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Jerry Reinert '56 Portrait

Speed painter Dale Henry created this portrait of Jerry Reinert ’56

1956

Peter Wayner Jr., professor emeritus of chemical engineering at Rensselaer, recently won the 2020 Max Jakob Memorial Award. This award — given in memory of Max Jakob, a pioneer in heat transmission research — recognizes “eminent achievement of distinguished service in the area of heat transfer.” It’s given jointly by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Posted 2021-09-29
Ron Neaton died on Dec. 29, 2019. He was a regular attendee of many reunions. His obituary, in part, noted, “Ronald was a graduate of RPI, receiving a master’s degree. While in college, he served in the United States Navy Reserve. While in the reserve, Ronald worked his way up to captain. Ronald was a retired employee of GE as a welding engineer. Ronald was also an active member of the Jermain Memorial Presbyterian Church as an elder helping with readings, cooking, and teaching Sunday school. He also loved the outdoors, especially hunting. Ronald was also heavily involved in the Military Officers Association of America and served as president.” Posted 2021-09-29
Marvin Menzin and his wife, Peggy, are well and still living in their house in Lexington, Massachusetts, and their summer place on Cape Cod. They are glad vaccines work and that “life is now back to normal.” They are enjoying their five married children, 13 grandkids, and three great-grandkids. Marvin still skis a few hours a day. He is doing some mentoring for startups at Northeastern University and judging senior capstone projects. “It’s nice to use some of my engineering skills to help younger people, but alas, it shows me just how rusty I am in real engineering,” he says. He started writing a memoir with a group in late 2018 and is up to age 50 out of 86 years. Posted 2021-09-29
Alan Dolmatch and his wife delayed their trip to Portugal and may try to visit in the fall. They stayed mostly in Skaneateles, New York, since last winter, except for a couple of trips to the Berkshires to see family and stay in well-isolated inn facilities. Alan shops for groceries, shovels the walk from time to time, and does most of the family cooking. “I’m not totally in a vegetative state,” he says. “I used the epidemic as a rationale for dropping some excess weight (about 20 lbs), which has benefited me both in terms of condition and ability to fit into my 20-year-old clothing that hangs discretely in the closet.” Posted 2021-09-29
Frank Griggs reports that all is well in Rexford, New York. He is still working on his golf game, but on Memorial Day, while golfing with his two sons and daughter, he shot his age (86). The first nine was a 47, which is his normal score, but on the back nine, he shot a 39. “I checked and found only .0000089% of people accomplish the feat,” he says. Other than golf, Frank continues to write about early civil engineers. He is finishing up books on Julius Adams and Albert Fink, and researching a book on Herman Haupt. Frank has been in contact with Jim Connors, Cris Hall, Charley Buttz, Peter Goetz, Bill Mouzavires, Wes Moody, Paul Killian, Steve Georgopoulos, John Cunningham, John Noyes, Peter Wayner, and Dave Richards, among others. He had lunch in Stuart, Florida, with his wife and Jerry Reinert and Lois over the winter. Posted 2021-09-29
Jerry Reinert shared that the class is approaching its 65th reunion. “I know that is very hard to believe, but it’s true. Many of us are ill or have passed. I hope that those of you who are reading these notes are feeling OK. The reunion weekend starts Friday, Oct 8. I hope all of you who are able to come will be there. I have asked the reunion office to reserve 10 rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, and to find us a place for about 20 for dinner on Saturday evening, Oct. 9. If you would like a room and/or will attend our dinner, please let us know ASAP. As president of our class, ‘if’ I am able to, I will welcome each and every one of you. I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as can attend. I know how difficult it is, but try to stay strong and healthy. All my best to all of you, your children, your grandchildren and, if you are lucky, your great-grandchildren. If an ‘antique’ is 100 years old, we all only have 14 years to go.” Posted 2021-07-14
Peter Wayner and Ed Woerner
Peter Wayner sent me a photo of himself and Ed Woerneron vacation last year on the island of Anguilla where they have been meeting for over 25 years. They were proudly wearing DEKE T-shirts. He said they “toast RPI every evening.” — Frank Griggs ’56; fgriggsjr@twcc.com Posted 2021-03-16
Dave Richards has been retired for 24 years, has found no use for his slide rule, is busy watching Netflix, and enjoys TV features about engineering disasters. A student of military history, he is doing some reading of religious topics and history and is still trying to cope with arthritis. Posted 2021-02-26
