Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fall Term Report Card - 2016

To the Great Class of 1969:

School let out on Friday for Thanksgiving Recess, probably to the relief of all.

News of the Academy

The Headmaster believed that some of life's best lessons were to be learned through sports, and for those who measure the success of the athletic program by the result of the Choate game, the lessons could begin to comprise an entire curriculum. In a game that was streamed from Wallingford, Deerfield suffered an eighth straight loss to Choate and finished the season 3-5. Although the game was not close, there is something heartening to be learned from Yale's unexpected win over Harvard this weekend in "The Game" which ended a nine year losing streak. As surely as the sun rises, that day will come for Deerfield, but for now we are left to ponder how long it may be before we too can say, like Yale alums, "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet".

In other athletic news, The Scroll reported in January 2015 that the school was developing plans for replacing the ice rink and building a field house on top of it. From what I can tell, those plans continue to move forward, but remain contingent upon obtaining sufficient commitments. Although Deerfield completed a successful capital campaign only last year, this project was not part of Imagine Deerfield which was launched in 2011.

I suspect that many of you are scratching your heads (if not tearing out your hair) over the recent election results. With negligible dissent, nineteen members of the Editorial Board of The Scroll endorsed Hillary Clinton. While I could find no indication that there had been a mock election this term, a poll last Spring showed the top three choices to be Sanders (40%), Clinton (21%) and Trump (17%). For the historians in the Class, we held a mock election in 1968 at another very divided time in our history. The results that year were as follows: Nixon 50%, Humphrey 38% and Wallace 12%. The actual popular vote tallies that year were Nixon 43.4%, Humphrey 42.7% and Wallace 13.5%. Nixon won 301 electoral votes (which is probably less than Trump will wind up with) and, of course, wound up being re-elected. We all know how that ended. I would venture a guess - which we can all debate in June 2019 with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight - that the largest beneficiaries of the President-elect's economic policies, ironically, will live in blue states on either coast. For additional perspective, listen here to Howie Carr's interview from last June.

News of the Class

This September marked, sadly, the 15th anniversary of 9/11. As you know, Todd Stone has dedicated his life since then to capturing not only the horror of the moment but also the rebirth of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath. In that effort, Todd has been aided by Larry Silverstein who bought the Twin Towers several weeks before the attack and has spent his time since then rebuilding the site. As part of the commemoration of the anniversary, Todd participated in a video interview which was taped in space made available to Todd by Silverstein for a studio. I encourage you to watch the interview by scrolling down this page link and to celebrate one of our classmates. You can see some of Todd's work at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Rusty Young's concert business in Vero has diversified into comedy events in Delray. If you're in FL this winter, you might want to see if you can get tickets. You can check out upcoming events here. Ed Grosvenor continues to work to save American Heritage Magazine and launched a page on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform, to raise funds. You can contribute by going here before December 16th and sharing the link. Ed attributes his love of history to Mr. Crow and to his great grandfather Edwin Grosvenor who, the Headmaster often reminded him, was his history professor at Amherst.

Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

David M. Herron 1951-2014

The Academy has reported that David Herron passed away in 2014. Dave entered as a sophomore and was a member of the Glee Club junior and senior years. The following is his obituary from the StarTribune:

David M. Herron of Vadnais Heights, died Nov. 26. He was born June 21, 1951 in Newton, Mass., the son of Fred W. Herron and Ruth Johnson Herron. He graduated from Deerfield Academy and attended Macalester College where he met his wife and many life-long friends. He worked for many years in the information technology industry in the Twin Cities. An accomplished sailor, he enjoyed many hours sailing on White Bear Lake. He was an avid music collector and especially enjoyed sharing his love of music with friends and family. David was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Eleanor Feist. He is survived by his wife, Deirdre Vaughan; daughters, Anne and Emily; sister, Martha "Bobbie" Herron; & brother, Jonathan Herron. Visitation will be on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 5 to 7 PM at BRADSHAW, 4600 Greenhaven Dr. at Highway 96, White Bear. Memorials preferred to White Bear Sailing School, P.O. Box 10865, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. 

Published on November 29, 2014

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spring Term Report Card - 2016

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

When Pat Gimbel retired as head of admissions after 23 years, it was widely accepted by interested observers that she would be a tough act to follow. This term it was announced that Pat's successor would be leaving after just three years and that the position would be filled by the retiring Athletic Director who has coached and taught at Deerfield for more than twenty years. In what appears a distinct shift from the triple threat model, Deerfield will have a full time Athletic Director for the first time next fall.

The question which inquiring minds wanted answered this spring was whether last year was an anomaly or the end of Deerfield's dominance in Boys Lacrosse. Happily, the team returned to its usual form and cruised to a 15-1 record with the only loss coming at the hands of Trinity-Pawling in OT. The team ranked second in New England and sixth nationally which matched the 2014 results. Varsity Boys Baseball, in contrast, finished 2-12.

