Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fall Term

To the Great Class of 1969:

The first term of the Margarita Curtis era is now history and, if what is past is prologue, the Academy appears to be in good hands. Since her arrival this summer, Dr. Curtis has been busy meeting individually with each member of the faculty and staff as well as making the rounds with residents of the local community, students, parents and alumni. Recognizing that the Deerfield student body, like an army, marches on its stomach, she has brought food on each of her weekly visits to the dorms this fall where she has elicited suggestions for ways to improve school life that have run the gamut from the practical to the fanciful.

In addition to the normal school meetings and speakers, the cornucopia of extracurricular activities to choose from this fall seemed more like a full time job. While not attending classes, students were participating in a range of events which included, in no particular order, a math olympiad, a debating competition in Canada, the fall play, various community service projects, the annual Sadie Hawkins dance, laser tag, dodgeball and ping pong tournaments and a blood drive. Academically, the girls continue to outpace the boys in at least this year's senior class, taking ten out of 15 spots on the list of cum laude students.

The capstone of the fall athletic season was the November 11th trip to Wallingford where the Varsity Football team thoroughly beat Choate 31-6 under more temperate conditions than the near arctic weather that prevailed two years ago. The team, which presented the game ball to Dr. Curtis after the game, was considerably better than its 4-3 record might suggest, given that two losses were by a total of three points and the other was to Taft which beat only one other school. Unfortunately, the eagerly anticipated contest against an undefeated Andover team was cancelled on account of rain.

Class News

When I last wrote, I noted that the National Stock Exchange, under the leadership of David Colker, had attracted the acquisition interest of various securities firms. Following the closing of the acquisition, David announced plans to pursue other opportunities and to be available to the new owners through a transition period. He should be able to find enough to keep him busy since he reportedly still plays guitar, banjo, piano and other instruments in his free time. David earned his undergraduate and law degrees at UVA and, after a spell as a corporate lawyer in Cincinnati, joined what was then known as the Cincinnati Stock Exchange in 1984. He orchestrated the move of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange to Chicago in the early 1990's, became CEO in 2000 and re-named it the National Stock Exchange in 2003.

Another classmate in transition has been John "Jack" Spitznagel who moved from his perch at the University of Maryland to York College of Pennsylvania where he is a Visiting Associate Professor. According to his website, Jack's current research "involves studies of the polymorphic outer membrane proteins of the Chlamydia and and pilot epidemiological study of the occurrence of Chlamydia pneumonia in periodontal lesions". For a translation, contact "Dr. Spitz".

Finally, Rich Berkowitz, managing director of Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, began a one-year term earlier this year as president of the 18,000-member Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Rich's firm, which he founded in 1980, has offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and employs 175 specialists.

There is other news about the Class which I've posted on the blog since September, including an obituary for "Mugsy" Madden. For those who may be sensing their own mortality, Mugsy is the 10th known member of the Class to pass away. Others who preceded Mugsy include: David Brown, George Burr, Tom Coughlin, Alan Jolis, Tim Marcum, Jeff O'Neil, Phil Poirier, David Reynolds and Pad Wales. Another thing you will notice on the blog is that I have identified the Classmates whose coordinates we are missing at 32 43.22"N72 36'27.28"W and asked for any leads. On a more upbeat note, nine of us for whom living well is the best revenge met recently for dinner in New York. You can find a photo and short report at NYC Dinner.

Class Trivia

By a process of triangulation, I think I successfully located another Classmate since I last wrote, however I am posting his photo as another in my occasional series of "Mystery Classmates" to see whether anyone can independently verify the likeness. The individual in the photo has been as hard to find as the rare birds he specializes in sighting on guided tours. Without giving away any more clues, let me know if you can identify the person in the photo.

In a related vein, can you name another Classmate who also moonlights as a tour guide?

Best wishes to all this holiday season.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

NYC Dinner

For the third time in a little more than a year, members of the Great Class of 1969 living in the general vicinity of New York met to resume conversations that, in some cases, had been interrupted nearly 40 years ago by graduation. The occasion was once again prompted by Robert Clough's trip to New York for the annual Atlantic Salmon Federation dinner. Following the obligatory photo op in our apartment, the seven of us headed off to a prominent local establishment where we joined Steve Bisbee and Tom O'Gara and, to the consternation of the waiters, obliviously spent the following two and a half hours catching up on news.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Merrigan wins 8th District of Governor's Council

Greenfield attorney Thomas T. Merrigan's apparent victory in a three-way race for the local Governor's Council seat highlighted races around the region Tuesday night.

Merrigan, who in September edged out incumbent Peter Vickery of Amherst in the Democratic primary, defeated unenrolled Springfield attorney Michael Kogut and Republican Michael Franco, a Holyoke veteran's agent, for the two-year Eighth District seat.

"The governor has ignored western Massachusetts, and people understood that that was the message of my candidacy," said Merrigan, who served as presiding judge of Orange District Court for 10 years before stepping down in 2002. "I take it that people feel strongly that we need a better voice in Boston to meet our needs in the courts in western Massachusetts."

November 08, 2006 at 12:23 AM, The Recorder

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

John H. "Mugsy" Madden III

John H. Madden III 1950 - 2006 AGAWAM - John H. Madden, III, 56 of Bridge St., Agawam died suddenly at his home on Friday, Oct. 12th. Born in Seattle, WA, he attended Springfield schools, graduated from Deerfield Academy, attended the University of MA and graduated from Western New England College. He had been employed in the restaurant field. He was the son of Attorney John H. Madden, Jr. of Longmeadow and the late Helen Marcese Madden. He was also predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Attorney John H. Madden, Sr. & Margaret Madden, his maternal grandparents, James & Kathryn Marchese and a sister, Carol Madden who died in 1995. Besides his father, he is survived by 2 brothers, James & Ford Madden and 2 sisters, Gail Elizabeth Madden & Leslie Madden Kannan. Funeral services are private. Dickinson-Streeter Funeral Services has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Published in The Republican on 10/17/2006.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back to School

To the Great Class of 1969:

In his letter to the Deerfield community a year ago Eric Widmer wrote, "Our practice always seems to be to begin school, wait for a week to make sure everything is up and running smoothly, and then have our opening Convocation and announce that the school year had begun". What Eric wryly described as Deerfield's "risk adverse management theory" seems to have been carried over by Margarita Curtis, Deerfield's 55th Head of School, who presided over the official opening of the year at the Convocation ceremony in the Memorial Building on September 17th. That school had opened hardly came as a surprise to students who began returning the week of the 4th and who started classes on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, although the induction of Deerfield's first female Head since the brief tenure of Orpha Julina Hall in the 1870's lent additional gravitas to the commencement of Deerfield's 208th academic year.

In keeping with the "Back to School" theme, the September 4th Education Issue of The New Yorker included a long piece entitled "Deerfield in the Desert" about King's Academy in Jordan which is modeled after Deerfield. For anyone who didn't see the article and would be interested in reading it in its entirety, please let me know by e-mailing me at

If you haven't visited recently (or still have your head in the sand trying to imagine Deerfield anywhere other than where it is), the most striking physical change to the campus is the Koch Center, the 78,000 square foot science, math and technology building adjacent to the Library which was constructed with over one million red bricks and more than 50 million greenbacks. After numerous delays and cost overruns, the Koch Center is scheduled to open sometime this fall with the official dedication to take place on Friday, May 4th. If you were visiting Deerfield, you also would notice that the Brick Church is currently surrounded by metal scaffolding which has been erected in order to repair and renovate the steeple to historic standards. The $200,000+ project is being funded by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, members of the congregation and friends. A less obvious physical change to the campus is underway behind the locker room where they have just broken ground for 10-12 new international squash courts, depending on financing, which are expected to be ready sometime next fall.

