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Commencement 2011 The athletic hall of fame | Relay for life | The blue blazer ball

Avon Old Farms School established 1927 Headmaster Kenneth H. LaRocque

Village Green

Provost John T. Gardner


Editor Morgan C. Cugell Director of Development Peter Evans


Designer 2k Design Photographers Seshu Badrinath John Benoit Peter Deckers ’90 Spencer Sloan Printer Kirkwood Printing, Wilmington, MA The Village Green is published for the alumni, parents, and friends of Avon Old Farms School. It is distributed to approximately 8,000 readers. All rights reserved. Avon Old Farms School 500 Old Farms Road Avon, CT 06001 (860) 404-4100

10 Commencement

20 from the editor

The 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

Admissions (800) 464-2866


Alumni We enjoy hearing from you! Please send us your latest news and notes: Email: Phone: (800) 336-8195 Fax: (860) 675-7135





News and Notes



24 The Last Word

Email Members of the administration and faculty can be emailed by using the following formula: last name + first initial The directory on the school website also includes email links. Avon Old Farms School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disabilities, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


Dear Readers, Welcome back! I hope you are as excited as I am to get back into the swing of the school year. Campus was busier than ever this summer, with Avon hosting 12 different summer programs, in addition to the many maintenance updates that took place, such as the renovation of the roofs of the Forge, the art building, and Jamerson Dormitory. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this latest issue of The Village Green. Look inside for some great photos from the Blue Blazer Ball and Reunion, including information about the Athletic Hall of Fame induction; Avon’s own Dean Peter Evans was inducted this year. You’ll also find timely coverage of this year’s Commencement ceremonies, featuring awards, matriculation information, some student artwork, and thoughts from the outstanding speaker, retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni. As always, I welcome your feedback!

Aspirando et perseverando, Morgan C. Cugell 860-404-4239

The Avonian Online Find past issues of The Avonian online at

www.avonoldfarms. com/avonian

Find us on Facebook /avonoldfarms

Follow us on Twitter @avonoldfarms!

from the

Headmaster Greetings. I hope that this issue of The Village Green

helps bring to life some of the exciting events we enjoyed on campus over the course of the past few months. From the Blue Blazer Ball, to the Relay for Life, to Grandparents Day, to Alumni Weekend, to Commencement, this spring was filled with the spirit of tradition that makes Avon Old Farms such a unique and special community. Our students, faculty, administration, parents, and staff joined together numerous times to successfully host hundreds of visitors to campus. Some of the highlights of the spring term included inducting three deserving athletic teams and three individuals into the Avon Old Farms Athletic Hall of Fame during Alumni Weekend. On April 30th, the Parents Association hosted the annual Blue Blazer Ball, which raised over $200,000 to benefit our Student Enrichment Fund. On Saturday evening, May 7th, our school community joined with Miss Porter’s School to host our Relay for Life, and raised in excess of $75,000. On Sunday, May 22nd, musicians from Avon Old Farms joined with musicians from the Ethel Walker School, Miss Porter’s School, and the area to present a concert to benefit needy families from Haiti. Students, faculty, families, and friends gathered on the Village Green to enjoy the wonderful music and to show their support for

by Kenneth H. LaRocque

those Haitians left devastated by last year’s earthquake. On May 13th, we hosted our school prom at the Pond House Café in West Hartford. In the sporting arena, our athletes excelled and our baseball team once again won its league championship. In the arts, we were proud of our three student-written and directed productions by Tyler Eve, Steven Driscoll and Tyler Wieland, and Sehan de Silva. On Commencement weekend we were equally proud of the creative talent on display at our art show. Our students’ work with pottery, photography, architecture, woodworking, painting, and drawing greatly impressed all who stopped by the exhibit. Our Saturday afternoon Commencement Concert was memorable from every perspective, and moved the audience to standing ovations on more than one occasion. Finally, the Class of 2011 enjoyed spectacular weather for its graduation on Sunday, May 29th and were honored to have General Anthony Zinni deliver the commencement address. The 2010–2011 school year will be a rich chapter in the history of the Avon Old Farms School. Our accomplishments were commendable in every area of school life and we were unwavering in our focus on our mission of building men of high character. Thank you for your continuing interest in and support of Avon Old Farms!

A Call for Submissions: The History of Avon Old Farms School Art Custer, chair of the history department, has begun working on an updated history of the school, and he needs your help! Art is interested in hearing from alumni and friends of the school about their Avon experiences. In particular, what students, faculty, and staff do you remember fondly, and why? What events come to mind when you think of Avon? What special memories would you care to share? If you have recollections or reminiscences you would like to share with Art, please visit You can follow Art’s progress by checking out his blog, at, or follow him on Twitter @aofhistory.

News and Notes Board Member Weekend and the Blue Blazer Ball


embers of the Avon Old Farms School Board of Directors arrived on campus Friday morning, April 29th, for their annual spring gathering. On Friday evening, the Board held its annual Service Recognition Dinner in Riddle Refectory, honoring many members of the Avon faculty celebrating milestone years of service. The dinner was lively and fun, highlighted by performances from the Riddlers; remarks from Chairman Dean Graham ’84; and the presentation of the Alumni Order of Old Farms to Director Steven Lash ’58, and the Adams Medal to Joe Biondo P’92, both of whom will be leaving their positions on the Board at the end of the year. Also honored were Headmaster Ken LaRocque,


Summer 2011 The Village Green

celebrating 30 years of service, and Director of Development Peter Evans, who is finishing his 40th year of service. The Blue Blazer Ball dinner and auction, the Parents Association’s primary fundraiser each year, was held on Saturday night and was once again a resounding success. Guests arrived to the field house for cocktails and a silent auction, featuring items such as AOF clothing and accessories; weekend getaway trips; and many pieces of art. Also offered were priceless opportunities such as a dress down day for the students; dinner with the Headmaster; and a guaranteed parking spot for Commencement. Guests also had the chance to purchase raffle tickets in the hopes of winning custommade diamond jewelry from Donna Vock P’12.

