Fall 2009 CA Magazine
The fall 2009 issue of CA Magazine.
fall 2009 Meet Rick Hardy Concord Academy’s New Head of School Cliff Goes to War Musings on a CA Roommate in Iraq Report of Giving 2008–09 See page 21 Sarah Thornton â€™09 Drawing 1, Spring 2009 CONCORD ACADEM Y M ISS IO N Concord Academy engages its students in a community animated by a love of learning, enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and guided by a covenant of common trust. Students and teachers work together as a community of learners dedicated to intellectual rigor and creative endeavor. In a caring and challenging atmosphere, students discover and develop talents as scholars, artists, and athletes and are encouraged to find their voices. The school is committed to embracing and broadening the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and talents of its people. This diversity fosters respect for others and genuine exchange of ideas. Common trust challenges students to balance individual freedom with responsibility and service to a larger community. Such learning prepares students for lives as committed citizens. fall 2009 Editor Gail Friedman Managing Editor Tara Bradley Design Irene Chu ’76 Editorial Board Tara Bradley Director of Communications Gail Friedman Associate Director of Communications Pam Safford Carol Shoudt Major Gifts Officer Lucille Stott Campaign Writer, English Teacher Meg Wilson Director of Advancement Elizabeth “Billie” Julier Wyeth ’76 Director of Alumnae/i Programs Proofreader Deborah Gray Editorial Intern Daphne Kim ’10 Photography Interns Libby Chamberlin ’09 Scarlett Kim ’11 Lisa Kong ’10 Alison Merrill ’09 Concord Academy magazine is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. Write us Concord Academy Magazine 166 Main Street Concord, Massachusetts 01742 (978) 402-2200 email@example.com www.concordacademy.org © 2009 Concord Academy Committed to being a school enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, Concord Academy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in its hiring, admissions, educational and financial policies, or other school-administered programs. The school’s facilities are wheelchair-accessible. F E A T U R E S page 16 Meet Rick Hardy 16 Students’ welcome notes for the new head of school Concord Academy’s New Head of School by Gail Friedman 21 The Intangible Lightness of Being Kristin Jones ’75 by Gail Friedman 27 Cliff Goes to War Musings on a CA Roommate in Iraq by Andrew Wolf ’06 D E P A R T M E N T S 2 Message from the Head of School 29 Commencement 2009 3 Campus News 36 Reunion Weekend 2009 10 Alumnae/i Profiles Brown Johnson ’70 Andrea Morgan Donaghy ’63 John Laurence ’92 Bess Rattray ’84 Joan Shaw Herman Award: Nancy Read Coville ’49 by Gail Friedman 51 Report of Giving 2008–09 Winter Magazine Going Green The winter issue of Concord Academy magazine will be published online only. Check it out in January at concordacademy.org/magazine. The reasoning behind this decision was both global and local: we will save paper and energy, as well as CA funds. Concord Academy magazine currently is posted online, but with the winter issue we launch a new electronic design, better suited to the Web. You’ll find the articles you’re used to, as well as photo galleries and the opportunity to comment on stories. You will receive an email in January to remind you to look for the issue online. (Please give us your current email address, if you haven’t already!) We will continue to print two magazines yearly, in fall and spring— so you can count on receiving the spring issue of Concord Academy magazine in your mailbox in early June. Cover photo: Head of School Rick Hardy by Tom Kates by Nancy Shohet West ’84 15 Admissions 35 Alumnae/i Association Update 44 Arts Q&A: John Blacklow ’83 48 Athletics 2009 Spring Highlights Profile: Jon Waldron by Tara Bradley 80 In Memoriam W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 Associate Head for Communications, Enrollment, and Planning message Tom Kates fr om the head of s c hool First Impressions T he first week of classes at CA was a whirlwind, but the motion stopped abruptly at 8:25 a.m. on September 2, when I stood at the lectern in the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel. The Chapel was brimming with faculty and students; even the balcony’s pews were tightly packed. Yet there was no hustle or din; instead, there was an aura I had never experienced before. I wondered, How could the students who rollicked outside just moments before be part of this silence? As the music I had chosen, Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G for Solo Cello, rose to the wooden rafters, I thought to myself, “This is a great moment.” And it was. The Chapel’s power of silence and the way music penetrates its atmosphere had humbled and captivated me, providing one of many first, and lasting, impressions of CA. I began work here in July, but I knew the school really wouldn’t come to life until the students arrived—and they did not disappoint. In fact, nothing has made as compelling an impression on me as the young people I’ve met. Their intelligence has been readily apparent, but so has their consideration. The day before my chapel talk, several student leaders asked me, “Can we occupy your friend bench tomorrow?” They didn’t want me to deliver a chapel with that spot for supporters empty. They even made signs for me, just as they make for their peers. And two students asked if they could start the traditional “hug line” that precedes each chapel talk. Needless to say, I felt well-supported. I was struck by CA students’ work ethic and intellect as well. When I told the students in my feature-writing class that I planned to treat them as writers, they seemed to revel in that idea. When I asked them to dig into an assignment that I thought would take a half-hour, they spent a good hour plumbing it deeply, writing and rewriting to a standard I did not expect, especially during the first week of classes. I quickly realized I would need to be careful with my class, lest they work too hard, propelled by an inner drive to achieve and perfect. These students, I realized on the very first day, were fine role models. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 8 The faculty and staff impressed me with similar characteristics—drive, intelligence, and a genuine friendliness. Standing before faculty meeting, I felt privileged to be among these teachers and staff members; they listened intently, spoke their minds respectfully, yet maintained a low-key, easy manner. I especially appreciated their playfulness, and how they punctuated the meeting with witty cracks. This wit that is so valued at CA surfaced at my installation ceremony, too, through the amusing, intelligent, and original remarks delivered by Board of Trustees President John Moriarty P’02, ’05, ’07, Student Head of School Daysha Edewi ’10, and Assistant Dean of Community and Equity Jen Cardillo. (My brother-in-law Marty Gagne professed to feeling a bit daunted, knowing he would have to follow such an impressive lineup, but he rose to the occasion and matched their standard.) I knew that Concord Academy had produced numerous noteworthy writers over the years, but those speeches underlined just how much CA values words. Written or spoken, words are prized here. As a longtime English teacher, that makes me feel very much at home. My wife Del and I consider ourselves very lucky to have landed at CA. Beyond the campus, we’ve enjoyed the town of Concord, from its farm-fresh vegetables to its scenic countryside. We canoed weekly throughout the summer, and within ten minutes of paddling from CA experienced exceptional calm, interrupted only by occasional birds or wildlife. That kind of quiet is rare—and most welcome. The only quiet I’ve found more peaceful, and more powerful, is in the Chapel. Standing in its stillness before my first chapel talk, I felt overwhelmed with my good fortune, grateful for the opportunity to help nurture a school so rare and special. Thanks to all of you, for your gracious welcome— and for taking such good care of Concord Academy over the years. Rick Hardy Head of School 2 S even Concord Academy students have received a grant from public television station WGBH to produce a documentary called Cold Water, focusing on the environmental factors affecting New England’s fishing industry. The group, advised by computer studies teacher and documentarian Ben Stumpf ’88, was among nine finalists in a competition that challenged students to demonstrate the impact of climate change on their communities. Filmmakers Harvey Burrell ’09, Tripp Clemens ’09, Andrew Dempsey ’11, Nate Lamkin ’12, Stephanie Malek ’09, J.J. Radochia ’11, and Alistair Wilson ’11 submitted a short trailer (see it at concordacademy.org/coldwater), and, based on that, received a $2,000 grant to turn their pitch into a three- to five-minute documentary. The group has donated leftover grant money to support CA Docs, a new documentary club. Students submitted a rough cut of their film in June (see it at lab.wgbh.org). The final version may be televised. CLOrk, CA’s laptop orchestra; right, laptop musicians setting up speakers before their performance at TechExpo Technical Symphony the orchestra prepared for TechExpo. One was modeled on nature sounds, with one person simulating a cattle stampede and others mimicking the sounds of a rooster, a wolf, and the wind (whooshed by a finger dragged across a touchpad). The fourth work — a symphony of keyboard clicks called “CliX,” by Ge Wang — was written for PLOrk, the laptop orchestra at Princeton. (Hear CA’s version at concordacademy.org/clork.) CA’s laptop orchestra, known as CLOrk, featured Michael Ciociola ’12, Russell Cohen ’09, Andrew Dempsey ’11, Alex Fichera ’11, Mason Glidden ’10, and Billy Wood ’11, and was conducted by Monks. It was just one highlight of CA’s sixth annual TechExpo, which showcased student work from computer studies and mathematics courses, clubs, and independent studies. On display were a synthesizer that could turn computer files into sound, a 3D model of flags of the world, a toolbox WGBH grant recipients for number theorists written in the Ruby programming language, an application to synchronize notes between an iPhone and a computer, and a Web site design with an Ultimate Frisbee theme. Students shared work from the introductory Creative Computing class, computer-simulated geometry projects, and highspeed movies filmed by DEMONS, CA’s invention club. “It’s great to see creative uses of technology coming from different areas of the school,” said Stumpf. 3 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 ix students at CA’s TechExpo shared a new take on instrumental music last spring, when they played four pieces composed especially for their laptops. Andrew Monks ’11 got the idea when he was aimlessly meandering the Internet over winter vacation. He noticed news about laptop orchestras at Princeton and Stanford and, enthused, sent an email to Computer Studies Department Head Ben Stumpf ’88. Stumpf suggested an independent study, and Monks found himself on a musical mission: to discover what kind of music would be true to a computer. “In the past, computer music had been about press, play, and bob your head, or about making computers sound like other instruments,” he said. “My thought was, how would a computer work as an instrument in its own right?” Monks, with help from his fellow laptoppers, used a program called Chuck, which lets users control sound, to compose three of the four pieces Gail Friedman S CAMPUS NEWS Photos by Sarah Hugenberger ’94 Cold Water Photos by Sarah Hugenberger ’94 CAMPUS NEWS Hall Fellow Dr. Spencer Wells at his April assembly Intrepid Explorer Hall Fellow: Dr. Spencer Wells N variation, the project is unraveling a story of interconnectivity among all humans. It is also attempting to slow or halt what Dr. Wells’ called our current “period of cultural mass extinction” by funding various programs in indigenous regions around the world through the Genographic Legacy Fund. Dr. Wells’ lecture — which he presented for CA parents, alumnae/i, and the public the night before the Hall Fellow assembly — demonstrated the migration patterns which took humans from Africa to every corner of the earth. Describing the vast, inhospitable Sahara Desert, he posed the question of how people in southern Africa could cross that sandy expanse and reach the Middle East and beyond. The answer: the earth underwent substantial climactic change, as it does every 20,000 to 22,000 years because of the nature of the earth’s rotation. Extremes of the rotation brought extreme Photos by Tara Bradley ational Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells, the 2008– 09 Hall Fellow, took Concord Academy on a journey through some of the most remote regions of the world, explaining the Genographic Project that he directs and the secrets of human migration patterns that the project has discovered. “People are so different,” said Dr. Wells, a population geneticist. “But how different are we really?” Despite obvious physical variations, humans, when compared genetically, are virtually identical to one another, he said. In fact, all humans alive today share a common ancestor who lived as recently as 2,000 generations ago. “We’re all 99.9 percent identical, and we’re all effectively members of an extended African family,” Dr. Wells said. Family trees trace lineage through genealogy, but typically go back a few generations at most. Genetic analysis can trace a family back thousands of years. National Geographic and IBM’s Genographic Project have collected DNA from hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including average Americans and indigenous residents of villages that are far removed from modern society. By studying patterns of genetic Six Senior Projects C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 T hey danced and canoed. They mixed photographs with science. They explored the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury and shattered its stereotypes. And they took on the post-Katrina redevelopment quagmire. Six students presented their senior projects, designed to be interdisciplinary, in May. 4 The 2009 