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Breaking up was hard to do OPENING SHOT

At long last, Memorial Hall (1919) met its maker last summer and the adjacent Allen House (1969), newly renovated and free for the first time, now looks pretty good on its own. A photo essay documenting the month-long drama appears on pages 84-89.










2 Reaction 3 Under the Dome 16

Going Solar on the Sunny Side of the Street


New Blood at Berkshire


Alumni Out and About



43 Berkshire Authors 44 College Essays 46 Graduation CIII 51 Buckanalia: The luxury of a dozen decks 52 Reunion Recap 2010 63 Former Faculty and Staff News and Notes


65 Class Notes 77 In Memoriam 1

Turning grief into goodness. Sally Goodrich, through whose efforts Berkshire has enrolled four students from Afghanistan, succumbed to cancer on December 18. After the death of their son PETER GOODRICH ’85 on 9/11, Sally and DON GOODRICH ’61 established the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation and in 2006 built a girls’ school in Logar Province, Afghanistan. The first of Berkshire’s Afghan students, MATI AMIN ’08 , is profiled on page 40.

84 Memorial Gallery 90

Annual Report of Giving

145 Myers Mystery Photo Contest


President, Board of Trustees Michael J. Maher Head of School

Editor: James Harris Director of Communications C. TWIGGS MYERS HON. ’57

John E. Ormiston Director of Development and Alumni Affairs


Lucia Q. Mulder Director of Alumni Affairs/ Class Notes Editor

All other alumni matters:

Class notes:

Design: Julie Hammill, Hammill Design, Printing: Quality Printing Company, Pittsfield, Massachusetts Published once a year by Berkshire School’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Third-class postage paid at Sheffield, MA. A note on the typography Please note that the names of living alumni are BOLD-FACED , those of deceased alumni are CAPITALIZED, and those of living former and current faculty and staff members and trustees are in upper and lower case and bold-faced.

Reaction Zip Zantay My former teacher and mentor Zoltan “Zip” Zantay [In Memoriam, Fall 2009 Bulletin] was a man as charismatic and full of life as his name. He taught me much about music and more about life. Always happy, smiling, and ready to make you laugh. He stood up for me when all I wanted to do after class was study and play music, instead of my mandatory sports requirement at the time. He showed me that when you are passionate about something and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. Because of him, I am living my dream of playing music professionally, which has allowed me to see places and meet people that I may have never had a chance to. Thank you, Zip! You’re memory lives on through me and the people I hope to inspire. Much love to Valerie and the rest of the Zantay family. BRIAN SHINICHI CURTIS ’94


Editor derails train story


Re the Fall 2009 Bulletin, which contained a couple of old photos I gave to Twiggs Myers some time ago (“Bygone Berkshire: All Aboard the Mahaiwe”): I am pleased that you printed them, but less pleased with the caption. Firstly, it wasn’t “the mail-bagged car,” which is just plain dumb. It was the “mail-baggage car.” More serious is, “Students in the know would sell us miniature bottles of sherry.” The text I provided read something akin to “Students in the know would make a bee-line for the diner, where a friendly attendant would sell us miniature bottles of sherry,” a very different proposition, I think you’ll agree. I certainly do not like the impression that I was recalling students engaged in selling booze. TONY MANTHOS ’56

Former faculty member and bandleader Zip Zantay, pictured here in a publicity photo, died in August 2009. He was the father of faculty member Valerie Zantay and the grandfather of Josh Ibanez ’13. His obituary can be viewed in the ’Shire, Berkshire’s alumni Web site.

Putnam’s pun I was perusing the Berkshire obits and saw the entry for LARRY HOPE ’65. The name reminded me of a moment in 1969 when I first toured Berkshire with my father. Mr. Putnam was our guide. As we walked across the campus a student went by and Mr. Putnam said, “That’s Steve Hope. He had two brothers here who already graduated. We call him our last Hope.” Corny, but funny. I haven’t thought of it for 41 years, but it came back to me just like that when I saw the name. REX MORGAN ’73

That’s a lot of games. Here's to Skip Bowman, everyone's favorite equipment manager, who celebrated his thirtieth anniversary at Berkshire this fall.




Last winter’s annual alumni hockey game drew many former players, including brothers ALEX ’02 and WHITNEY WATTS ’98 (left). Alex was awarded the Peter Taylor Player of the Game Trophy, given in memory of PETER TAYLOR ’69 by perennial organizer ROB MCGRAW ’70, pictured above with RANDI SCHOCK ’08 and RICHIE PALLAI ’09 . This winter’s contest is slated for January 29 at 12 pm. RSVP to Lucia Mulder, 413-229-1369 or and include your position and any guests.


Their tribes increased


Legacy students new to Berkshire this fall.


Front row, from left: Matt Wieczorek ’14 (mother LYNETTE PRESCOTT ’81), Sam Perkins ’14 (father CHIP PERKINS ’73 ), Eliza Berg ’13 (mother MEGAN STECK BERG ’87 ), Lucia Perkins ’14 (father CHIP PERKINS ’73 ), Margot Hibbs ’13 (sister ALLIE HIBBS ’09 ). Back row, from left: John Humes ’14 (sister AURELIE HUMES ’10 ), Haley Schopp ’13 (father ED SCHOPP ’83 , grandfather ROLLIE SCHOPP ’49 ), Anna Heissenbuttel ’13 (mother LISA WARDELL ’79 ), Caroline Ellwood ’14 (mother CAROLINE SMITH ELLWOOD ’83 ), Will McGovern ’14 (sister MAURA MCGOVERN ’10 ), Sam Friedman ’13 (father LOU FRIEDMAN ’80 ), Carlota Ortiz-Monasterio Borbolla ’13 (sister ISABEL ORTIZ-MONASTERIO ’08 ).

From left: Pauline Nomblot ’12 (sister CAMILLE NOMBLOT ’09 ), Charlotte Weil ’13 (brother BEN WEIL ’06 , father JERRY WEIL ’73 , grandfather LEE WEIL ’44C ), Serena Menges ’14 (mother DEVON SMITH MENGES ’90 ).


Eliza deWindt Berg ’13 (mother MEGAN STECK BERG ’87 , greatgrandfather DEL DEWINDT ’39 , great-great grandfather DELANO DEWINDT ’11) with aunt HEATHER STECK VON SEGGERN ’85.

You couldn’t find two happier people on campus this fall than Clive Davis and Cheng-Chia Wu, whose music department now boasts a brand new complex in Rovensky Student Center. Students too appreciate the difference between the former oneroom music studio in Memorial Hall and their new quarters, which feature separate rooms for chorus and jazz band plus six individual practice rooms and a recording studio.

Fly in, fly over, fly out! Calling all pilots, flight enthusiasts and adventurous souls: Berkshire will host a “fly-in” over Reunion Weekend, May 13-15, in honor of Berkshire's Education with Wings program from the 1940s and the Aviation Science course that debuted last spring. Alumni, parents or friends who own a plane are invited to fly into the Walter J. Koladza Airport in Great Barrington on Friday evening. There will be a presentation from Berkshire's Aviation Science class members on Saturday at the airport and a "fly over" campus. Anyone interested in participating, please contact Lucia Mulder at 413-229-1369 or via email at



Upbeat Indeed



2010 Faculty Awards

Who: Virginia Watkins, English teacher and director of the Center for Writing and Critical Thinking What: The Allis Non Sibi Award Why: Embodiment of the motto “for others, not themselves”


Who: Kelley Bogardus, English teacher and Fourth Form Dean What: The Kellogg-Silverman-Kontos Award Why: Integrity, motivation, spirit, commitment to excellence, mentoring or guidance through small acts of caring, kind words or a listening ear

Who: Kevan Bowler, history teacher What: Class of ’57 Faculty Award Why: Excellence in teaching and tenure of service


Who: Kurt Schleunes, math teacher What: The Seaver Buck Faculty Award Why: A distinguished record in the classroom and a willingness to help individual students realize their highest potential

Who: Mike Dalton, science teacher and director of the Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program What: The Kellogg Faculty Travel Grant Why: Helping the students or school in a special way


Who: Jean-Erick Joassaint, French teacher (pictured with Class of 2010 members CHELSEA GUERERRI, KARINA SRB, HALEY BROWN, ALI ZEIFER

What: The Trail dedication Why: Teaches with passion and overall fills the Berkshire community with a positive and caring energy



A Trio of New Trustees

New trustees Bell, Fuchs and McLanahan


Stuart M. Bell ’80 (Stephen ’12)

Anne Sutherland Fuchs (Nicholas ’12)

Bachelor of Arts in Economics with Management Concentration, Ohio Wesleyan University…Certified Financial Planner, CFP, College for Financial Planning…vice president, Chase Manhattan Bank, today director of Jebco, Inc., and of Luzerne Products, Inc...former director of Leadership-Wilkes Barre and Catholic Youth Center…today director of Great Wilkes-Barre Development Corporation, director of Kinship Square, board member of Ethel Walker School…member of Berkshire’s undefeated 1979 football team….lives in Wyoming, Penn., with wife Carolyn and son Stephen, a fifth-former at Berkshire.

Bachelor of Arts, French literature, New York University…long magazine career includes positions as publisher of: Cuisine, Woman’s Day, Elle, and Vogue, and group publishing director of O (The Oprah Magazine), Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire,Town & Country, Redbook and Victoria….then global CEO of Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg, senior advisor/director of Solera Capital/Latina Media Ventures, and, today, chair of the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues…serves on boards of Gartner, Pitney Bowes and Falconhead Capital…son Nicky is a fifth-former at Berkshire.

“It is my hope as a board member that I can help Berkshire continue to change for the future while maintaining the great traditions that have developed over the years, all the while leveraging the wonderful location of the school at the foot of Mt. Everett in the Berkshire hills.”


“Berkshire School has undergone extraordinary transformation and has emerged as a reflection of the vision clearly articulated by Mike Maher. It is an exciting time to join the Board of Trustees and is an honor to participate. I only wish I were a student and could actually attend Berkshire today!”

...and Trustees Unplugged

Ed Reger (Matthew ’11, Julia ’13) with Fifth Form Dean and English teacher BEBE CLARK BULLOCK ’86 .

CHIP PERKINS ’73 (Lucia ’14, Sam ’14) with Jean Maher, associate director of admission and Spanish teacher, and Andrew Bogardus, director of admission.


David and Leslie Puth (COLIN PUTH ’10 , Kira ’12) with Kristina Splawn, director of the Kenefick Center for Learning, Athletic Director Dan Driscoll, and Dory Driscoll, Kenefick Center coordinator.

Head of School Mike Maher with Carolyn and STUART BELL ’80 (Stephen ’12)


Lara Schefler McLanahan ’86 BS, Boston University College of Communications ’90…Worked as a television producer for Lowe Lintas & Partners, then as executive producer and events manager for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers….currently a contemporary art advisor and collector… …lives in Bedford, N.Y., with husband, William, a senior partner at Level Global Investors, and their children: 13-year-old twins Georgia and Jake, daughter Brooke, 10

PETER KELLOGG ’61 (RITT KELLOGG ’85, KIRK KELLOGG ’87 ) with Mabel and LEE WEIL ’44C (JERRY WEIL ’73 ) and Jane Piatelli, director of parent programs (STEPHEN PIATELLI ’06, GREGORY PIATELLI ’09 ).

“I am beyond thrilled to join the board of Berkshire for the simple reason that I loved the school when I went there! I want my children and friends’ children to be able to enjoy Berkshire the way I did, especially now that the school is better and stronger than ever. I hope to help spread the word about Berkshire through supporting the admissions department in any way I can. I would also love to see Berkshire have an arts program with greater depth and a facility to match, and I look forward to working with Mike Maher to help see this come to fruition. Go Bears!” John Toffolon (Ashley ’11) with Nannie Clough, Web site manager.



Georgia Johnston ’11 was one of ten lucky students to take to the air last winter.

They’re back!


After a hiatus of over six decades, Berkshire’s aviation science program was resurrected last spring. Established in June, 1943, by Headmaster Albert Keep, Education with Wings was a wartime program designed to offer a basic secondary education plus a comprehensive introduction to aeronautics. A side benefit was extra tuition brought in by Army and Navy cadets who enrolled to combine academics with flying lessons. Joining them in the program was a third of the student body at Berkshire. This complemented the school’s wartime mandate of graduating three classes a year in 1943, 1944 and 1945 to help the war effort. Keep’s partner in the enterprise was a flying school owner with the delicious name of Robert Douglas Vroom. Virgil, fine arts and ancient history were dropped in favor of aeronautical science, topography, mechanical drawing, navigation and meteorology. Last January, the program took to the air again in the form of an Aviation Science elective: a semester-long class, including flight training at the Great Barrington airport, to prepare students to pass the FAA Ground School certification. The teacher is three-time Berkshire parent Michael Lee (JACK ’10, JOSH ’06 and CHRIS ’94 ), a licensed commercial pilot with over 25 years of experience in the air. The semester-long class, to be offered again this January, prepares students to pass the FAA Ground School Certification Exam in May, which is an initial requirement to earn a pilot’s license. The course focuses on the study of aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, radio communication, and instrumentation as they relate to flying an airplane, and includes quizzes, tests and presentations. Each student also will have between six and ten hours of flight training.


The Seven-Year Switch At a dinner for the trustees and the advisory board during the fall Board meeting in September, Head of School Mike Maher made the following toast to HANS CARSTENSEN ’66 , who stepped down as chairman after seven eventful years in the history of the school.

Two weeks ago Berkshire began its 104th school year stronger than ever: • Not an empty bed on campus • An unrivaled academic program, including premier offerings in math and science, sustainability, and aviation science • Several new dynamic faculty members and coaches • Newly renovated Allen House • New music center and dance studio • Twelve new tennis courts

Changing of the guard STEVE NORMAN ’60 , the new president of Berkshire’s trustees, with outgoing president HANS CARSTENSEN ’66 , who will remain on the Board. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Steve served in Vietnam as a member of the Army’s 25the Infantry Division and earned a Bronze Star. He then enjoyed a long and distinguished career as secretary and officer of the American Express Company. A longtime class agent and alumni chair of the Annual Fund, Steve was named the Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2005; ten years earlier, he had won the Kellogg Volunteer of the Year award.




• Immediately behind us, the renovation of our beloved Berkshire Hall and the opening of the Stewart Athletic Center. On the horizon a new math and science center.

Things weren’t so rosy when Hans Carstensen took over the helm in 2003. The school had been through a real rough patch. To make matters worse, one day after he presided over his first board meeting, the man he had recently hired as head of school suddenly died. But the same qualities that enabled Hans to win the Berkshire Cup as a student here and to oversee the seventh largest insurance company in the world came to the fore. Those qualities are known as leadership and character. And here we are, seven short years later, well on our way to becoming the premier boarding school in America. Hans now hands over the reins to a very able successor, Steve Norman, Class of 1960. But before he does, I would like to publicly acknowledge the debt of gratitude Berkshire School owes him, and to personally acknowledge the debt of gratitude I owe him. In 1966 his classmates voted Hans Carstensen as the senior who had done the most for Berkshire. In point of fact, Hans, you never stopped doing the most for Berkshire.


Berkshire’s alumni website, newly redesigned and incredibly powerful, opened for business on January 11. Find friends, update info, network, mentor, register for Reunion Weekend!

log-in today:


Head and Seoul


During a trip to Asia this fall, Head of School Mike Maher met in Seoul with the parents of Berkshire’s Korean students.


Front row, from left: Min Jung Park (Brad Keum ’12), Mihwa Chung (Jimmy ’14), Director of Major Gifts Penny Hudnut, Head of School Mike Maher, Chunsoon Kim (Michelle Jung ’14), So Young Kim (Kevin Kang ’14), Eun Young Jung (Ji Won Ryoo ’14). Back row, from left: Suk Whan Chang and Jo Chang (Colin ’11), Choon Taek Lee (Seyoon ’12), Jayhoon Chung (Jimmy ’14), Ok Soon Kweon (Victor Lee ’14), Hyun Joo Yang (Juna Lee ’11), Myung Ah Yun (Seyoon Lee ’12), Mi Ja Park (Soo Jang Choi ’13), Eun Young Lee (Kevin Chung ’11), Ju Hee Han (William Yoon ’12).

The Guy from Guyana This fall Berkshire welcomed 394 students, including the school’s first-ever student from Guyana, sixth-former Alex Arjoon of Georgetown. He is one of 80 international students from 24 countries, including Afghanistan (2), Bahamas (2), Bermuda (2), Brazil (2), Canada (10), Chile (1), China (7), Columbia (1), France (1), Germany (7), Hong Kong (2), Indonesia (1), Jamaica (2), Korea (12), Mexico (5), Russia (1), Singapore (1), Spain (5), Switzerland (1), Sweden (2), Taiwan (2), United Kingdom (2), and Vietnam (9).


Last spring the two-story wooden house south of Crispin/Gordon/Rose Dormitory was officially named Northrop House in memory of Preston and Marion Northrop, who lived there from 1925 to 1961. Mr. Northrop, who was superintendent of grounds and later business manager, and Mrs. Northrop, who was the school’s bookkeeper, also raised their three children there. In those days, the house was the southernmost structure at Berkshire, so much so that it wasn’t even considered to be on campus. Mike Dalton, science teacher and Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program director, and his wife, Lori, live in the building today.


Director of Parent Programs Jane Piatelli, mother of alumni STEPHEN ’06 and GREGORY ’09 , will become head of school at the new Lawrence T. Piatelli Academy in Newburyport, Mass., next fall. Named after her late husband and Berkshire’s thirteenth head, the school will serve sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

Hail to the chiefs: last year’s all-school president KIT LANDRY ’10 (left) met up with this year’s edition, TEDDY BENFIELD ’11 , at the New England soccer semi-finals, where Berkshire fell to host South Kent, 3-1. Kit is a freshman at Washington and Lee University.



From Students to Teachers



Alumni frequently return to teach, as in the case of author JOHN THOMPSON ’68 (above) during Pro Vita last winter and, at a journalism class last fall, JIM SHELDONDEANE ’69 , sans ponytail for the first time since he graduated.


SAN FRANCISCO • NOVEMBER 11 The Berkshire School reception wasn't the only big deal in San Francisco the evening of November 1: all saints be praised, the Giants won the World Series that night for the first time since coming West in 1958.



Classmates MAGGIE MEINERS '90 and KATE FISHER FITZGERALD '90 hosted Berkshire alums, parents and friends at Kate's home in Lake Forest.

Over 100 guests came out for some holiday cheer at the Yale Club, including, from left, EVAN KELLEY '97, SHEA PARIS '93, AYANNA VICTORIN '93, Bill Gulotta, MEDEA ANSARI MYERS '92, NAKIA HOWELL '96.



RENNIE SPAULDING '55 and CLARE LUCE ABBEY '77 co-hosted the event, held at LUNA Boutique, which is owned by Rennie's daughter, Christina.


Going Solar

on the Sunny Side of the Street


In a powerful statement emphasizing Berkshire’s leadership in and tradition of environmental stewardship, late this spring the school hopes to unveil a solar field on East Campus that will generate up to forty percent of the school’s electricity. The two-megawatt, eight-acre project is part of an energy master plan developed by students and then presented to and approved by Berkshire’s board of trustees last September. The solar field will generate over 2,300 megawatt hours of clean electrical power in its first year—more than any other school or college in New England, according to PowerPlay Solar, the project’s developer and manager. In making the announcement, Head of School Mike Maher stressed the school’s commitment to become carbon neutral. He added that the project will include a unique educational component: an energy investigations laboratory where students will be able to monitor the output of the solar field, including kilowatt hours of energy production and pounds of carbon savings. And giving the project a pastoral touch will be a herd of sheep that will graze the grass where mowers can’t reach. Berkshire’s new solar field will feature three different solar technologies: fixed-tilt photovoltaic (PV), single-axis tracking PV, and a concentrating solar thermal. The systems will include, respectively, almost 7,000 fixed-tilt PV panels, over 250 single-axis tracking PV panels, and six units of a new solar thermal technology called the PowerDish ™. Unlike the PV panels, which turn the sun’s light directly into electricity, the PowerDish concentrates and converts thermal (heat) energy from the sun into electricity. In the summer, when the solar field delivers more energy than the school needs, “net metering” takes effect, allowing Berkshire to sell back the excess power back to the local utility, National Grid.


The project’s design, engineering and construction will be managed by PowerPlay’s construction partner, Spire Solar Systems, a division of Spire Corporation in Bedford, Mass. A public company, NASDAQ (SPIR) with four decades of solar energy experience, Spire has designed and installed over eighty commercial PV projects, including the Department of the Interior’s visitor center at Denali National Park in Alaska and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. According to PowerPlay Solar, each year Berkshire’s solar field will remove nearly 2,650,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 1,650 pounds of nitrogen oxide, and 4,400 pounds of sulfur dioxide from the atmosphere—ultimately avoiding the equivalent use of 1.5 million pounds of coal annually.