Charley Buttz, knowing my love of bridges, sent me a photo of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. He noted that his apartment has a full view of the bridge. I remember writing a term paper on the original Tappan Zee sophomore year with Isadore Troschen as my professor. Posted 2021-02-26
Jerry Reinert celebrated Thanksgiving and his 85th birthday with his family at the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Early in February of this year, he started a new job guest lecturing at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Graduate School of Business. Posted 2021-02-26
Engineering Frank Griggs writes: It’s been about 68 years since we began our studies at RPI. I remember during that first week going to the bookstore in the basement of the Student Union and buying my books, drafting equipment in a metal container, along with our T square and slide rule, a K & E log log duplex decitrig of course, which we hung from our belts with great pride. Oh, and you may recall tuition was, as I recollect it, $300 a semester. Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Jerry Reinert wrote, “My summer included a week at Safari West, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Lois (with her new knee) and I took my 10-year-old granddaughter Kalina. We all loved it. 2021 will be our 65th Reunion. I’m hoping that we can have a ‘crowd’ of at least 50. I’ll do my best, with your help, to make it have as much fun and camaraderie as possible.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering I got a long email from Joe Freitag describing his long and interesting career. He wrote, in part, “In my junior year I knew that I didn’t want to work for a process company or in the eld of thermodynamics. I loved the math in vibration control and when I graduated I worked for a few months for Sperry Gyroscope Co. testing to failure gyro and hydraulic packages for the Sparrow 1 Missile. It was part of a reliability program. As an Army ROTC student, I activated in January ’57 and went to Germany serving in a direct support ordnance battalion with the 3rd Armored Division. During that time I decided I was going to get an MBA when I returned, which was in early ’59. I applied and was accepted at Harvard Business School.” After that, “I pursued an entrepreneurial career with major aerospace and communications companies wanting to diversify their businesses with systems for the commercial sector. I worked twice for RCA, twice for Hughes, and twice for TRW — now Northrop Grumman — and enjoyed the moves on both coasts...I developed a love for classic cars after retiring and bought a 1930 Model A Cabriolet and a ’56 Thunderbird at the same time. My wife calls them mistresses because they were parked in a rented garage. I worked to make them pretty and then took them out to show off. I am still driving the TBird. I live in Palos Verdes, California, a suburb of Los Angeles and in a beach house on Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. My heath is very good. “My other activity is a foundation I created with my brother and family to honor my Dad, who received his apprenticeship at Daimler in 1923 but came to this country in 1927 when the economic conditions in Germany were so bad. He never worked in the automotive industry, but became a star designer at Sperry. This year I awarded the foundation’s 13th scholarship to a young man who will pursue his EE degree specializing in automotive electronics.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Alan Dolmatch wrote, “In May my wife and I traveled in the south of France in the Languedoc region, where we saw two wonderful spanning structures built about 1,900 years apart. We visited the spectacular Millau Viaduct, a cable-stayed bridge spanning 2.5 kilometers across a deep valley. It was designed by the British architect/engineer Norman Foster about 10 years ago and includes seven masts of about 1,200 feet in height supporting a four-lane roadway some 800 feet above the valley floor. Its counterpart was the Pont du Gard outside of Nimes built by the Romans to deliver water from the mountains to the city of Nimes. About 800 feet of the three-tiered aqueduct remain and can be crossed with great views to the river below.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Paul B. Kilian wrote, “Upon graduation I was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve with a commitment to spend two years on active duty. I was assigned to the District Intelligence Office of the Ninth Naval District in Chicago, Ill. There I conducted background investigations on civilian and naval personnel who required a security clearance for work requiring access to classified information. While in Chicago I got married to Mary Jane. After I was discharged, I was employed by a small consulting civil engineering firm in Troy, N.Y., and designed potable water and sanitary sewerage facilities. My next job was for a slightly larger firm in Trenton, N.J. My work there involved the design and construction supervision of water and sewerage facilities for municipalities in central and southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1965 