CLASS OF 1973 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Jay Rose tells me his son, Adam Rose ’06, was married last October in Seattle. Among the guests were Peter Bernstein, Bill Gillespie, Tim Hinkle ’06, Kingsley Choi ’05, and Rebecca Rabison ’08.

John Spike says after living in Florence, Italy, since 1989, he accepted a post for three years at the College of William and Mary in Willamsburg, Va., where he is assistant director and chief curator at the Muscarelle Museum of Art. His wife Michele is adjunct professor at the Wythe School of Law, also at William and Mary. He says that every summer he returns to Florence, where his son Nicholas married Marcela last October.

David Feldman, aka David Harp, is extremely busy with his harmonica workshops. He just held a Harmonica-Based Mindfulness workshop in Lenox, Mass., in March. It was called “How to Reduce Stress, Increase Mindfulness and Blow Your Blues Away Instantly.” He is offering a one-day “Mindfulness and the Art of the Harmonica: Play Blues, Rock, Folk and Classical Music Today” at Manhattan’s New York Open Center on May 16th and a Harmonica Kirtan the night before. You can reach him at david@davidharp.com.

The intrepid Tom Kelly writes that he is splitting his time between Dallas and San Diego and became CEO of HealthSmart, a health benefits administrator last August. His first grandchild, Aurelia, was born last October. He also said that he and Michael McKenna are headed to the Rugby World Cup in Wales in October. I call Tom intrepid but he was and still is indefatigable. He would sometimes play two rugby games in a row during his time at Wesleyan.

And speaking of Mike McKenna, he writes, “I thought of Wesleyan this morning when I awoke to minus-11 degrees here in Vermont. Bracing but sunny, but made me remember there is no such thing as cold weather, only inappropriate clothes! Also had no less than eight male cardinals at the bird feeders. A veritable conclave! Really pretty against the snow and pine trees.”

Mike says he is sorry he missed our last Reunion but he has a newsy note.

“Writing from my office in our barn, the global HQ of James Farm Creative, a strategic communications consulting firm I started a few years ago, I am happy to report business has grown and we also opened an office in Boston under the name McKenna & Partners,” he says. “Doing some interesting work for a range of great clients and really enjoying it.”

He says 2014 was a good year. He and Lynn spent time in London and had some terrific visits with Peter Smith ’81 and Pete Eisenhardt ’80 and attended some Chelsea games at Stamford Bridge. The Smiths’ daughter is at Wesleyan and is playing varsity squash.

Mike’s “work travels” also brought him in touch with Claire Reade in D.C. and Tom Kelly in New York: “Both are thriving, no surprise there.”

He was also back on campus for the Amherst weekend and saw former soccer teammate Dr. Marion Stoj ’74 inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. Soccer captain Kirk Adams was there, as well as Coach Terry Jackson. He said there was a “nice win over the Lord Jeffs.”

In Middletown, Mike also ran into Joshua Boger, who, he said, just did some “amazing photography during a dive off Fiji.” He thinks the photos will be on display in the science building. He also saw Joshua’s new Vertex offices in Boston. “Beautiful and, I’m told, has more square feet than the Prudential Tower,” says Mike.

“In my continuing efforts to become the worst golfer in history, I enjoyed some rounds with Tom Halsey ’72 and Rob Calhoun ’72, as well as Wendy Kravitz,” says Mike. He says his children are well and working in San Francisco. His son, Jake, got married last fall in Sonoma. Jake and his wife, Annie, asked him to officiate, so he got his Universal Life Minister certificate. “I’m finally ordained!” says Mike. “It was really meaningful—outdoors, perfect weather. After leaving Google, Jake joined a start-up digital communications firm and loves it.” After graduating from Middlebury, Mike’s daughter, Lee, became a ski instructor at Jackson Hole for a year and then followed her brother west, where she also is in digital advertising.

While Mike was in San Francisco, he had lunch and caught up with Harold Sogard ’74, who is CEO of an ad agency there. He had just returned from his Wesleyan Reunion and is yet another alumnus with a Cardinal daughter. Mike says he talks regularly with John Hoder, George Doran, and others in the class. “I continue to be amazed by what everyone is doing and realize how lucky I am to know them,” he says.

