CLASS OF 1979 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Hello everyone. I hope all of you have been weathering the pandemic and various levels of sheltering at home as well as you can. My husband and I (Diane) have been pretty much staying sequestered in our home but are cautiously optimistic about 2021. 

On that subject, Peter Cherr passed along his innovative approach to uplifting us: “In April, in response to COVID-19, I started a Haiku project called “Haiku in the Time of Corona Virus” in hopes of bringing some peace and calm and perhaps respite for people in this trying time. Toward this goal, I write and post on Instagram at least one Haiku every day with an accompanying picture which I hope uplifts people. The project can be found on my page @peter_c_cherr, and also, by the end of December, the website will have published 27 Haiku in their “Poetry Corner.” I have posted over 160 Haiku on Instagram to date and will have posted over 250 by year-end. The project will continue daily into next year while we wait for the pandemic crisis to ease.” 

Barbara Woike retired from the Associated Press in New York in March 2019 after being a photo editor there for 32 years. “My husband Jim McNamara and I decided to try small town living, surrounded by nature, so we sold our Brooklyn co-op and moved to the Berkshires. We now live in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a stone’s throw from the Red Lion Inn and the Main Street that still looks pretty much the way it did when Norman Rockwell painted it half a century ago. We couldn’t have been better placed when COVID-19 struck, and we’re enjoying our new lifestyle, but it is sad to see Tanglewood and all the other cultural attractions shut down and the local economy suffering.” 

 Cliff Hendel recently authored a chapter in a collective work published in Spain called A La Sombra—Actores Secundarios de la Historia. Each of the 57 chapters pairs a leading historical figure with another person who has remained “in the shadows” but without whom the historical figure would not have reached the status/notoriety he/she enjoys. His chapter had a certain Wesleyan connection. It involved the relation between Hamilton (relatively unknown, even in the United States, before Chernow’s biography and Miranda’s musical) and Washington (a global demi-god). Cliff continues to live in Madrid, practicing law and finding time to be a patron of the Fundación Española Pro Bono and to coach a team of law students from Madrid’s Universidad Carlos III in the annual Vis Moot competition.

Laura Walker, with an accomplished career most notably for transforming New York Public Radio into an independent media powerhouse and for spearheading successful, innovative initiatives at Sesame Workshop and Carnegie Hall, was recently appointed president of Bennington College. Congrats, Laura!

Ben Solnit reports that he has been running Zoom board meetings for the ACLU of Connecticut and the Morris Land Trust. Virtual mini-reunions were attended by Kitty Hannaford, John Hatleberg, Maura Resnick, Kate Sutherland, Laura Tully, and Laura Walker, along with many spouses. Ben is also taking a class with Professor Emeritus Herbert Arnold on Wolfram von Eschenbach’s masterpiece Parzival. “If 2020 has you down, medieval literature is the way to go.”

In an impassioned plea for environmental action, Ellen Reiter writes “All I can say is glad I’m old . . . I’ve been a climate activist since the 70s, but seeing negative results: climate change is out of control, and we humans, in my opinion, sit atop the endangered species list and indeed deserve to go extinct! Sorry, not sorry, world needs to stop burning fossil fuels, destroying ecosystems and waging endless war, all in the name of run-amok capitalism and systemic racism.” She also shares that she has recently relocated from San Francisco to Ocala, Florida to care for her very cool parents!

Casey Dinges retired after 35 years at ASCE working on infrastructure issues.

Diane MacLean Boumenot has retired from the American Mathematical Society and now works as a professional genealogist specializing in southern New England. Her website is Diane published a guide to Rhode Island genealogy through the National Genealogical Society in 2018.

In our last issue, Ann reported on the passing of Joe Britton. Our former co-class secretary, Gary Breitbord, passed along the following message after we went to print on that issue: “Joe Britton passed away in May. He was my third-floor sophomore year roommate; one of my best friends in the world; my brother in every sense of the word; a staunch defender of DKE; a loving father, son, brother, husband and grandfather. He was the best of us. Please keep his family, wife Nancy, son Scott, daughter Paige, and granddaughter Madison in your thoughts and prayers. Also take a moment to remember the times and stories that made Joe such a great friend and such a special person. God bless and rest in peace.” 

Please send us news for our next issue. We are part of a wonderful community. Connections to our friends, no matter how long it’s been since we last saw each other, are important and bring joy even, maybe even especially, in these challenging times.

