Mercersburg Magazine - Fall 2022

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FALL 2022 The page 28 Shifting College Landscape

Did You Know?

Tom Thorne P ’06, ’07 (pictured) and Wells Gray are among eight faculty and staff members who retired at the close of the 2021–2022 academic year. Together, the group served Mercersburg for more than 210 years. Read more starting on page 42.

28 Q&A: The Shifting College Landscape

How Mercersburg’s Office of College Counseling actively supports students as they pursue their ideal college fit

33 Your Career Coach

Kate Stroup Brooks ’72 has made a career out of giving educated career advice

34 From One Academy to the Next

A pipeline of future leaders stops at Mercersburg en route to Annapolis (and West Point)

CONTE 42 24 FALL 2022
Irving-Marshall Week

Editor: Lee Owen P ’24

Senior Contributor: Megan Mallory

Contributors: Erin Caretti P ’24, ’26, Sydney Caretti P ’24, ’26, Carina Cole ’24, Debra Collins P ’14, Peyton Gesell ’22, Maddy Gillner ’22, Tyler Miller, Cody Parks, Heather Prescott, Zally Price, Finn Sipes ’22

Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications: Amy Marathe P ’26

Design: Mid-Atlantic Media

Cover Art: Anna Godeassi

Head of School: Quentin McDowell P ’25

Mercersburg Academy magazine is published twice a year by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Magazine correspondence:

Class Notes correspondence:

Alumni correspondence/change of address: 800-588-2550

Main school phone: 717-328-2151

Read us online:

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© Copyright 2022 Mercersburg Academy. All rights reserved. No content from this publication may be reproduced or reprinted in any form without the express written consent of Mercersburg Academy.

Mercersburg Academy abides by both the spirit and the letter of the law in all its employment and admission policies. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or national or ethnic origin.

Look for this image throughout the magazine to indicate additional photos, videos, and other content online at

2 From the Head of School 3 Calendar 4 Social Media 5 Living the Values 10 A Mercersburg Moment 12 A Snapshot: Incoming Students 13 Campus Life 24 Irving-Marshall Week 35 Alumni Life 45 Class Notes 65 From the Archives NTS 28

“With a focus on reducing stress and meeting the needs of individual families, the Office of College Counseling works hard to make sure that achieving an optimal outcome does not sacrifice any part of the Mercersburg experience.”

Prepping for Tomorrow (and Today)

Almost as soon as a student arrives at a secondary school, the conversation about what comes next arises. For most, the idea of college is a fun and distant concept that is exciting to consider, but too far away to be terribly concerned with. Then, almost in an instant—once the high school journey begins—that sentiment suddenly seems to change. Students hear phrases like “Everything matters now” and “Remember, these grades will count.” They witness seniors in the throes of completing college applications and, at times, looking altogether stressed out. Inevitably, an inner voice starts to get louder, convincing students that perhaps it’s time for them to worry as well. Just look around, it says—the pressure is on.

For most students, and certainly for those at Mercersburg, finding a great college that is also a great fit is the ultimate goal. We are, after all, a college preparatory school, even if we also endeavor to best prepare our students for the broader world they will inhabit and lead. So how can we as an institution achieve two objectives: to guide and support our students in their search for the college of their choice AND to do it in a way that still allows them to be fully present here, taking calculated risks and continuing their personal growth at Mercersburg?

Enter Mercersburg’s Office of College Counseling. Through incredibly thoughtful design, remarkable professionals, and significant institutional investment, Mercersburg has developed a college counseling program that is unrivaled. A counselor-to-senior ratio of approximately 25 to 1 (roughly half the independent-school average) ensures every student gets the time, attention, and support they need to navigate the complex and ever-changing college admission landscape. With a focus on reducing stress and meeting the needs of individual families (including the consideration of important factors such as location, programs, cost, and more), the Office of College Counseling works hard to make sure that achieving an optimal outcome does not sacrifice any part of the Mercersburg experience.

In this way, we like to think our students can indeed have their cake and eat it too.


Family and Alumni Weekend



Fall term classes begin September 5

Most varsity teams vs. Hun September 24

Fall Alumni Council/White Key Executive Council meetings September 30

Family and Alumni Weekend September 30–October 2


Fall Admission Open House October 10

Most varsity teams vs. Blair October 15

Fall Board of Regents meetings October 20–22

Stony Batter Players Present Angel Street October 21–22

Mid-Atlantic Prep League Girls’ Tennis Championships October 29


Fall Dance Concert November 5

Fall Pops Concert November 12


Christmas Candlelight Service December 11


Christmas Candlelight Service


Winter Board of Regents Meetings Washington, D.C. January 19–21

Girls’ Tennis Championships


Look for the next issue of Mercersburg Academy magazine to arrive in your mailbox!

All events and schedules are subject to change. Visit for the most up-to-date information.

FALL 2022 3
SPRING 2022 FoodHealth and page 22
MAPL OCTOBER 29 Calendar




What’s better than large checks for a great cause? Large dollar amounts on large checks for a great cause. Sonia Piontkovska ’24 and Bella Levina ’25, two of our Ukrainian students, raised more than $3,700 for Child’s Heart: Ukraine to help with pediatric medical care. Great work, ladies! #MburgCares


We’d be doing everyone a disservice if we didn’t share some photos from our @mburgglobal trips!

#MercersburgGlobal #Travel #PuertoRico #Canada #Italy #Germany


The “She Shed,” built by Nicole Treml ’22 and Maddie Koutavas ’22 [for Habitat for Humanity], has been relocated to its permanent residence.

Learn more about the shed:


Mercersburg serendipity: Regent Emeritus

James Snyder ’69, P ’05 was boarding a flight in Rome after seeing Ai Weiwei’s premiere of “Turandot” and ran into Alessandro Misciattelli Bernardini ’23, who was heading back to Mercersburg after spring break. What’s your most random Mercersburg encounter?

#MburgFamily #MburgAlumni

Faculty emeriti and longtime baseball coaches Karl Reisner P ’94, ’97 and Brent Gift were introduced during the inaugural ReisnerGift Invitational Baseball Tournament. Besides Mercersburg, the four-team, round-robin twoday affair includes Scotland Campus, Western Reserve Academy, and Highland School. On the field coaching Scotland was former New York Met Josh Edgin ’06.


Scale the rocks with Mercersburg Outdoor Education! Novice climber Elliott Stein ’23 and experienced climber Jack Reed ’22 talk about their personal MOE Climbing adventures.

Be sure to check out all of Mercersburg’s Instagram accounts!

@mburgburgin @mburgathletics @mburgsac


@mburggreenteam @mburgglobal @mburgsummer

Oh April.

From right: Tyerra Rooffener ’23 (Matilda) and Riley Schermerhorn ’22 (Mrs. Wormwood) in Stony Batter Players’ production of Matilda: The Musical.
VALUES Living the



In this section, we highlight individuals in our community—students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends—who are living Mercersburg’s core values: lofty ideals, great faith, noble integrity, and ceaseless devotion to a mighty task. Read more about the individuals highlighted here on Mercersburg’s website. Want to nominate someone for possible inclusion in a future issue?

Contact us at


for more about these individuals


As part of the Food for Thought Springboard class, Elijah Brown ’22 and Darren Blocker ’22 created a final project where they packaged leftover food from the Mercersburg dining hall and took it to My Neighbor’s Bounty, a food pantry located just off campus, for distribution to those in need. The duo researched food waste and the laws and regulations related to food safety, and connected with adults in the community who could help make the project a reality: Emily Parsons P ’21, ’22, ’26, director of community engagement; Will Willis P ’22, ’24, director of environmental initiatives; and Bill Korhammer, director of dining services.

“The most exciting or rewarding thing was learning after the first time we packaged the food that it was gone immediately and everybody loved it,” says Blocker (pictured left).

Even the packaging of food became a community event as more students came to help on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the dining hall. “It is very effective and the people in the community appreciate it,” says Brown (pictured right). “A lot of food is being saved. Just in the first part of the spring term, we saved about 400 pounds of food. Imagine next year and in future years to come when everything is more organized, and we have the whole year: it could be four or five times that amount at the end of the year.”

The project will keep going into the 2022-2023 school year. Zane Arky ’23, Luke Golumbic ’23, Zeke Wadlington ’23, and Chuks Ugori ’23 are assuming leadership of the project, Korhammer and the Meriwether Godsey dining-hall staff are on board to continue, and Willis has offered the support and budget of the Green Team, which is the Academy’s student environmental-awareness group.


#NobleIntegrity WILL DUPUIS

If Will Dupuis is doing his job, no one will notice—and that’s the way it should be, he says. Dupuis is Mercersburg’s information systems administrator, ensuring that the school’s network runs properly. Although his day job blends into the background, his personality and multiple interests definitely set him apart. A true renaissance man, he’s a photographer, beekeeper, 3D printing enthusiast, former mountain bike instructor, and an extra set of hands when needed.

“He is always willing to help, and he is always kind and willing to engage with the community,” says De-Enda Rotz P ’25, Mercersburg’s director of executive services. “Any time I see Will, I know that I am

going to feel good after I am finished with that conversation.”

When the Mercersburg children’s Christmas party needed a photographer, Dupuis volunteered. When the cast and crew of Matilda needed help painting the set last spring, Dupuis jumped in to lend a hand. When students were split between campus and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dupuis printed 54 camera mounts on his 3D printer to ensure every classroom at Mercersburg could connect students in person and around the world.

“A lot of times if I hear something is going on and I can help out with it, I usually try to help out,” he says. “That’s just what you do.”




It’s often said that you can’t go home again—but Josh Pethel ’22 enjoyed the chance to do just that this academic year.

Pethel was born in 2002 in nearby Chambersburg, when his parents (Beth and Brad) were Mercersburg faculty members; Beth taught science and Brad worked in the Admission Office. The Pethels called Mercersburg home for seven years before spending three years at a school in Dallas and eventually moving to Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, where they’ve lived since 2010.

Josh Pethel picked up a golf club for the first time around age 3 or 4, but didn’t start playing competitive golf until high school. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during his 11th-grade year at Western Reserve, Pethel rededicated himself to the sport by playing every day, “and that’s when I realized I really might be able to do something with golf,” he says. He began attracting significant attention from college programs, and when WRA canceled its fall 2020 athletic season, he received a waiver to play with the local public-school team.

With so much unsettled, Pethel began to think seriously about a postgraduate year at Mercersburg, which posted one of its best golf seasons in school history in 2021–2022, going undefeated in

head-to-head matches with Pethel as a key member of the team. In an April tournament, Pethel carded a 69, which is believed to be the lowest 18-hole score for a Mercersburg golfer in the past 25 years. He will tee off beginning this fall for Denison University.

“Being back at Mercersburg has been great,” Pethel says. “I found a good group of friends here, it was an easy transition, and hopefully it will make for a smoother transition to college.”



Planning a stellar prom, making the fifth floor of Main Hall spooky, and generally ensuring that time outside the classroom is just as full as time spent inside the classroom—these are just some of the responsibilities of

Trini Hoffman P ’00, ’06. As Mercersburg’s director of student activities, Hoffman plans roughly 120 weekend activities every year, and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number actually increased to about 170 events to ensure students had plenty to do when they could not travel off campus.

“Working with Trini has taught me a lot about the time, effort, and care that goes into the events almost every weekend,” says Devin Rotz ’25, who was a student activities intern for Hoffman this past year. “Learning from her is the thing that I enjoyed most, because she has such a creative mind. She makes everything look easy!”

Hoffman, a Mercersburg native, has been a staple at the Academy since 1994. In addition to weekend activities, she coordinates student-run clubs on campus and works with the Entrepreneurship Springboard class to plan events. Hoffman also organizes most of the Irving-Marshall Week activities and teaches Project Wayfinder, a program primarily for 10th- and 11th-grade students.

“Mercersburg has treated me very well,” she says. “I like working with the kids and seeing them laugh in a different light. I like when the alums come back, and [I love] keeping in touch with kids. When the kids come in, they have these ideas but no idea how to implement stuff. I love working with them to get to something they will remember for a lifetime.”




Jennifer Nelson ’13 has a broad smile, a friendly demeanor, and boundless energy—all characteristics that were on full display as she encouraged, challenged, and praised Mercersburg dancers during a three-day visit to campus back in the spring. Nelson returned to Mercersburg to choreograph a hip-hop piece that included 27 dancers and was performed at the Spring Dance Concert in May.

Nelson is a professional dancer with a background in classical ballet, Graham technique, modern, and jazz. She is also a highly successful socialmedia influencer with more than a million combined followers on TikTok and Instagram (@jennifermika_). Nelson has helped promote a number of A-list brands (“dream brands,” as she calls them), including Nike, lululemon, Starbucks, and Calvin Klein.

“Social media is what’s fun for me,” says Nelson, whose younger brother, Brian ’16, also graduated from Mercersburg. “I really like creating with other people. I edit and create the ads myself, if they are on my page. So, that’s another aspect of curating the deliverables—curating the ads for what the brands expect.”

A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Nelson recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles, where she hopes to get back into acting in addition to her other pursuits. “My manager and my friends have said I have what is commonly called the ‘New York hustle,’” she says. “I like to fit a million things into a day.”



For the last seven years, Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88 and her husband, Stuart, have had a child enrolled at Mercersburg; Thomas ’18 arrived on campus in 2015 and younger sister Cate ’22 followed him in 2018. They, in turn, were treading in the true-blue footsteps of their mother and grandfather, John Butterfield ’56, as well as a great-uncle, David ’60; their great-great-grandfather, John Drumm, was the school’s treasurer for more than 40 years and was an honorary member of the Class of 1938.

With Cate’s graduation and departure for Syracuse University in the fall, the Vickerys stepped down as co-chairs of the White Key Executive Council (White Key is Mercersburg’s parent volunteer organization). Kristin (who had served as a White Key member since 2015 and was previously a member of the Alumni Council, as well as an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents) and Stuart received the James Hasson Distinguished Service Award during White Key meetings in April.

“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be a part of White Key,” Vickery wrote to her fellow parents in a year-end letter. “I have loved welcoming new families to our community and helping parents navigate the transition to boarding school. The work of White Key volunteers is so important, and I am grateful that so many parents help in so many big and small ways.”