Class News

Business. As those of you who read the business section regularly will know, the mergers and acquisitions business is at a record level with one eye popping deal after another. What you may not know is that two CEO's in the class got the urge to merge since I last wrote and have made news. Charlie Bishop, the first employee of Bone Care International, as well as the first public company CEO in the class, re-emerged after selling Bone Care to Genzyme by founding Proventiv Therapeutics in September 2005. While at Bone Care, Charlie was responsible for the successful preparation and prosecution of three "New Drug Applications" that ultimately led to FDA approval of doxercalciferol, a novel Vitamin D drug, for secondary hyperparathyroidism in dialysis patients. In July, Charlie sold Proventiv to Cytochroma, a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in Vitamin D therapies, and has been named CEO.

With all the investor interest in stock exchanges, it probably comes as no surprise that a consortium of securities firms eventually would come knocking on the door of the National Stock Exchange, which David Colker has headed for the past seven years. Earlier this month the NSX announced that it would sell a 50% interest to six firms, including Credit Suisse where I hang my hat. In the press release, David was quoted as saying, "We believe our new business model will be the alternative the industry is seeking - the biggest tent in which everyone is welcome to trade".

Arts and Leisure. In June, Rusty Young hosted the annual Fab Faux benefit concert at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ which raised $170,000 for three Monmouth County charities. In attendance were AC Starkey, Mark Hall, Jim Lunt and Elliot Evers. For anyone with an interest in reliving the '60's and seeing some classmates, mark your calendars for June 18, 2007. Rusty summed it up in the local press when he rhetorically asked, "How many fundraisers can you go to where you don't have to get dressed up, where you can listen to the music of the Beatles performed by some of the country's most talented musicians and know that every dollar raised through ticket sales will go directly to the evening's beneficiaries?" Also in June, Hank Louis was the featured speaker at this year's Design Awareness event at the University of Utah's Museum of Fine Arts. Hank is the founder and philosophical leader of DesignBuildBLUFF whose motto is "Engaged minds, calloused hands and open hearts". Hank also heads up Gigaplex, an award-winning firm based in Park City, UT.

In September, Christopher Beach secured a gift of $1,000,000 for the La Jolla Music Society. Christopher was quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune as follows, “This remarkable act of generosity will enable La Jolla Music Society to continue to bring world-class musicians to San Diego while expanding the depth of our programming. This gift represents approximately 10 percent of our annual operating budget over the next three years, and, combined with the continued support of our many patrons, will help secure our future as a leading presenter of the performing arts in San Diego.” Also in September, the Lost Ramblers, featuring John Updike on banjo, performed at the Delaware Water Gap Jazz & Arts Festival. John is one of the founders of the Pocono Bluegrass & Folk Society which is "dedicated to the promotion and preservation of authentic acoustic music".

Politics. Zech Chafee's brother, the incumbent Republican Senator from Rhode Island (and graduate of a competitive Massachusetts school well known to our current Head of School), held his own in the state primary in a nationally watched contest on September 12. On a more local scale, Tom Merrigan defeated the incumbent in the Democratic primary for Governor's Council in the 8th District of Massachusetts in a down to the wire finish a week later. Rounding out the political spectrum, Jonathan Carter was elected to a newly formed five member Board of Directors of the Maine Green Independent Party at its annual convention in May with a mandate to take the party in a new direction. It was Jonathan's showing in the 1994 Maine Gubernatorial race that resulted in the Green Party achieving ballot status.

"Metro" Section. While this may not fit your definition of "metropolitan", two doctors in the class practicing in the Pine Tree State received press last year for being worthy of their heritage. You can read all about their experiences by clicking on the following links for Robert Clough and Lare Huber.

Class Trivia

Since I last wrote, David Suitor became at least the fourth member of the class to win the Academy's Photo Trivia contest by correctly identifying Anthony Mahar, an English instructor from 1954-1967. (David may not deserve full credit on this one because (1) he entered as a freshman and (2) his father did, after all, head the English Department for many years.) For those of you who would like to test your brain cells, the Academy runs a Photo Trivia contest every couple of weeks and awards some bit of Deerfield memorabilia to the winner. John Lacey and I are each in possession of some crock-ware that appears to date to the Academy's founding.

In case you were wondering, I have selected John Lacey as the 2005-2006 Valedictorian for the Great Class of 1969, for his consistently prompt and informed responses to last year's Class Trivia questions. Most recently, John was the first to answer my class trivia question correctly by identifying Putty MacLean as the classmate whose grandfather was named "Man of the Century" by the International Maritime Hall of Fame for having pioneered containerized shipping. John also came up with the definition of "pelagic longline fishing" as involving a type of gear used in fishing in the upper layers of the open sea.

For those of you who can't fathom Lacey being Class Valedictorian, I would remind you that he is a proud graduate of Amherst, which finished #2 to Williams in the 2007 USN&WR ranking of liberal arts colleges after refusing to fill out the USN&WR form. (N.B. Tom Ehrgood, another classmate who went to Amherst, liked it so much he now works there.) For anyone who would like to displace John this year, my first trivia question for the new school year is the following: Can you name the classmate whose seven-part biography is included in Wikipedia?

Current and Upcoming Events

From now through November 6th, you can see an exhibition of Todd Stone's work at the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA. The exhibition is a series of fifteen watercolors entitled "Witness" which document what Todd saw from his apartment in Tribeca when the planes hit the World Trade Center five years ago.

If you enjoy the outdoors and are looking for something healthy to do on the weekend of November 4-5, you can join Charlie Olchowski, a master cider maker, for a tasting at CiderDay, a community festival celebrating all things apple in Franklin County.

Let me know what you're up to and, while you're at it, join those of us who already have registered at Deerfield Alumni. I am, as always, looking for additional photos to add to the 44 classmates in our Online Yearbook.

Be well.


Merrigan claims victory in Governor's Council Race

Staff Writer

It looks as if as Thomas Merrigan has won the extremely tight race for the 8th District Governor's Council seat, barely edging out incumbent Peter Vickery, of Amherst.

Merrigan, of Greenfield, said his own campaign added together the vote counts from the 93 communities in the district, as official totals were not yet available.

"It's hard to have complete confidence," he said, until he gets independent verification of the numbers but his count has him up by 587 votes.

Meanwhile, Vickery this morning acknowledged that by his count, Merrigan is ahead by 500 votes.

Still, he said he's considering seeking a recount.

"I'm keeping my options open," he said. "This is too close to call; this is wafer thin in a district this size."

Merrigan said the night was a long one, reminiscent of the elections years ago before computerized voting.

"It was like an old-fashioned paper vote count. We've got electronically spoiled in the last few years. By 10 o'clock you say it's all over; here's the winner; here's the loser and call it a night. I went to bed not knowing."

