CLASS OF 1967 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

I did not have room for all the vivid memories that you all (as we say down here) sent me in response to my March 2014 e-mail blast asking for information and memories. First, a few more memories, and then I’ll catch you up on info about some of those who wrote.

Peter Kovach wrote about a number of lasting memories. Here’s one of them: “The paradigm-shaping moment in my life occurred in the spring of ’66, after returning to Wes from doing a year of penance for freshman wildness at the New School in New York, rooming with Tom Sloane ’68, in a parallel exile. And it involved a challenge from Jim Helfer (now Jim Stone), a professor who shaped my world view and, far more than any academic during three degree programs, changed my life. He had challenged me to spend my junior year at Banaras Hindu University in India to pursue my declared major in history of religion. I laughed it off. Then one April morning, I woke up in a sweat and, in a moment of epiphanic clarity similar to the one where I knew I would go to Wesleyan, I knew I was going to India. I banged on his office door (where he slept in those days) at about 6 a.m., and we opened Downey House to work out the details over tea.”

Steve Duck wrote the following: “You asked what event stuck out most vividly for me: I would suggest that I was emotionally and psychologically so ‘asleep’ that I missed huge chunks of ‘amazing’ that Wesleyan had to offer. But what does come to mind are: the camaraderie of the Commons Club men, or the experience of serving as a friend at the psychiatric hospital across the hill.”

Don Stone wrote this: “An event involving Wesleyan that has stuck with me? The Wesleyan-Tuskegee exchange when I was in Alabama very soon after the Selma march. Out of which experience I helped Prof. Dick Winslow ’40 organize the Wesleyan-Smith Glee Club southern tour—to Tuskegee, Morehouse/Spelman, Duke, and so forth, riding on the bus next to my first real girlfriend—who was from the South. And there was music, too!”

And, from Jim Vaughan: “Good Wes Tech memory: Skateboarding down the College Row hill to High Street with Dean Mark Barlow ’46.”

The last recalled memory (for now), is from Dirk Dominick: “Seeing the presidential helicopter parked in the middle of the freshman football field at Amherst College where JFK was in town to dedicate the college library. I remember Jim Branigan, my roommate and fellow football fool, telling me that we should go and see the president, since we might not get another chance. I, as usual, resisted at first, feeling there is always a second chance…. After a while, I realized Jim was correct and I saw the president. The assassination that so quickly followed awoke me to the reality of life and made sense of all the warnings I read in literature. Carpe diem was no longer just a cute Latin phrase but a warning, a very dire warning, that life can be short. Thank you, Jim Branigan!”

And now, some news about those who wrote. Three of those who wrote have had careers as physicians. Jeff Hicks has been at the University of Rochester Medical Center since 1980, and has been chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery there since 1990. He served on the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and recently completed a four-year term as president of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association. He still does clinical work, including transplants, artificial hearts, and adult surgery.

After Wesleyan, Steve Duck went to medical school at Cornell, and then to Washington University in St. Louis and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where he became a pediatric endocrinologist. He was at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for 17 years, where he was the head of the pediatric endocrinology program, and then he moved to Evanston, Ill., to join Northshore University Healthsystem. When he wrote to me he had been there 22 years, but, as he put it, “I have my eye on retirement.”

The third doc who wrote, Andy Barada, retired in Jan. 2014, after 35 years “taking care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other serious inflammatory conditions.” A week after he retired, he was diagnosed with nephritic syndrome, and learned a week later that the cause was multiple myeloma. As of July 2014 he was six months into chemotherapy, receiving hemodialysis, and slowly improving. He and his wife (Placide) have two children and four grandchildren.

Whereas Steve Duck has his eye on retirement, and Andy Barada did retire, Bob Callahan tried retirement and didn’t like it. Here’s how he explained it in his e-mail: “I tried retirement recently and failed miserably. I had been associate vice president for development and assistant dean at Florida International University’s College of Arts and Sciences. I thought beachcombing and boating would fill my days. Mistake. Now back to work at Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest undergraduate institution (176,000 students) and the grantor of more degrees to minorities than any other school in the nation.” Bob also wrote that he had remarried: “I married a year ago, to someone I had known for 30 years.”

Other classmates, too, have married in the last few years. Hoff Stauffer wrote the following: “I live in Gloucester with my new wife and our two kids (son, 9, and daughter, 7). Our home overlooks the harbor, and I sail my 38’ boat in the summer. We moved to Gloucester because of its natural beauty and the diversity of the community. The kids are doing well in public schools and are very active in sports (soccer, gymnastics, and hockey).”

