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The Exeter Bulletin

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Commencement 2012

Summer 2012

Dreams come true...

...thanks to you. Your support of the 2011-12 Annual Giving Fund had a direct impact on the experience of students from every quarter. Annual gifts enable the Academy to sustain the hallmarks of an Exeter education, including small class sizes, an outstanding faculty, and facilities and programs that allow students to achieve at a high level. Once again, you helped keep Exeter extraordinary.


Thank you. The Exeter Annual Giving Fund

Around the Table


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Principal Thomas E.Hassan ’56,’66,’70,’06(Hon.);P’11 Director of Communications Julie Quinn Editor Karen Ingraham Staff Writers Mike Catano, Alice Gray, Nicole Pellaton, Famebridge Witherspoon Class Notes Editor Janice M. Reiter Editorial Assistant Susan Goraczkowski


2012 Commencement address By Principal Thomas E. Hassan

32 | EMERGENCY RESPONDERS Exonians meet disasters head-on By Leah Williams

Creative Director/Design David Nelson, Nelson Design Contributing Editors Edouard L. Desrochers ’45, ’62 (Hon.) Jennifer Murray Communications Advisory Committee Daniel G. Brown ’82, Robert C. Burtman ’74, Dorinda Elliott ’76, Alison Freeland ’72, Keith Johnson ’52, Yvonne M. Lopez ’93 TRUSTEES President G. Thompson Hutton ’73 Vice President Eunice Johnson Panetta ’84 David O. Beim ’58, Flobelle Burden Davis ’87, Marc C. de La Bruyère ’77, Walter C. Donovan ’81, John A. Downer ’75, Jonathan W. Galassi ’67, Thomas E. Hassan ’56, ’66, ’70, ’06 (Hon.); P’11, Jen Holleran ’86, David R. Horn ’85, Alan R. Jones ’72, Sally Jutabha Michaels ’82, William K. Rawson ’71, Dr. Nina D. Russell ’82, Robert S. Silberman ’76, J. Douglas Smith ’83, Remy White Trafelet ’88, Morrison DeSoto Webb ’65 The Exeter Bulletin (ISSN No. 0195-0207) is published four times each year: fall, winter, spring, and summer, by Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main Street, Exeter NH 03833-2460, 603-772-4311. Periodicals postage paid at Exeter, NH, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA by Cummings Printing. The Exeter Bulletin is printed on recycled paper and sent free of charge to alumni/ae, parents, grandparents, friends, and educational institutions by Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH. Communications may be addressed to the editor; email bulletin@exeter.edu. Copyright 2012 by the Trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy. ISSN-0195-0207 Postmasters: Send address changes to: Phillips Exeter Academy, Records Office, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833-2460.

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Departments 4 Around the Table: New faculty appointments, campus life at a glance, honoring early educators, and more. 10 Table Talk with Peter Corbett ’99, entrepreneur, innovative marketer and social technology expert 17 Exoniana: Dialing up the past in an Exeter phone booth 18 Exonians in Review: Left-handed: Poems by Jonathan Galassi ’67. Reviewed by Ralph Sneeden 38 Sports: On the Road Again: Spring sports teams rack up the mileage compiled by Mike Catano. Plus, spring sports roundup.


42 Connections: News and Notes from the Alumni/ae Community 44 Profiles: Bud Konheim ’53, Dr. Martha Nance ’76 and Daniel Moynihan ’00 112 Finis Origine Pendet: A Year in Bangladesh By Emma Hiza ’05

Visit Exeter on the web at www.exeter.edu. Email us at bulletin@exeter.edu.




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Frisbee on the Quad A true sign of spring—the recreational PEA Frisbee team plays in front of the Academy Building after classes on a sunny afternoon. —Photo by Cheryl Senter


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The View from Here


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Around the Table

What’s new and notable at the Academy

New Appointments


he 2012–13 academic year began on July 1 and ushered in changes in leadership within the Dean of Students Office and beyond, as faculty members began new tenures in rotating administrative roles. Melissa D. Mischke, a chemistry instructor since 1994 and associate dean of students from 2006–11, is Exeter’s new dean of students. She replaces Dan Morrissey, who has completed his five-year appointment.


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As associate dean, Mischke says she was “routinely challenged and learned how to encounter and handle difficult and delicate situations”—experience that she believes will aid her in transitioning to the new post. Building on the groundwork laid by Morrissey, Mischke will continue to foster open dialogue and accessibility between the Academy and PEA parents, while also working toward a paperless office. She describes her prior work with the Academy’s deans as “a team approach in problem-solving and actionplanning, which has been invaluable to each of us in our own work areas.”

Mischke plans to work closely with Dean of Faculty Ron Kim to ensure students have access to a supportive and effective advising system and residential life experience. She also intends to focus on other important issues, such as pace of life and student health and wellness.“I have spent these last six years observing and embracing the many ways in which the Dean’s Office forges that all-important connection between Exeter, its students, their parents and the faculty,” she says. Mischke, who has taught at every grade level at PEA, served as a dormitory head in Amen and Langdell halls and Moulton House. She also worked with Physical Education Instructor Jean Chase Farnum P’02 and Physical Education Emeritus Instructor Edward M. Frey ’83 (Hon.) coaching boys varsity tennis. Mischke earned a B.S. and an M.Ed. from the University of New Hampshire. Before Exeter, she interned and taught at several New Hampshire Seacoast-area schools, including Nashua Senior High, Pennichuck Junior High and Timberland Regional High School. Math Instructor Karen L. Geary P’16 joins Mischke in the Dean of Students Office as the new dean of academic affairs. Geary, who has taught at PEA for 16 years, replaces English Instructor Jane Cadwell, who also has completed her five-year appointment. Geary’s responsibilities include student programming and scheduling, working with both students and parents. She will also chair the Academic Advising Committee and collaborate with students’ advisers. In addition to teaching math, she coached girls field hockey and held dorm positions in Amen, Dunbar and Hoyt halls. Geary earned a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.S.T. from the University of New Hampshire. The Academy’s Steyer Distinguished Professor and Religion Instructor Jamie L. Hamilton P’08, P’11 is the new associate dean of students, replacing Mischke. In her new position, Hamilton acts as the liaison with Health Services for students, implementing medical leave policy and serving as chair of the Attendance Committee. A member of the Religion Department since 1995, Hamilton served as department chair from

Faculty and Staff Awards and Prizes This spring, the following Exeter faculty and staff members were recognized for the quality of their work and their contributions to the life of the school. Brown Family Faculty Awards Karen Geary Mathematics

2000–05 and was the Academy’s acting school minister from 2002–03. She has also served as a priest at Emmanuel Church in Dublin, NH. Hamilton earned her B.A. from Central Washington University and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary. English Instructor Eimer C. Page is the Academy’s first director of global initiatives. In this newly created position, Page says she will “form a stronger vision of Exeter’s place in the global landscape and offer faculty, staff and students opportunities that will expose them to areas of significant international interest.” Page will administer and expand existing programs, including opportunities for faculty from multiple departments to travel jointly to places such as Ghana, Morocco and China. She will also assess the academic and financial viability of student and faculty outreach efforts, including off-campus programs and oncampus conferences, as well as review the safety and health risks associated with each program. Originally from Ireland, she currently oversees the ExeterBallytobin/Callan Program, an opportunity for qualified seniors to spend the winter term in Callan, Ireland, living and working with people who have special needs. A member of Exeter’s English Department since 2004, Page received her B.A. from Trinity College in Dublin; an M.A. from Queen’s University in Belfast; a Ph.D. from Trinity College; and she attended Harvard University as a visiting Fulbright Fellow. Currently, she serves as dorm head of Dunbar Hall. Modern Languages Instructor Elena Gosálvez-Blanco is the Academy’s new associate director of Summer School, which is a three-year position. In this role, she will oversee the Summer School’s admissions process, working directly with the Academy’s Admissions Office, as well as provide management support to Director of Summer School Ethan Shapiro. Gosálvez-Blanco will also continue to teach Spanish part time during the regular school year. An instructor since 2007, she has served as dorm head of Merrill and Hoyt halls. She received her B.A. from Universidad Complutense (Spain), an M.A. from Emerson College and an M.A. from Arizona State University. Kenney M. Chan P’13, P’16, a computer science instructor since 2006, replaces Math Instructor Patricia Babecki P’06 as the Academy’s academic scheduler. His experience in designing, developing and maintaining large software systems will be utilized in this new position. Chan earned his B.S. from Cornell University and an M.Ed. from Harvard University.

Andrea Sweet Interscholastic Athletics

Ahmed Jebari Modern Languages

Dr. Daniel E. Koshland Jr. ’37 Awards Patricia Babecki Mathematics

Peter Schultz Music

Jim DiCarlo Science

Jeff Ward Science

Dormitory Adviser Awards Johnny Griffith English

George S. Heyer Jr. ’48 Teacher Awards Joyce Kemp Mathematics James Samiljan Modern Languages

Melissa Pacific Physical Education Michelle Soucy Health Education

Rupert Radford ’15 Awards Gretchen Bergill College Counseling

The Class of 1964 Fund Awards Shelley Bronk Class of 1945 Library

Jane Cadwell Dean of Students, English

Tim Lang Facilities Management

Linda Luca Theater and Dance, Physical Education

Nancy Means Admissions

Dan Morrissey Dean of Students Connie Morse Lamont Health and Wellness Center Karen Burgess Smith Lamont Gallery Peter Vorkink Religion Charles E. Ryberg ’63 Fund Awards Fran Johnson ’82 Science

Pam Milton Information Technology Services Tammy Preble Dining Services Blair Brown ’58 and Borden Brown ’56 Staff Excellence Awards Bob Brown Grill Christine Fell Institutional Advancement Bobbie Jameson Dining Services

Brian Sea Computer Science

Dawn Patten Facilities Management

Giorgio Secondi History

Maureen Robinson Exeter Social Service Organization

Masami Stahr Mathematics


The Exeter Bulletin


Around the Table

In the Assembly Hall March 30: Dr. Warren Farrell Author of The Myth of Male Power

April 10: Jenny Oakley Digital artist and teacher

Dr. Warren Farrell, author of seven books, including Why Men Are the Way They Are, borrowed a phrase from The Atlantic to describe what he perceives as the current crisis in the emotional development of boys as “the end of men.” During his assembly address, Farrell said boys have fallen behind girls in development because of fatherlessness, changing views on masculinity and addiction to video games, among other things. These factors and others, Farrell argued, will expand a vacuum in leadership within American family life, commerce and politics that could threaten the country’s future. “When young men have a sense of purpose, they can be one of society’s most constructive forces,” Farrell said. “When they don’t have a sense of purpose, they become one of society’s most destructive forces.” Farrell’s assembly remarks engendered a campuswide dialogue among Exonians and resulted in a forum on gender roles, where an insightful and robust discussion ensued.

“The iPad opened up a whole world of possibilities for me,” Scottish artist Jenny Oakley told assembly. “I still do all of the traditional forms of art but I can get nice textures and effects with the iPad using different apps.” Oakley is the art teacher at the Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, Scotland, where each of the 120 students and teachers has an iPad. During her presentation, she showed slides of artwork by her students, who range in age from 5 to 18. “The iPad is a safe place for the [students] to experiment and a real confidence builder,” Oakley said. “It provides a blank canvas and opens up [their] creativity.” She added that the Delete button is a great tool when working on a digital canvas: “Undo, undo, undo—try something new—undo until you’re happy with it.” Oakley believes the iPad is perfect for encouraging the continued exploration of creativity and ideas.




April 13: Anis Mojgani Slam poet and musician



Using a violin, jump rope and plastic tube as his instruments, Dr. David T. Kung explored with Exonians the connection—and disconnection—between mathematical and musical approaches to scales. “When you pluck a string, when you do anything with a stringed instrument, you’re hearing not just a single note but a symphony of different vibrations,” Kung explained as he launched into the mathematics of vibrating strings and partial differential equations. During the 50-minute assembly, which he called “talk for both sides of your brain,” Kung not only covered a lot of math, physics and music theory but also played on his violin a bit of Mendelssohn and the chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor by Bach. He also proved that no piano can truly be in tune. “You can have your fifths in tune or you can have your octaves in tune, but not both,” he said. Not your everyday math lesson. After assembly, Kung met with four math classes, including an advanced class in Selected Topics: Game Theory and Advanced Integrated Mathematics. The Exeter Bulletin

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April 6: Dr. David T. Kung Associate professor of mathematics, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

“I lift bridges with poems,” said poet Anis Mojgani to Exonians at assembly. The author, whose poems have been compared to “fiercely hopeful word arias,” clearly struck a chord with students during his two-day visit. “When I found out he was coming to Exeter, I screamed,” said Lily George ’14 of Mojgani, who is a two-time champion of the National Poetry Slam and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. “It is so amazing,” she continued. “This is one of those moments where I feel infinitely lucky to be at Exeter.” Mojgani performed twice at Exeter, giving an evening concert as well as an assembly. He is the author of two poetry collections, The Feather Room and Over the Anvil We Stretch, and has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” on NPR, and in the documentary Slam Planet:War of the Words. His poems have been published in Rattle, Bestiary and The Legendary. April 20: Tom Burack ’78 and Ken Kimmell ’78 Department of Environmental Services commissioners for New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Former classmates Tom Burack and Ken Kimmell are now both commissioners of their neighboring states’ environmental services departments and frequently collaborate on issues of mutual

concern.The commissioners spoke to students about topics such as wastewater treatment management, mercury emissions reduction and climate change. The men agreed that a clean environment and economic development are closely connected. “Many thought that big business was the problem,” Burack said. “It caused us to think that the economy was the enemy of the environment—in fact, the opposite is true.” Kimmell cited projections of more than $1 billion in savings on energy bills in the Northeast over 10 years because of regional, mandatory, market-based efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The projected economic benefit to New England and the mid-Atlantic states is a true success story,” Kimmell said. Burack told students that his Exeter education gave him the gift of knowing it’s OK to be passionate about something, and Kimmell said his experience taught him to listen better and to have some humility.



