I asked the Wes ’80 alums to tell us about their latest milestones, challenges, and insights into life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. And by the way, this isn’t a thankless job—I love hearing from fellow Wes grads because we all are doing notable things with our lives after having been launched by an amazing educational institution, and even sharing the everyday is comforting because we’re all going through some similar experiences. Wishing my fellow alums all the best for 2023, Jacquie Shanberge McKenna, Class Secretary.

This year, Paul Edwards has found his life dominated by his ongoing struggle with hairy cell leukemia, a rare disease. He noted, “I’m almost done with my second clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health. The first one bought me 12 years. This one has already eradicated the leukemia —levels are undetectable by any test, though that doesn’t mean it’s entirely gone. I am REALLY looking forward to a return to quasi-normal life in January when the treatment cycle is finally done.” Paul is the director of the Program in Science, Technology & Society at Stanford, also co-director of the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative. Gabrielle Hecht, his wife and colleague at Stanford, is a professor of history and nuclear security studies. She studies mining around the world, and issues of waste and discards more generally as well. She finished one book, Residual Governance, and got halfway into another, Inside-Out Earth, during the pandemic and is now back to traveling the world for research. She’s about to become president of the Society for the History of Technology for 2023–25. Their son Luka went to college in August, at Sarah Lawrence, where he is ecstatic to be done living at home but also super excited about the really innovative coursework in experimental animation, travel literature, and French colonial and post-colonial literature. Sarah Lawrence almost seems a Wesleyan by a different name! He’ll be a writer or an artist—already is one, really.

Jenny Boylan has had a whirlwind year. Her novel, Mad Honey, co-authored with Jodi Picoult, peaked at number three on The New York Times Best Sellers list, and stayed on that list for months. Jenny’s book tour took her from Seattle to Orlando, from Portland, Maine, to Houston, from Edinburgh, Scotland to London and many places in between. She saw many old Wesleyan friends during the tour—Steve Mooney and Virginia Pye ’82 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and David Block ’81 in New York City. Jenny spent academic 2022–23 as a fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she is hard at work on a new book, and spending time with the cohort of scientists, historians, musicians, and writers there. She gave the commencement speech at Sarah Lawrence College as well as the College of the Atlantic in the spring of 2022 and received honorary degrees from both institutions—a PhD from SLC and an MPhil from CoA.  She says that after 35 years coasting along on her MFA it meant a lot to finally receive the doctorate, even if honoris causa is actually Latin for “not for reals.”

Walter Calhoun wrote in at the end of July from Highland Park, Illinois, “which just weathered another madman’s tyranny over an innocent public with an assault weapon on a rooftop over our Fourth of July parade. I am presently co-lay leader and stewardship chairman in the North Shore Methodist Church in Glencoe, Illinois. Last Saturday, we handled a funeral for a longtime resident, Peggy Bird, who had recently settled in Hanover, New Hampshire, after a lifetime in Winnetka, Illinois. Peggy was survived by her three children: Tom, Andrew, and Nancy who all spoke most lovingly and openly about Lew Gitlin ’79,  about the bonds of community and hospitality they were able to form in their formative years across Jewish and Methodist lines. Such positive and glowing comments about Lew Gitlin did not surprise me since I learned much about Lew’s  outstanding character and empathy when we met at Wesleyan. Lew, wherever you are, please know how much you were missed at Peggy’s funeral, but how high you were held in esteem, in your absence, by Tom, Andrew, and Nancy Bird. One month earlier I was able to arrange a small dinner party at a mutual friend’s house in Kenilworth, Illinois, which was attended by Andrew Parkinson ’80 and Elizabeth Parkinson,  who were both so supportive and gracious to me when I came out of my one-month coma and six-month hospitalization after being hit by a car as a pedestrian on May 2, 2002; and after my 32-year-old son Daniel committed suicide while a first-year law student at University of Michigan Law school on November 5, 2019. Andrew and Elizabeth are the epitome of the empathetic couple who always looks out for their neighbors with a well-developed sense of community. It is easy to see why Lew and Andrew were such well-rounded fraternity brothers at Psi U when we were at Wesleyan.”

Ellen Haller: “Hi from San Francisco where I continue to love retirement! My days are spent playing pickleball (a new obsession!), riding bikes, and playing women’s ice hockey in a local league. (Plus, I do all the errands as my wife still works . . . ) Our son lives in NYC now and supports himself completely as a self-employed magician. He does sophisticated close-up card magic and has a ticketed show in the city.”

Over 34 years ago, Tammy Sachs founded Sachs Insights, a strategic research consultancy that drives innovation in product and web development. She is currently the CEO of Sachs Insights and is an instructor at Rutgers University, teaching UX Research—from Co-Creation Focus Groups & Ethnography through User Experience Testing for the Mini-Masters and Advanced UXD Course.Tammy says her Wesleyan heroes are long retired—Jeanine Basinger and Karl Scheibe. Tammy has hired and trained hundreds of alumni.