Finally, a few of you responded to a question from a previous set of class notes about favorite professors. Bob Runk wrote that “Karl Scheibe was also my favorite professor.” Andy Barada noted that, “On further thought, I have great memories of one-on-one for one year with Earl Hanson!” Mike Feagley wrote the following about Willie Kerr: “I have traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sapporo, Madrid and Pamplona on business this year, thereby avoiding most of one of the nastiest Chicago winters in recorded history. I credit Willie Kerr, one of my favorite Wesleyan characters, with teaching me that all those other places are likely to be warmer than Chicago.” 

Richie Zweigenhaft | rzweigen@guilford.edu

CLASS OF 1967 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

I used Wesconnect to send an e-blast to all members of the class for whom Wesleyan has an e-mail, asking for info. In that e-mail I also asked what event remains most vivid in your memories. I mentioned that a vivid memory for me was learning about JFK’s assassination (I was in Downey House). The responses have been fascinating—some brief, some detailed.

Not surprisingly, Kennedy’s assassination was also a vivid memory for many of those who responded. Mike Feagley remembered learning about Kennedy in the following way: “When someone on campus told me in my third month at Wesleyan that ‘the president has been shot,’ I wondered at first why anyone would attack Vic Butterfield. I got a bit less stupid as time went on and Les Gelb broadened my perspective.”

George McKechnie wrote this about the assassination: “The JFK assassination was a turning point in my life. I heard the news while dissecting a fetal pig for freshman biology. My fantasies of becoming a surgeon were quickly deflated, and I began to think about studying human motivation and personality—which I later did.”

Dave Garrison put the death of JFK in the larger framework of the five years he spent getting his Wesleyan degree: “My graduation was delayed by my year abroad in Spain. JFK was killed in the fall of my first year, then Martin Luther King in the spring of my last year, and RFK two days before my graduation. The speaker was Leonard Bernstein, who was a close friend of the Kennedy family, and he was grief stricken. Having my college years bracketed by assassinations left me, even at that age, with a sense of the fragility of life.”

Brian Sichol wrote: “Certainly JFK’s death. Got in a car and attended the funeral with Cliff Arnebeck, John Murdock, and Dave Cadbury. A moment in history.”

For a few who wrote, the moment in history they recalled had to do with Wesleyan football. As Mike Klein put it, “winning the Little Three football title in 1966 was Incredible.” Andy Barada was more specific: “One memory was being at Williams for a historic football victory! I have a splinter from there somewhere in the house. If my memory serves me correctly, our mutual friend, Ollie Hickel, caught the winning TD pass.”

Jeff Hicks did not refer to a historical football moment, but wrote about a more recent encounter he had with the football team in November 2013 (the team was on its way to winning the Little Three): “Was asked to give a talk to alumni, students, and athletes about the ‘pursuit of Excellence in Learning’ and how students differ now in terms of learning skills. This lecture was initiated by Mike Whalen, current football coach, and a person who, along with President Roth, has changed the culture regarding athletes and athletic success at Wesleyan. I had the opportunity to address the football team at their new practice field and both my brother (Peter ’72) and I spent the evening at dinner with Coach Whalen and Riley discussing the successes they were enjoying. Most importantly, the next day at the football game, which 6–7,000 people attended, was an incredible display of Wesleyan pride, spirit, and pure joy in being together watching history being made. The field behind the stadium was filled with cars, tents, venues serving food, drink, and selling Wesleyan wear for all in attendance. The crowd was passionately committed to Wesleyan and hopes that continued success with support will follow. Great to see some of the old boys at the DKE house and all the incredible facilities that the students today have at their disposal.”

Bill Vetter recalled working with Upward Bound students during the summer after his junior year, and described some memorable moments, including the following: “One Saturday, we took about six cars and drove to the mountains in New Hampshire. In my car, about four of them were in the back of the station wagon playing poker, trying to look bored. We finally got to the park where we could ‘climb’ the mountain, really just a couple of miles hike up a path, but up above tree line where the views were spectacular. The kids said they didn’t want to take the hike. They preferred staying in the car playing poker. The man who ran the program (sorry I don’t remember his name after 48 years) said, ‘Fine. Out of the car.’ He locked it, and the rest of us started up. Grumbling and griping, the reluctant four trudged on. As we got higher, the trees started to thin out, and one could sometimes glimpse a distant vista. The reluctant ones started to get excited. The higher we went, the faster they climbed. At the end, they literally ran up the path, jumping and shouting about how great it was. The memory of seeing them experience something so freshly has never left me. I learned a lot more that summer—about the poorer parts of Middletown down near the river; about government programs; about kids whose exposure was so small that they had never been to either Boston or New York City. It lifted me upward, I’m sure.”

