2012 Distinguished Alum: Wilbur "Tib" Tusler '50
Tib Tusler '50 has had an extraordinary career, but he says he doesn’t feel all that distinguished. As an architect whose practice centered on healthcare facilities, he worked with approximately 100 hospitals both in the U.S. and abroad and developed a strong sense of the way a facility’s architecture can contribute to improved patient care.
Tusler says that, along with the Boy Scouts, Breck played a strong role in building the foundation for his future career. “I consider myself a mediocre student at Breck,” he observes, “although I did enjoy after-school activities, particularly fencing, genealogy and chess. I also loved science and had an outstanding literature teacher.”
Tusler was an architect in San Francisco with the firm of Stone, Marracini and Patterson, which specialized in health-care architecture. He stayed there 37 years, working on projects including M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and a hospital for Native residents living above the Arctic Circle. Tusler is recently retired.
In his personal time, Tusler has enjoyed many canoe trips in the Boundary Waters, hiking over every pass in a 150-mile stretch of the eastern Sierra mountains, photography and voracious reading. “I’m married to the love of my life, Kaki,” he says, “and together we have four children who bring joy and sometimes aggravation to our lives.”
2011 Distinguished Alum: David Williams '83
David Williams ’83 has had an active career as a competitor, coach, educator and commentator for the sport of professional Judo.
As an athlete, he competed with Team USA as it prepared for the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games after an outstanding career at San Jose State University, where he won numerous medals and competitions.
As a coach and educator, his work has included leading a program, the San Jose After School All-Stars, which encourages young people to improve their lives through sports, educational, cultural and community enrichment activities. Every graduate of the program, he says, has gone on to college-level work.
Dave provided coverage of Judo during NBC’s broadcasts of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and hosts a television show called "California Judo Today," which has aired for more than ten years.
He is a Judo coach and instructor at San Jose State University, where he also teaches public speaking, and from which he graduated with a bachelor of science in international business and a master's degree in communications studies.
And he holds the rank of Godan (fifth-degree Black belt).
2010 Distinguished Alum: Richard Clary '71
A recent lawyers’ publication listed him among the top ten most admired securities attorneys in the nation. His proudest professional accomplishments include both very high-profile corporate litigation and highly effective pro bono work. And his favorite Breck teacher calls him one of the very best students he ever taught at Breck. Still, Richard Clary ’71 says he doesn’t think of himself as a distinguished alumnus.
"I was probably a bit of an overachiever in high school," he says with a laugh. "But we had such a small class that everyone had a lot of opportunities." Rich was senior class president, editor in chief of the yearbook, valedictorian, a three-sport varsity athlete and a member of the student vestry.
Some of his favorite memories of Breck come from his AP calculus class with Dick Yonker, and not just because of the subject matter. "There was a ping-pong table in the classroom,” he recalls. "It was a perfect activity to balance all that rigorous math."
Sarah Fangman '86
Marine biologist Sarah Fangman's life is a great tribute to the value of keeping one's options open. Through she planned a career in psychology, Sarah used her time at Middlebury to indulge her academic curiosity. "I was attracted to an environmental studies major, mostly because I could dabble in courses from different departments," she says. "During my junior year abroad in the Virgin Islands, I discovered life underwater. That was it, and I headed to the ocean for good."
Today, she is Research Coordinator of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California, where she works with about 20 people under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and still thrives on variety.
Rob Melrose '88
Artistic director and co-founder of San Francisco's Cutting Ball Theater, director, playwright and teacher, credits numerous Breck faculty members for igniting his passion. The Cutting Ball's mission is "to develop productions of experimental new plays and re-visioned classics with an emphasis on language and images." Says Rob of theater: "It's not just fun and entertainment. It's ideas and philosophy worked out onstage—and something you can keep working on for life."
Meredith Moore '00
Professionally, Meredith Moore spends most of her time writing in someone else's voice, but she says there's no doubt that she found her own voice as a lifer at Breck.
As communications manager for the McDonald's Corporation, Meredith writes speeches and handles media, external relations, government relations and investor relations for the company's president and chief diversity officer. It's a job that she says is a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and The West Wing. And though her hectic schedule (she travels about 75% of the time) keeps her away from her beloved suburban Chicago home and garden so often, she says, "Even my worst day is still a blessing."
Alec Soth '88
In a lot of ways, Alec Soth ’88 is a walking advertisement for Breck. "Being at Breck absolutely changed my life," he says. "I started in seventh grade and was really lost. In ninth grade I took art from Bill Hardy and woke up. I wasn’t the most social kid, and he taught me how to use that in a creative way. To this day, I use lessons he taught me."