Geological surveys, including drilling ten feet below the ground to test the soil, were the first step in the solar process.

What they’re saying about their school’s going solar: STEVE NORMAN ’60 , president of Berkshire’s board of trustees: “I’m impressed with Berkshire’s initiative in such a worthy endeavor. The solar project represents a real responsibility for the environment and a real commitment to being a leader.” Mike Maher, now in his seventh year as Berkshire’s head of school: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Berkshire School—financially, educationally and environmentally. It’s a game-changer, especially for the kids, and a giant step toward Berkshire becoming carbon neutral. Using our own land to generate clean electricity is the right and environmentally responsible thing to do.” Frank Barros, director of Berkshire’s Center for Sustainability: “It’s so easy to be a cheerleader and rah-rah being green. And that’s what most schools do. But by making our own energy and being self-sustaining, Berkshire goes well beyond that. What a great lesson for our kids, who will have to cope with dwindling resources in a changing market.” Peter Kinne, longtime environmental science teacher and a neighbor of the solar field: “I’m all for it. While it’s sad to lose the beauty of the field, I’m really proud of Berkshire for being committed to this project.” Twiggs Myers Hon. ’57, trustee, senior master emeritus and a neighbor of the solar field: “The installation of solar power on East Campus is a sacrifice worth making. If we don’t generate clean energy and stop poisoning the atmosphere, we won’t have any magnificent scenery left.” Theo Friedman ‘11, sustainability class member and math-science research student at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in nearby Millbrook, N.Y.: “This project is awesome. Anything that can be done to increase our sustainability and make us a greener school sends an important message.”

The Sustainers Solar energy is just one piece in the sustainability puzzle at Berkshire, where Head of School Mike Maher has mandated carbon-neutrality by 2016. Director of Sustainability Frank Barros and the school’s sustainability committee have drawn the battle lines on three fronts—social, economic and environmental—and set the following goals: Education/Administration. Promote education and research on social, economic, and environmental sustainability by building community, student, faculty, and staff awareness. Already this year, 13 teachers have worked the subject of sustainability into their curricula.

17 Mr. Barros’s staff is his sustainability class, made up of ardent environmentalists who do all the mundane things behind the scenes to ensure Berkshire stays in the forefront of environmental education, from performing dorm energy audits to keeping track of purchasing.

Energy. Create a net zero Green House Gas emissions (GHG) campus through energy efficiency, conservation, on-site generation and strategic procurement of clean and renewable energy. Create superior places to study, work and live that enhance the health and performance of building occupants through sustainable planning, design, construction, operations, retrofits and biomimicry. Provide housing proximity opportunities for many faculty, students, and staff; increasing trip reduction strategies; transitioning to non-petroleum based transportation; developing telecommuting and teleconferencing, and integrating emerging technologies. Food. Create a local and organic closed loop food system by observing sustainability criteria for all food purchasing, preparation and service, cleaning, waste disposal, and purchase of equipment and supplies. Land Use. Protect and maintain the natural campus environment through restoration, preservation, and education while enhancing the campus as a classroom. This includes reducing potable water use while protecting and conserving all water resources within the campus watershed through implementation of efficiency measures, collection technologies, re-processing and re-use. Procurement/Disposal. Through efficient procurement strategies, processes, and systems, organize the acquisition and responsible use of resources in a manner that supports a “triple bottom line” of economy, society, and environment. Reduce and ultimately eliminate waste streams on campus with the ultimate goal of a net zero waste campus through implementation of “cradle-to-cradle” processes and practices.


Make a Berkshire classmate a Berkshire immortal. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor Berkshire School bestows upon its graduates. Nominations for the 2011 award are now being solicited by the newly formed Distinguished Alumni Committee, chaired by JED SCALA ’85 . Other members include JIM BALCH ’51, FRANK MONAHAN ’57, KEITH REED ’68, CAROLE MAGHERY KING ’71, KATHY ORLANDO ’89, Bill Gulotta, and TWIGGS MYERS HON. ’57. Nominations should be submitted to Lucia Mulder, director of alumni relations, at 413-229-1369 or Criteria: “A graduate of Berkshire School who has brought distinction to Berkshire as a result of vocation or avocation, community involvement, or other professional or personal achievements, and who has demonstrated an interest in the welfare of the school.”

Past winners:


1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

CALVIN C. FENTRESS, SR. ’26, investment banking CLARENCE STANLEY ’14, business exec General Motors JAMES R. ANDERSON, JR. HON. ’80, manufacturing metal ROBERT DAVIS ALLEN ’40, investment banking JAMES CRANE KELLOGG ’33, investment banking SIDNEY LANIER ’20, investment banking E. MANDELL DE WINDT ’39, manufacturing paper LYMAN BULLARD, SR. ’40, industry LEON JEROME WEIL ’44C, investment banking, politics, volunteerism ALBERT RAY CONNELLY ’25, law ROBERT ARNOLD POWERS ’36, investment banking DWIGHT CROUSE BAUM ’32, investment banking JAMES PRESCOTT BALCH ’51, banking, Berkshire JAMES AYLWARD DEVELIN GEIER ’44C, manufacturing RICHARD TOWNSEND BEEBE ’20, medicine C. TWIGGS MYERS HON. ’57, education DAN MILLETT GOODYEAR ’56, manufacturing BRUCE DAVEY BENSON ’57, oil, politics PETER RITTENHOUSE KELLOGG ’61, philanthropy W. DUNCAN MACMILLAN ’49, industry GORDON CRAWFORD ’65, investment banking EDMOND BEEBE HERRINGTON ’61, small business EDWARD O. SULLIVAN ’72, environment LYMAN GREENLEAF BULLARD, JR. ’73 , law HAWLEY ROGERS ’56 , education STEPHEN PECKHAM NORMAN ’60, financial services EDWARD HOWARD HUNT ’61, education STEPHEN E. MALAWISTA ’50, medicine JAMES A. HARMON ’53, banking HANS L. CARSTENSEN III ’66, insurance CALVIN TOMKINS ’43, letters


Dana Chapin after a field-hockey practice last fall.

New Blood at Berkshire


Preaching the prep school gospel


ou see it more and more these days: parents from communities with excellent public schools paying to send their children to private boarding schools because of the diverse student populations they offer. That’s what’s been happening at Berkshire, with its burgeoning number of students from places like Connecticut’s prosperous Fairfield County. The trend makes perfect sense to new associate director of admission Dana Chapin—herself a native of Farmington, Conn.—whose own parents sent her to St. Paul’s School for the very same reason. “Farmington has a good school system, but most of my classmates were pretty similar. There wasn’t much of an awareness of everything that exists in the outside world,” she says. “The opportunity at a place like Berkshire to live with people from all over the world and with different backgrounds and cultures adds a sense of perspective to your education.” Ms. Chapin is a fierce advocate of boarding school life for other reasons as well. “Faculty members are such positive role models and give so much of themselves to the community. The adults care about what’s best for the students and are on their side. Public school teachers would love to be able to embrace every



kid the way we do. But the sheer numbers don’t allow it.” The smaller class settings offered by her prep school, she says, “gave me a lot of confidence and allowed me to find my voice. You can’t sit back and take it all in. You have to be part of the conversation. It helps everyone realize they have a valuable opinion.” One of four admission officers in Chase House, Ms. Chapin is in charge of planning events such as the annual open house in the fall and the two revisit days in the spring, as well as researching admission data and assisting with the department’s Web site. And, of course, she will interview prospective students, a job she relishes. “I love the excitement of talking to eighth-graders about where they want to go and what they want to do,” she says. “The fun of my job is making kids feel comfortable and willing to express themselves about what they value and what strengths they have.” Ms. Chapin, who for the last four years was an admission officer at Westminster School and, before that, at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, Calif., also came to Berkshire to grab a ring very golden to her: head coach of girls’ varsity lacrosse. She knows a thing or two about the sport, having played on the Middlebury College teams that won the NCAA Division III championship in 1999, 2001 and 2002. She was team captain her senior year, and, after earning bachelor of arts degrees in environmental science and geology, remained another year at the school in order to learn more about the game as an assistant coach. At Saint Paul’s, where her twin siblings graduated in 2002, Ms. Chapin played soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse all four years. At Westminster she was assistant coach for field hockey—a role she’s playing here this fall—and assistant girls’ varsity ice hockey coach, as well as head coach of girls’ JV lacrosse. She’s a big believer in the importance of athletics and the lessons it can impart. “Beyond teamwork, sports teaches you to work well with your peers and how to navigate difficulties and support one another,” she says. “And I like how it brings together people who might not otherwise interact, and gives them a common goal.” Ms. Chapin’s teams at Westminster often played against Berkshire. “I always admired Berkshire from afar as a school where the athletes hold themselves to high standards. You can tell a lot about the character of kids the way they look you in the eye and shake hands after a game.” Now that she’s here, she says she’s impressed by what she sees. “Obviously, the setting is idyllic—you can’t be in a more beautiful spot. There’s very good leadership here, too, and everyone seems to share a common vision for the school,” she says. “And while a lot of schools hire teachers merely on pedigree and the number of degrees they possess, Berkshire values what a faculty member can bring to the community in terms of character and leadership. I like that.”


The man from the Crescent City


ive autumns ago Berkshire welcomed its first refugee from New Orleans, a sixth-former displaced by Katrina. This fall the school welcomed its second, in the person of new English department chair Evan Clary. But it wasn’t a hurricane that brought Mr. Clary north—in August 2005, after joining the greatest exodus in American history, he returned to his apartment in a shotgun house in the city’s historic Uptown district and stayed there until last spring. Rather, he says it was the opportunity “to continue Berkshire’s long tradition of excellence in English” that brought him back to New England, where in 2000 he had earned a bachelor of arts degrees in English magna cum laude and political science at Amherst College. It’s been a long road for Mr. Clary, one rich with material for a novel if he ever has time to write one: birth in Santa Cruz, Calif., boyhood in Guilford, Conn., and Paonia, Colo., where his father was a woodworker and designer; high school at the United World College in Montezuma, N.M., one of thirteen UWC schools around the world that offer a two-year international baccalaureate degree; and four years at Amherst. So what took him to New Orleans? “A job and a woman, not necessarily in that order,” Mr. Clary deadpans. “The woman and I severed our formal connections, the city and I did not.” Indeed, when the 32-year-old starts talking about New Orleans, one realizes which of the two had his heart. “It’s a wonderful city, one full of contractions,” he says. “It’s the most cosmopolitan and insular place I’ve ever been, decadent and yet fussily traditional, beautiful and unspeakably ugly, impoverished and also glamorous.” Mr. Clary had been happily teaching high-school English at Isidore Newman School, a pre-K-through-12 private day school in Uptown New Orleans, for five years when the big rains began on the morning of Monday, August 29, 2005. By Tuesday morning the flooding had begun, and, with time to pack only an airline carry-on bag, he headed upriver to a friend’s house in Tensas Parish in northern Louisiana, across the Mississippi from Vicksburg. Mr. Clary says it was slow going—“a thirteen hour drive that usually takes three-and-a-half, with the storm on our tail.” Like most Americans, he was shocked at what he saw on television and read on blog sites—not just the devastation caused by the flooding, he says but also by the “horrifying details” of rampant looting. Since there was no going back home for what appeared to be a long while, Mr. Clary made the best of a bad situation. He had been taking courses toward his master’s degree in English education at Loyola University; when he discovered that he would be eligible to continue his studies—for free—at any other Jesuit institution, he drove to the nearest airport in Jackson, Miss., bought a ticket to Boston, and enrolled at Boston College the Tuesday after Labor Day. When the city reopened in October, he flew down for a weekend and found that the water had flooded up to but not into his house, which was built above sea level, and that the iron

gates and bars had prevented the theft of his belongings. He finished his semester at BC, then returned to his adopted city and celebrated New Year’s. But there was no celebrating when he went back to work at Newman that spring: the school had lost forty percent of its enrollment, and one-third of its faculty and staff had been laid off. Mr. Clary was not among them, however, and in the following fall became chair of the English department. Now he’s living on Berkshire’s campus in the Upper Cottage—can one be any farther from Bourbon Street?—with a black Labrador puppy named Kali, after the Hindu goddess of destruction. But Mr. Clary is no stranger to the area; he taught summers at nearby Salisbury School, and would drive out to the Berkshires while at Amherst. “Moving from a big urban center to a very rural place, I had a healthy skepticism about the seismic cultural shift. But the people here were so welcoming, engaging and friendly, I felt at home right away,” Mr. Clary says, adding that he’s “incredibly pleased with the scholarly achievements and interests of my colleagues.” In addition to his duties as department chair, Mr. Clary teaches one section of advanced English IV and two sections of Advanced Placement English literature. He seems optimistic about the future of the written word, despite the digital world’s preference for the image.

“A good English department accounts for the modern world,” says Mr. Clary. “We may feel that texting or IM-ing represents a decline or decay in the integrity of what we call ’letters,’ but we have to get out in front of the fact that our kids are constantly exposed to media that is influencing the way we think.” He adds that the Advanced Placement Language test now sometimes includes advertising and other media-related topics. That’s not to say that the classics are no longer welcome. “Milton is as relevant today as he was in the seventeenth century, but English teachers have to help students understand that. For example, sustainability is a key component of twenty-first century teaching. In Paradise Lost, Milton has intense attitudes about man’s relationship with nature. And it’s the very same with Thoreau.” As for his own favorite authors, Mr. Clary says, “I agree with T.S. Eliot that Dante and Shakespeare split the world between them. My sensibilities are grounded in poetry, but I love it all.” He includes Paradise Lost on his list of “desert island” books, along with Hamlet and A Confederacy of Dunces. The setting for the latter novel just happens to be Uptown New Orleans. Can he be happy along the Housatonic after ten years at the mouth of the Mississippi? “Sure I can,” he says. “If it’s a place you really like, you take it with you.”


Evan Clary at the Thoreau House. BERKSHIRE SCHOOL • 2010 YEAR IN REVIEW

Hauling The following essay by Evan Clary appeared in Boston College Magazine and in the college’s newspaper, The Heights.

New Orleans, February 8, 2006


When you first arrive in New Orleans these days, you cannot help but spend most of your time looking at trash. This is true both for returning residents, who stand and stare at the piles of debris that used to be their neighbors’ houses, and for post-Katrina immigrants, who stand and stare at the piles of debris that promise a paycheck. But the trash is disappearing, leaving those who once owned it to wonder at its departure. In the most devastated areas of the city, brick shells like discarded chrysalises frame dark doorways, through which the careful observer will note “the nothing that is not there” just as well as “the nothing that is,” for the sad work of demolition is already well underway. Much of the sheetrock has been cleared now, and the sagging couches and warped bureaus have all been hauled beyond the parish limits, where fewer people will have to look at them. By now, someone very kind or very broken has come by, picking up the mud-caked dolls, the childrens’ socks, the floodravaged prom dresses and the framed likenesses of those dresses, photographed in happier days. Whatever does remain on these properties is coated with the peculiar dun that the water left behind, a sickly mixture of non-colors that begins in the yard and travels right up past the windows to the flood-line, that ominous reminder of just how deep the water really was. Only the ubiquitous cross hatchings of alphanumeric code, spray-painted by rescue workers to indicate that these formerly private homes had been gone through by strangers, provide any color. Closer to the road, the trash becomes more sculptural and more abstract, a living art that evolves with our attempts at recovery. Early in the history of this ongoing disaster, that thin strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, which normal people in normal times are likely to ignore, stood loaded with refrigerators. Everybody’s was ruined; at least, everybody assumed theirs was ruined, taped it up, and sweated it out to the curb. A grim phalanx of white monoliths emerged, an accidental precision of rectangular forms in weird contrast to the spiraling winds that had necessitated it. Some were labeled by their tragically comic owners: “free gumbo” or “do not open: Tom Benson inside.” Eventually, these refrigerators were taken to some legendary vacancy of at least twelve acres, beyond the avenue in eastern New Orleans known as Elysian Fields. Somebody published a coffee-table book about them. After the refrigerators were gone, out came the air conditioners, and then the shingles, then the broken lawn ornaments, cisterns, and pots. Ultimately, the curb piles became organic: heaps of chain-sawed stumps broader than you might have expected, back when they were trees. Chopped and uprooted, these mangled pieces of wood were what remained of our stately oaks. But they are mostly gone now, too. Of course, New Orleanians are used to dealing with large piles of trash. One common measure of the success of Mardi Gras is the tonnage of trash each season generates: paper plates, cheap beads, and the giant Styrofoam cups for concoctions of rum, fruit juice, and devil-may-care debauchery, drinks known to tourists and the locals who ought to know better as “Hurricanes.” We are used to the afternoon smells of the trash, the stale warmness of old alcohol and urine in the sun, and a kind of grotesque pride attaches to it, this pollution of our choosing. Later, in the wake of a carnival krewe’s parade, the men pushing brooms down the street form a coda of soft susurrations, indicating that it’s time to go home. We are used, finally, to trucks rolling through the night and bearing the refuse of our joy to places we won’t have to think about come morning. But that trash disappears, fittingly, with our pre-Lenten entertainments. That is trash we choose to designate as such. Yesterday, my friend and I argued over how to regard all of the current debris and its removal. An optimist, he sees this strange, secondary evacuation as a kind of Augean stable-cleaning, the dirty job that has to be done if we are ever to be released from our heavy burden of shock and sorrow. Things are things, he says, and we will replace the old ones with newer, shinier ones, as indeed we would have done anyway. I want to believe him, and I suppose that part of me does. But I find myself stopping, actually coming to a complete halt, whenever a garbage truck rumbles by, its jumbled cargo of whatever made up this city headed to places where nobody who cared about it will ever see it again. I find myself standing absolutely still in the sidewalk, between the curb and the yard, wanting to throw my arms around everything close to me.


Jesse Howard with the cast of Reckless


The twofer, stage and screen: Jesse Howard.


ears ago, in a community theater production in his native northwestern Connecticut, the new chair of Berkshire’s film and theater department teacher played the role of another professor: Harold Hill in The Music Man. Jesse Howard has all the professor’s passion and powers of persuasion. But unlike Hill he has proven that he can deliver the goods—in two disciplines. Mr. Howard comes to the Mountain from Berkshire Country Day School in nearby Lenox, which has sent many kids south to Berkshire. He spent four years at BCD’s former high school and four at the lower school, integrating the school’s film and theater programs. During that time movies by BCD students dominated the student competition at the Berkshire International Film Festival, now in its fifth year. Before that it was a decade across the country cutting his teeth as a teacher and filmmaker: building the drama program at the Seattle Country Day School and founding the digital film program and teaching music at the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. During that period he also made a feature film—

The Trouble with Boys and Girls—that ran at the Dances with Films Festival in Santa Monica, Calif., and a short, Strike My Key, which ran at the One Reel Festival in Seattle. In short, Mr. Howard knows his film. “For better of worse, kids today are bombarded with so much video-based media in their lives—so much of how they communicate is visual,” he says. “Film is a language they speak more fluently than most of us adults. But how they’re learning that language is happenstance. I can relate to kids through that medium and help them hone their skills.” Mr. Howard says that the two sections of filmmaking he teaches this year aren’t simply spent watching movies or playing around with all the latest software. “Filmmaking is more than film appreciation or technology,” he says. “It’s about story— how you communicate a certain feeling through film. What is the film going to be about?” He says his students undergo “a rigorous process of pitching story ideas before they see a camera,” and that they work together in groups—“in the twenty-first century, you have to



know how to work collaboratively.” Fifth-former Nik Rhodes took one year of filmmaking with Mr. Howard as an eighth-grader at BCD. “He’s the one who really got me started in film. Now that he’s here, I get a chance to build on that foundation.” Meanwhile, Berkshire will continue to put on three productions a year on the Allen Theater stage, where the fall play, Reckless, a dark comedy by Craig Lucas, was performed in early November. It was an auspicious debut for Mr. Howard and his young troupe—many called it the best play they’ve seen at Berkshire. Mr. Howard says there will also be the traditional winter musical, starting with Little Shop of Horrors in February. (Don’t expect the Rodgers and Hammerstein of the Irene McDonald era—Mr. Howard said he leans more toward the darker sensibilities of Sondheim.) The spring play may feature a twist, one known as “devising,” a play adapted and generated through rehearsal: students collaborating to create and present the play and do everything in between, from painting the sets to designing the costumes. (Mr. Howard points to Metamorphoses by American playwright Mary Zimmerman as an example of devising.) He says he did seven such productions while at BCD, and that the benefits are many. “Rather than giving the kids a play not so relevant to their lives, playing adults with wishes and dreams not their own, they can act out their impulses, their instincts, their situations. It gives them a greater sense of accomplishment, ownership and teamwork. And it brings out a kind of acting

that is so much more honest.” Mr. Howard says that before starting such an undertaking, he tells his young actors that “it’s going to be really hard. But I believe in the importance of struggle. We’re going to succeed, and it’s going to be all yours.” He says that the process gives kids “a sense of presence and honesty on stage,” and that the end result is “inexperienced, amateur actors taking themselves to a level where their performance is very, very strong.” As for his own preferences, Mr. Howard says he likes playwrights Zimmerman, Tom Stoppard, and Arthur Miller. (“The Crucible gets shrugged off these days, but it’s a great play.”) On the film side his choices are Lucas, Spielberg and other stalwarts of the 1970’s cinema scene—“I was a kid at that time, the era of Jaws”—as well as films by the Coen brothers and Steven Soderbergh. He says Peter Wier’s Dead Poets Society is the film that influenced him the most. Mr. Howard lives in Lee, Mass., with his wife, Kate, and their son Bailey and daughter Chloe. He says he likes what he sees so far under the Mountain, especially the school’s renewed commitment to the arts, including the new music center, dance studio and, next summer, the renovation of Allen Theater. “Berkshire seems to be a place that’s moving forward, that’s actually trying to do what it says it’s trying to do. And there seems to be a very collegial, genuine excitement about the program I’m here to do. I want challenge. I want to keep learning, and being here is going to push me to do that.”

