Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall Term Report Card - 2010

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

The marking period for the Fall Term concluded on Friday, and the School let out for Thanksgiving vacation. 

Based on what I could tell at a breakfast which Margarita Curtis and Phil Greer, the Head of the Board of Trustees, hosted last week in New York, the Academy seems to have found its groove after the dark days of 2008 and early 2009.  The School attracted slightly over 2,000 applications last year for the first time and is extending its reach in mainland China and the Far East. On the financial side, the endowment has made headway in recovering some of its losses, and costs are under control.  A new capital campaign, the first since 1997, is planned for official unveiling next fall and will focus on three themes - "People, Program and Place".  The campaign, after extensive input from Deerfield's various constituencies, is designed to align with and preserve the core values of the Academy.  

The Menu at the New Greer
You would be pleased to see the changes to the physical plant just since our Reunion which include a substantial expansion of the seating in the Dining Hall following the fire and a renovation of space in the Gymnasium once occupied by the squash courts.  Last month I visited Deerfield for the dedication of the Greer Store and the Fitness Center which jointly occupy that space and what we once knew as the school store.  The project, which was planned during headier economic times and funded in part by the '08 and '09 parents, would have languished on the drawing boards were it not for the generosity of the Trustees who personally picked up the majority of the tab.  The Greer, as it's popularly known, has been a central meeting spot on campus for years and now can accommodate 300 students.  The fitness center, which can be entered from the Greer or via the locker room one flight down, is a first class facility that is no comparison with the windowless weight room it replaced.

Whether or not you are able to discern the familiar words of encouragement at the top of the menu, they were to no avail as Varsity Football lost to Choate in the season finale for the second year in a row. Although the season ended on a sour note, the team finished 6-2 which was a vast improvement over last year's 3-5 record.  There is hope for next year, as the JV team won nine games in a row after a season opening loss.

While reading the most recent issue of The Scroll, two articles caught my eye which I thought might be of interest.  The first, "Bring Morsman Back!" had me concerned that we had lost our last link to the faculty (other than Frank, of course).  Instead, the article was an appeal to allow Mr. Morsman to decide on table assignments in the Dining Hall once again which are now being done on the basis of some computer algorithm which doesn't have the same sense of panache.  The second was entitled "The New York Scandal" which was a reminder that, as much as things change, the exuberance of Deerfield students while on leave hasn't changed that much over 40 years.

Class News

As has been our habit the past six years, a group of us in the New York area gathered for dinner and a few hours of discussion last week.  Pictured from the left are Rusty Young, Todd Stone, myself, John Kjorlien P'13, AC Starkey and John LaceyPeter Bernstein, just back from two weeks in China, joined us at the restaurant. 

Earlier this month Tom Merrigan was re-elected as representative of the 8th District (which includes Franklin County) to the Governors Council by a 63-37 margin.  The Governor’s Council – whose main job is considering judicial candidates – also votes on pardons and commutations, warrants from the treasurer for state spending, appointments of constitutional officers when the Legislature is out of session and appointments of notaries public and justices of the peace.

DesignBuildBLUFF, founded by Hank Louis, was honored as the Agency of the Year by the Utah Housing Coalition in October for its innovative approaches to creating not only housing for an underserved population but also in creating a community of collaboration and understanding.

Todd Stone, who lives blocks from Ground Zero and has made 9/11 a recurring theme of his art the past nine years, was interviewed by Shepard Smith on Fox News in September.  Here's a link to the story which includes the embedded Fox video and a link to Todd's e-gallery.

In somewhat more dated news, Police Chief Drew Marchiano retired and was honored for his service as the Town of Lewisboro, New York's first full-time police chief in October 2009.

Marty Kaiser, about whom I've written a number of times, was known for many things but not as far as I can recall for his prowess on the baseball diamond. In a story that only recently came to my attention, Marty was asked to throw out the first pitch at a Milwaukee Brewers' game on April 13, 2009.  I thought you would enjoy seeing Marty's one hop to the plate which was captured on this YouTube clip before 25,000 fans.

Tim Truby has been after me the past few years to identify Classmates in my Online Yearbook and, although it will take the mystery out of my occasional "Mystery Classmate" quiz, I concluded there was no point in disguising the identities any longer. As a result, now you can see not only names but also some information from Pocumtuck on the 52 Classmates pictured if you scroll your mouse over the upper right corner of the Flickr page when it opens and select "Show info".

For those of you who haven't contributed a photo - and there were 157 graduates on June 8, 1969 - or who would like to post a better photo, please send me an image shot with a camera having a 5 MP or better resolution and a height of 640 pixels or more.

Last month I received an e-mail from Google that some of the current functionality of its Google Groups sites will no longer be supported as of February 2011.  Since the networking site I set up never realized its potential, I am considering whether a group site on Facebook would be a better alternative.  Since this is a bit out of my depth, I'm hoping that some of our more tech savvy Classmates will volunteer some suggestions.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to all.