Golden Bison Vol 1 No1

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GoldenBison b






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



Vol 1 Issue 1: Winter/Spring 2020

Welcome, Golden Bison, to a Newsletter Just for You! As alumni of the past 50 years or more, you are a significant part of the past, present and future of Nichols College and among our most avid supporters. The Golden Bison Bulletin is designed as a forum for you to update classmates, share memories, and hear from today’s students. We’ll also throw in some Nichols news and opportunities to stay connected with your alma mater. The bulletin will be published twice a year so feel free to send us your submissions for the

next issue by May 1, 2020. In the meantime, let us know what you think! Send submissions and feedback to, or in care of Nichols College Alumni Relations, PO Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571.

We hope you enjoy the first edition of your Golden Bison Bulletin! Jillian Riches and Susan Veshi Editorial Staff

Passing Our Golden Torch to the New Class of Golden Bison By Jeff Gould ’68 Having had the honor of representing the Class of ’68 in presenting our class gift at our 50th Reunion gave me the opportunity to once again plan, interact, and reflect with my classmates in so many positive ways. We chose to fund a Class of ’68 Endowed Scholarship and made the joint decision to dedicate our gift in memory of our classmate, Mark Grigsby, a Vietnam veteran killed in action in 1969. This unanimous class gesture set us all back to the reality of that time, with deep memories of how we managed our own trials and tribulations throughout this last half century.

Stage 2: The word “Golden” reminds me of such meaningful, generational terms as Golden Parachute, Golden Handshake, Golden Watch, Golden Years, and most notably our newest achievement of Golden Bison status at Nichols College. Please embrace it, as you’ve earned it.

Now the time has come for the Class of ’69 to step forward and put your own fingerprint on this momentous achievement of joining the Golden Bison. Thinking of 50 and Golden, I broke it into two stages as follows:

Bottom line: “Golden,” in this case, has everlasting value that signifies the Nichols education that jumpstarted our careers and now brings us to a full circle of our college’s recognition after 50 years to celebrate our achievements by reacquainting us with our alma mater. Believe me, being on campus with classmates again was shocking, given the fact that Nichols has been completely transformed and updated with modern facilities and academic programming that meet the competitive needs of today’s student body. It’s just so impressive and the college went all out to make our visit as meaningful as possible. I hope you found great meaning attending your reunion weekend.

Stage 1: The number “50” has such huge, diverse connotations, as it relates theoretically both to one’s considered midway point in life and a culmination of references to our life’s benchmarks as we age so gracefully. I think it’s fair to point out that our senior condition can be summed up in 14 words: “INSIDE EVERY OLDER PERSON THERE’S A YOUNGER PERSON WONDERING WHAT THE ‘F’ HAS HAPPENED.”

Welcome, Class of 1969, as the newest members of the Golden Bison cohort! I give my best to you all; I have such fond memories of your class. I hope that your time back on the Hill has inspired you to stay connected with Nichols and your classmates. Together, as the Golden Bison, it is crucial to support Nichols College to keep the college at the top of its game moving forward into this next decade.












Homecoming 2019

A Reflection of Reunion Weekend To all those in the Class of ’69, we are grateful for your support to the college and to celebrate you in the place you once called home. We welcome you back any time and look forward to staying connected. Words from some of your committee members, an excerpt from post Homecoming letters to classmates.

Members of the Class of 1969 were inducted as Golden Bison on September 27, 2019 during Homecoming weekend. Nineteen classmates attended the induction, presenting President Susan Engelkemeyer with the Class of 1969 Scholarship check for $100,000, with a continued effort to reach a $125,000 goal! $109,700 has been raised to date with more pledges coming in.

Kuppy “I revel in the memories that everyone has of the college but admit I’m getting to a point that I can’t remember some of them; however, it’s wonderful to know that all memories are so rich. Hearing about and talking to classmates that I was not close to from 1965-69 has made me realize the breadth of wonderful people that were there. I am thankful that this past weekend I got a little closer to those I was not close to before; that enriches me.” Tom Hall “What a great 50th reunion! It was wonderful to see all of you. It was great to see that nobody looked as much as a day older. We were sorry to see that some, who had intended on being with us, were unable to attend because of illness. “ For our upcoming events see Save the date for next year’s Golden Bison reception which will include a dinner with the President in our newest academic building on Friday, September 25, 2020. Warmly,

It was a beautiful weather weekend for Homecoming on the Hill and a win for Nichols football who defeated Salve Regina. Inspired by the Class of ’69 and other Golden Bison classes, our Student Government Association brought back the Homecoming float parade. A hit with our student body and a welcome revival of a long-lost tradition on the Hill.

Molly Thienel Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement

Homecoming 2019

Homecoming 1969


Nichols Trivia

Trivia Question: Previous to 1972, what three virtues were on the Nichols College Seal? For your chance to win a Nichols College prize and help us create our next trivia question, submit your answer via email to or mail your response to: Nichols College Attn: Jillian Riches PO Box 5000 Dudley, MA 01571

Answers on page 5


Class Scholarships Status Redux


Astute readers from the Class of ’57 recently brought to our attention some inaccuracies in the amount of funds raised for the 50th reunion class scholarships, as presented in the 2019 Donor Honor Roll. Mea culpa! This chart is more reflective of the status of Golden Bison class scholarships as of June 30, 2019. Thanks for keeping us on our toes!

