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.