Monday, April 04, 2005

April 2005 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

I am well rested from vacation and ready to head into the last three months of this year’s Annual Support drive. Since I last wrote, here’s what I can tell you:

News from the Academy

With everyone away for two weeks over Spring Break, campus news has been sparse since I last wrote unless you work in the Admissions Office. By the end of this week, the school will have a good sense for the make-up of the incoming classes since those who were accepted will have completed their revisits and communicated their decisions by then. While it’s still way too early to start making predictions, the Deerfield Lacrosse team got off to a good start with a win over Brunswick last weekend, and the team is presently ranked # 1 in the New England regional ranking of over 400 schools. Last year’s team (16-1) ranked # 10 nationally. Rob Almy has expressed the hope of fulfilling a long-held wish to referee the annual Alumni/Varsity Lacrosse Game the weekend of May 21-22. Finally, as most of you know by now, a new Alumni Directory will be published later this year in both hardcover and CD format. In the event that you haven’t already confirmed your contact information, you should call Harris Publishing, which the Academy has chosen to publish the directory, at (800) 451-4206.

News from the Class

You should all now be in receipt of the most recent copy of the alumni magazine and, for a change, there is news of our class as well as photos. Rich Berkowitz and David Colker are both prominently displayed, as could you, if you submit information for future publication by logging on at Deerfield Alumni and going to the Class Notes link.

News of Former Masters

Sandy Weissent passed along the following snippet from a letter the Czar had written him earlier this year: "I have to send these fantastic headlines to you! 'Pats win second Super Bowl in 3 years.' 'Nils Ahbel first to sit in Peter G. Hindle Chair in mathematics.' 'Hindle gets hole-in-one (finally) after playing golf for 60 years.' 'Red Sox win World Series after 86 years.' This was a great year for me and I hope it was for you. May 2005 be even better." You may reach Mr. Hindle at 5 W. Rockland Farm, South Dartmouth, MA 02748-3727. Sandy also informed me that Larry Boyle, head coach of the undefeated 1969 Varsity Swim team, is under the care of hospice with melanoma and would enjoy hearing from former students. He can be reached at 4253 Bay Beach Lane, Ft. Myers Beach, FL 33931.

Annual Support Status Report

We made some further progress on the fundraising front since my last update. Through March, the total number of donors is running even with last year, however, the list includes five fresh faces. In addition, four other classmates missing from last year’s list have indicated their intention to make a contribution before June 30th. Last year, we received half of our donations in the last three months of the school’s fiscal year, and this year looks like it may follow that pattern. I can’t tell if this is due to procrastination or a desire to “finish strong”. In either case, for those of you who have misplaced your gift envelope, the easiest way to contribute is to get out your VISA or MasterCard and go to Online Annual Support Giving. If you prefer to designate how your gift is to be used, you may choose from among these six options: Faculty, Library, Technology, Arts, Athletics and Financial Aid.

The Arts Initiative

I mentioned in one of my recent e-mails that several of our classmates have expressed their generosity by establishing permanent capital funds or by joining the Boyden Society. Since I last wrote, one of our classmates has indicated his willingness to make a gift to the school in his particular area of interest. This has stimulated the active participation of the Development Office and the departments that would benefit most directly from the proposal. Because we are in the midst of scoping out the school’s needs and deciding how broadly to go with this, it would be premature to go into any greater detail at this time. I expect to have more to say on this topic before school lets out in June and, in the interim, hope that you will bear in mind this example of how a lifelong interest you’ve had might coincide unexpectedly with the school’s needs.

Trivia Quiz Winners

Last month’s quiz again proved difficult for most, and Jamie Rawles, Chris Beach and Barry Berg all readily pleaded ignorance. As for the photo trivia, I should have realized that Sandy Weissent would be the first to recognize his Harvard classmate Kevin Murphy. Several others, including Bob Clough, John Lacey and Casey Reed also recognized Kevin’s unmistakable nose and “Star Trek” ears. Kevin, who is President and Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Cuisine International, expressed the hope that displaying his mug shot would do nothing to dampen the fundraising effort. While some mistakenly thought it might be David Chittim or Patrick Murphy, happily no one suggested that it would affect their giving plans. As for the more academic questions on the quiz, no one in the class apparently attended the symposium hosted by the San Francisco Chapter of the Data Management Association at which Cass Squire spoke about Metadata Management. On the other hand, some saw the payoff for John Mills’ long hours in the library in the two Naval Research Laboratory Thomas Edison Awards he has received for patents. Finally, John Lacey expressed gratitude that Charlie Bishop was thinking about cultured human keratinocytes both active and catabolise 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D2 analogs. As for what any of our more scholarly classmates meant, you’ll have to await an explanation.

As you all know, spring is in the air again after a very tough winter term. This is the perennial chance for the laggards in the class to shine as the academic year draws to a close. For this month, I have chosen to focus on the topic of law and order and pose the following questions:

1. Can you identify three members of the class, including the classmate picture below, who have devoted their lives to law enforcement?

2. In a related vein, how many classmates can you name who are in private practice? Hint: Law school may well have been the most popular post-graduate program in our class.

Best wishes to all.