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VOLUME 43.2 | FALL 2021
Allen B. Ballard Jr., Clifton Park, New York, laments “Another day, another ache!” But he shares that he gave an invited Zoom lecture to a graduate course at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a presentation based on his book Keep on Moving. “Great fun interacting with bright, young minds,” Allen writes, “focused on ways for seniors to keep mobile by the use of rollators and recumbent trikes for exercise purposes. Also kept riding my own recumbent trike straight through the winter — snow days excepted — even down to 16 degrees.”
Dominick M. Cabriele, St. Petersburg, Florida, recommends that Kenyon rename the football field for its first African American students, Stanley L. Jackson ’52 and Allen B. Ballard Jr. ’52. “As Jackie Robinson is honored by Major League Baseball, we should honor Stan and Al,” he writes. “Stan was a gentle gentleman. Al is outstanding. They were and are great Kenyon men, and I am proud to have known them.
“I seem to be back in the theater business, directing and acting in a dinner murder play at the Frederick Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg.”
— Arthur L. Johnson, Potsdam, New York
Edward T. Rhodes Sr., Silver Spring, Maryland, married Dorothy Bondurant in June 2020. “For the first time in 20 years, we did not spend the winter in Sarasota,” Ed notes, “because of our concern about the pandemic.”
Martin A. Berg, Boca Raton, Florida, enjoyed a winter of meeting and storytelling with old friends Kurt R. Riessler ’57, Donald A. Fischman ’57, Gary E. Katz ’57, Philip B. Fogel, Robert C. Rowe, Robert J. Mulholland ’59 and John B. Templeton Jr. ’59. Marty and Adrienne returned to Cleveland in late May, when he volunteer coached for an eighth season at John Hay High School, a program headed by Rod Decipeda ’96.
Dale A. Neuman, Blue Hill, Maine, was looking forward in mid-March to the relaxation of the COVID lockdown, he reports. “Everyone in my independent-living community here is about six weeks past our second shot of the Moderna vaccine. No one here has tested positive nor had the virus. I’ve read more books and watched more TV in the past year than in the past several years combined. Adjusting to more freedom may take an effort!”
“My wife and I are now fully vaccinated (one of the perks of being a super senior). Looking forward to traveling again. I plan to continue teaching English to a Spanish speaker and volunteering at a local golf course (with perks). The shutdown due to the pandemic has made me realize more than ever that good health and only a few simple pleasures are enough for a happy life.”
— Max M. Bermann, Canton, Massachusetts
“Cathleen and I were fortunate enough to be in Florida this winter. We have had our vaccine shots and are doing rather well. However, looking forward to returning to Massachusetts soon and getting out on the golf course and hopefully some normalcy.”
— Raymond L. Brown, Hadley, Massachusetts
Lawrence R. Los, Santa Maria, California, and his wife, Marylou, have been married for 56 years and are “doing great together during these very trying times,” he reports. “As a retired naval officer (1980) and retired senior aerospace engineer (1999), life has been a long, great adventure.”
James Mahood updates that he is now fully retired after a career in writing, editing and publishing.
“All quiet on the Southern front — except for local political endeavors and pondering when we can put our antique boats in the water. We both are in good health and still have a positive outlook!”
— Brig. Gen. Roger C. Smith, Moneta, Virginia
“Now happily retired after a long career at the University of Rochester as a professor of English and film studies. I have three children and six grandchildren, all of whom now live in various parts of New York state. A widower since 2012, I enjoy my solitude.”
— George Grella,, Rochester, New York
Richard M. Schori, Reno, Nevada, retired from his career as a math professor in 2001 when his wife, Katharine, was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada. When she was elected presiding bishop in 2006, Richard traveled with her around the world on church-related trips, keeping busy as a photographer.
“I am executing my bucket list of chasing storms in the Midwest for the fourth season. Have yet to see a tornado, so driving is the biggest hazard. But I have seen some wicked-looking clouds and some incredible lightning displays.”
— Brent E. Scudder, New London, New Hampshire
John E. Baker, Erie, Pennsylvania, ended his “paid employment” 16 years ago, he reports, “but 15 of those years were working 25 hours a week as a photographer
for three nonprofits, including the Flagship Niagara League. It was very fulfilling to see my work in print — best time of my life. My hope for all of you is that when things open up you’ll remember those active years of our retirement and go back to supporting the issues and organizations you devoted so much time to then. Don’t let a good club die!”
R. Hutchins Hodgson Jr., Cumming, Georgia, writes, “Pam and I have used our RV to seek different locations in our home away from home. She still runs several companies virtually, so with today’s technology, she is able to accomplish her duties while I putter with cooking and making sure the ocean is still making waves.”
Hutch added that they were about to head for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
“(Honestly, there’s little to update.) My reflection is centered on a deeper appreciation of my lot in life compared to those in true deprivation and extreme suffering, with no real end in sight. Even with several flavors of vaccines available, the uncertainty of their effectiveness in providing protection from emerging variants creates yet more anxiety and stress. The reality of suffering hovers very close to the surface. My awareness of being among the fortunate few is like a bright, annoying light, and my thoughts return to prayerful empathy for those not so blessed as my family and I have been.”
— Nicholas K. Long, Minnetonka, Minnesota
John Richard Symons, Washington, D.C., and his wife, Susan, relocated from their home of 40 years in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to the Knollwood Military Officers Retirement Home in northwest D.C. in March of 2020 — “one day before the coronavirus shut us down for the past year,” he reports.
Charles E. Albers, Sarasota, Florida, writes that he and his partner, Julie, are well, enjoying Sarasota’s excellent arts scene, interesting clubs and educational and cultural events, though experienced virtually.
“Probably not my favorite year, but hell, if you can’t endure the tough years, you’ll never truly enjoy the good years — and I’ve had my share. I feels concern for the country I love so well, but I am in the autumn, if not the winter of my years. For the young at Kenyon, let me strongly advise you: The Venezuela experiment is not the answer.”
— Col. Edward L. Chase, Titusville, Florida
Samuel W. Corbin, New Marlborough, Massachusetts, feeling some daffodil-induced happy spring fever, describes the past year as “not as horrible as I thought it would be.” Sam and his extended family “hunkered down pretty much like everyone else,” he reports. “It’s been a good time to peer inward about destiny and the future, and it’s been a great opportunity to pursue oil painting and classical piano. I’ve been thinking of all my old friends a lot.”
“Our black walnut tree was planted around the time our democracy was formed. Both stood straight and tall for all these years until they have now been weakened by
disease and threatened by insurrection. Its history is inscribed in my sculptures: the insults from droughts, storms, man, and diseases — engraved for us to see with lines that show the years. These were my thoughts as I cut and sanded, trying to capture the feelings and emotions of the pandemic and the social unrest created by an inept response by our government. But I also found some flickers of hope, love, passion, comfort, forgiveness.”
— Patrick Eggena
Peter H. Glaubitz, Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, “holed up” and attended his forest garden of huckleberries, he updates. As a trustee and treasurer of Tandana Foundation, a nonprofit serving communities in Mali and Ecuador’s remote mountains, he had a challenging year shifting gears: “In Ecuador we have a good-sized traveling pharmacy; since our volunteers cannot travel there at this point, we disbursed our inventory to local doctors and facilities. In Mali we developed hand-washing stations and COVID avoidance training. Our women’s literacy classes enable them to voice opinions at tribal meetings, where before they sat in the background and listened to the men. One graduate said, ‘The men in the market can no longer cheat us because we know our numbers!’” He is in touch with Coach Bob Harrison, age 93, who was confined to his nursing home room for the entire year.
“Gambier has been a fortunate place to spend the pandemic. The College and the local community have been diligent in protecting us all. We have missed the students, the lectures and athletic events. We are the host family to several foreign student athletes, and we have not been able to meet with them and have missed their athletic endeavors. Knox County has been very good in administering vaccine shots, and we got early doses. By the time you read this, Jan and I hope we will again benefit from living in the Kenyon College community.” ”
— Thomas J. Hoffmann, Gambier, Ohio
Michael S. Kischner, Seattle, updates, “Beret and I have spent the year Zooming maskless around the globe for birthdays, weddings, concerts, ballet and theater performances, and even an exploration of Easter Island. At home, I’ve continued to be active in Wider Horizons, our virtual village of persons aging in their own homes.” Michael reports that despite suspended in-person activities, the group gained more new members than usual, which he attributes to “our having ready-made support systems for those experiencing isolation, boredom or anxiety. Over our phone tree, everybody got called regularly, and over Zoom we’ve read plays, exchanged stories and had bi-weekly meetings with three discussion topics to choose from. And you didn’t have to lug casseroles or salads to potlucks!”
James P. Keyes, Columbus, Ohio, is active with SheHasAName, an anti-trafficking support/information group, working on demand reduction for sex and labor. “On a brighter note,” Jim writes, “I feel as if I will shoot my age in golf.”
Boyd P. King, Providence, Rhode Island, is medical director at Bryant University and on the board of a long-term facility, deeply involved in the COVID response at both institutions, he reports. “Joanne and I are looking forward to resuming our travel plans — mostly following our children around the world,” Pete adds. “I write short stories and accounts of our family history. Still working on the great American novel.”
“After 53 years in the medical profession, I have decided to retire from practice. I can’t imagine a more rewarding career.”
— Edwin L. McCampbell, Surfside Beach, South Carolina
“Last summer at a Maine flea market we frequent, a shopper asked about my Kenyon sweatshirt. His wife is a Rhode Island Kenyonite (who knew?).”
— Robin F. Goldsmith, Needham, Massachusetts
Leonard M. Lodish, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, co-hosts a TV show on Amazon Prime called “The Wolf PAC of Philadelphia.” He adds: “Five of us advise and may invest in one business per episode. All of the Wolves’ profits are being donated to charity — mine to Neighborhood Bike Works and the Philadelphia ALS Association.”
“Mae’s law firm has an office here in Cape Coral, Florida, so we are official snowbirds — a role I never expected I would enjoy. I continue as a medical director for Compassus Hospice. Zoom enables us to keep our commitments to civic affairs in Rye, New Hampshire — town boards, preservation interests, Rotary. Two children are doing well and managing four grandchildren.”
— Frank B. “Burt” Dibble
Robert P. Moyer, WinstonSalem, North Carolina, found himself for the first time in 50 years not appearing in front of a class, he reports. “A good year for writing — two poems in the two major anthologies of the best 2020 haiku in English, and you can visit my book reviews at Briar Patch Books.” Bob celebrated surviving COVID and is back to swing dancing and petanque.
“Claudia and I got vaccinated and headed out to spend March in Sint Maarten, Netherland Antilles. Our getaway decision was rewarded by a safe, efficient, direct United Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., to Phillipsburg, easy entry into Sint Maarten with the right paperwork, and beautiful warm weather, sunny skies and daily swims in the Oyster Bay Beach Resort pool or Atlantic Ocean. Our physical and mental health has improved markedly with plenty of rest, rum and reflection!”
— Gerald E. “Jerry” Reynolds, Fairfax, Virginia
Stephen W. Carmichael, Rochester, Minnesota, was selected as the Honored Member for 2020 by the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.
Ronald F. Javorcky, Long Beach, California, reports that he was accepted into the artist pool of Los Angeles County Metro transportation as a fineart photographer. “In music, alas, jazz musicians, among others, are simply not working,” Ron notes. “I therefore play to an audience of one — myself.”
“These are the years when we are most likely to look for old classmates with whom to reconnect. Physical reunions are difficult, even under the best of circumstances, so virtual contact seems to meet much of the need we feel, whether rational or not, and my high school class just stumbled into an issue or two that brought over 300 people into an email thread that opened both minds and hearts — and stirred a bit of old romance. After the death of my wife last year after a long and horrible illness, I don’t have any other family remaining, so connecting with the oldest friends has begun to restore more aspects of my identity. It’s not about the supposed accomplishments of our lives but about looking in an unclouded mirror and not being afraid of what you will see. And what do we have to lose? I invite any contact that seems appropriate. I am happily situated in the horse country of Aiken, South Carolina, a town about the size of Mount Vernon. My sentiments chose a Mount Vernon over anything that remotely resembled Boston.”
