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Sending a big thank you to all our wonderful classmates of Wes ’80 for all the enduring friendships, kindnesses, and contributions that you are providing to this world and to Wesleyan. Best wishes to all, Jacquie Shanberge McKenna, Wes ’80 Class Secretary

Susan Carroll (Managing Director): “I direct a joint international graduate program between Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill: the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center. It’s like a mini–UN (currently 19 fellows from 16 different countries), with a focus on peacebuilding and sustainable development.   Never a dull moment. . . .”

Jane Polin (Philanthropic Advisor in NYC): “I’ve done two start-ups during the past three years! The first is building pathways from HBCUs into the alternative asset management industry: see One of the three firms partnering to make AltFinance happen is Oaktree, where Wesleyan board chair John Frank ’78 serves in a leadership role. I’ve also returned to my career-long effort to advance the role of the arts in lifelong learning and thus had the great joy to launch The Misty Copeland Foundation, (aims to bring greater diversity, equity, and inclusion to dance, especially ballet, making ballet affordable, accessible, and fun!).”

Janet Grillo (Film Director): “I directed my third full-length independent indie-fiction feature film, The Warm Season,, which is playing the festival circuit, winning awards, seeking distribution, and receiving critical acclaim: Film Threat I continue to teach full time at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Film Program and alternate my time between NYC, mid-Hudson Valley (Saugerties) and jaunts to LA to see my son (who just turned 29—yikes!).”

Jessica Ziegler (Visual Artist, MBA): “I am now building a second career as an artist, although I am enjoying the painting part much more than the business part! I am also doing volunteer consulting for nonprofits through the Harvard Business School Club of New York, and for small businesses through The Acceleration Project. My daughter is in graduate school in NYC, so we get to see her often.”

Jim Kent (B2B Marketing):Our daughter is in the graduate playwriting program at Columbia University and working part time help script doctor a Broadway play that goes up this spring. When I asked her about it, she quoted an 007 film: ‘I could tell you about it. But I’d have to kill you first, Mr. Bond.’”

Mike O’Brien (Software Engineer) and Ann Carlson (Genetic Counselor): “We were married 1987–2001. We welcomed our first grandchild into the world, Maxwell Dana King, born January 25, 2023, to our daughter Dana, in Melbourne, Australia.” So far Ann has been over to meet the little guy in person, but Mike has not!

Henri Lamothe (MD, CMSL, FAAEP): “I just spent the last weekend in NYC, supporting my daughter Austin (Trinity ’18) who participated in the NYC half marathon, along with my son Luke (Tufts ’12) all celebrating my 39th wedding anniversary with my dear wife Laura. In other family news, we are blessed with two grandchildren from daughter Brooke (Bowdoin ’10), Francis and June. We are continuing to adjust to the new realty in our lives with the passing of our son Matthew ’10. I continue on with my journey in medicine, now as a chief medical officer for the Upper Allegheny Health System in upstate New York. Miss my Wesleyan friends!”

Al Spohn and family are freezing in the process of visiting the University of Chicago.

Al Spohn (IT Expert): “I’ve been working in Mayo Clinic IT for 32 years, with 20 previous overlapping years in the air force. I was married in 2000 to Angela and we have three kids, 10, 14, and 17. The 17-year-old is eyeballing Wesleyan pretty heavily since all the online interest search mechanisms seem to be pointing her in that direction. Let’s hope admissions does legacy one more year! 😊.  Over the years I’ve been in touch with Jon Martin, Ralph Maltese ’79 and Ed Denton, among others.”

Melissa Stern (Artist): “I have three upcoming group shows. Two opening within days of each other in NYC. Pearls of Love opens April 27 at The Jewelry Library. An international group of artists asked to respond to “pearls” in any materials. Should be interesting. And on April 29 Out of Joint opens at The Boiler in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The gallery is in a 19th-century Con Edison steam plant. The architecture is worth the subway ride. In August I am in an invitational in Newport, Rhode Island, called Exponential, a show of women artists at Jessica Hagen Fine Art. Other than that, enjoying being in NYC and seeing theater and art. . . .  People are out and about again and that feels great.”