Around the Table

The New York Times best-selling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spoke to students about The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, her book about an Afghan woman entrepreneur. A former political journalist who covered presidential politics and public affairs as a producer with ABC News and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Lemmon is currently deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program. Her book is told mainly through the voice of Kamila, a real-life teenage girl who began a dressmaking business in her living room during Taliban rule and later expanded it by teaching other women how to sew. The story grew out of a trip Lemmon took to Afghanistan to cover female entrepreneurs for the Financial Times. Lemmon told students she found “breadwinners in burqas”—women like Kamila who supported their families and got an education against the edicts of their country’s rulers. “It’s a story about what you do in the world when your back is against the wall,” she told her audience. May 4: Pierre S. du Pont IV ’52 Former governor of Delaware

May 8: Dr. Peter Onyisi ’99 Physicist and postdoctoral scholar



April 27: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Journalist, editor, and author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

an assembly address on what he described as the expanding size and cost of government. Asserting that the United States increasingly resembles many European nations in the scope of its regulations, health care and social programs, he invited students, faculty, staff and several of his own Exeter classmates to consider whether this is leading to “a different kind of America.” The views du Pont expressed were consistent with the policies he pursued during his two terms as Delaware’s governor from 1977–85.While in office he limited government spending and signed two income tax-reduction measures. Today du Pont serves as chairman of the board for the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. He also writes the monthly “Outside the Box” column for The Wall Street Journal. Du Pont concluded his talk by asking the students, “Are Americans near the tipping point in the nature of their government? Your job, as someone coming out of the best educational place I know of, is to look at it and come to a conclusion.”

The students in assembly were fascinated by Dr. Peter Onyisi’s work on the ATLAS particle physics experiment in Switzerland and the search for evidence of the hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson, which would determine the structure of the fundamental forces of the universe. Onyisi described the work being done at the Large Hadron Collider, a massive machine at the European Organization for Nuclear Research Laboratory in Switzerland. It accelerates protons in opposite directions and crashes them together in the center of the ATLAS detector, where the particles produce minute fireballs of primitive energy. This acceleration creates similar conditions to those at the birth of the universe, which have not occurred since the universe cooled 14 billion years ago. “The Higgs boson was first theorized in the 1960s … . But we don’t know if it’s fact,” Onyisi told the students. “Scientists have been researching [it] for decades and this is the last piece.” Onyisi is part of an effort that includes institutions and national laboratories from every continent except Antarctica. If the Higgs boson particle is discovered, he said, science textbooks will be rewritten as new processes and particles change the understanding of energy and matter.

At the start of a campus visit to mark his 60th Exeter class reunion, the Honorable Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV ’52 delivered SUMMER 2012

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Around the Table

Trustee Roundup


he Trustees of the Academy met on campus Wednesday,

May 16, through Friday, May 18. On Wednesday, several trustees met with members of the Principal’s Staff and the academic department heads as part of an annual evaluation of the principal. Later that evening, trustees gathered for dinner and conversation. The Trustees began their official meetings Thursday morning with a report from Principal Tom Hassan who provided an update on conversations and suggestions being made by faculty, staff, students and alumni/ae in response to the Immediate Priorities that he outlined earlier this year. He also talked about technology on campus and mentioned other news of the Academy. The Trustees heard reports from members of the Institutional Advancement staff, including Director of the Annual Fund Wayne Loosigian, who—with his staff and volunteers—was striving to raise a target $7.9 million for the Annual Fund by the June 30 deadline. The Trustees also reviewed the manner in which three trustees are appointed to the group from Exeter’s General Alumni/ae Association (GAA) and feted two GAA trustee members, Sally Jutabha Michaels ’82 and Toby Webb ’65, who are now completing their terms of service. The meeting then turned to discussion of facilities. Director of Facilities Management Roger Wakeman updated the Trustees on various projects being planned or under construction, including the steam distribution system upgrade nearing completion. The focus of this summer’s work is a section of steam and condensate lines between Phelps Academy Center and Phillips Hall.Work on a geothermal well field under the Academy lawn will begin immediately following graduation, as will the removal of furniture and belongings in Phillips Hall as we enter into the final stages of that renovation. As part of the normal cycle of the May meeting, the proposed capital budget for the next fiscal year was presented and approved. The budget outlines several projects, including a renovation to the dish room of Elm Street Dining Hall, a renovation of Model House for improved faculty apartments, and the renovation of 15 Elliot Street (a faculty home recently purchased through a fundraising gift that includes renovation costs). Wakeman also provided brief updates on the planning for next summer’s renovation of the Lamont Health and Wellness Center and planning for a second synthetic turf field, which is contingent on funding being secured. He also reported on the work of the joint trustee and on-campus planning committee for the Performing Arts Center. Finally, Wakeman and the Trustees discussed the need to keep in mind master planning for our athletic facilities and noted the possibility of upgrading a fitness center as an interim improvement. Most of Thursday afternoon was devoted to reports from faculty and administrators as part of the Education and Appointments Committee sessions. Trustees were presented reports concerning


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admissions, college counseling and faculty hiring. In hearing about faculty hiring from Associate Dean of Faculty Rosanna Salcedo, the Trustees were pleased to learn of some progress being made in hiring diverse new faculty members, and they pledged their strong support as we move ahead in the Academy’s work on diversity and equity. Dan Morrissey reflected on his five years as dean of students, and the Trustees thanked him for his dedication and accomplishments. Trustees also talked with Director of Summer School Ethan Shapiro and Hassan about the history and future of the Summer School and were informed about several new outreach efforts to assist teachers and students. Schools as close by as Raymond and Newmarket, NH, as well as one in Chicago are involved. Shapiro also discussed the continued emphasis on Summer School as an incubator for new programs, courses and ideas. Thursday evening was devoted to a retirement dinner for three Trustees: David Beim ’58, Michaels and Webb. Several trustees began Friday morning by meeting with seniors who are currently doing senior projects.They were pleased to learn of the great variety of topics being addressed and explored, and to see the degree of devotion these students—and their advisers— have to their studies. The Trustees interrupted their meetings to attend the special Founder’s Day Award assembly that honored Chuck Harris ’69, a past president of the Trustees. Chief Financial Officer Chris Wejchert then reviewed both this year’s and next year’s Academy budgets; an operating budget of $88,450,000 was approved for the 2012–13 academic year. Wejchert informed the Trustees that Exeter’s tuition of $44,470 for the next school year remains the lowest of our peer boarding schools. Trustees also heard from Director of Technology Services Diane Fandrich on the progress she and her staff have been making toward improved communication, as well as her department’s commitment to delivery of services. Trustees elected two new term trustees to join them this summer: Mark Edwards ’78; P’12, P’14 and Morgan Sze ’83. In addition, Director of Studies Laura Marshall was elected to continue as clerk of the Trustees. The remainder of Friday was devoted to a dialogue among current trustees and former trustees who had been invited to return to campus. Among the topics discussed were the Academy’s investments, tuition and affordability, and the concept of Global Exploration, as articulated in the principal’s “Exeter’s Immediate Priorities” letter. Former and current trustees then dined with members of the Principal’s Staff. Trustees appreciated the warm welcome they received from staff, faculty and students, and look forward to returning to campus in October for their next meeting.

Around the Table

Former Trustee President Honored C H U C K H A R R I S ’ 6 9 R E C E I V E S 2 0 1 2 F O U N D E R ’ S DAY AWA R D bers, the entire student body, and several hundred alumni/ae who watched the event live and online. Harris arrived at Exeter as a prep in 1965, the beneficiary of an endowed scholarship fund established by fellow North Carolinian Romeo H. Guest ’25. “Though I never met Mr. Guest, the notion that a stranger felt strongly enough to make such an opportunity a perpetual reality on this campus—that notion stuck with me,” Harris said. Harris, in turn, has given generously of his own time, energy and resources in order to make similar opportunities available to young people at View the Founder’s Exeter and throughout the country. Day Assembly and A graduate of Harvard University and MIT’s read Chuck Harris’ full remarks at Sloan School of Management, Harris spent 23 www.exeter.edu/ years at Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2002 bulletinextras. to pursue his philanthropic interests. He currently serves as portfolio manager and director of capital aggregation for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, which advances opportunities for low-income youths in the United States. In accepting the award, Harris emphasized the need to support education for all students, regardless of social or economic background. “I now realize that for all young people . . . there are exciting opportunities that lurk just beyond one’s grasp, often just beyond one’s imagination,” Harris said. “Helping to provide such opportunities at whatever scale and in whatever setting—as parents, teachers, coaches, employers, philanthropists—is the most rewarding work possible.”

Exeter Welcomes School Heads from Around the World The Academy and Principal Thomas Hassan hosted more than 40 members of the international G20 Schools Conference for part of their annual meeting in April. This informal association of secondary school heads originated in 2006, focusing on significant issues facing education and the world. The heads of 19 institutions participated in the conference, which PEA co-hosted with Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, MA, where the group spent the rest of the week. G20 teachers Lim Lai Cheng from the Raffles Institution in Singapore (left) and Yuvadee Nakapadungrat from the Mahidol Wittayanusorn School in Thailand observe PEA Science Instructor Tatiana Waterman’s (kneeling) An Introduction to Physics class, during an electric circuit demonstration.



n May, Charles T. “Chuck” Harris III ’69, former president of the Trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy and chair of The Exeter Initiatives campaign (2004–09), received the 2012 Founder’s Day Award in recognition of his exceptional service to the Academy. In presenting the award, General Alumni/ae Association President Sally Jutabha Michaels ’82; P’12, P’14 praised Harris as an “inspirational ambassador” for Exeter who combined grace and diplomacy with strategic acumen, a strong work ethic and “a determination to understand the essential issues facing the Academy.” In addition to filling various roles for his class, Harris served as an Academy trustee for 10 years (1999–2009), including three as president of the board. He was instrumental in Exeter’s 2007 decision to make the school tuition-free for qualified students whose families earn $75,000 a year or less. He also chaired The Exeter Initiatives, which raised more than $352 million for key school priorities and stands as the most successful fundraising campaign ever conducted by a secondary school. Addressing a special assembly, Harris thanked family members and friends who supported his volunteer efforts and expressed gratitude for his experience at the Academy as a student and alumnus. “I will be forever grateful for the shift in life trajectory and outlook that began for me here and has been nurtured by the ongoing opportunity to serve this school,” he told the audience, which included current and former Academy trustees, faculty and staff mem-


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Around the Table

Redefining the Interactive Experience TA B L E TA L K W I T H P E T E R C O R B E T T ’ 9 9 By Jennifer Murray



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community building.” He adds that while iStrategyLabs provides a terrific culture with great opportunities for the employees, they have to work incredibly hard and put their entire effort into what they do. According to Corbett, “there is no ‘eh, just kinda doing it’—that doesn’t fly here [and it] never will. “Our brand and community is much bigger than ourselves,” he says. “I spend only half my time working on the business; I put a tremendous amount of work in the tech, creative and entrepreneurial community in D.C. It’s important to me to make sure that other social innovators [and] entrepreneurs have [the help] they need to accomplish their goals.” A huge volume of information is fed into Corbett’s brain on a daily basis, which he says is essential for great ideas and innovative strategies. He says he reads in the range of 100 blog posts; hundreds of tweets; articles and Facebook updates; and watches “ridiculous amounts” of videos every day. The digestion and storage of this flood of information is what provides the fodder for his ideas. So how does Corbett clear his fastmoving brain to allow this massive amount of disparate information to coalesce into an idea? “I’ll go on a long bike ride for 20 or 30 miles to clear my mind and let the first thing I think about be what I focus on.That’s my whole brain for the rest of the ride. That’s where I’ve had most of my best ideas and solved the hardest problems,” he says. Part of Corbett’s penchant for fresh, creative ideas is his love of disruption. He doesn’t embrace the status quo and prefers to buck the traditional. He says he would never be seen in a black suit. Corbett believes people lose creativity if they conform to the norm. And true to his belief, he is a big fan of colorful sneakers—he owns 30 pairs—and wears them every day. He says that they’re “a great addition to any business meeting.” One of three children of a single mother, Corbett says he entered a new world when he came to Exeter. He had never met people whose fathers were CEOs and for the most part, he’d always been the smartest kid in the class—until he got to the Academy. He says he arrived at Exeter with a strong work ethic but that the Academy strengthened the demand for even greater work


ritish business magnate Richard Branson recently told an audience of young entrepreneurs, “You’re all in your 20s and 30s and you probably think this is it, right? Well, you probably have three or four more businesses in you.” Peter Corbett ’99, CEO of iStrategyLabs in Washington, D.C., was in the audience and said his incredulous response was, “Whoa, really?” Branson probably is right about Corbett. During the worst economic downturn in decades, Corbett started iStrategyLabs a few years ago in his apartment with three months of living expenses in the bank. The 31-year-old entrepreneur, innovative marketer and social technology expert turned his passion for creating new ways to communicate with people into a multimillion-dollar business. iStrategyLabs is an interactive marketing and branding agency that builds online and offline creative marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and raise the visibility of a company’s product or services. Experimental uses of social media and civic innovation programs (such as the Gov 2.0 movement to help deliver better government services to citizens) are hallmarks of the agency’s talents, which range from developing brand strategies, to buzz and social media monitoring, social data visualization, app development, influencer outreach and much more. Corbett and his 20-person team are retained by major global brands such as General Electric, Hilton, the U.S. Army, and Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. He says he and his colleagues like to work with people who say, “We need you—just tell us what to do and we’ll do it.” As successful as iStrategyLabs is, Corbett says it’s “not about the money—the objective isn’t to build up the bank account with cash.That is a byproduct of us doing great work and having a mission that the [staff] can rally behind.” Exeter’s non sibi philosophy is part of his company’s mission and every employee is involved in “civic innovation through

Faculty Wire John Blackwell continues with NASA program Science Department Chair and Grainger Observatory Director John Blackwell was picked for a third year to participate in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research


and excellence. “Starting a new company was sort of like upper year all over again only with more risk. In business, you can face bankruptcy, poverty and a ditch. I used my understanding of how to get huge volumes of work done when I started the company.” It took Corbett a while to adjust to PEA and his fellow Exonians and, in the process, he learned something very valuable. “I showed up with long hair and I didn’t want to play the game. Upper year, I came back and played the part, [which was] a calculated decision.” The 16-year-old’s decision involved cutting his hair, wearing the right clothes and generally making an effort to fit in. Accustomed to popularity, Corbett realized that if he didn’t have many friends after his lower year, then clearly the “market” wasn’t responding to his approach. So he decided to “play the part.” After he did, Corbett says, “It worked out.” Whatever is next for Corbett will involve an element of risk. He and his team are developing new products—in their spare time, fully “bootstrapped” and with no outside investors—which he says is the hard, but good, way to do it.The new products bring social media to a new level of interactivity because Corbett and his team think that social media by itself is “boring.” Grandstand is one product that visualizes social data in real time, showing tweets, check-ins and Facebook “likes” in an animated way. According to its creator, you can also turn Grandstand into a game. “I could go to a baseball game; I’m tweeting, [and] all of a sudden I see my face on the Jumbotron and I’ve just won a VIP seat upgrade or a bag of peanuts,” Corbett explains. He references the GE Social Fridge, an example of his newly created service area called Social Machines. According to Corbett, “Social Machines takes all the stuff on the web and lets people control the real world with it.” Corbett continues to think out loud, “What if it took a million tweets before Lady Gaga popped out of a box at a Super Bowl halftime show—that’s what this technology does.” Corbett thinks it’s up to creative people to save the world. If they’re anything like him, he’s probably right.

