Davenport College’s new master is returning to familiar territory.
President Richard Levin announced Wednesday evening that Richard Schottenfeld ’71 MED ’76 will begin his appointment as the new Davenport master July 1. Davenport students have been eagerly awaiting the official announcement of their new master since current Master Gerald Thomas announced his resignation last fall.
Levin said the appointment is unique because Schottenfeld is likely the first master who is also an alumnus of the residential college he represents.
“It is special to come back to Davenport because this is where I made some of my closest friends,” Schottenfeld said. “Some of my lifelong interests, commitments and values were formed while I was here.”
Schottenfeld specializes in the field of substance abuse as a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.
Levin described Schottenfeld as a “noted scholar, clinician and policy advocate who is deeply involved at the med school,” and jokingly warned students to “watch out” for the substance abuse expert.
After briefly describing Schottenfeld’s credentials, Levin praised Thomas, describing him as “warm, supportive and encouraging.” He then turned the microphone over to Schottenfeld.
Schottenfeld discussed life at Yale in the 1960s, and said, though many things have changed since then, he is looking forward to getting to know the students and facing all of the opportunities and challenges that go along with being a residential college master.
Search committee member Sam Hendel ’03 welcomed Schottenfeld and his family to Davenport and presented him with a Davenport banner and Class of ’04 T-shirts, since he “will be moving in with the Class of ’04.”
Hendel said that though Levin had the final decision, after the committee received a letter recommending Schottenfeld for the position, it reviewed Schottenfeld’s credentials and thought he would be a “great candidate.”
Since he was an undergraduate, Schottenfeld has spent only two years away from Yale — one year as an intern at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and one year practicing medicine in Green River, Wyo.
Schottenfeld’s wife, Tanina Rostain LAW ’87, who will be Davenport’s associate master, has also spent a great deal of time at Yale. Rostain was a Davenport graduate fellow while receiving her master’s degree in philosophy and graduated from Yale Law School. Rostain is an expert in legal ethics and currently teaches at the New York Law School.
Schottenfeld and Rostain have two children, Joseph, 11, who accompanied his parents to dinner in Davenport wearing a Hawaiian shirt and cast on his right arm, and Mila, 6, who hid behind her mother for the duration of the announcement. Levin reassured students that Joseph is left-handed, so his injury will not interfere with his pitching skills.
Search committee member Becky Garcia ’04 said she is happy to have Schottenfeld as the new master.
“Our dean [Peter Quimby] also has a six year-old, so I think the courtyard will be a really fun place to be with all of these kids around,” Garcia said.
Administrators and students alike seem excited about Schottenfeld’s appointment.
“Clearly we’re going to miss Master T because he’s been a big presence,” Ben Gross ’03 said. “But I think everyone will rally around [Schottenfeld] and make the experience as positive as possible. I think he will fit in pretty well, [because he was] a Davenport undergrad.”
Thomas has been the master of Davenport for 10 years. His departure leaves no blacks among the 24 deans and masters.
This was the last of the three announcements of new masters this year. Frank Keil will be the new master of Morse College, and John Rogers ’84 GRD ’89 will be the new master of Berkeley College next fall.
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