Setting the Bar

Katharine Marianacci ’17, Dallas, Pa., competed in the prestigious Valentina Koslova International Ballet Competition at the Symphony Space Theater in New York City in June. Marianacci is now dancing professionally with the US International Ballet Company based out of Wilmington, N.C. after undergoing a highly competitive audition process. She will also continue to serve as a dance faculty member at the Degnan Ballet Center & Wilkes University Conservatory as well as perform as a guest artist in the troupe’s productions. In addition to her accomplishments in ballet, she graduated summa cum laude from Wilkes with a BA in psychology and she holds an MEd in counseling psychology from Lehigh University, finishing with a 4.0 GPA. Marianacci has extensive experience as a psychotherapist and career coach and she will continue to work in that field part-time while pursuing professional ballet.


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    DANIEL KLEM, Allentown, Pa., was featured on a bird podcast called BirdCast from Western Australia, discussing ways we can alter our own solid air and save billions of wild birds.

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    Julie Sauder moved to Flanders, N.J., after 43 years in Wharton, N.J. While cleaning her garage, she discovered a reel-to-reel tape of a fellow music student, KATHY HAFICH OGDEN. She had found the recording of her senior recital! She called the Wilkes Alumni Office and was able to find Kathy, who now lives in California. They copied the reel onto a CD, and sent it to Kathy who had never heard it before. After 50 years, she was so excited to hear it. Her family heard her play; she was a fantastic pianist. Now Kathy and Julie have rekindled a friendship and it’s wonderful. Julie and Kathy would welcome contact from friends and classmates and they can be reached at and

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    CATHERINE CHANDLER OLIVEIRA, Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Quebec, Canada, recently published her sixth book, “Annals of the Dear Unknown.” It’s a historical verse-tale set in the 1770s in the Wyoming Valley. Catherine read from it at the Nathan Denison House in Forty Fort on September 18, 2022. The book is available on Amazon and from the publisher, Kelsay Books.

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    DAVID GREGROW, Newark Valley, N.Y., was inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (PHSAA) Section IV Athletic Hall of Fame on October 23, 2021.

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    ANTHONY DEVINCENTIS, Kinnelon, N.J., of Brookdale Dental Group, was named on Morris/Essex Health and Life magazine’s 2022 list of Top Dentists.

1WILLIAM R. LAZOR ’71, CPA/PFS, CFE, Scranton, Pa., has been elected Chair of the Board of the Moses Taylor Foundation. Lazor joined the Foundation as a board member in January 2016 and served as Vice Chair from July 2019 to June 2022. Along with his service to Moses Taylor Foundation, Lazor has contributed in a variety of roles within local government and nonprofit sectors to ensure appropriate oversight and stewardship of resources. The Moses Taylor Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to improve the health of people in northeastern Pennsylvania. Lazor earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce and finance from Wilkes University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Pennsylvania and New York. 2ROBERT E. FORSE ’73, Pennsdale, Pa., former president and CEO of Woodlands Bank, was inducted to Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s 50+ Year Club. Forse was president and CEO of Woodlands Bank from 1990 to 2013. He was chairman of Woodlands Bank’s Board of Directors until December of 2021, and now has emeritus status. Through his leadership and mentorship, Woodlands Bank grew from one location with a staff of 10 to eight locations with over 100 employees serving both Lycoming and Clinton Counties. 3SANDY AKROMAS THOMSON ’76, Mississauga, Ontario, took a trip from Canada to Florida and met up with many Wilkes friends, including LAUREEN CARNEY SANTINI ’76 and BOB SPINELLI ’76.
ROBERT E. FORSE ’73 group photo
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    FRED PIERANTONI III, Dupont, Pa., has been retained by the electorate for a 10-year term as a Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge. He has served as a county judge since 1992. He previously served as a Magisterial District Judge for the Greater Pittston Area. As a legacy parent, his son, Fred IV, graduated from Wilkes in 2010. Judge Pierantoni is a member of the Wilkes Alumni Association Board of Directors. He resides in Dupont with his wife, Donna and son, Matt.

