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285 Cory’s Lane Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871


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Members of classes ending in 1s and 6s, please mark your calendars and plan for a weekend of fun on campus with faculty and classmates. WINTER BULLETIN 2011



BOARD OF REGENTS Right Rev. Dom Caedmon Holmes, O.S.B. Abbot and Chancellor Portsmouth, RI Mr. John M. Regan, III, ’68, P ’07 Chairman Watch Hill, RI Mr. Thomas Anderson ’73 Annual Fund Chair Gwynedd Valley, PA

You can support ALL aspects of a Portsmouth Abbey School education today.

Dr. Margaret S. Healey P ’91 New Vernon, NJ Dr. Gregory Hornig ’68, P ’01 Prairie Village, KS

Monthly Recurring Giving Easier for You and Better for the Environment!

Mr. M. Benjamin Howe ’79 Wellesley, MA

Sign up for Recurring Giving and each month Portsmouth Abbey will charge a set amount to your credit card for as many months as you wish. That means one less item on your “to do” list and no more paper solicitations!

Rev. F. Washington Jarvis Dorchester Center, MA

Sr. M. Therese Antone, RSM, Ed. D. Newport, RI

Rev. Dom Damian Kearney, O.S.B., ’45 Portsmouth, RI

Dom Joseph Byron, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

Mr. Charles E. Kenahan ’77, P ’12, ’12, ’12 Swampscott, MA

Mr. Frederick C. Childs ’75, P ’08 Cambridge, MA

Mr. Edward G. Kirby ’83 Jamestown, RI

Dom Francis Crowley, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

Mr. Alejandro J. Knoepffler ’78, P ’12 Coral Gables, FL

Mr. Stephen M. Cunningham ’72 Greenwich, CT

Ms. Devin McShane P ’09, ’11 Providence, RI

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Cunningham ’74, P ’08, ’09, ’11, ’14

Mr. James S. Mulholland, III, ’79 Sudbury, MA

Co-Chairs, Parents’ Committee Dedham, MA

Mr. Robert A. Savoie P ’10, ’11 Bristol, RI

Mr. James D. Farley, Jr., ’81 Dearborn, MI

Ms. Kathleen Boland Stevens ’95 Wellesley, MA

Dr. Timothy P. Flanigan ’75, P ’06, ’09, ’11 Tiverton, RI

Rev. Dom Luke L. Travers, O.S.B., ’75 Morristown, NJ

Mr. Peter S. Forker ’69 Chicago, IL

Mr. Samuel G. White ’64 New York, NY

Mr. James S. Gladney P ’10, ’11 Barrington, RI

Very Rev. Dom Ambrose Wolverton, O.S.B. Prior Portsmouth, RI

Dom Gregory Havill, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

A. Greta Behnke ‘12 (Chris ’81); B. Kate Skakel ‘11 (Peter Flanigan ’41) C. Elisa Lonergan ‘14 (Tom ’71); D. Hadley Matthews ‘13 (Charlie ’84); E. Isabel Keogh ‘13 (Bill ’78); F. Corinne Cotta ‘12 (Steve ’83); G. Anne Magauran ‘14 (Tom ’81); H. Rachel Powers ‘13 (Jim ’79); I. Anna MacGillivray ‘13 (Mark ’80); J. Theresa Lonergan ‘11 (Tom ’71); K. Sarah Powers ‘13 (Jim ’79); L. Lani Griffiths ‘11 (John Dale ’65); M. Tiernan Barry ‘11 (Gordon McShane ’41); N. Emily Cunningham ‘11 (Tim ’74); O. Katie Glosson ‘13 (Todd ’80); P. Charlotte Cournoyer ‘12 (Peter ’80)


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$100 or more – Classes up to 10th Reunion


Cover: In our twentieth year of coeducation, Portsmouth Abbey is proud of our daughters and granddaughters of alumni who are carrying on the legacy:

By spreading out your gift over multiple months you can make a larger gift to Portsmouth Abbey or simply ease the stress on your wallet. Recurring Giving makes it possible for many donors to become members of one of the School’s giving societies.






Total minimum gift amount reflect a 12-month, July-to-June giving year. Donors who enroll during the giving year should choose a monthly payment sufficient to reach a giving society level by June 30. In the following year, donors can adjust their monthly payment for the next 12-month cycle.

. To get started today, visit or contact the Portsmouth Abbey School Development Office at 401.643.1204.


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SAINT BENEDICT ’S OFFERING by Dom Julian Stead, O.S.B. ‘43 Has the spirit and letter of Benedict’s Rule of life shown the power to make any important contribution to daily life in Europe? When the Roman legions were evacuated from Britain, the British lived in terror of invasion by Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, similar to the threat of terrorism today.

How is the Charism alive today? In the Church’s liturgical revival and prayer groups, and in abbeys whose schools, colleges and seminaries are creative centers of economy, the arts, and spirituality. Even in the twentieth century it has given birth to saints and beati.

We Anglo-Saxons lived by hunting and pillaging. Converted by Benedictine monks, we who killed and stole learned to work with our hands what is good (cf. Ephesians 4:28), cultivating the land and constructing houses, barns, and churches, instead of burning them down. After the Norman Conquest, monks from the continent introduced sheep farming; the coat-of-arms of Bath Abbey was granted a loom. The monks of Bath were the first to introduce its use. To this day the Chancellor of the Exchequer is enthroned on the woolsack, to signify the root of the country’s prosperity in the textile industry.

Can it serve as a medicine for the evils of today’s world? Stress and the abuse of television are among those evils. Telecommunication is also useful for sharing good news and good ideas, bringing people together peacefully for constructive goals. About as much time as the world spends looking at television is spent by Benedictines in spiritual reading and liturgical worship. In worship, the eyes and ears are attuned to divine things; lectio divina gives mind and soul medicine and nourishment from the word of God.

Within a century, the monastic culture not only taught the English to farm, but to read and write, adapting the Roman alphabet (not too successfully) to English sounds, educating the Venerable Bede, a scientist progressive for his times, as well as an historian and theologian whose works were read even on the continent in his lifetime. The Benedictine Rule brought peace, culture, and economic stability. How does it serve humanity today? Benedictine communities by their stability tend to grow villages around them, where people may settle into a mutually sustaining life without constant migration. Thus peace is developed in clusters. This sort of society relieves stress and exemplifies what democracy seeks to achieve, working fraternally together – motivated not by material profit but by the desire of God. The value of humility is in contrast to egotistic rivalry. In miniature it shows an alternative to the military/industrial complex which fought a World War to “end all wars” and naively thought that by the atomic bomb it had made further wars unthinkable. Yet after the death or displacement of hundreds of millions, humanity feels as threatened and unsafe as ever. Without these super-destructive means of self-defense, we might be unable to defend ourselves militarily, but look at Monte Cassino, three or four times annihilated by violence, yet able to rebuild peacefully.

What word or phrase sums up Benedictine spirituality, as the Franciscan in “Poverty,” Dominican in “Truth,” and Jesuit in “Obedience?” Let’s think about that. In 15 centuries, the Rule of Benedict has shown much flexibility without breaking. “Flexibility” has been suggested as its characteristic. On a number of occasions it has seemed to die, only to reappear rejuvenated as a missionary or teaching order, educating kings and statesmen, merchants, and artists, or as an order of enclosed contemplatives made up of peasants or learned aristocrats. Under flexibility, is “prayer” the common heart or root, particularly liturgical prayer? That is only a part of it. What about “work?” Ora et labora has been reiterated as a Benedictine motto, an attempt to describe how the waking hours of the nights and days are spent. But working and praying for whom? Obedience certainly rules what work is done and the ways and times of prayer, but “obedience” is the Jesuits’ tag, and there is something special about St. Benedict’s principle of obedience; it is not owed to superior only, but to one another, in order to be accepted by God. St. Benedict devoted a whole chapter to that. The monk gives priority to the wants of others. A monastery is the wrong place to seek self-fulfillment. The monk is not Mr. Nice-Guy, a “people-pleaser.” He loves what he does because he loves Christ, and wants to be recruited into Christ’s army.




The virtue that St. Benedict wants is humility, not to be confused with the sense the word has acquired in English, affecting low self-esteem (Uriah Heep). St. Benedict addresses each new arrival respectfully as “son,” meaning not just “his son” but “child of God.” The person is expected to value his life, which means it is worth saving. One does not address the son of a king disrespectfully. St Benedict’s “humility” has much in common with reverence, Love and Charity in the scriptural sense. One does not follow St. Benedict in search of a career, or to make friends and be popular, to gain influence, fame, or power, or to give and receive affection, or to find one’s name on the cover of books or even on the inside. There is no such thing as success or failure in Benedictine life, unless one fails to at least begin to arrive at that life in that other world with Christ in the bosom of the Father. Becoming a monk is like getting on a boat to sail away, leaving this island behind, with its desires and their objects. A monk’s cross is like the crosses in a military ceremony: passers-by know somebody was there and gave his life. There is a wonderful little book by Dom Bernard Hayes, a 19thCentury collection of the author’s notes to the novices in his monastery – The Via Vitae of St. Benedict – and I remember that whatever he is talking about ends up as a great way to give up one’s own will, whether it is listening to the reading in the re-

fectory, or obeying the sound of the bell, caring for the sick, disciplining boys, or saying one’s prayers. That is Humilitas, and that is St. Benedict. Can the Benedictine Charism be expressed in one word? Yes. It stands for something all Benedictines have had in common, that monastics work and pray for; St. Benedict’s name for it is Humilitas, to fulfill God’s desires, not one’s own. Candidates for admission to the monastery are seen as creatures returning to the rule of their creator and father. The enemy they must resist and combat is self-will, pride and vainglory – not the faculty of free will, but domination by one’s own desires (passions, emotions) instead of by God’s desires, expressed in His written word, and represented by the commands or wishes primarily of one’s superior, but also of whoever is one’s neighbor. Priority must be given to God our father and creator. And to our brothers in whom Christ is served and honored. Other desires must not even be given a thought. The monk works and prays for the honor of God. Humility is not an end in itself, but the end of oneself, in Christ. “Whoever is self-promoting will be humbled and whoever is humble will be promoted.” (Luke 14:11 and 18:14) . (Islam means “submission.”) Reprinted from an essay written by Dom Julian in 2004.

REPORT F RO M T H E MO N AS T E RY The Monastic Renewal Program Office (MRPO) has been busy – we are giving certain areas of the monastery something of a facelift, including planning a new garden where the old “Zen Garden” had become a kind of graveled area. The novitiate is being given some new paint and floor covering. Paul Jestings and his team have been working hard for us. By the time of publication we will have just been to two weekend conferences sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), in Baltimore and Nashville, the theme of which this year is vocations. We have a new exhibit to take with us that showcases the beauty of Portsmouth, together with some attractive postcards that the attendees may take with them to remember us by. Representing the monastery will be Abbot Caedmon, our vocations director, Brother Gregory, novice master, and David Moran ‘71, director of the MRPO.


The monastery’s advertising agency in Boston, Partners + simons, has put together a vocations video, which will be running initially on Facebook ( PortsmouthAbbeyMonastery) and then on an entirely new Web site for the monastery ( The new site was designed by Partners + simons almost entirely with vocations in mind. We have had a number of good vocation visitors since the summer, and hope that they will be inspired to return – part of the Monastic Renewal Program Office’s mission is to encourage them to do so. Please continue to pray for them and for vocations to Portsmouth Abbey generally! – David Moran ‘71 Director, Monastic Renewal Program Office

CONTENTS Stay Connected To keep up with general news and information about Portsmouth Abbey School, we encourage you to bookmark the website. If you are an alumnus/a, please visit and join our Alumni Community. Check out our listing of upcoming alumni events here on campus and around the country. And please remember to update your contact information on our Alumni Community pages where you can find out more about Reunion 2011, our Tenth Annual Golf Scholarship Tournament, and share news and search for fellow alumni around the world: If you would like to receive our e-newsletter, Monthly Musings, please make sure we have your email address (send to: To submit class notes and photos (1-5 MB.), please email: or mail to Portsmouth Abbey Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, 285 Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth, RI 02871.

