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Silver from Our 25th

We’re about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our graduation from Oberlin College. Some call this the “golden anniversary.”

Many of us also attended the “silver anniversary” — our 25th reunion — and contributed to a scrapbook of memories afterwards.  But beforehand we received a class directory beforehand including comments from 104 of our classmates, seven of whom have since passed away.

Here’s that Personal Comments section, lightly edited. Below the classmate’s name and city as it was printed in 1994, we’ve added a link to the corresponding name and photo on this 50th Reunion website, with a green check mark if the classmate has joined this site with updated information.

Scroll down for A through G
Click for other sections:


Susan Alessi  
Just as I was blessed with my experiences and friends at Oberlin, I have been blessed with continuing good fortune. I was married (no children) and involved in a career of City Planning in North Carolina. Since then, I have been remarried for 14 years to a wonderful man (Joe), have an 8-year-old daughter (Lauren), and work privately as a Clinical Psychologist in Buffalo, NY. I also am involved in the religious education of children (Unitarian) and actively support environmental and social justice programs.

Wayne Alpern    
After 17 years of practicing law, I am returning to school to get my Ph.D. in music composition and theory. I am president of Henri Elkan Music Publishing Company. My wife, Nancy, is a ballet teacher, and we have two children, Sophie and Tess.

Alter, Joan Bottomley:  see PEARSON

Anthony, Lynn:  see HIGGINS


BAER, JAMES (JIM) — Fairfax, VA
James Baer   
Carolynn (Tempest ’70) and I live in Fairfax, Virginia, with our three children: David (15), John (14), and Amanda (11). I teach Latin American history at Northern Virginia Community College. I received a research grant in 1993 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and I spent three weeks with Carolynn in Buenos Aires doing research. Carolynn works as an occupational therapist and has been active with the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association.

Bailey, Jean:  see JERAULD

BALIN, WILLIAM (BILL) — San Francisco, CA
William Balin
By the time of the class reunion I will be a divorced father of three kids, adjusting to my new life as a part-time single parent and full-time single adult. Of course, when some doors close, others open. I can’t fathom what I’ll be feeling then. I will, in all likelihood, still be a trial lawyer preparing for my first stint as an adjunct professor of Legal Ethics at the University of San Francisco Law School. Best regards to my old friends if I can’t make it.

Elizabeth Behnke
My musical activities were curtailed for a number of years due to an injury, but I am gradually regaining fluency and continue to do free atonal improvisation as well as playing notated music. Meanwhile, I’m doing original research in phenomenology of the body and publish a newsletter in this field. My cat and I share a small rented cabin in earthquake country, and I listen to all the SF Giants baseball games on the radio.

Bennett, Lunetta:  see KNOWLTON

BERGENGREN, CHARLES L. — Cleveland Heights, OH

I currently derive immense satisfaction (and occasional glee) in teaching a radicalized version of Western Art History (i.e., both official and unofficial levels of culture) to proto-subversives (i.e., art students):  a populist romp through the “Great Monuments” and some “snaky, thorny undergrowths” of our cultural tradition.

Carolyn Bloom   
I am a Public Relations Executive specializing in special events, with media placement/spokesperson training. After 12 years, my agency is closing and I am looking for new challenges. I am an avid theatre- and concert-goer and world traveler and am always happy to talk with and meet Oberlin people.

Evelyn Bloom
I am still living in our 200-year-old house in the hills of Western Massachusetts with my husband, Dave, and two children. I’m working in Amherst as Business Manager of a wonderful small independent elementary school. I stay involved in town government, local politics, and schools, and I try to make time for dancing, making pottery, reading in front of the fire, and talking to friends about life. I’m always happy to hear from long-lost Obies.

Bottomley, Joan:  see PEARSON


I am currently President and CEO of MTB Enterprises, Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio, a management consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies.

BRAGADO-DARMAN, MAX — Valladolid, Spain
Max Bragado-Darman  
We have aged a bit and the world has spun around us a few times. By now, we all have learned that the friendship we took for granted is our most valuable asset and what lasts in our hearts. Let us keep it, cherish it, and be in touch with each other in the future. What keeps us united are the memories and the selflessness of our friendship.

