
Yale screenwriting professor Marc Lapadula came to Westchester May 29 to unveil and explain his list of what he considers as the six most important movies in American history.

Before a Chappaqua audience of 80 Yale alumni, guests and Westchester neighbors, Lapadula outlined his list, explained his rationale, and entertained comments and questions:

The Jazz Singer
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
The Graduate
Easy Rider

Lapadula has taught film and media studies at Yale for 26 years. His courses also include seminars in playwriting, film analysis, and screenwriting. 

While Lapadula selected movies, YWAA guest lecturer and Yale professor Paul Freedman in 2017 spoke about the 10 restaurants that changed America.

Lapadula's visit (at the Chappaqua Library) was part of the YWAA lecture series, organized by YWAA board member Rich Fabbro '76.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yale Lacrosse: National Champs

Yale men's lacrosse won its first NCAA title in 13-11 win over Duke. Four squad members are from Westchester. (Yale Athletics photo)
No matter the breadth, scope and history of Yale athletics, national championships don't come often. No matter the stories, the legends, and the strides the department has made in recent years, national championships are few and are treasured.

Yale men's lacrosse captured the 2018 national championship by whipping an academic school that, well, puts far more emphasis on the importance of accumulating national championships, usually basketball, sometimes lacrosse:  Duke.

For this Yale team, the expectations had actually been high. Despite losing ugly to Cornell in the Ivy League championship game, Yale was projected to get into the Final Four and projected to at least compete in the championship game.

Before close to 30,000 fans in the stadium where the New England Patriots play, Yale prevailed, 13-11, in Foxborough, Mass., May 28. The Bulldogs hoisted an NCAA championship plaque back to Ray Tompkins House in New Haven--its first ever. (The 1883 Yale team claimed a national championship before the existence of the NCAA.) The Bulldogs finished 17-3.

The team had its stars--most notably, Ben Reeves '18, who scored 62 goals in 2018 and was team captain and Ivy League Player of the Year. It also had team members from the Westchester County area, which in the past decade has proven to be an productive farm league for Top 20 college lacrosse teams and which has become a lax hotbed in the way Long Island has been for decades.  (At least 10 players on the Yale championship roster hailed from Long Island.)

If Long Island had 10 or more, then Westchester area had its four.

Aidan Hynes '20, a defenseman, played regularly enough at Yale this year and last year to have earned Second-Team All Ivy last season.  Before Yale, he went to Mahopac High School and played lacrosse there for four years.  In high school, he also starred in basketball and soccer. 

Ted Forst '19, as a junior from Bronxville, scored four goals this season as a regular. Two of those goals came against Harvard in a 16-8 victory in April.  Forst followed his mother Susan Forst '87 to Yale, where his uncle David Ryan '92 also played lacrosse.

Bronxville's Owen Jones '18 was a midfielder, who played sparingly, but had his best game this year in the win against Harvard as a face-off midfielder. Along with Ted Forst, he helped Bronxville High School win a state lacrosse championship and kicked for its football team.

In his first year on the Yale squad, Scarsdale's Will Cabrera '21 scored two goals in the attack position.

To get to the championship, Yale ousted Albany two days before, 20-11, and beat Loyola and UMass on the way to Foxborough.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Preparing the Scarsdale Garden

The Scarsdale Community Garden at Scarsdale High School will host volunteers for Day of Service, Saturday, May 19
The Scarsdale Sustainable Garden Project, one of the long-time, popular activities of Yale Westchester Day of Service, will host again in 2018.  Yale Day of Service across the globe is scheduled for May 12, 2018.  In Scarsdale, the Day of Service will be held a week later, Saturday, May 19, on the grounds of Scarsdale High School.

Under the leadership of Maggie Favretti '85, volunteers, including Yale alumni and area high school students, will clean up the garden area and prepare it for planting.  The community garden has produced thousands of pounds of food through the years, much of it donated to food pantries and soup kitchens in the region.  Yale volunteers and their guests are also invited to contribute to a pot-luck lunch.

The Garden Project has been honored often for its continuing contributions in community service.  Register for the day by clicking Scarsdale Garden.  Click Garden Project to read more about volunteers--high school students and older, busy Yale alumni--at the garden since 2013.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

America's Most Influential Movies

Yale Professor Marc Lappadula (above) will explain how he put together his Big Six of important U.S. movies at the Chappaqua Library, Tuesday, May 29 (Yale photos)
Marc Lapadula, the popular film and media studies professor at Yale, has selected six films that changed America.  The Graduate, Easy Rider, and Jaws made the list, but his list might surprise some.  I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, a 1932 film that received three Academy Awards and tells the story of a convict who escapes to Chicago, appears on Lapadula's list.