Program, or NITARP. The yearlong program brings small groups of educators together in authentic astronomical research under the guidance of a professional astronomer. For 2012, Blackwell is serving as his team’s mentor teacher, assisting three middle and high school educators from around the country in interpreting NASA’s data and incorporating their experiences into their classrooms. He is also bringing his team’s work into his own classrooms at PEA, involving students in as much of the research as possible. Blackwell’s team is studying quasars: star-like celestial bodies of extremely high luminosity that are often the nuclei of galaxies. He calls his team’s focus “pure astronomy.” “We are seeking to understand the relationships between the temperature of quasar accretion disks and quasar overall luminosity,” Blackwell explains. “The hope is that we find a correlation, or that we can show that there is no correlation at all. It has been a question left unanswered for a long time and with new data available, we hope to have a better understanding of the relationship.” Blackwell’s team is partnering with Dr. Varoujan Gorjian, a NASA research astronomer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Gorjian’s work includes determining the luminosity and fueling mechanism of active galactic nuclei. In his Observational Astronomy class, Blackwell introduces his students to galactic evolution and the relationships between galaxy luminosity and temperature. “The research to do this involves similarly huge data sets, which get the students really working in the field of modern astronomy,” he says.


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Around the Table

Academy Hosts 2012 Lamont Poet P O E T M A R I LY N C H I N S P E A K S A B O U T C U LT U R A L A S S I M I L AT I O N By Sophie Haigney ’12, former Lamont Younger Poet


his is going to be an

Q-and-A session with students the day after her reading that she considers her art and politics to be inherently entwined. She defines herself as an activist poet, and her confrontational and politically charged voice is clearly heard in her poetry. It was easy to tell how comfortable Chin was with the students. She peppered the time between reading poems with tales of her f ather’s bigamy, her boyfriends, her religion, and San Francisco in the ’70s. When she was asked about her unconventional and serious treatment of subjects such as love in her poetry, Chin said it “just happened.” She explained she would start a poem about a new boyfriend, and it would begin as a love poem and end as a lament about her grandmother’s oppression at the hands of her ancestors. A student asked how many drafts it would take before she was satisfied. “Oh, it depends,” Chin replied. “Sometimes more than 50.” NICOLE PELLATON

X-rated poem,” she said. “You guys better cover your teachers’ ears.” With this introduction, poet, author, translator and professor Marilyn Chin, a widely published and celebrated writer best known for her provocative and direct style in dealing with issues of race, culture and gender, began her reading. She was playful, a little cheeky, funny and dramatic on the Assembly Hall stage. Chin was the spring 2012 poet in the Class of 1945 Library’s Lamont Poetry Series. Chin, in her rich and low voice, began her recitation with her most frequently anthologized poem, “How I Got That Name: An Essay on Assimilation.” This poem is a personal anthem about being Asian-American, with strong cultural and political undertones. Her vivid delivery of the poem fluctuated between a near-whisper and an almostyell while she gestured wildly—all while speaking from memory. “It’s important to memorize some poems,” she said, “because it reminds us that poetry at the beginning was an oral tradition.” Chin combines poetic traditions from numerous times and places, including ancient Chinese works, Shakespeare’s sonnets and Afro-American rhythm and blues. Born in Hong Kong, she immigrated with her family to Portland, OR, and was later involved in the 1970s feminist movement in San Francisco. Many of her poems address the Asian-American female gender and culture assimilation she experienced growing up. Chin said during a

Chin currently co-directs the Master of Fine Arts program at the San Diego State University and also teaches in the English and Comparative Literature Departments. She is the author of three distinguished collections of poetry, including Dwarf Bamboo (1987); The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994); and Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2002), and her work is included in a number of anthologies.

2012 Lamont Younger Poets MIKE CATANO


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Four Exonians—one lower and three preps—were awarded the Lamont Younger Poets Prize for poems of exceptional promise this spring. The winners were: Sarah W. Chisholm ’14, of Exeter, NH; Andrew C. Turner ’15, of Ligonier, PA; Grace Q. Yin ’15, of Cambridge, MA; and Mirella C. Gruesser-Smith ’15, of Exeter, NH. The Lamont Younger Poets Prize is awarded to preps and lowers and recognizes their exceptional promise and achievement as poets early in their writing careers. The award is presented in the spring in conjunction with the Lamont Poetry Series.The prize commemorates the dedication of PEA English Instructor Rex McGuinn to student poetry at Exeter and has been awarded since 2004. A chapbook is published annually with the text of the winners’ poems.

Around the Table

Seniors Bring Comedy to the Stage



ominique Cameron-Rouge and Daniel Hughes were among the seniors who performed in The Man Who Came to Dinner on the Fisher Theater main stage in late May. A classic comedy that first debuted in 1939, the play was a production of the 2012 Senior Acting Ensemble, under the direction of Theater and Dance Instructor Rob Richards P’14. For many of the actors, who began working and performing in Fisher Theater during their prep or lower years, the final curtain was bittersweet. In an interview for The Exonian newspaper, Cameron-Rouge said, “I will miss most what an accepting place the theater is.There is an almost tangible wave of comfort when you walk into the building:You’re always greeted, there is always animated conversation, and you’re never really left alone until you leave the place.”


Exonians Shine in Global Math, Physics Competitions Shi-Fan S. Chen ’13, from Taipei, Taiwan, was one of only 20 high school students in the nation named to this year’s U.S. Physics Team, a group sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics. Chen’s journey toward this honor began in January, when he and nine other Exonians were among 3,600 students nationwide who completed rigorous exams in the first phase of the selection process. In March, the American Association of Physics Teachers announced 394 students had qualified as semifinalists. All 10 Exonians made the cut and completed a second phase of examinations. Chen’s final score earned him a place on the U.S. Physics Team. In June, he attended an intensive, nine-day team training camp at the University of Maryland-College Park. Ultimately, five of Chen’s teammates were chosen to represent the U.S. team at the 43rd International Physics Olympiad in Tallinn/Tartu, Estonia, held earlier this month. In math competition news, four Exonians were among the 12

U.S. high school students honored in June at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., as winners of this year’s USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), an invitational math competition in which 273 high school students qualified from an initial pool of more than 10,000. The Exonians awarded medals include Ravi Jagadeesan ’14, from Naperville, IL, winner of the 2011 USAMO; Zhuo Qun Song ’15, from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Dai Yang ’12, from Irvine, CA; and David H. Yang ’13, from Exeter, NH, who was a gold medal winner at the 2011 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and earned a perfect score at the 2011 USAMO. David Yang and Jagadeesan were also named to the six-member 2012 U.S. IMO team, which competed earlier this month in Mar del Plata, Argentina, against teams from more than 100 nations. Exeter’s dominant presence this year at the USAMO and IMO builds on more than a decade of pinnacle performances by Exonians in national and international math competitions.


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First Mentors E X O N I A N S PAY T R I B U T E T O F O R M E R T E AC H E R S


Guy Monseair and Abigayle Young ’12

Michelle King and Paige Harouse ’15

Emma Lamarche ’13 and Vito Dugan 14

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his spring five Exonians honored former teachers and coaches whose influence and support changed the course of their lives. These mentors were recognized during Phillips Exeter Academy’s sixth annual “Honoring Earlier Educators” weekend. As a seventh-grader in Centerville, MA, Abigayle Young ’12— Yale University’s No. 1 women’s rowing recruit—met Guy Monseair, a coach for the local rowing club. After observing Young’s passion and talent for the sport, Monseair suggested she might make the U.S. Junior National Team. “From then on, he was my coach,” Young says, “and we worked together almost every day.” Monseair describes Young as a “tenacious competitor with a no frills/no excuses/let’s just get it done attitude. Abbie is remarkably humble for one who has reached the pinnacle of the sport. I will always remember her willingness to push past pain to accomplish whatever goals were set before her.” Monseair encouraged Young to apply to Exeter and later train for the World Rowing Junior Championships, where she earned bronze as a member of the U.S. JW8 boat last summer. “I know that Exeter, the World Championships and Yale wouldn’t have been a strong possibility if he hadn’t dedicated the countless hours and dollars coaching me,” Young says of Monseair. “I thank him for his help in changing my life by opening up the world to me.” For Paige Harouse ’15, from Pittsburgh, PA, it was eighth-grade U.S. history teacher and technology club adviser Michelle King’s modern classroom and curriculum that inspired her study of history. King encouraged Harouse to create a website on the U.S. Constitution for a class project, which helped earn Harouse the Daughters of the American Revolution Award, an honor King nominated her for. “Early in the year, I talked to students about embracing failure,” King says. “Paige continued to challenge herself to take intellectual risks in and out of the classroom. Her choice to go to a competitive, private boarding school, away from the safe path of the mainstream, is representative of her character and tenacity.” Harouse, in turn, credits King. “I’m not sure if I would be at Exeter if I hadn’t met [her],” she explains. “She really helped me pursue my dreams and showed me how far I could push myself when I was passionate about something, and how I shouldn’t be afraid to show my true potential to others. She monumentally impacted my life.” After arriving at PEA, Emma Lamarche ’13, from Berwick, ME, realized how much her eighth-grade social studies teacher,Vito Dugan, embodied the Academy’s founding credo. “Mr. Dugan incorporated Exeter’s two governing principles: goodness and knowledge,” she says. “From the moment I met [him], I was touched by his wisdom, passion and verve. He taught me that you can’t truly achieve something you didn’t put effort into, a mentality that has lent itself incredibly well to my career at Exeter.” Dugan describes Lamarche as having a “top-notch” work ethic and a healthy competitive spirit. “I was … so proud of her when she was accepted into Phillips Exeter,” he says. “Her success still inspires me and makes me proud.” PHOTOS BY NICOLE PELLATON

Around the Table

Entering fourth grade at Falmouth Elementary School in Falmouth, ME, Maxwell Payson ’12 bonded with his teacher, Jennifer Merrifield. “She had

an uncanny ability to make school fun, engaging and a great learning environment,” he says. Merrifield sparked an interest in learning that reminds Payson of the engagement at Exeter. “We felt as equals, just like sitting around the Harkness table with a teacher,” he explains. “The respect for Mrs. Merrifield and her class created a strong sense of community, bonding us as tight friends.” Merrifield describes Payson as a “hardworking and curious learner, who wasn’t afraid to ask questions and share his opinion in front of his peers.” She remembers him competing as a travel agent to sell the most trips to a local national park for a school fair. “He took his job very seriously,” she says. “There was no doubt in my mind that Maxwell had a bright future ahead of him.” Dr. Michael Barton, former principal at West Prep Academy in Las Vegas, NV, also recognized potential in Lazaro Cesar ’15. “When I met Lazaro, he was a confident orator in the sixth grade,” Barton explains. “He performed in school competitions, reciting everything from Shakespeare to hip-hop. I watched him grow and become more mature, and soon we were talking.” He learned Cesar lived with his mother and younger brother in a tough neighborhood. “Regardless of his environment, he continued to make learning and education a top priority,” Barton says. “I admire him immensely for this resiliency.” Describing Cesar as an “old soul,” Barton says the boy’s West Prep orations “stirred hundreds … remind[ing] me greatly of our current president.” Cesar, in turn, describes Barton as “a life coach,” someone who took an interest in him and helped shape who he has become. “In eighth grade, our relationship took a huge leap,” Cesar says, “when he worked hard for me to have opportunities [like] an internship with former Senator John Ensign … and applying to be the first student from West Prep to be accepted into Exeter.”

Jennifer Merrifield and Maxwell Payson ’12

Lazaro Cesar ’15 and Dr. Michael Barton


Hassan Honored by Alumnus Raymond Braun ’08 named Principal Tom Hassan as the secondary school teacher who exerted the greatest influence over his academic career at Exeter. In April, the graduating college senior received the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement at Stanford University at an awards luncheon, which Hassan attended as Braun’s guest in recognition of the support and guidance Hassan had given him.


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Campus Life at a Glance (A) Students prepared authentic Asian cuisine for the ever-popular Asian Night Market, held in late April. (B) Not afraid to get dirty, these Exonians helped clean up campus on Community Action Day, an annual event in April when the entire student body and faculty volunteer for dozens of non sibi projects. (C) Principal Tom Hassan hosted pizza nights for seniors at Saltonstall House in April. (D) Students celebrated Principal’s Day with an Exonianthemed LEGO tournament on the evening before the surprise day off from classes. (E) Awash in color, these Exonians joined in the celebration of Holi, a Hindu holiday where people throw colored water and powder at each other to mark the arrival of spring. (F) PEA employees enjoyed yoga demonstrations, free massages and opportunities to meet with local vendors at the biennial PEA Employees Health and Wellness Fair. (G) Students read contemporary poetry from the Middle G and Far East as part of Poetry Stage, a new course offered by the Department of Theater and Dance that examines issues of diversity within literature. (H) Seniors and their dates put on a dazzling display of finery on the Academy Library lawn before departing for the prom. (I) A lot can change in four years, as seniors discovered during a ceremony in June when they opened the time capsules they created durF ing prep year. NICOLE PELLATON








D E 16

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Snapshots from spring term


Around the Table

Letters to the Editor


Aberration or not?

D O YO U R E M E M B E R ?

Answers to the spring 2012 issue Two Exonians responded to the challenge of the crossword puzzle, and both are winners of the contest and received Exeter pens!


Exonians, do you remember dialing from this phone booth…or was it a push button? When did it arrive at PEA and where was it located? When was it retired from service and where is it located now? Would you like to share other memories of calling home while you were on campus? Email us at Exoniana@exeter.edu. Or, send your responses to Exoniana, c/o The Exeter Bulletin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Communications Office, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833-2460. Entries may be edited for length and clarity.

