CLASS OF 1969 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Rameshwar Das co-authored Being Ram Dass, a memoir by his late teacher, “who bridged psychology and mysticism. A neurotic professor, he evolved into a transcendent yogi espousing unconditional love.”

     From Ric Peace: “No Pease, please, just Peace.”  Lloyd Buzzell ’68 said, “Be smart/safe/well.” Bob Watson wrote, “saw our grandson, Matthias, in Cartagena. My book about sports and psychoanalysis is well reviewed. We enjoy our daughter’s presence as she Zooms her Seattle patients.”

     Denny Marron channeled Billy Joel, “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

     From Bryn Hammarstrom, “Don’t know when we’ll have to give up these 100 acres, but the time is coming. Climbing hills was hard. Diagnosis—aortic valve stenosis and aortic aneurysm. To the Cleveland Clinic November 16. So far so good. Back to a four-day week at Temple University Hospital in time of COVID-19.”

     Review Stu Blackburn’s novels on Amazon or Goodreads. The latest is The Boy from Shenkottai, Revolutionary, Murderer, Hero. He wrote, “Locked down on England’s South Coast and mourning Don Russell’s death.”

     Tom Kelly ’68 said, “Jack Fitzgerald died of heart failure last fall. A good fellow, serious, reflective, blessed with a deep and subtle sense of humor.”

     Jim Drummond wrote, “My senior thesis was on James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ihab Hassan the advisor. He once came to the lectern, paused, and walked out, no words. I have frequent contact with Jeff Richards, whose virtual productions are amazing. My novel in progress is Thank You for Death.”

     The “Four Dharma Summaries” are guideposts at Ken Kawasaki’s

     Bill Currier said, “Stay well. Eat well; get decent exercise; stay social, read, write, think. Nature is just doing what comes naturally. Adapt to Nature, and that goes for global warming.”

     Frank Putnam is “a professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a memoir about child abuse, trauma, and medical interventions.”

     Pete Arenella and his wife “flew round-trip Mexico to Los Angeles for COVID-19 shots. Death’s shroud is over my loved ones. Best faculty friend died within 24 hours of diagnosis. First great love has cancer. Several pets died suddenly.”

     “Archaeological work recovering material culture from the mud flats of Wellfleet Village has long interested me,” said Steve Broker. “On loan, I’m archiving shipping forms, invoices, correspondence, 1860–1880, the period just before the first documented North Atlantic fisheries collapse.”

     Bernie Freamon wrote, “Members of ’70, led by S. Jacob Scherr ’70, Zoom every Tuesday at 6 pm. Very pleasant and self-esteem boosting sessions. Email:”

     Charlie Morgan is “quarantining in Bonita Springs. I play tennis daily. Get some expert witness work—entertaining and lucrative. Grandchildren, largely in New Jersey, are growing up too fast.”

     Nick Browning and wife Rebecca Ramsey ’75 have “mostly closed our psychiatry practice and live in Woodstock, Vermont. We have a beautiful home. I write essays and short stories. Rebecca paints and plays cello. We get grandparenting joy from the grown kids. Peter Pfeiffer and I correspond. Add Walt Abrams and Peter Cunningham to the mix.”

     From Steve Mathews, “Nashville endured a tough 2020. No tourists. $3.5 billion impact. It is still a great city. Picasso is showing at the museum. That’s creating an early buzz.”

     Alex Knopp “no longer teaches at Yale but is still involved with public libraries, NAACP, the Connecticut Law Tribune, and the Connecticut Retirement Security Board. Bette’s first book, The Better Angels, is a time travel novel for seniors. Don’t let your guard down.”

     Mike Fink “got COVID-19 and almost died. While I was hospitalized, my family battled it at home. I stared Death in the face and whipped its ass.”

     John Fenner “practices law in Weston, Florida.”

     Neil Jensen and “wife Peggy are retired and live on a small lake in southern Maine. We volunteer and do environmental work. Children Kristin and Erik are academics, PhDs, world travelers, terrific cooks, and great entertainment. I’ve heard from Doug Coombs and Ken Quattlander ’68.”

     Ron Reisner “wonders why Williams and Amherst poll at 1 and 2. I continue to help a local state senator because there’s always another election.”

     Dave Siegel wrote, “As a part-time doctor, I’ve learned a lot of virology but look forward to resumption of activities. Hope others have weathered this difficult time.”

     Jack and Claudia Meier are “happily ensconced in Bluffton, South Carolina.”

     Bob Palumbo “spends blessed daily hours between stone carving and whale watching.”

