Robert J. Campbell ’73, passed away on May 18, 2020. A full obituary can be found here.
How life has changed for so many of us. As of this writing in early May, I have spent every work day for the past two months at my CBS station, WFOR-TV, covering so many aspects of the coronavirus from the economy, unemployment, medical care, massive food distributions, survivors, and those who have sadly lost their lives in this crisis. One survivor in New York City is our esteemed classmate, Dr. Jonathan Raskin, whose story is coming up.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have some sad news to report that 69-year-old Robert Joseph Campbell of Cromwell, Conn., passed away on May 18 from complications from COVID-19 after a short illness. Robert was active in politics and was known for his care and work for those with special needs.
From California, Phil Levine writes that he and his wife are doing fine. He says, “We FaceTime with our children and grandson and see plays on Zoom. It’s not the same as being in the same room, but it helps.” He says he sees his students at SBCC School of Extended Learning online two nights a week. They are finishing up a virtual poetry reading for retirement homes and a homeless shelter and have a virtual A Midsummer Night’s Dream slated for late May.
“I think we are all grateful for this social interaction, especially since many of the students are older and living alone,” says Phil. “So, life goes on; but it sure will be nice to gather in person again…safely, of course. I am grateful that we are all well here, and I am especially happy that my Wesleyan pal, Jon Raskin, won his bout with COVID-19. I am indebted to him for making me realize early on to take this illness seriously.” Sadly, Phil’s mother died March 11, and his family would have all assembled in New York City for the funeral. As it turned out, they did a videoconference for the ceremony.
Jonathan Raskin writes that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated as Mark Twain recounted, but in my case it was a bit too close.” He says he struggled through the COVID-19 pneumonia and, “I am happy to now have antibodies!” For more about his battle and recovery, he says check out YouTube and enter “New York pulmonologist” and “get the gory details.” Jonathan thanks you—“my Wes buddies”—for keeping him in your thoughts during the time he was ill. “Please stay safe and be vigilant,” he says. “We are now senior citizens and part of the ‘at-risk’ community. We just think 70 is the new 50 and I am here to tell you that’s fake news.”
From Lake Placid, N.Y., John Huttlinger says he and his staff at Adirondack Audit company have been working in isolation “but at least we are working!” He says he has been participating in Kappa Nu Kappa alumni video chats, which he says “have been great.” At last word, John was trying to find a way to reach Tim Mooney.
Hope you are all finding new creative things to do. My wife, Connie, has been creating cloth masks for those in need, and she and my middle daughter Dana have been finding one family in need per week to help with food and much-needed other contributions here in South Florida. My oldest daughter Jennifer—a nurse and assistant to a pastor at her Gloucester, Va., church—has helped pioneer a nationwide Sunday broadcast of her church service and my youngest daughter Holly—a wildlife biologist and artist in Highlands Ranch near Denver—is teaching art courses through Zoom and has built up many projects through the internet.
Hope you are finding new or creative projects, perhaps something different every day, and being careful.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Former Wesleyan Argus Editor Steven Greenhouse sent me a newsy note. He said he and Kirk Adams “trekked up” to Fairfield early last November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when Paul Baumann met his wife-to-be Vivian. Steve Forstein, who joined them on the Wesleyan freshman soccer teams 50 years ago, “joined the festivities and gave a smashing toast,” Steven said. He also said Kirk and his wife, Cecile, threw a book party for his new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor. Steven was honored that Nick Kristof called his book “superb, important, and eminently readable,”while Zephyr Teachout, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called it “engrossing, character-driven, panoramic.”
He also said Wesleyan’s history department and College of Letters invited him to give a talk about the book in late October—and he was honored that one of his favorite professors, Paul Schwaber ’57, came to hear the talk. “When a friend held a book party for me in Los Angeles, I was delighted that Wes classmate, Peggy McIver Gregerson, joined us,” said Steven. Peggy lives in Pasadena and works in advertising. When Steven spoke in the Bay Area, he stayed with College of Letters “buddy and roommate in Paris, Jonathan Siegal, who is a very successful labor lawyer in Oakland.”
