Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fall Term Report Card - 2011

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

A month after the start of its 213rd year, the Academy kicked off the long anticipated “Imagine Deerfield” capital campaign with a gala dinner organized by Mimi Morsman for 800 attendees under a 94’ blue whale suspended from the ceiling of the Museum of Natural History in New York.  Coach Smith (1960-1996) delivered grace, a role now performed before sit-down meals by Mr. Morsman, who also joined the faculty in 1960.  Frank Henry, who contributed to Voices from the Valley, a newly published collection of essays by past and present Deerfield teachers, was seated prominently.

Deerfield’s last capital campaign centered on the Bicentennial and defied skeptics by setting a lofty goal of $125 million before exceeding it by $25 million.  Perhaps reflecting the S&P's flatline since then and the consequent temperate mood, the campaign goal has been set at $200 million.  Half of that amount is targeted for the endowment, 30% will go toward new facilities (including a new dorm) and 20% will support current use projects.  Although the broad-based solicitation is just beginning, $85 million already has been committed.

Deerfield hosted Choate on November 12th in the 93rd annual matchup and streamed the Varsity Football game for the first time.  Jim Smith Field looked remarkably good following the freak snowfall two weeks earlier.  The 41-7 pasting by the Wild Boars could not easily be explained away by anything as simple as this year's curb on cheering.  With its third successive win, Choate has narrowed Deerfield’s cumulative lead in the football rivalry to a single game.
Class News

As everyone knows, candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination have been barnstorming the country the past few months.  What you may not know is that two indelible meetings have occurred in venues where Classmates work.  Most famously, Gov. Perry’s “Oops” moment occurred earlier this month at Oakland University in Michigan where Brian Connery has taught since 1989.  Herman Cain had a similarly [un]forgettable encounter last week with the Editorial Board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  If you listen carefully to the replay, you will hear Marty Kaiser off camera patiently asking a series of questions beginning at 2:51 of the interview.

Since 1978 Van Scott has owned Savage’s, a scratch bakery in Homewood, AL that I first wrote about four years ago.  Here’s a review of Van’s place, including a photo of him putting the finishing flourish on one of his cakes.  Van is in the process of developing an online mail order business for selected items.  Stay tuned.

Christopher Beach opened the 43rd season of the La Jolla Music Society earlier this month with Havana’s Kings of Salsa, a spirited music-and-dance performance of mambo, rumba and cha, cha, cha moves.  The entertainment will continue throughout the season with performances from three major symphony orchestras, chamber music ensembles, pianists, modern dance groups, and a premier selection of pop, classical, cabaret and salsa music artists.

Christian Liipfert, after retiring from BP, has established his own eponymous consulting firm.  In August, he delivered the keynote address at The Masters Series for Legal Professionals in Houston.  Christian consults on information governance, knowledge management, e-discovery, crisis management, and compliance and ethics training.

Douglas Arnstein also has formed his own consulting firm, dubbed "Orgchange3P Consulting, Inc.", which is focused on helping companies deliver critical initiatives through program, project, and process effectiveness. This is at least Douglas's second stint as an entrepreneur who previously served as President of Absolute Consulting which was engaged in providing project management consulting.

The annual New York dinner was scaled back this year on account of scheduling conflicts, however, Rusty Young, John Lacey, Todd Stone and I had a chance to swap stories for a few hours earlier this month.  Rusty's new venture, which I mentioned in my Summer Post Card, has just lined up its first event for January.  Lacey, an amateur sports reporter in his spare time, can cite from memory the collegiate split times in the pool of either of his daughters and always delights in recounting Amherst's latest thrashing of Williams. Todd hopes to relocate his studio to nearby space where he can continue recording the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site before year end when the employees who actually occupy Wall Street move in to 7 WTC.
Thanks to the reach of Google, David Perednia, the Class Treasurer, and John Marchiano, the Captain of the Varsity football team, have been added to our distribution list, which now totals 115 members of the Class, half of whom are featured in our OnlineYearbook.  If you would prefer a different or more flattering photo, please e-mail one to me.  A portrait shot with a camera that has a 5 MP or better resolution and a height of 640 pixels or more will work best, according to Tim Truby.

Our social networking experiment remains a work in process.  We currently have 38 Classmates on our Facebook page and a fraction of that on Google+.  There are links to each on the right side of the blog if you’d like to join.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to all.