How Life Emerged: Yale Scientists Make Groundbreaking Discovery, Reception & Talk at the University Club

24 FEBRUARY 2020 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Last October, Yale graduate School of Arts & Sciences alumni, Tyler Lyson PhD ’12 and Ian Miller PhD ‘07, made public their groundbreaking discovery as to how mammals evolved and came to thrive after the extinction of the dinosaurs. As characterized by George Sparks, president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where the two are Curator of Vertebrae Paleontology and Curator Paleobotany & Director of Earth & Spaces Sciences respectively, the significance of their work can’t be overestimated:

For the first time, exceptionally preserved animal and plant fossils from the critical first million years after the asteroid impact shine a light on how life emerged from our planet’s darkest hour…we now understand the birth of the modern world we live in today.

For decades, exploration of rock outcroppings in the primordial Denver basin came up empty in the search for the reset of life on Earth. The breakthrough came when Tyler hit upon examining the concretions that formed in sedimentary rock, and at Corral Bluffs east of Colorado Springs, he split open one and saw “a mammal skull staring back at me.” For this earth scientist from Mammuth, North Dakota, who had scrambled around the badlands as a child looking for fossils, this remarkable moment nearly brought tears to his eyes.

Once they knew what to look for, suddenly they began to find skulls about every fifteen minutes, and they came away with nearly a thousand vertebrae fossils with sixteen different kinds of mammals as well as 6000 plants fossils and 37,000 pollen grains. Their story has been told in a PBS Nova documentary The Rise of the Mammals.

We are thrilled that Tyler, Ian, and recent DMNS addition Holger Petermann PhD ’18 will present their findings and share the experience of a adding a major chapter to the understanding of how we came to be. On Monday, February 24th, come to the University Club, 1673 Sherman Street, Denver, for a reception starting at 6:00 with cash bar and passed appetizers, followed by their presentation and Q&A. Admission is $25. Meters in the area are free after 6, and spaces are usually readily had. The UClub is walking distance from Civic Center Station, the last stop for the  free 16th Street mall bus from Union Station.

Please purchase by Monday, February 17th. Use PayPal button below, or send a check to: Colorado Yale Association, P.O. Box 911, Denver, CO, 80201. If you opt for the latter, please notify Stephanie Grilli:


The First Women at Yale College: Chris Citron ’71 & Susan Cherniak Wei ’71 Attend the 50th Anniversary Celebration


left: Susan Cherniak Wei; right: Chris Citron on left

Over the weekend of September 19-22, 2019, women from the classes of 1971, 1972 and 1973 gathered in New Haven to celebrate Yale’s first coeducational admissions to Yale College. Among those in attendance were Colorado alumna Chris Citron ’71 and Dr. Susan Cherniak Wei ’71 MA ’79 PhD ’88. In addition, the September/October edition of Yale Alumni Magazine included an excerpt of a 1970 essay for a high school publication written by Chris, which is quoted in part below:

Yale is fully coeducational; it’s not just an experiment. However, if it continues its policy of admitting only 250 women per year, obviously only male leaders will be turned out. As society is now structured wholly under male leadership, unless Yale agrees that women are incapable of leadership roles (ignoring the dire shortage of competent professionals in so many fields), the University’s obligation is obviously to take itself out ahead of society and initiate a different admissions policy, so as to provide more women with this so-called leadership preparation. Furthermore, I would dispute the University’s role of annually churning out a set of so-called “leaders,” and substitute the goal of “capable individuals.” Brewster has even refused to meet with members of the Admissions Committee, who have taken the unusual step of publicly stating that the caliber of the boys being admitted for next year is substantially lower than that of the girls who are being turned away. You may have noted in the New York Times recently that the first semester marks for Yale girls were across-the-board higher than for the boys.


Gather Ye Merry Yalies at the CYA Holiday Party

5 JANUARY 2020 | 5:30 - 8:30 PM

Rockwell Kent, “Peace Oath” (c. 1967)

As is the custom, the Colorado Yale Association holds its holiday party in January, after the December festivities crunch. Gather at the Country Club neighborhood home of Joe Smith ’88, who continues to be our gracious and valued host, on Sunday, January 5th, starting at 5:30 pm.

The event is free, but there is a cap. Guests are welcome, but please limit to one. RSVP to Stephanie Grilli:, and you will receive the location before the party.


YaleWomen Second Annual Cookie Exchange

8 DECEMBER 2019 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Come celebrate the season at the second annual YaleWomen Cookie Exchange on Sunday, December 8th, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Park Hill (Denver) home of Anne Weil.

Bring two dozen of your favorite holiday cookies as well as a container to carry a variety of treats home with you to share with the people in your life.  RSVP to, and she will provide her address.


Yale-Harvard Game Watch 2019!

22 NOVEMBER 2019 | 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join fellow Yalies on Saturday, November 23rd, to watch the Bulldogs and the Crimson team at Yale Bowl. The location is The Original Brooklyn’s (not to be confused with the bar near the Pepsi Center, 2644 West Colfax Avenue, Denver, conveniently close to I-25. Kickoff is 10 a.m. (mountain time), which is when doors open. Drinks and food are off the menu, with food service beginning at 11:00. Play the score board for door prizes. We will have our own upstairs space, and a side room is allocated for the youngest Bulldog fans to play.

Yalies in Colorado Springs can gather at Mother Muff’s Kitchen & Spirits, 2432 Colorado Avenue, which opens at 8:00 am.

The annual Yale-Harvard game watch is always well-attended. So it’s a great opportunity to visit with classmates and meet new people. No RSVP is necessary for this family-friendly event.


Yale Explores Denver: Data, Data, Everywhere!

18 OCTOBER 2019 | 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM

An evening of connection and interdisciplinarity, Yale Explores is an exciting new initiative that showcases some of the most thought-provoking and entertaining speakers, each of whom provides a different perspective. Selected by President Salovey, the topic for the Denver panel is data: Data science is transforming our lives—from how we build infrastructure in cities to the way we grow food on farms, from how we find cures for diseases to the way we compete in business.

Yale faculty members, Elisa Celis, Assistant Professor of Statistics and Data Science;  Alan Gerber ’86, P ’19, P ’20, Dean of Social Science, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Political Science, Professor of Economics and of Public Health; and Harlan Krumholz ’80, P ’12, P ’17 Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health will highlight research that advances the power of data science and addresses how such developments can be made to strengthen our democracy, improve our economy, and benefit our well-being. Not sure what an algorithm is? Rather than a lesson in data sets for specialists, this may be an evening in which you suddenly “see” a world increasingly shaped and defined by data.

Yale Explores will be at the Kimpton Born Hotel near Union Station (free valet parking) on Friday October 18th, starting at 6:30 pm. The event provides opportunities to meet other alumni and their guests, with a cocktail hour at the beginning and a reception after the panel. Registration is $25. BOLD alumni (graduates of all schools of the last decade) pay $15. The number of attendees makes this a special occasion to mix-and-mingle with fellow Colorado Yalies!

Yale Explores goes well beyond a typical alumni event and won’t be on the schedule regularly. For a glimpse into Yale Explores at other locations, watch this video.