AOF Parents As so ciation M is sion Statement With the concurrence

of Avon Old Farms School’s Headmaster and the Avon Old Farms School’s Board of Directors, and in accordance with the School’s philosophy, the mission of the Avon Old Farms Parents Association, as volunteer families and friends, is to raise funds to enhance the academic, athletic, and extra-curricular experiences of the “Men of Avon.”

At the close of the silent auction, guests moved to the Refectory, where a slideshow highlighting several of the Parents’ Association’s many contributions kicked off the festivities. Dinner and the live auction followed, with Steven Lash ’58, chairman of Christie’s America, once again serving as auctioneer. Many of the live auction items were accompanied by skits from members of the student body, including the always-popular opportunity to serve as a member of the Royal Court at next year’s Boar’s Head Festival. One of the night’s most competitive items was a trip to the Todi Castle in the Umbria region of Italy, the winning bid for which was $10,000. The opportunity to match the bid was then offered, and accepted, so the School was able to give away two trips to Italy and raise twice the profit.

The evening culminated in an exciting paddle bid for the Outreach Program, which benefits student financial support. A $50,000 challenge was issued by a generous alumnus, who agreed to donate that amount if the community matched it in donations. An incredible energy and spirit filled the Refectory as paddles were raised and the climbing tally was announced; guests rose to their feet in applause as the final figure was announced. Not including the matching $50,000 donation, the Outreach Program raised close to $100,000! This year’s event was a huge success. Avon is grateful for the generosity of its many supporters and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

The Village Green Summer 2011


News and Notes

Student talent thrives in Spring

Once again, in lieu of a traditional play, students took the Old Farms Theatre Company’s spring productions into their own hands this spring. Tyler Eve ’11 wrote and directed Anatomy 101, a play about two adolescent male roommates whose social ineptitude adversely affects their attempts to meet female ‘study buddies.’ Tyler Wieland ’11 and Stephen Driscoll ’11 co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in Commercial Success, detailing the misadventures and trials of tying to ‘make it big’ in Hollywood. Finally, Sehan De Silva ’11 directed a 10-minute play titled Family 2.0, in which a man walks into another home thinking a new life and a new wife will make him happy, but quickly discovers that the grass is not always greener. AVON AND THE ARTS


Summer 2011 The Village Green

In the music department, Avon’s elite jazz band, The New Avon Sound, recorded its first CD, and spent 10 days this spring in the studio. On April 8th, Avon welcomed the Hartt School of Music percussion ensemble for an exciting, 19-piece steel drum band performance and an informational session about the origin and cultural influence of the popular Caribbean instrument. On April 28th, the 16 students in this year’s music appreciation class traveled to New York City to visit the “Guitar Heroes “ exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where over 100 violins, mandolins, classical guitars, lutes, harps, and steel string acoustic guitars are on display. They also visited the Western Musical Instruments room. The Riddlers recently returned from their second international tour, this

time traveling to Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. They performed from a repertoire of 23 songs ranging from Beethoven to Leonard Cohen. The Riddlers, along with many of the other musical groups on campus, enjoyed extensive performances this spring, from Grandparent’s Day to the Parents Dinner and Auction to Commencement Weekend concerts. Finally, Visual Arts Chair Gail Laferriere took a group of students on the art department’s annual trip to New York City on April 12. The group first visited the Grenfell Press, where students were shown woodcut, linocut, and letterpress printing; they each brought t-shirts and were able to silk-screen them. They also traveled to Steven Montgomery’s studio, in Brooklyn, where they observed the ceramicist at work making fantasy machines out of clay. Mrs. Laferriere also brought to a close the fourth year of the senior project, in which all members of the senior class decorated a personal tile, which will be displayed on the walls of the game room in the student center.

2011 Junior and Senior Prom Held at the Pond House Café in nearby West Hartford, this year’s junior and senior prom was once again a resounding success, with 80 Avon students in attendance. Tuxedos were rented from Formals by Antonio, while flowers were provided by Bella Flora.

Grandparents Day 2011 Grandparents Day 2011 was held on beautiful May 11th this year, with 224 grandparents in attendance. They arrived to Riddle Refectory shortly after Morning Meeting and, after coffee and registration, were greeted by their grandsons, who accompanied them to classes all morning. At 11 AM, Headmaster LaRocque welcomed the group to the Susan Casey Brown Auditorium, where they were treated to a lively concert; a poetry recitation featuring this year’s contest winner, Tyler Wieland ’11, and finalist Colin Tiernan ’13; and the presentation of the Louise Adams Medal to Grandparent Chairmen Eric and Anne Ferguson GP ’09, ’11. Following the concert, students and grandparents were served a delectable lunch of chicken marsala, roasted carrots, and wild rice in the field house, after which they were invited to attend the many exciting athletic events on campus. Grandparents Day 2011 was once again a wonderful success. We look forward to welcoming them back next year!

