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Groton School • The Quarterly

Groton School publishes the Groton School Quarterly in late summer, fall, winter, and spring. The fall issue is the Annual Report.

Groton School The Quarterly • Fall 2013

2 | Quarterly Winter 2013




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century photograph of the men who built St. John’s Chapel, and (above) the photo’s glass negative slide

Fall 2013 • Volume LXXV, No. 3

A Singular Path to Groton Meet Temba T. Maqubela Groton School’s Eighth Headmaster

The Beams Legacy


hen Fred Beams announced

his retirement plans last winter, many people reached out to share the many ways in which Fred and Cindy had touched their lives. several wanted to create something lasting and meaningful to ensure the Beams’ 29-year tenure at Groton school would never be forgotten. The result is the Fred and Cindy Beams Fund for Global education, an endowed fund whose annual payout will support financial aid for Groton’s overseas trips. Fred and Cindy launched Groton’s global education initiative in 2008 with a summer service trip to Peru, then branched out to Kenya the following year, and to Tanzania in 2010. since then, more faculty have stepped in, solidifying the relationships in Peru, Kenya, and Tanzania and getting additional trips off the ground—to India, China, and Bali. all were inspired by Fred and Cindy’s example. students compose reflections after the trips. One wrote: “The people we met in Tanzania gave

me perspective about who I am as a person. When it comes down to just me, stripped of my background, belongings, grades, everything, I wonder how I would measure up to a lot of the people we met.” another observed, “I learned how the maasai live, and I re-learned how we live. I learned that language really isn’t the only way to communicate and connect, and I learned that language defines a people more than we’d like to admit. I learned that expectations tend to define the outcomes. I learned that comparing does not necessarily mean judging, and I learned that curiosity should take the place of judgment.” The Fred and Cindy Beams Fund for Global education will ensure—in perpetuity—that more Groton students can experience such profound cross-cultural learning. To make a gift in honor of Fred and Cindy, or in general support of financial aid for Groton Global Education, please contact Director of Development and Alumni Affairs John MacEachern at or 978-448-7580.

Groton School Fall 2013 • Volume LXXV, No. 3

The Quarterly

A Singular Path to Groton How deep-seated values guided our eighth headmaster from apartheid-era South Africa to the Circle page 1025

A Day at the Symphony Groton’s musicians immersed themselves in the Boston Symphony, took master classes, and performed on Symphony Hall’s hallowed stage. page 22

Prize Day Moving speeches, beloved traditions, and 78 proud members of the Form of 2013 page 26

Reunion Weekend 14 forms, 450 graduates, innumerable memories. Plus, our 2013 Cui Servire winner and our Distinguished Grotonian (who thought of Groton while captive in Iran) page 42

D e P A r t







Message from the Headmaster


Circiter / Around the Circle


Personae / Profiles

54 Voces / Chapel Talks 63 De Libris / Books 66 Grotoniana / Arts & Athletics Students, faculty, and staff

74 In Memoriam

welcomed Temba Maqubela

82 Form Notes

with a traditional Groton handshake, October 26, 2012.

Annie Card

Message from the Headmaster


uring the first week of July, when I first moved onto campus, I found the Circle quiet and breathtaking. A few children from our summer programs played outside, faculty families splashed in the pool, and administrative offices buzzed with summer business. Beyond that activity however, it was almost serene, an invitation to contemplate. So contemplate I did. I was struck by how welcoming the campus could feel—even with students and faculty largely absent. The people who work year-round at my new home and workplace greeted me warmly; the air was so friendly that Vuyelwa and I felt at home as soon as the moving truck rolled in. But those greetings weren’t the only source of warmth. The campus—the entire setting—enveloped us. We felt embraced by people and place, and by the beauty itself. In this Groton embrace, I found great comfort. From day one, each time I walked from my home to my office, I would pause to look at the open vista to the west; then I would turn to look at the Chapel. Every time I pivot in that semi-circle, I feel I am standing between tradition and possibility. There’s no place I would rather be. During that first week, I spotted the children from the Epiphany School (founded by John Finley ’88), who work on Groton’s campus during the summer. As they played on the Circle, I saw Groton, in action, inspiring youth from all walks of life. I knew that to be a School value and aspiration, but the Epiphany children embodied the ideal. The Circle was, indeed, open. To me, Groton’s openness

Editor Gail Friedman Design Irene Chu

Contributing Editors Elizabeth Z. Ginsberg P’16 Elizabeth Wray Lawrence ‘82 John D. MacEachern P’10, ‘14, ’16 Andrew M. Millikin Melissa J. Ribaudo Amy Sim Photography/Editorial Assistant Christopher Temerson


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

to ideas—whether from new environments, cultures, or viewpoints—fosters a spirit of inclusion, a spirit that has made my family and me feel welcome. Another well-ingrained Groton ideal—that of service to others—also has made me feel at home. It resonates strongly because my entire education has its roots in service. I learned to read not only for the knowledge it some day would allow, nor for the entertainment it would bring. I learned to read so that I could read letters to the families in my small South African village, where few were literate. Villagers’ loved ones wrote home from the mines where they worked, and I, as a young boy, felt a sense of duty—of service—as I read the letters out loud, struggling to be sensitive as I delivered news that sometimes brought anguish to the mothers and aunts who listened. Education helped me become a conduit to their loved ones, and I realized quite clearly the sacred nature of my work. So for me, education and service always have been inextricably entwined, what the chemistry teacher in me sees as a covalent bond, built by individual forces that collaborate to create a whole much stronger than its parts. I begin at Groton with enthusiasm, exhilaration, and humility; I stand in awe of this great School and am determined to serve it well. I know I will have trying moments, but I hope at those times to reflect on my first week at Groton, that powerfully contemplative week, a time when the Circle—its people, its history, its values, its beauty—embraced me. That embrace buoyed me during my arrival, and I suspect it will continue to offer a sense of balance. Thanks to all of you for helping to create a community that has delivered such warmth. I look forward to reciprocating.

Temba Maqubela Headmaster

Editorial Offices The Schoolhouse Groton School Groton, MA 01450 978 - 448 -7506 Other School Offices Alumni Office: 978 - 448 -7520 Admission Office: 978 - 448 -7510

Groton School publishes the Groton School Quarterly three times a year, in late summer, winter, and spring, and the Annual Report once a year, in the fall.


Electric Soccket


ulia Silverman ’06 introduced President Obama to the Soccket during his trip to Africa over the summer — a widely publicized kickabout — but Groton got an earlier peek during an all-School lecture in April. While conducting research in Tanzania as an undergraduate, Silverman noticed that soccer was a fervent passion, and that energy needs were neglected. Those two observations, seemingly unrelated, would lead to the Soccket, a soccer ball that generates electricity. Kicking the Soccket for 30 minutes generates three hours of electricity. To residents of remote villages, that can mean studying by a light, listening to music, running a water purifier or small refrigerator, charging a phone, or using other small electronic devices. The need is extreme: one in five people worldwide, according to Silverman, lives without electricity. In the Campbell Performing Arts Center, Silverman projected a photo of tangled wires protruding from a pole as she discussed energy in the developing world. “It’s unavailable, it’s unreliable, and it’s unsafe,” she said. Those who dare to tap into that maze of wires risk electrocution. Those who don’t may face other

Julia Silverman ’06, at left, and her energy-generating Soccket

energy-related risks: reading by a kerosene lamp for one night, she explained, causes the lung damage of 40 cigarettes. The Soccket, originally developed by Silverman and three partners, might not exist if their group midterm project at Harvard hadn’t received a failing grade. The students, doubled with determination, took to heart the professor’s criticism that they had not thought sufficiently about people’s existing behaviors. Almost everywhere in the world,

Editor’s Note


ou may notice a difference in your Quarterly. The editorial content has not changed, but the design has. We hope you’ll find it more vibrant, engaging, and easier to read. We’ve grouped our sections more simply: the Circiter section contains short news stories; Personae, profiles of alumni and faculty; Voces, Chapel Talks; De Libris, book reviews and new releases; Grotoniana, arts and athletics; and In Memoriam, remembrances. We’ve also provided tabs along the righthand side to help you find what you’re after, whether you want to read a Chapel Talk or a book review. We thank our new designer, Irene Chu, for the bright new approach to the Quarterly, modernizing it while still honoring Groton tradition. Irene earned a

master’s from the Yale School of Art and brings more than two decades of design experience to the Quarterly, including extensive work on school publications. You’ll find everything you expect in the new Quarterly, but you’ll also find two new features. The first is a baby page (see page 114); please send us photos of your babies and grandbabies so we can include this feature in every issue. Also, we will begin displaying an item from our archives on the back cover. We hope “Circling Back” will provide revealing glimpses into Groton’s past. Enjoy the Quarterly, and please feel free to send any feedback about our new design to Gail Friedman, Editor

kicking a ball — or something resembling a ball — was an existing behavior, they realized, a behavior that could be tapped. Early in the process, Silverman and her group tested their idea by putting a shaketo-charge flashlight inside a hamster ball. They rolled it and were delighted when the light came on. Engineers dampened their excitement, however, warning that such a device couldn’t possibly create enough energy to be viable. “For them, ‘enough’ was a very different definition,” Silverman said. The engineers were thinking on a grander scale — electricity to power buildings or large equipment. To Silverman, electricity for a single light was “enough.” The Soccket endured endless variations — different mechanisms to collect the energy, different materials to make the ball lighter, different designs to ensure the ball could not deflate. The Soccket today has a gyroscopic mechanism inside that captures the kinetic energy. People plug into a small, recessed connection to access the stored energy. Currently, NGOs have distributed Socckets in ten countries. While the electricity can be transformative, the play itself should not be taken for granted. Balls are scarce: Silverman said she has seen children kicking around wadded-up plastic bags. The Soccket is playable and weighs about the same as a regulation soccer ball. As Silverman shared her story of innovation and perseverance, she urged Groton students to play, empower, and give, but most of all, to think creatively about solving the world’s problems.



Moving In, Moving Out

Groton Website 2.0

Groton School welcomed several new faculty members this fall:


o improve Groton School’s website, we made some substantial design changes over the summer. We eliminated the large searchbar on the home page because it rarely was used and added more conventional navigation, with dropdown menus to better guide users. We changed to a more readable font and modified landing pages so they rely more on visual content and less on staid text. We also changed the names on our so-called “specialty pages”— formerly known as Learn, Live, Achieve, and Now@ — to make their content crystal clear. Now@ is now called News, Achieve is Alumni Profiles, and Live is Multimedia. We integrated the former Learn page into our academic section. In addition, we made it easier to find people on our Alumni Profiles page, which now has more profiles, though it remains a work in progress. You may notice that the buttons leading to these pages, on the lower right of the home page and the upper right of interior pages, have changed from rectangles to open circles — a powerful symbol of the Groton Circle and the inclusion and potential it represents. Please check out the revised Please send any feedback or suggestions to

» Harold Francis, the new assistant director of athletics and history teacher, succeeds Sarah Mongan, who now teaches history and coaches at St. George’s, where her fiancé also works.

» Jonathan FreemanCoppadge is teaching English and directing the community service program.

» Kimberly Gerighty took over as director of parent programs; her predecessor, Julia Alling, headed to Fountain Valley School in Colorado after eight years at Groton.

Sarah Mongan

Top This: 2013 Senior Prank n late May, the Form of 2013 transformed the Schoolhouse into a carnival, raising the bar on prankish creativity by putting a bounce house in the Schoolroom, a dunk tank outside (yes, the headmaster took a dip), games in the Hall, and colorful balloons, signs, and streamers everywhere. At 9 a.m., an ice cream truck pulled up on the Circle and handed out treats. In the normally sedate Schoolhouse hallway, booths offered facepainting, a fortune teller, ring toss, and other county fair fare. The Hall was home to Twister, a beanbag toss, and a variety of performances throughout the day. The prank, the brainchild primarily of Suzanna Hamer ’13 and Naomi Wright ’13, was designed to engage the entire School without disrupting classes (which many teachers shortened). The Sixth Form kept its secret for three months; the night before, every member of the form pitched in, removing desks from the Schoolroom to accommodate the bounce house, organizing puppet and fashion shows, and hanging decorations. Naomi admitted that the form wanted to outdo the 2011 prank — when administrators woke up to an empty School because every student had taken an early-morning jaunt to the boathouse.


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Fall 2013

Photos by Gail Friedman, Drew Millikin, Chris Temerson


Julia Alling

» Megan Kemp Harlan is Groton’s new director of College Counseling; the former director, Craig Gemmell, is now Groton’s assistant head for program.

» Timothy LeRoy is teaching math and coordinating student activities in the Deans’ Office.

» Ryan Spring is teaching history; history teacher Rachelle Sam is now at St. Alban’s School in Washington, D.C. after three years at Groton.

Rachelle Sam

Fred Cadeau

New Faces on the Board of Trustees In addition, our new headmaster, Temba Maqubela, will teach organic chemistry, and his wife, Vuyelwa, will teach English. Sabbatical replacements this year include art teacher Sarah Meyer (for Beth Van Gelder), modern language teacher Franck Koffi (for Rebecca Stanton), and Stephen Marchand Fernandez (for John Conner). Two interns joined us this fall as well — Nihal Kayali, who is teaching history, and Skylar Prill, who is teaching French. French teacher Fred Cadeau returned to his native France to teach in the Loire Valley after four years at Groton. Welcome to all new faculty, and best wishes to those who have moved on.

Groton School’s Board of Trustees welcomed three new members in 2012 and 2013: David Altshuler P’13, ’15; Alexander Krapf P’15, and William Gray P’15. David Altshuler is the founder and CEO of TechFoundation, a not-for-profit organization that delivers technology, expertise, and capital to nonprofit organizations. Previously, he was president of a database-consulting firm that supported money management firms and investment banks. David was also a member of the Investment Company Institute's Operations Committee. For more than a decade, he taught at the Wharton School and/or the law school at University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Irey Grant Memorial Lecturer in Business Law and Finance and

an adjunct professor. He is a trustee of the Boston Symphony, Huntington Theatre Company, and New England Aquarium. David is a graduate of Williams College and the Wharton School and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He and his wife Sharman, a veterinarian and painter/theatrical producer, live in Cambridge; they have four sons: Benjamin '13, Noah '15, George, and Douglas. William “Will” Gray was born in Boston to South African parents, raised in South Africa, and lives in Bermuda, where he has been for 20 years. He is the president, chief investment officer, and a director at Orbis Investment Management, manager of the Orbis Funds, and a director at Allan Gray Limited, a South

African investment management company. Will earned an undergraduate degree at University of Cape Town and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He is married to Alicia “Ali” Gray; they have three children, Tania ’15, William, and Zoe. Alexander Krapf is president of the technology company Codemesh; he previously worked for Hitachi, IBM, Thomson Financial Resources, and Document Directions. Alex grew up in Germany and attended the Raichberg-Gymnasium Ebersbach and Universitaet Stuttgart, both in Germany. He now lives in Carlisle, Massachusetts, with his wife Julia; they have three children, Alaric ’15, Susannah, and Conrad.

Total Immersion


even visiting students — from Nigeria, Tanzania, India, and France — were immersed in Groton last spring, living in dorms, attending classes, playing sports, and otherwise absorbing American culture. Below, Rachel Oguntola of Nigeria; Raj Shivam, Aarushi Aggarwal, and Kanishka Gupta of India; and Kesuma Laizer and Saingorie Mollel of Tanzania (not pictured, India Chevallier from Laval, France).


Nicole Piasecki ’80


Top Flight by Joseph “Josh” Groves ’80


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Her position today, as vice president and general manager of the Propulsion Systems Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, almost seems inevitable. After Groton and a mechanical engineering degree from Yale, Nicole held technical positions at Piasecki Helicopter and United Technologies before earning a Wharton MBA and heading to Towers Perrin, Weyerhaeuser Japan Ltd., and finally to Boeing in 1992, where she has worked in engineering, sales, business strategy, and marketing, on aircraft including the revamped 737 and the Dreamliner. Before 9/11, Boeing’s commercial strategy included the Sonic Cruiser, which was fast, sleek, and sexy but consumed a lot of fuel. To Nicole and her marketing

Boeing vice president Nicole Piasecki ’80, in a classic flight deck display at the Future of Flight in Everett, Washington

Gail Hanusa


aturday is a work day!” Nicole Piasecki’s father, Frank, started each weekend with the same refrain. An innovator, helicopter pioneer, and founder of Piasecki Aircraft Corporation, Frank was determined that his seven children would learn to solve problems early on. In his office, Nicole and her siblings (including Frank ’83 and Lynn ’79) mopped floors, filed papers, typed, and, in their spare time, drew pictures. Nicole remembers, at age five, proudly presenting a helicopter drawing to her father, who handed it back, saying, “How can this helicopter fly? You forgot the rotor blades.” When she was a bit older, her father would grill her on key components of his design blueprints.

the individual. “Japan was a highlight for me. The ‘working together’ and ‘working hard’ really fit with my philosophy and guided what needed to be done there. Japan is a society where communication and trust is everything,” she says. A substantial portion of the Dreamliner was built in Japan. The Dreamliner, which first flew in 2009, required extensive worldwide collaboration. “We depend on our global suppliers. We need global talent,” Nicole says. “In a world where resources are becoming scarce, I have advocated for us to secure critical partnerships.” In 2010, Nicole returned to Seattle, where she oversaw business development and strategic integration for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and was responsible for driving the modernization of the company’s product line. Once again relying on a commitment to teamwork, the company reached out to universities, governments, financiers, futurists, technologists, customers, and suppliers to gather ideas and capabilities from around the world.

Nicole valued the team experience more than the glory bestowed upon her as an individual star athlete. “I remember the powerful camaraderie of teamsmanship, which often outweighed—and outperformed—our pure skill,” she says. “In field hockey, our coach, Joan Holden, was straightforward about what it meant to be a team—to work hard, to collaborate, and to drive results. She drove discipline, rigor, and spirit. While so simple, this was a great foundation for everything I’ve done in life. It’s my formula for succeeding: working together and working hard and wanting to be the best.” At Yale, Nicole captained the field hockey team, was most valuable player on the lacrosse team, and won Yale’s Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, given to a senior female athlete. Yet Nicole says music was as transformative as sports. At Groton, she was an enthusiastic member of the Choir and Madrigals, and with Sarah Clarke ’79 launched the School’s first spring musical. “How incredible it was to be a Fifth Former with an idea—a completely new idea


team, it became apparent that customers’ emerging priorities were fuel efficiency and lower environmental impact. Striving for consensus, 15 of the world’s top airlines came to Seattle, where Boeing engineers laid out for discussion two contrasting options—speed vs. efficiency/environmental performance. “I had my team run the analytics to show that it didn’t make sense to put a 200-seat airplane in the network that flies faster than all other aircraft,” she says. “What’s the point of sending passengers from New York to Tokyo in record time, only to have them wait there for all connecting flights?” Nicole’s team helped define the market requirements for the world’s next airplane, one focused on customer comfort and energy efficiency. The 787 Dreamliner was born. As head of marketing and business strategy, Nicole spearheaded an effort to “bring the magic back into air travel following the impact of 9/11 on flying.” This meant rallying engineers to design a clearly discernible fuselage for the Dreamliner (like that of the

» “We’re all going to need to work totogether solve the complex problems of the future.” 747, which her six-year-old can identify from the end of a long runway). Nicole even engaged the world in naming the aircraft. To this day, fans young and old sign on to the Dreamliner’s website to follow its journey. “As head of marketing, my role was to make sure the world fell in love with this airplane,” Nicole says. Thanks to bigger windows and overhead bins, higher humidity and lower cabin pressure, fuel efficiency, and low carbon emissions, it did. Midway through development of the Dreamliner, in 2007, Nicole was named president of Boeing Japan; she had spent time in Japan during business school and on assignment for Weyerhaeuser in the early ’90s, so she had deep knowledge of the country’s business culture, which emphasizes collaborative innovation over that of

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recognized Nicole’s leadership and expertise and, in 2011, appointed her to the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee. She also sits on the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco’s Seattle branch, and has served in leadership positions with several community service organizations. For Nicole, Groton’s motto, cui servire est regnare, has paid off in unexpected ways: while chairing the board of Washington Works, a Seattle nonprofit that provides low-income housing, Nicole worked with her future husband, Peter Heymann, with whom she is now raising three sons. Nicole credits much of her career success to early lessons at Groton. She distinguished herself in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse, earning the female athletic award on Prize Day.

in a tradition-focused institution— and to be encouraged to move it forward!” she says. Nicole and Sarah produced and directed The Pirates of Penzance in May 1979. “It was one of my first learning experiences about how to accomplish something with a group of people outside my family or a sports team,” Nicole says. In 1980, after Sarah graduated, Nicole worked on The Mikado. The collaborative approach she first learned at Groton continues to pay dividends. “In a world, where more people travel every day—80,000 flights per day and doubling by 2030—we’re all going to need to work together to solve the complex problems of the future,” she says. “Groton gave me a great head start on learning how to work together and work hard in order to take on big challenges.”


Laura Lyons, faculty


Problem Solver I

n eighth grade, Laura Lyons did so well in math that her teacher summed up her achievement with a memorable comment. “You think like a boy,” she told Laura. To a sensitive adolescent, that was far from a compliment. Laura’s mother, who fostered her daughter’s love for reading, and her father, who patiently solved puzzles with Laura, promoting her love of math, thought practically about the future: they encouraged Laura to go to secretarial school. Laura had other plans, but it took many years before she would study the subject she loved. After high school, Laura became a certified fitness instructor and spent about ten years teaching at a health club. A health scare briefly interrupted her aerobics career: one day, a sharp pain in her leg led doctors to discover that a rare benign tumor, known as

subject can appeal » “The visually, analytically, and numerically.” an atrial myxoma, was blocking 90 percent of her left atrium and required immediate emergency cardiac surgery. Laura was working out again in eight weeks. While she was teaching fitness classes, she was accumulating credits at Fitchburg State University, and graduated with a bachelor’s in math in 1994, winning the School’s math award. She quickly landed a job teaching algebra and AP calculus at a public high school in Spencer, Massachusetts. Laura 8

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knew her math, but didn’t realize how much she also had to know her students. “I didn’t understand the importance of delicately treating the psyches of my students, but I loved math so much,” she says. She gradually came to understand the kids, and in 1996, moved to Gardner (Massachusetts) High School, where she stayed for eight years and received the school’s Harvard Book Club prize for teaching excellence. Laura heard about an opening for a math teacher at Groton from her high school friend, Admission Office Manager Rhonda Collins. Rhonda and Laura and their husbands had double-dated in high school. The School needed an AP Calculus teacher, a subject Laura had taught for 10 years. She believes that experience helped her land the job. At Groton, Laura felt at home almost immediately. “I loved school. I loved to teach math to students who were interested,” she said. “I loved meeting with students after class.” Laura also may have felt at home because she grew up in nearby Pepperell, Massachusetts; her first job was scooping ice cream at Johnson’s in Groton. Laura married her high school sweetheart—he sat in front of her in Algebra 2 Honors—and they have two grown daughters. It’s hard to believe that Laura, even as a novice teacher, ever found it challenging to understand her students. Today, that ability is taken for granted, and her care and nurturing—in the classroom and elsewhere—contribute to many students’ success. “I love to participate in their learning process and in their overall growth,” Laura says. “In the classroom, I am fascinated by the way they develop knowledge: through listening, conjecturing, communicating, devising solutions, reflecting,

Chris Temerson

testing, and sharing solutions. I love that my job includes understanding where they are and challenging them so they are inspired by mathematics.” Laura becomes a bit wistful when thinking of her students before Groton. “I wish students in Gardner had the same opportunities that Groton students do to fully develop their talents,” she says. Since starting at Groton, Laura continued her own math education thanks to the Dillon Fund, which provides for professional development. She earned a master’s in mathematics education over three summers at Columbia University. “I’m so grateful to the Dillon Fund,” she says. “I love to be a student.” Laura has received Fitchburg State College’s Miller Award and Groton’s Henry and Wendy Breck Award for Teaching Excellence.

