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Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin

Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin, January 25, 2010

    In the continuing process of discovery of classmates with careers in education or medicine (or both), I pass along to you these most recent responses to the January 20th bulletin.

    Jack Merselis, who recalls that our class scored 22 out of 22 for admission to medical schools, adds more names - Wes Pelkey, Gil Holtzman, Paul Fukui, Bob Utiger - and writes: "I think that totals 21 - and I think there is one more."

Sally Utiger also sends a note, reminding us of husband Bob's dual role as doctor and professor.  She provides a hyperlink to the most recent tribute paid him by his co-workers at Brigham and Woman's Hospital, a "minute" in the Harvard Gazette: Harvard Gazette Tribute to Bob Utiger.  While searching for and finding on the internet the accompanying photo of Sally, I found that she has made a name for herself in tennis,
receiving in 2003 "the Nicholas E. Powell Award.   Given by the USTA, this award recognizes the country’s most outstanding grassroots umpire and it is bestowed upon its recipient each year at the US Open." Which, I calculate, was the late August, early September following our 50th Reunion, at which Bob was a featured panelist at our class symposium.

    Thirty years ago when I spent a summer in Vermont writing "My Book," to be found, if not read, in its entirety at another corner of this website, I wrote to Fred Rudolph, that archive of all things Williams, to check the accuracy of a claim in the opening chapter.  I asked him which word to use about the number of clergy at Williams in the early years.  Would those training for the pastorate have been "most" or "many" of the students?  "Many," Fred responded.  Which brings me to the point of counting clerical heads in the Class of 1953.  Here's my list: Craig Biddle (Episcopalian), Bob Howard (Methodist), George Lamore (Methodist), Chuck Lange (Episcopalian), Mike Scanlan (Catholic), Buzz Schimidt (Episcopalian), and, in retirement, Bill Burrows (Episcopalian).  There were as many fledgling clergymen in 1953 as in 1823; but then the number was "many" in relation to the whole student body, while in 1953 the number, by the same reckoning, was few... and not a single Congregationalist to uphold the Haystack tradition.

    Talk about "many": let's count lawyers.  Send me your list.


    Dave Palmer writes: "My greater Norwegian family has been 'reunioning' every five years for some decades now, alternating between Norway and the US. Next year is our turn, and we are having a spirited exchange on line as to where to do it this time! At present Yellowstone Park and Estes Park seem to be neck and neck, with the Norwegians happy to go where ever we suggest. Maybe you two should join us if we ever get plans finalized!"  I suspect Dave invites Barbara and Bob since we are honorary Norwegians, having spent more than seventeen years among the "squareheads" of Brooklyn; and, in the process, picking up celebratory and culinary traditions we continue to honor in Yankee Connecticut. 

Checking the list of classmates without Email addresses, I went hunting on the Internet with my trusty Google to see what I could find.  How about a Yucatan rental on the Gulf of Mexico
at $850 for a week, plus, if desired, $90 for a cook.  See for yourself:Joachin's Yucatan Villa.  The owner is Joachin Roche, our Joachin Roche, my Joachin Roche, Entry F Sage in 1949-50, a single room on the second floor.  Weight lifter extraordinare.  He left Williams after the freshman year to go to an engineering school.  Bob Tucker, Endy Perry, and Pete Sterling have kept in touch with him through the years.  I think I know where I want to go for our 55th wedding anniversary. 

    Dave Pyle channels his inner Bob Hope thanking me for the memories, and sending a photo of himself and Nicole, claiming the plaid pants are older than Nicole. We Scotsmen can never get too much of the tartans.


    While trawling the internet for traces of classmates for whom I have no Email address, I came across this beautiful tribute to an English teacher (now retired) at Danbury High School.  I knew him best as an Art History enthusiast, repairer (with a coat hanger) of the Lasell gym clock that wouldn't stop ringing, and the fixer of my speeding ticket with the local police, in whose company the future teacher was often to be found in his undergraduate years:  My Favorite Teacher: Mr. Charles Phelps My favorite teacher was Mr Charles Phelps- he was my English teacher in my junior year- I was an awkward, shy, unpretty 16 year-old but he convinced me that I could be a great writer- the knowledge that I could write sustained me through the painful adolescent years and my college career. Whenever life knocked me down and I was feeling lower than low, I told myself that at least I could write well. Finally, this past November 13, I actually became a published writer when something I wrote for the New York Times appeared in print!  I am encouraged now to actually publish more of my writing- so a big thank you to Mr. Phelps!   Janice Beeghly




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