Dan Fleetham received the coveted Theta Chi for Life Award at the Theta Chi Convention in July 2012. Dan is only the 61st member of Theta Chi to be so honored.

Charles Topping served as Grand Marshall for the 2012 Mendham Borough, N.J., Labor Day parade on September 3, 2012. This honor was bestowed on him in appreciation for his many contributions to the community.

Lona and Jack Abare ’57 celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in the company of a host of Norwich alumni. Standing (l-r):  David Abare ’87, Charley Holden ’67, Clarke Haywood ’12, Ray Humphrey ’57, Joseph Wright ’96, Kevin Hancock ’01, and Joe Milano ’66. Seated (l-r): Charles Perenick ’56, Frank Wisinski ’57, Jack Abare ’57, and Gerry Gingras ’57.

Stephen Sonis was the recipient of the 2012 International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Medicine and Pathology. He was recognized at the 90th General Session & Exhibition in Iguaçu Falls, Brazil, on June 20, 2012. Stephen is professor of oral medicine and diagnostic science at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and senior surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


Last summer, Senator Colin Kenny (Canada) wrote a first-person account for the National Post of his time onboard the USS Nimitz. “Visiting the ship gave me a variety of insights into massive military equipment and how it functions, the strategic value of naval capability—and what an older guy feels like when repeatedly he’s confronted with eight decks of ladder stairs, as well as takeoff and landing G-forces from hell (the pain is just starting to ebb). More succinctly, this visit blew me away.” While there he visited Angel Lugo Steidel ’93.

 Author Robert Begiebing ’68 has launched the 20th-anniversary edition of his historical fiction novel, The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin, to add to the seven books, one play, and more than thirty articles and stories he has written. Inspired by a murder that took place in 17th-century New Hampshire, the book has new cover art and has been re-released as an e-book and in hard copy. Originally published the early 1990s, Mistress Coffin was widely and enthusiastically reviewed, was a Main Selection in The Literary Guild, The Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Clubs, and is currently optioned for a film. “Not since Kenneth Roberts has anyone written of early New England life in such vivid and convincing detail … A gifted writer with an extraordinary feeling for the past.”—Annie Proulx, New York Times Book Review

Jeff Obermeyer M’07 has authored a new book titled, Baseball and the Bottom Line in World War II: Gunning for Profits on the Home Front, based on the capstone paper he wrote for the online Master’s in Military History program through Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Baseball, like many nonessential industries, struggled to find its place in society during a time of war. The men who ran the game faced government interference and manpower shortages that threatened to shut down their businesses for the duration, and they had to balance the need to show a patriotic front to the public while protecting their investments. Archival and primary sources provide insight into the perceptions of the major league owners and an understanding of how most of them were able to keep their businesses profitable while the nation fought an enormous two-front war. Jeff’s work has been published in Nostalgia Magazine, and he helped produce a series of two-minute radio spots on Seattle hockey history heard on Thunderbirds broadcasts. His baseball history research appears in Nine, Baseball Research Journal, and National Pastime.

Both books are available on 

George Kabel ’70 and Maj. Tony Pasquale ’00 met at Mt. Snow, Vt., on July 14, 2012, during the international Tough Mudder competition. Tony participated in the event as a team member of the 174th Air Support Operations Squadron where he is the operations director, while George was there as a volunteer with the Wounded Warrior Project. Tony’s father, Pete Pasquale, and George were freshman roommates at Norwich and continue to enjoy frequent get-togethers.

Dr. Robert E. Neilson came in first in his age group at the Mid-Atlantic Century [100-mile] Cycling Race in Washington, N.C., proving that “old Norwich guys still rule.” Bob spent 16 years as a department chair and faculty member at the National Defense University in D.C. and the last three-and-a-half years in the Pentagon as a senior Army executive. He now resides in Southern Shores, N.C., on the Outer Banks. 

Bob Bacon, Bob Draper, Steve McCarthy, Frank Gunning, and Claude Colombo spent eight days touring Europe last September. Highlights included four days exploring the D-Day invasion beaches. While in Normandy, Frank visited the field where his father (a pathfinder with the 101st Airborne Division) landed on June 6, 1944. On Sept. 11, the group participated in the Retreat Ceremony and folding of the National Colors at the American Military Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. All agreed it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Members of the Class gathered to honor the memory of Tripp Sutherland. Tripp’s widow, Candy, writes, “Norwich cadets and the Norwich family are the best of the best—especially the Class of 1971. My family and I want to thank everyone for all the love, support, and generosity that has poured out from all of you. In July, Tony Rizzo and company (Bob Draper, Jim Grip, Bruce Aldrich, Ben Benoit, and others) put on a great party to honor my husband, a party Tripp was supposed to attend and would have thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, Tripp passed away just one month before, after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. The Norwich University family is like no other: the epitome of closeness, respect, love, loyalty, and friendship. My entire family and I want to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of our hearts for all the Class of ’71 has done. I would have liked to have sent out a personal note to each of you individually, but this seemed the best way to get to all of you. Thank you all again and God bless.”