At Columbia, Laura’s toughest class fulfilled a non-math requirement—it covered pop culture. She wrote a paper about math in movies, which her professor has encouraged her to publish. Laura sometimes uses movie clips to highlight concepts in class—21, for example, the movie about MIT students who count cards in Las Vegas, introduces a lesson on solving combinatorics problems, and a YouTube clip explains Fibonacci numbers. Laura is always scanning New York Times articles for mathematical connections, showing, for instance, how statistics can be misused in trials. In her nine years at Groton, Laura has headed the Mathematics Department twice and has coached cross country and JV tennis (she’ll coach squash for the first time this winter). She heads an Upper School girls dorm—her eighth year as dorm head.

Laura’s latest goal, reinforced by attending the Psychology of Mathematical Education conference and the International Congress on Mathematical Education: to develop a tool to help students understand their learning styles. “In math now, unlike when I was a student, the subject can appeal visually, analytically, and numerically,” she says. “Schools typically emphasize verbal and written communications skills.” In Laura’s world, learning to communicate mathematically is equally important. — Gail Friedman


A Singular Path to Groton


t was 1976, and 17-year-old Temba Maqubela was sitting in biology class at St. John’s College, a boarding school in the South African town of Mthatha. In a few months, he was to graduate and head to medical school on a full scholarship. Then, in a flash, everything changed. Police stormed the room, grabbing him and three classmates and detaining them for antiapartheid activities. His teacher, who happened to be his mother, was aghast. That moment re-directed the life of a student who, decades later, would become Groton’s eighth headmaster. It also encapsulated values that he holds dear: the determination to fight against injustice and for equality, and the overriding belief in education and its power to transform. Through privilege and poverty, arrest and exile, Temba always carried with him the legacy of education instilled by ancestors who changed the political and intellectual face of South Africa. Among black South Africa’s educated, dedication to scholarship and political awareness often went hand in hand.

by G ail Frie dma n

How deep-seated values guided our eighth headmaster from apartheid-era South Africa to the Circle



Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Annie Card


An Early Mission to Serve

“From age 8 or 9, we had to read and write for people. We had to hold people’s thoughts and ideas in great confidence.”


AS A boy , Temba walked about a mile to a grammar school in his village of Nonkobe, an enclave of about 500 people. In this oneroom school, each age group took a corner, overhearing the lessons of students older and younger. They called the building the Schoolhouse—“a different kind of Schoolhouse—made entirely of rocks that the villagers collected,” Temba laughs, comparing it to the Schoolhouse that presides over Groton’s Circle. Living in a highly educated family in a village where few had formal schooling beyond high school, or even middle school, he recognized the seriousness and privilege of education. “In the village where we lived, my family members were the only educated people, and they were the only ones with a car,” he says. “Therefore our home was the post office.” Most of the letters came from the mines, where the young men in the village typically worked. Accepting a job was referred to as “joining” the mine. To eight-year-old Temba, learning to read meant he could uphold his family’s responsibility and share mine workers’ letters with their families. “We knew we had to be available to read the letters from their loved ones in the mines or to write letters, whether of death or birth or divorce, whatever it was,” he says. “We went to school with the obligation of service instilled in our minds.” Temba knew which families had members who could read the letters, and which did not. “My father used to come and deliver mail, and our job, as young children, because our parents were working in town, was to give people their mail,” he says. As he speaks, a scene emerges that he hadn’t recalled for years: “They would be sitting around in a circle. Some of them would be in their red ochre clothing, kneeling, waiting for their names to be read. Sometimes there would be little slips that indicated there was money being sent, or telegrams indicating that someone had died or something like that. So I would read the names, and those

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who could read would leave, and those who couldn’t read would stay.” Children in many of the families attended school, but families did not want them exposed to the harsh realities in those letters, Temba says. “From age 8 or 9, we had to read and write for people. We had to hold people’s thoughts and ideas in great confidence.” Perhaps that is when his career in education truly began.

Straddling Two Worlds beSIdeS beING The village post office,

the Maqubelas’ home also was the spiritual center—an Anglican church —until Temba’s grandmother died and his father built a church in her memory. “I would say that our home was the home of light in the village,” he says. Nevertheless, Temba knew he would not live out his life in the village. “The thing is, we lived in two worlds,” he explains. “We lived in this incredible world of people who did not speak a single word of english, where there was no running water, no electricity. We studied using a candle. Then on vacations, we went to visit my grandfather, who worked at the university, where there was electricity, there was running water.” That university professor, to this day, is revered as one of South Africa’s preeminent intellectuals. Temba’s maternal grandfather, Zachariah Keodirelang Matthews—known as Z.K.—became the first black to earn a degree from a South African university, and then blazed the same trail in law school. After briefly practicing law, he studied at yale and the London School of economics, and taught at the University of Fort hare (a job from which he resigned in 1959 after the government restricted the school to members of the Xhosa people). botswana’s president appointed Matthews, his former professor, ambassador to the U.S., a position he held from 1966 until his death in 1968. Temba becomes pensive while reflecting on the influence of all his grandparents— Grady and Matilda Maqubela, a constant,

A Family of Educators Reverend John Bokwe

Maria Sopotela Bokwe

Reverend Pambani Mzimba

Founded integrated high school;

High school teacher

Free Church of Africa

Founded First Presbyterian

composer; writer

Frieda Bokwe Matthews

Z.K. Matthews

Matilda Ndungane Maqubela

Grady Maqubela

Jeanette Mzimba Peteni

Shelton Peteni

Librarian, music teacher, piano teacher

Professor of law and social anthropology

Middle school English teacher

High school English, Latin, and history teacher

Elementary school teacher


Shena Seipelo Matthews

Jiyana Maqubela

Roselyn Sehloho Peteni

Randall Peteni

Biology teacher


High school home economics teacher

English professor, author, known as “Mr. Shakespeare”

Temba Maqubela

Vuyelwa Peteni Maqubela

Headmaster, chemistry teacher

English teacher

nurturing presence in the village; Granny Matthews, a beloved librarian, music teacher, and performer; and the larger-than-life Z.K. Matthews. Of all the accomplishments, Temba seems most in awe of Z.K. Matthews’ humility—even when entertaining a world leader, Matthews would take him to a church service or a teachers’ union meeting “in the most humble of places.” His grandfather Matthews’ refrain was deeply ingrained: “No matter how educated you are, no matter who you are around, always maintain your humility.” The words still ring as loudly as ever today. “I look at the Groton opportunity with that in mind, that whatever happens, the job should not change me—in terms of seeing people as people first,” Temba

says. “Then I can see other things later.” Granny Matthews’ father, the Reverend John Knox Bokwe, was a composer and writer, and he also founded a school to serve both blacks and poor whites. A friend and contemporary of Bokwe’s was Pambani Jeremiah Mzimba, founder of the First Presbyterian Free Church of Africa and great-grandfather to Vuyelwa Peteni, the woman Temba would marry. The families were intertwined generations ago, long before Temba and Vuyelwa met, and Matthews taught Vuyelwa’s father, Randall Peteni. Matthews modeled humility and intellectualism, but he also led a life of political activism in the name of justice—a mantle that Temba and many in his family carried. A provincial


just wasted energy. You didn’t want to dwell on being afraid because you would not be able to accomplish what was a very big task.”


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Ellen Harasimowicz

“Fear was

president of the African National Congress (ANC), Matthews was among 156 people— including most of the ANC members and his student, Nelson Mandela—who were tried in South Africa’s treason trials, beginning in 1956. He was arrested during the 1960 state of emergency and detained for several months, Temba says. The day that police stormed Temba’s biology class was far from the first time they had detained members of his prominent family. And Temba’s arrest was not entirely unexpected. The night before, a friend had driven 10 hours from Johannesburg to warn the four boys that police planned to detain them; they knew they were being watched for supporting an effort to overthrow the government and its racist policies. At the time, Temba was on full scholarship to St. John’s and took his studies seriously. He would sneak out of the dorm to meet with fellow activists by night, and make it through classes the next day. “We were going to use a combination of brainpower, nonviolence, passive resistance, and cells throughout the country so we could paralyze the economy of the country,” Temba explains. Because all non-authorized political organizations were banned, his group worked entirely underground. With his grandfather and uncle arrested and exiled, and Nelson Mandela in prison, he knew he was risking his life. “People had already been killed and arrested and exiled for this type of work,” Vuyelwa says. “So he knew what was at stake.” Despite the family’s history of activism, Temba says his parents would not have supported his clandestine activities—had they known about them. “Oh no, my parents were just comfortable with the fact that I was going to go to medical school and would be a medical doctor,” he says. While he holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and completed a master’s and doctoral work at the University of Kentucky, Temba never fulfilled his plans for medical school and never received a high school diploma. Though virtually every male in his family was detained at some point for political activity, they typically weren’t involved at as

young an age as Temba. Years later, however, his younger brother would go into hiding at age 15 and not resurface for four years. Temba sighs, the parent in him lamenting the suffering that he and his brother made their parents endure. But he does not regret his actions: Temba, like many others, was willing to die for the cause. He was not so much fearless as unwilling to give up precious time to fear. “Fear was just wasted energy,” he says. “You didn’t want to dwell on being afraid because you would not be able to accomplish what was a very big task. “There comes a time when life is not more important than the lives of people who are suffering.”

The Escape After the Arrest in biology class, temba and his three classmates were released on the condition that they report to the police station daily, which they did for two days, until they received intelligence that they were about to be arrested and jailed. they took off for soweto, a section of Johannesburg wracked with protest over government policies. they arrived during the famed soweto Uprising; the chaos, says temba, helped him hide from authorities. the four stayed about a week before crossing the border into Botswana. “the police were looking for us,” temba says. “We were wanted. And they were searching for us all over the country.”

Vuyelwa, who started dating temba two years before his arrest, learned about his exile from temba’s brother, who was in town for a family funeral. “I was as clueless as his parents,” she says. Once in Botswana, temba and his three friends turned themselves in to police. “that was the only way we were going to get protection as political refugees,” he says. Protection was relative, however, because the border didn’t deter south African authorities. After about a year in Botswana, always on the move, he relocated to Nigeria, where he earned a scholarship to the University of Ibadan and completed his chemistry degree with honors. he would spend nearly seven years in Nigeria before moving back to Botswana. During this

A day after the Board of Trustees announced his appointment, Temba Maqubela received an enthusiastic welcome in the Hall. Students greeted him with boisterous applause, then listened with rapt attention.


hadn’t seen each other in eight years. “We just looked at each other, and the rest is history,” she says. “The rest is history,” Temba repeats. It was January 1, 1984, ten years to the day since they had first met. A few months later, they were engaged, but Vuyelwa was still living in South Africa and Temba in Botswana. He was still a wanted man, and police watched Vuyelwa’s every move. She visited her fiancé every couple weeks, each time dutifully reporting to authorities. Police questioned her regularly. Memories overwhelm Vuyelwa as she tells the story. “Oh, my God, where do I begin?” she says. “At the border gates they would stop

Gia Kim ’13

Temba and Vuyelwa Maqubela met with the Form of 2014 at Parlor last spring.

time, he and Vuyelwa corresponded, courting by letter. She would receive cards and letters with various postmarks, but she was never quite sure where he was. “They never had any return address because it wasn’t safe for him to divulge his whereabouts,” she says. “Every once in a while, I would get something from him that showed me he was still alive out there somewhere.” The two finally reconnected, by chance, at a New Year’s Eve party in Botswana in 1984. “It was right at midnight, right around then,” said Vuyelwa. “He walked right in with his cousins, and the way I was seated I was pretty much the first person he saw when he walked in the door. We just looked at each other. We


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Coincidence or Meant to Be me and search me and question me, but eventually let me go. Sometimes they would detain me until the border gates closed. They would close at 10, so they would keep me in their rooms and release me at 10:01. So I’d sleep in the car and wake up in the morning and keep driving into Botswana,” she continues. “They did that a few times. “The police came to the school where I was teaching in Johannesburg, and my principal didn’t give them access to me. They came to my home. My mother wouldn’t give them access. . . . Ultimately they gave me a summons, and so I went to the police station. Of course I was afraid and scared. They could come up with any trumped-up charge. Even in their eyes I hadn’t done anything wrong. So what were they going to charge me with?” What the police wanted shocked Vuyelwa. “I went there, and they pretty much wined and dined me. They asked me to be a spy, to spy on Temba and his comrades and everything they were doing and give them information that could lead to their arrest. That’s not how they put it. They put it nicely. ‘Just observe. See what they’re doing.’” They served Vuyelwa tea. They offered her a house, a car, a stipend. “All I’d have to do is keep doing what I’m doing—visiting Botswana, going to the meetings. Every once in a while I should report in and tell them what was going on.” She told the white policemen, “Oh, what a novel idea. I’ll have to think about that.” Any remaining naiveté crumbled as Vuyelwa realized just how easily the police recruited spies, especially among people who did not come from a middle class family like hers. She went home, packed, resigned from her teaching job, and moved to her sister’s, near the border with Botswana. “They were being nice—next time they were going to be harassing me,” she says. From her sister’s, crossing the border was simpler, and she continued visiting Temba until they were married a few months later, in January 1985, at St. John’s Cathedral in Gaborone, Botswana. Temba was teaching at Maru-a-Pula


Temba’s high school was St. John’s College. Temba and Vuyelwa married in St. John’s Cathedral. The headmaster gave his first Groton Chapel Talk on September 10 in St. John’s Chapel. Temba knew about Groton before any other school in America because he taught at a school in Botswana where many Grotonians volunteered. Temba taught science at Maru-a-Pula School from January 1984 until March 1986. The school’s founder, Dean Yates, sought support from Groton for Maru-a-Pula in 1971. It’s unknown whether any Grotonians were at Maru-a-Pula while Temba was there, but Hadley Stack ’14 was at Maru-aPula just this past summer.

School in Gaborone, where many of the guests stayed. The wedding, a noon-to-midnight affair, hosted by Granny Matthews, was more than the usual celebration of a couple’s union. “It became a political expression by people of South Africa willing to fight against apartheid,” Temba says. “We sent out 250 invitations. More than 1,000 people came. They came from thousands of miles to be at this wedding. They crossed borders to say that love would defeat apartheid.” Temba and Vuyelwa say they danced with joyous abandon at their wedding, despite the fact that spies likely were among the throng of guests. Retelling the story from their living room in Andover, they flash back for a moment and recall one suspected spy, a friend of the family, stopping to fix Vuyelwa’s father’s tie.


Temba’s grandmother knew of the attic hiding place for the baby, where they had arranged a soft sleeping spot, just in case.

Annie Card

Temba and Vuyelwa Maqubela

Five months after the wedding, the South African defense force crossed into Botswana and staged a bloody attack, the infamous Raid on Gaborone. “I was supposed to have died in that raid, but because I had just gotten married and my housing had been changed, they went to the wrong house,” Temba says. “The guy who was my witness, who went to sign to get us married, was killed—one of my best friends. And many others.” For weeks, a car was parked outside the Maqubelas’ Botswana home, about a mile from Maru-a-Pula School, round the clock. They were under surveillance. For safety, the young couple slept in different places each night, sometimes having dinner at home then slipping out the back. By this time, their firstborn, Kanyi, had arrived. “We would scale a wall and lay with our baby,” Temba says. He mentions an old friend who recently wrote to congratulate him on his Groton position. “I slept with him in the staff room at school,” Temba recalls. Most nights the Maqubelas

stayed with friends, but never in the same place as the night before. Temba’s grandmother lived nearby and knew of the attic hiding place for the baby, where they had arranged a soft sleeping spot, just in case. If anything happened to Temba and Vuyelwa, she was to go there for Kanyi. Granny, as Temba calls her, visited their Botswana home regardless who was watching. “From her husband’s time she had already done this and she was defiant,” Vuyelwa says. Granny, whose husband, Z.K. Matthews, taught Nelson Mandela, is among the few who visited Mandela in prison.

A Hard Landing in Manhattan By THIS TIMe , the couple had applied for resettlement as political refugees in the United States, Canada, and Australia. They hadn’t abandoned their cause, but they wanted to give Kanyi a life of opportunity, not persecution. eventually, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) sponsored the family and moved them to New york City, where for the first three weeks they lived in a homeless shelter, the Hotel Latham, on east 28th Street near Fifth Avenue. “We would queue up to get meals from soup kitchens. And we also were on food stamps,” Temba says. Life was hard, but they knew things would improve. “We were happy because we knew we were educated and we were going to get out of it,” he says. “That’s how education liberates. It gives you a perspective.” “We felt safe. We were safe from persecution,” Vuyelwa adds. They lived on $60 a week. Temba first got a job as a cashier and coat checker at the Museum of Natural History, at minimum wage. During the four months he worked there, both of them took a teaching exam and qualified for positions in a public school. Temba’s first teaching job in America was at Long Island City High School in Queens, where

continued on page 20 18

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Lionel Delevingne /Courtesy of Phillips Academy, Andover

Always a Teacher During the early years at Phillips Academy, Andover

When Temba left Andover, many of his former students sent notes in his honor, which the school compiled into a book. Among the memories they shared: “I first met the Maqs when I enrolled in Mr. Maq’s Chem 55 class (without any prior chemistry background) during my Upper Year. By the second week in the trimester, I was so overwhelmed that I requested to drop to Chem 30. Mr. Maq told me to stay in his class. . . . For the rest of the trimester, I spent nearly every other evening at the Maqs’ home cranking through problem sets. The Maqs never once lost patience with me. That year, I miraculously achieved a very good score in the AP Chem exam. I could not have done it without the Maqs’ guidance and support.” — Lillian Kiang PA ’96 “Mr. Maq was endlessly patient with me. I spent almost all of my conference periods with him trying to learn what was evading me, which was most of the material. … He would not let me give up. … Fast forward to my current career. … I’m a chemistry

teacher at an NYC public school. I went from being on the very brink of failing chemistry to teaching it! I can honestly say that Mr. Maq is the reason I teach chemistry today. His spirit and patience inspired me to follow in his footsteps.” — Shani Goodson PA ’02 “A few months into my 11th grade advanced chem course with Mr. Maqubela, I was almost failing … When I received my first term report, Mr. Maq suggested to my parents that I switch to another course. … This suggestion was all the motivation I needed … there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to be in his class. … I can still feel the rush of satisfaction I felt when I finally earned a higher test grade than that earned by one of our class’ top students. Mr. Maq … taught us about Chemistry, but he wasn’t afraid to insert his memories, experiences, and connections into the lessons. He showed us

how every exercise, homework assignment, and experiment could have a bearing on our understanding of the world.” — Laurel Ingraham Aquadro PA ’02 “You took one of the hardest subjects I’ve ever encountered and you made it fun. You tutored me when I wasn’t your student, gave me advice when I wasn’t your advisee, and remained a constant support in my Andover career — in the classroom, at your dining room table doing chemistry problems, and on the sidelines of the track.” — Shannon Adams PA ’12 “One of the greatest commonalities I found with Andover students and parents across the globe was their love for this indisputably lovable couple. … I think the root of their magnetism is their ability to know themselves, and in so doing, discern what is right for

themselves, their children, their students, their peers, their school, and even their country.” — Kara Hollis PA ’07

A story about the Maqubelas in Andover magazine concluded with this observation by Andover Trustee Steve Sherrill: “What will be irreplaceable will be the incredible inspirational message that they have delivered. Every kid that they have touched has felt it. … It goes something like this: ‘Here is somebody who likes me. Here is somebody who cares for me, so much that sometimes they will support me and sometimes they will demand more of me. Here is somebody that comes from a very different place than me yet seems like a parent to me.’ Groton students will learn soon enough how lucky they are.”


Temba was an enthusiastic mentor, known for believing in his students even when they didn’t believe in themselves.


he taught chemistry. Vuyelwa would later substitute in public schools, but first taught English as a second language part-time at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “They had late afternoon and evening hours so I would leave home at about 2 on the train and Temba would leave his work at the same time, and we would meet in Times Square and exchange the baby,” Vuyelwa says. Kanyi thrived. “He was chubby and precocious and just happy. A happy, happy baby,” says Vuyelwa, who made sure Kanyi ate three full meals, no different than children of means in New York. “We had one meal, but our baby had three meals a day. Three square meals a day. Fruit. Veggies. Juice. He had everything.” She remembers buying fish with food stamps at a high-end grocery store in Manhattan, eliciting stares from the cashiers. After a year teaching in Long Island City, Temba heard about an opening at Phillips Academy, Andover. He started as a chemistry teacher and, 26 years later, would leave as assistant head for academics and dean of faculty—and still a dedicated teacher. He plans to teach organic chemistry at Groton. Vuyelwa taught English at Andover (as she does at Groton), coached track, and headed a dormitory for 25 years; at many times through the years, she championed increased access to educational opportunity. She has directed the Independent School South Africa Education Program; launched, with her husband and other colleagues, a summer program, the African Studies Institute; and co-directed the Andover Breadloaf Writing Workshop. Before teaching at Andover, she was diversity director and English teacher at Pingree School, a fifth grade teacher at the Pike School, and an English teacher at Fidelitas High School in Soweto. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Fort Hare in South Africa, a master’s degree in education from Lesley University, and did post-graduate work at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The Maqubelas’ three children, Kanyi, Pumi, and Tebs, grew up at Phillips Academy, Andover, from which they graduated. Among Temba’s proudest achievements,

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he says, are the students he taught who went on to their own teaching careers. In fact, five former students—all of them women—taught chemistry at Andover; three are still teaching, one is a chemical engineer, and the other is studying medicine. Temba was an enthusiastic mentor, known for believing in his students even when they didn’t believe in themselves. He routinely met with a group on Sunday mornings to keep them on track, and often spurred a struggling student beyond an academic impasse. Many gained confidence and moved on to more advanced work in the sciences. During his Andover tenure, Temba chaired the Chemistry Department and directed (MS)2, a summer program that strengthens math and science skills among economically disadvantaged African American, Latino, and Native American public high school students. He launched the ACE Scholars Program, which tackles the preparation gap among gifted students, and took the lead on Andover’s Global Perspectives Group, which focuses on global education for students and faculty. Groton School’s Board of Trustees recognized how well Temba’s experience, leadership, and values fit with the School’s mission. After an exhaustive search that yielded numerous qualified candidates, Board President James H. Higgins summed up the search committee’s decision last October: “Groton’s leader must have intellectual depth and curiosity; be decisive yet dedicated to collaboration; engage the School community warmly, as family; possess a comforting core of spiritual grounding and discovery; and exhibit unceasing drive for excellence, open access, and an appreciation of the world around us,” he said. “Temba Maqubela is such a person.”