Retirement in 2018, after over 30 years as a teacher librarian in Connecticut, has not meant slowing down for Cathy Andronik. She’s found her dream job: presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research, conducting both live and online seminars on young adult literature (one of the company’s flagship programs, What’s New in Young Adult Literature, Grades 6–12?) for teachers and librarians around the U.S. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the School of Library and Information Studies at North Carolina Central University, where her favorite course to teach is called Ethnic Materials for Children and Adolescents, exploring the wonderful recent growth of diversity in books for young people. That focus is also present in her application to enter the PhD program at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; she intends to compare diversity, in particular indigenous authors, and characters, in recent young adult literature from Australia versus the U.S. When she’s not doing any of the above, she is enjoying her two Morgan horses, Reny and Gentry; her flock of companion parrots; and her getaway cottage in Midcoastal Maine.

Cheryl and Jim Green P’22 were thrilled to attend their son Mitchell’s graduation from Wesleyan in May. Mitchell was a double major in chemistry and earth and environmental science (chem tract). “Wesleyan does a wonderful job with graduation festivities and the ceremony. From the welcome lunch (where Jim and I were interviewed as Wes alums who met the first day of freshman orientation), to the after-graduation celebration, there is nothing like a Wesleyan graduation weekend (including the heat)!  It was a great end to a unique four years on campus. We are so thankful to the faculty, staff, and administration for all of their efforts in keeping everyone safe during COVID and giving the students in the Class of ‘22 the best possible college experience they could have had. It was also very bittersweet for us since we really reconnected with campus during Mitchell’s time there. We are looking forward to going to Homecoming celebrations with Mitchell in the future.”

Cindy Ryan: It’s been a year of changes, living in my own little house next to a lovely watershed pond in Concord, Massachusetts. I am learning beekeeping, loving the challenges and rewards (honey!). Also starting up my third business entity (when many of you are retiring) as a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) specializing in expressive arts therapy. Hopeful to balance part-time counseling with painting and dusting off music skills on my new guitar.

From left to right: Matt Penn, Mark and Tessa Zitter, and Daryl Messenger at dinner together in the Berkshires

Mark Zitter: I started Zooming with old friends during the pandemic and haven’t stopped yet. Scott Hecker, Paul Singarella, and I have a monthly Zoom call that we’ve come to cherish. We decided to take a cruise to Mexico together and are planning another trip in the spring. Scott is chief scientist for a biotech company and Paul, a retired lawyer, is doing exiting work helping the world deal with water problems and other environmental challenges. Paul Oxholm and I also have been Zooming regularly. He is interim executive director for a museum in his town of Reading, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, I just had dinner with Irene Chu, who lives in her hometown of Lincoln, Massachusetts. She continues to do freelance design work. Last summer my family rented a house in the Berkshires. We invited for dinner our classmates Daryl Messenger and Matt Penn. Along with my daughter, Tessa Zitter ’21, Wesleyan was well represented.  I’m in the process of concluding the Zetema Project, the nonprofit health-care organization I started six years ago. Its graduate fellowship program will live on with another management team. I’m now creating a new nonprofit organization aimed at improving the capabilities of social sector leaders.”

Mark Zitter and Irene Chu

Irene Chu lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, with her wife Cindy and continues to work on her own as a graphic designer. Her youngest just started his first year at Bowdoin and her elder is a junior at Barnard. Irene is in touch with a handful of classmates, including Page Starzinger, who had a poem recently published in the New Yorker.

Page Hill Starzinger: “I’m rubbing words together hoping for fire—and gathering kindling for others: the Starzinger Writing Center is now open at Emma Willard School (Troy, New York), a high school for girls. The kids just attended the Dodge Poetry Festival and chose poets they’d like to invite back to campus. I’ve endowed three creative writing scholarships/awards named for poet and English professor David Baker at Denison University. One scholarship is for recruitment—because why not recruit writers (not just athletes or science stars), one honors professors, one offers student experiences (mentorships, internships, etc). Remember the William Carlos Williams quote, ‘It is difficult to get the news from poetry but men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there’? (I actually disagree about the news–there is documentary poetry—but agree with ‘lack of what is found there.’) With the government giving $25 billion a year to universities for STEM, 2,532 books being banned just from June 2021–2022, and teachers being underpaid and undervalued (only 17% tenured now), I am doing what I can.”

Helianthus (Published in the June 27, 2022, New Yorker issue)

The farmers’ market has sunflowers again. It’s another

July, and bees scramble over the sticky chocolate

centers. My mother says, Hi, sweets,

but she died two years ago. I see her clearly—

wearing a drip-dry striped boys’ shirt, looking straight

at me. There’s something she’s waiting for. I

can’t figure out what it is—never could. Young

sunflowers track the sun until they mature,

then they are stuck facing east. I wonder when

memory is not a haunting, when disappointment is

not unlearned. The florets spiral, a Fibonacci sequence:

each number the sum of the two

preceding. A generation is supposed to be better

than the last, but my father once wondered, staring at

a portrait of his father if sons always disappoint. I

can’t remember what I said next, but it wasn’t true.

Anne Chamberlain: “At the end of the summer, I completed an EdM in educational policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois. This was entirely online and it was most exciting to learn with classmates of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the world. It was interesting to receive a diploma and Medicare card in the same week, but it’s been important to put aside preconceptions about aging, education, and work. After a long first career in management consulting, it’s hard to believe I am slowly moving toward the end of my second career, working on employment equity at a large university. I am also working with cross-industry organizations on the effective and inclusive use of technology to better match job seekers and employers. And I am still loving my life in New York.”

