CLASS OF 1978 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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Class of 1978 Endowed Scholarship Fund

Alice Pereira ’24, Naugatuck, CT

Greetings Classmates. It’s early March as I compile our class notes and realize it was exactly one year ago that we, and the whole world, were just beginning to experience a dramatic change in our daily lives the likes of which we had never experienced. Thankfully, it appears there’s a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. No doubt each of you has your own “COVID Story” to tell and hopefully it contains some silver linings as we’ll see with the following classmates’ shared updates:

     John Rose resides in Connecticut and New York City with two children and three pups. He continues his work as a consultant and has been spending the last year helping New York State on COVID-
related issues: “modeling economic harm; helping to draft approach and industry guidelines for reopening the economy; and standing up vaccine program.” His son is a freshman at Wesleyan and his daughter is a second-year student at William & Mary. His wife, Elizabeth, left her job as deputy chancellor for operations at New York City Department of Education and is now CFO of Publicolor, an education nonprofit, and is volunteering at Foodbank in Connecticut.

      Jodi Wilinsky Hill wrote from Maui: “Life is mostly good. All things considered. I am blessed with fabulous work contracts­—all that have me working on behalf of equity and access, changing the experience for those who have lived in chronic poverty and many who have been subjected to systemic racism. My Wednesday Zooms with Wes friends have been a lifeline. And my first grandbaby, born in December, brings me tremendous joy and hope. My partner’s family hails from Maui and since he “had to” come to Maui, I tagged along. I am working from a lanai overlooking a few smaller islands, and when I have the time to look up I often catch a glimpse of a humpback whale. They never fail to thrill!”

     Nancy McCabe, classmate and wife of Pat McCabe, checked in from Santa Monica, California. She commented, “One personal upside to the pandemic has been transcontinental Zoom cocktails with a ’78 sextet including Susie Bates, Jodi Hill, Suki Hoagland, Moira James, Pat McCabe and a semi-alum, Nancy McCabe. We’re a busy crew! There are engagements, weddings, grandchildren and thriving careers keeping us all happy, busy and covid-free!”

     David Weild is living in New York and “commuting from bedroom to living room (like most of the rest of the world) with stops at the gym.” His company, Weild & Co, “a decentralized investment bank” has a presence in 17 states and is growing. According to David, “they are bringing ‘Wall Street to Main Street.’” He’s also been involved in several Acts that have been passed into law, all “basic economic activism trying to bring back upward mobility, especially to poor communities and to advance US competitiveness.” His kids are in or about to head off to college with two of the three at Tulane. David writes that he is still friends/connected with Kaylie Jones, Dr. Seth Gendler, Muffy Brown, and Dr. Olivia (Lucille) Lanna. He and his wife, Christi, are plotting an exodus from the state of New York but struggling over what to do about parents who are 90 and in New York.

      Rachael N. Pine is also safely WFH in Brooklyn, New York. While ensconced in her home office, she “has the pleasure of sharing the journey of two adult children who are each in their first year of a graduate program­—one at Yale/Nursing and one at UC Berkeley/Urban Planning—that has them totally engaged and charged with the pleasure (and, yes, stress) of learning ‘stuff’ that will empower them to make a difference in the world.”

      Steve Reynolds and his wife, Beth, have been healthy and safe with respect to COVID, but miss seeing their sons who live on the West Coast whom they haven’t seen in over a year. Steve retired from the energy industry about a year and a half ago; they sold their New Hampshire home last July and have moved to Vero Beach, Florida. He and Beth love the warm climate where they are able to stay physically active outdoors, and he’s hopeful (like the rest of us!) to resume visiting family and friends later this year.

     Elise Wagner has lived in Chappaqua, New York for many years and practices law at Kramer Levin in New York City, where she is a partner in the Land Use Department. There were silver linings to this past difficult year for her as she was named the 2021 Woman of the Year by WX Women Executives in Real Estate, an organization of senior-level women in real estate in New York City. The award will be presented at an event this November, which she hopes will be in  person. Her twin daughters and her two grandchildren are perpetual highlights although seeing her Atlanta grandchildren only once in 2020 was hard to bear. She hopes for many more visits in 2021.

     Pete Lewis and his wife are enjoying splitting their time between homes in Wake Forest, North Carolina and Newcastle, Maine. He’s not sure how 65 crept up on him or how his friends got so old but I bet many of us can relate to those sentiments! Pete finds his two-and-a-half-year-old grandson a “wonderful bundle of energy” and perhaps a great distraction as he explores this thing called “retirement.”

     Yours truly (Susie) will always treasure the closeness my husband, Nick, and I developed with our four-generation (from ages 87 to three) COVID pod here in Duxbury over the last year. I also wholeheartedly agree with Jodi and Nancy about the joy our “Wesleyan Wednesdays” continue to bring. As things in our lives begin to open up and “go back to normal” may we hold fast to all the silver linings and may we appreciate as never before in-person social gatherings and real hugs!

SUSIE MUIRHEAD BATES | sbatesdux@hotmail.com

KEN KRAMER | kmkramer78@hotmail.com