No One Is a Stranger TEMBA FrEQUENTLY USES the word “inclusion.” “Boarding schools of course can be considered elitist,” he says, “but at their most fundamental they’re about community—about how to start a village where children are never

sometimes fateful, messages. Indeed, the Maqubelas’ names reveal much about their lives. Their eldest son, Kanyi (short for Sikanyiselwe), 28, was born when they believed their struggle was nearly over; his name, roughly translated from Xhosa, means “we see light at the end of the tunnel.” Pumi (for Pumelele), 25, was their first child born in America; his name means “succeeded.” Tebs (a nickname for Tebogo, his father’s middle name) simply means “thanksgiving”: Temba and Vuyelwa were grateful when he arrived 20 years ago. Temba means hope, faith, trust. Vuyelwa means joy. So how does the name Maqubela—a four-syllable word punctuated with a Xhosa click of the throat—tell their story, and perhaps the story of Groton? Maqubela means progress.

Vuyelwa and Temba with their children, (from left) Kanyi, a recent graduate of Stanford University; Tebs, a current student at Boston College; and Pumi, a recent graduate of Dartmouth College

Ellen Harasimowicz

lost, where no one is a stranger. Everyone belongs. We’ll be continuing and building upon Groton’s excellence and the sense of belonging and inclusion here.” He is determined to tackle the preparation gap—the fact that not all students arrive at Groton with the same skills and education. “If we as an institution exclude by not leveling the playing field, consciously or unconsciously, we are wasting resources,” he says. “We are failing our obligation for inclusion.” The Maqubelas’ own story of inclusion winds through countries and decades, through poverty, persecution, courage, and opportunity. Their journey has been an odyssey, their life a mission, their tale an epic. Yet much of their story can be summarized through just a few words: their names. In South Africa, naming children is a serious endeavor, and names carry powerful,


A Day at the Symphony Groton musicians watched the pros rehearse, took master classes, then performed on the storied stage themselves. Groton School’s Chamber Orchestra spent a day with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in April, learning from master musicians and performing on the acclaimed Symphony Hall stage. The Groton orchestra, conducted by Timothy Terranella, played an afternoon program for parents and friends that included “Danse macabre, Op. 40” by Camille Saint-Saëns, featuring a violin solo by Stephanie Kim ’13; “Pavane pour une infante défunte” by Maurice Ravel; and “Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)”—Overture by Giaochino Rossini. Watch a video of the day on our website’s music pages, at

Thanks to Director of Instrumental Music Mary Ann Lanier for orchestrating the memorable day with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 22

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The Groton School Chamber Orchestra (left), performing on stage at Boston’s Symphony Hall

Above, Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) violist Cathy Basrak teaches a master class with (from left) Christopher Rim ’16, Lillian Harris ’15, Albert Zhu ’16, JJ Kim ’14, and Naomi Primero ’13. Center right, Alaric Krapf ’15, Ade Osinubi ’14, Chelsea Alexander ’14, and Johnathan Terry ’13 learn technique from BSO flutist Cindy Meyer. Bottom right, Groton

Photos by Gail Friedman

instruments at home in a Symphony Hall lobby.


Above, Boston Symphony Timpanist Dan Baucher conducted a master class for Ben Altshuler ’13 on timpani, Cynthia Fang ’14 on piano, and KT Choi ’14 on harp.

Left, an animated Mihail Jojatu, a cellist with the BSO, gives one-on-one guidance to Evan Haas ’15.


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Photos by Kenji Kukuchi

jAZZ Jazz Musicians Meet the Pros Too


embers of the Berklee School of Music’s Concert Jazz Orchestra visited Groton in April, coaching student musicians and performing

a public concert in the Hall. The Berklee bandleader,

Greg Hopkins, coached Groton’s jazz ensemble, Soul Sauce, focusing on “Mofongo” by Bob Mintzer, which the group performed during its spring concert. “He worked with the saxophones on accuracy, getting more energy into their playing and tightening up their ensemble,” said Groton’s Director of

Instrumental Music Mary Ann Lanier. Hopkins also helped the rhythm section — piano, guitar, bass, and drums — and the horns — trumpet, clarinet, and alto and tenor saxophone.

Before Berklee’s professional performance, the musicians joined the Groton students, playing side by side. “In a very short time, Greg and the great Berklee players inspired our students and taught them by example,” Mary Ann said.


Prize Day 2013

Photos by Mike Sperling


o well!” As the traditional words were spoken, the straw boaters, on cue, leapt into the air, signaling the close of Groton School’s 128th Prize Day. June 2 was transitional not only for the 78 members of the Form of 2013, but also for the School and for Headmaster Richard B. Commons. “This is only the seventh Prize Day that has marked the end of a headmaster’s tenure,” said Board of Trustees President James H. Higgins, who lauded the outgoing headmaster as “the leading exemplar” of Groton’s mission and values. Rick introduced his successor, Temba Maqubela, and his wife, Vuyelwa, during the Sunday morning ceremony. Tobias Wolff, the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University and the author of books including This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army, delivered the keynote address. Rick Commons, while introducing Wolff, noted that the graduates “have been moved and inspired by your work since reading This Boy’s Life in Third Form.” In a speech brimming with literary references, Wolff talked of the search for self, noting that the process is complicated, with experiences over time contributing to each character, each self. “One of the reasons I think I love literature so much is that it is a theater of self-creation,” he said. He began his speech by noting the general tenor of literary references to boarding schools. “Most of the literature about boarding schools I’ve read—and I’ve read quite a bit of it—takes a rather sour view,” he said, noting works by George Orwell, William Trevor, and others. The author himself reported a mixed experience at The Hill School in Pennsylvania, from which he ultimately was expelled. He described “a severe place,” with strict discipline, but also one that prized intellectual argument. Graduating senior Gideon Lovell-Smith was chosen by his peers to speak (see his speech on page 32). “Groton is a place of simple joys, simple lessons, simple truths,” Gideon said. “Plain and simple, it’s a place where we’ve grown up.” 26

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Senior prefect Christopher King ’13 and Sinclaire Brooks ’13




Pr iz



The Active Work of Prize Day in another way, as well. In the 129-year history of Groton School, this is only the seventh Prize Day that has marked the end of a headmaster’s tenure. After a decade of distinguished service, I know Mr. Commons is sharing the very same emotions that you feel, as he turns the page to a new chapter in his life. This Prize Day will forever link all of you with him and him with

Board of Trustees President James H. Higgins III P’02, ’06 delivered the following address:


love Prize Day! I have probably said that almost every year I’ve been on the dais, but it’s true. I am always affected by its special roller-coaster rhythm of emotions. Beginning with the solemnity of Chapel, through the pageantry and joyfulness of receiving diplomas, cheering friends, and tossing hats, to the heart-wrenching poignancy of the final handshake on the Circle, it fills your heart first with pride for all that’s been accomplished, then hungry anticipation for the unknown that lies ahead, and finally nostalgia for the loss of what is now slipping behind. For all of you in the front rows— the Form of 2013—I know you are on that ride right now. How could you not be? Today marks that unique and indelible moment when you are turning the page from one whole chapter in the story of your life to another. But today is unique and indelible


Groton School Quarterly

Danielle Kimball ’13, Board of Trustees President James H. Higgins iii, and former Headmaster richard B. Commons

you in that special common bond. But when the roller coaster of today comes to a rest, what is it that you will take with you as you step forward into what the Rector memorably called “the active work of your life?” I believe that, more than the accumulated knowledge of all your courses, more than the memories and friendships, and more than the prizes and diplomas, it will be a constant voice within you relentlessly urging you to

Fall 2013

live up to Groton’s mission: to live a life inspired by “character, learning, leadership, and service.” Those are memorable words, of course, and you have heard them many times before throughout your time around the Circle. But it is one thing to remember them and to feel their exhortation, and quite another to put them into practice in a noisy world where many may not hold these ideals in such high regard. Character requires the selfless integrity and courage to speak the truth, even when it is difficult or unpopular, the capacity to be kind, optimistic, and joyful, even while focusing on the most serious and difficult things. Above all, it requires a spiritual reflectiveness to search for and live up to a higher meaning and purpose. A life of learning demands a constant restless hunger for the discovery of new facts and new ideas, even when others would prefer to stay with the comfort of the currently known. It requires the discipline to test your ideas against the strongest critiques from any quarter, and the effort always to imagine what could be and to ask both why and why not. Leading requires the ability to craft a vision and to communicate it compellingly, even to the most recalcitrant doubters. It demands the willingness to give credit freely to others for their successes and the strength to take responsibility yourself for their mistakes. Most of all, it demands the ability to harness the capabilities of others,

and the restraint not to dictate every answer. To serve requires empathy for the feelings and needs of others, even when they are not your friends. It demands a fundamental commitment to justice in all that you do, even when it may not serve your own interest, and throughout you must strive to build the bonds of community. Let’s be honest—living up to even one of these ideals isn’t easy; the endeavor to live a life inspired by all of them is a tall order in anyone’s book! But I know that, because of your time here, each of you will meet that challenge well, and will do so in your own distinctive way. But I also know there will be times when that challenge will seem almost too great, when how to meet it will not be that clear, and those will come most probably just when you feel the great pressure of others looking to you to lead by example. I believe that at such times you will always be able to find the needed strength, guidance, and support by remembering this Prize Day, by remembering the unique bond you share with Mr. Commons because of

it, and then by reflecting on how he always conducted himself during your time on the Circle. For he has lived all these ideals each and every day you were with him. Following his example will ease your doubts, point the way to the better course, and guide you to be an exceptional leader in an inspired life. If Prize Day is that unique and indelible moment as you move from one of your life’s chapters to the next, then it seems also to be the perfect moment for you to offer your own unique and indelible expression of your gratefulness to those who have made this chapter of Groton experience possible. I would like to ask all of you, the Form of 2013, to please now stand, and to turn and face your parents and your families, your faculty and your friends. I know that you would like to give them a heartfelt round of your grateful applause. Now I would like to ask all of you who are here today to join the Form of 2013 in standing: Rick—in every day that you have been on the Circle, you have always been an exemplar of Groton’s mission

and values. On behalf of all those students and families who have known you over the past decade, and of the whole Groton community, we now offer you the most meaningful award that one Grotonian can give to another —our deepest respect and grateful thanks for a decade of inspiring Groton lives of character, learning, leadership, and service—cui servire est regnare! Let me finish with the same note of personal sentiment to the Form of 2013 as I have in each of the past years that I have had the privilege to be on this dais. In my own life, I have found there have been very few times when one is surrounded by so many family and friends who simultaneously admire you so greatly, love you so much, are so appreciative of your friendship, are so proud of your accomplishments, and who wish you so much success in your future. This is your Prize Day at Groton School, and it is one of those times. Drink deeply of today, for it will sustain you for the rest of your lives. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Groton community, I salute you, the Form of 2013.

Drink deeply of today, for it will sustain you for the rest of your lives.”




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The Truth Behind the Fun Form

After bidding farewell to departing faculty members, Headmaster Rick Commons addressed the Form of 2013:


arly in your time at Groton, the older students dubbed you “The Fun Form,” and you have given truth to that title, but not in the ways that anyone could have expected. When you were young, I remember that your prefects were concerned that you seemed too carefree, not intimidated enough by the rigorous cultural codes of this place. Having experienced much more than your share of heartbreak in the years since then, you have not lost your ability to have a great deal of fun, but you have also distinguished yourselves as anything but careless, demonstrating unprecedented commitment to what is the most vital cultural currency in this or any other


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community—relationships. It was your class that forever changed the nature of Sixth Form orientation by asking that it be discussion- rather than lecture-based, emphasizing relationships between prefects and faculty and asking for open, honest, and regular communication. Our small-group discussions on that September evening set the tone for the year and have paid huge dividends, giving us the strength to work through community challenges together and giving us the platform for conversations that build relationships, whether at check-in, at Parlor, or in the Chapel. I cannot mention the Chapel without pausing, because it ought to

Fall 2013

be said that your Chapel Talks have been simply outstanding, perhaps the greatest collection of talks the School has witnessed. In years past, I have heard the cynics say that there are really only three or four Chapel Talks in existence; they’re just rewritten with the names and places changed. Your collection of talks has defeated that notion forever, each one offering something original and yet connected to the wholeness of the Circle. Your talks have not said, “Look at me, I’m special.” Rather they have said, “Look at me and understand how my story, and perhaps yours too, can fit into the us that is the essence of this place.” Your focus on inclusivity, community, and positive relationships

Sixth Form jubilation: top, Suzanna Hamer and Taehoon Lee, Tom Santinelli, India Dial; middle, Naomi Wright, Starling Irving and Hugh McGlade, Gia Kim; bottom, Nimesha Gerlus and Matt Johnson, Loulie Bunzel, Analia Del Bosque and Cam DiSarcina

What a perfect conclusion for the Fun Form — a Surprise Holiday that showed respect for the faculty and was a selfless gift to the student body and the School.”

with faculty was on its most colorful display on a hot Tuesday morning in May, when you surprised us all with a dunk tank in front of the Schoolhouse, a Spiderman bounce house in the Schoolroom, a full-scale carnival in the Hall. Assuming the tired tradition of a filibuster was afoot, the deans and I made reluctant plans to start classes late, shorten practices, and cancel Sit-down Dinner. Then four of you came to my office and said you had no intention of intruding upon your teachers’ plans, you would only ask them to shorten their classes if they possibly could. Genius, sheer genius, as you knew that the Groton faculty, for all their academic intensity, when left with the

decision themselves, would not be able to resist joining in the fun. Mr. G., incidentally, was placed on restriction for his aggressiveness in dropping the headmaster in the dunk tank. What a perfect conclusion for the Fun Form—a Surprise Holiday that showed respect for the faculty and was a selfless gift to the student body and the School. As I said to you in the Chapel yesterday, your form has given many lasting gifts to Groton and to me. I could not be prouder of you and more grateful for the privilege of graduating with the Form of 2013. Thank you.




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Simple Joys, Simple Lessons, Simple Truths

The Form of 2013 chose Gideon Lovell-Smith to deliver the student Prize Day speech. In his introduction, Rick Commons introduced Gideon as “a young man known for his many injuries, his love of the outdoors, his independent spirit, and his ability to combine memorable wit and deep kindness in his interactions with absolutely everyone.”


Student Prize Day Speaker Gideon Lovell-Smith ’13

Groton School Quarterly


wo days ago, the deadline to write a speech was looming larger and larger and I had nothing to show for it. I was getting a little bit worried. I had gone through two topics already that I had thought were great until I started to write them and found otherwise. . . . At my lowest point of productivity and highest of procrastination, I looked to Mr. Commons for help. We sat in his office while I explained my problem and asked how I could possibly remedy the situation without embarrassing the School when I stepped up to the podium. He, however, did not seem fazed and gave me some helpful advice: go away. What he really meant was to spend time collecting my thoughts away from campus. So I grabbed a bike and just raced away.

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I found myself after a bit of peddling on the rail trail, a little ways from campus. I had been there before, but mostly in the direction of town, so instead I headed right on a path that stretched onwards, a green subway tunnel with no end in sight. It was such a beautiful, hot day, and some bikers had also escaped to the trail—mostly older men who all seemed to love to wear these spandex racing suits, which from the back were not particularly flattering. So I tried to wipe the image from my mind to focus on my own business. After a ways I passed what I knew to be Lake Romeyn, and stopped at a stone bench that overlooked the wildlife reserve. There I sat with my feet in the water listening to the shrill buzzing of some bugs in the cattails. The water around me was very flat and was only interrupted by the splashes of stones, which I was absentmindedly chucking. It really was a beautiful day, maybe the best of the year so far. So I kept biking past the lake, past some enormous electric towers, onto a road, then another, until I reached the end. The striking marshlands had morphed into downtown Ayer, where the asphalt began to develop cracks and the buildings to look like they were degrading in the sweltering heat. I had gone a long way, and while I had not figured out exactly what I would be writing, I had come to realize how much I would be missing the place where I had come from. So I headed home.

The French writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir has this quote that I have held onto for some time for its relevancy to this very day. She says: “The ideal of happiness has always taken material form in the house ... It stands for permanence and separation from the world.” Here at Groton, the degree to which we are separated from the world is well known. The fact that in my five years at School I had never been on that trail shows the level of isolation that we students live in. But I think this separation is essential to the permanence that is so vital to this place. The house of Groton School is not just the buildings, like the Schoolhouse or the Chapel, nor is it the Circle or the woods around it, but it is the very life of this place. It is its own entity, something entirely unique. The problem, however, is how to describe this in concrete terms. No School mission or Latin phrase can sum up a place suitably, nor can a single speech. It is maybe

only a feeling or welling of a sensation that can best express a smidgen of what I’m trying to say. Frankly, I have no idea how to do that. On this Prize Day, under this tent, what I feel is a great sense of uncertainty and confusion. There will no longer be another Groton year to prepare for, no more Groton tasks designated for us, no more Groton sports to train for, no more Groton elections to be held. We have just been handed the steering wheel and we mustn’t lose control. It is easy to look to the past for some clarity, for something that we hold dear, and for a sense of solace. Our memories here on the Circle have provided ample fodder for the tear-fueled gush fest that is Prize Day. The phrase “remember when” is thrown around so much that it’s starting to sound like an overplayed song. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you today some of my favorite and most cherished “remember whens.”

Rick Commons bids farewell to Fred and Cindy Beams

The boathouse was a significant part of my Third Form experience. . . . Devan Malhotra [and I] had both missed the bus to St. Mark’s, so we killed time with a leisurely stroll. It had started to snow lightly as we shuffled down the boathouse path. The air was cold but so quiet, and the woods around us had a magical feel. I’m not quite sure what the two of us talked about, but I felt I had found a friend on that walk and so I have cherished

Chinedu Okorafor (center), Meghan Harvey (right)




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that memory for a long time. . . . Later that year, during spring term, my form spent a lot of time swimming in the Nashua, also down at the boathouse. After crew had ended, and the water had warmed up, hordes of students would run down and jump in the water to cool off . . . . Our form spent hours horsing around on the dock, and it was there, I think, that we solidified our name as the “fun form.” Near the end of that year, during exam week, Pranay and I distracted ourselves from studying by “borrowing” a canoe down there and paddling it down river with nothing but a 2-by-4 and our hands. During Fourth Form year, walks down to the

boathouse were less frequent, but it has remained a place where I have found peace and a place to get away. There was no greater time, however, to get away from campus during my Fourth Form year than the legendary senior filibuster. While our carnival a few weeks ago cannot be matched in creativity, planning, and just solid fun, I have to credit the Form of 2011 for the sheer ambition and panache needed to hide the whole school in the woods for half a day. What I remember best of that day was when we all spent the hours on the run from the deans. I will be safe and out of here in a few minutes, so I get to tell you all how incredibly exhilarating it was

Federico Marchese, Brad Uhm, and adam Hardej


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to be chased by Mr. Beams in the gator and see his eyebrows furl visibly in frustration from 20 feet away. And while he was driving madly around the triangle dissecting the Groton masses into small groups, Mr. Commons came at us with a bicycle, storming down a woodland path. The hysteria that gripped the School was so wild that if someone had shouted, “he’s coming,” suddenly the whole School would have lurched forward like a herd of wildebeest, trampling over one another to save themselves. . . . In the end, we all returned to School in time for lunch feeling much more cheerful as a result. No real harm was caused that day; I think

When I returned during Fifth Form winter, the place immediately seemed both familiar and different, or maybe it was just me that had changed.”

the event united the School at a time when it needed it most. The only person I really feel sorry for, however, is Chris Higginson, who on that day was one very bewildered revisit. These memories are happy ones— times that made me feel like a part of this place, and made me feel at home. But I can’t say that it was always like that. For me, the path to and from Groton has always been straight and clear, but that doesn’t mean I have always wanted to be on it. By the end of Fourth Form, I needed to run away. It felt like the idea of happiness that De Beauvoir talked about was too elusive on Farmers Row. And so I left. I went to a semester school in Colorado, where at High Mountain Institute, the air was cleaner, the sky was bigger, and my mind was more at ease. I was hiking every day there, living in a cabin with no electricity, taking all my classes outside, and learning what it was like to step back from the world.

Ihu Erondu with former Director of Parent Programs Julia Alling

Keynote speaker Tobias Wolff

The world around me started to slow, and what was blurry before came into focus. It made me realize that no matter how much you are attached to a place, no matter how wonderful or terrible it may seem, there needs to be a shift in perspective in order to fully appreciate its context. I had this unique experience of leaving Groton and coming back. When I returned during Fifth Form winter, the place immediately seemed both familiar and different, or maybe it was just me that had changed. I was no longer sure of my standing in this place, and I certainly couldn’t fix it by jumping in the frozen Nashua. What I came to realize as spring arrived was that being at Groton no longer defined me entirely. While you grow in many ways during your years here, this place changes as well. It is a living, breathing entity. It is vital to realize that the relationship between student and School goes both ways. We are part of the Circle just as much as it is part of us. That is the home we strive to find; the very soul of Groton is just a mirror image of each one of your familiar faces. Form of 2013, we leave more than just a name on a plaque today, and we take more away than just a flimsy diploma. Never before has a form gone through so much in its time here yet come out of it so strong. We have done this together, all 78 of us.