The Village Green Summer 2011


News and Notes


School Communities Raise $75,000 for Cancer Research

Students, faculty, parents, and friends of Avon Old Farms School, Miss Porter’s School, and the Ethel Walker School joined together on Saturday, May 7th, at the annual Relay for Life fundraiser in support of the American Cancer Society. Raising an extraordinary total of more than $75,000, 42 teams walked the campus and field house for 12 hours straight, from 8 PM on Saturday through 8 AM on Sunday, to benefit the Society’s research program, services for cancer patients and their loved ones, and public education efforts. Teams had been raising money since late March, with events such as a donut delivery, a car wash, a barbecue,


Summer 2011 The Village Green

and a school-wide dodge ball tournament bringing the community together in inspirational support of the cause. Group members also collected individual pledges from friends and family to support their all-night walks. The walk began at 8 PM with the Survivors Lap, when Donna Blank, the mother of Avon student Will ’13 and his twin sister, Isabel, a student at Miss Porter’s School, spoke to the group about the importance of funding cancer research to help fight the disease. Many cancer survivors and virtual survivors, walking in honor of a friend or loved one, circled the track together to help everyone celebrate the victories they’ve achieved over cancer. At 10 PM, the Luminaria Ceremony honored people who have been touched by cancer and remembered loved ones lost to the disease. Candles were lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and the entire group walked several laps in

silence. The Luminaria ceremony also featured a moving tribute from faculty member Andy Riemer, who lost his father to pancreatic cancer almost 10 years ago, and a cappella performances from the Winged Beavers of AOF and the Perilhettes of Miss Porter’s. The event, though tiring for all those who participated, was fueled by inspiration along with food, coffee, music, and several contests and games. The group walked outside from 8 PM to around midnight, when teams moved inside to their themed campsites until 5 AM. Outside, students enjoyed a bouncy house basketball court and sumo wrestling costumes; live music; a cookout; and various fundraisers, including a tie-dye station, an ice-cream eating contest, and a pie-throwing contest, during which students could purchase tickets to throw a pie at their favorite faculty member, with Headmaster LaRocque the star of the event. Upon moving inside, teams were treated to a midnight pizza party; a

late night movie; and an outdoor retreat fire-pit that burned all-night with a hearty supply of s’mores. A lively playlist kept walkers wide awake through the grueling late night and early morning hours, and walkers kept track of their laps with beads; many students walked a full marathon (26.2 miles) over the course of the event! Director of Community Service Heather Callaghan, who coordinated the event along with Miss Porter’s faculty member Chris Hampton ’79, P’09, ’10, ’11, noted the outstanding success of the event, commenting that “everyone was there to celebrate those who have survived cancer and to support those who are battling or who have lost their battle to the disease. Boys and girls socialized together all night long, alongside faculty, staff and administration. With so many people volunteering their time, money, and talents, the event could not have been anything less than a huge success. I am so proud of the Avon Old Farms, Miss Porter’s and Ethel Walker School communities!”

The Village Green Summer 2011



Avon’s New Summer Camp Program Avon Old Farms is pleased to announce its revitalized summer camp program, featuring many new and exciting offerings. In addition to the always-popular Summer Fun Camp, a day camp for grades K–8 and Counselors-in-Training, AOF has added a number of different sports camps, several of which will make use of the School’s extraordinary new turf field, including varsity lacrosse coach Skip Flanagan’s Young Guns lacrosse camp. Varsity wrestling coach John Bourgault ’80 will host a wrestling camp, while varsity hockey coach John Gardner will host a hockey camp. Also offered are baseball, squash, and tennis camps; a strength and conditioning camp; and a Princeton Review SAT preparatory course for rising juniors and seniors.

Spring Stickball… on Smalley Field This spring’s stickball season was a huge success, with games played on the new turf lacrosse field, as well as on the newly named Smalley Field, on Jamerson Green. Smalley Field is the result of a family gift in honor of Matt Smalley ’05, who, along with his classmates, enjoys great memories of playing stickball every spring, and watching the AOF community come together.


Summer 2011 The Village Green

Avon’s new turf field

Chris Higgins ’01 and George Springer ’08

Chris Higgins ’01

Young alumni athletes excel This summer kicked off with exciting athletic news from two exceptional former Winged Beavers. Chris Higgins ’01 and George Springer ’08 are both excelling in the world of professional sports. Higgins, who plays hockey for the Vancouver Canucks, came to within one game of the Stanley Cup, falling to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the NHL’s biggest tournament. He is only the second alum in AOF history to compete for the Stanley Cup, joining the ranks of Brian Leetch ’86, who won it in 1994 with the New York Rangers. Higgins was a four-year varsity star for the Winged Beavers; he then matriculated to Yale University, where he spent two seasons. He was named the ECAC Co-Player of the Year, an NCAA first-team All-American, and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, the top individual award in college hockey. Higgins became the first player from Yale to ever be selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2002, when he was chosen by the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he remained until 2009. Before joining the Canucks in early 2011, Higgins also did stints with the New York Rangers, the Calgary Flames, and the Florida Panthers. Springer, a standout baseball player for the University of Connecticut, was the 11th overall draft pick—by the Houston Astros—in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. Springer learned of his selection the same evening he helped lead the Huskies to an NCAA tournament victory, defeating Clemson to advance to the Super Regional Round. Springer spent four years at Avon; he was drafted out of AOF in 2008 by the Minnesota Twins, but delayed a professional career, instead matriculating to UConn, where he recently completed his three-year collegiate career in the record books: he is the school’s record-holder in home runs (46) and runs scored (219), with a .345 career batting average.

George Springer ’08

Varsity Baseball Repeat Champions 2011 Founders and Colonial League Champions The varsity baseball team boasted another amazing season this spring, once again capturing both the Founders and Colonial League championships. The Winged Beavers’ extraordinary 17–1 season was marred only by a narrow 4-6 loss against Taft School. Ten seniors intend to play college baseball: John Boland (Georgia Perimeter University), Andrew Coffey (Marietta College), Matt deVaux (Endicott College), Mike Gibbons (Wheaton College), Cam Hatch (University of Maryland), Dave Kent (St. Anselm College), Chris Madera (Georgia Perimeter College), Adam Spracklin (University of North Carolina at Asheville), Alex Velardi (Mount St. Mary College), and Max Weiner (Union College).

