Golden Bison Vol 1 Number 2

Page 1

A newsletter for Nichols College alumni of the past 50 years or more

Vol 1 Issue 2: Summer/Fall 2020

Plans for a Healthy Herd this Fall To our Golden Bison, we wish you and your families well during this time. Please know that your alma mater is thinking of you. As you can imagine, the spring 2020 semester did not go as planned. We sent our students off to spring break in March, assuming they would come back, but the seriousness of the pandemic developed very quickly. Once it was clear that coming back to campus would not be a safe option, Nichols College just as quickly reacted and transitioned to online learning. We are lucky to have a graduate program that has always offered a cutting-edge online learning environment, which we were able to translate to our undergraduate population. Students participated in online classes via the Zoom platform in a synchronous way, meaning that students had the same courses, class times, classmates, and professors as they had since beginning of the semester. This level of structure and familiarity lent comfort to students during a very uncertain time.

In a recent statement to the Nichols community, President Susan Engelkemeyer said, “At Nichols College, we believe our size and close relationships are what make us a unique place to learn and work. In this time of COVID uncertainty, we absolutely believe that small schools can – and will – still thrive, and we intend to be one that does. Through a mutual understanding and respect for our shared responsibility in making it so, we plan to lead the way through this critical time and emerge stronger than ever before. It will mean some sacrifice now. It will mean a new definition of what is ‘normal’ for the time being.  And it will take a great deal of compassion and patience as well as determination and fortitude.” Although campus might feel a little bit different, Nichols College is committed to offering the same level of education, leadership training, and growth experiences to our students. “Operating our campus in times of COVID-19 is perhaps the greatest challenge Nichols has ever faced,” said President Engelkemeyer. “But we are Bison. We are strong, dedicated and resilient.” If you’d like to learn more about our plans this fall, please visit

This summer, Nichols College created a Safe Campus Task Force with the mission of bringing our students back to campus safely for the fall semester. Plans include the following:


50% capacity in classrooms, hybrid in-person and online synchronous approach.


Lombard Dining Hall to have limited capacity with many grab & go meals.


Free Covid-19 testing weekly to the entire campus community.

“We are Bison. We are strong, dedicated and resilient.” — President Engelkemeyer


“No Way But to Fight: George Foreman & the Business of Boxing” An Excerpt, written by Nichols College Professor Dr. Andrew Smith Please enjoy the below excerpt from the book, No Way But to Fight: George Foreman and the Business of Boxing, written by one of our very own. Dr. Andrew R.M. Smith is an assistant professor at Nichols College teaching sport management and history. Originally from Guelph, Ontario (Canada), Smith earned a BA in history from Acadia University and his MA/PhD in History at Purdue University. This is Smith’s first book, which was ranked #1 New Book in Sport History on after its release in January 2020.

The rise of the overweight champion, George Foreman, coincided with a healthy-food movement. Michael Boehm began pushing prototypes of a “fat reducing” grill to manufacturers but “The Great Hamburger Maker,” which evolved into the “Great Hamburger-Steak Maker” and then the “Short Order Grill,” emphasized speed rather than health. At least nine companies passed on Boehm before Salton Inc. CEO, Leon Dreimann, came back to it. Dreimann thought the small, sloped grill that pressed and drained fat did have a place— with a different name. Salton purchased the product outright, and Dreimann renamed it himself: “The Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine,” an homage to 1974’s The Longest Yard that most of his target demographic likely didn’t recognize. They would probably never recognize its inventor, either. Boehm would not receive royalties if the grill did take off under its new moniker, and even the patent reverted back to the Chinese company he was working for when he invented it.

flashing red lights signaled a QVC emergency. All the phone lines were occupied. In the middle of the demo, Foreman grabbed a bun off a table, stole a burger from the grill, and took a huge bite. “It was so spontaneous,” Dreimann said. “It was a real reaction. People saw that he eats what he sells.” Salton reportedly grossed $5 million from the grill in 1996. In 1998, the company claimed over $200 million of that to grill sales. Foreman’s royalties escalated to millions of dollars a month. The astounding success of the Foreman Grill was due as much to its spokesperson’s commitment to word-of-mouth sales as it was to Salton’s investment in print and television advertising or to QVC partnerships. It caught everyone, especially Dreimann, by surprise.

At the 1994 Gourmet Products Show, a veteran marketer of home products such as the Veg-O-Matic, Mike Srednick, took a second look at the grill. Srednick knew that George Foreman was interested in opportunities that offered a bigger stake than just taping commercials. Foreman’s connection with hamburgers and a personal weight-loss story fit together as neatly as Boehm’s combination of a declining plate for draining liquids counterbalanced by reverse angle grooves to keep solids in place. It was all about fit. Foreman got his opportunity to have his name on a product, “The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Machine” and Dreimann directed Foreman toward the biggest stage for small household appliances: QVC. Foreman engaged with the product and the audience Dr. Andrew R. M. Smith while puttering around the stage and using the appliance. Dreimann watched intently until

Only four years into their contract, the grill sold so many units—more than ten million, a forty-fold increase from 1995—that the agreement with Foreman became untenable. Salton needed to exchange the unpredictability of royalties for a fixed payment in order to responsibly invest and grow. Its solution was to buy George Foreman’s name. Salton offered $137.5 million to keep the name and Foreman accepted what was then the largest athlete endorsement in history and instantly became the third highest-paid sports pitchman, behind only Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Retiring from the prize ring and selling his name to Salton was bittersweet, however. “I was really scared,” Foreman admitted. “I didn’t want to lose my job.”

