Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spring Term Report Card - 2009

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

It is no surprise that during the latter part of Spring Term attention turned to the swine flu and the possibility of a random case. This diversion was in some sense a welcome relief from the Winter Term when there seemed no end in sight to the financial misery. Following cancellation of Parents' Weekend, the last few weeks of Spring Term were spent wondering whether students might be dismissed early or Commencement canceled for 183 seniors on account of a case of swine flu. Happily, the world as we know it did not end, and a case of swine flu did not surface at Deerfield.

On the college front, it was another good year despite worries about the lethal mix of record applications and depleted endowments. The 60/40 mix of top universities and top liberal arts colleges was about the same as in prior years, although there were some clear winners and losers. Schools which were winners and will have more Deerfield matriculants than in any of the eleven years I have been tracking this are: Yale (10), Tufts (7), Colgate (7), Bucknell (7) and Hamilton (6). Formerly popular schools which will have fewer matriculants than ever include Brown (4) and Cornell (1). The most popular Ivy (and college overall) was Yale, and the least popular was Columbia which attracted no members of the Class of ’09, and has never been a strong draw on Albany Road. You can interpret the results yourself by visiting The Scroll.

The boys’ lacrosse team finished 15-1, ending the season with a triple overtime win over Lawrenceville at Yale. The only loss was to Salisbury by a single goal late in the season. Overall, the team is ranked 1st in New England and 6th nationally, which is higher than I can ever recall. Girls’ tennis had another standout year, finishing 10-1, with the loss to Hotchkiss the only one since the 2007 season. The prospects for next year appear good since only two girls are graduating, and the JV was undefeated.

The big news for next year is that girls will outnumber boys for the first time and that there is a serious overcrowding issue which is forcing the Academy to do some improvising. Read all about it - and subscribe to a news feed from - The Scroll.

Class News

Steve Esthimer wrote that his band When Cousins Marry has another CD in the oven which is scheduled for release next summer. He indicated that one song, as intemperately named as his group, will have a reference to the Great Class of 1969. Steve looks forward to seeing everyone at the 45th.

Stuart Ray, our resident entrepreneur, sent me a press release this week announcing his appointment as Executive Director of Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids, MI. Established in 1929, Guiding Light Mission serves those in need of food and homeless men who also need shelter and help in developing the social skills and spiritual strength to overcome their difficulties and addictions and rejoin the community.

Stuart’s community efforts and ability to inspire others have been recognized by various groups, including Ernst & Young which named him “Socially Conscientious Entrepreneur of the Year”, Partners in Public Education which named him “Employer of the Year”, and the Hugh Michael Behan Foundation which recognized him for contributions to racial diversity and commitment to education excellence.

Rusty Young won't be able to make the Reunion on account of a prior commitment at the Count Basie where he is CEO of the Foundation. He did remind me that the Fab Faux will be back again on June 27th for a benefit concert, and tickets are are still available.

Photo Trivia

Who is this guy with the aviator shades barking out instructions over the megaphone at last week's Commencement? Is this the same person who once advised, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their snowballs" in a pitched battle during Winter Term? His classroom in the "New Classroom Building" where he has taught a resolute minority of students what was once required for freshmen and sophomores is strewn with amusing malapropisms and double entendres collected over the past 43 years. He may be retiring, but you can still see him at our Reunion.

Speaking of the Reunion, I look forward to seeing you June 12-14. We're expecting an excellent turn out which already has surpassed the 35th. It's not too late to register.

Best wishes to all.