pu bl i c at i on of ge orge scho o l, ne w tow n, pennsy lvania
perspe c t i v e s
than k yo u , nan cy
george school train station
alu m n i we e ke n d
Creating a Sustainable Future
Sixteen Wonderful Years
Memories of Traveling by Rail
Come Back to Campus May 13-15, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Vol. 88 | No. 02 | MAY 2016
01 PERSPECTIVES Creating a Sustainable Future 02 Restoring and Preserving Marine Habitats 04 Bringing Sustainability to Regional
06 Researching Owls and Ecosystems 08 Friendly Farming: Stewards of the Earth 12 Sustainable and Regenerative Designs 14 Keeping George School Green 16 A Bird’s Eye View of George School Sustainability 18 GS Thrift Brings Sustainability to Life 19 eQuiz Highlights
26 FEATURES 26 Thank You, Nancy 30 How IB Biology Turned Me into a Scientist 32 George School Train Station Memories 34 Alumni Weekend 2016
Nancy Starmer will retire as head of school at the end of the 2015–2016 academic year. We thank Nancy and her husband Jack for their many contributions to our community. Nancy will be celebrated at the All-Alumni Gathering on Saturday, May 14, 2016. (Photo by Bruce Weller) Front Cover: The George School Organic Garden is tended by Kate Smith-Ducati and George School students, including Anna Nguyen ’18, Paris Parker ’17, and Mary Duffy ’18. The garden supplies the kitchen with fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables and is home to our family of chickens. (Photo by Bruce Weller)
36 CAMPUS NEWS & NOTES 38 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 39 ALUMNI TELL US 53 IN MEMORIAM
SCIENCE CLASSES use our beautiful campus’ natural areas as their lab. Whether conducting experiments on water, soil, or air quality or observing animals in their habitat, students experience firsthand the complexities of nature. Here, science students analyze water samples and living organisms from Neshaminy Creek.
Perspectives EDITED BY LAURA NOEL
Creating a Sustainable Future Friends: Environmental sustainability has been part of the ethos of George School since its founding. The Perspectives section of this issue highlights some of the many different choices our alumni have made to honor their commitment to environmental sustainability. Sean Corson ’89 protects marine habitats, Becky Collins ’99 brings sustainability to regional transit systems, Jon Slaght ’94 studies wildlife conservation in eastern Russia, and Ben Walmer ’94 creates sustainable design projects. Five alumni are engaged in different sustainable farming practices—growing high-quality food and producing wine, caretaking land for future generations, educating their communities about their food and nourishment, and leaving a small bootprint on the environment. Also in this issue we highlight Nancy Starmer who is retiring at the end of this school year. Nancy has been at the forefront of the
school’s efforts to become a leader in environmental sustainability and during her sixteen years at George School she wrote and spoke extensively about the topic. Quite a feast, this issue. From the oceans and the tundra to regional transportation and sustainable farming, our alumni are leading the way. It is easy to see that George School is devoted to environmental sustainability—for our children, their children, and generations to come. I am reminded of Margaret Mead’s quote which is hanging in Main, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Thinking globally and acting locally,
Susan Quinn Georgian Editor
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Restoring and Preserving Marine Habitats
BY ANDREA LEHMAN
Sean Corson ’89 loves his job at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His first eight years were spent in Hawaii, where he helped develop a management plan for a huge swath of uninhabited islands, coral reefs, and Pacific Ocean stretching 1,400 miles toward Japan. For the past eight years, he has been deputy director of the Chesapeake Bay Office. The Chesapeake is about as far from remote northwestern Hawaii as you can get—in more than location—but for Sean, stewarding these natural areas starts with understanding people’s varied interests and strong feelings, and finding common ground in these diverse marine environments. What interested Sean about NOAA was the blend of scientific understanding and implementation. To get the broad professional preparation he needed to work at NOAA, he got a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Science, studying the impact of dams on the spawning of herring. In Hawaii, Sean served as the marine protected area’s deputy superintendent as it transitioned from a “coral reef ecosystem reserve” to a “marine national monument” with greater protections. (It would later receive recognition as
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a natural and cultural World Heritage Site.) But the executive order that created Papaha¯ naumoku¯akea Marine National Monument didn’t come with the regulations and infrastructure needed for the best management plan. That would have to be developed. The first step was to listen. “We spent about five years working with NGOs, universities, and Native Hawaiian groups,” explains Sean. “People have very strong personal relationships with these resources. You have to understand what people’s interests are—fishing rights, research, cultural access and use—and represent them as broadly as possible. It’s a big responsibility to try to have the area reflect those interests in a respectful way.” Where Papaha¯ naumoku¯akea is huge, deep, and remote, the Chesapeake is extremely large, shallow, and densely populated. The former measures just under 140,000-square-miles of ocean—among the largest marine conservation areas in the world— while the Chesapeake drains a 64,000-square-mile watershed over many states. As a body of water that is downstream to seventeen million people while averaging only twenty-one feet deep, Sean explains, “the bay, no question, has large challenges.” At present NOAA has four main Chesapeakearea projects: restoring native oysters, providing fisheries science for local managers, advancing environmental literacy and education, and collecting oceanographic data—all with an eye to restoring as well as preserving the bay. The oyster project, one of the largest in the world, is a prime example of how simultaneously targeted and general the work can be. Along with the blue crab, oysters are an iconic Chesapeake species, but according to Sean, “Oysters are at a level below one percent of their historic populations in the bay. For years there have been efforts to restore them,” said Sean. “In the past five years, federal and state agencies and nonprofits have all agreed on common practices, identified priorities, and collaborated in a way that hasn’t happened before.” Together these groups reached agreement on repopulating a handful of spots—ten tributaries —with the naturally reproducing, reef-forming organisms. The first site has just been finished, and four others are in process. So far the results look promising. Part of the project’s success lies in its benefits to more than oysters. “Restoring benthic (bottom) habitat helps other organisms and makes the water cleaner,” Sean continues. “The kind of things you need to do to restore a reef are far-reaching. You
SEAN CORSON ’89 swims above a windlass at the Oshima shipwreck site (left). From March to September, oysters are planted in the Chesapeake Bay. Over the last twenty years, almost six billion have been dropped back into the water to shore up the oyster population (right).
have to get information to the community so that practices on land will not jeopardize the commitment in the water, and then secure commitments going forward.” As in Hawaii, the project “works with community members with different viewpoints—watermen, farmers, environmental groups—to identify collective objectives.” By understanding the project—and that the federal government isn’t simply imposing it—residents become invested in its success. “We wanted to create a social and ecological structure,” says Sean. “When you get people participating, it becomes enduring.” Indeed environmental education is a significant part of what NOAA does, not only to secure public buy-in, but also to educate—and provide data to use in educating—schoolchildren and their teachers. This will prepare the next generation to understand the challenges ahead. (According to Sean, Maryland is the only state that has an environmental literacy component in its graduation requirements.) “I was always really interested in environmental issues,” Sean says, “but I didn’t know where it would lead.” Though he attributes his love for biology and ecology to AP bio with Rob Orr ’76, an interest in sustainability was piqued in more than
science class. History teacher Howard Snipes ’81 introduced him to “the whole idea that the economy is based on growth but dependent on finite sources of energy. At the time it really blew my doors off. That was one of the things I learned that made me know I wanted to work in that arena.” Sean loves his job and the combination of environmental muscles it enables him to flex. Neither a research scientist nor an environmental educator, he’s both of these and more. He brings people together to work on some of the biggest challenges of our time by focusing on discreet, achievable objectives. In doing so, he is in fact working to mitigate the problem that once blew his doors off: the disconnect of growth in a world of finite resources. He remains hopeful. In the Chesapeake, “the health of the oysters is improving. Water quality is improving. Many of the fishery species are doing well. Some places see healthy wetlands. I don’t want to paint an overly rosy picture. There are still large challenges, but it appears to be improving.”
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Bringing Sustainability to Regional Transit Systems BY ANDREA LEHMAN “I am a herder of people,” describes Becky Collins ’99, SEPTA’s manager of sustainability and engagement. As the transit authority’s point person for social and economic as well as environmental sustainability, she brings together people in varied positions and helps move them forward to boost the triple bottom line. Sometimes initiatives start in her department, part of the Office of Innovation. Sometimes they begin elsewhere, and she helps find resources, disseminates information, tracks the project, and publicizes the results. Becky is more than SEPTA’s sustainability shepherd. She is its sherpa, setting trails and fixing ropes as she guides the agency to achieve loftier goals. As a public transit system, SEPTA naturally reduces passengers’ carbon footprint, but the efforts Becky is involved in don’t stop there. One is a new wayside energy storage system: “When our
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Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines brake,” Becky explains, “we capture the kinetic energy from the braking [like a hybrid car] and either recycle it back into the line or sell the energy back to the grid.” As part of a West Philadelphia partnership, SEPTA helped a community farm grow on land adjacent to the 46th Street Station. And Becky is working on a cycle-transit plan that looks at bicycles getting to stations, at stations, and on transport. She was nominated by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia as a person “behind the scenes,” working to make Philadelphia a great place to cycle. Becky is proud of these accomplishments as well as that “the three prongs [of the triple-bottomline approach] aren’t siloed. A project that is first and foremost environmental may also have benefits to society and the SEPTA bottom line and vice versa.” The West Philly community garden is as much about neighborhood as it is about bringing healthy food to a highly urbanized area.
BECKY COLLINS ’99 is SEPTA’s manager of sustainability and engagement. At Drexel University’s Green Week she taught students how to use the bike rack on the front of the SEPTA bus.
“A t George School I was encouraged to express my ideas, and it gave me the confidence to do that out in the world as an adult…We were taught that we affect people and the world around us. We have to be aware of that responsibility.” To demonstrate how projects benefit all three areas, she developed an employee tour of sustainable SEPTA sites. It shows experienced staff (sometimes resistant to change) new, better ways to do things and energizes those who want to pursue their own ideas. “Part of my excitement comes from other people’s enthusiasm. In my position, I can get the ball rolling and build up people’s confidence so they can make a case for their own projects.” Becky became interested in the environment early, but she didn’t envision it as a job. After George School and a degree from Syracuse University in communications, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked for a design nonprofit overseeing a TV industry technical-awards competition. When she was instructed to throw out the submissions—22,000 of them, from T-shirts to games—she was appalled, and instead managed to donate, reuse, and recycle them. “If I was going to spend my day focusing on something, I wanted it to be something more meaningful.” She moved to New York, got an MS in environmental systems
management from Pratt Institute, and worked for Waste Management on composting and recycling programs before moving to SEPTA. Though her career has followed a circuitous track since George School, Becky sees its imprint on her career. “I was encouraged to express my ideas, and it gave me the confidence to do that out in the world as an adult. My ideas are not always appreciated. A lot of my job is patient persistence,” she concedes, adding, “We were taught that we affect people and the world around us. We have to be aware of that responsibility.” It’s a responsibility Becky embraces. She is excited by “making Philadelphia a greener and more attractive place to live and work” and by inspiring coworkers to do the same.
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JON SLAGHT ’94 is a foremost expert on Blakiston’s fish owl, the world’s largest owl and an endangered species. These owls rely on salmon-rich rivers for food and often are found walking along river banks stalking fish.
Researching Owls and Ecosystems BY ANDREA LEHMAN What do a large and secretive owl, a well-known (but misnamed) tiger, salmon, pine nuts, and logging have in common? Why does Jonathan Slaght ’94 conduct field research during the frigid winters of the Russian Far East? The answers to both questions lie in this intriguing ecosystem and the interconnectedness that determines its sustainability. Jon is the Russia and Northeast Asia coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). As a research scientist, he is a foremost expert on Blakiston’s fish owl, the world’s largest owl and a beautiful—if mysterious—species that is both endangered and shy. “They’ll leave if you’re within 100 yards,” says Jon by way of explaining why he studies them in winter. That’s when they fish in stretches of river that remain unfrozen and leave tracks nearby, making it easier—which is not to say easy—to locate them. As a wildlife conservationist, Jonathan is concerned with more than owls. WCS works to safeguard several species in the region, including
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musk deer and the Amur tiger, more commonly known as the Siberian tiger despite not predominating in Siberia. Public concern is motivated by saving the tiger more than lesser-known animals, Jon acknowledges, echoing his boss Dale Miquelle’s explanation that “T is for tiger.” Though exotic, tigers are a familiar part of our cultural consciousness. Drawing the obvious but unthinkable conclusion, Jon adds, “If tigers become extinct, then T is no longer for tiger.” While his interest in birds and the environment wasn’t sparked until later, the Russian portion of Jon’s training began at George School. In fact, he chose the school specifically because it offered Russian. (At the time, his parents were assigned to the US embassy in Moscow, where there was no English-language high school.) He went on to Drew University, where he majored in Russian and minored in environmental studies. When a George School friend, Ryan Kerney ’94 (now a Gettysburg College biology professor), visited him at Drew and offhandedly identified a bird, Jon decided that he wanted to be able to do that, too. He bought a used bird guide, and birding became a hobby. Later it would become his life.
After college, Jon joined the Peace Corps, teaching English and ecology to children in Russia’s Primorye province, a largely wild area wedged between China, North Korea, and the Sea of Japan. He lived in a small village where the only other foreigners worked for WCS. They tracked tigers and bears and, “for fun,” he helped them. In time, his now boss suggested that Jon could go to grad school with the society’s help. He got an MS in conservation biology in 2005 and a PhD in wildlife conservation in 2011, both from the University of Minnesota. “Throughout, WCS provided a tremendous amount of logistical support and research grants,” he explains. “It would have been hard if not impossible without them. There’s not a lot of infrastructure in the region.” When it was time to choose a dissertation subject, Jonathan was practical. In order to get funding, he “needed to study something charismatic.” The fish owl certainly fit the bill—or beak. His other choice, a hooded crane, would have meant doing research in buggy, muddy bogs, so he opted for subfreezing Russian nights instead. “My purpose was to learn enough about the owls to develop a conservation plan. Something like a tiger, people knew enough about, but with the owl, there was no idea of habitat needs, no specific locations that should be protected. We needed to study it so we would know what kind of forest and river it needs.” It was no surprise when the newly minted doctor took a job with WCS in Russia to continue his research and begin implementing the conservation plan. Though Primorye is remote and sparsely populated, human pressures still exert themselves. Logging (selective harvesting, not clear cutting) is the largest industry. Poaching and habitat destruction are problems. Jon and the society aim to protect the area’s wildlife by disseminating information and engaging with Russian partners. Their solution is not to squelch logging, thereby impoverishing the local population and potentially driving them to far less sustainable behaviors. Instead it is to enlist the help of “people who are trying to log the right way, make money, and employ a region…trying to reach the happiest medium we can.” Jon is working with the main logging company to render its unused logging roads impassable—a benefit to the company as well as to wildlife. Decommissioning the roads would deter timber thieves, poachers, and hunters and campers who inadvertently start forest fires. After he shared data collected from satellite image analysis with company leaders, they “got on board.
It’s really important that we work with them as long as they’re doing their work in a sustainable fashion. It’s a very good compromise between no disturbance and disturbance.” With one eye scanning for fish owls, Jon has the other fixed on the complex web that sustainably supports all area inhabitants. Keeping rivers healthy will benefit locals—for whom salmon fishing is a food source and livelihood—as well as the fish owls. Providing information in Russia and in the United States is a first step. In a New York Times op-ed (October 19, 2015), he described the unintended consequence of increased pine nut consumption. “Innumerable animals from chipmunks and Asiatic black bears to nutcrackers and crossbills all depend on the nuts produced by this tree to survive the long winter of the Southern Russian Far East. The pine nut industry may be contributing to the crash of an ecosystem,” he wrote. In August Across the Ussuri Kray, his annotated translation of writings by naturalist Vladimir K. Arsenyev who explored the same region of Russia 100 years ago, will be published. And Jon has finished Owls of the Eastern Ice, a book about the trials and tribulations of his fish owl research. In his current role he hopes to use his expertise in Russia and Russian to link work in the Alaskan and Russian Arctic as well as tiger efforts in Russia and China. Citing the groundbreaking conservationist Aldo Leopold, Jon feels it’s important to “think like a mountain. Try to have the worldview of the broadest possible thing and see all the impacts that all these things can have. Focusing on one component is bad for everything.” By focusing on the whole, he is strengthening the prospects of his beloved fish owl.
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Friendly Farming: Stewards of the Earth STACY BRENNER ’92 and her husband John Bliss of Broadturn Farm.
BY ANDREA LEHMAN Many early George School students were the children of farmers, destined to become farmers themselves. The campus had a farm and dairy cows that provided the school’s milk. From this agrarian past, an organic garden tended by Kate Smith-Ducati and a rotating crop of student gardeners remains, supplying produce to the dining room. Over the years, the community’s connection to the land and its bounty has changed—as has society’s—but the school still produces farmers. Specifically, a number of graduates are engaged in sustainable agriculture, growing nutritious and environmentally-responsible crops while forging stronger connections between humans and what sustains them. The five alumni profiled here span different products and business models, more than twentyfive years, and a continent. Some point to a George School experience as stimulating their interest. Others came to it later. But they all trace roots of their earth-friendly approach to Friends values absorbed as teens.