The Vickerys will be succeeded as White Key Executive Council co-chairs by Kristin’s Mercersburg classmate Bill Su ’88 and his wife, Kathleen. The Sus are the parents of Isabel ’23 and Oscar ’25.

FALL 2022 9


Students donned their finest apparel and posed for photos outside the Irvine Memorial Chapel to mark Prom 2022, which (in more of a return to normalcy) was held both inside and outside on campus in May. A record 256 students attended the event this year.


“TEENAGE 10+8,” a painting by Shin Miyamichi ’22, received a Gold Medal and an American Visions Medal in the 2022 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Miyamichi, Isonah Dlodlo ’23, and Avo Reid ’22 all earned honors in the national contest this year.


It’s Official: Quentin McDowell Named Eighth Head of School

This spring, Mercersburg Academy’s Board of Regents unanimously voted to appoint Quentin McDowell P ’25 as Mercersburg’s eighth permanent head of school.

McDowell had served as acting head of school since June 2021. His appointment comes at the end of a comprehensive process during which the Board met with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and trusted advisers. As part of this process, the Board engaged a national consulting firm that specializes in head of school searches to conduct in-depth interviews and conversations with nearly 150 members of the Mercersburg community. After an extensive evaluation of the national independentschool landscape, and in consultation with the search firm’s findings, it became abundantly clear that McDowell is the right fit to lead the school, both now and in the future.

“We are tremendously pleased with the Board’s selection of Quentin to be the next head of school,” said Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88, P ’18, ’22, a member of the search committee and White Key co-chair. “As a parent and an alum, I am confident that Quentin, with his incredibly warm persona, dynamic leadership style, and devotion to our school community and its traditions, is the right person to lead Mercersburg and to put into motion the school’s robust new strategic design.”

McDowell has been a valued member of the Mercersburg family since 2007. Prior to accepting the acting head of school position, he served Mercersburg in various capacities, including associate head of school for external relations (2019-2021), assistant head of school for enrollment (2016-2019), senior associate director of admission and financial aid (2012-2016), director of summer and extended programs (2008-2012), and history teacher (2007). McDowell was also the head boys’ varsity soccer coach for eight years, leading the Blue Storm to its first-ever Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship and the PAISAA state championship game in 2014.

As Board President Stacie Rice Lissette ’85, P ’14, ’14, ’17, ’23 wrote in her letter to the school community announcing McDowell’s appointment, “With Quentin at the helm, Mercersburg is well-positioned to move forward as a leader in the world of education with its bold new strategic design and campus master plan.”


Craig Named to Key Campus Leadership Position

Jennifer Craig has been appointed an interim associate head of school at Mercersburg. She brings three decades of experience as an independent-school teacher and administrator, including 14 years on the faculty at Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and service to schools on four different continents; most recently, she was the deputy head of school for community life at Broadstone Academy, an international school in Shenzhen, China.

“We feel very fortunate to have Jen joining us in this critical role,” says Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25. “Jen’s strong independent-school experience and background, combined with her kind and thoughtful approach, will be a welcomed addition to our community.”

Craig will oversee the Office of Student Life and the Rutherford Health and Wellness Center, serve as a key liaison

between the faculty and senior leadership, and assume management of some of the duties previously handled by departing faculty members Christopher Howes and Rick Hendrickson P ’03, ’06, ’19.

Howes was Mercersburg’s assistant head of school for student life and culture and is now at Tabor Academy in his native Massachusetts, while Hendrickson retired from education after 37 years—29 of which were at Mercersburg in a number of roles (most recently as dean of experiential programs)—to take a position with DLR Group, which merged with Bowie Gridley Architects (an architectural firm that has partnered with Mercersburg on a number of campus projects).

“When you’re working with students in an independent-school environment, you’re not just working with a person, but a family,” says Craig, who holds a bachelor’s degree

from Amherst College and a master’s degree from Yale University; she is also completing a master’s in educational leadership from University College London. “That sense of connection across students’ lives not just in academics but in their entire lives is really special.”

Craig’s husband, Ken, is also joining the faculty as a member of the English department.

28 Students Elected to Cum Laude Society

Mercersburg honored 28 members of its Class of 2022 for excellence in academic work at its annual Cum Laude Convocation in April. James Snyder ’69, P ’05, international president and director emeritus of the Israel Museum, executive chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation, and an emeritus Board of Regents member, was the invited speaker.

Front row (L-R): Eric Liu, Amanda Peh, Amy Wu, Nicole Treml, Madeline Stang, Julia Mills, Emma Shuford, Khoa Nguyen, Kyle Kim. Second row: Sarah Grady, Joyce Cui, Linh Nguyen, Joie Xiao, Maddy Gillner, Carina Cole, John Xu, Tommy Quick, Avo Reid, invited speaker James Snyder. Third row: Charlie Dicke, Folake Okunsanya, Roy Kang, Michelle Feng, Aidan Kirkman, Terrance Ji, Ben Rihn, Haruto Kitagawa, Matthew Tavarez. (Not pictured: Alison Huang, who was studying in France with School Year Abroad.)
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Titus Award, Portrait Unveiled

Katherine (Katie) Titus P ’20, ’23, Mercersburg’s seventh head of school, returned to campus in May for the inaugural presentation of the Katherine M. Titus Leadership Award, which recognizes and celebrates the lasting legacy of Titus’ leadership as Mercersburg’s first female head of school. The award provides a nominal cash gift to a student entering the 12th grade who embodies the everyday leadership traits that Titus exemplified: “lofty ideals (contributing fully to the community through imagination, gratitude, and love), great faith (in self, others, and the future), noble integrity (demonstrated strength of character when no one and everyone is looking), and a ceaseless devotion to a mighty task.”

Twin sisters Zareena Sorho ’23 and Zarreen Sorho ’23 of New York City were announced as the first recipients of the award during the school’s Moving Up Ceremony in the Irvine Memorial Chapel.

The same day, Titus’ official school portrait by Chinese artist Jie Ruan was unveiled; it now hangs in Traylor Hall alongside portraits of Titus’ six predecessors.

L-R: Former Head of School Katie Titus P ’20, ’23, Zareena Sorho ’23, Zarreen Sorho ’23, Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25 A portrait of Katie Titus by Chinese artist Jie Ruan is now on display in Traylor Hall

Richardson Chosen to Lead Advancement Efforts

a standout candidate from the first time the search committee spoke with him, offering a thoughtful, driven, and humble approach to this important work.”

Richardson joined Pembroke Hill School in 2020 as director of development and provided leadership and strategic oversight for that school’s development office. In his time there, annual giving increased to $1.4 million; Richardson also led the final and public phase of Pembroke’s current capital fundraising initiative, Building Together, which has raised more than $55 million.

John Richardson began in August as Mercersburg’s new chief advancement officer. Richardson comes to Mercersburg from Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri, and will oversee Mercersburg’s leadership giving, annual giving, alumni and parent relations, advancement services, and donor relations programs.

“We are excited to welcome John as our next chief advancement officer,” says Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25. “John was

“It is an honor to be named the next chief advancement officer at Mercersburg,” Richardson says. “My family and I are excited to join the community. With such an incredible history of philanthropic and volunteer support from alumni, families, and friends of the school, I can already feel how special this place is. I look forward to building off that success and can’t wait to meet everyone!”

Prior to Pembroke Hill School, Richardson spent six years at Gilman School in Baltimore as the associate director of

development and campaign manager. While serving at Gilman, he engaged in overseeing the operations and implementation of the First Things First campaign, raising more than $62 million. Richardson’s advancement career began in 2008 at the University of Richmond (his alma mater), where he served as the associate director of annual giving for athletics before moving in 2012 to the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, where he served as the associate director of development.

“John is easy to get to know, and those of us who have already interacted with him have enjoyed the experience,” says Board of Regents member Tom Hadzor ’72, who chairs the Board’s Reach and Reputation Committee. “I know our community will enjoy making his acquaintance, and John is eager to learn about their Mercersburg experiences.”

Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Richmond, where he played football and baseball. He and his wife, Erin, have three children.

Mercersburg Robotics:


A four-person robotics team comprised of Mercersburg students Zeke Wadlington ’23, Charlton Schaner ’22, Luke Golumbic ’23, and Pablo Garza Gutierrez ’22 represented the United States and finished ninth out of 22 teams from around the world in the Rescue Line division at RoboCupJunior International 2022, which was held in July in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Mercersburg quartet also teamed with students from India for a third-place finish in the SuperTeam competition, where teams that do not have a common official language are paired.

In Rescue Line, teams construct a robot that navigates the mission environment to “rescue” a virtual “victim,” while the SuperTeam competition brings together two teams to complete a challenge using both of their robots.

To qualify for the international event, Mercersburg robotics teams swept the top two places in Rescue Line at RoboCupJunior USA in May in Princeton, New Jersey. This year marked the 11th appearance for a Mercersburg team at RoboCupJunior International since 2007, and the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Chatterton, Swope Officially Assume Expanded Admission Roles

Liam Chatterton and Zach Swope, two members of Mercersburg’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid who were appointed to interim roles last summer following Quentin McDowell’s appointment as acting head of school, have had their interim titles removed.

Chatterton, who is entering his sixth year at the school, is serving as dean of enrollment management, while Swope, who has worked at Mercersburg since 2015, is now the school’s director of admission. (Each held their respective titles on an interim basis from June 2021 until this spring.)

Chatterton’s initial Mercersburg appointment in 2017 was as director of financial aid and associate director of admission; he added the title of director of institutional data and strategy in 2020. His wife, Kathleen, works

as a business analyst in the school’s Business Office. Chatterton graduated from St. George’s School in Rhode Island and holds a bachelor’s degree from Babson College and a master of business administration and a master of strategic management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Swope came to Mercersburg from The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, where he was associate director of admissions and a dorm head. At Mercersburg, he was previously senior associate director of admission. Swope and his wife, Shelley, live in South Cottage, where Shelley is the dorm dean. Swope graduated from Hendrix College and holds a master’s in independent-school leadership from Vanderbilt University.

Sale of Star-Studded Piano to Fund Scholarship

In the next few months, Mercersburg Academy will engage a service in the auction of a 1929 Baldwin grand piano that was once owned by music legends John Lennon and Yoko Ono and was previously in the care of iconic artist Andy Warhol. Proceeds will benefit the new Emral Shaool Family Endowed Scholarship at Mercersburg.

The Shaool family (including former Board of Regents member and former Alumni Council President Sassan Emral Shaool ’91, along with his sister, Sasha Emral Shaool Nourafchan ’93, and parents, Janet and Mansoor Emral Shaool) gave the piano to the school in 2018 with the intent of selling it to underpin a scholarship, which will support students from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and Washington County, Maryland. The piano has been kept in a private rehearsal studio since it arrived on campus.

For updated information on the auction, keep an eye on the monthly Alumni News e-newsletter this fall and winter.

Liam Chatterton and Zach Swope

Welcome CommencementBack:2020

Approximately 55 members of the Class of 2020 and their families returned to campus for an in-person celebration of the class, two years after their Commencement was held virtually at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Valedictorian Sean Fiscus ’20 Senior Class President Jesse Zhang ’20 Eliza DuBose ’20 and Jack Mitchell ’20 with a class time capsule
20 MERCERSBURG ACADEMY MAGAZINE May 28, 2022 Commencement 2022 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 1 1 2 3 8 5 5 6 64 2 93 7 8 8 84 CAMPUS LIFE


› 134 students from 20 U.S. states and 19 nations

› Valedictorian: Maddy Gillner ’22, Rector, Pennsylvania (Penn State University/Schreyer Honors College)

› Salutatorian: Linh Nguyen ’22, Hanoi, Vietnam (Carnegie Mellon University)

› Schaff Orators: Carina Cole ’22, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania (Vassar College), and Avo Reid ’22, McLean, Virginia (Davidson College)

› Class Marshals: Harriet Brown ’22, St. Francisville, Louisiana (Tulane University), and Christian Jetter ’22, Whitehall, Pennsylvania (U.S. Air Force Academy)

› Senior Class President: Monique Garcia ’22, Passaic, New Jersey (Swarthmore College)

› Commencement speaker: Tom Thorne P ’06, ’07 (faculty member 1993–2022; retiring after 29 years)

› Baccalaureate speaker: Quentin McDowell P ’25 (head of school)

Note: Parker Ward ’82 was originally chosen as Commencement speaker, but was unable to attend


1. Nick Barnes, son of Susannah McNear ’91

2. Ava Brody, granddaughter of Alan Brody ’64

3. Wynne Elser, granddaughter of Tim Grumbacher ’57 and great-granddaughter of the late Max Grumbacher ’31

4. Lydia Giannaris, daughter of Paul Giannaris ’88

5. Izzy Jones, daughter of Nancy Gallagher Jones ’86

6. Michael Maurer, son of Julia Stojak Maurer ’90

7. Destiny Rodney, granddaughter of the late Jim Rodney ’41

8. Charlton Schaner, son of Julie Gilmer Schaner ’87 and P.J. Schaner ’86 and grandson of David Gilmer ’62

9. Caroline Simpson, daughter of Sandra Davenport Simpson ’86

10. Cate Vickery, daughter of Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88 and granddaughter of Col. John Butterfield ’56

11. Charlotte Stauffer, daughter of Tom Stauffer ’88

Not pictured: Evan Howley, grandson of the late Emory Parsons ’59

10 10 11 11 10 9

Commencement 2022

Valedictorian Maddy Gillner ’22
“To look back and know who you were and how you’ve grown is essential to knowing yourself. I know that I’m friendlier now, that I value community far more. And most importantly, I’m more grateful.”
—Maddy Gillner ’22, valedictorian

“Mercersburg is a place that makes an exceptionally big deal about connecting you to each other and to adults—people who can befriend, support, and mentor you—so that you can return the favor. It’s a deceptively simple but powerful idea. The people around you—every one of them—have something to teach, if you’re wise enough to ask and observe.”