The Village Green Summer 2011



Commencement Exercises 2011


ay 29, 2011 marked the 78th annual Commencement exercises at Avon Old Farms School. Blue, sunny skies welcomed the friends and family of 121 graduating seniors, who were awarded diplomas from Headmaster Ken LaRocque, Provost John Gardner, and Chairman of the Board of Directors Dean Graham ’84. The ceremony also featured the presentation of prestigious awards, such as the Founder’s Medal and the Order of Old Farms, to several members of the senior class. Retired Marine Corps General Anthony C. Zinni delivered the 2011 Commencement address. He advised the graduates


Summer 2011 The Village Green

to maintain the values of trust, integrity, and honesty as they forge into what he noted would surely be successful futures, and reminded them that emotional day was just as important to their parents, families, and friends as it was to them. Visitors to campus over the weekend also were privileged to experience the 2011 Art Show, featuring works from many of the talented artists from the senior class, as well as the Senior Awards Program, featuring the Scholar of Distinction, Andreas Biekert ’11, and the presentation of the Kenneth A. Fanning Faculty Award and the Cashion Faculty Award to Michelle Custer and Tim Roller, respectively.

The Village Green Summer 2011



Commencement Exercises 2011


Preparing Men of Avon for College What does it mean to be a preparatory school?


ith the joyous sights and sounds of Commencement still fresh in our minds, we have the opportunity not only to reflect on the past school year, but also to consider what lies ahead for our newly minted alumni as they begin their college careers. What sets Avon apart from many other preparatory schools is the emphasis we place on the college transition process, as well as the unparalleled strength of the alumni network. Associate Director of College Counseling Jon Crocker believes that our alumni will have a distinct advantage over their peers from the moment they step onto the college campus: “students at Avon get to see teachers as human beings, and are not 12

Summer 2011 The Village Green

afraid to seek extra help,” he notes. “Enrichment Hour is a perfect example because it replicates what students will experience when professors hold office hours.” We take great pride in knowing that Avon students are well-equipped to successfully navigate the college landscape and have the resources available to support them along the way. Over the course of their senior year, students are invited to take part in a number of forums, workshops, and other unique opportunities to help ease the challenges of the college transition process: • Frequent forums, organized by the College Counseling office, cover topics ranging from academic requirements and professors, to social life and housing, and even options for meal plans.

• Various university Deans, as well as young AOF alumni, are invited back as guest speakers to shed light on the college experience, share advice, and debunk common misperceptions. • AOF Dean, Dr. Skip Flanagan, leads a series of morning meetings affectionately known as ‘Real Life 101,’ which place an emphasis on personal finance, career choices, and life skills. • All students are given access to an online financial literacy course called Everfi (, generously purchased with support from the Parents Association. Designed for young adults, the interactive Everfi program is a valuable resource that guides users through a personal finance certification process. In today’s world, Avonians need

college matriculation to understand the academic, social, and financial responsibilities that come with being a college student. • Avon’s alumni network is thriving, and the School encourages students and young alumni to take advantage of the resources offered by the Alumni and Development Office. With thousands of alumni staying connected through Facebook and LinkedIn, there is an incredible online network of willing mentors happy to share advice and professional guidance. Alumni frequently post internship and job opportunities only offered to fellow Avonians. Avon wishes its 121 graduating seniors all the best as they take their next steps on their educational journeys!

Aaron J. Alexander Lynn University Dominick O. Andre Boston College Sebastian Barrios Universidad Iberoamericana David A. Barros Hobart and William Smith Colleges Michael J. Barros Hobart and William Smith Colleges Alexander J. Bauer Fairfield University Colin A. Bernard Tulane University Andreas Biekert (ESU) Dollar Academy (Scotland); Pomona College John J. Boland Georgia Perimeter College Samuel L. Bowen Hobart and William Smith Colleges H. Jackson Brady St. Lawrence University Durst A. Breneiser Ithaca College Seung Young Cha New York University Andrew J. Coffey Marietta College Eduardo A. Consuegra University of Michigan Robert A. Cordisco Bryant University Connor J. Cottrell High Point University John S. Courage Lake Forest College Benjamin A. Crocker (ESU) Rydall Penrhos School (Wales); St. Lawrence University Joseph C. Cusano Georgetown University John M. Daly Trinity College Sehan M. De Silva Nichols College Matthew R. deVaux Endicott College William Diamond Rollins College Dominic J. DiGenova College of Charleston Jamison T. DiGeronimo Westfield State University Thomas J. Dougherty St. Lawrence University Richard T. Doyle Texas Christian University Stephen P. Driscoll Loyola University (Maryland) Ethan J. Enriquez Rollins College Tyler J. Eve Southern Methodist University Jingwei Fan University of Virginia Jake R. Farkas College of Charleston Michael S. Flynn Trinity College James G. Forster Hobart and William Smith Colleges Edwin A. Foster Ohio Wesleyan University Kyle J. Foster Salisbury University Samuel C. Franklin University of Maryland Sam W. Funnell University of Vermont Andres Galindo Universidad Iberoamericana John O. Galloway Post Graduate Antonio Garofalo Catholic University of America Sean J. Garvey Valdosta State University Daniel M. Gauvin Providence College Thomas J. Geraghty Merrimack College Michael R. Gibbons Wheaton College Christon L. Gill Western Carolina University Terry Gilmore Rutgers University Tieler E. Gittleman University of South Florida Bradley H. Glennon Fordham University Matthew R. Goldman Providence College Gregory J. Gozzo Harvard University Ben Hamer Durham University Gerard D. Hampton Johns Hopkins University Cameron G. Hatch University of Maryland Taj D. Herrera Iona College Aaron T. Hiniker Hofstra University Alija Hogans St. Lawrence University Steven M. Honeyman Endicott College Euan Howard-Sorrell Gettysburg College John B. Jackson University of North Carolina Matthew D. Jadovich (ESU) Cheltenham College (England); University of Connecticut

