Bruce Bean



You asked for this, Bob Chun!

First, yes, I am 75 as of last December.  However, I am not retired, at least not if you believe teaching “full time” at a law school is work (a doubtful proposition).  After graduating from Brown with a Watson Fellowship to travel and study in Southeast Asia, I spent a year in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand followed by four years on Active Duty in the Air Force.  I was in Viet Nam in 1965 and 1967-68 (when I worked on the Airborne Command Post dealing with air strikes in Southern North Viet Nam, Southern Laos (yes, we did that) and in-country over Khe Sanh during the Tet Offensive.  When I left Active Duty in 1969 to attend Columbia Law School (someone had said it was fun), I remained in the Air Force Reserve to have the opportunity to debrief POWs if they were ever released from Hanoi.  After law school I clerked for a Judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC and took a month in early 1973 to spend time debriefing a pilot who had been shot down while we were both at Danang Air Base in 1967. 

My career as a lawyer began in New York City. I

·        worked in NYC at Simpson Thacher and then Patterson Belknap, where I spent a great deal of time with Rudy Giuliani, then

·        to Los Angeles in 1980 to work at a major oil company doing acquisitions and de-acquisitions,  until 1985.

·        I served as Executive Vice President of a New York Stock Exchange-listed financial services company back in New York City until we sold our principal asset in 1992, whereupon

·        I spent two years as an investment banker.

·        I then moved with my family (including two children) to Moscow as a practicing corporate lawyer, first at Coudert Brothers and then at Clifford Chance, the London-based firm, at the time the largest firm in the world.  These eight years, principally in Yeltsin’s Russia propped up by the Clinton Administration, were an incredibly positive experience.

·        After Moscow, having already done everything I could do as a practicing lawyer, in 2002 I retired (I thought) to a winter place in Stuart, Florida.  That lasted a few boring months until I was asked to write a chapter in a book on Russian Corporate Governance replacing the author who had originally agreed to write the chapter, Mikhail Khodorkovsky of Yukos, who had just been arrested by Putin.

·        Meanwhile my wife, also a practicing lawyer (Milbank Tweed, O’Melveney & Myers, Debrauw Westbrook), by then had decided she would rather be a Librarian (?), and went to Library School in Albany, 50 miles from our home near Great Barrington.  She then took a job at the Law College at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

·        I went to East Lansing, bought a house and met the law school dean.  The dean had been a year behind me at Columbia, recognized me and asked, “Hey Bruce, would you like to teach?”  (Some job search!) I very much enjoy teaching and, on the Monday following the Reunion, will start my 13th year of teaching (basic corporate law and an international seminar where students write about something that really makes them mad).

While not yet retired (except from the Air Force), our son Austin, a graduate of the Moscow American school and the University of Chicago, will receive his PhD in Economics from the University of Texas next year and we will very likely leave MSU in the spring to follow him and his wife Imelda (who already has her PhD in Economics from NYU and who became a citizen on June 29th of this year) wherever they go.

Meanwhile, our daughter Ashley, by far the smartest and surely best writer in the family (she was editing my speeches in Russia when she was 13 and improved my commencement speech this year) is enjoying her 15th year in Colorado, first at Colorado College and since then ski patrolling, now at Aspen Snowmass.

We have a grand-dog in Colorado, but no grandchildren yet.

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Reunion and catching up by email.  (The attachment contains pictures.)


Take care!






I just have to respond to Steve and Marty.
I knew Marty pretty well at MHS but never knew we had "nerds."   I think we were a generation ahead of that term???
As to Steve's question about 75, let's be clear, it is just a number.  When my brother and sister were very little and asked my mother how old she was, she would say "29."  After a few years with the same answer we figured it out. It is just a number.
So 75, 3.1416..., 102.  These are just numbers.  Seems to me that if we have something we want to do, something to look forward to, whether it is to write a book, enjoy the grandchildren, develop a great garden, whatever, we are OK.  Just so long as we are not waiting around to see how soon we will leave this mortal coil.
My goal at the moment is to see the opening of the time capsule placed on Normandy Beach scheduled to be opened in 2044.   What the heck, that's just a number...?
See you in a few weeks.
Bruce (Never a nerd, which I proved at Brown in my first disastrous year as a physics major!!)