Monday, December 31, 2007

Bryce V. Lambert, 1924-2007

The photo on the left was was taken in 1955, three years after Mr. Lambert was appointed a faculty member at Deerfield where he served until 1990. Mr. Lambert graduated from the University of Maine with a B.A. in English in 1948 and received an M.A. from Wesleyan in 1957. In his 38-year career at Deerfield, Mr. Lambert was mentor to hundreds of Deerfield graduates and made fluency in written English the goal of each of his students. Mr. Lambert died on Christmas Eve 2007 in Houlton, ME where he had graduated from high school. As advisor to The Scroll he shaped generations of thoughtful reporters and as master of Table 49 he instructed many a student in the art of "dining".

As a teacher, advisor and mentor Mr. Lambert was one of Deerfield’s extraordinary Masters. The Lambert Fellowship, named for Mr. Lambert, brings writers from all over the United States and abroad to the Academy to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with Deerfield students and faculty. The fellowship is part of an ongoing effort to underscore the place of writing in a Deerfield education.

A small memorial service is being planned in Houlton, ME on January 4th. A memorial service at Deerfield will take place in the spring or early summer, and the summer issue of Deerfield Magazine will feature a tribute to Mr. Lambert’s remarkable life. Details will be announced when available. If you would like to read or add a tribute to the Guest Book, click on the link.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Shotgun Wedding

When Cousins Marry, Steve Esthimer's band, released its long awaited first CD this week just in time for the holidays. Sales are reported to be brisk, however, you still can get a copy at either the band's website or The thirteen original songs, dubbed a "Cousin's Dozen", represent a variety of musical styles. The band has performed the songs on the CD for years, but finally pulled it together over the course of a few nights in a studio in Durham, NC last summer.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Tee Johnson was a touring sound engineer for a "Who's Who" list of musicians for more than 20 years before founding T.H.E. Audio to manufacture professional microphones and bespoke mics for a select list of customers. Tee has found a new application for his special talent as the soothing voice of the narrator in a new documentary entitled Evita (The Documentary). Tee also helped with some of the script in the 70-minute film which eventually will be seen on television in a number of countries.

This new venture seems like a perfect extension for Tee who decided a while ago that living well was the best revenge and now resides in Buenos Aires where he moved his business a few years ago. You can purchase a copy of Evita at Amazon. His next collaboration is entitled Fidel.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fall Term 2007

To the Great Class of 1969:

The marking period for the 209th Fall Term of the Academy has ended, and students have been dismissed for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving (and to worry over how they fared on final exams).

The varsity football team (5-3) improved its record vs. ’06 but culminated the season with a 14-7 loss to Choate (5-2-1) at Jim Smith Field on November 10th. This probably was retribution for last year when Deerfield traveled to Wallingford to complete Choate’s worst fears of a winless season. Nonetheless, it was a disappointing end to a season which began so promisingly when Deerfield outscored its first two opponents by 56-7 and seemed unstoppable. Boys Water Polo had an excellent season and won the New England Finals at Hotchkiss to end the season. Boys Soccer (8-3-6) “finished strong” with a win on Choate Day, when the soccer field was dedicated to Jamie Kapteyn ’79 P’09 who died of a heart attack in a pick-up soccer game with members of the faculty at Deerfield in January. For the girls, the Field Hockey team distinguished itself with a record of 10-2-1.

As I know I have mentioned to some of you, the Academy has undertaken a year-long strategic planning initiative which the Board of Trustees has named “Imagine Deerfield”. The current parents already have been polled, and the plan is to reach out to the alumni in due course. The ultimate objective of the exercise is to decide on three or four initiatives to pursue, consistent with Deerfield’s core mission, over the next five to ten years.

Class News

As you may know if you’ve visited Albany Road Redux recently, nine members of the Class convened earlier this month for dinner. This was the third annual Fall Dinner and the fourth time since 2005 that members of the Class have met in New York to continue discussions that, in some cases, lapsed on graduation. In total, 13 classmates have attended these dinners, and four diehards who still appreciate the importance of a sit-down meal have made each gathering. Robert Clough, to his dismay, accumulated one Accountability Point (“AP”) for failing to make this year’s dinner after having accepted. Robert has been placed on notice that if he accumulates 12 AP’s he will be subject to Level I sanctions and will be required to attend study hall on two consecutive Friday evenings from 7:30-10:30. If you’re curious, you can read all about AP’s beginning on page 14 of DA to Z, a 101-page handbook for students and parents which demonstrates, if nothing else, how much more complicated life has become.

