Dear Classmates, Thank you to the following for the great response to my request for news:
Brian Baxter: “For over 50 years I told myself to write about the impact Wesleyan has had on my life. So, under the heading of better late than never:
“After a 42-year career as a top executive in state and local government in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City in areas ranging from city management to labor relations to finance to human services, I retired six years ago. I was amazed to discover that the world was able to move forward without my continuing contribution, and my only regret now is that I didn’t retire earlier.
“The day after I retired from full-time work, my wife and I left for a month-long home exchange with a couple from Amsterdam, who lived in our home in Sarasota, Fl., for the month that we lived in their home in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam, with their four cats and several fish. We also ‘inherited’ several neighbors who welcomed us into their lives, while we enjoyed having the time for a leisurely exploration of the music, museums, and culture of Amsterdam and several nearby cities.
“During the past six years, we have developed lasting friendships through month-long home exchanges with three families in Paris, one in Vienna, one in Dresden, one in The Hague, one in eastern Maine, and one in the Upper East Side in New York City . . .
“We split our time between condo communities in center city Philadelphia and on Little Sarasota Bay on the west coast of Florida, when we are not enjoying home exchanges or other travel. We have become very involved with an amazing community of . . . condos in Sarasota known as Pelican Cove, where . . . I am serving as president of the board . . . My wife, Ilene, is the chair of the steering committee . . .
“Building on my stint as a health care lobbyist for nonprofit human service agencies and urban hospitals serving large numbers of Medicaid patients, I have spent the last five years working as a part-time consultant for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, working on a campaign called #IWantToWork that is working to reshape public policy in Pennsylvania relating to employment for people with disabilities.
“Looking back, I credit my experience at the College of Social Studies for preparing me for a very satisfying career in public service. The five-page papers that we were required to submit each week, making an argument and supporting it, was excellent preparation for the many policy memos I wrote to governors and legislators over the years . . .”
Jeff Kessler: “. . . still in the active practice of neurology. Four married children and seven grandchildren help distract me from my deteriorating golf game. Have received really nice phone calls from members of the teams that I have been able to support in addition to the school itself. My daughter, Vicki ’07, and her husband, Evan Browne ’05, are constant reminders of the special gift of what Wesleyan imparts to each of us for a lifetime.”
Arthur Rhodes: “Still seeing patients at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where I am professor of dermatology and senior attending. Mostly patients with melanoma, or at high risk. Leslie and I have nine grandchildren between us, both in Chicago and New Orleans.”
Clyde Beers: “Since retiring, I’ve become an avid (vegetable, fruit, and berries) gardener. Up to this year, almost no problems. This year, unfortunately, I’m at war with critters . . . I think it is all the rain we have had, but maybe it just took time for them to find our ‘food in a raised bed.’ The groundhogs and rabbits wiped me out of my first crop of broccoli, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, and cilantro. They later attacked the cucumbers and tomatoes, but by that time my defenses were vastly improved.
“Donna and I now are delighted to have three children and their families, including eight grandchildren. The latter are stretched out from almost in college to a three- and five-year old.”
Carl Hoppe: “In March this year I left my Beverly Hills office of 42 years and moved my office closer to home. In four-and-a-half years I will probably hang it up. Our youngest, Colette, has completed a two-year assignment at NIH and entered an oceanography program at USC. Our oldest, Kathryn, is tenured at Green River College in Washington. The middle girl, Anne, has left Rupert Murdoch’s Harper Collins and is senior book editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in NYC. Diane and I have reduced practices. Diane is active in community issues. I help her out with that and play tennis three times a week. Life is good.”
Gar Hargens:“. . . 1965 class notes in the recent Wesleyan. . . was particularly meaningful to me. Win’s account of building for Habitat took Missy and me back a year ago to a similar adventure in Northern Cambodia . . . we didn’t have wheelbarrows, but instead carried bags of sand and cement to the middle of the dirt floor and mixed a concrete soup. Maybe it was the 90-degree heat and humidity, but by next morning the slabs had miraculously cured enough to stand on for the final ceremony. The Cambodian family were moving from a shack that was constantly flooded. With a toilet and cold water tap, they were ecstatic with their simple space.