Alain Munkittrick is co-authoring a book with Deborah Shapiro, Middletown city historian, titled, Middletown’s High Street and Wesleyan University (Arcadia), featuring historical images from Special Collections and Archives, and the Middlesex County Historical Society.
From Washington, D.C., Charles Wayne and Ellen Kabcenell Wayne ’75 recently become grandparents for the fourth time in 26 months “despite the fact that neither of us are old enough to be a grandparent.” He says the proud fathers are Michael Wayne ’05 (an 18-month-old boy) and Joey Wayne ’08 (2-year-old twin girls and a baby girl).
Some of you may shun joining Facebook for a myriad of reasons but I will give one reason to get hooked up: Michael McKenna. His photographs from Vermont are spectacular and when he posts them, I can guarantee that you will look with appreciation and linger. Mike captures the essence of parts of that state and it wouldn’t surprise me if the best of his collage ends up somewhere sometime soon in a photo gallery.
Michael is a “first time grandfather to Ms. Frances Anne McKenna, aka Frankie. The highlight of this or any year.” He recommends reading David Brooks’s The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, which is all about writing one’s personal résumé separate from one’s career. He says it supports the old saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mike is still working and doing more pro bono work. One of his most meaningful endeavors is serving on the Wesleyan Athletics Advisory Council. Mike adds, “Wonderful way to be invited back to campus to support Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 and coaches, see friends, and to meet and encourage some of the current flock of Cardinal athletes. What a talented, inspiring group.” The ever enthusiastic and upbeat Mike says he highly recommends reconnecting with Wesleyan in such ways and says, “I’m genuinely grateful for the opportunity.” He ends with the encouraging words of “Play on.”
Mike shared that Tim Warner is on the Wesleyan Athletics Advisory Committee with him. Tim flies in from Stanford, where he is a senior executive in the administration, and “adds great insights into how great schools can have strong athletics programs at the same time. Great to reconnect with my first-year Foss Hill neighbor!”
Finally, a farewell to someone who has been an incredible help to me as class secretary since she joined Wesleyan University 30 years ago. Wesleyan Magazine Managing Editor Cynthia Rockwell MALS ’19 announced she was retiring as of Feb. 28. Her duties with class secretaries are passing on to Randi Plake, who has been outstanding in terms of helping me reach out to you. But in this life, there is only one Cynthia Rockwell, whose passion for the school, the magazine, and all of you is unequaled. So, a final shout out to one of the best that Wesleyan was so fortunate to have as our source and guidance. In the end, she was typically self-effacing in a letter to me saying she always felt I was “the pro” and she was “the aspiring journalist.” Quite the opposite. Her articles and stories in the magazine have also been first rate. She has been the MVP, the Most Valuable Player, for class secretaries and we have been the players and hopefully “pros” most of the time.
Best of luck in your endeavors in 2020.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
We have news from around the world, starting with one of my three East College roommates from senior year.
John Spike writes from Venice, Italy. “In January 2017, I retired from the College of William & Mary after nearly 10 years as assistant director and chief curator of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. The ensuing freedom has allowed us to return to working in Europe for about half the year (or less, for tax reasons). In London, I am senior advisor to the Sir Denis Mahon Foundation. In Venice I am organizing a symposium and an exhibition of Raphael drawings for the Accademia museum in honor of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1520. Michèle is lawyering plus writing and lecturing on Matilda of Canossa and other medieval themes. This autumn in Tenafly, N.J., we’re looking forward to our 50th high school reunion. In Los Angeles, our beautiful 3-year-old grandson, Santiago Spike, is happily babbling in at least two languages at the same time.”
