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Mercersburg A magazine for Mercersburg Academy family and friends


in the Life PAGE 16


NO. 2

S U M M E R 2 0 17



A magazine for Mercersburg Academy family and friends



A Day in the Life

Commencement 2017

The Class of 2017 becomes Mercersburg’s newest alumni. Page 9

Day in the Life

9 49

Follow Head of School Katie Titus as she experiences “A Day in the Life” at Mercersburg, and then read stories from faculty, staff, and students as they share what life on campus is all about. Page 16

Celebrating More Than 7,300 Days Tom Rahauser ’74 steps down from his position as dean of students after serving Mercersburg for more than 20 years. Page 38

Reunion Weekend More than 600 alumni and guests came home to Mercersburg this past June. Page 49

You Should Know David Frantz ’60, president of the Board of Regents from 2012-2017, speaks at a Board of Regents dinner in May. During the evening, Mercersburg recognized Frantz for his 30 years of service to the school as a Board member and leader. He officially retired from his position as president at the end of June. Deborah Simon ’74 succeeds him in the role. Photo by Bob Stoler

From the Head of School Via Mercersburg Arts Athletics Class Notes

Mercersburg magazine is published by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications. Mercersburg Academy 300 East Seminary Street Mercersburg, Pennsylvania 17236 Magazine correspondence: Megan_Mallory@mercersburg.edu Class Notes correspondence: classnotes@mercersburg.edu

Photo credits: p. 2 Jillian Wilkerson; p. 3-4 Bob Stoler; p. 4 (Cum Laude) Wilkerson; p. 5 Stoler; p. 7 (Zhang/Lecomte/Im/Thompson/Anderson/Kang) Talbot Photography; p. 8 (McGilberry) Mercersburg Archives, (Thompson with class/Wayne Maxwell, et al) Wilkerson; p. 9 Wilkerson; p. 10-11 Stoler; p.12-13 Wilkerson; p. 14-15 Paul Rutherford; p. 16-19, 21-22, 24, 26-31, 33-34 Wilkerson; p. 35 Jack Jensen ’17; p. 36 Wilkerson; p. 37 Finley Stewart ’17; p. 38-39 Wilkerson; p. 40 (Rahauser with Rockwell) Megan Mallory, (Rahauser coaching) Bill Green; p. 43 Ryan Smith; p. 44 (Strings/Band) Wilkerson; (Jazz Band/Chorale/ Magalia & Octet) Stoler; p. 45 Rodney Coole; p. 46 Ashley Palmer; p. 47 (squash/track & field) Smith, (swimming) Teak Romtrairut ’19; p. 48 (track & field) Smith, (wrestling) Stoler; p. 49-55 Doug Huber; (Loyalty Club and Classes 1987, 1992, 1997, 2012) Stoler. Cover Illustration: Mike Ellis

Alumni correspondence/ change of address: alumni@mercersburg.edu 800-588-2550 Read us online: www.mercersburg.edu/magazine

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Editor: Megan Mallory Class Notes Editor: Tyler Miller Contributors: John David Bennett, Ward Castelli ’17, Austin Curwen, Cole Kissam ’18, Tyler Miller, Lee Owen, Chip Patterson, Zally Price, Michele Poacelli, Emma Shapiro ’17, Douglas Smith, C.J. Walker ’17, Jillian Wilkerson Design: Aldrich Design Head of School: Katherine M. Titus Director of News and Content: Lee Owen Assistant Head for Advancement: Brian Hargrove Assistant Head for Enrollment: Quentin McDowell

© Copyright 2017 Mercersburg Academy. All rights reserved. No content from this publication may be reproduced or reprinted in any form without the express written consent of Mercersburg Academy. Mercersburg Academy abides by both the spirit and the letter of the law in all its employment and admission policies. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or national or ethnic origin.

From the Head of School

A Day in the Life


tories have always inspired me. We build connections by being willing to share and listen to our stories. The community has come to understand my personal story over this first year and, in turn, my primary focus has been to learn the stories of our great school so that I can best serve as its head. One way I have accomplished this is through spending “A Day in the Life” with various members of our school. I have shadowed students and faculty through their daily routines and spent days working with our grounds crew and dining hall staff. Through these days, I’ve attended an early morning wrestling practice, conducted a chemistry experiment, mowed one of the many campus fields using a zero-turn mower, and prepared the salad bar for lunch. While the activities themselves were satisfying, it was the time spent with the people of our community I found most valuable—hanging out in the student center with seniors for two free rotations, having an in-depth conversation with a student about her choice to come to Mercersburg over a high-powered day school in Washington, D.C., sitting with the grounds crew on a coffee break and learning about their families, or lingering in the science department office and listening to faculty. The personalization of this work is what makes it special, and learning the many stories that make the larger mosaic of our school is what truly inspires me. When our seniors were asked to reflect on what they will miss most about Mercersburg, almost all of them said “the people.” The day-in-the-life exercise helped me to experience, even for a few days, what the daily demands of our community feel like from a variety of perspectives, providing invaluable insights for me as head of school. I cherish moments like those, and as I look to the year ahead, I am grounded in the commitment of our people. As you read this issue of the magazine, you will hear stories of

our community sharing in each other’s experience. These stories remind us that we are one Mercersburg, striving to be our best selves, whether our role is as student, faculty, staff, parent, or alum. As we imagine the future of our school in the coming year, we will also be celebrating the 125th anniversary of Mercersburg Academy. Our individual stories over the generations make up the fabric of our great school, strengthening our present and inspiring our future. Dr. Irvine would be proud of what Mercersburg has become since setting his vision into motion 125 years ago, and it is now our responsibility to connect his founding vision with the exciting possibilities of our future. We will do that by learning from our collective stories and renewing our commitment to bringing out the best in each other.

Katherine M. Titus Head of School



D a t es t o Rem em b er


Aug 29

Registration for All Returning Students

Sep 3

2017-2018 Opening Convocation

Oct 20-22

Family and Alumni Weekend

Oct 22-24

Fall Break

Schedule subject to change; for a full and updated schedule of events, visit www.mercersburg.edu

A roundup of what’s news, what’s new, and what Mercersburg people are talking about.

Hale Field House Formally Dedicated By Lee Owen

Mercersburg dedicated the 62,000-square-foot Hale Field House February 13 in front of the student body, faculty, staff, community members, and assembled guests (including the building’s namesake, former Head of School Douglas Hale and his wife, Peggy). “I am so deeply honored to have my name attached to this building,” said Hale, who served as Mercersburg’s fifth head of school from 1997 until his retirement at the close of the 2015–2016 academic year. “The rest of it is up continued on page 4

above: The official ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at the Hale Field House dedication. Left to right: Director of Athletics Rick Hendrickson; Dylan Lissette; Jeffrey and Gail Reeder; Garrett Noone ’18, indoor track & field co-captain; Douglas Hale, Mercersburg’s head of school from 1997-2016; Finley Stewart ’17 and Felix Eckert ’17, indoor track & field co-captains; Peggy Hale; Board of Regents Vice President Stacie Rice Lissette ’85; and Head of School Katie Titus.



to you, students. You will make the history of this building, of this school, of this place you will call your alma mater. So go out there and write history in all kinds of ways.” The Hale Field House is the largest indoor field house in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League and home to one of only two competition-size tracks in the MAPL. In addition to competition space for the Blue Storm’s indoor track & field athletes (and its boys’ and girls’ tennis teams, which can use the courts to host matches during inclement weather), the field house will provide practice and workout space for a variety of sports. “This is a facility that allows us to better serve our students—whether they are varsity athletes competing on the track, or students seeking exercise on the courts in the midst of a long winter, ” said Katie Titus, Mercersburg’s head of school. “The Hale Field House is a resource for all of our stu-

Left to right: Indoor track & field co-captains Finley Stewart ’17, Felix Eckert ’17, and Garrett Noone ’18 speak at the dedication.

dents, and I think it’s safe to say that a day will not pass when our school won’t be playing and exercising in this facility.” The building (located just to the north of the existing athletic center and Nolde Gymnasium) opened in January, and hosted its first indoor track & field meet January 27. It served as the site of the 2017 MAPL Indoor Track & Field Championships February 18—marking the first time Mercersburg hosted the event.

In addition to Hale, Titus, and Board of Regents Vice President St acie Rice Lissette ’85, other speakers at the dedication ceremony included indoor track & field student-athletes Finley Stewart ’17, Felix Eckert ’17, and Garrett Noone ’18, as well as Director of Athletics Rick Hendrickson. Following the ceremony, students and guests had dessert inside the field house, and enjoyed games in a “stay-and-play” atmosphere.

Announcing Cum Laude 2017 A total of 25 members of Mercersburg’s Class of 2017 have been formally inducted into the school’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Olympic gold medalist and California Institute of Technology Director of Athletics Betsy Mitchell ’83 (back row/left with Head of School Katie Titus) served as the featured speaker at March’s Cum Laude Convocation. Front row (L-R): Emma Shapiro ’17, Rebecca Li ’17, Erin Pak ’17, Jahyung Lee ’17, Maya Tetali ’17. Second row: Alex Nanos ’17, Jane Kistler ’17, Yulia Lee ’17, Carol Tang ’17, Mia Wang ’17. Third row: Illia Presman ’17, Melanie Jiang ’17, Jinmook Kang ’17, Christy Zhang ’17, Maddie Rogers ’17. Fourth row: Nathan Abel ’17, Jacky Lu ’17, Ryan Geitner ’17, Maddie Surmacz ’17. Fifth row: Bill Le ’17, Alex Solganik ’17, Alistair Matsuda ’17, Will Thompson ’17. Not pictured: Daphne Flores ’17, Elma Hoffman ’17.


“... to work with the parents and the school has been life changing.” Mark and Kim Siner

White Key Co-chairs Pass the Torch After Five Years Mark and Kim Siner, parents of Abbie ’14 and Taylor ’17, are stepping down from their role as White Key co-chairs after five years in the position. White Key is Mercersburg’s parent volunteer organization, and in the role of co-chairs, the Siners have worked to create a community for Mercersburg parents. “Our experience as chairs of White Key has been incredible,” says Kim Siner. “We have met so many wonderful people, including students, parents, staff and faculty at Mercersburg. To be involved in such a role and to work with the parents and the school has been life changing. The school has been very welcoming to suggestions and ideas from us and many other parents. Working with exceptional and high-quality standards at a prestigious high school, and yet also feeling a strong sense of family, has really made us feel like we are truly part of the Long Blue Line.” The Siners point to many highlights from their time as co-chairs, including working with and meeting families during Family Weekend and throughout the year, assisting with the Daring to Lead Campaign, reaching

out and speaking with prospective students and families, and making congratulatory phone calls to accepted students. They have also enjoyed hosting students at their home in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, working with other volunteers to plan events such as Blue Storm tailgates for varsity sports, and sharing their Mercersburg experiences with others. During Family Weekend 2016, the Siners were acknowledged with the James Hasson Distinguished Service Award, an award given when a volunteer extends distinguished service to Mercersburg over the course of many years. This fall, Abbie will be a senior at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and Taylor will begin her first year at West Virginia University.

Meet Mercersburg’s new dean of student life on page 41.




Books by Two of Mercersburg’s Own Now Available Mercersburg alumnus Charles H. Moore Jr. ’47 and former faculty member McClain Jeffrey Moredock have both published books this past spring. Moore, an Olympic gold medalist and USA Track & Field Hall of Fame member, published Running on Purpose: Winning Olympic Gold, Advancing Corporate Leadership and Creating Sustainable Value. Moore won the 400-meter hurdles (in a then-record-setting time of 50.8 seconds) at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, and earned a silver medal for running a leg of the mile relay for the United States. He served three terms on Mercersburg’s Board of Regents and was national chair of the school’s Mightily Onward capital campaign. His Olympic medals are on display inside Mercersburg’s Nolde Gymnasium along with memorabilia from several of the school’s 54 Olympians (who, in total, have won 20 Olympic medals—12 gold, five silver, and three bronze). Moore describes the 286-page book (with contributor James Cockerille and published by Edgemoor Ink) as “a business memoir, intended to inspire both today’s and tomorrow’s leaders to live a life of purpose.” Moore is chairman of the Institute for Sustainable Value Creation and has previously served as executive director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy and as director of athletics at his collegiate alma mater, Cornell University. He has also worked as president and CEO of several multinational companies, and served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, as a national board alumni member of the

Moredock and his wife Etta

Charles H. Moore Jr.

Smithsonian Institution, and as public sector director for the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 1996, he was named one of the USOC’s “100 Golden Olympians.” Moore is the parent of four Mercersburg alumni (Charles III ’67, David ’74, Susan ’77, and Brian ’94); in total, 10 members of his extended family have attended the school. Moore’s father, Charles “Crip” Moore ’22, was also an Olympian, having been selected for the 1924 U.S. Olympic Team (in track & field—like father, like son). Moredock, a chaplain, teacher, and coach at Mercersburg from 1973 to 1979, recently published a book of poetry, Poems from Essex & Elsewhere. He explains that half the poems are based in a little town called Essex, New York, where Moredock and his wife Etta have spent their summers every year since 1980. He penned two of the poems—“The Faculty Meeting (collegium military)” and “The Ascension”—while working at Mercersburg. “I tend to take a lot of inspiration from my students,” Moredock says of his writing. “I’ve always been grateful that I spent my life in schools.” In addition to his role as chaplain at Mercersburg, Moredock taught religion and philosophy, served as director of student activities, and coached basketball and track & field. His wife also worked at Mercersburg, teaching ESL. After Mercersburg, Moredock served as head of school at North Country School in Lake Placid, New York. Following three other headships, he served as chief operating officer and governance counsel for the National Association of Independent Schools in Washington, D.C., until his retirement. His collection of golf short stories called Nine Holes, Nine Lives: The Front Nine will be published as an eBook early this summer. (Proceeds from the sale of Poems from Essex & Elsewhere will support Doctors Without Borders.) The books by Moore and Murdock are available through Amazon.com, among other retailers.


Burg’ s Eye View CAMPUS NOTES A total of five works of art by four different Mercersburg students received honors in the 2017 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. Cindy Zhang ’18 received two Gold Key Awards (for her painting, “Untitled,” and drawing/illustration, “Chiaroscuro”), and Naima Lecomte ’17 also earned a Gold Key (for her painting, “Greatest Gig in the Sky”). All three works advanced to compete in the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. Elizabeth Im ’18 and James Thompson ’18 received Honorable Mention awards in the competition. Im’s comic art piece, “Looking for Gabriel,” and Thompson’s painting, “Out of Africa,” were honored. The competition is open to students from schools in eight Pennsylvania counties with a combined population of approximately 1.4 million. In addition to Franklin County (where Mercersburg is located) and Dauphin County (home to the state’s capital city of Harrisburg), other counties included are Adams County, Cumberland County, Juniata County, Lebanon County, Perry County, and York County. Im is a repeat winner from the 2016 regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, when her composition “Lucy and Isabella” received an Honorable Mention in the personal essay/memoir category. Last year, four Mercersburg students had five works overall selected for the awards.

