Tag Archive: Alumni

  1. YLS alumni award to two governors

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    The Law School awarded its annual Yale Law School Alumni Award of Merit to two sitting governors last Saturday: Gov. Jerry Brown LAW ’64 and Gov. Gina Raimondo LAW ’98.

    Brown has served as the governor of California since 2011, and Raimondo is in her second year in office as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo also served as a member of the Yale University Council, an advisory body to the University president, and was appointed alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation in 2014 for a six-year term.

    The award was based on the candidates’ contribution to public service and to the legal profession and was decided by the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee, a committee that helps Law School alumni stay connected, according to Janet Conroy, director of communications and public affairs at the Law School. Conroy said the award is typically given to an individual or group of alumni or faculty whose contributions are in some way associated with one another.

    For example, in 2014, the award was given to three sitting justices of the Supreme Court, and in 2010, it was given to four Law School alumni who pioneered environmental law.

    “The award only reinforces for me the lessons I learned throughout school: the importance of applying responsibility, honesty and empathy into politics,” Raimondo told the News. “Ultimately, the school has granted me the ability to bring people together — and I thank the University for the skills I was afforded, the service I’ve been urged to pursue and the engagement I now practice daily.”

    During the annual All Alumni Luncheon on Saturday, Yale Law School Dean Robert Post LAW ’77 praised Brown for his courage in improving California’s fiscal outlook. For example, when California had a $16 billion deficit early in his current term, Brown managed to address voters’ concerns with his propositions for fiscal reform that reversed the state’s plight, Post said.

    Post also commented on Raimondo’s ability to turn dire situations into blessings, mentioning in particular her decision to enter politics when Rhode Island suffered from budget cuts that shuttered local libraries.

    “Like Brown, Raimondo knew what needed to be done, and she did it,” Post said at the Saturday gathering.

    Law professor Roberta Romano LAW ’80 expressed her wish to see more individuals like Raimondo, Romano’s former student and research assistant, in public service.

    “She is a can-do person who understands the calling of politics and is the rare elected official who is willing to take on tough issues where the social benefits will occur in the longer term,” Romano said.

    Former president and chair of the executive committee Cynthia Cwik ’83 LAW ’87 praised both governors for their enthusiasm and cooperative spirit in dealing with challenges. She added that this year’s award ceremony was especially “poignant” as it marked the last year when Post will serve as the law school dean. Post will not seek another term when his current term expires in summer 2017, University President Peter Salovey told the News in early October.

    The Alumni Award of Merit was established in 1957.

  2. The Game(s)

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    Every November, students, parents, and alumni from two of the America’s most prestigious educational institutions gather to watch “The Game,” one of the nation’s most celebrated athletic traditions. Some experts even claim that the game of football traces its roots to this very event! Here at the Ivy League Gaming Commission (ILGC), we have invented some other games just for the students of Yale and Harvard to play this weekend. Let the Game(s) begin!

    –N. Ferguson,

    Chair, ILGC

    Two Truths and a Lie On Your Admissions Essay:

    Swap admissions essays with a Harvardian and see if you can pick out which “facts” about your “life-changing experience” in “Guatemala” the summer before junior year are more like fiction.

    The Amazing Race to Your Off-Shore Bank Account:

    A Yalie and Harvardian face off to see who can reach the Cayman Islands first. Winner will have a library wing named in his/her honor. A donation to NPR will be made in the Loser’s name.

    Taboo:

    While engaged in conversation with acquaintances on the street, students struggle to come up with the most creative euphemisms for their schools. When the stranger asks where you go to school, try answering “Connecticut,” “outside of Boston,” or “on the East Coast.”

    Liberal Guilt Obstacle Course:

    See if you can make your way to class without popping the precious little bubble that protects you from the outside world by avoiding conversations with homeless people, anti-war protestors, and sundry activists.

    Synchronized Summering:

    You and your partner go head to head to see who can put together the most luxurious vacation this summer. Judges will consider Facebook albums, tan lines, and sky miles in their analysis.