From Lake Placid, N.Y., John Huttlinger reports a busy summer. “My CPA practice is very time consuming, but I enjoy working with my clients,” he says, adding, “I have taken steps to seek out a smooth and orderly transition to semi-retirement, but have not found the right solution to that yet.” He is still active with the Lake Placid Film Festival, which was launched in June 2000. He attended the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, where he met festival organizers Mike McKenna and Lloyd Komesar ’74. His film society arranged their annual classic film screening hosted by Jeremy Arnold ’91. Jeremy is a writer for Turner Classic Movies and writes the companion books to their Essentials series. His family has had a camp on Lake Placid for over 80 years. John and wife Karen had lunch with Jeremy and his mother at their classic Adirondack camp high on a cliff overlooking Lake Placid.
He’s also connected with Charlie Cocores ’74: once at Reunion last year, when he invited him to go to Foxboro to watch the Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse team play in the NCAA Division III championship game (Wesleyan won) and again last spring in Middletown for a reunion of Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse teams from the 1970s “which Mike McKenna inexplicably attended as well!” He says he also keeps in touch with Michael Gionfriddo, who has moved back to Middletown and spends a lot of time at Wesleyan.
Bruce Fergusson tells me, “Peter, first of all, kudos for drastically lowering your A1C! I’m still north of the border myself but we’re working on it.” He says following his wife’s retirement as a social worker for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, they sold their home and moved to Salem, Ore. “As I’ve done elsewhere, a new home is not yet christened until I build a dry-stone wall—front yard this time. Building stone walls is a lot easier than writing, but I’ve somehow still managed to finish, and publish, my eighth novel, and I’m working on the next,” he says. (brucefergusson.com)
His son Brian is in grad school, hoping to become a respiratory therapist. His oldest son, Patrick, recently married, is in the “thick of the D.C. political scrum,” working as the assistant chief-of-staff and legal counsel for a prominent “Rebel Alliance” congresswoman.
Jay Rose writes that, “Since we are all old, I can share the rites of passage for our age group. I am getting my second hip replacement, we recently downsized to an over-55 community, and my back hurts all the time. But I can break 90 pretty often.”
From Nashville, Jim Powers, with the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging, reports that he received a HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant to train health professionals to care for older people and deliver effective models of care to improve health outcomes.
At this writing here in early September from South Florida, we have dodged Dorian, another dreaded hurricane that was heading in our direction originally putting us “in the cone” for a week and then skirting north after walloping the Bahamas and then threatening my oldest daughter, Jennifer, and her family in southern Virginia before heading further north. We are still in the peak of the hurricane season so who knows what I’ll be reporting next.
Until next time,
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Our Wesleyan Argus Editor-in-Chief Steven Greenhouse has an update. He says, “There are difficult times, and there are good times, and lately I’ve been feeling blessed.” His daughter Emily ’08 gave birth to their first grandchild, “a beautiful boy,” Eli, on March 20. He says, “Emily also landed an impressive job that shows that a Wes education can pay off—a College of Letters grad like her Dad, she was named co-editor of the New York Review of Books.”
Steven says he is proud that his second book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, will be officially released by Knopf in August. “It seeks to serve as a history of labor unions and worker power in America while also examining modern-day efforts to lift workers, including the fight for $15 and the #RedforEd teachers’ strikes.” he says. He also had the honor of moderating a presidential candidates’ Forum on Wages and Working People. It was held in Las Vegas on April 27 and included John Hickenlooper ’74, along with Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren. “It was quite a thrill, and made my think that my double major in government and COL at Wesleyan wasn’t a waste,” says Steven.
He says he sees a lot of Wes folks, including our classmates Kirk Adams, Jon Siegel, Paul Baumann, Jon Raskin, Nancy Troy ’74, Claudia Catania ’74, and Vicky Bijur ’75. (Vicky is his literary agent.)
We also have some news from Rabbi Bob Wolkoff. He says that he and his wife, Ruth-Ann, were recently honored by their central New Jersey congregation for his 40 years serving as a rabbi (in Michigan, New Jersey, Sweden, Wisconsin, Georgia, and again in New Jersey). “Join the rabbinate, see the world. Who knew? A day does not go by that I do not think of my Wesleyan experience, my wonderful friends and fraternity brothers, and especially my teachers Rabbi George Sobelman, and Professor Philip Hallie, of blessed memory, and Professor Jeremy Zwelling, may he enjoy long life, all of whom offered so much in shaping my world view,” he says. He will be spending a few months this summer in Israel with his family, taking some much needed time to “trace and retrace my spiritual journey (otherwise known as ‘. . . what a long strange trip it’s been’).”
