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MiltonMagazine

WHAT IS

REAL?


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ta ble of contents

Features

Departments

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Do the Science. Show the Evidence.

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Sam Myers ’83 leads research that quantifies the health impacts of large scale, man-made environmental change. Sam is principal research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of the Planetary Health Alliance.

32 Classroom

10 Who’s Telling What Truth? An investigative journalist, staff writer at The New Yorker, author of two books, and winner of the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, Patrick Radden Keefe ’94 writes stories about people who would prefer he not write about them.

14 Is Seeing Believing? We all attach desires and biases to the art we see, consciously or not. Jovonna Jones ’11 is researching the history of photography, black visual culture, and the implications of that history for cultural institutions.

16 Trying to Ascertain What Happened: Bolstering the Rule of Law After serving as a defender, prosecutor and judge in New York, Mary McGowan Davis ’63 developed her expertise in international human rights and humanitarian law over many years of intrepid, global work.

20 Solo Canoe Journeys Across Massachusetts Make a Fine Point Denny Alsop ’69 canoed across Massachusetts, along the same route he took in 1988, with the same mission: to draw attention to the toxic aftermath of GE in the Berkshires.

24 They See, Snap and Share: Students on Their Devices

Across the Quad

37 On Centre

Points of View 40 Milton Mural Since 1977, the Saturday

42 Messages

Course Has Thrilled Children Every Week 34 In Sight

47 Class Notes 53 Board of Trustees

Photograph by 56 Post Script

Michael Dwyer

Mr. Millet Responds 36 Head of School How Do We Know? by Todd B. Bland

Editor Cathleen Everett Associate Editors Marisa Donelan Liz Matson Design Stoltze Design

Photography Michael Dwyer Gerry Ellis / Minden Pictures Ben Garver, The Berkshire Eagle John Gillooly Greg Katsoulis Kjeld Mahoney Photography Ilene Squires Greg White

Milton Magazine is published twice a year by Milton Academy. Editorial and business offices are located at Milton Academy, where change-ofaddress notifications should be sent. As an institution committed to diversity, Milton Academy welcomes the opportunity to admit academically qualified students of any gender, race, color, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally available to its students. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, and athletic or other School-administered activities. Printed on recycled paper.

Students and counselors weigh in on how and why students use Snapchat and Instagram.

28 Revamping the Classic Research Project Middle Schoolers learn to locate the facts and worthwhile analysis—instead of the bunk—as they research hot-button issues.

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What is real? Alumni who must find and declare the truth as their life’s work live in rigorous times. What is the impact on their work, and on their persons, when public voices dismissively declare that the truth is fake, or that an alternate reality is true? We asked alumni who mine for the truth in different domains: How hard it is to find the truth? How difficult is it to know what’s real? And in an environment of widespread mistrust, what happens to the reality they bring forward? How vulnerable is the truth? How illusive is the truth? What, we wanted to know, is the daring part of “daring to be true”—finding it, declaring it, keeping it alive, making sure it matters?

How Do I Look? by Lucy Landau ’18

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acro s s t h e qua d

Points of View Seniors project the Milton they know to prospective students through Milton’s Instagram account. They are OBK (Orange and Blue Key) members, who lead campus tours for the office of admission and help interested students learn about the life of the School. OBK heads managed our Instagram account throughout the year, starting with a “selfie” post to introduce themselves. Do their posts give you a sense of Milton?

Jade May miltonacademy Today, my Advanced Bio class worked with bacteria and slime mold! #daretobemilton

Kalaria Okali miltonacademy I’m a section editor for the Milton Measure and tonight the Measure and the Paper join together to create Milton’s humor publication: The Shallot. #daretobemilton

Sophie Clivio miltonacademy Brigadier General Johnson was our amazing Veteran’s Day speaker this morning. He spoke to us about the importance of service, and we thank him for his service.

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Sophie Clivio miltonacademy Sit-down dinner in Hallowell!! #dormpride #hallowell #happythursday

Kalaria Okali miltonacademy Learning how to play dreidel at the JSU Hanukkah party! #daretobemilton

Velan Nandhakumaran miltonacademy Hi guys, my name is Velan and I will be taking over the Milton Academy Instagram this week!! I’m going to give you a sneak peek inside of my life at school!

I’m from

Mississauga, Canada and a senior on the hockey team residing in Forbes house. #daretobemilton #funfunfun

Emily Panarese miltonacademy Taking a break from studying with some fun slime making in Milton’s Art with a Social Conscience club!!

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Photo by Gerry Ellis / Minden Pictures M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


truth one   

SAM MYERS ’83

Sam Myers ’83 As Sam Myers delivers an esteemed, international lecture, you can sense the live tension between the deep, emotional urgency of his assessment and the patient, unassailable methodology he believes must drive our response. Sam works at the nexus of accelerating environmental

homeostasis, stability in the system, that it functions almost

change and human health. He has steadfastly worked to

like a single, gigantic organism that’s also immensely

develop an engine of research that addresses complex

fragile. I started thinking about these connections between

and critical environmental questions. The evidence that

the natural world and human health and well-being.”

emerges quantifies the human health impacts of large scale, man-made environmental change. Last November in London, Dr. Richard Horton, editor-

Lewis Thomas’ concepts continued to anchor Sam during medical school at Yale and as he began his medical internship at the University of California, San Francisco.

in-chief of The Lancet, was about to start taking questions

Then, two Tibetan officials, Sam’s partners at a dinner

from the packed audience at The Academy of Medical

party, were able to convince Sam to leave his residency

Sciences & The Lancet International Health Lecture, when

for two years, and develop an integrated environmental

he momentarily diverted. “Tell us how,” he asked Sam,

conservation and health care program they had in

who had just delivered the lecture, “despite your full,

mind. They had just created a huge new national park on

traditional, medical training, and work at some of the

the North Side of Mount Everest, Qomolangma Nature

leading hospitals in the United States, you got into this

Preserve; in return for requiring the 75,000 park residents

very new discipline: planetary health?” Sam, now director

to forego some traditional activities—certain kinds of

of the Planetary Health Alliance and principal research

hunting and tree cutting—they would provide a primary

scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,

health care preventative medicine program as a benefit

explained that it all started in 10th grade.

for them, within the larger conservation effort. “They

He’d wanted to be an English teacher, but at Milton, English faculty Tom Doelger suggested that Sam read some Lewis Thomas. A physician and esteemed scientist who’d run the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, Thomas was

wanted those living on the land to understand the benefits of maintaining this park,” Sam says. The Tibet program was Sam’s first, but not last, on-theground opportunity to work at the intersection of health and

also a brilliant writer. “Acerbic, witty, with a deep respect

the environment. After finishing his medical training at

for science, nothing flaky, but keen observation and always

UCSF, he spent six years in lower-income country settings,

curious,” Sam says. “He wrote that the more we study the

on projects that integrated natural resource management,

complexity of life on earth, the more it starts to look like a

population, and primary health care.

single organism. So many complex feedbacks maintain

Working on concrete projects in local communities led to

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two realizations: First, the connections between manage­

connections between environmental change and health

ment of natural systems and human health were even more

across different fields—like infectious disease exposure

direct and critical than he had suspected. Second, villagers

and nutrition, and natural disasters and population

in these tropical communities were already keenly aware

displacement.

of these connections. They were not degrading their natural

and the ensuing ten years of research prove Sam’s conten­tion:

had no other plausible means of feeding themselves and

Shaping crucial questions and investigating them in a

their children. Perhaps he was working in the wrong dimension of

coordinated effort across multiple disciplines is both possible and crucial. The data that the studies deliver allows

practice, Sam thought. Stepping back and thinking at

policy makers to consider strategies and interventions that

a global scale would be more valuable, as would research

really work—to save lives and resources—and mitigate the

focused on quantifying the ways in which large-scale

pace of degradation.

environmental degradation drives larger and larger burdens of disease around the world. “People were giving lip service to the idea that human well-being is tied to environmental conditions,” he says. “What was missing was an evidence base. What we needed, actually, was a science underneath those sentiments.

“We needed a new field, deeply interdisciplinary and

The first such issue Sam dove into, he says, was looking at emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and how they drive not just global climatic disruption, but also significant reductions in the nutritional value of food. “We found that the edible portion of crops grown at elevated CO2 had significant reductions in protein, iron and zinc,” Sam

said in an interview with The Guardian. “These CO 2-

tightly focused on the health effects of environmental

induced nutrient changes will drive hundreds of millions

disruption and transformation. To build such a field, we

of people into zinc deficiency, while exacerbating the

needed to start with an evidence base and a proof of

condition for billions already suffering from it.” Subsequent

concept—that these questions could be framed and answered

papers, published in August of 2017, showed similar impacts

rigorously to improve our understanding of how, where,

of rising CO2 on global risk of iron and protein deficiencies.

and why environmental changes are driving human health burdens.” Therefore, back to Harvard he went, for an MPH.

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That scan helped him surface viable research questions—

systems out of ignorance but out of desperation: They

In another study published in The Lancet in 2015, Sam and his co-investigators developed a new approach to estimating the importance of animal pollinators for human

During a clinical research fellowship with Harvard

nutrition. “We have conducted an analysis of how such

Medical School and the School of Public Health, he

declines would impact the global burden of disease by

developed a major review paper (2009) that scanned

increasing the risk of vitamin A deficiency, folate deficiency

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


and low intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds,” he reported in The Guardian. “In total, we found that pollinator declines could lead to over one million deaths annually and a very large global burden of disease.” Biodiversity loss is another issue under investigation:

annual meeting is this May at the University of Edinburgh.” “It’s gaining momentum.” Sam says. “People are coalescing; we have this engine of research.” Some universities, Cornell for instance, have instituted a degree program in planetary science; Sam is teaching an

the loss of access to both terrestrial and marine wildlife for

under­g raduate course at Harvard, and is lead editor on

food. The concern is about the “quiet erosion of a nutritional

a first textbook for planetary health.

cornerstone as access to wild-caught fish becomes scarcer,” Sam says. “We have put together a strong team of fisheries

Not a moment too soon. “We as a species are at an interesting moment where our capacity to exploit the world’s

ecologists, economists and nutritional epidemi­ologists,”

resources has amplified to the extent that we are disrupting

he says, “to begin quantifying the role that global fisheries

our natural systems so much faster than we ever have before,

play in nutrient intakes and nutritional status around

and it’s astonishing,” Sam says.

the world. In this way, we can explore the extent to which sustainable fisheries management is not just a conservation imperative, but also a public health one.” With scientists from Harvard and Columbia University, Sam leads a study evaluating the impact of haze caused by fires set to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood planta­ tions on carbon-rich peat land in the Indonesian forest. Monsoon winds typically blow the haze over Singapore and Malaysia. According to BBC News on September 19, 2016, the study, which combined satellite data with models of health impacts from smoke exposure and readings from pollution monitoring stations, estimated that approximately

“People were giving lip service to the idea that human well-being is tied to environmental conditions. What was missing was an evidence base. What we needed, actually, was a science underneath those sentiments.”

100,000 people died prematurely in 2015 due to fires across three countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore). “This modeling allows us to quantify the impacts of scenarios the Indonesian government actually has under

More than anything, Sam has realized the center of gravity he sought. “My dream has always been to see

consideration,” Sam explains. “We can say, ‘If you

the world recognize that how we manage and take care of

continue business as usual, this is how many people die.

our planet’s natural systems is intimately related to our

If you protect the peatlands from fire, this is how many

own health and well-being. This is starting to happen under

lives you save.’ It directly connects natural resource

the framework of planetary health. There is still so much

management decisions to health outcomes for policy makers,

to do, but the seed is planted and the plant is starting to grow!

and that’s really important.” Developing an evidence-based, transdisciplinary field

“We scientists need to connect science and society. We have to ask the right questions in the first place, engaging

focused on the human health impacts of accelerating

policy makers and practitioners to find out what research

environmental change is “critical to our future,” Sam says.

is most useful to them,” Sam notes. “Then, we have to find

In 2014, this field was christened “planetary health.”

the language that resonates for average Americans.” Sam

The Rockefeller Foundation and The Lancet created their

believes that scientists need to help people understand that

Commission on Planetary Health and asked Sam to

more careful management of our planet’s natural systems

serve as a commissioner. In 2015, the Commission released

is not only an environmental priority but an urgent public

its report, “Safeguarding Human Health in the

health priority. When people understand that their own

Anthropocene Epoch.” At the same time, the Rockefeller

health and their children’s futures are at stake, that’s when

Foundation announced its support for an organization

they demand action.

that Sam had conceptualized: The Planetary Health

Despite the odds, Sam is optimistic. “I am hopeful that

Alliance. Launched early in 2016, the Alliance created a

humans have enormous capacity for innovation, courage

center of gravity for the emerging field of planetary

and imagination. It will take all three to rethink our place

health; its first global meeting occurred in April 2017, at

in the world and construct a new narrative in which we

Harvard Medical School. “Our first meeting drew 350

conserve our planet’s natural systems as part of taking care

people from 25 different countries,” Sam says. “Today,

of each other and ourselves.”

1,600 people get our newsletter. In less than two years, we have well over 90 institutional members, and our next

by Cathleen Everett

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truth t wo   

PAT R I C K R A D D E N K E E F E ’ 9 4

Who’s Telling What Truth? Patrick Radden Keefe ’94 If this story were to begin the way Patrick Radden Keefe’s stories in The New Yorker do, the first sentence would roll an explicit nugget of juicy fact your way. Craving a few more details, you’d slide right into the second sentence, and you’d be hooked. The title might have been what caught your interest and

will be published in 2019. Patrick received a Guggenheim

arrested your casual page-flipping—something like “The

Fellowship and fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson

Family that Built An Empire of Pain,” or “Solving the

International Center for Scholars, the New America

Mystery of the Lockerbie Bombing,” or “Anthony Bourdain’s

Foundation, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and

Moveable Feast.” By the end of the first paragraph, you

Writers at the New York Public Library.

would be bound to continue Patrick’s deep dive into an intriguing and often startling world. Patrick is an investigative journalist, a staff writer at

in the secret, in excavating—sometimes looking at something

The New Yorker magazine. He has written about the trial

that is actually right out there, but not really all that well

of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the vast

understood,” he says. While Patrick was studying for the

hedge-fund scandal rooted in the relationship among a

bar exam in 2005, for example, a criminal trial happening

doctor, a trader and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen; and

a few blocks away, in downtown Manhattan, piqued his

the power tactics of Carl Ichan as President Trump’s friend and official advisor. Patrick received the National

immigrant economy in Chinatown. “I was so distracted by these really colorful stories about this amazing woman.

