Vic Corcoran (1951 – 2023)

Vic Corcoran Yale Class of 1974
Vic Corcoran

I have been honored and grateful for a stream of communication from McKim Symington – one of our class Vietnam vets – about the passing of Vic Corcoran [SM] in Tahiti on March 23rd. It appears Vic eschewed the “grim professionalism” Kingman Brewster claimed to see in us and led a life that more belongs in a novel than in the class notes.

According to McKim’s emails, Vic, who had previously turned down the opportunity to swim in the 1968 Olympics, carried his aquatic skills both to Vietnam and, in 1979, to the French Foreign Legion special forces as a “reconnaissance swimmer” where he specialized “offensive nautical intervention” for the balance of his career, including eight months of the Gulf War, ultimately receiving the Croix de Guerre which I understand is more or less the equivalent of our Silver Star.

Vic retired to Tahiti and ultimately passed from cancer. McKim wonders if the cancer was connected to exposure to Agent Orange.

Read an obituary from the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle

Bennett Gilbert’s Op-Ed: ‘Securing humane values at Yale’

Our classmate Bennett Gilbert (SY), who teaches history and philosophy at Portland State University, weighs in on Yale’s renaming of University Commons, heavy use of adjunct faculty and the purpose of Yale’s endowment. This op-ed appeared in the Yale Daily News on November 14, 2022.

Jim Liebman on ‘Where the Supreme Court is Headed’

James Liebman '74
Jim Liebman ’74

At our Class of ’74 lunchtime talk on August 9, 2022, Columbia Law Professor James Liebman (’74 TC) reviewed recent Supreme Court decisions on abortion, guns and religion and what they reveal about the new Court majority’s hidden and not-so-hidden agenda.

He also fielded questions from classmates about the prospects for new Constitutional amendments, changes to the Electoral College, limits to regulation by federal agencies, and other issues in what he sees as a dramatic transformation of the Court’s direction.

Jim is the Simon H. Rifkind Professor at Columbia Law School and founder of the school’s Center for Public Research and Leadership. During his career, Jim has tackled school desegregation including at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, accountability in education for the NYC school system, and the death penalty and habeas corpus, arguing five cases in the Supreme Court. From 1978 to 1979 he was law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Watch the video of this session [login required].

Reflecting on Sunset, by Charles Martin

Charles Martin exhibits ‘Metropolis’ photos in NYC

A collection of cityscape photos by Charles Martin [’74 SM] — reflecting New York, São Paulo, Paris and Montréal — will be on view at a solo exhibition in downtown NYC from Sept 8 – Oct 18, 2022.

The exhibition, titled Metropolis, explores how “daylight, twilight and electricity luminously shape and paint the cities,” Chuck writes, calling up comparisons to the geometry of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the abstract vision of Alfred Stieglitz, and the sentiment of Bob Marley in his song “Concrete Jungle,” where he wonders what the city has “got for me now?”

Chuck is a photographer, filmmaker and writer whose work has appeared in American group shows at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Leica Gallery (NY) and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. He has also exhibited in Paris, Algiers and Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Mato Grosso, Brazil. This is his eighth solo show at June Kelly Gallery.

Charles Martin Photographs
June Kelly Gallery
166 Mercer Street
New York, NY
8 September – 18 October, 2022

Classmates share ‘most memorable’ books

A few years back, on the occasion of our 45th reunion, we asked classmates to name the most memorable books they had read since graduation day in 1974.

The responses were as diverse and far-ranging as you’d expect from our classmates, tending toward history, biography and classic novels but also including religious texts and fantasy fiction. The most frequently mentioned authors were Robert Caro, Charles Dickens, Patrick O’Brian, Philip Roth, Leo Tolstoy, John Updike and Edward O. Wilson.

Here are the individual titles (or in some cases, series) most frequently mentioned as “most memorable books.”

Add your suggestions and comments on our Facebook 1974 group page (contact Alec if you need an invite to the group).

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (anthropology – 2018) by Yuval Harari
  • Guns, Germs and Steel (geography-history – 2014) by Jared Diamond
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow (psychology – 2011) by Daniel Kahneman
  • Master and Commander series (historical nautical novels 1969-2000) by Patrick O’Brian
  • The Bible (2nd century BCE, first print version 1455!)
master and commander
“Master and Commander”
  • A Gentleman in Moscow (historical thriller – 2019) by Amor Towles
  • Moby Dick (literary novel – 1851) by Herman Melville
  • Harry Potter series (fantasy – 1998-2007) by J.K. Rowling
  • Ulysses (literary novel – 1922) by James Joyce
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (magical realist novel – 1967) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • War and Peace (historical novel – 1869) by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Power Broker (biography of Robert Moses – 1975) by Robert Caro
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (metaphysical fiction – 1974) by Robert Pirsig
  • Angle of Repose (historical novel – 1971) by Wallace Stegner
  • Neuromancer (science fiction – 1984) by William Gibson
  • All the Light We Cannot See (historical novel – 2014) by Anthony Doerr
  • Team of Rivals (history of Abraham Lincoln – 2006) by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Anna Karenina (historical novel – 1878) by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being (historical novel – 1984) by Milos Kundera
  • Years of Lyndon Johnson series (4-volume biography – 1982-2012) by Robert Caro
  • Steve Jobs (biography – 2011) by Walter Isaacson

Nurturing home-grown innovation in West Harlem

Working in and with the Harlem community, Greg Ho (’74 TC) promotes new ventures to create local jobs in life sciences and ed-tech

Greg Ho, West Harlem Innovation Network

Greg spent 16 years as a top manager at McKinsey & Company and is co-founder of Spring Mountain Capital in New York City, a private investment firm that invests in tech and healthcare companies.

Now he has channeled his energy into West Harlem Innovation Network, an initiative to “build companies that bring revolutionary technologies to the Harlem community and, in turn, create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs for Harlemites.”

In this ’74 lunchtime talk, Greg explains how this effort to give back to the community came about, and how it incorporates different strands of his business and personal life experience.

Watch now [login required]

Into the COVID zone: Dr. Mark Cramolini

Mark Cramolini M.D. Yale Class of 1974

“When NYC called, I was moved to answer,” says Dr. Mark Cramolini (’74 DC), a critical care specialist based in Knoxville TN. The time was April 2020, when the terrifying first wave of COVID-19 struck New York City. Mark volunteered to help at the overwhelmed Jack D. Weiler Hospital in the Bronx.

The chaotic scene at the hospital was captured in a New York Times short video, Life and Death in the ‘Hot Zone.’ Mark spoke about his experience at our ’74 lunchtime talk on February 8, 2022.

Watch now [login required]