Class of '71 - Newsletter---Steve Zrike
"Your classmates deserve a timely, well written newsletter"
- Dave Schaefer í63, President of the Class Newsletter Editors Association at the Associationís Annual Meeting held during Dartmouthís Leadership Weekend, September 18, 1999
Heís right, you do deserve a timely, well-written epistle. Unfortunately, this isnít it. Itís definitely not timely (it was written long before we knew what Kosovo is or thought of Monica as anything but another girlís name). Whether itís well written remains to be seen. What I do guarantee is that it is a letter with news (of sorts).
Unless youíve been on an extended trip to Mongolia, taken Dartmouth out of your web browser and sealed your mailbox with Crazy Glue, youíve heard by now that the Trustees quietly issued a "Statement" on student life back in February. The heart of the seven-paragraph page was the following:
The Board has identified the following principles that should characterize the residential and social system at Dartmouth:
· There should be greater choice and continuity in residential living and improved residential space;
· There should be additional and improved social spaces controlled by students;
· The system should be substantially coeducational and provide greater interaction among all Dartmouth students;
· The number of students living off campus should be reduced; and
· The abuse and unsafe use of alcohol should be eliminated.
Not much to argue with there. The problem was that there was no forewarning that the Trustees were about to make a pronouncement on residential life and the statement was leaked to the press (read Boston Globe) before the students got the statement in their Hinman boxes. The first most students (and alumni) heard about it was a headline to the effect of Dartmouth Bans Fraternities. President Wright didnít help matters when he implied in an interview with The Dartmouth that the future of fraternities was in question.
At that point, to say the least, all Behelzabob broke loose. (On a personal note, I was the recipient of a frantic phone call from my daughter, Sara, a senior, who informed me in tears that "they" had decided to get rid of fraternities and sororities.) The College PR apparatus then went into full battle mode to do as much damage repair as possible. The College protested that no decision on abolishing (or, for that matter, not abolishing) the Greek System had been made. Some saw these protestations as a defense of a legitimate misunderstanding; others saw it as back-pedaling. The future of all social institutions on campus is now dependent on the completion of a fact-finding "process" involving students, faculty and alumni. Not surprisingly (remember this is Dartmouth), a committee was formed to solicit the opinions of all effected constituencies. That committee is now in session and is scheduled to give a recommendation to the Trustees at their November meeting.
No matter what your feelings on the above controversy, it is difficult not to view it as a PR nightmare. Not surprisingly, the College has just appointed its first Vice President of Public Affairs to bring some professionalism to its dissemination of information. It was a step long overdue. After the surprise Trustee announcement, the College administration was really put on the hot seat. Our beleaguered classmate, Nels Armstrong, Vice President of Alumni Relations, was pelted with questions at our Class Dinner in New York. To his credit, Nels handled the questions extremely well and was very candid about the Collegeís poor handling of the announcement and its immediate aftermath. Subsequently, Nels and our Class President, Tony Fitzpatrick, presided over a telephonic Class Officersí meeting, which featured the participation of two students, my daughter Sara í99 and Tim Dreisbachís son, Chris í00. In the aftermath to this meeting, Tony wrote to President Wright expressing the Officersí concerns. (A copy of Tonyís letter and President Wrightís response are attached.)
Whether you feel that the Trusteesí pronouncement was a diabolical attempt to subvert all that is holy and good about Dartmouth or much ado about nothing, it is difficult not to conclude that alterations in Dartmouthís social fabric are necessary. With all the improvements to Dartmouthís educational program and physical plant in the past 25 years, there has been precious little change in the quality of Dartmouthís residential and social atmosphere. As Trustee Peter Fahey í68, who is one of the chairs of the aforementioned committee, told the officers attending the recent Leadership weekend, the objective of the whole process is to "provide Dartmouth with an out-of-classroom experience that compliments the academic experience". As a not-so-disinterested observer (Iíve had two kids graduate in the past two years), I must conclude that the "out-of-classroom" experience is a pale shadow of the academic. There is little social outlet other than fraternities (and this includes sororities, which are not permitted to hold parties). This single focus social schema leads to an unhealthy reliance on alcohol as the only form of social lubricant. So whatís new? I guess not much except I think its gotten worse. Read and weep:
In the past year. . .
