CLASS OF 1979 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

From the epicenter of the coronavirus, New York City, I (Ann) hope all of you are safe and well. Most of my neighbors fled the City in March (and spread the disease), so the eerie quiet continues.

Elisabeth Inomata is one of the assiduous teachers in our class. “I am online teaching as an ESL and JBL (Japanese bilingual) teacher at the intermediate school in Fort Lee, N.J. Grateful for my hardworking students!”

Tina Palmer said, “I am one of the zillion teachers who had to learn how to teach remotely in a weekend! It has been a huge learning curve, and between trying to figure out the best way to teach four different high school math classes and finish a graduate-level class online, it has been surreal. Our second son, wife, and 17-month-old moved down two weeks into the quarantine. He was trying to work from home, and she was suffering from horrible morning sickness. They needed help, and we welcomed being shut in with one of our grands! Life is very busy and very different. We went from empty nest to full and overflowing with two of us having to create home offices! My husband is a pastor, so he has time during the week to be in charge of childcare. He does the service on Facebook Live each Sunday, with me as a reader and sound technician. We are blessed with family and to still have paychecks coming in. We are well.”

Jono Cobb is another classmate teaching online: “Hope you and yours are all well during this time of upheaval. Glad we were able to have our class Reunion last year! I’ve just finished my spring semester of teaching the latter half of which was all conducted online. It had its pros and cons, but there’s no legitimate substitute for the face-to-face version. That said, I’m reluctant to return to the classroom until long after the pandemic has swept through which I strongly doubt will be before the second semester of the upcoming school year.”

Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre are now producing Afropop Worldwide from their home on Pearl Street in Middletown! “It seems we evacuated Brooklyn at an opportune moment. We’re gradually digitizing our field archive here in the house, and keeping busy, which is a blessing!”

Jonathan Raab writes in: “My wife and I retreated for these last two months to our post-modern family compound in Stockbridge, Mass., that my architect father designed and I helped build with Ned Dewees and Kim Clark, after our sophomore year. Been working remotely full-time in my energy and climate mediation practice, including running two 300-person Zoom and WebEx conferences for our New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable (now in its 26th year) and a sister roundtable in the mid-Atlantic. My son, who works full-time as the first director of Instagram at Nat Geo, had to delay his Stockbridge wedding for a year. My daughter, who manages a restaurant at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, is furloughed for the time being.

“My firm Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker Architects LLC is working remotely with staff on our projects. There is still construction allowed in Illinois, so projects, thankfully, are still moving forward slowly, but that’s something! I am Zooming with everyone, it seems, and it is the best way I have found to communicate with clients, consultants, and contractors. Although nothing beats going to a jobsite. I do that with my partner on Sundays. I managed to get a PPP loan with difficulty, although it is hard to know what staff I will need after the two months of loan forgiveness is up. Family is scattered around the country but safe, so that is a blessing. I found out that my good friend from Wesleyan, Douglas Bass ’78, died from complications from COVID-19, and it broke my heart. What a crazy, creative soul he had. I will miss him dearly. Stay safe, friends, and keep a sense of humor. I feel like a character in Waiting for Godot.”

Mark Miller contributed some sad news: “I just learned that classmate Alison Goodzeit Aller, passed away in December. She was a Foss 9 dormmate freshman year and a good friend for the next 10 years. I lost track of her in the mid-1980s when I moved back to the Midwest. I will always remember her quiet smile and knowing looks.”

It is with profound sadness that we inform you of Joe Britton’s passing. Former President of DKE, he was adored and respected by all who knew him. An avid sports player and fan, he will be remembered fondly. His full obituary can be found at

Ann Biester Deane |

Diane LaPointe |

CLASS OF 1978 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Greetings, classmates. I (Susie) hope these notes find you and yours healthy, safe, and finding silver linings to life in this new life we’re living. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic turning our world upside down, perhaps you, like me, are finding particular joy in the beauties of nature (our gardens have never gotten this much attention!), the fragrance of a favorite recipe or reaching out to a long-lost friend.

These notes were due on May 18, so who knows what our world will look like when they arrive in your mailbox. Hopefully, progress has been made in defeating the virus, the economy is in better shape, and we have more clarity in our futures.

Lucy Mize wrote that she came back from teaching a class in Thailand on Jan. 18, and on the 20th, was in the White House situation room as part of the COVID-19 response. That must have been quite a welcome home! At the same time, she was glad to welcome her daughter, Belle ’22, home from her sophomore year at Wes. Lucy loves that Belle and her brother will always be on the same Reunion cycle five years apart. During quarantine, her husband keeps them distracted with their beautiful garden and they are hoping that all four of them, including Thaddeus ’17, will be able to spend the summer in Vermont.