Dr. Andrew J. Kirkendall published his latest book, Hemispheric Alliances:  Liberal Democrats and Cold War Latin America, with the University of North Carolina Press. Check out the book at the UNC Press website here

Andy Kirkendall

In Hemispheric Alliances, Kirkendall explores how liberal Democrats sought to create new models for U.S.–Latin American relations that went beyond containing communism. In an age of decolonization and in response to the ideological challenge of the Cuban Revolution, the Kennedy administration introduced the Alliance for Progress, which promised large-scale socioeconomic reform and democracy promotion in Latin America—moral leadership over mere militarism. During the tumult of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s, liberal Democrats, in particular, embraced human rights.  Both the Alliance for Progress and human rights assumed a special U.S. responsibility for Latin America and significantly complicated foreign policy making.  Kirkendall finds that the Alliance for Progress and human rights emphasis left mixed legacies.  This Latin American focus of liberal Democrats was dissolved by the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush administrations who favored a more militant containment of communism. Andy continues to teach Latin American and World History at Texas A&M University.


Peter writes in for this issue:

Keith Seibert advises: “I enjoyed heading to Wes in October to attend the men’s crew endowment of a rowing shell to celebrate our coach, Will Scoggins. Great to see 20-plus teammates who rowed or coached during Will’s 1985–87 tenure.”

Rich Silverman shares: “I retired from the entertainment business last year and moved from Los Angeles to the Upper East Side. I’ve been pursuing my other professional passion, real estate, working as an agent for Corcoran.”

Suzanne Gilberg reports: “I’m super excited to share that I have a new book published in October by HarperCollins called Menopause Bootcamp. I have been very involved in the burgeoning cultural conversation on healthy aging and specifically on menopause as a medical expert, media personality, and consultant to industry, including scientific and medical advisory boards and digital health start-ups. It’s been really fun and gratifying to appear on The Drew Barrymore Show (I’ll be back end of this month!), be interviewed for The New York Times and Oprah Daily, give a TED Talk for Naomi Watt’s inaugural Menopause Symposium, and appear on podcast giants like Dave Asprey’s Human Upgrade.

Karl Slovin writes that he just finished, El Tour de Tucson, his second century ride.

Tim McCallum lets us know his “big news is I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in late July. The other big news is so far I have gotten my Ca-19 number (indicative of cancer activity in the body) down to 32 (3-42 is considered ‘normal’) from over 1500 back in August. So—I’m feeling pretty good and now making plans as far away as March, which was unthinkable just a month or two ago. Living in Haiku, Maui, and raising my boy (now six) with the help of extended family and friends (we call the family you choose ‘ohana’ here in Hawai’i) and living every day to the fullest. Anybody who wants to be in touch can find me on Facebook.”

Julie Baher notes: “I am now working at Myriad Genetics (I run the design team for our software side). It’s a very interesting time to work in both women’s health and oncology. Family is all fine. My son is a cinematographer in Los Angeles (hit me up if you know a band looking for a music video!). I’ve a daughter at Colorado College. Planning on roaming the country next year and doing the digital nomad thing. Hoping to be in New Orleans in February!”

We received late news that Paul Ratliff died on December 22, 2021. His friend, Michael Robinson ’86, said Paul was “Whimsical, whip smart, inventive, funny, keenly insightful, but most of all kind.” His obituary says, “he was an actor, a cabinetmaker, a writer, a therapist, an ethnographer, an adventurer, a storyteller, a humorist, a deeply observant and wise human. In his presence you felt truly seen, heard, understood—and funnier, smarter, and more interesting somehow.” Michael’s FB post can be read below; the full obituary can be read here.

Our 35th Reunion is coming up—Reunion & Commencement 2023 takes place May 25–28! Stay tuned for more info from the Reunion Committee in the coming months, and let us know if you’d like to be involved in helping plan and in reconnecting with classmates.


Hello, friends. This edition’s column seems representative of our Wesleyan experience. Judge for yourselves!

Jolie Parcher sent a note from Amagansett, New York, where she owns Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts. She launched Mandala Gives, a nonprofit branch of the studio, allowing her to provide yoga classes to those who have less access to it. She’s been offering yoga for Parkinson’s, chair yoga for seniors, yoga for first responders, and yoga at a local women’s shelter.

Nicholas Birns reports that his co-edited Companion to the Australian Novel launches in spring 2023 from Cambridge University Press. He is also very happy to be back teaching in person again!

Anne Undeland is busy playwriting, with the goal of developing great roles for women over 45. Her most recent play, Between the Sheets, just finished its run at Boston’s Gloucester Stage after an award-winning 2021 run in the Berkshires. Anne has had enjoyed seeing Elena Pappalardo-Day ’86, Emily Cowan ’86, Alex Fisher ’86, and Dan Bellow.

I got a report from Trish McGovern Dorsey and John Dorsey as they are getting into the swing of post-COVID life. They enjoyed a lovely in-house(!) dinner with Sue Romeo Malestein and her husband Rob (on their way home from Nova Scotia), along with Holly Campbell Ambler and Doug Koplow and their spouses. They are also getting back on the in-person theater and symphony cadence with Holly Campbell Ambler, Dennis Mahoney, and spouses. They met Eric Apgar to see the band Melt (whose lead singer is Veronica Frommer, daughter of Pauline Frommer ’88). Trish says, “Who would have thought we could stay up late enough for the main stage event starting at 10 p.m.? And how lucky that it helped improve our cool parents rating with our 20-somethings who adore the band.”

