More news of Yale people


Laurie Kennington '01 was elected president of Local 34, Yale's clerical and technical staff union, at a union meeting in September. Kennington has worked as a union organizer at the School of Medicine since she graduated from Yale College. She succeeds Laura Smith, who stepped down in August after 16 years as president.



School of Music dean Robert Blocker was appointed to another five-year term in July. Blocker, a concert pianist, first came to Yale as dean in 1995. He left in 2005 to become provost of Southern Methodist University, but returned a year later. As dean, he has helped to raise the school's endowment from $29 million to $300 million—allowing for full scholarships to all students.

Retired general Stanley McChrystal, who led the U.S. military command in Afghanistan from June 2009 until June 2010, is teaching a graduate-level seminar on globalization and leadership this fall at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. McChrystal resigned his command after Rolling Stone published a profile of him in which he and his staff criticized White House officials.



Five alumni will receive the Association of Yale Alumni's highest award, the Yale Medal, at the AYA assembly on November 12. The honorees are J. Kenneth Brody '44, who co-edited theillustrated anthology Yale, a Celebration for the university's Tercentennial; Susanna E. Krentz '80, who led the development of the AYA's strategic plan; James Leitner '75, who started a program in international and comparative political economy at the university; Bobbi Mark '76, the first woman to chair the Yale Alumni Fund; and Joseph Verner Reed '61, who helped to create a publishing partnership between Yale University Press and a Chinese group.



Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot died on October 14, at 85, of pancreatic cancer. Mandelbrot was best known for discovering fractals—geometric patterns whose properties repeat on different scales—a concept that proved influential beyond the mathematical world. (See “The Genius of the Unpredictable,”November/December 2004.) A native of Poland, he grew up in France and spent most of his career at IBM; he came to Yale to teach in 1987 and became a Sterling Professor in 1999.


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