Rachael Pine updated us on her life during the quarantine. She says working at a private foundation in NYC during the pandemic is heartbreaking. From her vantage point, she is not face-to-face with the human toll, but she sees the devastation being within the nonprofit sector—the small mission-driven community-based organizations that do amazing work, are the heart and soul of many neighborhoods, and find themselves closing doors, laying off staff, falling behind in rent, and unable to provide even life-sustaining services to their clients in low-income communities. Rachael is finding joy in vicariously sharing the life journey of her children’s lives; one daughter is off to Yale for a master’s level nurse-midwifery and women’s health degree and the other to UC Berkeley for a master’s in city and regional planning.

Lisa Alter is a founding partner of Alter Kendrick & Baron. Her firm advises music publishers, equity investors, musicians, and songwriters alike. She was recently named to the “2020 Billboard Power List” which recognized her as “not only excelling at her job but going beyond to elevate the entire music business.” Congrats Lisa!

Dr. Michael Blackwell, originally in the class of ’77 but graduated in ’78, checked in for the first time in a while. After Wesleyan, he attended graduate school at Boston University and taught at nearby Curry College and the Urban Education Center in Roxbury for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. From Boston, he moved to the Midwest, where he’s been living a very busy, full life for the past 30 years. He taught classes in religion and society at Missouri State and pastored several churches in the area. He moved to Iowa, where he directed the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Northern Iowa and taught in the philosophy and world religions department. He pastored a Baptist church in Cedar Rapids for several years and a string of United Methodist churches thereafter. He retired from university teaching in 2015 and retired from pastoring in December. Now he is hoping to enjoy writing, leisure activities, and reconnecting with family and friends. He’s also thinking of moving back to the Northeast where he grew up. Who knows, maybe he’ll be at a Reunion someday!?

My husband, Nick, and I have been enjoying Zoomtailing (yes, that’s a word!) with Jodi Wilinsky Hill, Suki Hoagland, Lance and Moira James, and Pat and Nancy McCabe. Laughter is always good medicine for the soul. It’s certain this year will be like no other, but let’s carry on with kindness, optimism, and hope. Take good care and please send us your news and quarantine stories…surely there are many!

Susie Muirhead Bates | 

Ken Kramer |

CLASS OF 1977 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

To be sure, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives forever. The desire to connect, be in touch, has increased as we adjust to Zoom gatherings and other methods that allow us to continue work as well as survive during the time of social isolation. Slowing the pace of our day-to-day lives has had a positive effect in that we make time for reaching out, as well as perhaps cook and eat better, get some exercise, meditate, whatever. With this, I am delighted to be in touch with so many classmates via Zoom and others by phone calls and notes sent along.

Carol Weiss is doing well sheltering at home in Westchester with her husband and two of her three kids. Everyone is healthy. She is avoiding her office in Manhattan: enjoying seeing all her patients virtually. Dave Schreff sends best regards to friends Bob Yorburg, Michele Druker, Martha Meade ’76, Eric Zimmerman, and Don Lowery. Dave Levit, along with wife Ruth, lives in Amherst, Mass., where they have been since 1989. As clinical psychologists, they are adjusting to doing sessions by videoconference in the time of COVID. Dave remarks that both his daughter and son are staying in the family business: Becca completed a master’s in school counseling, Jeremy is a second-year medical student awaiting his clinical rotation in psychiatry in Brooklyn.

Dorothy Crenshaw had a Zoom happy hour with pals Marianne Diorio and Vanessa Burgess, commiserating about the pandemic in NYC, sharing gratitude at being healthy. She has been texting with Don Ryan; she managed a visit with Don, George Capone, and Cal Dysinger last October when they traveled to join her at a Steely Dan concert at the Beacon Theatre. Dorothy is busier than ever with her PR firm. She is sheltering in place in Manhattan (unlike the many who have fled) and, as an older parent, lucky that her 16-year-old daughter is still living at home and not off somewhere alone.

David Dranoff is hunkering down in Oak Park, Ill., where he has lived with wife Wendy for 28 years. Like many of us, David is working remotely, wondering if this is the time to put the work thing aside: wondering what will be the next stage of life. His kids are healthy, though not all remain employed due to the pandemic. Iddy Olson is now commuting from master bedroom to office/bedroom 12 feet away. She can’t imagine taking a train, parking, walking a half-mile each way again. Her husband, Tom, has had some health challenges in what was assumed to be a mild case of the coronavirus. He does appear to be turning the corner, which comes at a great relief to us all.

Jim Melloan is doing well in Brooklyn: had a nice Zoom session with Rich Shulman a couple of weeks ago; also in touch with Marisa Smith ’78, Miriam Wolf, and James Lyons via email. Joan Goldfeder is staying busy with a PAC that supports Democratic, pro-choice, female candidates in California and nationally. She is seeing lots of great candidates via Zoom. Joan’s son just finished college at Bucknell; she is extremely proud of his accomplishments.