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    CHUCK ALLABAUGH, JR., Plains, Pa., began a new job with Panzitta Sales and Service as a Sales/Service Manager. BRUCE R. WILLIAMS, Lake Waukomis, Mo., D.O, FACOFP, was installed as the 2022-2023 President of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) at the 59th Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas on March 16, 2022. Dr. Williams was an Osteopathic Family Physician in Eastern Jackson County, Missouri (suburban Kansas City) for 31 years before transitioning to Associate Dean of Clinical Education at Kansas City University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) in May 2020. Dr. Williams is an alumnus of KCU, graduating in 1987. The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) is a professional medical association that represents more than 18,000 practicing osteopathic family physicians, residents and students throughout the United States. Its headquarters are located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Dr. Williams has served on the ACOFP Board of Governors since 2015.

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    LUANN MCHUGH, Coatesville, Pa., in addition to her successful real estate business, has been keeping bees for 11 years at her registered apiary. In 2021, she established a Pennsylvania Limited Winery, making mead and honey-based wines. You can shop wines and balsamic vinegars at

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    J.B. EARL, Harding, Pa., has completed cinematography on a new film called “Purple Heart,” which will be screening at the greater Lehigh Valley Film Festival.

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    MARY CONSUGAR MBA ’88, Chestertown, Md., has been named an assistant vice president for Global Distribution at T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services in Owings Mills, Md. She is the lead manager of marketing content and content management systems for Retirement Plan Services.

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    JANICE SALDUKAS-PARSONS, Felton, Del., graduated with an ADN from Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown, Del. She is employed as a registered nurse with Tidal Health in Seaford, Del.

Donna O'Toole headshot
Linda Zaneski headshot
1DONNA O’TOOLE SEDOR ’85, Larksville, Pa., has been appointed President/CEO of Telespond Senior Services. Sedor replaced Joseph J. Grilli, who retired. Sedor holds extensive experience in communications, fundraising, and program development. A dedicated community leader, Sedor also served as a chamber of commerce vice president for nearly 25 years. Since its inception in 1974, Telespond Senior Services has served older adults and their caregivers in northeastern Pennsylvania. 2LINDA ZANESKI ’91, MHA ’01, DNP ’21, Edwardsville, Pa., was crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania in April 2022, was promoted to National Program Manager with the Veterans Health Administration in the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care, and is also an adjunct professor in the Passan School of Nursing.
  • KATHY HARRIS BROWN, Troy, N.Y., started a new job at Prudential Retirement in the Participant Service Center. She previously worked for Prudential for 15 years.
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    JOEL BERNSTEIN, Media, Pa., will celebrate 25 years as CFO of Customer Success at SAP.

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    MATTHEW SOWCIK, Gainesville, Fla., published his first thought-leadership book, “The H-Factor: The Intersection Between Humility and Great Leadership.” Sowcik’s book shows the immense benefits associated with living a life focused through the lens of humility. While humility sounds like a simple concept initially, due to misconceptions, many of the benefits associated with a humble mindset often go unrecognized. Sowcik lays out the benefits of humility, defines this complex construct and provides humility-based practices to utilize the H-Factor in daily leadership. The book is available on Amazon. WILL TAYLOR, North Haledon, N.J., recently began his 10th season as a cinematographer for NFL Films.

1MELISSA NAPIER ’92, Downers Grove, Ill., has been named senior vice president of investor relations at Conagra Brands, Inc., effective April 25, 2022. In her new role, Melissa will lead the development and execution of Conagra’s investor relations program, including setting strategy in financial communications and quantitative benchmarking and analysis. Previously, Melissa was senior vice president of Treasury and Investor Relations at US Foods. Earlier, she was senior vice president of finance at Tyson Foods. She also has held finance roles at Hillshire Brands and Sara Lee. 2WILLIAM “BILL” BOYER ’96, Tallahassee, Fla., was named the Associate Dean, Designated Institutional Official (DIO) at the Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences on May 2, 2022. In these roles, Bill oversees the FSU College of Medicine sponsored residency and fellowship programs and collaborates with the clinical training sites across the state. Dr. Boyer chairs the FSU COM Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), and will be actively involved in advancing faculty development opportunities and other educational endeavors across the medical school and residency programs. Dr. Boyer’s expertise includes medical education leadership, accreditation, operations, program development, and organizational crisis management. Additional areas include faculty development, simulation/immersive learning and interprofessional education, curriculum design and instruction. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). Dr. Boyer is an ACS National Faculty as an Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Educator and the Northeast Representative on the Senior Educator Advisory Board of the ATLS Committee-ACS. He is a member of the Association of Hospital Medical Education (AHME), where he is a member of the Council of Institutional Leaders (COIL) and the Council on Professional and Faculty Development (CPFD). Dr. Boyer is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) with the SSH and received his Simulation Instructor certificate from Penn State University/Hershey Medical Center. 3GEORGE MORRISON ’03, Allentown, Pa., joined Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s labor and employment section, where he will continue growing his practice representing colleges and universities, as well as companies in health care, technology and government contracts. Attorney Morrison moved his practice to give his clients a larger resource for their needs. He also sits on the advisory board to the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at Wilkes.
Melissa Napier headshot
William Boyer headshot
George Morrison headshot
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    SARA MACCHIANO MS, MBA, RN NEA-BC ’03, Natick, Mass., co-founded Canopy Consultants, a healthcare leadership development and consulting firm that works with teams in hospitals, ambulatory care and higher education.

