Welcome to the expanded version of Wes ’80 Class Notes where the more complete version of our classmates’ entries are here for you to enjoy.
John Snook writes: I have been volunteering at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York for 22 and one half years. I had previously volunteered for over sixteen years at Lenox Hill Hospital (also in New York). I have not kept in touch with too many classmates except Jim Burnett (also class of 1980).
Michael Shulman writes: I live in Ann Arbor, unexpected boom-town of the rust belt, with my wife and our two daughters. My wife is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, as I am. We’ve been in Ann Arbor since our meeting in grad school, except for an 8 year sojourn in Boca Raton, where we lived quite differently, grew mangoes and grapefruit, but ended up longing to return to a place where the intellect stood a better chance of growing. Since leaving Wes, I’ve stayed in touch with Becky Hayden, Todd Martin, Randy Baron, Christian Herold and Amanda Hardy. I would love to hear from Karen Murgolo, Claudia Lewis, Leda Hartman, Bradley Hess, or my COL mates from ’80 or ’81. Paul Schwaber and I, both psychoanalysts, have been in frequent touch in the past decade, despite having lost touch for the 2 before. A most wonderful recent reunion was sitting down with Henry Abelove in NYC, where we were presenting at the same conference. Maybe pleasantest of all was hearing Henry’s account of his post-Wesleyan stints at ivy-covered schools whose students, however brilliant, preferred silent to vocal engagement.
Susan Kravit writes: I have been living in Olympia, WA since 1985. I work as a Mental Health Counselor in my private practice specializing in treating trauma related problems, primarily with EMDR therapy. In 2012 I married my then partner of 18 years, Kathryn. We have a 14 year old daughter. I also raise Flat-Coated Retrievers and use them as therapy dogs in my practice. I get together with Elizabeth Sanders (’78?) in Seattle from time to time, in fact we recently attended a Sweet Honey in the Rock concert together and were discussing our days at Wesleyan over dinner. The man at the next table came over and introduced himself and let us know he had been in Elizabeth’s class at Wesleyan!
Wendy Davis Beard writes: While still based in Sydney with our year12 daughter we travelled to New York last June to enroll Eliza in a three week summer program at Columbia University whilst in America during the summer for the first time in many years, we took the opportunity to visit family in Cape Cod and Pam Mitchell(nee Wheeler’80) in Maine which was a real treat as her husband Mark, a volunteer fireman, was able to carry me up and down the steep stairs to their beautiful sea front home. While able to climb a few steps with my quad stick, a whole flight is still a very big challenge. This past December whilst visiting my husbands’ family in London, including two older daughters and two little granddaughters, we had a lovely lunch with Peter Eisenhardt ’80 who has been based in London with his family for over thirty years! I continue to write my memoir of recovery from cancer (now complete) and from my disabling stroke, a recovery which is ongoing-and am also writing fiction. Meanwhile, Peter has written an award winning screen play.