The Portsmouth Abbey Alumni Bulletin is published bi-annually for alumni, parents and friends by Portsmouth Abbey School, a Catholic Benedictine preparatory school for young men and women in Forms III-VI (grades 9-12) in Portsmouth, RI. If you have opinions or comments on the articles contained in our Bulletin, please email: or write to the Office of Communications, Portsmouth Abbey School, 285 Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth, RI 02871 Please include your name and phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit articles for content, length, grammar, magazine style, and suitabilty to the mission of Portsmouth Abbey School. Headmaster: Dr. James DeVecchi Assistant Headmaster for Development: Patrick J. Burke ‘86 Editors: Kathy Heydt, Kathy Giblin Stark

Saint Benedict’s Offering by Dom Julian Stead, O.S.B., ‘43


2010 Haney Fellowships: Four Students Grow in Knowledge and Grace


Reunion 2010


1991: Portsmouth Abbey Embraces Coeducation by Headmaster Jim DeVecchi


The First Girls, 1991-95: Portsmouth Abbey’s Female Pioneers


Recollections From the Men of the Class of 1995


Fathers and Daughters – A Lasting Legacy


My Early Years at Portsmouth Abbey School by Nancy Brzys, Dean of Faculty


Coeducation Letter 40 Years On by James MacGuire ‘70


The Religious Beliefs of William Shakespeare by Dom Damian Kearney, O.S.B., ‘45


William Shakespeare: International Man of Mystery by Michael Bonin, Ph. D., Head of English


The Office of Admissions and the Transition to Coeducation by Meghan Fonts, Director of Admissions


Campaign Q&A Brings Effort into Focus… by Patrick Burke ’86, Assistant Headmaster for Development


Book Review: Ciaran Carson’s Last Night’s Fun Reviewed by Bowen Smith, Head of History


The Nightstand: What our Faculty and Monks are Reading


When Girls Joined the Ranks of Abbey Student-Athletes by Mindy Urick, Assistant Director of Athletics


Fall Athletics


Alumni Spotlight: Believe in Miracles – Jamie Wilson ’72 Gives the Gift of Life by Tom Anderson ‘73




In Memoriam


Class Notes


Corrections A photograph in the 2010 Summer Bulletin’s Commencement coverage incorrectly identified the parents of graduating Sixth Former Paolo Soriano. The photo caption should have stated that Paolo’s parents are Abraham and Teodora Soriano, parents of Jose ’05, Luis ’07 and Paolo ’10. We apologize for the error.

Art Director: Kathy Heydt Photography: Jez Coulson, Louis Walker, Kate Whitney Lucey, Kim Fuller, Andrea Hansen, Michelle O’Connor, Kathy Heydt, Kathy Stark, Blake Jackson

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Four Students Grow in Knowledge and Grace

Fifth Form students apply for the William M.Haney III Fellowships and fulfill the obligation during the summer prior to Sixth Form year. Recipients are chosen by Bill Haney ‘80 and his mother, Irene, based on the quality of applications. The Fellowships are available through a gift from Bill made in honor of his father, William M. Haney – chemistry teacher, houseparent and coach at Portsmouth from 1968 to 1991. The following are excerpts from the 2010 Haney Fellows’ reports. To read the reports in their entirety, please visit (under the Academics tab on the School Website.)

Brigid ‘11 and Garrett ‘11 Behan Cousins Brigid and Garrett applied for the Haney Fellowship, in Brigid’s words, “as a sort-of ‘package deal’.” They spent the month of August in Njabini, Kenya, where they worked at Flying Kites, an organization that cares for homeless, orphaned and abused children. The Behans have been involved with Flying Kites for some time but had not had the opportunity to visit.

Brigid and I were awarded the Haney Fellowship to travel to Kenya to work at Flying Kites. Flying Kites is a non-profit organization started by three unbelievable people. They strive to bring the best care to children. The organization was started in Newport, and it recently moved to New York. Brigid and I raised funds to bring soccer equipment to the children at the orphanage and bring the kids on a field trip. We were in Kenya for twenty-eight days.

Upon arriving at the house, we were swarmed by children. Along with the 18 boarding students, 60 “day” students attend school at the Flying Kites Leadership Academy. We were expected to tutor the children in English, Reading, and Math. We also were asked to arrange an activity for them almost every day. Most of our activities revolved around soccer, nature walks, or even Capture the Flag. Every night our time was spent on game time, a movie, or homework. The children had no preference as to which activity was planned. On our last night, we decided to play “musical pillows” (musical chairs, but with cushions). The children danced to American music and showed their competitive spirit. We both have said that that night is one of our fondest memories of the trip. With great thanks to the Portsmouth Abbey community, Garrett and I were able to raise over $3,000 to fund a movie trip along with buying soccer equipment for the orphanage. One morning, the children woke up to find soccer cleats, jerseys, and shin guards underneath their beds. The smiles remained on the children’s faces for days. It took almost a week to convince them to take off their cleats. – Brigid Behan

Brigid Behan with the children of Flying Kites


Brigid and I stayed in a town called Njabini. It was two hours outside of the capitol, Nairobi. There were 18 boarder children in the home. We were there during a school break for three out of the four weeks. The days consisted of about two-and-a-half hours of tutoring, a lot of soccer, and watching over the kids. One night while the kids were asleep, we divided up shin guards, soccer socks, gym shorts, t-shirts, and cleats for each child. We then hid the equipment under the kids’ beds. In the morning, the children were ecstatic to find the soccer equipment under the beds. We then organized a “World Cup” tournament. The field trip, for which we had raised the funds back home, decided upon was a trip into Nairobi. The kids were able to go to a shopping center to look around, then to the movies, then to eat ice cream – which they had had only once before. The people in the town were extremely friendly. We met and made friends with many people. –Garrett Behan Above: Garrett Behan at Flying Kites in Kenya


The children of Kathmandu, where Francesca Bessey worked last summer

Taylor Smariga worked as a staff photographer in Brasov, Romania

Francesca Bessey ‘11

Taylor Smariga ’11

Francesca worked for one month in Kathmandu in a clinic for malnourished children. She stayed with a local family and walked to and from the center each day. She travelled/explored the city on the weekends.  She also worked at local schools and at a similar home for children with HIV/AIDS. 

Taylor worked as a staff photographer for The Village magazine, which is based in Brasov, Romania, and focuses on aspects of local culture that those who run the magazine want to preserve and make available to a wider audience – traditional food, clothing, history, etc. In addition to being a staff photographer, she was taught a lot about photographic technique and the different things that can be done with digital photography.

My last summer vacation was definitely not normal... Everyone’s had those ‘oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?’ moments before –but I spent a month in an environment where I had several of them a day. To explain, I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal last summer and do volunteer work at a rehabilitation clinic for malnourished children known as the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home. And it was both the most fascinating and most challenging experience of my life. A 30-page journal and 700 photos later, and I know there’s still no hope that those mediums express even half of what I saw and learned in Kathmandu. I certainly can’t capture it here. I can say that living in a country where rice was a staple of literally every meal, it was accepted and even encouraged to argue with taxi drivers about their prices, and the use of toilet paper was considered unusual was very, very... different. But I offer here one of my most memorable experiences, from when I and three other volunteers accompanied one of the few English-speaking staff members at NRH on a “field visit” to a small village outside the city: We took a 45-minute public bus ride (an adventure in itself) to get out of Kathmandu, and seemed to get off at a random location on the side of the road (a little intimidating). We then proceeded to hike down a treacherous mountain trail, following a woman native to the area, whom Lolit asked for directions. This woman impressed me enormously: while the rest of us struggled in our sneakers and stepped in rice paddies, she expertly led the way down this steep and rocky pathway, complete with poisonous plants and the occasional rushing stream of water or puddle to sidestep, while wearing sandals and carrying a toddler on her back. The only things perhaps more impressive were the views of the mountains and valley you could see from where we were walking. When we arrived in the village, things were fairly quiet because many of the villagers were out working in the fields. However, a lot of the people that were around came to greet us; the arrival of four Westerners was a bit of a spectacle. The family we were visiting was extremely receptive: they gave us straw mats to sit on and didn’t mind at all that we were snapping pictures like crazy. They even showed us inside their house, which was one of many wake-up calls I got in Nepal about how lucky I am to live like I do...

Romania: when we first hear the name, most of us conjure up visions of steep, foggy green mountains dotted with stony castles, along with screeching bats and a grinning Dracula. The reality is a little different. Over the summer, I travelled there on a grant from the William M. Haney Fellowship, offered to all Fifth Formers at the Abbey. I was on a photojournalism program, run by a company called Projects Abroad. My host family’s house was an old Saxon one, meaning white walls, rounded corners, and a lot of stone. The woman whom I was staying with, named Rodícha, spoke no English whatsoever. Fortunately, another Projects Abroad volunteer from Germany was also staying with us, and she had thought to bring a phrasebook. It only translated from German to Romanian, but it was better than nothing. The food was, for the most part, what you would expect from Eastern Europe: potatoes in various forms, lots of meat, and sparse vegetables. There were definitely surprises, though. For instance, in Romania, Vlad Tepes, or Dracula, is considered a national hero. To the Romanians, he helped them fight for their independence against the Turks; he wasn’t the pale specter depicted in Bram Stoker’s famous novel. It was also surprising to see how far Western culture had – and hadn’t – permeated their lives. They had cell phones, certainly – but in small towns, they also had horse-drawn wagons as the normal mode of transportation. Even on some of their highways, you’ll see just as many horses pulling wagons as cars. Hannah Montana was also present in Romania, sold on t-shirts in popular tourist destinations alongside traditional daggers and homemade cheese. American songs crowded their music video channels, artists like Sean Paul, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga singing alongside the Romanian pop artists...

To read more from our Haney Fellows, or to find out more about the program, please visit page/6784 (under the Academics tab on the School Website.)





Members of the class of 1970 following Vespers, from left to right, Paul Curcio and Barbara Bennett, Kevin Hunt, Chris Quinn, Don Schissel and Jim and Jane Fitzgerald.

Rick Childs ’75 and his wife, Beezie, grab a bowl of chowder before the “big game”on Saturday afternoon.

Record-Setting Reunion Weekend by Fran Cook, Director of Special Events The campus was abuzz with energy when over 300 alumni, family and friends – the most ever for the occasion – celebrated Reunion 2010 on October 1-3. Alumni began gathering as early as Thursday evening to reconnect with former classmates. On Friday, even with inclement weather on the horizon, more than 50 golfers took to the links for a round of golf at the Carnegie Abbey Club. Saturday proved to be a picture-perfect fall day. Alumni were welcomed “Back to the Classroom” for classes led by faculty members Cliff Hobbins, Nancy Brzys, Peter O’Connor and Michael Bonin. Others spent time at the Raven’s Children’s Carnival, a favorite spot for those with little ones in tow. The Class of 1960 had a record turnout, with 21 of the 33 living members of the class returning. A memorial Mass

was concelebrated in the Church of St. Gregory the Great for deceased members of the class. A mid-day New England Clambake included live music by Jim Coyle ‘79 and the North Shore Jazz Trio. In the afternoon, Raven varsity athletic teams all notched a victory for the visiting alums. From the hay ride tour of campus, to a walking tour at the Newport Historical Society’s “Green Animals Topiary Gardens,” there was something for everyone to enjoy. Saturday evening proved to be a highlight of the weekend, with more than 260 alumni and guests gathering for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Winter Garden and Terrace. Guests were then treated to an elegant sit-down dinner in the Auditorium, which had been transformed for the evening. After dinner, Patrick Burke ‘86, assistant headmaster for development

Left: Jennifer Healey, from left, wife of James ’95, with their son, Patrick, and Kiana O’Reilly, wife of Brian ’95, with their daughter, Addison, enjoy the clambake and all that campus had to offer families during reunion weekend. Right: Henry Robinson’50 and his wife, Carol, at the girls’ field hockey game.


Left: From left, Harper Homes, Katharine Ferrara Homes ’00, Matthew S. Puzio, Meredith C. Puzio ’00, Leah A. Murphy ’00, Alexandra L. Hart ’00, John Jay C. Mouligné ’01, and Connor M. Casey ’00 gather for a group shot.

