Newly Posted

Posted April 22, 2024.

“Professor Ralph E. Turner,” by Pack Wilbur. A surprising history of a much-beloved professor. Click here to read Pack’s essay.

[Editor’s Note: Following news of the death of classmate Steve Adams, Richard Contiguglia wrote a guest column for his local newspaper, The Citizen, about the enormous impact Steve’s generosity had on local musical performances. Richard’s column is included in full, below.]

Guest column
What Steve Adams and his piano series did for Auburn


The announcement of Steve Adams’ death on March 14 is an appropriate time for Auburnians to remember what Steve Adams did for Auburn’s musical environment for upwards of 14 years through the auspices of the Adams Foundation’s Piano Recital Series.

The idea grew out of an encounter that took place at a 45th reunion at Yale, after Auburnians and Yale graduates Richard and John Contiguglia had performed for their classmates. Following their performance Steve, whom Richard and John did not know at the time, came to where John was seated with other classmates for dinner, got on his knees, and told him that the only topic of conversation at his table was his and Richard’s concert. Afterwards, Steve asked the Contiguglias how a businessman like him could help people like us. Out of this encounter grew the idea of the Adams Foundation’s subsidy of piano recitals throughout the U.S. Adams pianists soon began to appear in small venues, from the governor’s mansion in Oregon to a university in Mississippi and, of course, Auburn.

The opportunity for Auburnians to hear a roster of some of America’s most acclaimed pianists in intimate settings — including three first prize winners in international piano competitions in John Nakamatsu (Cliburn Competition), Ian Hobson (Leeds International Piano Competition) and Joseph Kalichstein (Leventritt Piano Competition) — was an experience that most attendees will never forget. It was akin to hearing pianists like Ruth Laredo, Steven Mayer, Simone Dinnerstein, Jeanne Stark, Ann Schein and Ursula Oppens in one’s own living room.

My brother and I had the good fortune to perform two works that were highlights of our career — Liszt’s transcription for two pianos of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion — in our hometown and, consequently, for many of our neighbors, thanks to the Adams Foundation Piano Series in Auburn.

The Adams series in Auburn started at Emerson Auditorium in the former East High School. It found its perfect home, however, in Westminster Presbyterian Church. Pianists referred to the acoustics there as “perfect,” and many people from central New York told us that they came to hear piano recitals as they had never sounded locally. A woman wrote John, “How very fortunate we Auburnians are to have these concerts. I left the church with chills on my body.”

Yes, we mourn the loss of Steve Adams, but we also thank him for what he did for our community.


Auburn natives Richard Contiguglia and his identical twin brother, John Contiguglia, are world acclaimed classical concert pianists who currently reside in New York City. Their professional career spans more than 60 years.

Posted May 23, 2023.

Winston Lord gave a celebratory toast on the occasion of Henry Kissinger’s 100th birthday on May 11th. Dr. Kissinger was made an honorary member of our Yale class, spoke at our 50th Reunion, and his papers are stored at Yale.

Click here to read Winston’s toast.

Posted February 23, 2022. Updated February 25, 2022.

Our classmate Winston Lord received many requests for interviews on the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China in February, 1972. Winston, then a key aide to Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security adviser, played an important advisory role on that trip, having already gone along on Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1971 that laid the groundwork for the President’s historic visit the next year. Winston’s interview with the German publication, Der Spiegel, is particularly enlightening. Herewith the transcript. (Click title below to read it in its entirety.)

“Xi Is, Along with Putin, the Most Dangerous Man in the World”

Fifty years ago U.S. President Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China accompanied by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ’59 classmate Winston Lord. Nixon referred to his visit as having taken place during the “week that changed the world.”

Nixon, Kissinger and Lord met with then Chinese Premier Mao Zedong during their visit. Winston’s fascinating firsthand recollections of that meeting as broadcast on NPR can be heard by clicking the light blue and white ‘play’ button below.

Posted August 13, 2020

Ernst/Ernie Schoen-René sends in a note on the nuances of plays and re-writes… click to read

For those items below which have underlined links, please click the links to read the remainder of each.

Posted February 10, 2020

The writing craft is for a good number of our classmates a resourceful way to keep mind and spirit alive and productive, as we become more and more limited in ability to climb up and down mountains and cross oceans. Here are two titles forwarded by Don Watson:

John Macauley Smith’s autobiography: Curious Events Occurred On The Way To My Funeral: A Retired Journalist’s Report on his Earth Odyssey Plus Encounters with Both Known and Unknown Worlds – by John S. M. Smith (Author)

Herb Hallas’s Guardians of the Record: The Origins of Official Court Reporting and the Shorthand Writers Who Made It Possible

Posted October 1, 2019

Mike Whitney sent in a warm remembrance of John “Suis” Suisman. Click here to view it.

Posted January 7, 2019

Please head on over to our Class Projects and Fellowships page for recent news of the Hopper College Fund for Excellence awardees!

Posted January 2, 2019

Jim Cowperthwaite writes: “Hi Everybody,

“Many of us will remember our JE classmate Frank Porter as a smart, witty and ferociously satirical guy. Now he’s written a book (see below), and I bet it’s a good one. I’m giving it to myself for Christmas and look forward to a good read. My guess is he’s a terrific writer and that it might be hot enough to be banned in Boston.

Further, Alex Ercklentz’s sister Hildegard Mahoney (remember her on campus as Miss Rheingold in Freshman year?) has written a memoir of her family’s harrowing experiences as ex-patriates during World War II. It’s called Journey Interrupted and Alex, although only 12 years old at the end, proves himself as stalwart as any in this brave family. It’s truly an amazing saga and a fine tribute to Alex’s admirable character.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019,

We asked Frank Porter about his book and received the following reply:

Greetings All:

My name is “Semper Fee.” I am a novel written by Frank Porter. I would make a perfect holiday (or any day) gift.

I am just right for you if: (a) you have a law degree, (b) you considered law school but thought better of it, or (c) you are, at best, ambivalent about lawyers.

Attached to this pushy email is the URL to my Amazon page. It contains a brief synopsis and two effusive reviews. Neither reviewer was coerced or is related to me (or Frank Porter) by blood or marriage.

Should you decide to buy me online and desire prompt delivery, make sure to order from Amazon directly, not from any of the third party sellers loitering on my page.

All the best,

Semper Fee
By: Frank Porter, Author

And here is the Amazon description of the book by Hildegarde Mahoney nee Ercklentz:

In the midst of World War II, a German-American family finds themselves stranded in Japan in this inspiring tale of an extraordinary family adapting to the hazards of fate, and finding salvation in each other.

In the spring of 1941, seven-year-old Hildegarde Ercklentz and her family leave their home in New York City and set off for their native Germany, where her father has been recalled to the headquarters of the Commerz & Privat Bank in Berlin. It was meant to be an epic journey, crossing the United States, the Pacific, and Siberia—but when Hitler invades Russia, a week-long stay in Yokohama, Japan becomes six years of quasi-detention, as Hildegarde and her family are stranded in Japan until the war’s end. In this spellbinding memoir, Mahoney recounts her family’s moving saga, from their courage in the face of terrible difficulties—including forced relocation, scarce rations, brutal winters in the Japanese Alps—to their joyous reunion with their German relatives in Hamburg, and their eventual return to New York City in 1950. Richly detailed and remarkably vivid, Journey Interrupted is a story unlike any other—the inspiring tale of an extraordinary family adapting to the hazards of fate, and finding salvation in each other.

Posted January 2, 2019

Dick Bentley has sent us more news of his books. Click to view.

Posted March 19, 2018

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, John Stickler has a unique tale to tell. Click to read it.