Golden Bison – Vol 3 Issue 1: Winter/Spring 2022

Page 1

GoldenBison b






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



Vol 3 Issue 1: Winter/Spring 2022

Redefining What Impossible Means Nichols graduate Charlie Cunnion ’06 reflects on his career of military service and international logistics. Charlie Cunnion ’06, vice president of global transportation at International Forest Products, LLC (IFP), majored in both finance and economics while at Nichols College.


uring his time at Nichols, he was

opportunity to volunteer to serve with his

exposed to the Army Reserve

future company commander whom he met

and felt called to serve his

while training at Fort McCoy.

country. “I joined the Army Reserve between my freshman

Cunnion served in Iraq between 2008 and

and sophomore years. That

2009, while the economy was collapsing,

summer I went off to bootcamp in

and he came home to a difficult job market.

Missouri — a non-traditional

“I ended up working odd jobs in construction

summer break for a 19-year-old!” Returning

and was given the opportunity to bartend at

to Nichols, Cunnion enjoyed the dynamic of

Sinni’s Pub — owned by alum Jeff Sinni — a

being a college student and serving the Army

favorite bar for Nichols students.” Eventually

part time. In his junior year he joined an

a friend of a friend put him in touch with

ROTC program offered through Worcester

a headhunter who was looking to fill a job

Polytechnical Institute and continued to be a

at International Forest Products, LLC. He

full-time student at Nichols. “My senior year I

applied and was offered a position. “The job

didn’t feel the stress of finding a job like many

was as an operations specialist, which was

of my peers. I already had my commitment to

somewhat of an inside sales administration

the Army, which was a relief. The Army laid

role. I took it as a way to get my foot in the

out a plan for me.”

door, and I’m grateful I did. I was responsible for account coordination, logistics, finance

Cunnion started his career with the Army

and accounting. It was a great way for me to

at Fort Sill in Oklahoma then went on to

learn the business.” In this role, Cunnion

Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for

discovered that he wanted to grow his career

Army officer training, followed by a stint at

in the transportation and logistics side of

Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. “My first year in

the business.

the Army was between 2006 and 2007. The Iraq war was starting to hype; this was right

About a year and half into the job at IFP,

before the surge happened. It was clear that

Cunnion was offered a promotion to be a

General [David] Petraeus had a plan to quell

part of the logistics team; at the same time,

the insurgency. It was obvious as a young

he was called to serve as a member of the

officer that my path to Iraq was imminent.”

Army Reserve. Cunnion had to put his

Cunnion shares that he was lucky to have the

promotion on pause and was deployed to

Charlie Cunnion is pictured at the Patriot Place headquarters of IFP, part of the Kraft Group of companies founded by Robert Kraft. Afghanistan, now as a commander. “I had a successful deployment, more good days than bad,” he reflects. “I always remember turning 24 in Baghdad. As with any young officer or military leader, I was given a tremendous amount of responsibility at that age. My first deployment was cutting my teeth, developing a leadership style, understanding urban warfare, the logistics of war. This deployment was about understanding people, keeping them motivated and the energy positive.”

Continued on page 2












Charlie Cunnion ’06– continued from page 1

When he first arrived, the unit he was joining to lead had just come back from a difficult mission full of small mistakes, with a lack of leadership that depleted the confidence of the team. “The first commander and I were able to instill the confidence in the unit that they needed very quickly. I would say to them, ‘You need to have some swagger when you stand out there, professional, but ready to ruin someone’s day if they decide to test us.’ From then on it was another successful deployment with a focus on subordinate development.” During this time, Cunnion’s leadership style developed greatly, transforming from a leader who saw the world in black and white to someone who understood that you must constantly adapt to the situations you are presented with. This revelation led him to

Angel McHugh and Charlie Cunnion stand in the hallway of clocks displaying time zones around the world, where IFP has offices, sales reps, and product sources.

lead with more empathy. “Getting the most out of people and getting them to reach their

problem solving to get the cargo back

At Nichols, McHugh studied business

fullest potential requires a custom solution for

on the right track, literally.

administration with a concentration in

each employee.” He attributes his leadership

international business, worked at the

development and confidence to his time in

This confidence he cultivated in the Army to

Nichols College Call Center and was a

the military. “I often describe my experience

accomplish the impossible especially came in

member of the soccer team, an experience

in the Army as permanently redefining what

handy during the pandemic, when the world

shared by Cunnion.

impossible means.”

came to a halt and it was nearly impossible to move product around the world. The early

He credits his two favorite Nichols professors,

When he returned from Afghanistan,

months of the pandemic were difficult, he

Goncalves and Economics Chair Hans

Cunnion resumed work with IFP, which held

says, when he wasn’t sure if he would have to

Despain, with helping to shape his world

his promotion, and concluded his military

lay staff off. But the opposite happened — he

view. “Professor Goncalves took a globalist

career. Over the next several years, Cunnion

needed to invest in more staff and technology.

approach and Professor Despain was more

rose up the ranks and now leads the logistics

of a humanist,” he reflects. “From Goncalves,

team as vice president of global transportation.

