thanks for the - The Yale Herald



thanks for the - The Yale Herald
6 • Commencement
Though the last four years have been
called the shortest and gladdest years of
our lives, the Berkeley College Class
of 2006 has plenty of wonderful memories to take away from
our time at Yale. Even before we arrived on campus, Big C
Enterprises gave us a great source of hope for the future,
we embraced yet another victory at the Bishop Bash and
cherished the time spent with BK ’05.
Appropriately, senior year brought its share of changes.
We were disappointed to see Dean Levesque go, but excited
at the arrival of Dean Hicks and his “ride hard, die free”
attitude. BK athletes shone this year, with key players in the
amazing upset over Duke in soccer, the thrilling yet disappointing finish at the Yale Bowl, and an Ivy League title in
squash. Though senior essays played a major role and the
future loomed large, we have been aided
immensely by Michella and Cyndi, whose
tireless efforts make life a little easier. Master Rogers (a.k.a. J-Ro) continued to host
wonderful activities such as beer and wine
tasting, senior happy hours, and trips to
museums, operas, and sporting events. The
Senior Dinner featured its share of nostalgia
and humor, but it forced us to reflect on our
time here. With our coursework complete,
many of us headed off for vacations and an opportunity to relax by the beach with our best
friends before returning for our
final week of life at Yale.
Now, as we embark on the
next phase of our lives, we can
look back and realize that the
somewhat arbitrary assignment
to Berkeley brought us great joy
and even better friends. These
bright college years will certainly
not be forgotten, and hopefully we have come
close to accomplishing the goals set out by Mr.
Street four short years ago.
BK all the way.
—Tim Hutter
Meeting, getting know, and coming to love the most
intelligent, caring, invested, and driven people you have ever
met—also priceless
Whatever Commencement and the days and months
and years and (mirabile dictu) decades may bring, we know
we have lived in a house built on the most solid of rocks.
Being barefoot in the great courtyard, listening to the laughter of our unbeatable dining hall staff, greeting Ms. Alicia
Heaney while picking up a letter from our summer internship, chatting with Ms. Janice Havrilla while turning in our
last class schedule to Dean McDow, seeing our Master do his
part in the charitable and crazy Branford Haunted Basement
garbed in a giant squirrel suit, laughing your way through a
“fun but efficient” Branford College Council meeting (the
hottest student council on earth), listening to “that guy who
plays violin in the third courtyard” at night, remembering
the wonderful smile and missed joy of Ramie Speight (we
will always love you): These memories hang together as an
elaborate and iridescent tapestry that, like Branford itself,
thanks for the
complete with a motivational business card. As freshmen in
Swing Space, separated from Old Campus, we heard a now
eerily familiar refrain from Ludacris blasted from day one.
On the intramural fields, though our enthusiasm often outshined our performance, we grew closer as a class and
established a reputation for toughness that would be seen
again in the Freshman Olympics and the Bishop Bash.
Whether involved in snowball fights, kicking field goals, or
throwing a football in the courtyard (or hallway), Berkeley ’06
left its mark on Swing Space in more ways than one, causing
headaches for Dean Levesque and Master Rogers, though
they never gave up on us.
The transition into Berkeley entryways might have divided us physically, but our cohesive spirit remained. Members of our class took over Berkeley activities, including SAC,
BKCC, and the BK Bishop yearbook. Just before The Game,
the Berkeley community welcomed little Eli Levesque as a
new mascot, and then enjoyed an all-organic tailgate that
was the envy of the other 11 colleges. In the winter, we
established a pattern of intramural dominance, winning
championships in A and B Hoops and in men’s volleyball.
The changes to the dining hall brought hoards of transfers
and only helped further establish the superiority of Berkeley College.