The big surprise in the race was Rinaldo Del Gallo, a third Democratic candidate who dropped out of the race on Friday, Merrigan said. Del Gallo got about 8,000 votes by Merrigan's count.

Merrigan said he would work as hard in the general election, where he will be matched up with Michael Kogut, an independent candidate from Springfield, and Republican Michael Franco, veterans agent for Holyoke.

"I know that Peter Vickery is Democrat from top to bottom, and I don't have any doubt that he's going to support me," Merrigan said.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"See You in September"

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

With the arrival of the last issue of The Scroll today and the Academy's 207th Commencement looming this weekend, this seems like a fitting time to put my pencil down for the academic year. The teams finished their seasons earlier this week, and the Boys' Lacrosse program was once again a standout. By a total of only four goals, the Varsity lost an unprecedented three games this year and, as a result, finished #3 in New England and #11 nationally. The JV lost a single game by one goal, and the Boys' Reserve went 11-0. There is discussion in The Scroll of actually fielding two Boys' Varsity Lacrosse teams next year! Among the Girls' teams, the Tennis program excelled, with the Varsity finishing 9-2 and the JV going undefeated, 6-0.

As I previously have mentioned, Deerfield substantially distanced itself from the competition this year in terms of its desirability as a private secondary school. The admittance rate of 16.6% was lower than that of Andover by 4% and Hotchkiss by 5%. While the Koch Center remains behind schedule, the Academy is preparing to break ground next month on 8-10 new international squash courts which will be constructed between the wooden stairs leading from the locker room to the lower level and the Koch Natatorium which was built in 1995 to replace the pool as we remember it and which is the largest facility of its kind at any New England boarding school.

The 31st annual debating championships which I mentioned in my last e-mail went without a hitch, although the results made it apparent that the current generation could use some tutoring from O'Gara et al. The Academy, which has been drenched by the rain this Spring like many parts of New England, hosted its first Triathlon the following weekend. The event attracted 36 participants despite the conditions, and the diehards are already making plans to hold the event again next year, hopefully under better conditions.

By the Numbers

Given the time of year, I thought it appropriate to do a little year-end accounting:

- Number of Classmates currently on the e-mail distribution list: 105.

- Number of Classmates on the e-mail distribution list when School opened: 90.

- Number of Classmates mentioned (some multiple times) on Albany Road: 58.

- Number of Classmates whose photos appear in the Online Yearbook: 44.

- Number of donors last fiscal year: 55.

- Number of donors this year (with five weeks still to go): 40, including 6 new donors.

- Number of Classmates we have no way of contacting: 8 (Guthrie, Harding, Lawrence, Marx, Mitchell, Moore, Updike, White)

- Number of Classmates lost in cyberspace this year: 6 (Andresen, Grosvenor, Lee, McWilliams, Moriarty, Morine)

- Number of Classmates deceased this School year: 1 (Poirier)

- Number of Classmates registered on the new Deerfield Alumni website: 16.

Class News

As you know from prior e-mails, Rusty Young is now CEO of the Count Basie Foundation and, as such, is in charge of a fundraising drive to restore the Count Basie Theatre and provide operating funds. On Saturday, June 24th, he once again has arranged for the The Fab Faux to stage a benefit concert in Red Bank at The Count Basie Theatre. This would be a great time to see some classmates and support Rusty who has promised to allocate to Deerfield a portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased by Deerfield alumni. In order to encourage Rusty, I have offered to match the first $250 he allocates. Do both of us a favor and head down to Red Bank to hear some great Beatles music and relive an era. You can stay at the tony Blue Bay Inn if they still have any rooms (and you're feeling flush).

If you're looking for something to do this summer, you might consider a vacation at Wintergreen Resort near Charlottesville, VA where President Bob Ashton has overseen a $45 million upgrade over the past seven years. To combat higher gas prices Wintergreen decided to offer as much as $75 in free gasoline this summer as part of its "Get Away Soon," or GAS, special. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Bob last week who said the promotion was a way to "be ahead of the curve and offer people an incentive".

Earlier this year David Colker was re-appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of the National Stock Exchange for a seventh consecutive one-year term. Founded in 1885, the National Stock Exchange (known as the Cincinnati Stock Exchange for the first 118 years of its existence) became the country's first all-electronic stock exchange when it replaced its physical trading floor with a completely automated market in 1980.

Former congressional candidate and two time gubernatorial nominee of the Green Party Jonathan f/k/a "King" Carter is in the news again as part of a coalition opposed to the legalization of slot machines in Maine. Jonathan cuts a wide swath in Maine where he is one of six directors of the Maine Green Party. In his campaign bio he traces his Maine roots back five generations, although I remember him as being from New Canaan, CT. In any case, King went to Williams after graduating from Deerfield, received a M.S. in Botany and Forest Pathology from the University of New Hampshire, did doctoral work in Botany at the University of Maine and Environmental Studies at Antioch. Somewhere along the way to populism, King became the less regal "Jonathan" and taught, of all places, at Exeter. As a result, Jonathan unofficially becomes the 17th member of the Class to go into education, the largest single vocation.

Last night I was in Providence where I had the chance to catch up in person with Zech Chafee for the first time in 37 years. Over the course of a three hour dinner I learned, not surprisingly given his heritage, that Zech has spent most of his career since graduating from Harvard in the public sector, the longest stint of which has been spent in his beloved Providence as a US Attorney. Zech was characteristically modest in recounting the ceremony in which he christened the USS Chafee (which Mr. Lambert attended) as well as the little known fact that in May 1975 he was among the Marines sent to rescue the SS Mayaguez in which 15 Americans were killed.

Class Trivia

1. While this is not exactly "new" news, can you name the Classmate who was named by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to a panel to assist NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in developing a comprehensive management system for pelagic longline fishing vessels that participate in highly migratory species fisheries? Hint: His grandfather was named "Man of the Century" by the International Maritime Hall of Fame.

2. Bonus Question: What exactly is "pelagic longline fishing"?

In Closing

This weekend Barry Berg P'02 '06 will be back on Albany Road to watch his daughter graduate. Barry's next door neighbor in Dean Hall, Will Colwell P'97, will be there as well to see his nephew graduate. I'll be back in touch this Fall after we have dropped off our son as a newly enrolled member of the Class of '09. Unofficially, I will be the 13th member of the Class to send a son or daughter to Deerfield and will join Mark Ewing P'07, Frank Henry P'08 and Steve Sheresky P'08 as part of the current alumni parent body.

I hope that all of you make the most of the summer and that you will remember Deerfield by June 30th by going to Giving to Deerfield before heading off if you have not already done so and are on the solicitation list. I am always interested in getting news that would improve the Class e-mails, photos for the Class blog, the coordinates of lost Classmates or any suggestions you might have.

Until September, all the best.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

May 2006 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

News from the Academy

I write to tell you that the Academy of which we are all alumni continues to excel in various ways:

- For the recruiting season just completed, the Academy admitted 17% of applicants (rounded up), the lowest rate in its history as well as the lowest rate among peer schools. Notwithstanding that, the Academy is slightly over-enrolled once again, due largely to the fact that 77% (up from 65% last year) of the accepted students who came to campus for a revisit day have enrolled.