David Abramson writes, “I couldn’t attend the 35th, which was one week after picking up my daughter Hazel from her junior year at Wes. D.C. is just too far for two back-to-back trips. She’s run into her fellow classmate, Arlo Weiner, son of my former fellow Foss 5 hallmate and East European House housemate, Matt Weiner, once or twice.” David is working in the field of his major as a Russia analyst at the State Department. He’s going to London on detail at the U.K.’s State equivalent, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, for a few months in 2023. He is in touch with Skip Lockhart, Jessica Miller, Becky Riccio, Rich Monastersky ’86, and Janet Ginzberg. He writes that he tries to attend Tierney Sutton’s (’86) performances whenever she’s near D.C. She’s a jazz singer and stand-up comedian, and he says it’s like getting two shows for the price of one. David writes, “It’s been fun to reconnect with Wesleyan as an institution in new ways over the past decade, through my daughter’s eyes, in terms of speaking engagements, and renewing ties with my former professors—Duffy White, Priscilla Meyer, Susanne Fusso, and Irina Aleshkovsky—and those who arrived after I graduated—Peter Rutland and Victoria Smolkina.”

On to the relocation section!

After 24 years with Charles Schwab in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tom Pixley moved with his family to Shanghai in September to set up a representative office for Schwab in mainland China.

David E. Perryman and his family have relocated from Boerne, Texas, to Boone, North Carolina. He says it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump off the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail. David now manages communications for the provost/Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Appalachian State University. He’s teaching a class in leadership communications. An update on his kids: Braden (23) is in graduate school at Virginia Tech; Ethan (22) is a senior at Rice University; and Calvin (18) is a freshman at Connecticut College.

After nearly 30 years in Brooklyn, Bill Shapiro has moved to Taos, New Mexico, with his wife Naomi, where he continues to write (mostly about photography) and edit (mostly photo books). Brian Shelley and Nelly Taveras live in Albuquerque and he sees them often for skiing, mountain biking, and other adventures. Bill loves his new surroundings. We exchanged neighborhood pictures: He sent me a photographer’s shot of the gorgeous light in his yard and I returned a cell phone photo of the Northeastern fall foliage. My front-yard tree was bursting in  deep Cardinal red. (Am I a true Wesleyan alum, or what?)

Michael Bennet won re-election to his congressional seat for a third term, making Colorado the only state with two Wesleyan senators!

I have a fun Wes connection to report. My husband teaches digital art at Tenafly (New Jersey) High School where he has Steve Baldini’s daughter Ali in class. What a great way for me to connect with Steve who played such a key part of my Butterfield B frosh experience!

I got late news that Natasha Kraus died in December. Please send your memories of her so we can honor her in the next issue of this magazine.

Sending love till next time!


Lots of news from ’86ers:

Greg Zlotnik reported that 10 members of the class of ’86 were named to Coach Dicenzo’s All-Decade Football Team in September. Former players were acknowledged during Homecoming weekend in early November. The classmates included Dave Bagatelle, Mike Dolan, Bill Gerber, David Hill, Jack Kuhn, Jay Norris, Joe Norton, Dave Patterson, Joe Wight, and Greg.

Hal Phillips contributed a lengthy update, which he starts off by saying: Much activity and WesContact in 2022. Front and center, my new book: Generation Zero: Founding Fathers, Hidden Histories & the Making of Soccer in America, published in July by Dickinson-Moses Press. I like to call it ‘the modern Creation epic U.S. soccer didn’t know it had’—and yes, there’s some tidy WesContent therein. Can’t wait to embark on the next book project. Not quite ready to retire from Mandarin Media, the content/digital marketing agency I’ve owned/operated since 1997. But the GZ experience has confirmed for me what retirement will likely entail.

“The publication and marketing of this book has resulted in all sorts of soccer-related outreach. Among the WesKids with whom I renewed acquaintance this year, in the flesh: Stephen McDermott Myers ’87, GZ’s primary editor; former teammates Scott Kessel ’88, Adam Rohdie ’89, David Slade ’87, John Dorsey ’87, and Andrew Lacey ’89, who were all on hand for the first-ever Wes Alumni Soccer Weekend in October; and Tim Dibble, who was kind enough to attend a reading I gave down in Boston in November. Because I participate in group chat dedicated to the beautiful game, I’ve enjoyed all sorts of great back-and-forth with Patrick Symmes ’87 and Jon Gould. Also dined with Jon and wife Tina Howard in Springfield, Massachusetts. . . . This summer, I fielded a call from Mike Jeffrey ’74, longtime president of the State Soccer Coaches Association here in Maine. It took us 15 minutes to realize we were fellow WesProducts who both played for the late, great Terry Jackson, who passed away in June. In November, I was informed of Herb Kenny’s July passing. I played golf at Wesleyan as well. Herb coached that team, though I had as much contact with this fine fellow while covering the men’s basketball team for The Argus.