Steve Esthimer wrote this week that his band “When Cousins Marry”, a twenty-five year old rock and blues cover band, will be releasing its first CD entitled “Shotgun Wedding” in the next few weeks. The CD will be for sale on the internet through CD Baby or the band’s website which is currently under construction.

Ed Grosvenor is back in the news after having agreed last month to fork over $500,000 to Forbes and to assume $11 million in subscription liabilities for control of American Heritage Magazine, its affiliated Web site ( and its book division, according to The New York Times. Ed was quoted as saying, “As a publisher, I saw saving American Heritage the way a preservationist sees preventing Grand Central station from being turned into an office tower”. Ed previously published Portfolio, an art magazine, in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, among other ventures. He is in the process of raising $2.25 million to finance American Heritage which is scheduled to resume publication in December.

Tee Johnson flew in to New York from Buenos Aires in October for the 123rd Audio Engineering Society Convention where he displays his line of products each year at the Javits Center. Shortly after landing, Tee was in midtown where he proceeded to compress 38 years into a two hour lunch regaling Rusty Young and me.

Steve Morley is working in critical care and pursuing an advanced degree in nursing, after a career in engineering. He continues to play guitar, mainly jazz and blues (as well as a little bit of Uilleann pipes) and irregularly hosts a radio program serving southern CT (WPKN 89.5 FM) and eastern Long Island (WPKM 88.7 FM). Steve writes that he occasionally talks with Douglas Arnstein (also once from Hamden, CT).

Since I last wrote, I’ve been busy re-tooling the blog to take into account advances in technology and have added a search function I dubbed “Lost and Found” where you can search the archives by entering a Classmate’s name. You’ll also notice on the right hand side streaming news on Deerfield and a link to Albany Road Redux | Google Groups, a spin-off of the original blog. I’m still fine tuning it, but the new web site is intended to be an interactive meeting place where any member of The Great Class of 1969 can communicate instantly with other Classmates by uploading content onto pages, posting comments or initiating discussions.


Kudos to John Lacey and Christian Liipfert, both of whom successfully identified last term’s mystery classmate as Skip Allen. The task was considerably easier for Christian who roomed with Skip at Bucknell. As for the entrepreneur who made a success out of a local bakery, the correct answer (which no one got) was Van Scott. The next time you’re in the vicinity of Birmingham, AL stop by Savage's Bakery, a scratch bakery located in the suburb of Homewood.

This term’s trivia question relates to Choate Day and is in two parts:

1. What year was the first Deerfield-Choate football game played? and

2. What is the series record?

Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Third Annual New York Dinner

Nine New York area classmates reconvened in November for a lively evening of conversation at Swifty's, a popular spot on the Upper East Side. When we first got together in 2005, Tom O'Gara observed that it felt like we were picking up conversations that had been interrupted 40 years ago. AC Starkey may have felt that way this time but everyone else is by now accustomed to these dinners. After gathering for the obligatory photo shoot at my apartment, the eight of us strolled over to the restaurant where we met Tom O'Gara. Those of us who didn't have trains to catch exited the restaurant three and a half hours after sitting down for dinner. If you are curious to see whether anyone has changed over the last year, go to NYC Dinner.

Monday, September 24, 2007

September 2007

To the Great Class of 1969:

As you may recall from days gone by, Deerfield officially recognizes the beginning of each school year at Convocation which does not occur until the end of the first week of classes. You might want to take the time to read - or listen to - this year’s Convocation Address by Tom Heise, who joined the faculty in 1988 and occupies the Merriam Chair in American Studies. As I listened to his concluding remarks I was reminded - as if I needed reminding having lived and worked the last 30 years in New York - the extent to which technology and globalization have made engaging the world beyond Deerfield so much more complex for each succeeding generation of graduates.