Makoa J. Kaleo University of Vermont Bronson L. Kelly Johns Hopkins University David M. Kent Saint Anselm College Suk Joon Kim Babson College Jeffrey A. Kimm Trinity College Denton J. King Alternate Year Zachary J. Koval University of Vermont Jun Wan Kwon Lehigh University Jason R. Lally United States Military Academy Patrick H. Leddy Furman University Matthew J. Liptrot (ESU Scholar) Bowdoin College Zi Nan Liu Nichols College Harrison M. Lyons Bryant University Alistair J. MacDonald Manhattanville College Robert G. MacDonald Gettysburg College Christopher M. Madera Georgia Perimeter College William P. Mason Gettysburg College Allando Matheson University of Connecticut Paul J. McInnis Hobart and William Smith Colleges Noah T. McMillan College of the Holy Cross Michael G. Milazzo Hofstra University Reginald P. Mills Lake Forest College Paul A. Mimms Ohio State University Zachary D. Minsk Miami University/Ohio Kieran Paul Morris Rutgers University Morgan N. Mullen Hobart and William Smith Colleges Eric R. Naclerio Connecticut College Mark A. Naclerio Brown University Hiroshi Nasu Boston University Justin T. Niemeier Stevens Institute of Technology Cooper L. O’Connor Quinnipiac University Connor A. Olson Bentley University Arrat Ongvasith Bowling Green State University Jungsu Park Northwestern University Harrison E. Price Belmont University Ryan P. Randall Stonehill College Blaise H. Rosati Central Connecticut State University Oliver K. Rothmann Loyola University (Maryland) Alexander T. Roudette Drexel University Phonkrit Saejia Williams College James M. Sconzo Trinity College Conor M. Shanahan College of the Holy Cross Eric J. Sjodin Miami University/Ohio Derek M. Snetro Providence College Adam D. Spracklin University of North Carolina Tyler E. St. John Wake Forest University Dana L. Stacy Marquette University Giri Suarsana Lafayette College Guy F. Talarico Saint Joseph’s University Alejandro J. Tapia Southern Methodist University Graham F. Thorington Iona College Jordan P. Truppman Hobart and William Smith Colleges Alex J. Velardi Mount Saint Mary College Max D. Weiner Union College George E. Welles Hobart and William Smith Colleges Raymond J. Wiacek Bryant University Tyler M. Wieland Hobart and William Smith Colleges Trent Wilson (ESU) Culford School (England); Endicott College Ryan P. Zable Roger Williams University

The Village Green Summer 2011



Commencement Exercises

honors, awards and prizes



THE ORDER OF OLD FARMS Dominick Oliver Andre Andreas Biekert Durst Ammen Breneiser Benjamin Amory Crocker Michael Scott Flynn Jr. Gerard Dean Hampton Eric Radcliffe Naclerio Mark Allan Naclerio Oliver Kloss Rothmann Ida Bagus Geary Suarsana Max Dawson Weiner CUM LAUDE SOCIETY Andreas Biekert Benjamin Amory Crocker Joseph Christopher Cusano Jingwei Fan Gerard Dean Hampton John B. Jackson Suk Joon Kim Jun Wan Kwon Matthew James Liptrot Jungsu Park Phonkrit Saejia Ida Bagus Geary Suarsana

Summer 2011 The Village Green

THE FOUNDER’S MEDAL Alexander James Bauer Community Service Joseph Christopher Cusano Academic Excellence, Community Service Jingwei Fan Academic Excellence Kyle Jacob Foster Community Service Euan Howard-Sorrell Community Service John B. Jackson Academic Excellence, Community Service Matthew David Jadovich Community Service, Town Government Suk Joon Kim Academic Excellence Jun Wan Kwon Academic Excellence, Town Government Patrick Hannon Leddy Community Service Matthew James Liptrot Academic Excellence, Community Service, Town Government Harrison Michael Lyons Community Service, Town Government

Paul James McInnis Community Service, Town Government Jungsu Park Academic Excellence, Town Government Harrison Edward Price Community Service, Town Government Phonkrit Saejia Academic Excellence, Community Service Adam Daniel Spracklin Community Service, Town Government Tyler Michael Wieland Community Service The F. Reed Estabrook, Jr. ’36 Award Oliver Kloss Rothmann The Lousie B. Adams Award John D. Shamburger The Peter A. Aron ’65 Award For Community Service Durst A. Breneiser

The George A. Murray Cup Christon Lamar Gill The Jennings Cup Jack S. Sundberg Christopher R. Higgins ’01 Cup For Excellence in Athletics-Grade Ten Jihad Pretlow Recognition Award For Three Season Varsity Athletes H. Jackson Brady, Connor James Cottrell, Darnell James Davis Jr., Kyle Jacob Foster, John Owen Galloway, Sean James Garvey, Christon Lamar Gill, Matthew David Jadovich, Harrison Michael Lyons, Paul James McInnis, Kieran Paul Morris, Hiroshi Nasu, Adam Daniel Spracklin Scholar of Distinction Andreas Biekert National Council Award John Courage

Grade Prizes For Academic Excellence 9th Grade Joshua D. Egan 10th Grade William M. White 11th Grade Nnamdi R.K. Amilo

Cornell Book Award Matthew J. Detora Dartmouth Book Award John D. Shamburger Hamilton Book Award Colin B. Tiernan

12th Grade John B. Jackson

Harvard Book Award Nnamdi Robert Kevin Amilo

Award For Earnest And Persistent Effort In The Acadmic Area

Middlebury Book Award Jeremy D. Ross

9th Grade William M. Rinaldi 10th Grade Eric S. Depner 11th Grade Daniel A. Palazzo, Evan C. Phillips 12th Grade Paul J. McInnis Award For Outstanding Improvement In The Academic Area Thomas J. Geraghty III

