Page 1

Mercersburg A magazine for Mercersburg Academy family and friends


NO. 2



Growing Green

page 22


NO. 2

s umme r 2 0 0 9

A magazine for Mercersburg Academy family and friends




Mercersburg’s 116th Commencement

Relive graduation day for the 126 members of Mercersburg’s Class of 2009. Page 10

1,029 Words

Check, mate. Page 14


Growing Green

See how Mercersburg stays ready, steady, and wise— both on a daily basis and for the long haul. Page 22

Mercersburg Profiles

Academy alumni are working to keep recyclables out of landfills, making great-tasting lemonade from economic lemons, and establishing scholarships for bright young minds. Page 32


My Say

Magdalena Kala ’09 discusses the value of experiencing more than just the good times. Page 61

You Should Know

Gilbert Rataezyk ’10 and Bethany Pasierb ’11 were cast as leading man Tommy Albright and leading lady Fiona MacLaren in Stony Batter Players’ February production of the Lerner and Loewe musical Brigadoon. The production also starred Evan Pavloff ’09 as Jeff Douglas, Julia Simons ’10 as Meg Brockie, and Aaron Porter ’10 as Charlie Dalrymple. Photo by Bill Green. Photo credits: p. 2 Chris Crisman; p. 3 courtesy WPSU; p. 4 (all photos) Bill Green; p. 5 (Jones) Lindsay Tanton, (Cook) Stacey Talbot Grasa; p. 6 (Chorale) Lee Owen, (Lo) Grasa, (McClintick) Ryan Smith; p. 7 (top right) courtesy Jeff Cohen, (bottom right) Owen, (Hasson) courtesy Hasson family; p. 8 Green; p. 9 (all photos) Smith; p. 10–13 (all photos) Green; p. 16 Renee Hicks; p. 17 (all photos) Mariah Blake ’09; p. 18 (all photos) Ranee Cheung ’09; p. 19 (Kwak) courtesy Richard Rotz, (all other photos) Owen; p. 20 (bottom left and right) Green, (bottom center) Morgan Higby-Flowers ’03; p. 21 (vocal photos) Owen, (dance photos) Smith; p. 24 Green; p. 26 (Willis) Bruce Weller; p. 27 Owen; p. 29 Hicks; p. 30 (Holzwarth) Owen, (Benedick) Hicks; p. 33 courtesy Andy Tyson; p. 34–35 Smith; p. 36 courtesy Far West Fibers; p. 37 (McCombs) courtesy MBA Polymers, (Reed) courtesy Sarah Reed; p. 38 courtesy Sylvia Saracino; p. 39 (Hardesty) courtesy Indian River Medical Center Foundation, (Fox) Mercersburg Academy Archives; p. 40 courtesy Rachael Baird/Tilt Studio; p. 42 Meredith Owen/360jmg; p. 44 courtesy Judy Russell Purman; p. 45–49 (all photos) Green; p. 53 (ballot) courtesy Douglas Miller/Deborah Simon; p. 60 Weller; p. 61 Green; back cover (class) Weller. Illustrations: cover, p. 22: Roger Chouinard

From the Head of School Via Mercersburg Athletics Arts Reunion Anniversary Weekend Alumni Notes Mercersburg magazine is published three times annually by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Editor: Lee Owen Alumni Notes Editor: Natasha Brown

Mercersburg Academy 300 East Seminary Street Mercersburg, Pennsylvania 17236

Contributors: Shelton Clark, Tom Coccagna, Magdalena Kala ’09, Susan Pasternack, Jay Quinn, Frank Rutherford ’70, Sylvia Saracino ’99, Lindsay Tanton, Wallace Whitworth

Magazine correspondence:

Art Direction: Aldrich Design

Alumni Notes correspondence: Alumni correspondence/ change of address:

Green Inks

2 3 16 19 45 50

Head of School: Douglas Hale Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications: Wallace Whitworth Assistant Head for External Affairs: Mary Carrasco Assistant Head for Enrollment: Tommy Adams

Fr o m t h e He a d o f S c h o o l

The Act and Art of Sustaining


have a natural love of language but also embrace the notion that in order for language to remain alive and vibrant, it must change and evolve. Having said that, though, not all shifts in language are created equal. The theme of this edition of Mercersburg, for example, is actually one of those modern words which can be difficult to like. It’s not easy to get one’s mind completely around the amorphous word “sustainability.” Society’s demand that it serve too many purposes—from environmental and economic to academic and architectural—has caused it to become in quick order a buzzword, another voice in the collective noise, communicating less than one might hope. My two-decades-old favorite dictionary (The American Heritage) doesn’t even contain the word sustainability. Sustain, the verb, is there; sustainable, the adjective, is there; and sustainment, the noun, is there. In the latest edition of that same dictionary, however, sustainability does appear, but almost as an afterthought. I confess to being grieved a bit that the verb “sustain” seems to be out of fashion (a word with an almost spiritual resonance) while the noun sustainability has become all the vogue (a word with an almost industrial feel). Yet even if the word sustainability may have become too buzzy (how’s that for evolved language!), the idea underlying the word itself has definitely passed the test of time. Sustain is a very old word, and sustainability, the youngest sprout from that root is, indeed, a very new wrapping for a very old concept: the act and art of sustaining. This whole notion is not radical new thinking for us at Mercersburg. It’s what schools like this—and this school in particular—have been doing for a long time. We’ve been building an endowment and annual budgets and financial projection models to be financially sustainable. We’ve been using smart, talented architects and hundred-year materials for campus buildings so our physical plant can be sustainable. We’ve been hiring great teachers and fashioning an academic program that is constantly undergoing scrutiny to ensure that our academic experience remains relevant and sustainable. In some form or fashion, we at Mercersburg have been practicing sustainability since the first days of the school, even if we never felt the urge to call it by that name. Everything about this place implies permanence, even while it simultaneously implies the capacity to change and evolve. And we have understood that it is our responsibility to sustain this wonderful place in all imaginable ways. We must always avoid feeling too self-congratulatory, though, and the important difference between the ubiquitous “sustainability” of today versus the intuitive “sustainability” of yesterday involves intent; today we are called upon to be highly focused, explicit, and intentional in our drive to sustain this great school. We have strategic plans, academic action plans, campus master plans, and all manner of other plans which intentionally lay out the ways we expect to sustain all those things—physical and spiritual—for which Mercersburg stands. I have no doubt that we can and will succeed, because our present, intentional acts of sustainability spring from the same place that Dr. Irvine’s original, intuitive exercise in sustainability sprang: the timeless, immutable values that support and permeate all we do here. We can and will sustain this place, because this place sustains us.

Douglas Hale Head of School

D at es to Rem em b er

Sep 8

Sep 25–27

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

Oct 5

Oct 12

Oct 16–18

Dec 12–13

2009–2010 Opening Convocation Family Weekend Ammerman Family Lecture: Robert Sapolsky 7 p.m., Simon Theatre Admission Open House Fall Alumni Weekend Loyalty Club Christmas Candlelight Service Weekend

Schedule subject to change; for a full and updated schedule of events, visit

Quiz Masters Academic Team takes mental challenges and contests by storm In its third year


since being revived under the guidance of chemistry teacher Chip Horton, Mercersburg’s Academic Team matched wits online, in person, on television, and at a national competition with some of the nation’s finest high-school quizbowl teams. After placing eighth nationally in its 125team division in the online Knowledge Master Open during the fall, the team set its sights (for the first time in school history) on Scholastic Scrimmage, a televised competition for teams from central Pennsylvania organized by PBS affiliate WPSU in State College. Like most competitions of its kind, Scholastic Scrimmage includes general-knowledge questions from several different categories (arts/literature,

Challenge your

brain with this random assortment of questions Mercersburg’s Academic Team might encounter on Scholastic Scrimmage or in another competition. (No Googling, please; answers on page 8)

1. What poet, who

attended the University of Pennsylvania and Hamilton College, is a founder of the Imagist movement and author of “The Beautiful Toilet” and “A Ballad of the Mulberry Road”?

2. How many meters are in a hectometer?

Members of Mercersburg’s Academic Team on the set before the final round of Scholastic Scrimmage. (L–R): Chip Horton (head coach), Mary Chen ’10, Toshia Fries ’10, Matt Bachtell ’09, Spencer Flohr ’10. Pictured at center is Cuddles, the team’s stuffed monster mascot.

math/science, history, geography, current events, and Pennsylvania). The team made the trip north five times to tape episodes of the show during the winter and spring terms, dispatching Portage, Bishop Guilfoyle, Everett, and Redbank Valley to reach the finals of the competition in the Division 2 bracket. (The entire school enjoyed a taped presentation of the team’s quarterfinal win over Everett during a school meeting.) In the finals, the Mercersburg squad dropped a heartbreaker to Bishop McCourt, 275–255—but its second-place finish meant

the team qualified for the prestigious High School National Challenge Tournament in Chicago at the end of May. Horton accompanied four team members (Matt Bachtell ’09, Spencer Flohr ’10, Toshia Fries ’10, and Lorraine Simonis ’10) on the trip, which—along with the competition (the team went 3–7 against challenging opposition)—featured a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago and a chance meeting with Jeopardy! über-champion Ken Jennings, who was a reader at the tournament.

3. What is the smallest nation in South America, and the only Dutchspeaking nation in the Western Hemisphere that isn’t part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands?

from Wisconsin who led a crusade to find Communists in the U.S. government?

the final book of the New Testament. What is the commonly used title for this movement?

5. King George II began

6. What six-time most-

4. What last name is

shared by Eugene, a 1968 presidential candidate, and Joseph, a senator

the tradition of standing during a performance of this piece of music, which ends the second of three parts in Handel’s Messiah and includes text from

valuable player of the National Basketball Association changed his name from Lew Alcindor after converting to Islam?

7. What wading bird that

resembles the ibis and the stork flies with its neck retracted, as opposed to outstretched?

8. What state (the 31st to enter the Union) has a motto of “Eureka!” and a law in its largest city prohibiting the peeling of oranges in a hotel room?


M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9

Philip Glass: On Creativity and Collaboration April 3–4, 2009

Photos, clockwise from top left:

In concert; Glass with Gail Reeder, director of principal gifts and mother of Adam ’97 and Anne ’00; Glass with students Maryjane Clark ’10 and Ariel Imler ’09; a school meeting in the Simon Theatre; Glass with cellist Wendy Sutter and percussionist/keyboardist Mick Rossi—the trio performed Glass’ Songs and Poems for Cello; Glass and his first cousin, Jay Gouline (father of Jordan Gouline ’04)

M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9


Judging Academic Excellence John Jones III ’73, a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, was the invited speaker at Mercersburg’s Cum Laude Convocation in March. Jones, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, presided over the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in 2005 that ruled unconstitutional the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Twenty-five members of the Class of 2009 were elected to Cum Laude membership this year. They include Liza Baker, Kiersten Bell, Whitney Clark, Marielle Collins, Sara Eshleman, Natasha Fritz, Ya Gao, McArthur Gill, Laura Graham, Kareem Hannoun, Mark Herring, David Hill, Peter Jones, Magdalena Kala, Anika Kempe, Robby Marsh, Becca McClain, Gwen Miller, Rachael Porter, Clare Shearer, Soo Yeun Sim, Julie Sohn, Ashton Vattelana, Nitish Verma, and Fritzi Wentz. Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society recognizes excellence in academic work; it is the secondary-school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Students are elected to membership in the group by a vote of Mercersburg’s Cum Laude faculty members.

Judge John Jones ’73 and his wife, Beth Ann, with Douglas and Peggy Hale

Reviving an Ancient Athletic Tradition The Williams Cup, an athletic tradition at Mercersburg that dates back to the school’s founding, is back on campus for the first time since 2002. The competition, which today is open Cook to all male students, consists of five events: the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter run, shot put, long jump, and 1600-meter run. Scoring is compiled using decathlon scoring tables, so the level of performance is more important than the finish in each event.

Matt Cook ’11 was the winner of this year’s competition, which was held in May at the Jimmy Curran Track. The roots of the Williams Cup stretch back to the Academy’s earliest days, when students gathered on a fall weekend for an all-school competition involving numerous athletic events. In 1904, the first pentathlon of track and field events was contested in conjunction with Field Day, and the first actual Williams Cup was awarded—a trophy given by Mercersburg parent R.L. Williams, whose son, Richard (1905), and grandson, Richard ’32, later provided the school with additional trophies for the ever-growing list of winners.

Curran, Mercersburg’s legendary track and field coach, arrived in 1910 and turned the competition into a de facto selection process for his team. Engraved on the Williams Cup trophies are the names of Olympians Bill Carr ’29, Charles Moore ’47, and Rolando Cruz ’60. (Another former winner is current Mercersburg faculty member Dave Holzwarth ’78). A similar competition for female athletes was first held in 1982; it would later be named the Cutshall Cup (unfortunately, there were no Cutshall Cup entrants in 2009). The latter competition honors the late Bill Cutshall ’63 and family. —Frank Rutherford ’70

’Burg’s EYE VIEW



The Mercersburg Chorale gave two per-

formances during a trip to New York City March 29–30. The 51-member chorus, under the direction of Richard Rotz and James Brinson, sang as part of Evensong at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, which is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and “the sacred equivalent of performing at Carnegie Hall,” according to Rotz. The next day, the Chorale performed at the School of the Sacred Heart, where former Mercersburg faculty member Angela Carstensen ’85 is head librarian. The group also visited the Guggenheim Museum and saw a Broadway show, and enjoyed a dinner hosted by Judith and Charles Moore ’47, Jay Myrie ’93, and Vanessa Youngs ’03 at Bistro Ten 18 in Manhattan. “Singing in the cathedral was a wonderful experience,” says Chorale member Kathy Clarke ’12. “It was overwhelming, but it was so much fun and I gained so much pride from having the privilege to sing there.”

Rick Ufford-Chase, a peace activist and for-

mer moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), gave the Schaff Lecture on Ethics and Morals in the Simon Theatre in April. A native of York, Pennsylvania, Ufford-Chase served the Presbyterian Church (USA) as moderator of its 216th General Assembly (the church’s highest elected office) from 2004 until 2006.

Ufford-Chase and his wife, Kitty, are the directors of Stony Point Center, a retreat center in New York state that welcomes people of all faiths and nations to discern, discover, learn, and lead in the creation of pathways to peace, nonviolence, and justice. Also in April, author Jonathan Shay, the preeminent expert in the treatment of war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, spoke to a group of students and faculty in the Hale Studio Theatre. Shay is the author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America—two books that use Homeric epic as a reflective means of conveying the debilitating effects of war trauma on soldiers. His visit came after students in John David Bennett’s AP Language and Composition/American Literature course read selections from Achilles in Vietnam. In 2007, Shay received a MacArthur Fellowship, which is commonly known as a “Genius Grant” (Ann Blair ’79, who teaches at Harvard University, is also a MacArthur Fellow). Denise Dupré ’76 , t h e p r e s i d e n t o f

Mercersburg’s Board of Regents, has been named a Regent of Dartmouth College (her undergraduate alma mater). She was first elected to the Mercersburg Board in 1995 and was a vice-president from 2002 until becoming president in 2005.

Dupré spent all four of her high-school years at Mercersburg, where she was student council president and received Dupré the Headmaster’s Prize and the Robert H. Michelet Prize. She was an economics major at Dartmouth and earned a master of professional studies from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Dupré, of Dover, Massachusetts, has held various teaching positions, including a teaching fellowship at Cornell and an appointment as associate professor and director of the School of Hotel Administration at Boston University; she has also taught courses at Harvard University based on her industry textbook, Hospitality World!. Two teapots by Michael Lo ’09 earned Gold Key Awards at the regional level at the 2009 Scholastic Art Awards in New York City; his “Combo” teapot also received a naLo tional Gold Medal (one of 1,000 works at the high-school level chosen from approximately 140,000 entries), and his “Rocker” teapot garnered a Silver Medal. The Gold Medal gave Lo the opportunity to attend an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall and have his work showcased as part of the National Art Exhibit in June. Other recipients of regional Gold Key Awards were Chris Hyun ’09 (ceramics), Anika Kempe ’09 (graphics), Robert Shabb ’09 (art portfolio), and Maddy Stoken ’09 (painting). Since assuming the presidency of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Bill McClintick, Mercersburg’s director of college counseling McClintick since 1989, has been interviewed by USA TODAY, the Associated Press, U.S. News & World Report, the

Christian Science Monitor, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Times, Education Week, XM Radio, and Minnesota Public Radio. McClintick’s term as NACAC president runs through September 2009. In April, Mercersburg’s golf team hosted a traveling squad of eight high-school-age golfers from the United Kingdom for a round at Whitetail Golf Resort. The visitors, known as the British Swifts, spent three weeks in America taking on numerous U.S. highschool teams; in addition to Mercersburg, some of the Swifts’ other opponents on the trip included Woodberry Forest School, Peddie School, and Blair Academy. Teams from Britain visit the U.S. in oddnumbered years, while the Americans return the favor in even-numbered years. Before this year, David Callenberger ’02 was the most recent Mercersburg golfer to participate in the exchange; Mercersburg had previously hosted the Swifts during the tenure of longtime head golf coach Dick Decker.

Break Time

Fourteen Mercersburg students traveled to Costa Rica with faculty members Trini Hoffman and Jeff Cohen for the now-annual Service in the Sun trip during spring break. Attendees worked on community-service projects at the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, and enjoyed outdoor fun in a tropical climate. Other Mercersburg groups visited the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and the New Orleans area (for another community-service trip).

Jim Hasson, father of

Julie Hasson ’98 and Jill Hasson ’00 and a longtime Mercersburg volunteer, died suddenly in April at age 58. A dedicated fan of Blue Storm Hasson athletics and supporter of the school (through phonathons, admission events, and contributions) even after his daughters graduated, Jim was the namesake and inaugural recipient of the James Hasson Distinguished Service Award (first presented in 2006), which is given by the school’s Alumni & Development Office. John Freeland, grandfather of Chris Freeland ’08, is the award’s most recent honoree. Jim, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, played football at Millersville University and was a Vietnam veteran. He was a teacher and coach in Franklin County for more than 30 years, and retired in 2008 as principal of Scotland School for Veterans’ Children. In addition to his daughters, Jim is survived by his wife, Linda.


