Tuesday, October 15, 2013

YWAA to Honor Nightingale, Yale Debate

On Nov. 8, YWAA will honor Bill Nightingale '53 (above, with AYA Executive Director Mark Dollhopf '77 and his wife Nancy at Yale events and in his youth) for his contributions to Yale Westchester and the Debate Program. Alumni and debate fans in the region are encouraged to attend the dinner and contribute to a special debate fund.
Mention Yale debate to Bill Nightingale '53, and watch him pour forth with passion. Watch him, too, tend to, care for, and direct with ardor Yale Westchester's annual college and high-school debate event.  Watch him describe with glee and pride the students who prepared hard and participated from each college and area high schools.  Then watch him get going planning and scheduling the next debate the next year, nudging and corralling supporters, alumni, and participants to ensure each event is a success.

Nightingale has been at it for 15 years. The Yale Westchester Debate Program, which annually pits Yale vs. Harvard vs. Brown in a lively debate evening in Westchester, enters its 16th year in 2013. Nightingale--with help from other Yale alumni--has led the program, organized the event, arranged for judges, acted as master of ceremony and encouraged avid participation from Yale, Brown, Harvard, and high-school debaters in the region. 

Nightingale presides over a program that has resulted in fervent debate skirmishes among the rival schools.  College and high-school debaters debate current events and issues and other intriguing topics--often in front of enthusiastic audiences of alumni and friends, parents and classmates of debaters on stage. Invited judges proclaim a winner. There is no secret, however, that Nightingale roots quietly for Yale to win.

YWAA plans to honor Nightingale and his efforts and accomplishments leading the program at a dinner Friday, Nov. 8, 6:30 pm in West Harrison at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel (80 Red West Oak Lane, off I-287).

Yale Westchester alumni and all those who have attended or supported Westchester debate are encouraged to attend. Dinner attendees and supporters of the program are also encouraged to contribute to a separate permanent fund, the new William L. Nightingale Debate Fund, to honor Nightingale and to ensure the program continues in years to come.

For most who know him, Nightingale's service to Yale extends beyond his diligence in debate. The dinner will be an opportunity to toast Nightingale for decades of service to Yale and Yale Westchester.  He has acted as a long-time Class Treasurer for his beloved Yale Class of 1953 (Silliman College, he likes to boast) and has organized annual February reunions in New York for classmates for the past 18 yeas.

He has been secretary of the board of directors of  the Yale Westchester Alumni Association since 1980.  At YWAA, he is always on the front lines planning events, fund-raisers, and alumni activities and is a faithful, front-row attendee at AYA Assembly sessions in New Haven. (He served on the AYA Board of Governors for three years.)

Under Yale's president A. Barlett Giamatt '60, he served on the University Communications Council and Publication Council. He received the Yale Outstanding Service award in 2000.

Many alumni in Westchester know him well for his active leadership in the local Yale Alumni Schools Committee program. He has been involved since 1960.  ASC assists Yale's admissions office in arranging and conducting alumni interviews and encourages admitted students to attend Yale. 

The story has been told often in the past year (and will be told over and over) how he led YWAA's annual fund-raising dinner in Westchester last year and was instrumental in inviting then-provost Peter Salovey '86 Ph.d. to be the main speaker.  After Nightingale's polite urgings, Salovey agreed, but realized the Westchester dinner was scheduled on the same day of his interview by the Yale Corporation for the Yale presidency.

After Salovey was appointed president days later, he told an AYA audience of over 300 that while he was waiting to go into the most important interview in his life, he kept looking at his watch often to make sure he wasn't tardy for "Bill's dinner" in Westchester. He arrived in time.

The Nov. 8 dinner that honors Nightingale will feature cabaret singer Angela Cason '83, accompanied by David Pogue '85, known also as the consumer-technology columnist for the New York Times.

In 1990, Nightingale and Cason formed the advertising agency Cason Nightingale, for which he continues as chairman today. It's not a surprise that Nightingale sees to it that the firm regularly hires Yale students as interns and full-time employees.

To purchase tickets for the dinner event and make separate contributions to the new fund, click NIGHTINGALE DEBATE or go to the YWAA site:  www.yalewestchester.org and click "Events." Merrell Clark '57, '70 MAR Chair of the board of directors of YWAA, leads the event.


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