CLASS OF 1971 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Aloha. I hope you all are physically and mentally well during and after the quarantine. I got stranded in New Jersey and could not get home to Hawaii, so I spent my time in the epicenter. Thanks to all who sent brief 50-word updates.

John Schimmel is the executive producer of two films: A documentary about the Dalai Lama called The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama In His Own Words and Shaquille O’Neal Presents Foster Boy, which is based on true events and is about abuse in the for-profit foster care industry. See the trailers on Frame of Mind Film’s YouTube channel.

Mike Thompson: “As the class agent for my Hotchkiss class, my fellow agent and I sent out a brief email message last month—just to wish everybody good health and safety. It went to 67 classmates. To our delight and surprise, to date, 54 of them have responded, almost all of them multiple times. They have logged in from all across the country and around the world, and our little message sparked a desire to reconnect and recollect our days together. I wonder what sort of a response you’d get from the Wesleyan Class of 1971?”

Katy Butler has helped organize an ongoing monthly Zoom candlelight vigil sponsored by Reimagine and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. “On the 9th, starting in April, at noon Pacific time, we light candles and hold them to our screens to acknowledge the mass grief of the COVID pandemic. (The first was on the first of April.) It’s beautiful and powerful, and you’re welcome to join us. We end with ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. I’m hoping it will be replicated by other institutions.”

B. Michael Zuckerman retired in February after 37 years’ service as director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities in Cape May, N.J. He lives with his wife of 42 years, Evelyn, out in the wetlands bordering the intracoastal waterway.

C.B. “Kip” Anderson writes: “Richard Aroneau and I were just beginning to plan a Wes-fest on his lakeside property at Alford Lake in Maine. Anyone from any class who lives in Maine or can make the trip from elsewhere were to have been invited to spend the day or pitch a tent. But right now, and for the foreseeable future, such gatherings are not feasible.”

Miguel Gomez-Ibanez writes: “I have retired and now am president emeritus of North Bennet Street School in Boston. I have returned to my previous career as a cabinet and furniture maker, but doing it all for free.” Michael Brewin: “In 1970, the Connecticut Arts Commission asked me to coordinate music for the first Earth Day. Classmate Dave Lindorff and I performed at events statewide, including the capitol. Earth Day helped jump-start the environmental movement. My album Guitarsoul is at (and Amazon).”

Blake Allison asks: “Are you still doing the vanilla plantation?” (Answer is no; I stopped to sell two of my Kauai lots.) “Not a lot to report here as I have been in quarantine on Martha’s Vineyard for two months. Luckily, I’m with my wife, Lindsay, and son Sam ’06. So, our 50th Reunion is coming up next year! I’m motivated to be there in part because it would have been my father’s 80th Reunion, and he was a huge Wesleyan booster. I’m still architecting, and sort of hope to return to the office soon.”

First-timer Malcolm Cochran writes: “Here’s the CliffsNotes: Artist, educator, father, grandfather, single, out, gay man living in Columbus, Ohio. For more, please see my website:—and me at the Reunion.”

Fran Pawlowski says: “Our lives in Gallup, N.M., have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 virus. With a population of 20,000 residents, Gallup is surrounded by the Navajo reservation and is very dependent upon Navajo shoppers for its economic well-being. On some weekends, as many as 60,000 Navajos do their shopping here. Unfortunately, hundreds of Navajo people have become infected with the virus—and several have died. One member of my wife’s family (an uncle) has died from the virus, and his wife will probably die soon. The lockdowns which have occurred here recently were ordered by our governor for the mutual well-being of Gallup residents and Navajos. Our prayer is that the disease will peak very soon, begin to decline and ultimately disappear, so that everyone, in our area and all over the world, will again live virus-free. My wife and I ask readers to add their prayers to ours.”

Finally, the 50th Reunion is May 20-23, 2021. Reunion news and regional event info can be found at Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 860/685-5992.

That is all for now. Be well and safe and see you May 2021.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Aloha! Hope you are all prepared for a new decade: 2020s. To start, there is some sad news. Thurman Northcross ’70 passed away on June 20, 2019. He was a business manager, owner, and consultant. A graduate of Manassas High School, Thurman earned his bachelor’s with a major in economics from Wesleyan and an MS in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Among Thurman’s business enterprises were Stone Creek Corporation, a cleaning supplies company, and Signs First on Poplar Avenue. He worked for the City of Memphis as manager of youth services in the Summer Youth Program. He was also manager of corporate development for the Tennessee Valley Center for Economic Development.

Also, David E. Thomson ’71, MAT ’72 died Sept. 13, 2019, after a lengthy illness. A writer and poet, he will be remembered for his play, The Melting Pot, and his book, A Fellowship of Men and Women, among others. His wife, Alexandra Chalif (, shared this information.