Lapadula will explain to a Yale Westchester audience why certain movies changed America or altered how Americans watched and approached cinema.  As part of YWAA's ongoing lecture series, he will speak at the Chappaqua Library in Chappaqua, Tuesday, May 29 at 7 pm.  Yale alumni and the public are invited to attend the free event.

Lapadula's List of Six also includes Philadelphia and The Jazz Singer. His selections were based on film works that ultimately had long-term social impact on America. At Yale, where he has taught for 26 years, his courses include seminars in screenwriting, playwriting, and film analysis.  His plays have been produced in New York, England, and in other parts of the U.S.

A Penn graduate, Lapadula has also taught in adjunct roles at Columbia, Penn and Johns Hopkins.

The YWAA lecture series, dating back several years, has included other Yale professors in history, physics and political science in recent years.  Professor Paul Freedman discussed his new book Ten Restaurants That Changed America in Scarsdale in 2017.  Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar '80, '84JD, an acclaimed expert on the U.S. Constitution, spoke about the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

Board director Rich Fabbro '76 leads the YWAA lecture series.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Yale Day of Service, 2018

Yale Day of Service, 2018, is just days away. Yae alumni, friends, and family members still have time to register for a day of volunteering in the community, Saturday, May 12. Former Secretary of State John Kerry '66 and Marian Wright Edelman '63 LLB are honorary co-Chairs.

For the past several years, Westchester has been the site of many volunteer events. In 2018, activities planned in the region include serving food to the homeless in White Plains, cleaning up a school garden in Garrison, and sprucing up several areas in Poughkeepsie.

One new activity, coordinated by Yale alumni Jason Sandler '16 MD and Yang Li '12, involves helping to build a house for Habitat for Humanity in Yonkers. Yale volunteers will work on the construction of a new home and will have a chance to get hands construction-dirty from framing, assembling drywall, painting, landscaping and siding.

Yale volunteers won't need to bring their own construction equipment.  Habitat for Humanity supervisors will be present and will provide tools and equipment. They will also instruct and guide.  More specific instructions (where to go, what to wear, what you will do, etc.) will be provided after volunteers register.

Habitat for Humanity, 30 years old in Westchester, has built or renovated over 800 houses in the area. Click YDoS to register and volunteer May 12.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Admitted Students Consider Yale

Current Yale students addressed Westchester admitted students at the annual YWAA, ASC reception in Bronxville, April 10. (YWAA photos)
Yale's Class of '22 is in formation.  After yet another hectic season of sifting through 35,306 applications (a Yale record) and making difficult decisions about the next four years for 17- and 18-year-olds around the world, the Yale Admissions Office becomes a marketing office. The 2,229 students admitted in late March must now make a decision about Yale. Yale is planning for 1,550 to enroll this fall (70 percent yield).

"Bulldog Days," a Yale-sponsored extravaganza inviting parents and admitted students to explore Yale in person before the May 1 deadline, is the culmination of the marketing effort. About 1,500 admitted students will attend one of two sessions.

Before prospective students invade New Haven, they may be invited to admissions events around the country. In Westchester, YWAA and the Yale Alumni Schools Committee promote Yale to admitted Westchester students, who reside just 60 miles down the parkway from New Haven, but are still seeking to learn as much as they can in three weeks about Yale's culture and academic offerings .

Yale Westchester's effort to promote Yale is the annual Admitted Students Reception in Bronxville. Debra Johns, a Yale admissions official, returned to Bronxville April 10 for the annual reception, accompanied by three current Yale students, all from Westchester. Admitted students, their parents, and Yale Westchester alumni interviewers attended the reception.

Once again, with the tide turned, Johns and her Yale student panelists happily explained how some of the Westchester applicants wowed admissions officials with not only glowing scores and GPA's, but with dazzling essays and unforgettable responses to "Why Yale?" or "What would you bring to a Yale suite?" or "What inspires you?"

Johns highlighted some of the clever Westchester-applicant replies to the question about individual contributions to a Yale suite, including one admitted applicant who claimed to have expertise in preparing sushi for suitemates. Johns also read short passages from impressive essays.

Admitted students, introducing themselves during the program, are graduating from such Westchester high schools as Edgemont, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Stepinac, White Plains, Scarsdale, and others. They also had a chance to hear about the experiences (good and bad, memorable and unforgettable) from current Yale students and ask questions about even some of the most mundane moments of college life.