I obtained a position in a consulting engineering firm in northern New Jersey and we moved up there, where in the course of 12 years, I was employed at three different consulting firms. In 1977 I moved to Portsmouth, N.H., to take the position of vice president and general manager of the Portsmouth regional office of a Maine consulting engineering firm. Later on I was employed by a Portland, Maine, consulting engineering firm to manage the firm’s engineering design and construction activities in New Hampshire. My last year with the firm was spent in their Tallahassee, Fla., office, where I managed the investigation of hazardous waste and leaking underground storage tanks on property being acquired for the construction of an Interstate Highway System expansion project in southern Florida.” Posted 2020-05-18
Engineering Peter Wayner wrote, “At the 2019 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, in July, in Bellevue, Wash., I received a Certificate of Recognition at dinner from the ASME/AIChE Heat Transfer Division with a AIChE daylong symposium on research in my honor. With a small amount of time, I still do a little bit of research as a professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI. No longer skiing, I look forward to spring.” Posted 2020-05-18
Frank Griggs writes: I continue to work on my golf game. You may recall a few issues ago I noted that a 200-yard drive was a good one. Now I say it is a really, really good one. I continue writing on civil engineering history, concentrating on Rensselaer civil engineering grads. Posted 2019-10-01
Larry Zutty wrote, “I’m enjoying retirement...I know most say this, but it’s really great. I’m very happily married to my wife of 60 years. We live near Princeton, N.J. We enjoy driving trips around the country. The last one covered over 3,000 miles. We take time to see shows and concerts...standard stuff. Next week we’re having lunch with Jerry Berns.”  Posted 2019-10-01
Frank Griggs writes: I got an email from the son of Peter McDonough, also named Peter, who said he was googling some information and the name Bob McGrath was in it. He writes: “This raised my curiosity about Bob McGrath because he was my father’s best man in his wedding and also my godfather. So I googled Bob’s name and it led me to your RPI alumni column, spring and fall of 2018. Just to let you know, dad passed away in February 2004. I shared your articles with my mom, and she really enjoyed hearing about Bob. She told me how much respect dad had for  Posted 2019-10-01
Charley Buttz, our class historian, wrote, “Took a 4,700-mile auto trip to Florida, Texas, and points in between in March. Visited Chuck Blum, an old (really old!) RPI roommate in Ft. Lauderdale, and my wife’s brother and our classmate, Art Castro, in Houston, en route. Had a marvelous time and am considering another overseas junket in the fall. What’s that old chestnut about a rolling stone?”  Posted 2019-10-01
Charley Buttz, our class historian, wrote, “Took a 4,700-mile auto trip to Florida, Texas, and points in between in March. Visited Chuck Blum, an old (really old!) RPI roommate in Ft. Lauderdale, and my wife’s brother and our classmate, Art Castro, in Houston, en route. Had a marvelous time and am considering another overseas junket in the fall. What’s that old chestnut about a rolling stone?”  Posted 2019-10-01
Peter Goetz wrote he is raising goats and rabbits, to go along with his chickens, in Cold Harbor, N.Y. He still flies his airplane and plays tennis three times a week. He spends his winters in Naples, Fla. For you history buffs, Washington A. Roebling, Class of 1857, and builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, is buried in Cold Harbor.  Posted 2019-10-01
Bill Mouzavires wrote telling me that a fellow Delt, Harry Williams ’57, passed away in 2018. He stays in touch with some of his hockey teammates, including Jim Shildneck, Marty Karch, and Lloyd Bauer. He spends his winters in Bradenton Beach, Fla. He wrote, “I have lots of aches and pains…from playing too much sports but am glad I’m still kicking.”  Posted 2019-10-01
Paul Kilian lives in Dover, N.H., and wrote he lost his second wife recently. He is planning on entering a continual care retirement community in Durham, N.H., shortly.  Posted 2019-10-01
Bob McGrath and Jack Cunningham sent me a copy of an obituary for Parker B. Hornbeck, a chemical engineering major and fraternity brother who died Nov. 14, 2018, in Carmel Valley, Calif. Parker spent his first two years after graduation with a chemical company. He then enlisted in the Navy, graduated from the Naval Officer Candidate School at Newport, R.I., and served for 11 years on active duty attaining the rank of lieutenant. His last assignment was on a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser.

After naval service, Parker spent 35 years with Bechtel Corp. as a quality assurance engineer for several nuclear power plants throughout California and the northwest. He was a lifetime member of the National Ski Patrol, eventually earning a National Appointment classification. 