    Hide (Your Disdain for Students on Financial Aid) and Go Seek:

    We’re all good at doing this.

    Family Party Games:

    Pin the Tail on the Diploma

    Pin the Diploma on the Internship

    Pin the Internship on a long miserable life devoid of meaning

    Monopoly:

    Over the next 30 years of your life, you and a Harvardian will literally see who can make the most money in the real estate market.

    Bingo:

    You and a partner will take the featured “Ivy League Bingo Sheet” to class and see who can put together a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal combination first. “Problematic” is a free square!

    Trivial Pursuits:

    Compare your extracurricular commitments with your Harvard competitor!

    Three Legacied Race:

    You and two other Yalies will race three Harvardians to see who can run 100 yards on their own merits.

    Fabergé Egg Toss:

    This one also speaks for itself. Try not to break the eggs! But if you do, it will be fine I guess.

    Pong Perignon:

    Face off against Harvard in this swanky version of an old college favorite.

    Musical Chairman of the Board:

    It’s just like musical chairs, but the winner becomes the head of a major corporation!

    Charade:

    In a contest spanning the rest of your life, see how long you can keep up the façade of being important or meaningful!

    Bench Presstige:

    How many copies of books that your teacher wrote can you lift at one time? Probably not many!

    Yachtzee:

    Face off with a Harvardian in a game of Yahtzee. Winner gets a yacht! Loser also gets a yacht!

    Tug of War Mongering Alumni:

    Yale wins!

    Touch Football:

    Amuse yourself with a friendly game of amateur touch football at the Yale Bowl this Saturday at noon!

     

     

  3. REBECCA DANA '04: Carrie Bradshaw was not the only prophet of New York City’

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    Somewhere in the family tree of Carrie Bradshaw and Lena Dunham sits Rebecca Dana ’04, the author of the recently released “Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde,” former senior correspondent for The Daily Beast and former editor in chief of the Yale Daily News. “I feel like we have a freakish amount in common,” Dana told me. We are both Pittsburgh runaways. We went to the same synagogue and high school; we even had the same high school role model. (“I’m smacking my head right now, literally, because I feel like he would have been perfect to put in the book,” she said.) A memoir, “Jujitsu Rabbi” fol- lows a girl on her spiritual pilgrimage from the suburbs of Pittsburgh to Manhattan — where she nearly has it all — and then to Brooklyn, where she moves in with a disillusioned rabbi, nurses her First World wounds and re-examines her lifelong priorities.

    YB: So, I just want to hear it from someone else: What’s so bad about Pittsburgh, and what’s so great about New York?

    RD: When I was a kid, I grew up on a cul-de-sac in a suburb of Pittsburgh, and I was nerdy and little and awkward and quiet, and I spent an enormous amount of time up in my room watching TV shows and reading books and dreaming about my life as a grown-up. It has nothing to do with problems with Pittsburgh, which is a lovely place, actually, and I went to great schools and met great people. It has everything to do with who I was as a kid and the fantasies I had and the future that I imagined for myself. And for whatever reason — and certainly I’m not alone here, there are a lot of people, and perhaps you’re one of them — who were really taken by the fantasy of New York City. And other people have their own versions of it, of going someplace. I think it’s very natural, the dream of being one particular thing when you grow up.

    YB: For me, that escape for the past few years has been Yale.

    RD: Yeah, Yale was part of it for me also. I think you live in your head as a kid, and everyone to some extent does, but, for me, it was extreme. I spent a lot of time in this imaginary world — you imagine all the steps you’re going to take to get there. And Yale was certainly a part of it. Yale was really far away from my childhood, and I didn’t have a bad childhood, just a boring, lonely, nerdy childhood.

    YB: But you do mention Harold Bloom GRD ’56 in the book, and you mention that he taught you most of what you know about love. So what did he teach you?

    RD: I don’t know if Professor Bloom even knows that this book exists, and I can’t even imagine what his reaction would be, because we didn’t know each other well at all. I just took a few of his classes and interviewed him and got to know him a little bit extracurricularly. I studied Shakespeare and poetry with him, and just hearing him … he was an oracular figure to me. You turn to whatever you turn to, when you want to understand what you’re feeling, when you want to understand the world and the human condition. You turn to the Bible, or “War and Peace,” or your mother, father or some important figure in your life.