· 31% of undergraduates missed class because of drinking
· 30 % reported blackouts because of drinking
· 23% had vomited in public because of drinking
· 27% had vomited with the deliberate attempt of being able to continue drinking (you remember "boot and rally"?)
And, during a recent two week period. . .
· 22% had consumed 10 or more drinks in one day
Donít get me wrong. Based on my recent experience with Dartmouth, I still believe it is the finest educational institution in this country and an even better place than when we attended. My two children loved their Dartmouth years. Believe me, the Dartmouth Experience touted by John Sloan Dickey when we arrived is still alive and well on the Hanover Plain. But it has a flaw which, in order for Dartmouth to stay competitive, must be remedied. Although it began with some ill-conceived missteps, the Collegeís Initiative on Student Life was long overdue.
So much for editorials; on to news of the Class. As I already reported, about 30 of us got together in New York this past Spring for a great evening of camaraderie, hyperbole and exaggeration of past glories. In addition to all-suffering Nels Armstrong the following were also in attendance: Charlie Collier, Ken Davidson, Greg Fell, Tony Fitzpatrick, Mike Furey, Mike Hannigan, Tom Jackson, Thorn Jenness, Charles Johnson, Rob Joy, Bill Kennedy, Ray Marks, Mike Maynard, Tom McGuane, Don O'Neill, Michael Press, Tom Price, George Roundtree, Pete Ruegger, Craig Shallcross, John Shanahan, John Shapleigh, Pete Webster, Scott Wiley and Dick Wooster.
Some other random sightings: I was lucky enough to attend the first day of Ryder Cup play in Brookline, MA recently (someone else canceled at the last minute) and who do I run into on sprinting across the 17th fairway but Charlie Collier who had volunteered to help out for the day. What a saint! Heís still at Harvard (I understand itís a small college somewhere in Boston) where he is in charge of major gift giving. Now you know why Harvard alumni run when they see Charlie coming. Rumor has it that Charlie has logged quite a long distance phone bill to Redmond, WA.
My two younger sons and I were invited by my Dad to participate in his parish churchís (St. Michaelís of Greenwich, CT) annual outing to attend the Baseball Hall of Fameís annual induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, NY. Sitting behind us on the bus were Tony Fitzpatrick (of Class Presidential fame) who had Devan (12), Meredith (10) and James Jr. (8) in tow. Tony is also President of St. Michaelís Menís Association. When not serving as President of stuff, Tony hangs out a shingle at Dewey Ballantine in New York (where he graciously hosts us to a Class Executive meeting each Fall).
The phone rang in my office last Wednesday at about 6PM and the voice on the other end identified itself as Bob Mustard. After many years at Proctor & Gamble and then in the food brokerage business, Bob has now returned to his first love: flying. He is now Director of Sales for Aviation One in Marshfield, MA and even gets to fly their planes! Anyone in need of a share of a corporate jet, Bob is the man to call. He lives in Duxbury, MA.
As I reported in my last newsletter (mailed sometime in the last decade), I suffered a detached retina and other diverse maladies last summer. Some weeks later, I received a great note from class pianist Mike Markaverich with a CD entitled So Low They Canít Hear Me enclosed "so that you would have something to keep you company during your recuperation". What a great gift and what a wonderful achievement on Mikeís part. He is justifiable proud of this milestone: "We are very pleased to finally have this project out as a finished product as it took us two years to get there with many obstacles along the way. We produced and are marketing it ourselves and we're very pleased with the progress in that area. I think the engineer did a great job with the recording, but the playing Iíll leave for you to decide and hoping that you like jazz!!??!!" I do, Mike, and, in my humble opinion, this is great jazz. Iím listening to the CD as I write this newsletter and it is so smooth and easy on the ears. Iím not sure where youíd find a copy, but if you call Marktime Records (P.O. Box 11102, Sarasota, Fl 34278) at 941-951-1487, Iím sure you can order a copy. Believe me, itís wonderful music played by a great master who used to serenade us from The Top of the Hop.
