Alumni News & Notes

the Class of 1955 at their 60th year reunion last September

Milne 200 provided a nostalgic setting for the Class of 1955 60th-year reunion last September.


The Class of 1955 celebrated its 60th reunion last fall. Events included a tour of both the uptown and downtown campuses, and a luncheon at the former Milne School. Jean Morris traveled from Hudson, N.Y., for the reunion. She is recovering from cardiac surgery and an auto accident. She was able to return to her job in retail this past fall. Ann Tobey traveled from Aurora, N.Y. She volunteers at a museum, and enjoys traveling and activities with family and friends. Bob Ashfield and friend Judy traveled from Houston; this was Bob’s first reunion, though he’s been a longtime supporter of the Class of 1955 and the University. Bob took early retirement from a 33-year marketing and sales research career with Shell Oil/Shell Chemical. He has started a business-consultant firm, as well as a publishing company. He’s active with the Junior Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for various organizations. Bob’s wife of 57 years, Jane, died in 2014.

Bob and Rosie Hughes and Hank Koszewski

Don Lein

Don Lein and wife Marian traveled from North Carolina. He led the class in singing the alma mater at the luncheon and shared memories of our Big-4 production. Don took up competitive long-distance running in his 60s and has gained national recognition. He travels the country for competitions and to attend National Runners Organization events. Don recently walked his daughter “down the aisle” for her wedding, which took place during the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon in Kansas City, Mo. Melvin Gollub and Ada Elian Gollub enjoy their three children and their grandchildren, who are within driving distance of their home in Maryland. Ada enjoys bridge, and the couple enjoys theater and ocean cruises. Nancy Evans Bush and her partner, Nancy Fleming, traveled from North Carolina. Nancy is still an enthusiastic student of near-death studies and looks forward to publishing her second book on the subject this year. She also maintains a website that hosts visitors from more than 130 countries.

Bob Inglis and Dean Gilchrist Inglis ’56 have traveled to over 45 countries and volunteer at Tanglewood Music Center and with Meals on Wheels. Bob taught math and was a guidance counselor for 30 years. Their sons are engineers; their daughter is a UAlbany alum. Allen Landreth and Nadine Watson Landreth included the reunion as part of their vacation, traveling from Florida. Nadine is a retired school-library media specialist. She and Allen keep busy with their families and often socialize with Dorothy Croce Ferguson and Ed Ferguson, also Florida residents. Art Lennig, Fred Silva, and Bob Coan, all from the Albany, N.Y. area, also attended the reunion. Your class councilor received updates from several classmates who were unable to attend. Shirley Tucker Burtch taught middle-school social studies in Oriskany, N.Y. She serves on the district board of education and the Oneida-Madison-Herkimer Counties BOCES. She’s known as the village historian and fills in her time with gardening. Her husband, Ken, died in 2013. Luella Ptacek Smith tutors two Chinese boys in English to help them assimilate as new citizens.

Grandchildren keep Wilma Baker Thornton busy. She also enjoys going on cruises, playing tennis, and bowling. Laura Bruno Laurence and her husband moved to Florida in 2014. They have six children and three grandchildren. Laura was a career teacher of high-school business subjects. Lorna Galbraith resides at a care facility in Lacy, Wash. Her son Richard lives in nearby Gig Harbor, and her daughter Suzanne lives in Olympia. Her son Sam died of a heart attack in 2013. Lorna is enduring some medical issues, but is still in good spirits. She would love to hear from classmates. Your class councilor can provide her contact information. Despite health issues, Dorothy Croce Ferguson and Ed have traveled to Alaska; Cape Cod; the United Kingdom; and Savannah, Ga. They visit son Edward, an attorney in New York City.