Brooks, Anne:  see HORMANN


Caperton, Susan:  see ALESSI

CHAPIN, BARBARA — Essex Junction, VT
Barbara Chapin
I left the excitement of city life in Boston and teaching at Lesley College to enjoy the serenity of the Vermont countryside. I live in a small farmhouse 15 miles from Burlington. I am invested in my professional life as a special services teacher in a public school. In 1987 I completed a professional training program in the Feldenkrais Method in Toronto, Canada, and I enjoy teaching Awareness Through Movement at local colleges and conference centers.

Thomas Clark   
My daughter Emily will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota-Morris with thoughts toward drama, writing, and teaching. My other daughter Amy will be a sophomore at White Bear High School, a talented runner and musician (flute, piano). My wife Cindy and I are over the mid-40’s hump, heading for the achy-breaky 50’s — a scary thought for flower children of the 60’s.

CLARK-RUBIN, LORNA — Plattsburgh, NY
Lorna Clark-Rubin
Hal (Rubin ’77) and I are in private psychiatric practice in Plattsburgh, NY. We are enjoying the beautiful Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. We are learning to ski with son Aaron (22 years old, Penn State ’94) and daughters Miriam (9) and Ilana (4). I’m developing my skills as a cold-climate gardener with good results.

Jane Friou (Clemens)  
This reunion coincides with a 25th wedding anniversary with Dave (’68). Our two children, David (10) and Amy (8), as well as private practice of law for both of us make life joyful, interesting, and sometimes stressful. Living in the suburbs of Buffalo, almost country, we enjoy skiing and boating. We have found a meaningful faith and are active in our church.

Coffin, Nancy:  see KURTZ

Sidney Comings
Thanks be to God for my three sons, good books to read, Nature, and for ideas for an occasional article. Working several part-time jobs at a time have kept me barely afloat financially. It’s better to keep swimming than it is to sink, however.

Lee Cooprider  
My work continues to be software engineering, now as an independent consultant. Rebecca is writing poetry and fiction while working full time, and Zoe is wrapping up high school and planning the future. I find that flying is fascinating, and I fly a Cessna 182 whenever I can find an excuse. I was particularly successful in October, during which I soared over the Colorado River Canyons and slalomed the Cascade Volcanos during a coast-to-coast flight that I hope to repeat soon.

CORRIE, JOHN — Lewiston, ME
John Corrie
My wife, Rebecca (Wells ’67), daughter Karen (13), and I have been settled in Lewiston, Maine, for eleven years. I am director of the Bates College choir and an assistant in the Music Department. I am organist and choir director at churches in Falmouth and Westbrook. Becky is chair of the Art Department at Bates. We spend our free time working on a 19th-century farmhouse and get to Italy whenever we can.

COSTA, LAUREL PIERCE — Charlottesville, VA
Laurel Pierce (Costa)
I am still married to Doug, living in Charlottesville, VA, and writing poetry. When we need money, I teach French. Stop by — the kettle is probably hot.


DAVIS, RICHARD P. — Oak Harbor, WA
Richard Davis
I have lived in Oak Harbor, WA (on an island north of Seattle) for eight years since moving from Denver. I am Vice President/Financial Services for InterWest Savings Bank. June, my spouse of 20 years, is a Master Gardener. My daughter Sarah (18) is studying music at Western Washington U., my son Timothy is 15, and my daughter Rachel is 14. I am president of Banks in Insurance trade association, active in business and community organization. The real fun is directing musicals at the community playhouse, singing with groups, coaching soccer, and whitewater canoeing. Washington is a great place for outdoor activities and enjoying nature.

DOVE, JOHN — Arlington, MA
John Dove   
Since May of 1993, I’ve been working at Easel Corporation as Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Easel markets software known by the name Enfin, a visual programming environment for object-oriented system development using the language Smalltalk. Gloria and I have two boys, Matthew (age 16) and Michael (age 11).

Duncan, Margaret “Peg”:  see SHEARER


Lynn Edwards  
Although I still give medical advice when asked, and probably too often when not asked, I have retired from the active practice of family medicine in order to give more support to my partner of 20 years, writer and artist Robert Fulghum. The change has also given me time and energy to continue learning (Greek, French, flute, autoharp, singing) and to enjoy being an aunt and grandmother.