projects were: • The History of Morris Dancing by Libby Chamberlin ’09 • An Analysis of Redevelopment in Post-Katrina New Orleans by Amara Frumkin ’09 • The Meaning and Power of Political and Social Theatre by Daniel Lander ’09 • Exploring the History and Chemistry of Cyanotypes by Cathy Nam ’09 • History and Culture of Roxbury through Media and Personal Photos by Emma Quinn ’09 • Canoeing and Camping in Maine and at Concord Academy by Ella Walker ’09 Dr. Wells speaking to a class after his assembly A case in point, he said, was Hurricane Katrina, which displaced about a million people, many of whom will not return. The presentation explained the convergence of science and history in the Genographic Project, and the ambitious, broad spectrum of people it has reached. Last year alone, Dr. Wells traveled to twentyeight countries. After his presentation, the Strange Coincidence One of the hundreds of thousands of people who donated DNA to the Genographic Project is Elizabeth “Ding” Hall Richardson ’55, daughter of former Headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall, for whom the Hall Fellowship is named. Though Richardson did not know the Hall Fellow choice ahead of time, she welcomed the coincidence. One Person’s Trash . . . L ast winter, Concord Academy donated a used van to The Food Project, which runs a farm in nearby Lincoln, Massachusetts. The Food Project nourishes low-income and homebound families and promotes local and sustainable agriculture. Said Director of Operations Don Kingman: “We thought it would be a good idea to help a group that helps others.” Up, Up, and Away En Français ine French students visited CA in March, part of the annual exchange with Le Collège Cévenol in Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, France. Students stayed with host families, immersing in the new culture. They attended classes — from The Bible to Advanced Chemistry — and worked on improving their English. They also visited Boston, Harvard Square, and historic Concord, and spent time with CA students who were eager to learn about their visitors. Izzy Walsh ’10, who traveled to France on the exchange over spring vacation, was pleased that the friends she made in France enjoyed their stay at CA. T “I was nervous at first because their school is so different from ours,” she said, “but they made friends here. I’m really glad it went well.” “I loved having them around,” said host Caroline Howe ’10, echoing the sentiments of many CA students. What did the French students like best? Opinions varied, from morning chapel talks to music history class to the ice cream in the dining hall. But their trip back home didn’t make the list. — Daphne Kim ’10 hey were not your runof-the-mill pilots. In April, the inventing and inventive club known as DEMONS and its advisor, science teacher John Pickle, welcomed Richard Ivers, Ray Harlan, and Michael John to CA’s gym, where the three men wowed onlookers by keeping aloft rubber band-powered planes that weigh less than a penny. The planes — made of reinforced balsa wood, thin Mylar, tiny pieces of metal, and high-grade rubber bands — flew for a few minutes, though Harlan has held records for keeping similar planes airborne for more than an hour. John Pickle N Rubber-band pilot Ray Harlan with students 5 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 weather and pushed African monsoons northward. “The Sahara used to be grassland,” he said, explaining that it was not only passable but habitable. Dr. Wells predicts that natural climactic changes, which he said humans are exacerbating, will be the main determinant of migration patterns in coming years, just as they were thousands of years ago. scientist visited with biology and advanced biology classes. When a student asked what was most important about his work, Dr. Wells replied, “the social message that we’re all extended cousins.” Race, he warned, has sociological and environmental components. “The DNA shows that we’re all the same, but if you’ve grown up African American, you know what it’s like to be discriminated against,” he said. “Changing social norms is much more difficult.” Dr. Wells’ visit was made possible through Concord Academy’s Hall Fellowship, which honors former Headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall (1949–63) by inviting distinguished lecturers to campus every year. hen CA brought professor, poet, and activist Kip Fulbeck to campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year, the campus multicultural group known as MOSAIC was paying close attention. Fulbeck introduced the school to his Hapa Project: portraits of people and their answers to the question, “What are you?” It inspired MOSAIC members to create the Capa Project — Hapa with a CA. Dozens of students participated, and for weeks afterward their photos and comments lined the vestibule outside the dining hall. Beneath faces a few words were scrawled. “What are you?” I am . . . “light-skinned from Spanish Harlem” “a paradox: Catholicism and liberalism don’t mix well.” “a writer, lover, fighter” “a square peg when everything’s a round hole” “different things to different people” “proud to be an American . . . and whatever else may run through these veins” “undefinable” Answers were deep, silly, whimsical, and revealing. The Capa Project may not have defined the undefinable, but it provided a glimpse into the diversity of identities and feelings at CA. C oncord Academy held its fifth Model United Nations conference (CAMUN) in April, led by Secretary General Jenna Troop ’09. About seventy delegates from nine schools attended, grappling with topics including turmoil in the Northwest province of Pakistan, North Korea’s nuclear threat, indigenous peoples’ land rights, and human organ trafficking. Opening ceremonies included a keynote address by Jean-Claude Berthelot, a former UN employee for the peacekeeping mission in Haiti. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 6 Photos by Ben Stumpf ’88 W A Global Model Photos by Tripp Clemens ’09 CAMPUS NEWS The Capa Project atie Koppel ’10 placed second last spring in the Massachusetts Forensic League’s state tournament, in the impromptu speaking category. Competitors were given a prompt and had six minutes to prepare and deliver a speech on the topic. In early rounds of the tournament, Katie’s prompts included a Shakespearean D Who Knew? C oncord Academy recently learned that it’s connected to one of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols. Katherine K. Davis, who wrote “Little Drummer Boy,” also known as “Carol of the Drum,” taught music at CA from 1922 to 1923. The fact popped up on a Google alert — something that wasn’t on Davis’ mind when she was pa rum pum pum pumming. History Honors Gail Friedman T he strength of a ninthgrade history paper took Erinn Geyer ’12 to National History Day in Washington, DC, in June. She qualified by having the winning entry in the Massachusetts History Day state competition. Erinn’s paper, “Dr. Horace Allen, American Protestant Medical Missionary: Leader of Change in Late NineteenthCentury Korea,” competed in the senior division, 9th–12th grades. Student topics were required to relate to this year’s National History Day theme, “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies.” Erinn studied Dr. Allen’s legacy in her CA history course, Eye of the Tiger: The History of Korea, taught by Peter Sun. Realities of the Barrio avidson Lecturer Donna Tabor, of the nonprofit Building New Hope, took Concord Academy on a virtual tour of Nicaragua’s barrios during an April assembly, sharing her efforts to bring education and a better life to the poorest children in that Central American country. Tabor, above, showed slides of Nicaragua’s inequities — an opulent home and another made of tin and scraps. She described contaminated water, glue-sniffing teens who line up daily for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ganginfested neighborhoods, and smart kids who must work instead of attending school. In most schools, Tabor said, teachers have no degrees, no books, and no bathroom for the fifty-plus students in each class. More than 200,000 children throughout the country have no access to education at all — some are shut out by distance, others simply because they lack the shoes required for admittance. Tabor also shared the hope in the barrio: La Quinta Los Chavalos, a Building New Hope school educating ninetyeight children, and Escuelita Yo Puedo, serving forty. She showed pictures of dogs saved through the Casa Lupita animal clinic, and of others spayed and neutered there. Building New Hope’s library, Biblioteca Puedo Leer, was a revolution, she said, in an area where reading is not taken for granted. Tabor’s visit to CA was made possible through the Davidson Lectureship, which brings distinguished speakers to campus. It was established in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Davidson in honor of their two daughters, Anne E. Davidson Kidder ’62 and Jane S. Davidson ’64. Concord Academy Mathematics Department Head George Larivee met Tabor when he was first looking for volunteer opportunities in Nicaragua. Larivee introduced Tabor at the assembly, saying he hopes to inspire others to service as Tabor has inspired him. For several summers, Larivee has been on a singlehanded mission to open libraries in rural Nicaragua. For the first time, this past summer, he took along five Concord Academy students — Nora Berson ’09, J.J. Radochia ’11, Katie Koppel ’10, Dan Weiner ’11, and Jen Lamy ’09 — as well as a faculty chaperone, French teacher Tonhu Hoang. Larivee’s group saw firsthand the kinds of barrios Tabor described. The CA group opened two rural libraries, bringing books to children and adults in communities where the joy of reading often remains out of reach. 7 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 K Sarah Hugenberger ’94 Sarah Hugenberger ’94 Easy for You to Say sonnet, Einstein quotes, and an anonymous quote. Her final and winning topic: the Lewis and Clark expedition. Katie explained that the key was not how much she knew about the explorers, but how she found a moral or theme and drew pertinent parallels. Katie said she spoke a bit about Lewis and Clark, then related them to John Adams, George Washington, and even Erin Brockovich — all people who “went outside their comfort zones to make a difference.” Katie qualified for the state tournament by reaching the finals in earlier regional tournaments. Katie Surrey-Bergman ‘10 CAMPUS NEWS Exploring Poverty in the Nation’s Capital C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 Concord Academy has sponsored several service trips to Mississippi and New Orleans, and this past June added a trip to Washington, DC. Forty-three students and seven teachers went, including Olivia Pimm ’10 and Claire Wright ’11, who share thoughts on the week. 8 by Claire Wright ’11 W e have all been there. You’re walking down the street in, let’s say, Boston. Juggling a coffee in one hand while holding several shopping bags in the other. You are thinking about the errands you need to complete while trying to figure out who you forgot to call. Then suddenly, someone approaches asking for money. In less than ten seconds, you have to decide whether or not to give money, and if yes, how much? What makes you feel the need to give—guilt, necessity, compassion? Most of us deal with these questions almost every day, but in Washington we were on the other side. To be the person everyone tries not to look at, tries to avoid. We were the people asking for money—and it was hard. Street Sense is a newspaper where the homeless can “give and earn their two cents.” As part of our volunteer work, we had the chance to sell the papers and, under the supervision of a mentor (a homeless vendor), we headed to a Chinatown corner to start selling. With ten papers in hand, a neon yellow vest, and several statistics, we began our work. I had never been so scared—we had to walk up to people and ask for their money. While mentally freaking out, I approached several men dressed in nice business suits and carrying briefcases. As I anxiously recited the statistics, silently pleading for them to buy the paper, Where the Heart Is by Olivia Pimm ’10 W e awoke Monday morning ready to receive our work assignments. The three leaders of the Youth Services Opportunities Project (YSOP) asked us to complete the following statement: “The last time I saw a homeless person, I felt . . .” Among our responses were “helpless,” “guilty,” and “uncomfortable.” Following the exercise, our group leader explained that guilt is ultimately useless in the fight to end homelessness. Later that day, a speaker from the National Coalition for the Homeless spoke of stereotypes: Contrary to our naïve assumptions, not all homeless persons are lazy, jobless, or addicts. In fact, the speaker himself was homeless at the time, due to an accident. It would have never crossed our minds that this man was homeless, based on his well-groomed appearance and his ability to relate to the audience. To conclude his moving speech, he asked us to acknowledge the next homeless person we encounter and offer them a simple and sincere “hello.” He claimed that any attention he received from people passing by helped him endure the next hour or so on the streets. Taking the speaker’s words to heart, students kindly greeted each homeless person on the streets of Georgetown on their way to dinner later that night. Indeed, that Monday had prepared us for an exciting and humbling week of service in the capital. Students and staff worked for a number of different organizations, including Martha’s Table, which provides food, clothing, and daycare; a local charter school; Street Sense, a newspaper written they held their hands up and walked the other way. OK, I can deal with this, I thought, and I stepped into the center of the block and began again. For two hours I approached people, using the opening line, “Did you know that there are 3.5 million homeless in America and over 30,000 in DC? Do you have time to show you care?” Some people immediately pulled out their wallets and gave, smiling and saying how much they appreciated our work. One man walked right through, pushing me out