Harvey Centennial History Book Preview

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1927, future home of The Harvey School

Our Mission What began as a boarding school for boys in grades 3–8 is now a co-educational school for grades 9–12, with a combination of day students and 5-day boarders. The Harvey School provides a college preparatory program that fosters lifelong learning and inspires students to develop the confidence and leadership qualities necessary to succeed in a diverse, competitive, and changing world. With our commitment to small class size, our community cultivates the strengths of each student through academic excellence, artistic exploration, athletic achievement, community service, and global understanding.

260 Jay Street • Katonah, NY 10536-3707 • 914.232.3161 • www.harveyschool.org

Katonah campus today

A History of The Harvey School | Celebrating 100 Years

A contemporary Harvey Cavalier

A History of The Harvey School Celebrating 100 Years

Dr. Herbert S. Carter and his wife, Mabel, started The Harvey School in 1916 with the belief that strong community is the foundation for successful education. A century later, the heart of Harvey beats strong in its students, faculty, alumni, and parents.


© The Harvey School Producer: Sally Breckenridge Writer: Cheryl Bardoe Design: Good Design LLC The Harvey School offers its deep appreciation to the century of students, alumni, faculty, and friends whose memories and other contributions made this book possible. Special thanks to the following for their content and editorial help: Harry Dawe, Dennis Dilmaghani ’62, Frank Perrine, Leverett Smith, Jr. ’52, and Frank Weil ’44. Historic photos in this publication are sourced from The Harvey School archives and generous alumni and friends. Original photography also supplied by Good Design. COVER PHOTO:

A sunny afternoon on the Hawthorne campus The Harvey School 260 Jay Street Katonah, NY 10536 914-232-3161 www.harveyschool.org


CONTENTS 1 Introduction: What Gives Harvey Its Heart? 3 Chapter 1: The Carter Years

4 8 10 14 16 20 22 25

Dr. Carter Sees a Need Seeking an Outdoor Life From Working Farm to Full-Grown School Leaders for a Life of the Mind Founders’ Son Becomes Strong Headmaster Pranks and Punishments Creating a Community The End of an Era

27 Chapter 2: Hawthorne Under Headmaster Smith

28 30 33 37 40 44

A New Leader Weathering Wartime Academic Achievements A Day in the Life Tried-and-True Traditions Goodbye to Hawthorne

47 Chapter 3: Settling in at Katonah

48 54 59 64 68 72 74

Establishing a New Home New Campus Inspires New Traditions Times of Transition A Changing World Traditions in the Classroom Fires Challenge Community A New Harvey Emerges

77 Chapter 4: Reinforcing School Foundations

78 84 90 92

Lasting Leadership Meets Challenges Modernizing Harvey’s Campus Connecting to Community Yesterday’s Traditions and Students Today

99 Chapter 5: Growing in New Directions 100 A 21st-Century School

105 Conclusion 106 Appendix


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OPPOSITE PAGE & LEFT: Engaged students in 1960s and now ABOVE: A Harvey Cavalier channels school spirit

What Gives Harvey Its Heart? Harvey embodies these timeless educational principles: • Value each student’s individuality. • Inspire students to take on challenges and develop their strengths inside and outside the classroom. • Support learners as they strive for continuous improvement in pursuit of their best. Thus students of yesteryear who visit Harvey today still recognize the warm sense of community, small class sizes, and academic excellence that distinguished the school in their own eras. As Harvey commemorates its centennial anniversary, we celebrate what our school always has been and always will be: a place where each child can discover his or her special talents. Harvey’s story begins in 1916, in the Manhattan home of Dr. Herbert S. Carter and his wife, Mabel, who understood that education takes place in the context of community….