“My wife Sharon Vandermay and I do indeed make our empty nest here in Maine. We’re foster parents now that our own kids, Silas and Clara, having shoved off for Missoula and Brooklyn, respectively. After 23 years in rural New Gloucester, we moved last year to the more urbane, somewhat revived mill community of Lewiston-Auburn. I run MM, write and play in a couple bands—one bluegrass/Americana, the other more alt country. Sharon quilts and spearheads the renovation of our sprawling Colonial Revival/Victorian (inclusive of an Airbnb apartment) hard by the mighty Androscoggin River. Was pleased to visit with lots more WesKids this year during the natural course of our 50-something lives: Rich Gibbons ’87 and Heather Moss ’87 in San Diego; John Sledge in LA; Dave MacDonald up in Bar Harbor; Dennis Carboni and new Australian citizen Dave Rose, down in Boston. Still hoping to reconnect with Sue Arnold ’84, our esteemed freshman-year RA back at Butterfield C, who is back in New England, I gather. Sue: You’ve been warned.”

Daniel Seltzer contributed: “Almost 1000 days have passed since what I think of as the start of the pandemic here in NYC. Have been here throughout, with a few brief escapes. Still masking up in the grocery store, but the calculus of risk continues to evolve. We live the new normal, I guess. My wife commutes to the Bronx every day as a social worker. My kids are around the city, making their lives in education, law, and the arts. My work in tech is mostly strategic/advisory and I’m very happy not to work out of a Midtown office or attend in-person meetings much anymore. I make music on guitar whenever I can, get out on the water and wing foil when it’s not too cold, and stay in touch with a few old Wes friends near and far including Peter Durwood, John Ephron, Nat Pierson ’85, and Giles Richter ’87. I even ran into Ken Zita ’82 on the street last week. Happy to reconnect with folks at”

Alicia Sisk said she is “working as a psychotherapist both in Manhattan and Bronxville. Empty nester as my twins are finally away at college. Enjoy going back to watch the Wesleyan women’s basketball team. They have come so far since 1986!!!”

Marc Rosner provided this note: “I was trying to think of anything interesting about my life, and remembered I got engaged on the ferry from Athens to Crete last August, to Diane Gross, who happened to be in my sister’s class in Rochester, I think that at least makes the world a safer place for most of us . . . .😂”

Paul Ratliff ’88, Wesleyan Homecoming 2001

Michael Robinson wrote, “I’ve spent the last five years of divorced life dedicating myself to building no-utility, high-performance homes [for] the low and moderate income of Newburgh, New York, sometimes even with my ex-wife Dar Williams ’89 helping me! Yes, you can take the boy out of Wesleyan but . . . . More importantly, I’ve been grieving my dearest of friends, Paul Ratliff ’88, who died on December 22, 2021. He was a gentle man and a gentleman, a fiercely dedicated friend, brother, husband, and father. Whimsical, whip smart, inventive, funny, keenly insightful, but most of all kind. Rest in peace, my good brother.”

Erika Levy said, “I am still enjoying my work as professor of communication sciences and disorders at Teachers College, Columbia University. Delighted that my daughter started at Wesleyan this fall. My husband, my son, and I had fun visiting her during Homecoming/Family Weekend—I still love being at Wes. Would like to be more in touch with my old classmates.”

George Justice has moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he has taken the position of provost at the University of Tulsa.

Eric Heinze, a professor of law and humanities at Queen Mary, University of London, writes that his book, The Most Human Right: Why Free Speech is Everything (MIT Press, 2022), has been nominated for season 18 of the podcast The Next Big Idea.  In the book Eric writes that there has always been disagreement about which aspects of our humanity should be protected by such basic rights. The well-known lists, such as the U.S. Bill of Rights, generally include rights not to be tortured, or arbitrarily killed, or imprisoned without trial. Other countries also include things such as minimal levels of clean water, nourishment, housing, or education. Once a list has been agreed most experts insist that we cannot prioritize some rights above others. They argue that all human rights must enjoy an equally high status, because no right can be fully enjoyed unless the others are fully secure. However, Eric argues that this assumption makes no sense: free speech must by definition take priority because without it nothing else can even be called a right.

Elizabeth Graver shared, “My novel, Kantika (‘song’ in Ladino) will be out in April from Metropolitan Books/Holt. Inspired by my Sephardic Turkish grandmother’s migration story, this book grew out of interviews I did with my grandmother decades ago, while I was still in college. Now my daughter Sylvie is a Wes sophomore and loving it.”

Kristin Bluemel shared that she spent most of 2022 in Newcastle, England, where she served as Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the English Department of Newcastle University. Living among the “Geordies” was great fun, though she encounters plenty of interesting characters on the Jersey Shore where she has spent most of her career at Monmouth University.

Julia Barclay traveled to Maine in October where she saw Bennett Schneider, who was also in Maine at the time.

Bennett Schneider and Julia Lee Barclay-Morton at an impromptu mini-Wes reunion in Falmouth, Maine, October 2022


Hello, Classmates!  Here is news from our far-flung alumni.

From Dana Safran, I got a lengthy, multicharacter report. Dana, Deb Kacanek, Andrea Roman, and Carol Einhorn met on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island this summer to celebrate four decades of friendship and were feeling pretty damn sensational at 60.

