From Head Hog to   School Builder




Classes of:
| 10-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50 | 51-55 |
| 56-60 | 61-65 | 66-70 | 71-75 | 76-80 |
| 81-85 | 86-90 | 91-95 | 96-99 |

Class of 1971

Jim Shaw
139 North 22nd Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Class of 1972

Paul S. Appelbaum
100 Berkshire Road
Newton, Mass. 02160

In the mid-90s, Doug Altabef "decided to have a mid-life fantasy in lieu of a mid-life crisis." He started a family entertainment company, the Varsity Club, which was a big hit in Fairfield/Westchester County areas. Profits were harder to come by, though, so Doug returned to the investment world, and for the last three years has been managing director of Matrix Asset Advisors in Manhattan, which focuses on high net worth individuals and small institutions. You may have seen Doug doing "talking head" stints on CNN-fn, Bloomberg and elsewhere. Doug also remarried Linda (Lieff), and they have recently added Eliza Clara to their blended family (two of his and one of hers). Says Doug about mid-life fatherhood: "It provides a new perspective to my retirement planning - I can't."

Armen Donelian, back from his successful month running the Jazz in Armenia Program, continues to capture rave reviews for his music. One paper reported his "performance in the capacity-filled room at Tufts University...The trio mesmerized listeners and perked the eardrums and souls of many in the audience."

Take advantage of e-mail to let us all know how you're doing.

Class of 1973

Barry Etra
326 McKinley Avenue
New Haven, Conn. 06515

The FCOTM is here! Hope y'all partied hard, but weren't too "reckless." We, on the other hand...

Rick Blank is hooping it up again, despite having torn his ACL five years ago. He reports that his insurance business is thriving in White Plains; Rick does property and casualty coverage, financial planning, and, of course, good old life insurance. He has become a serious golfer in his spare time, and in August won the Club Championship at Elmwood C.C. in White Plains under the approving eye of his son (and caddie) Mike. Congrats from all of us duffers, Rick!

Rick Assaf married Robyn Alexander on Dec. 4 in Washington, D.C. They were childhood sweethearts in Queens (hope the wait was worth it!). Rick is a senior attorney advisor with the Justice Department, with degrees from both the Journalism School and Georgetown Law. Robyn works for the International Institute for Energy Conservation in D.C.; they reside in Silver Spring, Md. Among the guests at the affair were many notable '73ers (and others): William (Foley) Jones, David Ferguson, Garrett Johnson, Eric Holder, John Moore, Steve Sims, James Whitlow, Julio Castillo, Eric Thomas '77, Walter Rivera '76, Greg Tillman, Richard Roberts, George Starke '71 (famous Hog), George Van Amson '74, Larry Frazier, and Desi Smith '74. Rick seems to have lost none of his irrepressible nature; this reporter does apologize for paring down his report.

Welcome to the 21st, guys.

Class of 1974

Fred Bremer
532 West 111th Street
New York, N.Y. 10025

Sometimes you guys make it easy to write this column, and sometimes it is more challenging due to a lack of letters, e-mails, etc. This is one of those times I need to dig, but have found info on one of our favorite topics of yesteryear, babes: new, renewed, and removed.

New: Fred Bremer (I like my name in bold as much as the rest of you!) and wife, Susan, are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Katherine Jennifer. She was born on October 19, 1999 and joins her brother, David. Extensive further details are available upon request.

Renewed: While work seems to have fallen by the wayside while on "Pamper patrol," some may find a few other notes of significance. Gerry Krovatin has left his former partnership to form his own firm in New Jersey. Abbe Lowell has left his D.C. partnership to join the firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, also in D.C. The firm does a wide variety of litigation in five cities. No matter what their current affiliation, few who have followed the careers of these fellows would call these litigators "babes in the woods."

Removed: The last issue of CCT listed 57 members of the Class of 2003 who were sons and daughters of alumni. I was surprised to see that eight of those were the prodigy of the Class of '74-more than the total of the classes on both sides of us! And it may have even missed the inclusion of the daughter of Bill Meehan. While these "babes" may be attempting to seek independence from their families, they should be forewarned that they can never escape being honorary members of the Class of '74!

Well, babe, that's all for now. Please take a moment to send in more class notes so I can pass on to the others the doings of a fascinating group of "pre-Y2K" guys!

