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Summer 2015

PA R E N T S A S S O C I AT I O N B E N E F I T HONORS BOARD PRESIDENT

James S. Chanos

Summer 2015

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a rt i n f o c u s

URSA MAJOR Browning Boys From All Divisions 19” x 12” High Fire Clay and Glaze

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contents

Summer 2015 FEATURES

4

Board President James S. Chanos Steps Down

DEPARTMENTS

8 Citizen Scientists Contribute to Biodiversity Day

21 Alumnus in the News

18 Faculty Symposium 22

42 The Local Buzz

Culture and Camaraderie: Form II Explores D.C.

28 Grandparents/Special Friends Day 30 2015 Graduation, Matriculation & Prizes 38

3 From the Headmaster

54 Fine and Performing Arts 64 Athletics 68 Alumni Events 82 Class Notes

2105 Spring Benefit Honors James S. Chanos

60 Summer Stipends

Art in Focus (facing page): Art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis explain the background of the sculpture presented to Board of Trustees President James S. Chanos, honoree of the 2015 Parents Association Spring Benefit: “Knowing that Mr. Chanos collects from the heart and supports young artists, we set out to give him something that embodies the creative spirit of the School. Worked on by over 150 boys, this sculpture brings together the many talents, forms

and marks that can only be made by boys at specific times in their development. We were amazed to see the boys generate and execute their ideas with tremendous confidence. This project went from guiding the force of a hurricane, to a self-guided collaboration among small groups, to a young artist working alone.” One of the most delightful things about conducting this project was that not one boy stopped to question the outcome, according to Messrs. Vlahos and Davis. “Instead, the boys

showed unwavering enthusiasm for the act of working together. They also showed true courage by taking on individual tasks throughout the process. The finished product successfully captures the energy and ‘grytte’ that we so often see in our boys. This sculpture conveys what we set out to do every day as an art department: to teach our students that experimenting and taking risks is a way to understand and learn about ourselves and our place in the world.”

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ON THE COVER James S. Chanos, who retired from the Browning Board of Trustees after 17 years, including 15 as President, was honored at the Parents Association Spring Benefit in May. Tributes to Mr. Chanos appear throughout this issue, with remarks by Headmaster Clement on page 3 and an article by Chris Russo ’15 starting on page 4.

MISSION STATEMENT Founded in 1888 as a college preparatory school for boys, The Browning School continues its commitment to the goals of John A. Browning: the pursuit of academic excellence and

BUZZER STAFF Stephen M. Clement, III, Headmaster Melanie S. McMahon, Director of Publications, Buzzer Editor Laura N. Lanigan, Director of Alumni Affairs

a lifelong love of learning,

the belief in the dignity of the individual, and the development of personal integrity and responsibility to the broader community.

SUMMER BUZZER CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Murphy, Head Librarian Christopher Russo ’15 Megan Ryan, Chair, Modern Languages Andrew H. West ’92, Athletic Director Contributing photographers: Christine Bramble, Rossa Cole Photography, Christopher Dunham, Marty Hyman Photography by Lifetouch, Jeremy Katz ’04, Melanie McMahon, Laura Lanigan, Sanford Pelz ’71, Michael Soluri P ’18

The Browning boy develops amid these values. The Browning alumnus is a good citizen, sensitive to the needs of others, and respectful of divergent yet informed opinions. He is, in the best sense of the word, a gentleman.

Design by Misty Wilt Graphic Design LLC BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2014–15 James S. Chanos, President Stuart J. Ellman, Vice President Valda M. Witt, Vice President Richard L.N. Weaver ’75, Treasurer R. Thomas Herman ’64, Secretary Celeste A. Guth, Assistant Secretary H. Kenneth Metz, President, Parents Association Lisa Orange Elson, Vice President, Parents Association Michael P. Beys ’89, President, Alumni Association Stephen M. Clement, III, Headmaster Laura Z. Barket Wendy W. Brooks Paul A. Burke David E. Glaymon Elizabeth Granville-Smith Philip A. Hofmann Federico Infantino Ling S. Kwok Jeffrey M. Landes ’83

David J. Liptak Jeffrey S. Olson Raul Pineda Alka K. Singh Ellen Stafford-Sigg David N. Steck Sanjay Swani Deborah van Eck Robert D. Ziff

Mildred J. Berendsen, Honorary Trustee Allan L. Gropper, Honorary Trustee

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DIVERSITY STATEMENT The Browning School strives to create a diverse community in which all members are safe, respected and valued. We believe that in actively promoting a diverse learning environment, we are fostering intellectual, social and emotional growth for all. Recognizing and pursuing diversity, however, are not enough; we seek to transcend mere tolerance of differences and aspire to a celebration of the varied appearances, abilities, perspectives and values that characterize our community.

The Buzzer is published three times a year by The Browning School. The School may be reached at 212 838 6280. Website: www.browning.edu. The Browning School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-directed programs, or employment practices.


from the headmaster

Connections, Reflections: My Partnership With Board President Jim Chanos PARENTS ASSOCATION SPRING BENEFIT REMARKS, MAY 15, 2015 Welcome all,

and especially, welcome Jim. Tonight

Under your leadership, the Board will have completely rebuilt and transformed the school house.

Thank you from the parents, the teachers and the Trustees. And now, I’d like to be a bit more personal. You and

I want to

I share a love of Browning, of New York, of history, the

connections,

celebrate my 50th reunion next June, and this June, you

speak about about some of the ways

Jim Chanos is

connected to the

School, and we are connected to him. First, connections as

a parent. We are thrilled to have Nick, class of ’07, Michael, class of ’09, and Andrew, class of ’11, with us tonight. They are joined by their sister Lisa, an alumna of Hewitt and Nightingale, and their mother Amy. Welcome.

So Jim, some Browning math for you as an economist.

At 13 years each times three, I compute that you have

paid 39 years of Browning tuition. That translates into at least 78 regularly scheduled parent teacher conferences, and hundreds of milestones and special events: plays,

assemblies, games, graduations. And on top of that, you have received well over a thousand teacher reports. Next, connections with the faculty. As President

of the Board, you look out for all of us. You have been

arts... and Yale University. There I have a head start, as I celebrate your 35th. After 15 years of our Board PresidentHeadmaster partnership, I know you well by now, but I

wondered what you were like in 1980. Born in Milwaukee, with a time in Michigan, you lived at 2005 Michelle Drive in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and were proud of your Greek American heritage. At Yale you pursued a joint major:

economics and political science (and look where that led).

You rowed crew and were active on the Davenport College Social Committee, serving as chairman your junior and senior years. You were also senior class secretary.

In the Yale Class of 1980 yearbook as a senior, you

succinctly characterized your four years in New Haven: Freshman: “Wet behind the ears”

Sophomore: “Wise Fool” (here the Greek derivation of

the word “sophomore” slips in) Junior: “Still Learning”

Senior: “Experienced Beyond All Doubt”

And your stated career goal: “World leader.” Not too far

instrumental in establishing two endowed faculty chairs,

from the mark!

Browning and the state of the world are the highpoints of

dona farentes”/“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

identify as hotspots on the globe appear in lead stories in

large wooden equine sculpture on wheels, actually full of

And finally, connections with the Trustees. Rarely

to the gods and believing that the warring Greeks had all

and your annual reports to the faculty on the state of

our weekly Faculty Meeting calendar. Inevitably, what you The New York Times the next day, usually above the fold. does a meeting go by when you don’t urge us to focus on the faculty: enabling them to live, in your words, “with a modicum of middle class dignity.” You have led the

Board through many strategic plans and self studies. You have also championed two successful capital campaigns: one with a goal of $5 million where we raised $10, and

the other with a goal of $25 million where we raised $33.

Next you listed your favorite quote: “Timeo Danaos et Of course, this is a reference to the Trojan Horse, that

Greek warriors hiding inside. Thinking this horse to be a gift sailed away, the people of Troy wheeled the horse through their gates, and lo and behold. At nightfall, the Greek

soldiers slipped out of the horse and slaughtered the Trojans in their beds: a bloody tale that turned the course of the

Trojan War for the Greeks. “Timeo Danaos et dona farentes.” At Browning we have a different version of that story.

We LOVE Greeks who bear gifts: thank you, Jim!

Stephen M. Clement, III Headmaster

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A True Friend & Leader of Browning

James S. Chanos

2000-2015

PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

In April, Christopher Russo ’15, co-editorin-chief of the Browning Grytte student newspaper, had the opportunity to sit with James S. Chanos, who stepped down as President of the Browning Board of Trustees this year. Mr. Chanos reminisced with Chris about his many years on the Board for an article in the last edition of the Grytte for the school year. Chris also interviewed a number of people who have worked with Mr. Chanos and were pleased to describe his contributions to the School.

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After 17 years of service as a Trustee, with 15

endowment continues to grow today,” said

years as President, James S. Chanos P ’07, ’09, ’11

Mr. Chanos. Both men also raised money for

is retiring from The Browning School Board

Browning’s recently completed capital campaign,

of Trustees.

STRONG & TRUE.

In 1998, Headmaster Clement and previous Christopher Russo ’15

Mr. Chanos has also worked closely with the

Board of Trustees President Allan Gropper

faculty, advocating for raising teacher salaries. Part

approached Mr. Chanos with the opportunity

of the reason he cares so deeply for Browning’s

to become a Board member, and he gladly

faculty stems from the fact that he himself teaches

accepted. “We believed he had valuable ideas to

at Yale University. “Jim is passionate about

offer,” said Mr. Clement.

education, and he has an unquenching thirst for

During his almost 20 years on the Board, Mr. Chanos sent all three of his sons to Browning.

knowledge,” said David Glaymon P ’25. Mr. Chanos has been instrumental in raising

“By sending my boys to the School, I knew they

funds and inspiring others to create endowed

wouldn’t fall through the cracks. I had three very

teaching chairs at the School, including the

different boys, but Browning was the best place

Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities

for all three,” he noted.

and the STEM Chair. He believes it is important

Mr. Chanos has been instrumental in helping

to “reward” the faculty who have been “the rock

guide Mr. Clement to further grow the School

upon which the School is built.” Dean of Faculty

in terms of both its academics and its physical

Michael Ingrisani has deemed the last 17 years

plant. During his time on the Board, “Browning

“The Chanos Era,” calling this period a “time of

has become more rigorous and more selective,”

growth for both students and faculty.”

said Mr. Chanos. He has also helped plan

On April 29, the four chairholders of Browning

the School’s renovation in the last few years,

each made presentations focused on the

resulting in a seamless combination of three

current state of the School and their visions for

small buildings into one.

the future. During his remarks at this faculty

Mr. Chanos and Mr. Clement have worked side

symposium, Mr. Chanos reflected on his time at

by side to help grow Browning’s endowment to

the School, reaffirming that the faculty are the

its current standing of nearly $50 million. “The

bedrock of Browning. At the event, Mr. Clement

Dean of Faculty Michael Ingrisani has deemed the last 17 years “The Chanos Era,” calling this period a “time of growth for both students and faculty.”

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presented Mr. Chanos his own captain’s chair in honor of all his contributions to the School, and so the Chanos name will live on. STEM chairholder Aaron Grill said, “Jim Chanos is a leader who brought financial stability to the School. His strategic vision set technology as a priority in addition to the humanities.” Alka Singh P ’18, ’20, another member of Browning’s Board of Trustees and a previous president of the Parents Association, said that Mr. Chanos is “leaving behind a legacy of leadership.” She added, “He has always put the boys’ interests first to maintain

Mr. Chanos fondly remembers handing his sons their

standards. Although Jim has a high professional profile, we all know his heart lies right here behind the red doors at

diplomas when they graduated from Browning. The School holds a large place in his heart.

Browning’s exceptional

52 East 62nd Street.” Mr. Chanos is the president of Kynikos Associates, an investment firm which focuses on short selling. He is well known for his shorting of Enron in 2001, making a huge profit for Kynikos. His advice and predictions on

the future of the economy have ended up on the front pages of newspapers and have even reached the ears of Congress. On May 15, Mr. Chanos was honored at Browning’s annual Spring Benefit held at the Central Park Zoo. The Parents Association expressed its appreciation to him for helping the School evolve through his tenure. Mr. Chanos has received many honors this spring. As a tribute to both his love of Browning and his love of art,

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the gallery space outside the School’s new art classrooms will be named The Chanos Gallery. Mr. Chanos has also been involved in building Browning’s alumni network. Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan said that he has helped “strengthen a number of important alumni initiatives.” In 2009 and 2013, he participated in the award ceremonies for the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award honoring Jamie Dimon ’74 and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Class of 1893. Mr. Chanos was also the inaugural speaker at the Class of 2000 Distinguished Speaker Series in 2012, hosting “an intimate roundtable discussion” for alumni donors and later presenting to a larger group of more than 100 alumni and parents. According to Ms. Lanigan, “Browning would not be the school it is today without his leadership across so many fronts.” Director of Institutional Advancement James Simon agrees that Mr. Chanos has made an “extraordinary impact on Browning” with his “intellect, generosity and commitment.” Parents Association Liaison Christine Bramble has known Mr. Chanos for many years. “Working with Mr. Chanos has been a great pleasure. His sons and mine are Browning alumni, so as

Christopher Russo ’15, co-editor-in-chief of the Grytte, presented Board President James S. Chanos with the issue featuring Mr. Chanos.


parents, we’ve shared many similar experiences.

place. Browning fosters not only a love of

He is a strong leader of the School. He’s just a

knowledge and camaraderie, but a duty to one’s

great guy, and I’ll miss him.”

character and community.

Leaving the Board will be “bittersweet” for

During his tenure as

Mr. Chanos. He has greatly enjoyed working with

President of the Board of

Mr. Clement, who he says is “immensely respected

Trustees, my father has seen

among his peers.” Mr. Chanos will also miss

Browning flourish. A house

the faculty members who taught his three sons.

of education must have a

He fondly remembers handing his sons their

strong foundation, and his

diplomas when they graduated from Browning.

support of that foundation

The School holds a large place in his heart.

is something my peers and

“Ever since I was in kindergarten, I remember

I are eternally grateful for.

my dad being very involved with Browning.

He is, in the best sense of the

Knowing that this school was essentially the

word, a gentleman.”

second home for his three sons, my dad has

Although he is leaving

made many efforts to ensure Browning is its best

the Board, Mr. Chanos

possible self,” said Andrew Chanos ’11.

says the Trustees will push

“My dad’s involvement at Browning has

“The Board is an amazing group of men and women with whom I have formed great friendships. They are equipped to face any new challenges.”

on with just as much fervor as when he was

helped countless boys receive the tools they need

President. “The leadership of the Board will be

to pursue their lifelong love of learning. I’m so

taking Browning to new heights,” noted

proud of everything he has helped accomplish

Mr. Chanos. “The Board is an amazing group

and of his commitment to education. His positive

of men and women with whom I have formed

impact will be immeasurably felt in the years to

great friendships. They are equipped to face any

come,” remarked Michael Chanos ’09.

new challenges.”

Nicholas Chanos ’07 said, “From the very

As Mr. Chanos sipped from his Browning

beginning of my 13 years at Browning, my father

mug, he confidently proclaimed, “The future of

has championed the School’s interests. He and

Browning is bright and in very good hands!”

many others understood that it is a remarkable

–Christopher Russo ’15

Past and present Trustees attended the annual end-of-year Trustees Dinner in May honoring James S. Chanos.

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Citizen Scientists Contribute to Biodiversity Day A NO T H E R “ F I R S T ” FOR BROW N I NG!

ON

MAY 22, BIODIVERSITY DAY, BROWNING’S GREEN TEAM INVITED THE MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL BOYS TO JOIN FORCES WITH A

GROUP OF ENTHUSIASTIC NATURALISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S GREAT NATURE PROJECT. SCIENCE TEACHERS EMILIE WOLF AND DR. BETTY NOEL COORDINATED THE ENTIRE DAY’S PROGRAM, DEDICATING LONG HOURS TO ITS ORGANIZATION. THE OUTCOME RESULTED IN A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL EVENT WITH EVERYONE PLAYING A ROLE AND THE BROWNING BOYS CONTRIBUTING TO THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AS CITIZEN SCIENTISTS. IN FACT, THIS EVENT WAS THE FOCUS OF A WONDERFUL COLUMN BY RALPH GARDNER, JR. ’71, IN THE MAY 27 EDITION OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (SEE

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EXCERPT ON PAGES 16-17.)

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I was amazed to see how truly engaged and

I am very excited for the future of the

enthusiastic the students were in identifying

Green Team and cannot thank Ms. Wolf

species in Central Park. It was great to hear

enough for the amount of effort and work

from Dr. Lovejoy ’59 and Ms. Cousteau, two

that went into planning Biodiversity Day.

inspirational naturalists. I will be sure to

It was great to get Browning alumni and

come back from Boston College next year

current students involved in a project that

to celebrate Browning’s second annual

benefited the School community and the

Biodiversity Day.

larger NYC community.

–Chris Russo ’15, Co-president, Green Team

–Ben Weiner ’15, Co-president, Green Team

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Within one hour, over 200 observations of the flora and fauna of Central Park were logged, and a mysterious animal skull was found!