John Fink has a new book out compiling his TV editorials from the past 19 years in Hawaii, published by Watermark Publishing. To quote: “When the world comes out of its largest-ever ‘timeout,’ I plan to do seminars about ‘making a difference.’” Before the shutdown, John met up with Rick Dennett and with Peter Guenther in New York. He also dropped in on former roomie, Scott Director. Lisa Brummel is working from home as a recruiter in the financial services field. Lisa is in touch with Lorraine Schwarz, among others. Her eldest son graduated from Dickinson College, and her younger son is a junior at American University. I had a nice exchange with Iddy, Mike Coffey, and Ted Stevens, sending along their good wishes. Ted and Iddy revealed their one real complaint being the inability to interact with their grandchildren, which is a sentiment echoed a lot by others in our class.

Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to be included in a cross-the-globe Zoom session with Jane Goldenring, Janet Malkemes, Ruth McMahon, Kate Seeger, Laraine Balk Hope, Wendy Giardina, Richard Parad, and Bob Katz. We organized a film club that appropriately began with each of us viewing The Big Chill and coming together to discuss via Zoom. Good stuff.

Here is hoping we all keep safe and sound during these days ahead. Best wishes to all, family and friends, during this extraordinary time.

Gerry Frank |

CLASS OF 1976 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Libby Horn has joined the growing ranks of retired folks. She’s busy at a food bank and a local hospice and keeping up her music.

Karen Gervasoni is retired, enjoying life in Maine with her teenage daughter and her partner, Greg. They’re splitting their time between gardening, baking, crafting, and political activism.

Andrew Brotman is the chief clinical officer at NYU Langone Health, so the last two months have been all-pandemic, all the time. Andrew, thanks to all of us for your hard work in this very tough time.

Matt Cartter is the state epidemiologist in Connecticut. A recent article described Matt as “Connecticut ’s Anthony Fauci.” He teaches at Yale and UConn.

Rob Briskin has not opted for retirement! He’s in his 36th year in practice in internal medicine in Florida. He has 10-year-old twin daughters and two adult children.

Tom Kovar is working for the VA in Northampton, Mass. Until January, he was gigging regularly, but the pandemic intervened. Tom responded by recording original songs at home and posting on Facebook; his many friends are grateful.

Jonathan Cleworth has been managing MS since he earned his MBA at Columbia in the early ’80s. He credits being captain of the 1976 crew team with giving him the skills to minimize the effects of MS.

Jeffrey Frank retired last year after selling his company in Ohio. He’s driving for Lyft and enjoying socializing with customers from many backgrounds and occupations.

Melissa Blacker has been married to David Rynick ’74, MALS ’85 since 1981. They have been sheltering with their daughter and grandson during the pandemic. Melissa and David are Zen teachers/priests, running a temple in Worcester, Mass., which moved online in March. They welcome anyone to join them at

Jack O’Donnell practices as a criminal lawyer but says the quarantine might have convinced him to scale back a bit.

Dan Herr had a different take on retirement. Nine years ago, he left a career in the semiconductor industry to become chair of the UNC Greensboro’s nanoscience department. He now focuses on diversity/inclusion, advising, and education. He’s enjoying having more time to spend with his wife of 37 years, four children, and five grandchildren.

Betsy Eisenmann is experiencing the pandemic that most retired people seem to be experiencing: All social/church/organized activities shut down, waiting to see what the governor does next.

Steve Smith and his wife have retired, so quarantine hasn’t been such a big adjustment. They take daily walks in the North Carolina mountains, pursue music and hobbies, and celebrated their 45th anniversary in May.

Ollie Griffith is now “mostly” retired from the World Bank. He’s still freelancing/writing for corporations and NGOs, and plays in Paris jazz clubs (pre-pandemic).

Jody Snider is hunkering down on her farm in Rhode Island. Jody works as executive producer for a film company (Smartypants NYC), producing orientation films for the new Wes freshman.

Ellen Seh sent her first class notes in since 1976! She’s had a fascinating career: she worked in sustainability in Maine, then moved to Boston and worked in public relations. She moved to NYC, and eventually to San Francisco, becoming a passionate sailor. She’s now retired, still advocating for issues centered on climate change and saying “yes” to new adventures.

Barb Birney is now retired. She’s a citizen/scientist volunteer, helping researchers catalog data from cameras capturing animal behavior in the wild.

Carol Bellhouse is still practicing law part-time, working on the final edit of her 30th book and working in her garden.

Debra Neuman’s husband of 35 years, Paul, passed on in March. Debra, our deepest sympathy. Debra works as executive director of advancement for St. Edmund’s Retreat on Enders Island (Mystic); she’d welcome a post-pandemic visit from any Wes alumni.

Byron Haskins is retired, but he’s working harder than most people! Byron and his wife, Gabrielle, care for their granddaughter, whose parents are essential workers. Byron’s son, an anesthesiologist, came down with COVID-19, and may have passed it on to Byron and Gabrielle—all have recovered. Byron is active in Michigan and national politics; is diving deep into music composition; collaborates with classmate Carol Bellhouse on poetic video shorts, and he’s media director for the local chapter of the Project Management Institute. And he’s got eight grandchildren, with another on the way!