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For Stacy Brenner ’92, it began with a Little House on the Prairie obsession and continued when her Quakerism class, taught by Betsy Crofts, learned about back-to-the-land icons Helen and Scott Nearing. “It became obvious to me that becoming a homesteader was an option.” Still it would take fifteen years of getting “sidetracked” before Stacy and husband, John Bliss, began farming. The pair were drawn to Maine and to the CSA (community-supported agriculture) model. They joined the inaugural MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) Journeyperson Program, an example of how “Maine is on the cutting edge for welcoming and supporting farmers,” according to Stacy. After stints on other properties, they found 434-acre Broadturn Farm through Farmlink, which matches farms and farmers. They signed a thirty-year lease with the Scarborough Land Trust and have been there for ten. Stacy and John have three main goals, all based in raising organic produce, flowers, and livestock. The first is to educate new farmers, including through Broadturn’s internship program. As first-generation farmers, they see the importance
of passing on farming skills and a productive farm. “Our legacy is in more than our name. We are stewards of the earth but not within the lineage of a family.” The second is to educate consumers, mostly by bringing the community to the farm—for the CSA, their farm stand, a summer camp, and preschool program (“to influence the next generation of shoppers”), walking and skiing, and even weddings. “People bring their compost for the pigs and leaves from their yard for compost and mulch. Then they take tomatoes away in their canvas bag and keep the nutrient cycle tight.” The last goal is to “offer well-paying jobs and to make agriculture on preserved farmland an economic driver in the community. “We feel very blessed and rewarded,” says Stacy, conceding, “It’s not as romantic as I thought as a kid. Frozen pipes lose their charm. But after fifteen years, we feel in tune with the cycle of life and growth and death and decay. And the real bottom line for both of us is relationship-building around agriculture, food, and flowers.” Another CSA was also sprouting a decade ago. Its Bucks County land had been in the same family —the Snipes—since 1808. George School alumnus and teacher Brad Snipes ’41 had founded a nursery and garden center there in the mid-twentieth century, but by the early twenty-first century, big-box stores had made it unprofitable. As nephew Jonathan Snipes ’78 explains, “We began to brainstorm what our mission was as a farming family in the community and what our market opportunities were. We had offers to sell the property, but another housing development seemed like the least creative thing we could do. The local food movement was getting going. People wanted to connect with a local farm to buy their food and know it was organic and sustainable, not part of the agribusiness that was putting small farmers out of business.” They decided to change the farm’s function but keep it open to the public. Educating people and involving them in where food comes from became part of the mission, and Snipes Farm and Education Center, a 501(c)(3) organization, was born. Its first project was the CSA. Although the farm provided produce to George School for a time, ultimately, according to Jonathan, the organization’s director, “Every local agricultural enterprise has to figure out their niche—selling to restaurants or to farm markets or direct.” Snipes chose the last, selling all it grows to its approximately 150 members.
JONATHAN SNIPES ’78, executive director of Snipes Farm and Education Center.
“We put as much emphasis on education as on food growing. My wife Melanie developed the programs we offer for children. We use the farm as a campus, mostly for elementary-age children through sciencebased school trips and summer camp, but also for high school students in a summer program, and adults, too.” The farm uses sustainable, organic practices and is moving toward certification. “What’s crucial is the health of the soil. It has to be full of microorganisms to grow healthy plants. Nature is the best technology. By observing and mimicking nature, we’re able to provide nutritious food.” He contrasts this to the “big conglomerates with their heavy use of herbicides and pesticides. Now we see the impact of that: It’s costly and pollutes.” For Jonathan—and some CSA customers— there’s more. “We have a spiritual connection to our food and a very natural connection to plants and animals and land. We’re part of the ecology.” He sees what the farms’ operators, including sister Susan Snipes Wells ’70, are doing as “putting into practice the kind of values that George School teaches—respect for other human beings, respect for God’s creation, and the human place in it.” “George School fueled my love for gardening,” says Jane Freedman ’82, “when a group of us in a solar energy class instructed by the great Mark Wiley built a passive solar greenhouse.” Soon an organic gardening class started, and “a few of us had plots near the greenhouse, where we planted seedlings and explored growing food—the agony and the ecstasy!” Like Stacy, Jane detoured into other work before heading to Maine, where she interned with MOFGA and worked on a flower farm. “I put in long, long days without noticing. I was in love with farming.”
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JANE FREEDMAN ’82 samples the first strawberry of the season on her farm in California. KRISTIN MARCHESI ’98, general manager of the biodynamic Montinore Estate, a vineyard in Oregon’s North Willamette Valley.
After more East Coast jobs, she went to the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, intending to stay six months. “Twenty-five years later, I am still here on the beautiful central coast with my farmer husband [Jean-Paul] and terrific 15-year-old daughter [Bella].” En route Jane was garden director at the Homeless Garden Project of Santa Cruz, where “marginalized homeless folks grew food for 150 CSA shareholders, a farmers market, and themselves.” Next she founded Dirty Girl Produce, an organic farm owned and operated by women. Like the Homeless Garden Project, the farm didn’t just grow excellent produce. It provided job training and empowerment and was “a place of common ground when our cultural backgrounds were so different.” Jean-Paul was already dry farming tomatoes in the Watsonville area, so the couple merged their talents. The twenty-seven-acre, certifiedorganic Sea Level Farm “has the perfect terroir (the site-specific influences) for dry farming: morning coastal fog, warm sunny days, and cool clear nights,” describes Jane. “We do not need to irrigate once the plants are watered in—once or twice—even in these past five years of drought. The plant is placed deep in a furrow and sealed to grow. The yield is low but the
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fruit is high in minerals and flavor. Our tomatoes are sold throughout California in healthfood stores and nationwide through Whole Foods and other gourmet stores. The seconds can dry. We strive for zero waste.” Like her previous ventures, Sea Level Farm treads softly on the earth. But sustainability is a holistic concept for Jane. Farmer and staff must be sustained as well as the environment (she has yoga and health-coaching practices, too), and she, like other alumni farmers, touts “how important relationships are to sustainability on a farm.” Further north, Kristin Marchesi ’98 is general manager of the biodynamic Montinore Estate, a vineyard in Oregon’s North Willamette Valley owned by father Rudy. (When she was at George School, her father owned a winery in New Jersey.) At 210 acres and producing about 36,000 cases of wine a year, Montinore is the largest biodynamic winery in the country. Biodynamic farming was developed by Rudolph Steiner after World War I, in response to soil depletion resulting from increased fertilizer use. “Steiner developed preps made from things already on a farm that would help the health and vitality of the farm,” explains Kristin. “Some preps work on root development, some on fruit set, some on the leaves, and there’s a special calendar for each.”
FAITH MOYNIHAN ’05, husband Teddy, and son Clement of Plowshare Farm.
Many, she admits, “sound crazy,” like burying manure stuffed in cow horns in a pit around the autumnal equinox and then digging it up and applying it around the spring equinox. But they work, with plenty of evidence—and respect—in Europe as well as here. The vineyard is healthier than ever, and she adds, “We’ve found we make better wine.” For the Marchesis, that is the most important reason to farm biodynamically and organically. “It just grows more expressive and interesting fruit. You can work magic in the cellar, but if you don’t grow high-quality fruit, you won’t have highquality wine. It’s great that it’s also great for the environment.” Faith Moynihan ’05 is the youngest of these sustainable farmers and the newest to farming. With husband Teddy, she is in her third season at Plowshare Farm in Upper Bucks County and her first as a George School math teacher and soccer coach. Farming was Teddy’s dream, one she supports as “bookkeeper and idea runner-byer, and in the summer I’m out there farming with him.” They found the land for Plowshare through the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and they are currently cultivating about four acres of vegetables, pasturing a small flock of sheep, and building an orchard. Though not certified organic, the farm uses chemical-free practices, but “it’s much more than about not using chemicals,” says Faith, as rhapsodic about soil as her fellow alums. “It’s about enriching the
earth. We put in a lot that remineralizes it, and those minerals go directly into the food.” Plowshare’s bounty goes primarily to Philadelphia restaurants as well as a small CSA and a Saturday morning farmers market they run outside the Philly restaurant High Street on Market. Despite being such a young enterprise, they have gotten plenty of support—from the farm’s owner, from restaurants, and from area residents committed to their mission. For Faith and Teddy, as for others, it begins with healthy local food. “One of our core values is the way that we eat,” she says, “way before farming was on the horizon for us. How can we sustain ourselves without having it shipped from Peru in the winter? That was the mindset that informed the mission of our farm. My sense of food justice and sustainability was instilled at George School and reinforced with more experience.” Now as a teacher, she is delighted by how many dining hall items are locally grown. The reasons behind these graduates’ particularly green thumbs are many—growing high-quality food and producing wine, caretaking land for future generations, educating those generations, reconnecting people to their nourishment, leaving a small bootprint on the environment, and all of the above. As Kristin puts it, “George School taught me to think about the larger consequences of my actions—always, in everything.” As George School graduates, these farmers are also proud stewards of the Earth.
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Sustainable and Regenerative Designs BY LAURA NOEL Food makes friends. That’s the Highlands Dinner Club (HDC) motto. For founder Ben Walmer ’94, some times HDC dinners turn into opportunities to partner with new friends on sustainable design projects. “HDC began as a device for collaboration and a way to bring people together around the table to support a cause,” says Ben. What began as a fun experiment has turned into a culinary round table that brings together minds with an interest in sustainable design, agriculture, and food. “My center of gravity is architecture,” continues Ben who earned a degree in architecture from Lehigh University. “And agriculture is in my DNA.” His great-great-grandfather was a member of the first George School graduating class and went on to start what is now Crestmont Orchards, more than 1,000 acres of primarily apple orchards in Pennsylvania.
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For Ben, this means integrating design and food wherever possible. Recently HDC held an event in Philadelphia at Impact Hub, a shared workspace that self describes as “part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center.” As an architect, Ben consulted on the design of the commercial kitchen fit-out of the Philadelphia space. To raise the money to construct his design, Ben and a crew of HDC champions, as he lovingly refers to the chefs he works with, stepped in to throw a pop-up dinner to help raise the money. It’s collaboration like this that brings his two passions together—and more often than not, he finds himself working on projects with a focus on sustainability. A member of the Physical Plant Committee at George School, Ben has been part of a number of projects that incorporate sustainable design on campus, but his reach is far greater. Through his work he has consulted on projects around the country and around the globe in Nigeria, Armenia, and nearby New Jersey.
BEN WALMER ’94 and a team of creative partners are working to convert a warehouse into a farmers market, restaurant, and incubator kitchen (p. 12) Ben leads foraging trips and hosts locally-sourced dinners at farms.
“Despite its buzzword status, sustainability is an ongoing experiment,” he says. “It’s an experiment that doesn’t stop—we keep refining it and improving it. Now we’re seeing regenerative design, especially in agriculture, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” The idea of regenerative design combines the needs of an environment with the needs of the people in the area to restore energy and materials by creating sustainable systems. His interests in design have led him to consult with the Armenian Environmental Network on projects such as a fifty-year-old dump in Armenia that had begun causing environmental problems. Together they used regenerative design to create plans and scout locations for a small scale environmental dump. “We applied systems thinking—which means incorporating all systems, political, economic, environmental, etcetera, into a project—and used plant-based remediation, local materials, and integrated design to significantly reduce the cost of building an environmental landfill. “We worked with the local people to start trash separation programs, composting programs, and recycling programs—and happily, we discovered
that they had a lot of that in place.” And an HDC dinner followed, sourcing local foods and gathering with project participants to share ideas and connect around the table. Other recent projects include the Roselle, a collaborative space in Roselle, New Jersey. Ben, and a team of creative partners, are working with Jaull Loram to convert an existing warehouse into a useable space that will house a farmers market, restaurant, and private label incubator kitchen. By creating a space that incorporates these usually disparate food businesses, the Roselle will help eliminate waste for vendors at the farmers market, provide immediate access to fresh, local produce for the restaurant, and allow vendors, visiting chefs, and the restaurant staff to use the incubator kitchen to package goods for sale that might normally have spoiled. For Ben, these projects provide a way to bring together his two passions and to subtly encourage others to find small ways to make sustainable changes in their lives. Said Ben, “the more we’re connected to our natural environment, the more we can contribute to it in intelligent ways, the more the whole system will benefit from our efforts.”
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SCOT T SER AYDARIAN ’90
GEORGE SCHOOL celebrated Earth Day 2015 with a mural on the library patio created by the Painting and Drawing Club.
Keeping George School Green Being green is not just what we do at George School. It’s who we are. Developing “citizen scholars cheerfully committed to the faithful stewardship of the earth” is part of our school mission. We feel so strongly about our relationship to our environment that we’ve even developed a mission statement on sustainability: Guided by Quaker beliefs in stewardship, simplicity, and social justice, George School commits itself to awakening all members of our community to the wonder of the natural world and to our shared responsibility to care for it well. From our Fitness and Athletics Center to our dining hall, in big leaps and small bites, sustainability is on display everywhere. Not content to be environmentally aware, we strive to be environmentally innovative, continually finding new ways to conserve energy and other resources. This past year George School announced a multi-pronged plan to divest from coal companies, invest in companies focused on renewable energy, and implement new policies and procedures on campus to improve energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The school has finished
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divesting its portfolio of companies directly related to coal and begun the process of investing $1.5 million in renewable energy companies. During winter 2015 George School held the first ever Green Initiative Contest to inspire students to become actively involved in environmental sustainability on campus. The contest asked students to submit proposals for consideration that had a potential budget of up to $76,000. Four winners were chosen from the more than twenty proposals and implementation began in fall 2015. The winning proposals included a thrift shop proposed by Agnes Gummere ’16, Adrianna Morales ’16, and Brandon Ratcliff ’16; a forest regeneration zone proposed by Owen Hall ’18, Khalil Jannah ’18, Juliette Jeffers ’18, Nikita Kim ’17, Weihang Liang ’17, Damara Lowery ’18, and Rowan Palmour ’16 with mentoring from their advisors Mike Gersie, director of operations, and Nancy Culleton, associate director of college counseling; a rain barrel system proposed by Ava Avila-Fitting ’16 and Jacob Kind ’16; and the final proposal was for improvements to campus recycling systems submitted by the 2015 Environmental Systems and Societies Class.
EMMA FOLK ’09
GEORGE SCHOOL celebrated Earth Day with dinner in the organic garden. The meal featured locally-sourced meats, vegetables, and cheeses.
GS STUDENTS Yuchen Liang ’14, Ian Hodgin ’15, and Virginia Johnson ’14 traveled to Washington DC to represent George School at the Reject and Protect rally in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“In addition to our environmental science courses, other science classes use the natural areas of our beautiful campus as their lab. Whether conducting experiments on water, soil, or air quality or observing animals in their habitat, students experience firsthand the complexities of nature.” George School has been reducing, reusing, and recycling since the 1970s, when we reused an entire building—our meetinghouse. Forty years later, we recycled much of our former sports center into a new one. Our newest construction projects, the Fitness and Athletics Center and the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, were specifically designed to achieve LEED certification, but our beautiful older buildings have an environmental role to play, too. Renovating and retrofitting them to increase energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity is ongoing. Outside, with student help, we plant trees and rain gardens, which allow water to naturally reenter the ecosystem. Students also help weed our green roofs, getting their hands dirty while getting an environmental education. With students leading the charge for change, George School banned the sale of bottled water on campus and installed filtered water-bottle filling stations. In addition to our environmental science courses, other science classes use the natural areas of our beautiful campus as their lab. Whether conducting experiments on water, soil, or air quality or observing animals in their habitat, students experience firsthand the complexities of nature. In the Essentials of a Friends Community class, freshmen grapple with what it means to live
responsibly. Organic gardening, a physical education elective, gets students to work the earth along with their bodies, and to acquire a better understanding of nutrition. But environmental education isn’t constrained to class time. Assembly speakers present on topics from climate change to wildlife ecology and native plants. Faculty members lead morning campus bird walks or weekend outings to wilderness areas. “Mind the Lights” stickers near light switches are one of many efforts to educate about energy consumption. As with service, students grow to understand that even small actions, undertaken in a spirit of community, can make a big impact. Nowhere on campus is George School more sustainability-minded than in the dining room. Thanks to its forward-thinking director and the support of the food service staff, administration, and entire community, eating at George School has become as environmentally thoughtful as it is flavorful. We use seasonal, locally sourced food and food that is organic, free range, and hormone free. Our Thursdays are meatless. In the time it took you to read this, another George School community member has had another sustainable idea or is working to implement one. When it comes to our environment, the only constant is growing greener.
