Class Notes 2007
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Here's what we did in 2007 -  Please send any news to Mike Wellner so that all can share.

Summer '07  

Steve Weinstein reports that he recently retired from a marketing career with Texas Instruments, Junior Achievement, and Louisiana-Pacific, and now lives in the Valley of the Sun in Surprise, Arizona.  As a true retiree he occupies his time playing golf and softball, and – when not – travels the world.   Steve has two children, one in Seattle, WA and the other in Norfolk, VA.  He and his wife have 4 grandchildren.   If any alums are traveling to Phoenix and want to play some golf, Steve can be reached at -- but not in the summer when Steve and his wife Judy vacation for 3 months in the greater Troy area (OK, so it’s the Adirondack Mountains!  Same neck of the woods!) 

Had a long e-mail from Bill Erskine, who reports that after RPI he got married to Sue (St. Rose '64) and moved to Iowa, where he remained for 4 years, getting an MS, a daughter, and a PhD.  Must have been busy day and night!  Bill has remained busy:  he now has six kids, four of which are adopted and three of which are black.   He was country chairman of Families for Interracial Adoption (NJ) for two years, and he and his wife were foster parents for ten years and had 15-20 kids come and go, some for as little as 2-3 months and some as long as two years.   He was county president of our Foster Parent association for seven of those ten years.   On the work front, Bill put in 34 years with Exxon, and got the chance to live in England for three years, while traveling extensively around the globe. .  He still does some consulting for them on and off.    And – for something a little off-beat, Bill actually won an award for Outstanding Bagpiping at a NATO ASI conference in Germany in 1984.   How about that!   He and his wife now enjoy retirement, living in an Active Adult Community where they keep active – he is currently building a large Lionel train layout in his basement.   You can contact Bill at  

Next was a long e-mail from a good friend of mine during our days at the ‘Tute – Tim Russell.    He reports remembering our pool-playing days at RPI (we did spend one semester actually playing nearly every day!) when he and his wife were visiting a friend’s house and the husband invited Tim down for a game of pool while the girls were busy.  Although he hadn’t a stick in his hand for several years, it brought back memories of Troy and the ‘good old days” at RPI.  Tim spent his career in pharmaceuticals after two years of designing aircraft weapons for Uncle Sam.  He was with Merck in market research at the West Point, PA plant, then managed an engineering department in the Research Labs.  After that he switched back to marketing for McNeil Laboratories just in time for the great Tylenol/Datril wars and ended up staying in the pharmaceutical division when the company reorganized into consumer and pharmaceutical divisions.  He stayed with McNeil/J&J for 15 years and ended as a VP but left when another re-organization would have relocated him to New Brunswick.  So instead he started his own business in 1990 as consultant in new products and licensing.  But the real excitement was getting called up for Desert Storm right after New Year’s Day 1991.  He spent the next 6 months in Saudi Arabia before returning to the states and kick-starting the consulting business again.  He successfully brought a couple of products into the U.S. and licensed them to a company in Alabama. Then he got an offer to work for a San Diego startup as VP for Licensing and Business Development and did that until 1999, when he returned back East.  Now he and Chris (his new wife) live in a Philadelphia suburb and are enjoying some gardening, skiing in the winter and some sailing on the Chesapeake in the summer.  We’re not fully retired as we own a company that has a niche product for Crohn’s disease patients – with a little luck we can grow enough over the next couple of years to interest someone in taking it off our hands!  Finally, he reports that hist my oldest grandson will be graduating from Cornell in May and will be working as a software engineer on one coast or the other.  He’s currently choosing among three job offers, which is pretty heady for a 22 year old these days.  Contact Tim (to talk pool or otherwise) at

Next, Bruce Wollenberg, reports that he spent 23 years in various industry positions and took a Professorship in ECE at the University of Minnesota in 1989. His field is electric power systems (he graduated from RPI's Electric Power Engineering program in 1966 immediately after his EE graduation).  Like so many other RPI alums, Bruce married a wonderful Sage grad, Ruth Kunz Wollenberg , class of 1965.  They had four children.   He is still teaching, writing, and doing a lot of expert testimony work for electric utilities and their suppliers. He reports that his greatest honor, besides marrying Ruth, was being elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005.  And Bruce is still at it:  “I have no plans of retiring soon,” were his final words.  Reach out to him at  

Spoke to Steve Popper, who reports that he has found a great way to wind down his career in engineering and construction by serving as Director of Construction for the Town of Needham, MA, in an ambitious and significant building program that the Town has embarked upon.  After 40+ years involvement in the private sector, first with Stone and Webster Engineering, and then with Jacobs Engineering on the design and construction of mega-projects throughout the world, winding up as Project manager on one of the more complicated sections of Boston's Big Dig, he is now looking after his own interests in the capital expenditure and success of projects in my Town -- while giving back to the community that he has lived in since 1967, when he moved here shortly after graduating from RPI with a Master's in Civil Engineering. During those 40-odd years my assignments have taken him and his family to a wide assortment of places including a two year stint in Mannheim, Germany, one year in Genoa, Italy, and one in Livermore, California.   His family has grown with four children (Jeffrey, Nancy, Lee and Sarah), all of whom are married and living in the Boston area.  Now expanded by six grandsons and a soon-to-be granddaughter (by way of China), he and his wife Barbara make their home in the very same place that they settled into some 40 years ago. Steve says that he still visits with a number of Zete brothers, and others from RPI as business and social interests permit.  He’ll be at the next reunion, and hopes to see as many classmates as possible.  Contact Steve at  

