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MAGAZINE Volume 10, Issue 1 | Spring 2016

From the President MAGAZINE Volume 10, Issue 1 Spring 2016

Besides enthusiastic students and a dedicated faculty and staff, it is funding that provides the lifeblood of an institution like ours. We’ve long depended on students, faculty and staff to create a vibrant Nichols College. But over the next 15 months we’ll be reaching out through our $45 million comprehensive campaign for the financial contributions needed to strengthen us going forward. Officially named Securing a Legacy of Leadership, and launched this past September as the yearlong celebration of the Nichols bicentennial came to a close, this fundraising effort is the largest in the college’s history. In addition to adding to the Nichols endowment and enhancing the physical state of the campus, $12 million of the new funds will go towards student aid. In fact, by the end of the campaign, the school will have added 24 endowed scholarships, including one created exclusively through contributions from the faculty and staff at Nichols. We’ve been fortunate to get a great head start on this endeavor through large and generous donations from Nichols alumni and trustees. By the time we officially announced the campaign last fall, we had raised more than $35 million of our goal.

Nichols College



Spring 2016

EDITOR Susan Veshi ON CAMPUS EDITOR Lorraine Martinelle VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT Bill Pieczynski CONTRIBUTORS Jacky Brown, Jim Douglas, Rae Glispin, Peter DiVito, Heather Maykel, Ron Schachter, Len Suprise, Molly Thienel DESIGN Patricia Korch Studio K Design PRINTING Puritan Capital, Hollis, NH

Getting through the homestretch will require more than major gifts, although they continue to be most welcome. But now we are turning to our large extended family of successful Nichols alumni for support in whatever amounts they choose. The return on their investment will be a stronger, forward-looking Nichols that builds on the college they have known. It’s an exciting time to be on the Hill. Dr. Susan West Engelkemeyer

COVER PHOTO Patrick O’Connor Photography Shrewsbury, MA

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(UPSP 390480) is published three times a year by Nichols College, Dudley, MA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Office of Advancement Nichols College PO Box 5000 Dudley, MA 01571-5000


ON CAMPUS | 2–3 Gov. Charlie Baker to deliver commencement address, 2 Students heard in high places, 2 Lodge appointed to Board of Trustees, 3 Nichols named “Best College for Business Education” in Worcester Business Journal survey, 3 Master of Science in Accounting degree launched, 3



On the heels of celebrating its bicentennial, Nichols is planning for its next milestone with the public launch of a $45 million fundraising campaign – the largest such effort in the school’s history. Entitled Securing a Legacy of Leadership, the campaign will fuel three areas that will have the greatest impact on students: endowment; learning and living environment; and leadership education.

ATHLETICS | 14–15 Bigs and Littles make a Nichols connection From the Archives

| 16–17

CLASS NOTES | 18–25 Catching Up With Alan Bilzerian ’67, 18 Class of 2015 Hall of Fame, 22 Catching Up With Michael Ricardi ’05, 23 Catching Up With Kensey Marsland ’11, 24

NICHOLS REMEMBERS | 26–27 A Portfolio Manager Invests in Finance Students | 28

10–13 | Young Entrepreneurs Starting your own business is a daunting proposition, but some Nichols alumni have wasted little time before taking the leap, and facing the creative, logistical, and financial challenges that come with it. Jonathan Coons ’04, Michael Pope ’07, Sheena Farner ’06, and Robert Russo ’12 belong to the newest crop of young entrepreneurs with Nichols degrees.

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Gov. Charlie Baker to deliver commencement address Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will deliver the address at the annual commencement exercises on Sunday, May 8, 2016, at the DCU Center in Worcester. Governor Baker will also receive an honorary doctoral degree in public administration from the college. “When the 2016 graduating class of Nichols College receives their diplomas, they will be well prepared to enter the workforce, serve their communities, and positively impact the Commonwealth and beyond,” said Governor Baker. “I’m honored to join this celebration to recognize Nichols graduates and their families as they prepare for a new, exciting chapter in life.” Elected in November 2014 as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Baker has served as cabinet secretary under Governors William Weld and the late Argeo Paul Cellucci. In 1992, he served as secretary of health and human services;

in 1994, he was appointed secretary of administration and finance. Recognizing his leadership and innovation, the National Governors’ Association honored him in 1998 with the Distinguished Service Award. In his private sector career, Baker was CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from 1999 to 2009. Under his leadership, the company was named seven years in a row as one of Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work.” “Governor Baker has been a highly successful leader of complex organizations in business and government over the course of his career,” said Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD. “He has also made significant contributions to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As Nichols College aims to transform today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, I expect that our graduating seniors will find inspiration from Governor Baker’s address. We look forward to welcoming him to be part of their important day.” During the commencement ceremony, the college will also confer honorary degrees upon Alfred D. Houston, former chairman of National Grid, USA, and former president of New England Power Service Co.; and Mark Fuller, vice president of the Benefit Development Group, Inc. and chairman and treasurer of the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation.

Students heard in high places Bethany Boucher ’19 and Antonio Silva ’19 recently made presentations at the White House and United Nations, respectively, as successful advocates for causes important to them. In November, Boucher made several presentations on behalf of the national organization Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT) at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Most of the activities and presentations over the three days took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds. Boucher, who has several disabilities, and her team focused on helping people on the verge of adulthood play a larger role in dealing with their own disabilities. “It was about getting youths to make that transition and taking the lead in finding doctors, social workers, and other services,” rather than depending on parents, she explains.


“I got to add my own experience,” Boucher continues. “I had just finished transitioning to college and was living in a dorm. Nowadays, I have to take care of my health on my own.” “We got a lot of questions from the audience members. They really wanted to know how they could be helpful in that transition,” notes Boucher, who has also presented for YouthACT at conferences in Chicago and Rhode Island. “They want me to keep presenting for them,” she adds. Last year, as part of International Rotary Day, Silva represented the Rotarian chapter from Keene, N.H., at the United Nations, where he spoke about the REACT club at Keene High School. Silva helped found REACT after he noticed that his younger brother, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was left on his own at the end of the school day. “He was doing nothing after school, no sports, no commu-

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nity service, no other activities,” Silva recalls. “I’d be seeing other kids who shouldn’t be by themselves. Individuals with disabilities don’t have much of a chance.” The organization offered after-school activities and oneon-one volunteer companions to students with disabilities. “Every month, we would get together and do different activities, such as bowling, game night, holidays around the world, barbeques, school basketball games, cookie bakeoffs, mini golfing, and trips to Canobie Lake Amusement Park,” Silva says. “When we are at these events, we acted as silly as we could just to try to put a smile on each other’s face.” In his address to the U.N. audience, Silva literally spelled out what REACT does. “We

Reach out to others, Establish peer relations, Accumulate friends, are Community builders, and Together we can make a change.” “I was talking to people from all over the country and the world,” Silva says of his audience, which also heard from other student presenters. “It was a good feeling, but I focused on getting people to know that everyone should get a chance.”


Lodge appointed to Board of Trustees The Nichols College Board of Trustees elected Thomas S. Lodge ’79, former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, to its 26-member board in October 2015. Lodge retired as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in June, a position he held since 1994. There he served some of the firm's largest financial services clients principally in the Hartford, New York and Boston markets. A cum laude graduate with a BSBA in accounting, Lodge was a member of the track team,

editor of the college yearbook and newspaper, and a representative on the Student Government Association. He received the Alumni Achievement Award in 1994 and is a charter member of the college’s Board of Advisors, elected in 2007. He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a Master of Science in taxation in 1984 from Bentley College. Lodge lives in Hopkinton, Mass., with his wife Terri; they have five children.

Master of Science in Accounting degree launched According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job prospects for accountants and auditors are expected to grow 30 percent between now and 2022. Nichols is hoping to improve the outlook even further with its new Master of Science in Accounting degree. The program is designed for recent accounting graduates or accounting/auditing professionals who are focused on passing the CPA exam. “The MSA plays into our strong commitment to accounting. It’s a natural progression from what students learn in our undergraduate major,” says Kerry Calnan, executive director of Nichols Division of Graduate and Professional Studies. With an eye to the CPA exam, the MSA program includes Business Environment and Systems Assessment; Ethics, Law, and Forensic Accounting; and Auditing. The curriculum also features Current Trends in Leadership, which follows Nichols’ mission of providing leadership education, and Business Communication. “Our differentiator from other MSA programs is that we offer components that focus on what today’s hiring managers are looking for,” Calnan notes.

Nichols named “Best College for Business Education” in Worcester Business Journal survey For the second time, readers of the Worcester Business Journal have chosen Nichols College as the “Best College for Business Education” in the newspaper’s third annual Best of Business Awards. This year, Nichols garnered triple the votes of the second place college, according to WBJ Editor Brad Kane. Overall, there were 44 winners in 40 categories. Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD, accepted the award on behalf of the college at an event on Jan. 27, 2016.

“‘Best College for Business Education’ has always been one of our most popular categories among readers, and Nichols College ran away with the award this year,” said Kane. “Central Massachusetts business leaders must like its flexible offerings, expert faculty, and small class sizes.” The recognition by the WBJ and its readership underscores Nichols College’s vision statement to be a college of choice for business and leadership education.

Students also receive intensive preparation for the CPA exam instead of having to find and pay for outside test prep classes. Experts in the accounting field agree that earning a CPA and an MSA will improve accountants’ job prospects and typically leads to increased responsibilities, career opportunities, and financial rewards. For the adult learner, MSA courses will be offered in the HyFlex format, which gives participants the option to attend classes in person or in real time online. “Busy working professionals won’t have to change their lifestyle in order to succeed,” Calnan points out. As with the school’s other master’s programs, Nichols College alumni receive a 10 percent discount. For more information, contact Marie Leonard, assistant director of graduate recruiting, at or 508-213-2264.

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“We have spent the past year engaging the entire Nichols community in a celebration of our unique and storied history. . . i t is now time to write the next chapter.� President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D.


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On the heels of celebrating its bicentennial, Nichols is planning for its next milestone with the public launch of a $45 million fundraising campaign – the largest such effort in the school’s history. Entitled Securing a Legacy of Leadership, the campaign will fuel three areas that will have the greatest impact on students: endowment; learning and living environment; and leadership education.

“We have spent the past year engaging the entire Nichols community in a celebration of our unique and storied history,” says President Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD. “It is now time to write the next chapter.”

The next chapter is guided by a new vision: Nichols College is a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-focused and leadership-based approaches to learning, both in and out of the classroom. The vision, in turn, is rooted in the core values Nichols has cultivated over the past 200 hundred years, says Engelkemeyer. “It doesn’t matter what decade you’re talking about, Nichols has always educated leaders.”

Charting the most effective course for tomorrow’s leaders is at the heart of the Bicentennial Campaign. Its priorities underscore the investment required to meet the needs and expectations of today’s students: growth in endowed scholarships to keep college affordable; modern facilities that engage students; and innovative programs that promote professional development and leadership potential.

$40 Million

$35 Million

$30 Million

$25 Million

$20 Million

Campaign progress “Securing a Legacy of Leadership is a precedent-setting campaign that dares us to aspire to our next milestone,” says Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD. The $45 million target is more than triple the goal of the college’s previous campaign, which concluded in 2004. To date, more than $37 million has been raised, including two $5 million gifts, a $4 million gift, and several $1 million contributions committed over the past five years during the campaign’s leadership phase.

“This campaign is focused on our students and how we can best prepare them as the next generation of business leaders,” notes Campaign Co-Chair and Nichols Board of Trustees Chair John Davis ’72. The goal is to raise $12 million for endowment, $23 million for capital projects, and $10 million in annual support for curricular and co-curricular initiatives.


