CLASS OF 1977 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

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NEWSMAKER

MICHELE ROBERTS ’77

Adweek named Michele A. Roberts ’77, executive director—and first female leader—of the NBA hotlayers Union, to its “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports” list, which featured outstanding executives, athletes, and journalists, among others. Previously an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Roberts had begun her career as a public defender in Washington, D.C. In the June 26 article, Adweek’s Tim Baysinger noted that Roberts would be negotiating across the table from league commissioner Adam Silver when the two worked on a new collective bargaining agreement—and Roberts would be trying to avoid a lockout, something her two predecessors were not able to do. A government major at Wesleyan, Roberts earned her JD from the University of California at Berkeley. The negotiations now completed, Roberts noted, “The deal we worked out with the League contained a number of favorable provisions for our players, including a 45 percent across the board salary increase for those players whose salaries are pre-set. And, no lock-out!”

NEWSMAKER

RICHARD MELCHREIT ’77
Richard Melchreit ’77

Richard Melchreit ’77, P’19, MD, is the recipient of the 2017 Charles G. Huntington III Award for his 30-year career in public health. The Connecticut Public Health Association presents this award annually to a Connecticut health care practitioner who has demonstrated public health leadership and a commitment to the health and well-being of the population. Beyond his career in positions with St. Francis Medical Center and the Connecticut Department of Health, Melchreit mentored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and held leadership roles in the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, most recently on the Healthcare Associated Infections Subcomittee. Melchreit was a biology major at Wesleyan, and received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut.

Had someone asked me in my youth what a 60 (plus)-year-old would look and act like, I would never have imagined it to be any of the group assembled for our attendance-record-smashing 40th Reunion. It pleases me to be among folks who were happy to just be present in order to connect with fellow alumni. Gone are the days when we felt the need to impress with our professional and personal accomplishments. We all enjoyed hearing about the twists and turns in our individual histories. It was affirming to speak with those folks in our lives with whom we shared another pivotal developmental time in our lives: starting our college days in our late teens.

For most of us, Reunion began Friday evening with a reception that would soften the blow of a nasty commute to Middletown from just about everywhere. Driving into our Reunion class hotel lot, I was greeted by Felice Burstein and John Roxby, a perfect start to the weekend. Both are smitten with their granddaughters, and like most of us, are considering the next move after retirement. At hotel reception, I came across Arlene Lappen and Sue Rappaport Guiney. If meeting up with these two doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what does. Next I rode with Iddy Olson, soon to be the mother of the groom (my godson), to campus to formally check in. We attended President Michael Roth ’78’s reception and met up with Vanessa Burgess, Jerry Caplin, Sean McKeown, Bob Glasspiegel, Kathy Mintz ’78, and Steve Beauchamp. We then headed over to meet arrivals at the Reunion class reception. Wendy Brown Giardina and Laraine Balk Hope immediately greeted us. Enjoyed seeing Jim Lyons, Jim Melloan, and Mim Wolf at the reception. It was fun hearing Jim’s German inflection and was really impressed by his, as well as Wendy Giardina’s and other alums efforts, in making their way back to campus from far away. I celebrated a mini Newton High School reunion with Richard Parad, Sarah Kendall, and Paul Sheridan. Other notables at the party were Mike Coffey, Jane Goldenring, Claude Greengard, Betsy Hecker, Mary Jo Wade, Ron Bloom, Dave Levy, Jim Dowling, and expert t-shirt designer and graphic designer, Bonnie Katz. Also on hand were Lee Arnold, Lisa Brummel with son Noah, Cindee Howard, Helen Taenzer Lott, Earl Phillips, Lenny Stamm whose music I missed, Miki Saraf, and the first person I met my freshman year, Richard Swanson.

Saturday got rolling with seminars on campus led by many in our class. Sue Rappaport Guiney, Jane Kurz Klemmer, Michele Roberts (our well-deserved class Distinguished Alumni recipient), and Alan Steele held a panel discussion on mid-life and mid-career changes. Following this was a seminar on “Fake News and Real News: Journalism Today” led by Jane Eisner and Alex Kotlowitz, among others. This well-attended offering featured many classmates including: Doug Green, Susan Berger, and Rachel (Helfer) and Mike Balf. Heading over to the lunch tent I got to catch up with Janet Malkemes and Sharon Adler. A few folks arrived solely for lunch, needing to honor conflicting family weddings and such: Danny Ruberman and world-traveling educators Louise Hazebrouck and Steve Rome, who shared stories from their time in Asia. Photographer extraordinaire, Rick Dennett, was busy capturing shots of the assembled gang throughout the afternoon and evening. Kate Seeger and I got to share a fine walk through the art center. It is quite the head-scratcher that I need to return to Middletown to catch up with so many of the Boston-based alumni.

A short while later, a visit with the fine gentlemen of DKE took place at their house on High Street. The usual suspects there included: Jim LaLiberty, Steve Imbriglia, Don Citak, Jeff Gray, Ted Stevens, and Mike Coffey and Iddy. This led to our class dinner at Usdan, which was a great venue to celebrate the 100 participants who turned out. New folks with whom I got to visit included: Wes trustee Jeff Shames, Mark Beamis, Don Spencer (who survived his new house construction), Jerry Stouck, Dave Thomas, Tom Roberts, Liz and Will Sillin, Jim Udelson, and Dave Zabar. We all enjoyed Vanessa Burgess MC’ing the evening’s salute to our class that included a well-deserved Wesleyan Service Award to a very modest Don Ryan. Though regretting not chatting much with some, I saw from across the crowded room John Fink and his wife from Hawaii, John Gaebe, Jonathan Kliger, Don Lowrey, Marx Brothers aficionado, Hank Rosenfeld, Brad Burnham, Susan Shaw, Bob Rees, and Steve McNutt.

As expected, this was a memorable gathering which nourished the soul as we got to celebrate Friendship in its truest form: old and new. As I have recounted the weekend from memory after almost a week, I am sure that I may have left out other important names who attended. Please let me know that you were present so that I may give a proper shout-out in the next issue. In advance accept my sincerest apologies. To those classmates unable to join in for part of the weekend, we hope that you’ll find a way to meet up five years from now. If this Reunion was any indication, we all just keep getting better and better.

Gerry Frank | Gfrank@bfearc.com