Ann Biester Deane |

Diane LaPointe |

CLASS OF 1978 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Elizabeth (Pep Pep) Bachman has moved, with her wife, from San Francisco, California, to Portland, Oregon, where she trains corporate women in presentation skills and hosts a podcast entitled “Speakers Who Get Results”. She feels that her 30 years in the opera world has primed her for this, and continues to still spend plenty of time in the Austrian Alps where that former work took place.

Geoff Ginsburg continues his medical work at Duke University, where he is involved in multiple research and business initiatives.

Lucy Mize has had a “ringside seat” at the federal response to COVID-19, in the White House situation room during the early days and subsequently working from her home in Vermont during most of the past several months. Her daughter Belle ’22 is spending this semester driving cross-country working in organic farming, while her son Thad ’17 has moved from Miami to Vermont as well. Off screen, they’ve “been busy flying kites, watching goats eat up our brush and creating new gardens.”

Julie Skolnik has continued her professional musical work, maintaining her concert series (Mistral Music) in Boston despite the pandemic, through both virtual concerts and live performances in local parks and other safe-distancing venues. 

Lynn M. Thomas and her daughter Carolyn Thomas visited with Tracy Robinson in Booth Bay Harbor this summer and enjoyed the break from COVID-19’s isolation, the gorgeous Maine coastline, islands, and blue waters.

Finally, it saddens me to inform you of the passing in April of two of our classmates, Aline Senior and Mark Laser. Ron Duby was good enough to let us know about Aline, and Lane Katz about Mark. Both Aline and Mark lived in Connecticut, and they both leave behind wonderful legacies of rich and varied lives in which they touched the hearts of many. They will be deeply missed, and our thoughts go out to their families and loved ones. Beautiful pieces about each of them are easily available; for Mark on, and for Aline on 

In the hopes that you are all well, our best regards. 

Susie Muirhead Bates | 

Ken Kramer |

CLASS OF 1977 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

 Several fine notes have been received during this unprecedented year reminding me of the power of connection. Being in touch has been a lifeline to us all who were so used to freely travel- ing or gathering in groups without a second thought but have not for some time now. I have described this year for myself as one of recalibration: shifting priorities to maintaining good health, appreciating all that we have and displaying civility and kindness to others. Here is to the hope these lessons remain long after vaccines have been distributed and we resume our faster paced lives.

Paul Meisel’s son Andrew was married in Maine this September. Paul’s latest book My Stinky Summer by S. Bug came out this summer: a scientifically accurate “diary” by a brown marmorated stink bug. Paul has two books ready for release including My Tiny Life by Ruby T. Hummingbird and You Poop Here, a book on potty training. 

Andy Darpino is hoping to celebrate his daughter’s wedding in January 2021 after this past summer’s postponement. Once this event is completed, he will consider retirement. 

Bruce Kaplan writes from Chattanooga, Tennessee that he retired from his neurology practice and runs Barking Legs Theater with his wife with a focus on dance and music events. They have been creative by streaming shows and holding outdoor events with full social distancing including “Drive-In” Dances. Bruce keeps in touch with Mac Scott as well as recently met up with Cynthia Dembrow to share thoughts and feelings surrounding the recent deaths of parents. Bruce is thankful that Maco Stewart introduced him to Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys at Wesleyan prior to becoming a resident of Tennessee. 

Ellen Gendler is practicing and teaching dermatology in Manhattan. Ellen was stricken with COVID-19 in March; she experienced how onerous it is to maintain the safety of patients and staff. Ellen and her husband were able to retreat to the Berkshires to recover, which I am pleased to report she has. Son Jonathan is chief resident in medicine at Massachusetts General where he receives great career advice from Jim Udelson. He also provided Ellen with their first grandchild. Younger son Michael graduated from law school in May and begins his law career in January. Ellen sends regards to Richard Parad, who she fondly remembers studying bio with at the Science Library, many long years ago.

 Hal Garneau writes that while rooming in Foss Hill 5, he met Dan Waters with whom he became close friends, grew inseparable, fell deeply in love and have been together ever since: “46 wonderful years.” Both Hal and Dan are retired in Hal’s hometown of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Hal sends a special hello to all friends and fellow dorm-mates from Foss Hill 5, which I believe is still standing. A dormitory was built on the adjacent site of a former playing field. 

