Remembering the 2015 Reunion

Alumni reunion 2015 was a resounding success!

12. The party begins.

Below, you’ll find a selection of memories. Add your comments at the bottom!

We’ve also posted image galleries from Jay Collier, Russ Fortier, Susheel Bibbs, and Ralph Schuetz. (Contact Jay Collier at   to find out to submit your pictures.) Help us identify people by adding comments on those gallery pages. And be sure to checkout the Guestbook and sign up for future updates.


Art Henry: I greatly enjoyed our WGBH Alumni Reunion last Saturday! Thanks to all those on the committee for their work to make this event happen. Besides reconnecting with friends I knew during my time at ‘GBH (74-80), I had many interesting conversations with folks who were at the station either before or after I was there. What a great day! I didn’t want it to end!

Emily Lovering: Dear Fred and Mike and everyone! Simply GLORIOUS!  It was all just the best possible fun.  Wonderful legwork, Fred. It was an outrageous success, or so I kept hearing from lots of grateful participants.  The gala really did have special spirit and jollity, and the only downer is the thought that you’d dare even THINK about not starting plans for the next gathering. Missing you all already.

Henry Becton: It seemed to be full of happy people having a great time, reminiscing and connecting with old friends.  My hat’s off to you and the reunion committee for all you did to make it happen, get people there and organize the day.

83. Dick Heller, Rachel Ortiz, Susheel Bibbs, Henry Becton, Kate Taylor and Arthur J. Henry.

Dick Heller, Raquel Ortiz, Susheel Bibbs, Henry Becton, Kate Taylor and Arthur J. Henry.

Syrl Silberman: A very touching and gratifying day. A reaffirmation of 11 years of my life.

Russ Fortier: Anybody care to hazard a guess as to how many years of experience was in the room?

Dan Beach: So sorry to miss it. Why do Ambrosino, Barzyk and Emily never age?

Jane Arsham: I want to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for your efforts — thank you Fred and Michael as the driving forces that people know about — however I know how much each one of you added to the whole. It was a wonderful time for everyone. THANK YOU!

Chas Norton: Fred, You made it happen. Thank you!

David Atwood: Thank you Fred, for so ably driving the buss on all the reunions.

Brian O’Donovan: Well done to all who made it happen. It was a wonderful, buzzing gathering and such enthusiasm for reconnecting. Congrats, and a heartfelt thanks. 

David Swens: This was my first reunion and it lived up to the hype! Great to see and speak to Bud Collins and Ron DellaChiesa, Dave Atwood, and several others from my time (’65-67). And I met older and newer peeps as well. The archive interviews in the Yawkey Theater were great…want to see more. Are they available online? Credits said there are 100 hours recorded. 

Deborah Gillespie: LOVE seeing all these pictures… brings back all the memories of these incredibly talented and amazing group of people. Thanks for these great pictures, will look for more… and hopefully, another reunion sometime in the not-so-distant future. Really sorry that I couldn’t be there this year. Kudos to all those that put this grand event together…!

Dave Svens: I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the reunion yesterday. You and the others who organized it did a terrific job. Met some new friends and reconnected with some old ones. (Alas, Bill Cosel wasn’t there). It was a delight to see and talk to Bud Collins (we both started at GBH in 1965 … he did a little more with his career!). Thanks again, Dave

9. Tony Saletan, Nina Saletan, Chas Norton, and Fred Barzyk

Tony Saletan, Nina Saletan, Chas Norton, and Fred Barzyk

Dan Nelson shared his thoughts on Facebook

Thank you so much for the photos, Jay! I just have to commend each person in these photos.

Public media (television & radio) has been an integral part of my development. It brought much needed light and hope into my childhood . . . and it gave me a great sense to explore and grow. It also gave me hope in my future.

Growing up in one of the most rural towns in Hawai’i, I remember the stinger at the end of every WGBH-produced program. I thought WGBH was PBS for many, many years . . . because it seemed every show I enjoyed was tagged with that beautiful bright orange logo.

Because of every person in these photos, the greatest programs were not only available to me and my family — but to everyone who had (and has) a television set. WGBH introduced me to new concepts, music, science, theatre, history, food, cooking and so much more. Because of each of you, I have a deeper appreciation for everything wonderful — and that appreciation grows stronger with each passing day.