- This Sunday, Deerfield will host the 31st Annual Deerfield Debate competition which will be attended by over twenty schools. It is considered to be the largest and best run independent school debate in the country. This is not such a far cry from when such silver-throated orators as Tom O’Gara, Neil Jacobs, David Colker and Bill Bowman won a trophy for Deerfield at what was then the Williams Tournament for the best all-round school performance. To quote Casey Stengel, “You could look it up” if you don’t believe me on page 77 of The Pocumtuck.

- The first edition of Spice Rack was published this week. Spice Rack is a publication of philosophical and religious works edited by students and members of the Philosophy & Religion Department. It is believed to be the only publication of its kind in the country.

- The Koch Center, the premier facility of its kind at any secondary school in the country, is nearing completion and will open later this year.

Class Trivia

It came as no surprise to anyone who thought back that John a/k/a “General” Mills was the classmate with so many degrees. John has put all of his scholarly endeavors to good use and, as some of you may recall from past e-mails, received two Edison Awards in 2003 for drafting and prosecuting patents having the greatest commercial benefit to the nation. Special kudos to John Lacey and Steve Bisbee for being the first two to guess. None of you, however, realized that Hank Minor is a practitioner of psychosynthesis (other than Hank of course who asked, “Where on earth did you dig up that bit of trivia on me?”). If transpersonal psychology and psychosynthesis is all Greek to you, you can read more on the topic by going to Wikipedia.

Class News

Tom Merrigan is headed for a September 19th showdown against the incumbent in the Democratic primary to be nominated for the western Massachusetts seat on the Governor’s Council which votes on whether to confirm the governor's judicial appointments. The winner will move on to the November 7th general election.

In case you didn’t make it to Manitoba last month to hear Douglas Arnstein, you can read what he has to say about Why Better Project Management Matters by clicking on the link.

Rusty Young, in his new capacity as CEO of the Count Basie Foundation, has organized the Fourth Annual Spring Benefit Concert & Gala featuring Smokey Robinson on June 17th and is looking for some deep pocketed sponsors. If you’re simply nostalgic for the sixties and would like to hear a musical legend, you can get tickets by going to Count Basie Theatre.

Judging from the photo, it looks like Christopher Beach hasn’t yet adopted casual attire since moving to San Diego in December to become President and Artistic Director of the La Jolla Music Society. You can read what Christopher’s got up his sleeve by going to Albany Road Redux: Life's a Beach.

Annual Support

I am pleased to report that we have begun to turn the corner since I last wrote and that the contribution spigot has opened again. For those of you on the solicitation list, this is the time to step up and participate in “May Madness”, a fundraising contest running from May 11 – May 18 with recognition to those classes producing the most donors, the most online gifts and the most dollars. As a result of our strong finish last year, our participation rate compared favorably with the classes of our era for the first time in memory, and I am hoping to improve on that this year. If you haven’t done so already, please share some of your good fortune with Deerfield before June 30th either by clicking on Giving to Deerfield or by sending a check to:

Office of Alumni Affairs and Development
Ephraim Williams House
Deerfield, MA 01342

Best wishes to all.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Life's a Beach

The 'new boy on the block' is excited ...

... to be part of a local institution: SummerFest

By Valerie Scher

February 12, 2006

At the La Jolla Music Society, life's a Beach – as in Christopher Beach, the organization's new boss.

Having assumed the post of president and artistic director in December, the former Manhattan resident is preparing for his first La Jolla SummerFest, which will celebrate its 20th year in August with an array of events in La Jolla, North Park and downtown.

“I'm the new boy on the block,” says the effusive and articulate Pittsburgh native whose enthusiasm is nearly boyish, despite the flecks of gray in his beard. Beach, 54, has been busy making contacts, planning events and getting to know the music society's staff, board members and supporters – all in an effort to learn how he can best serve the organization.

“When I was first called about the job, I was told that the music society was looking for someone to continue the growth and expansion. I said 'I'm your guy,' ” recalls the former director of the Performing Arts Center at New York's Purchase College, where he worked for 16 years. “The opportunity to build on the music society's strengths is really exciting to me.”

That involves presenting “great orchestras, world-class soloists and chamber music ensembles” as part of a varied mix that also includes jazz, world music and dance.

“Our mission is to bring the world of the performing arts to San Diego,” says Beach, whose musical tastes range from Bach to pop, Evgeny Kissin to Aretha Franklin.

As a newcomer to SummerFest, slated for August 3-20, he has a fresh appreciation for its blend of classical and contemporary music, dance and jazz. The 20th edition will include new works by resident composers Leon Kirchner, Magnus Lindberg, Bright Sheng and Bruce Adolphe as well as by Grammy-winning jazz innovator Wayne Shorter.

In addition, local choreographer Allyson Green will set works to music by Bach and Tan Dun. And the festival – which will honor the 100th anniversary of Shostakovich's birth and the 250th anniversary of Mozart's – will bring together two generations of festival participants to honor its own heritage.

The major planning was done by festival director and violinist Cho-Liang Lin in conjunction with Beach's predecessor, Mary Lou Aleskie, who left the music society to run Connecticut's Arts & Ideas New Haven. (She earned approximately $204,000 a year here; Beach's salary has not been disclosed.)

“I had never met Christopher until his appointment,” says Lin, now in his sixth year heading the festival. “I briefed him about SummerFest. He's a very fast study – very much up to speed on so many of the festival's aspects.”

Yet Beach has yet to adapt to other aspects of San Diego, including its relaxed approach to fashion. On a recent afternoon, he looked like a model for elegant East Coast office wear, from his custom-made monogrammed shirt to his sleek leather shoes.

“He's always dressed immaculately,” says Lin. “I feel like a homeless person next to him.”

Beach is also adjusting to the availability of fish tacos (“they're so strange I haven't had one yet”) and the sight of palm trees from the music society's downtown La Jolla headquarters. He even went so far as to describe La Jolla as “Greenwich with palm trees” in the New York Times.

Considerably more familiar to him are the posters and memorabilia that decorate his office. They're reminders of other places he has worked, including New York's Metropolitan Opera, where he served as an administrative assistant to director of production John Dexter in the late 1970's and returned in 1985 for a three-year stint as director of operations. There's also a framed composition – a “musical portrait” of Beach composed by the late composer-critic Virgil Thomson, whom Beach considered a friend.

Ask Beach what made him want to come to San Diego and he cites his experience last fall at a La Jolla cocktail party with music society board members and donors.

“I thought it was going to be easy,” he recalls. “But no – they stood me up and fired questions at me for 45 minutes. That was when I realized that the organization is committed to quality and that I wanted this job.”

Music – if not the music society – has long been integral to his life. The eldest of seven children from various marriages, he compares his mother to Katharine Hepburn and his late father to Frank Sinatra, saying that's why they divorced. The arts were highly valued in his large, blended family, and Beach began piano lessons at age 3.

“I can't even remember how many years I studied,” says Beach, who spent his formative years living on Cape Cod. “Countless piano teachers spent untold hours trying to find a grain of talent in me and failed.”

No matter. He began working backstage at area theaters as a teenager and, after graduating from Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, he gained valuable experience at such performing arts institutions as Baltimore Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, and Santa Fe Festival Theatre, which he founded in 1980 as New Mexico's first professional theater company.

After serving as managing director of PepsiCo Summerfare, the festival that took place on Purchase College's campus outside New York City, he became head of the college's Performing Arts Center in 1989 – a post he held until December.