An Evening Scholar Not many undergraduates purchase a business in the middle of their college careers, but Joe Salois ’98 proved a successful exception when he became the owner and president of Atlas Distributing in Auburn, Mass. His story is more complicated than that. Salois began working at Atlas – which distributes beer and other beverages throughout central Massachusetts – in 1982 when he was 22 years old. He didn’t start his college career until years later as an evening student at Nichols College. That commitment took six years to complete – and subsequently launched Salois into earning an MBA at Clark University and later graduating from the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University, all the while raising a young family. When it came to contributing during Nichols’ Bicentennial Campaign, Salois says he wanted to give back in a personal and meaningful way by endowing a scholarship


designed for non-traditional, adult degree students like he was. “It will allow them to pursue college careers and provide the impetus to come to Nichols,” he explains, adding that the purpose of his gift hits close to home. “Having a lot of meaning and heart behind it was vitally important,” he says. Over the years, Salois has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years, currently sits on the school’s Board of Advisors, and cochaired the Nichols’ year-long Bicentennial Celebration, culminating in the Bicentennial Gala last September in Mechanics Hall, where Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer publicly announced the college’s fundraising campaign. “The campaign speaks to the history, to the college’s legacy, to the community, and to the future,” Salois concludes. “Reaching a milestone of 200 years is a pretty powerful statement.”

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– Ron Schachter

More than $37 million has been raised during the campaign’s leadership phase, providing support for objectives identified in the college’s five-year strategic plan, including a new academic building, renovations to athletics facilities, scholarships, the creation of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, an increase in courses taught by full-time faculty, and efforts such as the Emerging Leaders Program for students interested in furthering their leadership skills beyond the classroom.

Engelkemeyer points out that the campaign’s success so far and its $45 million goal have far exceeded original projections. “A feasibility study done about eight years ago stated it would be a stretch for us to raise $25 million, and here we are at $35-plus million with more than a year to go,” she explains.

“I think it’s ambitious and achievable at the same time,” says Bill Pieczynski, vice president for advancement, referring to the $45 million target. “The major reason people give is their confidence in what we are doing.”

With the launch of the campaign’s public phase, college leadership is hopeful that confidence will continue to grow, exciting more alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff as they learn more about the transformative power of the campaign.

“Nichols is a great investment,” says Engelkemeyer. “We have our eyes focused on what we want to be and we are working to actualize our vision to become a college of choice for business and leadership education. The future is brighter every day that we look forward.”

Buildings to impress and engage Amid the “oohs” and “aahs” of an impressed gathering of alumni, students, faculty, and friends over Homecoming weekend in September, ribbons were ceremoniously cut for the newest additions to Nichols’ 200-year-old campus. The new academic building and renovated Chalmers Field House, along with the Fels Student Center which opened in 2011, are capital projects supported by the Bicentennial Campaign. But the architectural innovation, fresh paint, and modern amenities account for only a part of the excitement. “The academic building will change the way we engage students in the classroom and the way they express their creativity,” says Jean Beaupre, assistant professor of marketing and business communication and director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL). The building features four classrooms, a visual media suite, a student board room, and offices for faculty, student academic services, and the IWL. The oversized and flexible classrooms offer faculty ample opportunity to promote teambased learning. These include group activities conducted at classroom tables, collective problem solving on wraparound whiteboards, and technology that enables students to design and deliver impromptu presentations. Outside of the classroom, students can access carefully designed pockets in which to study or continue group work. Faculty laud the new facility for its emphasis on “collaboration, participation, and communication,” notes Luanne Westerling, associate dean of business and chair of the Business Communication Program.

“As a result, teaching has become more multi-directional, and the end result is more engaged students.” Likewise, renovations to Chalmers Field House, also unveiled last fall, reflect the growing importance of athletics and personal fitness in a dynamic educational experience. The year-long overhaul and extension of the facility now features a state-of-the-art fitness center and dance studio that overlook Vendetti Field. It also offers expanded and pro-style locker, weight, and training rooms for members of the college’s nearly two dozen men’s and women’s teams. The changes, say students, are more than just physical. “I’m mostly excitement about the new locker room, because we are going to be unified as one team finally instead of separated like before,” says Chris Silvia ’18, a member of the Bison football team. “We can actually be one family.” The beneficiaries of the facility’s redesign also include all Nichols students, who can avail themselves of the dozens of stationary bikes, stair climbers, elliptical machines, treadmills, and weight lifting stations in the new fitness center, as well as a growing number of aerobics and dance classes. “It’s hugely important that there are adequate facilities that only complement what our faculty do here on campus,” says Bob LaVigne, associate vice president for facilities management, of all of the capital projects completed, underway and to come. “Much has been accomplished,” he adds, citing the two new suite-style residence halls, the Fels Student Center, and the new academic building. “But much still needs to be done.”

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An inspirational challenge Making college affordable is a perennial focus for Nichols. “We know that when students do not choose us or decide to leave, the primary reason is financial,” says Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD. “We want to eliminate that barrier for our students.” Currently 98 percent of full-time Nichols students receive some kind of financial assistance.


Building Pride Alvah Rock ’63 has a long history with Nichols – from the time, he points out, when the school was all male during his undergraduate years and a number of students, including him, got married before graduating. “Considering the size of the school, a pretty large number of us were married by senior year,” Rock says. “There was a lot of camaraderie among us.” (He adds that he’s still married to the same bride, more than 50 years later.) For the last five years, Rock has served on the Nichols Board of Advisors, a position that prompted him to give to the Bicentennial Campaign. “I decided that because I was involved it was time to pony up some extra money,” he says. Rock’s donation – made in the spring of 2015 as construction was going full tilt – went towards the completion of the college’s new academic building.The


structure, which houses hightech classrooms, student services, and faculty offices, opened last fall, with Rock attending the September ribbon cutting ceremony. Along with the three-yearold Fels Student Center, the academic building has made the drive along Center Road all the more scenic, an improvement that Rock appreciates, along with the other buildings that Nichols has added. “All of a sudden you go back and see what happened,” he says. “You see all the dorms and athletic fields, that they’ve built.” Rock has a special eye for that construction, having spent much of his career as the director of facilities and services at publisher McGraw Hill. As for the new building he helped fund with a gift, he says, “I see progress. It’s something that was definitely needed.”

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– Ron Schachter

“. . . This is a very direct way of securing a legacy of leaders, and we are grateful for John’s inspiration.” – Bill Pieczynski

In the past five years, Nichols has added 12 new endowed scholarships for a total of 31. The goal for the Bicentennial Campaign is to increase that number to at least 45. And John Davis ’72, chairman of the Board of Trustees and co-chair of the campaign, is challenging donors to make that happen. In addition to a $5 million commitment Davis has already made to the campaign, he has recently committed $1 million to

scholarships, a portion of which will be used to inspire others to have a direct and lasting impact. Here’s how it works. A commitment of at least $25,000 is needed to endow a scholarship. This can be paid all at once or over a maximum period of five years. Either way, the fund will not generate enough income to award a scholarship until about a year after the $25,000 is paid in full, so, in some cases, five years. Davis is challenging donors to commit to endowing a scholarship for at least $25,000 before the close of the campaign in June 2017. He will then donate $2,000 a year to be distributed to a deserving student in the donor’s name right away for a maximum of five years, or until the commitment is paid in full. “This is a unique and generous proposition,” says Bill Pieczynski, vice president of advancement. “John is giving donors the opportunity to have an immediate impact while they maintain a payment schedule that is comfortable for them. It allows their own scholarship fund to continue to grow and generate enough income to stand on its own. This is a very direct way of securing a legacy of leaders, and we are grateful for John’s inspiration.”

“This campaign is focused on our students and how we can best prepare them as the next generation of business leaders.” John Davis ’72

Campaign Co-Chair and Nichols Board of Trustees Chair

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Young Entrepreneurs By Ron Schachter

JONATHAN COONS ’04 Jonathan Coons ’04 graduated with a major in sport management, played for the Nichols golf team, and worked as an assistant golf pro right out of college. Today he is a senior level marketing manager for d50 Media, a marketing company in Chestnut Hill, Mass., not far from his home in Needham. That’s his day job. For the past two years, Coons also has run an online men’s fashion business on two websites – A Man Among Socks and Life As A Gent – which represent the fulfillment of an entrepreneurial impulse that he’s had since he was five years old. “It was an itch that couldn’t be scratched any longer. I had to do it,” Coons confesses, noting that he started with men’s socks before expanding to men’s accessories and grooming items. The site, A Man Among Socks, features more than 20 brands, many of which sell for $20 a pair and up. “Customers are willing to pay more for the quality,” Coons explains, pointing out that his socks are largely American made, merino wool, and guaranteed not to fade. “My large vision is to become the largest, all-in-one men’s accessory site on the Internet,” says Coons, who has spent many an evening at home packing customer orders. Coons had his first taste of e-commerce through a course at Nichols his senior year. “That’s where I realized my skill set,” he says. “Nichols certainly helps because it built me up in the business sense, and it let me have confidence that my ideas and skills would be useful in this very large fashion world.” Coons says that while his business is doing better than break even, he has larger goals. “We’re becoming the thought leader in the sock-specific fashion world,” he emphasizes. “We’re not setting sales records, and I’m not quitting my day job, but we’re being seen and really liked.”



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tarting your own business is a daunting proposition, but some Nichols alumni have wasted little time before taking the leap, and facing the creative, logistical, and financial challenges that come with it. Jonathan Coons ’04, Michael Pope ’07, Sheena Farner ’06, and Robert Russo ’12, belong to the newest crop of young entrepreneurs with Nichols degrees. And they already have proved successful in their endeavors – launching chocolate, photography, men’s furnishings, and jewelry businesses within the last decade.

They have successfully found niches in successful industries, and along the way, they’ve shown knowledge of their fields, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a decidedly personal approach to what they do – from engraving an accurate and detailed child’s fingerprint on a golden charm to covering a pistachio truffle with smoked paprika. They’ve also drawn productively from their Nichols education and professors in their marketing skills, business planning, and overall confidence in going it alone. Most of these business owners still have good day jobs and run their fledgling companies from home. But all four admit to a longstanding desire to work for themselves, and all agree that they’re glad that they have done so.

MICHAEL POPE ’07 The jewelry business wasn’t new to Worcester natives Michael Pope ’07 and his wife, Melissa, who graduated from Worcester State University. Both of their families had long worked in the industry, and the two met while in college and then moved to New York City to work together with a well known jewelry designer. Starting a business of their own, which they did in Worcester at the end of 2014 and named M. Pope & Co., Fine Jewelers, was another matter. “It’s scary, but if you feel that it’s something you want to do, you might as well do it,” Pope says. “I’ve always thought that I would end up owning some type of store.” He adds that “going small” can work in the jewelry industry despite the well-advertised, big players with multiple locations. “We found a niche at the high end of the industry, with finer products and much better customer service,” Pope continues. “There’s definitely a place for a business like ours.” Pope has sold engagement rings for as much as $54,000, but to paraphrase the well-worn credit card commercial, his ability to customize a piece of jewelry has proved priceless. “This past Christmas, we had a gentleman who had been to three or four local retailers looking for a commemorative charm engraved with a child’s fingerprint,” Pope recalls. On short notice and with the help of a Computer Aided Design program, Pope rose to the occasion. “He was very pleased with a customized piece of jewelry even though the cost was only $500,” Pope says. “To me, that’s high end.” Otherwise, the Popes’ success has followed a classic script, “You pull up your bootstraps and you work,” he says simply. “After we finished that first year, I looked at my wife and said, ‘This is the best thing that ever happened to us.’” And with thanks to his Nichols family, Pope says he happily offers a 15 percent discount to alumni, faculty and staff of the college.

