Aloha classmates! As of writing, the planned 50th Reunion event has unfortunately been postponed. Expect details from Wesleyan soon! Regardless, the committee is generating wonderful ideas and events for our participation when we can meet in person. It will be well worth your while to attend. Reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening all year long and if you want more information or to join the reunion committee, go to wesleyan
.edu/classof1971. Or if you want to get involved, contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19.
We had our first Zoom virtual call and over 70 in our class registered. We heard some interesting ideas coming for the reunion and then broke into groups of about six people to refresh and reacquaint ourselves with our classmates. For those that have missed it, more virtual events will be scheduled over the next few months (potentially January, February and March). The next group of calls will have a theme with speakers from our class and the university on a specific topic
The ideas behind the pre-reunion Zoom calls are as follows:
Build interest and participation for the reunion, and unearth classmates by having them attend (and engage) or participate in the pre-reunion sessions.
Pilot some programming ideas for the reunion or to the reunion “Book.”
Pre-reunion Program Category Ideas:
1) Attract and Motivate Specialty Interest Segment Groups
Programs: “Then vs. Now at Wesleyan” or “Looking Back Through Today’s Lens” (e.g., Athletics, Science, Humanities, Film and Theater Arts, Jewish life, women at Weslyan, etc), featuring faculty and students from “then” (’67–’71) and now.
2) Attract General interest and Enthusiasm by Tapping into Wide Mosaic of Classmate Accomplishments and Journeys
These calls should be a great way to prepare for the reunion. So do plan to Zoom in for these calls! Information should be coming to you in emails. If you are not receiving them please contact Kate Lynch at email@example.com.
Another item that requires your response regards the Reunion Book. Please respond ASAP with any changes as updated contact information will be used for all future mailings and communication. There is no need to respond if contact information is correct.
Everyone is urged to answer the questions you will receive from the 50th Reunion Book Committee and to submit a new and an “old”
photo to be included in the book—people are most disappointed to find out they have not submitted anything when the hard copy of the book is mailed to the class in April 2021.
Sad news: Pam Kyrka, who is an active member of the 50th Reunion committee, informed us that her husband and our classmate Bob Kyrka passed away on July 21, 2020. He leaves behind Pam and their daughters, Kristin ’04, an immigration lawyer in Seattle, and Morgan, working and living in New Hampshire. Pam writes the following: “Bob died on July 21, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimers. He was an avid runner, completing 26 marathons. He is missed by his wife Pam ’71, his daughter Kristin ’04, his son Morgan, and his granddaughter Hazel, as well as many people whose animals he treated as a veterinarian.”
Jonathan Kramer wrote me and asked a question in search of fellow classmates. “Henry Sanders and I sat out in my backyard last week, ‘socially distanced,’ of course, going through the list of ’71 names, checking out whom we knew, whom we remembered, whom we were in contact with over the years. It occurred to me that no fewer than four members of my ‘Freshman Integrated’ program (remember that?) were not on the list. Checking each of their names with Google searches yielded no information. All four vanished. I don’t remember if, like me, the four did not graduate with the class; but still, Wesleyan has been in touch with me over the years, and I am not only on the ‘list’ but on the reunion committee as well. Have you information on any of these four: Gary Gianuzzi, James Vizzini, Paul Breger, and Walter Zdrok?”
Jonathan continues, “As for me, I am still playing and teaching cello, but now on Skype from my home. I retired from NC State University in January after 35 years, just in time to miss the campus chaos brought on by COVID-19. The college textbook on World Music I co-wrote . . . What in the World Is Music?, published in 2016 by Routledge/Taylor and Francis . . . is dedicated to ethno-mentor David McAllester from Wesleyan days, as well as my cello mentor Gordon Epperson and my colleague Alison Arnold’s ethno-mentor Bruno Nettl. We honor our teachers.” In answer to his question Vizzini and Breger were found and Jonathan can reach out to them. If anyone knows how to contact Gianuzzi and Zdrok please let Jonathan or Kate Lynch know. And if you have lost contact with someone from the class contact Kate for information.
Well that is all I have this time. Even though our planned reunion in May 2021 has been postponed, I’m looking forward to all of us being able to get together again. Keep an eye out for a new date, and feel free to join our frequent Zoom calls on various topics!
Neil J. Clendeninn | Cybermad@msn.com
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