The following members of the Class of 2009 have signed letters of intent or committed to continue their athletic careers at the next level. Front row (L–R): Stephanie Seibert (Washington College, lacrosse), Tempest Bowden (Mount Holyoke, squash), Katie Scanlon (Moravian, basketball/invited walkon), Caroline Lovette (Richmond, golf), Becca Galey (Macalester, swimming), Garrick Skubon (Merchant Marine Academy, wrestling), Asia Walker (Ursinus, track and field), Jordyn Nicholl (Navy, diving). Back row: Kiersten Bell (Kenyon, swimming), Tim McHale (Navy, soccer), Billy Abrams (Navy, squash), Mark Destro (Jacksonville, lacrosse/invited walk-on), Dan Quinn (Navy, swimming), Mike Weinstein (Rollins, swimming), John Richey (Navy, squash), Andrew Mauro (Dickinson, baseball), Curtis Feigt (West Virginia, football). Not pictured: Jenn Brallier (Bates, lacrosse), Taylor Dunn (TBA, basketball), Bubba Harris (North Carolina Central, football), Lena Finucane (St. Joseph’s, track and field), Trey Gregory (Navy, swimming), Jordan Jefferson (Yale, football), Trevor Smith (Bates, football), Tom Timoney (UNC Wilmington, baseball), Tony Truitt (Redlands, basketball), Nigel van Oostrum (Franklin Pierce, basketball).


M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9

Same Place,

New Space

LEFT: Jay Quinn (right) with Board of Regents member Tom Mendham. ABOVE: Bill Zimmerman ’67, Head of School Douglas Hale, and John Prentiss ’65. (Not pictured: Deborah Simon ’74)

Mercersburg rededicated the William Mann Irvine Memorial on campus during a May 7 ceremony that also featured the dedication of the Prentiss-Zimmerman Quadrangle. The Quad has always been envisioned as Mercersburg’s centerpiece—one that galvanizes the natural and architectural beauty of the campus, and functions as a welcoming crossroads and gathering place—even serving as the grandest of classrooms when weather permits. The original memorial was constructed in 1936 and renovated and enlarged in 1992. Gifts for the Quad restoration were made in partnership by John K. Prentiss ’65 and William B. Zimmerman ’67, fellow members of the Board of Regents and longtime friends. Prentiss’ gift is in honor of his wife, Carol, and his mother, Jeanne Palmer Prentiss, and in memory of his father, George ’39. Zimmerman’s gift is



answers to the questions on page 3

1. Ezra Pound 2. 100 3. Suriname 4. McCarthy

made in honor of his wife, Patty, and his parents, Kathryn Wolf Zimmerman and John D. Zimmerman. Revitalization of the memorial was made possible through a gift from Regent Deborah J. Simon ’74 in honor of emeriti faculty Jay Quinn and Paul Suerken, as well as other faculty who inspire students. The revitalized memorial features permanent bench seating, in addition to bronze statues of Bill Carr ’29 and Robert Michelet ’30. “I would like to acknowledge the work of Dean Linderman and Hans Bleinberger for the five years they worked on a subcommittee of the Board of Regents’ Buildings & Grounds Committee, and for their endless energies and expertise that helped shape the ultimate quality of the Quad restoration project,” Prentiss said.

5. “Hallelujah Chorus” 6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 7. Heron 8. California

M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9

Irving-Marshall Week 2009

1125 825



ABOVE LEFT: Declaimers entering Ford

Hall. ABOVE: Bond Stockdale ’09, the first repeat first-place winner since Marshall’s Julia Wiedeman ’98. LEFT: Celebrating a Marshall victory. BELOW RIGHT: Marshall declaimers (standing, L–R): Arcadia Hartung ’09, Jack Oliphant ’09, first-place winner Bond Stockdale ’09, second-place winner Evan Pavloff ’09. Seated: Emily Bays ’10. BELOW LEFT: Irving declaimers (standing, L–R): Gilbert Rataezyk ’10, third-place winner Paul Suhey ’10, Ellis Mays ’10, Hannah Miller ’10. Seated: Coralie Thomas ’09.



M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9


116th Commencement

June 6, 2009 “Mercersburg is truly a place of character. I predict the instruction and coaching that you received here will stay with you throughout your lives.” —Charles H. Moore Jr. ’47, invited speaker

Salutatorian Frederikke “Fritzi” Wentz ’09

Class Orator Derek Osei-Bonsu ’09

“The growth that I’ve seen in this class and in myself is almost overwhelming. We’re all the same people at heart, but we’re wiser and more prepared for the world.” —Derek Osei-Bonsu ’09, Class Orator

M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9



Liza Baker Kiersten Bell Whitney Clark Marielle Collins Sara Eshleman Natasha Fritz Ya Gao McArthur Gill Laura Graham Kareem Hannoun Mark Herring David Hill Peter Jones Magdalena Kala Anika Kempe Robby Marsh Becca McClain Gwen Miller Rachael Porter Clare Shearer Soo Yeun Sim Julie Sohn Ashton Vattelana Nitish Verma Fritzi Wentz

President’s Education Award for Educational Excellence

Kiersten Bell Ranee Cheung Marielle Collins Sara Eshleman Natasha Fritz Ya Gao McArthur Gill Laura Graham Kareem Hannoun Mark Herring Jordan Jefferson Magdalena Kala Anika Kempe Michael Lo Robby Marsh

Becca McClain Gwen Miller Clare Shearer Soo Yeun Sim Julie Sohn Nitish Verma Napat Waikwamdee Fritzi Wentz Kristy Xu English


The Irwin Cohen ’23

The European History Prize

Scholar/Athlete Prize

David Hill

Fritzi Wentz

The Humanities Prize

The Frank Hoffmeier (1896)

Riley Renner

Scholar/Athlete Prize

The Colonel Wills Prize

Kareem Hannoun

Natasha Fritz (first prize) Robby Marsh (second prize)

Special Awards

Foreign Language

U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis Certificate

Nitish Verma

in Advanced Level French

The Dr. Julius Shamansky Prize

Fritzi Wentz

Billy Abrams Trey Gregory Erin McKenna Jordyn Nicholl Danny Quinn John Richey

Clare Shearer

The H. Eugene Davis Prize in

English-Speaking Union

The William C. Heilman (1896) Prize



Ovie Onobrakpeya

Becca Galey

Prize in Advanced Level

The Harry F. Smith Prize


Magdalena Kala

Julie Sohn

The John Mountain ’31 Prize

The John H. Montgomery Prize

Laura Graham the pratt L. Tobey prize

Ashton Vattelana The Gordon M. Macartney Prize


Prize in Math 50 AP (Statistics)

Becca McClain

Sara Eshleman

Fine Arts


The Community Service Award

Magdalena Kala and Laurel Schaefer The Daughters of the American Revolution

The Kennedy Bible Study Prize

Good Citizen Award

Chris Hyun and Michael Lo

Laurel Schaefer

Mark Herring

The Austin V. McClain ’26 Prize in

The William Paul

The Yale University

Fine Arts

Buchanan ’16 Prize

Aurelian Prize

Michael Lo and Maddy Stoken

Laurel Schaefer (first prize) Matt Bachtell (second prize)

Mark Herring

The Head of School’s Purchase Prize

The Blue Review Award

Maddy Stoken The Music Director’s Prize

Julie Sohn


The William O. Allen AP

The Francis Shunk Downs (1902) Prize

Jack Oliphant The William C. Fowle

The Paul M. Suerken Prize

Biology Prize


Joanna Kessler and Rich Yue

Fritzi Wentz

Molly Serpi

The Senior Instrumental Music Prize

The Brent Gift Environmental

The Mary Jane Berger Prize

Kareem Hannoun and Michael Lo

Science Prize

Ovie Onobrakpeya

The Dance Director’s Award

Sara Eshleman

Ariel Imler

The Tim O. Rockwell Award

Kylee Mason Athletics/Outdoor Education

The Carol Amorocho ’81

The Leonard Plantz Award


The Stony Batter Prize

Trevor Smith

Marielle Collins

Molly Serpi

The Darrell Ecker Award

The Head of School’s Prize

Jenn Brallier

Jack Oliphant

The Excellence in Dance Award

Sara Eshleman

The Persis F. Ross Award

John Draper


M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9


116th Commencement

June 6, 2009









7 6












10 11



Class of 2009 Legacy Graduates 1. Stephanie Seibert, daughter of Dick Seibert ’69. 2. Andrew Reynolds, grandson of Web McCormack ’44. 3. Cam Banta, son of Nancy Moore Banta ’77, grandson of Tom Moore ’57, and great-grandson of the late Charles H. Moore ’22. 4. Sara Eshleman, great-granddaughter of the late John W. Stoner ’27 and great-great-granddaughter of the late John A. Stoner (1900). 5. Ellen Pierce, daughter of Gretchen Decker Pierce ’79. 6. Natalie Hopkins, daughter of Suzette Raley Hopkins ’81. 7. Alicia Furnary, daughter of Tony Furnary ’76. 8. Laura Graham, daughter of Alec Graham ’71. 9. Ben Wiley, son of Tom Wiley ’75. 10. Bond Stockdale, son of Jim Stockdale ’68. 11. Ariel Imler, daughter of Joe Imler ’72. 12. Robby Marsh, grandson of Bob Kurtz ’52. 13. J.B. Crawford, son of Jim Crawford ’63 and grandson of the late James Crawford II ’38.

Kareem Hannoun ’09 (Nevin Orator), Magdalena Kala ’09 (valedictorian), Mark Herring ’09 (class marshal)

M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9


Just the facts 126 graduates, representing 21 states, the District of Columbia, and 12 nations Members of the class will matriculate at 86 different institutions Most-popular college choices: United States Naval Academy (seven matriculations), University of Richmond (five matriculations), University of Pittsburgh (four matriculations)

Katie Lam ’09 and Emmanuel John-Teye ’09

Some other institutions represented: Bates College, University of Chicago, Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Kenyon College, McGill University, Occidental College, University of Pennsylvania, West Virginia University, University of Wisconsin, Yale University Valedictorian: Magdalena Kala, Przystajn, Poland Salutatorian: Frederikke “Fritzi” Wentz, Wenzenbach, Germany Nevin Orator: Kareem Hannoun, McGaheysville, Virginia Class Orator: Derek Osei-Bonsu, Columbus, New Jersey Class Marshals: Alicia Furnary, Portland, Oregon; Mark Herring, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Mike Weinstein ’09 with Board of Regents President Denise Dupré ’76 and Head of School Douglas Hale

Commencement speaker: Charles H. Moore Jr. ’47 (two-time Olympic medalist, former Cornell University athletic director, retired CEO) Baccalaureate speaker: Jeffrey Pierce (outgoing faculty member/religion department head)


M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9

M ercersb u r g ma g a z i ne s u mmer 2 0 0 9

1,029 Words

A grudge match of the minds pits John Draper ’09 against Murtaza Shambhoora ’09 in a game of chess in Lenfest Hall’s Hager Reading Room. Photo by Bruce Weller.


Athletics D ate s to Re me mb e r

Sep 26

men’s/women’s cross country hosts Mercersburg Invitational

Hun at Mercersburg (all contests at 1 p.m.): field hockey, football, men’s/women’s soccer, women’s tennis

Oct 17

Hill at Mercersburg: field hockey/men’s soccer/women’s tennis, 1 p.m. football, 2:30 p.m. women’s soccer, 3:30 p.m.

Dedication of new turf field

Alumni reunions for field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, wrestling

Winter Varsity Athletics Roundup Men’s Basketball

Captain: Ovie Onobrakpeya ’09 Men’s Basketball Award (most outstanding player): Taylor Dunn ’09 Coaches’ Award (most improved player): Troy Nwanna ’11 John Prevost ’54 Award (citizenship): Onobrakpeya Head coach: Mark Cubit (10th season) Record: 4–17 (1–4 MAPL) Highlights: Dunn, who led the team in scoring with 15.2 points per game, was named first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League and garnered secondteam All-Area honors from the [Hagerstown] Herald-Mail… in a game played at the historic Palestra, the Storm defeated the University of Pennsylvania JV team for the first time since 2005;

Schedules are subject to change; for updates and results, visit

Dunn poured in 31 points and Cam Banta ’09 and Jordan Jefferson ’09 combined for 18 rebounds in the win… team also won at Lawrenceville (a game in which Dunn netted a season-high 36 points and 17 straight free throws) and Blue Ridge and knocked off St. Maria Goretti at home… Nikos Frank ’11 earned Academic All-MAPL honors… Dunn scored in double figures in 20 of the team’s 21 contests… Tony Truitt ’09 is headed to Redlands [California] and Nigel van Oostrum ’10 to Franklin Pierce.

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Basketball Award (most outstanding player): Taylor Riley ’10 Head coach: Monique Liddell (2nd season) Record: 7–15 (1–4 MAPL) Highlights: Caroline Lovette ’09 earned first-team All-MAPL honors, averaging 9.6 points per game and shooting 82 percent from the free-throw stripe… Riley garnered first-team All-Area honors

from the [Chambersburg] Public Opinion and second-team All-Area recognition from the HeraldMail… she led the team with 14.4 points and 2.9 steals per contest… Jenn Brallier ’09, a second-team Herald-Mail All-Area selection and an Academic All-MAPL honoree, led the team in steals (65) and assists (58) while averaging just under 10 points per game… Brallier and Shaniqua Reeves ’09 were four-year letterwinners… two of the team’s victories came against Lawrenceville on the road, including a win in the MAPL Tournament… Lovette will play golf at Richmond next year, while Brallier will play lacrosse at Bates.


Captain: Jordyn Nicholl ’09 Diving Award (most outstanding diver): Nicholl Coaches’ Award (most improved diver): Dillon French ’09 Head coach: Jennifer Miller Smith ’97 (1st season)

Highlights: With former Mercersburg diver Smith at the helm, diving returned to Mercersburg’s varsitysport offerings for the first time since 2005–2006… the team had a solid season, despite having only one member with previous experience in the sport… Nicholl won every meet she competed in except Easterns, where she placed second… at the Hill Invitational (the largest meet the team attended with the exception of Easterns), Nicholl placed first and Ashley Heisey ’12 was sixth in the women’s competition, while French was sixth in the men’s competition… the team also competed in dual meets against Loyola Blakefield, Peddie, and Notre Dame Prep, and hosted several schools as part of the Mercersburg High School Invitational.


Captains: Max Baas ’10, Albie Critchfield ’11 Skiing Award (most outstanding skier): Baas Coaches’ Award (most improved player): Wynn Holzwarth ’11 Head coach: Dan Chayes (1st season) Highlights: Baas became the first Mercersburg skier since 1999 to be named to the Pennsylvania J 1/2 All-State Team; he finished second in the slalom and third in the giant slalom at the Pennsylvania Cup State Finals at Elk Mountain to earn medals in both events… Holzwarth placed eighth in the giant slalom on the Friday of the PA Cup Finals, while Critchfield posted the fastest run for his age and class in the giant slalom the same day… over the course of the year’s eight-race series, Baas posted several fastest single-run times, and competed as part of the 10-member Pennsylvania team at the Eastern High School Championships at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire, where he finished 14th in slalom... Chris Weller ’11 earned special academic recognition.

Men’s Squash

Captains: Billy Abrams ’09, John Richey ’09 Thomas Flanagan ’38 Men’s Squash Award (most outstanding player): Abrams Coaches’ Award (most improved player): Peter Jones ’09 Head coach: Chip Vink ’73 (9th season) Record: 15–10 Highlights: The team finished second at the MAPL Tournament, its best showing since entering the league; Abrams, Richey, and Cristobal Ramirez ’11 went undefeated in the event, and the team earned the league’s sportsmanship award… both Abrams and Richey earned All-MAPL honors and Chris Shie ’10 was named Academic All-MAPL… Abrams went 19–5 at the #1 position; Richey compiled a 22–2 mark at #2… against other MAPL schools, the team put together a 4–1 record, defeating Hill three times and Blair once while being edged by Lawrenceville (4–3) in the finals of the MAPL Tournament… the Storm finished third at the Mid-Atlantic Tournament and fourth in the Division II consolation bracket at the star-studded National High School Team

Championships at Yale University… Abrams and Richey will both play for Navy next year.

Women’s Squash

Captains: Lucia Rowe ’09, Coralie Thomas ’09 Thomas Flanagan ’38 Women’s Squash Award (most outstanding player): Ana Kelly ’11 Coaches’ Award (most improved player): Thomas Head coach: Wells Gray (6th season) Record: 11–9 Highlights: The Storm’s top two players, Tempest Bowden ’09 and Kelly, earned first-team AllMAPL honors… Bowden compiled a 14–4 mark on the season, while Kelly went 16–2; each won her division at the Virginia Juniors Tournament… Bowden ended the season ranked No. 23 nationally, and will play at Mount Holyoke next year… the team went 4–1 against MAPL competition, with three wins over Hill, a win over Blair, and a loss to Lawrenceville in the finals of the MAPL Tournament… the team claimed second place in the league… Thomas was an Academic All-MAPL selection… other tournament results included thirdplace finishes at the Tom Flanagan Invitational and the Mid-Atlantic Tournament.

Men’s Swimming

Captains: Sammy Schadt ’10, Mike Weinstein ’09 Glancy Swimming Award (most outstanding swimmer): Schadt, Danny Quinn ’09 Finlay Vanderveer Award (greatest influence): Weinstein John Preston ’47 Award (most improved): Nick Thomson ’10 Thomas Hartz ’72 Award (perseverance): Linc Kupke ’11 Head coach: Pete Williams (21st season) Easterns finish: 4th (of 26) MAPL finish: 2nd Highlights: Thomson won the 50 free at Easterns, and was part of the Easterns- and MAPL-champion 200 free relay (with Quinn, Nikolai Paloni ’10, and Trey Gregory ’09)… Thomson’s effort at Easterns gives him All-America status, while times posted by

Paloni (50 free) and Weinstein (200 free) earned AllAmerica consideration… Gregory, Quinn, and Schadt joined Thomson, Paloni, and Weinstein as firstteam All-MAPL selections, while Collin Greene ’11 and Tareq Kaaki ’11 earned honorable-mention AllMAPL status… individual MAPL champions included Paloni (50 free), Thomson (100 free), and Schadt (200 individual medley)… Ed Carroll ’10 earned Academic All-MAPL honors… Thomson represented Bermuda this summer at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome… collegiate swimmers next year will include Gregory and Quinn at Navy and Weinstein at Rollins.