The mailbag did include a few (very few) responses to my last plea for information. Old golden throat, John Lippman, reports that "daughter Britt is applying to law schools. Son John is in a Ph.D. program in Geography at UCLA. Daughter Sara is a junior at Chapman University in Orange, CA majoring in Art. Wife Julie continues teaching writing at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. She commutes from LA weekly; I travel 50% in my job, so it work outs well." If you say so, John. If my memory serves me correctly, John is in charge of news for Univision, the major Spanish language network in the US. If youíll remember, John was the best reporter at WDCR when we were students. (I hate to admit it, but, even then, John was a fine and talented journalist. I was incredibly jealous!)
Paul Waldman writes that he is "still practicing dermatology in Maryland Ė children (2). Liz, graduated from Phillips Academy í98 taking a year off before Yale (couldnít talk her in applying to D). She has just spent 3 months at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and is now an environmental intern at Audubon preserve in Tiburon, CA. We hope to visit there in Spring and see Mike Ross and family. Son David, a 9th grader, - avid skier (only double black diamonds at Taos) Ė still hoping heíll consider Hanover".
I often wonder what you guys who are not married and "involved" with the day-to-day trials and tribulations of child rearing do in your spare time. Woody Hamilton cleared it up for me when he wrote this report: "I live and have a general trial law practice in Santa Monica, CA. I speak regularly with David Howell, most recently of Tampa, FL . . . with whom Iíve gone river rafting as well as Halloween partying in San Francisco. Also hear from Don Davio and spent a day some years ago with Dave Hanchette in Chicago. Am still looking for the perfect woman, and still trying for inner peace. If it must be known, what really turns me on is a clearer understanding of Spinozaís Ethics, which I have been struggling with for years, and about which I welcome anyoneís insights or comments." Iím not sure Iím the right one, Woody. I almost highlighted Spinozaís name because I thought he was a classmate. However, I can venture a suggestion. Once you find the perfect woman youíll find inner peace . . . but donít hold your breath waiting for either one!
A very seasonal Fall Foliage story in a Boston Sunday Globe feature story some time ago (Iím too embarrassed to admit just how long ago) featured an interview with Charles "Charlie" Cogbill. Charlie is a historical ecologist living in Plainfield, VT. Charlie explains in the piece that the glorious hills of Vermont were a very different sight when the Pilgrims arrived almost 400 years ago. "Cogbill, who is researching the makeup of the pre-European settlement forest in New England, said that when the first settlers gazed over the hills in autumn they did not see what we see today. ĎThere was more conifer, more dark green, no really blazing oranges,' said Cogbill." Glad to see that someone was paying attention in those early Geography courses.
Off on the other Coast, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that classmate John Pierce was making the rounds promoting the 1999 Edition of the Old Farmerís Almanac of which he is Group Publisher. "ĎWe cover the culture, but not popular culture,í Pierce said. ĎO.J. never made it in the almanac and probably never will . . . Deciding what goes ii it is in large measure a matter of feel,í Pierce said. ĎLike any publication the almanac has a personality of its own. After youíve been here awhile you have a sense of whatís right, whatís not.í" And John should know, he started at the Almanac to edit its puzzles right after our graduation with the expectation of staying two years. Twenty-eight years later, he know runs the whole thing. He lives with his wife, Sherin, and two kids in Dublin, NH.
Iíve got an old Georgetown Current (DC) piece indicating Garret Rasmussen ran for Representative on the Georgetown Neighborhood Commission. Garrett is an attorney with Patton/Boggs in Washington. One minor detail, the election was a year ago and Iíd donít know if he won! If someone (Garret?) can update me, Iíd certainly appreciate it. Garret lives in Georgetown with his wife, Jean, and their four children.