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We are romantic, adventurous, joyful, hopeful, and, more than anything, brave. We have had great teachers and coaches, we have learned much and, on occasion, survived harder lessons than were originally set. These have tested our fortitude and friendships and, still, I hope we have left our mark on this School in a wonderful way. Groton is a place of simple joys, simple lessons, and simple truths. Plain and simple: It’s a place where we have grown up. And this nostalgia, this “I don’t know what is happening to me” experience, is absolutely necessary. We all live in a state of confusion, which trips us up at every turn. We want to look behind to where we have been before, to center ourselves, to stick our roots in familiar soil. But we have to move forward. Know now that the past behind was in reality just as confusing as the present is now. It is all just a matter of accepting a shifting perspective. When my mother was young, she would spend every summer with her French family in Normandy. There was a great big house on a hill with a farm below. She tells me her days were

Johnathan Terry and Julia alling (background, Francisco Fernandez)

Chinedu Okorafor, Cher Lei, Meghan Harvey, Nimesha Gerlus, alice Stites, Maeve Hoffstot, and Starling irving

spent mostly playing in the river and woods with her cousins. When the summer was ending, all her friends would head back to Paris and she would always be in tears. To make her feel better, her grandmother would quote the verse from an old poem, which feels particularly apt as we leave today. I am going to say this in French so bear with me:

Partir, c’est mourir un peu, C’est mourir à ce qu’on aime: On laisse un peu de soi-même, En toute heure et dans tout lieu. So what this means, and I hope Madame Stanton agrees with me:

To leave is to die a little, we leave a little of ourselves behind in each hour and in each place. 36

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As we bike down the road today we will leave a part of us behind. Every time you leave a place you leave a little piece of yourself, but you should not feel regret, but know that it will be there waiting for you. Thank you all, and thank you, Groton.

2013 Groton School Prizes The Charles Lanier Appleton Prize Awarded to members of the Sixth Form who have greatly served the School

The Butler Prize for Excellence in English Given by Mrs. Gilbert Butler

The Photography Prize

Marianna Cydni Gailus

The Upper School Shop Prize

Christopher Galvin King and Alice Marcellus Stites

The Dennis Crowley Drama Prize Given by Todd C. Bartels ’01 to a member of the Sixth Form who has made the greatest contribution to the theater program

Dominique Marie Danco and Peter Webster Mumford

The Bishop Julius Atwood Literature and History Prize Given by the late Right Reverend Julius Atwood to the best scholar in the combined fields of history and literature John David McCrossan The Rogers V. Scudder Classics Prize Given in memory of Rogers Scudder, a distinguished teacher of Classics and a much loved member of this community Benjamin Frederick Stevens Altshuler and Marianna Cydni Gailus The Roscoe C. Thomas Mathematics Prize Given by the Sixth Form of 1923 and awarded to a member of the Fifth Form for excellence in mathematics Shangyan Li and Jeong Jun ( JJ) Kim The Perry History Prize Given by Mrs. Eliza Endicott Perry to the best scholar in the field of history Marianna Cydni Gailus The Thorpe Science Prize Given by Mrs. Warren Thorpe to that member of the Sixth Form who has been the most successful in developing an appreciation of the spirit and meaning of science Andrea Tess Fisher

Alice Marcellus Stites The George Livingston Nichols Prize Awarded for the best essay on a historical subject Benjamin Frederick Stevens Altshuler The Modern Languages Prize Madeline Claire Bossi and Andrea Tess Fisher The Hudson Music Prize Given by the friends of William Clarke Hudson ’56 to show the recognition of effort and progress in music during the school year Marianna Cydni Gailus, Johnathan Bernard Terry, and Mitchell Chen Zhang The Isaac Jackson Memorial Prize Awarded to the best mathematics scholar in the Upper School Taehoon Lee and Christopher Galvin King The Reverend Frederic R . Kellogg Upper School Art Prize Given in his memory in recognition of distinguished work in art Charlotte Berkowitz, Cayley Geffen, and Ellie Dolan The Anita Andres Rogerson Dance Prize

Cheng Zhang

The Harvard Book Prizes Awarded to two members of the Fifth Form who exemplify excellence in scholarship and high character combined with achievement in other fields The first Harvard Book Prize, given by Harry Eldridge ’20 in memory of his brother Francis H. Eldridge ’24 Shangyan Li The second Harvard Book Prize, given by Mark A. Medlinsky ’76 in memory of his father Jeong Jun (JJ) Kim The Franklin D. Roosevelt Debating Prize Given in memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt 1900 by W. Averell Harriman 1909 Thomas Hugh McGlade III The G roTonIAn Creative Writing Prize Given by the Grotonian board of 1946 to a member of the Upper School for the best example of prose fiction written in the past year Melissa Cusanello The Endicott Peabody Memorial Prize Given in memory of the Reverend Endicott Peabody by the Sixth Form of 1945 for excellence in the field of religion and ethics Thomas Hugh McGlade III

Desiree Jones and Amy Zhang


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The Reginald Fincke Jr. Medal Given by the Sixth Form of 1928 in memory of 1st Lt. Reginald Fincke, Jr. and awarded to a member of the Sixth Form who has shown in athletics his qualities of perseverance, courage, and unselfish sportsmanship Peter Webster Mumford The Cornelia Amory Frothingham Athletic Prize Given by her parents and awarded to a girl in the Sixth Form who has demonstrated all-round athletic ability and has shown exemplary qualities of leadership and sportsmanship Maeve Elizabeth McMahon and Zandra Vivian (CC) Ho The O’Brien Prize Given by the Hoopes family to a member of the Lower School who has shown qualities of integrity, loyalty, enthusiasm, and concern for others Rosalie Louise Lovy

The Gadsden Prize Given in memory of Jeremiah Gadsden of the Form of 1968 by his classmates and friends to a member of the Fifth Form who has demonstrated inspirational leadership, encouraging social and interracial understanding in the Groton community Chelsea Alexander, Ade Osinubi, and Yowana Wamala The Tronic Award Given in honor of Michael G. Tronic and awarded to a member of the Sixth

Groton School Quarterly

Marianna Cydni Gailus and Eleanor Morgan Watson The Elizabeth and Margery Peabody Award Given to a member of the Sixth Form, other than a School prefect, whose contributions to the community demonstrate sensitivity, strength of character, leadership, and integrity Johnathan Bernard Terry The Monte J. and Anne H. Wallace Scholar Given to a student who has completed the Fourth Form in recognition of scholastic excellence as well as those qualities of character and commitment so important to the Groton community Malik Savoy McNeil Jabati The Laura J. Coolidge ’85 Poetry Prize Given in her memory by her husband Peter Touche to a member of the Upper School who has shown a love for the power of poetic expression and a sustained interest in writing and reading poetry

aria Kopp, Ben altshuler, and Starling irving


Form who has made especially good use of the resources of the library and has shown strong interest in the life of the mind

ryan Meuth, Pranay Sharma, Naomi Wright, Hugh McGlade

The following awards were presented on the Saturday evening before Prize Day: The John Jay Pierrepont Prize Given to the best mathematics scholar in the Lower School Yinjie (Peter) Zhang The Lower School Studio Art Prize Yang Hyun (Yanni) Cho The Lower School Shop Prize Malcolm Akinje and Nena Wallace Atkinson The Lower School Creative Writing Prize

Nicholas Pierce Funnell

Georgia Shanley Brainard

The Asma Gull Hasan 1993 C IRCLE V OICE Journalism Prize Acknowledges outstanding leadership in creating, editing, and producing the School’s newspaper

The Heard Poetry Prize

Ranfei (Anita) Xu The Carroll and John King Hodges Prize Given in memory of Carroll Hodges, Form of 1905, and John King Hodges, Form of 1910, to a Sixth Former who has distinguished him- or herself in a capacity to be designated by the headmaster Michael Ryan Meuth

Fall 2013

Olivia Anne Thompson The Choir Cup Emma Virginia Izard The Richard K. Irons Public Speaking Prize Established in 1972 by McGeorge Bundy ’36 and Arthur T. Hadley ’42 in honor of their teacher Richard K. (Doc) Irons, presented to the student who most logically and effectively presents his or her ideas during the R.K. Irons Speaking Contest, held at Groton each spring Thomas Hugh McGlade III

The Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award Given to a member of the Fifth Form who demonstrates exceptional promise in the sciences

The Jefferson Book Award Given to a member of the Fifth Form the faculty considers to best represent the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship

The Danforth Scholars Program at Washington University

Evan Caldwell Long

Adeiyewunmi (Ade) Bamidele Osinubi

The Rensselaer Medal Awarded to a Fifth Form student who has distinguished him- or herself in mathematics and science

The Dartmouth Book Award Given to a member of the Fifth Form who is of strong character, has made a positive impact on the life of the school community, and has excelled in at least one non-academic area

The John Montgomery Belk Scholar at Davidson College

Jeong Jun ( JJ) Kim The New England Science Teacher’s Award Madeline Claire Bossi The Fels Science Prize Given in honor of Stephen B. Fels, Form of ’58, awarded to a member of the Lower School who has demonstrated exceptional enthusiasm for and proficiency in the experimental aspects of scientific inquiry Angus Warren and Anna Thorndike The Bertrand B. Hopkins Environmental Sciences Prize Given by the Form of 1948

Evan Caldwell Long

Alexis Dorothea Ciambotti The Wellesley Book Prize Given to young women who have been top scholars in high school as well as talented performers in extracurricular areas Alexandra Elyse Dick The University of Chicago Book Prize Given to a member of the Fifth Form the faculty considers most dedicated in deep intellectual inquiry in a range of academic disciplines

Catherine Walker-Jacks, Bridget Bousa, Loulie Bunzel

The Roberston Scholarship at Duke University or the University of North Carolina

Zhihao (Amy) Zhang Yoonyoung (KT) Choi

Johann Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld

The Jefferson Scholarship at the University of Virginia

National Latin Exam certificate In recognition of a perfect score

Charlotte Bettle Gemes

John David McCrossan The Randolph College Classics Book Award Presented to a Fifth Former who has demonstrated achievement in, and enthusiasm for, the Classics

Genevieve Lorraine Corman

The Morehead-Cain Scholarship at University of North Carolina Ryan Meuth, George Bukawyn, Gary Lorden, and Nick Funnell

Adeiyewunmi (Ade) Bamidele Osinubi

Shangyan Li National Merit Scholarship Program John David McCrossan

The Williams Book Prize Given to a member of the Fifth Form who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school Charlotte Bettle Gemes

Nominees for merit scholarship competitions: The Ron Brown Scholars Program Atiba McReynolds


Form of 2013

Diplomas and Colleges Benjamin Frederick Stevens Altshuler Magna cum laude Gap year

Dominique Marie Danco Magna cum laude McGill University

Samuel Thomas Gosden Cum laude McGill University

Charlotte Berkowitz Cum laude Dartmouth College

Analía Del Bosque Magna cum laude Yale University

Carolyn Youmans Grenier Cum laude University of Virginia

Jacob Corey Berman Boston College

Arianna India Livingston Dial Cum laude Washington and Lee University

Suzanna Rosemary Jane Hamer Cum laude University of California at Los Angeles

Cameron James DiSarcina Merrimack College

Adam Joseph Hardej III Cum laude Princeton University

John James Bianco Cum laude Hamilton College Olivia Jane Bono Magna cum laude Dartmouth College

Ihuoma Nnenna Erondu Loyola Marymount University Francisco Javier Fernandez College of the Holy Cross

Madeline Claire Bossi Summa cum laude Pomona College

Andrea Tess Fisher Summa cum laude Stanford University

Bridget Fennessy Bousa Magna cum laude Williams College

Monifa Foluke Santa Clara University

William Sinclaire Brooks Wake Forest University George Casey Bukawyn Sewanee: The University of the South Lucretia Cole Bunzel Cum laude Washington University

Nimesha Gerlus Magna cum laude Brown University

Thomas Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil Dartmouth College Madeleine Helen Cohen Colby College Johann Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld Summa cum laude Harvard College

Groton School Quarterly

Marianna Cydni Gailus Summa cum laude Yale University Marissa Ann Garey University of Virginia

Daniel Santiago Castellanos Bard College


Nicholas Pierce Funnell Cum laude Bowdoin College

Fall 2013

Daniel Charles Glavin Cum laude University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Meghan Lynne Harvey University of Connecticut Patrick Sullivan Harvey Magna cum laude Bowdoin College Maria José Herrera Gomez Magna cum laude Brown University Zandra Vivian Ho Summa cum laude Stanford University Maeve Upson Hoffstot Harvard College Starling Burgess Irving Bowdoin College Emma Virginia Izard Wake Forest University Matthew Ryan Travers Johnson College of New Jersey Thea Louisa Johnson Magna cum laude Georgetown University Louisa Latham Johnston Occidental College

ze D Pri ay 2

3 01

Gia Christina Kim Babson College Stephanie Heeun Kim Summa cum laude Columbia University Danielle Marie Wong Kimball Summa cum laude Dartmouth College Christopher Galvin King Summa cum laude Princeton University Aria Kopp Southern Methodist University Edward Lee Villanova University Taehoon Lee Summa cum laude Carnegie Mellon University Cher Lei Cum laude California Polytechnic State University Gary Benjamin Lorden, Jr. University of Connecticut Gideon Francis Lovell-Smith University of Edinburgh

Thomas Hugh McGlade III Cum laude Emory University

Johnathan Bernard Terry Cum laude Yale University

Maeve Elizabeth McMahon Cum laude Harvard College

Joon Ho Uhm University of Washington

Lucy McNamara Cum laude University of Virginia Michael Ryan Meuth Swarthmore College

Eleanor Morgan Watson Magna cum laude George Washington University

Peter Webster Mumford Magna cum laude Bowdoin College

George Breckinridge Wells Cum laude Middlebury College

Christina Rose Napolitano College of the Holy Cross

Nicholas Donham Wray Trinity College

Chinedu Chikaodinaka Okorafor Cum laude Columbia University

Naomi Renee Wright Wesleyan University

Connor Thomas Popik Summa cum laude Massachusetts Institute of Technology Naomi Cabrera Primero Magna cum laude Gap year

Byanka Paola Lugo Occidental College

Thomas Byrne Santinelli Magna cum laude Duke University

Baheya Malaty Magna cum laude Colorado College

Pranay Sharma Magna cum laude University of Pennsylvania

Federico Marchese Cum laude University of California, Berkeley

Michael Walker Somerby Elon University

John David McCrossan Summa cum laude Duke University

Catherine Edwards Walker-Jacks Cum laude Colby College

Ranfei Xu Summa cum laude Harvard College Cheng Zhang Cum laude New York University Mitchell Chen Zhang Magna cum laude Northwestern University

Alice Marcellus Stites Kenyon College


Photos by Annie Card

Reunion 2013 M

ORE THAN 450 graduates from 14 different forms returned to the Circle during Reunion Weekend 2013, May 10–12. Members of forms ending in 3 and 8 practiced with the Choir, rang the Chapel bells, watched teams compete, and cheered on new inductees to Groton’s Athletic Hall of Fame (see page 44). They learned about the planned Schoolhouse renovation, taking a walking tour with Craig Gemmell and Bert Hall, who helped them imagine the future of the iconic building. They feted departing Fred and Cindy Beams at a bonfire at the home of Craig Gemmell and Nancy Hughes. One highlight was a panel of civil rights activists, featuring Roger Daly ’63, Bill Forsyth ’62, Jamie Blaine ’63, and Bob Gannett ’68. The speech Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on campus in 1963 played

throughout the weekend. It moved many, but was especially meaningful to the Form of 1963, who were on campus celebrating their 50th and who remembered the King speech firsthand. As usual, Groton’s esteemed award winners captivated with their inspiring stories: onlookers listened in awe as Distinguished Grotonian Moorhead C. Kennedy, Jr. ’48 (see page 47) described how Groton influenced him when he was a hostage in Iran, and celebrated the service of Cui Servire Award winner Nathaniel T.G. Fogg ’93 (see page 46). Reunion Weekend also provided an opportunity for many to bid farewell to outgoing Headmaster Rick Commons. Most of all, those attending Reunion Weekend renewed and reignited old friendships, and visited with teachers, many of whom had helped shape their lives.

Groton’s WWI Ambulance


orld War I started in August 1914, but the United States did not declare war on Germany until April 1917. During the two years and eight months of official neutrality, Americans supported the Allies in various ways, including 31 Grotonians who volunteered in the American Field Service driving ambulances in support of the French army on the


Groton School Quarterly

Western Front and in the Balkans. George King III (at right, with former Headmaster Rick Commons), helped create the replica of the ambulance Groton graduates drove during World War I. He parked Ambulance 255 on the Circle during Reunion Weekend. King researched the WWI Field Service ambulances — built on a

Fall 2013

Model T base and capable of carrying thr ee wou nded — and with the support of School archivist and shop teacher Doug Brown built the replica over three years. King hopes to drive Ambulance 255 on the Champs Élysées and to various French battlefields next year. A. Piatt Andrew, who taught economics at Harvard to Franklin

D. Roosevelt 1900, conceived of the Field Service and, with his architect neighbor, Henry Sleeper, pulled together nationwide support. The Field Service ambulances were transferred to the U.S. Army in the fall of 1917, after the build-up of US forces in France. Many Field Service volunteers resigned to enter the armed services, including my cousin, who

▲ Noah Altshuler ’15 plays at a Reunion reception at the Headmaster’s House.

died in September 1918 when his bomber was shot down by the squadron of Hermann Goering. — John B. Rhinelander ’51

You can find more information on George King’s restoration of Ambulance 255 at


Groton Inducts New Members to Athletic Hall of Fame Groton School inducted five standout athletes and a remarkable team into the School’s Athletic Hall of Fame on May 11, during Reunion Weekend. The inductees’ stories take us to the Olympics, a lacrosse World Cup in Japan, the National Platform Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. The second annual induction ceremony filled the Athletic Center lobby, as friends gathered to celebrate the achievements of Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar ’98, Peter Gammons ’63, Gordon Gray ’61, Stephen Maturo ’93, Gillian Thomson ’88, and the 1983 girls ice hockey team.

Olympian Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar ’98 sailed with the U.S. Sailing Team for 12 years, placing fifth at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and winning the 2008 Women’s 470 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. To date, Isabelle and her crewmate Erin Maxwell are the only American 470 Team since 1991 to win a World Championship. Isabelle started at Groton in Fourth Form, yet managed to accumulate eight varsity letters in soccer, ice hockey, and crew. She cocaptained the ice hockey team and rowed for Groton’s first boat, which won 44

Peter Gammons ’63, Joe Sitterson ’63, Holly Hegener ’83, Rob Parke ’63, Sarah Barnes Jensen ’83, Gillian Thomson ’88, Steve Maturo ’93, and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar ’98

the NEIRA Championships. After Groton, Isabelle earned two varsity letters at Yale in ice hockey, before concentrating solely on sailing, captaining the Yale Varsity Sailing Team in 2000. The first sports article Peter Gammons ’63 wrote, for Groton’s Third Form Weekly, hangs on his office wall. That led to articles in, yes, the Circle Voice, then the Daily Tar Heel, the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, and more recently, to commentary for ESPN and the Major League Baseball Network. Peter was voted the National Sportswriter

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Fall 2013

of the Year by the National Association of Writers and Broadcasters three times and in 2010 was voted into its Hall of Fame. In 2005 he received the C.C. Johnson Spink Award and was honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Peter made such an impact covering the Red Sox for the Boston Globe that January 9, 2009 was proclaimed Peter Gammons Day in the City of Boston by the president of the Boston City Council; in addition, Theo Epstein, former Red Sox general manager, announced a college scholarship in

Gammons’ name. Peter proudly includes Jake Congleton’s final game as Groton School’s head football coach in 1994 among the 10 most important sporting events he has covered. On the Saturday of Reunion Weekend, crowds gathered to watch Peter throw out the first pitch for the varsity baseball team, creating momentum that no doubt helped lead to a 5-1 win. Gordon Gray ’51 was

honored posthumously and remembered not only for his achievement in football, baseball, tennis, and platform tennis, but

Pitcher and catcher: Peter Gammons ’63 threw out the first pitch at the varsity game to Ejaaz Jiu ’15.

also for his sportsmancalled Gordon the best end ship and modesty. Gordon he ever coached. Gordon was national men’s paddle also captained Groton’s vartennis champion three sity basketball and tennis years in a row, from 1969 teams, and played left field to 1971, won the mixed for varsity baseball; he doubles championship was awarded the School’s from 1966 to 1968, and was Fincke Medal, given to a inducted into the National member of the Sixth Form Platform Tennis Hall of who has demonstrated Fame in 1996. He also perseverance, courage, and stood out on the baseball unselfish sportsmanship. and football fields: at Princeton, Gordon played varsity Stephen Maturo ’93 baseball for four years; at earned varsity letters in ice Groton, he played offensive hockey all four years at the and defensive left end on Air Force Academy, and the School’s undefeated co-captained the team his 1950 football team, a team senior year, when he was a that scored more points finalist for the Humanitarthan any Groton team had ian Award, given to “college before. Coach Larry Noble hockey’s finest citizen.” At

Groton, he earned 13 varsity earning All-Ivy honors in letters in soccer, football, field hockey. At Groton, she hockey, and baseball; he was earned All-League honors captain of the football and in field hockey, basketball, hockey teams and a twoand lacrosse and captained year captain of the baseball the basketball team. She team. Steve received Allwas awarded Groton’s Corleague honors four times nelia Amory Frothingham in ice hockey, three times Athletic Prize. in baseball, and once in football; he was named All The 1983 girls ice hockey New England in ice hockey team opened the season by his Sixth Form year, when winning the 1982 Nobles he was awarded the ISL’s Christmas Tournament Flood Shield and Groton and went on to a 14–0 School’s Fincke Medal. season. Their impressive accomplishment helped Those who watched Gillian legitimize girls hockey as a varsity sport at Groton Thomson ’88 play lacrosse at Groton would not be and in the Independent surprised to learn that she School League. The team captained the Canadian included Sixth Formers national women’s lacrosse Ann diBuono, Kassy Flood team in the 1997 World Fritz, Holly Hegener, Anne Cup in Japan. At Groton, Mosle, and Sarah Barnes she was captain of the Jensen; Sarah accepted the lacrosse team her senior award along with the team year, earned First Team coach, Jonathan Choate ’60. All-American honors, and Congratulations to received the Emily Goodall members of Groton’s fellow Women’s Lacrosse Athletic Hall of Fame. The Award for contributions next induction ceremony to team unity, morale, and is scheduled for Reunion spirit. At Princeton, her Weekend, in May 2014. speed through the midfield and her determined play throughout helped the team reach the NCAA Division I semifinals during her freshman and senior years. She was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and was a member of the All-Ivy First Team for three years. Gillian excelled in other sports too: at Princeton, she received seven varsity letters in field hockey and lacrosse, twice


Cui Servire Est Regnare Award

nathaniel t.G. Fogg ’93 The Cui Servire Est Regnare Award, established in 1999, recognizes a graduate who, through exceptional contributions to the school or the world, has truly lived up to the School’s motto. The 2013 award went to Nathaniel T.G. Fogg ’93, who served our country through the Navy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After Groton and Yale, Nat spent five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, where he served as damage control officer on the USS Cole. A recipient of the Navy Commendation medal for meritorious service, he was responsible for training the crew that responded to the terrorist attack on the ship in Yemen in October 2000. After earning a Harvard MBA, he joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency and helped restructure the agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Among his many duties, he oversaw successful evacuation plans during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Now managing director of the Chertoff Group, a security and risk management advisory firm, Nat accepted the Cui Servire Est Regnare Award with the following words:


think the last time i spoke on

campus was very shortly after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, when i gave a Chapel talk about my experience and the importance of service to me and my shipmates. in preparation for these short remarks, i returned to the transcript of that talk from the Groton School Quarterly to remind myself of the mindset i was in at that time and the message i was trying to convey. 46

Groton School Quarterly

Perhaps somewhat less emotionally charged now than it was 12 and a half years ago, i think the message is essentially the same, and i would argue, even more relevant today: Service is important, whether it takes the form of a uniform serving your country in the armed services, or as a government employee, or working for a not-for-profit organization helping to improve the lives of those much less privileged than us. Living in a post 9/11 world, where cable news pundits and talking heads are beginning to refer to incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing as “the new normal,” and after having endured a lengthy recession and two overseas military campaigns, the importance of service is just as relevant today as it was then— although my sense is that younger generations are becoming more engaged. i began to witness this toward the end of my final tour in the military, and then increasingly as i transitioned back to the civilian world during graduate school. And the trend has continued since then. there are a lot more young

Fall 2013

Moorhead Kennedy, Jr. ’48, Nathaniel Fogg ’93, and Rick Commons

people who appear to be considering a commitment to enter military or government service, broadly speaking, than i recall when i graduated university and volunteered to join the military. Sadly, i don’t have statistics to back this up—but the sheer number of resumes and phone calls and emails that i receive from younger generations of recent college graduates who are seeking advice on how to incorporate service into their CV is truly heartening and a testament to how younger generations may be placing some increased degree of importance or relevance on serving in some capacity. While i am currently working in the private sector in a for-profit organization, i know that i have more to do in the way of service. i have truly enjoyed and learned from my experiences serving in the U.S. navy, the legislative branch, and the executive branch over more than a decade. i believe Groton provided and still provides for Grotonians today an excellent foundation for promoting the value of service in our community and in the world.

