Excellence IN TEACHING
a rt i n f o c u s
STILL LIFE Teddy David ’18 18” x 24” Graphite on Paper
Fall/Winter 2016 FEATURES
Browning Celebrates Two New Chairholders
8 Honoring Our Mission & Diversity Statements 14 Browning Conducts NYSAIS Self-Study 18 Ambient Music Creates Calmer Classroom
DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Head of School 21 Fine and Performing Arts 22 From the Archives 24 Alumnus in the News 26 The Local Buzz
38 2016 Book Fair
40 Summer Stipends
50 Alumni Events 60 Class Notes 64 Annual Fund News
Art in Focus (facing page): Art Department Chair Nik Vlahos explains, â€œOver the course of five class periods, boys observed a still life consisting of various forms and textures. They were asked
to represent these forms and textures as faithfully as possible using pencils of varying weights and a kneaded eraser to stamp out highlights. Emphasis was placed on proportion, light and surface.â€?
ON THE COVER
In November the Browning community celebrated Mary Bosworth, recipient of the 2016 Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities, and Sam Keany, 2016 recipient of the STEM Chair. Read more beginning 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
John M. Botti, Head of School Melanie S. McMahon, Director of Publications, Buzzer Editor Laura N. Lanigan, Director of Alumni Affairs FALL/WINTER BUZZER CONTRIBUTORS
Kevin Dearinger, English Teacher Michael Ingrisani, Dean of Faculty/Chair, English Department Dr. Gerald Protheroe, History Department Chair Andrew H. West ’92, Athletic Director Zachary Williams, Middle and Upper School English Teacher
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. 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.
Contributing Photographers: Julian Anavian ‘18, Christine Bramble, Coffee Pond Productions, Rossa Cole Photography, Jeremy Katz ’04, Laura Lanigan, Melanie McMahon, Krizia Moreno-Cruz, Sanford Pelz ’71, Steve Shapiro Design by Misty Wilt Graphic Design LLC BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2016-17
Valda M. Witt, President Stuart J. Ellman, Vice President David E. Glaymon, Vice President David J. Liptak, Vice President Alka K. Singh, Vice President Celeste A. Guth, Secretary Richard L.N. Weaver ’75, Treasurer Robert D. Ziff, Assistant Treasurer Andrew B. Sandberg ’01, President, Alumni Association Lisa O. Elson, President, Parents Association Nazmi Oztanir, Vice President, Parents Association John M. Botti, Head of School
Laura Z. Barket Michael P. Beys ’89 Wendy W. Brooks Paul A. Burke Elizabeth Granville-Smith Stephanie Hessler Philip A. Hofmann Federico Infantino
Ling S. Kwok Jeffrey M. Landes ’83 Raul Pineda Andrew M. Snyder Ellen Stafford-Sigg Sanjay Swani Deborah van Eck
James S. Chanos, Honorary Trustee Allan L. Gropper, Honorary Truste
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 head of school
Our Browning Faculty: Brimming With Lamps, Lifeboats and Ladders As delighted as I was to join
the imagination and care they supply in their assessments
on my way to Atlanta, where I
they edit essays and teach coding; they stage productions and
Browning this summer, I was soon participated in a conference with
75 other first-time heads of school from across the country. It was a
stirring, busy, rewarding week, one where I found leadership lessons
and good friends in equal measure.
I will confess, however, there were moments in Atlanta when I wondered if I was already behind the curve, so to speak, as
other school heads talked about their plans for building new structures on their campuses, for deploying new admission tests, and for expanding their volume of Twitter followers. In these conversations, I worried I was misunderstanding something significant about my new home.
Let me be clear: I would love more space for our
students, want to enroll mission-advancing boys, and
happily tweet several times a week. (Come, follow me
@jmbotti!) But I do not believe that the real transformative power of independent schooling resides principally in
capital upgrades or enrollment gate-keeping or social media strategy; rather, it lives in the quality of the relationships
and feedback. They set up labs and safeguard the playdeck;
organize practices; they prove theorems and inspire creativity. There seems no bounds to their disciplinary knowledge, no limit to their classroom skill.
For all this knowledge and skill, however, what is most
remarkable about Browning faculty is not what they know
or even what they do, but who they are. These women and men are, by disposition, inquisitive, honest, funny, brave, hopeful and kind, and when they invite our boys into a
learning relationship, they are sharing themselves as much as they are sharing their subject or craft. From Pre-primary to Form VI, our faculty is inclined to arrive early, to stay
late, and to gracefully, blissfully and relentlessly care for the
young men in their charge. In committing to our boys, these women and men teach their classes, yes, but also model
their ways of being in the world – ways marked by curiosity,
integrity and empathy – and thus encourage our boys to join them. Through these relationships, the School is animated
with the promise of community; through these relationships, Browning becomes a sacred place.
In the end, while capital campaigns, admission strategy
between our boys and their teachers, coaches and advisors.
and Twitter feeds may occupy an important place in our
finds its identity and bestows its greatest gift.
belongs to the emotional connections and commitments which
It is within these interactions, I think, that Browning both
Throughout this autumn, I have been visiting classrooms
and performance spaces to see firsthand how our adults
engage our boys, and – having seen what I have – I cannot
imagine a better way to understand why Browning has meant so much to so many. The professional competence of this
faculty is immediately bracing to a new visitor; indeed, I have marveled at my colleagues’ mastery of content knowledge, their facility with a variety of pedagogical approaches, and
enterprise, they do not sit at the heart of who we are; that heart bind our faculty and our boys together. The Sufi poet Rumi
offers a well-known quotation: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat or a
ladder. Help someone’s soul heal.” Through the relationships that they nurture and the community that they cultivate, our
faculty help our boys to see things in a different light, to accept help in challenging times, and to aspire to become their best
selves. While this issue of the Buzzer rightly celebrates Mary Bosworth and Sam Keany, our new holders of the Clement
and STEM chairs, respectively, I feel a deep sense of gratitude
There seems no bounds to their
that this is a school teeming with lamps, lifeboats and ladders
disciplinary knowledge, no limit to
with engagement and possibility, and why I am so honored
in its faculty ranks. This is why Browning is a school bursting and excited to be here.
their classroom skill. John M. Botti
Head of School
f e at u r e
Excellence IN TEACHING
Browning Celebrates Two New Chairholders
November, The Browning School celebrated new Chairholders Mary Bosworth and Sam Keany.
Ms. Bosworth, recipient of the 2016 Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities, joined Browning in 2004 and is a Middle and Upper School history and philosophy
teacher. Mr. Keany, 2016 recipient of the STEM Chair, has
taught at the School since 2001 and is Chair of the Science Department and Dean of Students.
Head of School John Botti and past Chairholders
Cross. Prior to teaching at Browning, she was chair of the history department and history teacher at Abraham Lincoln School from 1996 to 2004. Since 1992 she has also taught at the School of Practical Philosophy. Early in her professional career, she served as an account manager at Aetna Health Plans from 1986 to 1995 before embarking on her calling in the educational field. Mr. Keany studied for his B.Sc. (first class honors)
Michael Ingrisani, Gerald Protheroe and Aaron Grill,
in physics and mathematics at the Australian National
along with the recipients’ families (above) and members
University, Canberra. Changing tracks, he completed a
of the Browning community past and present, feted these
B.A. in dance and received grants to pursue that craft
esteemed educators. (See remarks on facing page.)
in New York. He danced professionally with New York
The Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities was
modern dance companies for six years before moving into
established in 2009 to honor Mr. Clement’s 20th anniversary
teaching. He taught first at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn,
as Headmaster, while the STEM Chair was first awarded in
then at The Chapin School, where he taught physics and
2014 to honor a faculty member who advances the School’s
was the 10th grade dean. He has taught summer classes for
mission in supporting science, technology, engineering and
high school students at Bank Street College of Education’s
math. Both chairs are awarded for three-year terms.
Liberty LEADS program and more recently at Black Rock
Ms. Bosworth received an M.B.A. in marketing from Fordham University, an M.A. in history from Hunter
College and a B.A. in history from College of the Holy
Forest Summer Camps. He is the vice president of the board of Black Rock Forest Consortium.
we have hoped for a better America, we have invariably turned to our schools, our students and – not least – our
teachers to bring our ideals and practices into closer agreement. And so it is appropriate, then, that we gather in the wake of our exercise in democracy to praise those who outpace our governors – those who help our boys grow as learners, as citizens and as young men. Together, Ms. Bosworth and Mr. Keany have given 30 years of spectacular service to our school, and they are shining stars amidst the constellation of amazing educators who compose the Browning firmament. We are lucky to have them and are pleased to honor them. John Botti, Head of School
veryone knows that Mary is a great teacher of American
history, but Browning is especially
fortunate because of her great passion for philosophy, which she offers the
Forms V and VI boys. Since 1992 Mary has been linked with the School of
Practical Philosophy, where she tutors. One of Mary’s greatest strengths is her ability to listen. She describes her conversations here at Browning and at the School of Practical Philosophy as the most nourishing times of the week. Mary, thank you for your expertise, your joy of philosophy and everything else you do here at The
commitment to and strength
in the STEM subjects also grew
significantly. How fitting, then, that
History Department Chair
the presentations of these two chairs, representing the two sides of the
hen Steve Clement was honored
same Browning coin, should take
Headmaster, it was entirely appropriate
Michael Ingrisani, Dean of Faculty/
in 2008 for his 20 years as
that the endowed chair be labeled The Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities. Anyone who worked
with Steve knew him as a man deeply engaged in literature, music and art.
Under his leadership, the School’s
place together. English Department Chair
am came to Browning 15 years
ago and has built a phenomenal
science department that values not only learning the core principles
of biology, physics or chemistry,
but the application of science and a
healthy dose of curiosity to find out how things work. As department chair, he has hired an amazing group of educators.
As a teacher, Sam inspires young men to actively learn. I often pass his classroom wishing I could be in his class learning concepts such as linear motion force or gravity as the students stand on their desks dropping objects from the ceiling! Aaron Grill, Director of Technology
important that our boys recognize the interplay between the STEM fields and the humanities. What better event to celebrate this! STEM fields can very, very easily become mired in the specificity of their languages – math, coding, abstract physical variables. At Browning, I think that those of us teaching these subjects find many ways to maintain the connection with the human world. And I think we do it well. Projectbased work in all three divisions is part of this. Science and math teams and hackathons are part of this. Collaborations between departments are part of this. And this is what Tom
SAM KEANY Recipient of the 2016 STEM Chair REMARKS, NOVEMBER 9, 2016
about STEM-pathy. At Browning we get it, and my colleagues make it happen day after day. Education Week Research Center reveals that an average of 40 percent of high schools in the United States
irst, thank you to everyone for
being here. And thanks to Steve
skills comes when there is a clear
do not offer physics. In New York
understanding of how they serve
State the number is 46 percent, and
Clement and the Board of Trustees for
in California it is 52 percent. These
the Clement Chair for the Humanities,
Admission Open House, and I was
the creation of the STEM Chair and
both of which recognize the critical
place that academic learning has in the
Recently we had an Upper School talking about our science program with
statistics are shocking to me as a science educator. Clearly at Browning our boys
the guests. Naturally I crowed about
are so very fortunate. But outside
the strong STEM graduates that we
this community, this is the time to
are sending to great programs, such as
double-down on STEM education,
last week, Tom Friedman discussed
Georgia Tech, Brown, Johns Hopkins,
and this is definitely the time to
the current economic recovery. In this
Lehigh and Caltech, among others.
double-down on supporting the
context he described how the best
The success that these boys experience
growth of empathy in our students in
jobs in the future will require more
is a testament to their training and
the face of numerous challenges.
“STEM-pathy.” Now as an expression,
excitement in the STEM education they
I’m not a big fan of “STEM-pathy” – as
received at Browning. And we can be
with Mary Bosworth, our new
a jargonistic mash-up label it sticks in
rightly proud of them and of our efforts.
Clement Chair, and all of our talented
my throat a bit – but I do see where
These boys are the poster children of
colleagues who are working in the
Tom is coming from. All manner of
STEM education, and that’s all well and
same direction, to help our boys
jobs now require, and will increasingly
good. But I make clear to those parents
broaden themselves in all directions,
in the future, some degree of comfort
how important it is for every Browning
developing their STEM-pathy, in all
with science, technology and math.
graduate to be scientifically, analytically
dimensions. And I think that will be
But the value-added nature of these
and technologically literate. It is also
the last time I use Tom’s mash-up.
life of a Browning student.
In his New York Times column
Friedman is getting at when he talks
I look forward to partnering
At first blush, this may seem overly idealistic – but it can be made eminently practical. In considering yesterday’s election, it becomes clear that no side won anything; the real victory will be if we come together and find common ground. But this is not easy. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The reason the world lacks unity and lies broken and in heaps is because man is disunited with himself.” So we need to open up to a larger world. And lest anyone consider unity a dull concept, consider this: “Unity without uniformity and
MARY BOSWORTH Recipient of the 2016 Stephen M. Clement, III Chair for the Humanities REMARKS, NOVEMBER 9, 2016
hank you very much for this honor and the kind words. Browning
has many magnificent teachers, and it is humbling to be the recipient of The Stephen M. Clement, III Chair
for the Humanities. If the purpose of the humanities is to enable students
to reach their full potential as human beings, it is worth considering for a
moment what it means to be human.
diversity without fragmentation.” Each of us has a unique part to play in life – a part that can be fulfilled beautifully only in harmonious interaction with others. At Browning we want our young men to live large lives by expanding their circles of awareness.
powers. And those who will be most fully human will be most virtuous. At Browning, we aim to provide
Albert Einstein spoke of this. He said: “A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe... He
students with the knowledge and
experiences himself, his thoughts
experience that will allow these
and feelings, as something separated
qualities to blossom, so that a
from the rest — a kind of optical
Browning gentleman has strength of
delusion of his consciousness. This
body, mind and heart.
illusion is a prison, restricting us to
And speaking of heart, the
our personal desires and to affection
wisdom the ancient Greeks aspired
for only the few people nearest us.
to was not a dry, analytic-only
Our task must be to free ourselves
expressed it beautifully: “The
intelligence but one that included love
from this prison by widening our
humanities… reveal how people have
for all one’s fellow human beings.
circle of compassion to embrace all
The Rockefeller Commission
tried to make moral, spiritual and
Plato affirmed the feeling of
living beings and all of nature.” This is the purview of the
intellectual sense of a world where
unity to be the greatest good – that a
irrationality, despair, loneliness and
society could only flourish where the
humanities: to help us understand
death are as conspicuous as birth,
common humanity was appreciated.
what it means to be human. Our work
friendship, hope and reason.”
