Lou Billera
Neil Brooks
Stan Brown
Paul Cooper
Ted Creedon
Bill Erskine
Sidney Franks
Henry Gurshman
David Haviland
Ira Heisler
Howard Herskowitz
Dave Kelch
Joe Kelleher
Rich Koser
Robert Lehman
Nick Perakis
Karl Petersen
John Reigle
Michael Reiter
Chuck Rodel
Bob Rudin
Steve Shapiro
Carl Sheffer
John Sills
Al Silverman
Henry Smith
David Vinograd
Del Webster
Steve Weinstein
Mike Wellner

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this month’s column by reminding everyone that our once-in-a-lifetime 50th heard from many of our classmates who have said that they will be back. If you have not been on campus in the last 25 years or so you are in for a very pleasant surprise. If you have been in Troy lately you know just how fantastic the campus looks; a hell of a lot better than when we left fifty years ago. One important note: The Reunion Committee needs everyone’s current e-mail address in order to keep you up to date with our plans. When you get a minute (especially if you have not had an e-mail from me recently) please give me your current e-mail address. Thanks! Reunion is fast approaching (Oct 9th

And, speaking of reunions, Richard Koser wrote in to say that there was a big ZBT Reunion in early October (2013), that coincided with Homecoming at the ‘Tute. The event was organized by Stan Brown and attendees, among those from other class years, included 1964 brothers Howard Herskowitz, Michael Reiter, Paul Cooper, Richard Koser, Robert Lehman, Sidney Franks, Stan Brown, Ira Heisler and Henry Smith. Rich will be with us in October; until then you can e-mail him at rkoser@att.net.  

Bill Erskine wrote to say that he did some bagpiping last St. Patrick’s Day, but his big event was volunteering to participate in the “Honor Flight.” World War II vets, each with an escort, left early one November Saturday to go to Washington and visit the various war memorials. His job was to greet them upon their return that evening and pipe them off the buses and into to dining room. Of course, he had forgotten that men and women in their 90s would take a long time to disembark the buses! After he had already entertained the crowd for over half an hour, he then had to pipe continuously for another forty-five minutes as the seven (7!) buses unloaded. When they finally finished, Bill was really finished as well, but he was glad to make it a very special day for these vets. Find out more from Bill by e-mailing him at soladaom@aol.com.

Heard from Karl Petersen to say that he just completed editing the latest issue of Steam Automobile, a bi-monthly, which is now the only publication on steam power in the range between toys and power plants.  Karl became editor and publisher of it in 1977. Get more details from him at karlp@firedragon.com.

John Reigle sent a note from Belize, where he has spent 2-3 months each winter for the past five years, away from his mini-farm in Nova Scotia. John notes that he has not followed the typical RPI-grad trajectory for the past 50 years, but then who ever does? His recent ventures include finally learning to swim five years ago when he first started spending time in Central America. (Back in the Fall of 1960 he remembers that he just barely passed the mandatory swim test, notwithstanding the frequent dunks in the Poestenkill gorge.) The next year he learned to snorkel here, and then three years later, (at age 69), he decided to learn to scuba dive, with instruction and certification, as a present for his 70th birthday. If a trip to Belize (or Nova Scotia) is not on your itinerary, you can write to John at jreigle@stfx.ca and get more info.

Henry Gurshman wrote in to say that he has recently retired from the practice of law after 46 long years. Now, in retirement, he plans to go back to being a semiprofessional musician, and to continue frustrating the efforts of his younger daughter to make decent citizens out of his grandchildren, by overindulging them and telling them outrageous lies. Henry and his wife Sandy are still living in Plainfield, NJ, sharing the empty nest with Stevie, their adopted pit bull. His older daughter, Rebecca, is practicing veterinary medicine in Tracy's Landing, MD, and claims that she and her husband really do have both electricity and running water in their home in that rural community. His younger daughter, Rachel, and her husband live in Cleveland, Ohio, where he practices ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic. Henry continues to fly -- sailplanes these days - - and was recently awarded a Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA for 50- plus years of safe flight -- which means that in all that time he has never killed anyone or broke anything big and expensive! Can he do that for another fifty years? Ask him at gurshmanlawfirm@aol.com.