— The Rev. William C. Scar
Stephen G. Stonehouse, Redondo Beach, California, used Facetime to stay in touch with his 96-yearold mother, who still remembers dancing at parents’ weekend at Kenyon. Steve also speaks regularly with daughter Olivia S. Stonehouse ’15 during her vet med residence at University of Pennsylvania’s equine hospital outside Philly. “The in-class teaching of a naturalist program and reading partnering has gone virtual, which is not as much fun as a room full of third-graders,” he adds wistfully. “Hope to return to open classes soon. Nice living in SoCal near the beach for plenty of outdoor activity with wife Gail and golden retriever Lucca.”
Michael L. Ulrey, Mount Vernon, Ohio, reminds us that “Every difficult situation has its silver lining, and a current example is the availability of many fantastic online presentations, talks and discussions by the Kenyon administration, faculty, students, alumni and invited speakers.” Mike cites recent highlights: President Decatur’s alumni town halls; Daniel M. Epstein ’70 poetry readings; and the political science department’s discussion of this year’s non-peaceful transition of power, a panel that included James W. Ceaser ’67 H’02.
Howard B. Edelstein, Lyndhurst, Ohio, continues to work in his life insurance and estate planning practice while remaining involved in Cleveland-area community activities. He recently became president of The Union Club Foundation, established 10 years ago to support philanthropic activities and the club’s almost 150-year-old art collection.
Michael W. Gaynon, Palo Alto, California, updates, “After a year of sheltering in place, my wife, Susan, and I are back to seeing live patients and teaching ophthalmology residents at Stanford. Thank heaven for the vaccine.” Their two daughters are an internist in San Francisco and a professional cellist teaching at Cal Poly. “It’s nice to see Kenyon becoming bigger and better, year by year,” he adds.
Jeffrey J. Henderson, Gloucester, Massachusetts, held his final classes — remotely — last semester, after 50 years as a classics professor at Yale, Michigan, USC, BU and elsewhere. “I will continue my editorship of the Loeb Classical Library and various research projects, as well as activities with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and national humanities organizations,” he writes. Jeff looks forward to visiting children and grandchildren and generally getting out and about again.
Jeffrey C. Northup, Mount Vernon, Ohio, is retiring after 44 years in medicine, the last seven as chief medical officer at Knox Community Hospital. “It’s been great to be back in central Ohio and just down the road from Kenyon,” Jeff writes, “although COVID certainly curtailed activities on the Hill and kept those of us in health care pretty busy.” Jeff and Cindy are completing their restoration of an 1855 house on East Gambier Street — “just two blocks east of where ‘the bench’ used to be located. We will be heading back west, splitting time between Arizona and Colorado.”
William M. Northway, Frankfort, Michigan, fondly remembers “having a fantastic time and making so many wonderful friends at Kenyon” before he “stumbled over dentistry and fell into orthodontics, which was about perfect for me: I got to remake people’s bites and smiles.” Over a 47-year career, he published 19 articles advancing the art of orthodontics, spoke in six foreign countries and made friends among the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, one of them Paul Rigali. Last year, Bill served on the Community Advisory Council at Interlochen Center for the Arts and was elected a trustee for Crystal Lake Township. “Many thanks to Dr. Robert Burns for heading me in the right direction.”
Kenneth R. Abraham, Dover, Delaware, writes he is “still having a ball, raising as much hell about the criminal justice system as legally possible” and freeing innocent prisoners. “I specialize in applications for pardons or clemency.”
James B. Irwin V, Covington, Louisiana, sold a home in Wyoming and bought one near Asheville, North Carolina, “to be closer to our home in Louisiana — just a oneday drive,” he reports. “Jimmy and Chris are both practicing law at my old firm, and they each have a boy and a girl.
Burke S. Irwin ’19 is pursuing his Ph.D. in particle physics at the University of Minnesota, Cullen finished his sophomore year at Wake Forest, and Stephanie does her best to keep me in line.”
John P. Leslie II, Levittown, Pennsylvania, reports himself “alive and well in Bucks County, where we’ve lived for 45 years.” John is semi-retired, with a part-time job as a home health aide. “I’m loving life with a wonderful wife of 50 years, five great offspring (two adopted) and 10 grandkids. Still singing, still in touch with Kokosinger friends.”
William M. Lokey, Tacoma, Washington, and his wife, Andrea, have been visiting Washington state parks for hiking and picnics to get out of the house for exercise and fresh air. “Since last summer, we have boots on the ground in 41 of them so far,” Bill tallies, “from the Pacific Coast to eastern Washington. Had a grand day in Sun Valley skiing with Pierce E. Scranton Jr. ’68. It was his Ski Age Day: 74th day of skiing this year at age 74.”
“We often were told at Kenyon that our friendships would last a lifetime. I was a doubter, but it’s true! One of this old retired guy’s joys is keeping in touch with Peter E. Fisher, Thaddeus J. Shura, Anthony J. Lo Bello (when he takes a break from teaching), Thomas B. Lifson, Richard A. Baehr and Russell D. McDowell. When I go to our home in McCall, Idaho, Jim Netolick lives practically next door. Three of these even came to Idaho for a visit. The other four can’t find it on a map.”
— Carl E. Olsson, Boise, Idaho
Richard G. McManus, Hingham, Massachusetts, shares the following: “My harmonica playing is much better than it was a year ago. Despite living in cloister for the past year I have been busy teaching (hello Zoom).” Richard also shared his website, breakingthecode.com, and described his efforts to change how reading is taught. “Why is our country broken? Because so many people cannot read sufficiently well to understand what is going on.” A third grandson was born last year.
The Rev. John K. Morrell, River John, Canada, requests your assistance as he assembles a PowerPoint of the Kenyon Choir Europe and England Tour of summer 1968. “Choir members in the 1968, ’69, ’70 and ’71 classes can contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have scanned photos to send. I also hope to upload my tape from our concert at Coventry Cathedral.”
Michael S. Podmaniczky moved to Salem, Massachusetts, and is “semi-retired but still working independently as a museum conservator/craftsman. Contributor to ‘Boston Furniture, 1700–1900,’ and still writing for WoodenBoat magazine.”
Jack Killen, Wilton Manors, Florida, shares that he’s “astonished at how little my last 50 years resembles what I imagined would unfold as we graduated in 1971. It seems I had a rather feeble imagination back then. Truth be told, it’s been a fascinating and rewarding run.” Jack appreciates life with his husband, Fred — “didn’t see that coming 50 years ago!” — and four cats in Fort Lauderdale. “Pandemic life has sucked, of course, but also provided time for work with three colleagues on a book about a spiritual conception of personality from a scientific perspective.”
Harold A. Levy is enjoying retirement in Bethesda, Maryland, after a 44-year career practicing affordable-housing law in the government and private practice.
Ross I. Schram III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, developed a commercial real estate law practice, for which, he writes, “advances in technology (e.g., FedEx, emails, mobile phones) made it increasingly difficult to get away from the constant needs/ demands of clients for more than a couple of days at a time. As a result, Hillary and I anxiously await my retirement next January.”
William J. Williams, Laurel, Maryland, won the 2020 Roger Trask Award presented by the Society for History in the Federal Government last October.
David L. Bergman, Baltimore, is “looking forward to having an elevator installed in John’s and my house. Then we won’t have to move as the Parkinson’s progresses. As a New Yorker, I have always loved travelling by elevator.” During COVID, David corresponded extensively with Reed Woodhouse ’70, who urged him to read War and Peace now that he’s retired from teaching. “It is so much better than Ulysses or Proust or even Melville. It is the perfect book to read when you have lived a life and are ready to devote yourself to other lives of fiction.”
John H. Edgerton, Cincinnati, is renovating a century-old home in a historic neighborhood and still consulting on retail store design, engineering and installation for Apple, Nordstrom, Lowe’s and Home Depot. “The great thing with consulting,” he explains, “is being able to say ‘no!’ ”
Todd J. Rosenberg, Akron, Ohio, exchanged New Year’s greetings with his old roommate, Frederick R. Williams. “Fred and his family seem to be doing fine,” Todd reports. “We’re both glad our daughters scheduled their weddings for 2019. What a difference a year makes.” Todd’s daughter is an epidemiologist for the Cleveland Department of Public Health, analyzing the city’s COVID cases. “It’s nice to have our own personal epidemiologist on call.”
Thomas E. Allen, Takoma Park, Maryland, is retired with “absolutely no regrets,” he reports. “I am keeping close contact with my students and colleagues and have
formed an LLC for upcoming professional engagements.”
Wallace L.M. Alward, Iowa City, Iowa, has been teaching courses on glaucoma management in Zambia and Mongolia through a charity called Orbis. “My activity led to my being designated an Orbis Hero,” Lee shares.
Julia F. Johnson, Urbana, Ohio, is still working on land-use advocacy and the preservation of agricultural land in Ohio “from the predations of utility-scale wind and solar developments,” she submits. “Did you know that a rule of thumb is 170 piles per acre are driven ten feet into the ground to support the racks that hold panels? On a normal 1,000-acre array, that is 170,000 posts! There are 176 utility-scale solar arrays in the pipeline for Ohio.”
Doretha (Smallwood) Leftwood, Reidsville, North Carolina, competed in 1,500-meter race walk, 50-meter and 100-meter dash, bocce, shuffleboard, cornhole, horseshoes, mini-golf, and softball and football throws in the Rockingham County Senior Games, for athletes 50 and older. “Senior Games is a holistic approach to healthy aging by keeping the body, mind and spirit fit while enjoying the company of friends,” she reports.
Lucinda (Haerr) Peterson, Maineville, Ohio, derived joy from bonding with Sara E. Sedgwick ’72 and Barbara J. (Lee) Johnson. “We reconnected at 2019 reunion and have stayed in touch since. The reunion of our first class of women was a powerful and wonderful experience! I have also been cooking once a week for a Cincinnati nonprofit that feeds street people and donating as much as I can to relief organizations.”
Lauren (Elliott) Woolcott, Middleburg, Virginia, has been enjoying every other Friday Zooms with Laurie B. Sherwood, Cathi (Sonneborn) Gilmore and Ann (Ritchey) Sugrue Kransdorf. “Zoom has fallen pretty low on most people’s happy list,” she admits, “but here it provides great comfort and connection.
Jean (Richardson) Hill, Painesville, Ohio, completed her 35th year teaching nursing at Lakeland Community College with the realization that “several of my students are the third generation of their family that I’ve taught — really hits home! A couple months’ layoff during the pandemic made it clear that I suck at retirement! Life has
been otherwise quiet since my husband, Ed, passed away several years ago. My daughter just opened a B&B here in the wine country of northeast Ohio and says I’m now part of her housekeeping staff, too. Guess I won’t have to worry about retirement after all!”
William Nininger, Southbury, Connecticut, is still singing and songwriting with his brother and fellow Kokosinger Jim Nininger ’70. “Missed playing in England and Switzerland (and a lot of other places) last year,” he notes, “but enjoyed doing some Irish music shows again this year. Also participated in a couple Zoom shows for the Greenwich Village Folk Festival.”
Robert C. Zoller, Crestwood, Kentucky, retired last year after 46 years in medicine. “Life is good on our farm,” Bob reports. “We are up to five horses and some crops. Kids and grandkids are local. Very blessed.”
Carswell R. Berlin, New York, is thrilled to report that daughter Jennie M. Berlin ’23 transferred to Kenyon as a sophomore last fall. “She is loving her Kenyon experience despite the challenges of the COVID lockdown on campus,” Carlie reports. “She was the only one of her high school friends who was on campus and going to classes with in-person professors during the first semester.” High school son Henry prepares for a professional ballet career, and Lyall “struggles to stay focused in Zoom classes and studying late into the night.” His family has been happy at home next door to the deserted City College of New York campus.
Steven C. Durning, Holliston, Massachusetts, organized three different personal essay-writing groups since retiring. “I offer a monthly prompt, and people share brief essays in response via email,” Steve explains. “Then we respond kindly to each other’s essays. It’s a rewarding way of socializing with far-off friends and keeping our writing muscles working.”
