For those interested, by Gaddis Smith, famous but now retired Yale history professor:http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/is...ssion3645.html
Life at Yale for wealthy undergraduates resembled escapist movies about the rich and carefree. They enjoyed their automobiles, weekends in New York, country club summers, sailing on Martha's Vineyard, and trips to Europe. Spectator yachts lined the Thames when Yale rowed against Harvard at New London in June.
When the residential colleges opened in September 1933, undergraduates selected by the college masters (there was not room for all) lived in luxurious suites, ordered meals from printed menus and were served by uniformed waitresses, and after eating perhaps repaired to the squash courts for exercise fitting their station in life. Faculty fellows of the colleges delighted in weekly dinners followed by port, conversation, and sometimes bridge or poker. The residential faculty fellows (bachelors only) had large apartments. The masters lived with their families in mansions worthy of bank presidents before the fall.
Yearbook histories chronicled football victories, dances, the membership lists of fraternities and senior societies, with only a few passing comments on increased undergraduate interest in finding part-time employment or the difficulty the Yale Record was having with the cost of its new building. One cartoon showed a man with an empty basket; the caption asked, "Who's got those six billions Irving Fisher told us Prohibition had saved?"
Varsity football prospered. Games filled the Yale Bowl with cheering students and alumni. Gate receipts held up so well during the Depression that in 1931, the chair of President Herbert Hoover's committee for unemployment relief asked Yale to hold a postseason benefit game with other elite schools. In 1937, Yale raised the salary of one part-time assistant football coach, law student Gerald R. Ford '41LLB, from $3,000 to $3,500, more than that of an entering junior faculty instructor with a PhD.
Some alumni recalled afterwards that they were oblivious to conditions outside of Yale. Hear Senator William Proxmire '38: "We lived in a kind of disembodied cocoon, a deliberate isolation from what we could see and smell and hear when we left the New Haven Campus. . . . Most of my classmates were wholly preoccupied with sports and girls and grades, and bull sessions about sports and girls and grades -- in that order. If you wanted to be happy, it was a great time to be a Yalie. If you wanted to be serious -- you had to wait."
Or novelist and lawyer Louis Auchincloss '39, who confessed that "ultimately there was not, even for me, any keeping of the world (or FDR) out of Yale. Hitler barked on the newsreels. The King of England abdicated for love. Richard Whitney's embezzlement shook my father's world. On weekends at home my mother deplored my ivory tower. 'The world is going to pieces,' she complained at a lunch party, 'and Louis is writing his term paper on the Medici popes.' Bless Medici popes!"