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GUEST SCIENTISTS & EXPERTS VISIT BROWNING ON BIODIVERSITY DAY The Browning Green Team and all those involved in the School’s Biodiversity Day owe a great deal of thanks to our esteemed guests who gave of their time and expertise. Barbara Bramble

Senior Director for International Wildlife Conservation,

Céline Cousteau

Founder & Executive Director, CauseCentric

National Wildlife Federation

Productions and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau

Rebecca Gibson

Research Assistant, McGillis Laboratory/Lamont-Doherty

Kate Faehling Amanda R. Levy

Earth Observatory, Columbia University Director of Education, Wild Bird Fund

Water Scientist/Public Health Epidemiologist,

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Dr. Thomas Lovejoy ’59 United Nations Foundation; George Mason University Dr. Nacho Mena

Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai

Rita McMahon

Co-founder/Executive Director, Wild Bird Fund

Michael O’Grady

Discovery Guide Coordinator, Central Park Conservancy

Katie Pavlis

Educator/Research Associate, Black Rock Forest Consortium

Dr. Nancy Peters

Professor/Chemistry Department Chair, C.W. Post

Dr. Bill Schuster

Executive Director, Black Rock Forest Consortium

Michael Soluri P ’18 Author/Photographer

Ms. Wolf, who is also advisor to the Green Team, re-

ports, “Using the citizen science app iNaturalist, our teams of guest scientists, faculty, students and Green Team members completed a biodiversity survey of the South-East

segment of Central Park. Within one hour, over 200 obser-

vations of the flora and fauna of Central Park were logged, and a mysterious animal skull was found! Diversity snapshots like this gather information about the inhabitants of

Central Park at a given time. By monitoring the same area regularly, the information will help agencies such as the

Central Park Conservancy keep track of the park and its inHello from the Amazon! I enjoyed Biodiversity Day, of course. I wouldn’t change a lot, because even for those who were just happy to be outside, that in itself was a subliminal lesson. Having the Headmaster go to Central Park, too, was a terrific signal. If you have not seen the “Green Fire” film produced by the Leopold Foundation, you should watch it. I used it at the last session of my graduate course Challenges in Biodiversity, and I know it changed one student’s life! –Dr. Thomas Lovejoy ’59, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

habitants. The Green Team hopes that Browning continues to invest time and effort into preserving our broader community and beloved Central Park.”

The Browning community began Biodiversity Day at

Christ Church with a presentation by Dr. Thomas Lovejoy ’59, Senior Fellow of the United Nations Foundation and

professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George

Mason University. Dr. Lovejoy is the biologist who coined

the term “biological diversity” for the scientific community.

Green Team co-presidents Chris Russo ’15 and Ben Weiner ’15 moderated the discussion with Dr. Lovejoy.

Afterward, the boys, guest scientists and faculty headed

to Central Park, a virtual green oasis in a desert of concrete for local organisms, as well as a cherished extension of the Browning science classrooms. Sam Keany, science department chair, noted, “Completing a biodiversity survey is

like taking a snapshot of that area, as it tells what is present on a specific day, under specific conditions. Because dif-

ferent days and different conditions will produce different

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“The sunlight that day not only accented the Park’s obvious greenery, but seeing the boys observe, discover and measure the not-so-obvious brought recollections of Sean Carroll’s “Endless Forms Most Beautiful.”

END RON TY B L AC KBI HOO RD DED WA R BLE CAN R A DA WA R BLE MO R URN ING WA R AME BLE LAN R CHI ER C SAL ANA TBU DEN SH SIS YEL LOW THR O AT WO OD DUC K BLA CK TUP ELO BLA C KCRO WN ED N IGH T H ER RUS

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–Michael Soluri P ’18, Author/Photographer

Alexander Gottdiener ’15, Browning’s resident ornithologist who will attend Princeton University in the fall, compiled a list of birds and trees in order of their sighting in Central Park on Biodiversity Day.

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I had a wonderful time on Biodiversity Day! My impressions: this was a well-organized event with responsible, conscientious students and a very conscientious Green Team, and it was a wonderful time of year. (Who ordered up that exceptional day?) I largely accepted your invitation to attend because of your science teacher, Melodie Ting, my former student. I wanted to see her and her wonderful school, and the day sounded interesting. –Dr. Nancy J. S. Peters, Professor/Chemistry Department Chair, C.W. Post

Biodiversity Day was a lot of fun. Everything was perfect, even the weather! I was really impressed by the organization, to the last detail. I can imagine that the members of the Green Team spent many weeks thinking about every little thing. Once again, congratulations on the success of the event. I will be happy to help again next time if I’m available. P.S. Emilie, when I was a kid, I had a science teacher as passionate as you. She is one of the main reasons I became a scientist. Another reason was watching the documentaries by Jacques Cousteau. –Dr. Nacho Mena, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai

results, surveys are most valuable when part of a monitor-

porting and helpful in all our work to inspire our students’

vations for the world to see the diversity of life found in

ment faculty, including Melodie Ting, Julia Kingsdale and

using iNaturalist, our urban naturalists posted their obserCentral Park, essentially in the School’s backyard.”

Dr. Noel noted that Biodiversity Day would not have

been possible without the collective cooperation and en-

thusiasm of the entire Browning community: “To envision,

engineer and execute such a beautiful day involves so much effort and energy from so many people.” She added, “First,

it would be appropriate to thank the Green Team members.

These boys were passionate about doing something community-wide to raise awareness and to celebrate Biodiversity Day. Their devoted faculty leader, Emilie Wolf, should be

recognized for helping them realize their vision and taking

on the lion’s share of the work. Thanks to them, we can now say we’ve participated in a BioBlitz and have contributed to

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Dr. Noel also recognized Sam Keany: “He is ever sup-

ing program that allows one to track changes over time. By

the scientific community as citizen scientists.”

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scientific curiosity.” She added, “The entire science depart-

Chris Dunham, gave invaluable logistic and moral support

throughout the planning of the event. Thanks to all of them for helping to recruit so many distinguished scientists and

for lending their personal expertise as guest naturalists. To

our colleagues, thank you for allowing us to take over your precious class time and to be so willing to donate money, lead student groups into the wilds of Central Park, and

deeply engage in the activities of the day! We appreciate

all your flexibility, support and feedback that helped make this Biodiversity Day possible.” –Melanie McMahon Visit Browning’s website to view more photos and a video of Biodiversity Day.

www.browning.edu


GREEN TEAM RAISES AWARENESS AND FUNDS Dr. Betty Noel, who organized Biodiversity Day with fellow science teacher Emilie Wolf, acknowledged

Headmaster Clement and all three division heads,

Laurie Gruhn, Chris Dunham and Jim Reynolds, for allowing the Browning community to deviate from

its normal school day routine on Biodiversity Day. By

“dressing down� that day and earlier in the spring, the community was able to raise funds for both the Wild

Bird Fund and Central Park Conservancy, presented in

the form of two oversized checks as a fitting conclusion to the Biodiversity Day program.

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EXCERPT FROM URBAN GARDNER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015

“Back to Nature – and to My Old School” BY RALPH GARDNER, JR. ’71

T

here were several reasons

almost over and summer, when you

The Browning School’s

stretched out ahead of you like some

why I wanted to attend

Biodiversity Day last week.

Among them was supporting my

after breakfast [with Headmaster

sort of magical world.

began at Christ Church a couple

And finally, I wanted to meet

Thomas Lovejoy, a conservation

to walk to the School, on East 62nd

who coined the term “biological

Street, without a coat.

There was no more debonair

feeling, come spring and warm

weather, than the freedom of being

able to shed your heavy winter coat

and arrive at school in a jacket and tie. Another reason I was eager to

attend Biodiversity Day was because it was coming near the end of the

school year. And I wanted to recall

and imbibe once again those charmed

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could wake up whenever you wanted,

alma mater. But perhaps the more important reason was that I’d get

days of youth when school was THE

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Sitting in Browning’s Cook Room

biologist and fellow Browning alum, diversity.” Dr. Lovejoy, 74 years old, would be addressing the Browning community before teams of its

students, joined by scientists such

as Celine Cousteau, a documentary filmmaker and granddaughter of

French explorer Jacques Cousteau,

Clement], but before the day’s events of blocks south – the Cook Room is named after Charles Cook, the

Headmaster from my era – Dr. Lovejoy, a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation and a 1959 alumnus of

Browning, modestly accepted credit

for coming up with the term biological diversity in 1980. He added, however,

that several other scientists were toying with the concept simultaneously.

“It was the logical way to talk

went to Central Park to conduct a

about the diversity of life on Earth,”

observations on the iNaturalist app as

thinking about who was first. We

biodiversity survey and enter their

part of National Geographic’s “Great Nature Project.”

he remembered. “Nobody was

needed a way to refer to the collective variety of the natural world.”


I WANTED TO RECALL AND IMBIBE ONCE AGAIN THOSE CHARMED DAYS OF YOUTH WHEN SCHOOL WAS ALMOST OVER AND SUMMER, WHEN YOU COULD WAKE UP WHENEVER YOU WANTED, STRETCHED OUT AHEAD OF YOU LIKE SOME SORT OF MAGICAL WORLD.

Dr. Lovejoy repeated the story

during a Q&A conducted by

Browning seniors Christopher

Russo and Ben Weiner – “We didn’t think we were coining a term,” he said – and then we were set loose

on Central Park, Dr. Lovejoy’s team assigned to the pond at the park’s southeast corner.

“A new species of centipede was

discovered the first time a BioBlitz was done here,” he reported. The scientist was referring to a survey where you

a large, beautiful snowy white bird

wading among the reeds and shallow waters of the pond.

“We found a crane hiding in

the bushes,” reported fifth-grader Nicholas Dingle, 11.

“It’s an egret,” corrected fellow

biological ground, though we spotted

flourishing around the pond as mint by its square-sided stem.

When the surveys were completed,

Browning science teacher who had

exercise in school-sanctioned end-ofthe-year hooky.

Dr. Lovejoy makes no claims as

he visits several times a year, and

Our group didn’t break new

able to identify one of the plants

done. This really wasn’t just an

in our case about 25 minutes. “It got New York Times,” he added.

However, he was proud to be

we returned to the church to be

So learning was apparently getting

a botanist, though he has a camp

written up on the front page of The

diversity,” he explained.

fifth-grader Evan Thomas, also 11.

attempt to record all the living species in an area in a limited period of time,

destruction, “it simplifies, it loses its

in the Brazilian Amazon, which

spoke eloquently about the dangers of habitat fragmentation there.

When a part of the forest is cut off

from the rest of it because of human

dismissed by Emilie Wolf, the coordinated the event.

“The day resumes as normal,”

Ms. Wolf announced. “If you’re in fifth and sixth grade you’re going to lunch. Seventh grade – flex. And the other

grades, I don’t know but I’m sure it’s something awesome and studyful.” I wouldn’t bet on a lot of work

getting done the rest of the day.

Summer 2015

17


f e at u r e

B OA R D P R E S I D E N T

&

CH A I R HOLDER S PRESEN T

Faculty Symposium

H

eadmaster Clement invited current and former Browning faculty to a faculty symposium, “Browning in 2015 and Beyond: The View from Four Chairs,” on April 29. The featured panelists were Board of Trustees President James S. Chanos P ’07, ’09, ’11;

Director of Technology Aaron R. Grill, 2013 Recipient of the STEM Chair; Dean of Faculty Michael E. Ingrisani, 2009 Recipient of the Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities; and Gerald J. Protheroe, 2013 Recipient of the Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities. Mr. Chanos was given a chair bearing his name, parent affiliation and years of service on the Board; a duplicate chair is housed in the Cook Room. Panelists then presented their views on The Browning School from a historical and global perspective, elaborating on the issues Browning boys can expect to see in regard to technology, education, economics, global affairs and politics. Following their remarks, the panelists entertained questions from Headmaster Clement and the audience, including who and/or what most influenced their career choices. The Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities, established in 2009 in honor of Mr. Clement’s 20th anniversary as Headmaster, is the first-ever endowed teaching chair in Browning’s history. The endowed teaching STEM Chair honors a faculty member who advances the School’s mission in supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics and was established thanks to a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor. To learn more about the panelists, please turn to page 20.

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Panelists presented their views on The Browning School from a historical and global perspective, elaborating on the issues Browning boys can expect to see in regard to technology, education,

You may view a video of the faculty symposium on the Browning website.

www.browning.edu

economics, global affairs and politics.

Summer 2015

19


M E E T T H E S Y M P O S I U M PA N E L I S T S

Jim Chanos

Jim Chanos is a great friend of Browning. His son Nick entered Browning in 1994 and graduated in 2007, Michael graduated in 2009, and Andrew in 2011. Jim joined the Board of Trustees in 1998 and has served as President from 2000-2015. He is among the longest serving and most highly regarded independent school board presidents in New York and in the country. Jim also serves on the board of the Nightingale-Bamford School and the New-York Historical Society. He is currently a Lecturer in Finance and Becton Fellow at the Yale School of Management, teaching a class on the history of financial fraud. In his “day job” Jim is founder and managing partner of Kynikos Associates, L.P., the world’s largest exclusive short-selling investment firm. His celebrated short sale of Enron shares was dubbed by Barron’s as “the market call of the decade, if not the past 50 years.”

Aaron Grill

Mike Ingrisani

Gerry Protheroe

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Aaron Grill received both his B.A. and his M.A. from the University of Kansas. His master’s thesis, an interactive website titled “trackcurrentevents.org,” enabled teachers to create web pages with news links. Aaron came to Browning in 2003 as technology coordinator and became director of technology in 2008. He is an avid bicyclist and coaches fifth and sixth grade baseball. He is past president of NYCIST, a highly regarded organization for implementing technology in independent schools. He has led AV/Network/Technology Infrastructure planning and implementation in Phases I-V in Browning’s construction project.

Mike Ingrisani has been teaching at The Browning School since 1970. He graduated from Regis High School and earned his B.A. from Columbia College. He was awarded an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University. At Browning he currently serves as chair of the English Department and dean of faculty. He has been actively involved since its inception in the International Boys’ School Coalition. For many years Mike served on the IBSC Board of Trustees, often as the only fulltime teacher. He has attended IBSC conferences in Boston, Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, Nashville, San Francisco, Perth, Sydney, London, Johannesburg, Philadelphia and Richmond… and New York!

Gerry Protheroe arrived at Browning in 1996. He grew up in Wales and attended Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School in Merthyr Tydfil. The first person in his family to attend university, he earned a B.A. from Jesus College, Oxford, and an M.A. with Distinction and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. Long involved in the Advanced Placement Exams, he is currently a table leader for Advanced European History. At Browning, Gerry is faculty advisor to Model UN and coaches 7/8 soccer. Gerry also teaches at New York University and received a Longevity Award in April. For a number of years he has taught a fall course titled, “Global Conflict and the Crisis of Democracy.”


alumnus in the news

JOHN BALLARD ’63 An article in the March 1, 2015, edition of the Marin Independent Journal recounts the return of John Ballard ’63 to Selma, Ala., 50 years after participating in the city’s historic civil rights protest. Reporter Megan Hansen wrote, “Ballard, 69, grew up in New York City, the son of an Irish father and Polish mother. Having experienced feelings of injustice and inequality as a child, he left Harvard College at the age of 19 to join the mostly black foot soldiers who tried to march three different times from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights in March 1965. ‘I drove down with my friend and I think we had a good idea we could be killed,’ Ballard said.” Ms. Hansen added, “Ballard first arrived in Selma shortly after March 7, 1965, which is known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’ As marchers attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma, they were beat with clubs and tear gassed…televised images helped elevate the cause, which five months later culminated in the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” In April, Mr. Ballard wrote to Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, reminiscing on his days at Browning and his experience in Selma which he said “changed his life.” Following is an excerpt from that letter. –M.M.

BROWNING TOOK ME ON A COURSE that has shaped

“Protecting the weak from bullies and

fortunate to be a Browning student for all 12 years of my

watching out for the underdog were

legacy we learned that looking out for each other’s well-

virtues of a true Browning boy.”

the arc of my life, and that arc has now come full circle. I was pre-college education, and under Mr. Browning’s teaching being, protecting the weak from bullies and watching out

for the underdog were virtues of a true Browning boy. We

had no black students at Browning and civil rights weren’t discussed but fairness and honesty were, particularly the kind of honesty of being a caring citizen.

Now I’ve just returned from 10 days in Selma where I helped lay the groundwork for the several marches 50 years ago and where I was a featured speaker at the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP Gala and received an award for my work for human rights. Also, those of us foot soldiers are being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, our country’s highest civilian award. But the real heroes were the young people of Selma who had to endure so much both before us civil rights workers came down in ’65 and after we left. I located the feisty 11-year-old Selma girl I marched with half a century ago when we were attacked at gunpoint and jailed. Her name is Charlotte Richardson. I located her in Ohio and got her to come to Selma for a very emotional reunion. My life has been devoted to civil rights. [Mr. Ballard is the author of the “Soul to Soul” book series with introductions by Coretta Scott King and Nelson Mandela.]

In April, John Ballard ’63 reunited with Charlotte Richardson, the young girl he marched with during civil rights protests in Selma, Ala., 50 years ago.

Summer 2015

21


& f e at u r e

C U LT U R E CAMARADERIE F O R M I I B OY S E X P L O R E N AT I O N ’ S C A P I TA L O N A N N U A L T R I P

22

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“O

verall, I loved the trip,” said

Michael Kassis ’19

of Form II’s three-day venture to Washington, D.C., this past

spring. “I found it a good experiMelanie McMahon

ence to visit our nation’s capital with my friends because of our

early coverage of D.C. in history class.” Like his fel-

low Browning classmates and eighth grade students from far and wide, Michael enjoyed the sights of Washington as a fitting conclusion to his Middle School years.

This annual trip has been led by Head of Middle

School Chris Dunham for the past 11 years. As is the case each year, he reports afterward on the sights

and activities enjoyed during his time with the boys.