Women’s Swimming

Captains: Kiersten Bell ’09, Rebecca Galey ’09 Neidhoefer Swimming Award (most outstanding swimmer): Bell, Galey John Preston ’47 Award (most improved): Nikki Hyrkas ’11 Head coach: Pete Williams (21st season) Easterns finish: 5th (of 29) MAPL finish: 2nd Highlights: Bell was named an All-American (and first-team All-MAPL) after winning the 500 free at the MAPL Championships and finishing fifth

in the same event at Easterns; she also placed in the 500 free and 1000 free at a regional Speedo Championship Series meet … Hyrkas, Tatiana Duchak ’10, Michelle Stefandl ’11, and Erin McKenna ’09 garnered honorable-mention AllMAPL honors… the 200 medley relay team of Duchak, Leah Selznick ’12, Joy Mullins ’10, and Jen Leahey ’10 placed fourth at Easterns… Duchak (100 breaststroke), Bell (200 free), and Hyrkas (200 IM) all finished second at the MAPL meet… Bell and Duchak were Academic All-MAPL honorees… Bell will swim for Kenyon next year; Galey will swim at Macalester following a year as part of an EnglishSpeaking Union exchange.

Men’s Winter Track

Captain: Mark Herring ’09 Men’s Winter Track & Field Award (most outstanding): Nebiyu Osman ’10 Coaches’ Award (most improved): Simeon Daniels ’10 Head coach: David Grady (5th season) MAPL finish: 3rd Highlights: Osman placed seventh in the 3000meter run at the Pennsylvania State Indoor Championships, lowering his own school record (8:59.97) and marking the third time in four years Mercersburg has had a state medalist; Osman also qualified for the national championships… Troy Harrison ’10 was named honorable-mention AllMAPL after placing second in the 55m at the MAPL championships… other top MAPL efforts included Daniels setting a school record in the 400m (52.6 seconds, good for third) and also finishing third in the high jump, the 4x400m relay team of Daniels,

Oliver Wilkinson ’09, Ellis Mays ’10, and Taku Yamane ’12 (third), and Yamane in the triple jump (third)… Herring and Osman were named Academic All-MAPL.

Women’s Winter Track

Captain: Alicia Furnary ’09 Women’s Winter Track & Field Award (most outstanding): Asia Walker ’09 Coaches’ Award (most improved): Kearsten Cubit ’11 Head coach: David Grady (5th season) MAPL finish: 3rd Highlights: Walker, a four-year letterwinner, successfully defended her two MAPL titles from 2008, winning the 55m and the long jump; she broke her own school record and set the MAPL Championship record (16–7) in the long jump, and will compete for Ursinus next year… also at the MAPL meet, Mackenzie Riford ’11 took first in the 3200m and Cubit set a school record in the triple jump (29–9) to place second… Sarah Kolanowski ’10 finished third in both the 55m hurdles (9.52 seconds, school record) and high jump (4–8, tying a school mark)… at a tri-meet against league rivals Hill and Peddie, Walker won the 55m, Cubit captured the triple jump and the 400m, and Riford cruised to victory in the 3000m… Cubit and Riford garnered Academic All-MAPL honors.


Captains: Cody Barrick ’10, Garrick Skubon ’09 Fred Kuhn Award (most outstanding wrestler): Barrick Coaches’ Award (most improved wrestler): Sam Rodgers ’11

Ronald D. Tebben Leadership Award: Paul Suhey ’10 Head coach: Nate Jacklin ’96 (1st season) MAPL finish: 2nd Highlights: The team’s second-place finish in the MAPL was its best since 2005… Barrick is now a two-time Prep All-American after finishing sixth in his weight class at the National Prep Tournament; he is also the 14th Mercersburg wrestler to win 100 matches in a career… Barrick was a first-team AllMAPL selection and was also named All-Area by the Public Opinion (which named him its Wrestler of the Year) and by the Herald-Mail… Skubon, Rodgers, and Suhey earned second-team All-MAPL honors, and A.J. Firestone ’10 was named honorable mention… all five of the aforementioned wrestlers qualified for and competed at nationals… Ethan Cummings ’09 was a four-year letterwinner… Rodgers and Suhey were named Academic All-MAPL.


M e r c e r s b u r g ma g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


D ates to Re me mb e r

Sep 25–27 Stony Batter Players present Out of the Frying Pan Simon Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday/Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Nov 7

Nov 13 Nov 15

Fall Dance Concert, Simon Theatre, 8 p.m. Fall Pops Concert, Simon Theatre, 8 p.m. Fall Student Recital, Boone Recital Hall, 2 p.m.

Instrumental Music

Schedule subject to change; for a full and updated schedule of events, visit

directors: Richard Rotz, Jack Hawbaker, Michael Cameron Jazz Band

The String Ensemble, which received a Superior rating at its PMEA adjudication in May

All-State clarinetist Dan Kwak ’11


Combo (Michael Lo ’09, ceramics)

M e r c e r s b u r g ma g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Visual Art faculty: Mark Flowers, Kristy Higby, Wells Gray

Virginia Spin (Robert Shabb ’09, digital photograph) Flying Fish (Maddy Stoken ’09, painting)

Stony Batter Players directors: Laurie Mufson, Matt Maurer

Bethany Pasierb ’11 (front, wearing yellow shawl) and the cast of Brigadoon

Lindsey Garlitz ’09 in Omnium Gatherum

Classical Scenes: Ronald MacDonald ’09 and Maggie Goff ’10 in Henry V

M e r c e r s b u r g ma g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Vocal Music

directors: Richard Rotz, Jim Brinson



Dance director: Denise Dalton Spicy Brit (choreographed by Kayleigh Kiser ’11), featuring (L–R) Olivia Rosser ’12, Min Hee Lee ’12, Maryjane Clark ’10, Kiser, Shayna Rice ’11, Annette Hull ’11

Sara Eshleman ’09 in Coppélia (re-staged by Angela Scimonelli)


The strategic role of Mercersburg’s endowment Interview by Lee Owen and Wallace Whitworth

green growing Why does Mercersburg have an endowment?

Contrary to what many people assume, an endowment is not a giant ATM machine to be used whenever a bill comes due; nor is it a pile of money stashed under the world’s largest mattress, never to be invested for fear of a sharp downturn in the markets. Rather, the endowment sustains the Mercersburg of today and tomorrow—designed (and continually being refined) to weather stormy times and return to growth when blue skies emerge. Mercersburg is fortunate to have an endowment of approximately $160 million as of June 2009. The good news is that the value of its endowment has rebounded this spring following a turbulent fall and winter. During the Board of Regents meetings in May, Finance Committee Chair Albert Bellas ’60 and Investment Committee Chair Allen Zern ’61 sat down with Mercersburg magazine to offer their thoughts on the role of endowment, how (and why) it works for Mercersburg, and the importance of the endowment to Mercersburg’s present and future.

MM: We often hear about Mercersburg’s endowment when it swells in value greatly, drops in value greatly, when we receive a large gift to the endowment, or we are engaged in a capital campaign to raise funds to grow the endowment.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

S us ta i n i n g M e r c e r sbu r g

at left : Allen Zern ’61 graduated from Dartmouth College and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth. He served as managing director, treasurer, and chief financial officer for Morgan Stanley & Company in New York before retiring in 1994. Zern joined the Board of Regents in 1995 and has served as a vice-president since 2002.

Albert Bellas ’60 is founder and managing director of The Solaris Group LLC in New York City. A graduate of Yale University, the University of Chicago School of Law, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, he has served on Mercersburg’s Board of Regents since 1992 and was a vice-president from 1999 to 2001.

at right :

But on a day-to-day basis, the endowment serves a vital role in the sustainability of the institution over decades. Ultimately, why does Mercersburg have an endowment, what are its roles, and how does it serve the sustainability of the school? Bellas: The endowment is the most criti-

cal element in determining the long-term financial strength of an educational institution; it reflects the ability of the institution to raise capital, or funds, beyond its ability to charge tuition. That’s a vital factor. If you look at educational institutions and rank them in terms of quality, you pretty much have a one-to-one correlation with the size of their endowment. The role of the endowment is to help per-

petuate the institution. Schools are 501(c)(3) organizations, so their cost of providing a benefit—education—far exceeds their ability to raise revenues—tuition. Thus, there’s a need to create an alternative source [of revenue]. And that source, primarily, is contributions to the endowment. The endowment provides stability and continuity, and helps the institution support current students’ needs, as well as future students’ needs. Zern: The endowment allows Mercersburg to do things that it couldn’t do if its only revenue sources were tuition and the Annual Fund—and the Annual Fund is fabulous, by the way; it’s the equivalent of a significant amount of endowment in what it provides the school from a flexibility standpoint. So

[the Annual Fund] is a part of this same conversation. It’s really important to the school’s being able to accomplish what it wants. One of the really important things that we get out of the endowment from a sustainability point of view is the ability to provide financial aid to a significant number of students. In today’s world, providing a substantial amount of financial aid is critical; tuition at Mercersburg is not a small number—especially in difficult times. A relatively small portion of our society is able to afford that on an after-tax basis, especially when you take into account many of these families have several children in school at the same time. There are significant portions of the endowment that are dedicated to financial aid—meaning that they can only be used to fund financial aid because that was the donor’s desire.

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Glossary of terms

“Education, in the end, is about students and teachers. To get the best students, you really need to be able to provide significant amounts of financial aid.” —Allen Zern ’61 Education, in the end, is about students and teachers. You do, of course, have to have buildings and other things [to run a school], but in the end it’s a student and a teacher having an exchange of ideas. To get the best students, you really need to be able to provide significant amounts of financial aid. MM: While there are peer schools that have

larger endowments than Mercersburg, we often have a much higher endowment per student than other schools. Can you speak to that? We often get lumped into comparison with much larger schools with larger endowments. Zern: The important measure is net endow-

ment per student; that is, endowment net of the school’s debt per student. That’s the key number. Bellas: In addition to net endowment per student, the relationship of the endowment to the operating budget is also critical as this ratio determines the real financial integrity. Endowment as a coverage ratio of the operating budget is a critical measurement.

Mercersburg: Sources of Revenue

(fiscal year 2008)

Auxiliary activities* Annual giving


10% Tuition Endowment draw and investment return



*Summer Programs, Academy Store

Zern: Some schools that are bigger than

Mercersburg [in terms of student population] have a larger endowment—but less net endowment per student—and have higher spending rates. MM: Most of us obviously aren’t financial management professionals, so we don’t have a clear idea how Mercersburg invests its endowment funds so that the endowment can grow. Give us an overview of how Mercersburg’s endowment is invested, how the funds are chosen, the factors that go into choosing funds and allocations, and the desired results. Zern: Right now, roughly 40 percent of the endowment is in what most people think of as the equity market: a combination of largecap domestic equities, mid- and small-cap domestic equities, and international equities. About 40 percent of the endowment is in what’s known as alternative investments: things like hedge funds, real estate, commodities, private equity, or venture capital. Most of our alternative investments now are in what would be known as hedge funds—mostly in absolute-return hedge funds, but we do have what are commonly called long-short domestic-equity funds, private equity, and some venture capital. Roughly 20 percent of the endowment is in fixed income. We work with a consultant who assists us in the process of identifying high-quality managers in each of those areas; obviously, based on the contacts various members of the Board and the Investment Committee have, we’re able to identify some managers on our own, but we always vet them with our consultant and come up with a mix that seems to make sense. There’s a reasonable amount of turnover in that mixture over time; either we want to shift the way the assets are allocated

continued on page 27

Endowment: a fund comprised of donor-restricted gifts—the principal of which is restricted in perpetuity—and unrestricted funds designated for use by an institution’s governing board. Income from investments is reinvested to grow the value of the endowment for the school’s future, and used to provide a portion of day-to-day operating expenses (e.g., financial aid for students, faculty/ staff salaries, maintenance, debt service, and all other costs associated with running a school). Asset allocation: the breakdown of how an endowment is invested (including but not limited to stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, and other alternative assets). CPI (Consumer Price Index): a measurement of the average price of goods and services paid by consumers. Changes and fluctuations in the CPI may be considered a measure of inflation. Draw-down: a small portion of the endowment deducted on an annual basis to provide for a portion of operating expenses for an institution. Amount of draw-down is prescribed by the institution’s spending rate (at Mercersburg, between 3.75 percent and 5.0 percent of the endowment’s 12-quarter moving average). Moving average: the average value of the endowment, as calculated over the most recent 12-quarter period (to calculate, a snapshot of the endowment value is taken every three months). Endowment per student: a figure calculated by dividing the endowment by the number of students enrolled in the school; a good measurement of an institution’s financial strength. (Net endowment per student generally recognizes and excludes long-term debt from the calculation.) Operating budget: the amount set aside each year for the school to use for day-to-day operations; funds come from a combination of tuition income, the draw-down from the endowment, fundraising, and other sources. Spending rate: the percentage of the endowment set aside each year to provide for annual operating expenses; the actual amount is known as the draw-down.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

S us ta i n i n g M e r c e r sbu r g

Green Campus = Green World Mercersburg is a member of the Green Schools Alliance, a consortium of schools across the nation and abroad that have committed to lowering their respective carbon footprints (generally speaking, to reduce their impact on the environment). “I think we all realize the importance of being good stewards of the environment—not just philosophically, but financially and for health benefits as well,” says Will Willis, Mercersburg’s director of international programs, who also coordinates sustainability issues on campus.

The Green Schools Alliance organizes the Green Cup Challenge, a monthlong competition among schools each February with a goal of reducing electricity use and curbing carbon-dioxide emissions. Schools compete against each other and against themselves; each school’s objective is to use less energy compared to an average of its previous three February periods. In 2009, Mercersburg’s second year of participation, the school reduced its energy consumption by 5.41 percent during February. Because lighting represents about one-third of the school’s electric bill, motion-detecting lights have been installed in several dormitories and other buildings, and the use of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs is becoming more widespread. “These efforts—and student conservation efforts—very directly impact the school’s bottom line for the better, while also helping the environment,” Willis says. “Some technologies may have upfront costs, but they pay for themselves and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time, allowing both the school’s finances and the environment to benefit—especially over the long term.” In the winter, the school dropped temperatures in campus buildings by an average of six degrees (Fahrenheit) during the day. According to Willis, available data suggest this may reduce Mercersburg’s carbon-dioxide output by hundreds of thousands of pounds per year. The Green Team, a popular student organization, encourages recycling and raises awareness for environmental initiatives among the Mercersburg student body. The school added outdoor recycling bins this year in various places on campus, and offers recycling for everything from cans, bottles, and paper to batteries and computers. On the table At the beginning of the 2008–2009 academic year, Mercersburg’s dining hall stopped distributing paper cups, resulting in a cost savings of $8,000 and eliminating the need to dispose of at least 150,000 cups used by the school community in a typical year. A similar initiative phasing out the use of plastic trays saved the energy required to wash and clean roughly 3,000 trays per week; statistics also show that schools eliminating trays from their cafeterias reduce food waste by 25 to 30 percent.


In the classroom Environmental issues and sustainability are a frequent discussion topic in Mercersburg classrooms, from field biology and environmental-science courses to American Landscapes, a literature class taught by English faculty member Derry Mason. “Every piece we read is environmental in a global sense,” Mason says. “We’re interested in how people place value on the environment.” The course syllabus includes John McPhee’s Encounters with the Archdruid and Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, as well as works by Thoreau, Emerson, and Hemingway. As director of Mercersburg Outdoor Education (MOE), Mason sees students form personal connections with the environment on every trip he leads. “We try to have our students be responsible stewards of the environment,” he says. “If students go out into the wilderness and have meaningful experiences there, then that very environment will become meaningful to them.” On the road Mercersburg’s Department of Security, which provides around-the-clock coverage of the campus 365 days a year, purchased a Smart car this spring. Skip Sydnor, the Academy’s chief of security, estimates that the Smart car uses about six gallons of gasoline every five days— which is approximately one-sixth the amount of the fuel the department’s Chevrolet TrailBlazer would require over a similar time period (seven gallons per day). In your hands Mercersburg magazine has been printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) since 2007, and over the same period has used soy-based or Agri-Ink—both of which emit a lower amount of volatile organic compounds than traditional petroleum-based ink. The summer 2009 edition is the first issue of Mercers-

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Michelle Stefandl ’11 and Anthony Velazquez ’11 work on a communityservice environmental project burg to be printed on ChorusArt Silk, an FSC-certified stock manufactured from 50 percent recycled content and 25 percent post-consumer waste. The future—renewable energy on campus? During an April symposium on global climate change, the school announced plans to investigate and research the possibility of generating clean, green energy on campus—perhaps in the form of solar energy. “We hope to meet some of our energy needs for ourselves, and the goal is to somehow tie that into the curriculum and student life so that we take full advantage of that effort,” Willis says. —Lee Owen

within the endowment, or the performance isn’t what we expected so we move some assets away from one manager to another. This is not an endowment that’s going to look really different [in its asset allocation] six months from now. It gets tweaked around the edges and gradually moves one direction or another, but there’s nothing radical that happens overnight—and that’s because unless there’s a major shift in the return potential of various asset classes, you’re not going to wake up one morning and decide, for example, that you want an endowment that’s 80 percent fixed income, 10 percent alternative investments, and 10 percent equities. That won’t get the job done in terms of providing for future students. You have to have an asset mix that will provide you in the long run a return that’s roughly equivalent to CPI—an inflation rate—plus whatever your spending rate is. If it doesn’t provide that, then you’re eating into the real value of your endowment. You have to come up with an asset mix that has a chance of getting it to at least that level of return; that’s what the overall asset mix design is intended to do.


MM: How will recent declines in our

endowment affect the size of our drawdown, and how will that affect in turn how much our endowment will fund in the next fiscal year? Bellas: Ultimately, you want to maintain the financial integrity of the institution in good as well as bad economic environments. A lower endowment value means a lower drawdown. One option to overcome the shortfall is to raise the endowment spending rate for a short period of time to get through a difficult period. But you have to assure that it is only temporary and can be lowered in the near term. You have to recognize that you can’t just use the payout ratio as a bailout mechanism for any stock market decline. It has to be prudent and reasonable. It also means that the operating budget should not be carrying any excess expenditures. There will be a need to reduce expenses to reflect the reduction in the draw-down due to the lower market value. If you choose to raise the spending rate to cover short-term adversity without lowering it quickly, you’ll begin to destroy the financial integrity of the institution because you’re burning its endowment. Raising the payout ratio should be the last item in balancing the institution’s budget. We, fortunately, have a very experienced Finance and Operations team and have balanced our budget for


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

S us ta i n i n g M e r c e r sbu r g

endowment: asset allocation

Fixed income**




Alternative investments*


*Hedge funds, real estate, commodities **Bonds, T-bills, etc.

