Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spring Term Report Card - 2017

To the Great Class of 1969:

News of the Academy

The graduating class concludes their time as students at Deerfield today, taking with them their memories and leaving behind the rest of the school to finish exams.

After an opening day loss to Brunswick, boys Lacrosse won 14 out of the next 15 games, most of them by lopsided scores. The program seems to have made a full recovery following the anomalous 2015 season in which the team went 9-7. Tennis also completed another successful season and has gone 45-24 over the past five seasons without losing once to Choate. Baseball, on the other hand, suffered its fourth losing season in a row. Over that stretch it has compiled a cumulative won-lost record of 20-45, highlighting a nagging problem that Deerfield has not been able to overcome in the traditional spectator sports.

The hockey rink was demolished over Spring Break, and construction of the new athletic complex is underway. The schedule calls for completion of the new facilities in the Fall of 2018. This signature facility may enable Deerfield to address the recent slide of certain traditionally important sports, most painfully apparent for the last eight years on the football field against Choate.

One of the more interesting articles in The Scroll described an independently conducted survey of the student body by grade on various issues affecting student life. Not surprisingly, a significant majority of the students felt under either moderate or heavy pressure to get into a good college. Whether or not all that angst paid off for the Class of 2017 will have to remain a mystery because the Academy, for the fourth year in a row, has chosen not to list in the final issue of The Scroll where the graduating class plans to matriculate in the Fall. I would think parents of applicants to the Academy would be keenly interested in knowing the results since the all-in cost to attend Deerfield next year will top $60,000, only $5,000 less than a year at Harvard. You can read about the survey and the other findings here.

News of the Class

We have begun to gear up for our most consequential reunion two years from now by beginning to put together a committee. There are various subcommittees to divide up the work, however, the focus of everyone will be on maximizing attendance. Responsibility for organizing that effort once again falls upon the shoulders of the estimable John Lacey who is rediscovering the relevance of the first year marketing course he took at HBS forty years ago. In addition to the opportunity to see what changes fifty years have wrought to once familiar faces, the 2019 reunion will mark the first time that returning classes will be able to tour both the Hess Center for the Arts (which was still under construction in 2014) and the new athletic complex. Be prepared to be amazed at not only the facilities but at how well they fit in to the campus we knew.

In other news, Steve Esthimer discovered two years ago that the cure for sleep deprivation was to retire, and he now spends his time in Chapel Hill on the various extracurricular interests that used to infringe on his teaching duties, including his band. Frank Henry left Old Main Street last year for the historic East Side of Providence where his wife Wanda is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Brown. Zech Chafee is well acquainted with the quality of life benefits that Providence has to offer, and will be observing his 27th work anniversary in the United States Attorney's Office there this summer. AC Starkey, lifelong Princetonian and the only acknowledged "BowieNetter" in the Class, recently invited 300 of his best friends to a Bowie-themed birthday bash for his wife. I have pictures if your imagination is failing you. Ben Walbridge retired on April 1 from International Marine Underwriters where he had been Regional President of the Pacific Division for the past twelve years. Ben was last spotted trekking in Guatemala with his youngest son.

It's time once again to fire up the barbecue and to celebrate the change of seasons in the northeast. Best wishes to all for the summer.