President’s Letter
Elizabeth Spahn, ‘72

President’s Message January 2022

As the season kicks off, we are still struggling with how best to proceed during yet another wave of Covid. The Yale Club of the Suncoast Board of Directors has steered a middle path to ensure the health and safety of our members, while continuing our in-person gatherings. (Our efforts to meet via Zoom last year, frankly, were sparsely attended by members. I suspect many of us are less tech-savvy than Yale undergrads.) The Board is doing its best to keep our YCS community healthy and active. Any mistakes are mine alone. Feel free to email me with suggestions.

Our YCS membership renewal drive, led by Brian Kelly and his Magnificent Seven, was highly successful. The YCS Directory including all our current members up-to-date contact information is at the printer as I write. It should be available to all members very soon. Thank you to all who renewed or joined as dues-paying members. The Club would not be able to host our programs without these contributions to our reserves.

Outdoor events are our focus this year. Taking full advantage of our beautiful Suncoast weather and scenery, we hope that outdoors is also safer for all of us. We will continue to follow the Sarasota area Arts Communities protocols requiring proof of either a recent negative Covid test or vaccination until the Board decides it is no longer necessary.

Our website will keep you up to date with all our events including any last- minute changes.

The January 11th luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club brings our first Yale speaker, Michael Morand, Communications Director of the Beinecke Library. He will discuss one of the jewels of the Beinecke Library – the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters. One of the nation’s top archives of African Americana, the collection is named for the Florida-born writer and civil rights activist (1871–1938).

January 16th is our postponed Welcome Back Party at the Sarasota Yacht Club from 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Outdoors (weather permitting) on the lower deck of the Yacht Club, we will toast the New Year with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to the sounds of classical guitar music as the sun sets over our lovely Sarasota Bay. (If the weather is uncooperative, we will move indoors for this event.)

January 31st we have a private tour and outdoor lunch at The Hermitage Artists’ Retreat, led by our own Tony Award winning Andy Sandberg, ’05 (Whiffenpoof), Artistic Director and CEO. There is a tip from a credible source that one of the Hermitage artists may also join us.

February 11th Princeton will host the joint Yale/Harvard/Princeton at Michael’s on East. Speaker TBA.

February 25th our first joint event with the Naples/ Ft. Myers Yale Club also serves as our Feb Club Emeritus event, outdoors with libations. Time & location will be announced soon.

March 6th we have seats in the shade for the Orioles / Rays baseball game (assuming the lockout is over) and with luck General Manager Mark Elias, ’06 will be able to join us.

March 8th luncheon at the Yacht Club features (we hope) another Yale Professor from New Haven if we can find one willing to travel. We are working assiduously on this.

April 10th is the highlight of our social season – The Dinner Cruise on Marina Jack’s private yacht. We guarantee plenty of fresh, clean Sarasota Bay air, as well as delicious food and drink.

April 12th an expert from USF on local Sarasota area water quality including red tide and toxic spills will speak at our Yacht Club luncheon.

May 10th will wrap up our season with the popular farewell luncheon outside on the deck at Marina Jacks where we enjoy conversing with our fellow Yale Club members. I think of this as the “Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Club” event (or a typical lunch in the dining halls at Yale). Sharpen your wits and enjoy chatting with our very interesting membership.

Thank you to all the true blue Yalies, family members, and friends who support the YCS through thick and thin. Thanks also to the extremely hard working, and for the most part cheerful, Board members.

Our Yale community demonstrates that persistence and compromise can succeed in holding our community together even in these challenging times.


Elizabeth Spahn, ‘72

Here is your Yale musical treat to start off 2022 in hope for a healthier, calmer year. This special Commencement 2021 performance of the Yale Glee Club was recorded on May 12, 2021, in the courtyard of Timothy Dwight College. Glee Club members came together in person for the first time in over a year.

Seeing these gifted, beautiful young Yalies singing their hearts out despite their bright college years spent in the shadow of this pandemic gives me determination. And resilience.


October 5, 2021


Dear Yale Club of the Suncoast Members and Friends:

Welcome back for what promises to be a wonderful season. We are finally gathering in person to renew our friendships and Yale community.  I hope you and your loved ones have survived, and perhaps even thrived, during these difficult times.  Meeting together again will truly be a joy for us all!

We have an exciting and varied program of events detailed below.  We will gather in person using the widely adopted Sarasota Arts communities’ standards, allowing us to host an exciting group of speakers.  These community protocols allow people to choose for themselves whether and how to participate while ensuring the safety of all our members, guests, and speakers.

Each member and guest attending an event will either show a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to the event or proof that the member or guest has been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to the event.  Proof of a negative Covid-19 test will need to be updated for each event.

If a member or guest who is fully vaccinated prefers to avoid bringing proof of vaccination to events, he or she may send a photocopy of the proof of vaccination to or fax it to (941) 847-0990 at least 24 hours prior to the event.  Once we have proof of vaccination it will apply to all YCS events, so you do not need to bring paperwork each time.

It’s also time to renew your annual membership dues to qualify for Club- subsidized lower prices on YCS luncheons and other events.  Your $40 annual dues support Club activities, ensure your current information is included in the Yale Club of the Suncoast Directory, and provide you with your own physical copy of the updated Membership Directory.  Renewal applications can be done online, or you may renew in person at any event. Membership is also open to family members of Yale alumni, faculty, and students. We encourage family members to join and participate in our Yale community.

Contributions to the Yale Book Fund can also be made at the time of membership renewal.  The Yale Book Fund sponsors awards to outstanding local high school juniors selected by their faculty and administration.  We hope you will support this very worthy endeavor.

I am greatly looking forward to greeting each of you in person on November 9th and following events.  The YCS Board members have worked tirelessly to ensure our community continues to grow, and we all are relieved and happy to resume our schedule in person with an outstanding array of speakers and events.

Boola Boola [Duke Ellington plays our song for you]

Elizabeth Spahn, ‘72
Yale Club of the Suncoast

Yale Club of the Suncoast
Program 2021 – 2022

Richard Russo, Executive Director, Sarasota Opera
Tuesday, November 9th – Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon – link

The Game
Saturday, November 20th – Noon  Raffurty’s Grill.  (joint program with that other university)

Rick Piccolo, President & CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport
Tuesday, December 14th – Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon

Yale Professor  TBA
Tuesday, January 11th – Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon

Welcome Back Cocktail Party
Sunday, January 16th 3:30 – 5:30 pm  – Sarasota Yacht Club Outdoors on the Lower Deck

Yale/Harvard/Princeton Luncheon (Princeton Speaker)
Friday, February 11th – Michael’s on East

Ringling Museum of Art Private Docent Tour and Luncheon Outdoors at The Ringling Grillroom
Tuesday, February 22nd 10 a.m

Feb Club Emeritus   Date & Location TBA

Yale Professor TBA
Tuesday, March 9th – Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon

Ball Game Date TBA
Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota

Marina Jack Dinner Cruise
Sunday, April 10th

Tuesday, April 12th Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon

Tuesday, May 10th Sarasota Yacht Club Luncheon

Yale Club of the Suncoast
P.O. Box 753
Sarasota, FL 34230
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