In memoriam: I’m sad to report that Bruce Herring and John Rankin ’83 have both passed on.

I retired on April 30 (while recovering from a mild bout of COVID-19), but David Harmin works full-time as a bioinformatician in Mike Greenberg’s lab at Harvard. We regularly see Marjorie Dauster and Nina Rosenstein, and irregularly see Tom Kovar, Mel Blake, Karen Gervasoni, all of whom are doing well. If you make a post-quarantine trip to Boston, get in touch!

Karen Harmin |

CLASS OF 1975 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Pencil in our belated 45th Reunion for May 28-30, 2021. As a fun alternative, we pivoted to a 1975 “Re-ZOOM-ion” with 40 attendees. Brief scoops:

Barbara Bachtell is an artist and arts/nonprofit administrator in Cleveland. David Bickford is locked down in LA with his Thai masseuse wife. Jill Lesko, is sheltered in Nantucket contemplating her next career chapter after marketing, executive coaching, and teaching yoga. Janet Bradlow retired to Florida to be near family. Janet Brodie is doing creative arts therapy remotely at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Perry Cacace, NYC lawyer working from Chappaqua, has four grown sons and a grandchild. Barbara Coven is practicing pediatrics in New York after an early-career odyssey around the South Pacific. Gary Davis is consulting on real estate development from home in a building he designed on Central Park North. Jeff Dunn is photo-documenting the COVID-era in the Boston area. Cathy Gorlin is confined to Minneapolis and is missing visits with her son in Denver and her daughter and grandkids on the East Coast. Tim Hill and Janet Schwaner retired in Wellesley, Mass., with kids in British Columbia and Ann Arbor and two grandkids. Tim runs a newly-online duplicate bridge club, and Janet plays cello and guides at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Bill Holder remains in Middletown and has five grandchildren. Bonnie Hunter Samuels is a master gardener isolating in Oregon. Emely Karandy is a plastic surgeon and realtor outside Philly. Risa Korn is practicing internal medicine outside Boston and missing hugs with two local grandchildren. Brad Kosiba is keeping busy near Chapel Hill, keeping bees who work despite COVID. Debbie Kosich quarantined right after moving into a new Houston condo. Nancy Luberoff is hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and living by a Chapel Hill lake after her career in the Jewish community. John McNeill retired from Methodist ministry and volunteering as a community mediator near Rochester, N.Y. Pat McQuillan ’75, MA’81 is teaching at Boston College. Steve Miller and Martha Meade ’76 are sheltering in Pacific Palisades. Jeff McChristian is cutting his commute thanks to COVID and loving the boutique small-business law firm he joined in Hartford. Before COVID killed travel, Jeff and Pat traveled to Channel Islands, the Cotswolds, and Guatemala. COVID scratched two planned trips—Silk Road countries and Bhutan. J.D. Moore ’75, MALS ’80 is celebrating six years as a Connecticut trial judge and his new house near Jeff’s. Mark Nickerson is teaching trauma therapy in Massachusetts. Bruce Paton is teaching college online now from Sunnyvale, Calif., where he chairs local sustainability efforts. Becky Peters-Combs is retired from teaching in Denver and became a guardian for a former student, adding to her four kids. Ed Rosenbaum is living in New Jersey and thrilled that his daughter (a rabbi and cantor) is expecting her second child. COVID grounded Dave Rosenblum from his Los Angeles-New York travel routine as a retired consultant serving on corporate and nonprofit boards. Kathy Scholle is a retired attorney who sells real estate in Connecticut and has two grown kids and “almost” two grandchildren. Lucille Semeraro is a retired pediatrician enjoying hobbies. Gary Steinel, retired teacher, is riding bikes and brewing beer in Colorado. Rob Stockman is teaching part-time at Indiana University and running Wilmette Institute, an online education provider for the American Bahá’í community. Charlie Stolper is living in Austin (where his son works for Google), recently retired from advising venture companies.

Bruce Weinraub survived COVID-19 in March but has felt its longer-term effects on his medical practice in Northampton, Mass. Read about it in the Commonwealth Magazine. Check out his music side career on YouTube. COVID brought Suzy and Dave Rosenthal’s first grandchild. They drove from Buffalo to Denver for a two-week quarantine before they could hold him. Read about it in the Boston Globe. Dave’s editor of Side Effects Public Media, a collaborative publication covering health care issues across the Midwest. Jeff Morgan runs Covenant kosher winery in California and Israel with his wife, Jodie, and daughter Zoe. Jeff and Jodie just published their ninth cookbook, The Covenant Kitchen. Vinnie Broderick is hanging up the canoe paddle after 24 years running the New Hampshire summer camp where he and Bob Knox went as kids. Looks like the camp’s 125th anniversary will have to wait a year! Cheryl Vichness is “chilling in Baltimore” still working for a small management consulting firm but retired from Johns Hopkins.