“Cornered,” a teapot by Davis Anderson ’20, was selected for display in the National K12 Ceramic Exhibition, held in March at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The event is the premier juried ceramic competition for U.S. students from kindergarten through grade 12. Anderson is the 13th Mercersburg student since 2009 to have his work chosen for the national exhibition, which is held in a different city across the nation each year in conjunction with the annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). In the previous National K12 Ceramic Exhibition, held in 2016 in Kansas City, work by Caroline Casparian ’16 was chosen for exhibit. Additionally, a piece by Ryan Geitner ’17 was featured in the 2015 exhibition in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cindy Zhang ’18

Naima Lecomte ’17

“Chiaroscuro” by Cindy Zhang ’18

“Cornered” by Davis Anderson ’20

Davis Anderson ’20

Elizabeth Im ’18

James Thompson ’18

“Greatest Gig in the Sky” by Naima Lecomte ’17

Jinmook Kang ’17 was selected as a finalist in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. Kang is one of just 15,000 students nationwide to earn the honor, and advanced to compete for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. Kang was chosen as a National Merit Semifinalist in fall 2016, and five of his classmates (Elma Hoffman ’17, Melanie Jiang ’17, Yulia Lee ’17, Alistair Matsuda ’17, and Will Thompson ’17) were named Commended Students in the program (also this fall). About 1.6 million 11th-grade students in more than 22,000 U.S. high schools entered the 2017 program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in fall 2015. Members of next year’s senior class sat for the PSAT/ NMSQT in fall 2016.

Jinmook Kang ’17




Mercersburg Celebrates 100th Anniversary of First Native American Graduate By Lee Owen In April, Mercersburg marked the 100th anniversary of its first Native American graduate with a daylong celebration of Charles Watson McGilberry of the school’s Class of 1917. The celebration included a presentation at a school meeting which featured McGilberry’s granddaughter, Carolee Maxwell, and her husband, Wayne, who wrote the 2009 book Touched by Greatness about McGilberry’s life and his experiences at Mercersburg. Dr. Ian Thompson, the tribal historic preservation officer for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Joseph Wolf, tribal community liaison for the Choctaw Nation, joined the Maxwells for the presentation and also took part in a number of events on campus. The Maxwells’ son (McGilberry’s great-grandson) and daughter-in-law, Brandon and Lizi Maxwell, were also in attendance. McGilberry, a member of the Choctaw Nation from the then-newly created state of Oklahoma, was one of three Native American students chosen to enroll at Mercersburg in fall 1914 as part of a scholarship program created by wealthy businessman and philanthropist Rodman Wanamaker, who was a friend and classmate of Mercersburg’s founding headmaster Dr. William Mann Irvine at Princeton University. The three students were given full tuition, room, and board, with the ultimate hope of their eventual matriculation to Princeton. “On behalf of my late grandfather and his entire family, we are so grateful to all who have made this day possible,” Carolee Maxwell said during her presentation. “And let me say to you, the students: I encourage you to find a copy of Touched by Greatness and read it. Within its pages, you will discover that nothing is impossible with a hearty helping of grit and determination. If a Choctaw Indian boy from the Kiamichi Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma in 1917 could have done this [graduated from Mercersburg], then so can you.” Head of School Katie Titus presented the Maxwells with a hand-turned wooden bowl crafted by former Mercersburg staff

top right: Dr. Ian Thompson joins a Ceramics I class taught by Wells Gray to work with students on a demonstration of the art of Native Choctaw pottery. above: L-R: Wayne Maxwell, Joseph Wolf, Carolee Maxwell, Dr. Ian Thompson at left: Charles Watson McGilberry (1917)

member Joe Wertner from lumber salvaged from the Mercersburg campus. (Thompson, Wolf, and Brandon and Lizi Maxwell also received similar pieces.) In 1914, the other Native American students to enroll alongside McGilberry were John Earl Gibson (of Arizona and the Pima Nation) and Louis Tyner (of Kansas and the Shawnee Nation). The Maxwells’ book calls the scholarship program “an experiment to determine if young Indians [Native Americans] could be successfully educated in the studies and mannerisms of an Ivy League environment.” At Mercersburg, McGilberry, Gibson, and Tyner lived together in ’Eighty-eight Dormitory (which stood between Keil Hall and the site of present-day Ford Hall). McGilberry played football and baseball, wrote for the Lit (the school literary magazine and precursor to Blue Review), and was a member of The Fifteen and the Irving Society. He graduated in 1917 and was accepted at Princeton, but following service in the U.S. Army during World War I, where he was the first Native American commissioned as an Army officer, McGilberry (who had married and was about to become a father for the first time) decided against making the trip back east from Oklahoma to Princeton. McGilberry attended East Central Teachers College in Ada, Oklahoma, earned a master’s from the University of Oklahoma, and did end up in the Ivy League when he undertook postgraduate study at Columbia University. He and his wife, Vivian, taught at Native American schools in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and South Dakota, and McGilberry served as a school superintendent in Johnston County, Oklahoma. He died in 1960 at age 67.



Commencement HONORING THE CLASS OF 2017



132 graduates, representing 16 American states, the District of Columbia, and 17 nations

MAY 27, 2017


Members of the graduating class will matriculate at more than 80 different colleges and universities

Most popular college choices: New York University and the U.S. Naval Academy (eight matriculations apiece), Northeastern University (four), Boston University (three), Cornell University (three), Fordham University (three), Kenyon College (three), McDaniel College (three), Tulane University (three)

Commencement speaker:

Baccalaureate speaker:

Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, 64th Secretary of State of the United States

Philip Kantaros, faculty member completing his 15th and final year at Mercersburg






Nathan Abel Daphne Flores Ryan Geitner Elma Hoffman Melanie Jiang Jinmook Kang Jane Kistler Bill Le Jahyung Lee Yulia Lee Rebecca Li Jacky Lu Alistair Matsuda Alex Nanos Erin Pak Illia Presman Maddie Rogers Emma Shapiro Alex Solganik Maddie Surmacz Carol Tang Maya Tetali Will Thompson Mia Wang Christy Zhang

ENGLISH The Harry F. Smith Prize

The Senior Instrumental Music Prize

Yulia Lee

The Dance Director’s Award

Lexi Richards

The Dance Prize

Chelsea Miao and Yuna Yamamoto The Choreography Prize

Chelsea Miao

The Stony Batter Prize

Zach McDonald and Katherine Reber

Lexi Sommerville

Emma Shapiro

HISTORY The AP European History Prize

Jane Kistler

The Elective Studies in History Prize

Andrew Dillard

Illia Presman (first prize) Nick Schulkin (second prize)

The Gordon M. Macartney Prize

MATHEMATICS The Multivariable Calculus Prize

The Dr. Julius Shamansky Prize

Emma Shapiro

C.J. Walker

Emma Claire Geitner

The Colonel Wills Prize

The H. Eugene Davis Prize in Spanish

Ward Castelli

Mia Wang

The Yale University Aurelian Prize

The Pratt L. Tobey Prize

Ryan Geitner

The Irwin Cohen ’23 Scholar/Athlete Prize The Persis F. Ross Award

The William C. Heilman (1896) Prize

Mia Wang

Jared Chulavatr Andrew Gregory Katie Hofman Maddi Jones Woody Jones Patty Krisan Sami Nassif Dean Nguyen Lindsay Tanner

The Community Engagement Award

The Technical Theatre Prize

CLASSICAL & MODERN LANGUAGES The John H. Montgomery Prize in Advanced Level French

Maddie Rogers

SPECIAL AWARDS Appointments to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Naima Lecomte

The Francis Shunk Downs (1902) Prize

Finley Stewart

The William C. Fowle Award

Kaufman Butler

The Carol Amorocho ’81 Prize

Will Thompson

Lexi Sommerville

The Mary Jane Berger Prize

Gnim Bazim

The Tim O. Rockwell Award

Jacky Lu

Katherine Reber

The AP Statistics Prize

The Head of School’s Prize

Erin Pak

Ryan Geitner

The John Mountain ’31 Prize

Jinmook Kang

FINE ARTS The Head of School’s Purchase Prize

Laurel Kipe and Naima Lecomte

The Austin V. McClain ’26 Prize in Fine Arts

Naima Lecomte

The Blue Review Award

Barbara Fitzsimmons

The Music Director’s Prize

Nathan Abel

The Hamilton Vocal Music Prize

Adam Cromwell

Mia Wang ’17, valedictorian

Nick Miller ’17, Nevin Orator

Ryan Geitner ’17, Senior Class President


























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Class of 2017 Legacy Graduates 1. Chris Doyle, son of Dave Doyle ’84. 2. James DiLalla, son of Richard DiLalla ’81 (left) and Ann Marks DiLalla ’82. 3. Fiona Flanagan, daughter of Tim Flanagan ’69 and granddaughter of the late Tom Flanagan ’38. 4. Lexi Sommerville, daughter of Paul Sommerville ’63. 5. Coco Campbell, daughter of Jim Campbell ’63. 6. Maddie Rogers, daughter of Chuck Rogers ’78. 7. Hannah Hassoun, daughter of Heitham Hassoun ’89. 8. Alex Lissette, son of Stacie Rice Lissette ’85. 9. Emma Claire Geitner (left) and Ryan Geitner, granddaughters of Clem Geitner ’59 and great-granddaughters of the late Walker Geitner ’28. 10. Michael Kozinski, son of Jim Kozinski ’72. 11. Will Thompson, son of George Thompson ’84 (left) and grandson of Bill Thompson ’44. 12. Abby Henne, daughter of Beth Ann Baxter ’84.

“Perhaps the most valuable thing I have learned in my time here is how to argue with your friends, how to have opposing views and reconcile them, and how to live in a community filled with people of so many different backgrounds and appreciate each person in their own right.” —MADDIE ROGERS ’17, VALEDICTORIAN

Maddie Rogers ’17, valedictorian

Emma Claire Geitner ’17, Nevin Orator

Madeleine K. Albright, invited speaker







“The pointed truth of our Mercersburg careers proved to us in understanding that the tangibles and comprehensibles are not the tokens that we take in hand from this place. It is rather the realizations that we are yet to have, the bonds that we are yet to make, and the borders that we have yet to break. Mercersburg has established a foundation from which we continue, from which we launch.” —RYAN GEITNER ’17, SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT




Irving-Marshall Week 2017 February 26–March 2


Irving 675 Irving declaimers (front row, L-R): third-place winner Morgan Steiner ’17, Katherine Reber ’17, Ellie Wilkie ’19. Back row: Davis Anderson ’20, Lauren Ingram ’18.

Marshall 1325 Marshall declaimers (front row, L-R): Fiona Flanagan ’17, Alex DeGrange ’17, Zach McDonald ’17. Back row: secondplace winner Ava Paul ’18, first-place winner John Leiner ’17.


First-place declaimer and Scoblionko Declamation Cup winner John Leiner ’17

Irving and Marshall officers

Marshall and Irving Society officers and declaimers stop for a selfie on their way into dinner prior to Declamation.









uring her first year as Mercersburg’s new head of school, Katie Titus asked several members of the school community— both students and adults—to, quite literally, take her to work with them. Titus set aside a handful of days over the course of the academic year to fully immerse herself in the experience of life on campus as a typical Mercersburg student, as well as through the eyes of a variety of faculty and staff members. On the first day of the challenge in September, Titus started her day at 6:45 a.m. in the Kuhn Wrestling Center with a circuit workout alongside Sam Ahern ’17 (her student host for the day) and his fellow Blue Storm wrestlers. Like Ahern (of Potomac, Mayland), Titus settled into a seat in a Lenfest Hall classroom for the day’s first rotation. She and Ahern then socialized with students in the Simon Student Center during a free rotation, followed by lunch in Ford Hall; attended AP Environmental Science, Maker’s Lab (Springboard), and “In Pursuit of the Essay” classes; and finished the day with an after-school workout with Ahern and the boys’ cross country team on the Curran Track.

Titus continued her unique campus “tour” one week later, when she shadowed Patrice McGloin ’19 (of Washington, D.C.). She followed McGloin’s daily class schedule, which included AP World History, Algebra II, Chinese III, Chemistry, and English, as well as an after-school volleyball game. Titus spent a day in November working around campus with members of the Academy’s Buildings and Grounds staff, planting bulbs, picking up trash and recycling items, and mowing the lawns. Early in February, she shadowed science faculty member Nikki Walker and, later that month, tested out her culinary skills when she spent the day with SAGE Dining Services. Titus plans to continue shadowing students, faculty, and staff as her schedule allows during the 2017– 2018 academic year.



Titus shadows faculty member Nikki Walker.

bottom three photos: Titus experiences life as a senior at Mercersburg with Sam Ahern ’17.





“Mrs. Titus is really easy to talk to, and she was really interested in learning what it means to be a student here on a normal school day. She’s very interested in making this place the best it can be, and I can tell she’s willing to invest her time to figure out how to do that.” —PATRICE MCGLOIN ’19

Titus with Patrice McGloin ’19

2 SAGE Dining Services hosts Titus for a day.


Titus spends a day with Buildings and Grounds staff.


Take a look at Titus’ year of shadowing through the photos here. Then turn the page to experience your own “Day in the Life” through a variety of stories highlighting life at Mercersburg.






INSIDE ACADEMICS The Freedom to Be “Wild” in an English Class A TEACHER’S MONDAY BEGINS at his dining room table on Sunday, or in a July workshop the previous summer, or after a failed lesson the previous year. Maybe it began while his mind wandered during a morning run several years prior. So on Monday morning, when the teacher turns on the lights, sets up the technology, arranges the tables and chairs, and lays out the materials, he is putting the last touches on a moment prepared by years of experimentation, failures, triumphs, joy, worry, fixation, and satisfaction. For just that one Monday, the teacher has wrangled every “a-ha,” every “oops,” and every note-to-self so he can roll out a boutique experience that only he—an artisan professional—can craft. Such a romantic description of the first few minutes of a teacher’s day really isn’t all that romanticized. It accurately describes how the best lessons come to be; but anyone who makes a living in the classroom knows that that sort of daily, singular, superhero’s effort is rarely sustainable. How long, really, can one teacher maintain that level of energy and output when trying to generate nearly 120 inspired classes a year? If left to work in isolation, with only rare opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, the answer to this question is simple: “She can’t.” But that doesn’t mean that an innovative teacher, department, or academy can’t find a fresh way, a new structure, or an uncommon means of giving teachers a chance to inspire their students every single day. Mercersburg’s mission statement puts specific value on approaching life “thoughtfully and creatively,” and the school’s first belief statement affirms that an innovative academic program “is at the heart of the Mercersburg experience.” These two constitutional ideas encouraged a small group of Mercersburg teachers to rethink our current 12:1 student-teacher model and use that

By John David Bennett, Dean of Curricular Innovation

rare and wonderful ratio in an even more rare and wonderful way. Starting this fall, we will pilot their design, shaking up the siloed, solitary model of the classroom, giving teachers the time and space to directly collaborate with colleagues and to develop—as a team— those 120 inspired classes. We unveiled our idea at a 2014 Daring to Lead Campaign event in Washington, D.C. That evening, English faculty member Matt Maurer and I began our presentation with the following story. During a morning run in November 2011, a Mercersburg English teacher heard a podcast about Eduardo Sousa, a Spanish farmer who farms geese for the production of foie gras. In 2006, Sousa’s obscure cafe won the coveted Coup de Coeur at the Salon International d’Alimentation (Paris), but instead of waves of congratulations for the upset victory, much of the food industry responded with scorn, primarily because of Sousa’s “dubious” claim that his farm doesn’t use gavage, the traditional and cruel practice of force-feeding geese through a long plastic tube so that their livers will grow to eight times the natural size. Dan Barber—owner and chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York—wanted to see for himself whether Sousa was for real. What he found was a farm where geese are treated humanely, a farm where the flock believes that it’s wild. It’s an “Eden” of acorns and figs and grasses. There are no pens or cages. The geese’s wings aren’t clipped. There are fences, but they’re electrified on the outside to keep predators out, not geese in. And instead of being force-fed, the geese fatten themselves naturally when autumn comes, doubling their body weight in just a few weeks. According to the TED Talk “A Foie Gras Parable,” Barber also learned that many of the birds in Sousa’s flock are wild geese who

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bennett is entering his 11th year on the Mercersburg faculty. He previously served as head of the English department and was named

Mercersburg’s first Dean of Curricular Innovation in spring 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Bennett and his wife, Denise, are the parents of three children, including Cameron Rogers ’12 and Olivia Grace Bennett ’19.


have spontaneously landed on his farm and stayed, instead of migrating south. This was especially hard for Barber to believe. “The DNA of a goose is to fly south in the winter, right?” Barber asked Sousa. “Isn’t that what they’re put on this earth for? To fly south in the winter and north when it gets warm? [Sousa] said, ‘No, no, no. Their DNA is to find the conditions that are conducive to life, to happiness. They find it here.’” Sousa’s story has become a parable for Mercersburg’s English department, as we’ve thought about a setting, a curriculum, and an open pedagogy that doesn’t feel like the

contrivances of a classroom and that gives students the nourishment and the freedom to be “wild,” to make themselves full with the best of our discipline so that they can be extraordinarily healthy, strong, happy, energized, and activated. Any good pedagogy must be studentcentered, but any good student-centered program first invests in its teachers because teachers design the moments when they connect with students. So in addition to de-emphasizing alphanumeric grades and broadening the students’ choice of what they read, write, and perform, English at


Mercersburg will be taught by four to seven teachers working together with a group of 40 to 70 students. The four teachers who will work together in next year’s ninth-grade pilot are already collaborating. They’re sharing best practices, creating a web of differentiated paths that will lead to productive, vibrant, and engaged writing, reading, listening, speaking, leading, and cooperation. Together, they and their students will become a web, a network, a “wild” superorganism of ideas and perspectives. A day in the English “classroom” may never be the same again.