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A Bird’s Eye View of George School F R O M A S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y P E R S P E C T I V E
Forest regeneration zone Wind powered water pump irrigates the Organic Garden
Alternative Energy Center
24 kW solar voltaic generator heats water for the Fitness and Athletics Center
Mollie Dodd Anderson Library LEED Gold certified with geothermal heating and cooling and green roof
1812 Quaker meetinghouse relocated and rebuilt in 1974
Fitness and Athletics Center LEED certified with a green roof
I N T E R I O R C A M P U S W I D E I N I T I AT I V E S • Low flush toilets • Water bottle refilling stations • Green cleaning products • Preventive maintenance program to maintain efficient HVAC system operation • Building Management System • Campus wide recycling
Central heating plant heats campus buildings
Campus greenhouse Bancroft windows repurposed during renovation LEED renovation of McFeely Library into a classroom building Porous paved parking lot
Rain Harvest System, a student initiative GS Thrift, a student initiative
Irrigation well for all athletic fields
E X T E R I O R C A M P U S W I D E I N I T I AT I V E S • White reflective roofs • Invasive species management • Campus trees recycled for student use in woodworking classes • Rain gardens • Campus wide composting • Organic fertilizers
Cougar Field made of synthetic turf with underground storm water retention
Perspectives GS THRIFT was started by
Adrianna Morales ’16, Agnes Gummere ’16, and Brandon Ratcliff ’16.
GS Thrift Brings Sustainability to Life BY LAURA NOEL The idea for GS Thrift was born in Becky Hutchin’s IB Environmental Systems and Societies class. Agnes Gummere ’16, Adrianna Morales ’16, and Brandon Ratcliff ’16 were juniors who saw an opportunity to make use of a resource they had seen George School students be careless with—clothing. “We began learning about environmental science and ways to apply sustainable practices to everyday life,” said Agnes. “We realized how much good a thrift store could do for the George School community and beyond.” Instead of just discarding clothes at the end of the year or donating them to an outside thrift shop, the trio hoped to resell the clothing to the George School community and use the profits to make sizable donations to charities with a focus on sustainability. In addition, they hoped to donate unsold clothing each year. The group decided to submit a proposal to the Environmental Stewardship Oversight Committee (ESOC) to see whether their dream could become a reality. “We had to make a detailed presentation to a judging panel of trustees and faculty members from the ESOC and Finance Commitee to get our idea approved and funded,” continued Agnes.
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“Once our proposal was approved we began planning for this year. At the beginning it was essentially like moving into a new house or dorm.” The group acquired racks and shelving for displaying clothing, shoes, and accessories and they began to transform the former boys’ locker room in Alumni Gym into a functional space for a thrift store. They faced some challenges—being a bit removed from the center of campus, converting the space to be pleasant and appealing, learning how to schedule students, and running a store. “This is just the first year and we’re still learning how to run it so that we can pass that knowledge on to the next group of students,” said Agnes. “But sales have been picking up and we’ve been raising money,” she continued. “We’re planning to donate the profits to 350.org and some other green charitable organizations. The excess clothing that isn’t sold will be donated to Syrian refugees this year and other local thrift shops.” For the foreseeable future, the thrift shop will continue to operate, raising funds for green charities and teaching students the importance of reusing items they once considered trash. And the collection boxes and bins strategically placed around campus are a constant reminder of this important life lesson.
1958 | Martha “Marnie” Scull Haines
The eQuiz asked alumni to share their thoughts on sustainability. From small changes at home to life-long career choices, some of their responses are highlighted here. Thanks to the many alumni who shared their perspectives.
1964 | Mike Ayars
GS outlook included caring for people and caring for the world. Environmental emphasis was not articulated as such in 1950s. Delighted to see this is a major issue at GS today.
Dr. Craighead. Although sustainability didn’t have a name back then, he was passionate about our environment.
1970 | Gerry Lax
George School Influences on Sustainability 1954 | Mary Anne Hunter Mr. Carson introduced me to the whole concept of ecology. My most recent work has been as a landscape architect, working mostly in low income and elderly/handicapped housing projects. 1954 | Peter Glusker The general philosophy of the school, and two teachers in particular, Mr. Snipes ’41 and Mr. Tempest.
1955 | Alison Smith Claus I think most of my interest and knowledge about sustainability came after I left GS, but a background of caring for people and the welfare of the world was developed there. 1956 | Susan Trickle Holland I think the organic structure of the George School life taught me enormous principles of personal sustainability...and I believe the concept must be personalized and internalized before it becomes a social project or universal concern. It was a great beginning step for me.
It was a long, long time ago. The Sextons taught environmental science and I thought did a great job! But it was Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring that sealed the deal.
1975 | Katherine Alford I do believe that Quaker values generally call for sustainability and responsible consumption.
1978 | Marta Ernst Dusty Miller had a global view of the world and how we needed to support the earth. 1979 | Jody Krosnick Rodgers The current faculty and staff (especially Chris Odom).
1982 | Christine Stein Arzt I don’t think it was a particular class, just the whole attitude and thought processes that you learn at GS—being a responsible adult, not just for yourself but for others as well.
1982 | Danielle Walker Palmour Amazingly, the (much complained about) freshman Hydrology. The centrality of water to our existence emerged as a key lesson.
1983 | Sue Labate Alternative Energy class with Mark Wiley in 1983.
1956 | Tom Maddux I learned to love trees at GS and participated in tree planting with a favorite biology teacher, Bradshaw Snipes ’41.
1957 | Judith Talbot Campos
1988 | Chisa Uyeki I don’t know that a particular class did, but overall I know that all of my science teachers influenced me, as well as woodshop, where we used remnants from bigger projects to create smaller pieces.
Mr. Carson, Biology teacher and active environmentalist before it became a big thing.
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Alumni Profile Jesse Nankin McMahon ’97
What is Nature Cat? It is a new PBS Kids animated series for children with a mission to connect kids with the natural world and get them outside—wherever they may live. Our aim is to combine the advantages of educational media and mobile technology with episodes that empower children to “play the show.” For example, in For the Birdies, the gang figures out that feeding birds during the winter gives them an extra boost so they make their own bird feeders. The show intends to inspire kids to make feeders, too—with the help of a DIY on the PBS Kids Nature Cat website—and to experience the pleasure of bird watching in their own backyard or in a city park. We’re also giving adults the tools to help their children explore nature. And, of course, we hope to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards! What is your role on the show? As an associate content producer, I work with the content producer to develop the educational content for each episode. We provide the factual background and then review each step in the process of developing it—from outline to full animation. I learn a little about a lot of different subjects and every day is different. Episodes range from cleaning up a marsh to rocks to planting a butterfly garden to a no waste Valentine’s Day. Do you see it as part of being an environmental advocate? Absolutely. Wherever we can, we have the Nature Cat crew model sustainable behaviors, like using
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reusable bags and water bottles. They are also fiercely protective of their world and all of the living things within it. We want to put ideas forward without overwhelming kids. Take the marsh episode. It shows that when people pollute and flood the marsh, it upsets a delicate ecosystem. The problem is presented to the Nature Cat gang, who find a solution. We want children to understand that everything we do has ripple effects, but we don’t want them to feel helpless. They learn that we can change our behavior to make a difference and that problems can be solved incrementally. Did George School affect your environmental outlook? As a student at George School, you are encouraged to be open-minded, to be thoughtful about and sensitive to the world around you, and to find ways to give back to your community and beyond. Those values have stayed with me since graduation, and have served me as I have navigated both my career and adulthood. Today I am inspired by what the school is doing to create a more ecologically-sound campus, as well as by the graduates and current students who are doing remarkable work to help build a more sustainable future for our planet.
Outside of work, Jesse is part of an initiative advocating for a Styrofoam ban and single-use paper/plastic bag fee in Topsham, Maine, where she lives. She is also on the leadership team for Natural Resources Council of Maine Rising group, which seeks to engage 20- and 30-somethings in environmental issues, and involved with 350Maine.
1993 | Shawna Grimm Lyons Growing up I had never been taught to recycle, my environmental education started the day I stepped on the GS campus. I carry these lessons into my classroom every day and hope that I’m teaching the next generation to care for the world. 1996 | Melicia Escobar Mark Wiley! The freshman Hydrology course was cutting edge in 1993 when I took it. It was the first time I was engaged in sustainability in any real way. Particularly the fisheries game we played was just so ahead of the curve!
2003 | Carrie McKey Chase Living on campus and participating in the community garden were certainly influential! 2003 | Charles Gassaway Pacho Gutierrez ’77 and hydrology. 2004 | Katie Kerr Not a particular class/teacher, but the culture of recycling, nature, and sustainability there had an impact.
2005 | Christopher Matsagas Mark Wiley, who taught Hydrology and exposed me to several concepts of renewability, such as growing your own food and collecting rainwater. 2012 | Meredith Allen No, but overall I would say being at GS exposed me to a lot of, at the time, new ideas around the environment, sustainability, and the morality concerning both.
Thoughts about Sustainability 1942 | William R. Halliday Irresponsible recent political activism is setting up a dangerous backlash.
Alumni Profile Bradd Forstein ’93
How is environmental sustainability part of your career? Our work at Black Bear Capital is in the development, financing, and construction of renewable energy projects, primarily solar and wind. Most of our projects help governments and corporations reduce carbon emissions as well as save money. How is business in general responding to the call for sustainability? Every company wants to be perceived as “green” or “sustainable,” but very few actually put it into practice. In renewable energy, every project brings its own set of challenges, and the financial industry doesn’t have a standard. With the recent global carbon-reduction plan, companies are welcoming sustainability practices, in both the way they operate internally and the way they buy their power. The problem is that most will only do it if it makes sense financially. If more universal carbon taxes are put in place, you will see a mass adoption of sustainable practices across all industries. Did George School influence your choice of career? I learned a ton not only academically but about myself as a person and the morals I wanted to live by. In stagecraft with Scott Hoskins, the materials used for each show were recycled over and over again. It was amazing how he could design stages that were so different, yet use materials from previous performances.
1947 | C. Howard Davis Sustainability is important; but continued worldwide population growth will contravene much of the effects to achieve sustainability.
Bradd is cofounder and managing director at Black Bear Capital, melding skills he picked up working in high tech during the .com era and in real estate development. He lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, with wife Randee (whom he dated in high school), three children, and two Bernese Mountain Dogs.
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Alumni Profile Emily Silber ’10
1951 | Charles (Dust y) M. Scudder We have fourteen solar panels on our roof which generate about 60 percent of the electricity that we consume during daylight hours. I ride my bicycle four miles a day for exercise and to go to and from our bank, hardware store, supermarket, doctor’s office, and barbershop. 1952 | Dr. Headley S White Jr. It is critical.
1954 | Franklin H. Pennell Jr. Nuclear power and electric locomotives are our best bet (all we have to do is use them).
1956 | Winsor Eveland We need to get our heads on straight before we destroy the entire earth. What did you do during your recent Audubon Society internship? I wrote stories for the website and magazine— mostly about birds or how global warming and environmental degradation are affecting birds around the world. The magazine raises awareness about environmental issues and how people can get involved. I shed light on Portland, Oregon’s fight against climate change, tracked a rare bird wintering in Brooklyn, New York, and authored more than thirty other articles related to environmental science, conservation, and, of course, birds. Did George School influence your views on sustainability? Alyssa Schultheis, who taught my environmental science class, adopted a hands-on approach to teaching that I find really effective. I remember doing activities outside, working in the school’s garden and doing experiments down by the creek. The sustainability efforts around campus also influenced me. Construction on the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library started during my time there.
Emily always knew she wanted to be a writer but only discovered that she wanted to write about science and the environment at Connecticut College, where she double-majored in English and anthropology and minored in art. She later got a master of science in journalism from Columbia University. In addition to her Audubon internship, she interned at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska.
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1957 | Roland F. Hirsch Many “sustainable” practices are not actually sustainable, as massive government subsidies are required for them to be carried out. They also favor the wealthy over the poor. The California experiment with wind and solar electric power has already caused big problems with cost and will cause a large amount of instability in the power grid if carried out to the extent the state intends.
1957 | Elizabeth Pyle Lamers I am converting my yard to Florida native plants to conserve water and support native wildlife.
1961 | William C. Green Corporations and capitalism are realities that can’t be wished away. For “sustainability” to have traction, it is important to learn to work with, not just against, both the powers that have held sway (and still do)—not just banking on newer and more progressive ventures alone which require time to mature.
1962 | Sally Wislar Farneth If people don’t wake up, future generations will be in serious trouble, worse than some parts of the world are now. 1964 | Kathryn McCreary My energy is devoted to the big garden I maintain. Over the years as I have fed and cared for the soil, I have seen the positive results of respecting the earth.
1965 | Frank Fet ter Do it.
1965 | Daryl Goodrich
Alumni Profile Kareem Afzal ’93
It is too easy to excuse unsustainable ways as human nature. Each must take the initiative and change our human nature. Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
1966 | Loren Cobb The word itself (“sustainability”) is radically overused, to the extent that its use is actually counterproductive in political discourse.
1966 | Charles Esser Distresses have driven people to use oppression against one another and carry out destructive policies against all of the world. A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions. The restoration and preservation of the environment must take precedence over any group of humans having material advantage over others. We can and must recover from any distress that drives us to destroy the environment in our attempts to escape from never-ending feeling of needing more resources.
1967 | Karen Garrison Sustainability takes more than well-meaning individuals and companies, though that’s certainly important. Laws (and funding sources) are needed to accomplish recycling, find substitutes for singleuse plastic bags and bottles, and achieve emissions reduction, efficient water use, and species protection on a meaningful scale.
1969 | Elizabeth Cope McDonald When I take my daily walk, I carry two separate bags, one for trash and the other for recycling that I pick up along my walk.
How does your work contribute to environmental sustainability? PDC Machines is the nation’s leading integrator of hydrogen-refueling station equipment and hydrogen-compressor manufacturer. We’re also part of a team (with two other companies) called SimpleFuel, which was named the finalist in the US Depart-ment of Energy’s H Prize competition for development of a home-scale refueler that can provide a 1-kilogram fill to vehicles in fifteen minutes. We have made the budding hydrogen energy field a focal point of our business and see it as integral to our children’s future. How so? The world needs to shift its mindset to consider all available clean-energy sources. Alternatives to liquid and solid fuels can create innovative solutions to our energy challenges. There is not one winner— battery or hydrogen, solar or wind. As the White House puts it, an all-of-the-above strategy is needed to address the complexity of the situation. Did anyone at George School influence your views on the environment? Walt Hathaway exuded a love for nature and sustainability. I remember seeing him picking up trash, ensuring items were recycled—simple gestures, burnished in my mind.
1970 | Brook Richardson Maher Another important piece of the puzzle is voting for the legislators who support sustainability. Also, choosing to buy less and use less.
1971 | Andy Anderson Sustainability requires pureness of spirit and simplicity of lifestyle.
An engineer by training, Kareem is Vice President for Business Development at PDC Machines, a family company begun by his father. Mateen Afzal ’98 is a partner, and Kareem’s wife is an application engineer. They live with their two children in North Wales, Pennsylvania, where Kareem is a competitive triathlete and serves on several nonprofit boards.
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1972 | Andrew Rivinus
1987 | Tara Chambers
It is a word we need to be careful of. We haven’t precisely defined it. The word “organic” has come to mean whatever a good marketing agent wants it to mean because we never really defined it. The same can happen with sustainability which will dilute the effort with vague or mixed messages about products and practices that are sold as sustainable but aren’t really.
I was able to talk to the condo board of our New York City apartment building and get every apartment converted to 100 percent wind energy. We also have 100 percent wind energy in our Massachusetts home.
1973 | Paul Mervis It’s not easy being green.
1979 | Abira Roshida Ali We have been using grey bath tub water to water our lemon tree and banana tree!
1992 | Dara Ballow-Giffen I volunteer as a University of Maryland Master Gardener, educating people about organic gardening practices and encouraging backyard food production. I keep chickens and grow vegetables to better control some of our food supply. We also keep bees and educate people about honey bee and pollinator health.
1995 | John Mieczyslaw Warenda 1979 | Alan Siegel Living in California with its varied environmental policies makes it easier to practice sustainability. State rebates for purchase of solar panels and electric cars allow us to minimize our carbon footprints.
1983 | Louisa Fingerhood Soto I think it’s important for each of us to think about how we can live in a way that supports sustainability. Wasting less, sharing more. Recycling all that we can.
1984 | Laura Goldberg Saluja My fantasy would be to build a bridge between an architecture/engineering school here and my husband’s hometown engineering school in India to grow environmentally sustainable architecture and urban design there. They have huge problems with their infrastructure and electrical grid, making small-scale/local solutions a perfect fit there. In addition, they have a fantastic history of indigenous pre-industrial sustainable architecture and technology which has just been abandoned in this era.
1986 | Greg Spivak It is an incredibly important topic that is often confused as being difficult to achieve. We each can do numerous things in our lives that are small individually, but can collectively have a great impact.
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Sustainability and environmentalism aren’t simply ethical or moral issues. Continuing the use of conventional power generation, heating, cooling, and transportation, is by definition synonymous with a refusal to innovate. We have, over the last one-hundred years, committed our society to a sort of abhorrence of the old. It isn’t just socially and environmentally irresponsible—it’s illogical, incurious, and a tragic waste of the incredible potential of humanity.
1997 | Jesse Nankin McMahon Climate change is the greatest challenge we (may ever) face. Its ripple effects touch nearly all corners of our lives—from public health to national security to the economy. I am proud of what GS is doing to create a more ecologically-sound campus, and inspire generations of students to take a leadership role in building a sustainable future.
2003 | Ross Hollister Maybe we need a new word—sustainability is perhaps overused. 2007 | Garret t Smelcer Any small steps might become a habit.
