CLASS OF 1978 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Elizabeth (Pep Pep) Bachman has moved, with her wife, from San Francisco, California, to Portland, Oregon, where she trains corporate women in presentation skills and hosts a podcast entitled “Speakers Who Get Results”. She feels that her 30 years in the opera world has primed her for this, and continues to still spend plenty of time in the Austrian Alps where that former work took place.

Geoff Ginsburg continues his medical work at Duke University, where he is involved in multiple research and business initiatives.

Lucy Mize has had a “ringside seat” at the federal response to COVID-19, in the White House situation room during the early days and subsequently working from her home in Vermont during most of the past several months. Her daughter Belle ’22 is spending this semester driving cross-country working in organic farming, while her son Thad ’17 has moved from Miami to Vermont as well. Off screen, they’ve “been busy flying kites, watching goats eat up our brush and creating new gardens.”

Julie Skolnik has continued her professional musical work, maintaining her concert series (Mistral Music) in Boston despite the pandemic, through both virtual concerts and live performances in local parks and other safe-distancing venues. 

Lynn M. Thomas and her daughter Carolyn Thomas visited with Tracy Robinson in Booth Bay Harbor this summer and enjoyed the break from COVID-19’s isolation, the gorgeous Maine coastline, islands, and blue waters.

Finally, it saddens me to inform you of the passing in April of two of our classmates, Aline Senior and Mark Laser. Ron Duby was good enough to let us know about Aline, and Lane Katz about Mark. Both Aline and Mark lived in Connecticut, and they both leave behind wonderful legacies of rich and varied lives in which they touched the hearts of many. They will be deeply missed, and our thoughts go out to their families and loved ones. Beautiful pieces about each of them are easily available; for Mark on marklaser.com, and for Aline on legacy.com. 

In the hopes that you are all well, our best regards. 

Susie Muirhead Bates | sbatesdux@hotmail.com 

Ken Kramer | kmkramer78@hotmail.com

CLASS OF 1978 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Greetings, classmates. I (Susie) hope these notes find you and yours healthy, safe, and finding silver linings to life in this new life we’re living. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic turning our world upside down, perhaps you, like me, are finding particular joy in the beauties of nature (our gardens have never gotten this much attention!), the fragrance of a favorite recipe or reaching out to a long-lost friend.

These notes were due on May 18, so who knows what our world will look like when they arrive in your mailbox. Hopefully, progress has been made in defeating the virus, the economy is in better shape, and we have more clarity in our futures.

Lucy Mize wrote that she came back from teaching a class in Thailand on Jan. 18, and on the 20th, was in the White House situation room as part of the COVID-19 response. That must have been quite a welcome home! At the same time, she was glad to welcome her daughter, Belle ’22, home from her sophomore year at Wes. Lucy loves that Belle and her brother will always be on the same Reunion cycle five years apart. During quarantine, her husband keeps them distracted with their beautiful garden and they are hoping that all four of them, including Thaddeus ’17, will be able to spend the summer in Vermont.

Rachael Pine updated us on her life during the quarantine. She says working at a private foundation in NYC during the pandemic is heartbreaking. From her vantage point, she is not face-to-face with the human toll, but she sees the devastation being within the nonprofit sector—the small mission-driven community-based organizations that do amazing work, are the heart and soul of many neighborhoods, and find themselves closing doors, laying off staff, falling behind in rent, and unable to provide even life-sustaining services to their clients in low-income communities. Rachael is finding joy in vicariously sharing the life journey of her children’s lives; one daughter is off to Yale for a master’s level nurse-midwifery and women’s health degree and the other to UC Berkeley for a master’s in city and regional planning.

Lisa Alter is a founding partner of Alter Kendrick & Baron. Her firm advises music publishers, equity investors, musicians, and songwriters alike. She was recently named to the “2020 Billboard Power List” which recognized her as “not only excelling at her job but going beyond to elevate the entire music business.” Congrats Lisa!

Dr. Michael Blackwell, originally in the class of ’77 but graduated in ’78, checked in for the first time in a while. After Wesleyan, he attended graduate school at Boston University and taught at nearby Curry College and the Urban Education Center in Roxbury for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. From Boston, he moved to the Midwest, where he’s been living a very busy, full life for the past 30 years. He taught classes in religion and society at Missouri State and pastored several churches in the area. He moved to Iowa, where he directed the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Northern Iowa and taught in the philosophy and world religions department. He pastored a Baptist church in Cedar Rapids for several years and a string of United Methodist churches thereafter. He retired from university teaching in 2015 and retired from pastoring in December. Now he is hoping to enjoy writing, leisure activities, and reconnecting with family and friends. He’s also thinking of moving back to the Northeast where he grew up. Who knows, maybe he’ll be at a Reunion someday!?

My husband, Nick, and I have been enjoying Zoomtailing (yes, that’s a word!) with Jodi Wilinsky Hill, Suki Hoagland, Lance and Moira James, and Pat and Nancy McCabe. Laughter is always good medicine for the soul. It’s certain this year will be like no other, but let’s carry on with kindness, optimism, and hope. Take good care and please send us your news and quarantine stories…surely there are many!

Susie Muirhead Bates | sbatesdux@hotmail.com 

Ken Kramer | kmkramer78@hotmail.com

CLASS OF 1978 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Jon Spector has retired from his position as CEO of The Conference Board and is “comfortably settled with my wife, Wendy, in beautiful Woodstock, Vt., getting in shape, improving my tennis, and helping to figure out how best to develop our local economy.”

