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Fall/Winter 2016


Excellence IN TEACHING

Fall/Winter 2016


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

46 Athletics

40 Summer Stipends

50 Alumni Events 60 Class Notes 64 Annual Fund News

Art in Focus (facing page): Art Department Chair Nik Vlahos explains, “Over 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.�



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: 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

Browning School.

in the STEM subjects also grew

Gerald Protheroe,

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

Fall/Winter 2016


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

human society.

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

and sorrow.”

for this honor.

Fall/Winter 2016


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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.



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

Fall/Winter 2016


“In a larger sense,

though, all of us are new, because each

of us will encounter

unfamiliar experiences

this year.”

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

anything but.

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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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 city’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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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,; 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.

Fall/Winter 2016


f e at u r e


Fostering Focus


Zachary Williams




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

Fall/Winter 2016


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-

side conversations.”

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

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


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?

Fall/Winter 2016


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

appears below.

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

Fall/Winter 2016


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 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.

Fall/Winter 2016



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.”


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

Nicholas Berry

Frances Hamilton

Kristina Oka

Victoria Piedmont

Kristofer Pischel

Richard Symons

Grace Church School and also

worked at Saint Bartholomew’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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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 ’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.

Fall/Winter 2016



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 School’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 city’s five boroughs.


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.

Fall/Winter 2016


APPLE PICKING ALWAYS A CROWD PLEASER Pre-primary boys enjoyed an October day

at Dr. Davies Farm in Congers, N.Y. There is


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


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.


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.

Fall/Winter 2016


f e at u r e



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.




Fall/Winter 2016


summer stipends

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

Fall/Winter 2016


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

Fall/Winter 2016


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

Fall/Winter 2016


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.

–Coach Dominique Bernard

Fall/Winter 2016


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.

–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

Fall/Winter 2016


alumni events

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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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

most significant

declaration I can

make tonight is that this institution’s

educational mission

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.

to encourage

“I am anxious to learn from you, the men

and responsibility

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.


Probably the



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.

Fall/Winter 2016


54 54

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!


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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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.



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.

Mr. Eisman.

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.

Fall/Winter 2016


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

January 2006.

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.


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


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.

Fall/Winter 2016


class notes

TO SHARE NEWS with the Browning community, please contact Laura N. Lanigan, director of alumni affairs, at 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

Browning community.

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”


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. 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

digital platforms.”

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

interrogation techniques

Katz ’04!”

Travers B.K.

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 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.

Fall/Winter 2016


64 64



& 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 year’s historic transitions,

please accept our community’s sincere gratitude for your

generous and much-needed support that allows our boys to keep reaching new heights.


Browning a philanthropic priority!

Browning’s New Chapter:



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 For more information, please

contact Director of Annual Giving Soo Mi Thompson

Soo Mi Thompson at 212-838-6280,

ext. 1600, or


Fall/Winter 2016


T H E BROW N I NG SC HO OL 52 East 62nd Street New York, New York 10065



TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS Please call the Advancement Office at 212 838 6280 x1150.



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!

Buzzer Fall/Winter 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...

Buzzer Fall/Winter 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...