He said, “And there is unity where
at Browning is to gain a glimpse of
According to Socrates and Plato,
there is community of pleasures and
that possibility and to allow that
virtues of courage, temperance, justice
pains – where all citizens are glad or
vision to become reality. The work is
and wisdom are the excellences of
grieved on the same occasions of joy
never finished. Thank you very much
a human being. These virtues are
for this honor.
f e at u r e
Honoring Our Mission & Diversity Statements NEW HEAD CALLS FOR COMMUNITY TO RENEW COMMITMENTS
On September 8 Browning’s sixth Head of School, Dr. John M. Botti, had the pleasure of addressing the entire student body
and faculty at Opening Assembly, a traditional event heralding each new school year. With warmth and humor, Mr. Botti
expressed his enthusiasm for being new to Browning, along
with 56 new students and five new faculty and staff members. “Let’s commit together to celebrating the new,” he said. A
favorite moment of the boys was the arrival of the Browning Panther mascot, who received an affectionate “belly bump”
greeting (as pictured left) from none other than our new Head
of School! We are pleased to present Mr. Botti’s remarks in their entirety, along with photos of this historic assembly. –M.M.
OPENING ASSEMBLY REMARKS BY JOHN BOTTI SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
ood morning, all, and
welcome to the 2016-17 academic year at The
Browning School. My
name is John Botti, and it is a privilege to join all of you this morning.
I’m not sure what you may have
heard about me. You may have been told that I have two sons, or that I
come from Maryland, or that I wear
braces, or that I’m about eight feet tall. All of these things, of course, are true. But the truest thing about me,
right now, is that I’m new here.
And I’m not the only one. This year Browning also welcomes 56 new
don’t know, and we’re going to need
lost or confused, give that person a
among you. And we add five new
you’re in first grade or a senior – who
whatever help you can.
students, many of whom are seated members to our faculty and staff as well. We are all excited to be here,
certainly, but there are things that we
help from those of you – whether
have a better sense of things. So, I
ask that if you see a student, teacher or Head of School who looks a little
friendly smile, a pat on the back and In a larger sense, though, all of
us are new, because each of us will
encounter unfamiliar experiences this
“In a larger sense,
though, all of us are new, because each
of us will encounter
year. You will be trying new teams,
goals of John A. Browning: the
new conversations. And you may be
a lifelong love of learning, the belief
new instruments, new classes and
in very different roles than before: fifth graders have become Middle
Schoolers, third formers have joined the Upper School, and the previous Form V has entered its first – and, we hope, last and only – year as Browning seniors.
Even our most important
commitments of community
purpose – our mission and diversity
integrity and responsibility to the broader community.
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
Please listen: The Browning
our mission statement: Founded in
community in which all members
1888 as a college preparatory school for boys, The Browning School
continues its commitment to the
and the development of personal
word, a gentleman.
Please listen to and consider
in the dignity of the individual,
statements – which may seem so old, so ancient, so remote, are actually
pursuit of academic excellence and
And our diversity statement.
School strives to create a diverse are safe, respected and valued. We believe that in actively
promoting a diverse learning
environment, we are fostering
“celebration of varied appearances,
growth for all. Recognizing and
are inspired with meaning – are
intellectual, social and emotional pursuing diversity, however, are
not enough; we seek to transcend mere tolerance of differences and aspire to a celebration of the
abilities, perspectives and values” made new – when you put them at the center of the way in which we choose to live.
So, this year, whether you’re in
varied appearances, abilities,
first grade or Form VI, whether you’re
characterize our community.
let’s commit together to celebrating
perspectives and values that
Now, you may have heard or
read these many times; indeed, they may seem old to you. But
let us understand that we have the opportunity – we have the
obligation – to give life to these
statements through the way we
treat ourselves and the way we treat each other. Phrases like “lifelong
love of learning,” “responsibility to the broader community,” and
a teacher or a coach or a student,
the new. Please welcome your new
“We believe that in
actively promoting a diverse learning
environment, we are
fostering intellectual, social and emotional
growth for all.”
friends. Explore your new places.
And recognize that when we find
joy in learning something, when we
truly look after each other, and when we care enough to give everyone an
open mind and a warm embrace, we
absolutely renew the oldest, most vital part of our school.
Thank you very much, and I look
Follow Head of School John Botti (@jmbotti) on Twitter!
forward to a wonderful year together.
BOARD PRESIDENT VALDA WITT INTRODUCES NEW HEAD TO PARENTS Browning parents, eager to meet John Botti, came out in large numbers to attend two Open Houses. Browning
Board President Valda Witt introduced Mr. Botti at the
first of these events on September 7, explaining what led to his appointment. Her remarks follow:
Good morning. I’m Valda Witt, President of
the Board of Trustees and the parent of three
Browning boys. As Chair of the Search Committee to hire Browning’s sixth Headmaster, I can tell you that the committee members and I were
fortunate to have met many qualified candidates;
however, we found that John stood out – literally!
As it happened, he was not even thinking about leaving Landon School, where he was a revered,
beloved teacher, administrator and coach. In fact, he was referred to as always being the “smartest person in the room” and admired as a moral compass for their community.
In other words, John was perfect for us! So the task became one in which we needed to show that
Browning was perfect for him. Fortunately, we had much to brag about: happy boys, incredible faculty and staff, and a shiny renovated building, among other things. But what I suspect sealed the deal was
the prospect of being so warmly welcomed by all of you here in this room on an evening like this one, as well as the prospect of helping to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of your sons. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to our new Head of School, John Botti.
At the first Parents Association meeting of the year, Mr. Botti remarked that he knew the School would be filled with learning opportunities, but he had not expected it to be full of so much joy! Along with those inside the Browning community, the cityâ€™s Early Childhood directors were also eager to meet our new Head, as pictured below.
Note: Browning alumni attended a separate Open House in September to meet Mr. Botti; please turn to the Alumni Events section of this Buzzer for details and to read his remarks.
f e at u r e
BROW N I NG TA K E S ON SOU L-SE A RCH I NG
Challenge Self-Study OF N Y S A IS
ver the recent course of a 15-month period, Browning conducted an in-depth self-study as part of its 10-year accreditation review by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). NYSAIS
is a voluntary organization whose members agree to adhere to a set of best practices and principles for schools. Head of School John Botti notes that the self-study “provided important introspection and was a conduit for shared community conversation.” The review process involves both a self-study
and a visit from a NYSAIS accreditation group comprised of peer educators from member
schools. These visitors spent three days in October
observing classes, reviewing materials prepared by the School, and meeting with our boys, teachers, administrators, staff, parents and Trustees.
This two-part accreditation process provides
Browning the opportunity to examine how it currently operates – what it succeeds at and
what it might wish to improve. Five years hence, the School will be re-evaluated on the progress it makes based on the Visiting Committee’s recent, specific recommendations.
As the first step in the process, Browning
conducted a comprehensive self-analysis of its administrative, academic and extracurricular
focus groups of faculty, staff, administrators,
parents, students and Trustees were submitted to the committee, which was responsible for
creating a final 103-page document, carefully
edited to best convey Browning’s strengths and areas in need of improvement.
According to NYSAIS, the objective of the on-
site visit is “to assist the school in better realizing
its objectives, to support rather than to inspect, to
enhance the school’s unique character rather than
to impose a common design. A school is evaluated in terms of its own purposes and objectives, not
those of some remote authority.” During the visit, the Browning community attempted to operate in a “business as usual” mode, maintaining its
normal routine with as few disruptions as possible. Finally, the Visiting Committee released a
programs and initiatives, led by an 11-member
report of its findings. Browning will ultimately
Middle and Upper School Admission Janet Lien.
pride in what it does best, with a visionary
Steering Committee chaired by Director of
A total of 36 reports based on responses from
use this feedback to prepare for its future, taking approach to areas in need of enhancement. Steering Committee Chair Janet Lien offered insight on this labor-intensive undertaking by answering a few questions, beginning on the next page.
Browning’s Steering Committee included (L to R): Assistant Head of School/Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn, Modern Languages Department Chair Megan Ryan, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon, Head of Middle School Chris Dunham, Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ‘71, Director of Middle & Upper School Admission Janet Lien (Chair) and Grade Three teacher Susan Kehoe. Not pictured: Retired Headmaster Stephen M. Clement, III, Director of Technology Aaron Grill, Grade Five teacher Dan Ragsdale.
Visiting Committee members included (L to R, back row): Christina Pelekanos, Village Community School; John-Pierre Jacquet, Berkeley Carroll School; Lisa Alberti, Trevor Day; Eric Zahler, The Spence School; Gregory Benedis-Grab, The Packer Collegiate Institute; (front row): Erica Corbin, The Chapin School; Deborah McLean, Friends Academy; Ann Marie Tedona, Friends Academy; Bradford Gioia (Chair), Montgomery Bell Academy.
MM: What were the most difficult challenges in conducting this self-study? JL: It was tough at first to strike a balance between taking pride in our
accomplishments and acknowledging that there are, in fact, areas that need
attention. As a committee, we strove to be mission driven as we edited each section and to be mindful of being analytical in our program descriptions
(as opposed to merely listing our accomplishments). The Steering Committee members are also very busy with their daily commitments, so it did “take a
village” to get the job done. When the editing process truly got underway, we met twice a week on average – it was a significant time commitment for all
involved. While it was challenging, the group displayed incredible grace and, in the end, this proved to be an extremely collaborative process.
MM: Based on your experience, what advice would you give other schools as they embark on their own self-studies?
JL: Each school is different in terms of its needs and structure, of “While it was course, but in general, I recommend they seek participation from many different members of their school community beyond
their own immediate areas of responsibility. In our case, we were pleased that so many faculty and staff wanted to participate in various parts of the self-study; in this best-case scenario, each
committee benefited from having a new set of ears and an extra voice as we took on our task. In hindsight, we might have been even more diverse in our methodology. The process of writing
the self-study is also a tremendous opportunity for professional development, and it would be beneficial for every school community to undertake it with such a view in mind.
challenging, the group displayed incredible grace and, in the end, this proved to be an extremely collaborative process.”
MM: While it was definitely
a monumental project, are you
and the committee pleased with your submission?
JL: Yes, I think we are all very proud of the document we submitted and believe it is a true representation
of who we are as a school. I believe we met with great success when it
is all said and done. We were quite
“We realized it would be in Browning’s best interest to present our internal findings to the Visiting Committee and rely on the expertise of this external group to provide us with constructive, objective feedback.”
candid and honest about areas that
need improvement and allowed each department to have its say. The Steering
Committee worked really well together and brought different perspectives and opinions to the table. We were able to “pull back” and present the facts, rather
than attempt to solve our own problems, which was not always easy! We realized it would be in Browning’s best interest to present our internal findings to the
Visiting Committee and rely on the expertise of this external group to provide us with constructive, objective feedback.
MM: Did this exercise prove beneficial to you as director of Middle and Upper School admission?
JL: Absolutely! This was a positive experience that will translate well to
my conversations with prospective families. I learned so much about each
department at Browning and what everyone does here. In speaking with parents and boys who are interested in our school, I can be open with them about the areas where Browning excels as well as where we are striving to improve.
As reported by Melanie McMahon For more information about NYSAIS, please log on to the organization’s website, www.nysais.org; included there is an article, “Who We Aspire To Be: Transformation Through Accreditation,” by NYSAIS Associate Director for Evaluation and Accreditation Judith Sheridan, which sheds further light on the value of the accreditation process.
f e at u r e
A MBIE N T M U SIC C R E AT E S C A L M E R C L A S S R OOM
F OR EFFEC T I V E â€œFREE RE A DIN Gâ€?
In recent years I have come to see the humanities, and English class in particular, as an important refuge from a world increasingly beset by distraction. Close reading and analysis, expressive writing and patient group discussion all require sustained focus and the ability to attend to the present moment; I now regard those skills as equally central to my courses as the literary works that make up the syllabi.
When I can, I give the boys the
be as ignorable as it is interesting.”
Our “Free Reading Days” take on
for piano and synthesizer; it features
opportunity to quietly read in class. a meditative quality as everyone in the room engages with a work of
literature, independently and yet very much as a community. My hope is to
encourage the kind of pleasure reading that John Updike called “an encounter, in silence, of two minds:” the reader’s and the author’s. Developing a knack for that sort of deep focus on a text is a matter of muscle memory; like
anything, it takes practice, and there’s
“Music for Airports” is composed
hypnotic melodies, laid out spaciously and patiently. Often, it feels as if there is as much room between the notes as there are notes and tones themselves. One might well imagine that “Music for Airports” would, indeed, ease the feelings of tension we often
experience in airport terminals, as
Eno intended, but it is also the perfect music for quiet study.
Cover artwork for “Ambient 1: Music for Airports,” the sixth studio album by Brian Eno.
something special about practicing together as a team.
