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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 3  

Alumni Profiles

Forties fellowship group | JOAN SCOTT WALLACE ’52: From academia to ambassador | Brush with the past: JERRY VALLEZ 50 and DON HOLTON 70  | MIKE BETZ ’87 and DAVID NICOLL ’93 team up for the environment at Cat | Obama campaign link — JEFF LINK ’05 | U of I business dean LARRY DeBROCK ’75 | Molly Picon actors on stage | Singer JENNIFER ROSA ’06

 

Forties' fellowship

By MAUREEN HORCHER ’09

Front row (from left to right): CLIFFORD HASSELBACHER ’49, BILL CHINUGE ’42, JOSEPH “MILES” CHAMBERLAIN ’47. Back row: RALPH COLETTA ’43, HAROLD KLESATH ’42, JAY GLATZ ’70 MA ’73. Photo by Duane Zehr.

 

If it’s the fourth Wednesday of the month, you can bet the “Old Fogies” will gather.

The members congregate once a month to catch a hearty meal at Sterling Family Restaurant, exchange news, and swap memories about the good old days at Bradley.

The “Old Fogies,” as they call themselves, are all Bradley graduates from the ’40s, minus one — the youngest “Old Fogie” — JAY GLATZ ’70 MA ’73. Members include JOSEPH “MILES” CHAMBERLAIN ’47, CLIFFORD HASSELBACHER ’49, BILL CHINUGE ’42, RALPH COLETTA ’43, and HAROLD KLESATH ’42.

“I joined for fellowship with several of these men that I had known for years,” Klesath said. None of the members know who exactly started the club 10 years ago; however, the Bradley bond these men share has grown since.

Glatz, vice president of marketing at State Bank of Speer, said, “I love to hear their stories — their stories of their service to the University and their service to their country.”

All members have been extremely successful and longtime Bradley supporters. Most have generously donated for 30 years or more to different University facets. Klesath began donating after his service in World War II and has contributed ever since. He was among a group that opened several regional Sandy’s restaurants, which later became Hardee’s. He joyfully recalls his baseball and football memories. Additionally, he regularly supports his fraternity, Sigma Chi.

Chamberlain spent many years heading a museum in New York and then the Adler Planetarium in Chicago in 1968. While director and president at Adler, attendance rates more than doubled. He taught astronomy at universities and traveled the world on astro-nomical expeditions. In retirement, he has contributed to Peoria’s planetarium at Lakeview Museum.

Chinuge, a member of the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame, recalls sharing the court with some of the “Famous Five” basketball team. “As I look back over the years, playing basketball at Bradley was really one of the highlights of my life. Those years at Bradley were truly a favorite time for me,” he said. “I will always remember and cherish the influence of Coach A.J. Robertson who motivated me to always set high goals for my future.”

In 1948, Chinuge co-founded the Peoria Plastics Company. Under his leadership, Peoria Plastics was the nation’s largest producer of Easter merchandise. It employed 300 people and had an annual sales volume of $12 million.

Coletta found success as a lawyer and developer. His development company created local Papa John’s restaurants. He practiced law with his sons and specialized in family, bankruptcy, and estate law. His daughter SHELLY COLETTA SMITH, MA ’93 is senior director of the Bradley Fund.

Hasselbacher has been in banking for 60 years and worked from the bottom up. Still working part-time, he has been at Morton Community Bank for 48 years. Hasselbacher led the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter (CIBAC) in 1987–88.

The “Old Fogies” honor members who have passed on: WILLARD HUBER ’40, GERALD RAPP ’42, CLARKE CHAMBERLAIN ’49, JAMES RALPH DEATHERAGE ’42, HARRY FELTENSTEIN ’43, WILSON SCHROEDER ’40, and JOE HESSION ’40.

The bond these men celebrate runs deeper than simply a monthly lunch with old friends. Each member brings his knowledge, experiences, and stories. They share a Bradley spirit that only ripens with age.