Frederica (Freddi) Wald (Chief Development Officer): “I am living in NYC with my husband, beloved dog, and daughter (away at college), and thrilled to be celebrating my four-year anniversary as a chief sevelopment and membership officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Happy to see the resilience and rebuilding of the city’s activities. I continue to love Broadway, take a dance class every now and then (Cheryl Cutler’s lasting influence!), get immersed in the art world again and women’s advocacy causes! And I refuse to retire. . . .  Love connecting with Wesleyan alumni anytime!”


Mark Zitter at Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.

Mark Zitter (Nonprofit Entrepreneur): “I’ve been doing a good deal of travel lately. My wife Jessica and I were in Israel in January, Argentina and Antarctica in February, and London in March. I’ve moved out of the nonprofit I started seven years ago, the Zetema Project, and am in the process of creating a new nonprofit fellowship aimed at helping social sector leaders increase their effectiveness. I Zoom regularly with Scott Hecker, Paul Singarella, and Paul Oxholm, and have been in touch recently with Jane Polin and Irene Chu.”

Peter Scharf (Sanskrit Expert):In the midst of the COVID lockdown, my wife and I went into near total isolation, and it proved to be very productive. I edited two volumes of papers in honor of my former professor at the University of Pennsylvania, finished writing and publishing my introductory Sanskrit textbook in another two volumes, and prepared a provisional version of a Sanskrit reader for second-year students. I also developed an interactive exercise platform based on the latter two works that provides detailed and informative feedback for every step of translating from transliterating from Devanagari script, analyzing prosodic sound changes, word lookup, morphological and lexical identification, syntax, and English translation evaluation. Both my wife and I launched online instruction in Sanskrit through The Sanskrit Library and have been busy teaching via Zoom since. In December I injured my back trying to lift a bulky, heavy box of books. I’m still recovering but able to continue most of my normal routine save for having to cut back on exercise and yoga. A few weeks ago, my mother passed away at the age of 92. For the last couple of years, she would ask repeatedly, ‘Why am I still alive?’ Two days before she passed, she asked my brother, ‘Why don’t you just choke me? I just want to go to God and rest.’ She shortly got her wish, passing away peacefully in her sleep the next night.”

Gary Gilyard (MD): “Our youngest daughter Shelby Gilyard ’16 is getting married July 8! She is our third and the other two are already married with children. Hoping I can get a prospective Wesleyan student from one of them, although Shelby is my best shot.”

Walter Calhoun (Nonprofit): “I have more or less permanently moved my time and efforts to my various outreach campaigns focused on the needs of my nonprofits. For example, as its only three-term past president and 35-year board member, the Auxiliary Board of Family Focus Evanston asked me for the 12th year in a row to handle the staff Christmas gifts. Since our Auxiliary Board has many different levels of resources, talents, and income, they allow me to solicit donations among our Board anonymously so no one knows what each other has given but me. For the 12th year in a row, our 11 Board members met my disclosed goal of raising $3,750 which allowed me to give each and every full- and part-time employee a record cash gift of $250 for the 12th year in a row. I am also lay leader and stewardship chairman of the North Shore United Methodist Church in Glencoe and am honored to share a birthday with the late Peggy Bird.”

Amanda Hardy Sloan (Landscape Architect): “I have been a landscape architect professionally for many years now and have found this profession satisfies my interests in helping the health of the earth, expressing myself artistically, working closely with people, teaching, and leaving a legacy somehow. After an entire career as a landscape architect focusing on native plants, rain gardens, parks, and dog parks, I have recently ‘semiretired’—like many of us at this age—right? I still do board work and landscape consultations. A board I’ve been on for many years is the Ecological Landscape Alliance—the best source of info about how to create a wonderful landscape while keeping it ecologically sustainable: My dear hubby Chris Sloan (Trinity College ’80) and I live in Sharon, Massachusetts. Our children are Anna (NYU 2008), who is a doctor of archeology (University of Oregon) and is the curator of the Southern Oregon Historical Society Museum and the Archaeology Laboratory director at Southern Oregon University; and Philip (Curry College 2015), who is finishing up his doctorate in counseling psychology at William James College. Both kids are married! We have a sweet grandson in Oregon, our dear little Elio James, whom we visit often (a cross-country flight!). I have a wonderful horse, whom I ride every two days for therapy and peace. She is a beautiful 22-year-old quarter horse. I think many more Wes people and ladies our age are involved with horses than we ever would imagine! This is an important part of my life.”