From left, Alassandra D. Micheletti, Alexandra J. Hogan, Lahna S. Son Cundy, and Ashley M. Hall, from the class of 2005, catching up after dinner on Saturday night.

and alumni affairs, spoke, remembering faculty who had departed since this group’s last reunion and recognizing current faculty and alumni now serving in the military. Additionally, Patrick noted the many faraway spots from which alumni had traveled to attend their reunion, including England, France, Germany, Colombia, Canada, California, Florida and many points in between, but the “farthest traveled” went to three members of the Class of 1985: Paxti Elizalde (Philippines), Olivier D’Assier (Singapore) and Juan Rocha (Philippines). Alumni gathered one last time before their departure, for Sunday Mass with the student body and a farewell brunch. A Lourdes gathering was also held, for those who had previously been to Lourdes or those who were interested in making a pilgrimage. Hugh Markey ‘40, who has underwritten

Members of the class of 1990 enjoy the Saturday evening Reunion dinner party: Seated, from left, PJ O’Donnell ’90 and wife Elizabeth; Kevin MacMillan ’90 and wife Anne; Standing, Kevin McDermott ’90 and wife Kathleen.

From left, Jim Sturdevant ’65, Pam Delaney, Therese Lawless Sturdevant, Meghan Fonts and Carroll Delaney’65 connect over cocktails on Saturday evening.

the pilgrimages of many Portsmouth students for nearly three decades, spoke of his experiences there as well as the work he has done for Mother Teresa and her Order. We were honored by Hugh’s presence since he was the senior alumnus on campus, celebrating his 70th Reunion! The weekend finished with many heartfelt goodbyes. Planning has already begun for Reunion 2011, which will be held on September 23-25. The classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, and all members of the Diman Club (those having graduated more than 50 years ago), are welcome back to campus for this event. Please call Fran Cook, director of special events, at (401) 643-1281 if you would like to become involved in planning this year’s reunion.

From left, Elizabeth A. Sherman ’95, Sheri L. Young ’95 and Sarah L. Rainwater ’95 reminisce at dinner on Saturday evening.


DIMAN CLUB The Diman Club: David Q. Kearney ‘50, Henry O. Robinson ‘50, Damian Kearney, O.S.B. ’45, Creighton McShane ’50, Roger H. Moriarty ‘50

50th REUNION Class of 1960, standing, from left, Thomas H. Ferrer, Robert L. Sain, John T. Lanigan, Christopher F. Kinney, Benjamin T. Kernan, Cyr A. Ryan, James B. Robinson; Sitting, from left, Thomas J. Healey, E. Gerald McArdle, Jaime Urrutia, Peter R. Dean, Charles D. Hickey, Frederick J. Wilson

45th REUNION Class of 1965, standing, from left, Christopher J. Bowes, Peter F. von Meister, James C. Sturdevant, Robert E. Riera, Joseph H. Wagner; Sitting, from left, Kevin A. MacGuire, Edward C. Kirchner, Carroll J. Delaney



40th REUNION Class of 1970, standing, from left, Stephen J. Grover, Allen L. Docal, George D. Drexel, Paul V. Curcio, William L. Maher, Christopher D. Quinn, James G. Fitzgerald, Kevin M. Hunt, Donald J. Schissel, Thomas C. Danaher; Sitting, from left, Amory Cummings, John F. Melia, David H. Kernan, Robert A. Portz, James P. MacGuire, John F. Hooley

35th REUNION Class of 1975, from left, Frederick C. Childs, Charles R. Macdonald, Michael C. Lynch

30th REUNION Class of 1980, standing, from left, John M. Rappaport, John C. Power, Christopher M. Goldie, Brian J. Scanlan, Peter M. Cournoyer, Christopher J. Bert, Daniel W. Sexton; Sitting, from left, John E. White, James E. Lawler, Mark A. MacGillivray, Joseph J. AragonĂŠs, Marcus A. Lepore



25th REUNION Class of 1985, standing, from left, Mark J. O’Connor, Brendan M. Curley, Michael D. Nannini, William M. Daley, Sean P. Driscoll, John A. Stankard, Peter T. Krenicky, David S. Lyons, Juan J. Rocha, Manuel E. Rionda, Florian Lissmann, Joseph G. Moore, Stephen F. Salerno; Sitting, from left, Olivier D. d’assier de Boisredon, Matthew J. Cunningham, Francisco Elizalde, Brendan K. Canning, George E. Carter, John C. McCormick, Edward D. Lyons, Edward F. Logan

20th REUNION Class of 1990, standing, from left, Hugh E. O’Donnell, Tim J. Nicoud, Jr., Charles T. Baisley, Edwin T. F. Cahill, Kevin M. MacMillan, Daniel B. Payet, Pawel A. Chrobok, Luis Mendoza, Nicholas Thornton, Justin E. Hauser, Matthew D’Arrigo; Sitting, from left, Christopher A. Galloway, Robert F. Poirier, John J. Bird, Kevin McDermott, Jose Cebrian, Marco A. Raad, Gabris Mahmusian, PJ O’Donnell

15th REUNION Class of 1995, standing, from left, John S. Machado, Brian E. O’Reilly, Kristopher J. Keetly, Court P. Dignan, James M. DeVecchi, Elizabeth A. Sherman, John J. Anselmi, Dominic P. Corrigan, Andrew W. Heide, Daniel J. Christoffel; Sitting, from left, Sheri L. Young, Sarah L. Rainwater, Kathleen A. Finn, Marliese N. Zafiropoulos, Kathleen B. Stevens, Danielle E. Luther, Maura W. Dyson, Elizabeth M. Hickey, Andrea V. Larson



10th REUNION Class of 2000, standing, from left, Meredith A. Puzio, Mary (Molly) K. McCarthy, Leah A. Murphy, Alexandra L. Hart, Lindsey M. Alexander, Katharine R. Homes, William F. Hoffmann; Sitting, from left, Matthew J. Waine, Andre O. De Russy, Joseph D. Ortiz, Conor M. Casey, Ashlin T. Bernier-Green, Vincent P. Kierulf, John C. Halliwell

5th REUNION Class of 2005, standing, from left, John S. Keating, Alexander C. Fernandez, Matthew L. Post, Garrett A. Thompson, Elizabeth D. Bergman, Jennifer A. Hubbard, Ashley M. Hall, Rose A. Fulton, Alassandra P. Micheletti, John J. Rok, Patrick W. Tobin; Sitting, from left, Albert J. Beaulieu, Hannah Roosa, Lahna S. Son Cundy, Christopher R. McCarthy, Sarah M. Higgins, Kim D. Thomas, Alexandra J. Hogan, Susan T. Ferrara

Cindy and Bob Riera ’65 enjoy the New England-style clambake.

Members of the class of 1980 catch up with Fr. Damian: from left, Brian Scanlan, Dom Damian Kearney ‘43, Chris Goldie, and Jay Aragonés


Addie English, daughter of Ted English ’85, enjoyed the face painting at the Ravens Children’s Carnival.


The first eight girls to attend the Abbey for all four years at their graduation in May 1995, from left, Suzi Krafft, Monique Roderer, Gretchen Schmitt, Aubrey Baer, Annie Sherman, Beth Hickey, Amanda Crane, and Sarah Rainwater.


I remember well that day in August 1990 when Manuel Kreisler, Nancy Brzys and I were summoned to the Monastery to meet with the Monastic Chapter. Such a summoning was unusual under any circumstances, but when the summoning included bringing Nancy into the interior of the Monastery, I suspected that something big was up! The pressing issue at Portsmouth during the summer of 1990 was a precipitous drop in enrollment. From a high in 1980 of 275 boys, the prospects were that Portsmouth would be opening with less than 210 students in that fall (the actual September 1990 enrollment was 207). It seemed to me that we were about to hear of a massive budget-reducing plan in order to absorb the drop in enrollment, and it was with this feeling of gloom and doom that we headed into the Monastery. However, “gloom and doom” was hardly the message we would hear! Before I finish my August 1990 story, let me back-track a couple of decades to a time two years before Deb and I arrived at Portsmouth in September 1973. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time when the great majority of northeastern boys’ boarding schools went coed. (Then, as now, the girls’ boarding coalition was strong and un-


compromising). Indeed, Deb was part of the Exeter transition when she joined its mathematics faculty in 1971, becoming the only woman that year in the Exeter mathematics department. I guess this was preparation for her coming to Portsmouth as the only full-time woman on the Portsmouth teaching faculty in 1973! Portsmouth did not take the “high road” in 1971 regarding coeducation, but rather launched a thoughtful and thorough study on the subject while, at the same time, realizing that a monastic school run by Benedictine monks was different from other schools in philosophy and purpose and, thus, what was good for other schools might not be good for Portsmouth. (Parenthetically, this is still our guiding principle regarding other schools, but clearly coeducation was good for Portsmouth!) Chaired by Vin Buonanno ’62, a committee was established to determine the feasibility of coeducation. Of note is the fact that the all-girls’ Sacred Heart Academy of Elmhurst, located on the Sakonnet River side of Aquidneck Island, was about to close its doors, thus allowing Portsmouth to consider coeducation. After much internal and external analysis, and certainly with a range of opinions on coeducation from the Monastery


Below left: The brochure that announce the decision for coeducation in March 1991 depicted the plan for the new girls’ dormitory, St. Mary’s House. Below right: Portsmouth Abbey’s second lay headmaster, John Wilkinson, worked closely with the monastery to guide the transition to coeducation.

and Faculty, it was decided that though the consensus of the committee was that the arguments for coeducation tended to outweigh those against, 1973 was not the time for Portsmouth to go coed. The concerns of some members of the Monastery were that none of the other schools of monasteries in the English Benedictine Congregation were coed, and that coeducation could fundamentally change the Benedictine, monastic character of the School. The coed question was raised again in 1982 under the leadership of the Headmaster, Gregory Floyd ’57, as part of a major strategic planning initiative. Once again a committee was formed (and again chaired by Vin Buonanno and also Dom Damian), and coeducation was thoroughly reviewed in light of the experience of many of our peer schools over the previous decade. Though the findings were similar, Portsmouth’s campus culture had evolved considerably since 1973. In many, many ways the School was ready for coeducation in 1982. The recommendation of the committee to the Monastery was that the School begin the process of introducing coeducation. After thoughtful and careful deliberation by the Monastery, it was decided that Portsmouth would not be going coed and that the issue should not be discussed again. In a message printed in the Fall 1982 Bulletin, Abbot Matthew stated, “Having given what I hope is a fair hearing on these views [of coeducation], and having prayed much about this question, I have concluded that, in the interests of the monastic life here and of our Benedictine tradition, it would be best for us not to undertake a study of coeducation or to make plans for a coeducational school.” With this mandate, and a strong commitment to its Benedictine, Catholic mission, the School renewed its commitment to excellence as an all-male boarding school, moving forward into the mid-1980s with energy and confidence. However, the issue was still being discussed by some Board of Consultant members.

Back now to August of 1990. As Manuel, Nancy and I sat before the Chapter, Abbot Matthew announced to us that the School would be going coed and that the first step would be to enroll day girls in September 1991. This announcement was of great surprise to Manuel, Nancy and me, but unbeknownst to us then was that Headmaster Dom Francis Davidson had been working hard “behind the scenes” to force this issue with the Monastery and Board. It is Dom Francis who deserves much of the credit for Portsmouth’s ultimate move to coeducation. So, we left the Monastery that August morning knowing that in just a bit more than one year, the School would have developed and implemented a coeducational program offering the same excellence to girls and boys alike, a program that would immediately allow for Portsmouth to be competitive with local day schools in the recruiting and enrolling of girls – a very tall order indeed!