Dale Brown Class of ’64 Endowed Scholarship

Dale Brown, who hails from Lewiston, Maine, is a junior at Nichols College majoring in business administration with a concentration in sport management. He is a member of the Sport Management Club on campus and volunteers as a football coach at Shepherd Hill Regional High School and a religious education instructor in Charlton, Mass. After graduation, Dale plans to get a master’s degree, work as a graduate assistant for a Division I football program and move up the coaching ranks. He also aspires to open a shelter for abused children in his hometown. “Many kids who are abused need shelter, food, access to good education and a sense of faith and hope which counseling can bring them.” In his life, Dale has been inspired by the phrase, “Our life is not our own,” which to him means, “What brings us true peace is living to help other people in their time of need,” he says. He also likes, “Go big or go home,” which “gives me a drive to make a difference in someone else’s life, even if it means sacrificing my own needs.” While he admits that he didn’t have many options for college and chose Nichols by default, he has never looked back. “I consider it to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made because of the position it has put me in and the opportunities I have found here,” he adds. “Most importantly, I’ve made many friendships, which will last a lifetime.” He credits Tim Liptrap, associate professor and chair of the Sport Management Program, for helping him make connections and giving him confidence in his classes, and Priscila Alfaro-Barrantes, assistant professor, for her guidance. “She helped me get involved, and I am pleased to say that I will be working at the Super Bowl in Miami this year thanks to the Nichols Sport Management Program!” To the Class of 1964 Scholarship donors, he offers these words of gratitude: “Thank you so much for your generous gift. I think it demonstrates how much we both care about this school and the legacy it holds through the students it produces. I will work as hard as possible and keep getting involved at Nichols to make you proud.”

Upcoming Events Forget Facebook and enjoy face time with fellow Bison at one of these upcoming events. Watch for more information in future communications. • • •

Final Forestry Reunion – June 5-7, 2020 Cape Cod Reception – July 30, 2020 Homecoming & Reunions – September 25-26, 2020

For questions on upcoming events or to offer help planning an upcoming reunion, please contact the Alumni Office at, (866)-622-4766.

Class Year

(in memory of Patrick E. Donnelly)





















$65,050 $25











Value in Thousands

Family Connection Uncovers a True Bison’s Tale While a student at Nichols College, Brian O’Riordan stumbled upon the story of an alumnus that deepened his own connection to Nichols’ past and a daughter’s connection to her father. Through his father, Brian met the daughter of the late Bill Spilman ’38, Nancy Spilman Kelleher. “All roads seem to lead you back to our small community on the Hill,” says Brian, who graduated in 2019. “There always seems to be a full-circle connection with the school and the alumni you meet.” He invited Nancy to visit the campus and to share more about her father’s legacy beyond Nichols. Nancy was moved by the “walk down memory lane,” which she says brought her even closer to her father. She shared how Bill’s journey spanned many different roles across several countries following his studies in Dudley. Bill received an associate degree in business administration from Nichols Junior College in 1938. His motivation and leadership abilities thrived through his involvement as class president and captain of the baseball team; he was even voted “Most Popular.” Bill excelled in athletics at Nichols, continuing in post-graduate play for Quebec City’s professional baseball team and a future induction into the college’s Hall of Fame in 1972. Once, while playing for the Army’s team at Fort Devens, he went two for three against the Navy’s


Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller (pitcher for the Cleveland Indians). At the height of the draft for World War II, Bill joined the United States Army in the Counter Intelligence Corps. As a staff sergeant in the Philippines, he was promoted to second lieutenant on General Douglas MacArthur’s orders for his actions that ended up saving many lives and Bill’s ability to think critically and lead teams, which started at Nichols. After the Army, Bill continued his education at Boston Architecture School. He became a partner at the architectural firm of Shepley Bulfinch in Boston, and he and his wife Mary settled in nearby Wellesley to raise their five children. He was the first in a Nichols legacy family, with one of his children, son William Jr., also graduating as a Bison in 1970. He followed in his father’s footsteps into the service, joining the Marine Corps before graduation. Of Bill’s six brothers, who all served in the military, Kenneth followed him to the Hill as a member of the Class of ’49. Although Bill passed away in 1995, the journey he began more than 80 years ago on the Hill continues through his daughter and the members of his Nichols family, like Brian, who meet on the roads that lead all Bison back home. By Molly Thienel w/ Brian O’Riordan ’19

Justinian Cut-Ups An article on student government in the fall/ winter 2019 edition of Nichols College Magazine prompted the college’s archivist, Jim Douglas, to provide this remembrance from Jerre Budd ’52, which he offered on the occasion of the Nichols bicentennial in 2015.


was privileged to be elected to the Justinian Council at Nichols. The

It’s a Win-Win for All Parties By Phil Collins ’66 HOF

council members were all housed at the Black Tavern on campus. When meetings were held, the president, Colonel James L. Conrad, would generally be present. Before one meeting, a fellow Justinian challenged us for drinks at the local pub in Webster that he would go up to the President

when he arrived and with scissors, cut off his tie at the knot. He won the bet and we lost. The Colonel left immediately and the last words I heard from the Colonel on his way out the door was, “I never thought a Justinian would do such a thing.” We were summoned to his office the following morning at 9:00 A.M. SHARP! With trepidation, we arrived at his office, were seated and


ichols is a different college and has a special space among its competitors. It’s unique, I say; its size is its appeal and strength. It is a community and a village made up of young men and women from every culture who are most welcome. Collectively, our community has provided our students with the knowledge and interpersonal skills that enables them to become leaders of tomorrow. As Golden Bison, we share a special bond within that community, as we all had first-hand experiences of wisdom from Colonel Conrad, the founder and president from 1931-1966. The college is special to me, for my father was a graduate of the first full two-year class in 1933 and I graduated in 1966, just before the Colonel retired. His son Jim Jr. framed our family as “The Bookends.”

awaited his arrival. He came in with the presence of being a colonel and the president of the college. Making us wait a few moments, he then informed us that he had taken it as a joke and figured that “boys will be boys.” We had not planned for this generous decision from him but were very thankful to know we were still enrolled at the college. (His tie stayed on our bulletin board until graduation.)