Thirty minutes of silence,
Developing a knack for that sort of deep focus on
though, can be a hard sell for a
a text is a matter of muscle memory; like anything,
especially when that room looks out
it takes practice, and there’s something special
used ambient music – atmospheric
about practicing together as a team.
room full of sixth grade boys,
onto 62nd Street. Recently, I have
compositions without a traditional emphasis on rhythm or structure – to help facilitate a character of
As boys grow accustomed to
the names of the artists and albums
begin to associate it with periods of
at home. I put together a three-hour
calm and concentration during free
hearing this music in class, they
Far more atmospheric than classical
calm focus. Once the music is on,
reading periods in our classroom. music, and without the rhythmic
propulsion of jazz, ambient music is, in my opinion, uniquely effective at fostering the environment of deep
focus that is so crucial for students. Brian Eno, the father of modern
ambient music, laid out a theory of
the art form in the liner notes to his
classic 1978 album, “Ambient 1: Music for Airports.” Ambient music should, he wrote, “...accommodate many
levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must
they know it’s time to work. When
it’s turned off, they can relax as we
transition to our next activity. And as boys hear the same pieces of music
over the course of the year, the sound
so that they can listen while working playlist of ambient music using the streaming app Spotify and shared it with my students. Two of them
commented on how ambient music has helped them focus.
John Harrison ’21 said, “In Form II
of a given piece begins to create a
English class, during essay or creative
a palpable space for reflection and
plays ‘Zen’ music that helps us work.
sense of space within the classroom, thought that grows more familiar and comfortable over time.
I have yet to hear a boy say that he
finds the ambient music distracting
or unpleasant; indeed, many ask for
writing times, Mr. Williams often
For most of the students, the music allows them to write with the flow
and stay on topic; it helps them focus and not talk to their friends. When some of us are working and others
focus. After listening to this music
SOUNDS OF SILENCE SET THE TONE, TOO Mr. Williams mentioned that, in addition to introducing ambient music
I was focusing and working hard, I
sixth grade ‘Moments of Silence and Stillness’ (MoSS) are worth men-
halls. The music really helped me
music. We start every sixth grade period with a minute or two of silence
kept me from getting caught up in
in the classroom, he is also a fan of periodic silence. As he explains, “Our
also started to listen to it during study
tioning because the practice is related, in my mind, to the use of ambient
focus on one topic at a time and
to set the tone for the class. While the students are not always calmer af-
Middle School boys.”
missed the music once he moved on to
terwards as a result, I believe these silent periods are definitely useful for
work would get done. Once the music
working, the volume is at a higher
were all in sync with each other in a
volume but not so loud that we can
only focus on the music and not our work. It keeps a tempo in the class and helps everyone type faster. It
helps us to not zone out or spend too much time on one idea.”
John added, “The music helps me
so much that I listen to it at home using a Spotify account linked to Mr. Williams’ playlist. The main reason the music helps so much
is because it relaxes my mind. It
helps to keep breathing calm and
makes us less stressed; it helps with our creative writing and essays, as
Blake explained how much he
seventh grade. “Mr. Williams played
are asking questions, the music is at a lower volume. When everyone is
came on, everyone quieted down. We relaxed state of mind. We came into a class not ready to learn but the music helped us focus.”
“The choice of music is also a large
part in this,” John explained. “If the
music does not have a pattern and is
too randomized, then it could have the
opposite effect. The music needs to have a pattern but not be repetitive so the
listener stays interested. Overall, the
effect of the Zen music during English class has helped many of us – both at
home and at school – to get work done, calm down, relax and focus.”
Blake Sanford ’21 agrees that the
the music for us again in eighth grade as we wrote our first essays of the
year. After not listening to the music for an entire year, I could really see
how much it affected my work ethic
and focus. On the fifth day of school after writing essays with the music
playing during class, I decided to go
home and look for it online so I could
listen to it while working on my essay at home. Unfortunately, I could not
find the specific music I was looking
for. The next day I talked to my friend who had received the playlist from Mr. Williams, and he gave it to me.
After school that day I went home and
started working on my essay, listening to the music to help me focus on my writing; it really does enable me to
the flow of the music goes into the
music has helped him immensely.
in New York City, during eighth
Mr. Williams used ambient music in
through my daily commute without
writing assignments to enable us to
me focus on reading. As sustained
writing. For example, on a busy day period class just after a fire drill, the whole class was thinking that no
“When I was in sixth grade,
classes when we read or worked on
work with greater concentration.” Personally, I couldn’t make it
my favorite ambient records to help
attention becomes more of a luxury,
Overall, the effect of the Zen music during
if not a commodity, the necessity
English class has helped many of us – both at
becoming increasingly clear. Certainly,
home and at school – to get work done, calm down, relax and focus.”
continuously during times when
of cultivating our ability to focus is it would be an awful thing to lose. By Zachary Williams, Middle and Upper School English Teacher
fine and p e r f o r m i n g a rt s (L to R) Front row: Director of After School Music Program Lucy Warner; Julie Jordan (piano); Marc Daine (guitar, bass, mandolin, saxophone); Mike Serman (guitar); Alice Hargrove (piano). Back row: Peiharn Chen (piano); Nick Moore (piano); Katia Kravits (piano); Ilinka Manova (piano); Gemma Hinson (violin); Lucie Gelinas (violin); Libie Schrader (piano); Jay Tilton (cello). Not pictured: Kian Freitas (piano).
ENROLLMENT EXPANDS IN AFTER SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAM The After School Music Program at Browning provides private
Lucy Warner, director of the program, explains, “When
instruction on a variety of instruments to boys in Pre-primary
I first arrived at Browning, a couple of parents asked me if I
this impressive program has grown over the past 15 years
one on piano. From that first year of providing private music
through Form VI. With an experienced staff of 13 teachers,
into a powerhouse of extracurricular musical opportunity for
Browning students. Lessons are now offered for piano, guitar, mandolin, bass, violin, cello and saxophone.
would teach their sons lessons after school, one on guitar and lessons to two Browning boys once a week, the program has
gradually expanded. I’m pleased to note that we now have a
large group of dedicated instructors and over 60 boys enrolled!”
TAKING CERAMIC PROJECTS TO NEW HEIGHTS The first Parents Association meeting of the
school year featured a number of presentations, including one by art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis, who were pleased to explain the
department’s newly acquired WASP (World’s
Advanced Saving Project) 3D printer. Funded
by the PA Spring Benefit, this equipment allows teachers and boys to take ceramic and clay
projects to new heights, as they are able to “print”
3D ceramic forms in the classroom. The next issue of the Buzzer will provide details on what the
MIDDLE SCHOOL PRESENTS “MACBETH” The annual Middle School Shakespeare production in
November brought “Macbeth” to the stage under the direction of Head Librarian Sarah Murphy. As always, the students, including girls from The Brearley School, impressed the
audience with their acting skills and interpretation of the Bard’s language. See cast photo at www.browning.edu
boys have accomplished with the printer thus far. Fall/Winter 2016
from the archives
In May 2016 Daniel Schram ’52 wrote a letter to Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan filled with his fond recollections of being a Browning boy in the 1940s. Too wonderful to keep to ourselves, excerpts of these memories are shared below. My parents and I moved from Washington, D.C.,
the instruction that I read a few sentences aloud to
my father, Emil Schram, was offered, and accepted,
Emil and announced, “second grade.” I did not realize
to New York City late in the summer of 1941 when the position of the first full-time paid president of
the New York Stock Exchange. Father had the job of
finding a school for two of his three sons. As we were living temporarily at Mayfair House on Park Avenue
and 65th, the close proximity of The Browning School caused it to be a natural choice.
LIFE CHANGES I will never forget my first meeting with the principal, A.J. Jones. His office was filled with books. I’d never seen so many books in my entire eight-year-old life. The immediate question at hand was determining
which grade I should enter. I had just completed the
second grade back in Washington and assumed I’d be assigned to the third grade.
Mr. Jones, being the educator that he was, selected
a book from his collection and handed it to me with
him and Father. When I finished reading, he looked at it at the time, but from this very moment on, I would always be the oldest student in my class. The first
major change in my life had just happened...but more about this later.
HELLO, BROWNING On the first day of school, I learned that Mr. Jones was considered the Headmaster, not the Principal, and
the school dress code consisted of coat and tie... The
life of a second grade gentleman had just begun. My
teacher was Ms. Lamont, and my classmates included Phil Goodwin ’52, Louis Skidmore ’53, George von
Haunalter ’52, Bobby Vernon ’52, Mike Ottman ’52, Gordon Wonnacott ’52, Lance Reventlow ’53 and
Lawrence Blodgett ’52, to name a few... (My memory’s a bit clouded in that some of these boys may not have started Browning at the same time I did,
but I’m sure I’m pretty close!)
RECESS Most of the breaks from the humdrum of learning were
spent on the roof of the building; kickball and soccer seemed to be the most prevalent games. Of course, there was always the small gym downstairs
when weather was a factor. Mr.
Steinbeck was the coach for most, if not all, of the varsity sports. The gym consisted of the
locker room, coach’s office,
and at one end, a small stage Daniel Schram ’52 (in striped tie) is pictured in the top row, second from right, of this 1947 yearbook photo. Mr. Schram was able to identify the boy on his right (back row, second from left) as Louis Skidmore ’53. In the front row, far left, is George von Haunalter ’52, and next to him is Michael Ottman ’52.
where school plays were held
from time to time. The gym also served as an auditorium when
needed. Incidentally, this is where famed Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker made an appearance in the late 1940s.
BOYS WILL BE BOYS One memorable day occurred in the fifth or sixth grade. This classroom was located at the rear of the building.
became so hard on her that continuing was out of the
question because of the tears. Little did I realize at the time just how much world history was being shared with us. She was a special soul. I liked Miss Mestra. Browning was lucky to have her.
Before class started early one morning, the boys were
BROWNING GOES TO CARNEGIE
so happened that a woman in the next building had a
the School if she could offer her services to teach
crowded by the only window that faced south. It just
I was probably in the sixth grade when a lady asked
habit of dressing and undressing in front of her window.
students about classical music. My mother signed
She caused quite a stir to say the least, that is, until our teacher Mr. Tobin arrived. Without a word, he quietly
reached up and pulled down the shade. The entire class returned to our seats ready for school to begin. That shade was never moved again.
HE IS TOO OLD I was entering eighth grade when Coach Steinbeck
called me into his office. He explained that several of my classmates’ mothers had approached him with
the complaint that I always won the silver cup at the
annual field day track events, because I was a year older and therefore had an advantage over their sons. Coach indicated that the matter would best be resolved if I
competed with the boys my own age in the ninth grade. I was pretty determined at the time and trained
hard preparing for field day of ’47. Field day was held every May at Randall’s Island. As it turned
out, I won the silver cup. I was very proud of that accomplishment.
Little did I know at the time that this would
prove to be my last year at Browning. My father was thinking of retirement, and it was his wish to settle
on a farm he’d purchased in 1944 in the small town in Indiana where he’d been born. I was enrolled at
Culver Military Academy out in Indiana to finish my high school years.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION Her name was Miss Mestra. Miss Mestra was our French teacher and spoke in broken English. Her
enunciation was next to perfect. She was from Paris and taught us about some of the terrible things
Germany was doing during their occupation of her
country. Many times, while relating a story, it suddenly
me up once she learned about this lady’s program. Once a month, I would go to Carnegie Hall on a
Saturday morning to join a small group of young
folks the lady had assembled from several private
schools in the city. We sat in a special section of the balcony. Great seats, as I recall.
When quietness prevailed, a young man entered
from stage right, walked to center stage, mounted a podium, then faced us and welcomed us all to the
wonderful world of classical music. “This year you
are going to learn about all of the symphony orchestra instruments: what they sound like, how they are used in any given musical piece, and how one works with another in producing sound.”
As the director began his descriptions, a musician
would appear, demonstrate the particular instrument,
and sit down. It wasn’t long before an entire orchestra was seated and prepared to play. And play they
did: the opening movement to the “William Tell” overture. Talk about getting some very young
peoples’ attention! Truly, excitement was in the air. The young director was extremely exciting to hear
and watch, most animated and direct. All of the class was enveloped in his spell, it seemed. I later learned his name: Leonard Bernstein.
IN CLOSING Ms. Lanigan, I’d be more than remiss if I failed to
mention what a wonderful job you are doing with alumni relations at Browning. Your care is most
evident. Personally, I consider you a gift to and for the alums but also to the School as well. One last request: next time you pass Mr. Tobin in the hall,
would you please ask him if we can now raise the shade in the sixth grade window?
alumnus in the news
Christopher Reed ’66 was featured in a 1966 edition of Newsweek; Steve Shapiro photographed Mr. Reed playing hockey on Browning’s rooftop and posing with his classmates.
CHRISTOPHER REED ’66 An article by Abigail Jones in the May 12,
March 21, 1966, cover story, “The Teen-
2016, edition of Newsweek, “Then and Now:
Agers: A Newsweek Survey of What They’re
One Man’s Journey from the Upper East Side
Really Like.” The Browning School figured
to Occupy Wall Street,” featured Christopher
prominently in both the past and present
Reed ’66. Mr. Reed, who matriculated to
articles. An excerpt from the more recent issue,
Harvard after graduating from Browning, was
which revisits those profiled 50 years ago,
one of the teenagers profiled in Newsweek’s
Growing up in a townhouse on the Upper East
Reed, 67, lives in Philmont, New York, a village
Side of Manhattan, Reed was a model of good be-
about two hours north of New York City. His long-
School near Park Avenue (graduates include John D.
Gardens, a small farm-turned-nonprofit dedicated to
havior and an honors student at the elite Browning Rockefeller, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Jamie
Dimon and Howard Dean). He rarely smoked. He
avoided bars. He did his homework, practiced piano two hours a day. In his free time, he played hockey on the roof of his school and wandered through
museums and galleries, and hoped for a girlfriend. His parents were divorced, he had two younger
brothers; and every Saturday, he spent five hours
at a rundown community center on the Lower East Side teaching children to read. Even at that age, he
was sophisticated enough to understand life beyond his privileged bubble: “Everyone is always talking
about the big problems of today’s teenagers. But do
they really have any? They have the same problems as older people – the world’s problems.”
time partner is an herbalist who founded High Falls Chinese medicinal herbs. Reed is a community and environmental activist – he spent a lot of time pro-
testing in Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street, and in the early 2000s, he helped wage a winning
battle against a proposed cement plant in Philmont.