Although the pandemic created a multitude

I learned how businesses can be profitable in

IFP trades physical forest product commodities;

of issues to be dealt with in the world of

an international market, and from Despain,

anything you can make or recycle from a tree

shipping and logistics, Cunnion is proud of

I learned about the dark value in the

is under their purview. They work in over 100

the work his team was able to accomplish.

economics of commodities.” McHugh

countries and use every possible mode of

“Our biggest crowning achievement during

still carries these lessons with him as he

this difficult time was to take advantage of

approaches his work in a big world with

the market opportunities. We were lucky we

vast cultural differences.

“Charlie is a very stoic leader and an excellent mentor. I look up to him a lot. He has empowered and challenged me to make choices, because in this business you

were able to still move cargo. The way we were able to achieve this was through

McHugh has now been with IFP for 3.5 years

technology. When we went remote, we

and manages two employees. He never would

already had the technology to succeed in a

have guessed that he would be working in

remote environment. It was a seamless

the field of recycled materials and logistics

transition and something I am most proud of.”

but has discovered that he loves it. “My favorite part of this job is that everyday is a

have to keep moving forward.

Through Cunnion’s experience in the Army

new challenge and adventure.” McHugh looks

With Charlie’s leadership style, I

and with IFP, he’s learned that people are the

forward to growing his career with IFP and is

have the freedom to make mis-

most important part of an organization and is

grateful to have Cunnion as a mentor. “Charlie

takes, learn from them and grow

always trying to attract and retain top talent.

is a very stoic leader and an excellent mentor.

“It was a natural fit to reach back out to Nichols

I look up to him a lot. He has empowered and

to find strong candidate for my team.”

challenged me to make choices, because

professionally.” — Angel McHugh

in this business you have to keep moving In 2018, Marcus Goncalves, former professor

forward. With Charlie’s leadership style, I have

and chair of international business at Nichols,

the freedom to make mistakes, learn from

recommended Angel McHugh for an entry

them and grow professionally.”

transportation to ship their products around

level role that Cunnion needed to fill. “I hired

the world, including ocean liners, trucks,

Angel and he has done tremendously well with

Together, Cunnion and McHugh will continue

railcars, etc. It is important to the success

IFP,” says Cunnion. “He currently leads our

to adapt to challenges in the logistics

of their organization that they can pinpoint

recycled paper logistics team. He is probably

industry, redefining what impossible means

where their product is at any time and if it

the 25th largest exporter in the United States,

every day in their roles and ready to tap the

is on track for an on-time delivery. Cunnion

managing a huge book of business and has

next generation of Nichols College talent to

muses, “I spend 90 percent of my time on 10

developed relationships around the world. He

join them.

percent of our cargo.” These are exceptions,

is an impressive young man. I helped him get

when the supply chain they have carefully

in the door, but his success is all in his own

created has an issue and demands creative

making. I am proud of him.”


“The Bison” Student Newspaper Makes a Comeback Senior Maria Mironidis is reintroducing a Nichols campus tradition — The Bison student newspaper. Learn how the digital and social media marketing major got started and why it was important to revive it.



What do you love the most about Nichols?

I love how small Nichols is. I enjoy the feeling that my professors truly know who I am. My professors are able to recognize when I am struggling with something and are happy to help me. I also love the people here; everyone is so welcoming and inviting. If you are ever struggling, the Nichols community is open and available to help. We look out for each other here.


What is your vision for The Bison?

I want The Bison to be an outlet for students to talk about issues that need to be discussed and heard. Too often I find that we don’t speak up about issues or concerns. I want the paper to serve as a tool for our community to have their opinions heard. It is important that a newspaper reports both sides of an issue. I would like to get as many people in our community involved in the newspaper as possible.


What prompted you to revive The Bison newspaper?

It’s an interesting story. I went to the art gallery show that took place in the academic building this October with two of my friends. Our intention was to network with our professors and talk about our future goals, as our final days at Nichols are fast approaching.

What have you learned from producing your first edition?

It’s a lot of work! My goodness, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge project, but it was! It was a lot of fun speaking with people and getting information, but I definitely need a team of students to support this effort.

I met President [Glenn] Sulmasy’s wife, Marla, and she brought up the idea of a newspaper on campus. I told myself at the beginning of this semester that it’s my final year on campus and I’m going to get out there and try as many things as I can.

I learned how to network with professors that I didn’t know and be able to talk to new people on campus. I’ve always had anxiety talking to new people, but the paper gave me the opportunity to talk to them. I’m using the paper to help me get out of my shell, connect with new people and make a difference if I can on the Hill.

My sophomore and junior years were ruined by COVID and this year I wanted to get out of my shell and push myself, so that’s exactly what I did. I emailed her a couple days after the event and set up a time to speak with her about the paper. We had a productive conversation about the paper and decided to pursue it. It was upsetting to see we had a school paper, and no one continued it throughout the years. I decided to put a stop to that and brought back the paper in a new and updated way. I’m happy to report that on December 17, 2021, I published the first edition!


How do you see The Bison newspaper evolving going forward? Goals?

I hope that the paper will continue when I leave this spring — that is my main goal! I would like to see the paper continue both as a digital and print edition. I look forward to continuing to get more students to be involved in this project.

READ ALL ABOUT IT! Announcements: Mark your calendars for Reunion Weekend, June 3-4, 2022.