As Golden Bison, we also have a unique opportunity to financially support the needs of the college, which cover the landscape of the administration, faculty, infrastructure and, above all, our students, 95 percent of whom receive some form of financial aid. In 2015, Congress passed permanent legislation that allows individuals 70 1/2 years or older to transfer up to $100,000 of their required minimum distribution (RMD) from their traditional IRA or inherited IRA to a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). The proceeds must be paid directly to the charity (Nichols College).

that the money is not included as income; in other words, transferring your RMD will reduce your annual gross income (AGI). A gift from your IRA can take several forms, such as stock transfer, electronic wiring of funds, or a check. Please consult your financial advisor to discuss if this is the right opportunity for you. If so, refer to the gift instructions on page 6, and be sure to contact Bill Pieczynski, Susan Veshi, or Jillian Riches, in the Nichols College Advancement Office at or 866-622-4766 to let them know of your intention. I have personally taken advantage of this method of donating and will continue to do so. It is as simple as calling your financial advisor. We are all sons of the Colonel and hopefully you, like me, are grateful for his courage and the culture he provided us as young men spending time up on the Hill as we moved along in our journey of life. Take pride in that your support of Nichols will enable the administration and faculty to provide an even brighter future for our Bison graduates. The joy of giving is not based on taxes but your love of this wonderful institution, which now has over 15,000 graduates, and your satisfaction in knowing that your gift is validating the college mission in support of its students. Learn. Lead. Succeed. Our special college that sits up on the Hill is our crown jewel.

One advantage of using your IRA to donate is

Thanking you in advance for your support. Phil Collins ’66 HOF

Double Your Impact in March During Nichols March Match*!

$750,950 given to over

175 students through 76 endowed scholarships

For the seventh consecutive year, Trustee John H. McClutchy Jr. ’72 is challenging donors with a match of up to $100,000! Give to what is most meaningful to you and watch it double.





MARCH (*Formerly the Bison Blitz, which has been moved to the fall to support MATCH

athletic programs and better serve our student-athletes during their respective seasons. Athletics gifts are no longer eligible to be matched during March.) IGNITE





Bison Give Back By Hope Rudzinski ’20



Nichols Rounds Third Base, Nears Home with Historic Campaign Nichols College is heading toward home base in the final phase of its historic bicentennial campaign. As of December 31, $62.4 million has been raised toward the $66 million goal and a campaign completion date of fall 2020. In October 2019, President Susan Engelkemeyer announced that the campaign had been extended, thanks to the generosity of Board Chair John Davis ’72 and Trustee Steve Davis ’80. When the campaign had surpassed its $45 million goal in June 2017 with $46.1 million, the Davis brothers were inspired to keep it going. They committed $5 million on the condition that their commitment be matched and then they challenged the Nichols community to raise an additional $10 million. All told, a campaign extension of $20 million. Their commitment was matched by Keith Anderson ’81, Bob Kuppenheimer ’69, Peter Lynch ’74, John McClutchy Jr. ’72, Tom Niles ’63, Al Rock ’63, and Robert Stansky ’78. With the match met, the college embarked on the final phase to raise the remaining $10 million.

More than ever, the students of Nichols College are finding ways to give back to their communities. Community service is woven into the culture of our athletic teams, clubs and even our course work. I’ve volunteered numerous times through Nichols. One of my favorite experiences was during my sophomore year; I spent my spring break in Amarillo, Texas, with Habitat for Humanity, helping to build houses for needy families. We even met the families, which was awesome and very rewarding. Overall, the experience was incredible; I made a difference in someone’s life and created great friends with my fellow Nichols travelers. This fall, there were many examples of Bison giving back. Management students planned a fundraising event for Luke Leaders 1248, a local non-profit that provides college or trade school scholarships to high school seniors who have demonstrated and declared an outward-focused career path. It was founded in 2009 by Nichols Associate Professor Leonard Samborowski. Students in his management seminar worked in teams to create and run the event, a breakfast fundraiser which was held at a nearby restaurant and raised close to $1,000. Through this event our students learned how to be better managers, leaders and stewards of our community.

Nichols also teamed up with Special Olympics for a basketball tournament fundraiser in November. Special Olympics is one of the world’s largest sports organizations for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. This event was coordinated by Nichols’ Sport Management Event class, along with inspiration from Anthony Ellis, a junior sport management major from Leicester, Mass. who is overcoming his own disabilities.

The campaign, Securing a Legacy of Leadership, has already supported numerous capital projects, endowed scholarships, and educational initiatives. The campaign also prompted an unprecedented level of giving among alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and students, drawing some 15 gifts over $1 million, including two gifts of $5 million, and more than $10 million in deferred gift commitments to help secure the college’s future.


The campaign extension will focus on growing the endowment, enhancing campus facilities, and investing in educational initiatives such as greater experiential opportunities for students and advanced technology.

It was important to have this event at Nichols to show that there can be different sides to sports and help people gain new perspectives on Special Olympics. This event class helped me form the idea and arrange it at Nichols. My favorite part of the event was just seeing the pure joy on everyone’s faces.

Crosword Puzzle Answers







— Anthony Ellis





The basketball tournament featured three games in which mixed teams of Special Olympics young adults and Nichols students competed for the championship. After each game, a team was eliminated and tried to work its way back up. In total there were 50 volunteers, eight teams, and 150 people who attended for different reasons but, at the end of the day, came together as one to support each other.