Writing in 2014 for “A Loaded

The Feds were throwing the book at her for being a human

Gun,” and was a finalist for

smuggler, but in Chinatown she was considered a hero

the National Magazine Award

because she had helped so many people. I pitched that story

for Reporting in 2015 and 2016.

to The New Yorker as an article, and they took it. That was

He has written two books:

my first piece for them.” Patrick had completed Yale Law School after having

The Chinatown Underworld

taken a leave to complete his first book, on surveillance and

and the American Dream, and

electronic eavesdropping. While writing the book he’d

Chatter: Uncovering the

published stories in Slate and New York Review of Books. This

Echelon Surveillance Network

first New Yorker story about Sister Ping and the immigrant

and the Secret World of Global

economy in Chinatown ultimately became his second book.

Eavesdropping. His third book, Say Nothing, about the IRA,

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interest. The defendant, a woman known as “the snakehead,” would eventually center his second book about the

Magazine Award for Feature

The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of

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His writing often elucidates people and processes that are hidden in plain sight. “I’m interested in the unknown,

“Many times, subjects I’m looking at are not by them­ selves sort of sexy or engaging; a lot of times they can be


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of any government regulation that constrains his companies,” is still setting his targets at 80 years old. He assisted President Trump in assembling the administration’s cabinet secretaries and agency heads. Often, inter­ views with Trump in Trump Tower were followed immediately by interviews with Ichan, “just down the street.” The inveterate power broker disrupted an industry and aggrandized the profits at a refinery he owned, as he brandished his role as special advisor to the president on regulatory reform. He announced his exit from the administration as a resignation. The White House claimed he never had an appointment, despite press releases to the contrary. Patrick says he imagines “the reader who’s just gotten onto the subway, magazine open, folded over a bag, and then they’ve got three stops . . . or it’s 10:30 and the person’s just gotten into bed and they’re going to be asleep in five minutes. Sometimes the story you’re telling is the one that person might skip, like about corruption in the mining sector in West Africa.” Patrick’s ambition is to tell a story Photos by Ilene Squires

quite dark,” Patrick says. “Often my work is digging and

that is gripping and seductive in a narrative manner, so

trying to bring things to light that aren’t necessarily in

readers will engage with something they hadn’t, or wouldn’t,

the public realm. That involves finding stories, finding the

otherwise—about the workings of an underground

people who are characters so that you can present your

economy, or insider trading in the hedge fund world, or

subject as a narrative.” With that approach, Patrick has

about corruption right under our noses.

brought some memorable people to the forefront. For example, Sister Ping, “short and stout, with cropped black hair, wide-set, dark eyes, and a hangdog expression . . . ,”

questions is whether people at the heart of the story “will play ball at all,” as he puts it. Most people, he finds, want

spoke almost no English, had little formal education, and

to tell their story. If he shows that he takes them seriously

wore the simple clothes of a Chinese peasant. She was an

and asks good questions, by and large people tell him

ample foundation for revealing the immensely profitable

interesting things.

international business enterprise she ran, which inspired both condemnation and praise. The Brooklyn-born brothers, psychiatrists and great

“With my investigative work, however, I often write about people who don’t want me writing about them.” An unwillingness to be interviewed crops up frequently. He’s

philanthropists, Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler,

made “something of a specialty” of “the write around,” a

bequeathed to their heirs an immense fortune and the

method for writing the story without access to the person

legacy of “leaving the world a better place.” The source of

at the center. He fans out to people around the figure in

their wealth is less well-known. They were the architects

question, talking with relatives, neighbors, co-workers and

behind the development of OxyContin in 1995 and, perhaps

employees, partners, opponents, officials, biographers,

more importantly, the comprehensive and successful

subject experts, scholars. He researches books and articles,

strategic marketing program aimed at changing the

financial statements, legal decisions, court documents

prescribing habits of doctors across the country. OxyContin,

and communications, until it’s possible to build the story

the often-abused opioid painkiller, “has reportedly

accurately. Writing stories about the drug lord and business

generated some $35 billion in revenue for the family firm:

captain Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is a case in point:

Purdue Pharma,” Patrick wrote. Carl Ichan, the restless corporate raider, “pugnacious deal machine, all avarice and swagger,” and “voluble critic

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For Patrick’s storytelling style, one of the biggest

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E

“Cocaine Incorporated” starts in Los Angeles with El Chapo’s wife, Emma Colonel, delivering her twins, “a pair of heiresses,” and moves forward and backward in time to


document the development of a nimble, opportunistic and

that the opioid epidemic is awful, but that it has nothing to

global enterprise.

do with them, Patrick muses. Perhaps they feel they set

Sometimes Patrick’s interviews with individuals

out to create something critically needed by patients, and

throughout a person’s world provoke a willingness to

the trajectory didn’t play out as they’d hoped. “But their

engage. In his story, “A Loaded Gun,” Patrick explores

reactions, when the first signs start coming that they may

the story of Amy Bishop, an associate professor of biology

have created a monster, tweaking and revitalizing the

at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who shot six

marketing plan—I don’t think they reacted the way one

colleagues, killing three, in February 2010. She had shot

would want them to,” says Patrick.

and killed her younger brother, Seth, at their Braintree, Massachusetts home in 1986, but was never charged with a crime by Braintree police. In the course of research Patrick talked with scores of people, including friends of Amy, Seth and their parents, about the Braintree incident. Ultimately, Amy’s mother and father came around. Amy’s mother, Judy, was present when her son was killed. Perhaps the Bishops grew progressively more interested in telling their own story, Patrick surmises. Finally, Amy herself reached out to Patrick, in a number of phone calls from the Tutweiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama, where she is serving a life sentence.

“Often my work is digging and trying to bring things to light that aren’t necessarily in the public realm. That involves finding stories, finding the people who are characters so that you can present your subject as a narrative.”

When the subject of a story does agree to talk, Patrick’s task is to calibrate what he or she says, cross-check it, evaluate its veracity, and determine the degree of over- or understatement. Carl Ichan agreed to talk with Patrick,

Immediately following the online release of “Carl Ichan’s Failed Raid on Washington,” either Ichan resigned

for instance, but insisted that everything he said was off

and stepped away, or the White House fired him,

the record.

depending on which source you believe. That confluence

Often, Patrick is interested in denial: individual denial,

of events—months of research, exhaustive and broad-

family denial, institutional denial. “How do you tease

based interviews, the story’s online exposure of influence

that out when you’re talking to somebody who’s actually

and corruption, and then the end of Ichan’s insider role—

invested in the denialist narrative?” The Harvey Weinstein

was both bracing and ultimately validating, according to

story, which other New Yorker reporters broke this year,

Patrick. It felt like “a very concrete form of efficacy.”

is an example of this dilemma. Denial was widespread, complex and has yet to be unpacked. “The Loaded Gun,” Patrick feels, is, more than many others, a story about denial. He sees the tendency for

“On the one hand, business is great for journalism and investigative journalism in particular,” Patrick says. “The New Yorker subscriptions have continued to increase since November 2016. On the other hand, in certain

compassion on the part of the Braintree police chief—

moments you wonder about the utility of it in a world in

feeling that Judy Bishop, having lost her son at the hands

which people could just dismiss something as ‘fake news.’”

of her daughter, had suffered enough and they ought to

Writing for The New Yorker affords the luxury of enough

leave well enough alone—as a totally human reflex, with

time to thoroughly dig in and take the story wherever

disastrous results 24 years later. Regardless of evidence

it goes. Patrick considers himself an empiricist. Free from

that’s hard to square with their conviction, the Bishops

the constraints and timetable of a quick turn-around

state assuredly that what happened to Seth in their kitchen

column, he can talk to plenty of people, read “a ton,” dig up

was an accident. “I know. I was there,” Judy Bishop says.

files and put pieces together. “The magazine has a reputation

Patrick was most eager, in researching “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain,” for Sackler family members

for veracity, for putting a ton of investment into every word. You have editors, copy editors, fact-checkers, in my

to talk with him, but they refused. “I was pretty sure that

case lawyers, also, poring over every detail. Both the

they had a story to tell. Not because I think that they’re

White House and Ichan ran away from this pretty unholy

necessarily good, or that they don’t bear some real respon­si­

relationship. I don’t know that it’s going to work out that

bility for the opioid epidemic, but more because I’m pretty

way again with any of my pieces any time soon, but it was

sure that whatever they’re telling themselves, they believe.

encouraging that it did.”

If there was ever a time to tell your story, if you have one, now is the time.” Perhaps they feel totally misunderstood,

by Cathleen Everett

SPRING 2018

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truth thr ee   

JOVONNA JONES ’11

Is Seeing Believing? Jovonna Jones ’11 The artist Carrie Mae Weems broke the rules when she created her famed photography series, “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried.” The 19th-century daguerreotypes of slaves in the American South Weems photographed had been commissioned by Harvard professor Louis Agassiz, who in 1850 sought to prove racial inferiority and create a taxonomy of African slaves’ body types. The daguerreotypes are kept in Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, which restricts reproduction of its exhibits. Violating Peabody policy, Weems reframed the images for her exhibit, positioning them with others depicting black people in American history. Ultimately, she provided

attached to images,” Jovonna says. “Images exist in the real

a visual record of the violence that buttressed slavery and

world, but they’re also really politically fraught, as well

institutional racism. Harvard threatened to sue Weems

as politically generative, because people create images for

over her use of the images, which she welcomed—it would

specific reasons. I started thinking about this while taking

open a conversation about who owned art and history.

photography with Bryan Cheney at Milton. He focused on

No lawsuit materialized.

all these philosophical aspects of photography.”

Jovonna Jones ’11 is a doctoral student in African and African-American studies at Harvard. Her research homes

ABOVE

Photo by John Gillooly RIGHT Photos courtesy of Jovonna Jones

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Jovonna began exploring the deep meaning of imagery in a Milton photo lab. “We always have a set of desires

As consumers, we attach desired outcomes and biases that affect how we interpret art or information—whether

in on questions such as those raised in the controversy over

consciously or not, Jovonna says. Photos can also be

Weems’ work: Who owns history? How do we find truth in

weaponized, used to lie to or degrade people. They can be

images? Jovonna is researching the history of photography,

interpreted in ways that distort reality as well as the

black visual culture, and its implications for cultural institu­

photographer’s intent.

tions, from places like the Peabody to individual families.

“Objective truth doesn’t necessarily exist in a general

“Questions about property ownership intersect with

sense,” she says. “We can talk about facts, empirical things

those about who owns the record of a violent, racist past.

that we know to have happened, and quantitative, mea­

The person who created this terrible imagery was part

surable things, but when people talk about truth, it is so

of Harvard, but Carrie Mae Weems, a black woman artist,

wrapped up in our associations and what we want from

has a real connection to the people who were exploited,”

that information. The difficulty comes from the emotionality

Jovonna says. “The legal process involved in a breach of

attached to it.”

contract cannot resolve or rationalize these more nuanced issues about race and history and violence.”

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E

In college at Emory University, Jovonna majored in African-American studies and minored in philosophy.


During a brief stint in an MFA program for photography,

and would read voraciously while her older siblings did

she decided to change course and pursue her doctorate.

their homework. During rides to Milton in the morning,

One motivation was studying the mugshot photo of Sandra

Jovonna would read her papers to her encouraging father,

Bland, a Chicago woman who died in police custody after

a preacher and educator.

a traffic stop in Texas. When the photo was released to the public, it opened up

For Jovonna, family photos were the key to under­stand­ ing her family members during the time before she

speculation that Ms. Bland was already dead when she

existed; photos wove together narratives and enriched

was brought to the police station. Video released later of her

her understanding of her family history.

inside the station debunked the rumors, but the photo’s impact lasts, Jovonna says. “Even though she was alive, what people were feeling when they first saw that image is still valid,” she says. “The framing around how people present and react to images is crucial.” Jovonna’s research focuses on the form and aesthetics of

“Being the youngest, and not having known these people in my family during those times—the photographs became, and still are, the ways that I’m locating myself in a past that didn’t factually exist for me,” Jovonna says. The power of those photos may have sparked Jovonna’s academic career. She looks to imagery to answer important

photography in relation to how the medium has been used in

questions about how people of color are rooted and repre­

different institutions. While in graduate school—under the

sent­ed in the past, in a society, in a culture: oversimplified

tutelage of art historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis—she intends

at times, overlooked at others, but always there.

to focus on photographs of black childhood at the turn

Reading James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time at Milton,

of the last century. Photos can show a vibrant life for black

along with several Toni Morrison novels, sparked her

families, depicting joyful moments and celebrating growth.

interest in the relationships between institutions of the

They can contrast, or at a minimum, expand the mainstream

world and people’s inner lives, both social and political.

historical records of black Americans in the beginning of the

Later, she discovered the writing of black women intellec­

last century, so overwhelmed by images and chronicles of

tuals and academics—Audre Lorde, Sylvia Wynter

suffering during the Jim Crow era.

and Angela Davis, for example—which helped Jovonna

“By learning about children and the figure of the child, during any time period, we can juxtapose children’s lived

understand that black women have a well-earned place, not only in organizing and community building, but

experiences with the social, cultural, and political burdens

in scholarship. She sees a future in education—her dream

children sometimes face,” she says. “I’m interested in black

job would be leading the Smithsonian’s new National

childhood in the early 20th century, because those children

Museum of African American History and Culture.

were living a paradox: How are you supposed to take on your role as the ‘American future’ when racism actively stops you and your family at every turn?” Jovonna has always been a seeker, a mindset celebrated