Bridging the gap: Wil Smith


n his first appearance on the Allen Theater stage in early September, Wil Smith, Berkshire’s new dean of community and multicultural affairs, asked Berkshire’s returning varsity athletes a question only he could answer. He told them that at his high school in Jacksonville, Fla., he made varsity football, basketball and baseball all four years. The youngest of ten children, he was considered an even better athlete than an older brother who played in the National Basketball Association. Athletic glory, certainly in college and probably in the pros, beckoned. “So, what the heck happened?” he asked. For starters, he read—and believed—the newspaper clippings, good and bad. His mother died when he was fifteen. Painfully shy, he loathed the direct attention sports stars receive—so much so that he would hang around with the deaf students at his school so he wouldn’t have to talk. So after graduating from his high school—named, ironically enough for its black students, after Confederate cavalry commander Nathan Bedford Forrest, who later became the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan— he dropped out of Florida A&M after a year and soon found himself running the streets, sometimes smoking marijuana and stuck in a series of dead-end jobs. One of those jobs was as a ship fitter at the Jacksonville Naval Shipyard. “I looked around and saw that all these guys I worked with—the other ship fitters, the steelworkers, and all the others—they were all missing some part of their body: a finger, a toe, an ear. And I said to myself, if I stick around here, I’m going to lose something too.” So Wil (short for Wilbur) Smith joined the Navy and served a seven-year hitch as an electronics technician. His last port of call was Brunswick, Me., where in his spare time he coached the freshmen and JV teams at Brunswick High School. He attracted the attention of Bowdoin varsity basketball coach Tim Gilbride. Soon he was teaching at Gilbride’s summer camp, and, in the fall of 1996, entered Bowdoin as a 26-year-old freshman—one of just seven blacks—and a single father with a fourteen-month-old daughter, Olivia, who accompa-



Wil Smith with daughter Olivia ’13


nied him to class and basketball practice. At the end of the first semester, Mr. Smith was ready to pack in his brief collegiate career, discouraged by the combination of single parenthood, his part-time job in the Navy, and his struggles in a Latin American history class. But thanks in part to an anonymous alumnus who paid for Olivia’s day care, Mr. Smith could finally concentrate on his studies, and in 2000 he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in sociology and a minor in economics. Along the way, he was a hoops star as a guard and small forward for the Polar Bears, helping his team reach the NCAA Division III tournament in 1999, winning defensive player of the year honors in 2000, and earning the nickname Wil the Thrill. Not surprisingly, Bowdoin snatched him up after graduation and named him its first coordinator of multicultural affairs. He became director of the program, and after earning a law degree at the University of Maine School of Law in 2006, returned as the school’s director of multicultural programs and associate dean of student affairs. In Mr. Smith’s seven years in the deans’ office at Bowdoin, the population of students of color—black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American—rose from six percent to thirty percent, and

racial and ethnic diversity increased among the faulty as well. (Coincidentally, students of color at Berkshire this fall comprise six percent of the student body.) He helped create and implement a diversity plan for the college, and tailored programs to support changing demographics. He says he now has the opportunity to do the very same things at Berkshire, which he calls “the lure of the same challenge in a new environment.” His chief initiatives as dean of community and multicultural affairs, according to his job description: • Conducting a comprehensive review of the Berkshire’s outside-the-classroom curriculum as it relates to residential life, student health, athletics, student activities, community service, student services and student leadership among other departments. Upon completion of the review, the plan is to implement efficient, collaborative and relevant programs to support Berkshire’s mission statement. • To serve as an advocate, advisor, liaison, and general source of support to all Berkshire students, but most especially


those non-traditional and historically underrepresented students who add a wealth of diversity in social, cultural, socioeconomic, and general life experiences to a community already diverse and rich in intellectual opportunities. • In this latter guise, Mr. Smith will recruit minority students (especially those from what he calls “the hugely underrepresented Native American community”) and establish programs to help with their transition—“helping those students appreciate opportunities that Berkshire offers and making sure they have access to those opportunities.” He is particularly concerned about students recruited for sports or other community-based activities who may not have all the tools to be successful when they arrive. “I want to see kids passionate about football or basketball carry that over into the classroom and dormitory,” he says. “It’s important to consider the circumstances they came from, but also to maintain a certain level of accountability

despite those circumstances. It takes a balance of pushing them and holding them up.” Mr. Smith has spent recent summers as camp director at Seeds for Peace, a program dedicated to empowering teenagers from the Middle East and other from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. He also oversees Berkshire’s health and wellness program, in coordination with the school counselor, athletic trainers and food service director. If there were one word that distills Mr. Smith’s mindset and mission, it might be the word inclusive: he’s out to instill an atmosphere of inclusivity on campus, and to burst what students refer to as the Berkshire bubble by “bringing in the world through students and their experiences.” As Mr. Smith—whose own experiences have been chronicled in the Boston Globe, the Today Show, and Oprah—told students that night in Allen Theater, “Each and every one of you brings a gift to Berkshire. I want to leverage every person’s gifts and experiences. We’re all Bears here.”


! y t r a p m e h t e Wait till you se If you’re celebrating a reunion in 2011, make plans to be under the Mountain this May with the Class of 1961 and all the other ones and sixes. Reunite with classmates and teachers at class dinners on Friday night. In the morning hike South Pinnacle or attend a student panel. Watch games in the afternoon. And oh, that gala dinner and dance Saturday night in the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center AKA The Jack.

REUNION WEEKEND MAY 13-15, 2011 Watch for the schedule in the ’Shire
















Gary L’Hommedieu censing the high altar at a mass celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his ordination.




Gary L’Hommedieu ’69 The surname of GARY L’HOMMEDIEU ’69 is a French Huguenot word meaning “the man god.” And today, as a canon in the Episcopal church, he is living up to his name. His route toward religion didn’t start at Berkshire—not that Gary or many of his classmates were going in the other direction while under the Mountain. “As godless souls go, I was pretty mediocre,” he says, “although I was on the C group once.” In fact, in the last days of the Godman era—Gary says that during his interview, the headmaster noted the similarity of their two last names—the Class of 1969 mostly toed the line while much of America’s youth beyond Berkshire was hellbent on rebellion. Gary recalls a “consistently enforced” schedule, including chapel on a weekly basis, although not “religious per se.”


He also remembers “the seriousness with which academics were taken as a matter of routine, more so than the subject matter,” and credits a faculty that, “in the island universe of prep school, were underpaid. Their dedication, integrity and commitment really came across.” Among his favorites were TWIGGS MYERS HON.’57 (“my floor master and a good friend”), Tom Chaffee (“an inspiration”), Tom Dixon, Lou Geer, and Don Brunel, from whom he took Latin. (He says he also studied the subject with Bill Earle, and that Mr. Brunel and Mr. Earle were known as The Toad and the Bullfrog, respectively.) During his four years at Berkshire, Gary was varsity squash captain and captain of several other sports teams at a lower level. He says it was his love for Latin that got him into Tufts. But most all of all, it was rock and roll that was his passion at

Berkshire. A big fan of Cream and the Beatles, he played guitar and sang for several bands at campus dances: The Generation, with BILL KEENY, TOM BLUM, and JIMMY DEAN; The Original Caste, with Blum, Dean and DICKY COLLIGAN ’70 ; and Cold Food, with STEPHEN FRIEND ’70 “and a sophomore whose name I’ve forgotten.” At graduation he became the first rock musician to win the Ernest L. Wakefield Prize, the school’s highest award for music. Then came “the fall from grace” at Tufts. “It was a wild time,” he says. “I’m still picking up the pieces from the college years.” He double-majored in philosophy and the Classics. “I wasn’t very serious about either of them,” he said. Echoing a lament common to students of the sixties, he added, “That was the real irony: we took ourselves very seriously, thinking deep thoughts, but we were serious about nothing.” Gary, who grew up an Episcopalian, says his “change of heart and mind” began shortly after college, at a Thanksgiving dinner in 1973 in New Bedford, Mass. “It wasn’t a textbook evangelical conversion,” he says. “I was sitting across the table from this oddball who always dropped little bombs in conversation. He said that Christians believe that Jesus is God. I spent the next year puzzling through what that meant to me.” Meanwhile, he went to Wisconsin to live with some friends and start a band, driving a cab in La Crosse to support himself. Then reality hit. “The band never really got anywhere, and I said to myself, ‘I gotta go back to school and do something a little more serious.’ Although my parents were blue collar, I’d led a very sheltered life. At Berkshire I was an affluent kid who hung around with other affluent kids. I’d never been challenged about what I was going to do after college.” Gary moved to Georgia, where his mother lived, and started going to the local Episcopal church. There he met a young priest, a graduate of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. In 1975 Gary entered the same school and, including an internship at a parish at 155th Street and Broadway in New York City, spent the next four years there. He then hit the road on his new career, serving in a series of churches in

Gary L’Hommedieu (right) with classmate Jimmy Dean during Berkshire’s Centennial Celebration

the Northeast: one year in Hartford, Conn., three years in Albany, N.Y., eighteen years in Philadelphia. For the past eight years, Gary has been the canon of the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke in Orlando, the cathedral of the Episcopal diocese in Central Florida. He and his wife, Judith Myers, a legal assistant, are the parents of four and the grandparents of two. He is studying for a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Central Florida. At Berkshire’s Centennial celebration in the spring of 2008, Gary grabbed a guitar, jumped on stage and, as a member of Stevie and the Starlites, joined his fellow Berkshire band members of old to entertain the crowd. “It was as if only two weeks ago we were playing at a Berkshire dance,” he recalls. “The friendships I made at Berkshire were the best I made in my life. I have few friends from the party atmosphere of college. But the friendships I made at Berkshire were very meaningful, the best I made in my life.” One of those friends was DAVE RICHARDSON ’69 , Gary’s roommate in Buck Dormitory their senior year. “He was a great guy, very intense, really into his music,” says Dave, an antique furniture restorer and painter whose brothers PETER ’61, MICHAEL ’71, and MARK ’73 also went to Berkshire. Is he surprised that Gary became a priest? “I’m surprised when any of my friends become clergymen,” he laughs. “But on second thought, no. Gary always was a deep-thinking guy. It makes perfect sense.”






Mo Cassara ’92

Pressure, anyone? Mo Cassara’s second game as an NCCA Division I basketball coach last fall was against the University of North Carolina, ranked in the Top 10 in preseason polls. And the game, part of the San Juan Shootout, was aired live on ESPN. (While Mo’s Hofstra squad fell to the Tar Heels, 107-63 on November 18, Mo did make his debut with a 102-62 win over Farmingdale State College, 102-62, five days earlier.) Mo is no stranger to circumstance. Last March, he was out of a job as assistant coach after Boston College fired head coach Al Skinner. Shortly after Mo joined newly hired head coach Tim Welch at Hofstra, Welch was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Welch resigned, and, two days later, Mo signed a multi-year contract as the new head coach of the Pride, despite never having been head coach of a Division I team. But Mo’s been a winner wherever he’s gone, starting at Berkshire, where his basketball teams went to the New Englands twice and where in his senior year he was co-captain, the leading scorer, and co-MVP. After a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy, where his team went to the New Englands, Mo was a three-year starter at point guard for St. Lawrence University in his native Canton, N.Y.—his father,

A long road to Long Island 1990-1992 1993 1995-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999

Player, Berkshire School Player, Worcester Academy Player, St. Lawrence University Assistant coach, Washington and Lee Assistant coach, The Citadel

1999-2003 2003-2004 2004-2006 2006-2010 2010

Head coach, Worcester Academy Assistant coach, Dayton University Head coach, Clark University Assistant coach, Boston College Head coach, Hofstra University


Rick, was the head coach—and led the team to the NCAA Division III tournament in 1996 and 1997. Mo has also known success at the Division I level as an assistant coach first at Dayton University—he helped lead the Flyers to a 24-9 record, an Atlantic 10 conference title, and a berth in the NCAA tournament—and then for four years at Boston College, where his teams compiled a 72-57 record, and, in 2006-07, reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. At Worcester Academy, where he took the head coaching reins at the tender age of 24, his teams racked up a 90-21 record and won the school’s first conference title in 16 years. At Berkshire, Mo was a three-sport star in each of his three years: in addition to playing basketball for Bill Duryee, he ran cross-country for Twiggs Myers—he and WHITNEY WATTS ’98 are the only Berkshire runners ever to finish first in the New Englands—and played baseball for Tom Young. “Berkshire was a great opportunity for a small-town kid to play with guys from all over the country and with different backgrounds, and to grow as a player,” he says, adding that his chief influences at Berkshire were Mr. Young and Susan Young, along with Mr. Myers. Mr. Myers remembers his star runner as being “confident, tough, and very strong-willed.” Tom Young recalls Mo as “a great guy to be around, friendly as hell but at the same time sincere.” Les Clifford, assistant to the late legendary basketball coach Bill Duryee, remembers Mo Cassera well. “A very intelligent player. He came to Berkshire with good coaching and a good outside shooting game, and he worked hard on his passing game. He’d go all day.” Mr. Clifford was asked about his former charge’s chances as a 37-year-old rookie head coach in Division I college basketball. “They said he was too young to succeed at Worcester and he won everything in sight. He’s going to surprise people.” Mo was profiled by New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey on December 11. As the Bulletin went to press, Hofstra’s record was


Mo Cassara coaching at Hofstra and as a cross-country star at Berkshire. BERKSHIRE SCHOOL • FALL 2010

Nick Friedman (left) and Colby classmate Brandon Pollock, co-founders of Blue Reserve.

R E G T U A Y W E H Nick Friedman ’06 T 32

During his junior year abroad at Hertford College of Oxford University, NICK FRIEDMAN ’06 , a philosophy and economics major at Colby College, figured out how to meld the two disciplines. He was listening to a talk on entrepreneurship when the speaker urged the audience to “choose something that aligns with your values.” Nick’s number-one value was, and is, the environment, and in June 2009 he became co-founder of Blue Reserve, a Portland, Maine, company offering “bottleless” water systems coolers to commercial and residential customers. Today the company numbers over 50 clients, from the huge CB Richard Ellis—the state of Maine’s largest commercial real estate company—to tiny Wells, Maine, High School. Blue Reserve’s premise is simple: for a monthly lease ranging from 25 to 50 dollars, customers get an unlimited amount of chilled and hot distilled or mineral water without the cost and hassle of bottled water delivery. Blue Reserve’s water comes from the nearest cold water line in a building, which then passes through a commercial grade filtration system into stainless steel reservoirs, sealed inside the bottle-less water coolers. The company’s Web site claims that its water is less expensive—installation and maintenance are free—and healthier than bottled water from five-gallon jugs. Then comes the indisputable environmental advantage: Nick claims that last year alone, the production of bottled water required 17 million barrels of oil, or enough fuel to power one million


cars for a year, and that 50 billion plastic water bottles are taken to landfills on an annual basis. Nick says that a sense of environmental responsibility was stressed at home growing up, and reaffirmed at Berkshire School, via Peter Kinne’s environmental science class. Taking that class this year is Nick’s brother, Theo Friedman ’11, whose campaign to eliminate the purchase and discourage the use of plastic water bottles at Berkshire has been endorsed by the administration and is well underway. Today, three months out of college, Nick finds his company growing at two to three customers per week, with a network of dealers in most major Northeastern cities and interest from people who want to franchise the business. While there are a handful of other vendors who offer a similar service as an addon to another product, Nick says that his company is the only one devoted exclusively to bottle-less water cooler service. One of two full-time employees, Nick says he looks forward to Blue Reserve becoming the “point of industry leader” in providing bottle-less water systems for homes and businesses. But he insists that if it comes to profit or principal, he will always opt for the latter. “We come from the earth, and should live here in a sustainable manner,” Nick says. “It is my belief that we have done serious damage, and that if we don’t change our ways, we won’t be here for long.”

The company’s stainless steel reservoir for chilled and hot water.




T A N L I E ST M Kathy Orlando ’89

Or call her Ms. Sheffield. Either name fits. Few know the mountain that rises above Berkshire better than Kathy Orlando ’89, a four-year day student and Sheffield native who would often walk to school through the meadows north of campus. And beyond forays to Wheaten College for a bachelor of science degree and Pace University School of Law for a juris doctorate, she hasn’t strayed far since. In fact, Kathy Orlando thinks Sheffield, Massachusetts, is just about the best place on earth, and she spends most of her waking hours helping to keep it that way. For starters, Kathy is executive director for land protection for the Sheffield Land Trust, whose mission is to protect and preserve the town’s scenic, rural and agricultural character. She is also a member of the town’s Housing Commission. Historical commission. Master Plan Implementation Advisory Committee. Agricultural commission. And a board member of the Community Land Trust in southern Berkshire County. Want more? Kathy is also one of the founding editors of the Sheffield Times, a bimonthly community newspaper founded ten years ago, and a founding organizer of Sheffield Celebration, the town’s annual fair. “Sheffield is a community that I love, a special place,” she says. “We have lots of people volunteering for the fire department, town committees, church groups, service organizations. People care about each other and about their town.” Kathy’s is most passionate about preserving the character and charm of the Sheffield-Egremont corridor, over two thousand acres of farmland, meadows and forests stretching from atop the Taconic Range to Route 7. (It is a goal she shares with TWIGGS MYERS HON. 57, a Sheffield Land Trust board member who has placed a conservation restriction on his own property adjacent to the school’s.) To that end, she is working with her old school to secure conservation restrictions on eleven acres Berkshire owns and another one hundred and twenty acres adjacent to campus. “This is a functional rural community, and we are really privileged to live here,” she says. “I hope when I have children and grandchildren that they’ll enjoy the same quality of life, clean water, and beauty.”








Clare Luce Abbey ’77 In 1991 CLARE LUCE ABBEY ’77 bought 27 acres, including 8.5 acres of vineyards, in St. Helena, Calif. For the next decade she completely replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with threequarters of an acre of Cabernet Franc. She started making 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (selling the Cab Franc to another winery) at Vineyard 29, her neighbor to the north. She sold the Clare Luce Abbey winery to Vineyard 29 in 2008. “ Farming and winemaking is a colossal undertaking, not for the faint of heart,” she says “You cannot make a great wine from inferior grapes. How one farms a vineyard makes all the difference in the final product. I may now be a retired vintner. but I am really a retired farmer.”

Clare made a special blend (85% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot) in honor of the Class of ’75 and its 35th reunion last May. She reports that the half-dozen bottles “were quickly consumed and very well received.”


Geordie Carr ’89 GEORDIE CARR ’89 is winemaker for Bump Wine Cellars, a boutique wine producer he owns and operates with his wife, Mieko Imai, in Sonoma, Calif., focusing on small lot, single-vineyard, hand-crafted superior wines. While studying the craft through the University of California, Davis and other California colleges, Geordie worked his way up from the cellar assistant at Matanzas Creek Winery to cellar master at B.R. Cohn and then to assistant winemaker for Enkidu Winery. An escapee from the world of finance, Geordie says he is “happy to be working with my hands as well as my mind, mastering a centuries old craft and creating superior wines that can be enjoyed by the most discriminating wine enthusiasts as well as family and friends.”

