Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring Term Report Card - 2011

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

The 212th class will graduate from Deerfield this Sunday.  Following the graduation ceremonies, the underclassmen will need to hit the books for finals next week.  As for the Great Class of 2011, the most popular colleges proved to be Middlebury (12) and Georgetown (10).  Collectively, the Ivies will take 34 members of the graduating class, with Dartmouth (8) attracting the most.

Boys Lacrosse finished 15-0 for its first undefeated season since 2007.  Over the last five years, the Boys Varsity team has compiled a near perfect record of 76-3.  According to LaxPower, this year’s team ranked 1st in New England and 10th nationally.

Although the upcoming capital campaign will be focused on increasing the endowment, it will not be without a bricks and mortar component.  This week’s Scroll announced that Ashley House, the oldest of Deerfield’s dormitories, will be razed to make way for a new dormitory (naming possibility available for anyone so inclined) that will house 30 students, a net pick up of 20.  A modular dorm, to be called Chapin Hall, will be constructed this summer to provide temporary housing while the new dormitory is constructed on the current Ashley site.

Class News

Hank Wetzel, a native Californian, travelled to Texas in March where he auctioned off for charity a case of his AVV CYRUS, a cabernet. The winning bidder paid $210,000 for the unopened case, or $17,500 per bottle. After this stunning result, Hank said, “We believe in supporting the communities that have made Alexander Valley Vineyards successful over the years. Tonight, Texas has elevated CYRUS to a new level.” The Wetzel Family’s Alexander Valley Vineyard is located on the original Cyrus Alexander homestead in Sonoma's Alexander Valley.

Christopher Beach, a California transplant as well as the president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society, scored another coup last month with the announcement that three of America’s “Big Five” orchestras — Chicago, New York and Cleveland — would be performing with their music directors in San Diego next year. Christopher, who lured the Vienna Philharmonic to San Diego this year, was quoted in the local paper as saying, "The orchestra series is the star in our crown”.

For those of you who may wonder what ever happened to Rick Swig after returning to California to attend Stanford, the short answer is that he founded RSBA & Associates 25 years ago after working in the family hotel business. RSBA provides strategic advisory services to hotel owners, hotel management companies and chains.  Here's a clip I came across of a recent interview he gave.

As exhilarated as I was to hear about OBL's fatal encounter with the Navy SEALs, the event was a reminder of how much life has changed in the past ten years.  One classmate who was particularly affected and has devoted his life’s work since then so that we will never forget has been Todd Stone.  If you are in New York between July 27th and September 1st, you will want to see an exhibition of his work. Here’s a recent video featuring Todd in his office overlooking Ground Zero.
Michael Buerger, a faculty member at Bowling Green State University and former police officer, will participate on a panel at the World Future Society conference in July aimed at highlighting "current and future trends that are and should be impacting the vision of policing in the future".  I am hoping that Michael will be able to share his ability to divine the future at our 45th.

Marty Kaiser continues his successful career overseeing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where he has worked in various capacities over the past 14 years.  Last month, the newspaper was awarded its third Pulitzer Prize in the past four years, in this case, for a story describing how doctors at Children’s Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin used DNA sequencing to uncover the cause of a young boy’s mysterious disease.

Following my last report, I learned that Ken McWilliams, a stranger to any diligent reader of this blog, had given up being an independent consultant to communities in Vermont and New Hampshire after five years in favor of becoming the town planner for Alton, NH.  If you are curious about what that might entail, I found that being a town planner involves, among other things, opining on the relative safety of roundabouts, traditional intersections and traffic circles, subjects I doubt were part of the Dartmouth curriculum.

In case you didn’t draw the connection in the Winter 2011 issue of Deerfield Magazine, Will Colwell’s son Hamilton ’97 was featured for having started Healthy Mom, a company that sells fortified yoghurt under the name of Maia, a named derived from the Goddess of Spring and Rebirth for anyone who hasn’t brushed up recently on his Greek mythology.

In closing, I want to remind those of you for whom Deerfield is on your list of charitable causes that June 30th is the end of the Academy’s fiscal year.  As one who benefited from your generosity during my tenure as Class Agent, I can tell you that simply participating will make a difference.  Please take a moment to make a gift online if you haven’t done so already.

Best wishes to all as you fire up the barbeque this weekend for the traditional start of summer.