Introducing DR. JOHN M. BOT TI Sixth Head of The Browning School
a rt i n f o c u s
Michael Lee ’16 12”x16” 2016 Acrylic on canvas board
Summer 2016 FEATURES
Meet Browning’s Sixth Head of School John M. Botti
10 2016 Graduation, Matriculation & Prizes 18 Browning Boys Compete in Rube Goldberg Challenge 24 Grandparents & Special Friends Day
DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Head of School 28 Alumnus in the News 30 The Local Buzz 48 Fine and Performing Arts 54 Athletics
42 Summer Stipends
58 Alumni Events 78 Class Notes 83 Annual Fund News
Art in Focus (facing page): Art Department Chair Nik Vlahos explains, “Michael Lee ’16 created this work as part of an assignment in painting class. The boys were asked to make a painting using photographs for reference. Michael
took a few photos of the School’s center stairwell on his phone and used them to complete the assignment. Instead of actually printing them out, he referred periodically to the photos on his phone’s small screen.”
ON THE COVER John M. Botti, our sixth Head of School, discusses his first impressions of Browning, how it feels to be our new leader, and the excitement of living in New York City.
MISSION STATEMENT Founded in 1888 as a college preparatory school for boys, The Browning School continues its commitment to the goals of John A. Browning: the pursuit of academic excellence and
BUZZER STAFF John M. Botti, Head of School Melanie S. McMahon, Director of Publications, Buzzer Editor Laura N. Lanigan, Director of Alumni Affairs SUMMER BUZZER CONTRIBUTORS Megan Ryan, Chair, Modern Languages Department Elizabeth Suárez, Spanish Teacher Lucy Warner, Lower School Music Teacher Andrew H. West ’92, Athletic Director Contributing Photographers: Christine Bramble, Rossa Cole Photography, Jeremy Katz ’04, Laura Lanigan, Melanie McMahon, Sanford Pelz ’71, Picture This, Michael Soluri P’18
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.
Design by Misty Wilt Graphic Design LLC BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2015-16 Samuel J. Weinhoff, President Stuart J. Ellman, Vice President Valda M. Witt, Vice President Richard L. N. Weaver ’75, Treasurer Celeste A. Guth, Secretary Michael P. Beys ’89, Assistant Secretary; President, Alumni Association Lisa O. Elson, President, Parents Association Nazmi Oztanir, Vice President, Parents Association Stephen M. Clement, III, Headmaster Laura Z. Barket Wendy W. Brooks Paul A. Burke David E. Glaymon Elizabeth Granville-Smith Philip A. Hofmann Federico Infantino Ling S. Kwok Jeffrey M. Landes ’83
David J. Liptak Alka K. Singh Raul Pineda Andrew M. Snyder Ellen Stafford-Sigg David N. Steck Sanjay Swani Deborah van Eck Robert D. Ziff
Mildred J. Berendsen†, Honorary Trustee James S. Chanos, Honorary Trustee Allan L. Gropper, Honorary Trustee †
DIVERSITY STATEMENT The Browning School strives to create a diverse community in which all members are safe, respected and valued. We believe that in actively promoting a diverse learning environment, we are fostering intellectual, social and emotional growth for all. Recognizing and pursuing diversity, however, are not enough; we seek to transcend mere tolerance of differences and aspire to a celebration of the varied appearances, abilities, perspectives and values that characterize our community.
The Buzzer is published three times a year by The Browning School. The School may be reached at 212 838 6280. Website: www.browning.edu. The Browning School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-directed programs, or employment practices.
from the head of school
A Distinctive and Warm Community Last November, when I learned
To that end, my principal goal for the coming year is to
Browning community, I was most
mission, its history, its ethos, its way of celebrating, its way
that I had been invited to join the excited to share the news with
my sons. To be sure, being named Browning’s next Head of School is the greatest distinction of my
professional life, but as a father, I
was simply thrilled that my boys
might have the opportunity to attend this wonderful school. We sat at our kitchen table as I explained to my seven- and
four-year-old that we would be moving to an amazing new
city, and that they would apply to go to a school dedicated to helping boys like them grow. My older son’s eyes lit up, and
he immediately launched into the innocent-yet-wise questions of the second-grader – exuberant queries about Central Park,
about the Browning mascot, about lunches, about a school full of boys. My younger son, on the other hand, was atypically quiet, then got up from the table and moved to leave. “What’s happening, buddy?” I asked, slightly
concerned that he was upset.
“I’m going to pack,” he replied.
For eight months, I have been – like my boys – eager
to get to Browning. I know already, and my boys will come
learn about Browning, to come to fuller appreciation of its of meeting challenges, and – not least – the people who
have and who continue to animate the School with their
wisdom, dedication and spirit. The values that Browning articulates in both mission and practice are timeless,
but the School itself can only demonstrate its enduring relevance through the care
and the commitment of those who work and play in it
I have noted well
every day. It is to these folks
that I will turn in the coming
the devotion that
year, and gladly so; surely, relationships and human
encounter are central to any
worthy understanding of both
won from its faculty,
schooling and community. It is with a joyful anticipation
staff, alumni, parents
that I look forward to getting
to know and to listen to those
who make Browning an
essential experience – a home – for boys and adults alike.
Transition inevitably brings challenges. For my family,
to understand, that in coming here, we enjoy a remarkable
it means parting from dear friends, living out of boxes, and
honored and humbled by the opportunity to play a role in
city. For the Browning community, it involves learning
piece of good fortune. As I have stated elsewhere, I am both Browning’s lasting narrative about what it means to educate boys to lives of purpose and significance. It is an honor to
come to an institution with such an extraordinary student body, a remarkable faculty, a wise administrative team,
and a rich history of academic accomplishment, cultural
engagement and character development. And even in these
nascent days of my association with the School, I have noted well the devotion that Browning has won from its faculty,
staff, alumni, parents and Trustees; indeed, their commitment testifies to the School’s capacity to engage, encourage and
challenge its boys in a way that fundamentally transforms their lives. It is, quite simply, a distinctive and warm
community, and I am profoundly grateful to be a part of it.
At the same time, I am humbled, for I know that there
trying to learn the rhythms of the nation’s most energetic to trust and to help someone new with the responsibility that had been so ably handled by one of independent
education’s iconic figures. These challenges, however, are of small measure when compared to the opportunities
which await. For over 125 years, Browning has conducted a vital dialogue on how boys can grow into men whose
lives are characterized by intellectual depth, commitment to others, and personal integrity, and this conversation remains as important today as it was in 1888.
I wish you a happy summer and look forward to
seeing you at the red doors this autumn. Best always,
is so much that I must still discover about my new home.
John M. Botti
Head of School
f e at u r e
MEET BROWNINGâ€™S SIXTH HEAD OF SCHOOL
John M. Botti
AS A CHILD AND YOUNG ADULT, WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE FIELD OF EDUCATION?
Growing up, I always enjoyed school, and school was always a home for me. My neighborhood didn’t have a lot of kids, so that’s where I found my friends. I was
fortunate enough when I was very young to have some kind and giving teachers. So my associations with school during my early years have always had a positive feel. It would not be entirely correct to suggest I always wanted to be a teacher,
nor that I always felt like education as a career would be something I would do. It was really not until I was graduating from college that I viewed teaching as a
possibility. I went to a liberal arts college [Williams], and while many of my friends
were going off to law school, medical school and pursuing other worthy endeavors,
none of these professions really spoke to me. By the time I graduated, I felt like I was becoming the student I wanted to be and realized I was really excited by learning. So when I had a chance to work at a boarding school in Connecticut after
“Browning is a place where boys and adults alike can develop relationships, which are not only sustained through the school day, but through the school years and beyond.”
graduating from college, it just felt right. It was a decision that did not involve much planning. At the time, I didn’t realize it would grow into a career or, even better, a
life. But teaching was something that held an emotional attraction for me, and I think that’s why I wanted to give it a try.
WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BROWNING, BOTH WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE SCHOOL AND WHEN YOU VISITED EARLIER THIS YEAR?
Well, I most recently worked at Landon School, which is a boys school in Bethesda, Md. Browning is a name in the boys school world, and so when the possibility of
getting involved was presented to me, it was very exciting. Now, I was very happy at Landon; it is a place where I met my wife, I started my family, and where people have been incredibly good to me and helped me grow. So, it was going to take a
special opportunity for me to look outside of Landon. It became almost immediately
apparent that Browning was that opportunity. I thought that if I was fortunate enough to get involved with a school of this quality, it was something I should look at.
Browning spoke to me for several reasons, one of which is because it is a boys
school. Now, I did not go to a boys school, and my first experience with one was
actually as a teacher. For the longest time, I thought that I would want to raise my
sons in a coeducational environment. As I spent time at Landon, I become happily
aware that there are all kinds of ways to educate our young people in a democracy. I’m surely not saying that boys schools are better for everyone, but I do think they
are better for some boys. I’ve seen it work in a way that I find incredibly attractive, so Browning’s boys school identity is fundamentally important to me.
I also really appreciate Browning’s size, which Headmaster Clement described
as a “small school by choice.” I think that’s wonderful. During a time when I think schools desperately need to remain communities, Browning presents a site and a
size that really enables that possibility. It is a place where boys and adults alike can develop relationships, which are not only sustained through the school day, but
through the school years and beyond. Therefore, truly meaningful connection is
available at a school like Browning in a way that other schools and institutions are not able to realize.
The last thing about Browning that immediately stood out to me was what I
took to be the clarity of its mission. It is so cleanly worded and specific in terms of
intention. The idea that Browning is a place that helps boys to be learners, to have integrity and to become, â€œin the best sense of the word, a gentleman,â€? was really
important to me. When schools are simply about academic achievement, something vital is lost. At Browning, I see a school of students who are not just interested in
pursuing lives of achievement but pursuing lives of greater significance. These are all things that resonated with me.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BECOMING OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL?
I am excited but also aware of how much I need to learn and grow. As I told the faculty during my visit to the School this winter, I will be the person who needs to learn the most. The faculty and staff have been so warm, open, friendly and
inclusive, even though they still know relatively little about me. I have not sensed any concern that someone like me, with no experience as a head of school, will
be replacing a figure like Steve Clement, who is a national icon in the boys school
world. Everyone has just been so kind and caring. This makes me feel that the faculty will exercise patience and express wisdom and care to help me grow. I think I will be able to better serve the community as I become more acquainted with the School.
I do not want to lose sight of the fact that I am very personally excited about this
opportunity. There is a reason that I have decided to move my family, and it is not
simply because this is a chance to lead a school. This is a chance for my family to be part of a community that I consider to be of the first order. Were I simply living in
New York City, Browning is the place where I would want my boys to be educated.
It is the best feeling in the world to know that I am entering a community where I can hand over my boys and feel fortunate in the opportunity.
HOW DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FEEL ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY?
Well, we currently live in a suburban community near Washington, D.C., and this will be our first time living in a city. And it’s not just any city, but it’s kind of the capital of the universe! That is profoundly exciting.
When my youngest son, Nathan, found out that we were moving to New York
in the late fall, he went upstairs and immediately began packing. My older son, Sean, is also excited about the possibility. When you grow up in certain parts of America,
New York represents something special. Everyone in my family was blown away by the idea that we were going to be living here.
One of our largest concerns is that my wife Eliza is a huge Philadelphia Eagles
fan. So, there are definitely some cultural niceties that we will need to keep to
ourselves. But we are thrilled to take advantage of the museums, parks and energy of New York.
“New York is not
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES AND FUN FACTS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
just any city, but it’s
in education affords me the opportunity to do that. I also really enjoy playing
kind of the capital of
There is nothing I like more than spending time with my sons, and being involved basketball, going to museums and traveling. When I have free moments, reading is always a fun thing to do.
Given that my wife was a four-time national champion in field hockey and
the universe! That is
lacrosse in college and that my boys are at a stage in their lives where they are not
This is, of course, an appropriately humbling fact. One of the greatest things about
afraid to try any sport, pretty soon I am going to be the worst athlete in the family! being a part of my family is that I learn a lot every day and smile every day, and that’s really fun.
WHAT KIND OF ROLE DO YOU BELIEVE ATHLETICS HAS AT BROWNING?
Participating in sport has been important to me in terms of developing my identity, how I relate with other folks, and how I encounter obstacles. From a philosophical and emotional point of view, sports have been really important to me.
At the school where I am now, athletics serve a really important community function
as a bonding and bridging agent. They bring boys together from disparate parts of our
educational world who otherwise might not have supported each other in quite the same way. So I see a lot of the good that organized institutional sport can provide.
I think that any school that places value on sport needs to be very attentive to
keeping athletics in a proper philosophical context. I would love for Browning to be really successful at sports. By successful, I mean that I want Browning boys to
play hard, together and fairly. If those three things fall in line, then I think things like
winning tend to take care of themselves. But we will certainly never pursue winning at the expense of these three mindsets.
“I am committed to spending the year listening to and learning from people who know the School and who care deeply about the School.”
I also think that Browning offers a really dimensional masculinity. By that, I mean
that it calls upon boys to play different kinds of roles within their community, not just as students but also as athletes, artists, thespians and citizens at large. That is part of
the genius of schools like Browning. I think that sports can and should play a robust role as long as they are in harmony with other commitments and passions that boys and adults have.
WHAT SKILLS AND NEW IDEAS DO YOU HOPE TO BRING TO THE BROWNING COMMUNITY AS THE NEW HEAD?
I would hope that after serving as Head of School for a year, folks would be inclined to
say that John Botti is honest, and that he cares deeply about the School and its people. I do
not want to suggest that I will be doing something in a leadership role that has never been done before. Part of the reason that Browning is so attractive is that it has been led by a
wonderfully capable man who has created a wonderfully capable administrative team
and faculty, which people continue to tell me are the strength and the spine of the School. So I am committed to spending the year listening to and learning from people
who know the School and who care deeply about the School. It would be reckless to
do otherwise. I think that while I have some ideas to offer, that comes after a learning process. It would be impossibly presumptuous for me to have a vision for Browning without being in dialogue with the folks who have made Browning the spectacular school that it is.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO MENTION?
I just want to be clear that I really enjoyed being at Landon. I tried to not get in the way of Headmaster Clement’s final few months at Browning; however, I was so
excited to come to New York and to meet everyone in the School. There were so many conversations I wanted to have and people I wanted to meet!
Finally, there is no one who was more generous with his time and insight than
Steve Clement. I appreciate everything that he has done to help me.
This Q&A was based on an article written by Michael Zuppone ’16, co-editor-in-chief of the
student newspaper, for the June Browning Grytte. We thank Michael for his contributions to the Buzzer over the past year and wish him well as he matriculates to Boston College.
f e at u r e
C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S T O T H E
orm VI boys, parents and the entire Browning community gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2016 during graduation exercises on June 15 at Christ Church.
Headmaster Clement, President of the Board of Trustees Sam Weinhoff and Upper School Head James Reynolds presented diplomas to each member of the graduating class. Andrew B. Medland ’16, president of the Upper School Student Council, offered parting remarks and best wishes to his fellow graduates and to Headmaster Clement on his retirement. He was pleased to note that members of the senior class reached 100 percent participation in their class gift effort, matched by an anonymous donor, raising a total of $1,815.42. These funds are allocated toward the purchase of new “big screen” monitors in the Cafeteria, used for displaying photos of the many activities
Mr. Chanos saluted Mr. Clement for his many years of
service to the School and, of course, imparted a wealth of
advice to the graduating class. He urged the boys to pursue what they are interested in, constantly consider new ideas, acquire skills that will serve them well, learn how to “be
indispensable,” give back to their communities, and come back to Browning in the future, among other advice.
During the graduation exercises, awards were presented
to Form VI boys, as well as to faculty, with special
recognition given to those retiring this year, including
Music Department Chair David Prestigiacomo, who was
honored with a serenade by members of the Upper School Chorus. The Lit, a student publication, was also dedicated
to him, while the Browning Grytte yearbook was dedicated to Headmaster Clement. Lower School Learning Specialist
throughout the school year.
Patricia Flynn, this year’s second retiree, was honored by the
Trustee James S. Chanos PP ’07, ’09, ’11, who served as
student publication to her. The Sabet Award was presented
Mr. Reynolds introduced the guest speaker, Honorary
staff of the Browning Grytte newspaper who dedicated this
Board President during 15 years (2001-15) of Headmaster
to Susan Kehoe, third grade teacher.
was born in Milwaukee, is proud of his Greek-American
as Headmaster, Mr. Clement remarked upon the major
to pursue medicine before changing his mind and majoring
Congratulations to the Class of 2016 and their families!
Clement’s tenure. Mr. Clement noted that Mr. Chanos, who heritage. Educated at Yale University, Mr. Chanos planned in economics and political science. An investment advisor
focused on short selling, he is founder and president of
In a beloved tradition carried forth during his many years
accomplishments of each and every Form VI Browning boy.
To view a video and more photos of Graduation, visit
Summer 2015 2016
COLLEGES OFFERING ADMISSION TO THE CLASS OF 2016 University of Aberdeen
George Washington University
Allegheny College (2)
Georgetown University (2)
Pennsylvania State University
University of Glasgow
University of Pennsylvania
College of the Atlantic
Pratt Institute of Technology (2)
University of Puget Sound (2)
University of Redlands (2)
Bates College (2)
Rhode Island School of Design
Boston College (2)
Indiana University – Bloomington
Richmond University – London
University of Richmond
Boston University (2)
Johns Hopkins University (3)
St. Lawrence University (2)
Keene State College
University of St. Andrews
Saint Peter’s University
The Catholic University of America
St. Olaf College
Sarah Lawrence College (2)
Loyola University New Orleans
Stony Brook University – SUNY
Maryland Institute College of Art
Dartmouth College (2)
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros
New England Conservatory of Music
Villanova University (2)
Claremont McKenna College (2) Colgate University University of Colorado – Boulder University of Connecticut
Duke University Elmira College Elon University (2) Eugene Lang College Fairleigh Dickinson University Fordham University Franklin & Marshall College
SUNY – New Paltz New York University (3)
Washington University in St. Louis
Northeastern University (2)
Nova Southeastern University
University of Wisconsin – Madison
As of June 2016
School of Visual Arts
COLLEGE CHOICES – CLASS OF 2016 Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2016 and the fine institutions that will welcome them.
