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Class Notes

The following are Class Notes submitted from alumni. Have news you'd like to share with fellow alumni? Email

Class of 1952

As reported by Martha Greene ’52

Margaret Wharton Segales ’52 reports that she and Herc are growing old slowly. They have a second great grandchild, Penelope, who visited them last April, and will soon see the third great grandchild, Allegra and her two year old brother, Wyatt in Nantucket over the summer. Their children live near them in both places, so they see their families frequently. They do not come to New York or New Jersey anymore.

I saw Debby White Anderson ’52 and Arthur in Kent, Connecticut last fall. Arthur is about to be 95 in July. They seemed well, if a bit lame. Their son Matt lives in Sharon, Connecticut and drove them to see Stephan and me for lunch.

Class of 1959

During a delightful Zoom call on March 16 with Abigail Calkin ’59, Julie Conger ’59, Richard (Rick) Casten ’59 and Christopher (Chris) Cerf ’59 to discuss Reunion planning, Rick recalled some impressive basketball stats from David Brewster ’59 who averaged 43.1 points per game (ppg) during their senior season at Friends. That season the boys basketball team had nine games where they scored over 100 points. The girl's team was undefeated in six games and Julie Conger ’59 averaged 18.2 ppg.

Class of 1960

We are sad to report that Barnett (Barney) Hodes ’60 passed away in the summer of 2023. A memorial service was held on March 9, 2024 at the Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, A tribute to Barney from the Art Student League of New York, where Barney worked can be found here. In addition to his work at The Art Student League of New York, Barney also taught at Friends Seminary, St. John’s University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, and the University of North Carolina. Please join us in holding his family members in the Light.

Class of 1962

Randy Nichols ’62 was promoted as tenured faculty member at Kansas State University. With this promotion, Randy is now the Senior Professor of Practice in the Department of Integrated Studies.

Class of 1964

As reported by Barbara Carey ’64

Many exciting updates for the Class of 1964 arrived over the past few months! Several of us (Douglas Altchek ’64, Al Gilley ’64, Valentine Kass ’64, Jeff Shelby ’64 and Jill Stewart ’64) wrote enthusiastically about coming to Reunion, our 60th. Please let me (Barbara Carey) know if you plan to come. It would be wonderful to see everyone again. Meanwhile, in alphabetical order, here are the news bulletins from our class members:

Douglas Altchek ’64 writes:

“Dear Amazing Classmates,

I look forward to seeing all of you for our upcoming reunion. I love keeping the dialogue open amongst us. Regarding my health, it appears that my doctors are doing a lot worse than I am. Many have retired or disappeared and left no forwarding address. I don't know what this means…

Other than health, I am dismayed by the state of the city, country, and world. Sometimes I feel we are back to the 1930's. I am still seeing patients and occasionally writing articles for dermatology journals. I get a kick out of both. I think of my days in grade school with you as my golden years. I left Friends Seminary in 1958. One of my favorite teachers was Major Bella.”

Barbara Carey ’64 shares “Although it seems like my body is breaking down, I keep getting it fixed, now qualifying as a bionic woman with fake hips, knee, various repaired fractures, and new eyes. I’m hopefully gearing up for some better use of my retirement time, starting with a trip to Greece and Turkey in June and campaigning for Biden after that. When I think, as I often do, of how hopeful we were in the 60s that we could leave the world a better place, I feel terribly sad and disappointed in the citizens of this country – almost half of whom who are choosing the racist, misogynist, selfish, and cruel values of Donald Trump.”

Mark Deyrup ’64 offered some gentle and good advice on dealing with the problems I complained about, and that I know some of us share: “On the positive side, you now deserve all the little indulgences that you may have been resisting. Reading trashy novels is a good start. Relaxing in front of the bird feeder doing nothing is also good; you can keep track of the birds for the backyard feeder organization if you really have to feel like you are doing something useful. Food is also good. Keep your feet warm. Maybe you could borrow a pet from a friend; our dog makes us happy with unconditional love, and helps with scheduling.