Trivia Question: Who is the only person to “knock out” George Foreman in a prize fight? Be the first submit your answer and win a copy of Dr. Andrew Smith’s book “No Way But to Fight: George Foreman and the Business of Boxing. Send answers via email to or mail your response to: Nichols College Attn: Jillian Riches PO Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571

The “Budleigh Boys” photo submitted by Mike Runyon ’67. 2

2020 Bison Herd Forward By: Hope Rudzinski ’20/ English & Communications

The year was supposed to be filled with celebrations for the Class of 2020. But, with the last semester of our senior year cut short, the celebration was a bit different. Before spring break in March, everything on campus seemed normal, but then things started to shift. A spring break trip to Disney World for me and my roommates got canceled, and that was just the start of disappointing news. Our semester would be taken away from us due to COVID-19. I was praying we’d get to go back to campus after spring break. I wanted to see my roommates, my friends, teachers, the staff, and to continue to build other relationships; however, we didn’t get to. We finished our semester virtually. Everyone tried to make the best of the situation. My friend, Annie Graves, a sport management major from Auburn, Mass., shared her point of view, “Nichols had really taken the time to check in with us to make sure that we were okay, not only physically but mentally, which was important. I feel like everyone has been supportive and helpful every step of this process.” The faculty and staff greatly helped with this transition. They made sure students had access to daily online workouts, counseling services, social programs, online hangouts, and meetings. Zoom, an online conference room platform used as offices and classrooms, helped students finish their classes virtually. Another friend, sophomore Christine Collins, a double major in human resource management and hospitality management from Newton, Mass., said, “For the most part, students and faculty adjusted well.

Many professors were willing to spend more time out of the ‘classroom’ to meet with students individually. I know that some students were facing difficulties handling responsibilities at home on top of their schoolwork. As we all got used to how Zoom worked, class time became more effective. One thing I did miss was more structure being at school and physically being in the different classrooms.” This has been a tough time for everyone going through this pandemic, including the Class of 2020, who spent four years waiting to celebrate with their friends and family. As a triplet, I was disappointed that the three of us did not get to walk the stage like we did in high school. It is a little sad, but with the hopes of a future graduation, we will be able to once again. Virtual graduation felt different but still made us feel special. Celebrating in person with the Class of 2020 after all this is all over will be even more exciting and special. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 tested all of us, but we are stronger than the virus itself. It was very hard for me to leave the Hill so soon because it wasn’t supposed to end like this. However, I’ll find my way back. When I do, it will be bittersweet, something that will stay with me and make me appreciate all the memories I’ve made at Nichols throughout my four years. To the Class of 2020, we’ve been through so much in our four years. We are a different kind of family and class on the Hill that always creates fun wherever we go, whether it’s going to Drafters (our favorite local bar), finally showing up to an 8 a.m. class, or screaming each other’s names across campus during quiet hours. We all made Nichols a fun place to be. President Susan Engelkemeyer has promised an in-person graduation ceremony for our Class of 2020 as soon are we are able to safely celebrate.

Check out the virtual celebration at:


UPCOMING EVENTS Some of our upcoming events will be true to many things 2020, a little different. No matter what the circumstances, we look forward to celebrating milestone reunions and more with the Golden Bison. Find details on events, registration, and accommodations at If you have questions or interest in helping with upcoming events, please email or call 508-213-2218. Cheers, Molly Thienel Director of Alumni Relations

Postponed Events: Save the NEW Dates! Golden Bison Dinner with the President and 50th Reunion Celebration: Friday, June 4, 2021 Reunion Celebrations of Class Years ending 0, 1, 5, and 6: June 4-6, 2021 Forestry Reunion: June 4-6, 2021 Alumni Golf Tournament: Saturday, June 5, 2021 Hall of Fame Dinner: Homecoming Friday, September 24, 2021 Golden Bison VIP Suite: Homecoming Saturday, September 25, 2021

Selfless Service Tom Stewart, associate dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and an assistant professor of leadership at Nichols College, spent his career in the military, retiring in 2019 as Colonel after 31 years of service with the Army National Guard. That is, until he was called to state active duty during the COVID-19 pandemic to organize the call-up of retired medical professionals to serve the needs of the Commonwealth. Like many, Stewart was glued to the news in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak. Impressed with the efforts of the National Guard, he reached out to a former colleague, the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, to express his appreciation and offer his service. To his surprise, the Adjutant General did have a task in mind and asked him to come onto state active duty to join the fight against coronavirus in Massachusetts. His mission had two parts. The first was to increase the membership of the Massachusetts state retired list, which is a list of federally retired soldiers and airmen that may serve on state active duty during an emergency. To be added to the list, retired veterans must apply and meet the following criteria: honorable discharge, 20 or more years of service in the Army or Air National Guard, with the last five years of service in Massachusetts. “We reached out to retirees, asking if they’d like to apply to the state retired list, which covers them under Massachusetts General Law chapter 33 and allows the state to call on them to be brought to state active duty during times of emergency,” says Stewart.

all retired Army and Air National Guard veterans from state headquarters. In just a few months the team was able to grow the MSR list by 100 veterans, 12 of whom were called up to state active duty. One role of these retirees was to provide morale, welfare and recreation to current National Guard members and veterans. For example, three veterans from the state retired list worked with the USO to provide supplies and boost morale at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, Mass., one of the nursing facilities most devastated by the outbreak. The second part of the mission was to build the ranks of medical retirees on the state retired list. Stewart and his team searched for former Air and Army National Guard doctors, physician assistants and nurses. Nine retirees decided to come out of retirement to help provide services to the Soldiers Home and other nursing facilities around the state. Stewart and his team were proud to serve their state in a time of need, mentioning that, “This mission is the first time that veterans were brought out of retirement on to a state active duty mission since World War II.”

With a global emergency already upon us, But it may not be the last, so it’s time to prepare. Stewart got to work right away with the ulti“I hope that each year we will continue to mate goal of growing the list to create a pool add retirees to the state retired of extremely qualified personnel for the state list,” says Stewart. “My wish is that to call on should it our retirees accept that this is the need the support. “This mission next stage for them and that service Stewart was to your country is a continuous duty appointed director is the first time that and commitment. I am optimistic that of the Massachusetts veterans were brought retirees will stand with us and utilize Organized Militia their years of training to protect and and pulled together a out of retirement on to serve the people of Massachusetts team. As a member a state active duty mission during times of emergencies. I’d like of the Army National to see these retirees as a bonafide Guard, Stewart since World War II.” element of the state’s ability to knew he needed a — Tom Stewart respond to disasters moving forward.” representative from the Air National Stewart draws on his military experience to Guard, and the best person for the job was guide his leadership style as dean at Nichols Dave Grenier, retired Lieutenant Colonel and and instills values of leadership to his students a graduate of Nichols College. Grenier served in the graduate program, often through as deputy alongside two retired Sergeant stories of his service abroad. “As a leader you Majors. Their first task was to secure a list of 4