Trivia Question: What was the price of the “Love Trees” being sold on campus by a forestry student in the ’60s? Bonus points if you can name the student! A hint to stir your memory, the “Love Trees” were little pine trees planted in a Dixie cup. Submitted by Ray Hencir ’67

All Golden Bison are invited to the Golden Bison Reception, Friday, June 3, 5:00 pm. Join us to welcome

For a chance to win a Nichols College prize and help us create

the class of 1972 as the newest Golden Bison, with

our next trivia questions, submit your answer via email to

special recognition for all reunion classes! Come just or mail your response to:

for the reception or stay for the weekend and enjoy.

Nichols College Alumni Office

Relive your days on the Hill with optional

PO Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571

on-campus accommodations.


Treasures from the Casco Bay Coast of Maine The career and life of Michael Leslie ’69 By Jillian Riches Jette

I met Michael on a beautiful early August morning at the Freeport Antiques and Heirlooms Showcase located in downtown Freeport, Maine. This is where he currently showcases his “treasures.” Michael has owned Port ‘N Starboard Gallery for 38 years and specializes in rare maritime antiques and fine art. A career path that at first was unexpected but turned out to be a perfect fit. After graduating from high school, Michael headed to Nichols College to study marketing. Once his degree was completed, he went back home and worked for the family business for several years. “And then one day my dad decided he wanted to retire and asked me if I would take over the business, but I decided I could no longer be the boss’s son and declined,” he says. It was a time of limbo and transition for him, Michael candidly shares, and he went on a soul-searching mission by taking a six-week solo tour of the United States. During this time, he confirmed his love for the sea and felt strongly that his life’s work must be related. He headed back to Maine with a new-found sense of purpose and enthusiasm. To get his bearings, he worked at a small shop in Portland until one day while walking to work, he saw a sign “Space for lease,” and thought, “This is it!” He immediately started the process of establishing his own business. He created a beautiful gift shop full of items related to the sea. To decorate the store, Michael would source maritime artifacts and then he noticed that customers kept wanting to buy the artifacts rather than the reproduction gifts he had for sale. Michael had an epiphany. “I should sell more of these!” he thought. From that point on, he decided to get into the antique and art business. His first foray into the antiques world was down the road from Nichols at the Brimfield Antique Show. Michael continued to sell his treasures at shows throughout the United States, from “Miami to Blue Hill, Maine, and every place in-between like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.” He also sells his antiques through his website, working directly with clients and often as a broker. When the pandemic hit and shows came to a halt, Michael found a home at the

A showcase for his treasures in Freeport

Michael Leslie, owner of the Port ‘N’ Starboard Gallery in Durham, found his calling in marine art and antiques. Freeport Antiques and Heirlooms Showcase, a beautiful place to display his inventory. While I was speaking with Michael, we were surrounded by exquisite maritime artifacts, a carved eagle, a ship figurehead, seascape paintings and a rare leather seal.

of Fitz Henry Lane; he, too, authenticated the paintings. Over a year after he had purchased each painting, he marked them. While Fitz Henry Lane paintings are known to have sold for over 6 figures, Michael teases, “I won’t tell you the margin, but it was quite lucrative!”

“The thing I like the most about my job is the people,” he says. “I’m an outgoing person and I love to meet new people. It is thrilling to buy something like a painting and find a new owner for it. It is very gratifying to make someone else happy with one of my treasures and know that they will be the new curator of this artifact, and that this artifact will outlive us all.”

Selling ship portraits is a specialty, Michael contends, and he has sold hundreds over the years. “A ship portrait was like what a photograph is today,” he explains. “These portraits were often commissioned by the boat owner or sea captain to hang in their vessel or office to use as a marketing promotion. Antonia Jacobsen is a popular ship portrait artist.” Michael also has a soft spot in his heart for carved eagles, which are made from a single piece of wood and show great detail and a high level of craftmanship. Carved eagles became popular after 1782, when the United States Congress named the bald eagle as our national emblem.

Among his exciting finds are two paintings by the artist Fitz Henry Lane, a Gloucester native known for his marine paintings, including ship portraits, who was active in the 1800s. “I came across them at a public auction. They were unsigned but based on my research and knowledge on the topic, I knew they were Fitz Henry Lane,” he says. Michael bought the paintings and started the process of authentication, or provenance as they call it in the art world. Provenance is the supporting documentation that helps authenticate a piece of art. In order to authenticate these paintings, he went to the experts at Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. They confirmed it. Next, he called upon the author of a book on the work


Having grown up on the water, Michael has always had a great appreciation for the sea — one he likes to share. As we left the Freeport Antiques and Heirlooms Showcase and said our goodbyes, he said that later in the day he was taking his new puppy Bailey on his first boat ride. “My cousin has invited me to take a trip to one of our Maine Islands for a picnic.” Such is the life of Michael Leslie and the sea, his ultimate treasure.

“Thank you!” to our scholarship donors It is the goal of Nichols College to provide a strong business-focused education to our students. Our focus on career readiness through our 4-year Professional Development Seminar is a game changer and gives our graduates a competitive advantage. Through their seminars, they create goals for their college experience, develop their personal brand by creating a LinkedIn profile, create a professional resume and even connect with alumni volunteers for mock interviews. We want ALL Nichols students to have the opportunity to complete their education and receive their degrees. Scholarship support has been critical, and we want to thank all of you who have created or contributed to a scholarship to help us bridge the gap for many students. Over the last 10 years there has been exponential growth in endowed scholarships. In fiscal year 2012 there were 21 scholarships, fiscal year 2017 scholarships jumped to 58 and at the close of fiscal year 2021 we had 89 total scholarships! This is over a 320% increase, an incredible accomplishment, thanks to all of you. Please know that your support makes a difference in the lives of our students.

