Class of 1980 | 2014 | Issue 1

The call for class notes echoed with these victories and personal homecomings.

I learned that Marty Saggese was nominated for Top Association CEO for his leadership of the Society for Neuroscience since 2002. Under his direction, the group’s annual meeting is now one of the largest scientific gatherings in the U.S. He increased the profitability of the group’s flagship scholarly journal, and last year the group launched, an informational website that has already started winning awards. This is what the nominators had to say about him: “Saggese effuses that rare combination of charisma, innovation, rigor and attention to detail…Few associations in the USA today can boast of such a leader.”

Julia “Tag” Wu Trethaway writes: “In early July I was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and the doctors told me I was at Stage 4, as the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. At first I was shocked, but I was lucky enough to have an ‘in’ at Sloan Kettering and three days after I was diagnosed I was seen by the top esophageal oncologist in the entire world, so that was my first blessing. I also feel incredibly lucky because I have terrific health care through the Hotchkiss School and they gave me a paid medical leave for the first semester. I started chemotherapy right away in July, but the cancer kept growing until I couldn’t swallow or eat and had to use a feeding tube for two weeks while being hospitalized. Then at the end of July, after two chemo treatments, the drugs kicked in and the tumor started shrinking and I gained back all my weight (at 100 lbs. normally, I was down to 89). Yay! I stopped using the feeding tube at the end of August and last week at the end of October they yanked the tube out (literally)! I continue to feel blessed on this journey that we call life through all the twists and turns we all face daily, monthly, yearly. I have learned not to judge others: everyone has a story. I feel blessed with a devoted husband (Tom Trethaway) of almost 30 years (this June 2014) and two grown children who are both employed in New York City (one at Sotheby’s and one at Davis Polk) and both are economically independent, whew. I have no idea what the future will bring. I know I am a BAMF and will beat this eventually, but for now I am soaking in every minute of every day knowing that I am blessed with a loving and supportive family, mounds of friends like some of you who remember me from the late ’70s, and first-rate health care at MSKCC. How lucky that I didn’t get hit by a bus or get maimed in a car bomb! Blessings to all of you out there. (P.S. I’d love to hear your ‘story’; feel free to e-mail me at”

David Hafter writes: “With James Marcus ’81, Kathy Bergeron, Vic Tredwell,and I had a band back at Wesleyan named Wealth of Nations. I had some of my best college times playing with these people. Over the (gulp) decades, I have performed alone and infrequently, playing fundraisers here and there. All the while, however, I had myself in ‘training’ for the day when I might be able to get back in a band. When my son, Noah, moved out for school and beyond (he’s now almost 21 and also a singer/songwriter), I started playing in public more often in Davis and Sacramento, Calif. I met up with other local musicians and, long story short, resurrected the Wealth of Nations name with new bandmates. We play my originals, Beatles, the Band, Grateful Dead and more. I’m having a great time with guys my age who, like me, never stopped playing.”

Mark Zitter writes: “I spent a few weeks of vacation this past summer with my family in Europe. We had a great time in London, where I had dinner with our classmate Scott Phillips. He’s been living in London for about 15 years, and at this point his English is excellent. Scott has a bunch of kids—I lost track of how many, maybe four?—but they’ve basically survived his parenting and left the nest. Now his wife, Crystal, has to put up with him without any distractions. Not sure how that’s going but she was out of the country when I visited.”

David Gould writes: “Very nice to read your look-back at what sounds like a fine year. My story is similar. After graduation my whole tilt was toward New York and away from native Boston (Needham). Lived in Manhattan, lived in SW Connecticut, raised a son and daughter, worked in magazines, media (travel, golf), editing, consulting all that good stuff. Was married all that time to a Wes ’80; our marriage ended in fall of 2009, I moved back to Mass. (Falmouth, then Needham), went to LOTS of Red Sox games, usually last-minute on impulse… knew all along that I missed the Boston/eastern New England cultural whatever-it-is but had no idea how much.”

Suzi Shedd writes: “I’m happy to say that Bob Purvis ’72 and I moved into our new home—with a big view of the Worcester Range (a sub-range of the Green Mountains) at the end of August. We are located between one of my brothers and my parents, so neighborhood association meetings on our dirt road are known as ‘family dinner.’”

Susan Kravit-Smith writes: “My victory this year was one I shared with the State of Washington, where I have lived since 1981: I married my partner of 18 years. We legally wed as soon after the marriage equality vote as we could (12/12/12) and then had a marriage celebration in July 2013. We had an outdoor ceremony in my gardens with 200 people, live music throughout the ceremony, and a 12–piece funk band afterwards, with dancing under the stars! It was a magical time, wonderful to celebrate with old and new, straight and gay, 3- to 85-year-old friends and relatives. Everyone was so happy to share this new freedom with us. My 13-year-old daughter put it well when she quoted John Lennon at the ceremony: ‘It matters not who you love, but that you love.’”

Alan Jacobs writes: “I’m ‘living the dream’ in Hollywood, running an entertainment company that produces films and manages talent. There is a large, well-documented but unexplainable Wesleyan Mafia out here in Hollywood (see the Film Center walls for details). We’ve had some wonderful summer interns/future Mafia members from Wesleyan over the years, especially this last summer (Jenna Robbins ’13 and Zoe Broad ’14). Biggest Wesleyan trip: Learning that my son Ron ’16 is friends with Matan Koplin-Green ’16, son of my buddy Jeff Green. None of the creative writing classes I took at Wesleyan or… prepared me to imagine that!”