John Fink recently took the reins of Aloha United Way in Oahu. As so much of Hawaii’s economy is tourism based, the state has been hit especially hard. John is on the front lines providing relief on many fronts for the struggling population. As many have reported, not being to see your children or grandchildren is especially frustrating, albeit understandable. Quoting John: “Some people will look back at the horrid year of COVID-19 and talk about how they made it through, I would prefer to look back and say that I helped make a difference: that’s why we are all here in the first place.” John’s book Think About It, a compilation of editorials from 2000 to 2018, is available from Amazon. 

Johnathan Gertler reports that he is well, along with his family, especially his two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter Jhie. He is grateful to be a part of the health care community and has new music coming out soon. I smiled reading through Keith Stern’s note as I had the pleasure of being his architect for a new chapel and renovation of his temple in Newton, Massachusetts, for which Keith is rabbi. It is frustrating in that people cannot use the completed spaces. But they will! The adage that an “architect is only as good as his client” was never truer. Keith is still married after 40 years and has all five kids and grandchildren on the eastern seaboard. He completed his note stating he is studying astrophysics in his spare time and wears a mask. 

Don Spencer is keeping his spirits up as he fights cancer by working hard at his firm, kayaking, biking, and obsessively buying fine watches. Even though he’s been out of touch with so many alums, he would welcome calls or (socially distanced) visits to his Westport home or NYC apartment (visitors to Westport will be required to ride in his Boston Whaler!). He can be reached at 646-691-7457 (mobile), 203-662-0123 (landline) or

 Susan Jacobson writes from Portland that as owner of a consulting company serving nonprofits, she has been helping a range of organizations weather the pandemic. Family, including her two sons, are well and live locally. She attended some protests and is proud of her city for supporting “Black Lives Matter” so diligently and thoroughly. Susan remains hopeful for the future that our higher ideals will some day be realized. 

Tom Roberts is enjoying following his son’s freshman year progress at Wesleyan; he has joined the football team though no games were scheduled in 2020.

Susan White is continuing to teach, remotely of course, at Boston University School of Medicine. She has taken to the challenge of reconnecting with folks and a rapid adaptation to a huge number of new platforms. So far so good! 

To all I send you best wishes for a fine and healthy 2021!

Gerry Frank |

CLASS OF 1976 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Not surprisingly, we all seem to be retiring this year! 

Byron Haskins, our stalwart class secretary of many decades, has retired from his career, only to be elected precinct captain for his county’s Democratic Party. As if that weren’t a full job (and more!), he’s serving on the board of Single Payer of Michigan, an  organization promoting universal healthcare, and he’s continuing his work with the Michigan Capital Area chapter of the Project  Management Institute. He’s also finding time to continue to create music and poetry. Byron has been my hero for some time now,  but now’s the time to make him a role model as well. 

Karen Gervasoni is managing the pandemic by buying a travel trailer with her partner. They’re heading to the Cape this fall to see if  they can travel safely; if it works out, they’re heading cross-country next summer. Karen, let us know how it goes on the Wes ’76 FB  page! 

Nat Needle has been teaching piano in Worcester, MA, recently facing the challenge of moving to remote piano lessons. Like so  many, he was unable to play a public gig for nearly 6 months but got the chance to perform on 9/11. He has been deeply involved  with his local branch of Stand Up for Racial Justice, working to remove police presence from Worcester public schools. You can find  his music on YouTube. 

Tom Kovar is doing well after having had way too many medical issues early in the year. He may well have had a case of COVID in  January and ended up with a pacemaker in March. But he remains his wonderfully cheerful self, is still playing and posting music  (and waiting for social distancing to end so he can gig again), and is watching his son Sam start to think about applying to college. 

Larry Davis and his wife Ronna managed to take a trip around the world early this year, staying just ahead of the pandemic. He  followed that with a week of watching football matches in London and Liverpool, then going to Israel to co-lead a geology course on  the Dead Sea Rift Zone. The pandemic put an end to travels, and Larry and Rona have been devoting themselves to an organic  vegetable garden since. 

Michael Kennedy-Scanlon writes from Catalonia that the “second wave” of COVID-19 is underway. The pandemic has pushed him  into early retirement, but universal health care has made that an easy transition for him. He says that people are good about masks  and distancing, but that the need to socialize in groups is just too strong to be suppressed. 

Katey Downs retired in January after 25 years working in private equity investments in Latin America, the last ten years with the  IFC/World Bank. She and her husband, Felipe Ramirez-Gaston, were splitting their time between D.C. and Lima, Peru, but will  remain in D.C. until it’s safe to travel again. 

