Class Notes: Spring/Summer 2021-22
VIRGINIA FAGEN MACDONALD MDS’50 submitted the following note: “Am I the only one? I’m 90 and living a full life culturally and socially in Pelican Bay, in Naples, Florida. Our visiting orchestras include Chicago, Cleveland, Vienna, etc. If you had told me when I was at Downer that my life would be so full and happy at my age, I wouldn’t have believed you. My love to all our survivors, Jinny Fagan MacDonald.”
JEFFREY GLEN MCDS’58 has been elected to the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society, the oldest and largest provider of legal aid in the United States and New York City’s primary legal services provider. A litigator with more than 30 years’ experience, Glen currently practices complex commercial, land use, and insurance litigation at Anderson Kill’s New York office, along with an extensive pro bono portfolio.
Members of the MUS Class of 1961 gathered at the home of Andy Sawyer ’61 last summer for a small-scale reunion. Pictured from left are Andy Sawyer, Carol Russell, Mac Wilson, David Harland, Ed Eisendrath, and Barbara Wagner Karol.
MARCIA SLATER JOHNSTON MUS’60 now has a collection of work, titled the Marcia Slater Johnston Papers, housed in the Newberry Library Modern Manuscripts Journalism Collection in Chicago. It includes published articles, correspondence, and manuscripts of hers dating from the 1970s, as well as the May 2021 recording of a USM alumni career panel she participated in. Johnston was a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and more. Johnston passed away unexpectedly in April 2022 at her home in Chicago.
LEIGHTON SMITH ’65 submitted the following note: “Still working as a senior principal systems engineer. Have seven grandchildren and one on the way; all five children and grandchildren are healthy and safe. I’ve written seven books and I’m working on my eighth, titled ‘How to Play Smart Baseball.’ I am a life-long, very committed baseball fan. Go Yankees. Have lived in Arlington, Virginia for almost 37 years. I was a pilot and instructor pilot in the U.S. Air Force, active duty for five years and five days.”
PAM PERCY ’67 won the award for Best Director – Documentary at the Asti International Film Festival in December 2021 for the film “Finding Loren.” Percy produced and directed the film, which tells the story of 1st Lt. Loren Hintz, a fighter pilot who was killed in Italy during World War I, and his family’s successful search to find the plane seven decades later. Hintz was the father of Percy’s late husband, Martin Hintz. Learn more at www.findinglorenthefilm.com.
JULIA REILLY BURKE ’74 and her children, Catherine Burke ’06 and Eddie Burke ’09, opened a Burke Candy retail location in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. It is the company’s first stand-alone store, and it opened in spring 2022.
RAKESH BHALA ’80 donated a collection of books on international political economy to USM’s Stratton Upper School Library, many of which are rare, and all in mint condition. The collection will be useful to students in honors and AP courses, and cocurricular activities such as those involving the Federal Reserve. The collection will be named in honor of former faculty John “J.S.” Stephens and Steve Bruemmer.
JAMES MYERS ’80, former food writer for The Tennessean, is part of the team that saved and renovated the Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville, Tennessee.
BRUCE LEE ’81 served as USM’s Class of 2022 Commencement speaker on June 10. Lee is the founder of Keebeck Wealth Management and has 33 years of investment experience. In addition, he was named one of Illinois’ 2022 top 100 financial advisors by Barron’s.
MARGY STRATTON ’84 was profiled by the United Way for her work to start the organization’s Emerging Readers program. Founded in 2012, Emerging Readers invites volunteers to purchase age-appropriate books for youth participants in United Way-funded nonprofit programs. So far, it has provided more than 16,000 books to over 1,400 youth in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.
SAMANTHA CROWNOVER ’87 and her husband, Bruce, completed an extensive restoration of the Brisbane House, near Madison, Wisconsin, which is now available for rent on Airbnb. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home was built in 1868 by William Henry Brisbane, and won a preservation award in 2022 from Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. Learn more at www.brisbanehouse.net.
STEPHANIE STEPHENS ’87 was profiled in “The Forum,” the student newspaper of the Latin School of Chicago, for her work teaching U.S. history and English as a second language in post-communist Romania starting in 1992. Stephens is an upper school history and social studies teacher at Latin School.