To read more and view a replay of Commencement and Baccalaureate, visit

“We must take the most out of what we have and embrace the journey to learn and grow. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. And at the end of the day, don’t forget to live, laugh, and love.”
—Linh Nguyen ’22, salutatorian
—Tom Thorne P ’06, ’07, invited speaker Salutatorian Linh Nguyen ’22 Schaff Orator Carina Cole ’22 Schaff Orator Avo Reid ’22 Tom Thorne P ’06, ’07

Irving-Marshall Week 2022


• First place/Scoblionko Declamation Cup winner: Finn Sipes ’22 (Irving)

• Second place: Ryan Casey ’23 (Marshall)

• Third place: Avo Reid ’22 (Irving)

• Strongest Declamation team: Irving (Sipes, Reid, Emma Shuford ’22, Matthew Tavarez ’22, Josh Terris ’22)


• Bridget Ahlgren ’22 (Irving) • Evan Howley ’22 (Marshall)


The 2022 winter and spring athletic seasons at Mercersburg included a number of memorable moments, including a prestigious Easterns title for the boys’ swimmers and divers, which is Mercersburg’s third-such championship (for boys or girls) since 2010. The girls’ squash team won its division at the U.S. Squash High School Nationals. Cate Vickery ’22 is the newest member of the school’s elite list of 12-sport varsity athletes. And as always, the competition—inside or outside—was fierce.



Bridget Ahlgren (lacrosse, Campbell) Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Foday Bangura (soccer, Villanova) Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Duncan Besch (basketball, Dickinson) Frederick, Maryland

Pete Curtis (diving, Lafayette) Houston, Texas

Leah Gentry-Tuney (swimming, Navy) Orlando, Florida

Maddie Koutavas (swimming, Navy) Saint Johns, Florida

Aiden Lorson (baseball, Shenandoah) Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Jade Matthias (swimming, Hamilton) Reading, Pennsylvania

Collin Metcalf (basketball, Northeastern) Fort Irwin, California

Ryan Nordheim (swimming, SMU) Boca Raton, Florida

Josh Pethel (golf, Denison) Hudson, Ohio

CJ Sheldon (swimming, Army) Ashaway, Rhode Island

Tommy Tereschuk (baseball, Navy) Honolulu, Hawaii

Isabella Van Ess (swimming, Lafayette) Ashburn, Virginia

Chris Watson (basketball, Juniata) Yokosuka, Japan


DURING ALL FOUR YEARS OF THEIR MERCERSBURG EXPERIENCE, students enjoy full access to a valuable team of experts in the Office of College Counseling, which has a low student-to-counselor ratio (known in college counseling parlance as a “caseload”) and provides students with invaluable guidance during the process. Director of College Counseling Michael Conklin and Senior Associate Director of College Counseling Vicki Thompson represented the office in the following conversation with Mercersburg Academy magazine; their remarks have been lightly edited for space and clarity.

The CollegeShiftingLandscape

Mercersburg Academy magazine: When a student is applying to college today, what are the main characteristics or qualities that prospective schools want to see?

MICHAEL CONKLIN: The most important piece of information colleges look at is student performance in the classroom over the course of their entire secondary-school experience, which they evaluate using the student’s transcript. Additionally, colleges look for qualities and characteristics that are predictive of success in college—like intellectual curiosity and engagement. At a place like Mercersburg, where we have the resources to be able to provide the support that we do, we’re able

to create that context and tell that part of their story—and of course help students do so themselves—in a way that’s far more intentional and detailed. And students in other environments, unfortunately, don’t necessarily have access to that kind of support.

It used to be that testing—especially at the most selective schools—assumed a greater degree of importance. That still varies by institution, but has changed somewhat significantly. We believe that many schools will sustain their test-optional policies, but we know that some have already reverted to their former policies, and we’re hearing that others are likely to do so at some point. For example, a coach at a prestigious liberal-arts school just

notified one of our coaches that this particular school is going back [to its original policy regarding standardized testing]—if not for next year, for the following year.

VICKI THOMPSON: The advantage of working with a college counselor from the spring of the 10th-grade year to discuss goals and course selection through the senior year is really important—especially the student’s specific goals, because the rigor of their courses is not exactly a data point, but it’s equally important in the eyes of someone reading a high-school transcript as an admission officer seeks to understand how students have challenged themselves. The opportunity to establish a

Michael Conklin Vicki Thompson
FALL 2022 29

relationship between college counselor and student this early will be helpful later when the student enters the college search.

MC: One way in which the landscape has changed is that schools are putting more emphasis on equity and inclusion through the process. Schools are, understandably, very interested in supporting and improving access for first-generation/low-income students; “first-generation” means that a student will be the first in their family to attend college.

VT: And those students often have, frankly, more interesting personal stories than the average applicant, and colleges are seeking that diversity of experience in their communities.

I don’t know of a college or university in the country who’s not prioritizing diverse enrollment and making that a goal every year.

are going to have options at the end of a search and application process. That’s key. Often, students fall in love with the places that they didn’t expect to. I think our kids are really good at listening to and accepting suggestions. They’re eager to learn.

MC: For some parents, we highlight the difference between the admission process and the four-year experience their child will have while in college. We help them understand that their child, in many cases, is far better prepared to thrive in college than they would be if they hadn’t attended a place like Mercersburg—which very deliberately prepares them for success in college. We reference a book [by Frank Bruni], Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, all the time. I agree wholeheartedly with Bruni’s argument that where you go is far less important than what you do when you get there. And our students are well prepared to do a lot of great things when they get wherever they’re going.

French food. So, the highest-ranked place may not be the best choice for you. And often, when people hear this example, they understand that just because a school is highly ranked doesn’t necessarily mean the school is a good fit.

I think our students are happy with the relationships they cultivate here. And because of those relationships, they’re developing really good soft skills. So when they’re asked what they like about their Mercersburg experience and what they want to be sure is present in their college experience, when they start to put those pieces together, sometimes those highlyranked schools aren’t quite as attractive.

MAM: As competitive as the college admission process has become, there are bound to be disappointments for individual students in terms of where they are accepted or not. How do you handle reactions to those decisions?

VT: We make sure that a student’s college list has some depth and breadth, and that students

Vicki talked about the importance of the list. It’s important to include schools that you can get into, but it’s also important to understand what it means to be a good college, what it means to be a good college for you, and to not think so rigidly about how to define these things using external ranking systems like the U.S. News & World Report rankings, which are focused on a very particular subset of schools and use a methodology that isn’t necessarily aligned with our students’ or their families’ priorities.

VT: I heard a dean of admission compare the U.S. News rankings to a Michelin restaurant guide. Let’s say you think you want to go to the “best” restaurant on the list—but it may be a French restaurant, and you don’t like

MC: There’s compelling research about the undergraduate experiences students have that are most predictive of success beyond college, and the U.S. News methodology does not account for any of those particular experiences. For example, which schools are providing deliberate mentorship and opportunities to take part in projects over the course of multiple semesters? There are other rankings and lists—which school produces the most Fortune 500 CEOs? Which schools produce the most Fulbright or Rhodes scholars? The range of schools on those lists is exceptionally wide.

MAM: What are some of your pain points in the whole process? What are some things you wish could shift or change in the world of college counseling?

VT: While our kids do take suggestions well, they still prioritize the places they know—the more well-known schools. But there are so many wonderful schools out there and places where our kids could shine. I wish they’d spend more time investigating those schools more deeply. It would be good for them.

Mercersburg’s college counselors photographed in fall 2021 (First row L-R: Cindy Fowler, Vicki Thompson, Rachel Mallory; Second row: Justin Ledesma, Mike Conklin, Glenn Neufeld)
“We have the time to meet each student where they are, to build a plan, and to help them research and work with them as their application is developed.”
—Vicki Thompson

I had a student email me earlier this week after finishing some college tours. The student said, ‘Wow—I thought I wanted a bigger school, but now, after visiting a few colleges, I think I need to refocus and look at some small to medium-sized schools.’ Getting out there and really experiencing a campus is one of the most important elements of finding what fits.

MC: The focus on college outcomes in schools like ours can prevent students from fully living their lives as adolescents. Many think they have to engage in an experience intended to build a resumé, and the choices they make are deeply informed by what they believe will be in their best interest throughout the college process. So, their experiences might not be as authentic or as inspired as they could be, because they’re trying to anticipate what will be expected of them through the process of applying to college. It’s unfortunate.

VT: And the pandemic has had an impact on some students’ abilities to focus and to push themselves. The uncertainty has been really hard for them.

MAM: What does Mercersburg and your office do to equip students for what is becoming an ever-more competitive environment, every year? Are there specific emphases and strategies that differentiate our approach from some of our peer schools or competitors?

VT: We have a 25-to-1 caseload here [one counselor has a group of 25 students they work with and get to know extremely well]. This is so important, because we have the time to meet each student where they are, to build a plan, and to help them research and work with them as their application is developed. For example, I was reading essays in mid-June; a student sent me a paragraph and asked for my thoughts on it. That kind of attention to detail is a huge advantage for our kids.

MC: You don’t have to go back even a decade to a time when our caseloads were almost double what they are now.

VT: I worked with 35 students at my former school. Before that, in an independent day school, I had 65 to 70 students. A low student-to-counselor ratio makes a huge difference for students and families—and in a typical large public high school, the difference is even more pronounced.

We also have a range of experience and expertise in this office which is really unique. We have counselors who understand the international climate more than others, and we have [fellow counselor and head swim coach] Glenn Neufeld, who has such a great lens on athletics. There’s no question that I lean on these people every day.

MC: The experience we have in this office is remarkable for an office of our size. There are very few counselors who have come through in the time that I’ve been here that don’t have meaningful experience prior to their work here. We have the support of our school and our Board of Regents, and because of that support, we can host more than 40 unique events for students and parents every year, and we can bring college admissions professionals to campus—not just to educate our families and our students, but also to learn about Mercersburg. And later, when they’re on the other side of the desk and they’re reading a school profile or they’re considering an applicant from Mercersburg for a scholarship or for admission, they have a better sense of the place.

VT: The relationships that everybody in the office builds with people in college admission offices are really important. It’s nice to know people and to be able to get not just a

response, but an honest response. So we use that network as much as we can.

At the same time, our small caseload really allows us to support a student with genuine financial need who has a story that colleges need to pay attention to, or a change in their family’s financial picture. For the sake of those students, it’s a good thing that we have established relationships that provide us the opportunity to advocate for our students.

MAM: How can parents best support their children, the school, and your office in the process? Can you advise parents who are reading this on some of the do’s or the don’ts or some things to really think about?

VT: Parents should certainly be part of the process and be supportive, but they shouldn’t take the reins. That translates to unhappy children. Don’t talk about the college list and applications ad nauseum and possibly damage your relationship with your child. I’ve worked with families in the past where it became such a daily topic of conversation that there were arguments and kids were in tears in my office. At a different school a few years ago, a student I worked with was beside herself that her dad brought the Fiske Guide to Colleges to the dinner table every night. Instead, maybe pick one night a week and talk about college plans, with the student amenable to updating their family on their research and/or progress on applications.

MC: Our colleague Bruce Hunter [an experienced counselor who filled in this year when a member of the office went on medical leave] stated this pretty well: Be mindful of

Associate Director of College Counseling Rachel Mallory works with a student in her office in the Davenport College Counseling Center
FALL 2022 31

your pronouns. When you, the parent, start saying ‘we’re applying to’ or ‘we’re looking at’ a certain school, it can be very telling.

This may be a generalization, but some parents probably believe they have a lot more control over the collegeadmission process than they actually do. And they elevate every decision that their child makes to a certain level of importance, so that the perceived repercussions of that decision take on even more significance. That puts a lot of additional pressure on the student.

VT: I do wish kids and families understood that in many situations when it comes to acceptances or denials, it can be more about the college than it is them. It’s like that old saying—it’s not you, it’s me. Schools can have different priorities. They may have team rosters to fill or classrooms to fill in certain programs. They may need a French horn player or a soloist in a music program. There can be more uncertainty to this than people understand.

MAM: What are the most important things students can do to put themselves in the best position for admission to a “good college”? What advice would you give to students?

VT: This is going to sound really simple, but you don’t have to be great at everything. It’s OK to play to your strengths and to pursue your interests and not feel like you have to be in the highest-level course in every discipline or overextend yourself in your activities. You can be a specialist in one or two things, and take on a leadership

opportunity in that organization or in that sport. You do not have to be all things to all people.

MC: It’s been said that so often, colleges are not necessarily looking for well-rounded students. They’re looking for a well-rounded class

VT: A former director of admission at one of those top U.S. News schools once said he was more interested in wellangled—not well-rounded—students, that those things that point to strengths are interesting to a college, because it helps the college determine where the student would fit in their community.

MC: Don’t forget that what you do in the classroom matters most of all to colleges. Find something that inspires you, and then find ways to keep pursuing it.

VT: I’ve been trying really hard to change my language from college admissions process to college admissions experience, because that’s really what the college search and selection experience is about—it’s training for life. It’s gaining experience in a different way. It’s considering who you’ll be beyond here. One of the things we’re coaching our kids through is learning how to articulate who they are to an unknown entity. They’re going to do that in every job interview and in everything they do in adulthood. It develops a whole lot of skills that are not wholly different from the things that they’re doing here, but this helps apply those skills in a new and different way.

CLASS OF 2022 A College Snapshot

The 134 members of Mercersburg’s Class of 2022 are attending 88 different institutions in 22 different U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. 56 are private institutions, 29 are public institutions, and 3 institutions are located outside the U.S.


9 U.S. Naval Academy

4 New York University

4 University of North Carolina Wilmington

3 Boston University

3 Denison University

3 Pennsylvania State University-University Park

3 Purdue University



ESADE Business School (Barcelona, Spain), 4,040 miles

FARTHEST FROM MERCERSBURG (DOMESTIC DIVISION) University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, California), 2,369 miles

CLOSEST TO MERCERSBURG Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania), 33 miles


Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park (State College, Pennsylvania), 40,600 students

SMALLEST UNDERGRADUATE ENROLLMENT Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania), 1,425 students

Source: The Princeton Review

As part of Family and Alumni Weekend September 30–October 2, the Office of College Counseling will hold informational sessions. Visit for a full FAW schedule. 32 MERCERSBURG ACADEMY MAGAZINE

Your Career Coach

Kate Stroup Brooks ’72 has helped students chart paths for career success

“IT’S OK TO WANDER INTO THINGS and try them out,” says Katharine “Kate” Stroup Brooks ’72, in describing how students can approach decisions surrounding choosing a career.

