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The Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin is printed using vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified, 100% post consumer recycled paper. This issue saved 101 trees, 42,000 gallons of wastewater, 291 lbs of waterborne waste, and 9,300 lbs of greenhouse gases from being emitted.

In this issue:

YES TO SUCCESS Young Eisner Scholars

ENERGY’S NEW MOMENT: Alumni in the New Energy Sector

END NOTE: An Accidental Activist

Choate Rosemary Hall

Annual Fund c











100 YEARS national

pa r k s e rv i c e

A heartfelt thank you. AMERICA'S EPIC CLASSROOMS / P.14

Author and Photographer James Kaiser ’95 (front cover) reminds readers of the significance of our National Parks on the occasion of their Centennial. Says Kaiser, ”Outside of Choate Rosemary Hall, there's no place where I‘ve learned more.”


FALL ’16

Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin is published fall, winter, and spring for alumni, students and their parents, and friends of the School. Please send change of address to Alumni Records and all other correspondence to the Communications Office, 333 Christian Street, Wallingford, CT 06492-3800. Choate Rosemary Hall does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, athletics, other school-administered programs, or in the administration of its hiring and employment practices on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic predisposition, ancestry, or other categories protected by Connecticut and federal law. Printed in U.S.A. CRH160710/17.5M

Editorial Offices T: (203) 697-2252 F: (203) 697-2380 Email: Website: Director of Strategic Planning & Communications Alison J. Cady Editor Lorraine S. Connelly Design and Production David C. Nesdale Classnotes Editor Henry McNulty ’65

Communications Assistant Britney G. Cullinan Contributors Cheryl Bardoe Emily Brenner Lorraine S. Connelly P ’03, ’05 Samuel Doak Monte Frank ’86 Kim Hastings P ’15, ’18 James Kaiser ’95 David Loeb Andrea Thompson Paul J. Tines Ruth Walker Lindsay Whalen ’01

Photography Sarah V. Gordon James Kaiser ’95 Ross Mortensen NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) David C. Nesdale

Transformative experiences are at the heart of a Choate Rosemary Hall education, and those experiences would be much less without the tremendous generosity of the extended Choate community. Last year, more than 5,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends joined together with contributions large and small to provide critical resources for the School, including a record $6 million to the Annual Fund. Thanks to our donors we can offer even greater opportunities to all 862 students who live and learn on campus today, and we can provide increased support for our dedicated faculty who not only teach, but also coach, mentor, and inspire their students every day. Thank you to everyone who generously gave to the School this year! You help us maintain the traditions of innovation and excellence that are synonymous with a Choate education.

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CONTENTS | Fall 2016




2 3 4 28 32


52 56 60

In Memoriam Remembering Those We Have Lost


End Note An Accidental Activist by Monte Frank ’86

Remarks from the Headmaster On Christian & Elm News about the School Alumni Association News Classnotes Profiles of Miles Spencer ’81, Co-Founder, Innovadores Foundation; Ronna Chao ’85, CEO of Bai Xian Asia Institute; StoryCorps alums Dr. Vanessa Brown ’87, Robin Sparkman ’87, and John White ’87; and Brooklyn artist Kari Cholnoky ’06

“Not of an age, but for all time” Musings on the 400th Anniversary of the Bard’s Death


Yes to Success Young Eisner Scholars Find Success at Choate


National Parks: America's Epic Classrooms James Kaiser ’95


Energy’s New Moment Alumni on the Cusp of the New Energy Sector

Scoreboard Spring Sports Wrap-up Bookshelf Reviews of works by Jack Macauley ’70, Joshua Kendall ’77, Katherine Marsh ’92, and Alex Moazed ’06

Choate Rosemary Hall Board of Trustees 2016-2017 Alexandra B. Airth P ’18 Kenneth G. Bartels ’69 P ’04 Samuel P. Bartlett ’91 Peggy Brim Bewkes ’69 Michael J. Carr ’76 George F. Colony ’72 Alex D. Curtis P ’17, ’20 Borje E. Ekholm P ’17, ’20 John F. Green ’77 Linda J. Hodge ’73, P ’12 Ryan Hong ’89, P ’19

Brett M. Johnson ’88 Vanessa Kong-Kerzner P ’16, ’19 Cecelia M. Kurzman ’87 Gretchen Cooper Leach ’57 James A. Lebovitz ’75, P ’06, ’10 Kewsong Lee ’82 Patrick J. McCurdy ’98 Robert A. Minicucci ’71 Tal H. Nazer P ’17 Peter B. Orthwein ’64, P ’94, ’06, ’11 M. Anne Sa’adah Henry K. Snyder ’85

Life Trustees Charles F. Dey P ’78, ’81, ’83 Bruce S. Gelb ’45, P ’72, ’74, ’76, ’78 Edwin A. Goodman ’58 Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. ’57, P ’84 Cary L. Neiman ’64 Stephen J. Schulte ’56, P ’86 Edward J. Shanahan P ’92, ’95 William G. Spears ’56, P ’81, ’90

Editorial Advisory Board Judy Donald ’66 Howard R. Greene P ’82, ’05 Dorothy Heyl ’71, P ’07 Seth Hoyt ’61 Henry McNulty ’65 Michelle Judd Rittler ’98 John Steinbreder ’74 Monica St. James P ’06 Francesca Vietor ’82 Heather Zavod P ’87, ’90

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“The Spring 2015 ‘125 Years’ edition of the Bulletin contained a picture of Choate alumnus John F. Kennedy ‘35 during his visit to the School in 1958 to receive the School’s first Alumni Seal Prize from Headmaster Seymour St. John ‘31. Seeing that picture of JFK reminded me of my long held belief that he and I are the only two people in the world that have the following four things in common: Attended Choate; Attended Stanford; Attended Harvard and served as officers in the U.S. Navy. Well, he audited a class at Stanford when he was contemplating attending business school there, but I think that’s close enough. In the spring of 1963, during my first year at Harvard Business School, my wife and I decided to spend spring break in Washington, D.C. At that time JFK was president, so I said, why don’t I write to him, mentioning how he and I may uniquely have those four things in common, and ask if we could stop by the Oval Office to introduce ourselves and congratulate him on his presidency. My wife, of course told me I was crazy even to think of bothering a sitting president over such a trivial matter. So, I did not send a letter, partly agreeing with my wife’s assessment and also figuring I could always find some future time to follow up. Big mistake, of course, as that time never came.” Bob McIntyre ’54 Palo Alto, Calif.

Choate Rosemary Hall is proud of its redesigned website. The new site, which went live last month, incorporates many unique features, as well as a bold and innovative design. Features of the site include a front-page campus calendar, expanded news, simplified search options, and streamlined content. Stay up to date with our new social media mashup page Live@Choate. We anticipate additional features to be introduced throughout the coming months, so check back often. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Alison Cady, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, at

Your Chance to Weigh In! Choate Rosemary Hall has partnered with CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) in a magazine readership survey to collect information regarding how our alumni and parent constituencies view the Bulletin. The survey hopes to reveal key findings about reader preferences and engagement, and how we can better serve our school community. Your opinion and feedback are very important to us. We are looking forward to getting to know our readers better and to producing the best magazine for YOU. Please take the survey at your earliest convenience:


Remarks from the Headmaster

Dear Alumni and Friends of Choate Rosemary Hall, As we begin the school year, we are delighted to report that our new student center, St. John Hall, is midway toward completion. Last spring, as the framing for the new building went up, fifth and sixth formers were invited to write their names on the beams, as they did for the Cameron and Edward Lanphier Center for Mathematics and Computer Science. Just as students affix their personal signatures to the School’s register during the Matriculation Ceremony committing themselves to the shared principles and values of the School, so too, our students are adding their unique signatures to the physical structures that will define the School for generations to come. With the center’s anticipated opening in 2017, Choate Rosemary Hall will have – for the first time – a versatile meeting, dining, and gathering space located in the heart of campus that is exclusively dedicated to student life and enhancing the student experience. Despite the inevitable evolutions to campus and curriculum, Choate Rosemary Hall remains true to its mission: to provide our students with transformative and meaningful experiences that instill lifelong habits of learning, leadership, and service. With all the challenges in the world today, it is more important than ever that alumni – individuals who have spent their formative years in a diverse community that values fidelitas and integritas – use their talents to impact society for the good. The pages of our magazine are filled with stories of alumni and students who are doing just that. In the world of energy efficiency and conservation, investor Nat Simons ’83 has created a company that makes vegetable-based “milk” from yellow peas as an alternative to cow’s milk – which has the potential to transform conventional agriculture as well as to contribute to a smaller carbon footprint. Through his work with the Innovadores Foundation, innovator Miles Spencer ’81 is building cultural bridges by nurturing opportunities for both young Americans and Cubans to transform the future of tech into an imagined world where there are no walls – only bridges of mutual cooperation – no small feat. And as the newly appointed chair of the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero ’98 has the opportunity to be a literal gamechanger. She joins one other member from the U.S. on the 15-member executive board and as chair has the ability to shape the future of the 120-year modern Olympics Games. Speaking about her own appointment, Angela said, “It is an important time within the Olympic movement, and our commission has a great responsibility. I will make sure our voices aren’t just heard, but that they are effective and that we empower athletes around the world to do the same.” Through their collective voices, Choate alumni such as Nat, Miles, and Angela are effecting change and have made lasting impacts on learning, leadership, and service. Our current students are no less dedicated or ambitious. Says fifth former Richard Lopez, a Young Eisner Scholar: “Making a good impact on this planet has always been my life’s dream. In the future, I hope I will be doing something that will help change the world for the better.” Through their commitment to living the shared values of fidelitas and integritas, our alumni and students are making incremental improvements to everyday life and changing the world for the better for generations to come. With all best wishes from campus,

Alex D. Curtis Headmaster



126th Prize Day and Commencement Exercises Form and department prizes were awarded on Prize Day, May 27. Fifty-seven student prizes were awarded to 88 winners on behalf of Choate Rosemary Hall’s six academic departments and the athletics department. In addition, 14 form prizes were awarded to 19 winners for enthusiasm, excellence, and earnest and persistent effort in the third, fourth, and fifth forms. At the 126th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 29, Headmaster Alex D. Curtis and the Board of Trustees bestowed diplomas and certificates on the senior class of 232 graduates. Pro Football Hall of Famer and Entertainer Michael Strahan delivered the Commencement address. In his address, Mr. Strahan recounted his unlikely career path from a high school student who had never played football, to winning a football scholarship to Texas Southern University, to spending his entire career with the N.Y. Giants, and then, in 2008, moving seamlessly to the entertainment industry as a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, co-host on Live! with Kelly and Michael, and a regular contributor on Good Morning America. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He told students that at every juncture of his

career he remembered a lesson taught to him by his father that proved to be invaluable – to cast out fear, doubt, and uncertainty by predicating all decisions on “when” not “if.” He also told students to embrace their passions and to not be afraid of failure. For the first time since 1981, the entire student body attended Commencement. In his valedictory remarks, Dr. Curtis urged graduates “to remain vulnerable throughout all of life’s experiences – to be open to advice, open to being uncomfortable and challenged, open to change, and, yes, even open to failure.” He added, “Your Choate education has provided you with all the tools you need. Certainly, you have learned so much in the classroom, but you have also learned critically important personal skills. You have gained courage, developed strength of character, and learned about doing the right thing. Your walk across this stage to receive your diploma is a reflection of all that you have learned and how much we believe in you.” Eight sixth form prizes were awarded at Commencement. The 2016 School Seal Prize winners are Chibuzor Biosah of Los Angeles, Calif; Hakeem Angulu of Kingston, Jamaica; and Oluwatomi Lawal of Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Michael Strahan delivered remarks to the Class of 2016. The 126th Commencement on May 29 coincided with what would have been the 99th birthday of President John F. Kennedy ’35.

St. John Hall Student Center Update Members of the Class of 2016 and 2017 celebrated the completion of the steel framework for the new St. John Hall Student Center on May 9. Headmaster Alex Curtis and Dean of Students James Stanley led the signing of the beams on the three-story, 37,000-square-foot building designed by Bowie Gridley Architects of Washington, D.C.

The new student center, which hopes to earn LEED Gold certification, will offer the Choate community a variety of activities in one location. Opening in 2017, St. John Hall has been designed to fit comfortably into its central campus location on Hill House Circle, drawing upon traditional Georgian materials and detailing from existing historic campus architecture. As we begin the school year, the overall project is now approximately 40% complete. Installation of the masonry façade began this summer with brick work now 100% complete on the east elevation, 50% for north and 10% south elevations. Exterior PVC trim work has started and will follow the masonry work while the slate roof work follows the PVC trim. Scaffolding will be removed as each elevation is completed. The north and east elevations are anticipated to be completed sometime in late October. By Thanksgiving break the building should be closed in and weathertight.


Keith Hinderlie, Ph.D. Appointed Director of Equity and Inclusion Keith Hinderlie, Ph.D. has been appointed Director of Equity and Inclusion at Choate Rosemary Hall beginning July 1, 2016. In this newly created position, Dr. Hinderlie will serve as an academic and institutional leader in these areas, guiding Choate’s evolution as a community. Choate’s commitment to diversity has remained a core value of the School. Dr. Hinderlie comes to Choate from The Barrie School in Silver Spring, Md., an independent school serving students pre-K through grade 12, where he served as Director of Student and Family Services. A licensed psychologist, he brings to Choate more than 20 years’ experience as a school administrator and educator working with students and adults in both independent and charter schools, among them Milton Academy (Mass.) and Graland Country Day School (Colo.). He also served as Director of Programs, Program Develop-

“In a relatively short period, under the leadership of Dr. Curtis, Choate has made a commitment to develop a school-wide approach to diversity, inclusion, and multicultural competence and is in good position to do some great things to make the community even more richly diverse.” –KEITH HINDERLIE, PH.D.


On June 8, Headmaster Alex D. Curtis and the entire Choate community gathered to celebrate the retirement of 10 members of the community, honoring them for their years of service to the School. Honorees included (from left): Fred C. Djang, mathematics department; Mary F. Pashley, Community Service Director; Trevor B. Peard, English department; Ian J. Morris, science department; Constance J. Matthews, English department; John C. Burditt ’70, Chief Investment Officer; Kathleen H. Pedrolini and Krystyna E. Bak, Development and Alumni Relations department. Not pictured: John G. Russell ’46, Development and Alumni Relations department and Watson Lowery, Jr., English department. The program also recognized the following faculty members for their 25-year milestones: Patricia T. Antunez ’83, Todd F. Currie, Susan P. Farrell, and John S. Marrinan.

ment Consultant, Director of Counseling, and Consulting Psychologist to the SEED Foundation, the SEED School of Maryland, and the SEED School of Washington D.C., the first public charter boarding school in the U.S. He holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Boston College. Over the past 12 years, he has taken on increasing responsibilities as an educational leader and consultant, and has become a nationally recognized expert in promoting diversity, inclusion, and multicultural practices in schools. For many years he has served as a resident faculty member of the Diversity Directions Independent School Seminar, and as a speaker at professional development workshops at a variety of NAIS schools. Dr. Hinderlie had high praise for the impressive groundwork of the School’s Diversity Education Committee and the Choate Diversity Student Association, noting, “It was clear to me from my interactions with the individuals leading these groups that there has been a grassroots effort to address issues of equity and inclusion in Choate’s community.”


Choate-Japan Outreach Initiative

Matt Dunne ’88 Adlai Stevenson Lecture Matt Dunne ’88 gave the Adlai Stevenson ’18 Lecture to history and political science students on April 26. At age 22, he was elected to the Vermont State legislature, serving four terms. He was then chosen by President Bill Clinton to serve as director of AmericaCorps VISTA. In 2002, Matt was elected to the Vermont State Senate, where he worked in the appropriations and economic development committees.During this time, he also served as Assistant Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. After his unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2006, he was hired by Google to run its community affairs division. He stepped down from this post in February 2016 in order to focus on his current campaign for the governorship of Vermont. Matt is the son of the late civil rights activist John Dunne ’61. The lecture is supported by the Martin Laird Koldyke ’79 Fund for Adlai Stevenson ’18 Lectures.

This past summer, Choate Director of Admission Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez and Director of Curricular Initiatives Dr. Katharine H. Jewett welcomed eight Japanese scholarship recipients to Summer Programs. In December 2014, Headmaster Alex D. Curtis announced a new multi-year admission initiative involving Japan. Thanks to the foresight and generosity of Takashi Murata ’93, a Tokyo-based alumnus, the School has introduced a scholarship program specifically earmarked for Japanese students. The Murata US-Japan Scholars Program consists of grants for talented Japanese students to study at Choate for both summer school and the academic year. For the first time this year, three students from Japan will join Choate’s year-round school this fall. They are: Ryo Kuno, from Kaisei Academy; Mayumi Kuze, from Seikei Junior and Senior High School; and Daichi Hayakawa, from Nagaizumi Junior High School. Says Jewett, “Daichi is a renowned spelling bee competitor and a deep thinker. Mayumi loves science and American music from The Beatles to Taylor Swift. She has also been playing the violin since second grade and hopes to join Choate’s orchestra. Ryo also loves science and speaking English, but, in addition, he’s not afraid to have fun with things like karaoke. All did very well in Choate’s Summer Programs and are looking forward to joining us this fall.”

Jason Raiti Appointed Chief Investment Officer Jason Raiti, CFA, CAIA was appointed Chief Investment Officer at Choate Rosemary Hall beginning August 1, 2016. He succeeds John C. Burditt ’70, who retired after 19 years, 10 years as Chief Financial Officer and the last nine years as Chief Investment Officer. Over the past decade, Mr. Burditt established and managed the School’s first dedicated Investment Office. A 2006 graduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Raiti comes to Choate from Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y., where he had direct oversight of the allocation for the company’s $5 billion benefit pension assets. Prior to this position, he served as the Associate Director of the Investment Office at Wesleyan from 2011 to 2014, and as Senior Research Analyst for the Fund Evaluation Group from 2007 to 2011.

As CIO, Mr. Raiti will work closely with the Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee to achieve the objectives for the School’s endowment and maintain productive relationships with current and prospective fund managers, monitoring their organizations’ investment activity and investment performance. Mr. Raiti’s broad and substantive understanding of public and private markets coupled with his proven experience distilling key investment strategies make him a welcomed and valued addition to the Choate Rosemary Hall community.




Choate Helps Revitalize Downtown Wallingford

Faculty Chairs Awarded at 127th Convocation On September 6, students and faculty gathered for the School's 127th Convocation. At the ceremony Dean of Faculty Katie Levesque announced the awarding of three faculty chairs to veteran teachers: the Forest D. Dorn Chair to history teacher and Director of Academic Technology, Joel D. Backon; the Independence Foundation Chair to science teacher and Director of Sustainability, Katrina E. Linthorst Homan, and the James N. Gamble Chair to science teacher and Director of Studies, Kevin D. Rogers. Cecilia Zhou ’17 Student Council President, spoke on behalf of the Class of 2017. In his Convocation remarks, Headmaster Alex D. Curtis urged new and returning students and faculty members to review the School’s Statement of Expectations noting, “You have a responsibility for doing your part to make this the best place it can be. Simply put, Choate will not be its best if each of us doesn’t give our best.” He reminded students, “Inevitably, you will be faced with situations that call into action your integrity. As you navigate those challenges, I want you to remember that you are not alone. This community is full of people – your peers, teachers, coaches, and mentors – that stand by ready to help you. You are fortunate to be a part of a cohesive, supportive, community – lean on them … just as you will offer support when others lean on you.”

From left: Caryl Ryan, Wallingford Center Inc., Secretary; WCI Board member Steven Knight; Wallingford Mayor Bill Dickinson; WCI Director Liz Landow; Director of Strategic Planning and Communications Alison Cady and Manager of Community Relations Brittany Barbaro.

Choate Rosemary Hall administrators, Wallingford Mayor William W. Dickinson, Jr., and members of the non-profit Wallingford Center Inc., gathered at the town Wishing Well on Thursday, May 19, for the presentation of a ceremonial check in the amount of $20,000 to benefit Wallingford Center Inc.’s beautification projects. Choate Rosemary Hall’s Director of Strategic Planning and Communications Alison Cady presented the check on behalf of Headmaster Alex D. Curtis. Choate is helping downtown Wallingford’s revitalization efforts with a matching gift for 38 new town benches. The funds will also be used to replace town holiday decorations that are over 20 years old. Said Dr. Curtis, “We care deeply about our relationship with the Wallingford community. Choate Rosemary Hall is delighted to be able to contribute to the revitalization of the downtown area. It is always a pleasure to find ways to work together with the Town. Our overall goal is to be a vibrant member of the community.” The School recently made a $5,000 donation to the Wallingford Fireworks Fund. Besides monetary contributions the School also makes gifts in kind. Last winter the School donated $32,000 of used computers and iPads to Wallingford schools and organizations including the Wallingford Public Library, Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW), Wallingford Senior Center, CT STEM, West Haven Public Schools, St. Mary Magdalen School, and Marc Community Resources, Inc. In recent years, Choate has made financial contributions to the following organizations: Wallingford Public Schools (Planetarium Project and Computer Donation); New Haven READS; Holy Trinity School Basketball Tournament; Moses Y. Beach Elementary School - Winter Wonderland; Holiday for Giving; HUBCAP; and the YMCA Community Day Walk.


faculty insights

“Not of an age, but for By DaviD LoeB


Last April 23, the world took note of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death… There were concerts and lectures, films and books, and the mood was quite celebratory, much happier than one might expect when marking what was at the time, one presumes, a sad occasion. The man did die, after all. Of course, April 23 was, by most accounts, also Shakespeare’s birthday, so, as Claudius says in Hamlet, we look at the day “as ’twere, with a defeated joy, with an auspicious and a dropping eye, with mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, in equal scale weighing delight and dole.” It’s almost as if Shakespeare knew a contradictory day like that was coming and wanted to prepare us for it. For me, someone who teaches Shakespeare’s plays here at Choate, the big calendar day was a couple of years earlier: July 21, 2014, the day after my 52nd birthday. I was teaching writing at Choate’s Summer Programs, and I came into class in triumph, announcing that I had outlived Shakespeare, who was born in 1564 and died in 1616, the day he turned 52. I had won! He may have written Romeo & Juliet and Othello (and, let me be clear, he DID write those plays, and all the others too, and if you don’t believe me, look at James Shapiro’s splendid book, Contested Will), but I, and not Shakespeare, knew what it was like to be 52 years and one day old. I began to reconsider my “victory” over Shakespeare, however, when the celebrations over this 400th anniversary began to abound last spring. I was on sabbatical, but Shakespeare himself was right on campus, just as he always is. Indeed, in my three decades or so at Choate (much longer, by the way, than Shakespeare’s career as playwright, which lasted at most from 1592 until around 1613), Shakespeare has been everywhere, all the time. There have been, by my count, two Choate productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, three of As You Like It, and

one each of The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and Romeo & Juliet. That’s just since 1986, and I’m sure I’ve left one or two off. You get forgetful when you’re much, much older than Shakespeare ever got to be. In addition, there have been touring productions that have visited our campus of Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo & Juliet and our students have taken field trips to see Hamlet (several times in my years), The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew. That’s a lot of Shakespeare (and that doesn’t even include the tradition of the annual Rosemary Hall Shakespeare play dating back to 1892). Indeed, except for now retired faculty member Tom Yankus ’52, Shakespeare has probably been the biggest constant at Choate over the life of the School. Furthermore, the real place where Shakespeare is to be found at Choate is at the very center of what happens here: in the classroom. There’s something very special about third formers discovering the joy and humor of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, fourth formers being frightened by Macbeth, and sixth formers encountering Hamlet, right when their thoughts and concerns are as complex and confused as those of the Danish prince himself. Just imagine Hamlet’s college essay! A lot has changed over the years in Choate’s English classes, but Shakespeare continues to find his way onto our syllabi. Pop culture has mirrored this as well, over the years, from Romeo & Juliet turning into West Side Story and The Taming of the Shrew becoming Ten Things I Hate About You to Hamlet making up the backbone of The Lion King and, most recently, Macbeth leading to House of Cards. This summer, as I passed my own 54th birthday, padding my lead over Shakespeare, I found myself attending productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet, watching a new Britcom about Shakespeare called Upstart Crow, listening to podcasts about King Lear, and reading a history of the First Folio. I’ve even worked on a production of Othello as dramaturg, which is basically like teaching a class on Shakespeare to the cast and the audience. It’s becoming clear to me that I may have to reassess. I haven’t outlived the guy at all.