Posted 2019-10-01
Jerry Reinert wrote, “Hi, from your ‘aging’ class president. Only two more years left before our next Reunion. If I’m physically able, I’ll be on campus to welcome all of you that can make it. Being in our mid-80s isn’t easy. Lois and I, my two sons, daughter-in-law and (only) two grandchildren are all fine. I’ve been quite busy with business, philanthropy, and RPI. In business, my partner and I are in the middle of our third building project in South America. At RPI, my two endowments are very active: The first is the Reinert–Rader Fellowship Fund. The second is the Reinert Executive Speakers Fund. This fund invites a high-level executive to come to campus to speak, one every semester. I try to get up to RPI to introduce each of them. Try and stay healthy, and please consider joining us in 2021.”  Posted 2019-10-01
Leonard LeSchack
Mount LeSchack on Antarctica was named for Leonard LeSchack, who was the traverse seismologist during the Byrd Station winter party in 1958. Later, LeSchack received the Presidential Legion of Merit for his role in Operation Coldfeet, which investigated an abandoned Soviet drift station in the Arctic in 1962. Posted 2019-03-15
Robert A. Knapp died on March 13, 2018. Bob served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was a loyal employee of General Electric for over 30 years, retiring in 1987. Posted 2019-03-10
An email from the son of Leonard A. LeSchack states: “Unfortunately, my dad passed away last year. December 15, 2017. With full honors, caisson, and 21-gun salute, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in May of this year. He thought of you guys fondly and was really happy to catch up the last time he was there.” Some of you may recall Leonard was a captain in the U.S. Navy and attended our 60th Reunion. He prepared a fascinating PowerPoint program titled “From RPI Cheerleader to Cold War Hero” for our reunion and it can be viewed on our class website (to access, just Google, RPI Class of 1956 wix). Posted 2019-03-10
Frank Griggs writes: While poking around the internet for information on my classmates, I found in the October 6, 1955, issue of the Times Record in Troy, N.Y., an article that stated, “A 1956 RPI Cadet Top Ranked for the second straight year. An Army ROTC student is reported as the outstanding cadet among 231,900 or more attending the summer camp training period at Fort Bragg, N.C. He is Charles W. Buttz of Aberdeen, N.D., a senior in civil engineering…Cadet Buttz is the cadet commander of the Army ROTC battalion at the institute.” Charles has been the class historian for many years and has attended most of the class reunions over the years. He and his wife, Teresa, the sister of our classmate Art Castro, live in Buck Hill Falls, Pa. Art was a longtime class correspondent. Posted 2019-03-10
Peter Goetz wrote: “I am living in Cold Spring, N.Y., but still practicing construction law on a limited basis. Still flying and playing tennis on a regular basis but gave up skiing as I find getting into my ski boots too much effort. I started raising designer chickens, which is a lot of fun except for the coop cleaning aspect; however, I found a local man who took on that chore for a small remittance. My three children still live in the NY area so I see them regularly. I am still very sad losing my close friend Sam Heffner. We worked together along with Jack Broadbent ’59 three+ years ago to start up the new DKE house on campus.” Posted 2019-03-10
Marvin Menzin wrote: “I am still enjoying retirement and being very busy. Peggy and I are still skiing at Killington. My free over-80 season ticket helps though we are taking it easier on the slopes now. Still helping to teach engineering in elementary school, a blast working with K-2 kids on fixing their projects that didn’t quite work as planned. My engineering projects also didn’t work as planned, even with 40 years of experience! Started mentoring college startups at Northeastern University. Amazed at how many are trying startups at NEU. Not all techies either. Been lucky healthwise, falling apart from age of course, but very gradually and most key components still work. Been lucky familywise too. Five married kids and most of my 13 grandkids still live in Boston area and we see them often. Never thought life could be this good at 84.” Posted 2019-03-10
Dave Bonnar wrote: “I have been playing lots of tennis in retirement in Florida. I am captain of two tennis teams in the Space Coast Tennis Leagues in Brevard County near the Cape. In 2015 my doubles partner and I won the qualifier to represent Florida in the National Seniors Tennis Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., at their main college campus. We played four days of round robin and came in sixth place out of 14 states who played. In 2017 (they play every two years in the Nationals) we had a similar experience in Birmingham, Ala. We won two matches outdoors on clay courts, and lost the bronze medal indoors on hard courts due to rain. So we came in fourth out of 12 states represented. “Now, we are getting ready to qualify again in Florida for another shot at the 2019 Nationals. These matches will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., next June. We are now in the 80-84 age bracket. My partner is older, so we can’t quite make the 85-89 bracket this time. This may be our last time playing in the Seniors Nationals. “After working 47 years in CA and FL one year, retirement is painting and playing tennis and doing yard work. I also spent the last 10 years delivering food for Meals on Wheels here in our county.” Posted 2019-03-10
Jim Connors wrote in reference to Bob McGrath’s story in the last alumni news: “You can tell Bob that my memory is that when the suit of armor showed up at the neighborhood bar, Steve (Stavros) Georgopoulos’ smiling face was inside. I believe G. Reed Shaw ’27, our adviser, walked over, lifted the faceplate, and said ‘take it back.’ ” Posted 2019-03-10
Jerry Reinert writes: “I’ve had a very busy year: Lois and I spent some time in Costa Rica visiting my son and his family. We recently returned from a trip to India. I must say that it was the least enjoyable trip that we have taken.