In fact, she recommends it.

A nationally recognized board-certified career counselor and coach who has helped college students and adults find meaningful careers for more than 35 years, Brooks developed the “Wise Wanderings” career-coaching system for liberal-arts students. Her book, You Majored in What? Designing Your Path from College to Career, provides techniques students and others can use to guide them to successful careers.

The book was initially published in 2010 and completely revamped in 2017; it was a product of her experiences and a class she taught at the University of Texas after working in career services at Dickinson College, where she found that her students were not quite ready to set career goals.

While students should have room to sample different things, Brooks emphasizes that students should be focused. “There is a wisdom element to it,” she says. “Students should focus on what’s important to them and then wander into those career fields to see if they like them, with an internship or some informational interviews to learn more.”

The first step for students is finding out who they are and where they want to go by completing a mind map or a “Wandering Map.” This helps students focus on the themes that are important in their lives and how those themes relate to jobs.

The next step is mapping out different jobs that may interest students by completing an exercise called “Possible Lives.” Once it’s all on paper, the information can be analyzed and the student can best decide which jobs to pursue while excluding others.

“Somebody might say they want to be an actor, but as they look at what it takes to be an actor, they might think, ‘No, that doesn’t really fit me. I need more security than that,’” says Brooks. And as a result, the student could focus on channeling that same creative desire into a better-fitting job.

Brooks, who recently retired as executive director of the Vanderbilt University Career Center, is highly lauded for her work in the field of career services. She has twice been listed as one of the “10 Most Visionary Leaders in Career Services” by Central Statistics Office Research and received the Kauffman Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers for her service to the profession. Brooks co-authored (with the late Richard Bolles) What Color Is Your Parachute? and What Color Is Your Parachute? For College. In addition, her free downloadable workbook, Picture Your Career, received the NACE/Chevron Award for outstanding achievement in innovative programming.

Brooks suggests students think broadly when pursuing a degree, unless they have a specific career in mind (such as accounting). Many fields are open to a variety of backgrounds, she says, but one should have the ability to intelligently explain to an employer what they can bring to that job or work setting. “For example, if you’re an English major, you can sell yourself in the world of business by simply talking about the skills you get from being an English major: analysis and critical thinking, writing skills, or the understanding and empathy toward people that would help you do public-relations work.”

She believes Mercersburg gives students the educational foundation necessary to succeed in college. “Students will find the benefit of the small classes they’ve had, the types of instruction they’ve had, the abilities they’ve been given in and outside the

Continued on page 34

classroom—all those things will enhance their college experience,” Brooks says. In addition, Mercersburg can broaden students’ minds to the possibilities of what’s out there and help students define their top skills and how they might choose to apply them. “And they may want to keep wandering,” she adds. “They’re only 16, 17, or 18.”

While recognizing that a liberal-arts education is not for everyone, Brooks is an advocate. “A liberal-arts education won’t ‘make’ the banker, but will make the banker better,” she says. “A banker who has knowledge of history, political science, economics, or other subjects can help improve their level of thinking as they go into things.”

Brooks attended Mercersburg for only one year, enrolling as a senior and living on the second floor of Tippetts Hall with about 20 other girls. Her class was the first to enroll female boarding students. A few other girls who lived in town attended as day students; “It was a very different school back then,” she says.

The most influential courses she can remember were taught by music faculty member Jim Smith P ’83, ’91, ’93. “There were several of us who were very interested in music theory and he created some classes that he had not taught before,” Brooks says. “I just ate those courses up. At that time, I was planning to be a music major.” She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Gettysburg College and then master’s and doctorate degrees in educational

psychology from West Virginia University.

In June, she returned to campus to celebrate her 50th reunion [page 37] and catch up with “the girls of Tippetts,” she says. “It was so much fun reconnecting, to see where everybody had gone, what they are doing now and just what interesting people they all are.”

Brooks not only enjoyed reminiscing about her Mercersburg experience but also enjoyed seeing what the school offers students today. “I was so impressed when I did some of the tours and sessions that Mercersburg offered when I was there Reunion Weekend,” she says. “There is a whole world to experiment in. Mercersburg has so many opportunities to try. If you don’t like it or don’t do so well in the art class, then you can wander back out.”


OVER THE LAST FIVE DECADES, Mercersburg has been one of a handful of prep schools across the nation to partner with the United States Naval Academy in a program that allows students enrolling at the Naval Academy to spend a year at Mercersburg as postgraduate students before heading to Annapolis. Many (though not all) are athletes on their way to competing at the varsity level for the Navy Midshipmen, but all students taking part in the program who successfully complete four years at the Naval Academy will serve their country as naval officers following graduation.

Along the way, each year’s group gives Mercersburg’s senior class an infusion of leadership, well-rounded citizenship, additional maturity, and academic and athletic prowess. The U.S. Naval Academy Foundation sponsors the program. (In recent years, a more limited number of students bound for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have enrolled at Mercersburg under similar auspices.) Mercersburg’s graduating Class of 2022 includes 11 students who are headed to Annapolis, West Point, or the U.S. Air Force

Academy in Colorado Springs.

Since the partnership was established in the mid-1970s, a total of 189 USNA Foundation students have graduated from Mercersburg before moving on to the Naval Academy. Mercersburg’s campus (about 115 miles northwest of Annapolis) is the closest to Annapolis of any of the 16 Foundation-affiliated prep schools, which includes some of Mercersburg’s traditional rivals in Blair, Hill, Kiski, and Peddie, along with schools as far away as New Mexico and California.

“I can’t think of a school that wouldn’t want to have kids like this, who are leaders and will be representing our country, as part of its student body,” says Amy Mohr P ’26, who has worked in Mercersburg’s Admission Office for more than 20 years. “They’re wonderful additions to our school.”

Students in the program come to Mercersburg from all across the country (including—this past year—as far away as Hawaii). Those selected still must receive an official appointment from the Naval Academy to be accepted, but it is extremely rare for

a Foundation student who completes all their requirements not to earn acceptance to Annapolis.

“It really is a win-win situation for us, since the kids we send to Mercersburg will be challenged in a different environment, away from home, before they come to Annapolis,” says Capt. Don Hughes, the USNA Foundation’s vice president for athletic and scholarship programs. “We know they will have great support not just from teachers and coaches and staff, but also from the family environment there.”

“One of the things that’s really neat is when a student is here three or four years, goes to class and plays sports with and lives alongside the Foundation PGs in the dorms, and then ends up at Annapolis or West Point or Air Force themselves,” Mohr says. “You can really see the value of the program and how it goes full circle.”

Scan this QR code to read more

From left: Tommy Tereschuk ’22 (Navy), CJ Sheldon ’22 (Army), and Maddie Koutavas ’22 (Navy) are among 11 newly minted Mercersburg alumni headed to service academies
34 MERCERSBURG ACADEMY MAGAZINE Continued from page 33


Destiny Rodney ’22 performing with Magalia at the Spring Pops Concert. To learn about an anniversary celebrated this past year by a different Mercersburg a cappella group, see page 65.

April 30, 2022

The Alumni Council welcomed members of classes ending in 0, 1, 5, and 6 back to campus to celebrate their “makeup” reunion April 30. More than 130 alumni and their guests attended.

Turn to pages 56–57 to see class photos; to view more photos from the event, visit

The State of the School Address from Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25

Learning about Mercersburg’s strategic choice of Meaning and Mastery

At the tailgate lunch: Dara Vaziri ’10, Chris Weller ’11 and his wife, Heidi, Carlos Garcia ’10, Jamey Price, Edward Foote ’16 Margaret O’Brien ’86, Nancy Gallagher Jones ’86 and David Jones P ’18, ’20, ’22, ’24, Lauren Jones ’18, and Thomas Vickery ’18

Pizza and ice cream trucks and local beer and wine tastings on Church Street

Rob Robison ’66 collects his Reunion T-shirt



Alumni Council Award recipients Peter Lebovitz ’72 (Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Service), Vanessa Anyanso ’12 (Young Alumni Leadership Award), Clint Lawler ’97, P ’23 (Alumni Council Prize for Service), Carla Lopez ’97 (Alumni Council Prize for Achievement), Peggy Northrop ’72 (Alumni Council Medal for Distinguished Achievement), and Thomas Hadzor ’72 (Class of ’32 Distinguished Alumni Award)

Former faculty attending the Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Recognition Dinner (L-R): Don Hill, Jim Malone (current faculty), Susan and Tom Rahauser ’74, Dave and Henrietta Tyson, Ron and Susan Simar “Hands-on Robotics” demonstration with faculty members Andy Brown and Julia Stojak Maurer ’90 Games on the Quad Class of ’32 Award recipient Tom Hadzor ’72 with Head of School Quentin McDowell and Board of Regents President Stacie Rice Lissette ’85 “How Coeducation Changed Mercersburg: 50+ Years of Women” featuring moderator Peggy Northrop ’72 and panelists Martha-Jane Snyder Byron ’72, Peggy Jarvis Ferrin ’72, Katherine Reber ’17, Pia Catton ’92, and Vanessa Anyanso ’12 Jim Friedheim ’72 accepts the Class Cup for the Class of 1972 (victorious in the class tent competition)
Total Attendees: 616
Farthest Distance Traveled: 4,214 miles (Felix Eckert ’07, Wörthsee, Germany)
$189,596 (Class of 1982; a record for the 40th reunion)
Annual Fund Class Gift:
Oldest Dick Roschli The Artist Tom Graffagnino ’67 and his exhibit Nicole Ongor ’08, Christina Ongor ’05, and their families Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer Donna Fisher ’72 gives a presentation on “Photojournalism”
Returning Alum:
’52 Total Reunion Dollars Raised: $2,387,910 (420 donors) Highest Annual Fund Participation: 1972/2017 (tie; 63 classmate donors apiece)
Class of 1997 enjoys its 25th reunion dinner


Front row: Mark Limbach, Don Freas, Oscar Hunsicker, Larry Fuller, Bill Wallace, Pete Flanagan; Row 2: Dave Winning, Jim Dake, Paul Mellott, Kent Peterson, Dave Moore, Tom Stephens; Row 3: Frank Rutherford, Dan Seamans, Rick Witmer, Tom Shipley, Bob Richards, Stefan Brodsky, Vic DeRose (not pictured: John Dutrey, John Groninger) CLASS OF 1972 Front row: Peggy Northrop, Martha-Jane Snyder Byron, Shelley Beck Ryan, Jim Friedheim, Donna Fisher, Jim Garofalo, Katharine Stroup Brooks, John Welling, Ed Smolevitz, Eric Scoblionko, Schelley Hollyday, Tim McNair, Bill Carey, Paula Bryan, Jim Porterfield, Sue Burkey; Row 2: Chip Brogan, Peggy Jarvis Ferrin, Ned Lightner; Row 3: Frank Balzebre, Douglas Mendelson, Fred Klein, Bob Dorer, Roger Holnback, John Tavss, Paul DeRose, Howard Heda; Row 4: Rich Marshall, Pat Shay, Priscilla Bechter Kneisley, Fred Andrews, Bruce Teitelbaum; Row 5: Trip Emerson, C.B. Goodsell, Pete Delaney, Tom Hadzor, Gary Ferguson, Peter Lebovitz, Peter Johns; Row 6: Lance Winchester, Jim Kozinski, Dave Etnyre, Michael Kort, Kris Pigman, Rich Haskell (not pictured: Paul King, George Woskob) CLASS OF 1967 Front row: Tom Graffagnino, Michael Hanna, Andy Crago, Tom Motheral; Row 2: Jim Hendrickson, Ted Judt, Rob Bell (not pictured: Ken Johnson, Lou Prevost, Steve Warden) CLASS OF 1971 Front row: Ed Fessler, Liz Washabaugh Jarvis, Gepe Zurenda, Tom Wohlsen, Mike Broder, Fred Hazelwood; Row 2: Paul Dickman, John Lent, Dan Whiteman, George Alter, Dave Garber, Joe Rendina; Row 3: Bill Sutherland, Michael Granet, Kent Duffy, Paul Murray, Charlie Scammell, Tom Cleeland, Les Orlidge, Harold Bolnick; Row 4: Charlie Bell, Scott Staley, David Giller; Row 5: Andy Nelson, Scott Cummings, Wayne Inge, Tom Saunders, Larry Gluck, Don Schuck, Roy Birnbaum, Alec Graham, Bob Bonham (not pictured: Reid Kellam, Ethan Perry, Jaime Thompson, Ed Vinson) CLASS OF 1962 Front row (L-R): John Groome, Phil Marstiller, Kelly Clarke, Tom Hoober; Row 2: Bruce Eckert, Jon Dubbs, Ross Dicker, David Gilmer, Jack Reilly, Dick Roschli ’52 (not pictured: Walt Mitchell)
FALL 2022 39
’62 ’70 ’72 ’67 ’71





Front row: Geri Mewett, Ravi Chowdary, Johanna Maend, Becky Shpak Conley, Brent Halversen, Dan Akers; Row 2: Maureen Sheffler Hurst, Pia Catton, Eileen Sheffler Prugh, Chip Nuttall; Row 3: Mike Lloyd, Allison Felley Jacquemont, Peggy Burns; Row 4: Tasa Stankovic, Alison Croner, Michelle Spinney Rosypal (not pictured: Micki Bailey Martindale) Front row: Charlie McCullough, Pamela Orkis, Andy Alpert; Row 2: Chris Corcoran, Lenny Aguilar, John Hornbaker, Bob Silverman (not pictured: Steve Ricks) Front row: Emily Landon Gravitt, Kirsten Goerl Becker, Emily Peterson Karottki, Carla Lopez, Karli Richards Stenger; Row 2: Larissa Chace Smith, Hillary Morgan Walter, Leah Long, Immy Byrd Glaize, Amanda Reisner; Row 3: Taimur Rashid, William Bell, John Gunselman, Andrew Bramhall, Josh Leland, SaKeithia Rogers, Amanda Harris Beaner, Mia Burwell; Row 4: Aaron Cohen, Clint Lawler, Leah Rockwell, Pete Watkins, Mike Rodriguez, Nick Jenkins (not pictured: Jennifer Miller Smith, Angie Pomella-Garnsey) John Nelson, Susan Hobbs Nelson, Barb Magee, Lindley Peterson Fleury, Harold Goodemote (not pictured: Craig Amaral, Laura Dupré)
’92 ’82 ’97
’77 To see videos from Reunion Weekend 2022, visit