“What I’m realizing every day,” she says, “is that it is a revolutionary act for me as a black woman to be a scholar: to feed and declare my mind, not just that it exists, but the richness of what my mind contains and seeks.”

in a family committed to learning. The youngest of four, Jovonna tagged along when her mother returned to college,

by Marisa Donelan

SPRING 2018

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16

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


truth four   

M A RY M CG OWA N DAV I S ’ 63

Trying to Ascertain What Happened Bolstering the Rule of Law

Mary McGowan Davis ’63 Mary McGowan Davis has consulted, taught and mentored judges, prosecutors and defenders in countries where governments or legal systems are often described as “transitional,” such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and Rwanda. She has also served on United Nations Human Rights Council entities concerned with discerning fact and assuring justice. Mary’s expertise in international human rights and

York during that period. These were the years of the crack

humanitarian law developed over more than 20 years of

cocaine epidemic. Not only would we try cases during the

intrepid, global work. Her legal career began conventionally

day, but we would sit in the arraignments, which were going

enough, in New York during the 1970s, where she was a

24/7, 365 days a year.”

legal aid lawyer representing indigent defendants in criminal appeals. She moved on to be an Assistant U.S. Attorney

After 13 years as a judge, Mary was attracted by the grow­ing field of international law. She retired from the bench in 1998 and headed to Columbia with intentions of getting an LL.M. (master of laws), but instead audited

Victims from both sides really wanted the world to listen to them. “They wanted to speak to me, as a representative of the international community.”

inter­national law courses and immediately began helping students in a human rights clinic. They were serving papers on Li Peng, then the Deputy Premier of China, in connection with the repression of protestors in Tiananmen Square. “I knew the state department would exercise their right to inter­vene,” she says, “but still, the students served him, and we did the motion papers, and that was—I think—fun for the students.” In 2000, Mary and her husband, Fred, began working

for the Eastern District of New York. In 1986, New York

with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

City Mayor Ed Koch appointed her as a judge to the criminal

(ICTR), which was seated in Arusha, Tanzania. Fred Davis

court and she subsequently served on the New York

organized advocacy trainings for the prosecutors at the

Supreme Court. She heard felony cases—“mostly drugs,”

ICTR, and he and Mary made many visits to the Tribunal

Mary says, “but also murder trials, and rape, sexual violence

between 2000 and 2010 with a team of U.S. judges and

and robberies. There were many violent robberies in New

lawyers, and Canadian lawyers. Mary also spent a major

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part of 2001 working on a project for Trinity College, Dublin, documenting the growth of international criminal

Law for two successive terms, the second as its chair. The Committee of Experts’ role was to see whether the

procedure at the Tribunal. In the courtrooms, she would

Israeli and Palestinian authorities were implementing

observe, then detail and interpret, the procedural rulings

the Goldstone Report’s recommendations—that is, leading

delivered by the judges during the course of the trials.

their own in-depth investigations and taking legal actions

Beginning in 2010, the UN tapped Mary for roles related to investigations of potential violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law during conflicts in

to hold individuals accountable for alleged war crimes and human rights violations. Then, Mary served as Commissioner, and later chair,

Gaza. She served on a UN Committee of Independent

of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014

Experts in International Humanitarian and Human Rights

Gaza conflict charged with deter­mining whether the parties involved in the conflict had committed violations of human rights or humanitarian law in conducting hostilities. Pursuing these goals was not easy. The Israelis, for example, pledged noncooperation— with the Committee of Experts and the Commission of Inquiry—because their position was that all investigations that originate in the Human Rights Council are biased. Mary and the other independent experts were able to go to Gaza City once in 2010 to interview many people who themselves, or whose family members, were victims of the Israeli strikes and mortar attacks. Their second attempt in 2011 to visit Gaza was unproductive, as they were barred from entering Gaza through Israel, or through Egypt, due to the fall of the Mubarak government. Then, as a Commissioner, Mary was also prevented from reaching Gaza through Egypt because of the security situation in the Sinai. She and her colleagues interviewed Palestinian witnesses via Skype and video conferencing. “I viewed my role as chair of the Commission of Inquiry to try to be balanced and fair,” Mary says. “Both sides have to abide by the same standards in the way they conduct hostilities. It’s hard for people to understand, but we had to apply the same legal standards to the alleged conduct on both sides.” Assessing military activity is very difficult; things like intent, military advantage, the reasonably projected number of civilian casualties, all matter. The Commission concluded by identifying potential violations—based on interviews, opinions of military and other

18

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


experts, IT investigators, videos, testimony—Mary explains, but “it’s hard without an ability to talk with one side, to ask, ‘Was that a mistake? Why did that bomb drop on a house with 18 people?’ It is very hard to do a thorough job if you can’t physically enter the country.” Interviewing survivors of violence was “devastating,” Mary says, and she was continually impressed by the empathy and graciousness that victims expressed toward people on the other side of the conflict. “An Israeli mother whose four-

“These lawyers truly believed that the moment was favorable for their country to make the transition to a society governed by modern laws rather than tribal customs. I respect them enormously.”

year-old was blown apart by a mortar, a Palestinian mother whose child was torched in retaliation for the kidnapping of three Israeli kids—both women expressed feelings for all mothers, that no mother should ever go through this.” As the Dare to Be True speaker at their 50th reunion

One of Mary’s most poignant memories, one she shared

in 2013, Mary told her classmates about listening to a young

with her classmates at reunion, was of “the little girls

Palestinian man describe “the bomb that came out of

who appeared in front of the mobile justice court in Eastern

the night and destroyed his home, killing 20 of his family

Congo, which the UN has called the ‘rape capital’ of the

members. . . . Israeli families highlighted their own fears,”

world, to testify to the crimes committed against them.”

she said. “Rockets rain down on them daily from Gaza while

Mary had traveled eight hours from Bukavu out into the

sirens sound, children scream, and they anxiously watch

bush where, she said, “under an open-sided tent on a remote

the skies.” Victims from both sides really wanted the world

hilltop, a most remarkable court session was in progress,

to listen to them. “They wanted to speak to me,” Mary says,

organized by the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law

“as a representative of the international community.” Mary also worked continually with a raft of NGOs,

Project. For hours in the broiling sun, throngs of villagers stood patiently and attentively, babies on their hips, chickens

such as International Senior Lawyers Project, the

and goats wandering through the crowd, while the

International Bar Association, the Open Society Justice

diligent and sensitive Congolese judges and lawyers tried

Initiative, and the International Legal Foundation. Each

case after case of alleged rape and sexual violence.”

was concerned in particular ways with protecting human rights, building the capacity of the legal institutions, and ensuring open, stable societies. She spent the better part of 2004–2005, for example, in

In recent years, Mary worked in Tunisia, where judges in that country were working to establish a truly independent judiciary. Here, as the stresses of being a new democracy were playing out, and as Mary and her colleagues

Kabul, Afghanistan, where she had to be evacuated twice for

were collaborating to think through some of the challenges

security reasons. “It was an exciting time,” Mary says. The

to judicial independence, she was “frequently called on to

Afghans had adopted a new criminal procedure code modeled account for America’s own failings as a society professing on Italian law. She mentored public interest criminal defense

allegiance to the rule of law.” She was referring then, in

lawyers, arguing, “You need to have a strong defense bar

particular, to the United States’ falling short of its obligations

to have a system that truly delivers justice.” Among her team

for investigating, prosecuting, and making reparations

members that year were a family court judge and mother

for alleged acts of torture, both international and domestic.

of six; two or three former district attorneys; and an older,

“All courts are trying to find out what happened, or what

distinguished, Shariah-trained lawyer and authority

is happening,” Mary says. “They just go about it in different

on Afghan law. “It was a great office,” Mary says, “and these

ways.” In countries around the world, in situations fraught

lawyers truly believed that the moment was favorable for

with both danger and fragile opportunity, Mary has helped

their country to make the transition to a society governed

develop the kind of rigorous legal procedure capable of

by modern laws rather than tribal customs. I respect them

hearing those who need to be heard, and rendering justice.

enormously.” Mary counts this year as one of the most rewarding of her legal career.

by Cathleen Everett

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M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


truth fi v e   

BY DENNY ALSOP ’69

Solo Canoe Journeys Across Massachusetts Make a Fine Point You don’t walk your dog along the river in my town, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. You don’t eat fiddleheads from its banks in the spring. You don’t wear your golf shoes into the kitchen. You don’t eat dairy, wild game and produce from our flood plain, the Housatonic River flood plain. If you canoe, you avoid contact with the water and fine silt, and as your neighbors succumb, as their dogs present tumors, you worry. When I was a Class III student at Milton in 1962, Rachel

the soil. Following the ascendancy of Jack Welch to

Carson’s Silent Spring was our environmental wake-up call.

chairman and CEO of GE in 1981, the Pittsfield plant closed,

We were all very aware of what she said about DDT, and back

leaving in its wake 13,000 unemployed people and an

home in Stockbridge, I watched what happened to the birds

environmental catastrophe.

after our gypsy moth infestation was sprayed

On January 13, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker trumpeted

with that insecticide. Today, General

the move of GE’s global headquarters from Fairfield,

Electric’s polluted legacy continues to wreak

Connecticut, back to Massachusetts. “It’s an ecosystem we

havoc upon the Berkshires—in the form of

are confident we will thrive in,” said GE Chairman Jeff

a potential $10 billion PCB toxic liability.

Immelt. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh likened GE’s arrival

Meanwhile, Massachusetts officials celebrate

to winning the lottery: $145 million in tax incentives for

the mega-corporation’s continued develop­

all the GE jobs. “Do the math,” cried the mayor.

ment, now in Boston. A sort of alter­native GE reality emerged, where GE’s influence

Two weeks later, Immelt announced that GE was backing away from its multimillion-dollar cleanup of PCBs

and money has, for instance, made the PCB

in the Housatonic River watershed. GE’s take from our

cancer risk disappear, environmen­talist

Commonwealth, facilitated by Walsh and Baker, would

Tim Gray explained in The Berkshire Edge.

be $758 million.

In 2016, I canoed across Massachusetts,

More than before, it was time to “Dare to be true.”

the same route I took in 1988, with the

I decided to repeat the 1988 journey I made across

same mission: to draw attention to the toxic

Massachusetts, Canoe For Clean Water. It would have

aftermath of GE.

impact, but it was a perishable gift. I was 69 years old.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts was a “company town” for GE

My wife, Nina, thought I was crazy. OK, but she married

beginning early in the 20th century. For decades until they

me. I went to see Tim Gray and Benno Friedman of the

were outlawed by the federal government, polychlorinated

Housatonic River Initiative (HRI), and Judy Herkimer of

biphenyls (PCBs) seeped from GE’s manufacturing plant into

Housatonic Environmental Action League. They are the

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Initiative. The first TV crew appeared at the kitchen door.

A man pressed the front page of The Springfield Republican to the plate-glass window. “That’s you!”

Who invited them? The canoe was white like an old plaster cast except for the bold letters of Housatonic River Initiative, and a Mohican turtle symbol traced onto either side of the bow. I chose the turtle, a water animal, to symbolize “Turtle Island,” an indigenous name for North America, indicating the earth, all life, and the importance of water. A blank slate at the beginning of the journey, the canoe would carry

core activists who have fought for the cleanup of the

the indelible marker messages inscribed by scores of

Housatonic River on a daily basis, over the past 30 years.

people I would encounter: “Speak truth to Baker” was one

Tim, Benno and Judy agreed to support the trip. When you decide to move, a journey takes on a life of its own. Which canoe to use? The old canoe I had built in 1988

March 21, the word was out along the river. The canoe

for the first trip was stashed in the hayloft of the barn—

on wheels, my knapsack packed, I led a motley band of

I went and pulled it out, dusted it off. Nina could see that

drum-beating family, friends, activists and local press to

I had made up my mind, so she laid a tarp over the dining

a beautiful curve of river near the Connecticut border for

room table and the old canoe came in through the window.

the launch, Connecticut also having been affected by the

Friends of the river appeared.

PCBs dumped in the Housatonic. We had a small ceremony,

I mixed cloth and glue to mend a puncture. We made stencils and, using leftover house paint, painted in black letters on both sides of the canoe: Housatonic River

All photos by Ben Garver, The Berkshire Eagle

22

message. “Massachusetts Dreamer,” said another. Had our politicians in Boston even heard of the Housatonic River?

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E

and I was off. What a relief to be off, to have crossed the line from planning into journey. Just as science requires real


observation, this river is my primary source, my lab. It

with eighth-graders who carried the canoe overhead,

was the canoe, the pulse of the distant drums, and

chanting, “we are water,” and we celebrated the restoration

whatever came next. A snow squall circled me. I began

of the Blackstone riverbank with city councilors and the

poling upstream through the beautiful valley toward

Mass Audubon Society.

the abandoned GE factory that had poured the poison into

Traveling alone by canoe made me vulnerable and

the river. I begin to feel the riverbed with each push of

accessible. I felt the tension of people who stepped forward

the pole—a physical connection to watershed, mud, gravity,

silently in suburbs to sign the canoe. The Maynard Police

the slope on which we live. I experienced my river, gathering

Department honored the spirit of my journey with hot

beneath me, informing me.

coffee and pastries, and by keeping an eye on the canoe as

The route swallowed days. I portaged to an elementary school. Third graders from the Muddy Brook school

I retraced my steps. By the time I arrived in Concord, the canoe was no longer

lifted the white canoe over their heads—I was so amazed!

white, but multicolored with magic-marker messages

They carried it back to the brook for which their school

of support. I rode it to the Charles, the profile of my journey

was named. The brook became a swamp, where I became

about to rise. WBUR did a 10-minute interview beside the

confused. I followed beaver channels, a stream back

canoe on the bank of the Charles River.

to the river. Four days I ascended the Valley, poled through the most poisoned oxbows and lagoons, to the site of an HRI press conference in mixed sleet and snow near the GE plant. Survivors spoke movingly about the suffering, the cancer, their disappeared medical histories, of the thousands of jobs that left Pittsfield. I described the landscape I had just seen. Swollen feet pushed the canoe on wheels over the height of land to the headwaters of the Westfield River. The river,

Cars slowed along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, blowing their horns, drivers waving. A bicyclist rode across the grass to offer me a candy bar.

white water in 1988, was dry! I walked down channels of rocks instead of kneeling through rapids. I found myself camped beside a radio tower, the irony

Cars slowed along Memorial Drive in Cambridge,

of silent snowfall on its rusted steel on an island outside

blowing their horns, drivers waving. A bicyclist rode

of Springfield. A press conference was scheduled at the

across the grass to offer me a candy bar.

wastewater plant on the mighty Connecticut River the next

I approached the finish the next day at noon. Would

morning. Journalists from TV, radio and print showed

anyone hear our attempt to hold accountable those in

up in spite of a blizzard. I thawed out with Tim, Benno, Judy

power? I saw the first still photographer, then a television

and Nina, and my sister Suzette, Milton ’62, in a blessedly

grip lugging a heavy tripod. Tim, Benno and Judy waved

warm restaurant. A day or so later, I was again warming up, in a pizza

me to a dock beside the Esplanade. Nina and her band of banner-makers braved the wind. Six of the third graders

shop above the Chicopee River. A man pressed the front

from the Berkshires had talked their parents into driving

page of The Springfield Republican to the plate-glass window.

them three hours to the finish.

