Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Term Report Card - 2015

To the Great Class of 1969:

The Choate Boars, which might easily be mistaken for a NESCAC team, trampled Deerfield 48-13 on the Lower Level, winning for the seventh straight year and capping off another undefeated season in which their average margin of victory was 33 points. Mercifully, the game wasn't streamed this year, concluding an expensive four year experiment.

As it turns out, Choate's prowess on the football field has not translated to superior fundraising. In July, Deerfield announced that it had raised $254 million (vs. a $200 million goal) in just four years (vs. a five year target). This titanic result equated to an average contribution per "alumni opportunity" of $26,000+ per head, twice as much per capita as Choate was able to raise in its most recent campaign.

In case you were wondering how some of this munificence would be spent, the Boyden Library will be home to more classrooms, group study rooms, student seating and several new offices. The new space will also include a permanent "Innovation Lab" in the basement. Overall, the Library will offer students additional space and comfort for studying, as well as additional resources.

July 2005
Earlier this month, six of us met for our annual dinner in New York. The classmates who appear with me in the inaugural photo as well as the most recent are Steve BisbeeJohn KjorlienJohn Lacey and Tom O'GaraTodd Stone, who has made virtually all of the dinners, is the only one not pictured in the 2005 gathering. Tee Johnson, who lived in Buenos Aires at the time, and Christopher Beach, who departed that fall for La Jolla, are in the 2005 group.
November 2015
One regular who had to pass this year was Rusty Young who has become a Florida resident where he is busy with his concert promotion business on the senior circuit. Others who have made at least one of our gatherings include Robert Clough, Tom EhrgoodAC Starkey and Will Colwell.

In October, the La Jolla Music Society named a new president and artistic director to replace the irreplaceable Christopher Beach after ten years with a new president and artistic director. Christopher will devote himself to a career as a theater and development consultant. He will continue to reside in La Jolla with his partner Wesley and will remain with LJMS on a part-time basis to complete the design and construction of the Conrad Prebys Performing Art Center.

Just this month, Architectural Record named six schools with "stellar design-build programs" in its annual ranking. For regular readers of the blog, it probably comes as no surprise that Hank Louis's DesignBuildBLUFF program at the University of Utah was among those listed. See the story here.

Austin Clarence Starkey, Jr.
In case you were wondering what ever had happened to AC Starkey after all these years, you needn't worry. As I have known for some time, AC lives the good life, splitting his retirement years between the northern clime of New Jersey, his native state, and the warmer southern reaches where he usually winters in St Barts, Nassau and Palm Beach. In the photo to the left, AC appears to be a dead ringer for Daddy Warbucks in the lobby of the Graycliff Hotel where he is enjoying a custom rolled Graycliff Cigar after a tough day on the beach, a perfect complement to what the Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant has always been known for: excellent cuisine, fine wines and luxurious accommodations. The hotel will probably be the last to ban smoking in public places since the hotel is a national landmark and the founder of the cigar company also owns the hotel. On the theory of "no wine before its time", AC set aside a $200,000 bottle, a price point Hank Wetzel was able to achieve for a single case for the more budget-minded in 2006.

Fall term grades are available on December 1. In the meantime, remember the joy of the Thanksgiving Break and no longer having to worry about all this.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to all.