CLASS OF 2017 Front row: Morgan Steiner, Maddi Jones, Kaufman Butler, Emma Shapiro, Katherine Reber, Alex Nanos; Row 2: Elizabeth Smilek, Ryan Geitner, Amanda Hanan, Sarah Wiley; Row 3: Rebecca Li, Molly Widdoes, Crenshaw Allen-Hall, Maya Tetali, Lexi Richards, Taylor Siner; Row 4: Isiuwa Oghagbon, Will Schoenberger, James DiLalla; Row 5: Nick Miller, Ben Doyka, Lance Lysiak, Gnim Bazim, Felix Eckert; Row 6: Archie Levis, John Leiner, Daniel Bowes, Alex DeGrange, Nathan Abel, Michael Kozinski, Alden Littlefield, Christian Recker (not pictured: Daniel Booth, Zach McDonald) CLASS OF 2002 Front row: Grant Taylor, Amy Shaffer Post, Bethany Galey, James Sprott; Row 2: Jeb Keller, Anne Curry Gualano, Alison Llewelyn, Kristin Burkhart Sites, Ian Thompson (not pictured: Justinian Capone, Anne Greenawalt, Kyle Lininger) CLASS OF 2007 Front row: Alex Appleman, Mallory Polak, Tiffany Tseng Mielke, Jacquelyn Ross Grace, Claire Amiel; Row 2: Xanthe Hilton, Matthew Von Lunen, Kat Fleck Smith, Samantha Schroer; Row 3: Sam Goldsmith, Edward Hill, Beau Briggs, Robert Tokar; Row 4: Neil Gordon, Katie Stover, Ryan Colby, Chuck Roberts, Bryan Morgan (not pictured: Alexandra Gekas Selby, Dan Gottlieb) CLASS OF 2012 Front row: John Olszewski, Alfred Hylton-Dei, Sasha Karbach, Lane deCordova, Laura Rahauser, Harrison Helm, Leah Selznick; Row 2: David Bowes, Will Appleman, Burke Helzel, Ariel Garofalo, Evan Moats, Mike Pryor (not pictured: Vanessa Anyanso, Max Brownawell, Maddy Fisher Rolla, Mackenzie Quinn, Justin Reyes, Olivia Rosser)
FALL 2022 41
’17 ’07 ’12 ’02 Save the Dates Reunion Weekend 2023 June 8–11


Faculty and Staff Retirees

210+ years of service

Tom Thorne:


• Member of the language department since 1993; retiring as department head

• Held the David F. Chapman Chair from 2001–2022

• Served as Culbertson House dorm dean and Karux yearbook adviser

A Class Act

Somehow, despite our 24-year professional connection, calling Mr. Thorne “Tom” has always been difficult for me. Maybe it’s the tweed?

After hearing Cate Vickery ’22 introduce Mr. Thorne at Commencement, I can certainly understand why he is retiring. What extensive service to the school! All of those activities, in such varied arenas of campus life, sound endless and demanding when listed together. We can also add Mr. Thorne’s work with the school farm, because he does love animals— and usually animal lovers are supportive of the helpless and the vulnerable. Tom’s extensive skills with husbandry are a solid partnership with his interpersonal aptitude, whether with students or adults.

This has been true for the last 29 years, of which he has been my department head for 14.

I could list all the suggestions Mr. Thorne has made to me over time. They range from cooking tips to plumbing repairs, and there are a lot of teaching suggestions in between. But I don’t think I have that kind of space here. So, I’ll just compare his highlights to those of someone that a few of you will know.

For me, Mr. Thorne has been my “E.F. Hutton.” If you are over a certain age, then you know what I am talking about. E.F. Hutton’s commercials depicted people out for activities. Invariably, the conversation would turn to the stock market, and that’s when one person would say to the other: “My broker is E.F. Hutton. And E.F. Hutton says…”

all ended with the same hypnotic tag line: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”

When Tom has talked, I have tried to listen. When I have, it has made me a better teacher, and a better person. As Tom said at Commencement, “The people around you, every one of them, have something to teach, if you are wise enough to ask and observe.”

This is something that Tom’s students already know. His room is always buzzing during Latin help sessions—and it’s not because Tom is a bad teacher, or because his students are cognitively limited. It’s because they want to be around him.

They respond to him because he makes himself available to listen, and especially to get to know them. That should be obvious, by his frequent references during his Commencement speech to underscore examples of student strengths in the graduating class.

Hearing that incantation, everyone would fall silent, leaning in to garner the sage advice of the legendary stockbroker. The commercials

42 MERCERSBURG ACADEMY MAGAZINE • Wife, Barb, is a longtime swim coach/ school store manager; daughters Elissa ’06 and Julia ’07 are both graduates

Tom helps students learn how to succeed by being smart, by being funny, by setting a good example, and by showing that anger is not the solution to a frustrating obstacle.

In the same vein, Tom helps to make colleagues’ jobs easier by solving problems

Continued on page 44

Memories, Preserved Wells Gray:

It’s hard to imagine or know how much our community, our students, and the entire institution of Mercersburg Academy will miss Wells Gray. We will both miss him dearly.

Wells started his career at Mercersburg 23 years ago on the top floor of Irvine Hall, seven years before the Burgin Center for the Arts was built. He developed quite a following; students picked up on Wells’ passion for expression through ceramic art, and they loved being in his company. (Who doesn’t?)

Wells is one of the most humble, considerate, and genuine people anyone could know. His skill set for creating aesthetic, high-quality work in everything he does is incomparable. This was clear to anyone who saw his gallery show earlier this year, Consequences of the Earth—a retrospective of evolved and sophisticated artwork. It’s also evident in the work created by his students, many of whom have earned accolades from the National Council on Education for Ceramic Artists by having their pieces chosen for the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition or for the prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including at the national level.

In the classroom, Wells is a co-worker

that any one of us should strive to emulate. He is tough—but fair—in his grading, and he demonstrates such ease in the way he transfers the knowledge he has learned through a lifetime of ceramic pursuits. Wells has made significant contributions as an educator to the world beyond Mercersburg, having spent a combined 19 years as an AP Art History Exam reader, table leader, or question leader, and was later asked to author questions for future exams and to co-author a planning and pacing guide for AP Art History. He was also selected to serve as an accreditation team member for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

On a completely different note, have you ever seen the funky and really cool DNA sculpture on the lower level of Irvine Hall? It’s a collaboration between Wells and retired science teacher/faculty emeritus Ray Larson P ’97, ’01, ’06.

Wells was head coach of the girls’ squash team at Mercersburg when it won its division at the 2008 U.S. Squash National Championships and for the 2012 team’s Mid-Atlantic Squash Organization title. He was also an assistant football coach for two


• Member of the arts department since 1999; former department head

• Nearly two decades as an AP exam reader or table/question leader

• Coached squash, football, and track & field; spent 16 years as head girls’ squash coach

• Wife, Willie, is a former Mercersburg staff member

league championship teams—including the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Prep League winners—and coached two state-champion outdoor track & field relay teams. He was the faculty adviser to the John Marshall Literary Society for 11 years; Marshall won in eight of those years, and as the adviser, Wells implemented the concept of a declaimer-in-training.

Wells and his wife, Willie (a former staff member here at Mercersburg), have a wonderful blended family with five grown children—in fact, Wells’ daughter, Taylor, just successfully defended her dissertation on Spanish history. She is now Dr. Gray. And Wells is a proud “Grandpa Gray” to two beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way.

Continued on page 44 ALUMNI LIFE FALL 2022 43


efficiently, by knowing a lot about technology, by offering to help, by asking how someone is feeling (and genuinely caring about the answer), by leading without ego, and by doing things for others without being asked.

Tom also makes people laugh, in seemingly effortless ways. He does this by making light of the difficult inevitabilities in our lives, by recognizing our universal humanity, and by pretending not to care about things that are important, thereby diminishing their power over him.

As our resident E.F. Hutton, Tom has imparted wisdom that is all-encompassing, but here are just a few statements that he has shared with the language department over the years from which others would likely benefit:

Always meet students where they are.

All points of view are valid, but students need to defend their viewpoints with more than just their feelings.

There’s nothing like getting lost to help you find your way.

It’s OK to tell students, “This is hard. But you can do it.”

Always remember that you are integral to the student learning process. You will never be incidental.

Mr. Thorne, you should be proud of the stability and confidence you’ve helped the Language Department to develop over all these years. We will miss you, but we’ll never forget you.

Now put on that tweed bathing suit you’ve had tailor-made for Albanian beaches, and start retiring!

Heather Prescott has taught French at Mercersburg as a member of the faculty since 1998. Like Tom Thorne, she is a former head of the school’s language department. She is a past recipient of the Zern Excellence in Teaching Award.



Wells and Willie’s new home in Aiken, South Carolina, is like living in a sculpture. They renovated it together, and the craftsmanship and showmanship is professional, beautiful, and artistic. It’s gorgeous.

(A joke: Maybe he’ll name his ceramic studio “Clay Aiken.”)

Wells has given so much of himself to his students and this community, and it’s time for him to fully reinvest himself into being a full-time artist and enjoying life’s adventures with Willie. We can’t wait to hear and see the continuation of all the wonders he will continue to accomplish.

Congratulations, Wells. We think the world of you and will do all we can to ensure that your legacy continues.

The Caretti family has called Mercersburg home since 2010. Erin teaches history and has coached a number of sports, while Syd is an arts faculty member and the school’s director of galleries. Their children, Quin ’24 and Alli ’26, both attend Mercersburg; Erin’s brother, Matthew, is a former faculty member.

Tom Thorne, Continued from page 42 Wells Gray, Continued from page 43 Bill Hege 38 years of service Avery Cook 36 years of service Rick Buterbaugh 26 years of service Amy Hendrickson P ’03, ’06, ’19 25 years of service Sam Herman 19 years of service Mitzi Nonemaker P ’02 18 years of service To watch a video tribute, visit

Paula Ante Wright ’22 choreographed a solo piece, “Querencia,” for the Spring Dance Concert.

Ante Wright, of Samborondon, Ecuador, was one of five seniors with a solo in the year-end performance.




Maddy Fisher ’12 married Mike Rolla October 2, 2021, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Vanessa Anyanso ’12, Val Langlois ’12, Vale Quan Miranda ’12, Max Brownawell ’12, James Firestein ’11, and Kristin Rempe ’11 were all in attendance. Maddy is now living in Greensburg and working for The Frick Pittsburgh as manager of individual support. Ashley Hill ’06 married Matthew Dominick October 9, 2021. Josh Leland ’97 married Natalie Kone December 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C. They were excited to have Josh’s classmate and their dear friends Clint ’97 and Maija Lawler in attendance to celebrate with them. Katie Hofman ’17 married Sam Ahern ’17 November 27, 2021. Daniel Booth ’17 and Melissa Yoder, May 22, 2021. Britta Sherman ’10 married Christopher Jones March 6, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia.


To Josh Leland ’97 and his wife, Natalie: a daughter, Aurelia Audrey Kone Leland, March 3, 2022. To Jenn Hendrickson Walsh ’03 and her husband, Brian: a son, Connor Emerson, June 4, 2021. To former faculty member Phoebe Moore Miller ’13 and her husband, Matt: a son, Holden Mark, February 26, 2022. To faculty member Will Whitmore and his wife, Kristen: a son, Robert William “Bob” Whitmore, January 5, 2022. To Sarah Cohen ’98 and her husband, Alex Noble: a daughter, Ayla Nava Noble, December 4, 2021. To Andrew Danziger ’99 and his wife, Melissa: a son, Maddox Matthew, February 10, 2022. Bethany Galey ’02 and her husband, Mike Nussbaum, welcomed a daughter, Emory Merrick, March 5, 2022. Big brother Colin Merrick (7) is smitten! To Nichole Barbuzanes Komninos ’02 and her husband, Dimitri: a daughter, Theodora Irene, January 6, 2022. To Ashley Doughty Harless ’04 and her husband, Brett: a son, Parks Alexander, December 18, 2021. To Christina Turchi Horstman ’04 and her husband, Robbie: a son, Landon Arthur, October 12, 2021. Natalie Blackburn ’05 and her husband, Shawn dos Santos, welcomed a son, Timothy Antonio Blackburn, December 16, 2021. Timothy joins big brother Jerome. Sonya Karbach Marino ’05 and her husband, Jon ’05, welcomed a son, Jordan, August 28, 2021. Jordan joins big brothers Jack and James. To Katherine Blanchard Whittle ‘11 and her husband, Davis Whittle: a son, Davis “Henry” Whittle, January 15, 2022.

Submission Deadline forthenextissueis

October 31,2022

Submit class notes via email to or online at classnotes. The submission deadline for the next issue is October 31, 2022. Submission does not guarantee publication.

Mercersburg reserves the right to edit submissions for space or content, and is not responsible for more than reasonable editing or fact-checking.

When submitting a photo, please provide the highest-quality version possible, and include the names of all persons pictured and their Mercersburg class years. Due to size and quality considerations, some images may not be suitable for print.


Barbara J. Higley, widow of Frank Higley, passed away March 31, 2022. She was the mother of Tex ’70 and Jim ’71, aunt of Bruce ’78 and Ted ’80, and grandmother of Kyle ’00


Paul Rolston writes, “Still kicking, just slower. I golf once a week and do home projects the other six days. Can’t believe that 1952 is 70 years ago! Wow!”

Dick Roschli ’s wife, Nancy, died November 26, 2021.

