CLASS OF 1986 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

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Jeffrey Mendelssohn: “Happy to report I’m alive and well in the Bay Area, working at a clean-tech startup focused on wastewater reuse. It’s been a fun coaster ride, even more so with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in office. My 13-year old son Gryffen woke up and became a teenager yesterday. Bad news: he’s now as tall as me and thinks he knows everything. Good news: he is memorizing Hamilton and ran for student council. Somehow, I think he has some Wesleyan blood in him, and I’m proud. This weekend I’m taking him for a butt kicker hike up Half Dome. We’ll see if he still speaks to me after that…”

Julia Lee Barclay-Morton has created a website for people to share stories about their grandmothers (or other older female ancestors) in her zeal to rewrite the 20th century archive. Feel free to check it out, submit stories and/or join the forum: ourgrandmothersourselves.org. Can’t get more Wesleyan than that, now can it?

Christine Fleming is living in Boston with her husband and two sons, one of which is approaching college and interested in Wesleyan—hard to believe how time flies! “Although my professional life has taken different and surprising turns in the road over the past 30 years, I did settle into a partnership at a global actuarial consulting firm making good use of my math major. I often think fondly of my math professor and advisor, W.W. Comfort—such an influence on my life, who so generously gave me a “mercy” B in Real Analysis senior year (thanks Wis!) With fond memories of Wesleyan, I eagerly look forward to visiting with my boys in the near future and wish all my classmates the best.”

Judith Hill-Weld noted that Professor Gertrude Hughes “shaped my Wesleyan career beginning to end: she allowed me to join her Four Poets/Emerson seminar as a first semester freshman, and she supervised my thesis. A brilliant mind and generous teacher. Anne Greene shaped much of the middle, and I was thrilled to be able to give her a quick hug at our 30th, in miniscule thanks for everything she did for me at Wes.”

Peter Crabtree is still enjoying life in in Portland, Oregon. “I am fortunate to have a thriving psychology practice focusing on adults and adolescents. My wife, Carolyn, and I are moving toward full empty nest status. My son, Owen, is a rising junior at Whitman College and my daughter, Ella, is a rising senior in high school. We will be visiting Wesleyan together in a couple weeks, but as of now she is leaning more toward Williams or Amherst Noooooo! I see Tony Green often, and I run into my old friend Carolyn Tesh ’87 here and there. I hope to attend at least one Reunion before I’m too old to enjoy it! Take care everyone.”

Alex Rothman and Nina are also bracing for the transition to an empty nest. Their youngest son, Simon ’21, is off to Wesleyan this fall. “Spent a great few days in April birding the Southeast Texas coast with Dave Warne, where we learned that a large coffee is 32 ounces and soup can be ordered in three sizes: cup, bowl, and bucket.”

Sam Connor and his wife Claudia just returned from India where they traveled for their eldest son Caleb’s high school graduation from the Woodstock School in Mussoorie, Asia’s oldest international boarding school. Son Luca was also there for a year, and both kids found it very stimulating and quite rich in many ways. Caleb is attending Ithaca College this fall. Luca and Gabriel will be continuing in the local school system in Norwalk, Conn., where the family has lived for nine years since returning from 10 years overseas. Claudia is CEO of a Connecticut-based nonprofit serving refugees and immigrants, called the International Institute of Connecticut. Sam runs a firm providing strategic guidance to the nonprofit and commercial sectors around shared values for social justice.

John Bogosian is excited about moving his business (zingFit) and family (wife Diana and Leo, 8, and Kali, 6) out West to Boulder, Colo. “Give me a shout out if you are in the area, and want to grab a beer, or meet up on the slopes (but don’t move here; lifestyle is really lacking).”

Timothy Dyke ’86, MALS ’89 published his first book of poetry, Atoms of Muses, with Tinfish Press in the spring of 2017. “Tinfish also published my chapbook, Awkward Hugger, in 2015. In addition to writing, I just finished my 23rd year teaching high school English at Punahou School, and my 32nd consecutive year in the teaching profession. I occasionally teach a student who eventually goes on to graduate from Wesleyan, and I am ever-grateful for the education I received in Middletown in the 1980s.”

Bill Greene’s daughter Corynn ’20 “had a great year and is now having a way more fabulous summer than I am. It was really fun being on campus packing her up and seeing her friends. I channeled my Wes DNA by marching with other biotech execs in the March for Science. It was just as much fun doing it as an adult, although the snacks were definitely improved. Still CEO of Iconic Therapeutics, living the dream by working 18-hour days and learning much more about HR than I ever thought I would. Enjoying getting reconnected with Wes folk since Corynn has joined the family. Had a great time catching up with Hal Ginsburg in Bethesda recently.

“In 2014, I sold the liberal talk radio station in Monterey, Calif., that I had operated since 2005 and returned full-time to Kensington, MD. I continue to be very active in progressive politics which includes writing and broadcasting on the internet. In April, the Baltimore Sun published my op-ed discussing how former NAACP President/CEO Ben Jealous, who is running for Maryland governor, could prevail in next year’s Democratic primary and then against the popular Republican incumbent. My wife, Mindy Burke, is an ESOL teacher at a public elementary school with a high percentage of low-income immigrants. My elder son, Michael, will enter Georgetown University in the fall as a sophomore transfer. Sadly, he showed no interest in applying to Wesleyan saying it was too liberal. My younger son, William, just completed his junior year in high school.  He is hoping to be accepted into a Naval ROTC program and to join the Marines as an officer upon graduation from college.   enjoyed visiting Wesleyan for our 30th Reunion last spring with Rick Davidman ’84 and was happy to see Bill Greene ’86, now a San Franciscan, when he recently came to suburban D.C. on business.”