Endowed Scholarship Growth Reflects the number of endowed scholarships


FY 12


FY 17


FY 21











Endowed Scholarships

Number of Donors by Class – The 1950s Reflects the number of scholarship donors from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021




7 Donors


6 4

4 3


Word Jumble Bison Style











Number of Donors by Class – The 1960s Reflects the number of scholarship donors from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021







30 26





1 0











10 5


0 0


5 1961








Endowed scholarships are a $25,000 investment that can be paid over a period of three to five years. If you would like to learn more about creating a scholarship, please contact, 866-622-4766.



Legacy made easy! This year Nichols College has partnered with Life Legacy, a technology platform that helps individuals quickly and easily


create wills and life insurance policies online for the benefit of Nichols College. We are excited to offer this service to our alumni, free of charge. An interview with Life Legacy Head of Growth & Partnerships, Craig Simms. Simms is an insurance industry veteran with 30 years of experience.

Why did you decide to join the team at Life Legacy? When the brothers contacted me (see “About Life Legacy” sidebar),

I was at a transition period in my career, having spent the last 18 years as chief marketing officer of a life insurance company. I was looking to work with young companies and assist them with their

sure that the policy is “convertible” at some point, meaning that you can convert all or part of the term policy to whole life when appropriate.


Can you include both family members and charitable organizations as beneficiaries in the same policy? Yes! Life Legacy and our insurance

planning and growth. Life Legacy is such a tremendous idea — using the power of

company partners allow you to split the

online life insurance and wills for social

benefit any way you like. This allows buyers

good. I bought right in and have been

to take care of family members and the

part of the team for over a year.

organizations that they support. And the


application process is 100 percent online

Why is it important to carry multiple life insurance policies? Life insurance is such a powerful tool. It fills many roles throughout

your life. Early on, term life insurance is a great “just in case something happens”

or over the phone. No need to meet with an agent.


What role can a will play in charitable giving? A last will & testament is a great way to lock in your wishes and to

product. As you age, whole life can be an effective tool to pass money along to the

distribute money, property and other

next generation or make gifts to causes

assets to the people and organizations you

you are passionate about. That’s why many

love. I was surprised to find that only about

people have a few life insurance policies

55 percent of all Americans have a last will

that help them fulfill specific goals.

& testament in place. Life Legacy’s online will is a very convenient way to get this


What type of life insurance policy is best when making a charitable organization the beneficiary? Whole life is the product typically

used for charitable giving because it is “permanent.” That means if you are making premium payments, the policy is guaranteed to be paid when you pass. Term life insurance only lasts for a period of time, or “term.” Once this term is over, the

document in place without having to meet with an attorney. Of course, depending on

About Life Legacy The concept of building an everlasting legacy is what sparked Jordan, Spencer, and Austin Cassidy’s idea for Life Legacy. The three brothers lost their father John Cassidy in 2007 after a tumultuous battle with brain cancer. One lasting lesson John left with his sons was taught through life’s toughest moments and that is, despite life not going the way you planned it, there is a greater purpose than your so-called plan. Through his battle, John continued to do everything in his power to give back to his community. Above all else, John’s superpower was his ability to see and meet the needs of others. And he remained committed to that throughout his life and well beyond. John’s legacy gave his sons foresight into the tangible impact that life insurance policies and wills can have not only for your loved ones but also for special interests near and dear to your heart. As the three brothers grew older, they wanted to take the necessary steps to model their lives after his. When they discovered that there was no platform to build a legacy through charity-oriented life insurance policies and free wills, the idea of Life Legacy was born.

 The Colonel Conrad Society

the complexity of your estate, you may want to engage with an estate planning attorney. But Nichols is offering an online will to get the process started.


Should you decide to name Nichols College through a bequest in your estate plans or as a beneficiary in a life

What organizations does Life Legacy work with? Life Legacy works with colleges, fraternal organizations, charities,

policy ends, and no benefits are paid if you

and religious organizations that are

were to pass after the term. Because term

interested in increasing the number

is “temporary” coverage, premiums are less

of planned gifts committed each year.

expensive than whole life. Term can be

Online life insurance and wills are two great

useful as a giving tool when you are

vehicles to help organizations ensure their

younger and can only afford lower

long-term viability.

premiums, but these buyers should make 6

insurance policy, you will be named to the Colonel Conrad Society to recognize your choice to include the Hill as part of your legacy.

To learn more and to complete your online will and/or life insurance policy, visit:

Golden Bison Updates In addition to your Nichols’ stories and life updates, we asked for memories of the beloved Bazzie. As always, thank you to those who shared a memory or update with your classmates. Enjoy!