of the way with his hand. Some laughed, and some didn’t even meet my eye. Others stopped to talk. There were moments when I was shocked at how horrible people could be, and how bad people were at lying. It wasn’t that people didn’t feel compelled to give that bothered me, but rather that people could look me in the eye while holding wads of cash and tell me they didn’t have money on them. Another eye-opener was the Starbucks cups. Now, I have to admit that I like my nonfat half-shot caramel macchiato, and I usually don’t think twice about handing over $3.95 to pay for it. But standing on the street corner, I realized that giving up that drink one day a week could give someone a meal, a shower, another step toward a second chance. I’m not saying that people should give money every time they are asked. That can be careless. And sometimes it isn’t even the money that matters. After being laughed at, ignored, and glared at, even a smile felt like a step forward. Money was great; I felt an overwhelming excitement when people pulled out their wallets. But next time I walk down the street and someone asks me to give money, I know that I will smile, say “hi,” and maybe think twice about my nonfat half-shot caramel macchiato. and published by the city’s homeless and formerly homeless; and the Capital Area Food Bank. Work consisted primarily of babysitting for low-income families, sorting and packaging clothing and food, painting, or yard work. CA students and staff agreed that a service dinner was the highlight of the trip. On Wednesday night, following our day’s work, students carefully prepared a meal for nearly fifty homeless or hungry members of the DC community. Later, we sat and ate alongside our guests, exchanging jokes and stories. To our surprise, conversation flowed naturally, despite our separate lifestyles. The guests openly offered students advice—to listen to our parents, stay in school, and set goals for ourselves. Students listened attentively, admiring the guests’ wisdom. At the event, I met a young boy named Gabriel, the son of a guest. Like any toddler, Gabriel enjoyed chatting and coloring. I realized that, despite his family’s difficult situation, Gabriel maintains his childhood innocence. And I suppose that is how it should be. As the dinner came to a close, each of the guests expressed appreciation for the volunteers’ time and attention. We too were thankful for the opportunity to share a meal with these unique individuals and their families. To conclude the week, the group revisited the prompt from the first day: “The last time I saw a homeless person I felt . . .” Our responses revealed our changed attitudes. Together, we shed our initial discomfort and apprehension. In reality, CA students and the homeless community share similar interests, political beliefs, and sometimes even childhood upbringings. My peers and I returned to our homes with an entirely new outlook: like CA community members and their families, homeless people worldwide are human beings who ultimately require care, compassion, and, at times, a helping hand. 9 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 Starbucks or Street Sense ALUM NAE I PRO FILES Brown Johnson Class of 1970 Clued into Kids “We were ready for parents to call us saying, ‘We’re in America; why do you have characters speaking Spanish?’ ” T H I S I S S U E • Brown Johnson Class of 1970 • Andrea Morgan Donaghy Class of 1963 • John Laurence Class of 1992 • Bess Rattray Class of 1984 C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 10 Courtesy of Nickelodeon BYNANCYSHOHETWEST’84 I f you spend time around young children, you can probably sing along with the catchy theme songs from Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues, TV shows known for their vivid hues and dynamic characters. But you may also have realized, as most parents have, that these colorful animated programs do more than entertain: they stimulate kids’ thought processes by urging them to answer questions and giving them the time to think. You can give credit for that to Brown Johnson ’70. The president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group and a force behind much of Nickelodeon’s preschool-oriented programming, Johnson is known in the industry for implementing “the pause.” That planned moment of silence, after a character asks a thought-provoking question, allows young viewers to pause and formulate their own answers. Though PBS’s Sesame Street is usually acknowledged for bringing education to children’s television, Johnson envisioned a way to take learning further: by simply inviting children to listen, think, and supply answers. The kids seem to appreciate the interactivity. Johnson conceived and developed many of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows for preschoolers, starting with Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues, then branching out to newer hits such as Go, Diego, Go!, The Wonder Pets!, The Backyardigans, and Yo Gabba Gabba! “It’s really all about Spa Digital ‘hola!’ and generally seeing the idea of being from another culture as interesting and cool and special.” Johnson said her role as parent to her daughter Louisa had “almost everything to do with” her creative vision. “I was always interested in media,” she said. “But when Louisa was very young and I saw the way her brain was developing and how the synapses were being created, questions about brain development and how kids make connections really inspired me.” In the twenty-one years since Johnson began at Nickelodeon, her daughter has grown up, and so has children’s media. “One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is just how much great educational TV is now available for kids,” she said. “And the use of computers is a big change as well. Parents now speak of computers as an educational tool for their children.” What has not changed much is what’s required to create quality children’s television. “Certainly, classic delivery systems of TV have been transformed radically in the past few years, but the basics of the creative process haven’t changed,” Johnson said. “There continues to be a lot of demand for great stories, wonderful characters, and learning opportunities for kids.” using television in a brand new way to educate and include kids in the learning process,” Johnson said. Dora the Explorer is a world away from the Disney princess. Sturdily built and attired in shorts and a T-shirt, Dora is a bilingual Latina heroine who romps through the world with a host of animal friends, her vocabulary sprinkled with Spanish phrases that viewers are encouraged to repeat. Johnson got the idea for Dora in the late nineties, during a Children Now diversity conference that focused on the underrepresentation of minority characters across all forms of media. Several speakers there pointed out that there were no nonwhite children in lead roles on any series for preschoolers. Johnson began to imagine a child who would not only have darker skin than most TV characters, but who would also make bilingualism and multiculturalism seem like something to celebrate. When soccer-playing Dora first appeared, calling her parents “Mami” and “Papi” and shouting “Vamanos!” to her friends, Johnson braced for the backlash. “We were ready for parents to call us saying, ‘We’re in America; why do you have characters speaking Spanish?’” she said. “Instead, we immediately heard from parents who thought it was great that their kids were using expressions like 11 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 Brown Johnson ’70, above; Blue the dog from Blue’s Clues, below; Dora the Explorer, left Andrea Morgan Donaghy Class of 1963 Horse Power Andrea and Bunny C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 I n her earlier career as a therapeutic riding instructor, Andrea Morgan Donaghy ’63 witnessed the transformations that often resulted when people with injuries or disabilities interacted with horses. Now she’s in a different business—one that helps the horses undergo the changes. Ten years ago, Donaghy and her husband Karl began producing a nutritional mix to help 12 horses with joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, and other ailments. She had been caring for horses all her life: growing up in Concord, then in Connecticut and Virginia, where she raised her two daughters. Horses introduced Donaghy to her husband, and together they founded their company, Virginia Equine Research, which formulates and manufactures nutritional supplements and feeds for horses. The business actually began when Karl got to know a North Carolina animal nutrition researcher, best known for developing food supplements to improve hog growth and health. A former racehorse trainer and owner, Karl asked him why there were no similar products for horses. The answer was simple: horses, unlike hogs, are not a cash crop. Because they are not sold as meat, there’s no monetary value applied to their muscle quality or growth rate. Karl didn’t see it that way, and he convinced the researcher to apply his expertise to horses. With other nutritional experts, they developed the early iteration of the Donaghys’ flagship product, HorseSense. When Karl persuaded his wife to give it a try, the results were so impressive that she converted her twelve horses to the new feed. When the researcher retired, Archer Daniels Midland bought his livestock divisions but not the horse formulas. In 1999, the Donaghys stepped in. “We bought the rest of his pre-mix, his eight-hundred-pound barrel of molasses, and some milled grains, and we started mixing our own in a wheelbarrow for my horses and the horses of a couple of friends who, like me, could never go back to using ‘mystery’ food from the commercial companies,” Donaghy said. Within six months, the couple had reformulated the product and began developing a market. “Most of the problems horses have, whether developmental or age-related, stem from their feedbag,” Donaghy explained. “Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids allow the body to repair itself. Typically, if you have a horse with multiple health problems, you’re administering one supplement for its joints and another for its hooves and another for allergies, and you end up with an unbalanced witches’ brew. It is so much safer to have everything coordinated in one product that will prevent or resolve most problems.” The results are in stables and at farms throughout the country, and at the Virginia Equine Research Farm (vaequineresearch.com), where Donaghy raises thoroughbreds. “Our products inevitably save the animal owner money too,” she said. “Improvements to the animal’s health mean fewer vet bills. But also, the quality of our products is so high that you feed only half as much as with commercial feeds.” The proof is also in a client’s corgi known as BB. Seven years ago, the Donaghys added a dog supplement to their product line. They like to talk about BB—the pooch overcame arthritis and went on to win both the American Herding Breeds Association Championship and the American Kennel Club Championship in one year. Will Prinkleton John Laurence Class of 1992 The Art of the Video Game I “I’d like to see gaming become . . . a form of artistic expression.” Laurence believes interest in video gaming will continue to grow in the U.S. “In the past, it had been something of a niche activity, kind of a geeky thing,” he said. “I’d like to see gaming become a bigger part of popular culture, something people look at as a form of artistic expression.” Just as the film world has mainstream releases as well as arthouse films to appeal to a more eclectic crowd, Laurence would like to see video gamers experiment with various genres. In the meantime, he expects that electronics companies, such as the one that spawned Sony Online, will improve technology to expand visual possibilities for video games. “Right now we are limited [in game design] by a flat screen,” he said. “In the future, I’m hoping for holographic displays that allow you to play in 3D. “Dreaming up things like that is the best part of my job: I get to be creative, cook up new ideas, and see them eventually come to light.” 