Spanish teacher. An interview with Mr. Dunham and commentary by Mr. Young and Ms. Suárez shed fur-

ther light on what makes the D.C. trip so memorable. According to Mr. Dunham, he usually finds that

This past April, Mr. Dunham filled us in on their

at least 50 percent of the Form II boys have never

The weather was as good as D.C. can offer, albeit

class experienced the city for the first time. So for

most recent trip, noting, “We had a superb time! a bit chilly, and that allowed for many excellent

Frisbee tosses on the National Mall in between more cultural experiences. The boys saw many significant memorials, including the Vietnam Veterans, World War II and Lincoln Memorials. They also had

profound experiences at both the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Newseum and fully enjoyed the

been to D.C. This year, however, 80 percent of the that reason alone, it’s a great destination. “These

boys enjoyed their first taste of D.C. through this

shared experience,” he said. “All the trips we take are different and wonderful in Middle School, but

this one to D.C. is really terrific. The museums are interesting, and the monuments are really impressive.” He explains that this trip is normally taken in

Air and Space Museum. Another major highlight

late spring because the weather is warmer and the

sculptures and paintings. On the lighter side of things,

boys a taste of D.C. We spend two nights there.

was touring the Capitol and seeing some historic

the boys took in a Washington Nationals baseball

game and tested their James Bond knowledge at the Spy Museum. All in all, it was a terrific time!”

Since this trip is such a rite of passage for Form II

boys, we thought it worth exploring further with

Mr. Dunham and the chaperones who have accom-

panied him in past years, namely, John Young, chair of the classics department, and Elizabeth Suárez,

school year is almost over. “My goal is to give the

Some years we go to the National Gallery, the Por-

trait Gallery or the Sculpture Garden. This year, we found time for the Air and Space Museum, which

I was not sure we would get to do. It’s an amazing

place that ties into physics and astronomy, which the boys have studied earlier in their careers at Browning. In general, I provide information about what

we will see in D.C., without overloading the boys.

Summer 2015

23


The more attention I give to something, the more I am rewarded for the effort.

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We love looking at the Washington Monument, the Capitol and beyond. We just can’t stop taking pictures! So we walk two to three miles a day. That’s really the way to see this city.

I try to prep them ahead of time. I often say, “Guys,

the monuments. We also take time to just hang out

ing up, so this next museum will have artifacts and

toss a Frisbee by the Washington Monument. Later,

I know you have a history paper assignment com-

documents that will help you; their archives are re-

ally impressive. When we are on the bus together or

at dinner, I’ll give them a little nugget of information about what we will see on our tour of a particu-

lar monument, such as who sculpted it, when the

monument was built and why it’s important. Often we discuss the significance of the death toll during

on the National Mall. Sometimes we play soccer or

rather than walk back, our bus picks us up and takes us back to the hotel. That way we can relax, talk and recap on the bus, which is nice. After a tiring day of touring, the next day we go to a Nationals baseball

game, which is a fun thing to do. You just can’t beat being at a ball park!”

Ms. Suárez notes that she always looks forward

a particular war and how it kept getting bigger and

to the D.C. trip. “There is something for everybody

Memorial, where we feel like we are underground.

teams, museums that cover a wide range of interests

bigger. We reflect together at the Vietnam Veterans We also visit the Capitol where we watch a really great movie, “E Pluribus Unum,” in an awesome

theater that tells about the history of our democracy. We then head to the Capitol Rotunda and learn

about sculptures and painting. That’s great, too!

Some years, we have been able to visit with Congresswoman Meloni if she is available.”

Mr. Dunham knows how important it is to pace

the activities and sightseeing so the boys are not

there: awe-inspiring landmarks, various sports

and, generally, very pleasant weather. Although I

have been going for several years now, each trip is

unique. I remember a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum that was particularly touching, as the

grandfather of one of our boys was a survivor who had donated his memoirs to this museum, which

our young student searched for. Recently, another

of our boys looked for and found his grandfather’s name on the list of casualties on the Vietnam Vet-

overloaded. “I lead a walking tour at night,” he

erans Memorial. For another boy, born and raised

the lighting is spectacular. We love looking at the

time watching this sport. It was sweet to witness

explains. “The monuments are gorgeous then, and Washington Monument, the Capitol and beyond.

We just can’t stop taking pictures! So we walk two to three miles a day. That’s really the way to see

this city. We start from our hotel, eat dinner, walk

to the White House and take pictures, then walk to

abroad, the Nationals’ baseball game was his first how one of his classmates explained the rules of

the game to him. (It should be noted that my first

professional baseball game experience as a spectator also took place on my first D.C. trip, and I received kind tutoring, as well!) Overall, I appreciate the

Summer 2015

25


Recently, another of our boys looked for and found his grandfather’s name on the list of casualties on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For another boy, born and raised abroad, the Nationals’ baseball game was his first time watching this sport.

chance to spend time with our boys in a different setting, and to get to know them better. Sharing

proctoring duties with Mr. Dunham and Mr. Young is a great plus.”

As for Mr. Young, he loves D.C. too! “The

weather is always perfect when we visit, as far as I am concerned: not too hot, not too cold. The trees are in bloom, and the skies are blue. This was my fourth trip to D.C. with Mr. Dunham, Ms. Suárez

and Form II. I am affected more strongly each time I visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum, as if my

acquaintance with the relics of these people amount

to an acquaintance with those themselves who were lost. It is a place that rewards the returning guest. Likewise, the Capitol building reveals more of its

characteristics and secrets each time I return, inspir-

paying attention.”

Incidentally, the boys visited D.C. during a year

ing me each year with a greater determination to

when the 150th anniversary of President Abraham

ment that we had not visited before, like last year

ous venues, including the Newseum, a traditional

vote more often. Sometimes we get to visit a monuwhen we saw the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Each time, however, we are sure to visit the Washington Monument and the Jefferson, Lincoln and

Vietnam Veterans Memorials, each of which offers so much to the intent observer, but also much to passersby, who might just go about their business with these beautiful monuments creating a profound

ambience for their lives. Even the Spy Museum becomes more interesting each time I visit it. The trip has made it clear that the more attention I give to

26

something, the more I am rewarded for the effort of

THE

BUZZER

Lincoln’s assassination is being recognized at varistop on the Browning trip. In fact, Mr. Young en-

joyed a collection of special editions of the New York Herald from April 15, 1865, brought together at the

Newseum for the first time to provide visitors with

complete coverage of the tragic event as it unfolded. All seven editions are featured, beginning with the 2 a.m. edition containing the first Associated Press report that President Lincoln had been shot. The

exhibit, “President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination,” also includes a


The camaraderie and independence is what the boys like most.

recently discovered 8:45 a.m. “extra” that was one of

talked about his past and his coming to America, he

visit to the Lincoln Memorial, an American national

he worked. I decided with Mr. Dunham that I would

the first newspapers to report his death. The boys’ monument built to honor our 16th President, was more significant than ever.

This year also commemorates the 50th anniver-

sary of the Vietnam War, often referred to as America’s first televised war. To mark this anniversary, the Newseum features a new exhibit, “Reporting

would always mention the building in D.C. where go and check out his workplace. Before we left to come back to New York City, we went to find the

building; it took a few minutes, but after a while we

found it. It was cool to finally see where my dad had worked for many years!”

Mr. Dunham hopes the boys will be inspired to

Vietnam,” which explores the stories of how journal-

return to Washington and see more. “We go out into

divided nation.

different than those other trips,” he said. “The ca-

ists reported news about this controversial war to a Each person on the trip seems to come home

with a favorite personal memory. Michael Kassis ’19

noted, “One of my favorite moments during the trip

was finding my dad’s old workplace. Every time we

the wilderness in other grades, but D.C. is very, very maraderie and independence is what they like most.

It’s fun and interesting to be together. All of the boys are just happy to be with each other!” –Melanie McMahon

Summer 2015

27


PRE-PRIMARY AND GRADES ONE & TWO ENJOY

Grandparents/Special Friends Day

ON

May 8, boys in Pre-primary and Grades One and Two welcomed their guests (mostly grandparents but also aunts, uncles and/or

close friends) and shared their classroom experiences with them. From music to Makerbot, the subject matter was even more fun and interesting when explored together. Headmaster Clement and Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn greeted over 130 guests who attended this special event. As one mother said when dropping off her son’s grandmother, “So many generations, so many emotions.”

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Summer 2015

29


f e at u r e

C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S T O T H E

D

Class of

2015!

uring graduation exercises on June 10 at Christ Church, Form VI boys, parents and the entire Browning community gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Class

of 2015. Headmaster Clement, President of the Board of Trustees Jim Chanos and Upper School Head Jim Reynolds presented diplomas to each member of the graduating class. Mr. Clement presented a talk on the accomplishments of every Form VI Browning boy during his years at the School. Basil Chalabi, Class of 2015 President, also offered parting remarks and best wishes to his fellow graduates. He was pleased to note that the senior class reached 100% participation in their class gift effort, raising a total of $2,274.05. These funds are allocated toward restoring the conference table in the Cook Room.

Guest speaker was 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah

Gbowee P ’15, a Liberian peace activist, trained social

worker and women’s rights advocate. Ms. Gbowee offered inspirational and uplifting stories to the graduating class, imbued with wisdom, humor and a zest for life. She is

founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation

Africa, founder of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and co-founder and former executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa.

Ms. Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which

brought together Christian and Muslim women in a non-violent movement that

played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003, is chronicled in her memoir, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” and in the documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,”

produced by Abigail Disney. In addition,  Ms. Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily

Beast’s Africa columnist. She holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from

Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.) and a doctor of laws from Rhodes University in South Africa and University of Alberta in Canada. Ms. Gbowee was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is the mother of six children, including Arthur Mensah ’15.

30

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View a video of Ms. Gbowee’s address on Browning’s website.

www.browning.edu


Summer 2015

31


COLLEGES OFFERING ADMISSION TO THE CLASS OF 2015 American University (2)

George Washington University

Purdue University

Babson College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Rice University

Bates College

Guilford College

University of Richmond (6)

Bentley University

Hobart College (4)

Roanoke College

Boston College (3)

Hood College

University of Rochester (3)

Brown University

University of Illinois – Urbana

University of St. Andrews (2)

Bryant University

Ithaca College (2)

St. Lawrence University

Bucknell University (3)

Johns Hopkins University (3)

Sarah Lawrence College (2)

The Catholic University of

Lafayette College

Southern Methodist University

Lehigh University (3)

Suffolk University

University of Maryland

Swarthmore College

University of Massachusetts –

Texas A&M University

America University of Chicago (3) Colgate University (5) Cornell University (4)

Amherst (2)

Dartmouth College

Middlebury College (2)

Dickinson College (2)

SUNY – Geneseo

Drew University

SUNY – Stony Brook University

Emory University (2)

New York University (2)

Fairfield University

Northwestern University (2)

Fordham University (2)

Occidental College

Franklin & Marshall College (5)

University of Pennsylvania (2)

Furman University

Princeton University

As of June 2015

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Trinity College Union College (2) Vassar College (2) University of Vermont University of Virginia Wake Forest University Wheaton College (2) Williams College (2) Wittenberg University


2015 matriculation

COLLEGE CHOICES – CLASS OF 2015 Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2015 and the fine institutions that will welcome them.

William S. Abelt – Wake Forest University (NC) Douglas M. Belgorod – Georgia Institute of Technology (GA) Brian W. Bermeo – New York University (NY) Kevin A. Centeno – Johns Hopkins University (MD) Basil T. Chalabi – Occidental College (CA) Michael J. Cleary – New York University (NY) Andrew E. Davis – Cornell University (NY) Lodovico H. De Boni – University of Chicago (IL) Norman Delgado – Cornell University (NY) Peter V. Florescu – University of Virginia (VA) Alexander M. Gottdiener – Princeton University (NJ) Christopher D. Keyko – Colgate University (NY) Aadir A. Khan – University of Pennsylvania (PA) Diego A. Lopez-Liranzo – University of Pennsylvania (PA) Alexander Makkos – Bentley University (MA) Arthur F.K. Mensah – Dartmouth College (NH) Lorenzo N. Mezzatesta – Sarah Lawrence College (NY) Alec V. Morea – Lehigh University (PA) John H. Morris – Hobart College (NY) Armaan Rawat – University of Chicago (IL) Christopher W. Russo – Boston College (MA) Slater D. Stark – Lafayette College (PA) David Y. Valentin – Middlebury College (VT) Brendan D. Walsh – Brown University (RI) Benjamin C. Weiner – Franklin & Marshall College (PA)

As of June 2015

Summer 2015

33


2015

awa r d s

A C A D E M I C AWA R D S H EADM AST ER’S LIST

Given to those boys whose grade point average for the year is at least 3.75. Form VI William S. Abelt Douglas M. Belgorod Christopher W. Russo Brendan D. Walsh Form V Awentirim E. Abaatu Andrew J. Bendo Liam S. Kerwin Andrew B. Medland Julian J. Orillac Alejandro Oyarzun Form IV George D. Allen Luke E. Barba J. Alexander Barnard Terrell G. Edwards Alexander I. Kattan Form III David J. Eisman Benjamin I. Ellman Jaime Gomez-SotomayorRoel Connor P. Medland Philip A. Raftopoulos Jackson S. Richter Adrian F. Rodriguez Brogan A. Smith Jack R. Twaronite Form II Lucas A. Coffey Christopher T. Elwell Max C. Gregori Jacob Kibel Patrick W. McAllister

34

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Form I Wesley H. Baugher Maxwell A. Beem Hugh T. Chapin Ryan T. Eagan Logan T. Flynn William J. Hatfield Alexander F. Kwok Reinhardt N. Landsberg Alexander J. Liptak Keaton A. Ramey Michael Westman Grade 6 Alexander J. Barr William C. Bousquette, III Griffin C. Davis Fazeel A. Khan Christian E. Kim Jacob N. Lassner Kyle T. Liptak Robert D. Magnus Harrison M. McGlashan Gavin J. Mora Alexander Raftopoulos Aaron T. Seibert Eric D. Sigg Dylan C. Steck Akshay D. Swani Grade 5 John Crawford Brown Jonathan J. Davidoff Nicholas B. Dingle Andrew R. Hatfield Kabir J. Kurani Andrew F. Naber Christian M. Odenius Benjamin A. Sullivan Evan K. Thomas Liam Westman

HONOR ROLL

Given to those boys whose grade point average for the year is 3.5-3.74. Form VI Lodovico H. De Boni Peter V. Florescu Alexander M. Gottdiener Aadir A. Khan Diego A. Lopez-Liranzo Lorenzo N. Mezzatesta Alec V. Morea Armaan Rawat Form V Harry A. Calianese William L. Jacob, IV Yangzeyu Liu Karsten G. Monteverde Dylan A. Springer Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. Form IV Gianni P. Chiovetta Luigi G. Napolitano Ryan T. Olson Form III Norman B. Champ George P. Grimbilas Luke M. Hexner Takayuki M. Ishikawa Daniel S. Kravitz Robert H. Nielsen Rohan A. Singh Caleb H. Sussman Patrick B. Yee Form II Joseph S. Delgado Alexander S. Motz Maximilian A. Motz Form I Jesse B. Starr Sebastian L. Teslic Jonathan M. Ziff

Grade 6 John F. Harrison Christopher J. Preziotti Hercules P. Sotos Grade 5 Benjamin T. Ellwood Connor J. Fischetti Jose E. Garcia Cole H. Glotfelty Ben A. Gregori Nicolas P. Laffont Colin A. Mandl-Ciolek Liam J. Messinger William K. Rich Jamie M. Sussman

SC HOL A R S AWA RD

Form VI Brendan D. Walsh Form II Christopher T. Elwell

C I T I Z ENSH I P AWA RDS

Form VI William S. Abelt Douglas M. Belgorod Kevin A. Centeno Basil T. Chalabi Michael J. Cleary Andrew E. Davis Norman Delgado Peter V. Florescu Alexander M. Gottdiener Christopher D. Keyko Aadir A. Khan Diego A. Lopez-Liranzo Arthur F. Mensah Alec V. Morea Armaan Rawat Christopher W. Russo Brendan D. Walsh Benjamin C. Weiner


Form V Awentirim E. Abaatu Harry A. Calianese Anthony K. Carrasco Tyler A. Fraser William L. Jacob, IV Liam S. Kerwin Yangzeyu Liu Andrew B. Medland Karsten G. Monteverde Julian J. Orillac Alejandro Oyarzun Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. Form IV George D. Allen Luke E. Barba J. Alexander Barnard Micah Bowey Erik J. Bronfman Felix A. Castillo August van D. Chapin Gianni P. Chiovetta Terrell G. Edwards Jake E. Germano Jamil Guzman Conor P. Harkins Alexander I. Kattan Alex López-Velasco Luigi G. Napolitano Logan M. Stark Form III Ekene M. Duruaku Benjamin I. Ellman George P. Grimbilas Luke M. Hexner Takayuki M. Ishikawa Manuel C. Medina Connor P. Medland Robert H. Nielsen Marwan S. Nsouli Philip A. Raftopoulos Jackson S. Richter Adrian F. Rodriguez Brogan A. Smith George P. Stavropoulos Grant A. Thompson Jack R. Twaronite

Form II Lucas A. Coffey Joseph S. Delgado Christopher T. Elwell Justin A. James Michael J. Kassis Patrick W. McAllister Sebastian P. Rodriguez Form I Maxwell A. Beem Ryan T. Eagan Logan T. Flynn William J. Hatfield Alexander F. Kwok Reinhardt N. Landsberg Robert A. Michaelson Sharif S. Nsouli Keaton A. Ramey Michael Westman Grade 6 John F. Harrison Fazeel A. Khan Christian E. Kim Jacob N. Lassner Robert D. Magnus Harrison M. McGlashan David M. Monasebian Alexander Raftopoulos Eric D. Sigg Dylan C. Steck

Grade 5 Harrison D. Clyde Jonathan J. Davidoff Andrew R. Hatfield Colin A. Mandl-Ciolek Liam J. Messinger Teymour S. Nsouli Christian M. Odenius Jamie M. Sussman Grade 4 Malek S. Assef Quentin T. Bader Jason U. DaSilva Ethan C. Fitzpatrick Eli B. Greenberg Henry T. Gussman Tomas Infantino Alexander C. Johnson Antonio F. Pinheiro Grade 3 Julian Berthou Luke H. Brown Sebastian G. Brown Kyle V. Dewan Jake M. Ferreri Michael H. Gabriel Jack R. Garcia Bram J. Kerwin Nicholas K. Shea Harrison D. Steck Alexander Waugh-Bacchus

