The Class Coordinators for Reunion 2023 represent a range of different professions and backgrounds. As entrepreneurs, educators, fundraisers, activists, financial consultants, musicians, academic and nonprofit administrators, social workers, and stockbrokers, their collective arc of experience stems from a single point: Hunter College High School.
They share a desire to reconnect with their classmates and to bring them together to celebrate the Hunter experience in June. Gathering for HCHSAA’s Reunion weekend, which will be held in person as well as online, will mark a return to New York for many. The Class Coordinators will remain dedicated to reunion activities through to the conclusion of their individual class parties, and lead efforts to obtain contributions for their class gift.
As organizers of this once in a five year event, we thank them for their dedication to Hunter and their classmates!
Rosemarie COSTA Sepanski ’53
Rosemarie attended Hunter College where she earned a BSMusEd. After the first year of college, she married John Sepanski, her childhood sweetheart. She taught privately for several years while raising her 4 children.
The family had moved to Huntington, New York in 1970 and in 1980, in a seemingly drastic career change, she returned to graduate school and earned an MBA in Finance from Adelphi University. In an almost all male field, she became a Certified Financial Planner. Her first job was at Merrill Lynch, but she progressed to a CFP firm and worked as a broker and portfolio manager for 38 years, retiring in 2022.
Rosemarie studied the piano seriously as a student, and as intense music lovers, she and John had season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera until his health failed in 2018.
Rosemarie joined the League of Women Voters of Huntington in 1972. She was interested in voting rights and the issues of the day. She was President or Vice president of the organization from 1984 to 2004. She was there when the League formed many of the positions it now holds. She is now a member Emeritus.
John’s interest was travel. Together, they went on to 2 or 3 international trips of 2 to 4 weeks a year. They visited every continent except Australia. They did several 3 week, self-directed tours of Italy and France with Rosemarie as navigator and John driving the stick shift, over country roads.
In her retirement years, Rosemarie is practicing Tai Chi and perfecting her watercolor painting skills.
Gail GRANGE Berson ’58
The University of Michigan (Go Blue!) was a very different experience from the single gender small school experience of HCHS from 1953 – 1958.
I did continue being an activist. After all, I had been Chair of Clubs at Hunter. Having signed protest petitions on the U of M campus, I was sure I was on J. Edgar Hoover’s list of evil people.
After graduation, I returned to Manhattan as a die-hard New Yorker. I married, taught elementary school for a number of years, had children, and became a professional Reading Specialist. My final career position was as Assistant Dean of Student Services at Columbia University’s Business School. Dealing with MBA students was easy after having been a third-grade teacher.
On the domestic level, I created and ran the Castle Village Tenants’ Association, chaired the Negotiations Committee that converted the historical rental property into a cooperative and chaired the Board of Directors for five years. I served as a member of the Board time and again, and continue to serve on committees.
On a broader front, I have marched for and signed petitions for various liberal causes (equal rights, women’s rights, etc.) .
HCHS’s assumptions and expectations that females were as capable as males helped support my inclination to speak out and act according to my convictions.
Diane SCOLLAR Blum ’63
Diane SCOLLAR Blum, class of 1963, graduated from the University of Rochester and received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Buffalo. She worked as a clinical social worker for 10 years, and then in nonprofit management, serving as the CEO of CancerCare, a national service organization, for 25 years. She now volunteers as a consultant to social service and health organizations. She has been married to Ronald Blum for 55 years and has two children, Andrew Blum, a journalist and Laura Blum, a health policy professional, and four grandchildren, ranging in age from 10-22.
Peggy Blumenthal ’63
Peggy Blumenthal, Hunter class of ‘63, received a BA in Modern Chinese History from Harvard and an MA in American Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her early career focused on US-China relations, and later on academic exchanges globally, culminating with 35 years at the Institute of International Education (IIE). She retired as IIE’s COO 16 years ago, continuing to serve as a consultant to its President, tracking US academic exchanges with China and Japan. She also chairs JCIE-USA (Japan Center for International Exchange) and served for 3 years as Secretary of the Board of HCHSAA.
Ellen Cohen ’68
I graduated Hunter in ’68 and went to SUNY Stony Brook with an HCHS roommate. Post graduation I took a year off before attending Teachers College (T.C.), receiving a M.A. in special education. I began my career at the Manhattan Children’s Psychiatric Center teaching severely emotionally disturbed adolescents, and shared an apartment with another Hunterite. I taught learning disabled students at James Monroe H.S., the Queens School for Career Development (S.C.D.), and the Bronx S.C.D. where I was responsible for curriculum development. I continued at T.C. gaining certification as Supervisor of Special Education and was appointed to that position at IS52 in the Bronx.
In 1989 I married a Horace Mann grad and moved to Slingerlands, NY. We lived there for three years enjoying the access to the outdoors. In 1992 we moved to Tacoma, Washington. There I volunteered in schools and environmental education programs targeting young people. I still have easy access to hiking, cross-country skiing, birding, kayaking and more. I get back to the city several times a year to visit with family and friends. My relationships with my Hunter friends are among the highlights of my life and they continue to develop and grow, even with long distances between us.
Betsy LAMPERT Minkin ’73
After getting many notices about our Class’s upcoming 50th reunion, I decided to become our class’ reunion coordinator. Fortunately, I was able to enlist the help of a group of classmates who have been working diligently to plan our 50th reunion.
After Hunter, I attended Princeton, along with a record number of Hunter classmates. In 1983, I married Josh Minkin, a Princeton classmate. In 1999, we traveled to China to adopt our daughter, Emma Lee Min Minkin. Unfortunately, Emma’s life was cut short at only 17 months. In 2002, we traveled again to China to adopt our daughter, Adina, who is now about to graduate Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1981, I became one of the first people to receive a liver transplant. After recovering, I began working at the New York Stock Exchange, staying over 25 years, and finished my career at a start-up broker-dealer, which was then acquired by Bank of Montreal from which I retired in April 2022.
As I look forward to the next phase of my journey, I am tremendously grateful for my second chance at life and to those who have helped me along the way.
Roger Perry-Stovall ’98
Roger Perry-Stovall is a designer and creative service provider who transitioned from academia into the world of hospitality via entrepreneurship. He previously served as an adjunct lecturer of Mathematics at The City College of New York and Associate Dean of Academic Support & Developmental Education at Berkeley College in Manhattan.
He is now the owner and operator of Professional & Reliable Bartending in Las Vegas, Nevada which has provided services for many nationally-recognized celebrities and brands, including: The Latin Grammys and the Las Vegas Raiders. He is also the co-creator of his latest Las Vegas venture, Immersive Art Space, which is an immersive art hospitality concept designed to facilitate social interaction. Outside of work, Roger lives for adventure and is actively pursuing his goal of visiting over 50 countries by age 50.
Diana McKeage ’08
Diana McKeage is a proud member of Hunter College High School Class of 2008. She has served as the 2008 Class Coordinator since graduation, engaging her classmates to attend events and donate at their 5- and 10-Year Reunions.
Diana brings to bear a range of mission-driven private sector and non-profit experience. After graduating from Harvard in 2012, she volunteered at microfinance banks in Latin America and joined a fintech & data analytics start-up. Along with some Hunter classmates, she has been a board member and core teammate of PASSNYC, an education non-profit promoting access to educational opportunities in NYC. She graduated with an MBA from Columbia University in 2019 and has since worked in sustainable supply chains and innovative finance for impact. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
Diana serves on the HCHSAA board’s Development, Finance, and Programs Committees.