John David Bennett leads his Parallel Histories Springboard class.





ANYTHING BUT BORING Exploring Colleges, One Meeting at a Time By Austin Curwen, Associate Director of College Counseling & History Faculty

DAY-IN-THE-LIFE STORIES RESONATE for the same reason that current television

shows like Dirty Jobs or Dr. Dee: Alaska Vet or any number of other semi-reality shows have appeal. They provide a behind-the-scenes look at what, at first glance, appears routine. In the College Counseling department, our charge is to work with students to help them identify their own interests and areas of strength, and then, when they reach 11th grade, begin the process of selecting and assessing different possibilities for college. By the end of the academic year, those students have been doing many college searches and also looking at dozens of websites and starting school visits. At the same time, the current seniors have all submitted applications, and these students are poring over websites and financial-aid statements, attending accepted-student days, and planning next steps for depositing at the school of their choice. To wit, I have compiled a collection of snippets that comprises a typical spring day in the College Counseling office for me. Department meeting, 9 a.m.: At this meeting, we compare notes on our most recent round of calls to colleges in the run-up to decisions. These calls serve to reinforce the relationships we have with our college representatives and also to discuss students in the process. On our end, these calls give us a chance to advocate for our students and share academic upticks. This is also an opportunity to hear about different trends and factors that colleges put into their selection process. In addition to discussing these calls at our department meeting, we might also brainstorm some of the upcoming parent events and also plan summer conferences and professional-development opportunities. Austin Curwen meets with Patrick Madden ’18.


Human Geography class, 10 a.m.: Within the office, our primary responsibility is college counseling, but members of the department also teach, coach, advise, work in the dormitories, and take on the myriad responsibilities that a boarding school affords. In my case, I teach a single class and help out with Mercersburg Outdoor Education as a winter Performance Group Activity. Student meeting, 11 a.m.: This is my third meeting with this particular upper middler (11th grader). To date, we have identified certain parameters for college like geographic range (mostly East Coast and the South) and school size and location (not too big and also in or near a city). In addition, this student is interested in business and Spanish, so we are going back and digging into some of the details of the various colleges on the list. Factors we are considering include whether a student studying business can have a dual major in arts and sciences. In addition, we are looking at study abroad options. Are there possibilities in either Central or South America? Would the classes there include business, or would this be a chance to focus on languages and liberal arts? At the end of our meeting, I give this student instructions for next time: keep refining the list. When we meet next, we will have a range of colleges across three categories: likely for acceptance, possible for acceptance, and “reach” schools (a long-shot but potentially still possible for acceptance). Lunch and Help Period, 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.: Lunchtime is the chance to check in quickly with upcoming appointments. In addition, both lunch and help period are opportunities to meet quickly with current 11th and 12th graders. In the spring, it is mostly seniors weighing various acceptances. I also work with students who have been placed on the college waiting lists. (Hint to students: Contact your college representative immediately and also think about ways to show demonstrated interest and academic hard work.) Between 1-4 p.m.: I have two more student meetings in the second half of the day. Topics covered include looking at computer science programs with one student and looking more broadly at liberal arts with the second student. The second student has a


“If you can dream up the question, we’ve probably grappled with it in our office.” —AUSTIN CURWEN

general idea of what interests him, and he is a very good candidate for applying as an undeclared liberal-arts student. Other discussion points include spending a good deal of time with one of the students talking about financial aid. We talk about need-based aid and merit aid and the steps one takes to pursue each of these. On this student’s list, some of the “reach” schools do a very good job of meeting demonstrated financial need for accepted students. We also look at some of the schools on the student’s list and the degree to which each of those schools offers merit aid, and then we explore the process required to apply for that aid. The end of the day means keeping up with notes from each meeting and being sure all of that is written up and shared with parents and students. In addition, I take a glance at the next day’s schedule, and I also make sure appointments are set for the end of the week and start of the next. What I can’t quite express accurately in this day-in-the-life montage are all the small moments we share in the College Counseling office each day, asking questions, collaborating, and sharing resources. We field all kinds of inquires—everything from international university admissions to endless SAT and ACT questions to details about NCAA Division I, II, and III sports programs to which schools offer financial aid. If you can dream up the question, we’ve probably grappled with it in our office. A day in the College Counseling department includes a variety of activities, but boredom is certainly not one of them.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Curwen is entering his third year at Mercersburg. He graduated from Syracuse University with a double major in geography and history and

has completed master’s degrees from the University of Washington, Columbia University, and the University of Bristol. Curwen and his wife, Alison, have three children: Darcy ’17, Tag ’19, and Stapley ’20.







TUCKED AWAY AT THE FAR SIDE of the dining hall, our table is quite the sight during a Monday-night dinner. As everyone else is adorned in suit and tie and other semiformal attire, our dresses and heels are nowhere to be found. Instead, the four of us don a set of casual clothing: sweatpants, T-shirts, sneakers, and—when the meal comes to an end—a single blue apron and a set of plastic gloves designating each of us as dining hall mugwumps. The job is almost as strange as the name sounds. Our table of four is placed closest to the kitchen, relatively out of sight as everyone else enjoys lunch or dinner. At certain points during and after the meal, though, we jump into action: clearing napkins, banana peels, and apple cores off trays; sorting items between compost and trash; stacking plates before they’re placed in a dishwasher;

By C.J. Walker ’17

assisting in getting pies and cakes out of the kitchen fast enough for other tables awaiting their dessert. These are all daily duties we undertake, working alongside the SAGE Dining staff and helping ensure everything ends up where it needs to be. This aspect of the Mercersburg dining experience functions on a volunteer basis that permeates throughout campus. As the rest of the student body switches every two weeks from one table of 10 to another, we transition back and forth between regular table assignments and our specialized table of four, sharing duties with other student volunteers who sign up for the job. By the spring term, though, sitting at a regular table and being part of the normal table rotation feels more awkward than my place at our table of four. Returning to the mugwump table after a twoweek hiatus, I am not just excited for the chance to escape the pres-

C.J. Walker ’17 (second from left) with her fellow mugwumps Maddi Jones ’17, Isiuwa Oghagbon ’17, and Rebecca Li ’17


A DAY IN THE sure of looking nice for formal dinners or to have a little more chocolate-chip cookie pie per person. Rather, I find myself looking forward to the true sense of gratitude from SAGE Dining employees, the frequent phrases of “Thank you” and “It’s good to have you back.” I highly anticipate new faculty stopping by, curious at what the four of us could possibly be doing at this strange table in the back, and I relish the chance to describe how our jobs are actually an integral part of the dining hall’s complicated way of functioning. What began as an attempt to occasionally dine with friends has transformed into so much more, becoming a fundamental part of my Mercersburg experience. I have spent more than 20 weeks sitting at the mugwump table, more than 140 meals overlooking the rest of the dining hall from the exact same spot. I’ve seen a usually quiet, excessively small table transform into an overcrowded one, becoming a center of conversation and excitement and a go-to spot for people seeking extra food. I’ve seen our community grow, mugwumping for seniors at their last meal or newly admitted students at their first. And while the people surrounding this table, and the food placed upon it, change, I’m certain this timeless Mercersburg tradition, and with it a sense of gratitude and service, will endure.


Q & A with Jim Butler, Director of Dining Services Interview by Megan Mallory IT TAKES A VILLAGE to feed Mercersburg. More specifically, it takes Director of Dining Services Jim Butler, his three managers—Amy Weber (assistant director), Jeff Gray (assistant director), and Chris Yuninger (executive chef)—and a total of 35 SAGE team members to make between 800 and 1,400 meals each day for 700 students, faculty, and staff. SAGE is Mercersburg’s dining-services provider, and Mercersburg magazine sat down with Butler to discuss how SAGE is able to feed this hungry school community.

Mercersburg magazine: How would you describe a typical day in SAGE Dining Services? Jim Butler: Busy, but not hectic. We try to keep moving at a mea-

sured but deliberate pace that allows us to follow the rhythm of the school. Each meal period and type of meal has its own pace. Breakfast starts with the early risers. They are followed by people straight from their morning workout, and then there are the sleepins who are taking advantage of their schedule to have a relaxed breakfast. Between meal periods is when our SAGE team members really have to maintain their motivation. In most restaurants, the staff can be fairly idle until the guests arrive. Not here. The clock keeps ticking down to the next meal period and is only interrupted when service begins. When 560 people walk in at once, there is no time for the staff to pause or make up a plan. Being ready and maintaining that measured pace the entire day is part of what makes it possible.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Walker is from Fairfax,

Virginia, and plans to attend the College of William & Mary in the fall. During her senior year at Mercersburg, she participated in Mercersburg Outdoor Education, varsity soccer and softball, and served as a prefect in Swank Hall, editor of the Mercersburg NEWS, Head Blue Key, and a Writing Center Fellow.


Did you know the term “mugwump” was coined in the 1960s and refers to the students who help organize the rush of dirty plates and glasses at the end of the meal?






Weekday lunch can be like watching a dam erode and break. A trickle becomes a stream and then a torrent of students. At this point, I’ve seen more than 1,000 lunches served here, and I remain amazed by the level of energy and enthusiasm on display daily. A lot has been said about the value of community at Mercersburg, and I do not think a better example exists than weekday lunch. Watching the SAGE team interact as they weave their way through the throngs of hungry guests and witnessing the appreciation displayed by students is frequently a high point of the day for me. Making the turn from lunch to dinner is when the majority of the SAGE team is together to complete one meal and set up for

the next. While the front-of-house team changes and launders linens and sweeps and mops the 9,500-square-foot dining room, the back-of-house team is starting on the meals for the next day. The kitchen’s Golden Rule is “If you’re not a day ahead, you’re a day behind.” The cooks, salad prep, and baker will actually be finishing the work for dinner while starting the work for lunch and breakfast the next day. Dinners are unique to each day of the week. Semi-formal dress makes Monday  just different enough from the other required dinners on  Wednesday  and  Thursday  to be its own experience. Buffet dinners can be like a holiday dinner with a really big family. There’s lot of conversation and laughter and people just sharing a meal and a good time. SAGE’s day doesn’t end until the last table has been cleared and cleaned and reset and the last bit of floor swept and mopped and every dish, pot, and pan washed and returned to its proper place. MM: How do you figure out what to serve? JB: We start with history and rely on what students have enjoyed in the past. We do a lot of reading in professional journals and watch what is popular at traditional restaurants. We work with other SAGE accounts to learn what is working there and go online to see what’s being served on college campuses. Most of all, we pay attention to what students ask for, whether in comment cards, emails, surveys, or conversation. Then we pay attention to what they actually eat. We keep a lot of notes on how different meals are consumed and make changes when we see something is not working. MM: Where do ingredients come from? JB: We purchase as much as possible from local, sustainable providers. Much of our meat comes from Hoffman Meats in Hagerstown, Maryland, and most of our bread is from Martin’s Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. We work with a produce vendor in Lancaster that helps us source as much from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware as possible. MM: What happens to the leftover food?

Top: Dee Dee Zimmerman sets out items on the salad bar for lunch. Bottom: Jim Butler reads positive feedback from the campus community during a SAGE team meeting.

JB: In a family-style meal, once we’ve set food on a table, we cannot retain that for people to consume. So that will end up being sent to a local pig farmer. The napkins also go to the pig farmer, and he uses them for bedding for the animals. That’s why there are times when even though we know there



Butler walks up and down the dining room at lunch, paying close attention to what people eat and how the rhythm of the meal flows.

are 10 people at a table, we’ll only send six portions because we know that some people will have a vegetarian option or eat from the salad bar or just have soup. We try hard to avoid over-provisioning the tables, but we also try to make sure everyone doesn’t need to come back three times for more food. MM: What are some of the most challenging aspects of meal preparation? JB: All food-safety training stresses a number of points, but most important are time and temperature. The two criteria lay at the root of whether we are succeeding or not. Is the meal on time? Is it hot? These seem simplistic and obvious, but they pervade almost every action. When

are the students coming? When do we start the soup? How long do we roast the chickens? Should the staff arrive at 6:00 or 6:30 or 7:00? Can we finish it by 11:00? Was the food delivered cold enough? Cook it at 350 degrees or 375? Do we need it in eight minutes or can you wait 11? We keep exhaustive records relating to what temperature food was shipped, stored, cooked and served at and at what meals. You’d be amazed by how much attention gets focused on these two elements.

munication. It’s astounding how many conversations, emails, chats, calls, notes, cards, and more comprise the average day for me. Any given day can include writing a catering menu, emailing a parent about a birthday cake, making a room design for a special event, writing work orders to repair equipment, working with our corporate offices on a range of matters, meeting with the prom committee or the calendar committee or SAGE staff. And then it will be time for lunch.

MM: What is something you think readers might be surprised to know about what you do?

MM: What is Mercersburg’s favorite food? JB: Cookies!

JB: How much of my time is spent on com-

EDITOR’S NOTE: Butler just completed his ninth year at Mercersburg. He and his wife, Kim Merritt, are the parents of Mercersburg alumni Caldwell ’14 and

Kaufman ’17.