J. Bradley Faus, Lakeville, Connecticut, celebrated his 34th year at The Hotchkiss School, with 44 years total as an arts administrator and visual art and design instructor. “I embrace the natural beauty and easy access to the rural landscape of the northwest corner of Connecticut in the Berkshires foothills,” he informs. Brad’s work involves environmental and architectural design initiatives and nonprofit arts programming in the community. “I continue to make art with a focus on encaustics, mixed media and abstract subject matter. Lucky to be able to stay in touch with Eric W. Mueller, David H. Newell and David A. Kridler.”
Richard E. Gordon, Pittsburgh, reports that radio interviews he conducted with musicians for WVUD (Newark, Delaware) and WRCT (Pittsburgh) over the past six monthsm touched on an upside of the pandemic: “Musicians are finding that they are connecting with a larger, online audience than if they had just come into town to give a live show. They are balancing the local aspect of doing an online show for a facility in one town or another and having a secondary internet audience. Some are making decisions about how often to do online shows — not oversaturating the market but still reaching out to fans.” Richard finds that local radio helps build communities, although his job is strictly as a volunteer — “no paycheck!”
Charlotte “Shami” (Jones) McCormick, Winter Springs, Florida, and husband Daniel reside near Orlando, where Shami works part-time as the Wandkeeper at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. “Have also begun freelance editing; looking for a cup of courage and some guidance on how to best get my own writing published.” Shami gardens, rescues injured ducks and dotes on her first grandchild, Rhys Daniel McCormick. “Sad to report that my wonderful brother P. Jeffery Jones ’68, an Alpha Delt, passed away in September after a long battle with Parkinson’s — always the laughing boy in our hearts.”
Meg Merckens, Amana, Iowa, and her husband, Tom, recently moved into a smaller house in the Amana Colonies, a couple of villages over from their previous home of 25 years. “I worked on stage at the Old Creamery Theatre (in Garrison and Amana) for 31 years,” she updates, “and then Tom and I started a small, 99-seat nonprofit theater in 2008 called the Iowa Theatre Artists Company. We’ll be closing the doors on that company this year, and I will continue to freelance as an actor/storyteller.”
Eric W. Mueller and Jan E. Lenkoski-Mueller ’77, West Barnstable, Massachusetts, welcomed their first grandchild, North Eric Miller — “not to be confused with Mueller,” he notes. “Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy retirement on Cape Cod.”
Neil E. Russell, Burlington, Massachusetts, spent more time on his boat in 2020 and was readying for its May launch. “Hoping to spend time in Edgartown and a few
other places we haven’t visited recently,” he reports. “My woodworking hobby turned into more of a small business in 2020, as lots of people are buying nice stuff for the home.”
James A. Frank and his wife welcomed their first grandchild after relocating during the pandemic to Arlington, Virginia. “Moved out of the NY metro area for the first time since graduating college,” Jim updates. “We’re extremely lucky to be 15 minutes away, in their bubble. We spent his first few months as unpaid daycare workers! Healthy, and totally smitten with the next generation.”
Jeffrey B. Jewitt, Strongsville, Ohio, stays “busier than ever,” he informs, running his manufacturing company — which supplies wood dye stains to the musical
instrument industry — consultation work and making acoustic guitars. “I’m creeping up on 50 builds. Recently introduced a line targeted toward fingerstyle guitar players. I’ve also completed my sixth streaming instructional course for other guitar-makers on how to finish their instruments.”
Tanna L. Moore, Minneapolis, retired from her role as CEO of Meritas, a global network of law firms. “It had been planned for a year,” she notes, “but could not have come at a better time, given the restrictions that COVID put on our business and my extensive travel. I feel blessed to have been able to spend the year renovating our home in isolation.”
Rabbi Charles P. Rabinowitz, Larchmont, New York, has been making tele-health visits with home hospice patients and families. Charlie serves as ethics chair for Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. “I write a morning prayer of support for my colleagues,” he notes. “My wife and daughter teach virtually, and my special-needs son works part-time in Tucson. Participating in peaceful protest and trying to do tikkun olam. We were able to take our usual time in the White Mountains and Ogunquit, where we had a nice day with Steve Grant. Hope you and your families are strong and safe.”
Matthew A. Winkler, Summit, New Jersey, who joined the Board of Trustees in 2006, looks back on how the College navigated 2020. “Kenyon learning went remote for the first time in its 197-year history,” he notes. “Students, professors and administrators were dispersed, shut in. President Sean Decatur initiated more than two dozen board and committee meetings via Zoom in the ensuing months to keep everyone connected. At first, dread surrounded us personally, professionally and as a community. But President Decatur — with the unflagging support of Board Chair Brackett Denniston III ’69 — led Kenyon to transform 2020 into an opportunity. Instead of foundering, the $300 million Path Forward Campaign became the $500 million campaign: unprecedented funds for inclusion, equity and diversity; new student housing forever ending a chronic and historic deficiency; and a new, bigger, better-than-ever Chalmers Library with the same natural bright light that welcomed us in 1973. We celebrated the longest-serving editor of the Kenyon Review, my friend David H. Lynn ’76, who rescued the KR from extinction and made it a modern literary masterpiece befitting Ransom’s legacy. The Kenyon Review Board (I’m on that one too, since its inception. in 1995) welcomed David’s glorious successor Nicole Terez Dutton via Zoom. She’s off to an amazing start at a moment when the literature we contemplate has never been more inspiring, varied and relevant.” Matt thanks John J. Bogasky for arranging monthly Zooms and “our class Earth mother,” Nina P. Freedman, for her nurturing gifts as his colleague at Bloomberg Philanthropy and a treasured trustee on the Kenyon board. For him, he sums up, Kenyon is now many generations: On a lake house weekend, Matt hosted Prita Kidder Carroll ’11 and Macpherson C. Carroll ’11; daughter Lydia R. Winkler ’13; and son Jacob, a Kenyon Review Young Writer, with his three children. “Prita, graceful as ever, reminded us on the tennis court what put her on the Kenyon All-Decade list of greats. Lydia crushed us all in pingpong. In these perilous times I remain grateful to share the four-decade-old conversation with pals Andrew L. Gespass, Rabbi Steven J. Lebow, Peter F. Meyer and Richard S. West. Thank you for making Kenyon what it became in 2020.”
“Life after Kenyon has been quite an adventure. After a few false starts, I taught myself computer programming and got a job at Cooper Energy Services in Mount Vernon. From there I developed a successful and challenging career, becoming a systems engineer/chief technologist supporting U.S. Navy and Air Force aviation. Kathy and I (married 36 years) moved everywhere from California to Virginia and Maryland, with excursions to a number of European countries, finally retiring about two years ago to Fletcher (a bit south of Asheville), with our current rescue cockers Star and Brady. I am enjoying composing and performing electronic music, while Kathy quilts. I remember Kenyon fondly. Wish I had been more ‘present’ to the opportunities and people there.”
— Albert E. Baldwin III, Fletcher, North Carolina
John J. Bogasky, Silver Spring, Maryland, describes hosting Class of ’77 Zoom calls, first begun by Jerome “Jerry” Mindes, as “a pandemic perk.” Meeting at least monthly since April 2020, nearly 50 class members have joined one or more calls, he reports. “They are great fun!
M. Colleen (Erb) Chisholm, Johns Island, South Caroina, resumed volunteering at respite care. “The mask mandate and social distancing are incredibly difficult for the elderly and dementia patients,” Colleen writes. “We keep our participants busy and happy while their caregivers get much needed breaks. Our director and staff are exceptional. Still finding wonderful and intriguing new places to explore around Charleston.”
Joseph M. Dreher has relocated to a newly purchased thousand-acre farm in Liberty Township, Ohio, 12 miles from Gambier — Dreher’s Grey Horse Farm. He welcomed Jayne S. Danska and her daughter Fiona D. Guidos ’22 on their recent visit upon Fiona’s return to campus after the COVID break, Joe reports.
Amy Kirshbaum Harbison, Olney, Maryland, had her “definite highlight of the year” two weeks before COVID-19 shut everything down: “Our first grandchild, Luka,
was born. It has been wonderful staying in regular Zoom contact with Linda Sofman Bullock, Nina P. Freedman, Julia Stern D’Alessandro and Susan Zimmerman
Sacks.” Amy continues to work part-time as a certified coach working with leaders in transition and for Montgomery County, Maryland, government.
Rabbi Steven J. Lebow, Marietta, Georgia, received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Hebrew Union College. His poem, “There Are No Pianos in Hell,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize this year.
“New Zealand is a star in the COVID world. A comprehensive national health service, free at the point of use, and a political system fundamentally trusted by the population. No discussion here about individual liberties in masking or phone app tracking or a national lockdown, all of which were fully accepted and endorsed by the public. We had no COVID to speak of.”
— Peter F. Meyer, Napier, New Zealand
Margrit B. Polak Shield, Los Angeles, spent time connecting with Kenyon buddies all over, she writes. “Trice F. Koopman arranged a really nice reunion with Kate Long, Susan P. James and Mark C. Holub (we ’77 theater majors!). I arranged one with some of my freshman and sophomore posse — Susan H. Wides, W. John
Wendler III ’75 and Sandra M. (McKean) Wendler, Robert A. Metzger Jr. ’75, David P. Wagner ’75, Thomas B. Arnold ’75, Thomas D. Silverstein ’75, Sara (Mccracken) Norcross, Albert R. Marshall Jr. ’75, Rosemary Brandenburg ’78, Richard E. Schoenberger ’76 and Amy Margulies. “I was sad to hear of Julius V. Bell’s passing, as well as my dear friends Michael A. Hoffman ’78 and Debbie Robins ’78, and I miss the spirits of Elizabeth J. Polish ’78 and Charles
M. “Mitch” Webb, too long gone.” Margrit is eager to visit daughter Sofi in Frankfurt, Germany.
Paula A. Stoeke, Santa Monica, California, also enjoyed joining conversations on the monthly call, she updates. “It is really inspiring to hear about everyone’s vocations, avocations and service work, not to mention travels, trials and future plans. We are all more alike than we are different.” Paula was grateful for the 2020 “pause,” which allowed her to focus on writing and painting more than in recent years. “It was really a valuable time to assess life and prioritize. ”
Noel M. Cook, Moraga, California, updates, “After 29 years as a partner at a small copyright and trademark law firm in San Francisco, I . . . did not retire. Instead, two years ago I became a partner at a much larger firm, Hanson Bridgett, with offices throughout California — not that offices matter much in these workfrom-home times.” Noel, Maura and their high school son and middle school daughter live in the “bucolic” town of Moraga, where he occasionally sees Charles C. Yeomans ’78, Wallace M. Tice ’76 and Michael Blume ’72.
“With the COVID shutdown I was forced to temporarily close my brand-new dance studio, Serpentine Dance, a space too small to hold any more than seven people according to Maryland’s guidelines. Going stir crazy, I released a music album of greatest hits for Egypt’s beloved composer Sayed Darwish, who wrote Egypt’s national anthem, called ‘Sayed Darwish REMIX’ and a companion book/liner notes of his biography and translated lyrics, ‘Sound Track for Revolt.’”
— Donna J. DeMarco, Bethesda, Maryland
Douglas Q. Holmes, Pittsburgh, CEO of the largest online tele-dermatology business, Dermatologist On Call, saw substantial business growth, he writes. “One of the enjoyments of managing a fast-growing business is having a great business partner, Richard K. Danforth ’81, who is responsible for strategic planning and special projects.”
Coleman S. Moore, Springfield, Illinois, is building a retirement home in the North Carolina mountains outside of Burnsville, minutes from the historic Penland School of Craft. “Designing and building mid-century modern furniture,” he adds. “Enjoying the golden years.”
George A. Pandaleon, Lake Forest, Illinois, reports, “After almost 40 years in the commercial real estate investment business, my wife, Peggy, (a Kellogg classmate) and I are starting to think about life after age 65 — backing off a bit and having more fun together.” In 2019 George was elected mayor of his hometown, Lake Forest, putting his Kenyon political science studies to use. “It’s a great honor, and the $10 annual salary is good for a sandwich once a year. We have a few Kenyon people in town, including classmate Peter J. Bianchi ’78, as well as several current and recent past parents.”
