CLASS OF 1990 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Hi, all. We start with a Reunion mini-summary from committee co-chair Nick Meyer, who writes: “Our 25th Reunion was held on a glorious May weekend in Middletown and it was great to see so many faces make it to campus. There were more than 155 of us there and it really helped our Reunion co-chairs Jen Wasserstein Daniels and Tom Tullio that our friend and classmate Chuck Fedolfi works at Wes! Thanks, Chuck, for all the work that made the weekend such a success. Some highlights included: a Friday night cocktail party in Olin, Saturday afternoon picnic and hanging out on Foss Hill—awesome!, and hearing my freshman hallmate professor Larry Jackson of Emory, give a lecture in Fisk, the Saturday evening shindig in Beckham Hall of Fayerweather (formerly known as the small gym). There was a really special vibe of people reconnecting and catching up on the quarter century that has passed since we left the cocoon of our collegiate experience. And being there graduation weekend was just a reminder of how special that place and time was for so many of us. For me, another really great highlight was seeing so many of us who spent the fall of ’88 in Madrid! Many more people we were all happy to see and hang with…but don’t think I would stay in the dorms again…nice idea in theory…and nothing makes you more convinced that you are resoundingly middle-aged than to run into an old friend like Sam Paik hanging out with his daughter, who is in the class of ’17. Wow. Thanks, again, to everyone who made it and those who didn’t or couldn’t spend Memorial Day Weekend on campus but were there in spirit. Was really fun.”

Also sharing what a great time he had at Reunion is Andy Siff, who attended with baby Pauline (two months), son Zeke (4), and his wife Dawn. “We enjoyed catching up with Nikki Boyle and her husband, Tim Boyle ’89, and their son Mitch, (16), who did a great job watching Zeke during family swim at Freeman. Also had a terrific brunch at O’Rourkes, where we caught up with Brad Whitford ’81. Enjoyed the Zak Penn/Owen Renfroe/Matt Greenfield panel on cinema and TV. Also spent time swapping stories with Gerry Grosz, Eric GreeneBrian GottesmanBill Sherman and of course, Reunion guru Tom Tullio.” Andy is still working in news (at WNBC) as a general assignment reporter with focus on mass transit issues.

Ruben (“Bengy”) BallesterosBen Robertson and Zak Penn also each wrote to describe great Reunion weekends at Wes. Bengy remains a staff attorney at Legal Aid near Baltimore, specializing in juvenile law. Ben noted that “our classmates are doing amazing things” and that he “was surprised to learn that Denise J. Casper was the presiding judge in the recent case of Whitey Bulger in Boston.” Zak’s notes were (once again) unprintable but I can say that he and his wife, Michele Weiss, were happy to be at Wes with Jana Brainard Augsberger and Annie Shapiro Tirschwell.

Bummed to have had to miss Reunion (as I was as well) was Jonah Pesner, who, as many of you know, has moved with his family to D.C. for his big, new job as the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), the Washington, D.C., advocacy and social justice arm of North America’s largest Jewish movement. As described on the Union for Reform Judaism’s website, Jonah is an “accomplished advocate with broad experience leading social justice campaigns” who “comes to the RAC with a mandate to deepen its advocacy work while mobilizing the Reform Jewish community and its allies.” Jonah noted how moved he was by all of the Reunion pictures on Facebook (which really were wonderful to see) and hopes that “2020 is a big year we all commit to!”

In other news, received before Reunion weekend, it was great to hear from Peter Brastow, who after “successfully giving birth to his nonprofit, Nature in the City,” took a job with the City of San Francisco’s Department of Environment as the senior biodiversity coordinator, “a job for which we have yet to find an equivalent in the U.S. Peter is responsible for convening agency, nonprofit, and community partners to pursue a vision of comprehensive ecological restoration and stewardship of San Francisco’s natural heritage. Carolyn Gencarella (AKA Peter’s better half), continues to teach elementary science at Alvarado School in San Francisco. Peter and Carolyn live in San Anselmo in Marin County, where they are raising two teenage rugrats who will be joining them for the 25th! Peter’s Foss 6 next door neighbor, Arieh Rosenbaum, is a hotshot doctor in San Francisco, who doesn’t actually practice. Instead he presides over the digitalization of medical records and other information for the entire Sutter Health Medical Corporation in northern California, and just keeps climbing the ladder of success. His wife, Barbara, is a terrific architect who designed their home set among some oak trees a hop, skip, and a jump from Peter and Carolyn. Andy Eig from NYC and his wife Dawn recently visited “the Brastows” in the Bay Area. Andy continues to be an accomplished Ph.D. adolescent psychologist. Peter and Carolyn get together sometimes with Maria Poveromo and Julia Erwin-Weiner—especially when Sue Rodrigue is in town—who live a bit south of San Francisco. The San Francisco crowd, Peter, Carolyn, Arieh, and Gerald Richards (CEO of 826 National), among others, continue to cherish the memory of Betsy Burton, fellow post-WES San Franciscan, whose passing was in December 2006.”

I hope you all have been enjoying the summer. That’s all for now.