Awentirim E. Abaatu – University of Pennsylvania (PA) John A. Barket – Franklin & Marshall College (PA) Andrew J. Bendo – Johns Hopkins University (MD) Harry A. Calianese – Fordham University (NY) Anthony K. Carrasco – Saint Peter’s University (NJ) Tyler A. Fraser – Bard College (NY) Jay V. Hutzler – New England Conservatory of Music (MA) William L. Jacob, IV – Claremont McKenna College (CA) Zachary D. Kavovit-Murphy – Hobart College (NY) Brandon J. Keno – Sarah Lawrence College (NY) Liam S. Kerwin – Brown University (RI) Philippe A. Laffont – Johns Hopkins University (MD) Michael Lee – Pratt Institute of Technology (NY) Craig A. Levinson – Elon University (NC) Yangzeyu Liu – Stony Brook University – SUNY (NY) Yvan A. Maslennikov – Rhode Island School of Design (RI) Andrew B. Medland – Vanderbilt University (TN) Karsten G. Monteverde – Duke University (NC) P. Michael O’Connor, IV – St. Olaf College (MN) Julian J. Orillac – Johns Hopkins University (MD) Alejandro Oyarzun – Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros (Spain) Harris E. Russell, III – University of Colorado – Boulder (CO) Del T. Schunk – Union College (NY) Dylan A. Springer – New York University (NY) Nikita Tsimmer – University of Wisconsin – Madison (WI) Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. – Boston College (MA)
As of June 2016
Summer 2015 2016
A C A D E M I C AWA R D S H E ADM AST ERâ€™S LIST
Given to those boys whose grade point average for the year is at least 3.75. Form VI Liam S. Kerwin Yvan Maslennikov Julian J. Orillac Alejandro Oyarzun Dylan A. Springer Form V George D. Allen Luke E. Barba J. Alexander Barnard Micah Bowey Gianni P. Chiovetta Terrell G. Edwards Michael L. Jozoff Alexander I. Kattan Form IV Norman B. Champ Theodore S. David David J. Eisman Benjamin I. Ellman George P. Grimbilas Takayuki M. Ishikawa Daniel S. Kravitz Connor P. Medland
Philip A. Raftopoulos Jackson S. Richter Adrian F. Rodriguez Rohan A. Singh Brogan A. Smith Caleb H. Sussman Jack R. Twaronite Form III Lucas A. Coffey Shazeb Dayani Joseph S. Delgado Nicholas M. Hurley Maximilian A. Motz Diego E. Santamarina Form II Maxwell A. Beem Hugh T. Chapin Ryan T. Eagan Logan T. Flynn William J. Hatfield Alexander F. Kwok Reinhardt N. Landsberg Alexander J. Liptak Keaton A. Ramey Michael Westman Form I Alexander J. Barr William C. Bousquette, III Griffin C. Davis
Christian E. Kim Kyle T. Liptak Robert D. Magnus Harrison M. McGlashan David D. Pham Alexander Raftopoulos Aaron T. Seibert Eric D. Sigg
Form V August V.D. Chapin Jake E. Germano Jamil Guzman Conor P.D. Harkins Alex LĂłpez-Velasco Ryan T. Olson Logan M. Stark
Grade 6 Christian Cheng Nathaniel Cheng Nicholas B. Dingle Benjamin T. Ellwood Connor J. Fischetti Andrew R. Hatfield Andrew F. Naber Christian M. Odenius William K. Rich Benjamin A. Sullivan Evan K. Thomas Liam Westman
Form IV Luke M. Hexner Manuel C. Medina Robert H. Nielsen Gabriel A. Soluri Patrick B. Yee
Grade 5 Quentin T. Bader Andrew H. Bates-Zoullas Winston H. Bates-Zoullas Ross G. Gramley Eli B. Greenberg Henry T. Gussman Tomas Infantino David M. Lilien Rohan T. Mehra Jakob G. Oliva Kevin C. Twomey HONOR ROLL
Given to those boys whose grade point average for the year is 3.5-3.74.
Form VI William L. Jacob, IV Philippe A. Laffont Andrew B. Medland Karsten G. Monteverde Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. T HE
Form III Raymond Diaz William Y. Eun Conor M. Gubbins Maxwell F. Kelly Alfonso Laffont Blaise L.W. Lowen Alexander S. Motz Form II Alec L.C. Candidato Oscar C.W. Gad Robert A. Michaelson Akshay A. Singh Sebastian L. Teslic Jonathan M. Ziff Form I Fazeel A. Khan Jacob N. Lassner Gavin J. Mora Christopher J. Preziotti Akshay D. Swani Grade 6 Harrison D. Clyde Jose E. Garcia Cole H. Glotfelty Kabir J. Kurani Colin A. Mandl-Ciolek Jamie M. Sussman
Grade 5 Malek S. Assef Ethan C. Fitzpatrick Bennett S. Hardy Brad Peters Solomon C. Rogatnick Eric D. Sagarna Farrell C. Smith
SC HOL A R S AWA RD
Form VI Dylan A. Springer Form II William J. Hatfield
C I T I Z ENSH I P AWA R DS
Form VI Awentirim E. Abaatu Harry A. Calianese Anthony K. Carrasco Tyler A. Fraser Andrew B. Medland Karsten G. Monteverde Julian J. Orillac Alejandro Oyarzun Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. Form V George D. Allen Luke E. Barba J. Alexander Barnard Declan J. Casey August V.D. Chapin Terrell G. Edwards Jake E. Germano Jamil Guzman Conor P.D. Harkins Alexander I. Kattan Alex López-Velasco Logan M. Stark
Form IV Julien D. Anavian Theodore S. David Ekene M. Duruaku David J. Eisman Benjamin I. Ellman George P. Grimbilas Takayuki M. Ishikawa Daniel S. Kravitz Connor P. Medland Robert H. Nielsen Marwan S. Nsouli Jackson S. Richter Brogan A. Smith George P. Stavropoulos Caleb H. Sussman Jack R. Twaronite Form III Lucas A. Coffey Shazeb Dayani Raymond Diaz Gabriel A. Flicker Nicholas M. Hurley Justin A. James Maxwell F. Kelly Blaise L. W. Lowen Alexander S. Motz Tommy Ramirez Sebastian P. Rodriguez Diego E. Santamarina Form II Maxwell A. Beem Hugh T. Chapin Ryan T. Eagan Logan T. Flynn William J. Hatfield Alexander F. Kwok Reinhardt N. Landsberg Robert A. Michaelson Sharif S. Nsouli Form I Fazeel A. Khan Christian E. Kim Jacob N. Lassner Robert D. Magnus
Harrison M. McGlashan David M. Monasebian Alexander Raftopoulos Carter Rocket Munk Eric D. Sigg Dylan C. Steck Grade 6 Nicholas B. Dingle Benjamin T. Ellwood Jose E. Garcia Andrew R. Hatfield Kabir J. Kurani Teymour S. Nsouli Christian M. Odenius Jamie M. Sussman Grade 5 Ross G. Gramley Eli B. Greenberg Henry T. Gussman Tomas Infantino Rohan T. Mehra Federico Schmidt Farrell C. Smith Grade 4 Julian Berthou Kyle V. Dewan Bram J. Kerwin Jack W. McCormack Cooper L. Metz-King Jake M. Ferreri Jack R. Garcia Nicholas K. Shea Alexander Waugh-Bacchus Grade 3 Gregory M. GranvilleSmith Marcos Infantino Simon N. Mandl-Ciolek Alexander D. Trapani Quinn S. Balber Wyatt N. Glaymon Chase A.K. Kumm Joshua K. Ho
F O R M V I AWA R D S
T H E ELE A NOR A N D H A ROLD P. K U R ZM A N M EMOR I AL AWA RD FOR I M PROV EM EN T
Anthony K. Carrasco D. AL A N DI LLEN BERG SC HOL A R AT H LET E AWA RD
Karsten G. Monteverde C H A RLES W. COOK ’38 H E ADM AST ER’S AWA RD
Liam S. Kerwin SALEH M . AL M ADH A H EK A H AWA RD
Julian J. Orillac Michael L. Zuppone, Jr. EDWA RD G. COR N ET AWA RD FOR COOPER AT ION A N D PER SEV ER A NC E
Tyler A. Fraser K EN N ET H KOMI TO AWA RD FOR C I T I Z ENSH I P
Awentirim E. Abaatu
2015-2016 awa r d s
AT H L E T I C AWA R D S
FA L L AWA R D S VA R SI T Y SOCC ER
Most Valuable Player Karsten G. Monteverde Most Improved Player: Offense Alexander J. Young Most Improved Player: Defense Declan J. Casey Panther Grytte Award William L. Jacob, IV Sportsmanship George D. Allen
J U NIOR VA R SI T Y SOCC ER
Most Valuable Players Takayuki M. Ishikawa Philip A. Raftopoulos Most Improved Players Fernando J. Hierro Tommy Ramirez Sportsmanship Luke E. Barba Raymond Diaz
SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE SOCC ER
Most Valuable Player: Offense Alexander P. Dwyer
Golden Boot Award Joshua D. Jordan
Most Valuable Player: Defense Alexander J. Liptak
NYCAL All League Team Karsten G. Monteverde Andrew B. Medland
Coaches Award William J. Hatfield
NYCAL Team Sportsmanship Award Browning Panthers
Most Improved Player William C. Bousquette, III
VA R SI T Y C ROSS COU N T RY
Most Valuable Player Yvan Maslennikov Most Improved Players Manuel C. Medina Alex López-Velasco Sportsmanship J. Alexander Barnard
SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE C ROSS COU N T RY
Most Valuable Players Sharif S. Nsouli Giovanni J. Taveras Most Improved Player Alexander F. Naber Sportsmanship Eric D. Sigg
WINTER AWA R D S VA R SI T Y BASK ET BALL
J U NIOR VA R SI T Y BASK ET BALL
Most Valuable Player Andrew B. Medland Most Improved Player Justin A. James Sportsmanship Alexander J. Wittenberg
SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE R ED BASK ET BALL
Most Valuable Player: Offense Skyler C. Bell
Most Valuable Player William L. Jacob, IV
Most Valuable Player: Defense William J. Hatfield
Most Improved Player Alexander J. Young
Grytte Award Robert A. Michaelson
Rookie of the Year Alexander J. Liptak
Sportsmanship Award Maxwell A. Beem
Sportsmanship Felix A. Castillo Coach’s Grytte Award Karsten G. Monteverde NYCAL All League Second Team William L. Jacob, IV NYCAL Team Sportsmanship Award Browning Panthers
SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE BL AC K BASK ET BALL
Offensive Player of the Year Sharif S. Nsouli Defensive Player of the Year Michael Westman Most Improved Player Fazeel A. Khan
Sportsmanship Austin D. Stapleton Coach’s Award Gavin M. Mitchell
SI X T H GR ADE BASK ET BALL
Most Valuable Player: Offense William K. Rich Most Valuable Player: Defense Teymour S. Nsouli Most Improved Player Liam Westman Sportsmanship Andrew R. Hatfield Coach’s Award Andrew F. Naber
Most Valuable Players Benjamin I. Ellman Brogan A. Smith
Most Improved Player Zachary T. Brown
Coach’s Award Rohan A. Singh
Sportsmanship Wesley H. Baugher
SPRING AWA R D S
Coach’s Award Austin D. Stapleton
VA R SI T Y T R AC K VA R SI T Y BASEBALL
Most Valuable Player Liam S. Kerwin Most Valuable Player Anthony K. Carrasco Most Improved Player Patrick C. Lopez Panther Grytte Award William L. Jacob, IV
Most Valuable Player: Offense Ross G. Gramley
Sportsmanship George P. Grimbilas
Coach’s Award Eli B. Greenberg
Most Valuable Player Fazeel A. Khan
Most Improved Player Kyle T. Liptak
F I F T H GR ADE BASK ET BALL
Most Valuable Player: Defense Rohan T. Mehra
SEV EN T H -EIGH T H GR ADE BASEBALL
Rookie of the Year Shazeb Dayani
Most Valuable Player: Short Distance Conor P. D. Harkins Most Valuable Player: Long Distance Yvan Maslennikov Most Improved Player: Short Distance David J. Eisman Most Improved Player: Long Distance Jake E. Germano Sportsmanship Raymond Diaz Lucas A. Coffey
VA R SI T Y T EN NIS
Most Valuable Players Del T. Schunk George D. Allen Ian A. Schunk NYCAL Most Valuable Player Del T. Schunk NYCAL All League Team Del T. Schunk George D. Allen NYCAL Team Sportsmanship Award Browning Panthers
VA R SI T Y GOLF
Most Valuable Player Alejandro Oyarzun Most Improved Player Aidan R. Minnick NYCAL All League Team and League MVP Alejandro Oyarzun NYCAL Team Sportsmanship Award Browning Panthers
NYCAL All League Team Liam S. Kerwin William L. Jacob, IV NYCAL Team Sportsmanship Award Browning Panthers
f e at u r e
BOYS EMBODY SPIRIT OF
Browning & Rube Goldberg AT R E G I O N A L ENGINEERING EXPO
How many steps (and how much stress) does it take to open an umbrella in a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest? More than you may think. You might say the Browning boys got off to a rough start as they armed themselves for April showers, but ultimately they pulled off a happy ending! They participated in both levels of the 2016 Rube Goldberg Challenge: Live Division I, open to middle school students (ages 11-14), as well as Live Division II, open to high school students. Read on as Anderson Harp, technology integrator, details the Middle and Upper School boys’ excellent showing in this exciting contest, hosted by the Lower Hudson Valley Engineering Expo and held at White Plains High School on April 3. This regional engineering related competition presents
the perfect methodology and outlet to inspire young minds
in STEM and STEAM curriculum. Using science, technology,
and Heroes” and showed well in the first-ever live competition for this age group.
Now, have you ever heard that opening an umbrella
engineering and math components as a foundation, teams
indoors is bad luck? Well, my colleague and science teacher
umbrella, this year’s designated challenge. Now add Rube
and Friday after school since October as they practiced this
built chain-reaction machines designed to ultimately open an Goldberg’s silly humor and artistry to the mix, and watch the fun begin! Browning boys exceeded expectations and truly embodied the spirit of the School.
Five boys represented the Upper School. Their design
titled “Gotham” proved a worthy opponent despite a field of larger groups with more experience. Twelve boys comprised
our Middle School squad. Using primarily duct tape, the boys designed an elaborate contraption titled “DC/Marvel Villains
Ms. Ting and I had been advising the boys every Thursday
simple task. Two umbrellas broke in the “Gotham” machine before judging. Yet, with resilience, the boys repaired one
with our supplies planned for “just-in-case.” Then the Middle School boys stumbled in the first of two scored machine
runs when half their project collapsed in front of the judges. Regardless, all hands on deck rushed to battle stations and rapidly re-engineered and repaired to make an impressive comeback for machine run #2.
A transcription of one of Rube Goldberg’s cartoons, “Get One of Our Handy Self-opening Umbrellas,” reads as follows: Raindrops (A) fill tumbler (B), causing ball (C) to rise. String (D) moves with ball, and iron hand (E) presses button (F), ringing electric bell (G). Man in nearby building (H) thinks his phone is ringing and picks up receiver (I), causing string (J) to open box (K). Jack-in-the-box (L) jumps out, and little boy (M) is so happy he claps hands, causing arrangement (N) to blow bellows (O) and open umbrella (P)!
By 3 p.m., judges gathered at the podium to announce
results. Nine high school teams and six middle school teams from across the Lower Hudson Valley submitted projects ranging from simple to complex and novel to clever. I’m
excited to report Browning’s Middle School team won third in the live competition for this age group. There were two major awards: First Place and the Legacy Award. Jennifer
George, Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter, made special note at the ceremony of one team that stood out from the crowd by modeling her grandfather’s true legacy and personality through their machine’s story. Ms. George named the
Browning Upper School team the winner of the Legacy
Award! Truly surprised, the boys made their way through the crowd and were the only team to be photographed with Ms.
George, chairperson of the organizing foundation. (See photo on far right, top of page 22.)
ABOUT RUBE GOLDBERG A sculptor and author, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg was known for his “inventions” that take simple tasks and make them incredibly complicated. A graduate
of UC Berkeley with a degree in engineering, Mr. Goldberg
worked at the San Francisco Chronicle before moving to New
York City and joining Hearst publications, where he became a household name.
Rube Goldberg, Inc., is led by Mr. Goldberg’s
granddaughter, Jennifer George, author of “The Art of Rube Goldberg.” Dedicated to “keeping laughter and invention
alive through the legacy of its namesake,” this not-for-profit organization promotes STEM and STEAM education for
students of all ages. T HE
Rube Goldberg and family, April 4, 1929. Photo from Library of Congress.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF SUCCESS
uch time and effort were expended in preparing for the 2016 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest in April. Science
teacher Melodie Ting oversaw the Middle School boys, otherwise known as “Team #92: Browning Herd of Nerds,”
along with Anderson Harp and takes us behind the scenes before and after the competition during a Q&A in May.
MM: I logged onto the official Rube Goldberg website and happened to see that one of his cartoons was about a “handy self-opening umbrella” (see p. 20). By chance, did that inspire you and the boys to design a machine that would do the same?
the boys originally chose changed along the way. The Middle School boys went from a water park idea to comic book characters, while the Upper School boys gave up the beach concept and went with a junkyard instead.
after school. As we got closer to the April competition, we were meeting every day. A true indication of the boys’ dedication is the fact that after Spring Break, they arrived at school every day by 7:30 a.m. to work on their machines!
MT: No, actually all competitors were tested with the same challenge to ensure a fair contest, so it’s coincidence that Mr. Goldberg once chose the same thing to “build.”
MM: Besides the bus delay debacle, Mr. Harp indicates you may have encountered some other major setbacks on the day of the contest. Can you elaborate?
