Reunion Alumni Weekend
May 21-22, 2010
Mark Parseghian ’75 and his wife Kathy participated in the National Park Service’s “Plant a Tree at Flight 93” re-forestation event on April 20 at Shanksville, PA. He wrote, “I made sure that my Moravian College sweatshirt was prominently on display while we and 100 other volunteers planted 3500 seedlings. For those travelling to or through western Pennsylvania, the Flight 93 Memorial is just a short drive off the Somerset exit of the Turnpike and is a moving tribute to these 40 heroes of 9/11.” The company, for which he works, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, is very committed to community involvement and encourages employees to find opportunities to serve. This was an event that enabled them to make a difference in the future of the site.
Susan Bacci Adams wrote that her daughter, Jacqui became engaged in October to a fellow Staten Islander, Charlie Dallaria; their wedding is being planned for March of 2014. Susan also reported that Bob Gratz and his wife, Nancy, are the proud grandparentsof Connor James, who was born to his daughter, Katie and her husband, Jim, in November.
Bob Gratz and his wife Nancy are the proud grandparents of two grandsons. Jackson Kees was born on 7/26/12 in Los Angeles, to their daughter Jennifer. Connor James Oakley was born on 11/21/12 to their daughter, Katianne.
Carter Lee is the proud parent of two daughters. After a career in banking, she is now enjoying a second career as an aide at a pre-school in Madison, NJ.
Debbie Lewis Zvanut is enjoying her retirement. She has visited China, Germany and Canada. She currently teaches basket weaving and is on the corporate board of the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA.
Nancy Martin Lasher teaches 3rd grade in Orange, NJ. She went to Panama in February to do video conferencing for PRISM (Professional Resources in Science and Math). She is getting her certification to teach middle school science.
Laura Likman Schell is an Orton Gillingham tutor (a program helping students with reading, writing and spelling) and continues to work with her husband Scott at the Ranch House.
Susan Bacci Adams writes, “I am entering my 20th year of teaching for the NYC Board of Education, most of that time was spent teaching kindergarten. I am looking forward to retiring in about 3 years. I would love to hear from more classmates to include your anecdotes in our class notes.”
We are sad to report that Harry J. Bender passed away on August 1, 2012.
From the Alumni House:
Bob Gratz, Hackettstown schools Superintendent, received an honorary doctorate at Centenary College’s January commencement for his service to the school community.
The Alumni House is sad to announce that Nicole Maxine Venetia Standish passed away on October 11, 2010 of ovarian cancer.
From the Alumni House:We regret to report that Nicole Maxine Venetia Standish passed away on October 11, 2010.
It was great to visit Moravian for our 35th reunion. I reconnected with some treasured college friends that I usually see on a yearly basis and I did meet some classmates that I hadn't known while in school. Here are some updates:
Bette Kovach is a crisis communications specialist, having had lots of years of experience as the corporate communications director for the late Bethlehem Steel. While at Bethlehem Steel, she wrote a book to accompany the incredible photos of the company in its last 25 years. The website is www.insidebethlehemsteel.com. She now works for the North American subsidiary of a global metals and mining company with headquarters in Moscow. Bette lived for a year in Dearborn, Mich., where the North American headquarters are located. She is now back at home working remotely and traveling to MI and elsewhere as needed. Her husband Clay Morgan is retired from his actuarial career and their daughter Angela graduated in May from the University of Pittsburgh. Angela will attend graduate school at Duquesne.
Barb Bennett Psathas continues her teaching career as chair of the English Dept. at Saucon Valley High School. Her oldest son, Jim, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Penn State and is now doing post-doctoral research at the Children's Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Jim was married last summer to Kristen, who is an elementary educator. Barb's daughter, Alex, is teaching high school English in the Parkland school district. She and her husband Kyle, who is an engineer, also live in the Lehigh Valley. Barb's youngest son, Mike, received his law degree from Villanova and is living and working in Manhattan for the international law firm of Fried Frank.
Gail Warren and her husband, King Au, traveled to Bethlehem for the weekend so Gail could attend the reunion. After living in San Francisco, where they both worked for the Gap for 15 years, they have relocated to Gaithersburg, Md. King now works for IBM. If any classmates find themselves in the area, Gail would love to have you visit so that she can show you around D.C. They are looking forward to one day returning to their home south of San Francisco.