David Loeb joined the Choate English faculty in 1986. He teaches third and sixth form English and is the girls varsity volleyball coach. In the summers, he has worked with the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival as actor, dramaturg, and assistant director.


what a place to be: successful Feature

SAYING YES Young Eisner Scholars (YES) from left: Sandra Leon ’19, Richard Lopez ’18, Abigail Rivas ’19, and Sabastian Chacon ’19.


“There are some big dreams on the Choate campus, and with every day that I spend at Choate, I begin to realize that my dreams aren’t so difficult to attain. In the end, that just motivates me to dream bigger and work harder to achieve my goals.” – Richard Lopez ’18

by l o r r a i n e s. c o n n e l ly

For more than 15 years, promising students whose families qualify for full (or nearly full) tuition assistance have been offered the opportunity to attend Choate Rosemary Hall, with the support of the Icahn Scholars Program. Says Dana Brown, Senior Associate Director of Admission & Director of Multicultural Recruitment, “About three years ago, the School began looking at ways to expand our recruitment efforts and to find a cohort of students who were aligned with, and could further, the Icahn mission.” Brown, along with Associate Director of Admission Jeff Beaton, traveled to South Los Angeles to meet with the Executive Director of YES Scholars, Alina Beruff, and immediately saw the benefits of melding the directives of the YES and Icahn Programs.



what a place to be: successful


Download and Listen to Episode 4 of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast series at:

THIS PAST SUMMER, Choate was referenced in a podcast by New Yorker

staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, who recounted the story of a promising Hispanic middle school student named Carlos who was offered a full scholarship but was unable to attend due to family circumstances. He and his sister were subsequently placed in foster care, and his mother, remanded to a Texas state prison. Carlos’s story is not unique, says Gladwell. Gladwell explores the conundrum of college admission officers who every year miss out on the recruitment of a large swath of low income, smart kids – about 35,000 – who score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests, yet don’t have the opportunity to attend college. The potential among this group, he says, is underutilized or forgotten, much to society’s detriment. “The capitalization rate,” he argues, “or the percentage of people in any group who are able to reach their potential, is a measure of whether a society is successful and might even be an even better measure of success than GDP, growth rate, or per capita income.” This concept of “capitalization” is not new. President John F. Kennedy ’35 used the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats” to drive home the notion that improvements in the general economy or society will maximize human potential. AS AN 8TH GRADER LIVING IN SOUTH LOS ANGELES, Carlos was recruited to

the YES Program, which was founded in 2010 by Hollywood entertainment lawyer and education visionary Eric Eisner. YES identifies and engages underserved students in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Appalachia, helping them capitalize on their intellectual potential to glean opportunities to further their education and careers. In order for high-achieving, low-income students to be successful, however, there needs to be a partnership of advocates – a YES Scholars Program and a strategic partnership with schools like Choate Rosemary Hall, whose admission philosophies support the enrollment of the most talented and accomplished students, regardless of economic circumstances. YES Founder Eric Eisner says this about the syncronicity of success: “Choate Rosemary Hall and YES have built one of those perfect, though rare, partnerships where both sides feel even more grateful for the other. Having Choate as a destination our middle school Scholars can strive for is inspirational for YES as well as our kids.”

Last year, says Jeff Beaton, “We accepted five YES Scholars. This is the most of any of the college preparatory institutions in the Ten Schools Admission Organization (TSAO).” Three new YES Scholars will matriculate at Choate this fall. Three of the Scholars currently at Choate were recognized at Prize Day last May. Richard Lopez ’18 won the Fourth Form Prize for overall excellence. And both Abigail Rivas ’19 and Sabastian Chacon ’19 won Third Form Prizes for earnest and persistent effort. YES Executive Director Alina Beruff continues to advocate for Scholars attending Choate and follows their careers, thereafter. Her connection to Choate is personal. Her uncle, Theo Menocal, was a Choate alumnus, Class of 1962, as was her maternal grandfather, Luis Menocal, Jr., a classmate of John F. Kennedy ’35. Recalls Beruff, it was during the height of the Depression, when Headmaster George St. John awarded her grandfather, Luis, “with great happiness scholarships amounting to $1,000.” Says Beruff, “Attending Choate on a scholarship opened many doors for my grandfather. While he was at Choate, he and his close friend Jack Kennedy were famous for their mischievous ways and for their commitment to academics, reading, and culture.” Raised in a country brewing with political unrest, Luis’s Choate scholarship allowed him to thrive and diminished the challenges his family would face with the looming Cuban Revolution. Doors continued to open for Luis. After Choate, he attended Yale, married, and then returned to Cuba where he worked for his wife’s family’s pharmaceutical company. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the family moved to Palm Beach where they were frequent guests at the Kennedy Winter White House. It was President Kennedy who alerted Beruff’s grandmother, who had returned home to attend her father’s funeral, to get out of Cuba before the Bay of Pigs invasion. Had she stayed in Havana, she and Beruff's mother, Emilia, (who was 10 months old at the time), would have struggled to safely leave the country to reunite with Luis and her four other children. Beruff admits, “Privilege does makes a difference,” as her family history demonstrates. Her grandfather’s access to a Choate education via scholarship and his relationship with his famous classmate were factors in opening doors for her family and allowing for a fruitful life outside of Cuba. That is why she is so passionate about working with academically promising children in the YES-Los Angeles program, many of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged and can most benefit from the opportunities a school like Choate can provide.

During the height of the Depression, Luis Menocal, Jr. ’35, was awarded scholarships amounting to $1,000 allowing him to thrive.


She and her team work with four different school districts in Los Angeles to identify potential YES students. They gain access to student grades and teacher recommendations. Thereafter, 60 students per district are interviewed in the spring of their sixth grade year. “YES is not necessarily looking for straight-A students,” says Beruff. “More significant is whether a student has a sense of curiosity, is determined and accountable, and has the ability to follow through with tasks, such as weekend tutoring and workshops.” Twenty-five students are then selected for a rigorous academic and cultural program during the 7th and 8th grades, before they prepare their applications to prestigious boarding schools. For Sabastian Chacon ’19 the journey began in the 7th grade when he met Mr. Eisner who taught his group algebra problems that were difficult to comprehend. That summer, the kids in the program were introduced to the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) study book. Says Sabastian, “The test preparation lasted for five months but felt like forever. Everything that was taught during this time was instilled in me after the sessions ended, including how I wrote, how I looked at a math problem, and how I presented myself to people.” Preparation for life outside the classroom is also intensive and proves invaluable. Richard Lopez ’18 recollects, “YES not only taught me skills needed for the classroom, but it also taught me the skills

matured and immediately regretted her decision. She walked a mile and a half to the YES offices and said she was now ready to let her son apply to boarding school for 10th grade. There’s no doubt in Beruff’s mind that her own family’s story allows other families with no experience with boarding schools to think “this might actually be worth it.” Says Abigail Rivas ’19, “The idea of me going away to boarding school was pretty foreign for my whole family. My mother and sister were both fully onboard after a bit of convincing. My father seemed pretty comfortable with the idea until the date of my departure came closer.” Abigail, who has her sights set on medical school, says, “I constantly spoke with my family about the fact that leaving to pursue an education I could never get at my local high school was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip out of my hands no matter what.” Of course, the “capitalization” of talent that Gladwell and YES mutually embrace wouldn’t happen without the partnership with Choate. “We send great kids to Choate, but Choate is responsible for providing the atmosphere, the nurturing, and support to take them all the way,” says Beruff. Because of the support they receive at Choate, YES Scholars are permitted to dream bigger and set even greater goals for themselves. Says Richard, “Eight years from now, I hope to be at graduate school

“Having kids graduate from college with the skills to become leaders and game changers in the work force and the world is our ultimate mission.”– Alina Beruff, YES Executive Director needed to tackle challenges in life such as stress and failure.” He recollects “Once, the YES program brought in a former monk to teach us how to use breathing techniques to alleviate stress. This experience was amazing, and I find myself using these skills now at Choate.” YES works with students and their families to address everything from medical issues to financial hardships to reluctance on some parents’ part to send their children away to school. Beruff recalls one case: A mother of a YES Scholar persuaded her son to turn down a private school admission offer and attend the local high school. When her son’s best friend, also in the YES Program, returned home from Exeter during Christmas break, the mother saw how much her son’s friend had

getting a degree in environmental science or engineering. Making a good impact on this planet has always been my life’s dream. I hope I will be doing something that will help change the world for the better.” Helping change local communities and the world for the better is the program’s true objective. On this point Beruff is single-minded, “Having kids graduate from college with the skills to become leaders and game changers in the work force and the world is our ultimate mission” – a mission that is uniquely supported by a partnership of strong advocates. With their hopes and dreams fulfilled, the rising tide of YES Scholars will continue to uplift all communities for generations to come.

In addition to YES (Young Eisner Scholars), Choate Rosemary Hall has a long and proud history of enrolling students from the following programs. For more information about our work with these programs, please contact the Admission Office at A Better Chance (ABC), National Boys Club of NYC, NYC Breakthrough Collaborative, National Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship, CA De La Salle Academy, NYC Fulfillment Fund, NV, CA Hartford Youth Scholars, CT Horizons, National HYPE Los Angeles, CA

Inspiring Young Minds, NYC Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, VA KIPP, National Metro Squash, IL New Jersey Seeds, NJ Prep for Prep, NYC Rainier Scholars, WA Shinnecock Indian Education Program, NY (Southampton)

Teak Fellowship, NYC The Daniel Murphy Fund, IL The Legacy Foundation, CT The Oliver Scholars Program, NYC Wadleigh Scholars, NYC Wight Foundation, NJ YES Prep Foundation, MI



A M E R I C A ’ S

C L A S S R O O M S story and photography By James Kaiser ‘95

James Kaiser ‘95, stands atop the North Rim of Grand Canyon’s Cape Final.



c e l e b r a t i n g

n at i o n a l pa r k s e r v i c e


A m e r i c a’ s n a t i o n a l p a r k s a r e f i l l e d w i t h s u p e r l a t i v e s . They protect the world’s tallest trees (coast redwoods: 379 feet), biggest trees (giant sequoias: 52,000 cubic feet), and oldest trees (bristlecone pines: 5,000 years old). Denali is North America’s tallest mountain at 20,310 feet, while Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, measured from the sea floor, is more than 32,000 feet – nearly 4,000 feet taller than Everest. Grand Canyon is the world’s longest deepest most-colorful canyon – although, when commas are added, other canyons beat those individual superlatives. And, terrifyingly, Yellowstone is the world’s largest supervolcano … but let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about what happened in 1872, when President Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone as the world’s first national park for “the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” This was a revolutionary concept. Before Yellowstone, land was generally protected for one group: monarchs and nobles – or, as we call them today: dictators and oligarchs. The word “protected” is also questionable; often the land was set aside for hunting. Yellowstone represented something fundamentally different. Conceived within a century of America’s birth, this “national” park was a reflection of our founding ideals. It was land that belonged to the people, safeguarded for future generations. As Teddy Roosevelt put it when he visited Yellowstone in 1903, the national park idea was “noteworthy in its essential democracy.” By that time five national parks had been established, and more were on the way. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service to better manage America’s growing collection of scenic wonders. Today the agency oversees 413 locations, including 59 national parks, 84 national monuments, and 78 national historic sites. All told they cover 84 million acres – an area larger than Italy. This year, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, there’s a lot to celebrate, particularly for me. Immediately after graduating from Dartmouth College, I self-published a guidebook to Acadia National Park, which became an unlikely bestseller. I’ve been writing, photographing and publishing guidebooks to national parks ever since. The landscapes are stunning, the viewpoints are glorious, but it’s the story behind the scenery that really fascinates me. And the more I learn, the more I view national parks as America’s epic classrooms.

Today the National Park Service oversees 413 locations: 59 national parks, 84 national monuments, and 78 national historic sites. Covering 84 million acres

– an area larger than Italy.

K i l l e r v i e w s : A Na t i v e H i s t o r y In modern, urban America, it’s easy to forget about our country’s native heritage. Not in national parks, where native history is celebrated. Dozens of Native American heritage sites are protected, including Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon – arguably the two most impressive archaeological structures north of Mexico – and the official symbol of the National Park Service is an Indian arrowhead. Of course, the history of national parks, like the history of America, is stained with blood. Yosemite National Park offers one of the most dramatic examples. On March 27, 1851, a vigilante group calling itself the Mariposa Battalion became the first white men to enter Yosemite Valley. Their goal was the removal of the Ahwahneechee tribe, and they were largely successful. Amid scenes of destruction were scenes of staggering beauty. Soaring 3,000-foot cliffs sheltered half a dozen of North America’s tallest waterfalls. Low-hanging clouds drifted through the treetops. Arriving at a spot near present-day Tunnel View – a scene depicted on the cover of Ken Burns’ America’s Best Idea – one member of the group, Dr. Lafayette Brunnell, proclaimed: “I have here seen the power and glory of a supreme being … the majesty of His handy-work is in that ‘Testimony of the Rocks.’” Before they left, the Mariposa Battalion named the valley after the vanquished “Yosemite” tribe. But Yosemite was not what the Ahwahneechee called themselves. Yohhe’meti was what a neighboring tribe called the Ahwahneechee. Translation: “They are killers.” Thirteen years later, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill establishing the Yosemite Grant, which permanently protected Yosemite Valley. For the first time in human history, a piece of wilderness was protected for the public, simply because it was beautiful. Although overshadowed by inter-American bloodshed, the Yosemite Grant laid the foundation for the creation of national parks.

↗ TOP Maria Matijasevic '96 hiking by Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park.

↘ BOTTOM LEFT Hiking in

Matkatambia Canyon near the Colorado River.

BOTTOM RIGHT View from the top of Mount Conness, Yosemite National Park.



In the days before Instagram, landscape painting offered a rare glimpse of exotic destinations, and top Hudson River School artists were international celebrities. The buzz they generated led to the creation of national parks.

James Kaiser ‘95, Acadia National Park.


Artists and Influencers Decades before the idea of preserving wilderness took hold, American painters explored the transcendental qualities of nature. The idea of wilderness offering spiritual refuge seems obvious today. In the early 1800s, however, it was revolutionary. Ever since the Puritans arrived on the shores of a vast unfamiliar continent, wilderness was viewed as terrifying or an economic resource to be exploited – sometimes both. Later, during the Industrial Revolution, filthy cities displaced wilderness, and a new emotion took hold: nostalgia. In 1825, a young artist named Thomas Cole traveled up the Hudson River to paint dramatic natural landscapes. His works kicked off an artistic movement called the Hudson River School that blended wilderness, Romanticism, patriotism and God. In 1844, Cole traveled to Maine in search of new, dramatic landscapes. He found them among the bold mountains and rocky shores of Mount Desert Island. A few years later Cole’s protégé, Frederic Edwin Church, followed in his footsteps, and his paintings of what would become Acadia National Park created a frenzy among audiences in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Tourists soon flooded the island. Not to be outdone, Church’s rivals ventured West to paint the frontier. Albert Bierstadt headed to Yosemite to paint vast scenes on vast canvases (one measured 140 square feet), while Thomas Moran joined government expeditions to Yellowstone and Grand Canyon and visually chronicled their discoveries. When the artists’ paintings were displayed in eastern cities, they drew blockbuster crowds. By infusing wilderness with spirituality, the Hudson River School also forged a powerful ethos that still resonates in America today.

R e a d y - M a d e La b o r a t o r i e s At the start of the 19th century, most scientists believed Earth was roughly 4,000 years old. One hundred years later, Earth’s age was estimated at several billion years old. This tectonic shift in human thinking led to, among other things, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the discovery of Ice Ages. And some of the most important research from this golden age of science took place in – you guessed it – national parks. In 1864, Harvard professor Louis Agassiz traveled to Mount Desert Island. The Swiss-born biologist was investigating his controversial theory that, thousands of years earlier, massive glaciers covered much of the Northern Hemisphere. Viewing the scenery, he estimated the island was once buried under 6,000 feet of ice. Today, Acadia National Park offers some of the world’s most dramatic examples of Ice Age geology. This includes towering mountains rounded by glaciers that were – yes – thousands of feet deep and massive boulders deposited in gravity-defying positions when the ice melted.

Across the continent, John Muir applied Agassiz’s theories to his beloved Yosemite. A meticulous observer of the natural world, Muir concluded that Yosemite Valley’s cliffs were also sculpted by glaciers. Josiah Whitney, the distinguished head of the California State Geologic Survey, openly mocked Muir’s conclusion. Yosemite Valley, Whitney declared, could only have been created by a cataclysmic event, such as an earthquake. The debate grew so heated that Whitney (whose name now graces the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.) called the self-taught Muir “an ignoramus sheepherder.” But Muir’s theory ultimately triumphed. Meanwhile, in the heart of the Southwest, John Wesley Powell embarked on America’s greatest outdoor adventure. His goal was to explore the mysterious interior of Grand Canyon to “make collections in geology, natural history, antiquities, and ethnology.” The one-armed Civil War veteran, who had no whitewater experience, recruited nine men to paddle four boats down the Colorado River. Three months later, two boats emerged from Grand Canyon carrying six skeletal men (the other four had perished). Powell’s death-defying observations ushered in a wave of scientific exploration, and today Grand Canyon is arguably the most studied geologic feature on the planet. Following in Powell’s wake was C. Hart Merriam, director of the U.S. Biological Survey, who explored Grand Canyon in 1889. As Merriam ventured down the canyon, he noticed distinct communities of plants and animals living together at different elevations. At the time, the concept of ecological zones did not exist, and Merriam’s observations of what he later called “life zones” helped formed the basis of modern ecology. Today, national parks play an even more crucial role in the study of science. A century ago, most parks were surrounded by wilderness. Now many are islands of wilderness surrounded by encroaching development. Moving forward, these oases of biodiversity – “ready-made laboratories” in the words of E. O. Wilson – will become even more vital. Fortunately, the most important aspect of national parks remains unchanged: their ability to inspire wonder and curiosity. By taking full advantage of this rare virtue, we can help set the stage for the next 100 years. As Gary Machlis, the first-ever science advisor to the National Park Service director, recently said: “I don’t think there’s a single topic taught in high school science that can’t be linked to a national park.” I’d take it a step further. There’s not a single topic in any high school class that can’t be linked to a national park. Outside of Choate Rosemary Hall, there’s no place where I’ve learned more.

James Kaiser ’95 is the author of the bestselling Acadia: The Complete Guide. He has also written guidebooks to Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Costa Rica. To help celebrate the National Park Service centennial, he put together a slideshow presentation for elementary schools that coincided with Every Kid in a Park, a new initiative that gives free park passes to every fourth grader in America.


Alumni on the Cusp of the New Energy Sector

Photo credit: Sandia National Laboratories, NREL/DOE.



By Ruth WalkeR

Do you remember, several years back, when you suddenly

noticed for the first time that everyone around you – maybe on the street, maybe on your train – seemed to be talking into a cellphone? And so loud! To talk with a dozen or so Choate alumni working in various aspects of the energy field is to get the impression that the new energy sector – renewables and clean tech – is headed for a “cellphone moment” of its own. It may be there already.


Yes, fossil fuels will be with us for some time… but solar energy already employs roughly twice as many people as coal mining. Hiring is brisk in the wind sector, too. And clean tech – which helps avoid the need to burn fossil fuels –is no longer “a rounding error,” as one observer puts it. "We're definitely moving away from a carbon economy,” says Charles Sussman ’01, co-head of oil derivatives trading for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “It’s a question of how long these things” – renewables and other energy alternatives – “will take to gain widespread adoption.” He and other alumni describe, from their different perspectives, huge changes in prospect: in the way we power our economy, in the way we get around (hello, selfdriving electric cars!) and even in the way we eat. Even someone like Sussman, whose livelihood is in the oil industry, permits himself to recount how he and his wife, proud new parents of a baby daughter, found themselves musing together about her not long ago, “Will she ever have a driver's license?” A common thread through all these sectors, from the old to the new to the still-being-invented, is that the energy business has become the technology business, and the data business.

“I fell in love with the energy space, and realized I didn’t want to be just the finance guy.” –Zachary Fenton ’99

Robert Mosbacher Jr. ’69 clearly represents “old” energy. In 1949, his father, Robert Sr. ’44, founded Mosbacher Energy Company, the privately held oil and gas exploration and production company of which the son is chairman today. He’s seen what technology can do for his industry. “The business continues to get more predictable and precise,” he says. The introduction of three-dimensional seismic imaging, and more recently, so-called 4D imaging (time-lapse comparisons of 3D imaging) has been “transformational.” His own firm remains focused on conventional (vertical) oil drilling. But as a director of a publicly held firm involved in horizontal drilling, he’s been impressed at the way engineers nowadays can go after a “seam” or slice of oil-bearing rock a mere 10 to 20 feet wide, by drilling laterally for 10,000 feet. Zachary Fenton ’99 is another Choate alumnus using new technology in old energy, to get new production out of not-so-new assets. He’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UpCurve Energy in Houston. The name embodies the company’s ambition to reverse the characteristic “decline curve” so familiar from charts of well production as it declines over time. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as a way to coax hydrocarbons out of the earth has been on the scene for a few years now. The technology has continued to evolve – so fast, in fact, Fenton and his colleagues, many of them veterans of ConocoPhillips, know that a well fracked just a few years ago was likely developed “suboptimally,” as he says. And so UpCurve has found a niche refracking such


Rebellion Photonics spectral imaging cameras see and quantify dangerous gas leaks before they cause explosions or unnecessary emissions on oil rigs, refineries, and pipelines. It is a leap forward for the Oil & Gas industry which still uses outdated detectors similar to household smoke detectors. – Allison Lami Sawyer ’03 wells with newer technology at a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch. But drilling several miles beneath the surface of the earth is “like operating on the moon,” he adds. It was initially just a chance assignment that brought Fenton to Morgan Stanley’s energy group when he began his career in investment banking. But then “I fell in love with the energy space,” he says. Realizing he “didn’t want to be just the finance guy,” he went on to earn a certificate in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M and worked as a Reservoir Engineer while at ConocoPhillips. He’s not unaware that fracking is controversial. And he says, “We can’t keep consuming hydrocarbons at the same rate we’ve been doing.” But he insists that the natural gas his company produces “is a great bridge fuel for the time being” as the economy transitions to renewable energy. Allison Lami Sawyer ’03 is also in Houston, bringing new technology to old energy, but in an even more specialized way. She explains simply: “We keep explosions from happening.” Her startup, Rebellion Photonics, launched in 2009 with cofounder Robert Kester, produces what they call the gas cloud imaging camera. It uses optical technology to “read” the chemical signatures of whatever vapors it “sees” escaping from tanks or pipes at refineries and similar installations. A video clip on Rebellion’s website shows a methane leak from a bank of compressors, as captured by Rebellion’s camera: Puffs of lavender and green seep out, like pastel ghosts, and then dissipate. The explosions the camera can prevent can be catastrophic. Yet once a leak is spotted, the corrective steps needed are often as simple as screwing on a cap. But the company name, Rebellion, alludes to the “massive shift” its technology represents. Rebellion Photonics spectral imaging cameras see and quantify dangerous gas leaks before they cause explosions or unnecessary emissions on oil rigs, refineries, and pipelines. It is a leap forward for the Oil & Gas industry which still uses outdated detectors similar to household smoke detectors. Sawyer says “When we come in, it’s a really big change. It’s like turning the lights on.”