Trinity Book Award Michael D. Gagnon University Of Pennsylvania Book Award Benjamin J. Casella Yale Book Award Connor P. Doyle The Kenneth A. Fanning Faculty Award Michelle H. B. Custer

The Student Council Spirit Award Steven M. Honeyman

Excellence In Tenth Grade Honors English William M. White

The Adam ’93 And Luke ’95 Cline Award Adam D. Spracklin, Benjamin T. Freiberg, Mitchell L. Leeds

The Cashion Faculty Award Timothy J. Roller

The Richard Woodwell ’75 Award William M. White Gregg Richard Linburg ’87 Award Kieran P. Morris The Wilbur Durphey Award Benjamin A. Crocker For Excellence In AP Literature And Composition Andreas Biekert For Excellence In Eleventh Grade Honors English John D. Shamburger

The Student Council Award Geoffrey R. Barlow The Tim Straus ’75 Award Matthew D. Jadovich Edward Somerville Voss Award John O. Galloway Paul Karl Schiller ’78 Award Bradley H. Glennon Seeger Service Award Durst A. Breneiser

The Village Green Summer 2011




Welcome back ,

ay 20–22 marked the annual Avon Old Farms Alumni Weekend, with alumni from the classes of ’61, ’62, ’66, ’71, ’76, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01, and ’06 celebrating their milestone years. Several alumni from class years through ’60 attended, as well. This year’s celebration was also the first of Avon’s new cluster-style reunions, with the graduating classes of ’80, ’81, and ’82 returning together. The weekend featured many opportunities for gathering, including an alumni golf outing on Friday, athletic contests on Saturday, an instrumental concert, the alumni lacrosse and baseball games, the Reunion banquet dinner, and the always-popular Nimrod outing on Saturday morning with fishing in Beaver Pond


Summer 2011 The Village Green

followed by a pancake breakfast at the Nimrod Cabin. Several class gatherings also occurred on Friday night at local restaurants. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday morning following the alumni parade. Dean and Director of Development Peter Evans was inducted, along with Jeff Hamilton ’96, James Patten ’88, the 1996 varsity baseball team, and the 1981 varsity hockey and lacrosse teams. See page 20 for photos and more information from the event. The weekend concluded with Sunday brunch in Riddle Refectory—a past and current favorite of all Avonians. Avon looks forward to hosting next year’s Reunion classes during the alwaysmemorable Alumni Weekend!


Reu0n11ion 2

The Village Green Summer 2011


Reunion 20 11


Reu0n11ion 2








’81 & ’82

’85 & ’86

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Page 18

Page 19

The ’50s: Rolf Olson ’59, Don Monaco ’55, Chuck Davis ’59, Carl Candels ’51, and Steve Holt ’58 enjoyed a meal together in the Refectory.

From the Class of 1996: Graeme Brown, Brian Emerson, Chris Iacampo, and Kelvan Roldan.

The Class of 1961 was back for its 50th Reunion. Seated: Peter Minnick, Larry Tweedy, Enrique Garces, Chi Chi Gallo. Standing: Erich Cluxton, Vic Viering, Bill Turner, Jeff Henschel, Bud Siegel, Mark Hawley. George Seifert and Alan Rozinsky, from the Class of 1962, will return next May for their 50th Reunion. Timothy Reed, Chris Cargen, Dwight Harris, and Bob Dudley returned from the Class of 1966. The Class of 1971 gathered on Friday night. Seated: Bill Child, Larry Stein, Richard Wellins. Standing: Tim Beeble, Ralph Palmer, Joe Vecchiarino, Randy Koons, Chris Carone, John Spencer, Hank Butler, Larry Hammerman.

The Class of 2001 had a great turnout. Standing: Johannes Witt, Erik Lanza, Steve Brengle, Malcolm Baker, Tom Adams, Peter Harrison, Tom Wurz, Peter Skinner. Seated: Craig Chester, Glenn Stevens, Dan Cappello, Chris Coleman. Members of the Class of 2006 gathered on Saturday night. Front row: Alex Feld, James Kerr, Tom Cousins. Second row: Mike Reilly, Harry Murray, Jimmy Little, Brad Hooker. Third row: Mike Dell’Aquila, Kyle Rougeot, Peter Theis, Mike Witkiewicz, Nick Demopoulos, Chandler Moss, Kevin McDonnell, Stu Beath, Justin Worth, Mike Bucchino, Jim Maule.

From the Class of 1976: Bob Buden, Jim Howard, Peter Rice, Huey Baker, and Alex Worley.


Classmates from ’81 and ’82 gathered on Friday night. Seated: Pat Bahn ’81, Bill Maag ’81, Scott Parker ’81. Standing: John Sealey ’81, Marc Delnicki ’81, Philip Wellman ’82, Mike Symes ’81, Anthony Tattsersfield ’81, Jay Simpson ’81, John McCormick ’82. Many members of the Classes of 1985 and 1986 gathered on Saturday night. Seated: Chris McDonald ’86, Henry Krupnikoff ’86, Mark Drinkwater ’86. Standing: Jason Taylor ’86, Drew Graham ’85, Jed Usich ’85, Sam Rubenstein ’85, Barry Bedrossian ’85.