F O R M V I AWA R D S

T H E ELE A NOR A N D H A ROLD P. K U R ZM A N M EMOR I AL AWA RD FOR I M PROV EM EN T

William S. Abelt SALEH M . AL M ADH A H EK A H AWA RD

Aadir A. Khan D. AL A N DI LLEN BERG SC HOL A R AT H LET E AWA RD

Christopher D. Keyko Arthur F. Mensah EDWA RD G. COR N ET AWA RD FOR COOPER AT ION A N D PER SEV ER A NC E

Norman Delgado C H A RLES W. COOK ’38 H E ADM AST ER’S AWA RD

Christopher W. Russo K EN N ET H KOMI TO AWA RD FOR C I T I Z ENSH I P

Brendan D. Walsh

Summer 2015

35


2014-2015 awa r d s

AT H L E T I C AWA R D S

FA L L AWA R D S VA R SI T Y SOCC ER

Most Valuable Player Karsten G. Monteverde Most Improved Player: Offense George D. Allen Most Improved Player: Defense Jamil Guzman Panther Grytte Award Harry A. Calianese Sportsmanship Arthur F. Mensah

Captain’s Award Alexander P. Dwyer

VA R SI T Y C ROSS COU N T RY

Sportsmanship Logan M. Stark

Most Valuable Player Christopher D. Keyko Yvan Maslennikov

Coach’s Grytte Award Conor P. Harkins

Most Improved Player Norman Delgado

J U N IOR VA R SI T Y BASK ET BALL

Sportsmanship Julian J. Orillac

Most Valuable Player: Offense Ekene Duruaku Sean Flores

Most Valuable Player Patrick W. McAllister Giovanni Taveras

Sportsmanship George P. Grimbilas Connor P. Medland

THE

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VA R SI T Y BASK ET BALL

Most Improved Player Marwan S. Nsouli Harris E. Russell

J U NIOR VA R SI T Y SOCC ER

Most Improved Player Luke E. Barba

WINTER AWA R D S

Grytte Award Wesley H. Baugher

SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE C ROSS COU N T RY

Most Valuable Player: Defense Luke X. Spellman

36

SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE SOCC ER

Most Valuable Player Luke X. Spellman Most Improved Player Philip A. Raftopoulos Sportsmanship Theodore I. Florescu

SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE R ED BASK ET BALL

Most Valuable Player Alexander J. Liptak Most Improved Player Jacob Kibel Coach’s Award Alexander J. Wittenberg SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE BL AC K BASK ET BALL

Most Valuable Player Maxwell A. Beem Most Valuable Player: Defense Alexander F. Naber Most Improved Player Michael Westman Sportsmanship Hugh T. Chapin

Most Improved Player Logan T. Flynn

Coach’s Award Austin D. Stapleton

Sportsmanship Alexander F. Kwok

Sixth Man of the Year Alexander P. Dwyer


SI X T H GR ADE BASK ET BALL

Most Valuable Player: Offense William C. Bousquette Most Valuable Player: Defense Skyler C. Bell Most Improved Player Akshay D. Swani Sportsmanship Hercules P. Sotos

SPRING AWA R D S VA R SI T Y BASEBALL

Most Valuable Player Alec V. Morea Most Improved Player Liam S. Kerwin Sportsmanship Browning Panthers Team Rookie of the Year Takayuki M. Ishikawa

SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE BASEBALL

Most Valuable Player Eric R. Pena Most Improved Player Zachary Brown Sportsmanship William J. Hatfield VA R SI T Y T R AC K

MVP: Short Distance Arthur F. Mensah

Coach’s Award Dylan C. Steck

MVP: Long Distance Christopher D. Keyko

F I F T H GR ADE BASK ET BALL

MVP: Long Jump Alexander J. Young

Most Valuable Player William K. Rich

Most Improved Player Diego A. Lopez-Liranzo

Most Improved Player Joseph R. Fabrizi

Sportsmanship Norman Delgado

VA R SI T Y T EN N IS

Most Valuable Player Del T. Schunk Sportsmanship Browning Panthers Team Rookie of the Year Oliver Obeid VA R SI T Y GOLF

Most Valuable Player Alejandro Oyarzun Most Improved Player Alexander F. Kwok Sportsmanship George P. Stavropoulos

Coach’s Award Jonathan J. Davidoff Grytte Award Andrew F. Naber

Summer 2015

37


parents association benefit 2015

ZOO in the SKY honor s b oa r d pr e si de n t

JIM CHANOS

38

THE

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The Parents Association

Great Bear constellation. The bear motif adorned the benefit

Spring Benefit 2015

invitation and other décor as a nod to Mr. Chanos’ reputation

honored Browning Board

on Wall Street for his “bearish” calls, as well as his Greek

of Trustees President Jim

heritage, since the famous Ursa Major constellation originated

Chanos P ’07, ’09, ’11, who

in Greek mythology. Art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis

steps down from the Board

presented Mr. Chanos with a photograph of a sculpture created

after 17 years of service,

especially for him by Browning boys at all division levels

including 15 as President.

(see inside front cover of this issue), followed by Headmaster

“Zoo in the Sky,” which

Clement’s announcement that as a tribute to Mr. Chanos’ love

took place at the Central

of Browning and his love of art, the gallery space outside the

Park Zoo on May 15, kicked

School’s new art classrooms will be named The Chanos Gallery.

off with a welcome by PA President Ken Metz and a “thankyou” video featuring Browning boys and other community members. Mr. Metz said, “Thank you to the over 440 parents, faculty and staff who came out to honor Jim Chanos. The money raised will have significant school-wide impact. A very special thank-you to our benefit co-chairs, PA Liaison Christine Bramble and the Benefit Committee.” The annual benefit helps fund summer stipends for teachers, as well as the athletics, STEM, chess and hockey programs. Headmaster Clement, III spoke of Mr. Chanos’ incredible leadership through the years and offered a congratulatory toast. (Read remarks on page 3 of this Buzzer.) Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner was joined on stage by a group of faculty members who serenaded Mr. Chanos to the tune of Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend.” The Benefit Chairs presented Mr. Chanos with gold cuff links engraved with a bear representing Ursa Major, the

Kenneth Metz, President, Parents Association

benefit chairs Chanda Chapin Paige Hardy Karen Naber Alka Singh

b e n e f i t c om m i t t e e Cheyne Beys Diana Brodlieb Lisa Elson Valerie Feigen Kathleen Glaymon Stephanie Hessler Dina Hofmann Soledad Infantino May Kang Stephanie Loeffler Bonnie Lowen

Kimberly Oliva Nazmi Oztanir Deanna Passarelli Amie Rocket Munk Teresa Russell Aimee Smith Marie Regina Sotos Sharmila Tandon Carmen Taton June Young

View the “thank you” video for Jim Chanos on Browning’s website.

www.browning.edu

Summer 2015

39


40

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Summer 2015

41


the local buzz

BROWNING HOSTS MATH BOWL In April, Browning hosted an interschool Math Bowl for

mathematical “Jeopardy�-type rounds (one involving

close, spirited competition included Brearley, Browning,

another round with teams composing songs about

freshmen and sophomores. Schools participating in this

Chapin, Nightingale-Bamford and Trinity. Browning and Chapin tied for third place, while Brearley edged out Nightingale-Bamford for first place.

Upper and Middle School math teacher Matt Bratnick

offered details: The competition consisted of two

42

THE

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calculator usage and the other, non-calculator), and

various mathematical topics. Overall, our boys had a lot of fun participating in the bowl, as well as interacting

with students from different schools. Moving forward, we hope the math bowl will become an annual event. Congratulations to all who participated!


MOCK TRIAL TEAM ACHIEVES OUTSTANDING SEASON Mock Trial Team advisor Marcia

professor at Fordham University and

be proud of: The Browning team

who serves as the team’s coach.

Wallace reports on a season to

participated in a tournament with over 110 schools, both public

and private, representing all five

boroughs of New York City. After

winning solidly in Rounds 1 and 2

against The Yeshiva University High School for Boys and The Bronx High School for Law and Community

Service, our team received a bye for Round 3 as one of the 16 highest-

ranked teams of the remaining 48.

Browning’s win against The Bronx

High School for Science in Round 4

was an outstanding accomplishment! The boys collided in Round 5

with The High School for American Studies at Lehman College; it was

“a match for the ages,” according to Katherine Weinhoff, a current law

a past Browning parent (James ’10) The judge that night stated, “This evening’s trial was the very best

competition I have ever been a part

of. There are lawyers out there who

are being paid every day but do not

handle objections or see the broader picture at the level of our partici-

pants.” The boys were proud to have concluded the season seeded #6 of

the 16 teams going into this matchup. The presence of three Form VI boys who have been a part of the

program since Form II provided an exceptional amount of leadership

and experience for the younger team members to emulate.

While the schedule indicates that

the group meets one day per week after school, the time dedicated to

this effort by a significant core of

the team grew to an amazing three to four days per week. The boys

dreamed of making the trip to the New York State finals in Albany,

which is the reward for the champion team from the New York City region. Ms. Weinhoff said, “A trial with

such polish and such elegance is exactly what we have worked so hard to accomplish over the years, and it is such a shame that one team had to lose.”

Summer 2015

43


2015 LOWER SCHOOL SCIENCE FAIR Science Department Chair Sam Keany

of some of our youngest boys. These

Exhibition in May was an excellent example

arrangements seldom work out exactly

reports that the Lower School Science

of collaboration among many members and

departments of the School. On display were

projects focused on such fascinating subjects as bubbles, hermit crabs (see photo, below

right), scissors, cabbage water, jump roping,

frequently necessary, and that there are surprising things to learn from even simple experiments.”

Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn

added, “The Lower School Science

boys are always eager to explain in exacting

that exemplifies how well our youngest

detail what they have achieved, as proud parents listen carefully and capture the moment with cell phone cameras.

Classroom teachers, siblings and older

Browning boys are also eager to view the culmination of the Lower School boys’ work. Teachers and boys are thankful for support from the library staff and

technology department, as well as the maintenance and cafeteria staff, all of

whom contribute to a morning of scientific discovery and sharing of knowledge. Mr. Keany said, “I continue to be

impressed with the scientific creativity

44

as planned, that modifications are

dissection of squids, owl pellets and the

ever-popular frog, to name just a few. The

THE

experiments show most boys that

BUZZER

Exhibition is an amazing annual event

boys have mastered careful and thoughtful problem-solving, along with the process of the scientific method. They have learned

valuable lessons of following through, from hypothesis to conclusion, utilizing iPads and in some

cases, live critters! The boys learned

to plan creatively, think logically,

articulate clearly and accept

responsibility for their work.”


FAMOUS SPANISHSPEAKING FIGURES VISIT BROWNING Spanish teacher Giurissa A. Félix-Grace reports that for the second year in a

row, the Grade Five Spanish class pre-

sented their Famous Spanish-speaking People project. Using the tools learned in their media literacy class, the boys

researched a famous Spanish-speaking figure, answered 10 biographical ques-

tions, rewrote their answers in Spanish

incorporating the grammar and vocabulary they have learned and presented

their reports in Spanish dressed as their historical figures.

A few of last year’s visitors re-

turned to Browning, while the rest

visited the School for the first time,

including Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias, Colombian painter

Fernando Botero, Venezuelan statesman and military leader Simón

Bolívar, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro,

Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet,

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés,

minican dictator and military leader

Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar,

Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, Dominican visionary and founding father

Juan Pablo Duarte, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso,

Mexican painter Diego Rivera, DoRafael Leonidas Trujillo, Peruvian

writer Mario Vargas Llosa, and Castilian nobelman and military leader Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar known as El Cid.

FORM III BOYS STUDY BIOLOGY AT BLACK ROCK FOREST In April, Form III students spent two days at Black Rock Forest gathering data for their biology projects. Dean of Students Sam Keany,

who is also Browning’s science department chair and vice

president of The Black Rock Forest Consortium Board,

reports: Enjoying perfect weather, the boys took advantage of their opportunities to explore many

organisms in the forest, including spiders, fungi, trees, millipedes

and water studies. Each boy had developed a sound

plant common around any cleared area in the forest.

Additionally, two groups of boys spent several hours

as well as a game of touch football. The boys were

digging out stands of Japanese barberry, an invasive

Bratnick, math teacher, and me.

question, based on significant background research. performing much needed community service by

Many boys also enjoyed a night hike in the moonlight,

accompanied by Dr. Betty Noel, biology teacher, Matt

Summer 2015

45


FIFTH GRADE BOYS ENJOY BIRDING IN CENTRAL PARK The fifth grade science classes enjoyed the beauty of a long-awaited spring, albeit with some spring showers, when they ventured into Central

Park in April to spot many of the

birds they had discussed in class with Roger Pasquier, a native New Yorker,

former Director of Foundations for the National Audubon Society, Inc., and famed birder.

Head of Middle School Chris

Dunham, along with science teacher Julia Kingsdale, who accompanied

this year’s class got the best glimpse

pleasure at the opportunity to go

class findings: This year’s class

taken into the park, as it soared above,

the rain stopped, we went to see

the two groups, report on the

had a personal best of spotting

and recording 33 species of birds, from robins, to various types of

woodpeckers, to grackles, to the city’s famous red-tailed hawk, Pale Male,

who is roosted on a building on Fifth Avenue across the street from the

park. Mr. Pasquier remarked that

of any fifth grade class that he has scanning for food for its young.

Browning boys study birds and

their migration in the spring, as it is

the best time of year to do so. Central Park attracts numerous migrating

birds drawn to this scenic area even

in the midst of so many buildings. A number of the boys expressed their

birding. One boy remarked, “After amazing birds with Mr. Pasquier. The entire walk was amazing, and I want to do it again.” Another commented, “I thought that going to the park to identify birds’ songs was great be-

cause now I know how to tell which

birds make what songs and where to find them.”

FORM I BOYS STUDY IN HUDSON HIGHLANDS Head of Middle School Chris Dunham reports on an overnight

trip taken with Form I boys in April: The Form I boys, along with Mr. Davis, Mr. Klein and me, spent two days up in the Hudson

Highlands. Black Rock Forest was our first stop. The boys seined for

macro-invertebrates in the local streams, hiked four miles to Field of

Pines, and had a fun campfire (with s’mores!). Mr. Davis and a small crew of students discovered a local cache of Black Rock Forest clay and brought back 10 pounds of it for sculpting use here at school. On Friday, the boys traveled to Storm King Art Center to see its monumental pieces. It was a terrific trip for all!

The boys began their day on Friday with a group sculpture project

inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy. They broke into teams

and were instructed to assemble an earth sculpture using materials

they found in the forest. The teams focused on the use of the elements

and principles of design to enhance their creations, which were photographed at the end of the allotted time frame.

46

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FROM FARM TO TABLE: SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKS TO LOWER SCHOOL BOYS tion between consumer expectation and food waste. For instance, farmers need to be sure they cover the head of

the cauliflower so it remains white and not yellow; other-

wise, they will have to discard it. Even though it will taste the same no matter the color, consumers prefer that cau-

liflower be white. She explained that it is a rich course of

vitamin C, while mushrooms can help prevent cancer. Lots of giggles could be heard when she spoke about the use

of “penguin poop” as a fertilizer by farmers in California.

Ms. Jolly presented a lively and informative program that Nicole Cotroneo Jolly, an award-winning journalist, film

grabbed the boys’ attention; she asked questions of them, encouraging their appreciation for how their food gets to

producer and digital content creator, presented “How

their table and how they can make healthy food choices.

Her interactive presentation explained the sources of the

New York Times and appeared on the Food Network and

cultivate a few “diverse yet common” foods. Ms. Jolly

travel has also been published by The Washington Post,

Does It Grow?” at a Lower School assembly in April.

food we eat, bringing boys, via two videos, to farms that focused her program on cauliflower and mushrooms, as both were served in Browning’s dining hall that day.

Using language the boys could understand, Ms. Jolly

explored the themes of each video, including the connec-

Ms. Jolly has written over 100 news articles for The

the Travel Channel. Her work on food, agriculture and Modern Farmer, National Geographic Traveler, Delta

Sky magazine, Civil Eats and Food Tank. Her web videos have received multiple honors by the Webby Awards for directing and producing.

TWO BROWNING BOYS WIN IN FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAM Owen Abaatu ’16 and Diego

Summit in April (held at the

the NextGenVest Future Leaders

New York City), filmed a “TED-

Lopez-Liranzo ’15 applied to program and won in their

respective categories: future

social activist and future investor. They received free access to

the NextGenVest Spring Global

NextGenVest is a program

former Facebook offices here in

emphasizing financial literacy

style” talk on their future goals,

by Kelly Peeler, a 2010 Harvard

and received an NGV write-up published globally.

Owen had led school assemblies

on diversity action and is

president of the multicultural club and an

active member of

the School’s think tank. Diego is an active investor and president of the Global

Finance Club.

and global citizenship founded University graduate. Her aim

was to build a business that helps make investing more accessible, social and cost-efficient to

young people, as only 14 states currently require any type of

financial education, according

to NGV’s website. She believes

that everyone should understand

personal finance, including credit, budgeting, investing, etc. For

more information, log on to their

website at www.nextgenvest.com.

Summer 2015

47


GRYTTE STAFF ATTENDS JOURNALISM SUMMIT 2015 AND TOURS CNN OFFICES In the wake of the 2014 Journalism Summit at The Hewitt School, the editors of Browning, Hewitt and Riverdale’s student newspapers

came together to write a collaborative piece that focused on the differences,

similarities and takeaways from their respective experiences with singlesex and coed education at the precollegiate level.

