CLASS OF 1975 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

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Class of 1975 Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship

Allison Galante ’20, Flushing, NY

Mike Minard, who traveled with blues giant Jonny Shines, turned 64 last year, and sent videos. One is a cover of the Beatles’ classic, featuring Mike, his wife, and granddaughter: Catch the original musical, Amazing Grace, which Mike wrote with prisoners in New York’s maximum-security prison for women as a Rehabilitation Through the Arts volunteer facilitating music and theater:

Dave Bickford is acting and vocal coaching in LA. He and wife Phenprapha went to Thailand for his stepson’s college graduation, to discover that only students and faculty attend, while families just take photos afterward! Phenprapha became a U.S citizen in March (Dave’s government major helped with test prep). A huge fan of all-female banked track roller derby, Dave was invited to coach the LA Derby Dolls’ All-Star team in a game.

Amy Bloom is now Wesleyan’s Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing. Her daughter reports from Brooklyn on Leslie Brett ’76, and Amy has lunch sometimes with Jose Goico ’74. Busy with a novel, working on a children’s book, happily married, and living in Stony Creek, a tiny village on Long Island Sound, Amy has three “beautiful and brilliant” grandchildren.

Get out those Wesleyan onesies! Three more classmates are grandparents: June Jeffries (Clara Marie Jeffries, February 2016), Cathy Gorlin (Solomon Bennett Epshteyn, March 2016), and Risa Korn (Arya Rose, September 2016). June saw Andy Barnes last summer presenting at a symposium in D.C. Cathy’s new grandson lures her frequently to NYC from Minnesota. She saw Christine McCoy McNeil and Kenneth Levinson on her last visit, and David Racher ’74 and his wife, Susan, in Miami.

Travel and transitions: Ellen Remmer and her husband took a sabbatical travelling in Southeast Asia for three months, including being in Myanmar during the power handover. She saw Shonni Silverberg ’76 and John Shapiro ’74 recently in Boston. Ellen’s eldest child is engaged. Michael Hamburger, on leave from Indiana University, served as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the U.S. State Department. Pat and Jeff McChristian traveled extensively with visits to Italy, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Lake Powell, Steamboat Springs, and to Greenville, S.C., to visit their now-married daughter. This summer was hiking/rafting in the Canadian Rockies with kids and their main squeezes. Back home, Jeff enjoys having Pat as CFO/COO of his law practice and running into Judge J.D. Moore in court or around West Hartford.

David Lipton’s third child, Gabriel ’16, graduated from Wesleyan as a government major. His oldest, Anna ’08, is an alumna. He signed on for another five-year term as number two at the International Monetary Fund, following fellow alum John Lipsky ’68.

Vinnie Broderick is well in New Hampshire and at Camp Pasquaney, where he is director. “Last fall, the lightweight crew from 1975 invited me to join their 40th anniversary boat rowing in the Head of the Charles. It was really good to catch up with them. I also visited with former roommate Dave Rosenthal during a quick visit to Baltimore.”

David Drake has the best job in the world: “I earned graduate degrees from UCLA and Harvard Graduate School of Education, and in 1990 started White Oak School in Westfield, Mass., a state-approved nonprofit school serving kids with dyslexia and related language-based learning disabilities. It’s incredibly rewarding work, and we’ve helped many hundreds of kids to read, spell, write, and believe in their potential to succeed and thrive.”

Many thanks to Cliff Chanin for this beautiful reminiscence of Seth Gelblum, who died last August. “Seth and I met freshman year and maintained a very close friendship that deepened over 45 years. We played poker at Eclectic, broadcast Cardinal b-ball games together, roomed at Clark Hall, and then, after graduation, were roommates in Manhattan, as we both started our post-Wes lives. Seth grew up in Philadelphia and Chapel Hill, but considered himself a New Yorker. He became the city’s preeminent theater lawyer and had a guiding hand in almost every significant production, on Broadway and off, for decades. He was beloved and respected by his colleagues. Directors George Wolfe and Des McAnuff spoke at his memorial about Seth’s commitment to their work and how a professional relationship had, for each of them, turned to a deep friendship. Afterwards, the lights of the Broadhurst, Gershwin, and New Amsterdam theaters were dimmed in Seth’s honor. In 2016, Seth became the only lawyer ever to earn the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from New Dramatists, a leading developer of new playwrights, whose board he chaired. Seth was a founding board member of Lawyers for Children, started by Karen Freedman, which is a national model for representation of children in family court. Seth and his wife, Orren Alperstein, founded the Canavan Foundation, which developed genetic screening and counseling programs for the rare neurological disorder that killed their daughter, Morgan, in 1997. Orren, their children Madeleine and Aidan, and brothers Peter ’73 and Rob ’72 survive Seth. I can’t end without highlighting Seth’s remarkable spirit, particularly as his cancer gained the upper hand after years of determined resistance and many, lengthy treatments. His generosity and humanity simply expanded. It was a profound thing to behold, and underscores what a loss his family and friends have suffered.” Along with Cliff and Karen, Steve Greenhouse spoke at Seth’s memorial.

This fall I talked to and almost managed to see Debbie Kosich near Boston where she and I were visiting our mothers. Sadly, my mom died in December at the age of 95.

Cynthia M. Ulman |
860 Marin Drive. Mill Valley, CA 94941-3955