    And for me, professor Bloom just filled that hole, you could say. I found him to be so brilliant and so wise and so unbelievably kind, and to have such an enormous emotional depth and generosity about him. I was nobody special at all, and he was so kind to me. It was nothing more than a very traditional student-teacher relationship.

    If you called him, he might recognize me. I’ve seen him since I left school, and he’s always recognized me. I’m sure if you asked him he’d have no idea that he had such a profound effect on my life.

    YB: You should send him the book. I’m sure he’ll read it in two seconds, with his reading speed.

    RD: I’m so terrified to send him the book. My book is so far from Shakespeare, I can’t imagine. … You’re right, though, I should. He’ll read the whole thing before he even opens the cover.

    YB: It’s funny that you say that the book is so far from Shakespeare, because I placed it in the vein of the HBO show “Girls,” which is all about reforming Carrie Bradshaw, or seeing the rawer, more Shakespearian side of the New York 20-something woman.

    RD: I think it’s a generational response. I love the comparison to “Girls” — I totally worship Lena Dunham, and I think the show is brilliant. I try to deal with similar things in my book. I think we’re coming from different places. Both having grown up watching “Sex and the City” and having it be such a major influence on our lives and on our imaginary lives — on who we wanted to be — and then finding life to be different in big and important ways, we have to contend with the space between. I love “Girls,” and I hope people will connect to my story the way they’ve connected to “Girls,” as a kind of answer, response or kind of updated version of “Sex and the City.”

    YB: So what ever happened to Carrie Bradshaw?

    RD: I think she’s still here. It’s Fashion Week in New York, so you can’t throw a rock without hitting Carrie Bradshaw right now. That woman is a generation older than I am, so I can’t really speak for her. I can say that I worked very hard to get to the life that she lived when she was my age, and in my experience it fell short of what I wanted it to be in a bunch of important ways. I thought, “If I could just be like those women…” And I want to say that it’s not just Carrie Bradshaw — I’m not just a brainless girl who grew up glued to “Sex and the City” — but it’s this whole mythology that you get from reading Tom Wolfe and watching Woody Allen movies. Carrie Bradshaw was not the only prophet of New York City.

    All of them together built into this fantasy for me of a very particular life — and I got pretty damn close to that life. I wore the right clothes, I went to the right parties and I had the right job. And I found, in some big ways, that it ended up being unfulfilling for me, or not everything that I wanted it to be.

    YB: And that’s what the book is about.

    RD: When I talk about the book in interviews, I always think that it doesn’t sound funny at all, and I really wanted this to be a funny, sweet book about a very relatable person — me, I hope I’m relatable — just dealing with being in your 20s and with the life that you dreamed of just come crashing down on your head. At the time I first started writing, it seemed to me like the worst thing that ever happened to anybody. But in fact it turns out to be something that literally everyone goes through in some form. So I’m not special at all. But I just hope the book is a funny story about looking for meaning when your initial dreams about adulthood fall apart.

    YB: Do you think the actual process of writing the book was a step, or even a culmination, of that journey for meaning?

    RD: Oh, yeah. The process of writing the book was so strange, because I wrote the first draft as I was living it, and I wrote the next draft the next year. I wrote the book in the course of one year, and I revised it in the course of a second year, which is a very weird thing to do because your perspective changes so much. Your life has moved on. Then I revised the book a second time, so that was a third year. It was, all told, three years between getting the book deal and publication day.

    YB: I loved the book.

    RD: I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you so much. It really is a strange experience to write something so personal and put it out into the world. The writing process is very solitary: I spent a lot of time alone in a room, hunched over a laptop working on this book. And then it’s as if someone flips a switch, and this very personal story — and the process of committing it to paper was very personal — all of a sudden becomes very public.

