1950s Legacies

Yale Roe (BSJ50, G52)

ale Roe, age 92, passed away peacefully in his home in New York City on July 12, 2021. Born in Oak Park, IL, he attended Northwestern University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Political Science. He was active in local politics, working with the late Senator Charles Percy and later running for congress on a strong anti- Vietnam War platform. He worked in all facets of the television industry beginning the 1950’s in San Francisco, New York and Chicago before he moved with his family to Jerusalem, Israel in 1972 where he lived until 1986.

In Israel, Yale produced documentary and industrial films for distribution in the United States. Upon his return to New York he established Yale Roe Films and produced award winning documentaries for television. He is also the author of three books. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 35 years, Anita Kaskel Roe and his daughter Riki Roe. He is survived by his daughters Laura (David) Torres and Devorah (Ilan) Nov, son David (Ornit) Roe, his stepchildren Ken (Lan) Blum, Bruce (Susan) Blum and Nancy Feinglass as well as 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.


Truth Bee Told

Ian Douglass (MSJ 2006)

Douglass has collaborated with professional wrestling star B. Brian Blair to complete Blair’s 472-page autobiography. Featuring forewords by Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Steve “Gator” Keirn, along with an afterword from Hulk Hogan, Truth Bee Told has been praised by reviewers as an instant classic professional wrestling autobiography.

Despite growing up amidst the challenges caused by poverty, disfiguring injuries and familial strife, Brian Blair’s determination to better himself and his life circumstances took him to worldwide wrestling fame, and also to major successes in the realms of business and politics. Truth Bee Told places you in the passenger’s seat alongside Brian for an entertaining and often hilarious journey through more than 40 years in the professional wrestling industry. You will learn the steep price Brian paid to go from welfare to millionaire, as you experience every marvelous conquest and heartbreaking catastrophe right alongside him. As a tell-all autobiography that pulls no punches, Truth Bee Told more than lives up to its name.


Medill Centennial Event in D.C. on Nov. 12

Celebrate with Medill Nov. 12 in D.C.

You are invited to join Dean Charles Whitaker (BSJ80, MSJ81) along with speakers Susan Page (BSJ73) and Julie Pace (BSJ04) for a special evening celebrating the Medill Centennial with our alumni and friends in Washington, D.C.

Susan Page is the Washington bureau chief of USA Today, and Julie Pace is the senior vice president and executive editor of the Associated Press.

Medill Centennial Celebration in D.C.

Friday, November 12, 2021
6 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Program

National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth Street & Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20560

Business attire

RSVP by November 10. This event is free to attend. We are encouraging alumni to make a birthday gift to the Medill Centennial Scholarships by visiting this link or adding a donation of any amount to your registration.

1980s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Home Legacies

Todd Happer (BSJ88)

Tribute and photo courtesy of ASTC. 

Todd Happer, Senior Manager of Member Engagement at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), passed away on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from complications of cancer. The ASTC Board of Directors and staff share our condolences with the many members of our community who treasured Todd as a trusted colleague and true friend.

Todd began his career at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago directly following his graduation from Northwestern University in 1988. In subsequent years, Todd led marketing and communications for several institutions, including Science Central, the Orlando Science Center, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Todd continued to serve the museum and science center community as Associate Publisher of Scientific American Explorations, and he worked for more than a decade as Vice President, Science Education and Museums Editor at Natural History magazine.

Early in his career, Todd served as the Assistant Editor for Dimensions magazine and other ASTC publications. Todd returned to ASTC in 2016 where he most recently led ASTC’s member engagement efforts. In fact, there seemed nothing he enjoyed more than connecting with colleagues from the global science center community.

Throughout his career, Todd made major contributions to the association, including serving for many years on the ASTC Conference Program Planning Committee, helping to shape one of the premier professional development opportunities for our field. Todd’s support of ASTC members has been especially impactful during the COVID-19 pandemic as he has led multiple efforts to ensure that ASTC members have the connections and resources they need to navigate this crisis.

Todd built an encyclopedic knowledge of science centers, science museums, and informal learning institutions, which he used to facilitate connections between members, help share effective approaches, and increase the public’s understanding of the work and impact of these institutions. Todd’s work helped hundreds of institutions around the world to learn about innovative new strategies, develop their staff capacity, and scale their impact on the communities they serve.

Perhaps most important is Todd’s impact on the countless individuals with whom he built relationships over the years. Todd truly “knew everyone,” and he was always seeking to understand each person’s unique perspectives and find ways to support their priorities and strengthen their work. Todd’s loss will be felt by so many, but his memory and his legacy will continue.

To honor that legacy, ASTC has established the Todd Happer Memorial Scholarship Fund which will help support participation in future ASTC Annual Conferences from those at small or remote science centers who would otherwise be unable to attend. Click here for more information about the fund and how to contribute.

Remembering Todd Happer

Home My Medill Story

Cherubs recall most memorable summer 60 years ago

By Laird Kelly (BSJ66) and Kathleen Neumeyer (BSJ66)

Cover photo: Cherubs Class of 1961 with Professor Ben Baldwin.