About Tom Stewart • Father of 3 daughters, 13, 16 & 19 • MBA from Nichols College 2010 • Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College 2014 • Served as the Commander, 1st Battalion 182nd Infantry in Afghanistan and was Commander of Camp Phoenix. He coordinated with local tribe governments, Afghan National Police, and the multinational force to ensure the security of the capital city of Kabul • He enjoys climbing Mount Katahdin, Maine, and Mount Washington, N.H. when he gets the time; managing a garden in the summer; deer hunting in the fall & winter don’t take on that responsibility for the pay raise, the title, the status but rather because you believe in the mission of the organization and want to do your part,” Stewart stresses. “When you are in a leadership role you must remember to make decisions not based on your own self interests but the betterment of your people and the organization.” To Stewart, the value of selfless service is the most important lesson he can teach his students. For his leadership efforts, Stewart will be honored with the new title within the Commonwealth of Brigadier General. But that’s not why he – or his team – volunteered to help keep Massachusetts safe during the peak of the pandemic. He continued to serve his nation, state, and community, because he had a conviction that it was the right thing to do, the epitome of selfless service.

Class of 1963 Scholarship Highlight Thank you to our ’63 March Match Donors!

This March Match (formerly Bison Blitz), a key supporter, cheerleader and friend was missing from the roster. Art Tozzi, or the “dancing bear” as he is fondly referred to, a long-time class scribe and volunteer for Nichols College passed away January 26, 2020. Tozzi is remembered as a true character, a generous friend, a family man and a war hero. In his honor, Gene Cenci called on friends, Peter Brusman and Ross Chambers, to work towards something special this March. Cenci recently spoke to Tozzi’s daughter, Gina, swapping stories and giggling like children, as they reveled in each other’s memories of Tozzi, who received full military honors for his burial at Arlington Cemetery on September 3, 2020.

Herbert B. Beeson Peter M. Brusman Eugene P. Cenci Art Tozzi

Peter K. Chamberlin Ross H. Chambers

When it came to Nichols, Tozzi was known for rallying his classmates around a good cause, especially in March when the college holds its matching campaign sponsored by Trustee John H. McClutchy Jr. ’72. This March, his friends led the charge, with a special challenge. “Art cared so much about Nichols, and we care so much about him,” Cenci reflects. “With the generous match from John McClutchy, we decided to make the most of the opportunity and reached out to classmates to support the Class of ’63 Endowed Scholarship as much as possible as a way to honor our dear friend Art and his love for this college.”

Helen C. Cleary

Through a campaign of phone calls, Cenci, Brusman and Chambers shared their wish of honoring Tozzi by having a record fundraising month for their scholarship. Classmates rose to the challenge; 16 donors raised $20,000, making $40,000 with the match! The Class of ’63 Endowed Scholarship, created in honor of the 50th class reunion in 2013, is designed to help students who have financial need, a 3.0 GPA, an interest in civic duty in the local community; strong consideration is given to veterans of the United States Armed Military Services. Since the creation of their scholarship, the collective generosity of the class has made the difference in the lives of nine deserving Nichols students.

Alvah O. Rock

One of their most recent scholarship recipients was Courtney Schullery, Class of 2022. Schullery dreams of being a Division I head coach or manager on an MLB team. She is passionate about sports and has been able to explore this passion on the field, in the classroom and on the job. Number 15 on the softball field, she can be found behind home plate as the team catcher. Schullery works hard in her course work as a sport management major, learning the business behind the organizations that she loves and how to be an industry leader. During her time at Nichols, she has challenged herself to get as much professional experience as possible, currently working in equipment operations and as a game day operations associate in the Athletics Department.

Raymond F. Essig James H. Feindel Thomas H. Niles

Edmund S. Shepard Bruce I. Siegal Charles R. Smith Peter H. Smith Henry A. Taylor III Robert L. Therrien

Schullery is grateful for the support of the Class of ’63 Scholarship donors. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passions and turn this into a career,” she shares. “I truly love Nichols College and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. Your scholarship has ensured that I will be able to complete my degree.” Our “dancing bear,” Art, would have approved.

The ’63 endowed scholarship was the most supported scholarship by our donors this March Match

Advertising Staff pictured in the 1963 Ledger First Row: P. Brusman, D. Kraft Second Row: A. Tozzi, G. Nelson, W. Wurtz


Rick Blankley ’65 remembers... if the shoe fits Looking back some 55 years isn’t easy. Obviously, we all suffer the same malady, namely something called old age, but some portions of our lives on the Hill so many years ago are indelible. There were many things available to us other than the seemingly endless activity of studying. Not being the brightest bulb in the class (very far from it), I had to sincerely keep with the books. However, far from being an athlete, I did find some interest in the Nichols College Glee Club. men of Nichols were placed into a rather large room with the women from Becker, to mingle before a joint performance. The women, all wearing high heels, decided to give their feet a rest, and about half of them took their shoes off. My buddy, Dave (first names only to protect those of us who are no longer with us), said, “Let’s have some fun. We’ll hide one shoe and see what happens.” Dave selected about a 4-inch black heel and stuffed it into his back left rear pocket, covered by his green sports coat.

That might assume we could sing. I guess half of the guys had a decent voice, and I readily admit I was not one of them. As I recall, thankfully, there were no tryouts, i.e., if you could talk, you could sing. During our senior year we had a choral director, a rather matronly woman from Webster. I can’t remember her name but she did put up with a lot, a true glutton for punishment. She was terrific, as she was well aware of our shortcomings talent wise, as well as our general lack of humility. I cannot fathom why she took the position; we all knew she wasn’t going to get rich on the few shekels the Colonel tossed her way.

As we got closer to show time, all the women put their shoes back on. Obviously, one women (we did not know who when we put the shoe in Dave’s pocket) started looking frantically for her missing shoe. Wandering the room, one shoe off, the other in Dave’s pocket, the young lady was talking to herself, wondering what she will do if she can’t find the other shoe.