The Bon Ton Stores (brand name apparel) recently announced that Thomas Wolf had been elected to their Board. Tom is President of the Wolf Organization which manufactures and distributes building materials. Tom lives with his family in Mount Wolf, PA. (A coincidence? Do any of the rest of you have a town or mountain named after you? This could make an interesting survey.)
Some more belated news - on February 6th, Jim Bays married Margaret Ferguson "back in our mutual hometown of Denton, Texas. Margaret (or, "Sam" as she is known) and I became reacquainted at our 30th high school reunion 18 months ago and started our "romance" last May when she and three friends visited Paris. Sam has two kids and (gulp) one granddaughter (which, as you can probably figure, will make me a grandfather).
My job here in England continues to be interesting. Since I joined Siebe as its first General Counsel in 1996, we have doubled the size of the company through a string of acquisitions. In November, we announced a merger with another English company, BTR, a combination that will again double the size of the company. What that means for me professionally isnít yet resolved, but it should be interesting.
My kids are doing well. My son, Carter, is a writer for the David Letterman Show in New York. In August, his writing team was nominated for an Emmy. (By the way, Carter, like Steve Goldsteinís daughter, was turned down by Dartmouth, but (like your son) found that there are other good schoolsÖWesley as in his case.)
My daughter, Abby, is a freshman at Hartwick in Oneonta, NY. She intends to major in musical theatre."
AOL also delivered an e-mail message Craig Roblen:
"Lisa and my two girls, Madison who is twelve years old and Lara who is fourteen, recently moved from Delray Beach, Florida back to Boca Raton. It is interesting that we now live in the community I was sales director for seventeen years ago and where my wife and I had one of our first dates at the model grand opening party.
We have been married eighteen years now which perhaps partially qualifies us for my wifeís newest venture which is a Web site focusing on marriage enrichment through enhances communication skills between couples. This is our second foray onto the Web from a business standpoint, the first being my building companyís presence on the American Builders Information site which had limited benefits to date. I am actively pursuing implementing an interactive Web site for my luxury home building company and looking for the right assistance in designing that site.
Unlike many of our classmates I got a late start at parenting and thus my girls arenít even considering colleges yet. They have been happily in Spanish River Christian School for eight years now and about to enter the local public high school. They are both top academic students and love all athletics. Best of all they are both happy and very considerate children.
My building business has continued to focus on the building and design of select high-end homes. I just completed one of my more special homes, which was a $4 million dollar home on the beach in Delray. The business has been rewarding from the standpoint of the personal satisfaction I enjoy from my design involvement in each home and from my endeavors in developing communication systems for my clients, which make the building experience an enjoyable one. In this regard my new Web site will offer digital photographs of the progressing construction stages of each new home and perhaps digital video clips on a daily basis for the clients to enjoy.
Lisa retired from full time family counseling eight years ago and has been focusing on raising the family and managing our Amway business, which has now grown into some 5,000 members. The travel and public speaking associated with the Amway business has been a great deal of fun for both of us. The people who stick with that business tend to be great friends and very positively motivated and of high character values which is a pleasurable difference relative to our political leadership which dominates the general news."
I received a characterictically quirky note from Tony Dwyer on what looks like old Kiewit paper. Tony made me blush when I read the following:
I almost never read the Dartmouth 71 Newsletter, but this week my wife summarized the latest issue for me. I was surprised to find a familiar name Ė yours Ė as editor. Thinking back, I guess you were the editor the last time I noticed, but that was a long time ago and I forgot . . .
I guess I could advance my claim to the dubious distinction of longest tenure in one job. Iíve been working for the same division of General Electric since the second week of August 1971.
Gee, Tony, that gives you more tenure than Jack Welch! Tony lives in Rockville, Derwood, MD.