Jeff Frank loves retirement. He’s keeping busy as a Lyft driver in Columbus OH, which has to be a terrific way to meet people of  every possible background. Jeff says that the work is showing him that people aren’t as seriously at odds as the media often  portrays. He loves the expression of diverse viewpoints that he hears from his passengers. 

Will Rodman and his wife moved from Boston to Dallas last year to be closer to their grandson. Will reports that the heat of Texas  summer is more than balanced by not having to shovel snow in the winter. He’s still working, having joined the Texas A&M  Transportation Institute as a research scientist. A planned cruise up the Rhine to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary was  cancelled due to the pandemic, so they made due with a lovely trip to the Ozarks. Will says if any of his old friends are coming  through Dallas, get in touch at j.william.rodman [at] Gmail. 

Melissa Blacker and her husband (David Rynick ’74) have been keeping their Zen temple in Worcester going with Zoom services and  classes, but happily were recently able to return to outdoor services (with appropriate precautions). Their discussions groups  engage with topics such as racial justice, ethics, and Zen koan practice. (  

At the time of writing these notes, most of the West Coast was on fire, so I asked West Coast let me know how they were doing with  extreme temperatures, terrible fires, and appalling air quality. The reports: 

Ellen Seh lives in the Bay Area, so she’s been enduring not just the pandemic, but the effects of apocalyptic fires, smoke and heat as  well. She’s been working with the Red Cross to help victims of the Northern California fires, and spending free time hiking with her  new dog (presumably in search of better air quality).  

Sid Cohen has retired after a long career as a cardiologist. Another Bay Area-ish resident, he’s also been dealing with extreme heat,  forest fires, and terrible smoke (and air quality). Retirement will give him time to explore all the things that interest him, to enjoy his  children and grandchildren, and to getting back to running and biking when the air finally clears.

Jay Abramowitz reports that as of mid-September there were no fires in Santa Monica, but the air was filled with ash from the  Bobcat fire. Fingers crossed that the Santa Ana winds don’t set the Santa Monica Mountains on fire, Jay! 

Rob Sloss has moved out of Los Angeles to retire in Ojai, one of the loveliest spots in California. In spite of this fall’s extreme heat,  Rob seems to be in an area not terribly affected by the fires, so he’s able to enjoy the coyotes, owls, and all the other native wildlife. 

Martha Meade shared photos of the brown skies and red sun over west Los Angeles during the Bobcat fire. Like everyone else she  stayed safe indoors, and put her time to wonderful use by painting lovely still lifes and landscapes. 

David (Harmin ’76) and I are much the same; I’m retired, David isn’t. David works with Mike Greenberg, who is doing an  extraordinary job of keeping the Department of Neurobiology and his lab at Harvard Medical School functioning under very difficult  circumstances. I’m at a loss to explain how it is that Mike never seems to age! 

And, finally, I am saddened to report the death of Michael Dimin, founder of Sea to Table (no other information available) this  summer.

Karen Harmin |

CLASS OF 1974 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Karla Bell writes, “I’m still friends with my roommate, Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Rabbi Nancy now. She has spent much of life teaching and acting in other roles at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Seminary. The Cleveland Jewish community keeps inviting Nancy to give presentations and she stays with me and we get a chance to catch up. Most recently she was asked to facilitate and lead an interaction between the members of a conservative synagogue and Muslims who are active in the Islamic Center on the East Side of Cleveland. She was pleased that participants shared passionate and touching stories. She got rave reviews. We also discovered that we wear the same shoe size. (She came with tennis shoes; I lent her boots, as we had 4-6 inches of snow.) Juliette Kendrick, another roommate, and I are very close, a relationship re-sparked by my sending two children to Emory in Atlanta, and Juliette sending her two sons to college, and one to medical school, in Ohio. During an extended visit she stayed at my house, yes, we discovered she could wear my clothes. (I’m the conglomeration of our bodies?) The picture was taken a couple of years back, when we had a reunion in Cleveland.

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”–Eleanor Roosevelt

Bill Burton retired after a 37-year career with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA.  He will continue on as Emeritus, finishing projects that were not completed due to the pandemic.  One is geologic mapping of an area in western Connecticut, where he is cooperating with Bob Wintsch, Adjunct Professor with Wesleyan’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science.  Bill and his wife Laurel will be spending a lot more time at their cabin in Jamestown, Colorado, and Bill will continue his volunteer activities including astronomy education, supporting the northern Virginia Audubon Society chapter, and tending beehives at his church.  He looks forward to future Wes reunions at Lloyd Komesar’s film festival in Middlebury, Vermont.