It was with this mandate that we began what was to be a most natural and wonderful transition to the fully coeducational school we know today as Portsmouth Abbey. Indeed, we have realized Abbot Matthew’s statement articulated in his September 1990 letter to Portsmouth’s alumni announcing the move to coeducation. In his letter, he expressed Portsmouth’s gratitude for the support and affection of its alumni, stating that over the years the School has changed in its expression and style, but not in its principles. And so we set out to develop a program and style for coeducation at Portsmouth. Perhaps best of our many guiding principles was one that came from Lance Odden, the



then-Head of Taft, when he told our faculty not to worry, since those things that were good for the boys would also be good for the girls and that our biggest challenges would be operational and not philosophical. This statement was good advice indeed, and allowed for us to move forward with confidence and success. I conclude by thanking the pioneering “Original 21,” as our first entering class of girls still is referred to. From our very first female graduate, Abby Benson ’92, to Fifth Former Mary Ellen Russo ‘93, who so nicely summarized that even the few boys who did not like the principle of coedu-

cation at Portsmouth were happy to have the girls at the School, to our first faculty daughter, Third Former Sarah Rainwater ’95, who stated that through the challenge of being one of our first girls (and a 13-year-old to boot), she gained a belief in herself that has served her well as an adult, a business owner and a parent, our journey into coeducation has been immeasurably rewarding to us all. It has provided outcomes that have been, and will continue to be, enjoyed and appreciated by Portsmouth Abbey women and men.

Top: Portsmouth Abbey’s news made the front page of the Providence Journal on September 18, 1990. Above: The Sixth Form girls of St. Mary’s house in 1995




The First Girls, 1991-95: Portsmouth Abbey’s Female Pioneers “The original girls were very strong and diverse individuals!!! There was some competition among them, but they were a cohesive group when they had to be!” – Janice Brady, Science Teacher

Abby Benson ‘92 Silver Spring, MD B.S., Yale University, ‘96 M.S., M. Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘05 Assistant Director, MIT’s Washington, D.C., Office My year at Portsmouth was particularly meaningful as I had so many familial connections to the school. My grandfather taught there and at least one of my uncles attended as a student. The most striking thing about that year for me was being thrust into leadership positions, not necessarily because I earned them, but because I was one of only two Sixth Form girls. This included being a female prefect, captain of the soccer team, and female rep to the Student Council. In addition to these formal positions, I found myself in the position of mentor to the younger girls – not something I had a lot of experience with, but something that was definitely needed given our unique circumstances. I’m sure that leadership lessons I learned at Portsmouth have influenced me throughout my career, especially as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and now representing MIT’s President Susan Hockfield in Washington, D.C. I found myself the only girl in every one of my classes except one – U.S. History with Mr. Garman (Maryellen Russo was also in the class). This was challenging, as I felt I had to defend myself and my ideas much more than I would have to in a “normal” class. To be honest, I think many of the boys were very threatened by a smart girl who performed well academically! Portsmouth Abbey was the first time I had been truly challenged academically. The year gave me an appetite for learning that has stayed with me to this day. It also provided me with invaluable preparation for college that I don’t think I would have gotten otherwise. Mr. Garman and Mr. McCarthy were particular favorites. I’ll never forget my first paper for Christian Doctrine. I was not raised in a particularly religious family so this was a very new subject for me. I wrote my first paper on abortion. I knew it would be a controversial subject, but looking back I think I was emboldened by the experience to address a topic that many see as a religious issue, but many others see as a women’s rights issue.

Abby Benson ‘92 accepts the first diploma awarded to a female graduate.

weren’t exactly thrilled to have us around. We were often told that we were ruining the legacy of their fathers and uncles, but that was not our objective. Most us really just wanted a better education than we could have gotten elsewhere locally. One of the hardest experiences for me was after I was accepted to Yale University. Several of the boys told me that I only got in because I was a novelty as one of the first girl graduates of the school. They also told me that by taking the coveted slot, I had stolen it from other, more deserving boys. I knew this wasn’t true, but it was hard to be perceived that way. The drama productions were a wonderful part of the year. Brother Joseph was a fabulous director, leader, and friend to all of the participants. I think the plays were useful because it gave the boys and girls a chance to be on a more even playing field than on the athletic field or in the classroom. It also provided a structured yet casual environment to form great friendships. The girls built strong friendships very quickly, given the shared experiences we were facing. Having the Manor House as a retreat made a huge difference, since we didn’t have the same opportunity for after-hours bonding as the boarding students. The bonds formed particularly between me and the other upperclassmen (Maryellen Russo Ficker ‘93, Sophie Dirlam Christiansen ‘93, and Liz Hammen Collins ‘92 in particular) were incredibly strong. This is a small thing, but I remember being very pleased that the administration let us choose between wearing white or floral dresses at graduation (we chose floral). Do you remember the prank at graduation where we all presented golf balls to the headmaster, and Liz pulled hers out of her dress?!?!

You’ve probably heard this from others, but the boys initially




Maryellen (Russo) Ficker ‘93

Elizabeth (Hammen) Collins ‘92 Saunderstown, RI B.S., University of Rhode Island, ‘96

Austin, TX B.A., Appalachia State University, ‘98 M.A., Appalachia State, ‘00

When I reflect on my time at the Abbey, I rarely think of it as an experience in coeducation. Far from it. Maybe there were some growing pains those first few years. Maybe it was a little tougher on us (girls) during those first few months. But what I remember most was that everything, and I mean everything, we experienced was handled with grace and excellence. So grace and excellence is what I recall about my one year at the Abbey. Grace and excellence in arts, science, humanities. In the classrooms, on the fields, on the stage and in the dining hall. A place and a time where I was given the exquisite and rare opportunity to grow surrounded by a tradition and a practice of grace and excellence. I only wish I could have been there longer. I hope that when the time comes, my children will have the same opportunity I was given.

Architectural Historian Wow, 20 years since my first day at the Abbey – very hard to believe!! That makes me feel really old! I think I may have been girl number 21.… In June 1991, my family had moved from Tupelo, MS, to Bristol, RI, and my parents began to look for a Catholic high school for me in the area. We didn’t hear about the Abbey until late July or early August, and I remember going to the interview at School late in the summer. I’m really glad the school took me, as… I know my high school experience would’ve have been half as fun at another school. I guess I’d say the first year was the hardest. I remember the first few weeks were pretty overwhelming. I was the youngest child of seven children and I was a very shy 15-year-old. I’d never gone to a school where no one knew me as one of the “Russo kids.” I remember feeling pretty self-conscious talking to so many boys. In Mississippi, I was regularly ignored by boys and was often overshadowed by my more outgoing friends. But the Abbey was different. From my first day, I got lots of attention. While the attention was good, sometimes I learned some hard lessons. Many of the Abbey students today may find it hard to believe, but many boys were happy to have the girls at the school but didn’t like the idea in principle. Several boys, many of whomwere my friends, would often tell me that they thought the school should’ve stayed all boys. I think my best memories of being at the Abbey were of having opportunities at a small school I couldn’t have gotten at another school. For instance, I remember trying out for Guys and Dolls my first year at the Abbey. When I lived in Mississippi, my high school was really large and I couldn’t imagine getting a role, much less a leading role, in a play. Since there were so few girls at the Abbey, though, it wasn’t hard to get a part – I played one of the female leads, Sister Sarah. While I was a fair singer, I was an absolutely terrible actress – no wonder I never would’ve gotten a lead role at another school!  

The solidarity and determination of the first girls in Manor House is evident in this illustration by Celina Collins ‘94.


I have lots of fond memories of tromping around the grounds of the school, too. I’d never lived near the water and I loved looking out towards the bay. I loved the old buildings, like St. Benet’s and the Manor House. I also loved the Pietro Belluschi buildings, too, especially the Church. I know that my experience at the Abbey and in the Newport area is when I first became interested in historic preservation (I am now a professional historian and work a lot on historic preservation projects).



I could go on and on. In short, I really enjoyed my time at the Abbey and the friends I made there. Although I may not get to see my friends from the Abbey very often, I still cherish those friendships. Whenever I see an Abbey friend, it could be fifteen years since last I saw or talked to them, (but) it feels like we’ve never been separated. That’s a true blessing. So, thanks for admitting girls to the school; you made a difference in my life for the better in so many ways.

girls’ schools, and I only have a sister of my own. Upon arrival at Portsmouth, I suddenly acquired a couple hundred “brothers” – it took quite awhile to get used to. It was very special being part of such a small “club,” (as one of the first girls). On the other hand, that also made it difficult to “fly under the radar,” which may or may not have been a good thing. I was very shy at the time, so I was forced to come out of my shell a bit, which, of course, served me well later in life. Also, there were so few of us, especially boarding girls, we became a very close - knit group, regardless of what year everyone was. It’s not at every school where one can find seniors being close friends with freshmen. I received First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass, and Confirmation at the Mass held at my graduation – both very memorable and special Abbey experiences. I also loved being able to participate in all of the plays – I love drama, and Brother Joseph really gave me an opportunity to fly. Also, I had the honor of being one of the first girls to be inducted into the Cum Laude Society.

Honore at graduation with Matt Dean ‘93 (left) and Mark Trumpbour ‘93

Honore Ervin ‘93 Springfield, MA B.A., Chatham College, ‘97 M.A., University of Virginia, ‘01 Author Freelance Writer/Newspaper Columnist Having been raised in New England, my mother always knew about the Abbey, and when she heard they were accepting boarding girls, she thought it would be an excellent and exciting experience for me, and enrolled me without my knowledge! I was in the first year of boarding girls, and was only there for my senior year, 1992-93. I had previously been in all-girls’ schools for almost my entire life, and was used to being the tallest person in the school – suddenly I was thrown someplace where I seemed downright short in comparison to some others – I admit it was a tad intimidating, and a strange feeling! Also, I must say many of the boys were a bit rowdier than I was used to! There weren’t too many challenges for me about being one of a few girls on campus, but as I said, I was used to being in

Brother Joseph, without a doubt, was my favorite monk and teacher. As he is from the same area where my family lives, and my family had met a friend of his prior to my arrival at the Abbey, he seemed to expect me, and welcomed me with open arms right away. As I mentioned, he also allowed me to participate in an activity I loved, even though I was new, and sometimes it’s hard to break into established “groups.” He also made a lovely rosary for me upon the occasion of my Confirmation, and had the Abbot bless it. And, perhaps most touching of all, he made sure to keep in touch after graduation throughout my collegiate years, which truly meant a lot to me.

Sarah Rainwater ‘95 Providence, RI New York University School of Visual Arts Creative Director, Sarah Rainwater Graphic Design Freelance Writer Being one of only 21 girls beginning high school with over 200 boys meant that I got more than my fair share of attention — which wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for at 13, an age when traveling under the radar was practically an art form. But as often as I hated my inability




to become invisible, I also found a stage on which to rise to intellectual and physical challenges that I would have normally backed away from. Growing up with asthma, my last expectation was to set a girls’ record in track, but I did (granted, there were no previous records to break, but huge a coup for me nonetheless). I learned to work hard and grow a thick skin, but also to seek support when I needed it. As challenging as the experience was at times, I gained a belief in myself that has served me well as an adult, a business owner and a parent.

ers who tried to treat us equally in class. I think it was unintentional, as most people on campus were welcoming, but looking back, it was tough being a minority. Dealing with a community that resented us was a challenge that wasn’t so obvious then as a student, because it’s still high school and we’re all awkward teenagers. But we endured hazing and taunts from the boy students who were adjusting to us, too. This is the reason I stopped swimming on the team, which I loved, and switched to all-female team sports. I just wasn’t comfortable. And as an athlete, we had to wear the boys’ old uniforms and equipment. They were foul! All that said, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience at the Abbey. A few naysayers then did not shape my opinion about the School, and I loved it. I am still friends with Abbey classmates, and know that my time there shaped who I am today (in a good way!). And it certainly prepared me for college!

Commencement Weekend 1995: from left, Colleen Armstrong ‘97, Ann Marie Gagnon ‘96, Annie Sherman ‘95, Katie Burke ‘95 and Gretchen Schmitt ‘95

If I were to speak with a prospective student who might be looking at Portsmouth today, I would tell him or her that it’s a strong school, and provides solid discipline to its students. It provides excellent preparation for college, in terms of course work, study habits, and campus life, and its teachers are second to none. Its athletic teams improve every year, and its female population increases as well.

