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Class Notes: Spring 2017

What’s new with our alumni?


Reg Jones and Janie Reesman Jones ’57, who got married while Janie was a senior, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with two overseas trips. In April, they spent two weeks on a Danube River cruise that took them to Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary. Then, in September, they went on a two-week land tour in Ireland, making a half circle that began in Galway, swung south through Killarney and Cork, and then headed north through Waterford and Kilkenny to Dublin.


Eva Ann Elmer shared that she and her husband “moved into a condo last year and are now happily not raking leaves or shoveling snow. We did enjoy going back to my 60th reunion and chatting with former friends and classmates this fall.”


Mike Henry found the perfect way to celebrate his 85th birthday: “Enjoying the day with Great Grand Mom and our four great grands.”


Beverly Way McRae recently became a Florida resident. “We have been splitting our time between Lake Forest and the gulf coast since 2003,” she wrote. “Lake Forest will always be ‘home’ for us, but we do love the Florida weather, lifestyle, sunsets, etc.”


Arlene Sime Bowland wrote: “Loved my years at Lake Forest College. I made wonderful friends, some of whom I still keep in touch with after all these years.”


Jean Baur recently had her third book published. A true story, it’s called Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog. “I am very excited,” she wrote. “It’s adult nonfiction– a moving story about how a dog who almost didn’t make it has become an ambassador of exuberance.”


On a recent trip to New Orleans to be a presenter at the Union of Black Episcopalians 48th Conference, Carl MaultsBy persuaded Russell Jackson ’69 and Rosalind Curry Jackson ’70 to drive up from Houston so they all could “rendezvisite” with Austin Penny ’67. MaultsBy led conference workshops on “Issues in Afro-Centric Liturgical Worship Music.”


Granville “Ben” Ryan  announced that he has “retired to the beach after almost 15 years at Microsoft!”


On August 23, 2016,  Dr. Susan Fredriksen donated a kidney as a non-directed donor in New Orleans in honor of her husband, Roy Fox, who died from ALS in 2014. Susan said she did it “to allow someone else more time to be with loved ones.” Her support crew included a host of Lake Foresters including  Ann Zorthian ’73Becky Harter ’73Connie Koskinen ’76Tommy Zorthian ’75Linda Wiggins ’72Amy Katzman ’74, and Kathleen Spas Christian ’73. After the surgeries, a heartwarming meeting occurred between Susan and the recipient, who had been waiting for a kidney for 30 years. Both are doing extremely well.

Diana Nyad spoke at the Union League of Chicago on September 7 about her new book, Find a Way.


Joe “CJ” Stevens retired as education administrator for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “I continue my life in the entertainment industry as an actor/director in theater, TV, and film. Plus I do DJ and KJ gigs. Slowing down but not fully retired yet,” he said.


Steve Salny was profiled in the Winter edition of Lifestyles Magazine. The article highlighted Steve’s lifelong passion for art and art collecting.

Christopher Veltmann is a professor who teaches online, “mostly for the TOFEL Exam,” an author, and a scientist. “My book, The Dysfunctional Conspiracy, is my autobiography, co-written by Matt Matthew Cox. It will be released early 2017 by Curiosity Quills Press. The movie, due in 2018, is being filmed,” he wrote. As for his scientific endeavors, Veltmann is working on a way to vacuum extract carbon black and oil from old, used tires using microwaves.


Lake Forest alums bonded across generations –and on Lake Michigan on Doug Doolittle’s boat. Joining Doug were Chris Way ’14Samantha Ritsema ’14, and Riley Hutchinson ’12 .

A fabulous time was had by all at the semi-annual George’s East extravaganza, held at Richard Thompson’s house in Truro, Massachusetts in October. In attendance were, (first row, from left): John Beattie ’80, Larry Corning ’79Linzee Brown ’81; (second row, from left): Richard Thompson ’80Jimmy Hettrick ’80Geb Cook ’80Doug Doolittle ’80Ed Stroh ’80Wink Picoli ’78, and Bill Oelsner ’78.


Laure Leplae-Arthur wrote: “This year I bought the Key Milwaukee Magazine, the only monthly visitor’s guide in Milwaukee.” She is the publisher and creative director of the publication. 

Sue Schmidt Clarke’s triplets – Emma, Mathew, and John – just started high school! “Wow, that was fast,” Sue wrote.


Some members of the class of 1987 (and others!) got together at the home of Alvaro Candel to celebrate 29 years since graduating. Pictured are: John Bostrom ’87, Kathy Bostrom ’92, Willie Strang ’87, Silvia Creatura ’87, Penny Strang ’89, Jay Meyer ’87, and Alvaro Candel ’87.

Selena Meeks retired after 32 years as a librarian at Lake Forest Academy and has become a permanent resident of the State of Maine. “Lake Forest College is my MLS alma mater and, while they are no longer there, Art Zilversmit and Rosemary Cowler pushed me through. I’m grateful to all the professors who taught me the value of a liberal education.” Meeks and Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing Liz Libby bumped into each other at an event in Maine.