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CHAPTER 1

The Carter Years 1916–1938 “My years at Harvey are best expressed by 17th-century British poet Ben Jonson: ‘In small proportions we just beauties see; And in short measures life may perfect be.’” —J. Earle Stevens, Jr. ’24


Dr. Carter Sees a Need

I

n 1915, The Great War had already begun in Europe, actor Charlie Chaplin was debuting as “the Tramp” on the silent screen, and New York City was about to overtake London as the world’s largest metropolis. Penicillin was more than a decade from being discovered, so scarlet fever still struck fear in the heart of every parent nursing a child through sweats and chills. When the illness hit the midtown Manhattan home of Dr. Herbert S. Carter and his wife, Mabel, it took a toll on their eldest son and developed into rheumatic fever, which can permanently damage heart valves. The worried Carters bundled Herbert Jr. off to recover at a working farm the family had purchased as a rural retreat in Westchester County. After a year of recuperation, the 15-year-old was much improved, but his heart was too weak for the regular routine at the Allen-Stevenson School where he had been enrolled. Although he had little chance on a rigorous athletic team, Herbert Jr. was allowed to ride horses and participate in less strenuous activities. Dr. Carter prescribed an outdoor life and surmised that other youths would benefit from the same. In September 1916, thus began The Harvey School in a twostory, white farmhouse half a mile from the hamlet of Hawthorne, New York. Dr. Carter named the school after William Harvey, the English physician who first recognized the heart as the vital organ that pumps blood through the circulatory system. Given the school’s origins, perhaps it is not surprising that Dr. Carter documented this inauspicious start: “At the first meal there sat down two masters and two boys, the rest of the school (two boys) being detained by illness.” Nonetheless, the students’ bodies and minds thrived—as did the school. By June 1917, eight more boys had enrolled. The heart of The Harvey School that we cherish had begun to beat. 4 | Celebrating 100 Years

Dr. William Harvey

Dr. Herbert S. Carter

Time Capsule 1916–1925

1926–1935

Presidents

Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt

Student-written articles in the Harvey Monthly

A Day in the Adirondack Mountains, Riding the Transcontinental Railroad, Immigration Laws in California

Visiting the Place in France Where the Armistice Was Signed to End the Great War, Railway Growth, The Merits of the League of Nations

Literary giants

Willa Cather, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Virginia Woolf

At the box office

Charlie Chaplin, Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks

Rudolph Valentino, Claudette Colbert, Buster Keaton, Greta Garbo

Median house cost

$6,187

$8,236

Median car cost

$440

$380

Milk gallon

$0.36

$0.56

Historical events

(1916) First self-service grocery store opens in U.S., (1917) U.S. Enters WWI, (1919) Treaty of Versailles ends WWI, (1920) First commercial radio broadcast, (1922) King Tut’s Tomb discovered

(1927) Lindbergh flies solo across Atlantic, (1928) Penicillin discovered, (1929) Stock market crashes, (1930) Pluto discovered, (1934) The Dust Bowl


TOP: 1923 The first known all-school portrait; Headmaster Miner in back row, third from left, Dr. Carter in back row, third from right Left: 1926 Ready for kickoff ABOVE: Harvey’s campus began as a working farm

The Carter Years | 5


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CHAPTER 2

Hawthorne Under Headmaster Smith 1938–1959 “Happiness is not doing what you want to do, but liking what you have to do. I thank Harvey for a great education and way of life.” —Edgar B. Parsons ’40


TOP: Daily greeting by Nurse Mona Watts Lyon and Headmaster Smith LEFT: Morning prayer RIGHT: Graham crackers and milk tide boys over until lunch

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LEFT: After lunch treats at the Tuck Shop RIGHT: Reading Hour in the library

A Day in the Life

L

ife at Harvey followed an unswerving schedule. Beds faced the windows so that the morning sun would stir boys at the 7 a.m. rising bell. Boarders had 30 minutes to dress, make beds, and stand for room inspection before crunching across the gravel drive. Nurse Mona Watts Lyon welcomed every student to breakfast with a handshake, ensuring that general health and attire measured up. No coat in the cold? No overshoes in the rain? That would garner a demerit, plus a walk back to the dorm through the offending weather to correct the issue. At 8:20, Headmaster Smith presided over morning prayers and announcements, including a public broadcast of the day’s Walk List recruits. Morning classes took a 15-minute recess around 10:30 for graham crackers and milk; then students were back at it until the lunch hour at 1:15 p.m.

