CLASS OF 1959 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”—Abraham Lincoln. 

Not, we hope, dear classmates, referring to your humble scribes, but perhaps casting a shadow over tonight’s first presidential debate! 

Dick Cadigan sent us the following note: “Ned Lemkemeier has been desperately ill with COVID-19, spent several weeks in ICU, four to five weeks in hospital, and two weeks in rehab. Ned is now home and is mending, but walker/wheelchair-bound and 30 pounds thinner. His doc said he was as close to death as any patient he has had. If you’d like to drop him a line, his email is

News from the heart of Trump country and our “starving artist”  Steve Pyle is good. Steve is still actively painting, and has finished over 80 works. Who knew what hidden talents lurked in our favorite tight end!

Tim Day is ensconced in Jackson Hole and having all sorts of adventures. On his morning bike ride the other day he encountered a dead moose, apparently hit by a car sometime during the night. They are rather large beasts, Tim reminds us city-slickers. He also writes: “Yesterday morning, a large hot air balloon full of tourists got into some sort of trouble and was headed right for our house as a landing spot. Luckily the pilot was able to bring everyone down safely on the lot next to ours!” He adds: “In spite of all these incidents, Jackson is having a mini-boom as people head for the National Parks and the great outdoors.

We live on the west side of the Snake River, about 10 miles from Jackson, so things are quieter here. We are planning to stay here until early October. 

My granddaughter, Sophia, has just started her freshman year at Fordham, near Lincoln Center. We are all worried about her safety from COVID-19, and the waves of protest in New York. I suspect it will be a long time before we have the urge to visit NYC again!”

Charlie Wrubel checks in from a rehab facility after having had a bit of work done on his leg. His recovery is progressing well. He has been most concerned about people who continue to refuse to wear a mask. Perhaps the refusers don’t worry about infecting other people.  Your scribes agree!

John and Cyndy Spurdle are back in New York, not having many adventures, but surviving. They had a delightful stay on Fishers Island for August and early September, and were sorry to have to leave!  While there, they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary with their children and those grandchildren in town at the time. As Clint Eastwood said: “They say marriages are made in heaven! So are thunder and lightning!” Their ushers included Dennis Allee, Dick Cadigan, and Bing Leverich 

They have three grandchildren now in Montana, one helping Governor Bullock run for the US Senate, one working at the Yellowstone Club as a fishing guide while awaiting return for his junior year at St Lawrence, one granddaughter in Hamburg working and polishing up her German pending university next fall, and English grandson in his first year at the University of Exeter. They are hoping to get to the UK for Christmas, but that is far from a sure bet at this point.

Skip and Molly Silloway have sold their house in Salt Lake City and are on their way to their new home north of San Francisco. They write: “We are in a kind of pandemic limbo as we move into a retirement community in California. Restrictions imposed because of the virus have delayed the construction of our new home. Looks like we might finally move in this October. One does wonder what the longer-term effects of the pandemic will be.  

People working from home and liking it will open up huge space in office buildings.  Retail will never be the same and owning restaurants will be a tougher business than ever.  Colleges and Universities are facing multiple challenges.  The well-endowed legacy institutions of which Wesleyan is one, will likely make it through if well managed.  Our endowment, kick started by classmate Doug Bennet. Is the foundation that will enable Wesleyan to handle any transition, along with strong, continued support by our alumni.  The Great Class of ’59 has been particularly generous over the years. Please don’t forget to help this year, the most crucial ever!

Wolfram Thiemann writes from Bremen: “This COVID-19 pandemic has indeed left a very bad imprint on the whole world. I have had sort of a double quarantine, suffering from the general restrictions imposed by our German government as well as knee surgery, which kept me hospitalized for some time. Survived happily and am now getting my mobility back with strict therapy!  Living here in Germany has kept us reasonably safe compared to New York. We are pleased about ushering in a new presidency on January 20th and looking forward to positive change in 2021. Wen and I cannot forget our wonderful trip to Manhattan and the Bronx just over a year ago in the wake of our wonderful reunion of the Class of ’59! Wen and I send our very best.”

For those who missed it, we had the first ever Zoom call for the Great Class of ’59 on June 30. Those participating were: Tim Day, Bob McKelvey, Skip Silloway, Walter Burnett, Charlie Wrubel, John Spurdle, Tom McHugh, Herb Steiner, Ted and Jane Bromage, Dick and Linda Cadigan, Bob Hydeman.