Joan Braun reports:  “Last September, I embarked on  Phase I of my glidepath to retirement, trading a full time job as COO of the United  Way Bay Area for a part-time job as the Finance Director of Homebase, the Center for Common Concerns. It’s been a salutary change—three and half days of work instead of six. 

Lest I worry about what to do with my newfound leisure, I stepped  into role of President of  the Aurora Theatre, a hidden gem located  in the heart of Berkeley. My timing was impeccable. 

The stage went dark in March in response to Governor Newsom’s shelter-in-place  directive and we’re expecting to be dark until next summer.  Our tiny 150-seat trust stage venue  is absolutely unsuitable for socially distanced seating.  Given that unhappy fact, It’s been all financials, all the time. 

We were lucky enough to get a Paycheck Protection Program  loan and a small grant from the City of Berkeley at the start of the pandemic. In  July, we held a very successful on-line Gala. In short order, we launched both a Friday afternoon digital salon and a full-fledged on-line  membership program. In October, we’ll  be mounting an  online, audio performance of a brand new work, The Flats. Get your tickets now:! Geography is no excuse to miss it.” 

Chris Nagle updates us: “I left Wes Tech in the fall of 1974 and headed right off to law school with a vague goal of being a small town attorney in northern New England, probably Vermont where I had spent winter breaks as a ski bum in Stowe.  In the fall of 1977, I found myself working for a large law firm in Portland, Maine.   For the next 43 years, I commuted from the northern suburbs to two different law firms located downtown.   Portland rose from the ashes like a phoenix to become a hot small city nationally recognized for its restaurants and its arts scene.   At different times, I enjoyed high office window views of the Fore River and Casco Bay or the White Mountains and Tuckerman’s Ravine.

On August 1, 2020, I finally achieved my goal.   I now work at the Law Offices of Thaddeus Day PLLC, a two attorney operation in “downtown” North Yarmouth, Maine, which also has a breakfast and lunch restaurant, a gas station/convenience store, a day care center and Town Hall. My commute from my home in semi-rural West Cumberland is 3.5 miles mostly on a secondary highway (Route 115) with three right turns, two stop signs, no traffic, no traffic lights, no parking garages, no key cards and no elevators. The firm is in a small converted cape, my modest office window looks out into the back yard, and my faithful dog Ace comes with me most days.    I only work from late morning to late afternoon most days. Professional life the way it should be

I still walk 18 holes of golf at least weekly when there is no snow and am still challenged by the ski slopes of Sugarloaf and Stowe each when there is snow, both with friends and family.

I continue to be amazed by my sons. Scott (BA Bennington ’05, MS Teaching Pace ’07, MS Computer Science NYU ’17) is helping develop quantum computers for IBM, in additional to being longtime Occupy member, EMT, WFR etc. He is happily married to Keilly Cutler (Hamilton ’12?) and they live in Austin, TX. Jeff (UVM ’10) lives in Morrisville just north of Stowe, VT, is the marketing director of Ski Essentials, a large internet ski company, and posts regular “Chair Lift” videos about new developments in skis. He recently joined a local golf club which makes my heart flutter.  His life partner Tori (UVM 08?) works for ACLU Vermont.” 

Carolyn White shares, “I just attended the online version of Lloyd Komesar’s MNFF: Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, 6th édition. 127 different items to watch over an 8 day period. I managed to see 27: narratives, documentaries and shorts. As always, the quality was high. I learned a lot and feel enriched. 10 days afterward, Steve Goldschmidt (1972) organized a Zoom for the Wesleyan folk who attended to discuss and critique. We could not say enough good things about Lloyd, the organization, the quality of the films. Mark your calendar, reserve your room for the weekend before Labor Day weekend. Lloyd will guarantee you his ever warm welcome. “

Monique Witt updates us: “In spite of everything, Ben dropped his third album (“Kites and Strings,” the Nebula Project) recently, and is live streaming and finishing some commissioned compositions.  Dev’s venture, Ex Machina Soundworks, launched a new audio platform, and Steve is working the same crazy hours but remotely.  The production company will release only four albums this year, but the slow down has allowed more time for reading and writing.  Everyone is well.”