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    JILL (MOLT) NEWTON DNP, PMHNP, CDR-USN, was promoted to the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Jill served six years on active duty in the U.S. Navy before her honorable discharge and becoming a reservist. She earned a doctor of nursing degree from East Tennessee State University in 2019. She is drilling monthly for the reserves in Knoxville, Tenn., and is fulfilling her annual reserve commitment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Jill resides with her husband, Brian, and daughter, Loula, in Elizabethton, Tenn.

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    MEGAN CANNON, Allentown, Pa., spoke to Wilkes athletes on the topic of performance and test anxiety. Dr. Cannon assists athletes and high performers in achieving strong emotional health and peak performance. Dr. Cannon offered each student present with guidance on how to overcome test/performance anxiety because each student feels the pressure to perform at a high level. Whether it is on a test, in an athletic event, or even at work, it’s possible that students may suffer from anxiety in these situations. Students with low levels of test anxiety achieve higher scores on multiple choice exams than those with high anxiety levels. Dr. Cannon has worked with athletes and teams at Johns Hopkins, UMass, and Pittsburgh and has made multiple appearances on ESPN’s SportsCenter as an expert on sports psychology.

Gabrielle D'Amico headshot
Maverick Dean, second child of Gary Steich Jr and Michelle Steich
Mark Congdon holding trophy
1GABRIELLE D’AMICO ’04, MFA ’17, Kingston, Pa., associate vice president of Marketing Communications at Wilkes, was named to the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 20 Under 40 list, published yearly since 2002. The award is given to the best and brightest young business stars in the region who are passionate about their profession and set a standard of excellence in their workplace and in northeastern Pa. 2GARY STEICH, JR. ’06 and wife Michelle Steich of Beach Lake, Pa., are proud to announce the birth of their second child, Maverick Dean. Maverick was born on January 28, 2022 weighing 5 pounds 8 ounces. 3MARK CONGDON JR., ’08, assistant professor of communication studies at Sacred Heart University, won PR News’ 2022 Social Impact Award for Outstanding Educator of the Year. He was also an Honorable Mention for Mentor of the Year. The diversity awards, presented by PR News, honor communicators who use their platforms to better their community and the global community at large.
Jef and Amanda Bauman holding their baby
Jessica Ives headshot
Alicia Mattioli at her wedding with fellow alumni
Alicia Mattioli headshot
1For JEF (’09) and AMANDA (BS ’09, MS ’11) BAUMAN of Duryea, Pa., 2021 will be a year to remember. On June 3, 2021 they welcomed their first daughter Gemma Elizabeth. Later in the year Jef, who most recently served as borough council president, was elected as the new mayor of Duryea Borough in November 2021. Amanda is in her 12th year teaching at Pittston Area High School and Jef is the Online Student Experience Coordinator at Lackawanna College, a job he began in September 2020. 2JESSICA IVES ’09, Nanticoke, Pa., director of Case Management and Community Programs at Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, was named to the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 20 Under 40 list, published yearly since 2002. The award is given to the best and brightest young business stars in the region who are passionate about their profession and set a standard of excellence in their workplace and in NEPA. 3ALICIA MATTIOLI ’09, Bethlehem, Pa., married Brian Nice on July 2, 2022, with fellow ’09 alumnae JORDON SCHREFFLER, TANYA FEIERTAG and ASHLEY (CAMPANICKI) LOVETT in attendance. 4KATIE NEALON ’10, Scranton, Pa., attorney at Munley Law, was named to the 2022 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list, which recognizes 2.5% of American lawyers who have been practicing for ten years or less.