THOMAS DOERR JR. ’93 was appointed as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for Kontoor Brands, Inc., a global lifestyle apparel company.
DONTE MCFADDEN ’95 visited USM’s Filmmaking II class, where he watched short films the students worked on and gave feedback. He also spoke to members of the school’s Black Student Union on a variety of topics, including how he got his start in filmmaking, directors and movies that inspire him, and his work to bring Black films and filmmakers to Milwaukee. McFadden has been a programmer for the Black Lens Program, part of the Milwaukee Film Festival that showcases new and classic films by African American filmmakers, since 2014.
RAJ CHETTY ’97 was awarded an honorary degree from Amherst College. Chetty currently serves as the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
SACHIN SHIVARAM ’99 joined the Lawrence University board of trustees on July 1 as a term trustee. He is CEO of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, and teaches a course on business ethics and values-based leadership at St. Norbert College. He serves on multiple boards, including USM’s Alumni Board.
KAREN ESCHE-EIFF ’01 earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She and her husband are also excited to share that they welcomed baby number two this May.
ANDREW SLOCUM ’02 was listed among “People to Know” in the Milwaukee area banking and finance industry by the “Milwaukee Business Journal.” He serves as senior vice president and market manager of Bank of America.
JONATHAN SMUCKER ’04 was named to the “Milwaukee Business Journal” Forty Under Forty class of 2022. Smucker is partner and portfolio manager at Marietta Investment Partners.
BERNARD RAHMING ’05, program director for The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship program in Milwaukee, was interviewed by WUWM 89.7 in February. The Leading Men Fellowship, which aims to place young men of color in early childhood education positions, received federal COVID-19 relief funds that will help double the number of fellows, or teachers, from the current 10 to 20.
EBONY TAYLOR ’06 was named a top 100 leader in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in 2021 by Mogul. Taylor serves as the head of diversity recruiting at Amazon Web Services.
CRISTINA COSTANTINI ’07 directed a new documentary, “Own the Room,” with Darren Foster. The film is streaming on Disney+ and follows five young students as they compete for a $100,000 grand prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
USM GOES TO WASHINGTON
This year’s annual 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. was made extra special when USM alumni in the area joined the group for a walking tour of the National Monuments. Here, (from left) David Routier ’14 and Maisha Meminger Crosby ’95 paused for a photo with Charlie Tiefenbrun ’26, Yusra Khan ’26, and Maddie Eason ’26 in the Lincoln Memorial.
Remembering Fengchi Chen
Members of the USM community gathered in May to celebrate the life of long-time former faculty member Fengchi Chen, and to dedicate the Fengchi Wu Chen Chemistry Wing in her honor. Chen’s family, including her daughter, Dr. Leona Chen ’74, and son, Albert Chen ’78, were present. “I hope that each generation of students that passes through this hallway will read about this groundbreaking woman,” said Leona Chen. “Maybe some of them will see a bit of themselves in her story, and be inspired by what could lie ahead in their own futures.” Fengchi Chen’s family established an endowed fund in her honor, which supports science teachers and students at USM.
ELISE BURNS FERGUSON ’10 recently returned to Mequon, Wisconsin, with her husband, Bryan, and two sons, Jack and George. She has joined the Quinlevan & Armitage real estate team at Shorewest Realtors.
ABBEY NORRIS ’10 joined Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty in Houston as a residential real estate agent.
TOM SCHADEWALD ’10 has joined Baird’s global investment banking business on the equity capital markets team as a director. Previously, he served as a director in equity capital markets with UBS Investment Bank.
TOM ULRICSON ’11 was promoted to vice president, business development at Waud Capital Partners.
CASSIE (BENCE) HOPPE ’12 and her husband, Graham, welcomed their first child, Luna Florence Hoppe, on Jan. 29. Hoppe was coaching the USM ski team on a Wednesday, and went into the hospital unexpectedly that Friday, and had a new baby to share with the team on Saturday.
CHRIS MEYERS ’12 married Natalie Fritz in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 3, 2021. Chris and Natalie met as government consultants in 2019, and began dating in January 2021. Chris is still a government contractor while Natalie works for a civil rights agency. They both live in D.C. with their deaf dog, Moses.
