Office of Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming Dept. 3302
Laramie, WY 82071
17 October 2008
Editor, Yale Daily News
P.O. Box 209007
New Haven, CT 06520-9007
To the editor:
Daniel Zier’s proposal (“Buffalo Dan hates foliage,” 10/17/08) to transplant Yale to Wyoming would have many salubrious effects. As he notes, Yalies would have more things to go ga-ga over: In addition to fall foliage, you’d have drop-dead gorgeous vistas, real mountains and trout streams where you can actually catch fish. And while the old “wall of water” in the Yale Bowl’s men’s room may once have qualified as a New Haven natural wonder, it could never compete with an al fresco pit stop in the alpine meadows beneath, say, Medicine Bow Peak. (Wyoming being the Equality State, I feel compelled to point out that the latter is an equal-opportunity facility.)
Consider, too, the bracing effects that Wyoming culture would have on your pedigrees. Yale alumni in Wyoming — they do exist — endure some truly character-building experiences. It’s not easy when people respond to your Ivy League credentials with expressions like, “Do what??” or “My daddy was in jail, too, but we sprung him when he sobered up.” To be fair, Wyoming has a few cognoscenti: people capable of more informed responses, like, “Isn’t Yale where Dick Cheney learned to bird-hunt?” And you Elis are the lucky ones. Folks who try to wave around degrees from more obscure, polysyllabic Ivies, such as Princeton or Dartmouth, are normally asked to stop mumbling and use plain English.
Of course there would be disadvantages. Yale might have to find a new mascot, since the few Wyomingites who recognize bulldogs as legitimate instances of canis familiaris still have a hard time telling which end is the front. (Suggestion: We’d instantly grok a blue heeler.) Any dreams of bringing back bladderball would remain on hold: Owing to Wyoming’s wind, the ball itself would be in Nebraska within minutes. And you might have to hold The Game earlier in the season. In the maw of a Wyoming November, the Saybrook strip could lead to frostbite that you’d have a hard time explaining to your date.
On the other hand, as Mr. Zier points out, you’d cream the University of Wyoming squash team — unless of course both teams kept their skis on.
I wish you luck in your deliberations.
Myron B. Allen
Provost, University of Wyoming