Wally Fredericks reports that he is alive and well and living in Fort Wayne, IN, His new email address is, and he’d love to hear from his old friends from Troy.  (Note this is a new e-mail address).  Wally has been retired from Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. (BATC) since September of 2000.  He worked for BATC for almost 15 years on various aerospace programs and new business development as a systems engineer.   He and his wife, Candy lived in the Boulder Colorado area and thoroughly enjoyed the Rocky Mountain lifestyle.  Candy and Wally moved back to Fort Wayne, Indiana in the summer of 2004 to be close to Candy’s family.  (They met in Fort Wayne in the late 1960s and were married there in September 1969.)   They cruise to the Caribbean on occasion and make annual trips to Colorado for skiing and visiting with our Colorado friends.   Like so many other guys our age, he has been trying to improve his golf skills, but is still struggling.     

Next an update from Bruce Clayman.   He left the Great Northern Way Campus at the end of 2006, after getting  $40.5 million from the BC government to launch a Masters of Digital Media  program there. He is now at the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology in Vancouver and on the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.  His current research interests center around commercialization of intellectual property arising from university research - technology transfer.  His daughter Annie and her physicist husband Scott have given me two amazing grandchildren, Sam and Gracie; they all live in Corning, NY.  Get Bruce at

And, finally, late-breaking news that none other than one of our “stars,” NCAA president Myles Brand was the commencement speaker at Tri-State University, in Angola, Indiana, on May 5.   Brand's appearance dovetails with TSU's attaining full NCAA status.  Brand assumed his duties as president of the NCAA on Jan. 1, 2003, and is the fourth chief executive officer of the association.  From 1994 through 2002 he was president of Indiana University, an eight-campus institution of higher education with nearly 100,000 students.  Myles also served as president at the University of Oregon from 1989 to 1994.  CONGRATULATIONS to our old friend.  You can reach Myles at


Fall - Winter '07 Heard from Dick Vennett, who reports ending his oil industry career in 1993 and his consulting business in 2002.  At that point Dick and his wife Mary Ann chose a cool, dry climate over hot and humid Houston, and moved to Park City, Utah, in 2002. After being volunteers at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, they have both become “professional volunteers.”  Dick is president of the Park City Ambassadors, the volunteer arm of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, that provides assistance to local nonprofits and civic organizations.  Their major activity is to organization and put on the annual 4th of July parade and the festivities that follow in the local park.  It's not the Rose Parade, but it’s just as important to the local community.  They also work for the local art center, the Utah Olympic Park (ski jumps and bobsled track) and a local food bank.  In his spare time Dick even built a spec house and sold it before the market cooled.  Timing is everything (as is a good education)!  You can reach Dick at 

I actually had the opportunity to visit with my old friend Barry Wintner, now living in Warrington, Pennsylvania (near Allentown).  Barry was in the New York area to do some consulting work or the Port Authority, and he and I actually broke bread at a historic restaurant in Jericho, LI.  (Best of all, I treated!) 

Barry also had a chance to dine in a Bohemian Restaurant with the Cornells, Steve and Chris (in Burr Rudge, IL) over the summer.  (That time Barry paid!)

Barry’s career included stints at Monsanto, Hoffman-LaRoche and Ciba-Geigy, followed by seven years as a Chemical Engineer at GD Searle in Chicago, and then four yers at Foster-Wheeler in New Jersey.  In 2003 he began working as a consultant specializing in the application of chlorine dioxide as a sanitizer and sterilant to bioprocess applications, and continues to do some biotech consulting through YourEncore LLC.   Barry has recently returned from a great trip to Italy, as have I (too bad we could not meet up there!).  Get to Barry at 

Got word that Tony Nanni recently joined the very prestigious law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, in the Antitrust Group, in Washington, DC.   He came to Cadwalader from Fried Frank (another well-known law firm).  From 1985 to 2002 Tony was Chief of the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the Antitrust Division of the US Dept. of Justice.  While there he was awarded the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executives, as well as the Neil Roberts Award for Excellence in Antitrust Enforcement.  You can reach out to Tony at  

Received a very nice note from Dick Chase, living in what is arguably one of the best cities in the country (Ann Arbor, Michigan) who reports that he retired from the Ford Motor Company this past January after 27 years in Ford Research.   While there he started out doing surface analysis (Auger electron spectroscopy, etc.).  To quote him exactly:  “I used to say that I knew a great deal about very tiny parts of the car but not much about the car in general.”  Then about 15 years ago Dick switched focus and headed the design and operation of a laboratory for vehicle emissions research just as emission regulations were being significantly tightened.  Here he got to deal with whole cars, or at least what came out the tailpipe of whole cars.  It was a fun ride, applying physics and learning some chemistry to keep up with ever decreasing emissions and how to measure them.  Now he’s doing some consulting part time, spending more time traveling to visit family, and getting some exercise exploring the parks and nature trails around home that I never had time to concentrate on before.  Get to Dick at  

