Class Notes – Winter 2018


Norwich’s oldest living alumnus, Maurice “Mo” Smith, celebrated his 106th birthday on July 27, 2017, at home. Staff from the offices of Development, Alumni Relations, and Communications presented him with a card, cake, and an NU 200 compass. Mo entertained the group by telling stories about General Harmon and singing his Theta Chi fraternity song.


Judith Mahoney writes, “I have fully retired to the Big Island of Hawaii in the town of Kailua–Kona.”


On September 10, 2017, Dom Ruggerio and Rob Leskovar ’87 met up at the 16th Annual Big Thunder Run hosted by Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 1 in Chicago. Dom is VP of the chapter and he and Rob are both active riders. The mission of Rolling Thunder is to educate the public on POW/MIA issues and to support veteran activities.

CLASSES OF 1961, 1987 Dom Ruggerio (left) and Rob Leskovar ’87 at the Big Thunder Run.



The class held a mini-reunion at Ed Hackman’s summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., in August 2017.

CLASS OF 1969 From left: Tom Smelstor, Doug Eagan, Ethan Allen, John Mulhern, Ed Hackman, Brendan Garvin, and Phil Boncore.


Bob Bedell writes, “All four Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area 1970 classmates met on May 20 with three members from the Class of 2020 from DFW, congratulating them for completing their freshman year at Norwich. Of course, many Norwich stories were exchanged. We were updated with current students’ perspectives while we related a few events and policies from our student days. Very enjoyable to interact with today’s students, 50 years our junior.”

CLASSES OF 1970, 2020 From left: Britton Edwards ’20, Larry Wesneski ’70, Don Crona ’70, Bob Bedell ’70, Miranda Lloyd ’20, Marcelo Maristan ’20, and Jim MacAlla ’70 in Dallas-Fort Worth.


At 1500 hours on September 9, 2017—50 years to the minute from when they were sworn in as rooks—11 intrepid members of the Class of 1971 from all over the U.S. gathered on the steps of Jackman, marking the moment half a century earlier when they began their Norwich journey. In addition to those present were two classmates in spirit: James “Tripp” Sutherland III and Stephen H. Dawson.

CLASS OF 1971 From left: Greg May (with rook nametag), Fran Kobylenski, Keith Bronson, Bill Gunning (Frank Gunning’s uncle, who dropped him off 50 years ago!), Frank Gunning, Brad Pearson, Joe Perrault, Fred Miller, Stan Burzycki, Bill Clark, Fred Farrell, and John Lemke.


Anthony “Ort” Ortolano was honored by Major League Lacrosse on August 3, 2017, by being recognized at the “Legends of Placid Lacrosse” ceremony. A 1972 Rome Free Academy graduate, Ort is the 25th individual to be so honored. Inducted into the Rome (N.Y.) Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, Ort served as the longtime head athletic trainer for RPI before retiring in 2012. He also served as the Legends of Placid Summit Classic tournament director for 27 years before retiring last year.


In 2016, Pat Tria and his wife, Anne, visited Greg Hansen and his wife, Jan, for a July 4th party on Jackson Lake (Georgia). In October of that year, the Trias purchased a home two doors down from the Hansens. The former rook buddies have enjoyed dinners, boat trips, and other neighborly events together.

CLASS OF 1977 Neighbors Pat Tria (left) and Greg Hansen.


Gerard “Cogs” Cogliano writes, “We celebrated my grandson’s first birthday with 1978 classmates Vinnie Passano, Kevin Kelleher, and Mark Neimic.”

Ronnie Palache writes, “Wanted to touch base with my beginnings by saying hello to my fellow nursing classmates at Vermont College. Thinking about Sister St. Thomas and Mrs. Ristau. Yes, I flunked out of the nursing program in 1977. Little did I know that my life would be dedicated to the nursing profession. I graduated from VC in 1978. Went on to get my BSN, MSN, FNP, Psychiatric Mental Health NP, and now my DNP. All things are possible in life!”

CLASS OF 1978 From left: Vinnie Passano, Kevin Kelleher, Gerard Cogliano, and Mark Neimic at Cog’s grandson’s first birthday.


Jed Rowley was in Houston recently and met up with classmate David Brown, who provided an “absolutely splendid” personal tour of the NASA-Johnson complex where he works. Jed writes, “It was a happy coincidence that the tour was on the 48th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.” The photo was taken in the VIP seats above the historic Mission Control Center.

CLASS OF 1979 Jed Rowley (left) and David Brown at NASA.