MM: What information must you present when you officially enter the contest? Can you explain how the boys go about inventing their machines once they know what the challenge is (this year, to open an umbrella)?
MM: I understand you enlisted the aid of some Browning parents on the day of the actual competition. Can you explain their involvement? MT: They helped us right from the start of our competition day. The buses we had hired to pick us up at Browning by 7:30 a.m. were detained due to a fallen power line, so parents immediately pitched in and volunteered to drive the boys to White Plains. Once we arrived, one of the mothers, Alka Singh (Rohan A. Singh ’18, Akshay A. Singh ’20 ), even offered to get pizza for them so I could be free to help the boys set up. Due to the bus delay, Browning only had 30 minutes to prepare their machine, while the other schools had two hours! MM: I heard that even the art teachers got into the act of helping with the design of the boys’ inventions. What role did they play in all this? MT: Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis came to our classroom to give us ideas for the design of our machine. They suggested that the Middle School boys use different colors of duct tape, for instance. The Upper School boys also used spray paint. By the way, the themes
MT: Yes, we sure did! The Upper School boys’ umbrella broke twice. They had brought a spare, but then that one broke, too. Finally, they managed to duct-tape one of the umbrellas to make it work so that it would open at the end of the sequence. It was tricky, but they were able to successfully attach it to their machine. Overall, the boys demonstrated amazing problem-solving abilities, and I was really impressed and proud of them. They did everything on their own without any teacher involvement or help. Their success was due to their own accomplishment. The machine made by the Middle School boys was the most popular among all the ones entered in the competition, by the way. So many people from others schools crowded around to see it in action, that it was impossible for us to take any photos of it that day! MM: Mr. Harp mentioned that the boys began practicing for this competition last October. Can you elaborate on that? MT: The much smaller group of Upper School boys meets once a week, while the Middle School boys meet twice a week. Meetings occur before and
MT: In terms of our entry, you may read what I submitted on pages 22 and 23, which is also available on the official contest website. The first step the boys must take is to design the whole machine. They actually begin at the end, in other words. The machine has to ultimately work, of course, so we reverse the order of steps, with each boy in charge of one step in the overall master plan, which includes 26 steps (see list p. 22). MM: What is the most important skill the boys take away from all this? MT: In the months of working on the machines, they learn to work with wood and hand tools, such as drills and saws…something that’s new to many of them. But the most important skill they acquire is the ability to think, to troubleshoot, to figure out what is wrong with their machine when it’s not working as they planned. Part of this endeavor is anticipating what could go wrong, even though it has not yet happened. All this is something that can’t really be taught in the classroom. The boys have to do this independently…to learn to think for themselves, that is.
HOW THE BROWNING MIDDLE SCHOOL “HERD OF NERDS” OPENS AN UMBRELLA, À LA RUBE GOLDBERG 1. Barrier is removed.
16. Barrier goes up.
2. Remote sends a wireless signal to the motor that causes the wheel and axle to spin.
17. The ball is released and goes down the ramp.
3. Car starts rolling; pulls weight attached to a string. 4. Weight falls (activates a pulley system).
18. Ball hits a barrier and changes direction (acceleration).
5. Pulls up a barrier that is attached to the end of the pulley system.
19. Ball rolls down another ramp.
6. Ball is released and rolls down a ramp.
20. Ball hits another barrier and changes direction (acceleration).
7. Ball falls through a pinball machine, which is connected to another ramp. 8. Ball rolls down that ramp. 9. Ball hits a cup filled with water. 10. Then the cup falls over and water goes through a funnel.
22. The smaller ball then hits a bigger ball with the momentum from the ramp.
11. Then water goes through a vacuum-sealed angled water bottle.
23. The ball lands, pushing the cup down.
12. Water enters a smaller tube causing the rate flow to increase due to smaller volume.
24. Weight pulls down the pulley, which is part of the last pulley system.
13. The water exits the tube and goes down the ramp.
25. Hammer is released and swings down, acting as a first-class lever (fulcrum in middle).
14. Water lands in a cup, which is part of another pulley system. 15. Once the cup goes down it activates a pulley system.
WHAT THEY STUDIED IN THE PROCESS Physical Science: Energy in different forms
26. The hammer then hits the button of the umbrella and opens the umbrella.
WHY THE MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS THOUGHT THEY SHOULD WIN
Mechanical Engineering: Simple machines
We think we have put great pride in our repurposing of old
FAVORITE QUOTE BY THEIR TEACHER, MELODIE TING
working theme and teamwork to pull all of this together. We
To raise new questions and new possibilities, to regard old
problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
21. Ball rolls down another ramp.
materials in our machine. This took creativity to tie it into a had to create, learn and problem solve in an unstructured
environment, pulling together perspectives from multiple
individuals. We learned to work with each other, creating a space where each voice could be heard and considered.
DESCRIPTION OF THE UPPER SCHOOL MACHINE Our machine draws its inspiration from our love of New York City, a unique cityscape with iconic rectangular buildings. In addition to this, we observed a pattern of demolition and reconstruction around our school, so we decided to create this theme in response to the everyday occurrences unique to the Browning community. Therefore, as can be observed, the
DESCRIPTION OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL MACHINE
steps utilize weights and tools to symbolize the construction; tracks and cars to symbolize the subway trains; and the cubic
This machine is held together by duct tape,
structures to symbolize the city. The [leftover] materials used
two-fold. It is designed with an arrangement of
are materials that were to be thrown away from the School’s
love for DC and Marvel heroes and villains. The
program last year, and everything else was taken from either
steel bars, bolts and hot glue. The inspiration is
for this machine, in line with the spirit of Rube Goldberg,
colored duct tape supposed to demonstrate our
construction. All the cubes were left over from a robotics
machine also has many action figures that we
the science lab, tech lab or the art department. We pulled our
adore. It also demonstrates the use of materials that would otherwise be buried in a landfill.
According to the spirit of Rube Goldberg, we took an artistic perspective on things that are
discarded. It consists of many pulleys and other
creativity from the constraint of using only what we have to create something special that we could be proud of. As reported by Melanie McMahon
interesting ways of transferring energy. We
Talk about notoriety! The late
creativity. The whole contraption is made out of
ever to be listed in the Merriam
one horizontally. Another factor of this machine
“Doing something simple in a
added a water step that really demonstrates our
Rube Goldberg is the only person
the three peg boards, two vertically placed and
Webster Dictionary as an adjective:
is gravity, because the machine starts from up
very complicated way that is not
above and ends near the ground, and the ball is constantly moving downwards.
necessary.” For more information on this amazing and
talented artist, please log on to www.rubegoldberg.com.
f e at u r e
GRANDPARENTS & SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY 2016 ain was falling outside, but inside
State – took advantage of this event to get
was sunshine and smiles as the
the School’s curriculum. The boys, their
the red doors of Browning, all
boys in Pre-primary through second
grade welcomed family and friends to
Grandparents and Special Friends Day in
May. More than 150 guests – some traveling from as far away as Texas and Washington
to know teachers and a bit more about grandparents and special guests read
together, listened to music, explored the
world of science and even created art, along
with enjoying a number of activities in other subjects that the boys study on a daily basis.
alumnus in the news
DICKSON B. POTTER, CLASS OF 1914 An article entitled, “Street Smarts: Driveway
school for girls in Tucson; read the excerpt
to School Became Midtown Street,” by David
below to learn more. Mr. Leighton’s article
Leighton in the Arizona Daily Star near
and photos of the school’s facilities, including
the end of 2015 provided some interesting
one of Tucson’s earliest swimming pools, can
information on the late Dickson B. Potter,
be found by visiting Tucson.com and typing
Class of 1914. This former Browning boy and
“Dickson Potter” into the site’s search bar.
his wife would later found a preparatory
A tiny street near the Arizona
Inn was once a girls’ prep school
started by a wealthy couple. Potter
time in New York City.
In 1924, Dickson married Sue
over time came to be known as Potter Place….
Also on the 10-acre campus,
School founder Dickson B. Potter
in Atlanta but the couple lived in
which served girls in grades seven
mother was Margaret (Somerville)
Susanne and E. Clifford Potter II.
basketball court and a dirt field that
was born on Jan. 31, 1896. His
Potter and his father was E. Clifford
New York. They had two children, In the late 1930s the family
through 12, was a tennis court, a
was used for baseball, softball and
Potter, a real estate developer who
began spending winters in Tucson
Avenue in New York City.
conceived the idea of starting a
students and residential students.
October 1939, they opened the
drama, history, math, French,
is credited with developing Park
Dickson met his future wife,
Sue Cunningham Bucknell, in
East Hampton, New York, where
both families spent summers. Her grandfather, William Bucknell, is the namesake of Bucknell
University and her grandmother, Emma Eliza Ward Bucknell,
survived the sinking of the Titanic. Dickson attended The
Browning School, a college
preparatory school for boys in
New York City. He graduated from
Princeton University in 1918 with a bachelor’s degree and served as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve from 1917 to 1919.
From roughly 1920 to 1940
he was involved in the electric
manufacturing business.… He was
also involved in real estate for some
for their son’s health and in time preparatory school for girls. In Potter School on North Dodge
Boulevard and East Fifth Street. Its first headmaster was Thomas F.
Tammen, who had spent several
years as assistant headmaster at the Buckley School in New York City.
After the school year ended in
May 1940, the Potters purchased the old Leighton Kramer estate
from Hardy-Stonecyhper Realty Co., across the street from the
The school had both day
Subjects taught included English, music, art, science and Latin.
Students could take a two-year
course in the study of the Bible and Biblical history. Both Spanish and
German could be taken with special arrangements. Individual tennis
and swimming lessons were offered to students and occasional ski trips
to Mount Lemmon were permitted for students of “good citizenship.” Ann Hughart Branham, who
Arizona Inn. Included in the estate
attended the Potter School from
along with a pool built by former
being taken to the University of
was a large home built by Kramer owner James W. Wheeler.
The Potters built their home on
the northeast part of the property and created a long driveway that
1944-49, remembers…the girls
Arizona’s Sunday Evening Forum,
where she listened to and later met Eleanor Roosevelt as well as early birth-control advocate Margaret
(At right): Dickson B. Potter and his wife, the former Sue Cunningham Bucknell. (Above) students at the Tucson, Ariz., girls preparatory school founded by the Potters in 1939. Photos courtesy of Eugenie Potter De Rham as supplied to the Arizona Daily Star.
Sanger Slee. The latter resided next to the Potter School on Sierra Vista Drive.
In 1945, Dickson Potter purchased land along
North Craycroft Road, near the Rillito River, and built a ranch house and stables. Here, at Potter Ranch, the girls received riding lessons from a
master who lived on the propertyâ€Ś. The Potter Ranch is now The Gregory School.
The Potter School stayed open until 1953 and then
was sold to the Sisters of Charity, a Catholic orderâ€Ś. For more information and photos on the history of the Potter School, check out this website:
the local buzz
BOYS IN FORMS I AND III EXPLORE BLACK ROCK FOREST For two days in April, the Form I boys explored the great
They enjoyed great weather conditions as they tapped
where they seined for macro-invertebrates in the local
study toxins, and sampled water in the Upper Reservoir
outdoors with an overnight trip to the Hudson Valley
streams and assembled earth sculptures inspired by the
work of artist Andy Goldsworthy at Black Rock Forest. On the way home they stopped at Storm King Art Center to
view its monumental, contemporary outdoor sculptures. Form III boys also spent two April days in Black
Rock Forest collecting data for their biology projects.
maple trees for sap, collected newts and millipedes to for purity assays, among many other tests. Science
Department Chair Sam Keany noted that the natural
resources and professional staff at Black Rock Forest are incomparable assets in supporting these basic scientific research experiences.
FACULTY ATTEND NYSAIS DIVERSITY CONFERENCE In April six members of the faculty represented
Browning at the NYSAIS Diversity Conference, including English teacher Zachary Williams, Multicultural Club
discourse as well as the brainstorming and conversation with my colleagues.”
This year’s conference addressed how educators
advisor Glenn Walker, diversity coordinator Dr. Betty
can build the skills and competencies necessary to
Mary Bosworth and first grade teacher Hallie Fischberg.
communities (students, colleagues, parents, etc.) in the
Noel, English teacher Kevin Dearinger, history teacher Dr. Noel said, “It was a great day reflecting on self,
community and taking action. I loved the intellectual
effectively engage the different members of our school
tough but essential conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion.
BROWNING BOYS EXCEL IN SUSPENSEFUL SPELLING BEES During 13 exciting rounds, 16 boys competed in
Twenty-five second, third and fourth grade boys
the Laura P. Muhlfeld Middle School Spelling
competed in the Laura P. Muhlfeld Lower School
Keaton Ramey, who correctly spelled the word
who also won last year, triumphed by correctly
Bee finals in April. The winner was a Form II boy, “neurological,” while a Form I boy, Fazeel Khan, received Honorable Mention.
Spelling Bee in March. The winner, Noah Oliva ’25, spelling the word “reminiscence.” Harrison Steck ’24 and Julian Brown ’25 were runners-up.
FORMAL DEDICATION OF KURANI GYMNASIUM Boys from the sixth grade gathered on May 20 to celebrate
family was joined by Headmaster Clement, Middle School
known as the Kurani Gymnasium going forward. The
and Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon for
the formal dedication of the newly renovated Lower Gym, space, which includes updated lighting, insulated windows, wall pads and enhanced audio visual systems for special
events, was made possible thanks to a generous donation from current parents Jennifer and Jay Kurani. The Kurani
Head Chris Dunham, Athletic Director Andrew West ’92
the formal unveiling. The ceremony also featured a guitar performance by Kabir Kurani ’22 and music instructor Michael Serman ’06.
LOWER SCHOOL BOYS SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AT SCIENCE FAIR Parents and Lower School boys spent
array of science projects. The boys
siblings. This morning of scientific
the cafeteria where they and their
exacting detail what they have
represented a culmination of
the first hour of a May morning in teachers, Julia Kingsdale and Sam Keany, had set up an impressive
are always eager to explain in
achieved to their parents, as well as
to other classroom teachers and even
discovery and sharing of knowledge experimentation and modification. Assistant Head of School/
Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn said, “This was an extraordinary
science exhibition! So many guests
commented on how impressive these projects were, especially knowing
that they were all done in school! The individual support each boy received was amazing. I thank the boys for their creativity, thought, followthrough and scientific query!”
BROWNING GRANDMOTHER RECOUNTS IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE FOR GRADE TWO BOYS In April second grade boys
Originally from Austria, her
poignant stories about her
grandmother of three Browning
World War II and then left for
starting a life in America with
were visited by Erika Witt,
boys (Andrew Hatfield ’22, Benjamin Hatfield ’26 and
family fled to Germany during America in 1952.
A talented storyteller,
William Hatfield ’20), who
Ms. Witt told the boys, who
immigrating to the United States.
in their social studies unit,
discussed her experiences
have been studying immigration
travels at sea for 10 days and only $11 to support an entire family. She currently resides
near Philadelphia where she volunteers her time helping immigrants learn English.
SECOND BIODIVERSTY DAY FEATURES TEDxYOUTH CONFERENCE The School’s Green Team sustainability
activity during Browning’s Blended
displaying hard work and the results of
to participate in its second Biodiversity
of the guests, Karen Blumberg from The
I am proud of what we accomplished
club invited the Browning community Day on May 13. As was the case last
year, groups of guest scientists, faculty,
students and Green Team members used the citizen science app iNaturalist to
complete a biodiversity survey in Central Park. Science teacher Dr. Betty Noel,
who coordinated the day along with
fellow science teacher Emilie Wolf and
technology integrator Anderson Harp,
said, “Our second Biodiversity Day was
School at Columbia, was a presenter during the workshop and has run
several TEDxYouth events. She was instrumental in our TED licensing.
The number of guest and student led talks and workshops was amazing,
naturalists who took time out of their
busy days (some for the second year in a row) to work with our students. The newest addition to Biodiversity Day
was the TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool event; the idea materialized after an
world a better place.” A community-
wide “dress down” benefited the Wild Bird Fund as well.
Green Team, teachers and boys in
Ms. Wolf added, “The event
involvement through the TEDxYouth
highlight was welcoming the 18 guest
power of involvement in making our
Science and technology are truly strong
occurred to prepare and execute the day. and “Livestreamed” the event. Another
as a community and truly believe in the
addressed the school community
was epic! We are adding a legacy of
The boys coordinated various groups
our excellent public speaking program.
especially for an inaugural event.
quite a success! The best part to me was the student-teacher collaboration that
Learning Workshop last summer. One
environmental stewardship and global platform to Browning’s portfolio. The school community really stepped up to the plate. I was thrilled to see the Upper School boys showcase their
leadership in their groups. As we saw during Community Day, when the
older boys get involved, the community buy-in and enjoyment are enhanced.
Our student speakers were polished,
in the afternoon, commending the working together toward another outstanding Biodiversity Day. He
quoted President John F. Kennedy in his remarks, as follows: “In the final analysis, our most basic common
link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
To view a video and more photos of Biodiversity Day, visit
FIFTH GRADERS GO BIRDING IN CENTRAL PARK RAMBLE The fifth grade science classes ventured through the Central
Park Ramble in April to spot birds they have been studying in class, accompanied by Roger Pasquier,
a famed birder who is the former Director of Foundations for the
National Audubon Society, Inc. The boys spotted and recorded
18 species, including the downy woodpecker, Pale Male (the
red-tailed hawk), a goldfinch and many cardinals.
PARENTS LEARN ABOUT DEALING WITH AND PREVENTING CONCUSSION In May School Nurse Maureen Linehan invited
Jason Brucker, M.D., and Mara Sproul, R.N., M.P.A., from NYU Langone Concussion Center to give
a presentation at a Parents Association meeting concerning the ever-evolving diagnosis and
treatment of concussive syndrome. The audience was extremely attentive, asked many questions afterward and, in general, found the program informative and helpful.
FORM II BOYS TOUR NATIONâ€™S CAPITAL The Form II boys took their annual trip to Washington, D.C., for three days this spring, visiting the Holocaust
Memorial Museum, Newseum, Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument and Spy Museum, as well as
memorials to Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans and World War II. They also toured the Capitol and enjoyed a Nationals baseball game.
