Late May our class celebrated a Reunion on campus—the 60th for those who are still keeping statistics. The weather was more or less cooperative, especially for the Saturday programs; sun broke through and the campus was in its best-dressed mode.
1957 turned out at some 33-strong, comprising classmates and guests. The roll-call of Wesmen is as follows: Paul Schwaber, Jack Braitmayer, Bill Riess, Herb Camp, Hal Ochsner, Gordy Wilmot, Bob Smith, John Allison, Bob Sharlet, Art Typermass, Whitey Johnson, Rusty Clowes, George Willauer, Rod Henry, Jim LaCrosse, Mike Stein, Ken Travis, and Jeff Williamson. Math majors will note this list as being in random order and English majors please excuse the usage of any additional nicknames. I merely thought that Messrs. Clowes and Johnson, being among the more colorful class members, deserve special “ink” on the subject. To the best of my knowledge, we have no others of us endowed with colorful nicknames; should I be in error, please correct me.
Jeff Williamson’s WESeminar on American income inequality was standing-room only in a large Fisk Hall classroom. He was introduced by Richie Adelstein, economics professor. The subject matter covered income inequality that predates the founding of the Republic to contemporary times. His book is titled Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality Since 1700 (Princeton, 2016: with Peter Lindert).
Copies available at the campus bookstore sold out quickly. Jeff received Wesleyan’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987 and served on the Board of Trustees from 1988-1994. Along the way, he authored some 22 books, of which the aforementioned is the most recent.
At our Saturday night dinner, our guest speaker Mark Hovey, associate provost and professor of mathematics, provided a sense of what it is like to teach at Wesleyan today. He emphasized that faculty are encouraged to combine teaching and research that is unique among smaller liberal arts colleges. Accordingly, Wes students have exceptional opportunities to engage in primary research with their professors. The interaction results in positive experiences on both sides of the desk. Mark cited as an example his own daughter, having transferred from Brown because she felt there would be better opportunities to collaborate with faculty.
Professor Hovey was introduced by our dauntless emcee, Whitey Johnson, who conveyed greetings from retired Professor Bob Rosenbaum, who has recently turned 101!
I know I speak for 1957 in expressing gratitude for the tireless efforts of Mark Davis ’96 and Jenna Starr ’15 in developing and bringing about the events comprising our 60th Reunion, not the least of which was working with our own Reunion committee on the planning phase thereof.
Jim LaCrosse mentions that granddaughter Thea LaCrosse ’21, daughter of John LaCrosse ’85, is in this year’s entering class. Pride in continuing generations at Wes.
Mike Stein reports that on the Saturday afternoon of Reunion weekend he and fellow Deke brothers, Rusty Clowes and Bob Sharlet, attended a meeting and rally (organized by Bill Daley) aimed at re-opening the house. He said there were nearly 100 alumni, undergrads, and guests in the house living room, all in high spirits.
Allen Fitz-Gerald continues to refine his play, Prisoners of Hope. The play is being tried out at college venues including SUNY Potsdam, as well as associated education conferences. It was summarized at The SUNY program as ‘‘Mother and son vs. father and daughter….with billions at stake. The climate crisis hits home.” Allen extends appreciation to Paul Schwaber for his advice along the way.
I picked up some commentary to the effect that the class is moving inexorably toward the front of the parade as our Reunions progress. I recall as an undergrad looking on at that parade tradition, and wondering “Who are those guys?”—much like Butch and Sundance asked as they were pursued throughout the West. Well, in Middletown it is those who march proudly around the 1957 banner.
Art Typermass | firstname.lastname@example.org
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