CLASS OF 1997 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Greetings, Class of 1997! Monica White wrote that in November, she was “delighted to host Matvei Yankelevich ’95 in Nottingham, U.K., where he gave several well-received talks at the University of Nottingham and a local independent bookshop about translation, small press publishing, and his own poetry.

She reconnected with former German House housemate, Nathan Eddy ’98, in London for dinner with his lovely family followed by a Wes-hosted reception with Professor William Pinch. She is looking forward to a year-long sabbatical starting to work on her next book. Monica is a lecturer in Slavonic studies at the University of Nottingham, where she focuses her research on medieval Russian and Byzantine history.

Josh and Maggie Suniewick are settling into life in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., after moving from Philadelphia two years ago. Josh shared that at our 20-year Reunion, he reconnected with fellow classmates and bandmates from The Solids (founded in 1996 at Wesleyan), Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. They decided to get the band back together, along with Pat Butler ’98. “If you are into hooky, melody-laced rock sprinkled with How I Met Your Mother references (courtesy of Carter and Craig) you can find out about upcoming shows in the NYC area at our website, Remember, you are never too old to rock and roll . . . just remember to bend at the knees.”

Ben Helphand said he was honored to be part of the Next City Vanguard, Class of 2018, which is “a gathering of the top young urban innovators working to make change in cities.” As executive director of NeighborSpace, Chicago’s land trust for community gardens, Ben has helped create a network of community-managed nature play areas across Chicago. Instead of the traditional slides and swings, he writes that they borrow elements from the natural world—boulders and hollow logs—to allow children to work with loose parts and create their own worlds.

Go, Wes ’97!

Please e-mail us your updates and thoughts, books, movies, and TV recommendations. Sasha recently read and absolutely loved Katya Apekina’s The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, told from multiple narrators in one strange, artistic, amazing, and terrifying family, as they move between New York and New Orleans. Absolute page-turner, well told. What’s on your nightstand? (Or phone reader app?)

Jessica Shea Lehmann |

Sasha Lewis Reisen |