Recently, he joined a local steering committee tasked with figuring out how to use the area’s post-industrial infrastructure and history of water power to
enhance the community. Reed jokes that he started
working in the local food world “before it was fashionable” and, for the last 15 years, he’s collaborated with small farms as a consultant and educator. He
also worked as a woodworker and a contractor, and has taught piano for over 40 years.
Reed doesn’t have children but he’s taught
When we imagine the futures of dutiful, privi-
many young people over the years, and their fear-
banker, hedge funder. But Reed wanted to make the
the face of a future marked by student debt, fewer
leged youngsters like Reed, we often think: lawyer, world a better place.
His professional life has revolved around local
farming, the environment, activism and education. “I’ve always been open to the idea that the most
interesting changes happen on a small scale – grassroots. Institutions can do something that isn’t top
down, and that has real impact. So it’s not a surprise
lessness is what impresses him most, especially in well-paying entry-level jobs, public health crises
and wealth inequality. Asked what advice he’d give teens today, he says he’d tell them that “even the
ugly truth is an important thing to pursue. Behind the ugly truth there are also beautiful truths about the resilience of people.”
“Life over a half-century is humbling. I hope that
that I would have landed in a small community that
I’m cultivating more ability to empathize with dif-
bution to make to changing the world.”
human. That’s a lifelong challenge.”
would easily be overlooked yet has its own contri-
ferent kinds of people. I’m still struggling to be more
the local buzz
BOARD OF TRUSTEES TRANSITIONS Valda M. Witt was unanimously elected Board President at Browning’s annual
meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 8, 2016. Ms. Witt expressed her gratitude
and excitement at the time of her election, as the School was preparing to both bid
Headmaster Clement farewell and welcome Valda M. Witt
new Head of School John M. Botti. She
succeeds Samuel J. Weinhoff who had retired
from the Board after 12 years of service in 2011 but returned for a one-year term during the 2015-16 academic year.
Ms. Witt, a Browning parent since 2007, has served on
the Board since 2011 and chaired the Search Committee for Browning’s new Head of School.
She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary
and earned her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school, Ms. Witt embarked on a career in management consulting at
his practice primarily on commercial litigation, white-collar
criminal defense and real estate. Prior to founding his law firm
in 2009, he served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and as a law clerk to the Honorable Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Aside from the law, Mr. Beys has a background as a small
McKinsey and Company, where she focused on health care
business entrepreneur in multiple industries. He was co-owner
cludes marketing and new product development at Clairol
business with shipyards in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Norfolk, Va.,
and corporate governance. Her work experience also in-
and creative services at Ralph Lauren. Ms. Witt currently
produces documentary and narrative films and serves on
the board of Prep for Prep. From 2010 to 2013, she served as
and manager of Eastern Technical Enterprises, a ship repair
and founded Cobblestone Ventures and Aristone Capital Partners, real estate development firms in New York.
Mr. Beys received a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D.
president of the board at West Side Montessori School.
from Columbia Law School. In 2005, he was a candidate for
The Browning School’s Alumni Association from July 2011
recently served as a trustee and legal counsel for the Greek
New Trustee Michael P. Beys ‘89 served as president of
to June 2016 and has been a Browning parent since September 2012. He was a student at Browning from September 1980 to June 1989.
Mr. Beys is a founding partner of Beys Liston &
New Trustees were elected to the Board in June. (L to R): Michael P. Beys ’89, Stephanie H. Hessler and Andrew B. Sandberg ’01
Mobargha LLP and an experienced trial attorney focusing T HE
New York City Council for the Second Council District. He
Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, as well as president of the Columbia Law School Alumni Association.
At Browning, Mr. Beys was an ex-officio Trustee from
July 2011 to June 2016 and served on the Search Committee,
chaired the Compensation Committee, was a member of the
JAMES S. CHANOS AWARDED HONORARY TRUSTEE STATUS Former Board President James S. Chanos was awarded the status of Honorary Trustee at last May’s Board of Trustees meeting. Mr. Chanos, who served as Browning’s Board President from 2000 to 2015, originally joined the Board in 1997. During that time he helped lead
important strategic planning for the School, two successful capital campaigns, an historic renovation of the school building, as well as expansion of both academic programs and financial aid. His sons, Nick ’07, Michael ’09 and Andrew ’11, are Browning graduates.
In the final months of his tenure as Board President and upon learning of Headmaster
Clement’s retirement, Mr. Chanos worked with current Board President Valda Witt to establish the Search Committee to appoint Browning’s new Head of School, John Botti. Mr. Chanos was succeeded by Samuel Weinhoff, who had served as vice president of the Board under him. Mr. Weinhoff, whose son James ’10 graduated from Browning, served a one-year term as President and was succeeded by Ms. Witt in 2016.
Real Estate Committee and was assistant secretary during
the 2015-16 school year. He and his wife Cheyne have two sons at Browning, Peter ’25 and Alexander ’27.
New Trustee Stephanie H. Hessler has been a Brown-
ing parent since September 2013. She is an adjunct fellow
New Trustee Andrew B. Sandberg ’01 was elected pres-
ident of Browning’s Alumni Association on May 23, 2016,
for a two-year term beginning on July 1, 2016, and ending on June 30, 2018.
Mr. Sandberg is a director, writer, actor and Tony
at the Manhattan Institute and writes on constitutional law,
Award-winning producer. His Broadway and Off-Broad-
nominations. Her work has been featured in numerous pub-
Joneses,” “Application Pending,” “Straight” and “The Last
national security law, counterterrorism law and judicial
lications, including The Weekly Standard, The Washington
Times, the Washington Examiner, City Journal, National Re-
view Online, The Federalist and Townhall.com. She has been a guest on FOX News “Strategy Room,” “FOX and Friends” and national and local radio programs.
Ms. Hessler has been a guest speaker at Yale Law School
and Georgetown Law School and has also testified before
way credits include “Hair,” “The Best Man,” “The Realistic Smoker in America.” At age 25, he became the youngest
producer in history to win a Tony Award (2009) for his role with the hit revival “Hair” on Broadway.
Mr. Sandberg entered Browning in the first grade in 1989
and graduated in 2001. He matriculated to Yale University where he earned a B.A. in English and theater studies.
Mr. Sandberg joined Browning’s Alumni Council in
the Unites States Congress on counterterrorism policy. Prior
2009 and has since been an instrumental leader in the
tional lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also
friend-raising, event attendance and overall engagement
to joining the Manhattan Institute, she served as a constituserved on the legal team that counseled on the nomination
of Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Before joining the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she practiced
international arbitration at a private law firm and clerked for Chief Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Ms. Hessler received a B.A. in English Literature from
Kenyon College and a J.D. from New York University Law School. She serves on the board of the Lincoln Center Film
Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Southampton Bath & Tennis Club Charitable Fund.
Alumni Association’s efforts to grow its fundraising,
with the School. He has served in a variety of leadership positions, including co-chair of the Alumni Class
Representatives Committee (2008-2010) and co-chair of the Alumni Advancement Committee (2011-2012,
2015-present). In 2010, he received the Stephen S. Perry ’76 Memorial Class Representative Award for Most
Outstanding Class Representative. Mr. Sandberg has
worked closely with Browning alumni, students, faculty,
administrators and parents on various events and projects over the years.
He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreogra-
She and her husband Steve have four children, includ-
phers Society, the Actors’ Equity Association and The Off-
MacLean ’28 attend Browning, while Shaughnessy attends
Association and the Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni Association
ing three sons and a daughter. Declan ’26, Dashiell ’26 and nursery school at the Garden House School.
Broadway League. He sits on the boards of the Yale Dramatic and is president of the Yale Alley Cats Alumni Organization.
HEAD OF SCHOOL JOHN BOTTI APPOINTS DR. BETTY NOEL DIRECTOR OF DIVERSITY Head of School John Botti is
remarked, “Dr. Noel is well-qualified
to the position of Director of
that through her leadership, we
pleased to appoint Dr. Betty Noel Diversity at The Browning School. Mr. Botti stressed the importance
of upholding the School’s Diversity Statement when he spoke to the
to fulfill this role, and I am pleased renew our commitment to the
Diversity Statement, which has long been a part of the School.”
Dr. Noel, who teaches Middle and
community on opening day in
Upper School science, plans to form a
“Phrases like ‘celebration of varied
of faculty and staff. She also eagerly
September. In his remarks, he said,
appearances, abilities, perspectives and values’ are inspired with
meaning—are made new—when you put them at the center of the
way in which we choose to live.”
In creating this important new
position at Browning, Mr. Botti
new Diversity Committee comprised
Dr. Noel said, “I am excited
anticipates the School’s third annual
about this opportunity and look
an event she has long been involved
Browning community to more
Community Day on December 15,
with. The latter offers an opportunity
to celebrate the Browning community and to take a closer look at the world outside its walls as well.
forward to working with the fully address the ideals
surrounding inclusiveness and equity outlined in our Mission and Diversity Statements.”
READING TERRACE ENHANCED BY NEW PLANTINGS The Browning community has been
memory of her mother Nancy Kaplan,
The new plantings were made at the
Reading Terrace since late September.
potted coral-bark maple trees, as well
who evaluated the terrace’s space and
enjoying enhanced plantings on the
Thanks to a gift from current parent
Susan Barr (Alexander ’21), made in
the terrace is now graced with three as climbing hydrangea vines on the
wall running the width of the terrace.
suggestion of a professional landscaper access to sunlight.
NEW FACULTY JOIN THE BROWNING SCHOOL Nicholas Berry, who joins Browning as a Pre-primary associate teacher, earned a B.A. from Vassar College.
Mr. Berry previously served
as a kindergarten and second grade assistant teacher at
Grace Church School and also
worked at Saint Bartholomewâ€™s Community Preschool and
Wilcox Educational Counseling.
Frances Hamilton is a third
grade associate teacher. She holds
an M.A. from New York University Steinhardt School of Education
and B.A. from College of the Holy Cross. Prior to joining Browning,
Ms. Hamilton worked at Hackley School where she served as a second grade assistant teacher, assistant director/director of the lower school
after school program, and member of the social studies assessment committee.
Kristina Oka joins Browning as a second
grade associate teacher. She earned an M.S. from Hunter College and a B.A. from The
New School. Ms. Oka previously served as an
assistant kindergarten and first grade teacher at Grace Church School, where she planned and
taught lessons and activities, as well as worked
with parents to ensure successful academic and
As a college student, she taught English at Lutherschule in Vienna, Austria.
Kristofer Pischel joins Browning as a
fifth grade teacher. He earned both an M.S. and B.S. from Long Island University. Beginning in 2006, Mr. Pischel served in various capacities at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, including director of student life, fifth and sixth grade English and social studies teacher, middle
school learning specialist, head coach of the varsity baseball team and coach of both the
middle school softball and boys soccer teams. Middle and Upper School music teacher
social development of their students.
Richard Symons earned an M.M. from
joined Browning midway through the 2015-16
as well as a B.M. from Western Australian
Victoria Piedmont, admission associate,
school year. She previously served in various positions at Riverdale Country School, The
Gateway School of New York, and Lawrence
Woodmere Academy Summer Day. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, Ms. Piedmont earned a B.A. from Villanova University.
Mannes College, The New School for Music, Academy of Performing Arts. A freelance opera singer (lyric tenor) and soloist with a variety of orchestras and opera companies, Mr. Symons was artistic director of the Giovanni Consort
(Australia) and music teacher at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School.
FORMS V AND VI EXPLORE COLLEGES DURING “UNIQUELY BROWNING” TRIP Led by Director of College Guidance Sanford Pelz ’71, who
was accompanied by Head of Upper School James Reynolds and Dean of Faculty Michael Ingrisani, boys in Forms V and VI took a three-day trip to visit eight campuses in
September. Mr. Reynolds provides the following report: The first day featured visits to Union College in
Schenectady, N.Y., where the boys saw Del Schunk ’16,
and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. At both schools, the boys heard presentations from admission
representatives, enjoyed guided tours and ate a meal in the dining hall. For two nights of the trip, the travelers stayed in Rutland, Vt., a central location for their college exploration.
On day two, after weathering the shock of the cold
morning temperatures in Rutland, the boys headed for
Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where they were thrilled to see and to be warmly greeted by Arthur
Mensah ’15. From Dartmouth, the group slipped back
across the border into Vermont and rode to Burlington for lunch and a tour of the University of Vermont (UVM).
After completing the UVM visit, the boys walked a few
blocks to Champlain College for a tour of this small and
beautifully situated school. The day ended with dinner at Middlebury College.
FIFTH GRADERS LEARN ABOUT SEAFARING LIFE In September the fifth graders en-
more about 19th-century seafaring
takingly preserved. The boys also
Conn., where they supplemented
an historic port – once a whaling
the Mashantucket Pequot Museum
joyed an overnight trip to Mystic,
their classroom studies by learning
life. They toured Mystic Seaport,
community – that has been pains-
visited the Mystic Aquarium and & Research Center.
FORM III BOYS PARTICIPATE IN PINE FOREST CAMP ADVENTURE In October Form III boys journeyed by bus to Pine Forest Camp, as is tradition for their grade. The annual trip, designed to give the new-
est Upper School boys an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company during two days of a variety of activities, was led by Upper School
Head James Reynolds, along with Brett Wisniewski from the classics department and Michael Cohn from the P.E. department.
The first day at camp, the boys rotated through activities such
as canoeing on the camp’s lake and high- and low-rope challenges, which included the ever popular zip line. On day two, they were up early to pack, load up the bus and grab a hearty breakfast
before heading to the shore of the Delaware River for rafting. After reaching their final destination in Matamoras, Pa., the boys and
faculty gathered in small groups with the Mountain Workshop team to debrief before heading home.