And Bob Callahan sent a number of vivid memories. Here’s one of them: “One from my freshman year stands out as the metaphor for Wesleyan during the Butterfield years: I was passing the Chapel and heard beautiful organ music. I went inside that dark and welcoming sanctuary and was there alone, listening to E. Power Biggs practice in advance of a concert. A kind woman came in and sat with me, kind of amazed that a student would be inside the chapel on a gorgeous day, one that called for frisbee, touch football, or softball. We had a nice chat and then she invited me to visit her at home. It was Kay Butterfield, the president’s wife, and I visited with her and the president for an afternoon. Where else does that kind of thing happen?”

There’s more, including some news about those who wrote, but Bob’s question, “Where else does that kind of thing happen?” seems like a good place to end for now. More next time.

Richie Zweigenhaft | rzweigen@guilford.edu

SIBLEY P. REPPERT ’67

SIBLEY P. REPPERT, a trial attorney who was also a competitive rower and blue-water sailor, died Aug. 21, 2013. He was 68. A member of EQV, he received his degree summa cum laude and with high honors from the College of Social Studies. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and continued his education at Christ Church, Oxford, where he received a degree in politics in 1969. After several years in the U.S. Navy, he earned a law degree from Harvard University and joined a law firm in Boston. His career as a litigator spanned three decades, and he won major cases in patent litigation, as well the national asbestos property damage litigation, breast implant cases, and in large construction, insurance, and professional malpractice cases. During his career he was a partner at several law firms, most recently Pearl, Cohen, Zedek, Lazter, Baratz. A lifelong competitive rower, he was a founding member of the Wesleyan University crew team. He rowed for the Union Boat Club in Boston, competing in hundreds of regattas around the U.S. and internationally. He also sailed extensively, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as cruising extensively along the Atlantic seaboard and throughout the Caribbean. Survivors include his wife, Christine Ann Vezetinski; two daughters, including Victoria C. Reppert ’04; his sister, and two nephews.

DONALD D. WOLFF JR. ’67

DONALD D. WOLFF JR., 63, a chartered financial analyst, died Nov. 20, 2008. At Wesleyan, he was a member of Psi Upsilon and then earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career in the financial services industry with the Mellon Bank, as an investment manager, and later became a founding partner of Guyasuta Investment Advisors (formerly Sheetz, Smith & Co.). He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Carolyn “Bunny” Davis Wolff, a daughter, a son, three grandchildren, and a sister.

Class of 1967 | 2014 | Issue 1

As I explained in my last set of notes, about two weeks before those notes were due, I sent an e-mail out to those on the Wesconnect 1967 e-mail list asking what was up with them, and I ended that e-mail by asking who their favorite Wesleyan professors were, and why. I included the first batch of responses in that last set of notes. Here’s what I learned from others who responded.

George McKechnie moved to Berkeley following graduation from Wesleyan, where he received a PhD in personality and environmental psychology. After a few years of teaching at Arizona State and then back at Berkeley, he left academia and launched a high-end audiophile business in SF (his clients included Boz Scaggs, Francis Ford Coppola, and Ray Dolby). In 1980, he moved to the Monterey Peninsula, where he practiced clinical psychology for two decades. In 1999, he and his son, Loren, launched Axiom Home Theater, which George still runs. He retired from psychology practice in 2005, when his wife, Dee Davis, also a psychologist, took down her shingle. He recently launched SyncMyHome.com, a consumer guide to home automation.

“In answer to your question about favorite Wes professors,” George wrote, “for me it would have to be Karl Scheibe. I would also like to nominate Ted Sarbin (Karl’s mentor), even though his connection to Wesleyan was tenuous; he spent a year at the Center for Advanced Studies a year after we graduated. I suspect that you, too, have fond memories of Karl [I do indeed. Could not be fonder]. He visited Ted in Carmel a few weeks before Ted’s death at 94 from pancreatic cancer and brought Ted by my home for a final visit. I must say it was a most bittersweet occasion.”