It was a unique experience organized by Mark Davis at Wesleyan, and a brilliant job of organization it was.  The call was for 6:00 pm and everyone made it.  Terrific fun,even without the pandemic.  You can imagine the strict discipline, organized note taking, etc. Ho Ho! That is where it should remain.  A perfect Wesleyan gathering! 

Don’t forget as well that WE ARE ALL OLD ENOUGH to join the OLIN SOCIETY. Please consider leaving whatever you might have left over to Wesleyan. It is an easy way to do good things via your will and estate plan.

On a terribly sad note, Weg Thomas wrote on July 1:  “Just to let you all know that Peg passed away early this morning. She never recovered from the diabetic coma, but lingered five days after we ended life support. You were all very special to her and meant a lot to her at Eclectic and later at our reunions and visit to Maine. Thank you for being part of her life. Paz Y amor, Weg.”

Our thoughts go out to Weg and the family.

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858

CLASS OF 1959 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Greetings to the Great Class of 1959! Your scribes are hoping that you are behaving yourselves and looking like masked bandits. Talking about bandits, the Class of 1960 is again trying to assert that it is the fulfillment of Vic Butterfield’s dream of the “Ideal Wesleyan Class.” A distinguished member of the Class of 1960, not surprisingly, made this assertion. (The final evidence: 60th Reunion attendees for the Class of ’59 was 33; while the Class of ’60 had a mere 29 expressing serious interest).

Bob McKelvey reports that working from home was fun at first but now seems like spending time in a high-class jail. He moved his office off the beach in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy to a posh location inland, which is now quite useless.

Ted Fiske reports that he and Sunny are safely ensconced in their Chapel Hill retirement community, and he has recently achieved a new first. Sunny produced a pair of scissors and asked Ted to cut her hair. All seemingly went well, but it looks like it was a one-way deal. Ted has developed a new coping strategy. The days of the week are now to be known as “thisday, thatday, otherday, someday, yesterday, today, and nextday!”

Wolfram Thiemann writes, “Since our last visit to our splendid 60th Reunion, the highlight of our lives has been Wen and my visit to Croatia. She left China for the first time in 1989 to study at the Oceanic Research Institute in Split, former Yugoslavia. It proved to be a really nostalgic and warm rendezvous for her. The rest of the time has been spent in Bremen enjoying my extended family of three generations living in Western Germany’s Rhineland.”

Dave Britt cannot hold back! “My creative juices have fled all known jurisdictions and were placed in a blind trust some years ago. So far, the trustees have noted no activity or interest. To report: Nada, Zippo, Snore City—and those are the highlights! I wear my mask and gloves for shopping (it turns out that my cape confuses people). I see people practicing safe distancing, but finding ways to get out safely and be together. Neighbors, friends, family gather round, as we can. Perhaps more important, we’re gaining some human respect and feeling for the folks who help us survive day-to-day, but cannot afford to lose even one hour’s work, and have no safety net, no health care, no financial resources. We ’59ers are certainly fulfilling the ancient and ambiguous Chinese toast ‘to live in interesting times.’ Silent Generation or not, I think we contribute beyond our numbers! ‘Go Wes,’ old man, ‘Go Wes.’”

Molly and Skip Silloway said goodbye to their home in Salt Lake City and moved to a retirement home in Northern California to be near their grandson. “Hope he is looking forward to it as much as we are,” said Skip.

Sandy, Rosie, and Tim Day are doing well in Arizona. Tim said, “Turned 83 on May 10 and feel pretty good for an old fossil! I survived some heart surgery in early March. Sandy (with nurse’s training) has been a saint in keeping us going, and safe. I had hoped to be wise when I reached this age, but wisdom remains elusive for me. I cannot say whether or not it is safe to open the economy, but do know that the virus’s impact, this unforeseen crisis, has been without precedent. In many cases, the losses will be for good, and the ‘new normal’ will be far different than our life in 2019. Our new puppy, Rosie, broke her little leg and was in a cast for seven weeks.” A difficult time in our history, says Tim, but this too will pass!