     John Bach “will die happy if I can climb one more 14,000′ Colorado peak.”

     Tony Mohr’s “next gig will be the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard.”

   Peter Cunningham is “hibernating in Lincoln, Massachusetts, having completed a short film about life in pre-virus New York City.”

     Pete Pfeiffer wrote, “All us old Maine folks are vaccinated.”

   Jeff Powell wrote, “am fully retired and spend summers sailing coastal Maine.”

   Robert “Rip” Hoffman writes: “Looking back at 2020, we drove our cars much less so we saved money on gas.  We couldn’t go anywhere so we saved money on travel.  We couldn’t go out to eat, so we saved money on food. Our kids moved closer, so we were able to see them much more frequently.  My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.  I’d have so say 2020 was pretty good!”

   John Mihalec says: “Joined Steve Pfeiffer, Darcy LeClair, and about 20 other ex-Wes footballers for a Zoom session with our coach from back then, Don Russell, logging in from Texas. It was great fun and well-timed, as Don died shortly afterward in January.”

   Peter Cunningham: I fled Bleecker Street 11 months ago and am hibernating in Lincoln, MA with my mate, who has a more advanced degree from Wesleyan than I ever dreamed of earning. My latest effort is this short film about vibrant life in pre-virus New York, it’s called This was Our Life. The music is by Zoe FitzGerald Carter (, mother of two Wesleyan Graduates, Anna Guth ’14 and Mira Guth ’18

   Neil (Nick) Jensen writes: “My wife Peggy and I are retired and living on a small lake in southern Maine. In recent years we’ve managed a volunteer lake stewardship organization and a volunteer-run invasive species eradication program. And we do trail work at Acadia National Park. We celebrated our 50th anniversary alone during the COVID-19 lockdown. We have two academically-oriented children: Kristin, a project manager in the UVA library system; and Erik, professor of ancient Mediterranean history at Salem State. Both of them PhD’s, world travelers, terrific cooks, and the best entertainment a fella could have (when I can catch up with them!) I occasionally hear from Doug Coombs,  and Ken Quattlander ’68, fellow refugees from the great EQV fire.”

   Jeffrey Powell is “now fully retired since June 2020 having worked for New London Hospital IT department since my retirement from my clinical practice of Internal Medicine at the New London Medical Center at the end of 2012. My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated our 5lst anniversary August 2020. We are still living in New London, NH but spend our summer months for the most part sailing the coast of Maine in our 35 foot Island Packet cutter between Portland and Bar Harbor. We have three granddaughters ages 17, 14, and 8 yrs living in Green Bay Wisconsin and Columbia South Carolina.” 

   John Hickey says, “No visits to report during the pandemic, but I did revisit two books by our classmate Jamie Kalven. A Worthy Tradition a book that Jamie’s father (a law professor) started on the First Amendment, was completed by Jamie when his father died. In this time of constitutional focus, it’s a great read. Jamie’s autobiographical sketch Working With Available Light was also a great read.

   In spite of the political “goings on” with the arrival of the vaccines a possible end to the pandemic does appear to be possible. I remember hoping for an end to the War in Vietnam during our era at Wesleyan.” 

    John Wilson and I concur, “Hope all are well.”

CLASS OF 1968 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

I heard from Jeff Talmadge: like most of us, he “didn’t go anywhere or do anything” in 2020. “A year of patience, resilience and caution. . . . While the world, and especially our beloved country, has been in chaos, we have turned to family and close friends more than ever for recreation, love and comfort.” 

     Bob Knox made my day by doing something very simple that you too could do: he called me out of the blue. One of those Stanford guys who never returned, he is a still practicing attorney in Marin County. When asked why he is still working, he confided that he enjoys it— trying to extract money from insurance companies who won’t pay little old ladies whose house burned down. Two special things: running through the woods with a bunch of friends every Saturday and getting back to the guitar (taking lessons from a very fine teacher). Two sons. Three grands. Keeps in touch with John Mergendoller

     Mark Johnson, a JV oar out of South Kent who entered in the fall of 1965 but—being a rambunctuous EQVer­—didn’t finish until 1971. He reached out and we had a lovely chat with a lot of crew stories and friends in common. Mentioned Louis Loeb ’67­—someone I only knew as a legend—and Nat Greene (someone we all knew as a terror but he’s mellowed). Mark is a musician of a funny sort (computer stuff etc.) who taught, played and stayed in California. When reality hit, he took his IT skills into banking and then, more happily, into economic forecasting and lobbying for hospital systems. Lucky in love, Mark is married and has four grown sons and two grands.

