CLASS OF 1973 | 2022 | FALL ISSUE

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Rich Ladd in Olympia, Washington, writes that after an entire career in commercial and mortgage lending, he plans to stop working this year when his son graduates from Boise State. He adds, “My wife and I will drive the U.S. on our own time, so hope to be in Middletown for the 50th. We miss Tom Pfeiffer.”

Michael Fossel writes, “Like some others I know, I can never seem to retire. I’m running a biotech firm, chairing global conferences on gene therapy, neurodegenerative disease, and age-related disease, and writing articles and books. I’ve agreed to write/edit (I write 4/14 chapters and have coauthors for the other 10) a new textbook for Elsevier Publishing on aging, age-related disease, and our prospects for curing age-related diseases. Should be a good, solid clinical book. On a more worthwhile note, I have acres of gardens that I tend here in Michigan.”

Michael B. Robinson tells me that he met up with stalwart class agent Jay Rose at the Valley Forge Historical Site on July 5th. He says, “Jay, a history buff, oriented me to a meaningful site from the U.S. Revolutionary War period. I reminded him of my efforts to get him to row crew at Wes as we shared stories of mixed success on the football field.” Michael says, “Jay seems an expert at contributing to all around him but also enjoying life all the while.”

John Spike writes, “Michèle and I divide our years into four slightly less-than-three-month residences in Williamsburg, Virginia (home of the College of William & Mary where Michèle taught in the law school founded by Thomas Jefferson, and I curated the art museum), and in Florence, our home since 1989.”

John also writes that he is the world’s foremost authority on the careers of two brothers from Taverna, Italy, who were born there in the early 17th century and who made significant careers in Rome and sent back more than 20 important paintings and altarpieces.

John says, “In late June, the people of Taverna pleasantly surprised me by unanimously naming me presidente of their new Archivio Pretiano (Preti Archives), which is now under construction inside the principal palace on the main piazza of the town—thanks to funds received from the European Community. It will be my objective to create this facility into a research library and center for the study of the art and history of the region of Calabria and indeed all of Italy south of Naples and north of Sicily.”

Todd Stone writes that he continues his painting practice as an artist in residence at the World Trade Center. “I painted solo in my studio on 71st floor of 3WTC through the emptying of downtown during the pandemic,” he says. In September he exhibited his work at the NYC Culture Club in the Oculus for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. He says, “You can take a virtual visit at my website ToddStoneStudio.com. My artist book Witness Downtown Rising: Twenty Years of Painting the World Trade Center is available on the website store.”

And as we approach our 50th Reunion next year, James Powers says the Reunion Book Committee is hoping you will join them in writing and submitting your individual biographies as part of treasured reflections for the reunion book to Geralyn Russo through grusso@wesleyan.edu. It will take a few moments but your memories will last a lifetime and will no doubt have so many connections to our time at Wesleyan and afterward. James says you can reflect on your strongest memories and what you have been doing for the last 50 years and who you are today. And feel free to tell us how Wesleyan made a difference in your life.

There may have been one person, one professor or one event that had a lasting influence on who you are today.

I’ll never forget how the influence of John Frazer and Jeanine Basinger encouraged my love of film and then on to the Wesleyan Film Board senior year and then on to film connections forever. Or how Wesleyan Argus editor James Repass ’71 encouraged my move to a career in journalism. Or how freshman-year advisor and English professor Joe Reed pushed me toward a freshman-year course in the humanities, saying, “You must do this because you may never read authors like Plato ever again.” Or Joe’s courses on film and author William Faulkner. And in the influence of our president, Colin Campbell.

To locate a classmate or to participate in planning programs, contact Mandy Broulik at abroulik@wesleyan.edu. Go to wesleyan.edu/classof1973 for more information. This is our year to celebrate this incredible milestone!

PETER D’OENCH | pgdo10@aol.com