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2009 Homecoming News

Dear Classmates,
In spite of the terrible news about Bob Pirie, and the awful weather, nine of us gathered at Pratt Field for a very wet and cold foot ball game.  The weather didn’t stop the Jeffs.  They were great in their 16 to 0 defeat if Wesleyan.  Our loyal class attendees and wives consisted of Skip and Norma Hunziker, Tom and Joy Bushman, Hobie and Cynthia Clemenshaw,   Gary and Joan Holman along with John McGrath, Phil Alexander and Chuck Longsworth.  Polly Longsworth, Phil and Eileen Knowles and John and Jane Keydel joined us for dinner at Valentine later.  The Keydels also joined most of us game attendees in the cage after the game for a very welcome hot chocolate. 

All through a very long day we were periodically being looked after by our good friend and hard working representative in the Alumni Office, Sandy Riley, to whom we will always be grateful. 

At the game we shared a tent with ’49, ’50, ’52, ’53 and ’54.  As usual, Jerry Grant, ’54, furnished his delicious chili and Moose Newman, ’49, furnished all sorts of delectable snacks as well as bloody marys. 

Dinner and cocktails in the mezzanine at Valentine was an unforgettable gathering of old friends from all three classes.  Dinner was concluded with a toast honoring the memory of Bill Maloney, whose many adventures made an incalculable contribution to the college as well as to the well being of his loyal followers, and a moment of silence in respect for the memory of  a dear and loyal classmate, Bob Pirie, who died just three days before Homecoming. 

It is very difficult to describe in words the deep feelings that surround these meetings of friends of over sixty years.  Our class is special and will always be so.  We were small and as a result, close. It seems that the years draw us even closer so let’s keep it up with as many of us as possible coming to reunion and homecomings in the future. 

Your Grateful President,

Gary Holman

Just on the eve of Homecoming, when several of us will get together to celebrate our good times in "college days," I am deeply saddened to inform you of the death of a very close friend and much loved classmate, Bob Pirie. His wife, Barbara, called me this morning to give me this very painful news.  All of our hearts go out to Barbara and her children.

All I know at this time is that Bob suffered some terrible trauma while driving to town last evening and that he died this morning. I will, of course, provide you with further details as soon as I have them. In the meantime, should any of you wish to contact Barbara, she can be reached at 37 Cedar Drive, Allendale, NJ 07401, 201-327-3770. 

Yours sadly,
Gary Holman
Class President

Read reports from previous Homecomings


Recent Loss of Classmates and Family

Dean L. Evans '51 (1926-2015)
David Babbott '51 MD ScD (1927-2015) Dave arrived a veteran of Alaskan duty and became a officer of the Christian Association. He prepared for his distinquished career in medicine and education. He and Meredith Barnes, Smith '51, were leaders in the Episcopal Church and raised five children. Recipient of an Amherst honorary degree, Babbott's college relations extend from his grandfather thru four generations. 
Harrington E. Manville '51 MA (1929-2015)
William D. Dunbar '51 (1929-2015)
The class mourns the passing of Joan Sexton who joined Dick in remarkable support of alumni activities. The talented family they raised can truly be deemed a work of art. No less because her offspring honored Amherst with two daughters initiating coeducation, a son-in-law and grandson triumphant on its  playing fields.
John D. Olds '51 MS (1927-2015) John joined the US Navy as a teenager and then came to Amherst with the veterans' outlook. John earned a graduate degree at Rutgers and began a 38 year career with Boeing Aircraft as an engineer and manager. In his 2014 personal class note, John conveys the sweep of his eighty some years: we have marvelous get-togethers with our extended families in Seattle, the progeny of three daughters and five sons. My wife Elise (Smith ’51) and I plan to attend a Northwest alumni reception for Biddy Martin. I hope to describe to her trips to the Amherst of the 1930s, when I visited my grandparents. His grandfather was President of the College 1924-'27. Fact is John was led to campus by his brother '47, father '13 and uncle '12.  
Samuel M. Watson '51 MBA (1929-2015) was instrumental in the remarkable fundraising record of the class of 1951 as class agent. Bearing credentials as a naval officer, a Wharton degree and CPA, Sam became a partner in Arthur Young, now branded as EY. Adding to his global stature, Watson retired as chief financial officer of Matshushita.Sam_Wat.png The class extends its condolences to his beloved wife Connie and to his family. The same concern applies to our other classmates remembered in these reports. 
W. Brooks Keffer '51 LLB (1929-2015)  Brooks had a wonderfui family life where he grew up. He became the managing partner of a leading Philadelphia law firm. As at
Amherst, Brooks was a respected leader in all that he undertook. All who knew him grieve his passing. 
Richard B. Duncan '51 (1929 -2015) was editor for Armstrong World Industries publications. Family and community revered him.
James D. Hobbs '51 LLB (1927-2014) Jim was a lawyer in San Francisco, CA and active with Amherst alumni and California conservationists.
Richard A. Hopkins '51 MBA (1929-2014) Dick was longtime executive of the Ford Foundation and brother of John '58. A stalwart of class of '51 reunions.
Eric B. Outwater '51 (1929-2014)
Peter K. Nichols '51 MBA (1929-2014) Pete has passed away having performed nearly all dimensions of Amerst liberal arts. Pete is survived by his wife Nancy Nichols of San Francisco, daughters Julia Nichols Andres of Novato, Karen Mercury (Dan) of Vallejo, Claudia Heikhaus-Morfit (Fred) of San Anselmo, Jonathan Nichols (Carla) of San Francisco, and Matthew Nichols of New York City.
John M. Woodbridge '51 MFA (1929-2014) imageJohn died suddenly while traveling in the south of France. A prominent architect, he designed Pennsylvania Ave in DC. John was nephew, cousin, grandson, son and father of Amherst grads.  He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer prize poet, his children Pamela and Lawrence '80.
Leonard S. Kolsky '51 LLB LLM (1929-14)  Len was a pioneer in the legal dimensions of the Internet revolution.  He was an indispensable advisor to the Federal Communications Commission and to Motorola. Len is survived by Liz Sachs, his beloved wife of 25 years, as well as two adoring daughters, Meredith (Kent) Lewis and Reese (Rob) Rowe, from his first marriage to Michele Gordon Kolsky,
George A. Grover '51(1929-2014)
George became an accomplished computer programmer with IBM. George Grover was also a passionate reader, poet and surfer.  He married Mary Elizabeth Grover with whom he raised five children; Eric '79, Gavin, Wendy, Chris and Margot.  
Class of 1951 grieves for dick snodgrass who  lost his wife arlanne. our class secretaries are closest to us by keeping in touch by phone and writing up our news.
 click on each name below to reach the college's "In Memory" portal.These include available public obits and/or extracts from the cherished 50th Reunion book of Bill Maloney whose own links & photo appears at the close of this column.                         