“That’s you!” he shouted. The story was detailed, clashing, gripping; the reporter’s dueling paragraphs switching

They hefted the canoe. I heard one whisper to her friend in awe, “I found my signature. It’s almost worn off.” They

point of view, from Tim to Immelt, to me, to a spokesman

carried the canoe of many colors over their brave heads

for Governor Baker. Unnerving, but energizing.

once again! “We are water, we are water,” the chant resumed.

I reached the Blackstone River. I canoed under the Mass

A small circle formed around them, parents, curious

Pike again to reach abandoned mills, Worcester’s ruins of

joggers, The Boston Globe, gray-hairs, our eyes and minds

the industrial age. I squeezed through a four-foot diameter

meeting, melding.

culvert in three feet of water under Route 290. In Worcester, where the river went underneath a former factory, I met

by Denny Alsop ’69

SPRING 2018

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a t m i l t o n 

They See, Snap and Share Students on Their Devices

Many adults scroll through, watch or share hundreds of posts, feeds, photos and videos every day. Posts can provoke emotions from joy to intense sadness, and some deliver misinformation or lies. These personal habits among adults lead them to worry about how social media affects the lives of their teenagers. For a status check from the point of view of today’s teen

say. It’s also a way to stay connected with siblings at college

practitioners, students shared their views about social

and just families, in general. “Seeing someone and what’s

media, particularly Instagram and Snapchat, their two most

going on in their life on the other side of the world is great,”

popular social media platforms. In addition, Lisa Morin,

says one student. “Even if it may have been edited, it’s still

director of counseling, and Elihu Selter, clinical psychologist

happening and you can appreciate that.”

at Milton’s Health and Counseling Center, relayed their

Both Lisa and Elihu say social media can be good for

experiences as professionals who encounter the impact of

introverted teens, because it’s an easy, and sometimes safer,

kids’ digital lives every day.

way to make connections. “It gives them an opportunity

Ninety-two percent of teens report going online daily, including 24 percent who say they go online “almost constantly,” according to a 2015 study (ages 13–17) from the

to practice talking with someone, without having to do it in person, so that can be a valuable tool,” says Elihu. As an open forum for expression, social media can

Pew Research Center. In many ways, students are more

facilitate activism and organization advocating causes and

savvy about social media than adults. They know how to use

beliefs, which many students, especially at Milton, embrace.

the apps, they speak the language and they understand the

“Students can connect with each other in ways we

unspoken rules. They are also aware of the pitfalls and the

couldn’t when we were growing up,” says Elihu. “They can

problems, but this doesn’t mean they are immune to them.

participate in movements and engage in ideas and processes,

“The original point of something like Facebook made total sense: to connect with people you haven’t seen in years,”

and social media used this way is quite amazing.” “Milton encourages you to express yourself and your

says one Milton student. “But now we go to school with the

opinions and I definitely see that a lot on social media,

majority of people on our social media; so you’re not trying

especially on finstas*,” says one student. “Everyone’s just

to connect with people you haven’t seen in a while. Today,

talking about how they are feeling and why.”

posting is more like pretending you’re something you’re not

Many teens get their news on social media. Snapchat

for people you see and talk to every day. People get wrapped

is often their first news source for breaking stories.

up in it.”

Mainstream news outlets all have Snapchat “channels” and students can choose to follow some and receive alerts.

The Upside

24

Students also value accounts that explore issues such

Social media is a great way to remain in touch with friends

as body positivity, which can counter those that promote

from previous schools, camps, teams and clubs, students

the “perfect” body. “Following them is really great,” says

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


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one student. “It’s not that I have huge issues, but it just makes

“When I had Snapchat, I was all for it. I was loving it.

me smile to see that there are people doing that in the world.”

Then when I took myself out of it, I realized that it probably

What might surprise some adults is that phone calls are still valued. “If I get a phone call, I’m going to pick it up,

wasn’t the most beneficial thing for me,” says another. “I rarely come across a student who does not have any

because to me, a phone call means ‘right now, I need to talk

social media, but there are some who say, ‘No I’m not

to you,’” says one student.

getting into that.’ Or others actually shut it off at night. But

“I have a couple friends on medical leave right now. I’ll

that’s even more rare,” says Lisa.

text them during the day but I’ll call them in the night to actually have a conversation,” says another. Most students who spoke have a limited number of social

Lisa and Elihu explain that because their frontal lobes are

media accounts. They also take breaks from using them or

still developing, teenagers are susceptible to acting on

completely stop using certain accounts for various reasons;

impulse, a dangerous tendency when it comes to social

although everyone mentioned knowing students who are

media. But also concerning are trends the counselors see

“addicted” to social media. “I stopped using Snapchat the summer before freshman

26

The Challenges

in overall person-to-person communication. “How we communicate and the depth of our commu­nica­

year because I found I wasn’t interacting with my family

tion has changed and I wonder how that translates into

and friends as much as I wanted. My sister was going to

friendships,” says Elihu. “Relationships don’t have as much

college and so it was let’s focus on time with her before

depth to them, and I worry about that because this is the

she leaves.”

first generation to experience this. The art of talking has

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


been lost in so many ways. Does social media affect the way fully get to know somebody? When my children, who are 6 and 8, are teenagers, what will life look like for them? Students share this concern. “I worry the most about little kids who are growing up with this system and how they’re going to learn to distinguish real facts.” Most students are aware that many photos and posts are manipulated, staged or carefully selected. “People aren’t going to necessarily post the negatives in their life,” says one student. “They’re showing their highlights. You are seeing or posting the cool things that are worth sharing. You don’t see just ordinary things on social media. It’s kind of an alternate reality; you’re not always getting the full picture.” “Everyone is so addicted to praise,” says another student. “Everyone’s fishing for compliments, for ‘likes,’ it’s a neverending obsession. It’s damaging to your self confidence and welfare.”

references, and joking—particularly racial and gender jokes. As for getting news and information on social media? “You can like or follow whoever you want, celebrities,

Elihu says this can especially be a problem for “students

politicians or people in your friend group,” says Lisa. “You

who might feel marginalized, ostracized or depressed. They

basically curate what you want so your social media input

already feel, ‘Everyone is doing okay but me.’ They spend

becomes an echo chamber. You are not learning to have a

their weekends scrolling through these posts and say, ‘Wow,

discussion with someone who disagrees with you.”

everyone seems happy all the time. I’m not good. Here’s all

“People talk about how we seem disconnected from one

the evidence that everyone else is great.’ So it’s really hard for

another even though we’re more connected than we’ve ever

them to get out of that bubble of thinking their life is difficult,

been,” says Elihu.

because it looks like everyone else is doing well. Getting them to see that these posts are not necessarily real life is

The Future

a huge challenge.”

Educational institutions are all wrestling with this reality—

Students who understand the pitfalls or understand

figuring out how to help students set boundaries, navigate

that some things might not be real reached that realization

the social dynamics of being a teenager online and evaluate

through hard experience. “One of the biggest issues is that

the constant stream of feeds funneling information.

you don’t know who’s behind the screen all the time,” says

Milton Academy has contracted with The Social Institute

one student. “You may think you are Snapchatting your

to work with students for the next two years. The Institute’s

friend, but it may be somebody else using their account and

approach is to empower teenagers to use social media in

telling you things. That was really confusing and upsetting

positive and constructive ways. Instead of focusing on

to figure out at first. It violates a sense of trust between the

what teens should not do, the focus is on how to use social

you and your friend.”

platforms to do good. The Social Institute will work

Lisa points out that social media is 24/7 and shutting out the noise is hard for students. “Before social media, if you

through student assemblies, parent presentations and small workshops with student leaders.

had a fight with a friend or were being picked on at school, and you went home or back to the dorm, that would be a

by Liz Matson

break. But today there is no break, because online it’s still happening. There is no healthy way to shut it off.” Elihu notes that with one upsetting post, a student could be “done for that day. They check out. Sometimes that one image can destroy you for a week, if not more.” Students said some of the most upsetting posts involve bullying, sexual

*Finsta: fake Instagram, more popular with girls. Typically a finsta is a second account limited to a smaller group of friends. Students said they can post more freely and be their true selves on finsta accounts. Their main Instagram accounts have more followers, and they post less often and more selectively.

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M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


a t m i l t o n  

Revamping the Classic Research Project

How should Middle Schoolers probe for facts? As Neha Modak ’22 grew, her annual visits to India slowly unveiled the harsh realities facing girls and women in parts of the subcontinent: systemic inequality, sexual violence, abuse and murder. She needed to learn more. So Neha, an eighth grader at the Middle School now, dedicated her seventh-grade year to investigating Indian women’s issues and presenting them to her classmates. “I think it was shocking to some people,” she says. “We hear about sexism in the United States, but we don’t

groups in India, and continually checked her statistics. A simple Google search of “gendercide in India” results in wildly varying analyses and statistics. Some argue it is not based in misogyny, but rather with an eye toward population control; the numbers of gendercide deaths

necessarily hear about girls in other countries being

and dowry killings vary by tens of millions in news reports;

killed or aborted simply for being girls.”

and signs of improvement differ across regions. With only

Each student in Grade 7 completes an extensive research

a cursory glance, it might be difficult for someone, especially

project called Choosing to Participate. Social studies faculty

someone relatively new to extensive research, to get the

member Steven Bertozzi helps students select a topic that

full picture.

interests them, develop a thesis and write a research paper

“I think it takes, especially for a controversial subject,

that includes supporting facts as well as counter­arguments.

a lot of digging to find information that’s just the facts.

The project parameters encourage students to identify

The truth is something that’s questionable and can be easily

and reach out to experts in the field they’re studying and

challenged,” Neha says. “I did a lot of cross-referencing,

interview them, or at least correspond with them. Then,

and I made sure to get updated statistics and facts from

students take “action steps” toward solving problems they

reputable sources.”

uncover. They present their findings in a gallery at the

Cox Library is set up for the students to research their

end of the school year. Past topics have included wrongful

projects: Middle School librarian Beth Reardon has built

conviction, gender pay disparities in sports, dress codes,

a resource site where students can search databases to find

immigration, child labor and fair trade.

credible, scholarly resources and primary sources on

For Neha, researching the topic of gendercide—the

their topics. At the outset of the project, Beth prepares the

killing of a specific group based on gender—proved

students with help on search terms and tips for finding

challenging, but not impossible. It is a hot-button issue,

opposing viewpoints.

and its severity varies depending on class and geography.

The term “fake news,” often derided as a dismissal of

She decided to focus on infanticide and sex-selective

unfavorable—but factual—reporting, has had an interesting

abortion, practices that have removed millions of girls

side effect for younger researchers, Steven says.

from the population. She relied on reports from reputable international human rights groups and women’s rights

“They very much want to talk about news stories and ask questions about what the objective truth is about certain

SPRING 2018

29


topics,” he says. “There is this huge media focus on the

Scarlett Bridgen ’22 set out last year to quantify the

differences between objectivity and subjectivity that’s

effects of bullying on LGBTQ+ students. She sent an

given the students this heightened awareness about

anonymous survey to Upper School students asking them

checking their sources and searching for the truth. They’re

to share their experiences, and compared their responses

already on alert in a way that I think kids, even just

with current national studies on bullying. During her

a few years ago, weren’t.”

research, she found online reports with questionable sources

In class, Steven’s students are studying World Wars I and II, including the contemporary news coverage and propaganda that shifted perspectives during that time. “They’re learning how to consume information with

and tiny research sample sizes. “I read things that claimed that not many kids face bullying for their gender or sexuality, that it’s not a bigger deal than bullying in general, or bullying in the past,”

an eye toward how trustworthy it is,” he says. “When

Scarlett says. “But for every one of those I saw, I had 10

something seems to oversimplify a complex issue, what is

more credible sources that said otherwise. Looking

the end game? Is it propaganda? To what extent are we

at suicide statistics and rates of depression and anxiety

subjected to propaganda, or to ‘fake news’ messages trying

among LGBTQ teens, the problems became clear.”

to influence our behavior?”

