Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Term Report Card - 2012

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

The Fall Term concluded on Friday, and the Academy has let out for Thanksgiving vacation.  Of particular note this term, the Class of 2013 will graduate without having beaten Choate in Varsity Football.  For those of you who may not have watched the lopsided contest stream across your screen last Saturday or who may not appreciate the historical significance of this, I am told this is the first time since the 1940’s that a graduating class at either school will have suffered this ignominy.  Before you decide to cut off financial support for Deerfield on the basis of this single event, I think it also should be noted that football was eclipsed some time ago as a dependable athletic hook into the most selective colleges by sports in which Deerfield excels.
The most recent issue of The Scroll indicated that Deerfield has adopted a “two strikes and you’re out” policy with a uniquely tolerant twist that would have made the Headmaster proud.  The “twist”, as I understand it, is that the second strike has to be for the same offense that resulted in the first reprimand.  I’m sure that even the least enterprising members of our Class would have no problem finding a work around to that loophole.  By the way, if you have any doubts about how much more complex it has become to run Deerfield, I encourage you to read this article I came across in Vanity Fair.

On the political front, a Presidential straw poll revealed a student body that was a microcosm of the broader society.  Final tally: Obama 235, Romney 233. I think we similarly forecast the winner in a straw poll in 1968, but others may have a better recollection.

The $200 million capital campaign continues to roll along and now has raised $120 million, up from $85 million a year ago.  The last time I checked, the new dormitory, which took the place of Ashley on the east side of the campus, remains a naming opportunity for anyone in the Class with the financial capacity who is so inclined.

News of the Class

Earlier this week eight of us got together for dinner in what has become an annual ritual in New York.  The group was comprised of the usual suspects, namely, Peter Bernstein, Steve Bisbee, John Kjorlien, John Lacey, Tom O’Gara, Todd Stone and Rusty YoungRobert Clough, who was in town for the annual dinner of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, was able to stop by before heading off for a prior commitment.  Although there is no photographic record of this year’s event (some would say by design), I can assure you that the group is little the worse for wear after another year, despite the fact that five members had to rough it without electricity for varying periods as a result of Super Storm Sandy.
As testimony to the enduring youthfulness of the Class, Hank Louis became the 15th member (and presumably the last!) to enroll a child at Deerfield.  His son played soccer for Frank Henry this term.
After representing Western Massachusetts for six years on the Governor’s Council, Tom Merrigan decided not to seek re-election for a fourth term on the Governor’s Council this fall, citing increased out-of-state travel commitments for his job as executive vice president and general counsel to California-based Easton-Bell Sports.  Tom joined Easton-Bell in June 2010.

Rick Swig, a California hotelier, bought the John Muir Inn, a 60-room hotel in Napa in May which he spruced up over the summer and rebranded as the Napa Winery Inn.  Rick also owns the Harvest Inn in Napa Valley.

Marty Kaiser participated on a panel at Colby College discussing investigative journalism in the digital age earlier this month.  The panel was convened in connection with the presentation of the annual Lovejoy award for courageous journalism to Bob Woodward.

Steve Esthimer posted to our Facebook group a message describing what he had been doing to raise the awareness of his students in the political process.  If you missed his post and would like to join the 40 Classmates in our group on Facebook, let me know.  We also have a similar group on Google+.

Jonathan Carter continues to do battle with environmental predators.  In addition to leading the opposition to a mountain top wind farm, King has found a new cause, opposing a proposal to construct a privately funded toll road across Maine.

To the bane of Massachusetts’ newest Senator and her constituency, WRKO exercised its option to extend Howie Carr’s contract last summer.  Howie anchors a program from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM and has been with WRKO since 1994.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to all.