On the other hand, this may not be a good time to learn about the Middle East, as there is every reason to believe that the problems there will outlast all of us. Maybe check the Washington Post once a week on the off chance that there has been a spark of hope, or that there is something we can do to make things better in a small way. Anything that you can do, no matter how small, that allows you to exercise your creativity is highly beneficial. When you do this, you might not want to compare yourself to others, because nobody is creative in exactly the same way. Nobody does things wrong in the same way. Perfection, assuming that it ever exists, would be boring. Nancy and I are well and celebrated our 50th last summer. We are, of course, retired, but still come in to do research. We are now working on a big research project on how dead wood contributes to insect diversity. That dead branch you see is not so dead! Here at the Archbold Biological Station we have records of 453 species of beetles alone that depend on dead wood. Of course, that insect diversity supports many larger animals. It is also important for trees to get rid of dead lower branches; that’s why you see bare, pillar-like tree trunks in the forest. Insects and fungi work together to give us beautiful forests. Happy to report winter vegetable gardening is in full swing.”

Al Gilley ’64 wrote: “I will be attending the reunion. I received a magnet from the school advising me to save the dates of May 17-19 for the 2024 reunion. I will fly into JFK on May 16th at 1:58 pm, and will be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn New York Manhattan-Chelsea on west 28th Street until Sunday morning, May 19th. I will fly out of JFK at 6:20 pm on the 19th. I will taxi or take the subway to our class events. I look forward to seeing everyone again.”

Valentine Hertz Kass ’64 reported: “The big news in my life is that last Thanksgiving I retired from the National Science Foundation after 22 years. I am proud of the work I did there, and certainly enjoyed my colleagues, but it was time to move on. Now it seems I am busy as ever - loving more time with my three young grandsons -- two in New York, one in Chicago. Also enjoying ways to give back professionally, such as judging the art competition for the Fifth National Climate Assessment, judging film proposals for Creative Capital (the largest private foundation in the US that gives grants only to individual artists), also judging films for the World Wildlife Day, and consulting with various companies submitting new proposals to NSF.

Funny how all the projects I had imagined I'd do when retired, I haven't even begun! Closet and basement cleaning is easy to put off, but one fun challenging project on my to-do list not yet started is to organize the myriad photos from my four trips to Antarctica to create a book for the family with the working title "Grandma Goes to Antarctica." I promise myself to get it done, maybe even in time for Christmas!? Any children's authors out there who can give me some pointers?

One of the things I have had more time to do now that I am retired is to participate in more regular yoga classes. I think that has helped me a lot in keeping the aches and pains at bay. In fact, in October my husband and I went on an 8-day yoga retreat to Morocco. It was fabulous. One of the highlights of the trip was the day we volunteered with the World Central Kitchen (WCK) (José Andrés's organization) helping deliver meals to villages devastated by the earthquake in the Atlas Mountains. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I got to join the crew on a food truck from which we ladled individual servings of steaming turkey/vegetable soup, and handed out a small loaf of bread and one apple, per person. People were so kind and warm and patient, despite having their homes and livelihoods destroyed and now surviving in long rows of hot and dusty tents. When all the soup was gone, the crew took a selfie. The crew chief then asked that I feed two extra apples to the animal nearby (See below). Our accomplishment for the day was to feed 1,000 people and one donkey! The WCK is a truly impressive organization. Please help support them if you can.

Thank you to my classmates who have stayed in touch through our class zoom calls over the past few years. I have cherished the renewed connections. I encourage others who haven't Zoomed with us, to please join in. It is hard to believe that this year will be our 60th! Let's plan a grand reunion together!

PS. I am in the wide brimmed white hat; the crew chief is next to me with his arm around a young local boy who helped us clean up.”