Don DaVanzo now lives in Winter Garden, Fl., where he has been for the last 9 years. He is a used truck manager for Maudlin Int'l. and enjoys playing lots of golf. Don has 2 sons, 3 step-daughters, 3 granddaughters and another on the way. His wife is an RN, managing workers' compensation cases.
Roberta Dollinger Leiby is a retired teacher and counselor from the Bethlehem School District. She still occasionally helps out when needed. She now has a private educational consulting and tutoring business. Bobbie serves on the Alumni Weekend Association Committee, assisting with decorations and she helped plan the Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony. She is also working on setting up a website for animal charities, featuring her cat, Lucky, who "sings"!
Denise Oldenhoff is a certified health unit coordinator and won a Nursing Excellence Award last year. She is a "mom" to her poodles, Lacey and Brandy, and takes them with her on vacations to Cape Cod and Vermont.
After retiring last year from the Y, Debbi Lewis Zvanut has started a business called "Baskets in the Woods". She teaches basket weaving to adults and children. Deb also sells her baskets and gives demonstrations.
Anita Moralis Fazakas is semi-retired. She currently substitute teaches and travels a lot with her husband Dave '88. They are the proud grandparents of a grandson, with another grandchild on the way.
Nancy Martin Lasher currently teaches elementary school in New Jersey. This summer, she is on staff with Prism/Montclair State University to teach teachers how to include Science and Math in the curriculum.
Cindy Lewis-Hart is working as a counselor at Nazareth Area High School. She will retire next year after 34 years as an educator.
Bob Gratz and wife Nancy attended Friday's dinner at the Hotel Bethlehem. Bob is a school superintendent in northern NJ and they have 3 girls, one of whom was married last summer.
Paul and Julie Morris Chowansky were unable to attend the alumni weekend because they participated in the National Multiple Sclerosis "Coast the Coast" event which was held the same weekend. This has been an event that they have done for the past several years. Paul is team captain and wore #6, signifying that last year he was the 6th top fund raiser out of 1500 cyclists. Their daughter, Jill, graduated from Moravian in 2001 and is the proud mother of 3 sons. Their daughter Laura went to graduate school at Thomas Jefferson University.
Fred Rooney was in California during our reunion. He sends best wishes to all, as well as an update of his life over the past years. Fred has worked for indigent parents seeking the return of abducted children by non-custodial parents. He provides ongoing assistance to indigent parents of foreign children with life-threatening illnesses seeking gratis medical care in the US. He has served as an International Liaison in India in 2008 and 2009 and was the first Scholar-in-Residence at the Symbiosis Law School, where he assisted in the development of an access to justice initiative modeled on the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law's Community Legal Resource Network. He received many awards during the past two years, including being named one of the 100 Top Irish American Lawyers in the US, from Irish America magazine, the Common Law NYC, Inc. Community Lawyering Award and the CUNY Chancellor's Recognition Award. Fred has made various television and media appearances throughout his career and continues his work at CUNY's School of Law in Flushing, N.Y. as Director of the Community Legal Resource Network and External Affairs.
Scott and Laura Likman Schell were also unable to attend because they were involved in planning daughter Ashley's bridal shower, to occur the weekend following our reunion. Ashley is being married in July and is currently living in Chicago. Their son, Blake, is living in Charlotte, N.C. and works in finance.
My youngest daughter, Jaqui, has just finished classes and exams towards earning her MBA degree in accounting. She is planning to take the CPA exam sometime this year. Melanie is working her magic as an interior designer with an architectural firm in Westfield, NJ. I am currently finishing my 17th year as an elementary school teacher with the NYC Dept. of Education, most of those years spent teaching kindergarten. Al continues playing with heavy equipment, which he still enjoys, even after all these years. The company he is working for now is involved in the constructing of 2 new subway lines in NYC, so Al spends lots of time traveling through Manhattan every day.
Many thanks to Cindy Lewis Hart and Bobbie Dollinger Leiby for their efforts in working with the Alumni Committee, putting together events, display boards and fund-raising. My apologies if I have inadvertently omitted anyone! Keep sending me your updates; I love hearing from you.