Ruth Pachman has relayed the sad news that Debbie Stuckey died, surrounded by family and friends, on Jan. 6, following her long battle with breast cancer. Ruth, along with Marilyn Fagelson and Elise Bean, “had visited with her just two weeks before, spending a lovely day trimming her Christmas tree and cherishing what was clearly close to the end of 45 years of friendship that started in Clark Hall freshman year and wound through Delta Tau, the William Street apartments, Foss Hill, and McConaughy. Debbie was a government major and got her doctorate in psychology from Boston University and Harvard. She was a family relationship therapist with her own practice in Washington, D.C. At Wes, Debbie was a fabulous dancer and singer. Her intense joy of music, among countless other things, will be remembered by us and many other classmates.” Debbie leaves behind two daughters, Kiera and Hayley, and a son, Will. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to her family.

Dave Wilson has an active musical career on saxophone and released his fifth album (One Night at Chris’) last summer with great acclaim. Dave lives with his wife, Lisa, in Lancaster, Pa., where he teaches music and owns a musical instrument shop.

Julie Skolnik is a flutist in her long-successful chamber group of 22 years, Mistral Music, and relates a heartening tale of this past year, which made the front page of The Boston Globe. Just as the group was starting a concert piece, an elderly woman in the front row collapsed in cardiac arrest. With doctors present in the audience, CPR was initiated; she came around, pleading from her departing stretcher to just be left alone (“What are you doing? I want to hear the music!”). The group responded with an encore of “Here Comes the Sun” and a visit to her in the hospital. Heart-stopping music, they feel.

Susie Muirhead Bates | sbatesdux@hotmail.com 

Ken Kramer | kmkramer78@hotmail.com

CLASS OF 1978 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Ralph Rotman has been recognized as a top financial advisor by Northwestern Mutual. For the 20th time, Ralph will be inducted into the company’s elite membership, Forum Group, an award received by less than 5% of more than 6,000 financial representatives. Bravo, Ralph!

Lucy Mize is happy to report that a fourth family member is joining the Cardinal flock. Her daughter, Belle Brown ’22, is transferring to Wesleyan this fall adding to the family Cardinal dynasty of her son (’17), Lucy, and her father (’51). Lucy continues in her work in international public health and has added Myanmar and Finland to her list of travels. She is slowly cleaning out her dad’s house in Chelsea, Vt., and hopes next summer it might be ready to reprise an epic Eclectic house party she hosted there 41 years ago. No doubt many other attendees, like me, would love to see that happen!

Mark Laser confesses to never having contributed to our class notes. However, what he sent as his first submission more than makes up for his absence. Mark has “enjoyed an interesting and varied life since graduating.” He started out working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company in their R&D labs, went to grad school for astrophysics at Columbia, worked on the space shuttle, went to grad school for neuroscience and medical school at Yale, and went into private practice as an ob-gyn in 1994. Along the way he got a private pilot’s license and became a Coast Guard master captain skippering his 41-foot sailboat across the Atlantic. Now, he’s retired and moved onto Paradox, his 45-foot sailing catamaran. Soon, he and his wife, Amy, will begin exploring the world on their boat. Anyone interested can follow them at paradoxsailing.com, their cruising website.

Andrew Liveten and his wife, Nancy, live on a small farm in Bethany, N.Y., with their horses, goats, and chickens. They are thrilled with the recent birth of their first grandson. Congratulations to one and all.

Congratulations to Nancy Chen who got remarried in June and has moved from Colorado to Bozeman, Mont. Her younger daughter, Isabelle, graduated from college this year and her older daughter, Ariane, will be wed next year. Nancy has a blog, powertothequeen.com, which supports women leaders.

Wishing you all a wonderful autumn and joyful holidays to follow.

Susie Muirhead Bates | sbatesdux@hotmail.com 

Ken Kramer | kmkramer78@hotmail.com

Deborah Stuckey Mulhern ’78

Debbie Stuckey and Wes friends, summer 2016 on Cape Cod

“Deborah Stuckey Mulhern ’78 passed away on Jan. 6, 2019, surrounded by family and friends, including two daughters and a son—Kiera, Hayley, and Will. She had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer five years earlier. Marilyn Fagelson ’78, Elise Bean ’78, and I had visited with her just two weeks before, spending a lovely day trimming her Christmas tree and cherishing what was clearly close to the end of 45 years of friendship that started in Clark Hall freshman year and wound through Delta Tau and the William Street apartments and Foss Hill and McConaughy. Debbie was a government major and then got her doctorate in psychology from Boston U and Harvard.  She was a family relationship therapist with her own practice in Washington, D.C. At Wes, Debbie was a fabulous dancer and singer. Her intense joy in music, among countless other things, will be remembered by us and many other classmates.”

Thank you to Ruth Pachman ’78 for this heartfelt tribute.

Newsmaker: Gail Marcus ’78

Gail Marcus ’78 was appointed assistant professor of health professions at Hofstra University. With a career of leadership positions in healthcare, domestic and global, she has served as CEO and president of Calloway Labs, as well as Caris Life Sciences, Inc.  She was selected as one of the top 100 women leaders in Massachusetts. Marcus has also held significant roles at United Healthcare and CIGNA, and has been a professor for healthcare strategy at UConn School of Business. A Spanish and math major at Wesleyan, Marcus earned both an MS and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in health care administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. She serves on two public company boards (Natera and Triple S Salud) and is a fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.