What’s College For? Perspectives from Law, Business, Journalism, and Academics

Event time: 
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 4:30pm
Event description: 

Wondering about liberal education and how those Humanities classes are going to make a difference? Four members of the Class of 1982 (DS students 1978–79) discuss how studying the Humanities at Yale helped shape the lives and careers they have today.

Please join us for a conversation with

•Peter Tracey (Classical Civilizations), lawyer and partner with Perkins Coie, LLP (Washington DC);
•Gavin Campbell (Political Philosophy), Founder and Managing Principal of Steelbridge Capital (Chicago and Miami);
•George Packer (Renaissance Studies), staff writer for the New Yorker since 2003, book author and playwright;
•Lori Newcomb (British Studies), Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois.

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 4:30–6pm
Whitney Humanities Center
Reception to follow

Peter L. Tracey (‘82 BK) is a lawyer and a partner in Perkins Coie, LLP’s Insurance Recovery Group in Washington, DC. In his practice, Peter represents policyholders in the resolution of complex insurance coverage disputes, and has represented a broad range of corporations, professional firms, and government entities. He also represents pro bono clients in housing and employment discrimination cases and immigration matters. At Yale, Peter was a student in the Directed Studies program during the 1978-79 academic year, and majored in Classical Civilization. Peter is married to Bonieke Rodrigues de Azevedo. In 2014, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, Peter and Bonieke became the first same-sex couple to receive a K-1 visa issued by the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Peter is an avid runner, and since 1984 has finished thirty marathons and run in all fifty States.

Gavin Campbell (YC ’82—Branford College) is founder and managing principal of Steelbridge Capital, a real estate private equity firm based in Chicago and Miami. He is former Chairman and Board Director of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, the Latino Chicago Theater Company, Leadership Greater Chicago, the Young Leaders Fund, and  the Glessner House and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Chicago Science and Entrepreneurship Exchange. He has also a member of the Yale Development Council, Yale Parents Council and Yale Soccer Association, and is a former Board Director of the Yale Club of Chicago, former head of the Chicago Alumni Schools Committee and served on his 35th, 30th, 25th and 20th reunion gift committees. He received a B.A in Political Science from Yale College in 1982 and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago in 1990. After graduating from Yale, he served in various state and federal government positions, and later as Executive Director of the Chicago Civic Committee, a not-for-profit economic development and urban policy institute. He and his wife Diana Aixala live in Chicago and have three children.

George Packer (YC ’82) became a staff writer for the New Yorker in 2003. For the magazine, he has covered the Iraq War, and has also written about the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone, civil unrest in the Ivory Coast, the megacity of Lagos, and the global counterinsurgency. In 2003, two of his New Yorker articles won Overseas Press Club awards—one for his examination of the difficulties faced during the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, and one for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone. His book “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq” was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by the New York Times and won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award and an Overseas Press Club book award. He is also the author of “The Village of Waiting,” about his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, and “Blood of the Liberals,” a three-generational nonfiction history of his family and American liberalism in the twentieth century, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award; in addition, he has written two novels, “The Half Man” and “Central Square.” He has contributed numerous articles, essays, and reviews to the New York Times Magazine, Dissent, Mother Jones, Harper’s, and other publications. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001-02, and has taught writing at Harvard, Bennington, and Columbia. His most recent book is “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” which explores the growing class divisions that fuelled Trump’s rise.

Lori Humphrey Newcomb (YC ’82—Calhoun College) is Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois, and a specialist is Renaissance literature and print culture: http://www.english.illinois.edu/people/lnewcomb. She graduated from Yale magna cum laude with a B.A. in British Studies (1982), and, after working in human resources, earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at Duke University (1995). Her scholarship, including Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England, contributes to a more inclusive literary history by recovering the reading and playgoing of women and workers in seventeenth-century Britain.  At Illinois, she has been Director of Undergraduate Studies in English, served on doctoral committees for 28 completed Ph.D.s, and advised English majors in founding Re:Search, a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal of literary and cultural criticism.