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Michael Marsland

Michael Marsland

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Weili Cheng ’77 (left), who has led the Yale Alumni Association since 2016, will retire at the end of February. Cheng, an attorney who was a hotel executive for more than 30 years before returning to New Haven, has overseen an expansion of learning programs and career and networking opportunities for alumni. Before her service as executive director of YAA, she was an active alumni volunteer; among other things, she chaired the YAA board of governors and served on this magazine’s board of directors.


The Yale Alumni Association awarded its highest honor, the Yale Medal, to four alumni in a ceremony in November. The awardees: Tim Collins ’82MBA, a volunteer adviser to the management, divinity, and law schools; Andrea Darif ’73, ’74MFA, a volunteer for her class who helped plan the 2019 anniversaries of women at Yale; Ed Hirs ’79, ’79MA, ’81MBA, a class and club volunteer who founded Yale Alumni in Energy; John Jackson ’67, a volunteer and donor whose gift helped establish the Jackson School of Global Affairs; and David Sanchez ’84MPhil, cofounder and inaugural chair of the annual Yale Day of Service.

Four Yale College seniors and a graduate student will attend Oxford next year as Rhodes Scholars. Among the 32 US Rhodes winners are Madison I. Hahamy ’24, Lake Forest, Illinois, and Jacqueline N. Testamark ’24, Levittown, New York. Iman Iftikhar ’24, Lahore, Pakistan, Victoria Kipngetich, Nairobi, Kenya, and Nyasha Mukonoweshuro of Zimbabwe, a Henry Fellow in the Graduate School, were awarded scholarships in their countries.

The Graduate School Alumni Association awarded the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal—given annually for “outstanding work in scholarship, public service, teaching, or academic administration”—to four alumni in October. The winners are Elizabeth Bradley ’96PhD (public health), president of Vassar College; Robert Gooding-Williams ’75, ’82PhD (philosophy), a professor at Columbia; James M. Jones ’70PhD (psychology), a professor at the University of Delaware; and che-Chia Wei ’85PhD (electrical engineering), CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.


Kent Bloomer ’61MFA, a sculptor and professor in the School of Architecture from 1966 to 2019, died on October 22. He was 88 years old. A specialist in architectural ornament, Bloomer taught both graduates and undergrads, and he served for 20 years as director of undergraduate studies in architecture. His public ornament can be seen at Reagan National Airport in Washington, atop the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago, and on the Yale campus.

Robert Brustein, who founded the Yale Repertory Theatre and served as dean of the School of Drama from 1966 to 1979, died on October 29. He was 96. A critic, teacher, and director, Brustein made Yale Rep a destination for cutting-edge plays and current and future stars. After his Yale contract was not renewed, he went to Harvard and founded the American Repertory Theater, which he directed until 2002.

George Fayen ’53, ’60PhD, a longtime lecturer in English at Yale, died on June 9 at age 91. After beginning his career at Yale, Smith, and Northeastern University, he returned to Yale in 1983, teaching subjects ranging from the ancient Greeks to modern literature. He won a Yale College teaching prize in 1995 and the Berkeley College Mentoring Award in 2013.

Diana Kleiner, the Dunham Professor of the History of Art and Classics, Emerita, died on November 12 after a long illness. She was 76 years old. Kleiner, who specialized in ancient Roman art and architecture, taught at Yale from 1980 to 2020. She also served as deputy provost for the arts and was the founding director of Open Yale Courses, the university’s free online course program.

Longtime Yale squash coach Dave Talbott died of a heart attack on September 19 at age 71, two days after the death of his wife of 46 years, Ann. Talbott became coach of the men’s team in 1983; in 2004 he took over the women’s team, succeeding his brother Mark Talbott. He coached both teams until his retirement in 2021. His men’s and women’s teams each won three national championships.

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