He’ll also be looking for some serious spiritual inspiration and rejuvenation, since his wife has been fighting valiantly against Stage IV cancer and he says that does take a serious toll on them. “My children Ethan, Joseph, and Dahlia are 16, 16, and 12, respectively, and the boys at least have started looking at colleges,” he says. “My daughter, who wants medical school, won’t finish until I’m 82. G-d clearly has a wicked sense of humor. As Jay Rose wrote to me a long time ago, I’m ‘going to be working a long time.’ Ain’t it the truth. But I love what I do, so it isn’t really work at all.” He sends his warmest regards to everyone.
Michael Edwards has had a satisfying career in developmental neuroscience for 20 years after Wesleyan. “A PhD in physiology from University of Utah, postdocs at Women’s Medical College in Philly, and at MIT,” he writes. Then he had a 10-year sojourn as a researcher at the E.K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, including production of 26 publications and appointments in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. Later he moved and held many odd jobs before a 20-year stretch in public health and grant writing.
He retired in March in the face of terminal cancer, which is “thankfully now in abeyance with effective treatment.” He now has plenty of time to enjoy the seashore with his dog at his old farmhouse with ocean vistas and he spends a lot of time reading widely and reviewing on Goodreads, where he recently passed 1,000 reviews.
From Alaska, we learn that John Bocachica’s acting is leaving a memorable impression where the Anchorage Press says his role in the Anchorage Community Theatre’s The Giver brings the title character “to life.” The reviewer says John’s “physical look is beautifully chosen for this role but it is the slow emphasis he puts into the delivery of his lines that draws you in.”
All goes well here. I’ve been reporting for WFOR-TV, the CBS-owned station in Doral since September of 2007. It’s been a challenge keeping up with the much-younger, scrappy reporters but fortunately my longtime sources have continued to come through on numerous stories. I have been traveling some weeks to Denver to see my youngest daughter, Holly, and her husband in Highlands Ranch, where she’s an artist and wildlife biologist, and oldest daughter, Jennifer, and her husband and two granddaughters in Gloucester, Va., near Williamsburg, where she’s a marketing guru for her church and a nurse. My oldest granddaughter is going to be a junior this year at Old Dominion University and is planning on a career in teaching.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
We have news from across the country. Mike Robinson regrets having to back out of our recent milestone Reunion and will try to visit this year but has 2023 written in red in the centennial calendar. Meanwhile, he reconnected with a rowing teammate, Vinnie Broderick ’75. Vinnie, who runs a summer rowing camp in Vermont, met up with Mike’s rowing coach brother and tracked Mike down in Baltimore and York, Pa. The visit yielded a reconnection for Mike with Phil Calhoun ’62, past rowing coach, as well as stories of shenanigans during the rowers’ spring training in Florida.
From Lafayette, Colo., Mike McKenna has been appointed to the USA Rugby board of directors. Mike says, “I look forward to combining my passion for the sport and professional experience to help further strengthen our great game both here in the U.S. and within the international rugby community.” Mike has been active for decades helping the Wesleyan rugby club and founded the Old Methodist RFC, strengthening alumni ties. Congrats, Mike!
Peter Gelblum devotes his time to the worlds of theater and social justice. He is president of Mountain Community Theater in Ben Lomond, Calif. Over the last few years, his “work” at MCT has included playing Brutus in Julius Caesar and one of the convict-angels in My Three Angels, and directing Miracle on 34th Street, the Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Other Desert Cities, Damn Yankees, and my favorite, August: Osage County. He writes, “At other local theaters in the astonishingly vibrant theater scene in Santa Cruz county, I’ve recently played Judge Haywood (the Spencer Tracy part in the movie) in Judgment at Nuremberg and directed several shows for an annual festival of 10-minute plays.” He has also produced two productions of Climate Change Theater Action in Santa Cruz.