During his 16 years there, the number of performances grew from 21 to 144 and ranged from classical music and jazz to dance and theater. At the same time, the center's budget expanded from $1.5 million to $5.2 million – making it larger than the music society's $3.2 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

“I learned how to patiently make something grow,” says Beach.

He'll apply those lessons at the music society, which continues to expand the range of SummerFest, both geographically and artistically. No longer simply a La Jolla chamber music festival featuring visiting musicians in venerable repertoire, SummerFest actively champions contemporary works.

But finding an audience-pleasing balance between new and old music isn't easy. Beach found that out a few months ago at a social gathering when he met a married couple who are music society donors.

“The woman said she just loved Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. The contemporary stuff – forget it,” Beach remembers. “About a half-hour later, I spoke to her husband. He said he didn't care about Mozart, Beethoven and the others. He loved the contemporary work!”

Both Beach and Lin hope to build on last year's successes. That included strong turnouts at downtown concerts by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road project as well as Lalo Schifrin's tango-influenced “Letters From Argentina.” Meanwhile, most of the seats were filled at SummerFest's primary venue, La Jolla's 492-seat Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, where attendance was approximately 95% of capacity.
“We really want this year's SummerFest to be festive in the way it looks at what it has accomplished and what it will continue to do,” says Lin.

In a bow to the past, the opening night repertoire includes Martinu's “La Jolla Sinfonietta,” commissioned in 1950 by the Musical Arts Society of La Jolla, a forerunner of the La Jolla Music Society. And former artistic director Heiichiro Ohyama, the conductor-violist who guided the festival from 1985-1997, is on the performance roster, which also features such accomplished musicians as pianist Yefim Bronfman, violinist Gil Shaham and violist Cynthia Phelps.

This year's list of venues includes the recently renovated Stephen and Mary Birch North Park Theatre, which is new to the festival, along with downtown's Copley Symphony Hall and Sherwood Auditorium.

Sherwood is only about a mile from the cozy La Jolla house that Beach is renting. He shares it with his partner of 27 years, Wesley Fata, a former Martha Graham dancer who's on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama.

And Beach – long accustomed to Manhattan traffic – looks forward to the ease of driving from home to Sherwood Auditorium during the festival.

“I'll have no excuse to say I was stuck in traffic and late to a performance,” he says with a smile.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Liipfert Wins!

To the Great Class of 1969:

This is just a brief note to tell you that Christian Liipfert, after twenty years of sedentary living, succeeded in biking 150 miles from Houston to Austin this past weekend. I wish I could tell you he looked none the worse for wear, but that would be stretching it. As you will recall, Christian did this for a good cause, and there is still time to contribute by going to 2006 BP MS 150 Bike Tour. It is simple to do, as I learned, and BP will match all contributions received by May 23rd. For photos and more info, go to Family Liipferts.

I will be in touch in the next few weeks with those of you on our solicitation list from whom we have not yet heard about a new year-end initiative. Stay tuned.

Be well.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 2006 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

News from the Academy

Although numbers for the peer schools are only anecdotal at this time, the scuttlebutt is that Deerfield overtook Andover this year as the most selective school with an admission rate of slightly over 16%, the lowest in the School’s history. It’s anyone’s guess what the rate would be if the boarding schools copied the colleges and adopted a common application and permitted online applications.

Varsity Lacrosse is off to a hot start, picking up where it left off last year. With a 4-0 record, the Lacrosse team is ranked second in New England (behind Wilton) and ninth nationally. The team travels to Choate for a 2:00 PM start time this Saturday if any of you are in the area. Most of the rest of the teams start their seasons this week.

Eric Widmer ’57, H’54 and his wife Meera Viswanathan H’55, H’95 (Miz Viz to the cognoscenti) recently hit the road with farewell receptions in Boston and NYC. The reception in New York this week drew 350 attendees and was said to be the largest in the School’s history. Following his retirement, Eric will become the Founding Headmaster for King’s Academy in Jordan, a 600 student co-ed boarding school modeled after Deerfield which will open its doors in 2007.

Class News

For those of you who have been aching to go to Manitoba (1797 miles from Deerfield, coincidentally), there still is a chance to do that and to catch up with Douglas Arnstein who will be hosting workshops entitled “Project Planning for Executives and Sponsors” and “Why Getting Better at PM Matters” on April 24. For details, go to PMI - Workshop Extravaganza 2006 (and bring your checkbook). Douglas joins Tom Merrigan, Jack Spitznagel and Rusty Young as this month’s additions to the Online Yearbook. If you’re part of the silent majority that hasn’t yet contributed a likeness, please forward a recent photo to me at for uploading to the rogues’ gallery.

Christian Liipfert has found a reason to get serious about exercising, after having sworn it off for twenty years. Later this month, Christian will be one of 13,000 participants in a 150 mile bike tour from Houston to Austin in support of MS research. If he hasn’t contacted you, you can read all about it by going to 2006 BP MS 150 Bike Tour and becoming one of Christian’s sponsors by making a contribution. BP will match the first $5,000 in donations received this month.

Class Trivia

Since classes resumed March 27, I thought it would be appropriate to re-institute class trivia for the Spring Term. Here is this month’s quiz:

1. Many of us were content to graduate from college and maybe go on to graduate school. Name the classmate who, after graduating from Yale with a BA, added a BS in engineering, a law degree, two separate masters of law degrees and a doctorate of law degree.

2. Name the classmate who has been a student and practitioner of psychosynthesis theory for the past twenty years.

Annual Support

March was a slow month for contributions, as is typical. On the fundraising front, we are running about even with where we were at this time last year. On the participation side, however, we are running substantially behind last year. As of the end of March, we had received gifts from about 40% of last year’s donors in the Class. With less than three months left in the current gift year, this is the time for those among you who have supported Deerfield in the past to renew that commitment. Please don’t wait for a phone call to contribute. You can make a donation without even moving by clicking on Giving to Deerfield.

Be well.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 2006 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

You all will recall from senior English or elsewhere T.S. Eliot’s words from “The Wasteland” that “April is the cruelest month”, but I would submit that he didn’t spend enough time in the Northeast during February. Without ever setting foot in the Northeast, the makers of the Julian and the Gregorian calendars wisely chose to make February the shortest month. Since I last wrote, we experienced the heaviest single day snowfall in Central Park since they started keeping records in 1869, although many have been quick to dismiss the significance of this since it was so localized. Surprisingly, the Academy largely escaped the Blizzard of ’06. Nonetheless, I am told that all the campus constituencies have tired of the frigid temperatures of late and are looking forward to Spring Vacation which begins this Friday, March 10.

News from the Academy

The Scroll arrived today, and the lead story had to do with the Koch Center which is now one year behind schedule and $2,000,000 over budget. There is a lot of heated rhetoric about where blame lies and, I suspect, there will be more to learn before this is all over. The bottom line for the graduating class is that they will not be able to enjoy this stunning building which will, when finished, become an instant destination point on campus. Another item of interest was the story on the eighth annual J. Clement Schuler Concert which took place in January. It might interest you to know that the bequest by Clem Schuler, who served as music director from 1935 to 1976, now totals over $2,000,000 and produced over $80,000 in income for the Academy last year.