I was alternately amused and disconcerted by Mr. Greer’s review of Amglish in, Like, Ten Easy Lessons: A Celebration of the New World Lingo [winter 2011]. I had thought the mangled short essays I receive from my biology undergraduates on their exams were an aberration to the norm of modern higher education. Unfortunately that seems not to be the case. Dr. Roy J. “Jono” Cobb ’75 Maplewood, NJ Treasured memories

Just got the winter 2012 Bulletin and just wanted to say, I really appreciate the section that mentions the assembly speakers that have come to campus. Assemblies are my most treasured memory of the place, and I’m very glad to read about it. Vincent “Vince” Pallaver ’96 Sunnyvale, CA Courageous

Our two winners are: David A. “Dave” Nimick ’42, Sewickley, PA Lt. Col. David A. McBlain ’58, (U.S. Army, retired) La Vista, NE “My copy of the dictionary (1958)

defines ‘fiend’ as ‘. . . point of immoderation,’ not ‘. . . point of excess.’ Also, ‘Garbo’ is not defined; ‘Garbo Raz’ is. And ‘flunk’ includes no mention of pinball. “Obviously, the dictionary definitions changed over time. I did three from memory; the rest I had to check in the copy of the dictionary we received at one of the reunions.” Across


2. An advocate to the point of excess

1. A little slip of paper that admits begrudgingly

4.To have so squandered your time and

that you have finally paid your debt to society

efforts that you only managed to escape from

and are free to leave Exeter without out-of-

failing by your dental epidermis

towns, provided you don’t do anything ungentle-

6. An English muffin in the Grill

manly within 48 hours after receiving it*

7. A spasmodic muscular contraction associat-

3.The opposite of a poso; a cynic

ed with uncoordinated individuals who fall

5. A punishment at Exeter for deeds which at

downstairs and drop dinner trays

most schools would merit expulsion; a period

8.The result of too much pinball, not enough

in which the individual is being tested for his

sleep and a dollop of apathy

ability to stay out of trouble while he’s on pro* *Definition predates admission of girls to PEA


In reference to the winter 2012 Bulletin “Exoniana”: My cousin James M. “Jim” Mathes Jr. ’35 applied for a Navy commission immediately after Pearl Harbor. He was in a flight-training program until a medical exam revealed that he had only one kidney. Undeterred, he decided the next-best thing to planes must be PT boats. He asked if I (age 14) would like to go with him to the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center in Melville, RI. Of course! Jim disappeared into the Quonset hut headquarters and came out an hour later with orders. After training he was shipped to England. Their boat patrolled the English Channel, softening up German defenses prior to D-Day. They were ordered to attack a German cruiser moored in St. Helier on the Island of Jersey (Channel Islands). Before they could launch a torpedo, the German ship opened fire and the disabled PT boat drifted alongside the huge cruiser. They were raked with smallarms fire from above. One crewman survived. Jim’s body was never recovered. John W. “Jack” Morton II ’46 Jávea, Alicante, Spain Submit your letter to bulletin@exeter.edu.


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Exonians in Review

Dispatches from the New Life L E F T- H A N D E D : P O E M S , B Y J O N AT H A N G A L A S S I ’ 6 7 A review by Ralph Sneeden


n his translation of Eugenio Montale’s poem “Seacoasts,” from Collected Poems 1920–1954 (1998), poet Jonathan Galassi seemed to be preparing the ground for his own new collection:

“Sad spirit of the past and you, new will that calls me, perhaps it’s time to unite you in a calm harbor of wisdom. And one day, we’ll hear the call again of golden voices, bold enticements, no more divided soul. Think: to make the elegy a hymn; to be reborn; to want no more.”

sections—“A Clean Slate,” “The Crossing” and “I Can Sleep Later”—a triptych that transforms the pitfalls of colloquial tidiness into the phases of an epic journey. The language of decision and aftermath per meates the ar rangement, whose poems, ultimately, draw more from the carpe diem tradition than the confessional, especially in the jazz-inflected “Once”: “…And time is short; you have to live it.” Familiar maxims and phrases might stoke some of the poems’ momentum, but charged with Galassi’s raw sensibility about cause and effect, mutability and irrevocability, these sometimes ironically playful impulses surpass any flirtation with cliché in that same poem’s other riffs:

If the letter’s been sent you can’t rewrite it. If the cigarette’s been smoked you can’t not light it.” And especially a few stanzas later, where he boosts the acuity of image: Jonathan Galassi ’67 has published his third collection of poetry.


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Left-handed (2012) might not be the calmest of harbors for any reader (thank goodness), but the expansive voice that articulates its wisdom does reach across the borders of hymn while embracing and struggling against elegy with every page, whether in ruminations on the contours of hills, the changing of the seasons or human relationships. A deeply personal but universal book of poetry, Galassi’s third and latest collection is divided into

“The Scotch tape end is lost you can’t unwind it. The earring’s in the lake; you’ll never find it.” Some of the poems are addressed to a “you,” who is not the poet’s other self; rather, he’s “Jude,” an epistolary target whose persona fluctuates among lover, ally, Thomas Hardy’s tragic figure, fellow sufferer, and agent of rebirth:


“…the train has left the station you can’t take it. Once the promise has been broke you can’t break it.

“…These lines are voicing hope for you, my brother, for your fierce life and for my struggling own” (“Water” from the sequence “Blackberry Poems”) At times, the speaker himself is unsure of the relationship. Even though he sings in one paean: “Jude, the new life starts today; time to put your jacket on. Time to put the past away and venture out of hurt and stress into courage…” (“The New Life”) he is quick to follow with, “…It’s hard to guess what we share now, something tenuous and undefined, maybe a glint, an SOS—but nothing’s clear in this sodden halflight where time flattens what we feel…” (“Night Letter”) Love is ultimately the core that fuels this dense and beautiful collection, but the music of self-argument—either measured or hesitant in its reaching for identity—is the principal current that sweeps a reader along. Groomed or syntactically fragmented, Galassi’s lines provide us with the experience of looking over the shoulder of an experienced pilot who is taking risks not only with craft but also with forays into the waters—gulfs—of new subjects. And who wants dialogue: “I want the world to answer back the way the song wants—shared joy and shared grief shared

adoration spilling into the unrepentant void.” (“August”) These are poems of exuberant and troubled longing. Whether he is describing a young maple tree or the tearing out of the roots of invasive plants, recollecting being washed down a river or narrating a Whitmanesque stroll down a Manhattan street, our guide reminds us that he is an individual negotiating passage, whose evocations of his everyday surroundings, though they have their own profundity, also peer into the unfathomable: “…into something, an abyss or a garden, and now in the aftermath he’s more alone than before…” (“Middle-aged”)

when considered in the packaging of surrounding poems. The quotidian action of “trying to rake up/ the wreckage” blisters from the heat of events and turmoil in the book’s other neighborhoods: “But it’s hard to believe that here down on all four working to pry little numberless pieces out of the crevices feeling my crablike way on the obdurate stones.” (“Glass”) The book’s opening epigraph, “And I let the fish go,” is the last line from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “The Fish.” Readers who are familiar with that oft-antholo-

And, make no mistake, this is a book with all the Love is ultimately the cumulative heft of a sweeping emotional exploration core that fuels this across time; a story that dense and beautiful investigates a life lived, the decisive embarkation to the collection... . new, true one, and all the reg ret, wonder ing and resolve that abide it. In this way, Galassi’s new work— though the sparks of its shorter lyrical interests throb with self-sufficien- gized work (almost as battered and endurcy—coheres into a fluent, humanly turbu- ing as the fish itself) but who don’t know lent whole in which the poet’s most much about Bishop herself will find that compelling conversation is with himself: the easiest approach to understanding the poet’s famous release of that ancient crea“Other apparition, avatar ture is to keep his or her thinking right in I still see you, we have come this far. the boat with the speaker, on a convenient I still know you, you still don’t know “sporting” level. Even so, in its placement me.” as the front door to Left-handed, Bishop’s (“A Clean Slate”) “decision” is radioactive with moral relevance, personal survival, and might even One of the many pleasures of Left-hand- bring us back to her poem with renewed, ed is listening to its poems communicate potent understanding. In the book that across that panorama, enhancing one follows, Galassi provides the experiential another. A simple, compressed narrative context and braveness of thought necesabout cleaning up the mess left by a blown- sary for the reader to sound the depths out storm window quivers with tragedy being trolled. SUMMER 2012

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This is not a book of indirection or coyness. In the final section, the title poem’s central metaphor of “left-handed love” is a wry and powerful expression of being gay; the speaker accepting that he can’t change who he is, though he is haunted by what his life might have been like if, in his youth, circumstances hadn’t “barred the gate to the castle”: “Could my story have been otherwise? If the drawbridge had been down could a bright night have led me on a different crusade?” Explaining that his parents “didn’t make [him] write against the grain,” Galassi helps us understand that the substitution of loving for writing is not as neat a swap as we might imagine. The poet suggests that though his parents were accepting of his being left-handed, and never

...the energy of the poet’s declarations and revelations is barely contained by his cadences... .

tried to change him, loving “against the grain”—in his own experience—was a different challenge. At this point, a short heartbreaker from the first section swoops back into the reader’s memory, providing a striking complement: “I tried and each attempt was a fiasco. I yearned, but every love of mine was wrong. I needed, and the shame was overwhelming. I failed, and so I hated being young.” (“Young”) The poet brings us right along on his painful and sometimes exhilarating quest to understand the magnitude and necessity of confronting or letting some things go, whether a past life, a way of thinking, or a former self. In “Seacoasts,” Montale described his own longing for that union of “the divided soul”; but in Galassi’s 20

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world it’s closer to a reconciliation between the two, where there’s still plenty of work to be done, where life is “a clean slate” or “spanking new,” where forging ahead has its price, its compromises and ruins, but also where, “…we own ourselves yes true we own ourselves we own ourselves we own ourselves we own ourselves we’re alone and we own ourselves” (“Seventh Avenue”) One of the book’s most affecting poems, “Ours” is a torrent of domestic history delivered with the syntax to match the intensity of its searching honesty. Galassi’s sensory alertness—his faith in details and images—evokes persuasively (and quickly) the grit, material and experiential flashes of a theoretically shared life: “…the young shad and the lilacs and our square bed and the birch room and the teahouse sunset apple smoke the flame azaleas that didn’t take the peonies the silences and evening unraveling the immense white pine and fuel oil smell were ours” The thread (and threat) that rescues it from nostalgia, however, and makes the poem so powerful, is not only the strand of words and insights hinting at tension— like the paradoxical echoes of the word “silence” and its forms—but the tangle of ambiguity between the pronouns and tenses that battle it out, rendered even more poignant by Galassi removing the shackles of punctuation: “the life I left the lost life all of it was ours was ours is ours was” The closing stanza of “The Solitary Thrush,” a gem in Galassi’s most recent translation milestone, Giacomo Leopardi’s Canti (2010), asks some of the same questions that propel Left-handed:

of the life the stars will set for you, surely you won’t regret the way you lived, for every wish of yours is nature’s doing. But I, if I cannot avoid crossing the hateful threshold of old age, when these eyes say nothing to another’s heart, and the world is blank to them, and the day to come, duller and darker than the one at hand, what will I think then of this wish of mine? And of my life? And my own self? Ah, I’ll repent, and often look back, unconsoled.” Galassi’s implicit answers in this conversation across the centuries are not only consoling but essentially—persuasively— unrepentant. We don’t suspect that the days ahead will be “duller and darker.” Given denial’s absence from Left-handed, fulfillment seems possible; the energy of the poet’s declarations and revelations is barely contained by his cadences—the safe, orderly rhythms or pulses of rhyme— especially in “Radical Hope”: “So much for direction, for learning and knowing, for seeking and heeding, for staying or going. These were the ways of the life we’ve known and all of this time I’ve been going alone and I can’t anymore.” One of Galassi’s achievements, then, is his enlisting us to join him in the riptides of that Montalean “harbor of wisdom,” where enjambment and fragments lurch, and even the most stately lines seem to twitch not only with the possibility of discovery, but with the prospect of our company as well. And, as readers, we can be thankful for that. Ralph G. Sneeden ’98 (Hon.); P’07, P’09, P’13 is PEA’s Bennett Fellowship coordinator and instructor in English.

“Lonely bird, when you come to the evening

Exonians in Review

Alumni/ae are urged to advise the Exonians in Review editor of their own publications, recordings, films, etc., in any field, and those of classmates. Whenever possible, authors and composers are encouraged to send one copy of their books and original copies of articles to Edouard Desrochers ’45, ’62 (Hon.), the editor of Exonians in Review, Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833. 1975—Walter Stahr. Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man. (Simon & Schuster, 2012)

ALUMNI/AE 1944—Karl R. Lindquist. Youth Interrupted: A Nantucket Boy at War in Europe. (Amazon Digital Services, 2012)

1976—Jane E. Pollock.

Feedback:The Hinge That Joins Teaching & Learning. (Corwin Press, 2011)

1947—Jeffrey O’Connell

and Thomas E. O’Connell. Five 20th-Century College Presidents: From Butler to Bok (Plus Summers). (Carolina Academic Press, 2012) 1950—Mord Bogie. Vote 99 Percent: Start Fixing Congress, Start Changing the World. (Amazon Digital Services, 2012) 1950—Thomas A. Halsted, editor. The Tavern

Club at One Hundred and Twenty-Five, 1984–2009, Quasquicentennial History. (Tavern Club, 2009) 1950—George Woodman.

Metaphysics is to Metaphor as Cartography is to Departure. (Galleria Alessandro Bagnai, 2011) 1956—C. Miller Biddle. William and Sarah Biddle 1633–1711: Planting a Seed of Democracy in America. (self-published, 2012) 1957—David P. Simmons. No End of Guilty Creatures. (iUniverse, 2011) 1962—Brian B. Kelly. Smartass! An Awakening. (ipicturebooks, 2011) —Tropic of Paradise: a Tahitian Love Story [A Novel]. (ipicturebooks, 2011) 1967—David Spurr. Architecture & Modern Literature. (University of Michigan Press, 2012) 1971—Richard W. Allmendinger, co-author, and

others. Structural Geology Algorithms:Vectors and Tensors. (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

1971—Kip Hawley and

—Minding the Achievement Gap One Classroom at a Time [co-authored by Margaret M. Black, Sharon M. Ford and Pollock]. (ASCD, 2012)

BRIEFLY NOTED 1950—Adair Dyer. “The

Contribution of the Hague Children’s Conventions to the Protection of Human Rights.” IN International Family Law. (issue 1, March 2012, special tribute issue) 1956—Phil Harvey. “Nico-

laus and Anna.” [short story] IN The Dos Passos Review. (v. 8, no. 2)

Nathan Means. Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

1976—Norb Vonnegut.

1977—Kathleen C. Engel

The Trust. (Minotaur Books, 2012)

1972—Martha Lufkin. The Lady in the Hat: Martha Lufkin on Kids with Crumpets and Other Humorous Tales. (self-published, 2011)

photographer. Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky. (Bright Sky Press, 2012)

and Thomas James Fitzpatrick IV. “A Framework for Consumer Protection in Home Mortgage Lending.” [book chapter] IN The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform. (February 2011)

1980—Diana C.K. Untermeyer and Henry Dallal,

1989—Elizabeth Goodman. “Preaching the Easter

1973—Sam Watters and Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer. Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895–1935. (Acanthus Press, 2012)

Texts.” IN Journal for Preachers. (v. 35, no. 3, Easter 2012) 1994—Lauren Waterman.

“Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt.” [short story] IN Fourteen Hills:The SFSU Review. (v. 18, no. 2, spring 2012)

1974—James P. Steyer. Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age (Scribner, 2012) 1981—Maria Franziska Fahey. Metaphor and Shake-

spearean Drama: Unchaste Signification. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) 1988—Eric Lewis. Garbage

Flowers: Green & Groovy Crafts. (Downtown Bookworks, 2012)

1975—John B. Montgomery. Great From The Start:

How Conscious Corporations Attract Success [with foreword by Ken Wilcox]. (Morgan James Publishing, 2012)

1991—Seth G. Jones. Hunting in the Shadows:The Pursuit of [al-Qaida] since 9/11. (W.W. Norton, 2012) 1994—Drew Magary. The

Postmortal. (Penguin, 2011) 1998—Intisar Khanani. Thorn. (CreateSpace, 2012)


Daughter: A Novel. (W.W. Norton, 2012) Thomas Hassan. “Through the Same Door: Universal Access and School Climate.” [article] IN The Inclusive School: A Selection of Writing on Diversity Issues in Independent Schools. (NAIS, 2012) Richard Schubart, co-author,

and others. Hero or Coward: The Story of General Fitz John Porter. (Blue Tree, 2011) Lysley Tenorio. Monstress:

Stories. (Ecco, 2012)


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Clockwise from bottom left: Grads applaud fellow classmates; one of 308 diplomas for 2012; Charles Gaillard ’12 chats with Principal Tom Hassan; seniors Kathleen Larkin, Christine McEvoy and Phillip Oung graduate with classical diplomas.


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Commencement address by Principal Thomas E. Hassan ’56, ’66, ’70, ’06 (Hon.); P’11 Photography by Brian Crowley

Preparing for Tomorrow

Good morning, Exeter,

and welcome to this very special occasion marking the Commencement of the 308 members of Phillips Exeter Academy’s class of 2012. As we celebrate the achievements of this graduating class, we should take a moment to acknowledge those whose inspiration and sacrifices have supported and nurtured these students on their path to today’s joyful celebration. Seniors, please stand and join me in thanking your benefactors—your parents, family members and friends in this audience—with a round of applause as an expression of your appreciation and affection. Find more graduation photos at www.exeter.edu/bulletinextras


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Clockwise from bottom: Senior Class President Adam Grounds welcomes families;Trustee Sally Jutabha Michaels ’82 (right) with husband David, son Aaron ’12, daughters Jessica ’14 and Sara, and son Sam; Ogemdi Ude ’12 beams as a classmate takes the stage.


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Seniors, you may not know that the diploma I will soon be handing to each of you was individually signed by Mr.Tom Hutton, class of 1973 and president of the Trustees, and by me. You can imagine that signing 308 diplomas gives a person plenty of time to think, and when reflecting on your class I appreciated our unique bond. In the fall of 2008, as new preps you celebrated with me on my appointment as the 14th principal of Phillips Exeter Academy. I heard your cheers and felt your good wishes emanating from the balcony level of the Assembly Hall that October day. Over time, your Assembly Hall seating has migrated from the balcony to the first rows of the lower hall. And today, you sit here beside me on the Academy Lawn, just moments before you officially graduate. I am very sorry to see you leave. Along your way at the Academy, you have accomplished much and achieved numerous milestones: • Your class has never suffered the “agony of defeat” at the hands of Andover on the varsity football field.You witnessed our varsity team win against Andover for four consecutive years. And you have participated in countless athletic contests yourselves representing Exeter. Go, Big Red! • Members of the class of 2012 starred in and supported a number of superb theater productions, including this winter’s Beauty and the Beast, a production that involved a record number of Exonian cast and crew members.Your class’ extraordinary theatrical talent was also showcased in this spring’s Senior Acting Ensemble, The Man Who Came to Dinner. • Our Math Club team, led by members of this class, is the first in at least 12 years to sweep all three rounds of the Harvard-


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MIT Math Tournament at Harvard, with a perfect 1,600 score. • Thanks to the senior leadership of the Student Council, the faculty approved a proposal that will allow students access to the Internet 24/7. It is important to note that this was a true exercise in non sibi for your class, since the changeover will not take place until after you graduate. • And this is New England, after all, so I must comment on the weather. Your prep winter—a long, harsh, snowy one even by New Hampshire standards—began with an early ice storm which forced many of you to take your first Exeter term exams in classrooms without heat or electricity. In contrast, your senior year marked one of the warmest winters on record and sunniest of springs in a long, long time. Let me end these short reminiscences with a contrast exercise

of “then and now,” like the one I asked my Junior Studies students to complete in the fall of 2008. I want you to consider how your lives and your classrooms have been shaped by the evolution of technology and social media during the last four years. When you came to Exeter, Apple had not used the phrase “There’s an App for That” until a January 2009 commercial. And now, there is an app for almost everything, and many are being built by Exeter students. When you came to Exeter, clouds were made up of small droplets of water or bits of ice. And now, the Cloud is where you store and share information. When you first came to Exeter, Twitter was a little over a year old, and you were sending 140-character messages to your friends and classmates. And now, TED—a website hosting free online lectures—has inspired your classmates to spread their ideas via lectures on the new “Exeter Talks” YouTube channel. All of these elements, as well as the more routine things you have done day after day at Exeter, have helped to shape you and prepare you for life’s next steps. Helping you with that preparation is indeed the Academy’s mission, and the calling of all of us who work and live here. Exeter is often referred to as a “prep school,” but what does that really mean? What has it meant over the years, from our founding in 1781 to today? A history of the Academy published in the book After the Harkness Gift describes earlier perceptions of what it meant to be “prepared.” Prior to 1781, a boy from the town of Exeter who wanted schooling beyond age 14 or who wanted to prepare for college had few options aside from private tutoring. He might have arranged to stay on at the local school; or he might have enrolled at a secondary school elsewhere, such as Boston Latin or one of the two private schools between Exeter and Boston—the Dummer School (founded 1763) and Phillips Academy in Andover (founded 1778). During its first 90 years, Phillips Exeter Academy was open all year and, although no diplomas were issued, students expected to stay at the school for several years until they were “prepared” to move on. Many of these young men were heading for college, bound for careers in the ministry, medicine, law or teaching, so they concentrated on Latin, Greek and mathematics. Some of their classmates, whose formal education would end at the Academy, opted for “practical” subjects such as English, logic and geometry.

Clockwise from bottom left: Seniors Daniel Henderson and Ji Hyuk Kim strike a pose; Principal Hassan says he shares a “unique bond” with the class of 2012; a cheering family member; Williams Cup winnner Rebecca Millstein ’12 is all smiles.


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Top to bottom: Fady Gad ’12 shares his enthusiasm with the crowd; Class Marshal Emery Real Bird ’12 receives a little help from his mom.


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In the next period, from 1870 to about 1930, the perception of “preparation” was altered. Social and economic changes and competition from public education created new demands from colleges and universities to turn out students with broader, morediverse skill sets. The Academy shifted its focus from a “public” school that served students from Exeter and nearby communities to a more specialized boarding school that drew students from across the United States and specifically prepared them to enter the best colleges and universities in the nation, especially those on the East Coast. In the third period, which began in 1930 with the Harkness gift, the Academy became the institution that most of us would recognize, with smaller classes and large oval tables. It adapted to the changing cultural landscape and became more inclusive with the advent of coeducation and, in recent decades, a student body and faculty of increasingly diverse origins and backgrounds. Graduates also began to attend a wider range of colleges and universities. In fact, you will see in today’s graduation issue of The Exonian a list of more than 97 colleges and universities to which members of this class will matriculate in the coming months. An email sent to me recently by Religion Instructor Jamie Hamilton P’08, P’11 reminded me that in some areas—such as technology and the expansion of our horizons—the Academy’s perception of “preparing” has been evolving. She wrote, “We are no longer that prep school, cloistered away in the pristine corner coastline of New Hampshire, to which families send their children in order to be ‘made into men (and women).’ Even in 1995 (my first year), the faculty had long conversations about whether or not students should have phones in their rooms (shocking to

me as a new member of the faculty) because we had an obligation to protect children from the ‘outside’ world and make them into Exonians.” So what has it meant to “prepare” the class of 2012? Seeking to prepare students for an uncertain and unknowable future is not a new concept. The anthropologist Margaret Mead, who died in 1978, long before the challenges of the Digital Age were realized, said, “We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.” Today, educators on the secondary, undergraduate and graduate level are arguing that the optimum way to accomplish this preparation “for what no one knows yet” is through “interactive learning,” a pedagogical method championed by Harvard Professor of Physics Eric Mazur where students are the teachers— offering ideas and defending positions—rather than passive note-takers. That has a familiar ring. Professor Mazur’s approach shouldn’t sound new to you. Apparently Exeter has been doing what he and others see as the “prep of the future” for more than 80 years. At Exeter, students are at the heart of the discussions and the learning that takes place in our classrooms. Just as we prepared you around a Harkness table, so will we prepare the Academy’s future students. Our commitment to Harkness learning remains steadfast. This dedication to our signature way of teaching, however, doesn’t mean that during your years here, Exeter hasn’t been open to new ideas and new ways to augment the discussions around the table. Last fall, iPads arrived on campus in large numbers—one for each faculty member—and you began to see the results in your classrooms this year: • History Department Chair Meg Foley’s new course on the history of India gained vitality and immediacy with film clips that she easily screened in class via her iPad. • Computer Science Instructor Kenney Chan incorporated programming for the iPad into his classes. • Music Department Chair Peter Schultz has been using an app that transforms his iPad into a “recording studio,” allowing him to record students’ compositions performed in class and in turn allowing them to immediately listen to their pieces. • Collaborative learning in Karen Geary’s math class was extended through an app called SyncSpace, which enabled students to work on problems together without physically being in the same space. • Art Instructor Rebecca Longley found that the VoiceThread app facilitated collaborative critiques, making it an effective digital extension to the Harkness method. During your time here, Exeter also began to greatly expand its reach into the world beyond our campus. Members of your class traveled on Academy-sponsored trips in unprecedented numbers. Just last summer, three members attended the second annual Student Global Leadership Institute at the Punahou School in Honolulu, HI; others participated in service trips to South Dakota, Costa Rica and Ballytobin, Ireland. And of course, many of you took advantage of our study-abroad programs in Europe and Asia. Exeter faculty, too, have been off campus, as close as Raymond, NH, working with local middle school students, to more



The Yale Cup, awarded each year by the Aurelian Honor Society of Yale University to that member of the senior class who best combines the highest standards of character and leadership with excellence in his studies and in athletics: Isaiah Pugh Brown, Ipswich, MA

The Ruth and Paul Sadler ’23 Cup, awarded each year to that member of the senior class who best combines the highest standards of character and leadership with excellence in her studies and in athletics: Lisa Camille Scott, Brooklyn, NY

The Perry Cup, established by the class of 1945 in honor of Dr. Lewis Perry ’20, eighth principal of the Academy, and given annually to a senior who has shown outstanding qualities of leadership and school spirit: Adam Wesley Grounds, Paradise Valley, AZ

The Williams Cup, established in memory of George Lynde Richardson Jr. ’37, and given annually to a student who, having been in the Academy four years, has, by personal qualities, brought distinction to Phillips Exeter: Rebecca Rose Millstein, Stratham, NH

The Eskie Clark Award, given annually to that scholarship student in the graduating class who, through hard work and perseverance, has excelled in both athletics and scholarship in a manner exemplified by Eskie Clark of the class of 1919: Mihail Eric,Van Nuys, CA

The Thomas H. Cornell Award, decided by the senior class and given annually to that member of the graduating class who exemplifies the Exeter Spirit typified by Thomas Hilary Cornell of the class of 1911: Evan Marc Gastman, New York, NY

The Cox Medals, given by Oscar S. Cox Esq., in memory of his father, Jacob Cox, are awarded each year to the five members of the graduating class who, having been two or more years in the Academy, have attained the highest scholastic rank: Caitlin Elizabeth Andrews, West Newbury, MA Nathaniel Werthan Haslett, Lincoln, MA Rivka Brod Hyland, Philadelphia, PA Yong Wook Kwon, Seoul, Republic of Korea Dai Yang, Irvine, CA

The Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence, given to that member of the graduating class who, having been two or more years in the Academy, is recognized on the basis of scholarship as holding the first rank: Yong Wook Kwon, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Lisa Scott ’12 accepts the Ruth and Paul Sadler ’23 Cup from Principal Hassan.

Top to Bottom: Retiring faculty members include Math Instructor Joyce Kemp, Modern Languages Instructor James Samiljan and Theater and Dance Instructor Linda Luca; recording memories in a PEAN yearbook; a happy Jabari Johnson ’12 with diploma in hand.


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far-flung locations, including professional-development opportunities in Africa, India and China. In January, I announced my Immediate Priorities for Exeter, which include Global Exploration. The programs that I have just described were the earliest manifestations of my commitment to giving our students and our faculty opportunities to reach beyond our campus; to not only teach others, but also learn from them. I return again to a quote from Margaret Mead to explain part of my thinking: “As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.” Your class has been equipped to go further than simply traveling beyond our campus. I believe Exeter has prepared you to face a world that demands a global flexibility . . . the preparation to deal with a dynamic in which there are clashing truths, cultural complexities and ancient animosity. The combination of your Harkness training and your worldview has set you on the right road. It is a direction that I hope will take you soaring aloft in a world of challenges and opportunities. But remember the advice [English Instructor Matt] Miller gave you at your Senior Dinner on Friday evening: Fly as high, as high, as you can, but don’t get too close to the sun. Now comes the time that I must say farewell to the members of the class of 2012, and, in doing so, I offer you my customary charge. I hope it is as helpful for you to hear it as it is for me to read it: First, you have been given the gift of a Harkness education. Use the voices you have developed around our oval tables to speak up, to speak your own mind and to draw out others around you. But more importantly, help those who cannot speak up for themselves. In the words of Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor.” Second, you have learned well the lesson of uniting knowledge and goodness. Go forth and give of yourself to your communities and to this world, and in the process, do so for others and not for yourself alone. Remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” And I add the words of someone with whom you are most familiar, Dr. Seuss [from The Lorax]: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” And, finally, remain connected with each other and to our school. Take the connections and special friendships you have formed at Exeter with you, and nurture them in years to come.To reinforce that thought, I leave you with the words of the Greek philosopher, mathematician and religious scholar Pythagoras: “Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Goodbye, class of 2012. Godspeed, class of 2012. God bless you, class of 2012.