’06 The Village Green Summer 2010 2011



Reun11ion 20

Athletic Hall of Fame

Peter Evans Peter Evans grew up in southern California, but became a New Englander when he attended Amherst College in the 1960s. As a high school and collegiate student-athlete, Peter not only excelled in the classroom, but also distinguished himself as a basketball and baseball player. In fact, he earned a starting position on both the basketball and baseball teams at Amherst College. After graduating from college and serving as an officer in the Navy, Peter joined the faculty at Avon in 1971. Over his four decades at the school, he has had a transformative influence on Avon Old Farms in virtually every area of school life. In addition to being a master classroom teacher, Peter has had an impact as an admission officer, athletic director, college counselor, dean


Summer 2011 2010 The Village Green

of students, assistant headmaster, and director of development. Peter Evans’s leadership in so many critical areas has helped to define Avon as an institution. While Peter has achieved impressive success in guiding the institutional development and advancement of Avon as a school, his leadership in the athletic area, particularly the baseball program, occupies a special place in his

legacy. He led the baseball program for 30 years, and, by any measure, he accumulated a remarkable record of success. His 355 wins and 18 league championships make him one of the most accomplished Avon coaches of all time and one of the best in New England, as well. His ability to attract interested student-athletes and to teach them to develop their abilities resulted in dozens of Avon players transitioning smoothly to become impact players at the college level and beyond. In this regard, most notable of Evans’s former players is Juan Nieves ’83, who, after graduating from Avon, pitched the only no-hitter in Milwaukee Brewers’ history before becoming a coach at the major league level. Perhaps more important than the impressive win totals, championships collected, and accomplishments of alumni, Peter created an environment on the baseball field that served to teach young men to be successful people. One of his former players comments, “Coach Evans is a wonderful man who taught me how to respect people and the game, how to work hard to achieve goals, and how to be a better person. He is not only the best coach I have ever had, but he is also one of the best people I have ever met. When I was playing for him, he cared more about me as a person than me as an athlete, and I am truly grateful to have him in my life.” Another alumnus comments, “I played college baseball and have been involved in professional baseball for more than 20 years. I have never had more fun or been in a better learning environment than when I played for Peter Evans at Avon Old Farms.”

1981 Varsity Lacrosse The 1981 varsity lacrosse team proved to be one of the strongest and most wellbalanced teams in school history. Avon dominated prep school opponents, defeated four college freshman teams, and compiled a 17-1 season record. Many players from the 1981 team became impact players for some of the most recognized college lacrosse programs. Avon is proud to celebrate the success achieved by the 1981 lacrosse team. This group understood and enhanced the tradition of lacrosse excellence at Avon Old Farms.

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James Patten ’88

Although James Patten also played football and hockey while at Avon, lacrosse was his true passion. He played three years on the varsity team, and was elected captain for the 1988 season. In his senior year, he was selected as First Team All-league and was named

Athletic Hall of Fame a Western New England All-Star. He was also voted to play in the East/ West All-Star game in 1988, which is reserved for the top prep-school players in New England. After Avon, James enrolled at Hobart College and contributed significantly to their tradition of excellence in lacrosse. In fact, James was a leader in the program for four years and helped Hobart earn three National Championship titles (1989, 1990, 1991). While at Hobart, James was selected as an AllAmerican in 1991 and 1992. In 1992, he collected more impressive honors: he was recognized as the NCAA Midfielder of the Year, Hobart College’s Athlete of the Year, and he was selected to play in the prestigious North/South All-Star game, earning the game’s Most Valuable Player Award.

In that same year, he was also honored with the William H. Dobbin Award at Hobart, which is reserved for the player who “through his contributions to the team best reflects the skills of Hobart Hall-of-Famer Bill Dobbin.” Put simply, James Patten achieved the highest levels of success for a college lacrosse player. James’s accomplishments in lacrosse did not end after graduation. He was drafted by the New York Saints organization of Major League Lacrosse in 1993, but he did not sign, instead choosing to pursue a career as a college coach. That same year, he won the Patriot League Coach of the Year honors for his efforts at Colgate University. In 1994, James returned to playing; he competed for Team England in the World Games.

1996 Varsity Baseball The 1996 varsity baseball team posted a 16-1 record on its way to capturing a league championship. This team was regarded as the top team in Western New England and included a roster full of exceptional talent at each position. Many of the players became successful at the college level, and pitcher Graeme Brown ’96 was drafted into the ranks of professional baseball in June of 1996.


Summer 2011 The Village Green

1981 Varsity Hockey It could be said that the 1981 varsity hockey team at Avon was the team that established the modern standard of hockey excellence at the school. The group faced the most challenging schedule in the program’s history up to that point and finished with a 20-6 season record. For many of the

Jeff Hamilton ’96

Jeff Hamilton enrolled at Avon as a freshman coming from Englewood, Ohio. While at Avon, Jeff earned recognition in soccer and baseball, but

seniors, 1981 punctuated a run of three winning seasons during which the team was 60-10-1. The 1981 graduating class players were led by Captain Vinnie Mancuso, Mark Stewart, Bill Maag, Scott Donovan, Mike Symes, and John Franzosa. In those three years, Symes totaled 121 total points and Donovan collected 93. In 54 career games, John Franzosa accumulated a .919 save

percentage and a 2.04 average goals against per game. Scott Parker led the team in scoring during the winter of 1980-81. By all accounts, this was a historic group and included some of the players and personalities that firmly established the tradition of hockey excellence at Avon.

it was his accomplishments as a hockey player that provided the foundation for a distinguished career on the ice. Avon Coach John Gardner comments, “Jeff improved so much from his sophomore to his senior year as a hockey player. Through intense dedication, he matured into a special athlete. His development is an example of what is possible when young players are committed.” Jeff enjoyed a tremendous career at Avon on the ice, highlighted by his 52 points (in just 24 games) during his senior year. After Avon, Jeff enrolled at Yale University and became one of the college game’s best players. In his first year at Yale, he collected 23 points and was elected to the ECAC All-Rookie Team.

