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 | 

Ken Kramer |

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 | 

Ken Kramer |

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, 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,, which supports women leaders.

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

Susie Muirhead Bates | 

Ken Kramer |

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. 

CLASS OF 1978 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

PepPep Bachman uses her operatic experience to teach presentation skills, specifically to female executives in the U.S. and Europe. As such she finds herself commuting between two very nice spots—San Francisco/Portland and the Austrian Alps.

Geoff Ginsburg is at Duke Medical School as director of the Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine, and also runs a nonprofit company, Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative, as well as two enterprises which he founded, Predigen and MeTree&You. “Keeping busy, enjoying the North Carolina beaches except for Hurricane Florence. Best wishes to classmates.”

Lucy Mize travels worldwide in her work for USAID, adding Finland, Burma, and China this year to her log, additionally getting in some recreational travel when accompanying her husband Tim in his work with the World Bank. Stateside, she splits time between Vermont and the D.C. region. When in the latter, Lucy follows the MLB Nationals intensively with Bill Tabor, and reports she had nice visits there from Alicia Springer ’79 and Kathy Mintz.

David Ocean is executive vice president of sales for the Four Seasons Residences, in Surf Side, Fla.

Steven Peretz

Steven Peretz practices intellectual property law in Miami, where he both grew up and eventually co-founded his legal firm 10 years ago. His daughter Sarah works as a social media influencer in Los Angeles (“I have found that following her on Instagram is the best way to know what she is doing”); son Jonathan attends college in South Florida. Steven’s passion is flying. He has logged approximately 2,000 flight hours, particularly enjoying trips to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.

Kurt Schwartz has retired from a long career in public service for the state of Massachusetts—as a police officer, EMT, state criminal prosecutor, the cabinet undersecretary, the homeland security adviser, and, finally, the emergency management director, during the past 40 years. He plans to do some homeland security and international disaster consulting, but has been “transitioning into retirement pretty easily,” enjoying travel and the freedom from the call, preparation, and response to “disasters and emergencies,” and is enjoying his newfound time with his wife, Susan, and their two kids (ages 25 and 29) who live nearby.

Jon Spector and his wife, Wendy, are happy in Woodstock, Vt., to where they moved from Boston four years ago. Jon stepped down from his CEO position at the Conference Board last year, for which he still provides some advising, and Wendy works part-time for the Sharon Academy. Their four boys “are doing well . . . one married, one engaged, all employed, only one off the cell phone plan.” They’re soon to equip their 200-year-old house with new windows and solar panels, “which is what passes for excitement in Vermont these days.”

Lynn Thomas went on a terrific trip to Morocco this past February with her daughter Carolyn Grace Kimberley Helaine Thomas (“…a royal name as she is royal to us!”), who is excitedly heading off to Ithaca College this year. Lynn stays busy with her consulting firm, which focuses on training, coaching, and working with companies to learn and integrate emotional intelligence (“responsible for 80 percent of our personal and professional success”) into their working culture.

James Washington and his wife, MaryLu, are into their first year of empty-nesthood. Jim is director of admissions for strategic initiatives at Dartmouth. He continues publishing poetry—in the digital Bloodroot Literary Magazine—and is studying for his second master’s degree, in creative writing, in Dartmouth’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.

Gary Friedmann remains active in environmental and energy issues in his state of Maine, recently leading a coalition of statewide organizations to a State House meeting with the governor and other state officials regarding climate change action; this resulted in legislative passage of a bill seeking to make Maine energy-independent, as a net exporter of renewable energy, by 2030.

Keep us posted on your lives!

Susie Muirhead Bates | 

Ken Kramer |

CLASS OF 1978 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1978 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Matthew Grimaldi ’21, Florence, MA

Greetings, classmates. Hopefully by print time, the snow has melted and spring has sprung! Thanks all of you who answered the Lyris request for news this month. We had lots of material for our notes.

Doug Hardy and Roselyn Romberg ’79 returned to Concord, Mass., in 2018 where Roselyn continues her consulting business to nonprofits including Harvard Business School and several health-related foundations. Doug is at work on his 15th nonfiction book.