In February, Barry Dubbs ’59 (right) visited Ched Hultman ’58 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They looked forward to playing golf in Hilton Head in warmer weather.


Dale Richard Perelman has completed his ninth book, Death at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, which is a true-crime story of the serial killers, multiple suicides, and strange happenings that made the hotel famous.


60th ’67

Jim Anderson is semi-retired and living near Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoys boating on the Chesapeake Bay in his Ranger 27 tugboat. His favorite passenger is his 98-year-old mother.

Andy Crago received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his career accomplishments in his more than 35 years with the Walt Disney Company. He says, “With the strong values I learned from my parents and everything I learned upon my journey at Mercersburg, Thiel College, and life in general, I was both humbled by and very much appreciative of this honor.”

Three generations of Mercersburg family members celebrating the 90th birthday of Lacy Rice Jr. ’49 in Key Largo, Florida. Seated (L-R): Lacy Jr., Bill Rice ’83, Stephen Rice ’21. Standing: Peter Rice ’23 and Lacy Rice III ’79. Several Mercersburg alumni connected at a wedding in South Carolina in March. L-R: Eli Swetland ’65, Lexi Sommerville ’17, Charlie Ballou ’63 and daughter Molly Ballou ’01, Jim Goodwin ’63.

Tom Graffagnino’s wife, Jane, passed away September 9, 2021.



Tim Saxe retired in June from his outpatient physician office practice after 42 years; he will continue as medical director of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia. “I will be spending more time with my family, going to exotic places off the grid, and taking wildlife photographs,” he says.


James L. Sawyer retired last summer from his consulting practice, James L. Sawyer LLC.


After more than 20 years, Frank Balzebre is enjoying his last chapter in public service by serving as director of community outreach for Congressman Carlos Gimenez. His district includes Key West and the islands to the farms in Homestead with two national parks, the Everglades, and Biscayne Bay National Park. He says, “Never a dull moment down here!”

Suellen Burkey says, “I’ve now been back in Chambersburg for five years, running the family business, H+B Farms. I’m doing a lot of volunteer work for area historical groups, now serving as vice president of Franklin County Historical Society. I’ve published one book and many articles on Franklin County local history, and I am working on another.”


Bill Sitterley has mostly retired and is settling down in Venice, Florida. He has also recently joined the grandparent club!

Michael Kort writes, “Retirement is great. Golf, gardening, and cooking are my concerns. I have a 5-month-old grandson, Max. Good timing as we have plenty of time to be with him.”


John Jones was officially named the 30th president of Dickinson College (his alma mater) in February. John had served as the school’s interim president since the summer of 2021; he is a longtime federal judge who was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Jeff Frankel ’72 and his wife, Dara, met up with Jeff’s classmate Eric Scoblionko ’72 (left) in February in Boca Raton, Florida. Larry Way ’66 finished the Philadelphia Marathon shortly after completing the New York City Marathon in the fall of 2021. Al Meyers ’74 and David Wright ’73 had lunch at the Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California, when Al was in town for a wedding. Andrew Ammerman ’68 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai.


John has served on Mercersburg’s Alumni Council and its Board of Regents. “I am eager to see all of my classmates at our 50th reunion next year, and expect robust attendance,” he says


Amy Hoober Ahrensdorf ’s book, It Had to Be Magic: A Dog Worth Fighting For, was published in April 2021.


Kevin Smith says, “After my wife, Karen, passed away in 2019, I retired early and moved to Rochester, Washington. While it rains a bit from October through April, I consider my tiny ‘finca’ to be paradise. Away from the hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay Area, I enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding woods and deer.”



Several classmates have established the Peter B. Vance ’79 Memorial Endowment Fund in memory of Peter, who was one of the Class of 1979’s most personable and adventurous members and passed away in June 2019 at age 58. Peter’s infectious smile and easygoing manner paved the way for him to become one of the most popular students on campus while excelling as a student and on the squash and tennis courts. Peter and his wife, Veronique, ran a successful bed and breakfast in France.

Peter was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Jones Vance. In addition to his wife, survivors include his father, John Vance Jr., his sister, Keven, and his brothers, David and Colan.

For information on how to support the fund, contact Sue Orton, Mercersburg’s director of leadership giving, at or 717-328-6210.



Frances Brewer, mother of Lynn Brewer Price and former faculty member Doonie Brewer, died February 1, 2021.


J.D. Koch is working with CACI International supporting 7th Army Training Support Activity, which is Europe’s set-up, execution, and redeployment of live-fire range target systems at a variety of military training areas. Still residing in Hungary, J.D. travels quite regularly within Central and Eastern European countries to provide range support and target maintenance to U.S. Army and partner nation forces.



Holly Celio Rouffy’s husband, David, passed away April 10, 2022.



Chipper Lichtenstein retired from the Navy after 20 years of service.


Haseeb Anwar is the principal advisor/actuary to the Government of Punjab (Pakistan) for the Sehat Sahulat program. He is helping to provide social-health protection for 120 million people and, in his free time, tends to “tomatoes, peppers, and chases after four kids!”

Lucy Harrington Floyd enjoyed meeting up with Jen Litton Ross and Meg Hansen in Chicago. Lucy says, “I think of the ’Burg often: what it gave me, and I it. What it’s like now, and how it will be in the future. Super grateful!”

Ed Pollner ’83, his mother, Alice, and John Hutton ’83 in Miami Beach.

In collaboration with his brother, Adam, Sassan Shaool ’91 has started Thick-N-Thin Brewery in Hagerstown, Maryland. L-R: Sassan, Sassan’s girlfriend Wiebke Romano, and John Eldridge ’91.



Danielle Dahlstrom continues to live in Vienna, Austria, with her husband, Robert, and two children, Oscar and Ella. She works on nuclear issues. Danielle recently was invited to join Mercersburg’s Alumni Council, and in this capacity hopes to launch an international initiative that connects Mercersburg community members from around the world. Danielle is already counting the days until the 30th reunion next year and looks forward to hosting more virtual happy hours for the Class of ’93 in the meantime!


James Barnes was promoted to senior vice president at Primerica.



After publishing 17 business books, John Brubaker has published his first children’s book, Roody Kangaroo Moves Forward. The book’s purpose is to provide teachers and parents with a resource to teach their children about the importance of resilience and mindset in a way that children can relate to and understand at a young age.


In November 2021, Heather Fraser Gallagher was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Procedural Rules Committee. Heather is a chief deputy district attorney in Lehigh County, where she has served since 2008. She previously served as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia from 2001 to 2008.

Douglas Moffet finished his first semester teaching derivatives and risk management at Montana State University in Bozeman. He added a second class for the next semester and is working with the business school to develop a trading lab.


Janelle Denny Cwik and her husband, Chris, bought the James Mitchell House in Greenville, Virginia. She shares, “We are absolutely thrilled to settle in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Shenandoah Valley not too far from Mercersburg! Although COVID has delayed a visit a few times, I hope to make it up to the Academy to sit in on one of the Positive Psychology classes. I’m ecstatic that Mercersburg has added such a class to the curriculum!” Janelle is an energy technician with Zerodraft.


Lori Esposit Miller completed an MBA from Butler University.


In November 2021, Angie Pomella-Garnsey retired from the Delaware State Police as a master corporal after 21 years with the agency. She concluded her career in her assignment within the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement and as a detective. She says, “I have had a very successful career with the Delaware State Police, and I am anxious to see what the next chapter holds. I celebrated my retirement with family and friends at the Delaware State Police Museum in December.” Angie is president of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement and chaired that organization’s 2021 annual training conference.

Bruce Ricciuti ’83 writes, “So proud to report that my son, Rafael Agredo, will join the Class of 2024 in the fall. Here is a recent pic of Rafi with NFL star Rob Gronkowski. Looking forward to seeing ALL classmates at our 40th!”


In the summer of 2021, Meghan D’Amelio Watson ’99 relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband and three children, Keeler, Tallulah, and Loch. After 20 years, she is again neighbors with Laura Mullett Kocher ’98. Pictured L-R: Meghan, Laura, and Molly Lavelle Fetters ’98 with their children.


Jamie Gelo DiCesare writes, “The Gelo/ DiCesare family is still happily getting older in Austin, Texas. I’ve left consulting and moved

Taimur Rashid ’97 lives in Bellevue, Washington, with his wife, Fatima, and three boys, Isa, Hassan, and Ismaeel. Taimur is chief business officer at Redis, and previously worked at Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. Robyn Gdula Lalime ’98, her husband, Chris, and their three children, Remington (9), River (7), and Maverick (5), left Albuquerque behind and relocated to Virginia Beach last summer. Robyn is still working with the Navy’s FFRDC and this year became her company’s longest-serving female field analyst. She would love to connect with any alumni in the Hampton Roads area. Master Corporal Angie Pomella-Garnsey ‘97 giving remarks as the president and chairperson of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement’s annual training conference in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


over to game production; I’m currently leading a team in developing a cross-platform Star Wars shooter. Happy to catch up with any alumni in the area!”


Andy Choi received the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Cardiology’s Maryland Chapter. Andy is an associate professor of medicine and of radiology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and co-director of cardiac CT and MRI for GW Medical Faculty Associates.

Steve Joyner, husband of Emily Miller Joyner and brother-in-law of faculty members Jennifer Miller Smith ’97 and Doug Smith, died October 24, 2021.


Vincent H. “Tom” Rhodes, father of faculty member Trini Hoffman and grandfather of Dane Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman ’06, passed away January 10, 2022.


Former faculty member Logan Chace published his first full-length collection of poems, After a Night of Drowning. Logan has been appointed chair of the English department at Wyoming Seminary, a college prep school in northeastern Pennsylvania.



Jenn Hendrickson Walsh lives with her husband, Brian, and son, Connor, in Boston, where Jenn is the director of emergency preparedness and business continuity for the Mass General Brigham healthcare system.

Sam Miller has moved to Philadelphia, where he is working remotely as a software developer. This past spring, Sam received a master’s in computer science from Vanderbilt University (which is also his undergraduate alma mater). He is looking forward to connecting with his classmates at their 20th reunion in June 2023.


Yoon Cheol Chang received a master’s degree from Cornell University and returned to Korea where he is developing Google Chromebooks with Poin2 Lab, a company he co-founded in 2014. He still gets together occasionally with his Mercersburg friends in Seoul (see photo).

Longtime friends Kristy Fasano ’02, Amy Shaffer Post ’02, Bethany Galey ’02, and Nichole Barbuzanes Komninos ’02 met up at the Maryland Zoo with their kids in May 2021 for some fun in the sun! L-R in Seoul, Korea: Kenny Ko ’03, Jesse Kim ’04, Joon Woo Kim ’05, Yoon Cheol Chang ’04, Tony Kim ’03, Jin Ho Baek ’07.
FALL 2022 53


Jarvis Hodge ’06 lives in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and is raising his pride and joy, his 8-yearold son Jamir. After graduating from Boise State University in 2011, Jarvis has been helping others in the social work field. Following his true passion, he is also coaching high school football, girls’ basketball, and track and field.


Tamara Filipovic and her partner, Brenan, completed their second long-distance bike-packing adventure in November and loved every minute of it. This bike tour took them through southeastern California and southwestern Nevada, including the magnificent Mojave Desert. In total, they biked approximately 370 miles over the course of 11 days. Afterwards, they returned to their home state of Alaska, where the temperatures and scenery felt like a different planet! Tamara would love to connect with any Mercersburg alumni who are fellow bike-touring or bike-packing enthusiasts.


Matteo Scammell was featured as the lead in the Arden Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which ran in January and February 2022 in Philadelphia.



Leigh Saner, a national board-certified health and wellness coach and the owner of Define YOU LLC, was interviewed by Medium on the importance of journaling to wellness.


Susie Klein’s mother, Jill, has been appointed interim president of Pitzer College in Claremont, California. (Susie is a graduate of Pitzer. Jill’s husband is Fred Klein ’72 .)

Tag Curwen ’19 and Courtney Gantt ’18 at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in March in Indianapolis. Courtney represented Middlebury College and Tag represented Pomona College; both received All-America honors at the conclusion of the meet based on their performances.

Class of 2017 classmates Gnim Bazim, Will Schoenberger, Chelsea Miao, Alex DeGrange, James DiLalla, Nathan Abel, and Rebecca Li after a performance of Rabbit Tourism (Will/Alex/Nathan’s band) in New York City.


Lane deCordova was named to the Pacesetter’s Club at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.



Tyler Jones separated from the U.S. Army as a captain. He will attend Harvard Business School beginning in fall 2022.


Lisa Grosser lives in Amsterdam, where she is staying busy finishing a master’s degree. She is an intern at MIMETAS, a biotech firm that revolutionizes drug discovery and advancements by developing human tissue and disease models with its organ-on-a-chip technology.


Nathan Rooffener, father of Tancy Rooffener and Tyerra Rooffener ’23, died November 4, 2021.


Florence “Gretchen” Hodgkins Handren, mother of staff member Julie Bell, motherin-law of faculty member David Bell, and grandmother of Jenny Bell and Emily Bell ’18, passed away February 15, 2022.

Daniel Booth graduated from Waynesburg University.

In December 2021, Adam Cromwell was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy at the Naval Command Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island. Adam will continue training in San Diego before boarding a newly christened destroyer, the USS Higbee, where he will serve as communications officer.

Jianzhong Li, father of Rebecca Li, died February 21, 2022.

Maya Tetali graduated from Davidson College in May 2021 and is working as a picture researcher for Christie’s Auction House.




Dylan Gantt completed his first semester at Georgia Tech within the aerospace engineering department and with a French minor. He was one of seven students chosen for the school’s club tennis team (out of about 100 who tried out). Dylan is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.


Faculty member, history teacher, and coach Erin Caretti was inducted into the Hamburg (Pennsylvania) High School Athletic Hall of Fame in February. Erin played football and basketball for the Hamburg Hawks before earning four varsity letters in football at Colgate University, where he played alongside fellow Mercersburg faculty member and history teacher Dan Walker

Stillhouse Junkies, a band which includes former faculty member Fred Kosak , was named the 2021 International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year.