Cole Kissam ’18 (left) during his ride-along with Dave Cline


WITH CAMPUS SECURITY LAST FALL, HAVING BROKEN MY LEG, I called Security far too many times asking for rides around campus. They always obliged and did so with a smile. So when I received the assignment to shadow Security for one night during my study hours, I was excited. It was my honor to spend an hour and a half with one of Mercersburg’s finest, Dave Cline. With his shuffling gait and signature ponytail, Cline has been a member of the Academy’s Security team for 21 years, and the father of two students, David ’02 and Ethan ’05. When Cline picked me up that night, in Mercersburg’s Security vehicle equipped similar to a police car with a computer and dash cam, I immediately asked him what was the most important thing

By Cole Kissam ’18

he does on campus. “Safety,” he said. “The main thing is watching for little odd things most people wouldn’t think of.” As we made our first round, we did just that. Cline pointed out lights that needed to be changed to keep pathways illuminated, he patrolled campus to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice, and he responded quickly when called to take a student to the Health Center. Our time spent patrolling lasted for about 45 minutes and, much to my surprise, included areas off campus. When I asked why he patrolled in areas of the town, he informed me that he had to check for problems at the air-conditioning and heating units off campus. He told me if any mechanical malfunction occurred, a red light would come on. We found everything in order, and I

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kissam is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and has attended Mercersburg for the past two years. As a Writing Center Fellow, runner, and

member of Blue Review, he spends his spare time writing poetry and admiring the Irvine Memorial Chapel from Tippetts Beach. His younger brother, Henry ’20, is also a member of the student body.


asked Cline what he considered the hardest part of his job. “Two things,” he responded. “When I have to get kids in trouble is the first one. I don’t want to get anyone kicked out, but it’s my job to make sure everyone stays safe. So when I see a kid doing something they shouldn’t, I gotta do my job.” I could tell it bothered him. His usual smile turned a bit more serious when he spoke about it, and it was easy to see that he wanted every student on campus to succeed, despite never meeting the majority of us. He genuinely cares about Mercersburg students and the community as a whole. “The second?” I asked. “When y’all walk in front of this truck while I’m driving,” he laughed. Near the end of my time with Cline, we needed to lock up the buildings, a task that is as difficult as it is mundane. When we locked up the dining hall, a duty that entails locking doors and checking for mechanical malfunctions in the many machine rooms, Cline cracked jokes with the SAGE employees. He is an example of crossing divides between different parts of the Mercersburg community. From the town to the school, the staff and the students, and different departments within the school, Cline and Security help tie the school together in a way no other department can. We had many conversations that night, ranging from off-campus bike thieves to his son’s experience in the Marines, but whenever Mercersburg came up, he always stressed safety. Keeping us safe, keeping buildings safe, keeping faculty homes off campus safe—Security does it all. They are responsible for so many small things on campus: turning off lights in buildings, turning off stoves accidentally left on, bringing sick students to the Health Center. So often they go unnoticed, but without them, Mercersburg wouldn’t be the special place it is. We would all know a very different Mercersburg, a Mercersburg not as safe and not as secure.





By Emma Shapiro ’17

WITH THE FACILITIES TEAM I’M A LATE SLEEPER. Normally my alarm is set for 8:20 a.m. on weekdays, although

I’d prefer it to be a few hours later. That is probably why I had never seen Buildings and Grounds crew members complete their first tasks of the day until one March morning before classes, when I had the opportunity to shadow employees from both Grounds and Trades. When I arrive at the Physical Plant compound near the Hale Field House parking lot at 7 a.m., Grounds Supervisor Avery Cook introduces me to the members of the crew I will be shadowing: Bill Mann and Barry Byers Sr. Clutching a Styrofoam cup of coffee, I climb into their white pickup truck to start collecting garbage. The Grounds crew uses an elaborate system that ferries wagons transporting the bags of waste from the front of each major building on campus to the trash and recycling compactors in the compound. Once the bags are cleared, it’s off to the next task. Despite the often-unpredictable weather, winter is actually the Grounds crew’s “slow” season. Besides the daily garbage collection, often the crew’s biggest concern is fighting against nature: plowing and shoveling snow and salting the sidewalks to prevent ice. Once the grass starts growing and the bushes start sprouting, it’s game on.

left to right: Brad Rogers, Barry Byers Sr., Emma Shapiro ’17, and Bill Mann



Shapiro collecting trash with Bill Mann

The crew must attempt the thankless task of mowing 188 acres of grass bolstered by fertilizer and spring showers. As Mann says, “It’s up to Mother Nature if we’re gonna get out and do what we gotta do.” Mann has worked for the school for 20 years, and as he points out, he hopes to work for the school for 23 more years until he can retire. His father, Clyde, and mother, Jacqueline, also worked at Mercersburg, and other members of his family continue to work in various roles around campus (including his sister, Barb, who works in the dining hall). When I ask Mann how much interaction he has with faculty and students, he shrugs. Faculty members who have worked here for a long time usually

say hello, but even so, the Grounds and Maintenance crew and the students and faculty can seem to exist in parallel worlds. Byers, who has worked at Mercersburg for 10 years, agrees. As Brian Nordyke, Mercersburg’s director of facilities, points out, there are by nature limited opportunities for faculty and students to interact with his employees. The typical Buildings and Grounds workday starts at 7 or 7:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Maintenance in the academic buildings and dorms is scheduled around the times when students are not in those places. Overall, he tries to schedule around the faculty and students so that everyone is able to do his or her job. “In the service

industry, if everything is going well, you don’t notice much,” Nordyke says. Mann and Byers drop me off in front of the compactor, and the next employee I will shadow introduces himself. Brad Rogers is a big guy who looks even bigger crammed into the small Gator he uses to get around campus. He explains to me that even though co-workers make fun of him for driving the small green vehicle, he loves his Gator because it runs for six to eight weeks on three gallons of gas. We skid to a stop in front of Irvine Hall to tackle the first task on his list: unsticking a classroom door in Irvine. Rogers specializes in doors and windows. As he fiddles with the door of Irvine 204 (which happens to be my physics classroom), Rogers tells me why he loves working at Mercersburg. “It’s just enjoyable,” he says, citing friendly co-workers and a positive culture. To close my shadowing experience, we move down his list of tasks: inspecting doors in Landis House and cutting a pane of glass for a broken window in Culbertson House. As he works, Rogers continues to talk about his job, and one of his stories in particular stands out to me. Although Rogers rarely interacts with students, when some boys in Main Hall broke a window roughhousing, they said to him, “We did that; can we help you?” To me, this exemplifies how our Mercersburg community extends beyond students and faculty. Next time you are walking around campus and a Buildings and Grounds employee says hello, be sure to return the greeting to a community member who loves this place just as much as you do.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shapiro is from Sterling, Virginia, and in the fall she will attend the University of Chicago. During her four years at Mercersburg, she partici-

pated in Stony Batter Players as a stage manager and technician, ran the Jewish Club, and served as a Writing Center Fellow.




SUITCASES, ROOT BEER FLOATS, AND 82 BOYS Living as Dorm Parents in Tippetts Hall THE BOY STEPPED OUT OF HIS ROOM into the hallway, pulling a small black suitcase on wheels. A ninth-grader in pajamas towing an evidently heavy suitcase down the hall on a Sunday morning in the first week of school. My wife Laura and I were puzzled at first. But in a moment, Laura caught on. “Who’s in there?” she said, in a tone of voice reserved for just this kind of situation. William stopped in his tracks. He looked at the suitcase. Then he looked at Laura. “Eric.” You know the moment. You want to laugh, but it can be dangerous giving the wrong impression to a 14-year-old boy. “Well, let him out,” Laura said. William unzipped the entire length of the suitcase and peeled back the vinyl flap, and Eric, one of the smaller ninth-graders, grinned as he slowly unfolded himself, emerging monarch-style from his carry-on cocoon. “William, why is Eric in the suitcase?” “I was the one who wanted to,” said Eric. “We just felt like trying it.” Of course. Doesn’t everyone? Laura asked a few more questions and was satisfied that the situation was nothing nefarious. Then she sent the boys on their way with the firm understanding that this isn’t something they ought to be doing. Later, I commented to Laura, “Now that’s trust—letting somebody zip you inside a small suitcase!”

By Chip Patterson, Assistant Dean of Students & English Faculty

Chip Patterson makes root beer floats with the boys in Tippetts Hall.




“In this environment, there’s a surprise every day… When the doorbell rings, day or night, you just never know.” —CHIP PATTERSON

Laura is the dorm dean of Tippetts Hall, the largest male dorm on campus, with 82 boys spread over three floors. There is a faculty residence on each of the six wings. In this environment, there’s a surprise every day, and in the words of Dave Barry, I am not exaggerating. When the doorbell rings, day or night, you just never know. For example, it was a warm fall evening when I noticed Laura looking out the window at a few boys standing in the grass behind the dorm. Our apartment connects to the rear of the building next to the back doors. Boys are always passing by carrying cleats and backpacks on their way to and from soccer practice, the turf field, or to toss a ball or hang out on Tippetts Beach. On this particular day, the boys took turns throwing something up high against the building. “What are they doing?” Laura asked. I could see an open window in one of the third-floor rooms, and there was movement inside. “They’re trying to throw a shoe into the window,” I said. “Why?” A moment later, before she got the door open to say something to them, a sneaker arched up toward the open window, bounced off the brick, and landed on the roof of the common room. “Why are they doing that?” she asked again. “Now their shoe is stuck on the roof.” “No reason,” I said. “Other than, they saw an open window.” Recently, I asked her about some of the unique aspects of being a dorm dean. “When the boys put macaroni and cheese in the microwave but forget to add water,” she said, “it becomes a teaching moment because the small fire in the microwave sets off the smoke detector, and we evacuate the dorm on a cold, sleeting night.” I’ve observed that they’re pretty good at evacuating, though. Maybe it’s the monthly fire drills. It’s no surprise that these things happen: prefrontal cortex development and all. Occasionally, there’s a roommate dispute

or an unkind word, but I’m impressed by the continual exhibitions of character, trust, and respect that pervade the dorm. The boys volunteer to shovel snow, unload cartons of Kit Kats and Skittles for the snack closet, or clean up the common room after a pizza party. They say “Hi,” even when they’ve had a lousy day. It sounds almost trite to say they’re nice to each other and to the adults who live here and/or have duty in their dorm. Recently, as I cut through the lobby on my way to class, I heard beautiful piano music emanating from the common room. I poked my head in to see Jason Fang ’19, a soccer player of mine from Hong Kong, at the keyboard. He was playing a classical tune with no sheet music. I asked how he learned to play. “I just set up my iPad [on the piano] with videos and imitated them,” he said. I’ve encountered dozens of boys playing that piano so capably. In fact, I wonder about a connection between playing the piano and academic achievement. Does it raise your SAT scores? It happens a lot—discovering boys with skills and talents you didn’t know about. Like Victor Li ’18, who sometimes can be persuaded to bring his eight-string classical guitar into the lobby where boys hang out in the evening. He plays like a pro, but he’s the most humble kid you’ll ever meet. Even with the residents’ photos and nametags on every door, it’s a challenge getting to know everyone. Our apartment opens into the first floor, east wing. The wing houses 18 ninth-graders and a prefect, Alex Nanos ’17 from Greece (by way of Annapolis). Nanos’ roommate is another senior, Felix Eckert ’17 from Germany. All ninth-grade (junior) boys begin their Mercersburg careers in Tippetts, including ninth-grade day students, who are associated with the dorm their first year. After that, they can choose which dorm to be associated with and keep a locker. Aside from making sure everyone in the dorm is accounted for and safe, the newer, younger boys are probably the most



Patterson watches a hockey game with Davis Anderson ’20 and Christopher Adams ’20 in Tippetts Hall.

serious part of Laura’s job. When they arrive, these kids, barely out of eighth grade, can be nervous, scared, homesick, bewildered, or any combination thereof. They might be 80 or 8,000 miles from home. They don’t know the rules. Everything’s new to them: “Where’s Rutledge Hall?” Most of all, perhaps, they don’t yet know the culture of the dorm and the school. They need careful guidance and someone they trust and feel safe with, a leader who establishes clear expectations. At the end of the fall term two years ago, Laura had given some advice to a ninth-grader, after which he told her, “You’re my wing mom.” As in Top Gun or the dorm wing? I never got clarification. Every Tippetts day starts when the housekeepers arrive, hours before classes begin. Laura writes pertinent information for the coming day on the white board in the lobby: times of athletic contests, rehearsals, birthdays (Happy Birthday, Clay!), special events such as guest speakers, which faculty and prefects are on duty, and often an inspirational quote for the day. “The boys depend on it so much that if a mistake is made, it throws them off,” Laura says. Meanwhile, she’s making sure the dorm faculty members know their duty schedule, reviewing dorm reports from the night before, or corresponding with parents.

Dorm meetings, wing meetings, and prefect meetings happen on Monday nights with everyone gathered in the common room. That’s why I’ve been known to wander down there on Hot Dog Night, Nachos Night, Taquito Night, Chili Night, Pancake Night, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Night, Cereal Night, Root Beer Float Night, Meatball Mondays, Taco Bell Night, or Walking Taco Night. Laura’s office connects our apartment to the wing and serves as a communications center (with three phone lines), a storage area for cans of cheese sauce and bags of plastic forks, a secure place for private conversations, a place for confiscated skateboards, a depository for hoodies found in the common room, and yes, a temporary holding cell if somebody gets into big trouble. This is also where our doorbell is located. Half the time, the doorbell rings because somebody has locked his key inside his dorm room and can’t get in. But the reasons are as varied as the boys: Do you have any duct tape? I lost money in the drink machine. Can I borrow an AAA battery? Do you have any vinegar for my sunburn? One time I answered the door to find three boys standing there. Two of them were holding up the middle one by his arms. There was a gash on the front of his thigh, the blood trailing



down his shin. For whatever reason, they had hobbled past the faculty member on duty at the front desk and came to our door. It’s unpredictable, but certainly, it keeps things interesting. The appeal of living in Tippetts, for me, and I’m sure for Laura, is the opportunity to be part of the boys’ lives. It’s fun to get to know them and to do whatever you can to enrich their experience and help them find their way. When they walk across the graduation platform, whether they’ve been here one year or four, I wonder where they’ll go, what they’ll do in life, what they’ll be. And when we take that final photo on the front steps, I wonder what they’ll remember about their dorm. EDITOR’S NOTE: Patterson has been a faculty member at Mercersburg since 2005. In addition to his roles as assistant dean of students and English faculty, he serves as dean of the dining hall and coaches junior varsity boys’ squash. He and Laura have three children: Mia ’15, Dean ’16, and Kat ’18.



FREEDOM & FRATERNITY Keil Hall from a Student’s Perspective By Ward Castelli ’17

IT’S A COLD TUESDAY MORNING in March in Keil Hall. The heating unit

on the third floor has yet to come on. Torsos are shivering, blanket burritos are being rolled, morale is at an all-time low. There is one hope for the weary crew, and it lies across the frozen wasteland of the hallway. Hot. Showers. I convince myself that life beyond the warmth of my bed is worth living, and after only barely surviving the walk through the Arctic tundra to the bathroom, a floormate greets me. “I gotchu, bro. I left the water nice and hot.” I smile, overcome with bliss and excitement as I can see the steam waft from the stall in front of me. Fast-forward 12 hours. Doug Smith, our dorm dean and fearless leader, turns the corner. Before him lies a path of cheering and famished teenage boys. In his arms, he carries a feast fit for a king. More than 460 premium, freshout-of-the-fryer, bone-in wings. The duty desk is now laden with bountiful assortments of chicken. Fortytwo boys encircle an array of saucy deliciousness. In what feels like seconds, it’s all over. Nothing is left but sad, empty Buffalo Wild Wings tubs and gluttony. The boys, exhausted and gorged beyond belief, slowly crawl back to Ward Castelli ’17 in his their rooms. Keil Hall dorm room Any Keil “Hall-ian” (one of the many terms coined by Smith) will know that traditions like the one described here are fervently revered. From sharing the precious resource


of ranch dressing on “Wing Night” to offering a sweaty hand to your fallen opponent in “Keil Hall soccer,” there is a peculiar and undeniable esprit de corps. I’d like to think it’s in the simple declaration of “I gotchu, bro” that we are expressing our pride for our beloved dorm. I came to Mercersburg in the fall of 2014. However, Keil Hall was not my first home. What life would entail as a boarding student only hit me when my parents said their goodbyes, and I was alone in an empty room. At that time, it was a room on the second floor of Main Hall. The bathrooms were just showers, sinks, and stalls. The common room had some couches, a TV, and a microwave with an eternal burnt-popcorn smell. At first, Main Hall was simply a shared and obligatory living space. It was the people, I discovered, who would make Main Hall a home. It was the slightly off-key voices of my floormates who turned the bathrooms into opera houses. It was the enthusiasm and passion of the avid soccer fans who turned the common room into a sold-out Premier League stadium every Sunday morning. It was the people surrounding me outside of the classroom who evolved Mercersburg from my boarding school to my home away from home. As I reflect on the past three years, it becomes increasingly evident to me that I owe Mercersburg more than I could ever pay in tuition. And while I can thank my teachers for shaping me into a curious, critical thinker, I owe it to my brothers in the dorm—wherever that may be—for the unforgettable memories and lifelong friendships.


