By Karen Guzman
When Edward M. Lamont Jr. ’80 was sworn in as the 89th governor of Connecticut on January 9, his Yale School of Management classmates were there to cheer him on.
About 30 members of the Class of 1980, and spouses, traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, to celebrate “one of their own,” assuming the highest office in the state.
“There was such a strong SOM turnout. It was a fantastic day,” said Matt Riklin ’80, alumni secretary for the Class of 1980. “It was really a mini reunion. People came in from all over the country.” Riklin flew in from Los Angeles.
Lamont’s inauguration speech drew laughter from his old classmates, who instantly recognized the new governor’s speaking style. “He’s very candid and straightforward and funny,” Riklin said. “Somebody who couldn’t attend asked me what it was like, and I said, ‘It sounded like Ned.’ ”
A contingency of alumni arrived the night before the inauguration and kicked off their celebration with dinner. The next day, they attended the swearing in at the Hartford State Armory, and the 19-gun salute that followed it.
“Some of us then went to hear him address the Connecticut legislature,” Riklin said. The day ended with Inaugural Ball, attended by thousands, at the Connecticut Convention Center. “We really got the whole experience, from the pomp and circumstance of the swearing-in to the excitement of the ball.”
Along the way, Riklin said, they bumped into Yale SOM alumni from other classes.
Lamont is the founder of Lamont Digital Systems, a telecommunications company. He began his political career as a member of the Greenwich, Connecticut, Board of Selectmen and Board of Estimate and Taxation. He was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2006, and previously ran for governor in 2010.
Riklin called his old classmate a “poster child” for Yale SOM’s mission to educate leaders for business and society. “He’s an entrepreneur, and he’s done a lot of public service. He’s really someone who’s in it for all of the right reasons—public service is a calling and an honor.”