From the Alumni House:
Nancy Hirshman Bacak writes, “I have been working for the Social Security Administration since 1975 - hard to believe it is almost 35 years! I am a supervisor in the Allentown office, but have worked in offices in Hackensack, N.J. and also in Bethlehem. I am married and have a 29 year old stepdaughter and two sons, ages 23 and 21. My husband is a Lehigh and University of Pittsburgh graduate. He is the manager of the Bethlehem Social Security office - so guess where we met? Our daughter works for the University of Chicago in Washington DC (a lobbying office). Our older son graduated as a bio-medical engineer last year from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate student at Drexel and does research for Drexel's Medical College. Our younger son is an undergraduate at Temple University in the Fox Business School. We are hopeful that the job market picks up so that all our young adults can have good career opportunities as they graduate. I play in a local orchestra and am having a blast! Music helps relieve the stress of a day at work.”
From the Alumni House:
After leaving Moravian, and completing her degree at Glassboro State College, Donna Boss Van Horn returned to Bethlehem and completed a master's degree in special education and a doctoral degree in educational leadership at Lehigh University. Donna currently serves as superintendent of the Weymouth Township School District near Atlantic City, NJ. She is also the treasurer of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. Living with her husband, John, in Avalon, NJ, she has two daughters, 25 and 24, who live in Washington, D.C. and Nashville, Tenn.
From the Alumni House:
Bob Gratz, superintendent at Hackettstown School District in New Jersey, was named 2010 Superintendent of the Year for New Jersey’s northern region. He will now compete for statewide honor against the central regional and southern regional winners. The winner will then be presented to compete on the national level.
I was very happy to receive an update from Sue Michie McLeish last week. She reports that since graduation, she and Bill have lived in several states: PA, NY, ID, FL and GA. They have been in the Atlanta area for 28 years now. Bill worked as a chef for about 20 years and is now in sales. Susan currently teaches in a middle school. Their oldest son Doug and his wife live near them and have an infant daughter. Next son Ben and his wife live in New Orleans and have 2 children. Ben is in inner-city ministry and has been in New Orleans since pre-Katrina, working hard to help the 8th & 9th wards revive. Their daughter Rebecca teaches 2nd grade and she and her husband are expecting their first child in December. Susan sings in a 140 voice symphony chorus, The Michael O'Neal singers, keeping alive a love of music that she nurtured while singing in the Moravian College choir. An especially happy event in their lives is that both Bill and Susan's parents are still alive and recently, both sets of parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries. Pretty unusual in this day and age! Kudos to the Michie and McLeish families!
I recently got together with several Moravian friends (our annual reunion) and have news to report: Cindy Lewis Hart is working as a school counselor at Nazareth Area High School. This is her 17th year as a counselor, although moving from the middle school to the high school must be a big adjustment! Cindy's husband, Larry, is working as an independent financial counselor, which he has been doing for 20 years now.
Carter Lee, husband Peter Maas and their family moved back to northern NJ this summer, after being in Haddonfield for many years. The move was prompted by Peter's new job in Manhattan. Carter has been an adoption counselor for the past nine years and is enjoying being mom to Emilee, 10, and Caroline (Tao),who is now 6. Hope both girls adjusted well to the move and their new schools.
Scott and Laura Likman Schell have an engagement to celebrate. Their daughter Ashley became engaged in March and is planning a July wedding. She is working as a mental health counselor at the University of Chicago. Their son Blake is living in Charlotte, NC and works as an accountant. Scott still runs the Circle S Ranch House and Schell's Fast Food in Reading, where Laura helps out as needed, in between substitute teaching and tutoring.
Bill '73 and Colleen Senters Witmer '74 still reside in Frasier, PA where Colleen runs a cosmetic spa and Bill works in medical photography.
Nancy Martin Lasher continues to teach 3rd grade in Orange, NJ and recently completed courses giving her a supervisor's certificate. She also received a grant to do video conferencing with her class. Congratulations, Nancy! Her daughter, Caryelle, is a registered environmental health specialist in Camden County and her son, Jason, is finishing an automotive technical program at a local community college.
Debbie Lewis Zvanut retired from the YMCA after 30 years and is enjoying life at home, although she finds herself busier than ever. At least she has more time to travel with her husband Carl, as he goes overseas periodically with his firm, Air Products.
