Ruth (Sollitt) Williamson was one of three people featured in a Los Alamos Daily Post article titled “2018 Los Alamos Living Treasures.” The lead sentence reads: “There are several themes that emerge as most important in the life of Ruth Williamson: faith, family, friendships, music, and a spirit of generosity.” The article goes on to describe her childhood and her time at Kalamazoo College, which began a career teaching piano that spanned 32 years. Ruth and her husband, Ken Williamson, who died in 1989, raised three children. She has always been generous with her volunteer time and labors, which focus mostly in music education and the uses of music as therapy for children and adults with disabilities. She also has worked as a hospice volunteer and as a bereavement counselor. Her life exemplifies the idea that one end of a liberal arts education is to inspire and clarify one’s charter of service to humankind.
Rob Connor and his uncle, Mike Molly, retraced a historic Native American canoe route across the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in September 2018. They paddled 120 miles against the current on the Au Sable River from Lake Huron to Grayling, then hiked to the Manistee River, and paddled that river to Lake Michigan. The entire 280-mile journey required 15 days—a significant challenge, both physically and mentally. Rob, a physics major at K, was put to the test guiding the canoe upstream from one hydraulic feature to another, always seeking the path of least resistance. Mike, a 1967 all-MIAA linebacker for the Hornets, provided powerful paddle strokes in the battle against the current as progress sometimes was measured only inches at a time. You can learn more about their aquatic adventure in the April issue of LuxEsto or by visiting Rob’s blog at robconr.wordpress.com.
Marianne Minarovic Truitt and Dr. Wesley B. Truitt celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018. Dr. Truitt was a professor of political science at Kalamazoo College in the 1960s. He went on to become an executive at Northrop Grumman Corporation while continuing to teach business classes at UCLA and Pepperdine. He is the author of seven books, four of which are business books, and three of which are spy novels. The third novel in the spy trilogy, Ghost Missile, was just published. Marianne worked as a legal assistant, taught yoga classes, and extensively volunteered and fund-raised at their church. Both are retired and live in Marina del Rey, California. Wesley is currently writing a book on NATO for Praeger Publishers.
In six months they’ll be together again for their golden class reunion, and last October, six members of the class of 1969 (plus one spouse who’s a member of the class of 1970) took time out for a pre-reunion photo along the Huron River in Dexter, Michigan. Pictured are (l-r): Marcia Buchmueller Cameron ’70, Jim Cameron ’69, Tim Lavalli ’69, Pat Bauer ’69, Phil Carra ’69, Carol Burt Carra ’69, and Chris Rettich ’69.
Together again after 43 years! Sarah Stolz Sullivan, Mary Miller and Ann Shetzer, all ’75, spent a fun four days together at Sarah’s home in Charleston, South Carolina, in November. They were all French majors and Caen alumnae. Along with good food, good drink and good company, they had fun reading the diary that Ann kept on foreign study.
Leonard Freedman, Ph.D., was named chief science officer at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (Frederick, Maryland). He began his duties there in November after six years as the founding president of the Global Biological Standards Institute. In his role at FNL, Leonard provides internal scientific leadership and builds external partnerships and collaborations in science and technology development. His focus is on translating science into medicine to benefit patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and emerging health challenges. Previous positions also include vice dean for research and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, as well as top executive positions at the pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and Merck. He also was a member and professor of cell biology and genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weil Cornell Medical College. There, he and his laboratory made decisive discoveries in the area of nuclear hormone receptor structure and function. Leonard is widely published and has served on influential scientific review panels and editorial boards. For 10 years he was editor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. At K, he majored in biology; he earned his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Rochester.
Bob Heimbuch, chief of the Juvenile Division in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, recently received the State Bar of Michigan 2018 Champion of Justice Award. This award is given to practicing lawyers and judges of integrity and honors the recipient’s adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, superior professional competence, and extraordinary professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state or the local community in which the lawyer or judge lives.
Alex Leonowicz was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming Lawyers Class of 2018, one of 30 honorees selected in their first 10 or fewer years of practice because of their ambition, drive, determination and distinguished achievements. Alex works for Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC in Royal Oak, Michigan. He concentrates his practice on cannabis law and related business transactions. He represents clients nationwide and internationally in the cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary businesses. He assists with the complex regulatory landscape involved in participating in or providing ancillary services to the medical and adult use marijuana industry. Alex earned his law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2012, where he was president of the Student Bar Association, vice president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Association and a member of the Law Review. He is licensed to practice in the states of Michigan and Illinois as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Northern District of Illinois.