During junior year, many members of our class experienced Old Campus for the first time, living in annex space in
Vanderbilt along with BK ’08. The Game returned to Cambridge and, though faced with a series of regulations from the
Boston PD, Berkeleyites found ways to enjoy themselves, 40
ounces at a time. The Prank will forever overshadow the
score from that year, at least in our minds. As the work piled
up and long seminar papers became more numerous, we
logged many hours in the library, and for a select few, the BK
Dungeon became a second home. As the year came to a close,
Seniors from each residential college
And the most absurd understatement
of the 20th century goes to … Robert
Frost, for remarking that Branford College has “the most beautiful courtyard in
America.” Branford has been for us all much more than the
best residential college to live in. With our beloved four
courtyards, unmatched Harkness Tower (originally built
to literally look down on the rest of Yale from its height), or
most luxurious interior, Branford has been, in many ways,
a collection of feelings, sights, and experiences that when
aggregated have added an incalculable value to the richness of our experience here at the world’s top university:
Dining hall dinner—$12.20 (market value: $3.50 at best)
Master Smith’s annual “welcome to Branford” speech—
free (“Saybrook is a barnacle on our side”)
Trip to NYC on MetroNorth—$13.25 (market value: anything just to get away from campus)
Trip to Durfees—$6.75 (items purchased: 2)
Walk to Popeye’s after dark—maybe your life (but it’s
worth the risk)
Your second Dean’s Excuse—$3,000,000 (in sequential, unmarked 20s)
Rahzel beat-boxing “If your mother only knew” live on
campus—free (until this year, but Ludacris was great)
Master Smith handing you your Diploma on Mon.,
May 21, 2006—priceless
Yale College Dean
Peter Salovey, GRD ’86
I extend my congratulations to you on your graduation from Yale. It is with great pleasure that
I join you and your families in celebrating this important milestone. Even after 26 years, I have
clear and fond memories of my college graduation. But, because a quarter of a century can fly by rather quickly, let
me encourage you to awaken each morning and view the day as an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills
developed at Yale, build genuine relationships with other people, and improve the world around us. Your passion,
guided by reason, will take you to unexpected places. Congratulations on reaching this moment, and good luck in
whatever you do next. I’ll miss you!
Yale University President
Richard Levin, GRD ’74:
With great pleasure I congratulate you on the occasion of your commencement from Yale College. Your University
honors you as graduates, and we celebrate with your parents, relatives, friends and teachers this auspicious occasion.
These have been a stimulating four years. You have had the opportunity to explore every part of Yale—the
residential colleges, the courtyards, the classroom buildings, and the libraries and galleries. You have had the privilege
of being taught by a superb faculty, and you have interacted with your fellow students, who come from all parts of this
country and the world. We send you off now with the hope that you will be aware of the importance of tolerance, openmindedness, freedom, and peace and that you will uphold the ideals of service and commitment that mark this
extraordinary place that is Yale University.
Commencement 2006 • THE YALE HERALD
will never fade or show signs of wear. They will remain in our
minds, hearts, and souls a permanent symbol of what a
blessing it is to be—for better or worse, but mostly for the
better—a Yalie and, more important, a Branfordian!
—Branfordiantly, Terelle Hairston
As I turned in my final paper the other day
and realized that the academic demands placed
on me by Yale were officially complete, I wandered into the Calhoun courtyard and started to think about
what it would be like to leave Calhoun, our home over the
past four years. Although my memories of Yale formed
throughout New Haven, at Toad’s and Richter’s, Rudy’s and
Mory’s, East Rock and Sterling, the memories I will hold
most dear are those of Calhoun.
When we arrived in Bingham freshman year, excitement
abounded. Upperclassmen welcoming us to the ’Houn
whisked our belongings up flights of stairs as we settled into
our new home. The year was a good one, capped by our
triumphant victory in Freshman Olympics.
Sophomore year we moved across Elm St. into the college
itself and learned firsthand that Bookworld was no longer a
bookstore, but rather a place with a flickering sign warning
of the revelry within. And 466 was not your ordinary suite,
but instead a two-story party central. Halloween brought a
night of liquor treating, and with spring came the Roman
procession and toga party—an evening that many will never
forget, and some have never remembered. Late-night
cravings were satisfied with mozzarella sticks and bagel
bites in the buttery, and our desire to always be young at
heart could be seen daily as we swayed back and fourth on
the tire swing.