For the last seven years, Larry Costa and classmates Craig McLaughlin and Joe McMahon have been getting together in Andover, Maine, during the town’s annual “Old Home Days” celebration, which includes a parade. Larry writes, “I collect WWII military vehicles and we drive them in the parade.” The classmates were joined by NU alumni Linda McMahon VC’79, Zlata Zakharenko ’00, and Bakari Dale ’99.

CLASSES OF 1979, 1980, 1999, 2000 In tank: Craig McLaughlin ’80 (top), Joe McMahon ’80 (left hatch), and Larry Costa ’80 (right hatch). Standing (l-r): Linda McMahon VC ’79, Zlata Zakharenko ’00, Bakari Dale ’99, Anastasia and Viktoria Dale, and Nanine Costa.


John Wrobel writes, “I retired from federal service on June 30, 2017, after 34 years of combined military and civilian service. My career was dedicated to environmental restoration, cleanup, and natural and cultural resource management at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. I am retiring to Boston with my beautiful bride of 35 years, Deborah, my children, Billy, Sasha, and Jake, and my grandson Tyler. I will continue to advocate for the environment and ecology of the planet. I can be reached at and look forward to all that New England offers.”


Rick Gilligan writes, “We had a great turnout at the Ed Hockenbury Golf Classic this year. It was pretty special because Ed Hockenbury had not been back to his father’s tournament in many years. He enjoyed reconnecting with the attendees, in particular the foursome of Rick Pembroke ’85, Packy McGraw, Dan Roche ’86, and myself. Ed is an associate AD at UVM, so he’s done very well within college athletics.”

CLASSES OF 1983, 1985, 1986 From left: Rick Gilligan ’83, Rick Pembroke ’85, Ed Hockenbury Jr.,
Packy McGraw ’83, and Dan Roche ’86.


Robert Forrester ’84, M’06, M’08 & P’18 writes, “After 20 great years in Manhattan, I recently retired from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and have accepted a position as an attorney within the U.S. Air Force Legal Operations Agency at Maxwell AFB (Alabama). My wife and I purchased our dream home (28-acre horse farm) on the outskirts of Prattville, Ala., where we look forward to many years of peaceful country living with our children/grandchildren.”

In May 2017, George Fuller was elected mayor of McKinney, Texas, a city of 168,000. A commercial property developer and custom homebuilder, George won with 59 percent of the vote in a three-way race. One of the fastest-growing communities in America, McKinney is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.


Sacramento Police Dept. Sergeant Jim Magee sent in a photo of himself and Officer Gaeton McVane ’12 working the graveyard shift in downtown Sacramento.

CLASSES OF 1985, 2012 Jim Magee ’85 (left) and Gaeton McVane ’12 in Sacramento.

A retirement party was held last June for FBI Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) John A. Rapsis at Maggiano’s Restaurant in Tysons Corner, Va., honoring his 33 years of Federal Service. In attendance were several Norwich grads with whom John works with on a regular basis, including classmate Bruce Gourlie, ASAC, FBI New York, Clem Hourican ’84, Ret. USSS, now Pentagon Force Protection, Aaron Danis ’84, Deputy, Future Operations, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and Jessica Ulmer ’07, FBI SSA-CTD, at NCTC. John writes, “Much like Cincinnatus and Dwight Schrute, I will be returning to manage the family beet farm in Hancock, N.H.”

CLASSES OF 1984, 1985, 2007 From left: Bruce Gourlie ’85, Clem Hourican ’84, John Rapsis ’85, Aaron Danis ’84, and Jessica Ulmer ’07.


U.S. Army Col. Paul Melanson, Maj. Tim Vandeventer ’03, Col. Shane Morgan ’94, Capt. (Ret.) Dave Roy ’97, and Maj. Chris Hoffman ’94 attended the Massachusetts Army National Guard Redleg Ball in April. Shane was the keynote speaker and took command of the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., in spring 2017.

CLASSES OF 1987, 1994, 1997, 2003 From left: Dave Roy ’97, Paul Melanson ’87, Tim Vandeventer ’03, Shane Morgan ’94, and Chris Hoffman ’94. (See corresponding Class Note, p. 42.)


U.S. Navy Capt. Lawrence D. Hill Jr., Judge Advocate General’s Corps, was relieved as commanding officer, Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic, at a change of command ceremony held May 23, 2017, in Norfolk, Va. Lawrence’s next assignment is Staff Judge Advocate, USNA, Annapolis, Md.

CLASS OF 1989 Lawrence Hill receives the Legion of Merit from RADM John Hannink.