Reporting from hard-hit New Jersey, Charlie Wrubel talks of Zooming for all kinds of activities, online training, Pilates, Spanish lessons, and family visits. Food deliveries and takeout are keeping the wolf from the door.

Herb Steiner wrote, “We had a mini-Sigma Nu ’59 reunion on Zoom. Present were Bob Waterhouse, Tim Martin, Joe Vander Veer, Bob Mann, and I. Good to be in touch with old friends.”

Dick Cadigan and Weg Thomas have been keeping our spirits up, Dick with the neologism winners from the Washington Post, and Weg with the quarantine edition of “The Longest Time.” Cads is particularly dangerous now, as he has found a new hearing aid that actually works!

Dave Clemens particularly liked “The Longest Time.” “So well done, creative—loved the use of a Lysol container for percussion. In another era, we could have done a rendition by the Spooky Seven (the famous Eclectic octet, a singing group which included classmates Cadigan, Clemens, Spurdle, Moody, Wenner). Such an abundance of creative, humorous, and inspiring videos making the rounds.”

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858

CLASS OF 1959 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Greetings to the Great Class of 1959 from your scribes. Surrounded by our election excitement, impeachment games, Brexit about to happen, and Harry and Meghan’s dramatic decision, our news is both normal and uplifting (as usual).

Dick Cadigan gets us started with the following tidbit: “Several years ago, Clint Eastwood, now 89, was asked, ‘How do you keep going at your age?’ Eastwood replied, ‘When I get up in the morning, I just say don’t let the old man in.’” Says Cads, “This is my new advice to myself—you guys, too!”

He also had a stimulating and informative 21-day adventure in November: Hong Kong, Hanoi, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and Bangkok. Great lectures and guides. Stayed in the same hotel in Hanoi where Joan Baez stayed in 1972, where she ended up in a bomb shelter! Depressing that the U.S. did not learn enough from this horribly ugly Vietnam War.

Wonderful news: After arduous solicitation by your scribes, Cynthia Rockwell MALS ’19, retired managing editor of the Wesleyan, has agreed to join us as an honorary member of 1959, and adjunct class secretary. Her words say it all: “I am honored and humbled by your invitation. It is clearly the highlight of my career! Whenever you declare the next meeting, I’ll be there. I believe it is the adjunct’s first responsibility to bring liquid refreshment to the deliberations.”

It has been Cynthia’s burden over the past several years to keep your scribes from using off-color jokes or language inappropriate. Now she is on our side!

Walter Burnett writes: “Thoroughly enjoyed the 60th. Like many who have not been back for a while, I was amazed at the expansion of Wesleyan’s facilities. Continue my peripatetic lifestyle with Thanksgiving biking in Beaufort, S.C., Christmas with family in Maryland, New Year’s with daughter in California, spring plans relaxing in Myrtle Beach, and birding in Robbinsville!”

Weg Thomas: “A Country Road”

Weg Thomas is at it again with his camera and the latest effort is just brilliant.

Charlie Wrubel is trying hard to wrest away the traveler-of-the-year award from Dave Eklund: “During our 60th, Myra and I went to grandson Benjie’s graduation from Fountain Valley School (son of Rob ’88, MA ’89). He will have a gap-year teaching in Tanzania then on to Lafayette. A Leopard for life! Three London visits in 2019: Son Bill and I for a D-Day trip, grandson Miles in London and Paris, and a fall trip for fun. Bill was there working on a new TV show on English football. Back in time for the Homecoming game against Williams, the most exciting I have ever seen. Go, Little Three Champs! And then Thanksgiving in the California desert with the entire family.” Go, Charlie and Myra!

Dave and Mary Eklund, in the meantime, flew to Singapore, where they picked up a cruise ship for a little R&R, after a mad, spring dash covering graduations scattered all over the East Coast. Interesting Asian trip, but “too many people.”

Herb Steiner remarks on “aging out” of a couple of activities. Is Herb the only one? He is giving up the violin, and the tough first violin parts that he loved, in a switch to the less strenuous viola and has traded in his racquetball racquet for a pickleball one. Pickleball is a gentler game, apparently, not played with pickles. Herb stays in touch with Bob Waterhouse, Joe Vander Veer, and Tim Martin.