As a further reminder of the reach of globalization, King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan welcomed its first class of 66 boys and 40 girls, equally divided between the 9th and 10th grades, before Deerfield could open its doors. Twenty-three are full boarders, 52 are weekday boarders and 31 are day students. In reading Founding Headmaster Eric Widmer’s comments, I couldn’t help wondering whether he hadn’t cribbed his notes from a prior Deerfield Convocation when he spoke of “this incomparably beautiful campus”. If you’d like to learn more, see the article below from The Sunday Times written by Peter Weinberg ’75 who is a trustee of Deerfield as well as a founding trustee of King’s Academy.

On a less global level, Varsity Football inaugurated the season on Saturday with a decisive win over Northfield Mount Hermon, 34-7. This was a more propitious opening to the season which began last year with an 8-6 loss.

Class News

Peter Bernstein, author and former member of the editorial board of The Scroll, released his new book "All the Money in the World" about the lives and lifestyles of the Forbes’s 400 earlier this month. It’s available at Amazon in hardback or as either an audio download or as a CD. Peter’s other books include "The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything: The Essential Companion for Everyday Life" and "Quotations from Speaker Newt: The Little Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution", both of which he co-authored with his wife. He is also the editor of the annual "Ernst & Young Tax Guide".

You may have noticed that George School, a coed Quaker boarding school with 540 students in Bucks County, PA where John Davison teaches history, made the news recently when it received a $128.5 million gift from the daughter of Warren Buffett’s mentor at Columbia Business School who had the good fortune to have owned some shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Before the gift, George School’s endowment was $77 million. Parenthetically, the gift is the largest one to a boarding school since Walter Annenberg’s $100 million gift to The Peddie School in 1993.

Steve Esthimer, a teacher at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, NC since 1979 where he chairs the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, has kept up with his music and performs locally with several groups. After trying for a couple years, Steve’s band, When Cousins Marry, will be releasing a CD of original songs this fall. While at Deerfield, Steve belonged to The Agrarian Revolt which was also known as The Inedible String Band.

Jim Kay visited campus this month en route to Maine on a weeklong bike trip. Jim sampled the fare in the Dining Hall, visited with Frank Henry and agreed to pose for a classic photo op in front of the doors of JW which you will find for posterity in the Online Yearbook.

Earlier this year, Lyn Lee, a nationally known waters/wetlands regulatory expert and founder of the U.S. EPA's National Wetlands Science Training Cooperative, joined consulting firm WSP Environmental Strategies to head up a dedicated Ecosystem Science & Restoration group to help clients manage ecological issues related to site cleanup and development, natural resource damage, and ecosystem restoration.

Dr. David Leffers, one of the top sports orthopedic surgeons in the country, was selected last year to direct the Division of Sports Medicine at the University of South Florida Health's new Department of Orthopedic Surgery. David is also a team physician for the University of South Florida Bulls and has worked extensively with professional athletes and professional teams in the Tampa Bay area, including the Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey) and the Tampa Bay Mutiny (soccer). You may remember that David, after a distinguished career at Vanderbilt, was drafted in 1973 by the Oakland Raiders as a guard.

Christian Liipfert was seconded into a different part of BP earlier this year to act as Programme [sic] Director for a global information and records project after having practiced law, both in a law firm and in-house, for the past 28 years. Christian spoke at a conference in London last May on the topic of “Negotiating the Labyrinth of Information Management and Associated Challenges”. His mandate is to look at how BP creates, organizes, files, uses, reuses and eventually discards both paper and electronic records and documents.

If you’re wondering about how much you need to save to get your own “back 40” in the Lone Star State, you might want to talk with Ritchie McCulloch. Ritchie runs McCulloch Ranch and Land Company, a land brokerage company specializing in the marketing of country neighborhood subdivisions and the brokerage of ranch properties which he founded in 1990, after eight years in the ranch and land real estate brokerage business. Since its founding, McCulloch Ranch and Land Company has sold over 1,400 two to ten acre single family residential home sites valued at over $42 million in 17 different subdivisions and over 34,000 acres of ranch property with a total sales price of over $54 million.