John H. Baker '51 MBA (1930-2014) Raymond R. Machlett '51 (1929-1987)
Robert Cornish '51 MA (1929-2013)
Thomas H. Bloor '51 (1930-2013)
Julian D. (Jack) Conover '51 MBA (1929-2013) See his last words >>  Jack Conover writes “in keeping up with our country’s fast moving cultural changes, I married my partner of over 49 years, Bob Hickok, on July15, 2013.
Robert B. Campbell '51 LLB (1929-2012)
Charles M. Marshall '51 (1927-2013)
Benjamin N. Kightlinger '51 MD (1929-2013)
Ben was especially generous in his donations to Amherst College.after a distinguished medical career.

2013 Wyman Medal Winner

Risalat Khan '13 is a geology and environment major from Dacca, Bangladesh.  There follows his own words and his response for the 1951 campaign for the Singing College.
"I am honored to receive the Wyman Medal. It came as a very nice surprise in the same week following my birthday! I am sorry for the late reply - I was in the Berkshires with some friends for the last few days for a senior week trip and had no internet access.

To satisfy a bit of your curiosity about my background:

I went to a normal private high school in Bangladesh. It isn't especially distinguished by any means. When I graduated from high school, I considered my college options, and coming to the US on scholarship seemed like a good idea. So I went online, searched for rankings, and applied to the top few colleges and universities. Amherst happened to be the only place I got in (besides being wait-listed in a few other places), and while I did not know much about liberal arts colleges at the time, I liked it the more I read about it, and ended up coming here. Some of my school mates are in colleges in the US and Canada, but very few are in Oxford or Cambridge (or more generally, in the UK - even though there are some). Did you ask because Bangladesh used to be a British colony?

My plans for the immediate future involves a social entrepreneurship program in Boulder, CO for which I got selected. It is a start-up called Watson University, founded by a young Amherst alum (Eric Glustrom '07). I am excited to be part of the inaugural class (comprising 18 Watson scholars) and look forward to being in Boulder. Over the summer, I hope to do some research with a professor on the recent political turmoil in Bangladesh, take a road trip across the US, and go back home for a bit.

By the senior song, I understand you mean the song with lyrics "Strangers once, we came to dwell together..."? I did not know the song until quite recently, but a good friend of mine arranged to have the entire senior class sing the senior song together at Senior Assembly, and forwarded us a video of the song so we could learn the lyrics. I enjoyed singing it, and think it is a good song.

Regarding the Lord Jeffery Amherst song, however, I take some issue. From your google search, you may have come across my name relating to conversations on the "Lord Jeff" mascot. The song embeds in its lyrics a power dynamics that is inappropriate in a world where native americans are still so oppressed. Whether or not it was designed to be satirical does not really matter. Even very recently in our college's history, and definitely during the time that you were a student (please correct me if I'm mistaken), the issue of genocide of native americans was thrown around very lightly, even displayed as decoration in Val china. I organized an event on campus during this past semester where Michael Kelly, the Head of Archives and Special Collections at Frost Library, made an excellent presentation about the history of our mascot. I firmly believe that even though this has been an important tradition, it is time for us to move beyond this and choose a mascot that is inclusive for all our community members but can still energize our sports teams.

Again, I thank you for your email and for the recognition. Is there anything that follows this? You shared the list of previous award receivers, and I was impressed upon looking up the past awardees. Perhaps there can be a group where these individuals can share ideas about how best to use the Amherst education and experience to service humanity?
Best regards,
Risalat Khan 



Thomas Gibbs '51
Charles Longsworth '51