CLASS OF 1952 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

I hope all of you and your families are well during this unprecedented crisis.

Robert Kelman wrote that he and Mary are doing fine in this time of semi-plague (it’s not the bubonic plague or cholera). In mid-March, they were in Southern California visiting family and rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park when suddenly everything closed, including the park, the LA opera, and restaurants. It was difficult returning to Colorado as their flights were canceled. They are glad to be able to visit with family on Zoom. Their children and grandchildren have jobs they can work from remotely, so they are not being impacted personally in the dreadful way that so many Americans are.

Frank LaBella ’52, MA’54 and his wife, Arlyne, both “townies,” will soon be celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary. He is a professor emeritus (faculty of medicine, University of Manitoba) who is still researching a novel sensor he invented.

Zdenek “Zed” David has been with the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., since 1976. The Center is the national memorial for President Wilson, granting residential scholarships to scholars who pursue projects relevant to international affairs. He was on the staff until his retirement in 2002. Since then as a “senior scholar,” he has researched the history of East-Central Europe, especially Czechia (his native land, known then as Czechoslovakia). He has published two books and a third one scheduled to appear in November unless the virus interferes with the publication process.

Hal Buckingham writes, “To all of my Class of 1952 classmates and other readers of these notes. Our very own class scribe, Joe Friedman, and his wife, Barbara, have achieved a milestone of historic proportions, in my view. Their granddaughter, Eliza Ruby Bender, a graduate of Horace Mann School in Riverdale, N.Y., has been accepted on early decision to the Wesleyan Class of 2024! Eliza is the daughter of two other Wesleyan offspring of Barbara and Joe—their daughter, Ellen Friedman Bender ’84 (but ’82 for Reunions), and their son-in-law, Samuel D. Bender, MD ’82. How about that?! With three generations of Wespersons, Joe matches Ron Daniel (Stephen ’82 and India ’22) in generations but exceeds him in number—so far, at least. Congratulations, Barbara and Joe!”

Do you know of any other classmates who can equal or exceed Joe and Ron generationally or in number? I hope that Eliza and the rest of the 2024 class can enjoy the beauty of the Wes campus in the fall instead of online learning.

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881

CLASS OF 1952 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

More sad news to report. Russell Doolittle, an eminent biochemist, died on Oct. 11, 2019 at the age of 88, according to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, which praised him as a “true pioneer in early gene science,” who “led the way to how it is used and understood today.” Russ was born in New Haven, Conn., on Jan. 10, 1931. After graduating from Wesleyan with a major in biology, he received a MA in education in 1957 from Trinity College and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard in 1962. After a stint at Amherst and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden as a post-doctoral fellow, he spent the remainder of his career at the University of California, San Diego, receiving many honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984.

On the cheerier side, after receiving an email from Larry Oaks seeking information about his dad, James Howard Oaks (who passed away in 1999), specifically about his life at Wesleyan, I contacted our former scribe, Hal Buckingham Jr., who dug into his treasure trove of memorabilia and sent Larry photos and a bio from the 1952 yearbook, showing his father in the photo of the Pre-Med Club. Hal also told Larry (and Joyce confirmed) that his dad had married Joyce’s classmate at Mount Holyoke Class of 1954, Jane Basset. Hal and Joyce recalled that Jane and Howie were both widowed but had known each other way back, maybe in high school, and had reconnected and married shortly after. Hal also referred Larry to two Sigma Chis in the class for further information.

Additionally, Hal reported two significant events for him in 2019. One was his and Joyce’s 65th wedding anniversary. He remembered celebrating the wedding with three days in Cooperstown, N.Y., a 36-hour honeymoon, abbreviated of necessity. He had gotten home in Oneonta, N.Y. (also Joyce’s home), for the wedding on Friday, after being discharged from the Army, having spent 1.5 years in Korea. They returned to Oneonta early Monday morning to buy clothes and pack up to leave Tuesday for Charlottesville, Va., in order to matriculate in law school on Wednesday. They had no car or money, so his sister and brother-in-Iaw drove them to Virginia.