It is with great sadness that I report that Gregory W. Taylor died July 11 at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Greg, an English major and involved in WDCR while at Dartmouth, began his career in New York as a company manager with the AMAS Repertory Company. He then moved on to the Phoenix Repertory as an assistant company manager where he worked with such notable figures as Harold Prince, Glenn Close and Joan Van Ark. He later relocated to Los Angeles and worked in the publicity department at Lorimar Television (now Warner Bros.) for four years on series such as Falcon Crest, Knots Landing,and the miniseries The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and Lace. Greg retired last year from The Walt Disney Company as Vice President, Publicity, had overseen campaigns for Home Improvement, Golden Girls, and The Magical World of Disney, among others. He is survived by his mother, Laura, and his life partner, John Moll.
Henry R. Allen died December 20, 1998 in Hartford, CT after a year and a half battle with cancer. Henry fought the disease with courage and determination. Mentored by Professor Frank Smallwood, Henry graduated from Dartmouth in 1971 and went on to get his Masters in Public Administration from UNC at Chapel Hill in 1974. After holding the Assistant Town Managerís post in Newington, CT Henry went to Wethersfield in 1981 where he became the youngest Town Manager in Connecticut. He joined the law firm of Updike, Kelly and Spellacy as Business Manager in 1986. While at Dartmouth Henry was a member of Ledyard Canoe Club, The Film Society, D.E.C., and Army ROTC. He came to Dartmouth from Phillips Andover Academy. Henry was a tireless volunteer, a natural organizer and leader, and a dedicated supporter of the community. Among his many activities in Wethersfield were the Town Charter Revision Commission, Community Coalition, Chairman of the Housing Authority, Founder of the Friends of the Charter, Trustee of the Endowment at First Church of Christ. Henry is survived by his wife, Patricia Hensley Allen of Wethersfield; son, Geoffrey (Williams-Class of 2001), daughter, Julia (senior at Loomis Chaffee), mother, Maria Randall Allen of Watertown; and sister, Heather Allen of New York City.
John William Macuga died November 26, 1998 after a long illness. He was bom in Webster, MA son of John M. Macuga, and graduated in 1967 from Bartlett High School. At Dartmouth, John received three citations for outstanding analytical and written work in English and Religion classes. He went on to earn a degree at New York University School of Law. A member of the Massachusetts, Worcester County, and New York bar associations, John was a partner in the firm of MacCarthy, Pojani & Hurley in Worcester. Previously, he was a corporate attorney for 14 years with the firm of Alexander and Green in New York City. He leaves his wife of 26 years, Margaret; three sons, John M., Timothy F. and David W. Macuga, and a daughter, Carolyn M. Macuga.
One final sad note, Theodore Kustermann died on July 14, 1997 of cancer. After attending St. Johnís Prep in Collegeville, Minnesota, Ted majored in French at Dartmouth. He had taught High School French in the Henry County, Georgia public schools since 1988. He was involved in Dartmouth alumni activity, having been a Class Agent in both 1972 and 1985. Ted is survived by his wife, Beth.
Thereís more in the mailbag, but Iíll end it here and save the rest for next time. Please write or, preferably, e-mail. My e-mail address is Szrike@aol.com.
Postscript: Mini-reunions were held at the Yale and Cornell games, Dick Wooster, Skip Ward, Jeff McElnea, Bill Kenendy, John Shanahan, Pete Webster and Tony Fitzpatrick watched Dartmouth go down to defeat in New Haven. Although somewhat dampened by the gameís lopsided score (44-0), our classmates enjoyed each otherís company. (Thanks, Pete, for the tickets.)
The outcome was somewhat different the following weekend for Homecoming in Hanover. Dartmouth beat a previously undefeated Cornell despite some miserable weather. Unfortunately, there werenít many of us to watch. Joining me were Murray Bowdoin (whose son will be graduating this year), Tony Fitzpatrick, and Ramon Marks. Film at 11!