Bill Devereaux and Emely Karandy shared word of Peggy Bouffard’s death from ALS last August. After Wes, Peg completed medical school at the University of Cincinnati, interned at Mass General, and returned to Cincinnati for pediatric residency. Peg was a beloved pediatrician in New Jersey for over 35 years. As her disease progressed, she moved to be with her children in Pennsylvania. Bill knew Peg from their high school days in Rhode Island. Emely, Deb Benton, and Brett Sherman roomed with her at Wes and attended her funeral. Emely writes, “Peg was a friend for life, sharing wisdom and love without judgment, dished out with a hug and a laugh. In spite of her brilliance, beauty, and accomplishments, she was never boastful, and carried herself with quiet grace.” She is survived by her daughter, Gretchen ’07, and son Adam, three grandchildren, and four sisters.

Cynthia M. Ulman |
860 Marin Drive, Mill Valley, CA 94941-3955

CLASS OF 1974 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

The 50th Reunion is May 23-26, 2024. Reunion news and find out about regional events can be found at Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 860/685-5992.

June Jeffries ’75 noted the passing on April 11 of Peter Greene, M.D. For many years Peter was her family dermatologist. His ex-wife and June worked together, and their families spent many holiday dinners and other good times together. He died suddenly and unexpectedly in Washington, D.C.

Nan’l “Nate” Winship continues to own and operate a  small farm growing vegetables and berries in central New Hampshire. As the growing season gets underway, this promises to be a very busy year as more people seek out locally grown products. It has been great to welcome Wayne Forrest ’74, MA ’77 and Tom Frei on visits to Tanna Farm, and he got over to give John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80 a man-hug at a campaign event in a nearby town last year.

Monique Witt reports in two parts. First is from mid-January. “We’re still building the new sound space in East Williamsburg and finishing four discs, including Ben’s new sextet album (Nebula Project), which will soft drop in February and officially drop in June. Dev is in L.A. for NAMM, launching the Solarium pro-audio monitors; Ben is touring throughout the Southeastern states, then through Europe, starting in Italy, back to the West Coast, and finally Canada. Steve and I, the same.”

….and now (mid-May):

“We are sheltering in place in Manhattan (Ben, Steve, and me) and Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Dev and Jenn). Ben’s U.S., Canadian, and European tours have all been pushed forward a year, so he is working with Concerts in Motion, doing daily live streams for shut-ins, hospitals, and similar organizations. Additionally, he does a weekly jazz live stream and a number of Zoom concerts for the venues at which he was booked. Steve’s working way too hard still but from home, and I’m doing board work (intensive staying up to date on pandemic regs), but Ben’s teaching me to cook, and we run every day in Central Park (masks, gloves, and social distancing). Ben and Dev are mastering the fourth album scheduled for release in July. Hope everyone is keeping well.”

Carolyn White’s news: “I have transitioned over to Zoom to teach the NAMI Family-to-Family class and it is going better than expected. We might just continue using Zoom. It beats having to deal with traffic every Thursday evening. I am looking forward to a new grandchild for 10/10/20 (good date!) who will be stateside. I have two adorable grandchildren in Toulouse, France, but, the question is when will I feel comfortable enough to travel to France to see them? Skype and Zoom will have to suffice for now.  I hope everyone and their families are able to stay out of harm’s way.”

Peter Welcher’s updates: “I’m still working, for a network consulting company I and others started, (Chesapeake) NetCraftsmen. Now over 70 employees are busy during COVID onset supporting remote access for hospitals and government sites in Maryland-D.C. area. Plan to retire in next couple of years. Our kids are all employed at the time I write this. Paul works for USDA doing foreign service work, back in D.C. after three years in Thailand. Alison works for the State Department in D.C., Africa desk. Emma manages a team of six doing marketing for a large bank among others. Gwen is on a product marketing team for LifeStraw. No grandchildren yet.”

Wayne Forrest writes, “2019 and 2020 have been tough years in my household as my wife Jean has had serious medical issues. Multiple surgeries and countless anxious moments have been mixed with incredible closeness and unity of purpose. It was hard to miss our 45th Reunion last year as it fell on a surgery day. We felt the love from many classmates who knew the reason for my absence. COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise as it has kept Jean away from the infected New York public hospital where she worked and me close by her side. The virus shut down all my extracurricular musical experiences in the orchestras and bands where I play tuba. Hopefully the summer brings them back. I stopped commuting to Manhattan in early March, but where I live (Westchester County) quickly became a hotspot. Thankfully, of the dozen or people I know who caught the virus all, except one, made it through.”