And what a positive way to wrap up these notes. Until next time,

PETER D’OENCH | Pgdo10@aol.com

CLASS OF 1973 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Steve Kallaugher writes that he’ll be returning to Wesleyan “for the first time in years” this November, as he’s been invited to speak at the African Innovation Summit, which is being put on by the African Students Association. He is still running Young Heroes, the organization he founded in Swaziland. “We’re now supporting just over 1,000 orphans with monthly social transfer grants, medical care, and vocational/business training. I run a great trip there every year. People should check it out at swazicycle.dojiggy.com and join us next year.”

Steve says he has also “done gigs” in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan since he last wrote, working for a large agricultural organization. Otherwise, he says he is living “a quiet life” in rural New England, where he hikes the woods with his dogs and tends his new wildflower meadow and occasionally gets back on stage. “I just closed in Julius Caesar, in which I played the man himself,” says Steve.

Donald Zilkha tells me he has spent most of his career as an entrepreneur shifting focus and investment styles to “suit what seemed to work to build a comfortable lifestyle for my family while safeguarding my reputation.” He says, “I have weathered various financial storms and seem to have done reasonably well.” He says he has three sons and a wife “whom I truly enjoy.” And our heartfelt thanks to Donald for all he’s done for Wesleyan over the years.

Remember our 25th Class Reunion in 1998 when David Feldman led us through some innovative exercises with his harmonica and how he encouraged us to join him during his demonstration? Sixteen years later, David, who also calls himself “David Harp,” is still very busy with motivational techniques. He teaches students in New York about harmonica-based mindfulness. He also tells them about mindful breathing exercises and says he offers a few new HarMantras and “Kirtans” (spiritual songs for harmonica, in the Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist traditions). He says you can find out more information by going to davidharp.com.

David also writes: “New-work-wise, I’m finishing an advanced beginner to advanced level harmonica book and two-CD set for Hal Leonard Music. And (after testing it out on myself, then on my private phone and Skype clients this past year), I’ve just started unveiling—at Kripalu Yoga Center, and soon at the New York Open Center—my new work on applying mindfulness techniques to issues around what I call ‘the preference, desire, habit, and addiction continuum.’” He says the new work is “applicable to issues around unuseful needs or cravings of any sort: diet, attention, money, sex, love, risk, etc.” David also planned to conduct a one-day public workshop Sept. 6th at the Open Center. It was going to include blues, rock, folk, and classical harmonica (with emphasis on the first two styles).

I’ve now been at WFOR-TV, a CBS-owned station here in Doral since September 2007 and everything continues to go well. As an “older” reporter I focus as much as I can on enterprise stories and have found there is some advantage to being older. I tend to receive more news tips because I’ve been around longer and fortunately, more people trust me. So, no retirement in sight yet.

Look forward to hearing more of your news.

PETER D’OENCH | Pgdo10@aol.com

CLASS OF 1973 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Phil Levien writes that “It was quite a year for my wife, Darlene, and me! Both of our children got married. Our daughter, Katie, married her longtime beau, Jason Babineau. They are settled in San Diego, where she works in social media for SONY, and where she and Jason met seven years ago. Our son, Josh, married his sweetheart, Simone Wyrick, and they are in New York, where he is working in digital marketing for Universal Music.” Phil says he also performed a 10-minute monologue written by his wife for a local charity event. It was a site-specific show based on a local historical figure. “It was the fourth time I’ve played a role she created and the first time I have acted for anyone but my students in almost 20 years,” he says. “I had a great time! Perhaps, I’ll do some more acting when I retire from my wonderful day job: teaching.”

Dana Barrows tells me “all is well” and he is still living in West Springfield, Mass., where he has been since starting law school in 1974. He has been with Northwestern Mutual more than 38 years as estate and business planning specialist. He says he is focusing on working with “high net worth entrepreneurs on all aspects of their personal business and estate planning.” He had navigated rotator surgery on both shoulders the past year-and-a-half and is pleased to say he is playing “quality golf again and will ski all winter.” Dana says his four daughters are “thriving, as are my two granddaughters living in West Hartford. I see them often. They are a joy and most precious gift.” Dana says he was “present for the thrilling victory over Williams for the Little Three championship, an elegant day on our beautiful campus.”