Mark S. Prince, Wheeling, West Virginia, announced his upcoming retirement at the end of 2021 as CEO of Hazlett, Burt & Watson and its subsidiaries. Mark was the fifth CEO in the firm’s 140-year history. He will remain on the holding company board.
Phillip D. Parker and his wife sold their Bethesda, Maryland, home and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in March 2020. “Within two weeks, everything in Michigan shut down, and we became the caregivers for two grandchildren, ages 7 and 1. Our daughter, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist on the University of Michigan COVID task force, worked crazy hours; our son-in-law was helping more than 6,000 international students deal with travel bans, housing issues and other shutdown uncertainties. It was strange living in a university town with virtually no students, but that has been more than offset by being able to help our daughter and her family get through a difficult year.”
Mary Lucile (Jones) Johnston and Andrew M. Johnston managed to stay “relatively sane” throughout the last few months, she informs, celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in December. “Andy has been working from home in a space minimally converted from a child’s bedroom, with an occasional foray to his office (lawyers are ‘essential’ in Delaware). The middle school-size desk does not seem to bother him!” Lu reports that her volunteer activities slowed down at first but picked up recently. “I’ve also completed more needlepoint projects, cleaned out closets and drawers, and added long walks to my routine. We are very fortunate that our kids and their significant others have been in our ‘bubble.’ We have had our share of grief as well, as both of my parents and a dear friend passed away in 2020. We have attended a couple of President Decatur’s alumni town halls, which are fascinating and give us a virtual trip back to our college days.”
Michael S. McSherry, Florence, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard Divinity in 2005 and serves as the pastor of Edwards Church of Northampton, Massachusetts, his third church. “No, not outrunning bill collectors or angry congregations,” he jokes. “Theater training very much an asset!” PreCOVID, Michael enjoyed occasional in-person visits with Chip Lamb.
Robert B. O’Connor, Germantown, Tennessee, is a board member of Thistle and Bee, a Memphis-based nonprofit that helps women leave street life. “We keep bees and sell honey and granola,” Bob writes. “I also communicate with George M. Layburn about a certain tech stock he likes (not GME) and continue to slog away at a second book.”
Jeffrey Place, a curator at the Smithsonian, moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in September 2020 after 25 years by the Chesapeake Bay, he reports. “Am telecommuting — haven’t been in the office in D.C. for a year. It’s giving me time to work on five book and CD projects.”
David W. Knowlton updates, “Two of my four children graduated from Kenyon, and a third went for a year, then transferred to University of Richmond. My fourth is at Berklee School of Music in Boston.” In New York, David runs Three Ocean Partners, a merchant banking firm.
Wendy A. MacLeod spent the pandemic in Gambier and New Hampshire. “My social life was largely walking the dog with friends. I’ve been doing online yoga with two wonderful LA instructors and online Zumba with my local friends. I’ve been teaching in person with windows ajar and masks on. I’ve just been commissioned by the National Theater of Genoa (Italy), and my monologue ‘White Pants’ is being done in Period Piece, an online piece of Zoom theater (for now), with an all-female roster of playwrights. I’ve also written two TV shows — one an hourlong drama and the other a half-hour comedy. My former student William A. Arbery ’11 was a Pulitzer finalist this year!”
Franklin P. Spaeth relocated to the beach in Oxnard Shores, California, “halfway-ish between Santa Barbara and LA,” he updates. “Still living the California dream of a boy who grew up in Cleveland. All three kids have flown the nest to college. Working for the company I founded 20 years ago and eventually sold to my employees. Surfing, paddle boarding, biking and snowboarding make up the rest of my activities.” Before COVID, Frank met annually with Wm. McPherson “Mac” Durrett, Christopher W. Bartlett, Samuel W. Adams, Walker M. Bagby Jr., The Rev. Canon Mark K.J. Robinson, Wells Smith, Tod H. Colbert and H. Gates Lloyd in various locations around the country. “Hope to resume those trips this fall.”
“After 20 years of independent school work, I am getting ready for my next adventure: retirement! I would love to hear some tips from fellow alums who have already taken the plunge or are also thinking about it.”
— Lenore (Johnson) Sprague, Richmond, Virginia
Jay N. Anania, Chevy Chase, Maryland, retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2015 and recently rejoined the Organization of American States as head of administration, a position he previously held until 2017. “I am pleased to be working virtually.” Jay informs, “and look forward to a few more years of work while not commuting daily into downtown Washington.”
Christopher W. Bartlett recalls, “Forty years ago I left Gambier for NYC to try to make it as a photographer in the big city. I’m still here scrapping away, juggling the commercial work with personal and social justice projects.” In 2020, pre-pandemic, Chris moved from Connecticut, his home for more than 25 years, to Rhinecliff, New York, in the Hudson Valley. “Both grown kids have managed to remain employed in NYC and are working remotely,” he adds.
Jonathan A. Bernstein, Cincinnati, celebrated the births of two more grandchildren — Ezra Lev and Ruby Sophia, who live in Chicago and Brooklyn, New York Jon was elected secretary-treasurer of AAAAI, the largest allergy immunology organization in North America, comprising 7,000 members, and will become its president in 2023. He published his fifth book, “Primary and Secondary Immunodeficiency: A Casebook for Clinicians.” Son Joshua S. Bernstein ’10 finished his internal medical residency at Rush in Chicago and started a fellowship in allergy immunology at National Jewish Hospital in Colorado. “Finally, my youngest daughter, Caren, got married last year during COVID,” he reports. “Twelve people attended. We hope to have a big party this year if all goes well. I regularly keep in touch with David Erteschik ’79, Gregory P. Sessler and David P. Rose.”
“I am still in the online news publishing biz, working for Advance Local for the last 25 years, and more recently developing my fine art. My husband and daughter are both in the film/ TV business in NYC. Like everyone else, I am tired of working from home but do not miss the commute! We are in the midst of a huge renovation project on a barn in New Jersey that we hope will be done someday. Recently was messaging with Mary L. Stockton ’82, starting to plan a meetup with our old roomies Heather A. Peck and Patricia D. Lynn before another decade goes by.”
— Nancy Collings, Warren, New Jersey
Susan (Shaw) Hatcher, Cornwall, Connecticut, marked her 35th year as a special-ed teacher. “Two very grown-up sons — one a Navy vet, the other still serving — two wonderful daughters-inlaw and three beautiful grandbabies,” Sukie shares. “Plus three years until retirement, and it all adds up to a pretty darned good life!”
Carolyn S. Wilson, Charlottesville, Virginia, a gynecologist at University of Virginia, works in the midlife health division focusing on women’s health in the menopause years. “I have been in academics at Duke, private practice in Winchester, Virginia, and now back in academics,” she updates. “For fun, I am an ultra runner and triathlete and am enjoying being one of a few women in my age group! Married 35 years, I have three wonderful adult children who all live in Denver for now.”
Amy Brill spent seven months of 2020 trapped alone and often ill in a Thai hotel room, but because she also “became a first-time nana to a gorgeous, funny, feisty, ginger granddaughter, just like that, life made sense again,” she reports. “I accepted a post in Cairo and am doing some masked socially distanced exploring. I am grateful for the opportunity to be immersed in Egyptian culture and hear the adhan and take felucca sails, but I am planning to repatriate to be closer to my family. Ready to be reading stories, hear Reese say ‘Nana,’ and push a stroller!”
Kelly F. Doyle, Cary, North Carolina, runs a teaching clinical practice at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Graduate School of Nursing Psychiatry. “I now have a small private psychiatry practice and am considering a post-doc fellowship in neuroscience up at Dartmouth,” she updates. “I’m also a long-time company member at Burning
Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, where we produced ‘The 19th Amendment Project,’ a collection of 10-minute plays by a very diverse group. I curated the piece, wrote one of the plays and played Elizabeth Cady Stanton in another.” Kelly tapped her network of women playwrights and artists from her days in the Brown Playwriting Program to create a piece celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage. “This past year, grief has been something of a constant — with the loss of my lovely mom in August and close friends from Kenyon and some beyond..”
“I hope you’re well’ has become the default email opening of the COVID-19 era. Me? I’m fine. Lower Manhattan is a great place to spend a pandemic, particularly if you don’t know how to cook (or even brew coffee) and aren’t inclined to learn. The five of us — two parents, three teenagers — have so far avoided falling victim to both the virus and to each other, although there were some close calls. If I knew 23 years ago that a contagion was coming, I would have built more interior walls.”
— Gregory V. Gooding, New York
Stephen D. Hays, after a decade in New York City, has “fled for the Catskills.” In Saugerties, New York, he has “embraced a new life model consisting of dogs, fresh air, disproportionate personal space and an abundance of easy parking alternatives.” Despite a hard year for the film business, Steve reports he “managed to close on a few projects,” including the reboot of Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn,” “Lansky” with Harvey Keitel, “Swing” starring Michael Shannon and directed by Norman Mailer’s son, and “Nine Bullets” with Sam Worthington and Lena Headey. “My son wowed us all by being accepted into Berklee Music School in Boston for guitar,” he adds. “My own musical exploits remain confined to endless tinkering with modular synthesis accompanied by under-skilled but enthusiastic drumming.”
Amy McCloskey, Brooklyn New York, recalls a “pretty crazy year” with her bar, Madame X, shut down: “We are exactly everything people should not be doing during a pandemic.” Amy was hoping and preparing to reopen in June. “My GM of 22 years chose to retire (I don’t blame her), so I’m in search of a feisty woman to take over that position.“ She is “hopeful we’ll take some important lessons from this ‘break from normal’ — mostly, don’t underestimate how important the hospitality industry is to the financial health and psyche of this country.”
Charlotte (Pillsbury) Wood, Arnold, California, sold a Bay Area home and moved to the Sierras. She continues to direct marketing at Family Giving Tree and led the change to a more robust, friendly online giving platform aiding local communities during lockdown. “Fortunately, we finished the year in very good shape,” she reports. “Not the case for many nonprofits across the country. Blessed to assist those hit hardest by the pandemic.” Charlotte and David, who teaches remotely at San Jose State University, are enjoying having youngest son Dawson home. “Him — not so much! A year of college with your parents?” Carson, who graduated
from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2019 and received his commission to the U.S. Marine Corps, started stage two of flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas
Jeffrey A. Bell and Colleen (Murphy) Bell ’85, Kirkland, Washington, celebrated the wedding of their oldest son, Joshua. “They live in London, U.K.,” Jeff updates, “where he works for the CDC Group, and she is a social worker. Douglas and Marylynn Heuck were in attendance.”
Gail Cleveland Hamel and her husband, David, moved to Providence, Rhode Island. “Definitely a foodie town!” she exclaims. “We’re proud of our four kids, all doing well in their professional/ college careers.” A full-time elementary schoolteacher, Gail still performs colonial educational programs and tours during school vacations and summer.
Stephen F. Oatway, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has been enjoying DPhi monthly Zoom calls with Paul W. McCartney, Andrew A. Folkerth, Jan E. Klamar, Don W. Devere II, Franklin H. Top III, Eric G. Berggren, Bryan A. Merryman, John W. Tomes, Daniel A. Dessner, Stephen D. Behrendt, Benjamin R. Barnett, Eric W. Hauser — “and we even let Beta boy Stephen M. Kelley join us!” he laughs. “Kids spread all over — Seattle, Houston, Chicago, and youngest at St. Joe Prep in Philadelphia.”
“Bikes have always been a means of transportation, competition, education and socialization. I’ve brought Outride and National Interscholastic Cycling Association programs to AIM Academy, where I also teach English, to get #morekidsonbikes. The crumminess of COVID was exacerbated last July by the loss of one of my students, captain of our mountain bike team, to traffic violence. If bikes, kids and community mean anything to you, read about Sam and our commitment to preserving his legacy through Sam’s Place: Youth Bicycle Repair Program and Community Hub (classy.org/fundraiser/3056960).”