CEO and Founder of Rebellion Photonics, Allison Lami Sawyer ’03 (Photo by Jeff Wilson)


David Hurwitt ’86 has been helping provide new technology – measuring technology – for new energy. He’s vice president for global marketing and product management at Renewable NRG Systems of Charlotte, Vt. The company, he reckons, has been involved with “two-thirds of all the wind energy on the planet.” he says. Renewable NRG began in the business of what’s known as wind resource assessment. Wind farms can easily cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and “a bank wants very specific ground truth” before financing a project of that size. The company’s sensors can be placed exactly where the turbines are to go on a wind farm site to give highly accurate readings of just how much wind those exact locations get.

There are algorithm-based wind maps widely available to provide generic information, Hurwitt acknowledges. But nothing beats customized data. It helps “de-risk the investment,” he explains. The company has expanded its offerings to include systems to monitor wind turbines once they’re operational, as well as comparable sensing and monitoring devices for solar energy systems. Hurwitt joined the company in 2014 with a charge to diversify its product portfolio. His next new thing: technology to keep bats away from wind turbines, so that they don’t have to shut down during the migration season.

An American advantage: our wind farms are spread out; there’s usually wind blowing somewhere. “We’re big, but not too big to connect. As a result the variability of output can be modulated for a very reliable production of wind energy.” –Aaron P. Zubaty ’96

Wind farm in Kansas, Warren Gretz / NREL.


“We’ve reached a tipping point,” Hurwitt says, calling renewables “the inevitable future.” In late 2014, the company posted a goal “for ourselves and our industry of eventually powering our planet with 100% renewable energy,” Hurwitt wrote in a company blog post a year later. He noted, “The debate has clearly shifted from ‘if’ to ‘how and when’ the world will rely solely on clean, renewable energy.” Aaron P. Zubaty ’96 works for a company that seems to illustrate the shift from old energy to new. He’s senior vice president for renewable energy acquisitions at Map Royalty Inc., a private equity firm based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Oklahoma City. MAP’s original focus, at its founding in 1989, was natural gas. But in 2004, the company got into the wind power business, too. Zubaty’s work is to set up and build wind farms, generally utility-scale projects away from settled areas. When they’re up and running, these wind farms provide power to utilities. Zubaty ticks off the many factors that have converged over the past 20-plus years to put renewable energy “really at the tipping point”: reductions in manufacturing costs for turbines, with the tumbling costs of photovoltaic panels. Public policy decisions, such as requirements that utilities include renewable energy in their mix of power sources, are also a factor. So is all the considerable investment made to upgrading the nation’s power grid, though skeptics say much more is needed. With the “restructuring” of energy markets –with generation, on one hand, separated from transmission and distribution, on the other hand – wind farms have been able to sell their excess power to the grid, and draw on the grid when the wind isn’t blowing. The explosion of computing power of recent years has been a factor as well. Zubaty describes how he can track the cost of electricity at electrical substations all across the country in real time – from “an app on my phone.” Americans have been criticized as slow off the mark with wind power compared with Europeans. But Zubaty points to an American advantage: Germany and Portugal have tended to cluster their wind farms in one place. If the wind isn’t blowing in that place, that country loses wind power. But American wind farms are spread out; there’s usually wind blowing somewhere. “We’re big, but not too big to connect,” Zubaty says. As a result, “The variability of output can be modulated.” The result is “very reliable production” for wind energy.

And the creation of power markets, which give wind farms the capacity to buy from and sell to the grid as needed, provides wind farms the backup they need. Zubaty summarizes the biggest transformation of all: Energy is no longer about “the extraction of a resource.” Rather, “it’s the continued inexorable march of technology. Energy is going from being a resource to an implementation of technology.” Zubaty has had lots of interesting conversations about energy over the years with his friend and classmate Michael Caplan ’96, vice president at Fortistar, in White Plains, N.Y. A clean energy company, Fortistar invests in and manages energy projects that can lower carbon emissions. The company runs plants that generate electricity from landfill methane and biomass (wood waste) as well as cogeneration programs (for both electricity and heat) to get more output per unit of fuel source. The company also builds and owns compressed natural gas stations and invests in carbon capture technologies. His work is in power, gas, and environmental credit markets. It is an exciting time to be in the energy business, it’s also a time when a lot of things have not been figured out. Deregulation, or restructuring, of electricity markets is still a patchwork “and there is not a consensus on an equitable and efficient way to allocate costs of electric systems,” he says. Policies have not kept pace with changes in the costs of technologies or change in adoption. Advocates of renewables cheer when net metering lets the owners of, say, a rooftop solar array sell all their excess electricity back to their utility, perhaps to the point where they pay out nothing at all. “Solar on a rooftop may not change what the utility has to spend” to maintain the grid. “When solar was an asterisk, this didn’t matter.” But solar is no longer an asterisk. The patchwork does have some benefit, according to Caplan. “We have not determined how to balance all the interests and goals” he says “but with states using differing approaches for some elements of these policies, perhaps we will get there faster.” Storage of electricity is another element of the equation that observers stew about: what some people know as the battery problem. “When we have an economic and efficient form of storage, it will change the structure of the industry. For now, natural gas is the de facto battery. Maybe electric vehicles will be the battery in the future, we’ll see,” he says.

”Our company posted a goal for ourselves and our industry of eventually powering our planet with 100% renewable energy. The debate has clearly shifted from ‘if’ to ‘how and when’ the world will rely solely on clean, renewable energy.” – David Hurwitt ’86


The idea is to develop biomass – thus, renewable – alternatives not only for biofuels to put into your gas tank, but also green alternatives to the plastics now derived mostly from petroleum. –Peter St. John ’06

Strains of algae being grown in the algal lab in the Field Test Laboratory Building (FTLB) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Col. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL).

His classmate and wife, Lauren Garsten Caplan ’96, is doing her bit for increasing the use of renewable energy, too. She’s general counsel and chief compliance officer for Greenworks Lending, in Darien, Conn. Greenworks provides long-term financing for commercial property owners seeking to make major clean-energy upgrades. The idea is that the upfront financing lets the owners make the upgrade (i.e., increasing energy efficiency or installing solar panels) sooner rather than later, and pay back the loan out of the savings generated by the upgrade. It’s called PACE lending – Property Assessed Clean Energy. Greenworks calls it the fastest growing financing option for clean energy upgrades in the country. PACE lending is enabled by government policies that classify clean energy upgrades as a permanent public benefit, similar to a new sewer line or a road. It’s still early days. “I’m still involved in every deal,” Lauren says, and she is particularly interested in working through the variations in PACE programs across the country every time the company makes its first loan in a new jurisdiction. She's interested not just in seeing her own company do well, but in “growing the market” for this kind of lending. Meanwhile, in Middletown, Conn., John Teulings ’11 has been hard at work as an assistant project manager for Greenskies, overseeing large-scale solar energy installations for clients all around the country. “I’m in charge of a large portfolio of properties – I manage them all from my desk.” He looks forward to more technological improvements in solar panels and in solar glass. It’s a promising material, he says, but it “needs to be more efficient.” He’s also keen to see progress with batteries and energy storage – like just about everyone in the new energy business. Peter St. John ’06 is on a very different path to renewable energy – but in his work, too, it’s all about the technology and the data. He’s a postdoctoral fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. There he’s working on the “integrated bio refinery concept,” as it’s known. The idea is to develop biomass – thus, renewable – alternatives not only for biofuels to put into your gas tank, but also green alternatives to the plastics now derived mostly from petroleum. “You have to replace the whole barrel of oil,” he says. “By 2022, we’re looking to replace gasoline at under $3 a gallon.” Here’s where the technology, and specifically the computing power, come in. The idea is to find microorganisms that lend themselves to processing as biofuels. Forget your mental image of biology experiments as involving little cups chilling in the office fridge. St. John’s work is all about computer simulations to show just how bioengineered fuel sources would work.


David Hang ’94, senior vice president of D. E. Shaw & Co. of New York, a large global asset management hedge fund, is another Choate alumnus whose involvement with energy has shifted from oil and gas to renewables. His company has been developing the Block Island Wind Farm, which will be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. In August, blades were attached to the last of the five turbines that make up the farm. They are massive. Their rotors are 150 meters (492 feet) in diameter, two and a half times the wingspan of a Boeing 747. The project is expected to be operating commercially this fall, providing electricity to Block Island, in Long Island Sound, (which has hitherto made do with diesel generators) and from there to the U.S. national grid. Offshore wind farms, though harder to build than those on land, benefit from steadier winds. Hang calls the 30 megawatt project “decent-sized but not huge” and notes that it has something of the character of a demonstration project, to show that it can be done. With many of the region’s power plants 30 years old or more and coming due for replacement, Hang notes, offshore wind is an attractive option. Nathaniel H. Simons ’83 is based in the San Francisco Bay area. In 2014, Nat was named one of the World’s Top 25 Eco-Innovators by Fortune magazine. He is doing his bit for the great energy transition by investing, through a company called Prelude Ventures, in a number of clean tech startups. Among them is Heliotrope, a very early-stage company looking to make “smart windows, “which darken electronically in response to bright sunshine, dramatically cutting the heating and cooling costs of a building.” Another is Aquion Energy, which is “changing the way the world uses energy” with its “safe and sustainable saltwater batteries.” Both of these are obviously clean tech. But Simons doesn’t hesitate to place another of his companies in that realm too, even though its products serve the mining industry. Mine Sense makes sensors that attach to a steam shovel to get a read on the quality of ore it’s about to dig into. The sensors answer the question, Is this exact spot worth digging into, or not? Mining companies do research, of course, to determine whether a given tract is worth exploring, but the shovel-mounted sensors provide much more granular information. Anytime the sensors keep a steam shovel from digging in the wrong place saves energy.

“Tremendous energy is used to mine stuff,” Simon notes. “We need to mine metals, but anything that reduces the energy use of an industry is absolutely clean tech." Another of his companies is Ripple, which makes vegetable-based “milk” from yellow peas as an alternative to cow’s milk – with a much smaller carbon footprint than that of conventional agriculture. The motivation in all this is “to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.” He points out that energy efficiency is “baseload,” a continous and abiding part of the energy picture. Energy efficiency creates so-called “negawatts,” energy that doesn’t have to be produced and is far cheaper than energy generation. Clearly, clean energy’s “cellphone moment” has arrived.

Ruth Walker is a freelance journalist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“There are incremental improvements to energy efficiency being made every day, We are at much more of an inflection point than people understand.” –Nathaniel H. Simons ’83


ALUMNI ASSOCIATION choate rosemary hall alumni association mission To create, perpetuate, and enhance relationships among Choate Rosemary Hall alumni, current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and friends in order to foster loyalty, interest, and support for the School and for one another, and to build pride, spirit, and community. OFFICERS Patrick McCurdy ’98 President

New York Sheila Adams ’01 Jason Kasper ’05

Parisa Jaffer ’89 Vice President

Rosemary Hall Volunteer Needed


San Francisco


Kevin Kassover ’87

Gunther Hamm ’98

Tara Elwell Henning ’99

Colm Rafferty ’94 Washington, D.C. Annual Fund

Dan Carucci ’76

David Hang ’94

Tillie Fowler ’92

The Alumni Club of London Headmaster Alex Curtis and Choate Crew team members and their parents, who were in town for the Henley Royal Regatta, were warmly welcomed by London-based alumni. Mike Fergueson ’80, Ian Chan ’10 and Elitsa Nacheva ’08, among others, greeted them at the Royal Automobile Club on June 26. It was wonderful to be able to gather with so many members of the Choate Rosemary Hall community from around the globe.

Olivia Bee ’10 Communications Michelle Judd Rittler ’98


Kathrin Schwesinger ’02

Gunther Hamm ’98


Hong Kong

Chris Hodgson ’78

Sandy Wan ’90 Lambert Lau ’97

Regional Clubs

was a smashing success! From the captivating programs to the

Jennifer Yu ’99

spectacular events under the tent and around campus to a visit


from a 320-lb. black bear, this Reunion will not soon be forgotten.

John Smyth ’83 Carolyn Kim ’96

With more than 900 people in attendance, Reunion Weekend 2016

Ryan Hong ’89 Student Relations/ Campus Programming


Mike Furgueson ’80

Pirapol Sethbhakdi ’85

Shantell Richardson ’99

Isa Chirathivat ’96




Dan Courcey ’86

Lovey Oliff ’97 Sarah Strang ’07

Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations


Mari Jones

Shanti Mathew ’05

Director of Development and

Margaux Harrold ’06

Alumni Relations


Monica St. James

David Aversa ’91

Director of Alumni Relations


Katie Vitali Childs ’95 Leigh Dingwall ’84 London

Faculty Representative

Ian Chan ’10 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Los Angeles


Alexa Platt ’95

Susan Barclay ’85

Wesley Hansen ’98

Chris Hodgson ’78 Woody Laikind ’53

ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME A couples event: twins Linda Riefler and Barbara Riefler Hammond ‘79, teammates Tom Lenahan ‘74 and Don Tansill ’75, spouses Pam Novia Williams ‘86 and Dave Williams ’86, and Goga Vukmirovic ’96, joined by baby Remi (Class of 2034!). THE CLASS OF 1976 The class of 1976 dedicated a classroom in the Humanities Building to their legendary dean, G. Edmondson Maddox. Several moving tributes by members of the class underscored the tremendous impact of their Choate experience and lifelong friendship with Ed. AFTERNOON SESSIONS ▶ A fascinating discussion of the film industry and the challenges of translating true events to captivating films with Love and Mercy director Michael Lerner ’76 and ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary filmmaker Fritz Mitchell ’76. ▶ Led by Choate’s Director of Global Initiatives Sara Boisvert, Kwesi Dodi ’81 and Amy Lehman ’91 shared thoughts about the opportunities and challenges they face in their professional lives and in their humanitarian work in Ghana and the Lake Tanganyika regions of Africa.

▶ An overflow crowd in Getz Auditorium gave a standing ovation to Alison Fitzsimmons ’91 and Natalie Egan ’96 for sharing their journeys across genders. ▶ Headmaster Alex Curtis’ closing remarks reiterated Choate’s commitment to supporting the diversity of our student and alumni communities. ▶ The retirement of English teacher and surrogate mother to generations of Choate students Connie Matthews was celebrated at a gathering of Icahn Scholar alumni and Alumni of Color which was hosted by several student cultural clubs. Not one to draw attention to herself, Connie listened graciously as many alumni spoke of her warmth and dedication that made them feel right at home. ▶ Ultimate Frisbee alumni, students and aficionados of the game celebrated founding coach Trevor Peard at the Peard Classic. Reunion Weekend 2017 promises to be equally amazing! We hope to see you May 12-14, 2017.

★ NOMINATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED for future inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame at Choate Rosemary Hall. Please fill out the form on the Choate website under About Choate/Notable Alumni to start the process.


Reunion Weekend 2016 ’46

Trevor Peard Classic – Organized by members of Class of ’91


Alumni & Students of Color Reception


Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees



50th Reunion and Honor Guard




30 30


The truth is people like to do business with people they know, and I find that the Choate bond is one of the strongest. I love to work with people I know from my days at Choate, but even if they weren’t there when I was, I feel like I already know them. It’s a shared experience that instantly creates a feeling of comfort. AA: You mentioned that your fundamental approach to life and work

was shaped by Choate’s motto, Fidelitas et Integritas; can you speak a little about that?

Alatia Bradley Bach ’88

Everyday Networking ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Tell us a little bit about your current position

and the path you took to get there. ALATIA BRADLEY BACH: After a successful 15-year career at Condé Nast (Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker), I made the exciting yet scary transition to reinvent myself and entered the competitive world of residential real estate in New York City. In just two short years I am on an upward trajectory in sales at the Corcoran Group. When I was featured in the New York Times for a recent sale, my friends asked me how did this happen so fast? Honestly, I feel very blessed and thankful for my Choate network.

ABB: Nowadays there are lots of ways we are all connected through technology, but it creates a false sense of security. Knowing someone went to Choate, you feel secure that they learned the values of hard work, problem solving, honesty and loyalty that were instilled in all of us at Choate. AA: What should people know about successful networking? ABB: I am a connector by nature. I love to meet people and introduce them to other people who can and will help them, or that they will enjoy knowing. It is just how my mind works. I never think of it as networking, but I guess that’s what it is. I am just hard-wired to see who can add value to whom. I do it without thinking, and I love when it works. One thing to keep in mind is that networking extends beyond one’s career. Just a few years ago, I moved from the Upper East Side to TriBeCa – a wonderful place to live, but I knew no one. Then one day I noticed a woman in a store with a familiar face; we tried to place each other and then – bam! – it was Parisa Jaffer ’89, who graduated a year after me. Parisa transformed my new life. She introduced me to other moms in the neighborhood, found the best preschool for my child, and included me in all her activities. And of course she knew all the other Choaties in TriBeCa. Mary Fisher ’89 was living in the building next door to me and Ceci Kurzman ’87 is five minutes away. All of our kids went to preschool together, and we see each other often. And we have Choate to thank for our friendship.

AA: How have Choate and the Choate alumni network impacted your

career path?

AA: What are some tips for networking success that you can share with

ABB: It was my Choate network that helped me get started in the real estate business. Several years ago my best friend from Choate, Brandon Candler Tully ’88, came up from Atlanta to attend the Choate Alumni Club of New York holiday party. She reintroduced me to her sister, who is a broker in New York. And the rest is history. Soon, my dear Choate friends enlisted me to help them with their new apartment searches and sales. When it comes to my extended Choate family no deal is too small and no challenge is too big. I have helped Choaties with everything from rentals, to small investment properties to townhouses.

ABB: I believe a big key to my success is that I connect people without looking for what I will get out of it. Life is abundant; there is enough for everyone, so it’s more important to give than to receive. In terms of networking tips for others, I really believe life is a contact sport. You have to be out and about for things to happen. Be open, try new things, treat everyone with respect, be true to yourself. Choate introduced me to so many different kinds of people from all over the country. It opened my world up, and it still does.




Be part of it! SEPTEMBER 2016

25 - Dedication of a Torah Scroll, Seymour St. John Chapel OCTOBER 2016

5 - NYC - Discussion with author Maria Semple ‘82 on her latest book Today Will Be Different 20 - NYC - Gathering, Classes of 1986, 1987 and 1988 21 - LA - Discussion with author Maria Semple ‘82 on her latest book Today Will Be Different 29 - LA - Gathering, Classes of 1986, 1987, and 1988




6 – Seoul - Gathering with Director of Admission Amin Gonzalez and Headmaster Alex Curtis 8 – Beijing - Gathering with Director of Admission Amin Gonzalez and Headmaster Alex Curtis 10 – Tokyo - Gathering with Director of Admission Amin Gonzalez and Headmaster Alex Curtis 12 - Deerfield Day! Show your school spirit! 15- NYC – Special performance of “Don't You F**king Say a Word” by playwright Andy Bragen ’89, followed by a discussion of current trends in the business of theater and production. DECEMBER 2016

TBD - NYC - Holiday Party JANUARY 2017

30 – DC - Gathering for Alumni and API students FEBRUARY & MARCH 2017

TBD – Boston - Career Networking and StartUp//CHOATE event TBD – Chicago - Career Networking and StartUp//CHOATE event TBD – SF – Career Networking and StartUp//CHOATE event TBD – LA – Career Networking and StartUp//CHOATE event


APRIL 2017

Be part of Deerfield Day! Send in photos of your-

TBD – Dedication of St. John Hall Student Center TBD – Alumni Awards TBD – Sixth Form-Alumni Dinner MAY 2017

12-14 – Reunion Weekend – Classes ending in 2s and 7s and all post 50th alumni

self, fellow alumni, children and pets! Photos will be posted on the website and prizes awarded for Most Layers, Most Exotic Location, Most Creative, Most School Spirit and more! Send to


CLASSNOTES | News from our Alumni


Send Us Your Notes! We welcome your submission of classnotes or photos electronically in a .jpg format to When submitting photos, please make sure the resolution is high enough for print publication – 300 dpi preferred. If your note or photograph does not appear in this issue, it may appear in a subsequent issue, or be posted online to Alumni News on To update your alumni records, email: or contact Christine Bennett at (203) 697-2228.

1930s ’36 RH Molly Cummings Cook celebrated her 99th birthday on August 5. Molly was recently visited by Tory Townsend Roschen ’62, daughter of Rosalind Brown ’37, a classmate of Molly’s at Rosemary Hall. Writes Tory, “Molly and my mother were classmates at Rosemary Hall, and then Molly and I were classmates in art school in NYC in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Molly turned out to be such fun and a mentor for me .... so we have continued our friendship. Molly, who is still living independently, reluctantly gave up driving, but she is still creating wonderful new art, and still teaches art at Round Hill Community House in Greenwich.”


1940s ’41 C

The Choate Class of 1941 distinguished itself by becoming the first ever 75th Reunion class to participate 100% in supporting the Annual Fund. While no one was actually at school over the Reunion weekend all 11 classmates made gifts to the Annual Fund. No matter the number in the class, reaching 100% participation is a very special occasion which happens too few times. In addition, four “sweetheart” spouses contributed gifts in memory of their husbands. Many thanks to all C ’41ers, not only for your 100% participation but also for your continued interest in your school.

’46 C

John Russell writes, “We had a very nice turnout of 14 classmates and wives for our 70th reunion. Attending were Bill Crutcher (sorry Hope didn’t make it), Joe and Barbara Stafford, Dave and Phyllis Carroll, Rich and Flo Woods, Jay and Jane Stemple, John Russell, Dick Steinmetz, Tom and Es Wachtell (they have two grandchildren at Choate) and honorary classmate Jan Pike. All enjoyed a relaxed time seeing each other and especially Jay and Jane from Gloucester, Mass., who had not been back to Choate for many, many years. The size of our class has sadly reduced to just about 30, Howie Gray being the last to leave us in May 2016. Once again, our fine class reached 100% response to the Annual Fund (25 times all together). What an achievement! And many thanks from the Choate community to each and every one – 36 donors in all! See you at our 75th, with the grace of God.”