Alumni Profile Jonathan Strong ’61
How did you get involved in environmental law? My love of wildlife started when I was 9 or 10. Because of it—and my math ability—I was steered to the natural sciences at George School. I remember Mr. Carson, my biology teacher, talking about global warming and ecology. In 1959 or 1960! I decided I wanted to pursue ecology and started in Cornell’s College of Agriculture majoring in wildlife conservation. In 1971 I went to NYU law school, where I took an environmental law class. The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act had just passed, so there were no real cases to discuss yet. For my first job, I worked for the Interior Department in the mine health and safety division and conservation and wildlife division (endangered species and national parks). In 1976, I moved to the EPA. What cases were you involved in at the EPA? The EPA’s largest case at the time was against four Hudson River power plants, whose practices were destroying a large percentage of fish eggs and larvae. I was the lead attorney and negotiator. We’d been in settlement discussions for over a year when Reagan won in 1980, and we had to settle quickly, before he took office. In another case, we sued Utica, New York, for $1 million for discharging raw sewage into the Mohawk River. Though ultimately we settled for $5,000, it was the first municipality to pay the EPA a civil penalty. In a third case, we caught Hercules, a chemical company, illegally discharging into the Mohawk River. After an
anonymous tip, I had the idea to get an administrative search warrant, and sure enough, we found stuff oozing into the river. Why did you leave? Most of my employment at EPA was under Carter, and the environment was something the administration cared about. As soon as Reagan came in, we were basically told to shut it down. Enforcement under the Reagan administration consisted of writing letters to polluting companies telling them that if they didn’t stop, I’d have to write another letter. How have things changed since then? We still have problems. Some officials don’t enforce as toughly as they might. But the rivers, lakes, and air are much cleaner. We’ve made major advances from where things were, but there’s still more to do.
In addition to his time in environmental law, Jonathan worked in fair housing and tenants’ rights. A self-described “involuntary patron of the arts,” he owns Ripsaw Records, a roots rock label. He splits his time between Endicott, New York, and Washington, DC, and continues to be involved in environmental causes.
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Thank You, N A N C Y
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hen Nancy Starmer arrived at George School in 2000 as its eighth head—and first female leader—the school had been navigating change for over a century. What was about to shift wasn’t the fact of change but the pace of it—mirroring the broader independent school landscape, education in general, technology, and society at large. Nancy became both caretaker and change agent, likening the school to an organism that must evolve to keep pace with its environment. “These have been times of pretty significant change,” she reflects today. “The challenge for me has been to manage that change in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the community and that uses the really important aspects of the culture at George School to help us adapt successfully.” Heads bring their own interests to and put their own marks on institutions. Nancy’s passions were and continue to be related to diversity and curricular innovation. In the year before coming to George School, she was a visiting scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Research on Women and a visiting practitioner at Harvard Graduate School of Education, penning a thesis called “Reconciling Diversity and Community.” “My research project…was an attempt to help schools that have made a significant commitment to diversity as they move toward the next phase of that work. I’ve discovered that reconciling diversity and community requires a shared purpose that clearly exists at George School.” In Nancy’s sixteen years as head, George School has clearly become more diverse. In 2000, students represented thirty-three countries. Today they hail from fifty-two. Over the same period, the percentage of students of color has gone from 21 to 24 and the funds available for financial aid have increased three times, ensuring continued socioeconomic diversity. Nancy is especially proud of the ways in which our definition of diversity have expanded. “We have made headway in being a school that has not only religious, ethnic, and racial diversity but also
one that identifies academic diversity as being equally beneficial.” Not all differences are visible or measurable— by design. She adds, “I’ve tried hard to cultivate an environment where diverse perspectives are as welcome as diverse characteristics.” As she described in a 2002 address, “This cross-pollination of understanding, of ways of seeing and being in the world, strengthens all of us.” Some of George School’s increased diversity can be attributed to demographic shifts and a proactive approach to reaching around a “smaller” globe for students. Greater diversity has also been made possible by generous gifts to financial aid from alumni and other friends during Nancy’s tenure. These include, but are not limited to, the landmark gift from the late Barbara Dodd Anderson ’50 in 2007. But as was clear from her pre-George School research, Nancy’s commitment to diversity doesn’t end with enrollment. “You can’t just say, ‘Increase the number of people of color or the number of international students’ and that’s it. You also have to address how these students change and benefit the population and accommodate their needs. Diversity is always an adaptive challenge.” She cites as a recent example the awareness that resulted in the board’s approval of a transgender policy, the first of its kind for a US boarding school. Nancy feels that much of the school’s success in adapting to change comes from being a Friends community. As tensions flared on campuses nationwide last year around issues such as Black Lives Matter, George School used Quaker process to engage in dialogue—what Nancy describes as community meetings framed as worship sharing opportunities. “If people are not comfortable with something, they feel able to share that. I’m proud that at George School students can express strong opinions or emotions and feel that they are heard and respected, even when they are diametrically opposed. In our increasingly polarized society, the ability to listen openly to others with different perspectives is an important skill.”
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Nancy has long supported curricular innovation. A five-year curriculum review, which began in 2002, resulted in revisions to course offerings, graduation requirements, and schedules. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program was expanded dramatically, classes were added from Chinese to higher-level math and science, and the teaching of Quakerism was rethought and revamped, to name just a few of the changes that resulted. But Nancy was interested in not just what is taught, but how it is taught. In 2003, she authored an article called “Toward a Quaker Pedagogy,” in which she examined how being a Quaker school could inform the ways that classrooms are conducted to maximize learning. As technology exploded and research on the brain revealed new opportunities to innovate, faculty members were encouraged and supported to do so. According to English teacher and IB Program Director Ralph Lelii: To an unusual degree, Nancy is deeply interested in pedagogical research and innovation, and the philosophical and cultural adaptations necessary to survive in the world of independent education. Despite the broad demands of her myriad constituencies, Nancy read widely and systematically throughout her tenure, and was relentless in her conviction that nurturing one’s intellectual life is a crucial component of leadership. I admire her very much for this. It is not easy to do given the pace of life her position demands, and she might be readily forgiven for letting her scholarship lapse. Instead, it is a hallmark of her time here at George School. Despite moving on, Nancy is still looking ahead to the school’s curricular future. “We looked at curriculum deeply once,” she says, “and we’re beginning to look at it again.” None of this story has touched on the significant bricks-and-mortar changes under Nancy’s watch. Notable among them are the formulation of a campus master plan, the building of the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, the conversion of the former McFeely Library to the history building, new faculty housing, a new track and field, construction of the Fitness and Athletics Center, and the renovation and retrofitting of many dorms and classroom buildings. Environmental sustainability was squarely in mind for all. “When issues of environmental stewardship come up, we respond to them not as an afterthought or addendum, but because we have to,”
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Nancy explains. “Stewardship is part of our culture as a Friends school. In addition, addressing environmental challenges will be a significant issue for this generation of students. We need to be leaders and models for them. We have to walk the walk.” When the library was proposed, the governing board and Nancy agreed to spend what was necessary to achieve LEED certification, which was not yet common. “The board set a goal to move toward a position of leadership in this field,” says Nancy. “It’s a challenge, but we have committed ourselves to keeping it in our sights.” From the food served in the dining hall and grown in the organic garden to eliminating disposable water bottles on campus, from assembly speakers to the board’s decision to divest from coal, the school continues to try to meet its goal. Like so much at George School, it is about the process. Nancy sees the school’s commitment taking shape in “the millions of opportunities to broaden awareness, in every decision that we make about little things.” As she prepares to leave, Nancy comes back repeatedly to the school’s identity as a Quaker community. Meeting for worship, she says, is what she anticipates missing most. “I’ve learned so much from listening to our students in meeting. They are so wise.” For Nancy, the essentials of this Friends community also provide its strength and capacity for graceful and meaningful adaptability. “You have to be able to anticipate change and build in resilience and receptivity to change without changing who you are. Leaders keep the pot simmering without allowing it to boil over. I think we have adapted in really significant ways, without changing the true nature of George School.” This is what Nancy referred to as the school’s “magic” after her first decade as head, and what Tim Katsiff, clerk of George School Board of Trustees, described in announcing her retirement five years later: “Through all of this impressive growth and change, Nancy has also carefully stewarded the core qualities of George School— the trust, respect, curiosity, openness, spirituality, and good humor that are the foundations of our community.” Change shows no sign of decelerating. As Nancy turns over the reins to the ninth head, Sam Houser, she leaves a school that is as changed as it is unchanged, healthy financially and philosophically, and ready for the challenges ahead.
buildings earned LEED certification for environmentally friendly design, construction, and operation.
students earned their IB diplomas.
COUNTRIES represented by George School students.
new courses introduced as a result of the five-year Curriculum Review.
better, smarter, cooler classrooms added to campus to accommodate hands-on interactive learning.
home-baked cookies shared by Nancy with students, an exam-period tradition.
capable, compassionate, creative students graduated and set out to let their lives speak.
endowed funds reinvested in renewable energy as part of a plan to divest from coal holdings.
Y E A R strategic plan focused on educational programs, diversity, financial aid, environmental stewardship, facilities, and financial sustainability.
plastic water bottles eliminated with a student initiative to install bottle refilling stations around campus.
hours of community service projects completed by students.
increase in financial aid funds, enhancing the socioeconomic diversity of the community.
wonderful years with a head of school who provided exceptional vision and integrity.
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SCOT T SER AYDARIAN ’90
How IB Biolog y Turned Me into a Scientist
BY EDEN McEWEN ’17 International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard Level (SL) Bio has a reputation like no other science— except maybe AP Chemistry but only the truly chemically dedicated go that far. SL Bio is more like a rite of passage for any aspiring IB Diploma candidate. Tales of Polly Lodge’s class reach as far as the ninth graders’ mostly oblivious ears. From the moment I accepted my IB fate, I steeled myself for the supposed terror of the class. Friends and strangers alike warned me what I was in for. But here’s my confession: After a term of IB bio, I’m in love. My infatuation started with slogging through the dew on South Lawn to the Newtown Creek during an early Thursday lab period. We hiked up our pants, waded into the creek and measured water depth, wind speed, and salinity. I was in love. Why had I waited so long to discover the wonders of the natural world? To pull up a rock to look for the creatures underneath and to understand this ecosystem?
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My infatuation didn’t stop there. We went to the beach next. The beach! When do you ever get to go to the beach for class? This was no ordinary beach day, mind you. We were now serious scientists, engaging in serious scientific activities. I enjoyed testing water salinity and wind speed and dissolved O2 in the bay and the ocean. But what I will always remember is the feeling I had that I finally understood the environment I was in. I will remember the purpose I felt in identifying plants and animals, and seeing how they mattered in their habitat. I will remember the part of our full day trip when we went kayaking and saw preservation in action—people were striving to preserve both the marsh and the birds. Polly told us the best thing we can do to preserve nature is to get out in it. After that trip I understand why. You feel more human when you are surrounded by the wild, and your purpose on the earth makes much more sense. That is something I will carry with me far beyond high school. So now I was hooked. This was my first bio class, and I was desperate to learn all I had neglected to learn in the last eleven years of my education.
SCOT T SER AYDARIAN ’90
EDEN McEWEN ’17 and her team studied the effect of the number of chromosome sets on the DNA mass of various fruits during their IB Group 4 project.
“But what I will always remember is the feeling I had that I finally understood the environment I was in. I will remember the purpose I felt in identifying plants and animals, and seeing how they mattered in their habitat.” Like a prayer being answered, Polly introduced us to Pig Notes. It should be said that pig notes are far from a pleasant experience. They are a conglomeration of notes from six of the human body’s systems, all in preparation for our fetal pig dissection in second term. These aren’t just notes. These are THE notes. Fifteen pages for each section with colorful, hand-drawn diagrams each worthy of an award. I was in love with the work. It ate my weekend, crippled my hand, and decimated my social life, but I felt so satisfied by the end of it. When we turned it in on October 4, I felt like a parent, an author, an artist. I had created something beautiful, and had discovered the beauty within my own cells. See what Bio does to you? It makes you a sap, or at least me. A tired, stressed-out sap. That’s the thing about SL Bio. It pushes you to your
academic limits, but that’s just where you need to be to absorb the feast of knowledge that Polly offers you. The labs we get to do are scientists’ dreams. We’ve tested the respiration rates of plants, osmosis through potato strips and sugar solution, and cell respiration in crickets. In class we’ve colored cells and then figured out what makes them tick. We can distinguish monosaccharides from disaccharides and polysaccharides from both, with two little tests: I-KI and Benedict’s. I can’t say that Bio is my easiest class, nor would I want to. I love it for its challenge, and the experience I gain because of that challenge. (Full disclosure, Polly Lodge is also my loving and caring advisor. But I would have written this piece anyways, even if I didn’t love her and all she does for me.)
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George School Train Station memor ies of tr av el ing by r a il
GEORGE SCHOOL STUDENTS wait with their belongings at the George School station to board the train to Philadelphia circa 1940.
George School celebrated the railroad and its importance to the success of the school in April 2016 with the dedication of two historical markers, courtesy of the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society based in Lansdale, PA. With the addition of the information-rich markers, students and campus guests will have a chance to learn about the crucial role the railroad played in the life of the school until 1983 when SEPTA severed service. “The installation of the two historical markers in April with fabulous archival photographs is a great step in connecting us with our history,” said Head of School Nancy Starmer. “George School wouldn’t be situated at this beautiful spot if it weren’t for the railroad access and the rail line owner’s promise in 1890 to build and staff a station here, and to haul the material for Main Building at its own expense.”
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The dedication program included a presentation of the most intriguing aspects of the rail line’s history and the school’s early infrastructure that relied heavily on the delivery of coal to the campus in railroad hopper cars. Walter Hoffmann ’84, amateur historian and railroad buff, was inspired to research, fundraise, design, and produce historic markers for the campus, “because I have a personal interest in the Newtown Branch’s history with the school and a desire to help current and future students know a bit more about the history of the campus and the forces that helped its early development and survival.” Walter is collecting memories of the George School station, railroad line, and its role in life on campus. Please share your stories to help complete the picture of how the railroad affected student life by sending them to email@example.com.
HEAD OF SCHOOL DICK MCFEELY visited the cab of Reading #468, the “Buff & Brown Special” headed for Bryn Athyn and the football game against ANC.
ASSISTANT BUSINESS MANAGER GEORGE MICHENER HART ’37 spent time in the train station when time allowed and helped document George School history for the school’s fiftieth anniversary in 1943. He took many of the photos in this article.
“G eorge School wouldn’t be situated at this beautiful spot if it weren’t for the railroad access and the rail line owner’s promise in 1890 to build and staff a station here, and to haul the material for Main Building at its own expense.”
HOPPER CARS are parked on the coal trestle in 1942.
STUDENTS boarded a “Buff & Brown Special” in November 1958 to travel to Bryn Athyn for the annual football contest against archrival ANC.
THE AFTERNOON MILK TRAIN passed the George School station in 1911 on its way to Newtown.
STATION AGENT J. SCHMITT tagged bicycles for delivery to students’ homes in 1942.
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Alumni Weekend COME BACK TO CAMPUS MAY 13–15, 2016 Every year in May our campus comes alive as hundreds of alumni, friends, and families return to George School. Alumni Weekend is a festive occasion—a chance to connect again with classmates, meet their families, and make new friends. It’s also an opportunity for learning and for reflecting upon our varied journeys. All community members are invited to attend. Some of the highlights of the weekend include our first ever All-Alumni Welcome Reception on Friday, May 13, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Beans Concourse of the Fitness and Athletics Center. Presentations by Rob Hardy ’91, who is a successful film and television writer, producer, and director, and Stephen Moyer ’82, who just completed a Canada to Key West coastal run, are planned for earlier in the day. On Saturday, May 14, we will hold a memorial meeting for worship at 9:00 a.m. and a coffee with Cyd Carpenter ’47 at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate the formation of the Alumni of Color Network. At the annual All-Alumni Gathering scheduled for 1:00 p.m., we will recognize
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retiring faculty, honor the 50th reunion class, and celebrate Nancy Starmer’s sixteen years as head of school. Alumni Weekend wouldn’t be complete without some healthy athletic competition. In the event that a varsity team is participating in a league playoff game, alternative activities will be planned. We’ve also invited published authors to share their work with the community with a brief reading on Saturday afternoon. Afterwards, join fellow alumni, current and former faculty, parents, and current students at the All-Community BBQ at 4:00 p.m. in the tent along Farm Drive. If your graduation year ended in 1 or 6, it is your reunion year. Reunion class receptions and dinners are planned for Saturday evening. On Sunday, May 15, the Cougar Classic Golf Tournament will take place at the Middletown Country Club. The day will begin with lunch at 11:45 a.m., followed by a putting contest at 12:15 p.m. The main event, a team scramble tournament, will begin at 1:00 p.m.