Two things proved to be an incentive to join the Glee Club: concerts at all-women junior colleges such as Endicott, Mt. Ida, and Becker; and in driving to these various locations most of us would imbibe on a beverage, such as pre-mixed screwdrivers bottled under the trade name Tango.

With only seconds to spare, a valiant Dave removes the shoe from his pocket and politely approaches this panic-stricken women, and states, “Are you looking for this, as I just found it over there.” Our smiling hero was met with ecstatic relief and profuse thanks.

Now one evening, can’t remember the date or season, we went to Becker for a concert. About a half hour or so after arriving, the stalwart

Glee Club pictured in the 1965 Ledger First Row: J. Roe, R. Addison, J. Flohr, B. Platts, R. Kato, W. Klebart, R. Greenspun, L. Eckian, J. Neslusan Second Row: A. Assad, E. Allard, R. Zmetra, D. Bates, R. Blankley, R. Leo, G. Viitala, R. Wilson, T. Ciesla, P. Meacham Third Row: A. Blair, D. Perry, P. Williamson, E. Ramsdell, M. Coleman, K. Alton, E. Ruggeri, G. Oliver

What happened next was extraordinary. With fast, swift, rapid motion, the women placed a right hand slap on Dave’s left cheek. A sucker punch (slap) that for a few quick seconds left an imprint on Dave’s cheek, a move that Rocky Marciano would have marveled at. After a beautiful right hand follow through, she turned on both heels and hurriedly departed for the stage. Meanwhile, Dave simply stood there frozen in shock. As I recall, the rest of the evening went on without much incident. On the ride home, between sips of finishing off the Tango, I shyly asked Dave if the slap hurt. He turned, looked at me, stated pretty much what a Nichols guy would reply; there is not much sense in describing his answer. After a few minutes I asked Dave, “Did you get her name and phone number? Might be a good idea to ask her out.” Not much sense in repeating his answer to that either.

Ways to Give Your gifts to Nichols College offer today’s Bison the opportunities to succeed. Please consider donating to your alma mater. Here’s how: • Visit • Call toll-free (866)-622-4766 • Mail a check, payable to Nichols College, to the Nichols College Advancement Office, PO Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571

For wire transfers and gifts of stock, whether directly or through your IRA, please consult your financial advisor and contact the Advancement Office for DTC and account numbers at or (866)-622-4766. 6

Across: 2. Program once housed in the Currier Center 3. Hall built in 1954 using military barracks from government surplus 6. Name of a college singing group 7. Former place of the cafeteria 8. Nichols anniversary celebrated in 1965 9. First name of Olsen Hall namesake 10. Popular watering hole opening in 1968

Down: 1. Conference the Bison joined in 1965 4. Former name of student government 5. Name now used for March Bison Blitz

Answers on page 9

What is the Colonel Conrad Society?

The Colonel Conrad Society was created to recognize the generosity of alumni and friends who have made a planned gift to the college or have included Nichols in their estate plans.

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Is Nichols College in your estate plans?

Inform us of your plans or get more information by contacting:

Notify us so that we can thank and welcome you to the Colonel Conrad Society!

Jillian Riches 508-213-2211 7

In his own words: James “Jim” W. Coghlin, Sr. ’67 reflects on his Nichols experience


I came to Nichols College after attending another college for three years. While there, I spent too much time socializing and managing the basketball team and not enough time on my scholastics. Perhaps predictably, my less than acceptable GPA occasioned a reckoning. And as is often the case, from the difficulty of that time came opportunity.

memberships include the United Way, Visiting Nurses Association, chairman of the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce, and Memorial Hospital Board, among others. In 2009, I received the Isaiah Thomas Award, which honors outstanding citizens who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to improve the quality of life in the greater Worcester area. I have also been privileged to receive honorary degrees from Bay Path University (2010) and Worcester State University (2015). This June, Nancy and I celebrated 53 years of marriage. We are blessed with four children and 13 grandchildren.

After discussing my desire for a career in business, my father suggested that I enroll in a business school. A friend recommended Nichols College so I scheduled a meeting with the president, “the Colonel” James Conrad, to discuss how I might transition to Nichols. The Colonel advised that I do a summer semester at Worcester Junior College, and if I earned Bs or better, Nichols would accept me as a junior in the fall of 1965.

Many of you have heard me speak about the gifts of time, talent, and treasure. My giving to Nichols has served a multitude of purposes for me over the years, and it is my hope that support of charitable efforts will be contagious and motivate others to think similarly. For my 50th reunion, I challenged my class to donate $50,000, which I offered to match. Thanks to the incredible generosity of classmates, we were able to establish the Class of ’67 Scholarship with over $100,000. Additionally, I have been able to utilize my donations to honor/ memorialize people that have had an impact on our lives. Most recently, I helped establish a scholarship in memory of M. Marcus Moran ’66, former CEO of Aubuchon Hardware. He was a servant leader to his family, his community, and his business – all things I try to emulate.

I was fortunate to have started dating Nancy, to whom I’ve now been married for 53 years. I found some seriousness of purpose and studied hard at Nichols. I was a member of the honor society, received the marketing award, and was truly engaged. I learned so much about actual business practices from Professor Ernie Phelps, a business person who was a big believer in the Case Study Teaching Method. That was really key, to learn from someone who incorporated practical as well as scholastic experience.

At this time in my life’s journey, I am pleased to be able to pay it forward, to invest in the potential of young people, to help them become who they are meant to be – to thrive – just as others helped me.

Upon reflection, I know I was the most challenging of my parents’ seven children, so my Nichols story is really important to who I became. It was the Colonel who gave me a break, the tough love of my father that gave me the challenge, and Nancy, who saw more in me than I saw in myself, who gave me the inspiration I needed. I was redirected to an institution that taught what I was most interested in, and by working hard at Nichols, I developed confidence in my abilities to succeed in business and my overall life’s journey. As I stood at the graduation podium on June 3, 1967, I was pleased to be able to demonstrate to my parents and myself that I could not only survive, but that I could thrive. As I think back, that’s what Nichols represents to me. The opportunity provided by Nichols to grow as a person, and develop relevant skills, knowledge and confidence, helped me become the person that I am today. I married Nancy a week after graduation and two weeks later, I joined the family business. Today, Coghlin Companies, Inc., with subsidiaries Columbia Tech, Cogmedix, and CTE, is an engineering, product development, manufacturing, global fulfillment, and aftermarket services firm, serving the medical, life sciences, robotics, industrial automation, 3D printing, advanced energy, security, semiconductor, LED, and pharmaceutical industries. My two older sons, Jim and Chris, joined the business in the mid-90s, and Chris succeeded me as CEO in 2007, and I remain chairman.