M. POPE & CO., FINE JEWELERS 490 Shrewsbury Street | Worcester, Mass.

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We last profiled young alumni entrepreneurs in 2009. They’re a little older and even wiser about continuing and expanding their diverse businesses today.


SHEENA FARNER ’06 MBA ’14 Smile. Since 2008, just two years after she got her bachelor’s degree from Nichols and posing for a graduation picture, Sheena Farner ’06 MBA ’14 has spent her time on the other side of the camera, combining a day job in financial reporting with weekends spent expanding her photography business, Sheena Farner Photography. What Farner had pursued years earlier turned into a going concern, largely, she says, by word of mouth. “More and more people were making requests,” she recalls. “I feel like you can build a really good business that way.” Much of that business – conducted with a fellow photographer – consists of photographing weddings, either through a five-hour or eight-hour package that yields between 800 to 1,400 photos winnowed down and computer edited for customer review. The editing process – during which Farner uses editing software to crop, adjust color hues, and in some cases remove the glasses of her subjects – takes place during subsequent evenings and free weekends and takes more than 80 hours. “One of the things I pride myself on is getting the finished wedding photos back to the customer within three weeks,” she says. “Some photographic studios don’t get them back until the couple’s first anniversary.” Farner’s work as the budget manager for Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam, Conn., keeps her busy and has limited the amount of wedding jobs she can take on to about four a year. She notes that her services are currently booked more than two years out. In between weddings, Farner shoots personal portraits and infant photos. A portrait of a family located on a small wooden bridge and displayed on her website had considerable appeal to her customers, Farner adds. “People enjoy having photos taken, and they’re something that they can have forever,” Farner observes. “And I’m doing something that I love.”



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“We have seen a big swing in clients and their families being open to having someone assist through their downsizing event,” says McCarthy, who provides relocation services to senior citizens moving to smaller homes or assisted living. “The more education that I can provide to the public as to my profession, the more families we are able to help during a stressful time,” McCarthy says, adding a note of caution. “The bigger my business becomes the more ‘hands off’ I will become, and I don't want to lose sight of why I started this business.”

Brenda Bianculli ’90 CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT “I was recently selected as a member of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council, as one of about 20 individuals from all over the country. This is an exciting opportunity for me,” Bianculli says. The IRSAC recommends tax administration policies; responds to current or proposed IRS policies, programs, and procedures; and advises the IRS Commissioner on issues concerning federal tax administration.

Jeff Johnson ’90 EAGLE CLEANING Johnson reports that his company, which provides commercial office cleaning services, has reached $6 million in annual sales and 200 employees. “I'm very satisfied seeing employees who move up the ranks into management and improve the efficiency and quality of my business,” he says. “I still love the day-today challenge of motivating our employees to provide the best service possible. “There's no ceiling with the opportunity to grow and improve.”

David Balducci ’00 SELIA CORP. Seven years ago Balducci, together with four family members, owned and operated 13 McDonald’s restaurants in central Massachusetts, including Worcester. “We have experienced tremendous growth; we now have 16 restaurant locations and we have added about 200 more employees, bringing our total to 600,” he says. “We really have grown together as an organization overall and continue to operate as a family partnership. It is very satisfying to have built something with family that continues to thrive.”

ROBERT RUSSO ’12 MBA ’13 Robert Russo teaches six classes a term at Nichols, in digital application, for the Information Technology Management Program, and business communication. But for more than a decade, he’s also been catering to the lower tech sweet tooth of customers through his business, Chocolate Innovations, which he operates out of his house in neighboring Webster. In the latter capacity, Russo mixes his chocolate know-how with his considerable creativity. “I’m known for combining different ingredients,” he says, among them cocoa butter with French cappuccino in a bark style creation. “The fat was a good way to carry the flavor.” And don’t forget the pistachio truffle coated with smoked paprika that Russo has invented. Russo’s entree into the confection business began with the chocolate covered strawberries he began selling while at Bartlett High School in Webster. He recalls a particularly busy Valentine’s Day rush after he had enrolled at Nichols. “I had 47 boxes worth of strawberry orders,” he recalls. “I almost had a panic attack that day,” he admits. The custom chocolate business was going so well that Russo heard from a national berry distributor based in Worcester about a chocolate covered strawberry collaboration. “By senior year, this company was looking like a viable option,” Russo says. His larger ambitions were derailed just after he received his MBA in 2013 by a sudden bout with cancer, although he adds that he is now cancer free. That interruption hasn’t stopped him from renewing his business with gusto. “I still do open houses for admissions, holiday parties, and other special occasions at Nichols,” he says. His advice to current Nichols students who have an entrepreneurial bent: “Anyone can do it. If you have to come up with a project or a business plan for one of your classes, choose one that you could really pursue.”


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Bigs and Littles make a Nichols connection By Peter DiVito

When Christina Barrows was nine years old, Hurricane Katrina struck the state of Louisiana, causing an estimated $100 billion in damage. Looking to do her part to help, Barrows and her brother, Peter, sold lemonade on the side of the road outside of Twin Lakes Apartments in Carver, Mass., where their grandmother lived. Word began to spread about their efforts, and soon the Carver Reporter featured the pair who raised several hundred dollars to donate to the victims. They brought the money to a local bank, which turned the funds over to the Red Cross. “I just wanted to make a difference in the world,” says Barrows, a psychology major and two-sport athlete at Nichols (soccer and softball). “My parents have always shown me the light in life, and I wanted to do the same for someone else.” It’s no surprise, then, that when the Central Massachusetts office of Big Brothers and Big Sisters approached Nichols College about volunteer opportunities, Barrows jumped at the opportunity once word trickled down to her from her softball head coach, Heather Korzec.

Christina Barrows and her Little Sister, Jazzlyn

“My parents have always

shown me the light in life,

and I wanted to do the same for someone else.” Christina Barrows

Photo: Jill Souza


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“Working in education, I see how these kids who come from disadvantaged families can use someone a little bit older, but not in a parental or teacher kind of role,” says Korzec. “Somebody who can be not only a friend, but a mentor at the same time. I thought this would be a great opportunity for our team to step into a leadership role.” Barrows, along with several of her teammates, began the interview process with Claribette Del Rosario, the interview match and support specialist for South Worcester County Programs at Nichols. “We’ve worked primarily with student-athletes at other schools, so in our discussions with President Engelkemeyer in terms of where we should look to pull mentors from at Nichols, this was an area we were comfortable using,” says Del Rosario. “The interview process was extremely long and detailed, but I loved how in-depth it was,” Barrows explains. “If my kid was entering the program, I would want the FBI doing checks! They asked us if we drank or induced any kind of drugs. I’m a very simple person, so I had an easy time answering the questions.” Barrows, classmate Jade Palladino, and freshman Zoe Chevrette were paired immediately, while junior Christina Drake and sophomore Kasey Ayer waited about a month before being given a “Little.” Freshman Austin DuVarney – a member of the football program – is also actively involved in BBBS. “Kids ask for Big Brothers and Sisters all the time. They just want someone to play with and look up to,” says Barrows. “They’re not just going to match up anyone. They take the time and effort to match us


Photo: Jill Souza

with someone who is nearly our twin. Claire knew right away who she was going to pair me with.” Del Rosario explains that having an office to work out of on the Nichols campus has helped the program expand into the southern Worcester County area. “Many of our matches were in Worcester and Framingham, but having the Nichols mentors allows us to support and serve the kids in that area at the Southbridge YMCA as well as we do at our other location.”

“...I love being a role model and knowing that just one

hour a week with them can

put a big smile on their face

and make such a difference.”

Jade Palladino

Barrows was soon introduced to Jazzlyn, a 10-year old who she says is “a little me.” Big Brothers and Sisters usually spend one hour a week with their Little, but Barrows says she usually ends up staying much longer. The first portion of the visit is spent doing homework and the remainder time is spent doing whatever Jazzlyn wants. “Jazzlyn is very mature for her age. She’s very intelligent and creative,” says Barrows. “She also struggles in the same areas I did. Her parents want her to be more confident and outgoing, and I’m very outgoing. One day, we made a birdhouse out of Popsicle sticks. It was the most awful looking birdhouse ever, but it was a birdhouse. Another day, we made a heart out of poster board and cut it in half. On one half, she wrote ‘Big’

and on the other half ‘Little.’ We cut the heart in half and switched them, so I have ‘Little’ and she has ‘Big.’” “My Little is a ball of joy,” remarks Palladino, whose Little, Kiara, is best friends with Jazzlyn. “We enjoy doing cartwheels, flips, dancing, and playing basketball.” A common trend which seems to have developed between all of the Bigs is the basketball games with the Littles. Says Barrows, “The last time we were there, we played 4-on-4 basketball. It was Austin and I and our Littles against Jade and Zoe and their Littles. There were times where the Bigs were like, ‘We want to win,’ so we’d go hard, dribble down and score. Other times, we’d ‘accidently’ pass the ball to the wrong person.” Barrows plans to continue working with the program “until they get rid of me” and says all of the Bigs can see the difference they are making in their Littles’ lives. “I enjoy watching Jazzlyn laugh and giggle and get enjoyment out of the small things. It brings me enjoyment and makes me feel like I’m making a difference in their life.” Palladino echoes similar thoughts, saying, “It’s been an eye-opening experience spending time with these children who are less fortunate than us and have a difficult home life. My little sister and I have grown closer throughout the process. Our trust has grown as well, which means the world to me. I love being a role model and knowing that just one hour a week with them can put a big smile on their face and make such a difference.”

Jade Palladino and her Little Sister, Kiara

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From the Archives

Technology on the Hill Contributed by Jim Douglas

It’s hard to keep pace with technology. Yesterday we had “dumb” cell phones, projectors, desktop computers and floppy disks. Today we have “smart” classrooms, the “Cloud,” Wi-Fi, video-conferencing, ebooks, and a multitude of mobile devices. Throughout its long history Nichols has embraced technology. Here’s a brief history of some of the technology that has enhanced learning and living on the Hill through the years.

he also had a public phone installed. Students also surely appreciated the new steam radiators in each room, powered by two 27-inch generators in the basement. A much greater testament to Conant’s interest in science and technology was the observatory he had built and equipped with astronomical and meteorological instruments in 1882. By 1886, it was serving as a U.S. Signal Corps Station with telegraphic communication to the outside world over Western Union lines. Monthly weather reports were sent to the national Weather Bureau in Washington and classes in astronomy

establishments in nearby Webster, something a number of prominent observatories did to help the railroads and others keep accurate time for their schedules. By 1897 electric lights had appeared on Dudley Hill but it would take some time to reach Academy buildings. Clarence H. Knight, a member of the Academy basketball team in 1898 and 1899, recalled playing basketball games in the Academy’s gymnasium by the light of kerosene lanterns. A little over 100 years later the first-ever outdoor evening game under lights would be held on Sept. 20, 2005 (field hockey, Nichols vs. MIT; we lost). By 1911, carriage houses on the Hill were being converted into garages for automobiles.