    I did an interview where I compared it to sending your baby into the woods to potentially be mauled by wolves. That’s how it feels. I’ve never felt so vulnerable and so exposed. There’s a beauty in that, and a majesty — there’s a real high in it — and there’s also a real terror.

     

    YB: I hear you’re married now! So how does that not make it into the book?

    RD: In the course of writing the book, I met my husband who is the great light and joy of my life. Left to my own devices, I could do nothing for the rest of my life except write books about how much I love him, as cheesy as that sounds. But I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want this book to be about a girl who goes from one guy to another. I didn’t want love and marriage to be the solution, even though in my life they have brought so much meaning and joy, because I think in a lot of books by women, and especially memoirs, the temptation is strong to find an easy solution. And very often love, or a boy, is the solution.

    I joked with my husband when we were working on the cover for the book. I was talking about worst-case scenario covers, before I saw what Putnam came back with — and, by the way, I love what they did — and the worst-case scenario was a cartoon girl in high heels with a thought bubble and a man in it. That was my nightmare. I wanted the book to be as authentic as humanly possible. I didn’t want any cheap solutions, I didn’t want any easy answers.

    My marriage is too precious for me to write about. I want some things to be private and personal, and that is one of those things.

    YB: You end the book with the words, “We’re not fucked … we’re fine.” Are the 20-somethings all right?

    RD: Yeah, come on. There are so many problems in this world. We privileged Yale kids who come to New York and have “existential crises” and try to find meaning in our lives — we’re fine. Everyone’s gonna be fine.

  4. Thirteen Yalies top ‘30 Under 30’ list

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    Forbes listed 13 Yalies across six different categories in their “30 under 30” feature earlier this month. Each category names 30 influential people under the age of 30 who “represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation.” Below are the Yalies who made the list this year. Congrats!

    In the “Law and Policy” category:

    • Yohannes Abraham ’07, deputy national political director at Obama for America 2012
    • Estella Cisneros LAW ’12, a Skadden Fellow who provides legal aid to immigrant workers in the California dairy industry
    • Caroline Edsall LAW ’10, a clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts
    • Ronan Farrow LAW ’09, a Rhodes scholar who was accepted to Yale Law School when he was 16 years old
    • Ravi Gupta LAW ’09, a former Obama campaign staffer who now leads Nashville Prep, a charter school in Nashville, Tenn.
    • Nate Loewentheil LAW ’13, a New York Times and Politico contributor who founded the Roosevelt Campus Network while an undergraduate at Yale

    In the “Finance” category:

    • Matthew Peltz ’06, partner at Trian, a $4 billion investment firm owned by his father

    In the “Energy” category:

    • Max Webster ’12, founder of Communificiency, a company that crowdsources local energy efficiency projects for schools, churches and small businesses

    In the “Social Entrepreneurs” category:

    • Sejal Hathi ’13, founder of Girls Helping Girls, a project that has connected 30,000 girls in 22 countries, and Girltank, a project that aims to provide girls with leadership training
    • Andrew Mangino ’09, co-founder of The Future Project, an education-based organization that aims to keep New York, D.C. and New Haven children in school. Mangino is a former editor in chief for the News.

    In the “Science and Healthcare” category:

    • John Murray GRD ’13, a Ph.D. candidate in physics who builds mathematical models that show how networks of neurons in the brain hold short-term memories, and who models disruptions in these networks caused by psychiatric diseases
    • Nicholas Downing MED ’14, a medical student whose research showed that the Food and Drug Administration is as fast or faster than regulators elsewhere at approving new drugs

    In the “Marketing and Advertising” category:

    • Victor Wong ’11, founder of PaperG, a display advertising technology company whose ad technology The New York Times called “an ad engine to put ‘Mad Men’ out of business”
  5. Recent grads launch website for planning dinner parties

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    Zokos, a new website launched Monday by Christopher Kieran FES ‘11, Brad Baer ARC ‘11 and Andrew Hapke SOM ‘11, aims to ease the planning of parties and dinners.