Don Capuano is retired from practicing law in Washington, D.C., and enjoys traveling and spending time with his grandchildren. Dave McKay and Bev Gustafson McKay of Hamilton, N.Y., recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They are in good health and volunteer at the local food cupboard and thrift shop. Dave serves on three boards, including the Madison County Public Defender’s board. They have a son who’s a retired teacher and six grandchildren, three of whom are teachers. Mary Dvorak Scott of Granville, N.Y., has lived in the North Country for many years. She stopped teaching after two years to raise her children. She became a businesswoman and spent several years operating a book-gift store. Mary enjoys daily two-mile walks around her scenic Adirondack village.

After teaching, serving in the Army and working with MIT’s Lincoln Lab, Keith Russell spent 31 years as a computing/software technician with Raytheon Corporation. He resides in Winchester, Mass., and enjoys his children and grandchildren. Angie Kavanaugh Telfer of Rye, N.Y., sends good wishes to the class. Chronic physical illnesses keep her close to home.

Madeline Chini Derwin’s husband, Charles “Chuck” Derwin, died in March 2015. Chuck taught chemistry and physics in the Johnstown and Fonda-Fultonville high schools for 31 years, and was a coach. He served on the board of education, taught at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, was a hospital volunteer, and enjoyed traveling. The Derwins have five children, 11 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. The Class of 1955 Fund has been prospering and has distributed $8,000 to 10 students in UAlbany’s graduate program in education. Carah Deal, the 2015 award recipient, earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from SUNY Geneseo and is enrolled in UAlbany’s master’s program in literacy.


Grace Mueller passed away. She was a world traveler and left behind many wonderful friends.

The Class of 1960

The Class of 1960 Yellow Jackets created a buzz at their 55th-year milestone reunion held Oct.12 at the downtown campus.


The Class of 1960 and guests from surrounding classes reunited on the downtown campus at the old haunts and enjoyed a luncheon at Milne during Homecoming Weekend. Those in attendance included: Jack Anderson; Hank Binzer and Patricia Binzer ’74; Hank Boehning ’59; Jeanette Leggieri Boehning ’62; Doris Hische Brossy, husband Charlie and daughter Krissi; Liz Aceto Bunch and husband Don; Young Hee Cho and John Sullivan ’61; Frances Wallace Cole; Douglas Penfield and Annette Elbaum; Dave Feldman; Charles Fowler; Joanne Basista Gascoyne and Richard Gascoyne; Art Hackett; Joan Ferrari Herman ’61 and Carl Herman ’62; Paul Hooker; John Johnston; Sheila Doyle Jurinski and Neil Jurinski; Inese Klavins-Klavitis; Sunny Sundstrand Mullen ’61; Sue Updike-Porter; Phil Shepherd and Fran Cicero Shepherd ’62; Lil Skadberg Upcraft ’62 and Lee Upcraft. Doug Penfield retired after 44 years as an educational statistics professor at Rutgers University. He and wife Annette built a new home in an adult community in New Jersey.  They spend summers at their home on New York’s Lake Champlain and winters cruising the Caribbean. Doug is looking forward to seeing classmates at the 60th-year reunion in 2020!

Chuck Fowler is living in Exeter, N.H. He remains active with his consulting firm of 16 associates who assist local school boards with superintendent searches, strategic planning, and board training. He is president of the National Horace Mann League. He and wife Yolanda have three grown children and four grown grandchildren. Paul Hooker was recently the guest of honor at Shaker High School’s Class of 1965 50th-year reunion. He was presented with a $1,000 check toward the Choral Fund at Proctors in Schenectady, N.Y. A longtime supporter of choral music and a volunteer at Proctors, Paul was honored by the creation of a fund in his name to provide free student access to choral-music performances.

Sue Updike-Porter’s step-grandsons are in college, one studying engineering at Rice, the other playing soccer and studying at the College at Wooster in Ohio. Sue still lives in Menands, N.Y., and spends time volunteering at a homeless shelter homework-help program, reading, listening to PBS, and participating in a local quilt guild and three book groups. Mary Ellen Johnson of Guilderland and Mary Matey Garrett of Schenectady still get together and visit Nancy Marie Ryan, who now resides at Atria Guilderland. Janice Graham Kaliski moved from New Hampshire to the Sunnyside Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Va.; her daughter and grandson live nearby. Inese Klavins-Klavitis looks forward to seeing the Class of 1960 again in 2020.