FORM VI RETREAT ALLOWS BOYS TO RECONNENT In September the Form VI boys, along with Head of
work together, encourage each other and, generally,
Guidance Sanford Pelz â€™71, escaped the sauna of the
students were surprised by the value of the day, noting
Upper School James Reynolds and Director of College city for a one-day retreat to Camp Morty, a Fresh Air
Fund site in North Salem, N.Y. Mr. Reynolds offers the following report:
With the assistance of activities facilitators from
the Mountain Workshop, the boys met high- and low-
rope challenges designed to encourage teamwork and personal challenge. It was wonderful seeing the boys
enjoy the company of their classmates. Even the
that the retreat allowed them to reconnect and grow as a group. With the challenge of the college admission process looming, Form VI boys started the year off
understanding the importance of fraternity and ready to support, celebrate and encourage each member of the class as the year moves forward.
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN CLASS MEMBERS HOPE TO DEVELOP ON-SITE GREENHOUSE The Form V and VI boys in the sustainable
the deck in order to produce a floor plan and
Dr. Betty Noel, propose to turn part of the
forward in developing this greenhouse.
design class, taught by Emilie Wolf and Schoolâ€™s fourth floor deck into a multi-
October to the Upper West Side to meet with
means to be sustainable and environmental
nonprofit organization that has facilitated
in the 21st century. The boys have been
applying their knowledge to a real-world
application by doing a LEED assessment of
To this end, the class traveled in early
purpose greenhouse. This project came about as part of their class discussion of what it
budget proposal allowing Browning to move
staff members of New York Sun Works, a
the design of greenhouses in over 40 schools in the cityâ€™s five boroughs.
FOURTH GRADE “PANTHER REPORT” PREMIERES Lower School Assemblies, held
budding journalists, eager to
and fellow students. Fourth grade
present an opportunity for
wide weather, upcoming events
Epstein explained, “We want
nearly every week at Browning, Browning boys to shine, whether by demonstrating their expertise on the Composer of the Month
or recommending a good book
they have read. In October “The Panther Report” put fourth
grade boys in the spotlight as
share their knowledge of worldat Browning, Mark Zuckerberg’s $3 billion pledge to cure disease,
candle making, highlights of Italy and our new Head of School. The first edition of “The
Panther Report” thoroughly
impressed the audience of teachers
teachers Rachel Gerber and Meg
the fourth graders to learn about
current events and also be able to educate the lower grades in a fun
way!” The boys spend many hours researching and producing their segments, which are produced every two weeks.
APPLE PICKING ALWAYS A CROWD PLEASER Pre-primary boys enjoyed an October day
at Dr. Davies Farm in Congers, N.Y. There is
BOYS EXPLORE ISSUES OF DIVERSITY BEYOND THE WALLS OF BROWNING
nothing quite like a sunny autumn day and
Upper School boys participated in two conferences at Horace
the chance to hop a school bus with your
Mann School in November geared toward learning the skills
classmates. Unless, of course, you get to take
of self-advocacy and academic achievement. Members of
a hayride and pick apples along the way!
Browning’s Feminism and Gender Studies Club facilitated
annual tradition. With its 4,000 apple trees
male vulnerability, while English teacher Zachary Williams
special treat for the youngest Browning
which focused on identity exploration and learning best
the basics of agriculture.
grades six to 12 in New York City and beyond.
A class trip to Dr. Davies Farm is an
a discussion at the 2016 Young Men of Color Symposium on
and 35 acres of vegetables, the farm is a
took several students to the (Re)Defining Power Conference,
boys and offers an opportunity to learn
practices as allies for young self-identified white men in
UPPER AND LOWER SCHOOL CHESS PLAYERS MEET WITH SUCCESS! Browning’s Upper School Chess
coupled with a draw on Board 1, the
K-1 division; Santos Simpson ’25
kick-off of its fourth season in
deficit (Board 4) to defeat Columbia
in the booster section; Dashiell
Team won in the Magnus League’s October. Hugh Chapin ’20 and Michael Jozoff ’17 won their
and win, 2½-1½.
Sixteen Lower School boys
individual games against host
participated in the Hunter chess
School. With wins on Boards 2 and 3,
scored 4-0, winning clear first in the
Columbia Grammar and Preparatory
Panthers overcame their one-player
tournament where Drake Martin ’28
scored 3-1, placing sixth on tiebreak Hessler ’26 scored 3-1, also placing sixth in the grades two and three
group; and MacLean Hessler ’28 won 11th place in K-1. Congratulations on a job well done!
FORM I BOYS CONDUCT DEBATE OVER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Middle School history teacher Mary Bosworth is pictured with her Form I boys in
October as they debated the pros and cons of the
Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
Ms. Bosworth described the classroom session as “very
interesting,” given the nature of the race this year.
COSTUMED BROWNING BOYS & FACULTY PARTICIPATE IN HALLOWEEN PARADE No sooner had Head of Lower School/Assistant Head Laurie
Gruhn announced that there would
be a Halloween parade at Browning this year, than many excited Lower School boys began planning their costumes. On Halloween, they
donned their outfits in the afternoon and paraded around the block.
Head of School John Botti, dressed
as Clark Kent (alias Superman, of
course) led the parade of boys and
faculty who, as Ms. Gruhn said, “got
into the spirit” of the holiday. Parents
joined in the fun, too, either in person or by watching the livestream video
produced by seven Form V boys in the Video Production class.
Earlier in the afternoon, older
Browning boys got into the act as well,
showing off their costumes and posing for photos in the cafeteria. Needless to say, it was a day to remember at The Browning School!
Editor’s Note: Please visit the Browning website to view more photos and/
or videos of many items in The Local Buzz, as well as additional school news.
f e at u r e
2016 Book Fair: READING RAINFOREST
rowning boys, their families and the entire school community are
never at a loss for finding the perfect book when the annual Book Fair rolls around each fall. Guest authors (including Browning faculty,
friends and alumni) and a cocktail party are all part of the two-day
event orchestrated by the Parents Association and Head Librarian Sarah Murphy.
EACH YEAR THE PARENTS ASSOCIATION AWARDS stipends to faculty members who apply for specific projects, such as summer travel, research or study. Each recipient writes an article for the Buzzer about his or her project; three faculty contributed to this issue.
IBSC 23rd Annual Conference: Boys as Global Citizens The International Boys’ Schools
Coalition (IBSC) held its 23rd Annual Conference in Vancouver, British
Columbia, in June. This year’s host was St. George’s School, a 12-year
school of 1,150 students situated on 22 Michael Ingrisani
acres adjoining Pacific Spirit Regional Park. I attended the conference along
with four fellow faculty members from Browning: Rachel
Gerber, Julianne Rowland, Caitlin Coleman and Janet Lien. The conference theme of Boys as Global Citizens
was explored by several speakers and was the focus of the 2015-16 Action Research project. A group of
50 educators from IBSC schools around the world took part, including Ms. Lien, director of middle and upper school admission, who contributed a paper entitled, “The Working Poor in America.”
Among this year’s keynote speakers, all of whom
are Canadian, were Michael Kaufman, a writer and
educator focusing on gender equity; Lisa Glithero, an
fellow faculty members from Browning: Rachel Gerber, Julianne Rowland, Caitlin Coleman and Janet Lien. Most memorable were the first and last keynote
advocate for sustainability; and Shimi Kang, medical
speakers. Leading off was Amanda Lindhout, a freelance
University of British Columbia. Also speaking were
in 2008 and subjected to brutal treatment until she was
director of Child and Youth Mental Health at the
two well-known Canadian authors, Joseph Boyden and Richard Wagamese, members of the Anishinaabe and Wabaseemoong First Nations, respectively.
I attended the conference along with four
journalist who was kidnapped by insurgents in Somalia released 15 months later after ransom was paid. Upon
her return to Canada, her physical recovery completed, Lindhout embarked on a spiritual recovery that helped
her to find peace through understanding and forgiving
her captors. As she told Vogue, “You could see these scars on their bodies from the violence and all these horrible
experiences…I don’t know if I had sympathy for them,
but I had an understanding of how they were shaped by the violence around them and the sadness of having no
The pairing of the Lindhout and Hansen talks demonstrated the power of character in the face of adversity, a theme explored by several workshops during the conference.
education or opportunity to dream.” Her account of her
his Man in Motion World Tour, a four-continent, 25,000-
will soon be released as a film starring Rooney Mara.
spinal cord research. A Canadian national hero, Hansen
ordeal, “A House in the Sky,” was published in 2013 and On the last day of the conference, after an array of
workshops on topics ranging from teaching gender equity
to fostering global citizenship, Rick Hansen took the stage. While riding in a pickup truck that swerved off the road,
mile tour that took two years and raised $26 million for commented that as he looked back on that accident 34
years ago, he sees it as the beginning of a life filled with meaning and achievement rather than a tragic setback. The pairing of the Lindhout and Hansen talks
Hansen, then a promising 15-year-old athlete, suffered a
demonstrated the power of character in the face of
back and forth across the stage, he recounted the story of
during the conference.
spinal injury that left him a paraplegic. Wheeling restlessly coming to terms with his radically changed life. He became
adversity, a theme explored by several workshops
As at other IBSC conferences, the opportunity for
a wheelchair athlete in volleyball and basketball, leading
teachers and administrators from around the world to
marathoner, he won gold, silver and bronze medals in the
2015-16 school year to a delightful and productive close.
Canadian national championship teams. As a wheelchair
1980 and 1984 Paralympics. He followed this by beginning
meet, share ideas and spend four days together brought the By Michael Ingrisani, Dean of Faculty/Chair, English Department
Obsession, Revision and the Teacher of English It is hard to let go of an obsession that has been the focus of every weekend, vacation, late night and stolen mo-
ment for so many years. I cannot, in
fact, quite remember exactly how long it has been since I began to research Kevin Dearinger
the life of American playwright Clyde Fitch (1865-1909; his dates, not mine).
It was at least seven years ago that I first charged into the
Lincoln Center Library on a Saturday afternoon and started to poke in the dusty files and spool grim roll upon roll of
microfilm, but Clyde had been on my mind for some time
work done, Clyde stays with me, ever the dapper dandy and as loyal to me as he was in life to his friends. my best chance to know Clyde. It was there at Amherst, in fact, that he ceased being “Fitch” in my head and became “Clyde,” and sometimes even “Clydie.” His intelligence, his drive, his kindness, his wit, his self-mocking silliness and his deep humility impressed me and guided me.
I thought a big life deserved a big biography. As always
before that. As I worked on my first two books of theatre
my models were ambitious, Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde and
ous newspapers and academic journals were pleas and
the first full draft, my manuscript was 2,000 pages.
history, his name had popped up regularly; buried in variinquiries: why had no one written a biography of this harddriven man who had been the most prolific and successful American dramatist of the early 20th century? I suppose I thought I was enough of a “no one” that I might try to write that missing biography.
I encountered masses of material: reviews, letters (some
R. W. B. Lewis’s Edith Wharton. Hubris! When I finished Suddenly I was in dangerous and despicable league
with Eliot’s Mr. Casaubon and Ibsen’s George Tesman.
Publishers blushed and balked. The challenge to cut over
three-fourths of my work seemed painful, even cruel, and
utterly impossible. My pride had an adamantine moment. Then my “teacher” experience kicked in. I was in the
marked “destroy after you read”), photographs, programs,
same position as one of my students, who, having labored
The New York Public Library continued to be the great
staring at the dreaded letters “RW” in a flourish of red ink
drawings, journals and so many of his wonderful scripts.
source that it always is, but I was soon in touch with libraries and archives across the country. My admiration and affection for librarians and archivists has always been great,
to write an essay for Mr. Dearinger’s class, found himself at the top of his returned paper. “Rewrite.” Physician, heal thyself!
And so, rewrite and revise I did. It often hurt, as I
but this project tempted me to recommend canonization
excised my most “beloved bits.” Then, an odd thing hap-
were the archivists at Amherst College. Clyde spent his
the challenge. I could, I thought, make the story of Clyde’s
for those endlessly generous colleagues. The finest of all
college years at Amherst, and after his death his grieving
mother had donated his papers to his alma mater. I spent
an August week at Amherst, seeing Clyde’s own collection of photographs, holding in my hands his highly revealing poetry journal. It was there, at Amherst, that I felt I had
And yet, with the book published and the
pened in my mind or, perhaps, in my soul. I began to enjoy life, a life of effort, frustration, isolation, endless work and endless revision, truer to its source. With each adjective
I cut, each line I struck through, each complex sentence I reduced to simple subject and verb, I dared to think that I might be drawing closer to understanding the rhythm
and routine of Clyde’s own daily existence. After all, this is what he did, day after day, year after year.
Almost miraculously, a descendent of one of Clyde’s
fraternity brothers sent me Fitch’s working manuscript of
his 1902 play, “The Way of the World,” to have and to hold as long as I needed it. It arrived, its pages fragile, but with
Clyde’s distinctive handwriting crowded between the typewritten lines. Each mark indicated his struggle with revi-
book from being perfect. I suppose the lesson is that there
is little writing that is “perfect.” But the telling of the story
is important. The flow of language can and should be exciting. The choice of this word over that word can be as challenging and rewarding as making a three-point shot from far out on the court.
You prepare, you practice, you take aim and you let go. And yet, with the book published and the work done,
sion. There were even suggestions, trials and emendations
Clyde stays with me, ever the dapper dandy and as loyal
pins. (I stopped to Google the year that saw the invention
his courage, his determination to move forward and do his
on bits of scrap paper attached to the pages with straight of staples.)
The final challenges of publishing the book – choos-
ing the illustrations, hoping the footnotes were correctly
formatted, worrying about the elusive typographical error
to me as he was in life to his friends. His personal bravery, best, all stay with me as inspiration and guide. Now that I
no longer need to keep a journalistic distance from my subject, I can just love him.