Another significant event involved Dave Welsh ’51 whom Hal spotted standing by the roadside in Korea in 1953 and he has waited all these years to tell him about it. Hal’s unit was conducting the exchange of POW’s after the Armistice (tabbed “Big Switch”). He was riding shotgun in the back of a truck convoying North Korean and Red Chinese POWs to Panmunjom, where they repatriated and brought back U.S. and U.N. POWs. His line of trucks had just crossed the bridge over the lmjin River when he saw a group of U.S. Marines working beside the road.

Much to his amazement, the officer supervising the work was clearly Dave Welsh ’51. He yelled at him and it was clear Dave heard it but could not have known who yelled at him as the convoy had passed by. Over 65 years later, he was able to email Dave, who called right back, and although he did not recall the incident, it had to have been him, as he was stationed in the area and remembered the bridge and the convoy of POW.

Finally, I received a Happy New Year card from Dwight Herrmann, who let me know he is happy in his new situation: independent living in a continuing care establishment, where both facility and residents are great. He drives, plays tennis, exercises, gathers at the bar before eating with his buddies, and is doing okay as a survivor bachelor. His family with seven grandchildren are well. He just returned from the West Coast visiting two daughters. Another lives in Vermont and the fourth is five miles away from his residence. He wishes all a happy 2020 and he’ll try to do the same. Contact me if you want his information.

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881

CLASS OF 1952 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Ron Daniel reports that he is still at McKinsey & Co.—62 years and counting. (Amazing longevity—I have not been in one job for more than 10 years). The company is about to move its New York office to World Trade Center 3. Most of the younger professionals live below 14th Street or in Brooklyn. When he joined the firm in 1957, there were no professionals. Now there are over 15,000. Only one employee at the time was not an American, now the Americans are about 20% of the firm. He continues to serve on the boards of seven or eight not-for-profit organizations (Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rockefeller University, The Peterson Foundation, the Weizman Institute of Science in Israel, the National Gallery in London, the Library of America, among others). Onward! (

Dwight Herrmann writes that he was not too happy rattling around his house after his wife, Leslye, departed so he sold it and bought into the Masonic Village at Sewickley, Pa., which is near his eldest daughter, also named Leslye. This is a continuing care facility and he is in independent living, driving a car, and doing everything he always did, albeit, a good deal slower. He is quite happy and has made lots of friends. He can be reached at 2440 Masonic Dr., Sewickley, PA 15143 and at 717/379-8004.

Frank LaBella ( and Arlyne McDowell, a townie, just celebrated their 67th anniversary. Congratulations! Frank, a University of Manitoba pharmacology professor, and an electronic engineer colleague have been working on a novel sensor for several years and are in the process of finally demonstrating its capabilities to potential investors and industrial partners. He has several recent publications and some historical information for those interested.

As for me, this promises to be a busy year. My daughter, Ellen ’82, and her husband, Samuel Bender ’82, MD, will be celebrating their 60th birthdays and 30th wedding anniversary and three grandchildren will be graduating (Madeline, Yale ’20}; Eliza and Jenna (high school). We intend to celebrate with a Baltic cruise in June.

Please send news.

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881

CLASS OF 1952 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Al Ward reports that his health is good, having beaten back CML (leukemia) for 14 or so years, now in remission, giving thanks to big pharma. He is mobile and plays bridge weekly. He enjoyed winter in Naples, Fla., and is looking forward to this summer on Lake Michigan shore. He moved back to D.C. from Lewes, Del., to be close to family. He taught a lifelong learning course at University of Delaware which he enjoyed and hoped that others did too. His last trip to Middletown was for his granddaughter’s graduation and hopes to make it back for his grandson’s. Hail ’52. In response to my reply that Barbara and I are taking ballroom dancing lessons, he wrote that more than 10 years ago at a relative’s wedding, he ventured to dance a polka and crashed to the floor, but luckily only he was hurt. He commented that I was a hero for the “advanced in years” since I was still working and dancing.

Jack Murray enjoys his beautiful home in mostly smoke-free Santa Barbara. He is able to take care of it and himself, walks as much as he can, and is enjoying abundant spring blossoms. As a sign of hope, he planted tomatoes for late summer harvest. He has not seen anyone from our class for quite a while but hears from Maggie and Dixie Sanger and others. He hates politics these days but then people have never gotten along during his time here on earth. He says “kaire” to his remaining brothers from Alpha Delta.