Giving back to the community is a Bison tradition, which today’s students are honored to carry on. Thank you for leading the way and setting that example so that all generations of Nichols students will know the joy of helping others! 5

Golden Bison Updates 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 Tom Keith provides this update: “Buddy, my beloved dog, is 11 ½. He had a good health report from the vet recently. He caught up in age to Barbie, my wife – they are both 80 now.” John Durney, of Dallas, TX, says he hasn’t been back to campus since graduation from Nichols Junior College but hasn’t forgotten his experience there. He was assigned a room in Budleigh Hall where he “camped out” for the next two years, becoming a proctor. In his senior year, he was involved in several campus activities which included serving as class president. “The Nichols curriculum of teaching business courses, and its related procedures, was a real learning experience for me, although I didn’t know it at the time,” he writes. “It laid the foundation for furthering my college education, working 24 years in corporate America and having my own consulting company during my final years in the workplace. Yes, Nichols still holds a lot of good memories for me on the Hill.” Reach him at or 214-520-7822. Phil Enright spent his career with EF Hutton as a financial advisor. He has three children and three grandchildren. His wife of 63 years sadly passed away three years ago. He is having some trouble with his vision these days. For fun he likes to watch baseball and football. He remembers being a sandwich man, just like Tom Keith, selling sandwiches after Bazzie’s closed. Tom had Alumni Hall, and Phil


had Merrill Hall. He would get a freshman to carry around the milk, and he would sell the sandwiches. He also remembers when he broke four front teeth playing baseball with Larry Levenson. Phil was married at 18 years old. He considered Bob Cohan and John Vogt as his close friends.

Robert Gould writes: “I attended Nichols when it was a junior college, boys only. I grew up at Nichols and found a way to properly study to be successful, with the help of a very supportive facility. I enjoyed the Glee Club and learning to sing, but also because we went to a girls’ school to sing. A favorite memory was my role in the play, ‘Bell Book and Candle.’ It was a blast to do. Nichols gave me the grounding and foundation to be successful at Penn State with a BS degree and later a master’s degree from Farleigh Dickinson. There will always be a place in my heart for Nichols. I have been retired for the last 23 years from Wells Fargo Bank.” Email him at

Art Fries and his wife went to Japan for two and half weeks on a Viking cruise, leaving from Hong Kong and visiting six cities, including Taiwan. In March they will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Art is still very active, working about 20-30 hours a week as a disability claim consultant. When he has free time, he likes to play bocce ball and golf. “Most of my favorite Nichols stories I can’t talk about for public viewing,” he adds.


After Nichols, Larry Merckens went into the ministry and has been with a congregational church in Maine for 43 years, recently retired. He was also the director of cooperative education at a high school, helping at-risk students find jobs. For 17 years he taught an ethics class at the University of Maine. He has been in and out of hospitals recently and just had a knee replacement. His family was part of Mercken’s Chocolate in Buffalo, NY, which specialized in white chocolate.

Class Champion: Charlie Howe 609-494-5450 For all my classmates who have responded to the Golden Bison request, THANK YOU. Your input is important to all of us and we appreciate your interest. Kate and I have recently done some traveling, which was a first. It’s nice to have a first at our age. We spent 15 days exploring England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. We visited the Blarney Castle (No stone kissing took place.) All the pictures that Kate took during our trip have been wonderful reminders of our beautiful experience. Caution to travelers: lots of walking up hills to get to castles. Then, you get to climb the steps in the castle. Worth the trip! Upon our return, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Deb Zimmerman, who has been a part of our class family since she and Paul were married in 1961. If my mind serves me correctly, they met at an Endicott mixer and discovered that they lived only a few miles apart near Blue Bell, PA. For those of you who remember Turkey Tales, it was written by Paul, with Deb’s help. A beautiful lady. (You can read her obituary online at

Lloyd Roth attended the Wharton School in Pennsylvania after Nichols. He is still active in the business of licensing and manufacturing and has big contracts with Target, Walmart and Rite Aid. He spends time in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, from November to April, and then New York. He has two daughters and a son, who does a lot of business in Hong Kong. Lloyd plays tennis and golf, and when he is on Long Island, enjoys boating, a hobby of his for the last 35 years. He owns a 28-foot Bayliner.

1957 Class Champion: Kent Tarrant 413-566-5130

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:

I’m happy to say that we have been able to maintain contacts both with our classmates and the entire Nichols community. We especially look forward to our visits with Hugo and Carol Pagliccia and the Naples gathering. As much as we would like to visit the Hill on a regular basis, my NASCAR driving skills are not up to interstate highway standards. As always, I would encourage you to support the many fundraising efforts for a variety of needs. At one time

• 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.


the Class of ’62 was in the top 5 of percentage participation. Let us make this a goal for 2019-20. Class of ’62 PRIDE / Bison Pride Charlie George Bartlett reports that he has fond lacrosse memories of Charlie (The Whale) and Coach Doc Wylie. He moved to High Point, NC, in 1962 and worked as a sporting goods manager for Sears. He married “a beautiful southern gal,” Deanie, in 1965. They bought and ran a hair salon and three wig salons until 1970, with George doing the books at night. He later pioneered the waterbed business in North Carolina with “$600 and a dream,” and sold the business 20 years later with five stores, a large warehouse and 27 employees. George was a facilities manager for a manufacturer of high-end office furniture. He and Deanie then ran an interior designer business until 2010. Their son Todd, who is in the computer business, married in 1995, and the Bartletts’ granddaughter is graduating in June from the same Christian school that Todd attended. “Have just been hanging around ever since, enjoying a blessed life,” he concludes. “I’ll be 80 in January, still very active and take no medications. Thank you, Lord!” After leaving the Hill, Robert Colombo spent 36 years operating a granite manufacturing plant in his hometown of Barre, VT, and served six years in the Vermont National Guard. Retiring in 1998, he and his wife Jackie built a home on Lake Murray in South Carolina and enjoy fishing, volunteering, and woodworking. In 2018, they moved to their home in Hendersonville, NC, “to escape the SC heat.” He says, “Currently Jackie and I enjoy living here in NC where the climate is nice, and the scenery looks similar to our native Vermont.” Bruce MacDonald writes: “1962 was rounded off after graduation with being consumed by Army Basic Training but was completed by a wonderful marriage before the year closed; three very special children are filling our life; seven grandchildren continue to put icing on the cake; 30 years with Ford Motor has yielded 25 years in retirement, so far; our first great-grandchild is on the way; retirement years have been spent in Michigan on a small quiet lake. So, who is blessed!”