Katherine Aanensen ’12 leads off the processional of seniors receiving English diplomas.


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Emergency Exonians meet disasters head-on


By Leah Williams

mergencies often evoke dramatic images and a sense of excitement in those of us far from the action. But for Exonians on the ground fighting wildfires, mending earthquake victims or helping carry injured tourists to safety, it’s about teamwork and good planning. That, and the knack for finding chaos a source of energy rather than paralysis, and non sibi a way of life. As Frank L. Pinney III ’59, former fire chief and disaster response leader, puts it, “I was a frog that landed in the right pond.”

Diving In

the oldest in Florida.” Walker joined one of 50 regionally based Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) deployed by the federal government. “We can take an empty field and in three hours or less, it will be a hospital ER,” he says of his team. They worked in New Orleans and in Kiln, MS, during Hurricane Katrina recoveries. “The place we went to in Mississippi . . . you can hardly find on the map,” says Walker. “That was right on the coast. The houses that had been immediately along the waterfront . . . simply weren’t there. “I can’t remember seeing anyone there who didn’t

Daniel W. “Dan” Walker ’45

began his work as an EMT on a friend’s recommendation and soon added to his skills by becoming a paramedic—at the age of 68. He found the amount of memorization difficult but was undaunted, saying, “Every-

DAN WALKER “We can take an empty field and in three hours or less, it will be a hospital ER.”

thing I’ve done was in one way or another uncomfortable. “One needs to be open to new ideas and opportunity,” he continues. “You need to apply the teachings of Exeter: industry, clear thinking, enthusiasm.” Now 85 and still a paramedic, Walker declares, “I’m 32

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Responders F RANK P INNEY “My swan song. Fire was all around us.”

need help of some kind,” he adds.Yet, the residents of this rural community were “very independent and self-sufficient,” with only those in dire need of medical attention willing to ask for it. While in Kiln, Walker recalls driving around with a small team to see if his group had missed any of the injured. “We went to this one place and the smell of food was so good,” he says of a house they visited. “We’d been eating rations.” After describing the meal of egg-in-the-hole and country ham the hostess served them, he says of Kiln residents, “They did more for us than we did for them.” Walker’s desire to give back after his retirement from a successful career as a commercial diver and publisher has been fueled by his experiences with DMAT. He teaches CPR and is training for his commercial driving license now that his emergency response team has a trailer. “I thought for a while about Doctors Without Borders,” he says. “I reckon what I’m doing now is fulfilling that need.” His current passion is a twice-yearly trip to Honduras through International Health Service, an organization whose age requirements for paramedics he

can still meet. Through them, he is able to treat a remote population that rarely receives medical aid. In describing what his paramedic work has meant to him, Walker says, “I’ve traveled all my life. I don’t need travel or adventure. It’s so gratifying to deal with these patients.” He pinpoints a day when he and his fellow volunteers landed in Honduras. Water covered the field they needed to cross to get to the boat for the next leg of their journey. “This child came up and reached across and took my hand and led me across that field,” he says. “Eleven years old. She led me by the hand and didn’t let go of me until I got out of the boat [at the end of the journey]. This October she’s going to be 16. Every year she’s waiting for me.”

Leading the Response In the summer of 2008, when Frank Pinney was planning to retire from his position as Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade’s chief, California experienced one of the most extensive and costliest series of wildfires in its history. “My swan song,” Pinney calls it. “Fire was all around us.” Pinney says 2,000 fires, all from lightning, hit on SUMMER 2012

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June 21, creating the Basin Complex Fire near D R . P ETER S. B OONE his home on California’s “I feel I’ve had the central coast. The fire provoked a massive state good fortune to have and federal effort that learned a skill set that lasted weeks and put can be applied in times thousands of firefighters to work. More than of need.” 160,000 acres ultimately burned. As dur ing any fire, Pinney says he was “always competing with time.” But wildfires can be incredibly threatening—he describes “250-foot-tall [flames] roaring up through the canyons.” Although he downplays his part in the Basin Complex Fire effort, Pinney’s role in providing guidance for the national team was pivotal enough to earn him praise from Congress and a television appearance with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not bad for the chief of a small volunteer force 34

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that began with one beat-up engine. Big Sur’s year-round residents, who number in the hundreds, realized in the mid-1970s that the Monterey and Carmel stations were too distant to save lives and buildings. Before long, the brigade, with its proximity to state parks and Highway 1 along the coastline, added wildfires and vehicle rescues to its list. After becoming chief, Pinney led the response not only to fires but also to other natural disasters. When the 1983 El Niño storms led to dangerous landslides that closed the highway at both ends, “The brigade took over basic services,” Pinney says. “Emergencies belong to someone,” he explains. Though a disaster’s nature determines which local, state or federal agency initially takes charge, in the end, one group—the Incident Command—is formed to call the shots. When another set of El Niño storms hit Big Sur many years later, Pinney became the incident commander and directed the agencies evacuating hundreds of tourists and moving fuel and supplies in with National Guard helicopters. “My hair in 1998 was a nice, comfortable brown,” he says of this experience. But after 16-hour days and the stress that accompanied them, “it was salt and pepper in three months.” Pinney moved to Big Sur in 1972 to pursue hands-on work and still operates his family construction company. Among his early ambitions was to become a firefighter, and, as with his brigade, his obligations kept expanding. “Everywhere I got involved, a need arose,” he says. The chief emeritus references the non sibi philosophy that shaped his time at Exeter and in the Marines afterward to help explain his commitment. “Leadership qualities are recognized by those who need to get things done,” he adds.The brigade’s first chief saw Pinney’s potential. “He grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and said, ‘You’re going to be a volunteer,’ ” Pinney recalls. Though he’s now retired from firefighting, Pinney still perks up at the sound of an engine and keeps his radio on to track his brigade’s movements. Of his accomplishments, he simply says, “My pride was to be able to be part of it.”

Answering the Call Dr. Peter S. Boone ’76 was shocked by conditions he faced in Hinche, Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake. As part of a nine-member team for the nonprofit Partners In Health, Boone described facilities in the wake of the tragedy—wards with a single lightbulb, pots under beds serving as toilets, rodents everywhere and patients’ families working in place of nurses. Boone, who credits his Exeter science classes for laying the foundation for his career as an orthopedic

specialist, was at a meeting in Hawaii when Haiti’s earthquake struck. “It became more and more apparent that many of their buildings had collapsed. Hundreds if not thousands [of people] had broken bones,” he says. After he had returned to Connecticut, an orthopedic organization he was affiliated with broadcast an email asking for helpers, and Boone realized just how much he could do. “There was a great need,” he says. “That’s when it really gelled I needed to volunteer.” Boone is careful not to claim to be a first responder. “We were part of the surge,” he explains, saying his group came in on Day 15. “I’d not done volunteer work,” he says. “You see . . . how desperate it can be. . . . Children in just a T-shirt [are] walking in the dust. . . . The people have no need for modesty. They don’t have anything.” The dire conditions required Boone to be inventive when treating fractures. “Even with the best supplies,” he says, “you have to be creative in your approach. In Haiti, we had to do it the old-fashioned way, with plates and screws.” With a shortage of supplies and intermittent electricity, only a fraction of those who needed operations could get them right away, Boone says, and water was so scarce doctors couldn’t wash their hands. “Just about everyone got infected down there,” he adds. Boone relied on translators to deliver sometimes difficult news, including that an amputation was needed. “I wasn’t sure that what I was saying was being communicated in the best way,” Boone explains. “You have to take a leap of faith.” Boone could stay only a week due to policy restr ictions. He remembers a woman he had to leave in traction before departing Hinche. “I hope the next team got to take care of her,” he says. “She always had a big smile on her face. “I feel I’ve had the good fortune to have learned a skill set that can be

Students develop app for disaster assistance The right technology can play a critical role in mitigating disasters and speeding recovery efforts. Just ask Alexandre X. “Alex” Zhang ’10 and Christina M. “Tina” Lipson ’10. In 2011, they helped develop an application for Android phones using the Portable Open Source Information Tool (POSIT) to facilitate the delivery of food and supplies to expectant mothers and children still suffering from the effects of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Pregnant women and young children used to travel hours by foot to obtain food distributed monthly by the nonprofit Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance organization (ACDI/VOCA), only to find that they weren’t registered in the organization’s database. ACDI/VOCA had previously arranged everything by hand, which made fixing mistakes in, or making changes to, more than 10,000 recipients’ registration information time-consuming. With the nonprofit’s main office miles from their homes and travel in such a mountainous country burdensome, recipients were sometimes reluctant to take a possibly fruitless journey for

Alex Zhang ’10 (above) and Tina Lipson ’10 (right) provide onsite training to the Haitian nurses who use the application the Exonians helped build. needed supplies. “Now, with the application,” says Zhang, “it’s all via text messages.” Trinity College students Zhang and Lipson helped design the application as part of the Humanitarian FOSS Project, a tri-college effort to build free and open source software led in part by Ralph Morelli, their computer science professor at Trinity.They worked with four other students on the project.Thanks to the POSIT app, ensuring that recipients are registered properly can be done in hours instead of weeks. Lipson and Zhang field-tested their app in Haiti from June 29 to July 8 of last year using grant funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development. In two groups—composed of translators, students and ACDI/VOCA members—they explained their creation to the nurses inputting the information for program beneficiaries. “A lot of them were having trouble with the keyboard,” says Zhang, describing their lack of familiarity with touch screens. “We spent a good day teaching them.” Among the challenges on-site was an incompatible modem. “No matter how much you test in your home environment,” says Zhang, “it’s going to be different.” But experience with the Harkness method made the students’ communication and planning in Haiti manageable, according to Zhang, since they had practice resolving issues through discussion in class. “Even without supervision,” he says, “we were able to . . . figure things out on our own.” Zhang, who described his trip as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” keeps abreast of improvements to the POSIT app and the progress of those he remembers from his trip, whose openness toward and appreciation of the app struck him. “They seem to be a lot more proficient at it,” he says.


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P ETER S TALKER III “I feel a strong responsibility to give back.”

applied in times of need,” Boone adds.Two months after the earthquake, he returned to Haiti but found it wasn’t enough to satisfy his need to help those who require so much care. “I’ve been interested in going back,” he says.

Joining the Team Peter Stalker III ’76; P’06

believes visitors to Grand Teton National Park aren’t aware of how much their knowledge of their hometown environments safeguards them, even in their daily commutes. “That’s an environment you know like breathing,” he explains. “You can sense that car that’s going to cut you off. In the park, there are grizzlies, moose, and beautiful but potentially dangerous mountains. The clues you’re looking for that ground you in the dangers in your world are not necessarily so obvious here.” A volunteer who specializes in diving and backcountry (i.e., wilderness) rescues for the park, Stalker moved to Wyoming after retiring in his late 30s from a successful financial career in New York.The park has given Stalker, an EMT and scuba instructor, a chance to “turn my avocations into a vocation.” “I have been so lucky and so blessed,” he says. “Here, [my wife and I] were able to retire early. I feel a strong responsibility to give back.” In Grand Teton’s backcountry, Stalker aids in anything from avalanche recoveries to helping those with twisted ankles. “I enjoy the hands-on [rescue work],” 36

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S UMMER 2012

he says. “We had a girl fall on a climb. It was going to be a complicated carryout. My role varied from making sure the path was clear of rocks and hazards . . . to carrying the litter.That’s the kind of stuff I love to do. “I have no expertise,” he adds. “I have a lot of training.” Training has given Stalker a broad view of disaster situations, but sometimes what’s needed during a rescue is to focus on one particular task. During an avalanche recovery, for example, one team may be searching for a missing group, and another team for a different group nearby. Using a collapsible pole, the teams will search through the snow for those who might be below. “When you go into the field, your task might be to take this pole with no idea of what’s happening 300 yards away,” Stalker explains. “You’re a piece of the whole puzzle.You’re going from a very broad brush to a very narrow slice of possibility.” While it can’t completely replicate hands-on fieldwork, training has enabled Stalker to work with professional rangers he calls “truly heroic.” That heroism was on display two summers ago, when 16 climbers suffering from lightning strikes were rescued from the peak of Grand Teton, an experience Stalker describes as “terrifying.” The rangers landed on the mountain via ropes dangling from helicopters, and they used the same method to take victims to safety. As a volunteer, Stalker didn’t assist from the sky, but he helped manage from the ground by addressing crowd control, clearing pathways for the ambulance and directing the right personnel to the right places. “It was a big operation,” he says. “The events are

unfolding in front of you. We knew how many were up there, [but] we didn’t know the extent of people’s injuries.” It’s hard not to worry, about the victims as well as those sent in to rescue them. “In the back of your mind, you know the people you’re training with are in a very hazardous situation,” Stalker adds. “I pinch myself that they put up with me,” he says of his teammates. “This is a very full existence for me. If I [died] tomorrow, I’d be very satisfied.”

Wyskiel donates her time talking to book clubs and other organizations, many at the request of Gap Inc. employees. “It goes to non sibi,” she says. “I do a lot of training in my community to help families be more prepared.” She donates kits containing emergency supplies to public school auctions and offers the promise of a personal visit to the winners’ households to assess their readiness for a disaster. “It’s easy to look into someone’s world,” she adds, “and say, ‘Here are the two things you can do.’ ”

Planning Ahead Sent to California’s 1994 Northridge earthquake as a Federal Emergency Management Agency employee, Stasha M. Wyskiel ’85 landed in a field office where she coordinated funding and resources allocated for victims, many of whom had left their homes for temporary tent cities.

S TASHA M. W YSKIEL “We try to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening globally.”

“I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie and an information geek,” Wyskiel says. Figuring out which information to trust and how to compile and implement it was “more of an art than a science,” she says. “It fit me like a glove.” She’s been involved in helping others prepare for similar emergencies ever since. Now part of a team responsible for global planning and emergency response for Gap Inc., Wyskiel anticipates every disaster the retail corporation and its brands could face—tsunamis, mudslides, hurricanes, tornadoes. “We try to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening globally,” she says. When disaster strikes where one of her company’s facilities or stores is located, a virtual command center is developed, with essential questions covered first: “Are our employees OK? Are our customers OK? Do we have facility damage? What is our presence in the area?” “It took four days to know all [of our people] were OK in Japan,” Wyskiel says, referring to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. “That was challenging on an ongoing emotional level.” That’s also why preparation can help. “If San Francisco can’t talk to Japan, we need to [make sure we’ve already] trained everyone there,” she explains. Wyskiel’s first priority is always the same: “If you don’t take care of your people,” she says, “you don’t recover at all.”