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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
F R I D AY, M AY 13
S ATU R D AY, M AY 1 4
9:3 0 a.m.–2:3 0 p.m. Welcome Center and Registration Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, Conference Room
8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Welcome Center and Registration Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, Main Floor
10:2 5–11:10 a.m. seating begins at 10:00 a.m. All-School Assembly: Rob Hardy ’91 Film and television writer, director, and producer Walton Center, Auditorium
8:00–9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, ’83 Café
11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Campus Walking Tour Main, Admission Office 11:3 0 a.m.–12:3 0 p.m. Lunch with Students, Faculty, and Alumni Main, Dining Room 11:4 5 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Legacy and Loyalty Luncheon Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, Patio Tent. By invitation only 1:3 0–2:15 p.m. Master Class: Stephen Moyer ’82 Canada to Key West: One Man’s Journey Meetinghouse 2:4 5 p.m. Student Athletic Team Practices Athletic Fields 6:00–8:00 p.m. All-Alumni Welcome Reception Fitness and Athletics Center, Fred Beans Central Concourse Join us for hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and soft drinks. $20 per person
9:00 a.m. Memorial Meeting for Worship Meetinghouse 10:00 a.m. Coffee with Cynthia Carpenter ’47 Celebrating the launch of the Cynthia Crooks Carpenter ’47 Alumni of Color Network Sunnybanke 10:00 a.m. Les Misérables Sing-Along Walton Center, Rehearsal Room 11:15–1:00 p.m. Picnic and Buffet Lunches Main, Dining Room Class of 1991: Tent on Farm Drive Class of 1981: Generations Gazebo Class of 1966: Tent by Red Square Senior Alumni (Classes ’65 and earlier): Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, Patio Tent 11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Reunion Class Photos
2:3 0 p.m. Alumni Games Note: This is the weekend of the Friends League Championships. In the event that a varsity team is participating in a league playoff game, an alternate activity for alumni will be planned. 2:3 0 p.m. Alumni Authors Showcase Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, Conference Room 4:00 p.m. All-Community BBQ with Former and Current Faculty, Alumni, Staff, Students, and Parents Tent on Farm Drive Rain Location: Fitness and Athletics Center, South Gymnasium Saturday Evening: Off-Campus Reunion Events
S U N D AY, M AY 15 10:4 5–11:3 0 a.m. Meeting for Worship Meetinghouse 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Cougar Classic Golf Tournament Middletown Country Club Noon–1:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch Main, Dining Room
1:00–2:15 p.m. All-Alumni Gathering Fitness and Athletics Center, Geissinger Gymnasium
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Campus News & Notes BY LAURA NOEL AND SUSAN QUINN
Here is some of what you have been missing if you haven’t been visiting the George School News & Events website at georgeschool.org/news.
IB Students Explore the Science of Food More than seventy-five students and teachers entered the SpruanceAlden Science building in January 2016 for International Baccalaureate (IB) Science Weekend. This year they designed experiments to answer
questions ranging from “what types of coffee and brewing methods produce the least acidic results” to “what is the effect of lactase concentration on the hydrolysis of lactose.” One group studied the effect of the number of chromosome sets on the DNA mass of various fruits.
Student Work Selected for Publication Nicole Bariahtaris ’17 and Mimi Murdock ’17 both received recognition from creative writing journals this year. Nicole’s poem, “The Ugly Parts” will be published in Creative Communication: A Celebration of Today’s Writers and Mimi’s flash fiction piece, “The Speech” won an Editor’s Choice award from Teen Ink. Les Misérables Packs the House The George School production of Les Misérables filled Walton Center for two consecutive performances in February 2016. With a cast of more than forty-five, a complicated set, and live musical accompaniment, the show came together beautifully and wowed audiences.
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Athletes Named All-League George School student-athletes were honored on the Friends Schools League’s roster of winter 2015–2016 all-league teams. In boys’ swimming, first team honors went to Jonathan Lessiohadi ’18 and Chris Stack ’16. Aaron Zhao ’19 and Tyler Mahlmann ’17 received honorable mention. In girls’ swimming, Zoe ValdepenasMellor ’18 received first team honors while Lea Jensen ’19 received an honorable mention. Max Brenner ’18 received first team honors in wrestling this winter. Three Students Named to National Academic Squad The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) has named Mia Civitillo ’16, Shannon McGinnis ’17, and Elly Thomas ’16 to the 2015 NFHCA National Academic Squad, which requires that students achieve a minimum cumulative, unweighted GPA of at least 3.5 through the first quarter of the 2015–2016 academic year.
Boys’ Basketball Wins Quaker Cup George School varsity boys’ basketball team defeated Abington Friends School 51-47 to win the Quaker Cup on Friday, February 12, 2016. Among the Friends Schools League overall leaders for the 2015–2016 season, Austin Murphy ’17 had a free throw success rate of 80.8 percent and made forty-five three-point field goals. Co-captain Chris Gilbert ’16 ended the season with sixty-four free throws made.
Equestrian Team Qualifies for IEA Regionals The varsity equestrian team took first place at the Fox Heath Farm Interscholastic Equestrian Association Horse Show in February 2016, to qualify to send a team to the IEA Regionals. Five individual team members also qualified to attend Regionals—Jaime Baran ’17, Yasmina Cobrinik ’17, Michaela Drake ’18, Greta Karr ’17, and Kailee Shollenberger ’18. Colin McKay ’16 Named National Merit Finalist Colin McKay ’16 was named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. He is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and a day student prefect. An avid writer who enjoys poetry and storytelling, Colin has been named to the honor roll and Head of School’s list every term he has attended George School.
Scholastic Awards Honor Exceptional Art and Writing More than fifty works created by George School students received Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which recognize student achievements in the visual and literary arts. Mailyse DeJesus ’16, Agnes Gummere ’16, Chloe Hannah-Drullard ’16, Isabella Lin ’18, Stacie Nam ’16, and Rita Wang ’18 received Gold Key awards for their artwork, the highest award given by Scholastic. Lisa Corn ’17 and Gabby Conard ’17 received awards for their short stories.
Service Trips Expand Minds More than thirty students spent their spring break on school-sponsored service learning trips. This year students traveled to Nicaragua, South Africa, France, Mississippi, and Washington, DC to complete the sixty-five hours of community service required before graduation.
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Letters to the Editor
Thank you for your correspondence about our January 2016 Georgian issue focusing on civil rights and social justice. Here is a sampling of your notes. Kudos to the staff of the Georgian on a wonderful issue focused on civil rights and an homage to Julian Bond ’57. Adrienne Wheeler Rudge ’59 As Quaker children of the ’60s, the Civil Rights movement had a big impact on our lives, and that impact continues. It’s not often that I read the Georgian straight through from cover to cover. This issue will be kept and shared with my meeting and my friends. Mike Ayars ’64
I was in the class of 1984, at some point in my early years Julian Bond ’57 came to GS and spoke to the school. It clearly was an eye opening event, as my education on civil rights was rather poor, and I was very impressed by him and the discussion. It was “my wakeup call” on issues of race and impacted my life. Chris Rohner ’84 I thought Nancy Starmer’s article was excellent—informative, balanced, and did a great job of pointing out the complexities of striving to be a diverse and, as John Streetz said, inclusive community. We need more George Schools in order to foster the kind of students who will become adults that help create a more caring and peaceful world that we are desperately in need of today. Steve Nierenberg P ’96, ’99 [I want to express] praise for the magnificent issue of the Georgian with six perspectives on the GS experience with diversity, from the days of commonly unexamined
Quaker racism to the mindfulness we seek today. It was a truly extraordinary issue. It certainly is timely. David Bruton ’53 Hank ’76 brought his copy of the Georgian back to Florida with him. I just needed to tell you how moving it was. I enjoy reading all George School publications. But this one, by far, spoke to what that school means to many of its alumni and their families. Lisette Siegel Just read the January 2016 edition of the Georgian from cover to cover. Enjoyed all the articles…. My granddaughter Whitney Packer graduated cum laude from Skidmore College in 2015. When we found out that Julian Bond would be the commencement speaker, I emailed him to ask if we could arrange a photo op after the ceremonies. He answered within twenty minutes with “Absolutely! Just track me down.” We did just that. Richard Packer ’52
I read every article—every word in the issue. I was proud to have known and have had an association with several of the people who are included there. Jonathan Heritage ’66 RICHARD PARKER ’52 with Julian Bond ’57 and granddaughter Whitney Packer.
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ALUMNI TELL US
Alumni Tell Us EDITED BY MEG PEAKE ’03 For Alumni Contact Information: Visit our alumni website: www.georgeschool.org/alumni Contact the Advancement Office T. 215.579.6572 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
1942 Barbara (Barbie) Gawthrop Hallowell writes, “Reading class notes, of any class, is always of interest. At ninety-one, I’m still alive and kicking, fortunate to have good health with sufficient energy and enthusiasm. It’s just that I can’t recall with whom I ate dinner! I’m still doing some writing, mostly family history related, struggling with the computer to keep going in photography, enjoying a good assortment of birds at my feeders, and counting blessings all over the place—good hearing, good sight, good walking legs, and a good place to live. How I wish I could sit down in person with some of you for a good chat! Possible by phone, but being with the person is golden. I have diaries of my GS years, which is a delight. Outstanding were Mr. McCreary’s regular trips with several of us to the Philadelphia Orchestra, group singing, walks in the woods, and dances. Oh! I had a lot of fun and studied, too! Life treated me to a wonderful husband, three fine children, and their eleven children. I worry about the way our politicians are headed and how the planet is faring. What a good thing GS was in my life!” Eleanor Jessup Stevenson writes, “I published a children’s book Bird on my Porch in my ninetieth year. It was a first for me and I feel very proud of the work. It shares the experience I had watching, from my porch window, birds forming a nest on the porch, hatching baby birds from eggs, being fed, and eventually flying away.”
1943 Bet t y Wilson Parry writes, “It is very difficult to realize that I have reached my nineties—happily in amazingly good health, and anticipating the imminent arrival of my fourteenth great-grandchild. Two of my children will celebrate their 50th and 45th GS reunions this spring: Robert (Bob) H. Parry ’66 and Lisa Parry Arnold ’7 1. How ‘tempus does fugit.’”
1944 Edwin S. Rockefeller writes, “Since retirement from Washington law practice in 2000 I have published two books: The Antitrust Religion in 2007 and Yale & The Ivy League Cartel—How a college lost its soul and became a hedge fund in 2015. Both are available from amazon.com. My recent book reviews the development of ‘Old Yale’ from its origin in 1701 to its death in the latter half of the 20th century, describes the Ivy League Cartel that prevents price competition among its members and makes possible persistent price increases, and explains how the cartel has been preserved by skillful lawyering and political support of the academic establishment.
riding his bike with friends across the US one summer during the GS years. I sure hope he makes it to that one-hundred mark. I enjoyed the class note from A. James ( Jim) Lincoln too. I’ve spent the past twelve years working on family genealogy and learned so much about my Quaker heritage—many of my ancestors having come to Philadelphia with William Penn. The Jamisons, Foulkes, Roberts, Kinseys, and many others are related to me. A Kinsey cousin, Joseph ( Joe) A. Kinsey ’15 just graduated from GS this past year. I’m kept busy with family—all of whom live near me in Western NY (Rochester area)—four children, twelve grandchildren, and eight greatgrandchildren. I was sorry to see that we lost three more classmates this past year. I wish I could see all in May but, just can’t make the trip. Don’t think I’ll aim for the hundred but, ninety would be nice.”
Willis Barnstone writes, “My book Mexico in My Heart: New and Selected Poems was published in November 2015. It is a collection of poems drawing on fifteen collections, poetry from six decades of writing, and from several continents.”
A. James ( Jim) Lincoln writes, “After two months at the Brookhaven at Lexington retirement community in Lexington MA, my wife, Maggie, and I decided it was not for us so we moved back to our as-yet-unsold home in Concord MA. Care of our fourteen-year-old Brittany Spaniel makes travel impossible at the moment, but we hope to be able to get back to Europe some day so that I can practice the German that Mr. von Wernsdorf started me on in my sophomore year, and which has been useful for business and pleasure ever since.”
Carroll H. Bessey writes, “It’s hard to believe that next year will mark my seventieth year since graduation from George School. I’ve now been retired for twenty-one years— having worked as a Quality Assurance Manager for thirty-two years. It’s still a pleasure to be in contact via email with my former roommates C. Howard Davis and Clarkson T. Palmer. Great to remember Gouverneur (Gouv) Cadwallader too—I think I remember him
George M. Stephens Jr writes, “My ‘musical memoir’ is about the pleasure I’ve had as an amateur playing and singing classical music. Copies of my memoir may be obtained by emailing me at: george@stephens. net.”
1949 Joan C. Dixon writes, “I finished my long journey home. I’m Back in Bucks County PA, a few miles from the house in which I was born in
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Newportville PA. I’m active at the church where my oldest son Robert is assistant pastor, responsible for music and worship; my son Joseph is musician at Doylestown United Methodist Church. I do the music at Wood River Village in Bensalem PA for our memorial services. God blessed me with my four years at George School. While employed and at age sixty, I received a BA in Biblical Studies from Geneva College in Beaver Falls PA, and ten years later a BS in Behavioral Health from Alvernia University in Reading PA, receiving the Betty Ford Award at graduation. I continue twelve-step work in the field of addictions. Last summer, I completed courses in Group Crisis Intervention and Pastoral Crisis Intervention II. I humbly and gratefully acknowledge God’s Blessings and Grace in all of my life, my GS education having formed the basis for all that followed.”
1951 Lucy C. Daniels writes, “I’m a clinical psychologist with an active private practice in Raleigh NC. I’ve continued to write and publish books. My last book, Walking with Moonshine: My Life in Stories, a collection of stories across my life, was published in 2013 around the same time a documentary about my life, In So Many Words, was released. I’m excited about the upcoming publication of my latest book, Maritime Magistery, due to be released in March of this year, and hope to bring a copy with me to our 65th class reunion in May. Besides all of that, I’m a mother of four, grandmother of eight, and as you can see in my photograph, I’m very fond of my dog, Maggie. William (Bill) R. Wilson writes, “I retired from the US Air Force in 1981 and returned to the farm in central Texas. I expect a semi-retirement here in another year.” Diana Moon Woodward writes, “My husband, Gene, and I are back in our house which was raised about six feet after Hurricane Sandy devastated Long Beach Island. We
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were ‘homeless’ for eight-and-a-half months and lived in ten different places! This past September, we drove 7,500 miles ‘out west’ to see all the sights neither one of us had visited. We did it in our ‘old’ ’98 Lincoln Town Car with no reservations—never had a problem! We saw the presidents at Mt. Rushmore in Keystone SD, drove Going-to-theSun Road in Glacier National Park in West Glacier MT, enjoyed the bison, up close and personal, at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona where we stayed right on the rim—a once in a lifetime trip. This winter we joined the ‘snowbirds’ and spent a month and a half in the Florida Keys—then home in April to work on our garden!”
1952 Esther Stapler Hart writes, “My husband Steve passed away peacefully in July 2015 from pancreatic cancer. I miss him terribly. But, with sixty wonderful years together and my daughters Kathy Hart Rogers ’75 and Susan (Sam) E. Hart Wyrick ’79, as well as Kathy’s husband, Thomas ( Tom) C. Rogers ’73, I have a wonderful support system.”
1953 Stephanie Bunzl Cohen writes, “This fall my husband, Fred, and I went to Patagonia (Argentina and Chile). What a thrill to see parts of my ‘native’ land that I’d never seen! The scenery was spectacular, the wildlife fascinating, and the weather cooperative.”
1954 Peter (Pete) D. Glusker writes, “James ( Jim) L. Whitely geography lesson: Fort Bragg exists in two places: one in North Carolina and the other in California. The former is military; the latter was military for two years around the turn of the century—long before my time. I am not the voice of military medicine. The California Fort Bragg is neighbor to Mendocino, which more people have heard about. Happy New Year
to all. My news is that I am on the board of directors of our twenty-five bed, Critical Access District Hospital, struggling to find ways to solve our local version of small hospital survival in this day and age. I have one wonderful seventeen-year partner, Mara, and two Aussies.” E. David Luria writes. “I continue to seek impeachment from my position as class president by engaging in shady business practices, such as making clients pay me to take them down to the National Mall just to take pictures! So far I have duped over 32,500 Washington Photo Safari participants on 4,600 ‘photo safaris’ since 1999, and they keep coming back for more abuse, even elevating my program to rank number six out of forty outdoor activities listed by Trip Advisor in Washington DC! I also manage to cajole apartment, hotel, and restaurant owners into paying me to photograph their properties, claiming that I am the ONLY rooftop photographer in Washington DC who speaks Spanish, French, and German, and can quote clever phrases in Latin ‘gaudeamus igitur, juvenestum sumus!’, thanks to my George School education. As Head of School Dick McFeeley often said: ‘Is this the KIND of behavior we want at George School?’ Kick the bum out! In other aspects of my life, I masquerade as a doting father to three excellent children, grandfather to four super grandchildren, and dedicated nineteen-year Information Desk volunteer for Travelers Aid at the Washington National Airport. If you pass through that airport any Sunday morning between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you can hear my voice booming out pages over the intercom system such as: ‘Paging James (Jim) L. Whitely! Please meet your party at baggage claim number six on the lower level.’”