PUBLIC SPEAKING PROGRAM NEVER FAILS TO IMPRESS Sixteen third and fourth grade boys participated in the Lower School Lyman B. Tobin Public Speaking
Program in May. The four finalists included Wyatt N. Glaymon ’25,
Alexander D. Trapani ’25, Jack R.
Garcia ’24 and Bram J. Kerwin ’24. Another 16 boys from Grade
Five through Form II participated in the Middle School program, with winners as follows: Alec
Candidato ’20 (overall), Alexander Kwok ’20, Jacob Lassner ’21, Ben
Sullivan ’22 and David Lilien ’23. Nine Upper School boys
participated in two categories of their division’s public speaking
program, with results as follows: Liam Kerwin ’16 (winner in oral
interpretation and original oratory),
Gianni Chiovetta ’17 (runner-up in oral interpretation); Patrick Yee ’18 (winner in original oratory).
The School’s public speaking program, named
after Browning’s third Headmaster, begins in the third
grade when all boys enter; two boys in each section are chosen to participate in public. The tradition continues through the Middle and Upper Schools, and in each division judges from other schools choose the most outstanding speakers.
(L to R): Middle School judges were Head of School David Egolf, Corlears School; Grade Four Teacher Elliott Smith, St. Bernard’s School; Co-director of High School Placement Megan Shotwell, Rodeph Sholom School.
(L to R): Lower School judges were Head of Lower School Katie Bergin, The Marymount School; Head of School Wendy Levey, Epiphany Community Nursery School; Admissions Coordinator Margerie Morse, Park Avenue Synagogue.
DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY AT COLUMBIA U. DISCUSSES TOOLS FOR PARENTING In May Dr. Lisa Miller, director of clinical psychology at
Columbia University, Teachers College and author of The New York Times bestseller, “The Spiritual Child: The New Science
on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving,” was a guest in the Parents Association speaker series.
Dr. Miller has spent 15 years studying the psychological
and neurological impact of spirituality on children, adolescents and families. With alarming increases in depression, substance
CELEBRATION OF GREEKAMERICAN EXCHANGE
abuse and addictive behavior putting children at risk,
Dr. Miller’s work gives parents the tools to help children
The boys in Dr. Wisniewski’s Ancient Greek class visited
acknowledge and develop their spiritual identity and build
Astoria, Queens, in May to celebrate the area’s Greek-
American heritage. After stopping in Athens Square Park
emotional resilience. Dr. Miller can be heard on TEDx and NPR; her Op-Ed articles have appeared in The New York Times and New York Magazine.
and reviewing statues of famous Greek philosophers and
artists, they read passages from great works and headed to a local restaurant for a meal of authentic Greek food.
STUDENT POETS RECEIVE TOP HONORS Liam Kerwin ’16 and Julian
Orillac ’16 were awarded top
honors for their original poetry by the Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Society in May, reading their work at
the Society’s annual luncheon at the National Arts Center.
Their poetry was judged by a
committee of professional poets in a competition that included 120 schools from across the New York City area.
FIELD DAYS 2016 In April and May, the Lower, Middle and Upper School boys
ventured out to Randallâ€™s Island for their respective Field Days. From potato sack races, to track and field events, to the everpopular tug-of war contests, the activities, fun and sense of community were in abundance!
DUTCH DAY CONCLUDES THIRD GRADERS’ STUDY OF NEW AMSTERDAM In explaining Dutch Day, hosted in June by the third grade boys, teacher Susan Kehoe said, “The boys
learned about New Amsterdam and Colonial America in class. On Dutch Day, dressed as individuals who lived in New Amsterdam, they talked about their
characters, including a ferry man, lawyer and farmer, to name but a few. The letters that they wrote, along with their writing samples from a recent unit, were
available for parents and faculty to read. They were
great! The boys have been working hard on their own picture books using Chris Van Allsburg as a mentor
author.” Mr. Van Allsburg, a Caldecott Medal winner, is a writer and illustrator of such children’s books as “The Polar Express” and “Jumanji.”
FORM VI BOY WINS PRINCETON PRIZE FOR RACE RELATIONS Awen Abaatu ’16 received a Certificate of
Accomplishment for the Princeton Prize in Race
Relations in May. The prize promotes “harmony, understanding and respect among people of
different races by identifying and recognizing
high school age students whose efforts have had a significant, positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities.”
Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn, who spoke
to attendees as Dutch Day concluded, said, “This
particular event is one of the most important in the
school year. We thank the teachers and parents for their encouragement and support as the boys completed their impressive projects.”
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.
Honorary Trustee Mildred J. Berendsen (first row; fifth from right) at the 2015 annual Trustees Dinner.
BROWNING MOURNS DEATH OF HONORARY TRUSTEE MILDRED J. BERENDSEN The Browning School is saddened by the loss of Honorary Trustee Mildred J. Berendsen, who died on May 25, 2016. Known to
many as “Millie,” she served on Browning’s Board as a Trustee
Both had led their schools through the social and political
turbulence of the ’60s and the economic downturn of the ’70s. Millie often spoke of the challenges of bringing the first
from 1988 to 2008, and as an Honorary Trustee until her
black student to Chapin. She fought for access. She dealt with
she was beloved by members of both the Chapin and Browning
more for economic than philosophical reasons. She was a
death. Headmistress of The Chapin School from 1959 to 1993,
communities, including Headmaster Stephen M. Clement, III,
who chronicled her relationship with the School and his respect for her as a colleague, as follows:
Not long after I arrived at Browning, I thought it would
be a good idea to have another head of school on our Board. The first person I thought of was Mildred Berendsen. Then
at the zenith of her career of 34 years as head of The Chapin School, Millie thrilled me with her response. “I am sure I could learn from the Browning
the economic threat of boys boarding schools admitting girls, nationally recognized leader in her time and was in the first group of women admitted to the Headmasters Association.
At Browning she was a model Trustee, always the first
to arrive for the monthly meetings at 8 a.m., commuting the farthest from New Fairfield, Conn. She ended every note
accompanying every contribution with “I wish I could give more.” She exhorted the Trustees to aim high, plan for the
future, dream dreams. She charted the future course of the School on the Committee on
Board. I’d be happy to serve.”
Trustees and always delivered
Little did I know then that
the charge to new Trustees at
her own planning called for
their first orientation meeting. I
her retirement from Chapin
still review her notes, written in
at some point soon, and being
perfect italic script: a symphony
on the inside of another school
of calligraphy capturing the
which had just gone through
essence of wisdom.
the massive change from
After becoming an
Charles Cook’s leadership of 36
Honorary Trustee, Millie called
years at Browning might give her insight. The era of giants: imagine serving for 34 or 36
years! Millie and Charlie had
from time to time to see how Mrs. Berendsen presented this framed acrostic poem to Mr. Clement in celebation of his 25th year as Headmaster.
been colleagues at Interschool and had served actively in
independent school organizations in the city and the state.
I was doing. After every call I
felt my spine strengthened. She reinforced my instincts, quietly
exhorting me to be bolder and to set an example to which I aspire but never achieve. I loved her.
Browning community members (two of whom are Chapin alumnae) share their memories of Mrs. Berendsen:
Mrs. Berendsen had an uncanny ability to silence an
I knew Millie Berendsen largely through her
glance and simultaneously make us feel welcome.
hers at Chapin missed by a couple of years. What
entire room of girls during “prayers” with a single
She always remembered our names, who we were,
and what our interests were. She made us want to be at our best.
–Meg Epstein, Grade Four Teacher and Chapin Alumna
work as a Browning Trustee, since my time and
always struck me about her, even in recent years,
was her incredible memory for people and events
encompassing her many years at Chapin and the 23 since she retired. Millie had such great respect for the profession of teaching, holding people to high
standards by demonstrating the same. I will miss her Millie Berendsen gave me my first job in education, and she set the bar high from “Day One.” I interviewed for that job with one of her beloved dogs
sitting on my lap, and I was convinced it was part
of the interview process and that the final decision
intense interest in anyone with whom she had been associated and the keen advice which she always found an elegant way to impart.
–Sam Keany, Science Department Chair/Dean of Students and Former Teacher at Chapin
would be the dog’s!”
Millie’s passionate belief in her school and her girls
was unwavering. At the time, I often rebelled against her ways. Now I find myself on a very regular basis, when faced with a challenge, wondering, “Well,
what would Millie do?” I thank her, I salute her, and I will miss her.
–Laurie Gruhn, Assistant Head/Head of Lower School and Former Teacher/Administrator at Chapin
Mrs. Berendsen was the Headmistress of Chapin for the majority of my years there. I remember
being distinctly disappointed that she would not be there for my commencement due to her retirement. There are too many fond memories to share. She
had a clear moral compass and, along with those
values, instilled a deep commitment to education and charged the young women in her care to
“stand up and be counted.” I’m grateful to have
been able to see her during her visits to Browning, where she continued to impart more wisdom and encouragement.
–Betty Noel, Middle/Upper School Science Teacher and Chapin Alumna
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 are featured in this issue. Interestingly, all three visited Spain to explore the country’s art and music as it relates to their teaching.
Exploring Spanish and Surrealist Art Shakira, Lionel Messi, tacos or arroz con leche, quinceañera parties or salsa dancing: they all make learning the Spanish language more enticing and enliven the necessary study of grammar. Therefore, I like to include as many Elizabeth Suárez
cultural topics as possible in my classes. In the Upper School I teach a unit on
Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, which also allows me the great opportunity to do interdisciplinary work with the art teachers. The students particularly enjoy our field trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Hence, this year I used my Parents Association summer stipend to broaden my knowledge of Surrealism and Spanish painters, particularly Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, and include what I learned in the above mentioned unit.
The temporary exhibition at the Picasso Museum
in Barcelona seemed custom made: an exploration of
to neoclassicism. “Las Meninas,” that icon of Spanish painting by Diego Velázquez, was reinvented as a sort of homage by both artists, the resulting works being there on display.
I was surprised to learn about Dalí’s exploration
of pointillism, and I refreshed my memory regarding
Picasso’s lesser known works, such as his Mediterraneanthemed ceramics. In Barcelona’s Joan Miró Foundation,
located at the lovely Montjuïc Park, I learned much about this painter and sculptor, from his initial influences (e.g., Fauvism) to his use of a wide variety of media (giant
textiles, ceramics and sculptures with “found objects”).
Miró’s surrealist paintings in the 1920s were particularly evocative, and all through the exhibition it was easy to
make connections between his work, Dalí’s and Picasso’s. Colorful and thought-provoking, Miró’s statue, “Woman and Bird,” was another interesting sight in the park that bears his name located a little outside the city center.
Amid an intense heat wave, I was very happy to step
commonalities between the works of Picasso and Dalí
into the Prado Museum in Madrid, an oasis of culture
with elements of rivalry and admiration. Cadaqués, the
blowing permanent collection, but my main focus was
accompanied by notes on their complex, fluctuating friendship
and air conditioning! I spent plenty of time with its mind-
picturesque seaside town, was featured in works by both
the temporary exhibition of 10 Picasso paintings on loan
Miró’s surrealist paintings in the 1920s were particularly evocative, and all through the exhibition it was easy to make connections between his work, Dalí’s and Picasso’s.
artists. The exhibition also shed light on their similar approach
from the Kunstmuseum in Basel. All in one hall, these
first-rate works exemplified the artist’s stylistic evolution, his mastery and versatility. “Seated Harlequin” was a
highlight for me because of the sitter’s subtle, enigmatic
expression and the balance of pastels and terracotta colors. Queen Sofía Museum was also at the receiving end of
works from Switzerland, specifically modern pieces including some by
Gris, Braque, Léger and, catering to my research, Picasso. I enjoyed this
small exhibition, and later on I spent significant time roaming around
the rest of the museum, revisiting with joy works by Dalí and other Surrealists such as Man Ray and
Tanguy. I also discovered the Vallecas School, a form of
fortress, I enjoyed a variety of works by Miró, among them his
fields. Encountering by chance works by fellow Uruguayan
Surrealism deeply rooted in the landscape of Castilian
Joaquín Torres García put a big smile on my face. With
lesser-known etchings and masks and costumes he created for
A train station that also functions as an art gallery is fairly
Madrid a vast and vibrant city with so much to offer –
uncommon, and probably alluring to most. Well, Mallorca has
set over an Egyptian temple, enjoyed an exhibition of Paul
Palma-Soller train line. The one at Mallorca delves only into
much even for free – before I left I also watched the sun
Strand’s photography, and danced the tango at outdoor venues. So thrilling!
The last leg of this trip took me to beautiful Mallorca. It is
not unusual for artists to seek a peaceful environment in the proximity of nature to find inspiration and to work at ease. Joan Miró found all that in Mallorca, and both Palma and
Soller hold tangible evidence of his long stay on this island. In
two of those! They can be found with one at each end of the Miró’s art, but in the one at the picturesque town of Soller,
there is also a room dedicated to Picasso’s ceramics. At Soller I discovered Miró’s constellation series, and they became my favorite works by this artist. I can imagine students having
a good time trying to describe or create narratives out of the enigmatic symbols that these works display.
I hope my classes will benefit from all that I learned
Palma, the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation was particularly
during this trip, the many photographs I took, and the
artist, but the studio where he created many of those works is
students with appreciation for these Spanish-speaking citizens
informative. Not only does it display a variety of works by the also on the site. As he was pressed for more space, later on a
nearby cottage also served as a studio, which visitors can tour as well. In the Es Balluard Museum, housed in an imposing
didactic material I brought back. I look forward to infusing my of the world and their gifts to humankind. Many thanks to the Parents Association for their continuous support. –By Elizabeth Suárez, Spanish Teacher
My pr ior it y in Madr id was v isiting th e Reina Sofía museum a nd Picasso’s “Gu er nica.”
Exploring Picasso’s “Guernica” and Its Influence at Home & Abroad Inspired by an Elementary French unit
opposed to eradicate a strategic military target) and one of
novel whose storyline revolves around
modern air force.
on Pablo Picasso that includes a short
his anti-war painting “Guernica,” last
Having exiled himself in France, Picasso learned in detail
spring I found myself eager to put down
of the attack through the reporting of British journalist George
in Spanish language and culture. Thanks
Spanish display at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. The bombing
my French books and re-immerse myself Megan Ryan
the first examples of an aerial bombardment on civilians by a
in part to the generosity of the Parents
Association, I was able to do that very thing and traveled to Spain this past summer where I visited Madrid, Toledo and
a variety of locations on Mallorca. These places afforded me
countless opportunities to enrich my Spanish and presented
me with a number of links back to my first but not only love, France, and, in one significant instance, to New York City!
Though delighted to explore, among other things, the
Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Parque del Buen Retiro, the Palacio Real (inspired in part by Versailles) and the Plaza Mayor, my priority in Madrid was visiting the
Reina Sofía museum and Picasso’s “Guernica.” The piece was inspired by the April 1937 bombing of the Basque town of
Steer. At the time, Picasso had been working on a mural for a inspired Picasso to set aside his original piece and to go to work on a painting that would not only help to bring the
horrors of the Spanish Civil War to the fore but would also
become one of the world’s most famous anti-war statements. After having been toured extensively and living at least
part of its life at the MoMA (Picasso, who died in 1973 while Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was still in power, willed
that “Guernica” only be returned to a republican Spain), the
roughly 12-by-26-feet piece dominates the room dedicated to
it at the Reina Sofía. Devoid of vibrant colors, the piece is filled with searing images of the suffering and chaos wrought by
war. The anguished woman cradling her lifeless child – types
Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. At the request of the Spanish Nationalist Party, fascist German and Italian forces executed a surprise air raid on the Republican held town.
Though a bastion of the resistance movement, the bulk of
the Republican soldiers were not present at the time of the
bombing, so the casualties were composed largely of innocent civilians, many of them children. The raid is considered by
some to be a terror bombing (thus designed to intimidate as
One of Two “Guernicas” à la New York City by the street artist James De La Vega!
frequently idealized in many of Picasso’s other works – is an extremely powerful and particularly painful reminder of the collateral damage terror bombing and air raids took and, for that matter, still take today.
A few weeks after returning from Spain, I was driving
south on Lexington Avenue at E. 124th Street when I noticed a mural painted on the wall of a brick building; then, a few blocks south on 111th Street, another: two “Guernicas” à la New York City by the street artist James De La Vega! While De La Vega certainly honors the overall
composition of the original “Guernica,” he does add some New York references and personal touches (among them
a pit bull in the place of the bull and a Christ figure in the
one on 124th Street). I suspect that De La Vega’s intentions are less anti-military war and more of a commentary on
the violence committed by and perhaps more significantly
on members of disadvantaged communities. Whatever the
case, they are, like the original, striking examples of an artist
Manuel’s Music: A Journey Through Spain in Honor of Manuel de Falla
using his or her voice to communicate a powerful message.
Spain’s most renowned composer
one can also view a tapestry of the painting at the United
do it. He could not resist beautifully,
It is worth noting that, in addition to these two “Guernicas,”
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) could not
Nations headquarters in Manhattan.
sensuously, ingeniously weaving
In late February of this year, I, along with Ms. Martinez,
the expressive and explosive fire of
Mr. Davis and Mr. Dunham, was able to take all of the
Elementary French and Spanish students to see the two
Guernica-inspired murals by De La Vega found here in New
Andalusian “flamenco” music into many Lucy Warner
of his classical compositions. The world
took notice of these musical masterpieces.
York. Then, in March, French IV students, Ms. Lien and I
This past summer, before embarking on my 15th year teaching
Nations (thanks to Alejandro Oyarzun’16 and his father
composers, September through May, I could not do it. I could
were treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the United Roman, Spain’s Permanent Representative to the UN) during which we saw the tapestry of the painting in person.
I could devote an equal number of lines to the other
extraordinary places I visited during my trip. In sum, it
was an exceptional trip, and I am eager to share all that I
Lower School music at Browning in which we feature nine
not resist the opportunity to study highlights of Falla’s life and music first-hand in his native country of “España” and to help today’s Browning boys take notice of this gifted composer’s musical masterpieces.