Castelli (back row, fourth from right) with other residents of Keil Hall after a pick-up game (Photo by Jack Jensen ’17)

Keil Hall residents during a Tuesday “Wing Night” (Photo by Jack Jensen ’17)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Castelli is from Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. This past year, he competed on the golf team and skied with Mercersburg Outdoor Education. He also enjoyed helping students in the writing and language media centers, working on his MAPS paper, and playing the piano. He plans to attend Kenyon College in the fall.







FOR TRINI HOFFMAN, director of student activities, a weekday at Mercersburg is all about preparing for the weekend. With the help of the Student Activities Committee (SAC) and the Student Council, Hoffman plans roughly 120 activities for students to participate in throughout the school year—everything from dances to bingo nights to trips to Philadelphia or New York City and more. “We come up with activities through the students in SAC, through the Student Council, with ideas from the clubs and organizations, and then I send out an email each term asking for ideas,” says Hoffman, who has served on the Mercersburg faculty since 1994. “I like having events where I just see kids having fun. For example, Big Bucks Bingo Night is a huge event here. There are roughly 90 kids who play, and they get so excited. I just like to see good, old-fashioned fun.” In addition to the school-wide events on the weekends, Hoffman also coordinates the clubs on campus, and each club is responsible for planning at least one school-wide event each year. Hoffman also works with the Entrepreneurship Springboard class for seniors in the fall and winter to help students create events and bring them to completion. Gozor Osaji ’17, who served on both SAC and the prom planning committee and worked with Hoffman to present her Entrepreneurship project, is quick to point out the benefits of these activities at Mercersburg. “It’s a great opportunity for the whole community to come out and just be goofy and be really competitive in a fun way,” she says. “It’s very healthy competition, especially when it’s Casino Night and you actually have a faculty member as your dealer. At Karaoke Night, I sang a Backstreet Boys song with Mr. [Bryan] Morgan [’07]. It’s a lot of fun. It’s another way for us as a community to gather in a very informal way.” To make these events happen, Hoffman and her student volunteers do a huge amount of work behind the scenes. “It’s really fun for me to see how amazed people are by what needs to go into planning an event,” Hoffman says. “I think a lot of people just think that things happen, but they don’t. There’s a lot of coordination with so many other departments, and there are a lot of liability and space issues that you have to deal with. Trini Hoffman and Gozor Osaji ’17 prepare decorations for a campus event.


If you haven’t been in charge of a big event, you may not know what is required.” In preparing for prom this past May, for example, planning started in the fall, and Hoffman and her team of students on the prom committee considered every decision: venue, theme, entertainment, photographer, flower vendor, after-party plans, and more. Each decision then led to more decisions. For instance, if the students chose to hold the prom outside on campus grounds as they did in 2016, Hoffman and the prom committee would need to secure tents, outdoor bathroom facilities, and seating within that space. For this year’s prom, the committee chose to host the event in the dining hall, which required making decisions about the type of tables they wanted, requesting permission for hanging drapes and then finding a vendor to provide those decorations, and working with SAGE Dining Services to plan the meal. When brainstorming for prom first begins, students might dream big with ideas like hiring a horse-drawn carriage to pick up guests around the quad, but the reality of all these ideas must fit within a certain budget. “You have to realize that you actually have to buy these things; what you see on Pinterest is really hard to find sometimes,” says Osaji, who helped plan both the 2016 and 2017 proms. “We want everyone to have their own piece and their own contribution, but at the end of the day, you think, ‘Okay, is this going to fit within our budget?’ If we had to make the ticket cost $1,000, how many people would be able to come to prom? There’s only so much that the Student Activities budget covers, and then we have to cover the rest. You don’t realize how much stuff like food costs.” “It’s literally like planning a wedding,” says Hoffman. “It’s challenging to get the students to understand the prices and to stay within their planning budget, but I love seeing the kids dress up. I really truly love the prom. I love the elegance of it and


Students enjoy a game night in the student center. (Photo by Finley Stewart ’17)

just how the kids step up to a more elegant mindset.” In addition to prom next year, Hoffman already has more activity ideas in the works. For instance, she can guarantee there will be some good old-fashioned board-game nights and maybe a few craft events, too. “There’s a perception out there that kids in today’s world don’t like to do those things any more, but I’m pleasantly surprised all the time by the amount of kids who are interested,” says Hoffman. She’s also planning for some of the other favorites: trips to Georgetown in nearby

Washington, D.C., and the ever-popular day-trek to New York City. Hoffman’s goal is to have a nice mix of off-campus and oncampus events each weekend, and of course, she’s always eager for recommendations. “Trini’s door is literally always open,” Osaji says. “We all want to have fun, and we’re all going to support each other and laugh with each other. This is a really good way for students to contribute to Mercersburg. Working with Student Activities has really helped me feel like I’ve given back.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are saddened to announce that as this issue was on press, Hoffman’s husband, Manny Clement, passed away suddenly. Look for an

obituary in our next issue.




Tom Rahauser ’74 No two days could possibly be the same for a Mercersburg dean of students as he enforces the rules across campus. Just ask Tom Rahauser ’74, who has held the position for more than 20 years. He will tell you he meets each day and every interaction with a combination of the following: consistency, reasonableness, a firm but fair attitude, and—without a doubt—a sense of humor. “It’s never dull, and that’s a wonderful thing about the job in many ways,” Rahauser says. “You might say that you’re dealing with a variety of situations, many of which have similarities, but it’s the people who change and that makes every one special and unique. Each encounter I’m having is different, but underpinning all of them is my hope that what the students are going to get out of our conversation is something from which they can learn.” Rahauser stepped down as dean of students at the end of the 2016–2017 academic

By Megan Mallory

year, though he is continuing to serve on the faculty. Rahauser is one of the longesttenured deans in the school’s history, following in the footsteps of Tim “Rocky” Rockwell, who held the position for 17 years until his retirement in 1996. Rahauser knows the school from multiple perspectives: student, teacher, dean of students, and Mercersburg parent. A native of nearby Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Rahauser followed his brothers, Dave ’67 and Chuck ’70, to the Academy. His wife, Susan, is a fellow faculty member and the school’s director of student counseling services, and their three children are all alumni: Eric ’05, Tim ’07, and Laura ’12. “I have always had the support and love of my wife, Susan, and our three children,” Rahauser says. “Susan was wonderful with her ability to ask me challenging and important questions along the way, which always helped me to keep a balanced perspective. Our children kept us busy

with their many activities, which also helped maintain balance and was a great break from the immediate concerns of the job.” While Rahauser has made Mercersburg his home and his career, he says he didn’t graduate from the Academy with a clear plan and certainly didn’t expect to return four years later. By his senior year at Franklin & Marshall College, he had an inkling that he might enjoy teaching Spanish and coaching, but Rahauser credits a serendipitous conversation that year with putting him on his current path. He encourages students to be open to these unexpected moments in their own lives. “My father suggested that I go up and talk to [then Headmaster] Mr. [Walter] Burgin [’53] over Christmas vacation of my senior year,” Rahauser remembers. While he didn’t expect to find a job at Mercersburg, Rahauser did hope Burgin could point him in the right direction.


Tom Rahauser leads his Spanish class. at left: Rahauser speaks with Daniel Bowes ’17.




Rahauser coaching in 1995

Rahauser with former Dean of Students Tim Rockwell

“When I sat down in his office, Walter looked at me, he didn’t say much at first, and he nodded. Then he said, ‘Well, you know, our soccer coach and Spanish teacher just recently resigned. Would you have interest here?’ I had no offers on the table, and I needed a job. It took about a nanosecond for me to say, ‘Yes.’ I sent my resumé to him later that same week.” Rahauser officially joined the faculty in 1978, and with the exception of a graduate-school sabbatical at Penn State and the University of Salamanca in Spain, he has been at Mercersburg ever since, teaching Spanish and coaching. “Tom as a student was well respected across the board,” says Rockwell, the former dean of students. “He was a good student, he was a heck of an athlete, and he took on positions of responsibility. As a teacher and later as dean, he brought enthusiasm to the position.” When Rockwell announced in 1995 that he would be retiring a year later, Rahauser began to think about stepping into the position of dean of students. He talked with various people, including Ron Simar [faculty emeritus and then-director of athletics] and Rockwell, as he tried to decide whether to apply. The conversation between Rahauser and Rockwell paralleled a similar conversation from more than 17 years before when Rockwell spoke with former Dean of Students William Howard about taking on the position. Of that conversation, Rockwell remembers, “We had a great talk about how you have to have a sense of humor, you have

to have a sense of purpose, and you have to always try to be fair. We talked about the long hours and all the little details of being a dean, and then [Howard] said, ‘Finally, Timmy, one last thing I’ll tell you about being dean, always remember this. On some days you’re going to be an S.O.B. to the faculty, and some days you’re going to be an S.O.B. to the students. Try for it not to happen on the same day.’ And I told that to Tom. “I also told him that the other thing I had to keep in mind as a dean was to think of it like a train. I was not the conductor, and I was not the engineer. But if it ever went off the tracks, I was the one who caught hell.” Armed with Rockwell’s advice, Rahauser started his own tenure as dean. “Tim Rockwell was just phenomenal in the position at a very difficult time,” Rahauser says. “He handled the position in such a sensitive, appropriate, and thoughtful way. I thought I knew what Tim did because I’d watched him for 17 years. The reality was that I knew superficially what Tim did, but actually, I had no idea what he did, which is humorous because it’s not until you get into the position that you realize the many various things you will deal with that are

challenging and thought-provoking.” Whether students are explaining why they missed class, why they violated the dress code, why they were running late for a dorm check-in, or any number of challenges that might arise, Rahauser has been there to sort out the situation with a firm but fair approach. In the hundreds of conversations he’s had over the years, his goal to model good behavior has made a difference. Just ask any of his current or former students. “With Tom, I always had the sense that we were playing a game,” says Flynn Corson ’99. “I knew that I was the kid, and it was my job to explore the boundaries, and he knew it, too. Likewise, we were both aware that it was his job to indicate where those boundaries were located, and to provide educative experiences that helped reinforce them. Because I had this sense—and I believe he did, too—that we were both engaged in this dance, I trusted his role and felt like he trusted mine. I never sat down on the other side of an uncomfortable conversation with Mr. Rahauser and got the impression that a particular story was fully cooked in his mind before getting my point of view, so I trusted and respected him and trusted the


discipline he administered.” After Corson’s Mercersburg days, he went on to serve as dean of students at the Pacific Buddhist Academy in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now serves as head of upper school at Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Connecticut. In his current role with students, Corson often finds himself relying on the lessons and the model that Rahauser set for him. “Mr. Rahauser has this wonderful willingness to approach his interactions with students from a place of reason and openness,” says Corson. “I think that that takes a lot of courage for any adult, but especially for an adult in his position. It’s easy to fall

back on that sort of dichotomous role of ‘child and adult,’ and wield your authority over children. But he never did that in my interactions with him. He always operated from a place of respect and openness and reason. I learned a lot from Tom about the ways in which it is appropriate to engage children, and to a certain extent, I suppose I’ve made a career out of those lessons. I’m really grateful for what he taught me.” As Rahauser closes this chapter of his career as dean of students, he will remain a fixture at Mercersburg: teaching Spanish, coaching, and offering help wherever it’s needed. Just as Howard passed on his knowledge about the dean of students role to


Rockwell, who passed on his knowledge to Rahauser, Rahauser will do the same for his successor if asked. “I feel fortunate as I look back—not only on my dean of students career, but on my teaching, coaching, dormitory dean experience, time on the Conduct Review Committee and more—that I’ve had and continue to have wonderful colleagues, and I’ve always enjoyed the students a great deal,” Rahauser says. “Getting to know them has been rewarding, interesting, and fun. I’ve been lucky to have worked with nice people and with students who were kind to me and open to what I might say. You don’t always get that. What a gift!”

Chris Howes Named Dean of Student Life Head of School Katie Titus announces the appointment of Christopher Howes as Mercersburg’s first dean of student life. Howes comes to Mercersburg from Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, where he was the dean of student life, taught history, and coached lacrosse. He officially begins his duties at Mercersburg in July. Howes’ wife, Maggie, will be a member of the history and English departments. The dean of student life position at Mercersburg is a new role that oversees all aspects of the student experience at the school—from citizenship to leadership to residential-life matters and other school policies. “Mercersburg is a place that attracts intellectually curious students with a variety of interests,” Howes says. “Everyone I talked with when I was researching Mercersburg said it would be a great fit for [my family and me]. I’m excited about the opportunity to hold a new position and help shape and define that role, and to have the chance to work with kids in a very proactive way in terms of programming and leadership development.” Howes served as Cushing’s dean of student life since 2014, and previously spent three years as dean of students at Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland. In total, Howes worked for eight years at Severn, where he also taught history, coached

soccer and lacrosse, served as a grade dean, and headed the school’s Leadership Task Force. Howes played lacrosse at Bates College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and American cultural studies. He holds a master’s in liberal studies with a concentration in social science from Wesleyan University, was a Klingenstein Summer Institute Fellow at Columbia University, and completed a graduate certificate in educational leadership at Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, longtime Mercersburg faculty member Jo Wrzesinsky has been appointed associate dean of student life; she will begin in her new role in the fall after completing the summer as the school’s director of summer and extended programs. Wrzesinsky has worked at Mercersburg since 1999; she holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington [Md.] College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of New England. Howes and Wrzesinsky will lead a residential-life team that will continue to include Chip Patterson, the assistant dean of students and an English teacher at Mercersburg since 2005; Brett Potash, director of dormitories and history faculty, who has been at Mercersburg since 2014; and Trini Hoffman, the director of student activities and a faculty member since 1994.

Arts 42


Da t es t o Rememb e r

Sep 10-Oct 4

Nancy Horton Heefner Art Show, Cofrin Gallery, Burgin Center for the Arts

Oct 13-15, 21

Stony Batter Players: Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Simon Theatre, Burgin Center for the Arts

Nov 4

Fall Dance Concert, Simon Theatre, Burgin Center for the Arts

Nov 11

Fall Pops Concert, Simon Theatre, Burgin Center for the Arts

Schedule subject to change; for a full and updated schedule of events, visit www.mercersburg.edu

Hazel Yonke ’19

Visual Art faculty: Wells Gray, Sydney Caretti, Kristen Pixler

Julia Mitchell ’18

Victor Pertsew ’18

Sophie Krasny ’20



Dance director: Denise Dalton

Emily Bell ’18 and Jenny Bell ’17

Yuna Yamamoto ’17

“Haunted,” choreographed by Chelsea Miao ’17

“Back Into Time,” choreographed by Zoey Cruz

Yuna Yamamoto ’17 and Chelsea Miao ’17



Music directors: Richard Rotz, Jim Brinson,

Jazz Band

Bryan Morgan, Michael Cameron

Strings Band


Magalia & Octet



Stony Batter Players: Fiddler on the Roof director: Laurie Mufson

Grace Bennett ’19, Ava Paul ’18, and Addie Dumm ’18

Mira Vance ’18

Zach McDonald ’17

Mira Vance ’18, Mathilda Zimmerman ’19, Kate Frimet ’18, Danny Booth ’17, Nevie Gawlik ’19, Kaufman Butler ’17, and Ben Doyka ’17

Selina Xue ’20 and Zach McDonald ’17



Athletics Da t es t o Re me mb e r

Aug 20

Football players arrive for preseason workouts

Oct 20–22

Family and Alumni Weekend (most fall varsity athletic teams at home)

Schedule subject to change; for a full and updated schedule of events, visit www.mercersburg.edu

Winter 2017 Varsity Athletics Roundup Boys’ Basketball Captains: Carlos Austin ’17, John Miller ’17, Eli Riley ’18 Most Outstanding Contributions Award: Daniel Ogoro ’19 Most Improved Player Award: Nick Rubino ’18 John Prevost ’54 Basketball Award: Miller Head coach: Sean Crocker (2nd season) Record: 6–14 (0–5 MAPL) Highlights: Ogoro was a first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League and Independent-Parochial School League selection, and led the team in points per game (12.1), assists per game (3.5), and fieldgoal percentage (42.9 percent)… Miller averaged 10.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per contest… Riley added 10.0 points per game and was the team leader in rebounds per game (8.5) and blocked shots (14)… Austin chipped in a team-best 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per contest… Miller’s 22 points in a win over Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy was the top single-game scoring performance… Ogoro was named to the AllTournament Team at the Bullis Holiday Classic… Rubino earned Academic All-MAPL honors.