2010 without raising the school’s spending rate because of conservative budget management practices. Zern: Having said all that, in the long run, if the endowment goes down, spending has to be reduced—unless you recover rapidly. MM: What are some of the safeguards or investment strategies that the school has put in place, both recently and stretching back many years, to insulate the endowment and the school’s financial position as a whole—as much as is possible, at least— from market volatility? Zern: The operation of the endowment is covered by an investment policy statement. It prescribes how money can be drawn out of the endowment for the operation of the school. It was designed with sustainability in mind, and it includes policies designed so that under

At a


• The purpose of the endowment is to support the current operations and activities of the Academy through a total return investment strategy and a spending policy set to maintain, or ideally increase, the purchasing power of the endowment, without putting the principal value of the endowment’s investments at imprudent risk. • In order to achieve a rate of return that will support the spending policy while protecting the endowment from inflation, some investment risk must be taken in the management of the endowment’s assets. The most effective way to establish an appropriate risk level is through asset allocation (i.e., stocks, bonds, and cash). • There is significant evidence that long-term investors do not benefit from attempting to earn returns through short-term asset class forecasts or market timing. Therefore, a strategic, long-term asset allocation strategy has been adopted for the endowment. • The overall asset allocation strategy shall be to diversify investments to provide a balance that will enhance long-term total return while avoiding undue risk or concentration in any single asset class or investment category. Source: Mercersburg Academy Investment Policy Statement

normal market conditions, it can provide income to the school and, over time, maintain its real value. Maintaining—or better yet, increasing—the real value of the endowment over time is a key to sustainability. Bellas: We emphasize the importance of asset allocation. Each allocation has an expected return; ultimately, that expected return has to be adequate to cover inflation and the annual draw-down. You have to be sensitive to the economic environment that you’re in, and while observing the investment-policy guidelines that have been established, move within those ranges to achieve the necessary expected return. We’re not market-timers. We’ve approved an investment policy statement, we have ranges for all the investment categories, and depending on the economic environment, we move [funds] to one area or another, we replace a manager or add a manager. We determine what that portfolio is returning, and we establish a draw-down that permits growth for future generations. MM: How do you feel about the imme-

diate future of the economy and how it might affect endowment performance? At the time of this conversation [in May 2009], it seems as if things have improved a little, and we’re hearing [Federal Reserve Chairman] Ben Bernanke say that it looks like we could pull out of the recession maybe late this year. Zern: We have to be a little bit agnostic about

that. It’s not knowable. We have to provide for an asset allocation that’s going to capture a fair amount of the upside if things head north, and that’s not going to be a disaster if things head south—and in any event, is going to see us through. Bellas: First and foremost, we have to protect the assets we have. Those assets have to be invested prudently. Being too conservative is as harmful to an institution as being too

continued on page 30

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Program Review: Sustainability, Front-and-Center While standing at the dedication of the handsome, revitalized Quad on a beautiful late afternoon in May, those of us in attendance had occasion to surmise that even after 116 years, there must undoubtedly be a unique essence and presence to Mercersburg that still permeates everything at 300 East Seminary Street. When Mercersburg alumni return to their alma mater, they understand that the campus may be quite different from when they were students—yet they somehow know that it’s absolutely the same school, with the same values and mission. The whole of Mercersburg is still greater than the sum of its parts. But in order to maintain that whole, someone has to take stock of the sum of the parts: is it, in fact, the right combination for Mercersburg to stay, well, Mercersburg? Last September, Head of School Douglas Hale commissioned a new Program Review Committee (PRC) with the mandate that it take two years to study and assess all things Mercersburg—and with the ultimate goal of presenting its recommendations for change to him in May 2010. I am one of the lucky ones assigned to serve on this committee. I say “lucky” with all sincerity, because it has afforded me a chance to sit at the Harkness table on an aggressive schedule with other faculty members (mostly teaching faculty, as opposed to the administrative faculty who are my more frequent points of institutional contact) and both listen to and engage in discussion and debate. What do we discuss and assess? Anything and everything, really. We have tackled topics as diverse as how the adolescent brain functions and the impact of technology on how the adolescent brain now perceives and processes data, to whether we should keep AP courses. We’ve

Program Review Committee co-chairs Paul Galey and Julia Stojak Maurer ’90 debated whether homework in ninth and tenth grades is truly beneficial, as opposed to just busywork; how the selection and management of prefects might be improved; whether we should have an official, unified residential life curriculum; whether any changes should be made to our graduation requirements; and whether having too little free time during the school day is a reality that undermines some of the best fruits of the Mercersburg experience. Two Mercersburg veterans with very diverse backgrounds are leading our group. Julia Stojak Maurer ’90 holds a Ph.D. and left a stimulating career in industry to return to Mercersburg as a teacher of math and robotics. Paul Galey is her co-chair; he originally came to Mercersburg as the school minister. Paul continues to teach religion, but is also one of the school’s counselors and coaches the men’s golf team. The group has been split into two subcommittees (academic policy and campus life), headed by Julia and Paul, respectively. Julia personally interviewed

nearly 80 percent of the faculty on a variety of issues; Paul’s team has had in-depth conversations with all dorm deans and residential faculty. Students are getting a chance to participate in the PRC’s review by completing an online survey. While the committee has the delicate task of recommending any changes or new directions for Mercersburg’s educational program, the goal is “to make a good school even better as we face 21st-century issues and prepare 21st-century students to face those issues,” as Paul says. The Program Review Committee will definitely alter the parts and, therefore, the sum, but through strategic recommendations that sustain the essential and ancient whole that all alumni and faculty know and love. Stay tuned. —Wallace Whitworth


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

S us ta i n i n g M e r c e r sbu r g

aggressive, for you lose purchasing power through inflation. We have tended a bit on the conservative side, because it’s better to leave a little on the table on the upside than to have a disaster on the downside. We need to focus both on the short term and the long term, and we want to incorporate compounding into the investment horizon. We’d just as soon have a portfolio that outperforms the indexes by one or two points every year and let compounding take effect, as opposed to volatility in the value of the endowment, which wreaks havoc with the annual draw-down.

MM: Many in the larger Mercersburg

family still think that we have an endowment of roughly $200 million, when, in fact, it declined to a low of $148 million at the end of December 2008. How does a decline in the value and size of the endowment affect things like tuition and financial aid, fundraising, building improvements, or long-range planning? Bellas: The endowment draw-down is directly

impacted. It is determined by a 12-quarter moving average [of the endowment]. Our

hope is that over the 12-quarter cycle, the market volatility is smoothed out. But, in stock markets such as 2008, not all of the loss in value can be mitigated. Saying that, a decline in the value of the endowment would lower our annual endowment draw. It, therefore, requires us to be more prudent on the budget side. We have to set priorities for what’s important and what isn’t important. The academic mission, scholarships, and students are primary. We’re fortunate because one of our strengths is our student body. We’ve been able to maintain a

Tackling a Global Problem At Mercersburg, environmental initiatives and programs aren’t limited to the campus—or even to those living in the MidAtlantic region, the United States, or North America. This spring, students and faculty hosted the ABA/Mercersburg Academy Symposium on Global Climate Change. A total of 22 students representing 10 nations from international schools in Germany, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates—and Mercersburg— took part in a three-day immersive exercise that explored the science, economics, and politics of important environmental issues. The event centered around a simulation of negotiations for a treaty on climate change, and was moderated by Ambassador Richard Benedick, who served as the chief U.S. negotiator for and principal architect of the historic Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer. Benedick had led the simulation at the heart of the symposium numerous times with diplomats and college students, but the Mercersburg event marked his first time conducting the event with high-school-age students. “It was a great success,” says Mercersburg faculty member Will Willis, who coordinated the symposium with assistance from fellow faculty member Peter Kempe. “As our students interacted with other students from around the world and with Ambassador Benedick, they truly gained insight into so many issues surrounding global climate change, as well as significant appreciation for the intricacies of dialogue and the complexities of treaty negotiation.”

In addition to the symposium, participants took a day trip to Washington, D.C., and spent a morning in an Irvine Hall laboratory learning to make biodiesel fuel from cooking oil; Mercersburg science teacher Dave Holzwarth ’78 (pictured above, with Erin McKenna ’09) led the session. The symposium was a return trip for some of the participants; in December 2007, six Mercersburg students traveled to the American British Academy (ABA) in Muscat, Oman, to take part in a symposium on peacekeeping, conflict prevention, and combating terrorism. —Lee Owen Benedick

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

high level of interest in the school, and the admission numbers look quite good—consistent with what we’ve had in the past. We also have to be more forward-looking. We just can’t look at the current year—we have to look out two or three years, perhaps even five years to see the trend lines. Mercersburg is like a large ship; little tweaks here make a big difference two or three years out, so we’re constantly looking at ways of adjusting the budget and the endowment in order to provide stability in the short term as well as the long term. MM: Based on the current strategic plan, Mercersburg’s next capital campaign will likely include a goal of $50 million to enable us to increase the endowment. Can you address what it would mean for the school’s long-term stability and potential growth? Bellas: The $50 million we hope to raise for the endowment in the new campaign will be allocated to fund academic programs, faculty salaries, and financial aid. Depending how that allocation is made [by the Board and school leadership], there will be a positive impact on the school’s operating budget, assuring endowment revenue for these programs in the future. MM: As Mercersburg’s financial caretakers,

how would you make the case for giving to Mercersburg’s endowment in any year, whether the market was up or down? Zern: If you trust the school, its mission, and its administration and governance, then trust it over time to do what’s right with the money that’s invested. There’s no question that the most desirable funds a school can attract are unrestricted funds. As we sit here today, we can identify any number of things that we believe ought to be funded—but 20 years from now, those things may be totally irrelevant or their cost may have changed dramatically. For instance, somebody might want to fund having computers throughout the

“Mercersburg is like a large ship; little tweaks here make a big difference two or three years out, so we’re constantly looking at ways of adjusting the budget and the endowment in order to provide stability in the short term as well as the long term.” —Albert Bellas ’60 school, forever; but in 20 years, who knows? Computers may cost almost nothing. Those kinds of things have happened. Bellas: Givers want to know that their contributions are to a worthy institution, and that those contributions will be invested properly. Is the institution of the right reputation and quality that you feel you want to give to it? Is it going to be around in perpetuity so that the gift will be appreciated over a longer period of time? Harvard is able to fundraise much better than other institutions that are not known as well as Harvard, because of its reputation and stature. In fundraising, naming gifts are always much more attractive to potential donors than general gifts. Buildings, scholarship programs, or endowed chairs provide the ability to recognize a donor. So fundraising has to be done in a fashion where the donor gives what he wants to give in a form that is recognizable. Thus, if you have well-thoughtout programs that donors can identify with, your ability to attract donations even in down years is enhanced. Our Assistant Head of School for External Affairs and her staff do an excellent job in this regard. Zern: The endowment looks like a large

amount of money, but we are not, in the greater scheme of things, a wealthy school. We ought to be really pleased to have the endowment that we have, but there are many schools that are much better advantaged.


MM: Certainly one key point in sustaining Mercersburg will be to keep tuition as affordable and accessible as we possibly can. From a financial perspective, what steps must we take to ensure that tuition increases are kept to a minimum so that the school can stay competitive among its peer institutions? Zern: I think it comes down to prudent

financial management in all of its forms— including raising funds for endowment and for annual giving, and watching all of your expenses all the time and paring back programs you don’t need. Bellas: We have to find a balance—to mod-

estly adjust tuition to reflect the economic environment and keep tuitions at the low end of what most of our peer group is doing. At the same time, we need to protect our faculty and make sure that they’re properly paid and incentivized, and we have to maintain our facilities. All of these factors are considered in our discussions. It’s a judgment matter; it’s a balancing of all those issues. MM: As you think about your time here as

students and look at the institution today, what has Mercersburg sustained over those years that you feel the school must be vigilant to sustain now and always? Bellas: Personal values. This is a transition

period in a student’s life. People develop here as individuals, and as individuals who will provide for themselves and, hopefully, for society. These personal values need to be instilled in addition to the actual learning process. I think Mercersburg does a terrific job of that. Zern: I think Mercersburg does a great job of preparing kids for life as well as for the next step in their academic development. Both of those things are important.

Mercersburg Profiles

sustainable alumni From solar panels to scholarships, these alumni have a passion for changing the present and future.



Seasoned climber Andy Tyson rises to meet energy challenges

By Tom Coccagna

Telling Andy Tyson ’87 to stop climbing would be like telling the ocean to stop making waves or the wind to stop blowing. “Andy was born a climber,” says his mother, Henrietta, a retired science teacher at Mercersburg’s James Buchanan Middle School. “When he was little, he would climb into his high chair. We just tried to provide supervision and reasonably safe possibilities. I’ll tell you this: we visited a lot of playgrounds. If they had given out grades for the monkey bars, he would have gotten an A.” From those playgrounds (and the Mercersburg Academy campus, where Andy’s father, David, taught and coached as a member of the faculty from 1958 to 1998), Tyson’s adven-

tures took him to mountains all over the world, and he has spent time on almost every continent—even Antarctica. But his most significant climb today involves his ascent through the world of business. Creative Energies, the company Tyson runs with co-founder Scott Kane, is a renewable-energy business with offices in Victor, Idaho, and Lander, Wyoming, specializing in solar, geothermal, and wind energy. The company is changing attitudes toward energy use in the Rocky Mountain region. Tyson brings the same energy into his business as he did while scaling peaks in Alaska, Japan, Tibet, and many other locations both inside and outside of the United States. Had he been born 400 or so years earlier, he might have sailed around the world with Sir Francis Drake or traveled to the New World to help Sir Walter Raleigh establish the Virginia colony. “Andy is a very adventurous soul,” says Kane, who became Tyson’s business partner in 2001 after befriending him at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). “He’s always looking for new things to try. He’s not one to follow the herd.” Among his many activities, Tyson had been working as a mountain guide with NOLS when he got the itch to diversify. “I had been doing education in the mountains, but I felt it was time to do something different,” he says. “I’ve contin-

Andy Tyson ’87

ued to guide because I enjoy it, but working in the energy world—whether you call it ‘clean’ or ‘green’—was what I was interested in most.” Tyson’s venture into the energy market began innocently enough. “We knew a couple of folks in Wyoming who had a cabin that needed some solar panels,” he says. “There was no one else in the area who could do it, so it was a perfect match. People needed the service, I had a great business partner, a good idea, friends who were willing to look and learn; there was no reason not to try it.” Little did he realize the company would grow into a successful enterprise with offices in Idaho and Wyoming and more than a dozen employees. “I’m not surprised he went into that business,” David Tyson says. “I know he loves outdoor work. He enjoys climbing, but you don’t keep doing that kind of thing forever. I’m very pleased he has gone in that direction.” Although his parents don’t recall any watershed moment that pushed the younger Tyson toward his love for the environment, he says he learned to appreciate “the science end of things” from his parents. His mother taught science and his father math; he studied geology as an undergraduate at Wittenberg University.

Tyson’s regard for the environment and conservation issues continued to grow during his climbing expeditions. “In many places you don’t have access to heating and cooling systems,” he explains. “You either have to carry the fuel you use or find it. Some of the places I’ve been to don’t have much energy to use.” Not only does he advocate conservation, he also models it. Tyson and his wife, Molly, live in Victor in a passive-solar and solar-electric home. “In everything I’ve read, nobody is saying we don’t need more energy,” he says. “It’s all about how we’re going to use it. I hope we can figure out how to use less—or at least how not to need any more. Solar panels and wind are part of the mix, and there are a lot of exciting developments happening in those technologies and people are seeing the advantages. It makes sense to be working in that world.” It also makes sense, Tyson feels, to help people in residential or business situations find alternatives to fossil fuels—not only to prolong their supply but to reduce the effects of their waste products. “What’s novel about our business,” Kane says, “is that it’s a mission-driven business. We want to accomplish something in the world, and we want to change people’s relationship to energy.”


