CLASS OF 1997 | 2022 | FALL ISSUE

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Hi, Classmates!

We hope that 2022 has been a good one for you. We’re still enjoying memories of Reunion in the spring and marveling at how magical it felt to step back in time and recognize the impact of our time together at Wesleyan as students and throughout the years as members of the alumni community.

We enjoyed working with our fellow Reunion Committee members on helping to bring everyone back to campus: David Levin, Kimberly King, Josh Thornton, Maggie McLean Suniewick, Josh Suniewick, and Marisa Uchin. Shout-out to our fabulous 1997 WESeminar speakers—thank you for sharing your time, expertise, and your wisdom with us, Min Santandrea (founder, SantM), Lucria Ortiz (president and CEO of the Yonkers Family YMCA in New York), and Francisco Tezén (president and CEO of A Better Chance). We so appreciate you!

Also, we’d also like to congratulate Wesleyan’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for professional achievements (four of the six were from the class of 1997): Carter Bays, Maggie McLean Suniewick, Craig Thomas, and Angela Mae Yee.

And one final post-Reunion note: Our class successfully reached a participation rate of 25 % in honor of our 25th Reunion, so we are now able to give a Class of 1997 scholarship gift to someone in the incoming class of 2026. The Solids (including Carter Bays, Josh Suniewick, Craig Thomas, and Pat Butler ’98) matched our gift up to $10,000!

Lots of good news to share . . .

Congratulations to Kimberly King on her new position as an alumni-elected trustee for Wesleyan! She is one of three alumni-elected trustees who serve on the 33-member board of Wesleyan and contribute to setting the direction of the University. We are grateful to have her representing the alumni body. (Thanks to all who voted, which is an excellent way to participate in the governance of the University as an alumnus.) In addition, Kimberly was promoted to NBC Universal’s vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We are so happy for her! (For context, please read more here (https://www.blackenterprise.com/kimberly-king-crowned-nbcus-vp-diversity-equity-inclusion-for-ads-partnerships/ and here: https://www.nexttv.com/news/nbcu-names-kimberly-king-vp-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-global-advertising-and-partnerships.) Kimberly shared with us: “Family is healthy and my 11-year-old starts middle school in the fall. It’s been a wonderful past few weeks to say the least. I am truly humbled to acknowledge that I am living in my purpose and on purpose. Feeling really thankful and supported.”

We are thrilled for Maggie McLean Suniewick, who transitioned to Twitter in July to take on the newly established role of vice president of Partnerships. Please read more about it here: https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/maggie-mclean-suniewick-twitter-nbcuniversal-1235307019/ Congratulations, Maggie!

Alek Matthew Lev wrote to share with us that he is producing and co-hosting a new podcast called Arts Educators Save the World, which brings successful artists together in conversation with their teachers and mentors. “And in episodes 1 and 2, released on August 29th, the Wesleyan runs—wait for it, wait for it, wait for it—even deeper. It starts with the Hunter College Elementary and High School connection to Wesleyan, which is substantial in the class of ’97: Joel Viertel, Noah Garrison, Amanda Shurgin, Kimani Rogers, David Levin, Amy Bodnick, Amy Gong, Mike Mittelman, Sara Berenbom Friedman ’96, Miwa Geiger. (And FYI for Hunterites, Erica Rosenfeld is the host and Justin Asher is the audio producer.) One of our first guests is Robert Lopez (Frozen, Encanto) who attended that *other* Connecticut university and, bringing it all together, we also have Hunter Elementary (’92), Hunter High (’98) and Wesleyan (’02) alum, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Robert and Lin talk with Ms. Barbara Ames, music teacher to most of the above. Check it out at www.ArtEducatorsSaveTheWorld.com or on your favorite podcast app.”

In August, we had a Zoom happy hour with Sarah Kollman Regnier, who moved from Sacramento, California, up north to Arcata, California, with her husband Justin and their two children, Peter and Joy. Sarah works remotely as an attorney. Full disclosure: The three of us usually group text daily and are still doing the Wordle and occasionally the Quordle (four Wordles, nine guesses) together. Sarah gave us a virtual tour of her beautiful home and the woods outdoors.

Elijah Hawkes wrote, “I enjoyed a spring visit to NYC and New Jersey to visit my old roommate in East Harlem, Omar Rahim ’96, and good friend Ruben Fleischer, who moved back east with his family from LA. I’m also looking forward to seeing Brion and Melanie Winston at their family farm in New York this 4th of July.” Elijah’s second book just came out . . . Woke is Not Enough: School Reform for Leaders with Justice in Mind. You can find some information about the book and his work at ElijahHawkes.com. “I’m particularly excited to see what folks think of the chapters on student activism and counter-extremism, which I think are unlike much of what one might find in literature for school leaders today.” Elijah’s first book came out two years ago: School for the Age of Upheaval: Classrooms that Get Personal, Get Political, and Get to Work.

Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyful fall 2022 and looking forward to seeing you again.

Take care,

JESSICA SHEA LEHMANN | jessica.lehmann@gmail.com

SASHA LEWIS REISEN | alewisreisen@gmail.com