’46 RH Dorothy Montague Cholnoky writes, “Diana Dent passed away last spring. She was a devoted member of the class and served in many roles, including Head of the Day School Students. She used

to joke that one of her responsibilities was to check whether the day students were wearing their required ‘Blue bloomers!‘ After graduation, Di attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia and graduated in 1950, with a major in Spanish. She then attended Columbia University for her master’s degree in education. For many years she worked in the nursery school at the Episcopal Church in East Harlem. When her mother became ill, she returned to Greenwich and cared for her until her death. ‘Auntie Di‘ is survived by her brother, countless nieces and nephews and friends of all ages who respected and admired her kindness, generosity of spirit and dedication to the needy. We will miss her.”

1950s ’50 C

Tom Barnum and his wife, Betty, were featured in a recent issue of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios magazine inStep. “Everyone agrees that Tom and Betty are true entertainers, from having the best showcases and solos to practice party performances,” the magazine said. “They are always a great crowd-pleaser. ’It doesn’t matter how many lessons a student has taken, they always feel great dancing with Tom,’ instructor Russ Larson says.” Tom and Betty have participated in more than 150 dance competitions.

’50 RH Nancy Evans Burns writes, “I was a 5A former, a 5th former, and a 6th former. I ended up as president of the class in the 5th and 6th form years, much to my surprise. There were 36 in the class and I placed at No. 18, so I hope I represented both sides well. I was afraid of E.B.J. and Miss Wallon, loved Miss Sanders – we had N.H. in common. I learned a lot about singing from Elfrida. Mrs. Macquire warned me about my posture – and she was right! We had a good time in early morning training for basketball.

And chapel. Ah yes, chapel. Good discipline and quite calming – I really loved the experience. My years at Rosemary are treasured, for academic awakening and friends. Our class motto was Facta non verba – deeds, not words.” Marlee Turner writes, “I enjoyed the rigors of Rosemary Hall, including Virgil with Miss Ruutz-Rees and math with Mr. Twichell, who taught me to make every shot count, avoid all little errors. I live in Maine and run Northern Pines Bed and Breakfast. I enjoy people who come from a variety of backgrounds: doctors, musicians, artist, athletics, finance, etc. Guests enjoy canoeing, hiking, swimming in the lake and talking over abundant breakfast. The world comes to me!”

’51 C

Eric Seiff has been reappointed to the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in New York, where he will continue to serve as chairman. He is a charter member of this organization, to which he was first appointed in 1981. Eric is a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society. He continues his criminal, commercial, and family litigation practice with Storch Amini & Munves in NYC.

’51 RH Joan Gilbert is happy to report that she keeps in touch with classmate Didi McGhie, who lives nearby. “We take New York City by storm with some regularity: theatre, ballet and museums are at the top of our list. Three daughters and four grandkids are thriving. My granddaughter Anna Cooper (Andover alum) is an orthopedic Oncologist and grandson Kevin Cooper (Hackley alum) is an attorney. The other two are still in school in California. Daughters are with Parks Department, Clinical Psychologist and IT respectively. After 35 years as a Public Relations executive (20 of them with Texaco), I am thoroughly enjoying retirement and all the adventures not working has to offer.”

Choate Class of ’46 reached 100% participation for an astonishing 25 years of consecutive giving. Likewise, the Choate Class of ’41 distinguished itself by becoming the first ever 75th Reunion class to achieve 100% participation in support of the Annual Fund.


’52 C

Mickey Suarez writes, “This past April my wife, Yolanda, and I took a long European vacation. We rented a car in Madrid and drove to Venice. The first two nights we stayed in two ancient Paradores (Spain) as we made our way over the Pyrenees to Castelnaudary (Canal du Midi), Pont du Gard, Avignon, and to the French Riviera (Cap d’Antibes). Then, slowly to the Italian Riviera (Portofino). We visited Pisa. (It is very difficult to park near the leaning tower, but we found a spot.) Also, drove to Cinque Terra, Montepulciano, Assisi, Bologna, and on to Venice, where we boarded the ”Rhapsody of the Seas” and sailed to Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and Turkey. The ship brought us back to Venice, where we stayed three days. It was a great vacation. Planning our next trip.”

’53 C

Woody Laikind was on campus this summer with seven students from the National Urban Squash & Education Association. The partnership came about, in part, due to Woody’s efforts as former Chairman of the Board of Street Squash, a youth enrichment program based in Harlem. The summer students hailed from New Haven, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Berkeley, and Lawrence, Mass.

’55 C

Wally Nichols writes, “After many years at our home in Westport, Mass., Helga and I moved to a condo in a nearby coastal town of S. Dartmouth, Mass. Love it; what took us so long?” Barry Thors writes, “After graduation, I was employed by Lee Higginson & Co., Dominick & Dominick, Blair, Grandbury Marache, Jesup & Lamont & Co., all securities or investment banking firms. I currently live in Jacksonville, Fla., with my wonderful wife, Susan. I have five sons, three by my former wife Denyse Thors: Brandon, Geoffrey and Tyler, and two stepsons: Robert and Bryan. I retired two years ago as Managing Director of Allen C. Ewing & Co., a Jacksonville and Charlotte-based investment

banking firm. In retirement, I have taken up artistic painting. Susan and I have five grandsons and one granddaughter. We travel extensively from Alaska to the Caribbean to ports in France, Spain and through the Mediterranean. During the years I have been infrequently in contact with Wally Nichols, his brother David ’56, years ago with Sloane Griswold, Jack Austin, many years ago Orson St. John. I would very much like to hear from them again.”

’56 C

Lee Gaillard writes, “My op-ed, ’Beauty, Horror, and the Powers of Poetry,’ opened National Poetry Month in The Adirondack Daily Enterprise, followed two weeks later by my presentation and discussion of four poems from four wars (World Wars I & II, Vietnam, and Iraq) at our local library. My article urging production of an updated version of the A-10 Warthog appeared in the April 4 edition of Defense News, and on May 29, I was asked to lead the Memorial Day service at our local Unitarian Universalist Church in honor of our veterans – with a special focus on PTSD.” Bob Gaines reports: “There were 21 in attendance for our 60th Reunion. Bob Shields returned for the first time in 60 years and said, ’I am so glad you convinced me to return.’ The attendees each got a Choate gift bag with a copy of George Gamble’s book, one of Walter Forbes’ CDs, and one of David deNeufville’s personal Cowboy Joe coffee cup/maker. There was also a coveted Choate pen and note pad. At the Saturday night dinner we had two tables in the Hill House dining room at the far end by the fireplace with good food and wine which added to the merriment. Another comment, ’This was great, maybe we should get together again in New York in the fall.’”

’58 C

Bob Knisely and his wife, Susan, have 10 grandchildren. They divide their time between a house on the Severn River near Annapolis, Md., and a mountain retreat in West Virginia that’s larger than the Vatican – and may have more cardinals! Bob is failing retirement. He is on the boards of the Cacapon Institute in West Virginia and the Arundel House of Hope in Maryland. He is a volunteer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and at the Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Annapolis. He remains on the Management and Governance evaluation team for the Kennedy School’s Innovations in American Government Awards Program. He retains his lifelong interest in making government work better. See his website at He was invited to give a seminar presentation at George Washington University on “Designing Government” in May 2015, which can be seen on YouTube. Comments welcome at

’59 C

Frank Pagliaro writes, “My wife and I went to Cuba in March with National Geographic, and found the eight days fascinating. We met with teachers, politicians, TV news reporters, artists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs. We stayed mostly in Havana, but also spent three days in Cienfuegos on the other side of the island. On the way back to Havana, we stopped at the Bay of Pigs. Unfortunately, that beach landing site is now obscured by the large Bay of Pigs hotel. In late June our fourth grandchild arrived, which makes two girls and two boys. I continue to practice law, though I am trying to start to slow down and spend more time with family. I would like to suggest that instead of waiting the traditional 10 years for our Class Reunions that we move them closer together.”

LEFT Woody Laikind ’53 with

students from the National Urban Squash & Education Association who attended 2016 Summer Programs. From left, Susan P. Farrell, Associate Director of Summer Programs, Thomasine Fletcher and Eliaris Brito (New Haven, Conn.), Ariana Vazquez (Chicago, Il.), Lilian Interiano (Lawrence, Mass.), Woody Laikind ’53, Former Board Chairman, StreetSquash Harlem, Fernanda Padilla (Berkeley, Calif.), and Vaughn Bryant (Pittsburgh, Penn).


1960s ’60 C Geoff Cowan has written a well-received book on the unusual 1912 election with a focus on Teddy Roosevelt’s decision, after his retirement in 1909, to seek reelection. “Let the People Rule” was reviewed in the Winter 2016 issue of the Bulletin. Alex McFerran has bought a place in Vero Beach, Fla., joining a number of classmates who live in Florida for the winter.

LEFT Helen Elizabeth (Betsy)

O’Hara ’63 married Robert Clive Atherton of Edinburgh, Scotland The couple resides in Cornwall. RIGHT Choate ’66 classmates, from left, Tom Davis, David Holmes, Chris Born and Jim Clark traveled from San Francisco, CA; Mobile, Ala.; Providence, R.I. and Vancouver, Wash., respectively to meet at their Choate ‘66 50th reunion in May.

’60 RH Sterett-Gittings Kelsey writes, “Birthday #75 is fast approaching this year. I never thought that I would know someone so old! I am well and happy and ever so grateful for my education at Rosemary, which really did a good job of getting me ready to survive in this crazy world of fine art. Both of my children are well and happy and both of them are artists (although they know better) … and it looks like the grandchildren may very well be following in the same steps. Must be genetic …” ’61 C Dick Hull writes, “Fourteen members of the class of ’61 returned for our 55th in May. Highlights of the weekend included a presentation by Hardy Jones on his work with dolphins, a chapel remembrance service, and much camaraderie.”

’62 C John Wilkes writes, “I am currently working on a short 55th Reunion DVD to send to the classmates of ’62, which will include some of our memories from 1958 to 1962. If there are any classmates who have memories (photos, articles, memories, etc.) that they would like to include in the DVD, please send them to me at” ’62 RH Gail Hencken writes, “This spring was wonderful and unusual in many ways. Bill and I had an opportunity to catch up with Anne Marshall Henry and Dick not just once, but twice. On a separate weekend, we also saw Laurie Reynolds Asche and Peter ,whom we hadn’t seen in 10 years. For old folks we are all doing pretty well! I found myself humming ’This is it! a typical Rosemarian’ for days. Do you remember that song? Do they still sing it? It is so strange, but we are a resilient lot. We moved last August. We downsized again to our little renovated swamp shack on Lake Kilarney in Winter Park, Fla. We are now next door to our son, daughter-in-law and three of our six grandchildren. The address? No kidding 2431 Lotafun Ave.” Susan Huberth writes, “I had great fun at two graduations this spring; 1 from high school Tampa Prep…my son Spencer will attend Stanford in the fall. His big sister, Taylor, just graduated from Stanford … whooped and hollered at her commencement in June.”


’63 C

Chris Dewey writes, on the passing of his classmate Rig Reese, “Rig touched my life, I am sorry for me that I never had the chance to tell him, ”Bud, we were friends once and I am happy we were. I want to repeat a thought that Rod Berens gave me some years ago, which is, he said while walking to dinner with our sons after a day of Fall fishing on Montauk, ”Chris, today has been great, so easy to talk to you, even though we haven’t talked in some years, today has been easy, fell right back into our old friendship.” Rig, I am so sorry I wasn’t able to say that to you. But my friend, what I want to say to others in our class, especially Bit, Robin, Rod, Mike, Jack, Bobby P, and many others is, I love every moment of life, and I think fondly of our shared experience at Choate.”

’63 RH Margo Heun Bradford moved to Kittery, Maine at the end of June, and is happily settling in to her new home. In October, she and her sister will go on a much-needed relaxing river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Margo and Margo Melton Nutt had a grand time in England this Spring. Two weeks in and around the Cotswolds, visiting glorious gardens and historic homes. They spent an afternoon with Donna Dickenson, whose major news is the roaring success of her son’s play in London’s West End. Rozzie Chubb Davis and her extended family rented a house in Roussillon, Provence for a month this summer. It was a busy spring for Penny Griffith Dix, with the arrival of her eighth granddaughter, Aaliyah, then graduation of daughter Heather’s eldest child, Madeline, from high school and Penny’s husband’s 50th Trinity College reunion. Penny and Dennis took a trip to Newfoundland with Canadian friends at the end of June, where they saw lots of icebergs and puffins and whales. Doreen McClennan Gardner spent much of last spring preparing for and recovering from husband Michael’s knee replacement surgery. Her sister, Christine (Ki) McClennan RH ’65, visited for about a month last July to celebrate her retirement. Doreen and Michael have planned a fall trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon in honor of the National Park Service 100th birthday. Angela Treat Lyon is still writing and publishing her books; drawing and creating coloring books; painting, and carving stone sculpture. She has a new granddaughter, Kira Rose Osborne; this makes four grandkids now. Chris Murray McKee mostly retired last spring. She is keeping her real estate license and has a few potential clients she wants to work with, but the stress of being always “on” is alleviated. And she is able to travel and enjoy her grandkids in Denver and Asheville, N.C. Son Ethan and his family are about to move to Qatar, where daughter-in-law Carolyn will teach science in middle and high school for two years.

Cindy Skiff Shealor and husband Bob went on a Baltic cruise this summer. St. Petersburg was a highlight, but they also returned to Elsinore, Denmark, where Cindy had spent the summer of 1964 as an exchange student. Betsy O’Hara Stiefvater and Clive Atherton were married on May 7 in Cornwall, England where they live. In June, they did a tour of New England, visiting Alice Chaffee Freeman and Reeve Lindbergh Tripp. Reeve writes: “We enjoyed a beautiful Vermont summer, hot days and thunderstorms notwithstanding. The first cutting of hay is in, thanks to the help of a couple of local teenagers. Our own children having done this for many years have grown up and fled, and the grandchildren are too young to get involved. We and the haying equipment get older every year, but we’re still having fun and the sheep are still hungry, so on we go. We had a wonderful visit from Betsy and Clive. We liked him so much, and Betsy never changes, whatever changes there may be in her life. It was a joy to be on her list of friends to visit – lots of good talk and laughter, news of family and friends exchanged, and Clive bravely helped to transfer our hens from their winter quarters upstairs in the barn to their downstairs summer home in the dead of night (less squawking – though not much less). We hope to see Olivia Hall Van Melle Kamp later in the summer. Sadly, she has just lost her mother, a very hard time.” The class sends its condolences to Olivia.

’65 C Jordy Newell writes, “I just got back from a second trip to Greece doing volunteer medical aid for Syrian refugees. This time we worked in the camps near Thessaloniki. There are currently 64 refugee camps in Greece. Average camp size is about 800 people. We treated about 50 patients a day. The refugees are mostly living in tents inside abandoned warehouses which is an improvement over Idomeni, where they were sleeping outside in the mud.” This is Jordy’s team’s second trip to Greece. They also helped in Nepal following that country’s 2015 earthquake.

should be viewed as having a clean slate with no prior judgement as to the circumstances that led to their injuries. I will continue seeing patients nonoperatively and educating residents and fellows as the Intrepid Heroes Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Brown. The title was chosen by the person who endowed the chair to honor those who have served in the military, particularly those who have been in harm’s way and who have sustained injury or who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. I will also continue as the Director of the Weiss Center for Orthopedic Trauma Research, looking at ways to mitigate operative infections and promote fracture healing.” Peter Hovey writes, “Our 50th was great! To next year’s Class ’67, you’ll regret it if you miss it. Our Class of ’66 gift of an ’old English fireplace bench’ was installed in the Andrew Mellon Library as a tribute to our appreciation of the Choate experience. I made the bench.” Dave Tracy writes, “Cathy and I became grandparents for the first time on May 27, when our daughter gave birth to Amelia Catherine Harvey. Everyone is doing well, and we are totally enamored by Amelia.” Jordy Newell ‘65 (in center, wearing red) is part of a team doing volunteer medical aid for refugees in Greece.


’65 RH Classmates Wesley Cullen Davidson, Lesley Hencken Starbuck, and Kathleen Ketcham Wikowitz had dinner together in NYC to celebrate Kathy’s recent birthday.

’66 C Christopher T. Born, M.D. writes, “I have decided to put away the scalpel and leave the operating room after 37 years of being on active orthopedic trauma call at academic Level I trauma centers in Philadelphia and Providence, R.I. It’s been a great run, and I have had more fun and excitement than I should ever have been entitled to. I have had the opportunity to participate in the surgical education of several hundred orthopedic residents and fellows. I have tried to teach them that the vagaries of the human condition are such that every new patient

“I just got back from a second trip to Greece doing volunteer medical aid for Syrian refugees. This time we worked in the camps near Thessaloniki.” –JORDY NEWELL


’73 TOP Susan Kraus Nakamura

’68 is living in North Salem, N.Y. where she raises and shows winning champion Vizslas under the name of Suzu Vizslas. BOTTOM Patricia White Hynd ’88 and Noel Hynd ’66 attended the 41st Festival de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France in January.

RIGHT Jim Beloff ’73 traveled with the Choate Rosemary Hall Orchestra in June on a 10-day tour of Germany and Austria. Maestro Philip Ventre included Jim’s ukulele concerto in a program of Mozart, Strauss, Beethoven and Brahms.

’66 RH Leigh Johnson Yarbrough writes, “Last April, I spent a fabulous week in Puerto Morelos, Mexico with my sister, Lucina Johnson Lewis ’64 . We were also joined by two of her sons and their families, as well as my younger sister. A festive week for sure, as we all helped Tina celebrate her birthday. In May, I was fortunate enough to be in Wallingford to take part in our 50th Rosemary Hall Reunion! The weekend was such fun, with plenty of fascinating activities planned to keep us busy. Catching up with classmates was indeed the highlight of the reunion. Our last day was spent in Greenwich, with a tour of the former Rosemary Hall campus, followed by a wonderful lunch at the home of Carolyn Wiener.” ’67 RH Helen Truss Kweskin writes, “I have just retired after 45 years of teaching high school English at the King School in Stamford, Conn. Four young grandchildren (three in Burlington, Vt., and one in NYC) will keep us busy. I also remain actively engaged in the NGO that I started back in 2008, Rwanda: One Hill At A Time, Inc., whose mission is to support the needs of orphanages and schools in post-genocide Rwanda. Looking forward (with some disbelief) to our 50th reunion.”

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Jed Wheeler collaborated with Rosemary Hall alumna Page Allen ’69, whose contemporary illuminated manuscript, ”Madison’s Descent,” Jed transformed into a masque with musical composition by Michael O’Suilleabhain, puppetry by Michael Curry (of “The Lion King” fame) and choreography by

“My wife, Liz, and I had a wonderful time on the 10-day tour of Germany and Austria with the Choate Rosemary Hall Orchestra.” –JIM BELOFF David Bolger. ”Madison’s Descent” is the story of a baby’s journey down the river to her life. The choral version was recently broadcast on RTE in Dublin.

’68 RH Susan Kraus Nakamura reports, “After living in Japan for 20 years, I have been back stateside for 19 years. I live in North Salem, N.Y. where I raise and show top winning champion Vizslas under the name of Suzu Vizslas. This is a great way to take care of the empty nest syndrome. I am also very proud to announce the birth of my grandson Evin Hajicek, now 2½.”

’69 RH Ann Singleton Davis, although she’s not quite ready for retirement, has stopped working temporarily, ”a poor working environment” being her impetus. Until she finds a happier one she intends to travel and visit friends. Elise Hume Papke and her lawyer husband, David, are taking the whole family to Hong Kong this fall. They will be co-presenting a paper they have written on the law and public health.

1970s ’70 C John Faber’s daughter, Hadleigh, placed first overall for her solo in the All Star division age 15 of the ”Star Power National Championship” dance competition held in Orlando, Fla., last July.

Geoff Smith writes, “I retired on July 15, 2016, after 12 years as dean of college and gap-year advising at a private high school in San Francisco (which had followed 24 years of college and university admissions work in both San Francisco and Vermont). My wife and I plan to do some traveling over the next 10 months, in the U.S. and abroad. We hope the city will allow us to do some minor renovations to our home in San Francisco, though I’m told it can take up to two years to get a permit for the work, so we’ll see how that goes.” Todd Staub has been named senior vice president, physician relations, of OptumCare, a national company that manages medical practices. A founding member of ProHealth Physicians in Connecticut, Todd practiced as a primary care physician for more than 30 years. He earned his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and completed his residency and internship in Internal Medicine at Cornell New York Hospital. He lives in Litchfield, Conn., with his wife; they have three children.

’72 C Byron Haskins writes, “I retired on July 30 from my position of Director of Training and Policy Support in the Office of Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration. This ends a six-year commute between Lansing, Mich. and Baltimore. This also ends a government service career that began in 1979 and included working as a state hospital forensic mental health therapist, a disability examiner, various state and federal government man-


TOP Former Secretary of State

BOTTOM Edward ’74 and Cam

Hillary Clinton and Chip Forrester ’73 at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee where the Secretary made remarks about the Affordable Care Act and its impact of wellness in the U.S.

Lanphier are the proud grandparents of Oakley W. Lanphier who is wearing one of the sweaters knit in 1956 by Peggy St. John for Edward and his twin brother Robert ’74.

agement positions, including Director of the Michigan Disability Determination Service and the position I have left. I’m enjoying a summer of gardening and supporting local and national Democrats. I plan to practice as a counseling psychologist and personal coach in my third act.”

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Chip Forrester co-hosted the very first Nashville, Tenn., fundraiser for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign; the event raised more than $500,000 for the campaign. He also accompanied the former Secretary of State to the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, (the oldest historically black college & university – HBCU – medical school in the nation) where she made remarks about the Affordable Care Act and its impact of wellness in the U.S. Stanley Ross writes, “Last summer, I was ’retired’ from the banking profession after 34½ years. We are moving to the UK (no comments as to timing of Brexit, please) so our daughters can finish their secondary schooling in a multicultural environment, and have the opportunity to remain in Europe with EU opportunities should they choose.” George Whipple was featured in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s podcast series “Our City. Our Story” on July 8. George takes listeners from the morning of 9/11, when he watched the attacks from his office in Midtown, to his first visit to the Memorial and Museum. He recounts covering Robert Di Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival as it morphed from an attempt to bring business back downtown to an international artistic showcase. The podcast is available at:

A Continued Legacy Is it time to take your required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA? Have you considered taking advantage of the IRA charitable rollover? If you are age 70 ½ or older, you can transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to Choate Rosemary Hall. IRA charitable rollovers count toward your minimum distribution, but they don’t count as income for federal tax purposes. Consider a direct transfer from your IRA to Choate today!

The William Gardner & Mary Atwater Choate Society Named for the founders of both Rosemary Hall and The Choate School, honors individuals who have remembered the School in their estate plans through charitable bequests, trusts, or other provisions. With more than 400 members, The Choate Society represents a substantial investment in future generations.