Paul Singarella (JD, MS, PE, Dad): “I’m now a Florida resident, which I heard is a good place for the back 9. I moved to Florida starting in 2020 to be closer to my kids, mom, and sisters during the pandemic. I ‘retired’ from Big Law in 2019 to focus on my water and energy projects. I’m incubating a portfolio of project opportunities throughout the West. I refer to them as my ‘hobbies’ until they come to fruition. (It takes an in-it-for-the-long-haul horizon to build infrastructure in the U.S.)  Mark Zitter, Scott Hecker, and I remain in close contact. I also keep in touch with Dave Bartholomew ’81,  Jack McGreen, Walter Siegel, Bob Garty, and, via a large email group, the DKE brotherhood. So, WesU remains an important part of my friendship group after all these years. For that I am most grateful. (Importantly, Dave B. piloted a mentorship program over the past few years for rising lawyers to be paired with a senior lawyer. The lawyers who participated in the pilot really benefited. Any WesU lawyers out there interested in being part of building this program from pilot to scale should contact Dave directly at Spread the word!)”

Ellen Haller (Retired MD): “I’m thoroughly enjoying my retirement in San Francisco! The biggest decisions I face these days is whether to play pickleball, go on a bike ride, take a strength class, or suit up for an ice hockey game. (Yes, I still play regularly!) Outside of these endeavors, I help out my elderly parents, travel with my (still-working) wife, and enjoy occasional visits with our 26-year-old magician son. If any of you live in or are visiting NYC, check out his sophisticated, intimate sleight-of-hand card magic show! Yes, I’m biased, but it’s amazing; he’s appeared on Penn & Teller’s TV show and at LA’s Magic Castle. Info at”

Tom Loder (JD): “I am here reporting in for Bob Ferreira and Jim Schor, our own ‘beach club’ consisting of huddling around a beer cooler near Bob’s and Amy Zinsser’s beautiful Connecticut home (with Amy’s gracious hosting, and with both she and Sharon Nahill wisely sitting out the festivities and endless retelling of fish tales about the days of our small gym, spring break, KNK, DKE, O’Rourke’s, and Williams Street capers. Still in touch with and thinking of many, including Larry Levy, Spence Studwell ’79, Barry Williamson ’81 (sort of), Walter Siegel, and a few Butterfield RA ‘advisees,’ if I can also include my Butterfield son Aaron ’22 among them (though the advisees taught me so much more than I ever taught them!).  Where’s Labeeb Abboud, Laura Nathanson, Linc Kaiser (Wes anthropology professor), Dave Miller ’81, Jeanette Talavera—the list is too long. Got to go huddle up on the beach with Bob and Jim and go to work on it!!”

Alan Jacobs (Filmmaker): “I fulfilled a dream by taking my children, Gil, Avia, and Ron ’16, to the World Cup in Qatar, where we saw three amazing games, including the Argentina-France final. Almost as satisfying is that after over a decade of delays, my film Down for Life will finally be released on major streaming sites (Apple, Amazon, etc.) on April 4. The U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus nominated it for the National Film Registry, which is both an honor and a reminder of how long ago we made it!”

Alan Jacobs with his children Gil, Avia, and Ron Jacobs ’16 at the World Cup in Qatar.

Steve Mooney (Marketing): “In April, I will be retiring from my job in marketing after 33 years with the same agency. I joined thinking I’d stay two years and lasted 33. Yes, it can happen. At my last staff meeting, I shared some recent ChatGPT queries. I post them here as we contemplate an unknowable future alongside AI.

Me: Write me a six-word story on retirement.

ChatGPT: “Finally free, life begins at retirement.”

And then this follow-up query: 

Me: Write me a six-word story on becoming a writer.

ChatGPT: “Pen to paper, a writer born.”  

“And so it begins. Next chapter! Go Wes!!!

“One more tidbit. Posted this illustration I customized to a Facebook page dedicated to the sport of Ultimate and got two hundred comments about where various people learned to throw a disc. For me, I learned to throw on Foss Hill in 1979 with Nick Donohue ’81, Chris Heye ’81, and David ‘Nietzch Factor’ Garfield, and went on to enjoy a long career in the sport.”