The long-awaited article on the School and the far reaching effect it is having in the Middle East appeared this past week in The New York Times. If it escaped your notice, you will find a reprint at King's Academy. We are still awaiting the article in The New Yorker.

On February 19th, Dr. Curtis visited campus where she participated as one of two judges for the “Declamation Finals”. Each junior English class was allowed to vote for the strongest presentation, and all of the finalists were invited to deliver their declamation to the entire community in what is one of the major academic events of the year. Over a hundred members of the community joined Dr. Curtis in the Large Auditorium to hear the students share their thoughts. After Dr. Curtis and her partner deliberated, three students walked away with First Place honors and the bragging rights that go with it.

On February 24th, the Varsity basketball team traveled to Wallingford for the last game of the season and returned the victor, 48-38. The Varsity hockey team had less to say for itself, losing the last five games of the season and finishing 8-16-1. On a happier note, Jamie Hagerman ’99, whose father was once the Deerfield Athletic Director and hockey coach, was a member of the women’s Olympic hockey team which took home the Bronze medal at Torino. The Academy has produced a number of Olympians over the years, including Amnon Krausz ’70 who you may remember entered as a junior in 1967, was a star swimmer for the School and later competed as a member of the Israeli team.

Class News

Since I last wrote, a number of you have logged on to the Academy’s new Alumni website and registered. As of today, we are up to 13 classmates and, as a result, have added Peter Hoover to the e-mail distribution list.

Tom Merrigan, a former state judge for 12 years, announced his candidacy last week for the Democratic nomination for Governor's Council in Massachusetts whose primary task is to approve or reject the governor's nominations for judgeships. For the complete story, see Merrigan for Governor's Council.

Rob Almy continues to moonlight as a lacrosse referee and wrote recently, “I just had (by far) the best two week refereeing ever, two overtime games, two one goal games and a two goal game; all among nationally ranked (college club) teams”.

I had the good fortune to catch up separately with both Tee Johnson and Rusty Young while they were each passing through New York this week. Tee seemed in fine spirits, offering his always well-considered views on a range of topics, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For those of you who haven’t kept track of Rusty – and I suspect that’s too many – he has arrived at an enviable stage in life where his children are independent and he has been free to develop a portfolio of activities based on his own interests. After a career as a management consultant, Rusty stepped away from that several years ago and found an opportunity to apply his know-how helping the local YMCA develop a strategic plan which, in turn, led to an invitation to implement the plan, proving the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. When he wasn’t busy with the YMCA, Rusty found time to get involved with The Count Basie Theatre because of a longstanding interest in the performing arts. His work there as Vice Chairman led the Board to ask him to serve as the first CEO of The Count Basie Foundation and, as a result, Rusty is now officially a member of my “Captains of Industry” list within the Class which consists of Classmates who lead or have led organizations. For the press release, go to Young Named Chief Honcho.

Annual Support

Overall, Alumni participation is up 2.3% but the fundraising is about $100,000 behind where we were at this time last year. As for our Class, we picked up a couple of gifts since I last wrote, but there remains a lot of wood to chop between now and June 30th. If you haven’t already contributed and are on the solicitation list, you will be getting a mailing from the Academy shortly which highlights what the School means to a group of current students in their own words. Please take a minute to register at the Alumni website and make an online gift while you’re there.

Class Trivia

In response to last month’s trivia contest, John Lacey receives the good sportsmanship award for fearlessly guessing and, on his second try, correctly surmising that AC Starkey is, in fact, the first acknowledged BowieNetter in the Class. AC may be the only private banker in the country who attended six David Bowie concerts during the last Reality Concert Tour, which included traveling to New Orleans and Chicago for front row seats. Fortunately, AC’s wife Ann also enjoys the music. For reasons I am still trying to fathom, AC felt it necessary to go so far as to write a letter on the topic to the editor of The Boston Globe which they chose to publish. AC may still be a banker by day, but he has found his rock side later in life. Since AC is so clearly a Jersey boy at heart, I have suggested that he need venture no further than Red Bank this year where he can let his hair down at Rusty Young’s annual Fab Faux benefit concert in June.

Surprisingly, no one was able to identify Andy Cohn standing next to Chairman Mao in Shanghai in last month’s photo trivia contest. Lacey recalled having sat across from Andy at the bridge table in the smoking room in the basement of Field a minimum of twice a day every day senior year but confessed he was unable to recognize him today. (For the historians in the Class or the curious at heart, there is a photo on page 205 of the Pocumtuck which captures the moment for posterity.)

As always, I welcome your news, although you now have the opportunity to post it directly on the Alumni website if you choose.

Best wishes to all.


Young Named Chief Honcho

Count Basie Theatre Forms Foundation, Names CEO

The Count Basie Theatre’s Board of Directors recently voted to create the Count Basie Theatre Foundation, whose purpose is to raise the funds necessary to renovate and restore the theatre and to provide operating support to the theatre . The Foundation is pleased to announce that Rusty Young has accepted the offer of the Board of Directors to become the Foundation’s CEO.

“We are really excited about these changes at the Basie.” says Richard Struse, Chairman of the Foundation. “Over the past fours years the theatre has turned around operationally, now serving over 150,000 New Jerseyians annually. We have re-established the theatre as a destination, one that serves not only our patrons, but also one that provides customers to the many restaurants and businesses in Red Bank. Now we need to focus on the challenge of ensuring that the Theatre remains vital.”

Starting in September of last year, a CEO Selection Committee consisting of Board of Directors' members commenced a thorough, nationwide search process resulting in Mr.Young’s selection.

“As CEO of the Foundation, Rusty will be responsible for all fundraising for the Count Basie Theatre. First and foremost, this means raising funds for on-going operations through membership, special events and grants. In addition to the crucial task of operational fundraising, Rusty will develop and implement our capital campaign strategy, which is essential if we are to meet our long-term goal of completely renovating the theatre.” says Struse. “Rusty’s background is ideally suited to lead us in this effort. A lifelong resident of the Two River area, until recently he served as interim executive of the Community YMCA, and has been very active on volunteer boards, including serving as vice chairman of the Count Basie Theatre A well known figure in the community, he will also be a wonderful advocate for the Basie locally and in Trenton. “

Brian Leddin, Chairman of the Count Basie Theatre, Inc., agrees. “I am pleased and excited that Rusty has joined the Count Basie Theatre Foundation. He will provide terrific leadership as we work together to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the Theatre.”

“I am a believer in New Jersey, Monmouth County, the arts, and the Count Basie Theatre,” says Young. “We have a truly unique venue at the Basie, rich in history and tradition. The Theatre has been host to some of the state’s most memorable entertainment events over the past 80 years. We have an opportunity –an obligation, really-- to continue that legacy. I am really flattered, honored and excited to have been put in the middle of it all.”

Young will join the Foundation on March 13, 2006.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

King's Academy

From The New York Times:

March 1, 2006

Jordan Plans to Start Its Own New England-Style Prep School

DEERFIELD, Mass. — Deerfield Academy, with its brick buildings, blazing maples, jacket and tie requirements and powerful graduates, is the quintessential New England boarding school. Soon, it will see its reflection in an unlikely place, outside Madaba, Jordan.

Deerfield officials are helping to establish King's Academy, the Middle East's first coeducational boarding school, at the request of King Abdullah II of Jordan, who graduated from Deerfield in 1980.