Pat Weinstein is still in the beverage business, running the family Pepsi-Cola franchise in Wenatchee, Wash. He writes: “The business is still exciting to me, combining major financial decisions, e.g., investment in a co-op production facility for 10 bottlers in the Pacific Northwest with local, very personal decisions, e.g., scholarships to the local community college. My wife, Susan Landon, has been asked to give the commencement speech at one of the community colleges in part as a result of our efforts to support the school.” One daughter (Eileen) just graduated from the American University of Paris with a master’s in international affairs, and is working (from Paris!) in the family business (in Seattle), doing IT and HR work (the wonders of the cloud). Another daughter (Emily ’97) is a project manager for Bridge Housing in San Francisco and was recently appointed to the Oakland Planning Commission. One of their sons (Matt) is the administrative director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, and the other (Andy), who created his own digital marketing company in New York, recently moved back to Seattle and he, too, is working in the family business doing sales and marketing. And, most impressively, Pat is still playing basketball. His team won the United States national championship held annually in Coral Springs, Fla., and then went to Torino, Italy, to defend the world title at the World Masters Games (they won again, but Pat came away with a torn meniscus; as of October 2013, he was recovering from the surgery he had in late August).

Bill Klaber’s newest book, which he started over a decade ago at a Wesleyan Writers Conference, The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell, was published in June 2013. It’s the fictional memoir of a woman who lived in the mid-19th century, a real woman who, one day in 1855, cut her hair, changed her clothes, and went off to live the rest of her life as a man. She did it to earn men’s wages, but the changes went far beyond anything she had imagined. As Bill explained in his e-mail to me, “True story, fictional memoir.” The early reviews were so encouraging that Hudson News decided to put it on the front table in all its US airport stores in the summer of 2013, and it was nominated by the American Library Association for the Over the Rainbow Award. For more information, check out MissLucyAnnLobdell.com.

After graduating, Charlie Green received his law degree from the University of Florida and has been a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale since 1970. He started a firm in 1980 that is still going (Green, Murphy & Murphy). He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons and four grandchildren (three girls and a boy): “Our second son graduated from Wesleyan in ’95 and met his wife there. Hopefully, there will be a third generation at Wes.”

In June, 2013, Jim Kates read translations at the Longfellow House in Cambridge, Mass. (their fair city). He was filling in for Franklin Reeve, who was ill (and who subsequently died later that month) and he read alongside his former teacher, Norm Shapiro, suggesting once again that everything that rises must converge.

Peter Waasdorp wrote, as he put it, “from across the decades—late as usual.” Here’s what he had to share: “I’m in Falmouth on Cape Cod, where I settled in 1997 with my wife, Tinker Cavanagh, after a year of sailing to the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas and back. Still doing carpentry part-time (with an ever more complaining body) and still doing political organizing. Occupy Falmouth is going strong, with more than 200 members and very active foreclosure, anti-nuclear power (the Pilgrim plant is in nearby Plymouth), climate justice, Citizens United, and other committees. Thanks to the help of the ACLU this past year, I mediated my case against the Town of Falmouth for wrongful dismissal from the Conservation Commission (with a withdrawal of charges and a $32,000 financial settlement). See Fred Freije annually or so, and just missed a 50th reunion at the Hill School with Phil Miller because it conflicted with my Northfield/Mt. Hermon 50th.”

Richie Zweigenhaft
rzweigen@guilford.edu

G. THOMAS REYNOLDS JR. ’67

G. THOMAS REYNOLDS JR., a practicing attorney who also taught business law at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J., died Jan. 27, 2007. He was 61. A member of Chi Psi, he received his law degree from George Washington University. Survivors include his wife, Marianne Reynolds, one son, his mother, and three brothers.

JAN M. MYTELKA ’67

JAN M. MYTELKA, 64, who retired as vice president of D.J. Mytelka & Associates, Inc., and who also had been a marketing, finance, and operations consultant to the Peace Corps in Colombia, died Aug. 18, 2009. He was a member of Chi Psi and received an MBA from Columbia University. Earlier, he had attended Brandeis University. He is survived by his wife, Tammy L. Mytelka, two sons, a brother, and a sister.

ANDREW C. ACKEMANN ’67

ANDREW C. ACKEMANN, 61, a management consultant and expert in rationalization of complex global organizational structures, died July 19, 2006. He was a member of Eclectic. During his nine-year service in the U.S. Navy, he commanded a coastal minesweeper as well as a unit of the Special Warfare Operations Command and was awarded numerous medals. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, he was associated with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alexander & Alexander, and MGM. He also served, pro bono, as a National Safety Inspector for Outward Bound Schools and for NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School), and he served in the search and rescue operations at the site of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. Survivors include his wife, Deborah Ackemann, and six children.