Distinguished Grotonian

moorhead C. Kennedy, Jr. ’48 Since 1977, Groton School has presented the Distinguished Grotonian Award to graduates whose lives of distinguished service reflect the essential values of the School. This year’s award went to Moorhead C. Kennedy, Jr. ’48, who served in the U.S. Army from 1952–54; joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1960, working in Yemen, Greece, Lebanon, and Chile; and was the first director of the Office of Investment Affairs from 1971–74. In 1979, he was the acting head of the U.S. Embassy’s economic section in Iran when anti-American militants seized the building and took hostages, including Mr. Kennedy, holding them in captivity for 444 days.

“you all believed that you were the kind of person you wanted to be, a future ambassador, general, admiral, whatever. But then, there you were, lined up against that wall, thinking that you were about to be shot. and, then, did it matter what rank you might someday hold? For a moment there, you saw your real, not your imaginary, self. Hang on to that real self, don’t ever let go of it.” That was just what I wanted to hear. I took early retirement. For I Moorhead accepted the award with the usefully as it did in captivity. One realized that Groton had given me following speech. On the stage with him, February night, we hostages were more than history, more than academic in the Hall, stood the flag flown at the marched blindfolded out of our cells challenge. at a much deeper level, its White House in honor of his release, and in the freezing cold, lined up lessons were implicit in cui servire est regwhich President Ronald Reagan gave to against a cellar wall. I could feel a nare, artfully altered by the Rector to Moorhead and which he, in turn, donated rifle thrust into the nape of my neck. read whose service is perfect freedom. and to Groton School. The commands of a firing squad were so, besides enjoying perfect freedom, I shouted. Wearing only underwear, I was now free to get deeply into service am indeed honored to accept this shivered from the cold. activities, chiefly educational, that I award. It has stimulated memories, That cold brought to mind King had always wanted to do. particularly the winter just before I Charles I, who, in January, on the day For example, in moscow, my assocame here, in 1944. my family had of his beheading, insisted on wearciates and I, with the KGB, put on a received a postcard; at the top was ing an extra shirt so that he would role-play simulation, “Hostage Crisis,” inscribed “Imperial Japanese army.” not be seen to be shivering and his a training exercise to combat terrorIt was from my uncle, Warwick Scott, former subjects might think that he ism. These days, I wonder whether, if of the Sixth Form of 1919, held in the was afraid to die. and so, leaning such cooperation with the Russians Philippines as a prisoner of war. On it, with my forehead against the wall, my had been allowed to develop further, in the few lines allowed of a personal arms above my head, invoking King we might have had a different Boston nature, he had written, “So glad mike Charles, the Long Parliament, Rump marathon. is going to Groton.” Parliament, Oliver Cromwell, I kept Today, in my latest venture, as Later, during my own imprisonhorror at bay, until marched back to president of the Friends of the maine ment, I, too, remembered Groton. I my cell. State Library, we will be mobilizing wondered what I might have taken Later, following my release, I away from the School that might help recognized that, somehow, my experi- public libraries to further early childhood literacy, including the training of me to survive my captivity. One direct ences had changed me, but how, and parents and grandparents as mentors. benefit was certainly a sense of history, in what direction? all this was clariSo, without further examples, which had been brilliantly taught by fied by a psychiatrist from the New that’s what I do, and why. Thank you Doc Irons, Ronald Beasley, and Ted York Police Department, a former cop, for this award, and for listening. mommsen. I even won a few prizes. who addressed us former hostages as But I never thought that a knowl- follows: edge of history would come in as “Before your captivity,” he said,



Top row: Ted Polubinski ’88, Grace Offutt, Kent Johnson, and Gillian Thomson ’88; Elizabeth Gardiner ’83, Colleen Hyland ’83, Jon Potter ’83 and his wife Julie Second row: Drew Oliver ’88 with his children; Sage Mehta ’03 greeting former Headmaster Bill Polk; 1988ers Ben Powell, Stan McGee, and John Finley IV

Third row: Alonso Carrasco and Soribel Holguin ’98 with Luciana and Benjamin; Nancy Calhoun ’03, Henry Higginson ’03, Swift Edgar ’03, and Inho Kim ’03 Bottom: Crew Coach Andy Anderson and the girls’ first boat crew, Olivia Bono, Charlotte Berkowitz, Cynthia Fang ’14, Marissa Garey, and Maeve Hoffstot, at the dedication of a scull to English teacher Ted Goodrich


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Form of 1943 Front row: Judith Searle and Tim Vreeland, David and B Howe, Bill and Jean Crocker, Nick Witte Back row: Frank Bator and Jae Roosevelt, Cecilia Hoyt, Paul Russell, Bill Hoyt

Form of 1948 Front row: Dick and Sally Leahy, John Farwell, Bob Emmons, Moorhead Kennedy, Ellen Kappes, George Bartlett, Doug Kinney Back row: Stu and Helen Brunet, Joan Hutchinson, Elizabeth Farwell, Mimi Emmons, Betsy Hopkins, Marguerite Bartlett Missing from photo but at Reunion Weekend: Pollie and Bainy Frothingham, and Tom Loring

Form of 1953 Front row: Birge and Carol Albright, Ann Rhinelander, Barbara Powers, Rika and Hank Conlan Middle row: Strafford Morss, Randy Daley, Dwight Minton, David Rhinelander, Rick Powers Back row: Lizzie and Laury Perera, Donald White, Margo and Harold Russell Missing from photo but at Reunion Weekend: Zab and Sarah Warren


Form of 1958 Front row: Jim and Pat Case, Ed Robbins, Davis Pike, Bill Polk, Jonathan Roosevelt and Laine Gifford, Sloan Simmons, John Maynard Back row: Rosalie Frankel and Tom Wright, Marion Robbins, Annie and David Bingham, LuAnn Polk, Wick Simmons, Tom Schmidt Missing from photo but at Reunion Weekend: Meredith and Sylvie Brown, Pepe Maynard, and Susan Schmidt Form of 1963 Front row: Cyrena and Stoney Simons, Solange and Willem van Roijen, Sydney and Oakley Brooks, Bill Lawrence, Alex and Marnie Kerr Middle row: Peter and Gloria Gammons, Sandy and Roger Daly, Edgar Bering, Jamie Blaine Back row: Joe Sitterson, Ed Yasuna, Tony Barclay, George Denny, David Lawrence, Peter Loring, Donald Brewster, Jock Hooper, Warren Cook, Rob and Bev Parke Missing from photo but at Reunion Weekend: Joe Alsop, Victor Ashe, Cherry Brewster, Bill Burrows, Rick Childs, Grenny and Dede Clark, Ted and Susi Green, Susie Lawrence, Babette Loring, Sean Palfrey, Peter Rousmaniere and Rilla Murray Form of 1968 Front row: Terce Dines, Andrew Capitman, Dan Godfrey, Heidi Eales, Lydia Winter and son Ian, Joanne Gannett, John Wulsin Back row: Ben Bingham, Jim Pabarue, Chris Kennan, Alec Steele, Frazier Eales, Bob Gannett


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Fall 2013

Form of 1973 Front Row: John King, Jonah Odim, Cyrus Vance Second Row: Connie Perry, Frank Eagle, Peggy Vance, Terrie and Win Warren, Elizabeth West, Fred Morgan, Peter Storey Third Row: Proal Perry, Rick Chadwell, David Poor, Whitney Hatch, David Gardiner, Angus West, Leslie and Rick Doyle Back row: Fritz Hudson, Bill Sheeline, Nick Williams, Fred Whitridge Missing from photo: Sam Hoar, Bob Peabody Form of 1978 Front row: Julia Wright Ziv, Hilary Fowler Northrop, Amy Frothingham Ford, Alison Pyne McNaughton, Ted Everett Back row: Tom McGlade, Kathryne Walser Maguire, Herb Smith, Charles Gardiner, Denley Poor-Reynolds, Polly Cross Reeve Form of 1983 Front Row: Deborah Emery, Sarah Eaton Stuart, Edie and Rex Thors Second Row: Colleen Hyland, Adrian Jones, Elizabeth Gardiner, Ann Leibowitz, Lisa Thors Third Row: Sarah Barnes Jensen, Tyrone Void, Thad Bereday, Holly Hegener, Rex Thors Back Row: James Boyce, Fab Rasetti, Jacques Le Boeuf


Form of 1988 Front row: Kids, Scott and Emily Cashen with children Second Row: Wyatt and Chris Dunham, Kent Johnson and Gillian Thomson, Grace Offutt, daughters, and Ted Polubinski, Dave Manugian, Tia Dennis, Ritta McLaughlin, and John Finley Third Row: Ed Eglin, Phil Walton, Ann McGowan, Lori Hill, Stan McGee, Lisa Abbott, Jim and Stefanie Ardrey, Hilary Elkins and daughter Back Row: Drew Oliver with children, Julie and Mike Nickson, Stu Murray, Karen Ford, Erik and Westby Caspersen, Evans McMillion, Lydia Cottrell, Mike and Alexia Kearney, Bartle Bull, Jake Elkins Form of 1993: Front Row: George and Tanya Kent Middle Row: Zack and Kate Demong, Nat Fogg, Yvette Ross Back Row: Alex Donn, Peter Hegener, Jake Guswa and his wife, Jute Ramsay, Josh and Harriet Hubball, Victor and Michelle Nunez Form of 1998: Front Row: Hiram Powers, Hunter Pierpont, Jonathan and Isabelle Farrar, Andrew and Sophie Lippincott Ferrer with son, Hudson Ferrer Back Row: Jamaal McDell, Danielle Nunez, Charley Aldrich, Caroline Braga, Soribel Holguin, Carolyn Chen, Joe Burnett, Gardner Ellner ’99


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Form of 2003: Front Row: Margo Danielson, Rebecca Ackroyd, Jana Benitez, Ben Flatgard, Nick Roper, Kate West, Carlo Scott, Knox Beasley, Inho Kim Second Row: Amyna Esmail, Nadia Prinz, Zana Lawrence, Devin Demers, Buck Fletcher, Carl Balouzian, Jason Gannett, Michael Robinson (Sage Mehta’s husband), Sage Mehta, Caroline Hamilton, Eric Langerman (Caroline’s fiancé) Third Row: Lourdes Fernandez, Tom Bannard, Sarah Guy, Stu Landesberg, Mark Butler, Pasha Aziz, Nancy Calhoun, Annie Blaine, Giuliana de Grazia, Lily Lyman, Caroline Hoch, Rachel Amory, Sarah Thorndike Kelly, Caleb Kelly,

Louisa Gehring, Caroline Gehring, Brandon Antonakos, Charlie Congleton Back Row: Henry Higginson, John Nagler, Kate Deming, Eliza Gray, Greg Gehring, and Joe Cavanaugh (Kate Deming’s fiancé) Form of 2008:

Broer-Hellerman, Emma Curtis, Deanna Ezzio, Tyler Rodriguez, Will Seidler, Charlotte Lysohir, Colby Mattheson, Hunter Treacy, Joanna Hamer Back Row: Chris Ahn, Naya Friel, Tucker Fross, Mike Phillips, Sam Minifie, Ward Goodenough, Alex Klein, Sahin Naqvi, Molly Steim, Ceci Nicol, and Ian Brennick

Front Row: Adetoro Adeyemi, Mary Cooper, Amy Francisco, Hannah Jeton, Eric Valchuis, Matt Luk, Caroline Boes, Shanna Hsu, Haruka Aoki, Hannah Wellman, Emma Miller, Clarissa Perkins, and Desiree Vodounon Second Row: Matt Midon, Will Castelli, Andy Surinach, Theo Frelinghuysen, Django


A C h A p e l TA l k

by Grant A. Gund ’86, trustee April 19, 2013

The Dimensions

of Leadership


s Mr. Commons mentioned, I graduated in the Form of 1986. Last fall, you heard from my formmate and fellow trustee Ann Woodward. In her talk, Ann reflected regretfully on the fashion, dorm décor, and hairstyles of our time at Groton. While I agree that pleated jeans, mock collared shirts, and my Dukes of Hazzard poster would not be cool today, I have to disagree on the hairstyles. You see, I had tremendous flow while I was at Groton. I can remember on windy days when my hair used to form a perfect middle part and the way it flipped up in the back when I wore my hockey helmet. These days I am resigned to taking solace in stories like the one that recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal comparing the respect for bald men in the workplace to that of silverback gorillas in the wild. Before I get to the main topic of my talk, I would like to recognize a faculty member who will be leaving Groton this spring. I am talking about Fred Beams. In the fall of 1984, my roommate and I were assigned to Beams’ Dorm. We had no idea what to expect as Fred and Cindy were new arrivals to the Circle. When we convened in the dorm common room for our first meeting, we were all shocked when Beamsie opened with a story about how he and his buddy, who happened to be a New Hampshire state trooper, had subdued an unsuspecting Holderness student who had wandered outside his dorm after curfew. Some of the guys in the room needed help understanding the term “hi-low takedown,” and the rest of us looked on in shock as the man with the sea captain looks chuckled and gazed around the room with an expression that invited us to test him. Despite that intimidating introduction, Beams’ dorm is the source of many of my fondest memories from Groton. I will miss seeing Fred and Cindy and wish them all the best on what I’m sure will be a great adventure. You’ll be happy to know I didn’t come here to talk about the 80s. Rather, I’d like to talk about what I 54

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consider an important aspect of leadership. Tom Peters, a renowned business author, stated, “The best leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.” In my 20-plus years working in business and philanthropy, I have come to see that the best-led entities have humble leaders who try to empower the people beneath them. There are many schools of thought on leadership, but most people agree there are two critical dimensions: the first is the ability to get things done and the second is a genuine concern for the people you are leading. In 1997, after I graduated from business school, I followed my passion for music and went to work as the general manager of Aware Records, a small record label in Chicago. Shortly after joining the company, I went on a five-week tour with three bands. On the tour, I saw the dynamics of each band, and I saw that one group had a unique leader. The three equally talented and promising bands were Dovetail Joint, 19 Wheels, and Train. You’ve probably never heard of the first two, but Train has enjoyed a 20-plus-year career while winning two Grammys along the way. To this day, the band is led by a charismatic frontman named Pat Monahan. The tour was focused on the college market, and we were heading to towns where most people had never heard of the bands. When turnout was low, Dovetail Joint and 19 Wheels would play abbreviated sets, break down their gear, and quickly get in their van to head to the next city. Train was different. They would volunteer to play last and would play full-length shows as if the room were packed. This dedication started with Pat, a recovering alcoholic with a wife and newborn daughter at home. He was tireless and devoted every ounce of energy to promoting his band and getting its music out to the masses. Pat’s determination instilled a discipline and focus that didn’t exist in the other bands, and by the end of the tour it was clear that Train was ready to take off. Although Train has gone on to be incredibly successful,

Jeff Saunders is among our best CEOs. He runs a commercial baking company called Bakefresh, with headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, and plants in Westerly, Rhode Island, Denver, and San Francisco. Jeff manages over 500 employees, and the turnover rate at Bakefresh (which measures the percentage of employees who leave in a year) is 10 percent of the industry average. The high retention rate limits the amount Bakefresh has to spend on training new employees and gives the business a level of knowledge and expertise that is rare in the baking industry. Jeff says the Bakefresh cultural philosophy starts with the assumption that all jobs are equally important, with different responsibilities. He says they look for people who want to work hard and grow, and they give them an opportunity that includes training, counseling, and support. A lot of this may sound like corporate positioning; however, when I asked Jeff what he meant by “supporting” his employees, he cited recent examples that are very revealing. Cheri has been with Bakefresh for five years. She is 32 years old and a single mother of six kids under 14. Two months ago, Jeff was making one of his daily trips around the floor and stopped to speak with Cheri. When she told him she was experiencing some financial difficulty, Jeff asked her to come by his office. Cheri sat down with Jeff and the CFO and showed them that for the

Grant Gund ’86 with his wife, Lara, and children Lucy, Owen, and Kelsey



they have almost broken up on several occasions. A lot of the tensions they’ve experienced are typical for any group involved in a creative process; however, much of the band’s difficulties came from Pat’s constant push to succeed. Pat is an excellent get-it-done leader, but his hard-driving style took a toll on the other members of the band. During a hiatus in 2006, Pat decided to release a solo album that was a commercial failure. Looking back, he said the failure of his solo effort was a catalyst for helping him and the band change the way they interacted. He realized he had taken his bandmates for granted and needed to focus more on respecting their creative opinions, and the band members realized they had to be more assertive about participating in the creative process. At the end of the MTV Behind the Music on Train, the other remaining original members of the band, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood, give a lot of credit to Pat for the band’s success; however, they point out that being successful wasn’t fun until Pat learned to show appreciation and include them in business and creative decisions. For the past 11 years, my brother and I have run a private investment firm called Coppermine Capital. At Coppermine, we invest in small companies and try to grow them. The most critical decisions we make are related to picking the right leaders to run our businesses, and the most successful leaders are the ones who develop the talent beneath them.


past two years 30 percent of her paycheck was being garnished to pay for a medical procedure on one of her children. The CFO spoke to a lawyer and was referred to a local charity that helps pay medical debts. Within 30 days of talking to Jeff, Cheri’s financial issues were resolved. In another case, Evelyn, who has been with the company for 18 years, lost her husband suddenly to a brain aneurysm. Evelyn was obviously grieving and had no idea how to settle her husband’s estate. Jeff gave Evelyn two weeks paid leave, matched a $500 collection from the employees, and engaged the Bakefresh finance department to help take care of all the family’s financial issues and make sure Evelyn was on strong footing. In both instances, the women have said that Bakefresh helped them in a way that not even their family could. As poet Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Jeff and his team have created a place where turnover is low because the employees feel valued and they know Bakefresh will treat them well. Rock bands and baking companies seem a long way from Groton, but in some ways they are actually very similar. As the mission states, Groton is devoted to inspiring lives of character, learning, leadership, and service. I think this is a perfect summation of why we are all here. Since its founding, Groton has had excellent headmasters. This is especially true with our most recent leaders, Mr. Polk and Mr. Commons, and I am sure it will be carried on by Mr. Maqubela. Their leadership sets the tone of the school, but the flat structure allows the faculty to play a huge role in developing new programs and initiatives that deliver on the mission. As a trustee, I have gained a new level of appreciation for the faculty’s devotion toward creating this special community. A few examples include John Conners’ work on the school-wide self-study, Nancy Hughes’ efforts to build Groton’s service offering, Cort Pomeroy’s and Sravani Sen-Das’ push to improve issues around diversity, Jon Choate’s and Dave Prockop’s championing of the STEM initiative, and Craig Gemmell’s, John Tyler’s, and Bert Hall’s collaboration with the architects at Shepley Bulfinch to design a stateof-the-art Schoolhouse. There are many more examples, and I hope you all appreciate how much these people care about you and your development. I recently ran into a friend whose daughter was choosing between two boarding schools. He said he would be happy with either choice, and he was purposely staying out of the decision because he didn’t want her to resent him when the “inevitable dark clouds” of high 56

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school come in to the picture. He went on to say that our memories tend to scrub away the challenging parts of high school and focus on the good times, but that most, if not all, of us faced some tough times. His comment came while I was beginning to think about this talk, and it conjured up some of the tough times I faced at Groton. When I was here, I was a below average student and struggled, especially in Third and Fourth Form, as I adjusted to the more strenuous workload and pace. My struggles in academics eventually took a toll on my confidence, and I started to question whether I truly belonged at Groton. Early in Fourth Form, after a particularly poor performance on a geometry test, I was pulled aside by the teacher, Todd Jesdale, and he asked whether I had studied. I forget how the conversation progressed, but I eventually got frustrated and emotional, and he responded by saying he was pleased to see that I cared. Mr. Jesdale then made a plan for me to work with him outside class, and I ended up doing very well. The entire experience was a turning point for me as it helped me feel more confident, and I realized the benefits of asking for help. A recent survey of Groton’s faculty and staff shows that they are a diverse group of people with many different opinions, but the one thing they all agree on is that they’re committed to serving the needs of all students. This certainly turned out to be the case with Mr. Jesdale, and I’m sure any of you who need help or advice would find a receptive audience with whomever you decide to talk to. Since returning to Groton as a trustee, I have been in a few situations where people have asked me why I give so much time and energy to a place that already has so much. I look at my time invested in Groton as something that will have a multiplier effect. Based on what I know about the typical Groton student, I think most of you arrive here with an aptitude for getting things done. My bet, and the reason I dedicate so much time to this place, is that the Groton experience will teach you to be leaders who are focused not only on accomplishments but also on helping those you lead to become more accomplished. So I’ll leave you with a request. I ask that you start becoming a compassionate leader in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the dorm. It only requires that you consider how your actions affect others. As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” Thank you for listening.