Julie Stubbs is happily settled in the “Happy Valley” in Amherst, Mass., where she is the development director for the computer science/information science college at UMass Amherst. “Empty nesting is living up to its billing; my husband Petr Jirovsky and I enjoy our big mutts and the beautiful hiking trails in western Mass, and see our adult kids when possible. Kids: Ben is finishing his doctorate in microbiology at MIT; his twin brother Jacob is a computational biologist at the University of Pittsburgh; and Sarah graduates from the University of Edinburgh in a few weeks and then begins a marketing job in Boston. We traveled to Petr’s native country the Czech Republic en famille in April and the kids paid for themselves—wow! This new phase is as exciting as the last.”

Nancy (Dull) Heatley is now living in rural Perkinsville, Vt., with her Cornish husband, Gareth, two cats and dog. She has just taken a new job with the Society for Vascular Surgery running several education and communication programs from home so no commute! Nancy is also very involved in the local community on the Weathersfield Planning Commission and with local environmental issues with the Connecticut River Joint Commission.

Hunter Pearson Silides is “excited to have landed my dream job as the chaplain at the Canterbury School in Greensboro, N.C. My daughters (Grace and Hope) and I will be moving this summer and my husband of 20 years, George Silides, will join us in 15 months when our second son, Christian, graduates from Claremont High School. Our eldest son (Stephen) graduates this week from The Webb Schools of California and heads to the Flagship Chinese Program at San Francisco State in the fall. Had a lovely visit with Arthur Haubenstock ’85 earlier this month. Hoping you and all our classmates are well.”

Sue (Erikson) Bidwell finally has something worthy to report: “My youngest son, Sam, will be a member of Wes class of 2021 as a prospective math major! My older son is also pursuing liberal arts, but at Saint Michael’s College outside of Burlington, Vt.  My husband, Jeremy, and I are looking forward to trying this empty nest thing out.”

Cathy Cotins also has a child at Wes: “I’m excited to share that my younger son Cole Harris ’21 will be a frosh at Wes in the fall joining Wes class of 2021! He will be third generation at Wes which has me more excited than I expected. My dad is Arthur Cotins ’48. My older son will be a senior at Colgate University and I’m excited to be an empty nester. Life is awesome!”

Carlie (Masters) Williams still lives in Bethesda with her husband, Rick, and children, Katie (St Mary’s College of Maryland ’18) and Thomas (applying to colleges this year!). This summer they will be unchaperoned with both children away leaving them to manage the suburban farm, the backyard ponds, the dogs, and the bees in between rowing on the Anacostia. Carlie remains an HIV epidemiologist at NIH and can report that “yes, it is very hard to be a scientist these days.” Protesting skills learned at Wes are coming in handy as they man the resistance. This summer she saw Saundra Schwartz (classicist in the history department of University of Hawaii at Manoa) in NYC. Saundi and Allison Kaplan (journalist at Haaretz, Israel) saw each other in Boston where Saundi’s daughter, Elena, has recently graduated from Harvard. Ayelet Waldman (author in Berkeley, Calif.) and Saundi will meet up in a few weeks for Ayelet’s NYC book tour. As for Wes memories, when Carlie goes back to Wes, she goes to the boathouse. Go Wescrew.

Ann O’Hanlon is hoping that Carlie Williams keeps fighting that good fight: “I’m chief of staff to Congressman Don Beyer, who is vice ranking chair of the House Science Committee.  (The committee chairman is a climate change denier.) More happily, our eldest turned down parents’ alma maters (Wes and Carleton) and heads to Tufts in August, leaving us with just two kids at home.”

Elaine Taylor-Klaus: “I have thoroughly enjoyed re-connecting to Wes as my daughter, Syd ’20, joined the class of 2020—I’ve visited more in the last couple of years than I have in decades. Professionally, I was recruited to write a book which published last November, Parenting ADHD Now! Easy Intervention Strategies for Empowering Kids with ADHD. I have to say, chapter one offers a clear, succinct encapsulation of the essence of ADHD and its management. Personally, my husband and I have down-sized and moved in-town to Atlanta’s Beltline and Piedmont Park, where we plan to enjoy two more years of parenting-in-residence with our high school junior before he grants us the next best gift to grandchildren—an empty nest!”

Eric Hamre: “I can add a little from my end (Long Beach, Calif). Although I have been living on the West Coast for the last 20 years, it seems the East Coast keeps pulling me back. My older daughter, Sarah, just finished her freshman year at UMass Amherst where she plays for the Minute women softball team, while my younger daughter, Anna, has just finished her junior year of high school. As she is now well into her college search, the East Coast is calling her too!”

Eric Howard: “I’ve been adjusting to life as a divorced dad whose three kids are all in college while I’m the one who returned to the nest (living in my hometown and sharing a house with my 83-yr-old-mother). I was dating last year, but now I’m seeking happiness through Buddhist meditation, windsurfing, and walks in the woods.”

Eric Howard | ehoward86@wesleyan.edu