Speaking of Dixie, he and Maggie celebrated their 65th anniversary last summer at the Victor Café in Philadelphia, where, one spring night in 1953 they had gone for dinner after picking out their silver pattern. This time they were surrounded by a dozen children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and a great time was had by all. The Victor, now a South Philadelphia landmark, was a record store when it opened many years ago. Neighbors would drop in to listen as the owner spun opera records on his old 78 rpm. It seemed only appropriate to offer them a little something to eat and perhaps a little wine to wash it down. If someone burst into song, so much the better.

When Maggie and Dixie came to dinner that night so long ago, they brought with them a single spoon in the pattern Fiddle Thread, which they had chosen. A flower vendor moved from table to table: “Roses! Roses! White for purity, red for love.” This time they took a spin on the dance floor while one of the waiters sang “Wunderbar” from the 1950s hit Kiss Me, Kate. They had waltzed to it at their wedding, an event attended by many Wesleyan friends, including some of Dixie’s brothers in Alpha Delta Phi who served as ushers: Stuart Goldsmith ’53 (best man); Gerald Patrick ’53 (away on service); James R. Miller Jr. ’53; W. Clapham Murray ’53 and William B. Bruner. Sadly, Stuart, Jim, and Bill are no longer with us. The rest are still kicking, although some higher than others. The past year brought them a third beautiful great-granddaughter with the happy prospect of a fourth (gender yet to be revealed) to come. Life goes on!

Please send news!

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881

CLASS OF 1952 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1952 Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship Fund
Nathanael Mathieu ’20, Computer Science

More sad news: Duncan Morse Nelson, who inspired us with his uplifting poetry while in hospice care, passed away on Dec. 20, survived by his wife, Beatrice Kipp Nelson. He was the father of Peter, Evan, and Rowena, and of Lee, Perry, Burr (deceased), Evan, and George Anthony, from his first marriage to Jean Richmond Parson (deceased). He had 20 grandchildren.

There is good news, too! Hal Buckingham reports that Walter Pories was awarded the Oxford Cup at the 179th National Convention of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity held in Norfolk, Va., in August and that he, as Walt’s Beta brother and classmate, escorted him to the podium.

The Oxford Cup is the highest honor bestowed by Beta on its alumni and Walter is only the 83rd recipient of this award. He was cited for his extraordinary career in the medical field as a surgeon, researcher, author, lecturer, and founder of the Department of Surgery at East Carolina University Medical School. Walter is also a prolific cartoonist. He has created countless published cartoons, including over 100 in his book, Is There a Surgeon in the House? Does anyone remember that he was an art major and not pre­-med at Wesleyan?

He also writes that Charlie “Rogo” Rogovin’s widow, Marcy, has established The Charles H. Rogovin Fund for Civic Engagement through The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. This endowed fund memorializes the legacy of Charlie, our esteemed college body president and Reunion toastmaster, who was a nationally-recognized champion of law enforcement, first as a prosecutor and administrator and then as a longtime professor of criminal law at Temple University. The Fund’s purpose is to provide the Free Library with funding to create programs and activities that promote lifelong civil engagement and good citizenship, objectives close to Charlie’s heart. Chartered in 1891, the Free Library has 54 locations in Philadelphia, is a vital part of that City, and is an educational and cultural institution of great renown.

Seth Rosner is semi-retired from law practice, working 20 to 30 percent of the time and lucky to be paid a quarter of that. After Wesleyan, he attended Columbia Law School with Charlie Rogovin and Dick Barth, then spent four months in the Navy OCS, 3.5 years active duty as legal officer and underway officer-of-the-deck on U.S.S. Intrepid. A two-year Ford Foundation Fellowship in comparative law, and an LLM at NYU followed, then a year of doctoral studies and research at L’Universite de Paris I and L’lnstitute De Droit Compare, followed by law practice in NYC with dad and brother Jonathan ’54, 29 years as adjunct professor at NYU School of Law. He immersed himself in volunteer work, has lectured nationally and internationally on legal ethics and professionalism. Socially, he played competitive squash and table tennis (with many trophies) and raced sprint cars. He is happily married to Judith and living in the happiest time of his life, at 88. Only three years to our 70th and he intends to be there! How about you?