"The idea is to transfer the American-style boarding school to Jordan," said Safwan Masri, a professor at Columbia Business School and chairman of the new academy's board. "We want to bring the best of American education and create a school like no other in the region, one focused on preparing leaders, both men and women, in the public and private sectors."

Construction started in 2004, and the academy is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. Faculty members will be hired in the coming months.

The academy will have space for 600 students in grades 9 to 12, almost all from the Middle East. The school's annual budget dedicates 15 percent to scholarships, based both on academics and financial need.

The academy and Deerfield will be independent of each other, but there are plans to start an exchange program. Deerfield teachers and administrators are advising in the start-up, and in June, Deerfield's headmaster, Eric Widmer, is to leave his post to become headmaster of King's.

Like Deerfield, King's will have small classes, competitive athletics and family-style meals. English will be the primary language of instruction, and the curriculum will be governed by the requirements of the American advanced placement system.

Dr. Masri said research showed an interest among wealthier Middle Easterners for a school like King's; only Turkey has a similar institution. Many parents in the region, he said, send their children to the United States or Europe for high school.

Academy officials plan to send recruiters across the region to identify promising students, including those in Palestinian refugee camps and small villages.

Although the academy will have an American flavor, Dr. Widmer acknowledged that it would "need to represent the culture and tradition of the Middle East."

To that end, all freshmen will be required to take a year of religion, at least one semester of which will be centered on Islam. The customary junior-year course in American history will be replaced with Middle Eastern history. Koranic studies will be offered to juniors and seniors, and Arabic, while not required, will be offered to all students.

The school will also have an interreligious King Abdullah Spiritual Center, which, Dr. Widmer said, will actively recruit Israelis.

The campus is on 150 acres, and like Deerfield will contain swaths of greenspace, boys' and girls' dorms with single bedrooms, and a large common dining area. The maples at Deerfield will give way to palm trees, brick to stucco, and chapel to a mosque. The buildings will be in the Levantine style, with red tile roofs and wooden balconies. The boys' and girls' dorms will be a good distance from one another.

The academy began a $100 million capital campaign in 2004, and more than $50 million in cash and pledges has been raised, Dr. Masri said. Construction and start-up costs are estimated at $65 million, he said, and the board is hoping to raise more money for an endowment, scholarships, faculty chairs and other expenses.

Officials admit that the notion of a coeducational boarding school is likely to make many residents of the region uncomfortable. Officials also expect many parents to be concerned about security, especially in light of the suicide bombings that killed more than 80 people in Amman in November. While the security plan is not yet fully devised, the academy will be enclosed by a large wall, and security officers will constantly be on campus.

Merrigan For Governor's Council

From The Republican:

Ex-judge starts state council run
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

GREENFIELD - Hatless on a cold and windy day, lawyer and former Judge Thomas T. Merrigan completed a four-stop swing through Western Massachusetts yesterday afternoon, formally announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor's Council.

Merrigan said he has been eyeing a council seat for a long time, and has been drumming up support for a run since April.

He said he is uniquely qualified for the council, whose primary task is to approve or reject the governor's nominations for judgeships.

"I understand the challenges of the job and will rely upon my nearly twelve years of judicial experience to approve judicial nominees who will best serve the public safety and the public interest," he said.

Currently, there are no other declared candidates for the council seat held by Peter Vickery of Amherst, who is not seeking re-election. Former Springfield Mayor Theodore E. Dimauro has taken out nomination papers, but could not be reached about his intentions yesterday.

Merrigan began the day announcing on the steps of Springfield City Hall at 9:15 a.m., then drove to the Hampshire County Courthouse in Northampton to announce there, before heading to Berkshire County for a 2 p.m. declaration in Pittsfield. He reached the Franklin County Courthouse steps here at 4:30.

Introducing Merrigan was state Rep. Christopher J. Donelan, D-Orange, a former police officer who, in that role, had testified in cases before Merrigan when he was a judge in Orange District Court.

Now, Donelan said, Merrigan is "one of my constituents," and will be able to play a role in seeing that judges are appointed who have the community in mind.

"Our court has to be reflective of the community it serves," he said.

Merrigan said that as a member of the council he would push for quicker action by the governor to fill court vacancies, and fill them with qualified people from within the community they would serve.

"It is critical that nominees be appointed from the same communities they will pledge to serve and protect," he said.

Merrigan was particularly critical of Gov. W. Mitt Romney for not filling a judge vacancy in Hampden County Juvenile Court, and called for appointing "a qualified attorney from Hampden County."

Merrigan, 55, is a graduate of Deerfield Academy, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of Kentucky Law School. He was a judge for 12 years, resigning in 2002 to return to practicing law, and is a partner in the Rawson, Merrigan & Litner law firm of Greenfield and Boston.

He and his wife, Margaret, have four children and live in Greenfield.

His brother, John F. Merrigan, is Franklin County Register of Probate and Family Court and a former state representative, and his sister, Maureen T. Winseck, is Greenfield town clerk.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

February 2006 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

News from the Academy

The January issue of The Scroll included two front page articles on changes to the social calendar, including the discontinuation of the annual spring break trip to Nassau which had become popular among students over the past few years as well as a growing source of concern for parents and faculty. In another shift, the Deerfield Prom, which had been open to all upperclassmen and their dates, is returning to its roots this year as an event for seniors only.

The Scroll also announced that reporters from both The New Yorker and The New York Times had visited campus last fall to interview Headmaster Eric Widmer. The articles will focus on King’s Academy and should be appearing this month or next. In another indication of how international Deerfield has become, there is a front page photo of two Deerfield juniors who are spending the year abroad in China.

This past month the Academy hosted another in the Pathways series which several Classmates have attended in the past. The Pathways event is organized by Mimi Morsman and is required for all seniors. Each year a small group of alumni return to the Academy to talk about their career paths after leaving Deerfield. Among the speakers this year was Paul Lufkin ’60 who runs an eponymous sports marketing organization in Massachusetts. After leaving Deerfield where he taught mathematics and coached football, hockey and baseball, Mr. Lufkin became assistant varsity hockey coach at Princeton and, eventually, head hockey coach at Yale.

Class News

There has been a seasonal lull in communications since I last wrote. I did, however, receive the accompanying photo of a Classmate posing in Shanghai last October with Mao Zedong. Can you identify the Classmate in this month’s Photo Trivia contest?

Another Classmate sent me an update on his activities which may go a long way towards explaining why I get an “out-of-office” reply so often when I e-mail him. Can you identify the buttoned-down, unassuming Classmate who, later in life, became such a fan of David Bowie that he became a “BowieNetter” and attended six performances on the 2004 Reality Concert Tour, including trips to Chicago and New Orleans where he had front row seats? This Classmate entered sophomore year and returned to his hometown for college where he still lives.

There were no correct answers to last month’s two trivia questions about Ephraim Williams which could have been answered by simply visiting the newly reconfigured Alumni website. Barry Ahearn became the first member of the Class to register on the website following the receipt of David Pond’s recent letter. Please let me know if you’ve misplaced the distinctive ID you need in order to register.