Sharon Purdie |

CLASS OF 1973 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Mike McKenna reports from Weybridge, Vermont, that “all is good” and continues to feature his stunning, at times breathtaking photos from that state at different times of the day on Facebook. He’s a potential freelancer for National Geographic

Tom Tokarz writes that after 30 years in Cromwell, Connecticut, Kathy and he moved to Old Saybrook, Connecticut, near Fenwood Beach, last year. “We are really settling in to the area. One day, while walking the dog, two blocks from home I bumped into Charlie Cocores at his property. We had a great talk and found out we both have family in State College, Pennsylvania, of all places. Small world,” says Tom. He tells me he was also honored to be named to the Wesleyan football 1970s all-decade team along with John Hoder. He sends congratulations to John along with Jim Greene and Dave Moffenbeier who were also nominated. With the pandemic and its restrictions, Tom says, “Really miss not being able to tailgate and attend other campus events. Hope everyone stays safe.”

Tom Kelly reports that he and has family have been sorting through the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says his wife is working from home, as are his children who live “close by.” He misses live theater, baseball and hockey and least misses airlines and airports and at this writing at the end of September, Tom says he has taken no flights since February. Tom says he has improved “staying connected” but he admits “I was never really good at it.” He has used his “found time” productively, learning Spanish and doing community work in affordable housing.

 Another intrepid correspondent Jay Rose tells me that he and Dave Moffenbeier had lunch together recently in Centralia, Washington. It was the first time they had seen each other in 37 years, which I’m guessing might have been our 10-year reunion in 1983. Jay says Dave still lives in Portland, Oregon, and Jay was visiting his son in Seattle and notes that Centralia is halfway between two cities. It was a remarkable reunion after nearly four decades apart, particularly considering that while at Wesleyan they saw each other all the time. Jay and Dave were both chemistry majors who played on the football team together and both lived at Delta Tau Delta. 

 And speaking of reunions, Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19, Wesleyan’s associate director of annual giving, reminds you to save the date for our 50th Reunion scheduled for May 25–28, 2023! Reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening even now. If you’d like to be involved in planning some virtual events or want to work on class outreach, contact Kate ( Other reunion news can be found at

Granderson “Granny” Hale sends his greetings to everyone while writing a humorous, offbeat note saying he was the “Knucklehead of Unit 10 and Lawn Ave” who was “Everyone’s friend.” He writes that he went from the projects of Philadelphia to Goldman Sachs in 1975 and reports that he is married with six children and 13 grandchildren. He says he has created a few companies. “Some bombed. Some did not,” he says. “So now what?” He leaves us with a deep thought from the Bible, “I am come that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly.” Granderson tells me he has taught Sunday school for more than 35 years and is heavily involved in personal Evangelism.

We have learned of the passing of Tom Pfeiffer last October 10th who died at his home in Verona, Wisconsin, from “non COVID-19-related health issues.” He was 69. Tom moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1977 and his family says he “took pride in helping students get the education they were seeking” as financial aid director at the University of Wisconsin. For two decades he also helped many working for Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families. Tom is survived by three children, his partner, six siblings and 17 nieces and nephews. I will always remember his smile, low-key sense of humor and storytelling as he frequently attended our 5-year reunions.

Finally, there is better news here in the area of South Florida after Miami was called for awhile the “epicenter” of COVID-19 after New York’s battle. I never thought I’d be wearing a face mask for this long while going live for TV news on CBS4 and never thought my first question of the day would not be about the weather or anything else but quite simply, “What’s the positivity rate?” A boring question that so many were posing every single day: the rate of those testing positive for COVID-19. The better news is that at this writing the positivity rate for Broward County has been consistently averaging below four percent and below five percent for Miami-Dade and dropping. I guess, as they say, we “stay tuned.”

Peter D’Oench |

CLASS OF 1972 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Six months of restricted life, no end in sight, and it will probably be the same when these words reach your eyes. As Shakespeare said, “oy gevalt.”  My family and I are well and I hope the same is true for you.

Our Class Zoom in March was such a success that President Michael Roth ’78 wanted to do one with us. Organized by Ron Ashkenas and Peter Hicks, Michael joined us for a most interesting session during which he discussed Wesleyan’s response to COVID-19 and its re-envisioning of its future. Ron and Peter are busy organizing another set of webinars on various themes for our class, which should be of great interest to all and should build enthusiasm for our 50th reunion, which we really hope will come off as scheduled in May of 2022.