David Hafter writes: Like many of us at this age, I am dealing with aging parents and all that goes along with it. No reason to go into details; those of you sharing these challenges have your own stories and I have mine. The great joy in my life is playing with my band, Wealth of Nations. Some of you may remember the original line up at Wesleyan: James Marcus, Kathy Bergeron, Vic Tredwell and myself. I have resurrected the name and Wealth now plays shows in and around the Davis/Sacramento area. This is tremendous fun for me and serves as a tonic to the stresses of daily life. We play my originals, favorite covers and a fair amount of Grateful Dead. For a Deadhead like myself, the fun in playing this music and watching people dance joyously to it cannot be overstated…
Andrew McKenna writes: Jacquie and I continue to raise two very bright and talented girls who are now in middle school and bringing home new challenges daily. Over the past 2 years, Jacquie had taken advantage of some of the contacts we made while living in South Africa for 7 months in 2012, and has now started importing and selling some of the beaded animals and other African artwork we found so appealing while we were over there. See www.zimbu.us Jacquie is also consulting with GFA in Hamburg on a project in India supporting the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency in their efforts to put a German provided line of credit facility to work in the Indian markets for renewable energy. I’m still running Bella Energy as well in our efforts to developing, financing, and installing commercial and utility scale Photovoltaic projects, mostly for third party owners who sell the energy to non-profit entities. Our current projects are located in California, Colorado, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York State, and Maryland, so it would seem we’ve become a nationwide business. www.bellaenergy.com I’m also scheduled this coming June to return to Nikumaroro in the Phoenix Islands as a team member of the TIGHAR Amelia Earhart Expedition, continuing our investigation into the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan. This time we intend to deploy a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) down to 620 ft to examine an anomaly in the sonar survey that was completed in 2012, as well as survey by SCUBA parts of the reef downhill from an object photographed on the reef flat in 1937. Should be a great adventure! Keep your fingers crossed, if we find what we’re looking for, it will be big news. see www.tighar.org
Gary Gilyard writes:
I was so sorry to hear about Julia Wu. I will always remember her smiling, and full of energy…..so sad. My wife Linda and I just returned from taking our youngest Shelby W16 back to school yesterday. She is a Biology major and plays Lacrosse for Wesleyan. So far she has lived exactly where I lived when I was a student. This year is William Street. I always love to be back at Wes. She is our youngest, the middle daughter just got married 6 months ago and lives in Phoenix (hopefully temporarily), and the oldest is in Chicago. I can’t believe this will be our 35th reunion it really doesn’t feel like that long, but neither did my 30th wedding anniversary this past May. We will be back for homecoming as well as the reunion! My practice is going well. I am an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Detroit Medical Center specializing in Sports Medicine. I love what I do and am not even beginning to think about slowing down. My wife is a NICU nurse at the University of Michigan. I’m really looking forward to seeing as many classmates as possible this May.
Pam Keon writes:
Thanks for sharing the very sad news about Tag. She touched so many lives in too short a time. My life is full. Although I’ve not had many opportunities to see Wes friends over the years, I was very lucky to reconnect recently with wonderful Lisa Kaufman, who I’d not seen since graduation day. Over an all too brief lunch here in Mill Valley, sitting by the water in the company of her lovely husband Peter, we attempted to catch up on the past 34 years. It was an impossible but delightful task.
I am in the throes of trying to batten down the hatches as I head off in a few days for our first family vacation in 13 years! My son Will and my daughter Mollie and I are meeting in Ecuador to visit the Galapagos – a trip of a lifetime for us. Mollie just earned her undergraduate degree from Emerson, and Will just earned his graduate degree from Harvard, so it’s an unusual moment in time when everyone is in transition and not fully tied down by vocational obligations.
In order to keep my “day job” from being all-consuming, I spend my time doing a range of other things that gratify me. I sing in a women’s chorus, which is going to Rome in March to sing a mass at the Vatican. Inspired by the photo documentation of Scott Phillips’s exploits I have committed to take golf lessons for the first time – other than that one-quarter PE class I took at WES for an easy credit. (What made it particularly “easy” is that I think I only attended twice but still passed!) I’m on the board of the local historical society, working with the City to develop a historical preservation ordinance. As a volunteer at the library, I have been developing a database of local historical structures, and also coordinate donations and acquisitions for the history room. When I can, I volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children who are dependents of the court. I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful area, and my two Australian Shepherds are eager hiking companions.
I am definitely experiencing the “sandwich generation,” as I am responsible for my demented father while sending encouragement to my children as they take wing. I also spend a great deal of time helping one of my sisters who just became the single parent of twins, and thoroughly enjoy being able to indulge in holding babies without all the responsibilities that accompany parenting young children.
Having recently had my 56th birthday, I’m beginning to suspect that there are certain things that may not actually happen in my life. There’s a strong possibility that I will not become a fighter pilot, a premiere ballerina, or a US ambassador. As I look around however, I’m content with what I have done and feel blessed by each day that comes.
