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.