Tim Day has received the Thomas A. Richards Memorial Beer Stein Award, a great annual honor. After a quick trip to Harvard Business School to dedicate the new Tim Day Fitness Room, just amazing, down to Quantico for a reunion with the people Tim has put through HBS over the last several years. What an extraordinary achievement. He and Sandy have also found Rosie, a baby black pug puppy, who is the newest member of the family.

Tim Day Fitness Room
Tim Day

Wolfram Thiemann, our most enthusiastic adopted classmate, and wife Wen had a great time at Reunion, and in their later travels to New England, Washington, and Baltimore. It was terrific to see them both in Middletown and we wish them back soon. On their return to Europe, they explored the Dalmatian coast in Split, Croatia.

Owen Tabor and Margaret just returned from a warm week in the islands on a trimaran, with four married children and 11 of 13 available grands, far from the bustling election and impeachment noise, and enjoying the whole adventure in the shade!

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858

CLASS OF 1959 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

“When you enter this church, it may be possible that you will hear ‘the call of God.’ However, it is unlikely that he will call you on your mobile. Thank you for turning off your phones.”
–Poster found in a church in France, translated

Jim Brands attended a grandson’s graduation and commission into the Army as a second lieutenant. “Unfortunately, it coincided perfectly with our 60th!”

Professor Josiah Carberry Hon’59 has been strangely silent since our 50th. An honorary member of the Great Class of 1959, and one of the few specialists in psychoceramics (cracked pots), it is rumored that he has fled the country in haste for reasons unknown. Any news from classmates most welcome.

Marty Weil could not resist responding to our plea for news! “I think even our small company of classmates will survive and thrive without knowing this. But my mood at the moment is to show a willingness to be helpful and cooperative! And recognizing and honoring the curiosity embodied in your question, I decided it was necessary to answer.

“I was working on an obit of the famous physicist and Nobel winner, Murray Gell-Mann. Had I been at Reunion, and learned of his death, I would have tried to suppress my chagrin. I was, however, chosen as most qualified to write his obituary at the Post. As a person schooled in the need for rigorous honesty and close examination, I have to admit that what I wrote was not particularly good. Had I attended the Reunion and not written about this man I would not have been able to extirpate all feelings of regret—regret that I did not do a better job. 

“I am confident that you will agree that our classmates do not need to know all that. But if you feel that any of them would not be completely fulfilled without some inkling of it, please feel free to share it!”

Wolfram Thiemann wrote on his return to Germany, “I do fondly recall the wonderful weekend at Wesleyan with all its activities and the chance to meet old mates again after so many years. It was an extremely emotional time.

“Wen and I traveled to Boston and New York after Reunion, then on to Annapolis to stay with a cousin of mine, with easy visits to Washington and the University of Maryland, where I did a research sabbatical in 1980. Good to have ‘reanimated’ my strong affinity with the US. Wesleyan had truly not disappointed me over so many years and the air of New England has inspired me again.”

Herb Steiner is still feeling the glow from our 60th as we go to press but is also reeling from the fact that 80 of our classmates have gone to eternal rest. Is that an unusually large number, he asks? “All is well. Traveling, violin/viola playing, stock market playing, and feeling good. Youngest granddaughter, Hattie June (Wesleyan class of ’39?) is a joy!”

Mini-reunion in Maine at the Chase house

On Sept. 12, the annual mid-coast Maine 1959 mini reunion took place at Joanie and Bob Chase’s home in Boothbay Harbor for cocktails and savory appetizers followed by dinner at the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club. The group included Bob and Joanie, Wendy and Joe Mallory, Anne and Tom McHugh, Linda and Dick Cadigan, and Marie-Pier and Alan Brooks ’59 MALS’68.

“Astonish” by Weg Thomas

Stunning photographs by Weg Thomas can be found here.

“Cypress Fire 2” by Wet Thomas

Spurdle news: “As we were cavorting in Middletown at our 60th with grandson Will Stack in tow (St. Lawrence 2023), wife Cyndy and granddaughter Isabel Stack were in England attending grandson Nicholas Peel’s graduation from Harrow. Magnificent days on both sides of the Atlantic, although Harrow out did us on elegant tents. Our other granddaughter, Hadley Stack, graduated with high distinction from the Batten School at the University of Virginia and immediately headed west to work for Mayor Pete on his campaign team. August at Fishers Island and now back in NYC.”