13 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 n his early teens, John Laurence ’92 began developing two compelling and seemingly disparate passions: Chinese culture and, thanks to CA teacher Bill Adams, computer science. He didn’t imagine he’d ultimately fuse the two into a single career. But today, Laurence is the director of video game development at Sony Online’s Taiwan studio, based in Taipei. He has worked on computer and video games — like the hit game Everquest — and concocts concepts to capture current and future generations of online gamers. “We make role-playing games that people from all over the world can play online together,” Laurence explained. “Players take on roles like warrior, musician, or wizard as they enter a virtual fantasy world to fight monsters.” The games are popular in the U.S., but even more so in Asia, which Laurence attributes in part to the culture. “In many parts of Asia, houses are very small. Whereas teens in the U.S. might invite kids over, in China it’s unusual for young people to bring friends home,” he said. “Instead, they meet online or at Internet cafes and play computer games.” Laurence currently is designing a game based on the movie Kung Fu Hustle, produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment four years ago, when it was still affiliated with Sony Online. “For this game, we used a technique called ‘motion capture’ to replicate a lot of the moves,” he said. “We put sensors on the bodies of the actors to capture their moves in 3D. I got to work with actors, choreographers, and stuntmen from movies including Kill Bill, The Matrix, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The game Kung Fu Hustle has just been released in Asia and is expected to be available in the U.S. later this year. Although he directs a staff of more than forty, Laurence describes himself as hands-on. “When it comes to the initial narrative [of our games], we work with scriptwriters from the Hong Kong film industry,” he said. “But as far as working out the plot of the game — developing scenarios, the background of characters, how they interact with one another — I love being involved in that.” Though Laurence grew up in Chicago, he said Taipei now feels like home. He finds life on the island of Taiwan “a melting pot of influences” from China, nearby Japan, and the West. “Every day I learn something new,” he said. “Working in a different culture with a different language gives me a chance to constantly see things from a new perspective. As a foreigner, I’m able to take a lot of those references and put them into our games.” Bess Rattray Class of 1984 From Fendi to the Firehouse B C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 “I suspect not every guy on the force wanted a lady from New York joining the team.” 14 ess Rattray ’84 grew accustomed to scrutiny of her wardrobe during her years as a senior editor for Vogue. Back then, she never would have imagined the outfit she now regularly dons, which includes rubber boots, canvas coveralls, and a hard plastic hat. Earlier this year, Rattray became the second woman ever elected as volunteer firefighter in the small town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where she and her partner Paul spend half their time. Rattray’s career path has been as colorful as anything on a Paris runway. After a couple years post-college in Budapest, she was copyediting at the magazine Mirabella in New York when she received a call from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s office, asking her to interview for an editorial job—a position Rattray acknowledges “most people in the field would give their right arm to have.” For the same-day interview, she borrowed a Rolex watch and a Fendi bag from a coworker and “walked sideways into Anna Wintour’s office,” hoping to avoid head-on scrutiny from the world-famous arbiter of fashion. Given the job, Rattray ascended rapidly to become senior features editor. “I was never that interested in fashion,” she said. “My challenge was to explain fashion trends in language that people could understand and picture.” Rattray was senior editor for nearly ten years, until a promising relationship with a boat designer from Canada wooed her away from the frenetic pace of Manhattan. Vogue let her continue work on a contract basis, writing and editing for the print magazine as well as the Web site, style.com. Now Rattray divides her time between two homes: one in Nova Scotia, where her fiancé Paul’s boatbuilding business is based, and one in East Hampton, New York, where she grew up. She notes the irony of telecommuting for Vogue: “sitting in my house in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, population 800, editing runway reviews from the shows in Paris and Milan.” Ever since publication of The Devil Wears Prada, a thinly veiled fictional account of the pressure-cooker atmosphere at Vogue, Rattray has fielded questions about the glamorous job, but she said she has neither read the book nor seen the movie. “The fact is that any one of us who worked there could have written a schlocky attack story, but we chose not to,” she said. “I don’t have any interest in criticizing or mocking my past or present bosses.” Nowadays, that could mean keeping mum about the fire chief. At a get-together in Nova Scotia, Rattray mentioned offhandedly that she had always admired volunteer firefighters, who serve in both Shelburne and East Hampton. A neighbor, a firefighter himself, said he would put her name up for nomination. To Rattray’s surprise, she was voted in. “I assume it was not unanimous,” she commented wryly. “I suspect not every guy on the force wanted a lady from New York joining the team.” Rattray is going through initial training, has learned to operate fire hydrants, and has endured the ritual assigned to each new firefighter: sitting in the dunk tank at the annual Firemen’s Bazaar. It’s a busy, varied life. Along with Vogue and the fire department, Rattray is trying to publish two novels, and she occasionally works for the East Hampton weekly paper. A year ago, Rattray traveled to Ethiopia to adopt a one-year-old girl named Nettie, an experience she recently wrote about for Vogue. “The experience of being in Ethiopia was much harder than I expected,” she said. “It changed my understanding of how much suffering can come out of poverty. What I witnessed there in terms of physical labor, sickness, and starvation completely revealed to me how hideous that suffering is.” She hopes to return to Ethiopia next year to adopt a second child. “I’m having the best time now,” Rattray said. “Nettie is a jolly, happy child and has been ever since we took her home. She’s a delightful companion.” Bess with Nettie Photos by Scarlett Kim ’11 A BRIGHT FUTURE Concord Academy was thrilled to welcome 112 new students to campus this fall. After reading more than 775 applications, the Admissions Committee selected a dynamic group of students, including ninety-three freshmen, seventeen new sophomores, one new junior, and one new senior, a Thai Scholar. The new students are: • • • • 56 boys 56 girls 49 boarders 63 day students They come from: • 12 states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont) • 7 countries and territories (Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, More new student facts: 32 percent receive financial aid • 24 percent have a parent, grandparent, or sibling who attended CA • 26 percent are U.S. students of color • 10 percent are international students • Scenes from Orientation 2009 15 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 South Korea, Thailand, and the United States) C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 16 Meet Rick Hardy Concord Academy’s New Head of School by Gail Friedman in his new Aloian House office, boxes half unpacked, family photos and artwork still on the floor. The space may have looked disheveled, but it was not disorganized. Concord Academy’s new head of school was packed and ready to go days before the moving van arrived, according to Hardy’s brother-inlaw and childhood friend, Marty Gagne. Gagne mentions a sense of order high among Hardy’s character traits: “He is kind, generous, and extremely well organized.” Hardy, who started as CA’s head of school July 1, is a planner. “When he has something to take care of, he gets it taken care of ahead of time,” said Gagne. The new head made his well-planned move to Concord with his wife Adele—known to friends as Del—who works as a senior clinician in the Speech and Swallowing Disorders Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Their son Owen is a senior at Milton Academy, where Hardy was interim head of school until recently, and their daughter Aidan is a senior at Macalester College. Rick will want you to call him Rick. Even his formal stationery doesn’t say Richard. “The real me is pretty down to earth,” he said. For a self-described “working class kid,” that comes as no surprise. Hardy was weeding cornfields in rural Pelham, New Hampshire when he was nine. He graduated to handling hay and, by the time he was sixteen, was an experienced laborer and handyman. “When we were growing up, working was just what we all did,” he said, referring to his two sisters and three brothers. He is number three in the lineup. Part of the reason they all worked was to help their mother, who raised the family on her earnings as a police department dispatcher after Hardy’s father died. Hardy was nine then. He brought home earnings from the farm, as well as skills useful around the modest house. But he also brought home a newfound 17 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 Tom Kates I T WAS LATE JUNE and Rick Hardy was standing self-assurance. “The work created in me a real sense of independence,” he said. “When you learn how to do things, you become more confident and you think, ‘Yes, I can do this.’” Hardy biked all the roads, hiked all the woods, and fished all the streams in Pelham. “I knew every inch of it,” he said. “By the time I was fourteen I had traveled every square mile in my town. Then I was itching for something new.” His one escape had been books; he used them to venture beyond his rural world. Even going to a regional high school in the next town over—where “the world got a little bigger”—was a welcome opportunity to branch beyond Pelham. And teachers there noticed his potential. Today he refers to Mrs. Pryor and Mr. Dionne as if they were old friends, crediting their early support for his success. Dionne, a math teacher, pushed him to strive beyond immediate goals. “He was gentle and smart and never let you be satisfied with your last piece of work,” said Hardy. Pryor, an English teacher, told Hardy he was a talented writer. He relished the praise. Hardy knows now that his high school writing was unpolished, to say the least. “It was contrived and unoriginal,” he said, “but she focused on what worked. She made me believe in myself.” His boss at a landscaping company believed in Hardy, too, making him a crew chief at age seventeen, the manager of men two and three times his age. He describes one of the company’s clients, Edith Carter, as a mentor, a woman who helped support the civic and cultural development of the nearby city of Nashua. Hardy worked at her home almost every week, until she selected him to work alongside her to landscape a new arts and science center that she was supporting. “She was born to privilege, but she had no airs about her at all,” he said. “I’ve never forgotten that about her. I try to impress upon people, ‘It isn’t about me; it isn’t about you. It’s about getting good things done.’ Mrs. Carter showed me that.” < MARATHON MAN Rick Hardy is a serious runner. He typically runs two marathons a year, and has run the Boston Marathon four times. He had to postpone a race last fall to have a torn meniscus repaired, but is slowly working himself back into marathon shape. On an average week, he covers a total of twenty-five to thirty miles, running three or four times a week, with a longer run, from ten to fourteen miles or more, on weekends. “I like the solitude,” he said. “I like being physically stretched. It’s hard for me to describe how good it feels.” Change, One Student at a Time Even though Hardy’s parents didn’t go to college, his mother stressed education. Hardy attended the University of New Hampshire right after President Nixon’s Watergate scandal, and he imagined himself effecting change through a career in government or law. But he loved his literature courses, and he began to grasp the influence he could have on the world around him through teaching. “I realized that the impact you can have in a classroom with a small group of students is profound and every bit as important as writing laws,” he said. Even today, as an administrator, he remains a teacher. He finds the classroom grounding—“an anchor HARDY’S THOUGHTS ON . . . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 WRITING: “I like to write essays, fiction, and the occasional poem. I write less these days, since I write so much as part of my work.” 18 MOVIES: “I have too many favorites to name, but here are a few: The Maltese Falcon, 12 Angry Men, Double Indemnity, North by Northwest, The Birds, Love and Death, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Local Hero, The Last Seduction, Billy Elliott, Lost in Translation, Slums of Beverly Hills, Tender Mercies, Bull Durham, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler.” BOOKS: “Authors I love: Raymond Carver, Annie Proulx, Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith, Russell Banks, Cormac McCarthy, Tobias Wolff, Haruki Murakami, William Trevor, Edna O’Brien, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, David Mamet . . . I could go on.” GARDENING: “I’ve had gardens in the past; I grew vegetables, herbs, etc. I plan to have one here at CA next summer, but much of my gardening is of the landscape variety, especially reclamation projects — restoring views, repairing stone walls, working to create less formal, more natural spaces outdoors. I enjoy working with my hands; it’s low-tech and very satisfying.” Good Serious Satire On the wall of Hardy’s new office, Mark Twain occupies prime wall space. The Twain poster includes a quote: “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” That poster says a lot about Hardy. For one thing, he is direct and unpretentious. “I view myself as a fairly plainspoken individual,” he said. “I don’t stand on formality.” He is a writer; he taught English at Milton for twenty-four years, before becoming upper FOOD: “Simple tastes: good pasta, a hot dog at Fenway, grilled pizza (which I make pretty well), good barbecue, sushi, homemade bread. I can do a few types myself — no bread machines, however; everything by hand.” SPORTS: To watch: “Baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey (I’m actually beginning to understand this one!), and lacrosse (very fast).” To play: “Formerly basketball, which I played for years until my joints complained too much. Now it’s running (distance) and golf (I’m not very good, but I do enjoy it.) I hope to get back to playing tennis and squash as well.” Teams: “Red Sox and Celtics. I’ve been a fan since I was ten years old.” HIS FAVORITE PLACE: “The Southwest coast of Ireland (County Clare and County Kerry). Del and I went there for our twentyfifth wedding anniversary. Absolutely beautiful.” 19 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 MUSIC: “I can hear my daughter’s voice saying, ‘Careful here, Dad . . .’ I like all kinds of music — Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams, Lori McKenna, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan. Traditional Irish music, bluegrass, country music (traditional, that is), classical, jazz, rock and roll, even some gospel (Sam Cooke singing ‘The Hem of His Garment,’ for instance).” the English department as the best in the school,” Zilliax said. “What I remember is that he just fit in. He might say there was a lot of nurturing, but I don’t think there was. His instincts are fantastic.” Tom Kates and an oasis”—a constant to contrast the unpredictable challenges that face a head of school. He wasted no time heading into the CA classroom: he is teaching a first-semester English course, Writing the Feature Article. “It will be a great way for students to get to know me, and for me to get to know them,” he said. John Zilliax, who recommended Hardy to replace him as upper school principal at Milton in 2000, has witnessed Hardy at work. “I’ve seen him teach,” he said. “Rick is a listener and a watcher. He wants to draw students out, so he is unusually sensitive to students’ responses and their need to respond.” Hardy likes teenagers. “I like working with them because they’re candid,” he said. “They can see through an adult trying to spin them a yarn.” Like most high school teaching veterans, he understands that they are not grown-ups, no matter how grown-up their intellectual insights may sound. “You can begin to convince yourself that teenagers are little adults, but they’re not,” he said. “They are budding intellectuals, but they have very different needs.” CA’s new head of school believes some of the most important moments in his classroom were times he acknowledged that he failed to handle something well. “Acknowledging your flaws is powerful and essential,” he said, adding that high schoolers are pushed to excel in everything, whereas adults can organize their lives around the areas in which they have talent. “It’s refreshing for students to hear an adult say, ‘I bumped up against something I don’t do particularly well.’” Zilliax believes this sense of humility makes Hardy a natural match for CA, a school Zilliax knows from interviewing for a head position here himself many years ago. “He’s just going to fit Concord, in my view,” he said. “He’s going to fit right in.” He remembers the seamless transition in 1983, when Hardy— fresh off a stint at a school in St. Louis and a teaching fellowship at Brown—joined Milton’s English department. “Rick was coming into a high-powered department. The students at Milton have always regarded Tom Kates All in the Family A Rick Hardy and his wife Del, on the porch of their new CA home fortuitous case of doublebooking brought Adele Gagne and Rick Hardy together. They had attended the same New Hampshire high school, but hardly knew each other there. Then, one afternoon in 1980, Gagne’s brother got a call from Hardy, a close friend of his. Gagne was about to leave for graduate school, and she and her brother had agreed to go out that evening. She didn’t hesitate to step in when she overheard him making plans with Hardy. “I marched up and said, ‘You have plans with me this evening.’” Her brother asked Hardy, “Is it okay if my sister comes along?” “I’m going,” she announced. So the three went out together. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 school principal and eventually interim head of school. And he loves good satire; both Twain and Calvin Trillin are high on the Hardy pedestal, though he also mentions the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, and Jerry Seinfeld among his favorite humorists. Humor is important to Hardy. “I’m not one of those dour individuals who can’t make light of things,” he said. “I love to laugh. I think humor leavens life in a very important way. You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself.” Marty Gagne knows that humor well. During joint family vacations on Cape Cod, the two planned what Gagne called “stupid movie night.” It was not a highbrow affair. But given a choice, Hardy would pick verbal humor over slapstick. “I like a good pratfall,” he said. “But I love a good deadpan.” A ready laugh in no way makes Hardy less serious. It’s more about perspective. “I don’t have to behave as though there’s a cloud over me to convince people that I’m serious,” he said. But he is, and he sounds it when he discusses some of his preliminary goals at CA. He speaks passionately about educational access. “I think schools like this one exist to provide access to a wide range of students,” he said. “I want to ensure that we continue to be able to offer that experience.” He also speaks of a commitment to honor and fairly compensate teachers, and to continue efforts to develop the new Arena Farms property. Hardy also hopes to increase Concord Academy’s visibility, to share its mission more widely. “I’d like more people to know about this remarkable place,” he said. “It really is special.” 20 Four years later, Hardy and Gagne were married. Today, Gagne works part-time as a senior clinician in the Speech and Swallowing Disorders Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a department she formerly directed. At work, she might help someone recover the ability to swallow after cancer treatments or provide therapy so tube-fed patients can eat normally again. Gagne is known by her proper name, Adele, at the hospital, while family and friends tend to call her Del. “I feel like I have a split personality,” she said. “In my professional life, I’ve always been Adele. Yet everyone who knows me through Rick and family knows me as Del. I answer to either one equally.” Gagne and Hardy moved into 228 Main Street in late June, after living on the campus of Milton Academy for twenty-five years. They quickly felt at home. “It’s a wonderful town. It’s a beautiful campus. Everyone has been very welcoming,” said Gagne, who has enjoyed walking through the woods and fields in the town of Concord. The new head of school and his wife have taken a CA canoe out on the Sudbury River, which Gagne described as “like glass, with dragonflies dancing along the surface.” She looks forward to more canoeing, lots of extended walks, and the opportunity to meet the Concord Academy family. “I’m delighted to be here,” she said. < MUCH ADO ABOUT MAMET Former Milton Academy colleague John Zilliax notes acting as a primary Hardy avocation — though Hardy didn’t mention it himself. “Ask him about it,” Zilliax urged. Hardy took to the stage more than once in a while, collaborating with Zilliax on numerous faculty plays, and often playing a prominent role. Zilliax ticks off some of the productions: The Rivals, How the Other Half Loves, The Zoo Story, True West, Speed the Plow, Wild Honey, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Romeo and Juliet. Several works were by playwright David Mamet, including The Duck Variations, which Zilliax and Hardy staged three times. Rick Hardy (standing) and former colleague John Zilliax in a reading of Speed the Plow at Milton Academy K R I S T I N J O N E S ’7 5 by Gail Friedman Amit Pasricha A live, white bullock (traditionally a draft animal) with gilded horns stands in a circle of dark, fertile earth, encircled by red sand, cobalt blue dust, and white marble powder. A mound of perfect, white marble eggs counterbalances a pyre of charred wood and walking canes, which conceals a corroded copper globe. The work explores the tension between opposites: equilibrium and potential. At right, the artist, Kristin Jones ’75. Diane Roehm Plethora, New Delhi 1991 21 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 The Intangible Lightness of Being n an early March morning in New York, the West Village is waking up. The streets are full of movement: pedestrians walk with purpose, shops and restaurants gear up for the day’s business. Five steep flights above the activity, Kristin Jones ’75 is in her loft having breakfast: a grapefruit, steelcut oatmeal, and a home-brewed caffé latte — not unlike the coffee she drinks in Italy. She is in Rome so much these days that New York has become her second home. In Jones’ living room, unfinished wood beams, five feet below the ceiling, cut through the open space. A white, circular art work, one of her own, hangs on the faded white brick wall, its recessed “eye” like a crater in the middle. A large collection of plumb-bobs is suspended like jewels near a window. Nearby, two glass eyes peer over a collection of religious icons that might have once adorned a Byzantine church. Jones’ small kitchen is guarded by a mosaic eye — similar to the three hundred eyes that watch commuters in New York’s World Trade Center– Park Place subway station. They are hardly noticed in the rush there, but are seeing eyes nonetheless. Beyond the kitchen is an area with two drafting tables and several computers, and, on the wall, more mosaic eyes, multicolored rows of them, made from natural stone, haunting. Andrew Ginzel, who has collaborated with Jones since 1983, appears with two young apprentices, who get to work planning a proposal for the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Visual Arts Complex. It’s one of many projects in the busy JonesGinzel collaboration. Kristin Jones doesn’t see things the way most of us do. Where we see an empty space, she sees opportunity. Where we see a neglected river, she imagines a water theatre. Where we see nothing, she perceives the context as a frame for an art work that can bring meaning to a void. Jones thinks on a grand scale. The installation artist is behind numerous highly visible public art works — the kind people walk by and notice. She likens art in public space to theatre, but an accessible variety, not destined only for the eyes of the privileged. In her installations, she aims to “nurture and capture the individual’s imagination,” but also to allow each onlooker to participate. The Jones-Ginzel Web site (jonesginzel.com) lists more than fifty projects since 1990, from Polarities, covering 200,000 square feet of floor in the Kansas City airport, to Plethora, an outdoor installation in New Delhi that includes a magnificent, live white bullock; from Apostasy, two giant flags and fifteen topiary figures commissioned by Atlanta’s Committee for the Olympic Games, to the mirrored Panopia in a Chicago police station. Jones describes herself as naïve, and it must be true. A pragmatist would never attempt what she has, including her most recent project and passion — Tevereterno, mean- Making the Wolves, Rome 2005 Artists at work are dwarfed by the giant she-wolf, created for Jones’ Tevereterno project and based on iconic images up to 3,000 years old. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 22 ing Eternal Tiber. Tevereterno, a multidisciplinary project, adopts a single section of Rome’s Tiber River and transforms it into an open-air stage for large-scale artistic installations that draw attention to both the beauty and neglect of the river. Jones believes in the artist’s role to raise awareness and to celebrate the wonder of nature. The Tiber first entered Jones’ consciousness in 1983, when she was in Rome on her first of two Fulbright Fellowships. She noticed the Tiber was isolated from the city by thirty-two-foot-high embankments, and that Romans, unlike Parisians, hardly know the names of their local bridges. She was drawn to the emptiness of the derelict waterway, abandoned by its city. Jones would gaze down the straight strip of river between the bridges Sisto and Mazzini and wonder, “Does anybody see what I see?” She saw potential for a water theatre — “where the river, where water itself could be celebrated rather than neglected.” Where others saw murky water, she saw the “crystalline geometry of a parallelogram.” When Jones and Ginzel received the American Academy in Rome’s prestigious Rome Prize in 1994 and spent a year in the city, Jones sought drawings of the area from the city planning office. It was her first step toward Tevereterno. The goal of the project is to create a lively plaza with programmed contemporary events, a piazza for the Tiber — the Piazza Tevere. According to www.tevereterno.it, the hope is to capture the attention of Rome’s public administration and to build enough credibility that international artists could be invited to create innovative, sitespecific art installations that would stimulate a dialogue between nature and the urban construct, between history and present. Jones has worked tirelessly with Roman colleagues on the board of the Italian nonprofit cultural association to launch the Tevereterno concept and to demonstrate its potential to the city. So far, Jones has devoted her creative talents to the staging of a series of annual events for the summer solstice, for which numerous composers and visual artists were invited to collaborate. For the first Tevereterno Photos by Dylan Hazelhurst According to legend, the wild she-wolf rescued infant twins Romulus and Remus and nurtured the founding of Roman civilization. She Wolves, commissioned for Tevereterno, brought Rome’s mythological icon to life on the banks of the Tiber River. event, in 2005, on a midsummer’s night under a full moon, 2,758 torches burned from sunset to dawn on the Tiber. A choir of more than one hundred harmonic voices sang to the river and to a parade of twelve giant she-wolves — drawings of iconic symbols of the city of Rome, translated by Jones from historic sources that span more than 3,000 years. For another Tevereterno event, “Ombre dal Lupercale,” Jones invited six visual artists to collaborate with six composers on a 2006 solstice program: projections and high fidelity sound compositions created for the river filled the site and drew more than 10,000 visitors in a single night. In 2007, two musical compositions were written for an ensemble of eighteen musicians who were spread along the 1,800-foot-long embankments of the Tiber, while 1,000 floating torches drew a line of light down the central channel of the river. In 2008, compositions and projections from these Rome events were presented on New York’s Hudson River, during the River to River Festival. Jones has been working with the city of Rome since 2001, taking on the capital’s labyrinthine bureaucracy. Thanks in part to her tenacity, the concept of a water theatre is now incorporated into Rome’s new city plan, and Tevereterno is officially administered as an Italian nonprofit. In Rome, Jones is committed to yet another grandscale project, one encumbered by enormous bureaucratic challenges: she has proposed an ephemeral work entitled Gravity, made of hundreds of individual elastic threads that would descend from the oculus of the Pantheon toward its domed floor. Jones’ Web site describes the project: “A luminous cone of 360 fine, elastic threads will descend from the Pantheon’s oculus and come to a single point below, held by a bronze plummet marking the center of gravity. The delicate rays of the ephemeral, volumetric 23 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 She Wolves, Rome 2005 Gravity, Rome (proposal) C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 Marcello Melis / Carlo Maria Ciampoli Gravity would install a luminous cone of 360 delicate threads, projecting downward from the oculus in Rome’s Pantheon like rays of light. Jones says the gossamer cone, taut like the strings of a harp, would reflect the precise mathematical properties of the Pantheon that inspire awe in scholars and architects. 