Peter LaFrance sent in a photo of a mini-reunion of four members from the Classes of 1973 and 1974 that took place in Acton, Mass., last summer. Included in the gathering with Peter were Marc Stevens, Brian Lombard ’73, and Jonathan Melick ’73. Peter writes, “Brian is retired and living in Florida. Marc is married, retired, and living in New Hampshire. Jonathan is married and also living in New Hampshire; and I am married, working as a journalist, and living in Brooklyn, N.Y.”


Paul Heffernan, Chuck Allen, John “Chip” Archibald, Doug Webb, Tom Powers ’81, and Bob Reddington gathered at Paul’s house in Green Harbor, Mass., for a lobster and steak dinner as part of the summer board meeting of the Sharpshooters Hunting Camp, located in North Fayston, Vt.

Also present were Robert Doyle, Walter Hannon, John Jay Greco ’78, and Randy Franklin.


Bill Kingman has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for 28 years, to include service in Iraq. In July 2006, while in a government van on the way to a D.C. airport, he and two fellow ATF agents were involved in a minor traffic accident which escalated into a high-speed car and foot chase and eventual shootout with the suspect—a wanted drug dealer—who was fatally shot in the melee that ensued. For his actions Bill received a Medal of Valor for “acts of exceptional valor or bravery while in the line of duty.” Several family members and friends attended the ceremony last fall.

Several Norwich alumni gathered for a photo op at Old Home Days in Andover, N.H., on the first Sunday in August.

Alberto M. Higuera, a colonel in the Connecticut Army National Guard, has taken command of the 143rd Regional Support Group in Middletown, Conn. Having retired on April 12, 2012, after 21 years with the Newington Police Department, Alberto is now a revenue agent with the State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.

After 26 years of service, Col Donald Derry, USAF, Pacific Air Forces Security Forces Division chief, Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam, Hawaii, retired on May 29, 2012. At the ceremony, Donald said being the top cop in Air Forces Central Command and PACAF was never his intent. “My goal was to lead men and women defending our freedom. I’ve attempted to do this by taking the fight to the enemy and protecting our most precious resource—our people. I hope I’ve made a difference in the people’s lives that I’ve served with.”

Marty Nahifin has been named vice president for finance and administration at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Dan Evans, Jr., let us know that Billy O’Brien delivered the Army commissioning oath to classmate Mike Cosgove’s son, Emmett (22), at West Point on May 26, 2012. Emmett, who played football for two seasons for the Black Knights, is currently stationed at Ft Rucker, Enterprise, Ala., where he has branched Army Aviation. In addition to Emmett, Mike has two younger sons: Liam (19), a sophomore and the starting quarterback at UMass-Dartmouth, and Cullin (15), a sophomore at Plymouth North High School (Mass.), where he is the starting quarterback for the varsity football team.

COL Michael S. Heimall assumed command of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center military hospital in Central El Paso, Texas, at a change-of-command ceremony on October 24, 2012. Formerly the assistant chief of staff for TRICARE Transition at Western Regional Medical Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash., Michael holds a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

HealyAs part of the Boston Red Sox organization’s ongoing efforts to recognize our nation’s military heroes, brothers LtCol Shawn Healy, USMC ’88 and COL Michael S. Healy, USA ’87 were honored between the innings of a Red Sox–Orioles game on September 23, 2012. While the two brothers stood atop opposing dugouts in uniform facing the crowd, the announcer introduced each one individually and talked about their contributions to our country and their sacrifices for our freedoms. Their sister, Maureen Healy, was very moved by the reaction from the Red Sox fans. “As we were walking out of the stadium, it was unbelievable the number of people coming up and shaking their hands and asking to have their pictures taken—especially little kids.” Before leaving Fenway Park the brothers had their photo taken with legendary Red Sox right-hander Luis Tiant.

Three NU alumni are on the HQ Staff for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. Not only do Col Donald Riley, Jr. ’89, BrigGen Thomas Geary ’88, and COL Dave Brigham ’88 work together, but they also live in the same senior hallway.

The Latina Style Magazine Business Series chose Fran Perez-Wilhite as their keynote speaker for an event in North Carolina this past July. Fran, whose address detailed both her Hispanic heritage and the importance of teaming together to survive in a challenging business economy, has been promoted to Vice President of the Corporate Board of Directors for Trinity Strategic Consulting, Inc.

CAPT Christopher “Chet” Misner, USN ’90 & M’06 was recently awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for his tour of duty as Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. During his three years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Chet served both Secretary Gates and Panetta extensively. He has been selected for Major Aviation Command and will take command of Naval Air Station Kingsville in June.

A member of the Seattle, Wash., Police Department, Todd Kibbee was promoted to the rank of sergeant on July 6, 2012, and currently supervises a patrol squad in the Ballard area of the city.

1991 The fall 2012 issue of ON POINT: The Army Historical Foundation Journal features a full-page article on LTC (P) Anela Arcari, USA.