— Anne Rock, Philadelphia
Eliza Winans Rossman and James E. Rossman ’85, spent most of the year working out of their house in Colebrook, Connecticut, far from Brooklyn crowds, she updates. “While we miss our city and plan to be back in the near future, we’ve been able to reconnect with Kenyon friends. Still walking on the same roads and paths I’ve enjoyed since 1982 with Kate C. Mali Pingeon and hanging out around the fire pit with Peter A. Propp ’85 and his wife, Suzanne. The Kenyon connections persist: My daughter Jane now shares a Brooklyn apartment with Anne F. Kaplan ’85’s daughter Emma!”
E. Elizabeth Schneyer sends this news: “After more than 25 years in the Bay Area, I’ve moved to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, where I’m learning to garden — and remembering how to drive in snow!” Betsy is an intuitive animal communicator, acting as a liaison between people and their companions. “Rogue rabbit? Calamitous cat? Let’s talk!”
Ashley Van Etten, Narragansett, Rhode Island, used the COVID year to focus on new work for her company, Willywaw. Although the pandemic meant she had to close her studio to the public, “It was actually a nice break. I hand-print textiles and sell online at willywaw.com.”
Jennifer M. Mizenko, Oxford, Mississippi, has been “crazy busy”: She developed two movement and meditation classes for seniors and taught movement for the actor for the Baron Brown Acting Studio in Los Angeles — all online. “I’m taking all kinds of professional development courses. And I managed to juggle
three online conferences — theater, dance, and higher education in prison — simultaneously. In the true liberal arts spirit, I found all of the sessions to be intersectional! The ideas are brewing. Sorry we won’t meet in person this summer, but it will be one hell of a party when we finally do!”
Jan M. Richardson, Ridgeland, Mississippi is the director of Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, which recently won a Keep America Beautiful national award for innovation and a Keep Mississippi Beautiful state award for its wildflower project. “Our volunteers worked safely outdoors during the pandemic to transform a three-acre field near an interstate exit into a wildflower oasis, featuring up-cycled metal sculptures, trails and landscape features.”
Megan (Swanson) Coleman sold her Scituate, Massachusetts, home last December now that Kristy (27) and Patrick (26) are “launched,” and moved with Brigid (15) two towns over to seaside Hull, Massachusetts. “We’re now two blocks from the beach, within walking distance of a shopping hamlet and loving life,” she updates. “We’re ‘tiny living’ in an apartment while we decide if Hull is the right place. My work for a family-owned credit card processing business hasn’t changed, although I’m doing it from home for now. While I can’t host guests at home, there’s a great hotel around the corner and lots of weekly rentals.”
“The lockdown here at the University of Virginia meant over a year of online teaching, and while that was extremely challenging (especially for the students), it did allow me to start a podcast (recorded from my closet) that deals with the threats to democracy in the United States and around the world. We talk to great scholars about what they see as the sources of our current global crisis. Okay, so it is not always uplifting, but it has been inspiring to learn from writers, thinkers and activists. Check out “Democracy in Danger,” available in all your usual podcast outlets.”
— William I. Hitchcock, Charlottesville, Virginia
Lawrence J. Apke, Burlingame, California, updates, “In addition to a new day job, I continue to run a nonprofit called The Job Hackers, which has given away over $2.5 million of free training to the unemployed in less than four years. Along with my co-founder, I was recognized with the Jefferson Award Silver Medal in the Bay Area.” Larry’s oldest, Igor, soon turns 30, while his youngest, Darien (15), is a freshman at Burlingame High School. cdavid cottrill, Portland, Oregon, business agent for IATSE Local 488 Studio Mechanics of the Pacific Northwest, stayed busy representing motion picture and video production crews, he reports. “Helping members with unemployment issues, figuring out protocols for us to return to work safely, and making sure their families had basic necessities. Since July (2020), we have been back to work making binge-worthy content for you and America.” COVID stress hit everyone, cdavid adds. “Zoom happy hours with the Mather Fourth Floor Artsy Fartsy Wing and other friend groups provided laughter and love to get me through."
“I always teach my students that artists love challenges — and was surprised to discover this past year just how true that is. So many wonderful things came out of an entire year of teaching K-4 art remotely. We may not be able to handle clay, wool or make large paintings, but we take virtual field trips all over the world to draw animals from observation and our sketchbook habits have never been better.”
— Catherine R. Lentz, Brooklyn, New York
“For the first time in some 30 years of monthly travel for work, I was grounded. I discovered the transformation from winter into spring into summer in the woods near my home — something totally new. I read about trees and learned to identify them up in the woods of western Maine. I learned to hunt for morels. These new pursuits were helpful in what has been an isolating time”
— Janet E. Lord, Baltimore
Tamsin Smith, San Francisco, remained close to Caitlin M. Long, Christine Olsen and Christie (Densen) Root over online cocktails this year. “Other than work, painting and writing have been filling my time. My first novel and third collection of poems were published during the pandemic, so always there are silver linings! My son Scully is in his second year at the University of Bristol, reading philosophy and English. My daughter Tabitha is a junior at the Williston Northampton School, where I first met Christie so many years ago.”
Maria-Teresa (Wilson) Samwick, Norwich, Vermont, spent the year producing and directing high school theater. “We did manage to pull off outdoor Shakespeare this past fall — just under the wire as our states began to clamp down, the virus hit the school, and travel restrictions within our cross-state district were put in place.” Terry began a second master’s, in directing, at the Chicago College for Performing Arts, where she’ll spend six weeks each summer on a fast-track intensive. “I’m really looking forward to being a student again.”
“After eight great years at Burbank Water and Power, I have joined Stanford University to lead its sustainability, energy, water and infrastructure efforts. We’ll still be in the LA area until our youngest finishes high school next year, then Meredith Pastore Bleveans ’90 and I (and the dogs and cats and perhaps some of the kids) will relocate to NorCal.”
— Lincoln E. Bleveans, La Crescenta, California
Frances V. Carr moved from a 50-year-old ranch house into a 100-year-old Victorian in Columbus, Ohio, last November: “Quite a shock — four flights of stairs! Also in November I started a new job as the interim editor of the West River Eagle newspaper in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation. Yes, you read that right — I do my job in South Dakota from 1,000 miles away.” In desperate need of freelancers, Fran invites you to check out the paper and send her an email (email@example.com).
Cameron (Kelly) Rosenblum, Cumberland Foreside, Maine, published her debut novel “The Stepping Off Place” with HarperCollins last July. It made the Kirkus Best of Young Adult list for 2020. “I highly recommend writing a book as a means of reconnecting with old friends — Kenyon and otherwise!” Cam writes. She enjoyed
sharing her news with writing professor Paul Frederick Kluge ’64 in time for his retirement, as she was in his first fiction writing seminar in 1987.
Sarah Bamford Seidelmann, Duluth, Minnesota, updates that she was blessed to be home with her mother in 2020 as she made her transition from life. “I’d been
unknowingly preparing for that time for years as I studied the work of death doulas and became fascinated with death and dying,” Sarah shares. “Just before lockdown I was able to bring a group to Thailand for a pachydermal pilgrimage. The elephants, the jungle and the people had so much to teach us.” She published her fifth book, “How Good Are You Willing To Let It Get? Daily FEELGOOD Inspiration for Helpers, Healers and Creatives,” co-written with her “core beastie Alice, an elephant in spirit form,” and is currently working on a visionary fiction novel. “Those old fears of inadequacy and failure never go away, but it does get easier to pass through that swamp. Sending you all infinite blessings!”
River “Buffy” Branch relocated to the Seattle area — “the place I first called home after graduating from Kenyon,” she writes. “The move allowed me to simultaneously support my son and my students, as I was able to enroll my little guy in an outdoor school, for which I am beyond grateful. Remotely teaching film production at the college level provides numerous challenges. That said, the instantaneous coming together of folks in my field from across the globe to identify creative and meaningful ways to support our students reminds me of the best in each of us.”
Martin P. Dockery updates, “I so socially distanced myself that I unexpectedly wound up living at the easternmost point of the United States. Once a month, I’ve been broadcasting a storytelling show from my backyard.” Find “Right Now Dockery” on YouTube. “If nothing else, you can appreciate the beard,” Martin adds.
Jennifer L. Leffler Ives, Tarrytown, New York, excitedly reports that daughter Annabel started her first year at Kenyon, Class of 2024, and is on the women’s
lacrosse team. “It was wonderful to be back for the quick drop-off in August,” Jenny writes, “and I am so excited to return many times throughout her college
career. Driving up the Hill and crossing Middle Path brought back a flood of memories.”
“Prior to COVID my children had all been so busy; it was nice to reconnect with them and watch them take up surfing — one of the few activities allowed. Hugh G. Pastoriza III ’91 organized some great Zoom calls, where I was able to catch up with Kristin (Swanson) Pastoriza, Mary K. Witte, David E. Elliott, Christopher L. Cook, Christopher M. Wick, Aurora M. Gonzalez, Andrew R. Cuncannan, J. Chalmers Browne ’91, Sarah (Crosby) Vokey and Robert L. Melican. With Mary and Kristin, I connected with Jessica Hart Selden and Alexandra Manolovici Wernink on a cocktail Zoom call, where we lamented missing our reunion and looked forward to planning a weekend get-together when we all can travel again.”
— Hugh G. Pastoriza III ’91 o
Anne Christine Seiler, Chico, California, shares her gratitude for the abundance of northern California and “the many fruit and nut trees and proliferating peppers and tomatoes of our two-acre rental home. Even more grateful for the internet, which has enabled me to continue telehealth work as a clinical psychologist — and to Zoom with Michele L. Petrucci, E. McAllister ‘Calli’ Towne, Kathryn ‘Kate’ Flanders and Melissa (Uhlig) Wright.t.”
Edward C. Benyon celebrated six years of living in Hobart, Tasmania. “I have struggled to find fulfilling work in Hobart but unwilling to consider jobs on the mainland, where the market is much more robust, because I don’t want to be a FIFO (Fly-In, Fly-Out) Tasmanian and away from my family for a job.” Two years ago, Ed joined the research services team at the University of Tasmania, where he supports researchers securing funding partnerships. “Outside of work, I am the group leader for the Mount Stuart Scout Group, where we have 75 youth members engaged in adventurous personal development and education programs.” His wife, Jenny, is principal first violin with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and their children completed ninth and 10th grade.
“The mountains called me ... so I moved to Colorado in the middle of a pandemic to take a leadership role as the new director of theater at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.”
— Megan LewisSchurter
Louise W. Reed, Richmond Virginia, was a keynote speaker at the FDIC’s annual accounting and auditing conference. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share the challenges of innovating with the blockchain. based on my personal experience with my startup, Afloat,” she reports. “I am currently interviewing a Kenyon senior for a potential sales position, which has been exciting.”
Mary (LaFlamme) Sarkisian, Lithia, Florida, and her husband work from home, enjoying the Florida lifestyle. “We are thrilled that our son, John, was accepted into
Kenyon’s Class of 2025 and will be on the Hill this fall. He is so excited and plans to major in English with a concentration in creative writing and minor in film. We cannot be happier for him and are looking forward to our visits to Kenyon over the next four years. We will need to buy him a winter coat!” Daughter Grace
is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, majoring in journalism.
Anne V. “Shelly” Webb, Oakland, California, a Buddhist chaplain at a San Francisco hospital, stays in touch with friends from 1991 and members of her Kenyon Ladies basketball team.
Meredith Harper Bonham, New Albany, Ohio, updates that after six years as Kenyon’s vice president of student affairs and 28 years in higher ed administration, she has pivoted to the private sector. In May, she hung up her academic regalia, joining the executive search consulting firm BeecherHill as a managing director. “Not only does the change allow our family to remain in the Columbus area,” she explains, “it also provides us with ready access to Gambier so we may continue to
attend athletic and cultural events — and indulge in burgers from the VI.”
Fred K. Drogula, Athens, Ohio, still teaches in Ohio University’s Department of Classics and Religious Studies and runs an institute at the university promoting humanities teaching. “I live on a small farm with my wife and kids, where we breed Connemara ponies and German shepherds, and where I spent a recent sabbatical working on my next book on early Rome,” he updates. “I just learned that my second book, on the irascible Cato the Younger, is about to be released in paperback, so hopefully people will be interested in learning about this strange-yetfamous man!”