Neither of us remembers the other from the life-changing summer of 1961 we spent studying journalism at the National High School Institute as Medill “Cherubs.” Odds are that we occasionally said hello in passing during our four undergraduate years. We didn’t keep in touch after graduation, either.

Kathleen Neumeyer photo.
Kathleen Neumeyer (BSJ66)

But in March 2021, Kathy was asked to help locate former Cherubs to celebrate the Medill Centennial at a Zoom Reunion. All she had to go on was a tattered original roster of the 53 boys and 56 girls, with their high schools and hometowns. No list existed of their current locations. Off-hand, she knew how to find one, and had possible leads on two or three more. Most names did not even ring a bell.

The 1966 Northwestern class directory included information on two dozen former Medill Cherubs who had graduated with her, eight marked deceased and a couple as lost, but for others there were married names, addresses, phone numbers and/or email addresses. So she began.

The first email reply was from Laird Kelly who said he had lost track of most of his Cherub pals. He spent a couple of hours on the internet, discovering that Prudence Mahaffey Mackintosh was still in Texas, a contributor to Texas Monthly for more than four decades, with several books published by Doubleday. He located an obituary for Dick Hodtwalker, another Cherub/NU friend.

Laird Kelly photo.
Laird Kelly (BSJ66)

Laird emailed Kathy his results, including links. Kathy emailed back: I am very impressed with your research and would like to welcome you as my co-chairman.

For the next four months, we were a bicoastal investigative team, and eventually found nearly all of the 109 1961 Cherubs. At least 25 have died, we couldn’t find nine of them, and three said they weren’t interested. But 70 wrote back enthusiastically describing the Cherub experience as a turning point in their lives. We sent short summaries of their life stories to everyone before an Aug. 1 Zoom Reunion to which about 35 logged in.

Laird set up a spreadsheet to help organize the sleuthing. Jack Rhodes, with 19 years experience as an editor and reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Michael R. Whitney, (BSJ66, MSJ67), who won 23 Emmys at CBS News and 60 Minutes, volunteered to track people down. Laird arranged for an Internet service providing addresses, phone numbers, birth, death and criminal records. We looked for folks on Facebook and Linked In, called their high school alumni associations, and checked obituaries of their parents to see who was listed as next of kin, with current residences. We talked to ex-spouses, siblings and neighbors.

We got an invaluable assist from Carol Muller Doig, (BSJ 55, MSJ56) who met her husband, the acclaimed memoirist and novelist Ivan Doig (BSJ61 MSJ62) when both were instructors during our Cherub summer. After Ivan’s death in 2015, Carol donated his papers to Montana State University, including notes and memorabilia from when they were Cherub instructors. She gave us access to the archives.

The more former Cherubs we found, the more gratifying (and fun) the project became. Almost everyone was delighted to hear from us, and astonished to be found.

For both of us, that summer had been pivotal. An Indianapolis native, Kathy thought she had no option but Indiana University, but after the Cherub summer, she applied only to Northwestern. Her Medill degree was like a gold card in her profession, and her marriage to her Northwestern sweetheart took her to California, where she has lived ever since. Laird used his Medill training to start a business, now in its 45th year, in the specialized field of news, television and audio programming for physicians. He called the Cherub program “a beautifully-produced announcement of the Big Wide World for this kid from Kansas.”

As Cherubs, we spent five weeks writing news, features, sports and opinion stories six days a week, crammed into a classroom on the second floor of Fisk Hall, at long tables lined with rented manual typewriters. In the afternoons we heard lectures, did more writing, got in a quick hour on the beach, and in the evenings our minds were blown by startling new ideas from Northwestern professors and Chicago journalists. We lived in dormitories with 17-year-olds from all over the country.

We took field trips to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Art Institute, a steel mill, a pharmaceutical laboratory and the Chicago Tribune. We watched future Hall-of-Famers Ernie Banks and Stan Musial play in an extra-innings game at Wrigley Stadium. Some of us saw Ethel Merman in a pre-Broadway production of Gypsy, and all of us heard a young Byron Janis play with the Chicago Philharmonic at Ravinia, and Andy Williams sing Moon River in the Empire Room of the Palmer House at Chicago Night Out.

As a pitch to attend Northwestern, it worked. A couple dozen of us graduated from Northwestern five years later. But the experience also imbued a lifelong affection for the university in the ones who did not attend Northwestern.

Jim Spears, who became an editor at Newsday, graduated from Hamilton College in New York and earned his master’s degree at that other journalism school, Columbia University, but his Cherub experience was noted in his 2017 obituary.

Bruce Buck said he “really enjoyed the Northwestern program and really wanted to be a journalist for the long term, but my father was a journalist and he encouraged me to do something that could be more financially secure.” He kept his options open during Columbia Law School by spending weekends on the police beat for the Newark Evening News, then practiced law for Wall Street law firms in London. In 2003, Buck became chairman of Chelsea Football Club, one of the top European football (soccer) clubs.

