spacer spacer spacer
yalealumnimagazine.com   about the Yale Alumni Magazine   classified & display advertising   back issues 1992-present   our blogs   The Yale Classifieds   yam@yale.edu   support us


The Yale Alumni Magazine is owned and operated by Yale Alumni Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation independent of Yale University.

The content of the magazine and its website is the responsibility of the editors and does not necessarily reflect the views of Yale or its officers.


Triumph and Tragedy

From a blustery spot near the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, a clutch of family and friends with homemade signs reading “Congratulations!” and “We Missed You!” awaited the arrival of 28 yellow-clad bicyclists. The riders were finishing the 4,000-mile Habitat Bicycle Challenge (HBC), a cross-country trek organized by Yale undergrads for Habitat for Humanity, the international organization that builds homes with and for low-income people.


Dan Lewis '09 was hit by a car while biking through rural Kansas.

All told 90 cyclists, about half of them Yalies, raised more than $430,000 for Habitat during this year’s Challenge, the 13th since Antony Brydon '95 founded the ride in 1994. The cyclists set out from New Haven on June 2 and then split into three groups. One group finished in Seattle, another in Portland. This pack of riders, the South Group, would cross the Golden Gate into San Francisco on August 9.

Those waiting were excited and joyful. But they also appeared to be holding their breath. One month before, on July 7, group member Dan Lewis '09 was hit by a car while biking through rural Kansas. Andy Wagner '09, a South Group leader and Lewis’s roommate, heard of the accident at a church in Lucas, Kansas, after finishing that day’s ride. Lewis, they learned, was being flown by helicopter 140 miles to a hospital in Wichita.

At the crash scene, Wagner says, the strangest thing happened—something typical of the hospitality they encountered throughout their ride: a fireman gave his car keys to South Group leader Liz Herring so she could drive to Wichita. “He didn’t give her a date or time to return,” says Wagner, who got a ride to the hospital from the church pastor’s wife.

The South Group took an extra one-day break from their journey in Boulder, Colorado, where a Habitat representative flew out to join them. Habitat personnel also flew out to be with Lewis and his family. Currently, Lewis is being treated in Denver, where he is still unconscious but making slow progress.

The accident comes on the heels of two other HBC-associated accidents. Last spring, Alexander Capelluto '08 died after being hit by a truck in West Haven while training for the trip. And in 2005, Rachel Speight '06 was killed when a car hit her in western Kentucky during the Challenge.


Lewis is still unconscious but making slow progress.

Bill Casey, Habitat’s New Haven executive director, was on hand at the Golden Gate Bridge to greet the South Group. (Habitat provided oversight for the trip.) Casey said that after the earlier accidents, HBC had instituted a number of new safety training requirements, including a first-aid course, a test-run bike trip, and a bicycle leadership class. It hadn’t been enough to prevent Lewis’s accident. “I don’t know that any training could have prevented that,” said Casey.

The South Group cyclists, wearing their bright yellow jerseys, came into sharper and sharper focus. Cheers went up, champagne sprayed, and there were lots of hugs and a few tears.

Asked if he was happy to have participated in this year’s Challenge, Andy Wagner smiled proudly and said, “Absolutely!” Then he was silent for a moment. “It was a long ride through Kansas,” he said finally. “We were a bit low in Kansas.”  the end








Sports shorts

In a preseason Ivy League media poll, the Eli football team was the overwhelming favorite to finish on top of the 2007 standings. The Bulldogs, who tied with Princeton for the Ivy championship last year, received 14 of 16 first-place votes. Princeton was picked to finish fourth. Last year, Yale was picked to finish fifth.

As soon as the 2007-08 hockey season ends, the Ingalls hockey rink—aka the Yale Whale—will undergo a $23.5 million renovation. The project includes a complete overhaul of the existing facility as well as a 13,000-square-foot addition for offices, locker rooms, a student-athlete study area, and a strength and conditioning area. The renovation will be done by fall 2009.

For many Yale athletes, summer was anything but a rest from competition. At the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Bulldog swimmer Alex Righi '09 won gold and silver medals as a member of U.S. relay teams. Alumni medalists at the Games, which are considered a tune-up for the Olympics, included rower Andrew Liverman '02 and squash stars Julian Illingworth '06 and Michelle Quibell '06 (all took silver). In addition, lacrosse goalkeeper Katie Janian '11 won a gold medal with Team USA at the Under-19 World Championship in London, Ontario. Caroline Nash '11 rowed with the bronze medal–winning women’s eight at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Beijing.

The transformation of the Cullman tennis courts into the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center began this summer. The project will feature eight indoor courts, four of them new, as well as a viewing area and new locker rooms.



©1992–2012, Yale Alumni Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Yale Alumni Magazine, P.O. Box 1905, New Haven, CT 06509-1905, USA. yam@yale.edu