After lunch students could buy a candy bar—but no chewing gum—from the Tuck Shop. They received seven nickels per week for this purpose and the treasured candy was savored over the Reading Hour, when students could read any book of their choice from the library. Mr. Doherty ’44 remembered Dr. Doolittle books being quite popular, and was duly impressed with the patience of classmate Charlie Smithers ’44, “who could make a Hershey bar last the whole 60 minutes.” The bulk of the afternoon, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m., was devoted to sports. With many childhood ailments fading into the past, most boys now arrived at Harvey strapping and striving. Those who didn’t were out of luck, because everyone was expected to wrestle and play football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and baseball—and they were expected to play their best.

Hawthorne Under Headmaster Smith | 37


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CHAPTER 3

Settling in at Katonah 1959–1985 “Boarding at Harvey gained me independence and opened my horizons. The most important lesson I learned there was to not be afraid to do what was right.” —Bob Brinkerhoff ’70


Establishing a New Home

O

n September 22, 1959, Harvey students started school at their new 70-acre campus in Katonah, New York. The 121-student enrollment was at a peak, and day students (tuition $1,000) outnumbered boarders (tuition $2,200) for the first time. In many ways, the new campus was reminiscent of the early years in Hawthorne. Katonah was an assembly of farms and country estates spread over 40 square miles, surrounding a town center with a train station. Its gently rolling hills were carved by ancient rivers. Mature woodlands offered shade in the summer and testified to nature’s glory in the fall. This bucolic campus embodied the heart of the old country school, and the 1958 Rambler declared: “There should be no change in the school with one exception, this being that we must revise the school song so that it will read: “Harvey School lay in a valley; Now it’s on a hill.” The other difference, however, was the sparkling new facilities, produced by an 18-month flurry of construction. Two dorms each housed 32 students and four masters. Carter Hall was a modern cinderblock building featuring 10 classrooms, a study hall large enough to double as an auditorium, the dining room, the kitchen, plus faculty apartments. The stables had been renamed Woolsey House and renovated to include a game room, science rooms, art rooms, a shop room, plus apartments for school staff. Of course, some things were not complete: Delivery of lockers was delayed because of a steelworker strike. Faculty and facilities staff worked throughout the year to prepare athletic

48 | Celebrating 100 Years

fields and install goal posts and baseball backstops in time for each sports season. The McConnell Gymnasium, named after donors David H. McConnell ’42 and Neil Anderson McConnell ’43, would open in 1961. Nonetheless, the Harvey community focused on the positive. “It was like going to a different school because everything was so new,” said Mr. Dilmaghani ’62. “The Katonah campus is more expansive and perfectly suited for the kind of school that Harvey is.” While Hawthorne holds a special place as the school’s first home, nostalgia for the old campus faded among students of the day. By November an editorial in The Rambler read, “Naturally because we have so many new buildings on a beautiful site, the school is a much better place in which to learn and live.” An elegant structure named Sylvan Hall anchored the new campus. This building began as a farmer’s house in 1790 and had been modernized and expanded in 1936, under the direction of Sylvan Weil. One unique architectural feature was a wing created from a 150-year-old house in London that had been


Time Capsule

OPPOSITE PAGE: Relaxing by the pool ABOVE: Dorm fun stacks up RIGHT: 1961 Fifth Form in front of Sylvan Hall

dismantled and shipped across the ocean. The floor-to-ceiling, hand-carved paneling provided an elegant backdrop for the school’s library. Much like the original farmhouse at Hawthorne, the home in which Frank Weil ’44 had grown up was transformed into school offices, an infirmary, and apartments for the headmaster and other faculty. Representing the feel of the previous campus, yet set on the new grounds, this building became a symbol of Harvey. Its colonnaded front provided a backdrop for commencement ceremonies for many years. Harvey’s traditions soon filled its new home. In addition to classes and daily student life, the school marked the passing of the year with the Halloween party, sports seasons, holiday celebrations, the school birthday party, and the largest attendance yet on Parents’ Day. Dances continued to add excitement to the school calendar, with girls in attendance from nearby schools. As Headmaster Smith wrote in a 1960 Rambler, “Harvey’s soul began to find nourishment in its new surroundings, and that intangible spirit of the school continued to permeate the atmosphere.”