24 drawing will capture the sun’s movement as it spirals within the dome. Gravity will dramatize the simple power of geometry and light. The gossamer form will be an exploration of the relationship between the physical and the ethereal, the vast infinity of the unknown, and mortality . . .” Jones said she was inspired while watching rain fall though the Pantheon’s oculus, and then drew a cone with 360 threads completing its circle. “There is a magic number to everything,” she said. “The building is so mathematically exquisite — essentially the building has designed a piece for me. I’m just the one who perceives it.” A pantologist later explained to Jones the relationship between the monument’s oculus and the diameter of the dome, likening the proportions to those of the human eye. “The oculus is the iris, and the sphere is the eye,” he told her. So far, authorities have rejected Jones’ Pantheon installation, but she presses on. “I believe the work was meant to be. The building itself suggests it,” she said. Jones has substantial experience with intricate thread installations — she constructed thousands of individual elastic threads into a work of art within a skylit room in the Cushing Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island, which “depending on the clouds, would completely disappear.” And at Yale, her outdoor elastic-ribbon exhibition, Smoke Hedge, transformed the Beinecke Plaza. “It revealed the properties of the light and the wind that are there,” she said. Ephemeral, intangible qualities like light and wind are leading actors in Jones’ theatre of art. Another recurring character is time, which plays a prominent role in many of Jones’ works, including her most controversial, Metronome, in New York City’s Union Square. “Metronome is an investigation into the nature of time,” Jones and Ginzel wrote in 1999, when it opened. “. . . This composite work intends to evoke contemplation on the dynamic flux of the city. The elements suggest the instant and infinity, astronomical sequence, geological epoch, and ephemerality. Metronome is meant to be integral to the very history, architectural fabric, spirit, and vitality of the city. Ultimately, the work is an ode to mortality and the impossibility of knowing time.” When the project launched, steam consistently 25 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 emerged from the gold leaf and concentric circles on the façade of One Union Square South. “The vapor was intended to emanate around the clock and erupt at noon, “a geothermal reminder that we live on a live planet with physical phenomena,” Jones said. But the developer turned off the steam, ostensibly because of problems with icicles and moisture. Without the steam, Jones said, Metronome is not artwork. “The piece is an over-the-top, maximalist work. A sequence of sounds integrates with the steam. The whole notion of Metronome, the whole reason for the project, was the fleeting, intangible steam,” she said. The work was commissioned when Jones and Ginzel won a competition run for the building’s developer by the Public Art Fund and the Municipal Art Society. “It was an enormous challenge to construct,” Jones said. “The brickwork itself is a miracle of craftsmanship.” Jones said she and Ginzel had no choice but to work directly with a construction management firm instead of with an art consultant, who might have mediated and “helped defend and guarantee the integrity of the work.” Jones now describes the project as “a classic drama between idealistic artists and pragmatic financiers.” It’s a familiar turmoil to Jones, yet the idealist in her always perseveres. Today, she simply calls Metronome incomplete. She would love to tune the digital clock, light the wall, control the steam, and turn on the sound. As a ballast to such large-scale projects and the thorny concepts they tackle, Jones also creates a series of studio works — “exquisite little tableaus” of nature. In her Wind Drawings series, “the plants actually do the drawings,” she said. “I put a drop of paint on the leaf and the leaf makes the drawing. I hold the paper.” Her ink drawings and time-lapse photography all reflect motion and change. Like her art, Jones is frequently in motion. She thinks nothing of biking from her Greenwich Village apartment to the Upper West side. She shuttles between New York and Rome, wondrous at how the two cities complement each other. The daughter of a diplomat, Jones grew adept at adapting. “When people ask where I was born, I respond, “in motion.” Still, there is balance. Jones meditates daily, T. Charles Erickson Metronome, on the façade of One Union Square South, was intended to be a geothermal reminder of the physical properties of our planet, but was compromised when the developer deactivated the steam. David Sundburg (Esto Photographics) Metronome, New York City 1998 Andrew Ginzel Marcello Melis Oculus, New York City 1999 Three hundred mosaic eyes, of stone and glass, peer at passersby in the World Trade Center–Park Place subway station. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 and describes a weeklong meditation retreat she attended where “there were ninety people, and no one said a word.” She does not meditate to generate ideas. “It’s about being part of a larger whole, listening to the universe. It’s an act of respect to yourself.” Jones first began discovering herself as an artist in high school, where she experienced the artist’s passion in a Concord Academy class with Teacher Emerita Janet Eisendrath. “She actually managed to bring the entire class into a state of rapture,” Jones said. “She’s the only teacher in my life who brought a class to tears. That takes a lot of eloquence. Janet shared with us her knowledge and wonder of art; she shared with us the power of art to stimulate an emotional reaction.” Back then, however, Jones was a bit preoccupied. She had learned at age twelve that her diplomat father was a spy, and she was warned never to mention it, though she discusses it openly now. Her heart would quiver if a CA classmate said, “Do you have your CA ID?” thinking she had heard “CIA.” Jones had been utterly unprepared when she learned her father’s secret, during a memorable family lunch in Norway. “I’m genuinely naïve, to this day,” she said. After Concord Academy, Jones studied ceramics and sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), 26 and spent her senior year abroad at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. “I had a powerful reaction to the sculpture department there,” she said. The volume of air and light beneath St. Martin’s fourteen-foot ceilings inspired her to work in thread. “I kept looking up at the light, thinking, ‘If I could only get up there . . .’” Finally, she took a ladder and climbed to the classroom ceiling, constructing a floorto-ceiling thread sculpture. “It was like a rain of threads,” she remembered. Jones later received her MFA at Yale, where renowned professor Vincent Scully told her, “If you’re interested in public space, you must go to Rome.” On her first Fulbright, in 1983, she studied the interplay of public space and water there. The Rome Prize allowed her return with collaborator Ginzel in 1994–95. In 2001, she returned to Rome on a senior Fulbright. And she has returned repeatedly since then. Rome is a muse for Jones and a platform for the ephemeral. “I am interested in light and air and the sheer intangibility of the living moment,” said Jones. She is like an interpreter, seeing a space and its context as a medium through which to channel her vision. Art in Jones’ eye is both perception and transmission, an opportunity to convey an essence that is not readily apparent. “Have my parents essentially bought my way out of the draft? Were it not for money, would I be in Iraq?” Cliff Goes to War Musings on a CA Roommate in Iraq by Andrew Wolf ’06 CLIFF FARRAR ’06 returned from Iraq last February and is currently based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He expects to head to Afghanistan next winter or spring; it could be his final mission in the Marine Corps, which he expects to leave in 2011. Andrew Wolf ’06 roomed with Farrar at Concord Academy. His musings on Farrar’s enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps were originally published in 2008, shortly before Farrar went to Iraq. This article first appeared in Kitsch magazine (kitschmag.com), a student publication at Cornell University, where Wolf is a senior. I Why did you choose to join the Marines? I joined the Marine Corps because of what I personally thought I’d get out of it. I found myself in college after attending four years of boarding school at Concord Academy and didn’t really see myself going anywhere. I started thinking about it the first couple months that I was at Guilford. I thought it would give me some life skills that would help me out in the future (discipline, a larger picture of things, etc.). What was the training like? How did you still manage to smile in those pictures after they tried to break you? Training has been difficult, as it should be. I left for boot camp March 11, 2007. It lasted thirteen weeks, and the idea was pretty much to break everyone in the company. It forced us to Cliff Farrar ’06, U.S. Marine 27 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. In five years, it’s cost us 4,000 troops and 450 million dollars a day, over three trillion in total. The reason we went to war was never clear to me. We were told it was WMDs, then Iraq’s supposed connection to Al Qaeda, while others said it was about oil, or about hubris and shame. Recently it was reported that while America flounders in a war-induced budget deficit, the Iraqi government is running a budget surplus. Asked why the government does not invest that money in reconstruction, an Iraqi official simply said, “Why would we pay when America will pay for us?” All this was easy to say before with little effort or thought on my part. Then I found out that my friend and former roommate at boarding school, Cliff, had dropped out of college and joined the Marines. If anyone should be in the armed forces, it’s Cliff. He is a natural leader, unfazed by anything, with an unwavering sense of duty. He is generous, he has no fear, and he has the most impressive hand-eye coordination I have ever seen (I once saw him beat an entire level of Tony Hawk in one trick). I have no doubt he is an amazing Marine, but I couldn’t understand why he would join. He shipped off to Iraq in June 2008. In an attempt to reconcile my own feelings I emailed him at basic training. What follows is a transcript of our correspondence. really, umm, no, I don’t think I am. I have confidence in the training I’ve been given and don’t have any doubt that the rest of my squad and I will come back safely, as long as we do our job. Overall, how are the troops treated? The Marines I have come to live with are treated differently by different ranks. Senior Marines continue to educate and discipline those below them, as the junior guys are less experienced. If you act like a man, you will be treated like a man. Are you given any training on what life in Iraq is like for Iraqis? Do they teach you any Arabic? You hear from guys that have been over there what things are like on a day-to-day basis, as far as what is done and how it’s done. We are taught very little Arabic though. Every squad has a terp (interpreter). What’s the best and worst part about it? The best part about it is definitely the relationships you make with your fellow Marines. The guys you see on a daily basis are the ones you have to rely on; without them all this s—would be impossible. The worst part about the Marines is the tedious things: uniform inspections, room inspections, mass punishment, things like that. But I guess that’s what makes it the Marines, right? How do you feel about the war in Iraq as someone who is going to fight it? The war in Iraq has become much more personal than political for me. I knew very well coming into the military with an infantry MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) that I would be deploying. My main concern is to bring the men to the left and right of me home. It’s funny how little you think about your own life when you think about your best buddies getting shot or blown up. How does your family feel about your joining the military? My family, much to my surprise, has been very supportive. They understood that I didn’t just jump into this decision. They care about me and want me to come back safe. Are you scared? Ha-ha. I’m not allowed to be scared. No, but C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 Cliff Farrar’s battalion in Iraq 28 What do you think about the people who are against the war? People who are against the war are entitled to their own opinions. It’s the ones that call me and my fellow Marines “baby killers” and “mindless tools” that I’d really like to get alone in an alleyway. Have you asked or has anyone told? No and no. As long as the man next to me watches my a — and doesn’t get himself killed, it’s of no concern to me what he does in his personal life. Anything else you want to say or talk about? Yes, actually. First, Marines aren’t just stupid apes that wander around killing whatever they see. It’s the 0.01 percent that murder their girlfriends and throw puppies off cliffs that give us a bad name. True, our job requires a certain amount of training in environments of accelerated violence, but every action performed has been reinforced by many hours of training and over 230 years’ worth of experience. The Marine Corps was founded on November 10, 1775. We’re older than the Army; we know what we’re doing. Second, a soldier is in the Army. A Marine is in the Marines. Stop confusing