CLASS OF 1976 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1976 Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship
Valerie Acosta ’20, Neuroscience and Behavior

Cheryl Alpert’s residential real estate business is taking off and she is working with families looking to “right size” in Boston and MetroWest. Husband Tom is an architect, son Eben is at PWC in NYC, and son Chason is with Booz Allen in D.C. Cheryl met up with Kathy Mintz in NYC at Jay Hoggard’s performance and sees Rook Van Nest ’75 and Jeff Dunn ’75 from time to time.

Sue Feinstein Barry is a professor emeritus at Mount Holyoke College, having retired in 2015. In November, her daughter, Jenny, and husband Dan welcomed Jessica Elizabeth, Sue’s first grandchild, into the world.

Andrea Grubb Barthwell, M.D., and Adam Usdan ’83 are initial members of the board of directors of the Foundation for Opioid Response Effort, a nonprofit dedicated to combatting the opioid crisis. Andrea chairs the board and Adam chairs the investment committee responsible for the Foundation’s $100 million endowment. Initial endowment funding was provided by McKesson, and Andrea was recommended to McKesson following a search by Paul Spivey ’83, a search consultant at Phillips Oppenheim cofounded by Jane Phillips Donaldson, a former dean of admission at Wesleyan.

Larry Davis reports that he flunked retirement. In 2018, he stepped down as president and managing director of Map Energy LLC but quickly was asked to become the senior advisor/chief scientist. In 2018, he and Ronna took a land trip to Finland, Estonia, and St. Petersburg and spent a week in London. Larry separately spent a week exploring the Andean region of Bolivia followed by fly fishing in the Amazon basin. During a trip to Palo Alto, he visited Alan Haus. Ronna and Larry are grandparents of Lorelei, 5, and Gabriel, 3, children of Ilana Sharpe ’06.

On Dec. 22, Lenny Femino and his wife, Rona, became proud grandparents of Julian, their first grandchild.

Jeff Frank has put his moving company up for sale and is retiring. He is looking forward to a new beginning filled with new activities.

After a long career in the State Department and World Bank, Oliver Griffith is working freelance in Paris as a professional writer for businesses and international organizations. Oliver is still playing music (his Wes major) in local venues and would be happy to see classmates in France.

Dan Henry provides tech support part-time to small businesses and homeowners. His wife, Jean, retired from Travelers in January, 42 years to the day after she started. In February they are meeting at Disney World with two of their sons, their son’s wives, and two preschool granddaughters.

Libby Horn is retiring in April when she turns 65 and is looking forward to spending more time singing, hospice volunteering, and participating in church activities.

Jaimee Kurfirst Mirsky retired after 19 years in her second career as a high school English teacher just in time to celebrate the arrival of her first grandchild, Jordan. Jaimee finds she has settled into retired life easily and enjoys trying new things after 40 years of career and family responsibilities.

For Ron Kirschner, 2018 was the 10-year anniversary of his being a board-certified medical toxicologist. March will be his 10-year anniversary as medical director of the Nebraska Regional Poison Center and a faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine. Ron was a history major at Wes. He did not plan on going to medical school and did not start the process until six years after graduation. Taking a circuitous route has given him some perspective on how his own daughter, who is a very creative chef and artist, needs to find her own way.

Debra Gottheimer Neuman has been living in Mystic for nearly four years and is enjoying her position as executive director of development and community engagement for Enders Island, an 11-acre island and home of a Catholic retreat that helps young men recover from alcohol and drug addiction. Debra’s work has made her aware of the severe opioid crisis. She enjoyed a great visit with her son, Josh, who was home from Oregon where he is completing a master’s degree in agronomy. Debra welcomes visitors.

Greg Palkot, a fellow resident of Nicholson 6 freshman year, is a journalist living in London (you’ve seen him on the box from time to time).

Michael Stopa has a new job as a senior manager of artificial intelligence and machine learning for Konica Minolta’s research division in San Mateo, Calif. He loves the Bay Area.

As for us, our oldest daughter, Samantha, was married in November and the event was wonderful. Old friends Robert Cox, his wife Maggie, Steve Goldman, and his wife, Kathy Rosenthal ’78, flew into town to help us celebrate. Meanwhile, daughter Lindsey moved to Silver Spring, Md., where she is working full time and taking engineering courses at John Hopkins. Daughter Michelle is working in the business office of a Chicago law firm and applying to grad school. And in late December, my mother moved to a ranch house to downsize a bit and be closer to my sister.

It is always great to hear from you. Stay in touch.

Mitchell Marinello |