MEGAN E. GRIM, CPA, Lewisberry, Pa., was promoted from manager to senior manager at Brown Schultz Sheridan and Fritz in Camp Hill. Megan joined the BSSF Accounting and Auditing Practice team in 2018 with over 10 years of public accounting experience. She specializes in providing accounting and auditing services to clients in various industries, including construction, manufacturing and other closely-held businesses. Megan is also a key member of the firm’s employee benefit plan audit group. Brown Schultz Sheridan and Fritz is a premier advisory firm, providing accounting, assurance, tax and consulting services across the mid-Atlantic region. In 2021, BSSF was named the #1 Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania in the medium-sized company category, nationally ranked as a Best Accounting Firm to Work For and named one of the top ten Best Firms for Young Accountants in the U.S.

1JASON R. WOLOSKI ’10, MD, FAAFP, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Luzerne County, has been elected President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP). He began a one-year term on April 2, 2022. “Family medicine physicians continue to be the backbone of health care. I am honored to represent these front-line heroes this coming year; a physician-led health care team is paramount to advancing population health initiatives and ensuring effective and timely care.” said Dr. Woloski. As president of the PAFP, Woloski will guide the activities of the Academy’s board of directors, provide leadership for the Academy’s advocacy, education and workforce development efforts and represent the specialty of family medicine to members of the public, the media and the legislature. 2DAWN DIMARIA ’14 and KEVIN RUITENBERG ’14 were married on Oct. 9, 2021 at The Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Dawn and Kevin met each other at Wilkes during the spring semester of 2012 and began dating in the summer of 2014. They now reside in New Jersey. 3KRISTIE SPINELLO ’15, MBA ’18, Archbald, Pa., was named to the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 20 Under 40 list, published yearly since 2002. The award is given to the best and brightest young business stars in the region who are passionate about their profession and set a standard of excellence in their workplace and in NEPA. 4BRYAN BILBAO ’17, Old Forge, Pa., a graduate student in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant studies major, was recently selected as a director for Physician Assistant Students for Leadership, Equity, Anti-Racism and Diversity. The national organization, known by its initials, PA-S LEAD, began as a group of Pennsylvania students of color and their allies. Its goal is to forge connections among underrepresented minority Pa. students and other diversity-minded Pa. student leaders to share resources, experience, and support.
Jason Woloski
Dawn and Kevin Ruitenberg at wedding
Kristie Spinello ’15, MBA ’18
Bryan Bilbao headshot

CHRISTINE LEE, Pottsville, Pa., and her colleagues at the Pottsville Republican Herald newspaper, received a second place Keystone Media Award in the business or consumer story category for the stories in the paper’s 2021 economic roundtable, which focused on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the workplace in Schuylkill County.
EVANA MANANDHAR, West Haven, Conn., named Miss Nepal in 2015, has worked in humanitarian and social activist projects for the last several years. She was recently featured on Everest TV’s Ryan Shrestha Show.


DEREK JOLLEY, Larksville, Pa., of the band cuddledrug, announced today the release of its new full-length album, “Bed of Thorns,” and the continuation of its long history of charitable giving initiatives. The album can be streamed and purchased on every major platform. Last year, the band released a full-length, self-titled album that benefited the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This year, album and merchandise proceeds from “Bed of Thorns” will benefit area charities associated with mental health and addiction recovery. This first phase of the album release will benefit the Geisinger Marworth Addiction Treatment Center near Scranton. Follow the band on Instagram @cuddledrug, and play an interactive game at The band includes DEREK JOLLEY, drums, piano, guitar and vocals; fellow alum DAVID HEINZ ’19, guitar and vocals; Patrick Walton, bass; Frazee Sutphen, album art, guitar and vocals; Dylan Jolley, auxiliaries; Nate Harbaugh, saxophone; Adam Harbaugh, trumpet; John Shimp, trumpet; Tye Sutphen, live performer; Kevin Adams, guitar solos; Ashton Znaniecki, consultant; Brian Keith Bidding, logistics; and Danny Washington, engineer.


VERLISHA GOINS, Blythewood, S.C., is the co-owner of SVS Hydration & Wellness Lounge, LLC. The company provides hydration, beauty and wellness services, and is currently providing mobile IV hydration and vitamin services to the Columbia, S.C. area. This is a natural, alternative and preventative approach to wellness.