Students in their tween and early teen years are sponges for what they hear at home, on the news, on social media and in school. The jumble of information sometimes results in confusion over the difference between fact and opinion, between news reports and commentary, says Sonya Conway, Grade 6 dean and social studies faculty member. Teachers have to clarify misconceptions, while also allowing students to form their own opinions. “As teachers, we hope to guide students through the process of learning to listen well,” Sonya says. “We hope to get students to a place where they can listen and be open to multiple perspectives, without thinking this means that they have to change their own.” by Marisa Donelan

Photos by Michael Dwyer

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Peer Coaching Builds Savvy News Consumers During the 2016 presidential election, Willa Dubois and Bodhi Becker felt growing frustration over the reactionary consumption

stop people from running with their outrage.” Fathom’s founding members hope to expand beyond Milton’s campus with other

It’s easy to fall prey to confirmation bias— seeking sources that confirm established opinions—especially when you’re just starting

of news among their peers and the adults

high school students referring to curricula

to learn about an issue. The Fathom educators

in their lives. Working over winter break, Willa

established by the group. Willa and Bodhi

want students to be able to form positions

and Bodhi, both class of 2020, devised a plan

envision a structure like that of Amnesty

based on multiple, and even opposing, sources.

to promote early and thorough understanding

International’s student groups: local

of social issues and politics.

organizations guided by the central group’s

They founded Fathom, an independent

Peer education is critical to the message, say Willa and Bodhi. Too often, young people

mission and principles. At Milton, the

hear messages about media consumption,

organization designed for middle school

curriculum is established by a board, and

particularly social media, from adults that err

students—taught by high school students—

then taught by a group of Upper School

on the side of abstinence: social media is

to learn about personal bias, media bias,

students to Middle School students. In the

full of untruths and bias, so kids should avoid it.

fact-checking, sources and opinions as they

fall, Fathom volunteers started with sixth-

consume news.

grade students and had plans to expand to

media. They’re going to use social media,”

local public middle schools.

says Willa. “We want them to recognize oppor­-

“A lot of what I see is something I call ‘screaming into space,’ where, regardless of which side you’re on, you read a news story or

“If we can teach students to really look

“We’re not teaching kids not to use social

tunities to learn more. If they see some­thing

for the truth, and not simply parrot things

on Facebook that interests them, they

something online and react to it with outrage

that reinforce their opinions, then I think we’re

shouldn’t simply react, but they should dig

and anger,” Bodhi says. “But the story may not

going to see people who are willing to look

into it and see what other sources are

have all the context you need for an informed

at all sides and break some of the gridlock we

saying on the issue. We want this to be a

opinion, or it might just be untrue. It doesn’t

see now on political issues,” says Bodhi.

life-long skill.”

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31


c l a s s r o o m  

Since 1977, the Saturday Course Has Thrilled Children Every Week Twelve fourth graders crowd around a skeleton splayed out

schools in the greater Boston area, participate in five sessions

on a lab table, feeling their own collarbones as their teacher

during the school year. They are selected by their own

guides them through their upper skeletal system. It is a

teachers and administrators who know which students

Saturday morning in the Pritzker Science Center and this is

would excel and enjoy an advanced educational environment.

“Blood and Guts,” one of many fascinating hands-on classes

Students start in fourth grade and two of the sessions are

offered at the Saturday Course. In Ware Hall, another class

devoted just to them. They can continue to participate

of fourth graders are so engrossed watching their “Trial

in the program until eighth grade. The format has largely

Court” teacher discover “evidence” on a fellow student that

remained unchanged: two courses with a snack break in

they stretch their bodies over their desks for a better

between on five or six consecutive Saturdays per session.

view. This all happens within the first hour of the first day;

Students rate their top choices for classes on the registration

students are fully on board and energy is the vibe. “Now

form and find out their placement that first morning.

the magic is happening,” says Kristan Burke, director of the Saturday Course, who has already had a busy start to the morning, welcoming 277 new students to the program. The Saturday Course began in 1977; it was the brainchild

“For 40 years, the recipe has worked really well,” says Kristan, who started with the program as a teacher in 1994. “Parents really need programs for their children who are academically motivated to experience instruction that

of then-Lower School Principal Elizabeth “Betty” Greenleaf

they’re not getting in their schools. This program provides

Buck, who found inspiration at an education conference in

that spark of interest for students seeking more.”

England. The idea: use the physical and academic resources of Milton Academy to benefit students from surrounding communities. Today, 1,000 students, representing 100 public

The core recipe may remain unchanged, but other changes have occurred over the years. “It’s certainly larger, as far as the number of students, but larger can be better because you’re serving more students,” says Gary Shrager, Lower School dean, who spent 32 years with the program and until this year co-directed with Kristan. “But as we grow, we need to make sure we are still doing a great job, so we never change certain things. We still have small classes. We still have dedicated and creative teachers. We just went out and found more of them!” The teachers, who return year after year to spend their Saturday mornings with the students, are critical to the program’s success. Many are public school teachers who enjoy teaching outside of curriculum requirements. A few are current and former Milton Academy teachers and a few are public school principals who enjoy being back in the classroom. One is a working actor, one is an archaeologist, and one is a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts. This varied group of educators meet early for a lively breakfast in Greenleaf Hall before students arrive. Dedicated former students, now in high school and college, return to help out as interns. “The core of the Saturday Course is the great relationships

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Gary Shrager makes them laugh (Kristan Burke in background) at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Saturday Course. Photo by Greg Katsoulis

science curriculum into underserved schools in his area. The Saturday Course decided to partner with him to bring his book, The Learning of Science Begins with Why?, to life. Kristan traveled to India in August to visit some of the that form in the classes. This happens because we have great, fun kids who all want to be here. They like doing

schools. Lakshya’s book includes science experiments that “work well because of their accessibility and inclusion of

extra academic work with teachers who love this kind of

inexpensive, everyday objects.” The plan is for Saturday

stuff,” says Gary. “As a teacher, you’re not pulling teeth

Course students to experiment, analyze and share the results

or saying ‘please pay attention.’ There’s none of that. You

with their peers from Ballabgarh, India.

just put the stuff out there and they gobble it up. Within minutes of the first class, they’re starting to work. I learned

This partnership shows how a program that sticks to its roots can also adapt, explore and change.

quickly that if I want the students to meet each other, I have to figure out how to do that in different ways because they just want to start doing stuff. They’re really hungry for it.” Another unchanged aspect of the program is no grades. There is no structured assessment of students. Instead, students do the assessing and fill out evaluations for each class. Gary says, “We read every single one of these and learn from them. We look for trends and make changes based on them.” In the fall, the Saturday Course celebrated its 40th anniversary in Straus Library with current and former teachers and administrators gathering to reminisce and celebrate the success of a program of unusual longevity. “When I started, there used to be programs for what they then called ‘gifted and talented’ students in all sorts of schools,” says Gary. “For a variety of reasons, almost all of them are gone, mostly because of money.” Both Kristan and Gary say the support of Milton Academy has been crucial to the success of the program.

“I definitely think there were ‘good old days’ of the

Use of the School’s facilities allows the Saturday Course

Saturday Course, but I’m happy about our growth because

to keep tuition low and ensures that any recommended

we reach more students that need this kind of programming,”

child can attend, regardless of family resources. This year, the Saturday Course branched out beyond

says Kristan. “As the world has changed in 40 years, so has chil­dren’s awareness of the world around them, and so has

greater Boston to India. Lower School Principal Racheal

their capacity to take in more than maybe we all did growing

Adriko introduced Kristan to a former student from her old

up. So that is a chal­lenge and we try to adapt. We’ve also

school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lakshya Kaura, a

embraced technology more and our course offerings reflect

young science teacher now living in Ballabgarh, Haryana,

that. I see a great future ahead, because this kind of program­-

India, was working on a science education book to bring a

ming will always be vital to kids.”

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33


in sight   

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DW YER


head of school   

BY TODD B . BL AND

How Do We Know? These are challenging times for discerning truth. We know that facts and data—proof and substantiation—matter as we determine what to believe. But how do we find an element of truth in situations that lack clarity, are ambiguous, or are deeper than what meets the eye? How do we choose to position aspects of our life that are neither all good nor all bad? Whether you’re looking at individuals, or institutions like Milton, that are multifaceted and complex, universal truths cannot always be easily deduced. They may not even exist. Groups of people, whether organizations, political parties or schools, are defined by the collective actions of heroes or villains in the moment: decisions, responses, successes and failures. Acknowledging ambiguity or nuance is not a symptom of being soft, weak or undiscriminating, rather it is acknowledging the state of our lives. Proclaiming simple realities when you confront a highly complicated set of circumstances is problematic. I always advise students to “be very careful of simple solutions for complex problems.” This is not to say that ambiguity is the only state. Some claims are indeed lies and others are truths. Good and evil do exist. Some life situations and relationships are healthy and others are unhealthy. What are these situations in your life? My hope for everyone is that you are able to connect your life to good and healthy entities. At this time, we need to be both optimistic and pragmatic, both idealists and realists—a challenging proposition. As a School, Milton needs to help our students navigate this balance and teach them how to discern reality. What about Milton? We are a School that takes pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion; yet, we continue to grapple with the inevitable conflicts that arise in diverse communities. Our mission and power is derived from

thousands of friendships, hero teachers, transformative

the appropriate close relationships between students and

moments, acts of generosity, undying humility, diversity

teachers; yet, the School has had to confront chapters in

of all kinds, and noble efforts. These are all defining. Yet,

our history when some teachers abused students. I hope

we are imperfect and must own up to our human frailties

that we, at Milton Academy, strive for a fair and honest

and hundreds of well-intentioned mistakes. Aiming for

assess­ment of what is humanly possible. To stay true

perfection without a sense of honesty and humility can

to who we are, we must be committed to our principles

lead to a life of sadness and disappointment. Never ever

and at the same time stay open-minded and alert, not

give up on a person, a family, a school or any organization

complacent or self-satisfied. So much is achievable when

important to you, because you recognize an element of

an individual or institution strives to be at its very best,

imperfection. Instead, we should all work toward changing

even with imperfections.

what we can for the better, as well as honesty and awareness

Milton is an amazing institution: the sum total of

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in all relationships.

 /MiltonAcademy1798   

 @Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy


on centre Festival Rolls Out Red Carpet for Milton Film Club When George Luo ’18 wrote his first screenplay at the end

accepted in several film festivals. Over

of his freshman year at Milton, he rounded up about 20

Columbus Day weekend in 2017, six

people who said they’d be interested in helping him make

mem­bers of the club went to New York

the film. Over that summer, interest fizzled, and George

City, where the 20-minute drama was

never made the movie—which is OK, he jokes, because

an official selection of the All American

“it was probably the worst screenplay of all time.” A few more attempts failed; it was hard to manage the process alone. So, during Class III, George and some friends founded the Hollywood Filmmaking Club, which has lent structure to film projects, he says. Last year, the club, which includes actors and students

High School Film Festival, an event that honors the best of high-school films from across the country. “It’s a big festival,” says performing arts faculty member Shane Fuller, who advises the club. “It was cool to see the

interested in directing and writing, worked together

students taking on the project as their own and doing

to make George’s film, Under the Wound, which was

all the work. They did all the scheduling, filming, casting, lighting and editing. The film itself is terrific. The attention to detail is really great.” Under the Wound explores the damage that unfurls from a single lie. George wrote and directed it; he had been inspired by a critically acclaimed Danish film called The Hunt. After early missteps in making movies, George felt motivated to learn everything he could in film classes. Shane’s advanced filmmaking class created a film called Abstraction, which was accepted into several festivals; George, Conor Greene ’18, and Joey Leung ’17 won the best cinematog­raphy award at the Hotchkiss Film Festival in the spring. The All American High School Film Festival is an opportunity to hear from established filmmakers, visit a college fair with a focus on film programs, and absorb the work of other student artists. “I know that there are films that are better than mine, and I want to watch them,” George says. “I know that my next project has to be better than the previous one. That’s the standard I’ve set for myself. And I think for people our age, watching great films that are created by young people is excellent motivation.”

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on cen t r e , con t.

Meet Adrian Anantawan, Milton’s New Music Department Chair Adrian Anantawan has toured the world as

and Vancouver, and at the United Nations.

a violin soloist and performed on some

Audience members have included Pope John

of its most prominent stages, but this year

Paul II and the Dalai Lama.

in more forceful, meaningful ways.” Adrian hopes to eventually increase student performers’ repertoire choices and explore

He received his undergraduate degree

different genres of music in classes, but noted

adventure: being a house parent to the boys

from the Curtis Institute of Music and earned

there is a strong foundation in place at Milton.

of Forbes House.

graduate degrees from Yale University

marks the beginning of a different kind of

“I think it’s important for the students to

and the Harvard School of Education. His

have a say in the work that they’re presenting

young men talk about things that are really

first teaching job was at the Conservatory

to people,” he says. “I do think we’re going

intellectual, at the same time they’re really

Lab Charter School, a K-8 program in Boston.

to have at least a year where we’re just doing

having fun, is wonderful,” says Adrian, Milton’s

When Don announced his plans to retire at

minor tweaks and sustaining a culture that

new music department chair. “Getting to

the end of the 2016–2017 school year, Adrian

has been the legacy for Don Dregalla for the

know them is a highlight.”

jumped at the opportunity.

last 35 years.”

“Sitting down at a dinner table and hearing

Adrian takes the baton from Don Dregalla,

“Positions like this are hard to find in music

He also plans to continue his advocacy

who retired last year after more than three

education, because people love working at

for music education for people with physical,

decades of teaching music at Milton. Adrian is

schools like Milton. These positions rarely open

cognitive and emotional disabilities, both

teaching the Middle School strings and winds,

up,” he says. “It was very happenstance.” Adrian credits mentor Indu Singh, Milton’s dean of

strengths, not weaknesses,” he says. Adrian, who was born without a right

teaching and learning,

hand, started playing the violin at his parents’

with helping him

encouragement.

to acclimate to life at Milton. The School

“I think we started with the idea of me playing the recorder, but I didn’t have enough

has been accom­

fingers. So, we thought maybe I could study

modating of the

voice? But I didn’t have a great voice,” Adrian

performance schedule

says. “Trumpet? It’s too loud. I think we

that he has had in

chose violin not because it was necessarily

place for more than a

the most practical instrument to adapt to

year, so he was able

one hand, but my dad loved it and played a

to go on a tour through

bit when he was younger. And I just loved

Asia in the fall.

the sound. The adaptations came afterward.”