From left to right: Deb Kacanek, Andrea Roman, Dana Safran, and Carol Einhorn

Debhas been enjoying 60th celebrations with Wesleyan friends while obnoxiously reminding them that she has yet to reach that milestone (at least when this update was sent to me some months back).  When she is not sluggishly watching a Marvel movie with her husband Roger, 11-year-old daughter Sasha, and dog Luna in Jamaica Plain, she is a social epidemiologist at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health where she leads research on violence and the health of women who are living with (or who are at risk for) HIV in the U.S. and southern Africa.

Andrea lives with her husband Tom in Newton, Massachusetts, still living in the same house where they brought up their three kids, who are now in their 20s and off and about. For work, Andrea chairs the board of her family’s media company, the Taunton Press, Inc.

Danareports that she and her husband Alan are now living it up as empty nesters with part-time residence in Dupont Circle (D.C.) and part time in Newton, Massachusetts, because of Dana’s D.C.–based job as CEO of the National Quality Forum.  Their three adult kids are living in LA, D.C., and Brooklyn. Their adopted labrador, Colbie (age eight) happily transitions with Dana and Alan between life in D.C. and Massachusetts.

After stints as a performing singer-songwriter, music journalist, and fundraiser for music education, Carol now serves as director of Institutional Advancement at Library of America, a nonprofit dedicated to publishing and celebrating the canon of great American writing. She and her teenage son live in Brooklyn, delightfully close to Prospect Park, the Botanic Gardens, farmers’ markets, and food trucks.

Sally Bromage Suhr and her husband Scott both retired in August and took a lovely two-week trip to France. While in Paris they attended an evening concert at Sainte-Chapelle, and as they were seated in this fairly intimate setting, the two groups around them were in a buzz discovering they were both Wesleyan grads! They enjoyed the concert and visiting with Owen Bennion ’09 and Richard (Dick) Emerson ’68.  Not only was Dick a fellow Wes grad, but he grew up in Florham Park, New Jersey, as did Sally, and that his roommate at Wesleyan was her father’s cousin, Bill Bromage ’68! Petit monde!

Sadly, her father, Edward Bromage ’59, passed away in September. They always enjoyed sharing an alma mater, 25 years apart. While planning his memorial service, she got to catch up with some of his Delta Tau fraternity brothers and their families. Some of her father’s best tales were about his fraternity life, and Sally is glad he got to share his stories of being a bit of a rascal with his grandchildren!

Jim McGonagle sends congratulations to Bob Barringer and Pat Costello on their election to the Wesleyan Football 1980s All-Decade Team. The All-Decade Team was honored with a dinner and induction ceremony on November 3rd, then recognized again at halftime of the Wesleyan-Williams Homecoming football game the next day. Caught up with other class of 1984 members including Joel Armijo, Scott Spague, and Jackie Gilson Marraffa, who was there with her son Nick ’18 to accept the All-Decade Award for her late husband, Bob Marraffa ’82.

Susie Kang Sharpe had an exhibit in Madrid and another successful show in Paris in October. She also won two top awards at international art competitions this fall, while maintaining a busy medical practice. Her story as a physician-artist has been featured in 20-plus magazines, TV, and podcasts. You can check out her artwork at She ships worldwide, and her proceeds go to her philanthropic work.

Michael Lewyn has had a pretty unexciting year, but continues to teach at Touro Law Center, lives in Manhattan, and contributes the occasional scholarly article, and blogs at

Finally, let me take a personal note and observe that I will be coming up on my 10th anniversary of becoming class secretary. It is getting to be time to pass the baton to another classmate and let someone else have the pleasure of hearing from everyone. If you are interested in chatting about the post, please contact me at the email below.

Until next time,



Hi Everyone,

Greetings and Happy New Year! Just a few notes this issue. Here goes. . .

Cheri Weiss moved with her husband Dan and their two little dogs, Hope and Josie, to Hawaii. She writes, “The dogs were totally confused at first (and I don’t think they appreciated the journey) but everyone has now adapted to our new home. The people are wonderful and kind, and it is really a wonderful adventure for our family.”

Cheri Weiss

Wayne Logan is in his 25th year of teaching law with the last fifteen at FSU. He has a book coming out this fall—The Ex Post Facto Clause: Its History and Role in a Punitive Society (Oxford Press) and is anxiously awaiting the bidding war on movie rights!

Rainer and Helen

Helen (Uddoh) Matausch and her husband Rainer sent a picture from Tunitas Creek Beach in Northern, California! (Yes, they are on the beach!) Helen has been in the medical industry for over 20 years and currently works for an acute behavioral health-care hospital. She finds it very challenging, never boring, and most definitely needed. Her goal is to get a doctorate in psychology focusing on counseling adolescents. Though not an easy age to deal with, Helen writes, “I have an affinity toward them! Wish me luck!”

Nicholas Herold and his partner Emily have been in Maine for three years, hosting short vacation stays at their Portland Victorian home in South Portland and in Eaton, New Hampshire. They are also real estate agents (residential and commercial), but their main focus is to provide an awesome experience for guests (Wes alumni receive a 10% discount). With COVID, the first floor became a rental apartment, they cooked their meals on a camp stove in the barn (ignoring as best they could the aromas of rodents and gasoline), and the cute little outbuilding where Emily and Nicholas had been sleeping became a private room for guests. Now they offer just three spaces and since they are private and more luxurious, it’s less work, despite an increasingly full calendar.

