These are the unedited class notes as submitted by class agents and other alumni. Edited notes appear in the print edition.
If you prefer to submit Class Notes by mail, send to:UMW Magazine – Class Notes
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Susan Crytzer Marchant
Penny Anderson, Geography Major, is back in Monroe Hall but as an adjunct instructor teaching Intro to Human Geography (GEOG 102). She’s been tapped to come back for the spring semester to repeat the course. Additionally, Penny Anderson and Steve Sollohub (‘91) were selected to present papers this past summer at the 25th International Seminar on Sea Names: Education for Diversity through Geographical Names in Washington D.C. Anderson teaches AP Human Geography in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Sollohub teaches AP Human Geography in Waldorf, Maryland. Both teachers supported the geography department’s 60th anniversary celebration banquet held 13 April 2019 at Brock’s Riverside Grill.
Shannon Eadie Niemeyer
Class agent Shannon Eadie Niemeyer did not receive any notes this time but would love to hear your news!
Courtney Hall Harjung
In October my husband Tom and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve in Mississippi casinos. In 2020 I will serve as the Vice President on the Mobile Arts Council’s Executive Board. Tom and I are looking forward to weeks of the Mardi Gras mystic societies’ float barn parties, parades, and masquerade balls. Please email me your personal news and professional updates.
Jennifer Rudalf Gates
Bonnie Bullock has lived in Australia for 22 years, slightly longer than she lived in the United States. Her 15-year-old daughter, Madeleine, is in 10th grade. Last July Bonnie welcomed a “surprise” baby boy, Lachlan Bullock Edwards. She writes, “A fun household where I’m trying to get teenager Maddie out of bed at the same time trying to get baby Lachie to go to sleep!” Bonnie runs a public relations consultancy, Saranac PR, and was recently inducted as a fellow into the Public Relations Institute of Australia. She and her family demolished their old house and built their dream home on the same block in Perth, Western Australia.
One of my favorite updates is hearing when classmates get together for friend reunions. Jessica Edmiston Forsythe, Pamela Ellison Massa, Sarah Burgess Hall, Meighan Cutler Weinstein, and Jennifer Repella Gordon spent a much needed fall weekend at an adorable BNB on the Magothy River, in Pasadena Maryland. Meg is a pre-school teacher and lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two sons. Pam is a sonographer and lives with her husband, son, and daughter on Long Island. Jess owns her own yoga studio (SoulShine) and lives in Richmond with her husband, George Forsythe ’96 and two sons. Sarah is an elementary school classroom aid and lives in Fredericksburg with her husband, Phil Hall ‘89, her son, and daughter. Jen is a director at a pharmaceutical company and lives in Ashburn, VA with her husband and daughter. Kirsten Franklin, Sarah Long, Kate Dube, Shannon Peterson, and Mandy Thompson converged on Austin, TX from across the country for a mini-reunion. The next trip is already planned for Tampa, FL in March 2020.
Another exciting and heartfelt reunion, MAJ Kevin Adams returned home to Fort Bragg, NC in December from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. His wife, MAJ Katharine Adams, and two boys, Levi (8) and August (5) are very happy to have him home. The North Carolina contingent of the class is strong. While networking for her Mediation practice, Susanna Fisher Parker accepted a position as Associate General Counsel for Data Driven Safety, LLC. She also manages the Government Relations division of DDS. Melissa Schreiber Blackmon moved to Wilmington, NC with her husband and three children and works as the Director of Development at the Bald Head Island Conservancy. The Conservancy runs a sea turtle protection program and focuses on barrier island conservation and education.
There is a lot of moving going on with the Class of 97. Eric Earling moved to Boise, Idaho in August to lead communications at Blue Cross of Idaho after a three year sojourn in delightfully imperfect New Orleans. He’s currently trying to convince Pete Sullivan to make the trek to the Mountain West in lieu of one Pete’s regular NOLA visits. Eric’s son, who was an infant at our graduation, is now a MP in the Army. Eric’s lovely, independent daughter still lives in New Orleans. Mike Dugan moved to Texas, his oldest child is about to graduate from Bama, second is loving Texas Tech, and the two younger ones have him going all over the west for lacrosse. Bridget Malone packed all her worldly belongings plus 2 cats and moved 7 miles down THE (yes, as in one) road to Southampton, NY.
Last year, Amanda Neptune Bridges’ husband retired from the Air Force after many, many moves, TDYs, and deployments. Their family of five decided to settle down in a small island community in Rhode Island. Her husband now flies for JetBlue out of Boston and Amanda is back in the classroom, subbing full-time in their island schools. Her family enjoyed trips to Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, and DC this year. Amanda was able to catch up with Colette Strawn Johnson, Mike Johnson ’96, and their kids. Amanda’s in-laws are in Stafford leading to several Carl’s trips this year. Her kids are big fans and fully indoctrinated in the Carl’s club.