Clyde always paused for self-reflection after each open-
that the tired eye would refuse to see – were rueful joys.
ing night and then returned to his work desk. And so this
alleled the habits of the far more meticulous and patient
tion, I began yet another work. My subject is again a figure
Still, I was inspired by the thought that my experience parwriter whose life I was trying to tell and tell “true.”
And then, like an opening night, the book was out
there, more or less in public view.
I know from his letters that Clyde learned by experience
to be his own best critic. My own experience tells me all too clearly which flaws and shortcomings keep my finished
summer, with support as ever from the Parents Associa-
from the theatre of the past, and again my subject seems to be there, with me at my own desk, asking me to ask ques-
tions, urging me to look closer, feel deeper and discover the truth left out there in the historical record.
And so it goes on. Clyde Fitch would understand.
By Kevin Dearinger, English Teacher
A Visit to Dublin on the Centenary of the Easter Rising The Advanced Placement European
passersby as they dramatically reenacted the bloody events
emphasis on British history. This history
idyllic setting. This was an uncompromising introduction
History examination has a strong
has invariably been affected for better
or for worse by the British relationship Dr. Gerald Protheroe
to the Irish history of the Rising.
My tour continued the following day with a visit to the
with Ireland. This summer with the
National Museum of Ireland site at the Collins Barracks,
for Dublin, which was in the process
and contentious role in the search for Irish independence.
help of the Parents Association, I set out
of commemorating a seminal event in the history of the
modern Irish Republic: the Easter Rising of 1916. I began
by taking the 1916 Tour: Beyond Barricades. This tour was, according to the advertising, “a Must Do 1916 experience”
organized by the Dublin Bus Company. But the idea that this was simply a bus tour of the city was quickly scotched by
the appearance of two actors in period costumes, the smell of acrid smoke and the sound of gunfire in the interior of
the bus, which had been kitted out to resemble the Dublin of 1916. For the next two hours these actors, in a series
of impressive vignettes, reenacted the story of the Easter Rising and the tragic events that unfolded between April 24 and 29, 1916, in Dublin.
This bus tour had been organized by ANU, an award-
winning company renowned for exploring historical events. Suddenly copies of the proclamation of the
Provisional Government of the Irish Republic were being hurled in my direction by an actress playing Helena
Molony, who fired the first shots of the Rising. It addressed “IRISHMEN and IRISHWOMEN” and urged: “In the
name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland,
through us, summons her children for her freedom.” This document clearly mirrored in the history of Ireland, the
Declaration of Independence in the United States. The tour
named after Michael Collins who came to play such a tragic Here a superb exhibition had been assembled by the
museum staff, and it was here that I began to appreciate the enormous sacrifice Irish independence was to cost
Dublin and its people in 1916. There, detailed accounts
of the ferocious fighting at the General Post Office (bullet holes are still visible in its columns) in what is today
O’Connell Street, the Four Courts, Boland’s Mill, and
Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, and other areas of the city were
comprehensively described. I saw the earliest flags of the
Republic, which were not anything like the Irish tricolor of today. A black wall in the rear of the museum attempted
to display the names of the 1,350 people who died, as well as the 38 children who were killed over the five days. This was clearly a work in progress, as the memorial was still not a definitive statement of the numbers of the dead. Finally the last letters of those 16 leaders sentenced to
death were displayed. Their final words could be listened to on headphones. They included the signatories of the
proclamation of independence: Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, Padraig Pearse, James
Connolly, Eamonn Ceant and Joseph Plunkett. Countess
Markievicz was spared on the grounds she was a woman; Eamon de Valera was spared on the grounds he was an American citizen.
At the rear of the National Museum was the Arbour
continued to such sites as Stephen’s Green where the rebels
Hill Military Cemetery, the last resting place of 14 executed
Michael Mallin. Our actors leapt from the bus, enthralling
for a moment I had a better understanding of W.B. Yeats’
fought under the leadership of Countess Markievicz and
of Tuesday, April 25, 1916, in what is now a peaceful and
leaders of the rising. As I sat in the cemetery, I thought
complex and ambivalent verdict on the Easter Rising and the sacrifice of its leaders: “a terrible beauty is born.” My
final days were spent visiting bookshops and searching for an exhibition that might put the Easter Rising into a larger context: that of the relationship between Great Britain and Ireland and the relationship between the Irish themselves
in the years 1916-1923. At Kilmainham Gaol, an exhibition
Detailed accoun ts of th e ferocious figh ting at th e Gen er al Post Of fice (bu llet holes a r e still v isible in its columns) a nd oth er a r eas of th e cit y w er e compr eh ensiv ely descr ibed.
focused on the aftermath of the Easter Rising and that
most complex period in European History, namely, the
subsequent Anglo-Irish war and the civil war between the
Rising, was fertile ground for the growth of a more virulent
Collins and Irish Republicans led by Eamon de Valera
Party attempts to grant Irish Home Rule had invariably
Irish Free State envisioned by Arthur Griffiths and Michael who rejected the Anglo-Irish treaty settlement of 1921. It was almost a relief on my final day, after the intensity of
the Rising, to visit the remarkable Book of Kells in Trinity College with its mediaeval Christian imagery.
As I pondered my visit to Dublin, I realized how utterly
unpredictable the study of history is. There was nothing
inevitable about the emergence of an Irish Republic in the early part of the 20th century. In 1916, over 200,000 Irish
volunteers were serving in the British army in France in the Great War. There was evidence to suggest that Dubliners themselves were appalled by the outbreak of the Rising
and the destruction that it had rained upon their city. But
and uncompromising Irish nationalism. In London, Liberal foundered on the cynical ploys of Britain’s Conservative
Party to prevent any devolution of power from Westmin-
ster. As I prepared to leave Dublin in late July, I could only marvel at the remarkably tolerant, cosmopolitan, vibrant and intensely European culture that had been conceived
there. But it was still impossible to escape the legacy of the past. The Irish Independent newspaper was deeply dis-
turbed by the BREXIT vote in Great Britain with its impli-
cations for the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. It feared for the future. The ghosts of 1916-1923 had still not been laid to rest.
I must thank the Parents Association for their gracious
the British authorities lacked the vision to build on this
support of this summer study, which enabled me to have
violence and exigencies of the First World War. The intro-
and its people.
ambivalence, and their mindset was conditioned by the
duction of martial law, the executions of the leaders of the
a greater appreciation of the history of Dublin and Ireland By Dr. Gerald Protheroe, Chair, History Department
at h l e t i c s
2016 Fall Wrap-up
Andrew H. West ’92
The season started in late August when
team was who would be the goalkeeper, but that was
Browning held its annual fall preseason
quickly answered at camp when Alex Liptak ’20 rose to the
training at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in
occasion! The 7/8 Panthers, under the guidance of Coaches
Lenox, Mass. The boys set a new record
Brown and Protheroe, got lots of work in and, once back
for numbers in attendance with 61 boys
in New York, started fast out of the gate in the regular
ranging from Forms I through VI. The
season. The varsity cross country team trained very hard,
group included many returning seniors
taking long runs and beautiful hikes. Everyone enjoyed the
who were able to keep the teams determined and focused
beautiful camp and had lots of fun, whether swimming in
from the start. The major question for the varsity soccer
the pool or relaxing with friends.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY The 2016 season boasted some of the team’s best times yet, with the team
growing to nine runners from Forms I and II. Eric Sigg ’21 and Christian Kim ’21 were able and spirited co-
captains whose dedication, reliability
and enthusiasm benefited not only their own team but also the varsity runners. For this they were jointly recognized with the Sportsmanship Award.
The aptly named Carter Rocket
Munk ’21 and Andrew Naber ’20
consistently finished in the top 10 at
the meets. Carter’s times earned him
the Most Valuable Player award. Gavin Mitchell ’21, John Harrison ’21,
Khai Shulman ’22 and Jonathan
Stephenson ’22 each saw their speed, endurance and standing improve over
the course of the season. Blake Sanford ’21 saw the most improvement in his times and carried home the Most Improved
Player Award. The runners are primed
and ready for the Winter Running Club and spring’s track season. The older
boys will make excellent additions to
Coach Bernard’s varsity cross country team next year.
–Coach John Young
VARSITY CROSS COUNTRY I was very pleased with the great spirit demonstrated by the boys starting with the preseason camp in Lenox, Mass. Over the season, the team showed serious improvement. A highlight of the year was the team spirit. Most of the boys
learned that to assure top individual and team performances, they must start training during summer vacation and follow a weekly training calendar.
It is always a pleasure to meet with the boys in Central Park, to see them
improving and, more importantly, to know each of them better. I am very
confident that with additional Middle and Upper School boys, this young and
promising team will continue growing in the future and achieve the results they are capable of.
â€“Coach Dominique Bernard
VARSITY SOCCER This season started with great promise
after a very successful soccer camp in the
Berkshires in August. Soon after the term
began, the varsity team was in the thick of things with a win and a tie in the first two
games. Unfortunately, injuries to key players stopped our initial progress, but the boys
rebounded well and had two wins, two ties and a close loss in their last five games.
Throughout the season the boys have
worked tremendously hard and showed some wonderful soccer in reaching the playoffs. I
hope that those players who return next year will benefit from this experience.
â€“Coach David Watson and Assistant Coach Nate Monteverde
JUNIOR VARSITY SOCCER The junior varsity soccer team, captained by Philip Raftopoulos ’18, Max Beem ’20 and Ryan Eagan ’20, played a 10-game season and finished the year with a
3-7 record. The boys were fifth in the
standings and almost made the playoffs; this was a step up from a 1-9 record the previous year.
Overall, there was a great turn-out
for JV soccer, with 30 players on the roster. The boys each had varying levels of
experience, with some having played for
outside travel teams and others trying soccer for the first time. By the end of
the season, each player had built his fitness level and enhanced his teamwork and individual skills. The boys worked hard against very skilled opponents
and played in a lot of evenly matched contests. We were impressed by the boys’ commitment and dedication toward practice, as well as their work ethic during games. We look forward to continuing to build a strong team. –Coaches Lauck Blake and Mike Cohn
5-6 GRADE RANDALL’S ISLAND SOCCER PROGRAM The fifth and sixth graders completed their season of intramural soccer at Randall’s Island with a select
team representing Browning in two games against St. Bernard’s and St.
David’s. The boys got a taste of real competition and the opportunity to
demonstrate their rapidly developing soccer skills.
In a well-fought battle against St.
7-8 GRADE SOCCER The seventh and eighth grade soccer team had a challenging season,
finishing with an overall record of 4-7-1. We started the season with three
wins, outscoring our opponents 21-3, but lost our next seven games – four by only one goal! Not having a full roster affected the outcome of those
games especially. This is a talented team, and we hope the boys have come to understand the value in staying true to their commitments to the game. This group has the potential to be great at the Upper School level, and we
Bernard’s, the game ended in a tie.
Even though Browning did not fare
quite as well against a stronger, faster, more polished team from St. David’s,
we all feel that the future is bright for Browning soccer down the road.
–Coaches Marcia Wallace, Kris Pischel, Meghan McDermott, Andrew Wolf
are excited to see their progress in the next few years. Overall, this was a fun season, and we enjoyed coaching this group of boys. –Coaches Matt Brown and Gerald Protheroe
YOUNG ALUMNI MIXER RETURNS TO HUDSON TERRACE On Thursday, June 23, a Young Alumni Mixer was held for the Classes of 2001-2012 at Hudson Terrace in New York
City. Fifteen independent schools participated in this event: Browning, Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Dalton, Fieldston,
Hewitt, Horace Mann, Marymount, Nightingale-Bamford, Riverdale, Sacred Heart, St. Bernard’s, Spence and Trinity. Special thanks to Collegiate for organizing!
L to R: Rohan Wijegoonaratna ’10 and Gregory Davis ’10.
Fifteen schools participated, and hundreds of young alumni attended.
L to R: Joseph Leinwand ’06, Gregory Davis ’10, Ahmed El-Razi ’08 and Anik Akhund ’10.
L to R: Kenton Kilmer ’07 and Charles Davis ’07.
This year’s Young Alumni Mixer was held at Hudson Terrace.
L to R: Christopher Latos ’05 and Tony Caputo ’03.
L to R: Harrison Messer ’12, Aleksandr Schiavetta ’12, Christopher Latos ’05, Robert Arnot ’06, Jeremy Katz ’04, Christopher Brandt ’09, Anik Akhund ’10 and Brennan Bassman ’12.
L to R: Sophia Kapacinskas, Christopher Latos ’05, Robert Arnot ’06 and Fiona Robert.
It was a beautiful summer night!
L to R: Graig Springer ’98 and John Botti.
The Alumni Open House was held in the lobby, and more than 50 guests attended to meet John Botti for the first time.
L to R: Robert Gimbel ’57 and Andy Sandberg ’01.
ALUMNI COMMUNITY MEETS MR. BOTTI DURING OPEN HOUSE he Alumni Association hosted an Open House with Browning’s sixth Head of School John Botti on September 12. This event offered the alumni community its first chance to meet Mr. Botti, who
began his tenure on July 1. More than 50 guests attended. Prior to the start of the event, the Alumni Council enjoyed a private half-hour meet-and-greet with the School’s new Head. President of the Alumni Association Andy Sandberg ’01 gave a thorough introduction of Mr. Botti, who spoke about his excitement in joining the Browning community and in getting to know the alumni. The Alumni Association wholeheartedly welcomes Mr. Botti and his family!
L to R: Jeremy Katz ’04, Ishma Best ’04, John Botti, Leon Dalva ’58 and Adam Dalva ’04.
Graig Springer ’98 (left) and Ben Berman ’93.
L to R: Andy Sandberg ’01,George Grimbilas ’80 and John Botti.
Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan and Ben Berman ’93.
Key Society students Jackson Richter ’18 (center) and Tak Ishikawa ’18 at check in greeting Stuart Orenstein ’00 (left).
L to R: Jeff Landes ’83, Andy Sandberg ’01 and John Dearie ’99.
L to R: Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon, Amie Hadden, John Hadden ’87, Tom Herman ’64 and John Hutzler ’86.