A C h A p e l TA l k

by eleanor Watson ’13 May 3, 2013


from the Passenger Seat


’m spoiled. I’m not spoiled in the conventional sense. I don’t get everything I want, by any means. I used to complain about not having the coolest and newest clothes, shoes, or technology. My mom would always reply, “Ellee, we live in selective poverty.” “Selective poverty” consists of not spending money on material objects but saving it for spontaneous traveling. Instead of indulging me with the latest trends, my parents have spoiled me with traveling. My entire family has a constant itch for traveling, but I have it the worst. I can’t sit still unless I am in a moving vehicle. If, after a three-day road trip, my mom needs to go to the grocery store to get some milk, I am the first to jump back in the car. That’s the biggest reason my parents still won’t let me get my driver’s license.

A penchant for pennants: Ellee with her father, Sam

I get this trait from my dad. My dad always turns up the radio when the song “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” comes on and chuckles because he has. At least in the United States. He has been to each of the 50 states countless times in order to collect pennants—the felt triangle flags—from universities across the country. His collection started just after he and my mom got married. He had a conference near Texas A&M, and he brought my mom. They thought they would never be back in Texas again, and that they should get something to remember it by. Out of all the things he could have picked, he picked a pennant. Since then, his collection has grown infinitely. At first, he was only collecting schools in Georgia, then schools in the Southeastern Conference, then those where family members attended, then those with Division 1 football national titles, then any school in Division 1, then those that recently changed their mascots or took “state” out of their name—like Memphis. After he finishes a category, he says, “I’m done. Finally done.” And he admires his collection with a childish grin, but he’s never done. Recently, he has expanded the collection to include schools where deceased members of the Football Hall of Fame have attended. I remember one day when some football player died, and the next day we were in the car on our way to a small school in Georgia. The unique rule of his collecting is that he physically has to go to the campus of the school, visit the football stadium, and the basketball arena, and then, only then, can he go into the bookstore to buy the pennant. If he can’t get into the venues or the bookstore isn’t open, he comes back on an entirely separate trip. If the school changes its mascot or colors, he has to revisit the school and buy an updated version of the pennant. In my eyes, his collection is an excuse to hop in the car and hit the highway. That’s why it has continued for 25 years and will never end. Even though he has 386 of them and is running out of wall space, he won’t stop.


“My parents have spoiled me with the time and space to think.”


When I was incredibly young, my dad decided to enlist me as his companion on these trips. My love for car rides was proven at the tender age of a month. When I couldn’t fall asleep at night, my parents would plop me, while I screamed, into my car seat and drive me around until I was knocked out. It was the only thing that soothed me. Because of my passion, my dad knew I was up for his journeys, so the pennant trips became “Ellee and Daddy” trips. The trips are rarely stated as “I need to go get this pennant, so we’re going on a road trip.” He is much slyer than that. Most of the trips materialize because of some sporting event he wants to attend or a family member |that, you know, we haven’t visited in a while. Coincidentally, there is always at least one school that we stop at along the way. My mom loves to travel, but she can’t sit in the car nearly as long as my dad and I can, and she can’t handle the silence, so she takes a flight and meets us at our destination. When my sister was younger, she would go with my mom, but now she sits in the back seat. So, I guess, the trips are really “Ellee, Emma, and Daddy” trips, but I’m reluctant to change the name. Using “traveling” to describe what my dad, my sister, and I do could give the wrong impression. We don’t road trip lightly. We usually start at one in the afternoon and stop at seven for dinner. We stop at Cracker Barrels most often. We stop for gas when it gets too low. And then we go until my dad gets tired, which varies. Over this past Christmas break, we reached Miami at 5:30 in the morning. We don’t know when his drive will end, so we don’t make any reservations for hotels. Instead, we stop at the next Red Roof Inn or Motel 6. The hours we spend in the car are, for the most part, incredibly quiet. My sister, my dad, and I have “easy silence.” We feel no pressure to fill our time together with conversation. If a conversation arises, we dive deep into it, exploring every twist and turn, but it is never forced. Instead of speaking, my sister and I listen to the radio, read, or sit silently, staring out the window. Sure, I have enough college sweatshirts to fill two closets, and I know more about college football than the typical Yankee, but these aspects are not why the trips spoil me. I am fortunate enough to have had the time spent reading, listening, and watching the scenery fly by. My parents have spoiled me with the time and space to think. I am aware that I’m not sitting alone silently submerged in my thoughts. I have my dad next to me and 58

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my sister behind me, and for the most part, I spend my time reading or listening to music, but the time I spend in that seat reading, listening, or thinking has helped me build myself. Reading and listening to music may pretend to be means of an escape, like watching movies or TV, but they are not. Instead, they are mediums that help you dive deeper into yourself. Your mind must create the images, and not rely on someone else’s interpretation. When I watch a movie or a television show, I am in that moment with that character living through his drama, and it is his drama, but as soon as I leave that movie theater or close my computer screen, I have lost that character. I will look back to a movie and think about that character as a character but not anything more. Nothing deeper than the two-dimensional. Reading fiction or listening to music is entirely different. These mediums use my storyboards. My characters, my scenes. My 3-D. When I read, no matter how the author describes the characters, I will identify with at least one of them. I will listen to her thoughts and realize I have those thoughts too. I experience her situation in terms of my own because I have to build the world she lives in and incorporate those experiences with my own imagination, and what comes most easily to the surface of my imagination is my own self. Therefore, as I read about a protagonist working through a problem, I similarly work through my own. Listening to music works in a similar way. The lyrics may tell one story, but because there is no imposed vision from someone else’s imagination, I supply my own vision, most often connected to myself. My time in the passenger seat of my dad’s red truck is time spent rummaging through my thoughts and occasionally piecing them together to discover something about me that I had never acknowledged before. My thoughts certainly are not deep by any means. Often, my mind wanders into a romanticized future or replays over and over an embarrassing moment. Those are the worst. But every once in a while, the trivial rippling thoughts break into a wave, and I’m drenched in a new view of the world or myself. The hours spent on the highway allow my mind to go wherever it needs to go, and that’s invaluable. When I came to Groton, I had a hard time. There is no opportunity for me to hop in the car spontaneously for a road trip when I need to take a breath or just need to see something new. What’s more, there was no time to sit alone in a pseudo passenger seat. Socially, I felt I couldn’t take time away from building my relationships to relax

“But every once in a while, the trivial rippling thoughts break into a wave, and I’m drenched in a new view of the world or myself.” Top: Ellee at Prize Day; with Dominique Danco ’13. Bottom: 2013 Formmates Baheya Malaty, Naomi Wright, Ellee, India Dial, Ihu Erondu, Gia Kim, Christina Napolitano, Monifa Foluke, Alice Stites, Nimesha Gerlus, and Meghan Harvey.

and unwind. Of course, there is plenty of time to be alone, but the social implications of a loner reputation scared me. In Upper School, I had a solid group of friends and could rely on them to be my friends without having to be around them all the time. Even when I was alone though, I found myself on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or perusing the Internet. This time alone doesn’t establish what the passenger seat does for me. While scavenging through others’ opinions, photos, and activity, I was constantly comparing myself to the people posting. I wish I looked like that or I wish I were that funny or, you know what, that should be my opinion too. I want to be like that person. These thoughts hardly help me. Occasionally, they’ll piece together a standard or a role model, but oftentimes, they either depress me or confuse me. Since then, I have found time to be alone or have had the utmost luck in finding people who can sit still with me and enjoy easy silence, and it has made me nicer and happier. Last summer, because of my obsession with Christian Bale and The Dark Knight trilogy, I went through a pretty heavy comic book phase. I devoured a lot of comics in a small amount of time, but I was struck heavily by one in

particular. It’s a 1966 Flash comic called “The Flash Stakes His Life on You!” In it, the villain—his name is Bastard— invented a new weapon that instantly made everybody forget about you if you stepped into the ray. Bastard said, “Since our own belief in ourselves is based on how others feel about us, you begin to lose your identity.” Flash steps into the ray, and starts disappearing. He is saved by the kindness of a little girl who remembered him saving his cat. Because she remembered him, he could shape himself again. The story caught my attention because I immediately thought of Flash as weak. What kind of superhero relies on others to exist? I do believe that kindness, connection, and community fine-tune an identity, and unknowingly, we all build and shape each other. However, I do believe Flash wouldn’t have disappeared if he had spent some significant time in a pseudo passenger seat. The passive solitude of a passenger seat transports the mind to diverse destinations—sensible, logical, monotonous, romanticized—far-reaching points on the contemplative journey. The means to the destination may be “selective poverty,” but the result is priceless.


A C h A p e l TA l k

by Mitchell Zhang ’13 February 26, 2013

Murmuring to the Divine



estiny has always fascinated me. The idea that every thought that we have and every action we commit has already been determined has captured my attention ever since I was a kid. I remember sitting in my father’s study, reading the pages of Redwall by Brian Jacques, imagining myself in Matthias’s shoes. That is to say, I imagined myself as a mouse in Jacques’ fantasyland of Mossflower Woods, battling against hordes of vermin with a legendary sword—as it was foretold, of course, in prophecies of centuries past. The notion that some higher power had conferred upon me a great predestination appealed to me and my youthful sensibilities. I dreamed about heroism, about proving my worth through outrageously masculine feats, about celebrating my accomplishments with fountains of dandelion cordial. I was deeply religious as a child. My family didn’t go to mass often—it was a monthly affair, and we would usually arrive late, so we would find a quiet seat in the back of the chapel where I’d fall asleep while the pastor’s drone echoed in my dreams. You see, I felt I didn’t need the doctrine of preachers to guide me to the hand of God because I thought I had already formed a relationship with the divine in my own way. At night, after my mother had tucked me in, I would slide myself out of my sheets one toe at a time. Then I would scuttle, inching myself toward the night light at the other end of the bedroom and ease it out of the socket until I was obscured by darkness—until all that glowed was the reflection of a crescent moon on our pond. Now I was ready. Now I could begin. I would pour the contents of a Poland Springs water bottle on my head as a daily baptism. And then I would lie in my bed and stare at the shadows of my ceiling. Then I would talk to God. I had conversations with Him. We talked about my classes, how piano was going, when I was ever going to get a dog—we talked until I saw little waves of sleep in my 60

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vision, until I felt my head nod and snap to the rhythm of my yawns. And always, always, we ended our conversations at the same time so that we could continue anew the next night. I would show up to preschool exhausted, but I smiled knowing that God was my confidant. I felt a comforting grip on my shoulders that pushed me to great heights. I was chosen; I had purpose. And then I grew up. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve sensed that same feeling of belonging and understanding that I once felt, murmuring to the invisible divine while swaddled in Pokémon bed sheets. A lot of it has had to do with my feverish embrace of atheism, which I clung to in middle school—because it was trendy, because it was “intellectual,” because I thought that it was cool to discard faith like a crumpled receipt. So today, I’m going to talk about us. And by us I mean our generation. Us, as the students of Groton School. Us, as a bunch of angst-riddled teenagers in an institution that costs over $50,000 a year. In this increasingly disconnected world that we will soon inherit, I would like to point out three main flaws, namely: our loss of independence, our vanity, and our short-sightedness. First things first: our dependence. I’m going to be completely honest with you all here: I can’t even fry an egg. I also don’t know the unwritten etiquette of laundry machines. When it comes to anything practical—anything not related, for example, to the study of Freudian psychoanalysis or discussion over the current political climate—I can’t function. I feel bad for anyone who’s had to purchase one of my literally smoking “Z-bombs.” I’ve grown up privileged, concealed from the realities of existence. My God, I get impatient when I browse YouTube and a 30-second Old Spice ad pops up. Much of my motivation comes from my fear of my parents and not from any preconceived notion of self and success—there are actual reasons Asian moms are called tiger moms. We as a generation swaddle ourselves in safety nets, suspended in clouds

over the tumultuous crevice of the real world. It’s only a matter of time before we plummet. From this phenomenon, we can derive our other issues. We are self-absorbed, delusional, and vain. Many of us are narcissists. By that, I mean that we lack empathy and the desire to understand the perspective of others. One 2008 study performed by the National Institutes of Health found that while about 3.2 percent of citizens over 65 demonstrated signs of severe narcissistic personality disorder, the same inclination was found in almost 10 percent of college students. We fail to realize that there exists a greater achievement than the act of “winning”—instead, getting caught is the pinnacle of what defines “evil.” Ruthless competition is what gets us out of bed. I remember talking to a family friend, who just recently graduated from the University of Michigan, about my experience at Groton. He’s a decently heavy guy, with a tattoo of his fraternity emblazoned across his arm. He was a little confused by Groton’s tutoring program, by the veritable fact that we have a group of kids actually helping the other members of the community. “Maybe it’s just different,” he said to me. “You guys don’t really have much of a curve. See, whenever anyone pressures me for help, I give them the wrong info—’cause that boosts my grade. Get it, bro?” That also works as an example of our short-sightedness. It’s an issue that stems largely from our own mortality. Since we have but one life to live in this world, we exist to fulfill our own sensual pleasures and lowly ambitions. The Romans had carpe diem—we as modern society have the much less subtle YOLO. And so, we’re stuck with a system in which a want for leadership begets

leadership, where we’re trapped in an awkward moral quandary between sacrificing our limited time for the sake of others and chasing our own fervid hunger for personal wealth and success. Far gone are the days of men like Lucius Cincinnatus, a farmer who, while in power as dictator, defeated the enemies of Rome, and just 16 days into his term, retired to work on his farm, thereby surpassing the corrupting draw of power. No one, especially not within government today, can learn to make the tough decisions to push us forward into the future. This inherent selfishness has become our guiding principle. We fail to see outside of ourselves—we fail to step into the shoes of another and formulate any sort of understanding. So instead of empathy, we give pity. Instead of love, we show mere appreciation. Back when I was caught up in this whole us-vs.-you mentality, which was the defining characteristic of my middle school and early Groton years, I always recall a particular car ride with my father. We were on our way to Home Depot for plungers (or something) and I’m silently cranking up a storm of complaints, just staring outside the window and fuming because instead of playing Xbox, I was busy pouting in a car. Most of our errands by that point were of the quiet sort—sometimes my father would play the CD he had, which happened to be a compilation of nature sounds he never bothered to switch out. So while I’m quietly seething into the window, I get the privilege of listening to the generic buzz of insects mixed with the echo of brief cac-caw cac-caws. Finally, my father does something unusual. He turns off the radio and a silence floods the car. “What’s up, dad?” I say.

“The Romans had carpe diem — we as modern society have the much less subtle YOLO.”

Mitchell; above with Marissa Garey ’13



“Do you remember that rabbit we used to have?” he says. Sure I remember it. It was a pretty little thing we got from a Christmas card photo shoot more than a decade ago. The studio had just let us keep it, since nothing could separate a four-year-old me from rabbits—and so we took it home. Anyway, what happened was that we had all gone off to China over the summer several years later, and we had left the rabbit under the care of a teenage neighbor. By this time, the small cottontail had become a hulking mammoth of a rodent, barely able to fit in what I had thought was an enormous cage. His fur would poke out of the spacings, puffed in small square chunks, his daily diet a mound of carrots. He was a sorry sight in those later years. So we returned after roughly three weeks. I don’t remember this because I had gone to summer camp, but my parents drove home to find the grieving teenage caretaker scrambling around the driveway. Her mascara was pouring from her face, her hair was a mess with bits of wood shavings in it, and—the clincher—she had dumped the entire contents of our refrigerator in the garage. What had happened was that she had left our poor bunny in his cage in the garage. In the summer. In the middle of the heat wave—a surefire recipe for rabbit heat stroke. She had, by accident, nearly cooked the wretched thing. And then tried to cool him off with a couple pints of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. So here I am driving with my father around eight years after this had all happened, on our way to pick up plungers. Did I forget to mention he had, just that week, been quoted by The Wall Street Journal? But that was what he had been musing about all along in the car, in our pensive silence: our rabbit’s suffering that summer and how my father should’ve done something about it, anything—about how it still haunts him whenever he drives off to work. Life is no story. We are never given any sense of true destiny, we are never told by some higher power what should be done with the time we have. We, instead, are given the glory of free choice—the power to determine our life’s course. I think it’s important that we form our own senses of destiny and honor in order to vanquish the sinkhole of ennui—that vortex of profound boredom that drowns our souls in bubbling greed. So I’ll finally say something happy for once: we are blessed as Grotonians. This is a distinction I’m making between narcissism and self-realization. Among us are some of the most remarkable people I have ever met, people with golden ambition 62

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Nick Wray, Connor Popik, John McCrossan, Mitchell, George Wells, and Gideon Lovell-Smith; top, with John and Gus Giampettruzi

and true spirit. So don’t squander what we have. We must raise our voices, and we must champion our own causes, for integrity has been swallowed by the gutters of envy. We owe an obligation to society to return the opportunities that we have been graced with. There is no knight in shining armor that we can find and rally behind, so we must try our best to recapture not our delusional innocence, but our internal sense of honor and duty, which isn’t necessarily governed by the lacquered pages of the Guide to Groton. Only then can we find our fates—our destinies—in this chaotic world. I’ll end on a quote from East of Eden, since John Steinbeck expresses my sentiments best on the plight of modern society, on the struggle to find our own unique perspective in a world run by hubris and apathy: “I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units—because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves any more, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.”

book review

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by Will Thorndike ’82 Reviewed by Greg Maffei ‘78


ill Thorndike opens his book, The

to repurchase stock and shrink their companies when they thought their stock was inexpensive, a focus on taxes, prudent use of fixed-return debt to enhance equity returns, a long-term, non-promotional approach, and non-charismatic personalities. These Ceos were iconoclasts, willing to pursue their own path, and brought an outsider’s perspective to their businesses, even if they had been involved with them for long periods. Thorndike traces this approach back to david dodd and Benjamin Graham’s famous treatise on investing and what he characterizes as “radical rationality.” Thorndike is a good, clear writer and provides ample support for many of his theses. he brings the Ceos and their companies to life. The book has fun tidbits: speculation on whether Bill Anders of General dynamics would sell his mother if the price were right; advice provided by the consulting firm Mckinsey & Company which proves wrong; and wonderful quotes from the ever-quotable Buffett. occasionally, it feels like Thorndike stretches his theories across a diverse set of facts, and one can quibble with characterizations—it would be hard to say that Warren Buffett is not charismatic or promotional! Given the subject matter, there are a lot of numbers, which may not be to your taste. overall, this is a thoughtful, eminently readable book with some good lessons about business, whether or not you are a Ceo.

Greg Maffei ’78 is the CEO of Liberty Media, a media company that includes interests in Sirius XM, Charter Communications, Live Nation Ticketmaster, and the Atlanta Braves, and has worked for several high-profile CEOs, including Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and John Malone.


de libris

Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success, with a provocative question, “Who’s the greatest Ceo of the last 50 years?” You might say Jack Welch or Steve Jobs (and that might say something about your view of the world). Thorndike, a successful private equity managing director and founder at housatonic Partners, has an investment-oriented view of greatness. he defines it as high return to shareholders compared to peer companies and the overall market. While some high-profile executives have had very good financial success, Thorndike—in an attempt to determine principles for greatness—examines eight Ceos with outstanding shareholder returns, some of whom are famous (like Warren Buffett) and some of whom are more obscure (like henry Singleton of Teledyne), and at least one of whom had a Groton tie (J. Atwood “Woody” ives ’55 was the longtime CFo and business partner of dick Smith of General Cinema). Full disclosure: i was given this book by one of our investors who is a friend of Thorndike’s. My chairman, John Malone, is one of the eight Ceos profiled from his TCi days, and the company of which i am Ceo, liberty Media, the successor to TCi, is favorably mentioned in the book. Thorndike centers on the requirement for excellent capital allocation, investing and re-investing a company’s assets and cash flow wisely. he outlines common characteristics of the eight Ceos and their companies. These include an investor’s mentality, a focus on shareholder returns rather than empire building, decentralized operations, lean rather than extravagant cultures, a willingness

new releases






de libris


1 Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views Lauren P. Della Monica ’91 Schiffer Publishing

Painted Landscapes, Contemporary Views explores American landscape painting today, its relevance in the contemporary art world, and its historic roots. This volume profiles 60 living artists whose contributions distinguish important aspects of the genre and address land use, nature appreciation, and ecology through landscape painting. 64

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Encompassing every style from traditional realism (with a contemporary edge) to abstraction and non-objectivity, these contemporary artists range from today’s art stars to emerging or regionally recognized talent in the Eastern, Western, and Southwestern regions of the nation. The range of styles and reputations creates an encompassing survey of the trends and enduring elements in this genre of painting and the art market today. The author, a New York-based consultant, specializes in advising private clients about building collections of fine art.

Fall 2013

2 Touching America’s History: From the Pequot War Through World War II Meredith Mason Brown ’58 Indiana University Press

Things you can see and touch can bring to mind the time when the items were made and used. In Touching America’s History: From the Pequot War through World War II, Meredith Mason Brown uses 20 objects to summon major developments in America’s history. The objects range in date from a Pequot stone ax head, probably made before the Pequot War in 1637, to the Western

novel Dwight Eisenhower was reading while waiting for the weather to clear so that the Normandy Invasion could begin, to a piece of a toilet bowl found in the bombed-out wreckage of Hitler’s home in the Bavarian Alps in 1945. Among the other historically evocative items are a Kentucky rifle carried by Colonel John Floyd, who was killed by Indians in 1783; a letter from George Washington explaining why he would not be able to attend the Constitutional Convention (fortunately, he changed his mind); and shavings from the scaffold on which John Brown was hanged. Together, the objects call to mind nothing less than the birth, growth, and shaping of what is now America.

3 Conspiracy of One: Tyler Kent’s Secret Plot against FDR, Churchill, and the Allied War Effort Payson M. “Peter“ Rand ’60 Lyons Press

When officers from the U.S. Embassy, Scotland Yard, and the British MI5 broke into Tyler Kent’s bedroom, the suave American diplomat was beside his unmade bed, wearing striped pajama bottoms. His mistress was wearing the matching top—and nothing else. The officers found the Embassy code room keys and 2,000 smuggled documents, including topsecret cables that Kent had encoded and transmitted from Churchill to Roosevelt and that Kent planned to give to FDR’s isolationist enemies in Congress. American ambassador Joseph Kennedy waived Kent’s diplomatic immunity and turned him over to the British, who imprisoned him until his secret trial. Kent’s haughtiness had irked all he met, but his father’s anti-Roosevelt, anti-New Deal, anti-Semitic friends helped maintain his career. His good looks didn’t hurt either. A black sheep with diplomatic privilege, Tyler Kent stood at the crossroads of history: Stalin’s purges, the rise of Hitler, and the Phony War. Peter Rand arrestingly weaves together Kent’s star-crossed love affair, imprisonment, and trial into a rich tapestry that conveys a fresh vision of the tumultuous era.

