CLASS OF 1975 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

In 2020, it seems we fully entered the era of retirements, grandchildren, and obituaries. Larry Greenberg and Debbie celebrated their son Stephen’s marriage in June. 2019 brought Emilie and Joost Brouwer two grandchildren. “Little Jelle lives 20 kilometers away, but his cousin Vida 20,000! Vida’s in Canberra, Australia, with her parents and two half-brothers, ‘bonus grandsons.’”

Ellen Remmer joined the grandparents’ club. Through philanthropy and social impact work, Ellen frequently encounters Wesfolk like Prosperity Catalyst Executive Director Catherine Gibbons ’79 and Sarah Williams ’88 of Propel Capital.

Russ Munson spends more time with his kids and grandkids in Brooklyn since starting half-time work for CarePartners of Connecticut, a Tufts Health Plan/Hartford Healthcare joint venture. Semi-retired Cheryl Vichness lives in Baltimore and often travels for fun. Her daughter teaches school and is finishing an M.Ed. John Tabachnik is planning retirement with two married kids “off the payroll.” He’s the art patron for his youngest, a ceramicist.

Brian Steinbach, semi-retiring this year, reports Steve Pippin in New Market, Md., teaches German at the local community college. Brian and Steve were grad school housemates at UVa. Brian had dinner with Brad Kosiba and Dave Nield ’77 in November. Speaking of Brad, his clan visited Deb Kosich’s condo in Grand Lake, Colo., last summer. Deb’s other home is a new Houston condo.

Gary Davis, based in New York since finishing architecture school post-Wes, has two grown kids and lives in a building he designed and developed ( on Central Park North “with amazing views of the midtown skyline.”

Paul Bennett remains busy with nonprofits in the Bay Area and celebrated one son’s return to Oakland after decades away. His other son is firmly in NYC.

Cathy Gorlin celebrated her son’s wedding in Colorado, where he’s in his second year of med school. She had dinner in Miami with David Racher ’74 and Susan Margolis Racher. David and Susan met when Susan exchanged from Smith to Wesleyan.

Roger Weisberg completed his 33rd PBS documentary Broken Places, about the impacts of early adversity on children. Roger’s and Karen’s daughter Allie ’05 has children ages 4 and 7 and has launched a juvenile offender diversion program where participants can complete an arts residency to have their criminal records expunged. Middle son Daniel is regional medical director for Galileo, a startup to improve health care delivery for complex Medicare and Medicaid patients. Youngest daughter Liza followed her fellowship at the ACLU by clerking for Judge Kimba Wood in the Southern District of New York.

Steve McCarthy’s daughter, MaryKate, was married in Washington, D.C., last October. Steve works with Wesleyan alumni in philanthropy and public service and as executive producer of documentary films with Quixotic Endeavors (

Deborah Brown retired in 2018 and has since tutored ESL, taken adult ed courses, and pursued Jewish text studies. She is president of a congregation in Glencoe, Ill., which has resettled 22 refugee families, witnessed at the Mexican border, and worked to shut down child detention camps. As a lay leader in Reform Judaism, Deborah has crossed paths with Wendy Liebow ’74 and Rachel Adler. Debby has also seen East College suitemates Lisa Anderson, Barbara Bachtell, and Kathy Heinzelman this year. She and husband Mitch ’73 welcomed grandchild number seven last fall.

Martha Brown and I met for lunch to catch up and compare notes as late-career moms with grown daughters contemplating next steps. Martha continues her operations work at East Bay Community Law Center but was just finishing a three-month sabbatical. My two kids are now both college grads; our son finished his BS in mechanical engineering at Northeastern in December. Done with Boston winters—he’s job-hunting in California!

I’m sure you recall that we lost our gifted classmate, Sam Miller in May 2018. There was a memorial service for him in May 2019 and I heard from his wife Anne recently. For a beautiful Wesleyan tribute, see

Thanks to Jeff Cox, Gina Novick, and Phil Swoboda for memories of Diane Cornell, who died Jan. 7. “At Wesleyan, she was known for her boundless energy and the delight she took in her numerous friends. She was a wonderful companion, talking and drinking long into the night and joining in such zany efforts as a collective attempt to levitate a table full of beer bottles to sounds of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner.”

In COL, she took possession of The Magic Mountain and In the Penal Colony, works that her friends can never hear mentioned without thinking of her. Diane combined a matter-of-fact demeanor with inexhaustible warmth and deep commitment to causes she cared about. After leaving Wesleyan, she made her mark as a distinguished communications lawyer, a national badminton champion and sports executive, and a political and social activist. Diane’s extraordinary life was detailed in a Washington Post obituary.”

Cynthia M. Ulman |
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