Just last night, I learned more about the history of our country’s military draft. A few weeks ago, I learned more about the tumultuous 60s . . . and a few months ago, I learned about the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon. Because of each of you, I have a much deeper appreciation for and a better understanding of my Vietnam Veteran Uncle Tommy who still bears the invisible psychological scars of battle. And — of course — each of the past few weeks, I’ve been tuning in to learn more about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall.

I am very thankful for my time at WGBH, and I could only hope that my contribution as a WGBH employee has made a difference in the lives of many others like me . . . like us . . . people wanting to learn more so they could be more.

It just seems appropriate that portions of former FCC Chair Newton Minnow’s Vast Wasteland speech is posted on the exterior of the new WGBH building — reminding us why public media is integral to our community . . . our nation . . . our world. We are hope.

Again, to each of you, thank you, thank you, thank you. 

4. Bruce Bordett, Chas Norton, Bill Charette, Dick Heller, and Jane Arsham

Bruce Bordett, Chas Norton, Bill Charette, Dick Heller, and Jane Arsham

Don Hallock was inducted into the WGBH Alumni Hall of Fame.

Well Fred, I have to say that this news finds me somewhat speechless.  It seems to me that there are so many others who deserve the honor at least as much as I.  In fact I’d guess that pretty much everyone who has ever worked at GBH should be honored in some form for making the station the broadcasting paragon it is.  I simply feel honored to have been part of that achievement. 

Huge thanks are due to you for engineering these reunions.  I’m sure they mean a lot to many, as they have to me (present in body or just in spirit). 

Thank you, Fred, for all the love you have poured out to all of us over the years.  Blessings, my friend.  Yours, Don  



  1. Doug Smith on June 1, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Thank you, Michael and Fred, for a wonderful opportunity to see old friends and colleagues. It amazes me that such a large and important part of public television history was represented at the reunion. Just think about the people and the shows…

  2. Ron Della Chiesa on May 11, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks to Fred and everyone on the commitee for making our reunion one of the premiere events of the year. How great to see so many old ‘GBH friends and share wonderful memories. So much fun and laughter that we need now more than ever these days
    At times I felt like I was in a classic Fellini movie, seeing the faces of so many people I worked with again. A day to remember for years to come!

  3. Margie Arons-Barron on May 11, 2015 at 9:41 am

    My time honing skills to be a broadcast reporter on the Ten O’Clock News and later as an associate producer on The Advocates was absolutely formative in my career. And The Advocates still goes down as one of the top journalistic experiences in the last 35 years. Boy, was that fun!

  4. Carol Jeffery on May 11, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for a super party and the sweet reminders of the outstanding mentors and friends who enriched my time at WGBH and my life. Let me know how I can help with organizing the next one.

  5. Paul Binder on May 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Just after my 21st birthday, November 1963, I was a surprised to find that I was assigned to be the floor manager for the French Chef with Julia Child. She was not yet the national phenomenon that she very quickly became. I was wet behind the ears and very nervous. Julia made it all work…phhew! More than that, she became my model for management when I founded the Big Apple Circus later on. And…WE GOT TO EAT THE FOOD. There’s an entire chapter devoted to that first day in my book, Never Quote the Weather to a Sea Lion and Other Uncommon Tales from the Founder of the Big Apple Circus. ( Thanks WGBH!

  6. Lo Hartnett on May 10, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Heard it was a spectacular event, and so bummed I had to miss it but Europe was not a bad alternative.

  7. Chris Pullman on May 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    What a bummer to miss this event, but I was in the air coming back from a vacation in Spain. Fun to see the pictures and comments. CP

    • Harriet Reisen on May 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Chris – When you first came to WGBH, I was writing a proposal for The Scarlet Letter. You set up a template for it and other proposals, and you made me understand the importance of breaking down the text with sub-heads, and leaving enough white space, and producing an elegant document that wasn’t or didn’t look expensive, to establish that we didn’t waste money. I learned so much from that brief conversation, and put it into practice, especially during the five years that Nancy Porter and I spent fund-raising for our film about Louisa May Alcott. So, belatedly, many thanks.

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