News from Alumni House

Like it's 1999

Bringing back Feb Club.

Jordan Warshaw ’87 still remembers all the words to “P is for the P in Pierson College,” and is teaching them to his children Vanessa, Logan, and Chloe, who live with Jordan and his wife Nicole in Westwood, Massachusetts. Tim Harkness ’87 lives with his wife, Lisa (Vigliotti) Harkness ’87, and their children, Tyler, Katie, Matthew, and Caroline in Greenwich, Connecticut, where the family continues to debate the age-old question: which college is hotter, Morse or Branford?

At a Yale Club of New York lunch this past October, Class of 1987 alums Tim Harkness and Kara Unterberg reminisced about Feb Club, an undergraduate tradition in which students warmed the coldest month of the year with a series of nightly parties around campus. What if we brought it back?” they pondered.

Not sure the idea would fly, Tim e-mailed some classmates. Jordan Warshaw '87 replied, challenging his friends to think more boldly: How about this for an idea? 28 nights, 28 cities. Might have to start small in year 1, but within a few years, who knows?” After a few conversations, the idea crystallized: 29 nights, 29 cities, 29 parties. Feb Club Emeritus was born.

With only 75 days until the start of February, Tim and Jordan had their work cut out for them. With the help of Kara and 1988 Class Secretary Julie Heller, they compiled a list of classmates who might be convinced to host an event and to spread the word that Feb Club was back, this time worldwide. They built a website ( and Facebook page, and sent out myriad e-mails. Word spread quickly, and by late December, hosts from the classes of the '70s to the '00s had filled the month with parties from Seattle to Paris, from Shanghai to Charlotte, and everywhere in between.

The concept behind Feb Club Emeritus was simple: this was to be a lighthearted, relaxed series of parties with no specific guidelines, no fund-raising pitches, and no formal agendas. The idea was to create an environment where alums of all ages could get together without pressure, reconnect with old friends, and meet new friends in an informal setting.

Party hosts were overwhelmed by the response. When planning began, Feb Club organizers thought that for the first year, they might get a few hundred guests. But by February 1, thousands of Yalies around the world had heard about Feb Club Emeritus and had responded. (The invaluable support of AYA ensured that Tim and Jordan could remain employed.) Some scheduled business trips around Feb Club dates in remote cities. Many hosts had to scramble to find larger venues for their parties. By the end of the month, over 3,100 alums from the classes of 1945-2007 had attended Feb Club Emeritus events worldwide. Several local Yale Clubs reported that the parties were the largest alumni events in their city’s history. Many attendees said Feb Club was the first alumni event they had ever attended.

The themes of the parties were as varied as their locations. Washington, DC, hosted a Mardi Gras blowout. Westchester had a New Orleans jazz band. San Francisco featured a sophisticated wine tasting; Fort Worth the creations of a celebrity chef. Tokyo’s party took place at a shot bar. The Santa Barbara host and his band played live music. There was a Super Tuesday-themed party in Aiken, South Carolina, and Tang by the Decades" at a swank Beverly Hills hotel. FC Winter Park was mountainside; FC Aruba was poolside.

And then there was The Feb Club Cup. Thanks to Tim Pirrung '76 and Mory’s Robin Soltesz, a new Mory’s Cup adorned with the Feb Club logo was raised on February 1 at the Manhattan kick-off event. The next morning it was hand-carried to L.A. for the February 2 party. From there, the Cup made a dozen stops around the country. Filled with the traditional red, gold, and other concoctions, it was passed from generation to generation. Put a Nickel on the Drum" rang out night after night. (For 2009, additional cups will be made so that a cup can be raised all 28 nights.)

The universal sentiment from partygoers and hosts was enthusiasm. Feb Club Emeritus will return in 2009, and it is hoped that it will become a permanent alumni institution. Its founders have promised that even as Feb Club grows and evolves, its spirit will remain as it was its first year—informal, agenda-free, and just plain fun.


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