    Zokos uses what Kieran calls “friend-sourcing” to help coordinate dinner parties. On Zokos, hosts can set a minimum or maximum number of guests, send invites via Facebook and email and ask guests to contribute a certain amount of money to defray costs. Think Kickstarter, but for dinner parties. If the goal amount is reached, the guests will pay the host through PayPal. If not, no one is charged.

    They came up with the idea as members of Veggie Dinner, a 300-person vegetarian co-op at Yale that allows members to attend other members’ dinners, so long as they host one themselves. Initially they began Zokos to expand Veggie Dinner, but shifted the focus to cost-sharing. Now Zokos has expanded to a range of events from wine tastings to college parties.

    Last September, the trio behind Zokos launched a private beta at Yale, Harvard, five other schools and 10 affinity groups across the country. Over 900 testers posted 400 plus meals, more than Grubly and Housefed combined.

    [via Mashable]

  6. Protester interrupts OxCam regatta, Zeng ’11 is mad

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    An Australian protester interrupted Saturday’s Oxford-Cambridge regatta by swimming into the paths of the boats, stopping the race and raising the ire of former lightweight crew oarsman and Rhodes scholar Will Zeng ’11, who rowed for Oxford on Saturday.

    When environmental campaigner Trenton Oldfield interrupted “The Boat Race” about halfway through the four-an-a-quarter mile course, Oxford was slightly ahead of Cambridge just over nine minutes into the race. An official spotted Oldfield and stopped the regatta. Oldfield was picked up by a police boat and arrested, while spectators booed and shouted “Take him to the Tower!”

    Zeng addressed Oldfield after the race in several Twitter posts:

    “When I missed your head with my blade I knew only that you were a swimmer, and if you say you are a protester then no matter what you say your cause may be, your action speaks too loudly for me to hear you.”

    “I know exactly what you were protesting. You were protesting the right of 17 young men and one woman to compete fairly and honorably, to demonstrate their hard work and desire in a proud tradition.”

    “You were protesting their right to devote years of their lives, their friendships, and their souls to the fair pursuits of the joys and the hardships of sport. You, who would make a mockery of their dedication and their courage, are a mockery of a man.”

    The race resumed 30 minutes later. An Oxford oar snapped when the blades from the two boats tangled, allowing Cambridge to cruise to victory. An Oxford oarsman collapsed at the finish line and was taken to hospital. He is in stable condition.

    Saturday’s regatta was the 158th Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, a tradition dating to 1829.

  7. Dean Miller’s son gets married in D.C.

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    Cross Campus can hear the bells — William Kamens ’09, the son of Yale College Dean Mary Miller and East Asian Languages and Literatures Department Chair Edward Kamens was married on Sunday to Rachel Butler ’08.

    The couple met during their years as Yale undergrads. They were married at the McLean Gardens Ballroom in Washington, D.C. in a ceremony officiated by Jewish Chaplain James Ponet ’68, and the wedding was featured in the New York Times’ wedding announcements.

    At Yale, Kamens majored in history of art. He is currently a research assistant in the Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine Department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Butler is a kindergarten teacher at the Alliance for Progress Charter School in Philadelphia.

    “It was a wonderful wedding,” Miller told the News on Monday.

  8. Doonesbury comes under fire

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    Garry Trudeau’s ’70 GRD ’73 “Doonesbury” comics sparked a nationwide controversy this week over a series of strips tackling an abortion law in Texas.

    This week’s strips focus on a woman’s attempt to have an abortion in Texas in the wake of a new law requiring all women seeking abortions to undergo an pre-termination ultrasound. In Monday’s strip, a woman is told to wait in a “shaming room” for her sonogram, and in Tuesday’s strip, fictional Texas state legislator Sid Patrick — based on Texas legislators Sid Miller and Dan Patrick — meets her in the shaming room.

    “Do your parents know you’re a slut?” Patrick asks the woman. “Surely they suspect.”

    Dozens of newspapers nationwide have decided not to run the strips because of their graphic depictions of a transvaginal sonogram. Trudeau offered an alternate set of Doonesbury comics this week for papers that did not want to publish the series. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trudeau said he had not previously tackled abortion in Doonesbury because he thought much of the abortion debate had subsided before he created the strip 40 years ago.