During his sophomore year, he scored 47 points and was an All-Conference and All-American selection. In his last two years at Yale, Jeff scored 104 points, was a two-time Hobey Baker finalist, and again was recognized with AllConference and All-American honors. Jeff finished his college hockey career as Yale’s all-time points leader. He was also named to ECAC Hockey’s All-Decade first-team. During his career at Yale, Hamilton netted 80 goals and added 93 assists, for 173 points in 127 games. After Yale, Jeff enjoyed a successful professional hockey career. He played in the NHL, the AHL, and in the professional hockey leagues of Europe.

The Village Green Summer 2011





2011 Commencement Address

Many things you learn in life are not because you do them extremely well. Some of them are because you screw them up, some of them because you observe other people that do it well, or other people that do them not so well. But after 50 years in the Marine Corps, 50 years in business, in the academic world, working for our government to help bring peace to places like Israel and Palestine and Indonesia and the Philippines and many other places, you come away with some lessons that really strike you and hit home and are important when you’re talking to somebody about to step out in that role in life. When I was where you were I thought, you know, I got time. There’s time before I have to start thinking seriously about what I want to be, where I’m headed; I found out pretty quickly that wasn’t true. My first day on campus I joined the Marines. And I chose a major that set a course for me. Certainly the Marine Corps taught me a lot about myself, about my obligations as a leader, and about life. That college experience wakened in me a curiosity for learning and understanding; a thirst for that learning that never died. It always seems like there are so many more years you wish you had to learn. Those that I’ve seen fail in leadership positions somewhere along the line stopped learning; they felt they had it, that they didn’t need to know anymore. That may be one of the biggest failings I’ve seen in some of the leaders that don’t quite make it. The United States Marine Corps told me, when I first reported to boot camp, that you come in three parts—your body, your mind and your spirit—and to me that drilled into my soul exactly what each of us as human beings are. We’re composed of a body, a mind, and a spirit. The most successful people in the world—the happiest people in the world—have all those three, that they work on, that they nurture, that they are sure are up to what they should be. You’re off to a magnificent start with this great school here, and I know the values that they teach. I know the emphasis on making sure you’re physically fit. You care and understand about your physical well-being and your body and bringing it to everything it can be. But you also know the importance of your mind; never stop learning, growing, and looking at every challenge as something to understand and to conquer. Maybe the most important part is what motivates you—your spirit. We’re all motivated by different things. I’ve run into great leaders who are motivated by some sort of religious drive or some belief system. Others found that spiritual drive and that inspiration elsewhere but those three parts are critical. You can’t let one down and succeed. You can’t let one down and not live up to everything you potentially can be. You’re starting out in a life now, and you’re starting something else. You’re establishing a code. When I taught leadership at Duke University, during the first class I had my students answer one question. I asked the question, who are you? Write it down. Tell me who you are. And it was very difficult for them to try to explain who they thought they were; even more difficult for them to explain it to themselves. Who am I?


Summer 2010 The Village Green

By General Anthony Charles Zinni

You’re establishing a reputation as you leave now; what goes into that reputation? It’s your sense of values, your code for living, your honesty, your integrity—all the things that mean something to a man. At your age you are a man. You have put aside the days of being a boy. I’ve led men your age into combat and I’ve seen them fall for things they believed in. You are a man as of today. You’re entering the world as of today. You’ve had the tremendous support of those sitting behind here—a family that loves you and cares for you, that’s willing to sacrifice for you. My daughter once asked me, what would you die for? And I said that’s easy—my family, my faith, my friends, my freedom and my flag, and each of those means something to me that’s more than my life. That code you set has to mean more to you than life itself. It’s going to answer the question, who are you? Your word has to be something people can believe in. The words you speak have meaning. Up until now, they may not have, but at this point, as a man entering the world, your words and your word become critically important. So does truth. Always speak the truth. Never be afraid of the truth. And make sure the truth is a part of everything you do. I’ve seen too many people in denial, or willing to shade the truth, or willing to compromise on their beliefs. And I have seen men and women who would not do that—real heroes— and sometimes pay a great price for it, but in the end, that’s what we’re all about. Many times in life you’re going to be challenged to do the right thing, and many times the right thing will be the most difficult thing to do, and many times the right thing will not be something you’ll be acknowledged for and credited for, but there’s only one person you have to satisfy in life and that’s you. Every morning when you look in that mirror you have to see somebody looking back that you’re proud of, that you understand. Maybe 50 years from now, you’ll be telling the class of 2061 about your 50 years. Those 50 years are going to be whatever you want to make them. Chase your dream. One thing the Marine Corp taught me is that my limits in what I could do were far beyond what I ever thought I was physically, mentally and spiritually capable of. There’s no limit to what you can be and what you can do. Be willing to take a risk. Chase a dream. Don’t take the safe course. Now the most important people here today may not be the graduates. It may be those people sitting behind here. They’re extremely proud of you, your family and your friends. You mean everything to them. They made sacrifices for you. And before you get all excited and start throwing your hats in the air, make sure you’ve got a couple of hugs and kisses for the people back there because they mean everything in life and they’ve done everything for you. You have a heck of a start in life right now given to you by this superb institution. Take advantage of it. Be proud of it. Our society is in your hands. I can look at you, and I can tell you possess the leadership, you possess the spirit, you possess the knowledge to lead this country. Sitting here may be a president, may be a four-star general, or may be a leader in business. I’m certain of it. Take care of our people. Take care of our society. Live up to your responsibilities as a leader. This is a day to be proud of what you’ve done. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done to get here and thank you for everything you’re going to do for our future and for our country and for our society. God bless you. Thank you.

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Cover Photo: Commencement 2011. Photo by John Benoit.

Congratulations to the 2011 Winged Beaver Varsity Baseball Team!



The Village Green  
The Village Green  

Summer 2011