Annual Support

You all should have received the 2004-2005 Annual Report last month which once again underscores the remarkable generosity of Deerfield Alumni, parents and friends. The Great Class of 1969 received special recognition in a listing of the five classes which showed the greatest improvement in participation. As of the end of January, we are, as a Class, running neck-and-neck with last year in terms of both donors and funds raised. I will be in touch with those of you who contributed last year to see if we can avoid another mad scramble during the last quarter of the fiscal year when more than half the gifts were received. For those of you who are not listed on last year’s honor roll, please take the time to read the Annual Report and see why the Academy deserves the support of all of us. You can all make a gift without even getting up by clicking on Giving to Deerfield.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please send news or photos to me at

All the best.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

January 2006 Letter

To the Great Class of 1969:

Class News

Our e-mail distribution list continues to expand and, with that, the potential for more news. Please help me locate the remaining 30 unaccounted for classmates by sending any current e-mail addresses you may have to me at

Since I wrote last month, Rusty Young resurfaced after 36 years of self-imposed silence and sent a group photo from his benefit concert last June. Take a look at the photo by going to Blue Bay Inn and tell me if you can identify everyone. Rusty has scheduled a return engagement for The Fab Faux on Saturday, June 24th at The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ and would like to see an even larger turnout by the Class.

A number of classmates were quick to realize that the figure jumping into the Grand Canyon in my last e-mail could only have been Brogan Thomsen. Credit for identifying the body goes to Patrick Murphy, Charlie Hoffman and Hank Wetzel. (For news on Brogan’s latest exploits, see Albany Road Redux: Sleepless in Seattle with BT.) In other news since I last wrote, John Lacey became (unofficially) the third member of the Class to win the photo trivia contest on the Academy’s website by identifying Mr. McGlynn, for which he won a piece of crockery dating back to the Academy’s founding. I also wish to report that the General (John G. Mills III for those of you with failing memory) is making up for lost time and is in steady communication. John recently renovated a house he owns which Mark Twain once used as a writing haven in Elmira, NY, Mark Twain’s final resting spot. John’s many avocations include writing, and he has expressed an interest in using the house for future literary endeavors when he isn’t busy tending his nearby farm.

Marty Kaiser, who got his start as a member of the Press Club his last two years at Deerfield, is on a career trajectory to become the future president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. For the full scoop, see Albany Road Redux: Marty Kaiser Stars in The Front Page. Another classmate who has spent his career in the print media is Peter Bernstein, past Managing Editor of The Deerfield Scroll, whose most recent endeavor was as a contributing editor to Secrets of Angels & Demons: The Unauthorized Guide to the Bestselling Novel. On a day-to-day basis Peter is the founder of ASAP Media, a media development firm whose clients include Reader's Digest Association, US News & World Report, and The Boston Globe, as well as other companies and nonprofit organizations. Before founding ASAP in 2003 he served as an editor at US News & World Report and Fortune. He was also publisher of Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc. and, for many years, has been the editor and publisher of The Ernst & Young Tax Guide, the country's number one annual tax guide. He is also the co-author of The Practical Guide to Practically Everything and, with his wife Amy, edited Quotations from Speaker Newt: The Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution.

Not surprisingly, how we wish to be addressed today is not necessarily the same as how we once greeted each other. While many of you know that the larger than life King Carter is now known as “Jonathan” or that Tee Johnson is more often called “Taylor”, there are other examples as well. Recently, I have heard from Doug (now “Herschel”) Collins and Doug (now “Douglas”) Arnstein. As a consequence, I find myself the only former “Doug” in the Class who still goes by that moniker, although I seem to be called “Mr. Squires” increasingly, which may be conveying a not so welcome inference. (For a current shot of how I’ve weathered over time, see the Online Yearbook. Please add your photo to those of 39 other classmates by e-mailing a current picture to me at for posting.)

In a recent oversight, I realized that I should have included Douglas Arnstein in my listing of Captains of Industry. Douglas is the President of Absolute Consulting in San Francisco which is engaged in the business of providing project management consulting. If any of you are free and can afford the registration fee, you can hear him speak on “Project Planning for Executives and Sponsors” and other issues at the Workshop Extravaganza hosted by the Manitoba Chapter of the Project Management Institute on April 24th.

Alumni Website

The Alumni Website has undergone a long anticipated upgrade which is the motivation for this month’s trivia contest:

1. Name the last Headmaster to occupy the Ephraim Williams House.

2. Name the two Masters of our era for whom the former Headmaster’s house served as a dorm.

If you’ve visited the alumni website recently, you will have noticed that you no longer can log in using your old ID and password. Instead, you will be prompted for your distinctive ID which begins with a “D” followed by eight digits. I am willing to wager a large sum that none of you knows that you have been reduced to eight numbers by Deerfield or, for that matter, what your number might be. Happily, I have the answer to that question because I am in possession of the number for each of you. If you can’t wait for the letter from the Academy informing you of your ID, please e-mail me at What you will discover when you visit the Alumni Website is that it has much more information than the previous site and includes, among other things, the facility to provide you with a lifetime e-mail forwarding address so that each time you change your preferred e-mail address, all you need to do is to change it on the Academy’s alumni website and all future e-mails sent to you with a URL will arrive in your inbox.

Annual Support

Last month’s appeal met with success, and we closed the calendar year with 18 gifts (including two pledges) on the books. This compares with a year ago when we had 13 gifts. The honor roll of 18 includes 16 repeat donors and two new donors. To put this in further context, we currently rank fourth in terms of financial generosity and seventh in terms of participation among classes of the ‘60’s. We still have much work between now and June 30th to match last year, and I am counting on the generosity of all of you on our solicitation list who haven’t yet participated to help us reach our goal of 60 donors. You may express your commitment to Deerfield most simply by going to Giving to Deerfield and making an online gift or pledge.

Final Thoughts

In closing, I thought you might be curious to learn more about the new Head of School. For those of you who would like to see Dr. Curtis, please go to Albany Road Redux: Deerfield's New Head of School and look at some material cribbed from the Andover website.

I wish each of you the very best for 2006.

Marty Kaiser Stars in The Front Page

The American Society of Newspaper Editors issued the following press release on September 21, 2005:

Editors elect Kaiser to ASNE leadership ladder

W. Martin Kaiser, editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was elected treasurer-designate of the American Society of Newspaper Editors during the group's fall board meeting in Sacramento, Calif. on Sept. 16. Kaiser will become treasurer of the group in April 2006 at the annual convention and will rise through the officer ranks each year until reaching the ASNE presidency in April 2009.

"It is a tremendous honor to become an ASNE officer. I value the faith put in me from my fellow board members," Kaiser said. "There couldn't be a more important time for our industry. I believe we have an exciting future if we use our strengths as journalists to be leaders in the changing media world."

"ASNE must play a leadership role as our industry changes," Kaiser said. "The work we do as journalists is so important to our society. Editors must take the lead and let their voices be heard."

ASNE President Rick Rodriguez, executive editor, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, said, "Marty is a top-notch editor who has worked as hard as anyone to help foster ASNE's goals of improving journalism. He'll be a terrific president and representative for our industry."

Kaiser joins Rodriguez; David Zeeck, executive editor, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash., vice president; Gilbert Bailon, editor, Al Dia, Dallas, secretary; and Charlotte Hall, editor, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, treasurer, in ASNE's leadership.

ASNE, founded in 1922, with about 750 members, is the main organization of the directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. The organization is leading efforts to increase diversity in America's newsrooms, bolster media credibility and improve high school journalism.