Frank Johnson wrote that the note about Ken Taylor’s death reminds us that a number of Wes cross-country runners of our generation became ministers of the United Church of Christ, namely; Hank Jordon ’49, Frank Johnson ’50, Barney Katham ’51, and Ken Taylor. Best to all four classes.

Finally, I spent the holidays on a cruise to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore with my family of 10 (including daughter Ellen ’82 and son-in-law Samuel Bender ’82, wife Barbara, son Richard and wife Diana, and grandchildren Maddie, Eliza, Jenna, and Gabe) and enjoyed the experiences throughout. Different cultures, different forms of government, great food, interesting people, extraordinary sights.

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881

CLASS OF 1952 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Reunion weekend on June 26 with my wife, Barbara, hoping to enjoy an out-of-sync reunion with several of our classmates who indicated such a desire but they were no-shows so we had a pleasant time chatting with several representatives of the university at the post 50th Reunion lunch.

As is becoming usual, I have more sad news to report. Two of our classmates, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Warwick Taylor and William Ashley Morrill, died. Dwight Herrmann (my first roommate at Harriman Hall in 1949) wrote that Leslye, his wife of 56 years, passed away on May 30, leaving four daughters who were on watch with him. Leslye and Dwight attended our 65th Reunion in June 2017 and we extend our sincere condolences to Dwight and his family and the families of Ken and Bill.

Ken, 88, a leader in advancing LGBTQ rights within the United Church of Christ in Connecticut and nationally, passed away peacefully at Seabury hospice on Aug. 11, survived by Jo Anne, his wife of 66 years, along with his daughter, Janet, his sons David, Mark, Gregory, and Andrew and their families, including 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, who were the joys of his life. Ken was born in 1929 at Women’s Lying-in Hospital in NYC, although he preferred to say he was born at Yankee Stadium. He married Jo Anne at the Wesleyan Chapel the day after graduation. He received a master of divinity degree from Virginia Seminary in 1957 followed by a doctorate of ministry, conferred by Hartford Seminary in 1978.

Bill, 88, died on July 25, at his home in Pennswood Village, Newtown, Pa., survived by his wife, Nancy Porter, and four daughters; Margaret, Carolyn, Elizabeth, and Janet, their spouses, seven grandchildren, and two great- grandchildren. After graduating from Wesleyan, Bill got his master’s in public administration in 1953 from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He began his over 60-year career in public service in 1953, holding many influential positions. Bill was a true Renaissance man: wine enthusiast, accomplished cook, self-taught guitar player, author of illustrated travel journals, aspiring tennis player, impressive poet, singer of all Methodist hymns by number, and consummate workaholic.

More sad but uplifting news from Duncan Nelson, who included the following poem:

On hospice now, but no matter

Amidst whatever idle chatter

I might manage to have with you

I’m proud to be Class of ’52-

ln ‘48 a Harriman Haller:

If I had a dollar for each stair

I climbed I’d be a trillionaire,

Which I already am, having cast my lot

In with guys who helped me hit the jackpot

Of eight children and then the God’s plenty

Of grandchildren now numbering twenty

Upon whom the bard places reliance

On the ways they are using hard science

To bring about—and do so pro tem

The much needed New Jerusalem!

Frank LaBella reported that he and Arlyne, both Middletowners, married on July 26, 1952, starting off at Vets Village during his MA studies at Wesleyan, and then Mudville (more barracks) at Emory in Atlanta, where he got his PhD. After various residences in Winnipeg, including a horse farm for 25 years, they are now in a senior residence. All his children—Jennifer, Michael, and Lisa, and granddaughter, Chloe—live in Winnipeg, which makes life very enjoyable. He is a professor emeritus at Manitoba University, still doing research and publishing.

Barbara and I spent an enjoyable two weeks in London, Paris, and cruising the Mediterranean, although (as a still practicing real estate attorney) she spent a lot of time working on two complicated transactions, despite the time change and difficult e-mail and phone connections.

My best wishes to all of you, and send me some news for the next edition!

Joseph N. Friedman  |
400 East 56th Street, Apt. 28LM, New York, NY 10022 | 917/715-8881