For several years, he has been on the board of directors and executive committee of the ACLU of Northern California and the chair of the Santa Cruz county chapter of the ACLU. “In those roles, I’ve gotten to work with other activists, elected officials, and law enforcement leaders to address issues such as protecting the rights of the large homeless population, militarization of police, police transparency and accountability, surveillance, racial justice, and immigration rights,” he says, adding he is currently on the sheriff’s advisory team for the county. Peter says “My wife, Michele, and I love it here in Boulder Creek among the redwoods. The only downside is that our combined three kids and two grandchildren are scattered around the country, so we don’t get to see them as often as we would like. In light of that, I’m especially thankful for those modern wonders of airplanes and video chat.”
Robert Abrevaya says the 14th edition of The Robert William Abrevaya Show was produced Dec. 28. Comedy by “The Official Comedian for the 2020 Elections.” He says seven of his shows and autobiographical information are available at vimeo.com/RWAShow. At The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard, he has been the closing act most potluck nights since (at least) 1983. His new Facebook page is RealRobert William Abrevaya. He is also on Twitter @AbrevayaR. And he invites you to call him at 323/926-6115.
A busy Tom Kelly is splitting his time between Phoenix and San Diego and now has four grandchildren who range from 4 months to 4 years old. He is working with early stage health care companies with “strong value propositions” in an industry that he believes could be involved with “massive disruption.” He is “trying to tilt Arizona blue with moderate success.”
For those of you who are doctors, I have to mention this personal medical note. Some alarm bells went off over a year ago when I my A1C count hit 7.2 and I went in to the Type 2 Diabetes danger zone. I went cold turkey on the sugar after decades of guzzling Coca-Cola and M&Ms. In three months, my A1C count dropped to 5.8 and in 6 months it dropped to 5.5. My doctor said the drop was “freakish” and had not seen such an A1C drop before, along with everything else that improved. I also dropped from 181 to 162 pounds—too big of a drop, one doctor said. Must admit I feel better and have lost the “glucose belly.” In light of all the commercials about lowering your A1C count, my wife thinks I should write a short book about this.
On a final note, this time last year many of us were getting ready to attend our 45th Reunion. All who attended said it was fantastic and afterwards were eager to start planning for our 50th Reunion (May 25-28, 2023). We’ll be reaching out to folks to collect up-to-date contact information as we want as many as possible to make it back to Middletown. If you want to get involved or haven’t heard from a Reunion committee member, contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 680/685-5992.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Bruce Fox writes that although he lost in the Democratic primary for a seat in the New Hampshire Senate, “the nice news is that the race has enabled me to reconnect with some Wesleyan friends and meet some new ones.” Tom Kelly and Tom Lucci visited him around the time of the election and he had many phone conversations and e-mails with others who gave financial and moral support. Bruce says, “I had an hour-long conversation with old friend, Kie Westby, who also had an unsuccessful foray into politics a few years ago, was particularly worthwhile with lots of old stories, some advice, and lots of laughs shared.”
Michael Morales has a detailed update on what he has been up to and some memories from our days at Wesleyan. Flashing back, he was the assistant student manager at McConaughey dining hall. “Many students requested I bring out chocolate mint ice cream. Although he was in a frat at the time, Bill Belichick ’75 snuck in a couple times for our great food (and maybe to meet some co-eds).” For two years he was captain of the wrestling team and now he is grant writing and fundraising at Springfield College (the Milwaukee campus). Earlier, he taught Creative Writing for Social Change. Michael says that soon he’ll be traveling through Wisconsin in giving workshops and seminars. He is writing a book, The 1-Minute Expert: How to Be Recognized as an Expert in 1 Minute or Less. He went to Stanford for a PhD and decided he didn’t want it and left with a master’s. He then went immediately to SLAC and was on the team that earned two Nobel prizes in physics. While he was not one of the professors who was named, he was one of the 100 of graduate students that assisted with the basic research needed for the Nobel prizes.
