Yale Class of 1975

YAM Notes: March/April 2019

By Thomas J. Bourgeois

One of the joys of this august post is that I keep meeting classmates I did not know in our undergrad days. My latest such acquaintance presented himself via e-mail as follows: “I’m pleased to e-meet you. I’m Mark Chussil, BK ’75, and I’d like to contribute to the class notes for a change. . . . I thought I’d be slowing down at this time of life. I’m surprised and delighted to be doing quite the opposite. A new book (my third) is coming out, coauthored with Benjamin Gilad: The NEW Employee Manual: A No-Holds-Barred Look at Corporate Life (March 2019, Entrepreneur Press). It challenges conventional thinking, and it’s serious and hilarious. Writing computer-based, AI-ish strategy simulations for business. Teaching strategic thinking. And having fun with my wife, the love of my life.” Mark’s electronic signature identifies him as founder, Advanced Competitive Strategies (ACS) Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon, and adjunct professor at the University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business Administration. But wait, as they used to say in the Ronco commercials, there’s more: namely, ACS offers “high-impact business war games,” executive education, and “thought-provoking workshops on strategic thinking.” Selfishly, as I’m always in need of fresh fodder, I commend Mark as a role model for those among my readership who have not yet “shared” with the group. I promise to quote you verbatim, except of course when I exercise my prerogative to edit.

Mark Peters realized a lifelong dream to play King Lear in the Independent Repertory Theater’s production of The Fool’s Lear, which ran January 9–26 on IRT’s stage in the Old Archive Building on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Adapted and directed by Clark Kee ’74, and confined to the dialogue of Shakespeare’s text, the play tells Lear’s story from the Fool’s point of view. Reviewing the play for TheaterScene.Net, Darryl Reilly wrote, “Whether being pushed in a wheelchair or hobbling around on a cane, Mark Peters is an excellent Lear. Mr. Peters forcefully captures all of the character’s pathos, humor, and despair with his mature presence and rich vocal delivery.” Kudos to Mark for chasing his dream until he caught it, giving it his all and reminding us that “mature” is not merely a euphemism for “old.”

Moving on to classmates not named Mark, the world premiere performance of Lori Laitman’s new song cycle The Ocean of Eternity took place at New York’s National Opera Center in February. Lori composed the cycle for soprano, soprano sax, and piano. She noted in a post on the class Facebook page, “The piece was commissioned by the awesome trio” of soprano Yungee Rhie, pianist ChoEun Lee, and saxophonist Michael Couper, “and features the beautiful poetry of the late Sri Lankan poet Anne Ranasinghe.”

Elsewhere on the class Facebook page, in January Catherine Carr posted a photo in which she was joined by Laurie Clark Buchar and Joyce Maynard, whom we share with the Class of 2021, with the threesome standing in the Chapel Street portal to Vanderbilt Hall, “where we met in 1971.” Her caption recalls, “There was a guard here to protect the freshman women (freshwomen?) while every other entryway was open. Lots of good memories!”

That’s the news for now, and as always, I urge you to update me on your comings and goings.