For more information, please contact Barry Tomlinson at (203) 697-2071 or


’75 C Don Austin writes, “This winter, I was on a flight from Newark to Miami settling in to my commodious economy seat when the friendly pilot’s voice came over the intercom and introduced Captain Bob Clyman. After arrival in Miami, I stopped at the cockpit to check to see if the captain was my Choate classmate and was delighted to have a friendly conversation with Bob, who now lives north of Miami. As for me, I just finished my ninth year as head of Newark Academy in Livingston, N.J. Life is busy and full. The challenges of running an independent school keep me on my toes, as do my two sons in college and my oldest, who recently graduated.” Richard Roberts writes, “My wife, Andy, and I continue to run and grow our wholesale book company, Book Country Clearing House, located in Pittsburgh, Pa. Our daughter, Brooke, is entering her

’77 C

senior year at SMU in Dallas, and our son, Jack, just wrapped up his senior year at St. Lawrence University, where he captained the Saints Men’s lacrosse team to the NCAA quarterfinals and was also a two-time All-American and Scholar All-American on the team.”


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James Olcott writes, “I am spending the summer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, where I grabbed an SAP IT project with the good people at Cooper Standard Automotive. Also continuing to work on my book, where excerpts can be previewed at All classmates welcome to reach out to me if they suffer mechanical breakdown while in the area.”

’76 RH Maggie Moffitt Rahe will assume a new position at Christ and Holy Trinity Preschool in Westport, CT teaching four-year-olds in the SUN class! I’ve connected with several Rosemary Hall gals this summer: Annie Lewis Drake, Ginny Perry Worcester, Liz Flavin, and Allison Peck Hughes on my visit to Martha’s Vineyard in July.

Jonathan M. Lincoln writes, “After 11 years at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, I was recently appointed Associate Provost for Curriculum & International Education and Professor of Environmental Science at William Paterson University in Wayne, N. J.”

’77 RH Gail H. Capelovitch writes, “I know everyone is aware of the fact that next year will be our 40th Reunion. I will definitely be going, coming in from St. Louis, and would love to see as many of my classmates as possible, especially those of you who live within a short drive of Wallingford! For those of you who are not aware, there is a CRH ’77 Facebook page should you wish to join. This is a BIG one, gang, so I am planting the seed now! I look forward to seeing each and every one of you next Spring!”

Craig Kramer was appointed the first-ever Mental Health Ambassador for healthcare company Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he’ll be working with leaders from the fields of medicine, patient advocacy, education, youth organizations, law enforcement, the military, and business to eliminate stigma, raise awareness, and improve treatment and outcomes. ”I know from personal experience that mental illness is much more common than we think,” he says, “and yet few of us get the care we need because of the stigma and lack of resources.” Sally C. Morton has been named dean of the College of Science of Virginia Tech. She was previously a professor and chair in the Department of Biostatistics in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. A statement from Virginia Tech said Sally “has a strong record of research and scholarship and brings great strength in her collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to programs, research, and leadership.” In 2015, she was honored with the American Statistical Association’s Founder’s Award and was the Lowell Reed Invited Lecturer for the American Public Health Association’s Applied Public Health Statistics Section.

LEFT Easter in Darien, Conn., at

the home of Eric Brown Propper ’76. From left, Chris Backes ’73 (with granddaughter Regan Miller), Eric Brown Propper ’76, Ted Backes ’77, Katie Propper ’78, Trip Propper ’12, Mason Propper ’16 and Austin Propper ’19.

RIGHT Jeffy Emerson ’79 with the Red Hot Cowles, 2014 Silver Medalists at Lake Placid Pond Hockey Tournament Co-Ed Division. Back row, from left, Louisa Cowles Hayes ‘83, Teddy Cowles Love, Jeffy Cowles Emerson ‘79, and Karen Cowles Berkley ’78. Front row, from left, Bob Cowles ‘82 and Gordy St. John ’80.

’79 Dr. Sally C. Morton has been named Dean of the College of Science of Virginia Tech.



Miles Spencer

From left: Raynel Gonzalez Irure, Miles Spencer ’81, Ruben Rosquete Toledo, and Laura Gutierrez Farinas

Mentoring and the Future of Tech In 2014 Grand Central Tech (GCT), New York’s flagship tech accelerator, hit the ground running, offering office space to 18 promising startups in financial tech and other industries. In addition to workspace, the program also began pairing startups with recent high school graduates to work as technology and marketing interns, giving young would-be entrepreneurs hands-on experience. Fourteen Choate alumni have participated in the program since its inception and, for the second consecutive year, young Cuban technologists sponsored by the not-for-profit Innovadores Foundation, co-founded by angel investor and innovator Miles Spencer ’81, are also in the mix. Five GCT interns visited campus this summer: Choate alumni Nick Curcio ’13 and Gabriela Flax ’13 and Cuban interns Laura Gutierrez Farinas, Raynel Gonzalez Irure, and Ruben Rosquete Toledo. Nick, a junior at Brown University, had taken a course in cybersecurity and was placed with VALC Enterprises, a financial tech startup with a focus on veterans, where he worked as an analyst. Gabriela, a junior at St Andrews with a major in Arabic and economic geography, worked for Related Noise, a digital marketplace for e-commerce retailers. The Cuban interns, who collaborated on projects for the startup Code to Work, hope to take their newly acquired skills back to Cuba to infuse the tech startup culture there. What has amazed Ruben most about the United States is “how everything is linked up to the internet.” He explains, “In Cuba the telecommunications industry is state-owned, and accessible only in public parks and hotels at roughly the cost of $2 per megabyte.” When they were not taking in the sights, they made the most of free internet and downloaded coding tutorials, something they do not have easy access to at home. Laura occasionally stayed up until 4:00 a.m. so that she could do research on the internet. For some of the Cubans, internet accessibility seemed almost as exciting as being in New York. All of the GCT interns agreed that peer-to-peer learning in a startup space is invaluable. Says Nick, “In the future, I’d like to work in tech, so the Grand Central Tech program was an amazing experience. Choate has given me so much, and it continues to be an incredible resource.” Gabriela hopes to write her senior dissertation on the role of accelerators in the startup ecosystem so the summer’s firsthand experience proved to be invaluable. Another advantage of working at an accelerator, says Gabriela, was “actually getting to meet the people behind the startups who are helping to define the company culture.”

For his part, Miles – who initiated the career networking LinkedIn group Start Up//Choate online in 2013 making it possible for Choate interns to participate in GCT – was thrilled to provide the mentoring and stage for this to happen. Miles reflects: “We bring these interns in, we welcome them at the airport, but you know, 17- to 21-year-old interns from Havana – while they’re fine being greeted by a 53-year-old Choate grad, there’s nothing quite like 19- to 21-year-old Choate interns to show them what the city’s really like. The Choate alums, in turn, experience a magical thing through the Cubans’ eyes. It’s been a phenomenal experience for both sides.” He adds, “The Innovadores interns who have returned to Havana have formed the nucleus of a group of young entrepreneurs. Raynel, one of the interns, has co-created a Cuban version of the Uber app. About a hundred more kids all depend on us for internet access … we send tablets down there, technology resources on a regular basis, and we’ve been finalizing the agreement with the government for the actual physical incubator at the Ludwig Foundation, one of only five permitted NGOs in Cuba; they have an arts organization and have been allowed to redefine art as science, technology, engineering, art, and math.” And as Ruben reminded his fellow interns many times this summer, “Cuba has one of the highest education rates in the world with some of the most intelligent technical minds in the world. If we can do all of that with limited internet and resources, imagine what we will be able to do once we are fully interconnected.” Nurturing opportunities for both young Americans and Cubans to transform the future of tech into an imagined world where there are no walls – only bridges of mutual cooperation – is no small feat. An added benefit says Miles, “As more Cuban interns have the opportunity to visit the Choate campus, more people in Havana now know where Wallingford is!”

Miles Spencer’s work with the Innovadores Foundation was featured in the July 2016 issue of Greenwich Magazine.


1980s ’80 Liz Goulian Kahle and Jeff Kahle traveled to England to see their son Jay Kahle ’16 row for Choate in the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. They were able to connect with Mike Furgueson, who lives in London. Doug Karlson is now working as Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Sea Education Assoc./SEA Semester, in Woods Hole, Mass., and having a great time. He loves SEA and really enjoys his new job. Michael Lewyn is returning to NYC and Touro Law Center (where he taught from 2011-14). He will live in the Murray Hill neighborhood. David R. Martin writes that he authored Puerto Rico’s Future Entertainment Economy (CreateSpace 2016). It is a follow-up to his 2013 book Puerto Rico: The Economic Rescue Manual. This follow up work provides more detail and support for the entertainment economy that should serve as the basis of the island’s economic revival and proud international identity. The cornerstone of the book’s proposal involves the building of an entertainment city on the site of former U.S. Naval Base Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba. ’81

Pat Gaughan, uncle to Peyton Gaughan ’18, reports that he has been promoted to Assistant Dean of Global Programs at the University of Akron School of Law. After Choate, Pat graduated from Columbia (BA ’85), UVA Law (JD ’89), Trinity College Dublin (MBA ’97), and Cleveland State (DBA ’15). Pat currently has a primary appointment in the University of Akron School of Law with a secondary appointment in the College of Business. His promotion to Assistant Dean focuses on partnerships with universities throughout Asia. He is in the process of finalizing agreements with schools in Hanoi and DaNang. Anyone with contacts to other schools throughout Asia (or just wanting to say “hi”) are welcome to contact him at Tara Crowley Knapp writes, “I am starting my 14th year at Gaylord Hospital, where I am Vice President for Development, Public Relations and Marketing. My husband, Bill, and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past October and our son, Christopher (Choate ’12), graduated from MIT in June. I am a Trustee at the Independent

Day School in Middlefield, where I serve as chair of the Development Committee. I am also on the Wallingford Historic Properties Commission and have been a ’crew mom’ for both Chris’ Choate and MIT crew teams. This past November I was named Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Connecticut and Fairfield Chapters. On May 12th I received the Hartford Business Journal’s Women in Business Award.” Michael van der Veen has been elected to the board of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. His practice focuses on personal injury, plaintiff and criminal defense. He has been chairman of the board of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Diabetes Association, was active on the local YMCA board, and was on the board of the Montgomery School. A 1985 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Michael earned his law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 1988.

“Great things happen at the end of your comfort zone.” – ALEXANDER VON CRAMM, SUMMIT OF MT. EVEREST MAY 23

TOP Liz Goulian Kahle ‘80,

Jeff Kahle ‘80, Jay Kahle ‘16, and Mike Furgueson ‘80 at the Henley Regatta. LEFT Doug Karlson ’80, Marketing & Communications Coordinator ar Sea Education Association, went on a short


cruise in the waters off Massachusetts and Rhode Island aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. RIGHT Michael T. van der Veen ’81 was elected to the Board of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.


CLASSNOTES | Profile Ronna grew up in a close-knit community in Hong Kong, along with her brothers, William, who attended Lawrenceville, and Ronald ’91, who died in 2010. Although her parents didn’t expect her to follow William to boarding school, Ronna became frustrated with her school’s practice of funneling students into either an arts or a science concentration. On the recommendation of a family friend, she submitted an application to Choate, sight unseen, and didn’t set foot on campus until orientation. “What welcomed me was the PMAC,” she recalls. “I remember thinking to myself as my mom drove, “Wow! This is a high school?” Life in a new context suited Ronna, and she found her perception of herself as a student shifting. While she’d never considered herself strong in mathematics, Choate’s small classes and style of teaching drew out her enthusiasm. Ronna eventually became a math tutor and a member of the math team. “The whole Choate experience was such a life-transforming experience for me,” she says. “Basically, every teacher was nurturing, and built my confidence, regardless of the subject.” While at Choate, Ronna spent a term in France, and then, as a student at Brown University – where she majored in International Relations – she spent a year in Tokyo, at Keio University. She lived with a family in the city, and discovered the difference between classroom and applied learning. Although she’d done well in Japanese at Brown, once she arrived in Tokyo, “I realized that what I had learned was not at all practical Japanese,” she recalls. Instead, she found instruction through “daily grocery trips, cooking, eating, laundry, dog-walking with my homestay mom.” After college, Ronna moved to New York to work at Goldman Sachs and then at Tommy Hilfiger, until she left to pursue an MBA at Stanford. That degree obtained, she finally moved back to Hong Kong, where she joined the Novel Group, a textile business owned by her family. She is now the managing director of Novel Investments Limited, the family investment office for the business and its shareholders. When her parents launched the Bai Xian Education Foundation in 2013 (the Institute was founded in 2014 to implement the AFLSP, which is funded by the Foundation), Ronna stepped in to the CEO role. Fifty-three scholarships – up to $25,000 a year for two years in pursuit of either an undergraduate or graduate degree – were granted its first year, and 103 scholars were expected to enroll in the 2016-2017 year. In addition to their studies, many of the scholarship recipients participate in a range of activities meant to deepen their immersion in the host country. And all scholars take part in a three-week summer program that helps establish relationships between students studying in different countries, enhancing the students’ experience. In the 2016 summer session, Ronna enlisted her classmate Danny Goldfield, a photographer and filmmaker, as a speaker (see p. 47). “At Choate, I was encouraged to think critically and express my views freely, knowing full well that there are other views that may be valid as well,” Ronna says. She aims to foster similar relationships among the scholarship students. These relationships, “built when people are young, more open-minded, more inquisitive, more willing to accept and embrace differences,” she says, create “even better connections when these young people become leaders in their respective fields and industries later on in life.”



Ronna Chao



Building Bridges Across Cultures The typical experience of studying abroad – immersion in a foreign culture, language, and style – lasts a handful of months. Not so for Ronna Chao ’85. Raised in Hong Kong, she left home at 15 for Choate Rosemary Hall. She didn’t return to live in her native city for 14 years. During that time, she lived in Connecticut, France, Rhode Island, Japan, New York City, and California. “These experiences taught me the value of differences and the importance of respecting and embracing them,” she says. Now, Ronna helps make such experiences accessible to others in her role as chair and CEO of Bai Xian Asia Institute, a non-profit organization founded by her father, Ronald Chao. The Institute’s Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP), which launched in 2013, sends students to partnering universities and provides summer programs and other enrichment activities. In the past two years, 148 students – predominantly from China, Japan, and Korea, but also from Afghanistan, Iran, Cambodia, India, Mongolia, and other countries – have enrolled at 16 universities across Asia under the auspices of AFLSP. “We are about building bridges across cultures and nurturing future leaders,” Ronna says. “There are a lot of top Asian universities, and we believe that, in the 21st century, it is really important for everyone, especially Asians, to understand Asia.”

By Andrea Thompson Andrea Thompson is the co-author, with Jacob Lief, of the book, I Am Because You Are.



Class of 1987 alums – Robin Sparkman and John White

Continuing the Conversation:


THE CLASS OF ’87 COMES TOGETHER Choate Rosemary Hall ’87 classmates John White, Robin Sparkman, and Vanessa Brown don’t need to wait until their 30th reunion in May 2017 to come together. Their careers have come to intersect at StoryCorps, the revolutionary oral history project founded by radio veteran Dave Isay in New York City in 2003. StoryCorps captures conversations, bringing ordinary Americans into dialogue and recording their exchanges. One copy of the conversation goes home with the participants; another is collected in the Library of Congress as part of a growing archive of American voices and stories. The facilitator is there to enable the conversation, assist with technical support, and guide participants as they navigate what is often an emotional experience. The opportunity to record is open to everyone, but StoryCorps also solicits stories through a host of different initiative projects, including StoryCorps OutLoud, focusing on the LGBTQ community; Military Voices, collecting the experiences of American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the September 11 Initiative, dedicated to recording at least one story for each life lost in the attacks. John White was the first to join the team, in 2007, as a facilitator. He toured the country with the StoryCorps Mobile Booth as part of the then newly established Griot Initiative. The stories of African-American life are now the largest collection of its kind, and will be a cornerstone archive for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening in D.C. this September.

Now a StoryCorps producer, John edits and selects stories for the weekly NPR Morning Edition broadcast. The Friday conversations represent the full spectrum of human experience, tackling the most difficult topics, and often bringing listeners to tears. “We try not to tell the same story twice,” John says. “It’s my job as a producer to find new and interesting stories.” He seeks out the narratives that get overlooked elsewhere. “I’m interested in African American stories that don’t make the headlines,” he says. “I’m interested in shrinking industries. I’m working on a story right now about steel workers in Ohio. They’ve gone from 16,000 in the last 10-20 years to a workforce of 1,400.” StoryCorps is John’s first foray into audio, but his interest in storytelling is longstanding. He studied theater with Paul Tines at Choate, and focused on playwriting as a Hampshire College undergraduate. English class with Watson Lowery helped him to fall in love with language. “I still reflect on those days and the lessons I learned there in the work that I do today,” he says. In February 2015, John recorded a particularly meaningful StoryCorps conversation between White House intern Noah McQueen and President Barack Obama. When John recalls the interview, it’s not the remarkable setting, or the star power of the President that emerges as the magical element. “That conversation was really about the young man in the interview, and his ability to be himself,” John said. McQueen had come to the White House as part of the President’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program, designed to bring opportunity and mentorship to young men of color.


In the room with John during the White House conversation was Choate classmate Robin Sparkman, who had just joined StoryCorps as the organization’s first CEO a year earlier. Robin, like John, was first attracted to StoryCorps’ mission as a storyteller. A career journalist, Robin’s interest in the news began at Choate, where she served on the paper for four years, and was editor-in-chief. After graduating from Wellesley College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Robin worked for many years as a reporter and editor, a career that ultimately brought her to The American Lawyer as editor-in-chief. There, she took particular pride in covering global pro bono work, and in her free time became a board member of the nonprofit Union Settlement, an organization devoted to the needs of East Harlem since 1895. “I loved it,” Robin says. “I was really happy, and I was starting to think, maybe I’d like to play a real senior role at a non-profit in my next job, because journalism had been fantastic to me, but I thought that there were a lot of other things that I could do that might be even more meaningful.” The StoryCorps leadership position proved a perfect match. “It’s extremely rewarding to me,” Robin says. “One of the best things about my job is that it’s incredibly varied.” The organization has grown tremendously from its early days, venturing into a number of new areas. Stories are now shared visually, through animation;

The impromptu meeting revealed a shared understanding of the importance of stories. For Vanessa, the doctor-patient dialogue is a central, sacred aspect of her work as a physician. It’s a perspective she was awakened to as a medical student at UCLA. “It was during my internal medical rotation when my attending said, ‘You are the keeper of your patients’ stories.’ Ninety percent of diagnoses in medicine can really be made by the history and physical. All the imaging, all the tests, are really trying to narrow down the last 10 percent,” she says. “That really was an imprint on the rest of my medical life.” Robin suggested that Vanessa might want to join the StoryCorps board, and Vanessa leapt at the opportunity: “The reason why I like medicine, and why I like the law, is because I love peoples’ stories.” Vanessa had gone to law school to become a better advocate for her patients; her devotion to them often begins in dialogue. “You’re trying to use every bit of medical knowledge, all the stories you’ve heard from colleagues, stuff you’ve read in journals, and you’re trying to pull all that in to try to help this person. And they’re trying to give you everything they can think of – like when the pain started, and how to describe the pain,” Vanessa says. “It’s this stepwise way where you’re trying to get to the truth and what’s going on.” As a board member, Vanessa has been part of conversations about new venues StoryCorps might explore. “We’ve talked about

“At Choate, there was this feeling that even though you’re in tiny Wallingford, you are connected to the world at large and you’d better use the education and resources you’re being given to help the world.”  they are collected in print, across five bestselling book collections. National outreach continues. At the time we spoke, the mobile recording booth was stationed in Providence, R.I., for the month. The organization has been recognized by the MacArthur Foundation, and in 2015 Dave Isay was named the recipient of the $1,000,000 TED Prize, an award that allowed StoryCorps to launch the StoryCorps App, a tool that allows anyone to record their stories from home. As CEO, Robin plays a part in all projects, including StoryCorps U, the education program founded in 2009. The curriculum uses StoryCorps stories to develop social and emotional learning, targeting underserved public school students in six cities nationally. “It’s been a very interesting program for us,” Robin says. “I was just at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, and the principal was talking about how she thought the program had changed the nature of the school. She said it had improved school cohesiveness, and it helped kids with their vision of who they could be.” StoryCorps’ ambition is undiminished, and as the staff plan for the future, they work in collaboration with a diverse board of directors, a group that now includes former classmate Vanessa Brown. Robin and Vanessa reconnected at the Darien Library in Connecticut, where Robin was presenting on StoryCorps, and Vanessa – a Connecticut resident and Stamford Hospital Emergency Room doctor – was studying for her law degree.

whether or not we’d ever look at the stories of health care workers, or whether or not hospitals might want StoryCorps to come in and tell the stories of their patients,” she says. John, Robin, and Vanessa have taken their own paths to StoryCorps, but all three were marked by the Choate experience in ways that may help to explain why their stories have become interwoven. “I thought that Choate had a really good sense of noblesse oblige,” Robin says. “There was this feeling that even though you’re in tiny Wallingford, Connecticut, you are connected to the world at large and you’d better use the education and resources you’re being given to help the world.” To learn more about StoryCorps, visit

By Lindsay Whalen ’01 Lindsay Whalen ’01 is a writer and editor based in New York City. While an editor at Penguin Press, she assisted in the publication of several StoryCorps collections.


“I will make sure our voices aren’t just heard, but that they are effective and that we empower athletes around the world to do the same.” –ANGELA RUGGIERO, CHAIR OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE ATHLETES’ COMMISSION

’82 Adam Greene writes, ”I joined Episcopal School of Jacksonville (Fla.) as Head of School in July after serving as Dean of Spiritual Life at Episcopal High School in Houston. I spent more than 20 years in global investment banking and finance at firms all over the world, including Citicorp, ABN Amro Bank and Wachovia before earning a master’s of divinity from Yale Divinity School in 2009 and being ordained as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Atlanta that year. My wife, Martha, and our daughter, Knox, and I look forward to joining the ESJ community.” ’83 David Kramer started a new job in March. He writes, “I am now a retail cash management trainer for LRA by Deloitte. This job has me on the road in a new city every week and I would enjoy seeing fellow Choaties, if the road brings me near to you.” ’84 Devon Richards and Lizzie McEnany report that serendipity brought them back in touch after 25 years. Despite living in the same community for six years, and working in related fields, their paths did not cross until June 2016. Lizzie noticed Devon’s name on a shared email and reached out. John Weeden, and his wife, Gloria, hosted Spanish teacher Charlie Long and his wife, Chus, during Charlie’s spring sabbatical. John was Charlie’s student on the Term Program in ’82 in Valladolid. Charlie biked from the site of the first term program in Spain to its present site in La Coruña. John is now an artist living with his wife and children in Santiago. ’85 Courtney Ingraffia Barton has been named Global Chief Privacy Officer for Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory, brokerage, and financial services company, headquartered in London and Arlington, Va. Josh Futterman writes that he and his wife, Isis, moved backed to NYC in January after a year and half in Los Angeles. Josh recently dived back into Democratic politics, running operations for Hillary Clinton’s California Democratic primary campaign in May and June. On July 7, he attended a fundraiser for Rep. Stacey Plaskett ’84 at the Cornell Club in NYC. Along with his work for the Clinton campaign, Josh is in the process of setting up a new organization,, to support Democratic Candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives in swing districts and Democratic state legislative candidates in purple states.



Rebecca Severance Cushing and husband, Dan Cushing, are pleased to report that their son David will attend Montana State University in Bozeman in the fall. He will study civil engineering and environmental science. Bob Vanech writes, “Since reunion weekend, I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with classmates, including Sara Merrill Shafer, Laura Machanic, Dave Freedman, Dave Javdan, Todd Ewan and Reggie Bradford. Among the things being discussed include plans for a DC or SoCal reunion in 2017 to keep the momentum from our 30th… and the formation of a planning committee to make it happen.”