Kathryn Evans Smith, Park Hills, Kentucky, reconnected with Frouwkje (Gilkey) Pagani, Ann (Kelley) Wood and Karena “Kara” (Berghold) Passaro. “They are as dynamite as ever,” Kate writes. “I think longingly of the carefree lives we were privileged to enjoy during our time in Gambier. I regret that current students have had their college experience interrupted by COVID.
“Jill finished her master’s degree in education from Western Connecticut State University. Her student teaching assignment is at my hometown K-8 school, 20 minutes from our house. Anna is sorting through colleges, looking to major in music or psychology. When travel lacrosse dematerialized, Christopher joined the high school cross-country team and wound up in the top 10 as a freshman. As for me, after 20 years with Nielsen, I have a new parent company, Media Rights Capital, best known as the film and television studio responsible for ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Ozark,’ ‘Knives Out’ and ‘The Lovebirds.’ I’m still training clients on our Music Connect product and troubleshooting.”
— Guy J. Tino, Brookfield, Connecticut
Michael R. Butz, Chicago, calls this past year “the most anxiety-filled, exhausting and difficult of my entire career. It was also the most rewarding.” As director of quality improvement for the Illinois College of Optometry, Michael manages infection control for 600 students and employees. “No internal transmission and an over 90 percent vaccination opt-in rate,” he reports. “Suddenly all those years of monitoring doctors for hand-washing paid off!”
Daniel L. Lerner, New York, describes teaching his NYU classes virtually as incredibly meaningful during challenging times. “Other bright spots include my first in-person hang with Jonathan W. Mannion, a (post-COVID test) ski weekend with James J. Rantanen Jr., too much laughter on Zoom with Jennifer P. Jakubowski, and seeing my son Julian’s big-screen debut in the Netflix film ‘Yes Day,’” Dan notes.
Kevin C. Kropf, Ozark, Missouri, earned his doctorate in educational leadership with a higher education focus in 2019, and is now in his fifth year as the executive vice president of enrollment management at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. “What’s brought me joy in this unusual year are the 30 books I’ve read,” he offers, “and a new tradition — Saturday night candlelight dinners, complete with questions like ‘What was hard for you this week?’ ‘What helped?’ ‘What brought you joy?’”
Peter C. Meilaender, Houghton, New York, was appointed one of two new co-editors of the Journal of Austrian Studies, official journal of the Austrian Studies Association. He was also named director of Houghton College’s new Center for Global Humanities.
Anne Merriman Wells, Westport, Connecticut, still runs the Unite The World With Africa Foundation, whose recently launched food program sourcedorganic staple food crops from small-scale farmers across east Africa, providing them with a secure market at fair prices, and low-income communities with nutritious food all year long at reduced costs. “Post-COVID I will lead tours again,” Anne notes, “from adventure travel and climbs of Mount Kilimanjaro to service trips and even luxury safaris.”
“We are doubling our family of authors and artists this year, as well as releasing new genres and new product lines to support their work. I’ve met some incredibly talented people. I’ve even managed to bring a couple Kenyon folks into the company! (Check out Taylor M. Wray Jr. ’96’s incredible poetry.) I continue with my own writing and will have another two books out in the fall, as well as teaching an online course on crafting college essays using the program I developed seven years ago.”
— Martina E. Faulkner, Wilmette, Illinois
“After earning my acting M.F.A. in May, I have been invited to sign with the Brogan Agency as soon as I can safely return to Los Angeles. I am also seeking representation in New York, and I welcome all meetings!”
— James K. Feuer, Alhambra, California
Patricia Vriesendorp Hutzli shares her coronavirus experiences from Biel, Switzerland: “We had a quick full shutdown for six weeks, then slowly reopened — each canton does it a bit differently.” Her kids remained in school, except when, last December, her oldest son tested positive and had to quarantine. “It was a bit strange to have him at meals via FaceTime, and not hug him for a week,”
Amy (Katz) Leaman, Pittsburgh, reports that after almost 21 years in the legal field, 19 of them in asbestos litigation, she took “a giant leap” and left her job. “Yes, I’m doing this in a pandemic — and while training our family’s pandemic puppy!” Amy admits. “I’m hoping to follow my dreams into Jewish libraries and archives, and I have some great opportunities on the horizon.
James C.D. Dewar, Fort McCoy, Florida, was appointed as board treasurer of Outreach Autism Services Network.
Anne T. Cullen, San Francisco, earned a professional certificate in pastry arts at San Francisco Cooking School, she updates. “I have started doing candy/confection popups, most recently during Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and the response has been positive.” See her handiwork at fruitpunchington.com.
Geoffrey W. Feder, Peekskill, New York, is “very grateful for the hard work of Hillary E. (Linn) Feder, who has been on the front lines of the pandemic. I’ve been working alone in my shop at Feder Knives and making cutlery for many people during quarantine.” His highlight? Sending a chef’s knife to culinary legend Jacques Pépin. Daughter Lila, “a total champion this year,” Geoff reports, started swim team and is looking beyond 10th grade. “She can’t wait to get the hell out of here and off to college.”
Gerald Kelly, Gambier, Ohio, shares, “Taught the Solar Power Systems class with Eric Holdener again this semester. A great group of juniors and seniors designed a solar electric system for two recently retired staff members, Jane Cowles and Dan Laskin, and saw it through to installation.” Jerry’s class Zoomed with Gretchen Bakke, author of “The Grid,” and Marcus Giron, who manages internships at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. “Next time you’re in town,” he adds, “check out our solar installs on the Village Inn, Village Market, Village Government Center, Hoehn-Saric House and at the Kenyon Farm — brought to you by Kenyon and ENVS-104.”
“Piper and I, and our two boys Parker (8) and Penn (4), officially moved to this beautiful old European city in January on a relocation from my employer. We’re adjusting to expat life, which has been bumpy given the EU struggles with COVID. Nonetheless, we’re grateful for the chance of this new adventure!”
— Patrick J. Moorhead, Prague, Czech Republic
John R. Cornely, Lewis Center, Ohio, was appointed Delaware County’s first public defender. “The county previously had exclusively used appointed counsel,” he reports. “I will be tasked with building the office from the ground up.”
Joshua S. Adler, New York, struck out on his own last year, starting a small production company, LPA Video. Josh calls it “surreal” that he’s producing a reality show with NBA legend Steph Curry (keep an eye on lpavideo. com).
Brian S. Mason, Westminster, Colorado, described the past months as a whirlwind: “In November I was elected district attorney of Colorado’s 17th Judicial District, one of its largest. I took office in January and haven’t slept much since. It’s a challenging, rewarding and all-consuming job, but I’m enjoying it. I have a picture of Old Kenyon in my new office and hold our college close to my heart.” Follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianMasonCO.
Andrew P. Von Kennel and Alison A. (St. Vincent) Von Kennel celebrated 20 years of marriage last August by renewing their wedding vows with family and friends in Darien, Connecticut. “We are enjoying raising our two kids, Harry (15) and Anna (13), in Connecticut despite our Ohio and Texas roots,” he writes. “The arrival of Kietly (Gallagher) Nivaud and her family to Westport has been a fun Kenyon reconnection.”
Sarah H. Booth married Armando Inarritu on September 12, 2020, in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where they currently live.
George W. (Ciuca) Cook III, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is director of legislative affairs for Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Joining the team during a pandemic was a challenge, he reports, but “more challenging is the divisive nature of politics currently and the struggle to engage in bipartisan collaboration.” Navigating work from home meant “trying to keep four kids focused, learning distantly and sans the ability to enjoy activities like trampoline parks, summer sports, or even just hanging out with friends. I’ve enjoyed seeing Kenyon friends over Zoom and participating in a couple of Kenyon virtual discussions.”
Elizabeth G. Dunning reports that she recently learned to skateboard. “I’m having a great time cruising around my D.C. neighborhood with my boys, ages 7 and 11, and husband, Paul,” Liz updates.
Susan L. (Kruman) Gorman, Worthington, Ohio, and her husband, Mike, welcomed their second child, Caleb Samuel Gorman, on March 15. He joins big brother Benjamin (3).
Rebecca M. Hoyt, Solon, Ohio, joined the Kenyon Fund Executive Committee as the class agent chair — an opportunity that allowed her “to combine my love of learning and Kenyon,” she writes. “Vivien (14) and Daniel (11) have been remote all year, as have I. Our dog, Quincy, keeps my feet warm as I work.”
I made the most of 2020: got engaged, married and bought a new house, all in about two months. Despite the many challenges that surround us all, my wife, dog (The Duke) and I feel so fortunate to embark on this new life journey. Since Kenyon, I’ve worked in advertising, specializing in the last 10 years in multicultural and inclusive marketing — a field that aligns with my academic, professional and cultural background.
Jesse S. Reynolds, Wichita, Kansas, celebrated his 20th year working at Laboratory Corp. of America. In his spare time, he has been a long-time participant in the Society for Creative Anachronism, the historical re-creation group to which he was introduced during his time at Kenyon.
Samantha (Grover) Aguayo, Washington, D.C., is deputy executive director and chief policy counsel at an intellectual property law association. Sam lives near and remains close to Martha N. HolleyMiers, Elizabeth G. Dunning ’99, Matilda Bode ’99, Kate (Druschel) Griffin ’99 and Jamie E. Smith ’99. “We’ve been having socially distant outdoor hangouts regularly.”
“My husband and I are blessed to live in northwest Arizona, have our same jobs with no loss of income, and our health — despite having had COVID in April 2020. We marvel daily at the miracle of our son, Nickolas, now 2 1/2, and love spending time with our two elderly kitties and two young tortoises.”
— Kathleen S. (Birck) Florea, Kingman, Arizona
A’Biel R. Hammonds, St. Louis, retrained as a data engineer for her “ideal career path — a computer science/ IT professional who capitalizes on all those physics, chemistry and calculus courses I took back at Kenyon.” A’Biel works with human resources systems for the parent company of Famous Footwear. “I was fortunate to be able to work from home full-time. Still trying to learn to cook better. I’ve actually connected more closely with my extended family via weekly FaceTime calls and movie-party events, and I took advantage of the extra time to join the Kenyon College alumni book club.”
“My mom, sister and I survived having COVID, but it took my dad. Our kids are about to turn 6 (Naomi) and 9 (Henry). Our dog Gabby has been a lifeline.”
— Jesse B. Horowitz, Golden Valley, Minnesota
Wendy A. Littlepage, Denver, finished construction and reopened the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, she reports. “It was great to share some history with Megan M. Buhr’s class, welcome Sarah J. Schwenk and her family to the museum (they even helped in collections), and see Amanda Lueck Grell ’02 in the grocery store parking
Adam D. Marks and Alexis Braun live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Alexis celebrated her 10th year as Eastern Michigan University’s archivist and was awarded a
sabbatical year just in time for virtual school for their three children (ages 6, 8 and 10). Adam was promoted to associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, and in January 2021 assumed leadership of its Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Training Program. “Grateful for nearby grandparents to help with high-spirited children,” Adam writes, “and for backyard gatherings with other Kenyon alums who have found their way to southeast Michigan.”
Ericka E. Reagor Miller, Benbrook, Texas, updates, “After 14 years in international development, I moved back to my birth state to be close to my parents and became an ICU nurse. I live with my beloved husband, Zach, and 3-year-old daughter, Ellie, who keeps us highly entertained and reminds us that life is fun and usually funny. Like many of us, I feel like I have lived at least three different lives since Kenyon.”
Anne E. Morrissy, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, took over as editor of At the Lake Magazine in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on June 1, “fulfilling a life goal formed while a section editor of the Kenyon Collegian,” she updates. She continues to split her time between Wisconsin and Chicago.
Erin R. Shanahan, La Grange Park, Illinois, joined Sutton Law in Chicago, specializing in residential real estate law. “After more than 16 years as a licensed attorney, I finally started practicing law,” she reports. “Also last year, for a challenge offered by my local quilt guild, I created a quilt based on Carole King’s song ‘Chicken Soup with Rice.’ Carole King foundout about our challenge and her people reached out, asking to use some of our quilts in a new music video for the 50th anniversary of Tapestry.” Look up “Carole King Tapestry (Official Lyric Video)” on YouTube to see Erin’s quilt “around the beginning of minute two!” she suggests.