Jay Resnick is working on a class, Forward into the Past—A Yiddish Reading Circle. In that class, they will read (in English) stories that were published in the Jewish Daily Forward in the 20th century. The text will be the 2017 anthology edited by Ezra Glinter, Have I Got a Story for You: More Than a Century of Fiction from The Forward. Jay said, “Mit grusen for a zisn yor,” which means “best wishes for a sweet year.”

Don Graham writes, “I am getting more nostalgic and sentimental in my old age. Maybe it’s the thought of attending the 50th anniversary of the 1969 football team, which occurred at Homecoming in November. Read your class notes in the Wesleyan magazine, as I always do, and three old friends appeared: Demetrie Comnas, Carey O’Laughlin, and Kip Anderson. Can’t believe our 50th Reunion is only a little more than a year away.”

Neil Cumsky is a “first-timer. What the heck? I can do this every 50 years or so. After Wes, graduated Yale Law and moved to Phoenix, where I practiced high-tech trade secrets litigation for 10 years during the formative years of the semiconductor and personal computer industries. Invested in Arizona real estate, which led to a career as a resort developer over the last several decades. Married to Claudia for 30-plus years with three kids: a doctor, a lawyer, and a publisher. Nothing but wonderful memories of Wes, surrounded by extraordinary people. Will definitely attend the 50th. Thank you, Neil, for carrying the communications torch for all of us for so many years!”

On that note—the 50th Reunion is May 20-23, 2021. Find out about Reunion news and regional events can be found at Join the Committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 860/685-5992.

That’s all the news for now. Please send me info and encouragements to get others to the Reunion next year. All the best in 2020. Aloha.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Aloha. Here are the long notes I received last time but did not publish or cut severely.

Dave Lindorff writes: “On April 15 I received a 2019 Izzy award from the Park Center for Independent Media for outstanding independent journalism for a cover story run in the December 2018 issue of the Nation magazine titled “Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed.” It is really exciting for me to have finally, after 47 years working as an investigative journalist, won a national award that recognizes my work! Especially exciting is that it’s an award honoring the memory of I.F. Stone, one of the people who most inspired me to get into this profession and to pursue it independently rather than working on the staff of some corporate media organization, with all the compromises inevitably involved in that kind of thing.

“Moving on to more things now. At the moment I’m working on a documentary film project about the and death of Ted Hall, the man who, at the tender age of 18 as one of if not the youngest scientist working in Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb, decided, even before the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that the prospect of the U.S. coming out of the war with a monopoly on nuclear weapons was too horrible to permit, and so, on his own with no connection to any Soviet spy ring, he walked the plans for the implosion device to the Soviet Consulate in New York, significantly helping the Russians to catch up and explode their own bomb in August 1949. Ted was never caught, but went public in 1996 as he was dying of cancer. U.S. government documents prove that the U.S. was planning, since even before the end of WWII, to obliterate Russia as an industrial power using its atomic bombs as soon as it got enough of them. Ted, it can now be proven, by his youthful courage and impulsivity, saved the world from a holocaust even worse than the one Hitler caused, and into the bargain helped give us 75 years of no nuclear weapons being exploded in war despite the existence of thousands of them in the hands of mutual antagonists (admittedly at enormous cost to all sides!). I’m still looking for more funding so if anyone wants to be a backer let me know.”

William H. “Bill” Hicks is a graduate of Wesleyan University who also holds a master’s in public health degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health (1973). Bill also has studied at the Dallas Theological Seminary. He grew up in Harlem during the 1950s and 1960s before going away to prep school in Massachusetts, Mount Hermon School. He has spent most of his professional life in the public health arena in areas including policy research and analysis, health systems planning, and health systems and facility administration while being constantly in ministry. He received his license to preach the Gospel at Oklahoma City in 1971. He has written extensively on Christian topics including two books, Discipleship and Discipline: Second Edition and Sermon Outlines and Study Guides: Simple, Self-Directed Instructions On Being A Disciple (From The Perspective Of The Pew), with a third book pending publication. He enjoys life in Chattanooga with former District Public Defender Ardena Garth Hicks, his wife of 29 years and his two daughters, Rachel (BA, University of Memphis magna cum laude, 2014) and Sarah (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Global Scholar, University of Tulsa, 2017).

Randy Stakeman is moving to Humble, Texas, north of Houston, to live with his son and family. He will have a small one-bedroom apartment in the house and access to his granddaughter.

First timer Mike Ronan writes: “I’ve retired to Panama, where Pam and I have a small craft coffee farm in the mountains near Boquete. It’s quite beautiful. After years of experiments—taxi driving, banking, Peace Corps, bartending, grad school, and marketing, in that order—I settled down as a comp and lit instructor at Houston Community College. I had never dreamed of teaching, nor administration, but it was very satisfying career, fulfilling a need to serve. Coffee farming is its own pleasure. A lot of effort goes into every bean. My two kids are writers and filmmakers. Before leaving the States, I had a chance to catch up with a couple of fellow oarsmen, Michael Mullally in Montreal and Buddy Coote in D.C. and I stay in touch with Roy Cramer.”