1955 Richard (Clem) B. Clement writes, “As I review my recent retirement years I seem to have returned to my childhood having fun driving old cars and playing with antique trains. I arrived at GS in a 1941 Ford Coupe
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1942: Eleanor Jessup Stevenson ’42 proudly shares her newly published children’s book Birds On My Porch.
1949: Joan C. Dixon ’49 in her home. 1951: Lucy C. Daniels ’51 and her dog Maggie.
1954: E. David Luria ’54, photography instructor.
1955: Richard (Clem) B. Clement ’55 with the reconstructed Fairfax Station Railroad Museum in the background. Clara Barton served in this station during the Civil War as a nurse and was inspired to form the American Red Cross.
1956: Susan Trickle Holland ’56 working on a historical mural for the McMenamins Historic Hotels in 2015. 1959: George C. Stephens ’59
1957: Judith (Judy) Talbot Campos ’57 gathered with classmates Anne Thompson, Wendy Coleman Goble, Ellen N. Chase, Jennifer Abraham Page, and Polly Stevens. 1966: Meet Evan, the newest grandson of Catherine Shaffer Strite ’66.
1966: Stephen (Steve) J. Althouse ’66 shares an art piece entitled “Chairs Diptych, 2015,” as a part of his solo exhibition at the Samek Art Museum in Lewisburg PA. 1968: Claire Holvik Favro ’68 enjoys gazing at the pileated woodpeckers that visit her Seattle area backyard.
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and left in Daddy’s ’55 Ford Custom. I have played with trains since my first set in 1940 and still play with it and many more. The in-between years involved an engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ, MA from USC, career in the US Air Force as a pilot with a long and short tour in Vietnam, five kids and six grandkids, and a fine retired life in Washington DC with my wife Sandy. I wonder what is next. The fall of 2015 has been so full of events I can’t imagine how we got it all done. Car Club events include local parades and shows, repairs and such, driving about 800 miles in my 1930 Model A Ford. At the Hershey Car Show in Hershey PA in October 2015, I had a booth in the flea market. My Christmas season was super busy: a two-day train show at the famous reconstructed Fairfax Station in Fairfax VA where we entertained more than 800 folks. Two weeks later we ran trains at the restored The Candy Factory in Manassas VA where more than 2,000 folks enjoyed our efforts and they donated two vans full of canned food and significant cash for SERVE, a food bank in association with Northern Virginia Family Services. Another group I belong to operates trains under the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park behind the White House. The cheery faces, happy kids, and thrill of playing trains in the center of power of the known universe, in the shadows of the White House, Washington Monument, Treasury, Executive Office Building, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is mind boggling. By Christmas time we are played out, resting up, and can’t wait for the next year of my childhood. Richard I. Grausman writes, “Although I’m as busy as ever helping to transform lives through the culinary arts as founder and chairman emeritus of C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), I have turned over the responsibility of raising money to co-chairmen Marcus Samuelson and Mark Weiss, both long-time board members. My
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daughter, Jennifer Grausman’s films Pressure Cooker and Art and Craft have been gaining acclaim around the world and daughter, Deborah Grausman has been heard as the female voice on the Subway radio ads.” Suzanne (Sue) Parry Lamborn writes, “I enjoyed the Georgian tribute to H. Julian Bond ’57. He and I had much in common, as we both went to poor schools before we arrived and had a lot of catching up to do. We enjoyed knowing each other. Before he came, I think Ralph Bunche, from the UN, applied for his child. Our class was sorry to learn that he/she was not admitted. We thought it appropriate to ask him to be a speaker at our graduation. I am not surprised that was also turned down.” William (Bill) D. Pickering writes, “In October 2015, George School sent me a report about the status of the Class of 1955 50th Reunion Fund for Faculty Salaries. As of July 2015, the value of the fund was $516,891. The fund yielded $23,557 in academic year 2015–16 and was distributed equally to the GS faculty. Last year $6,000 was contributed by the class. Contributions to GS marked for the Class of 1955 Fund will help us move closer to our goal of $555,000. Please join me in supporting our gift to George School.”
1956 Susan Trickle Holland writes, “A year of health challenges, successful cancer surgery, and a lot of art making. I am comfortably fitting into the mother-in-law quarters at the Bellevue WA home of my eldest daughter and her husband. My other two children and all my grandchildren live here in the greater Seattle area.”
1957 Judith ( Judy) Talbot Campos writes, “I welcomed my first grandchild, a beautiful girl, Decker Diana Campos in January 2016. Also had the pleasure of gathering with some ’57 friends, Anne Thompson, Wendy Coleman Goble, Ellen
N. Chase, Jennifer Abraham Page, and Polly Stevens for some tea to warm up my new house.”
1958 E. Carl Uehlein Jr writes, “I’m (almost) completely retired from law practice and increasing travel while we can—Judith ( Judy) Taylor Uehlein ’57, daughter Sara Uehlein ’88, Judy’s sister Alice Taylor ’63, and I enjoyed a couple of weeks in South Africa in November 2015; in mid-January 2016 Judy and I visited daughter Christine (Chrissie) Uehlein Woods ’86 and family in snowy Flagstaff AZ, then helped granddaughter Kayli and husband open their new home in suburban Phoenix AZ. Hope to be able to keep it up for a few more years—now looking at Scotland in June, then Australia in the fall.”
1959 Margaret Foote Harris writes, “I am enjoying life, still teaching piano, and volunteering at Audubon. I enjoy my friends and my Schnauzer. I live in Portland OR and we rarely have snow here. Thanks to my George School Drivers Training teacher, I still know how to drive in the snow and get out of a skid. We had a little snow a few weeks ago and the memory of my teacher calling me out on a rare snowy Sunday to teach me how to control a skid came back. George School always paid attention to individuality.” George C. Stephens writes, “I have been writing the ‘Ask George and Chuck’ column for the Houston Chronicle since 1977 with Charles ‘Chuck’ Jacobus. Chuck is boardcertified in both commercial and residential real estate. I’ve been writing four questions and their answers for the Chronicle in addition to being a real estate broker with ten agents under me.”
1961 R. Philip (Phil) Brick writes, “I just retired from US Fresh Corp. as chief operating officer at the end of December 2015. My wife Cherry and
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I had purchased a home in Naples FL a couple of years ago and moved there January 2016. Two of our children live in New Jersey: Susannah in Allendale NJ is regional sales rep for Maui Jim sunglasses in the New York City region, Leigh in Livingston NJ, whose husband is a managing director at JP Morgan in New York City, and Chris in Louisville KY is a director with Humana Insurance. We have five grandchildren among all three children, ranging in ages from four to eight. I plan to volunteer with both veteran and masonic organizations in the Naples area.” James ( Jim) C. Michener writes, “After a forty-two-year career in software in Massachusetts, I retired and returned to my roots in lower Bucks County PA. I am now involved in encouraging environmental diversity by reducing invasive species representation in the woods and making fiddle music.”
1962 David B. Denoon writes, “I am completing a three-volume book series on US–China relations. The first book, on Central Asia, came out in 2015; and the second and third volumes, on Southeast Asia and Latin America, will be out in the next year.”
1963 Edward (Eddie) T. Fei writes, “I’m still working for the US government on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security. Recently I traveled to Slovakia, South Africa, and Vienna—so accumulating those frequent flyer miles! Looking forward to retirement in a couple of years and spending more time training the grandkids! Recently got a housemate and a Staffordshire Terrier. Tennis, swing dancing, and live music are weekly highlights.”
1964 Kathryn McCreary writes, “We are finally getting the rain we’ve been praying for in California. Everything is green, and I hope the thirsty forests
are beginning to feel better. Our local creek, which has been dry for a couple of years, is flowing again, and I wonder if the beavers will find their way back. It’s not the end of the drought, but it gives us hope that the end may be near. I continue to enjoy sharing my writing with Morgan (Scot t) Phenix, and have had the pleasure of doing a little substituting in the special-education program at the local high school. The garden is too mucky to work in, but I am pouring over seed catalogs for the spring. Days are longer, chickens are beginning to lay again, and I’m eager for the next season.”
1965 Paul A. Machemer writes, “Our daughter Kathryn (Kate) C. Machemer ’99 got married in England in December 2015. She planned and executed the complete wedding festivities. Pam and I had a lot of fun ourselves, admiring her work and organizational skills. Already looking forward to another reunion.”
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1966 Stephen (Steve) J. Althouse writes, “As a sculptor working a bit conceptually, I create minimal assemblages of objects relating to my questions about life and humanity, and then utilize large-format black and white photography to formalize my artwork. Currently I have a solo exhibition of my imagery at the Samek Art Museum of Bucknell University in Lewisburg PA, and during this decade I have had numerous other museum exhibitions. Please check out my website: www.stephenalthouse.us. Important note: I still refuse to accept adult responsibilities.” Janice Powell Crausaz writes, “Still living in the charming southern Irish fishing village of Kinsale. I retired from teaching at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland in 2014, but continue to supervise some
again for the first time since graduation. While there are many new areas, some things remain unchanged.”
MSc research. As I have family and friends in Switzerland, I stay in a family apartment in the mountains at least four times a year to mellow out. Classmate-visitors welcome in either abode!” David E. Nepley writes, “It’s our big 50th Reunion this May! As you know, we will be meeting back at George School on May 13-15. The Brick Hotel in Newtown is reserved for our class dinner on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., individual reservations through GS. Dorothy (Dot tie) W. Detwiler (ffac) has accepted our invitation to join us for the evening festivities. Robert (Bob) S. Klein and I have had the opportunity to speak with some of you concerning our reunion as well as our class participation in the GS Annual Fund, a tradition for the 50th reunion especially. We hope to see many of you
Catherine Shaffer Strite writes, “We have been enjoying semi-retirement in Myrtle Beach SC after more than sixty years in Pennsylvania. We sold part of our travel business in 2011 but still arrange Civil War tours and represent the Civil War trails. We welcomed our sixth grandchild into the world in October 2015 and feel quite blessed. Looking forward to our 50th??? Oh my.”
1967 Faith Mason writes, “Enjoying life on the northern California coast. My psychotherapy practice is full. I had a great trip to Paris and London in June, and had a wonderful time with Marina Urquidi.”
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1968 Claire Holvik Favro writes, “Latest news is about our Pete Seeger program, exploring how his activism inspired his music. My husband and duo partner, Hank Payne, and I (in our cleverly named duo: Hank and Claire) have worked up an hour-long program that is booked at libraries. Called Pete Seeger: The Man and the Music, this project has been two years in the making, ever since his death in January 2014. We feel strongly that younger generations need to know about his incredible passion for social justice, and the stories behind the songs that fueled the folk revival of the 1960s. The two aspects (social justice and songs) are deeply interwoven. Attendees our age and older tell us there is much we cover that they had not known about him. In the time left over after creating and rehearsing this program, we are doing gigs, visiting with kids and grandkids, walking, watching BBC crime dramas, and gazing at the pileated woodpeckers and flickers who visit our backyard. Anyone coming to Seattle is welcome to get in touch. www.hanknclaire.com Hope to see you at GS in May 2018!”
1969 Fredric (Rick) Fenstermacher writes, “I retired as CEO of The American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial Foundation. The Foundation established the newest national memorial in Washington DC, and is the first to honor the service and sacrifices of America’s disabled veterans. President Obama, Secretary of Interior Jewell and Secretary of Veterans Affairs McDonald were the keynote speakers at the dedication ceremony. The memorial has been transferred to the National Park Service. More info at www.avdlm.org.”
1970 Thomas C. Downey writes, “My wife and I have relocated from Claremont CA to Havre de Grace MD. I am still working as VP Key Account Sales for Halex Corporation. I love being near our children and grandchildren and it’s nice to be closer to GS.”
1971 Amy L. Horne writes, “Looking forward to our 45th reunion! I will be boarding a plane in Las Vegas NV immediately after graduating from law school so I can attend. Ya’ll will help me celebrate!” Tod J. Kaufman writes, “I was asked to speak at Harvard University in Cambridge MA at the program ‘Conversations with Kirkland,’ a school lecture series that has hosted a number of leaders in a wide range of fields, including five heads of state and multiple winners of the Pulitzer, Oscar, and Grammy Awards. I was introduced by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. in September 2015. The title of the ‘Conversation’ was ‘A View from the Bench.’ I have been selected Chief Judge of West Virginia’s largest state trial court (Circuit Court) for the fourth time in a twenty-seven year judicial career. I recently enjoyed an expansive and heart-warming conversation with George School alumni and Trustee Edward (Pete) G. Biester Jr. ’48 this winter. Biester, whose prominent career in public service spanned nearly forty years, including terms in the United States Congress, attorney general of Pennsylvania, judge of the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, and as a federal appointee in the Defense Department, was instrumental in my matriculation to George School in 1969. He was an American political leader who, like my father, was an early opponent of the Vietnam War, consistent with the tenets of the Society of Friends against war. Because of Vietnam, I became a conscientious objector (CO). My beliefs as a CO were solidified in large part through meeting for worship and the draft counseling at George School with religion teacher Paul R. Reed (ffac).” Jody Lisberger writes, “I received the 2015 Arts & Sciences Administrative Excellence Award for my six years of serving as Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston RI.”
1973 Elizabeth Claggett-Borne writes, “Shalom and Asalam, this is a sabbatical year from my psycho-therapy work. My spouse Jonathan and I are volunteering at Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, in Rwanda doing peace training, and in India and Nepal until July 2016.”
1974 Terese ( Teri) Van SolkemaWaitz writes, “Our oldest daughter Sarah L. Waitz ’06 was married in the George School Meetinghouse in November 2015! It was a beautiful day filled with much love and happiness. Carolyn B. Lyday (fac) was a wonderful presence as she guided the Quaker service and read the wedding certificate. This was a very special part of the day since Carolyn was teaching at GS in my day and was Sarah’s advisor for her four years. She had a perspective like no one else. We had many of our GS friends with us from Sarah’s class and mine. We are grateful that Andrew P. Trull ’72 and Tacie Yerkes Trull ’74, and Roz and Jeffrey ( Jeff ) J. Cogshall ’72 were there to share our joy with us.”
1975 Pamela (Pam) J. Holberton writes, “I have written a new book. It is a children’s story for four- to eight-year olds to be read to them by an adult. The title is The Story of Little Clam Foot. It is about a clam who discovers that he has a foot. He learns to walk and then meets some other sea creatures as he seeks to find a friend. Eventually he does meet a friend, another clam with a foot and they hold hands as the story ends. I have also illustrated the story with twelve original pen and ink drawings. I will be publishing shortly under my Fathom Books label. I also took a six-day cruise at the end of winter to the Grand Bahama Island and then Orlando FL. I have never been to the Caribbean before and I was twelve when I last visited Disney World. I am in touch regularly with Nanet te (Nan) Mugge-Alden and Kate
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Sherfy Rogers. Otherwise I am enjoying taking courses at our local community college.”
1976 I. Lee Dickstein writes, “Looking forward to the 40th reunion. Almost an empty nester, and still in the real estate game. I’m opening a new office in Yardley PA this spring. I have been helping individuals and businesses seeking walkability in river towns along the Delaware River, describing my business as River Valley Properties. We have been headquartered in Lambertville NJ for the last four years. Hope to hear more about what others in the class are up to, it has been a long time coming.” Robert L. Orr writes, “I’m still teaching science, finishing my fourteenth year at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland OR (thirtysixth overall). I’ll be back to GS in May—for my 40th, and to drop in on the 35th, 30th, 25th, 20th etc.—to see how all my former students are getting along! My daughter Robin is teaching fourth grade and my son Tyler started college in Bellingham WA this fall. Holly Schroder Orr ’7 8 and I have been married for thirty-one years—life is very good. Best wishes to anyone who remembers me!” Mavis Mathis Smith writes, “I have two boys in college. One graduates in May from University of North Carolina Wilmington in Wilmington NC and the other is a sophomore at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill NC. I am busy as chairman of our only domestic violence center in Duplin County in Warsaw NC as well as a nurse at the nursing home Kenansville Health and Rehab Center in Kenansville NC. I am enjoying my only grandson.”
1977 E. Clifton (Cliff ) Waddington writes, “Hi to all my GS friends. My wife, Suz, and I still live in greater Atlanta GA and still spend summers at our lake home in North Carolina.
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Our twin girls are in college at University of Georgia in Athens GA and Samford University in Birmingham AL. I’m still in the packaging business in sales management but now working for Crown Cork & Seal, a northern Philadelphia-based company—not far from GS. Looking forward to our 40th reunion in 2017.”
1978 Amy Jo (Ambika Devi) Schaeffer Ford writes, “I’m honored to be a part of the ‘Power of 10’ for 2016, a group of the ten best authors on the Treasure Coast of Florida. This is for my first book Lilith: a novel that received second place in the category of New Age Fiction of the International Book Awards. It is a mystical trip through dreamscapes and the streets of south Philadelphia, about family and realizations about relationships and love. My second book is in production and due out this year entitled Unfolding Happiness. I am writing my third book for my doctoral dissertation and have been researching the effects of primordial sound on deep-trance-state meditation. I received my masters in the education of Yoga in 2012.” Emily Royo Schot tland writes, “I work as a reading specialist at a lovely elementary school in New York City, and I find the work extremely gratifying. In addition to teaching students, I work with teachers to develop and refine the literacy curriculum. In my spare time I study tap dance and humiliate myself twice yearly during our Tap Addicts Anonymous public performances. I live with my husband and daughters in Harlem NY and am so very grateful for this wonderful life.”