He describes his teaching style as

Musicians with physical disabilities, especially when they’re just starting out, learn

one of modeling

that finding adaptive instruments can be

skills, not just in

prohibitively expensive, but Adrian believes

the technical aspects

that the music world can be more inclusive.

of music theory or

Increasing representation of different abilities

Upper School orchestra, Chamber Orchestra

performance: “One of the big things in music

and general music in the Upper School.

is modeling what listening looks like, how

Born in Canada, Adrian has been playing

at Milton and beyond. “Music should be a point in which those differences are actually

it feels, and what it means to have a dialogue.

in music can help. “Sometimes, we need to look for precedent,” he says. “And that requires research, but it

the violin since he was 10, and he performed

I’m much more interested in finding out

also requires people who are in this field with

professionally for the first time at 15. He has

where their interests might lie, versus pre­-

physical disabilities and are producing music

performed at the White House, in the opening

scrib­ing things for them to think about. I want

to really get out there and demonstrate that

ceremonies of the Olympics in both Athens

to give them the tools to express themselves

journey for others.”

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HUBweek’s Girl Hackathon Draws Milton Girls Milton students mentored middle- and elementary-school students at HUBweek’s Girl Hackathon, a Boston event that encourages young girls to develop a love of computer programming and coding. Jessica Wang ’18, Charlotte Moremen ’19, Amaya Sangurima-Jimenez ’19, and Jen Zhao ’19 served as hackathon mentors. It’s not a

show off. There were some fun glitches that

is something creative and collaborative and

competition; it’s a chance for girls to explore

are part of the process in demonstrating what

driven by what you envision, instead of

the possibilities of coding in a collaborative

they built,” she adds.

something out of a textbook.”

and supportive setting, and to be proud

Girls’ interest in programming continues

What’s exciting about girls learning programming at younger ages is that they don’t

of their creations, says mathematics faculty

to rise at Milton. This year, a group of Upper

member Emily Pries.

School girls are mentoring students in the

have any preconceived notions about what the

Middle School, which now teaches coding at

programming world is “supposed” to look like.

“The girls from Milton pushed the teams to think about different methods,” says Emily. “They identified the challenges the teams

all grade levels. “It’s really exciting to see,” says Emily, who

“A segment of the programming world explicitly prides itself on being a boys’ club,” she

faced and helped them think about where

started teaching at Milton this year. “Having

says. “There’s a mindset that they have this

in the code they could find solutions.

coding in the geometry classes is a good way to

secret knowledge, but the reality is that anybody

show what coding actually looks like, which

in the world can be a programmer. Anybody.”

“It was a chance for the younger girls to

Reaching New Heights, on a Bike Clocking in at a minute over four hours, Chris Mehlman ’18 placed third out of 650 riders in the Vermont 50, a grueling 50-mile mountain bike race that involves an elevation climb of 9,000 feet. To put his amazing finish into context, the top two riders are well-known veteran winners on the mountain bike race circuit. Chris says he started mountain biking in fifth grade, but didn’t start racing until his Class III year. He started with races in the New England High School Cycling Association. This led him to Back Bay Cycling Club (B2C2), a competitive cycling team based in Boston, where he has a coach. “What I enjoy about biking is that it’s a big challenge both mentally and physically,” says Chris. “The training is hard, but I love having goals and something to drive me on. I also love how scientific biking is; it’s a nerdy sport. There is a lot of complex data in the training.” Chris says the Vermont 50 is such a popular race, the 650 spots fill up in five minutes once the registration opens online. Another Milton Academy community member, Middle School Principal Will Crissman, an avid biker, finished third in his division. As Chris starts the college search process, he is also thinking about his biking options for the future. There is collegiate cycling, but Chris says he “might want to continue cycling outside of college and see where I can get to.” In the summer of 2017, he competed in his first nationals in West Virginia and finished 19th in the country.

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39


milton mur al   

A C U R A T E D G A L L E R Y O F A R T S , L E T T E R S A N D D E S I G N B Y M I LT O N A L U M N I

olivia ames hoblitzelle ’55 Author, Aging with Wisdom

frankie shaw ’00 Actress and Showrunner, SMILF

Drawing on her own experiences as well as stories and

Frankie Shaw was nominated for a Golden

studies about aging from other cultures, Olivia Ames

Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a

Hoblitzelle explores the ways readers can nourish

Television Series Musical or Comedy, and her

their inner lives and spirit even as their bodies age

show SMILF was nominated for Best Television

and faculties diminish. She offers guidelines in seven

Series Musical or Comedy. She created the

areas for being attentive to the gifts that grow more

Showtime comedy series, which is based on the

valuable with age: spiritual orientation, practice of

2015 short film of the same name which she

silence, practice of mindfulness, practice of stopping,

wrote, directed and starred in and which won

finding the sacred in the commonplace, meditation,

the Short Film Jury Prize for Fiction at the

and the practice of gratitude. She also shares the stories

2015 Sundance Film Festival. Her struggles to

of six “wayshowers,” individuals whose stories

work as an actor and be a single mother are

illustrate aging with compassion. Olivia’s book invites

the loose inspiration for SMILF. She serves as

inspiring reflections on finding beauty in aging, facing

the series’ showrunner and, true to her feminist

death with dignity, and rejoicing in earthly blessings.

roots, each episode is directed by a woman. In the show, her character, Bridgette Bird, is a smart, scrappy, young single mom trying to navigate life in South Boston with an extremely unconventional family. She struggles to make

samuel harrington ’69, md Author, At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health care system, results in the majority of elderly patients dying in institutions. Many undergo painful procedures instead of the more peaceful death they deserve. At Peace outlines active and passive steps that older patients and their health care proxies can take to ensure loved ones live their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice when further aggressive care is inappropriate. Informed by more than 30 years of clinical practice along with Dr. Samuel Harrington’s own experience with the aging and deaths of his parents, he describes the terminal patterns of the six most common chronic diseases; how to recognize a terminal diagnosis even when the doctor is not clear about it; how to have the hard conversation about end-of-life wishes; how to minimize painful treatments; when to seek hospice care; and how to deal with dementia and other special issues.

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M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E

ends meet, which leads her to impulsive and at times immature decisions. Above all, Bridgette wants to make a better life for her son. SMILF takes on motherhood, co-parenting, and female sexuality through a raw and unfiltered lens.


linda carrick thomas ’79 Author, Polonium in the Playhouse: The Manhattan Project’s Secret Chemistry Work in Dayton, Ohio At the height of the race to build an atomic bomb, an indoor tennis court in one of the Midwest’s most affluent residential neighborhoods became a secret Manhattan Project laboratory. Polonium in the Playhouse presents the intriguing story of how this most unlikely site in Dayton became one of the most classified portions of the Manhattan Project. Weaving Manhattan Project history with the life and work of the scientist, industrial leader and singing showman Charles Allen Thomas, Polonium in the Playhouse offers a fascinating look at the vast and complicated program that changed world history and introduces the men and women who raced against time to build the initiator for the bomb.

beka sturges ’90 Landscape Architect, The Clark Art Institute The December 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine featured a 26-page spread on a project Beka Sturges completed at the Clark

amy kurzweil ’05 Illustrator, Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir

Art Institute, an art museum and research

Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir, Amy Kurzweil’s debut,

principal of Reed Hilderbrand, served as

tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy

project landscape architect and manager

center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. An award-winning building expansion led to an opportunity for a new landscape design for the museum’s 140-acre site. Beka, an associate

weaves her own coming of age as a young Jewish artist

for the project. Beka leads the firm’s office in

into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and

New Haven. Always working to achieve

Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who

spatial power by shaping the land, she aims

escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself

to demonstrate the cultural and environmental

as a gentile. Captivated by Bubbe’s story, Amy turns

value of landscape. Since opening the office

to her sketchbooks, teaching herself to draw as a way to

in New Haven, she has also led projects for

cope with what she discovers. Entwining the voices

Yale and Brown Universities. According to

and histories of these three wise, hilarious, and very

the article, Beka “has made a study of Japanese

different women, Amy creates a portrait not only

architecture and culture, [and] likens it to the

of what it means to be part of a family, but also of how

‘hide and reveal’ of traditional Japanese design,

each generation bears the imprint of the past.

which is incorporated into the site design and

A retelling of the inherited Holocaust narrative now

architecture at the Clark.”

two generations removed, Flying Couch uses Bubbe’s real testimony to investigate the legacy of trauma, the magic of family stories, and the meaning of home. With her playful, idiosyncratic sensibility, Amy traces the way our memories and our families shape who we become.

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41


m e s s a g e s   Craig Steven Wilder

“Institutions that promote the pursuit of truth and knowledge need to be honest about themselves,” Professor Craig Steven Wilder told students. Professor Wilder, an MIT history faculty member and author, was this year’s Heyburn Lecturer. In researching and writing his latest book, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities, Professor Wilder revealed nearly universal connections between the earliest American educational institutions and slavery. Professor Wilder received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, and a master’s, master of philosophy and Ph.D. from Columbia. In addition to Ebony and Ivy, he is the author of A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn; and In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City. His has written essays for Slavery’s Capitalism and wrote the inaugural essay in the digital journal New York History. In 2004, Columbia University awarded Professor Wilder the University Medal for Excellence during its 250th Anniversary Commencement.

“The most important decision you make as a student is not about the history of the institution but the fit between your personality and the institution. Your decision is a personal, three-dimensional one, and not some grand statement about American history. The way it’s going to make the greatest impact is if you thrive in that institution.”

Irene Li ’08

Focusing on two goals—creating a better place to work, and a better

way to source food—Irene Li shared her mission for responsibility operating her popular Boston restaurant. Irene owns the Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Restaurant, where she balances environmentally sound kitchen practices, the use of fresh, local ingredients, and ethical

“I’m not a church-going person, but I

labor practices. Irene has collected accolades from publications

imagine that people who go to church

such as Eater, Bon Appetit, Boston Magazine and the Improper Bostonian,

feel the way I felt about going to the

and was named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation in its

farmer’s market every weekend.”

Rising Star Chef of the Year awards for three years in a row. In 2017, Zagat named her one of its “30 Under 30.” Mei Mei began as a food truck in 2012, then as a restaurant in 2013, and includes a successful catering business as well as its own line of sauces for retail sale.

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Kedra Ishop

The differences we bring to institutions strengthen those institutions and our relationships within them, says Dr. Kedra Ishop, the vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan-Ann

Arbor. This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Speaker, Dr. Ishop reviewed legal battles for racial and ethnic inclusion in higher education, from Plessy v. Ferguson, a 19th-century Supreme Court case that ruled public institutions may be “separate but equal,” to modern legal challenges to university admissions processes. Dr. Ishop serves on multiple national and international committees and advisory boards related to university diversity, affordability, assessment, admissions and enrollment. She holds three degrees from the University of Texas-Austin, where she began her career in admissions: a B.A. in sociology, a master of education in higher education administration, and a Ph.D. in educational administration.

“Who you are matters. The color of your skin matters, your economic background matters, your sexual identity matters, your political affiliation matters, and we should do our work to try to craft the diverse environments we are seeking. We are no longer using these things to keep people out, but to bring them in.”

Richard F. Johnson

Veterans Day speaker, Army Brig. Gen. Richard F. Johnson P’19, encouraged students to ask themselves two questions: “What inspiration can I draw from the service of veterans?” and “How will I serve?” Brig. Gen. Johnson is the Land Component Commander, Massachusetts Army National Guard. He is responsible for training, readiness, and force development for a formation of over 6,000 soldiers, and serves as a Joint Task Force Commander and Contingency Dual Status Commander in domestic security and natural disaster response operations. He is a highly decorated veteran of four combat deployments: as a platoon leader in Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, company commander in Afghanistan in 2009–10, and as a senior

“In a world that’s fraught with peril and those that would do harm, your veterans have been the guardians of freedom and the protectors

combat advisor with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2012–13.

of peace and humanity. Celebrate their service

Brig. Gen. Johnson is a senior executive fellow at the Harvard Kennedy

and sacrifice by making your own contribution.

School. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army

Find your future, decide how you will serve,

Command and General Staff College. He completed the National Security Management Fellowship at Syracuse University and holds graduate degrees in criminal justice and public affairs from the University of Massachusetts,

and pay the best tribute that you can to those who have served you.”

and he was a national security fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

SPRING 2018

43


m e s sage s, con t.

“Many people are suffering in silence, and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s OK to talk about mental illness. There is no shame in seeking treatment, and a diagnosis is not the end.”

Hakeem Rahim

Mental health advocate and spoken-word artist Hakeem Rahim, this

year’s Talbot Speaker, shared his story as part of a presentation to destigmatize mental illness, encourage students to reach out when they’re hurting, and to be supportive friends when someone they know needs help. Mr. Rahim received a psychology degree from Harvard and later received a dual master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. In 2012, Mr. Rahim began openly sharing his journey with mental illness. He has testified in front of the House of Representatives and Senate, and has shared his story with over 60,000 students. In 2016, he launched the I Am Acceptance College Tour Campaign. He is a TEDx speaker and a member of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s national board. Mr. Rahim is the President and CEO of I Am Acceptance Inc, a nonprofit committed to building a platform based on values of community, wellness, and acceptance. He is also the founder and CEO of Live Breathe, LLC.

Ron Smith

In works that explore the intersection of ubiquitous moments in history and intimate, personal narrative, poet and Bingham Visiting Writer Ron Smith asks, “What is my place and what keeps me in it?” A native

of Savannah, Georgia, Mr. Smith is the author of Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, Moon Road, Its Ghostly Workshop and The Humility of the Brutes. A distinguished poet and critic, his work has appeared in many periodicals, including The Nation, Kenyon Review, New England Review and The Georgia Review, as well as several anthologies. He holds degrees from the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, and has studied at Bennington College, Worcester College at Oxford University and the Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy. Mr. Smith was selected as an inaugural winner of the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize in 2005, and now serves as a curator for the prize, and he was Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2014–2016. He teaches at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia and as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond.

“The number-one job of any writer, in any genre, is to tell the truth.”

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Robert Trestan

Young people have the power to stem the tide of antiSemitism and other hateful incidents, said Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston Office. Mr. Trestan spoke to Class II students at the invitation of the Jewish Student Union. Prior to joining the ADL, Mr. Trestan served for more than a decade

“Just because I’m part of a

as director of civil rights at the Boston Housing Authority

marginalized group here in

and previously worked as an assistant public defender

America, doesn’t mean I don’t

in Naples, Florida. He received his J.D. from the University

represent the face of colonization and oppression in another

of Miami School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Trent University.

part of the world. I was seeing through the wrong lens.”