As a holder of more than a dozen patents for items as diverse as clocks,

thread winding, firearms, boots, sprinklers, looms, paper and casting

projectiles, the Academy’s “second founder,” Hezekiah Conant, was a

strong promoter of science and technology. Nineteenth-century students at Nichols Academy had access to educational technology in the form of chalkboards, globes, and various paraphernalia to further their studies in science and other areas. An ad for the Academy in 1899, for example, noted that “Two new laboratories, chemical and physical, have been opened during the last few months, and many hundreds of dollars expended in furnishing them with complete equipments.” As a holder of more than a dozen patents for items as diverse as clocks, thread winding, firearms, boots, sprinklers, looms, paper and casting projectiles, the Academy’s “second founder,” Hezekiah Conant, was a strong promoter of science and technology. L. K. Branniff of The Webster Times noted that in 1881 Conant’s summer home in Dudley was among the first on the Hill to have a telephone, and when he built a new boarding house, Roger Conant Hall, in 1885,


and telegraphy were offered by the Academy. The observatory building also housed and utilized a remarkable clock designed and patented by Conant. Among its other functions, this two-pendulum standing clock, when wired to a chronograph and transit instrument (housed in a small wooden structure close to the observatory – the large granite block on which it was placed is still there), could, boasted an 1899 Academy ad, provide the time “as accurately as at Washington or Cambridge [Observatory].” There’s no way to know at this point if it served as a “regulator” clock, but it is fun to speculate whether Conant “sold time” to

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In the 1950s, typewriters, mechanical adding machines, mimeograph machines, and bulky projectors were standard educational tools on the Hill. Students could watch black and white television on small screens in the residence halls (whereas today, students stream movies on oversized monitors and play games online in their rooms). Students were also broadcasting (albeit a limited distance) from a radio station on the top floor of Academy Hall. The control room had a 50-watt transmitter, two three-speed turntables, a twospeed tape recorder, record recorder, two dynamic microphones, a Cardyne microphone, Slim Trim microphone, floor stands, boom, and two monitors. Telephone lines connected the studio in Academy to a transmitter in the gym. In 1975 a new transmitter was installed atop Academy Hall, boosting the broadcast radius from a few miles to about 15 miles. In 2005 a newly equipped station

moved to Alumni Memorial Hall and again in 2013 to the new Fels Student Center. The first administrative computer on the Hill was an IBM 1130, which cost over $75,000. Installed in 1968 for students, classes, and the general processing of college records, it was located in the basement of Conant Hall. Ken Burrill ’69 recalled it had “a single disk about the size of a large pizza that stored 2.5 MB. Its main input device was IBM [punch] cards. The main output device was an IBM Selectric Printer built into the console. In the classroom across from the computer room was a key punch machine and, I think, a card sorter.” This was replaced with a new EDUCOMP system in 1977 for under $130,000. The old system allowed only one user at a time; the new one was originally configured to handle six concurrently. The 1970s pocket calculator revolution did not go unnoticed on campus. A March 12, 1974, article in The Bison reported on the new Texas Instrument SR-10 that sold for $99.95, and noted that new ones would soon be available for only $19.95! The author also noted that more and more calculators were being seen around campus. A century after Hezekiah Conant installed one of the first telephones on the Hill, built his observatory, and designed his astronomical clock, the computer revolution was being fully embraced on campus. In 1985, the Mary and James Davis Business Information Center was created. Located on the first floor of the library building and dedicated primarily as an aid to classroom instruction, this $563,000 facility included a computer lab with 24 networked microcomputers for students and teachers and a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11/44 minicomputer for administrative operations. In 1987 the college’s “PC Plan” went into effect. One of the first of its kind in the country, the plan

required each student to have a personal computer (IBM PC Convertibles with disk drives for 3 ½ inch disks). And in 1991, Davis Hall was completed. State of the art at its time, it was equipped with the latest in high-tech and audio/visual equipment, and each of its ten classrooms contained student computer stations hooked into the campus electronic network. A Bison newspaper article from 1996, announced “The Internet Arrives at Nichols.” Students were informed that, with software from the Computer Lab, they could “hook up your phone-line to your modem to surf the Internet.” The college’s first website was created by students in Professor Mauri Pelto’s computer classroom that same year. Today, students learn about the college, register and pay for classes, and have 24/7 online

access to their courses via a learning management system that includes such features as course syllabi posting, discussion forums, assignment dropboxes, and online quizzes. Just as computers and the internet transformed college classrooms and administrative functions, they also brought dramatic change to the academic library. In 1998, the college’s library began to provide desktop computers to users. It started subscribing to online databases, quickly making the thick, small-print paper indexes like The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature and its cousins a thing of the past. The card catalog, with its three cards per book – subject, title, author – also quickly became obsolete. And information that had been preserved not only on the printed page but also stored on

phones and speakers), 23 student workstations with dual 22-inch monitors, and a podium providing connectivity for a laptop, iPad, iPod, and two 55-inch LED monitors all through the podium’s touch screen controls. And, oh yes, a 35-foot scrolling stock ticker. In the recently opened academic building students have a state-of-the-art audiovisual production suite that includes a green screen and the latest recording and editing equipment, the better to help them create multimedia projects. And the building has an array of energy-saving features, from sensors that better control heating and lighting in individual rooms to green building materials. The Hill is certainly a different place than it was two hundred years ago. Students from the early Academy days or even 50 years ago would undoubtedly marvel at the changes. But for all the changes in technology one thing remains the same. It is still a place for learning and living. May it ever be so.

microfilm and microfiche gave way to the digital. Today, of the more than 125,000 books available to Nichols students, four out of five are available as e-texts via the online catalog. And if the library does not have the full text of an article, a request can be made electronically, filled, and sent to the requestor in an email attachment. Group study rooms with 40-inch monitors and screen sharing capabilities are in high demand. Now available campus-wide, the library was one of the first buildings on campus to have Wi-Fi. Today students can send papers to a library printer with their mobile devices. Books are not the only thing that can be borrowed; laptops, tablets, and adaptors are all available for loan at the Circulation Desk. One hundred years ago students were happy to have steam radiators in their boarding house. Today, they can spend time with their friends and watch sports on a 100-by 160-inch projection screen in the Fels Student Center. A specially designed classroom provides video conferencing capabilities (cameras facing faculty and students, ceiling-mounted micro-

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C L A S S N OT E S Catching Up With Alan Bilzerian ’67

As a family, Alan, his wife Be, and their daughter Harley continue to build the Bilzerian brand.

Newbury Street in Boston has an individuality that is iconic internationally. The street's origins began under water. It was part of Boston Harbor until 1857, when a section of the harbor was slowly filled in to eventually become the Back Bay section of the city. A century and a decade later, Alan Bilzerian would graduate from Nichols and begin a successful journey that would lead to his own brand and 37-year presence on that very street. “ Moving to Newbury was Bilzerian grew up in Worcester and a major undertaking, was an accomplished student during his years at Nichols: a soccer player on mentally not knowing the team that would go undefeated in all underlying the fall of 1965 and the Mayor of the Hill his senior year. His college expericircumstances that ences fueled confidence and leaderhappen when you ship, but he was the only one of his peers not chasing interviews in finance transform your company or graduating into a family business. to the big league...” “Travelling by myself through Europe after graduation helped me reflect that my future could be bringing out my desire to mend my business education to the arts,” says Bilzerian. Inspired, he returned home and secured $4,200, half from his father and half matched by a bank, and in 1968 opened his first store, The Body Shop, in Worcester at the age of 23. Bilzerian added other locations before settling to the two unique offerings on Newbury Street and in Newton, Mass. The transition from Worcester to Boston in 1979 meant more than a change of zip code for the business. “Moving to Newbury was a major undertaking, mentally not knowing all underlying circumstances that happen when you transform your company to the big league,” he says. “We stayed focused on the key aspects of what we were about, our technical know-how, quality, service, design separation from our competitors– all the essentials to compete in a larger market.” A fashion visionary, Bilzerian has also been long recognized by the industry to have the #1 retail model in America. The low-key entrepreneur built a desirable brand and a stellar reputation by promoting designers who pushed beyond the cultural, political and social mores of the day to engage


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The Bilzerian shop on Newbury Street has enchanted generations of Bostonians and visitors by breaking fashion barriers.

customers who yearned for fresh ways to present their own identities. The elite clientele includes musicians and celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Cher, Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman and Ringo Starr. The path to success has not been a solo one for Bilzerian. He credits close Nichols friend, John Dickinson ’66 and his wife Caroline for helping launch his first shop. “They were instrumental in helping me pull away from the dock. Both sacrificed their time to see a dream come true,” he says. The business is also very much a family affair, including Bilzerian’s wife of 45 years, Be, and one of their two daughters, Harley, who is a fashion buyer for the brand. As a family they travel to Europe to oversee production of the high-end couture on which Bilzerian has staked his reputation. Bilzerian’s brother in Martha’s Vineyard, and his sister, a top sales associate for his brands in both Worcester and Boston, also contribute. As Bilzerian continues to buoy his shop in the former Boston Harbor, he looks for ways to grow, particularly through e-commerce. “Finding out our capabilities while expanding our markets will be the next hurdle without sacrificing design and quality,” he says. He keeps an in-depth eye on buying trends and profitability, coming from decades of planning seasons a year in advance and being closely involved with the financial reporting of the business. The loyal consumers, he believes, still crave the experience to buy in the shops. “We will definitely continue with our online presence,” adds Bilzerian, “but it will be in our own style.” – Molly Thienel


1948 Class Scribe: Stanley Finn 70 Franklin St. Northampton, MA 01060-2039 413-586-0886

1951 » 65th Reunion 1954

Franklyn Kilby writes that the Bicentennial Magazine, "Notably Nichols," brought back some wonderful memories. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army, and “survived” infantry basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ. He was shipped to Germany for the next 18 months as a member of the 2nd Armored Division. “A few infantry divisions and our British and Canadians friends to the north stared down a Russian army that outnumbered us two to one," he relates. With two GI buddies, he drove a VW bug from west central Germany to Naples, Italy, and back, visiting most of the major cities along the way. Discharged in 1956, he married Barbara, who passed away in 2014, and raised four children. He now has 12 grandchildren. He writes that he spent most of his career at the Hartford Financial Group and earned a BS in business administration at the University of Hartford in the evenings. Retired in 1995, he keeps busy with part-time jobs, including finance manager at his church. “Thanks for the memories and a head start in my business career,” he concludes. In response to a letter from Peter Deutsch ’55 who, along with Les Read ’55, is raising funds for a plaque in memory of Junie Marshall, Ed Hunt writes about his many Nichols connections: “Over the years, I’ve run into old classmates, Dick Clinton, and Bob Skenderian’s wife worked for an insurance agency I did business with. I have

dinner every Wednesday night with a high school classmate of Jerry O’Connor. My next door neighbor at our summer home at Smith Mt. Lake, VA, had a daughter that married Jim Burnet’s son. Another neighbor at our lake house has a grandson that wanted to get into the insurance business. Upon interviewing him, he told me he graduated from Nichols. Before I told him I was a Nichols grad, I asked did he take accounting with John Katori ’55, which he did. Naturally I hired him on the spot and he turned out to be the most outstanding employee (about 10 years). Don Vilmar was my roommate. His son, David, died [recently] from cancer at the age of 52. I talked to his wife, Dottie. She talked to John Houghton and Charlie Swartwout, and they are both fine. My wife dated Bruce McFarlane a few years before we were married in 1962. I also have a lot of contact with Earl Prolman. He’s in sales at New York Life.” Ed writes that he has lived in Lynchburg, VA, for almost 50 years and that his company was purchased by GE in 1996 and is now called Genworth Financial. He supported the effort to honor Junie Marshall saying, “I remember him being a super person.”


In an email, Javier De Ona writes that his father, Manuel “Tony” Ferre, who died last year, was “a really great and loved person in Costa Rica, always helping out poor people.” He writes that his father returned to Costa Rica after attending Nichols. He founded a company named Industrias Doyco S.A., which manufactures cloth for U.S. companies, such as Levi Strauss, VF Corp., Van Heusen Corp. For the past 18 years, Doyco

Please send your news directly to your class scribe. If you do not have a class scribe, news may be forwarded to

 Digital images are preferred, but please do not crop them! The higher the resolution the better – 300 dpi (dots per inch) is best. Digital images may be sent directly to the Alumni Relations Office –

 Prints may be sent to: Nichols College, Alumni Relations Office, P.O. Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571.

has been the exclusive distributor for Adidas, Reebok and Jansport brands. He writes that they are still trying to grow after 50 years. Tony also founded a retail coffee company called Tostadora El Dorado, which exports their own coffee brands to Walmart and other chains. Tony was married for 55 years and they had two sons and two daughters.