     Confession: as I told John Lipsky if I’d been in EQV, I probably would have grown up faster. But then would I have had as much fun?

     I got another glorious call from out of the blue: John Shobert, an oar on our ’65 and ’66 V. He left Wes after sophomore year. Did a tour in ’Nam with the 101st. Enrolled at Penn State where he met his wife, now of 50 years. Two kids. Three grands. One great. MBA from Fairfield. Series of responsible HR positions here and there. Twenty years in Baltimore where he saw George Reynolds occasionally. Last 20 years in a lakeside home in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ten years retired: United Way, church, skeet shooting, fishing, etc. Few parts replaced but in good health.

     In late November, Greg Angelini died. Wig Sherman remembered him as always having a smile and, clearly, that is the way he went through life. After Cornell Law, he married his high school sweetheart and returned home to Leominster, Massachusetts, where he established himself as a sole practitioner with a sizable support staff and a broad portfolio of cases. Family law, advisor to businesses, labor law, representing towns and school boards. But paramount was his reputation for collegiality and friendship. His ambition never intruded on his concern for others. A devoted father who skied Okemo and enjoyed summers in Harwich with his two daughters.

     Jeff Bell, a widower and a Philadelphia transplant to Savannah who proudly still sports a good head of hair, wrote to announce his engagement to Kathy Stevens—originally “a Jersey girl” that our Lawrenceville lad found irresistable. She has two sons, 23 (Miami), and 21 (Richmond), which is her alma mater. I spoke with Dave Webb. Happily reading his way through retirement with a break for cocktails at 6:00. Splits time between the Cape and Florida. Keeps up with Bill McConaghy who is also on the Cape who has become a grandfather. Bill Van Den Berg’s New Year’s letter was beautifully pictorial, indicating his real wish—to be a photographer for National Geographic. Dave Losee was sworn into the Maine Bar this summer. Drew Ketterer­—Maine’s AG for 10 years and Rick Ketterer’s ’69 brother—was Dave’s sponsor. Most sadly, Rick died in August. My Boys in the Boat had our October reunion on Zoom. Washington State has one of the world’s biggest ferry system and one of Nason Hamlin’s sons is now managing a big chunk of it. Wallace Murfit is the last one standing: still competing. I thought we were a handsome bunch of devils but someone said we were getting older.

     Judy and I have one “child,” Josh, and he came east (from Seattle) in December with Emma Barnett, a totally wonderful and exceptionally capable woman, to marry in a lovely/intimate/informal/immediate-family-only/CDC-compliant ceremony at a nearby Airbnb. David Ramos ’05­­—Josh’s best friend from high school—was the “congregation” and photographer. All very moving.

     Be smart/safe/strong.

CLASS OF 1967 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Classmates, let’s catch up on the responses to the first of a number of quiz questions I have posed in recent class notes columns. I asked if anyone knew about Ed McCune, who gave $6 million to Wesleyan and is listed as a classmate, though he was not in our face book and did not contribute anything to our 50th Reunion book. Three responses came in. The first was from Jeff Smith ’69, who thought McCune had transferred in sophomore or junior year, and remembered him as “a quiet guy, slight in stature, with short dark hair.” Then, Jon Squire, wrote to say McCune was “a transfer student who arrived (from California, I think) perhaps in our sophomore or maybe junior year. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. That is about all that I remember.”

     A third email arrived, from John Dooley, with more info about McCune. Dooley spent a fair amount of time with McCune at Alpha Delt.  McCune, John wrote, was from Petoskey, Michigan, and his family had roots in upper Michigan that went back a long time. In our senior year, McCune was accepted by the Wayne State University medical school, but he was ambivalent about going and John is not sure if he ever went (“I do not know if he ever started med school but there is no record of him being a licensed physician and there is nothing in his obituary about his career”).  John also notes:  “It seems he was a very private individual. . . . For some reason Ed called me ‘Chief.’” Am I the only one hearing reverberations of Jay Gatsby?

     John concludes: “So interesting that he gave back generously to Wes even though on the surface he did not seem to be at all engaged with the Wesleyan community as an undergraduate.” I must agree. I am sure our relatively unknown classmate, Ed McCune, is every college fundraiser’s dream come true.    

     And (I hear you ask) what about our classmates, Jon Squire and John Dooley? Well, after 49 years in the Bay Area, where he practiced medicine, Jon Squire (like your class secretary, long ago) took the culture shock challenge by moving from Northern California to the Piedmont of North Carolina. He now lives not far from me, in Winston-Salem, where he moved across the street from his daughter and two grandchildren.