1966–1975

1976–1985

Presidents

Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford, James Carter, Ronald Reagan

Topics of interest to Harvey students (Neperans and Pocanticos debated)

Whether UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin; Whether money spent on the space race should be spent on domestic problems

Whether Harvey School should become coed; Whether capital punishment should be abolished

Literary giants

Maya Angelou, Betty Friedan, Neil Simon, Kurt Vonnegut, Eudora Welty

E.L. Doctorow, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker

At the box office

Faye Dunaway, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Cicely Tyson

Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino

Median house cost

$22,084

$44,200

Median car cost

$2,650

$5,010

Milk gallon

$1.12

$1.65

Historical events

(1967) First heart transplant, (1968) Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated, (1969) Apollo lands on moon, (1974) Nixon resigns after Watergate scandal (1974) Rubik’s Cube invented (1975) Vietnam War ends

(1976) Apple Inc. is founded to sell personal computers, (1979) Nuclear accident occurs at Three Mile Island, (1979) Iranian hostage crisis, (1981) Sandra Day O’Connor becomes first woman on U.S. Supreme Court, (1982) Film director Steven Spielberg releases E.T.

Settling in at Katonah | 49


76 | Celebrating 100 Years


CHAPTER 4

Reinforcing School Foundations 1985–2016 “Hard work and setting achievable goals were so much a part of what I learned at Harvey. Having passion guides your action and helps you live up to your potential.” —Gregory Jurschak ’06


Modernizing Harvey’s Campus

T

he first major expansion during Headmaster Fenstermacher’s tenure occurred in 2002, when six rooms were added to the former Hickrill labs to transform that building into the Krasne Middle School. This building was named for Charles A. Krasne, who has been an influential trustee since joining the board in 1984. The father of P. T. Thatcher Krasne ’86, Mr. Krasne also created the Charles A. Krasne Project, which enabled Harvey to invest in cutting-edge learning technology in the 1990s and remain current ever since. Harvey first received a specified gift to improve arts facilities in 1992, when a classroom was retrofitted to become a black box theater. The Victoria Wyndham Theater was named for the trustee and mother of two Harvey alumni—but more widely known as a television and stage actress—who underwrote the renovations.

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TOP LEFT: Krasne Middle School TOP RIGHT: Brendan Byrne near the school bell that once rung on the Hawthorne campus ABOVE LEFT: Tammy and Charles Krasne ABOVE RIGHT: Eileen Walker LEFT: Plaque from the Wyndham Theatre


ABOVE: The Walker Center for the Arts BELOW: 2007 Performance of Anything Goes

Yet Harvey did not have comprehensive facilities on par with the quality of its arts instruction until 2006, with the opening of The Walker Center for the Arts. This 20,000-square-foot building is specifically designed for and dedicated to arts education, complete with studios for every discipline of visual and performing arts. With its dramatically pitched tin roof and tall windows, this architectural gem is named in honor of the Walker family—Board Chair Eileen and her husband, Jay, and their children, Evan ’03 and Lindsey ’05. The building features the Lasdon Black Box Theater—a state-of-the-art facility that can be configured to suit any production. Wall panels

Reinforcing School Foundations | 85


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CHAPTER 5

Growing in New Directions Looking to the Future “The founding Carters would, with conviction, say today’s Harvey is ‘right on’ in a mission of building character, integrity, and personal responsibility, and doing it with as much intensity as you bring to academic preparation.” —John Luke ’40

Growing in New Directions | 99


1927, future home of The Harvey School

Our Mission What began as a boarding school for boys in grades 3–8 is now a co-educational school for grades 9–12, with a combination of day students and 5-day boarders. The Harvey School provides a college preparatory program that fosters lifelong learning and inspires students to develop the confidence and leadership qualities necessary to succeed in a diverse, competitive, and changing world. With our commitment to small class size, our community cultivates the strengths of each student through academic excellence, artistic exploration, athletic achievement, community service, and global understanding.

260 Jay Street • Katonah, NY 10536-3707 • 914.232.3161 • www.harveyschool.org

Katonah campus today

A History of The Harvey School | Celebrating 100 Years

A contemporary Harvey Cavalier

A History of The Harvey School Celebrating 100 Years

Dr. Herbert S. Carter and his wife, Mabel, started The Harvey School in 1916 with the belief that strong community is the foundation for successful education. A century later, the heart of Harvey beats strong in its students, faculty, alumni, and parents.