In Spain last summer, I gained not only fresh insights
learned and explored with my students. I thank the Parents
about Manuel de Falla, but I also learned about a plethora of
–By Megan Ryan, Chair, Modern Languages Department
as Spanish musicians and other magnificent Spanish “musical
Association for its support.
other musicians and artists: contemporaries of Falla, as well
Upon closer examination, I was overjoyed to see that I was standing right in front
Juan Carlos. As I turned to catch up with the tour group, I
of the sought-after Picassos.
suddenly stopped with delight as I noticed that His Royal
giants” in subsequent generations who have impacted the
was the program from the performance of Manuel de Falla’s
world. With an overabundance of discoveries and experiences too numerous to describe here, my focus will center on three major cities and their Falla-related highlights, along with
a sprinkling of information concerning a select number of additional Spanish artists.
As a young man, Falla lived in Spain’s capital city of
Madrid for six years, studying piano and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music (1901-1907). (The Browning
boys are thrilled to hear that, during this period, Falla won first prize in a highly competitive piano contest!) In 1916,
the composer’s lush orchestral/piano piece “Nights in the
Gardens of Spain” enjoyed its premier performance in Madrid. I was stunned by the beauty and majesty of the Teatro
Real (Royal Theater), Madrid’s state-of-the-art opera house, renovated and re-opened in 1997. The inside of this historic
architectural gem features an incredibly designed set of multilayered stages in which supremely crafted mechanisms allow for various positioning of performance areas and floors. An unexpected contemporary treasure stands proudly in one of the upper floor lobbies: a newly-constructed miniature
model of the entire tiered system! A knowledgeable Spanishspeaking guide led our small tour group through an array
Highness was holding something intriguing in his hand. It ballet, “The Three Cornered Hat” (“El Sombrero de Tres
Picos”)! Back in New York City, my students are glad to know that the King of Spain himself ranks as a great fan of this Browning Composer of the Month!
Just on the other side of sundown, inside a dimly lit
cave on the outskirts of Spain’s vibrant old city of Granada,
a guitarist flailed away with percussive, impassioned chords
timed precisely with the accents of a dancer’s feet on a bright, low-set stage – flamenco! This evening performance at El
Templo del Flamenco featured various family members in
a sometimes breathless, sometimes slow-burning display of
dance and impassioned singing along with an exciting mix of discernible melodies and improvisation. Each number told a
story through clapping, footwork, body gestures, handling of costumes, fluid hand movements, intense facial expressions
and occasional outbursts of “¡Vale!” (“Yes!” “OK!”) from the
performers. It was so natural. And real. And yet it effortlessly transported me to a distant place beyond words. I could
sense how the spirit of these sounds and body movements
embedded in the culture of southern Spain long ago impacted the musical soul of a little boy named Manuel de Falla. In his later years as an accomplished, celebrated
of sumptuously decorated rooms, each with its purpose
composer, Falla lived simply in a somewhat stark but sturdy
musical performance needs at the Teatro Real. One of the last
minute walk downhill from the famed Moorish structure,
related to royal traditions intertwined with the rich history of rooms we viewed was a long, opulent gallery replete with imposing paintings of several Spanish monarchs. I found
myself stopping to study a sizeable painted image of King
house overlooking the city of Granada and just a short fiveThe Alhambra. He enjoyed the company of his sister who helped with housekeeping. Over the years, the composer
Granada home! Each colorful sketch depicted a different
I cou ld sense how th e spir it of th ese sounds a nd body mov emen ts embedded in th e cu ltu r e of sou th er n Spain long ago impacted th e musical sou l of a lit tle boy named Ma n u el de Falla.
character in a Picasso-designed costume for Falla’s “The Three Cornered Hat!” Soon, Lower School Browning boys would be viewing these as they discovered how artists such as Picasso collaborated with musicians such as Falla to create splendid staged performances.
Enter any number of distinctive buildings in Barcelona,
and you will find it difficult to keep your heartbeat from
accelerating to an “allegro” (fast) rhythm from the excitement of seeing and feeling a paradise of incredible visual and also delighted in living with a handful of cats, including one in particular named Confucius. This latter fact energizes our classroom discussions about the musical man and cat lover called Manuel!
On the second floor of Falla’s home, which is now an
understated museum, the composer’s “writing room” features an upright piano. The cover is closed, hiding the black and
white keys from any amateur hands that might be tempted to
touch or inadvertently bang on the keys. When the tour leader
discovered I was a music teacher and pianist studying Falla for presentation to my students, he opened the piano cover and
invited me to play. I did, relishing the moment, an experience
architectural artistry. See the gorgeous Palau de la Música
designed by the influential Lluís Doménech i Montaner (1850-
1923). In this splendid performance space, with its gargantuan raindrop-shaped chandelier and abundance of natural light, two instrumental works by Falla enjoyed their premieres.
One of these pieces was his concerto for harpsichord and five instruments. The Browning boys enjoy discussing the fact
that, although piano replaced the harpsichord as the preferred keyboard for home and concerts roughly 100 years before Manuel de Falla was born, the composer chose to use this
instrument so popular in the bygone era of Bach, Vivaldi and Handel by featuring the harpsichord in this concerto.
“Ritual Fire Dance” is probably Falla’s most-recognized
that I will always treasure.
work. I had the great pleasure of hearing this musical
of unsuccessful searches online to find the location of Pablo
Spanish guitar trio concert in Barcelona. As I sat in the pew
Before my trip to Spain, I had diligently tried a number
Picasso’s (1881-1973) costume drawings for Falla’s ballet, “The Three Cornered Hat.” Here at Browning, the boys are well
aware of the significance of Picasso, thanks to their study of him in art class both last year and during the current school terms. Before leaving JFK Airport for Madrid, I had finally surmised that these costume sketches were most probably
composition transcribed for guitar and performed at a thrilling of the Basilica Santa Maria del Pi, soaking in the artistry and
virtuosity of three of Spain’s most eminent guitarists, I realized that they were, above all, giving to the audience, through their magnificent artistry, the single greatest wish I have for my
students; that is, to feel as they listen to music: duende (soul). Space does not allow for a full account here, but suffice
housed in Paris, where Falla – like Picasso, Diaghelev, Ravel,
it to say that it is impossible to walk through the busy city
visited, experimenting and shocking the world with new
artistic genius Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), born 24 years before
Debussy and Stravinsky, among other renowned artists – had perspectives of artistic expression and form in the early 20th
century. Back on the second floor of Falla’s home, I lifted my
of Barcelona without also being impacted by the works of Manuel de Falla.
In extending heartfelt thanks to the Parents Association
hands off the piano keys, ready to move on with our small tour
for making this unforgettable experience possible, I feel
desk. Arranged in a row on the wall above it were seven
“¡Muchisimas gracias!” Manuel de Falla’s musical legacy lives
group to the next room. As I turned around, I faced a vintage colorful, small, framed paintings. Upon closer examination, I was overjoyed to see that I was standing right in front of the
sought-after Picassos. They were right here, in the composer’s
the best expression of gratitude can only be in Spanish:
on through Browning music classes, greatly enhanced by my summer study in Spain. “¡Vale!”
–By Lucy Warner, Lower School Music Teacher
fine and p e r f o r m i n g a rt s
FIRST GRADE BOYS CELEBRATE “BEING DIFFERENT” On behalf of fellow first grade
associating with the Star-Belly
really doesn’t matter whether a
associate teacher Katie Smith, first
McMonkey McBean comes
they are all really the same and
teacher Hallie Fischberg and
grade teacher Julianne Rowland reports below on the boys’
adaptation of “The Sneetches,” a book by Dr. Seuss:
“The Sneetches” is about
two types of creatures who
are separated by having or not having stars on their bellies.
The Star-Belly Sneetches think
they are the best and look down upon Sneetches without stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches are depressed, prohibited from
Sneetches until Sylvester
along with his Star-on and
Star-off machines. He begins
to give stars to the Plain-Belly Sneetches, and soon they are
happy! The original Star-Belly
Sneetches are angry at no longer being different and special, so they get Sylvester to remove
all their stars. This continues
back and forth until no one can
remember which Sneetches were
originally what, and an epiphany strikes them all at once: that it
Sneetch has a star belly or not;
can coexist and be friends with
one another! We loved this play
because of its powerful message: “If every Sneetch were the same you see, you wouldn’t be you and I wouldn’t be me!” As an introduction to their play, the
boys read a poem about being
different and how it makes our world special.
Thanks to the first graders
for reminding us all of what makes the world go ’round!
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS PERFORM IN CHORAL FEST The Middle School Chorus, under the direction of Heather Fetrow, participated in the Interschool
Choral Festival in April. The boys
performed “J’entends le moulin,” a
French Canadian folksong, and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from “Les Misérables.”
UPPER SCHOOL BOYS JOIN CAST OF “MUSIC MAN” Four Upper School boys performed in The Nightingale-
Bamford School’s production of “The Music Man” in April,
along with students from Allen-Stevenson, Collegiate, Grace
Church, Horace Mann and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts.
ART AND MODERN LANGUAGE STUDENTS STUDY PORTRAITS AT MET In a joint modern language and art project, the fifth grade boys visited the
Metropolitan Museum of Art to view portraits. Spanish students viewed and sketched works by Spanish-speaking artists, including El Greco, Velasquez,
Goya, Picasso and Miró, while French students spent time in the special exhibit
on Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, viewed decorative arts dating from late 18th century
France, and viewed and sketched works by Louis David, Géricault, Millet, Cézanne and Léger. The boys used their sketches in art class as a basis for a portrait in acrylic paint on canvas. Once their portraits were finished, the boys completed a project in Spanish or French in which they described the image they created and gave a brief biography of the original painter.
MERRY MONTH OF MAY FILLED WITH MUSIC AT BROWNING! Ninety-one Browning musicians, ranging from Pre-primary to Form II, performed in May during this year’s annual
Browning School Spring Recital series. Lucy Warner, Lower
School music specialist, explained that the boys’ parents and
other family members attended and enjoyed hearing a broad range of instruments, including piano, violin, cello, guitar and saxophone.
During a Lower School Assembly in May, Ms. Warner
asked questions of the boys in the audience about George Gershwin as they concluded their study of him as part of the Composer of the Month series. Their knowledge was impressive! A surprise musical performance on piano of
Gershwin’s “Prelude No. 1” by Middle School boy Christian Kim ’21 followed, resounding throughout the Kurani Gym and resulting in a standing ovation.
At the final Parents Association meeting of the school
year, both the Upper School Chorus under the direction of
David Prestigiacomo and the Ovation Orchestra under the direction of Jonathan Ragonese performed, much to the
delight of all those parents in attendance. Music in all its many forms is alive and well among the youngest to the oldest boys in Browning’s student body. Bravo!
LOWER SCHOOL ENCORE CLASS PRESENTS “THE HEIST” In May the Lower School Performing Arts Encore
Class presented “The Heist,”
written and directed by Head
Librarian Sarah Murphy, with
art direction and scenic support from art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis, as well as
Michael Lee ’16. The action, which took place inside the
Cosmopolitan Museum of Art and local police headquarters, was lively and amusing, with kudos from the audience.
PUNCTUATION TAKES A VACATION Second Grade Play Emphasizes Proper Writing Skills
The second grade boys
leaves the building. By the
their lines loudly and clearly
based on the picture book,
they can’t write without
in the book as described
presented a play in April “Punctuation Takes a
Vacation,” by Robin Pulver.
In her book, Ms. Pulver
gives each punctuation mark
children and what happens
Browning cast members
when their punctuation
Teacher Rachel Gerber notes, “The story follows school
end of the play, they realize
its own personality; likewise, dressed the part, speaking
and emulating the action
in a New York Times Book
review: “The quotation marks can’t stop talking, the colons are always telling time, and
the exclamation points stand
on their heads in excitement.”
PRE-PRIMARY BOYS PRESENT ALPHABETICAL ADVENTURE The Pre-primary boys minded their Ps and Qs (and all the
to believe that the 2015-16 school year flew so fast! Head
their play, “Browning A-Z: An Alphabetical Journey Through
expressed her thanks to all the parents and teachers who
other letters before and after!) in May when they presented
Our Year in Pre-primary.” Audience members were impressed with the boys’ projection and preparation, finding it hard
of Lower School Laurie Gruhn congratulated the boys and helped make the production such a success.
FOURTH GRADE PLAY ADVISES US TO “ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE” While “The King Who
Couldn’t Laugh” was the title of the fourth grade production in May, the
audience could not help but laugh as the boys delivered a constant
barrage of witticisms in “Monty Python” style. The play’s plot called
for the talented cast of Browning boys, a.k.a.
royal subjects, to put a
smile on the face of their kingdom’s leader.
Through jokes and a lively rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the boys took on the
task. As Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn noted, it was a great start to the day!
at h l e t i c s
Spring Wrap-up This spring was once again a very
2016 and the 87 percent of our boys who participated in
successful one, starting with an
Browning Athletics this school year.
amazing trip to Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Andrew H. West ’92
Another feat, which I believe to be one of the most
There the varsity baseball, track and
important and way too often overlooked in today’s world
tennis teams were able to get a jump
of high school athletics is this: Browning’s varsity baseball,
start on the competition, training and
tennis and golf teams were all awarded Team Sportsmanship
playing under the beautiful Florida
Awards by NYCAL. All the coaches from opposing teams
sun. After a semi-sluggish start to many of the seasons,
vote at the end of the year, and a winner is chosen from
the teams all finished strong, mostly finishing in the top
these three sports. We have won in the past, but I believe this
half of the New York City Athletic League (NYCAL) and
is the first time all three of our teams were honored. I always
bringing home one championship, thanks to the varsity
tell the boys that athletics is the number one marketing tool
baseball team! Varsity tennis players placed second at the
for Browning, and that often the public really only get to see
championship tournament behind first-place Columbia
what Browning is all about from the way we carry ourselves
Prep by one point. Varsity track members continued their
on the field and court. If students behave poorly, that is the
success by qualifying many boys for the championships
label they put on Browning. It didn’t matter whether we
and NYSAIS track meet. All and all, it has been a very
won the championship or placed second or third, we were
special year and one that, as athletic director, I am very
always good sports and true Browning gentlemen. I am very
proud to have been a part of. Here’s to the Class of
proud of our guys! Go, Panthers!
7-8 GRADE BASEBALL With a 4-7 record,
the 7-8 grade team experienced all a
baseball season could offer. Led by four
eighth graders, this
year’s team was long on inexperience.
Getting off to a 1-5
start could have been
a disaster, but through
hard work, determination and focus, this team began to right the ship.
Consistently performing the fundamentals of the game, these Panthers went
3-1 during the last week of the season. With a little more polish, we may well find a few diamonds in the rough.
–Coaches Zachary Williams and Andrew Wolf
We dropped six league contests in a row (and seven
“It’s not how you start but how you finish!” would have
been a fitting motto for our team this season. After winning
overall) headed in to the final week tied for last place in the
a rowdy Loyola team, the boys knew from the final out
our final two regular season games to clinch the fourth
going to repeat without last year’s league MVP, Alec
with undefeated league champion Columbia Prep, we had
themselves to get their bodies ready to compete and their
season games, Columbia had beaten us 13-3 and 12-4, so it
Browning struggled to maintain our swagger and poise
in the semi-finals, thanks to a dominant performance by
the regular season last year and losing in the playoffs to
NYCAL. This is when the boys flipped the switch, winning
last season that we had our work cut out for us if we were
and final playoff spot. Although we were set to face off
Morea ’15, who graduated. The boys took it upon
completely regained our team “grytte!” In the two regular
skills up to par. After two easy wins to start the season,
wasn’t going to be easy. The boys dismantled the Lions, 6-0,
which made us so tough in years past.
freshman sensation Shazeb Dayani on the hill and supported by the whole team. This set the table for the
final rematch between Loyola and Browning. Like last year, we led by four runs headed
into the late innings, and also like last year,
Loyola battled back to tie the game late. But unlike last year, this time the boys showed
their “Panther pride” and scored in the top of the final inning to bring home the title
where it belongs. This was a special group of boys and one that we have been very proud
to coach and even prouder to have represent Browning! Here’s to the 2016 NYCAL Postseason Champions!
–Coaches Andrew West, Mike Cohn, Matt Brown and Lauck Blake
VARSITY TRACK On May 16, the boys participated with
Brandon Keno ’16, Conor Gubbins ’19 and
NYCAL championships at River Banks
the 4 x 800. The quartet of Michael
determination and great spirit in the Stadium. Given the difficult context, I simply asked our runners to enjoy the meet, have a pleasant time and
concentrate their energy on our strongest areas, the three relay races. This strategy worked rather well, and the boys did
those three events. We placed fourth
overall, and we can be very proud of
the boys. The relays are really the most spectacular races,
and watching them
gave me chills. Yvan Maslennikov ’16,
Jake Germano ’17 placed third in O’Connor ’16, David Eisman ’18,
Alexander Young ’17 and Conor
Harkins ’17 ran the 4 x 400 with poise
and courage. The same runners did not do as well as expected in the 4 x 1000
(fourth). Captain Conor Harkins, who
had been impeccable during the entire
season, finished second in the 400 and the long jump. We did not have any runners
qualifying for the 1600 and the 200, which prevented Browning from gaining a few more points in the general classification
and maybe coming before Columbia Prep. Browning came in fourth (40) of seven
schools in terms of team rankings, with 10 events scored.
–Coach Dominique Bernard
VARSITY TENNIS Led by co-captains Del Schunk ’16 and Andrew
Bendo ’16, the varsity tennis team finished the season
as league runner-up with a record of 6-2, and as league tournament runner-up, missing our sixth straight title by only one point. The team showed great chemistry in supporting each other, and every player had an
opportunity to gain valuable match play experience.
Our starting singles players earned Browning MVP
Awards for winning seven out of their eight league
matches. Del earned an All League Team Player Award and the All League Team MVP Award, while George Allen ’17 earned an All League Team Player Award. Equally impressive, the team earned the All
League Sportsmanship Award.