HARRIETTE HAUSKE ’14 married Tommy Engel on Oct. 9, 2021 at St. Monica Catholic Church in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, after relocating to Milwaukee from Chicago in August 2021. “We are so happy to be back home in Milwaukee,” she said, “and back at USM!” Harriette is currently teaching junior kindergarten at USM, and coaching Middle School field hockey.
DAVID MAI ’14 was promoted to account executive at Convergint.
ALEXANDRA HAUKE ’15 was named a Fulbright U.S. Student Alumni Ambassador in February 2022. Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors play a key role in increasing knowledge about Fulbright opportunities, which ultimately seek to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries.
DARYL PERRY ’16 has been named the new full-time assistant coach for the Babson College field hockey team. Previously, she served as an assistant coach at Stonehill College. In addition, she earned her master’s in sports administration from Boston College in May 2022.
MARIN SMITH ’16 was named a Stearns-Shaw Scholar through the University of Wisconsin Law School. The scholarship encourages champions of the LGBTQ+ community to choose UW as the best place to study law and make a difference. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in community and nonprofit leadership as well as Spanish from UW-Madison in 2020, and serves as president of QLaw, the Queer Law Students Association.
ELLIE BARNEY ’17 (pictured, left) scored the game-winning goal during overtime of the 2022 NCAA Division III championship game, lifting the Middlebury women’s ice hockey team to a 3–2 victory over Gustavus Adolphus. With the win, the top-ranked Panthers claimed their fourth NCAA title and sixth overall and, in the process, became the first Division III team to finish a season with a perfect record (27-0-0), setting an NCAA mark for winning percentage in a season.
HANNAH ENGEL ’17 has accepted a position as a consultant with Capgemini Invent, the digital innovation, consulting, and transformation brand of the Capgemini Group.
MAGGIE NOWAKOWSKI ’17 graduated in May 2021 from Miami University’s Farmer School of Business with a degree in marketing and minors in arts management and dance. In January, she accepted a position as a sales operations and strategic partnerships coordinator with IMG, a subsidiary of global sports and entertainment company Endeavor, in the company’s New York office.
WALTER TAYLOR ’17 attended the Baird Multicultural conference in Nashville Tennessee, where he ran into some familiar faces: Angela Pittman Taylor ’96 (center) and Michael Tucker ’15 (right).
GIANNA AFFI ’18 was named a 2021-22 recipient of the Duke Financial Economics Center Leadership Award. Affi graduated from Duke University in May with a political science major, Arabic minor, and a markets and management certificate. She will serve as a leveraged finance analyst on the healthcare desk of Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets group in New York.
CHYNA BACCHUS ’19 has accepted an offer from Bank of America to serve as an analyst intern in the company’s Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program. “I am more than excited to be a part of the Bank of America team and am looking forward to the opportunities to grow this summer,” she said.
AYESHA KAZI ’19 has accepted a position with Inventables as a software engineer, after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a computer science degree. In addition, she was one of the six finalists selected by The Technology Entrepreneur Center in The Grainger College of Engineering to compete in the finals of the campus-wide Cozad New Venture Challenge 2022, an experiential new business venture creation program.
AUDREY ENGMAN ’20 worked as a UX design intern with GE Healthcare’s Digital Technology Development Program this past summer.
STEPHAWN EASLEY ’21 has accepted a full-time internship with the Milwaukee Bucks’ live programming and entertainment team. Easley is attending UW-Whitewater, majoring in general management and playing as a defensive back on the football team. His career ambition is to work in sports as a general manager or team owner.
BRADSHAW MOREL ’21 won the national award for Young Male Referee of the Year by US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country. Morel played with the Bavarian United Soccer Club in Glendale, Wisconsin, and also served as a captain for USM’s boys’ varsity soccer team.
Reunion Weekend 2022
Many thanks to everyone who joined us for Reunion Weekend 2022! Events included the Summer Soiree, Joe Lubar ’08 Alumni Baseball Game, Food & Froth Festival, campus tours, and class parties. In addition, guests enjoyed food options provided by Molly Caan McGarry ’86 (Miss Molly’s Catering) and Lynde Uihlein MUS’63 (Blakesville Creamery). Visit www.usm.org/reunion for a photo gallery!