Author Archives: Alec Haverstick

About Alec Haverstick

Class Co-Secretary Alec Haverstick (SY), having held his Lehman stock to the bitter end, is still working as a private wealth advisor with Bessemer Trust. When he isn’t chasing new business or his 12 grandchildren, he continues to develop his understanding of American culture, which has been his primary intellectual pursuit since junior year at Yale. See profile

Class Notes March 2021 (for May / June YAM)

On days when I look at my Outlook calendar and see “Class Notes Due,” my first reaction is not often a good one. In fact, more often than not, it’s one of pure panic: what the hell am I going to say?

Sometimes the irreverent in me takes over. I think of making stuff up like imagining a conversation between Sherrod Brown and Ted Cruz or actually getting a response from Paul Krugman to my numerous emails. The recent televising of Clarice can bring forth a fantasy chat with Ted Tally on the pairing of fava beans with a good chianti, and I still long to find out if the former president ever paid the fees he likely owes Marc Kasowitz.  I even picture Leslie Cockburn making stump speeches in Charlottesville and wonder how that’s working out. But mostly this week I am thinking about how the world changed a year ago, how long that change has lasted and the impact it has had on millions of people around the world of which I am hardly a microcosm. Compared to most, I’ve had it easy, but I still regret the lack of casual connectivity: the chats with colleagues, the impromptu and/or scheduled lunches, drinks and the like, the pace of it all. I don’t miss getting up at 5AM to drive to NYC before the traffic gets too bad but I do miss the drive home when I invariably listen to a novel on Audible and decompress before arriving. Some weeks I feel like the workday begins at 7AM on Monday and continues unabated into Friday evening—a constant marathon punctuated with questions like do I live to work or do I work to live. I find these days it is too often the former.

But inevitably something happens to awake me from my Puritan slumbers. It’s called life. This week there were three such events.

Some weeks ago at the urging of Steve Blum, I found myself agreeing to take on a Yale senior as a mentee or, perhaps better stated, agreeing to attempt to mentor a Yale student. Several days later I found myself on Zoom with a 23 year old person with whom I needed to make a connection. But, other than Yale and a willingness to enter the program, the two of us have little in common. We are separated not only by 45 years but by race, gender, background an interests. I am not surprising anyone when I say that I am a child of white privilege, that I went to a Yale feeder and a prep school no less, that I love the humanities and cannot comprehend science or math (although I trust both) and that for me Yale was as logical a next step in my life as politics was for a member of the Adams family. Only Henry dared reject it. 

My mentee, conversely, is none of these things. She is so much more. And beyond that it is not my place to characterize her. We have worked hard to establish common ground and have agreed that authenticity is paramount. But the practical question I faced was how to advise someone who wanted to go to medical school. Hell, the closest courses I took to science at Yale were psychology and anthropology. 

But I do know about getting into places: I’ve had four different careers and twice as many jobs and I can tell the difference between admissible and admitted even if not a hawk from a handsaw. So my advice: “You need to meet some of my classmates who practice medicine.” The first person I emailed was Charlie Thorne. That fine gentleman was back to me the same afternoon expressing his willingness not only to speak with my Yalie but to introduce her to others in her aspirational field. I knew I tried to play freshman baseball for a reason, and, much as I was out of my league on the same field with Charlie, Pat O’Gara, Ken Knodel, Rich Edwards and Don Massey (to name a few) and much as I am in over my head with my pre-med student, I felt that immediate feeling of being on the same team. And it’s sustaining.

I said there were three events and that leaves two. So I want to thank Naomi Lewin for her entertaining multi-media presentation of her career at the Tuesday Zoom lunch and for her patience with her ham-handed technician. Naomi followed such luminaries as Stan Weiss, who is rapidly becoming New Jersey’s most quoted infectious disease expert, Forbes columnist and real estate maven Fred Peters, and Dan Voll, quondam kidnappee and now a teacher in Colombia as speakers on our monthly Zoom. And yes, we NY centric provincials are trying to figure out a way to make this more accessible nationally. We have enlisted San Francisco based Kevin McKean in this process and would love volunteers from west of the Hudson (including you Ralph Fascitelli) to address us about their passions. We will even set up a special Zoom at a special time to make it happen. 

And that brings me to event number three as one of my dearest friends from freshman year has reappeared in my life. The electric “Solar” Tom Strumolo will grab the mike for our next Zoom which is scheduled for April 6th. Tom has devoted his professional life to practical approaches to solar conversion and with climate change being one of the topics that not only confronts the planet but seems to polarize Americans as much as anything else, it should make for a lively discussion. 