Rich Jasper enjoyed seeing folks at the 40th Reunion. “As the years pass,” he writes, “I am ever more thankful to have attended Wesleyan. I am particularly proud of the Wesleyan commitment to minorities during the turbulent 1960s. It was fascinating to view segments of the Grateful Dead in concert May, 1970. What a freshman year.” Rich says he was a panelist at Harvard Law School, Oct. 9th, 2013. The topic was capital punishment in America. Rich has been involved in federal capital defense for the last 20 years. He called it a “productive discussion of the issues.” He represented the defense perspective. He said a former federal prosecutor who tried Oklahoma City bombers represented the government perspective.

David Feldman has been doing a lot of work helping Mike Robinson, who is coping with Parkinson’s Disease. He writes, “From bringing him to our 40th class Reunion (and getting my car towed from in front of Granny Hale and Rich Jasper’s hotel in Hartford, and having to spend the night with Mike on Granny’s couch (Note to Self: Bring earplugs next time you sleep on Granny’s couch; he snores) to Mike’s surprise birthday party on July 22 in New Haven (with a lot of WesU brothers in attendance, along with Mike’s extended family), he’s the one I stay in most touch with.” David has seen Mike at least four times since our Reunion. “Since I was able to help get him physical therapy, his speech, eating, and ability to move have improved markedly—I’m very happy about that,” David says.

He also says his newest program, which he is teaching at the New York Open Center, is called Harmonica-Based Mindfulness. Its central thesis: “Breathing focus is the core practice of mindfulness, since it is the most reliable way to short-circuit unuseful fight or flight responses which cause anger and fear. When one cannot control anger or fear, mindfulness is impossible. The harmonica is the easiest way to teach groups or individuals breathing focus. Once breathing focus skills are achieved (called pranayama in yoga or Buddhist teaching), and anger and fear controlled, the more advanced steps of mindfulness become relatively easy. To find out more, go to: harmonicabasedmindfulness.com.” David is also doing a lot of work with thanatology (death and grieving issues), attending many funerals. His final deep thoughts: “Let old arguments and distancing go by, contact your friends and loved ones, apologize or explain as need be, and stay current with those you care about.”

Tom Pfeiffer also enjoyed seeing many of you at the 40th Reunion, adding “I’m alive and kickin’ up here in Wisconsin after an unusually long winter that is loath to give way to spring.”

David Swanson is a grandfather: “Our first grandchild came into the light at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan July 2013. How wonderful!”

On that note, my oldest daughter, Jennifer, is expecting a second child named Zoey at this writing in April, so Connie and I will soon be grandparents for a second time. Our first granddaughter, Taylor, is 14.

John Bocachica tells me he is in “semi-retirement” and notes he is “only working a few days per month by choice and looking forward to my 40th anniversary with my dear bride.”

pETER D’OENCH | Pgdo10@aol.com

Class of 1973 | 2014 | Issue 1

Interventional Cardiologist Dr. John Robb, who directs the Interventional Cardiology Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, is making national news. According to the D-H publication Skylight, John is heading up a clinical trial  that “will further test the safety and efficacy of a procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).” It’s part of “a national research effort to find more effective treatment options for people with aortic stenosis…a narrowing in the heart valve that occurs over time due to calcification and the process of aging.” John is shown with a huge smile on his face, flanked by a cardiothoracic surgeon and a 92-year-old patient. The caption notes, “The promising new minimally-invasive procedure gives hope to patients” like the man mentioned “who are too frail to undergo surgery to replace their valve.” John’s excellent work may one day benefit a number of us and other Wesleyan alumni.

The Virginia Gazette notes that John Spike, an expert on the artists Caravaggio and Mattia Preti and the chief coordinator at Muscarelle Museum of Art, has begun “to study the history of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John and those who had been appointed to it.” The Order has its roots in the 11th century, and its members provide hospital and ambulance service in many countries. Sovereign leader or the order is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who founded and still maintains the Eye Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem, which cares for patients regardless of their ability to pay for treatment.”