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

A gift benefits generations of future Mercersburg scholars

Perfect Timing

Gabriel Hammond ’97 describes his $1 million gift to establish a scholarship program at his alma mater “a significant gift at a difficult time.” “Everyone is getting killed in the market,” Hammond, who is founder and managing partner of Dallas-based Alerian Capital Management, said in an interview this spring. “Everyone’s stock portfolio has been trounced—my stock portfolio has been trounced. A lot of the impetus behind my timing of this gift is that, in many ways, this was the worst time ever for me to do this. But it’s really the best time, because this is when people are going to need it the most.” Hammond’s gift will endow a new financial-aid program, the Arce Scholarship (named in memory of Hammond’s mother, Dr. Elda Y. Arce). The annual scholarship will address both merit and need by covering full tuition for a new boarding student who is both exceptionally academically gifted and in need of total financial assistance. Melody Gomez ’13 will enter Mercersburg this fall as the inaugural Arce Scholar; Gomez comes to the Academy from the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars in New York City. Hammond’s gift is the largest in Mercersburg’s history by an alumnus under 30 years of age; he turned 30 in March. So how does one reach the point—at such a young age—where he is able to give a million dollars? In Hammond’s case, it began at home; his parents’ sage advice resonated deeply from the beginning. “One of the greatest things about my parents was that they put education first,” Hammond said. “I learned quickly that edu-

Melody Gomez ’13

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

cation is what allows people to unlock their potential and take advantage of opportunities presented to them. My parents always said, ‘Get an education and then decide what you want to do.’ Consequently, I never felt pushed into anything; instead, I felt encouraged to find what I might love to do. “In the United States, we don’t have enough of our dollars dedicated to finding those brilliant young people who could do so much if given the opportunity. For a long time, I have said that if I were lucky enough to be in a position to help, it would be something to do with providing opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them.” After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Hammond worked at Goldman Sachs as a stock analyst before starting Alerian Capital Management in 2004; the firm is a $300 million hedge fund with offices in New York and Dallas. “I cannot imagine a better gift than financial aid to a talented and deserving student,”

said Douglas Hale, Mercersburg’s head of school. “I am amazed and gratified at the maturity, thoughtfulness, and generosity of Gabriel—and so very proud of him for his great success, but prouder still of the way he is thinking about and acting on that success.” Hammond hopes to create a tradition and a sense of belonging among the Arce Scholars themselves. “I want the older students to be

Gabriel Hammond ’97


mentors to the ones just coming in—ideally long after they leave Mercersburg,” he said. “To that end, I hope that people, including Mercersburg alums, will take note of the scholarship and see the unique combination of what we are looking for: full need for an absolutely brilliant child.” —Lindsay Tanton and Wallace Whitworth


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Two alumni are longtime champions of recycling

ah ead o By Tom Coccagna

One man deals in plastics, the other in paper. One lives in California, the other in Oregon. One has an MBA from Stanford University, the other a degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Stanford’s rival school). Despite these differences, Richard McCombs ’65 and John Drew ’63, who graduated from Mercersburg two years apart, share an enthusiasm that will forever link them. Both work in the burgeoning recycling industry. Passion drips from their voices as they talk about recycling and its impact on the environment. Buzzwords and terms like “going green,” “protecting the environment,” and “becoming more eco-friendly” are more than just hackneyed phrases to these men. These actions are a major part of their lifestyle, not just some recent fad. McCombs and Drew believed in environmental accountability even back when green was just another color—not a metaphor for ecological awareness—and recycling formed a mere blip on

John Drew ’63 and his wife, Anita

h t f

rv e u c e

the periphery of American consciousness. Drew can readily recount a history of paper recycling in the United States, easily relating how in 19th-century Philadelphia, recyclers would blend cloth and paper fibers to produce fine document paper. Today, he maintains, “recycling is part of a huge answer to a very broad question: how to preserve and protect our environment.” McCombs, who is involved in the recycling of hard plastics, agrees wholeheartedly. He also believes legislators must pay more than lip service to environmental needs. “We need to have standardized recycling legislation in the United States,” he says. Many people say they would like the chance to make a difference in the world, but these two men actually do. McCombs is the chief operations officer of MBA Polymers, a plastics recycling company in Richmond, California. “We recycle rigid plastic; if it bends, we don’t use it,” says McCombs, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College before completing a master’s in business administration at Stanford. In the public’s mind, much of plastics recycling focuses on bottles and bags, but

thousands of tons of hard plastics from things like appliances, electronics, and toys wind up in landfills each year. Worse yet, petrochemicals used to make hard plastics are lost when the materials are discarded into landfills. “It is a great environment al issue,” McCombs points out. “With all these items going into landfills, it is a waste of petrochemicals. It is better to reuse them rather than to throw them away.” It sounds logical, of course, but carrying out a plan to recycle hard plastics is not simple. After other recyclable materials are removed from appliances and electronics, the plastic is shredded. “A lot of people spent a lot of money and worked really hard to figure out a way to recycle plastics from computers and appliances,” McCombs says. “You might have 10 or 15 different types of plastics in [a single] appliance, and after it’s shredded, it can’t be sorted by the eye. It takes sophisticated equipment. A lot of people have tried to do it, but we were the first ones to figure it out.” Because of that progressive technology, business is booming for MBA Polymers— with recycling plants in Europe and Asia. During one week this spring, McCombs’ itinerary read like this: Wake up Thursday in Austria, fly to the United Kingdom on Friday, be in China by Tuesday. The journey can be grueling. “Unfortunately, it does require a lot of travel,” McCombs says, “but you have to be at the plants to make sure everything goes right.” McCombs says MBA Polymers has no plants in the United States because of the lack of consistent recycling legislation, but he hopes the Obama administration will support laws that advance green technology and products. “Take a look at the paper industry,” he says. “When recycled paper first came out, it had a grainy look and a high cost. But the government mandated that it would begin buying recycled paper, which created demand, and in turn created volume.”

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

RIchard McCombs ’65 and his wife, Claire

Consequently, the quality of recycled paper improved while the cost came down. “We need to have something like that where, when it’s possible, people buy products made from recycled plastic,” he contends. “It’s been proven to work in the paper industry.” Drew, meanwhile, has followed a paper trail through his career. After graduating from UC Berkeley and serving in the military, he worked for a paper mill in Albany, Oregon. He joined an innovative young company, Far West Fibers, in 1985; within three years, he had become chairman, president, CEO, CFO, and general manager in

charge of operations. Even though he turned over many of his duties to the current president in 2005, Drew still serves as chairman and CEO of Far West’s affiliated companies: Spokane Recycling Products, Waste Paper Services, and Bluebird Recycling. Many years of working in the paper industry have not dimmed his fervor. “It’s nice when you can wake up every day excited to come to work,” he says. Drew and the state of Oregon seem to be perfect counterparts. Oregon has been at the vanguard of environmental legislation, and Drew’s company has recycled hundreds of millions of tons of paper. Laws passed during the 1980s made recycling of plastic, glass, paper, and metal convenient for state residents. “Anyone can recycle anything they want at any time,” Drew says. “There’s no excuse for not doing it.” But legislation was not the only aspect of Oregon’s commitment. Recyclers and communities got the word out through the media, which generally gave favorable cov-


erage to their efforts. The hauling industry also worked in concert with recyclers to make recycling as painless as possible. “You can lose your audience by confining it,” Drew explains. “You can’t tell people that you’ll take only No. 2 containers on this day and something else on another day. You have to be consistent and as broad as you can.” Of course, habits are hard to break, and many people grew up throwing all their waste material into trashcans, not worrying about the space it would occupy in a landfill. That’s why Drew, although not giving up entirely on the adult population, wants to focus on youth. Make it part of a person’s ethos and it becomes automatic. It’s like the old expression: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. That’s why education is so important. “You want to get the message out as early as possible, almost as soon as they are literate,” Drew says. “This next generation, I hope, will be the one to take our bacon out of the fire.”

Close to Home For Sarah Reed ’98, preservation is in the family. Reed, who lives in Baltimore, is a certified LEED Accredited Professional (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment al Design—a rating system designed to measure the environmental efficiency of buildings). Her father, Douglass, worked as a builder focusing on historic preservation and maintains a consulting practice; her mother, Paula, is a historic-structures consultant in Hagerstown, Maryland, just across the state line from Mercersburg. “Needless to say, they are both a huge inspiration to me,” Reed says. “I’m driven by their entrepreneurial spirit. And saving old buildings is the ultimate form of recycling.” The curriculum in Reed’s pursuit of a master’s in interior design at Washington’s

Corcoran College of Art and Design has been “maximized” (in her words) to include a strong emphasis on sustainable and green building materials and concepts. Her objective is to work for a design firm (and eventually open her own business) with a commitment to sustainable practices and design. Another goal for Reed literally sits just northwest of the Mercersburg campus— a 220-acre farm off Route 16 that once belonged to her maternal grandparents. “I want to rehabilitate the farm into an organic/sustainable farm that is energyindependent,” she says. “All the buildings need to be updated as well, and the project will bridge the gap between historic preservation and green building—which is the crux of my thesis at the Corcoran.” The Reed family’s preservation efforts are evident on the other side of Mercersburg

as well; Douglass Reed is building a home on 43 acres east of town, and incorporating adaptive reuse technologies in the new building; plans call for the house to be energyindependent. —Lee Owen


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Stuck in a rut? Consider a new place on the map By Sylvia Saracino ’99


ike many optimistic young people before me, I left college with no longterm plans. I attribute this lack of professional direction to confusion in the face of computer technology. Before the explosion of the Internet, my professional aspirations revolved around writing for magazines. As the plight of the publishing industry worsened, though, I was anxious to find something more secure. I knew that I wanted to enter adulthood as a New Yorker, since moving to the city seemed like the perfect way to live somewhere exciting and eventually establish myself as a writer. So, although I had

Saracino and her boyfriend, Jake Koodrich ’99

Personal Sustainability no intention of becoming a lifelong educator, I was thrilled that Teach For America offered me a job as a public-school teacher in Harlem. I resolved to seek out things that would make me happy and hoped that those experiences would lead me to a bright future. In many ways, life was just as it should be for somebody right out of school. Every day was an adventure. Though not yet living my dream, I had made it to New York and loved teaching. For the first time since our senior year of high school, my boyfriend (Jake Koodrich ’99) and I saw each other every day. We moved into a small apartment on the Upper West Side, and were so happy to finally have the freedom we had always wanted. Central Park was down the

block, the best noodles in the city could be delivered to our door, and good friends were moving in all over town. I wrote an article about my classroom adventures for a small newspaper and interned at Surface magazine for a summer. It felt like the simple strategy of following my heart was working out for me, but I could never have predicted how challenges in the months to come would reveal the scary side of this newfound independence. About a year into Jake’s new job as a financial analyst, he noticed that more and more people in his office were getting laid off. Soon, his entire division shut down. Neither of us had ever envisioned unemployment, and certainly not at such a young age. At first, he took it in stride, welcoming all the free

time. It became evident, however, that this would be a prolonged vacation. Few companies were hiring; some called back, only to offer uninteresting work. Others might have been appealing had they not required immediate relocation to places we did not want to go. When the finance industry began to spiral out of control, Jake wondered whether he should just accept something out of desperation. Though my job was secure, I was ready for a change. But it seemed irresponsible to risk a switch at a time when only one of us had a steady paycheck. The world of print media was on the decline and a writing career seemed more unlikely. The future was shaping up to be bleak and boring.

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Catching up with…

Pursuing your dreams and seizing spontaneous opportunities are no greater risks than sacrificing your potential for a perceived sense of security. At some point during a beautiful summer that was hard to enjoy, I snapped out of my helpless stupor. While the situation was not ideal, I realized that the future was still in our hands. Dispensing with tedious practical considerations, we started discussing ideas that excited us. Jake regretted the fact that he had never lived or studied abroad. Though I had been fortunate enough to do so, I always dreamed of going away again. We remembered that a friend had taught English in Asia before attending law school and researched similar opportunities for ourselves. The market was huge and, given my experience, this would be a natural transition for me. Jake was eager for a fresh start and a chance to see the world. After weighing our options, we decided on a company that matched our criteria. In August 2008, we boarded a plane from San Francisco to Tokyo, and have lived in Japan ever since. Though our new lives have required many adjustments, we have been glad to make them. Our official role is to help Japanese students improve their English—but in reality, we are the ones receiving the best education. Our new friends and colleagues fascinate us with their impromptu lessons on Japanese culture. We often spend weekends exploring different regions around the country. At least once a week, something unfamiliar ends up on the dinner table (and it usually turns out to be delicious). Though not easy, fumbling with the Japanese language and its three different sets of characters is far more amusing than numbly scanning job-search websites.

The school holiday schedule makes it possible for us to travel to other countries; we rang in the New Year on the beaches of Australia and spent spring break in Seoul. I have even found a way to combine writing with my love of travel. These new surroundings inspire me so much that I now maintain a personal blog and contribute to other websites as well. Computer technology is my new best friend. This bumpy ride has renewed my belief in optimism for the future and following my instincts. Despite a couple unexpected setbacks and temporary lapses in confidence, I have regained the feeling that I am following the right path. I still believe that happiness should be the deciding factor in major life decisions, even when disappointment steers you toward unpleasant choices. Pursuing your dreams and seizing spontaneous opportunities are no greater risks than sacrificing your potential for a perceived sense of security. As more people in the world find themselves stuck in adverse situations, I encourage you to look inside yourself and find alternate routes when facing the occasional roadblock. When things look dark, it is important to remember that somewhere, the sun is rising on your new life. You just have to be willing to find it. Sylvia Saracino ’99, whose sisters Jennifer ’04 and Noelle ’07 also graduated from Mercersburg, maintains a blog at

C. Howard Hardesty ’40, an emeriti member of the Board of Trustees at his undergraduate alma mater, Duke University, was a key player in the construction of the Duke Marine Lab’s Ocean Science Teaching Center, which is located on Pivers Island in the coastal community of Beaufort, North Carolina. The structure, which was completed in 2004, meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest standards for energy and environmental efficiency. It is cooled and heated by subterranean water and features a roof with grass and solar panels. “It’s a truly green structure, and it was a pleasure to work with others to make it happen,” Hardesty says. Following his graduation from Duke, Hardesty served as a naval officer during World War II and earned a degree from the West Virginia University College of Law. He was a partner in the law firm of Furbee & Hardesty and served as West Virginia State Tax Commissioner in the early 1960s before becoming general counsel and director of Consolidation Coal Company. After it merged with Continental Oil Company (Conoco), Hardesty became the company’s executive vice-president, director, and later vice-chairman. Hardesty also served on the WVU Foundation’s Board of Directors and on the boards of seven corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, Hardesty (still an avid golfer at age 87) lives in Vero Beach, Florida. Katie Fox ’03 is program associate for Environment New Hampshire, a citizenbased environmental-advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the state’s clean air, clean water, and open space. She has worked to organize support for state and federal legislation on global-warming and cleanenergy initiatives, and helped develop the group’s preservation program to protect N e w H a m p s h i r e ’s waterways. After graduating from Dickinson College in 2007 as a double major in environmental studies and sociology, Fox worked for the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups on getting environmental legislation passed in Congress.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Change Agent

Rachael Baird’s passion is creating a greener, better world

By Shelton Clark

Baird (left) and Tilt Studio business partner Jessica M. Pegorsch

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Rachael Baird ’99 was environmentally aware long before most of her peers. “One of the first houses we lived in,” she says, “was on a landfill in Minneapolis—built right into the landfill. As a five-year-old, I used to have these horrible nightmares knowing that there was this crazy landfill below where I was sleeping. When I was seven years old, I wrote a couple of really strong letters to the government. So I was a pretty big activist just as a young kid.” Baird’s activism is still present both in her business and her community. She is co-owner of Tilt Studio, a design firm in Baltimore. Central to Tilt Studio’s approach is a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. “My whole mission is to create change through visuals,” Baird says. “There were so many international kids when I was at Mercersburg, and some of them initially didn’t speak English very well. So our communication was really through art. “I think this is true for artists in general. When you use something visual, it doesn’t matter what culture you’re from—it transcends that language. If you feed the world with your concept of change, and you do that through the visual, which is the only defining language that can be viewed worldwide, then you’re actually doing a bigger job because you’re telling everyone your story instead of just the local population.” Baird’s parents—both graphic designers and “very environmentally minded”— played a significant part in her coming to Mercersburg. The school, in turn, helped set Baird on her career path. “I came here originally because of [art faculty] Kristy Higby and Mark Flowers,” Baird says. “My mom had taken a class with Kristy, and they became really good friends. I visited Mercersburg as an eighth-grader and fell in love with the school.” An avid field hockey player, Baird gave up the sport midway through her senior season to concentrate on her art portfolio. That decision paid off, as she earned a full scholarship to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

“I had the opportunity to be a part of the TREK program [at Mercersburg],” she says. “I did that for a semester, and I enjoyed it so much that I applied to SCA—School Conservation Association—basically, the children’s version of the Peace Corps. I got to go to Alaska for the summer, and I grubbed a mile-long portion of the historic Iditarod Trail. I had the chance to experience a totally different place than I had ever been before. I really fell in love with nature.” Baird and Tilt have handled the design of numerous promotional materials (and are developing a multiyear marketing and design plan) for Mercersburg Summer Programs. Baird also works with the student staff of the KARUX, the school’s yearbook, on layout and design. “When we started Tilt, we had two main missions—to involve art, and to involve products in everything that we did through the environment,” she says. “We have an ecofriendly product line called Jes-M; we also have a nonprofit gallery on the first floor of our building.” What began as an employee suggestion ballooned into Tilt’s involvement in Baltimore: The Urban Forest Project in 2008. “When all of our employees start,” Baird says, “the first thing that we ask them is, ‘What is something that you would want to do within the Tilt model to create change for the world forever?’” A Tilt employee mentioned a project a friend had worked on in Portland, Oregon, which involved banners on the side of a street. The idea evolved into an 11-week initiative featuring collaboration between Tilt, Tree Baltimore, Johns Hopkins


University, MICA (Baird’s alma mater), two other Baltimore design firms, independent artists, and local schoolchildren. The project also birthed the Tilt Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a goal of using action to create change. In addition to wrapping the trees in Baltimore’s Patterson Park with red burlap and creating sod landforms for children to play on, the Urban Forest Project sponsored an interactive website where kids from all over the world could create their own images of leaves—which, in turn, were printed onto banners that lined seven city blocks. “They were just gorgeous,” Baird says. “It was really neat. Basically, [the project] was a collective of artists. We had 200 professional and college-level submissions from artists and designers who wanted to show what their vision of sustainability was, in the form of a tree. The whole purpose was getting the word out about Tree Baltimore and what it stands for. And we did this through a visual, which was the banner on the side of the street. “At the end of the project, the banners were taken down and made into really beautiful tote bags. It’s been a great project; we still do a lot of work with it. We had 285 submissions from local K–12 schools, and they were able to put their banners all around their schools as wallpaper. It’s really been cool.” For her efforts, Baird received the “Spirited Woman Rising” award from Smart Woman magazine. Perhaps not surprisingly, she’s already moved on to her next big initiative, Marketing for the Earth. “The whole concept is to get businesses— and we’re working with some huge organizations—to offer 5 percent of their employees for work on an environmental initiative every month for a year,” she explains. “The goal is to have them implement their own ideas and strategies, and then feed it all through a community-based website portal where they’re showcasing what they’re doing for the environment every day.”


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

New rgy

e n E

Matt Roberts ’00 spends much of

his time convincing businesses and organizations that being green saves green. Green, as in cash. “Companies often come in with the attitude that they want to be green so that consumers will like them,” says Roberts, the director of the sustainable building-practice group at Washington-based consulting firm 360jmg. “We tell them they ought to be green so that they can save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and have a more profitable business.” Roberts describes himself as “a little rebellious.” In a sense, one has to be rebellious to want to canvass heavily Republican neighborhoods in central Texas on behalf of Democratic causes during the 2004 election;

Matt Roberts brings sustainable ideas and people together By Lee Owen

“I was shouted off of a lot of street blocks,” he says. After returning to Washington (where he graduated from American University), Roberts developed a strong interest in environmental issues while working for the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) and later on the staff of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California. “She represents Berkeley and Oakland—a very liberal district—so we were able to push pretty hard on those issues,” says Roberts, who also wrote speeches for ASDC chair Mark Brewer, who (like Roberts) is a native of Michigan. “Mark has always been very passionate about the environment, since the Great Lakes have a lot of environmental problems with so much energy being produced at power plants right on the water.”