1ROBERT IDE ’17, Greenfield, Mass., was engaged to Taylor Perlis in October 2021. A wedding is planned for spring of 2023. 2KAYLA BARDZEL ’18 and JAKE WEAVER ’19 were married on Oct. 16, 2021, in Clarks Summit, Pa. They currently reside in Lebanon. 3HANNAH EASTMAN ’18 received the inaugural Dr. Steven Thomas Memorial Scholarship from the Arcadia Chorale. Hannah is employed by the Geisinger Health System, where, in addition to providing patient care, she was recently promoted to clinical coordinator. Front row: Hannah Eastman ’18 and Mariane Ferrantino ’07, ’18. Back row: Samantha Schumacher ’16 and Benjamin Collins ’11, ’18. Not pictured: Martina (Barna) Reid ’18 and Susan Minsavage ’19.
Robert Ide and Taylor Perlis
Kay Bardzel and Jake Weaver wedding
Hannah Eastman
1NICOLE OLVER ’19 and JOSHUA HAGAN ’18 were married on Feb. 22, 2022, on the Fort Myers Beach Pier in Fort Myers, Fla. Joshua and Nicole met at Wilkes while both in the marching band and they now reside in Virginia Beach, Va. 2CAITLIN KLINGER ’21 and BRUCE HETTLER ’19 were married on March 19, 2022, at the Green Pond Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa. They were surrounded by friends and family with a total of 16 alumni at the wedding. Bruce and Caitlin met while taking classes at Wilkes and they now reside in Reading.
Nicole Oliver and Joshua Hagan by pier
Caitlin Klinger and Bruce Hettler wedding


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    DAVE AFRICA MBA, Bethlehem, Pa., moved into a new role as an audit training specialist in the office of training and quality control at the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. He also passed the Level 1 Professional Ski Instructors of America Alpine Ski Exam in 2021. He works at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, Pa., as a ski instructor in the winter months.

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    HOLLY COURTER MBA, Laflin, Pa., was awarded the Human Resources Professional of the Year Award by the Northeast Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association.

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    MOHAMED JALLOH PHARMD, Napa, Calif., recently self-published a children’s book, “Andre’s Armor,” which is a story for young minority children and their parents to learn how vaccines work through characters who look like them. The book was reviewed for accuracy and placed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), by alumna Charlotte Moser ’92. The book is available at:

Evelyn Washo, daughter of Amy Washo
Robert Palazzo headshot
Marilyn Pryle giving speech
Skyee Edwards holding diploma
1AMY WASHO MBA ’12, Old Forge, Pa., and her husband Jason Washo welcomed baby girl Evelyn on Aug. 13, 2022. 2ROBERT PALAZZO ’16 MEd, Catasauqua, Principal of Panther Valley Elementary School (PVES) in the Panther Valley School District (PVSD), in Carbon County, Pa., has been named Pennsylvania’s 2022 National Distinguished Principal (NDP) by the Pennsylvania Principals Association. As a state winner in the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ (NAESP) National Distinguished Principal
(NDP) Program, Mr. Palazzo will be honored by NAESP and the PA Principals Association at special award ceremonies in the fall. Mr. Palazzo served in his current role as the principal at Panther Valley Elementary School (K-3) since 2017. Previously, he was a school psychologist in the Palmerton Area School District from 2008-2017. 3MARILYN PRYLE, EdD ’20, Clarks Green, Pa., was invited to the White House as the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year for 2020 and 2021 along with other state and national Teacher of the Year awardees.
4SKYEE EDWARDS PHARMD ’21, a West Virginia University Hospital’s pharmacy resident, received the “Good Catch” award from West Virginia University Medicine. Skyee identified a mistake on one of her patient’s charts, which could have resulted in an unsafe condition for the patient. This great catch avoided an additional dose of vancomycin on admission. Vancomycin can quickly accumulate, leading to acute kidney injuries and the need to monitor closely. Congratulations to Skyee for her reluctance to simplify and for her preoccupation with failure!

Picture Perfect: Guidelines for Submitting Photos for Class Notes

Wilkes magazine accepts photos to announce alumni weddings and accompany class notes reporting achievements and milestones. To ensure that we can use the photos submitted, please follow these requirements:
  1. Email jpeg or tif files to or upload as an online class note submission on the alumni website at
  2. Digital photos must be at least 4 by 6 inches at 300 dpi or 1200 pixels by 1800 pixels. If you are sending a photo from your smart phone, choose full size or the largest size when prompted to specify the size you wish to send.
  3. Please identify everyone in the photo, starting from left to right. Identify both alumni and non-alumni in submitted photos. Include class years for alumni.