David Shimer '19, a Chappaqua native and Horace Greeley graduate, shared stories and experiences of being the Editor-in-Chief at the Yale Daily News and of graduating in May with B.A. and M.A. degrees in history, but wishing he had taken the time to take more courses in the arts. Affiliated with Davenport College, he has also interned at the New York Times.

Johns reminded Shimer he forgot to mention another accomplishment.  In December, he was awarded a Marshall scholarship and will study international relations at Oxford next year.

Kaitlin Cardon '20, a White Plains graduate and current Timothy Dwight resident, talked about her study-abroad stint in Morocco last summer and her experience as a R.O.T.C student, which requires her to rise at 5 a.m. on some days. She recounted her extensive travels as a Yale student in Europe (from Denmark to Spain) and on the West Coast. She lavished praise on T.D.'s cheeseburgers.

The student panelists, at the urging of Johns and in response to admitted students' questions, debated (as they always do) which residential college was the best and discussed how they planned their days and strategized on getting appropriate amounts of sleep. 

With a rising trend among seniors in living off campus, the students rigorously argued the pros and cons of the off-campus experience. But they all concurred on the virtues and quality of Yale dining-hall food.  They reflected on the living experiences of first-year students. (With the construction of two new colleges, first-year students from four residential colleges now live away from Old Campus.)

The prospective students, attentive and on seat edges, asked questions not necessarily addressed thoroughly on websites and in social networks.  Many of them have already decided to attend Yale. One was already sporting a Yale sweatshirt. Some have tough decisions to make in three weeks.

Several Yale alumni interviewers attended the event. Bill Primps '71, head of the Yale Westchester Alumni Schools Committee, and Tim Mattison '73, YWAA president, greeted the guests.

Yale admissions official Debra Johns recounted some of the memorable passages from the applications of admitted Westchester students (YWAA photos).

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Live in Concert This Spring

An upcoming concert for both groups is scheduled in Manhattan, April 13. The Whiffenpoofs will sing in Rye, April 15.
The Whiffenpoofs and Whim 'n Rhythm, Yale's senior singing groups on a last fling of rounds of singing before the school year ends (and before they embark on summer tours), will be in concert in the New York area in April.

The two groups will sing together at the Brick Church (62 East 92nd Street) in New York City Friday, April 13 at 8 pm in a concert supported by the Whiffenpoofs of '65. (Tickets are available at TicketBud.) They will also sing at a Commencement Concert at Yale, May 20. 

The Whiffenpoofs '18 include Baritone Danny Keller '18, a native of Rye and computer science major.  This year's business manager and announcer in the group, Keller returns home with fellow Whiffs when the group sings at Rye Presbyterian Church (882 Boston Post Road), Sunday, Apr. 15 at 3 pm. Tickets are available at the door.

Typical for the group, as it travels across the country and world, the Whiffs have already had concerts in Texas, California, Washington State and Maryland in 2018. 

Both the Whiffenpoofs and Whim 'n Rhythm made news earlier this year when they announced they will permit candidates of either sex to audition for their respective groups.  The Whiffs recently announced its first female participant, Sofia Campoamor '19, who will join the Whiffs next year after singing with Mixed Company of Yale.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Yale Book Awards, 2018

Between now and June, YWAA will present Yale Book Awards to over 50 juniors at Westchester high schools. A Westchester annual tradition, the book awards recognize top students at these schools for "outstanding personal character and intellectual promise." 

Over the past several years, the award has been The Yale Book of Quotations, edited by Yale Law School's Fred Shapiro, a tote bag and book plate with the student's name. YWAA board member Peter Santhanam '85 Ph.D. administers the program.

YWAA board members and other alumni distribute books to the schools. At some schools, Westchester alums will present the awards at an honors assembly and highlight the accomplishments of winners.

Each school selects a Yale Book Award recipient based on criteria provided by YWAA. The program is not associated with Yale admissions, although many recipients in past years choose to apply to Yale and some have attended. For some students, the award introduces them to Yale. YWAA's long-time goal has been to recognize exceptional achievement in Westchester schools.

Participating schools cover the full cross-section of public and private schools in Westchester from Yorktown to Yonkers, from Tarrytown to Port Chester. Lincoln High School in Yonkers, for was a new participant in 2016. 

The program is supported by YWAA and alumni donations.

