Who Knew? I didn’t. Warren K.K. Luke, a freshman Foss Hill hallmate, did not graduate with our class. Warren transferred at the end of his sophomore year, taking a degree from Babson College then going on to the Harvard Graduate School of Business for an MBA and to a distinguished career in business and public service. A few highlights: Warren, currently chairman, and chief executive officer of the Hawaii National Bank and chairman emeritus of Pacific Basin Economic Council, served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for nine years. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Punahou School where he keeps up his friendship with fellow Punahou graduate, Hardy Spoehr. Warren, you will always be one of us.
Talked with Warren’s freshman roommate, George Churchill, enjoying many a good laugh, his sense of humor keen as ever. George is, however, suffering from esophageal cancer, but says the treatment is going well and that he has great support from his husband, three children, two of whom, Elizabeth and Johnathan, graduated from Wesleyan, and eight grandchildren. Think good thoughts for George.
Three more academics from our class have been in touch. Robert Barlow, who now lives in Lynchburg, Va., served for 30 years as a dean, first at the University of Hartford and then at Sweetbriar College. Bob writes: “I also worked for seven years in the Job Corps program as an executive director and regional director. I concluded my work career in 2014 after 12 years as executive director of the Free (Medical) Clinic of Central Virginia.”
In his 45 years at Oberlin College, Samuel Carrier “taught perception and cognition…served as an associate dean, director of planning and research, and provost.” He has worked with his wife, a classical archaeologist, on projects in the Abruzzo, Italy, (www.sangro.org) and Cyrene, Libya (www.cyrenica.org).” Right after retirement, Sam “was felled by a stroke while presenting a paper at the Archaeological Society of America.” The good news: Sam is recovering well, reading three books a week, living in an 1876 house purchased in 1980s, and collaborating with his wife on a paper. With the support of a $200,000 State Department grant, Sam is still active in Libya, “mostly in workshops in Tunis.”
Grant Holly, a professor of English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is writing a screenplay and plans to teach for two more years. I called Grant to catch up, but also to get his remembrance of his good friend and our classmate, Robert Killheffer, who died on October 2, 2016. “A consummate book man,” Grant said. This passion for books, particularly rare books and first editions, propelled Bob to 35-year career as a librarian at Yale University.
On a happier note, Harold Potter writes: “I have had…a wonderful life thanks primarily to five things, my family, my friends, Wesleyan University, the U.S. Army, and consistently good health.” His rich and joyful life continues with Lee Vandenberg, his wife of 48 years, three children, a grandson, great, long lasting friendships (among them Bill Machen, Rob Chickering, Joe Pickard, and Don Craven, who like the Potters, lives in Wellesley) travel, skiing, and golf. Harold served in the army from 1966 to 1968, going on to practice law with Holland & Knight and its predecessor for 41 years, retiring in 2015.
For Robert Rockwall retirement is also “going well…Monette and I still enjoy hiking and some biking, and fly fishing is even more relaxing than ever. And the grandchildren are endless fun to watch grow up. Until recently I was on the Boards of the Economic Development entities here in York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the Board of a low income, elderly housing organization, a good grounding experience.”
I was delighted to reconnect with Clifford Shedd and Joel Russ. Cliff, who retired, “reluctantly,” in 2015 after “50 years in the financial end of the energy business…worked for a couple of big banks and corporate entities, including six fascinating years at Enron.” He also served as “the CFO of two smaller public companies and was a principal in two startups. The most recent of these was an energy-related manufacturing company founded in 1985, which grew to have 35 employees and enjoyed a lot of success, until we had to close it down during 2015 due to the slump in the oil & gas business.” “As much fun as my corporate career was,” Cliff writes, “my real joy in life has been my 33-year marriage to my wife, Michelle, an artist, and trying to keep up with my four sons. We have a second home in Monterey, Calif., an area we love. We enjoy the outdoors and travelling, so far to about 35 countries.” Cliff’s closest Wesleyan friend over the years has been his “roommate and Eclectic brother, Gary Conger. “Michelle and I make an annual trip to New York and always time it to make sure that we will see Gary and his wife, Nell.” If Cliff and his wife get to New York this October, they will be able to take in Gary’s first solo gallery show, Magical Manhattan, 485 Madison Avenue (North).
“Following graduation from Wesleyan,” Joel, like Harold Potter, volunteered for the U.S. Army and served as a military intelligence officer for four and half years, learned Thai at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C., and spent two and half years in Thailand.”
Joel “returned to Maine, graduated from law school,” finding his passion, not in law, but in leading community-based nonprofit organizations and private foundations, hoping to improve the quality of life for the people in the state I love. Married for 49 years, my wife Carolyn (a retired public school teacher) and I have two sons and three grandchildren. Still consulting for community-based nonprofits.” As I wrote to Joel, it doesn’t get much better.
Larry Carver | firstname.lastname@example.org
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