Annie Sherman ‘95 Newport, RI B.A., St. Anselm College, ‘99 M.A., Boston University, ‘06 Managing Editor, Newport Life Magazine Newport, RI I really don’t remember what led me to apply to Portsmouth Abbey. I presume my parents encouraged me to apply due to the lack of sufficient public education options in my hometown. It was local for me, so transportation wasn’t an issue. I was a day student and spent 4 years at the Abbey. I’m unsure of the preparation done by the School prior to our arrival in 1991, though I’m sure it was extensive. There may have been assemblies and lectures on why the School was going co-ed or how to treat us or how the School would be different. But it felt a little like the School and the community-at-large were unprepared for us. Like we showed up unexpectedly and the School dealt with the issues as they came along. I’m sure it was a very difficult decision to go co-ed, and I’m sure there were still many lingering doubts about its need. There were some subtle undertones of negativity and resentment to the original girls on campus – from some monks who were uncomfortable around us, to the senior students who didn’t want us there (a few said so), to the teach-


I’m proud to say that I was a member of the first class of girls to complete all four years at the Abbey. We really did pave the way for the strong school it has become and the strength of the female students and athletes there today. My best memories are of playing soccer on the field in front of St. Bede’s. Goofing off in the Manor House my freshman year when we had no dorm. Tuck Shop chocolate chip cookies. Fr. Paschal was my favorite teacher because he was forgiving when I didn’t complete my summer reading.

The lower Form girls of St. Mary’s House in 1995


Recollections from the Men of the Class of 1995 Matt DeVecchi was a four-year day student who lived on cam-

pus as a member of a faculty family. He majored in management at Gettysburg College, graduating in 1999, and received a M.A. from Harvard University in 2006. He recently assumed the position as assistant dean for development at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. John Foley attended the Abbey for four years, spending 1-1/2 of them as a day student and 2-1/2 as a boarder. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Vermont and now helps organizations market and brand themselves through the use of print, apparel, and promotional items. In his spare time, he is a volunteer for Brown University’s student and community radio station. He currently lives in Attleboro, Mass. James R. Healey of Glastonbury, Conn., was a three-year

boarder in St. Hugh’s. He received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Union College in 2000 and a M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He currently works for Alstom Power in construction management and business development. John Plummer of Warwick, R.I., was a four-year boarding stu-

dent. He attended the College of the Holy Cross and majored in English. He is an attorney at Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein & Peirce, in Providence, RI, and lives in Warwick, RI. Describe your first memory of girls arriving on campus. Matt: One obvious and immediate change was that the

grooming habits and dress of “Abbey Boys” immediately and

significantly improved. The “bed heads” that had been the norm were suddenly replaced by combed hair. John F.: My Third Form year was the first year of coeducation. I’d always attended coeducational schools, so there was little difference between my last year of grammar school and my first year at the Abbey, except for the ratio of males to females. But, I do remember that the older students were extremely polite and welcoming. James: My first memory is really how few girls were at the Abbey. I arrived after the school had already been co-ed for a year but it was the first year with boarding girls. I don’t remember the exact number but there just weren’t many girls at the Abbey at that point. John P.: There were very few girls the first few years and they

seemed nervous but excited about the experience. We were all happy to have a female presence, however, and I think the girls perceived and appreciated that. Everyone did their best to make them feel comfortable. What were the challenges of having girls on campus? Matt: There were clearly more challenges for the girls than

for the guys. They were very much a minority surrounded by many, many boys. Fitting in required a balance of grace and toughness. I was impressed with how they quickly gained the respect and friendship of the boys and carved out their place at the School. John F.: I have to imagine that it would have been easier for me to pay attention in class, had there been only boys in the classroom.




James: In the first year it was probably integration; at times the

James: I don’t like to pick favorites, but I certainly enjoyed my

school could still feel like it was all male.

English classes with both Father Damian and Father Ambrose.

John P.: I think the only challenges may have been for the girls

John P.: Father Ambrose, Father Philip, Father Edmund and

because there were so few of them during the first few years; they were the center of attention. They all adjusted well, however, and became an integral part of Abbey life. St. Benet’s did become a girls’ dorm, though; the boys were not too happy about that, but graciously moved out!

Dr. DeVecchi.

What were the advantages of having girls on campus? Matt: There are too many advantages to cover them all. The addition of girls brought some of my best friends to this day. I also think I was better prepared for college and beyond because of the presence of girls at the Abbey. John F.: I can’t imagine the Abbey without girls; the advan-

tages are too numerous to list. But, most generally, the biggest advantage is that a coeducational Abbey more closely resembles the real world. The Abbey is a preparatory school, so that’s important!

What has Portsmouth meant to you? Matt: It has been a central part of my life. What has meant

the most are the wonderful people whom I have met through the School and the people whom I continue to meet as an alumnus. John F.: The Abbey has meant quite a bit to me, and I could

go on at length. But, overall, what I remember most about the Abbey is the people, and the community. I’ll never forget the people I’ve become friends with at the Abbey, the monks, priests, and teachers I learned from, and the people who cared for me during my stay. I still think about them to this day. James: The Abbey formed a great educational foundation that

James: The diversity, both socially and in the classroom. So-

prepared me for college and continues through to today. I built a very active, great group of friends who have been important and supportive since meeting them almost 20 years ago.

cial functions were probably more well-adjusted than with an all-male population.

John P.: Great friendships, learning, and spiritual growth.

John P.: A coeducation setting was more natural than other-

wise and allowed both boys and girls to learn to live together and respect one another. What are your strongest memories of Portsmouth during the transition to coeducation? Matt: I remember how big a deal the transition was. Having

grown up at that Abbey, I had gotten to know the culture as an all-boys’ school very well. The one thing that made the transition work so well were the individual girls who came to the Abbey in the first couple of years. I’m sure this experience tested their patience at times, but we owe them a great deal of thanks for bringing this important change to the Abbey. John F.: The resounding memory I have of the transition was that it was very organic, and smooth. John P.: Getting to know girls my age as friends and class-

mates was an invaluable life experience. It was always interested to learn the female perspective on things in the classroom, the sporting arenas, and around campus. Who was your favorite monk or teacher? Matt: There are too many to name. John F.: My favorite teacher was Cliff Hobbins.


What would you tell a prospective student who might be looking at Portsmouth today? Matt: I would say that the Abbey is a very special place. It is a small community with good people who can help you find your talents and work on things you might need to develop. Many of the things that the Abbey did for me both personally and professionally I have only realized after being gone from the School for several years. The School does much more to develop character in its students than any college could dream of doing. John F.: I’d try to give them some insight as to how my time was at the Abbey, what I learned, and what I took away from my experiences there. I’m sure I’d talk at length about the strong friendships that I made at the Abbey and that I still have today.

I came to the Abbey as a boy, and left as an adult. I was challenged intellectually, met some of my closest friends there, and made hundreds of long - lasting memories. The Abbey has certainly meant a lot to me. James: The small school provides a great atmosphere for

development. Having access to the great faculty and facilities makes it an exceptional place to get an education. John P.: The Abbey provides a great opportunity to grow in knowledge, experience, and grace. I know that it provides the most-well-rounded education in the state.



FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS – A L ASTING LEGACY FATHERS Tom Magauran ‘81 was a five-year boarder at Portsmouth from Second through Sixth Form. He majored in physics at the College of the Holy Cross, and currently works in chemical plant development and local government in Massachusetts. Tom’s daughter, Anne, is a Third Former. Mark MacGillivray ‘80 was a day student for four years. He

majored in economics and mathematics at Boston College, and is currently a pilot for Republic Airlines. Mark’s daughter, Anna, is a Fourth Former. Bill Keogh ‘78 lived in St. Benet’s from Fourth through Sixth

Form. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University and is president of EQECAT, inc, an analytical firm in New Jersey that specializes in modeling the financial impact of natural hazards on insurance portfolios. He is also a trustee at the Saddle River Day School. Bill’s daughter, Isabel, is a Fourth Former. Jim Pfeffer ‘69 was a four-year boarder at Portsmouth. He

majored in Natural Sciences at Johns Hopkins University and is currently an import/wholesale distributor in Connecticut. Jim’s daughter, Eliza, graduated from Portsmouth in 2001. What are your best, strongest memories of Portsmouth? Tom: Winning the SENE (football) for the first time - Father

Ambrose - great friends - tremendous opportunity to develop independence and my own sense of positive self - great sense of community. Mark: Growing up in Portsmouth, my best friend was Bill

Haney. We were in the same class from first grade through high school. Bill’s father, Bill Haney, was a chemistry teacher and house parent for many years in St. Aelred’s. Prior to attending the Abbey I spent a great deal of time there with Bill and became friendly with many of the faculty and staff. If it wasn’t for this friendship and the entire Haney family, I might never have attended Portsmouth Abbey. For me the Haney name will always be synonymous with Portsmouth Abbey School.

Bill: My great surprise when I was named MVP of the gymnastics team (yes, we had a gymnastics team!). Managing WJHD, the radio station. The great serenity of the campus. The lasting friendships that continue today. Jim: The monastic community.

Who is/was your favorite monk or teacher? Tom: They are all great, but Father Ambrose helped me greatly. He set an example of never saying an ill word about anyone and always seeking the best in people. Mark: Dom Andrew Jenks - because he was always available to offer me a ride home, whether I needed it or not. I was never convinced he actually had a driver’s license because sometimes I felt the ride home was going to be my last ride anywhere! But he was always there and we always made it. Thanks, Fr. Andrew! Bill: David McCarthy was my favorite teacher. I studied both

Russian and Irish literature with him. He taught me to love irony. Dom Geoffrey Chase and I were close. He was the faculty advisor to the radio station. Jim: Dom Damian.

What has Portsmouth meant to you? Tom: In addition to strengthening (perhaps developing for the

first time) personal faith, the confidence and capacity to excel, resulting from the preparation of the Abbey community and programs, have made me who I am today. Most people I know experienced their most formative years in college, when they left home for the first time. For me, this was the Abbey - and I suspect that this is the case for many others as well. Mark: I don’t think I truly realized what a special place Portsmouth was until it came time to send my own daughter to high school. When you live less than two miles from the campus, it’s easy to take much of what is here for granted. Bill: It was the place where I grew

up. The monks’ dedication to a spiritual life has had a lasting impact on my faith. Jim: A connection to the

spiritual life. Tom Magauran ‘81 and his daughter, Anne ‘14




What would you tell a prospective student who might be looking at Portsmouth today?

What about Portsmouth influenced your decision to enroll you daughter at Portsmouth Abbey?

Tom: If you come with an inquisitive mind, a positive heart,

Tom: My daughter has always been a solid “A” student who works hard and is exceptionally outgoing and caring. She earned the best possible opportunity to grow and develop. Portsmouth was the only real choice in my mind, and quickly in my wife’s mind, for her to get the greatest opportunity for growth personally, academically and spiritually. Portsmouth Abbey is unique. It is Catholic in both the fundamental and the universal senses. It is even more intellectually deep and diverse than my experience. It is physically a beautiful, protected community setting. And it is led by some of the finest people I have met. IS there a question?

and the willingness to work and be challenged, then the Abbey will exceed every expectation you have. If you really want to open your mind and be part of a community that will give you tools you will value throughout your life, you will not be disappointed. I know it sounds over the top, but, when you really think about it - a bright, hard-working, inquisitive, caring and positive adolescent could not be in a better place at such a formative time in their lives. We obviously think the world of the Abbey. Mark: I would tell them to look no further - this is THE

school. Academics, strong community, great friendships and the chance to excel. Why would you look anywhere else? Bill: If you want an active intellectual, spiritual, social and athletic life, you’ve come to the right place! Jim: There are many excellent schools, but only one (that I

know) that sets the example lived by the monks of a life built upon the teachings of Christ. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience? Tom: For me, and I am sure many others, the true meaning

and value of the Abbey experience takes time to appreciate. As a student, we took many things for granted. On the positive side, we actually enjoyed St. Bede’s. On the negative side, we also found things to complain about. It is only after leaving the Abbey that we realize just how fortunate we were. With every year that passes, my gratitude to my parents and all the Abbey community grows stronger. It is truly a special place.