Calvin Trillin Hon’59 agreed to be our honorary class secretary on very short notice as Skip was heading out West to see grandchildren and explore a move to a spot nearer to them north of San Francisco. By the most amazing coincidence, he was doing a piece called “Class Notes” for the Sept. 9 New Yorker, our deadline to submit all your news. Wrong school, wrong class, but wicked clever! Read it at

We were notified that John Dennis passed away over Labor Day. Ted Fiske wrote a moving tribute to him, which you read in its entirely here.

Sadly, David Steindler passed away in June at age 81. Longtime resident and supporter of Sheffield, Mass., he and his wife, Judith, started and ran Dovetail Antiques in Sheffield, with David specializing the repair of antique clocks. Founding member of the Bushnell-Sage Library and its first president.

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858

CLASS OF 1959 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely!”
–Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

 The 60th Reunion of the Great Class of 1959 was a spectacular treat, and we broke the record for attendance at a 60th along the way!

Things really got rolling on Friday at the lunch under the tent behind Russell House (Honors College). The day was glorious, the food was good, and three tables of classmates had come to begin the celebrations in earnest. There was ample time for registration before the next Friday afternoon event at the Silloway Gymnasium honoring the 1959 basketball team, the first Wesleyan basketball team to make it to the NCAA tournament. Dick Cadigan and Dick Wenner, co-captains, and teammates Joe Mallory and Dave Hohl ’60 accepted the banner on behalf of the team. They were saluted by Mike Whalen ’83, athletic director, and Joe Reilly, men’s basketball coach. It was a fitting tribute to this extraordinary team in the wonderful setting of the Silloway Gym, bedecked with banners and gleaming varnished floors. We also heard from Andrew Daggon ’20, a current military veteran scholar, about his experiences at Wesleyan as a 28-year-old. There are pictures of the event below.

There was a well- attended late afternoon cocktail party hosted by President Michael Roth ’78 on Andrus Field to honor Barbara Jan Wilson on her retirement for her great service to the school followed by a 1959 reception in Wasch House.

Dinner Friday evening was fairly casual. The 1959 Eclectics carried on a tradition of having a dinner downtown at Luca. We were around 20 in number with wives, some children and grandchildren, and special guests Loni and Al Haas ’56, and Mr. and Mrs. Wolfram Thiemann. Dinner was accompanied by some lusty singing and storytelling.

Saturday dawned a lovely day. The class had a memorial remembrance at 10 a.m. for our classmates who had passed away, led by Rev. Dick Cadigan. He began the memorial with a reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and reflected on knowing those departed. The class read the names out loud in unison, 77 in all, remembering each one, and closed by singing the alma mater in harmony!

A quick but delicious boxed picnic lunch was followed by the parade which got off about 11:30 a.m. You will find parade pictures below.

Our boys showed well as they marched behind a tremendously enthusiastic, if slightly aged, Dixieland band. The march was quite short, fortunately, and north rather than south, to the Crowell Auditorium, where the Alumni Association meeting was held. High spots for us were serious awards for Bert Edwards and Ed, our stalwart class agents and a brilliant talk by Thomas Kail ’99, director of Hamilton.

The memorial service for classmate Doug Bennett began in the chapel at 1:30 p.m. A block of seats had been reserved for the Class of 1959 on the left side of the chapel just under the plaque we had given in his honor. It was a lovely service, with Doug’s brother, John, three grandchildren, and his son, Michael ’87, painting an indelible, and appealing picture of the man. The Wesleyan Spirits sang two lovely hymns, and chamber musicians played at the beginning and end of the service. We were all honored to be there. The Bennet Family graciously thanked the class for the memorial plaque and the Bennet Endowment Fund in a note on the program.

Our class dinner followed in Doggon, the old squash court building. The space has been transformed totally, and we dined in great comfort in a charming room big enough to hold all our gang. Dave Darling, our Reunion chair, led the proceedings with style, in the face of a sound system which looked brand new but just would not work. Once turned off, Skip spoke with great affection about Doug and presented Donna Morea ’76, board chair, with a replica of the Bennet plaque. We all toasted Barbara Jan Wilson again, and she and Dave gave Skip Silloway and John Spurdle touching Wesleyan Service Awards.

