Caption digresssing: The Yale Alumni Association offices building, now called “Rose Alumni House,” was built for the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and like countless other architecturally-distinguished buildings erected by alumni for the use of undergraduate societies was crassly gobbled up by the evil Yale Administration during a period when fraternity membership and finances had fallen on bad times during the latter decades of the last century to be subsequently devoted to use of one more arm of the endlessly-expanding University bureaucracy.
DKE used to hold a party and dance for the entire campus in this building on Harvard Game weekend. In the current century, DKE has been a continual target of negative stereotyping and persecution by the intolerant campus Left. It formerly rented housing on Lake Place, and more recently acquired a property on Lynnwood Place.
Last year, paradigmatic insider Victor H. Ashe ’67 ran a professional and well-funded petition campaign as an outsider for a seat on the Yale Corporation.
You would have thought offhand that Victor would have been a shoe-in Corporation candidate. Victor is a millionaire with a top-end boarding-school background (Groton and Hotchkiss), a Bonesman, a Marine Corps veteran and long-time mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, a former candidate for the US Senate (who lost to Al Gore), and quondam Ambassador to Poland. Yes, Victor is a Republican, sort of anyway. But Victor is your classic Liberal, Me-Too, Ripon Society, Country Club kind of Republican. Victor, in my own experience, always hated conservatives as passionately as any democrat.
Victor is wealthy and a hard-core pro politician and Victor was evidently determined. His effort was well-funded and quite professional. Victor reached every single Yale alumn repeatedly by mail, Victor appeared on television, and he ran a non-politically-partisan campaign focused entirely “opening up the process of selecting board members.” People I knew at Yale who’d been Victor’s principal opponents in Young Republicans were persuaded to buy into Victor’s idealistic campaign rhetoric and actually voted for him.
Victor undoubtedly brought as much political talent to the table as anyone possibly could, and he spent his own money lavishly. I’d say the likelihood of anyone in the lifetime of today’s undergrads coming along and running a stronger outsider candidacy is nil.
But Victor the Rebel clearly put the fear into the Self-Perpetuating In-Group that actually runs dear old Yale. Despite slaughtering Victor with a 64-36% landslide, the Secret Coven was so shaken by Victor’s Insurrection that they followed up their election victory by promptly changing the rules, banning such outsider petition candidacies for all time. So, there!
The latest news from the Oldest College Daily tells us that Victor and a classmate retired legal luminary (Cadwallader Wickersham & Taft, no less) are suing the bastards.
Two Yale alumni — Victor Ashe ’67 and Donald Glascoff Jr. ’67 — are suing Yale for breach of contract following the controversial termination of the petition process for election to the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.
In 2021, former senior trustee of the Yale Corporation Cappy Bond Hill GRD ’85 announced that the Corporation would be ending the petition process by which alumni could be nominated to the board, making official nomination the only path to trusteeship. Ashe and Glascoff allege that in doing so, the University breached its obligations to its alumni as outlined in the Connecticut state charter. Ashe sought a seat on the Yale board through the alumni petition process in 2021, but was ultimately unsuccessful in gaining a seat on the board.
“Yale’s attitude towards the alumni is that we want your money, but we don’t want your vote,” Ashe told the News. “We have a choice between two handpick candidates by the Yale Alumni Association who will not tell you what they believe in.”
The complaint alleges that the Corporation is engaging in voter suppression and is denying the rights of free expression of opinion that have been granted to Yale alumni since 1872.
There were previously two paths onto the Yale Corporation ballot. One was by nomination from the Alumni Fellow Nominating Committee, made up of a group of alumni and administrators. The other was by gaining the requisite number of signatures as a petition candidate.
“By this action, the plaintiffs seek to enjoin the unilateral termination of the petition process and otherwise prevent Yale from violating the Charter and to protect alumni rights originally granted by the Connecticut General Assembly and now in the Charter,” Ashe and Glascoff wrote in the complaint.
University spokesperson Karen Peart could not provide comment on Thursday night.
The Yale Charter was amended in 1872 by the Connecticut General Assembly to replace the six senators from the general assembly who sat on the Yale Corporation with six alumni of the University. The text of the 1872 Amendment grants alumni the right to vote for any eligible graduate of the University that they want and to put themselves up for a vote as a candidate, the plaintiffs argue.
They further claim that the Amendment does not give the University the right to alter the process for electing alumni to the board.
The complaint argues that the charter represents a contract between Yale and its alumni and that by accepting the 1872 Amendment, Yale agreed to grant all graduates the right to elect one of their own to the Board.
“By instituting the Candidate Restrictions and terminating the Petition Process, Yale has breached the Charter with respect to the rights granted to Yale alumni in the 1872 Amendment,” the plaintiffs argue.
In terminating the process, Bond Hill said that candidates often run a quasi-political campaign in order to collect enough signatures to get onto the ballot and receive backing from special interest groups. She wrote that trustees should be open to a variety of ideas, rather than be beholden to specific interests.
Personally, I’m a Black Reactionary of the deepest hue. The Old Yale was the most classically American of the grand elite schools, and the men it turned out (at least, pre-Inky Clark) tended to be superb specimens of the American leadership class.
I would naturally be 100% in favor of a self-selected group of elite Yalies secretly running the place and making sure that Yale stayed true to its ideals, character, and traditions. I would actually, in theory, prefer the guys running Yale in 1920 or 1940 hand-picking their successors to any other possible arrangement.
But, we got Kingman Brewster (stylistically perfect, but a disaster in appointments and management) and we’ve ended with Peter Salovey who has turned every department of the university into a festering petri dish of crazed Wockery.
Clearly, the current Self-Perpetuating In-Group needs to be utterly and totally replaced. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more than Victor’s lawsuit.