Bonita Springs. I had a nice note from Bruce MacDonald who has two out of three grandchildren in college all taking advantage of RA positions in their dorms. I wonder if genetics played a role, as he did the same thing in Budleigh many years ago. He mentioned that one big difference in their compensation is free room and board. P.S. They have much more responsibility which might explain things. Pete Judd writes that they just sold their 41-ft. Bristol sailboat after 12 years of bliss on the high seas. He said that they will not be getting a new (big) boat, but rather plan to rent a house in Hope Town for three months during the winter. They own a third interest in an 18-ft. Marshall catboat and plan to race her in the Hope Town Sailing Club series. He writes they are healthy and doing great in SC, playing golf and enjoying their community. Bart Henkle writes that they are living in the Villages and "loving the lifestyle.” He also owns a rental home there that is available later in 2016. I had a note from George Bartlett earlier in the year but it’s somewhere in my NJ file. Not forgotten. Dick Makin and his wife, Pam, are well. Dick Knoener is recovering from some health issues but doing well and looking forward to the spring season at their business. Elliot “Chick” Putnam ’59 and Christine are living in Bluffton, SC, near Hilton Head. Both are playing golf often. He had a breakfast with Bill Pieczynski and got updated on Nichols. (A note to Pete Judd: If you ever want to sneak a "ringer" into one of your golf outings, Chick is your guy, and he only lives down the road.) Just in case you might not remember, he and Bill Grander ’59 led the golf team to an undefeated season in 1959. John Girvin ’59 says hello to all. He is still trying to play tennis but old age is creeping in. He had time to get married to long-time best pal, Naomi Buck, on Halloween night on the beautiful beach in Naples. He went as the groom. For the past 57 plus years, Harvey Gluck ’59 has been trying to remember who the sixth man was on our intramural basketball team from Conant Hall. The team was made up of Gluck, Art Friesner ’59, Lenny Lambert ’59, Larry Kimball

1956 » 60th Reunion Class Scribe: Arthur Fries 917 Jordan Ct. Nipomo, CA 93444-6625 805-343-6400


Class Scribe: Kent Tarrant 45 Valley View Dr. P.O. Box 496 Hampden, MA 01036-0496 413-566-5130


Class Scribe: Paul Price 3214 Sudbury St. Springfield, OH 45503-1731

1961 » 55th Reunion 1962

Class Scribe: Charlie Howe May-September 212-22nd St. Surf City, NJ 08008-4926 609-494-5450 October- April 17468 Cornflower Ln. Punta Gorda, FL 33955 941-575-8150 From the Class Scribe… Congratulations go to my wife, Kate, whose artwork, "As Time Goes By," was selected for inclusion in the 10th Biennial National Art Exhibition hosted by the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, FL. Hers was one of 140 out of 633 entries from all over the country chosen for the show, which runs from Jan. 29–March 12, 2016. One of my favorite works of hers is a painting of the Woodie station wagon of Henri David ’64 in a beach setting. We are back in Punta Gorda for the winter and planning on getting together with Hugo Pagliccia ’63 and his wife, Carol, who live in

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and me. The missing name was Howie Rubin ’59, who, following Nichols, went to Miami. Howie writes back to Harvey that the other sixth man was Ken Beyer ‘60. Now that we have solved this mystery we should put it to bed. Wishing you all well, Charlie.


Class Scribe: Bruce I. Haslun 207 Shore Street, Unit 2 Falmouth, MA 02540 508-388-7816 From the Class Scribe… September 19, 2015! If you weren’t at Mechanics Hall in Worcester you were in Nowheresville! Filet mignon and lobster, wines and dessert – five courses, each a splendor in itself. A great camaraderie between alums, students, faculty, and administration that took place during the cocktail hour! I’ve gotten so into the remembrances, the fun, the conversation, that my best and most critical editor (Carol Erhardt Haslun) has rejected all the versions on the grounds, rightfully so, that I’m going way overboard on space and inches of type. As to the accuracy of my reporting, she thinks I’m being way understated! So let me try a simple paragraph. Based on what I saw and heard on that Homecoming weekend in September, dear old alma mater is in very good and loving hands. Based on what I observed and experienced, I see no reason why I won’t be attending the 2115 birthday celebration of Nichols’ 300th year! I would, however, hope that there will be many more class of ’63 alums at that party. Of course, all the usual loyalists were in attendance this year: Pete Brusman,

Bill Cleary, Bill Keats, Franz Keesing, Tom Niles, Al Rock, Dick Scheffler and your ever faithful scribe. Come on guys! Where were the rest of you?!? (OK, Art Tozzi had a conflict with a Marine squadron reunion in Virginia.) Y’all missed a hell of a party! I talked to Ross Chambers right after Thanksgiving. He was in Warsaw, Poland, at party time. He’s also had a two-week hospital stint because his pacemaker caused an infection. His old roommate and our esteemed soccer goalie, John Leonard, was due for a visit to the U.S. from his home in Australia for a three-month stay. Three days before departure John and wife had to cancel their plans because of John’s serious knee problems. I hope to get in touch with him and perhaps have an update in the next publication. Below, there’s a picture of Brusman, Cleary, and Sandy Strop in Hyannis, Cape Cod, after the 200th. (Strop also didn’t make the party in Worcester.) Special shout out to Charlie Sage ’65, who graciously drove us to and from Mechanics Hall. We had the opportunity to get to know him better, and we’re all the better for it. I also spent time talking with Brieanna Baron ’17 at our table who is another testament that the school is doing wonderful things. Our heartiest and heartfelt congratulations to Tyler Hussey ’18 on being this year’s recipient of our 1963 scholarship. All of us wish you well and if we can do anything to help as you progress to graduation and beyond, let us know. Art Tozzi writes that after his three-day reunion with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 in September, he took a trip around the back roads of the Shenandoah

 Tozzi Family Annual Labor Day Caper

Art Tozzi ’63 on the road again 

Valley for 12 days on the motorcycle. Before that, he spent Labor Day at his home in the mountains of North Carolina near Boone and Blowing Rock, where, for the past two years he has hosted his daughters and their families for five days. He calls it the Tozzi Family Annual Labor Day Caper.


Class Scribe: Warren Bender 3604 Kingsley Dr. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588-7714 843-492-6727 From the Class Scribe... Well it’s been awhile since the last scribe notes were published, but it was for a good cause, and that was Nichols celebrating its bicentennial. I hope a lot of ’64 grads were in a position to contribute, but if not, it’s not too late. Most of us that graduated from Nichols were impacted in some way to help form our future lives in a positive way. In my case, I was lucky enough to play basketball for Nichols, became friends with a teammate Bruce Siegal ’63 and ended up working for his family-owned business for some 30+ years here in beautiful Myrtle Beach, S.C. Congratulations to our class for raising over $75,000 to sponsor a scholarship for a worthy Nichols student. Also, a big thank you to the committee that put in a lot of hours contacting fellow alumni.  Pete Brusman, Bill Cleary and Sandy Strop in Hyannis


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I’ll include my usual plea to y’all to drop me a note about what is going on. Since it’s assumed many of us are retired, I’d love to hear who is still working and what you’re doing. And last, but not least, I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. And The Beat Goes On. 1964 Classmates and old friends collaborated at the Hilton Head Concour d’Elegance. Henri David, Jr. was invited to exhibit his 1947 Plymouth Special deluxe “Woodie” station wagon on Nov. 1, 2015, in Hilton Head, SC. True to form for a “David and Robert Craig, Jr. collaboration,” dating back to various deeds on campus from 1960-64, the Plymouth was awarded the very prestigious Palmetto Award. 

1965 Dick Shields and his family (below) were honored for their decades of community service with the official dedication of the Garrity-Shields Pavilion at the Lee Athletic Field


in October. Longtime operators of Dresser Hull Lumber and Building Supply Co., the Shields were among the 20 Lee, MA, businesses, individuals and municipal entities that contributed hundreds of hours planning, preparing the site and eventually putting up the structure in several days over the summer.

1966 » 50th Reunion 1969

Class Scribe: Robert Kuppenheimer 4627 Tremont Ln. Corona del Mar, CA 92625-3130 From the Class Scribe… Bob Lucas, aka “Luke,” provides an update of life after “Nicky U.” He has been married to Barbara for 46 years. They met on a blind date, thanks to a Nichols friend and his girlfriend. He is retired and living in Florida since February 2015, after 34 years living in Dudley and 68 years a New Englander. They are near their son, Jason Lucas ’97 and two granddaughters in the Orlando area. Daughter, Kimberly Lucas ’93, has lived outside of D.C. for the last 20 years with her two children. “As you can see, we are a true Nicky U. family!” he says. After Nichols, he was a mathematics teacher and department head, and coached soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse in private schools for about eight years. He earned a master’s in education in 1977 from Trinity College in Hartford, and owned a liquor store in Connecticut for another 10 years. In between, he coached lacrosse at Nichols for 2 seasons, in '89 and '90, when he came within a game of a first winning season in some time, but lost the last game! For the past 20 years, he worked in the convenience store business with a family-owned operation of 38 stores in central Massachusetts. He trained store and district managers and was involved with the opening of three new stores with multiple concepts, such as fast food, gasoline, car wash, donut shops, and convenience stores. He hopes to return to the Hill for the 50th in 2019. Gilbert G. Rochon submitted a photo and writes: “[This] is a typical silver (coho) salmon that I caught on our recent trip to Alaska (8/27-9/4). We had another great

trip as in the past. We limited out on salmon every day and on halibut the one day that we fished for them. We are already starting to plan next year’s trip.” Richard Bauzenberger writes: “While cruising up the Mississippi last month, Barbara and I ran into twin sisters, Amber and Jackie, part of the crew who happen to be business/hospitality grads from the class of 2015. It was fun comparing the Nichols of my day to the Nichols of today. Wishing Amber and Jackie much success in their pursuit of careers in the restaurant industry.” Doug MacMillan offers this update: “We are now living in Medfield, Mass., after living on Long Island for 20 years, where we owned an interest in a wholesale building materials business. We still go back there for meetings but otherwise I am retired, spending a good deal of time as an amateur genealogist and currently serving as president of the Eaton Families Association, researching family history and running the Eaton DNA Project…We own a second home in the Berkshires where I was president of the association for four years and remain active in several committees. My wife, Janet, edits the newsletter and is on the Finance Committee. We have made some great friends since we bought the house in 1998. We have three

 A gathering of class of 1969 alumni in Burlington, Vermont, with Henry Howard, Nance DuPont, Ebby DuPont, Suzanne Howard, Jay Robinson and Judy Robinson.

children, twin daughters who live in the next town from us, and a son who lives in Brooklyn, NY. We have four grandchildren, ranging in age from three months to 13 years. Every once in a while we drive through the Nichols campus. It is hard to believe how much has changed. Kudos to the alumni that have helped make it all happen!” William Wood writes that he is enjoying retirement in a town outside of Atlanta near their two grandchildren. A son, Brian, in Connecticut recently became engaged.

 Tom O’Brien ’70 (left) and Tim Danahy ’71 sport Bison caps near Tim's home in Placida, Fla., in May.


Class Scribe: Michael Donehey Phone: 508-376-5469 Fax: 508-376-5043  William Wood ’69 with granddaughter, Ally, at her school’s Grandparents Day. “In about 12 years she could be enrolled at Nicky U!” says Wood.

1971 » 45th Reunion

Philip Pettinelli recently retired as president and CEO of Southbridge Savings Bank, after 42 years of service.