“I retired from Wall Street two years after my wife, Madeleine, died of cancer in 1992 at age 54. I moved to Boca Raton, and two years after that I met Lois. We have been together ever since. My first 10 years in Florida we spent doing philanthropic work, and teaching at Lynn University. I hope that all of you will be healthy and strong enough to attend our 65th Reunion in 2021. That goes for me as well. Try to stay healthy, enjoy life, and to those of you who are still working, it’s time to quit.”

Jerry also let us know that his good friend, Saul Levy, died Oct. 23. Saul was a member of Phi Sigma Delta and AIEE - IRE. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at Yeshivah University and was a tenured professor of applied mathematics and computer science at Rutgers.
Posted 2019-03-10
Engineering From Frank Griggs ’56: Another six months has passed and I am still plugging along. I got a new knee in July and am still getting used to it. As some of you are aware, my hobby and passion for the past 30+ years has been the restoration of iron and wooden bridges. I was presented with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Distinguished Alumni Award for 2019 at the RPI Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting on Jan. 14, 2019, in Washington, D.C. It was a great honor. Posted 2019-03-10
I also found that Edward Hasbrouck, another CE, died on Nov. 20, 2017, in Southborough, Mass. He worked with Perini Construction Corp. and the Beacon Construction Co. in Boston. Posted 2018-10-10
Also I found that Paul Goldstein, a fellow CE, died in Albany on Feb. 17, 2016. He spent his entire career, 35 years, with the New York State Office of General Services specializing in water and waste management. Posted 2018-10-10
On a sadder note, I got a notice that Paul Nepf died in Lagrangeville, N.Y., after a long battle with Parkinson’s on Feb. 10, 2018. He spent a large amount of his career with IBM until his early retirement in 1985. He was the church organist and choir director at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Fishkill for over 40 years. Posted 2018-10-10
In the last issue I included a note on Bob McGrath. It resulted in an email for John Cunningham telling me that he, Bob, and Tom Kirchner were brothers in Phi Kappa Tau and that he had kept in touch with Tom over the years attending his wedding, 50th wedding anniversary, and his funeral. Tom retired in 1996 after working 40 years at UGI Corp. and died on Nov. 9, 2017, in Reading, Pa. He was active in community affairs serving six years on the Daniel Boone School board of directors, 12 years on the Amity Township board of supervisors, and was a 45-year member of the Daniel Boone Optimist Club. Tom and his wife, Charlotte, had been trying to get in touch with Bob over the years and I shared Bob’s email with John to give to her. It is this kind of rekindling old friendships and experiences that the class notes are intended to foster.

Bob McGrath also wrote: “Recently I remembered when the Civils were required to take two summer courses in surveying. Our first was for three weeks in June 1954 at Green Mountain Junior College in Poultney, Vt. The other was for two weeks in August 1955, when we were based at the Hoosac School in Hoosick, N.Y. Memorable events occurred at both places, but here is one that happened at Hoosac.

“We were housed in the main building of the Hoosac School, a two-story Gothic-style former mansion with a foreboding look both inside and out. We had heard rumors of ghosts that sometimes visited the building and campus grounds. Inside the mansion’s main entrance hall, on the landing of an elaborate staircase, was a full suit of armor. One night we were awakened by noises coming from the staircase vicinity. Sleepy-eyed students emerged from their rooms and assembled in the hallway, dumbfounded by the scene. Clanging down the stairway was the suit of armor! Strange wooing sounds were emitting from the facemask. The sounds soon changed to uncontrollable laughter. The knight in shining armor lifted his facemask. Does anyone remember who was inside?” For another tale, see “Memories.”
