Unfortunately, I was not able to return to Wesleyan for our 45th Reunion, but it was truly memorable. Class President Bill Quigley shares his reflections: “Our 45th Reunion was extraordinary—the weather was perfect, the campus was beautiful, and graduates young and old were vibrant. The company from ’73 was even better. To aid our memories, we each had a regular name tag and one with our freshman yearbook pictures. After Friday’s reacquaintance reception, Mark Helfat led an early Saturday discussion titled “I Never Knew You,” where we shared stories about our passions and paths through life post-Wesleyan. Don Stewart, Rich Jasper, Tom Lucci, William “Billy” Burke, Michael Gionfriddo, Steve Young, and others talked about how our tumultuous times at Wesleyan shaped our journeys. It was fascinating, and many wished it to continue long beyond the allotted time. We will do something similar for our 50th.
“A great picture of the now leveled Starship McConaughy with the words (courtesy of Mike McKenna) ‘Class of ’73 lasts longer than some buildings’ graced the T-shirts of Charlie Cocores, Tom Curran, Peter Bernstein, Ron Medley, Jay Rose, John Huttlinger, Jim Raymond, Mike Donnelly, and many others as we marched in the parade of classes. Also, wandering around the campus, High Street, Lawn Avenue, and Foss Hill were Tim Warner, Kie Westby, Ron Dennett, Tom Tokarz, Scott Karsten, Jonathan Raskin, Rudy Foy, Rick Edwards, Irv Estrin, and Bruce Fox.
“Steve Greenhouse was a presenter in a terrific Weseminar on journalism in the Trump era and Tom Kelly, Wayne Barber, and Jim Powers hosted a sobering and thoughtful session on health care. At that discussion Wayne introduced Josh Boger, who received an honorary degree at Commencement, with ‘I am in awe of this man who created an effective HIV/AIDS treatment, cured hepatitis C, and cured cystic fibrosis.’ Wow!
“Our Saturday night reception and dinner brought together Bruce Fox, Evans Jacob, Ron Johnson, Dave “Harp” Feldman, Charley Wayne, Dave Zita, and others to watch a wonderful slide show with pictures from our years at Wesleyan set to our era’s music. Granny Hale passed out a DVD he made of our 35th and 40th Reunions. Kudos to Wayne Barber for putting the slide show and our Facebook group ‘Wesleyan Class of ‘73 — Reunion Road Trip’ together. Check there to watch the slide show, see who we were in 1969–1973, and come to our 50th on May 25–28, 2023 to see what we become.
“Special thanks to the Reunion committee and Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 for their help organizing the event.”
Billy Burke, who returned from Colorado, thanks the committee members for a great program. He says, “Many warm memories, but the best experience was Saturday morning sitting in a classroom in Boger Hall (!) and having classmates share stories about what they’ve done since graduation or what Wesleyan means to them, or in my case, both. Wesleyan was an important part of my life. It helped me mature (eventually). And my life with Barbara (43 years), son, and daughter, son-in-law, and two grandkids, is more than I deserve.” He says he is already excited about our 50th. He says, “Granny Hale has a project lined up: A memorial to McConaughy Hall! And don’t ever say MoCon! Would we call the Smithsonian ‘Smiso’? I think not. Granny wants a plaque with all the concerts and historic events listed. Like the time I threw a cube of Jell-O almost to the top of the flying saucer dining hall ceiling and caught it in my mouth. That’s a nice start, but I think composing a rock opera we would all perform at Reunion 2023 would really get our message across. Keeping with the musical theme, I think we should dress in bellbottom pants and tie-dyed shirts and sing karaoke, but only songs from 1969–1973.”
Rich Jasper says, “I arrived on Thursday because I wanted to soak up the experience. I thought the highlight was hearing about the journey through the Wesleyan experience and post-Wes. My only wish was that more time existed for everyone to share. We all experienced the national and local turmoil of 1969–1970. Wesleyan made us stronger and more cognizant of a dynamic world. I loved the timely seminar regarding health care and the contributions by classmates. The panel on the challenges of fake news in the information era was intellectually stirring and reminded me of what makes Wesleyan so special. Finally, it was just great to see old and new friends. New friends are the classmates I have grown to know and admire by attending Reunions over the last 45 years. A special shout out to Wayne Barber for the video clip and freshman photos.”
Finally, Michael Fossel, author of the memorable Reversing the Aging Process, writes that he is moving ahead with plans to go to the FDA with gene therapy to cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com