Kristina Wong

Kristina Wong performed her one-woman show, “Wong Street Journal,” a humorous account of armchair activism and a life-changing service trip to Uganda. Her visit to Milton was sponsored by the Hong Kong Distinguished

“The most powerful thing

Lecture Series. Ms. Wong’s most notable touring show,

you have is your voice.

“Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” examined the high

Speak out. If you do it

rates of depression and suicide among Asian-American women through a fictionalized version of herself. She has been a commentator for American Public Media’s

collectively, you can make a huge difference.”

Marketplace, PBS, VICE, Jezebel, and the Huffington Post. She has appeared as a guest on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” and “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.”

“Arts and imagery model for all of us what we can become. We can’t become what we can’t imagine.”

Sarah Lewis

“The arts are not just ephemeral,” says Harvard Professor Sarah Lewis. “They carry real weight in the real world.” Professor Lewis was the Margaret A. Johnson Speaker this year. An assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Art and Architecture and the Department of African and African American Studies, Professor Lewis works at the nexus of visual representation, racial inequity and social justice. Professor Lewis is the guest editor of the landmark “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture, now required reading for all incoming freshman at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. She has been the keynote speaker at a range of events and institutions, including TED, SXSW, the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Federal Reserve Bank.

SPRING 2018

45


NAME: Sherry Bingham Downes ’58 G ’13 ’14 ’14 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve worked as a public high school history teacher, a political researcher for Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, a staff researcher at the Peace Corps, a fundraiser and more. My other equally demanding and fulfilling career was bringing up three outstanding sons and helping my second husband in his career as chaplain, school headmaster and church rector. FAVORITE MILTON MEMORIES AS A STUDENT: I discovered a wonderful group of young women in Hathaway House, who are still among my closest friends. I also met classmate James Edward Bland, who, after four years of courtship through college, became my first husband and the father of my sons. FAVORITE MILTON MEMORY AS A GRANDPARENT: I went to a science lab with my grand­daughter, Emily Bland, and was impressed with the facilities and rigor of the academics. I was also struck by the easy relationship she had with a male laboratory partner. We could only talk to our boy classmates on the weekends, although notes passed by the crossing guard during the week were permitted. MY MILTON ROLE MODEL: Ruth Jaeger taught Latin and German; she was demanding but fair. WHY I SUPPORT MILTON: I had the most wonderful education I could ever imagine. We were privileged to be at Milton at a time when people wanted women to be homemakers. We were taught our minds were good and that we should go on to do great things. I included Milton in my will years ago—it’s easy to do and ensures support of an institution I love.

For more information on supporting Milton, contact: Mary Moran Perry, Director of Planned Giving 170 Centre Street Milton, MA 02186 617-898-2376 or mary_perry@milton.edu


class notes 1935

1949

1956

▼ Connie (Bradley) Madeira

John Hewett is keeping busy

Susan Becker Hussein is mostly

turned 100 on December 31, 2017.

as the treasurer of his local Rotary

retired and traveling, but also

She celebrated her birthday with

Club Foundation, and he serves

enjoying her minor role in editing

more than 40 family and friends

on the search committee of his

Historical Archaeology. Her seven

in her hometown in Maine.

church, United Church of Christ

grandchildren range in age from

Attending the party was Connie’s

in Greensboro, Vermont. He

6 to the mid-30s, and Susan is

great-granddaughter, Althea,

also keeps track of his three

beginning to wonder when or if

who was born in September of

grandsons’ very busy and very

great-grandchildren will appear.

2017—there are nearly 100 years

productive lives. Rupert Hitzig enjoys a yearly

between them! While at Milton, Connie played field hockey,

Michael Henderson published his

visit from Ted Robbins and his

basketball, tennis and baseball.

13th book, A Harvest of Friendships,

wife, Caroline, who travel from

She shared through her daughter,

A Story of World War II Child

Vermont to Los Angeles, where

Lisa, that back in those days,

Evacuees, American Generosity, and

Rupert lives. It has been a 15-year

girls played hardball, not softball.

British Gratitude. It is available

tradition and they have great fun

After Milton, Connie married

in the United States and the UK.

reconnecting. Rupert is directing

and raised four children. She continued to fulfill her love

a documentary shot in London and Liverpool, as well as monthly

of the outdoors and athletics as

1951

one-act plays. His greatest joys in

a competitive sailor and ski

Andrew Ward and his wife have

life are his two sons, their wives,

instructor, active into her 80s.

been enjoying the golf weather in

his wife of 47 years and their

Georgia, despite hurricanes in

grandson, a hockey star for the

recent years. He enjoys FaceTime

Junior Kings.

and weekly phone calls with granddaughters up north.

1957 Robert Fuller Jr. and his wife

Michael Henderson ’49

moved to a continuing care

published his 13th book,

▼ Rosamond van der Linde

community in Potomac, Maryland,

A Harvest of Friendships,

published her second book,

10 minutes away from his wife’s

The Land of No Laws: The Saga of

daughter and her husband. Their

Evacuees, American Generosity,

two-room apartment is decorated

and British Gratitude.

1954 a Small Caribbean Island.

A Story of World War II Child

in nautical prints and old maps of Maine, as well as his Milton diploma. Bob shared he has quit television “cold turkey,” with everything he needs to read or see available online. His one

1943

exception: The Wall Street Journal,

Steve Washburn says that he,

crinkle of its paper in his hands.

John Goodhue and Roger Perry

Bob enjoys his membership at

as he still enjoys feeling the

are planning to attend the 75th

the Army-Navy Club in midtown

reunion this spring, and they

Washington, D.C., which serves

hope other members of the class

as a base of operations for him,

will try to attend, or be in touch

and he looks to get involved with

if they can’t make it.

Princeton and Penn Clubs.

SPRING 2018

47


cl a s s no t e s, con t.

1961 Robert G. Morse II has been

living with his wife, Charlotte, in Rhode Island for the past 13 years, enjoying the retired life. They have enjoyed several river cruises in Europe, tours in Scotland, Portugal and India, a trip to the Galapagos, and most recently, a cruise through the Panama Canal. Robert and his wife welcomed their first granddaughter at the end of June, and their first grand­son two months later.

1963 Frederic B. “Deric” Jennings Jr.

published two volumes of academic essays, The Economics of Horizon Effects and The Human Ecology of Horizon Effects, as well as a more poetic critique of economics called Nature’s Song, Inhuman Society: A Fly Cast to the Wind, which uses fly fishing as a metaphor for inductive scientific

1971

inquiry. He is looking forward to his 55th class reunion in June. Christopher Hallowell ’64 has recently published a novel, Beneficiaries of Deceit.

community center. His family

▲ Sylvie Peron continues to

includes two sons, two stepdaugh-

serve as editor-in-chief for the

1964

ters and two grand­daughters.

European edition of Altitudes,

Christopher Hallowell has recently

1970

to business aviation, and co-editor

published a novel, Beneficiaries of Deceit, set in both the Peruvian

Peter H. Cloutier is still living in

travel to the French Alps, with

jungle and on a nearly bankrupt

Geneva, Switzerland with his wife,

upcoming trips to London,

fictional college campus in Boston.

Pamela. Peter reports that he

Shanghai and Geneva.

a lifestyle magazine dedicated for Altitudes Asia. She’s enjoyed

is just starting to enjoy receiving

48

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E    

some money back from the Swiss

▲ This year Margaret (Trumbull)

1966

government now that he’s reached

Nash and her husband, Mike,

Philip Sherwood has been Seattle-

the official retirement age. Peter

visited Sylvie for a late summer

based for the last few years after

is navigating a cancer diagnosis,

lunch in September, as they

cruising and living in Ecuador

but notes that Swiss health care is

always do when they visit the

and Panama. He works as an

terrific, world-class and available

French Riviera. Sylvie’s fiancé is a

activist and community organizer

on short notice. His doctors are

professional chef, so they enjoyed

combating racism and extremism,

confident that treatment will be

a delicious meal. Don’t forget

as well as helping to grow a

effective. He describes this as

to give Sylvie a head’s up on your

food bank into a multi-faceted

a “new but unwelcome challenge.”

next visit to the French Riviera!

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YWCA Women’s Art Gallery Presents

Land, Light, Lustre Friday, October 6, 2017 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM 898 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served RSVP: yjohnson-hegge@ywcacin.org

Mary has been involved with cooperative presses in Ohio for 26 years. She enjoys the company of her children and two grand­ daughters, ages 12 and 9. Mary Woodworth

Mary Woodworth keeps an open eye to the monumental nature of the landscape. Her recent monotypes and collagraph prints celebrate the elemental nature of debris refabricated into a printing plate. As each image emerges through multiple passes through the press, she explores her place in the landscape, a terrain of unfolding light. Andrea Knarr uses the depiction of light in her landscapes as an emotional barometer, evoking reverie and a sense of place. The morning and evening light on the Ohio River provides her inspiration, and the ink, wiped away on the plate, reveals the tactile surprises inherent in the monotype process. The daughter of a woodworker, Didem Mert was raised in a design-rich metals. The geometry, texture, and functionality of her work emanate from this artistic environment. She conveys a sense of tranquility through minimalistic design, and a sense of playfulness through her color palette and textured surfaces.

Show runs through January 11, 2018

1977 ▼ V-Nee Yeh recently began

1981

foil wake surfing—a hydrofoil

▲ Walker Blaine and his wife,

surfboard for surfing the wake

Patricia, are delighted to

behind boats. Andrea Knarr

Didem Mert

Greater Cincinnati Didem Mert

announce the birth of their son, Griffin Arrow Blaine, on August 22, 2017. When not changing diapers, Walker is a production

1973

editor for Kalapa Media in Canada,

▲ Mary Woodworth had artwork,

and assists in the liturgical

hand-pulled print pieces she’s

world of the Shambhala Buddhist

been developing for two years,

community. He and Patricia

featured in a show in Cincinnati.

met studying Tibetan in Asia.

Operating Milton Academy comes at a cost well beyond tuition. Tuition and fees cover just 72 percent of a Milton education, with philanthropy covering the gap. No matter the size, every Milton Fund gift makes a meaningful and immediate difference— bringing opportunities to life for faculty and students.

Make a gift today. www.milton.edu/donate 617-898-2447

SPRING 2018

49


cl a s s no t e s, con t.

John Sullivan lives on the South

Shore of Massachusetts with his wife of 26 years, Susi. His daughter recently graduated from the University of Rochester with a triple major and moved to Seattle, making the Sullivans official empty-nesters. Tad Hills lives in Brooklyn where

he spends most of his time writing and illustrating children’s books such as the Duck & Goose and Rocket series. His wife, Lee Wade, publishes them at Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House. Tad often visits schools around the world to talk about his work. His Tad Hills ’81 spends most of

his time writing and illustrating children’s books such as the Duck & Goose and Rocket series.

mom, Joanna, passed away in October. Tad shared that she always welcomed classmates at 110

1991

Commercial Street, and for many, and Katie Schecter, and has

Michael Douglas and his wife,

reconnected with Dan Norton,

Olivia, welcomed their first

Jon Davis and Tom Payne in

child, James William Douglas,

San Francisco.

to the world on November 9, 2017.

is still spending as much of her

1986

1993

was their mom-away-from-home.

1982 Karen (Rubin) Hawkes lives in

Marin County, California, but she

Alex Merrill ’86 started a

new publishing house, Apollo Publishers, dedicated to publishing timely nonfiction.

50

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E    

summers on Nantucket Island as

Alex Merrill has started a new

▲ Aryeh Sternberg has been

possible. She co-founded Deep

publishing house, Apollo

living in Sydney, Australia,

Flight, a company that builds

Publishers, dedicated to publis­hing

for the past five years after a

personal submarines, in 1998;

timely nonfiction. Their first title,

13-year stint in Southeast Asia.

their newest initiative is to

due out in April, is a conver­sation

Aryeh started a digital marketing

partner with luxury resorts to

between a confidante of Martin

consultancy called Beyond

offer submarine excursions

Luther King Jr. and a modern-

Intent that is now a year old.

for guests. Karen has a 20-year-

day activist. Alex would love to

One of their clients is Athletics

old son, Oliver, studying at

publish a Miltonian author and he

Australia, the organiza­tion

Wake Forest, and an 18-year-old

welcomes ideas and manuscripts.

responsible for the Australian

daughter, Madeleine, studying at Goucher College. She enjoyed

Olympics, Paralympics and

1989

recreational running across

guiding her kids through the college application process so

James Williams met up with Les

he married Marcia Nihei, and

the country. On October 28,

much that she started her own

Marshall, now from California,

they live in a suburb called

college-consulting business.

and on another occasion, John Yu,

Chatswood with her sister

Karen enjoys staying in touch

now living in Washington, D.C.,

and their cats Shiro and Basil.

with fellow Milties Susanna

at the Larchmont Yacht Club with

Aryeh is hoping to make

(Hodges) Salk, Deirdre Kenny

their families.

it back to Reunion this year!

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1994 ▼ Laura Beatrix Newmark was

Women – A Night of Female

Development Office or designate

thrilled to see two former

Resistance Comedy” at the 14th

their gift online.

roommates and dear friends from

Street Y Theater. The show sold

Hallowell, Lynn Rasic and Bess

out in under a week.

1997

1995

▶ Jonas Peter Akins and his wife

Professionally, Laura is producing a comedy show called “#Nasty

Eliza Myers recently had a fourth

the world on December 4, 2017.

Williamson, when they were in

New York City over the holidays.

Sarah welcomed Celie Akins into

baby and moved with her family

Equally delighted was grand­

to New Haven to take a job at Yale

mother Bonnie Bonnet Akins ’59.

as a neonatologist. Eliza is also

Jonas is teaching and coaching at

happy to announce the establish­

Choate Rosemary Hall.

ment of the Nina Riggs ’95 Memorial Scholarship, which provides support to students in

1998

need of financial aid at Milton.

David Sclar joined health care

Alumni interested in contributing

startup Rally Health in 2014

to Nina’s fund can contact the

as the Chief Privacy Officer and

REUNION WEEKEND JUNE 15 & 16, 2018

Celebrating class years ending in “3” and “8.” Come back—we’ve missed you!