Mac Williams ’13 (right) was at a wedding recently and was surprised when someone walked up to him and asked if he was “Irving or Marshall.” Turns out that it was Jim Ramsay ’68 (left); for the record, Mac is Marshall and Jim is Irving.


CLASSES OF 1985 AND 1986

CLASSES OF 1965 AND 1966 Top image (L-R): Bill Thompson ’65, Mac Butts ’65, Fred Schaff ’50, Rob Robison ’66, Jere Keefer ’65; Bottom image (L-R): Chris Spurry ’66, Rob Robison ’66, Jere Keefer ’65, Greg Smith ’65 CLASSES OF 1980 AND 1981 Wes Baker ’80, Steve Givens ’80, Lynn Brewer Price ’80, Karen Fredey Rodi ‘81, Agnes Schrider ‘81, Leslie Fedon Harrison ‘81, Scott Davenport ’81, Sally Anne Epstein ’81, Jim Jenkins ’81 Margaret O’Brien ’86, Beth Rockwell Willander ’86, Sandra Davenport Simpson ’86, Tracy Baker Johnson ’86, Nancy Gallagher Jones ’86, Keith Lutman ’85 CLASS OF 2000 Andrew Miller, Zach Rutledge, Justin Johnson, Anne Reeder Bertram, Mike Galey, Taylor Horst, Rachel Kagan
April 30, 2022 ’65 ’66 ’85 ’00’86 ’80 ’81


CLASS OF 2001 Julian Böcker, Molly Ballou, Megan Filkowski Frankowski, Ann Marie Bliley-Ester, Colin Marsh, Abby Kuskin-Jorgenson CLASSES OF 2010 AND 2011 Row 1: Chris Weller ’11, Jae Nam ’10, Bethany Pasierb ’11, HanhLinh Ho Tran ’11; Row 2: Christian Binford ’11, Carlos García ’10, Nathaniel Bachtell ’11, Dara Vaziri ’10 CLASS OF 2015 Row 1: Tatiana Purnell, Amber Heffernan, Morgan Matsuda, Leah Cook, Emily Schoenberger, Teal Tasker; Row 2: Nick Tennes, Jordan Allen, Mike De La Rosa, Kate Kistler, Grace Piotrowski, Maddie Nelson, Celine Hylton-Dei, Lillian Wilkins, Brianna Howland; Row 3: Deji Andrew, Kam Undieh, Reed Widdoes, Raj Singh, Henry Asher, Kenneth Wilson (guest of Brianna Howland) ’01 ’11
FALL 2022 57
’15 ’10

In Memoriam

c ’41

Alfred D. Neff Jr., November 30, 2020. Al served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European theatre. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Moravian College and a master’s from Lehigh University. Al taught history in the East Penn School District for 31 years, retiring in 1984. He also coached football at Emmaus High School for 14 years, and was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s Lehigh Valley Chapter in 1995. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. Survivors include a son, a daughter, two grandsons, a great-grandaughter, and a sister.

c ’42

Clifford P. Diver, February 2, 2022. Cliff attended Amherst College before serving in the Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II. He ran Diver Chevrolet in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was a presence for more than 70 years; he served as the dealership’s president until age 91. Cliff served on the board of the Wilmington Savings Fund Society, the New Castle Mutual Insurance Corporation, and the Sunday Breakfast Mission and Florence Crittenton Home, and was a member of Mercersburg’s Alumni Council during the 1970s. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, and a daughter. Survivors include a daughter, two sons (including Cliff Jr. ’68), seven grandchildren, seven greatgrandchildren, and an alumni nephew (Bill Pugh ’67) and niece (Jean Diver Mulligan ’81).

c ’45

William E. Potts, April 12, 2018. Bill graduated from Cornell University and

was a certified public accountant who ran his own firm. He lived in San Diego, California. Survivors include his wife, Jane.

c ’46

Edwin A. Meckstroth, November 12, 2018. Edwin graduated from Franklin & Marshall College and earned a pharmacy degree from Temple University. Edwin worked for many years as a pharmacist at Vale Chemical, Rea & Derrick, and Rite Aid. He served on the the Midway Manor Community Association and played in a number of brass ensembles. Survivors include his wife, Catherine; two sons and two daughters; and 11 grandchildren.

William H. Smith, March 21, 2016. Bill served in the Army during the Korean War. He retired as a real-estate settlement coordinator for Jack Gaughen Real Estate, and also worked as a mechanic and parts manager for L.B. Smith Ford. Bill was a member of the Greater Harrisburg Board of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Survivors include his wife, Linda, as well as three children, three step-children, five grandchildren, and nine step-grandchildren.

c ’47

Maurice B. Cohill Jr., January 1, 2022. Maurice graduated from Princeton University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and served in the Marine Corps. After beginning his career as a lawyer in private practice, he served on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and was nominated to the bench of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Gerald Ford. Maurice presided over the Western District as chief judge from 1985 to 1992, and

retired in 2016. He also founded the Pittsburgh-based National Center for Juvenile Justice, which is the country’s oldest juvenile justice research organization. In 2002, he received a Jefferson Award, which is considered to be the Nobel Prize of volunteerism. As a Mercersburg student, he was one of eight members of the original Octet— and was the last surviving member of the original group. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Suzanne Miller Cohill, and his second wife, Anne Mullaney. Survivors include three daughters and a son, eight grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and a great-great grandchild.

Harrison McAlpine Jr., April 21, 2022. Harry graduated from Lafayette College and served as an infantry platoon leader in the Army’s 11th Airborne Division and as a rifle platoon leader in Korea. He then entered government service; for more than 30 years, he served in positions of increasing responsibility. Over the course of his career, Harry was stationed in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Laos, Indonesia, and Australia. He retired in 1988, and volunteered with a number of organizations, including Share of McLean (Virginia); his work with Share later earned him recognition as the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Business Citizen of the Year. Harry served on Mercersburg’s Alumni Council from 1996 to 2004 and was a member of the school’s Marshall and Irving Alliance. His wife, Betsy, preceded him in death. Survivors include a son and two grandsons, as well as a nephew, James Ladd ’68.

William P. Raymond, June 11, 2016. Bill attended business school through the State University of New York system and worked in sales for Diamond


International Corporation. He lived in Trumansburg, New York.

William F. Rommel IV, December 22, 2016. Bill studied at the University of Pennsylvania and served in the Navy for many years, including during the Korean War. He worked for Sinclair/ Atlantic Richfield, Warren Equities, and ARCO. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and a granddaughter.

Edwin J. Saeger, November 27, 2021. Ed, a standout swimmer and football player at Mercersburg, graduated from Cornell University and served in the Air Force; his assignments included Sampson Air Force Base in New York and Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. After returning stateside, he owned and operated the Edison and Cadillac Hotels for three decades in Rochester, New York. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline; three sons, including Bob ’79 and Rich ’82 (a gold medalist in swimming at the 1984 Summer Olympics); and six grandchildren.

c ’48

Charles S. Hoffman, February 3, 2022. Charlie graduated from Washington and Lee University and served as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He later received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Charlie worked for Union Carbide for 30 years, beginning in chemicals and plastics and later as a corporate director of human resources, retiring as a vice president. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Mary Bolling “Bolie” Davis Hoffman; three sons; and six grandchildren.

Robert H. Love, October 8, 2021. Bob was a member of the original Octet at Mercersburg; he attended Westminster College and was a Navy veteran. He worked for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company before retirement, and spent summers at his home at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Bob and his wife, Jane, lived in Brunswick, Ohio; Jane passed away two days after him on October 10. Survivors include two children, two grandchildren, and three greatgrandchildren.

G. Richard Morris, April 14, 2022. Richard attended Johns Hopkins University and served as a military policeman in the Army. He worked in the family business, Troy Dairy Farms in Troy, Pennsylvania, and later moved into banking and financial services. He was preceded in death by a brother (Tom ’44) and a sister. Survivors include three nieces, eight great-nieces and nephews, and 12 great-great nieces and nephews.

Gifford P. Scott, July 28, 2019. Gifford graduated from Northeastern University and served in the Army during the Korean War. He worked for the United Shoe Machine Corporation and retired from Harmonic Drive LLC; he and his wife, Ann, also owned an antique business, Danbill Antiques, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by an alumni cousin, Lew Scott III ’45. In addition to his wife of 64 years, survivors include two sons, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Delane L. Shultz, June 20, 2016. Delane worked as a printer for Rieck Printing and West Lawn Printing, retiring in 1996. He lived in Spring

Township, Pennsylvania. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Dolores; a daughter and a son; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

c ’49

Lewis M. Helm, October 5, 2020. Lew graduated from American University and the U.S. Army War College. He joined the Army and worked his way to the rank of brigadier general in the Army Reserve. Lew worked as a reporter for the Washington TimesHerald and in public affairs for several associations, and held top positions in a number of political campaigns. He served as an assistant secretary of health and education, later becoming assistant to the secretary of the interior and then became deputy assistant secretary for mineral resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In the Army Reserve, he commanded the 450th Civil Affairs Company of Riverdale, Maryland. He also taught at the Catholic University of America and George Washington University. His wife of 49 years, Alice, preceded him in death; survivors include a sister, seven nieces, and three nephews.

William C. Kollas, February 3, 2022. Bill graduated from Dickinson College, the Dickinson School of Law, and New York University. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War era. While he began his law career with the Internal Revenue Service, Bill spent most of his career in private practice, including as a partner at Kollas & Kennedy. Survivors include his wife, Dianne; two sons and a daughter; eight grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren; and a sister.

Philip P. Ripepi, August 7, 2016. Philip graduated from John Carroll University and the University of Pittsburgh School

FALL 2022 59


of Medicine, and also completed the General Surgery Residency Program at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. He and his wife, Josephine, were married for 55 years. In addition to his wife, survivors include five children and 21 grandchildren.

William T. Slicer Jr., December 20, 2021. Pete attended West Virginia University before graduating from Morris Harvey College. He spent his entire 43-year career in property casualty insurance, retiring as president of Patterson Bell & Crane. He served as chairman of the Salvation Army chapter and the Boys and Girls Club council in his hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Sally; two sons and a daughter; and five grandchildren.

W. Joel Warner Jr., January 5, 2022. Joel graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and Yale Divinity School. He was an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, serving four churches from 1961 to 1997. Joel served as a supervisor of clinical pastoral education and worked with pastoral students at hospitals in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., and was an adjunct professor of pastoral care at Drew Theological Seminary. Survivors include his wife, Noel, two sons and a daughter, four granddaughters, and a cousin, Bob Crosen ’49.

c ’50

Harry K. Leader, February 6, 2022. Harry followed his father, Charles (1924), uncle, John (1925), and great-uncle, Edward (1898), to Mercersburg. Harry graduated from Lafayette College and worked for

General Electric for 36 years, retiring in 1991 as a manager of quality control. Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Kathleen, as well as a daughter, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, eight step-children, a step-greatgrandchild, and his first wife, Barbara.

c ’51

John R. Howell, November 3, 2021. John graduated from Princeton University and served in the Navy Reserve, where he was assigned to patrol the Red Sea during the Suez Crisis. He served as chair of First Valley Bank, leading the company from troubled times through its acquisition by Fleet Financial and later Bank of America. He served on a number of boards, including for Moravian College, the Allentown Art Museum, and Historic Bethlehem. John was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Courtney Howell. Survivors include two daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren, as well as two brothersin-law who also attended Mercersburg: James Courtney ’48 and Bill Courtney ’49. (Another brother-in-law was the late Graham Courtney ’47.)

Donald S. Kennedy, August 25, 2020. Donald graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He spent his entire career in the hospitality industry, working in contract food service, hotels, restaurants, and club management. He was preceded in death by Lyn, his wife of 51 years. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren.

Simon H. Waugaman Jr., November 18, 2021. Si followed his late father, Simon (1913), to Mercersburg. He graduated from the University of Maryland and

served in the Army Transportation Corps in Germany. He spent 35 years working for DuPont. Si was preceded in death by his wife, Sandra, and a son. Survivors include a son.

c ’52

Ralph M. Evans II, August 15, 2021. Ralph served in the Air Force during the Korean War and later graduated from the University of Florida. He retired in 2000 as the director of cooperative education for Lockheed Aeronautical Systems. His wife, Janet, preceded him in death.

Louis G. Galliker III, December 17, 2021. Lou was the son of the late Louis G. Galliker ’27, nephew of the late William Galliker ’26, and brother of the late Paul Galliker ’54. He earned a degree in dairy science from Pennsylvania State University; two years later, he joined an ice cream business purchased by his grandfather. In 1968, he succeeded his Uncle William as chairman and president of the Galliker Dairy Company. He led the company for 53 more years, helping it grow from a small family business to a large dairy enterprise serving 10 states from New York to Kentucky. He served on the boards of the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and of the Pennsylvania Milk Dealers Association, and was president of the Johnstown Chamber of Commerce and of Quality Chek’d, a cooperative of independent dairy processors. Lou also served on Mercersburg’s Alumni Council. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Patricia, along with four daughters, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Robert H. Kelso, June 6, 2021. Bob graduated from Oberlin College, served in the Army’s Military Intelligence Corps in Korea, and later


graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked in accounting for Arthur Young, followed by work in finance for Trans World Airlines and American Airlines. He later served as chief financial officer for several companies, including Moore & Munger Inc. He retired as chairman of Cross Oil.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Luisa, along with two sons, five grandchildren, and two sisters.

c ’53

Frank J. Smith, December 10, 2021. Frank earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s in education from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before moving to Concord-Carlisle High School in 1965. He retired from teaching in the mid1980s. Frank coached tennis, soccer, and—most notably—wrestling. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Interscholastic Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, the New England Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the Massachusetts chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Frank was also a certified arborist and tree surgeon, and founded Olympic Tree, a full-service tree-care company.

Survivors include his wife, Bonnie, as well as a son, a daughter, a stepson, and two grandchildren.

c ’54

Kenneth Carmel, December 11, 2019. Ken attended the University of Pennsylvania; he was a real-estate entrepreneur who owned, developed, and managed a number of properties in New York City. He worked for Williams Real Estate and retired as vice chairman

of Colliers International. Survivors include his wife of more than 40 years, Brenda, along with two daughters and four grandchildren.