Golden Bison Updates R. Allen Elliott entered Nichols as a freshman in the fall of 1958, just at the time that the junior college was transitioning to a four-year college. In 1962, he earned a BBA with a specialization in recreational management from the Forestry Program. “However, those four years at Nichols were to have far more influence on my life than academics,” he says. He learned that the commissioner of parks for Westchester County had been a student of Nichols professor Dr. Mathews while he was at Syracuse University’s Forestry Program. As an intern, Allen was assigned to various departments, including the finance department and its computer division, where he “found his calling” and began work as a data processing assistant. After 44 years with Westchester County, he retired as deputy chief information officer. “And now in retirement, I have often thought of my days at Nichols and the opportunities and background that served me so well and Dr. Mathews’ connection,” he says. Pete Judd and his wife Pat have lived at Dataw Island, SC, just outside of Beaufort, for 21 years. The community has 900 homes and offers golf courses, tennis courts and other amenities on 870 acres. The Judds travel extensively and typically rent a home in Hope Town in the Bahamas for three months every winter but, thanks to hurricane Dorian, they will instead be cruising around South America, from Buenos Aires to Lima, Peru, visiting Machu Picchu and returning in late March. Pete notes that he has kept in touch with his roommate, Pete Whitney, and Paul Zimmerman over the years. He and Paul play golf together in their respective clubs’ annual member/guest tournaments. He saw Pete last May for his 80th birthday in Boca Raton, FL. “Life has treated me kindly,” reports Pete. “I’m in very good health, walking three plus miles three to four times a week, have a terrific wife, and living in paradise.” Rich Knoener writes: “After 15 years of conglomerate corporate jobs, I decided to start my own sales agency selling lawn and garden and hardscape materials, covering all of New England. My current activities are gardening and shining my Austin Healy, in addition to membership in the Lion’s Club, Masons and Shriners. I have many happy memories of my tenure at Nichols.”

Tom reports that he is retired from day-to-day business activity, but he is still active in commercial real estate investments in the Greater Boston market, which he says has had a great resurgence. “I only worry about another retrenchment like we endured in the late ’90s and look at this cycle as part of my last hurrah in real estate development.”

After graduation, Rick LaVergne became the utilization forester for the state of Maine. He and his wife (now deceased) moved back to Massachusetts, where he worked for Mass Electric as a lineman and crew leader for 33 years, retiring more than 21 years ago. He notes that his favorite Nichols memories are of woodsmen weekends, and now the forestry reunions.

Richard Zarzecki is the owner of Business Planning Advisors Inc., based in Palm Beach, FL, working with business owners to help successfully sell their businesses. Learn more at

John Turro shares some of his favorite Nichols memories: “…learning to play the drums at the football rallies. We had Bruce Siegal on the sax, Hugo Pagliccia on the accordion, the late Stan Urban on the trumpet and the late Walter Wimmer as emcee. What times we had!”

1964 Class Champion: Dan Tomassetti 413-567-0085

He remembers asking Col. Conrad for time at the convocation to rally the football team for their game against the Coast Guard’s JV team. “About 200 of our students made the trip to the Academy to support our team. We beat them 8-7! Dave Adams and Rene Langevin were outstanding players.

Sandy Barth vividly recalls the two years (1960-1962) he spent at Nichols. He transferred after sophomore year to Rider University where he received a BS in economics, a major that wasn’t offered at Nichols at the time. He later received an MBA in finance from the University of Massachusetts, an MA in health care administration from George Washington University, and a PhD in health services management from Century University. He serves as an educator and consultant on health care topics and issues, with areas of research interest in health system process improvement, relational assessments of health care financing and delivery, and Medicare fraud and abuse issues. He taught at Thomas Jefferson University and received the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.

“The barn parties were classic,” he continues. “We would rent a barn, without heat, with a bouncer and hire a rock band. Of course, only upper classmen and their dates were invited….fond and lasting memories.”

1963 We recently learned of the sad news that Art Tozzi has passed. We are forever grateful for the time and effort he put in for many years as a class scribe. His columns were epic and something we all looked forward to. Condolences to all of you who have lost a friend.

Tom Niles writes: “My thoughts of time at Nichols as a student are many and memorable, as that was over 56 years ago, and you know what they say about losing your mind as you age!” Tom has served as a trustee for the college since 2010, and is confident about the future of Nichols, despite the pressures that private colleges face. “To see Nichols thrive with its predominately business curriculum that hasn’t changed too much in all of its years and is not duplicated by many other institutions in the New England region, is the goal of the moment. It fills a need for students wanting this type of business degree,” he says, adding, “I enjoy returning to campus at alumni events, and it is great to follow many of my classmates as they age with me.”

Dave Doe submitted a photo with this description: “The three ‘gentlemen’ in the front are, from left, Henri David, Dan Tomassetti and David Doe. By the grace of God, we all made it to graduation with the Class of ’64. The photo was taken outside the dining hall after dinner, as we waited for the freshmen to lose their beanies. Note the ties and jackets demanded by Colonel Conrad– surely no longer a requirement in this century. I look forward to the news and memories from others and hope to meet up with the old gang at homecoming.”

Dorm snow sculpture contests in the winter of 1962 with Smith Hall is in the background. Submitted by Dave Ruddock ’64.