’95 Mary Hueston Collie writes, “My husband, Jamie, and I welcomed our first child, Q, in March. He was born on September 25, 2014, and we first met him in Seoul, South Korea in February 2016. We returned to Seoul a month later to bring him back to California.”

’87 Christina Nelson Cook writes, “I recently published a book of poetry, titled A Strange Insomnia.”


1990s ’91

Renée Antrosio is now co-pastor of a local congregation in Champaign, Ill., after 19 years as a K-8 counselor, she is excited for the challenges and opportunities ahead. Ilene Goldenberg Heller writes, “I just got a job as a proofreader at HD Supply in Atlanta. I started in June and I really like it so far.” Tonya Mezrich is excited to announce the publication of her first book, Charlie Numbers and the Man in the Moon, in 2017. She co-authored the book with her husband, Ben Mezrich, New York Times bestselling author of The Social Network and Bringing Down the House. It is the second book in the series of Charlie Numbers books geared toward middle grade readers.


David Goodearl was named a partner at the law firm of Leader & Berkon in NYC this year. Dave writes, “I still see some of my classmates in and around NYC, and am looking forward to seeing people at our 25th Reunion next year.” Ian Lendler published his second children’s picture book entitled Saturday in July. “It’s about the childish joys of everyone’s favorite day of the week,” he writes. “I’m really psyched because on this project I got to collaborate with the international best-selling illustrator Serge Bloch.”


Hidy E. Chang writes, “Although I am still working as a Director of National Accounts at REIS, recently I was asked to join the James Beard Foundation House Programming Committee. I am really honored and excited to join this team of food and wine experts, and to support such a worthy cause.”

Amy Nelson Lovett and her husband, Pat, welcomed Patrick Eakins Lovett, on February 19. Patrick joins big sister Catherine Nelson Lovett. The family lives in Chicago.


Lauren Cozzolino Davies has joined Nedder & Associates’ Westport, Conn., office and is enjoying practicing estate planning, probate and real estate work there. She lives in Fairfield with her husband, Ben, and sons Grayson (6) and Evan (3). Michelle Judd Rittler joined the staff at the Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, Pa.) in July as their new Development Officer. Angela Ruggiero was recently elected as chair of the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. She joins one other member from the United States on the 15-member executive board. Speaking about her appointment, Ruggiero said ”It is an important time within the Olympic movement and our commission has a great responsibility. I will make sure our voices aren’t just heard, but that they are effective and that we empower athletes around the world to do the same.”


Tracy Zupancis Rahal and husband, Jason Rahal, welcomed their daughter, Eleanor Zupancis Rahal, on January 29, 2016. She joins older brother Thomas.







1 Tracy Zupancis Rahal ’99 and husband Jason

3 David Kotz ‘82 traveled to Tanzania in June and

6 The Annual Choate Summer Banquet in Seoul,

9 Robert Elder ’97 and his wife, Christine wel-

Rahal ‘99 welcomed Eleanor Zupancis Rahal on January 29, 2016. 2 Charlie Long and his wife, Chus, visited John Weeden ‘84 and his wife Gloria in Santiago, Spain this spring.

climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. 4 Mark Anderson’s ’97 two-year old twins, Duke and Jamie, sporting their Choate gear! 5 Mary Hueston Collie ’95 and husband, Jamie, welcomed their first child Q in March.

hosted by the Choate Association of Korea and Choate Trustee Ryan Hong ’89. 7 Josh Futterman ’85 attended a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Stacey Plaskett ’84 on July 7. 8 Ronna Chao ’85 with master photographer Danny Goldfield ‘85.

comed Gabriel Robert Elder on March 11, 2016. His big brother Nate, seen here holding Gabe. 10 The Goergen Family met up with Vail Ski Instructor Kate Goldmann ’08 this spring. From left, son Bo, daughter, Harper, Rob ’89, Kate, wife Stacey, and daughter, Greer.






2000s ’00

Ronald Baptiste is living in Portland, Ore., working for Providence Hospital as a Dual Board Certified Physiatrist. His wife, Alexandra, moved from Paris with their 11-month old son Adrian last August, while also celebrating their second anniversary. Robert Kirschmann writes, “After 10 years of doing freelance work on the side, I have recently given up full-time teaching and founded Columbia College Consulting, a private college counseling company, the first such company in the Berkshires. I live with my wife, Monica, and precocious five-year old son, Bertie, at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Mass., where Monica teaches English and coaches soccer and lacrosse.” Manu Nathan and Hope Yates (Hotchkiss ’00) were married April 30 at the Rainbow Room in New York. The couple met at Brooklyn Law School. Manu is an associate counsel at WME IMG, an entertainment and sports management company in New York and Los Angeles. Mike Velez is in his 13th year of teaching history at Choate. He is an assistant varsity football and boys ice hockey coach, and is the head varsity boys lacrosse coach. Mike and his wife, Catherine (the school’s Registrar), live in Combination House (where Mike lived as a student) with their two daughters, Maddie (3) and Ellie (1), and their yellow labs, Orvis and Cooper. Mike was the Dean of Boys for the Class of 2015 and is currently serving in the same role for the Class of 2018. He hopes to see many of his classmates back on campus in November for Deerfield Day.


TOP RIGHT Briana Mastel ‘13

and her husband, Michael, welcomed a son, Thomas Frederick Hulin Wheeler, on April 19.

will be captain of the Harvard Women’s Hockey team for the 2016-17 season.

BOTTOM LEFT Stephen Lattanzi ’04 recently starred and directed a short film which he also wrote, A Drowning Man.

BOTTOM RIGHT Ronald Baptiste

’00 and his wife, Alexandra, with their son, Adrian.

“I am currently composing music for several shows, including The Walking Dead and Agents of SHIELD.” –GAVIN KEESE

’02 Aileen Axtmayer writes that after almost 10 years of working in career services at higher education institutions such as The Fletcher School at Tufts University she has launched her own private practice. In addition to career counseling, Aspire with Aileen ( also offers health coaching and yoga instruction. Aileen lives and works in Boston but meets with clients via phone and Skype. ’04

TOP LEFT Lis Hulin Wheeler ‘06

Classmates Vanessa Goldstein and Avi Khachane were married on June 11 at Vanessa’s parents’ home in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Choaties in atten-

dance included Parker Goldstein ’16, Jessica Goldstein Malzman ’02, Asha Khachane ’02, Susheila Khachane Starr ’98, Anil Khachane ’96, Laura Dee, Myescha Joell, Kate Lawrence, Celeste Fung, Tom Hamilton, Mike DeLuca, LeAnne Armstead, Matt DeSantis ’03, Dan Rubin ’02, and Shari Goldstein ’87. After honeymooning in Taos, N.M., the couple settled into their new home in Chelsea, Manhattan. Avi recently earned his MBA from Yale and began working as an Investment Banking Associate at Citigroup. Vanessa is a Senior Creator Strategist at YouTube.

Stephen Lattanzi writes that he is excited to share his most recent project with the Choate community. “A Drowning Man is a short film that I wrote, directed, and starred in, opposite Tom Winter and Tiffany Dupont. The film chronicles the life of Brian Ross, who, in the wake of his wife’s passing, wrestles with the reality of living his life without her. Unable to find his footing, he turns to a gift she’d left him just days before her passing, leading him on a journey that will bring him closer to her than he could have ever imagined.” The film can be streamed online,



’06 Kari Cholnoky

WORKING/ARTIST I met Kari Cholnoky ’06 at her home studio in Bushwick, just around the corner from a sprawling mid-19th century brick factory, once part of Brooklyn’s historic Brewer’s Row and resurrected, more than a century later, as the original site for the now nationally-distributed Brooklyn Brewery. The landmarks are just one reminder that New York is constantly changing, constantly attracting new dreamers and inventors. Kari, a painter, is one of the many artists who have come to call Bushwick home in recent years and stepping into her cozy, busy studio space, it’s easy to identify one of the primary points of attraction: light. It was early fall when we met and warm late afternoon sun, unobstructed by Manhattan high rises, animated the dozens of bright, richly textured canvases that crowded her small space. She was preparing for a fall show at Choate’s PMAC when we met, and there were more openings to prepare for: a solo show at David Klein Gallery in Detroit, and two shows in March at Brooklyn’s Safe Gallery and Small Editions. The calling to create came early for Kari, but that didn’t make her path as an artist any clearer. “When I was in second grade I knew that I was going to be an artist, but in between second grade and seventeen years old there’s a ton of self-consciousness,” she said. “We’re told, in subtle ways, that art is not a serious pursuit.” At Choate, where Kari often took art classes as an added sixth course, on top of an already full academic curriculum, beloved teacher Reggie Bradford helped her to reconnect with her passion. “At fifteen, he treated me like I was a professional,” Kari remembered. “He made being in art classes a total joy. When I got into those classes that’s when I relaxed, and felt like myself, and really in control. He was an amazing educator, and the most incredible character.” Still, art remained in competition with other interests during Kari’s time as an undergraduate at Dartmouth. A love of science had also been ignited while at Choate, fueled by Ian Morris’s biology class. Kari declared an environmental science and studio art double major, and it wasn’t until she left campus for a semester abroad in Florence that painting became primary. “I was obsessed – seven days a week I was painting,” she said. “Being twenty and being that neurotic about making art it became clear to me that I was different [from the other students]. That’s when I started to look at myself more and try to figure out, in terms of life, what was going to be fulfilling to me.”

Back at Dartmouth, she took full advantage of the art faculty, logging late hours in the studio and pushing for deeper critiques. She chose to remain in Hanover as a TA for a year after graduation, and on the recommendation of a faculty mentor she applied to the Cranbrook Academy of Art, outside Detroit. From the moment she stepped on campus, she knew it was a perfect match. The curriculum emphasized studio time and peer-critique, allowing students to take control of their education. “It was an incredible experience,” she said. “I could just take myself to the library and read for two weeks about Futurist painting instead of taking a ten-week course.” She was constantly pushed to produce. “I was making a couple of hundred paintings a year when I was in school,” she said. Her industry and talent were rewarded at the program’s end when Mercedes-Benz granted Kari their annual emerging artist prize. As part of the award she was sent to Berlin and housed for two months at the Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, an international atelier for artists. When she returned to the U.S. she moved to New York, and after couchsurfing with friends she settled in Bushwick, where she quickly found community. “The artists in my peer group that I wanted to have dialogue with were in New York,” she said. “Part of this whole thing is a very solitary endeavor – it’s a lot of hours by yourself in the studio – but it’s also being an artist in 2015 and making paintings at the same time as a few thousand other people in New York and talking to those people, and visiting their studios.” She is part of a curatorial collective, Alleyoop Projects, that creates pop-up art shows throughout the city and works as a studio assistant for an abstract painter, Chris Martin, whose studio is only a half-mile away. She makes time to paint in the evenings and during her day off. Being a working artist is a balancing act, but it’s possible, and that’s part of the message Kari wanted to communicate with her fall PMAC exhibit. “Some of the paintings are grouped in pairs to force people to think about the relationship between works that are seemingly different,” she said. “I wanted to show high school students an honest look into a studio practice. I wanted to show that you can have different things going on at the same time and that’s ok,” she said. As a former student, there’s a special meaning in exhibiting on campus. “There was always so much excitement around being at the theater,” she remembered. “To have the whole high school social dynamic happening around the art is something I love.” by Lindsay Whalen ’01 Lindsay Whalen ’01 is a writer and editor based in New York City.


Weddings – Let’s Celebrate!


1 1 Classmates Vanessa Goldstein

’04 and Avi Khachane ’04 were married on June 11 in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Choaties in attendance: Parker Goldstein ’16, Jessica Goldstein Malzman ’02, Asha Khachane ’02, Susheila Khachane Starr ’98, Anil Khachane ’96, Laura Dee, Myescha Joell, Kate Lawrence, Celeste Fung, Tom Hamilton, Mike DeLuca, LeAnne Armstead, Matt DeSantis ’03, Dan Rubin ’02, and Shari Goldstein ’87. 2 Sarah Braidy Lebovitz ’06 and

Ahmed Suria were married on June 4, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Choate was represented at the wedding from left, Alexander Kerman ’10, Caroline Gregory ’10, Charles Lebovitz ’10, Laura DiCola, ’06, James Lebovitz ’75, Sydney Lapeyrolerie ’06, Michael Gerber ’91, and David Byeff ’01 3 Austin Igleheart ’03 married Erin McGough on March 26, 2016 in Atlanta, GA surrounded by friends and family. In attendance from left, Chip Ryan ’70,

Kelly Ryan ’05, Lindsay Keach Bronstein ’97, Brid Igleheart ’71, Erin and Austin, Ryan Igleheart ’98 and Allison Lami Sawyer ’03. 4 Eric Bogin '01, right, married Paul Beswick on June 29, 2016 in a small ceremony on Madaket Beach in Nantucket, near his family's summer home. 5 Sophie Nitkin ’06 married Adam Levin in New York City on January 23, 2016 in the midst of blizzard Jonas. In attendance from left, AJ Meyer ’06, Frank Hamilton ’06, Case Carpenter

’06, Carr Lanphier ’06, Phil Kauders ’06 and (not pictured) Samantha Miller Lawi ’06, Justin Mitchell ’06 and Kiran Pendri ’06 6 Manu Nathan ’00 married Hope Yates (Hotchkiss’00) at the Rainbow Room, New York City, on April 30. Choaties in attendance, top row, from left, James Healy ’01, Ali Healy ’00, Alana Kroeber ’00, Gerard McGeary ’00, and Adam Lewis ’01. Bottom row, from left, Kartik Sreenivasan ’00, Alfredo Axtmayer ’00, Manu and Dan Kroeber ’00.

3 4




’06 Niki Albino married Tripp Gavin on August 13 with several Choate people in attendance. Sarah Braidy Lebovitz and Ahmed Suria were married on June 4, 2016 in Philadelphia. Choate was represented at the wedding by Alexander Kerman ’10, Caroline Gregory ’10, Charles Lebovitz ’10, Laura DiCola, James Lebovitz ’75, Sydney Lapeyrolerie, Michael Gerber ’91, and David Byeff ’01. Lis Hulin Wheeler and her husband, Michael, welcomed Thomas Frederick Hulin Wheeler on April 19. ’07

After graduating from Georgetown Law School, Will Downes is now a junior associate with the law firm of Barry, McTiernan & Moore in NYC.

’08 Elitsa Nacheva attended the July alumni luncheon gathering at the Royal Automobile Club in London, England with Dr. Curtis and Choate students and parents in celebration of Choate’s participation in the Royal Henley Regatta. Elitsa encourages any Choate alumni in London to reach out to Andrea Solomon (, so they can be added to the alumni roster. Says Elitsa “We are really keen to organize more social gatherings, and it would be wonderful to have as many alumni as possible attend.” ’09 Malik Ben-Salahuddin writes, ”After about a year of working on Reelydope ( as a blog, I’ve built it out with some friends into a full brand and podcast. Our flagship show, Reelydope Radio, is now on iTunes, Google Play, and more. On it, we cover all things related to visual media (film, TV, etc.), talk with local Oakland and Bay Area creatives, and discuss youth culture at large.”

Benming Zhang was elected to the Williamsburg, Va., City Council. He writes, “I finished second for three spots with 1,148 votes cast total in the two voting precincts. I am the second William & Mary student, first Asian American, and youngest Council member (the first student elected in 2010 was 22 at the time) elected in the City’s history.”

’14 Shardonay Pagett writes, “While interning at The New York Stem Cell Foundation, I was a part of a team conducting research on mitochondrial DNA and our findings were just published in scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.” Shardonay is a rising junior at Wesleyan University studying within the Science and Society major, a blend of biology and sociology, with a minor in informatics and modeling. Recently, she was offered early acceptance into the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Shardonay hopes to become an Ob/Gyn. ’16 The Thomas B. Curtis ’81 Memorial Prize for enthusiasm and love of learning in the study of English was awarded at Prize Day to Lilli M. Gibson, with Honorable Mentions to Elsebeth Kirby and Asha Merz. The Fayetta McKown Award for excellence in English was awarded to George Brencher V and Esul Burton, with Honorable Mentions to Nazar Chowdhury, Alexander Rupp-Coppi, and Liam Sherif.

’10 Lenny Futterman recently raced at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. His boat won the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup, beating the 6-time winner, Leader Club, by 4 feet. In April, Lenny came in second at the U.S. Olympic Trials, just barely missing out on an Olympic berth. He will continue training with an eye toward the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the World Championships in 2017. ’12

Kaitlin Cunningham, a senior at Connecticut College, has received a Fulbright Student Program grant to teach English in Georgia. A Slavic studies and international double major who recently studied abroad in Russia, she says she “decided to apply for a Fulbright because it is such an incredible opportunity to explore a country and engage with the people that I fell in love with.” She will teach English as a second language at the university level. Chloe Taylor Smith earned her Bachelor’s in social work from New York University on May 18. She was recognized with the Founder’s Award as an Honor’s Scholar student. Chloe will attend graduate school at Columbia this fall.

TOP Benming Zhang ’12 was

elected to the Williamsburg City Council. A senior at William & Mary, he is the second W&M student and first Asian American to serve on the Council. MIDDLE From left, Erin Boudreau ’13, Kat Moeller ’15, and Carley Mulligan ’13 met up with retired teacher and coach Tom Yankus in Orleans, Mass., at a Cape Cod Baseball League game this July. BOTTOM Adrienne Sternlicht ’12 graduated from Brown University on May 29. Her father, Barry Sternlicht, a Brown Trustee and 1982 graduate of Brown, presented Adrienne with her diploma.

Lenny Futterman (far right) won the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.



IN MEMORIAM | Remembering Those We Have Lost Alumni and Alumnae

’41 C G. Laurence Peters Jr., 93, a retired Realtor, died April 17, 2016 in Westmoreland, N.H. Larry came to Choate in 1937; he was on the Common Room Committee and the skeet team, and was in the Choir. He served in the Army in the Pacific theater during World War II. After graduating from Columbia, he joined the family coating and laminating business in Brooklyn, N.Y., eventually becoming its president. He then was a Realtor and real estate appraiser in Greenwich, Conn. He was also on the adjunct faculty at Norwalk Community College until 2005. Active in the community, Larry was a former president of the Greenwich Historical Society. He leaves two children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. ’42 C Richard W. Comfort, 91, a retired executive of a dairy firm, died April 19, 2016. Born in Bronxville, N.Y., Dick came to Choate in 1937. He was manager of varsity golf, a campus cop, and was on the boards of the Brief and the Press Club. During World War II, he served in the Navy aboard an admiral’s flagship in the Pacific Theater, attaining the rank of Lieutenant J.G. After graduating from Williams, Dick was with Chase Manhattan Bank, then joined the Borden Co., working in New York City, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Detroit, and Columbus, Ohio. He was later a District Manager for the Successful Living line of Christian books. An avid golf and tennis fan, he was a hospital volunteer, a lay Eucharist minister in his church, and a classroom reading aide in several schools. He leaves his wife, Dorothy Comfort, 1800 Riverside Drive, Apt. 4403, Columbus, OH 43212; three sons; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother, Robert Comfort ’39. Another brother, the late Harold Comfort Jr. ’38, also attended Choate. ’43 C Marshall A. Taylor, 90, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, died March 20 in Providence, R.I. Born in New Haven, Marshall came to Choate in 1939; he was in the Band, ran crosscountry, and was in the Cum Laude Society. He served on a Navy aircraft

carrier during World War II. He then earned degrees from Harvard and New York Medical College, completing his residency at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and the University Hospitals of Cleveland. From 1960 to 2003 he practiced ob-gyn in Providence. Marshall was on the medical staffs of five hospitals and was a former President of the medical staff at Women & Infants Hospital, receiving that hospital’s Distinguished Service Award in 1996. He was also active in Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island. He enjoyed sailing, music, and the theater. He leaves two daughters, a stepdaughter, two granddaughters, and a sister. His late brother, Sterling Taylor Jr. ’40, also attended Choate. George B. Turpin, 91, a retired television producer and director, died March 11, 2016. Born in Boston, George came to Choate in 1938; he lettered in hockey and cross-country, and was in the Glee Club. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he moved to southern California to begin a lifelong career as a television producer and director. Among the shows he was involved with were “Playhouse 90,” “The Danny Kaye Show,” “The Patty Duke Show,” “The Doris Day Show,” “All in the Family,” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” He served on several local boards, including Pasadena Beautiful and the Music Academy of the West. George enjoyed reading, adventure travel, skeet shooting, magic, photography, boating, and snorkeling. He leaves his wife, Polly Turpin, 1922 Jelinda Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93108; two children; four grandchildren; and a brother, Peterfield Turpin ’50. His twin brother, the late Charles Turpin ’43, also attended Choate.

’44 C Paul V. Bacon Jr., 90, who was retired from the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles, died January 23, 2016. Born in Wales, Paul came to Choate in 1940; he was in the Choir and the Dramatic Club. After serving with the Navy in World War II, he worked at a jewelry shop and a real estate firm before joining the DMV. He leaves five children, including Paul Bacon III, 96 Bow Bog Rd., Bow, NH 03304; two grandchildren; and a sister.

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Stanley N. Brown, Jr., 87, a retired executive of a brick manufacturing company, died December 17, 2015. Born in Pittsburgh, Stan came to Choate in 1942. He was in the Dramatic Club, the Press Club, the Glee Club, and the Choral Club. After graduating from Harvard, he served in the Army during the Korean War. He then was manager of a 25,000-acre banana plantation in Ecuador, returning to the U.S. to be Vice President of the Woodbridge Clay Products Co. of Manassas, Va. Stan was an avid fly fisherman. He leaves his brother, Fitzhugh Brown ’50, 173 Barberry Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143; three children; and five grandchildren. Another brother, the late Henry Brown ’43, also attended Choate, as did his father, the late Stanley L. Brown Sr. ’19. His mother, the late Elizabeth Fitzhugh Rust Brown ’20, attended Rosemary Hall. George T. H. Fuller, 87, whose career was multifaceted, died January 21, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Born in Kingston, Ontario, George was at Choate for one year; he rowed crew and was in the Western Club. After Choate, he earned degrees from George Washington University, the University of Michigan Law School, and Union Theological seminary. He served in the U.S. Marines for six years, including during the Korean War, attaining the rank of Captain. At various times, George was an international banker, an inner city planner, a lawyer, a social justice activist, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He enjoyed the opera, theater, singing, travel, and the outdoors. He leaves three children; a foster son; two grandchildren; and two siblings. Frederick L. Preyer, 87, a real estate executive, died March 10, 2016. Born in Greensboro, N.C., Fred came to Choate in 1944; he lettered in football and was Vice President of the Southern Club. After graduating from Davidson College, he served in the Army, then began a career in commercial and industrial real estate. He was on the board of the Guilford (N.C.) County Commissioners, where he spearheaded the revitalization of downtown Greensboro and helped build housing for low-income residents. Fred enjoyed sailing, golf, and tennis. He leaves his

wife, Margaret Preyer, 1106 Dover Rd., Greensboro, NC 27408; six children; 12 grandchildren; and a brother, Robert Preyer ’40.