Click YBA for more about the awards in past years.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ivy Madness: Yale Bows Out

Yale's all-time leading scorer, Earl "Butch" Graves '84, a Scarsdale native, was honored during the Yale-Penn tournament game in Philadelphia, Mar. 11. (YWAA photos)
After having finished in the top four, both Yale's men's and women's basketball teams made the trek Mar. 11 to Philadelphia for the second annual Ivy League basketball tournament. Cheerleaders, the Yale Precision Marching Band, dozens of alumni in blue and a handful of students filed into the ancient Palestra arena.  For the second year in a row, the tournament, even for all the special electricity and celebration of Ivy athletics, turned into big home games for Penn's teams. While Yale followers journeyed from afar, Penn fans scampered across campus and town and helped jam the old gym with red and blue. Yale's men and women lost in first-round games. 

Penn's men's squad demolished Yale, 80-57, on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs, which had beaten the Quakers at home, 80-79, on Mar. 2, forgot how to shoot, missing baskets from every spot on the floor and missing them consistently.  Later that evening, Yale's women also scored 57 and lost to Princeton (78-57), which beat Penn for the Ivy title.

Yale teams didn't retreat back to New Haven with heads too bowed.  That Yale is competing in basketball in mid-March is a phenomenon only a few years old. That Yale teams have winning records year after year now puts satisfying smiles on Yale basketball followers (and athletic-department officials). (The men's team lost to Princeton in the finals last year, won the league title the year before, and lost in a play-off to Harvard the year before that.)

In its second year, the tournament is already a festive pat on the back to how things are conducted in the Ivy League.  Tournament officials run the affair like other big-time tournaments (bands, banners, on-court contests, loudspeaker music, all-tournament teams, confetti, etc.), but with Ivy League flavor with steady reminders of scholar-athletes and basketball alumni with stunning off-court achievements.

Westchester's Earl "Butch" Graves '84, arguably one of Yale's best ever players, who led the Bulldogs in 1980-84, was honored on court during an intermission for being one of the Ivy League's "legends," one of its all-time best.  Before Yale, Graves was a star at Scarsdale High School. At Yale, he set scoring records (2,090 points, best at Yale), many of which still stand. After Yale, he continues to be a big supporter of Yale basketball and leader among its basketball alumni. (One-time Westchester resident John J. Lee, Jr., '58 scored 1,493 points in three varsity seasons.)

The men's team, which finished 16-15 this year, will start the next season in China with a game against Cal. The women will play at least one more game (vs. Northeastern in the WBI tournament).

In the men's tournament, Penn beat Harvard for the Ivy League championship, as Penn fans swarmed the court after its 63-60 victory. (YWAA photos)

Yale shot poorly against Penn and lost 80-57, after having beaten the Quakers in New Haven, Mar. 2 They launch the 2018-19 season with a game against Cal in China. (YWAA photos)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Save the Date: Day of Service

Yale Day of Service, 2018, is set for Saturday, May 12. Save the date, and be ready to volunteer in New York-area communities. Former Secretary of State John Kerry '66 and Marian Wright Edelman '63 LLB, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, are honorary co-Chairs this year.

Yale Day of Service is a day of volunteering, cleaning up, sprucing up, helping out and getting involved in many ways in communities around the world.

At least two sites will be in Westchester County. Jason Sandler '16 M.D. is coordinating efforts to assist Habitat for Humanity at a house in Yonkers.  In White Plains, volunteers will help serve dinner to the homeless at the Bread of Life Food Rescue and Pantry.

In Poughkeepsie, volunteers will help clean up areas in the city. Amy Savage '10 Ph.D. will lead the site. Anne Todd Osborn '00 M.F., coordinator, will lead volunteers who will help in a school garden in Garrison.

Over the past several years, YWAA leaders and volunteers have hosted 3-4 sites annually, including the SPCA in Briarcliff Manor and the community garden in Scarsdale.  Click Westchester-Day-of-Service for more about past sites and Day-of-Service events.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Red, Hot & Blue in Rye

Red, Hot & Blue, the a capaella singing group from Yale, will make a return appearance in concert at the Osborn Auditorium in Rye, Friday, Mar. 2, 2018, at 7:30. The event is free and open to all.

The concert, organized in part by YWAA board director Bill Nightingale '53, will also feature Princeton's Roaring 20 group. The two groups performed at the Osborn last Feb., 2017, and in Dec., 2015. They will sing selections from jazz, pop and the American songbook.

Red, Hot, & Blue is Yale's oldest co-ed singing group, setting an example for Yale's oldest singing group, the Whiffenpoofs, which this month selected for the next school term its first female singer in its history.

In 2017, Red, Hot & Blue celebrated its 40th anniversary with tours in France and Puerto Rico. In 2018, the group sang in Little Rock in January and will spend spring break in Seattle.  In May, it plans a trip to China.

Its current repertoire includes such selections as "Georgia on My Mind," "Blackbird," and "Every time We Say Goodbye."