My old roommate Roger Jackson, now retired as professor of religion at Carleton College, has been awarded the 2020 Toshihide Numata Book Award in Buddhism (“Toshi Award”) for his book, Mind Seeing Mind: Mahamudra and the Geluk Tradition (Wisdom Publications, 2019). The award is presented on an annual basis to an outstanding book in any area of Buddhist studies. The award is typically presented at UC Berkeley, and is celebrated with a public lecture by the award recipient and a symposium focused on the book’s theme. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the celebration, including presentation of the award, public lecture, and symposium, had to be conducted remotely as a webinar.  That webinar had not been held at the time of writing a few of us planned to attend, based on Roger’s assurance that some of his remarks would, in fact, be  aimed toward “a not-too-deep-in-the-Buddhist-studies-weeds audience.”  This is a most significant achievement, one that caps a distinguished and committed career. Well done, Roger! 

Marc Bloustein wrote me from his home office, where he too was sheltering in place. Marc continues to work for the New York State court system. 46 years in all.  He is the Judiciary’s Legislative Counsel and an advisor to the State’s Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge.  He lecture to groups of judges frequently on court system history, constitutional law issues bearing upon the structure/operations of New York’s courts, and recent legislative developments.  Once in a while, he even publishes something on these topics.  The work is challenging (never more so than now, as they try to keep the courts operational during these fraught times) and, as long as his health is good, he plans to continue. Marc and wife Diane (Skidmore, 1975), continue to live in suburban Albany. Their daughter (Wellesley, ’03, Northwestern (master’s), 2005) is a journalist who has been an NPR reporter and is now a digital content editor for the local paper, The Albany Times Union. Their son (Northwestern, ’06)  lives in Chicago, where he is “a freelance TV production guy.” He directs TV broadcasts of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls for NBC Sports Chicago; and Big Ten football and men’s and women’s basketball for the Big Ten Network. Occasionally he does NHL games as well.  But the best thing about Marc’s life these days is being a grandfather.  And that his two grandchildren, Kinsey, age seven, and Calvin, just about age three, live all of 10 miles away.

I am sorry to report that Arnold Hendrick lost his battle with cancer on May 25, 2020. I remember him as a delightfully learned and enthusiastic gamer, and he spent his life exactly that way. Capitalizing on his degree in history, he began with board games, including Barbarian Prince. He expanded his game sophistication as computers developed; he was most proud of his game Darklands. He expanded his interests to include online training for both medical crises (in coordination with Stanford University) and military training scenarios with the U.S. Army.  Even after he retired, he began a small, international company to expand on the Darklands theme. He leaves behind his wife, Georgeann, a step-daughter, Dr. Heather Pua, and a brother, Stephen Hendrick. 

 Don Lewis is still practicing law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He and wife Michelle have been strictly sheltering in place since mid-March; their daughter Meredith’s husband is a health scientist who warned them about COVID-19 in January (when Don bought his first pack of N95 masks), and they are insisting on a very strict regimen.  Meredith and her family (including three kids, ages two, five, and eight) are also sheltering in place about 15 minutes away. Their younger daughter, Emily, lives in Philadelphia and they have not seen her (except via Facetime) since March. Don has many regrets about his Wesleyan years, which were clouded over by the Vietnam War (especially after he drew number 4 in the draft lottery). Instead of reaching out to classmates back then, he curtailed his involvement in campus life, which he deeply regrets. Nonetheless, several people at Wesleyan, especially Prof. David McAllester, helped him obtain a CO classification. He served his two years of alternate service in a relatively low stress job with the Boston College Law School legal aid program, and credits Georgia Sassen ’71 with steering him to that job. Ironically, that set the stage for his unexpected gravitation into the legal profession. 

Don was one of a few dozen classmates who participated in a Zoom session in October at which we whipped up enthusiasm for the reunion, but mostly just talked and had fun. I couldn’t talk to everyone, but here are a few highlights:


Steve Lewis—in Marin County, still practicing environmental litigation

Blake Allison—in Lyme, New Hampshire, active in conservation groups and the Town Band

Ron Ashkenas—Stamford, Connecticut—not-for-profit organizational consulting

Rick Berg—near Albuquerque, bed & breakfast, software business, Democratic politics, outdoors

Paul Edelberg—also Stamford, still practicing law with emphasis on China

Bonnie Krueger—sheltered on Cape Cod, preparing to teach her last semester at Hamilton College, albeit remotely


There will be more such get-togethers, and maybe one day we can do it in person again. Here’s hoping for May 2022, and see Kate Lynch’s note below about how you can help in the reunion effort!

Save the date for our 50th Reunion scheduled for May 19–May 22, 2022! Reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening even now and for those that missed our virtual conversation with Michael Roth last June, other virtual events will be scheduled over the next several months. If you want more information go to Or if you want to get involved, contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19.