1954 Earl Prolman shares: Yes, I worked for Bazzie! Check out the photo from the 1954 yearbook of someone yelling at me for a burger! Bazzie was a great guy to work for. With my experience from a family business, I did what had to be done and he realized I could handle things, so he would leave me alone! It really helped with my expenses, like beer money, etc.!

had some back talk, which probably

went to knock, two ladies opened the door to leave and knew him. He was on his way home by 5 p.m. That is a two-beer story I could tell you sometime.

shouldn’t appear here! On Thursday nights a bunch of guys would go there and watch Elliot Ness and “The Untouchables.” Bazzie was a great guy and would do anything

Bazzie and I became good friends because I was such a regular customer. I have never stayed in touch with Nichols because I was the worst example of a good student, but I did enjoy my time there.

for you if needed! Also, class of ‘63 guys, we can’t tell you how much we enjoyed talking to you and appreciated how you contributed to our endowment scholarship fund. I believe we are still up in one of the top funds. We hope you’ll welcome our calls and contribute as in the past or hopefully more.

1964 Class Champion: Dan Tomassetti 413-567-0085 Phil Donnelly says: I was privileged, along with Curt Stiles, to sell sandwiches and milk around the David Tainter says: I certainly remember Bazzie. I worked at Bazzie’s a couple of days a week, but he wasn’t too sure that I was a good hire. A definite weight gain on my part and not a commensurate amount in the register. What a great guy!

1957 Class Champion: Kent Tarrant 413-566-5130

1958 Steven Eisenberg reflects: Bazzie’s was a wonderful place. I spent a lot of time there, maybe too much! Having dinner at Bazzie’s felt like home away from home. He was a great guy. I had a lot of fun going to Nichols. Thinking about Bazzie brings up so many good memories, like playing basketball for Hal Chalmers.

1959 Ed Drennan remembers Bazzie well: I ate two cheeseburgers there every morning around 10 a.m. between classes. I never wanted to get up early for the chow hall. Bazzie also sent some students around in the evening with a big box full of grinders and drinks. I believe they were only a dollar. It was better than the food in the cafeteria. My closest friend was kicked out of school for running from Merrill Hall naked in a snowstorm to Bazzie’s and back on a bet. He was to knock on the door and run back. When he

dorms every night at 9 p.m. Bazzie’s Robert Gould shares a note about

sister, Louise, made the sandwiches

Nichols: It was a junior college

downtown. PB&Js, egg and tuna

when I was on the Hill, many great

salad, ham and cheese, and grinders;

memories. The two years at Nichols

regular, chocolate, coffee and

prepared me to succeed at Penn

strawberry milk. I did the sandwich

State University, where I graduated

box and Curt did the milk. Many

in 1961. The things I learned and the

laughs and good pocket money.

memories created at Nichols are very special to me.



Class Champion: Rick Blankley

Class Champion: Charlie Howe



Class updates from Rick Blankley:

I enjoyed a terrific phone call with Robert Colombo tells this story:

Bob Wilson. He and his wife of 54

I remember going into the snack

years, Sherrin (she deserves a med-

bar and ordering something from

al) live in Hotlanta (Atlanta, GA). The

Bazzie. I got a blank stare from him

Wilsons are proud parents of three

and he said, “You stepped in what?

boys and grandparents of five. Bob

Behind whose barn?” After which

has been retired from Delta Airlines;

he continued to get my order. He

he decided to call it a career on his

was always joking, which made it a

62nd birthday. Towards the end, he

pleasure to have him around.

had the duty of training pilots on the

Bruce MacDonald says: My

Bob is not a licensed pilot, he would

controls of larger aircraft. Though instruct pilots as where switches,

memory of Bazzie’s goes directly to

controls, etc. are located, if different

the enjoyable environment – good

from smaller aircraft, on the larger

food, background from the jukebox

aircraft simulator. Bob and Sherrin

(ever so reasonable), as we took a

recently took a quick tour of the Hill

break in the early evening from the

heard from Lew Gelman (can still hit a hanging curve ball over 400 feet), Dave Lombard (will still call almost anyone on their birthday), Dave Rodgers (still the comic genius), Tom Pearsall (still loves horses and golf), Jack MacPhail (still acts and looks Ivy League), Jim Robinson (who can cut 20 cords of wood in one day). Please contact me ( with your old or new adventures. Myself and your fellow classmates would really like to hear from you. It has been over 56 years since June 4, 1965 (our graduation day). The college archives have suffered, and we can only guess the size of our class. Dave Lombard and I worked with Jillian Riches, formerly of the Alumni Office, at Homecoming to attempt to figure out who did actually graduate. We believe that everyone pictured in the ’65 yearbook did graduate with perhaps three or four others that were not pictured (we cannot recall those names). Our best guess is that 127 graduated, 45 deceased, five missing. That leaves approximately 77-82 of us that may still be living. Again, guys, let me hear from you of your life highlights, careers, etc. Until next time, stay healthy and thanks for the memories! Lew Gelman reflects: Bernard “Bazzie” Bazinet was a man who, because of his kind, wise, and honest disposition, left a lasting impression on every student that met him in their time at Nichols! His love of the school transcended into everything he did, from running his luncheonette to guiding the golf team. I personally remember him on many occasions letting me go a day or two when I forgot money to pay for my morning Drake’s coffee cake and coffee after a late night. Bazzie always was first to question me the day after an away baseball game to see how our Hal Chalmers-coached team made out. He was quite a character and contributed to making my memories of my years at Nichols that much more special.

while in New England.

studies of the night, including the best stories one could dream up.