Luckily, according to Wyskiel, planning for an everyday situation can improve a family’s chances during a catastrophic one: “What happens when the power goes out because of the storm . . . [or] when Eli runs away from you at the ballpark? What happens if I have a flat tire? Do I have stuff in my car? It’s not [just] the big stuff.” Seeking more personal involvement with emergency responses, Wyskiel also joined a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT). “It’s fantastic,” she says. “These are the people who do ride in on the white horses. . . .” The site hospitals her team forms remind her of watching the TV show “M*A*S*H” in PEA’s Langdell Hall. As part of this DMAT team, Wyskiel helped with Hurricane Katrina recovery. Exeter must have been on her mind as she packed—she distinctly remembers wearing a non sibi T-shirt in New Orleans. SUMMER 2012

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Sports (Left) Boys lacrosse Assistant Coach Bill Glennon aboard the Red Dragon. (Below) Marianne Barbin, assistant to the chair and director of athletics, with her “Bible”—the travel spreadsheets for each team.

On the Road Again S P R I N G S P O RT S T E A M S R AC K U P T H E M I L E AG E Compiled by Mike Catano


abrina Thulander ’12 looks at the 23 hours she spent on a bus this spring in a positive light.The co-captain of the girls varsity water polo team says the time spent driving to and from competitions was an opportunity to “mentally prepare for the game, reflect on my day, or just sleep.” She also views it as a form of “team bonding,” even if it was just watching a movie together. Thulander’s team was one of 13 to travel off campus this spring for competitive play. It is the largest number of junior varsity and varsity athletic teams to compete in a single academic term. (Seven teams play during the fall term, and eight play in the winter.) The cumulative stats for spring travel are, therefore, impressive and underscore not only the commitment of the athletes and coaches but also the logistical coordination executed by the athletics program staff.

“It makes you proud when you are out there and see the teams, knowing that we have built this schedule… . It’s a good feeling when it all works!”

“Bus rides are the perfect place to hold meetings since time is so precious at the Academy.”

“I love bus travel because it gives kids a time to sleep, study and bond.”

Girls varsity water polo player Catherine Willett ’12 catches up on her sleep.

“I always bring work with me on the bus. Whether or not I actually do it is another question.”

Boys varsity lacrosse teammates Stefan Soucy ’13, Adam Grounds ’12 and Trevor Marrero ’12 had 11 away games this spring.


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“I find that the bus is a good time for me to relax, just put in my headphones and have some time to myself.”

S UMMER 2012

Gill, MA, was the farthest destination for varsity softball players Alexandra Betrus ’14 and Chloe Dubocq ’14.

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Spring Sports D




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(A) Baseball Record: 11-9 New England Prep School Quarterfinalist

Head Coach: Bill Dennehy Assistant Coach: Dana Barbin Captain: Hunter Carey ’13 MVP: Charles Gould ’12 (B) Boys Crew Record: 6-6 2nd in NEIRA Point Total

Head Coach: Albert Legér Assistant Coach: Greg Spanier Captain: Isaiah Brown ’12 MVPs: Avery Reavill ’12, Brooks Reavill ’12


(C) Girls Crew Record: 9-3 NEIRA Point Trophy Winner

Head Coach: Sally Morris Assistant Coach: Becky Moore Captains: Catherine Closmore ’12, Mary Reichenbach ’12 MVP: Cassian Corey ’12

(I) Boys A Tennis Record: 11-4 2nd at New England Prep School Tournament; 1st at New England Prep School Individual Tournament

Head Coach:Tony Greene Captain: Kelvin Lee ’13 MVP: Kenneth Tao ’15 (J) Girls A Tennis Record: 2-5

Head Coach: Jean Chase Farnum Captains: Kathleen Larkin ’12, Lauren Lee ’12 MVP: Nicole Yoon ’13 (K) Boys Track Record: 9-1-1

Head Coach: Don Mills Assistant Coaches:Vicki Baggia, Steve Wilson Captains: Alena Lovi-Borgmann ’12, Fletcher Williams ’12 MVP: Kaitlin Kimberling ’12 (E) Boys and Girls Golf Record: 5-8-1

(L) Girls Track Record: 9-1

Head Coach: Bob Bailey Assistant Coach: Joanna Ro Captain: Ryan Baker ’12 MVP: Ryan Baker

Head Coach: Hilary Coder Assistant Coaches:Toyin AugustusIkwuakor,Tyren Bynum, Kelly Coder, Gwyn Coogan, Mark Hiza, AK Ikwuakor, Brandon Newbould, Francis Ronan, Bruce Shang Captains: Sylvia Okafor ’12, Lisa Scott ’12, Grace Weatherall ’12 MVP: Lisa Scott

(F) Boys Lacrosse Record: 20-2


Head Coach: Nancy Thompson Assistant Coach: Rick Parris Captains: Naomi Richardson ’12, Shaitalya Vellanki ’12 MVP: Ashley Metcalf ’13

Head Coach: Hilary Coder Assistant Coaches:Toyin AugustusIkwuakor,Tyren Bynum, Kelly Coder ’04, Gwyn Coogan ’83, Mark Hiza, AK Ikwuakor, Brandon Newbould, Francis Ronan, Bruce Shang Captains: Jabari Johnson ’12, Maxwell Payson ’12 MVP: Jabari Johnson

(D) Boys and Girls Cycling Record: 1-0 in dual races 2nd in NERCL Series Championship


(H) Softball Record: 8-11

Head Coach: Eric Bergofsky Assistant Coach: Bill Glennon Captains: Luke Brugger ’12, Max Eberhart ’12, Charles Gill ’12 MVP: Charles Gill (G) Girls Lacrosse Record: 6-10

Head Coach: Mercy Carbonell Assistant Coach: Christina Breen Captains: Martha Griffin ’12, Campbell Probert ’12 MVPs: Martha Griffin, Campbell Probert

(M) Girls Water Polo Record: 8-7 Liquid Four New England Prep School Quarterfinalist

Head Coach: Melissa Pacific Assistant Coach: Erika Cooper Captains: Sabrina Thulander ’12, Renee Wang ’12 MVPs: Emma Nuzzo ’12, Renee Wang



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Soule Mates During his 70th Exeter class reunion in May, Spencer Martin ’42 paid a visit to Soule Hall and to the room he had once called home. He and the room’s most recent occupant, Max Dakin ’12, exchanged stories about their experiences in the dorm and agreed that the stair-climb to the fourth-floor helped keep them in shape.

In 1939, Spencer Martin ’42 left his home in Louisville, KY, to take up residence on the top floor.

Lenox, MA, native Max Dakin ’12 inherited Martin’s former room in Soule Hall, which today is often festooned with the flags of students’ home countries.


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Connections News & Notes from the Alumni/ae Community

A Decade of Change—and Stability By David O. Beim ’58




have just come to the end of 10 years’ service as an Exeter trustee. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the school that gave me so much a half-century ago. I was a kid from the Midwest who got magically transported to four of the most transformative years of my life. For much of the past decade, I have worried about affordability. Why did our costs and tuitions keep rising so much faster than inflation? Were we becoming too much a school for the elite? Recalling a phrase from the ’60s, I thought, “If we’re not part of the solution, then we’re part of the problem.” Our mandate from John Phillips was clear: to serve youth from every quarter, not just those who can afford the price. In fact, most schools and universities grew their tuitions during the very lush economic conditions of 1982–2007 because they competed to offer additional services to students and families. They could get away with increased tuitions because investment returns were relatively high and many families were not sensitive to the higher prices. But times and thinking have changed. Today we consider our costs first, very conservatively, and let tuitions be set to balance the budget. As a result, the Academy’s tuitions have remained the lowest in our …Exeter is on a strong peer group. This, in turn, enables our endowment for financial aid to financial course that will serve the largest possible number of students. Today about half of all Exeter students benefit from substantial financial aid. serve us well in the decades During the downturn of 2008–10, we were staring at declining to come. endowment draws (in fact, a temporarily declined endowment balance), and we embarked on a difficult but thoughtful reduction in expenses, the first in living memory. The endowment has now stabilized, but our caution continues. I leave with the confidence that Exeter is on a strong financial course that will serve us well in the decades to come. David O. Beim spent 25 years in investment banking before entering academia. He currently serves as a professor of professional practice in Columbia Business School’s Finance and Economics Division.


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B U D KO N H E I M ’ 5 3

‘The Sage of Seventh Avenue’ Looks Ahead


ud Konheim ’53, co-founder and CEO of Nicole Miller, one of the great American fashion brands, says that in his 57 years in the industry he has “never had a dull day at work. Every day has presented a brain twister, and that unpredictability has encouraged invention, innovation and most of all, free thought.” Unencumbered thought, independence and creative problem solving are the foundation of Konheim’s success in the volatile apparel business and have prompted Women’s Wear Daily to nickname him “The Sage of Seventh Avenue.” While chuckling at the moniker, he says he suspects that it may refer to the intellectual approach he takes to the business. “I really think about issues and I never accept the knee-jerk, the sound bite or the generally accepted wisdom.” Konheim credits his experience at the Harkness table for his independence of thought. “There is no ‘me, too’ around the Harkness table. There, I learned to stake out my point of view and then to be able to back it up and defend it.” This approach has led him to make some nontraditional decisions in the clothing industry.A member of a family that has spent four generations in the apparel business, Konheim learned valuable lessons early on, often from dinner table conversations, and he relies on that experience and not the whims of the industry to inform his decisions. For example, he tells the story of his Uncle Louis, who ran a successful hat business during the Depression: “He got rich because, for women, hats were a feel-good thing. So they went out and bought a $2 hat, at a time when $8 a week was a decent wage. He was making something that made them happy for a price they could afford.” Konheim says that feel-good aspect of clothes shopping has been compromised by the traditional business model of the department store and the ensuing mall experience. “We are in a downward spiral in that world of bricks and mortar.You drive half an hour to the mall, you spend 15 minutes looking for a parking space, you search for the store, and you deal with salespeople who may be disinterested in you as a customer and in the product.You do not feel good.” This led Konheim to explore and embrace the digital shopping experience for the Nicole Miller brand. “You go online, you have fun looking at different sites, you click on something and it arrives the next day,” he says. “If it doesn’t fit, there is a simple return slip. No hassle, no pain; you feel good.” This kind of thinking has positioned Nicole Miller as a front-runner in the digital space, with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and an exciting new web show that illustrates the inner working of the company. Konheim observes that, “The biggest companies in our industry are marginal. You have to be alert and flexible because you can lose what you have in a very short time.” With this in mind, and well ahead of his competitors, he has hired tech-savvy personnel and opened a technical conference center in his New York City headquarters. He says it is all about thinking competitively, and that, above all, is what he learned not only at the Harkness table, but also in many long butt room conversations. “I didn’t smoke but I loved those exchanges,” he says. “There, conversation was a competition of views.You always walked away feeling that one point of view was better than the others. You were forced to focus on your ideas and uphold them. It was an intense mental exercise and that is what is necessary in making any business decision.” —Julie Quinn


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D R . M A RT H A N A N C E ’ 7 6

In Search of a Cure



r. Martha Nance ’76 has a high tolerance for problems that are not fixable. She specializes in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which are currently incurable neurological disorders. Rather than dwell on what cannot be done, she focuses herself, her patients, and their families on what can be done to improve their lives. “Neurology has a reputation [as a discipline] where you make brilliant diagnoses but then there is ‘nothing you can do.’ But I had a sense even [when I started in the early 1980s] that we were on the brink of an era that would change neurology, and that has been true,” Nance says. Nance has witnessed medical advancements in neurology, including progression from the pneumoencephalogram, which she describes as a “medieval” method of injecting air into the spinal column and manipulating the patient’s body to watch the movement of an air bubble in the brain, to CAT scans and MRIs. She also witnessed the advent of genetic testing for Huntington’s disease with the identification of the causative gene in 1993. Since 1991, Nance has been the director of the Huntington’s Disease Clinic at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Since 1997, she also has been a neurologist at the Park Nicollet Clinic in Golden Valley, MN, where she has been the director of the Struthers Parkinson’s Center since 2000. In addition to seeing patients, doing clinical research and running two centers, Nance teaches, lectures and serves on committees. She is an internationally recognized thought leader on Huntington’s disease and an advocate of a team-based, education-focused approach to care. Nance credits her success in part to her “bilingual” training in both genetics and neurology. Her father, Walter Nance ’50, a geneticist, helped her find summer work in genetics labs in high school and college, and inspired her interest in genetic disorders. At the same time, her study of Latin, Greek and French at Exeter spawned her initial curiosity about how the human brain works—why and how humans can use language. Her board certification in neurology and genetics extends her credibility among professionals, and her dual fluency gives her the unique ability to approach Huntington’s disease, a genetic disease, from both perspectives. Unlike most other neurologists, Nance is involved with patients even before they have symptoms of Huntington’s disease, when they consider having a predictive gene test, and also cares for them throughout the course of their disease. “I have strong feelings about how to care for people with these diseases,” Nance says. When patients enter nursing homes and are no longer able to come to her, she goes to them. She has treated generations within families and developed relationships that

have prompted individual and community victories within the Huntington’s and Parkinson’s communities. Nance actively seeks balance. She enjoys mentoring high school, college and medical students. “If you connect with kids at the right moment in their lives—let them know they can do this and that we don’t already have all the answers—then they are hooked forever.” She and her husband, John Trusheim, a neurologist specializing in brain tumors, also managed to find time to raise two sons, Matthew and Stephen, who are now in graduate school and college, respectively. In their absence, Nance tends to her 60-by-60-foot garden. “All three of my offices have veggies and flowers inflicted upon them throughout the summer. ‘Martha’s Monday Market’ is feared by all, I think,” Nance says with a laugh. Nance graduated from the Academy at age 16; graduated from Yale at age 20; finished medical school and her residency at 24 and 28, respectively; and completed her two fellowships at 31. What distinguishes her from other doctors, however, is not her intelligence but her compassion. “I dream of being the person who finds the cure, but in the meantime, each individual patient is a human being,” she says. “One of my mantras is that there is always something you can do for someone with Huntington’s disease, and the same is true for Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes all you can do is give them a hug, but that’s better than nothing.” —Taline Manassian ’92 SUMMER 2012

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DA N I E L M OY N I H A N ’ 0 0

Engineering for Outer Space


Dan Moynihan ’00 with the AsiaSat 7 satellite and in front of a Russian Orthodox church.