“Discovering the All Trails app has allowed my wife and I to plan hikes nearby that at first were uncrowded but have now become increasingly populated by people who don’t move over and don’t wear masks. But the best social distancing activity for us has been riding our pedal-assist e-bikes. You still get a great workout on these ‘cheaters’; they give you no excuse to not go out for an hour two up and down our hilly Hudson Valley terrain.

“Meanwhile I am still managing the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC) as well as its non-business correlate, the American Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation (AICEF).  AICEF has been collaborating with Wesleyan to amplify the Javanese gamelan music program, providing funding to allow the university to engage a dance teacher. We’re also supporting Lloyd Komesar’s Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival connecting it to a film festival in Bali. With AICC, I began a campaign to get much needed N95 respirator masks to doctors all over Indonesia.

I have to say that although I have many problems with Facebook’s ad-driven business model, principally, their lack of transparency and accountability for perpetuating lies and falsehoods, it remains a welcome place to connect with alums and classmates.  I really appreciate reading the thoughts and goings on from Nate Winship, Pat MulcahyBill BurtonNaaz Hosseni ’74, MA’75Lyn LaufferTom Alexander ’70, MA’77Michael MininsohnTom Kovar ’76Neely BruceSal D’Alessandro ’72, MALS ’96Mark MasseliTodd Jick ’71Nat Needle ’76Jack Freudenheim ’79Tom Ross ’67, PhD ’85Alan Feinstein ’70Harold SogardArthur FiermanLeslie Rudden ’77Joseph Getter MA’99Curt Steinzor ’77, and others.

“Finally, the virus has pushed us apart but also closer together.  I am seeing family and friends on Zoom I would not have seen in years in-person.”

Howard Shalwitz reports, “After four decades, in September 2018. I stepped down from the artistic leadership of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. I feel both lucky and a bit guilty that I did so before the pandemic—although my successor, Maria Manuela Goyanes (Brown ’01), is carrying on with exceptional energy and vision: I’m happily ensconced with my partner of 40 years, Jeanette Reitz, at our home in Alexandria, Va. Continuing to do some fundraising for Woolly, teaching, gardening, chipping away at a book about theatre, and starting a multi-year project to connect new American theatre leaders with their counterparts in Poland. It’s been exciting to read about classmates like Joan Braun who are involved in supporting their local theatre companies, especially with the challenges ahead!”

John Shapiro reports, “I am currently camping out in our home in Westchester, N.Y., with my wife, Shonni Silverberg ’76, my older son, Zach, and his fiancée, my younger son, Nathaniel, and his girlfriend, and two dogs! We are all well, but I’ve had to cancel my son’s wedding for the time being.

“Given that Shonni is a doctor at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, and my son is a legal advisor on medical ethical issues at New York Hospital, we have been very caught up with the challenges surrounding the coronavirus. My younger son meanwhile had to cancel what would’ve been his third off-Broadway production.”

Sharon Purdie |

CLASS OF 1973 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

How life has changed for so many of us. As of this writing in early May, I have spent every work day for the past two months at my CBS station, WFOR-TV, covering so many aspects of the coronavirus from the economy, unemployment, medical care, massive food distributions, survivors, and those who have sadly lost their lives in this crisis. One survivor in New York City is our esteemed classmate, Dr. Jonathan Raskin, whose story is coming up.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have some sad news to report that 69-year-old Robert Joseph Campbell of Cromwell, Conn., passed away on May 18 from complications from COVID-19 after a short illness. Robert was active in politics and was known for his care and work for those with special needs.

From California, Phil Levine writes that he and his wife are doing fine. He says, “We FaceTime with our children and grandson and see plays on Zoom. It’s not the same as being in the same room, but it helps.” He says he sees his students at SBCC School of Extended Learning online two nights a week. They are finishing up a virtual poetry reading for retirement homes and a homeless shelter and have a virtual A Midsummer Night’s Dream slated for late May.

“I think we are all grateful for this social interaction, especially since many of the students are older and living alone,” says Phil. “So, life goes on; but it sure will be nice to gather in person again…safely, of course. I am grateful that we are all well here, and I am especially happy that my Wesleyan pal, Jon Raskin, won his bout with COVID-19. I am indebted to him for making me realize early on to take this illness seriously.” Sadly, Phil’s mother died March 11, and his family would have all assembled in New York City for the funeral. As it turned out, they did a videoconference for the ceremony.

Jonathan Raskin writes that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated as Mark Twain recounted, but in my case it was a bit too close.” He says he struggled through the COVID-19 pneumonia and, “I am happy to now have antibodies!” For more about his battle and recovery, he says check out YouTube and enter “New York pulmonologist” and “get the gory details.” Jonathan thanks you—“my Wes buddies”—for keeping him in your thoughts during the time he was ill. “Please stay safe and be vigilant,” he says. “We are now senior citizens and part of the ‘at-risk’ community. We just think 70 is the new 50 and I am here to tell you that’s fake news.”

