Yale Class of 1975

YAM Notes: January/February 2023

By Thomas J. Bourgeois

As I file these notes, I look forward to November’s in-person resumption—after a two-year COVID interruption—of the annual YAA Assembly and Convocation, and to hosting a class table in Alumni Village before the November 12 Princeton game at the Bowl. I’ve been collecting replies to an email blast invitation for the last several days from classmates who plan to attend and from others announcing regrets but wishing us and the Eli gridiron squad well. Since I can’t exactly drop in on New Haven from the Left Coast, it’ll be great to get back for my first visit since 2019, and I’ll be happy to report on the proceedings, formal and informal, in my next column.

One of the first positive replies to my class table invite came from Chris Whipple, whose upcoming book The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House launches on January 17. Vanity Fair has previewed it with an online excerpt. It’ll be available on Amazon, and you can check it out at the publisher’s website.

I’m overdue to report that Pierson’s own Fred Krupp was elected last spring to serve as an alumni fellow on the Yale Corporation. His six-year term began July 1. Fred continues his 37-year tenure as president of the Environmental Defense Fund. Congratulations, Fred!

Finally, I’m much indebted to Greg Zorthian for this remembrance of Charles Baker Keefe:

“It is with great sadness that I report our classmate and my close friend and Timothy Dwight roommate Charlie Keefe passed away on September 8. He spent the last four and a half years fiercely fighting the cancer that would take his life. He never gave up; he just ran out of time.

“Charlie’s years at Yale were filled with song. He sang with the Russian Chorus, the Baker’s Dozen, and, as a senior, the Whiffenpoofs. He wrote for the Yale Daily News and was a history major.

“After Yale, he spent a few years on Capitol Hill as a Congressional aide before heading off to Columbia Law School. He was an accomplished New York lawyer and was a partner at Webster Sheffield and Coudert Brothers. In the late ’90s, he and his family lived in Moscow for five years, where he led the Coudert office during the rise of the oligarchs. When Charlie retired from practicing law in 2020, he was a partner at Bryant Rabbino in New York City.

“More importantly, Charlie was always a joy to be with. He had a great smile, an infectious laugh, and a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of humor. He was a lifelong learner, studying French, singing with a chorus, writing poetry, and taking online Yale courses until the very end. He was a world-class crossword puzzle solver and competed in many American Crossword Puzzle Tournaments. As one friend said of Charlie, ‘His reach was wide and his impact deep.’ So true.

“Charlie is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lila Locksley, and sons Thomas and James of New York City, and by his father Thomas and his wife Susan of Houston. Charlie’s mother Freya and sister Jenifer predeceased him.

“Charlie was a dear friend of 51 years, and I shall miss him greatly.”

Our hearts go out to Charlie’s family and many friends.

I promise more news next time, and I continue to ask for your updates.