CLASS OF 1984 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

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Michael Steven reporting this month.

Michael Bailit has been consulting to the State of Rhode Island for several years and in so doing interacts regularly with the CEO of Coastal Medical, the state’s largest private physician practice. (Michael recently realized that Al Kurose was a member of our 1984 graduating class!)

On the opposite coast, Murrey Nelson catches up those of us who are not in more constant touch. She has been in the nonprofit world since 2006, as a development director for several music organizations (Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorus). She is doing part-time work for the world-renowned male a cappella group, Chanticleer. She serves on various boards and committees, including Sojourn, the multi-faith chaplaincy that serves Zuckerberg (yes, that Zuckerberg) SF General Hospital. (Murrey lives in SF, but reports from a cross-country trip that took her from Toronto to Vancouver).

Blake Nelson (no relation to Murrey) continues to write notable young adult books. His novel, Girl, has been in print for 23 years. (Blake says, “It’s a ‘cult classic,’ which is slightly different than a classic classic.”) He tips his hat to Jenny Altshuler ’83 for being a trusted reader.

Michael Polgar has been selected to attend a summer seminar at the Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI.us) to help improve and apply his skills in Holocaust and human rights education. He continues to teach sociology at Penn State in Hazleton, Pa.

Andrew Tauber launched a 365-project on Instagram on New Year’s Day, and is posting a photograph each day this year (as andrewtauberimages). His travels include a January trip to Iceland with Lisa, his wife, where his 85-year-old father walked with crampons across a glacier. In April, he and his father went to Paris to view a painting that the Nazis stole from their family in 1940, and which was recovered from a private collection only this year.

Our co-secretary, Roger Pincus, proudly reports that daughter Melanie will be a first-year student at Brown in the fall!

Finally, Jim McGonagle would wager a fair amount that the largest non-wedding, non-funeral, non-Wesleyan-sponsored gathering of Wesleyan folks in some time took place in July at the home of John Ferrara ’88.  About 45 Chi Psi fraternity brothers from Wesleyan traveled from 10-plus states to John’s house in North Easton, Mass., partially to show their support for Jim as he fights a battle with advanced prostate cancer. In attendance from the Class of 1984 were Bob Barringer, Gerard Keating, Dave Silver, Mike Kuhn, Steve Peck, Jeff Mehlman, Kevin Miller, and Joel Armijo. Others who joined Jim and his classmates were Brian Fahey ’82, Eric Knauss ’82 and Mike Bannon ’82; Bob Hebert ’83 and Todd Mogren ’83; Ken Janik ’85; Carl Ceva ’86, Charlie Galland ’86, Doug Muller ’86, Jack Kuhn ’86, Ken Johnson ’86, Tony Rella ’86, and Pete Crivelli ’86; Jon Hare ’87, Michael Cooper ’87, Stew Murchie ’87, Terry Dee ’87, Tim Sullivan ’87, and Wayne Stearns ’87; and  Andy Campbell ’88, John Ferrara ’88, Jim Van Hoven ’88, Roger Scholl ’88, and Steve Worth ’88; and Todd Marvin ’89.

Also in attendance was John Ferrara’s son, AJ Ferrara ’18, as well as Jonathan Dennett ’15, Nick Cooney ’15, and Zach Gandee ’15, Greg Lurito ’17; Matt Jeye ’18, Nick Coppola ’18, and Mike Velasco ’18; Nick Valicenti ’19 and Danny Rose ’19. Jim adds that one Wesleyan DKE brother was there, his brother, Kevin McGonagle ’92, and one ’84 Williams grad, Jim McGonagle’s twin brother, Jack McGonagle.  A special guest appearance was made by Tommy O’Carroll, Irish singer extraordinaire, who entertained the group with his Irish ballads and songs. Tommy O first played at Chi Psi in 1982 or so and played many times at Wesleyan. Jim sends a special shout out to John’s wife, Kate Ferrara, who hosted, with a smile, a 14-hour fraternity party in her backyard—God bless her!

Jim would like to share an emotional e-mail that John’s son, AJ, sent to the group a day after the reunion that means a great deal to Jim and truly captured the entire day: “To see the Chi Psi fraternity brotherhood rally around Jim with such resounding strength really exemplified ‘the cultivation of true friendship.’ The thoughts and prayers of hundreds of brothers, old and new, are with you, Jim, in your recovery. The silver chord has never been stronger. The love you guys continue to show to each other after nearly 30 years of life at the Lodge stands as inspiration to the next generation of brothers and gives us a target to shoot for.” Chi Psi Strong!

Roger Pincus | rpincus84@wesleyan.edu

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu