1970

Class of ’70 friends, as I mentioned in my last Class Notes, Stephen Valentine has created a Facebook page, RPI Class of 1970. There are now 50 members and we’d love to have more. Great photos and stories that are reminders of our illustrious past.

Kenton Lee wrote: “I will always consider myself as part of the Class of ’70 even though I was on the five-year ZBT program. After being with the NYS Dept. of Public Service, American Electric Power, an independent consultant in the U.S., and even several months in Pakistan, and with several auto dealers, I find that retirement and grandchildren are the best rewards. I keep busy with USA Hockey as a referee and coaching clinic instructor. I’ve officiated on-ice for almost 25 years, from 6-to-7-year-old children through high school JV and varsity and all levels of adult hockey (many of whom act like 6-to-7-year-olds). Instead of paying to go to a gym to exercise, I get paid to stay fit; I’ve done over 250 games over the past 12 months alone! For 2018, I am looking forward to celebrating 45 years of marriage to my wife, Joyce, who just retired, and more time with our five grandchildren. I try to keep in touch with Sue Alten and former roommate Wayne Coleman and Carolyn Chin ’69.

Howard Matis posted on the Facebook page: “My RPI education just paid off. Two papers that I co-authored were cited by the Nobel Prize for Chemistry as important background research that led to this year’s Nobel Prize—The Development of Cryo-Electron Microscopy.” Howard, a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is president of the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP). Howard and the CPEP received the 2017 Excellence in Physics Education Award from APS Physics “for leadership in providing educational materials on contemporary physics topics to students for over 25 years.”

John Granito lives in Hawaii and is still a performing musician. He shared two great memories. The first was the fall of 1976 when the freshman dorms emptied out and we ran down to the football field to tear down the goal posts. WRPI had announced that RPI won its first football game in 10 years! RPI beat Middlebury, who started the losing streak 10 years earlier.

Paul Miller remembers RPI football finishing the season 5-4. “The final game against the Yellowjackets of the University of Rochester occurred on freshman parents’ weekend, as I recall my parents watching the game. Overly excited, we tore out the goal post, and for some strange reason carried it through downtown Troy, about 4:30. A Troy cop stopped traffic. We returned up to the ’86 Field, joyful, as our parents figured it was time to head home in their cars. At least we had spirit, and for once in 17 years, a winning season.”

John Granito also shared photos of Jimi Hendrix playing at the Armory, a concert that we all should have gone to. I envy Wayne Coleman who was in the fifth row.

Talking about concerts, Kenton Lee looked through old Polys and found our concert pedigree. Through the years at the Field House, we had Simon & Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Association and The Young Rascals (same blanket concert), Sammy Davis Jr., Mitch Ryder (but no mention of the Detroit Wheels), The McCoys (“Hang On Sloopy” fame), The Lovin’ Spoonful, Woody Allen, The Doors, the New Christy Minstrels, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Al Hirt, Tom Paxton, Jay and the Americans, Flip Wilson, Iron Butterfly, B.B. King, Sonny & Cher, Bill Cosby and Roberta Flack, and Santana. Jimi Hendrix appeared at the Troy Armory. Jamie Martinez remembers Little Anthony and the Imperials at the Field House, and Paul Miller added Gary U.S. Bonds, The Fifth Dimension, The Association, and Alan King.

As for my own recent exploits, probably most important is the therapy dog work that my spouse Julia Macdonald, ’72 and ’77, and I do with our dogs Jack and Ally, rescues from Georgia and Alabama. We go weekly to a nursing home, a school where first and second graders read to them, and the community library, and then monthly to an adult day care facility.

The Class of ’70 had a great time in our four, sometimes five, or maybe even six years on campus, and now we can look forward to our 50th in 2020.

I hope to hear from you soon. Just remember there is usually a few months lag between submitting notes and the magazine being published. Send me an email or connect on our RPI Class of 1970 Facebook page. —Rick Hartt ’70; harttrm@aol.com

“My RPI education just paid off. Two papers that I co-authored were cited by the Nobel Prize for Chemistry as important background research that led to this year’s Nobel Prize—The Development of Cryo-Electron Microscopy.” HOWARD MATIS ’70

1971

Phalanx Dance

Fifty years ago, in September of 1967, I met my future wife at a dance that was “mandatory” for all freshmen to attend. It was the Phalanx Dance. RPI went to all of the surrounding schools that were predominately women (think nursing schools) and recruited 700 young ladies to be bused to the old Field House for an evening where they were matched with (as my wife describes the scene) a “pimply faced young man.” All the matching was done by asking only four questions, two of which would now be illegal: “what is your race” and “what is your religion.”

My apparent date (I actually met her three years later) had a far better offer from a fraternity brother, and my wife was just too uncomfortable to come down from the stands when they called her name.

So the remaining guys and gals were paired by forming two long lines. Then it was just “you with you.” I suspect I might be the only person who ever married his Phalanx Dance date, or at least stayed married since 1967.

I have been so fortunate in so many ways over the years, but meeting my bride (Joyce) was by far the best thing that ever happened in my life.I am thankful to RPI that they made sure that each of us “geeks” went out on at least one date in our college career!

— Ralph R. (Rich) Barra ’71, M.S. ’72

On Oct. 8 I ran the Delaware Distance Classic 15K race in Delaware City, Del., finishing in 1:09:37, good for second place among men 65-69.

Let me know what you’ve been up to. —Seth Bergmann ’71; bergmann@rowan.edu

1972

Betty Sanders is a Lifetime Master Gardener and a nationally accredited flower show judge. She has studied gardening everywhere from the Arnold Arboretum to the New York Botanical Garden, and has lectured at many garden shows and civic organizations in the Northeast. —Bob Dvorak ’72; bobdvorak@hvc.rr.com

1973

45th Reunion: Sept. 27-30, 2018 Hard to believe that our 45th Reunion is coming up in a few short months! Hope many of you are planning to come back to the ’tute...if you haven’t seen the campus in the last few years, you won’t believe it is the same place we attended. Not only are the buildings and grounds impressive, but the students are, as well. Incoming classes are about 1,500 in size and average board scores are over 1400. Good-looking kids, too!

Now on to the news: Our old friend Tom Iovino just announced he was retiring from his company, Judlau Contracting, after 35 years there. Tom sold his company a few years ago to OHL North America and he stayed on as CEO until last July. Judlau is a large civil contracting company headquartered in Queens, N.Y., and has completed more than $3.5B in projects for the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Congratulations, Tom!

Marc Bellotti was recently named to the board of directors of SpineOvations, a California-based medical device company developing minimally invasive therapies for spinal disc problems. Marc is partner at Fuel Source Partners, a management consulting firm in the medical device industry. Previously he was VP, research and development, at Sonendo Inc. Earlier he held senior management positions at Baxter Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson. Great career Marc...many of us might like to try the SpineOvations product to help our ailing backs.

As of this writing, I am back at work too, as president and CEO of Universal Trailer Corp., a mid-sized horse, livestock, and cargo trailer company with seven plants in six states. So, if anybody needs a new pig trailer, just give me a call. Happy to give the “friends and family” discount. We also have motorcycle and snowmobile trailers, if that’s more your style.

Send in more info, folks. You’ll want to amaze your classmates on how many grandchildren you have and how many new patents you’ve received since graduation. As always, check in with our website: rpi73.org and let Steve Norton update your profile. See you at our 45th Reunion in September. —Gary DiCamillo ’73; garydicamillo@gmail.com

1974

At the time I write this the Class of 1972 is celebrating homecoming at RPI. That means we only have two more years before we join ranks again for our 45th Reunion and seven years before we hit number 50 and also celebrate RPI’s 200th year. And we need you to help make both of them memorable for everyone. How? By volunteering to work on the Reunion committee.

So now that you are retired and have nothing to do, there is no excuse for not helping plan our next Reunion. It takes very little of your time and just sharing your ideas. So if you want to do more than just showing up in October 2019, drop me a line or call me. Contact info is at the end of this article.

As far as news goes, Don O’Hare retired several years ago with the rank of lt. col. in the U.S. Army after 26-½ years. Don is a Troy native and married to local nurse Gail Stevens, but now they both live in Colorado Springs with their daughter, Kelly.

Dana Rowley was elected president of the board at the Livermore Valley Educational Foundation. He retired back in 2013 after 32 years at LLNL.

I received an email from Larry Almaleh just after the last news update went out. He tried to make several homecomings but has been busy traveling for work. Still working as a project manager at Black & Veatch, now in the Special Projects Group. Larry made his first trip around the world returning from Diego Garcia when delays made him change travel plans to head west to go home instead of east. He has been with B&V over 41 years and thinks he set a company record by working with or in every division.

He still lives in the Kansas City area. His daughter Katie is getting married in Dallas and his son Ryan has now settled in Denver. After his son broke up with his girlfriend in Hawaii, he and his wife, Harriet, became granddog owners after adopting Don Draper, a 10-pound bundle of energy. He now runs their household. He says it took some time getting used to snow last winter. (Larry, don’t you remember RPI winters!) Contact Almalehj@aol.com.

I also heard from Kathe Kilmer. She’s retired from Kodak after 33 years in their research division, mostly in clinical diagnostics. She is saddened at EK’s demise. She then spent five years refereeing high school volleyball and many years tutoring SATs part time, but reports it is not as fun since they dumbed it down. She and husband Bob Kulpinski have a metallurgist son in Ohio and a daughter living in New Zealand in business, and now three sweet granddaughters—a 2-year-old and identical twin 3-year-olds. Still enjoys tennis, paddle tennis, and a bit of pickle, and definitely traveling. —James C. Wernicke, P.E. ’74; wernickejc@yahoo.com

1975

Greetings to the Class of 1975! Recently heard from Bob Fitzgibbon. He is working as a principal engineer in RF/microwave and other physics areas for Alion Science and Technology in Rome, N.Y. He’s also a member of the Rome Academy of Sciences, which hosts topical talks and sponsors science fairs in the local schools. His wife, Jennifer, is a church organist and they are both active in choir and other church work. They had a wonderful trip to Missouri in August to see the eclipse. Extracurricular activities include astronomy and amateur radio. They talk to Catherine Fiore and Valerie Lyons and Paul Crilly ’76 every now and then on Facebook, and say, all the best to fellow alumni.

On the home front, Maureen and I have continued our SKI (Spending the Kids’ Inheritance) vacations, and spent two weeks in September in Vancouver, Canada, and on a sea/land cruise to Alaska. We visited Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, and two resorts outside Denali National Park. Unfortunately, Mount Denali was socked in with clouds during our entire trip, and that same overcast prevented us from any chance of seeing the northern lights.

Send news and updates.—David Stark ’75; dcstark@hotmail.com 

1976

Gary Neal was elected treasurer general of the General Society of the War of 1812 for a three-year term. —Michael Mino ’76, mgmoble@gmail.com

1977

Dear classmates! You missed a great Reunion! All who came seemed to really enjoy themselves very much. We have definitely learned that it is important to have a Class of ’77 event each day and to have some events on campus and some off campus. Not everyone can attend all of the events, but many can attend at least one event. The surprise for us was that our lecture given by George Christian was extremely well attended and by multiple classes as well! Following that we had dinner at Dinosaur BBQ, right at the foot of the Green Island Bridge, and had several people attend that hadn’t even registered for Reunion, so we had no idea they were coming! The fun continued through the weekend and ended with a celebration at the Oktoberfest on Sunday at a goodbye lunch and dancing and beer. The club had decorated the tables, complete with red roses. Club 77 showed up at 677 Prime and enjoyed our favorite band, Monolith. If you weren’t there, we were all wondering where you were and why you were missing the party!! Many thanks to Jim Robinson, Barb and Bob Cobuzzi, and Victoria and Bill Gordon for helping with all the details, as well as Kaitlyn Lounsbury from the alumni office for accommodating our desires as a class.

In preparation for the Reunion, I did contact a number of folks. First of all, Jim and I were excited to meet Wayne Roberts (Steve Wayne Roberts) and his wife, Darcy, this summer. They live across the lake from us in Georgia and we had a delightful time when we got together. The picture below is of the three of us in early October at the Atlanta chapter meeting of the RAA at the new Mercedes Benz stadium. It was well attended with about 77 folks, but we were the only three from our class. Very nice tour of all the clubs in the stadium and locker rooms. It is very impressive.

I also had a chance in September to meet up with Kathy and Jon Sigler in White River Junction in Vermont. Jon said he wouldn’t be able to make the Reunion because he was scheduled to be in a bicycle race in Croatia that week, but he was eager to tell me how much his experience with the Student Union had influenced his career for the positive. I also had dinner with Harriet Markis in Times Square in New York City. Harriet really enjoys being a professor at Pratt and appreciates the enthusiasm of her students.

From Karen Schmidt Ryan and Jim Ryan: “Sorry we can’t make it—work events that we can’t miss. Retiring in June 2018 though, so work will not get in the way for much longer. Hope you all have a blast.”

Ben Cahill (BSEE) recently retired after working for Intel Corp. as a software engineer for 26 years. Prior to that, he was a computer and analog hardware engineer with Formation, Castle Instruments (his own business), Varityper (where he met his wife, Gail), Wyse Technology, and Chips and Technologies. Along with retirement comes the opportunity to get back into hardware (and play a lot of music)!

From Vinnie Metzger: “I’ll be over in Europe during the Reunion weekend, so will not be able to attend.” Noting that Atlanta is now nicknamed ATLwood and is now number 1 in movies, and number 2 in TV shows...He appeared in The Accountant last fall, with Ben Affleck, as well as Confirmation, on HBO. “On TV, I’ve turned up on episodes of Stranger Things, Containment, Survivor’s Remorse, Finding Carter, Greenleaf, and Devious Maids.” He had appearances on Manhunt: Unibomber on 8/22, Being Mary Jane on 9/19, Valor on 10/16, and in the movies in Bastards with Glenn Close and Owen Wilson on 12/22.

My classmates made me promise that “what goes on at Reunion for Club 77, stays at Reunion 77,” but if you write me or better yet call me, I’m bound to share a detail or two. Looking forward to hearing from all of you! —Maureen H. Regan Robinson ’77, maureen7221@aol.com

The Rensselaer Alumni Chapter of Atlanta enjoyed an exclusive tour of the newly completed Mercedes Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta in October. The stadium, which replaces the Georgia Dome, is the new home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. Among the almost 80 attendees were Class of ’77 graduates, from left, class correspondent Maureen Robinson, Wayne Roberts, and Jim Robinson.

1978

40th Reunion: Sept. 27-30, 2018 The mailbox was empty this time around. Send me those updates from your recent vacation, hobbies, and chance meetups with other alumni!

Our 40th Reunion is coming in October, so catch updates on Facebook (RPI Class of 1978). Have a great spring and summer and look forward to seeing all of you at the Reunion! —Mark Keough ’78; mark.keough@cox.net

1979

Robin Kemper ’79 Elected President of ASCE

Robin Kemper ’79 was elected president of the American Society of Civil Engineers for the 2018-2019 term. She is the fifth woman to lead the organization in its 165-year history. Her induction in October as president-elect marks the first time in ASCE history that women hold all three levels of presidential leadership (president, past president, and president-elect).

Kemper is a senior risk engineering consultant for Zurich Services Corporation. As an ASCE member since 1979, she has held a variety of leadership roles including president of the New Jersey Section. In 2015, she was named Civil Engineer of the Year by the ASCE New Jersey Section, in recognition of her contributions to the civil engineering profession.

In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Kemper has worked on many structural engineering building design projects, including the feasibility study of the Bethlehem Steel plant that helped transform the former historical plant into a vibrant community. She holds a Master of Engineering and a dual bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and building science from Rensselaer and is a licensed professional engineer in six jurisdictions.

Kemper joins the ranks of illustrious alumni who have served as ASCE president, including bridge engineer Charles Macdonald, Class of 1857, steel expert William Metcalf, Class of 1858, and Civil Engineer Corps leader Mordecai Endicott, Class of 1868.

Robin (Block) Kemper was elected president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). As an ASCE member since 1979, Robin has held a variety of leadership roles including president of the New Jersey Section, director of Region 1, ASCE’s representative for Engineers Without Borders, and Student Chapter president.

Bill Jameson retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserve in May 2017 after 37 years. He had been an Army engineer with the 1st Armored Division in Germany, and then in Korea with the Corps of Engineers. He is now retired and living in South Carolina with his wife, Shelly, who is originally from Troy. They have two children, adopted in Korea, who are now a doctor and a nurse. Bill was recently elected to the Orienteering USA board of directors and named secretary. Bill began his orienteering hobby back in ’75 at Rensselaer.

Melanie Brown writes that after serving as chief patent counsel of Cytec Industries, she set up her own intellectual property law practice handling contracts, opinions, and patent protection. She continues to serve on the board of BRICK Academy, a nonprofit established to turn around a failing elementary school in Newark, N.J. Last year, she started to mentor a BRICK family out of poverty including teaching the second grader to read, tutoring the mom for the GED, securing employment for the mom, and hosting the three children at her house during their summer vacation.

“The American Society of Civil Engineers has shaped the future of the civil engineering profession for more than 160 years. I look forward to leading the organization as we reach new heights.” ROBIN KEMPER ’79

John Emmett has retired from his nuclear engineering career after four years with Commonwealth Edison in Chicago and then 34 years at the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. His last assignment was developing Susquehanna’s response to the Fukushima accident in compliance with NRC regulations and Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) industry guidance. He previously had been a reactor engineer, on-shift in plant operations (including a senior reactor operator certification), systems engineering supervision, and nuclear fuels engineering. John writes he is now enjoying lots of tennis, being a volleyball referee, playing with his Porsche, and getting better at his hobbies of woodworking and photography. John is married to Bernis Soper ’80 and they live in Mountain Top, Pa., where they raised their two children, David and Grace.

Rich Lowney received the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Jeremiah Milbank Gold Medallion award at the organization’s national conference in Dallas recently. Since 1983, Rich has helped raise money and awareness and affect policy to advance the programs that serve more than 31,000 children in New Hampshire’s 13 Boys & Girls Clubs. He is the president of the NH Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs.

Mark Eagle writes that he and his family have recently visited Iceland, the Panama Canal, and France. He found traveling is harder than working, so is now the director of development services for Uncommon Solutions, a technology consulting firm, and is the Denver RAN captain.

Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., was featured in an article in the September 5 issue of Forbes on the use of computer science and advanced math classes in training financial analysts. —Paul Sicard ’79; psicard@entergy.com