Greetings from Chicago! The pandemic continues with the Delta variant causing increased anxiety and higher infection rates around the country. I hope that everyone and their families, friends, and loved ones are all safe. Summer came to an end and my two daughters returned to in-person school. They are now in the 7th grade! I caught up with my sister Humera Syeda ’90 in Albany, New York, with her kids and our parents over the summer.
Suzie Purcell Byers ’94 and Carl Bradford Byers ’93 moved to Spain in September 2020 so that Suzie could begin serving as Head of School at Madrid Montessori. Because of the pandemic, Carl was able to do his venture capital work at F-Prime Capital and his teaching of entrepreneurial finance at Harvard completely online. Also, their older two children decided to take gap years from college so that they could join them. Their son, Jacob Purcell Byers, will graduate from Wesleyan with a BA in Film and English in May 2022, after having earned his masters in Spanish TV writing at ECAM in June 2021. Their older daughter, Emily Purcell Byers, began her undergraduate degree at Amherst College in August 2021. Their younger daughter, Katherine Purcell Byers, just finished a year at American School of Madrid and will continue her high school years at Concord Academy in Massachusetts.
Kate Gordon ’94 writes that she joined the U.S. Department of Energy as a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. In this post, she will be working to implement President Biden’s executive order calling for an equitable and just energy transition in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities. Kate previously served for two and a half years as the director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and a senior advisor to Governor Newsom on climate policy.
Jessica Sharzer sent this heartbreaking update: “Wesleyan has been very much on my mind these days. I was a transfer student so I had my orientation with the incoming class of 1995. I bonded with a guy named Andy Neiman ’95 and we remained friends for the last 30 years. When he had a psychotic break right after he graduated, I flew out to Saint Louis to see him in a psychiatric hospital. Andy struggled for years with mental illness and died by suicide in June. I recently traveled to Saint Louis for his memorial and burial and saw a half dozen Wesleyan folks. Although it was tragic circumstances, it was nice to bond with old acquaintances and exchange memories about Andy.” Deepest condolences to Andy’s family and friends.
As you can see, I received few updates. I know people keep in touch on other social media platforms but please continue to send in updates so that we can include them here too. Stay safe everyone!