Class of 1975

Randy Nichols
503 Princeton Circle
Newtown Square, Pa. 19073

Classmates and friends, when I agreed several years ago to be class correspondent, I did so with not much hesitation but with more than a little trepidation. The trepidation came from the audience. How many people really want to write for Ivy League grads who all have been through the rigors of writing well at Columbia? How many want to write for an audience of prize winners, and business and professional successes? (How many of you are checking my grammar and spelling right now?) I still am in awe of some of the company I keep when among other Columbians!

I considered myself to be little more than a scribe. I recorded and forwarded what I received and could accumulate through my own means. I didn't try to do anything fancy or to do much more than describe events. A couple of things have happened to me recently that have made me really change my mind about my approach to Class Notes, and to my dealings with Columbia in general, and I feel compelled to share them with you.

Several weeks ago, I received a card from a Columbia professor emeritus. I never had a class with him, but he taught during my years at the College and I immediately had a very vivid picture of him. He was writing because he wanted to get in touch with a member of the Class of '75 who had been mentioned in a recent CCT, and my name and address were at the head of the Class Notes. The message in the card was very poignant, and I was very touched. I felt honored to be able to forward the card to my classmate and his address to the requestor.

I work for a company that supplies software that helps our clients manage relationships with their constituents and customers. Specifically, I work with colleges and universities, and some of our applications are in alumni and development. Every day, I help clients figure out how to get more support from alums (among other things), so I am beginning to know this issue inside and out.

And that brings me back to these Class Notes. Being able to put a grand gentleman and a former student in touch again after 25 years gave me very good feelings. It also made me realize that I could and should do more. So, I am promising this: in the future, I will try to do more with this space than just report news given to me. I will take more time trying to find items to print, and I will try to add a little more style and flair.

Now, you all need to do something, too. Next year is our 25th reunion. You should have already gotten a reunion questionnaire. Fill it out. Send it in. Plan to attend. And, if you would like to help with reunion planning, contact Andrew Greene at the Columbia College Fund (212) 870-3207 ( Also, send me news about you or your former classmates, or even send a question about where someone is now.

Now, on to some news... Robert Schneider and Stephen Jacobs attended the Society of Recent Graduates dinner in Low Library in October. These guys also do about a billion other things each year, both Columbia related and not. I hear regularly from both, and I could fill a column each issue with just their activities. Both are active in the planning for our upcoming reunion, among other things.

In October, the Weekly Standard reported that Scott McConnell had resigned his journalistic gig to become a senior policy advisor to the Pat Buchanan for President campaign.

Randy Nichols (that's me!) recently had a whirlwind vacation to Cairo and then to Jordan. The main purpose of the trip was to see the opening of this year's Cairo Opera production of Aida, held at the pyramids this year. The trip to Jordan, which included visits to Shobak Castle, Petra, and Jerash, was an extra treat. The whole trip took less than a week, but was worth every minute. (As a religion major at Columbia and in life since, I've read the Bible for many reasons, but now I have to read it again for the history of what I've recently seen!)

Samuel M. Shafner, a corporate attorney and co-founder of the former Boston law firm Shafner, Gilleran & Mortensen, recently joined Burns & Levinson as a partner. For more than 20 years, he has represented business clients, ranging from publicly traded corporations to energy technology companies. Samuel and his wife, Rosalyn, reside in Sharon, Mass., with their four children.

Jason Turner is commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration. He has been in the news recently because his offices were invaded by advocates for the homeless who opposed Mayor Giuliani's policies, and he's taken heat for some of them. (Columbia tried to teach us about ethics and morals. I don't remember any courses on responding to office invasions. I do, however, remember participating in some building occupations. Terry Mulry was with me on several of them!)

After finishing an MBA over 20 years ago, Thomas Zengage moved to Japan, where he is now co-owner of the largest public relations agency in the country. He has written two books, one in English and one in Japanese, on the Japanese economy.

I wonder if anyone remembers that film director Jim Jarmusch was actually bound to graduate with the Class of '75 until he kind of drifted off to filmmaking. The sudden contact with the College reminds me that I lost track of him. Can anyone help with information?

Next time, I hope to be able to include pages worth of news, collected from you personally and from your questionnaires. Keep the cards and letters coming!

Classes of:
| 10-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50 | 51-55 |
| 56-60 | 61-65 | 66-70 | 71-75 | 76-80 |
| 81-85 | 86-90 | 91-95 | 96-99 |

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