Browning Grytte advisor Jeremy

Katz ’04 reports on the 2015 meet-

ing: This year’s journalism summit hosted again by The Hewitt Times

gathered student newspaper staffs

publication, including information on

a live filming, visit a control room and

to continue to facilitate collaboration

school, typical areas of coverage, and

sion with Mr. Haris and his colleague,

from various New York City schools

among them and create a network of shared resources. Schools in atten-

dance included Browning, Brearley,

the role of their publication at their

new features or improvements from last year.

Later in May, the Grytte staff had

enjoy an intimate roundtable discusPatrick Gillespie, an economy and

markets reporter. Mr. Gillespie said

the students “all asked very thought-

Chapin, Dalton, Fieldston, Hewitt,

the opportunity to visit the CNN

ful questions and were very well-

The budding journalists heard from

Browning alumnus Lex Haris ’88,

of CNN Worldwide, passed by and

Marymount, Nightingale and Spence. and engaged in a Q&A with two dis-

tinguished speakers, PBS NewsHour

correspondent John Merrow and Martha Spanninger, producer for Soledad O’Brien and Tom Brokaw.

Once again, each newspaper group

presented a short presentation of its

offices in the Time Warner Center. executive editor of CNNMoney and

2015 recipient of Browning’s Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award, arranged the tour in coordination

with Grytte Advisor Jeremy Katz ’04

and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura

Lanigan. The boys were able to watch

spoken.” Even Jeff Zucker, president said hello to the group. One of the

youngest Grytte boys remarked, “It

was a great experience to hear from people who have been in our shoes

before. They had amazing advice and

insight on working at a company such as CNN.” (See photo above.)

BETTY JEAN JOHNSON AWARDS ANNOUNCED Winners of the 2015 Betty Jean Johnson Poetry Award presented at each division

level include Logan Stark ’17, Logan Tyler Flynn ’20 and Andrew Bates-Zoullas ’23. Diego Lopez-Liranzo ’15 won the 2015 Robert and Elizabeth

Barrett Browning Society Poetry Prize for his poem, “Prayer,” and was invited to read his work at the Society’s luncheon in

May at the National Arts Club. This is the fourth year that a Form VI boy from The Browning School has won this award.

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BROWNING BOYS COMPETE AT CHESS NATIONALS Eight second and third grade students

made a spring trip to Nashville, Tenn.,

to compete in the National Elementary

Chess Championship, the biggest event

on the scholastic chess calendar. This year, over 2,200 players from over 40 states

met in Nashville to play for the title of National Elementary Champion.

The K-3 Championship team finished

in ninth place of 32 teams, a fine result. In over two-thirds of the games

contested, Browning boys faced higherranked opposition.

Aidan Puri ’25 and Ander Pineda ’24

played in the JV section “K-3 under 800” scoring 4/7 (wins/games) and 2.5 /7

respectively. (This was the first national event for Ander). During the tense final round games, the last to finish was

Kyle Dewan ’24 with a win in a game that lasted over three hours. The K-3

team’s individual results are as follows: Kyle Dewan 4.5/7 (Kyle also won an

individual award, first on tie-break as top-scoring player rated 1000-1099);

BROWNING BOYS REACH OUT TO LOCAL AND GLOBAL COMMUNITIES Lower School Community Service Coordinator Rachel Gerber reports on the success of a charitable event in May involving Browning boys: the Browning Team walked in our first annual Kids Walk For Kids

With Cancer sponsored by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

It was a gorgeous day, and the boys eagerly walked as a team for this

great cause. The group collected $4,406 from individual fundraising in combination with the Second Grade’s bake sale. Thank you to all who supported the cause!

Allan Elson ’24 4/7; Neil Dewan ’24 4/7;

Nicholas Shea ’24 3.5/7; Charlie Glazier ’24 3/7; Simon Mandl-Ciolek ’25 2.5/7.

(Simon is the youngest player on the

team, a second grader

who, throughout

the event, faced opponents

with greater experience.)

Later in May, the Multicultural Club and Student Council jointly

sponsored a Dress Down Day to aid Team Rubicon’s humanitarian efforts. The boys raised nearly $1,400 in support of this organization’s aid to residents of Nepal affected by the devastating earthquake this past April. According to its website, Team Rubicon “unites the skills

and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.”

Summer 2015

49


Lower School

LYMAN B. TOBIN ANNUAL PUBLIC SPEAKING PROGRAM INCLUDES ALL DIVISIONS Lyman B. Tobin, a Browning teacher

The Browning School extends

for 34 years, became Headmaster

series of three Lyman B. Tobin Public

sincere thanks to the judges of the

public speaking was established as an

this annual event, boys in Grade Five

Program. Lower School: Margaret

in 1948 and under his leadership,

important part of student life at the

School. The tradition is perpetuated today with this program which

takes place at all division levels.

Objectives are to develop effective

public speaking skills, to memorize

Speaking Programs. In preparing for

through Form II are required to memorize a significant piece of poetry or

prose containing at least 14 lines, with four students from each grade chosen for the finals.

Upper School boys took their turn

a significant piece of poetry or prose,

at public speaking, choosing to partici-

effectively, and to develop poise and

oral interpretation or original oratory.

to learn how to deliver the piece

self-confidence speaking in front of an audience.

Preliminary rounds judged by Mid-

dle and Upper School teachers resulted

Central Synagogue May Family Nursery School; Brooke Brodsky Emmerich,

Assistant Director, The Brownstone School. Middle School: Maxine

Borenstein, Rodeph Shalom School;

Upper School: Lyn Spyropoulos, Head

of another or wrote and presented an original piece.

Every one of the participants

the entire community, a daunting task at

BUZZER

School; Cynthia Grebow, Director,

The boys either interpreted the work

of the contest were recognized at the

THE

Marble, Head, Christ Church Day

Bob Reveri, Westside Montessori School;

showed amazing skill at memorizing

Lower School Awards Assembly.

Lyman B. Tobin Public Speaking

pate in one of two separate categories,

in Lower School finalists chosen from each of the homerooms. The winners

50

Middle School boys concluded the

and delivering his recitation in front of

any age. Mr. Tobin would be so proud!

Honor Taft, The Caedmon School.

of Upper School, St. Luke’s School; Evelyn Gurney, Director of High

School Placement, Bank Street School; John DeNatale, Assistant Dean of

Communications and Public Affairs, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University.


Middle School

Upper School

Summer 2015

51


PARENTS OF GRADUATING CLASS SUPPORT THE CLASSICS In honor of their sons’ graduation and to commemorate this achievement,

the families of this year’s graduates

established The Class of 2015 Classics Study Fund.

This academic fund will help enhance the

study of Latin and Greek at

Browning and

THIRD GRADERS PRESENT DUTCH DAY On Dutch Day in May, the third grade

boys presented a program to the Browning community describing what they learned about New Amsterdam and Colonial

America. The boys acquired a great deal of knowledge in the course of their studies, as evidenced by the roles they played as

individuals who lived in New Amsterdam. They talked about their characters to their

support extracurricular educational

opportunities. (Photo taken on Greek I trip; see story below.). Director of

Annual Giving Soo Mi Thompson said, “Thank you to the parents and friends who collectively raised $45,000 for this special gift, and many thanks

to Maria Gottdiener P ’15 and Molly McEneny P ’15 who spearheaded

the fundraising efforts for the class. Gratias plurimas vobis agimus!”

audience members and welcomed them to read the reports they wrote as well.

Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn

noted, “I had an opportunity to read a few of these stories, and they were fantastic!

The detailed writing was among the finest I had read in a very long time.”

Editor’s Note: Please visit the Browning website to view additional photos and/or videos of many items in The Local Buzz.

www.browning.edu

GREEK I CLASS VISITS ATHENS SQUARE PARK On the afternoon of May 26, Form V students from Dr. Wisniewski’s Greek I class visited Athens Square Park in Astoria, Queens. The

park includes monuments dedicated to the Greek heritage of the

residents of Astoria and features statues of the philosophers Socrates and Aristotle, as well as the dramatist Sophocles. After reading

passages by these authors, the class enjoyed a meal of traditional Greek food at a nearby restaurant named after Zeno of Cyprus, who founded the philosophy of Stoicism. 

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CLASS OF 2015 PRESENTS SENIOR PROJECTS As in prior years, Form VI boys proudly presented their senior projects to the faculty and Form V boys in June. The metropolitan community benefited from the varied

nature of these projects, with the boys volunteering their time at Seamen’s Church Institute, New York Public Library, Future Leaders Institute, New York Common

Pantry, Wild Bird Fund, S.N.A.C.K., American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Parks GreenThumb Project, The Asia Society and Oliver Scholars, among numerous other organizations. Some seniors said they may have been the recipient of their

chosen organization’s generosity in the past, so they worked there to “pay it back.” Form V boys were provided with plenty of advice on how to plan for their own

projects next year. The seniors’ recommendations to the younger class were clear: start early to find an organization and choose one that is of interest to you. Of course, a

reality check was also in order, as one boy noted that even if it turns out to not be what you expected, “Just do it!” Clearly, these projects prepared the boys for the real world!

BUZZER READERS PROVIDE FEEDBACK Headmaster Clement is pleased to share some of the feedback he received this school year pertaining to the editorial

content of the Buzzer. We welcome you to share your thoughts, too, by addressing them to Mr. Clement or Buzzer Editor Melanie McMahon (mmcmahon@browning.edu). Thank you! Hi, Steve,

Dear Dr. Clement,

Dear Steve,

Buffalo” piece in the recent [Spring

than an edition of the Browning

2014 Buzzer. Pam and I thoroughly

Really enjoyed your “Albany to

2015] Browning magazine. Loved how you tied the experience of

childhood traveling with NYSAIS

visits. (We have just formed our selfstudy committee and will begin to work this summer for an October, 2016 review.)

Thanks for sending us the Buzzer.

It always gives me something valuable to ponder.

Frank J. Carnabuci, III, Headmaster The Birch Wathen Lenox School

Nothing makes our mailbox happier School Buzzer! But this particular

one [Spring 2015] with articles on the music department brought back lots of great memories, especially David

Prestigiacomo’s interview, and of all

Congratulations on the Fall/Winter enjoyed “The Hidden Gems”

interview/article [college guidance program] and Ms. Susan Kehoe’s comments on Singapore Math.

It’s wonderful to see Browning’s

the projects we started promoting

successful trajectory continuing un-

semester rituals that brought all young

photo of Christian ’97, Tracy ’00 and

such as music lessons and end-of the-

performers together, as well as inviting

student performers in to class. Congrats on your hard work, vision, and

abated. Topping off this issue was the his wife Kelsey with Sandy Pelz on

page 69 of that issue of the Buzzer…

steadfastness and devotion to the arts!

Best regards to all,

Stephen Hamilton

Pamela L. Bimson P ’97, ’00

Former Faculty, Music Department

K. Deane Reade, Jr. P ’97, ’00

Summer 2015

53


fine and p e r f o r m i n g a rt s

ANNUAL ART SHOW DISPLAYS TALENT ACROSS ALL DIVISIONS A sure sign of the spring season, Browning’s Annual Art

Show opened to applause. Again this year, the show was held in the Lower Gym, allowing the majority of the art work to be viewed in one venue. The ever-popular Pre-

primary penguin works were located near the boys’ class-

rooms, a location now affectionately referred to as “Penguin Alley.” A number of other works were exhibited in the

Lobby and hallways on various floors. Parents and their

sons (siblings, too!) were delighted to explore and admire

the wonderful art accomplished in recent months under the direction of art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis.

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UPPER SCHOOL BOYS HIT HOME RUN IN “DAMN YANKEES” PRODUCTION Six Upper School boys performed

run!” Spanish teacher Elizabeth

yet I left the theater humming

production of “Damn Yankees” in

am not a big fan of musicals, and

terrific acting and singing!”

in the joint Browning/Nightingale April. The musical comedy was

Suárez added, “I loved this play! I

tunes and feeling uplifted by the

staged for three nights at Nightingale (with a sneak preview on the

morning of Browning’s Alumni Reunion), and the audience loved it! Headmaster Clement said,

“Great show all around. I’m al-

ways proud of the Browning boys on stage. Nightingale directors

Diane Davis and Cynthia Coud-

ert hit home runs!” Lower School

teacher Lucy Warner echoed these sentiments, saying, “The Brown-

ing boys really ‘stepped up to the

plate’ on this one! A musical home

Summer 2015

55


BOYS EXPLORE DON QUIXOTE TAPESTRIES AT THE FRICK COLLECTION In April, French teacher Megan Ryan, Spanish teacher

knowledgeable tour guides explained that the adventures

accompanied boys in French IV and Spanish II/IV

Panza inspired a myriad of paintings, prints, interiors,

Giurissa A. Félix-Grace and art teacher Nik Vlahos

classes to The Frick Collection to view the exhibition, “Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a

Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France,” which

commemorates the 400th anniversary of the publication of the second volume of “Don Quixote.” The Frick

Collection was assembled by industrialist Henry Clay Frick and is housed in his family’s former residence

on Fifth Avenue. After their tour, the boys posed for a group photo in The Garden Court designed by John

Russell Pope, who designed the original building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The Frick’s website explains that Cervantes’ “Don

Quixote” (fully titled “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”) was wildly popular when

published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615. The Frick’s

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of the knight Don Quixote and his companion Sancho

operas and ballets, as well as Charles-Antoine Coypel’s exquisite tapestries, three of which are currently on

display at the Frick. The tapestries, originally accessible

only to the wealthy, were hung in Louis XV’s rooms and also given as diplomatic gifts. On loan from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, they were created 100 years after Cervantes’ work was published and were

“translated” from a series of 28 commissioned “cartoons” or designs produced by Coypel, painter to Louis XV,

over the course of 20 years. Four of Coypel’s original

paintings, never before seen in New York, are on display; they are on loan from the Palais Impérial de Compiègne and the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris. Also included in the exhibition are several of the 25 black-and-white engravings made for the masses by Coypel.


Ms. Grace explained, “I had not originally included

Miguel de Cervantes in this year’s Upper School

The Frick Collection tour guides

Spanish curriculum, but modified it once I learned

were impressed by Browning’s

squander the opportunity to give the students a rare

French and Spanish students’

and soldier Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. His novel,

interest. In their words, “The boys

credited as the first modern novel. Cervantes does

enlivened the museum by offering

demystification of the popular literary genres of the

insightful commentary on the Don

Cervantes’s time. At the end of our visit, the tour

Quixote tapestries, and we hope

students’ interest. In their words, ‘They enlivened the

to welcome them back for further

Don Quixote tapestries, and we hope to welcome them

adventures in art history.”

of The Frick Collection’s new exhibit. I could not

view into the literary world of Spanish author, poet

“El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha,” is not aim for a ‘single vision.’ His novel serves as a

time and is a spectacular recreation of the world during guides were impressed by our French and Spanish

museum by offering insightful commentary on the

back for further adventures in art history.’ The Spanish students received extra credit for writing about their

visit to the Frick, and for several weeks, read a graphic

Along with describing Coypel’s work, the tour

novel based on Cervantes’ book.”

guides engaged the boys in conversation, breaking them

the semester and asked if the boys in French IV would

the tapestries, from the comedic, theatrical figures of

Ms. Ryan added, “Ms. Grace came to me earlier in

like to join her and her students for this very special visit; I of course said yes! As I told my students, one

could very easily walk by these tapestries and respond with a remark such as, ‘Look at those beautifully

made rugs hanging on the wall’ and miss all of the

components that are woven into their background. There is obviously the story of Don Quixote (Don

Quichotte, en français!) and the significance of that

literary work. There is also, however, the story of the

French painter Charles-Antoine Coypel whose works

into groups so they might explore various elements of

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, to the bystanders and animals, including the monkeys who symbolized the

playful nature of Cervantes’s epic work, the peacocks who symbolized Quixote’s pride, and the dogs who

represented the loyalty of Sancho Panza to the main

character. The Browning visitors learned that the blood

from hundreds of Mexican beetles was used to create the gorgeous “hot pink” color used in the border or “trompe l’oeil” frame created to enhance the central image. As part of their tour, the boys also viewed and

inspired these tapestries; the important economic and

discussed two Flemish tapestries (part of the Frick’s

(the Parisian workshop where three of the works

comparing their subdued colors and delicate figures

even political roles of the Manufacture des Gobelins displayed were produced) in 17th and 18th century France; and, lastly, the UNESCO recognized art of

French tapestry making. French IV students examined all of these ‘threads’ prior to our visit to the Frick, which made our tour all the richer.”

permanent collection) translated from Cervantes’ work, with the bright colors and flamboyant figures of Coypel’s tapestries. They also had the opportunity to view other works in the Frick Collection by Renoir, Rembrandt, Goya, Vermeer, Whistler, Gainsborough and Turner, among others.

Summer 2015

57


GRADE ONE BOYS PRESENT “THE JOLLY POSTMAN” In April, the first grade boys proudly presented “The Jolly Postman,”

a play inspired by a book written

and illustrated by Janet and Allen

Ahlberg. Grade One teacher Lindsay Burrus reports: A few weeks after

the play, the first graders began to learn about the mail system. They

ran their own Browning Post Office where students and teachers can

send letters throughout the School, with the boys as the postmen. So

naturally, this story seemed like a

great inspiration for our play. The boys did a fabulous job!

Lucy Warner, Lower School

music teacher, wrote the song

the boys sang based on the “The

teachers Julianne Rowland,

with the boys for learning all their

Tops. She, along with Ms. Burrus,

of course, were extremely pleased

and clearly.

Letter,” a 1960s hit by the Box

Taylor McKenna and the parents,

lines and speaking them so loudly

FOURTH GRADE PLAY FIT FOR ROYALTY In May, fourth grade boys,

accompanied by Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner, entertained the Browning community with familiar

melodies adapted from Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot”

for their witty production,

“King John and the Abbot of

Canterbury.” Besides a king and abbot, the talented cast featured Browning boys in the roles

of hosts, noblemen, advisors,

Russian, Spanish and Swedish

scholars, regents, a court herald and a shepherd.