That is all the news this time. Remember the 50th Reunion is coming up. Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, P’19 at or 860/685-5992 to get involved. We need your help! Aloha.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Aloha! Sorry for cutting most of your news as I am limited in words I can publish. I promise those who sent lots of news to have more in the next column.

Sad news, my good friend Kevin Kulick ’72 passed away Feb. 25 at his home in Buffalo, N.Y. I had seen Kevin two weeks earlier in Phoenix, where he was undergoing treatment. We discussed his course and I suggested he head back home. He was in good spirits and we had many laughs and reminiscing moments about our times at Wesleyan and our lives afterward. It caught me a bit off guard when two days after arriving home to family and friends he died. He will be missed, and these moments often bring us to the point of realization of just how short life is. Condolences to his lovely wife, Rise, and their children and families.

First time writer Mike Ronan says he’s retired to Panama, where he runs a coffee farm in the mountains with wife Pam after a career teaching at Houston Community College. His two kids are writers and filmmakers. Before leaving the States, he caught up with fellow oarsmen Michael Mullally in Montreal and Buddy Coote in D.C., stays in touch with Roy Cramer.

Demetrie Comnas and his wife, Ann, resettled in West Palm Beach, Fla., a couple of years ago, and are enjoying the sun, golf, and relative peace. “We get to Greece a couple of times each year, to visit brother Basil ’70. We see Cecily and Carey O’Laughlin and their delightful daughter Ashley.”

Kip Anderson writes, “I am happy to tell that my second book of poetry has just been published. It’s titled Roots in the Sky, Boots on the Ground. It consists of formal metaphysical poetry and is available from Amazon.” John Cuddy is in transition to full retirement, down to two days per week. Teaching one course in accounting at Towson University and soon pursuing volunteer opportunities. Bart Brush says, “After two years of retirement, I went back to work last August as a music teacher at Kayenta Middle School on the Navajo Reservation—my 17th year since starting in Utica, N.Y., in 2000. A career in education can be wonderful but does not make a lot of sense financially.”

Warren White continues to cook and bake for the poor and homeless. The number of meals prepared has increased by about 400 percent since 2013, surpassing Nashville’s high growth rate. John Rothman writes, “Philip Casnoff and Graeme Bush joined family and friends for the wedding of our son Noah this April in Palm Beach. I am still acting. Highlight of season 20 of Law and Order SVU: My judge was exposed as the ring leader of sex trafficking ring.” Bill Hicks has written extensively on Christian topics including two published books and a third book on the way. He enjoys life in Chattanooga, Tenn., with wife of 29 years, Ardena, and their two adult daughters, Rachel and Sarah. Mary McWilliams says after being widowed, “I finally found the second love of my life two years ago who is my companion for daily life and other adventures. My life is happily complete with friends and family, travel, board work, and now two grandchildren.” Mark Wallach started a new law firm and has five grands.

Katy Butler completed a successful nationwide book tour for The Art of Dying Well. Alvin and Cynthia James are semi-retired and living in Cedar Hill, Texas. Michael Brewin’s new album of guitar compositions, GUITARSOUL (jazz, world, classical), has been released. John Schimmel writes that the youngest of his three kids graduated from high school and he and wife Maureen face empty-nesthood. “A film I executive-produced about abuse in the for-profit foster care system will open the Nashville Film Festival. The film I wrote with the participation of the Dalai Lama is in pre-production. I continue on as senior producer of narrative content, developing stories and producing the performance capture shoots, for Cloud Imperium Games; and as part of the core faculty at the University of California at Riverside’s Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing arts. Last July, I performed in the 40th(!) reunion concert of the Broadway show, Pump Boys and Dinettes, of which I was a co-creator. Finally, I have just become active in the Alpha Delta Phi mentor’s program.”

Our 50th Reunion is May 20-23, 2021! That may sound far away but it will be here before you know it. Come to campus for a Reunion planning meeting on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 and look for regional events to attend throughout the year. The Reunion Committee is looking for your input. If you know of anyone that’s been off the grid or if you would like to get involved, please contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 860/685-5992.