After stints running Ocean Spray and Ocean Cuisine International, Kevin Murphy set off in a different direction and today works with a few start-up companies in which he is an investor and a director. He also spends some of his time as a principal and Senior Partner in an executive recruiting firm.

Brogan Thomsen constructed a 222 foot maze out of refrigerator boxes complete with an Orca whale and a live birch tree in the middle of the route at a week-long event this summer in Seabeck, WA designed especially for Deaf-Blind people and sponsored by the Seattle Lighthouse, a private, not-for-profit agency providing employment, support, and training opportunities for people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.

Earlier this year Sandy Weissent (Harvard AB; University of Chicago MBA) wrote that he had just finished a successful, two-year-long, corporate turnaround of a Midwest-based lumber and building material supply business. Sandy has done over two dozen turnarounds for private and public companies from most business sectors all over the country since 1985.

The ability of lost classmates to escape the long reaches of Google continues without success. This past month Erskine f/k/a "Kim" White, a high school teacher in Nashville and an author, surfaced after many years. In case you’re wondering, it appears that our class produced more teachers than any other profession, although lawyers run a close second.

Rusty Young, CEO of the Count Basie Theatre Foundation, secured a $100,000 grant earlier this year from Lowe's and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to defray the cost of installing a new roof on the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. The 1926 theatre is operated as a nonprofit corporation and is named in honor of William "Count" Basie who was born in Red Bank in 1904.

Class Trivia

It may seem delinquent to be reporting now on something that occurred in 1979, but the following story only came to my attention this month. Fresh out of business school, the classmate in question bought a struggling local bakery for what today looks like the cost of a year at Deerfield but which then must have seemed like a fortune. As things turned out, our Mystery Classmate earned the devotion of his employees, increased profits for each of the next twenty five years and turned the bakery into a destination spot that you can find on various online guides. Can you identify this nascent entrepreneur?

After adding only two classmates to our Online Yearbook in all of last year, I succeeded in adding four classmates and updating two photos this month. Can you name the classmate pictured on the left who entered as a sophomore, starred on the undefeated 1969 swim team and went to Bucknell?

Best wishes to all.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

King's Academy Opens

From The Sunday Times September 16, 2007

The preppy pathway to peace for Arab children: King Abdullah II of Jordan is trying to recreate a top US boarding school in the Middle East

Students perform at the opening ceremony for the academy

Peter Weinberg

It’s dawn at the Allenby Bridge, the river crossing that connects Jericho and the West Bank to Jordan. The temporary community of Bedouins, truck drivers and UN peacekeepers warily watches the heavily armed Israeli border guards. The guards tell us to stand back; they won’t be opening the border any time soon. Everyone avoids eye contact. The tension is palpable.

As an investment banker from New York, I’m a long way outside my comfort zone. I’m here to attend the opening of a new school in Jordan – an initiative that may plant some small shoot of hope in this troubled region.

King’s academy is in Madaba, which lies in a fertile valley at the base of Mount Nebo, the biblical perch from which Moses looked out over the promised land. The school is the inspiration of King Abdullah II, who wanted to create a top-quality boarding school for talented teenage boys and girls from across the Middle East. Last week, the first 106 teenagers arrived to join the first classes.

You don’t need to be wealthy to attend King’s academy. In fact, the school has raised over $60m (£30m) to pay for buildings and land, and for scholarships for those who can’t afford tuition.

Last weekend, one student showed up in a limousine with more suitcases and boxes than could possibly fit in a dormitory. Contrastingly, another arrived by bus and walked through the front gate alone with just a small satchel of belongings. The students share potential and opportunity, not privilege.

Freshly cut grass and young olive trees decorate the walled campus. The library is rapidly filling with books; art supplies and lab equipment are unpacked and ready for use. The buzz of student conversations, both in Arabic and English, bring the campus to life. In some ways, this campus resembles any number of others around the world. But it’s different here.

The students are the cream of the intellectual crop from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are even a few from America and Taiwan. Ultimately all Middle Eastern countries will be represented, including Israel. But even more striking, particularly in this region of “haves and have nots”, is the economic diversity of the students.

