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Williams Class of 1953 Bulletin

Williams Class of 1953 Bulletin, May 9, 2011

    Fritz Liss summed it up for many of you after receiving my most recent death notice, the one concerning George Bryant:  "80 must be a bad year.  We are getting too many of these."

Right, Fritz and others, I too would like some better news, about classmates living and thriving.  Here then are some of the items and photos I've been accumulating, concerning those of us still very much in the thick of it, along with one reference to an 80 year old who took leave of us this past winter. 

    In no particular order--

        Pete Sterling sent several photos of a momentous occasion for his family, son David's appearance before the U. S. Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago, to argue a case in which the opposing law team was led by David Boies.  I am not including one of Pete and son David alone: it will appear in the next issue of the Williams Alumni Review, Personal, along with class secretary Steve Klein's report on the event. 

        In mid-April Barbara and I had a rescheduled week (from early February when the snows came and the Delta flights were cancelled) in Naples FL.  Palm Sunday, April 17, we worshipped in Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church, a venue for palms and hosannas recommended for its having been the church in which the late Bill Burrows found his vocation in retirement, as a priest for a small congregation north of Naples.  During the coffee hour Barbara found a couple well-acquainted with Bill and Suzanne, Fred Johnson, retired priest once of Windsor CT, and his wife Joan, also once a priest in Southington CT.  Small world.  Fritz Liss, Bill Burrows's childhood and lifelong friend, can tell you about Bill's funeral service, which, in the Johnson's report of it, was a splendid affair.  Here's a photo of the church in which it was held.

The death notices are sent out to about 175 of us.  I hear back from a few of you each time.  One recent respondent is Mel Opotowsky.  Mel joined our class as a junior in 1951. Steve Klein in the forthcoming class notes will quote Mel's description of his long and varied career, mostly in the newspaper business.  Just for the fun of it I Googled "Mel Opotowsky" and found the photo accompanying this paragraph, along with this paean among the pans of his career as an academician at California State University at Fullerton.  The paean explains the pans: "
He is hard as hell, I got my worst college grade ever a B+ in this class. But you know what? He is the greatest teacher I have ever had. Period! For all those who didn't like him, I wonder what your GPA is. For all you serious people who want to learn, and get an honest and professional outlook on writing, don't take anyone else."

        Bob Auchincloss, our class's inveterate adventurer (think motorcycle and hot air balloon) sends a photo of his recent trip to South America, this one on a lake in Paraty, Brazil.

Dave Doheny alerts us to the impending retirement of Mike Scanlan as Chancellor of Franciscan University of Steubenville.  You may read the long and impressive list of our classmate's achievements by following this hyperlink to the university's website:
Fr. Scanlan Retires.  Here's the letter announcing the retirement, the date of the reception, and Mike's home in retirement in Loretto PA (where, in another century, I sent Alumni Fund appeals to him, forgetting he had taken the vow of poverty):

Dear Alumni and Friends,

With mixed emotions, I share the news that Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, will retire this summer as chancellor of Franciscan University and move to the Franciscan TOR motherhouse in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

Though no one deserves retirement more than he after his 42 years of selfless service first as dean, then as president, and now as chancellor, we will miss his fatherly presence here on campus. I have enjoyed easy access to him since I began working down the hall from his office three years ago. His smiling optimism, charity, and wisdom have been a blessing and encouragement to me as they have been for countless others.

Father Michael firmly established Franciscan University not on his own considerable gifts and talents, but on the person of Jesus Christ under a remarkable docility to the Holy Spirit. That foundation will ensure a fruitful, grace-filled future for the mission of Franciscan University and for our students.

Join me as I bid Father Michael farewell. I invite you to send him a note and share a story on the Web page created for his retirement. I also invite friends and alumni to a special reception in his honor on May 20, 6:00 p.m., J.C. Williams Center Atrium (for more information, contact I hope to see you there.

God's blessing,

  Michael Hernon


Good, happy news, classmates, is always welcome. 

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