Following Nichols, Bill Dyer got an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, attended the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, and was assigned to the USS Yorktown ported in Long Beach, CA. He was later sent to the Tonkin Gulf and Western Pacific Ocean and was on the carrier that picked up the crew of Apollo 8. After the navy, he worked for Owens Corning Fiberglass and the building materials industry. Their travels have taken them from Long Beach back to the Boston area; Ballston Lake, NY; Richmond, VA; Berwyn, PA; then retirement in Pocono Pines, PA. They have three kids and six grandchildren with another due in April. “I still keep in touch with some Nichols guys,” he says. “We all have fond memories of our time on the Hill. It was a life changing experience for us that gave us a good start in life.” Bill also notes that he had been scheduled to visit Howie Chong in Hawaii in October but learned from Howie’s daughter that he passed away on September 22, 2019. “Howie was a great guy, loyal friend to me and to Nichols College. He will be missed.” Dave Ruddock also shared his thoughts about Howie: “Howie was a wonderful and giving person who was a close friend to many of us in Smith Hall and the Class of 1964. Howie was also a major supporter of Nichols College and was a trustee emeritus. He will be missed by us all.” Dave submitted several photos from the ’60s when he and others were the first to occupy Smith Hall in 1960.

Golden Bison Homecoming 2014, from left, Bill Dyer, Howie Chong, Kip Poludniak, Steven Thorn, Jim Clifford and Dave Ruddock.


Golden Bison Updates years, which he hopes to double

Chuck Evans offers a series of short conversations featuring himself (ME)

in size over the next five years. He

and Brad Goodrich (BG) as they are driving to Alaska after graduation

notes that he lost Sandie, his wife of

through “some of the most beautiful scenery in North America,” his wife

54 years, and sends regards to all.

(MW) and his children (K1, K2).

During Homecoming weekend, Rick


Blankley and his wife, Mary Ellen,

BG: This is unbelievable!

had lunch with Joshua Jones, Top row, from left, Harvey Sykes, Mike “Bosco” McCarthy, Steve Besner; middle row, Carl “Gillis” Gilbert, “Wazy” Bender, Carl Swenson; bottom row, Bob “Gas” Gascoyne, Barry Gordon. Submitted by Warren Bender ’64.

ME: I’m bringing my wife up here, for sure.

the recipient of the Class of ’65

BG: You don’t have a wife.

Endowed Scholarship, a sophomore

ME: When our trip is over, I’m going to find one.

who plans to study accounting and is on the football team. “Without a


doubt, Josh is a vibrant, well-spoken

MW: Let’s make a deal; I’ll put you through

Nichols student with a super personality. We could not have a

Lew Gelman and Charlie Kaull

better guy to represent the Class of

a year of grad school if you take me to

Alaska when it’s done.

ME: I’ll help you pay with my GI bill.

were among the

’65. He profusely thanked the class

1964 undefeated

for our sponsorship, mentioning it

baseball team

would be a great financial hardship


inducted into

for his family otherwise.”

MW: This is unbelievable. We’ll have to bring the kids up here!

MW: Done deal!

the Athletic

ME: We don’t have any kids.

Hall of Honor at

After the football game on Saturday,


when the Bison beat Salve Regina –

September 28, 2019.

1965 Class Champion: Jack MacPhail 503-227-2761 Jack MacPhail reports that he and

MW: Let’s go make some!!


a team Nichols hadn’t beaten in

MW, K1, K2 and ME got to Alaska for the last time.

years – Rick made his way down to the field to look for Josh. “I found


him and unashamedly we hugged as

Sorry to say that MW passed away in July.

I congratulated him. Told him I knew he had thought Salve was pretty


good, but you guys were better.

Sorry to say that K1 (Eric) passed away in September.

Smiles all around.”

K2 is Dr. Ethan Evans, professor of sociology at Cal State Sacramento.

his wife Sandy attended several

ME: In the words of Jimmy Buffet, “Some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic,

birthdays in California in December:

Sandy’s youngest uncle at 90; her

but I’ve had a good life all the way.” That’s ME!

father’s 93rd; and her mother’s 93rd. This all following her oldest uncle’s

Lisa and Christopher, and five

of the golf team that won the NAIA

100th in San Antonio this past

grandchildren. The oldest, Liam,

District 32 Championship in 1966.

summer. He says, “According to

has applied to Nichols. He remains

good sources, the odds of three brothers, in one intact family, reaching 100, 93 and 90 respectively are one in 5 million! If any of us in our mid-70s feel like we’re running out of runway…” Jack continues his leadership consulting business and is looking forward to a re-appearance at West Point in January geared at “finding one’s purpose in life,” targeting selected company active duty officers from across the Army. After that, he will re-run a similar program for spouses. He encourages classmates to mark their calendars for their 55th reunion at Homecoming 2020, September 25 and 26. “Combined with the class of ’66, we are looking for record attendance – we all are not getting any younger!” In addition to his fond memories of classmates, Art Assad recounts bartending at Bob’s bar in downtown Webster after daily classes. “We used to gather there on Friday nights and tell stories about our past week’s events at Nichols and commemorate the week with numerous pitchers of beer and many great laughs among friends and local Webster ‘townies.’” Art is still working at Agrisel USA Inc., the company he built over the last 24

William J. Chatto left Nichols after his sophomore year, when he changed his major from forestry

close with Dave Lombard. He fondly

He remembers going to Bermuda

remembers away golf trips with the

in 1966 for spring break, led by the

team and Coach Bazzie.

mayor, Duke MacNair, and including Steve Chernock, Cliff Dietrich,

to accounting, and transferred to Bentley College, graduating in 1966. Bill joined the Marine Corps in 1966 and was eventually discharged as a sergeant. In 1968, he became a CPA while working at Christiansen & Co. CPAs in Providence, RI, and in 1976, earned an MBA in management

Charlie Wing was a furniture

Bob Dublin, Peter Higgins, Jay

representative selling directly to

McCarthy, Don Parsons, Chuck

furniture stores throughout New

Piazza, Jim Rattigan, John Watson,

England, retiring in 2010, when he

and Wharton Whitaker. “It was

and his wife Debi became full-time

known as college week; in fact, the

RVers. Today, they own an RV lot

boys from the Hill were featured in

and a Park Model trailer in The

a Business Week article on spring

Great Outdoors RV, Nature and Golf

breaks. Why not, we attended a

Resort in Titusville, FL, where Charlie

business school.”

is in charge of the Woodcarving

from Bryant College in the evenings.