Thanks to a generous donor of the class of ’59

Don’t miss out on matching gift money!

In 2009 our family founded a nonprofit named 15-40 Connection to address the devastating impact of the delayed diagnosis of cancer. I am fully engaged with our mission to provide the lifesaving advantage of early cancer detection in schools, corporations, community organizations, and to first responders, in the Northeast and ultimately throughout the USA. Our terrific 15-40 Connection team and Board of Advisors enable the organization to reach thousands of people every year with this lifesaving education. It is incredibly fulfilling work.

Give to the Athletics Program that matters the most to you


Additionally, I’ve served on the Board of Trustees at Nichols for approximately 40 years, and in leadership roles as a decades-long member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Other board 8

Ken Thompson Service Award Recipient Decades after graduation, Walt Peters was still busy being Mayor for the Class of 1950. Renowned for his engaging letters to classmates around reunion time (some were five pages long), he led the charge that resulted in the Class of 1950 consistently having the highest percentage of alumni return for a milestone celebration, starting with the 25th.

r e t l s a W ter 0 Pe 195 f

o s s a


He was once asked to share the secret to his success, which was, not surprising, warm and personal contact through letters and phone calls. In May 2000, just prior to the class’ 50th reunion, he wrote, “A few years ago, while looking through our Nichols’ yearbook, I thought… ’these guys are strangers.’ The four recent reunions taught me this is not true. They are simply friends I had not seen in a long time.” His graciousness and humor were trademarks of his class communications. Once, in a reference to his opponent for the 1949 election for Mayor, he admitted that the better man did not win, writing, “I had the unfair advantage of being expelled from two dorms, living in a third, and thereby knew more people.”

“I had the unfair advantage of being expelled from two dorms, living in a third, and thereby knew more people.”

The Ken Thompson Service Award The Ken Thompson Service Award is in recognition of loyal and dedicated service to Nichols College

— Walt Peters

Peters’ connection to his classmates naturally led to a long stint as class scribe for Nichols College Magazine, which wholly benefited from his persistence and magnetism. He kept tabs on everyone, often helping the Alumni Relations Office find “lost” alumni, to the point of challenging the veracity of the alumni database when the information disagreed with his own. His affinity with Bison, as the embodiment of Nichols alumni, ran deep. He often included photos of American bison with his letters. In 2007, he sent then Nichols President Debra Townsley 57 uncirculated buffalo nickels (“plus three for good measure”) in honor of the 57 years since his graduation. Later, on behalf of his class, he gave President Townsley a bronze bison statuette, which she cherished. Up until the class’ 65th reunion, when Peters was stricken with grief over the loss of Joanne, his beloved wife of 61 years, he was the heart and soul of the Class of 1950, perpetually asking the class to remember and support Nichols. And, though he has slowed down, his thoughts continue to be on the wellbeing of his alma mater through his contact with the alumni relations staff.

Crossword Puzzle Answers

His role as Mayor, however, was nearly impossible to quit: “After 60 years in office, it is my intention to resign on October 1, 2010 from the Office of the Mayor of the Hill,” he wrote to classmates. “However, if the pacemaker keeps running well and there is spontaneous outcry of disappointment, I will reconsider.”



2. Institute for American Values

1. National Collegiate Athletic Association

3. Daniels Hall

4. Justinian Council

6. Nicholodians

5. March Match

7. Alumni Hall 8. Sesquicentennial 9. Herluf

Puzzle on page 7

10. Bison’s Den


Golden Bison Updates 1952

Don Claprood worked in the insurance

able to retire early so we moved to Salt Lake

the same time we all owe a great deal to

business his entire career as a life and inde-

City to be near Theo and then we moved

Nichols College and above all its future.

Daniel Berman reports that he is retired and

pendent agency representative. He started

to upstate South Carolina ten years ago.

Bison Pride and stay safe,

lives in a 55 and older community.

in Webster, MA, and moved to Holden, MA,

My hobbies have included painting, model

Charlie Howe ’62

“I love it!” he says.

in 1967, where he eventually became the

railroading, gardening and travel. I enjoy a

owner of the Dea-Fraser Insurance Agency,

Christian life with random missionary work

Pete Judd reports: “My wife Pat and I were

Inc., which he sold in 1994 and retired. Don

trips and prison ministry. I am grateful for

on a 20-day cruise this winter, which was

served on the Holden Finance Committee,

such a good life! Thank you, Nichols Col-

scheduled to go from Buenos Aires around

Traffic/Circulation, and Holden Business As-

lege. ‘Work to the adult should be like play

the Cape Horn, terminating in Lima, Peru.

sociation. He served on the Bank Hometown

to the child.’”

We stopped in Uruguay, the Falkland

1956 Class Champion: Tom Keith April – June & September – October PO Box 1513 Pocasset, MA 02559-1513 508-563-6811 November – March 1732 SE 11th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1446 954-463-1732

1957 Class Champion: Kent Tarrant 413-566-5130

Pictured: Kent Tarrant, Art Rizy, Don Claprood and David Fleming A few words to transcend 63 years is no easy task, but David Fleming, Don Claprood and Art Rizy took time to check in and bring us up to date. Dave, Don, Art and I catch up once or twice a year with lunch at the Publick House when we invite a recent Class of ’57 Scholarship recipient. Can’t express enough the good feeling we all have of visiting with a Nichols’ student where we are part paying their way. They are sincerely grateful for this financial help and we get to see it first hand. David Fleming resides in Rochdale, MA

Islands, Ushuaia, Argentina, cruised the Chil-

Board of Directors for 15 years until 2008. Don and his wife Jean have four children and three grandchildren. He is a member of the Class of ’57 Scholarship committee. After graduating and a stint in the Army,

ean fjords and visited Santiago. Due to the

Class Champion: Charlie Howe

ship in Lima, so we continued north to, and


through, the Panama Canal (which was on

our ‘bucket list’ anyway) and finally docked

pandemic we were not allowed to depart the

in Miami, FL. Our 20-day cruise turned

Kent Tarrant joined the Southworth paper mill as a territory sales rep, where he was to

Hello to both my former classmates and

into 28 days. No one was sick on our ship.

spend his entire working life and retired as

my many friends in Nichols community.