SPRING 2018 To learn more or to register, visit www.milton.edu/graduates 51


cl a s s no t e s, con t.

2001 Vice President, Business Affairs &

Patrick Wales-Dinan married

Legal. David would love to

Annie Dear on July 22, 2017,

connect with anyone else working

in Small Point, Maine. Former

in health care, particularly

Milton Academy roommate Hernan Ortiz was a groomsman,

at startups.

and former teacher and coach Lila Dupree recently got engaged

Ed Ellison was in attendance.

to another Milton alum, Daniel Adair ’04 . The two have known

each other since attending Shady Hill School in Cambridge and were paired together for a year. After that, they did not see each other until they had coffee in 2009 Daniel Adair ’04 is a

director of product at Scopely, where he makes mobile video games.

after connecting on Facebook. Eight years later, they randomly reconnected in London last

▲ Kristin (Ostrem) Donelan

February, and the rest is history!

welcomed her second child,

They both live in Los Angeles and

Thomas Hall Donelan, on

Lila works as an actor, writer and

May 10, 2017.

2002 ▲ Caitlin (Flint) Walsh and

producer, while Dan is a director of product at Scopely, where

▼ Joanna Ostrem married Dave

Michael Walsh ’01, along with

he makes mobile video games.

Twerdun on December 30 in

big brother Michael (5) and sister

1999

Brooklyn, NY. Many members of

Emily (3) welcomed Matthew

the class of ’99 were in attendance.

Charles Walsh on November 29,

In the photo, left–right: Beth

2017 in San Diego.

Actress Caroline Kinsolving made

Pierson, Sarah White, Kara

her Boston Symphony Hall debut

Sweeney Egan, Kiran Singh,

this fall in Henrik Ibsen’s Peer

Joanna Ostrem, Kristin Ostrem

Gynt. The performance included

Donelan, Leanne McManama

a company of 10 actors, a fiddler,

Conyers, Kelly Sullivan Menice,

an 80-person chorus, the entire

Caroline Churchill Page.

symphonic orchestra, dancing

Duke Gray was also there, but

and puppets.

not pictured.

Caroline Kinsolving ’99

made her Boston Symphony Hall debut this fall in Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt.

2004 ▲ Abby Wright and her husband,

Josh Ranson, welcomed their first child, Kit, in March 2017. Kit is happy, healthy and growing fast.

52

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


boa r d of trustee s Robert Azeke ’87

John B. Fitzgibbons ’87

Stephen Lebovitz P ’10 ’12 ’14 ’17


H. Marshall Schwarz ’54 P ’84


New York, New York

Treasurer

Weston, Massachusetts

Emeritus


Bronxville, New York Bradley M. Bloom P ’06 ’08

Lakeville, Connecticut Yunli Lou ’87

Emeritus


Margaret Jewett Greer ’47

Wellesley, Massachusetts

P ’77 ’84 G ’09 ’13 ’14 Emerita

Stuart Mathews P ’13 ’17 ’17


Charles Cheever ’86

Chevy Chase, Maryland

Vice President and Secretary


Erick Tseng ’97

Waban, Massachusetts

San Francisco, California

Concord, Massachusetts

Shanghai, China

Dune Thorne ’94 Lincoln, Massachusetts

Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden ’75 Douglas Crocker II ’58

P ’09


John McEvoy ’82 P ’19 ’20 ’25

Kimberly Steimle Vaughan ’92

Delray Beach, Florida

Wädenswil, Switzerland

Milton, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Mark Denneen ’84

Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65 P ’98


Chris McKown P ’13

Luis Viceira P ’16 ’19


Emeritus

Milton, Massachusetts

Belmont, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

New York, New York Elisabeth Donohue ’83 President New York, New York

Wendy Nicholson ’86

Dorothy Altman Weber ’60 P ’04

Harold W. Janeway ’54

Vice President

Boston, Massachusetts

P ’79 ’81 ’87 G ’12 ’14

New York, New York Ted Wendell ’58 P ’94 ’98 ’01

Emeritus Randall Dunn ’83

Webster, New Hampshire

Milton, Massachusetts

P ’17 ’19


Chicago, Illinois Claire Hughes Johnson ’90 James M. Fitzgibbons ’52

Caterina Papoulias-Sakellaris Milton, Massachusetts

Sylvia Westphal

Liping Qiu P ’17


Boston, Massachusetts

P ’18 ’21 ’25 ’27 ’27

Menlo Park, California

P ’87 ’90 ’93
 Emeritus

Peter Kagan ’86

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

New York, New York

Beijing, China Ronnell Wilson ’93 West Orange, New Jersey

William Knowlton P ’23
 Boston, Massachusetts

Kevin Yip ’83 P ’16 
Hong Kong

SPRING 2018

53


cl a s s no t e s, con t.

2013 Cole Morrissette graduated from

Wesleyan University last spring with a double major in neuro­science and biology. He is finish­ing his master’s degree in neurophysiology with research focused on epilepsy. Cole will be starting medical school this fall.

▼ Milton alumni met at

Georgetown University for a hangout. Pictured are Nick DiGiovanni ’15 and Shanlyn Tse ’15 , and brothers Nick,

Nick Dougherty ’07 was

Cam ’16 and Peter DiGiovanni ’17.

part of MedTech Boston’s 40 Under 40.

2006 ▲ Annie Jean-Baptiste married

media company she joined

Todd Bullock on June 10, 2017

in NYC in 2012, now as head of

Chef Irene Li ’08 owns

in San Francisco. They were

Strategy & Client Services in

and operates Mei Mei’s

surrounded by many Mustangs

their UK office. She lives with

from ’06, ’07 and ’08.

her boyfriend in Angel.

2007

2008

Street Kitchen and Restaurant in Boston.

Nick Dougherty won BostInno’s

Chef Irene Li owns and operates

50 on Fire, and in the spring he

Mei Mei’s Street Kitchen and

was part of MedTech Boston’s 40

Restaurant in Boston. Mei Mei

Under 40. Nick is leading efforts in

leads the restaurant industry

digital health, improv­ing the lives

in fair and ethical practices

of patients through technology.

while serving creative ChineseAmerican dishes. This year, Irene

54

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E    

After five years in New York City,

has been chosen as one of Zagat’s

Samm Yu moved to London in

30 Under 30, designating her

search of a new adventure. She

as one of the young talents in the

still works at Refinery29, a digital

hospitality industry.

 milton.edu   

 /MiltonAcademy1798   

 @Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy


In Memoriam Francis D. Millet

May 25, 1917–November 15, 2017 Francis D. Millet—Milton’s beloved teacher, coach, house master, advisor and friend for 75 years—died November 15, 2017, at the age of 100. Milton honored Mr. Millet’s 100th birthday last June during reunion weekend, and celebrated his life exactly as he wished, with a Funeral Mass at St. Agatha’s Church in Milton, celebrated by Milton alumnus, and Mr. Millet’s chaplain in his last years, Fr. William Palardy. Mr. Millet’s legacy is alive on campus and beyond: in the classroom and on the playing fields, in the highly personal Milton admission process, in the successful squash program he created, in the affection of Millet House residents past and present, and in the loving memories of generations of Milton alumni. A tribute website, www.daretobetrue.com/millet, features Mr. Millet’s biography along with stories and photographs of his rich contributions to Milton Academy. Among the comments alumni shared on the website: “Purely and simply, I owe the fact that I successfully graduated from Milton to the wise and perceptive counseling I received from Mr. Millet. I will be forever grateful for his help.” — Phil Kinnicutt ’59 “Mr. Millet represented to me the very best that the school had to offer, and through the years as an alumnus and trustee I grew to value his judgment and wisdom, and essential kindness, more than I can say.” — Peter Burling ’63 “You supported me as I learned what it really meant to be a student and scholar. I have no doubt you saved my life, as I also have no doubt I would not have been able to live the life I have without the opportunity and guidance you gave me. I do not know how many others you have had a similar effect on, but I suspect it is countless.”  — Cushing Hamlen ’76 “Mr. Millet saw qualities in me I was unaware of myself until years later. He saw fit to provide the scholarship that afforded me the full education Milton offered. What has been done with that has touched people from India to Lithuania to Maine. His kindness and insight have rippled across countless human lives, as we all have walked what he gave us around our Earth.” — Ben Schneider ’82 “Mr. Millet, you were one of the greatest parts of attending Milton Academy. You were a model of grace, humility, leadership and mentorship. You were impactful on and off the squash courts. I treasure the guidance you have given me through my time at Milton, and your friendship for the past 23 years since graduation.”  — Kuan Ern Tan ’94 “I will always cherish my friendship with Mr. Millet, which will live on in the wonderful collection of handwritten notes from him I have saved over the years. I’m so thankful to have had him as a teacher, mentor and pen pal. Wise and kind with a great sense of humor—a true legend.” — Meghan O’Toole ’01

Class of 1934 Reverend Charles Kane Cobb Lawrence Class of 1938 Barbara Bigelow Dunn Marjorie Handy Nichols Class of 1939 Joan Perkins Austin Galen L. Stone Class of 1943 Robert G. Potter, Jr. Class of 1944 Sylvia Hurd McDonald Class of 1945 Louis Cloutier IV Daniel B. Kunhardt Class of 1947 Calvert Smith Blanche Frenning Strater Christopher Grant Class of 1950 Kirk Rankin III Class of 1951 William M. Field Class of 1953 Penelope Comfort Starr Peter H. Durkee Class of 1958 Dr. Judy Wilson Child Class of 1966 Deborah Saltonstall Twining Sarah Bailey Downey Hackworth Class of 1970 Dr. William C. Corea Class of 1979 Michael P. Preston Class of 1985 Martin J. DeMatteo, Jr. Faculty and Staff William T. Hall, Jr. James E. Maher Francis D. Millet

Alumni, faculty and staff who passed June 1, 2017 through January 30, 2018, and were not previously listed in Milton Magazine. To notify us of a death, please contact the Development and Alumni Relations Office at alumni@milton.edu or 617-898-2447.

SPRING 2018

55


post script   

BY FRANK MILLET

Mr. Millet Responds Having just received the Milton Medal from H. Marshall Schwarz ’54 in May 2002

with the two Milton junior high schools. Bright-eyed and eager, we reported to Stoky the next afternoon. He handed each of us a shovel, I have used this story before, but in the words

excellent role models. The first was Arthur

saying the first thing we should do was to dig

of Mae West, “Too much of a good thing is

Perry whom I met when I was teaching in

holes for the goal posts. Our relationship has

not enough.” In the mid-twenties, I was always

Santa Fe, New Mexico, before WWII. He

improved since then.

intrigued by Al Smith. On one occasion, when

invited me to let him know if I came back east.

he was governor of the Empire State, he was

I did come back in 1942, and was delighted

were invaluable: John Torney, Barc Feather,

Later on, advice and friendship from others

asked to address the inmates of Sing Sing, the

to have my first position at Milton teaching the

Betty Greenleaf Buck. Betty Buck was not at

well-known state penitentiary on the banks

sixth grade, which I did for two years. Arthur

Milton when I was with the Lower School

of the Hudson. He was puzzled as to the proper

Perry placed me as a floormaster in Robbins

but we became good friends when she returned

salutation for his audience: gentlemen, fellow

House run by Reggie Nash, another remarkable

at the close of the war. One story that

Americans, fellow Democrats, friends—none

man: house master, history teacher, baseball

makes me smile is from a few years ago when

seemed appropriate, but he solved his dilemma

coach from 1919 to 1952. Then there was Cy

I mentioned to Betty that recently I had the

by saying, “I am happy to see so many of you

Jones, who was headmaster from 1942–1947;

most nice lunch with Ned Johnson who had

here.” It will be impossible to thank you all

Mr. Hunt, who was in charge of Warren

been in my first sixth grade in 1943. Betty

individually, but I will mention one former

Hall, the study hall for Classes IV–VI; Howard

had remembered Ned from the fourth grade.

advisee, Todd Wyett ’84, who is here from the

Smith who was the chairman of the classics

She said to me, “Oh, that must have been

Middle West. He, with J. B . Pritzker ’82,

department. These, and many others helped

fun; Neddy was such a pleasant boy. I wonder

initiated the Admission Chair which funds

me along the way. Actually I was hired

whatever happened to him.” I was able to assure

by Mr. Field, who was the headmaster from

her that he managed to survive.

the Dean of Admission. A few months ago I interviewed with a

1917–1942. His predecessor, Mr. Lane, 1910–1917,

I owe so much to people like Arthur

sixth-grader who was seeking admission

was someone I became friendly with in my

and Emilie Perry, and to many others as well.

to the sixth class. He was, even then, a superb

early Milton years.

The entire Milton constituency—faculty,

tennis player. I asked him how he had become

Herbert Stokinger (Stoky) deserves special

parents, graduates, and certainly, students,

so skilled. His answer was, “I have had

mention—he has been an inspiration for 60

make and continue to make this School, for

excellent coaches.” His response is appropriate

years. Back in 1944, he asked John Pocock and

me and count­less others, the caring, vibrant

in my case, although perhaps enjoyment could

me if we would start a Fourth Class Warren

and chal­leng­ing environment in which we

be substituted for success. I have had many

Hall football team to compete in a tri-league

work and live.

56

M I LT O N M A G A Z I N E


Bring Turf to Milton Milton is home to world-class students with endless potential, and our athletics program plays an essential role in their experience. Athletics teaches a commitment to excellence, hard work, leadership and discipline. Despite robust facilities, one gap in our program remains: a turf field. And by the summer of 2018, Milton will be the only ISL school without turf. The generosity of our alumni and parents will help bring turf to Milton as we seek to raise $2.5 million for this project. Ensure our School has the facilities that match students’ commitment to excellence and exploration—invest in Milton athletics today.

Dare is a campaign about our people: our faculty, our students, and the power of their experiences together. Learn more about how you can support Milton today, and for decades to come. milton.edu/turf • 617-898-2447 katie_connolly@milton.edu


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Milton Magazine, Spring 2018  
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