Class Scribe: Mark Alexander

Edward A. Goodwin MBA, has been elected assistant vice president and designated Bank Secrecy Act officer for Middlesex Savings Bank. He has led bank secrecy and antimoney laundering efforts for years, most recently employed by Millbury Federal Credit Union.

1976 » 40th Reunion 1978

Sam S. Pappas has been elected chairman of Hometown Bank's Board of Directors. He was instrumental in rebranding the bank as Hometown Bank, and in the acquisition of the Oxford, MA, property where it now has its headquarters and operations center. He has served as chairman of the Mortgage and Security Committee for the past 14 years and vice chairman of the board of directors for the past year.


Class Scribe: John P. Donahue 10 Corsham Drive Medford, NJ 08055-8434 609-257-8191

1986 » 30th Reunion

1981 » 35th Reunion

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Gerald (Jerry) Bankowski, CPA, has been elected as the chief governance officer on the GFA Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors. He has served on the board since 2007, most recently with a two-year term as vice chairman. He is the president/owner of Venning & Jacques, Inc. and has offices in Gardner, Fitchburg and Orange.

Class Scribe: Susan Zimonis 18930 Misty Lake Dr. Jupiter, FL 33458 561-707-8781


Nichols College M A G A Z I N E




Class of 2015 Hall of Fame The Nichols College Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed five new inductees on September 15, 2015. They are, from left: Anthony Monte '09, MaryLynn Skarzenski '09, Charlyn “Charlie” Robert, Peter Johnson '67, and Pasquale “Pat” Pio '10. Additionally, the 1965 men's soccer and men's cross country teams entered the Hall of Honor. MaryLynn Skarzenski ’09 was a four-year member of the women's basketball program who still ranks as the all-time leader in games played (115), assists (641), and steals (409). She is also No. 4 in points (1,333), No. 6 in free throw pct. (80.6), and No. 10 in rebounds (670). Anthony Monte ’09, a four-year member of the men's ice hockey program, guided the Bison to a four-year mark of 76-29-5 (.714) and the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history (2008-09). He ranks No. 2 in career goals (84) and points (159), No. 5 in assists (75), No. 6 in penalties (74), and No. 8 in penalty minutes (172). For a two-year stretch beginning in 1965 and ending in 1967, Peter Johnson '67 was one of the most dominant big men in college basketball. In three years in Dudley, he ranks No. 8 all-time in rebounding with 588. The 29 rebounds Johnson snared against the Bridgewater State Panthers on January 6, 1967, still stands as a single-game record. Pasquale “Pat” Pio '10 was a four-time New England Intercollegiate Golf Association All-New England selection. Following his senior campaign, he was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar, an honored bestowed upon on 60 Division III golfers nationwide. Pio was the only representative from the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Charlyn “Charlie” Robert, former athletic director, began at Nichols College as head coach for field hockey and assistant director of athletics in 1996. Under her leadership Nichols has won 13 Commonwealth Coast Conference titles, three ECAC Northeast Hockey titles, and hosted the 2011 NCAA DIII Field Hockey championship.

Hall of Honor 1965 MEN'S SOCCER TEAM On the strength of the strongest scoring team in college history, along with an outstanding defense, the Nichols College men's soccer team finished the 1965 campaign a perfect 12-0. The season began with a 6-1 win over Massachusetts Maritime and closed with a 3-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. Head Coach Roland Gaudette's squad scored a program-record 81 goals and held opponents to just 16 – including four shutouts.

1965 CROSS COUNTRY TEAM The 1965 cross country program became the first in program history to go undefeated (8-0). The Bison opened the season with a resounding win over St. Anselm College and proceeded to secure two wins over Bryant and Bridgewater State as well as wins over Barrington, Assumption, New England College, and Fairleigh Dickinson.


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Class Scribe: Diane Bellerose Golas 90 Lebanon St. Southbridge, MA 01550-1332 508-764-6077


Sharon E. Frazier, CPA, was promoted to vice president of finance at All Star Incentive Marketing in Sturbridge. Previously the company's controller, Frazier has been responsible for All Star's accounting and finance for nearly 25 years. Steve Gallo was named vice president of sales for adidas Group North America to oversee the wholesale commercial business for the brands in North America. Prior to this, he was head of sales for adidas America since 2010. He joined adidas in 2005 and previously worked at Reebok.

1991 » 25th Reunion

Class Scribe: Donna Small 4905 Bay Harvest Ct. Clemmons, NC 27012-8245 336-712-1053 (home) 336-692-5157 (cell) David J. Mayotte, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, CFF, has been named a director of Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Kull & Bitsoli, PC. He joined the firm in 1994 and specializes in providing accounting and tax services to individuals and privately held businesses, including performing business valuations and consulting on valuation matters, and litigation support/forensic accounting. James McCorkle is president and CEO of Woburn Municipal Federal Credit Union, a $42 million credit union serving the employees of the City of Woburn along with other Select Employee Groups.


Christopher McCarthy MBA ’97 was appointed president and COO of Fidelity Bank. He has served on the Fidelity Board of Directors since 2013 and has worked in numerous

community banks over the past 20 years, including TD Bank, Enterprise Bank, Banknorth and Safety Fund National Bank.


Class Scribe: Danielle (Troiano) Sprague 20 Stagecoach Rd. Leominster, MA 01453 508-845-6604

1996 » 20th Reunion 1998

Class Scribe: Emily (Seiferman) Alves


Three Nichols graduates were recognized by the Worcester Business Journal in 2015, including two from the Class of 1999: Errica M. Devarenne, human resources director/controller at Elevation Exhibits and Events in Shrewsbury; and Michael Patrick Lyons, Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher and site coordinator for the Worcester Public Schools. (The third recipient was Kris Cullen ’08.)


Class Scribe: Andrea Sacco Jason Bergeron was recognized in January 2016 as a 40 under 40 by the Union Leader in New Hampshire. A resident of Bedford, he is currently vice president of sales and marketing at Previously, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for the Manchester Monarchs. Volunteer activities include coaching hockey with the Manchester Flames and baseball at Bedford Little League.

2001 » 15th Reunion

Class Scribe: David Twiss 978-979-7658 (cell) From the Class Scribe… Michael Farina is now a director in merchandising at Staples. He is married to Ruthanne, and their two wonderful children, Michael and Isabella, are growing like weeds!


Sean Trainor founded the Northeast Eagles AAU Baseball Program in 2013, which is based out of Hudson, MA. Sean currently has nine teams that compete all over New England. Jason Gervais recently joined Keller Williams Westside as the CEO/team leader in Los Angeles, CA. Jason is focused on growing agents’ business and enriching the market center with top talent. As the CEO, he sets the standards, provides the vision, maintains the culture and inspires achievement. I accepted a position in June 2015 as AVP, construction lending officer, with Enterprise Bank. My primary responsibilities include fulfilling the need of contractors, developers, and RE investors by facilitating construction and longterm financing for residential and commercial real estate.


Class Scribe: Jillian (Hayes) Smerage From the Class Scribe… Jillian (Hayes) Smerage and her husband, Roger, welcomed Miss Lillian Belle on Nov. 23, 2015. She joins big sister, Madeline Grace, who turned 2 in October. 

Chelsea Bailey is happy to announce her engagement to Kevin Arsenault. They are planning a destination wedding to Beaches Turks and Caicos on October 22, 2016. Chelsea is currently the provider relations manager for Pinewood HealthCare in Somersworth, NH, and they both make their home in Exeter. Kathryn Ewen writes that she has been working at Chapel Haven, Inc. as a job coach for 11 years!


Class Scribe: Melissa Jackson

Catching Up With

Michael Ricardi ’05 Michael Ricardi has enjoyed a successful career over the past decade, most of it at the medical software company Meditech in Framingham, Mass. In his earlier days, he spent almost 75 percent of his time traversing the country to install and troubleshoot software at hospitals that were turning to online solutions for tasks such as setting up patient appointments and ordering medications. Today, Ricardi supervises a crew that performs the same jobs he used to do. But his success in the medical technology field is barely half of his story. Ricardi is a survivor of the infamous fire that killed 100 people in the Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the evening of February 20, 2003. Among those who died were Ricardi’s friend and 21-year-old Nichols student James Gahan, with whom he coproduced the weekly Jim and Mikey's Power Hour show on WNCR, the Nichols radio station. Their work together had brought them to the Station nightclub to interview the leader of the band Great White, which performed that evening. Over the years Ricardi has given dozens of interviews about the disaster to the media, but last August he took matters into his own hands. He published his own book, Just a Thought Away, detailing life after the Station fire and the process of healing that ensued. “I would never have considered myself an author or a writer in the least. I just knew that a story needed to be told,” Ricardi says. “It would do no good to have kept it bottled up.” “The first objective was to pay respect to Jim,” Ricardi continues. He admits that if his friend had not perished, he likely would not have picked up a pen. That commitment meant finding out more about his late friend, mainly by talking to Gahan’s family, with whom Ricardi has remained close. “I felt like I got know more about him than I did over our two years of friendship. I’d ask his parents about his growing up in high school years before I met him,” he adds. “Over the course of the last ten years, I knew that I wanted to do something, even a journal or a blog,” he explains. “I kept writing pages and then scrapping them. In the last two or three years, the pages started to stick. I found a flow that really worked. I wrote it as if I was sitting down and talking to people, basically telling a true story as it really happened.”

From the Class Scribe… Katie O'Neill was named the English Language Arts department head of Pioneer Charter School of Science, in Everett, MA. She also teaches 10th grade English and coaches varsity girls basketball. Melissa Jackson started a new job this summer as the assistant educational coordinator of Crossbridge at Manhattan Children’s Center in New York City, a private school for chil-

Part of Ricardi’s motivation – and knowledge – for the book came from his powerful observations of Gahan during the fire. “I have no doubt that several people are alive today because he helped others escape before himself,” he insists. “I was looking into the face of death and he gave me this calming look that said everything was going to be fine.” But, Ricardi adds, the book dwells largely on the years before and after the tragic fire. “What gave me the most pleasure was writing the chapters about when Jim and I met and started doing the radio show together. We were young, innocent, and had a happier life. There was a lot of healing in those memories.” The self-published book is available on Amazon, with more than 750 copies in circulation, according to Ricardi, who says that he may eventually approach a publisher to achieve wider distribution. In the meantime, the user reviews on the Amazon site have been unanimously positive. “If the book does take off, that’s one thing,” Ricardi says, “But that was never my objective in writing it.” He does add that while he does not have immediate plans to write on another subject, he’s off to a good start. “When the right idea or thought comes along I might be writing something else,” he promises. – Ron Schachter

dren with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is also teaching graduate school in the Early Childhood Special Education Program at Hunter College. Melissa will be getting married in April 2016, where many Nichols ’05 alumni will be both in and at the wedding. Nichols College’s own WayneDaniel Berard will be officiating the wedding…stay tuned for pics!

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Jose Gouveia writes that he attended Nichols as a 32-year-old student who was married with children. He says he experienced some challenges but decided to continue because he needed a degree to advance his career and because he never gives up! He writes: “… So in 2002 I started chasing an associate’s degree, and by the end of 2005 I had not only completed my associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s


Nichols College M A G A Z I N E



Catching Up With

published Just a Thought Away, a non-fiction memoir. The book chronicles his friendship with Jim Gahan, who perished that evening, and recalls experiences that occurred after the fire, which tested his strength and provided him with the will to carry on. The book is available on Amazon. (See related story on page 23.)