I had the good fortune to run into


Ron Schmitt in October. Ron resides

Pete Brusman, Gene Cenci, Ross

Ron still owns his boyhood home

Chambers and Bruce Siegal share

in Highland, NJ, and travels to his

reflections of Bazzie: Bazzie was one

northern home periodically which

of a kind. We’d go in there in the

allows him to be closer to Nichols.

morning and get, “So what the hell

Ron looks great, not much different

do you want today?” You’d get your

from his class photograph. Not many

order with some more comments,

of us can claim such a distinction.

which we all loved, and of course we

During the past year I have seen or

Dave Rodgers remembers Bazzie’s famous line: “What are you, cuckoo?”

in Southport, NC, near Wilmington.


Bruce Congdon shares: I transferred second semester of my sophomore year; even so, Bazzie was nice enough to give me a prominent position on the golf team. This was the only sport I played at Nichols. I met a lot of great guys, characters you could say. We had a very good

Golden Bison Updates team for a small school, people like Dick Shields, Hank St. Cyr, Phil Collins, my brother David. A lot of good memories.

summer we were all at Lake George and went white water rafting as a group, all 11 of us! We rafted on the Hudson River, which flows near Lake George. We had a great time and plan to do it each summer that we vacation there. The last 55 years has for the most part been wonderful. Sharon and I have been blessed with having our kids and grandkids living close by. I have come to realize that it matters not how much we own, the cars, the houses, the cash and what really matters is how we live, love, and spend our time. Take care and be well.

Bob Howe and Chuck Piazza first sang together and where the Van-dels were born. 2. Sandwiches and milk.

A personal memory from me — Dick Shields asked me to play in a 4-ball tournament where he lived in Lee, MA, so I did. We played as partners. We had success playing at these tournaments and I’m sure our time at Nichols was good preparation for these tournaments. The memories playing the fellas… it was a great bunch of guys. It was great to be a part of it. Bazzie was a great coach and very well liked. Mack Phinney, a Nicon forester remembers Bazzie’s pay phone: Most of us did not have cars and, of course, no cell phones. If we wanted to get a ride home for the weekend or holidays the only way to contact someone was the pay phone at Bazzie’s. On the day before the weekend, holiday or vacation, the line for the phone could be long, and if the person using the phone took too long, he was harassed until he got off. Some long-distance calls could cost a bit, which would mean much change, and if you didn’t have the correct change you would have to go down the waiting line and hope someone would come up with it. We usually all got to make our call with each other’s help.

1966 Class Champion: Phil Collins 703-627-9924

3. Pio’s barbershop in the back. 4. Where we carved our names in the board above the counter. There are many more, but these are my top four. Peter and Lynda Johnson, with Jeff Innis ’70 and Pat Innis, had a great day in beautiful Wolfeboro, NH, on the lake. Still a proud Bison!


Ralph Stuart feels that Bazzie was an unpaid counselor: For the price of an English muffin and a cup of coffee, Bazzie would listen and give you sage advice. Many times, when I was getting my haircut, he would give advice on my dating habits. He told me there was plenty of time for that, but I had better hit the books, it would be more productive. Of course, he was right. Bazzie cared; he was a great guy and a loyal friend to so many young fellows feeling their way forward. I’m really glad I knew him.

1967 Hunt Coracci shares his top memories: 1. The piano in the front of the Student Union Building (where Bazzie’s was in the back) is where

Bob Lucas says: The caption on the photo of Bazzie from the 1967 yearbook was, “Would you like to bet on that Bazzie?” Does anyone remember the story behind that? Did you know his son was an instructor at Nichols? He was my calculus instructor, during my senior year, nice guy!

Class Champion: Robert “Kuppy” Kuppenheimer 4627 Tremont Ln. Corona del Mar, CA 92625-3130 David Hunn says fondly: Bazzie’s, so many good memories! Best cheeseburgers ever! And who could forget Ann, who was always there with her quips! Pictured below are three ’67 graduates, three old men (their words!), from left, Sandy Perlman, John Rosenthal, Ed Segel. We have not seen each other in over 50 years —we reconnected and had lunch. Nothing but lots of laughs and trying to remember who else we knew or even remembered; at our age we have trouble remembering what day it is. Hope there is someplace you can use this picture besides on the wall and throwing darts at it.

Bob Mayer remembers: I worked for Bazzie in the luncheonette for in my sophomore year, 66-67. I remember him as a good person and helpful boss. Jack Hills says: I loved Bazzie, everyone loved him. He was a very popular and caring member of the college community. However, if I told you my fondest memories of him, he would come back and haunt me. He was a friend and colleague.

Phil Collins muses, Bazzie’s was the hub of the wheel on campus. Although Bazzie was short in stature he had a big heart and was a friend to all students on campus. Robert Hood remembers that Bazzie used to say that, with seven or eight kids in his family and only one bathroom, there was no shrubbery that survived around their house!

Jon Blake remembers that Bazzie’s was a must-stop spot daily for coffee and for those who smoked: Great place to just chat and relax considering it was the only place available for those who needed a safe place from Dean Eaton.

I am back teaching in several middle and high schools in the area. Substitute teaching, that is; although I have been helping students in mathematics. I taught mathematics in private and public schools for about 12+ years! It makes me feel needed and I can help them out with their math issues! It’s only two days a week. My granddaughter Sydney gets a kick when I sub at her school! Avery, a 5th grader, is excited that I will be subbing at her school for the first time!