We received a 125 percent credit towards

its president. Kent served on several boards

First, hoping that you are in a relatively safe

another Oceania cruise in the future. Upon

and was a Nichols Trustee. Upon retirement

location and doing what is necessary to keep

departure in Miami, we decided not to fly

he was able to spend more time pursuing

yourself, and your family, safe and secure.

home to SC, but to drive. Interstate 95 was

his love of sailing the New England coastal

It is unsettling to find ourselves, particularly

almost deserted except for those wonderful

waters, the Caribbean and New Zealand.

at this time in our lives, looking at such an

truckers delivering food to the populace.

Kent and his wife Kate live in Hampden, MA,

uncertain future, but I’d like to think that we

All in all, it was a fabulous trip, and Oceania

and have a second home in Mexico.

have made it this far, and by golly we will

took marvelous care of its 900+ passengers.

make it through these current challenges.

Our 14-day cruise to Alaska in early June was


Our winter, for the most part, has been very

Elliot P. Putnam, near Hilton Head, SC,

interesting. We’ve always found ourselves

Jim Dolan reports that he and Anne moved

writes: “I was privileged and very proud to

very active while in Florida, whether it be with

from Needham, MA, to Portland, OR. They

be a member of the 1957-58 season with

our neighbors, the Yacht Club, or Kate’s activi-

have friends on the West Coast as well as

varsity basketball team. We didn’t get

ties at the Visual Arts Center. Christmas in

a stepson and stepdaughter. He lives in a

any recognition at the time, but I am very

Surf City, a pacemaker replacement on New

historical area in Portland and has loved it

proud.” He noted that the team had a 20-5

Year’s Eve (what a way to bring in the new

from the first day. “The weather is a little

record and was invited to the division NCAA

year!), a visit with Hugo and Carol Pagliccia

different. We get a lot from rain from Janu-

junior college section championship in

in Bonito Springs, and the Nichols gathering

ary-March/April, but overall it is good. The

Binghamton, NY. After beating West Chester

in Naples. Our thanks to John and Janet

temperature is about 10 degrees warmer

Jr. College, they found out that their captain

McClutchy for another beautiful evening. In

than MA. The summer is very lovely. Jim, my

and best player was no longer eligible to

addition to Hugo & Carol we spent time with

son, is still back in Boston. My roommate

play. They lost the second game and won a

Dick & Pam Makin, John Girvin, Ken Beyer,

was Joe Ronchetti; he is living in Atlanta

game in the consolation bracket. “It was the

Bob Gould, Dave & Susan Lombard and

now I believe. Don Mafera lives in Atlanta

first time Nichols went out of New England

many others. The gathering was again very

as well, moved from New Hampshire. He

for sports, and now Nichols is recognized

uplifting with a special presentation to Janet

is in the class of ’63, but we have been long

everywhere. I had many highlights, but this

McClutchy. President Susan Engelkemeyer

time friends.”

was the highest I had during my time at

outlined the current status and the goals for


the upcoming year. Bill Pieczynski picked our

,with his wife Kathy. He spent much of

Elliot also mentions his selection to the

his working life on Wall Street where he

Justinian committee as an important part of

was sales manager and on the board of

his time at Nichols. For the last 30 years of

directors for a NYSE firm. Moving back to

his employment, he owned a business.

canceled. Maybe someday...”

active as a high school tennis coach. Today


Dave is a member of the Holden/Worcester

David Stephen reflects: “After graduation,

Tennis Club and Wianno Club in Osterville,

the army decided it needed my Nichols-ac-

MA. Dave was the force behind start of the

quired talents; they sent me to Heidelberg,

Nichols Class of ’57 Scholarship Fund and

Germany, during the Cuban missile and

today is an active group member.

Berlin Wall crises. I returned to the USA with my wife Marian, a former army brat. We

Art Rizy spent most of his work career in

have been married for 58 years and count-

the office furniture business working for

ing. There followed an interesting career in

Johnson Chair and retiring from Gunlock

sales, marketing and advertising with two

Chair. Upon retirement he became involved

of the largest specialty truck manufactures

with the Connecticut State Golf Association

in the US. I loved business-to-business

where he was an on-course official for many

advertising, trade show design and manage-

years. Today he is an active member of the

ment. Big shout out to Dean Leech, from

Class of ’57 Scholarship Fund. Art is most

whom I learned and applied so much. Being

proud of his granddaughter Rebecca

upwardly mobile led to transfers and travel

who is a nurse on the front line of today’s

around the country; I’ve been to all 48 con-

pandemic. He and his wife Phyllis have two

tinental states. We have two children, Lisa

sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and live

and Chris, and one grandson Theo. I was

pocket without us even knowing it. Molly


Thienel kept everything under control, and

Bruce Siegal shares: “Thinking back to 1959

we all had a great time.

when I first came to Nichols, my first goal was to play basketball for Nichols College.

the Worcester area he became a founding member of the Hanover Theater and was


We had a nice chat with Pete Whitney this

When tryouts began, I met our coach,

winter. He and Beverly are doing well and

Don Coyle. He immediately had a tremen-

still in Boca. We missed his 80th birthday

dous impact on me with the tremendous

last year, regretfully, but were able to offer

enthusiasm and knowledge he had of the

congratulations for his 81st! I got thinking

game. Coach Coyle worked with us part

about my friend Art Tozzi the other day when

time as he also was the owner of a sporting

the Blue Angels flew by in formation. To make

goods store in Worcester, MA. His approach

it even more memorable, Kate and I were

brought a group of freshmaen together. His

riding our bikes through the marina and came

favorite term while coaching us was ‘desire’.