Club and facility chairman of the

Bill joined Amica Mutual Insurance

Sawdust Club, a complete wood and

Co. in 1973 and retired in 2003 as a

metal shop located in the resort. He

senior assistant vice president.

says, “Nichols College gave me the tools to make a living, raise our two

He and wife Claire have two sons,

daughters, and now Debi and I are

Christopher and Andrew, and three

enjoying the good life.” Contact him

grandchildren. Bill lives in Parrish,

at 321-225-8114.

FL, in the winter, and returns to North Kingstown, RI, in the summer.


Reach him at

Class Champion: Phil Collins Dick Shields worked in the family


business until 1967 when he enlisted

From left, Steve Chernock, Jim Rattigan, Duke MacNair, with Don Parsons, Jay McCarthy, Phil Collins, Cliff Dietrich in the back.

in the U.S. Army. From 1968 to 1969, he was in Vietnam (DMZ) serving

Phil Collins recounts “excitement

as a radio operator for a company

and joy” during his time at Nichols,

commander in a mechanized

where he was a member of the

infantry unit. He has been in the

1965 soccer team, the only

family business for more than 50

undefeated-untied team in the

years, becoming president in 1977

college’s history (inducted into the

after his father died. He says he is

Hall of Honor in 2017). He was a

still running a profitable operation

member of the 1963-64 hockey

and has no intention of retiring.

team that won the Worcester

“Yes, we were there in 1966,”

He and wife Lise have two children,

College Hockey Championship and

says Phil Collins.


Golden Bison Updates Road trips to a college in Vermont

Dick Moran was commissioned as

problem; and other serious problems.

located near the New York border

an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserves

Says Ralph: “We introduce the love

were spent listening to live music

in 1966, and in 1968 was assigned

and protection of our Lord and

and dancing at the Hampton Manor

to SEAL Team 2. He completed two

Savior Jesus Christ if the subject

nightclub. Time well spent, he says,

tours in Vietnam, joined the SEAL

is receptive.”

as both he and Duke married

Naval Reserves in 1972 and retired

Green Mountain gals. Phil has been

as a Navy captain (SEAL) in 1996.

A. Barry Paletta writes that all the

married for 52 years, and they have

He worked as a sales representative

past homecomings and the summer

two sons, “great” daughters-in-law,

for Chemsearch, a division of NCH

forestry reunions rank among his

and three grandchildren. They live

Corp., from 1979 to 2017. Dick’s wife

favorite Nichols memories. He and

Mike Runyon writes that he was in

in Naples, FL, “certainly enjoying

Brenda passed away in 2013 and

his wife Mary have kept in touch

corporate relocation for 28 years,

spending our golden years in the

is buried in Arlington National

with several classmates since the

based in Danbury, CT. He retired in

Sunshine State. Come visit.”

Cemetery. He has two daughters,

mid-’70s: Brad and Betsy Babb,

1998 and moved to Chocowinity, NC,

Kristin and Ashby, who both

Donna and Chalk Nigro, Cathy and

where he has been active in

Charles Eggleton has moved – for the

graduated from Virginia Tech, and

Bill Matulewicz, Clair and Tuffy

community work and with Nichols

final time, he hopes – to Charleston,

two grandchildren. Now enjoying

Kimball. He notes that Bill and

for the past 50 years. He fondly

SC, after living in 22 cities. Married

retirement and living in Virginia

Tuffy have passed, but their wives

remembers the fun he had in

right out of college to Jean, he

Beach, he says he keeps up with

continue to join them.

Budleigh Hall and stays in touch with

began work with REA Express

fellow classmates, Brad Babb,

before being drafted in the U.S. Army

Phil Collins, Don “Duke” MacNair,

and serving at Fort Knox. He worked

Barry Paletta, Bob Dublin and

for a series of trucking companies

Wayne Nigro ’65.

1967 Bruce Barton notes: “I remember driving with Johnny Nichols back

in multiple states, including

and forth to Akron University (in

Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado, Illinois,

Ohio) for weekend dates with our

New York and New Jersey. He was

girlfriends. Yes, we both got married;

president and CEO of USF Dugan

my wife and I still visit with John’s

in Wichita, KS, and then moved to

wife and friends. I always wondered

SAIA out of Dallas, TX, where he

how we did it. Love ya, John.”

retired in 2002. In August, after living 15 years in Colorado, they moved to South Carolina to be closer to their only child Chip. Charles

Dick Moran celebrating Navy retirement in 1996

plays golf in an “Old Man’s League” and helps his son with his business,

After working in the accounting

Apex Logistics, “so he can race his

field since graduation, Joe Russo

Porsche or sailboat over weekends.”

is enjoying retirement, as well as

Contact him at 913-568-5725.

fishing, traveling, woodworking, and “any spur-of-the-moment

Bob Hildebrand went on a Danube

adventure.” He and his wife Kathy, a

River Cruise in July with his friend,

retired teacher, have been married

Aleksandra Geyer, visiting Budapest,

for 47 years and live in Plymouth.