Head of Lower School

Laurie Gruhn and Headmaster

Clement congratulated the boys on their fine performances,

58

thanking the cast’s parents, fourth grade teachers Bill

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Cantwell and Meg Epstein, and Ms. Warner and Glenn Walker for their part in its success.


SECOND GRADE BOYS PROVE A BUG’S WORLD CAN TEACH LIFE LESSONS The Browning School Second Grade boys presented “Diary of a Spider, Worm & Fly” one April morning, with proud parents and siblings present to cheer them on. Their play was based on the picture book by Doreen Cronin. Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner composed lyrics and

music that set the stage for this adaptation of a story about

a bug’s world wherein such questions as “Is Spider getting too big for his own skin?” and “Will Worm learn to stand on his own two feet?” are posed.

Lower School Head Laurie Gruhn congratulated the

boys on a stellar show. She also acknowledged the help of parents and teachers in preparing the boys for their parts, and the assistance of Glenn Walker who ensured all the technical aspects were in order.

The Composer-of-the-Month series continued afterward

with Ms. Warner and the boys displaying their knowledge of the lives of George and Ira Gershwin.

LOWER SCHOOL BOYS EXPLORE LIFE OF FORMER BASEBALL STAR PETE ROSE The Lower School performing arts class presented the play, “Breaking Records, Breaking Rules: A Pete Rose Story,” in May. Written and directed by Head Librarian Sarah Murphy, the production provided food for thought over the controversy surrounding former Major League Baseball player and manager Pete

Rose, who, in 1989, three years after he retired as an

active player, agreed to permanent ineligibility from

baseball following accusations he gambled on games.

In 2004, he finally admitted to betting on baseball and on (but not against) the Cincinnati Reds, a team he played for and managed.

The Browning boys’ play took a look at both sides

of this highly controversial athlete. Mr. Rose, in fact, is

the all-time Major League leader in hits, games played, at-bats, singles and outs. To this day, some consider

him a hero who has done the proper penance, while others say his shortcomings can’t be dismissed.

PRE-PRIMARY PLAY EMPHASIZES COOPERATION IN A COLORFUL WAY! whose favorite

the play’s conclusion, each realizes

the way, is black.

truly complete without all the hues

crayon color, by

The audience soon learned that these young crayon

characters are tired and not getting

Watching the Pre-primary play, “The

along at all. For instance, blue needs a

fun as opening a new box of fresh,

in all those coloring books, while orange

Day the Crayons Quit,” was as much never-before-used crayons! The boys’

colorful production, presented during a morning assembly on May 14, was

based on the book by Drew Daywalt

break from coloring the ocean and sky

and yellow each think they are the real color of the sun.

Although each color presents an

argument for why he is the best, by

that no page in a coloring book is

working in harmony. As the song they sang says, “It’s great to work together. Shake hands today!”

Likewise, no stage production

is successful without the help and

cooperation of many; the play program

noted, “Special thanks to our parents for helping us learn our lines, Ms. Warner for teaching us our fabulous song,

Mr. Walker for his help with technology, and Ms. Zeuner for helping to

coordinate practice space in the gym.” Summer 2015

59


summer stipends

EACH YEAR, THE PARENTS ASSOCIATION AWARDS stipends to faculty members who apply for specific projects, such as summer travel, research or study. Recipients may choose to produce a video (visit Browning’s website to view online) or write an article for the Buzzer about his or her project. Two faculty are featured in this issue.

A Transformative Summer at Bread Loaf School of English With the help of a summer stipend

library curriculum unit based on my work in this class. In

began the pursuit of a second master’s

and ultimately produced several chapters of a young adult

from the Parents Association in 2014, I degree by enrolling at Middlebury

College’s graduate program, the Bread Loaf School of English. Bread Loaf’s Sarah Murphy

Vermont campus is about 10 miles

from Middlebury, near the tiny town of

Ripton, and just up the road from the summer cabin where

Robert Frost lived and wrote for many years. For six weeks I stayed in a cheery yellow clapboard inn, free from air

conditioning and cellular service. I spent my days studying

the writing workshop, I experimented with genre and form novel. It was thrilling to apply insights gained from years

(and years and years and years) of reading children’s literature to the act of writing it. My professors and fellow stu-

dents provided insight, feedback and inspiration. Inside and outside of the classroom, I was steeped in an environment

of literature and learning, and I approached the new school year at Browning with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for my work.

In addition to my coursework, I also took advantage

and my evenings rehearsing and performing Shakespeare

of the opportunity to work with the Bread Loaf Acting

a transformative summer and has influenced my work at

Consisting of professional actors from New York and New

among fellow teachers, readers, writers and artists. It was Browning in countless ways.

I took two classes in my first term, Using Theater in the

Classroom and Writing for Children. The former was a joyful and intense exploration of how to apply performance techniques to the teaching and understanding of literary

texts. I returned to Browning with a brand new Grade Four

Ensemble, the summer resident theater company.

England as well as MFA candidates from Brown University, the ensemble members visit classes, work with students on text and, under the direction of Brian McEleney, perform for the community. This year’s production was “Troilus

and Cressida,” Shakespeare’s tragicomic take on the Trojan

War. Many Bread Loaf students and professors contributed

Inside a nd ou tside of th e classroom, I was steeped in a n en v ironmen t of liter atu r e a nd lea r ning, a nd I a pproach ed th e new school y ea r at Brow ning w ith a r enew ed sense of en th usiasm for my wor k.

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to the show both on and off stage, and I was honored to

play the role of Cassandra, Priam’s daughter blessed with the gift of prophecy and cursed by the world’s refusal to believe or heed her messages. It was a gift to be able to

perform among talented and smart artists, as well as a joy to dig into a classical text and the mythology on which it

I believ e th at school libr a r ies ca n on ly su rv iv e a nd prosper th rough in tensi v e collabor ation w ith oth er academic

was based.

depa rtmen ts, a nd I think

rigorous environment in which to study and write. I wished

benefits of studying ou tside

I applied to the Bread Loaf program because I craved a

to deepen my knowledge of literature and educational the-

ory and supplement my previous graduate work in Library and Information Science with a stronger background in the

th at th e professional of th e specific libr a ry univ erse a r e profound.

humanities. I believe that school libraries can only survive

profound. I am grateful for the opportunity to study over the

demic departments, and I think that the professional benefits

in making this possible.

and prosper through intensive collaboration with other acaof studying outside of the specific library universe are

summer and for the help our Parents Association provides –By Sarah Murphy, Head Librarian

Summer 2015

61


Full Language Immersion is Key to Sharpening Skills My adventure began with a personal

out of vogue in the United States. The good news: I got to

I had visited very briefly a dozen or

stayed behind in Spain. The bad news: I was rerouted from

“side trip” to Barcelona, Spain, a city so years ago but that I was eager to

rediscover. Not only was I excited to Megan Ryan

France that same day while many other frustrated passengers Narbonne to Perpignan.

I arrived too late to Perpignan to appreciate any of its sites

further explore its food, culture and

of interest other than the unremarkable waiting room of

dusting off my Spanish, a language that

“le centre du monde” and where he claimed to have gotten

architecture, I was looking forward to

I enjoyed teaching at Browning. While Spanish is one of the

two official languages of Catalonia, there was no shortage of opportunities for me to use it, both through the written and

spoken word. I mention the trip here because, while it wasn’t always easy as my skills felt a little rusty, it was energizing

and inspiring to communicate in and thus engage with people in the language. It was a clear reminder to me of why learning another language is so very important for my students. Not only is the challenge invigorating, but learning to speak

another language is simply the very best way to gain access to

another culture and, more importantly, to the people within it! After three days in Barcelona, I was off to the train station

to catch a train to Narbonne, France, and thus begin the Parents Association-sponsored portion of my voyage.

Unfortunately, there was a transit strike in France, so my

train had been cancelled. While certainly not delighted by

the situation, I was not particularly bothered either. Frankly, I have always admired the French workers’ willingness

to make their collective voice heard through coordinated

strikes, particularly since this practice seems increasingly

the train station, a place that the artist Salvador Dalí called his best ideas. I’ll confess I lingered there for a moment,

hoping for a slice or two of inspiration. While the waiting

room proved to be something of a creative wasteland for me, I did have two experiences of note in Perpignan. The first

was that I ended up finding a last-minute room in a modest hotel run by an exceedingly warm and inviting French

couple. This husband and wife were the polar opposite of

the cold, arrogant stereotype far too many Americans seem to hold (almost eagerly!) of the French. I have never quite

grasped this tendency/desire to render the French so very

one-dimensional but was reminded once again of the ways in which engaging with people in their language provides inroads to understanding. The second experience was, for

me, decidedly more sobering. I ended up taking a brief tour

of the city the following morning when picking up my rental car, and my route took me through a neighborhood that

it seemed clear had fallen on hard times. It was mid-week

and there were a lot of young adults, mostly men, sitting on stoops or on public benches, chatting and hanging around. For me, it was a clear reminder of the fact that the fall-out

from the economic recession remains very present in France and has left a generation of young people wondering what

Lea r ning to speak a noth er la nguage is simply th e v ery best way to gain access to a noth er cu ltu r e a nd, mor e importa n tly, to th e people w ithin it!

their future holds.

After Perpignan, it was off to the Carcasonne and its

UNESCO World Heritage Site fortress. The fortress, which includes a section that dates from the Roman era, was

originally built in medieval times but was heavily restored in

the 1800s thanks to the efforts of the writer and first inspector of ancient monuments Prosper Mérimée and the Gothic

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Th e fortr ess, w hich includes a section th at dates from th e Roma n er a, was or iginally built in medieval times bu t was h eav ily r estor ed in th e 1800s.

disappoint. Inaugurated on April 18, 2012, it is France’s 10th national park. A series of steep-walled coves that hug the coastline, the calanaques can only be accessed on foot.

My last stop was Nice, where I spent my final afternoon

and evening. I had visited Nice before, so I wasn’t expecting to see the whole city. I did, however, want to visit the

Revival architect Eugène Viollèt-le-Duc. The fortress is

Promenade du Paillon, a brand new park near the Vieille

quite impressive.

recently inaugurated (2013), the park had water features,

overrun with tourists, but with good reason, as it is

From Carcassonne I headed west to Pézenas, a commune

of roughly 8,000, where I spent two nights. On my first

day there, I visited the old town centre with its many hôtels particuliers, monument to Molière and its famous theater,

and I sampled some of the local specialties. On the second day, I hopped back in the car and headed north through

Ville that empties onto the Promenade des Anglais. Also

lights shows, shaded seating areas, a sort of performance

amphitheater and, most importantly, plenty of visitors, from tourists to Niçois families out for an evening stroll. I was

very impressed by this innovative slice of urban planning and inspired by its thoughtfulness and creativity.

My greatest challenge as a non-native speaker who

some absolutely stunning vineyard-studded countryside

teaches French and lives in an English-speaking world is

Languedoc for a hike and to go swimming in this series

de Molière.” Though I will occasionally slip in a title that has

to the Gorges d’Héric in the Parc naturel regional du Hautof rock pools. After a light lunch on the terrace of a café overlooking the Orb River, I headed back to Pézenas.

The following day it was on to Uzès, a charming medieval

town of 8,300 that I think is one of the hidden gems of

southern France. While there, I visited the impressive Duché and poked my head into Uzès’s many shops.

From Uzès, I drove southwest to Cassis, a seaside town

located 12 miles to the east of Marseille. I had chosen Cassis as a destination because I had read that it, too, is something of a hidden gem and, more importantly, I was eager to

explore the adjacent Parc national des Calanques. It did not

finding ways to sharpen my linguistic skills in the “langue not been translated, I have made the conscious decision to

do all of my leisure reading in French so as to have a source of consistently new French language input. I also listen to

French radio via the Internet as frequently as my busy life

allows, and I unashamedly take advantage of my infinitely

generous colleague, Dominique Bernard, and speak French with him as much as possible. However, there is simply no better way to sharpen one’s skills than full language

immersion and, as such, I am deeply grateful to the Parents Association for sponsoring my trip to France last summer. –By Megan Ryan, Chair, Modern Languages

Summer 2015

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at h l e t i c s

2015 Spring Wrap-up

Andrew H. West ’92

This spring was a very successful

season tournament in exciting fashion and raising another

one. It all began when the tennis and

banner! The varsity track team continued their success by

baseball teams, joined by the track team

finishing second place in the league! Browning was also

for the first time ever, traveled down to

represented in golf at the state tournament! All in all, it has

Port St. Lucie to leave the snow behind

been a very special year and one that, as athletic director, I

and get a jump start on the upcoming

am very proud to have been a part of.

season. The baseball team was able to

Congratulations to the following boys on their

play under the beautiful Florida sun, and from the first

achievements: Alec Morea ’15, Anthony Carrasco ’16 and

practice at Florida Coast Baseball Camp, we knew we had

Liam Kerwin ’16 were elected NYCAL All League Baseball

the potential for a very good team. Not only could we pitch

Players; Del Schunk ’16 is a NYCAL All League Tennis

and hit, but we were playing some stellar defense as well.

Player; Alejandro Oyarzun ’16 is a NYCAL All League Golf

Team captains Alec Morea ’15 and Anthony Carrasco ’16

Player. Alec and Del also received the highest ranking of

set a high goal to make it to NYSAIS, and we were able

all players in the league from all the coaches in the league,

to accomplish that by winning the 2015 NYCAL regular

making them the NYCAL League’s MVPs in baseball and

season championship!

tennis, respectively, the highest honor a player can get!

The other teams also did very well, highlighted by

Here’s to the Class of 2015!

the varsity tennis team winning its fifth consecutive post-

7-8 GRADE BASEBALL The 7-8 baseball team is filled with talent. From a strong pitching rotation to a solid rally hitting lineup, the Panthers capped off an impressive season. Team captain Eric Pena ’19 had stellar performances on the mound with four wins and no losses, along with Will Eun ’19 pitching like an ace throughout the

season. Gabe Flicker ’19 provided power in the lineup, while Jesse Starr ’20

batted in front of him with one of the best on-base percentages in the league. Excellent defensive play was the calling card of these Panthers. Whether it was Zack Brown ’20 making diving catches in center, or Wes Baugher ’20 robbing hitters of singles up the middle,

the team as a whole took away opponents’ opportunities to score by playing together and communicating. Jacob Kibel ’19 stole

bases with ease, utilizing excellent speed and

tenacity on the base paths and providing much needed runs in crucial moments late in games. With a combination of great talent and terrific

fundamental play in these seventh and eighth graders, it’s safe to say Browning has a bright future with its baseball program.

–Coaches Andrew Wolf and Taylor McKenna

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VARSITY BASEBALL The varsity baseball team had a very successful 2015 season. Finishing with a 6-4 regular season record, the team clinched the NYCAL 2015 regular season championship and secured a berth in the NYSAIS

Tournament. Led by co-captains Alec Morea ’15 and Anthony Carrasco ’16, the boys had both the most prolific offense and the stingiest pitching staff in

the league. The team played excellent defense and

displayed great team chemistry, jump-started with

our spring training trip to Florida in the pre-season.

With a young, deep and talented team returning

next year, Browning is poised to build on their

excellent season in the future, but it will be tough

to replace our ace, Alec! We have never been more

proud to be the coaches of such a wonderful group of gentlemen. Go, Panthers!

–Coaches Andrew West, Patricia Zeuner, Matthew Brown and Mike Cohn

Summer 2015

65


VARSITY TRACK The 2015 NYCAL season reached a riveting conclusion

This strategy worked very well. Winning second place

and delivered its verdict at Riverbank Stadium. The

in the league is an excellent result, indeed, and we all can

experienced Calhoun School team who won the

and placed third in the 4 x 100. The relays are really the

Browning School boys were just edged out by a strong, competition. Excellent results for our boys! Yet, it was not as simple as it seems.

Track is a difficult sport, and every track and

field runner deserves respect. At a crucial moment of the season, attendance at practice had become

increasingly inconsistent and our results fell short of those we have achieved in the past. After much

consideration, I decided to convene only the 10 boys who qualified for the NYCAL championships held

at Riverbank Stadium. I also decided to bow out of several events, as it was highly unlikely we would

score points. As a reminder, the scoring for each race

is 10-8-6-4-2-1. For example, if a runner ranks seventh in the mile, he does not bring any points to his team and he has wasted his energy for any subsequent

events. I simply asked our runners to enjoy the meet, have a pleasant time and concentrate their energy on our strongest areas, the three relay races.

be very proud of the boys! We won the 4 x 400, the 4 x 800 most spectacular races, and watching them gave me chills. Our boys enflamed the entire stadium during those three events. Christopher Keyko ’15, Diego Lopez-Liranzo ’15, Conor Harkins ’17 and Yvan Maslennikov ’16 were

outstanding during the 4 x 800. The quartet of Brandon Keno ’16, Diego Lopez-Liranzo’15, Jamil Guzman’17

and Conor Harkins ’17 won the 4 x 400 with poise and

courage. Arthur Mensah ’15, Jamil Guzman ’17, Michael

O’Connor ’16 and Brandon Keno ’16 placed third in the 4 x 100, raking in six more points in the general classification.

Captain Christopher Keyko ’15, who has been impeccable during his entire track and cross country career at

Browning, finished second in the 3200, followed by

Norman Delgado ’15 in fourth and Yvan Maslennikov ’16 in fifth. Alexander Young ’17 finished third in the long jump. The 2015 varsity track season will remain in my mind as one of the most difficult but also as a most rewarding and captivating experience. – Coach Dominique Bernard

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VARSITY TENNIS The Panthers had a very

successful season, finishing 6-2 in league play and 7-3 overall. They ended the season by earning their

VARSITY GOLF

NYCAL Tournament title.

from last year and neither one a senior, the varsity

unprecedented fifth straight Singles players Del

Schunk ’16 at #1, George

Allen ’17 at #2 and Jaime

Gomez-Sotomayor-Roel ’18 at #3 anchored the team, with George and Del

earning medals in the tournament. Doubles

teams Oliver Obeid ’20 and Calvin Sherman ’19 playing as #1

With only two members of the team returning

golf team was young and fairly inexperienced.