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an Moynihan’s work for California-based Loral Space & Communications isn’t rocket science— it’s satellite science. He helps design the electrical systems on those mammoth vehicles quietly humming above the planet to make sure you don’t miss a single minute of your favorite TV show. But as part of his work on a satellite that left Earth last November in Kazakhstan, Moynihan ’00 called on more than just the engineering he’d studied at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. The years he’d spent learning Russian at Exeter’s Harkness table and in college came in handy when it was time to launch the satellite in Kazakhstan. “I was able to use my Russian for the first time to interact with Russian engineers for the launch,” he says. After five years in the Navy, Moynihan moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010 to work for Loral and became the lead electrical engineer on the telecommunications satellite AsiaSat 7. Completed in 2011, the 4-ton satellite needed a ride into its specified orbit over the Asia-Pacific region. AsiaSat 7 boarded a large cargo plane bound for the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility. “We went to the Baikonur Cosmodrome [in Kazakhstan], which is still under the control of the Russian Federal Space Agency,” Moynihan recalls. “It’s a huge facility in a big desert landscape, a very desolate place. But anyone who is familiar with the space industry knows that the facility has a very storied history. The Sputnik 1—the first man-made satellite—was launched from there in 1957, and U.S. astronauts and cosmonauts take off from that location.” Moynihan spent a month on the steppe, ensuring that the $100 million satellite was ready for launch. “The Russians built a rocket, and then we joined the satellite with the rocket,” he says. “That required a lot of meetings with the Russians, and sometimes lots of drinking with the Russians.” Of course, meetings depend on good communication, which can be a challenge even when everyone in the room is speaking the same language. For this project, Moynihan frequently found himself the linguistic link between the two teams. “I was actually using my Russian daily,” he says. “I am not by any means fluent, but I was the person at my company who was [the] most proficient, so I served as an unofficial translator. If there was an event [where] the translators weren’t there, they would ask me—and I would fail completely—to translate what we were supposed to do.” The launch of the satellite was, obviously, the culmination of Moynihan and his team’s work, and it’s a lot more complicated than just pushing the launch button. “The day is very long,” he explains. “We started preparing the satellite electrically around 11 a.m., and we didn’t launch until midnight. There are so many checks, rechecks [and] checks again. It’s the last time you have the chance to say, ‘Stop, something needs to change.’ ” According to Moynihan, watching the satellite lift off was an incredible finale to the project. “It’s an amazing feeling,” he says. “The team that had been building it had stuck together the whole time.You’ve put in a lot of unconventional work hours to get to this point, testing the satellite during holiday weekends or late into the evening.There is that level of sacrifice.” Moynihan notes that it’s a privilege to build something that you can see: “As engineers, sometimes we only think of reducing risk; we have to be 100 percent sure that this thing is going to operate the way we designed it.You take it for granted, and the awe is lost in the process. Then, you’re actually there launching it, and you think, ‘Wow, we just did that.’ It’s something I never thought I’d be a part of.” —Susannah Clark ’84

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Creating a Reunion with Personality



iriam Block ’77 and her female classmates made up one of the first groups of women to attend Exeter. During their time at the Harkness table, they became skilled at building on others’ ideas while growing in confidence in themselves and their capabilities. “If I have this kooky idea of becoming an artisan cheese maker after 25 years of high tech, well, of course I can do that,” Block says. “Why wouldn’t I be able to do it? That’s definitely Exeter—you learn how to make what you need to happen in your life, happen.” That same combination of teamwork and a can-do spirit characterized planning for the class of ’77’s 35th reunion, held May 4-6. As program chair, Block worked with a range of people—including Class President Liz Mullard, Assistant Director of Alumni/ae and Parent Relations Benita O’Connell, and Tim Kuo and other classmates—to develop a dynamic schedule of events that helped draw 66 attendees back to campus, just one attendee shy of the record for a 35th. “Because of everyone’s efforts, we were successful in bringing a lot of people back for reunion who hadn’t been before or hadn’t attended in a number of years,” Block says. In planning the weekend program, Block and her reunion team members took a personal approach, writing notes, making phone calls and connecting on the class Facebook group. “Miriam and her crew would stir the pot on the Facebook page, make suggestions for different events, and get responses,” O’Connell says. “Even after the reunion, classmates continued their conversations for weeks on Facebook, talking about their weekend together on campus.” Block and Mullard focused on ways to actively involve their classmates in reunion events. One idea was to invite them to give short talks on individual interests or pursuits, using an approach Block had seen in her town of Sebastopol, CA. The socalled Ignite presentations were five minutes and 20 slides long, and could be about anything. The idea took off; seven classmates gave Ignite presentations on topics including organ transplantation and the Kentucky Derby. Another innovation was the 77Marketplace, where classmates could share their wares at reunion. Again, it arose out of Block and Mullard’s attempt to engage as many participants as possible and reflected Block’s own experiences at farmers’ markets. “It was called the Bizarre Bazaar at first because we couldn’t figure out quite what it was—a place for sampling, selling and sharing things you were excited about,” says Block. She sold cajeta, a goat’s milk caramel, at 77Marketplace, and offered samples of cheeses produced by Bohemian Creamery, a company she co-founded. Other classmates shared barbecue seasonings, food items, books, blankets, artwork, ceramics and paintings. “It was a nice environment for people to connect on yet another level about what they had done in their lives, what they were producing, and what they were proud of.” “What really makes a successful reunion weekend is when the reunion chairs add the class personality to it,” O’Connell says. “Miriam and Liz took into consideration what that personality was, what people might be interested in, and who in the class would be willing to share their experiences.” Block was delighted with the level of engagement shown by her classmates throughout the weekend. “The Harkness classes, discussions and forums—including one on how coeducation has changed over 35 years— were so lively, with an intellectual curiosity that maybe we don’t get all the time when we’re at home in our daily routines,” she says. “And there’s something so incredibly special about that connection and reconnection throughout the reunion.” Now the reunion lives in the memories of the participants. Block, who recently sold her cheese-making business, is also on to new projects. Whatever she sets her sights on next, of course she can do it. She learned how to make things happen.That’s Exeter. —Sherri Miles

Miriam Block participated in a classroom discussion during the class of ’77’s 35th reunion in May. “The Harkness classes, discussions and forums… were so lively, with an intellectual curiosity that maybe we don’t get all the time when we’re at home in our daily routines,” she says.


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Finis (continued from page 112) questions or to generate ideas of her own. The concept of critical thinking does not even exist in her vocabulary, let alone in her academic skill set. AUW is a newly formed institution, built with the goal of gather ing the brightest female minds of the region and providing them with an education that will enable them to “change the world,” just as Safia plans to. Most of the students, like Safia and Ahn, start their time here with a year in the Access Academy, where we work to prepare them for the Western liberal arts curriculum of AUW’s undergraduate program. This is necessary because during the 12 or more years of school leading up to their admission, the majority of the students simply receive an education. The one-sidedness of this verb is intentional. Prior to AUW, most of the students experience learning in a purely depositional way. The students who excel are the ones who are able to open themselves to the information their teachers offer, and then regurgitate that same information verbatim. As a result, the students arrive with two major inhibitors to success in this environment. First, they are asked to learn in a complicated and cumbersome language that is not their native tongue; and second, they are required to demonstrate skills and ways of thinking they previously did not know existed. The capabilities that I slowly and unconsciously developed through the careful cultivations of my parents, my teachers and the environment surrounding me at Exeter, my AUW students are working to master in just one year—and in English. But they are rising to this challenge brilliantly. They read constantly, they search for additional resources to help them understand unfamiliar concepts and they eagerly absorb every word I say. They all have dreams of making their families, communities and countries proud of them. They each represent an embodiment of AUW’s mission to “educate Asian women to become highly motivated and effective professionals, leaders and serviceoriented citizens of the region and thereby promote the development of and intercultural understanding among the peoples of Asia.”

As a teacher, one is always aware of the enormous burden of empowering and molding the next generation of a society. Here, that pressure is even more intense. My students’ countries need them desperately. Their homelands range across Asia, stretching all the way from Palestine to Vietnam, and each student carries a unique story. Given their personal investments in their countries’ problems, my students are better poised to make change than any Western nonprofit. Each of them believes, like Safia, that she can “change the world in a day.” Idealistic? Perhaps. But this is the attitude that will allow them to overcome their educational barriers. The solutions to the troubles of their countries are not written in textbooks, and there is nowhere to copy the answers. I worry about their nebulous and lofty dreams. But as their teacher it is not my job to restructure their romantic dreams into something I see as feasible. I don’t know the answers. It is my job to provide them with enough curiosity to truly see the world around them, enough humility to recognize what they don’t know, and enough confidence and skill to figure out how to turn those nebulous dreams into reality. Throughout this year, I have become painfully aware of how lucky I am. Before I could even read, my parents started asking me questions to make me think about the world surrounding me. At Exeter, I was carefully molded into an independent learner. I sat around Harkness tables asking questions and having my ideas questioned by my peers and teachers. By the time I arrived at my university, this was second nature. My students, on the other hand, have to first unlearn the practice of reciting standardized answers and then learn to ask the questions themselves. It feels unfair, all my unmerited opportunity. How did I get so lucky when across from me at my desk sits a young woman who has lived in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran in order to escape war, but still maintained her education? How did I earn the chance to grow at those oval oak tables? Prior to teaching in Bangladesh, I taught science in inner-city Philadelphia for two years.Through all this I’ve learned that disparities exist across the globe, even in our own backyard. And after three years and two different contexts involving the uncomfortable confrontation and questioning of my privilege, I still don’t have

answers or solutions. Only an appreciation for my time at Exeter and the ways in which I learned to think. And more questions. But perhaps that is the point. My students finished their year in the Access Academy with independent research essays. Each of them came up with a question that they wanted answered and then conducted research— not with the hope of finding the answer spelled out in a text somewhere, but with the understanding that from the information they gathered they would answer the question themselves. This was difficult for them. It took us more than a month, and while many of the students wrote wonderful essays, none of them is at the level expected of a freshman entering a respected Western liberal arts college. But they are making progress, and by learning to write, they are also learning to learn and learning to think. I believe that as they stretch themselves and develop these skills during their undergraduate education, they will be able to change their worlds. Maybe not in a day, as Safia imagines, but as I look at the open hearts my students arrive with and the open minds they discover, it’s hard to see anything but hope. Shared Horizons

This summer, two of my Access Academy students will have a chance to briefly experience the remarkable education I received. In late June, they will leave Southeast Asia for the first time and spend five weeks studying at Exeter before returning to AUW to start their undergraduate studies. The goal of this student exchange is to help both Exeter and AUW further pursue their shared mission of developing students into globally minded citizens by educating and empowering them to become future agents of change. By the time this is published, my students will be well into their summer experience at Exeter. They will be posting updates on what they see and what they learn on their blog http://frombangladeshtoexeter.wordpress.com. I hope you will take a moment to read through their reflections on their experiences at our alma mater as they help Exeter continue to fulfill its commitment to non sibi and to being a global community.


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Finis Origine Pendet

A Year in Bangladesh By Emma Hiza ’05

Editor’s Note: Following her graduation from Exeter in 2005, Emma Hiza attended Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 2009. After teaching for two years in Philadelphia, she traveled to Bangladesh as a volunteer teacher at the Asian University for Women. Emma returns to Johns Hopkins in July to pursue a master’s degree in public health. Please note that the students’ names in this piece have been changed.

article in front of her.The 18-year-old’s thick, black bangs hang over her eyes, but I know she is wearing an expression of frustration mixed with self-defeat. I have asked her to write an analysis of the author’s argument in the article she is holding. “Assumption …” she murmurs to herself, desperately scanning through the pages. Nearly exasperated, she turns back to the beginning of the article in order to reread each line again, searching for the answer to my question. I moved to Chittagong, Bangladesh, in August 2011 to spend a year volunteering as a writing teacher at the Asian University for Women (AUW). We have been working on these analysis skills for a few weeks, but Anh is still struggling. I can tell that she spent the night before carefully reading each line, waiting for the answer to jump out at her. All of her previous experience with education has taught her to approach learning in this way—finding the right answer in a text and copying it down. She is good at this and therefore was a good student in Vietnam. Now, she doesn’t understand why she is failing. I gently take the article out of her hands. The sentence she is looking for is not in the text. Also 18, Safia waits for the other students to leave at the end of class before coming to me, holding the draft of her essay. She points to my comment in the margin: More analysis, less summary—I want to read your ideas, not the author’s. “I The solutions to the troubles of don’t understand,” she says, clearly frustrated. Safia has an their countries are not written intensity about her that must have been what pushed her out of her village in India and propelled her to Bangladesh. in textbooks ... . I worry about She recalls the reactions she would get from her communitheir nebulous and lofty dreams. ty when she would talk about her dreams for the future: “They would tell me, ‘Be practical.You cannot change the world in one day.’ But when I learned about this university, I learned that there were others who thought like me and I knew I had to come here.” Presently, Safia’s intensity is focused on what she fears might result in a poor grade on her final draft of this essay. “I know we have been talking about this in class,” she acknowledges, “but it is still very difficult for me. I thought I was a good student, now I am not so sure. In my old school I used to read what I was told to read and memorize it and then write it back for my teacher on essays and exams. But that doesn’t work here.” She has finished the equivalent of 12th grade in her country without (continued on page 111) ever having been asked to analyze something, to ask


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S UMMER 2012



t is October and Anh is sitting across from me at my desk, frowning down at the

You’ve brought your style up to date. Why not your will? ecent tax-law revisions—or changes in your residence or family status—may have made your will decidedly passé.


Many have found that supporting Exeter through a bequest is a simple and rewarding legacy to leave. Here’s a tool to help you organize your thoughts before you head to your attorney for a tuneup:

www.exeter.edu/willwizard If you have any questions about including the Academy in your new estate plan, please contact Phil Perham, director of planned giving, 603-777-3594, pperham@exeter.edu.

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EXETER FAMILY WEEKEND 2012 Save the Date! OCTOBE R 19-22, 2012 All family members of current students are warmly invited to spend an autumn weekend on campus and experience the richness and variety of life at Exeter. Visit Harkness classes Meet faculty members and talk with your student’s adviser Engage in a discussion with Principal Tom Hassan Attend sports team practices and music ensemble rehearsals Learn about the college application process and financing higher education Tour the campus Get to know other Exeter families from around the world Watch your email for more information.

A program of events and travel information will be available closer to the date at www.exeter.edu/parents.

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The Exeter Bulletin, summer 2012  

The Exeter Bulletin is the quarterly alumni/ae magazine of Phillips Exeter Academy

The Exeter Bulletin, summer 2012  

The Exeter Bulletin is the quarterly alumni/ae magazine of Phillips Exeter Academy