Now as a result of his work, John has been appointed as a member. He calls this a “delightful surprise,” adding, “It is certainly encouraging that academic studies of history can be viewed as having broader social consequence and value.” John is also an honorary member of the City of Taverna, the birthplace of Preti.

Bruce Fergusson writes “I’m still pursuing the Muse—or is it the other way around? My latest novel, Pass on the Cup of Dreams, is now available as an e-book and in paper, for those who haven’t been Kindled yet. Last year, Morgan’s Mill—which weaves history of the Civil War and Underground Railroad into a contemporary narrative of suspense—was published.” He says “I’d be curious to get a grade on that one from Professor Emeritus Richard Slotkin, whose American Studies course I took junior year, to see if I got the history right. More at brucefergusson.com.” Bruce says he and his wife Angelica “have (mostly) filled our empty nest with a rescue dog who is as sweet as she is smart. Who rescued whom?, indeed.” He says his son, Jonathon, is working in Tokyo and his son, Patrick (who played rugby at Union), passed the New York bar and is now working in D.C. as an attorney and “good-guy lobbyist for a nonprofit.” Bruce says his son, Brian will be graduating from the University of Puget Sound next year, and wants to go into law enforcement.” He was glad that the 2013 football team won the Little Three Championship, calling it “an event that happens with less frequency than earthquakes in Seattle.”

Steve Young tells me that he retired last September from the Foreign Service after 33 years. He spent this past fall in the family home in New Hampshire and was planning to move with his wife to San Francisco in early 2014.” Steve says “I plan to look for something to do out there” as his wife will continue running NRDC’s Asia Program.” Steve was named a Distinguished Alumnus at our 40th Reunion in May.

And speaking of our 40th Reunion, I’m told that I did not mention everyone who made the journey to Middletown.

Dr. Wayne Barber travelled a long distance to join us. He flew in from Honolulu where he works in Otology at Queens Hospital. “Call me if you have an ear ache on your vacation,” he says, adding he recently hosted the Dean of Admissions “as she extolled the virtues of Wesleyan to a large group of Oahu high school counselors.” Wayne has been in touch with many of you and has a lot of news. He writes that “Larry Gaston, MD, practices dermatology in Baltimore, still looks young, fit, and trim. Dr. James Howard practices clinical psychology in Oakland, caring for deserving vets. Al Smith and his lovely wife drove up from Harlem where he is helping create a new renaissance in his community.” He says Al is “widely regarding as an influential architect in his community” and “praised the rigorous curriculum at Wes for his success at Columbia School of Architecture.” Wayne also says, “The richness of Harlem’s culture has no better champion than Peter Harper.” He says Peter is a writer formerly with the Wall Street Journal and is now in New York City and a “newly confirmed vegetarian.” He also said it was good to see Steve Sadowy ’74 at the Reunion dinner and reports that Lance Simmons is an attorney in Philadelphia.

Wayne also says Brad Wilkinson, MD, retired from his family practice in Durham, Conn. “I suppose he is sailing in Maine and visiting his grandchildren in Vietnam,” he writes. “He told me that Bill Gillespie, MD, is VP of a major health insurance company in Hartford. Out west, Ron Johnson, MD, retired from a busy retina practice, lives in Orinda, an avid golfer and traveler. Our great miler, Tim Warner, is a VP at Stanford University. He still runs passionately, looks great and very fit.” He also reports that Jeff Schneider is an MD in dermatology near San Francisco and Steve Lum, M.D., “is an endocrinologist in the beautiful pristine town of Kailua in Oahu…favorite vacation site for our President.”

My thanks to Wayne Barber and Wesleyan’s Cynthia Rockwell for reaching out to you.

PETER D’OENCH
Pgdo10@aol.com

ELMO MICHAEL WILLARD ’73

The first-born child of Elmo Riley Willard, III and Patricia Ann Willard, Elmo Michael Willard, was born on November 17, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois–his mother’s hometown. As a newborn, Michael moved with his parents to Washington, DC, where his father began law school. His first three years were spent in the nation’s capital.