During his time as a congressional staffer, Roberts made more calls than he could count to media outlets in search of reporters covering specific topics. Budget constraints prevented many Capitol Hill offices from purchasing access to large databases like Bacon’s Media Directories, which gave Roberts an idea. In addition to the topics different media members focused on, those same reporters had varying preferences of how they wanted to hear from those pitching story ideas (some wanted faxes, some wanted emails or phone calls). So Roberts collected information from as many organizations as possible and turned the data into a free website, While major newspapers or wire services weren’t initially interested, “we really got a

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

“It’s not about environmentalism or about saving the planet; the planet’s going to be fine. It’s our way of life and our comfort level that are at risk, since we don’t have a sustainable way forward.” —Matt Roberts ’00 good following from bloggers,” Roberts says. “This was when blogging was really starting to take off and gain legitimacy.” Bacon’s took notice and later bought from Roberts. “By the end, I had gotten the money back that I put into it, and it paid my rent and bills between [jobs],” Roberts says with a chuckle. “I assume that’s a successful small business.” Roberts first connected with 360jmg just as Peter Lowenthal, one of the country’s foremost experts on solar thermal energy, was coming on board. “They really wanted to make a move to become a larger business consultant in the renewable-energy industry,” Roberts says of the firm. “In his 30 years in the field, Pete had seen solar companies ebb and flow with the incentives the government put into place. For the longest time, solar power had a very crunchy, earthy appeal; it appealed to do-it-yourselfers or guys who wanted to play with electricity—but there wasn’t this widespread adoption. He really wanted to make solar into a ‘real business,’ and had a theory for how he wanted to do this. I was really passionate about it as well; these companies needed a sustainable strategy to be successful over the long term.” Much of Roberts’ initial work at 360jmg was helping real-estate developers create smarter strategies for building with sustainability in mind. Along the way, he and others voiced their opposition to the LEED rating system, which judges structures on their efficiency and hopes to create a better way forward in building. “The current system

rewards small steps that hope to change behavior as much as it rewards large steps that actually reduce energy consumption and produce green energy,” he says. “They’re working on the system and we hope to see changes this year.” Those discussions helped link Roberts’ firm with concepts of sustainability beyond building. “We started working on other issues of sustainability, like supply-chain management and things like that which companies need,” he says. Another success story surrounds the firm’s work with an adaptive reuse realestate developer; adaptive reuse is the process of transforming and rehabilitating a historic building into a multipurpose or multifunction structure to better serve its surrounding community. “Adaptive reuse is one of the most environmentally friendly processes out there, because there’s so much energy already contained in a building,” Roberts says. “The bricks have already been mortared, the nails have been forged, and the beams have been laid. All that stuff is energy-intensive, and to rip it down, recycle it, and start over seems environmentally friendly; but you’re wasting massive amounts of energy, and importing all these [new] materials—usually over long distances. So we worked with them to help shift the mentality. This isn’t just about historical preservation and feel-good. It’s about sheer cost and environmental impact. “That’s been the really hard thing to get across to businesses of all stripes. It’s not


about environmentalism or about saving the planet; the planet’s going to be fine. It’s our way of life and our comfort level that are at risk, since we don’t have a sustainable way forward. If we don’t look at distributed generation as a model, and if we don’t look at these broader concepts, the energy infrastructure in this country will never work.” It’s safe to say that Roberts wears more than a single green hat. Promoting several companies he works with (through the pitching of stories and ideas) led to a role covering sustainability and environmental issues for the Washington Examiner. He also hosts a monthly energy-networking luncheon, which he describes as an “un-conference” of sorts that brings together everyone from energy CEOs and representatives from smart-grid companies to entrepreneurs and investors. “We have a nice, candid exchange of ideas,” Roberts says. “Sometimes the solar guys are yelling at the utility guys, and the utility guys are yelling at the smart-grid folks, but it’s generally friendly. Everyone’s able to air their grievances, and the group is a lot of people that do the work and implement the policies and shape the direction of these companies. So there’s positive energy in these meetings, which leads to good results.” All of Roberts’ professional pursuits benefit one another, which is not a coincidence. “When I’m out as a reporter, I’m covering businesses that are of interest to me,” he says. “Down the road, that might help my network luncheon, which benefits some of my clients and what’s going on in energy. The things I’m researching are the same things we focus on in my practice group here at 360jmg—which works toward the broader goal of sustainability.”


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Know Your Score It’s good business: Judy Russell Purman helps others calculate their environmental impact


By Shelton Clark

udy Russell Purman ’79 says her love for the outdoors and the environment comes from all the rock climbing, canoeing, and hiking she did her senior year as part of Mercersburg’s TREK program. That, along with the school’s “really strong academics and science program,” she says. Purman, who now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the author of Tracking Your Carbon Footprint: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Inventorying Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which was published in 2008 and is available through many major online retailers. She works as environmental sustainability specialist for the Minnesotabased engineering firm Sebesta Blomberg. Specifically, Purman handles carbonfootprint determination and sustainability planning, as cap-and-trade and other environmental regulations become a 21stcentury business reality. She shepherds companies through the maze of environmental permits and regulations at all levels of government. “I give a lot of presentations about carbon footprints,” Purman says. “Your carbon footprint, or environmental footprint, is really a calculation of your environmental impact. At these presentations, there are usually people in the audience who want to engage me in a debate about whether global climate change is actually real or if it’s a big hoax. That’s fine; I welcome skeptics. Those who don’t believe the science are never going to be convinced, so I don’t engage them in that. But when I get questions like that, I respond that, as a businessperson, it really doesn’t matter whether you believe [the science of global climate change]; it’s a fact of business. “If you’re going to remain viable as a business, you have to address it in real ways—not just ‘green-washing,’ which is

talking the talk but not walking the walk. The consumer demands that real things be done. Depending on what kind of business you’re in, it’s not only going to be consumer pressure that’s going to force you to do it, but we’re also going to have regulations that are coming.” While the phrases “environmental sustainability” and “solid-waste industry” might sound like contradictory terms, the intersection between the two is where Purman has found her market niche. After Mercersburg, Purman’s journey took her to Southwold, England, where she spent a year as part of Mercersburg’s long-standing relationship with the English-Speaking Union. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Beloit College in Wisconsin, and later lived in the Middle East as a Fulbright scholar. “One of the things I did was take part in a program that looked at how Israel and Egypt manage their natural resources in the face of scarcity, compared to the U.S.,” Purman says. “We have a lot of natural resources here, and we’re more frivolous with them than they are in the Middle East—where, for example, water is scarce.” She followed her interest in the natural world by earning a master’s degree in horticultural science at the University of Maryland. “My research focused on growing plants in different kinds of compost made from waste materials,” she says. “I came at the whole composting thing from the perspective of the plant using the compost to improve plant growth. So I started in all this more from an environmental perspective than a solidwaste-management perspective.” Purman works with industrial clients, universities, and cities. “Every week, I get calls from a new sector: a medical facility or a producer of cleaning products, for example, looking to do a carbon footprint,” she says. “The bottom line, business-wise, is that it doesn’t cost that much to do a footprint, and it points you in the direction of how to save money. That’s what business owners are looking for, and that’s what sustainable approaches actually do. It’s not just pie-inthe-sky green stuff.”

At first glance, Purman’s data-heavy, corporate-level work might seem to the layperson an overwhelming amount of information. But even before she began her work with Sebesta, she was working on her book, the purpose of which is “to give the average Joe and Jane Citizen enough information that they understand what goes into it and what the unit of measure [carbon footprint] is.” It is that sense of personal responsibility toward the environment that dictates her own actions at home. Purman and her husband, Paul, are the parents of a daughter, Robin (17), and a son, Ben (14). “There’s the whole thing about, what kind of world are we leaving our children?” Purman says. “I see it from that perspective. We’re supposed to be caretakers of the earth. I really believe that, and I feel called to work in that capacity. Even small things—and I get eyerolls on this—even something as small as not leaving your computer on all night. Think how much power we would save if everybody with a computer shut it down every night. It would be amazing, wouldn’t it? “As a gardener, I think about putting my food waste back into the soil to help grow more food. I also think about sticking a bucket out there when it rains, and using the rainwater to water the garden. So I definitely believe that individuals can and have done a lot to address the issue.” In addition to her work and her family, Purman is also a fabric artist of some renown. She works in a number of different media, and has earned statewide awards for her quilting. “Fabric art is very detailed, and so is environmental compliance,” Purman says. “I’m crunching a lot of data, so it’s a lot of computer-screen time and files. But working with fabrics and yarns and threads and beads and things like that, I use a completely different part of my brain. It’s creative. It’s relaxing. It’s tactile.”

The sun and warm weather welcomed more than 300 alumni, family, and friends to campus for Mercersburg’s first-ever summer Reunion Anniversary Weekend June 11–14. Classes from years ending in 4 and 9 celebrated anniversary reunions.

Summer Fun:

Reunion Anniversary Weekend 2009


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Highlights of the weekend included: • “Faculty Connections” sessions examining topics from poets to automotive physics and teaching mathematics to today’s students • Entertainment at Flannery’s Tavern on the Square from The Hello Strangers (featuring Larissa Chace Smith ’97, Brechyn Chace ’03, and Dave Holzwarth ’78) • Legacy Camp for children of attendees • A New Orleans–style outdoor soirée Friday night, followed by a bonfire • Various class activities (including whitewater rafting, golf, softball, and tours of nearby Knob Hall Winery with owner Dick Seibert ’69 and of the campus with Head of Grounds Avery Cook and Archivist Jay Quinn) • Discussion panels and focus groups with students, alumni, the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, and Head of School Douglas Hale • A walk through Mercersburg’s historic district with faculty emeritus Tim Rockwell • The All-Alumni Awards Luncheon featuring New York Times best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone, Who’s Got Your Back) • Individual class dinners Saturday evening, followed by a dance party • A Sunday chapel service with School Minister Lawrence Jones in memory of Mercersburg classmates • For the first time, attendees had the option of staying on campus in a dormitory with family and friends

(Clockwise from top left) Henry Steiger ’42 and Trini Hoffman entertain Legacy Campers; Ann Quinn ’84 and husband John Angel get instructions from Betsy Willis before the 5K fun run; live entertainment; Charlie Hamburg ’59, Ned Mayo ’54, and Peter Soracco ’59; science teacher and car expert Jim Malone explains automotive physics; Phil Saylor ’59 and Bill Tutt ’59 with author Keith Ferrazzi at the All-Alumni Awards Luncheon.


Deborah J. Simon ’74 Simon is chair of the Board of Directors for the Simon Youth Foundation, whose mission is to help at-risk youth finish their high-school education, and in addition provides scholarships and mentorship opportunities to youth. She is the former senior vice-president of Simon Property Group (SPG), a self-administered and self-managed real-estate investment trust headquartered in Indianapolis. During her four years at Mercersburg, Simon was a member of the Chorale, the KARUX staff, Stony Batter, and was feature editor of the student newspaper and a declaimer in her uppermiddler and senior years. Prior to working for SPG, she also pursued an interest in film production.  Simon served as a member of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents from 1992 to 1994; she was re-elected in May 2000 and continues to serve in that capacity. Simon gives her talent, time, and resources to Mercersburg; she recognizes the school’s needs, such as financial aid, and is inspired to make a difference. Most recently, Simon was one of three major donors on the Quad restoration project. Her generous contribution for the redesign of the William Mann Irvine Memorial was made in honor of longtime faculty members Jay Quinn and Paul Suerken, as well as other faculty who inspire students. She became the first woman and the first Mercersburg graduate from the 1970s to make a gift of $1 million or more to the school, which came at the opening of the Burgin Center for the Arts (for the Simon Theatre). Simon devotes her time to many philanthropic organizations; she is chair of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and a board member of The Indianapolis Zoo, The Children’s Museum, the Indiana AIDS Fund, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Established by the Alumni Council, the award is presented each year in recognition of an individual’s outstanding service to Mercersburg. ALUMNI COUNCIL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

John E. Treat ’64 Treat, the son of a United States diplomat, spent parts of his childhood in New Zealand, Greece, Egypt, Vietnam, and Switzerland. During his two years at Mercersburg, he was a member of Stony Batter, The Fifteen, the Blue Review staff, and the Marshall Society. He also played tennis and was inducted into the Mercersburg chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Treat received a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Princeton University, and completed a master’s in international economics from Johns Hopkins University and all academic requirements for a Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. Throughout his professional career, Treat has worked in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. He is the author or editor of six books, including the recently released Encyclopedia of Energy, Energy Futures (three editions), and Creating the High Performance International Petroleum Company: Dinosaurs Can Fly. Treat served as an energy adviser to Presidents Carter and Reagan, and was president of the New York Mercantile Exchange and a partner in Bear Stearns, Regent International, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Today, Treat is a senior energy adviser for Global Infrastructure World, a consulting and investment company focused on the planning and development of major infrastructure projects, especially in alternative-energy investments. Treat is also CEO of Treat Management Company LLC, a consulting and venture capital firm focused on opportunities in energy, technology, and financial services; executive chairman of C-Lock Technologies; vicechairman of Alternative Locomotive Technologies; senior vice-president of Atlas Investments/4AE; and senior adviser for the Global Economic Regulatory Institute. He has five children and seven grandchildren. Established in 1997, the award recognizes Mercersburg alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions and have outstanding records of service to their communities and others.

Alumni Council President Susie Lyles-Reed ’88, Deborah Simon ’74, John Treat ’64, Head of School Douglas Hale


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Chuck Hatch ’54, Ned Mayo ’54, John Hornbaker ’55, Martin Myers ’36, Dale Williams ’54, Jay Quinn.


Front row (L–R): Doug Douglass, Paul Becker, Charlie “Lee” Foss, Martin Fleishman, Phil Saylor, Lang Glotfelty, Bob Sze, Frank Lloyd. Row 2: Bud Karins, Scott Armentrout, Bud Risser, Bob Hunter, Hank Bowis, Stephen White, Ed Neff, Sonny Parsons, Bob Hershey. Row 3: Wesley Johnston, Charlie Hamburg, Bill Tutt, John Fillman, Peter Soracco, John Genrich, Barry Dubbs, Michael Whitworth.


Front row (L–R): William Gaunt, Phil Dunmire, Joe Huber, George Miller, Tom Cuddeback. Row 2: Mike Banzhaf, Don Toan, Russ Ameter, John Treat, Buck Buchanan.

CLASS OF 1969 Front row (L–R): Richard Freedman, Rick Fleck, Bill Gridley. Row 2: Dick Seibert, David Barensfeld, Allen Gibson, Scott Finer, Harry Apfelbaum. CLASSES OF 1974/1979

Front row (L–R): Dave Ratliff ’74, Amy Buchanan ’79, Molly HallOlsen ’79, Carol Furnary Casparian ’79, Brooke Kinney ’79, Molly Jones Mancini ’79. Row 2: Roy Pascual ’79, Lacy Rice ’79, Greg Wagner ’79, Doug Corwin ’79, Rick Little ’79, Skip Lyshon ’79, Paul Feldman ’79, Gretchen Decker Pierce ’79, Ruth Quinn ’79, Daryl Workman Keeler ’79.

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


CLASS OF 1984 Front row (L–R): Molly Robinson Mathews, Tom Evans, Hugh Kinsman, Ann Quinn, Betsy Rider-Williams. Row 2: Chris Erdman, Bill Mathews, Tico LaCerda, Rachel Haines Bowman, Don Lundy, Andrew McCabe, Thomas Hornbaker, Suzy Sullivan Ashley, Tom Gallucio.

CLASS OF 1994 Tharaneetharan Arumugarajah, MacKinlay Himes, Bebe Lloyd Welch, Tim Gocke, Eli Swetland, Matt Beatty.

CLASS OF 1994 Tharaneetharan Arumugarajah, MacKinlay Himes, Bebe Lloyd Welch, Tim Gocke, Eli Swetland, Matt Beatty.

CLASS OF 1989 Front row (L–R): Michelle Morgan, Julie Curtis, Jennifer Mayo Burrough, Beth Spurry, Becky Halterman Bloom. Row 2: Robert Jordan, Jonathan Trichter, Malcolm Mark, Ashley Himes Kranich, Yiyi Santiago, Jamie Carstensen. Row 3: Adam Smith, Ames Prentiss, Geoff McInroy, Jim Anderson, Michelle Carey Jenkins. CLASS OF 1999 Front row (L–R): Cassie Hubbard, Lauren Molen, Irene Papoutsis, Jenny Barr Weiss, Cara Fraver, Patti Rennert, Alex Goerl Rickeman, Jessica Malarik, Savina Rendina Cupps. Row 2: Flynn Corson, Andrew Johnson, Rachael Baird, Tom Dugan, Adam Brewer, Tim Hitchens, Aaron Chiu, Andy Danziger, Julie Kaufman Nussdorfer, Tiffany Myers. Row 3: Ben Smith, Gregory Rohman, Javier Arregui, Nate Richards, Eric Kass, Jon Palmer, Jenn Flanagan, Lars Teigelack, Isaac Brody, Masroor Ahmed, Catherine Wahl Bove. CLASS OF 2004

Front row (L–R): Austin Mort, Erica Adam, Katie Keller, Graham Zifferer, Eric Burkhart. Row 2: Alex Lowe, Will Gridley, Ryan Niland, Nick Mellott, Harry Kline, Todd Small, Andy Gottlieb, Kenny Walker.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Alumni Notes Submit alumni notes and photographs online or by email to NewsNotes@ or your class agent. Submissions 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.

On the way to Alumni Weekend 2008, Keil Hall roommates Jim McClelland ’55 (left) and Bill Turpin ’55 met at the Barbara Fritchie Diner in Frederick, Maryland.

’36 Martin Myers’ wife, Marjorie, died February 25, 2009.


Frank Egloff writes, “Still alive! Semiretired.” Daniel Kelly continues to work with the Center Pole Foundation in Montana; the organization provides college opportunities for youth. Recent graduates of the program have gone on to study at Dartmouth College, Brown University, Guilford College, Stanford University, and other schools.


In May, Bob Kerper received the Buck Dawson Authors Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Bob was honored for his 2002 book, Splash! Aquatic Shows from A to Z. Bob, who was the national prep-school 100-yard backstroke champion at Mercersburg in 1943, later captained the swimming and cross country teams at West Chester University. He is a member of the

Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the West Chester Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Berks County Swimming Hall of Fame.


Bob Brush’s wife, Sue, passed away November 18, 2008.

u Hugh Miller


Harvey Andruss writes, “I will be 79 in August. I have had MS for the last 18 years, but it doesn’t have me. I had to quit driving, but I have a scooter to get around town. So I am happy and basically healthy.”

u Bill Alexander 740-282-5810

u Ed Hager

’49 ’50


Joe Silverman writes, “In early February, my wife, Pat, and I were privileged to get together with Larry Lattomus, Dick Vedder, and their delightful spouses at Marriott’s Canyon Villas at Desert Ridge in Phoenix. It was priceless.”