With three ex-Jibers present (MoodySteiner, and Vander Veer), it did not take much to get the place rocking, 1959 style! You can just imagine how brilliant the singing was and how long it lasted! What fun. Dinner was followed by the All Class Sing led by Bill Moody next door on the steps of North College.

Nice note from Ted Bromage: “Joan and I enjoyed the programs and found conversations with classmates I had not known well most rewarding. Now in our 80s, we are who we are, and not too worried about who we will become!”

Dick Cadigan wrote, “Fabulous time, great conversations, well-organized weekend. Looking forward to our 65th!”

Jerry Doolittle said, “Haven’t been back for years. I had no idea of the scale of change nor the impact of Doug’s Presidency. It felt great both to wander alone in places of the past, and to visit with Classmates. Very glad I came.”

Wolfram Thiemann, all the way from Germany, wrote, “Thanks so much for the great event, which I was allowed to participate, even only as a foreign scholar. It was the first time I attended Reunion, now the 60th one. I am grateful to have taken the opportunity to visit my one-year alma mater which had given me so much for my future life. And what a blessing to meet so many of my former mates back at Wesleyan . . . I was stirred to be given the title Eclectic member.”

Hugh Lifson, decked out in a bespoke blazer and Wesleyan patch at Reunion, wrote: “Gratification of my nostalgic cravings was the main reason I came back. A walk along Brownstone Row, even without the ivy was special. General agreement about the debt we owe Vic Butterfield for finding the most amazing teachers in the nation and getting them to Wesleyan for us: Professors Shorske, Brown, Caspari, Shattsneider, Rudich, Mink, Winslow, and many more.

“We were able to share the memories of our deceased classmates, particularly Doug Bennet. His son, Senator Bennet, gave a eulogy reminiscent of the Kennedy speeches. Two other events stood out: The Weseminars, particularly the one on prison education, and the All Campus Sing led by our own Bill Moody and the Class of 2019!”

One bit of particular sadness: Dave Mitchell passed away this spring. He had a terrible battle with cancer. Al Brooks, who played tackle next to Dave, used to feed him bits of Hershey Bar before our games to keep him from being sick from nerves. We will miss Mitch!

Don’t forget to do two important things: Join the Olin Society before it is too late; and support the 1959 Bennet Endowment if you have not done so already. The two are not mutually exclusive, and Mark Davis ( at Wesleyan can help you take care of both.

Diane and Joe VanderVeer and Ellen and Herb Steiner

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858

CLASS OF 1959 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Your scribes for the Great Class of ’59 offer this poem by Henry Longfellow, written on the occasion of his 50th Reunion at Bowdoin in 1825.

“Ah, nothing is too late

Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.

Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles

Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides

Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,

When each had number more than fourscore years,

And Theophrastus, ‘Characters of Men.’

Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,

At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales;

Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last,

Completed Faust when eighty years were past,

These are indeed exceptions; but they show

How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow

Into the arctic regions of our lives,

Where little else than life itself survives…”

Cato learned Greek at 80! So, what have we all been doing?

Bonnie and Bob Waterhouse report on their “last Big Adventure” having moved from Massachusetts to Venice, Fla., and “love it.” Good people, great beaches, and an afternoon alligator. They stay in touch with Bob Mann and Herb Steiner.

Joe Vander Veer has found the antidote to today’s discouraging political year: The arrival of two great-grandchildren. They seem unfazed by gridlock and the rest.

Steve Kaplan reports continued traveling, some brought about by providing expert testimony to the federal judiciary. Will be attending graduations of grandchildren from Clark and Barnard just before our Reunion.

Don Hinman wrote: “The deaths of classmates Ernie Dunn and Doug Bennet have brought back some vivid memories of the late ’50s. Doug was the president of AXP and sent Ernie and me to the AXP National Fraternity meeting in Buck Hills Falls, Pa., to ask them to include others than white Christians in the brotherhood. The Inn at Buck Hills Falls did not know quite what to do when Ernie and I arrived at the front desk. I was astonished, naive enough, I guess, to think that all college people were like our colleagues at Wesleyan. Ernie knew better, I think. We were essentially ostracized by most attendees. Allegheny and Dartmouth were the only sympathetic attendees. Doug would have been a better representative, but he, too, would have failed, in spite of his eloquence and logic. I admired Ernie for his courage and calmness throughout it all. Both are to be much honored by all of us . . . for supporting our stand.”

