2024 Investiture Information

All Thayer News

Thayer Notes: Spring 2024

May 07, 2024

Larry Furrer ’56 Th’57 and granddaughter Katherine attended a family wedding at which he officiated.

| 1940s |

Kendrick Kelly ’47 Th’48: I am now 97 years old. I had a wonderful civil engineering career working on large construction projects at various locations around the world. Dartmouth and Thayer are a fond memory.

| 1950s |

Larry Furrer ’56 Th’57: I will turn 90 in July, I hope. In recent months, I officiated a wedding and attended a father-daughter dance with my great-granddaughter. Clint Eastwood, into his 90s and still very active, was asked how he did it. He replied that it was easy, that he got up every morning and did not let the old man in. With inspiration from Clint Eastwood, I wrote the following verse in the poem, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” 

He’s always there in the morning, 
But I hear a voice within.
It’s sending me a warning,
Don’t let the old man in!
Though I start out kind of slow,
I shake off all chagrin,
I tell myself, “Get ready to go.”
And don’t let that old man in!
I always have to walk with care,
Especially when I begin.
I admit sometimes I get a scare,
But I don’t let the old man in.
Great grandkids help to keep me spry,
They make me laugh and grin.
I’m worn out when they say goodbye,
But I don’t let the old man in.
By 10 o’clock, we say alright,
Let’s both of us call it a night,
By then there isn’t any doubt,
All day I kept the old man out.

Alan Peyser ’56 Th’57: 
I have had a wonderful life and accomplished many things. All of them have involved technical and engineering matters, ranging from commanding satellites into orbit to selling 60 or more countries equipment to coordinate the use of the Comsat satellites through big Earth stations to eventually starting a company called Cable and Wireless and growing it to more than $1 billion in revenue.

| 1960s |

Neil Drobny ’62 Th’64: My part-time work at Western Michigan University continues to go well. I am into the second year of a program in which students work competitively in self-selected teams on critical sustainability problems of their choosing. It is called the Bronco Challenge for Sustainable Impact. The challenge is a voluntary activity, and a unique aspect is that students work for prizes (not grades) that I raise from corporate sponsors. The work done by the teams is evaluated by a panel of external judges at the end of the year. The first-place team gets $10,000 to divide among themselves and use for any purpose; second- and third-place teams receive $6,000 and $3,000, respectively. The challenge has received international recognition for innovation in higher education. Participation is a great resume-building experience for the students.

| 1970s |

Steve Pitschke ’77 Th'78: I retired in January of 2023 as senior manager of software engineering at the software integrity group (SIG) division of Synopsis. Since then, I have been enjoying my time immensely with my wife. The main activities I’ve been engaging in are snowboarding, delivering meals to seniors, playing tennis, reading, playing online bridge with friends, and just enjoying down time.

| 1990s |

Doris H. Martínez ’91: I’m excited to begin a new chapter in our 30-plus-year-old production company, Metro Studio, with a new division specialized in high-speed, tabletop cinematography, filled with robotics and many moving parts! It’s a beautiful experience, especially for me as an engineer. I’m also very excited with the news of our first grandchild, whom we expect in February. We will be traveling to London from Bogotá to be with our eldest daughter and her husband after the birth of their firstborn.

Becca Sullivan Völker ’92 Th’94 has enjoyed living in Germany since 2006.

Becca Sullivan Völker ’92 Th’94: After a move to Germany in 2006, I started teaching English. This required some reinvention of myself. Three years ago, however, I started a career-changer program to become accredited in math and ‘technik’ in a local German gesamtschule (for grades five to 10). I had my final exam on February 16—and while almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, I still passed with a comfortable margin. Easily the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and not because of the language!

| 2000s |

Alex Streeter ’03 Th’04 Th’05: This spring marks my 15-year anniversary at DEKA Research & Development, down in the old textile mills in Manchester, N.H. In that time, I’ve been fortunate to work on our advanced prosthetic arm (Luke) and stair-climbing wheel-chair (iBot), among other projects. I’m surrounded and supported by smart coworkers and continually have to learn new skills. For example, I’ve migrated away from expensive software such as Mat-lab and Ansys—tools I learned to use at Thayer—and instead use open-source tools such as Python and Mecway day to day. I incorporate geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) into mymechanical design, detailing, and inspection. I routinely use technologies that were either inaccessible or simply didn’t exist during my studies: low-cost microcontrollers (Arduino), single-board computers (Raspberry Pi), low-power wire-less communications (Bluetooth), micron-scale metrology (CMM), wire-bonding electronics, even CTscanners to look inside complex assemblies. Developing brand new medical technologies to help people is rewarding, but also challenging. It’s a long, winding road to success that encompasses the whole development timeline—from concept and invention through regulatory approval and manufacturing, the timeline can last a decade.

Michelle Wang ’21 Th’22 Th’23 visits the sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

| 2020s |

Michelle Wang ’21 Th’22 Th’23: I am six months into my one-year master’s program, Schwarzman Scholars, in Beijing. Our program is a scholarship program focused on global affairs and global leadership. I’m taking classes on international relations, China’s social institutions, Chinese, China’s modern history, and other China-related courses. I’ve been meeting leaders from all over the world and learning from four-star generals and top professors in China.

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