Their goal, therefore, was to improve their scores every match, regardless of the result, and this

they did! By the end of the season, the players had improved their skills and bettered their

scores by seven shots on average. Considering the matches are over a nine-hole course, that becomes quite an achievement.

Alejandro Oyarzun ’16 competed in the

doubles won a medal in the tournament. William Abelt ’15 and

NYSAIS golf tournament at Hampshire Country

consistently throughout the season, culminating with their last

him for a focused

Peter Florescu ’15 playing as #2 doubles evolved their play

tournament match victory to secure the title for Browning by one point. Each of the alternate players, Teddy Florescu ’18, Grant Thompson ’18 and Sharif “Reef” Nsouli ’20, gained valuable

Club in Mamaroneck. Congratulations must go to effort during the entire season.

The future looks

match experience and contributed to the team’s success. Del

bright for golf at

season in league play, and Oliver Obeid earned the Rookie of the

Middle School

Schunk earned the MVP award for his fifth straight undefeated

Year award for his multiple victories in both doubles and singles. Above all, our captains Peter Florescu ’15 and William Abelt ’15

led by example, with our players exhibiting respect for the

game through their sportsmanship all season. Thank you to the Browning community for their support. – Coach Michael Klein

Browning, with

players ready to

step into the varsity

squad next year and continue the quest for glory!

–Coach David Watson Summer 2015

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alumni events

More than 135 guests packed the Lower Gym during this year’s Alumni Reunion cocktail reception.

O

ALUMNI REUNION n Friday, April 17, more than 135 alumni and guests returned to Browning for the annual Alumni Reunion. Alumni spanning seven decades, from the Classes of 1950 through

2013, attended along with a number of current and former faculty. The Alumni Association’s highest distinction, the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award, was presented at the evening reception to Lex Haris ’88, executive editor of CNNMoney. Prior to the reception, Xander Paumgarten ’90 was inducted to the Athletic Hall

L to R: Headmaster Clement, John Coleman ’65, Marshal Ives ’65, Jonathan Gates ’65 and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan.

of Fame. Earlier in the day, the entire Upper School had the opportunity to hear from an Alumni Career Panel focused on financial services. This year’s panelists included Lex Haris ’88, Harold Lehr ’85, Graig Springer ’98 and Nicholas Versandi ’01, who all spent time with Browning’s Finance Club following the Panel. At noon, the annual invitation-only True Grytte Society & Consecutive-Year

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Donors Luncheon was held for the ninth year in a row at a nearby private club. Three new members were inducted and a select group of alumni donors was recognized for giving for more than 10 (and in some cases more than 30) consecutive years to the Annual Fund. Special thanks to all who helped make this year’s Alumni Reunion a success!


Guests at this year’s True Grytte Society & Consecutive-Year Donors Luncheon posed for a group shot.

L to R: Helen Haris, Lex Haris ’88 and Headmaster Clement.

Steve Schott ’72 and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan.

Head of the Music Department David Prestigiacomo led the Upper School Chorus in a rousing musical performance during the luncheon.

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Xander Paumgarten ’90 was inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame during Alumni Reunion.

L to R: Alex Duffee ’90, David Watson and Xander Paumgarten ’90.

L to R: Michael Beys ’89, David Watson, Director of Athletics Andrew West ’92 and Xander Paumgarten ’90.

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L to R: Nicholas Paumgarten P ’90, Carol Paumgarten P ’90, Mary Kathryn Edwards and Xander Paumgarten ’90.

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L to R: Former science teacher Gil Bartlett, Dean of Faculty and Head of the English Department Michael Ingrisani, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, George Boothby ’71 and Louise Boothby.

L to R: Greg Davis ’10, Dean of Students and Science Department Chair Sam Keany and Stevie Rachmuth ’10.

L to R: Headmaster Clement, Peter Orphanos ’89 and John Hadden ’87.

L to R: Cristopher Cravetz ’98, Sasha Forostenko ’98 and Michael Afshar ’98.

L to R: Jeremy Novak ’88, Michael Beys ’89, Marc Cali ’89 and Jonathan Mason ’89.

L to R: Stratos Costalas ’91, Nader Mobargha ’91 and Director of Athletics Andrew West ’92.

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Members of the 5th reunion class posed for a photo with Headmaster Clement. Top row (L to R): Anik Akhund ’10, Rohan Wijegoonaratna ’10, Harrison Asen ’10, Brandon Romero ’10, Josh Burgess ’10, Headmaster Clement and Stevie Rachmuth ’10. Front row (L to R): Erik van Os ’10, Greg Davis ’10, Adrian Muoio ’10 and Daniel Leder ’10.

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L to R: Carmela DiMeo, Ed Pachetti ’90, Edward Katzka ’90 and Spencer Rothschild ’90.

L to R: Andy Sandberg ’01, Garrett Bowden ’69 and Greg Camp ’80.

L to R: Coach David Watson, Paul Boisi ’97, John Moran ’97 and Chris Coffey ’98.

L to R: Michael Hutzler ’83, Anil Jethmal ’83, Allanby Singleton-Green ’83, Stephen Card ’83, Daniel Rencricca ’83 and Jeffrey Landes ’83.

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L to R: Lex Haris ’88, John Hutzler ’86 and Philip Yanos ’86.

L to R: Nick Rango ’08, Christopher Brandt ’09, Christopher Jordan ’09 and Alexander Lynn ’09.

L to R: Allanby Singleton-Green ’83, Richard Weaver ’75 and Teresa Singleton-Green.

Headmaster Clement and Richard Rudick ’57.

L to R: Paul Boisi ’97, Director of Special Events Christine Bramble and John Moran ’97. Summer 2015

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L to R: Lex Haris ’88, Harold Lehr ’85, Graig Springer ’98 and Nicholas Versandi ’01.

2015 ALUMNI CAREER PANEL This year’s Alumni Career Panel focused on financial services

and featured Lex Haris ’88, Harold Lehr ’85, Graig Springer ’98 and Nicholas Versandi ’01. The Alumni Career Panel is a

hallmark of Alumni Reunion and specifically for Browning’s

Upper School students. Following the Panel, the Finance Club had the opportunity to spend extended time with each of the panelists during a roundtable discussion in the Cook Room. L to R: Lex Haris ’88, Harold Lehr ’85, Graig Springer ’98, Nicholas Versandi ’01 and Sandy Pelz ’71, who acted as the moderator for the Career Panel.

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The Finance Club spent time with the panelists in the Cook Room.


Lex Haris ’88

Harold Lehr ’85

Mr. Haris is the 2015 recipient of Browning’s Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award, the Alumni Association’s highest distinction. He is executive editor of CNNMoney and began working for Time Warner (CNNMoney’s parent company) in 1999 as a senior editor for Money Magazine’s website. In 2011, he joined CNNMoney for the site’s launch. Previously, he worked for Individual Investor, ultimately serving as executive editor. He holds a B.A. from Lake Forest College and an M.A. from Fordham University. Mr. Haris was born and raised in Manhattan and attended Browning for nine years. He and his wife, Helen, live in the same apartment in which he grew up (and walked to Browning from each day!). When not working, he can be found on the Central Park softball fields or at a poker table.

Mr. Lehr is chief investment officer of Aithon Capital Management. He has over 24 years of experience in financial markets. He has served as managing director and global head of cross-commodity trading at Deutsche Bank. Prior to that, he was a senior managing director and portfolio manager for Harbert Management Corporation. Over the course of his career, he has worked for top investment firms including Morgan Stanley, Caxton, Soros and The Carlyle Group. He is an active volunteer and former council member of the Fresh Air Fund, as well as an active volunteer with the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home. In addition, he is a tutor of history and mathematics for at-risk youth and is heavily involved with several charities focused on abandoned and mistreated animals. He holds a B.A. from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

Graig Springer ’98

Nicholas Versandi ’01

Mr. Springer is a compliance manager at OppenheimerFunds. He oversees institutional sales operations from a compliance perspective and determines the adequacy with which the institutional sales channel abides by securities regulations as well as internal policies and procedures. Prior to working at OppenheimerFunds, he spent nearly seven years working for financial institutions in a variety of capacities ranging from compliance to consulting. Some of the notable companies for which he has worked are Citi, Deutsche Bank, Skadden Arps and Lehman Brothers. He attended Browning for 13 years, received his B.A. in English from Columbia University and earned his J.D. from Fordham Law. At Fordham Law, he was an editor on the Journal of Corporate & Financial Law. He also founded and chaired Fordham’s Committee on Diversity in Business Law. In addition, he mentors Columbia College and Fordham Law students and volunteers at Prep for Prep.

Mr. Versandi is an investment banking associate within the leveraged finance group at Barclays, where he originates and markets leveraged loans and high-yield notes primarily within the consumer and retail industries. Recent transactions include Staples’ $7.25 billion acquisition of Office Depot, BC Partners’ $8.7 billion leveraged buyout of PetSmart and Post’s $2.45 billion acquisition of Michael Foods. Prior to Barclays, he was a due diligence analyst at Capstone Business Credit, LLC, where he spent over two years working on private equity and asset-based lending transactions. He earned his B.A. from Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges and is a graduate of The Browning School where he serves on the Alumni Council and several committees. He frequently volunteers in a number of philanthropic organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, and participates in mock interviews with veterans from American Corporate Partners. In his spare time, he can be found on the waves surfing in Montauk, playing tennis or running in Central Park.

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Presentation of the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award Alumni Association President Michael P. Beys ’89 presented the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award to Lex Haris ’88. An excerpt of his remarks from the April 17 award ceremony is reprinted below.

O

ne of the great privileges of being the Alumni Association president is to tell you how great the school is doing. Browning is going through

a golden age. From Pre-primary admissions to our recordbreaking college admissions; from the Parents Association to the Alumni Association; from our dramatically improved physical structure to one of the highest perstudent endowments in the country; and, as always, with the most devoted and smartest faculty of teachers and administrators, the Browning community has much to be proud of and much to celebrate. None of this would be possible without great leader-

ship. I’d like briefly to recognize Steve Clement, the person most singularly responsible for Browning’s Golden Age. We have been so fortunate to have had someone so good for so long. As we start to look to a future beyond his remarkable 28-year tenure, we know we have big shoes to

President of the Alumni Association Michael Beys ’89 presenting Lex Haris ’88 with the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award.

fill, but we also know that Browning will be – much like a graduating student – primed, at the top of its game, ready

donors. Your generosity is what allows us to keep our Alumni

for the next phase and next challenge. Steve, we owe you a

Reunion free of charge, and your high level of participation is

huge debt of gratitude. Thank you.

another strong mark of success for our school. So, a big thank

I’d also like to thank the people who made tonight possible, starting with my extremely dedicated colleagues on the

76

you to those of you who contribute to the Annual Fund. This year, I feel doubly privileged that I get to present the

Alumni Council, and of course members of Browning’s stellar

Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award. Each year at

development team: Jim Simon, Soo Mi Thompson, and our

Alumni Reunion, we come together to honor an outstanding

amazing Director of Alumni Affairs, Laura Lanigan. But above

alumnus for outstanding achievement, one who displays the

all, I’d like to thank many of you – those of you that we solicit,

finest qualities of citizenship and distinguished achievement,

harass, and dial up for dollars several times each year, those

the highest ideals and values of Browning, either in the pri-

of you with a red star on your name tags – the Annual Fund

vate or public sector. We honor them with the Class of 1938

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L to R: Headmaster Clement, Lex Haris ’88 and Michael Beys ’89.

Alumnus Achievement Award, established in honor of the

You see, Lex has achieved what he has, in the face of extraor-

one and only Mr. Cook ’38, Browning alumnus, teacher, and

dinary personal adversity. He lost his father in his teens, his

for 36 years, the School’s Headmaster.

mother after his sophomore year of college… and just as we

This year’s recipient is my good friend Alexander “Lex”

started to wonder how Lex and his older brother, Kip ’85,

Haris ’88, who has risen to the top of the financial news indus-

would get by in the world, he lost Kip, too. This was 1996;

try at CNNMoney. As kids, we all had a sense that “Lexi” was

Lex was 25 at the time. (Tonight, by the way, would have been

destined for great things. He started in the Class of ’89 but

Kip’s 30th Reunion with the Class of 1985).

then skipped the Fourth Grade to join the Class of ’88. He was

I tell you all this not to garner sympathy for our honoree.

obviously very smart, but you couldn’t know for sure because

To the contrary, Lex has never asked for it, and he does not

Lex was always modest, unassuming, funny, and because

want it. I tell you all this because of all of Browning’s values

he was a bit chubby, his nickname was “Butterball.” (You

and ideals, one stands out above the rest: Grytte. Picking your-

wouldn’t know it today.)

self up when life knocks you down; dusting yourself off and

Now, in his job as executive editor, Lex truly exemplifies Browning’s values and ideals. He excels at what he

soldiering on. Grytte. It is our spirit, our ethos, our mantra. Browning Grytte is what makes this year’s honoree and

does, is a leader in his field and, and even when he has

his achievements stand out from the rest. And in doing so he

difficult or unpleasant decisions to make, he does so with

joins a list that includes John D. Rockefeller (Class of 1938),

grace, with dignity, with kindness and with all the qualities

Arthur Sulzberger ’44, Sargent Shriver ’34, Henry Luce III ’42,

of a Browning gentleman.

Howard Dean ’66, Jamie Dimon ’74 and Mr. Cook ’38

I could stop there and think you would all agree what a worthy honoree Lex Haris is. But there is more to the story.

himself. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2015 Recipient of the Alumnus Achievement Award: Alexander Haris.

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Remarks from the 2015 Recipient of the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award

not talk about the time we were play-

The Alumni Association’s highest distinction, the Class of 1938

‘This is boring, let’s start a fight.’ You

Alumnus Achievement Award, was presented to Lex Haris ’88 during Alumni Reunion on April 17. An excerpt of his acceptance remarks is reprinted below.

It

is an understatement to say

those people, my former classmates,

that I am humbled to be

inspire me each day to try and do more.

here. I know for a fact that

What is it about Browning that cre-

there are people in the audience that

ated such a group? I recently emailed

I went to Browning with who save

my friend Gerald Lee ’88 – he’s in

lives in emergency rooms; who devote

San Francisco and we’ve been close

themselves to important research that

for going on 40 years – and asked if

improves the lives of others; who make

he remembered anything from our

the world a better place either through

Browning days that I should bring up

the time or money they donate. And

tonight. He replied right away: “Why

ing floor hockey in sixth grade and you were goalie and I was camped out in front waiting for the puck. You said, flipped over the goal and got everyone to engage in a bench-clearing brawl.” I wrote back: “I literally have no memory of that.” He replied: “Ok. Don’t forget to tell them your nicknames: Belushi and Butterball.” Now THAT I remember – thank you Gerald. Not long after, I got an email from Tom Herman ’64. He has had a long, distinguished career in business journalism and is now a professor. We struck up something of a friendship in recent years, and he was writing to tell me about one of his journalism students who’d be perfect for

Reunion guests watching Lex Haris ’88 receive the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award (L to R): Ahmed El-Razi ’08, Nick Rango ’08, Spiros Frangos ’87, Rosalia Frangos, Stephan Rothe ’87 and Michael Ingrisani.

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One indoor baseball practice, we were all lined up right here in this gym for throwing. I was probably four feet tall and paired with a much older, much bigger pitcher, who was firing ball after ball at me. I held my ground for each until finally one hit me right in the peak of my Browning cap. I was fine, and there’s a pretty good life lesson there: Don’t be scared of the ball. There are plenty of challenges in life, and you have to hit them head on – they never hurt as bad as you think they will. Here’s an even more important one and it comes from my wife Helen, Lex Haris ’88 reminisced on his Browning days in his thoughtful remarks upon receiving the Class of 1938 Alumnus Achievement Award.

the most supportive person I know, without whom I definitely wouldn’t be here. It’s about growing up – but not too much. Keeping all the inno-

CNNMoney. He suggested that I talk

cent fun from our youth, but being a

about what I had learned at Browning

stand-up guy. Here it is: Be the boy...

that had helped me later in life. My

but dress like a man.

mind went immediately to the con-

That’s why she encourages me –

fidence Browning instilled in us, the

now in my 40s – to run around like a

idea that we could do anything.

kid on the softball field in Central Park

Leading the Pledge of Allegiance

for hours on end each summer, and to

in second grade, even when it was

take my job with the seriousness it de-

too tough (I thought it was “One

serves. And to always wear a nice suit.

Nation under God, InVISible;” Ger-

Tom Herman ’64 also suggested I

ald thought it was, “For WIDGET

talk about how technology is changing

stands”). Public speaking contests in

the news business. He’s right about

third grade – even though I always

that. I started in magazines in the early

got beat by Campbell McCrary ’89.

1990s. Then I was on the team that cre-

The idea that a group of fifth graders

ated the CNNMoney website in 2001.

could do a number from the musical

In the years since, I’ve seen entire busi-

“Hair,” right here on this stage. In sev-

nesses built on aggregation – rewriting

enth grade, I learned how to slide into

other journalists’ reporting, slapping

second base in the middle of this gym

a new headline on it. Entire teams

(a skill I continue to take great joy in

devoted to trying to trick others into

for my Central Park softball games).

clicking. And yes, cat photos.