Bob Czepiel wrote in a note to Tom McHugh that he planned to attend Reunion! “Should be particularly interesting to look back over 80 years and reflect on the importance of a Wesleyan education has had on all our lives. Eleven years ago, in 2008, I spent a considerable time on campus producing a video, 50: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same, as part of a film class I took at Wesleyan.

“Surprisingly, only a few things had changed: Women, of course, the PC/cell phone phenomena, and some modern buildings. The student body’s personality, education process, and faculty were much the same as when we were in Clark and the Beta House years ago.”

Cyndy and John Spurdle spent six weeks in London over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. The highlight was a week together with daughter Meg ’86 and her English husband, Giles, and grandchildren, Nick, 18, and Maud, 17. Lots of great music (the highlight was the carol service at the Royal Hospital Chapel),ß fun theater including a rollicking “pantomime” of Sleeping Beauty, and a good old Don Quixote. Attended the London Library Christmas party hosted by our new honorary president, Sir Tim Rice.

Weg Thomas is continues to produce some wonderful photographs of the season.

Dick Wenner reported on a recent trip to Europe. “The first week was spent on a cruise from Paris to Normandy (and the cemetery) and back. The second was a week on the road in Switzerland with my son and 16-year-old grandson. The second week ended with a family reunion of some 150 Swiss and 25 American relatives, including all seven of my descendants. All in all, quite an experience for one who thought he would never see foreign shores again!”

Dick Cadigan urges all of our classmates to make it back for the 60th. “I truly hope that as many as possible will return for our 60th. Sixty-four years of contact and friendships is a bit staggering to think about. I have been to every Reunion of our class since the 15th (nine in all). I have always come away with joy, and a deep appreciation for our classmates and Wesleyan.”

Wolfram Thiemann is also planning to attend Reunion from Bremen, Germany. He writes, “”Since I have long been formally retired from active teaching Physical Chemistry at the University of Bremen/Germany I have been busy since in teaching abroad, sharing exciting research projects, visiting conferences, and reviewing doctoral theses and scientific manuscripts submitted to various peer-reviewed international journals. About once a year I have been invited by either some universities in Maharashtra/India to deliver lectures on various topics in environmental issues and space research, or by some academic institutes in China, in particular by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Peking to contribute to specific research subjects in Bioanalytical Chemistry. My most challenging research project, named ROSETTA-PHILAE, was the active participation of a soft landing of a probe on a comet (called Churymosov-Gerasimenko) carrying an analytical instrument developed in our laboratory to search for prebiological organic matter on the comet’s surface, – of course I was only one out of a number of researchers sponsored by the European Space Agency, yet one who was privileged to have contributed to one of the central experiments searching for the origins of life on Earth and in the Universe. Imagine the enthusiastic excitement in our team when the news came through that our lander has in December 2014 finally arrived safely on the tiny (its size is roughly 2 x 3 km!) comet’s surface after a 10-years-journey through space.

“Privately I (together with my wife, Wen, born in China) have been lucky to enjoy the fact that my two daughters, one adopted son, and four lovely grandkids are living not too far from Bremen, and that we have met regularly with a huge number of cousins within Germany.

“Looking forward to this great chance of seeing some of my classmates again, at the very site where I learned so much from Wesleyan which inspired all my life.”

On a sad note, Betsy Lindgren wrote that her father, David Larson, passed away suddenly on Dec. 20. Dick Goldman ’58 reported that Wayne Fillback’s wife, Mary Ellen, died recently. Wayne was part of the Deerfield gang who spent two years with our class and transferred to Colby.

Alan Dieffenbach passed away shortly before his 82nd birthday. After earning an MAT at Oberlin, and an early career as a smoke jumper, he taught secondary school in Salt Lake City and New York State. He volunteered for the Peace Corps in Nepal in 1964 and spent considerable time there on the Peace Corps staff while trying to climb extremely difficult mountains in his spare time. After moving back to Providence, the Dieffenbachs left to work on a water project in Yemen for a year, ending up eventually in Brattleboro, Vt., owning the Upper Crust Bakery! Our thoughts are with his family.

Skip Silloway |; 801/532-4311 

John Spurdle |; 212/644-4858