Christie Default ’89

Jon Grant ’89 JON GRANT ’89 is founder and winemaker of Couloir Wines and Straight Line Wines, varietal wines from Anderson Valley in northern California. He is also assistant winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars on the state’s Central Coast and has worked in the cellars of Napa Valley’s top wineries, including PlumpJack Winery, Corison Winery and Robert Mondavi Winery. The Web site for Couloir— French for a steep mountainside gorge— notes that “Jon fervently believes different vineyard sites create different wines, each expressing its own nuance and character. Couloir Wines and Straight Line Wine allow him to explore this notion in-depth through the production of singlevineyard Pinot noir and varietal wines.”

Jon and Geordie’s classmate CHRISTIE DUFAULT ’89 has also done wonders for wine, in the dining room and classroom. Named America’s Best Young Sommelier by Wine & Spirit Magazine in 2003, she was wine director for two of San Francisco’s hottest eating establishments, Restaurant Gary Danko—where she was lead sommelier for a 1600-selection wine list—and Quince Restaurant. Today she is wine instructor and beverage instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., and part-time sommelier at RN74 Restaurant and Wine Bar in San Francisco. 35



David Soliday ’70 How does a guy get interested in something as arcane as the production of rice in Colonial America? That guy is DAVID SOLIDAY ’70 , a freelance photographerwriter who for twenty-five years lived in a cabin in South Carolina, built on the foundation of a former slave cabin on the edge of thousands of acres of abandoned rice fields. In the preface to his soon-to-be-published book Pride from Bondage—The Story of African-Americans Building a Rice Empire, David writes: “The 125 years of neglect, currents, and storms have exposed the underpinnings of once daunting manmade structures — massive yards of spliced cypress logs, unending upright pilings, partially submerged flat boats — long sunk and forgotten. “Being aware that all this craftsmanship was before the age of machinery always gave me pause of thought to the human




toil and to the eight generations of enslaved souls that created them…these magnificent, intricate fields had restructured 156,000 acres of tidal forested swampland along rivers from northern Florida to southern North Carolina into a great hydraulic machine of sweeping vistas that to me was Earth Sculpture, a testament to the imagination and abilities of mankind. Some compare the construction of these fields to that of the pyramids. “I like to think that my photography made the fields into an art form, and in so doing I was also documenting an eroding physical history of America’s beginnings that are soon to be lost. I hope this work ends up in the National Archives someday.” David says that the South was not necessarily the “Land of Cotton,” that in fact the Carolina Gold Rice Industry preceded cotton by more than a 100 years and produced the finest rice in the world for over 200 years. The industry was not only an economic powerhouse that helped the Colonies liberate themselves from England, but also created the wealthiest of Colonies and some of our nation’s greatest thinkers. Nine signers of The Declaration of Independence were rice planters. David adds that the history of this rice empire was written by white planters who gave little credit to the enslaved individuals who actually built the fields and cultivated the crops, and that he always felt that this great rice industry was at least partially an enterprise designed and managed by slaves. About a year ago, he made a discovery that confirmed these theories. He found himself pondering an abstract sketch of a West African rice field drawn in 1793 by a marooned “slaver” captain on the Rio Nunez River in Guinea. The architecture of the field was similar to our Colonial fields. Using Google Earth, he searched for the origins of that 220 year-old West African drawing.

“My findings that day equaled the first thrill that film-based photographers feel when a blank, white piece of paper transforms to an image in the developer tray. I eventually found thousands of acres of Carolina-like structured rice fields along many rivers of West Africa. “The broken circle of my prior rice work is seeing closure. My work no longer wishes to just document our Colonial fields, but to produce a comparative exhibit of West African rice fields. Clearly, the enslaved Africans brought to our Colonial shores the intelligence, the technology, and stamina to create one of America’s most profitable and influential agricultural industries, which contributed in its own way to our freedoms, independence, and culture.” David, who holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Amherst College, says that his next steps are to fully document and archive the remnants of the Colonial rice industry, which stretch from Florida to North Carolina, and to produce a comparative exhibit of West African rice cultivation technology that visually links the West African contribution to our Colonies. This winter, he hopes to make his initial trip to Africa, where he will photograph rice fields in Senegal and Gambia. In the meantime, he recently received a $25,000 grant from the LowCountry Institute to publish his book. Others expressing interest in his project include the Smithsonian Institute and The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery at Yale. Its Senior Curator, Dr. Elaine Nichols, calls his work “groundbreaking research…monumental, both in scale and significance.” And The International African-American Museum is giving his effort full sponsorship. David and his wife, Ruth, live in Charleston, South Carolina, with their son, Shriver. Much of his work can be seen at


The industry was not only an economic powerhouse that helped the Colonies liberate themselves from England, but also created the wealthiest of Colonies and some of our nation’s greatest thinkers.”






“Did you read Jessie this week?” That’s what readers of Around the Bend, a weekly column by JESSIE STURCHIO RAYMOND ’89 , are asking. Jessie, who writes for the twice-weekly Addison (Vt.) Independent, won first place for her humor by the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), the second year she has been so honored. Her legion of fans include environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben, who, in a letter to the Independent, called Jessie’s writing “ consistently witty and deft, sharp and surprising — with great pace and rhythm.... She’s really, really good — her column should be syndicated around the country.” Another fan is fellow Berkshire graduate MAC SIMPSON ’60 , who follows her column online from his home in Hawaii. He wrote her: "Thanks to the blurb on your writing career [in the Berkshire Bulletin], I found your website and am extremely entranced! Great stuff! You are extremely talented, and, based on my long ago observations, likely the funniest woman in the Republic of Vermont, or perhaps in all of New England... you have a new fan 6,000 miles away.”



Jessie Sturchio Raymond ’89 All of this would come as no surprise to her teachers at Berkshire. Jessie, a day student from South Egremont, won the Princeton Cup and the P.L. Anderson Award—the school’s top academic awards—at graduation as well as the Tertius Van Dyke Memorial Prize for English and the Stanley Prize in French. She was inducted into the Cum Laude Society as a fifth former, wrote for the Green and Gray, and co-captained varsity volleyball. Jessie and her husband, Mark, live on a farm in Middlebury, where she says she is “turning into a homesteader without even meaning to.” They have three children. In addition to Jessie’s column, you can follow her daily travails via her blog, “What Housework?” Jessie, who was a columnist for the Addison Independent for eight years, has also been published in several other newspapers and magazines, including Vermont Magazine. One of her essays appears in the New York Times bestseller Nesting: It’s a Chick Thing. The following essay was one of her 2008 columns that helped her win the NENPA award.

Just Do It by Jessie Raymond

I’m exercising again. After some six weeks off, I felt the need to wriggle back into my jog bra, but not for the usual reasons. Normally, I return to the gym when I can’t get my jeans on without first coating my thighs in Crisco. This time, the driving force was what I will gently call my “mood swings.” During my time off, I had gradually developed an attitude problem that put me on a spectrum somewhere between a PMS sufferer and Carrie on prom night. I couldn’t shake feelings of anger, gloom and fatigue. I lashed out at my loved ones, who purposely provoked me by messing up the house and making unreasonable requests such as “Please pass the potatoes.” My husband expressed his support by hiding the ice pick. Apparently, I was suffering from some sort of endorphin withdrawal. This concept floored me. I had always looked on exercise as a necessary evil to ward off obesity and encourage some vague healthiness measurable only through blood tests. Never before had I felt an emotional need to Just Do It. It’s funny because, despite my gym membership, I don’t actually care for exercise. There are several reasons for this: • Exercise takes too long. In the time it takes you to work out three days in one week (factoring in showers and a few minutes for admiring your muscles in the bathroom mirror), you could watch half a season of “House” on DVD. • Exercise is unpleasant. Of course, some super-fit people will insist there is nothing more fun than working out. Ask yourself if you’ve ever seen a marathon runner smiling and cracking jokes during the race. Enough said. • No one likes fit people. There, I’ve said it. When you walk around flashing your sinewy calves and taut triceps, talk about “improving your times” and just generally look healthy and energetic, it makes people want to tear off your heart-rate monitor and force feed you a Hostess cupcake. This is not to say exercise doesn’t have its advantages. In my case, for instance, when I leave the gym I can stop at the market on the way home without having to make an extra trip to town. The problem is getting started after a hiatus. I had never wanted so desperately to exercise, yet I knew the first workout after so many weeks of inactivity would comes as an unwelcome surprise to my well-rested muscles and unsuspecting lungs. Eventually, the endorphin craving won out, and I succumbed to a perverse desire to go for a run. A slow run. (I mean really slow; usually the only way I can tell that I’m running rather than walking is the next day my knees click like a roulette wheel when I go up or down the stairs.) Rounding a bend I saw a man about fifty yards ahead, lazily pushing a stroller while sipping a cup of coffee. I picked up the pace in anticipation of passing him. In another seven minutes, I had neatly closed the gap between us to about twenty yards. I probably wouldn’t have gotten any closer if my ragged breathing hadn’t startled him. His protective paternal instinct kicked in and, fearing his baby was about to be mauled by an injured bear, he stopped and turned to fend me off. Seeing that I was not a bear and that in my current state of overexertion the only thing I could possibly maul would be the pavement, he turned back to the stroller. I left him in the dust four minutes later when he stopped to pick up the baby’s pacifier. The thrill of victory over Stroller Guy was sweet, but not sweet enough to make me forget I had a headache, my lungs hurt, my left pinkie toe had blistered and somewhere along the road I had swallowed a bug. It wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered, despite my sore leg muscles (a “good sore,” the fit people say, with a cruel smile) my mood had improved. Two days later I lifted weights at the gym and soon I felt a sense of well-being I hadn’t had in weeks. Now I’m sure of it: For me, the psychological benefits of exercise outweigh all of the pain and discomfort. And my family agrees.You should have seen the relief on their faces when I carried my prom dress back up to the attic.



T H E A LT R U I S T S Mati Amin ’08 40


MATI AMIN ’08 , founder and president of Afghan Youth Initiative


Afghan Youth Initiative (AFI) recruits Afghan youth and trains them to be local and global leaders, and improves communities through grass-roots, youth-led projects every summer

Where: Farah, Afghanistan Projects: An English language center for women A physics, biology and chemistry lab for high school Thirty-five specialized trash receptacles for the city Sewing center/business initiative for women Repainting and repairing a school Repainting a mosque Internet space for girls and women Web address:


Mati Amin (center) back at Berkshire last fall, with fellow Afghans Daud Baz ’13 and Mohib Amin ’13, Mati’s brother.

There are endless service opportunities in Afghanistan,” says Mati, Berkshire’s first Afgham student and today a junior at Williams College, where he is majoring in economics and political science. “If we can get the youth there to work together, they will grow up with a sense that they want to do something for their country.”

Jarrett Mathis ’04



creator of Empowering Ourselves Now

I want to get young people to think seriously about the importance of respect for self and others,” says Jarrett, a 2008 Williams College graduate whose


Workshops that help to empower black youth and reduce inner-city violence

workshops were recently featured on CNN News. “Black boys and girls leave this workshop with a greater sense of who they are; they reject music and other art forms that say it is ok to disrespect each other by using such demeaning terms as nigga (even as a term of endearment), bitch, hoe, and faggot.

Web address:

Where: Inner cities across America

“They also become more interested in finding ways to not only further empower themselves, but also their peers. This has sparked a greater interest in finishing high school and going to college, and has made the schools and communities I’ve worked in safer.”

Jarret Mathis, one of Berkshire's more memorable and effective class presidents, at his graduation.





David on the Malecon in Havana. In the background is the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the oldest stone fortress in the Americas.

IP L O M AT David Brisson ’70 42

In the fall of 2009, DAVID BRISSON ’70 and fiftyfive other senior softball players, representing four teams from the Eastern Massachusetts Senior Softball Association, flew to Havana to play a seven-game series of slow-pitch softball against Cuban counterparts. The trip was so successful that David, among many others, returned last fall. While David’s “A” team initially had its way last year against Cubans accustomed to faster “modified” pitching rather than what they call “melon ball,” the hosts soon got the hang of it. In the end, the Cubans won two series, tied one and lost only to David’s team in six games. Few of the American players, David included, speak Spanish—the language wasn’t even offered at Berkshire in David’s day—just as few of the Cubans speak English. But the players were bonded by a love of the game and a shared belief that they could be friends even if their governments are not. David, who runs his own public relations and marketing firm from his home in Wayland, Mass., plays outfield, just as he did under the Mountain for Tom Young, whose 1970 team won the first of the coach’s many conference titles. At 58, David, who still plays football and basketball, was the second youngest American player on the first Cuban trip. Because of the U.S. travel ban to the island, the group had to get permission from the U.S. Department of Treasury to make the trip. “Cuba and the U.S. are like angry cousins, and both the American and Cuban players want to see that end,” David said. “They are good, smart and decent people looking for a better life, and our presence gave them hope that some day they’ll have it.” David (left) and teammate JOHN HERMANS ’69 celebrate a Berkshire victory over Salisbury.



Drawn to the dark side, and detailing it.

Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. , then returned to private practice in Denver and was an adjunct professor at the DU College of Law. He was appointed magistrate in the Denver juvenile court, where he served for two years, before becoming First Assistant Attorney General for the Colorado Department of Law. From there, he went to Washington, D.C. as the General Counsel of the Peace Corps in the Carter administration. Harry returned to Denver in 1980 and was working as an independent arbitrator and mediator when he read the story of the “vigilante killing” of Ken Rex McElroy, the “town bully,” in northwest Missouri. The result was In Broad Daylight, which was a New York Times bestseller for twelve weeks, and his new literary career was off and running. According to his Web page, on his sixtieth birthday Harry threw a dart at a map. It landed on Dover, Delaware. He gathered a suitcase took a bus to Dover, where for a year he lived on what he could earn. After driving a postal truck and bartending at a NASCAR race track, he was hired as a prison guard at the maximum security prison in Smyrna. He is presently at work on this story, the working title of which is Charlie House. The fact is that, unlike Berkshire authors such as Jim Fergus and the late BILL MATHEWS ’61 and C.D.B. BRYAN ’54, Harry never graduated from Berkshire, leaving after his sophomore year. “I was this kid from Lincoln, Nebraska, who was dropped off with all these Eastern kids who had study habits,” he recalls. “I felt like an alien.” However, he says that Berkshire did have a “major impact” on him. “It opened my eyes to a whole other world,” he says, “and taught me that I could adapt to it.”



The murder of a small-town bully. A housewife accusing her sexually abusive father of murder. And now, the trial of a former Klansman charged with conspiracy and kidnapping, over four decades after the fact. In short, don’t turn to lawyerturned-author HARRY MACLEAN ’60 for light comedy. One of two prominent writers who went to Berkshire and now live in Colorado—JIM FERGUS ’68 , author of One Thousand White Women is the other—MacLean has become a master of the non-fiction crime story. His In Broad Daylight, the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of which was published in 2006, won an Edgar Award in 1989 and was made into a well-received made-for-television movie starring Brian Dennehy and Cloris Leachman. His Once Upon a Time was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, which called it “important… relentless… MacLean has taken a gruesome story and retold it with considerable sensitivity.” And his The Past is Never Dead: The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi’s Struggle for Redemption, published last fall, was nominated for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Alas, his literary career was not sparked at Berkshire. He says that didn’t happen until he took a creative writing course in college at Lawrence University, after which three years of law school “killed all the creativity.” After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Denver College of Law in 1967, Harry worked as a trial attorney for the


College Essays

At the cattle kraal By USER


Written in response to the following question on the Williams College application: “Imagine looking through a window at any environment that is particularly significant to you. Reflect on the scene, paying close attention to the relation between what you are seeing and why it is meaningful to you. Please limit your statement to 300 words. ” Straight ahead, an old cattle kraal stands. This is where my grandparents have their cattle sleep to protect them from the dogs. The cows all look hungry and ready to be taken to the pastures nearby. I suddenly remember that I am responsible for herding the cattle to the pastures on that particular day. This is something I have to do in order for everyone to have food on the table. The cattle need to be herded so that we have food to eat. I look at the black bull, and I feel sorry for it because it is definitely going to be slaughtered for Christmas. Next to the kraal are my family’s fields, where the crops are starting to get ripe. The beans we planted last week are starting to shoot out of the soil. The maize, sorghum, and millet all look ready to be stored in the pantry. Obviously, sometime next week we will be harvesting. I can’t wait to have fresh, boiled or roasted corn. This is the time of the year where food is in abundance. I enjoy harvest time. I can’t wait to sell our products so that my parents have money to pay for my school tuition. I also want new shoes for Christmas and we rely on the field to produce crops that we will sell to get cash in our hands. In front of the kraal, I see my mother and father chatting the moment away as they collect eggs from the chicken coop. I am so excited because I know we are going to have eggs for breakfast. My brother, fetching water at the well behind the fields, looks exhausted. He, however, knows that he has to be strong or else there won’t be any water to prepare breakfast with. At the bottom of the mountain, a group of hunters are chasing rabbits with their dogs. Just yesterday, I was hunting, too, and I managed to bring home a warthog. I remember how happy my family was as I presented it to them for dinner last night. The church looks small in the distance. This is where I go every Sunday morning for spiritual healing. All these scenes make up my ordinary day in Africa. This place means everything to me.

44 User Kushaina, a freshman at Williams College, takes time off at a nearby farm.


Tall tale By Emily Bernstein ’11 It was as if my mother were preparing me for a terminal diagnosis when she sat me down to talk about my future. Not my future as a lawyer, or doctor, or career woman, or even college or university student, but my future as a person. And, according to my mother, at that particular juncture, my future as a person really meant how tall I was ultimately going to be. At the age of ten, it hadn’t occurred to me that I would ever get beyond my awkward, clumsy five-foot-something-too-tallfor-my-age frame. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who was worried; if the serious talks and extensive medical tests my parents put me through were any indication, their concern had reached epic proportions. My body, specifically the fact that I’d always been heads taller than anyone in any of my classes, including the boys, for most of my grade school career, was something that always made me feel like I didn’t belong. My first memory of feeling this way happened in dance class when I was four. Traditionally, the instructor puts the tallest kids in the back and the shortest kids in the front, but what do they do with a kid who has a good six inches on everyone else in the class? I was moved from the left to the right side a dozen times before they settled on the middle… and then decided that I definitely didn’t belong there either and continued to switch me back from side to side. The process seemed endless, as the whole class watched us shuffle back and forth. Of course, my dance instructor’s intent was not to shake me in such a way that I would begin to question my place on this earth at the age of four. But at that moment I couldn’t help it, and the only reasonable explanation my not-yet-adolescent mind could come up with was that I had no place. I was crushed. I differed from my peers in more than just stature. I’ve always had different interests from them; in fifth grade, we were asked to do a report on someone who had inspired us. When choosing a person, I kept in mind that the people I aspired to be weren’t necessarily the most well known people. So, to avoid getting teased, I gravitated towards the people I considered “socially acceptable.” My mom was insistent that I choose someone who represented someone I wanted to be. I deviated from the norm and did a report on Sandra Day O’Connor. The laughter and taunts that came with my presentation lasted for weeks and echoed throughout the playground for months. There was a split second where the teasing and taunting deterred me from my dream, but to this day, my dream is still to be a Supreme Court Justice, and I owe it all to Sandra. Since then, I am glad to say that I have grown and matured, but I’ve also realized that my journey is far from over. Whether

The only people Emily towers over these days are faculty children like Mark Driscoll and Liam Bullock. Emily will attend George Washington University next fall.

it’s the decision to up and leave the confines of the private school I attended for ten years to enter the new and exciting world of New England prep schools, or stepping out of my comfort zone at Berkshire School to spend a month with a family in Spain, I have come to realize that I am constantly growing and maturing. The choices I make every single day, small or large, help shape who I am and who I’m becoming. I’ve grown into my frame and don’t feel as awkward in my own body anymore – in a lot of ways. I don’t apologize for presentations on figures that only I’m interested in; I don’t worry too much about making the other kids laugh with my dedication to one academic pursuit or another; and I haven’t found myself in a dance studio in a very long time. These are the ways that I’ve learned to adapt to my environment at the same time that I’ve learned to adapt my environment to my needs. I’ve learned to challenge myself academically and, in a broader sense, I’ve learned that being the tall kid who doesn’t fit in anywhere, or that strange kid who’s obsessed with things that others have never even heard of, is sometimes the best person to be. Mostly, I’ve learned about myself through the experiences I’ve had, and I know, just as I knew before, that there’s always room for growth, regardless of how much progress I’ve already made. Just ask my mother. I never made it to six-foot-two, but I still have my eye on a seat on the Supreme Court—while not discounting the idea of a career in dance.






As the speaker at Berkshire’s 103rd graduation ceremony last May, Berkshire parent and trustee David Puth imparts lessons learned on Wall Street and elsewhere.