Credit: Original cartoon by Sofia Warren. (Wes ’13)

Doron Henkin (Lawyer): “Husband Victor and I are in good shape and still plugging away, lawyering for me and work at Bryn Mawr Hospital for him. I still sing with several choirs and groups, which I owe to Wesleyan. I got to be there when son Gil recently married Alex Sanchez Espinosa in and of Barcelona, Spain. They are headed to Berlin, where Gil will be doing postdoc research on the malaria carrier organism at the Max Planck Institute. Son Dan and daughter-in-law Kaitlyn are closer to home, in Pennsylvania, and the proud parents of granddaughter Eleanor James Henkin, now 1-year-old. Dan works in engineering at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, and Kaitlyn is a nurse at Children’s Hospital. Daughter Hannah now works for Drawdown, the Climate Change Science nonprofit from her home base in Boston, and she still plays Ultimate every chance she gets. The ‘kids’ are of course also the ‘kids’ of my ex-, Ina Louise Shea, who lives nearby in Pennsylvania, and we are all still in regular touch and visits. We are so happy that the easing of the pandemic has brought more and more chances for family togetherness and travel.”

Wendy Davis (Writer): “In March, we celebrated our 25-year-old daughter’s handing in her MA dissertation to her supervisor  from Royal College of Art where her dad and two elder sisters received postdoc degrees (shouldn’t we have received a loyalty discount?)! Also in March, I received from Wesleyan’s American Studies Department an invitation to the: Slotkin Symposium celebrating the 80th birthday and new work of my former academic advisor Richard Slotkin. I had only just contacted the now retired professor last year for the first time since our graduation in reference to a historical novel I am writing, which opens in the Civil War, which is his specialty. His response was most helpful and encouraging, even after a gap of so many years. . . . Wesleyan connections certainly endure don’t they! We moved out of our studio residence (a historic Wesleyan Chapel) in Greenwich, London, September 2022, extending our return trip to Australia from three weeks to four months in Sydney,  September through January, due to my husband John’s major surgery and recovery. Finally, we have subsequently resettled in the British countryside very  near the Jurassic coast, good metaphor at our age! All of which has been incredibly disruptive to work and continues to suspend John’s practice as he must organize new studios working with Jo, the local handyman’s help. Interestingly we recently returned to London (approximately three hours by car) to see the Cezanne blockbuster at Tate Modern, in particular to revisit the remarkable portraits of Cezanne’s Gardner. One of our favorite paintings since we saw Seated Man at the then-new installation of the Thyssen Museum in architect Rafael Moneo’s renovation of the Palacio de Villahermosa, an 18th-century neoclassical palace located alongside the Prado Museum in Madrid, where we were then living. I feel as if our own circle of human connection in our 16th-century Weycroft property may also compress to a small circumference of Gardeners, lawn mowers, handy mailmen, and one  efficient female cleaner (my disability precluding my ability to be of much physical assistance inside or out). All help has been sourced from the former team who helped the disabled WW ll–veteran proprietor residing here just before us (luckily for me there was a stair climbing chair for him already installed when we arrived)! The family and executors of the estate of the now deceased former owner have recently entrusted us with a treasure trove of original historical source material on the property dating back to Roman settlement. The property is listed in the Doomsday record  book (the parchment deeds still have red wax seals)! A local village boasts it’s the most rebellious village in England so perhaps when I finish with the American Civil War, I might be looking closer to our new home for inspiration! Whilst in Australia we increasingly worried about our choice to base ourselves in Britain with terrible regular reports from the BBC  about the strain on the NHS with life-threatening delays for ambulances and hand-over delays at A&Es across the country. It was especially distressing and confusing since we were experiencing such good care from our more familiar medical support team in Sydney. Fortunately, we have been very positively impressed  by our new local medical center here in Axminster, even better than our relatively recent experiences in Greenwich, but then we are fortunate to be presently in good health at the moment not testing the system. Long may it last! Good health and happiness to all of you dear friends and classmates!”

Sara Epstein (Psychologist/Poet): a practicing psychologist in the Boston area and first-time grandmother of baby Leo, has just published her first book of poems, Bar of Rest launched by Kelsey Books—see more on her website

Sara is a clinical psychologist who integrates mindfulness practices, including writing, in her psychotherapy work with children and adults. She also facilitates and teaches generative writing groups and classes. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, Amethyst Review, Chest Journal, Nixes Mate Review, Plainsongs, museum of americana, among others. Her book reviews have been published in Mom Egg Review.