Girls’ Basketball Captains: Patrice McGloin ’19, Isiuwa Oghagbon ’17 Most Outstanding Contributions Award: Oghagbon Most Improved Player Award: Carrie Jornlin ’18 Head coach: Paul Sipes (1st season) Record: 5–16 (0–5 MAPL) Highlights: Oghagbon and Olivia Coleman ’17 were named first-team All-MAPL… Coleman was the team leader in scoring (11.3 points per game), rebounding (9.3 per game), and blocked shots (2.5 per contest)… Oghagbon contributed 8.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and a team-high 1.5 steals per game… the team finished the season on a strong note with a 60–49 win over Hun in the MAPL Tournament (which Mercersburg hosted); Coleman poured in 25 points and added 17 rebounds in the victory…

Coleman recorded six double-doubles and Oghagbon posted four double-doubles… Sipes earned his 400th win as a head coach when the Storm beat Musselman in January… two of the five players to appear in all 21 games were ninthgraders Megan List ’20 and Zoe Gooch ’20… McGloin represented the squad on the Academic All-MAPL team.

Boys’ Squash Captains: Archie Levis ’17, Illia Presman ’17 Thomas Flanagan ’38 Boys’ Squash Award (most outstanding player): Presman Most Improved Player Award: Nick Schulkin ’17

Head coach: Chip Vink ’73 (17th season) Record: 13–7 Highlights: Presman finished a perfect 22–0 this year as the team’s No. 1 player, and was an All-MAPL selection; he is one of just three players in Mercersburg history to go undefeated in a season… Presman did not surrender a game in three matches at the MAPL Championships and won the league’s “A” flight… the Blue Storm finished second at the MAPL Championships and second in the annual Flanagan Tournament… a seven-match midseason win streak featured victories over conference rivals Hill and Blair… a snowstorm


prevented the team from traveling to the U.S. High School National Squash Championships… Levis was 13–6 at No. 2 and Shayan Ghodsi ’18 went 15–7, with most of those matches coming at No. 3… Levis was named Academic All-MAPL.

Girls’ Squash Captains: Jahyung Lee ’17, Lauren Jones ’18 Thomas Flanagan ’38 Girls’ Squash Award (most outstanding player): Emma Hicks ’19 Most Improved Player Award: Tess Browne ’20 Head coach: Wells Gray (14th season) Record: 11–12 Highlights: The Blue Storm placed fifth in the Division V draw at the U.S. High School National Squash Championships in Connecticut, going 3–1 and winning the consolation bracket with a team victory over Westover School; Browne and Ale Escalante Barcelo ’19 were each a perfect 4–0 in the national tournament… the team avenged a loss to Hill earlier in the season by knocking off the Blues at the MAPL Championships; Browne and Escalante earned victories in the consolation finals of their respective flights… Hicks, Jones, and Eliza Smith ’18 typically played the top three flights; Browne went 18–4 and Anna Bottin ’20 compiled a 17–5 mark (both are ninth graders)… Yulia Lee ’17 was an Academic All-MAPL selection.

Head diving coach: Jennifer Miller Smith ’97 (9th season) Easterns finish: 10th Highlights: Nguyen broke the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke (55.72) while placing second in the event at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships… Jared Chulavatr ’17 took second in the 100 butterfly at Easterns, and teamed with Nguyen, Russell, and Eric Oh ’18 for a fifth-place finish in the 200 medley relay… Nguyen won the 100 breast and 200 freestyle at the MAPL Championships, where Russell took second in the 100 breast and Chulavatr was second in the 100 fly… Dreux took second in the one-meter diving competition as part of Mercersburg’s dual meet victory over Hill; Dreux and Madden both competed at Easterns in diving… Oh and Russell earned Academic AllMAPL honors.

Girls’ Swimming & Diving Captains: Barbara Fitzsimmons ’17, Lindsay Tanner ’17 Neidhoefer Swimming Award (most outstanding swimmer): Tanner Most Outstanding Contributions (Diving) Award: Meghan Scott ’19 John Preston ’47 Award (most improved swimmer): Rachel Yang ’18 Thomas Hartz ’72 Award (perseverance): Abby Henne ’17 Head swimming coach: Glenn Neufeld (3rd season) Head diving coach: Jennifer Miller Smith ’97 (9th season) Easterns finish: 2nd Highlights: Tanner won the 200 free at Easterns to become the Blue Storm’s first individual Easterns champion in a girls’ event since Kailey Morris ’06 in 2004… Tanner also took

Boys’ Swimming & Diving Captains: Pedro Casariego Cerdeira ’17/Tyler Russell ’18 (swimming), Xavier Dreux ’18 (diving) Harrison S. Glancy ’24 Award (most outstanding swimmer): Dean Nguyen ’17 Tom Wolfe ’85 Award (most improved swimmer): Casariego Most Improved Diver Award: Patrick Madden ’18 Bruce F. Vanderveer ’31 Award (greatest influence): Russell Head swimming coach: Glenn Neufeld (3rd season) Photo by Teak Romtrairut ’19




Hofman ’17 tied the school record in the pole vault (8’ 6”)… Oghagbon (shot put), Hofman (pole vault), and Ryan Geitner (1600m) were honorable-mention All-MAPL selections after placing second in their respective events at the MAPL Championships… Stewart took first in the 55m and 200m at the Mercersburg Invitational in a field of strong local public and private schools; she and Ryan Geitner were both named Academic All-MAPL. second in the 100 free and joined teammates Abilgail Voce ’18, Danielle Pong ’17, and Sami Nassif ’17 (200 free relay, 2nd) and Voce, Nassif, and Ally Armbruster ’18 (400 free relay, 3rd) on the Easterns podium; Pong, Armbruster, Maddie Lauther ’18, and Sofia Makarova ’18 teamed for a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay… Scott placed 10th at Easterns in diving, which was the highest Easterns finish for a Mercersburg diver since 2010… Episcopal Academy edged the Storm for first in the Easterns team competition; Germantown Academy was third, Suffield took fourth, and Phillips Andover was fifth… the Storm won all 11 races at the MAPL Championships, with multiple event victories going to Tanner (200 individual medley/100 fly), Nassif (200 free/500 free), and Pong (50 free/100 breast)… Lauther and Tanner earned spots on the Academic All-MAPL squad.

Boys’ Indoor Track & Field Captains: Felix Eckert ’17, Garrett Noone ’18 Most Outstanding Contributions Award: Eckert Most Improved Team Member Award: Mikale Williams ’18 Head coach: David Grady (13th season) MAPL finish: 2nd Highlights: Williams set school indoor records in the long jump (21’ 10.25”) and triple jump (42’ 8.25”) at the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Championships and the Mercersburg Invitational; both events were held in Mercersburg’s brand-new Hale Field House… Alden Littlefield ’17 broke the school

record in the shot put (54’ 8.5”)… Williams qualified in the long jump for the Pennsylvania Track & Field Coaches Association Indoor Championships, becoming the first Mercersburg male athlete to take part in the state indoor finals since Neb Osman ’10 in 2010… Williams (triple jump), Littlefield (shot put), and Ro Fernandez Jimenez ’19 (55-meter dash) won individual MAPL titles… Fernandez (200m) and Williams (long jump) both placed second at the league meet to earn honorable-mention All-MAPL honors… Alex Solganik ’17 finished third in the MAPL in the 800m… Aaron Grant ’17 won two events (55m/ long jump) at the Mercersburg Invitational (which was the Hale Field House’s inaugural competition)… Solganik was named Academic All-MAPL.

Girls’ Indoor Track & Field Captain: Finley Stewart ’17 Most Outstanding Contributions Award: Stewart Most Improved Team Member Award: Campbell Drennan ’18 Head coach: David Grady (13th season) MAPL finish: 4th Highlights: Team members set three new school records and tied a fourth mark; the 4x800m relay team of Drennan, Emma Claire Geitner ’17, Sophia Divone ’19, and Ryan Geitner ’17 posted a time of 10:50.06, which shaved more than 30 seconds off the previous record, while Stewart broke the 500m record (1:24.13) and Isiuwa Oghagbon ’17 (33’ 6.75”) set a new standard in the shot put… Katie

Wrestling Captains: Gnim Bazim ’17, Brendan Loveng ’17, Steve Min ’17 Fred Kuhn Award (most outstanding wrestler): Aurelius Dunbar ’20 Ronald D. Tebben Coaches’ Leadership Award: Bazim Coaches’ Award (most improved wrestler): Nico Critides ’18 Head coach: Nate Jacklin ’96 (9th season) MAPL/IPSL finish: 2nd/1st Highlights: Dunbar won five matches at the National Prep Wrestling Tournament to finish sixth at 145 pounds and become the Storm’s first national placewinner since 2012; he was the first Mercersburg ninth grader to place at the event since Jeremy Berry ’00 in 1997… Raphael Gotera ’19 (106 pounds) and Joseph Yonke ’19 (113 pounds) also wrestled at National Preps; each won a match there… Dunbar, who placed second at the Pennsylvania State Tournament, went 25–6 overall in his first high-school season and was named a first-team [Chambersburg] Public Opinion All-Star; Thomas Yonke ’19 (126 pounds), Bazim (170 pounds), and Joseph Yonke were honorable-mention selections… the team took second at the MAPL Championships, successfully defended its Independent-Parochial School League title, and defeated St. James and Kiski along the way… among Dunbar’s victories at National Preps was a win over Alfonso Martinez of Wyoming Seminary, who had defeated Dunbar for the state title the week before… Min and Thomas Yonke garnered Academic All-MAPL accolades.



Reunion Weekend June 8-11, 2017

This past June, Mercersburg welcomed back more than 600 alumni and guests from class years ending in 2 and 7 as they reconnected with their alma mater and each other.

Find more photos and a highlights video at




Faculty Recognition and Alumni Awards During Thursday evening’s Reunion Weekend dinner, Head of School Katie Titus and the Alumni Council recognized faculty emeriti with 40 or more years of service to Mercersburg, this year’s Alumni Council awards recipients, and this year’s Class of ’32 Award winner.

Faculty Emeriti Brent Gift

Karl Reisner

Brent began his career at Mercersburg in 1971 and retired at the end of the 2013– 2014 academic year. He held Mercersburg’s Robert R. Black ’25 Chair from 1994 until his retirement and served as assistant dean of students (1984 to 1996), head of the science department (1999 to 2004), and chair of the Conduct Review Committee (2004 to 2009). During his time as a faculty member, he also coached volleyball, baseball, football, and fencing, and served as a floormaster in South Cottage, Main Hall, and Fowle Hall. His professional memberships include the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, the American Society of Mammologists, the Wildlife Society of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, and the scientific research society of Sigma Xi. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University and a master’s degree from the University of Maine. Brent and his wife, Barbara, live in Mercersburg.

Karl served on the faculty from 1971 until his retirement in 2015, although he has continued to teach Advanced Placement sections of United States history and European history at the school. He spent 24 years as head coach of Mercersburg’s varsity baseball team, winning 16 conference championships and four state titles. He also coached wrestling, football, and girls’ basketball. Karl held the Archibald Rutledge Chair from 1992 to 2001 and the Marilyn and Robert M. Kurtz ’52 Chair for American Studies from 2001 to 2015. He was named the 2015 [Chambersburg] Public Opinion Area Baseball Coach of the Year and was the Independent-Parochial School League’s inaugural Excellence in Coaching Award recipient. He and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of Mercersburg alumni Kristopher ’94 and Amanda ’97. Karl graduated from the Hill School and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Lehigh University. The Reisners live in Mercersburg.

Earle Grover

Earle served as a German teacher at Mercersburg from 1952 to 1992 and also as director of music. He was a teacher during the same period of time when former Headmaster Walter Burgin ’53 was a student. In 2011, Larry Ransom ’65 honored Earle for his teaching excellence and his lifelong impact by establishing the Earle H. Grover Endowed Fund, which has been used to endow a German immersion experience for current and future students to study in Germany. Earle holds a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College and a master’s degree from Columbia University. He lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, and his life partner was the late Charles Hizette.

David Tyson

David joined the Mercersburg faculty as a mathematics teacher in 1958 and remained with the school for 40 years, retiring in 1998. He was well known as a soccer coach, having served as the first junior varsity head coach and later as the boys’ varsity head coach. Prior to Mercersburg, David served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1958. He attended Wilbraham Academy and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Yale University. David and his wife, Henrietta, live in Chambersburg and are the parents of Mercersburg alumni Laura Tyson Ransom ’84 and the late Andrew Tyson ’87.

Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Achievement James Dresher Jr. ’67

Established by the Alumni Council in 1997, this award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professional or personal lives and, in doing so, have brought honor to Mercersburg. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University. He is CEO of Skye Asset Managers, a private venture capital company with investments in bio-tech, social media, cyber security, and banking. Jim has spent much of his career in hospitality, having built, owned, and operated 25 restaurants and hotels. In 1990 he was awarded the Golden Arch Award, citing him as one of the five (of 2,300) outstanding McDonald’s franchise owners in the United States. He has developed and owned 10 hotels within the Marriott and Hilton systems and frequently earned national awards for excellence in operations, including “Hotel of the Year” recognition for his Residence Inn properties. Jim was a founding member of Baltimore’s Ronald McDonald House. He is on the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins Hospital and is chairman of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Jim is a benefactor of the Bouldin Burbank Scholarship Fund at Mercersburg, previously served on the Alumni Council, and is co-chair of the 50th reunion committee for the Class of 1967. He and his wife, Patti, live on a farm in Bel Air, Maryland, where they raise thoroughbred horses. They have four children and five grandchildren.

Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Service Robert Kurtz Jr. ’52

Established in 1957, this award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions toward Mercersburg’s mission and continued excellence at the school, as reflected in its faculty, student body, facilities, and financial strength. Bob is a graduate of Penn State University and the University of Redlands in California. He is retired as chairman and CEO of the family business Kurtz Bros., a printer and


Head of School Katie Titus with award winner Robert Kurtz Jr. ’52.

distributor of educational supplies based in Central Pennsylvania. Bob was involved in leadership positions in many business, community, and charitable organizations, including the YMCA, Clearfield Education Foundation, and the Shaw Library. He was on the board of the Clearfield Bank and Trust Company, served as president of the National School Supply and Equipment Association, and established the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation. Lock Haven University awarded him an honorary degree in public service in 2014. Bob has served as a Mercersburg class agent, as president of the Alumni Council, and as a member of the Board of Regents. He chaired the Mightily Onward Campaign communications committee and served on the Class of 1952 65th reunion committee. Bob and his wife, Marilyn, are benefactors of the Robert M. and Dorothy Betts Kurtz Carillon Recital Fund, the Marilyn & Robert M. Kurtz Jr. ’52 Scholarship Fund, and the Marilyn and Robert M. Kurtz Jr. ’52 Chair for American Studies. The Kurtzes live in St ate College, Pennsylvania. Three of their grandchildren are Mercersburg alums: Colin Marsh ’01, Karis Marsh Gensch ’05, and Robert Kurtz ’09.

ment of Drexel Hamilton’s capital markets group. John joined Drexel Hamilton from Credit Suisse, where he was a vice president on its equity trading floor. John served as an infantry officer and special operations airborne ranger in the Army, achieving the rank of captain. His professional military experience includes the 82nd Airborne Division and the Special Operations Force 75th Ranger Regiment. He deployed seven times for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. John is a recipient of three Bronze Stars, one denoting his acts of heroism while involved in close-quarter battle in Afghanist an. He also conducted multinational operations and was awarded the Canadian and Israeli Defense Forces Paratrooper Jump Wings. He serves on the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund board. John was a postgraduate student at Mercersburg, where he was a varsity swimmer. His sister, Sabina Martinko Bragg, is a member of the Class of 1999. John and his wife, Kirsten, live in Englewood, New Jersey, with their five children.

Alumni Council Prize for Service Gabriel Hammond ’97

Established in 2016, this award recognizes alumni within 25 years after graduation who have made outstanding contributions toward Mercersburg’s mission and continued excellence at the school, as reflected

in its faculty, student body, facilities, and financial strength. Gabriel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins University and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard University. He is the co-founder and CEO of Broad Green Pictures, a feature film financing, production, and distribution company based in Los Angeles, California. Gabriel began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and later co-founded two financial services companies with his brother, Daniel: SteelPath MLP Funds, a mutual fund family for which Gabriel acted as CEO and portfolio manager and which was sold to Oppenheimer Funds in 2012, and Alerian, the premier financial index provider in the energy infrastructure space, which the brothers continue to own today. Gabriel has hosted regional events for the Mercersburg community at his homes in New York and Los Angeles, served on the Board of Regents, and was a member of the Daring to Lead Campaign Executive Committee and the Head of School Search Committee. He also established the Arce Scholars Endowed Fund, which provides full tuition to academically gifted students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a Mercersburg education. Gabriel divides his time between Dallas, Texas, and Hollywood, California.

Alumni Council Prize for Achievement John Martinko ’97

Established in 2016, this award recognizes alumni within 25 years after graduation who have distinguished themselves in their professional or personal lives and, in doing so, have brought honor to Mercersburg. John is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds an MBA from Saint Martin’s University in Washington. He is responsible for the leadership and develop-


Award recipients (L-R): John Martinko ’97, Charles Roberts ’07, James Dresher Jr. ’67. Not pictured: Gabriel Hammond ’97 and William Zimmerman ’67.



Young Alumni Leadership Award Charles Roberts ’07

Established by the Alumni Council in 2016, the Young Alumni Leadership Award recognizes alumni within 15 years after graduation whose achievements have demonstrated excellence in his or her profession and service to his or her community, the public, humanity, or Mercersburg, embodying the values, spirit, and pride of the school. Chuck earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University. He worked for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey before serving as deputy regional finance director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He later served as a corporate paralegal in the international transactions group at Linklaters in New York City. At Mercersburg, Chuck was a member of Irving, Stony Batter, the News staff, Model UN, the Fifteen, and the soccer and squash teams. He was a dorm prefect, Blue Review editor, and library proctor, and was inducted into the Cum Laude Society. Chuck is a member of the Alumni Council and was chair of the Class of 2007 10th reunion committee. He has served as a campus speaker, a panelist for Alumni Weekend 2016, a regional event committee member, and an Annual Fund volunteer. Chuck’s brother, Joseph, is a member of the Class of 2011. Chuck is attending law school at Stanford University and interning in Washington, D.C. Upon graduating next year, he will clerk on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Pittsburgh.

Class of ’32 Distinguished Alumnus Award William Zimmerman ’67

Established by Mercersburg’s Class of 1932 at its graduation, this award recognizes former students who have distinguished themselves by virtue of their character, service, and achievement. It is the highest honor Mercersburg bestows. Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Denison University and took graduate classes at the University of

Tennessee and the University of Maine. He joined his family’s business, the Wolf Organization, and advanced to president while guiding the company that was founded in 1843 and today delivers high-value building materials to national and international markets. Bill has given his time through the years in supporting many civic organizations, having served on the boards of the York Foundation, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the Northeastern School District, the York County School Division, the Safe Kids Initiative, the York County Heritage Trust, the United Way of York County, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, and the Peaks Island Fund. Mercersburg has benefited from Bill’s volunteer spirit: he has served as a class agent, reunion committee member, capital gift solicitor, regional event host committee member, William Mann Irvine Society chair, and Annual Fund chair. Bill was a member of the Board of Regents from 1993 to 2005, serving as chair of the Development Committee and the Academic Policy and Campus Life Committee. He was president of the Board from 2001 to 2005, ably guiding the school through the Mightily Onward Campaign and focusing Board efforts on improvements to campus life to enhance the faculty and student experience. Bill and his wife, Patty, have endowed a scholarship, underwritten vital educational programs, and along with fellow Regent John Prentiss ’65 funded the restoration of the Prentiss-Zimmerman Quadrangle. Members of the McDowell Society and Marshall & Irving Alliance, Patty and Bill live in Peaks Island, Maine, and Sanibel, Florida. Family members who are also Mercersburg alums include daughter Jesse Zimmerman Anderson ’96, sister Jane Zimmerman ’75, grandsons Alex Stoner ’15, Austin Stoner ’18, and Andrew Stoner ’20, and cousin Andrew Wolf ’69.

2016-2017 Reunion Annual Giving As of June 19, 2017 Class of 1952 $22,095 (32 percent participation) Class of 1957 $53,043 (37 percent participation) Class of 1962 $15,467 (26 percent participation) Class of 1972 $63,171 (35 percent participation) Class of 1977 $12,255 (21 percent participation) Class of 1982 $218,922 (22 percent participation) Class of 1987 $42,959 (19 percent participation) Class of 1992 $24,530 (33 percent participation) Class of 1997 $31,645 (31 percent participation) Class of 2002 $7,564 (29 percent participation) Class of 2007 $10,954 (41 percent participation) Class of 2012 $3,235 (41 percent participation) Total Reunion Annual Fund Dollars Raised: $505,840 Reunion classes have contributed 27 percent of alumni Annual Fund dollars.



Class of 2012

Front row (L-R): Megan Kearley, Leah Selznick, Lane deCordova, Morgan Hopkins, Kiersten Sydnor, Kathy Clarke, Mikaela Orbon. Row 2: Ashley Heisey, Nikki Rhyne, Valeria Quan Miranda, Val Langlois, Madeleine Fisher. Row 3: Abby Ryland, Jaden Walle, Michelle Skuba Gray, Sarah Allen, Vanessa Anyanso, Mackenzie Quinn, Ariel Garofalo, Abby Colby, Danielle Parowski. Row 4: Nina McIntosh, Sasha Karbach, Harrison Helm. Row 5: David Bowes, Tom (Ruobing) Zhang, Allen Irving, Will Appleman, Ryan Mahaffey, Johnny Olszewski, Breno Calegari, Augusto Lima.

Class of 2007

First row (L-R): Jenelle Paolini, Alex Appleman, Henry Kim, Claire Amiel, Kristina Trudeau, Tiffany Tseng Mielke. Row 2: Noelle Saracino, Claire Atkins, Robert Wolford, Portia Mellott, Christiane Volk, Sarah-Jane Weisberg, Samantha Schroer, Jacquelyn Ross Grace, Alexandra Gekas, Mallory Polak. Row 3: Matteo Scammell, Edward Hill, Alexander Krill, Chris Marston, Bada Kang, Megan Sweeney, Julia Thorne, Katelyn Wiley, Matthew Von Lunen, Robert Tokar. Row 4: Douglas Gardiner, Andy Eshleman, Alex Ferrara, John Marshall, Andrew Sowers, Katie Stover, Kat Fleck Smith. Row 5: Bryan Morgan, Cameron Bridges, Neil Gordon, Sam Goldsmith, Ryan Colby, Chuck Roberts, Joey Sturm.

Class of 2002

Front row (L-R): Amy Shaffer Post, Nichole Barbuzanes Komninos, Alpana Ranade, Bethany Galey, Elizabeth Stockdale, Nancy Franke, Kristin Burkhart Sites. Row 2: Ian Thompson, David Posner, Tyler Jones, Justinian Capone, Juanita Beasley.



Class of 1997

Front row (L-R): Immy Byrd Glaize, Karli Richards Stenger, Bob Snyder, Seth Brewer, Hillary Morgan Walter, Larissa Chace Smith, Carla Lopez, Chris Senker, Peter Watkins, Chris Gonzales, Christian Gocke. Row 2: Clint Lawler, Chris Benson, Jennifer Miller Smith, Rachel Gray. Row 3: Kevin Koch, Emily Peterson Karottki, Kirsten Goerl Becker, Adam Reeder, Amanda Harris Beaner, Cat Supernavage Olson, Leah Long. Row 4: Seth Lando, Gabriel Hammond, John Gunselman, Leah Rockwell, Angie Pomella-Garnsey, Laurel Whipkey Ross, Ann Fegley Rodriguez, Amanda Reisner, Gina Rendina, Will Bell.

Class of 1992

Front row (L-R): Sahir Champion, Adrian Kiger Olmstead, Pia Catton, Lakshmi Sarma Ramani, Emily Gilmer Caldwell, Jeanie Williams McGaughy, Sung Lee. Row 2: Kimball Prentiss, Jen Farrow Szyluk, Becky Shpak Conley, Robin Bailey Carmichael, Micki Bailey Martindale, Peggy Burns, Sam Harrold, Geri Mewett. Row 3: Natasa Stankovic, Michael Lloyd, Dana Gryniuk, Nancy Abudu, David Firkin, Matt Shockey, Chip Nuttall, Zasha Robles, Brent Halversen.

Class of 1982

Front row (L-R): Jessica Boyatt, Denise Mastovich Whitford, Elizabeth Gore, Pamela Orkis. Second row: John Ryland, John Hornbaker III, Scott M. Weaver, Andy Alpert. Third row: Charlie McCullough, Chris Corcoran, Michael Harshfield, Richard Esselstyn, and William Wilson.

Class of 1977

Class of 1987

Front row (L-R): Lawrence Angle, Louis Najera. Row 2: José Suárez, Kathy Dean-Bradley. Row 3: Margaret Trimbur Schaffer, Angela Chandler Robertson, Rob Porcarelli. Row 4: Susan Gottlieb Korthals, Adam Viener.

Front row (L-R): Harold Goodemote, Suzy Plaster Miller, Sue Hobbs Nelson, John Nelson. Row 2: Nick A. DiVirgilio, Barb Magee, Bruce Leighty, Mark Thompson. Row 3: Lindley Peterson Fleury, Michael Lindsay, Lisa Lewandowski Straface, Wayne Skilton, Rick Keyser, Craig Amaral.



Class of 1972

Front row (L-R): Jim Porterfield, Douglas Mendelson, James P. Garofalo, Shelley Beck Ryan, Jeffrey Frankel, William M. Carey, Schelley Hollyday, Donna Fisher, Jim Kozinski, Michael Kort, Martha Snyder Byron, Frank Balzebre, Fred Klein, Rich Marshall, Howard Heda. Row 2: Peter Lebovitz, Tom Lansdale, John M. Dickey, Peter Delaney, Sol Gordon, Dave Etnyre, Kris Pigman, Rich Haskell, Pat Shay, Trip Emerson, Bruce Teitelbaum, Tom Hadzor, Scott Smalley.

Class of 1962

Front row (L-R): Ross Dicker, Jon Dubbs, Kelly Clarke, Tom Hoober. Row 2: Dave Tyson (faculty emeritus), Bruce Eckert, Geoff Crego, Don Hill (faculty emeritus).

Class of 1957

Front row (L-R): John Tyson, Jon M. Peterson, Jef Evans. Row 2: John H. Shields II, Don Serfass, Bob Walton, Tom Heefner. Row 3: Alex B. Burgin, Tim Grumbacher, Harry Gerber. Row 4: Tom Moore, Andy Anderson.

Class of 1952

Left to right: Bill Kent, David Genter, Dick Roschli, Lou Galliker, Bob Kurtz.

Loyalty Club

Front row (L-R): Jon M. Peterson ’57, John H. Shields II ’57, Don Serfass ’57, Robert E. Smith ’37. Row 2: Bill Rockey ’45, John Tyson ’57, Andy Anderson ’57, Alex B. Burgin ’57. Row 3: Tom Steiger Jr. ’66, Tom Heefner ’57. Row 4: Jef Evans ’57, Tom Moore ’57, Bob Walton ’57, Harry Gerber ’57. Present but not pictured: Kelly Clarke ’62, Geoff Crego ’62.



Class Notes Dave Genter ’52 and his wife, Anne, met for dinner in Pittsburgh with faculty emerita Jackie Powell in March. (Pictured are Dave and Jackie.)


Suzanne Dysard ’88 (right) recently visited Guatemala and met up with classmate Kelly Campbell Aley ’88 (center) for the first time since Kelly spent her 10th-grade year at Mercersburg. Alex Keller ’88 (left) and his wife, Katheryn, joined them for lunch as well.

Submit class notes via email to classnotes@mercersburg.edu or by contacting your class agent. Submission does not guarantee publication; notes may appear online or in print. Mercersburg reserves the right to edit submissions for space or content, and is not responsible for more than reasonable editing or fact-checking. When submitting a photo, please provide the highest-quality version possible, and include the names of all persons pictured and their Mercersburg class years. Due to size and quality considerations, some images may not be suitable for print. Class notes are also available online at www.mercersburg.edu/classnotes.

Steve Pessagno ’88 and classmate Meredith Ruble ’88 at the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Barrett Burns has been named to the Federal Reserve Board’s 15-member Community Advisory Council for a three-year term.


David Hendrickson shares that he and two friends climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2016.


James F. Shelhorse, husband of Jane Cromwell Shelhorse and father of John Simmons ’06, passed away January 2, 2017.


James Pasman’s father, James F. Pasman Jr., passed away November 6, 2016, and his mother, Ella Jane, passed away January 22, 2017. Leonard Steuart’s father, Leonard P. Steuart II, passed away November 5, 2016.


Ann Quinn was one of 41 businesswomen chosen by the Baltimore Business Journal for “Bizwomen Mentoring Monday,” a speed-mentoring breakfast in April in Towson, Maryland.

Left to right: 1985 classmates Paul Furigay, Chris Williams, and Andy Lilienthal caught up last summer at Chris’ home in Annapolis, Maryland.



Andrew Miller ’00 (right) had a chance encounter recently with classmate Katie Porter ’00 on a rental-car shuttle at Denver International Airport. Andrew was headed home to Philadelphia and Katie to Los Angeles. “We hadn’t seen each other since graduation,” says Andrew, “and had a nice time catching up as we both waited for our delayed flights to board.”

2005 classmates Jenica Lee-Cummiskey, Sarah Powell Graeffe, and Alexis Imler Gray reunited in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, earlier this year for Sarah’s baby shower. Sarah and her husband, Mark, welcomed a baby girl, Alice Victoria, in March.


left to right: Raphael Langenscheidt ’05, Ian McClintick ’04, and Katie Keller White ’04 at a Real Salt Lake soccer match in March in Sandy, Utah.


Adam Viener has launched Yazing.com, a website that offers cash rewards for shopping online and for recommending various brands.