Peter B. Flowers, April 22, 2022. Pete graduated from Dartmouth College and Temple Medical School. He completed an internship in general practice at Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before serving as a commissioned officer in the Navy. Pete operated a private medical practice and spent 32 years as medical director at Cedar Haven Health Care in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Survivors include his wife, Anne, as well as a daughter, two grandsons, and a sister.

Jack M. McLaughlin, January 8, 2022. “Deke” was the son of Jack McLaughlin (1924), who ran Jack McLaughlin’s Drug Store on the square in downtown Mercersburg for decades. Deke attended the College of William & Mary and Lafayette College. After serving in the Navy, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He owned and operated Mercersburg Pharmacy for a number of years, and retired at age 80 from Walmart Pharmacy in Hagerstown, Maryland. In addition to his father, Deke was also preceded in death by a brother-in-law (Dick Kauffman ’49) and a son. Survivors include his wife, Julia, and two daughters.

Gottfried Metzler III, March 26, 2017. Gottfried graduated from the University of Delaware and Drexel University. He worked as a manager at the American Cyanamid Company and later as a consultant for BASF.

Robert B. Nolan, November 12, 2021. Bob graduated from Duke University

and worked for Old Colony Box Company, retiring as chairman of the company in 2000. In addition to his wife, Rochelle, survivors include a son, a daughter, two granddaughters, a sister, and a brother.

Felipe B. Sanchez, February 15, 2022. “Pipe” followed his father, Fructuoso (1917), to Mercersburg. He graduated from Georgetown University, the University of Puerto Rico, and Virginia Tech. He served in the Army and worked as a chemical engineer for Colgate-Palmolive and later as an engineer for Naval Sea Systems Command. Felipe was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred. Survivors include a son (David ’85) and a daughter, two sisters, a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and an alumni cousin (Benicio SanchezRivera ’52) and nephew (Carlos Sanchez La Costa ’82).

Richard E. With, August 21, 2019. Dick attended Ohio Wesleyan University and was an Army veteran. He was a pilot for 30 years for Midwestern Industries and also served as an FAA flight examiner specializing in private and commercial instruments and multi-engineering. He was a past recipient of the East Central Ohio Pilot Association’s Pilot of the Year award. Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Necia, along with a daughter and a son. Survivors include his longtime companion, Linda Lippert, as well as a sister.

c ’55

Milo Gwosden, April 20, 2021. Milo, also known as “Bud,” served in the Marine Corps and later graduated from San Francisco State College and San Francisco Law School. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1973. He

FALL 2022 61


taught social studies at three different high schools in the Bay Area for a total of more than 40 years, earning at least 10 “Teacher of the Year” awards in that span. Milo was proud to serve on various negotiating councils to help upgrade teachers’ salaries and improve their healthcare benefits. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Carlota, as well as two daughters, a grandson, and a sister.

Stanley M. Weener, June 17, 2021. Stan attended Cornell University and did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. He lived in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Survivors include his wife, Janet.

c ’56

William W. Boys, December 27, 2020. Bill graduated from Duke University and served in the Air Force for many years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He flew missions stateside and in Vietnam and was also stationed in France, Japan, Thailand, and Germany, receiving numerous medals and commendations for his service. After retiring from the Air Force, Bill ran a restaurant and bar, The Glass Turtle, in Roseville, California. He was preceded in death by his second wife, Kathy. Survivors include two children and several grandchildren.

Charles O. Wood III, November 26, 2021. Chas was preceded at Mercersburg by two great-uncles, Charles (1899) and Jacob (1899). He attended Yale Univer sity and served as chief executive of T.B. Wood’s Sons Company from 1969 to 1986. He served on Mercersburg’s Board of Regents from 1986 to 1995 and was a member of a number of other nonprofit boards, including Winterthur Museum and Gardens,

the Boston Celebrity Series, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Sarasota Orchestra. Survivors include his wife, Miriam, along with a sister, a brother, and an alumni step-sister, Elizabeth Washabaugh Jarvis ’71.

c ’58

W. Scott Bowman, October 21, 2021. After graduating from Mercersburg, Scott joined the Army; following an honorable discharge, he attended Denison University. He went to work for the family business, Bowman Insurance and Real Estate. Scott was active in the Brownsville (Pennsylvania) Historical Society and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce. He was preceded in death by his wife, Melinda. Survivors include three children and four grandchildren.

c ’62

S. Patrick Terry, December 14, 2021. Patrick graduated from Indiana University before joining the Navy, where he served as a communications watch officer during the Vietnam War. Following his military service, Patrick attended law school at the University of Kentucky and worked for Gess Mattingly. He left the firm to pursue his passion for the world of thoroughbred breeding and racing. He and several partners bought the Thoroughbred Record magazine, and he went on to become vice president of Domino Stud Farm. Survivors include his wife, Barbara, as well as three children, five grandchildren, and two brothers.

c ’64

William J. Everhart, March 17, 2021. Bill’s father, the late Mahlon Jr. ’31, preceded him at Mercersburg. After attending the University of Arizona, Bill spent a

majority of his days managing the Hatchet Ranch (near Hachita, New Mexico) for his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia. Survivors include two daughters, a brother (Terry ’61), and two sisters.

c ’66

David H. Saxe, January 4, 2022. Dave graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and spent 16 years with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked on statistical research and analysis of various educational test programs. He then spent 15 years at the Institute for Advanced Study (also in Princeton). Some of his research on large-scale astronomical surveys led to the discovery of the most-distant known object in the universe. He was also a contributor to a number of projects utilizing the Hubble Space Telescope. Survivors include his life partner of more than 40 years, Barbara Benton; a son and a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother, Tim ’68.

c ’67

Ronald K. Guy, January 13, 2020. Ron earned a bachelor’s degree from Thiel College and a master’s from Drexel University. He retired from Unisys Corporation as director of the Unisys weather unit after working for 32 years on weather information systems used by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Weather Service, United States Department of Defense, various airlines, and other companies. He was preceded in death by his wife, Giselle. Survivors include a nephew and a niece.

William W. Matchneer III, December 18, 2021. Bill followed in the footsteps of several alumni relatives at Mercersburg


(all now deceased): his grandfather, William Sr. (1906); great-uncle, Harry (1912); father, William Jr. ’43; and uncle, George ’48. Bill attended Ohio State University before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and a J.D. from the St. John’s University School of Law. He worked in Washington for the Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission and as head of the manufactured housing program for the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He retired to Pittsburgh from the Federal Reserve Bank in 2014 and joined the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as senior counsel on the firm’s financial services litigation and compliance team. He was also an amateur race car driver who won a number of Formula Vee championships as a member of the Sports Car Club of America. Survivors include Laurie, his wife of 37 years, along with a step-son, a sister and brother, and a step-sister.

c ’69

Thomas L. Shoemaker, February 8, 2022. Tom was a Pennsylvania state champion in the javelin before arriving as a postgraduate at Mercersburg, where he was a member of the football and track & field teams. He played four years of football at Penn State University under Joe Paterno, where he helped establish a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. Tom worked for Yellow Freight Systems as a salesman and later as a manager. He then moved to Atlas Powder Company, where he worked in industrial explosives, and ended his career as division president at Austin Powder Company. He is survived by Cathleen, his wife of 48 years, as well as a daughter and a son, three grandchildren, and a brother.

Bo Burbank Artist and Sportsman

Bouldin G. “Bo” Burbank, an emeritus faculty member who taught and coached at Mercersburg from 1962 to 1996, passed away January 14, 2022, in Massachusetts. He was 88.

Burbank served as head of two different academic departments— mathematics and arts—and coached several sports, most notably squash. He and his wife, Ellie, were married for more than 60 years and had six children, all of whom are Mercersburg alumni: Brad Burbank ’76, Charlotte Burbank Fiorentino ’80, Doug Burbank ’81, Tim Burbank ’83, Amy Burbank Kelaher ’89, and Sarah Burbank ’95.

Burbank earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with minors in fine art and physics from Trinity College in Connecticut and a master’s degree in mathematics from Syracuse University; he also studied architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and received a National Science Foundation grant. He taught for five years at Tabor Academy before arriving at Mercersburg in fall 1962 with his wife and two children. Along with his classroom duties and service as an adviser and dorm parent, Burbank was the faculty adviser for Blue Review and coached football, baseball, swimming, softball, tennis, and squash; his pupils included Mark Talbott ’78, who would spend 11 years as the topranked hardball squash player in the world, and the 1993 girls’ squash team, which compiled an undefeated record for the first time in the program’s history.

Burbank held the school’s David F. Chapman Chair for 22 years (from 1974 until his retirement). In 1994, Mercersburg established the Bouldin G. Burbank Scholarship Fund in his honor.

Burbank was a talented studio artist and collaborated with several of his children in that field; a squash-inspired mixed media piece he created hangs above the entrance to the Davenport Squash Center on campus.

In addition to his wife and children, survivors include 11 grandchildren.

FALL 2022 63

c ’71

Stephen H. Cooksey, November 15, 2021. Steve attended Duke University and West Virginia University Medical School and completed a residency at the University of Florida. He worked as a nephrologist with medical groups in Pittsburgh and Colorado Springs. Survivors include his wife, Kathy; two daughters and three sons; and a brother, Ben ’65.

William R. Merrell, July 20, 2020. Bill graduated from Florida State University and Florida International University. He was a self-employed certified public accountant and was also a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Survivors include his companion, Danna Houseknecht, as well as a sister and many nieces and nephews.

David F. Shutack, March 7, 2022. Dave graduated from Hampshire College and the University of Chicago, where he earned a master’s in philosophy. Dave had a successful career in advertising, including work as a creative director for Bayer Bess Vanderwarker and Foote, Cone & Belding. Survivors include his former wife, Patsy, as well as a daughter and a son, four step-siblings, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Paul G. Swagart, April 13, 2020. Paul attended the University of Denver and was an investment counselor for Prudential-Bache Securities. He lived in Gold River, California. Survivors include his wife, Cathy.

c ’72

Lance A. Winkler, December 25, 2021. Lance attended Maharishi International University in Iowa before graduating from Wright State University. He then joined the family business, The Winkler

Company, and was the editor of the Oakwood Register. He was preceded in death by a daughter. Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Lidiya, as well as three sons, a grandson, and a sister.

c ’73

Nathaniel H. Koenig, March 23, 2022. Nate graduated from Vanderbilt University and was an attorney. He lived in Nashville, Tennessee.

c ’76

Robert C. Neubauer, January 20, 2021. Bob attended Fordham University and lived in Los Angeles. Survivors include a brother and a sister.

c ’83

Jeffrey W. Dailey, January 3, 2022. Jeff was one of the Mercersburg students who accompanied faculty member Tim Rockwell and three other faculty members on a famed expedition to the Canadian Arctic in 1983. He graduated from Penn State University before joining the Peace Corps, where he spent two years in Botswana helping others in the agricultural sector. After returning home, Jeff worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving at livestock research units in Indiana and Texas. He earned a master’s degree from Texas Tech University. Survivors include two brothers and two sisters.

c ’88

Dean S. Hinton, February 4, 2022. Dean attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the University of Vermont. He owned Hinton Properties and was a real-estate investor based in Montgomery County, Maryland. Survivors include his wife, Tetiana; a son, two brothers, and a sister; and his former wife, Jasmina.

c ’90

Steven T. Koning, May 8, 2022. Steve graduated from Ohio University with a degree in recreation studies and adventure recreation. For nearly a decade, he owned and operated Snake River Tours in Jackson, Wyoming, and founded Geyser Kayak Tours in nearby Victor, Idaho, where he served as chief executive officer. Steve died in a kayaking accident in northwestern Montana. Survivors include his wife, Danielle.

c ’94

Chipangano P. Bandawe, April 5, 2022. Chip graduated from Strayer University. He worked as a property manager in Washington, D.C., and later in a number of hospitality roles in high-end restau rants in the Washington and Dallas areas. Survivors include his wife, Kitty LaDouce Bandawe, and a sister, Mwandi ’95.

c Former Faculty/Staff/ Friends

Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, mother of former Board of Regents member Alice Albright, and grandmother of David Bowes ’12 and Daniel Bowes ’17, March 23, 2022.

John R. Farrell, former chief of security (1985 to 1998), December 5, 2021.

Brendan D. Fitzsimmons, March 8, 2022. Brendan and his wife, Katie Groh Fitzsimmons, served as White Key co-chairs from 2018 to 2020. They received the James Hasson Distinguished Service Award for their work with the organization. In addition to his wife, survivors include two children, Barbara ’17 and Dalton ’20, and three brothers.


The Octet: 75 Years

IT ONLY MANAGED TO QUALIFY FOR page 5 of The Mercersburg News when news of its formation was published on December 7, 1946, but the Mercersburg Academy Octet made its debut the very next day. Few details are known about that first public performance; the student newspaper states only that it would be held “in the town of Mercersburg,” with subsequent engagements scheduled at Penn Hall and Wilson College. (Both, at the time, were all-female schools in nearby Chambersburg.)

Music faculty member Henry Ready chose eight students as members of the inaugural Octet, which has also been known informally over the years as “Eight Sharps” and “Double Quartet.” The original lineup included first tenors Robert Conlogue ’47 and Hart Sebring ’47, second tenors Maurice Cohill ’47 and John Kaltenthaler ’47, first basses Dave Long ’48 and Bob Stranahan ’47, and second basses Bill Kanenson ’47 and Bob Love ’48.

As it turns out, the final two surviving members of the original Octet passed away during the group’s 75th year of existence. Love died at age 96 in October 2021, and Cohill (who was 92) passed away on New Year’s Day 2022.

The current Octet continues to entertain students and community members alike, and is still best known for its annual rendition of “Summertime” as each school year comes to a close. This May, members of Magalia (the school’s female a cappella group) joined the Octet for the eagerly anticipated performance of “Summertime” as the “Magtet.”

The 1946–1947 Octet, with director Henry Ready (first row, center) The 2021–2022 Octet performs at the Spring Pops Concert
Newspaper ripped: Paperkites/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
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