So that’s it for now because, uncannily, of space constraints. Bennett Gilbert, you will appear soon. Carolyn Grillo, you, Tom Corbi and Jane Miller need to take your act beyond Facebook. Chris Coffin, I hope you got your shots and Jeff Johnson, I will envy your minimal reaction to shot number two until the day I die. I’m not bitter…just sore.

Be careful out there!

Class Notes November 2020 (for Jan/Feb YAM)

Greetings to all. I am writing this towards the end of the week following that week that was and before the week that will be. By the time you read it, however, it will in all likelihood be 2021 which, for those of us who have decided that the only way to survive 2020 is “one day at a time,” is immeasurably far into the future even though only 45 days away. 

The events of the last eight months, culminating in the events of the last two weeks, have taken their toll on all of us and certainly on me. As what Myers Briggs categorizes as an intuitive extrovert, living without the stimulation of being in Manhattan daily or at all has required an exercise in self-management that I have, in the main, handled tolerably though far from excelled at. And I have awaken on more than one morning with that “Groundhog Day” sensibility that must be conquered just to get out of bed. And I am one of the luckiest people I know, so how must it be for those less fortunate than I am? 

Simultaneously, as a student of American intellectual history, I have experienced a level of anxiety, a true fear for the future of the Republic, that is only now beginning to subside but which can crash over me whenever I turn on the news. This is not only a fear for the health of the Republic itself but for the health and well being of its citizens who, if they read Shakespeare, must feel like “flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods. They kill us for their sport.”  I cannot claim the fault is in our stars. But I can feel it may be in ourselves, that in our willingness to compromise, we have become underlings. 

I have found that communicating these feelings with some of you both privately, on calls and, yes, even on social media has been both important and useful. I have counted on my dialogues with “the regulars”: Jane Miller, Carolyn Grillo, Charlie Thorne, the irrepressible Tom Corbi as well as Peter White and Peter Marshall, two high school classmates of each other who could audition for Shana Alexander and Jim Kilpatrick in another life. And I appreciate the insights from the group I identify as the “cogent observers” such as Rich Edwards, Ralph Fascitelli, Chris Coffin and Russ Leavitt not to mention Sandra Wood Forand, Naomi Lewin, Anne Riney, Richard Brown, Dan Voll, Doug Cassel and Marion Suter. And then there is the only male character Virginia Woolf would like: my dear friend, Fred Peters, who actually posts pictures of bread he has baked and pies he has made as the winds rage all around him. If that’s not bringing order out of chaos, what is?

From our Facebook group: Tricia Tunstall [PC] married Eric Booth in October!

Just writing this has made me feel better, so I will tip my hat to Harvey Kent, Shary Aziz and Stu Rohrer who actually do all the work so I can look good. And to all you lost folks who received and responded to Kate Wodell’s wonderfully illustrated card, thank you for your email addresses. I promise that I have not sold them to telemarketers to make up late class dues. 

Okay…I’m done, except for the following:

I received the following from Doug Berman and Bill Schwartz just after I sent in my last class notes. It deserves a full printing:  

“We write to report the sudden passing of our dear friend and roommate, Judd Magilnick, from a heart attack on September 23, 2020.  

Judd moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduation to pursue a career in filmmaking.  Over time, his interests shifted, and he turned from his camera to his pen, founding and running MarketPlace America, a trade and communications consulting firm.  At about the same time, Judd, who had grown up in a Reform Jewish family in suburban Connecticut, took up Torah study in Los Angeles, and soon became an active member of LA’s Modern Orthodox community and a leader in his synagogue, the Pacific Jewish Center (The Shul on the Beach).  He also became active in conservative political circles, writing thoughtful articles for the American Spectator and other conservative journals. Together with his family, Judd’s Jewish identity and his commitment to Jewish tradition were the pillars of his life.  

Judd was a kind and gentle soul known for his his deep, iconoclastic intelligence and his amazingly quick wit.  He was as facile with a pun as he was finding humor in life’s many ironies.  Judd readily opened his heart and his ear to anyone who approached him.  He was a loyal friend, beloved by his classmates in TD.  He actively maintained his Yale friendships throughout his life by attending our reunions with his cherished wife, Denise, sending dozens of carefully curated articles to his many Yale friends according to their interests, regularly participating in our weekly Covid-era Zoom calls, and welcoming any classmate who happened to be stranded for a weekend in LA to his Shabbat dinner table. 

Judd met Denise shortly after moving west.  She was the love of his life, and they formed a perfect partnership.  One could not have scripted a better suited or more loving couple.  Together they raised five wonderful children – Nathaniel, Joshua, Aryeh, Gavriel, and Betsy – who adored Judd and whom he adored; there was much to be learned from Judd about parenting.  He also leaves behind ten grandchildren who, sadly, will not get to play with him, learn from his wise counsel or laugh at his jokes as they grow up. 