the two. Marines have a lot of pride in their history and leadership. The Army, well, let’s just say they could learn a thing or two from the Marine Corps. Chuh. Reading over the interview, I’m left feeling unfulfilled. I would not say it seems like Cliff has changed much. The responses still made me laugh. I could picture Cliff saying those words in his half-angry, half-joking manner. At the same time, I was struck by the clear homogenizing effect that the training had had on him. I was always impressed by Cliff ’s sense of duty, but I realized I would be unable to survive in his situation. I see what Cliff is doing, and I feel ashamed Jon Crispin listen carefully, police our own, and (most importantly) to rely on each other. It was very physically demanding, but a lot more mentally straining. The future Marine as a varsity soccer player at CA of myself. I realize I would be too scared to join, even if I didn’t oppose the war. As hard as I try, I can’t think of anything that would motivate me to get over my fears. For some, poverty and lack of opportunity are motivations enough, as I discovered when I attended the Campus Antiwar Network’s talk with Iraq Veterans Against the War. When asked if the lack of an antiwar movement was a direct result of the lack of a draft, one person responded, “There is a draft, only it’s economical. For most, enlisting is the only way to get ahead—that’s why I joined.” While this is not Cliff ’s situation, Cliff will be surrounded by men for whom this is a reality. This adds to my shame. I escaped their fate through birth. My parents could afford private school; they can afford Cornell. Have my parents essentially bought my way out of the draft? Were it not for money, would I be in Iraq? In many ways, Cliff ’s presence in the war makes it almost banal for me. Cliff should be a Marine, so he became one. He did not join as Pat Tillman did, as part of a political statement in the wake of 9/11. He did not join because he believes in the war. Cliff joined out of a sense of duty and the hope that the Marines will provide him with a new direction. . . . It seems more pressing than ever to remember that wars are fought by people. I know one of those people. I am proud of Cliff for doing what I could not do. I am left puzzled by his willingness to join, to fight this war with no end and no purpose. But this was not my choice, it was his. As Cliff goes off to a land of sand and blood, I stay here in the shadow of the tower . . . humbled. Photos by Tim Morse COMMENCEMENT 2009 us, making healing more difficult and often delayed. The other is to acknowledge that we cannot change events, and rather work to understand them. In order to move forward like this, we need resilience.” The message echoed Lagemann’s: “Even if your senior year has been one filled with challenge, those of you graduating today have persevered and triumphed,” she said. Senior Class President Roger Hurd ’09 introduced Lander, director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a leader in the international Human Genome Project, a former MacArthur Fellow and Rhodes Scholar, and cochair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Lander opened his remarks by praising CA’s faculty: “You have some of the most extraordinary teachers who exist anywhere in the academic world,” he told the graduates. Describing himself as an accidental geneticist, Lander didn’t simply tell the Class of 2009 that they could change the world; he used his own experience unraveling the human genome to illustrate that fifty years—not much longer than an average career—can witness enormous change. Following is the text of Lander’s speech: 29 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 O ! n May 29, eighty-five members of the Class of 2009 lined up on the lawn outside the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel and opened Concord Academy’s eightysixth Commencement with a rousing rendition of their chosen senior song, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Transparent ponchos protected the girls’ white dresses from the raindrops, which played off the red roses they carried. The drizzle slicked the boys’ hair and moistened their suits, but did not dampen the mood among the graduates, who represented twenty-nine Massachusetts cities and towns, ten states, and four countries. The Class of 2009 listened to remarks by Head of School Jake Dresden, Board of Trustees President Ellen Condliffe Lagemann ’63, and Student Body President Jung Hee Hyun ’09, before keynote speaker Eric Lander, a renowned geneticist and CA parent (Jessica ’06, Daniel ’09, David ’13) took the podium. Both Lagemann and Dresden acknowledged how difficult 2009 had been after the death in February of student Lizzy Mun ’10. Dresden lauded the resilience of the senior class. “In my experience, when serious difficulties arise, there are usually two paths ahead,” he said. “One is to have that trouble paralyze C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 30 asked me to deliver the Commencement address on this special day. It is traditional to give some advice to the graduating seniors. So, while I am deeply honored, I am also more than a little daunted by this task. You see, as a scientist, I’ve had many occasions to give distinguished talks. I’m not fazed by speaking to 8,000 biomedical researchers at their national cancer meeting, or by giving a Millennium lecture at the White House, or by leading a day-long session with the Dalai Lama, or even by giving college commencement addresses. And, as an MIT and Harvard professor, I’m perfectly comfortable holding forth on molecular biology in front of 500 university students. But, today, I am here not just as a public scientist. I’m in a vastly more challenging role: I’m also a CA parent of a graduating senior, a CA parent who has gotten to meet much of the senior class—in fact, has had at least half of you sleep over at our house. As I’m sure that many of the hundreds of guests here today will corroborate, there is no trickier role than that of Parent Bearing Advice. So please, bear with me. To the graduating seniors: You are remarkable. We have seen you study over the past four years, mastering things beyond what we know. German, Graphic Design, Playwriting, Advanced Calculus, the Literature of Paris, the Literature from Hell, the Modern Middle East, Music Theory, Chemistry of Cooking, Creative Nonfiction, Thoreau, Theatre Design, Trigonometry, Tie-Dye. We have seen your extraordinary creative gifts, producing works beyond what we ourselves could ever imagine doing. There are so many examples. Just most recently, I am still in awe of the Theatre 3 Company’s creation and production of Howl, based on Allen Ginsberg’s work and life, with the guidance of David Gammons. I attended it with a distinguished seventyyear-old history professor from Yale, a friend, who remarked that it was the most ambitious—and most successful—student work he had ever seen in his life. I agreed. And we have seen you deal with personal challenges: both the ordinary challenges of teenage years and, this past semester, with tragedy and emotional burdens beyond what students of your age should have to bear. You have done so, with support, openness, a sense of responsibility, and a grace that is beyond your years—and has at times even exceeded that of us, your elders. I trust that the lessons that you have learned— most of all, to be hypervigilant in looking out for those in need of help and support—I trust that those lessons will stay with you all your lives. In short, we have seen you growing up into your own remarkable individuals. We are enormously proud. And we love you. But, as much as you have already learned, as much as you have already created, as much as you have grown, there are still some things that you do not know—that you cannot possibly know—from the perch of seventeen or eighteen years. Chief among them is a sense of time—specifically, the span of a lifetime, the projects of a life. You are just now coming into your own as critical observers and critical thinkers about the world. You are just beginning to grapple with weighty questions: What is my place in the world? What mark will I leave on the world? What makes a satisfying life? You will be grappling with those questions for many years to come. No one can really answer those questions for you, but I’d like to share a few observations in my remarks today. With good health, your active careers will span about fifty or sixty years. From the perspective of a high school senior, a span of fifty years must seem almost an infinite duration. But, as you will come to know, it is somewhat less than infinite. What is a span of fifty years? What can happen in the span of a lifetime? If you’ll allow me, I’d like to illustrate by drawing on my own experience in my academic discipline: the study of genetics. In 1953, two young upstarts—an erstwhile ornithologist named James Watson and a wayward physicist named Francis Crick—published a one-page paper in a scientific journal, entitled: “A Structure for Deoxyribonucleic Acid”. As CA students know, Crick and Watson had discovered DNA’s elegant double helix, and they realized that it held, as they put it, “the secret of 31 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 I AM DEEPLY honored that you have life.” The structure immediately suggested how the genetic material is copied (with the two strands of the double helix each serving as a template for the other) and how the genetic material must encode information (in the precise sequence of its letters, As, Ts, Cs, and Gs). They had indeed glimpsed the secret of life. It was a sublime discovery. But, what is even more inspiring to me is what happened over the next fifty years— through the work of an entire generation that followed. Watson and Crick’s discovery was completely abstract, totally impractical. In 1953, they had not the slightest idea how DNA actually specified instructions and no way to read even a single letter of the DNA code of any organism. As Watson and Crick later freely admitted, the notion that one would ever be able to read out the complete genetic information of an organism was preposterous—more so the notion that it would happen within their lifetimes. But their initial idea sparked a flame in the minds of the next generations. Within fifteen years, the scientific community had cracked the basic design of the genetic code—the correspondence by which DNA specifies proteins. One still couldn’t read any particular part of the genetic text, but one knew in principle how it worked. Within another fifteen years, the scientific community had developed ways to propagate individual pieces of DNA and to read out bits of DNA sequence in a slow and tedious process. One might read an average of a hundred DNA letters per day. By about 1985 (which is about the time that I C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 32 got involved), scientists began floating the notion of a Human Genome Project, an organized effort to read out the entire three billion letters of the human genome—to put this information in the hands of scientists everywhere. At the then-current rates of DNA sequencing, it would take 500 years to accomplish this feat. Moreover, some worried that, even if we could get the information, we’d not be able to make much sense of it. But, after much heated debate, the scientific community concluded that it might just be possible and that it was worth trying. Initial efforts were launched in 1990 (just around the time you were born) and, little by little, they gained momentum. The Human Genome Project was not centrally organized nor tightly controlled, and as a result it grew into a loose international consortium involving some of the brightest young minds in science. • Within a few years, scientists had rudimentary maps. • Within a few more years, the DNA sequence of some very small genomes • Within a few more years, by mid-2000, a rough draft sequence of the human genome • And, by April 2003, the scientific community gathered to announce that we now had an essentially complete sequence of the human genome. In fact, we chose the announcement date apurpose—it was fifty years to the day after Watson and Crick’s paper! So, what then is a span of fifty years? It is roughly the amount of time it takes for one new idea to completely change the world. That is roughly the time you are allotted— just enough time to change the world. Let me extract two additional lessons here: 1. The Human Genome Project was a testament to the power of collective action. It was done by no single person, no single center, no single country; it was the collective product of several thousand people—including many young scientists in their twenties and thirties. For all of us, it was exhilarating to be part of something so much bigger than ourselves, to be part of something that we would be proud to someday tell our children, to be part of something that might even—perhaps— someday change our own children’s lives. So that is one important lesson: There is no greater satisfaction in life than to be part of something greater than yourself. It is given to few individuals to author on their own an entire chapter in the book of history. But, if you are willing to join forces, it is remarkable what you can accomplish. 