Junior year was one of change. As we prepared to bare
farewell to the Sledges, we knew we’d always remember their
Southern charm and Mrs. Sledge’s bagel-bite study breaks.
We welcomed the Holloways to Calhoun’s helm as they
would guide us through senior year. Dean Lassonde stuck
with us from beginning to end, always a fixture at dining hall
lunches with his bowl of soup and a smile.
For many months, senior year taught us to love the
Whitridge study and its window overlooking the courtyard
as we toiled away on senior essays. Yet, the hours spent at the
senior table or round table in the dining hall ranting about
IMs reminded us that the work would all get done, and that
chatting aimlessly with friends was far more important.
As we bid adieu to the mother ’Houn, let us remember her
with fondness: the Winnebago tailgates at The Game, the
kegs on the castle each spring for Hounfest, the karaoke
nights in the buttery, the lazy afternoons in the hammock.
—Andrew Schram
Commencement • 7
Looking back on four years in Davenport, two words best describe our shared
residential college experience: fire alarms.
Were it not a series of well-timed fire alarms, we might not be
the close-knit, friendly group of people we are today.
It all happened one cold February night in the winter
of 2003. Legend recalls it as the coldest moment of the entire
year. At 3:17 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 8, a high-volume synthesized
shriek, carefully crafted to be as uncomfortable to the ear as
humanly possible, rang out in the night. We walked (or
stumbled) slowly outside, dressed only in our pajamas. We
crowded into Connecticut Hall for warmth. Within a few
minutes, the alarm was turned off. Thankfully we fell back
About 30 minutes later the shriek came again. All 115 of
us (except a few who, to this day, are suspiciously silent when
this story is told) stumbled back outside, ran through the
cold, and huddled together in Connecticut Hall. This time, an
air of anger mixed with joviality in the room; a feeling of
community formed as we waited out the alarm. We introduced ourselves to those we didn’t know, and looked suspi-
Last semester, in a familiar fit of
exam-time procrastination, I sat down
with a few fellow Stilesians to watch
Luc Jacquet’s now famous documentary, March of the Penguins. The film
chronicles the tribulations of perhaps
nature’s most majestic creature, the
Emperor Penguin. Year after year, a
tight-knit flock of these noble beasts
endures the world’s most inhospitable
climate and struggles to survive amid
the indefatigably cruel Antarctic landscape. Despite—or perhaps because
of—the harsh conditions, these compelling creatures show a degree of interdependence and intimacy that rivals the finest of human interaction.
By the end of the penguins’ story, I
found myself on the
verge of tears. Although
I am not particularly inclined towards documentaries of the natural
world, I had succumbed
to the film’s compulsion
to use the penguins’
story as a reflective lens
through which to examine my own relationships. And given the
context of the film—its
celebration of life amid
the nether regions of this
world—I was drawn to think of my
dear Ezra Stiles.
Because of its notoriously elemental architecture and its
notable lack of amenities, Ezra Stiles College might as well
be the Antarctica of Yale, and we its Emperor Penguins. I
doubt that a single of my fellow Stilesians failed to share the
angst wrought from receiving the college assignment letter
in July of 2002. I shall not belabor the harsh realities of
living in the physical space of Stiles—that reality has become
all too familiar in the time that has unfolded here—but I
mention it again as a context through which to celebrate the
miraculous flourishing of life in the Class of 2006. It has
indeed been a moving spectacle.
But in attempting to record the innumerable moments of
genuine sentiment shared during these four years, I feel as
Jacquet must have felt as he first attempted to tell the story
of his subject: There is simply not enough time or space to
capture the infinite beauty of what has been endured. There
are plenty of impressive factoids—three Tyng Cups, two
Rhodes Scholars, and a host of unconscionably high Viva’s
bills—but they reveal only the tip of the iceberg. Buoyed by
the tireless leadership of a Master and a Dean who set foot
on this unfamiliar terrain along with us, we have built an
impossibly sound community upon an unforgiving, rightangle-free foundation. Through days spent deciphering the
Tao of Kau in the dining hall and nights tendered to the
indomitable pursuit of I-J Glory, we have inhabited the cold
haunts of Saarinen’s lair and we have made it warm. We
have kept alive the flame of those who have come before us
by protecting the sacred table, despite the relentless assault
of one Ray McCarthy. And although time grows nigh and our
humble flock must soon disperse, we can all take comfort in
the knowledge that physical displacement means nothing to
us: For Stiles, dear friends, is and always has been a state of
mind that transcends its physical space.