Matt Paxton is moving to PBS! He has a new show on PBS called “Legacy List with Matt Paxton.” Airing began in January and the show is about finding history in our parents and grandparents’ houses. Check your local PBS listings for air time.
Speaking of moving, many of our classmates kids are turning in their bikes for cars! Dru Abramson Perdue and Jarrett Perdue ’96 are both teaching in Spotsylvania County. Dru has started the first chapter in Virginia of Happy Teacher Revolution. Both parents are currently doing the craziest thing ever – teaching their 15 year old daughter to drive! 2019 was a busy year for Joyce Hanzlik Cain. Her son had back surgery in March which delayed a major milestone- Joyce teaching him how to drive. But as of December 15 he officially has his driver’s license! In July, Joyce traveled to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. She moved in August just down the street from her previous house in Chesapeake VA.
Sarah Meyrowitz Meytin had a joyous 2019. She became the director of a very large Reggio-inspired preschool in July, was honored to attend the installation of Stephanie Shockley as Priest in Charge of her church, and celebrated her son becoming Bar Mitzvah this fall. Tara St. John Cantwell is teaching high school in Spotsylvania County. She gets to work with great students in class, and as a sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society. She took a mini-vacation to Puerto Rico in early December and is seriously considering moving there. Her oldest child is touring colleges, and Mary Wash was the very first stop on the tour. After all, what better place to start!
Jennifer Fearnow Elkins enjoys teaching her fourth graders in Hanover County. She recently was able to get back to coaching girls basketball at the high school Varsity level. Her son Caleb Elkins had major brain surgery two years ago and is doing fantastic. He is a High School Senior and currently applying to many colleges. Kathleen Gillikin MacCubbin left her job as a librarian in February 2019 to be a full time mom to her 11 year old son and homemaker. It was a big, but good, change. She is contemplating a career change after 20 years in Maryland libraries when she returns to work.
A couple of our classmates have marriages that are old enough to drink! Cheryl Mote Chafos and her husband, Tim, recently celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. Cheryl’s husband retired from 30 years of active duty in the Army in July and they moved from Fort Meade in Maryland to their dream home thirty minutes down the road in Clarksville, MD. Cheryl is enjoying owning their first ever home and staying very busy with her four boys! She and her husband celebrated his army retirement with a fabulous trip to Greece in May and they are looking forward to more travels this summer in Germany and Italy with her boys to visit where they were stationed twenty years ago. Kate Lulfs Ehrle and her husband Richard Ehrle ‘85 also celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. Their two older kids are finally in high school and youngest has started kindergarten. The Ehrles took a long trip to Disney and Universal over the summer and survived! Kate was recently promoted to company president at Cask government services where she’s been working for nine years. Richard remains supporting the Navy in Washington DC.
Laura Coco Hampton has a sassy 8 year old daughter, moody preteen son, and a government job at a time most of the country hates the government. She stares down each new day of mid-level bureaucracy with determination to do what the great 90’s band Cake said; she is a girl who uses a machete to cut through red tape.
Congratulations to Principal Interior Designer John Day and his team at LDa Architecture and Design for being honored in Boston Magazine’s annual guide to the region’s top designers, builders, and makers, “Best of Boston Home 2020.”
You never know where in the world you may run into a classmate traveling or working abroad. Julie Newell Leslie and Nathan Leslie ’94 celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in June. Julie somehow manages to carve out time for adventure while she travels for work. During a two week trip to Kenya, she went on two safaris, survived a jeep/zebra collision, and had breakfast with giraffes at Giraffe Manor. She swam with sea turtles during a 10 day trip to Barbados in September. Suzette McLoone and Patrick Lohmeyer are living in Arlington, Va. with their two kids, ages 12 and 14, and three dogs. Patrick still works in the international development sector and Suzette is an editor at NPR. They spent last summer in France watching Rapinoe and Heath crush it at the World Cup. I was also in Paris this summer, but missed seeing Suzette, Patrick, and the amazing US Women’s Soccer World Cup win by a month. My husband and I took our 15 year old niece to Heidelberg, Rothenberg, Munich, and Paris after she aced her freshman year German studies. I am writing this on New Year’s Eve aboard a cruise, looking forward to ushering in the roaring twenties under the Caribbean stars with friends old and new.
I sent a distress signal that for the first time in 22 years, I didn’t have any news to share in the alumni magazine! But holy moly, did the Class of 1997 pull through for this update. Here’s to another decade of doing amazing things, making memories, and keeping in touch.
Jennifer Rees Schulze 97’ on the death of her father and her mother-in-law
Amanda Goebel Thomas
Lucy Londero Meidinger has been appointed vice president of financial planning and strategic sourcing in corporate accounting for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.