Vienna, Prague and other cities. Bob

Their son, Ben, and his wife Becky

is a big fan of Yale hockey, as he

are both career Air Force officers

used to live in the New Haven area,

and pilots. “They have given us

and has attended games every year

reason to travel around the states

since 1965, including in 2019 with

and Europe to visit or babysit for

Bill Nelson. He reports that Bill

our grandchildren, Emma and

and his wife Judy will be staying in

Brenden.” Their daughter Katie

Englewood, FL, this winter and all

is an occupational therapist at

will be getting together for lunch

Massachusetts General Hospital; she

with Towner Lapp. Bob will return to

and her husband Kevin, an attorney,

the Berkshires in the summer and is

live in Milton. Joe has stayed in

looking forward to Tanglewood “to

touch with Bill Weaver ’67 and

listen to the Boston Symphony and

his wife Mary. Email him at

Ringo Starr.” He says, “Best to all,

Don Parsons in Florida via email. He visited with Molly Thienel, director of alumni and parent engagement at Nichols, last February when his wife Chris had been battling her second bout of cancer in the last eight years. He reports that a CT scan in October revealed that Chris is now cancer free.

Roy Garizio remembers attending a


Nichols-RPI football game in Albany

John Harrison recalls the special

in fall 1964 with a carload of friends.

time he had with the guys in the

In senior year, he recalls attending

Underhill dormitory which he

a presentation on the country’s

called home. “We studied together,

involvement in Vietnam with his

played together, ate together and

roommate Bill Fredericks. “Little did

even showered in the same large

we know at that time that we both

room…there were no individual

would be spending a year there in

showers back in the day. We would

1968-69,” he says. Roy worked with

wind up in each other’s rooms

the Scott Paper Co. in Philadelphia

to discuss homework, personal

for 26 years, followed by 15 years

challenges, politics, sports and girls.

with the WD40 Co. in San Diego,

Not necessarily in that order.”

retiring in 2012. He and Sharon

and keep smiling!”

have been married for 46 years

John also writes about intramural

and have two daughters and five

sports and the competitive teams at

grandchildren who live close by.

Underhill, which he represented as the

“I still enjoy fast cars,” he says.

football quarterback, basketball

“I have come to realize that

forward and softball pitcher. “The

leadership is not about being

biggest win was when I was a

the best but rather about making

junior and we beat Budleigh for the

everyone else better. I think back

1967 basketball championship. The

and appreciate the leadership

comradery was great and proved to

taught to me while attending

be an important part of each of us

Nichols College.”

enjoying the Nichols experience.”

Tom McIlvain, with Brent Broszeit, director of development at Nichols, shared his knowledge and experience with students in President Susan Engelkemeyer’s Operations Management class.

Bill Fox, with Eliza Phillips ’21, returned to a Nichols classroom when he volunteered his time and spoke to an entrepreneurship class.

Bernie Smith and his wife Sonia recently moved from Southport, NC, to Falmouth, MA. Ralph Stuart writes that he and his

Bill Shaw reports: “Finally retired!

wife Joan were to be commissioned

Enjoying life, kids and grandkids.

as Stephens Ministers in January.

Lots of volunteer commitments.

Working out of Trinity Lutheran

I am currently the chairman of the

Church in Islip, NY, they are assigned

Board of Trustees at the Genesee

to help people in crisis, such as with

Country Village and Museum, a

the loss of a spouse, child, or job;

living history village and museum

diagnosis of a serious medical

in upstate New York.”


Golden Bison Updates 1969 Class Champion: Robert “Kuppy” Kuppenheimer 4627 Tremont Ln. Cororna del Mar, CA 92625-3130 Jim Jackson continues to expand his orchard business, the New Royal Bluff Orchards LLC, which grows high quality organic and conventional apples and other tree fruits on 510 acres in Royal City, WA. His business includes Royal Bluff Orchard, Crave Organics Orchard, Royal Columbia Orchard, and Falcon Ridge Orchard. Jim recently

created intern positions for Nichols College students and is interviewing candidates.

Thank goodness for my two-year roommate Henry Howard who kept me in the right direction most of the time. The best four years of my life was spent at Nichols and for that I am truly grateful for all my classmates and the administration that got us all through a turbulent time in our history.”

Jay Robinson recounts his favorite Nichols memories, which include: Playing football with Coach Vendetti and four years of lacrosse where he served as captain along with Ebby DuPont; the wonderful gigs of his band, the VanDells, including playing with the Shirells and the night they cut their record; trips to Boston, the apartment on Commonwealth Avenue, and the cabin on Webster Lake; great parties. “You might think that we didn’t hit the books, but we did find time to study.

Dave Weyant recalls seeing Professor Guimond walking his sheepdog around campus and to

many sporting events. “Many of us tried hard to get into his class. He was a radical, ahead of his time.” Accounting professor, “Wild” Bill De Malia, would “point his finger and shoot at us if we got his question wrong. Would not happen in today’s academic world.” Dave reports that he is happily retired in Ft. Myers, FL, after 40 plus years in banking and as an office official for West Point hockey.

Thoughts & Feedback Thank you for reading the first edition of the Golden Bison Bulletin! We have been blown away by your participation. This is YOUR publication, please share your feedback and thoughts on content for future editions. Feedback can be submitted to Jillian at, (508)-213-2211. A special thank you to our class scribes, contributors Jerre Budd, Phil

Robert Savage, Jack Hills, and Phil Brennan ’70 enjoy a mini reunion in balmy Florida in December.

Collins and Jeff Gould and to all of you who submitted a class note.



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.

Is Nichols College in your estate plans? Notify us so that we can thank and welcome you to the Colonel Conrad Society!

 Interested in learning more? • We can provide a free workbook and guide for any planned giving needs • Example bequest language • Read more about our Conrad Society members at


Inform us of your plans or get more information by contacting: Jillian Riches 508-213-2211