CLASS OF 1979 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

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Douglas Pavlak: “My EMG laboratory at OA Centers for Orthopaedics in Portland, Maine, has received its accreditation with exemplary status by the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. It’s the only lab north of Boston and one of only a few dozen in the country that holds this status. Otherwise, just trying to survive getting three more teenagers through high school and maybe one of them to Wes!?”

Julie Hacker: “My partner and husband, Stuart Cohen, and I were inducted into the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame. I’m busy taking musical theater classes, still racing triathlons, and a preservation commissioner for the City of Evanston. Our son graduated from RISD and is living in Chicago, working in a gallery, making art, and off to the Vermont Studio Center in December for a residency. If you live in NYC, you can hear him weekly Tuesday mornings on WFMU’s program Wake with Clay Pigeon, titled Gabe Cohen’s Introspective Infrastructure.

Martha Bush: “Speeding up, not slowing down! In addition to SIGMA, starting a stint as board chair of Causewave Community Partners, a nonprofit agency matching local marketing talent with human services agencies or to support critical local issues. Enjoying the blooming of energy, music, food and arts here in Rochester, N.Y., in the beautiful Finger Lakes region.”

John Tjia: “I left Ernst & Young at the end of August, finishing my nearly 12 years there as an executive director in the Business Modeling Group, and amazingly as a retiree. Not quite ready to just sit on the porch, though: I am now with Wall Street Prep, a major player in the financial training space, leading the development of their financial modeling business. In September, I submitted the manuscript for the third edition of my book, Building Financial Models, to McGraw-Hill, to be published in the first quarter of 2018. Not bad for an East Asian Studies major! For the past four years, I’ve been chairman of the board for Subud New York, a nonprofit organization for personal spiritual growth. I had memorable travel this summer: a cruise from Copenhagen that went to the Norway coast, Scotland, England, and back (the fjords were awe-inspiring) and a jaunt to Missouri in August for the total solar eclipse (spectacular).”

Heidi Mastrogiovanni: “My comedic novel, Lala Pettibone’s Act Two, was released by Amberjack Publishing in February.  The sequel, Lala Pettibone: Standing Room Only, will be released by Amberjack in August. The title character is, of course, a Wesleyan graduate. I’m taking part in the Writing While Female 2017 Tour. We’re doing readings and book signings in Los Angeles, Denver, and NYC, and we’re adding dates and locations all the time. My website is frequently updated with new event listings:”

Michelle Morancie: “For the past 38 years (OMG! It’s been 38 years since we graduated) this somewhat shy alumna hasn’t shared much about my life and times in class notes. However, today I am so excited about the release of my first book, that I had to share with my classmates. Crazymaker: A Psychologist’s Disturbing Encounter with Workplace Abuse is my story about how I coped with being bullied and harassed by a NYC public schools’ principal for five years. It’s scheduled to be released in mid-December.”

I write a lot about my Wesleyan/DKE brothers. That’s because the unconditional friendships and relationships forged while at Wesleyan have stood the test of time. In that vein, we celebrated a momentous milestone—150 years of DKE’s continuous presence on the Wesleyan campus. Over 100 alumni and 35 undergraduates celebrated the sesquicentennial on Saturday, October 7. Once again, the Old Stone House came alive.

From all over the country, some of the strongest alumni this university can boast were there to celebrate and reconnect with friends they hadn’t seen, in some cases, for over 40 years. Many were accompanied by their wives, partners, and significant others. A 65-year span of classes was represented from Jim McLean ’56 and Ted Bachman ’60 to Dylan Niehoff ’15 and Ben Kurtz ’17 to the undergraduate brothers graduating in 2020. Of course, our class was more than well represented by Kevin Bristow, Joe Britton, Peter Campbell, George DuPaul, Tim Fitzgerald, Kenny King ’80, Bob and Carol (Horowitz) Murphy, yours truly Gary Breitbord, and all the way from Nebraska—Michael J. Scacca.

Unlike Reunion years, there were attendees from surrounding classes including 1978—Bill Ahern, Jeff Nesson, Ralph Rotman, Paul Nelson; 1977—Ted Stevens, Jeff Gray, Bob Nastri, Tom Roberts, the ever-eloquent master of ceremonies Dave Thomas, Mike Coffey, Don Citak, and Steve Beauchamp; 1981—Lou Scimecca, Tim O’Brien, Pete Pezzelli, Sandy Herzlich, and Jim Baker.

As the evening entered the wee hours of the morning, a familiar sound was heard. Pat McQuillan ’75 playing his guitar, Dave Terrie ’76 accompanying him on the harmonica with a cast of characters including Jim “Fats” Farrell ’74, Jim “Jumbo” Daley ’75, Dave Harrison ’75, and Pete McArdle ’76, all singing Grateful Dead songs. Quintessential 1970s Wesleyan relived.  Scott Karsten ’73 put it best: “Here’s to lifelong brotherhood!” A raucous good time was had by all. A truly soul-enriching event.

Gary Breitbord |

Ann Biester Deane |