They are developing plans to work with reproductive health-care providers in Maine to use their resources to help women get the support and care they need. Loving to travel, they visited Portugal, Holland, and Belgium, and Chile last year. Last tax season they hired David Block ’81 to do their taxes and was a great experience!

Heather Rae sold everything in Maine two years ago and landed in southern Florida where she is building a private practice in terrain-based functional health, specializing in genomic biochemistry and detoxification. Her plan to leave the U.S. in 2020 to travel was thwarted by “COVID” restrictions, as she refused to take “COVID” tests or injections. Heather posts regularly on Telegram about scientific fallacies of “germ theory,” the “NO VIRUS” challenge, “vaccines,” and how individuals can attempt to remove environmental toxins contributing to their chronic health conditions.

Keep those notes and photos coming. . .




Greetings, classmates,

I sent out a nudge about class notes and since you’re all dutiful A students at heart, I got a bunch of good material. Thank you.

First up is Ginny Pye who has, yes, another novel­—The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann—coming out in 2023. If anyone needs inspiration for a later-in-life career, look no further. I saw Jenny Boylan ’80 in New York at a diner near where we used to share an apartment and passed along how pleased Ginny was to get a blurb from her without even asking. Jenny shrugged. “She’s a wonderful writer.” As her former publisher at Shebooks (My Mother’s Garden), I agree.

Suzanne Berne also has a new novel, The Blue Window, out in January. She and her husband Ken Kimmell have seen a lot of Wes friends recently: Rick Goldstein, Raf Ornstein, Elyse Klaidman, Martha Murdock, Shirley Hedden, Jane Hammerslough, and Ezra Palmer ’81, Ginny Pye and John Ravenal ’81, and Jessica Barton ’81.

Patty Smith is also writing up a storm, with a flash fiction piece showcased in a Page to Stage performance in Richmond, Virginia, and a couple of essays coming out soon in an anthology. She’s still teaching creative nonfiction and American literature at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg. She and her wife also recently Zoomed with Michael Lucey, Holly Brown, Jenny Curtis, Anne Wise, and Joanne Godin ’81.

Terri Seligman is still lawyering, married to the same person, and her kids are all grown up. She has a wonderful new hobby: playing with two Afro-Brazilian percussion groups, one all women (Batala) and one co-ed (Mambembe). “It’s been fabulous getting back to music, and fun to be a performer again.”

Christian Vescia enjoyed the reunion, as he has in the past—he and his wife Lucia reconnected at our 10th Reunion and married two years later. He retired from full-time work in October, leaving a Silicon Valley fintech start-up (Affirm) where he worked designing training programs and curricula. Now he’s busy with travel (Hawaii), exercise (swimming), gardening, guitar lessons, political activism (he’s keen on Andrew Yang’s Forward Party), and general puttering. Lucia is working part time doing physical therapy and sensory integration work with young kids.

Daniel Meier has been in touch recently with Peter Schochet, Joe Merrill, Dave Gaieski ’81,  Doug Jones, and Roger Hale. He hopes to return to campus next year; his niece is Wes ’26.

The “Stupid Dogs”—Jack Taylor, Bruce Crain, Dan Hillman, Kevin Foley, Stephen Daniel, John Mooney, Alex Thomson, and Peter Frisch—gathered again, as they have every year since graduation, “an event that’s ever more precious with the passage of time,” says Jack.

From left to right: Bruce Crain, Dan Hillman, Kevin Foley, Stephen Daniel, John Mooney, Jack Taylor, and Alex Thomson.

Congratulations to Charita Brown, who was recognized as a “Woman of Integrity” honoree at the Black People Rock Honors Ceremony (Maryland) for excellence in mental health advocacy, and who was also awarded a mayoral citation from Baltimore mayor Brandon M. Scott.

Susan Smythe says she and her husband Robert are enjoying working in the same place—Swarthmore College—where Robert, after a career in theater, is running the bakery in the school’s new sustainable and beautiful dining center, for which Susan was the project manager. (I don’t remember a bakery at MoCon…)

Paul Meltzer has been focused on local politics in Denton, Texas, a city of about 140,000 (“larger than South Bend, Indiana,” he points out). He served as a city council member, and mayor pro tem, fighting for a balanced, environmentally sensitive approach to growth. He challenged the incumbent for mayor and, as they say in the Olympics, “silvered.” He’s currently president of the Denton Rotary Club, writes regular columns in the Denton Record-Chronicle, and is working on a documentary following 10  aspiring actors from a previous chapter in his life. He’s still happily married to Bonnie Friedman ’79, also retired from teaching creative writing and enjoying much more time for her own writing, and they’re more frequently at their place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, available to catch up with NYC friends.

Mark Sirota visited Joe Barrett at his family home on Chappaquiddick, almost to the day the 44th anniversary of the first and only other time they were there together, October break, frosh year in 1978. “I didn’t catch a fish this time either,” he says.

Beck Lee is hard at work on an initiative to forestall polarization and demonization of those who are unlike ourselves. His “can we all get along?” work, via the nonprofit Cultural Fluency Initiative, will celebrate cultures of all kinds and promote cross-group understanding and collaboration. “It all stems from my great good fortune over the years to have worked with cultural groups, artists, and leaders from so many interesting countries, walks of life, and perspectives,” he says.