4 JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President Thurston B. Clarke ’64 Penguin Press

JFK’s Last Hundred Days shows a man in the midst of great change during the last months of his life, finally on the cusp of making good on his extraordinary promise. Kennedy’s last 100 days began just after the death of twoday-old Patrick Kennedy, a loss that convinced Kennedy to work harder as a husband and father; ample evidence suggests he suspended his notorious philandering during the last months of his life. During this period, Kennedy finally came to view civil rights as a moral as well as a political issue, and after the March on Washington, he appreciated the power of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the first time. He also pushed through his proudest legislative achievement, the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which, combined with his warming relations with Nikita Khrushchev in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, led to a détente that British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home hailed as the “beginning of the end of the Cold War.” Kennedy began a reappraisal of Vietnam during his last 100 days that would have led to the withdrawal of all 16,000 U.S. military advisers by 1965. JFK’s Last Hundred Days weaves together Kennedy’s public and private lives, explains why the grief following his assassination has endured so long, and solves the most tantalizing Kennedy mystery of all—not who killed him but who he was when he was killed and where he would have led us.

5 Eye for an Eye: A Dewey Andreas Novel Ben Coes ’85 St. Martin’s Press

In Eye for an Eye, Dewey Andreas uncovers the identity of a mole embedded in Israel’s Mossad by Chinese intelligence; and Fao Bhang, head of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), immediately places a kill order

Summaries were provided by the authors or their publishers.

on Dewey. Dewey is tracked to Argentina, where he is on vacation with his fiancée, Jessica Tanzer, U.S. national security advisor. A top-level kill team is sent in quickly and quietly, but their attack fails to take out Dewey. The collateral damage, however, is both horrifying and deeply personal. With nothing left to lose, Andreas is determined to have his revenge. Once he learns who is behind the attack, Dewey goes rogue, using all of his skills to launch a counterattack. Dewey must now face the full weight and might of the Chinese intelligence, and the formidable Fao Bhang, if he’s to achieve his one last goal: revenge on a biblical scale. In this conflict, there are only two possible outcomes, and only one Dewey Andreas. Reviews have called Ben Coes a “master” and Eye for an Eye “heart-pounding” and “an exceptional American hero story.”

6 Love’s Attraction David A. Cleveland ’70 Winsted Press

From literary Concord to the canals of Venice, Love’s Attraction takes readers on a thought-provoking journey as Michael Collins, a Washington political fixer facing an impending bribery scandal, is suddenly confronted with a past he never knew and a legacy of heartbreak and deception from which he failed to escape. Michael Collins is returning to Lowell, the derelict mill city of his childhood, and the funeral of his estranged brother, when he finds himself compelled to stop at nearby Emerson Academy, where his precocious youth as a talented pianist and dreams of a rowing scholarship to Harvard ended in devastating scandal. In his senior year, he—the “Lowell boy”—fell deeply in love with the winsome Sandra Palmer, a blueblood Yankee who inexplicably betrayed him. He learns that Sandra committed suicide, and that her twin sister, a ’70s radical, porn star, and Internet entrepreneur, seemingly disappeared around the same time. With the FBI closing in on his own scandal, Michael’s investigation into Sandra Palmer’s untimely death transforms into an odyssey of discovery.


S P R I N G S P Baseball


The 2013 Groton School baseball team finished with an overall record of 11–5, and a league record of 10–5. That was good enough for a third place finish in the ISL, and the most league wins since 2001. This year’s team was an experienced group, with five Sixth Formers and two Fifth Formers who played significant roles on the team in previous years. The team started the year with a spring trip to Vero Beach, Florida, where they worked extremely hard and started to come together as a team. Our opening day 6–5 win on the road against Worcester Academy was a sign of things to come. Great pitching, timely hitting, and good defense were all on Groton’s


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side. The next five games saw the Zebras battle to the end and have a chance to win each game. Unfortunately, they fell short in three of the games, and dropped to 3–3 on the season. The next five weeks were the most impressive weeks in recent years for Groton baseball. The team went on an 8–2 run, with tremendous pitching and clutch hitting. Big wins over Noble, Rivers, and Milton Academy had the Zebras on a roll. In three of their wins, they took a no-hitter into the last inning. All three games finished as one-hitters, victims to three infield singles. The last game of the year, against our school rival St. Mark’s, was a thrilling 3–2 comeback win. In a fitting end to the season, the boys rallied from being down 2–1

in the last inning to plate two runs and come away with the win. The team was led by Sixth Form Co-captains Cameron DiSarcina and Dan Glavin. They, along with the other Sixth Formers, provided the leadership, work ethic, and intangibles that set the tone for the team. Cam, the starting shortstop, earned All-League honors and was the team’s top hitter and defensive leader. He will be moving on next year to play at Merrimack College. Dan, a four-year varsity player, was solid up the middle at second base and provided key hits throughout the season; he earned an ISL Honorable Mention. Other key contributors were Joe Gentile ’14, whose centerfield play

Jon Chase

Jon Chase Annie Card

Safe at home, Joe Gentile ‘14, with Dan Glavin ’13 in the background; jumper Anwar Mapp; rowers Olivia LaddLuthringshauser ’15, Courtney Britko ’14, Nena Atkinson ’16, and Monica Bousa ’15 (not shown, coxswain Sowon Lee ’15)

and cleanup batting earned him All-League honors. Pitchers Johnny Lamont ’15 and Ben Osterholtz ’15 led the pitching staff to an impressive 2.16 team ERA, with Ben (an ISL Honorable Mention) leading the league with an outstanding .43 ERA. Outfielder Andrew Popp ’14 played a solid left field and reached base consistently from the lead-off spot. Ejaaz Jiu ’15 moved behind the plate and expertly handled the pitching staff, while also contributing some big hits. With five starters and a loaded pitching staff returning, Groton looks to the 2014 season with anticipation and excitement. With the drive, desire, and work ethic that have been passed on from the Sixth Form, our team

has established itself as one with a chance to win every game in one of the toughest leagues around. With the hard work, attention to detail, and the will to compete, the 2014 Groton nine aims to maintain its winning ways and bring home an ISL championship. Follow us on Twitter at @GrotonSchool9 for updates, scores, and highlights. — Coach Glenn DiSarcina

Girls Tennis


This was a terrific season for the team, with experience, hard work, and camaraderie coming together to produce successes of all sorts. The returning six players all improved by

one crucial step, while Elizabeth Salisbury ’14 added depth to the line-up and Maddy Forbess ’16 stepped right into a prominent role high on the ladder. The result was a roster that was solid enough at all positions to match up well against any team, as the scoreboard displayed, week after week. The season got off to a promising start with the team’s first win over Deerfield in several years. Even so, we knew other sharks would lurk ahead, so the team trained with focus, working to improve even in the midst of a competitive season. An early loss to Andover was, oddly enough, encouraging, since the Andover team was impressive and despite having a player out sick, it was a close,




Anne Colloredo-Mansfeld P’09, ’13, ’15


competitive match. We got to show our true strength, and build more confidence, in our next two big matches. St. Paul’s looked strong on paper, but on the court the Groton team was simply more determined and chalked up a 12–3 victory. The confidence built that day was needed just two days later, when we faced Nobles without the help of #1 CC Ho ’13. The set scores went back and forth in singles play, ending when Anita Xu ’13, having lost her first set 1–6, staged a determined comeback to take the second one 7–5. That brought the team match to a tie heading into doubles. Two Groton pairs who had played together very little prior to that day, Maddy Forbess with Carolyn Grenier ’13 and Katherine McCreery ’15 with Anita Xu, dominated solid opponents to close out the team match 8–7. Our next big test was against Middlesex, and Groton was the underdog, but once more, the players competed with a combination of intelligence and relentless determination that put strong opponents under constant pressure. After Carolyn closed out an eternal


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

second set of singles, 7–5 in the tie-breaker, Groton needed to win only one of the doubles matches to claim victory. Confident as ever, CC and Maddy took care of business, then Annie and Anita added another set to make the team score 9–6 and move Groton firmly into the top few teams in the ISL. Our record was good enough to earn a slot in the Class A New England Championships, where a solid win over BB&N in the first round brought us up against eventual champions Hotchkiss, an extremely powerful team. It looked like the Groton players would not be able to touch their opponents’ big games but, true to form, our team refused to go down without a fight. We did end up losing the match, but not before Anita had won her singles match and Maddy, Carolyn, and Annie had stretched their singles opponents to decisive tie-breakers (Carolyn winning hers in an impressive display of grit). In a season when we were surrounded by more strong teams than ever, Groton’s eventual 12–3 record was hard-earned and

included terrific wins over perennial powerhouses BB&N, St. George’s, and Exeter. We ended in third place in a strong ISL and proud of the way our competition and sportsmanship had represented Groton all spring. Our season was exemplified by Captain CC Ho receiving the Panarese Individual Sportsmanship Award, which is given only in years when the ISL coaches want to provide special recognition to a player who has demonstrated the highest ideals of the league throughout her career. Next year’s line-up will be depleted by the graduation of CC, Carolyn, Anita, and India Dial, but these four leave a legacy of full investment in the team, which will be sure to carry over into future years. — Coach Dave Prockop

Boys Tennis


The squad won five matches in the league this spring, while dropping ten. The team has great talent, and worked hard to improve throughout the season. Limited somewhat by having

BASEBALL Most Valuable Player Cameron DiSarcina ’13 Most Improved Players Ejaaz Jiu ’15 Johnny Lamont ’15 All-ISL Cameron DiSarcina ’13 Joe Gentile ’14 Johnny Lamont ’15 Honorable Mention Dan Glavin ’13 Ben Osterholtz ’15 Captains-Elect Joe Gentile ’14 Andrew Popp ’14

Photos by Jon Chase

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Liam Cashel ’14, Ben Altshuler ’13, John Cecil ’17, and Nick Wray ’13; John Beatty ’16; Alexandra Conner ’16; Cam DiSarcina ’13; Danny Lopez ’15 and Chris Higginson ’14, and Annie McElgunn ‘15. Above, Mike Somerby ’13; right, Carolyn Grenier ’13.






Most Valuable Players Peter Mumford ’13 Adam Hardej ’13

Most Valuable Player Maeve McMahon ’13

Most Valuable Players CC Ho ’13 Carolyn Grenier ’13

All League Michael You ’16

Captains-Elect Shangyan Li ’14 Wyatt Prill ’14

Coaches’ Award Tom Santinelli ’13 George Bukawyn ’13 Most Improved Player Matt Pompa’14 Honorable Mention Axel Brown ’14 Adam Hardej ’13 Peter Mumford ’13 Captains-Elect Axel Brown ’14 James Forse ’14 U.S. Lacrosse 2013 ISL Man of the Year Fred Beams

Most Improved Player Jessie Ewald ’14 Coaches’ Award Annie McElgunn ’15 All League Maeve McMahon ’13 Addie Ewald ’14 Honorable Mention Breezy Thomas ’14 Captains-Elect Lucy Brainard ’14 Addie Ewald ’14 Jessie Ewald ’14

Coaches’ Award India Dial ’13 Anita Xu ’13 All-League CC Ho ’13 Carolyn Grenier ’13 Katherine McCreery ’15 Honorable Mention Maddy Forbess ’16 Panarese Individual Sportsmanship Award CC Ho ’13

Captains-Elect David Howe ’14 Evan Long ’14 Charlie Oberrender ’14



Captains-Elect Chris Higginson ’14 Sashni-Cole Matthews ’15

Captains-Elect Ally Dick ’14 Rachel Reed ’14

Captains-Elect Annie McCreery ’15 Katherine McCreery ’15


only one Sixth Former (Brad Uhm), the team is hoping to rise back to the top of the league in the 2014 campaign. While the squad had some good victories (Thayer, Brooks, Governor’s, Lawrence, and Rivers), it was not able to win against stronger opposition. The final match of the season against St. Mark’s was dramatic: though the team lost 7–8, they battled beautifully after finding themselves down 0–3 after doubles. Brad Uhm and Michael You ’16 both won in straight sets in singles, and David Howe ’14, Peter White ’15, and Evan Long ’14 each split, leaving the team one single match short of victory. I am very proud of how the boys competed in the exciting St. Mark’s match. Though this loss was only our third to St. Mark’s in the 32 years I have coached the team, I was extremely pleased with the team’s efforts. I have no doubt the boys will be back on top in 2014. All-League recognition went to Michael You, who won 19 sets while dropping only 11, playing the majority of his matches at numberone singles. — Coach John Conner

Girls Crew


The girls crew had another excellent spring, winning all of its regular-season races. An all-new fourth boat set the tone at each race, opening our competitions with very strong performances. The third boat kept changing its lineup as new girls improved, and they kept winning too. Very experienced second and first boats capped our racing season with terrific races. At the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association championships, after winning all of our morning heats, we ended up second in all four races. As a school, Groton placed second in New England, a bit of a disappointment after our sweep of first place in last year’s regatta, but a very good year nonetheless. It is worth noting the very strong Sixth

Form that graduated in June; these seniors won the Peabody Cup for School 8’s at the Henley Women’s Regatta in 2011 and rowed very respectably in the quadruple sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta in 2012. Their power and intensity will be missed, but they have left a legacy that our up-and-coming students will work to match. — Coach Andy Anderson

Boys Crew The boys team set two goals for the season: to make all four of the varsity boats demonstrably faster each week and to thereby position itself to win the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships. Under the able leadership of Co-captains Connor Popik ’13 and Johann Colloredo-Mansfeld ’13, every varsity member responded well, pushing himself on the water, achieving a personal best on the rowing ergometer, doing countless squat jumps to strengthen his legs, and committing to making each boat faster than the competition’s. That commitment is evident in the season’s successful results. We swept our dual competitions with Nobles, St. Mark’s, and Middlesex, retained the Cooke Trophy, won silver medals for our third and fourth boats at NEIRA, and finished second overall in New England in coxed fours. There were a few disappointments, the most acute of which was the fifth- and fourthplace finishes for our first and second boats at NEIRA. Having won the morning heats, each boat’s prospects for a medal-winning performance in the afternoon finals were high. However, both boats found the high wind and water conditions for the finals challenging; had the water been flatter, each might well have met its early-season goals. Taken as a whole, the 2013 season was a

2013 Varsity Boys’ Crew Results Events

1st Boat

2nd Boat 3rd Boat

4th Boat

Cancelled due to weather

At BBN and Nobles At St Mark’s with Middlesex and VT Academy





At Pomfret with Deerfield and Taft





Home with Middlesex





Wayland-Weston Regional Regatta: Heats





Wayland-Weston Regional Regatta: Finals





At Belmont Hill with Brooks





Home with Nobles—Cooke Trophy





NEIRA: Heats





NEIRA: Finals







2nd in New England

Groton School Quarterly • Fall 2013

solid success: the oarsmen stretched themselves mentally and physically; they bonded as a team and learned the rewards of commitment, tenacity, and teamwork. A job well done. All of the above would not have been possible without the collaboration and able coaching of the third and fourth boats by Steve Timpany and the goodwill of the team. And thanks to parents Mary Carr, Anne Colloredo-Mansfeld, and all the other parents of these exceptional young men for their support of our team. I look forward to a strong team next year. — Coach Charlie Hamlin

Track The Groton track team, a co-educational program, continues to grow. This year, 10 boys and 11 girls competed in a variety of track and field events. The events included the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, 1500-meter, 100-meter high hurdles, 300-meter intermediate hurdles, 4 x 100-meter relay, 4 x 400-meter relay, the long jump, the javelin, the discus, and the shot put. Because we have no campus track, we drive to the track at Ayer High School two or three days a week and practice on campus the other days. We compete in a full Independent School Track Association (ISTA) schedule, and we also participate in the ISTA and New England Division III Championships. Senior Co-captain Emma Izard placed and scored in several meets for the second consecutive season, throwing a personal best of 83 feet, 7 inches in the javelin. Besides javelin, Emma competes in the discus and shot put. Fifth Former Chris Higginson finished fifth in the 400-meter dash at the New England Championships, with a 52.72 time. Chris also ran in the 4 x 400 meter relay along with formmates Dan MacDonald, a team co-captain, and Ross Coneybeer, and Sixth Former Pat Harvey. The Groton team looks strong for next year with 18 returning runners, including an all Third Form Women’s 4 x 100 meter relay team of Alexandra Conner ’16, Varsha Harish’16, Laura Sodano ’16, and Nissaba Stover ’16. — Coach Bill Maguire

Girls Lacrosse


After graduating eight seniors in 2012, the 2013 Groton girls varsity lacrosse team finished the season at 7–9, including exciting wins over ISL opponents Lawrence, BB&N, St. George’s, Rivers, and Milton. The solo

Photos by Jon Chase

Above, Michael You ’16; right, Emma Izard ’13

senior, Co-captain Maeve McMahon led the squad; also figuring prominently in the strong play were midfielders Addie Ewald ‘14, Breezy Thomas ‘14, Annie McElgunn ’15, and Rachel Hardej ’15. This team jelled as the season went on, playing tough-nosed defense and pressing aggressively through the midfield. While Maeve will be impossible to replace, returning so many starters will certainly give the team experience and confidence going into next year. We will be glad to watch Maeve continue her lacrosse career at Harvard. — Coach Martha Gracey

Boys Lacrosse


Sixth Form Captains George Bukawyn, Peter Mumford, and Tom Santinelli, as well as formmates Nick Funnell, Adam Hardej, and Mike Somerby, fought nobly in the ultra-competitive ISL, inspiring our challenged but hard-working midfield corps and our youthful defense.

Thirty-plus of us headed south on our annual trip to Florida, where we enjoyed playing against the likes of Episcopal (VA) and Peddie (NJ), quality programs that helped prepare us for our league schedule. We suffered some tough losses to Brooks, St. Paul’s, Roxbury Latin, St. Mark’s, and Thayer — games we felt we could have won — while our strong efforts against elite programs like Governors and Nobles proved how competitive we could be. Season highlights included exhilarating victories over St. George’s (13–12) and Milton (14–13). Earlier in the season, we fared well against non-league foes Pingree and Berwick, with 10–2 and 14–3 victories, respectively. Sixth Form captain Peter Mumford and impact athlete Adam Hardej earned the MVP awards for their immeasurable contributions, while George Bukawyn and Tom Santinelli brought home the Coaches’ Awards for their daily consistency, work ethic, and leadership. Sixth Former Matt Pompa earned the Most Improved Player Award, providing gritty play in the midfield, and Captain-Elect Axel Brown

rippled the net more than 50 times this season, re-writing record books and earning leaguewide respect. Much gratitude goes to the seniors for helping Groton earn respect throughout the league and New England. They paved the way for our promising returners, as well as for a group of hopefuls from a junior varsity program that enjoyed its most successful season in more than a decade. Many thanks to Coaches Greg Hefler, Greg Twogood, Peter Fry, and Jamie Funnell. We are fortunate to have such strong program unity. We also appreciate the enthusiastic and positive spirit of our alumni, parents, and supporters. Lastly, saying goodbye to Fred Beams is bittersweet. His bushy eyebrows and toothy grin will be sorely missed on the sidelines, and we tip our cap to someone who has brought joy to our Scott Field experience — and the Circle — for the past 29 years. — Coach Bob Low


Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery FALL EXHIBIT

“Lost or Found: Works on Paper” Taintor Davis Child Through November 15, 2013 Dessert reception with the artist Monday, October 21 from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.


rtist Taintor Davis Child observes that we, like the water that makes us possible, are continuously influenced by and involved in cycles of creation, destruction, and reformation. In every experience that we drink, gulp, sip, or taste, she finds essences of all the ages. In these watery works, she invites you to glimpse your own history— to slow down and taste before you swallow. Child’s creative work aims to pay homage to the stories of life. The exhibit’s title plays on the artist’s experience: because of the intense preoccupation and necessary release that an artist’s approach entails, creative work time is either lost or found. The Brodigan Gallery, located on the Dining Hall’s ground level, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.

In the De Menil Gallery until December 16: Sculpture by Joseph Wheelwright The De Menil Gallery is open weekdays (except Wednesdays) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed October 11–14 and November 27–December 4.

Flying Through

grotoniana 72

Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Photos by Mike Sperling

Desiree Jones '14 (foreground) and Melissa Marquez '16

Groton's afternoon dance program performed at a tribute to the arts in honor of outgoing Headmaster Rick Commons.