I find myself back in the kindergarten classroom after a 3 year absence. After teaching the older grades last year, I found that I prefer the younger ones, although I did forget how exhausting 5 year olds are! My husband, Al, is working in Manhattan with a firm that is involved in building the new subways. My daughter, Melanie, completed her classes at NJIT, which gave her a certificate in sustainable design and she also passed her national exam for interior design. Jaqui is in her last year of a master's program at Baruch University, (part of the CUNY system) and will graduate in May with an MBA in accounting.
That wraps up all the news I have. As always, drop me a line and I will include your info in the next edition of our newsletter. Hope to see more of you at our 35th reunion in May!
James Goodhart ’75 from Pottstown will be honored at this year’s annual Tri-County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. The induction dinner will be held Saturday, October 17th at The Elks. Goodhart was an outstanding baseball player during his time at Pottstown. He then transitioned to be a very successful manager for the Steelers’ American Legion team before expanding opportunities for Pottstown area youngsters by starting up, supervising and coaching the Pottstown Police Athletic League Program.
I received some news from Bob Gratz in May that I would like to share:
Bob's oldest daughter Kati is getting married this summer (8/21/09); she is a biology teacher at Nutley High School. His middle daughter, Kristin, graduated from Moravian in ‘08 and is now in grad school at Villanova, pursuing a Master's in Family Counseling. Youngest daughter, Jennifer, is a Fashion Management major at Philadelphia University. She spent the spring semester in Milan and Bob and Nancy were able to visit during spring break. They got to see the Last Supper, visit Lake Como, go to Palm Sunday Mass at the Duomo in Milan, see an opera at La Scala. . . with Jennifer proving to be an excellent tour guide. Jennifer also spent time in Paris during the summer of 08, so Bob and Nancy visited her there and spent their 30th anniversary in Paris. Nancy works for Lehigh Valley Hospital as a researcher in Family Medicine and Bob is the superintendent of the Hackettstown Public Schools in NJ. Congratulations on 34 years as an educator in NJ, Bob!
Any news from our classmates in always welcome! E-mail me at email@example.com. Hope to hear from more of you soon, especially as our 35th reunion is rapidly approaching! 35 years, really; that seems impossible.
I was able to get together with some College friends last summer. We had a great time catching up with each other and renewing our friendships. Nancy Martin Lasher is a third-grade teacher in New Jersey, and has been there for about eight years. Her daughter, Caryelle, is a registered environmental health specialist in Camden County, N.J. Her son, Jason, is attending college for automotive technology.
Debbie Lewis Zvanut works for the Pennsylvania YMCA, heading the corporate office staff development and international programs. She traveled to Germany and spent 10 days visiting YMCA partners to study their programs and strengthen their partnership. She also travels with her husband, Carl, who has been employed by Air Products Corp. for 31 years.
Colleen Senters Witmer ’74 is the director of a cosmetics dermatology spa. This is quite a career change after working for Sears in the King of Prussia Mall. She retired from Sears after 32 years and decided to pursue a new field. Her husband, Bill Witmer ’73, is the director of Dermatek Skin Imaging, a division of Canfield Scientific. He is a medical photographer and works at nine locations, with two more soon to open. His company has offices in Cornell, N.Y., Williamsburg, Va., the Midwest, and Michigan. They plan to open offices in Dallas, Charlotte, N.C., and California.
Scott and Laura Likman Schell continue to run the Ranch House in Leesport, Pa. Their son, Blake, lives in Charlotte, N.C., and works as an investment advisor. Their daughter, Ashley, attends Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling.
I find myself back at work this year, after enjoying a wonderful sabbatical year. What a shock to go back to work! I could easily get used to retirement. I did go back to a change. I am now the social studies teacher for second through fifth grades. That surely keeps me on my toes! My husband, Al, still enjoys operating heavy equipment (boys and their toys!) and my daughters are working and pursuing advanced degrees. Melanie attends N.J.I.T. in Newark, N.J., working toward a professional certificate in sustainable design. She attends class two nights each week, after working for an architect all day. Jaqui tends bar and attends Baruch University (part of C.U.N.Y.), where she is studying for an M.B.A. in accounting.
While it was great to see old friends, I wish more of you would send me your news to publish. We hope to see lots of faces at our 35th reunion. (Can you believe it? We’re not that old!)