The model for King’s academy is Deerfield academy in Massachusetts, one of the top boarding schools in the US. King Abdullah attended Deerfield in the 1980s and often identifies his days there as among the best of his life. As a former Deerfield student myself, I can echo the quality of the experience and its long-lasting impact.

The two schools do not look alike: Deerfield is the archetypical leafy, New England campus familiar to millions from movies such as Dead Poets Society; King’s is in the Levant style of stucco, wood and tile.

But the schools share a common DNA, marked by intelligence, tradition, and an environment that encourages students to engage and provoke. To shape and embody this culture, King Abdullah has recruited the legendary Deerfield headmaster, Eric Widmer, and his charismatic wife Meera Viswanathan.

At the opening ceremony last weekend, five students stepped forward to deliver a nervous premiere of the school song. As the sun set behind the campus buildings, King Abdullah welcomed the students and faculty and reiterated his dream.

Nobody can predict where these courageous students will attend university. One can say that they will have the option to attend the finest establishments in the world: Oxford or Cambridge, Yale or Harvard. I am hopeful that they will choose that route and ultimately return to the region when their academic training is completed. What could be more important in the Middle East than educating open-minded future leaders?

Last week I was strolling through the campus and I heard the sound of Deep Purple’s 1973 hit Smoke on the Water coming from one of the boy’s dormitories. In the US or Europe, such a sound would be unremarkable. But at this school, in this place, at this time, this very normality is extraordinary.

Peter Weinberg is a founding trustee of King’s Academy

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Back to School 2007

To the Great Class of 1969:

We just arrived home after reinserting our son in the Deerfield bubble for another year, and I can report that the campus was buzzing with activity and the excited babble of returning students. Summer was in its final throes with the temperature in the low 90’s, and Albany Road was clogged with moving vans, SUVs and workers’ trucks.

My eye is getting more accustomed to the sight of the Koch Center which, with some landscaping, seems more a part of the campus now that it is no longer a construction site. Directly across from the Koch Center, construction continues where the entrance to the Greer has been tastefully redesigned to provide handicap access to the Gymnasium. This project was prompted by the construction of ten new international squash courts which are cantilevered over the back of the locker room with spectacular views of the playing fields on the lower level. The courts are scheduled for completion by the start of the squash season in November.

Time moves on, but you can still find some familiar faces amidst the change as the Academy opens its doors for its 209th year. Mr. Morsman presides over the dining room in Mr. Sullivan’s former role where he begins his 48th year on the faculty, and Mr. Brush begins his 42nd year teaching Latin. After Mr. Morsman and David Howell '65, our own Frank Henry is the longest serving Alumnus on the faculty.

Best wishes to all.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Spring Term

To the Great Class of 1969:

Final exams ended this morning for underclassmen after which many said their goodbyes and drove off until next September. Others are staying one more night to participate in the the SAT subject tests in the morning before hitting the road. Dorms will be cleaned and tents will spring up all over campus as the Academy welcomes over 800 alumni and spouses for Deerfield Reunions at the end of next week. It is a busy time but also a very special one at Deerfield.

Last Sunday marked the 208th Deerfield Graduation and included Mark Ewing P'99, '07 among the attendees. The graduation followed a day of awards which included the Christopher Beach award for excellence in the performing arts, established in his honor in 2003, and was preceded by the "Senior Cry" in Memorial Hall where the graduating class gathers each year until the early hours of the morning to regale their classmates with reminicences about their Deerfield years.

No sooner had the 189 members of the Class of 2007 transitioned to become Alumni and headed off into the sunset – many of them on party buses for destinations known only to their closest confidants – than the returning students asserted their newfound status. As was described to me by one eyewitness, the rising juniors assembled that evening on what is referentially referred to as “senior grass” in front of the Academy Building and then led the rest of the returning students down Albany Road to a bonfire on the Lower Level to celebrate their succession to the next grade, leaving aside for the moment the minor detail that they all had exams to pass the following week. There was, for a number, a collective sigh of relief that they were no longer subject to suspension for having accumulated too many Accountability Points, or “AP’s” in the vernacular.