Jack Anderson retired from teaching in 2008 and is living in Carmel, N.Y. He has three children and five grandchildren, and enjoys playing duplicate bridge with Poughkeepsie friends on a regular basis. He and several Kappa Beta frat brothers meet on occasion. Jack says, “My years at Albany were the best, bar none!” Liz Aceto Bunch and husband Don still live in North Carolina, but they are looking for a retirement community near their children in Alabama. They sold their boat, “Misty,” after sailing to many exotic locales. Art Hackett is living in a Gainesville, Va., active-senior community, where he enjoys the fitness center, attending Lifetime Learning Institute classes and church activities, family visits, golf, and radio contesting.

Fran Wallace Cole lives in Oklahoma with her son and family and spends summers in her cottage on the St. Lawrence River. Hank Binzer is teaching at Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning and is presenting a course on Paris and World War I. Bobbi Hungerford Leahy ’57 and Dom DeCecco ’57, our Myskania freshman class guardians, sent regrets that they were unable to attend our reunion due to conflicting travel plans. Bernice Epstein Cohen of Hartsdale, N.Y., recently visited Brazil and took a river tour of Russia. She spends time with her son and family in New Jersey, and enjoys her granddaughters. Bernice is an accomplished ballroom dancer and belongs to various dance groups. Teresa Kerwin Lehr recently presented her paper, Rochester’s Great Tonsil Massacre, at UAlbany’s Researching New York conference.

Class Notes Councilors: Doris Hische Brossy,;
Joan Cali Pecore,


A note from your class councilor: The Class of 1961 will celebrate its 55th reunion this fall! Class members can send ideas to the class councilor and are invited to volunteer for the reunion committee. The class contact list also needs updating with your current email addresses. Bob Congemi finished writing his 12th book, The Spirit Travels Wonderful Distances. He is enjoying his 53rd year of continuous full-time teaching. John Sullivan published his third book, Raised by a Village: Growing Up in Greenport. Elaine Romatowski Frankonis continues to write poetry, do public readings, and facilitate a writer’s group. Her poems have been published in the latest issues of Naugutuck River Review and Common Ground Literary Review. A ballroom dancer, Elaine is learning the Argentine tango.

Harold Jewell recently met Pete Spina for dinner in Rochester, N.Y. Pete continues to mentor new college presidents. He is president emeritus of Monroe Community College in Rochester and SUNY Polytechnic in Utica, N.Y. Bob Prong and wife Johanna Scholl Prong ’62 retired in 1995 from Midlakes High School, Clifton Springs, N.Y., and moved to Burlington, Vt., to be near two of their three sons. Their third son lives in Florida. Bob and Johanna have four grandchildren. Judy Bacon Bleezarde visited Martha’s Vineyard for the first time last year. She is involved with the Williamstown Historical Museum, runs a book group, and plays golf at Taconic Golf Course in Massachusetts.

Erna Olsen and husband Ken have been busy volunteering for The First Congregational Church of Old Greenwich, Conn. Their daughter and granddaughter traveled from Atlanta to visit and attended the July 19th Founders’ Day event. Erna and Ken recently went on a two-week guided tour of Spain and Portugal. Nancy Rubin Bernstein recently spent time on Long Beach Island and in Sarasota, Fla.

Mel Horowitz is enjoying an active retirement with recent travels to Las Vegas, Florida and Maine. She spends time with family and is a member of U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association, Rotary and International Women’s Media Foundation. After recovering from lymphoma nearly 20 years ago, Mel recently suffered a setback. Her energy was restored by a new FDA-approved drug. She says, “Thank God for medical research!” A Class of 1961 ring was found near Olean, N.Y. Please contact Loida Vera Cruz of the UAlbany Alumni Association if you are, or know of, the owner.