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Reed M. Badgley, 87, a retired advertising executive, died April 12, 2016. Born in Jackson, Mich., Reed came to Choate in 1945. He was on the Debate Council and the board of the News, and was in the Western Club and the Golden Blues. He also won a School speaking prize. After graduating from Dartmouth, he was in the Navy during the Korean War. He then was an executive with several advertising firms, including Wallace-Blakeslee in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Foote, Cone and Belding in Chicago. “Reed had a big love of magic and was known to put on many shows to all ages,” remembered his friend, Ted Read ’57. “He was always very active in recommending Choate … to youngsters attending our New Trier High school.” Reed served on the board of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Golden Apple Foundation, and was a lifetime member of the University of Chicago’s Music Committee. He leaves two daughters, including Anne Badgley, 626 Judson Ave., Evanston, IL 60202; a son; and four grandchildren. Alexis I. duPont, 86, the owner of an aviation company and an airfield, died March 25, 2016 in Hockessin, Del. Born in Wilmington, Del., Lex came to Choate in 1943; he was in the Camera Club and Radio Club, and on the Library Committee. After Choate, he attended the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and the Bakers School of Aeronautics in Tennessee. A licensed pilot, Lex founded New Garden Aviation and New Garden Flying Field (now New Garden Airport) in Pennsylvania. Always interested in mechanics, he collected and sold motorcycles, automobiles, and antique aircraft. He was on the board of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, a founding member of Warbirds of America, and a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association of America. He leaves his wife, Anne S. duPont, 1810 Roscoe Turner Trail, Port Orange, FL 32128; five children, including Alexis duPont Jr. ’73 and Everitt duPont ’75; 12 grandchildren; a niece, Alexandra Bell ’96; and a sister-in-law, Patricia


Sweney duPont ’64. Two brothers, the late Benjamin duPont ’39 and the late Jacques duPont ’42, also attended Choate. John P. Little, 86, a retired advertising executive, died February 29, 2016 in Naples, Fla. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, John came to Choate in 1944. He was the varsity football quarterback, captain of varsity basketball, a pitcher on the baseball team, and in the Cum Laude Society, the French Club, and St. Andrew’s Cabinet. His classmates named him among those voted “Best Athlete” and “Most Versatile;” he won a School prize for excellence in Athletics. After graduating from Yale, he had a lengthy career in advertising and public relations. In the New York City office of J. Walter Thompson, he supervised the Pan American Airlines and RCA accounts. He was later head of advertising and public relations for the American Council of Life Insurance. John especially enjoyed tennis and golf. He leaves a son, a grandson, and a great-granddaughter. A sister, Nancy Little Perry ’39, attended Rosemary Hall; a brother, Edward S. Little Sr. ’44, attended Choate. Norfleet R. Turner, 86, the retired chairman of a bank, died May 11, 2015. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Norfleet came to Choate in 1944. He was on the board of the Brief and in the Cum Laude Society, the Southern Club, the Glee Club, and the History Club. He then graduated from Washington and Lee. Norfleet was the retired chairman of the First National Bank of Memphis and was also on the board of the First Tennessee Bank. Active in public service, he was chairman of the Memphis Area chapter of the Red Cross, a director of the New York Metropolitan Opera Association, a trustee of Rhodes College, and a director of Baptist Memorial Hospital. Norfleet enjoyed duck hunting, and was a member of Ducks Unlimited. He leaves a daughter, seven grandchildren, and a sister. George L. Wachtell, 87, an executive of an accounting firm, died June 17, 2016 in Pleasantville, N.Y. Born in New York City, George came to Choate in 1943; he was on the track squad and rowed crew. After graduating from Westminster College in Fulton,

Mo., he served in the U.S. Military Counterintelligence Corps for two years. He then joined the family accounting and tax advisory firm, Livingston Wachtell Co., in Westchester County, N.Y. George leaves his wife, Joy Ann Wachtell, 26 Tamarack Way, Pleasantville, NY 10570; five children; eight grandchildren, including Sean Donnell ’12; two brothers, including Thomas Wachtell ’46; and a sister. Two nephews, Roger Wachtell ’77 and Peter Wachtell ’81, also attended Choate Rosemary Hall.

’48 C Stephen E. Baker Sr., 86, the retired chairman of a furniture retail and wholesale business, died July 2, 2016 in Brattleboro, Vt. Born in Brattleboro, Steve came to Choate in 1945. He lettered in hockey and baseball, was secretary-treasurer of the Ski Club, and was in the History Club, St. Andrew’s Cabinet, and the Dance Committee. After graduating from Middlebury, he served in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Captain, then returned to Vermont to join the family business, Baker’s Inc. He spent six decades with the firm, many of them as CEO, overseeing significant expansion. Active in the community, Steve belonged to the Brattleboro Historical Society, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corp., the Brattleboro Retreat, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the Experiment in International Living. He enjoyed skiing, golf, history, and the study of flags and seashells. He leaves three sons: James Baker ’77, 620 East-West Rd., Dummerston, VT 05346; Jonathan Baker ’78, and Stephen Baker Jr. ’82; five grandchildren, including Ian Baker ’11 and Morgan Baker ’12; and a brother. Another brother, the late Dudley Baker ’49, also attended Choate. D. Richard Mead Jr., 85, a retired mortgage banker, died February 28, 2016. Born in Chicago, Dick came to Choate in 1946; he was in the History Club, the Press Club, and the Southern Club. After Choate, he graduated from Duke and Harvard Business School, then served in the Army as a paratrooper. He began his banking career in 1956, eventually becoming CEO of Southeast Mortgage and Senior Vice President of Southeast Bank. He was also on the boards of various Florida

banks and was a past President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He was a past President of the Greater Miami YMCA and on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, and the University of Miami. Dick enjoyed golf and supporting all Miami sports teams. He leaves his wife, Ginger Mead, 10255 Sabal Palm Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33156; two children; and three grandchildren. Charles A. Ruhe, 85, a retired executive of a piano manufacturing firm, died March 8, 2016. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Charlie came to Choate in 1944. He was President of the Camera Club and won first prize in a school photo contest; he was also Manager of the Glee Club and the Choral Club, in the Maiyeros, and on the board of the Brief. His classmates voted him as having the “Best Voice.” After Choate, he attended Cornell, then returned to Connecticut where he earned degrees from the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac College. For several years he was an accountant in New Haven, then in 1964 he joined the Pratt-Read Corp. in Essex, Conn., a manufacturer of pianos, eventually becoming its Secretary-Treasurer. At the end of his career, he was a Vice President of the Connecticut Institute for the Blind in Hartford. Always interested in music, Charlie was a member of the New Haven Chorale; he also enjoyed sailing. He leaves four children, including Patience Ruhe Schermer ’83, 7037 S. Carr Rd., Apple Creek, OH 44606; and five grandchildren.

’49 C Garrett W. Alton, 84, a retired stock trader trainer, died August 20, 2015. Born in Chicago, Garry came to Choate in 1944; he was a Campus Cop and in the Current History Club, the Glee Club, and the Choral Club. After graduating from Colgate, he was in the Air Force during the Korean War. For many years he was a trainer for stock traders at Merrill Lynch in New York City. Moving to Augusta, Ga., in 1980, he was program director for the small business development center at Augusta College. Garry was also a volunteer at University Hospital, then was hired to run the information desk. He leaves his wife, Marcia Alton, 214 Court

St. #2, Brooklyn, NY 11201; two children; four grandchildren; and a sister. A halfbrother, the late Douglas Alton ’40, also went to Choate; his mother, the late Eleanor Pier Alton ’24, attended Rosemary Hall. John Flach Douglas, 85, a retired lawyer, died July 1, 2016. Born in Cincinnati, Flach came to Choate in 1944. He lettered in football and baseball, was President of the Dramatic Club and Art Editor of the Brief, and was in the Western Club and the Altar Guild. After earning undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Cincinnati, he served in the Army, then practiced law in Milford, Ohio, for 50 years. Flach was actively involved with the Cincinnati Nature Center, especially in helping preserve the Little Miami River. He also enjoyed hiking – he hiked most of the Appalachian Trail – as well as sailing, fishing, and playing racquetball and softball. He leaves four daughters, eight grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

’49 RH Catherine Rae Ferguson Reasoner, 81, active in community service, died July 22, 2013. Born in Winnetka, Ill., Rae came to Rosemary Hall in 1946. She was president of the sixth form and won the Optima award. After graduating from Connecticut College for Women, she married Egbert “Bud” Reasoner and was secretarytreasurer of his company, Reasoner’s Tropical Nurseries. She was on the boards of the Junior Science Museum, the South Florida Museum, and the Manatee County Agriculture Museum in Florida. She was also a sustaining member of the Service Club of Manatee County. Rae’s interests included riding, tennis, gardening, and golf. She leaves three children, including a daughter, Elizabeth Reasoner ’76, 1135 Timber Valley Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80919; a sister, Allis Ferguson Edelman ’46; and a brother.


’51 C J. Ronald Leslie, 82, a retired management consultant, died April 23, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Born in Middletown, Conn., Ron came to Choate in 1947. He was active at School, being Literary Editor of the Literary Magazine, Production Manager of the Dramatic Club, Secretary-Treasurer of the French Club, and in the Automobile Club, the Chess Club, the Rifle Club, the Radio Club, the Glee Club and the Maiyeros. He won a School prize for poetry and was in the Cum Laude Society. After graduating from Yale, he was in the Navy until 1958. He then became a management consultant with several firms, including J. R. Leslie & Co. in New York, Texas, and Washington, and the Washington Specialists Bureau in Washington, D.C. He devoted the latter part of his life to Christian missions and projects. He leaves his wife, Jarrett Leslie, 7417 Edenwood Ln. #4, Raleigh, NC 27615; two daughters; and three grandchildren. ’54 C

Isaac “Mel” Meekins III, 79, an actor known professionally as Charles Scotland, died June 14, 2016 in Cleveland, N.C. Born in Asheville, N.C., Mel came to Choate in 1950. He was art editor of the News, business manager of the Literary Magazine, and in the Dramatic Club, the Choral Club, and the Southern Club; he acted in several plays and won School prizes in speaking and dramatics. After earning degrees from Washington and Lee University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he taught in several schools, including the Dalton School in New York City, the Christchurch School for Boys in Christchurch, Va., and Charlotte College in Charlotte, N.C. He performed in several films and was house manager for “Driving Miss Daisy” when it was on Broadway. Mel also toured the United States performing as Ben Franklin in a federal Bicentennial project. He leaves two brothers, including Frederick C. Meekins ’46, 19 Bowen Dr., Belmont, NC 28012. He was a member of the Choate Society, those alumni and alumnae who have left a bequest to the School.

’58 C Peter A. Haspel, 76, a retired executive of a garment manufacturing company, died June 25, 2016 from complications of cancer. Born in New Orleans, Peter came to Choate in 1955. He lettered in basketball, was on the Board of the Brief, and was in the Glee Club, the Southern Club, the Camera Club and the Gold Key Society. After graduating from Penn, he served in the Navy for four years. He then joined the family clothing business, Haspel Brothers, which popularized seersucker in the United States. When the firm was sold in 1977, Peter pursued other fashion ventures in New York, Miami, and New Orleans, retiring in the late 1990s. Active in the community, he was a former President of Planned Parenthood of Louisiana. He enjoyed world travel; collecting fine art, especially Asian art; fishing; and fine cooking. He leaves his wife, Lynn Y. Haspel, 32 Francis Burge Rd., Carriere, MS 39426; four children; seven grandchildren; and a sister. ’61 C

Robert M. Leonhardt, 72, a retired educator, died April 6, 2016. Born in New York City, Bob came to Choate in 1957. He excelled in scholastics, winning School prizes in Spanish, writing, public affairs, French, and Latin; he was also President of the News, Managing Editor of the Literary Magazine, and in the Cum Laude Society. His classmates voted him “Most Likely to Succeed.” After Choate, he earned degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and L’Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris; he spoke French like a native. Bob taught at Horace Mann, Fieldston, and Rodeph Sholom schools as well as public schools in New York and Massachusetts. For 10 years he was head of the FrenchAmerican School of New York in Westchester. He enjoyed jazz and cooking, sometimes at the same time. His classmate Michael Palmer said that Bob “was a brilliant young man, with a fiercely critical and observant intellect. Like me, he found it a challenge to fit in with the prep school mores. It was wonderful to watch him gradually emerge as a rounded personality during the following years. At Harvard, we experienced the turbulence of America’s involvement in Vietnam, each of us resisting in our own fashion. Though we

lost contact, I can say that he has never been far from my thoughts.” He leaves his wife, Joan Leonhardt, 7131 Arlington Rd. Apt. 346, Bethesda, MD 20814; two children; and five grandchildren.

’63 C Rigdon L. Reese, 71, a lawyer and, later, a yacht broker, died March 29, 2016 in Portsmouth, R.I. Born in New York City, Rig came to Choate in 1959. He was President of the Ski Club; on the board of the News; in the Glee Club, the Rifle Club, the Rod and Gun Club; and on the Dance Committee. He then earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn and a law degree from Cornell and began his law practice. He was a longtime partner with his brother Gerry in the Cement Creek Ranch in Crested Butte, Colo. Rig later began a career in yacht sales, first with Hinckley Yachts in Maine and then with Oyster Yachts in Newport, R.I. Besides sailing, he enjoyed golf, the visual arts, and music. He leaves his wife, Genevieve Bessinger, 219 Windward Dr., Portsmouth, RI 02871; two daughters; five grandchildren; and two brothers, including Algernon B. “Gerry” Reese ’62. ’66 RH Kate Righter Gardner, 68, a former United Nations protocol executive, died May 30, 2016 in New York City of breast cancer. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Katie came to Rosemary Hall in 1962; she was in the Riding Club, the Current Events Club, the Spanish Club, and Gold Key. She then studied at the Sorbonne and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before moving to Manhattan. At the UN, she was in the Office of Protocol and Liaison Service, coordinating the visits of dignitaries from around the world. For many years, Katie worked as an advocate for veterans of the Vietnam War. “She had a searing memory of how combat veterans were treated when they returned from Vietnam,” a brother said. She also was on the boards of the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club in New York; the Edward H. Butler Foundation; and the Buffalo Zoo. She leaves three children, a grandchild, and her mother. ’67 C

David J. Angel, 66, a software engineer, died May 25, 2015. David came to Choate in 1965; he won a School math prize and was on the

Sixth Form Tutoring Committee. After graduating from Lehigh, he was a software engineer in New Hampshire and Massachusetts; he held several patents. In recent years, he owned a photography studio in Virginia. David enjoyed riding his BMW motorcycle, reading, and spending time with his family. He leaves his wife, Sharon Angel, 8265 Elizabeth Ann Dr., Mechanicsville, VA 23111; two daughters; seven grandchildren; and two sisters. His late father, Henry Angel ’36, also attended Choate.

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Alexander C. Aubry, 66, died September 18, 2015 in Boulder, Colo. Born in New York City, Alex came to Choate in 1964. He was in the Ski Club, the French Club, the Art Club and the Automobile Club, and he volunteered at Meriden Hospital. After Choate, he attended Trinity College. He lived in Mexico for several years when he was in his twenties, and afterward split his time between Boulder and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Alex, who suffered from epilepsy for most of his adult life, enjoyed reading, libraries, and taking long walks. He leaves a sister, Rosalind Aubry, 4805 Brandon Creek Dr., Boulder CO 80301.

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William Frederick Lyte, 62, a management consultant and entrepreneur, died August 9, 2015. Born in Pasadena, Calif., Bill came to Choate in 1969; he was in the Ham Radio Club and tutored Wallingford children. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, he traveled the world for two years, working at such jobs as sheep shearing, baling hay, and playing music. He then became involved in high-tech startups, especially companies involved with the world’s ports and the petroleum industry. In 1991, Bill began, and later managed, the Pasadena Technoplex program, which unified the institutional resources of Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the City of Pasadena, and engineering firms. He was the initial chair of the County of Los Angeles Business Technology Center. He leaves his wife, Susan Lyte, 27607 Muir Grove Way, Castaic, CA 91384; three children; his father; and two sisters.


“Randi Brandt’s dedicated service to supporting the arts at Choate has been a gift to the community, to the many students whose lives she touched, to the arts department, and to all the directors of the arts that she worked with, including me. In numerous ways her strong spirit made our lives brighter and better. She will be greatly missed by us all.” –KALYA YANNATOS, DIRECTOR OF THE ARTS ’74 C Jeffrey J. Jackson, 59, a law professor, died April 26, 2016 in Jackson, Miss. Born in Waynesburg, Pa., Jeff came to Choate in 1971. He was in the Spanish Club, winning a School award in Spanish; was Assistant Editor of the Political Forum; and was in the Cum Laude Society. He then earned degrees from Haverford College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Jeff worked for a law firm in West Virginia before beginning a teaching career at the Mississippi College School of Law. He was a former Supreme Court Fellow and a senior research analyst with the Administrative Office of United States Courts, winning many teaching awards and other honors. He wrote numerous treatises on Mississippi law as well as law review articles. He leaves his wife, Melinda Jackson, 4641 Maurey Rd., Jackson, MS 39211; two daughters; and three brothers, including Timothy Jackson ’72. ’81 Tracy Wythe Nyswonger, 52, a teacher, died May 14, 2016, in Salinas, Calif., following a fall in her home. Born in Binghamton, N.Y., Tracy spent her adolescence in Saudi Arabia, then came to Choate Rosemary Hall in 1979; she played varsity lacrosse and was in the Festival Chorus and the Pep Club. After graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington, she was in the Army Reserves for 20 years, attaining the rank of Captain. She was then a special education teacher in Monterey County, Calif. Tracy enjoyed walking, especially with her dogs. She leaves her husband, Russell Nyswonger, 46084 Meadowbrook Dr., King City, CA 93930; three stepchildren; a grandmother; a sister; and a brother.


Karacabey Levni Sinanoglu, 49, an artist, died June 1, 2016 in New Haven, Conn. Born in New Haven, Lev came to Choate Rosemary Hall in 1978. He was in the Film Society and the Chess Club, was on the masthead of the News and the board of the Brief, and won the Benjamin Franklin Medal for history. He graduated from Hampshire College and the Yale School of Art, then was awarded a traveling fellowship that allowed him to visit the Middle East, which influenced the subject matter of his painting. Lev was also a visiting or adjunct professor at Yale, Hampshire, Quinnipiac University and Gateway Community College. He leaves his mother, Paula Armbruster, 294 Lawrence St., New Haven CT 06511; his former wife, in Abu Dhabi; a son; a brother; and a sister.


Gordon R. Borek, 22, a student at the University of New Hampshire, died May 28, 2016 in an automobile accident in Durham, N.H. Born in Waterville, Maine, Gordie was at Choate for one year; he lettered in ice hockey. He had just completed his sophomore year at UNH, and he had planned to be a hockey coach intern at Exeter. Gordie enjoyed reading, politics, and all sports. He leaves his parents, Cheryl Stahl Borek ’80 and Scott Borek, 29 Pinecrest Ln., Durham, NH 03824; three siblings, including Charley Borek ’15; and his grandparents.

Staff & Trustees Randi J. Brandt, Assistant to the Director of the Arts at Choate Rosemary Hall for 20 years, died May 12, 2016 in Branford, Conn. She was 59. Born in New Haven, Randi was hired as Administrative Secretary to Terry

Ortwein, former Director of the Paul Mellon Arts Center, in 1996. She had previously been an exhibition assistant for Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum and curatorial assistant for the Yale Center for British Art. Paul Tines, who succeeded Terry at the PMAC, commented, “Randi was talented, committed, and knowledgeable about her job. She had an absolutely wonderful relationship with our students and had an excellent professional manner with the public.” She leaves her husband, Tom Brandt, 65 Byron Pl., New Haven, CT 06515; and her daughter, Dani. William E. Forson Jr., a locksmith at Choate Rosemary Hall for a decade, died April 2, 2016. He was 72. Born in New Orleans, Bill was a Vietnam veteran. He was a bonded Master Locksmith for 25 years in Louisiana, before coming to Choate in 1999. He retired in 2009. In his spare time, Bill was a scoutmaster; he also enjoyed camping. He leaves his wife, Rose Forson; a daughter; a stepdaughter; several grandchildren; two sisters; and his mother. Theresa B. Malchodi, former head nurse at Choate Rosemary Hall’s Infirmary, died April 1, 2016 in Providence, R.I. She was 92. Born in Wallingford, Terry graduated at the top of her class from St. Raphael’s School of Nursing in New Haven, then worked for several years as a visiting nurse and a hospital nurse. She came to Choate in 1966, and was the Infirmary’s head nurse from 1972 until she retired in 1984. She and her staff saw an average of 60 to 70 students and faculty in a day – and more in winter. She often gave presentations at meetings of the Connecticut Residential School Nurses Association. At her retirement, it was said that hers “is a name forever linked to those things that are good

about Choate.” Terry was an active parishioner in churches wherever she lived; for many years, those were Most Holy Trinity Church in Wallingford and St. Mark Church in Cranston, R.I. She leaves five children, including Paul Malchodi ’74, 2 Shady Ln., Acton, MA 01720; Eric Malchodi ’78; and Marie Malchodi ’81; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

’41 RH Cherry Grafton Taylor, a retired teacher who was a Rosemary Hall Trustee for six years, died May 8, 2016 in Exeter, N.H., from complications of a stroke. She was 92. Cherry came to Rosemary Hall in 1936; she earned six bars on the Committee, was a Prize Day Marshal and business manager of the Answer Book; was on the first hockey team and was in the Kindly Club. After teaching for a year at Greenwich Academy, she taught elementary school at Greenwich Country Day School for 17 years. She later was a manager with World Book Educational Products. Cherry enjoyed sailing, foreign travel, painting in watercolors, skiing, tennis, and outdoor life. She was a naturalist guide at the Greenwich Audubon Center, conducting weekly guided nature walks for children. She leaves four children, including Holly Taylor Young ’66, 126 Limerock St., Rockland, ME 04841; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Our sympathy to the families of the following alumni, whose deaths are reported with sorrow: Diana Dent ’46 Spring 2016 Maggie M. Fenney ’11 June 28, 2016


SCOREBOARD | Spring Sports Wrap-up

GO CHOATE! Rowers working toward the Regatta.


C H O A T E R O S E M A R Y H A L L’ S



Thames Group XIII: Choate rowers at Henley, from left, Jay Kahle ’16, Dominique Williams ’16, David Herman ’17, Teddy Kennedy ’16, Jade Goldstein ’16, Alexander Paolozzi ’17, Ross Moseley ’17, Alex Overmeer ’17, and Chris Novak ’16

After an 11-year hiatus Choate crew “Thames Group XIII” returned to England to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta. The boys were entered in the Prince Albert Cup (4+) and the Princess Elizabeth Cup (8+). After a strong showing at Marlow and winning an event at the Reading regatta, the four was able to pull off a top time to qualify them for racing. Both the 8+ and the 4+ drew some of the stronger competitors in both of their events and raced only one round each.


SCOREBOARD | Spring Sports Wrap-up-up

Michael Gordon '16 rounding the corner during the open 400m finals at the 2016 Founders League Championship Meet. A major contribution to the boys overall 2nd place finish.

Girls Track Captain Uzo Biosah '16 finishing the final leg of the girls 4x100 relay. The relay team finished in 1st place and also shattered the previous school record with a time of 50.01 seconds.