“In July 2020 I moved into the seminary and have resided there since. Despite the challenges to be expected as the one woman living among all the men, it has been a blessing, with additional time to work on my icon painting. I recently received a teacher-scholar grant from the Calvin Institute of Worship to bring my icon teacher to campus as artist-in-residence over the next year, so I look forward to the opportunity to continue to hone my skills. The sisters of my own monastery are all vaccinated, so it is good to have a bit more freedom to come and go.”
— Sr. Jeana M. Visel, Ferdinand, Indiana
Katie Suttle Weinert, Birmingham, Alabama, recently argued before the 11th Circuit via telephone, “which was weird, but par for 2020,” she writes. “Proudest accomplishments: cleaning out 14 years of flotsam in the basement and deciding to keep the Class of 2001 Facebook.” Katie and her husband are home-schooling Cecilia (10) and Nick (5), assisted by “a super nanny, awesomely involved grandparents and a curriculum consult from Megan M. Buhr.”
Michael A. White, Coral Gables, Florida, and his wife and daughter headed to D.C. this summer for training. “The Navy decided that I should learn French and be sent back overseas — most likely to west Africa,” Mike updates. “I’ve spent most of my career in the Pacific and in Latin America, and we’re pretty excited for a new opportunity.
Adrienne D. (Skrzypek) Jett, Columbus, Ohio, is a psychologist at the Columbus VA. “We welcomed twins Natalie and Andrew this fall,” Adrienne informs. “Our
oldest daughter,Avy, is thrilled to be a big sister.”
“Samantha Caroun Koch showed up to the party on Sept. 9, 2020, at 3:33 p.m. We are thrilled to have another adventure buddy in our midst. She’s been a true bright spot in this year of uncertainty. KCWS freshman class of 2038 — look out. Sammy will be lacing up!”
— Cathleen C. (Norian) Koch, Long Beach, California
Caleb C. Wilson, Urbana, Illinois, and three colleagues are Nebula award finalists in the game-writing category for a game called ‘Scents and Semiosis,’ he writes. “I’ve actually been working on a number of game-related projects this year, having started working as the writer for a local board game company.”
Justin G. Karpinos and Ashley Rowatt Karpinos, Nashville, Tennessee, report their health and stable professional lives, with their kids, 8 and 6, doing mostly in-person school this year. Justin, who just released an EP called “The Smallest of Spheres,” shares his “huge debt of gratitude to Marc M. Lacuesta ’95 for his guidance and technical wizardry along the way.”
Mara D. Bernstein, Bloomington, Indiana, works for Indiana University Libraries, informing alumni and donors “about the amazing teaching, learning and research that takes place on campus,” she submits. “It is a fun job of ‘other duties as assigned’ that my Kenyon anthropology and art history majors prepared me for.”
Brooke R. Johnson, Telluride, Colorado, started Tumbleweed Travel, a company specializing in custom road-trip vacation planning. She is moving to Boulder, Colorado.
“Being mayor of Gambier was such a unique joy and honor this year, working with the community to take care of everyone. From virtual church to holding Zoom staged readings to making the most of good outdoor weather to explore the village and keep in touch with folks, we found ways to stay connected and engaged even during the hardest parts.”
— Leeman T. Kessler, Gambier, Ohio
Mara D. Bernstein, Bloomington, Indiana, works for Indiana University Libraries, informing alumni and donors “about the amazing teaching, learning and research that takes place on campus,” she submits. “It is a fun job of ‘other duties as assigned’ that my Kenyon anthropology and art history majors prepared me for.”
Brooke R. Johnson, Telluride, Colorado, started Tumbleweed Travel, a company specializing in custom road-trip vacation planning. She is moving to Boulder, Colorado.
“Being mayor of Gambier was such a unique joy and honor this year, working with the community to take care of everyone. From virtual church to holding Zoom staged readings to making the most of good outdoor weather to explore the village and keep in touch with folks, we found ways to stay connected and engaged even during the hardest parts.”
— Leeman T. Kessler, Gambier, Ohio
Caitlin M. (Looney) Landesburg and her husband, Stuart, moved to Mill Valley, California, in 2020, with 4-year old daughter Frances and 2-year-old son Hayes. “I
sold my beer company to Sierra Nevada Brewing last year and have started impact investing in businesses with a social and environmental focus,” she updates. “I’m enjoying playing tennis and horseback riding again!”
Samuel W. Anderson and Grace Twesigye are proud and exhausted parents of a baby son, Xavier, in Brooklyn, NewYork. “We don’t want to be those people, but if you ask we will talk about our baby at great length,” Sam writes.
Catherine A. (Kelleher) Breedlove, Los Angeles, and her husband welcomed first child Bryce Ivy Breedlove on Feb. 12, 2021. “We both work for Sideshow Collectibles and love our jobs,” she writes.
Joanna M. Gohmann, Bethesda, Maryland, and her husband, Jon, welcomed second son George Gohmann Breece in January. “Big brother Alex is so excited to be a brother and looking forward to the day when Georgie can play trains with him.” Joanna started a new job as a provenance researcher and object historian at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M Sackler Gallery.
Justin Lacaillade and Meredith (Wylde) Lacaillade of Chicago welcomed Dexter Nicholas into the family in January. He joins Iris (7), August (5) and Paloma (3). Meredith is taking a leave from her career as a family nurse practitioner to wrangle the children full time. Justin started a new role as global sales leader for Phoenix Controls, a Honeywell division. Justin and Meredith mourn the passing of Randolph Bucey ‘49, Justin’s godfather. Knowing that Kenyon alums make the best godparents, they made Jack Godshall ‘06 godfather to Augie.
Kelly M. Bielen married Patrick Mackinnon in Arlington, Virginia, on Oct. 23, 2020. Kenyon alumni attending via Zoom included Lauren B. Newland, Delia M. Turner ’08, Adam E. Leverone ’08, Aileen C. Caldwell ’09, Laura S. DiNardo ’10, Jean E. Turner ’10, Emilia W. Birdsall ’11 and Kelly L. McPharlin ’12. Kelly works as a public affairs manager at the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C., along with Kelly McPharlin and Lori L. Brady ’92. Lauren D. Katz, Chicago, purchased her first home in 2019, she updates. “I have been a social worker in health care and community settings working with children and families since 2012. I’m currently at a youth social circus — still learning how to juggle!” Lauren became an aunt last November and was grateful to spend January with her sister, brother-in-law, mother and new nephew in California. “I drove across the country twice with my senior miniature schnauzer, Betsy, and spent as much time outdoors as possible in anticipation of Chicago’s cold and snowy February.”
Sarah B.G. Pekdemir reports being displaced by COVID, moving from Brooklyn to Asheville, North Carolina, “with 24 hours prep, a trunk full of clothes and a brand-new 2-monthold in a brand-new car seat. A year later finds Ahmet Kemal a healthy, chunky 13-month-old who loves to be strolled through the Blue Ridge Mountains and to dance to Raffi. My partner, Isa, a native of Istanbul, has mostly enjoyed acclimating to his first ever ‘rural’ home.”
Stuart H. Schisgall announces the arrival of daughter Julia Tamar Schisgall, born in late December. “She’s doing excellent and very cute,” Stu writes. “My search engine optimization company, Searics, continues to get business even during the pandemic, thankfully, and I’ve been working with Discover Financial Services for the past couple years.”
“I am surviving the pandemic as a grad student (again!) in Lafayette, Louisiana I pass the time observing rogue chickens and roosters that fly into a giant cypress that’s in my yard and crow at all hours. This past year I’ve had poems published in Always Crashing, Blue Earth Review, Dream Pop Journal and Landfill Journal.”
— Spencer E. Silverthorne
Lilly Stolper, Providence, Rhode Island, a nurse practitioner in a community emergency department, describes her year on the emergency front lines: “From unprecedented low patient volumes in April and May, when hours and pay got cut — and I was lucky to keep my job, unlike many other health-care professionals — to the ‘COVID Crush’ in January, when we were creating new beds against every wall and in every corner to try to accommodate the tsunami of patients pouring through our doors, these past 12 months have been quite a ride. I’m immensely grateful for the truly astounding scientific work that has provided us with an array of fantastic vaccines.”
Anneka M. Ward married Jonathan Cohen outdoors in Lakeville, Connecticut, on Aug. 8, 2020, surrounded by family and close friends, with Meredith C. O’Connor
her maid of honor. On Feb. 28, Anneka and Jonathan welcomed their son, Thomas Andrew Cohen, into the world. All are resting at home in Hawthorne, New York. Anneka works as a school nurse at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Jonathan teaches high school physics at H.E.R.O. High School.
Andrew J. Berger, Mountain View, California, and his wife, Maggie, welcomed first child Isla Simone Berger on Dec. 23. “She arrived 12 weeks early,” Andy informs, “weighing just 1 pound, 14 ounces. After a lengthy stay at the NICU, we brought Isla home on March 14. Watching her grow has been so inspiring.”
Casey L. Bolitho, Columbus, Ohio, started a new job in February at the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County. “In my capacity as outcomes and reporting manager, I support planning and evaluation for the local behavioral health system,” she notes.
Karen E. (Singerman) Martin, Cincinnati, finished her first year of rabbinical school. “This year has been very different from what we expected,” Karen reports. “We’re not living in Israel, for instance. But it has gone as well as might be hoped, all things considered. Much gratitude to husband Stewart H. Martin ’06.”
Dublin, Ohio, writes, “Life in lockdown has been sweet, with my husband, Brady, and my three cats! I have been working from home for a year with Advocacy and Protective Services, Inc., a nonprofit offering guardianship services to over 3,200 individuals with disabilities. The writing and research skills I acquired at Kenyon serve me well as I prepare a variety of legal documents! My cats love the camera interaction of video calls and lying on my papers.” Toni has been cooking with her sister virtually, picking a recipe and cooking together on their Alexa Echos.
Lovey H.M. (Walker) Peissig, St. Paul, Minnesota, recently promoted to a managerial position and working from home, reports, “My infant is now a toddler, and my family of four is beyond excited to get on an airplane sooner rather than later to visit extended family in places such as Oahu. For now, we’re making the most of life here in Minnesota. Duplo and Lego sets are becoming a household staple.”
Johanna Ralsten-Cox and Justin M. Cox welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth Quinn Cox, on Jan. 3, 2021. “She came a week late, committed to have absolutely nothing to do with 2020,” Johanna quips.
Caitlin K.Addlesperger, Sheridan, Wyoming, started a new job at the Ucross Foundation, an artist residency program on a beautiful working ranch in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming — yet still with connections to Middle Path, she offers. “In my first month, I met Kenyon Review’s talented fellow Misha Rai during her writing residency. Then, in early March, my husband, Erik, and I welcomed our lovely daughter, Hazel, to our little family.”
“Say goodbye to Matt Colburn, adjunct professor of English. Say hello to Matt Colburn, full-time instructional designer at Howard Community College.”
— Matthew P. Colburn, Bethesda, Maryland
Halcyon B.K. (Roberts) Paulson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, graduated from the Institute for Functional Medicine as a nutritional counselor and wellness coach. She coaches and counsels patients, and will sit for boards with medical examiners for wellness coaching and nutrition counseling this October. “I just bought a whitewater raft and am looking forward to rafting/camping season!” she adds.
“After seven years as a lawyer, I made a career change! I’m now a technical writer at Google.”
— Rachel E. Rosenberg, Portland, Oregon
Samantha M. Turner describes Gambier this year as “a strange place to live — like I imagine much of the world these days. It’s not exactly quiet, with three of the four classes on campus, but it’s also not as bustling as many of us remember,” Sam observes. “I’m still in the Center for Global Engagement, working with our international population.
“After a couple years in LA, I am back home on Martha’s Vineyard. I recently founded a company called Fantzye (‘fancy’). We make sourdough bagels and source ingredients for bagel toppings from local farms. We’re also private cooking (Fantzye Suppers) and doing a weekly pop-up at a beloved island restaurant. Think: your favorite natural wine bar, but outside for pandemic times.”
