CLASS OF 1996 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hey fellow ’96ers. Hope this message finds you all well in our 25th Wesleyan Reunion year. It warmed my heart to see so many of you at the Reunion festivities.Thanks to the Reunion committee that put together a superb program to reconnect us all.

Over the summer months I have connected with other Wes folks that crossed paths with us in 1996—Lucius Outlaw ’93 and Brande Fulgencio ’97, Andy McGadney ’92 and Robert “Bobbito” Garcia ’88.

   Stacey Samuels sends news that she joined a Midwest college tour with Kristen Worrell and her next generation college students—both her twins. Of course their first visit was to dear old Wesleyan at the start of the process.

   Tracie Broom is happy to report that the branding and marketing agency she co-founded in 2010, Flock and Rally, made it through the pandemic and recently was honored with five South Carolina Public Relations Society of America Mercury Awards of Excellence and three Palmetto Awards of Excellence from the South Carolina chapter of the International Business Communicators of America. Tracie and her business partner were just recognized by the regional alt weekly paper in its “Power List” of the top 30 people who shape Columbia, South Carolina’s culture, and the firm just landed a two-year contract to provide communications services to the National Science Foundation’s new Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA). When she’s not practicing the fine art of delegating at work, she can be found chilling in the pool with her partner Scott and his teen daughter, harvesting zinnias, okra and eggplant in her garden, and making long overdue travel plans to visit fellow Wes alums like Kate Baker in Mexico.

   Shola Olatoye and Matthew Strozier send news that they moved their brood of three (15, 13 and 6) kids to the West Coast during the pandemic from New York City. Matthew is still with The Wall Street Journal and Shola is heading up Oakland’s housing and community development department. They scored housing by renting Susan Yee and her husband’s lovely house. Their Oakland Wes “campus” saw socially distanced visits from Jake Ward and his family and Phil Cho ’95 and his wife. They have since bought their own place in this crazy Bay Area housing market (someone should really do something about that!). They have frequent Zoom cocktails with Tracey Gardner, Randy Slaughter and Aisha Cook, who all now live in Westchester County.They look forward to a fall holiday trip East where we can see all our Wes peeps in real life!

   Cathy Thomas writes that she is an assistant professor in the Department of English at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She writes, “My research and teaching covers Caribbean literature and carnival culture, Black feminist thought and play, comic books, science studies, TV/visual and media culture.”

   Danièle Côté (formerly Daniele Bucar) writes that she made the move to Maine about 15 years ago, got married, changed career to nursing, and now has two kids—an 8-year-old girl and a 6- year-old son—with her husband who is an occupational therapist. She’s worked in a number of areas of the nursing profession but is currently a circulating nurse for a local hospital’s surgical department.

She keeps in touch regularly with a few of our 1996 classmates and one of her best friends who is class of 1997, but if anyone is in the Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts area, she would love to hear updates on her fellow New Englanders!

That’s all for now and I am sticking with it—I always enjoy catching-up with all of you so feel free to always drop me a line with news to update folks with!

Yours in the MoCon bond.