From Lake Placid, N.Y., John Huttlinger says he and his staff at Adirondack Audit company have been working in isolation “but at least we are working!” He says he has been participating in Kappa Nu Kappa alumni video chats, which he says “have been great.” At last word, John was trying to find a way to reach Tim Mooney.

Peter D’Oench ’73 on location

Hope you are all finding new creative things to do. My wife, Connie, has been creating cloth masks for those in need, and she and my middle daughter Dana have been finding one family in need per week to help with food and much-needed other contributions here in South Florida. My oldest daughter Jennifer—a nurse and assistant to a pastor at her Gloucester, Va., church—has helped pioneer a nationwide Sunday broadcast of her church service and my youngest daughter Holly—a wildlife biologist and artist in Highlands Ranch near Denver—is teaching art courses through Zoom and has built up many projects through the internet.

Hope you are finding new or creative projects, perhaps something different every day, and being careful.

Peter D’Oench |

CLASS OF 1971 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Aloha. I hope you all are physically and mentally well during and after the quarantine. I got stranded in New Jersey and could not get home to Hawaii, so I spent my time in the epicenter. Thanks to all who sent brief 50-word updates.

John Schimmel is the executive producer of two films: A documentary about the Dalai Lama called The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama In His Own Words and Shaquille O’Neal Presents Foster Boy, which is based on true events and is about abuse in the for-profit foster care industry. See the trailers on Frame of Mind Film’s YouTube channel.

Mike Thompson: “As the class agent for my Hotchkiss class, my fellow agent and I sent out a brief email message last month—just to wish everybody good health and safety. It went to 67 classmates. To our delight and surprise, to date, 54 of them have responded, almost all of them multiple times. They have logged in from all across the country and around the world, and our little message sparked a desire to reconnect and recollect our days together. I wonder what sort of a response you’d get from the Wesleyan Class of 1971?”

Katy Butler has helped organize an ongoing monthly Zoom candlelight vigil sponsored by Reimagine and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. “On the 9th, starting in April, at noon Pacific time, we light candles and hold them to our screens to acknowledge the mass grief of the COVID pandemic. (The first was on the first of April.) It’s beautiful and powerful, and you’re welcome to join us. We end with ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. I’m hoping it will be replicated by other institutions.”

B. Michael Zuckerman retired in February after 37 years’ service as director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities in Cape May, N.J. He lives with his wife of 42 years, Evelyn, out in the wetlands bordering the intracoastal waterway.

C.B. “Kip” Anderson writes: “Richard Aroneau and I were just beginning to plan a Wes-fest on his lakeside property at Alford Lake in Maine. Anyone from any class who lives in Maine or can make the trip from elsewhere were to have been invited to spend the day or pitch a tent. But right now, and for the foreseeable future, such gatherings are not feasible.”

Miguel Gomez-Ibanez writes: “I have retired and now am president emeritus of North Bennet Street School in Boston. I have returned to my previous career as a cabinet and furniture maker, but doing it all for free.” Michael Brewin: “In 1970, the Connecticut Arts Commission asked me to coordinate music for the first Earth Day. Classmate Dave Lindorff and I performed at events statewide, including the capitol. Earth Day helped jump-start the environmental movement. My album Guitarsoul is at (and Amazon).”

Blake Allison asks: “Are you still doing the vanilla plantation?” (Answer is no; I stopped to sell two of my Kauai lots.) “Not a lot to report here as I have been in quarantine on Martha’s Vineyard for two months. Luckily, I’m with my wife, Lindsay, and son Sam ’06. So, our 50th Reunion is coming up next year! I’m motivated to be there in part because it would have been my father’s 80th Reunion, and he was a huge Wesleyan booster. I’m still architecting, and sort of hope to return to the office soon.”

First-timer Malcolm Cochran writes: “Here’s the CliffsNotes: Artist, educator, father, grandfather, single, out, gay man living in Columbus, Ohio. For more, please see my website:—and me at the Reunion.”

Fran Pawlowski says: “Our lives in Gallup, N.M., have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 virus. With a population of 20,000 residents, Gallup is surrounded by the Navajo reservation and is very dependent upon Navajo shoppers for its economic well-being. On some weekends, as many as 60,000 Navajos do their shopping here. Unfortunately, hundreds of Navajo people have become infected with the virus—and several have died. One member of my wife’s family (an uncle) has died from the virus, and his wife will probably die soon. The lockdowns which have occurred here recently were ordered by our governor for the mutual well-being of Gallup residents and Navajos. Our prayer is that the disease will peak very soon, begin to decline and ultimately disappear, so that everyone, in our area and all over the world, will again live virus-free. My wife and I ask readers to add their prayers to ours.”

Finally, the 50th Reunion is May 20-23, 2021. Reunion news and regional event info can be found at Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at or 860/685-5992.

That is all for now. Be well and safe and see you May 2021.

