Whitman College is pleased to highlight the accomplishments and updates of our alumni. Submissions to Class Notes are limited to 50 words. Updates should highlight news from the past calendar year and may include career updates; publications; honors, awards or appointments; or other significant life changes you’d like to share with the Whittie community. Send your submission to:

Email: alumni@whitman.edu
Mail: Whitman College, Office of Alumni Relations, 345 Boyer Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362
Online: whitman.edu/classnotes

*All submissions will be edited for content, length and style.


Bob Cline ’62 hosted Howard ’63 and Roberta Graham Paulson ’62 Bob Cline ’62 hosted Howard ’63 and Roberta Graham Paulson ’62 in Astoria, Oregon. The group posed on Pier 39 in front of the historic Tourist No. 2 ferry, which crossed the Columbia River between Astoria and Megler, Washington.

Marshal McReal '84 and Robby Seager '13While on vacation in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, Marshal McReal ’84 and friends enjoyed the music of Robby Seager ’13, who explained that although he was an economics major, it was at Whitman that he fell in love with music.

Jim McCarthy ’63 and his wife Jayne, former Whitman women’s tennis coach, gathered with friendsJim McCarthy ’63 and his wife Jayne, former Whitman women’s tennis coach, gathered with friends at Black Butte Ranch in Bend, Oregon, for a croquet tournament over Labor Day weekend.

Jim Moore ’66 has been working on a two-volume book detailing the history of Whitman athletics. The first volume spans the first 95 years of the college’s existence, from 1882 to 1977, ending in the scholastic year 1976-1977 when football was dropped as a varsity sport. This winter he plans to start developing the second volume covering the 1977-1978 academic year to the present. Moore has greatly utilized Whitman’s archives to research the book, along with interviews with former members of the Whitman College community. But Moore has found that for certain sports — women’s tennis, swimming, basketball, volleyball in the late ’60s and early ’70s, men’s golf, wrestling in the ’60s and ’70s — records were not consistently kept and there were no reports of games or matches in the local newspapers. Alumni who participated in college athletics are encouraged to send him any available relevant information at jmoore914@comcast.net.

Roy Carlisle ’69 spoke at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, at conferences celebrating the 40th anniversary of the publication of “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard J. Foster. The book, one of the first Carlisle edited at Harper & Row San Francisco (now HarperOne) in 1978, has sold 2.5 million copies, been translated into 25 languages and has never been issued in paperback because of its high annual sales.


Evans Van Buren '70Evans Van Buren ’70 was recognized by Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Multnomah Bar Association for 40 years of monthly volunteer service to low-income seniors. Van Buren has assisted with civil and consumer issues including wills, estates and housing. He retired from law practice in 2017 but remains an inactive pro bono member of the bar and volunteers with the Senior Law Project in Portland, Oregon.

Jack Rasmussen ’71, director and curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, D.C., was named chair of the Maryland State Arts Council. In this role, he will drive the strategic direction of programs and funding for the state of Maryland.

Eric Johnson ’72, Makana Stone ’20 and Brandon Nickerson ’06Eric Johnson ’72 and Makana Stone ’20, both biology majors at Whitman, presented at a conference of Washington state tribal biologists on “The Treatment of Humans Inadvertently Exposed to Potent Veterinary Anesthetic Agents Establishing Treatment Protocols” in Burlington, Washington. Brandon Nickerson ’06, a biology-environmental studies major, was in the audience. Nickerson is working as a wildlife biologist for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Olympia, Washington. Johnson, a retired anesthesiologist from Spokane, Washington, connected with Stone through the W Club’s student engagement efforts.

Andrew Niemyer ’73 and Svetlana Petrov '18Andrew Niemyer ’73 has annually led a group of pilots, along with their family and friends, who fly their Cirrus Aircraft general aviation planes to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The 2018 group included Sergey Petrov and his daughter, Svetlana Petrov ’18. They didn’t discover their shared Whitman alumni status until the last day of the trip, then had plenty to talk about, including the fact that Niemyer’s wife, Lisa Abrahams ’76, had recently spent more than two years practicing cardiology at Providence St. Mary Hospital in Walla Walla. Niemyer and Abrahams live in Duluth, Minnesota.