(Front row) Lucy Soule ‘14, Melissa Marquez ‘16, Abby Kong ‘17, Sophie Song ‘16, and Melissa Lammons ‘17; (back row) Amy Zhang ‘14, Desiree Jones ‘14, and Brittani Taylor ‘14


Jack T. Davison, faculty May 12, 1929 – April 22, 2013 by William M. Polk, former headmaster


p n fall 1952, Jack and I arrived at Groton

School, he as a 25-year-old new teacher, coach, and dorm head—a triple threat—and I as a 12-year-old new student, no threat at all. Because my father died soon thereafter, I needed substitutes. fortunately for me, Jack was one of those who filled the void. The mark he left on me, as with so many others, was large and lasting. Given Jack’s reputation as a tough blocking back on an undefeated Princeton football team, we nicknamed him “Rock,” an example of the creative genius of Groton football players. Yes, Jack could be tough. One day when the team was practicing extra points, Jack didn’t think the defensive line was pressuring the kicker enough. Without any pads on, he jumped into the line at nose guard. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must report that no kicks were blocked and Jack spent the rest of the week behind dark glasses covering a shiner. Hugh Scott ’57 remembers that the next time Jack scrimmaged with us he was in full pads. In the middle of our undefeated season, he wanted to shake us out of our lethargy, which he did until a pulled hamstring sent him to the sidelines. Scotty followed Jack’s example and became a Princeton football star. He told Jack, “I enjoyed Princeton because of you; I was able to play football because of you; and what I did on the field, I owe to you.” What many of us did on the field, in the classroom, and in life, we owe to Jack. He was a demanding teacher, more demanding of himself than of anyone else. He believed passionately in the importance of what he was teaching. He cared that his students come to this realization, and he labored to help us move along this path. He was a stickler for details, insisting that we pay attention. More than anything else, he demanded of himself that attention be paid to each


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

student. He agonized over how he could better help those of us who were struggling. He lived with our frustrations and disappointments and shared in our joys and successes. as an adolescent, Jonathan Yardley ’57 was a serious critic of teachers; as an adult he was a serious book critic for The Washington Post. In an autobiography about his family, he wrote that he was “bored and irritated by all but two of his Groton teachers.” Jack was one of the two, who, wrote Yardley, “… led me firmly in the direction of intellectual self-discipline.” another former student said that Jack was the best teacher he ever had at Groton or at Yale. He was, said Sam Webb ’57, “completely fair.” fairness, justice, kindness, hard work, commitment, concentration, and compassion—great compassion—defined the standard by which Jack lived. That is the standard he marked us with. Thanks to him, that is the standard which so many of his students have reached for in life. Belying his nickname, Jack was deeply emotional. I remember him choking up during a discussion of the injustices of racism and choking up too after he read an article about the death of a former colleague he admired. I shall always remember Jack’s expressive face. When he pondered, you knew he was pondering. He would bow his head slightly as if to get his distinctive broken nose out of the way, purse his lips, rub a hand over his face, and ponder. When he laughed, you knew he was laughing. He would throw his head back and his face would break wide open, like an egg cracking, to let out a full laughter that filled the room. While visiting Jack a few months ago, I reminded him of an incident that occurred at football practice. Jack was on the sidelines, yelling out what plays we should run. at one point, he asked the manager, “Rhea, what time is it?” “3:45, sir.” Jack yelled out to the team,

Jack Davison with his wife Diana in the 1957 yearbook, with Diana in later years, and (far right) traveling in Yugoslavia

art, music, and religion. He would be well versed in the political and religious currents that shaped the country and how those forces were playing out in the present day. What Jack liked best was walking the streets of a city new to him. He would stroll the boulevards, but his real passion was the small side streets well off the beaten track. He enjoyed encountering people, getting a sense of personalities, colors, smells, and noises. These fueled him, and you sensed that he gained energy in places where others would fade. When Scotty and I talked to him about an upcoming trip to Cuba we were taking with our wives, Jack’s guidance was better than a Frommer’s guidebook, including, “Don’t eat the sausages at the ballparks!” At a Groton reunion 11 years ago, a former student who had hated football and had not felt good about his teenage self, said to Jack: “You were the only faculty member who gave me hope that I could accomplish things. I want to thank you.” That was Jack’s gift to so many of us—hope that we could accomplish things. And that is why we are gathered with grateful hearts for Jack’s life.

in memoriam

“Run 3:45.” It was the right time, but we had no such play. After Jack quickly denied my story, “Diana, he’s making up stories about me,” laughter took over his face, a laughter that lives with me to this day. Other marks Jack left with us were his insatiable curiosity and his love of exploring the new and different. Jim Waugh GP ’89, his best friend on the Groton faculty, wrote to Diana: “I feel very lucky and privileged to have him as a friend: Groton was never the same after you guys left. The Friday night fights and the Sunday football games lost their luster. More importantly, a touch of class left with you. After football practice, Jack would drive to Boston and take in the ballet; I’d walk home and listen to Fats Domino. Jack’s wide range of interests was extraordinary. Very few people in their 70s would take a run at William Faulkner. When you two showed up here, it always amazed us at how many topics of conversation Jack instigated. You may be interested to hear that some years ago, you were voted #1 on the list of guests we would like to have visit.” I would vote Jack #1 world traveler. He loved traveling. Is there any country he had not visited? I always looked forward to hearing his excitement and sense of adventure as he talked about his trips. Before departing, he would study the history of a country as well as its

Jack Davison taught at Groton from 1952 to 1957. William Polk delivered this eulogy on June 1, 2013.


Jonathan roosevelt ’58 January 30, 1940 – June 21, 2013 by thomas H. Wright ’58, p’87

p “He Was True” A

super-AbundAnt zest for life

in memoriam

animated all that Jonathan roosevelt ’58 was and did. bill polk ’58, the leader of our form for six years and then longtime headmaster of the school, has the following recollection of first encountering Jonathan: “At the opening dinner in the annex of the old dining room our third Form year, I—then a veteran of two Groton years—was sitting across from Jonathan, then all of six hours new to Groton. At the head of the table, between us, was Charlie rimmer, our no-nonsense math teacher, normally a person commanding considerable awe. Jonathan said things that made Charlie laugh; if I had said the same things, he would have kicked me out of the dining room. that was Jonathan, so full of kinetic energy and unfiltered words. He was always himself and spoke his mind. He would say anything to anybody because that’s who he was. He responded to people, he challenged people, he made people laugh, he cared about people.” the notion that a famous name made him special was not why he said what he thought, uncensored, to Mr. rimmer. He saw everyone as equal, regardless of age or stature, and spent his life trying to break down social barriers. He did not “go along to get along.” He set his own standards and lived by them. Others could do it their way if they chose. In the words of his daughter Kate, “He was true.” the headmaster, Mr. Crocker, and Groton had instilled in Jonathan the importance of service, which


Groton school Quarterly

Fall 2013

was the value he strove to reflect all of his life. He did not aspire to fame, but he was one tough competitor. this competitiveness was naturally on display in all manner of sports at Groton—but especially was honed in tennis, at which he excelled. He and his older brother Kermit ’56 battled each other for the school singles championship (and together they easily were school doubles champions). Jonathan went on to play on the Harvard varsity tennis team, but virtually any game of physical skill (fives, squash, football, golf ) attracted his eager, intense, generous engagement. After Harvard, he and his wife, Jae barlow, spent a year teaching school in Moshi, tanganyika. they often spoke of this as a transformative year. Jonathan thought he might want to go into wildlife preservation as a career. but some powerful “shoulds” raised their heads, and very uncharacteristically he did not follow his instincts: he often looked back on the decision to go to law school with some regret. He attended Harvard Law school, Class of ’66, but never practiced law. His high level of energy and fascination with adventure and public service led him after law school to join the CIA, following in the footsteps of his father Kermit ’34 and adding his own chapter to a distinguished family record of public service. during his years with the agency, he and his family (now with three children—Ashley, Kate, and Jonathan) lived in Kinshasa, Congo and Accra, Ghana, as well as in Washington, d.C. the Cold War years fascinated him, in his work and in literature, so that

Jonathan Roosevelt ’58

when he retired he started his own literary journey by writing a spy novel, which he never completed. Jonathan’s curiosity was limitless, and made travel for him and for those with him an adventure—whether driving across the country picking up odd jobs as we did the summer before our Sixth Form year, facing down a charging rhino while on safari with his father and brother, climbing Kilimanjaro, being lost for days in a broken-down vehicle in East Africa with his parents and wife, or engaging in private business throughout the Middle East with his brother, years later. In later retirement, he found the greatest satisfaction for many years leading a weekly book discussion group in a state prison. Jonathan became a beloved and revered teacher to the men who attended the group. Many of them have stayed over the years. Jonathan’s wife, Laine Gifford, has continued with the group since Jonathan’s stroke in November 2011. The men have shared their affection and concern about Jonathan’s failing health, and finally their profound

sorrow at his death, with Laine. Jonathan’s passionate interest in prison reform resulted from this work—it was a service of the heart, profoundly important to him. Jonathan was immensely fortunate –as he would be the first to say—in sharing his life with two extraordinary women whom he loved and who loved him: his first wife, Jae, and his second wife and widow, Laine, who took heroic loving care of him throughout his difficult long last illness. The Rector’s mandate to live lives of vigor and service—powerfully passed on by Mr. Crocker to those in our form and the forms surrounding ours— was brightly exemplified in the life of Jonathan Roosevelt ’58. Thomas Wright thanks family and friends for their assistance with this tribute.


Nicholas C. tilney ’54 October 19, 1935 – March 13, 2013 by Lawrence Coolidge ’54

p Adventures with Nick A

in memoriam

t the Age of 11 I was sent off to the first form at groton School. there were about a dozen other formmates, and the one that I immediately related to was Nick tilney, a very bright, sensitive, and a little bit overweight young man with a cherubic look on his face. I think Nick and I were probably the two most lonely people in that freshmen class and we fell into each other’s arms. We both shed a certain amount of tears together over our sad situation and resolved quite quickly in the term to build ourselves a refuge away from the rigors of Spartan life and cold showers of First Form groton School. We did get a few hours off on Saturday afternoons, and we went deep into the woods across the street from groton and built ourselves a hut out of fallen limbs and pine boughs into which we could crawl. there, we were able to talk and read and shut out the groton experience for a few hours. We quickly became friends. Over time we both became much more integrated with groton life, each in our own way. Nick was quite brilliant and trended toward things biological. he did very well in the biology course at groton and took extra credit. In our Sixth Form year, Nick approached me for help with an ambitious project that he was doing for Kendall Foster, the biology teacher. Mr. Foster’s behind-the-back nickname was “Froggy Foster” because in biology class he would dissect live frogs and as they jumped around in pain he would assure his young pupils that “Froggy” didn’t feel a thing. In this tradition,


groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Nick’s experiment was that he was going to dissect a live frog and keep it alive with its heart still beating. he planned to attach a thread to the frog’s heart and to a very light stylus. the other end of the stylus was touching a round cylinder with smoked paper taped to it. If you turned the cylinder, you could get a graph of the heart’s physical heartbeat. this, of course, was controlled by the frog’s brain and nervous system, and my job was to measure the electrical impulses from the frog’s brain. I built a small electrode out of laboratory tubing, which contained two small wires of platinum to take the signal off of the surface of the frog’s heart and put it through an amplifier I had constructed the year before. I hoped I could record those signals electromechanically on the same cylinder on which Nick was recording the heartbeat. After several tries, I was able to perfect a system which worked. Of course, Nick had the hardest part, which was the actual dissection of the frog, keeping it alive, and attaching the heart physically to the stylus. thus, we were able to compare the electrical signal of the heartbeat to the actual movement of the heart itself. I don’t think this experiment had ever been done before at groton, and Nick received considerable kudos for pulling it off. In any case I had fun and a sense of accomplishment. Nick and I both went to harvard, and I saw a certain amount of him over the next four years, generally at the boathouse, where I was rowing lightweight crew and he was rowing on the heavyweights. the heavyweight crews of that era were not very successful, in

good part because four or five of the eight varsity oarsmen all belonged to the same college club and they made the non-club oarsmen feel like outsiders. These club men were rather impressed with themselves and really didn’t try as hard as they could to get into top shape, and their race results reflected this. In Nick’s senior year, he was elected captain of the crew, the first non-club person in some time, and he reached out to the non-club people in a wonderful way, making them feel special. This created a sense of competition with the rest of the veterans, the result being that the crew in 1958 went considerably faster and was much more successful than in the years before. Nick rightly received considerable credit for the change. The foundation Nick laid led to the undefeated 1959 varsity heavyweight crew, which went to Henley with the first lightweight crew I coached at Harvard. Although Nick was not in the boat, his spirit and leadership were very much present. After college, rowing continued to be a good part of Nick’s and my life. We both took up single sculling as a recreational activity and rowed together on the Charles from the Union Boat Club. At one of those morning rows, Nick suggested that the two of us take a long row from Exeter, New Hampshire down through Great Bay and down the Piscataqua River, past the city of Portsmouth to Newcastle, where Nick had rented a fisherman’s house for the summer. This row was 24 miles long, much more than the average person could achieve, but if we started at Exeter at the proper time when the tide was high with a two or three knot current going all the way through Great Bay and down the river to Nick’s house, we figured the tide probably would cut off eight miles or more and make the row possible. Unfortunately, Nick’s first wife, Yetty, used the occasion to host a cocktail party and lunch for some of Nick and Yetty’s Newcastle friends. We knew we had to leave Newcastle at 12:30 to catch the tide, but Yetty insisted on having us at the party until almost 2 p.m. We put both boats on my car and drove as quickly as we could to Exeter and got into the water about one-and-a-half hours late.

It was one of the prettiest rows I’ve ever experienced. With the help of the tide, the river banks and marshes slid by effortlessly. It was a sunny day, and as we entered Great Bay the marshes were filled with duck and blue heron. The light wind gave us no trouble. At the end of the bay, where it funnels into the river going to Portsmouth, our difficulties began. The tide began to turn and the water started flowing into Great Bay from the ocean at a rate of three to four miles an hour. So we made further headway with a lot more effort. It began to get dark and we knew we were in some trouble. We struggled down against the current toward Portsmouth and finally came to a long pier, which was used to load cable into ocean-going vessels. The current around the end of the pier was probably going at four to five miles an hour, not much less than our full-speed rowing. When we reached the pier both Nick and I were really close to exhausted, and Nick jokingly said, “Tell me if your arms feel heavy and there are pains on the inside of them because you’re probably having a heart attack.” I assured him that I wasn’t and I hoped he wasn’t having one either. However, I really didn’t think I could make it around the end, so I took a rather dangerous course of trying to get through the pilings of the pier by pulling in my oars and pulling the single shell slowly under the dock. Somehow I managed to get through without tipping over. Nick bravely went around the end; it took him 15 minutes to go several hundred yards. After the pier, thank the Lord, the water was relatively slack close to the Portsmouth shore and I kept rowing more or less blindly through the darkening gloom until I got to the beach at Newcastle, where Yetty and my wife were waiting. Nick, because he went around the pier, was a few minutes behind me, and as I got out on the shingle beach in front of Nick’s house, I could barely walk. It took me a minute or two before I was able to carry the boat up to the parking lot. Nick was equally bushed, and I don’t think our hot baths ever felt better. In retrospect, the next morning we concluded with hindsight that the trip was a spectacular success.


After a couple of minutes the resident surgeon almost burst into tears and told Nick that he couldn’t go on. Nick and he very quickly changed places.

in memoriam

My wife and I drove back to Boston that night, and the next day, as usual, I went to the office. It was my habit in the late afternoon to drop by to see the office manager, Bill Perry. My office was full of eccentrics and Bill was the glue that held it together. I asked him how the day had gone. He said he wasn’t feeling well and that the inside of this arms were aching and felt terribly heavy. These were the precise words that Nick had used only 24 hours earlier! I said to Bill, “You’re not going home. You’re going right to the MGH with me in a taxicab.” Bill and I walked into the emergency ward. I gave my diagnosis and a young orderly started to take down Bill’s name, place of work, hospital insurance, etc. At the end, the orderly said: “Would you mind going over it again? I don’t have any carbon paper and I need two copies.” At this point I got up and yelled: “This man is having a massive heart attack.” This got the attention of a resident, who found a room in which to examine Bill. He was quickly treated and sent to the intensive care section and remained there for threeand-a-half weeks. I’ve often wondered at the amazing coincidence of hearing exactly the same words spoken twice 24 hours apart by two completely different people. Was it divine intervention? My conclusion was that it was simply Nick being extremely precise in his description of heart attack symptoms and by so doing he probably saved my friend’s life. News of our Exeter to Newcastle row reached oarsmen friends, and the next year we did the row again with John Higginson ’56 and two or three other Harvard oarsmen from Nick’s 1958 boat. This time we started when the tide was high and had no trouble.


Groton School Quarterly

Fall 2013

Then Harry Parker joined the group and the Newcastle Rowing Club was formed. One of the Friends of Harvard Rowing, Penn Higginson, who also lived in Newcastle, provided an outboard launch to accompany us for the third row just in case anyone needed help. Penn immediately set about designing a summer tie and a winter tie of the Newcastle Rowing Club, and anyone who made the row in future years automatically became a member. Shortly after this, I attended a party in Boston to which Nick was invited. The two of us went off into a corner to catch up on mutual news. We had had a certain amount to drink, and Nick with his usual enthusiasm said: “Tomorrow I’m doing a kidney transplant operation. The kidney comes in on a platter like the head of John the Baptist, and it’s just tremendously dramatic. Would you be willing to join me tomorrow? I’ll introduce you as a visiting doctor. You can observe the procedure close at hand. Just meet me at the main entrance to the Brigham Hospital. I’ll show you how to scrub down and get into operating room clothes.” I said I’d do it, but when I woke up I began to have second thoughts. First of all, I fainted at the sight of blood. Second, I was mildly hung over and I had a pile of work on my desk. But I knew I couldn’t let Nick down, and I hopped into my car and just made the 8 a.m. rendezvous. Kidney transplants were a novelty then, and the operating room was an amphitheater; there were probably eight or ten people seated high above us, who were going to observe the operation in progress. I wasn’t sure I really belonged in the spotlight, which was soon confirmed by the fact that I noticed my mask was on upside down! I had to take it off and put it on the right way in front of everyone. From then on, I suspect the operating room personnel realized that the visiting doctor was actually one of Nick’s drinking buddies. When I went into the operating room, the recipient of the kidney, a young man of about 16 or 18, was lying on his back stark naked on the operating table. Once Nick arrived, the patient was slowly but surely wrapped, almost like a mummy, in layers of green cloth. The actual operation was going to be performed by a senior resident under Nick’s careful supervision. Nick was stationed on one side of the resident, and I was standing on a low stool on the other side, when the first incision was made. I began to feel faint and figured it would not be good form for me to fall off the stool onto the patient, so I stepped down and went over to

the shelf on which two or three dozen bottles of medicine had been placed. I tried to memorize the names of the various medicine labels, and when I felt better, I returned to my perch on the stool. From this vantage point, with my chin almost touching the resident’s shoulder, I was able to follow things quite closely. The new kidney’s vein and artery were less than a quarter inch long, and the surgeon had to connect each one to the recipient’s respective vein or artery using a microscopically small needle and thread. The resident surgeon was clearly having trouble because, as it turned out, the veins of the donor, the patient’s mother, were substantially smaller than the veins of her much more active 16-year-old son. It was like having to put a large plumbing pipe into a small plumbing pipe without any connection to aid you. After a couple of minutes the resident surgeon almost burst into tears and told Nick that he couldn’t go on. Nick and he very quickly changed places. From then on I was looking over Nick’s shoulder with the resident assisting on Nick’s left. Nick was able to handle the problem beautifully and was making good progress when a second more serious problem developed. The patient began to wake up, his abdomen began to heave, and he began to vomit. Nick knew there was real danger that the patient could choke. At three words of command, several assistants ran from the room to get the head anesthesiologist, who appeared almost miraculously and stabilized the situation. Nick was still holding the half-sewn kidney in a cloth sling in the patient’s abdomen. He had to move the partially connected kidney up and down in time with the patient’s breathing motions to keep the stiches from ripping out. Although you could see the strain on Nick’s face, as things started to settle down and everyone was still tense, Nick said, “This reminds me of the time that I took out the appendix in the middle of the English Channel.” The heaving of the patient was just about the same as the imagined heaving of the waves of the English Channel. Nick’s remark masterfully cut the tension just at the right time, and everyone began to refocus on the operation itself. The whole procedure took more than five hours, and thanks to Nick I think it was the most interesting day I’ve ever spent in my life. Nick by this time had become quite famous, and some of the transplant technologies and procedures which he developed were being widely used. Some time later, I asked Nick to keep an eye out in the Newcastle area for a launch for my new camp

on Long Island in Squam Lake. I told him I wanted something with a bit more character than the clunky aluminum boats that were available in central New Hampshire. One day I got a call from Nick who said, “I have a patient here in Newcastle, an old sea salt.” Nick said that he had just told the man that he could not go to sea anymore because of his health. The captain had a wonderful wooden lobster boat about 18 feet long that had been built specifically for the captain by his nephew, who owned one of the famous boatyards that built many of Maine’s lobster boats. Nick urged me to get to Newcastle fast because other people were interested. I cancelled my appointments the next day and drove up and rang the captain’s doorbell. We rode out in a dingy to the boat, and it surpassed my expectations. It had absolutely beautiful lines and seemed in good shape. The captain said that he had piloted this boat with a little 20-horse outboard all the way to Gloucester and far up the Maine coast, and that it was extremely seaworthy for a craft of its size. We arrived at a price of $650; I wrote him a check on the spot and said that I would pick up the boat in a couple of weeks. When I arrived, I rang the captain’s doorbell again to thank him. An upstairs window opened and an elderly woman stuck her head out. Her hair was in curlers and she had one of those chin straps that I thought went out with Charles Dickens. I asked her where the captain was and she said, “He’s not here,” and slammed the window shut. Before I picked up the boat I went over to Nick’s house and asked him what happened. He laughed and said that after the man cashed my check, he went on a bender, taking off with the family car. He hadn’t been seen since. The boat proved its worth on Squam Lake. I once went out in the middle of a hurricane, and I doubt any other boat on the lake would have made it, but we got out to my island safe and sound thanks to the beautiful design and craftsmanship that Nick had spotted from the first. In later years I saw Nick only occasionally. We did go visit with Nick and Mary in their house in Newcastle and went out on his wonderful boat, where Nick spent many of his happiest hours in later years. A few weeks before his death we had lunch, when we said goodbye. I will miss him.


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The Beams Legacy


hen Fred Beams announced

his retirement plans last winter, many people reached out to share the many ways in which Fred and Cindy had touched their lives. several wanted to create something lasting and meaningful to ensure the Beams’ 29-year tenure at Groton school would never be forgotten. The result is the Fred and Cindy Beams Fund for Global education, an endowed fund whose annual payout will support financial aid for Groton’s overseas trips. Fred and Cindy launched Groton’s global education initiative in 2008 with a summer service trip to Peru, then branched out to Kenya the following year, and to Tanzania in 2010. since then, more faculty have stepped in, solidifying the relationships in Peru, Kenya, and Tanzania and getting additional trips off the ground—to India, China, and Bali. all were inspired by Fred and Cindy’s example. students compose reflections after the trips. One wrote: “The people we met in Tanzania gave

me perspective about who I am as a person. When it comes down to just me, stripped of my background, belongings, grades, everything, I wonder how I would measure up to a lot of the people we met.” another observed, “I learned how the maasai live, and I re-learned how we live. I learned that language really isn’t the only way to communicate and connect, and I learned that language defines a people more than we’d like to admit. I learned that expectations tend to define the outcomes. I learned that comparing does not necessarily mean judging, and I learned that curiosity should take the place of judgment.” The Fred and Cindy Beams Fund for Global education will ensure—in perpetuity—that more Groton students can experience such profound cross-cultural learning. To make a gift in honor of Fred and Cindy, or in general support of financial aid for Groton Global Education, please contact Director of Development and Alumni Affairs John MacEachern at or 978-448-7580.


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Groton School • The Quarterly

Groton School publishes the Groton School Quarterly in late summer, fall, winter, and spring. The fall issue is the Annual Report.

Groton School The Quarterly • Fall 2013

2 | Quarterly Winter 2013




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century photograph of the men who built St. John’s Chapel, and (above) the photo’s glass negative slide

Fall 2013 • Volume LXXV, No. 3

A Singular Path to Groton Meet Temba T. Maqubela Groton School’s Eighth Headmaster

Groton School Quarterly, Fall 2013