Alumni News & Notes


Jim Finnen

Jim Finnen

Jim Finnen retired as the Lafayette College public-address announcer at the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year. He entered his 50th season behind the microphone for Lafayette basketball and football, and served as the stadium announcer for the meeting of Lafayette-Lehigh in Yankee Stadium, his last game as announcer. He and wife Beatrice Lehan Finnen regret missing the reunion, as the date conflicted with the Lafayette-Lehigh game.

Ken Schoonmaker moved to an assisted community close to his family in Henderson, Nev., after being diagnosed with Lyme disease last year.

Shirley Dillon enjoyed seeing so many classmates at the 60th reunion this past fall. She toured Italy with her two daughters; she traveled from the Island of Capri to Switzerland, and her daughter captured a great photo of the pope!

Arline and George Wood were happy to see everyone at the 60th reunion; the weather was great, the Alumni Association personnel were helpful and knowledgeable, and the food was good!

Marie Sejersen and husband John were unable to attend the 60th reunion, as they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in New Orleans that weekend. Twenty relatives and friends from nine states joined them for the celebration. Marie and John sold their house in Sidney, N.Y. and moved to Florida in 1993. They continue to live in a retirement park. John enjoys yardwork, daily swimming and walking; He loves to “dabble” in investments, too. Marie is still crafting, playing bingo, doing puzzles, gaming and helping care for family members. Marie and John have traveled to Las Vegas, New Orleans, Atlantic City, New York State, Seattle, Indiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina to visit friends and tour Civil War battlegrounds and Southern plantations. They have one daughter, Karen, who is a SUNY Potsdam graduate and lives in central New York, and two granddaughters: Katie, an RPI graduate, and Joanna, who graduated from Russell Sage. They also have a great grandson, Aidan John, who’s almost 3. Katie, her husband and Aidan live in Seattle, and Joanna lives and teaches in Indiana. Marie and John wish good health and much happiness to all!!

Frank Mayer was glad to see so many old friends at the 60th reunion and to hear how active many of them are. Frank plays the saxophone in a six-piece dance band and the Colonie Town Band. He plays for square dances, participates in a weekly choral group and a dance club, and is a lector at church. He is also a member of the Resolutions Committee of the NYS Retired Teachers Association and chairs the Finance and Scholarship committees. Frank’s son, daughter and five grandkids live nearby.

Edith Titterton Sack McMullin had a brief sojourn as a junior-high math teacher in Farmingdale and Port Chester, N.Y., and a longer stint as an engineering aide at Sperry Gyroscope, where she met her husband. She became a dedicated bridge player, teacher, club owner and employee of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) as a director and program manager for many years. She’s written several bridge books including Adventures in Duplicate Bridge, Easybridge! The Comic Book and The Convention Card (all of which can be purchased on Now retired she enjoys watercolor painting (more info:, and marriage with her trophy husband. She also writes a bimonthly bridge article for the American Association of Actuaries.

Corinne Valenti Moxham enjoyed seeing old friends and classmates at the reunion. James Thompson and companion Carol Zepf still live in Latham, N.Y. They attended the reunion and appreciated the Half-Century Club Breakfast and the visionary presentation made by President Robert J. Jones. They also enjoyed reminiscing with old friends at the evening dinner. James and Carol enjoyed their usual summer at Tupper Lake, N.Y., and visits from Albany friends. Jim travels to D.C. to be with his son, Captain Scott Thompson ’91, USN, and Scott’s family. Jim is looking forward to the wedding of his oldest grandchild, Carissa, in August on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont. He will be sharing leadership of the service with his Vermont family’s pastor.

John and Rose Mary Zongrone had a wonderful time at the 60th reunion, and enjoyed reuniting and reminiscing with old friends. Their family has grown with the marriages of two grandchildren. John is still working at his insurance agency and Rose Mary is still enjoying retirement.

Pat Byrne Manning enjoyed her annual stay in Rome in an apartment overlooking the great basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. She spent a week in Venice. She is still a Caring Touch volunteer with Hospice and is also volunteering at Light of Christ Early Childhood Center in Clearwater, Fla. She visits her son and his family twice a year. Olivia is now a freshman at Brandeis, Julia is a junior in an accelerated program in high school, and Alex is finding 6th grade a delightful place to be! Pat had both knees replaced in June, so she missed seeing her family at that time.

Fred and Joan Paul returned from an 11-day tour of Israel, which included travels to Tel Aviv, Jaffa, the Golan Heights, Galilee, and Jerusalem.