Here’s the good news: The journalism has never been better. Technology makes it cheaper than ever to do important work. Technology also means you can reach far more people. I’m particularly lucky. The CNNMoney newsroom is approaching 100 people, with teams in Hong Kong and London. We reach more than 25 million people each month. And we get to do stories that actually matter, about the most important issues of our time. Is the American Dream still achievable? What is the economic cost of dysfunction in Washington, D.C.? I have a staff who wouldn’t let me get away with not doing it. And the support of all my bosses all the way to the CEO who think that the best thing we could do for the business is to keep doing good journalism. Let me end on a heavy note – but a positive one. None of this would be possible without the Browning community. The late 1970s and early 1980s were a tough time in New York City. My brother, Kip ’85, and I, both Browning boys, and our single mother. Losing her job, going for a graduate degree, then trying to find her footing, all with a single focus: Making sure her boys got a good education. We needed help. And people were there for us. People in this room now. So I’m accepting this honor for my mother, who worked so hard; my grandmother, who believed so strongly in education; and my brother, Kip ’85, who is not with us anymore, but I know would have done great things. And finally, I want to thank all of you.

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L to R: Slater Stark ’15, Basil Chalabi ’15 and Michael Cleary ’15.

L to R: Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan and Headmaster Clement.

L to R: Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, Director of Communications Design Jeremy Katz ’04, Director of Athletics Andrew West ’92, Jeffrey Landes ’83 and Michael Beys ’89.

L to R: Andrew Davis ’15, Norman Delgado ’15 and Arthur Mensah ’15.

The newest members of the Alumni Association: the Class of 2015!

FORM VI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BREAKFAST On Wednesday, April 22, Headmaster Clement and Alumni Association President Michael Beys ’89 hosted Browning’s Class of 2015 at the annual Form VI Alumni Association Breakfast. Each year at this event, the senior class is formally inducted into Browning’s Alumni Association and presented with engraved money clips to commemorate their upcoming graduation. Attendees and speakers at this breakfast included: Alumni Association President Michael Beys ’89, Trustee and Former Alumni Association President Jeffrey Landes ’83, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, Director of Athletics Andrew West ’92, Director of Communications Design Jeremy Katz ’04, Headmaster Clement, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, Director of Institutional Advancement James Simon and Head of Upper School James Reynolds. The

Prior to breakfast, the Class of 2015 gathered on an outside terrace to hear welcome remarks from Headmaster Clement.

Alumni Association is pleased to have these 25 new members join its ranks!

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Top row (L to R): Aadir Khan ’15, Armaan Rawat ’15, Alexander Makkos ’15, Douglas Belgorod ’15, Andrew Davis ’15, Basil Chalabi ’15, Michael Cleary ’15, Christopher Keyko ’15, Slater Stark ’15, Lorenzo Mezzatesta ’15, Diego Lopez-Liranzo ’15, William Abelt ’15, Lodovico De Boni, Christopher Russo ’15. Front row (L to R): Ben Weiner ’15, Brian Bermeo ’15, Arthur Mensah ’15, David Valentin ’15, Alec Morea ’15, Norman Delgado ’15, Kevin Centeno ’15, Alexander Gottdiener ’15. Not pictured: Peter Florescu ’15, Jack Morris ’15, Brendan Walsh ’15.

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RECENT ALUMNI COUNCIL MEETINGS The Alumni Association hosted two important meetings this spring. The first, an Alumni Council Meeting on April 6, was

In April, Director of Technology Aaron Grill spoke to the Alumni Council about the future of technology at Browning.

crucial for planning for the annual Alumni Reunion on April 17. In addition to gearing up for Reunion, alumni in attendance at this meeting had the opportunity to hear from Aaron Grill, Browning’s director of technology and recipient

its slate of officers for three positions:

the year was looking ahead to the

of the STEM Chair.

president, vice president and

close of the 2014-15 Annual Fund on

In May, the Annual Meeting of

secretary. The vote was unanimous:

June 30. We look forward to sharing

the Alumni Association was held

President Michael Beys ’89’s term

this year’s fundraising results at

with special guest Sandy Pelz ’71,

was extended for one more year,

the next Alumni Council meeting

director of college guidance.

Stuart Orenstein ’00 was elected

in September. Thank you to all of

Headmaster Clement also attended

vice president for a two-year term

our alumni volunteers who have

and provided the group with an

and John Moran ’97 was re-elected

made this year both a memorable

update on the state of the School. The

secretary for another two-year term.

and successful one for Browning’s

Nominating Committee presented

A major focus of this last meeting of

Alumni Association!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2015 RECIPIENTS OF THE STEPHEN S. PERRY ’76 MEMORIAL CLASS REPRESENTATIVE AWARDS!

Joe G. Metzger ’02 Most Outstanding Class Representative

William T. Reed ’85 Most Outstanding Class Correspondent

Anik A. Akhund ’10 James R. Preiss ’10 Steven L. Rachmuth ’10 Most Outstanding Class Fundraisers L to R: Headmaster Clement, Joe Metzger ’02, Lex Haris ’88, Bill Reed ’85, Michael Beys ’89, Stevie Rachmuth ’09, and Anik Akhund ’10.

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class notes

TO SHARE NEWS WITH THE Browning community, please contact Laura N. Lanigan, director of alumni affairs, at 212-838-6280 Ext. 1920 or Laura N. Lanigan

llanigan@browning.edu.

30s his 100th birthday on

50s

submitted the following

news: “Marcia Smith Dalva and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on December 29, 2014. Our

In May, renowned biologist

Biodiversity Day. Dr.

Kathy and Michael Linburn ’50 attended this year’s True Grytte Society & Consecutive-Year Donors Luncheon in May.

Lovejoy coined the term

the opening and closing

it was an honor to have

In 1993, Dr. Lovejoy

“biological diversity,” and him return for this historic

event in which he gave both

returned to Alabama in

Robert J. Dalva ’60 recently

October 15, 2014.

the School’s first-ever

highest distinction.

60s

Richard ’32 celebrated

Thomas E. Lovejoy ’59

Selma civil rights protest,

Alumni Association’s

Harold Van Buren

returned to Browning for

Achievement Award, the

addresses to the community. received Browning’s

Class of 1938 Alumnus

youngest son, Marshall, and his wife, Christine,

blessed us with our first

granddaughter, Luellen,

on August 1. I just finished

editing a feature film, “Bus 657,” with Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Still working and living in Northern California.”

Half a century after

participating in the historic

Tom Lovejoy ’59 (left) and Celine Cousteau were interviewed by two members of Browning’s Green Team in May, as part of the opening address for Browning’s first-ever Biodiversity Day.

82

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John H. Ballard, Jr. ’63

March to honor the 50th anniversary of the civil

rights marches across the state. He was a featured

speaker at the NAACP Gala commemorating the 50th

Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, where he received an

award for his work in human rights. Along

with all protestors who

participated in the March,

he is also being awarded a

Congressional Gold Medal, our country’s highest

civilian honor. Please see

the Alumnus in the News

profile in this issue for more on Mr. Ballard and Selma. H. Robert Lind ’63

recently submitted the

In March, John Ballard ’63 (left) was a featured speaker at the NAACP Gala commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March.


80s Reja Sabet ’82 reports that his former teacher, Gisele

Kayoun, is doing well living in Hampton Bays, N.Y. She enjoys reading the Buzzer

and is happy to hear from

her former students. She can be reached at 631-728-2796. Peter Gordon ’84

recently accepted the

position of head of school

at the Hilltop Country Day School in Sparta, N.J. Five Alumni Association presidents were in attendance at a June dinner in honor of Jim Chanos, who is retiring as president of Browning’s Board of Trustees. (L to R): Michael Beys ’89, Juan Reyes ’86, Jeffrey Landes ’83, Richard Weaver ’75 and Tom Herman ’64.

the Class of ’65. See you at our 75th reunion.”

70s

Ralph D. Gardner, Jr. ’71 returned to Browning for

Biodiversity Day on May 22. His article about this day, “Back to Nature – and to

My Old School” appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Classmates Ralph Gardner ’71 (left) and Sandy Pelz ’71 at Browning in May.

May 27. See pages 16-17.

following news: “Following

reunion. Marshall, Jono and

is taking an unpaid leave

parenting and world travel!”

expecting our first grandson

District of Palm Beach

twin passions of grand-

In March, Andy Lack ’64

was named chairman of

NBC News and MSNBC. F. Dodd Adair ’65

recently sent in the

following news: “So sorry that a conflict prevented

me from attending the 50th

John – good on ya. We’re

in September – very excited. We are spending winters skiing in Colorado and

summers at Sea Island. Two children are married and

the youngest is in Ski Patrol and in school to be a P.A.

Life is good. Hello to all in

Shawn R. Cherry ’75

of absence from the School County, Fla., to finish his

dissertation. He hopes to make the deadlines for a

December completion. His

Ph.D. will be in educational psychology with a dual concentration in gifted

education and counseling.

John S. Mead ’85

recently submitted the following news: “I am

happy to share that this

summer will be an active

one as I conclude my 25th year teaching at the St.

Mark’s School of Texas

(one of Browning’s brother

schools in the International Boy’s Schools Coalition)

as the McDermott Master Teacher of Science. In

July, I’ll be spending three weeks in South Africa combining my love of wildlife photography

and early human fossil

discoveries. I’ll have one week on safari in the

Klaserie Nature Reserve

and then two weeks in the

Cradle of Humankind (near Johannesburg) working

with National Geographic Explorer in Residence

Dr. Lee Berger to develop educational resources

related to his upcoming

discoveries in the Rising

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83


Star Cave system. You can

follow the developments on my blog: bluelionphotos. blogspot.com/2013/11/

90s

rising-star-expedition.

Alex Theodorou ’93 had

my nature photography

March 22, 2015.

Texas Discovery Gardens

a licensed acupuncturist

September: ‘Macro-Micro:

specializing in allergy elimi-

html. Here in Dallas,

will be showcased at the

a daughter, Niya, born on John Keranakis ’94 is

Gallery from June through

practicing in New York City,

The Visual Explorations of

nation and detoxification.

John S. Mead.’”

In May, Lex Haris ’88

After eight years abroad

on international assignments

hosted Browning’s Grytte

that took him to Geneva

offices in the Time Warner

Vahabzadeh ’96 moved back

Local Buzz section of this

of 2014. He has since joined

this great trip. In April, Mr.

is responsible for the firm’s

1938 Alumnus Achievement

East and parts of Europe.

Alumni Reunion. Coverage

25-year history of working

newspaper staff at the CNN

and Abu Dhabi, Ali-Reza

Center. Please refer to The

to New York City in the fall

issue for more details on

Far Hills Group, where he

Haris received the Class of

business in the Middle

Award during Browning’s

Far Hills Group has a

of this special event, includ-

with a select group of

ing Mr. Haris’ remarks, ap-

hedge fund managers in raising assets from

the global institutional

investment community.

Since inception, Far Hills has raised over $20 billion for

approximately 50 different investment vehicles. AliReza can be contacted

professionally at arv@

farhills.com and personally

at arvahabazadeh@gmail.com. George Cabrera ’98

recently sent in the

following news: “Tatiana

Andy Sandberg ’01 recently

welcomed our first

of his play “Application

in April!”

a 2015 Drama Desk

the proud parent of Elliana

subsequently directed

March 1, 2015, weighing

“Sacrilegious,” a new play

ounces and 21 inches long.

Tom Schulman (“Dead

Princeton ’04) and I

concluded a successful run

child, Mila, into our lives

Pending,” which received

Graig J. Springer ’98 is

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Award nomination. He

Claire Springer, born on

a starry workshop of

in at seven pounds, three

by Academy Award-winner Poets Society”). He enjoyed catching up with former

teachers and fellow alumni

Events section of this issue.

THE

00s

Cordoba (Spence ’00,

pears in detail in the Alumni

Niya Theodorou is the daughter of Alex Theodorou ’93.

Elliana Claire Springer, daughter of Graig Springer ’98, was born in March.

at Browning’s Alumni

Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh ’96 passed by the red doors in May, on his way to Central Park.

In December, Jeremy Katz ’04 (left) attended his best friend’s Scottish wedding at Langley Castle in Northumberland, England. He is pictured here with the best man.


Reunion in April, and he looks forward to seeing all of his Browning ’01

classmates next spring for their 15th Reunion!

David C. Kimball-

Stanley ’05 submitted the

following news: “This fall I

will be leaving my position of Chief of Staff for New

York City Council Member Dan Garodnick, where I have been the past five

years, to attend Harvard Law School.”

Benjamin P.

D’Innocenzo ’06 submitted

Ahmed El-Razi ’08 spoke to Mr. Pelz’s Form VI College Guidance class in May.

Alexander I. Evins ’07

the following news: “After

received the 2015 Outstand-

the U.S. Peace Corps in

from Tulane University’s

over two years serving in Cameroon, West Africa, I

will be coming back home to New York City this

summer! It has been an

incredibly challenging and

ing Young Alumnus Award

research job with the James

the special needs of the real

in the Bronx.

communities around

J. Peters VA Medical Center In April, Andrew J.

School of Science and Engi-

Scott ’08 appeared in an

to the field of neurosurgery.

crime series on the Investi-

neering for his contributions His work was recently featured on the cover of the

episode of “Deadly Sins,” a gation Discovery network. Zachary M. Perskin ’09

estate, business and financial the country. I work as an

associate account executive helping clients with any media related needs.”

10s

Journal of Neurosurgery.

submitted the following

to seeing everyone so soon

visited Browning in May

working at Great Ink

Joshua M. Burgess ’10

long enough to drop in on a

Form VI College Guidance

service public relations

Center in May. Harrison

rewarding experience, and I am greatly looking forward (and finally being stateside few Browning events!).”

Ahmed El-Razi ’08

to speak to Mr. Pelz’s

class. He recently began a

Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06 is pictured here with Madame Marie, the president of Coftrakol, a women’s shea butter initiative that harvests, refines and produces bath products. As part of his work with the Peace Corps, Benjamin has helped the company expand their business as part of a community economic development program.

news: “In April, I started Communications, a fullfirm established to meet

performed at Jazz at Lincoln Asen ’10, Kevin Dearinger

L to R: Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, Josh Burgess ’10 and English Teacher Kevin Dearinger at Browning in April.

Summer 2015

85


L to R: Greek and Latin Teacher Brett Wisniewski, Alexander Wisowaty ’14 and English Teacher Kevin Dearinger.

Spencer Reuben ’14 (right) helped out at Browning’s Lower School Field Day in May. Spencer currently attends Boston College.

and Adrian Muoio ’10

attended. Mr. Dearinger

reports, “The 17 musicians

presented a program of Big

Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan and Ibrahima Diallo ’12 at Browning in May. He is currently a student at Cornell University.

Band standards, and Josh

had the most extended and intense solo with ‘Stella by

Starlight.’ He had the house

Upcoming Events

jumping with admiration. His playing was full of

invention, skill, and, no

Alumni Council Meeting

surprise, heart. True to the Big Band sound, all night

MON DAY, SEP TEMBER 21, 6:00 P M

the sax section provided the wheels on which the

music traveled. Later, Josh

even picked up a flute and flashed his versatility.” Alexander K.R.

Wisowaty ’14 visited

Browning in May, following the completion of his fresh-

man year at Yale University.

Browning’s new central staircase is a wonderful addition to our facilities! In May, two young alums from the Class of 2013 visited and took a photo on the staircase with two of their former teachers (L to R): Noah Regen ’13, Director of Admission for Middle and Upper School Janet Lien, Fourth Grade Teacher Bill Cantwell and Benjamin Jacobs ’13.

IN MEMORIAM Jackson Alberts ’07 Peter M. Brown ’40 Vivien Orenstein Goldsmith GP ’00 Nicholas Kallsen ’84 Avodah K. Offit P ’73, ’74 Trumbull Richard ’34 John F. Woolverton ’47

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Harrison Messer ’12 and Director of Admission for Middle and Upper School Janet Lien.

Alumni Council Meeting

MON DAY, OC TOBER 19, 6:00 P M

Book Fair Opening Night Cocktail Party THURSDAY, N OV EMBER 5, 6:00 P M

Class of 2000 Distinguished Speaker Series TBA SOON

Young Alumni Reunion

TUESDAY, N OV EMBER 24, 1:45 P M (Christ Church; reception follows at Browning)

Holiday Party

FRIDAY, DEC EMBER 11, 5:30 P M

Alumni Basketball Game

THURSDAY, DEC EMBER 17, 5:30 P M *All events held at The Browning School except where noted in italics above.


THANK YOU! The Browning School is grateful to all of the parents, boys, alumni, grandparents, faculty and friends who made the 2014-15 Annual Fund the best in the School’s annual giving history. As we strive for excellence in providing opportunities for our boys to excel, your support has played a crucial role. We look forward to reporting continued good news of how your annual gift has made an impact on every aspect of life at Browning.

Summer 2015

87


Get Caught Reading!

T

he Browning School prides itself on instilling a lifelong love of learning, so it comes as no surprise that second grade boys, encouraged by their teachers, enjoyed some

good books over Spring Break. These photos show that wherever they were, be it home, at the library, strolling outside or riding on a plane, our boys of all ages “got caught reading!�

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GREEN TEAM PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL

GEOGRAPHIC’S “GREAT NATURE PROJECT” On May 22, Biodiversity Day, Browning’s Green Team invited Middle and Upper School students to join forces with a group of enthusiastic naturalists to participate in National Geographic’s “Great Nature Project.” Pictured at Central Park is science teacher Emilie Wolf, who along with Dr. Betty Noel, coordinated the entire day’s program, dedicating long hours to its organization. See full feature beginning on page 8.

Summer 2015

C


T H E BROW N I NG SC HO OL 52 East 62nd Street New York, New York 10065

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TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS Please call the Advancement Office at 212 838 6280 x1150.

WE ARE

Browning Brothers!

D

Each year, the brothers who are enrolled at The Browning School gather for a group photo. THE

Once again this year, they assembled in the Lower Gym to carry forth this great tradition!

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Buzzer Summer 2015