    “I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women’s health currently being waged in several states,” Trudeau told the Post. “For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.”

    You can see the rest of this week’s Doonesbury strips as they are published here.

  9. Colvin ’78 killed in Syria

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    Marie Colvin ’78, a prolific journalist who covered war zones including Afghanistan, Baghdad and Libya, was killed Wednesday in a mortar strike in Syria. She was 56.

    Colvin worked for the Sunday Times for the past 20 years, reporting on women and children in wartorn parts of the world. On Tuesday, Colvin spoke to various news outlets about escalating violence in the Syrian city of Homs.

    “The sickening thing is the complete merciless nature…the scale of it is just shocking,” Colvin said via satellite phone in an NBC Nightly News piece that aired just hours before her death.

    Colvin’s death comes days after Colvin and Paris-based correspondent Jean-Pierre Perrin were warned that Syrian troops would murder them if they stayed in Syria, the Daily Mail reported. When Perrin and Colvin were leaving Syria, Colvin decided to return because the major offensive had not yet taken place, the Mail reported.

    Along with Colvin, French photojournalist Remi Ochlik was killed in Wednesday’s blasts, which marked the 19th day of bombardment for the city of Homs.

    Play the video below to hear Colvin speak on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday.

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    CORRECTION: Feb. 23, 2012

    An earlier version of this article misstated Colvin’s age at the time of her death. She was 56.

  10. The world swoons for Olusola ’11

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    If Yale students, the viewers of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and aspiring cello-boxers weren’t enough, we can now add Jenna Bush Hager (daughter of George W. Bush ’68) to the long list of Kevin Olusola ’11 fans.

    Hager interviewed Olusola for a four-minute profile on the Today Show yesterday, asking him questions about his celloboxing, African roots and “Pentatonix,” the capella group with which Olusola won “The Sing-Off” last fall.

    “Extraordinary just begins to explain Yale graduate Kevin Olusola. He placed second in the Yo Yo Ma Cello Competition, soloed at Carnegie Hall, speaks five languages and is a groundbreaking YouTube musician. Oh, and on top of it? He’s just a really nice guy,” Hager said at the beginning of the profile.

    The segment came a day after Olusola was named an honoree of theGrio 100, an annual list of 100 black or African American people “making history today produced by theGrio.com, an African American video news site.

  11. Yalie to coach Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI

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    Thirteen years after winning an Ivy League title, former Yale footballer Pat Graham ’01 is one game away from winning the biggest title of them all: the Super Bowl.

    [ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”852″ ]

    When Graham, the linebacker coach for the New England Patriots, takes the field Feb. 5, he will become the first Yale graduate to appear in the Super Bowl as a coach. The former Blue and White tight end and defensive lineman will face off against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

    After graduation, Graham spent two seasons at Wagner College as a graduate assistant while working toward an MBA degree. From 2004 to 2006, Graham served as the tight end and defensive line coach for the Richmond Spiders, who became the Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Champions in 2005.

    In a 2010 interview with Yale Athletics, Graham said that his experience an Ivy League football player helped to prepare him for the competitive nature of the NFL.

    “[Yale] is a tough environment to go to school in, but it helps you to become a better person and a harder worker,” he said. “At the NFL level, no matter who you are, you are dealing with very competitive people who are trying to be the best at what they do. If you get thrown into this environment, and are not familiar with this attitude, it can be tough.”

    The Giants upset an 18–0 Patriots squad in Super Bowl XLII, beating the heavy favorite 17–14.

  12. Aretha calls off her wedding

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    Apparently the freeway of love isn’t as smooth a ride as the Queen of Soul had hoped.

    Honorary degree recipient and goddess Aretha Franklin has canceled plans for her wedding, less than a month after she announced her engagement to William “Willie” Wilkerson, according to the AP. The two close friends had considered marrying this summer in the Hamptons or Miami.

    “Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly,” Franklin said in a statement released Monday. “There will be no wedding at this time.”

    Franklin was showered with respect in 2010 when she swung by New Haven to receive an honorary doctor of music.