All of us who knew him at Yale will miss him deeply.  May his memory be a blessing.”

May we all experience a blessing in our lives. All of us. 

(compiled 11/12/2020)

Class notes November 2020

My apologies to all members of the class, but I am late in getting this in. As a result, it will be necessarily short, which is probably just fine with many of you.

Why am I late, you ask. Well, how’s this for a reason?  When I opened the last YAM issue to the “In Memoriam” section which I invariably do so as to ensure I haven’t missed a classmate’s passing, I was shocked to see Alan Strasser reported as having crossed the great divide. Don’t worry, Alan, you are still with us in body as well as spirit. As a matter of fact, we became FB friends some weeks after your reported passing.

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Class notes September 2020

Greetings:  Since launching our email recovery campaign as announced in the last YAM, we are grateful to have received emails from many of you either volunteering your email addresses or asking if we have them. We have even received emails from several of you who didn’t realize they had requested Yale not release their emails to the class. We appreciate the positive response! If by any chance you are not getting the emails we are sending out independent of YAM, please let me know at

Here are some of the people we have heard from in recent weeks with stories to tell, information to impart or even just an email address update:

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Class Notes July / August 2020

Greetings from an office than once served as a playroom. I am surrounded by pictures my kids made when they were younger than their kids are now, so I really am living in the past. But as Faulkner said….

In the month of April we tried a new experiment. We emailed you an off-cycle set of class notes and got a very positive and appreciated response. But we also found that a whole bunch of emails got kicked back. That means we don’t have a correct email address for you!

Now I realize that some if not many of you are not particularly interested in hearing from corporate Yale, but I can’t believe most of you are not interested in hearing from your classmates. After all, I hear how many of you are in touch with each other away from here and how much those relationships matter.  I also know that many of you stay in touch through affinity groups that you were part of as undergraduates, but many of us can’t join the football string or the Whiff string for obvious reasons. I, for one, haven’t been able to carry a tune since my voice changed and when I got to Yale, nobody mistook me for Brian Clarke, so I was a devoted spectator who knew how to sneak a bottle of tequila into the Bowl much not much else. But I can’t even hack into that email chain (though I have managed to get the alumni list of every senior society for the last 100 years), so you are lost to me and the greater share of your classmates except through Yale sponsored mailings.

That sucks.

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Class notable: Dr. Eric Letovsky checks in from the pandemic front lines

This supplement to our Class Notes features a life story from a classmate who checked in recently after 46 years out of touch. Send your own stories, comments and updates to

Dear Classmates,
As you may or may not know, many Yale 74ers are on the front lines of the Covid epidemic.  These include Pat O’Gara in Boston, Jim Anderson at NIH, Ken Moselle in Vancouver, Stan Weiss in New York City and I’m sure Barry Messinger is out there somewhere. There are probably more and we would like to hear from you. To that end, we are publishing this email from Eric Letovsky which arrived in my inbox some days ago. 

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Class Notes: Special Covid-19 edition

Reply to Alec at  –  Visit our Facebook group*

Alec Haverstick
Alec Haverstick

Dear Classmates: Like most, if not all, of you, I am in my seventh week of quarantine, isolation, social distancing, working from home or whatever you want to call it. And I have a question for each of you which I will phrase in my best Jerseyese: HOW YOU DOO-IN? Are you well? Are you sick? Are you sick of being home? Is your spouse sick of you being home?  What are you thinking about all this?

The reasons I ask are many, but here are two:

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Class Notes March 2020

I hate writing about death. Writing about life seems infinitely preferable, but death is in the news and several recent deaths are particularly on my mind and those that I have just learned about must be reported. So here goes: 

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Class Notes January 2020

[Filed January 7, 2020]

Greetings from Rockefeller Center still aswarm with tourists having their pictures taken in front of the giant tree and (bah! Humbug!) making it literally impossible to get to and from work. I suppose I should be glad that their dollars will flow into New York coffers, but getting stuck in the midst of a mob of selfie takers loses its glitter after the 30th or 40th day of the holiday season. At least Starbucks has returned to its normal cups, and I have the app which means no waiting. 

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Class Notes September 2019

The Lunch of the Class

The planning for our fiftieth reunion kicked off at The Yale Club in New York City on September 10th with a lunchtime gathering of about twenty-five of our classmates. Wait…what?   I’m wrong again. What kicked off was the first of the fall 2019 monthly lunches which was attended by about 25 of our classmates. What also kicked off was mine and Stu Rohrer‘s 68th year since we both turned 67 on that day (also the birthday of Roger Maris, Arnold Palmer and, wait for it… Pope Julius the Third who is entering his 582nd year and looks remarkably well preserved. None of the three made it to the lunch, however).

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