My inbox was fairly bursting (as it has been, come to think of it, since I took over this gig a couple of years ago). Lots of news about the exploits of our classmates and their talented offspring.
“I will brag on my daughter Maggie Smythe, off to med school at Tulane University in August,” writes Susan Smythe, in a brief note.
Jeannie Gagne has a new book, released in June, Belting: A Guide to Healthy, Big Singing. You can find out more about it at http://thevocalgenie.com.
Cheryl Stevens played host in late April to back-to-back weekend visits from Kweku Forstall and Paul Spivey ’83. “Both were in the Bay Area for conferences for heads of nonprofits,” writes Cheryl, an attorney in the Bay Area. Kweku and his wife, Adrienne, kicked off their West Coast trip and his birthday week with a trip to the East Bay wine country, a dinner that included Hazlyn Fortune ’86, basketball playoffs, and a delicious birthday dinner at one of Cheryl’s favorite Oakland restaurants. “We had a great time.” She said that Paul was in the Bay Area to receive an award from the board of an association of nonprofit executives, accompanied by two of his three sons. What better opportunity for bit of tourism? “I was happy to take the Spivey men on a tour of the Golden Gate, Sausalito, lunch in Tiburon, Ocean Beach, pictures in front of the famous Painted Ladies across from Alamo Square, and ice cream cones at the corner of Haight and Ashbury,” Cheryl writes. Cheryl adds that she had “a great e-mail exchange with my former roommate, professor Kaja McGowan. Kaja is an associate professor in the department of history of art and visual studies at Cornell with a focus on Indonesia.”
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Walter Massefski, he freely admits. “There have been 33 Wesleyan graduating classes since ours, so I suppose it is time for me to contribute something to the written record,” he writes. Walt and his wife Heidi Mintz Massefski ’85—who now goes by Chaya Massefski—live in the Boston suburb of Sharon, Mass., a town he says has a distinct Red and Black vibe. “It’s not uncommon for Wesleyan couples to live in Sharon—we have new neighbors several houses down with young children who graduated from Wesleyan,” he says. “Gerry Podlisny ’83 and Marcia Berman Podlisny ’83 live a mile-and-a-half away,’’ Walter writes, adding that he and his wife see them at occasional town meetings. Walt says they have three kids: a son who just graduated from George Washington University with a degree in political communication, and who just landed a job with CLS Strategies in Washington. He says a daughter is enrolled at Brandeis, and another daughter is still in high school.
As for Walt and Chaya themselves: “Chaya got her MSW from Simmons College a couple of years ago and works at a skilled nursing facility as a social worker. I’ve recently joined the cancer biology department at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,” he said, with a nod of appreciation to Professor Phil Bolton who became his master’s thesis adviser in chemistry. “I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to impact research in neuroscience, metabolic disease, infectious disease, immunology, and now cancer, sharing it all with an amazing partner for almost 28 years,” Walt says.
Jim Dray is living in Guilford, Conn., and working as the chief information officer for a AECOM, a giant construction firm. And congratulations are in order: He celebrates his 20th wedding anniversary this year—“not quite sure how that happened,” he said. “Tried to get my eldest son to go to Wesleyan but he’s off to MIddlebury in the fall,” he writes. “My youngest son (14) is a mad scientist in the basement, bringing up memories of Science in Society and lots of vegan lunches when we didn’t even really know what the term ‘vegan’ meant.”
News from another Guilford resident: “Catharine Arnold here. I am still trying to hang on in rheumatology and internal medicine private practice in Guilford, Conn. It is becoming increasingly difficult because of reimbursement issues, EMR, etc.,” she says. “My husband, John Bozzi ’79, continues to work for Statewide Legal Services in their pro bono department. Our older son, Aaron, is engaged and will marry his Amherst College sweetheart, Sarah, on top of Mt. Greylock near Williamstown next summer. I guess it will be a true Little Three event! Our younger son, Michael, is starting medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in August. They do grow up quickly!”
Margaret Morton writes: “All is well, still in Middletown, still working at Eversource Energy (formerly Northeast Utilities). Daughters are wonderful and my six granddaughters are the best—Chelsea, Erica, Emma, Saylor, Mazie, and Isabella.”
Virginia Pye is moving back to New England after living in the South for 17 years. “After graduating our daughter, Eva ’15, from Wesleyan in late May, and our son, Daniel, from high school in early June, John Ravenal ’81, and I are moving from our home of 17 years in Richmond, Va., to Cambridge, Mass., where John is now executive director of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum,” she writes. “I have a second novel, Dreams of the Red Phoenix, coming out in October, and look forward to taking advantage of the thriving Boston book scene. We’re excited to be back in New England and hope to see Wesleyan friends more often.”
Rosemary Stutz has been married to Jim Stutz (Yale ’80) since 1982. They have two children, Eric, who graduated from Pomona College in 2010 and who works for SAP America; and Victoria, a Georgetown grad, class of 2012, who works for Price Waterhouse). Rosemary mentions that she went diving in the Galápagos this past winter with schooling hammerhead sharks and aquatic iguanas. “Water was bracingly cold.”
Laura Fraser writes that the anthology she edited as editorial director of Shebooks.net—Whatever Doesn’t Kill You: Six Memoirs of a Resilience, Strength, and Forgiveness—won a silver medal in the National Independent Publishing Awards (the IPPYs).
Richard Klein says: “I’m pleased to report that my daughter, Nicole ’15, graduated from Wesleyan. How great is it to watch your daughter graduate from your alma mater?”
Recent wedding bells for Michael Lucey: “Snuck off to NYC about a year ago with my partner of about 16 years and got married at City Hall with Hannah Marcus ’83 as our witness,” he writes. “Have been teaching at Berkeley for nearly 27 years, although 2014–2015 was a sabbatical year, including a stint at All Souls College, Oxford, in spring 2015,” Michael said. “I studied at Oxford for two years after Wesleyan, and it’s been fun being back. After the term ends, Gerry and I are going to do some touring about and hiking in Devon, in the Lake District, and on the Isle of Skye.”
Thanks much everyone. Looking forward to more updates in a couple of months.