     As for John Dooley, after a 40-year career as an ENT physician with special interest in ear surgery, he and wife Rosie retired to their small cattle ranch in the mountains between Reno and Tahoe. With four adult children and 14 grandchildren in the Reno area, they remain very involved in family events. Every year John and Rosie go to the Monterey/Big Sur area, not far from Santa Cruz, the home of Sam Nigh.  For the past few years, John and Sam have gotten together. John also has seen his fellow Alpha Delt, and a roommate for two years, Jim Bushyhead, a retired internist living in Seattle, and in the fall of 2019 he saw Aidan Jones, who, John reported, was “winding down his law practice in Washington, DC.”

     I also heard from Ted Smith, checking in as we approached the November 2020 election to see what I thought about what was likely to happen in North Carolina in our senatorial election and in the presidential election (he was part of a phone bank to support Cal Cunningham’s campaign for U.S. Senate). Ted has lived in San Jose since 1972. After receiving his law degree from Stanford, Ted founded three different nonprofits, each of which sought to make the high-tech electronics industry more sustainable (he was the executive director of the first of these, the Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition, for 25 years and is currently the coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology). Although he now has retired from most paid work, he remains active politically and was doing “too much travel” before the pandemic shut things down. He also hikes, rides his bike, and does some kayaking. He and his wife, Mandy, also a lawyer, have three children and five grandchildren, all of whom live in California.

     Had a nice, too-brief, masked and socially distanced visit here in Greensboro with Reuben (Johnny) Johnson and his wife Mary Watkins in November 2020, a few days before the election. They were driving back from a trip to Virginia to their home in Palm Beach, Florida. We caught up on family, gossiped about classmates, told virus stories, anticipated the outcome of the election, and wished we had more time.  Still, it was a treat to visit with them.

     In October 2019 our classmate Rick Beebe died in Santa Rosa, California. While serving in the Peace Corps in Turkey from 1967 to 1969, Rick met Pam, his wife of 51 years. They lived in New England for nine years and then moved to California.  Rick was vice president of corporate communications at Bank of America in San Francisco until his retirement in 2001. He was an avid backpacker (he noted in our 50th Reunion book that he had “trekked nearly 3,000 miles on all seven continents”), an active swim official for more than 30 years, and sang with the Sonoma Bach Choir. 

CLASS OF 1966 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

My class on the rhetoric of great speeches is studying some of the speeches and sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr., which brought back memories of King’s three visits to Wesleyan during our time. In our 50th Reunion biographies, I found under “fondest memories”: David Barlett: “Meeting Martin Luther King, Jr.” Larry Carver: hearing “Martin Luther King, Jr., speak”;  Rob Chickering: “Having lunch with Martin Luther King at the College of Social Studies”; Pat Curry: “Another special memory was of having lunch with Martin Luther King at the College of Social Studies”; Frank Gegwich: “I vividly remember the evening that Martin Luther King, Jr., preached at the chapel and I became aware of the Civil Rights Movement”; David McNally: “hearing Martin Luther King, Jr., speak on campus and then having the opportunity to spend the rest of the evening with him in Downey House”; John Neff: “Speaking with Martin Luther King, Jr., Julian Bond, and other Civil Rights leaders who came to CSS and Wesleyan thanks to John Maguire was sobering and transformational”; Jeff Nilson: “listening to speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”; Bud Smith: “I was impressed with Dr. John Maguire for collaborating with Martin Luther King, Jr., and bringing him to speak in the chapel, an unforgettable evening”; John Stremlau: “The most memorable was meeting Dr. King, Jr. at Wesleyan”; Randolph Wedler: “hearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., address the student body twice”; Doug Werner: “visiting with Martin Luther King, Jr., in the choir room when he preached at Wes.” King’s influence and example live on.

 Great to hear from Roy Bruninghaus. “Hard to cover 55 years in a note,” Roy writes, but he does just that. “Went to law school after Wesleyan and dropped out after the first semester to take a teaching position in Virginia. Six years later attended graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. Got an M.Ed. and then took a position with North Carolina state government. Fifteen years later joined IBM and retired in 2007. Kept busy after retirement by joining a charter school board and a condo board in Plymouth, MA. In 2016 moved to Southern California to be near my oldest son and his family. Served on two condo boards since then. President of my current condo board. I have four grandchildren in Texas and three grandchildren here in California. Trying to stay healthy and avoid the virus has cut down on my travel…we use technology to stay in touch. Just before the pandemic hit, I did get back to North Carolina where my youngest son still lives. Still have family in Plymouth, so will be traveling again, when this mess is over.”

