Deceased April 12, 2014

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50th Reunion book entry


In Memory

One of our more enthusiastic classmates, Eric Emory, passed away in April shortly before our reunion, an event where he played a very important role these past 15 years.

It was Eric who generously provided music for our reunions--a dance band or a Dixieland jazz group. This he did by himself, organizing the musicians and handling their transportation and lodging. But he will be missed for far more than this thoughtful enhancement of these gatherings.

As an Amherst track team member, his primary success was swimming with coach Tug Kennedy. A native New Yorker, he went to high school in Michigan, where he became a state swimming record holder and, more importantly, became engaged to his high school sweetheart, Bonnie.

After the Navy and now married, he and Bonnie ended up in the G.I. Village on campus. They had 30 "fabulous years" together, three children and one grandchild, but she died tragically in Acapulco in 1983.

His business career was on Wall Street after his M.B.A. from Columbia, where he studied under the legendary Benjamin Graham and later wrote a book on investing that was read by such notables as our Joe Kingman '49 and Omaha's Warren Buffett.

Early on he worked with Don Riefler '49 at Guaranty Trust Co. He worked with American Express in New York and Switzerland before resigning in 1970 to manage his own investment boutique. Success enabled him to establish a visiting professorship in adolescent psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

He is survived by his wife, Linda (daughter of legendary composer Richard Rodgers), and the offspring noted above. His marriage reinforced his love of music. A full life indeed: 88 years, but always too soon. I had a nice chat with Linda and learned that they held a memorial service in Scarsdale on April 17.

Gerry Reilly '49

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50th Reunion

Although born a New Yorker, I was not in my teens before I realized that if I did not manage to get away from my career parents, especially my mother, I would soon end up a lifelong criminal or dead quite before my time. I had been sent to Exeter, following a brilliant career there by my older brother, and I had to get out of that nest of vipers. My grades did not merit dismissal but stealing a watch and leaving it where it would easily be found worked like a charm. This juvenile delinquent got sent out to Ann Arbor where there was an infinitesimal high school within the Department of Education of the University for teachers college training; I roomed and boarded with different professors each year. Over the next three years I became a Michigan state swimming record holder, dramatic arts male lead, and engaged to my high school sweetheart. Enlistment in 1943 in the Navy, working in the Navy's initial Special Weapons (electronic underwater ordnance) division, and two personal letters of commendation preceded my matriculation at Amherst in February 1946 .I had married that girl in May 1945 and she spent that spring semester at Cushing House at Smith while I moved with our class from North College to South College and elsewhere. Ultimately, G.I. Village claimed Bonnie and me; she taught at Smith until June 1949.After 38 fabulous years, she died tragically in Acapulco in 1983.

I was a member of Amherst's rather undistinguished swimming team each year and, in our senior winter, Tug Kennedy asked me if I would switch from freestyle to backstroke, inasmuch as we had no one to fill that slot I did so and a remarkable (for me, anyway) incident changed the way I looked at the world from that moment on. The New England Intercollegiate meet was held at the Pratt Pool that March and the backstroke heats were held on a Friday night, with the finals to takeplace the next day. I was Amherst's only entry in the 150-yard event and swam the initial leg of the medley relay. As I finished the 150-yard heat, I heard the stands erupt in a roar. Amherst had won its heat and would appear in the finals! When this Jewish boy heard that acclaim, I swore that I would do everything in my power to serve my class. And I have not swerved from that oath.

After a few years on Wall Street I received my MBA in investment finance at Columbia, studying with the late great Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. I spent many years as a security analyst with the original Guaranty Trust Company - with Don Riefler- and then with Morgan Guaranty Trust. A short stint with United Funds in 1961 preceded my appointment as senior analyst and portfolio manager at American Express. Finally, I was made Vice President of the Amexco International Banking Corporation unit in Switzerland resigning in 1970 to manage my own investment boutique and conduct an in-depth research project designed to complete one in which Prof.Graham bad been engaged when he died in 1976.This study produced two books and the proofs that there is a stock market cyclicity, that it is related to the domestic economy, that the nature of the relationship cannot be described, but that it is not necessary to do so inasmuch as the long-term history of the market itself carries all the clues necessary to decipher that cyclicity. The results are a 100% predicted accuracy between 1921 and 1932, only a .50%-75% accuracy between 1932 and 1953, but a return to 100% accuracy thereafter. These results were transmitted to Warren Buffett who referred to them in his 1997 annual meeting address to his Berkshire Hathaway Corporation shareholders. The results also led to solving the enigma as to why closed­ end funds sell at net asset value discounts.

I established, anonymously but in the name of my high school homeroom teacher, a Visiting Professorship in adolescent psychiatry at the University of Michigan in 1968. I'm crazy about the Class of 1949.

Eric Emory

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