Del ends his Browning tennis career as the
“winningest” player in the last 25 years, having not
lost one of his 34 league matches (he retired from one
due to leg cramps) and going undefeated in six straight League Tournaments.
Interest continued to be large with over 22 boys
vying for a limited number of spots during pre-Spring Break tryouts.
The team was comprised of #1 Singles: Co-captain
Del Schunk ’16; #2 Singles: George Allen ’17; #3 Singles: Ian Schunk ’21; #1 Doubles: Co-captain Andrew
Bendo ’16 and Michael Jozoff ’17; #2 Doubles: Teddy
Florescu ’18 and Calvin Sherman ’19. Alternates were
Luca Nickola ’18, Grant Thompson ’18, Nick Hurley ’19, Amedeo Lorenzotti ’19, Sharif Nsouli ’20 and Dylan Steck ’21.
–Coach Michael Klein
VARSITY GOLF With only one senior on the team and the majority of the players from seventh and eighth grades, it
looked to be a tough season playing at the Mosholu
Golf Course in the Bronx. Early on in the campaign, the boys struggled with course conditions and
weather but eventually came to grips, and the scores
started to lower. By the end of the season, our lowest score for nine holes was 24 strokes better than our highest score! That is some improvement!
The Golfing Panthers tied for second place in the
league with a 4-4 record. Next yearâ€™s team should be able to build on their experiences from this year.
I look forward to any new talent that may come up
through the ranks, keeping the golfing tradition going here at Browning.
â€“Coach David Watson
Ahmed El-Razi ’08 (left) and Stuart Orenstein ’00.
L to R: Ben Berman ’93, Andrew West ’92 (top) and Harrison Fields ’11.
LARGEST NOTE-A-THON EVER! rowning’s Alumni Council hosted the 8th Annual Alumni Note-a-thon in the Wilson Room on Monday, February 22. A record number of 40 volunteers participated in personalizing more than 850 letters to classmates. This
year’s correspondence focused on promoting the upcoming Alumni Reunion on April 8 and also encouraged support of the Annual Fund. An Alumni Council meeting was held during this event, too. We are grateful to all of our volunteers who participated in one of the Alumni Association’s most important efforts!
Anik Akhund ’10 and Chris Brandt ’09 (right).
Steven Johnson ’96 (left) and Harrison Fields ’11.
L to R: John Hadden ’87, Andy Madden ’96 and Ahmed El-Razi ’08.
SAN FRANCISCO ALUMNI RECEPTION In February, Browning hosted a regional alumni reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. The event was held in conjunction with the National Association of Independent Schools annual conference attended by Headmaster Clement and Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon. Browning’s incoming Head of
School John Botti and former Browning administrator Will Moseley were also at the
conference and reception. Several of our Bay Area alumni stopped by, and it was great to see our friends on the West Coast!
ANNUAL LEGACY PHOTO The annual legacy photo was taken in March, with all 11 alumni fathers and all 15 alumni sons in attendance!
Top row (L to R): Nicholas Hurley ’19, Ned Hurley ’82, George Grimbilas ’18, Jay Hutzler ’16, John Hutzler ’86, Amedeo Lorenzotti ’19, George Stavropoulos ’18, Lorenzo Lorenzotti ’82, Peter Stavropoulos ’82 and Nicholas Zoullas ’55. Middle row (L to R): Ben Berman ’93, Adam Berman ’25, George Grimbilas ’80, Andrew Gelb ’88, Michael Beys ’89, Ali Theodore ’88, John Hadden ’87, Andrew Bates-Zoullas ’23 and Winston Bates-Zoullas ’23. Front row (L to R): Jack Gelb ’27, Alexander Beys ’27, Peter Beys ’25, Jude Theodore ’27, Lee Theodore ’24, Johnny Hadden ’24 and Cole Hadden ’26. Summer 2016
L to R: Michael Beys ’89, Headmaster Clement, Bill Reed ’85 and Andrew West ’92.
ALUMNI COUNCIL MEETINGS NOW HELD IN KURANI GYMNASIUM On Monday, April 4, the Alumni Council
hosted its meeting in the Kurani Gymnasium. These meetings have proved so popular that the Wilson Room is no longer large enough to accommodate all attendees! The special
guest for the April meeting was Headmaster Clement, who proudly reported on the state
of the School and what he will miss when he
leaves Browning. Alumni Association President Michael Beys ’89 praised Mr. Clement’s
leadership and led the group in a standing
ovation for him. T HE
L to R: John Hadden ’87, John Hutzler ’86, George Grimbilas ’80, Allanby Singleton-Green ’83, Anik Akhund ’10, Stevie Rachmuth ’10, Nicholas Rango ’08 and Juan Reyes ’86.
Headmaster Clement welcomed guests to the lunch with remarks about Alumni Reunion and the state of the School.
2016 ALUMNI REUNION BRINGS NEARLY 200 VISITORS TO SCHOOL On Friday, April 8, more than 180 alumni and guests
Representative), Justin Kingson ’98 (Most Outstanding Class
day of festivities. Alumni from the Classes of 1950 through
Class Fundraiser). Following the Alumnus Achievement Award
returned for Browning’s annual Alumni Reunion, a full
2013 attended along with their guests, as well as a number of faculty and staff. The Alumni Association’s highest
distinction, the Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement
Award, was presented to Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner, Jr. ’71 during the evening reception.
The day began with an Alumni Career Panel featuring
Correspondent) and William Selden ’65 (Most Outstanding
presentation to Mr. Gardner, Headmaster Clement was made
an Honorary Member of the Alumni Association in recognition of his 28 years of leadership. President Michael Beys ’89 led the
special presentation and was joined on stage by past presidents Jeffrey Landes ’83 and Richard Weaver ’75.
Throughout the day, alumni visited classes and toured the
four alumni: Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06 (Environmental
newly renovated facilities. A special archival display in the lobby
Alexander Sheridan ’04 (Riverdale Country School) and
many alumni, faculty and staff who made this event possible!
Protection Agency), Max Levai ’06 (Marlborough Chelsea), Alexandros Theodorou ’93 (Virgin America). These alumni
was also popular. The Alumni Association is grateful to the
spoke to Upper School boys about their lives after Browning, shared words of wisdom and advice, and proudly discussed how well their Browning education has served them. They
also expressed gratitude to a number of faculty members who
still work at Browning. Following the Career Panel, the annual True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon was held for the 10th year in a row at a nearby private club.
The highlight of the luncheon was a special performance from the Upper School Chorus, led by Music Department Chair David Prestigiacomo.
The main Reunion event, a cocktail reception held in
the Kurani Gymnasium, saw a record turnout of alumni and guests. The Stephen S. Perry ’76 Memorial Class
Representative Awards were presented to three outstanding alumni: Sanford Pelz ’71 (Most Outstanding Class
Headmaster Clement congratulated the Alumni Association on all of its growth, success and leadership. Summer 2016
2016 ALUMNI REUNION continued
A group photo of all guests at the luncheon.
Mr. Prestigiacomo and Headmaster Clement.
Despina and Robert Gimbel ’57.
Maureen and Dee McAllister ’66.
L to R: Sharif Tanamli ’87, Michael Chaplin ’87 and Spiros Frangos ’87.
The Upper School Chorus sang three songs for guests at this year’s True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon.
L to R: John Hutzler ’86, Todd Rosenhaus ’86, Louis Drogin ’86, Robert Rowan ’86, David Moss ’86, Luis Llosa ’86, Nicolas Sitinas ’86 and Gary Connolly ’86.
L to R: Michael Beys ’89, Eric Boyriven ’91, Nader Mobargha ’91, Paul Surur ’91 and David Stowe ’91.
L to R: Bill Reed ’85, Alexandros Theodorou ’93, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon and Headmaster Clement.
L to R: Godfrey Bloch ’63, Marge Bloch and Leon Dalva ’58.
Sandy Pelz ’71 and John Straley ’71 (right) recreated a 1971 yearbook photo, 45 years later!
L to R: Christopher Jordan ’09, Dr. Protheroe and Mr. Prestigiacomo.
L to R: Nicholas Versandi ’01, Mr. Dearinger, Ralph Labossiere ’01, Mr. Prestigiacomo, Andy Sandberg ’01, Martin Arnabal ’01, Alexander Zaro ’01, Christopher Payne ’01 and Mitchell Polikoff ’01. Summer 2016
L to R: Michael Linburn ’50, Godfrey Bloch ’63, Leon Dalva ’58, Dee McAllister ’66 and Robert Gimbel ’57.
L to R: Dee McAllister ’66, Headmaster Clement and Laura Lanigan.
Pierce Forsythe ’92 (left) and Andrew West ’92.
Back row (L to R): Owen Canavan ’06, Daniel Smith ’06, Evan Abrams ’06, Justin Krasner ’06, Robert Bramble ’06, Michael Serman ’06 and Elias Trahanas ’06. Front row (L to R): Hursh Agrawal ’06, Charles Braddock ’06, JJ Lindenthal ’06, Haakon Lenzi ’06, Jason Friedman ’06 and Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06. T HE
2016 ALUMNI REUNION continued
The Upper School Chorus waited on the staircase before their surprise musical performance at the True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon.
Alumni and guests entered through the red doors at 52 East 62nd Street for the Alumni Reunion festivities.
L to R: William Strouse ’96, Lee Polikoff ’96, Larry Bahr ’96, Andy Madden ’96, Steven Johnson ’96 and Nelson Chan ’96.
L to R: Chris Jennings ’99, Jonathan D’Agostino ’99, Adrian Gamarello ’99 and Justin Kingson ’98.
L to R: Headmaster Clement, Sandy Pelz ’71 and Justin Kingson ’98.
L to R: David Ritchie ’71, John Elstad ’71, John Straley ’71, Michael Ingrisani, Ralph Gardner ’71, Aris Dervis ’71 and Sandy Pelz ’71.
Headmaster Clement (at podium) asked faculty and staff to pose for a photo (L to R): Laura Lanigan, Gerry Protheroe, David Prestigiacomo, Melanie McMahon, Michael Ingrisani, Carol Goulian Stewart (former faculty), Jeremy Katz ’04, Christine Bramble, Jim Simon and Andrew West ’92.
L to R: Luca Libani ’11, Steven Kassapidis ’11, Pranay Advani ’11 and Brandt Berrie ’11. Summer 2016
2016 ALUMNI CAREER PANEL HIGHLIGHTS FOUR ALUMNI WITH VARIED CAREER PATHS
Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06.
Max Levai ’06.
BENJAMIN P. D’INNOCENZO ’06 Mr. D’Innocenzo is a financial analyst at the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) in Denver, Colo. He
manages the financial obligations of oil and gas operators in Colorado, Utah,
Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota as they relate to the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund
Program. Prior to working at the EPA, he served in the United States Peace Corps as an economic development volunteer in Cameroon, Africa. Before joining the
Peace Corps, he worked as an analyst at UBS Investment Bank in London. Mr. D’Innocenzo attended
Browning for 13 years, received his B.A. in art history and fine arts from Hobart
and William Smith Colleges and earned his M.B.A. in international business
from St. Mary’s University in London. In his spare time, he can be found hiking,
snowshoeing or cross-country skiing the
Guston, Wade Guyton, Francis Bacon, Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, John
Baldessari and many more. Marlborough Chelsea’s exhibitions have been covered by The New York Times more than 10
times in the gallery’s three-and-one-half
year history, including two cover features in the Arts Section. The first feature was on an exhibition titled “Another Look at Detroit,” which included over 100
artists and surveyed the making of art
in Detroit from 1850 to the present. The
second feature was on a six-month-long exhibition, “Broadway Morey Boogie,” organized in association with the New York City Department of Parks &
Recreation, featuring 12 monumental
outdoor sculptures made by different
young American artists. This exhibition of public sculpture spanned the Broadway Corridor, starting in Columbus Circle and ending on 167th Street.
Mr. Levai was named to the Forbes
Rocky Mountains, or surfing the waves
30 Under 30 list in 2015. He has been
friends and family.
different international press forums.
in Montauk when he is back east visiting
MAX A. LEVAI ’06 Mr. Levai is the principal director and founder of Marlborough Chelsea, a
contemporary art gallery located at 545 West 25th Street in New York City. He
has sold over $50 million of modern and
contemporary art and executed over 100 exhibitions internationally in his short
tenure. Artists exhibited at Marlborough Chelsea include seminal figures such
Alexander Sheridan ’04.
as Andy Warhol, Francis Picabia, Philip T HE
labeled an “art dealer to watch” in many In 2015 he opened his first restaurant and bar on the Lower East Side of
Manhattan, called Happy Ending. New York Magazine’s Best of New York
issue named Happy Ending the “Best Revival.” He has plans to open his
second restaurant on Mulberry Street this year.
Mr. Levai earned a B.A. in art
history from Marymount Manhattan College in 2011.
Alexandros Theodorou ’93.
ALEXANDER A. SHERIDAN ’04 Mr. Sheridan is co-director of Upper School admission at Riverdale
Country School, where he collaborates and strategizes on the execution of
Riverdale’s high school application
process. An educator at his core, he
also teaches a freshman level course on design methodologies, serves as a sophomore class advisor and is
an assistant coach for Riverdale’s
varsity baseball team. He has held
similar roles at two other New York metropolitan-area independent
schools, including four years at The Browning School and two years at
The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry.
During his time at Browning, he was a teaching fellow and a fifth grade English and history teacher before spending two years as the college
guidance and admissions associate. He also helped coach Browning’s varsity baseball team to three
consecutive league playoff titles.
Mr. Sheridan earned a B.A. in
sociology from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S.
in organizational leadership from
Quinnipiac University. At Wisconsin, he was recognized by the city of Madison for his contributions to public safety, and he was the recipient of several
service and support awards from the Madison Police Department and the Dane County Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention.
Upper School students and faculty filled the Kurani Gymnasium for this year’s Alumni Career Panel.
Mr. Sheridan remains active with
Browning’s Alumni Association, serving as a Class Representative for the Class
of 2004; in 2009 he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a founding board member of Tribe, a New York City-based organization engaging millennials in cultural and social
programming. In his free time, he can
he holds the rank of first officer at
In 2002 he obtained his first regional
Browning from K-12 and graduated in
Great Lakes Airlines and then
the company’s JFK base. He attended
1993 before attending Hobart College. A passion for the outdoors led him to
transfer to the State University of New
York at Cobleskill, where he obtained a degree in forestry management.
Having begun recreational
be found scouring the city in search of
flying during his college years, Mr.
over the New York Knicks.
Arizona and obtained the necessary
the best pork dumplings and agonizing
ALEXANDROS THEODOROU ’93 Mr. Theodorou is an airline pilot, flying
Airbus A320s for Virgin America where
airline job, flying turboprops for
CommuteAir. In 2005 he began flying
jets for SkyWest Airlines, the country’s largest regional operator, where he
rose to the rank of captain in 2007 and remained until 2011 before joining Virgin America.
He is one of 28 global airline
Theodorou subsequently moved to
representatives for WheelTug plc, a
certifications to pursue a career as
revolutionize the way jets taxi around
an airline pilot. He then worked as a flight instructor and conducted
charter flights to gain experience.
Gibraltar-based company poised to airports and save airlines millions
of dollars per year for every plane equipped with the technology. At
WheelTug, Mr. Theodorou is joined
by fellow alumnus William Reed ’85, who works on the strategic business development side.
A third aspect of his career
involves residential real estate. He holds L to R: Sandy Pelz ’71, Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06, Max Levai ’06, Alexandros Theodorou ’93, Alexander Sheridan ’04 and Ralph Gardner ’71.
sales licenses in both New York and
New Jersey. On his days off, he loves spending time with his wife Valerie
and one-year-old daughter Niya. He
and his wife share a strong affinity for
their Greek roots and love cooking and raising fresh vegetables in their New Jersey garden. They enjoy the many
travel perks offered to families of Virgin America employees and frequently pack their bags to visit new places.
During the fall, Mr. Theodorou enjoys
hiking with friends and family, as well L to R: Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds, Alexander Sheridan ’04, Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan, Benjamin D’Innocenzo ’06, Headmaster Clement, Alexandros Theodorou ’93, Max Levai ’06, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71 and Ralph Gardner ’71.
as bow and arrow hunting.
MICHAEL P. BEYS ’89, PRESIDENT OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, WELCOMES NEARLY 200 GUESTS TO THE ANNUAL ALUMNI REUNION Mr. Beys’ remarks, given
participation rates high and increasing. And finally, none of
on Friday, April 8, are
Laura Lanigan. A big thank you to all of you for making the
at Alumni Reunion reprinted below.
and welcome to Michael Beys ’89 welcomed all guests and led the presentation of the Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award to Ralph Gardner ’71.
Alumni Council such a central and important part of the
life of Browning and for making these past five years such a pleasure for me personally.
So now we turn to the Alumnus Achievement Award.
Alumni Reunion, a time
Each year at Alumni Reunion, we come together to honor an
celebrate, to reconnect
displays the finest qualities of citizenship and distinguished
to come together, to
with teachers, classmates and old friends, and to look back
and remember the people, places and events that made us the people we are today.
I’d like to give an especially warm welcome to members
of those classes celebrating a major reunion, particularly
the Class of ’66 (celebrating its 50th), the Class of ’71 (whose
classmate is being honored tonight) and all the other classes ending in 1 or 6. Welcome and congratulations!
Before we get to our program, I’d like to sound a quick
personal note of thanks. Tonight marks the fifth and final Alumni Reunion I’m presiding over as president. I’d just
like to say what a privilege and honor it’s been to serve my school – actually, now it’s my sons’ school, Peter ’25 and
Alexander ’27 – and to have been a small part of a small slice of the Golden Age of the School that Headmaster Clement
outstanding alumnus for outstanding achievement, one who achievement, the highest ideals and values of Browning, either
in the private or public sector. We honor him with the Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award established in honor of the one and only Mr. Cook, Browning alumnus, teacher and for 36 years the School’s Headmaster.