Seth A. Davis |
213 Copper Square Drive, Bethel, CT 06801

CLASS OF 1971 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Aloha classmates! As of writing, the planned 50th Reunion event has unfortunately been postponed. Expect details from Wesleyan soon! Regardless, the committee is generating wonderful ideas and events for our participation when we can meet in person. It will be well worth your while to attend. Reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening all year long and if you want more information or to join the reunion committee, go to wesleyan

.edu/classof1971. Or if you want to get involved, contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19.

We had our first Zoom virtual call and over 70 in our class registered. We heard some interesting ideas coming for the reunion and then broke into groups of about six people to refresh and reacquaint ourselves with our classmates. For those that have missed it, more virtual events will be scheduled over the next few months (potentially January, February and March). The next group of calls will have a theme with speakers from our class and the university on a specific topic 

The ideas behind the pre-reunion Zoom calls are as follows:

Build interest and participation for the reunion, and unearth classmates by having them attend (and engage) or participate in the pre-reunion sessions.

Pilot some programming ideas for the reunion or to the reunion “Book.”

Pre-reunion Program Category Ideas:

1) Attract and Motivate Specialty Interest Segment Groups

Programs: “Then vs. Now at Wesleyan” or “Looking Back Through Today’s Lens” (e.g., Athletics, Science, Humanities, Film and Theater Arts, Jewish life, women at Weslyan, etc), featuring faculty and students from “then” (’67–’71) and now.

2) Attract General interest and Enthusiasm by Tapping into Wide Mosaic of Classmate Accomplishments and Journeys 

These calls should be a great way to prepare for the reunion. So do plan to Zoom in for these calls! Information should be coming to you in emails. If you are not receiving them please contact Kate Lynch at 

Another item that requires your response regards the Reunion Book. Please respond ASAP with any changes as updated contact information will be used for all future mailings and communication. There is no need to respond if contact information is correct.

Everyone is urged to answer the questions you will receive from the 50th Reunion Book Committee and to submit a new and an “old” 

photo to be included in the book—people are most disappointed to find out they have not submitted anything when the hard copy of the book is mailed to the class in April 2021.

Sad news: Pam Kyrka, who is an active member of the 50th Reunion committee, informed us that her husband and our classmate Bob Kyrka passed away on July 21, 2020. He leaves behind Pam and their daughters, Kristin ’04, an immigration lawyer in Seattle, and Morgan, working and living in New Hampshire. Pam writes the following: “Bob died on July 21, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimers. He was an avid runner, completing 26 marathons. He is missed by his wife Pam ’71, his  daughter Kristin ’04, his son Morgan, and his granddaughter Hazel, as well as many people whose animals he treated as a veterinarian.”

Jonathan Kramer wrote me and asked a question in search of fellow classmates. “Henry Sanders and I sat out in my backyard last week, ‘socially distanced,’ of course, going through the list of ’71 names, checking out whom we knew, whom we remembered, whom we were in contact with over the years. It occurred to me that no fewer than four members of my ‘Freshman Integrated’ program (remember that?) were not on the list. Checking each of their names with Google searches yielded no information. All four vanished. I don’t remember if, like me, the four did not graduate with the class; but still, Wesleyan has been in touch with me over the years, and I am not only on the ‘list’ but on the reunion committee as well. Have you information on any of these four: Gary Gianuzzi, James Vizzini, Paul Breger, and Walter Zdrok?”

Jonathan continues, “As for me, I am still playing and teaching cello, but now on Skype from my home. I retired from NC State University in January after 35 years, just in time to miss the campus chaos brought on by COVID-19. The college textbook on World Music I co-wrote . . . What in the World Is Music?, published in 2016 by Routledge/Taylor and Francis . . . is dedicated to ethno-mentor David McAllester from Wesleyan days, as well as my cello mentor Gordon Epperson and my colleague Alison Arnold’s ethno-mentor Bruno Nettl. We honor our teachers.” In answer to his question Vizzini and Breger were found and Jonathan can reach out to them. If anyone knows how to contact Gianuzzi and Zdrok please let Jonathan or Kate Lynch know. And if you have lost contact with someone from the class contact Kate for information.

Well that is all I have this time. Even though our planned reunion in May 2021 has been postponed, I’m looking forward to all of us being able to get together again. Keep an eye out for a new date, and feel free to join our frequent Zoom calls on various topics!


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

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 |