Rev. (note the title) Steve Cornell sent a long note to say that he is in touch with

Barry Wintner, Tom McShane (old roommates) and Al Silverman (old colleague) and Bill Erskine (old friend) as well as Tony Buffa (fraternity brother) and various fraternity brothers in other classes.  On the personal front Steve reports that that he now has one foot in retirement and one foot in new career – post  retirement – and that his time is balanced among seven efforts.


·         He has been consulting for the past ten years on plastic packaging as Plastic Technology Partners, doing some expert witness work, and doing some consulting for Guideline, Inc.

·         Also working on another holy grail, contamination free hospitals.  Have the solution, and the patent thicket, just need a manufacturer to license.  Operating as IRU LLC.


  • Perhaps most interesting Steve received a M. Div. and was formally ordained in 2006 (almost as tough as a Ph.D.).  He serves as Pastor/Chaplain in two Roman Catholic Retirement Communities to the Protestant residents and does pulpit supply preaching, teaching, and community building as Pastoral Teaching Partners.


  • Spending time with four grandchildren (all local) doing everything including fossil finding, lego building, toy car racing, to sleeping out on the deck in a tent, to riding trains, to fishing, to art, to museums and other outings.  Something each month.  The intergenerational family community building is a priority.

You can reach out to Steve (he is living in Naperville, IL) at  

Del Webster reports that he is still happily retired in Florida, and has found a new part time career as a registered professional guardian. He takes care of the affairs of older folks that are alone, or whose children are too far away to be able to look after them on a continuing basis.  (This has to be a growth business if ever there was one!)  He finds it very interesting work that keeps him active and involved with the professional community. Del’s 86 year-old parents are here, too, and he is happy to be able to help them a lot as well.   For more information about his new business, or just to catch up with Del, e-mail him at

Jim McGuire (a physics major) wrote to say that he has recently become Chair of the Physics Department at Tulane University in New Orleans, and is heavily involved in an effort to bring together science and engineering in an effort to improve both, partially in response to Thomas Friedman's influential book, "The Earth is Flat,” (in which Dr. Jackson is notably quoted and is prominently featured.   Friedman’s best seller details the developing international challenges to America’s leadership in science and technology.    Jim asks that if there are any Alums out there out there who would like to help him establish this program in Engineering Physics with an emphasis on nanostructures, please reach out to him at                                              

Tom Reddy dropped me a brief note to say that he and his wife, Vita, celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary (he must be getting older!) with a trip to Italy this past September.  In their forty-three years together they have managed to produce three sons and two granddaughters.  The boys are spread out from San Francisco to Boston so Tom spends a lot of time traveling.  His wife has retired from teaching but an RPI alum’s work is never done, so Tom continues to run his financial services business in Scranton PA.   Reach out to Tom at 

I also heard from Bruce Morrissey, who traveled to Greece and cruised the Greek Islands with his wife, Susan.    Right now Bruce is busy gathering material for the various literary, legal, and history courses that he teaches at the University of Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning.  ("The Bill of Rights in 2007" and "Navajo Spirituality") are next among his offerings.   He is also
seriously considering a course titled "James Joyce's Ulysses" for the following
year.   The late Wentworth Kimball Brown would be pleased and no
doubt amused that at least one of his Class of '64 students paid
attention during class – good show!   Bruce is also the Director of Technology Development at the University, and has a large crew of grandchildren with whom he regularly reads (mostly) non-technical materials.  You can contact Bruce at 

Finally, I also want to put in a plug for the Alumni Travel Program:  we just returned from two fabulous trips to Italy – one a traditional sightseeing trip to the Liguria region – the coastal area south of Genoa.  In one week, with a dozen other alums, we saw Cinque Terra, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Lucca, the white marble mountains of Carrara, Genoa, and so much more.   The weather was perfect (we were there in mid-April), and the trip was truly first rate.  Then – in early June – Sheryl & I hosted a cooking trip to Lucca, the famed walled city in Tuscany, the highlight of which was five cooking lessons with professional chefs of the Tuscany region.  We had twenty-one people with us, and at the conclusion every one said it was simply the best trip that they had ever taken!  So here is my unabashed commercial for the RPI Alumni Travel Program.  Check out the web site (, products and services, travel) to see our offerings for 2008.  Two trips that I can recommend here are (1) a cruise on the six-star Crystal Symphony to the Baltic States (from Stockholm to Copenhagen via Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn, from August 3rd – 11th), and (2) ten days in Budapest, Prague and Vienna, the great capitals of Eastern Europe, from September 17th – 27th.  Sheryl & I will likely be on both trips, and we’d love to have you join us!