MR. BOTTI’S REMARKS AT THE ALUMNI OPEN HOUSE Good evening. My name is John Botti, and I’m honored to serve as the sixth head of The Browning School.
I am NOT, as apparently was
rumored in certain Form I study halls this week, the new varsity basketball recruit. What our seventh-graders
lack in observation they clearly make up for in imagination. Whatever
my job, I am delighted to be in this
community, and so glad that you have taken time out of your busy evenings to join me tonight.
You may have read that before
coming to Browning, I was the
associate head of school of the Landon School in Bethesda, Md. Landon was
a special place for me – it was where I
learned to teach, where I met my wife, and, with campus housing, where
we were raising our two sons. I was there for 17 years, and it was – and
is – a special place to me. My point
declaration I can
make tonight is that this institution’s
remains unchanged. I have entered what
is not a good school, but a great school. I see it as my job – my calling – to
protect and extend
our mission to help boys love learning,
Andy Sandberg ’01 (left) and John Botti.
“I am anxious to learn from you, the men
who have written Browning’s history
lead lives of integrity,
through your school experiences.”
sensitivity to others for one’s self, and to empathy, and
We remain committed to a
In “Moon for the Misbegotten,”
in sharing this is not to aggrandize
challenging academic program, robust
Eugene O’Neill writes that, “There is
going to take a remarkable opportunity
and visual arts, the lessons of team
happening over and over again, now.”
Landon, but to suggest that it was to get me to leave the school.
I don’t really like considering
Browning an opportunity – it sounds too much like a commodity – but I
already know that it’s remarkable. It is, quite simply, a remarkable place.
For nearly 30 years, Steve Clement
opportunities in the performing
athletics, the necessity of serving
no present or future – only the past
While O’Neill meant to suggest
and learning from others, and – most
the degree to which we are all
of character, young men who choose
in a different way, one that resists
significantly – developing young men hard rights over easy wrongs, young men who are gentlemen.
In closing, I must note that the
prisoners of the past, I look at matters historical determinism in favor of ongoing institutional dialogue.
Put another way: What our school
demonstrated wisdom, foresight, and
Browning community writ large could
can become is irretrievably rooted in
built upon the strong foundation he
and our boys with more warmth and
understanding lives in your stories.
commitment in his leadership, and
inherited from Mr. Cook to describe Browning as a boys’ school of
intellectual and moral consequence. Because of his work, I step into a
school that boasts a beautiful new
facility, a powerfully talented faculty and staff, and both a student and
alumni body who regard Browning as a second home.
not have reached out to Eliza, me,
welcome this summer. All members
what our school has been, and that And so I am anxious to learn
have been generous with their time,
from you, the men who have written
what this place means, and why it’s so
school experiences and, even more
their guidance, and their reflections on special. And this has been a particular thrill for me, for as we look to what
we can become in the future, we must always be mindful of how our past informs that possibility.
Browning’s history through your
significantly, through the lives you have led.
Thank you for joining me tonight,
and thank you for giving me the chance to join this wonderful community.
L to R: Jim Simon, Andy Sandberg ’01, John Dearie ’99 and Stuart Orenstein ’00.
Alumni Council members and alumni trustees prior to the start of the event. L to R: Graig Springer ’98, Jeff Landes ’83, Michael Beys ’89, Bill Reed ’85, Edward Kent ’02, Andy Sandberg ’01, Tom Herman ’64, Joe Metzger ’02, John Botti, John Hadden ’87, John Hutzler ’86, George Grimbilas ’80, John Dearie ’99, Stuart Orenstein ’00 and Marc Cali ’89.
L to R: Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, Marc Wallack ’76 and George Grimbilas ’80.
L to R: Jeff Landes ’83, Allanby Singleton-Green ’83, Michael Beys ’89 and Marc Cali ’89.
Joe Metzger ’02 (left) and John Botti.
Laura Lanigan and Edward Kent ’02.
L to R: Godfrey Bloch ’63, John Botti, Campbell McCrary ’89, Michael Beys ’89, John Hutzler ’86 and Christopher Brandt ’09.
Form VI convened in the Cook Room to hear about the Alumni Association in early September. Speakers included (back row, L to R): Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon, President of the Alumni Association Andy Sandberg ’01, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan and Head of School John Botti.
FORM VI BREAKFAST In September, members of Browning’s advancement team held their first meeting with Form VI to
start the conversation about the Alumni Association. Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan were joined by Alumni Association President Andy Sandberg ’01 and Head of School John Botti. A brief overview of the alumni program at Browning
was given, including specifics on ways to stay involved beyond graduation and the importance of
giving back. The tradition of the Form VI Class Gift was also discussed, and the boys were asked to start thinking about ways to come together as a class to raise funds for this effort. The goal of 100% participation by each member of the class was stressed.
To follow up on this first meeting, in October Ms. Lanigan met with the boys again to present
the $20.17 effort, where each boy was asked to make a contribution to the class gift in this suggested amount. So far the Class of 2017 is off to a great start! Many have already made their personal
contributions, and the entire class worked together on their first fundraiser for the class gift in
November at the Book Fair, where they sold custom Browning ties designed by Vineyard Vines. The Alumni Association looks forward to welcoming this class as its newest members in June!
T HE BUZZER T HE BUZZER
Top row (L to R): Allanby Singleton-Green ’83, Marc Cali ’89, Chris Jennings ’99, Ishma Best ’04, Ben Duffy ’09, Andy Madden ’96, John Hutzler ’86, Joe Metzger ’02, Christopher Brandt ’09, Bill Reed ’85, Graig Springer ’98, Peter Stavropoulos ’82, John Dearie ’99 and Jeremy Katz ’04. Front row (L to R): Juan Reyes ’86, Richard Helgason ’82, John Moran ’97, Andy Sandberg ’01, Stuart Orenstein ’00 and Michael Beys ’89.
ALUMNI COUNCIL HOSTS FIRST MEETING OF 2016-17 The first Alumni Council meeting of the school year was held on September 19 in the Kurani Gym. The special guest at
this meeting was Laurie Gruhn, assistant head of school and head of Lower School. In her report to the group, she spoke
about the smooth transition to a new Head, the start of a new school year and plans for the future. Ms. Gruhn is in her 19th
L to R: John Dearie ’99, Graig Springer ’98 and Stuart Orenstein ’00.
year at Browning, and the Alumni Association was thrilled to have her there to kick off the meeting. Reports from Alumni
Association President Andy Sandberg ’01, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon and the alumni committee chairs were also given.
In addition, one major focus of the meeting concerned alumni giving to the 2015-16 Annual Fund. The Alumni Council reached 100% participation once again, and the Alumni Association as a whole reached 19% participation.
Andy Sandberg ’01 led his first meeting as President of the Alumni Association.
Laurie Gruhn (left) and Laura Lanigan. Ms. Gruhn was the special guest at the September Alumni Council meeting.
The Council wishes to remind alumni that these meetings
are open to all members of the Alumni Association; one
need not be serving on the Council in order to attend. Please
reach out to Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan if you are interested in receiving Council meeting updates and
reminders. Thanks to all who participated in this first meeting of the year!
Alumni Council meetings are now held in the Kurani Gym.
Mr. Eisman’s keynote address was titled “Reflections on the Financial Crisis: Then and Now.”
Nearly 150 alumni, parents, trustees and faculty filled the Kurani Gym to hear Mr. Eisman speak.
CLASS OF 2000 DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SERIES FEATURES STEVEN EISMAN P ’18
n October 26, the Alumni Association
featured Steven Eisman P ’18 at this year’s
Class of 2000 Distinguished Speaker Series. Nearly 150 guests returned to Browning
for this special event.
Mr. Eisman is best known for his role in shorting
subprime mortgages during the 2007 housing market crash. He is currently a managing director at Neuberger Berman,
overseeing the Eisman Group within the firm’s private asset management division. In the 2015 film “The Big Short,” Steve Carell’s character is based on Mr. Eisman.
Mr. Eisman was generous with his time, spending the
first half hour of the evening with alumni donors for an
who is doing an independent study on the housing crisis.
After the roundtable, the group moved to the Kurani
Gym where they were joined by more alumni, parents, trustees and faculty. Mr. Eisman’s keynote address,
“Reflections on the Financial Crisis: Then and Now,” was a
fascinating account as to how and why the crisis happened, and where things currently stand today. Mr. Eisman was candid in his observations and opinions, which brought
many laughs to the audience and also prompted a number
of thoughtful questions. A reception for all guests followed in the lobby and library.
Browning’s Alumni Association is most grateful to
informal roundtable discussion in the Wilson Room. The
Mr. Eisman for sharing his time, wisdom and insights with
government regulation and the current political climate to
2000 for their leadership with this event.
conversation included topics ranging from the economy,
Guests delivered a resounding round of applause following Mr. Eisman’s remarks.
Brexit and more. He also spent time with a Form IV student
our community. Special thanks is also due to the Class of
Head of School John Botti introduced Mr. Eisman.
L to R: Marshall Ives ’65, Rahul Jadhav and Hemani Jadhav.
Guests enjoyed a reception in the lobby and library following Mr. Eisman’s remarks.
L to R: Steven Eisman, David Eisman ’18 and Valerie Feigen.
L to R: Tripp Hardy, Amelia Prounis Raftopoulos and Elizabeth Granville-Smith.
L to R: Hugh Nickola, Peter Stavropoulos ’82 and Michael Soluri.
L to R: Laura Lanigan, John Botti, Steven Eisman, Andy Sandberg ’01 and Jim Simon.
L to R: Marilyn Herman, Tom Herman ’64 and Jim Simon.
L to R: Stevie Rachmuth ’10, Greg Davis ’10 and Anik Akhund ’10.
L to R: Philip Grant ’00, Stuart Orenstein ’00 and Benjamin Melting ’00.
L to R: John Chiaraviglio ’01, Nader Mobargha ’91 and Edward Ma ’98.
Alumni Annual Fund donors were invited to a roundtable discussion with Mr. Eisman in the Wilson Room.
L to R: Adam Kusovitsky, Bill Reed ’85 and Jay Lippman ’79.
L to R: Sharif Tanamli ’87, Patrick Egan ’87 and Stephan Rothe ’87.
L to R: Susan Gilman, Laura Barket and John Hutzler ’86.
L to R: Fletch Callahan, Adam Hagfors, Jenn Hagfors and Christine Callahan.
L to R: Tamar Poloner, Valerie Feigen and Debbie Shapiro.
Andy Sandberg ’01 introduced Mr. Eisman to the roundtable group.
MORE ABOUT STEVEN EISMAN Mr. Eisman is a managing director at Neuberger
director and senior financial services analyst at Chilton
is a senior portfolio manager for the Eisman Group
Co. within the investment bank, asset management and specialty
Berman in New York. He joined the firm in 2014 and
Investment Company. He held the same role at Oppenheimer &
within the private asset management division.
finance divisions. During his time at Oppenheimer, he was
manager of Emrys Partners, L.P. Prior to that, he
and The Wall Street Journal on multiple occasions.
FrontPoint Financial Services Fund, which began
He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D.
Financial Horizons Fund, which began operations in
in Manhattan and have three children (their son, David ’18,
Previously, he was the founder and portfolio
was a partner and senior portfolio manager of the
Earlier in his career, Mr. Eisman served as a managing
ranked as an “All-Star Analyst” by both Institutional Investor Mr. Eisman has over 20 years of investing experience.
operations in March 2004, and the FrontPoint
from Harvard Law School. He and his wife Valerie Feigen reside
attended Browning from 2011 until 2016).
UPCOMING EVENTS ALUMNI COUNCIL MEETING Monday, January 9, 6:00 p.m. BROWNING-MARYMOUNT REUNION Friday, January 20, 6:00 p.m. L to R: Robert Van Laer ’08, Hallie Mindell and Brett Schulman ’08.
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art) ALUMNI COUNCIL NOTE-A-THON Monday, February 13, 6:00 p.m. BROWNING-MARYMOUNT SKATING PARTY Monday, February 27, 6:00 p.m. (Central Park) ALUMNI COUNCIL MEETING Monday, April 3, 6:00 p.m.
L to R: Eliza Botti, John Botti, Steven Eisman, Valerie Feigen and David Eisman ’18.
ALUMNI REUNION Friday, April 7, all day Classes ending in “2” and “7” are celebrating milestone reunions! The Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award will be presented to Eric Ordway ’67 and Sandy Pelz ’71. FORM VI BREAKFAST (by invitation only)
L to R: Edward Ma ’98, Steven Johnson ’96 and Lucinda Glover.
L to R: Karen Levinson and Wendy Brooks.
ABOUT THE CLASS OF 2000 DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SERIES
Wednesday, April 19, 8:00 a.m. (The New York Athletic Club) SPRING BENEFIT Friday, May 19, 6:30 p.m.
This event was established by the Class of 2000 upon
(The New York Public Library)
to bring interesting speakers to the alumni and parent
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
the occasion of its 10th Browning Reunion, in an effort community. Prior guests include renowned financier Jim
Monday, May 22, 6:00 p.m.
columnist Tom Herman ’64 in 2013, Governor Howard
Chanos P ’07, ’09, ’11 in 2012, former Wall Street Journal
Dean ’66 in 2014, and Jim Grant P ’00 of “Grant’s Interest Rate Observer” in 2015. We are pleased to be able to
add Mr. Eisman to this notable list, and we sincerely appreciate his efforts in making this a memorable
Wednesday, June 14, 11:00 a.m. (Christ Church) All events held at The Browning School except where noted in italics above.
evening for the Browning community.
TO SHARE NEWS with the Browning community, please contact Laura N. Lanigan, director of alumni affairs, at email@example.com Laura N. Lanigan
or 212-838-6280 Ext. 1920.
visited Browning in July
in Sarasota, Fla., where he
F. Jack Bulkley, III ’58 to donate items to the School’s archives.
Stephen Whalen ’68 lives is active in the real estate business. He sends his best to all.
wrote to us in October: “We
Wilcox Snellings '77 (left) with friends and family on Martha's Vineyard. L to R: Wilcox Snellings '77, Viria Snellings, Maria Snellings, Curtis Bowen, Keyla Jarquin and John Snellings.