Michael went to Harvard for executive training in community and economic development. He says, “I have been sharing the knowledge and strategies for many years.” A great deal of his work and study at Wesleyan and Stanford were in psychology. He is the guest coach of two Olympic wrestling champions who live in Wisconsin and are his longtime friends and is a guest coach for a three-time Olympic boxing coach. He coaches technique and mindset and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, CBS, and Fox News.
Michael was also executive director of a U.S. Department of Commerce program where over $1.1 billion in government contracts came through his office and they helped small businesses to get part of the multi-million dollar contracts. This included women-owned and veteran-owned businesses and others helping minorities and the disadvantaged. He was vice president of a $52-million educational foundation and he interviews Stanford University freshman applicants for the admissions office as an alumni volunteer.
Robert Abrevaya’s 13th edition of The Robert William Abrevaya Show was produced in June at The Comedy Store. He calls it stand-up comedy by the official comedian for the 2020 elections. Six of his shows and autobiographical information are available at vimeo.com/RWAShow. At The Comedy Store, he has been the closing act most potluck nights since (at least) 1983 on Sunset Boulevard. He is on Twitter @AbrevayaR. His new Facebook page is RealRobert William Abrevaya.
From Middletown, Bill Corvo is busy with renewable energy development. Bill is manager of Connecticut Energy & Technology, LLC (beaconfallsenergypark.com), a Connecticut-based renewable energy development company. They have “permitted the largest fuel cell technology project in the U.S.,” to be located in Beacon Falls, Conn. The project is “fully permitted and shovel ready—63.3 megawatts of Class I renewable power.”
The ever-faithful Michael McKenna wrote in to say he had his first cortisone shot in his right knee “after the ortho actually laughed when he looked at the MRI! Rugby and soccer days catching up I guess, but otherwise feel pretty good.”
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Unfortunately, I was not able to return to Wesleyan for our 45th Reunion, but it was truly memorable. Class President Bill Quigley shares his reflections: “Our 45th Reunion was extraordinary—the weather was perfect, the campus was beautiful, and graduates young and old were vibrant. The company from ’73 was even better. To aid our memories, we each had a regular name tag and one with our freshman yearbook pictures. After Friday’s reacquaintance reception, Mark Helfat led an early Saturday discussion titled “I Never Knew You,” where we shared stories about our passions and paths through life post-Wesleyan. Don Stewart, Rich Jasper, Tom Lucci, William “Billy” Burke, Michael Gionfriddo, Steve Young, and others talked about how our tumultuous times at Wesleyan shaped our journeys. It was fascinating, and many wished it to continue long beyond the allotted time. We will do something similar for our 50th.
“A great picture of the now leveled Starship McConaughy with the words (courtesy of Mike McKenna) ‘Class of ’73 lasts longer than some buildings’ graced the T-shirts of Charlie Cocores, Tom Curran, Peter Bernstein, Ron Medley, Jay Rose, John Huttlinger, Jim Raymond, Mike Donnelly, and many others as we marched in the parade of classes. Also, wandering around the campus, High Street, Lawn Avenue, and Foss Hill were Tim Warner, Kie Westby, Ron Dennett, Tom Tokarz, Scott Karsten, Jonathan Raskin, Rudy Foy, Rick Edwards, Irv Estrin, and Bruce Fox.
“Steve Greenhouse was a presenter in a terrific Weseminar on journalism in the Trump era and Tom Kelly, Wayne Barber, and Jim Powers hosted a sobering and thoughtful session on health care. At that discussion Wayne introduced Josh Boger, who received an honorary degree at Commencement, with ‘I am in awe of this man who created an effective HIV/AIDS treatment, cured hepatitis C, and cured cystic fibrosis.’ Wow!
