Class of 1953
- Carole Schwartz Kessner, P’80
Marylin Tell Holzberg, P’78, and I chaired our 60th Reunion, and it was wonderful to be together with classmates, some of whom we had not seen for 60 years. We, of course, recognized everyone — at least after we glanced at the name tag. Those who were there felt great joy in attending an event we never could have imagined in 1953, and we missed those of you who were not able to make it. The Class of ’53, small as it is, raised gifts and pledges for our 60th Reunion gift from 72 percent of our members, the highest participation rate of any class in the 2013 fiscal year. We also enjoyed a 16 percent increase in the number of gifts from the previous fiscal year, the biggest jump of any class. I am pleased to report that we had 100 percent gift participation from the Reunion committee and attendees. Does this suggest that absence makes our hearts grow fonder, or does it mean that we recognize the second class had much to do with the remarkable success of our fledgling Brandeis? As part of the Reunion, we had a joint get-together with the 55th Reunion class (chaired by my sister, Arline Schwartz Rotman ’58), where we heard from John Unsworth, vice provost for library and technology services and Brandeis’ chief information officer, and professor David Troyansky, MA’78, PhD’83, past chair of the history department at Brooklyn College and son of our late classmate Leila Grossman Troyansky, P’78, P’78. After John and David’s presentation about online education, we had a lively Q&A that touched on the evolution of the humanities and core curriculum at Brandeis. We were led by Rev. Alfred Zadig, the priest of a thriving Episcopal congregation in central Massachusetts, in a short but lovely memorial service for our classmates who are no longer alive. We were also treated to a newly edited version of a film, originally made in 1952 by Lou Lindauer, about the first Brandeis Creative Arts Festival. It was exciting not only to view Leonard Bernstein conducting scenes from “Trouble in Tahiti” but also to see some of us as we were. At Reunion, I was delighted to reconnect with Mal Sibulkin, who now spells his name “Maal.” That is, no doubt, a result of his Fulbright fellowship in Finland after graduation from Brandeis. He remained in Finland for a few years and married there. I remember this well because we were both music majors — and there were only three of us in our class (none in the first class). Maal gave up his composing, returned to the United States and now lives in Farmington, Maine. During recent years, he has turned to writing poetry, which he has recited on a Mt. Blue TV-Channel 11 program called “Talkin’ Maine,” hosted by state Sen. Tom Saviello. Though he now sports a long beard and a rural Maine appearance, Maal has a voice that is pure Massachusetts, and the poetry is great.