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.