While looking through a box of childhood memorabilia, Alex Gottfried found the magazine, Hockey Coast to Coast USA, March 1965 issue. He says: I was a senior at Brewster Academy when our hockey coach and athletic director, Paul Whalen, asked me what did I want to study in college? I told him I thought business would interest me. He told me that two Brewster alumni were currently playing for Nichols College and the program was all business. Further, he knew the Nichols coach who said that their goalie was graduating. I applied to Nichols and the rest is history.

Ray Hencir is retired from Bank of America Private Clients Group and its legacy banks after 35 years in financial services that began at Hartford Nation Bank & Trust. Ray reports moving back to his childhood home in Madison, CT, with his wife Alice. They are blessed with three grandchildren; two granddaughters and a grandson born in October. Ray can be reached at Hunt Coracci and Sam Bailey joined Jim Jackson ’69 at Royal Bluff Orchards to be part of the harvesting crew this year. They got there too late however with only a few Pink Lady apples yet to pick.

Here is an excerpt from the profile of Nichols in the issue: “Nichols believes in and emphasizes, the small college concept where students and faculty can work closely together to achieve a wholesome education, moral and social community. The ultimate objective of a Nichols College education is to provide an opportunity for a cultural, social and technical academic experience that will enable the student to be a contributing member to society, to be morally and ethically appreciative of values, and soundly trained in the profession of business.”

Roy Garizio shares: My wife and I have gone to Lake George in upstate New York every summer for the last 50 years. In the beginning, it was just Sharon and I, then along came our two daughters and then they got married and blessed us with five grandchildren. This past


Golden Bison Updates Dave Weyant with an update on


Ken Spector: He was a fireman who wanted to transfer to Smith after his

Don Allison reports: Back in the

freshman year since that was where

’60s, credit cards were an oddity

the majority of the Nichols fire

and cash was king. At the time,

department lived. He is well and

freshmen could not have cars,

very busy doing volunteer work

Saturday classes were still a thing,

five days a week delivering blood

and banks still had “bankers’

to various hospitals in the Conn.,

hours.” So, getting cash was often

Mass., and N.Y. areas. He has had

challenging. Bazzie was our ATM.

both knees replaced and is sched-

We’d order a burger and ask if we

uled for hip replacement in three

could write a check. He’d check the

weeks. I warned him that no

cash draw and ask how much we

excuses this time for our 55th

needed. He was always a great guy

reunion in 2024.

and often a life saver.



Class Champion: Jim Mulcunry

Donn and Shari Bleau were spotted at Congressional Country Club in Maryland.

Bob McIlvain reports: In the sixties, you could not go to Nichols and not know Bazzie’s (the institution) and Bazzie (the man). As freshmen,

When it was done, and before

Thomas McCaughey says: I knew of

coming from high school, we quickly

adding the optional jelly, he would

Bazzie my first two years at Nichols

slap on about half a pound of real

and was fortunate to work for him at

butter. Although this might not

Bazzie’s luncheonette my senior year.

meet today’s green and healthy diet

My wife Linda and I lived in Merrill

requirements, it made for one very

Hall. During that year I learned a lot

good muffin!

about running a business, especially

learned that “study halls” were a thing of the past, and during off periods you were on your own. Couple that with the fact that breakfast was not required made Bazzie’s look pretty good about 10 a.m. Here you could get a Danish for 10 cents and coffee for the same (that’s right, $0.10!). But what I remember most were the English muffins, Bazzie style. If Bazzie was there, and you ordered from him, you would say “English muffin.” His response was to point at you (reaction after the years) and say, “Jelly?” He would then heat the muffin on the grill.

Interested in helping Nichols keep classmates connected? Become a class champion! If you don’t see a class champion listed for your class year then the job could be yours! Not too much heavy lifting and a lot of fun.

Contact us to learn more. 508-213-2211

one that serves food to college Bazzie the man had a reputation of

students. Bazzie was truly a

helping students with anything from

businessman who knew how to

a job to apartments to arranging

make a profit by stretching raw

marriages. He kept up with campus

materials. Most famous was “Bazzie’s

life and was well organized. His son

Coffee” at 10 cents a cup. Bazzie’s

Mark Alexander shares: My wife

taught for a little while and I had him

secret to coffee was using the original

Susan and I met Donn Bleau and his

for Math 101. Emil was an older gen-

grounds a second time with half a

wife Shari for lunch in Annapolis,

tleman who worked for Baz, usually in

bag of new coffee; stretching the

MD. Donn and Shari were touring

the evenings. He was the go-to man

coffee and increasing profits.

the mid-Atlantic states from

for the late evening “vanilla ice cream

California. We were so busy talking

with chocolate sauce.” Emil was

Also, Bazzie adopted a female cat

and catching up we forgot to get

another person who knew what was

that lived under the building. He

a picture.


would leave scraps of food for the cat on the floor under a cabinet. I went to

Greg Johnson thoroughly enjoyed

I can’t look back on my four years at

work one day to find the mother cat

the V2-I2 issue of the Golden Bison

Nichols without thinking of Bazzie.

and her six kittens in a box under the

Bulletin: Of special interest to me

He was a great man and his establish-

cabinet. Six weeks later Bazzie put

was the article on Mike Pelletier ’67.

ment was a great gathering place.

one of the kittens in my coat pocket

It turns out Mike and I do not know

as a surprise present. Our adopted

each other but have very similar life

Joe Regan sets the scene: Quiet

kitten “Rusty” left Nichols with the

histories, having touched on many

hours in the dorm — no television

Class of ’70 in the spring.

of the same career steps, including

until after 10 p.m. I don’t recall what

the following:

it was, but for some reason I just had

Bob Dressler remembers: I started

to see it (Must-see TV?). I know! I

in forestry in 1966 and switched to

can go to Bazzie’s and use the TV in

business administration in 1968. I used

the room before the restaurant. Door

to go to Bazzie’s regularly for their

was always open to the building, so I

hamburger and fries.

