CLASS OF 1976 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

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Meredith Bergmann has been awarded three new sculpture commissions. The first two are in Ithaca, New York—one honors Frances Perkins, FDR’s secretary of labor; the other, Lucy J. Brown, a community activist in Ithaca. The third is in Lexington, Massachusetts, and commemorates the role of women in the Revolution.  Details about the Lexington Monument can be found at https://www.lexseeher.com/monument.

Deborah Malamud has retired from full-time law teaching at New York University School of Law, but will continue teaching seminars. She will thus maintain a home in “law land,” while spending as much of the rest of her time as possible making music, traveling, and being with family and friends. She and her partner of 30-ish years, Neal Plotkin, will continue to divide their time between New York and Ann Arbor.

Byron Haskins writes: “Gabrielle and I are still splitting our time between Quebec and Michigan, but she has obtained somewhat of a dream job in Montreal, so we are fully stationed in a beautiful, almost 100-year old apartment building on the very west end of downtown Montreal. I’m truly trying to learn French for the first time in my life!”

Jack O’Donnell writes: “I’m still practicing law in New Haven and any notion of retiring was dashed when I got very sick in September. Being idle for two months reinforced how much I need the action of criminal defense work! Retirement goes on the back burner again!!”

Elyse Grasso writes: “If you look at the map of the damage from the December 30th Marshall Fire in Boulder, Colorado, my house was basically at the geographical center. I lost the house and its contents, but I got out safely and I’m settled into a temporary place while I make plans to rebuild. The view didn’t burn.”

Dan Henry writes: “My wife Jean and I have been blessed by the arrival of our fourth grandchild, Imogen Anne Henry on February 3. I continue to do a small amount of tech support for people and businesses. Two years ago, I switched to remote support only to eliminate the hassle and time of travel as well as to avoid COVID-19.”

Larry Davis and his wife Ronna managed to sneak away to Slovenia and Austria between the delta and omicron waves for some fly-fishing and general tourism. Otherwise, Larry still works part time as a senior advisor and chief scientist at MAP Energy and as a volunteer with several nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma City. Larry has been able to stay tangentially involved with the Earth and Environmental Science Department at Wes and is involved with the Middletown/Wesleyan Chabad House.

David E. Cohen and his wife Sandy have raised three kids in New Jersey, now (almost all) launched into the world. David is slowly sliding into semi-retirement from his medical practice and will soon be relocating to the Berkshires. David enjoys wood carving, boating, boatbuilding, and genealogy, and has been doing research for a book on some interesting local history in the Berkshires. In September 2021, David and Sandy spent a fantastic weekend in Woods Hole with Matt Paul, Stewart Shuman, and Michael Greenberg and their wives for their annual gathering, sharing memories, wine, great food, spirited conversation about science and politics, and a pretty long bike ride.

Rob Briskin writes: “I’m still in solo concierge-style practice in internal medicine in Jupiter and live in beautiful Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. My wife Limor and I have four kids, two 12-year-old twins, a 24-year-old son, and a 26-year-old daughter. Keeping busy with the twins, pickleball (my new passion), and some tennis. Doesn’t make sense to retire at this point, plus I enjoy practicing, so will continue for the foreseeable future!”

Peter Hansen writes: “My wife and I continue to be based in DC and are slowly easing into retirement. We both still get enough emails and calls from clients so that we’re not quite ready to quit doing marketing (me) and public health (her). Fortunately, there’s enough flexibility so that we can devote our talents to helping other causes that we care about: a group that focuses on providing opportunities for underserved youth in DC,  animal welfare organizations, and a group (31ststreet.org) that is all about developing voting infrastructure at a grass roots level in key states across the country. Many of you would probably be interested in the latter and should go look at what we do. Along the way we find time to visit the grandkids in NYC and also get to Seattle to see our daughter. And locally I’m always up for a bike tour of the monuments in DC with anyone who is in town!  We managed to cross paths with Jon Daniels in Phoenix last fall and also took a bike trip with several friends including Jeff Shaw ’78 last fall.”

B.J. Buckley writes: “My chapbook, In January, the Geese, recently won the Comstock Review’s 35th Anniversary Poetry Contest and will be published in April 2022. I’ve also had, after a long ‘drought,’ a number of poems accepted this past year by a variety of fun and interesting journals, among them Plant-Human Quarterly, Calyx, Sugar House Review, Dogwood, SWWIM Everyday, Pine Row, Whitefish Review, and ellipsis.”

Rob Williams writes: “After 32 years of working in South Jersey, I moved to Maui. Unfortunately, I’m not here to retire but to work. As of now I’m the only infectious disease doc on the island working in the only hospital. I’ve been here a year, and I’m very busy, but I’m enjoying the island. I’m committed to at least working here five more years. I’m expecting visits from my eight grandkids and any old classmates who would like to visit. Rumor has it that Blaise Noto ’74 is living here but I haven’t found him. Also, I apparently got here right before Dr. Elliot Epner left.”

Mark Berger writes: “I’m pleased to report that I recently started a new job, as I just wasn’t anywhere near ready to retire.  I’m the chief medical officer for Genprex, a small but promising biotech company. Since I’ve spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries working to develop new oncology therapies, this is an extension of my previous work. To me, the strategy of oncology drug development has been endlessly interesting and challenging, and I consider myself lucky to have fallen into this field.

“I’ve also been lucky to still be married to Jane Eisner ’77, who’s presently working at Columbia Journalism School. We’ve lived in New York City for 10 years, after 30 years in the Philadelphia area, and proximity to our two grandchildren in Brooklyn is a big benefit to our Manhattan location. Our oldest daughter Rachel (’06) and her husband Ari take care of the grandchildren when we’re not spoiling them. Rachel is in charge of nutrition for New York City’s Department of Aging. Our other two daughters live in Washington, DC, where Amalia, our middle daughter, is a nurse practitioner, and our youngest, Miriam (’12) works on the foreign desk of The Washington Post.

“Note that the true definition of family planning is that Rachel’s Wes reunions are the same year as mine from ’76, and Miriam’s Wes reunions are the same year as Jane’s from ’77.  Who could possibly have imagined that as a Wes undergraduate!”

Carol Bellhouse writes: “I bought a winter home in southern New Mexico. It’s on a hill with a massive rock wall so it looks like I live in a castle! Loving it—lakes, hot springs, artist community, and lots of sunshine!

David Harmin, Tom Kovar, and I took advantage of the brief pandemic cease-fire in October and returned to Wesleyan for Homecoming. We never got around to attending official events, but spent the time wandering around campus, hoping that the three of us could cobble together clear memories of our college experience. It’s a wonderful experience being there; a sudden fragrance or play of light and you can be immediately transported back to your college years. For the three of us, the Arts Center particularly brought back visceral memories; the minute we stepped into a stairwell in the music building, I could just hear Nic Collins practicing his sax. I mention this as a (not terribly subtle) way of reminding you that our 50th Reunion is around the corner. I’d strongly encourage you to attend, even if you cut ties with Wesleyan in June ’76 and never looked back. It’s good to remember what an extraordinary place it was—and is!

KAREN HARMIN | karen.harmin@gmail.com