CLASS NOTES June 2007
Welcome to the recap of our 40th reunion weekend. It was grand. Our reunion chairman, Allan Stern, did a magnificent job. He pulled it all off without a hitch, and we owe him our thanks.
We had a total of 84 classmates in attendance. With spouses and others our numbers reached 160, the best turnout we have ever had. Reunion awards were given for 1) Attending from the longest distance – Paul Atkinson won for the second time, winging in from Paris; 2) Most recent heart bypass surgery – Bill McClung whose operation in Lincoln, Nebraska was performed just one week before reunion (and, yes, he seemed fine); 3) Longest airplane delay in O’Hare Airport (Chicago) – Wally Wilson, 5 hours.
Classmates who had planned to be at reunion but who had to drop out at the last minute included Marty Samuels and Jack Hunt, who had to attend to family health issues. Jon Vipond had to be at a wedding. Rena and Ed Wing had just returned from China and were too jetlagged to trek to Williamstown. All sent their regrets.
There was an election. For the most part the chant “Five more years” was enough to sweep the current incumbents back into office. That included Chris Covington and Jon Vipond as co-presidents; Bob Tyre as Treasurer; your secretary as, of all things, secretary; and Jon Lovell as class agent. The one major change/addition was the elevation of Allan Stern to the office of the president as our third co-president in our ruling class triumvirate.
Making presentations at our class dinner were Chris Covington with his State of the Class summation – the state is healthy. Jon Lovell summarized our annual giving results – impressive. And Gregg Meister led us in a moving review of each classmate who has died. The number totaled 30. Our list of deceased members on our class website (www.williams67.com) will be edited to include more complete information in the months ahead.
Although space and memory won’t permit your secretary to report all of the conversations and interactions, I will try to touch on some of them. For several classmates this was their first ever reunion. Without exception, all expressed regrets at not having attended earlier ones and pledged to not miss many more. Among that group were John Bloom, an ICU physician at the University in Tucson, Arizona. Also making a first time reunion was Bob Conway. Bob recently won a national award from Communication Arts, a professional publication for the graphic arts. In a competition for interactive media, Bob won for his program in the Information Design category. It was titled “After the Ruins.” It chronicled the century 1906-2006 in San Francisco following the earthquake. He has also published two books this spring.
Meanwhile, as forecast in the last Class Notes, Jan and Steve Watson also put in their first reunion appearance. Now retired following a distinguished retailing career, they split their time between homes in California and Colorado.
Other first timers included Jane and Al Gortz. They moved to Florida 30 years ago to open the first branch of his New York law firm there and have lived there happily ever since. They were able to persuade Art Lutzke to join us for the reunion.
A symposium was held in a science quad lecture room for interested members of the class to discuss (generally) their lives, what has been important, what has affected them and how they intend to meet the future. An amazing total of 96 people showed up for the stimulating reflections. The moderator was Allan Stern. He directed the panel of Chris Covington, Bill Clendaniel, Bob Conway, Paul Lipof, Ted McPherson and Gregg Meister, who led with their observations. There was broad participation from the audience as people weighed in on retirement, health, risking, optimism, social justice, our generation’s political leadership, non-profit involvement, and the opportunity that our classmates represent as a great resource for us all. Pete Watson, in from Portland, Oregon, suggested as a point of clarification that there could not be too many Watsons in our class.
Here is a more detailed summary of the symposium.
Mike Roizen presented one of the marquee reunion lectures based on the research he has done on his RealAge book series. The hugely best selling works document the lifestyle changes people can make to extend the length and quality of their lives. He gave an energetic, humorous and graphic multi-media address to a packed and engaged audience in the new Adams Theatre complex. For the rest of the weekend, you could overhear people all over the campus commenting on it. Well done, Mike.
Fred Sleezer led the golf contingent on the Taconic course. Rumor has it that some members, such as Andy Cadot, opted out of the Saturday alumni parade to heed the call of the course. Meanwhile Paul Lipof was willing to take on all comers on the tennis courts.
Other attendees included Jeff Modessit, who traveled from the Denver area with his wife and daughter. Jeff is retired from merchant banking but still does deals from time to time.
John Babbington still coaches the women’s cross country racing team at Wellesley part time. He said that he used to be able to outrun the women. When he turned 60, he no longer could. His full time job is in the finance department.
Mal Getz’s book Investing in College. A Guide for the Perplexed is reportedly gaining traction. It helps guide parents through the tuition maze.
Julie and Steve Kiechel are building a retirement home in southeastern Massachusetts. It will put them in closer proximity to their daughters. Steve is an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio. Also enjoying a new summer/ retirement (ultimately) home on the shore in Connecticut are Carol and Peter Krause.
Betsy and Steve Robeson traveled from Santa Fe to reunion. Steve is a urologist. They were en route to a two week trip to Greece following the weekend festivities. Steve was packing a fly rod. Also from the Southwest, Steve Mark came from Dallas to enjoy his first reunion in some time
Neil O’Donnell and wife Chris Motley trekked in from San Francisco (via their daughter Katherine in New York). Neil continues to shuttle between San Francisco and Washington D.C. with his law practice.
Among the retired ranks, Bill Biersach says he plays a regular golf game with Doug Mills. They sail together as well. Also retired in the Milwaukee area is Howie Hopwood. His wife Susan works part time in the library system.
Brian Hickman is president of Coach and Equipment Manufacturing Corporation, which manufactures commercial buses.
Jon Lovell reported that Doug Tueting had spent some time in the hospital recently but that the medical profession had worked their magic on him and he seemed to be doing well.
Rob Hammell related the story about his daughter Hilary, who had taught for a year in Honduras. She was teaching 9th grade science and math. She met a young boy there who came from unbelievable poverty. However, the boy was brilliant and a superb athlete as well. Hilary made a video of him playing soccer, living at home and in the classroom. She took it to her alma mater high school St. Andrew’s in Delaware. The administration was so impressed that shortly thereafter the lad received a letter in Honduras from St. Andrew’s telling him that they were granting him a full scholarship for the year. If it worked out, they indicated that the school would pay for the rest of his secondary education at St. Andrew’s as well. Other people who had heard about the boy have since offered to pay for his transportation, room and board, clothing, etc. Quite a story, and a real credit to Hilary’s initiative.
Your secretary regrets that space constraints do not permit a complete summary of all who joined us in the Purple Valley. We missed everyone who was not present, and we hope you will be able to participate in 5 years. Please also add your email address to the college list and class of 1967 website if you haven’t already done so. It is our most reliable way to keep you in the loop.
Thanks to all for a wonderful reunion, have a great Eph day, and Beat Amherst!