 I had heard rumors that Jack Knapp and his wife had exchanged urban for rural living, and Jack writes: Reports of our move are accurate. COVID tipped the balance for Carla and myself away from urban living in Chicago toward the quieter climes of rural New Hampshire. We are now spending the summer in a rustic cottage in the foothills of the White Mountains and the rest of the year in the village of Wolfeboro on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in a rental found for us by Rick Crootof’s wife, Linda. After long years of the hustle and bustle of urban living and all the noise, the calm of our new locations is so refreshing. As I write, there’s a gentle snow falling on Wolfeboro, giving the village a Dickensian aspect. Every convenience is within a walking distance with ambulances and sirens being replaced by birds tweeting and skates slicing across ice ponds. It’s somewhat like Boccaccio fleeing Florence when faced by the specter of the Black Death. Unfortunately, nothing of the quality of the Decameron will result. I have, however, been active on the literary front, writing a biography of Arthur Mitchell, the first black Democrat ever elected to Congress, that I’m now shopping to publishers. Mitchell is an interesting study: born in Alabama, he moved to Chicago as a “carpetbagger in reverse,” seeing the city’s first congressional district as the only place where a Black could be elected to national office in 1934. He was a very controversial figure in the House for eight years, representing the interests of disenfranchised southern blacks. It’s a project that has taken me five years, but kept me young, or at least imposed a discipline that helps me remember where I put the keys.”

 Meanwhile, the inestimable Rick Crootof and Linda “are back in Sarasota, staying an additional 6 weeks in NH for my perceived safety despite Linda’s grumping about the cold and dark. 3/4 cord of wood went into my wood stove in November, as we used it for extra heat to be comfy watching Netflix. Normally I only use the stove for ambiance in May and October. All the theater, mu and ballet that we enjoy in Sarasota is not happening, but we can be outdoors and playing tennis. Both of us are in league play (I am on two teams and Linda one), and almost all USTA tournaments were canceled, but I did play in one last week, winning a 1st round match 6-1, 6-1, but losing to the #3 seed next 6-4, 7-5. My pacemaker does not go high enough to sustain either long points or serious training for endurance, so after being ahead 5-2 in the 2nd set, I ran out of gas. There is another tournament in a few weeks but it is 60+ miles away and would require either going through rush hour Tampa traffic or staying overnight, so I am delaying entering.” The inimitable Hardy Spoehr writes: “On the beach, it remains sunny and gradually visitors are returning to graze in the sands! We’re all fine and like you have had our first “jab” with the second one coming in a week. Joyce has become a bit of a bridge fanatic and so life goes on.” And the incomparable Barry Thomas gives this update: “We have been experiencing a rather unusual night and now day with freezing rain and ice here is the mountains of North Carolina. I suppose it relates to the weather system that has wreaked havoc in Texas and other places. I am not aware of any big problems in this neck of the woods.

 Our work with children and families in Butanuka, Burundi, a community of rural villages, continues. The generous support we have received from some of our classmates has been extremely gratifying and very helpful.  There has been some noteworthy progress in Butanuka. Although about half of the more than 400 children that started our daily porridge program a year ago were determined to have emerged out of a malnourished condition at the last semi-annual check by health authorities, the number of children and pre and post-natal mothers coming for a cup of porridge has remained in the 400 plus range. As people learn about the program, they come from longer distances.

Tomorrow morning Connie, along with two of ten early childhood education colleagues she has organized, will present the first of six workshops for a group of eight teachers, four assistants, and the program supervisor, who are being trained to staff an expanded preschool program. The workshops are being presented “virtually” with the support of a Department of State grant just recently received. Beginning in March we will begin a funding campaign to accumulate funds to build a preschool facility with four classrooms. Initially, here will be two modules, each with two classrooms. There will also be a playground in the courtyard between the two modules. We already have about half of the $35,000 project cost in the bank so we have a good base on which to conduct the campaign for the remaining amount. We call this Phase Three of the preschool development program. The number of four to six year old girls and boys being served will double to 112. The buildings, especially when electrified, will also serve many other purposes.