Gary Friedmann chairs the Bar Harbor Town Council and the board of A Climate to Thrive, a grassroots organization working to make Mount Desert Island and the state of Maine energy independent.

Our hearts are saddened by the news that Peter Kelley died of a heart attack on Oct. 8. His friend Casey Blake, wrote that “Peter’s creativity, kindness and gentle charisma are fondly remembered by his housemates at 49 Brainerd as well as other alumni.” Peter majored in studio art at Wesleyan, was an important participant in the University’s art history program, as well as captain of the crew team. After graduation, Peter took an MFA at Pratt Institute and embarked on a highly successful career as a digital artist. He is survived by his wife, Tracey, their sons, David and Aaron ’10, as well as other family members.

After five years, Bill Adler still loves living in Tokyo. He shares an apartment with “one cat, one girlfriend, and a view of Mt. Fuji.” He is busy writing novels as well as researching and writing about wristwatches at If anyone is going to Tokyo, he’d be happy to show you around.

Nancy Chen reports on many joyful changes in her life recently. She moved to Bozeman, Mont., got engaged, and is launching a new division of her coaching business for women’s leadership: Her older daughter is going for her PhD. in environmental engineering and her younger daughter will get her BA in English and communications this spring.

Suki Hoagland is happily back at Stanford University where she loves teaching and her students. Her husband is also at Stanford, co-directing the Center for Ocean Solutions. They rescued a Golden Retriever who seems to really like his new owners and has brought great joy and laughter into their home. Their eldest son, Ben, is a congressional fellow. Their youngest son, Jonathan, is completing a dual masters in transportation engineering and urban design at MIT. He has taken up Zouk, a Brazilian dance, and he choreographs, teaches, and performs all over the world.

Pete Lewis sent sad news that his father, George Lewis ’53, passed on Dec. 22. George was an Alpha Delt and loved everything Wesleyan. Pete said that if his dad could have sent a message to the Wesleyan alumni community it would have been, “Be generous to those in worse circumstances than yours. The next time you come upon a homeless person, instead of walking past, reach into your wallet and pull out a $10 bill.” Completing the circle of life, Pete’s grandson, Jameson, was born in September and George got to hold him in November uniting four generations. Pretty cool.

Wendy Kaufman sent greetings from Denver, where she feels lucky to celebrate 33 years of marriage, three great children, and two dachshunds. Their twin sons turned 30 in February and their 27-year-old daughter survived the 2015 Nepal earthquake at base camp. To be safer she started rock climbing. With a couple of JDs, an LLM, and an MBA later, Wendy considers her kids all “launched.” She is active with some Denver nonprofits, loves to travel, and is excited to be involved with John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80, Hon. ’10’s Giddy Up group.

Jim Kurose and Julie Johnson Kurose have been living in Northampton, Mass., since 1984 when Jim joined the computer science faculty at the University of Massachusetts. For the past four years, he’s been on leave working as an assistant director at the National Science Foundation and at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in D.C. He’ll return to UMass in in the fall. Julie is retired from her job of many years as registrar at Northampton High School. They have three grown children, Chris, Charlie ’10, and Nina, and a grandchild, Micah, all of whom they enjoy visiting in San Jose, Chicago, and Paris.

Over the past few years, George Raymond had been getting together annually with his friend and former CSS economics professor Peter Kilby. When George visited Peter at his summer home in Maine in June, little did he know that Peter would die suddenly on Aug. 2. Since 2002, George has been interviewing talented Wesleyan applicants who live in Switzerland.

Kevin Rose P’19 enjoys keeping up with our class via the notes and helped enhance this column with some news of his own. His son, Danny ’19, has thoroughly enjoyed his own Wesleyan experience. He loves the school, his friends, baseball, and all the University has to offer. Kevin will be attending as many Wes baseball games as possible this spring!

Jim Gubbins is a professor in the interdisciplinary studies department at Salem State University in Massachusetts. He is the president of the faculty and librarian union on campus. Jim remarks he is “fighting for fair pay and decent working conditions for employees—sounds very Wesleyan.”

We hope you enjoy keeping up with your classmates through this column and look forward to your updates.

Susie Muirhead Bates | 

Ken Kramer |