Letter from the Producer

Laba diena un sveiki,

As I reflect back on the past week-and-a-half in Lithuania and Latvia, I’m amazed at the breadth and intensity of that experience. While it’s true that a great deal of the effort was planned, some of the most exciting elements were totally unanticipated.

YaleGALE participants on roof terrace at PACT, n Vilnius, Lithuania, with the Gediminas Old Castle Tower in the background

Becoming the commencement speaker at the EHU graduation ceremony was signal, and an unexpected addition to the YaleGALE skillset. The warmth and hospitality of our EHU hosts exceeded our greatest expectations. And who would have thought that we’d be drumming and performing wild and unruly folk dance routines at the EHU Conference wrap-up?

I believe we were all impressed with the dedication, intelligence, courage and good humor of EHU’s students, faculty, and administration, and with the mission they’re pursuing – the defense of academic freedom.

YaleGALE participants with SSE Alumni and faculty in front of SSE-Riga

At SSE in Riga we were surprised, impressed, and challenged by their alumni self-organization and 21st Century fundraising initiatives. They presented us with sophisticated alumni, faculty, and leadership counterparts, resulting in lively and stimulating exchanges. There undoubtedly will be follow-up opportunities which will be pursued by both YaleGALE and SSE-Riga.

The entire YaleGALE team was presented with a wonderful opportunity to assist our US Embassy in Riga in addressing the needs of local NGOs. These discussions with NGO representatives launched us into unchartered waters, including such topics as social enterprise initiatives and branding. We received very positive feedback on our efforts.

We were blessed by a great tour guide in Riga who introduced us to an extraordinarily beautiful city. The dinner cruise was a fitting conclusion to our Baltics venture – including more dancing (though more sedate) and the singing of our alma mater, Bright College Years.

Viso gero un ardievas

Marv Berenblum ‘56
Producer, YaleGALE in the Baltics

Dates: July 8 – 17, 2013
Delegation: 25 Yalies, family and friends
Official photographer: Stuart Cohen ‘70
Program Producer: Marv Berenblum ‘56