Next, Lou Billera wrote in to say that in 2012 he was included in the inaugural group of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.  According to the AMS website,  "The Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics."  Good show! This past fall, Lou began his phased retirement from Cornell University, where he has taught for the past 45 years.  That allows up to five years of half-time service before actually taking the plunge.  In his newly found spare time, he expects to continue traveling and occasionally lecturing, as well as contemplating an invitation to teach a short course this summer at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Lou will be at the reunion; before then you can get him at billera@cornell.edu.

Most of us remember Dave Haviland, if for no other reason because he has spent his entire career at the ‘Tute. Now, in retirement, he and his wife in Katie report that they have bought a home and established their winter residence in The Villages, Florida along with many other RPI alums. But -- even though they are far from Troy -- they remain loyal alums. As evidence, Dave recently presented three "Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame on the Road" programs, including Fenway Park and the Osborns (in The Villages), Clay Bedford and the Liberty Ships (in Richmond, CA) and Admiral Lewis Combs and the RPI Naval Tradition (in Oxnard, CA). Over the years some fascinating and extraordinarily influential alumni and alumnae have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Dave loves the idea of taking them "on the road," fulfilling a vision of the late Carl Westerdahl. Dave will certainly be on campus for the reunion; between now and then you can e-mail him at davidhaviland42@gmail.com.

And, speaking of The Villages in Florida, Del Webster wrote in to say that he and the local RPI alumni group from that area met in January to hear David Haviland give a presentation on Frank Osborn RPI 1880 and his son Kenneth RPI 1908 who designed many of the country's iconic baseball stadiums including Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and others. David Kelch '60, who leads the local alumni group and organizes its get togethers, reports that Dave will also be active as a co-leader of the group. Del asks: “Can it really be almost five years since our last reunion? I'm still wearing the T-shirt!” Tell him to “come on up” for our 50th

Joe Kelleher dropped a short line to say the he is definitely planning on driving the short distance from Saratoga Springs to Troy come October. You can reach him before then at Jkelleh1@nycap.rr.com.

And Steve Weinstein (steveweinstein518@gmail.com) just dropped me a note to say that he has heard from Steve Shapiro, Carl Sheffer, Alan Silverman, Neil Brooks, John Sills, Bob Rudin, and David Vinograd, and they will all be back on campus for the Reunion. Good show!

Finally, I would be negligent in my duties as your class correspondent if I did not tell you that by the time you read this my lovely fiancée (Marva) and I will have tied the know (March 23rd of you. I promise you’ll be impressed! , at commodore@embarqmail.com. ). She will be with me in October, and I look forward to introducing her to all


Heard first from Ted Creedon (tcreedon@easystreet.net), complaining of his aches and pains (welcome to the 50-year club!). He’s had his share of ailments, including a hip replacement (what does one expect after 50 years of ice hockey?), but is generally hanging in and enjoying life. He suggests that its time for the ‘Tute to honor those brave souls who initiated the Engineering Science Program. Our Class of '64 was the first to be granted Eng Sci Degrees. Without the superb education from RPI the RPI/ Tektronix FRISC Project would never have happened and the chip manufacturing industry would be still in the dark ages. FRISC demonstrated the utility of the now standard difenential IC design methodology. The broad spectrum of knowledge taught to us was constantly remarked by our peers having observed the skills we used to manage multidisciplinary project teams. The RPI website is correct: "Why not change the world". One really can!

Chuck Rodel reports that he’s had a busy year. He and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and also the 4th daughter, doing great as SVP for First American Title Corp). Their younger daughter lives in Silicon Valley (near Chuck) and is a major contributor for his two companies: Comsift, started in 2003, continues to do well, and the second startup, 911Tracker, started two years later and is just rolling out the newest products. Find out more from Chuck at roedel@roedel.com.

Nick Perakis wrote in to say that he was an architectural major (with Dave Haviland), and after a career managing the design/build of mostly large pharmaceutical and biotech projects, he retired three years ago, and now lives with his wife Martha in Natick, where he tends to his Japanese gardens. Catch up with him by e-mail at nick.martha@verizon.net. Finally, a brief note of thanks to all of you who made it back to our big 50th in Troy, and for sending in your class notes information. As they say, “keep those cards and letters coming.”