The boys and girls Track and Field teams had winning seasons. The girls team finished with an undefeated regular season followed by a first place finish at the Founders League Championships and a fourth place finish at New Englands. The girls broke the 4x100 school record during the Founders. The boys earned a 2nd place finish at Founders and a seventh place finish at New Englands.

BASEBALL Varsity Season Record: 13–8 Captains: Christopher P. Brown ’16, Jake A. Mackenzie ’16, Patrick O’Leary ’16 Highlight: Strong 5–1 start, won Walker Tournament fourth straight season BOYS CREW Captains: Jeffery L. Kahle ’16, Christopher M. Novak ’16 Highlight: Competed in Henley Regatta GIRLS CREW Captains: Alexandra E. Lengel ’16, Olympia G. Serban ’16, Emma E. Veber ’16 Highlight: Second in overall points at Founders League BOYS GOLF Varsity Season Record: 8–11–1 Captain: Henry L. Marshall ’16 Highlight: Strong start to the season ended up middle of the pack in New Englands GIRLS GOLF Varsity Season Record: 6–7 Captains: Morgan E. McDougal ’16, Olivia A. Matthes-Theriault ’16 Highlight: Alice Xu ’18 finished as co-medalist at the Founders League Tournament. Team finished in 4th place at Founders.

BOYS LACROSSE Varsity Season Record: 7–7 Captains: Michael L. O’Connell ’16, Michael L. Solazzo ’16, Tyler M. Burns ’16 Highlight: Excellent start to the season with wins against Lawrenceville, Kent and NMH GIRLS LACROSSE Varsity Season Record: 9–7 Captains: Claire C. Marshall ’17, Isabelle K. Hnat ’16 Highlight: Finished the season above .500 with close losses to perennial powerhouses Williston and Hotchkiss. Claire Marshall ’17 named All-American as a Junior. SAILING Varsity Season Record: 5–4 Captains: Sophie E. Latham ’16, Olivia M. van den Born ’16 Highlight: Choate Sailing posted a number of Team Racing wins in CT. SOFTBALL Varsity Season Record: 4–8 Captains: Christina G. Casazza ’16, Dagny D. Belak ’16 Highlight: Beat Kingswood-Oxford BOYS TENNIS Varsity Season Record: 8–4 Captain: Tian Ji ’16 Highlight: Beat Westminster, Loomis and Exeter

GIRLS TENNIS Varsity Season Record: 5–9 Captains: Rebecca Y. Wang ’16, Cornelia P. Kulle ’16 Highlight: Beat NMH and Tabor BOYS TRACK Varsity Season Record: 8–2 Captains: Kwabena Ayim-Aboagye ’16, James T. Gibson ’16 Highlight: 2nd place at Founders; 7th place at New Englands GIRLS TRACK Varsity Season Record: 9–0 Captains: Chibuzor C. Biosah ’16, Abigail A. Blair ’16 Highlights: Undefeated regular season; finished 1st at Founders League and 4th place at New Englands and broke 4x100 school record during Founders BOYS VOLLEYBALL Varsity Season Record: 2–8 Captain: Chanin Kitjatanapan ’16 Highlight: Beat Wilbraham and Monson GIRLS WATERPOLO Varsity Season Record: 8–9 Captains: Navasinee Maleenont ’16, Venus Law ’16 Highlight: With loss against Exeter, did not earn berth in playoffs ULTIMATE FRISBEE Varsity Season Record: 7–10–1 Captains: Katherine M. Overstrum ’16, Benjamin A. Wishnie-Edwards ’16 Highlight: Tied for 3rd in New Englands












11 1 Cecilia Zhou '17 looks to feed a fast break. 2 Will Powers ’19 hits a forehand. 3 Co-captain Liam O’Connell ’16 on the move.

4 Captain Chrissy Casazza '16 winds up for a pitch. 5 Captain Katie Overstrum ’16 6 Joseph Coyne ’19 and Josie Ruggieri ’17

7 Captain Morgan McDougal '16 off the tee. 8 Journee Brown ’19 drives a back-hand. 9 Tyler Daly ’17 warms up before a big inning.

10 Carter Prince '18 sets up the putt. 11 Alex Jarvis '17 looks for a feed. 12 Girls crew captain Alex Lengel ’16 at practice.



In this issue, a writer recalls his great-uncle’s life in the Golden Age of Theater, a young entrepreneur interprets the mobile revolution in technology, a social historian examines how the intimate experiences of fatherhood shaped our U.S. presidents as statesmen, and a children’s book author draws upon characters from Russian folk tales to create an original tale of suspense and adventure.

Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me: A Memoir of Broadway’s Golden Age By John C. Wilson, edited by Thomas S. Hischak and Jack Macauley ’70 Reviewed by Paul J. Tines

NOEL, TALLULAH, COLE, AND ME Author: John C. Wilson, edited by Thomas S. Hischak and Jack Macauley ’70 Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers About the Reviewer: Paul J. Tines, former director of the Paul Mellon Arts Center, is now Director of the Arts at Marvelwood School in Litchfield, Conn.

If you are an aficionado of the theater, you will absolutely love Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me by John C. Wilson, edited with commentary by Thomas S. Hischak and Wilson’s great-nephew Jack Macauley ’70. Filled with story after story of Broadway and West End legends, the book transports the reader back to the Golden Age of Theater. What a life John C. Wilson lived! From morning to night, he directed, produced, traveled, dined, and partied with the theater elite. Once I started to read the book, I couldn’t put it down. John Wilson finished his autobiography in 1958, but it was never published. He died in 1961. The manuscript sat in a box in his niece’s closet for 50 years, and it was not until her death that the manuscript was discovered by her son, Jack Macauley. Collaborating with an editor, Macauley started working on his great-uncle’s autobiography, adding detailed material. The reader is transported back through time, beginning with Wilson’s time at Andover and Yale . Easy and engaging to read, the book is full of facts and dates. Wilson lived a fascinating life. He met Noel Coward in 1924, and the two men became romantically involved and then partners. Eventually, Wilson also became Mr. Coward’s business manager, attending many openings and traveling the continent with him. Oh, the people John Wilson knew. He met the impresario Serge Diaghelev, who founded the Ballets Russes, two years before his death. During this time, Cole and Linda Porter invited Noel and Wilson to join them in Venice. Wilson writes, “In addition to being on the Grand Canal, it boasted a huge interior courtyard, a ballroom, eight to ten drawing rooms, and I never knew how many bedrooms. Noel and I

occupied what was known as the ‘Pope’s Suite,’ which included a sitting room facing the Grand Canal, two bedrooms, and a relatively primitive bathroom.” What a wonderful, delicious image of a time gone by. He continues to write, “Walking up and down the narrow beach past the various cabanas, one could stop and chat with Elsa Maxwell, Princess San Faustino, Cecil Beaton, Princess Faucigny Lucinge, or the blue-haired Baron de Meyer …” In 1936, John married the Russian Princess, international socialite, and model Natalie Pavlovna Paley, a first cousin of the last Czar of Russia. They remained married until Wilson’s death. In 1941, he directed his first Broadway show, Blithe Spirit, written by Coward. He would continue directing, as well as producing, shows in New York and London. Toward the end of the book, Wilson writes, “For more than thirty years I was in close contact with nearly every actor and actress of note in the American and English theaters, witnessing an endless parade of them rise and fall, come and go, or come and stay. It was all so fascinating. What a life!” We – the readers – are the lucky ones in that Wilson kept such detailed and exquisite journals. Wilson was a true wordsmith. He brings to life the likes of Peggy Woods, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Richard Rodgers, Alfred Drake, Tennessee Williams and Tallulah Bankhead – to name just few. If you are a theater connoisseur, you will definitely want to read Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me. Wilson writes, “I walked onto a darkened stage of a 42nd Street theater and met and fell in love with Miss Gertrude Lawrence.” Indeed, what a beautiful and elegant life John Wilson lived.


Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st-Century Economy By Alex Moazed ’06 and Nicholas L. Johnson | Reviewed by Samuel Doak

MODERN MONOPOLIES Author: Alex Moazed ’06 and Nicholas L. Johnson Publisher: St. Martin’s Press About the Reviewer: Sam Doak teaches economics, world history, and entrepreneurship and is Dean of the Class of 2019. Choate Rosemary Hall has had an entrepreneurship curriculum for just over a decade.

The management guru Peter Drucker posed an important question as early as 1993 in Post-Capitalist Society: Was technology so fundamentally changing the dynamics of production that business in the Information Age would challenge classical theories of competition? Finding winners in contemporary business can look a little bit like a “Where’s Waldo” search: many and various contenders, rapid pace, seeming randomness, some true innovation, lots of imitation, various pretenders but seemingly only one winner in a sector. Picking the winners with foresight makes one wealthy; ignoring the upstarts unseats giants, and quickly. How do we explain recent business accomplishments with so short a hindsight and how should business practitioners understand the strategic landscape they operate in today? Serving both interests is an excellent new book by Alex Moazed ’06 and Nicholas L. Johnson, titled Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st-Century Economy. The crux of their thesis is that, indeed, the tectonics have shifted as information technology makes the networked platform the most significant generator of value in the contemporary value chain. “Platforms Are Eating the World,” they note; industry giants beware. Most significantly, these platforms (Uber, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Tencent, Google, Instragram, Baidu, AirBnB among them) tend towards natural monopolies, driven by the fact that their value grows exponentially with each additional user while their marginal costs of satisfying each additional user are linear and negligible (near zero). This is the reason we see one dominant, enormous winner emerging in each sector and the reason the greatest competitive threats are no longer necessarily from within an industry but, rather, across sectors. Imagine an Apple or a Google automated transportation platform wiping out the market influence of a Ford or Toyota in the next decade! Moazed and Johnson do a brilliant job explaining 21st-century business realities with rich detail and example, and they should know. As founders of Applico, an app developer that morphed into a platform innovation consultancy, their young careers have been front row to the fireworks of the internet age, its

mobile revolution, and the emergence of platform model dominance. In fact, one of the most valuable aspects of this entertaining read is the analysis of the last decade through insightful business case studies. Modern Monopolies picks apart recent winners and losers with statistical clarity to explain how the rules of the game have fundamentally shifted. Their analysis is an optimistic look at the fantastic value created by platforms and the role they play in enriching our everyday lives. Insights are underscored by meaningful comparison between domestic examples and the advancement of platforms in emerging economies, like China, where Baidu steers 80 percent of the ecommerce marketplace. As with rail in the Industrial Age, platform models in the Information Age are advancing on comparatively blank slates, enabling rapid commercial and social change. This is an important historical snapshot. If your interest is in building a new business or defending an existing business from contemporary threats, there is insight for you in Modern Monopolies. Moazed and Johnson lay out the dynamics and design necessities of successful platform business models. They distill four essential functions that explain the value proposition and scalability of the platforms that infuse our world today. They express that every platform depends on management understanding the “core transaction” which the platform facilitates at scale; and they provide caveats and practical advice for avoiding tactical pitfalls on the way to scale. Here, too, the work is supported by insightful examples of great ideas that failed through poor execution, bad timing, or fundamental conceptual errors. This practical guidance is a necessity today for any entrepreneur or investor. The time to read this book is now. With the pace of technological change, our challenge is divining the future in the tea leaves of recent experience, which requires constant attention to details. Modern Monopolies does just that: thoroughly researched, data-driven, and insightful, it is well timed to help you make sense of dynamic complexity in an age of uncertainty.


First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama By Joshua Kendall ’77 | Reviewed by Emily L. Brenner

FIRST DADS Author: Joshua Kendall ’77 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing About the Reviewer: Emily Brenner returns to Choate’s History, Philosophy, Religion and Social Sciences department this fall after parenting full time for the last three years.

As a history teacher, I am always on the hunt for what l like to call the “juicy bits” of our past. A seemingly simple piece of trivia can really help my cause, especially when our class period meets after a particularly rich dining hall lunch. But what draws my students in more than anything else are stories, especially the kind that forge connections between our 21st century classroom and the figures we study from the past. Lucky for me, Joshua Kendall ’77 offers a bumper crop of compelling stories, rife with juicy bits, in First Dads. His fast-moving narrative categorizes his subjects thematically and offers readers the opportunity to experience the presidents on a personal level. “This book,” says Kendall, “starts from the premise that character, as traditionally defined, both counts and is worth resuscitating as a critical variable in political analysis.” For Kendall, the role of father reflects in a President not only his personality but also his worldview. Kendall analyzes the “fathering,” as he puts it, of U.S. presidents through stories of private family life amid public office. His anecdotes are rich with both period detail and modern empathy. The parenting challenges that so many of us have faced or witnessed humanize our chief executives within Kendall’s pages. Readers are drawn into the familial drama present at the births, deaths, weddings, and even playdates of the presidents’ progeny. But the book is not about the children of our presidents. Kendall focuses his lens on the “first dads” themselves, and how their experiences of fatherhood can enrich our understanding of their presidencies. Our understanding of commanders-in-chief deepens with Kendall’s analysis of how personal tragedy impacted their outlook, mood and decision-making. Indeed, the loss of a child, for example, is a wound that would plague anyone, no less a sitting President. Kendall opens his chapter “The Grief-Stricken” by showing how the tragic train accident that killed Franklin and Jane Pierce’s son Benny “would forever change their lives as well as the trajectory of American history.” A few days after his landslide victory, Pierce was poised “to mitigate the tensions” between the most dangerous of opponents in his time – western farmers and eastern bankers and southern slaveholders and northern abolitionists. But the “searing

trauma” of the accident left President-elect Pierce “permanently scarred” and unable to prevent his country from slipping ever closer to civil war. First Dads does not focus on tragedy alone, however. Chapters on “Playful Pals” and “The Nurturers” offer us endearing glimpses of how presidential fathers who commit themselves to some modicum of family life can draw strength from their children. On the other side, chapters entitled “The Preoccupied” and “Double-Dealing Dads” show us how effective leadership over the executive branch does not necessarily translate into effective fatherhood. And, at times, a president’s fatherhood reflects his statesmanship almost exactly. John Adams, for example, pushed his three sons as he pushed the country, observes Kendall. Unfortunately for the second president, his “tiger dad” approach to childrearing backfired with Adams’ younger sons, both of whom failed professionally and became chronic alcoholics. His eldest, John Quincy, rose to meet most of his father’s expectations, including reading Thucydides in ancient Greek by age 10, mastering 13 languages by adulthood, and becoming President. But following in his father’s model made John Quincy a similar parent, and president. “The two Adams’s ruled over their children in the same way that they governed America. Not all that adept at connecting, they often attempted to control,” Kendall explains. While Kendall’s work may not reveal groundbreaking new evidence from the historical record, First Dads provides a unique approach to analyzing the 38 presidents who were biological fathers and the remaining five who parented adopted children. He successfully connects us on a personal level with the fathers of our nation who are often remembered only for their statesmanship. We can empathize with those “first dads” who yearned to be at the dinner table just when the red phone rang or an angry senator demanded a late meeting. Whether there will be another father in the White House come January or we will experience chief executive leadership by the first presidential mother remains to be seen. Either way, Joshua Kendall will be taking notes.


The Door by the Staircase By Katherine Marsh ’92 | Reviewed by Cheryl Bardoe Mary is a survivor. After escaping the blaze that killed her mother and brother in a crowded boarding house, Mary uses her wits and bravery to withstand the cold cruelty of orphanages for four years. Readers first meet this 12-year-old heroine as she squirms her way up the orphanage’s large stovepipe, dragging along her treasured book of Grimm’s Household Tales. Mary bursts through the chimney to freedom, but her escape is cut short when a magical wind traps her for the matron to catch. Miraculously, Mary’s problems seem to be solved the next day, when ancient Madame Z shows up, singing Russian lullabies and insisting that Mary is the orphan she must adopt. Suddenly, Mary has all the comforts of home: warm clothes that fit perfectly, meals as plentiful as they are delicious, a cozy bed, and piles of books. Yet for all her generosity, the mysterious Madame Z remains aloof and scolds the black cat that curls up with Mary each night for getting “too attached.” Mary discovers more intrigue in the nearby town, which is a magnet for fortunetellers, magicians, and hucksters. Despite being warned by Madame Z against trusting anyone, Mary finds a good friend in Caleb – the son of a traveling magician – who is a master illusionist himself. Caleb also longs to put down roots, and together the children explore the town to discern whose magic is real, rather than professionally developed deceit. As a result, Mary’s journey through this story is one of constant discovery and danger.

THE DOOR BY THE STAIRCASE Author: Katherine Marsh ’92 Publisher: Disney-Hyperion About the Reviewer: Cheryl Bardoe is a children’s book author whose titles include Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle, Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas and The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur.

PIT BULL: THE BATTLE OVER AN AMERICAN ICON Author: Bronwen Dickey ’99 Publisher: Knopf

CHARLIE NUMBERS AND THE MAN IN THE MOON Authors: Ben and Tonya Mezrich ‘91 Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Spring 2017

When Mary uncovers a terrifying secret about her new guardian, she must make a choice. Rather than running away, she realizes that her best chance for survival is to stay and hope to work some magic of her own on Madame Z. This is Katherine Marsh’s fourth novel for middle grade readers and it has been honored as a Junior Library Guild Selection. Drawing on characters from Russian folk tales, this novel offers plenty of adventure and suspense, along with a bold main character who refuses to give up. More than once Mary outsmarts the powerful magic of legendary beings to save herself and those she cares about. Along the way, she learns when to trust herself and others and how to harness her own power to forge a new family. “Just like Madame Z,” Marsh writes, “Mary knew what it was like to feel unlovable and unwanted.” Throughout the story the author explores what has the power to transform one of folklore’s most frightening and formidable villains. In this original tale, the answer to that age-old question is … a child’s love.

A STRANGE INSOMNIA Author: Christina Cook ‘87 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing



An Accidental Activist Monte Frank ‘86

Monte Frank ’86 with United States Senator Richard Blumenthal speaking at the U.S. Capitol on April 12, 2016.

When I graduated from Cornell Law School in 1993, one of my classmates went to work on advancing civil rights for the LGBTQ community and eventually became the Legal Director of the National Center of Lesbian Rights. If you had told me in 1993 when he became an activist on this civil rights issue that marriage equality would be the law of the land, and that in 2016 my alma mater, Choate Rosemary Hall, would have a standing room only crowd at Reunion Weekend for a program on transgender issues with two transgender alumni on the panel, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. I just could not have imagined the progress that has been made on this issue – important to so many Americans. My law school classmate, a “true” activist, played a significant role in causing this previously unimaginable change to become a reality. As a result of the mass murder that occurred in my town at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, I have become an “accidental” activist. The shooting thrust me into action to advocate for solutions to cure our gun violence epidemic. I have led the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington, attended events at The White House,

including a meeting in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing, spoken at the U.S. Capitol, and met with many senators, representatives, governors, and mayors. I have written extensively on the issue and have worked with victims’ families from all over the country. Progress is slow and difficult, but I believe that change is coming. As Nelson Mandela said: “It always seems impossible until it is done.” It is not lost on me, however, that if I had started working on this issue when my law school classmate began working on LGBTQ issues in 1993, maybe I could have saved the 20 children and six educators murdered in their classrooms in my town. Perhaps, if I had devoted my life to reducing gun violence, America would not experience 33,000 firearm related deaths each year including mass shootings at our malls, night clubs, movie theaters, schools and the daily parade of gun violence in our cities. While it may be better late than never, I feel guilty that I did not possess the courage to become a true activist when I graduated from law school and only stood up when a mass shooting landed at my door. As a grandson and son of Holocaust survivors, I should know better. We all should know better. And, yet, I see this pattern continue to repeat itself. The gun violence prevention movement grows when a mass shooting occurs in another community and a new member of the club no one wants to join becomes another powerful voice, while communities who have not suffered the scourge of gun violence remain largely silent. While being an accidental activist is better than remaining silent forever, it is far better to follow your convictions and speak out and act for what you believe in from the outset. In the past three years, I have spoken at the Cornell Law School and at high schools encouraging students to become true activists. I recently spoke to a group of high school students in Newark, New Jersey who are part of a program called N.J. LEEP (Law and Education Empowerment Project) whose mission is to empower youth from underserved neighborhoods to greater educational achievement. I used my own example juxtaposed against my Cornell Law School classmate to encourage the students to envision the change they want in the world, develop the skills they will need to advocate for it, and go to work at an early age to make it happen. Many of the skills I employ in my activism today I obtained at Choate 30 years ago. As an aside, when I asked them by a show of hands if they know someone who has been killed or injured because of gun violence, a majority of hands shot up. I raised my hand too. We can do better than this. But it will only occur when true activists join the movement and fight for change. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Monte Frank ’86 is a lawyer who founded and leads Team 26 on the annual Sandy Hook Ride on Washington.

Choate Rosemary Hall

Annual Fund c











100 YEARS national

pa r k s e rv i c e

A heartfelt thank you. AMERICA'S EPIC CLASSROOMS / P.14

Author and Photographer James Kaiser ’95 (front cover) reminds readers of the significance of our National Parks on the occasion of their Centennial. Says Kaiser, ”Outside of Choate Rosemary Hall, there's no place where I‘ve learned more.”


FALL ’16

Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin is published fall, winter, and spring for alumni, students and their parents, and friends of the School. Please send change of address to Alumni Records and all other correspondence to the Communications Office, 333 Christian Street, Wallingford, CT 06492-3800. Choate Rosemary Hall does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, athletics, other school-administered programs, or in the administration of its hiring and employment practices on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic predisposition, ancestry, or other categories protected by Connecticut and federal law. Printed in U.S.A. CRH160710/17.5M

Editorial Offices T: (203) 697-2252 F: (203) 697-2380 Email: Website: Director of Strategic Planning & Communications Alison J. Cady Editor Lorraine S. Connelly Design and Production David C. Nesdale Classnotes Editor Henry McNulty ’65

Communications Assistant Britney G. Cullinan Contributors Cheryl Bardoe Emily Brenner Lorraine S. Connelly P ’03, ’05 Samuel Doak Monte Frank ’86 Kim Hastings P ’15, ’18 James Kaiser ’95 David Loeb Andrea Thompson Paul J. Tines Ruth Walker Lindsay Whalen ’01

Photography Sarah V. Gordon James Kaiser ’95 Ross Mortensen NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) David C. Nesdale

Transformative experiences are at the heart of a Choate Rosemary Hall education, and those experiences would be much less without the tremendous generosity of the extended Choate community. Last year, more than 5,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends joined together with contributions large and small to provide critical resources for the School, including a record $6 million to the Annual Fund. Thanks to our donors we can offer even greater opportunities to all 862 students who live and learn on campus today, and we can provide increased support for our dedicated faculty who not only teach, but also coach, mentor, and inspire their students every day. Thank you to everyone who generously gave to the School this year! You help us maintain the traditions of innovation and excellence that are synonymous with a Choate education.

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Show your school spirit! Wear your blue & gold and support our student athletes on home turf!

The Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin is printed using vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified, 100% post consumer recycled paper. This issue saved 101 trees, 42,000 gallons of wastewater, 291 lbs of waterborne waste, and 9,300 lbs of greenhouse gases from being emitted.

In this issue:

YES TO SUCCESS Young Eisner Scholars

ENERGY’S NEW MOMENT: Alumni in the New Energy Sector

END NOTE: An Accidental Activist

Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin | Fall '16  

The Magazine of Choate Rosemary Hall

Choate Rosemary Hall Bulletin | Fall '16  

The Magazine of Choate Rosemary Hall