“Our Saturday night reception and dinner brought together Bruce Fox, Evans Jacob, Ron Johnson, Dave “Harp” Feldman, Charley Wayne, Dave Zita, and others to watch a wonderful slide show with pictures from our years at Wesleyan set to our era’s music. Granny Hale passed out a DVD he made of our 35th and 40th Reunions. Kudos to Wayne Barber for putting the slide show and our Facebook group ‘Wesleyan Class of ‘73 — Reunion Road Trip’ together. Check there to watch the slide show, see who we were in 1969–1973, and come to our 50th on May 25–28, 2023 to see what we become.
“Special thanks to the Reunion committee and Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 for their help organizing the event.”
Billy Burke, who returned from Colorado, thanks the committee members for a great program. He says, “Many warm memories, but the best experience was Saturday morning sitting in a classroom in Boger Hall (!) and having classmates share stories about what they’ve done since graduation or what Wesleyan means to them, or in my case, both. Wesleyan was an important part of my life. It helped me mature (eventually). And my life with Barbara (43 years), son, and daughter, son-in-law, and two grandkids, is more than I deserve.” He says he is already excited about our 50th. He says, “Granny Hale has a project lined up: A memorial to McConaughy Hall! And don’t ever say MoCon! Would we call the Smithsonian ‘Smiso’? I think not. Granny wants a plaque with all the concerts and historic events listed. Like the time I threw a cube of Jell-O almost to the top of the flying saucer dining hall ceiling and caught it in my mouth. That’s a nice start, but I think composing a rock opera we would all perform at Reunion 2023 would really get our message across. Keeping with the musical theme, I think we should dress in bellbottom pants and tie-dyed shirts and sing karaoke, but only songs from 1969–1973.”
Rich Jasper says, “I arrived on Thursday because I wanted to soak up the experience. I thought the highlight was hearing about the journey through the Wesleyan experience and post-Wes. My only wish was that more time existed for everyone to share. We all experienced the national and local turmoil of 1969–1970. Wesleyan made us stronger and more cognizant of a dynamic world. I loved the timely seminar regarding health care and the contributions by classmates. The panel on the challenges of fake news in the information era was intellectually stirring and reminded me of what makes Wesleyan so special. Finally, it was just great to see old and new friends. New friends are the classmates I have grown to know and admire by attending Reunions over the last 45 years. A special shout out to Wayne Barber for the video clip and freshman photos.”
Finally, Michael Fossel, author of the memorable Reversing the Aging Process, writes that he is moving ahead with plans to go to the FDA with gene therapy to cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Alain Munkittrick has an important update. He says that he and Rosemary (who met at Wesleyan) are “excited, first time grandparents, having greeted Finn Munkittrick to the world in October.” They live in Portland, Conn., and are busy at work as architects for the restoration of three historic buildings on the former Elmcrest campus as a part of a $30-million development Brainerd Place.
Michael McKenna writes that he is still working out of global HQ in the barn behind his home in Vermont where he and Lynn have lived for 11 years. “Loved my time in NYC but really enjoy consulting both non- and for-profit clients on strategic communications,” says Mike. He gave his first talk at SXSW in Austin on How Social Media Creates Tunnel Vision. He also joined the board of The Conversation US, an online news source featuring content provided by university experts. Mike says he started a term on the Corporate Communications Advisory Council at UVA’s Darden School and also had his first trip to China to visit a new client in Shanghai. He says he asked classmate and Chinese expert Claire Reade for her good advice before leaving. Mike also sponsored the annual Middlebury film festival founded by Lloyd Komesar ’74. He says it is a “wonderful event” that attracts a lot of Wesleyan alumni. Mike and Tom Kelly, Tom Halsey ’72, and Rob Calhoun ’72 hosted a dinner for the Cardinal football team when they came north to play the Panthers. Mike calls it a “year of firsts” and says best of all was being father of the bride for his daughter Lee who married a wonderful guy who had known her since the seventh grade. He says both of his children live in San Francisco.
Phil Levienwas reading Hearts by Willy Holtzman ’74 and enjoyed it as much as The Morini Strad and Something You Did. Phil let his students at SBCC’s School of Extended Learning know what a “good read” the plays were and what fertile ground they provided for scene work.
