Yale alumni brimmed with tips for Dante de Blasio who will be entering Yale University this fall.
Dante de Blasio’s mom, Chirlane McCray tweeted the news Wednesday and his dad, Mayor Bill de Blasio, confirmed it at a news conference.
What not to miss?
“He should read a book in its original, first edition at the Beinecke Library,” suggested Andrew Klaber, an investor who was in the Class of 2004.
While Yale's Sterling Memorial Library is known as the “cathedral of knowledge,” the Beinecke has an astonishing collection of rare books and original manuscripts, noted the Lower East Sider.
“One of the most remarkable academic experiences I ever had in my life was taking a Grand Strategy course with John Gaddis, Charles Hill and Paul Kennedy ... It was a historical and contemporary frame work for thinking about the world,” said Klaber, who also has degrees from Oxford and Harvard.
Dante, 17, a state debating champion, is a student at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene.
Psychoanalyst and Iraqi vet Michael Kim, a 1995 graduate, had some pragmatic advice: As an undergraduate and NYC resident, de Blasio will be entitled to a steep discount on membership to The Yale Club in midtown, and he should join.
“If he wants to throw cool parties, he'll have a place!” as well as access to a wonderful gym and pool, and a stunningly diverse and interesting community of alumni in NYC, said the Hell's Kitchen resident.
He should also snag tickets to the Yale Cabaret as soon as he arrives, Kim continued, as he “might come across the next Patricia Clarkson or David Alan Grier.”
While some associate Yale with Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and the exclusionary, secret “Skull and Bones,” society, the student body is “heavily liberal: He'll be right at home!” said Ken Inadomi, 60, executive director of the New York Mortgage Coalition and founder of the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance.
As for grub, “he'll hear about New Haven pizza. The pizza in New Haven is considered world class: New Yorkers drive one and a half hours to have pizza in New Haven!” Acknowledging the delicate cutlery customs of his father, Inadomi, an Upper West Sider, urged him to “pick it up with your hands,” to eat it.
There is a “shopping period,” during which students can drop in on any class at all to see if they want to commit. Dante De Blasio shouldn't hesitate to walk out if a class during that time isn't to his taste, said Suelain Moy, 48, a writer who lives on the Lower East Side. “I went to Catholic school: I thought it would be rude to leave!” so she lost out, she explained. When he packs up to go, he should “bring umbrellas and rain boots: The Old Campus gets real muddy,” she added.
“Embrace the extracurricular life as much as possible,” exhorted the writer, director, and Tony winning producer Andy Sandberg, 31.
Sandberg, who lives in midtown, took a year to serve as business manager of Yale’s a capella group, the Whiffenpoofs, (“I got to tour the world!"), which gave him invaluable experience as a producer.
Yale prides itself on creating “leaders in public life,” noted Colin Weil, a 1988 graduate and museum marketing expert. “We are cheering about this: Absolutely,” said Weil, a West Village resident. “We are the most rah rah, nutty alumni community,” and de Blasio will now have an expanded family for life, he said.