Jason R. Rittie, Esq. is counsel to the firm Einhorn Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, PC, in Denville, N.J. Last October, Jason presented a seminar at the Annual NJ Paralegal Convention in Iselin. In addition, he was recently recognized as an AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer by Martindale-Hubble.

Ross Herda writes, “My wife, Corrina gave birth on September 14, 2012, to twins! Their names are Jack Ross and Ellie Rae. All are well!”

Dr. Michael Sharpe has dedicated most of his professional career to working on programs in urban centers that positively impact children in the areas of education and mental health. He is currently the CEO of Jumoke Academy, a pre-K through 8 charter school in Hartford, Conn. In his spare time Michael enjoys racquetball, chess, kibitzing about politics, gardening, and cruising to warm climates. Michael was recently named a 2012 “Man of the Year” by Connecticut’s African American Affairs Commission.

Doctors Supporting Troops
Dressed in pants festooned with oversized stars and stripes, it was hard to miss optometrist Daniel Rowan’s golf foursome at the Reno-Tahoe Open Pro-Am event last August.

But the patriotic trousers weren’t the only indicator that it wasn’t a typical day on the links for Rowan and the three other doctors he was with. For starters, they weren’t the ones playing golf—instead, they were caddying for four veterans they had sponsored to play in place of them as part of “Doctors Supporting Troops.”

Rowan ’97 created the program in 2010 as a way to give back. Though he wasn’t a cadet at Norwich, his experiences on the Hill and the friendships he made helped shape his views on the sacrifices military men and women make. So he decided to create an event geared to give veterans “who might have had a rough go of it … a really good day.”

Potential golfers were asked to write a 500-word essay that described their service and why they wanted a chance to play. Out of the dozens submitted, Rowan chose to caddy for Steve McKinley. A Marine medic from Coleville, Calif., McKinley lost part of his intestine to an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Three weeks later, he was back with his unit. He ended up serving two more tours.

“When we were golfing there were a lot of guys watching us. It’s the PGA tour,” said Rowan. “But Steve wasn’t nervous at all. He said, ‘Shit. Nervous is riding through Fallujah at night on a Humvee. This is nothing.’”

Rowan plans to continue the event next year with the hope that it may spread to other parts of the country. The PGA tour recently placed the program on its list of the top 20 best practices from around the country and plans to use it as a model for the future.

Brian Jorgensen ’87 and Jay Oppenheim were together over Homecoming Weekend … in Malaysia! Jay writes, “We may have been on the other side of the world, but it was great to spend homecoming weekend with another NU grad!” Jay recently moved to Malaysia with his family to lead the engineering program for the new Bose Corp. factory.

Laura Grace Sweeney was born on October 1, 2012, to Benjamin Sweeney and Jennifer Doucette Sweeney ’03.

PO3 Ross L. Bailey, USN, and fellow sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Farragut departed in July for a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and to advance maritime partnerships. The destroyer worked with an Italian frigate and submarine for two days of coalition training events to promote interoperability and partnership for the shared goal of maintaining safety and security of the region’s sea lanes.

Zachary Conaway brought his daughter, Meredith, with him to watch his team, the Mad River Rugby Club, scrimmage against the Norwich Men’s Rugby Football Club on August 25, 2012. Zachary says he learned the game from classmate Randy Bielski while they were stationed at Fort Drum.

Dano Kraig Fernandez M’07 (MJA), a compliance investigator for the State of Nevada, has recently retired from state law enforcement service and accepted a position with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement Removal Operations, Criminal Alien Division, Law Enforcement Support Center at Williston, Vt. Currently, Dano is keeping busy with doctoral studies in public policy and administration with specialization in homeland security policy and coordination at Walden University, and expects to graduate in May 2014. He writes, “My new job with DHS is a dream come true going back to where I started as a former cadet student and now an alumnus.”

CGCS_CJJaynesPromotion_smCJ Jaynes M’08 recently made Norwich history by becoming the University’s first female grad to be promoted to the rank of one-star—or flag officer—in any branch of the military.

Jaynes, who holds an MBA from the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, joined the Navy in 1983 after four years of teaching junior high in Pennsylvania (while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in mathematics). She had originally planned on using the Navy as a stalling tactic until she decided on a career path. Twenty-nine years later, the Navy has taken her all over the world—from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Sicily in the Mediterranean.

Jaynes has worked with aircraft from F/A-18 Hornets (supersonic fighter jets, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets flying at speeds of 1,400 mph) to P-3 Orions (four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft).

With her daughter proudly attaching the shoulder boards to her uniform, Jaynes was promoted to her present rank by NAVAIR Commander Vice Admiral David Architzel at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on August 1, 2012.

Jaynes has become NAVAIR’s first woman admiral, the Navy’s 79th woman promoted to rear admiral, and the first woman in the sea service’s aerospace maintenance duty officer community to achieve flag officer.

“CJ’s a motivator and a visionary, continuously developing and finding innovative ways to meet every challenge put in front of her,” said Architzel.

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