“We came home from those three weeks only to learn of Kirt Mead’s passing and jump right back on a plane. Dave Dinwoodey’s words beautifully described Kirt’s service and the fellowship and love surrounding his family. I spoke to Susan the other day and she had just finished reading your notes and totally agreed. She said the support of her daughters and the Meads’ great network of friends has helped deal with the shock and pain. She was about to head overseas and visit familiar places and friends there. We agreed to meet up in Nice next April, one of her favorites.
“Dave Good and I meet for lunch regularly. David was head of Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He remembers interviewing one of our firm’s founders, Elizabeth “Lisl” Close who grew up in her parents Alfred Loos house in Vienna. Close Associates is 80 years old this year and I’ve been part of it for fifty. Missy says I can’t stop now because ‘architects don’t get good until they’re 80,’ like Frank Lloyd Wright. Great . . .”
Bruce Patterson:“Martha and I bought a condo in Florida in 2015. In Osprey, just south of Sarasota. Love it. Martha, the good one, walks early and regularly sees Stephen King on his walk with his dog. Nice, friendly guy. Still spend half year in Connecticut since both kids live in Stamford. We’re very lucky. Will probably downsize in Connecticut.”
Jim Stewart: “Thought it might be worth noting that this summer I was recognized for 50 years of service with my law firm of Pullman & Comley, LLC, in Bridgeport, Conn. Daughter, Kristen Stewart Barbarotta ’00, and daughter, Courtney Stewart Dutt, Trinity ’03, both practice in my field of trusts and estates here in Connecticut.”
Great to hear from Bird Norton, one outstanding athlete and friend: “Things going well as we all hit 75! My so-called depression has not come back since that wonderful 50th Reunion. Any one hear anything more about Bill Brundage? I wonder how he did through all those natural catastrophes on the big island of Hawaii.”
David Gross: “’Retired’ after 32 years as a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma in 2004. Returned to my home state of Maine at that time. Since then I have taught two courses in the Honors College at the University of Maine each semester, as well as two online for Oklahoma. I even served as interim dean of the UMaine Honors College for a while. As much as I love Maine, I’ve become sick of the winters . . . so at the end of this academic year I will really retire, and Stephanie and I will relocate to the Texas Hill Country . . . Because I started in the Class of ’64, it is with friends and fellow Betas from that class that I have stayed in touch. I see John Schacht ’64 and Ken Kekke ’64 on visits to Iowa City . . . and have had several nice long phone conversations recently with my freshman year roommate, Dave Best.”
David Osgood: “I just finished reading Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country. Steve Almond ’88, the author, is a Wes Tech alum. Except for staunch Trump supporters, I think most will find this a good, thought-provoking read.”
Rick Borger: “Judy and I are enjoying life at Cornwall Manor in Cornwall, Pa., after having lived in Jerseyville, Ill., for a number of years following my retirement in 2004 from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa.”
Bertel Haarder:Brief resume—“Junior year at Wesleyan 1964-1965; 37 years as Danish MP since 1975; seven years in the European Parliament.; 22 years as Danish cabinet minister, including 15 years as Minister for Education and Research. Educational reforms were deeply inspired by the Wesleyan experience.”
Steve Badanes: “Giving a lecture at Wesleyan in October. Invited by Elijah Huge, who teaches architecture at the college . . . Still running the Neighborhood Design/Build Studio every spring at University of Washington (ndbs.be.washington.edu) and teaching in Vermont at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School (yestermorrow.org) every August. (Saw Jim Bernegger there this past summer). Enjoying life on Whidbey Island and working in the studio, doing some woodturning, furniture, and trying to make some art. Linda is busy in her studio, beekeeping, and in the garden.”
Guy Archer: “Andrea and I took a trip to Winnipeg, Ottawa, Portsmouth, N.H., Boston, and Bristol, R.I., for the month of July. We’re keeping fit walking up and down Diamondhead Crater four or five times a week—better than joining an exercise club.”
Philip L. Rockwell | email@example.com