— Elana B. Carlson, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Ananda Plunkett Levine, Chatham, New York, released a new album this summer, her second with ANTIrecords. With touring canceled, she has apprenticed with an herbalist to learn about plant medicine and is birdwatching every day. Nandi writes, “I loved seeing you at Kenyon trivia night — shout out to our very funny hosts — and wanted to sneak off into side convos and catch up. Maybe we could laugh about the time I submitted my first class note and it was the length of a senior thesis dissertation.”
Bryn T. Stole updates that he decided Christmastime amid the pandemic was the perfect time to move and start a new job. “After six years with The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana, I packed up my car and moved cross-country for a new gig with the Baltimore Sun, arriving New Year’s Eve. Some Kenyon buds have made it a charming year: Hannah B. Withers rolled into New Orleans as the pandemic struck and watched my haircut during my last visit to a bar; Rachel N. Oscar and I hit the Smokies in October (she’s great at crossing log bridges); and met my ol’ roommate Samuel F. Tyler around D.C. for some Trojans basketball (very relaxing).
Christian A. MartinezCanchola, Dallas, shared her account of the February Texas power crisis: “Seeing the city covered in snow reminded me of Kenyon. I haven’t = heard the sound of the snow crunching beneath my feet since the days of walking down Middle Path. Who knew Gambier’s power and water infrastructure was infinitely stronger than that of Dallas? We spent two days without power and five days without water in our unit.” Last year, Christian was promoted to principal of her elementary school, she writes. “We have been offering in-person, virtual and hybrid learning options since September. I received my first vaccine in March — two days after Biden’s announcement to get educators vaccinated. That same week we moved into a townhome for more space. Abrazos fuertes.”
Brooke J. Stanley, Philadelphia, misses other people this year but feels grateful to live in Philadelphia with partner Davy and a menagerie of cats and dog, and for a job as an English professor at the University of Delaware.
Jaqueline Neri Arias moved back to Chicago near family and started a new job as the founding director of a university multicultural center. Jacky and her husband welcomed a baby boy in September. “We’ve been enjoying life with him so much.”
Maya A. Artis, Plainfield, New Jersey, is enjoying her role as director of communications at Olive Branch Educators. She has resumed piano lessons and loves the opportunity to get back into her art. This fall, Maya moves to Charlottesville, Virginia, to begin at the UVA School of Law. “Most of all, I enjoy trading laughs and stories with co-host Eliza A. B. Weeks on our podcast, Dear Human.” Eliza lives in Baltimore — job-hunting after finishing a master’s of food studies, focusing on the power of storytelling to amplify diverse voices in the food system — and also recommends you give some Dear Human episodes a listen.
Lauren E. Anderson returned to Providence, Rhode Island, with her trusty copilot cat, Calcifer, after completing a master’s in public health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and becoming a senior analyst with CVS Health’s digital enterprise, maximizing health service delivery for online customers. “Amazed to be the first woman in my family’s history to attain a graduate degree,” she offers.
Kelly M. Boland, Columbia, Missouri, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Seamus Michael Rodino, on March 13. Kelly and her husband, Devin, are “loving all the sweet baby snuggles this little one has to give,” she writes. Kelly has also matched to Children’s Hospital of Michigan for her doctoral psychology internship and is looking forward to exploring Detroit.
Padraig M. Duna, Cambridge, Massachusetts, finished his M.B.A. at Babson College and relocated to Columbus, Ohio, joining Accenture’s strategy consulting division.
Jameyanne I. Fuller is “plugging along here in D.C.,” she writes, “still working as a space lawyer at the FCC and of course writing during my free time. I’ve started a
small creative writing group, including some Kenyon friends, that has continued virtually through the pandemic. I’m sorry to report that Mopsy, my first seeing eye dog, who came to all my classes at Kenyon, passed away at the end of December. She was 12 1/2, and she had a nice retirement full of walks and naps in the sun. I was so glad I spent some time at home last year and was with her to the end.”
Teddie S. ChambersRuiz is a licensed mental health counselor in her hometown of Los Lunas, New Mexico “I am married with an 18-month-old daughter, Sofia, and one on the way!”
Stephanie A. Cordonnier headed to Providence, Rhode Island, with Hanning Wong ’16 to begin an internal medicine residency at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital in June. Stephanie plans to pursue a fellowship in geriatrics. After graduating from medical school in May, she earned the first doctorate degree in her family.
Olubusola O. Olukoya, Brookline, Massachusetts, is “currently in the Ph.D. tunnel,” she writes, “which is a real thing they joke about your first year that stops being funny when you realize it’s almost your fourth year and you have no data.” Busola writes she is “taking a break from recruiting people to the Harvard neuroscience program because it no longer looks like I’m having a great time — I just want to ‘do science’ and become the next Sheryl Hemkin.” The first Nigerian woman in her
program, Busola jokes that when a second Nigerian, a man, joins this fall, “someone in the program will finally notice that I’m not as great at making my own hair as I claim.” She’s getting into swimming in the frigid Atlantic Ocean, home DIY makeovers and learning to surf — but don’t tell her PI, she notes.
“Despite all of the challenges of teaching during a pandemic, I’ve found the year rewarding in many ways. One highlight of my time in Baltimore has been spending time with Sarah Lloyd ’17, as we are neighbors in the same apartment building!”
— Elise S. Altschuler, Baltimore
Kelsey A. Ewing, Bedford, New Hampshire, has been ski patrolling for Alta ski resort, “one of the best in the country,” she shares, and works summers as a whitewater raft guide in Glacier National Park.
Edward A. Farkas, Brooklyn, New York, works as a morning television news producer in New York City and has gotten involved with two Kenyon-adjacent groups. “Real Deep Radio, an online radio station run by Kenyon alumni, brings together independent producers from around the country to curate their own music programs,” Teddy notes. “And the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee (K-SWOC) is Kenyon students’ effort to form a union for student workers.
I’ve admired the alumni support network of the latter and, as a former student worker myself, am proud to see current and past students stand up for a more equitable environment for all.”
Olivia J. Lloyd updates, “After five years in London, I’m moving back to sunny San Francisco, continuing my career in brand and business strategy at Ogilvy Consulting. I have become pretty productive outside the physical office. I found myself re-prioritizing: spending more time outside, hanging out with my pod of friends and family, and thinking about life beyond Zoom.” An added bonus of her move will be spending way more time with her former women’s soccer teammates, she adds.
“While this plague has been crazy, it’s also brought me a lot of opportunities. I was promoted to a librarian position at the middle school where I work, I’ve been accepted to present at a conference in April, appointed to the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee, and been nominated for staff member of the year!”
— Elna Z.A. McIntosh, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Emily S. Daluga, Brooklyn, New York, was recently promoted to associate editor at Abrams, where she gets to edit books for kids of all ages, she informs.
Claire M. Naughton works as an online ESL tutor and freelance writer in Strasbourg, France. She’s still keeping up with her travel blog, The Millennial Abroad, and “eagerly waiting for the day it’s safe to resume exploring our big-butsmall world,” she notes.
Caitlin A. Redak, Riverside, California, returned from spending 3½ months on a boat near Antarctica doing Ph.D. research. She is enjoying the time back with her cats, Darwin and Wallace, and sorting through the million photos she took on the field trip.
Deirdre R. Sheridan, Harrow, England, updates, “I’m now with a London-based innovation consultancy, working on everything from using drones to manage medical deliveries to using TikTok to reach a new generation of entrepreneurs. Took a few years, but someone’s finally paying me to write. And even after three UK lockdowns, I’m still married to Kieran Humphries, who fellow members of Kenyon-Exeter 2015–16 will remember I insisted I ‘wasn’t dating.’"
Elana S. Spivack was quarantining with her folks in Closter, New Jersey, while completing science journalism grad school at NYU, on track to graduate in December. “Interested in story leads, interviews with science-adjacent people and good old-fashioned phone calls,” she writes.
I’ve done it! I’ve recently signed with a literary agent whom I will be working with on my upcoming graphic novels! It has always been my dream to be a writer and cartoonist, and to see that dream come to life is incredible. Be on the lookout for stories Kenyon students might know!
Natalie S. Kane, Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, worked on a variety of virtual theater projects, including directing a Zoom production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and the premiere of a new play being produced as a podcast. “While I’ve learned a ton about the potential of virtual performances,” she informs, “I’m also eager to return to live theater — which I hope to be able to do later this year as the directing apprentice at Gloucester Stage for. their outdoor, socially distanced summer season.”
Hannah Lee Leidy has been living on North Carolina’s Outer Banks since graduation. “Work brought me here,” she explains, “but when I lost my job in a furlough last March, I felt so appreciative of my home. While my friends in the cities were isolating indoors, I was able to go for runs by the water, epic bike rides and to the beach. I’ve been freelance writing for the past year and working in a fine-dining restaurant. From running the floor, cooking on the line, slinging drinks at the bar and busting out bread loaves with the pastry chef, I’m slowly learning every facet of the operation — and what ‘hospitality’ means during COVID.”
Nicholas A. Navari Jr., Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, shares the following news: On March 25, his first original musical, “Local Singles,” for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics, made its national debut as a feature film. Nick was named one of Pittsburgh’s Community Supported Artists, began a residency at the New Hazlett Theater last July, and was awarded a grant for the show’s full production. The grant afforded the show studio time to record the original cast recording, now available across all streaming platforms. The film will make its television debut this year.
Heather M. Pacheco informs she was very excited to see the cherry blossoms bloom for the first time as a brand-new resident of Washington, D.C.
Lily E. Alig, Piermont, New York, is a reporter for Business Insider on its home and kitchen team, she informs. “I test bakeware, so I bake cakes for work and find people I can give them to — probably the best part of my job. I thought there could never be too much cake ... until I made four in one day!”
Rachel I. Cohn loves living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, working toward a master’s in library science and a career as a public librarian, she reports. “After seven years, I’m finally framing my Kenyon pennant that has previously been Command-striped to seven different walls.”
Masen Colucci, Roselle, Illinois, started Transit Productions, a trans-led production company, with Sarah E. Gaglione and Brady A. Furlich. Their content centers around Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community, including producing and shooting videos for RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 queen Denali Foxx. Their video content has over a million views, and Sarah’s photos have received over 50,000 likes on Instagram. Upcoming projects include Bambi Bakes (a cannabis baking show), a dance project funded by a Chicago DanceMakers Forum grant, and “That Shit’s Trans,” a talk show hosted by Transit co-founder Irregular Girl and produced in collaboration with OpenTV.
In the decades-long two years since graduating, I only feel closer to Kenyon and the people who made it special. Seeing all of these conversations about racism, equity, inclusion and justice continuing on and off campus reminds me just how special this place is. We can keep growing and learning and changing because we trust in the potential of the Kenyon community. Though I am not going to be a part of Alumni Council for much longer, I am always here as a listening ear!
Brent C. Matheny is now an editorial assistant with Oxford University Press in New York City.
Sarah J. McPeek spent the summer digging into her field work on a little-explored toxic plant/ beetle pollinator/spider predator community at Mountain Lake Biological Station in western Virginia as part of her Ph.D. candidacy in evolution, ecology and behavior.
“I’m (somehow) working as a computer programmer for Vanguard and living down the street from the Liberty Bell. Been doing my best to replicate Peirce’s fried plantain recipe — with mixed results.”
— Daniel F. Olivieri
Sophie D. Barrio, Long Island City, New York, dived headfirst into the NYC comedy scene, she reports. “I’ve become the executive assistant to the CEO of Lorne Michaels’ production company, Broadway Video, where I’m training to become a junior producer in the entertainment industry. In addition, I produce a weekly stand-up comedy show called Momma’s Boy Comedy that does two to three shows a week.”
India Kotis is currently a member of The Road Theatre’s 2021 Under Construction second cohort, a yearlong playwriting workshop, where she is developing a new full-length play.
Carly B. McDonald moved to Washington, D.C., and became a staff assistant in the House of Representatives. “My first day of work was Jan. 6, but the good news is that no day since then has been quite as stressful,” she reports. “I received a promotion in March and am now serving as legislative correspondent.”
Lily N. Stachowiak moved to Boston to attend Emerson College’s publishing and writing master’s program, she updates. “Though I’ve only just begun to dip my toes into the world of publishing, I love working with the written word and surrounding myself with people who have similar passions."
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