Hello, Class of 1998! I’m writing this installment of Class Notes on a cross-country plane back home to San Francisco. I spent today back at Wes during Homecoming & Family Weekend, so I feel the Wesleyan spirit pretty acutely right now! For this California native, it was as special seeing the fall foliage as I drove to Middletown from New York as it was to simply be on campus again. It’s been well over a decade since I was at Wes in the autumn and it was fun to be back during a time where the promise and excitement of the new academic year is so palpable.
I made the trip to campus for an advisory board meeting of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Makaela Kingsley, the Center’s new director, is doing an excellent job leading the organization and it feels like we have so much potential to make this Center a hallmark of the Wesleyan experience. To me, it simply makes sense to harness the spirit of social and civic engagement so prevalent in all Wesleyan students and channel it to make a real impact through new models in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Anthony Veneziale, his partner Caricia Catalani, and daughter Jettaya returned to New York after working on a tuberculosis project with Indiana University in Kenya and Rwanda. He spends time in New York City with Thomas Kail ’99, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, and Bill Sherman ’02 for their improv rap show, Freestyle Love Supreme. Anthony occasionally sees Abe Forman-Greenwald in Los Angeles and looks forward to catching Giants games in San Francisco when Tom Kawano comes to town.
Another of our class making her impact on the world is Lauren Berliner, who finished a PhD in communication at UC, San Diego. Her dissertation about media pedagogy was based on work facilitating a film program for queer youth. After completing her PhD, Lauren and her partner, Minda Martin, moved to Seattle, where she is now assistant professor in interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell.
David Edelstein is “living the good life in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, while telecommuting to Japan to help support a global network for peace.” David’s two sons keep him and his wife quite busy and very happy.
Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Daniel Gilbert has just published a new book, Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency.
My co-class secretary, Jason Becton, has some exciting news to share. He and his husband, Patrick Evans, finalized the adoption for their second daughter, Elizabeth Elaine, in September. She joins 2-year-old Marian, who is thrilled to have a little sister to complete the Becton-Evans family.
Adam Hinds moved back to New York after two years in Jerusalem with the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Before Jerusalem, Adam spent two years in Iraq as team leader of a UN-led negotiation on disputed internal boundaries in northern Iraq. In New York he is switching gears and taking on a “very easy” assignment: the Syria crisis.
Peter Isbister lives in Decatur, Ga., with his wife, Robyn Painter, and their 3-1/2-year-old daughter, Mira. They regularly see Rachel Wellborn, as well as David Lubell and his family, who also live in Decatur.
As for me, in addition to my new role supporting Makaela at the Patricelli Center and waxing nostalgic about Wesleyan in the fall in these notes and on Twitter, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between San Francisco (home), Asia, and New Jersey, in my role as vice president of social responsibility for The Children’s Place. I’m excited for my next visit to New Jersey so I can visit with Neil Seth and his wife, Sylvie, who just moved to Hoboken.
MARCUS CHUNG and Jason Becton