upon yacht with the name Dancing Bear,

He preached that without desire you can’t

which was Art’s “handle.”

accomplish anything. We all took that very seriously and molded into a good group of

Please keep in mind the Nichols Funds and

players. Some guys I played with, I’m still

scholarships. We all need to pull together and

friends with at this time. Gerry Goodman

help Nichols and students navigate these

and Warren Bender have been lifelong

difficult times; 2020-2021 will be critical. If

friends since my Nichols days. I also fondly

you have special interest in helping students

remember so many of the local guys from

that are experiencing challenges due to

Webster and surrounding communities that

COVID-19 please consider donating to the

were members of our team. Coach Coyle

Bison Care fund. We obviously have our own

kept in touch with me for many years after I

individual concerns and obligations, but at

left Nichols until he died from cancer about 15 years ago. He was a wonderful individual,

in Cromwell, CT.

whom I’ll never forget.”


Golden Bison Updates 1964 Class Champion: Dan Tomassetti 413-567-0085 Dave Ruddock submitted photos of the Nichols College Fire Department from the spring of 1964 taken during the advanced training course provided by the Massachusetts Division of Vocational Education. “The instructor was Emil Zaterka, deputy chief of the Worcester Fire Department, and he provided excellent training each afternoon throughout the spring. Chief Zaterka had a very positive impact on many of us. Our chief, Dexter Cheney, said, ‘Chief Zaterka was one of the finest leaders I have ever run across, and we were very fortunate to have him as our trainer.’”

memory of Patrick Donnelly, now over

I raised my hand, most often a mistake, and

$170.000! May God rest his soul.”

agreed to go into Boston for a Saturday evening ‘blind date.’ We have now been


married for 53 years. Thanks to Dave!” You just couldn’t make this story up!

Class Champion: Jack MacPhail 503-227-2761

(610) 392-4439 3469 Hickory Circle, Allentown, PA 1810

Dave Rowe reconnected with freshman roommate Bill Chatto after reading his submission in the first edition of the Golden


Bison Bulletin, and comments that Phil Col-

Class Champion: Phil Collins

lins’ recollection of the 63-64 championship


team was very cool.

He writes: “Some familiar names in that

Bob Hood shares that after flunking out of

Golden Bison. Around 1980, on a remote

Nichols as “Mayor of the Hill” in his soph-


sidewalk in or near Camden, NJ, encoun-

omore year, he knew that he wanted to

Charles Joseph Slavis Jr. submitted a

tered ‘the Mayor (Duke MacNair).’ We

return. He enrolled at Newark State College

creative solution to the mask shortage

had a brief conversation, mostly about his

and Fairleigh Dickson University in order to

during COVID-19!

Vietnam experiences as an officer and pla-

enroll back at Nicky U. Duke MacNair, who

toon leader. After arriving in Pennsylvania, I

succeeded him as Mayor of the Hill, walked

met with Ron Noyes and wife several times

into Fairleigh one night. “I asked him, ‘What

before his sad passing. While assigned at

the hell are you doing here?’ He informed

Allentown and acting as the liaison to Mack

me that he also screwed up! Well, we both

Truck Corp., I thought many times of Roby

managed to graduate only a year later than

(Jim Robinson), who worked at a Mack

we started. An old memory from me. “

dealership in/near Springfield. Also his slap a prayer it didn’t hit me in the teeth!”

“Dr. Paul Wenners had many interesting and educational lessons to teach with 15 credits

Parkerton. “During September 1966,

in my business management major. How

reported to Suffolk University Law School

could seniors forget Professor Guimond and

in Boston. There was Justin. We spent time

his many stories in Social Psychology class;

together for the next three years, including

the mundane made interesting.

donating blood at Boston hospitals for $25

– leadership, teamwork, and character were

that you’re seeing so far. You are welcome

get it into remission. A few years thereafter,

all lessons learned on the hardwood as a

to publish the picture as this is my invention

it returned with a vengeance and he passed

Bison, and extended beyond our lessons in

but of course I haven’t patented it yet. Stay

within a few months. A shame. RIP

the classroom. Very important teachings for

safe, stay healthy!”

years, I still keep close ties with Nichols’

Squadron at the South Weymouth Na-

varsity basketball program.”

val Air Station, south of Boston. I joined

Roy Garizio recalls the time in March 1965

Robert “Kuppy” Kuppenheimer

when he was heading back to Nichols from

4627 Tremont Ln.

break on a Sunday afternoon with Chuck

Cororna del Mar, CA 92625-3130

Foster, who also lived on Long Island. “We

University indicated a military leave would attach. Then came a miracle, the new Huey

He took us on a tour of his trophy room with several antelopes, water buffalo and a huge lion on two paws. Next, he met Buzz as he brought USS Denver into Pearl for decommissioning. He was a generous and thoughtful guy and a big supporter of the Class of ’64 Endowed Scholarship in

p.m. and drove through a blizzard, finally

Jim Jackson shares: “My wife and I have

arriving at the College around 11 p.m. Very

been holed up right around the corner from

few students made it back, and school was

Bill and Lynn Shaughnessy during this

closed for several days. Chuck was happy to

period of confusion. Fortunately for us we

get out of the car alive!”

have not been prevented from hiking in the

This past winter, Roy and his wife Sharon and spent a few months in Venice, FL. They

“Several weeks after graduation, I was into

CC overlooking Pearl and his office complex.