Kensey Marsland ’11 Kensey Marsland is heading to the top of her field in a hurry. Through her work at two well-regarded companies in the Washington, D.C., area, she has already made a mark in the challenging and diverse profession of event planning. Whether managing a 1,200-guest corporate gathering or setting up a more intimate wedding in the Bahamas, Marsland has been keeping her clients satisfied while attracting considerable notice. Last summer, the national industry publication Special Events Magazine named her one of the “Top 25 Young Event Pros to Watch.” That recognition and Marsland’s promotion in January to director of events at BRAVO! Events by Design are the latest milestones in a career that took root at Nichols and in her hometown of Ware, Mass. As a student, Marsland hit her stride in the hospitality management courses taught by Professor Bryant Richards, who also serves as the director of corporate governance for the Mohegan Tribe and their Mohegan Sun hotels and casinos. She gained additional insight through a special events internship at Mohegan Sun’s resort in Uncasville, Conn. “That’s one of the main reasons I am where I am today,” she says. “It was my first time seeing events on a large scale and understanding all of the departments and jobs involved in making an event successful.” She also took with her the fundamental principle that Richards imparts to his students: “The guest experience is paramount.” After graduating, Marsland worked for an event rental company in Western Mass. “I learned the backside of the [event] industry, from tent sizes to linens,” she says. This allowed her to observe the behind-the-scenes event activities. A year later Marsland moved to the Washington area to join Hutchinson Design Group in Alexandria, Virg., as an event specialist in corporate, non-profit and social events. She ran events as large as 1,200 people with budgets as much as $1 million and planned weddings around the country as well as a party for one of the prominent players on the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. She even hired the band Kool and the Gang to perform at an extravaganza celebrating the 75th anniversary of a large contracting company. The event took place at the National Portrait Gallery, where the table linens were custom made and cost over $200 each. “Everything had to be elevated to the next level,” Marsland notes. “It’s not just planning an event, but

degree as well. I had tremendous support from my wife and kids who witnessed my stressful moments, and at times despair, while going to school, being a dad, and keeping a full-time job. Throughout this journey Nichols College helped me feel accomplished and focused. It gave me a sense of direction and purpose in my student life. One of my professors, Dr. Ray Guillette, is


2006 » 10th Reunion Kensey Marsland ’11 (second from right) joins BRAVO! staff members at the Google City Experts “Joyeuses Fetes” holiday party at Malmaison, a French café in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. working on the brand of the business or organization putting on that event.” Marsland came to BRAVO! Events by Design in June 2014 as a project manager for events for a growing number of high-profile clients – the D.C. office of Google, Endemol Shine Group, the New York Stem Cell Foundation and the American Kidney Fund. “It’s going to be challenging because we have a lot coming up,” Marsland says of her new position at BRAVO! She will be overseeing the company’s project managers and coordinators to help them “learn the industry,” as well as taking charge of some events on her own. Marsland has stayed in touch with mentor Professor Richards and recently returned to campus to speak in one of his courses. “Just because you graduate doesn’t mean you’re cut off from your professors,” she says. “They’re always there to help you.” She says she appreciates and is humbled by her Top 25 standing in Special Events Magazine’s 2015 ratings. “When Professor Richards asked us to read up on the industry, I always saw the Top 25,” she points out. “It’s an amazing accomplishment.” What’s next? Recently Marsland has taken an untraditional step in a hands-on field, thanks – she says – to new technologies. Last July, she moved back to Ware, where she directs BRAVO! projects via email, phone, and video conference, commuting back to Washington periodically for major meetings and events. Her relocation sets the stage for eventually pursuing a larger ambition. “My ultimate dream is getting into a large hospital like Children’s Hospital in Boston and doing their many events,” she says. “That would be my all-time goal.”

a one of the people who I will never forget and will always appreciate his input, guidance and fuel to keep looking at the finish line. Being an immigrant (I was 19 when I came to the United States) it is a lot more challenging to grasp on things while still learning the language. Nevertheless, as I was learning, I was finding the person I always wanted to be – me. When I

Nichols College M A G A Z I N E | S p r i n g 2 0 1 6

– Ron Schachter

graduated from Nichols I was an HR benefits specialist. Nichols provided the foundation I needed to continue to develop a career. Today, I am an HR director, working for an exciting company and still continuing to apply what I learned.” Michael Ricardi, a survivor of the deadly Station nightclub fire that took place in West Warwick, Rhode Island, on February 20, 2003, has

Class Scribe: Erica (Mello) Boulay Andrew MacKay and wife Joanne, welcomed their first child, Andrew “Drew” James MacKay, on June 15, 2015. 

2007 Class Scribe: Meaghan Larkin From the Class Scribe… Robbie Arnold and wife, Krystle, welcomed their first son, Cameron Fitzgerald Arnold, on March 21, 2015. Megan Tranter was married to Daniel Souza at the Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, FL, on Nov. 1, 2015. The two met while working together at Nordstrom and currently reside in North Miami. Kari Harvey and Zack Lindsay welcomed their first daughter, Charleston “Charlee” Leona Lindsay, on April 14, 2015.


Matt Francis and wife, Melissa, welcomed their first son, Jace Matthew Francis, on July 26, 2015.

Kaitlyn (Gillespie) Ricci and Matt Ricci ’06 welcomed their first child, John Matthew Ricci, on Oct. 28, 2015. Jameson Borey and his wife, Beth, welcomed their first son, Jameson William Borey, on Oct. 4, 2015. 

Allison (Richard) Fiorito and husband, Gary, were married in Coral Gables, FL, on Feb. 8, 2014. They reside in Lake Worth with the newest addition to their family, Sofia Grace, who was born on Aug. 20, 2015. After working in New York City for seven years for renowned jewelry designer IPPOLITA, Michael Pope has returned home to the Worcester area with his wife, Melissa, to open M. Pope & Co. Fine Jewelers. They offer the latest in designer jewelry, engagement rings and wedding bands as well as custom design and jewelry repair. The store is located in Piccadilly Plaza, 490 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester and on the web at (See related story on page 11.) Lindsay (Racine) Drumm, husband, Kevin, and big brother Jackson, welcomed Zachary to their family on Feb. 2, 2015.

Bert Quick has entered his final year of active duty for the military (U.S. Air Force) after 32 years of service. He was awarded First Sergeant of the Year Award in 2015 for his command.


Class Scribe: Nicole Silvio Kris Cullen was promoted to vice president of marketing for Savers Bank in Southbridge. Prior to his promotion, he was AVP/ marketing manager at the bank, which he joined October 2013. He has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and prior to Savers Bank, he worked at GFA Federal Credit Union and Workers Credit Union. He, along with Errica M. Devarenne ’99 and Michael Patrick Lyons ’99, was recognized by the Worcester Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 in 2015.


Class Scribe: Katelyn Vella Brittany (Steadman) Pfeifer married Keith Pfeifer on Nov.14, 2015, in Scituate, MA. Many Bison were in attendance.

(L to R) Lauren Burke, Toni Marie Rapacciuolo, Katelyn Vella, Brittany McNally, Erica Siciliano, Jessica Morgan, Alicia DeLuca '11, Megan Sherman, and Katelyn Pfeifer '09 (Not Pictured).

2011 » 5th Reunion

Class Scribe: Alexandria M. Hallam

2012 Daniel Shaughnessy, longtime Boston Globe sports writer, who received an honorary degree from Nichols College in 2012, and is also the brother of William Shaughnessy ’69, was named winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award earning him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Shaughnessy joined the Globe in 1981, after stints with newspapers in Baltimore and Washington, and served as the Red Sox beat writer and national baseball writer before settling into his current columnist position. He will be inducted this summer. Magician Michael Sannicandro performed on the TV program, America's Got Talent, this summer under the stage name, Michael John. He was also featured at Nichols’ Bicentennial Gala at Mechanics Hall in September. Catch up on his career at

Finally, upon graduating from Nichols I weighed just over 280 pounds (thanks to all the delicious food over at the Lombard Dining Hall). Over the past two years, I have made my personal health a priority and over the past year I have lost nearly 60 pounds. I began working out with a trainer, monitoring and correcting my eating habits


Vera Raposo was promoted to audit supervisor at Stowe & Degon, where she has worked for nine years. She has over 15 years of public accounting experience and directs nearly all of the firm’s non-profit audits. Joseph Grebla writes: “Since graduating from Nichols, I have started working as an accountant at the Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, CT. I developed my love for all things beer-related while at Nichols College, and I have loved learning all I can about beer as well as helping the craft beer industry grow. I was at a craft beer summit in Portland, Oregon, where I was able to network with professionals …and sample beers from all over the country and world. In addition to working full time, I also returned to school part time to acquire my MBA at the University of Bridgeport. Although UB is by no means a huge school, it is much larger than Nichols. Sometimes I miss the small school personalized education Nichols provides, but I also feel it is a good thing to experience as many different learning styles as possible.

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and reducing my beer intake (the latter being the hardest transition.) This hard work culminated in May of 2015 when I ran and finished the Providence Rhode Island Marathon. Hopefully this will be the first of many marathons I complete in the coming years.” Alistair Black was named Employee of the Year at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA. He was cited for creating “many memorable moments with guests while being a strong leader and team builder with staff and co-workers alike.”

Nichols College M A G A Z I N E



Robert “Bob” A. Green ’48, of Palo Alto, Calif., Feb. 2, 2016. After high school, he attended the Julliard School of Music until he was drafted, serving in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers during World War II. He spent most of his career in the insurance business, including 20 years with State Farm Insurance. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rose; two daughters; and two granddaughters.

William A. Haskell ’51, of Norwood, Mass., April 14, 2015. He was retired from IBM and is survived by his wife, Carolyn. William "Bill" F. Short ’51, of Concord, N.H., Nov. 29, 2015. He was an office manager at Northern Transportation. Predeceased by a brother, he is survived by two sons; a daughter; four grandsons; and a granddaughter.

Robert W. Jewell ’48, of Averill Park, N.Y., July 7, 2015. He served during World War II in the U.S. Navy in New Hebrides and worked at Albany Felt Co. In 1976 he and his wife, Bette, opened the Gregory House Restaurant and Inn, retiring in 2000. Predeceased by his wife, he is survived by a son; two daughters; three grandsons; a granddaughter; and eight great-grandchildren.

John W. Boyd ’52, of Rocky Hill, Conn., June 25, 2015. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Coast Guard and the Rocky Hill Police Department, he worked at International Harvester, All-State Insurance, and International Industries. He retired from The Stanley Works and worked for Ambassador Wheel Chair until age 80. He was predeceased by his wife, Elaine, and is survived by two daughters; a son; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Charles Pappas Sr. ’48, of Webster, Mass., July 16, 2015. A U.S. Navy veteran, he took over his father's business, Pappas and Son Market, which later became Park 'n Shop Supermarkets with locations in Dudley, Auburn, Blackstone, and Southbridge. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Helen; a daughter; a son; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two brothers.

Ian D. Kingston ’52, of Punta Gorda, Fla., Nov. 19, 2015. He served eight years in the Navy Reserve, and for 33 years owned a Ben Franklin Variety store in Belmont, Mass. In 1991, he opened Ben Franklin Crafts stores in Fort Myers and Naples. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joyce; two daughters; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Arnold D. Cramer ’49, of Greencastle, Penn., July 8, 2015. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, having served with the 902nd Aviation Engineer Battalion in Germany. He owned Arnold Cramer Retail. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Constance; two daughters; a son; three grandchildren; a step-granddaughter; and a great-grandson. Kenneth A. Spilman ’49, of Reston, Virg., July 6, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army, Military Motor Police in Europe during World War II and had a 35-year career with Sears in Boston and Natick, Mass. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marie-Louise; two daughters; a son; a granddaughter; a grandson; and a great-grandson.