Class Notes Councilor: Mel Horowitz,

Bob and Rosie Hughes and Hank Koszewski

Chi Sigma Theta sisters celebrate with Samantha Hutchins ’16, the 2015-16 recipient of the sorority’s scholarship.


Elena Rabine Halady celebrated the arrival of her 10th great-nephew. She recently spent time in DelRay, Fla., and Barcelona, and enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise with her boyfriend. She continues to enjoy tennis, golf, and ballroom dancing. Gene Altman and Shelly Levin Altman ’66 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a family gathering in Portland, Ore. Retired, Gene is a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Ciccotti Center in Colonie, N.Y., and is a SCORE mentor for small businesses. Linda Bosworth, Sue Blank, and Sheril McCormack recently vacationed in Key West, Fla., and were escorted around by Sheril’s nephew, Cliff. Hannah Schnitt-Rogers celebrated the arrival of two granddaughters this past year. 

Class Notes Councilor: Sheril McCormack,


During Homecoming, the Class of 1964 attended a reception unveiling the newly renovated student lounge in Pierce Hall. Formerly a women’s dormitory, Pierce Hall now serves mainly as a residence hall for transfer and international students. The lounge is a bright, welcoming location for students to meet and study. The renovations were supported by an $8,000 gift from the Class of 1964. Columba DeFrancesco Heinzelman and husband Dave spent three weeks driving along the Oregon-California coastline. They visited Dave’s brother, and classmates Sandy Compo Campbell and Sara Healy Digiacomo along the way. David Simington and Bill Robelee joined the Kappa Beta reunion planning committee; the reunion is planned for Fall 2016. If you have any updates to share with your classmates, please contact your class co-councilors.

Class note councilors: Alan Minarcik,, and Bill Robelee,

The Class of 1965

The Class of 1965 gathered for its 50-year reunion at the Albany Marriott in October.


The Class of 1965 celebrated its 50th-year reunion during Homecoming. Classmates reconnected over the weekend at several events, including the President’s Breakfast, lunch at the WT, a cocktail reception and dinner, and a farewell breakfast. At the President’s Breakfast, the Class of 1965 was inducted into the Half-Century Club. A great time was had by all attendees, especially when reminiscing about our college years. The Class of ’65 is looking forward to even more participants at its 55th reunion in 2020! For those who did not attend the reunion dinner, a limited number of class directories are still available. If you are interested in ordering a copy for $5 plus $2 shipping, please contact the Alumni Association at Kate Harvey Jacobs and husband John moved to Alexandria, Va., after seven years living in Tennessee. They are very excited to be nearer their kids and grandkids.

Jeanne Bollt Tobin received her M.B.A. from the University of Maryland and is a C.P.A. She retired as an executive vice president of KeyCorp. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Dr. Jordan Tobin. Jeanne is the president of a Reform Jewish congregation in Cleveland and serves in several leadership positions throughout the community. Together, Jordan and Jeanne have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Dr. Peter Schroeck is conducting a three-week travel/study program in Konstanz, Germany. Participants enjoy the Lake Constance area and have the opportunity to improve their German-language skills in a German-speaking environment. Information can be found at Richard D. Smith went to Europe after graduation and taught English in France. He returned to Castleton, N.Y., to teach, married Jean Thayer ’66, and supervised at Milne for a couple of years. Richard retired in 2001 from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, where he served as analyst and program director of the highway-safety program. He now lives in Greeley, Colo., closer to his grandchildren.

John Hunter’s blog, Cruisin’ the Internet, is featured in four Gatehouse Media newspapers in New York: The Hornell, Wellsville, and Corning daily papers and the Chronicle-Express, a weekly paper in Penn Yan. He has authored the blog for more than a year.

Class notes councilor: Judy Madnick,