Audrey Cahill Silveri is retired from the director of nursing education position at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. She spent summer in Ogunquit, Maine; three of her grandchildren stayed with her as they are lifeguards on Ogunquit Beach. In winter, Audrey took courses at the Worcester Institute for Senior Education. She recently spent time in Fort Myers, Fla. Audrey sees her six children and 10 great-grandchildren frequently. She volunteers at a food bank and is a host at the railroad station in Maine.

John Cooper and wife Terry joined a group of retirees on a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there, they enjoyed plays; they also listened to talks by actors, directors, and set and costume designers. John gave a short lecture to his group on the Shakespeare plays they saw, which was fun, as he misses teaching. John and Terry hosted 20 friends and family members on Christmas Day.

Louise Button Eggleton enjoyed an annual lunch with Rosemarie Bertsch Meyer, Barbara Anderson Hadden ’52, and Marge Fogarty Gorton ’55 this past fall.
Class Notes Councilors:

Bernice Gunsberg Shoobe,, and Joan Paul,


A note from your class councilor: Last May, UAlbany student Nichol Dunham received the 2014 Class of 1955 Award, given annually to a student enrolled in the University’s graduate program in education. Nichol graduated cum laude from Russell Sage, where she majored in childhood education and psychology. Her graduate emphasis is literacy. In her gracious note of thanks, Nichol states that she’s found her UAlbany courses “captivating and enlightening.”

Ann Tobey volunteers at the Howland Stone Store Museum in Sherwood, N.Y.

Charline Clymer Stettler is enjoying retirement on a sheep ranch in Whangarei, New Zealand, with her husband. After rearing three children, Charline returned to teaching, and it was during a fellowship at the University of Auckland that she met Dr. Stettler and decided to settle in New Zealand. The Class of 1955’s 60th reunion will be Oct. 9-11, 2015. Details will be available soon and we hope you’ll join your classmates for the celebration!

Class notes councilor: John F. Orser,


Dom DeCecco toured South Africa in Spring 2014. He went on a safari in Entabeni Safari Conservancy and Kruger National Park, and was completely blown away by how beautiful the country was as well as by the friendliness of all the people he encountered. As a social-studies teacher, he was particularly pleased with how well all segments of the society got along post-apartheid. The tour was one of the last things on Dom’s bucket list.

Marilyn DeSanta DeLorenzo, Berenice O’Connor Ormsbee, Sheila Lister Bamberger, Marilyn Leach Causey ’58 and Eileen Lally Purcell ’58 recently visited Williamstown, Mass. for a look at the newly remodeled Clark Museum. They enjoyed lunch at the Water Street Grill.

Class notes councilor: Sheila Lister Bamberger,


A note from your new class councilor, Ron Short: First, many thanks to Miriam Sanderson Russell for her fine work as counselor and for all she did to make our 55th reunion a very special one! It was a pleasure to work with her and the rest of the reunion committee. My wife and I retired from various educational and ministerial positions in 2005 and now live on a lakeshore in Florida. We were blessed with three children and five grandchildren. Although we live in Florida, I still love to downhill ski. Several years ago, I went skydiving for my 71st birthday, one of the items on my bucket list. I look forward to learning from you and hearing your latest news. My email address is

At our 50th reunion, Reme Sepe Neilser got out of her car, greeted my wife and me, and immediately began speaking in the voice of Dr. M.E Grenander, our American Lit professor. I always loved her as a teacher, and Reme could imitate her to a “T”!

A note from former class counselor Miriam Sanderson Russell: Several classmates gathered for a meet-and-greet on the Friday evening of Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2014 to begin the Class of ’59 celebration. Folks enjoyed various activities, including the wine tasting, the Saturday morning Half-Century Club Breakfast, campus tours, and the Great Danes vs. Richmond Spiders football game.

The highlight was the reception and reunion dinner at Treviso’s Restaurant. Attending were: Ron Short and Doris; Gary Lewis and Peg; Bill Mackie and Ohja; Betty Pflegl Nickles, former class councilor, and John; Sandra Faye Robinson, Richard Willis, and former class councilor Miriam Sanderson Russell. Reunion committee member Connie Olivo Whitehurst was ill and could not attend.

For a brief welcome, Miriam reflected on the two score and fourteen years since graduation. In addition, we designated our reunion class project fund allocation of $440.31 to the School of Education Fund. We unanimously elected Ron Short as our new class councilor. After dinner, Ron led a fellowship as we took turns reflecting on our most embarrassing moments, and shared our reflections on the person most significant in our lives. We agreed that Albany State Teachers College was the greatest opportunity for the foundation of our lives. We are all fortunate that we graduated without burdensome debt, having world-class degrees – the best “commencement” – as we found our places in the decades afterward.

Class notes councilor: Ron Short,