Anne decided on the Abbey at my 25th reunion, when she was so happily entertained at the Tuck, while we had dinner in the gym. Her enthusiasm has never waned and has even increased since she started in September. Both Lissa, my wife, and I believe that enabling Anne to attend the Abbey is one of the best things we will do for her in her life. Mark: Based on my experiences, I knew Anna would fit in well at the Abbey. Solid academics, strong sense of community, new and lasting friendships - I knew all of these qualities would be a tremendous experience for Anna. Bill: One of the first Latin expressions I learned was “in loco

parentis.” We really didn’t want Isabel to go to boarding school initially because we would miss her. It was Isabel’s decision. Portsmouth was the only school she wanted to go to, and it was the only one we were truly comfortable with having the school take on our parental responsibilities while she is there. Jim: To provide the same opportunity that was given to me and

to support the school and monastic community.

Bill: The exceptionalism of the monks, faculty and administration is what makes Portsmouth so special. Isabel noted during her interviews that everyone listened to her. They treat students with respect and have very high expectations of them.

Tom: First of all, it is co-ed.

We’d have killed for girls on campus. My six sisters all complained that they could not attend the Abbey. But that is only the beginning. I see so much more energy and life in all aspects of the Abbey today. The world we live in is far less predictable than when I was young. Jim Pfeffer ‘69 and his daughter, Eliza ‘01


How do you feel your Portsmouth experience was similar/different to your daughter’s experience?



Bill Keogh ‘78 and his daughter, Isabel ‘13

Today’s young have to find their own way; with many negative distractions reaching out to them, a serious lack of mentors and solid role models, and economic opportunities that demand creativity, commitment, and exceptional capacity for hard work. It is far more important to be capable, confident and morally sound today than even just 20 years ago. A solid foundation is more critical today than ever. I believe that Portsmouth Abbey is preparing my daughter for just such a world.

Jim: The usual, “work hard...see

you soon.” What do you hope your daughter takes away from her experience at Portsmouth Abbey? Tom: I hope that she continues to develop herself spiritually, intellectually and emotionally with a solid foundation from which to see the world. All else will come, but she will be in control of how she sees the world and thereby will be able to achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Mark: I think the difference in experience comes down to

the fact that the school is co-ed now. When I was there I always believed that it would never become co-ed, but now it’s the best thing that ever happened to the school. My daughter’s experience is still evolving but thus far it has been great. She seems to enjoy every aspect of school life. When I was there, I left school each day as soon as I was finished. Nowadays, Anna will stay for dinner most nights and not leave until just before study hall begins. That’s about 11 hours spent at school each day - I’d say she likes it! Bill: They seem remarkably similar. Of course the physical plant in much more impressive today. Socially I think it is better having coeducation. Jim: Of course, coeducation has created a different atmo-

sphere. I think it must be more of a challenge to impart the unique traditions of Portsmouth but believe it must provide a healthier environment. What advice did you give to your daughter for her first day at Portsmouth Abbey? Tom: I told her to open her mind; to see the positive in everyone and everything; to be the kind and considerate person that she always has been. By doing these things, I told her that she would gain the most from the opportunity and become a better person for it.

Mark: I hope she can honestly say that she was glad she attended school at Portsmouth Abbey. She probably won’t realize what a great place Portsmouth was until many years after graduation. Bill: A strong faith, lasting friendships, the pursuit of truth and an ability to navigate the complicated world we live in. Jim: A similar appreciation of the Christian values.

What life lessons did Portsmouth teach you that you would like your daughter to take throughout her lifetime? Tom: My lesson was not fully understood for many years, but

Portsmouth made it possible for me. God always provides. I hope that my daughter learns this more quickly than I did. Knowing this opens new opportunities, removes obstacles to success, and reminds us that we are never without support. Mark: I learned that if you can graduate from a school as de-

manding as Portsmouth Abbey, then you are well prepared to do just about anything that life has to offer. Bill: When things get complicated, turn to prayer.

Jim: That we are here for a purpose beyond the material and the everyday bustle of human life.


Mark: I tried not to taint Anna’s expectations too much with

my own advice and experiences. I wanted her to draw her own conclusions from her own experiences. I did tell her about “morning lunch” and suggested that it was something she did not want to miss. Bill: To be herself and to have fun!

What about your father’s experience at Portsmouth influenced your decision to apply? Anne Magauran ‘14: My Dad’s face lights up when he talks about the Abbey. All of his stories about the amazing community, and the opportunities granted to those who attend, were a huge




Mark MacGillivray ‘80 and his daughter, Anna ‘13

factor. Even now, he often brings up a good memory from the Abbey, of his experiences with Father Ambrose and alongside his friends.

What about your father’s experience at Portsmouth influenced your decision to apply? Eliza: My dad always spoke so

Anna MacGillivray ‘13: My dad would always tell me about all the great times he had at school, all the small traditions that took place, and how well prepared he felt after leaving the Abbey. He would talk about the great connections he made while he was at school there. Everywhere he goes he runs into an old teacher or classmate, and they can reminisce for hours about their times together, all of which made me want to have the same experience for myself. Isabel Keogh ‘13: My father always talked about how much he loved attending Portsmouth, he would always tell me stories about his involvements and how they affected who he is today. Even after he graduated, he continued to be involved with the school and that allowed me to visit during his reunions. Eliza Pfeffer ‘01 was a boarding student. She matriculated at Simmons College and was a dual Social Studies/Education major. She is now a fifth-grade teacher at Holabird Academy in Baltimore, MD.

What are your best, strongest memories of Portsmouth? Eliza: Being a prefect for Manor House my senior year; going

to France with Ms. Brzys for three weeks to study; the teachers, dorm parents and sports teams. Who is/was your favorite monk or teacher? Eliza: There are many who are special to me: Ms. Brzys, Brother Francis, Mr. Hobbins, Mr. Stebbins, Ms. Brady.

What has Portsmouth meant to you? Eliza: Portsmouth Abbey has meant a great deal to me. It gave me an education that prepared me for college and being a boarder I felt I was prepared for life away from home. I was able to grow as a student and an individual.


highly of Portsmouth Abbey. He enjoyed every moment of his time there. He really helped me choose the school and see that it is an amazing place. How do you feel your Portsmouth experience is similar to/different from your father’s experience? Anne: I’m sure the Abbey being co-ed is a huge difference in each of our experiences here, but the accepting and loving environment still remains today. I’m sure he had a lot less luxuries (he still complains about the mystery meat), but he managed to make the most of his experiences, which is what I strive to do here. Anna: My experience so far is similar to my dad’s experience in that many of the same monks and teachers lived and worked in the school, both then and now. It is a strange, yet comforting feeling to imagine my father sitting in the same classrooms, beings taught by teachers that I now have. Isabel: I believe it is different in the way that now the school is

co-ed, the campus facilities have been improved, and there are more opportunities for boarders to get off campus. It is similar in that there remains a spiritual presence of the monks, and we both have made good friends. Eliza: It is similar because of both of us getting the amazing

education that we wanted. We both were able to work closely with the monks. Obviously it is greatly different because when my father attended the Abbey it was an all-boys’ school. What advice did your father give you for your first day at Portsmouth Abbey? Anne: Before I came to the Abbey my dad told me that he had faith in me and he was proud of me. He told me that I should look for the good in everyone, and always be nice no matter what the circumstances. If I did that, I could make the most of my experience here. Anna: Of all the advice my father gave me before my first day of school, I most remember a warning not to eat too many cookies at morning lunch.



Isabel: The only advice my father gave me on my first day

was to be myself. Eliza: To be yourself. Enjoy the time I was there and to call

Portsmouth Abbe y Scho ol 10th Scholarship Golf Tournament

whenever I was homesick! What would you tell a prospective student who might be looking at Portsmouth today? Anne: The Abbey really is like everything you imagine it to be. Ask any student here, and I’m sure you’d get the same response, praising our beautiful campus, inspiring teachers, and accepting peers. Being a new student and trying to fit in may be difficult at other schools, but not here. The Abbey is a truly special place. Anna: I would tell a prospective student that the Abbey is an amazing school. You meet lots of interesting people, learn so many things, and are given tons of great opportunities. Everyone can contribute to the school in a different way, and we all make up a very close-knit school community.


Isabel: Come visit the school, it really is the only way to find

out what Portsmouth has to offer. Eliza: If you are looking for a school that is not only chal-

lenging, but is there to support you in every aspect of your academic career and maturity as a person, Portsmouth Abbey’s faculty and staff and students help mold you into a well-rounded student/person. The different aspects of Portsmouth Abbey are extremely enjoyable, from the monks, to the teachers, students and dorm life, everything about the Abbey is well worth it!

Our tournament’s mission is threefold: z To build a greater endowment that continues to fund scholarship opportunities z


To recognize the excellent education that a Portsmouth Abbey School student receives during his/her tenure at the School To have a great day on the links with our Portsmouth Abbey family and friends.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience?

How can you help?

Anne: I am so grateful I was blessed enough to come

here. The people, the food, and the campus are unique and extraordinary. This school is not like “school,” it’s a home away from home with a special place where everybody fits in and finds their own place, much like how we will be in the world one day.

R Become

Isabel: I have made amazing friends, my courses are inter-

esting. I have found my experience to be very fulfilling.


R Play

in the tournament/sign up a foursome (a portion of the fee is tax-deductible)

R Donate

a sponsor of this event

a silent auction item

R Don’t

play golf? Join us for the post-tournament reception!

Save the date and watch for your invitation this spring! Want to help? Contact Fran Cook by phone at 401643-1281 or email her at For additional tournament information contact Fran or check our website at




My Early Years

at Portsmouth Abbey School

by Nancy Brzys My first year as a French teacher at Portsmouth Abbey School was in 1982. I met two other teaching faculty members before school started. Patricia Confort taught math, assisted Jim Garman with the cross-country team and ran the Social Committee. Holly Zadoretsky taught science classes and lived on the third floor of the Manor House. At that time the Manor House held the School library, various offices, several classrooms on the second floor and a few apartments. Robin Scanlon was the School librarian. Eileen McGuire worked for the Headmaster. Rosemary Fagan worked at the School as the Study Skills Specialist and Pam Gorman was the new School nurse. Pam Gorman and I started working here the same year (and we are both still here!), which significantly boosted the number of female faculty members. This was a number that was expected to grow more if the vote for coeducation passed that year, but it did not, so Portsmouth Abbey continued as an allboy’s school until 1991. Those years in the eighties saw many more women join the Portsmouth Abbey School community; more teachers, and more professional staff in Admissions and Alumni and Development. Needless to say, the approval of coeducation and the year the School prepared for this historic change created two sharply divided camps. Many were delighted, and applauded the long-overdue change; others vowed never to return, citing the loss of tradition and the unwanted shift from “all boys” to “boys and girls.” Parents, students, alumni and faculty members debated the pros and cons. Many people felt let down by this decision. Yet, was there any doubt in anyone’s mind that the change to coeducation was not about tradition, but was, in fact, due in large part to the sustainability of the School itself? This change had to happen. The best part of the endless committee meetings planning for coeducation was the advice we received from schools that had recently undergone the same changes. We anticipated so much, and prepared so well, with their help. We did the best we could to give the “pioneer” day girls who entered in the fall of 1991 what they needed to be successful at Portsmouth Abbey School. The Admissions Office did an outstanding job of finding a wonderful, interesting and strong group of 21 girls in all four forms. How intelligent, poised, resilient, confident, cheerful and BRAVE these girls all seemed to us.


Here are some wonderful memories from that first year, 1991-92: All of the girls trying to sit at the same table for lunch. Twenty-one chairs around a table for 10. Safety in numbers! (Funny thing is that the Third Formers still do this every September.) V

The first soccer game that fall coached by Kristen Haffenreffer, German teacher and soccer coach. Admissions officer Kathleen McKelvey (now Burke) coached the first girls’ basketball team during Winter Term.


That first year, there were three official offerings for girls’ sports: soccer (fall), basketball (winter) and softball (spring). However, some participated in track and tennis that fall, some in winter swimming, and some sailed in the spring as well. The softball team did not get off the ground until the following year.


