By Dominic Moross ’90
As I write, we are in the eye of the COVID19 storm. At the directive of the University, which has adopted a virtual educational platform, we, together with the rest of the Street, have closed until further notice. I hope that, by the time you receive our newsletter, things might have calmed down. While the situation remains fluid, I want to acknowledge and commend Betty, our officers and my fellow Governors for the professional manner in which they have managed this discombobulating moment in all of our lives. As leaders and crucial members of our community, as a team, they have risen to the occasion in a multitude of ways, providing direction, support, friendship and comfort. I want to acknowledge our new undergraduate President, Claire Guthrie ’21, who has served as a helpful set of eyes and ears on the ground, proactively answering questions of her peers and easing the transition to this brave new world. Needless to say, we hope that things will return to normal as soon as possible and that our members and club employees can return to Ivy. Until then, we are keeping a careful eye on the situation, respecting social distancing, the surest way to minimize the impact of this virus.
In the past few weeks, you will have received our announcement that, after over 2 years of negotiation, we reached an agreement to sell our parking lot to the University. The decision, unanimously approved by our Board of Governors, was not made lightly. We weighed the pros and cons carefully and over a long period of time, concluding that the sale will be transformational for the Club. We will be able to ensure financial security for generations to come; accommodate the University to our benefit as it embarks on this project with or without us; make necessary and long overdue renovations to modernize our historic building; and landscape and beautify our back yard. I have no doubt that this important step will serve to ensure that we remain one of the most desirable clubs on the street.
The Annual Dinner in commemoration of our 140th anniversary took place on Dec 5th, 2019. The night, held at New York’s Racquet & Tennis Club, will live long in all our memories. A full house, with members from all generations attended, including 25 from the class of 2020. Bringing together members of different ages and observing the warmth and familiarity with which they converse, sharing mutual Ivy experiences, is a tonic and what makes our club unique. Our dinner was capped by a wonderful keynote speech by Lt. General Chris Cavoli ’87, current Commander of the US Army in Europe. Dressed in his splendid uniform, Chris gave us all reason to feel such pride, not only due to his stature but also for the decidedly real and human nature of his talk, relating the importance of Ivy to him, both as a student and in his career. No pontification, no judgment, no advice, Chris simply and successfully conveyed a comforting feeling about his time at Ivy which is not easily expressed in words
Our undergraduate members continue to impress. I would like to congratulate two seniors, Serena Alagappan ’20 and Nate Levit ’20 who have been awarded, respectively, Rhodes and Schwartzman Scholarships. I hope you enjoy their interviews which were conducted by Alanna Boudreau, our Director of Member Services. I would like to thank our outgoing officers, led by Undergraduate President, David Babikian, for their steadfast commitment and service to our club and welcome our incoming officers who have already proved themselves in the throes of the current crisis.
These are, indeed, unsettling times but I have no doubt that pragmatism and the resilience of humanity will prevail. Once we are able to reopen our doors, we shall move forward stronger than before with the same values and sense of purpose which have characterized our club and given us pride for the last 140 years