Although it quickly becomes clear that it is a struggle for high school girls to remain in school, our scholarship program with forty-five girls is going well. These rural girls are having opportunity to meet with young women who have graduated from high school and, even, university and are pursuing various career tracks for improving income. There are lots of ideas to expand this and other community programs. The challenge for the small staff in Burundi is to identify funding sources and submit grant applications. One application for funding to support electrification of the new preschool buildings was submitted today. I think we should have a good chance at a favorable response to this one. I have had my two Moderna shots and Connie is scheduled for her first shot next week. We keep busy with the Burundi activity but are both ready to emerge from the pandemic.”

 I end with a profile in courage, David McNally writing: “Michelle and I are enjoying life thoroughly, and do not even mind the near-total social isolation imposed by the coronavirus. We spend as much time as possible at our log house in very rural West Virginia (nearly 3 miles off the nearest paved road), a perfect antidote to the noise and congestion of northern Virginia. The only fly in the proverbial ointment is that I have an uncommon variety of ALS known bluntly as “flail arm syndrome,” which over time renders the arms and hands useless. This started two years ago, but fortunately the rest of me has not been affected to date. 80 years after Lou Gehrig died of it, there is still no treatment much less cure for ALS. But I enjoy every day, and especially my forever love, Michelle.”

 Courage, good humor, and character, the David we have come to know and love. Think good thoughts for David and Michelle.

CLASS OF 1965 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Dear Classmates, Thank you for your responses to the latest request for news as follows:

      Bertel Haarder from Copenhagen, Denmark: “President of the Nordic Council of parliamentarians, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Royal Danish Theater. Twenty-two years as cabinet minister and 41 years as member of Parliament. My Wesleyan experience has been very valuable, particularly through my 15 years as minister for education and research.”

      Dan Hinckley: “Surviving the pandemic. We get our second Moderna shots Monday, February 22, which is a huge relief. Florida has managed OK given the massive numbers of over-65s around here. Kids and grandkids (in Switzerland and Maryland) are all OK, and we even got to see four of the five from the Swiss side for 36 hours last week, first time since exactly a year ago. We moved back to the U.S. in 2014 after 25 years in Switzerland for me and 45 for Katherine. Plan is to be back to Maine as usual by Memorial Day, with perhaps a trip to Switzerland in the fall.”

   Tom Bell: “Still living in Halifax, Nova Scotia and enjoying life here. The family is all doing well.”

      Clyde Beers: “Donna and I are now at our home on Grand Cayman. After a brutal two-week quarantine (never risked being sent to jail) we now have beautiful views, highs of 82 and lows of 75, zero non-quarantined cases and no masks on the whole island. So, a tough start rigidly enforced leads to lots of vacation positives compared to a super cold Pennsylvania. Back in Pennsylvania in time for serious gardening and seeing the rest of our family.”

    Carl Hoppe: “Slowly winding down my psychology practice after 49 years, I am devoting more time to doubles tennis.”

     Brian Courtney: “Retired last year after practicing dentistry for 50 years. It was always easy for me. Enjoyed good health and retired at the top of my game. Living on Lake Sinclair in Georgia.”

     Brian Baxter: “As I begin my fourth year as president of the board of our 731-unit condominium community of 75 acres and 12,000 trees on Little Sarasota Bay here in Florida, I continue to seek an appropriate balance between a volunteer job that can easily be more than full time and my retired life with my family. Developing policies, rules, and a culture of safety during this coronavirus pandemic has been a great challenge over the past year, with about one-half of one percent of our residents reporting coronavirus infections compared to over six percent of residents in the surrounding area.”

   Rob Abel’s latest book, Is Death Really a Mystery?, chronicles extraordinary reports from ordinary people who have had visitations while asleep or awake, as well as near death experiences. The book is available on Amazon. My wife and I both found it to be a very satisfying read. 

     Rob also offered some memories of Norm Shapiro, who passed away last year: “Over the years I would visit him on campus, send copies of my books and, in return, receive one of his magnificent opi with a humorous inscription. Without being overt, Norm would be intensely interested in (and committed to) the lives of all who wandered into his orbit. He was one of us and yet resided in a higher realm, to which we can only aspire. . . .”

     Rob also stepped up to help a recent graduate, Zoe Garvey ’20, who was hoping to conduct research during a gap year before medical school. They have now collaborated on several mind-eye connection studies and a presentation (“Harnessing Eyes for Capturing Mental Status”) for the American Psychiatric Association.

     Art Rhodes: “Still alive and retired. Wife Leslie Newman and I are spending our time with our collective five children and 10 grandchildren in Chicago and New Orleans. Wishing everyone well in life in the time of COVID-19.”