Martin “Chip” Shore was bummed to miss our reunion, but he and his wife Shari were off with their son in Tahoe. Chip stopped work in January and spent most of the year skiing, playing tennis, biking, and working on his “honey-do” list, in addition to taking care of his parents. Unsure if he’s going back to work (it interferes with skiing, just saying), he’s volunteering to promote gender equality, transgender awareness, and financial education.

Like a lot of our classmates, Catharine Arnold and her husband John Bozzi ’79, are enjoying being “Nana” and “Papi” to their grandsons. “Lots of things have changed since our sons were babies—nothing in the crib, Snoos, sleep sacks, etc.—but nothing beats that beautiful smile and hug when they see you.” Greg Lewis, an owner and CEO of Aerosol Dynamics, also has a baby granddaughter, another who is a freshman at Columbia, and a grandson in grad school at Brown.

We’re grateful Lavinia Ross survived a near-fatal heart attack in June. “Every day is a gift,” she says.

Jim Friedlander wrote in with some up-to-the-minute news: Bonnie LePard was on the official guest list for the Macron state dinner at the White House on December 1.

Stay healthy, happy, and creative!


Greetings from Brooklyn!  We went to Maine last July and broke bread with old friends Seth Mirsky ’82 and Nicholas Herold ’83.  It was good to see them and their significant others. I also saw Jenny Boylan ’80 here in NYC as part of her book tour for Mad Honey, co-written with Jodi Picoult. But enough about me. You all sent me about 1,500 words of news that I now have to pare down to 722. Here goes:

Paul Robinson reports that the Annie Haslam lead singer of the ’70s band of the Renaissance, has a “legacy” band of which he is a fan, and coincidentally Dave Miller was able to get him an autographed copy of a live album from years ago. “The ’70s live, people!”

Liz Rees reminisced about living on Foss Hill freshman year, and going to dance class in tights and a down jacket. She has a MA in poetry and teaches creative writing to everyone from school kids to grad students, and private workshops that are “like, conducting a post-MFA salon or workshop that lasts 15 years.”  She has also published five books of poetry. She’s looking to connect with “any Wesleyan folks who live or summer in Downeast Maine.”

Sandy Herzlich writes that he and his wife Barb Martin Herzlich are now successfully retired in Wayne, Pennsylvania. They have three grandchildren. Barb is a “very successful potter” and Sandy is coaching local HS football. They returned for Homecoming. He was “especially pleased to be able to catch up with our classmates Tim O’Brien, Tony Difolco, and Paul DiSanto. Tony and I had the privilege of serving as honorary co-captains for the football team in the game against Williams. Photos of the event make us look like old men being helped onto the field by strapping young players. Probably because that’s a pretty accurate rendering!”

Laurie (Conrad) Kramer retired three years ago from her job as a software engineer in the genomics department at Princeton University. “An interesting use of my English major!” She lives in central New Jersey “with my husband Phillip and our dog and keep busy playing competitive bridge. I’d love to hear from some of my Wes friends.”

Wayne Pepper attended Homecoming weekend this fall in order to visit his nephew Adam Pepper-Macias ’25.  He was delighted to see that Adam has followed in his footsteps by becoming a member of Alpha Delta Phi. Wayne gave Adam a tour of the CFA Theater, reminding anyone they encountered that he directed his senior thesis on the main stage.

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto launched a new San Francisco Bay Area climate resilience magazine called KneeDeep Times; we are indeed knee-deep in all kinds of challenges and messes these days. Ariel mentors emerging reporters, photographers, and artists. She is proud to report her daughter Tira is researching climate equity issues as a graduate student at Simon Fraser University, and her daughter Mikki is an architect in San Francisco. Ariel and her husband Paul continue their work to save the planet —he teaches sustainable design at the University of San Francisco. Ariel is also nearing completion of a memoir of her days as a Napa Valley vintner, for which she once appeared on the cover of Wesleyan’s alumni magazine. “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end . . . .”

Charlie Spiegel will be celebrating his 65th (ugh, but along with many of you! Medicare) birthday mid-April in beautiful San Miguel de Allende (SMA) Mexico, where he celebrated his 60th with among others, Nancy Chirinos (Traub).  “You are all invited, otherwise you will need to wait five more years, until we are, umm, well you do the math.” Attendees will include Nick Radcliffe  and Pam Bolton ’85. Laura Fraser ’82, who is hosting in absentia, met with Charlie and Kate Rabinowitz  ’83 to help plan the event.  Charlie says: “We’ll celebrate at an authentic Mexican restaurant in the chef’s carport near where my partner Lon has a small house. BTW, Anne Stevenson Yang and I met up recently to swap stories of current national (Nevada, with, a group I help coordinate) and local (Connecticut) election volunteering.”

Chris Graves recently hosted a minireunion of classmates from both prep school and Wesleyan, including Professor Jim Terry.

Chris worked full-on throughout the pandemic on the behavioral science of vaccine hesitancy. “I fielded the country’s largest behavioral science-specific study to decode the ‘sensemaking genome’ of the many ways people are hesitant when it comes to vaccines. The Rockefeller Foundation and Milken Institute asked me to chair a work stream on a global task force seeking to craft a blueprint for a better pandemic early warning system. I supported the WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children, and the Chicago Department of Public Health as well with behavioral science insights.”