Nicholas Taubman delivered the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s graduate-school commencement ceremony in May. Nick, the former CEO of Advance Auto Parts, served as U.S. ambassador to Romania from 2005 until 2008, and is president of Mozart Investments in Roanoke, Virginia. A former president of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents, he is a President Emeritus and a charter member of the McDowell Society.

u Richard Zirkle 703-502-6996


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

u Bill Thompson

Richard Keller ’59, center, with co-workers and members of the Pearland (Texas) Planning & Zoning Commission at a conference in El Paso, Texas.


In October, Bill Gordon retired after 22 years as manager and engineer for the Borough of Fox Chapel. Bill had spent the previous two decades as a consulting engineer specializing in water and sewer projects. “I now fill my time serving on the board of directors of the homeowners association where we live in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, and as chairman of the grounds committee. I am still using many of the skills honed while working in Fox Chapel. My wife and I now have the time to travel extensively to reconnect with friends who have moved throughout the country, and perhaps in our travels we’ll be able to reconnect with some old classmates from Mercersburg. In addition, our first grandchild was born last year (on my birthday, no less!) and we try to visit her in Houston as often as possible.”

u Jon Dubbs u Jack Reilly


Walter Mitchell is vying for a four-year term as Luzerne County (Pennsylvania) prothonotary. Walter, who owns and operates Mitchell Financial Group in Wilkes-Barre, is the only mayor in the history of nearby Bear Creek Village. Buck Stultz’s wife, Valerie, officiated at the July wedding of Todd Stephany (son of Ron Stephany) and CelesteElise Berthelot in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. “Any excuse for the Stultzes and Stephanys to get together is a good one,” Buck says.

u Mike Radbill

u Jere Keefer


u Alex Burgin u Bob Walton

Leighton Scott writes that he is now self-employed. He earned a Ph.D. in ancient history from Cambridge University, and met his wife in London;

Reunion Anniversary Weekend June 10–13, 2010

u Clem Geitner


The perfect time to relive your Mercersburg experience. Celebrate with individual class activities for class years ending in 0 and 5, as well as Loyalty Club members (those alumni who have celebrated their 50th reunion). Return to campus and reconnect with classmates and faculty. More information: 717-328-6178


Albert Golden was featured in an April 30 story in the Reading Eagle about General Motors’ discontinuation of

All alumni are invited back to campus to enjoy Steps Songs, School Cheers, and a bonfire; athletic contests against Hill; team reunions for field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling; and dedication of the new synthetic-turf field.

they have three children and three grandchildren. “I escaped from teaching interdisciplinary studies at Appalachian State University after 35 years, and am now writing and publishing short stories,” he says. “One of them is a nominee for the Pushcart Prize this year.”


Mark Andreae was appointed to the board of the Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University.

fall alumni Weekend October 16–17, 2009

Charlie Alter ’68 at the Perito Moreno glacier in the Argentinean region of Patagonia.



The wedding of Aaron Cohen ’97 and Melissa Fortuna, August 2, 2008, in Little Compton, Rhode Island (L–R): Sarah Cohen ’98, Chris Gonzales ’97, Andrew Bramhall ’97, Aaron and Melissa, Chris Senker ’97, Pete Watkins ’97, Jordan Blackman ’97, Leah Long ’97.

The Puhl family spent three weeks visiting Carolin ’07 in Burkina Faso, where she is spending a half-year working for an HIV project. Thomas ’73 says it was an impressive experience in one of the poorest countries in the world. (L–R: Thomas, Christina ’00, Andreas ’02, Carolin.)

the Pontiac brand. Albert’s grandfather started selling Pontiacs in the 1920s; today, Albert operates the A.W. Golden family of dealerships in Reading, Pennsylvania.


Charles Alter started his own consulting company, Bentbrook Advisors, in Toledo, Ohio (www.bentbrookadvisors. com). Charles had been a senior consultant at MAGNET; he retired from there in June 2008 and founded his own company to focus more on growth and innovation planning and coaching.

Adrienne Herr-Paul ’01 and Carson Higby-Flowers ’01 on their wedding day, January 20, 2009, in San Francisco. Alumni in attendance included Nigel Sussman ’01, Chas Huber ’01, and Ryan Fay ’01.

Naomi Hossain and Stu Hollenshead ’03 on their wedding day, August 2, 2008, in Mercersburg.

Scott Finer ’69 to Cynthia Gottman, November 23, 2008. Matt Kranchick ’99 to Jeannine Patrick, May 9, 2009. Gray McDermid ’01 to Elizabeth LaGow, May 30, 2009.

Robert Pennington celebrated his 35th year in real estate, and owns Coldwell Banker Town & Country Real Estate in Altoona, Pennsylvania. For 2008, Bob’s firm was the top Coldwell Banker office in the U.S. for total units closed; it was the second time his office has been number one in the nation. Bob’s office has sold more than 11,500 homes and has won every award attainable by a Coldwell Banker residential affiliate office. Platt Safford is vice-president of investments at JP Morgan Chase in Alliance, Ohio. “My oldest son, Gabe, is starting at Ohio University next year,” he writes. “My daughter, Audrey (16), is phenomenally talented musically. She sings and plays the piano, performing frequently at various local venues. My youngest son, Tony (13), is a fanatic lacrosse player and an all-around good kid with a great future.”

Lena Karl ’03 to Nils Kulak ’02, July 4, 2008. u Harry Apfelbaum u Rick Fleck u Dick Seibert


John Brink was accepted as a vocalist for the Savannah Music Festival. Scott Finer married Cynthia Susan Gottman November 23, 2008, in Spokane, Washington; the couple lives in Mercer Island, Washington. Dave Owen writes, “After trading in my career as a rock ’n’ roll truck driver for that of a small-business software developer, I have made another midlife change of direction. Although I still have a few software clients, I spend my time as a paramedic for a service in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I got bullied into getting my EMT card nine years ago when the fire chief in [nearby] Cummington discovered that I was at home on weekdays. Since Cummington is nearly void of working-age people during the day, he convinced me to join the local volunteer ambulance service. I discovered that I loved it and went on to get advanced certifications, culminating with my EMTParamedic certification two years ago. I now work 60-plus hours per week for County Ambulance in Pittsfield.”

u Paul Mellott

’70 ’71

Joseph Irvin moved to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and is pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church. He had lived in the Phoenix area since 1980, serving congregations in Chandler and Glendale. “In 2004,” he writes, “I got married for the second time to a friend I’ve known all of my adult life, Suzy Tegge. I’d be glad to hear from any of my old friends at Mercersburg.”

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

u Tom Hadzor u Eric Scoblionko

Board of Regents Nominees: Douglas L. Miller ’68, Cornelius, North Carolina

u Joe Lee

Deborah J. Simon ’74, Indianapolis, Indiana Deborah’s professional life has been divided between her love of the performing arts and an active role in her family business in realestate development and management. She is the former senior vicepresident with Simon Property Group (SPG), a self-administered and self-managed real-estate investment trust headquartered in Indianapolis. During her four years at Mercersburg, Deborah was a member of the Chorale, the KARUX staff, Stony Batter, feature editor of the student newspaper, and a declaimer in her uppermiddler and senior years. Prior to working for SPG, she also pursued an interest in film production. She serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Zoo, The Children’s Museum, and the Indiana Museum of Art. Additionally, she is chairperson of the board for the Simon Youth Foundation, whose mission is to foster alternative educational and mentoring opportunities for all youth via public school systems. Deborah served as a member of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents from May 1992 until May 1994; she was re-elected in May 2000.

Judge John Jones, who was the featured speaker at the Cum Laude Convocation in April [page 5], also participated in a conference on public service in February at Dickinson College, his alma mater.

u Kevin Longenecker

u Carol Furnary Casparian

__________________________________is proposed for consideration as a future member of the Board of Regents. Name: __________________________________ Class: ________

’74 ’79

Molly Hall-Olsen lives in Wisconsin with her husband, 11-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter. Molly practices litigation, environmental law, and eldercare law at DeWitt Ross & Stevens.


Deborah J. Simon ’74


Robert Kimmerle, father of William Kimmerle and Mary Beth Kimmerle Lawlor ’82, passed away January 26, 2009.

b a llot

Douglas L. Miller ’68


You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career, by Katharine Stroup Brooks, was published this spring by Viking Press. The book argues that recent college graduates and job seekers shouldn’t limit themselves to a particular narrow career field based solely on their college majors or work experiences. Katharine, the daughter of the late Mercersburg faculty member Herbert Stroup (who taught here from 1943 to 1950), is the director of the Liberal Arts Career Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Doug is a graduate of Yale University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. A native of Akron, Ohio, he is senior vice presidentgeneral counsel at Cogentrix Energy LLC. Prior to joining Cogentrix, he was senior counsel at Alston & Byrd LLP in Atlanta. He was appointed to Mercersburg’s Board of Regents in 1999. In his spare time, Doug enjoys hiking, golf, and history. His wife, Jena, earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Oregon in 1974. The Millers are the parents of two sons, Andrew ’00 and Samuel ’03. In addition to his sons, Doug’s grandfather, great-uncle, and a number of cousins and nephews also attended Mercersburg.

Board of Regents Alumni Representative


Mail to: Alumni Secretary Mercersburg Academy 300 East Seminary Street Mercersburg, PA 17236 or fax to 717-328-6211

u Dave Wagner u Greg Zinn


In August 2008, Samuel Scott was appointed rector of St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut. He is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport and was ordained in 1995.


u Todd Wells u Duncan White


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

u Rachel Haines Bowman u Ann Quinn

u Susan Corwin Moreau

’84 ’85

In one of the most anticipated movies of 2009, Benicio del Toro will star in the remake of Universal’s horror classic, The Wolfman, which is scheduled for an early-November release.


During his military career, Keith Markham earned several medals including a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, an Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, an Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and various campaign and service ribbons. He was with the 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq. Keith, who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, lives with his wife, Krista, and their four children near Regensburg, Germany.


Ivonne Bayona Skrbich, her husband, Mike, and their children, Isabella and Nicholas, live in Aberdeen, Scotland; they moved there from Indonesia in June 2008. Before that, the family lived in Houston; Mike works for Schlumberger, an oil and gas service company.

u Susie Lyles-Reed Top: Carol Furnary Casparian ’79 and family ran into Doug Comer ’76 and his daughter, Samantha, while skiing at Gore Mountain in upstate New York. (L–R: Xander, Elizabeth, and Caroline Casparian, Carol, Doug, and Samantha.) Above left: Holly Hoffman McStravick ’81 with her husband, Trey. Above right: Scott M. Weaver ’82 and Ray Liddy ’82 in Coronado, California. They remember their 11th-grade year as being full of colorful (and unprintable) stories of their Main Hall dorm-mates and faculty members. Right: Keith Markham ’86 and his wife, Krista, with children Anna Catherine, Emma Grace, Joshua Arthur, and Jordan Madeliene.


Suzanne Dysard, who has coordinated the CROP Hunger Walk in Boulder, Colorado, since 2000, has been honored for her commitment to fundraising for the cause. Suzanne has personally raised more than $10,000 for the CROP Walk in the last two years; under her leadership, the event has more than doubled the amount of money raised annually.

u Zania Pearson u Ames Prentiss


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

A paper by Lori Esposit Miller (“Lead identification to generate 3-cyanoquinoline inhibitors of insulin-like growth factor receptor for potential use in cancer treatment”) was published in the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters earlier this year. Her son, Andrew, just turned 5, and can’t wait to start kindergarten this fall. Blair Simpson graduated from Wake Forest University Medical School in May, and will begin a three-year pediatric residency at the University of New Mexico; she writes that she is excited about the move out west.

u Emily Peterson u Chris Senker Ian and Lucas, children of Elizabeth Mascola ’91 and her husband, Miguel Martin.

u Danielle Dahlstrom


Stirling Elmendorf came to campus in March to showcase his photography portfolio and visit with students, faculty, and staff. To see his portfolio, visit Chip Nuttall ’92 and his wife, Alice.

u Treva Ghattas u Kim Lloyd


Tonya Rutherford, an Alumni Council member and a founding member of Mercersburg’s African American Student Union, visited with the members of the current AASU on campus this winter; she and members of the group discussed their experiences at Mercersburg.

u Emily Gilmer Caldwell u Chip Nuttall


Chip Nuttall has been named director of information systems planning for Genesco in Nashville. After consulting with Genesco on a two-year engagement through C3 Consulting, Chip decided to join Genesco’s internal leadership team. Chip is also president-elect of the Nashville chapter of PMI (Project Management Institute).

u Tim Gocke u Rob Jefferson


Megan Gilbert Beck and her husband, William, welcomed a baby boy, Billy, into the world June 8, 2008. “Our daughter, Brinley [who turned three in June], loves playing with her baby brother,” she writes.

u David Danziger


Gill Tatman-Tyree and his wife, Ann, announce the birth of a daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth, on July 29, 2008. Gill is on his second tour in Iraq and can’t wait to be back with family and friends. The family lives in Savannah, Georgia, where Gill is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield.

u Lori Esposit Miller u Geraldine Gardner u Nate Jacklin



In February, sisters Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace ’03 (a.k.a. The Hello Strangers) performed in Baltimore as part of a Hank Williams tribute hosted by the Creative Alliance; the sisters were surprised to find that Glenn Moomau ’77 was also performing on the same bill. They spent some time backstage talking about Mercersburg memories, and about their father and former faculty member Joel Chace (one of Glenn’s favorite teachers). The large contingent of Mercersburg alumni attending the show included Andrew Bramhall ’97, Ruth Quinn ’79, JeanLouise Card ’89 (Larissa and Brechyn’s cousin), and Logan Chace ’01 (their brother). More information can be found at strangers. Larissa and her husband, Ryan, own and operate Chace + Smith Photography in Mercersburg (www.; they also serve on the board of the Mercersburg Council for the Arts, which they helped spearhead in 2007. Aaron Cohen teaches middle-school English and coaches basketball at the Jackson Mann School, a public school in Boston. He lives in Lowell, Massachusetts, with his wife, Melissa, and their three dogs.

u Liz Curry u Dean Hosgood u Beth Pniewski Bell


Jeffrey Adair is the dean of students at Eastside Preparatory School in Kirkland, Washington. He asks alumni in or traveling to the Seattle area to be in touch. Walter “Jay” Lee works in food and beverage management for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. He previously worked in store operations and logistics for Target Corporation.

u Jenn Flanagan u Jess Malarik



Matt Kranchick married Jeannine Patrick May 9 in Pittsburgh. The couple lives in Columbus, Ohio, where Matt works for Smith & Nephew and Jeannine is with K. Hovnanian Homes.

u Kevin Glah u Taylor Horst u Andrew Miller

u Ann Marie Bliley



Gray McDermid finished four years in the military; he married Elizabeth LaGow in May. Wes Miller is an assistant men’s basketball coach at High Point University in North Carolina; he served as an assistant at nearby Elon University during the 2008–2009 season. Wes played on the University of North Carolina’s 2005 NCAA championship team. Emory Mort coaches cross country and track and field at Cornell University (his alma mater). “We won the Ivy League indoor title, which is my first coaching championship,” he writes. “I work with the distance runners under a couple of coaches who used to coach me. It’s a lot of fun. The kids are fantastic, and the competitions are very spirited. The coaches also work really well together and have a knack for doing their job better than the rest of the Ivy, which is fun. I also work for a website, www., that my friends founded and operate. I basically read and write and think about running way too much.”

u Noelle Bassi u Bryan Stiffler u Liz Stockdale u Ian Thompson


Nancy Franke is in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, and will work in urban youth development there until April 2011. “Things are great and every day is a bit different,” she says. “I’ve just finished training and am now figuring out what my life as a volunteer will look like.” Nancy invites those interested in her adventures to check out her blog, Paraguay Schmaraguay (ndfparaguay.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

u Nate Fochtman u Jenn Hendrickson u Jessica Malone u Vanessa Youngs


Samuel Hogg graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in May 2008, and is working as an intern architect for Yoder & Tidwell in Providence, Rhode Island. Stuart Hollenshead married Naomi Hossain August 2, 2008, in the Irvine Memorial Chapel; they live and work at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, where Naomi is associate director of annual giving and Stu dabbles in a little bit of everything. He teaches honors chemistry, coaches juniorvarsity basketball (head coach) and track (assistant coach), and serves as an academic adviser and a dorm faculty member. Stu also founded the Worcester Academy Investments Club; he feels that many high-school

students go through their secondaryschool careers having little exposure to the world of business and personal finance, so he hopes to bridge this void and help students become more economically conscious. Stu enjoys reading Mercersburg magazine and hearing about what his schoolmates are doing; he wishes everyone the best and encourages those who are interested to keep in touch through email or Facebook. Lena Karl married Nils Kulak ’02 July 4, 2008, in Germany; the couple traveled through Italy and Thailand before moving to Gauting, Germany (a suburb of Munich). Lena is studying medicine, while Nils is working toward a master’s in biochemistry. They planned a trip to Central America in August. Eric Wilkins moved to Boston in July 2007 after graduating from the University of Mary Washington. He writes, “I took a job as a mutual-fund analyst at State Street Bank & Trust and luckily still maintain it in this down economy. I moved to a place in the North End (Boston’s oldest neighborhood), which contains a roof deck overlooking Boston’s skyline, and took a fabulous vacation

Travel with Mercersburg Israel October 12–22, 2009 Experience the history and hospitality of Israel with Douglas and Peggy Hale, Laurie Mufson, and Rabbi Harold White, along with fellow alumni. James Snyder ’69, director of the Israel Museum, will host a Jerusalem event during the trip.