1980 Christian (Chris) C. Fromuth writes, “Hello lost but not forgotten classmates. My family and I have been living in Olympia WA for many happy years. We have two older boys and now twins (6, boy and girl), who are twenty years younger than their siblings!! My wife Jill is a salmon
habitat biologist and I am a hydrologist. We LOVE living and working on the Puget Sound. We just bought a small piece of farmland and are going to see what we can grow in the way of fruit for hard cider. Happy to hear from folks and if you are in our area it would be fun to reconnect!” Mirjam (Mimi) Gross writes, “After years of boycotting Facebook for data safety reasons (Germans are so strict about this), I have finally taken Elizabeth (Liz) WeissBernarducci’s advice and joined the “club.” I joined in order to be in touch with old GS friends, and also to check up on my thirteen-yearold daughter and protect her from a twenty-four-year-old stalker. I am surprised at how quickly fellow GS alumni link up with me. It’s great fun and a time killer. Our lives changed dramatically last April when a Syrian family of four moved into our basement, followed by two teenagers in July. They are relatives of my youngest daughter’s father. As we all share my kitchen, we now have nine to ten people for dinner. This is without my older three daughters who study in Heidelberg, Germany; Varna, Bulgaria; and London, England. So life is very hectic and loud at home, making going to work, performing surgery, and running an ophthalmic surgery center with a staff of twenty seem like a holiday. So should anybody like to learn about Syrian/German culturemix, they are welcome to visit. Best wishes all around.”
1981 Cynthia Utz Charles writes, “I’m living in northwest North Carolina working as executive director of marketing for a small but growing healthcare system. I enjoy spending time with my two sons—Nate, a junior at Davidson College in Davidson NC who traveled to South Africa, London, and Chile in 2015; and Princeton, a fifth grader who is a wonderful pianist.” Robert (Rob) J. Kruse II writes, “Hello friends! I, my wife, and our
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1973: Elizabeth Claggett-Borne ’73 also known as Minga, with Palestinian peacebuilders in Hebron, Palestine.
1975: An illustration from The Story of Little Clam Foot, a children’s story written by Pamela (Pam) J. Holberton ’75.
1976: I. Lee Dickstein ’76 along the Delaware Canal.
1978: Amy Jo (Ambika Devi) Schaeffer Ford ’78 with her book Lilith
1981: Cynthia Utz Charles ’81 with her son Princeton.
1983: Tara R. Greco ’83, Jenny Sorel ’84, Stacey Wolf ’83, Darcy Kenton Bellido de Luna ’83, and Amy Heffner Saunders ’83 gather together. 1984: Francesca Kule Kennedy ’84 was a ghostwriter for Never Drink Coffee During a Business Meeting by Liza Marie Garcia. 1987: Audrey Andujar Wright ’87.
1989: Ethan H. Decker ’89 during TEDxSMU, “We’re All in Marketing: What Evolution Tells Us About Advertising.” 1989: Rachael A. Levine ’89 with daughter Adira overlooking Prague.
1992: Anawim Avila ’92 with his daughter Ora (5) at the base of the GS Eyre Line bridge. 1996: Mario Andres Rosser Castro (1 month) and Mateo Sebastian Rosser Castro (6), sons of Ezra E. Rosser ’96, getting to know each other.
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seven-year old son are enjoying life in the beautiful northern panhandle of West Virginia. We live in Wheeling where I’ve been a geography professor at West Liberty University in West Liberty WV for eleven years. Since our son has become very passionate about his saxophone lessons, he’s gotten his old man interested in writing songs again. Several recent tunes are posted at robkruse.bandcamp.com for anyone who is interested. When I think back to our years at GS many fond memories flow and I wish everyone all the best.” Stephen (Steve) D. Kulla writes, “After completing a six year term as supervisor of Washington Township in Franklin County PA, I was fortunate enough to be elected to the Waynesboro Area School Board, and thereafter honored to be chosen as board president by my fellow board members. The children’s theatre troupe that I founded celebrated its twentieth anniversary and I was proud to direct approximately eightyfive youth in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. My law practice continues to flourish as we added a fourth attorney this year. My wife Kim and I thoroughly enjoy partaking in the achievements of our four children and four grandchildren. Our youngest child, Hannah, recently finished third in the State of Maryland in the Class C Independent School Cross County Championships.”
1983 Tara R. Greco writes, “Life is hectic yet I still find time for family and GS friends. My son, Dante, is thriving at Concord Academy in Concord MA. I was lucky to see fellow GSers—Shaun ( Wolf ) W. Wortis, Noriko (Nori) Miyakoda Hall, Antinea Rivera, Jason E. Ruckdeschel, Gavin E. Thomas, Clifford (Cliff ) C. Anderson ’88, Jonathan K. Alden ’82, and Megan Du Bois ’84—in the Boston area. I also had a blast celebrating the big fifty with Amy Heffner Saunders, Darcy Kenton Bellido de Luna,
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Stacey Wolf, and Jenny Sorel ’84. I made a mad dash to Colorado to surprise Heather Stiers-Dorn for her special birthday. And lastly I shared in a very touching memorial in honor of the father of Amy B. Krumholz—Jacob Krumholz— a remarkable man, husband, father, artist, and musician. GS friends remain near and dear! If you’re ever in Cambridge MA, give me a shout.”
1984 Francesca Kule Kennedy writes, “2015 was the year I became a ghostwriter. The first book, Never Drink Coffee During a Business Meeting by Liza Marie Garcia, is now available on Amazon. I am presently working on book two with Dr. Bonnie Lyon, a motivational speaker and therapist. We have no working title yet but her book will be completed in 2016. It was momentous when my ten-year-old son entered school for the first time after always being homeschooled. I lived on a forty-three-foot sailboat for eight months of the year also, fulfilling a part of the dream to one day cast the dock lines!” Michael C. McCabe writes, “I’ve kept quite busy as a single father, raising my children Samantha Leigh (7) and Cole Ryan (6). I’m still working as a chef by trade and currently working on a project developing a concept for media production. Feel free to contact me at michaelc.mccabe.com@ gmail.com.”
1985 Victor Khodadad writes, “My wife Kristina Dunatov gave birth to our son Roko Antonio Khodadad in October 2015. He was a healthy five pounds and fifteen ounces and is doing great. I continue an active career as an opera singer and will be performing in the Philadelphia area singing the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. For more info please visit www.victorkhodadad.com.”
Lane J. Savadove writes, “I loved, as always, hosting the reunion party for our 30th last spring. I am so proud to count myself as a member of our class and GS family. Thank you so much for including my new daughter Emmeline and wife Melanie into the family!”
1986 Charles (Chuck) C. Snow writes, “Hard to believe it’s been nearly thirty years since graduating from GS! I’m still living in central Massachusetts, though moved to a new place a year ago, and have worked at IBM for the past ten years. My wife teaches first grade, and our oldest is now a sophomore at Assumption College in Worcester MA, with my other three kids in high school, middle school, and elementary school, respectively. I am enjoying keeping up with some of you through Facebook.”
1987 Alyssondra (Alys) Campaigne writes, “Living in South Carolina I am often reminded of the proud history of Friends (think Grimke sisters) but I miss the serendipitous encounters with classmates that were easier to come by when living in DC and New York. I enjoyed catching up with Nicole E. Brown ’93 at my sister Susanna (Zanna) C. Gilbert’s ’93 fortieth last fall. Then Deborah (Deb) Beck ’67 lent me some shrewd political insights for a project on substance abuse treatment for Pew Charitable Trusts. I’m still chugging along doing public policy work for our firm, Engage Strategies—grateful for interesting work that allows flexibility to enjoy Livesey (14) and Oliver (11). Livesey is making the high school leap next year and we had an incredible experience touring George School. The distance from home is daunting but it was a treat to see how George School has evolved but retained its authentic, inquisitive character. It is such a special place. Thanks to Brooke Garrigan Buchanan and Emeline Owen Orloff for helping me think through big decisions and walk down memory lane.”
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Audrey Andujar Wright writes, “Blessings for a joyful and prosperous New Year to all my friends from and at George School; memories of afternoons on South Lawn picking out shapes in the clouds still make me smile! I have two books out currently, both available from Amazon: Project X: Poetry and Microchip + Tribulation. I hope you enjoy them!”
1988 Clifford C. Anderson writes. “Life as a musician in Cambridge MA is great right now. I recently received an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for my composing work, and I’m currently writing the soundtrack for a documentary film featuring David McCullough which might air on PBS. It’s a challenge to balance a creative work schedule with my family roles as a husband and father to a twelve-year-old son, who is attending Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge MA. I manage somehow with the help of pineapplekale-avocado smoothies, yoga, and a dog who ensures that I get out of the house regularly. I still travel to the Philadelphia area to visit family members, and occasionally to Los Angeles CA for music conferences. Hoping to see more old friends this year!” Jennifer ( Jen) L. DeVan writes, “I am delighted to report that my partner, Chris Vandersloot, and I had twins (boy and girl) in April 2015. We named them Ryan and Madeline and couldn’t be happier. It is hard to believe that they are nine-months-old already! They are such a joy!”
1989 Ethan H. Decker writes, “I gave a TED talk! Having successfully made the transition from ecology to marketing, I put the two together in a talk at TEDxSMU this October, ‘We’re All in Marketing: What Evolution Tells Us About Advertising’ https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZK3c9GCjSx8.”
Rachael A. Levine writes, “2015 was a great year for me. It began with the birth of my first daughter, Adira B. Cole Abbett born in February 2015. After many years of trying to have a baby I was graced with this little miracle. My year ended with a bang as well! I went to Prague, was given a grand tour by fellow alum Laura L. DeBlois, and worked on the film The Zookeepers Wife, starring Jessica Chastain. Look for it the end of this year. My daughter plays the baby in the film! I was camera operator on the movie and because there are not many female camera operators in the movie industry, Jessica ended up mentioning me in an article in The Hollywood Reporter, entitled ‘Jessica Chastain Pens Essay From Female-Helmed Movie Set: No One Feels Left Out or Bullied.’ Great year. It’s about time.”
Christine Markow Johnson writes, “I’m currently residing in Newtown PA with my two children Christopher (7) and Alexis (5). Both attend Newtown Friends School and enjoy exploring the GS campus when possible. It will be twenty years since I had my sledding accident where I attained my spinal cord injury which left me with paralysis in my legs. I am excited to say that I completed the 2015 New York City Marathon via hand cycle and placed fourth overall in my division. I was only one of nine women who hand cycled the New York City Marathon out of over 50,000 people and the only female on Team Reeve. Being on Team Reeve we raised over $500,000 towards spinal cord injury/paralysis research. I currently practice Clinical and Health Psychology for children and adults in Newtown PA. I must say, going to meeting at GS with my kids is such an amazing experience. I enjoy sharing the community I was part of for over twelve years with my children and welcome hearing from any classmates.”
Winter N. Miller writes, “In an unforeseen plot twist, my new play, Spare Rib is the subject of The New Yorker magazine’s ‘Talk of the Town’ in the December 2015 edition, link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/14/cold-read. The play is a ‘quasi-comedic’ take on the history of abortion. I keep in touch with GS classmates whenever possible and see a lot of Susan (Sue) H. Hyon, Erin M. Small ’93, and on lucky days see ’91ers Kathryn (Kary) M. O’Brien, Kira L. Rodriguez, Laura T. Rodriguez ’94, Elizabeth ( Wendy) Trull-Aja, Corissa (Cori) Ginsberg Seraydarian, Alexandra (Lexi) Lowe Logan, India F. Ennis, Richard (Rich) Gibb IV ’92, and drama teacher Nelson E. Camp (ffac). I look forward to GS bonding at reunion and the opportunity to be totally without grace on the athletic fields. (#KillQuakersKill) I still fantasize about working at George School, so teachers if you see me eyeing your jobs, that’s real. I’m angling to be the next Robert L. Orr ’76 (ffac), because my massive physics knowledge could easily fill a sandwich.”
Anawim Avila writes, “I can hardly believe that my first born daughter, Ava C. Avila-Fit ting ’16, will be graduating from George School this spring. We’re filling out the FAFSA as I type this. Go Class of 2016!”
1993 Jordan M. Itkowitz writes, “Hej fra Danmark! My wife and our two boys moved from the Bay Area to a little town in rural Jutland, Denmark that also happens to be the headquarters of LEGO—I work for their video games department. The boys attend an international school in town (it’s an IB program) and have friends from all over the world. We’re enjoying the new culture, the community here, and the occasional trip to see more of Europe. Hej hej!”
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Brian J. Zavodnick writes, “I am proud to announce that I have been elected to the Office of State Constable. I plan to serve the people of Pennsylvania with pride for the next six years.”
1994 Anthony B. Cino writes, “I have missed seeing notes from ’94 classmates in the Georgian, then realized I had not written in some time. My wife Rebecca, Nathaniel (5), Anna (4), and I are all doing well. We live in Silver Spring MD and Rebecca and I work in Washington DC. I’m working at a global advisory firm called Albright Stonebridge Group. I have no Olympic medals, Nobel prizes, or books published to report, but we’d love to hear from old friends as you come through the area. Wishing everyone well!”
1996 Whitney Trevelyan Louchheim writes, “The nonprofit that I started has a new name: Open City Advocates! You can learn more at www. opencityadvocates.org.” Ezra E. Rosser writes, “In November 2015, My wife, Elvia Castro, and I welcomed our second son, Mario Andres, into the world. So far, Mario’s older brother, Mateo Sebastian (6), remains excited about having a little brother. I continue to teach poverty law, Indian law, and property law at American University Washington College of Law in Washington DC and so far have only had one GS graduate in my classes. I send hugs to my former classmates and teachers at GS.”
1997 Eli A. Reusch writes, “Since my last update, I have taken a job as an IT business analyst with the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. I’m currently working in a support role, but am hoping to eventually transition into electronic discovery or cyber-crimes. I recently ran into fellow GS alum Jerrylyn E. Huckabee ’96, another Massachusetts state worker who works in
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the building next door. I look forward to suffering through another awful Boston winter with my wife and cat at our home in Roslindale MA.” Sara W. Wilson writes, “In 2015, I got married to a Frenchman, Jérôme Choupin, at his family home in the south of France with Delilah De La Rosa in attendance as one of my maids of honor. In 2014, I held an engagement party in the US with other Georgians present including Julie L. Spears, K. Nura Abdul-Karim Abdur-Rahman, Rachel K. Packer, Tahira N. Ahmed and my beloved GS advisor and Latin teacher extraordinaire Jane M. Dunlap (fac). Living in Paris, I continue to work as an independent journalist, commercial writer, editorial consultant, and occasional photographer in fashion and luxury goods with a particular interest in the craftsmanship and workshops. I am fortunate to have seen, tasted, heard, touched, and smelled some incredibly rare and beautiful things and to have worked with some incredibly creative people.”
1998 Jason E. White writes, “Hello from down under! Still living in Australia, and recently completed a move to the ‘top end’ of the country. My partner and I drove from Perth in Western Australia to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory. We stopped in Adelaide, Melbourne, Uluru, and Alice Springs along the way, covering almost 4,500 miles. Will be here for a couple of years, working on a major environmental cleanup project for the Australian government, so feel free to say hi if you find yourself in this part of the world.”
1999 Rebecca (Becky) R. Collins writes, “I started off the new year with a trip to Tulum, Mexico and a visit with Roxanne E. Rodriguez. It was great to be reunited with Roxanne after sixteen years. We celebrated with food, drinks, and some scuba diving. The perfect way to begin the New Year.”
2000 Tion Thomas writes, “Hello George School family! I just wanted to introduce our new baby girl Jayla Brielle Thomas born in November 2015 in Portland OR. The delivery went very well for both mommy and baby and we are all currently adjusting to life as parents. She has been a true blessing to us and I am very proud of my growing family. It’s great to see my GS family continuing to do great things and I hope you all continue to be blessed.” Kai Xing writes, “We are expecting our second child—a girl this time— and trying our best to get her room ready in time. I have been helping with my wife’s law practice which involves cooperative programs between Chinese and American educational institutions while continuing to dabble in my day job as an air traffic controller.”
2001 Mai-Ann (Mai) E. Duess Carey writes, “2015 was a big year! My husband and I relocated back to Pennsylvania after living in Boston since I graduated from GS—fifteen years ago, yikes! In February 2015 we welcomed our son, Aidan Paul, into the world. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion this year!”
2002 Sarah Baum Baicker writes, “I have just about completed my first full year as one of the co-hosts of Breakfast on Broad, Philadelphia’s first and only morning sports talk TV show. I was thrilled to return to the George School campus late last year for Career Workshop day to talk about launching the new show and tell students all about what it takes to be on camera five days a week.” Joshua ( Josh) Ding writes, “I am working for Corning Incorporated as a senior engineer while working towards an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business in New York City.”
ALUMNI TELL US
1998: Jason E. White ’98 and his partner Roberta at Kata Tjuta, at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, a National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. 2000: Tion Thomas ’00, his wife, and their baby Jayla.