Larry Konick ’77 was apprehensive about retiring from his work as a pathology laboratory medical director in Salem, Oregon. Then he saw an advertisement in a professional journal looking for a pathologist to teach at a school in Uganda. Konick’s love of travel and teaching made the position a perfect transition from a full-time job to retirement. Read more about his six-month teaching adventure at larryinuganda.blogspot.com.


Russ Fagg ’83 practiced law and served two terms in the Montana Legislature before serving as a state district court judge for 22 years. He resigned his judgeship in 2017 to run for the U.S. Senate. After coming in second in a four-way primary, he opened his own law firm, Russ Fagg and Associates, specializing in mediation and arbitration, in Billings.

Mike Hensler ’83, of Libby, Montana, is the new regional fisheries manager in northwest Montana. Hensler is a longtime fisheries biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Laurel Collins Tomchick ’83 retired from her position as program manager of the EnviroStars program in the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. In her honor, King County declared June 29, 2018, Laurel Tomchick Day. She is the daughter of Fred ’57 and Janet Sue Mitchell Collins ’57.

Marshal McReal ’84 was elected to the board of trustees of Cambridge in America. The board advances the mission of the University of Cambridge and its 31 member colleges by providing expertise in fundraising and alumni relations. Peter Dawson, parent of Adam Dawson ’16 and spouse of Whitman trustee Christina Dawson, also serves on the board.

David O’Neal ’88 is a new managing director for the Seattle office of Freestone Capital Management. He will lead the wealth management firm’s strategic growth initiatives. O’Neal has more than 30 years of experience, with previous leadership positions at Triad Financial Advisors Inc. and Brighton Jones. He is married to Jane Wheeler O’Neal ’89 and they have two sons, Reed ’22 and Jack.


Michael Franz Seidelhuber ’95, principal at Studio 151 Corporate Services, connected with Derek Slone ’18 at the Bay Area Whitties Helping Whitties event last January. Slone spent last summer researching technical solutions for Studio 151 at the San Francisco International Airport. He continues to work for the company.

Janice Monger ’97 is president and CEO of New York’s Staten Island Museum, which houses art, natural science and history exhibitions and collections. She lives on Staten Island with her husband and two daughters.


James Rigney ’00 is head of marketing for Thor Industries Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. He brings two decades of experience in global marketing strategy and brand development for brands including GrubHub, Red Bull, Converse and MTV.

Bonnie Yocum Rough '00

Bonnie Yocum Rough ’00 published her third book, “Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids about Sex, Love, and Equality” (Seal Press). Rough lives in Seattle with her husband, Dan Rough ’98, and two daughters. Visit her website at bonniejrough.com.

Shelley Pearson ’02 self-published her debut young adult novel, “Book Smarts and Tender Hearts,” a story about coming out, growing up and the way relationships change. Pearson lives in Portland, Oregon, with her partner and two cats. Visit her website at shelleypearsonwrites.com.

Yuan-Ming Chiao ’03 is teaching political science at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Samantha Arthur ’07 successfully worked for three years to place the tricolored blackbird on the California endangered species list. She is conservation project manager at Audubon California in Sacramento.

Justin Liberman ’08 earned his master’s degree in public health from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. His thesis research focused on health care utilization and clinical outcomes among patients with heart failure who use opioids.

Jillian Varonin ’09 graduated from the University of California, San Francisco Biomedical Sciences doctoral program and moved to Washington, D.C., for a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.


Cathryn Klusmeier ’14 was selected as one of 10 winners in a Journal of Design and Science essay contest. Klusmeier’s winning essay, titled “Resisting Reduction: The Fluid Boundaries of Non-Communicable Disease,” will be published in 2019 by MIT Press. Proceeds from the publication of this volume will support open access publishing at MIT.

Daniel Hoffman ’16, an assistant project engineer at Skanska USA Building Inc. in Portland, Oregon, was part of a team that submitted a winning design for a unique bench for a Design Museum Portland contest. The bench, Tub(Time), is a seat intended to spark conversations about water in Portland and promote conservation through a personal experience by the user.

Shireen Nori ’16 was involved in planning and participating in an action at the U.S. Capitol to oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Nori works as a digital campaigner for Sierra Club in Atlanta, Georgia, and has previously worked for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and Planned Parenthood.