Drama now had girls on campus to choose from to play the female roles in theatrical productions. No more importing girls from other schools for our plays.


Social activities had more variety - and we did not have dances with other schools for much longer. We were a coeducational school. The students started building healthy relationships with each other.


Laughter and joking heard all around the campus - in the classroom, the halls, the Stillman Dining Hall and outdoors. Benches became popular places to sit and talk.


Getting through the first year – with all the ups and downs – and watching the girls grow.


Watching St. Mary’s House go up in the area designated as the “girls’ part of campus.”


Knowing that the year had gone well - and that we would welcome over 60 girls to campus in September 1992.


Abby Benson and Liz Hammen (Collins) walking across the stage to receive their diplomas with their male peers. Bravo!

Nancy Brzys is in her 29th year at Portsmouth Abbey. In addition to teaching French, she has served as Director of Student Activities, Dean of Student Life, Assistant Headmaster of Student Life, and now Dean of Faculty.



CO E D U CAT I O N L E T T E R 4 0 Y E A R S O N by James MacGuire ‘70 “With nearly all colleges and universities becoming coeducational today and many independent boarding schools looking in that direction….the future of Portsmouth in this regard was considered at some length…. It was unanimously agreed that Portsmouth should not consider becoming a coeducational school.” This quotation is from last fall’s Portsmouth Bulletin and reflects the opinion of the School Committee in conjunction with the Parent’s Committee. The question of coeducation in boarding schools does not deserve such abrupt dismissal, for just as most other comparable schools are studying the matter, Portsmouth too must look into it further. Most boys’ schools have found that the concept of co-ordinate education is inadequate, because the schools which are geographically accessible are also academically inferior, and, sad to say, we find that to be a problem here ourselves (with the possible exception of St. George’s – and they’re no fun to dance with anyway.) What we are left with then is coeducation to one degree or another. Experimental programs between St. Paul’sDana Hall and even Canterbury-Noroton have been largely successful although in both cases the exchanged boys did not find their work too challenging. This fall, Exeter will initiate a full-time coeducational program, shortly to be followed by several other schools. “What,” one may ask, “does Portsmouth stand to gain from coeducation?” And at this time I would like to pass over the biological advantages of coeducation in order to point to a less obvious financial one. The point was made in the same Portsmouth Bulletin referred to above that the School might very well be able to add fifty students without enlarging its faculty or facilities, thus deriving the optimum amount of use from its expenditures. All boarding schools today, however, are plagued by declining applications (even Andover had 24% fewer applicants this year than last and added fifty students who were not up to the present quality of the school). Were the School to become coeducational, however, the number of potential applicants would be vastly increased. For instance, a family of two boys and two girls, formerly able to send only two of its children to the School, could now entrust all four – an increase of 100%. And since these co-eds would be more probably from a Portsmouth family, there would be no particular difference in intellectual caliber. In this way the School could forestall the financial crisis which is overtaking all private education. Coeducation at Portsmouth might inspire all sorts of delightful side effects as well, and perhaps the day will come, not too long after the School itself becomes co-ed, when a Convent of the Sacred Heart is annexed onto the monastery. – Jamie MacGuire Beaverboard – May 12, 1970

(Jamie reviews his Beaverboard article from the perspective of 2010.) I hadn’t looked at this in decades, but I seem to remember writing it somewhat tongue-in-cheek and without ever imagining that the School would indeed someday become co-ed. The last, wiseacre line strikes me as gratuitous now, but mightn’t we all benefit from a few nuns living in the girls’ houses and adding to the School’s academic, social and spiritual life? Needless to say, I was a prophet without honor in my own School at the time, at least to the administration. May 1970 was the month that four protesters at Kent State were gunned down by members of the Ohio National Guard, and I remember the pall that cast over our discussion in Jim Garman’s History AP the morning the news hit the newspaper headlines. It made for a grim finale to the turbulent years of war, racial conflict and assassinations we had lived through in the late 1960s. The Student Council that year had offered many proposed changes to School life, including the abolition of morning prayers, one voluntary athletic season, optional attendance at breakfast, extending lights out for IV Formers to 10:30 PM, optional attendance at Saturday night movies, foreign study programs, and more places on campus to entertain girls. None was well received, but all came to pass in time. Interestingly, the Student Council that year did strongly support the continuation of a two-year Latin requirement, and I am glad for today’s kids that a one-year requirement was reinstated some years ago. “The only thing more boring than taking Latin I was teaching it,” Father Julian once remarked, but the benefits to one’s grammatical and vocabulary skills over the long haul are well worth it. In my lifetime I would have to say that coeducation has been, along with the design and building of the Belluschi Church and campus, the two most constructive changes at Portsmouth. They have both in their different ways added beauty, sensitivity, harmony, and a greater ability to experience the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The truth is that the single- sex, 1960s Portsmouth was often a hard-bitten, cold and sarcastic place. The kindness and genuine care today’s students show to each other and everyone else is what most strikes this time traveler to the campus of today. Much credit has to go to Nancy Brzys, Geri Zilian, and all the other dedicated faculty members, male and female, monastic and lay, who made the transition to coeducation work so wonderfully well. Portsmouth today is a better, more Benedictine place as a result. Perhaps Father Peter Sidler put it best when he told Dana Robinson ‘64, “Before coeducation the School may have been more intellectual, but after coeducation it became more intelligent.” Jamie is a senior development officer at Portsmouth Abbey School and the founding director of the Portsmouth Institute.




By Reverend Dom Damian Kearney, O.S.B. ‘45 To mark the beginning of the millennium, a poll was taken in

by Anglican vicars. The known facts of his life, most of which

England to determine which person in the past 1000 years has

are documentary rather than personal, are all that we would ex-

had the greatest impact on the culture and thought of the na-

pect to know of a playwright, with no reason to think anything

tion. Shakespeare easily topped the list as the one who has not

was being concealed. When he is alluded to as the anonymous

only affected the United Kingdom, but continues to command

Shakespeare, this phrase refers to the distance he keeps from

world-wide attention as poet and dramatist. Until the last half

his personal life and his work. He is not a Dante, who describes

century, Shakespeare’s religion was not deemed important, and

his spiritual journey in the Comedia, and prefers to let his works

if treated at all, it was subordinate to the study and enjoyment of

speak for themselves. It is precisely this anonymity which al-

the plays and poetry; indeed, religion barely merited a footnote

lows scholars to construct the hypothetical versions of where

in critical editions of his works, insofar as they concerned his

the poet spent his youth, of how he acquired his knowledge of

personal beliefs. In the last few decades, however, the subject

law, medicine, languages, religious dogma, social customs, clas-

has caused many scholars to focus their criticism on the case for

sical learning, the way of life of royalty and nobility, and chiefly,

a man for whom religion was a paramount concern or, at the op-

of his learning the craft of the stage and his command of lan-

posite extreme, that he remained deliberately aloof from a sub-


ject which dominated the social, political and religious world in which he lived, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the first half of King James’ reign. Was he the Protestant national poet, which he had always been considered to be for the past 500 years, or was he perhaps a closet Catholic (one who secretly remained Catholic, but outwardly conformed to the Elizabethan compromise) or one who looked back nostalgically at the Old Faith, sprinkling his plays with allusions to the pre-Reformation Church’s customs and beliefs?

The conventional view of Shakespeare as a Protestant, not

especially concerned with religious issues, and as one who never questioned the Elizabethan Settlement, was the view of the popular biographer, Marchette Chute, in her Shakespeare of London (1949). Most of her research was done not on location, but in the New York Public Library, and the discovery of new material has surfaced long after she wrote. In her book she states simply and conclusively, “Whatever his parents’ religion may have been, William Shakespeare was a member of the Church

In the past, biographies of Shakespeare gave little atten-

of England,” having been “baptized in the Protestant fashion,

tion to the question of Shakespeare’s religion, since it was taken

in English and at the font…When John Shakespeare attended

for granted that he was a member of the Church of England,

the Church of the Holy Trinity (that great barometer of social

having been baptized and buried in Trinity Church in Stratford

prestige), he had a seat in the front pew on the north side of the



nave, with Mary beside him…” As the title of her book denotes,

ents and relations, his wife and children, his religious beliefs, his

Chute is chiefly interested not in Shakespeare’s Stratford, but in

early years and education, his friends and associates, the world

the bustling city of London, where Shakespeare lived, worked

of the theatre and the social conditions prevailing in England,

as an actor and wrote the plays for his company. Her book is

but especially as they affected Stratford and London. There can,

valuable in giving to the general reader an accurate picture of

therefore, be no such thing as a definitive book on Shakespeare’s

the theatrical world during the time of Shakespeare and the role

life. Honan aims to tell the tale as it was, without indulging in

he played in it. She herself admits that this was her intent, and

conjecture and the what-might-have-been. Interestingly, he ac-

not to give a critical analysis of the plays or his poems in a liter-

cepts the theory which surfaced in the early part of the twentieth

ary biography.

century that filled in the gap in Shakespeare’s life, now known

For A.L. Rowse, too, in his revised biography, Shakespeare,

The Man (1989), Shakespeare was certainly Protestant: “From the evidence we gather that for Shakespeare, as for Protestants generally, there were only two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion – not a trace of Catholic teaching, nor had he any knowledge of the Vulgate. He was a conforming member of

as the Lost Years. This deals with a period of time spent in Catholic Lancashire, enabling him to gain employment with noble recusant families as a schoolmaster and/or musician, while also giving him his first contacts with the theatrical companies maintained by the wealthy, Catholic gentry, including that of Lord Strange, the future Earl of Derby.

the Church into which he had been baptized, in which he was

brought up and married, his children reared and in whose arms

his early life in Lancashire, Honan also accepts the authenticity of

he was buried at the last.” In his Preface to the revised edi-

the “spiritual testament” composed by Cardinal Borromeo and

tion, Rowse makes no allowance for views opposed to his, even

distributed by the Jesuit missionaries, Campion and Parsons, in

of admittedly good scholars like the “massive but impercep-

1580-1, as they traveled through Warwickshire and other regions

tive E.K. Chambers” and the “enthusiastic but erratic Dover

sympathetic to Catholicism. A copy of this testament was later

Wilson.” Of his own work, he confidently states: “With a full

found in John Shakespeare’s house and evidently hidden during

knowledge of the age and the conditions in which Shakespeare

the dangerous years when the houses of those suspected of being

lived and wrote, I have been able to reduce the unnecessary

papists were raided for possession of “fripperies” (papist contra-

confusion to order and make sense of both life and work, give

band). In his early years Shakespeare would certainly be affected

unanswerable certainty”….”In short, we now have the defini-

by parental beliefs, and this would account for the time he spent

tive biography of our greatest writer, all confusions cleared up

in Lancashire, which for Honan was during the two years prior to

and problems settled, in this revised edition with a great deal of

his marriage to Anne Hathaway in Stratford. But Honan is care-

new material.”

ful not to make surmises about what William himself believed.

In addition to the theory that William spent a crucial part of

For Rowse, despite all the new material that has come to

light through the research of scholars well versed in the Tudor/ Stuart period, there was never a question of Shakespeare’s religious beliefs, doubts, dilemmas, for he had none. “He died, as he had lived, a conforming member of the Church of England. His will made that perfectly clear – in fact, puts it beyond dispute, for it uses the Protestant formula – I commend my soul into the hands of God my Creator, hoping and assured by believing through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting.”

In his Introduction to Shakespeare, A Life (1998), Park

Honan justifies writing yet another biography of the Bard by the need to keep pace with the constant flow of new information that keeps appearing as a result of the better knowledge of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. These facts necessitate revision of previously held theories about Shakespeare’s par-

German engraving of English playwright William Shakespeare at home with his family – mother, sisters and nephew



An early sketch of Shakespeare’s birthplace

in the brain of Iago ... if in Hamlet, so also in Claudius.” None of his characters can be interpreted as spokesmen for his beliefs; he remains detached and objective in his treatment. Nor can any of Shakespeare’s plays be considered “religious parables,” as can be said of Dante’s Comedia, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Frye’s critical stance reflects the period when his book was published, and attempts to respond to what he regards as the exaggerated or erroneous claims made by the “School of (Wilson) Knight,” which portray Shakespeare to be an orthodox Christian writer from the evidence in his writings. Outwardly, he conformed to the official state religion, as evidenced in the use he made of the Bishop’s Bible in his plays, in his attendance at Holy Trinity church and at the various Protestant services for his family and friends: christenings, burials and marriages. Nothing in his later life suggests that he was other than a conformist in his religious practice.