Posted 2018-10-10
Paul Pillsbury wrote: “In 2000, I retired after 44 years working in the field of gas turbine combustor design, first in aircraft jet engines and subsequently in power generation combustion turbines. During those years we lived in Connecticut, in Pennsylvania (near Swarthmore), and just north of Orlando, Fla. Employers were Pratt & Whitney, Westinghouse, and Siemens Power Generation. Following retirement, we moved back to the Philadelphia area to be near descendants. I am finding that there is no unemployment for those who will work free!” Posted 2018-10-10
Jim Connors emailed a summary of his experiences in the Army and with the New York State Department of Transportation in Albany, Binghamton, and New York City and as a geotech engineer in his retirement. He now lives in Cary, N.C., with his wife, Renee, and near his three daughters and six of his grandchildren. Posted 2018-10-10
I also got an announcement from Bruce Laumeister telling about the gift of his Bennington Center for the Arts to Southern Vermont College, where it will be named the Laumeister Art Center at Southern Vermont College. The president of the College said it was the largest gift ever received. The facility, totaling over 36,000 square feet, includes four main galleries, a 315-seat theater and reception area, offices, meeting rooms, and workshop spaces, as well as a distinctive gallery dedicated to the history and culture of covered bridges in Vermont. Those of you who attended our 40th Reunion may recall the great reception and dinner Bruce put on for us at the Covered Bridge Museum. It was also Bruce who took our picture from the ’56 yearbook and placed it on T-shirts for the occasion. Well done, Bruce! Posted 2018-10-10
Dave Richards wrote, knowing of my affection for bridges: “Greetings from Steeler City—Pittsburgh, Pa., the city of many bridges. I play/lead two duplicate bridge games a week...what fun! Looks like the Florida culture could use some bridge technology in view of the recent ‘killer’ bridge failure. We used to design bridges—not any more. The whole country could use some big-time help with infrastructure. Mind you, I’m not volunteering. My wife and I are enjoying my retirement. Let’s Go Bucs!” Posted 2018-10-10
Alan Dolmatch wrote that he (and wife Linda) visited with about 20 of his AEPi fraternity brothers from the ’50s (and their wives) in North Palm Beach at a March 17 reunion arranged by several locally based brothers. Other Class of ’56 members attending included Alan Sawyer and Marty Rogers. While in the area, he also saw Jerry Reinert (and Lulu) in Boca Raton and had a chance to catch up on Jerry’s eventful life and times. “After a week of sunshine, the need for an infusion of cold and cloudy weather overtook them and they returned home to Skaneateles, N.Y., for a booster shot of snow and frost.” Posted 2018-10-10
Jerry Reinert sent me the following email: “The alumni magazine comes out only twice a year. So please let us hear from you. Your classmates are interested in knowing how you and your family are doing. This year is an exciting one for me. My daughter-in-law is on sabbatical. She and my son and my two grandchildren are spending the six months in Costa Rica. She is a professor of animal biology. I’ll be spending a few weeks there with them. In September, Lois and I will be touring India. I’m looking forward to that very much (except for the food). Again, I urge you to please help us by making a donation to defer the cost of putting up a plaque at the front door of the Heffner Alumni House to honor and memorialize our classmate and chairman of the RPI board Sam Heffner. If your travels bring you to any place near Boca Raton, Fla., please call me, (561) 362-5900, and let’s plan a visit.” Posted 2018-10-10
Engineering Frank Griggs Greetings to all, again. I continue to work on my golf game and started playing from the “old guys” tees. I am happy with a 200-yard drive these days. I also continue to work on various history articles, books, etc., on early Rensselaer graduates. To date I have done books on Charles Macdonald ’57, Theodore Cooper ’58, Alfred P. Boller ’61, Leffert L. Buck ’68, William H. Burr ’72, J.A.L. Waddell ’75, and I recently started research on Walton W. Evans ’37 and John W. Murphy ’47. To date Buck, Waddell, and Boller are in the RPI Hall of Fame. I am working to get Burr and Macdonald into the hall soon. None of the books will ever be published but I enjoy writing about the men of Rensselaer that shaped the latter part of the 19th century. My wife and I had lunch with Jerry Reinert and Lois in Stuart, Fla., and caught up on old times. Posted 2018-10-10
Engineering Mark Hite died on April 3, 2017. Mark, who earned his engineering degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, also served in the U.S. Navy and achieved the rank of commander. In addition, he had a long and lauded career as a toxicologist as a director of toxicology and drug safety at Merck and Wyeth Laboratories. Mark loved Boston and the Red Sox, as well as sailing at Cape Cod, and gave back to the community by reading for Recording for the Blind and serving as president of TBI Synagogue. Posted 2018-03-15
Bob McGrath writes the following of his life and career: “My first job after graduation was with Alcoa in Massena, N.Y., as construction engineer. Classmate Dick Bodle started there at the same time (early July), and later in the summer, Ed Woerner joined us. Alcoa was about to start a sprawling addition to its aluminum production plant, and we kept very busy providing horizontal and vertical control for the many contractors that soon swarmed over the site doing clearing and grading, underground utilities, pile driving, and concrete foundations."

From November 1956 until 1958, Bob was with the Army Corps of Engineers fulfilling his ROTC commitment, and after that he was assigned to a construction battalion in post-war South Korea as platoon leader and operations officer for “B” Company. After his discharge, Bob had several jobs in NY State for periods of two to three years each, during which time he gradually transitioning from construction work to structural design. While supervising construction of a building in Saranac Lake, Bob met his future wife, and in subsequent years her parents’ home there became a frequent destination for Bob's family on weekends and vacations. In 1966, Bob began a six-year stint with the Syracuse, N.Y., architectural-engineering firm Sargent, Webster, Crenshaw, and Folley, working primarily on the structural design of buildings.