David Puth is executive vice president of State Street Corporation, a worldwide financial holding company headquartered in Boston. He and his wife, Leslie, are the parents of COLIN PUTH ’10 and Kira Puth ’12. Good morning. I am here today to do only one thing, to convey one key message: that is to send CONGRATULATIONS to the sixth form of Berkshire School, the graduating class of 2010. This is your day, this is your time and, importantly, it is now your turn. It is your turn to start a new chapter in your life a chapter that will be very rewarding and equally, at times, challenging. However, to convey that message properly, it may take a few more words. So, what brings me here to hold this important position of addressing all of you today? First, my name is David Puth. I am a proud parent of two Berkshire students, a member of your Board of Trustees and a very big fan of


what is taking place at Berkshire today. On behalf of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and friends, who are all very proud of you, congratulations to the class of 2010! I need to say a special thank you to the faculty and administration of the Berkshire school for the care that you have taken to bring this outstanding class to this graduation day. “In Loco Parentis”…I could not have imagined what you meant when you proclaimed that oath.You have truly done a great deal to become an extension of our family. Thank you. I am very pleased to be here. However, to choose me as your commencement speaker at this unique time may appear unusual to some. You see, I have spent my career in the world of finance, known to most as Wall Street. The Wall Street that I know is one that exists not only in New York, but in Boston, London, Sydney and many other cities in the world. It is the business of investment banking and sales and trading, a world that, with some justification, is

very much on the wrong side of public opinion today. And I have spent a good portion of that time working with those poorly viewed instruments called derivatives. Derivatives, too, have received a great deal of negative press lately. Some may recall when famous investor Warren Buffet referred to them as “financial weapons of mass destruction.” So, it was worth the question as to why I was asked to speak to you today. Perhaps it was because of the continued dislocation in the global economy. But more likely, it was to share what I have learned over the course of my journey on Wall Street and how those lessons may be helpful to you as you set out on your journey. Or maybe, just maybe, I was invited here because I was next in line when Jay Z was unavailable to be your commencement speaker. Whatever the reason, thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Maher and to the class of 2010 for the opportunity to be part of your day. I know that by many different measurements you may be the strongest, most talented, most diverse and most energetic group to graduate from this outstanding school in its 103-year history. I know that what you have learned at Berkshire School will serve you very well as you take on college and the next steps of your life. Think about where you were just four years ago at this time.You were different people then. When our son came to campus I remember very well, the words of [then dean of academic affairs] Pieter Mulder when he said that “Boys arrive at

Berkshire an unmade bed.” I remember then, a few years later, as our daughter came to Berkshire and we worried that she was looking at boarding school as just one big sleepover. We have watched you change and grow as we have watched this campus transform. The old Berkshire Hall is now a distant memory, and “The Jack” was just a dream. When you began high school,YouTube was just a year old; Facebook had eight million users, and it now approaches nearly half a billion. None of us had heard of Stafani Joanne Angelina Germonotta (Lady Gaga!). And Wall Street, where I have spent my career, was a place that was viewed quite differently by society than it is today. During your time here, the world has changed dramatically. We had an historic presidential election, a financial crisis that rocked the global economy and an explosion of technology that has changed the way that we read, study, listen to music and communicate with one another. Technology that now allows us to watch, in real time, destruction both from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and the floor of the New York stock exchange. We have had disasters both manmade and natural. In your graduating year alone, you have seen the worst-ever oil spill in our country’s history, a volcano that kept a part of the world from flying, and you have experienced the devastating impact of the earthquake in Haiti which touched this campus in a special way.




You have no doubt thought about each of these events, how they might shape your life and how you choose to spend your next four years and beyond. I surely have as well. In fact, much of what I have learned over the past years in the financial world, you have begun to learn at Berkshire School. But learning comes in many forms, as does the tuition that you pay. To be clear, I am not here to offer an apology for the events of the past several years or a defense of those who may have contributed to the financial crisis that has had an impact on every one of us. Instead, I am here to talk about the lessons that I have learned on Wall Street and how those lessons might help you think about the new world that you are about to enter. The first of those lessons is to find your passion. You want to love your work. You will hear that a lot as you go through college. Not at all surprisingly, finding your passion is certainly easier said than done. It is not a simple thing to find that which will get you excited every day, but I truly expect that in time, with effort, you will. It will take persistence. I was turned down for my first job three times before I finally convinced the company how much they needed me. Some of you have already found that passion.You have amongst you an Intel semifinalist who is doing work in stem cell biology. At least one of you will put on a uniform in the next several years to serve this great country. Some of you have found a passion in flying planes at the Great Barrington airport. It takes work and a commitment to learning to find your passion. Importantly, it will only happen if you make it happen. I learned, as I believe you will learn, that what you choose to do in life is unlikely to be driven by a quest for financial success, but rather a quest for fulfillment, a desire to make a difference. That is what will get you up every morning. I had been working at my first job for about a year, enjoying nearly every aspect of what I was learning each day when my

The Colbert girls (from left, WHITNEY and ALEX ) are now at Trinity and Syracuse, respectively, leaving two sets of twins on campus and two-thirds of a set of triplets.


father asked me how things were going. At age 24, feeling invincible and confident about all that was in front of me, I told him how excited I was about my work and how much I was looking forward to my career in finance. In fact, I went as far as to say that if they asked me to come to work for free I would certainly do it. My father paused for a second and responded that he was pleased that I was so happy with my new career but perhaps it would be best not to share with my boss or colleagues that working without compensation was an option that I would consider. Trust that it hasn’t always felt that easy. But now think about what is possible for you. Think about what makes you different, what makes you unique. Think about how you take those things on to find the role that is right for you. It won’t happen without taking risks. Throughout my life, I have learned to take and manage risk, both for my job, with my career and with life outside of work. Managing risk will take many forms but I can tell you that the more that you learn to push the boundaries of your own personal risk taking, while staying within the guardrails of safety, the more that you will get out or life’s experiences. But taking risk, like being innovative, does not happen without trying and

“I hope that you leave Berkshire knowing the difference between confidence and arrogance.You will strive throughout life to earn the former, and I counsel you to work hard not to fall prey to the latter.” failing more than a few times. In fact, if you don’t stumble or sometimes fail, you are probably not pushing yourself hard enough. I have a friend who was on the cutting edge of the music and communications business during the late nineties. In his business, he spent time with Steve Jobs of Apple and was always struck by the creative ways in which Apple developed products. During one memorable visit to Apple, Steve Jobs rolled out a small box on which he said could be held a thousand songs. He said that this box would change the way in which people would listen to music. My friend was amazed by what was, of course, the commercial birth of the iPod. But what also happened that day, which may have been equally memorable, was that Steve Jobs laid out ten other products about which he was equally excited. None of those ever made it further than that

“I have seen the dark side of those that believed that because they had all the information, they had all the answers.”

day. He and his band of inventors had created many things and most of them failed. But the one that succeeded was truly transformational. Think about that lesson when you are trying to solve a complicated problem or even going for a job. Success does not come easily. The mistakes that have been made on Wall Street over the past several years may be too numerous to count. I will sadly concede that I have had a front row seat for some of them. I have seen great companies rise and in several cases, completely fail because those who ran them could not learn from their mistakes or believe that they could be wrong. “Greed is good.” That was the quote of Gordon Gecko from the movie “Wall Street” which, coincidentally, was released just following the stock market’s crash in the fall of ’87. There is a sad irony that the sequel to that movie is showing this year in Cannes at a time when the world is justifiably questioning the role of Wall Street in the global economic crisis that has not yet passed. The strongest lesson that I have learned on Wall Street is that the smartest guys in the room are not necessarily going to be the most successful. I have seen the dark side of those that believed that because they had all the information, they had all

the answers. I believe that at the core of many business failures has not been an absence of competence, but an absence of humility, and an inability to learn from one’s mistakes. Perhaps the most potent weapon of self destruction is not the taking of risk, but the hubris that may accompany that risk taking and absence of accountability when those risks go wrong. Arrogance takes many forms. I will bet that you have already seen a version of this in your time here at Berkshire— on the sports field or even in the classroom. I hope that you leave Berkshire knowing the difference between confidence and arrogance.You will strive throughout life to earn the former and I counsel you to work hard not to fall prey to the latter. We have all leaned that if an email could not be reprinted in the New York Times, or on Facebook, it probably should not be written. On Wall Street, I learned that if someone had to ask me and ask a lawyer if something was okay to do, it probably was not.You have learned lessons, too—by respecting Berkshire’s rules, by your honor system and through the values that have come from living together in the society of Berkshire School.



Trust that those values will be tested many times throughout your life. They will play a role in how you pick your friends, what career you will choose, and how you will contribute to the world around you. When you think about the toughest decisions that you have had to make over the past four years of high school, how did you respond? When you look back, do you feel that you made the right decisions? Were you accountable for your actions? This is what defines your values. You have learned here that even very good kids make mistakes. I have learned that very good business people do as well. But in the end, being honest and true to yourself, to your values and to your friends is what really matters. Mark Twain, who said many great things, once wrote: “I could never lie because my memory is not that good.” Those are great words by which to live.

“Wall Street will change because it must change.”


This brings me to the last lesson that you have begun to learn here at Berkshire School. We have learned this lesson on Wall Street as well. It just may have taken a bit longer. You are learning about giving back and about the head start that you have received coming from this great place, in a country where still fewer than 50% of the young people go on to finish college. I believe that you have found that it is responsibility that comes with this great education and not entitlement. You have learned this on Gracious Living Day and in Mrs. Piatelli’s Philanthropy Society. You have risen to take on the Green Cup Challenge and through your outstanding efforts you have made the Berkshire campus one that is truly environmentally strong. You learned that greed is not good, that hard work is good, that giving back is good and that being accountable for one’s actions comes with its own set of rewards. You, the Class of 2010, should be extremely proud of your efforts and of the leadership that you have shown with your contribution to the school.You leave here with the understanding that there is a responsibility that comes along with the head start that you have received. You are learning that there are things out there that are much bigger than yourselves. It took some time for me to learn these things on Wall Street, but I believe that they are now very clear. I believe the legacy of Wall Street will not be defined by what has happened with the past but rather how successful it is in creating a working model for the future. I look forward to the opportunity to help create that future state. Our government will now legislate the actions of Wall Street; it is called the “Restoring Financial Stability Act.” But the government cannot legislate attitude; that change can only come from those who work there. Wall Street will change because it must change. I feel a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to the world in


which I live. I did learn this while on Wall Street, and I hope to live up to that responsibility. You are now ready to start the next chapter: to find your passion and to take risks that will test your limits. Someday, a few of you may find your passion on Wall Street, and, if you do, I am confident that you will do that job very well. In Mr. Bjurlin’s classroom there is a poster of a famous runner named Steve Prefontaine, who died far too early in life, with a quote from Steve that says, “To not use all that is given to you is to sacrifice the gift.” I know that you are ready to take all that you have been given from Berkshire School and to make your next experience an exciting one for yourself and for those around you. Use that head start and the lessons that you have learned to change the world in front of you in small and in big ways. We have great expectations for all that you will do. This is your day. This is your time and now it is your turn. Congratulations, Class of 2010!

Keith Veronesi with parents Linda and Steve

Thirty years after. On both the ice and on the diamond, KEITH took up where father STEVE VERONESI ’80 left off three decades earlier. Both won Frank Beattie Trophy as best male athlete in the fifth form. Both were captain of varsity hockey and baseball for both their junior and senior years. Father was coached by Jack Stewart for four years. Son scored first goal in the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center. Father was first recipient as freshman. Son won J. Bindley Gillespie Memorial Hockey Plaque for spirit his senior year. But Steve, who went to Northeastern, admits that the comparisons stop in the classroom: “Keith has been a high honors student since his freshman year. I don’t recall ever reaching that status in any of my years, so the overall edge goes to him.” Keith is now a freshman at Connecticut College. VERONESI ’10


The luxury of a dozen decks Upon his graduation from Berkshire in 1925, GEORGE PLATT LYNES gave Headmaster Seaver Buck a dozen decks of playing cards, each bearing Mr. Buck’s monogram. What follows is an excerpt of Mr. Buck’s thank-you note, preserved in Lynes’s alumni file on carbon paper, in which the headmaster recalls his humble childhood in Maine. Lynes would become a prominent fashion and commercial photographer whose subjects included dancers of the American Ballet Company—founded by LINCOLN KIRSTEIN ’26 and George Balanchine—as well as arts luminaries such as Katharine Hepburn, Orson Wells, Igor Stravinksy and Thomas Mann.




Memorial Hall, toasted... Head of School Mike Maher: “We cherish this part of Berkshire’s past…” This is a bittersweet occasion indeed. We are saying farewell to a building that was once the heart of Berkshire School but that today is largely unoccupied, and, sadly, well beyond repair. We know that bricks and mortal do not make a school, and that the students and faculty today eagerly await and desperately need the math and science center that will soon stand on this lovely knoll. But still, we deeply respect all that Memorial Hall has meant to generations of students, and appreciate beyond words those in whose memory it was built in 1919. We cherish this part of Berkshire’s past and next year you will find in Berkshire Hall the memorial arch, the painting in Johnston Common Room, and, of course, Seaver Buck’s boyhood school desk. We also plan to save much of the chestnut and to incorporate into the landscaping of the new building the stone walls in front of and behind the building. Now please join me in raising a glass to this venerable building:


“Here’s to Memorial Hall and to the memory of the Berkshire School alumni who fought and died in World War I. Thank you for sheltering so many of our students and for providing such a grand setting in which to live and learn. You will never be forgotten. To Memorial Hall.”



...and eulogized.

Archivist and former Memorial tenant recalls “quirky old building.”

remain standing until the master-of-theweek asked the blessing. All three meals were sit-down with assigned faculty at assigned tables. There are still a number of blessings rolling around in my head as a byproduct of decades of service as master-of-the-week. Since Memorial, Allen and Berkshire Hall were connected, you could sleep, eat, get your mail, go to chapel, attend classes, visit the headmaster and buy an axe without ever going outside. Memorial was a quirky old building when I first moved in in 1953. None of these buildings had any insulation until after the energy crisis of the early 1970s. They were heated by coal, so the school had firemen who stoked the furnaces day and night. Trouble was that some of the firemen had an affinity for the grape. Early on, I would wake up at two a.m. with the radiators whistling and the temperature approaching eighty degrees. Alas, at six a.m., when I head to get up, it was more likely to be about thirty-five degrees. With no insulation the heat went right through the roof, and during the first big snowstorm I was awakened by terrifying banging and sliding as the heavy snow cascaded off the roof. There were bees in the walls and you could bang the wall and the bees would buzz and the honey ran across the floor. Remember I mentioned all the things you could do without going outside?

Add free honey to the list. There was always student humor, and sometimes it could be harsh. On the third floor of Memorial lived a physics teacher who should have been in some other line of work. The students nailed his apartment shut—with him inside. Another time, the students went to the school dump and found an old toilet, which they chained to his car. Bob Macy, a mechanic in Sheffield, was called to do something about this car in front of Memorial. Bob asked how he would know which car to pick up. The reply: it’s the only one with a toilet. Another function of Memorial was to house the kitchen staff. One of these workers is the subject of my most bizarre Memorial story. One morning, as the students were being clapped into the dining room for breakfast the worker died. Thinking quickly, his colleagues shoved the corpse under the counter, covered him with cereal boxes, and served breakfast over his dead body. In closing, I want to tell you about the cornerstone. The good news is that there was a time capsule in the cornerstone. The bad news is that the contents of the capsule disintegrated. The lesson to be learned: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, don’t bury your money in a tin box in the backyard.



When I first came to Berkshire School fifty-seven years ago, Memorial Hall was very much in the center of the campus, by location and by function. Basically there were only two dormitories to house only one hundred and fifty boys, and Memorial was the largest by far. Built in 1919, it was attached on the ground floor to the old Allen House, which was built eight years earlier. Allen House in turn was attached to Berkshire Hall by a coverage passageway known as the Tunnel. The ground floors of Memorial and Allen contained the barbershop— staffed, incidentally, by two of Bill Gulotta’s uncles—the post office, chapel, dining room, and the athletic store. The athletic store sold axes to students, which I’m sure would cause our current legal advisors to blanch. When John Godman became the head in 1951, his first act was to move his office from Berkshire Hall to Memorial, the reason being that the layout of the driveway always seemed to lead to Memorial, in part because there was no road in front of Berkshire Hall. In fact, John once told me that in the summer of 1951 he was so desperate for students and money that he seriously contemplated putting a detour sign on Route 41 to get people up the driveway. The students and faculty gathered before meals in the Memorial common room, now Johnston Common Room, and in the hallway leading to the dining room. Standing at the end of the corridor at the entrance to the dining room—now the dance studio—the master-of-the-week would clap his hands and the students and faculty would enter the dining room and



Dwelley the dweller of Memorial ROB DWELLEY ’69 sent the following remembrance: “Three years as a student. Two years as faculty. One really tough couple of days waiting for a DC decision. Falling in love. And the attack of the Black Hand and a MUCH shorter haircut in minutes. The list could go on forever with memories of Memorial. All and all, a great place in need of demolishing. The fact that it withstood the hurricane of decades of boys with way too much energy is a testimony to the original builder.”

Among the audience gathered to toast Memorial were former faculty Bob and Iona Brigham, (above) and Ross Hawkins, with wife Joyce and Al and Lin Bredenfoerder.

Photos of Memorial’s fall (and that of Glenny House) appear on pages 84-89


2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Calvin Tomkins ’43, America’s foremost art critic CALVIN “TAD” TOMKINS ’43 and his wife, Dodie, with former faculty member and trustee Tom Dixon and Art Department Chair Paul Banevicius.

There have been thirty winners of this award from all walks of life: business, finance, industry medicine, education, entertainment, and the environment. But never has one from the realm of the arts won Berkshire’s highest honor. That is, until tonight. In 1938 a boy named Freddy Tomkins graduated from Berkshire, and two years later Seaver Buck wrote his father pleading for more. “I have been hoping that I might hear from you to tell me that your small boy might be coming to Berkshire next year. I have no intention of pressing, but I am hoping that when the time comes for his setting out for boarding school he will turn our way.” Mr. Buck’s salesmanship worked, and soon Calvin Tomkins, known to his friends as “Tad” became a sophomore under the mountain. The 1943 Trail describes him as, “A gentleman—from the shine on his shoes to the precision-made part of his hair. Unparalled in literary wit and self-expression. Perfect are the products of his pen and the press of his pants.” Not surprisingly, Tad wrote for the Green and Gray and was editor of The Dome. Six months after graduating, Tad Tomkins, now a freshman at Princeton, wrote the following to Albert Keep, Mr. Buck’s successor as headmaster: “I realize how fully indebted I am to you, to the school, and to everything connected with it. In three years, I changed from a thing to a person, if I can put it that way. I learned the importance of friendship, and of responsibility. I learned that the higher you go, the more responsible you must be, and the harder you must work to remain capable. Not only was my life there as happy as it will ever be, but it was stimulating. I formed concepts and goals I’ll keep forever. Commencement day was one of the most beautiful,

and saddest, days of my life.” But it seems plenty of beautiful days were to come for Calvin Tomkins. After two terms at Princeton, he was drafted into the Navy and returned to Princeton to graduate with the class of 1948. During a hiatus in Mexico he wrote his first novel, Intermission, and eventually returned to the U.S. to join the staff at Newsweek magazine. One fateful day in 1950, he was pulled from the foreign news desk at Newsweek to do a story on artist Marcel Duchamp, then living in Greenwich Village. From then on, Tad knew he wanted to write about art and artists, and began a long period of self-education on the subject. Meanwhile, he had been contributing short humor pieces to the New Yorker and was asked by fabled editor, William Shawn, to do, on spec, a profile of a swiss sculptor. Tad went on to profile many who would become the titans of modern art: Andy Warhol, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Buckminister Fuller. Tad Tomkins went on to become not only one of America’s foremost art critics, but an accomplished author as well. He has worked at the New Yorker since 1961, since 1980 as the magazine’s art critic. In addition to artists, subjects of his books have included longshoreman Eric Hoffer, Lewis and Clark, and expatriates Gerald and Sarah Murphy. His book on those last two, Living Well is the Best Revenge, is in the Modern Library canon. Tad’s Lives of the Artist, was published in 2008 and was cited as one of the books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. The selection of Tad Tomkins as the 2010 Distinguished Alumni of the Year award recipient emphasizes Berkshire’s commitment to, and belief in, the arts. (It is also a belatd nod of thanks to Tad’s late father and brother for their service as trustees of Berkshire School.) And so it is with great pride that I present Berkshire’s highest honor to Calvin Tomkins, Class of 1943.



Remarks by Head of School Mike Maher at Saturday night’s gala dinner.


A new wife, a big fish, a little history, and dancing with a daughter.