Class Champion:

left when it just started snowing around 5

as a sergeant.

on tour of the ship, and we lunched at Oahu


“I joined the USMCR during 1966, A H-34

release to move over to the FBI, departing

Harbor to San Diego. Buzz, my son took him

Walmart. People laugh and take pictures,

later leukemia struck and he managed to

then the Marine Corps gave me an early

rode the Abraham Lincoln CVN74 from Pearl

works, and I have been to the post office and

mask this one will work as good as anything

1966-1969 in reserves at So. Weymouth and

a convention. Then I saw him again when I

time.) Although I did this as a joke it actually

New Jersey and practiced law. A few years

no longer deployed to the war zone. Spend

Howie and Ken Wie Doo while in Hawaii for

coffee and do brain surgery at the same

but the fact is if you can’t get a surgical

helicopters came along and the H-34 was

Howie Chong, the Royal Hawaiian. I saw

(the coffee straw is so that you can drink

three years of varsity basketball at Nichols

South Vietnam in a few months; Suffolk

us lost a great friend with the passing of

“If you have paperclip and a coffee straw

“My favorite lessons were taught playing

understanding we were to be deployed to

Phil Donnelly shares: “Nichols and all of

that we are blessed with!”

a clip. After 1969 graduation, JP returned to

success throughout my life. After all these

Students apply fresh paint

buy more time. Enjoy each and every day

and life lessons learned while at Nichols:

since graduation. Dave remembers Justin

Chuck Evans ’65 assists with fire truck restoration

you can always make more money but never

Peter Johnson shares his favorite professors

Dave shares what he has been up to

Firefighters learn how to manage the force of a fully charged 3-inch line from a fire hydrant

Island in Greece last November. “Remember,


shot from the blue line during practices and Outdoor training with Nichols College fire chief Dexter Cheney ’64

He and Sharon and traveled to Mykonos

were visited by their daughter and family,

the FBI, which was my objective relative

during which time, he went fishing with his

to law school. Thirty years in the FBI with

national parks and walking our butts off around Tucson, AZ. Here is a pic of Bill and I enjoying beer in the warm Arizona sun after one of our daily “walkabouts” together.

son-in-law and two grandkids.

assignments at WDC, Indianapolis, Muncie (IN), Philadelphia and finally to Allentown, PA. A great three decades. Retirement was mandatory at age 57. During March 1996, a good friend, an agent, was shot and killed in Philadelphia. An undercover buy/negotiation gone bad. Charles L. Reed, aka Chuck. Chuck, from Vermont, was a graduate of Bentley, about 1978.” A final thought. Dave is grateful for Dave

Editors note: Jim Jackson hosted student interns from Nichols College this summer. More details on their amazing experience in the fall Nichols College Magazine! Thanks, Jim!

Doe ’64. “Sometime during 1963 or 1964, Dave couldn’t make a date with a girl in Boston. He roamed the corridors of Conant Hall looking for a substitute volunteer.


Golden Bison Updates Dan Stewart remembers when he first arrived at Nichols. “I can’t say that my heart exactly dropped when I saw my new room for the first time, but I sure didn’t feel that I had landed in the Luxurious-Dorm-RoomsR-Us headquarters – pipes running through the room along the ceiling interrupted a seriously utilitarian room paint job consisting of gloss green on the top half and flat um, ugh, flat light urine yellow on the bottom half. Nondescript old gray linoleum tiles completed the mood. I wasn’t expecting the Conrad Hilton, but neither was I expecting to be living in the basement of a building that had been designed to house dead leafy plants for drying. It wasn’t long after that first step into my new basement room that I learned that Merrill Hall was no ordinary building. Oh no, not by a long shot. Merrill Hall was an old tobacco barn; there, I said it! And the plumbing? Rumor had it that all the pipes were military surplus, ex-U.S. Navy destroyer plumbing. The stately Greek Ionic columns, the classic white paint, telegraphed no clue as to the interior decor of Merrill Hall. “As the day wore on, as the year wore on, the story of Merrill Hall, Nichols College, and Colonel Conrad was revealed. As it was, Merrill was the home of many foresters, ‘Lumber Bunnies’ as they were nicknamed, and the dorm in which they dumped, I mean, ‘housed’ freshmen. Standard procedure

was for freshmen to move to other dorms after climbing the ascendancy to Sophomoredom. That was about to change.

Dave Weyant caught up with Matt Sparks. Matt and his wife Riva lived in Albany, NY, where Matt worked for Sears as a regional manager. In retirement, while still in Albany, Matt volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and drove a truck to transfer blood and plasma to hospitals in the northeast. He now lives in a 55 and older community in Connecticut, pictured with Riva and two of his grandchildren.

“Soon we were past the trip to Sturbridge Village, past the wearing of the little dinky green and black beanies, and past carrying our books around in a wastepaper basket, suitable for use as a bomb shelter hat and used as such. Soon we got to deal with not having a car on campus and with Saturday nights in the basement of Merrill. There was the pool table and a pizza from Rom’s if we were lucky enough to find an upperclassman who had a car and didn’t abandon ship for the weekend. Of course, there were the guys who automatically found their way to Beantown as soon as the taillights of their parents’ car disappeared. “Soon most of us had bonded and decided to stay put in Merrill. As the years unfolded, the Merrill Marauders raised the status of Merrill from freshman staging dorm to the center of politics on campus, with a big, ‘too bad’ to Budleigh and Olson and the rest of the dorms and winning the prestigious “Dorm of the Year” award and solidifying Merrill Hall’s position of BDOC, Big Dorm On Campus.

Gil Rochon and Trudy were spotted at Copa Beach in Rio recently. They do get around.

Mike Leslie is spotted on Cape Cod.

Former Merril Hall residents Matt Sparks & Dan Copeland get together.

P.S. A coat of beige paint and a red rug carpet remnant transformed that basement room into a pretty comfortable home.”

Notes to the editors “Kudos to Jeff Gould on his front page story! So glad I got to see him in Naples. I would add to his summation of 14 words, the following: and how did it happen so quickly? Page 9 had a picture of Bill Fox, who I have not since graduation, another Merril Hall alumni who was a good friend, thanks for printing that.” — Dave Weyant ’69

“Received my copy of our new newsletter, LOVED IT! It is so nice to read about other people who attended Nichols College, both before and after me. Like any publication it will continue to grow as other alumni contribute to it. Thanks for a great Volume 1, Issue 1.” — Roy Garizio ’67

“Yip, yip, yip, the first edition of the Golden Bison Bulletin was in the mail today. This is the type of correspondence that will stick around the house for a while. Had the pictures been made available for this issue here could have been warrants for arrest...” — Duke MacNair ’66 12

Send submissions and feedback to or in care of Nichols College Alumni Relations PO Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571

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