    Paul “Dutch” Seigert: “My law practice in New York City is booming because everyone is suing each other as a result of the pandemic.  Now, I am working 52 hours a week (i.e., 13 hours a day from Monday to Thursday).  On Fridays, I check into the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, where I am a professional poker player and play all day Friday and Saturday. I am back in Yonkers, New York on Sunday mornings to attend church services or my wife would kill me.

      “By the way, more than 50 years ago when I was in the military as an enlisted man and going to Vietnam, I met my Deke brother and a great guy, Tim Lynch, who was a naval officer, on a pathway at the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippine Islands. Tim said, ‘Dutch, what are you doing here’ and I said the same to him.  But I forgot to salute him.  This has bothered me for many years.  Tim, I salute you!”

    Bill Brooks: “The big news—apart from surviving both COVID-19 and the greater evil of DT-2016—is that I will retire from teaching, fully, completely, and utterly, in July 2021. I’ll still go back and forth to and from Europe and England, but only as a visitor; thereafter my home will be in Champaign, Illinois.”

    Finally, on a sad note, in late February our class lost an outstanding individual, Peter Whiteley. A wonderful tribute to him by his son Mark can be found in the online version of ’65 class notes (

     Wesleyan and countless alumni also lost in February a wonderful friend, Don Russell, who passed away at age 90. Don was very close to many ’65ers and attended a number of our reunions. He was admired as a highly successful coach, advisor, administrator, and community leader.

CLASS OF 1964 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Steve Baker had two books published in September, entitled The Encyclopedia of Quizzes, Volume 1: Geography and History and The Encyclopedia of Quizzes, Volume 2: Sports, Culture, and Famous People. Each extensive volume contains over 700 quizzes to test your knowledge and expand your mind. One reader writes “These two books are a must for the COVID lockdown and the eventual return to the post-COVID travel with the trip to the airport, the wait for the flight to board, the long flights and the relaxation, wherever that may take you. Take Steve and his factual knowledge with you and you will be rewarded with contentment and will make your friends marvel at your expertise in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit whenever you play!” You can find them on Amazon!

CLASS OF 1963 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“The new Wesleyan is great,” exclaims Sandy McCurdy. “We saw that at our 50th. But we old guys remember the thrill of being one of under 800 students, [enjoying] such features as excellent  science, religion, English, [plus additional] language departments to mention only a few. Where a star, like Richard Wilber, would lead my freshman humanities class of eight students and where Professor McGuire headed off with Yale’s Henry Sloan Coffin as a freedom rider. With the exception of no women being there with us, didn’t we have it good?” Dick Poulton appears to agree, adding his own thoughts: “Memories fade, of course, or get confused a bit! I learned too late in life the value of keeping some sort of written diary of people, places or events. My single year (1957-1958), as part of the Foreign Student program at Wesleyan, was a seminal highlight in my life in so many ways. Alas, my roommate, Trent Sorenson MA ’58, died a long time ago; my wonderful first girlfriend married one of America’s best-known astronauts; my good friend Ed Beckham ’58 became, I believe, dean of Wesleyan; I remember singing in a very fashionable ‘skiffle group’ created by Pete Rockefeller ’59; and I remember very clearly singing in the glee club under Ray Randell and in the choral society under Dick Winslow ’40, who both gave me a life-long addiction to their different types  of music! But I come back to my big question! Please, where can I read the reminiscences of my classmates? They might well help me to resurrect more valuable memories of what was one of the  most enjoyable and valuable years of my life!”

     Bob Hausman writes: “I have a condo in a senior co-op in St. Paul, Minnesota. Unlike all my traveling classmates, I pretty much stay put because I have mild dementia, but my Wes Tech education keeps me going mentally. I am blessed with my family right here in the Twin Cities. I have six grandchildren with one on the way. I am in touch with Glenn Hawkes and Emil Frankel.

     John Rogers responds with tongue in cheek: “Understand your regular request. Hope you get enough replies and sends. No need here yet for coroner’s inquest, or first Amazon package of Depends.

Still living in Sun City Charlotte for last seven years. Too much time in doctor’s office for senior care. Grateful for 59 years of marriage with joy and tears. But not sure now about Why, What, Who and Where.”

     Praise and recognition continue to address the writings of Paul Dickson. Denny Huston shouts: “Dickster, Congratulations! Unlike the rest of us, you are even stronger these days. We are all awed.” Ernie Hildner states: “With this wonderful accomplishment, you should put humility aside and bathe in the accolades. Well done! Bask in the pleasant warmth of deserved recognition.”