While the Class of 1985 was busy celebrating at the home of JED SCALA ’85 and Paula Wardynski, former faculty Mark Livsey was on the banks of the Green River, where he landed this 29-inch, 6-pound trout. Mr. Livsey taught science at Berkshire from 1984 to 1995 and in 1993 became the first director of the Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program. He is now an advanced practice nurse working as a charge nurse and educator in a busy emergency room in Austin, Texas.

Phil Jarvis, former interim head of school and assistant head for admission, brought his new bride, Jean Cardno, to his old haunts. Dr. Jarvis is the father of MEGAN JARVIS ’97 and CAITLIN JARVIS PREVIDI ’99.


RICH MUHLFELD ’69 and daughter EMILIE dance floor in the Stewart Center.


spin around the

Jane Cluett Hansen, the granddaughter of Seaver and Anne Buck, with KEN FOX ’60 , the stepson of Mr. Buck’s successor, Albert Keep. BERKSHIRE SCHOOL • 2010 YEAR IN REVIEW


Longtime class agent and former trustee and advisory board member NINA BRADLEY CLARKE ’90 was presented the Kellogg Volunteer of the Year Award by Head of School Mike Maher and the award’s namesake, PETER KELLOGG ’61 , who won the first one in 1987. A former Emmy-winning television producer and reporter, Nina gave birth to her second child, Blaine Burkham Clarke, on September 28. Nina and her husband, Jeff, also have a son, Charlie. Nina’s mother, the indefatigable former trustee Mary Bradley, won the same award in 1998.


Margo and Margi move on. Also at the gala dinner, outgoing trustees Margo Ward and Margi Picotte, pictured here with Head of School Mike Maher and Trustees President HANS CARSTENSEN ’66 , were saluted for their service to Berkshire. Margi, parent of NICKY PICOTTE ’06 , resurrected the school’s Parent Fund and chaired the Board’s school life committee. Margo, mother of MATT WARD ’10, succeeded Margi as chair of the Parents’ Committee and also served on the school life committee.

Floor, please? With this trio of operators—STEVEN DURYEE ’99, and an unidentified alumnus— perhaps you’d want to wait for the next elevator.








Past faculty Elizabeth “Buzz” McGraw, ROBIN MCGRAW, CAROLE MAGHERY KING ’72, TIM BROOKS, STAN BRIDGES, NED O’HARA, DAVID SOLIDAY, FRED KING, past faculty Peter Alford.







1980 Seated, from left: SELINE SKOUG, FRANK MANN, KIM THOMAS. Standing, from left: DAN GRATIOT, Seline’s husband David Van de Water, BOB THOMAS, STEVE VERONESI, SUNIL RAJAN with his significant Jackee Blummer.















Former faculty & staff news & notes

What Matt and Jennie hath wrought: “The raffish Maya” and “Zoehawk.”

MacDonald, and Jack Toffey’s War: A Son’s Memoir. Last summer, former admissions officer Matt Woodhall, now head of school at The Woodhall School in Bethlehem, Conn., gives this update on life with former English teacher Jennie Panchy and their twin daughters: “Over a decade has passed since Jennie and I started at Berkshire. Regrettably,

we have been out of communication — we’ve had our hands full with the birth of our twin daughters Maya and Zoë, born July of last year. We’re equal parts exhausted and exhilarated. I just finished my second year as head and Jennie is now at home with the girls. We have many fond memories of our friendships in Sheffield. You’re all welcome anytime to Bethlehem.”

F O R M E R F A C U LT Y & S TA F F N E W S & N O T E S

From the better-late-than-never department: In the fall of 2009, Hilary Russell and Tom Young were cited as outstanding educators and mentors by the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Mr. Russell was nominated by Bruce McAlister, a student he had home-schooled for a year, who wrote, “He patiently panned gold out of the streams of my essays and poems to help me feel, hear, see, and sometimes almost taste and smell the flowered meadows.” Mr. Young was nominated by former student Peter Wilson, who said, “From being a teacher in the classroom as well as an educator on the ball fields, Mr. Young is a gift…truly a remarkable person.” Longtime English teacher and administrator John Toffey, father of JACK ’79, JOE ’80 and NED ‘82, returned to the classroom this fall at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College. Mr. Toffey taught a course on Civil War literature. He is the author of A Woman Nobly Planned: Fact and Myth in the Legacy of Flora


After a 21-year hiatus, longtime Berkshire teacher, administrator and coach Bob Brigham is back on the slopes at Catamount as head Alpine ski coach at Berkshire, a duty he performed from 1971 to 1989. Mr. Brigham also coached JOHN WATKINS ’73 , whose son David ’13 is on Berkshire’s ski team this year. Meanwhile, Bob and Iona Brigham’s son CHRIS ’84 , is now in his fourth year as head men’s ski coach of the United States Skiing Association.



Hard to believe, but former longtime administrator Mary “Em” Putnam turned 80 on September 2. See more news on the big day on page 65.

Catherine Dent with husband Silas Zobal and children Lake and Emerson.

Former French teacher Catherine Dent writes: “After Berkshire I taught English in Maryland, then started graduate school at Binghamton University and earned my Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing in 2006. I now share a tenure-track position with my husband, Silas Zobal, at Susquehanna University. We’re both fiction writers. We have two beautiful children, a boy named Emerson, 4, and a girl named Lake, 2.” Ms. Dent’s stories have appeared in various publications, including online in PANK magazine and in the Harvard Review. Her novel (working title The Ghost Diaries) is with an agent.

Ruth de Windt Hoxton, daughter of legendary headmaster DELANO DE WINDT ’11, sister of DEL DE WINDT ’39 , and aunt of countless de Windt graduates, met with Head of School Mike Maher on a visit to campus this fall. Ms. Hoxton was administrative assistant to Albert Keep, her father’s predecessor as headmaster.


Class Notes


30 Mr. Charles H. Delamater Mystic, CT (860) 536-4199

38 Back in the driver’s seat. SAM MCCLUNG ‘38 writes: “The car in this picture is ‘my’ 1908 Buick, which I purchased in 1937 for ten dollars. I sold it in 1961 and lost touch of it for some years, but on opening my copy of Antique Auto a couple of years ago I found ‘my’ car, bought it back and donated it the Frick Car and Carriage Museum in Pittsburgh for permanent exhibition. I had a ball with ‘my’ Buick and, when relocated, it had been beautifully restored so I felt all should enjoy it. I still love going to the museum and sitting in the driver’s seat.”

couple honeymooned in Menorca and Barcelona, both in Spain. In August, Tom and Bobbie stopped by Berkshire on their way to Tanglewood so Bobbie could see the old stomping grounds. The two toured campus by golf cart and chatted with Mike and Jean Maher.

Mr. Philip W. Goodspeed Grand Rapids, MI (616) 949-1949

to set a record for ’47 as the class with the best attendance record. This year, although I was camera-ready, a conflict occurred, and I was unable to attend the Saturday evening dinner, having instead to dine with GEORGE CHURCH ’48 and his wife Jayne, another tradition Shaw and I established some years ago. I hope the record will show that the class of 1947 was represented yet again, and at least one will show up next year. It was, as usual, great weather and a great time.” Thank you Kim, and let the record reflect accordingly!




Mr. Gerald B. O'Connor South Royalton, VT (802) 763-2774


Mr. Alexander E. Simpson Newport Beach, CA (949) 646-8284

39 Mr. Jay H. Rossbach, Jr. Palm Beach, FL (561) 832-7090

WILLIAM F. (KIM) KIMBERLY reports on his quest for the record books: “As you know, I attended my 18th reunion in a row, sadly this year without my buddy Al Shaw who was unable to attend. Usually we have our picture taken together as we were trying

49 Mr. Robert W. Doyle, Sr. Litchfield, CT (860) 567-5529 TIM BEARD writes, “I am soon attending the 65th reunion of my class at the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, CT. I may be the only on there! Who knew I would live so long! I have a busy life as the Chairman of the Board of the Roxbury CT Library, and as the Roxbury Town Historian. Also I have lots of genealogical work from hereditary societies to keep me busy and pay the bills!”

44C Congratulations, Tom Wolf! Tom met Bobbie McClellan Hart at an Easter party last spring and on May 1 the two became man and wife. JOHN SCHOFIELD, Tom’s roommate at Berkshire and Princeton, was the best man. LEE WEIL was present. John’s wife, Diane, known as Di, was also present. Unfortunately, Lee’s wife, Mabel, was not up to the trip. Tom reports: “Both my kids and all 5 of my grandchildren were present for the garden wedding at my home in Carroll Valley, Penn., an hour north of Washington. We are maintaining the house and Bobbie’s condominium in Rockville, Md., just north of Washington, DC, where Bobbie is a commercial real estate mortgage banker.” The

TOM WOLF ’44C and bride Bobbie.



Mr. William F. Kimberly, Jr. Buffalo, NY (716) 883-5757

Mr. George Church III Pittsfield, MA (413) 448-6199


50 Mr. Charles K. Elliott, Jr. Mount Pleasant, SC (843) 884-4782 Leonard G. Swartz reports, "I look forward to this year's class reunion--our 61st year for the class of 1950! I celebrated 55 years of marriage in June 2010 with the same great gal!"

51 Mr. John B. Hull III Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-1528



Mr. John G. Cluett The Villages, FL (859) 873-8022


A quick update from TONY AUSTIN : “I'm still an active commercial fisherman. My youngest, Sharon, is a freshman at UNC, Chapel Hill. My oldest, Valerie, is a professor of music at UNC, Pembroke. The middle daughter, Lisa, teaches Special Education classes in Charleston, West Virginia." HERB ROSKIND, JR. wrote: “I will begin the third year teaching Global Trade in Real Time at Arizona State University. This is an original course based on my 42 years in Global Trade. It mainly attracts seniors in ASU’s Global Studies department and is a combination of academic and vocational education. Many students have entered the field successfully. “The picture of me was taken this August in Croatia. In the ’70s and ’80s I did chemical business in the former Yugoslavian province and returned for the first time this year. My findings may be used in our

ASU class as a demonstration of how politics affects global trade.” LEE COLE ran across Bear traces last October. He wrote: “Last week I was traveling in New Mexico and visited Los Alamos. Our first point of call was the Los Alamos Historical Society, the only building remaining of the Los Alamos Ranch School. This school was a private boarding school for young boys with respiratory problems and stressed outdoor activities in addition to academics oriented towards getting the students into Ivy League schools. The school was demolished by the U.S. Government when they decided to locate the Los Alamos Laboratory there and to develop the atomic bomb. The docent mentioned that there were several well known students at the school and that there was a plaque with their names. To my astonishment, Arthur Chase was listed near the top with a reference to Berkshire. Elsewhere in the room is a photo of some students and it was clearly the same person who was to teach me English and public speaking at Berkshire. The list of students is interesting since it also includes Gore Vidal and Bill Veeck of Chicago White Sox fame and other very famous persons.”

54 Dr. David W. Sauer Landrum, SC (864) 457-3193 DICK DAVIS writes, “My granddaughter Katherine is an honors student at ASU; she is also an artist who won a National Geographic contest for a work on the Darfur conflict. My wife Karen and I live here in northeast Phoenix, postal address Scottsdale, and my daughter Elizabeth and son Joe also live in Scottsdale.”

55 Mr. Stephen V. R. Spaulding III San Francisco, CA (415) 921-0564

57 DEXTER FAIRBANK, pictured here in Laos with his wife, Kim, wrote Twiggs Myers, his honorary classmate and former cross-country coach, from Portland, Oregon: “Sorry to report I never could get

Up on the Roof

Herb Roskind

Workers removing the slate roof of Memorial found several tiles inscribed by students, one bearing the name Tom Anderson and the date 1954. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to track down the culprit: fittingly enough, TOM ANDERSON ’57 is a geologist, now retired after 38 years of teaching the subject at Sonoma State College in California. The tile was sent to Tom, now retired and living in Reno, Nevada. His reply: “I wish that I had an adventuresome story to tell you about how my name got on the tile but I have no recollection of marking it. The slate is now prominently displayed on our coffee table in the living room and our kids and grandkids have gotten quite a kick out of seeing it. The tile confirms everything they have always suspected about me! I still teach part of the University of Nevada, Reno summer field geology class and am working with a couple of grad students on a thesis projects. Lately I’ve been getting in more than an infrequent round of golf. We’re enjoying life here and are glad to have 4 of our 5 grandkids in Reno too. Judy and I are both enrolled in a Life Long Learning Group at the University and hearing lectures on everything from the wild horse problem to local and national politics; very stimulating. I have also given a couple of lectures there myself.”


Avid bicyclists DON MYERS ‘62 and his wife, Susan, of West Hartford, Conn., stopped by campus this fall. Dexter Fairbank and wife, Kim

59 Mr. Richard H. Elias Merrick, NY (516) 623-5024


Mr. H. Todd Spofford Sanford, NC (919) 498-2151

Mr. Ray H. Garrison South Yarmouth, MA (508) 398-9095

Mr. Stephen P. Norman Rye, NY (914) 967-7554


CHARLES STEBER reports, “I’ve retired from full-time work at GE Energy after 38 years. I’m comfortable in my home in Atlanta and plan to remain until I can’t maintain it any more. My personal email address is” Congrats on your retirement, Charles!

Mr. Peter R. Kellogg New York, NY


62 Mr. Andrew S. Berkman New York, NY (212) 362-2404

Mr. John R. Hendrie Merrimac, MA (978) 346-4367

65 Mr. James T. McKinley Redwood City, CA (650) 430-8291

Longtime Berkshire athletic director and football coach ED HUNT ’61 , pictured here with sons BRAD ’95 and TOM ’97 , was inducted into the Cohasset (Mass.) High School Hall of Fame, along with other members of the school’s undefeated 1957 football team. Although a freshman, Ed was starting cornerback and, as placekicker, was the team’s high scorer. He went on to be a three-letter winner under the Mountain in football, hockey and baseball. Ed, who works at the Mason Library in Great Barrington, lives in Great Barrington with his wife, longtime staff member Fran Hunt.



limber enough to high hurdle with style other than just attacking the damned barriers leaving me season-long skinned ankles. I tried once to run them in college (Lake Forest) and met my Waterloo at the next-to-last hurdle. Other than that, after college, a tour of Africa for nine months, then Peace Corps in Ethiopia looking for smallpox, I taught third and fourth grade for six years. At 49 I married a Cambodian woman and am now retired and back to volunteering in the third grade in a poor area of Portland.” THEODORE SHRADY sent in an update on his new locale: “I am living quietly on Cape Cod after moving from Chicago a year ago. I had almost finished four years of research on the Pullman Sleeping Car Co. for a new book in progress. I am continuing the book here as I brought all my notes with me. Chicago is very expensive now, so the Cape seemed the better alternative. I have a condo with a co-owner in Orleans—with a basement, no less. I am using my railroad background to lecture at the senior center here once a month, and I belong to an advanced writers’ group. Hopefully this fall I will volunteer as a technician at the local public access TV station, and, of course, watch for hurricanes. Earl was okay, no damage!”



recipes can be found in most local supermarkets. Whether it’s a quick and easy breakfast of Almond French Toast or a special occasion brunch calling for Bananas Foster Crepes, you’ll find the recipe in The Best of Cottey Cooking.”

66 Mr. Hans L. Carstensen III Pocatello, ID (208) 478-2297


TIM SWIFT is not ready to retire just yet so he is consoling himself with the Herculean (some might say Sisyphean) effort of getting every member of the class of 1966 back to Sheffield next May for their 45th reunion. Please humor him and shuffle back to Sheffield if you’re a ’66er. You can connect with classmates from ’66 on Facebook under “Class of 1966” or via email at


72 Mr. John Y. G. Walker III Brooklyn, NY (718) 856-6575

Megan Mathews, daughter of RUSTY MATHEWS ’66, wed Alec Anderson on Saturday, July 3, 2010, in Alec’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Alec started his first year at the University of Michigan Medical School, and Meg started law school at Wayne in Detroit.”

in November 2009, explored the glorious campus, met a number of the charming administrators, caught the tail end of a night football game, and climbed beautiful Mt. Everett in a howling wind to the very stumps of the former fire tower, grateful for all Berkshire did for me.” Tim Swift and wife Lisa

67 Mr. Woodson Hancock III '67 New York, NY (212) 288-3118

68 Mr. L. Keith Reed '68 Far Hills, NJ (908) 234-0197

69 Mr. Kent S. Clow III Sheffield, MA (413) 717-2190 PHIL DAVIS wrote in over the summer, “After 35 years of living in Colorado and New Mexico, I moved to Maine in 2009. I am now a licensed practical nurse practicing in South Portland, Maine. I returned to Berkshire

70 Mr. Robert L. W. McGraw Sheffield, MA (413) 229-7999

71 MONTY REIS reports that classmate MICHAEL RICHARDSON, since 1993

Cottey College’s director of dining services, has published The Best of Cottey Cooking, a collection of more than 200 of the most popular recipes served at Cottey, adapted for use in your home kitchen. In the words of his Web site ( “Treat your family to molten chocolate cake, baked potato soup, or honey dijon chicken. Every recipe has been hometested and re-written for cooks of all skill levels to find success in their home kitchens. All the ingredients for these


JOE FINNERAN and his wife of over 25 years on Lake Powell in Arizona during an extended road trip out west. Joe writes, “Greetings from Maryland. I am still employed at the National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport and would gladly help any of Berkshire visitors bypass our entrance fee. I talk with my dearest friend ALEX HOLTON HILL ’74 every once in a while and would of course welcome contact with any and all of my old friends.”

73 Mr. William J. Drake Sewickley, PA (412) 334-6895 ROB STEVENSON reports on some recent ups and downs: “I sold a couple of novels and screenplays which was great. Then my wife and youngest daughter got sick and nearly died which was not so great. These days I work for L.L. Bean Creative, having entered the corporate world at the age of 50, not something I ever expected to do. But my wife and daughter are now fine, and life is good. And like an aging and over-the-hill actress, I’m writing my memoirs!”

74 Ms. Louise A. Clement San Francisco, CA (415) 216-7101 BRAD SCHELLER is writing a blog for executives and can be found at

75 Mr. Joseph M. Fusco Los Altos, CA (408) 206-2545

76 Mr. Stephen H. Hassett Virginia Beach, VA (757) 460-3938 KIM WILSON writes with a report

79 Mr. Robert D. Thomas Alexandria, VA (703) 683-4733

80 Mr. Steven P. Veronesi South Glastonbury, CT (860) 633-2088

81 Ms. Sue Ann Stanton San Francisco, CA (415) 359-1077


from Big Sky country: “I’m still living in Helena, Montana, practicing land use law and environmental law, and spending my free time playing in the northern Rockies. My oldest daughter Charlotte is a freshman at Trinity College in Hartford, and Parents Weekend this fall may give me a chance to go see Berkshire for the first time in a decade. My other daughter, Mairin, attends a prep school in California. Any classmates visiting Montana can contact me at” PAUL-DAVID SELDIS visited campus this fall to run a coaching session for the boys' varsity soccer team. He enjoyed working with the 2010 team, New England Class B Semifinalists who lost their last tournament game to South Kent, the eventual winners.

On hand to celebrate Em Putnam’s 80th birthday in the shadow of Mt. Quandry in Breckenridge, Colorado, were, from left, children BRETT ‘81, KATHY ‘74 and SCOTT ‘74. Son Brett reports, “Em is busy working at the Sheridan Elementary School in Englewood, Colo., where she is an administrative aide, and she is also very active at the Malley Senior Center, where she carves animals and paints pictures with many wonderful friends. She loves keeping up with Berkshire friends, and she has an extensive network of faculty and alumni, who she chats with regularly. She welcomes any Berkshire contacts, and you can write to her at”

TONY SCHEINMAN made his prime-time TV debut in a featured role on the 09/29/10 episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU, and can also be found on both (where he can be seen) and the Disney Educational website They Spoke Out (, where he can be heard doing different voices for the episode “Messenger From Hell.” His website is




Mr. Anthony P. Addison New York, NY (917) 992-6248 Mr. Thomas B. Fahy, Jr. Fairlee, VT (802) 333-4244

with her daughter Isabella. Catherine reports, “Isabella is 10 and in her last year of primary/junior school. Due to Henry’s new job, we moved in December from a 200-year-old cottage in West Country to a 1969 semi in Fleet, North Hampshire, only 40-minutes train journey from central London. Sad to have never made contact or reunions (apart from seeing the lovely Irene McDonald during a last minute trip in ’02). If anyone is visiting London, do look us up!”


83 Mrs. Karen Schnurr Secrist Boulder, CO (303) 945-4210

Mr. Lionel A. Shaw San Francisco, CA (415) 921-2162


the workplace, corruption, and how far our principles will bend before they break our hearts—but in a funny way.” Joe says the next step is working with a director on final cuts, after which he’ll send it off to a few theaters that have shown some interest.

88 SCOTT FALSO ’88 gathered 16 friends from the classes of ’86-’89 for the annual “Scooter Open” in September at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. A good time was had by all.