Va. to be close to our now
my training in the ways of
Having retired almost 12
training, along with the
Lawrence L. Scott ’68
have relocated to Reston, three granddaughters.
years ago, my wife and L to R: Sandy Pelz ’71, John Botti, and Jack Bulkley ’58 at Browning in July.
Kenneth F. McAllister ’58
sent in the following note
over the summer: “Thank you for your request for
alumni contact. It has been
I spend our winters on
Siesta Key outside Sarasota on the Gulf Coast of Fla.
Being closer to family and
watching the girls growing
up is wonderful, and when the snow hits, the beach isn’t bad either.”
happy to learn that the
Browning continue to thrive
submitted the following
many years since walking the halls and climbing the stairs of Browning. I am
traditions and strengths of
in guiding each generation
in developing character and moral strength in the youth of the Browning family.”
Clendenen Watkins ’77
news in October: “Hello to all faculty, staff, students
and alumni of the wonderful Browning School for boys.
During the 70s I was given
an opportunity to leave the public school system and enter Browning to begin
being a ‘gentleman.’ That
integrity and morals placed in me by my mother and
father, very much helped to
mold me into the adult I am today. The School’s mission statement in part says:
‘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
Clendenen Watkins ’77.
word, a gentleman.’ I have
proud father of two children,
emulate these qualities,
(Christina), both of whom
been fortunate enough to and they have served me well in life. At this time I
am enjoying my first year
of retirement from the NYC comptroller’s office after
working in the capacity of administrative manager
for 35 years, and I am the
a boy (Randy) and a girl
are United States Marines. I am happy to also add that I
will soon be celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary to my wife Lisa Walker. If
you look me up in the 1977 Browning Grytte, you will
see that even at an early age,
music was my passion, and
visiting author at the Book
Besides DJing, I’ve been in
owe a great debt of gratitude
film and the book tell the
and have also been writing
it remains so to this day. I
to my former music teacher Mr. John Sharpe. His
trust and interest in me
allowed me to find myself in a new environment and grow within the
Fair in November. Both the
the studio producing music
story of Mr. Joukowsky’s
and recording my first full-
grandparents’ efforts to
length album, which will be
rescue refugees from Nazi-
released later this year. One
occupied Europe during
of the tracks I produced was
World War II.
for Julian Lennon called,
David A. Callaway ’82
‘Lookin’ 4 Luv (Cash NYC
tells us he has returned
and faculty of the School
the first time in 34 years
Business has been crazy,
Browning). He was named
But that’s what the staff
have always done and I
hope it continues forever. In closing I invite you to contact me on LinkedIn through my company
D’vyne Entertainment. Let’s
reminisce about the good old days at Browning. Hope to see you all in 2017.”
Artemis Joukowsky ’80 co-
directed a PBS documentary with Ken Burns titled,
“Defying the Nazis: The
to live in New York for
(since he graduated from chief executive officer of
Andrew West ’92 and Eric Grant ’92 at Browning in October.
and you can see my work at David W. Eppley ’94
TheStreet, Inc. in early June
wrote to us in October: “My
on the Upper West Side
Sign has had a 70% growth
and has taken an apartment with his wife, Nanci. David
was most recently editor-in-
chief of USA Today, based in
Washington, D.C. In October he wrote to us, “I’m thrilled to finally be back in N.Y.
and can’t wait to catch up
with some old friends and to attend a few Browning varsity basketball games this winter.”
sign company Art World spurt this year acquiring the Museum of Design,
the Brooklyn Museum, the
Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Austrian Cultural Forum
and a 401(k). Come visit us at artworldsign.com.”
of Federated Media.
wife Lily welcomed a baby
he was chief executive officer
Bryan P. Boisi ’00 and his
girl, Elle Martine Boisi, to the
Geoffrey W. Feder ’92 sent in the following news in
August: “After 20 years as
a sculptor and blacksmith, Artemis Joukowsky ’80 (front left) posed for a photo at the Book Fair with fellow alumni (top row, L to R) Richard Helgason ’82, Allanby Singleton-Green ’83 and Bill Reed ’85.
I’ve started a custom knife business in Westchester,
N.Y., called Feder Knives.
I specialize in making chef
knives and outdoor knives.
Jonathan A. Cohn ’01
is the founder and CEO of a
startup called Fitspot (www. fitspotapp.com). Fitspot is
a mobile-based health and
wellness company based in Los Angeles that connects
consumers with vetted fitness professionals.
Zachary A. Goldfarb ’01
Washington Post in August.
complete with part-timers
Media Group. Most recently,
executive officer of Salon
fully functioning business
name and was a featured
companion book by the same
available on iTunes and all
was promoted to deputy
out as a side job is now a
Hoffner ’87 was named chief
In May, Jordan
& Sandflower’ which is
as clients. What started
September. He also wrote a
Sharps’ War,” released in
Remix) feat. Julian Lennon
business editor at The
Previously, he served as policy editor.
Jonas F. Borra ’03
wrote to us in October: “I have taken over as
Director of Nightlife for Quality Branded’s new
nightlife concept, Squares.
I was involved early in the
world in June.
Francesco Civetta ’00
wrote to us in October: “I’ve been pretty busy this year
traveling a lot between N.Y., L.A. and Europe to DJ at
clubs, events and festivals. Some highlights were
DJing the after-parties for
the Guns N’ Roses ‘Not in this lifetime Tour’ and the Coachella Music Festival.
Elle Martine Boisi. Fall/Winter 2016
Mr. Pelz ’71 and Del Schunk ’16 (right) at Union College, one of the stops on this year’s Form V and Form VI College Trip.
Awen Abaatu ’16 (left) and Mr. Walker at Browning in October.
L to R: Mr. Reynolds, Arthur Mensah ’15 and Mr. Ingrisani at Dartmouth College during this year’s Form V and Form VI College Trip.
building of the project, and
September 2016 marked
one year since completing
and New York City FC. I hope
our service in Cameroon,
has started the year off great,
to see it come to life has been amazing. Several Browning
grads have come by already
including Nader Mobargha ’91, Stuart Orenstein ’00, Terrel
Phelps ’11, Harrison Fields ’11, Brett Schulman ’08, Ethan Schulman ’08, Oliver
Estreich ’04, Tennyson
Singer ’08, Nick Perkins ’08 and Nick Cohen ’02. The
New York Post, The New
to host everyone for a
Browning alums, Justin
visited Browning in
fashioned lobster bake in
Aisara Chansakul, Jr. ’12
Krasner ’06 and Jeremy
September. He graduated
my organization gave a
in the spring and joined
now work for Major League
Over the summer,
moved to Chicago, where he is the assistant director
of community engagement
at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, a pluralistic Jewish community day
school. He sends his best to everyone at Browning.
Lawrence R. Yates ’04
submitted the following
news in June: “The Yates
family welcomes Alistair
Charles Yates into the world!” Benjamin P.
D’Innocenzo ’06 wrote to us in October: “For
my Peace Corps cohort, T HE
Aadir Khan ’15 helped prepare a presentation at the Pentagon during his summer internship with the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Ethics and Rule of Law.
were joined by two fellow
outlets have written reviews.
Alexander A. Sheridan ’04
Head of School!”
Montauk. To top it off, we
memories and an old-
McEntyre ’09 submitted the
I invite all to join!”
and I wish the best to the new
long weekend of laughter,
York Times, the New York
Daily News and other media
West Africa. I was honored
everyone in the community
following news in October: “I Soccer. I am currently in
from Bowdoin College
Browning as a Middle and Upper School associate
learning specialist this fall.
Blaine, Minn. for a two to four month sales training
program, which prepares its trainees to move on to MLS clubs as account executives
in the front office. This means I will be living somewhere else in the country by the beginning of next year,
JR Chansakul ’12 (center) spent time with Ms. Lien and Mr. Simon; all three are alumni of Bowdoin.
Aadir A.I. Khan ’15
starting a new career in
submitted the following
exciting time for me learning
the summer, I conducted
the sports industry. It is an a new job and getting the
opportunity to move around in a field I have always
wanted to work in. We work
in cycles with different teams,
and currently we are working with the Colorado Rapids
presentation on enhanced and countering terrorist
financing to Department of Defense officials.”
Former Faculty and Staff News
news in October: “Over research on counterterrorism law at the
University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Ethics and Rule of Law.
As part of the program, I
went to the Pentagon where
Marty Haase, Browning’s former director of institutional advancement, visited Browning in July. L to R: Melanie McMahon, Christine Bramble, Marty Haase and Laura Lanigan.
AL UMNI REUNION Friday, April 7, 2017
Save the Date! The Alumni Association invites all alumni and faculty to the annual Alumni Reunion on Friday, April 7, 2017. Classes ending in “2” and “7” are celebrating milestone reunions. All alumni, regardless of class year, are invited and encouraged to attend this special day of events, which includes:
Reunion Cocktail Reception featuring the presentation of the Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award to Eric Ordway ’67 and Sandy Pelz ’71
• True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon • Announcement of the Stephen S. Perry ’76 Memorial Class Representative Awards and the Class of 2007’s 10th Reunion Gift • Alumni Career Panel For more information, please contact Director of Alumni Affairs Laura N. Lanigan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-838-6280 ext. 1920. We look forward to celebrating with you in April!
CHARLES W. COOK ’38 ALUMNUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS Eric Ordway ’67 is a partner at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, where he has worked since 1982. He is a leading member of the firm’s international arbitration group. Prior to joining Weil, Mr. Ordway was assistant headmaster and head of the Upper School at Browning; he also taught history, English and film. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a music degree from the Conservatoire Jean Courbin, a political science degree from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, a master’s degree in Latin American studies from New York University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. His wife Kate taught for many years at Browning, and two of his three sons, Demian ’95 and Nicholas ’98, are also Browning alumni.
Sandy Pelz ’71 is director of college guidance at The Browning School. He first began his career at Browning in 1975 as a math teacher, and later served as science teacher, head of the Middle School and chair of the science department before moving to college guidance in 1989. Mr. Pelz oversees all aspects of the college search and application process and teaches college preparation courses to all Upper School boys starting in Form III. He also teaches an interdisciplinary elective titled Science, Technology and Society. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College and a master’s in media studies from the New School. He and his wife Adele are the proud parents of two Browning alumni: Christopher ’12 and Jonathan ’12.
& Gratitude A
very special thank-you to
all of the parents, students, grandparents, alumni,
faculty and friends who once again
made Browning a top priority during the 2015-16 school year. The Annual Fund continued to thrive, thanks to your generosity, and raised just shy of $1.9 million. As our most recent
Report of Giving outlined, your crucial support allows Browning boys to excel in every arena, from academics to
athletics, setting an example for the younger boys who look up to them
and for our peer schools by virtue of their sportsmanship in everything from basketball to chess.
We again thank our Board of
Trustees, Alumni Council, Form VI boys, faculty and parents
Thank you for your extraordinary
Overall parent annual giving participation of 88% and
contributions and for making
from the Class of 2023 for their respective 100% participation. alumni participation of 19% remain near-record highs.
As we look back on last yearâ€™s historic transitions,
please accept our communityâ€™s sincere gratitude for your
generous and much-needed support that allows our boys to keep reaching new heights.
T HE BUZZER T HE BUZZER
Browning a philanthropic priority!
Browning’s New Chapter:
ARE YOU IN?
ur school year has already been a successful one, even as we reach only the halfway
mark. Our new Head of School, John Botti,
immediately dove in to get to know the boys, the faculty, parents and alumni at many special events. Form VI
boys are demonstrating their leadership in many areas and, indeed, all of our boys continue to show they are Browning gentlemen in and out of the classroom.
Last year’s Annual Fund supported 11% of the
School’s operating budget. The impact of your generosity
is immediately felt and enjoyed by our entire community. Everything from financial aid to faculty support is impacted by the Annual Fund, which is why your
ongoing support is so critical to our mission. During
this special year in which we welcome our new Head of
School, can we count on your participation? Every gift is
meaningful, regardless of size, and makes a difference in Browning’s commitment to supporting each boy during his individual journey, both here and beyond.
As we approach the season of giving, please consider
once again making Browning a priority. We ask that you join the hundreds of other parents, alumni, faculty and friends who can unanimously say, “I’m in!”
I N T E L L E C T UA L Thank You for Your Generous Support! To make a gift, please use the return envelope enclosed in this Buzzer or visit www.browning.edu/giving. For more information, please
contact Director of Annual Giving Soo Mi Thompson
Soo Mi Thompson at 212-838-6280,
ext. 1600, or email@example.com.
T H E BROW N I NG SC HO OL 52 East 62nd Street New York, New York 10065
NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE
PAID AUGUSTA, ME PERMIT NO. 121
TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS Please call the Advancement Office at 212 838 6280 x1150.
OLDER & YOUNGER BROWNING BOYS EXPLORE TOGETHER
October, the third and fourth graders, along with a group of Browning juniors and seniors, traveled to Black Rock
Forest for a day of forest exploration and sustainability activities. The boys are members of Browning’s Sustainable Design science elective taught by Emilie Wolf and Dr. Betty Noel; the younger boys are
taught by science teacher Julia Kingsdale. The older boys helped lead the younger students on a nature hike, a survey of local arthropods, T HE
and a tour of Black Rock Forest’s many sustainable features. The
boys learned about solar panels, a geothermal heating system and
composting toilets. They also enjoyed a rare opportunity to connect with a natural New York forest, bringing back not only a deeper
understanding of sustainable design but also several “creepy crawly arthropods” who now enjoy their new home in the Lower School science lab and daily care-giving by the Grade Three boys!
Published on Dec 13, 2016
Catch up with much that has happened at Browning since the start of the school year, including the new Head of School's introduction to the...