For those who are curious how things have changed, the Academy decided at some point along the way since 1969 that a suitable method of enforcing discipline would be to assign demerits for various infractions such as skipping a class, missing a sit-down meal, etc. A student who accumulates more than a certain number of AP’s during a term goes on restriction and, beyond a point, is suspended. For those who manage their AP’s like a checking account, the system went awry this term when the seniors, for their class prank, “kidnapped” the underclassmen. The girls were taken to the river and quickly discovered. The boys, on the other hand, headed for the rock where they cavorted most of the morning and, thanks to some day students with cars who ran into Greenfield for supplies, were able to barbecue and miss the entire day of school. The administration didn’t take this lightly since Deerfield has fewer school days than any peer school except Andover, and a large number of students discovered that they had accumulated a precarious number of AP’s – in part because the school left it to the discretion of the individual teachers to allocate AP’s – and found themselves skating on thin ice. With the slate now wiped clean, the affected students can all breathe more easily until they return in September.

Class News

As some may know, Christian Liipfert, successfully completed the 2007 MS 150 bicycle tour from Houston to Austin last month and raised, individually, over $7,000 for Muscular Sclerosis which afflicts his brother. Sandy Weissent wrote that he had “just finished a successful, two-year-long, corporate turnaround of a Midwest-based lumber and building material supply business. Any classmate with a business that wants to spend some free time on the phone chatting about business improvements, I'm happy to talk.” Sandy is a graduate of the University of Chicago Business School where he remains active and has done over two dozen turnarounds for private and public companies from most business sectors all over the country since 1985. I spoke with Jamie Rawles recently to clarify an incident that took place freshman year when he and John Shanholt conducted an unauthorized science experiment which had some unintended consequences. Those of you who were there at the time may recall the effect of this experiment on John's appearance. Jamie, who returned to Virginia after graduation, hasn't lost any of his fondness for Deerfield and has four sons ranging in age from 14-24. One of his boys lived only a floor away from the dormitory shooting at Virginia Tech. That tragedy has spurred many schools, including Deerfield, to re-evaluate the adequacy of their security measures.

You also may recall that Rusty Young discovered a second career as CEO and impresario at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey where he recently hosted a fundraiser that featured Brian Wilson (pictured with Rusty) and surprise guest Bruce Springsteen. This June 30th he will once again be hosting the FabFaux for anyone who wants to experience the best Beatles tribute band around. AC Starkey, taking a break from David Bowie, was among those who attended last year.

Steve Sheresky has been given a reprieve as class agent after accepting the position as head of the Senior Class Gift for the 2007-2008 school year. Steve has a steep road to climb since the Senior Parents participated to the tune of 95% and are expected to contribute around $2 million this year.

Class Trivia

Please let me know who you think the classmate on the left is. Hint: He also wore a baseball cap at Deerfield, although he seems to have outgrown his glasses.

Eric Tompkins was the first to identify Ed Grosvenor at the podium in my last mailing. The event was a conference in Toronto which Ed attended to accept an award on behalf of his great grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell. AGB had the honor of being the first “laureate” to be inducted into the “Telecommunications Hall of Fame” at a black tie dinner in Toronto in October 2005. The curator of the Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford, Ontario presented the AG Bell laureate award to Ed who accepted on behalf of the Bell family.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Liipfert Rides Again!

This weekend marked the 23rd annual two-day bicycle ride from Houston to Austin to raise funds to support research and programs for the 17,000 individuals in Texas affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Featuring 13,000 cyclists, this year's Bike Tour is expected to raise $12 million to benefit MS research and Lone Star Chapter programs. Since its inception, the Lone Star Chapter's MS 150 Bike Tour has raised more than $60 million. Sponsored the last few years by BP where Christian Liipfert is a corporate attorney, the MS 150 has become the largest nonprofit sporting event in Texas as well as the largest two-day bicycle ride in the country.