This year’s recipient is Ralph Gardner, Class of 1971, a great
New Yorker and great Browning alumnus. Ralph writes The
Wall Street Journal’s “Urban Gardner” column, published four days each week, about life in New York City. Ralph’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New
York Magazine, Barron’s, Spy and Cosmopolitan, among others, and he has written several cover stories for these. He is also the
author of two books, “Young, Gifted and Rich” and “Hay Fever” (with Angela Miller).
In 2015 he received the Heart of New York Award
has stewarded. (But that’s for another day, and I suspect we
from The New York Press Club for reporting that is most
So I would just like to say a special thank you to all those
publicity these days about “New York Values,” it’s great
will have many opportunities to say a proper thanks to him). who made not only this reunion but the last four reunions
and these entire last five years such a success overall and a joy for me personally.
First to Browning’s development team: Jim Simon, his
predecessor Marty Haase, Soo Mi Thompson and the entire team. Then to all my fellow alumni, the extremely talented, hard-working and dedicated members and officers, past and present, of the Alumni Council. To all our alumni
complimentary of New York City. With all the negative
to have someone stand out for writing good things about our city!
And it’s great for that person to be one of our own. In fact,
Ralph Gardner and his three brothers (Peter ’76, James ’78 and the late John Gardner ’74) were all Browning lifers. Mr. Cook
apparently once singled out the Gardner parents for accounting for 52 full Browning tuitions – which I checked. It is the record! So what do you get when you take a Browning lifer, a
donors, those of you whom we solicit, harass and “dial-
professional writer, and give him a column in The Wall Street
star on your name badges, those of you whose generosity
and iconic pieces of writing on The Browning School and some
up-for-dollars” several times each year, those of you with a keeps our annual reunions free of charge and our alumni
this would be possible without our fabulous alumni director,
Journal on life in New York City? You get some truly wonderful great moments for the School.
First, if you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend
an instant classic entitled “Still Buzzing About New York’s Browning School” appearing October 2, 2013, in The Wall Street Journal and devoted entirely to the history of the
Browning Buzzer. Then there was the time two years ago in May 2014 when Ralph arranged for the entire staff of Browning’s Grytte student newspaper to have a special
And finally, I wanted to meet Thomas Lovejoy, a
conservation biologist and fellow Browning alum, who coined the term “biological diversity.”
Stephen Clement, Browning’s Headmaster, surprised me
by inviting me to breakfast at the Knickerbocker Club with him before the day’s events.
While I was flattered and humbled, I was also afraid of
tour of The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom with the paper’s
upsetting the grand illusion I was setting for myself of turning
And finally, another must read for every Browning
a joyous late spring day, only without final exams hanging over
alumnus, an article entitled “Back to Nature – And to
My Old School” on May 26, 2015, about his visit here on
Biodiversity Day. I know we’re short on time, but I just have to read a few excerpts.
There were several reasons why I wanted to attend The
Browning School’s Biodiversity Day last week. Among them
back the clock to approximately 1965 and arriving at school on my head.
Browning was a long time ago, and having reached an age
where its Headmaster would invite me to breakfast at his club
rather than send me to detention only reinforced how much time had passed.
But Friday morning was impeccable. You may recall
was supporting my alma mater. But perhaps the more important
it. It was cool, but the clarity of the air was such that the sky
Street, without a coat.
greener – even through the Knickerbocker Club’s windows, as I
reason was that I’d get to walk to the School, on East 62nd
There was no more debonair feeling, come spring and warm
weather, than the freedom of being able to shed your heavy winter coat and arrive at school in a jacket and tie.
Another reason I was eager to attend Biodiversity Day
looked bluer than normal and the leaves on Central Park’s trees breakfasted on eggs benedict and tried to behave like a cultivated product of a Browning education, rather than the insecure eighth-grader I knew myself to be at heart.
Ralph, you weren’t supposed to give us all away! But
was because it was coming near the end of the school year. And
thank you for putting it so perfectly!
youth when school was almost over and summer, when you could
Browning alumnus and for making Browning so proud of
some sort of magical world.
W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award, Ralph Gardner.
I wanted to recall and imbibe once again those charmed days of wake up whenever you wanted, stretched out ahead of you like
Ralph, thank you so much for being such a proud
you. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2016 recipient of the Charles
L to R: Headmaster Clement, Deborah Gardner, Lucy Gardner, Ralph Gardner ’71, James Gardner ’78, Victoire Gardner, Peter Gardner ’76 and Michael Beys ’89.
L to R: Michael Beys ’89, Ralph Gardner ’71 and Headmaster Clement.
Ralph Gardner ’71 (left) and Headmaster Clement.
Headmaster Clement kicked off the 2016 Alumni Reunion speaking program, remarking on the current state of the School and then introducing President of the Alumni Association Michael Beys ’89.
CHARLES W. COOK ’38 ALUMNUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IS PRESENTED TO WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST RALPH D. GARDNER, JR. ’71 Mr. Gardner’s remarks, given at
I’ve ever met, when he gave me the
are reprinted below.
basketball by Hollis Russell when I was
Alumni Reunion on Friday, April 8, As proud and grateful as I am for
this recognition, it actually competes in significance with another award I once received – The Browning School fifth grade Field Day Cup.
The Field Day Cup might not sound
like a big deal more than half a century later. But athletic prowess didn’t run in our family. And it was perhaps more
important to my mother than academic achievement – not that I enjoyed much of that either – comporting with her traditional notions of masculinity.
Word of my victory had preceded
me by the time I returned home from school that afternoon in 1964, and a birthday-sized cake, complete with candles, awaited. Also, my parents
temporarily increased my allowance
from a quarter to 50 cents, helping me purchase the double issue of MAD Magazine then on newsstands.
In fact, years later when I sat alone
at my desk and wondered what gave me the temerity to believe I might be able to earn a living as a writer, I’d tell myself, “You won the Field Day Cup in fifth
grade!” I had a small but established record of success.
bad news); or being out-jumped in
approximately my current height and Hollis was under four feet tall.
You dream of one day being able
to return to Browning, putting those
demons to rest, and to thank the School for having helped steer you on a path
where you discovered one or two things, neither math nor basketball-related, that you’re acceptable at.
I’m also appreciative that this
award is named after Charles Cook,
the most meaningful of all.
Mired in the insecurity of eighth
Upper Schooler over the head with my book bag – I’ll spare you the details
except to insist it was self-defense – and was immediately sent to await my
punishment outside Mr. Cook’s office. I eventually discovered that
waiting outside his office was my
punishment. Because Mr. Cook was
I’m sure it’s he who arranged for me,
upon graduation in 1971, to be the first
recipient of Browning’s Class of 1970 Visual Arts Award. Even though I’d demonstrated absolutely no talent in the visual arts.
The recognition was perhaps the result
Also, I never got in trouble with the law.
beyond the realm of possibility that
when I returned home from school that afternoon it would be in a body bag.
However, I was forced to revise my
in general, the summer of sixth grade
sent my three younger brothers to Browning. Which wasn’t a given during the Sixties, and if you’d met some of my classmates.
In later years, I’d run into the Cooks at an
annual Christmas party thrown by John Straus,
a Browning classmate of the Headmaster, and a member of its Board of Trustees.
I never completely got over the novelty,
the Adirondacks run by William Root,
or pleasant discomfort, of socializing with
wife Betty. They were good friends of
grown a prophet’s beard; to discover that he
a long-time Browning teacher, and his Mr. Cook and his wife Jean.
Walking into the Roots’ cabin, I
turned out that Mr. Cook’s tyrannical
teacher and one of the loveliest men
particular, brought the subject viscerally alive.
University Club, and it didn’t seem
the entire semester (I remember the
the face of Christian Weber, my math
His passion for history, and the Civil War in
of his affection for my parents – who also
especially before lunch at his beloved
discovered the Roots and the Cooks
weariness and disappointment on
was one of Browning’s, and I would have to
a large man of mercurial disposition,
grade; or the despair of scoring a 70
on your math final after being tutored
I also discovered my senior year that
believe any school’s, most talented teachers.
Our relationship got off to a rocky
when I attended Lone Pine, a camp in
recognition you get from your school is
set that long-ago summer.
start in kindergarten when I hit an
I’m sure it would be fun to win
a Pulitzer. But I have to believe the
something to do with the stellar example he
Mr. Cook, who taught us American history,
opinion of Mr. Cook, and perhaps adults
the Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar or
And while I hadn’t thought of it until
this day, I suspect my affection for vodka has
Browning’s Headmaster during my era.
The trophy still owns pride of place
on my bookshelf.
Ralph Gardner ’71 is the 2016 recipient of the Charles W. Cook ’38 Alumnus Achievement Award.
on the back porch sipping martinis. It personality had been something of a
ruse. He was exceptionally amiable, at least once school got out.
Mr. Cook, who by then had retired and
was human, like the rest of us. Though not quite. He was Mr. Cook.
People often say that they’re surprised
to return to the places of their youth only to
discover them smaller than they once believed. I don’t feel that way about Browning.
It loomed large then. And still does today. Thank you for this honor.
Ralph Gardner ’71 (left) and Michael Beys ’89.
Headmaster Clement thanked the entire Alumni Association for the honor.
HEADMASTER CLEMENT IS MADE AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Michael Beys ’89 was joined on stage by two past presidents of the Alumni Association: Richard Weaver ’75 (center) and Jeffrey Landes ’83.
Remarks given at Alumni Reunion by Michael P. Beys ’89, President of the Alumni Association, are reprinted below.
As we celebrate another
successful Alumni Reunion, it
occurs to me that 27 years ago when I graduated, we didn’t
L to R: Michael Beys ’89, Richard Weaver ’75, Jeffrey Landes ’83 and Headmaster Clement.
have Alumni Reunions. We
didn’t have a vibrant Alumni
Association, an active Alumni Council…we didn’t have Headmaster Clement proudly shows off the engraved Tiffany bowl presented to him on behalf of the entire Alumni Association.
alumni participation in our Annual Fund drive.
We didn’t have these or
countless other alumni-related
traditions and institutions that make Browning’s alumni such a central part of the life of the School and, conversely, make
Browning such a huge source of pride and enrichment in the lives of our alums.
Take a moment if you would to process that. To think
about all the individual efforts, big and small, of so many,
many of you here tonight, and of the collective effort that it’s taken to get to this point.
I’d like to call two past presidents [of the Alumni
Association] up to the stage with me, Richard Weaver ’75 and
then alumni participation in the Annual Fund. And the alumni community grew and grew into the important institution it is today as the long-term guardians of Browning’s mission.
This was Steve’s vision, his plan and his concerted effort,
and he’s not even a Browning alumnus…at least not yet.
Now that Steve is leaving after 28 wonderful years as
Jeff Landes ’83.
Headmaster, it’s only fitting and proper for us, the Alumni
person, just one, who is most responsible for the existence and
developing, to find a way to recognize and honor him and
Now I’d ask you all to ask yourselves to think of one
success of our Browning alumni community.
Twenty-eight years ago when he was our newly minted
Association which he is so responsible for establishing and keep him close to us.
I can think of no better way to do that than to make him
Headmaster, Steve Clement set out on a mission, as part of the
one of us!
meaningful part of the life of the School. He reached out to Tom
presidents, officers and members of the Alumni Council and
John Hutzler ’86 and Sharif Tanamli ’87 and little by little, an
honor to offer you, and hope you will accept, to become an
greater Browning mission, to make the alumni community a
Herman ’64, Richard Weaver ’75, Jeff Landes ’83, Juan Reyes ’86,
L to R: Past President of the Alumni Association and Trustee Jeffrey Landes ’83, Headmaster Clement, Past President of the Alumni Association and Trustee Richard Weaver ’75 and President of the Alumni Association Michael Beys ’89.
Alumni Association was started, then an Alumni Council, T HE
Steve Clement, on behalf of myself, the other past
the entire Alumni Association, it is my great privilege and Honorary Member of Browning’s Alumni Association.
The Class of 2016 posed for a group shot with Headmaster Clement.
L to R: Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz ’71, Director of Athletics Andrew West ’92, Alumni Council Member John Hutzler ’86, Secretary of the Alumni Association John Moran ’97, Headmaster Clement, President of the Alumni Association Michael Beys ’89, Vice President of the Alumni Association Stuart Orenstein ’00, Director of Communications Design Jeremy Katz ’04 and Director of Institutional Advancement Jim Simon.
President of the Alumni Association Michael Beys ’89 speaking to the group.
Form VI boys taking their turn in the breakfast buffet line.
FORM VI WELCOMED INTO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION On Wednesday, April 20, Headmaster Clement and Alumni Association President Michael Beys ’89 hosted Browning’s Class of 2016 at a nearby private club for the annual Form VI Alumni Association Breakfast. As is tradition at this event, the senior class was formally inducted into the Alumni Association and presented
with engraved money clips to commemorate their upcoming graduation. The boys had a chance to hear from the following officers and Alumni Council members:
President Beys ’89, Vice President of the Alumni Association Stuart Orenstein ’00,
Secretary of the Alumni Association John Moran ’97 and Alumni Council Member John Hutzler ’86. Alumni faculty members Mr. Pelz ’71, Coach West ’92 and
Mr. Katz ’04 also spoke about staying involved beyond graduation. The Alumni Association is thrilled to welcome these 26 new members! John Hutzler ’86 with his son, Jay Hutzler ’16. L to R: Jay Hutzler ’16, Dylan Springer ’16, Andrew Bendo ’16, Julian Orillac ’16 and Alejandro Oyarzun ’16.
L to R: Headmaster Clement, John Hutzler ’86, John Moran ’97, Stuart Orenstein ’00 and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan.
Joe Metzger ’02 and Headmaster Clement.
Headmaster Clement (center) sang on stage with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, including one of their alumni, Andy Sandberg ’01 (on Mr. Clement’s left).
L to R: Isabelle Manuel, Laurent Manuel ’04 and Headmaster Clement.
L to R: Albie Bramble ’04, Alexander Sheridan ’04, Mr. Prestigiacomo, Jeremy Katz ’04, Ishma Best ’04, Steven Kassapidis ’11 and James Leight ’04.
MORE THAN 130 ALUMNI AT THE MET IN HONOR OF HEADMASTER CLEMENT The Alumni Association turnout was strong in the Temple of Dendur at The
Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, April 21, when Browning honored its
Headmaster of 28 years, Stephen M. Clement, III. A selection of alumni photos from the event is included here (a full report on this event appeared in the spring Buzzer
issue). Alumni from the Classes of 1950 to 2012 attended, and it was wonderful to see L to R: Edward Kent ’02, Headmaster Clement and Tony Caputo ’03.
Headmaster Clement and Derrick Lewis ’01.
Headmaster Clement and Peter Shapiro ’10.
everyone in such an incredible setting. A truly memorable night for our community!
L to R: Peter Shapiro ’10, Ms. Lien, Teddy Altman ’11 and Greg Davis ’10.
L to R: Adele Pelz, Christopher Pelz ’12, Jonathan Pelz ’12 and Sandy Pelz ’71.
Othon Prounis ’79 and his wife Kathy.
L to R: Headmaster Clement, Tennyson Singer ’08 and Bradley Aronson ’08.
L to R: Michael Elliot ’04, Alexander Sheridan ’04, Albie Bramble ’04, Adam Dalva ’04, Leon Dalva ’58, Christine Fanelli and Andrew Fanelli ’05.
Director of Lower School Admission Kelly West spoke to the group about the latest admission and marketing efforts.
L to R: Laura Lanigan, Michael Beys ’89, Sharif Tanamli ’87, and Andy Sandberg ’01.
Marc Cali ’89.
Meetings are now being held in the Kurani Gymnasium to accommodate more guests.
Sharif Tanamli ’87.
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ELECTS NEW LEADERSHIP The Annual Meeting of the Alumni
new slate of officers was proposed by
year, marketing efforts and the
May 23, in the Kurani Gymnasium
in by the majority. Congratulations to:
committee reports were given, an
Association was held on Monday,
at Browning. After having served the maximum five years as president of the Alumni Association, Michael
Beys ’89 presided over his last meeting. The nearly 40 alumni in attendance
plus Headmaster Clement, Director of Institutional Advancement Jim
Simon and Director of Alumni Affairs Laura Lanigan saluted his excellent
leadership with a champagne toast. A
Richard Helgason (left) and John Hadden ’87. T HE
the Nominating Committee and voted Andy Sandberg ’01, elected president; Stuart Orenstein ’00, elected vice
president; John Moran ’97, elected secretary; and Richard Helgason, elected treasurer. In addition to
the election, a full Alumni Council meeting took place. Kelly West,
director of Lower School admission, was the special guest and provided
information on the 2015-16 admission
L to R: Alexander Bank ’05, Nicholas Bank ’13 and Headmaster Clement.
latest enrollment snapshot. Further, archival video about Browning in
the ’40s and ’50s was shown, recent
springtime events were re-capped and
all were reminded about the upcoming close of the 2015-16 Annual Fund
on June 30. The Alumni Association
wishes the entire Browning community a wonderful summer and looks
forward to seeing everyone back at school in the fall!
L to R: Andrew West ’92, Christopher Brandt ’09, Pierce Forsythe ’92, Nicholas Bank ’13, Alexander Bank ’05 (partially hidden) and Joe Metzger ’02.
A LETTER FROM ANDY SANDBERG ’01 To the Browning Alumni, Parents, Faculty, Students and Board of Trustees:
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve as the President of the Browning Alumni Association. I have been a proud
member of the Browning community since the fall of 1989, graduating 12 years later in 2001. I have been fortunate to
continue my association with Browning as a longstanding member of the Alumni Council.
We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mr. Clement, who
has helped the Alumni Council grow from an idea in the 1980s to an integral part of the Browning landscape. I was a member
of the first class that Mr. Clement saw all the way through from
Pre-primary through Form VI. While I regret that I will not have the opportunity to collaborate with him in my new capacity as President of the Alumni Association, he is leaving Browning
in an extraordinary position. The school’s facilities have never
been stronger, the students and parents are more engaged than ever, and the Browning faculty is truly the best in New York.
Many of the finest teachers I remember so fondly from my time at Browning are still at the School, which speaks volumes for Browning’s sense of community and tradition.