William Edwards   
Somebody without conscience plunders the American health care system: it ain’t us. Part-time MBA school; the only Woodstocker in the class; the only greybeard (or any beard). I discover I highlight yellow merely the first sentence in each paragraph. John (Wesleyan ’95), incredulous: “You don’t read the whole paragraph, do you, Dad? I only bother with what’s important myself.” The difference between when your daddy pays your tuition and when you pay your own. 

EWELL, WILLIAM (BILL) — Severna Park, MD
William Ewell  
I am a member of the Maryland, Florida, and District of Columbia Bar Associations. In New York City I was the business manager of Jazz Composer’s Orchestra/New Music Distribution Service from 1972-1978.  I graduated from New York Law School in 1979. Then I worked at Dia Art Foundation in the early eighties. I have worked in the printing/publishing industry from 1982-1988. I left New York in 1988 and have since divided my time between sunny Florida and Maryland.


Alan Firestone   
I went from Oberlin to UCLA Medical School, Family Practice residency in Greensboro, NC, then the National Health Service Corps and on to Bernalillo, NM, where I have remained in practice for eighteen years. I have two children: Ethan, 19, and Joshua, 16 (?future Obie). My wife, BJ, is a librarian in an Albuquerque prep school. Late in life I discovered that I love playing chamber music and soccer. I teach medical students in my office. In December 1993 I hosted Bill Clinton for a meeting on rural health.

Fleischer, Connie:  see MUTEL

Lorna Forbes  
I am beginning to take root in southern soil with my husband, Ric Holt, whom I met in Allen Art Museum at the Vietnam years reunion (he was teaching at Baldwin-Wallace), and “our girls” — Sabrina and Tephi, our lab puppies. I’m still in gerontology, a home health social worker. Ric teaches Economics at Elon College.

Christie Seltzer (Fountain)  
I married at 35, became a mother at 37, escaped Dallas and moved to Stamford at 38. Best years since then. My living room doubles as Letter Museum. In the past five years I have been bringing performing artists to son’s public school and have built the foundation for a budding career as arts-in-education consultant. Question: how to teach children — anyone — about aesthetics? (Your ideas?) I’m working part-time in New York City at American Council for the Arts, Arts Education Department. I’m ambivalent about Oberlin’s impact, except for friendships.

Friedman, Kerry:  see HERZINGER

Friou, Jane:  see CLEMENS


Walt Galloway   
I am still in Las Vegas and still loving it. The Southwest is an incredible place, and Vegas is a great location. My job continues to change at the EPA research lab, and I’m very much involved in reinventing government and streamlining. Any great ideas for government in that respect? I’d like to do more music again, preferably early music, after singing for a year with a group which then toured Europe, including a Sunday noon mass in St. Peter’s at the Vatican and another at Bach’s church in Leipzig.

Timothy Gerber   
After twelve years of teaching in Philadelphia, I accepted a post at Susquehanna University. While there, I married Beth Schultz and completed my dissertation. We’ve been in Columbus since 1984 where life with our daughter Diana, age five, and Nora, age two, delights us. I serve on the music education faculty at Ohio State and Beth works at Jewish Family Services. And thanks to Bill Edwards, I’m among the rare few college music teachers who attended Woodstock.

GESTEN, ELLIS — Land O’ Lakes, FL
Ellis Gesten   
I’m still in school, now as Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida while Janet continues as an S.L.D. teacher in our local school district. Work in my part-time clinical practice rounds out that part of my life. As Joel attends the University and Joshua reaches middle school, we are attempting to rebalance our lives and enjoy the changes ahead.

Glenn, “Biz”:  see HARRALSON

Goldberg, Eve:  see TAL

GUTHRIE, E. WARD — Bozeman, MT
Ward Guthrie
I have been a member of the Piano Technicians Guild since 1974 and a state officer since 1983. I have served on several National Guild committees, and I am presently the Examinations and Test Standards Committee tuning subcommittee chairman. I have also been an instructor at several international and regional Guild institutes. In 1990, I was awarded the “Outstanding Leadership Award” and in 1992 the “James H. Burton” award for the Pacific Northwest region.

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