CLASS OF 1963 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

After graduation and acceptance at Columbia Law School, Julius Kaplan “realized that I had made a mistake. Instead, I stayed at Columbia and pursued a PhD in art history, during which I spent two years doing research in Paris on Fulbright grants. Upon return, I began teaching at UCLA and received my PhD two years later.

     “I married Robin Reiser, the first professional librarian at the Getty Museum, and spent most of my career at California State University, San Bernardino, where I was chair of the Art Department and then dean of graduate studies and research. I was active in the Council of Graduate Schools and on the advisory board for the Graduate Record Exam and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, but never stopped teaching and ended my career as an emeritus professor.

     “Robin and I are both opera fans and retired to New Mexico, the home of the Santa Fe Opera. We live in Albuquerque. I am a longtime member of the Board of Opera Southwest, Robin revived its Friends group, and we are both on the Board of Chamber Music Albuquerque.  Most important, we recently celebrated our 50th anniversary.”

     Lew Whitney wrote: “Not much has changed since our 50th Reunion. I remain chairman (not CEO) of Armstrong/Pike Garden Centers. Being chairman is ideal at this stage of life, allowing a balance between retirement time and work involvement.

     “My wife and I still operate our 43-foot sailboat in local waters during the summer months, and I still paddleboard, surf, and garden. Zoom provides all kinds of communication; wish I had bought the stock. I feel blessed to have lived when and where destiny placed me, the Wesleyan adventure being a significant part.”

     “2020 was a horrible year for me,” wrote Bill Owens. “Both dogs died in March (one fell into the pool at night and drowned, the other had cancer). In June, my wife of 37 years died of heart problems. In October, we rented a boat and scattered her ashes in the Gulf off of Destin, Florida, where she grew up. I’m now trying to find a new lifestyle safe from the virus.”

     Bo Grimes reports, “My wife, Sabra, and I moved three years ago from Baltimore to a very nice Mennonite retirement community, Tel Hai, in the midst of Amish farm country. For several months the pandemic ruled all. Nearly everything here was shut down, with meals, mail, and grocery orders delivered to our door while residents were pretty much restricted from leaving campus.  Restrictions have eased and some activities resumed but only with masks and social distancing. Our church reopened and we can go to grocery stores and doctor appointments. However, we mostly stay in our cottage, with brief forays for exercise or walking our 13-year-old miniature dachshunds! Otherwise, we watch a lot of TV, movies, and concerts provided to keep us safe at home.

     “For great reading try Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy, The Unexpected Professor by John Carey, and The Riddle of the Labyrinth, by Margalit Fox. Also, Fighting Pollution and Climate Change, by my high school classmate, Richard W. Emory, a retired muckamuck at the EPA. Don’t miss Why We Are Polarized, by Ezra Klein. Louise Penny’s sixteenth Chief Inspector Gamache novel, All the Devils Are Here, is superb.”

     The retired but still distinguished Judge Len Edwards has found much to keep him busy.  As he tells it, “We are hunkered down at home, reading, writing, doing puzzles, and gardening. Tomorrow, January 16, I will get my first vaccine shot.  I don’t think that changes anything until the second shot, but we’ve made it this far without joining the thousands of Californians who have the virus.

     “Fortunately, I have lots to do. I’m on three state-wide committees dealing with opioid suppression, juvenile law, and judicial ethics.  The most compelling book I’ve read is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I’m praying that Biden can pull our country out of the mess we are in.”

     Sad news from Bob Gallamore: “Our beloved Suellen has passed away. Sue’s diagnosis was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), after our ill-fated trip to Italy (Tuscany and Rome) in February. After landing we went straight to Johns Hopkins Hospital and spent five days there. Sue was hospitalized at our local Beebe Health Care again in July, December, and this January, becoming more dependent on external oxygen and adding a diagnosis of pneumonia, but she really wanted to be at home for her final days. She passed away peacefully and comfortably early in the morning of January 26, 2021. Her sons Scott and Greg and daughter-in-law Beth were here at the end—and, as she requested, her dog Will was still lying on her lap. You can read about Sue’s remarkable life accomplishments at