I look forward to welcoming Mr. Botti as he begins what is
Andy Sandberg ’01 (left) and Michael Beys ’89.
sure to be an incredible tenure as Head of School, and I know that he is looking forward to meeting Browning alumni this fall. I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the
Alumni Council and the entire Browning alumni community who have entrusted me with this responsibility. I look
forward to meeting many of you in the months and years
ahead at various school events. I also want to recognize Laura N. Lanigan, the director of alumni affairs, for her tireless
commitment to the Browning alumni over the past nine years and hopefully many more to come.
Lastly, I have to thank my predecessor Michael
Beys ’89 P ’25, ’27, who has been an inspirational leader. He is leaving very big shoes to fill, but I know he will never be far, and we are fortunate to have him joining Browning’s Board of Trustees this year.
Have a wonderful summer, and here’s to an incredible
2016-17 school year!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Alumni Open House with Head of School John Botti MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 Alumni Council Meeting MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 Alumni Council Meeting WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 Class of 2000 Distinguished Speaker Series Featuring Steven Eisman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3
Andy Sandberg ’01 (andysandberg.com) is a director, writer, actor and Tony
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Andy Sandberg ’01
Award-winning producer. His Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include “Hair,” “The Best Man,” “The Realistic Joneses,” “Application Pending,”
Book Fair Cocktail Party
Young Alumni Reunion
“Straight” and “The Last Smoker in America.” He holds a B.A. from Yale University where is he an alumnus of the Whiffenpoofs and Alley Cats. Summer 2016
TO SHARE NEWS with the Browning community, please contact Laura N. Lanigan, director of alumni affairs, at 212-838-6280 Ext. 1920 Laura N. Lanigan
internationally at the citizen
with Robert De Niro and
to develop partnerships,
with Bruce Willis. Both
and government levels
improve collaboration and forge mutually beneficial
relationships between other nations and the United
States to stimulate increased scientific cooperation and
foster economic prosperity. Science Envoys travel as In November, Jack Bulkley ’58 visited Browning for the first time in 60 years.
In November, members of Browning’s Advancement team had the opportunity to sit down with F. Jack
Bulkley, III ’58, who was a student under three of
Arthur Jones, Lyman Tobin and Charles Cook ’38.
Mr. Bulkley had not been back to the School in 60
years; it was fascinating to hear his sharp, witty and poignant reminiscences
of his time as a student at
Browning and in New York
City in the 1940s and ’50s. To watch the video, please visit
browning.edu/jack-bulkley. In February, Thomas E.
Lovejoy ’59 was named one of five U.S. Science
Envoys. These distinguished scientists engage
private citizens and help
inform the White House, the Department of State and the scientific community about potential opportunities for
cooperation. Dr. Lovejoy is also a professor at George Mason University and
senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation. As Science Envoy, he will
focus on biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Latin America and East
Asia and the Pacific. In May, Dr. Lovejoy participated in Browning’s second
Biodiversity Day; please see page 34 for more details.
Robert J. Dalva ’60
submitted the following
news: “I cut two films in
2015. One is called ‘Heist’
the other is ‘Precious Cargo’ actors worked for a very
short time for a great deal of money – Willis for one
day. These two films were
low budget, with very short shooting schedules (19 and
16 days) and very truncated post-editing phases.” So I
worked long hours – seven
John Ballard ’63 was a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal in February.
days a week, sometimes 80
Congressional Gold Medal,
was compromised and I
who took part in the Selma
hours! My immune system caught viral meningitis – a severe version of it. I was more or less unconscious for 16 days in a hospital in L.A. I then spent 54
days in a rehab facility in
presented to the marchers to Montgomery Voting
Rights March in 1965. A
Congressional Gold Medal is our country’s highest civilian award.
H. Robert Lind ’63
Marin County where I live,
wrote to us in May: “World
lost 35 pounds; some of
traditional archery and
regaining my strength. I
it was muscle mass. I am
still recovering at the end of February. No cane, no
walker – working on getting
travel, travel photography,
grandparenting are current passions here in Southern California!”
On March 10 and
stronger, my balance and
March 11, Linton Wells II ’63
more like my old self. I saw
sections of Ms. Lien’s Form
my stamina. I feel good,
Dr. Eugene Keller ’60 this past weekend. He lives in
San Luis Obispo, Calif. He is still working, too – running five hospitals.”
In February, John H.
Ballard, Jr. ’63 received the
graciously spoke to both
VI “Global Citizenship” class about his work with STAR-
TIDES (Sharing To Accelerate Research – Transformative
Innovation for Development and Emergency Support). STAR-TIDES promotes
story, “The Teen-Agers: A
They’re Really Like,” in
recently met up with
East Side to Occupy Wall
Street.” In 1966, Newsweek
published a landmark cover Newsweek Survey of What
Howard L. Rasmussen ’72
which Mr. Reed was also
Richard E. Fisher ’72,
featured. Fifty years later,
Newsweek followed up on this piece with “The State
Jeremy Galton ’72 and
former Browning math teacher Donald Smith.
Lin Wells ’63 spoke to Ms. Lien’s “Global Citizenship” class in March.
of the American Teenager,”
sustainable support to
the winter semester in sunny
profile on Mr. Reed.
post-war, post-disaster or
who retired from Browning’s
reports: “I retired after
taught a seminar on media
New York Junior Tennis
stressed populations –
impoverished – in foreign or domestic contexts, for short-
term or long-term operations. Prior to establishing this organization, Dr. Wells
spent 51 years with the
U.S. Department of Defense.
Dr. Wells spoke with Form VI about STAR-TIDES and
its global effects, as well as the importance of
implementing thoughtful, sustainable technologies in developing nations.
Using a range of props
(including a solar cooker, an easy-to-build stove and a
solar-powered LED lamp), Dr. Wells discussed ways
in which seemingly simple and rudimentary tools
Southern California. Tom, Board of Trustees in 2015,
teaching in San Diego, and
it will be his ninth semester at Yale. Among his regular
another trip to Havana. He
of Browning’s Board of
Trustees, and Browning
alumnus Howard Dean ’66.
Howard is a former governor of Vermont and a former
chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
George E. Brown, III ’66
30th wedding anniversary
W. Cook ’38 Alumnus
Achievement Award, the
Alumni Association’s highest distinction.
R. Thomas Herman ’64
and his wife Marilyn enjoyed
In May, W. Basil
Chanos, former President
people in the third world. of Browning’s Charles
L to R: Basil Nikas ’67, Archbishop Athenagoras, Havana Mayor Marta Hernández Romero and George Kolokotronis.
Nikas ’67 wrote to tell
sent in the following news:
In 1995 he was the recipient
45th Reunion in 2017. Please
guest speakers at his Yale seminar have been Jim
“Nancy and I celebrated our in June. Plan to go to Hawaii then on to Australia in December.”
Christopher Reed ’66
was featured in a Newsweek article in May, titled, “Then and Now: One Man’s
Journey from the Upper
Steven G. Schott ’72
forward to celebrating our
returning to teach again at This is Tom’s fifth year of
and Learning. I am looking
of San Diego and will be
Yale University later this year.
together in Charleston, S.C.
working 34 years with the
writing at the University
can mean the difference
between life and death for
which includes this latest
The group had dinner
keep in touch. This past year, I caught up with T.D.
Werblin ’72, Peter Wu ’72,
George Judd ’72, Jonathan Starr ’72 and Richard Fisher ’72.”
for Economic Growth &
based in Rome with offices
us in May after catching
us he just returned from
is co-founder of the Institute Legal Reform (IGROW)
Reja Sabet ’82 wrote to
in Washington, D.C.,
up with classmates David
Moldova, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador and soon, Cuba.
He has traveled extensively, organizing public-private
partnerships in agriculture,
biogas alternative energy and export trade development
Callaway ’82 and Lorenzo Lorenzotti ’82 at the Pig
N Whistle in Manhattan. David’s daughter has
moved to Manhattan.
Lorenzo’s daughter finished
particularly in Eastern
Europe and Tajikistan. Cuba has become his immediate
priority. He credits the solid education and foundation that Browning instilled in him for his success.
L to R: Lorenzo Lorenzotti ’82, David Callaway ’82 and Reja Sabet ’82.
Peter Gordon ’84 spoke to Form VI students at Browning in April. L to R: Sandy Pelz ’71, Peter Gordon ’84, Laura Lanigan, Samora Legros ’03 and Headmaster Clement at Browning in April.
Ian B.F. McGrady ’88
is a multimedia journalist at
KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho. KIVI is a dual-purpose affiliate
providing both ABC News and Fox News content.
L to R: Stuart Hutzler ’19, John Hutzler ’86, Muneo Kaigo ’86 and Jay Hutzler ’16 at La Cantine du Troquet in Paris.
her first year at Wesleyan
Dr. Kaigo is an associate
Sperry R. Younger ’92
finished her first year at
had a grandson: Dante
University. Reja’s daughter McGill University. Reja also tells us, “Gisele Kayoun is on Facebook. Friend her and say hi!”
Peter G. Stavropoulos ’82
professor of media
communication technology and media management at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
recently joined the law firm
Peter Gordon ’84 is head
John E. Hutzler ’86
traveled to Paris with his
and alpinism scene all his L to R: Juan Reyes ’86, Wendy Long and Patrick Egan ’87 at the Union League Club in March.
Patrick J. Egan, III ’87
is the campaign manager
overlap for one night with
running for U.S. Senate in
classmate Muneo Kaigo ’86, who was in Paris for work.
13-year career in the satellite
who has been in the media
family in March. While there, he managed to
following news: “After a
with a good friend of mine
In April, he returned to
College Prep class.
In May, Lorenzo
Fornari ’94 submitted the
found The Outdoor Journal
Day School in Sparta, N.J.
Mr. Pelz ’71’s Form VI
taken the plunge to co-
of school at Hilltop Country
Browning to speak to
wrote to us in May: “Just
telecom industry, I have
of Hoban & Feola.
for Wendy Long, who is New York State.
life. We started printing and
distributing our coffee-tablequality magazine in South Asia – India in particular
in the last five years. We
have some of the biggest
name athletes, adventurers and photographers
contributing (Jimmy Chin,
Bear Grylls, Mike Horn, etc.) and we’re also getting into
full swing with the PR and
content creation side of the business. A highly curated travel platform is coming soon with all the best,
safest and environmentally conscious destinations and operators in the world that we’ve personally vetted
from our years of experience and from our network of trusted friends and
contributors. Quality and trust, not quantity. I hope
you’ll pick up a copy at your local B&N and feel inspired
by our passion and the truly amazing content. You can
also visit: outdoorjournal.com or outdoorvoyage.com.” John Keranakis ’94
– and are now in Barnes &
recently graduated from the
we are focused on the
Medicine in San Diego,
Noble. As the name implies, outdoor sports, activities
and travel world, which is
the fastest growing industry
Pacific College of Oriental Calif. He is a member of
the inaugural class for the
first nationally recognized
Andrew West ’92 (left) and Michael Anselmo ’92 during Browning’s spring training in Florida in March.
professional doctorate of
acupuncture and oriental medicine program.
T. Andrew Madden, Jr. ’96
submitted the following
news in May: “Great Alumni Reunion; large turnout from the Class of 1996. We were a
Samora Legros ’03 (right) spoke on a panel during an Upper School assembly in February.
justice. He discussed how these topics are related to different areas of the law.
Samora recently graduated from the Southern
University Law Center.
Michael A. Wilner ’07
small graduating class under
is the Washington bureau
factor in personalities, spirit
coordinating coverage of
20, but a huge class when you and character.”
Since the start of 2016, Jonas F. Borra ’03 has been working as the
general manager of the nightclub Riff Raff’s,
which is under the Quality
Branded umbrella (Smith &
Andy Sandberg ’01 (left) and Mr. Dearinger at the opening night of “Straight,” the Off-Broadway production that Andy directed.
chief for The Jerusalem Post,
Michael Wilner ’07 (far left) spoke to the Grytte staff in May.
U.S. foreign policy in the
position as lead paralegal
FleishmanHillard to head
House, State Department,
investigations group with
I will be attending the
Middle East from the White Pentagon and Congress. In May, he returned to
Browning and spent time
with the Grytte newspaper
staff to share his insights on his journalism career.
Demetriad ’08 left his
in the white collar/global Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and is now working in business
development and marketing for Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Michael B. Glasser ’08
wrote to us in May: “I
will be leaving my job at
back to school in the fall.
University of North Carolina in pursuit of my J.D. If
anyone finds themselves
in the research triangle or
is interested in pursuing a career in public relations,
do not hesitate to reach out
Wollensky, Quality Meats/ Eats/Italian, Park Avenue Seasons and Maloney
& Porcelli). The club is
about to undergo a major
changeover and will re-open in the fall. He invites all
Browning alumni to visit.
In February, Samora L.
Legros ’03 participated in
an Upper School assembly
as part of a panel discussion about social and criminal
Browning alumni at Louis Lenglet ’02’s wedding to Whitney Cary in Winter Park, Fla. (L to R): Tony Caputo ’03, Andrew Gamache ’97, Chris McInerney ’02, Joe Metzger ’02, Kieran Pickering ’02, Sean Russell ’02, Louis Lenglet ’02, Edward Kent ’02, Jeremy Stewart ’02 and Martin Murphy ’02.
Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Lenglet ’02 were married in Winter Park, Fla. on May 14.
IN MEMORIAM Mildred J. Berendsen, Honorary Trustee Themis and Theodore Dimon P ’72, ’74, ’74 Paige Hardy P ’21, ’23, ’29 Jonathan Pelz ’12 and Christopher Pelz ’12 in front of their Bates College dorm building in Lewiston, Maine, as featured in the Lewiston Sun Journal in April. Photo credit: Andree Kehn/Sun Journal.
Terry Muenzer GP ’04 Paul A. Vieta ’58 titled, “Face Time: Jonathan
different country gives you
times two.” Both graduated
person, and you meet many
and Christopher Pelz, Bates from Bates College in May.
Adam B. Nebenzahl ’13
Joshua Burgess ’10 (left) and Mr. Prestigiacomo at Browning in April.
wrote to us in May: “For
James R. Brisotti ’12 will
six months, I have studied
what is going to be the past
be traveling on leave from
L to R: Jonathan Pelz ’12, JR Chansakul ’12 and Christopher Pelz ’12 at Bowdoin in May.
in June and will then work
am waiting to hear back
from July until August. He
Tokyo. I am taking a break
the U.S. Naval Academy
at the U.S. Naval Academy will eventually end up in
Yokosuka, Japan, at the end of August.
Christopher M. Pelz ’12
submitted the following news in May: “I will be attending graduate school in either
Japan or Scotland. So far, I have been accepted to the
University of St. Andrews,
Edinburgh University, and
from Sophia University in from neuroscience and will be studying sustainable
development or Japanese
language and culture. I also
won the Technos Award for
graduating senior with most
knowledge of foreign culture.” In April, Chris and his twin brother Jonathan Pelz ’12
were featured in an article
in the Lewiston Sun Journal
abroad in Canterbury,
England (many students might know from Mr.
Dearinger’s English class
a sense of who you are as a people with great stories
along the way and create everlasting friendships
and brotherhoods. So take
advantage of seeing a new
place whenever you can; you
will never know what you are going to find.”
Harrison P. LaBranche ’15
when we had to recite the
sent in the following news
English). It has been more
Franklin University in
first few lines in middle
than an amazing experience and opportunity which led me to traveling one month by myself through seven European countries and
the Papal state, while also continuing my studies in
environmental policy. The reason I write this is for
students, young and old,
to take advantage of every
in June: “I am attending Switzerland this fall.”
Former Faculty News
opportunity to travel and learn about new cultures. I have had my fair share
of traveling over my life;
it is something that helps a person not only learn
about the world around
them, but also learn a great Mr. Wisniewski (far left) and some of his students welcomed back alumni Christopher Keyko ’15, Peter Florescu ’15 and Diego Lopez-Liranzo ’15 (all pictured in center of photo, on Mr. Wisniewski’s left) in May.
deal about themselves.
Throwing yourself into a
Stephen Hamilton (left), former Browning music teacher, visited Browning in March and spent time with Headmaster Clement.
THANK YOU! The Browning School is grateful to all of the parents, boys, alumni, grandparents, faculty and friends who made the 2015-16 Annual Fund one of the best in the Schoolâ€™s annual giving history. As we strive for excellence in providing opportunities for our boys to excel, your support has played a crucial role. We look forward to reporting continued good news of how your annual gift has made an impact on every aspect of life at Browning.
Full “STEM” Ahead!
n June Browning’s technology department held a Tech
shined in an invitational tournament, “StuyBowl 2016,”
from all tech classes (Pre-primary through advanced
School (see photos below). This competition allowed the
comprehensive and engaging tech program. Projects
computer science), were presented to the boys, parents
and faculty, including the first graders’ Lego soccer game
controlled by computer program; 3D virtual reality by Form
II boys; and independently developed websites from Form V boys. The robotics class also set up a game arena where two “bots” competed.
In May Browning’s Science Bowl team members
Expo in the Kurani Gym to highlight the School’s
comprised of 15 teams and hosted at Stuyvesant High
boys to showcase their knowledge in chemistry, physics,
biology, earth and space science, math, energy and general science. After eight hours of competition, the finals were held that evening. In a tight and close finals match,
Browning finished second overall in the competition.
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Complements Biodiversity Day
Browning’s second Biodiversity Day was even more successful than the first, starting with a BioBlitz in Central Park and moving on to the second and newest event, TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool. The idea materialized as the result of an activity that took place during Browning’s Blended Learning T HE
Workshop last summer. One of the organizers, science teacher Dr. Betty Noel, said, “The number of guests and student-led talks and workshops was amazing, especially for an inaugural event. Science and technology are truly strong at Browning!” Head of Upper School James Reynolds, pic-
tured far left, commented on the time and hard work that went into Biodiversity Day, especially on the part of those faculty organizers sharing the stage with him, including technology integrator Anderson Harp, Dr. Noel and science teacher Emilie Wolf. Turn to page 34 for more details.