     Ernie continues to add: “For a few months now, some Alpha Delts have been enjoying biweekly Zoom calls organized by Doug Evelyn ’62, loosely emulating the discussions we had around the  Star and Crescent eating club coffee table back in the day. Usual participants include Bill Wagner, Paul Dickson, Bob (Gio) Palmeri, Tim Bloomfield, Ernie Hildner, and J.D. Huston, Brian Murphy ’62, and Doug. With a geographic spread from California, via Texas and Colorado, to the East Coast (Vermont to Virginia), and the wide diversity of careers and expertise spanning professor to scientist to diplomat to lawyer to curator to sailor, knowledge­—and/or opinion—can be found on almost any topic. As at the old Alpha Delta Phi coffee table of our youth, conversations range from current events here, there, and elsewhere to philosophy, ethics, civil rights, books and articles to read, etc. One conversation now mentioned a little about something that never came up at Wes, the participants’ health issues, as we all age as gracefully as we can. Good fun to socialize with fraternity brothers, especially in these pandemic times.”

     Jack Richards sends this update: “Enjoying being a retired old/young guy with 10 grandkids. I hope to teach the kids how to sail. Just bought a camp in the Adirondacks, and Carol and I just got our  first vaccination. We’re playing by the safe CDC suggestions. Hope all my classmates are, too. I’ve  scrubbed my hands so much I found the answers to a sophomore physics exam. A day with my roommates, Beau and Quent, is still on my bucket list.”

     John Dennis has been busy. He writes: “An update on my newly

published second memoir: . . . And Master of None was published by Primavera Press on Amazon, November 15, 2020. I am well into my third memoir and will update you on this and my soon to be  published children’s book Where’s Sharah?, which is the sequel to The Mouse in the Lemon Tree, also available on Amazon.”

     Finally, a follow-up to Paul Boynton’s search: I am grateful to all who were involved in that quest: Emil Frankel, K.C. Hayes, Jon Magendanz, Jack Mitchell, Tom Spragens ’63, Hank Sprouse ’62, and Chuck Work ’62, as well as Dave Snyder ’63 and Steve Humphrey ’63. Although I have listed those first names alphabetically, Emil, you and Jack gave me the most help and  encouragement, along with K.C. whose role was key by reminding me of Chris’s last name, which cut  the Gordian knot and enabled me to retrieve Chris’s email and phone number.” Paul and Chris have now connected.

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In August, Sue and Jim Dover moved to the Highlands in Topsham, Maine, where they often see Ann and Bob Williams, who also live in that retirement community.

     Peg and Dave Hale continue in the Give-a-Lift program, giving rides to fellow seniors to medical and other appointments.

     Congratulations to Paul Tractenberg and three coauthors on the publication of Making School Integration Work: Lessons from Morris by Teachers College Press at Columbia University. Paul reported the following: “My wife, Neimah, and I are doing well, better than we might have expected. Because of age and underlying medical conditions, we have been in strict self-quarantine at our home in West Orange, New Jersey for almost eleven months.

    “We miss person-to-person time with friends, but most of all being able to hug our grandchildren, whom we see at safe social distances outdoors or on Zoom, but it’s just not the same. And now with two feet of snow and cold temperatures outdoor get-togethers don’t seem likely.

      “I’m staying remarkably busy with reading for a virtual book club I launched with seven friends, a short story discussion series at my synagogue, and one-on-one book and short story discussions with each of my two eldest grandchildren. I’m also staying involved professionally consulting with lawyers on several ongoing cases, preparing a chapter for a book of essays being compiled by Rutgers Law School entitled The Great Reckoning, and presenting lectures and being on podcasts about the Notorious RBG, who was a Rutgers Law colleague of mine for two years and remained a friend thereafter.

      “I’m managing to find time and energy to stay fitter and trimmer than I was at Wesleyan. When the weather permits, I take long walks outdoors and when it doesn’t, I use my new, state-of-the-art treadmill to do hikes and treks around the world. I add stretching and weights for a satisfying full-body workout.

      “Of course, I’ve stayed up on and even engaged in politics—until I can’t stand it and then I escape to streaming films and mainly historical series on TV.

     So, all in all, a surprisingly full and satisfying life despite the pandemic and the usually depressing political environment.”

      Jim Meyerhoff received a grant from the Department of Defense via the Geneva Foundation to study post-traumatic stress disorder. He is officially retired from U.S. civil service but maintains a relationship with federal labs. He is very happy to be free from the previous administrative responsibilities of being a lab chief. In addition, he is writing a review article on the brain-unique equivalent to the lymphatic system. He stays fit by running two miles every day.