Carrie Kniebes Swift and her family relocated to the Denver, Colorado area in June. It was a long process that included a job change, a new home built, and two months of temporary living. In the end, being close to relatives and friends made the eight months of planning worth it, she said. Carrie and her husband, Steve, now reside in Frederick, Colorado, with their children Ian, 19, and Gabrielle,16. “Being able to bike 60+ miles on open roads and the laid-back lifestyle agrees with everyone,” said Swift. “Getting used to the altitude will take a little longer.”


Jessica Coleman, vice president, Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Chicago, was the featured speaker at a Chicago All Access Mixer in November. Coleman shared with the group of students and alumni advice she would give her younger self, offering tips on how to be successful at the start of a career. College Trustee Randy Lauer ’81 hosted the gathering at Citigroup, where he is managing director of Institutional Markets Sales for the Midwest region.


Katy Palmer, Ph.D., will take on a new role as chief solutions officer of Market Strategies International, an international market research firm, while maintaining her role as managing director of the health division of the organization. 


“While shooting ‘Empire’ in Chicago, I was able to take a break to see Lisa Azu-Popow ’92 and Tony Azu-Popow ’93,”  Hanelle Culpepper Meier wrote. “We took the train to Elgin to see Kathy Kenny Mau’s ’92 coffeeshop, the Blue Box Cafe, which pays homage to ‘Dr. Who’.”


Anna O’ConnorBryan O’Connor ’04, and their daughter Alexa welcomed 8.1-lb. Paul Bryan O’Connor on March 23, 2016 at 6:35 a.m.


Kara Adams, M.Ed., CAE was awarded the Forty Under 40® Award in December in Chicago. “This award recognizes 40 up-and-coming association or nonprofit professionals who are under the age of 40, demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and exhibit a strong commitment to the association management and nonprofit industries,” Adams said. 

Mary J. Fisher shared that she and her husband, David Fisher ’01, “have moved back to Illinois and are loving the fall colors! We are looking forward to visiting old friends and making new ones!”


Ryan Dooley gave a TEDx talk on architecture and the brain entitled “Kinetic Design.” 


On July 23rd, 2016 Emily Morgan ’06 married Cheri Hadfield at the ultimate summer-camp style wedding location, Mountain Meadows Lodge in Killington, Vermont. Vermont summer rain threatened to dampen the ceremony, but Emily insisted that their guests “are not made of sugar,” and the two were married under a light New England drizzle. Foresters in attendance included Melissa Peters ’06, Erica Bunnell ’06, Sadie Norwick ’06, Jessica Price ’06, Megan Mallouk ’07, and Jessica Ferrell ’08. The happy couple currently resides in Burlington, Vermont.


Brian Kinsman, who is pursuing an MD/PhD at Penn State, won a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute fellowship.


After a brief-but-interesting career in the consulting industry as a software developer, Kristina Damisch is now in her second year at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine.

When Matt Helderman stopped by campus during finals, 50 students jumped at the chance to meet with the film entrepreneur who got his start in the industry. Matt founded Buffalo 8 Productions in 2011 while a senior at Lake Forest College. His company produced the new Spike Lee film, (The Rodney King Story, as a Netflix Original Film set for release in April 2017), among other projects. Matt also co-founded BondIt in 2013 to solve financing difficulties found in the entertainment and media business. By the end of 2016, BondIt had established itself as an industry leading financing firm having participated in the financing of more than 150 film and TV projects.


Elin Alexander, a web designer at Americaneagle.com, joined Cassia Baker, an account executive at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and Samantha Kaser, the house manager at Lookingglass Theatre Company, back on campus to speak with current students about their careers in the creative arts.

Former women’s hockey forward Marissa Weber was one of only two women tapped to play in a Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings alumni game in Hartland, Wisconsin on November 5.


Sandra Guerra wrote: “I am happy to share I just started the executive MBA program at Fordham University in the fall.”

Benjamin Labaschin was featured in a Chicago Tribune editorial in October. The article offered suggestions on the rights of schoolchildren. Ben was quoted saying: “Children do not live in a bubble. … It is the right of schoolchildren then to have their worldview challenged with great and expedient rigor.” The Tribune agreed with him, asserting that “trigger warnings and ‘safe spaces’ rob children of their right to grapple with diverse ideas.” 

Bryanna Tartt is proud that the Tusitala Anthology she worked on–helping design the cover and layout for the book–was printed. The opportunity to cull through submissions from the publication’s beginning gave Tartt a new perspective on the College and the work she was doing. “I got to know the roots of the magazine,” she said. Tartt is working on her master’s in social work at Loyola University Chicago and freelancing as a graphic designer. 

During a ceremony between periods in the women’s hockey game on November 1, Michelle Greeneway received the 2016 Laura Hurd Award, the NCAA National Women’s Hockey Player of the Year, and the Midwest Conference Woman of the Year Award. 

Nicole Ostro and Jeanette Thommes celebrated the culmination of their teacher licensure program at a ceremony on December 13, 2016. Both have secured teaching positions for the spring 2017 semester.

Sarah Chiren presented her work on traumatic brain injury at the Neuroscience 2016 conference, where international neuroscientists present emerging science to their colleagues. The San Diego-based Society of Neuroscience meeting in the fall typically draws 30,000 attendees from more than 80 countries.