In 1972, Bob signed on with Rochester Institute of Technology as assistant professor, where his charge was to develop and implement what became a B.S. of Civil Engineering Technology program. After six years as department chair, Bob went into full-time teaching, specializing in structures, and retired as professor emeritus in 1996.

Bob is now single again, and during his retirement with his two sons and their families, he has somewhat indulged himself. He states, "The latest example of my indolent lifestyle was this past summer when I spent several days fly-fishing for cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Park with one of my sons and his two sons.”
Posted 2018-03-15
Ed Woerner, who admits to being terrible at email, still runs a company dealing with spare parts for elevators and escalators.  He is also still an active handball player, and in fact won the United States Handball Association doubles title, over-80 division, in Cincinnati in 2017. Ed is obviously in good health! As a DEKE, he is involved with the re-establishment of the fraternity on campus and its new home on Peoples Avenue, and often sees fellow DEKEs Peter Wayner and Pete Goetz. Ed has two grandchildren attending the University of Michigan. Posted 2018-03-15
John Hudson was honored at a 2017 Reunion luncheon for his years of service to Rensselaer's Track & Field team. John coached 23 All-Americans and three NCAA champions over the years, and also served as co-captain for the track team during his senior year. Posted 2018-03-15
Crispin Hall attended some of the 2017 Reunion activities, where he had a chance to catch up with former classmates Peter Wayner, John Hudson, and Bruce Laumeister at the campaign launch dinner. Cris and John had served co-captains of the track team during their senior year. Posted 2018-03-15
Peter Wayner received an Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal from NASA on August 3, 2017 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for research done on the International Space Station on a special heat pipe designed for microgravity. The research contract, which ended at the end of 2016, was through the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Rensselaer. Peter reports, “I am now officially retired.” Posted 2018-03-15
Ken Jordan celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife Pat Michelle who was a neighbor and classmate of class president Frank Griggs' wife in Troy. Frank, who retired from Westinghouse in 1994, now lives in Richland, Ore. Posted 2018-03-15
Jerry Reinert writes: “It’s been two years since our 60th Reunion. As our class president it was wonderful to welcome all of you who attended. In ‘only’ three we will celebrate our 65th, and I truly hope that we have as great a turnout to that one as we did to the last one."

Jerry went on to say that classmate Sam Heffner had attended the Class' 60th Reunion, but unfortunately had passed away only a few months after the event. As a result, Jerry would like to once again suggest that the Class of 1956 purchase a brass plaque honoring and memorializing Sam so that it can be placed outside the front door of the Heffner Alumni House, for which Sam is named. Class members who wish to contribute toward the cost of the plaque may send a check for any amount -- made payable to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and with "The RPI Heffner Plaque Fund" in the note section of the check -- to Jerry Reinert, 1401 South Ocean Blvd. (#101), Boca Raton, FL 33432. Jerry will submit the checks to RPI and contributors will receive the charitable deduction.
Posted 2018-03-15
Sorry to hear that Mark Hite , CE, died on April 3, 2017. Mark earned his engineering degree from Rensselaer and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati. He served in the U.S. Navy and achieved the rank of commander. He had a long and lauded career as a toxicologist as a director of toxicology and drug safety at Merck and Wyeth Laboratories. Mark loved Boston and the Red Sox, and sailing at Cape Cod. He gave back to the community by reading for Recording for the Blind and served as president of TBI Synagogue. Posted 2018-03-10
Engineering I talked with Bob McGrath a couple of times and finally got him to send me an email about his life and career. He wrote: “My first job after graduation was with Alcoa in Massena, N.Y., as construction engineer. Classmate Dick Bodle started there at the same time (early July), and later in the summer, Ed Woerner joined us. Alcoa was about to start a sprawling addition to its aluminum production plant. We kept very busy providing horizontal and vertical control for the many contractors that soon swarmed over the site doing clearing and grading, underground utilities, pile driving, and concrete foundations. From November 1956 until 1958, I was with the Army Corps of Engineers fulfilling my ROTC commitment—first at Ft. Belvoir, Va., for a four-month course at the engineers’ school—after which I was assigned to a construction battalion in post-war South Korea as platoon leader and operations officer for “B” Company. After discharge, I had several jobs in NY State for periods of two to three years each. During this time, I was gradually transitioning from construction work to structural design. While supervising construction of a building in Saranac Lake, I met my future wife. In subsequent years her parents’ home in that beautiful town was a frequent destination for our family on weekends and vacations, and it was on the nearby brooks and rivers that I—and later our two sons—learned how to fly fish for trout. In 1966, I began a six-year stint with the Syracuse, N.Y., architectural-engineering firm Sargent, Webster, Crenshaw, and Folley working primarily on the structural design of buildings.