Susie Localio ’64 writes: “Our garden still has kale and parsley and a few hardy calendula blooming. The joys of living at sea level in the Northwest. I still hike, though more slowly, but that leaves me time to look at ferns and moss and wildflowers. The world seems to be a mess so I retreat to books about plants or birds or recently Matilda (for the countless time!) where the bad people get what they deserve unlike in real life. Daniel and I putter on. We just sold our trusty truck that took us on many wilderness adventures in the past. Time to pass it to someone a lot younger. It is odd to be old but still feel young. Our oldest grandchild is graduating from high school in May. Yesterday it seems I was carrying her on my back to go to the Seattle Aquarium. I think of you, my classmates, with thanks that I had you in my childhood.”

Jonathan Nareff ’64 writes: “Great to hear from you all. Not that I’d forget you for long but . . . I was watching an ABC special on 100 years of Disney. One of the things they showed was Walt Disney on What’s My Line. They showed him with Bennett Cerf and Arlene Francis guessing who he was. Gee, I know their kids! Any conversations about reunion? Are people planning to go? Hard to believe it is 60 years - we were the last class totally in the old building - certainly not the same school as the one that we attended. If planning, maybe we should discuss when and where people are staying if not a NY person etc.”

Jill Ross Stewart ’64 writes: “I’m looking forward to coming to our reunion and catching up with any classmates who are able to come.”

Class of 1977

A memory of Phil Schwartz, December 2023

Sarah Spieldenner ’77 and former Friends faculty member (1988-2013)

“In this photograph, with Lissa Lowenstein Florman ’77 peeking in the window, the Class of ’77 has just graduated and I have found Phil in the crowd. I am relieved for two reasons: 1. I don’t want to stop being near him and 2. I need him in order to finish my senior project. He is giving me his mailing address so that I can send him a journal that I will write over the summer as I work at Camp Jabberwocky, a camp for mentally and/or physically disabled people on Martha’s Vineyard. Friends Seminary has agreed to let me work during school hours at Macy’s that spring for my senior project, making money so that I can volunteer at camp for the summer. The journal is my last Phil Schwartz assignment.

In the photograph, I am looking down because I am overwhelmed with emotion. Phil is looking down in part probably because he knows I am feeling too much. I want to throw my arms around him and thank him by kissing him on his cheeks. I fear that no other teacher can replace him.

This is what I loved about Phil: he showed by example that it was okay not to know, and to be curious about what makes us human, and to ask questions whose answers would never be complete. That asking such questions together was the basis of creating a community of inquiry, where our unknowingness, rather than isolating each of us, allowed us to come together. The structure of the class allowed us to go deep and yet stay safe in our vulnerability of blind awe.

You will notice that I call him Phil. We taught side by side for 25 years, most of that time being office mates, the departments of Foreign and Dead Languages and of English sharing office space. It takes about 15 years of doing that to stop thinking of him as Mr. Schwartz.

Phil was great at coming up with nicknames for people. He seemed to do it impulsively, and they were always apt, sometimes startlingly so. He referred without creativity but affectionately to my father as “the Rev.” When I started training to be a chaplain, he started calling me “Chaplain,” barking the word at me as if he and I were in the army. He did so with respect, admiration and a tinge of revulsion. The revulsion would become familiar to me. When one’s job is helping sick people and dying people, one takes on the ickiness of it all and one often feels banished from the outside world where there is no space for that ickiness. It is tempting to look back on Phil’s calling me “Chaplain” in that way and to decide that Phil had a feeling that I would be present right after his death, which I was. It was a great and solemn honor.”

Class of 1988

Last month Head of School, Bo Lauder stopped by Wylie Dufresne ’88’s new pizzeria “Stretch” on Park Ave South. The next time you’re in the city, stop by for a slice (or two!).

Class of 2009

Pictured (left to right) Eric Brest '09, Sarah Vogelman '09, Allison Hartel '09, Claire Brennan '09, Nicki Zenker '09, Amanda Zenker '06, Alix Eve Schram '09.

Claire Brennan '09 married James Wiltshire on Saturday January 20, 2024 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. Claire and Jimmy were thrilled to celebrate with Claire's classmates and are excited to continue their life together in New York City.


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