Christian is part of an elite group of 300 fundraisers which collectively raised $2.6 million last year for MS. If you'd like to support Christian, whose brother John was diagnosed with MS in 2005, please go to BP MS 150. BP will match up to the first $5,000 of donations made by May 22 through Christian's website link.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Winter Term

To the Great Class of 1969:

The unusually mild Winter Term began on a somber note with the sudden death in January of Jamie Kapteyn ’79, husband, father, teacher, coach and Field dorm master. This marked the second time in less than a year that the school has had to cope with the loss of a faculty member, after a span of forty years in which no active teacher had passed away. As you may have read in the alumni newsletter, a memorial service was attended by over 1,000 students, faculty members, friends and guests in the dining room, and included former Headmaster Eric Widmer '57 and Jeff Louis '81, Head of the Board of Trustees, both of whom returned from overseas to honor Jamie. The Winter Term drew to an end in early March with mind numbing wind-chill of temperatures of as much as 15 below and students gratefully heading off for Spring Break.

In between these bookends, the long delayed Koch Center opened for business to rave reviews. There is still a long punch list and a dispute over the cost over runs to be settled but the building is expected to have a major impact for years to come on teaching as well as on the school’s ability to attract and retain faculty in the science, math and technology disciplines.

Class Notes

For anyone interested in intellectual property law, Dr. John Gladstone Mills, Supervisory Patent Counsel for the US Navy, author of the definitive work on patent law and recipient of numerous accolades, will be visiting New York to teach a three hour refresher course on patent law on April 19th. Another DC-area based classmate with a particular interest in patents is Ed Grosvenor, whose great grandfather probably received the most valuable patent ever issued. That gene must run in the family as I noticed that in 2005 Ed filed a patent application for “a method and system for providing a generally-accepted identifier and a database for maintaining meeting identifiers”. Another classmate with a lifelong interest in communication has been amateur ham radio operator Bill Morine who achieved local attention in North Carolina in February for administering the last Morse code certification following the FCC’s decision to no longer require amateur radio operators to know Morse code in order to become licensed.

Lacrosse is continuing to grow in popularity nationally, and it is evidenced at Deerfield where more than 20% of the boys this year signed up for a one week training camp in Florida over Spring Break. That fact undoubtedly will please Rob Almy who was inducted to the Los Angeles and Orange County Lacrosse Hall of Fame last October. Rob founded the UC Santa Barbara Lacrosse club as an incoming freshman in 1969. After his playing career, Rob went on to become an official who served for over 25 years and is now a nationally certified referee, a US Lacrosse ‘Clinician’ and chief referee for the Central California region. Two years ago, Rob returned to Deerfield to referee the annual Alumni lacrosse game which Tee Johnson and I attended.

For the more culturally inclined, Christopher Beach, president and artistic director of La Jolla Music Society, made a cameo appearance on the East Coast in January to moderate a discussion on opening night at the Jacob Burns Film Festival in Westchester. Barry Ahearn is currently completing an edition of the selected letters of Louis Zukofsky, the subject of his PhD dissertation from Johns Hopkins. When that is completed he will begin work on a critical study of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore and Robert Frost, a study tentatively titled The Imprecise Muse. For those of you who may have missed it, our own Howie Carr authored The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, an account of crime in high places which made The New York Times bestsellers’ list in 2006. Howie was in the news again earlier this month when he argued that another radio talk show host in Boston be jailed for facetiously suggesting a mob hit on Howie while on the air with the newly-elected Governor.

While in Boston last month I had the good fortune to spend time with Neil Jacobs and Nat Brayton, both of whom I am counting on to help organize our 40th Reunion, now only two years away, if anyone needs reminding. Neil is a senior partner at Wilmer Hale & Dorr where he founded the labor law practice more than 25 years ago, and the ageless Nat continues to run his eponymous money management business.

Class Trivia

Rob Almy won the Photo Trivia contest for the Fall Term by correctly identifying Jay Hand, although what seemed to intrigue him more, as a geologist, was the rock formation in the background. The other tour guide in the class, which no one identified, is Julien LeBourgeois who, at last sighting, was conducting high end tours for visitors to the Capital. The classmate I’ve selected for this term’s photo trivia contest should be easily recognizable, although you may never have seen him attired so formally. Would anyone like to venture a guess as to the location and the occasion?

As always, I wish all of you the best. Please send news or photos to me at for inclusion in the Spring Term e-mail or posting to the Online Yearbook.