David Newcomb’s mother, Ruth, passed away September 4, 2016. Steve Pessagno met up with two 1988 classmates on trips in 2016: one to Southern California, where he and Meredith Ruble attended the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, and one to Colorado, where he visited Suzanne Dysard and the two enjoyed a concert at Red Rocks. “I continue to work in pharmaceutical business development at GlaxoSmithKline in the greater Philadelphia area, where I routinely see Meredith and classmate Natalie Kostelni McGrory,” Steve says. “I’m also a board member and treasurer for the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, a global collaborative charity and network of organizations and individuals supporting the pediatric cancer community.”


Robert Fulcher’s father, Glenn, passed away December 14, 2016.


Paul Royer has joined Mooney & Associates as an associate after working in the natural-gas industry in northern Pennsylvania for the past six years. He represents clients in criminal defense and civil litigation in Hanover and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.


Ugonna Onyekwe was chosen as one of the 16 inaugural Legends of Ivy League Basketball for his accomplishments as a player at the University of Pennsylvania from 1999 to 2003. Ugonna spent eight years playing professional basketball in Israel and Spain; today, he works on the business development team for Hit Songs Deconstructed in New York City.


Alex Kim is a captain with Allegiant Air. He flies McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 aircraft.

Kelly Hamilton, a senior kinesiology major at the United States Military Academy, was named the 2017 Corvias Patriot League Swimming & Diving ScholarAthlete of the Year. Kelly is a swimming and diving co-captain and broke league and West Point school records for the 100-yard backstroke and as a member of the Black Knights’ 400-meter medley relay team. Beginning in the fall, she will be stationed in Korea as a U.S. Army medical service officer. Dre Wills, a senior men’s basketball player at the University of Vermont, was named the America East Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Dre and the Catamounts won the America East title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell in the first round to Purdue.


Brice Sydnor is a sophomore economics major at Bucknell University, where he is a defensive back on the football team. This winter, he posed as Emlen Tunnell—the first African American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame—for a sculptor who is creating a statue of the celebrated player.

Former faculty/staff/ friends Christopher Tompkins, who was Mercersburg’s assistant head of school for enrollment from 2000 to 2008, is the new head of school at The Tatnall School in Greenville, Delaware. Chris has served as head of school at Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Marriages 58


Natalie Blackburn ’05 married Shawn Sanders September 17, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Pictured above with Natalie are 2005 classmates Whitney Pezza, Kyle Taylor, and Cara Leepson. Right: David Cline ’02 married Bethany Paunovich September 24, 2016, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Paige Summers Andersen ’11 and her husband, Ryan, welcomed a son, William Bruce, January 31, 2017.

Larissa Chace Smith ’97 and her husband, Ryan, welcomed a daughter, Ruby Helen, October 4, 2016.

Michelle Glah McCleary ’00 and her husband, Ryan, welcomed a daughter, Charlotte Jane, January 3, 2017. Pictured with Charlotte are 2-year-old sister Nora and 4-year-old brother Henry.


Obituaries ’36

Albert S. Jalkut, February 13, 2017. (Irving, wrestling, News) Al attended Colgate University before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force and serving during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, seven Battle Stars, and the Distinguished Unit Badge. Al was preceded in death by his wife, Cathleen. Survivors include five children, 10 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.


F. David Schaeffer, December 20, 2016. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall, Concert Band, Glee Club, Choir, Blue and White Melodians, Orchestra, Stamp Club, Cum Laude, The Fifteen, wrestling, baseball) David earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Gettysburg College and received a commission as second lieutenant in the Army. He remained in the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel until 1953. He was co-owner, along with his father and brother, of the former Schaeffer Lumber Company. David was preceded in death by a brother, two grandchildren, and cousins C. Russell Schaeffer ’42, Stanley Smith ’42, William Schaeffer ’45, and Samuel Bare ’52. Survivors include his wife, Bobbye; two sons (David Schaeffer ’65 and Lloyd Schaeffer ’70) and a daughter; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a cousin, David Bare ’62; and several nieces and nephews.


Howard Rossmoore, January 1, 2017. (South Cottage, Marshall, cheerleader, Rauchrunde, News, Press Club, swimming, tennis, track & field) Howard received his undergraduate education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before earning a master’s in administrative engineering from New York University and a master’s in criminal justice from the University of South Florida. He retired as president of Aztec Pools. Howard lived in Siesta Key, Florida. Survivors include a son, Edward ’67.


Clarke S. Bressler Jr., December 25, 2016. (South Cottage, Marshall, Blue and White Melodians, Entertainment Usher, swimming, Dance Committee, Glee Club accompanist, Football Band, Concert Band, Les Copains, Class Day Committee) “Doc” graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering and served

in the Army. He worked at General Electric for more than 35 years, retiring as a western regional sales manager of marketing and sales for the locomotive division. Survivors include his wife, Dee; two children; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter.


Robert H. Price, February 21, 2017. (Keil, Choir, Glee Club, soccer, Les Copains) Rocky received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and served in the U.S. Navy. He worked as a field engineer and plant supervisor for Shell Oil, he worked for Fair Lanes as its director of engineering for its British operations, and later he was vice president of engineering and construction for BTR Realty. Rocky was also a consulting engineer on environmental projects in the Chesapeake Bay. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise, and a brother, George ’44. Survivors include a son and two daughters; two brothers, Howard ’40 and Richard ’49; four sisters; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Alexander S. Barnes, January 20, 2017. (South Cottage, Irving, salutatorian, Cum Laude, football, Concert Band, The Fifteen, Blue and White Melodians, Les Copains, track & field) Alec graduated from Princeton University in 1947 and served in the Army during World War II. He later worked as a securities arbitrator and consultant. John M. Robinson Jr., February 25, 2017. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall, The Fifteen, Les Copains, Glee Club, swimming) Robbie served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in mechanical engineering. He went on to design and build bridges for the B.G. Coon and Sordoni construction companies. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth; an infant daughter and a stepdaughter; and a cousin, Robert Bedner ’43. Survivors include six children, three stepchildren, 12 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


William C. Orme II, February 21, 2017. (South Cottage, Marshall, News, Senate, Stony Batter, Chapel Usher, KARUX, Dance Committee,




Entertainment Usher, El Circulo Español, Press Club, swimming, Class Memorial Committee, Class Day Committee, YMCA Cabinet) Bill served in the Navy and was a quartermaster for two years. He graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in ceramic engineering and worked in his family’s Cambridge Glass business and later in sales for General Electric. He was preceded in death by a brother, Wilber ’44, and is survived by his wife, Gretchen, and three daughters. Philip M. Young, January 18, 2017. (Main, Irving, football) Phil graduated from Allegheny College and the University of Michigan. He served as vice president of the Trust Investment division of Central National Bank in Cleveland, Ohio (which later became Society National Bank and then KeyBank). Phil’s brother, Charles ’46, preceded him in death. Survivors include his wife, Nancy, as well as several children and grandchildren.


Walter H. Wiesman, January 30, 2017. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall, track & field, soccer, basketball) Walter served in the Navy during the Korean War and later worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He was preceded in death by a son, a brother, and a sister. Survivors include his wife, Myra Ann, as well as a son and two sisters.


Richard E. Easler, March 27, 2016. (summer session student) Richard graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and Jefferson Medical College. He served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Medical Corps at Bethesda Navy Hospital, and his pathology career subsequently took him to Aultman Hospital and Western Pennsylvania Hospital. He also taught medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical College. Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Gyorgyi, and is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. Robert H. Thompson, September 25, 2016. (Irving) Robert graduated from Thompson Business School of York and served in the National Guard for eight years. He operated a family business, T.E. Brooks and Company, and was part owner of Suzuki Village Motorcycle Company. He was preceded in death by three brothers and is survived by his wife, Jacqueline; a daughter and son; and three grandchildren.


Thomas E. Schaefer, May 31, 2016. (swimming) Tom was a bomber pilot in the Air Force and later director of operations for the 57th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, and Minot Air Force Base. As a colonel, he was the ranking military officer among the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. Tom received the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. He was preceded in death by a brother, John ’50. Survivors include his wife, Anita; two sons; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Donnell D. Reed, December 8, 2016. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall, Band, football, Jurisprudence Society) Don attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was a partner in the law firm of Reed and Bastacky in Pittsburgh. Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Paula. Survivors include his second wife, Ellen;

two children; three stepchildren; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Lawrence Lattomus II, January 29, 2017. (South Cottage, Marshall, News, Senate, El Circulo Español, Chemistry Club, Chapel Usher, Marshal of the Field, Varsity Club, track & field, Williams Cup, Class Day Committee) Larry was the nephew of the late Hugh Lattomus ’30. He graduated from Cornell University, where he was a standout track & field athlete, and served in the Air Force. He later earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked for Dean Witter & Company and for Excel Telecommunications. Larry lived in Marana, Arizona. Survivors include his wife, Angie; his brother-in-law, Donald Lewis ’60; and other relatives.


Gerald B. Droz, February 6, 2017. (South Cottage, Marshall, Class Day Committee, Press Club, Les Copains, Chemistry Club, Stony Batter, Projection Crew, Senior Club Custodian, football, basketball) Gerald earned a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and was a corporate purchasing manager for Farmhand. He was preceded in death by his wife, Miriam, and a sister. Survivors include two children; two stepchildren; a brother, Robert ’50; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.


Christopher M. King, January 4, 2017. (South Cottage, Irving, Stony Batter) Chris graduated from Mount Union College and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at Ohio State University Hospital and spent most of his career at the Alliance Eye and Ear Clinic. He also served in the Army and reenlisted with the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; three children; eight grandchildren; and a cousin.


Raymond A. Boarts, February 9, 2017. (South Cottage, Marshall, KARUX, Press Club, Football Band, Assembly Orchestra) Raymond attended Penn State University and was a partner at Paul’s Auto Parts. He was preceded in death by a brother and sister. Survivors include four sons, two daughters, a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and a sister.


B. Morgan Heflin, February 5, 2017. (summer session student) Morgan received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a D.D.S. degree from the University of Illinois Dental School in Chicago. He served two years in the Air Force as a dentist with the rank of captain, and completed postgraduate training in orthodontics and an M.D.S. degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Morgan was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann, and is survived by two sons and seven grandchildren.


Richard M. Robbins, November 24, 2016. (Keil, Irving, tennis, golf, track & field) Richard attended Rollins College and Stetson College of Law and worked with the Public Defender’s Office of Pinellas County, Florida, for


more than 30 years. He spent much of that time in the juvenile division. Richard was preceded in death by a sister, a brother, and a niece. Survivors include three daughters and four grandchildren. Charles W. Utts, May 12, 2016. (Main, Irving, Jurisprudence Society) Chuck attended Denison University and the University of Pittsburgh. He taught high school for more than 40 years, retiring from the Woodland Hills School District in 2007. Survivors include his wife, Suzanne; two daughters and a son; and nine grandchildren.


Charles A. Barrett III, April 17, 2015. (Irving, Glee Club, Choir, Gun Club, Laticlavii, track & field manager) Biff, the grandson of the late C.E. Murray (1910), served in the Navy and owned an auto paint and body shop. He also worked as a dockmaster at the Delray Beach Yacht Club. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren.

California Western School of Law. He served as a private in the Army and practiced law in Florida and Pennsylvania. Survivors include his companion, Carrie Thomas; a brother and sister; two nephews; a niece; and several great-nephews and great-nieces. Thomson W. Rockwood, November 26, 2016. (Marshall, Orientation Committee, Blue Key, Entertainment Usher, Classics Club, Spanish Club, Chemistry Club, Engineering Club, Paideia, Music Appreciation, Stony Batter, News, Press Club, Choir, Glee Club, Varsity Club, crucifer, soccer, basketball) Tom, the son of the late Charles Rockwood ’37, earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford University. He served in the Navy as a Seabee officer and spent much of his career in forestry products, including with Coastal Lumber Company. Survivors include his wife, Becky; two children; five grandchildren; and a brother, John ’65.



Andrew H. Sinnickson, January 7, 2017. (Marshall officer, Caducean Club, Jurisprudence Society, Chess Club, Glee Club, Psychology Club, Varsity Club, Ski Club, dorm prefect, football, wrestling, track & field) Drew attended the University of Richmond and worked for the Department of Defense at the U.S. Naval Academy. Survivors include his wife, Sarah; two daughters; three sisters; three grandchildren; six nephews; and 10 great-nieces and great-nephews.

Robert L. LaFollette, January 10, 2017. (Keil, Irving, Caducean Club, football) Bob graduated from Otterbein University and served a four-year ROTC commission as a captain in the Air Force. He later owned Jacobs and Hutchinson Hardware Company. Survivors include his wife, Carol Ann; three children, Jean-Paul ’87, Robert ’90, and Aimee ’91; and three grandchildren.

William C. Power, February 25, 2011. (football, lacrosse, track & field, golf, Class Council) Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia University and graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law. Survivors include his wife, Susan; two daughters; two brothers, including Christopher Power ’79; a niece; and two nephews.

Thomas J. Danaher Jr., September 6, 2015. (Marshall, Orientation Committee, Kazaki, Paideia, Lit Board, Glee Club, Varsity Club, cross country, track & field) Tom worked in the field of psychology with troubled families and at-risk youth. Among those who preceded him in death were his grandfather, Mercersburg faculty member and track & field coach Jimmy Curran, and an uncle, Jim Curran Jr. ’31. Survivors include his wife, Maria; three children; five grandchildren; and two sisters.

Leonard C. Smyth, December 20, 2016. (Tippetts, Irving, News, football, track & field, Marshal of the Field) Leonard served in the Army and earned a bachelor’s degree in business and public administration from the University of Maryland. He began his career as director of food services for ARA and later accepted a sales position at Harris Brothers. He also owned and operated Classic Marque Restoration and East Texas Lube Systems. In addition to his wife, Judy, survivors include two sons and a daughter, a stepdaughter and stepson, a sister, two nieces, and numerous grandchildren.


Catherine M. McLellan Smith, December 13, 2016. (Irving, Ski Club, dorm prefect, softball, swimming, water polo, Band, Inbound Leader) Cathy was the daughter of the late Thomas McLellan Jr. ’46. She studied studio arts at Allegheny College and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Carlow College. She worked at the Medical University of South Carolina, specializing in oncology nursing, and also served as a home health nurse. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy, and a brother. Survivors include a brother, Thomas McLellan III ’80.



Nathaniel M. Glosser, December 31, 2016. (Marshall declaimer, Stony Batter, News, Blue Review, School Farm, Special Programs Committee) Nat was director of the Rosenberg Institute for Peace and Justice and Pennsylvanians Against Handgun Violence. He was an advocate for economic and social justice, a member of Occupy Pittsburgh, and an activist with the Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Justice. Survivors include a brother, Gregory ’85.


Charles G. “Skip” Cunningham, father of faculty member Betsy Cunningham and father-in-law of faculty member Will Willis, January 2, 2017.

William F. Moyer, December 24, 2016. (Main, Marshall, Laticlavii, Caducean Club, Stony Batter, News, Varsity Club, swimming) Bill attended Dickinson College and worked as manager of the wetlands and subaqueous lands section of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. He was also an ordained minister in the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Awareness. Survivors include his wife, Katherine; a daughter; two grandsons; a brother, Michael ’63; and a sister.

Houston B. Marshall Jr., February 7, 2017. (Marshall, French Club, Bridge Club, Ski Club, Psychology Club, Chess Club, Varsity Club, soccer) Houston graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and


Valjean R. Smith, father of faculty member Douglas Smith and fatherin-law of faculty member Jennifer Miller Smith ’97, December 26, 2016.


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FAMILY and ALUMNI WEEKEND October 20 22, 2017

Profile for Mercersburg Academy

Mercersburg Magazine - Summer 2017  

Mercersburg Magazine - Summer 2017