Germany/Switzerland July 1–11, 2010 This Alpine adventure, led by faculty members Larry and Cindy Jones, includes visits to Munich, the Bernina Alps, and the famed Oberammergau Passion Play. Chase Vokrot Poffenberger ’84, executive vice-president of Academic Travel Abroad, is arranging the trips. For more information, contact De-Enda Rotz at 717-328-6178 or

in the British Virgin Islands in which I stayed on a 60-foot yacht. Since I missed baseball way too much, I joined an over-24-year-old baseball league to keep my left arm rolling until it’s time to hang up the cleats. I love Boston and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… Let’s Go Red Sox!”

u Katherine Keller u Nick Mellott


Brett Gallaway graduated cum laude from New York University and is attending Tulane Law School. Katie Proudman works in the community relations department at Major League Soccer in New York City; she graduated from the University of Vermont. u Carl Gray u Zander Hartung u Alexis Imler u Tammy McBeth u Nick Ventresca


Hannah Galey, an All-Ivy League swimmer at Columbia, is the 2009 female recipient of the school’s Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award. Hannah is one of the most-accomplished swimmers in Columbia history after establishing school records in the 100yard freestyle and with the Lions’ 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, and 200 free relay teams. Hannah, a premed student, helped Columbia to a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay at the Ivy League Championships. Alex Kim graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in December. He is a full-time flight instructor at the school. Brittany Lattisaw is one of three players in Haverford College’s women’s basketball history to score more than 1,000 career points; she finished her senior season with 1,039 points to rank third all-time at the school. Brittany, an All-Mid-Atlantic selection by and team co-captain, averaged 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during her senior year.

Tammy McBeth graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College in May with an honors degree in economics and a minor in Spanish. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tammy was awarded the Pi Lambda Sigma Prize in Economics. Tammy’s honors thesis was chosen as one of three outstanding honors theses in the economics department. In June, she began work as an assistant director of annual giving and volunteer relations with Mercersburg’s Alumni & Development Office. Ryan Reid and his father, Ron, salvaged a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS and restored it to its original condition; the car was selected to appear in a calendar for PPG Platinum Paints last year. Ryan worked on the car as part of his senior project at Mercersburg. Mary Tripp was part of Emory University’s national-champion and NCAArecord-setting 800-yard freestyle relay team at the NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in March. A senior (and team captain) majoring in psychology, Mary finishes her college career as a three-time AllAmerican in the 800 free, and also earned honorable-mention All-America honors in the 200 free as a sophomore, junior, and senior. She helped Emory place second as a team at the NCAA Championships; Emory swimming and diving teams have won 11 consecutive University Athletic Association titles.

u Joy Thomas u Jonathan Wilde


Alex Tyler led Cornell’s men’s basketball team to the Ivy League title (and NCAA Tournament) for the second straight year; he had 13 points in Cornell’s first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Missouri in Boise, Idaho. Alex, a junior, started 30 of the team’s 31 games, averaging 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and shooting 50 percent from the floor. Travis Youngs broke the Ursinus College triple-jump record three times this spring; the record had stood since 1975 until Travis set three new records in a span of 33 days, culminating in an effort of 46 feet, 9 inches at the Centennial Conference Championships. Travis finished second in the triple jump and first in the high jump at the meet; he also competed in the triple jump at the NCAA Division III Track & Field National Championships.

Births/Adoptions Gill Tatman-Tyree ’95 and his wife, Ann, with their daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth, born July 29, 2008.

William (Billy), son of Megan Gilbert Beck ’94 and her husband, William, born June 8, 2008.

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9


Sarah Bisrat, daughter of faculty member Emily Howley and her husband, Tim, born July 25, 2008; adopted March 31, 2009.

To Anthony Hall ’89 and his wife, Monica: a son, Andrew James, March 20, 2009. To Jason Bullock ’90 and his wife, Dana: a son, Sam, August 8, 2008.

Faculty Thelonious Paul (Theo), son of Courtney Higham-Bennett ’89 and her husband, Paul, born April 4, 2008.

u Xanthe Hilton u Chuck Roberts


Jordon Exeter, a sophomore at Ohio Wesleyan University, was named an All-North Coast Athletic Conference track performer after finishing second in both the 100-meter dash and as part of the school’s 4x100-meter relay team at the NCAC Championships. During the winter season, his highlights included victories in the 55-meter dash and long jump and as part of the 4x200-meter relay team at the Greater Columbus Invitational. On a recent visit to Northwestern University, Sally Huang met up with George Liu; the two had a good time in Chicago. Chuck Roberts visited with Julia Thorne at McGill University in Montreal, where Chuck received an award at a Model UN conference. Chuck,

Marcus William, son of Jeffrey LaGrassa ’90 and his wife, Alicia, born March 4, 2009.

who attends Columbia University, is a tour guide, treasurer of the Columbia International Relations Council and Association, and executive director of Columbia College Republicans.

u Benjamin Axelrod u Jeff Chung u Peter Cooke u Lauren Dobish u Chris Freeland u Taylor Hoffman u Hannah Starr u Ethan Strickler


David Strider studied for a month in Germany this summer in preparation for the international business program at the University of South Carolina.

To Quentin McDowell and his wife, Lauren: a son, Ewan Rider, April 12, 2009.

Faculty/Former Faculty Autumn Adkins has been named president of Girard College, a boarding school in Philadelphia. Autumn served as Mercersburg’s director of special programs from 1994 to 1996; she also worked at the Breck School in Minneapolis, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, and Friends Seminary in New York City. Victor Cahn published Classroom Virtuoso: Recollections of a Life in Learning, a memoir about his career as student, prep school teacher, and English professor. The book includes a section devoted to his time at Mercersburg. Also recently published are two books of plays: Fit to Kill and “Roses in December” and Other Plays. Victor was at Mercersburg from 1969 to 1971. Mark Cubit, Mercersburg’s head men’s basketball coach, attended the 2009 Final Four in Detroit. While there, he visited with Basketball Hall of Famer (and fellow Syracuse basketball alumnus) Dave Bing, who was elected mayor of Detroit in May. In May and June, the work of fine arts teacher Kristy Higby was featured in “By the Book,” an exhibition of book arts in a variety of media at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. Floyd Robinson, who taught English at Mercersburg from 1969 to 1976, is director of the University of Houston’s Health Center. This spring, he earned a Staff Excellence Award from the school, where he has worked for the past 11 years. Floyd was Mercersburg’s first African-American faculty member.


M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

Obituaries ’31


Craig C. Fitzpatrick, October 1, 2008. (Irving debater, Glee Club, Memorial Committee, tennis) A graduate of Princeton University, Craig was an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was the former president of Knickerbocker Mills Company in New York. He was preceded in death by his wife, Frances, and his brother, Irving ’27. Survivors include a son and daughter, a stepson, and two granddaughters.

Manfred J. Flock, January 28, 2009. (Main, Irving declaimer, Cum Laude, News associate editor, Press Club, orchestra, track, Les Copains, KARUX Board, salutatorian) A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University, Manfred served with the Army Medical Corps in World War II. He was a management-consultant proprietor and became president of Data Processing Corporation of Delaware Valley. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Maxine; two daughters and two grandchildren; and his brother, Howard ’40.

Harold L. Long, November 19, 1988. John M. Hunt, August 31, 2004.

’34 Charles F. Adams, February 18, 2009. (Marshall) Charlie always had a sense of adventure; during the summer of 1938, he worked on an oil pipeline in South America, where he adopted an orphaned leopard cub. He brought the cub back to Lafayette College, where she lived in the Phi Kappa Phi fraternity house and eventually became the Lafayette mascot. Charlie served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of the World War II battles at Guadalcanal and New Guinea. He and his wife, Jeanne, settled in Damariscotta, Maine, in 1949. Charlie owned Adams Realty and Adams Travel Agency, and served as a warden at his church and as a trustee of the community library and hospital. He was predeceased by his wife and is survived by a son, three daughters, and 11 grandchildren.

’35 George N. Deacon, April 28, 2009. (Marshall, swimming, baseball) A graduate of Colgate University, George was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, serving in the American and Pacific theatres. He was Mid-Atlantic manager for Columbia Records, a division of CBS, and retired in 1978 to Boynton Beach, Florida. Survivors include his wife, Kathleen; a son (David ’71) and a daughter; four grandchildren; and a nephew, Christopher Kendig ’90.

’36 James E. Ruffner, April 12, 2004. (Irving, baseball)

Edward J. Powers, May 27, 2009. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall debater, track, cross country, soccer, choir, YMCA Cabinet) Ed ran the second leg on Mercersburg’s 4x800-meter relay team that set an interscholastic world record at the 1936 Penn Relays. He attended the University of Southern California on a track scholarship and was selected to represent the United States at the 1940 Summer Olympics before they were canceled due to World War II. Ed was a pilot for Pan American Airways and flew PBY aircraft to the Philippines for the British government as part of the Lend-Lease program. In 1942, he was captured in Manila by the Japanese and held as a civilian prisoner of war until 1945. While in captivity, he met his first wife, the former Alice Hahn (a nurse also being held as a POW). After returning to the U.S., Ed worked as a construction supervisor before operating the Edward J. Powers Construction Company in northern New Jersey. He retired to West Chester, Pennsylvania, and competed in the National Senior Olympics into his 80s—winning silver medals in the 800-meter run twice in the past six years. Ed was a Class Agent for more than two decades; in 2008, the Edward J. Powers Most Improved Track Athlete Prize was established to honor one male and one female Mercersburg athlete each year. Among his survivors are his companion, Jeanne Overton; eight children, including sons Jim ’64 and Ed Jr. ’76; 19 grandchildren, including Carol ’99; and 11 great-grandchildren and one greatgreat-granddaughter. Donald R. Spencer, May 18, 2008. (Marshall, KARUX, News Board, Press Club, band, Gun Club) A graduate of the University of Michigan, Don served as a B-17 pilot in World War II, completing 35 combat missions out of Thurleigh, England. Following his military service, he earned an MBA from Michigan and worked in the banking and brokerage industries at a number of Detroit banks before retiring as a vice-president of Comerica Bank. Survivors include his wife of more than 57 years, Betty Flanders Spencer; two sons and two daughters; and six grandchildren.

M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

’38 James W. Hanson, November 29, 2008. (Irving, wrestling) A graduate of Lehigh University, Jim worked as an industrial engineer in Caracas, Venezuela, and later became president of several corporations, including Purchase Associates in New York City and Synlube International Corporation in Wilmington, Delaware. Oliver Oldman, December 5, 2008. (Main, Irving declaimer, The Fifteen, Senior Medal/Honor Award, salutatorian) Ollie graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Ollie specialized in international taxes, and frequently traveled to work with tax officials in places such as Chile, Japan, Egypt, and Vietnam. Just as often, the officials came to study with him, and his law-school work took on added dimensions. Though he had aspired to be a lawyer, Ollie took a circuitous route to Harvard Law School, where he officially retired as professor emeritus in 1993; he continued to teach until 2007. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; a son and two daughters; a brother; and two grandchildren.

’44 David N. Thompson, March 4, 2009. (South Cottage, Marshall debater, News editor-in-chief, The Fifteen, Cum Laude, choir, assistant crucifer, Class Historian, Glee Club, Laticlavii, Senate, Press Club, YMCA Cabinet, January commencement valedictorian) Dave was a retired dentist in Jacksonville, Florida.

’45 John-Paul Frank, November 28, 2008. (’Eighty-eight, Marshall, band, soccer, track, News Board, Glee Club, Radio Club) J.P. was 17 when he joined the Navy in 1945. He served at the end of World War II and later in the Korean War. His love of aviation led to his career with Boeing, which posted him to a few domestic assignments as well as to Turkey, Iraq, Portugal, Iran, Libya, Cameroon, and France. During his extensive Field Service career, he got along well with airline personnel in each of the countries and gained enough of the languages to communicate well. Survivors include his wife, Sue; six children; and nine grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren.

’46 John R. Manning, January 15, 2009. (Main Annex, Marshall, KARUX Board, Gun Club, Press Club) John, a graduate of Lafayette College, served in the Army; while stationed in Japan, he attended the Osaka Museum School, and later studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy in Rome. He taught at Cooper Union, New York University, and Hofstra University before becoming director of the School of Art at the Munson-WilliamsProctor Institute in Utica, New York. He had solo exhibitions across the U.S. and in Amsterdam and Brussels. From 1988 until his death,

he painted out of his studio near Rhinebeck, New York. Survivors include his wife, Barbara, a daughter, and three grandsons. George P. Osborn, May 19, 2008. (South Cottage, Marshall, Stony Batter, swimming, Marshal of the Field, Class Orator) A graduate of Indiana University and the University of Virginia School of Law, George was editor of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Raven Society, an academic honorary. He was highly involved in the legal service organization and civic affairs of Grant County, the Indiana State Bar Association, and a distinguished group of clubs. The list of institutions and community causes to which he gave his time, energy, and expertise is striking. Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Marilyn Taylor Osborn, five children, and 13 grandchildren.

’47 David M. Boulden, February 13, 2009. (’Eighty-eight, Irving, Laticlavii, football, basketball) Dave graduated from Temple University. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War, the former president of M.A. Boulden & Associates (a family business), and co-founded Boulden Energy Systems. Survivors include his wife, Patricia Green Boulden; a son and two daughters from a previous marriage; his former wife, Joan; four grandchildren; and his brother, Richard ’44.

’48 Cornelis DeKuijper, November 30, 2008. (Marshall, Chess Club, Rauchrunde, Stamp Club, soccer) Cees was one of several European students who came to Mercersburg following World War II. He spent just one year at the school before returning to his native Holland, but made several return visits as an alumnus for renewals of Alumni Weekend. A graduate of the Technical University of Delft, he retired as general manager of Akzo Nobel, a decorative coatings company in Anhem, Holland. Recently, his wife, Nel, wrote to say that Cees was most thankful for the year of education and of learning the way of America in the best manner at Mercersburg. Survivors include his wife and four children. George C. Reinoehl, January 4, 2009. (Irving, track, News business associate) George served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea, and spent more than 50 years in the automobile business. His father, George ’22, preceded him in death; survivors include his wife, Arline, a son and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren. Derryer U. Shaw, October 1, 2008. (South Cottage, Irving, El Circulo Español president, Gun Club, soccer, track, wrestling) Derry graduated from Yale University, and was managing director for Carr & Company in Santiago, Chile. Among his survivors are his wife, Sylvia, and two children.

’49 John C. Shumberger III, May 13, 2008.



M e r c e r s b u r g m a g a z i n e s u mm e r 2 0 0 9

’50 Leon P. Scicchitano, August 7, 2008. (South Cottage, Irving, Les Copains, Laticlavii, Chemistry Club, Caducean Club, track, Varsity Club, Cum Laude, Honor Oration) Leon graduated from Bucknell University and Jefferson Medical College, and was an Army veteran. He served as chief of professional services with the 7 MASH Unit and as attending physician and surgeon at Sandia Air Force Base, where he received the Vietnam Vascular Registry and Army Commendation medals. In addition to several hospitals where he was an associate or attending physician, he was general and thoracic surgeon at Good Samaritan and Pottsville General Hospital. Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Dorothy Cullen Scicchitano; his son, Riccardo ’85; stepdaughter, Catherine Marquette ’79; and a stepson and four grandchildren.

’51 George J. Epley, January 11, 2003. (track)

Charles B. Collins Jr., January 31, 2009. (Irving)

James L. Schrock, May 19, 2000.

James B. Cohen, August 11, 2008.

’55 ’56 ’69 ’74

Drew C. Watson, December 9, 2008. (Caducean Club, Stony Batter, Film Club, Chapel Choir, Glee Club) Survivors include his wife, Evangiline, a daughter, and three grandchildren.


Former faculty/staff/friends

Roger N. Sexauer, December 21, 2008. (Marshall) Roger founded and owned Roger Sexauer & Sons in Selbyville, Delaware. Survivors include his wife, Karlene, three sons, and five grandchildren.

James N. Hasson, indefatigable parent volunteer, educator, and father of Julie ’98 and Jill ’00, April 4, 2009. [page7] Charles E. Hizette, linguist, musician, teacher, and life partner of faculty emeritus Earle H. Grover, January 14, 2009.

M y Say

When I was a child my grandmother told me a tale of a magic thread, which I would like to share with you today. There was a boy named Peter who was very energetic, but also very impatient. He did not like going to school and therefore always dreamed about being an adult and having an exciting life. Excerpt from valedictory address by magdalena kala ’09 One day, when walking in the forest, he met an old lady who gave him a peculiar gift: a silver ball with a tiny golden thread sticking out of it. The lady explained to him that it was the thread of his life, and by pulling it out he would speed up the passage of time, thus being able to skip the dull or difficult moments—however, it could not be reversed. The gift seemed to be a solution to all Peter’s problems, and he started using it to skip boring classes, then to jump to graduation, and next to speed up the engagement with his childhood love. He continued this pattern, avoiding hard work, problems with kids, and sickness; he escaped the difficult moments by pulling the magic thread every time. He and his once young and beautiful wife grew old, and their children moved out to lead their own lives. One day, his love just peacefully passed away... the silver ball was of no use. Time could not be reversed. Peter hurried through life, which passed meaninglessly before his eyes without giving him a chance to truly experience it and enjoy it, with its good as well as sad times. How many times did we say, “I cannot wait until Friday,” or “I cannot wait until graduation”? Living from weekend to weekend, and from break to break, too frequently we seem to forget about daily, seemingly insignificant moments, the simple wonders that truly make up the Mercersburg experience. When I asked you, my fellow classmates, what you would deem the biggest problem you had at Mercersburg, I received almost as many different answers as there are chairs on this

be far beyond everything we had to deal with at Mercersburg.

stage. Each of us had his or her own problems and difficulties...

Do not try to escape the problems. In the long run it is not worth

problems we certainly did not want or even expect. But we were

it—at some point we all must face our fears and weaknesses. Be

forced to deal with them, and we succeeded. Otherwise, we

persistent in what you want, and do not accept “no” as the answer,

would not be here today.

if you know you are right. We all had our own share of problems,

As time passes, it is a quality of human nature to forget details

and because of our Mercersburg experience we are ready to

and push out bad memories, cherishing and cultivating only

embrace those that lie ahead. Don’t ever give up... and think twice

those that were great. But do not forget all the issues, the difficult

before you decide to pull that magic thread.

times you went through at Mercersburg—they truly define your experience and who you have become in your time here. Do not

Kala, of Przystajn, Poland, will attend Harvard University in

forget your failures. Accept them, and strive not to repeat them.

the fall; she was also accepted at Colby College, Georgetown

From the moment we step off this stage, we will encounter plenty of difficult situations and decisions, many of which will

University, Princeton University, Smith College, Stanford University, and Wellesley College.

Mercersburg Academy 300 East Seminary Street Mercersburg, PA 17236-1551

Nonprofit Org U.S. Postage PA I D Hagerstown, MD Permit #93

address service re q uested

on issi es: m Ad Hous 009 n 2, 2 1 r Ope be cto and 010 O


ry nua



You loved Mercersburg. Now let yours love it too.

717-328-6173 •

Mercersburg Magazine - Summer 2009  

Mercersburg Magazine's Summer 2009 issue focusing on sustainability