Dr. Rhonda M. Bentley-Lewis Needham, MA (617) 980-6621 Mrs. Lara Schefler McLanahan Bedford Hills, NY (914) 234-7199

87 JOE ROLAND, whose 2006 play On the Line drew praise from the New Yorker and the New York Times, among others, is at it again. In November two readings of his new play, Lester and Doyle LLP, were held at the Canal Park Playhouse in New York City. Promotional materials note that the play “explores sexual politics in

Mr. Walter D. Long, Jr. Los Olivos, CA (603) 229-4794

90 Ms. Natalie Bradley Clarke Norwalk, CT (203) 915-6976 Ms. Natalie Dillon Rinaldi New York, NY (917) 538-1505

89 Critics drink up Milk Here are some reviews guaranteed to warm the heart of any playwright, in this case EMILY DEVOTI ’89, whose two-act play Milk, set on a dairy farm in New England in 1984, appeared offBroadway last spring: New York Times: “Blends realism with a touch of the fantastic…there is an engagingly original streak running through [DeVoti’s] writing…it may send you home ruminating on its themes: city vs. country; wild vs. domesticated; stability vs. freedom.” The Village Voice: “Multi-faceted and dynamic. Milk is rich, unexpected, and often enthrallingly vivid. Playwright Emily DeVoti has produced some perfect morsels of dialogue, vivifying characters who raise piercing questions about choice, consumption, death, domesticity, and the decidedly mixed virtues of the simple life.” In attendance for the May 8 performance—neither couple knew the other was coming—were former faculty Don and Susan Morley and Hilary Russell and his wife, Jennie. The show was later performed at the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, N.Y., with Melissa Leo of Frozen River and HBO’s Treme in the lead. Emily, the sister of WILLA DEVOTI WORSFOLD ’84 , is currently writing a play, commissioned by Shakespeare & Company and the Colorado Shakespeare Company, one of a series of plays aiming to create for America what Shakespeare did for England in his history cycle. Meanwhile, Milk was just published in October by Samuel French, Inc.

Peri Robbins Burns was born to SAMANTHA BURNS ’86 and Kip Robbins on March 8, 2010. Watch out Class of 2029 here she comes!


Blaine Burkham Clarke was born on September 28 at Stamford Hospital to NINA BRADLEY CLARKE and her husband Jeff. She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. Her big brother Charlie is very excited! He can’t wait to show her around the Berkshire campus.

Like father, like son! CHARLES BROWN ’91 with his 15-month-old son Andrew at the Scottish Games outside Albany, New York over Labor Day weekend. Charlie says he is, “looking forward to attending our 20th class reunion next spring.” The Bulletin hopes you will have many, many classmates there to join you. Hear that, ’91ers?!

home to the Chicago area. I now have a PR consulting business specializing in luxury goods and services. I have seen both RUDI EHRLICH ’92 and GIOVANNA CALEEL ’92 recently who were visiting from NYC, and they are doing great.”

93 Ms. Tenley E. Reed London. England +011-44-2079370319

22-month-old Alexandre Chamaret is an “incredible bundle of fun” according to his mom LAURA WANAMAKER CHAMARET ’91. Laura and her husband, Sebastien, are also celebrating the debut of another joint venture: the opening of their restaurant Le Comptoir in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this past August.


92 Mr. Abram W. Duryee III Cape Elizabeth, ME (207) 899-2001 Lawson Jacob Herbert wears his Berkshire hat with pride. His mom,

94 Mr. Francis A. Blair New York, NY (212) 686-3602


writes, “In April, I left NYC and my position heading up US Communications and Events for Moet & Chandon to return

Russell Gee, father of ETHAN GEE ‘92, wrote in with this update, “Ethan and his dad spent a fast and fun weekend in July driving race cars together at Road America in Wisconsin, and they did it again at Lime Rock in Sept! Awesome! My boy did the Kink at Road America at 100 mph!”

Lawson Jacob Herbert

The Constable kids possibly getting ready to do some yard work, but more likely waiting for a ride from their dad! LAURENCE CONSTABLE ’91 and his wife, Molly, live in Concord, Mass., with Webb (5) and Sadie (almost 2). Laurence writes, “I am a lawyer in Boston and make the daily commute into city. We’re lucky to see lots of Berkshire folks around here, including HEATHER (MUSTARD) LOVETT ’92 and MEG TIERNEY ’92, and we managed to catch up with JAMIE SYDNEY ’90 and her family when they were visiting the area this summer. Everyone is great!”



Mr. John K. Fretz Union, NJ (201) 659-4244

LEVI NORTON just started his second year of law school at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach,Va. In addition to school he is still working fulltime for Conservation International (CI) where he has been since 1993, right after graduating from Berkshire. He serves as the Senior Director of the CI Sojourns Donor Stewardship Department. His wife is an attorney in Fredericksburg,VA.


97 Mr. Gordon B. Kellam Naples, FL (239) 514-1317

Eva Rose Holbrough, born on the Fourth of July to KEIRA MCKENNA HOLBROUGH ’92 and husband Cory, pictured with adoring siblings Brogan, 6, Jack, 4, and James, 2.



Mr. Bradley P. Hunt Marblehead, MA (978) 548-7237


Something to smile about! KRISTINA THAUTE MILLER ’97 and STUART MILLER ’97 welcomed their second son,

Erik Charles Miller. He is joined by his older brother, Andrew, who turned two in tinues to teach and act with Shakespeare & September. Company in Lenox, MA. In addition to being featured in the Boston Globe this spring with the company’s Shakespeare in Mr. Jason C. Rano the Courts, a program designed to work Washington, DC with Berkshire County youth sentenced through the juvenile court to perform in a (917) 838-9459 Shakespearean production, she also just completed a summer run as Mascarill in JASON RANO is working at Moliere’s “The Amorous Quarrel.” She Environmental Working Group in resides with her husband, David, in West Washington, D.C. lobbying to reform Stockbridge, MA. how toxic chemicals in everyday products are regulated. He got engaged in May, and he and his fiancée are planning a March 2011 wedding. Ms. Katherine C. Mahan JACKIE HALL ROBINSON is the creMarblehead, MA ative director and owner of 42 Pressed, a (781) 631-5673 high-end boutique letterpress company that she started about a year ago. The company debuted its designs (they have a wedMs. Tatum E. Vittengl ding line and a baby announcement line, Somerville, MA (518) 331-5855 JENNIE BURKHARD JADOW con-


MATT CASEY ‘93 (left) with son Graham and MATT SKINNER ‘93 with son Henry.

Matt Casey and his wife Elisabeth are godparents to Henry Skinner, and Matt and Tina Skinner are godparents to Graham Casey.


SARAH GEE ’94 with her son Otto Vincent Guttormsson. Sarah reports, “My little guy just turned one! We had a big party up on Mt. Riga. ETHAN GEE ’92 and ELIOT WALSH ’92 were there with their families to help beat the piñata to smithereens.”

Ms. Julie A. Lemire New York, NY (617) 491-6165 TIM RENYI and his wife, Hannah, welcomed their first child, Emma Caroline Renyi, on October 2, 2010. Congratulations to the Renyi family!


Emma Caroline Renyi

this early 2029 yearbook photo for Elinore." GEORGE SCOVILLE writes, “I recently took over as Manager of New Media at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, DC. I can be reached at My girlfriend Emily Passini and I are living very happily in Alexandria,VA with our dog Juno (a Midwestern American terrorist).”

00 Ms. Brooke T. Beebe Avon, CO (617) 960-6357

JULIE RUBINSTEIN ’97 married Nik Bronder in Chicago, on May 1. Among those in the wedding party were AMANDA WHEELER ‘97 and ALEISHA CABANIOL GIBBONS ‘97.

MARANNIE RAWLS-PHILIPPE writes, “I am currently living in New York City working as a personal trainer for a center for preventative medicine in Manhattan. I recently got back from playing the Vans Warped Tour and am now training for La Grande Classique, a 16k race from the base of the Eiffel Tower to Versailles.”


Dan Gulotta, brother of BRIAN GULOTTA ’97 and son of Debbie and longtime teacher Bill Gulotta, married Dr. Camille Puronen on June 19, with the reception held at Berkshire. Dan teaches social studies at Open Windows, an independent private elementary school in Bellevue, Wash., founded by Bill Gates. Camille is in her first-year residency at the University of Washington Hospital. Needless to say, Berkshire was well represented at the event.

as well as a few pieces of social stationery) at the National Stationery Show in May, and was recently featured on The Bride’s Guide, Martha Stewart’s wedding website. JONATHAN GOLDBERG reports that he is opening a new restaurant on 26th & Park Avenue in New York City called The Hurricane Club, by Fourth Wall Restaurants. It will be a “Polynesian Supper Club with a Tiki concept and a club attached next door with the largest and most elaborate cocktail menu in the country. All are welcome to come visit me.”

TODD BALLABAN ’99 with his fiancée, Amy O’Connor, of Floral Park, N.Y. Todd writes, “We will be getting married on July 9, 2011, in Southern California. Both of us have been teaching at Brentwood School in Los Angeles for six years.”

99 Mr. Michael D. Gutenplan Los Angeles, CA (646) 241-9052 Proud papa SCOTT GORDON '99 writes, "My wife Jennie and I are now proud parents. Elinore Judith Gordon was born on November 5, 2010 and was 6 lbs 3 oz. Mom and baby are doing really well and, in the Berkshire spirit, we managed

Elinore Judith Gordon


in the process. In January, Michaela joins the Peace Corps and heads for the Frenchspeaking country of Mali in West Africa. Trouble is, she speaks little French. So she’s been auditing two French courses this fall, including M. Joassaint’s French III, pictured below. Michaela, a former star of the Berkshire stage, is the daughter of teachers R.G. Meade and Anna Romano and the sister of AARON ROMANO-MEADE ‘99 . All four of them have gone into the Peace Corps. Other Berkshire alumni who have served in Mali include EMILY FOX ’02 , FLETCHER BOUVIER ’04 and HANNAH NEAGLE ’04. ELIZABETH SCOVILLE reports, “For JESSE TABER ’00 with his wife Megan after their wedding ceremony in May. Jesse reports, “Unfortunately, Reunion Weekend ended up falling on the same weekend as my wedding so I wasn’t able to attend. We’re currently living in Tallahassee where I work as a software engineer. I hope to take my wife Megan up to Berkshire someday to show her how beautiful the campus is in person.”

01 Ms. Shannon M. Flynn Falls Church, VA (949) 278-7426

the past four years I’ve been traveling around the world, sailing aboard Holland America Line ships in the Entertainment Department. I’m currently the Party Planner on their second newest ship, the MS Eurodam. I’ve been to six continents and met some truly amazing people! After meeting so many wonderful people from


ALEX BARRETT ’01 is at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies working on his Master of Forestry.

02 Mr. Matthew P. Sposito New York, NY (860) 368-2457


is taking a post-graduate year of sorts back at Berkshire and getting a few suspicious looks from her new schoolmates CHARLES HARRIS ‘01 and Horiana Isac were married on August 7 in her native Brosov, Romania. His sister, Elizabeth Harris ‘11, was a bridesmaid. Also in attendance was his advisor at Berkshire, former English teacher and associate admissions director MacGregor Robinson. The couple honeymooned in Greece and Italy and now live in Manhattan.

DAVE EVERETT sent in the following update: “This year I expanded my newest media business internationally. KaOoga Mobile is now a leading mobile marketing software solutions provider for retailers and media conglomerates such as Bloomingdale’s and Yellowbook.”

MICHAELA ROMANO-MEADE ’02 and classmates


ELIZABETH SCOVILLE ’02 in front of the

Acropolis in mid-renovation in Athens.

won the Gold medal. Drafted 43rd overall in the NLL (indoor league) to the Philadelphia Wings. I started working for the Royal Bank of Scotland in August as a fixed income sales analyst.”

AMANDA COOLEY ’03 married Graeme Donaldson on August 12, 2010 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, California before 60 joyful family members and friends. They continued to Texas and Toronto for subsequent receptions before heading off to Amsterdam in September.

03 Ms. Jane B. Walker Arlington, VA (772) 696-0855

Ms. Emily K. Lichtenberg Poughkeepsie, NY (845) 471-1386 PARKER MCKEE writes, “I led the Duke lacrosse team as a co-captain to win the school’s first National Championship in lacrosse. Drafted 4th overall in the MLL to the Long Island Lizards. Lost in the finals against the Bayhawks. Was one of two alternates on the US National Lacrosse team that participated in the FIL World games and

KELSEY FORD ’06 on the set of the movie Vampires Suck with fellow actress Jenn Proske. Kelsey writes, “I have had a pretty good year so far. I had a relatively big part in the movie Vampires Suck, and I just finished shooting the new Alan Ball pilot (Six Feet Under and True Blood creator) for a new HBO series. I will be a series regular in that once it goes to series! The pilot is called All Signs of Death and is based on a book by Charlie Huston, The Mystic Art of Erasing All Signs of Death. I’m really proud of both projects but obviously the show will be a pretty big deal if it gets picked up so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!”

04 Mr. William C. Stern


Houston, TX (713) 961-0040

05 Mr. Matthew G. Crowson Hanover, NH (315) 664-0070 Mr. Ryan M. Farrell Columbus, OH (403) 239-3547

06 Ms. Courtney J. Kollmer Mendham, NJ (973) 813-7314


different cultures and backgrounds at Berkshire, as well as traveling to Ecuador with Mr. Morley, I knew a life at sea would be perfect for me! I miss it under the mountain, and I’m so thankful for all that Berkshire has done for me.”

The Class of 2010 at Hobart William Smith was well represented by the Class of 2006 at Berkshire: from left, Alex Hancock, daughter of WOODY HANCOCK ‘67 ; CHRIS HALE; CHIP SIARNACKI ; and CHRIS DRAKE, son of BILL DRAKE ‘73.




Ms. Allison A. Letourneau Chesapeake, VA (603) 397-2308

Ms. Melissa M. Fogarty Canton, NY (413) 329-6118

Mr. Casey A. Larkins Darien, CT (203) 273-6759

Ms. Erica Ginsberg Durnham, NH (518) 821-0875

09 Ms. Molly L. Ryan Palm Beach Gardens, FL (203) 216-3111 Mr. Gregory T. Piatelli Sheffield, MA (413) 429-7372

10 Ms. Shannon E. Nelson Stratford, CT (203) 502-1548


Mr. Christopher B. Landry Wilton, CT (203) 767-0138

76 JON “DJ” WIENNER ’08 was featured in the November 9 issue of the New York Post in an article headlined “Young spinner takes all.” The lead paragraph: “Jon Wienner is too young to drink. But that hasn’t stopped the baby-faced 20-year-old from spending the past three years in some of the city’s most exclusive dens of debauchery. It helps that he’s being paid as much as $1,000 a night to deejay.” The youngest disc jockey signed to 4AM, the top management service for deejays, Jon is attending New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, majoring in—you guessed it, deejaying. As a deejay for WBSL at Berkshire, he brought his own turntables to the station, and frequently played for school dances. He’s pictured here at Prize Night 2008 with classmates KAYLA ARSENIE and ABBY TUFTS.


In Memoriam Following is a list of alumni and former faculty and staff members whose deaths have been reported in the last year. Their obituaries appear in the Milestones/In Memoriam section of the ‘Shire, the alumni section of the school’s Web site ( To send obituaries or remembrances of classmates, please email

FREDERICK S. PETERS ’28 WW II vet, stockbroker, vegetable gardener.

E. HAFFNER FOURNIER ’56 Businessman active in community


ADRIAN W. BUISCH ’72 Newspaperman, Babe Ruth League coach

HENRY CURRY ESTABROOK ’33 Container exec, lawyer.

ANTHONY WYCKOFF WOODFIELD ’57 Mountaineer, linguist, career humanitarian, avalanche survivor

LLOYD GROSS ’37 High school track star, TV director

KEVIN J. MAHER ’57 Defense attorney

GEORGE DICK FINLAY III ’39 Fisherman, skier, protector of rivers

SAMUEL G. CURTIS ’58 Former Berkshire all-school president, writer, outdoorsman

ARNOLD ALDEN WHITEHOUSE ’40 Army pilot, paper man, Down Easter


WILLIAM H. RENTSCHLER ’43 Pulitzer Prize nominee, US Senate candidate

HENRY HOLBROOK WILLIAMS ’43 WW II Bronze Star awardee, banker, Rockwell Museum trustee and CFO THOMAS BUCKINGHAM BLAIR ’44C Jeweler, inner-city school volunteer HENRY MARTIN WHITE ’44C Longtime corporate banker LAWRENCE DAVIDSON ’45 Prominent Conn. college administrator

RICHARD ROSE ’71 Silicone Valley computer programmer DANIEL MONROE FRITZ ’78 Outdoorsman, was football MVP at Berkshire School PETER MCCURRACH ’62 Accomplished chef, brother and son of Berkshire alumni SUSAN ANNE BOEHLKE FETZNER ’83 Neuropsychologist, mother of twin boys SCOTT MURRAY ’91 Adventurer who seized every day CALEY LARKIN ’04 URI graduate

JOHN H. SCHULTZ ’45 Raised Shetland ponies, WW II vet CALVIN “BART” FARNSWORTH II ’49 Sailor, Pats fan, father of two alumni

Former Faculty and Staff

JOHN “JACK” KINNANE ’49 World War II vet, proud union man

Dorothy Curtis School postmistress

JAMES R. WASHBURN ’52 Army sharpshooter, arborist

Robert W. Minnerly Fifth headmaster of Berkshire School


Carol Pollock Math teacher, mother of an alumna

COURTLANDT D.B. BRYAN ’54 Author of Friendly Fire, serialized in The New Yorker SPENCER FIELD ’54 Skiier, sailor, watercolorist



JOSEPH I. WHITTLESEY ’41 WW II medal winner, GE engineer

LEIGHTON “LARRY” ALLISON HOPE JR., ’65 Woodworker, brother of two Berkshire alumni


Man in a maelstrom Two of his faculty remember Bob Minnerly, who died on June 1 at the age of 75.


A graduate of Brown University and a Navy pilot, Bob Minnerly came to Berkshire School as an English teacher in 1966 and, four years later, at age 35, succeeded the legendary John Godman as the school’s fifth headmaster. His complete obituary appears in the ‘Shire, Berkshire’s alumni Web site.


Susan Young: Bob Minnerly was the most decent of men. He was the bridge between the old and the new Berkshire, a transition difficult for the Board of Trustees to understand. It was the early 1970’s; the entire country was changing, protesting the Vietnam conflict. The Board, for the most part, consisted of men who had graduated from Berkshire in the 1940’s and 1950’s, a time when private education naturally led to Ivy League schools and the Little Three. The Board could not understand that Berkshire students were attending colleges and universities where they fit, and from which they graduated as competent, contributing citizens remembering Berkshire as a place that set them on their way. It was not simple for these men to whom Berkshire meant so much to see the students attending meals at will, indulging in sanctioned smoking, and not wearing jackets and ties. Bob Minnerly saw the future here. He adjusted his thinking, using his warm humor, sense of fair play, and desire for all the students to succeed in carrying the School through this time. Berkshire survived a difficult period; Bob did not, but left with a graciousness that set an example for everyone. Tom and I came to Berkshire in our late twenties. Bob was a large part of our lives in our younger years. He served as John Godman’s assistant. One of Bob’s tasks was to be the gobetween if a faculty member had a problem or complaint before the unhappy faculty member made a major issue of the annoyance. As a small example, we lived in Godman. As luck would have it, there was no soundproofing between faculty apartments or between students rooms and faculty apartments. Was I going to have the temerity to complain to John Godman


that students, who were in the newspaper room in the basement below our apartment, had commented to us through the floor about what they heard in our bathroom? Never would I have approached John Godman, but Bob was right there. I said my piece, Bob winced, and the soundproofing began the next day. Years later, we had a good laugh about it. Bob treated the faculty the same way he treated the students: with fairness, enthusiasm, great good humor, and a desire to see that we all did our best as teachers and mentors to young people. His decency set a standard for all those who had an opportunity to live in his circle. After Berkshire, Bob spent years in Texas and the Pacific Northwest as Head of Charles Wright Academy before returning to Texas a few short years ago. Tom and I have always felt fortunate that each year while Bob and Sandra lived in Gig Harbor, Wash., we were able to visit again as friends and colleagues. Mark and Nancy Jo Jander were there also. They would come to our island home; we would go to Gig Harbor. Each visit was filled with uproarious laughter and a common love of Berkshire. It took Tom and me a while to realize just what Bob Minnerly’s impact on our lives and the institution we all loved had been. At the beginning of our teaching careers, we had come into contact with a man whose optimistic view of the world and whose standard of decency would guide us for the rest of our lives. We miss him and hope that he knew the difference he made in many lives.