Alan Jacobs writes:
Recently, I did the math and realized that I would have two kids in college for seven consecutive years. Apparently, we forgot to do that math when we were starting a family. Gil is graduating this year from Brandeis, Ron is a junior at Wesleyan, Avia is a senior in high school, being recruited/pushed by her dad to play soccer somewhere in the northeast next fall, and Guy is a freshman in high school. I’m having a great time in the entertainment business here in Los Angeles. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many talented and inspiring people and though my heart will always be in New York, it’s been a great place to raise kids and make movies. Along the way, my company has provided summer internships to over a dozen Wesleyan students, most recently Ming Zhu ’15, Zoe Broad ’14 and Jenna Robbins ’13.
Scott Hecker writes:
Greetings from San Diego, which has now been home for over 10 years for me and my family (wife Gail, daughter Claire (13) and son Niall (11). Twenty years after leaving my cushy job at Pfizer to join the crazy world of biotech start-ups, and after twice experiencing the high of going public only to be dashed by seeing the stock price go through the floor, I finally have a modicum of success to report. My latest company, Rempex Pharmaceuticals, was acquired in December 2013 by The Medicines Company (headquartered in New Jersey). We have discovered and are developing a new antibiotic to deal with those nasty bacteria in hospitals that you keep hearing about. And, unlike most biotech acquisitions, we all still have our jobs! We spent a few days in New York this summer, and one of the highlights was seeing The Lion King on Broadway, with Robert Levin (’82 I think) performing one of the feature drum parts. Hoping that Wesleyan will invite Urban Renewal back to play at reunion/commencement in 2015 or 2016!
Al Spohn writes:
I’m into year 24 of doing IT at the Mayo Clinic. Married with kids aged 2,6 and 8… I’ve essentially become the grandfather that can’t run away. Not much else to report. Oh, I also accepted an adjunct faculty position at the Minnesota College of Art and Design this fall.
Jenny Anne Horst-Martz writes:
I am living and working in Philadelphia, where I am a project manager at a law firm. My husband of more than twenty years is a teacher at a Friends school, and we have two kids. My daughter, Emma, is off to Connecticut College, where Katherine Bergeron ’80 – a fellow Catholic feminist of the Fr. Charlie Gonzalez era – is the new college president. It was great to see Katherine again at move-in day, and to hear that Brad Moss ’80 is also sending his son to Connecticut College this year. Some of you may not be aware that Connecticut College for Women was founded in 1911 when Wes kicked the women out. Now, both schools are coed with similar missions, but I’ll tell you, the campus at Connecticut College is even more beautiful than Wesleyan, and it retains a good deal of spunk from its origins, embracing the dromedary as its mascot. Go Camels! I remain in touch with the French House gang, including Ina Shea, Ken MacElwain, Tak Tamagawa, Sarah (Shull) Peterson, and Doron Henkin, and with Marty Saggese. I live around the corner from Deb Lipschutz. My primary care doctor attended Wes, too, and Chris Satullo and Jane Eisner have been fixtures in Philadelphia journalism and nonprofits for years. I always say that it might be six degrees of separation in New York, but in Philadelphia, it’s one.
Susan Tietjen writes:
As I think this is the first and only time I have submitted notes, I will provide a brief timeline of my past 35 years. (Boy, was that scary to write!)
After graduation, one year in NYC as paralegal with Davis, Polk & Wardwell. Then, one year studying in Marburg, Germany on a Rotary Scholarship. Then, University of Michigan Law School, J.D. ’85. One year of studies in Hamburg, Germany. Six years practicing corporate law with Shearman & Sterling in NYC. Moved to Prague, Czech Republic in 1992 and lived there until 2003. Practiced law there with Altheimer & Gray for five years, then with Weil, Gotshal & Manges for five years. Met my husband, Bob Votel, a fellow American, there and married in 2001. In 2003, we adopted identical infant twin boys, Nikolas and Gabriel. They are of Roma descent and are now 12. At the end of 2003, we moved to Minneapolis, where I have been a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) ever since, except for 2007-2010, when I was a SAHM in Hong Kong. Now, back in Minneapolis and managing hockey practice, baseball practice, soccer practice, music lessons, Boy Scouts and various therapies for my boys.
KIMBERLY OFRIA SELBY | firstname.lastname@example.org