2000: Kai Xing ’00 and his family in his CJ750 motorcycle. 2001: Aidan Paul, son of Mai-Ann (Mai) E. Duess Carey ’01, born in February 2015.
2003: Theodore (Ted) R. Colegrove ’03 with his fiancée Andrea.
2004: Randy Guschl, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, and Daniel (Dan) C. Suchenski ’04.
2005: Sarah E. Moody ’05 getting in “auntie time” with Karina H. Costa ’06 and her son, Harren, in Georgia. 2010: Matthew R. Forrest ’10 shares a newspaper clipping from 1945 of his aunt Barbara Forrest ’46 in a production of Blithe Spirit with Margaret (Margo) Rintz Tolerton ’46 and Stephen Sondheim ’46.
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2003 Theodore ( Ted) R. Colegrove writes, “I recently got engaged to my fiancée Andrea. We will be married in August 2016 and will be honeymooning in Antigua!” Ross A. Hollister writes, “I am in my second semester of a master’s program at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington DC focusing on South and Southwest Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan) and studying Farsi. Hoping to return to George School this spring for Alumni Weekend.”
2004 Eben P. Alguire writes, “We’ve moved back to Pennsylvania! My wife and I now work in academic theatre in Pittsburgh! Come on by and see a show!” Avery M. Blank writes, “I traveled to France in August 2015 and, in the fall, started my work as a board member for the American Bar Association’s Legal Career Central (the go-to legal career resource for lawyers). I was honored to be invited as a Tribeca Innovation Disruptor Fellow, and have my first Fortune article published. I also had a great time returning to George School to speak as part of the December Career Workshops program. I am bouncing back and forth between New York City and Washington DC to speak for the American Bar Association and at the Women in Strategy Summit, and moderate a panel at Power Shift 2016. In the summer, I travel to Palo Alto CA in my role as team advisor for the Women in Law Hackathon where I am advising a team of law firm partners and members of management on how
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to increase the number of women in law firms.” Margaret (Megan) A. Browndorf writes, “I am still alive.” Daniel (Dan) C. Suchenski writes, “I am a member of the Governors STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Council. In January 2016, we hosted the second annual Delaware STEM Symposium and Awards with hundreds of people in attendance. The Awards recognized a teacher or team of teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels that demonstrate STEM innovation and excellence through teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement. This year’s event was very successful and I speak for the whole council when I say that we look forward to another great event next year.”
2005 Sarah E. Moody writes, “Hey Classmates! I haven’t been up to a whole lot this past year. I’m still living in New Jersey and I’m very excited to be coming up on my oneyear anniversary working with children and families as a social worker. I had a great time at our ten-year high school reunion and can’t wait to see you all again at the fifteen!”
2007 Alison L. Craw ford writes, “I’m still enjoying living in Boston MA and teaching third grade at a turnaround elementary school in Dorchester MA. I am thankful for my GS experience and education every day as I try to help my students become global learners!”
2010 Mat thew R. Forrest writes, “Recently flipped through my great Aunt Bobbie’s (Barbara Forrest ’46) photo albums and came across a George School news clipping from December 13, 1945. The clipping included a picture of Aunt Bobbie Margaret (Margo) Rintz Tolerton ’46, and Stephen Sondheim ’46 (misspelled Sandheim in the clipping) in a production of Blithe Spirit.”
2014 Buse Düz writes, “I miss everything about my class and my school. I was an international student and since I graduated, I am still searching for that kind of community. George School will always be a second home to me. It’s a very special place.”
Class notes for this issue were received as of January 20, 2016. Class notes received by September 20, 2016 will be included in the next Georgian. The “Alumni Tell Us” and “In Memoriam” sections of the Georgian are shared online. If you do not want your name to be included in notes from others, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.579.6564. The views and opinions expressed in class notes do not necessarily represent those of the school. Notes submitted for publication might be edited due to space limitations and Georgian style guidelines.
ALUMNI TELL US
In Memoriam EDITED BY TESSA BAILEY-FINDLEY Alison Pickard Bush ’43 November 18, 2015 Alison’s parents ran the Quaker International Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. During the fall of 1940 the family made a dramatic journey via Bordeaux, France to England. Alison, her sisters, and her mother went to the United States where they stayed as part of the Quaker community in Philadelphia PA, while her father stayed in England, later joining them in the United States in 1942. After World War II they returned to England. In 1947 Alison studied medicine as one of the first cohort of female medical students at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, England. She recorded that she actually decided to become a doctor after a chance meeting with a surgeon on a London bus at the age of thirteen. She married in 1951, had three children, and lived in London, Oxford, and Birmingham, England. In 1961 she and her husband parted ways. In 1971, Alison established her own general practice in West Mersea, England. This led to a fulfilling career where she found much happiness and contentment in a place that offered an environment she much appreciated. Alison had many interests and was a keen traveler. Her travels to China, India, Pakistan, Palestine, and New Zealand are testimony to her wanderlust. She was also a keen painter, musician, swimmer, and gardener. In her later years she spent much time on courses based at Woodbrooke, the Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England. In 2003 she moved to Colchester United Kingdom to be closer to the Quaker community that had been so important throughout her life. Louis (Lou) H. Vernon ’43 October 31, 2015 Lou was an exquisite muralist, viticulturist, and honored World War II veteran. He was fondly known by his
twenty-six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren as “Grandpa Bond” for his airplane flying, dancing, skiing and ice skating twirls, and building of every contraption from monstrous tree houses to antique sailboats and canoes. One of Lou’s most celebrated murals was a replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, which strengthened his faith. Lou cherished his operation of Vernon International Airport and the grapes he farmed on 200 acres in Western NY, with his beloved wife, and eight children, including Jeffrey H. Vernon ’89 and Cathy Bosworth Horton ’79. William (Bill) M. Craighead ’44 (former faculty) January 1, 2016 Devoted to George School from an early age, Bill sustained a lifelong relationship with the school through his work and his family. Bill was drafted and went to bootcamp in his senior year at George School. Before he left for war, he was able to return to graduate with his classmates in uniform. Bill served two years in the US Navy and saw action at the Battle of Okinawa. In addition to being a proud veteran, biologist, and author, Bill coached and taught biology at George School from 1952–1967. Each year he oversaw the draining of the pond and fish count which was an activity that muddied his biology students over the years. He also actively kept a count of the birds on campus and cared for several bee hives in the area. He was known for his unremitting energy and enthusiasm for his many projects. Bill was the husband of Bet t y Bakley Craighead (fstaff ); and father of two sons including W. Clay Craighead ’83. He also is survived by daughters-in-law, three grandchildren including Mary (Katie) C. Craighead ’07, and a greatgrandson. Andrew Segal ’46 April 2015
Christopher (Chris) Wright ’46 May 11, 2015 Chris graduated from Williams College in Williamstown MA and joined the US Air Force shortly thereafter. He served during the Korean conflict as a radar mechanic and company clerk. Using the GI bill, he earned his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA. Hired by Boeing, he worked in Renton WA until “the big layoff ” at which point he and his wife opened a bookstore in Renton. He was also chairman of the Civil Rights Commission, volunteered for the boy scouts, and served as a Democratic Precinct person. Upon retiring in 1996, Chris and his wife moved to Vancouver WA. He volunteered at FISH food pantry of Vancouver until his death and continued his hobbies of reading, crossword puzzles, gardening, and rooting for the Mariners, Phillies, and Seahawks. Chris is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, two children, two grandchildren, and his sister Judith Wright Matchet t ’43. Rachel Blogg Abney ’48 March 12, 2015 Jane Wheeler Millican ’48 July 3, 2014 Jane was educated in Vero Beach FL public schools and Hollins College in Roanoke VA. She moved to Atlanta GA upon graduation in June 1952 and worked at Emory University. She married in February 1954 while her husband was serving in the US Army in Indiana and Colorado. They lived in Griffin GA since late 1955, raising a family of five children. She served her community in the Utility Club and the Wisteria Garden Club. She taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Griffin where she was a member. She also taught in the Adult Literacy Program. Jane was an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and enjoyed interior decorating, gardening, and outdoor activities. She is survived by her husband of over sixty years, five children, and five grandchildren. She was a tiny lady with a big smile
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on her face who knew no strangers. Jane loved all people and took pride in lending a helping hand, sending many trays of food to the sick and bereaved. Howard (Bud) B. Pettit ’48 December 2, 2015 Bud attended Syracuse University in Syracuse NY and graduated from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg PA, where he was president of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Always a sports fan, he played football for Gettysburg and also had a brief professional career with the Los Angeles Rams. He served in the US Army in Korea as a First Lieutenant in charge of a canine unit. Bud worked for American Oil in Saudi Arabia, Brewer Systems in California, as well as Cordis Dow in Florida, Japan, and California. He also was a consultant for Japan Medical Supplies in San Francisco CA. Bud loved travel, softball, dogs, poker, family, and his many friends. He is survived by his daughter, son, their mother, and four grandchildren. Emily Wiggins Williams ’49 August 24, 2015 Emily earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia PA. She went on to receive her master’s degree in art education from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA, where she met her future husband. They decided to run off and get married in Snow Hill MD, beginning their life together with a sense of adventure and fun. Emily taught art briefly at junior and senior high schools in Lakewood NJ. Dissatisfied with the rigid curriculum of public school and wanting to be home to raise her children, she began teaching art her own way with classes on Saturday mornings for young people at her home in the early 1960s. Mentoring her students went beyond teaching technique. Emily taught art history and appreciation and although she was a masterful water colorist, she taught other mediums as well. She was nurturing and inspiring but she didn’t placate. She was a gentle critic bringing the best out of her students
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and her children as well. Her love of art merged with her aesthetic affinity for fashion. She was an accomplished seamstress, and for many years had her own cottage business performing alterations and dressmaking from her home. A practicing Quaker, Emily served on the school committees of Rancocas Friends School in Mt. Holly NJ and Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown NJ. She was a pragmatist and a janusian thinker, always seeing and weighing more than one perspective. She was a student and a teacher, always eager to learn new things and to share them but she never embraced technology, surfed the net, or used email. Emily is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Candace Cox Bonus ’50 December 10, 2015 Candace is survived by her husband of fifty-nine years. She and her husband were long-time residents of Fearrington Village in Chatham County NC. Candace is also survived by her sister, four children, six grandchildren, one great-grandson, and her extended family including her nieces and step-grandchildren. Susan Johnson Lorentz ’56 April 7, 2015 John F. Cadwallader ’58 December 19, 2015 Robert (Bo) B. Worth ’59 February 27, 2015 Bo was a descendant of the founders of Worth Brothers Steel Company in Coatesville PA and Worth Steel of Claymont DE. He continued his education at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester NY with a Masters of Fine Art from the School of American Craft in 1966. He studied under Wendell Castle, credited with being the father of the art furniture movement. A tennis instructor during his teenage years, Bo was on the RIT men’s college tennis team. He was a professor of fine woodworking at the Philadelphia College of Art in Philadelphia PA
during the late 1970s and early 1980s. A commissioned artist, his work was featured in magazines and museums. His family recalls when his work would go on tour to a museum, their home furniture would be gone for months at a time. Bo’s fine woodworking style was laminated hard woods, sculpted into functional furniture without any right angles. His engineering skills were so sophisticated that many of his enormous sculptures were often balanced by weight instead of points of contact. Bo loved nature and animals. He enjoyed watching Jacques Cousteau and donated to the Whale Foundation and National Geographic. He loved to camp and canoe, and loved water of any kind, especially the ocean. He also enjoyed boating and fishing, though he hardly ever caught anything with the exception of a Jeep once on Ocracoke Island, which was a big joke in the family. He loved music, especially jazz and blues with favorites being Count Basie and Sachmo. He is survived by his daughter, son, sister Elizabeth Worth Pressnall ’56, and wife. Robert (Rob) E. Patterson ’69 January 24, 2016 Rob lived for the past twenty years in Charleston SC. He spent his childhood in Chapel Hill NC. He attended the Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken SC and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He graduated with a degree in American Studies from UNC in 1973. Upon receiving his naval commission at graduation, Rob spent the next four years as a diving and salvage officer in many parts of the world. He followed active duty with more than twenty years of US Naval Reserve duty, retiring as a Captain. He began a career with the Hartford Insurance Co. in 1977, with assignments in Minneapolis MN, Milwaukee WI, Chicago IL, Hartford CT, and Charlotte NC over the years. He retired as a commercial sales manager in the early 1990s. In retirement, he worked as a caddie for the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island SC, van driver and bartender at Kiawah Resort, and part time insurance
executive. Rob was a talented wrestler and soccer player in high school. He, his brothers, and sister spent time fishing and hunting with their father throughout his youth. Some of his best, lifelong buddies began their friendships at the Beta Theta Phi fraternity at UNC Chapel Hill. Their golf reunions were a highlight in his life. Rob is survived by his twin brother William S. Pat terson ’69, older brother, sister, and several nieces and nephews. Rodney (Rod) Robinson (former trustee) November 5, 2015 Growing up in a military family, Rod traveled and lived all over the world including France, Japan, and the states of Washington, Missouri, and New Jersey. His father was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military pilots that served during World War II. Rod received his BS in Psychology from Brown University in Providence RI in 1973 and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA in 1976, where he concentrated in business and tax law. With the encouragement of US Court of Appeals Justice Higginbotham and several friends, Rod attended the prestigious New York University Master of Laws Program in New York City and in 1981 he received his master’s in Tax Law and LLM. Rod later became a senior associate at multiple accounting firms, before starting his own firm. From his thirty-two year marriage, three sons were born including Jon F. Robinson ’00 and Bryan E. Robinson ’03. Rod was a great dad who instilled in his kids the importance of faith, education, and a strong work ethic. Rod had many passions including tennis, jazz, and rhythm and blues. One of his most cherished CDs was from his good friend, the great poetess/activist/jazz artist, Sonia Sanchez. Rod lived a life of service to his church and local community. He served on the board of Trustees New Covenant Church Philadelphia PA as well as Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin NJ. He
volunteered on the Zoning Board as well as fought for teacher diversity in Gloucester Township NJ. At George School, he served as a board member and on several committees. Moreover, Rod acted as a chaperone on service projects in South Africa where he fell in love with the beautiful country and its people. It was then that he discovered his true passion—photographing Africa’s wildlife and scenery. Robert (Bob) W. Gorgas Sr. (former faculty) November 25, 2015 Bob graduated from Overbrook High School in Pine Hill NJ and received his bachelor’s degree from Cheyney University in Cheyney PA. He continued with a post-graduate education in film production at The New School in New York City. During his time at George School, Bob taught graphic arts, photography, and seminars in film for the English Department. He left his teaching position to pursue a career in advertising. After a few years in that industry he joined Amtrak, where he worked for thirty-one years as a sales agent and community volunteering coordinator. Bob was known for his work with United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He served as a loaned executive for eight years, managing United Way campaigns for KYW Newsradio and television, Cardinal Health, and The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. He was also the first male board member of Girls Incorporated and during his tenure became vice president of the board. MANNA, Visiting Nurses of Greater Philadelphia, and the Ronald McDonald House in West Philadelphia were among his other nonprofit involvements. When he retired he put volunteer work aside for a few years until 2010 when he joined the board of the Langhorne Council for the Arts. Though he and his family lived in Langhorne PA, he and his wife were native Philadelphians. He was very proud that he was a descendant of the same Gorgas family that played an integral part in the city’s development, honored by naming a street and a park for them. Bob is survived
by his wife, son, daughter, sister, and three granddaughters.
Notification of deaths was recorded as of February 11, 2016. We edit and publish information provided by families of deceased alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees. Notes submitted for publication might be edited due to space limitations and Georgian style guidelines.
Printed using soy-based ink on paper containing recycled fiber. Cover and text stock are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and contain 10% post-consumer recycled fiber.
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Make a Difference S U S TA I N G E O R G E S C H O O L â€” C H O O S E T O G I V E
Sustainability. A Green Initiative contest on campus yielded four winning ideas from student teamsâ€”establishing a forest regeneration zone, improving recycling throughout campus, creating a rain barrel system, and starting a thrift store. Community. Students learn the value of giving back by working a shift in the dining hall or in various jobs around campus as well as participating in domestic and international service learning opportunities. Excellence. Students have nonstop opportunities to challenge themselves, expand their horizons, and grow as individuals.
Help us continue these important initiatives by making your Annual Fund gift today! georgeschool.org/donate
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Visit the alumni website at georgeschool.org/alumni to stay connected. Submit a class note, find friends, update personal profiles, check out upcoming events, and much more.
FRIDAY–SUNDAY, MAY 13-15, 2016
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SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016 Commencement
FRIDAY–SATURDAY, MAY 20-21, 2016 Spring Theater Performance: Animal Farm
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PHOTOS: Inside Back Cover: Hallowell, as viewed from lower South Lawn, is home to Photography, Woodworking, Ceramics, and Sculpture studio art classes. (Photo by Bruce Weller) Back Cover: Les Misérables, the George School winter musical production, featured a talented cast of more than forty-five, a sophisticated set design, and live musical accompaniment. Community members are invited to sing along to their favorite songs with cast members during Alumni Weekend on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. (Photo by Jim Inverso)