Susan Young was assistant librarian at Berkshire School from 1968 to 1973 and head librarian from 1973 to 1995.


1916; there have been none since.



tender for his JV hockey team, and in a classic Minnerly leap of logic and faith, he talked me into being his goalie—because I Depending on who wanted the blame, I was either John had been a catcher for him in baseball. In an even longer leap, Godman’s last hire or Bob Minnerly’s first. In September of my I agreed and tottered out on the ice at the Boys’ Club rink in senior year at Kenyon, I sent a letter to Mr. Godman asking Pittsfield (our own “natural” ice in Rovensky was not ready). about openings at Berkshire or other nearby prep As a goalie, I was a great catcher, but Bob stayed with me the schools. Three days later, and much to my shock, he called. In entire season; I think my style of play amused him. I recall classic Godman fashion, he asked how I might respond if he trips to and from games, crammed into his pea-soup green Saab offered me a teaching position. Without much thought, I 94, a car only a pilot could love with its odd aerodynamic shape replied that I would accept his offer. He declared the deal and two-stroke engine. Over that one funny season, he instilled done, but after some dead air, asked if I was walking around in me a life-long love for the game, and thanks to Bob, I kept Kenyon in a toga and sandals or had hair like Jesus—the closest playing into my thirties. He was a great coach, and although he John could come to conjuring a hippie. I told him I looked was a ferocious competitor, he was equally patient, and we about as I had at graduation four years earlier. He was reasalways knew we had his support. sured, and we sealed the deal after about five minutes of conOn my return to Berkshire in 1970 as a teacher, I found a versation—the shortest and oddest job interview I ever had. very different school. As the email announcing Bob’s death In the spring, Bob was announced as the newly appointed noted, he became head at a “turbulent” moment in the headmaster. He and Sandra invited us to campus in the spring school’s history. Turbulent only begins to capture the anarchy for a visit. It was a great weekend: Sandra’s classic chicken that infected the school as the culture of the sixties trickled Florentine on the menu and a round or two or three of cockdown into the prep schools. Furthermore, turbulent suggests tails with a number of my old teachers and some of the new that one can remain afloat, tossed and rolled, but relatively faculty. Bob and Sandra were wonderfully welcoming and put safe. The early seventies were a soul-sucking social maelstrom aside the work at hand (within a year, I understood what that of immense anarchic force that tore apart the world of the meant!) to spend the weekend with us. Thanks to Bob and independent school. Sandra’s hospitality, it was a lovely reintroduction to Berkshire. So Bob took on the headship at an immensely difficult Six years earlier, Bob had arrived in the midst of my time at moment in Berkshire’s history—the nation’s history, for that Berkshire as a student. He was a personable, warm guy who matter. There are probably many different takes on his headseemed somewhat at odds with the crusty, distant old-line facship, and I recall vividly the expressions of anger and outrage ulty. It may have been his years in the Navy where he had to from faculty and faculty spouses (and more than a few of the work with kids from many different backgrounds, but Bob “good kids”) about how he ran the school and the lack of disalways seemed more relaxed and kinder to us than most of the cipline. In truth, any institution relies on the acquiescence of faculty. Sandra was a nurse, and, only in her mid-30s, she was the inmates, and after decades of compliance, many students (as Tom Chaffee would say) a toothsome addition to the infirsimply refused—they just said no to room inspections and hairmary staff of Miss Hendricks, Miss Boardman, and Mrs. cuts and jackets and ties and family-style meals. In truth, John Anderson, who were “of a certain age.” Godman had not so much retired as retreated, unable to underAlthough Bob never taught me, he coached me in JV footstand or cope with this new generation of students who decidball and baseball junior year. In my senior year, he had no goal- ed that the rules no longer applied. It was a Berkshire that was unrecognizable to me after only a four-year absence, filled with students who were hardly interested in following rules and traditions that had been in effect for decades. Faculty tried (in vain) to bring some discipline to the campus, but in the end, it was just easier to push the drugs and drinking out of the dorms and into the woods where the students built increasingly sophisticated cabins. Classes were somewhat better, but most students regarded us as hopelessly antiquated and quaint, puzzled by our passion for topics that were hardly relevant and enforcing a code of conduct apparently brought down from the mountain by Moses. There were some great kids The young headmaster and his family: wife Sandra, a nurse at Berkshire, and sons JOHN ’79 and SCOTT at Berkshire who did follow the rules, ’76 . Daughter Sydney would be the first child born to a Berkshire headmaster since Seaver Buck Jr. in but the anarchists exhausted faculty for-



Bob Minnerly taking in a game with his predecessor, John Godman.


bearance, and as a result most everyone was frustrated and angry, most of the time. Further complications arose because John Godman had devoted his life to raising Berkshire to the level of Taft and Hotchkiss, but just as Berkshire was coming even, the A-list schools accelerated away, raising their enrollments to five hundred as they went coed and building campuses that rivaled small colleges. Berkshire could not keep pace, in admissions or in fundraising. Admissions in this era was a casual, part-time enterprise; marketing was unheard of, and schools—especially Berkshire, which had nearly doubled in size in the late sixties— were caught short by a sharp demographic dip in the early seventies and took some marginal students to fill all the beds. The threat was real and near as we watched Lenox, Cranwell, and Foxhollow struggle and close. Fundraising was no better. Mr. Godman had funded his aspirations from a small group of donors and trustees loyal to him, and Berkshire hadn’t the broad-based, institutionalized fundraising program it has today. In fact, the only full-time administrators were Godman and the business manager, Ernie Olinsky—everyone else taught at least part-time. When Bob took over in July of 1970, he found himself at the helm of an under-funded, under-staffed, overmatched school full of rebellious kids and disgruntled faculty in the midst of a cultural typhoon. To his great credit, Bob somehow managed to steer the school clear. He kept his considerable temper in check and maintained his outward calm and decency and great good cheer—certain that the storm would finally end. It did, but not before it cost him his job. Following Godman’s two decades would have been hard enough, but disaffected faculty (and students both good and not-so-good) loudly questioned the way Bob ran the school. The criticisms found the ears of trustees who held Bob solely responsible. Maybe it was ultimately his responsibility, but no one who was not there could possibly understand the pressures he (and the school) were under, the erosion of faculty support, and the endless chaos sustained by the students. A lesser man would have given in far sooner. There might be some debate, and there’s no malice in

The plaid-clad Mr. Minnerly with faculty members Tom Dixon and Mark Jander.

my observation, but I submit that the string of short-term heads following Bob is evidence enough of how difficult the job was and, through the lens of history, how good he was. His epitaph seems simple enough: a good man did what was asked of him without complaint, without respite, without relief. Berkshire owes Bob Minnerly a huge debt of gratitude, and it is no overstatement to claim that he saved Berkshire School.


DWIGHT HATCHER ’66, pictured here

as a teacher at Berkshire, taught English from 1970 to 1976.

Minnerly Field Last April, the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Wash., named its baseball field in honor of Mr. Minnerly, who was headmaster there from 1986 to 1996. Upon hearing the news, a wag sent Mr. Minnerly the following ditty: Chitown has its Wrigley and U.S. Cellular too, And Rockies play at Coors, as in the bourgeois brew, The Metsies have their Citi and the Diamondbacks their Chase, Progressive is in Cleveland and Target the Twins’ place, Safeco’s in Seattle,Tropicana in Tampa Bay, Turner is the teepee in which the Braves do play, But now it seems Tacoma has the best field for any ball, Because the name of Minnerly stands far above them all. To which Mr. Minnerly replied, in a reference to the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center’s being called the Jack, “I cannot wait until they announce: Today’s game will be played at the Bob.”

Frances de Villafranca, the widow of former teacher and athletic director Edward “Coe” de Villafranca and a “mother” to many students and faculty children from 1947 to 1954, died on August 9 at her home in North Canaan, Conn. The de Villafrancas, whose children Jill and Richard were born under the Mountain and whose son Ted was director of college counseling and sixth-form dean here, lived in the original Allen House and then Keep House. Longtime Berkshire postmistress Dorothy Curtis died on November 4.

Remembering Scott Murray By CHARLIE BROWN ’91 Scott and I were roommates during our senior year at Berkshire. We were prefects in Stanley Dormitory and lived in the lap of luxury back then in what we called “the palace,” as the prefect room was much bigger than the other rooms. We had our own bathroom and shower, a phone, and a TV with rabbit ears. The room even had an attic where Scott hung a rope ladder and put some furniture up there. When I visited Berkshire for the Centennial, I found out “the palace” no longer exists and I started to think about the year we shared together. When I learned that Scott passed away, I was encouraged to put some of those thoughts on paper. While we were both hockey players, we couldn’t have been more different. Scott was our captain and his job was to put the puck in the net; as an undersized goaltender, my job was to keep the puck out of our net. When I came to Berkshire, my life revolved around hockey, but Scott played the game with a care-free attitude. He was the most gifted player on the team, but it always seemed like he could take the game or leave it. He had other dreams and aspirations. Scott always lived life on his own terms. Whereas I might be up all night studying for a calculus exam, Scott would sneak



The author, right, with Scott Murray.

out of the dorm and spend the night up on the mountain, even in the middle of winter, and make it back in time for his first class of the day. Scott lived life his way by his own rules. He loved being on that mountain, loved rock climbing, and loved riding his bike while at Berkshire. While other prefects helped out with study halls and bed checks, it seemed the only responsibility Scott and I had was trying to remember who kept what in our refrigerator. I remember one late night when Scott held a boxing match and I did the commentary. The entire dorm packed its way into the 2nd floor head to see the big match and it was one of the funniest things I ever saw. Mr. Ellerton (the dorm head) wasn’t too happy with us, but it was an event that was great for the spirit of the dorm. We laughed about the whole thing for days on end. What’s neat about the story is that was Scott’s way of making sure everybody was included, that nobody was left out. He was the kind of guy where actions spoke louder than words. While I may not have told him, I looked up to Scott. He was the big brother I never had, and I learned many life lessons from him. Some of them didn’t sink in until years after graduation, but they were finally learned. I’ve never met anybody who was as comfortable in his own skin as Scott. While I was just a boy trying to stumble his way through adolescence, Scott was already a man, a few years older and he seemed to have the whole thing figured out. Although we only corresponded a few times after graduation, I think about Scott quite often and remember our time at Berkshire together quite fondly. I know that he made me a better person, whether he knew it or not. I will miss my friend. Carpe diem, Scottie.


Lloyd Gross (second from left) on the set of “What’s My Line” with former heavyweight champions Jack Sharkey (1929-1930, 1931-1933), James J. Braddock (1935-1937) and Jack Dempsey (1919-1926).


A long life well-lived


Former trustees president JAMES R. ANDERSON HON. 80, pictured here at a board meeting in January 1981, died on June 3 at his home in Hamden, Conn., at the age of 90. Jim Anderson’s Berkshire roots ran deep: he was the father of four, including DAVIS ANDERSON ‘68 , the late JIMMY ANDERSON ‘61 and the late PETER LANCE ANDERSON ‘65, and the grandfather of six, including TREY SIMPSON ‘02, ROBSON ANDERSON ‘09, and MARJORIE SIMPSON ‘10 . Married for 66 years to Peggy Anderson, who survives him, he was also the brother of longtime Berkshire librarian Alice Ann Chase and the brother-in-law of legendary faculty member Art Chase.

SUSAN BOEHLKE FETZNER ’83 died last January 15 at the age of 45. A Ph.D. in neuropsychology, Susan worked at the Palo Alto (Calif.) Veterans Hospital helping veterans with brain injuries and combat stress before she stepped down to care for her twin sons, Brian and Brendon. Her last four years gave new meaning to the term “devoted mother,” as she and her husband Bill diagnosed and began treatment for the boys’ autism. Her training in neuropsychology helped her to understand the challenges and treatment methods for dealing with this condition and her intense supervision and research allowed the boys to make considerable progress. Susan’s full obituary can be found on The ‘Shire, Berkshire’s alumni Web site.


And a colorful one, indeed. Before coming to Berkshire, LLOYD GROSS ’37, who died on October 16, excelled at football and track at Pittsfield (Mass.) High School. He held the Western Massachusetts Schoolboy record in the 220 for over 25 years, and was also unofficially clocked in the 100-yard dash at 9.4 seconds, equaling Jesse Owens' world record of the time. After graduating from Berkshire, he attended Tufts University. During World War II he served as a captain in the infantry, and was awarded the Silver Star during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he joined the staff of the fledgling CBS Television Network in New York City, where he eventually became a producer-director, working with such luminaries as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. He and Yul Brynner shared an office at CBS during Yul's short time as a television director. Lloyd went on to direct many shows during the “Golden Age of TV” including “The Perry Como Show” (for which he was awarded the Michael Award, later known as the Emmy), “The Mel Torme Show” (Mel was best man at his wedding), “Tonight on Broadway”, “I Remember Mama”, “The Miss America Pageants”, “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades”, “What's My Line?”, “To Tell The Truth”, and “Who Do You Trust” with Johnny Carson. (His hero, Jesse Owens, was a guest on “What’s My Line?”, and his autographed picture was a favorite of Lloyd’s.) In addition to his wife, Ginny, survivors include sons Carey and Jeffrey and three grandchildren.

And a life far too short. CALEY CHRISTINA LARKIN ’04 of Alford, Mass., died unexpectedly on October 17. After graduating from Berkshire, Caley earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island in 2009. Besides her parents, Dick and Beth Larkin, survivors include her brother, Ryan, and her grandmothers Eunice Raifstanger and Gloria Larkin.

Remembering Caley Christina Larkin ‘04 By EMILY A. FLAKE ‘04 and KRAIG D. STRONG ‘04

CALEY LARKIN '04 (left) with cousin ASHLI HEADY STASZKO '02.

In the summers following 2004, the close-knit group of classmates perennially congregated on Berkshire Trout Lake beneath the shadow of Mt. Everett. Everyone knew when Caley had arrived. She would pull into the driveway, blond hair, big sunglasses and a huge smile, bellowing from a distance, “What’d ya say?” The best of times were spent sitting around the dock, floating around on makeshift watercrafts in the hot summer sun, or assembling around the fire at night, all while reminiscing about the “good old days” at Berkshire. We all wished we could turn back time and relive some of the memorable and significant experiences that had molded us as friends. “Caley was there on every road trip, small or grand,” ADRIAN CUSHWA ’04 recollects. Even today we can still hear our anthem by Kenny Chesney: “…And I go back to watchin’ summer fade to fall/Growin’ up too fast and I do recall/ Wishin’ time would stop right in its tracks/Every time I hear that song, I go back…” Caley lived, laughed and loved her way through life. Among her trademarks was her love of pickles, pasta, and Buffalo wings. She was always up for watching sporting events and was an avid fan of anything Boston. She was always smiling with a bubbly complexion and perky attitude, always looking for a good time and good people to share it with. She was outspoken, audacious, bold, and beautiful. Caley’s death, although unexpected and tragic, will not be marked by sadness. Like the sudden passing of Larry Piatelli, it has brought the Berkshire community together—especially her friends and family, who were honored to have her in their lives. Caley brought joy to many—the sheer mass of people her memorial service is testimony to the countless lives she touched. She will forever be remembered for her laughter, smile, and the love she shared with us all.



Eight months before the Class of 2004 graduated, an unpredictable tragedy shook the Berkshire community to its core: Lawrence T. Piatelli passed away early in his tenure as head of school. Although his time at Berkshire was brief, he instilled values of gracious living that still resonate among all who knew him. Six autumns later, the Class of 2004 sustained another traumatic loss, that of a dear friend, Caley Christina Larkin. Caley was a four-year senior at Berkshire School, spending two years as a day student and two as a boarder in Spurr. Many recall Caley as the beautiful “blond streak” constantly in motion. (Her speed is not surprising since Caley’s father, Dickie, and brother, Ryan, are accomplished dirt-track race car drivers.) Even Caley’s speech was hasty, paralleling that of a radio ad disclaimer. During Caley’s memorial service, Rev. Charles Van Ausdall described an instance of her speedy demeanor. After being pulled over in Egremont for speeding, Caley gave the officer her driver’s license. Inspecting it, the officer asked if she was the daughter of Beth and Dickie Larkin. After confirming her relation, the officer responded, “You look like your mother, but you drive like your father.” Caley did not receive a speeding ticket that day; however, she was warned to mind her speed, because the officer knew it was in her blood. Caley was vibrant and captivating in all things, and an intensely loving friend. “She went out of her way to give people compliments and was always full of kind words for others,” recalls DUNCAN MACFARLANE ’04 . She was passionate about her family and cared tremendously about those around her. One of Caley’s dearest friends and companions was her golden retriever, Molly. Caley’s love for Molly was apparent as soon as Caley crossed the threshold of her home in Alford, Mass. Molly, although large in stature, has the mind-set of a lap dog due to Caley’s nurturing affection from puppyhood. Caley showed a similar devotion to her friends from Berkshire, with whom she formed a lasting bond during high school and in the years since graduation. A sisterhood bloomed between Caley and her girlfriends in Spurr. Many remember their animated conversations ranging from boys to the most efficient ways to bend the dress code without jeopardizing stylistic integrity. Mornings for Caley and the Spurr girls were routinely hectic as they raided each other’s closets and critiqued each other’s outfits, as close sisters do.


An excerpt from THE GREEN AND GRAY, OCTOBER 6, 1920



And the walls came tumblin’ down. Time ran out last summer for Memorial Hall, much of it vacant for the past decade, and Glenny House, totally empty almost that long. Built in 1920 and for decades the heart of the school, Memorial, pictured here in its heyday in the 1950s, was closed as a dormitory in 2003 and was in serious disrepair, while Glenny House was built in 1919 as Mr. Buck’s house and converted into a girls’ dormitory in the 1980’s. Plans call for a new math and science center on the site, with construction tentatively slated to begin next fall.


Workers carefully remove the memorial arch, which lists Berkshire’s WWI dead, from over the former headmaster’s office. The arch and the two side panels listing the alumnae who served and lived to tell about it will be moved to Berkshire Hall..

Beneath the carpet in Memorial Hall lobby workers discovered a compass inlaid into the floor tile. It was removed and is in storage.


A cornerstone bearing the date June 7, 1919, was removed from the Memorial courtyard where the building met Allen. Eager archivist Twiggs Myers was on hand to open the rusted metal box within, which, according to an old copy of The Dome, contained copies of the first and last catalog of Berkshire School, the first and last issue of The Dome, Mr. Loring’s address at the building’s dedication, a copy of the dedication program, and a photo of Mr. Buck’s headmaster at Hackley School. But little of it remained once Mr. Myers jimmied the lock and looked inside.



Nothing subtle about the demolition company’s name.

Before demolition could begin, Memorial and Allen had to be separated via a cut made by an 18-inch chain saw, and a chop saw for the concrete.


Everyone stopped to catch the drama, from the workers in Allen to passing faculty and staff to a robin on a doomed roof.


The grabber ate through the building’s 46,464 square feet in short order.


With the felling of the final chimney, Memorial Hall tumbled into history.


In a prelude to the demolition of Memorial, the former headmaster’s house and girls’ dormitory came down in a single morning, with the chimney again the final act.

Oh, yes... Glenny’s gone, too!


As we say goodbye to Glenny, let’s remember her at her loveliest, courtesy of this photo by BOB WITKOWSKI ’66.


Berkshire School Archives C. TWIGGS MYERS, PROPRIETOR

What vintage is this swine? Why is Porky Pig inside the school seal? What does the text say? And who’s responsible? Satisfy Mr. Myers’s curiosity and win an item of your choice from the Berkshire School Bookstore. E-mail answers to or write: Myers Mystery Contest, Berkshire Bulletin, Berkshire School, Sheffield MA 01257


NANCY CADY MURPHY ’74 , who should know: she’s in the picture. “The very FIRST girls soccer team @ Berkshire in the fall of 1971—the first year of boarding girls at Berkshire. We did a lot of running in practice! Front left: KATHY PUTNUM, NANCY CADY, MINDY BROOKS, CHERIE KNIGHT, KITTY FISHER, CAROL MAGHERY. ” Nancy, whose nickname here was “Bat” because she worked in the kitchen, was also on the first girls’ lacrosse team in the spring of 1974. Also weighing in were KENT CHAMBERLAIN ‘75 (“I had a big crush on Cheri Knight”), SKIP MASON ’74, JOHN B.HULL ’51, DAVE MATTHEWS ’72 and DOUG HITCHCOCK ’73 (”This is bad, really bad. I was there when that photo was taken and I know the girls, but I can't remember what was going on....I just want to know why Kitty was the only one wearing long pants?”)


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Berkshire Bulletin 2010  

The Berkshire School Bulletin is a magazine for Berkshire alumni, parents and friends.