John G. Adriance, Jr. ’53, of Clearwater, Fla., Nov. 26, 2014. He owned Jack’s Pest Control and is survived by his wife of 59 years, Judith; four children; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. John L. King ’53, of East Hartford, Conn., June 11, 2015. A U.S. Army veteran, he owned and operated Prestige Building Maintenance of Hartford. Survivors include two sons; a daughter; a sister; and a grandson. Bruce L. Hoins Sr. ’54, of Port Jervis, N.Y., March 27, 2015. After serving in the U.S. Army, he worked at and retired from M&T Bank. He is survived by three sons; two granddaughters; two great-granddaughters; and a brother; He was predeceased by a brother. John "Jack" D. Christian ’55, of Pinellas Park, Fla., July 30, 2015. He worked at Southern Lock & Supply


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for over 20 years. Predeceased by his wife, Theresa, and a daughter, he is survived by three sons; five daughters; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Charles "Chuck" H. Dyer ’55, of North Port, Fla., and formerly of Sturbridge, Mass., Nov. 12, 2015. A Korean War veteran, he was an optical salesman for many years. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Doris; a son; a daughter; three grandchildren; and three stepgrandchildren. Leon S. "Junie" Marshall Jr. ’55, of Bonita Springs, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. He was an executive at Fitchburg Paper Co. and retired as vice president of marketing and sales of CBC, Division of Riverside Paper Corp., Appleton, Wis. He was predeceased by a son and granddaughter. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jeanne; three daughters; and a grandson. Berton G. Benjamin ’56, of Kingston, Mass., Sept. 20, 2015. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 27 years. Predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Barbara, he is survived by three sons; a daughter; three grandsons; and two granddaughters. Thomas A. James ’56, of Woodbury, Conn., Jan. 7, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army as a member of the Military Police stationed in postwar Germany. He was the New York sales manager for Advertising Age (and tried out for the N.Y. Yankees.) He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Mary Kate, and is survived by two sons; and three grandchildren. Allen K. Needham ’56, of Peabody, Mass., Dec. 28, 2015. A voice of the community, he worked as a radio broadcaster for over 30 years at WESX (1230 AM) where he handled morning drive time and noon newscasts as well as hosting the talk interview “Party Line” show. He is survived by two daughters; a son; five granddaughters; and a brother. Donald S. Cohen ’57, of Scituate, Mass., Oct. 25, 2015. He worked in the family’s Country Package Store

for many years, the wine industry in California, and other retail stores in Massachusetts, retiring from Blockbuster Video. He was predeceased by his wife, Carolyn, and is survived by his three sons; stepchildren; and grandchildren. Joseph A. Milburn ’57, of Edgewood, Ky., July 17, 2015. He was the owner and president of Stewart Iron Works. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Anna; two sons; and seven grandchildren. Terence M. Robinson ’57, of Marietta, Ga., July 3, 2015. He was a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and troop command officer. He is survived by his wife, Connie; a daughter; a son; and a granddaughter. John H. Sirman ’57, of West Hartford, Conn., Nov. 16, 2015. He was an accountant. Survivors include a brother; a niece; and two nephews. He was predeceased by a brother. Philip Solara (Felipe Solarana) ’57, of Coral Gables, Fla., Dec. 7, 2015. He had a long banking career at several financial institutions including Sterling National Bank in New York City, Intercontinental Bank in Miami and Banque Internationale de Gestion in Switzerland. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Agueda; a son; two daughters; and eight grandchildren. William "Bill" C. Schmertz ’58, of Red Bank, N.J., Oct. 16, 2015. He was a systems analyst/consultant and also held positions in marketing and construction management. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; a daughter; a son; and three grandchildren. Randall T. Weeks ’58, of South Dartmouth, Mass., July 8, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army as a medical corpsman during the Korean War after which he cofounded and worked for Dyrelite Corp. until his retirement in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Francine; two daughters; a son; four grandsons; and three granddaughters. Robert O. Frank ’60, of Pittsfield, Mass., Nov. 7, 2015. He ran Community Market for 30 years with his father and later worked for Pariseau Refrigeration before


starting his own business, Rapid Refrigeration. He is survived by two sons; two daughters; his longtime companion, Judith Williamson; his former wife, Pam; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son. Paul Thomas "Tom" Van Schaick ’60, of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963 and had a 35-year career at ABC television network in New York City, starting as a page and retiring as senior vice president of finance. Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Camille; a son; a daughter; three grandsons; and two granddaughters. Henry H. Hart ’63, of Southington, Conn., May 27, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves for six years, and until his retirement, worked as a machine tool industry cost analyst, a bookkeeper, orthopedic medical office manager, and a wholesale greenhouse accountant. He is survived by his wife, Deborah; and two sons.

his wife, Linda; two sons; and two daughters. Frederick B. Gray ’69, of Polson, Mont., and Mesa, Ariz., July 15, 2015. He served in the U.S. Air Force and, throughout his life worked as a police officer, in airport security/rescue, gold miner, cowboy, dam manager, and golf course ranger. He is survived by his ex-wife, Rose Marie; a son; a daughter; four grandchildren; two brothers; and two sisters. Bradley M. Damon ’71, of Fairport, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2015. He had a long career in banking, including serving as vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank. Survivors include his companion, Heather Longworth; two sons; and two sisters. Daniel P. DesBois ’71, of Colorado Springs, Col., Aug. 17, 2015. He worked for Kodak, Amtrol, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, as well as the Navigators. He is survived by his father; two sons; four grandchildren; his former wife, Sally; and a sister. He was predeceased by his mother.

John A. Loconto ’64, of Chatham, Mass., Oct. 25, 2015. He had a career in the hotel industry and retired in 2010 as general manager of the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, N.J. He is survived by his wife, Deborah; and a daughter.

Eleanor Lucille "Lucy" Taylor MBA ’79, of Ware, Mass., Sept. 17, 2015. She worked for American Optical, and then as a correspondent for Turley Publications and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. She is survived by two sons; and two daughters.

Wilbert J. Taebel ’64, of Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 30, 2015. He was retired as a staff engineer for IBM, General Products Division.

Heidi E. Kunkel ’82, of Webster, Mass., May 15, 2015. She was the former co-owner of the Century 21, Maher Realty Co. in Auburn and was involved with owning, showing and breeding Morgan horses. She was recently inducted into the Morgan Horse Hall of Fame in New England. She leaves two sisters; and a brother.

William C. Kaier ’65, of Summit, N.J., Aug. 17, 2014. He was retired from Johnson & Johnson. Preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, he leaves two sons. Herbert I. Losee, III ’65, of Simsbury, Conn., Sept. 29, 2015. He was a systems analyst and industry consultant for IBM and later joined Saratoga Systems in Carlsbad, Calif., and Duncaster in Bloomfield as transportation manager. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jan; two sons; a daughter; five grandchildren; and two brothers. Vincent J. Canty ’69, of Nebo, N.C., Oct. 8, 2015. He was a marketing sales manager at Schott Fiber Optics. He leaves his mother, Doris;

Greensprings Health Care Center Resident Council. He leaves his parents, Ann and Terry; two sisters; a brother; and his stepmother. He was predeceased by a brother.


Audrey L. (Armstrong) Bacon ’86 MBA ’91, of Dudley, Mass., Aug. 22, 2015. She worked at American Optical and Thom McCann as a computer programmer and systems analyst then taught at the Worcester Industrial Technical Institute for 25 years, retiring in 1992. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Leroy; a brother; and two sisters. She was predeceased by a sister; and two brothers.

Retired LTC Roger F.X. Carney, former director of the Robert C. Fischer Institute for Policy and Culture, Oct. 8, 2015. He joined Nichols in 1981 when he started the College's ROTC Program and later served as dean of students from 1985-1998 before directing the former Institute for American Values. He retired in 2004 and is survived by three sons.

John F. Sullivan ’03, of Dunedin, Fla., formerly of Quincy, Mass., Nov. 2, 2015. He was employed by Dick's Sporting Goods and is survived by his mother, Sheila; his father, John, and his wife, Dianne; a sister; two stepsisters; and a stepbrother.

Elizabeth “Betty” J. Hubbard, former adjunct professor, Dec. 28, 2015. She taught biblical literature and world religions at Nichols College from 1974 until retirement in 1989. She was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Edwin. She is survived by three daughters; a son; ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Filip Simjanoski ’10, of Natick, Mass. and Skopje, Macedonia, Jan. 12, 2016. He had worked at TD Bank and was later employed as a personal banking specialist with Beal Bank in Wellesley. He is survived by his parents, Sasho and Elena; a brother; and his grandmother.

John "Jack" P. Parslow ’83, of Ashford, Conn., Oct. 3, 2015. He was a route salesman for several companies including Coyne Textile in Webster, Mass. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Brenda; a son; a daughter; his parents; and two brothers. W. Brian Capshaw ’84, of East Hartford, Conn., Dec. 5, 2015. He worked for Bentler Industries in Indiana and then for AM General. He later served as president of the

co m m u n i t y. n i c h o l s .e d u


Nichols College M A G A Z I N E


A Portfolio Manager Invests in Finance Students By Heather Maykel

Jon Birtwell ’06 is a portfolio manager at Natixis Asset Management in Boston and one of the college’s most active volunteers. He has come to campus as a guest lecturer for the Investment Club and a panelist for career services, and he serves on the college’s Board of Advisors. He frequently finds a way to enhance the educational experience for today’s students. In November 2015, for example, when he became aware that a group of Nichols students travelling to New York City were seeking meaningful visits and tours, he took time out of his demanding schedule not only to line up a tour of the New York Stock Exchange for 15 second-year students from the Emerging Leaders Program, but he flew to New York at his own expense from Boston and toured with the students. “By providing the highest impact experience, I had hoped to incite an interest in finance for the students,” he explains. “Touring the NYSE and immersing the students in Wall Street gave them a glimpse of the glamour of the financial world. By sharing my experiences while guiding the students on the tour of the NYSE, I hope that some of them were able to pick up on the fact that I love my field. Finance has proven to be lucrative and stimulating, and I enjoy every day I work.” Birtwell also informally mentors Nichols finance students and recent grads who reach out to him. “When I graduated in 2006 I knew I wanted a career in financial services,” he says, “but I started in sales for a mutual fund company and worked there for three years before I could get into the portfolio management that I do now. My sales training was useful, but I often think that had I had a good mentor early on who could help me plot out my career path, that maybe I could have gotten to my current dream job sooner.” Birtwell helps his mentees connect with others who can help them advance. He also helps them navigate their experiences to ultimately get on the right path. Thomas Horner ’18 is a beneficiary of Birtwell’s support. “He has provided me with guidance on what to expect after graduation in terms of an asset management career, explaining real life situations that you typically do not learn in the classroom setting, while helping me with my search for an internship within the field,” says Horner.


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“I look at these students as start-ups...”

Birtwell says he enjoys putting both the network and the knowledge he has gained in his professional life to use in helping future business leaders find their way in finance. As one of the youngest donors in the college’s President’s Society, he cites an appropriate analogy: “I look at these students as start-ups. Investors give start-ups resources like connections and business plan refinement. I see myself as investing in these students in the hopes of making them successful in their finance careers so that they too one day will give back to Nichols.” To volunteer your time and talent to help educate tomorrow's leaders, please contact Alumni Relations at or 866-622-4766.

S TAY C O N N E C T E D 1966: Golf Team

1976: Hanging Around

1981: Semi-formal 1991: Hawaiian Night

1996: Senior Week 1991: Graduation

2001: Bison Olympics 2006: Spring Weekend

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HOMECOMING 2015 HIGHLIGHTS: Class of ’65 50th reunion, ribbon cuttings for the new academic building and athletic renovations, Hall of Fame Induction, Bicentennial Gala, Alumni Achievement Award to Forestry, alumni games....


Profile for Nichols College

Nichols College Spring 2016 Magazine  

The alumni magazine for Nichols College, a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-foc...

Nichols College Spring 2016 Magazine  

The alumni magazine for Nichols College, a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-foc...