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Yale University Figure Dies

April 8, 1986

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ George D. Vaill, an author, Yale University historian and humorist, has died of cancer at the age of 75.

Vaill, who died Friday, ″in many ways, was Yale,″ said Henry Chauncey Jr., former secretary to the school with whom Vaill worked for many years.

″He was the guardian of her history, creator of her ceremonies and keeper of her sense of humor,″ Chauncey said.

Vaill was the author of three books and former publisher The Amity Star, in southern Connecticut.

A native of Winsted, Vaill graduated from Yale in 1935, where as an undergraduate he was a leader of the Whiffenpoofs, a school singing goup.

He worked at Yale intermittently between 1937-1953, leaving the school to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserve and to work in publishing. After the Star shut down in 1953, Vaill worked at Yale in various capacities until his retirement in 1972.

In 1978, Vaill drew national attention for winning the limerick contest of Connecticut’s Mohegan Community College by composing the following:

″The bustard’s an exquisite fowl

″With minimal reason to growl;

″He escapes what would be


″By grace of a fortunate vowel.″

His books included ″Not For Children, A Collection of Explanatory Notes,″ ″By Request, Selections in Verse and Prose″ and ″Yale, A Contesseration of Human Beings.″

Vaill is surived by five children, six grandchildren and four sisters. A memorial service will be held Wednesday at Yale’s Battell Chapel.

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