Chip Ainsworth reported in The Greenfield Recorder that the Academy would be building a temporary ice skating rink at the south end of Main Street on land recently purchased for the relocation of the physical plant. The "Barn", where hockey games have been played, will be rebuilt with a field house above and will be ready 
in the fall of 2019. A
ccording to The Scroll, an anonymous donor has contributed a substantial portion of the estimated $50 million cost.

Although you now can watch the commencement exercises online, the destination of the school's newest alums seems to be on a "need to know" basis. For the third year in a row, there will be no accounting for where graduates will be matriculating in the fall.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Academy reached a settlement with a member of the Class of 1957 over charges involving an art teacher which the alumnus had brought in 2013.

News of the Class

After 36 years at AIG, Steve Bisbee retired this term and is now free to think about what he would like to do at the start each day when he tires of more skiing out West. Steve held a number of positions with AIG and, at various points, worked in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York. His most recent responsibilities involved overseeing all distribution aspects of AIG's business with wholesale brokers.

Sandy Weissent recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of the CEO Roundtable. The CEO Roundtable was created by Sandy at the request of the Dean of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago as an alumni activity for "C-Suite" alumni of the school. Since 2010, the CEO Roundtable has expanded to serve "C-Suite" executive leaders from any school and increased its program offerings to include, in addition to monthly dinners, social networking events and business conferences in Chicago.

Frank Henry will be completing his one-year stint as Interim Head of The Bement School with a trip to Korea and China on behalf of the school in June. After a summer in Maine without the usual August interruption for faculty meetings, Frank will head to Providence where his wife is finishing her PhD at Brown. Beyond that, plans seem open-ended except that Frank intends to remain involved in education.

In an oversight, I neglected to mention last fall that Robert Clough received the Distinguished Citizen Award, the highest such honor, at the Katahdin Area Council's annual Boy Scouts' dinner in October. Robert is the lead physician for Cardiothoracic Surgery of Maine, the only cardiothoracic practice in northern New England. Following graduation from the Tufts University School of Medicine in 1977, Robert started Bangor's first cardiac surgery program ten years later.

Undergraduates will clear out after exams this week. For us, this weekend was the signal to break out the BBQ.

Best wishes for the summer.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Winter Term Report Card - 2016

To the Great Class of 1969:

The Academy is on Spring Break, and I am delinquent in reporting to you for the first time since I adopted the school calendar for my updates. Like the swallows at Capistrano, we return each March to our seasonal destination, and time ran out this year before I could decide what news was fit to print this term.

Unfortunately, the news is neither good nor necessarily fit to print. We learned this term that the school had settled a case with a student involving Mr. Lambert for $500,000, three years after the Academy confirmed that Mr. Hindle had engaged in inappropriate behavior. This news was followed in short order by another lawsuit against the Academy involving Mr. Hindle dating back to 1979. Needless to say, these allegations are not unique to Deerfield or to all boys schools since there also was a report this term of abuse dating back to the same era involving a female student at St. George's School in Newport, RI.

On a more positive note, the Village Green has a new look this term. The Civil War Soldier who has stood guard since 1867 at the site of the original Meeting House on Old Main Street was carefully shored up and crated off down the road to the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association where he spent the winter. Work on the 29' pedestal which lists the residents of Deerfield who died in the Civil War is expected to begin this summer. The fate of the 1,300 lb. statue is still to be determined. While purists would prefer that he either be restored or remain in a museum, the former seems impractical due to the ravages of time, and the latter alternative would leave the pediment denuded. One alternative under consideration is to create a bronze replica which could be coated so that it appeared, for all intents and purposes, the same as the original. Although the Academy does not own the monument, the school has established a fund to assist with the restoration. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me.

News of the Class

Frank Henry, in his capacity of interim head of Bement, registered his opposition to a proposed 400 mile long natural gas pipeline which will run through the north meadows of Old Deerfield. As of earlier this month the Academy had not taken a position and, according to a spokesman, has no plans to do so yet.

AC Starkey was in St Barth's last month where he and his wife attended a small gathering with Jimmy Buffett. As the only known BowieNetter in the Class, AC is still coping with the untimely demise of David Bowie. As evidence of of his bona fides, AC attended six Bowie concerts during the Reality Concert Tour in 2006.

For the second year in a row, Rusty Young produced the "Masters of Music" series in Vero Beach, FL. This term's performers featured Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary fame, the Kingston Trio and The McCartney Years, a tribute band celebrating the work of Paul McCartney.

Hank Minor and his wife have relocated from upstate New York where he had run the family business for many years to more temperate North Carolina where they bought a horse farm. Among his varied interests, Hank is a licensed falconer and has been training hawks for seven years. You can read what else he's been up to on his personal website.

I find myself continually surprised as how time seems to be accelerating. With most of the Class turning 65 this year, I suspect that there is more to news report than I have been able to uncover. Please help by emailing me your news or posting it to the school directly.

Best wishes to all.