Gavin Yancey: The Man, The Myth, The Lunch Menu

I met Gavin Yancey HMC ’19 about two weeks ago. Before our first face to face encounter I had done a substantial amount of lurking on his social media: he is the kind of man who hails from Brooklyn, frequently dyes his hair different colors (I’m personally partial to the lavender) and, according to his Linkedin bio, he is a “Harvey Mudd student with exceptional passions for computer science and mathematics.”

For those of you who don’t know, Yancey is the mastermind behind the 5C Menu App and portal- you know, the one that actually works. Yancey attempted to explain the techy side to me, but being a media studies major, it all went over my head. There were some mentions of API’s and Github, both of which I have since Googled and am still scratching my head over. However, what interested me more was the way both of these things came about. 5C Menu and portal were created four years ago when Yancey was a freshman. The menu came about from his desire to find the best Pad Thai on campus (of which he quickly discovered existed at Pitzer on Friday nights) and the other was actually a project he and several other Mudders crafted at the 5C Hackathon. He, like the rest of us, acknowledged the portal was atrocious and that the ASPC menu wasn’t much better.

What makes him different, however, is that fact that he actually did something about it.

I was curious to hear what the future held for Yancey and his internet side projects four years after his menu feat. As far as the menu and portal go, Yancey is passing them down to Mudders who are willing to take on the job. For those of us who want to know when Frary will be serving fruity pebbles cupcakes, or the Hoch will have it’s epic chocolate fountain, there’s no need to worry- we’re covered. While Yancey’s legacy will live on in Claremont, come May, this New York native will be heading up the coast. Yancey is set to work at Pure Storage in Santa Barbara where he will be working on Software that helps planes and cars function.

Throughout the majority of our time chatting, he was filled with smiles and laughter, However, when I asked Yancey if he was sad to be graduating I felt a shift. He said he loved Mudd,and what he would miss most would be the community. He’s always had a passion for computer science and Mudd was one of the first places he had really encountered that allowed him to be surrounded by like minded individuals. So while Gavin will be packing up his things and heading up north come May, his legacy will live on in Claremont.