Jon Donigan retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel on August 31, 2017, after more than 25 years. Jon, his wife, Christina, and daughter Kara live in West Kingston, R.I. Jon is now an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College.


Navy Capt. Phil Brock took over command of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi (NAS CC) at a change of command ceremony on July 20, 2017, at the air station’s Wings Auditorium. Brock was previously the NAS CC’s chief of naval operations.

1995 VC

The Punta Gorda-Charlotte County Continuum of Care, led by Angela (Nowill) Hogan, has ended homelessness among its veterans, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Veterans Affairs. A ceremony to commemorate the USICH designation was held last April at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Laishley Park in Punta Gorda, Fla.


Mike Smith was joined by Hotel Co. rook buddies Steve Hurst and Trevor Hough ’95 after his frocking to captain, USN, at the Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center in Washington, D.C., on July 17, 2017. Mike served as Ballistic Missile Defense Branch Chief in the J-5 Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He recently transferred and is now a student at the senior course at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

CLASSES OF 1995, 1996 From left: Steve Hurst ’95, Mike Smith ’96, and Trevor Hough ’95.


After nearly a decade with Amec Foster Wheeler as a senior geologist, Angela Adams is now with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Resources, as part of the Department’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Coal Combustion Residual Material environmental investigation and cleanup team. Angela writes, “My role will be to serve as the lead geologic expert for the investigation and remediation of eight TVA facilities.”


Matthew Lavoie and his wife, Sarah (Beal) ’04, welcomed a baby girl, Sylvia Ann, on June 9, 2017.

CLASS OF 2001 Sylvia Ann Lavoie.


Forest Acres Police Officer Heather M. Champagne was awarded the coveted J. P. Strom Award for having the highest academic average in her class at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. A student in Basic Law Enforcement Class 656, she graduated on December 2, 2016, after completing 12 weeks of police training. Heather, who holds an M.A.T. in elementary education from the University of South Carolina, began work at the Forest Acres Police Department in July 2014.

Gene Enriquez recently started working at the embassy in Macedonia. He writes, “Had the pleasure of meeting three Norwich cadets today at Pepelishte Training Area. They participated in the Summer Campus exercise involving a dozen NATO and partner nation military academies. The highlight of their training was a visit to the refugee camps where tens of thousands transited in 2014. CDTs Phelps and Malone will return to the U.S. for USMC training, then Rook Week. CDT Miklosh will return to the Military Academy in Skopje. I wish I had opportunities like this when I was at school!” (See photo online.)


Rob Kumpf and his wife, Amber, welcomed the arrival of their second son, Christopher Patrick, on May 24, 2017. Rob writes, “Christopher is looking forward to rook arrival day in 2035 as a member of the Class of 2039. Mom and baby are happy and healthy; older brother and dad are adjusting.”

CLASS OF 2013 Christopher Patrick Kumpf.


Kyle Vautrinot and Caroline Thomas ’14 were married September 2,
2017, in Brookline, Mass. In attendance were Christopher Legge ’14 and Shaili Patel M’17. Caroline graduated in May 2017 from Boston University with a Master of Divinity. Kyle is a first lieutenant stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where he serves as the XO of Alpha Company, 303D MI BN. He deployed with his brigade to Afghanistan in October.


Last August, James Duncan was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer following 11 weeks of training. He will spend the next two years teaching English to Zambian children in grades five to nine with the Rural Education Development program and organizing afterschool clubs to help pupils develop life skills, problem solving, and goal serving.

Cameron Myette recently graduated from the Plymouth County Sheriff Department’s Training Academy.

CLASS OF 2016 Cameron Myette graduates from the Plymouth County Sheriff Department’s Training Academy.

Tyler Noyes graduated in May 2017 from the full-time Police Academy in Vermont and is now a Vermont State Trooper out of the VSP Westminster Barracks. His parents, Jim ’77 and Sue Noyes, couldn’t be prouder!

Darek Wilcox graduated U.S. Army Ranger school on July 14, 2017, attended by U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Shields ’83. Darek writes, “We took a few photos. Good representation of a young new officer just starting off and a well-established, experienced, and successful officer molded at the same institution. Hoping to bring some good PR for Norwich.”

CLASSES OF 1983, 2016 U.S. Army Rangers Darek Wilcox (left) and Michael Shields ’83.


Jake Apthorpe recently visited Tanzania on an 8-week service trip organized by Norwich’s Center for Civic Engagement and Rotaract. He reports to USAF in Oklahoma in January 2018.

CLASS OF 2017 Jake Apthorpe and friend in Tanzania.

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