Aloha until next issue. Again, apologize for cutting some of the news short but it will appear next time.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Aloha, classmates. Let me start off with some sad news. Jonathan Felt died in October. He was originally in our class, but due to health reasons, graduated with Class of ’72. His death was sent in by his roommate, Patrick Callahan, and friend, Jake Weiss. His obituary was in the Ridgefield Press. Jon was an accomplished film producer and director. He had an eye for capturing the beauty around him and was quick to teach others who were just as eager to learn. Working with ABC 20/20 for many years, he spotlighted endless incredible stories for the world. Jon brought home numerous awards for groundbreaking documentaries like The Men Who Brought the Dawn, which highlighted the Enola Gay crew that dropped the first atomic bomb. He is survived by his two daughters, Danika and Alissa, granddog Mickey, and former wife yet cherished friend, Doreen Felt.

Our 50th Reunion is coming fast. Yes, 2021 will be here before you know it. Bob Millner attended a working meeting of the Class of ’70 and gave us a report of what we need to start preparing to do. The committee is seeking volunteers to help plan this important milestone. We could use people who would help put together a class book. It involves soliciting bios and submissions from classmates.

The committee is looking for class members of color to participate in organizing a program addressing the African-American experience in our class (which was the first one at Wesleyan with a significant African-American presence) and perhaps comparing it with that experience today.

The Reunion committee will be reaching out to folks to collect up-to-date contact information. Look for pre-Reunion regional events and if close by, attend! Want to get involved or haven’t heard from one of us? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 680/685-5992. And, check out for the latest news.

That’s all the news I have this time. I will continue to remind you about the 50th Reunion so please volunteer to make this event the best Reunion milestone. Thanks, and aloha.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Aloha, classmates. Planning efforts are underway for our 50th Reunion in 2021. Volunteers are needed to work on outreach and planning efforts. Please contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 ( if you’d like to be involved. The committee is looking for more members to help with planning. We are hoping to get many of our classmates who haven’t attended Reunions to participate in the preparation and attend this critical year event. It would be great to see a majority of the class come out and get reacquainted again. Please volunteer or, at a minimum, keep the dates in mind in 2021. (Seems far away but will be here before you know it.)

Larry A. Jones wants to say hello to the Wesleyan community. Larry and his wife, Audrey (Wellesley ’72) celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary with friends, including Lila Cruz Jacobs ’76 and Evans Jacobs ’73 on Martha’s Vineyard in August. As empty-nesters, Audrey and Larry penned their family memoir about raising their three ADHD gifted sons. Learn more about their book on their website, The memoir, which demystifies ADHD in childhood and beyond, is a blend of love, humor and real-life irony. Falling Through the Ceiling, shedds light on the challenges of living and prospering with attention deficit hyperactive disorder.

Bud Coote writes, “I recently retired from the CIA after 44 years, where I worked on the Vietnam War after protesting it on campus. My focus shifted to the Middle East and former Soviet Union after Saigon fell. I currently work on the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C., think tank. I had dinner with fellow Wes oarsman, Mike Ronan, earlier this year and met up with John Reynolds, Rob Dewees, and Moe Benson for a mini-reunion in May.”

Saw Todd Jick at a Wesleyan event in NYC. His daughter, Adina, got married this summer and wanted a kickass hora and we should know that “TJ the DJ” delivered. Also saw Jake Weiss at same event. The event at the High Line in NYC included Dave Jones ’70, John Griffin ’70, Joel Bernstein ’70, Diana Diamond ’70, and John Alschuler ’70.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1971 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Aloha, classmates! Not much news this cycle after a rather full one last magazine.

If you can believe it, planning efforts are underway for our 50th Reunion in 2021. Volunteers are needed to work on outreach and planning. Please contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 ( if you’d like to be involved.

I heard from Georgia Sassen, who reminds us that Harvard, in this case, is the town in Massachusetts, not the university. She is still in private practice in psychology, part-time, and now has more time for her poetry. She received a grant from the Harvard Cultural Council to give a reading there called “Ancient and Contemporary Women of Harvard: Poems in Their Voices.” She directs the nonprofit Building Resilience in Kids ( as her pro bono public mental health work.

Katy Butler has a Facebook group called Slow Medicine. It deals with issues of dying with dignity. She is the author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door, a must-read about the dying of her father, Professor Jeffery Butler, then her mother. Katy has a new book coming out, The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life. Check Amazon for release.

Over Memorial Day weekend I was on the Big Island (far from the volcano) in Kona. I was a delegate to the Hawaii State Democratic Party Convention (or the “Dump Trump Confab”). One of my fellow delegates was the illustrious Russ Josephson ’70. I still think it’s some kind of sign that the class of 1970 and 1971 class secretaries should live less than one mile apart on a remote rock, the most isolated rock on earth, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Are we a metaphor for how estranged our classes are from the main body of classes? Hope not. Anyway, being this is an election year, all the Hawaii politicians were present. Since Hawaii is virtually a one-party state we got to meet our next governor and other state leaders. Just love life here. Easy to make yourself heard and effect change.

I challenge you as you read this to send me an e-mail with news about you. Aloha for now.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714