“In 1972 I signed on with Rochester Institute of Technology as assistant professor. My charge was to develop and implement what became a B.S. of Civil Engineering Technology program. After six years as department chair, I went into full-time teaching, specializing in structures. I retired as professor emeritus in 1996. During retirement, with my two sons, now with families of their own, and me single again, I have sort of indulged myself. The latest example of my indolent lifestyle was this past summer when I spent several days fly-fishing for cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Park with one of my sons and his two sons.”
Posted 2018-03-10
I got a call from Ed Woerner who told me he was terrible at email. He still runs a company dealing with spare parts for elevators and escalators and is still an active handball player. In fact he won the United States Handball Association doubles title, over-80 division, in Cincinnati in 2017. He is obviously in good health. As a DEKE, he is involved with the re-establishment of the fraternity on campus and its new home on Peoples Avenue. He has two grandchildren at the University of Michigan. He often sees fellow DEKEs Peter Wayner and Pete Goetz. Posted 2018-03-10
I got an email from Crispin Hall telling me he attended some of the 2017 Reunion activities. He sat with Peter Wayner, John Hudson, and Bruce Laumeister at the campaign launch dinner. John Hudson was honored at Saturday’s luncheon for his years of service to the Track & Field Team. Cris told me that John had coached 23 All-Americans and three NCAA champions over the years. John and Cris were co-captains of the track team during our senior year. Posted 2018-03-10
Engineering Peter Wayner sent me an email telling me he received an Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal from NASA on August 3 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The award was for research done on the International Space Station on a special heat pipe designed for microgravity. The research contract, which ended at the end of 2016, was through the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Rensselaer. He told me, “I am now officially retired.” He presented a seminar titled “Using Interfacial Phenomena in Microgravity and 1g.” Posted 2018-03-10
I got a note from Ken Jordan telling me about his 60th wedding anniversary. He married Pat Michelle who was a neighbor and classmate of my wife in Troy. He retired from Westinghouse in 1994 and lives in Richland, Ore. Posted 2018-03-10
Jerry Reinert, our class president, writes: “It’s been two years since our 60th Reunion. As our class president it was wonderful to welcome all of you who attended. In ‘only’ three we will celebrate our 65th, and I truly hope that we have as great a turnout to that one as we did to the last one. “One of the most important alumni ever of ‘Old RPI,’ who was a trustee for 30 years and chairman of the RPI board for 15 of those years, is our classmate Sam Heffner, for whom the alumni building, which he donated and built, is named. Sam attended and spoke to us at our 60th Reunion.Unfortunately he passed away only a few months after that great event; he is never to be forgotten. “I would like to suggest again that the Class of 1956 purchase and place on the wall outside the front door of the Heffner Alumni House a brass plaque to honor and memorialize Sam. If you would like to contribute toward the cost of the plaque, please send a check, for any amount, made payable to ‘Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’ and write ‘The RPI Heffner Plaque Fund’ in the note section of the check. Mail it to Jerry Reinert, 1401 South Ocean Blvd. (#101), Boca Raton, FL 33432. I will submit the checks to RPI and you will receive the charitable deduction.” Posted 2018-03-10
Frank Griggs writes: Another six months have passed and I am still mobile but could use some new knees. I and my wife of 59 years spend six months in Vero Beach, Fla., where I am still trying to find my swing in golf. I added to the website information about Sam Heffner’s death and the memorial program held at RPI. Check it out at fgriggsjr.wixsite.com/rpi-class-of-1956. If you are interested in old bridges and old bridge builders, you can Google Structure Magazine and click on “Archives” and type in “Griggs” in the search box and a long list of articles I wrote comes up. I have had articles in that journal on a semi-regular basis starting in 2004. I started my passion for history when teaching at Union College in the early 1980s and in the restoration of a Whipple Bridge on campus. Squire Whipple was an 1830 graduate of Union. That got me interested in the history of Union. I determined I knew almost nothing of the history of RPI except that it was the oldest school of engineering in the English-speaking world. I also knew that a Roebling had built the Brooklyn Bridge. I then read up and wrote upon the history of RPI. My first article was titled “Amos Eaton was Right.” You may remember the chant that “RPI was RPI when Union was a pup.” Well, it turns out that Union was founded in 1795 almost 30 years earlier than RPI. Union also instituted a scientific curriculum in 1829, six years before RPI instituted a civil engineering program. So why the chant started I know not, but it doesn’t seem to be true. Posted 2018-03-10