CLASS OF 1979 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

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Timmy “Fitz” Fitzgerald contributed that the members of the All-Decade Team gathered for a great evening of celebration this past October 29th.  A nice dinner was followed by a few speeches and the presentation. Members of the team from 1979 are as follows:  Tony Basilica, Kevin Bristow, Joe Britton, Neil Fitzgerald, Tim Fitzgerald, Bob Latessa, Dennis Robinson and John Papa.  Dennis Robinson gave an eloquent speech about our pal, Joe Britton. It was an outstanding night!

Jono Cobb sorrowfully wrote that he lost his wife of 32 years, Suzzanne, last July after a long battle with cancer. So sorry for your loss, Jono.

In case you didn’t know, Laura Walker was named the 11th president of Bennington College in August of 2020. She writes, “It’s been an honor and it’s been a privilege to be president of a great college and I always look to Michael Roth for inspiration and hope as we define the future of this extraordinary college!!”

Clifford Hendel is staving off retirement by maintaining his practice as a commercial, sports, and investment arbitrator—handling cases in Spanish, French, and Portuguese as well as in English. Additionally, he occasionally forays into nonlegal writing, including a short article in the current issue of NY Litigator (a publication of the New York State Bar Association’s commercial and federal litigation section) about the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.

Steve Koplowitz has a new book! On Site: Methods for Site-Specific Performance Creation, published by Oxford University Press, will be available this spring (April–May). “It chronicles best practices and methods in creating site-specific performance, something I’ve dedicated over thirty years of my career. It covers many topics of production and navigating the world of art-making aiming to support artists both young and experienced. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/on-site-9780197515242?cc=us&lang=en&#.  And after 15 years of living in Los Angeles, Jane and I are moving back to NYC in May to start new adventures and projects.” Welcome back!

Denise Giacomozzi’s daughter, Kristen May ’10, gave birth to their first grandchild in October, Willow Autumn Whittle-May. “My husband and I spent an extended time nearby and have been able to get to Colorado again recently.  (Altitude is a challenge for me unfortunately.) I continue to volunteer for the COVID Grief Network, which provides free grief support for young adults who have lost a loved one to COVID.  The support is via 8-week grief groups on Zoom and has participants from the U.S. and abroad. I also volunteer for my church’s COVID Task Force.”

Matt Okun and his wife Annie Wong took a leap of faith and sold their home in Seattle.  They packed up their stuff and sent it to DC.  They moved to be closer to their  grandkids (2 in Alexandria, Virginia; 2 in Philadelphia.) By last July, it all came together and they landed in Aspen Hill, Maryland, where Matt is a staff developer at a middle school in Kensington.  They love living in greater DC and are sure it will even be more fun when and if the COVID restrictions are lifted. Matt has seen Casey Dinges and a bunch of high school friends.  Matt is looking forward to being at Wes U in June when his nephew, Alex Okun ’21 and his brother Steve Okun ’82 will be there for Alex’s delayed graduation.

Afropop Worldwide, the Peabody Award–winning public radio program that Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre have produced for the past 34 years, has won another honor. globalFEST, the New York–based presenter and promoter of global music, has awarded the program its Impact Award, a recognition from the professional community for sustained commitment and, well, impact! https://afropop.org/articles/afropop-wins-globalfests-impact-award. The news arrives just as Banning is heading off to French Polynesia to lecture about music on a small ship. COVID be damned!

Jim Friedlich wrote that his extremely talented wife, Melissa Stern ’80, is on quite an artistic roll:  Her drawing and sculpture exhibition, Does She or Doesn’t She (art about women and their hair), opened in Chicago in the autumn of 2020. A 20-year retrospective called Stronger than Dirt, ran in Kingston, New York, throughout last summer, and a show called Housebroken, of work done during the pandemic, debuted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this fall. Next up is The Talking Cure, at the Fullerton Museum outside of Boston in Brockton, Massachusetts. The Talking Cure, which marries sculpture with spoken word art, has been traveling to museums throughout the U.S. for over a decade. Come visit if you are in the Boston area.

After 12 years of being your co-class secretary, it is time to pass the pen. This is my last issue and I thank you all for sharing your excitements, sorrows, challenges, and triumphs. If you are interested in becoming the next co-secretary, please reach out to either Diane LaPointe, myself, or Liz Taylor at classnotes@wesleyan.edu.

ANN BIESTER DEANE | abdeane@gmail.com

DIANE LAPOINTE | dmlapointe28@gmail.com