2. And another, more personal point: When I graduated from high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. (I suspect many of you feel that way, as well.) When I graduated from college, I still had no clue. The one thing I did know was that I certainly didn’t want to have anything to do with biology: I found biology deadly boring in high school and took none of it in college. After college, I pursued a PhD in pure mathematics because I loved mathematics, but with no clear idea where it would lead. Late in graduate school, I cast about for what to do. Wanting to do something worldly, I managed to finagle a job teaching managerial economics on the faculty of the Harvard Business School. After a while, I realized that economics was not my passion and I cast about further. It was only then that I became interested in biology and started moonlighting for several years in laboratories by night, while still teaching MBA students by day. One day, by complete chance, I met a colleague who began to pepper me with questions about human genetics. I was captivated. Within a year, the biology community began debating the idea of a Human Genome Project, and I found myself drawn in. I’ve never looked back. In retrospect, my background in mathematics, management, and biology seems a What lessons do I draw from this? • Lives are not planned in advance, but rather assembled from the pieces of your passions. • Put yourself in places where you will be surrounded by smart and wonderful people, for it is there that lucky accidents will be most likely to happen. And, when they happen, don’t be afraid to follow them where they lead. So, my observations: • A lifetime is just enough time to change the world. • The best way to do so—and the most satisfying—is to be part of something larger than yourself. • Don’t expect to be able to plan out the projects of your life. Most of them don’t even exist yet. Leave yourself open: You will find them and they will find you. Now, I picked an example from my own field to illustrate how much can happen in a span of fifty years. But I could equally well have picked other examples: It was roughly fifty years between the time that the great American scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush proposed in 1945 the then-ludicrous idea of devices that would put all human knowledge at our fingertips and the time that the Internet, Web browsers, and, soon, Google began to become ubiquitous. It was roughly fifty years between the time that the Montgomery bus boycott, led by Martin Luther King, challenged the idea that African Americans belonged in the back of the bus and the time, roughly fifty years later and just a few months ago, that a brilliant African American took the oath of office as the president of the United States. It has so far been only forty years since the time that the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village pressed the notion that gay individuals should be entitled to the same decency, the same rights, as straight individuals. We have already seen enormous changes, including the abolition of criminal laws and our own Commonwealth of Massachusetts giving the lie to the notion that equal marriage rights somehow pose a threat to society. But this is still a work in progress. You know, it’s not entirely an accident that it 33 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 brilliantly conceived preparation for the Human Genome Project. In prospect, of course, it was an utterly random walk with no planning whatsoever. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 takes roughly a lifetime to change the world. Changing the world often requires not just changing minds, but replacing them with fresh new minds—without preconceived notions, whether about scientific possibility or human potential. In that respect, in your openness, you—the next generation—are our most precious resource. What will be the projects of your generation? The ways you will, working together, change the world? The causes larger than yourselves? I cannot wait to see. But I would be remiss if I left you with the impression that all of the important projects of a lifetime are played out on a large stage. The projects of a lifetime come in all sizes—and size and importance are often not correlated. To my mind, the single greatest project of a lifetime is having children. It is the most pow- 34 erful way to change the world. This life project obeys the same rules that I have been talking about. It takes an entire lifetime to fulfill the job. Its sublime satisfaction is being part of something greater than yourself. And it is utterly impossible to plan in advance how it will all turn out. Tomorrow you are bound for college— and beyond that, for life. Today, you are still our children. What we all wish for you—and here I know I speak for all the parents—is that you will someday know the same joys that we have found in our roles, the same joys and satisfactions that we feel on days like today. To the Concord Academy graduating class of 2009, we love you, we congratulate you, and we wish you well on your journeys ahead. Who Are We? L ast year we engaged in some research to better understand Concord Academy’s alumnae/i as a group, delving beyond gender and age breakdowns. Inspired and assisted by a study at Brown University, we layered demographic information from market research studies on top of statistics. The insightful results have inspired conversations with alumnae/i volunteers over the past months, and we wanted to share them with you, as we move forward with plans to better engage alumnae/i with each other and with our school. Basic statistics (as of August 2009) Concord Academy alumnae/i 5,182 Females 3,827 Males 1,355 Concord Academy was founded in 1919 and incorporated in 1922. Boys were admitted for the first few years, but from 1929 until the fall of 1971 — a span of forty-two years — the school admitted only girls. CA Generations Market research professionals identify four distinct generations active today: the Greatest Generation (born between 1901 and 1924) combined with the Silent or Veteran Generation (born between 1925 and 1942), which make up 54 percent of U.S. residents; Baby Boomers (1943 to 1960); Generation X (1961 to 1981); and Millennials (1982 to 2000). Interestingly, when CA alumnae/i are grouped by each head of school, they nearly match up with these generational groups: the Silent and Veteran Generations roughly correlate with CA alumnae/i who attended during the headships of J. Josephine Tucker and Elizabeth B. Hall. Baby Boomers primarily went to school with David Aloian, Russell Mead, and Philip McKean at the helm (although a few overlapped with Mrs. Hall). Our graduates from the eighties and nineties, the Tom Wilcox years, are CA’s Gen Xers, and the Millennials attended CA when Jake Dresden was head (and are responsible for starting our CAYAC young alumnae/i group and our school’s Facebook page). Why does this matter? Our largest concentrations of alumnae/i are in: ALUMNAE I ASSOCIATION UPDATE New England New York/New Jersey California Washington, DC 10 percent of the 167 alumnae/i living in the Midwest are graduates from the nineties living in Illinois. About 285 alumnae/i, or 6.5 percent, live abroad. When did we graduate from CA? 1930– 39 1.1 percent 1940– 49 3 percent 1950– 59 7 percent 1960– 69 13 percent 1970– 79 17 percent 1980– 89 21 percent 1990– 99 20 percent 2000– 08 18 percent 59 percent of our alumnae/i have graduated since 1980. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers represent the largest percentage of our alumnae/i, approximately 70 percent. Drawing from these demographic studies, we can broadly understand the personality of each generation of CA’s alumnae/i and its preferences for volunteer commitments and social activities. For instance, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers prefer distinct, shorter-term projects; the Silent and Veteran Generations are interested in longer-term responsibilities and regular opportunities to connect with CA’s leadership team; and the Millennials like to engage in social, networking, or community-focused activities as a group. Our information also helps us understand the makeup of each geographical cluster of alumnae/i and thereby tailor programming to best fit the interests of that group. As we move forward with these new tools in hand, we always keep in mind the abiding interests that our alumnae/i share with us over and over: to learn new things and to engage with new ideas and with each other. Maureen Mulligan ’80 President, Alumnae/i Association P.S. I encourage anyone interested in learning more about our alumnae/i statistics to contact Director of Alumnae/i Programs Billie Julier Wyeth ’76 at (978) 402-2232 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 35 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 Where are we now? CA’s Class of 1974 B Y GAIL FR IED M AN PH OTOS B Y TIM M OR S E C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 ore than 275 alumnae/i, mostly from graduation years ending in 4 and 9, shared the spirit of intellectual inquiry that they remembered from their CA days during Reunion Weekend, June 12–14. The weekend alternated between deep thought and simple pleasures. At one panel discussion, debate raged about the future of print journalism; at another, alumnae/i peppered a panel of economic experts with tough, topical questions. Meanwhile, toddlers waddled past the quad with reunion camp counselors, while their parents played tennis, swam in the campus pool, walked into Concord with classmates, or took advantage of the full weekend of programming. Many checked in Friday afternoon, took a campus tour, then attended a reception and dinner, with entertainment by 36 vocalist Julia Hanlon ’10, accompanied by music teachers Ross Adams (on guitar) and Keith Daniel (on saxophone). Saturday events included a morning memorial service, to honor alumnae/i who died during the past year and deceased reunion year alumnae/i; a nostalgic “hymn sing,” sponsored by the Class of 1964; a tour of CA’s new Arena Farms property, about a mile from the main campus; and a free-spirited dance hour, led by Janet Corry Farnsworth ’84. English teacher Parkman Howe provided a glimpse of his legendary Bible course with “All Inside the Gates of Eden,” a seminar on Genesis’ second creation story, while Keith Daniel took fans of the Fab Four on “A Magical Mystery Tour: The Beatles as Musical and Social Trendsetters.” For those who wanted to stretch their bodies as well as their minds, Beth Cleary ’79 led yoga on Saturday and Sunday mornings. mortgage lenders across the country that ignored a borrower’s ability to repay. These lenders originated and sold mortgages to Wall Street firms such as Bear Stearns (where Solares-Parkhurst had worked before its fire sale to JP MorganChase), who then repackaged and further sold them to investors. “Risk management broke down,” he said. “Mortgage products were packaged so ‘creatively’ that even the most astute of institutions weren’t able to assess their true risk.” An engaged audience tossed numerous quesand the Economy” turned into a crash course on what’s gone wrong, led by Peter Fisher ’74, a managing director and cohead of the Fixed Income Portfolio Management Group at BlackRock; Jorge Solares-Parkhurst ’94, a managing director at FBR Capital Markets & Co., an investment bank; and Tracy Welch ’89, a director in the equity division at Credit Suisse. Fisher started the discussion pointedly: “How could we possibly have gotten to such a terrible place in the world economy?” And he proceeded to answer, explaining a variety of influences, including the dangers of irrationally cheap credit. “Capitalism is premised on the idea that capital is a scarce commodity,” he said. “When money is free for a short period of time, not many people figure it out. When money is free for a long period of time, it corrupts the system.” Conversation bounced from China to former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan to Japan’s weak economic output. SolaresParkhurst described a mentality prevalent with Clockwise from top left: John Byrne ’99, Susannah Parke ’99, former faculty Sarah Ismail, and Howie Martin ’99; Keith Daniel, Julia Hanlon ’10, and Ross Adams; Zack Hughes ’04, Sarah Russell ’94 and her son Charlie, Alex Russell ’04, and Nick Sullender ’04; Catherine Gunn ’84 and Janet Corry Farnsworth ’84; Sue Brown Munson ’59, Helen Stuart Twiss ’59, Caroline Craven Nielsen ’59, and Jennifer Johnson ’59 37 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 One timely panel discussion, led by alumnae/i experts, broached the environment. At “Environmental Choices from the Local to the Global,” Louisa Bradford ’69, Jane Elizabeth Nilan Davis ’54, and Robin Alden ’69 shared their distinct approaches to environmentalism, while science teacher John Pickle described environmental efforts on campus. Nilan, who lives on an island north of Seattle, detailed her environmental advocacy work, particularly through Earth Ministry and the Environmental Priorities Coalition. Alden described a career dedicated to the fishing industry, including a stint as Maine’s Commissioner of Marine Resources. Currently director of the Penobscot East Resource Center, Alden’s work focuses on community-based stewardship, including leadership training, community organizing, community science, and advocacy. Bradford is making a difference by building energy-efficient houses. The architect and environmentalist described two projects in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia (within a walk to businesses), which she designed to be “as energy-conscious as I could make them without going outside the box.” That meant no solar panels or geothermal heat, but plenty of accessible features that pack an efficiency punch, such as superb insulation, tight sealing, rainwater irrigation, and earth-friendly materials. The homes are 34 percent more energy-efficient than required by the local housing code and were estimated to cost just $74 a month to heat and cool. “It’s careful building, conscious building,” she explained. “CA Alumnae/i Weigh In on the Markets Right: Parkman Howe teaching a class on the Bible. Below, from top: Yoga teacher Janet Corry Farnsworth ‘84 leading a class; Marc Fidelman ‘04, Liz Mygatt ‘01, Brian Gray ‘01, Nick Deane ‘01, Kelsey Stratton ‘01, and Vi Davis ‘99; Carey Mack Weber ‘79 and Julia Glass ‘74; CA teacher Ben Eberle ‘99 teaching ceramics to Madeleine Anderson, daughter of Helen Nelson Anderson ‘84; “CA Alumnae/i Weigh In on the Markets and the Economy,” led by Peter Fisher ‘74, Jorge Solares-Parkhurst ‘94, and Tracy Welch ‘89. C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 38 tions to the three, asking why interest rates were so low, how much blame the Fed deserves, and whether federal TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funding was repaid too soon. Welch explained that one reason banks are eager to repay the money is that it’s tied to restrictions on compensation, which can turn loyal employees into free agents. “The smart people who can make