During her undergraduate years at Medill, Linda Grove (BSJ66) developed an interest in China, and earned a master’s in Asian Studies and a PhD in history from University of California, Berkeley. In 1970, Grove moved to Japan to work on her dissertation on the social and economic background of the war in China. At that time Americans could not visit China. She married a Japanese art historian, and taught for many years at Tokyo’s Sophia University, serving as a dean and later vice president of the university.

Martin Stidham (BSJ65) studied Chinese during undergraduate summers. “After graduation, I took a freighter to Taiwan and did a part-time stint with the China Post in Taipei, but soon realized that an excruciatingly slow writer is not cut out to be a journalist.” He began translating contemporary novels, short stories and poetry from Chinese, writing a Chinese vegetarian cookbook and co-authoring two books on early childhood education. He now lives in San Francisco.

More than half of the Cherubs we found had spent at least some portion of their life in journalism, as writers or in a communications-related field.

On summer break from Harvard, Stu Pizer got a job in the mailroom at the New Yorker, then worked under managing editor William Shawn, writing “Talk of the Town.” While offered a full time job at the New Yorker upon graduation, he decided to pursue psychology. He helped found a psychoanalytic institute in Boston and started a writing program for health professionals.

Jack Rossotti (BSJ66) was a reporter, producer and anchor in television news in Syracuse before going to law school, practicing law and teaching law at American University.

Susan Holly Stocking (BSJ66, MSJ67) was a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, before earning a PhD from Indiana University and teaching journalism there for more than two decades.

Kathy was a reporter for United Press International in Los Angeles, covering the trials of Sirhan Sirhan, Charles Manson, Daniel Ellsberg and John DeLorean, was the Southern California correspondent to The Economist, and a contributing editor of Los Angeles Magazine. She taught journalism on both the high school and college level for 40 years.

Janis Bateman (BSJ66,MSJ67) had intended to be a sportswriter, but she said that spending her summers as a Cherub instructor made her a “lifer” as a journalism teacher, at her own alma mater, Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon.

Peter David Koenig (BSJ66) retired in Buenos Aires after a career as a writer, poet, and university professor, said that the Cherub program “took me out of a small town midwestern high school, and transported me a hundred miles away from my family for the first time in my life, to the Northwestern University campus I knew only vaguely by name, and into the presence of a whole group of able high school writers and professional journalists for a summer that was for me pure bliss, and as Ivan Doig might say in The Last Bus To Wisdom, a ticket to the start of a new life.”

The Zoom Reunion, Bateman noted, had reconnected her with old friends, and “to have your social life re-energized at 77 is something special.”

1980s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Tony Bartelme (BSJ84)

Tony Bartelme was awarded Columbia Journalism School’s prestigious 2021 John Chancellor Award. Judges cited a career of ground-breaking environmental and investigative stories that stretched the limits of what local newspapers offer their readers. He is senior project reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina.

1990s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Benoit Denizet-Lewis (BSJ97)

Benoit Denizet-Lewis, an associate professor at Emerson College and a longtime contributing writer with The New York Times Magazine, was awarded a 2022 New America fellowship. He will work on a new book, “We Don’t Know You Anymore,” about people who experience significant shifts to an identity or belief system.

2000s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Juliana Tafur (BSJ07)

Juliana Tafur was selected as a Obama Foundation Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year at Columbia University. She will join 11 other rising leaders from the United States and around the world who are already making a difference in their communities.

Juliana was chosen for designing and implementing a listening methodology to inspire positive dialogue across differences and foster human connection, following the production of her award-winning documentary List(e)n.

Her film brings together Americans with opposing viewpoints and facilitates opportunities for them to connect across their differences. Inspired by the documentary, she created Listen Courageously, a workshop series providing tools for participants to engage in heart-centered dialogue.

She runs Story Powerhouse, a professional and social development organization that uses film to cultivate understanding. Her workshops have built bridges at corporate settings, academic institutions and non-profit organizations, guiding participants in empathic listening.

1980s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Lori Montgomery (BSJ84)

Lori Montgomery was named Business Editor of The Washington Post, leading a rapidly expanding staff that covers the national economy, economic policy and the tech industry. Lori joined The Post in 2000, and most recently served as deputy National Editor.

1990s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Gregor Gilliom (MSJ90)

Gregor Gilliom (MSJ ’90) is owner and editorial director of Versatile Words (, a writing and content strategy practice that serves countless regional and national brands, including NetJets, Nationwide, JPMorganChase, and Target. Founded in 2005, Versatile Words has won dozens of awards for copywriting and creative collaboration, and Gregor recently received the Ed Grauer Leadership Award, the highest honor given by Columbus Society of Communication Arts, the region’s leading creative industry organization.

Prior to his work with Versatile Words, he worked for eight years in magazine editorial, including titles based in Chicago, San Francisco, Madison, and Columbus, Ohio, where he served as founding editor of Columbus CEO magazine. He and his family live in Upper Arlington, a suburb of Columbus.