James Powers writes that owns a condo on Music Row in Nashville, is serving on the 45th Reunion committee, and looks forward to seeing everyone this May. Working at Vanderbilt he found two generations of Wesleyan graduates drawn to healthcare policy. Jim, a geriatrician, and Laura Keohane ’03, a health policy faculty member, were approached to write a volume on U.S. healthcare changes. He called it a “daunting task” following the 2016 Republican landslide election. They produced a volume, Value Driven Healthcare and Geriatric Medicine: Implications for Today’s Changing Health System, scheduled for publication by Springer in 2018.
Steve Kallaugher tells me that he is still going back and forth to Swaziland, where he says his Little Young Heroes program has “blown up.” He says they have two offices, a staff of 27 people, and programs reach more than 11,000 orphans and vulnerable children. Plus, they started a community-based savings/micro-entrepreneurship project for their female caretakers. It now has 2,900 members and they’ve already saved over $150,000 to lend to each other. Steve also says a screenplay he wrote 20 years ago suddenly “got hot” in Hollywood this past summer and it’s been optioned by a “big time” producer.” He says, “I wrote it so long ago, it took me two days to find a copy after he emailed me saying that he wanted to read it. Only in the movies.”
Michael B. Robinson, who says he was “the linebacker not the fullback,” writes that he retired from Baltimore City Schools in 2014 and moved into a retirement community in York, Pa., in 2016 with his wife, who is disabled. Mike reports that he is “energized by the competitive political climate in Pa with a strong Democratic governor maintaining in a state that supported our new president. He hopes to renew acquaintances at our 45th Reunion.
David “Harp” Feldman mentions that his newest harmonica book, Harmonica Aerobics, is now in print, published by the Hal Leonard music company. “Why,” Dave asks, “is this newsworthy?” Because he dedicated the book to his great friend Paul Van Stavern ’74.
In an act of self-preservation (since David only knew two Peter, Paul, and Mary songs, and played them incessantly), while living at the late, but hardly lamented, Vinci Apartments on William Street, along with Gary Larkins and Jonathan Burr, Paul bought David two used records. Paul then informed him, at the time, that David could either learn to play blues and rock harp, or Paul would kill him while he slept and a “strange, esoteric, career was born.”
Class President Bill Quigleyhas been busy helping his son deal with post-hurricane issues in Puerto Rico, where, at this writing, an astounding 32 per ent of the island is still without power following the storm in early September. Bill is also helping him start a business. On top of that, he tore a muscle in his leg and was stuck in a boot for more than a month. Billand our 45th Reunion committee have been trying to contact all of you by e-mail or phone to encourage you to join us during the weekend of May 24-28. You may have already heard from me or Bill or other intrepid committee members including Wayne Barber, Joshua Boger, Michael Donnelly, John Feinblatt, Granderson “Granny” Hale, Mark Helfat, Evans Jacobs, Ronald Johnson, Tom Kelly, Ron Medley, Jay Rose, Charley Wayne, and Jim Powers.
So far we have scheduled a healthcare and technology seminars featuring our classmates, a class conversation about different paths we have traveled in life since graduation, and a Saturday class reception, and dinner featuring faculty and staff guests Norm Shapiro and Steve Butler. And my former film professor Jeanine Basinger tells me she looks forward to seeing you as well. Bill reports that more information is available on Reunion 2018 including suggestions on where to stay. You are also urged to join the Facebook group: Wesleyan Class of ’73 Reunion Roadtrip. He notes that Wayne Barber and Mike McKenna are among those who have posted so far. Bill says the Facebook group will have a lot of stories and photos.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with each other as inch closer to another milestone reunion in Middletown. Hope to see you there.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com
Daoud A. Haroon died on Feb. 24, 2018. At Wesleyan, he majored in music and was an artist-in-residence in African American music. Since 1955, he performed and recorded as a jazz trombonist and African and Middle Eastern percussionist. He later earned a master’s degree in history from Texas Southern University. He had a career as an American history professor and later founded the Avicenna Library of The Islamic Education Center in Houston.