In 1954, the young family relocated to Beaumont, Texas, and shortly thereafter, Michael began school at Our Mother of Mercy Elementary. In 1965, following completion of the eighth grade, he embarked upon an illustrious four years at Hebert High School. During his time there, Michael participated in numerous activities including debate, junior varsity basketball and his true passion, golf. In his senior year, Michael was co-captain of the varsity golf team. His success at Hebert, however, was not confined solely to extracurricular activities, for he was inducted into the National Honor Society during his junior year. The following year, 1969, Michael was graduated from high school as a National Achievement Scholar.

As a result of his scholastic standing, Michael was recruited by Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut,–a part of what is referred to as the “Little Ivy League”–and was awarded a partial scholarship. His appearance in Connecticut was noteworthy. Michael was part of the newly burgeoning wave of African-American students attending Ivy League colleges for the first time in large numbers in the nation’s history. He helped open the doors of opportunity to African-Americans for generations to come. In 1973, Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University.

Upon graduation, Michael returned to the city of his earliest years by enrolling in Georgetown University Law Center located in Washington, DC. But law was not to be his calling, and soon after Michael returned to his hometown of Beaumont.

After deep reflection, Michael decided that he needed a complete change of direction. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1979. That proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Michael successfully completed basic training and was shipped to Germany for assignment. It was in Germany that his mental disability of schizophrenia was diagnosed. That illness would alter the course of his remaining years. Michael was twenty-eight.

The next several years were fraught with tension and discomfort as he fought to contain and understand the illness that was slowly gaining control of his life. It must be said that Michael fought valiantly. There were deep reserves of courage and strength within him.

In 1997, Michael moved to Houston where he found some measure of comfort and peace. He chose to live in a personal care home which allowed him independence while providing a safe and secure living environment. Michael garnered joy from the love of his family, his church and belief in God, and his newly formed friendships at The Gathering Place. Although his was not a life he would have chosen, he found contentment in his later years. Elmo Michael Willard departed peacefully in his sleep on Friday, January 21, 2005.

The gift of Michael’s life is celebrated by all whose lives he touched. He was preceded in death by his father, Elmo R. Willard, III, Esq. and is mourned by his mother, Patricia A. Willard; his brother, David A. Willard; his aunt, Shirley R. Simeon, PhD; his cousins, Percy Willard, Joyce Willard, Blandon Willard, Joy Willard, Nora Lee Alexander, Quentin C. Simeon, Mark J. Simeon, Lawrence Green, Monica Brown, Stephanie Campbell, Mary Quash, William Quash, Shawn Quash, Vaughn Quash, and many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Michael’s memory to the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program, PMB 46, 148 S. Dowlen Rd., Beaumont, TX 77707-9898.

ROBERT T. SULESKE ’73

ROBERT T. SULESKE, a biochemist and musician, died Jan. 17, 2004 at age 52. Among those who survive are his mother, a sister, and a nephew and niece.

MYRON D. MOSS ’73

Music program director and associate professor at Drexel University, died July 2, 2012. He was 60. A specialist in African American composers, he received his PhD from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at Drexel, he was music department chair and director of bands at Southern Connecticut State University, and an invited guest conductor at Yale University, the Hartt School, and the University of Michigan. His parents, Sonya Kleider and Robert I. Moss survive, as do his sisters and two nephews.

PETER J. LIPTON ’73

PETER J. LIPTON, 53, the Hans Rausing Professor and Head of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King’s College, died Nov. 25, 2007. After receiving his degree cum laude, he received his PhD from the University of Oxford. He taught at Williams College and then returned to England, where he joined the University of Cambridge. He lectured and published widely, and he was an extraordinarily popular teacher, supervising students at all levels. He was recognized as one of the leading epistemologists and philosophers of science in the world. His philosophical interests included the structures of explanation and inference in science, the nature of scientific progress, social epistemology, science and religion, and various topics in biomedical ethics. He was also a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and chaired its working party on pharmacogenetics. He was the author ofInference to the Best Explanation and was the 2004 Medawar Prize Lecturer of the Royal Society. He is survived by his wife, Diana Lipton, two sons, and his mother.