—Chris Wells
e reflect on their four years at Yale
ciously at people who were not in Davenport and were “just
hanging out” in their pyjamas in Welch at 3:45 a.m. After 10
minutes, we were all back in our beds.
At 5 a.m., a final alarm rang. We were back in Connecticut
Hall. There was a surreal sort of feel in the air. We were all in
this together, exhausted, cold, hungover, and united against
some nameless foe that tormented our dreams. It later
turned out that this foe was the renovators, who had decided
to install fire alarms that, in addition to detecting heat,
detected extreme cold on the outside of Welch.
On that night, groggily massed in Connecticut Hall, we
bonded as a community. We were sleepless, exhausted,
bitter, and cold, but all of Davenport ’06 was in it together.
Since then, we have gone through more than any other
Davenport class in history. Sophomore year, the college
literally collapsed around us (remember the Cottage bathroom and the dining hall roof?). Junior year, half our class
lived in Swing Space and the other half chose to stay close
to Davenport on Lynwood. Senior year, we returned to
Davenport, only to be bid farewell multiple times during
reading week by our old friend, the fire alarm. Yet we’ve
grown together as a class and forged a sense of collective
The group of tired fire-alarm-refuges in Connecticut Hall
that night three and a half years ago presaged the class we
would become. While there are smaller groups of good
friends within our larger community, everyone in Davenport
enjoys speaking, eating, relaxing, and studying with everyone else. We have the strongest community of any college
class I have seen.
So, to the Davenport Class of 2006, congratulations to us.
We made it to graduation. We shall all take different memories from our time here, but wherever you go, whatever you
do, whenever you hear a fire alarm, think of your time in
—Aaron Zelinsky
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to cram the
past four years into 500 words. I thought about making a list,
a top-10 countdown of the greatest JE moments of our time,
but that was just unsatisfying. I thought of writing an emotionally gripping piece about time, friendship, and memory,
but that just made me feel depressed. So I’m not quite sure
where that leaves me, or what, precisely, all this is. I guess,
in the end, all I’m trying to do is to figure out how to say goodbye, to JE and to everyone else.
Trying to describe what JE means to me is like trying to
explain the nuts and bolts of a really great friendship, only to
discover that all you can think to say is, “Yeah, he’s really
nice.” The problem is it’s impossible to capture those really
important little moments, the ones that truly matter, the
ones that make you smile whenever you think of them, no
matter how much time has passed. Each of us has a unique
set of these memories. What connects our class are the
moments that overlap, the ones we all shared: all those
conversations in the dining hall, the evenings in the Buttery,
the long afternoons in the courtyard. Those are the times
we’ll really remember.
JE was, to put it simply, the center of my Yale world. It
was where I went to pick up mail, get money, steal candy,
hear the news, throw ice, throw water, be fed. It was where
Heidi and Teri and Sondra and Bronwen and Master Haller
and Dean Mangan were, ready and willing to help us with
whatever desires we felt like satisfying that day. Sure, JE was
a little rough around the edges in a lot of places, but that was
barely noticeable from those front-row seats at the Met, or
after that first free drink at Spider Ball. Overall, I think we
had it pretty darn good.
I used to wonder how my Yale experience would have
been different in any other residential college, the same way
I used to wonder what my life would have been like if I’d gone
to another university. I’ve given up on asking that question,
though, because I’ve finally realized that my life without JE
is simply unimaginable. I think that’s true for every member
of JE ’06, no matter how little or how much time we spent
there. JE is, in every way that matters, our own achievement, the result of our jokes, our drama, and our very good
times. It’s exceptional because we made it that way. So
thank you for that. Thank you my classmates, my fellow JE
seniors. You guys are the ones who made being in JE really,
really nice.
—Mandy Brown
• Commencement 2006

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