Neil J. Clendeninn |
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714

CLASS OF 1970 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

It was the Reunion that never was and the Reunion that never happened before for anyone, all rolled into one. I think we always knew that our 50th class Reunion would be different because, well, because we’re different, but this was markedly different. True, we didn’t get together physically, but we did get together virtually, with classmates participating from Japan to the East Coast.

The Reunion book probably has arrived in your mailbox just by now. It’s a masterful work. Despite writing class notes for 35 or 40 years now, I still have found all sorts of interesting biographical information that somehow never was shared with me for the column all these years. Super job John Griffin, Ted Reed, Jeff Sarles, John Sheffield, Maurice Hakim, Jeremy Serwer, Prince Chambliss, Diana Diamond, Kate Lynch ’82, and Elizabeth Watrous MALS ’02 (the latter two of the Wesleyan staff). An addendum with more classmate bios will be forthcoming.

The first part of our virtual Reunion was the president’s toast on Friday evening that I missed somehow, but I was able to Zoom in on the social hour that followed and on a group discussion about business on Saturday. The former was hosted by John Alschuler and Diana Diamond, and the latter hosted by John Griffin, Jeremy Serwer, and John Alschuler. The social hour involved about 35 attendees chatting in rotating break-out rooms. The Saturday business discussion was interesting but concerning. The element of uncertainty hung over both events. The virtual commencement occurred on Sunday. Check the Wesleyan website for video, for films by Bill Jefferson and Steve Talbot, draft board stories, and more.

Aside from the Reunion itself, I had several emails with news. Go to for the full notes.

Rob Baker and Sandy remain in Park City, Utah, but visiting with kids elsewhere. Rob’s retired, active in several sports, intellectual pursuits, and in the community.

Gerald Everett Jones has won four book awards this year. Gerald’s most recent awards were for How to Lie with Charts, a business book, and Preacher Finds a Corpse in the mystery/crime category.

Steve Talbot is active both in broadcasting and politically. He wrote, “North Carolina public radio just posted two new videos from the series of shorts I senior produced with a local filmmaker, one about the first African American woman elected sheriff in the state’s history.” Steve is busy with another Vietnam documentary called The Movement and the “Madman.”

Congratulations to husband-and-wife team Diana Diamond and John Alschuler, who were honored during Reunion weekend with the Outstanding Service Award, given to alumni, parents, or other members of the Wesleyan community for their outstanding volunteer service to the University, their community, or the nation. They co-hosted the virtual social hour on Friday.

Tony Balis sent out a beautiful email entitled “A Marshall Plan for America.” “Let’s create a 2020 Marshall Plan, involving every aspect of our national life, by recommitting private wealth towards public good. Let’s invent a humanistic capitalism that works in partnership with federal and local government yet without fealty to it, that provides security, safety, and dignity for all of us, helping rescue our only home in the process.” Contact Tony at

In New Zealand, Peter Ratner wrote: “I do not have much to report except that my decision to move to New Zealand looks better every day.” He and Carol truly retired and are living in Greytown, a small community about an hour-and-a-half from downtown Wellington. “We live in a lovely old villa built around 1887 with enough land for some chickens, a very small orchard, and some vegetable beds.”

John Sheffield wrote, “Patiently waiting for safe reentry opportunity here in NYC, post-COVID-19. Getting to do many homebound projects formerly shelved as low priority (e.g., digitizing several thousand Kodachrome slides).”

We haven’t heard from Stuart Frank in a while, and now I know why. He’s been busy writing books.

Steve Ossad wrote regarding a large number of posters a friend created for the 50th Commemoration of the War in Vietnam [which the Vietnamese call the American War]. See them at

Peter Kalischer is still in Japan, lying low in Tokyo but participating in our Zoom events. His daughter, Dani, resides in Brooklyn but has been holed up in New Zealand, a good place to be.

Steve Ching, MD is a part-time Kaua’i resident. “I have an emeritus appointment at the University of Rochester and do some occasional teaching with residents and medical students.”

Elbridge Smith and Bill Tam, both O’ahu attorneys (Elbridge focused on employee rights law and Tam, a retired water law expert) have been emailing recently with me and Peter Kalischer, who (like me) spent a semester in Hawaii during our Wesleyan years. Elbridge expressed what may be a common view of this reunion: “All our [senior year] finals were canceled as I recall. Maybe apropos that so is Reunion? Too bad; it would have been my first.”

Kalishcher, meanwhile, wrote a lengthy remembrance as a warm-up for the bio book, with an interesting perspective of 1966 Wesleyan and full of interesting stories. One example, some horticulture in Lawn Avenue. Maybe ask him for a copy.

Reunion dates next year are May 27-30. Let’s plan on a reunion then, whether in person or virtually. Stay tuned for more virtual class events. As always, send news. Meanwhile, stay well.

Russ Josephson |
P.O. Box 1151, Kilauea, HI 96754