• We were at Bartlett High in Webster at the same time. • We both got our start in IT at American Optical as computer

pulled up a chair and watched whatever it was for about 10 minutes in the

Winter break 1966 I had an auto

dark room. Then came a voice behind

accident and broke my jaw in two

me, “Hey fella, I have to ask you to

places. It was wired up for 90 days.

leave. I have something going on up-

I had to eat soft foods only during

stairs!” There was Bazzie, in a T shirt

that time. When the wires came off,

and socks, holding up his pants with

the first thing I did was go to Bazzie’s.

one hand. I apologized and quickly

I could only eat two bites initially, but

left. We did not know each other

they were the best, most delicious

personally, thus eliminating any future

bites imaginable! I never stopped

awkward moments, but I can’t help

going to Bazzie’s.

but think in hindsight this might have been an opportunity for two years of

Now I am retired in Sarasota, FL, after

free burgers.

33 years in banking.


operators, but three years apart. • We both graduated from Nichols, although I served in the Navy beforehand. • We both worked for Digital Equipment at the time they were sold to Compaq. He stayed and transitioned to HP while I went to CSC until retirement and now, we both live in southwest Florida. I am in Naples.

Golden Bison Updates Update from Bob Ackland ’68: In the Golden Bison Bulletin that came out this past spring, there was a delightful story of Duke MaNair’s interview with his dad and Colonel Conrad. I laughed aloud, and it brought back so many fond memories of Nichols and what Nichols meant to me. I have not been a good alum. I have donated little money and only visited the school a couple of times post-graduation, and those visits were years ago. I could offer the typical excuses, such as being too busy with work and family, but really, I have no excuse. So many good friends made and fun times, and believe it or not, an excellent education has been with me ever since 1968. After reading the story of Duke and the Colonel, I thought of my own experience meeting with the Colonel. Phil Collins and I were good friends and classmates at Norwich University. We played freshman hockey together. Phil decided not to try out for varsity hockey, as he was dedicated to soccer. Phil had a car, and we traveled many a weekend to Green Mountain College, a girls’ college in Poultney, Vermont. Phil left Norwich and transferred to Nichols in the second semester of our sophomore year. He did

not stop going to Green Mountain College, and he brought many Nichols colleagues with him — Duke, Bobby Dublin, Jim Ratigan, and others. I did not stop going to Green Mountain either; new friendships were made. Long-winded, but I’m getting to the Colonel. The following year, my junior year, I was still at Norwich playing hockey; Phil played hockey at Nichols. I suffered an injury three games into the season before Christmas. I went home for surgery and back to Norwich, unable to play hockey. Without hockey, my life went downhill, and I left Norwich in April of my junior year. I took a year off and planned to return to Norwich in February for the second semester. I did. I skated with the team the night I arrived back, but when I woke up the following day, I knew Norwich was not where I wanted to finish my education. I called my parents, told them I’d enlist, and then I called Phil at Nichols to tell him I was going to stop by on my way home. When I got there, he said he had gotten me an appointment with the college president. I was to meet the president at such and such time the next day. I wasn’t planning on this and did not know what to expect. I met with the Colonel, and we chatted; he asked me about my grades, (I didn’t have a transcript with me), asked me if I’d wanted to play hockey, of course, I said yes. He then said that if the grades I shared with him were on the transcript faxed by Norwich, I could start classes tomorrow and to see Dean Eaton for the balance of the details. I was amazed, thankful, and thrilled, but a little bit scared of what I had done. Things only improved for me from that day forward. Nichols provided me with opportunities for leadership and entrepreneurship, which I would use later during my business career. My start at entrepreneurship was pretty

Answers Dudley








6. Thunder

9. Homecoming


10. Athletics


A heartfelt thank you to Nichols College.

We’d love to hear your story. Contact Susan Veshi at 508-213-2227, for a chance to be featured in the Nichols College magazine.

4. Campus 5.

What I learned at Nichols allowed me to stand on my own two feet and pursue my dreams. I started my career with IBM, moved on to the yacht repair and building industry, eventually owning a company with investors and building it into one of the better yacht yards in the Northeast. From there, I followed my other passion, skiing, taking a position as CFO of a premier Northeast ski resort and eventually buying the resort with partners, running the resort as president until my retirement. The foundation of confidence I gained at Nichols enabled my career path. I did not have the resources to buy businesses, but I was confident in my business plans to raise capital, secure financing, and lead the companies.

Have you retired but have since picked up a new and interesting career?

Word Jumble 1.

funny, as I ended up in Dean Quinn’s office and had to explain myself, which I did pull off. My idea created a path for the N Club to generate enough money to develop a Nichols athlete scholarship. Bill Shaughnessy ’69 was the first recipient.