Stanley Wells in his Shakespeare For All Time (2002) main-

tains that “the only positive evidence for John Shakespeare’s Catholicism is the Borromeo testament and this is so ‘unreliable’ as not to merit serious consideration. This, therefore, casts doubt upon the theory that William had a Catholic upbringing or Catholic sympathies. All the records indicate that “he and his father were conforming members of the Established Church,” hence leading to ”the natural supposition that he lived in Stratford until after he had wooed and married Anne Hathaway and started his family.” Wells rejects emphatically the “Lost Years” spent in Lancashire as fanciful with no basis in fact. His biography revised from an earlier edition has not been altered by the latest theories about the religious views and practice of father and son.

liefs of Shakespeare in favor of a strongly Catholic connection. Some are of dubious critical value, some have genuine merit and make serious contributions to what we know of the period and to what we are entitled to speculate about the playwright. Among those who wrote in the early part of the last century are the Jesuit, Father James Thurston, the Countess de Chambrun (Shakespeare, A Portrait Restored, 1947, French edition), and John H. De Groot (Shakespeare and the Old Faith, 1946)). Both these books independently came to the conclusion that the Shakespeare family was Catholic in belief and practice, with carefully documented evidence to back up their claims. Neither writer was given much credence or attention, if any, by scholars, and their impact was minimal until the recent past when some of their findings were at least recognized without being accepted. Professor J.B. Harrison, in a Publisher’s Note to Chambrun’s biography when it first appeared, sensed that there would be opposition to “new notions about Shakespeare, especially when unfamiliar and perhaps disturbing,” but that they “should be received with an open mind.” This most certainly would have referred to Chambrun’s presenting England’s finest poet as a

A wholly negative view of Shakespeare’s attitude toward

religion, Protestant or Catholic, can be found in Roland Frye’s Shakespeare and Christian Doctrine (1963) in which he stresses the need for a “secular approach” to the study of Shakespeare and his plays which demonstrate his doctrinal literacy without furnishing any evidence of his religious orientation. Shakespeare, he asserts, is concerned with “those areas which are universally human” since, “in general, his theological and ethical references are placed within a context equally accessible to Christians and virtuous heathens.” He quotes Professor Kittredge with approval when he warns against attributing the opinion of a character Shakespeare created with his own position: “if (he) lurks somewhere in the heart of Othello, so likewise he lurks somewhere


Within the last two decades there has been a vast quan-

tity of articles, essays and books, written about the life and be-

recusant Catholic.

A new theory developed in 1954 when Alan Keen, a Lon-

don bookseller, and Roger Lubbock, published a book, The Annotator, based on annotations by a reader of Catholic sympathies on the pages of a copy of Halle’s Chronicle of the Houses of Lancaster and York, published in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was from Halle that Shakespeare obtained much of the historical background for his plays on the kings of England and their wars of succession and conquest. By comparing the calligraphy with the three pages of Shakespeare’s in the Play of Thomas More, accepted by scholars to be in his handwriting, and to the signatures on his will, Keen sensed a possible connection. Could the book be the source of his plays and these


annotations his working notes? The annotator’s comments indicate a Catholic bias and disapproval of Halle’s Protestant viewpoint. The provenance of Halle’s Chronicle showed a connection with Lancashire, since it originally belonged to a Richard Newport who was linked to the Hoghton family. The two authors published their theory, which included speculation on young Shakespeare’s spending time in Lancashire. The book reads like a mystery, and at times borders on the fantastic, as it comes to conclusions based on flights of fancy rather than on fact. Their theory, however, based on a link between Lancaster and Stratford and Shakespeare as an adherent of the Old Faith, was not to find acceptance until scholars could pursue a trail based not on conjecture, but on solid evidence.

Honigmann is on less solid ground. In 2003 the Times Literary Supplement published an ingenious, convincing interpretation to this enigmatic poem, written in 1601 for inclusion in Robert Chester’s anthology, Love’s Martyr, dedicated to the cryptoCatholic, Sir John Salisbury, who was married to a Stanley, and thereby continuing the connection of Shakespeare with the family of his earliest patron in Lancashire, Lord Strange. In John Finnis’ and Patrick Martin’s solution, now widely accepted, the poem is a code allusion to the execution of three martyrs, two of them priests, hanged, drawn and quartered as traitors in 1601, with the focus on Anne Line, who had harbored them, and her deceased husband, Roger. She and Roger had taken a vow to live their lives in married chastity. Anne is the phoenix (immortality), her husband, the

E. A. J.  Honigmann’s

turtledove (fidelity), ex-

Shakespeare: The “Lost Years”

iled for his faith, which

(1985) provides the schol-

was considered to be a

arly foundation for much

metaphorical equivalent

of what Keen and Lubbock

of death, while Anne

advocated. He makes a firm

suffered in a physical

case for John Shakespeare’s


Catholic background by ac-

poem the authors have

cepting the authenticity of

identified the persons

the “spiritual testament,”

and places referred to

whereby he testified to his

in what can be consid-

belief in Catholic doctrine.

ered an elegy, celebrat-

The discovery of this docu-

ing a spiritual marriage

ment reinforces the suppo-

based on renunciation

sition that William Shake-

and religious witness

speare could have spent

to an heroic degree. The

some of his youthful years in Lancashire, to which Ho-

London in 1593, just five years after Shakespeare’s arrival in the city

nigmann devotes the greater part of his book. In the chapter dealing with Shakespeare’s own religion, he finds it likely that he eventually conformed to Protestantism, as many Catholics did after the execution in 1587 of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, next in line to the English throne. But he accepts the view of Richard Davies, Anglican Archdeacon of Coventry and an “inveterate enemy of Rome,” that Shakespeare was reconciled to the Church at his death and “dyed a Papist.” Scholars who accept the supposition that Shakespeare was Catholic during some stages of his life are chiefly indebted to the research of Honigmann for filling in the biographical gap of Shakespeare’s “lost years.”

Throughout the

In his solution to the mystery of “The Phoenix and the Tur-

tle,” a poem which has baffled scholars since its composition,

Benedictine Mark Barkworth, “the priest in surplice white,” is the death-

divining swan for the requiem. William Byrd, the Catholic court musician whom Elizabeth favored, paradoxically, for the beauty of his Latin masses, opens the poem as “the bird of loudest lay,” providing the musical background. The union in death of Anne and Roger is commemorated in the Threnos at the end, “Beauty, truth and rarity/ Grace in all simplicity/ Here enclosed in cinders lie.” For these two martyrs, those who are true or fair (their co-religionists), are bidden to sigh a prayer, as part of the requiem, prayers for the dead being expressly forbidden by the Elizabethan reformed church. In 1601, at the exact middle of his career, if this compelling theory is true, it would be difficult to deny Shakespeare’s Roman Catholic sympathies.




issue out of so slender and lean a body.” Such a book would

posed in honor of

certainly have been in the libraries of Hoghton Tower and the

Macbeth, King



other houses in Lancashire where Shakespeare was said to be

affected the union

living during his “lost years.” Like Fisher, Duncan was a saintly

of the kingdoms

figure, undergoing a violent death at the hands of one who was

of Scotland and England, is perhaps the play that most explicitly at



customs and events.


some critics it seen as a harking back to the morality genre, because of its structure and the many characteristics it has in common with the morality, miracle and mystery plays which were suppressed by the Elizabethan reformers. In this play Shakespeare alludes to the custom known as “the royal touch,” abandoned in the Protestant reigns of Edward and Elizabeth, but which James I reintroduced to emphasize the doctrine of the “divine right of kings.” The miraculous healing, whereby the King “touched” those afflicted with a skin disease to effect a cure, was a practice which was begun by Macbeth’s English contemporary, Edward the Confessor, the antithesis of the ”hell-kite,” Macbeth. When Duncan was murdered, Lady Macbeth recalls in her sleepwalking scene the startling flow of blood that issued from his wounds. In the late 1950s, Siobhan McKenna acted this role in Boston, and, in order to emphasize the horror of the murder, she paused and faced the audience before shrieking out the words, “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?,” electrifying the startled onlookers. Almost the identical words can be found in a biography of Bishop John Fisher, written by Professor Bailey, a Catholic exile teaching at the seminary at Douai from 1576 until his death in 1591. The book was intended to encourage the students and the beleaguered Catholics in England, persecuted for their faith at the hands of Elizabeth, just as they had been under her father, Henry VIII. Bailey describes Fisher’s execution by beheading: “He laid his head down on the middle of a little block, where the executioner, being ready, with a sharp and heavy ax, cut asunder his slender neck at one blow, which bled so abundantly, that many wonder’d to see so much blood


to become a brutal, oppressive king.

Michael Wood, a noted English filmmaker, recently wrote

a book, Shakespeare, to accompany the PBS version of his attempt to solve the mysteries surrounding the life of the poet. “In Search of Shakespeare,” the PBS film in which Wood appears as narrator, examines the sources carefully, visiting and filming many of the relevant sites that still exist from the Elizabethan period, tracing the poet’s life from birth to death. While Wood accepts the belief that Shakespeare always had Catholic sympathies, in his adult life he seems to have conformed to the Established Church, heedful of his responsibilities to his family and the need to pursue his career in the theatrical world. He considers the initials “W.S.” to refer to Shakespeare in the dedication of the widely circulated manifesto on the duty of a poet, “To My Worthy Good Cosen, Master W.S.” This tract was written by the Jesuit Robert Southwell, a distant relative of Shakespeare as well as a kinsman of the Catholic Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s patron, whose mother courageously sheltered priests. In this pamphlet Southwell was urging poets to focus on Christian rather than secular topics. Some critics think he had in mind Shakespeare’s erotic poem, “Venus and Adonis.” In 1695, Southwell, considered by the government to be “the most wanted criminal” in England, was captured, tortured by the ignominious Topcliffe, and executed at Tyburn, by being hanged, drawn and quartered, suffering the same death as Edward Arden, another of Shakespeare’s Catholic relatives.

At the end of his biography, Wood brings up Shake-

speare’s mysterious purchase of a property in London, the Gatehouse at Blackfriars, considered to be “the epicenter” of the underground Catholics, a place where they met to attend masses in secret, and a meeting place for the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot, alluded to in the Porter scene in Macbeth. No one has yet provided an answer to the poet’s reason for purchasing this building, and it remains a tantalizing mystery. Shakespeare’s final play, King Henry the Eighth, is acknowledged to be largely the work of the playwright’s collaborator, John Fletcher, but the authenticated parts and those which are vintage Shakespeare are reflected in his sympathetic portrayal of three principal characters of the old order: Queen Katherine, who represents the Catholic past and is given an apotheosis


before her death; the disgraced but repentant Wolsey; and the wronged Buckingham. Each one of these is a victim of the King’s Machiavellian statecraft, which resulted in the break with Rome. It is John Fletcher who is responsible for the parts of the play which celebrate the passing of the old world and the dawn of the new at the conclusion, with the christening of Princess Elizabeth by the Protestant Archbishop Cranmer and his prophecy of a Golden Age to be inaugurated in her reign.

Michael Wood‘s epilogue, The Rest is Silence, ends his bi-

ography with a lament for the deliberate suppression of Shake-


speare’s beliefs, hidden though they were but still evident in his plays, by “reputed scholars, such as John Collier and James


Halliwell-Philips, who dedicated their lives to consolidating the legend of the English Bard, but are known to have stolen,

makes it clear that for all his surface neutrality, the driving force

The Catholic Shakespeare?

behind Shakespeare’s work was profound commitment to the

Friday, June 10 - Sunday, June 12

forged and destroyed numerous documents as they worked their way unsupervised through various libraries and private collections….” Only now are scholars unearthing “the wholesale repression of Shakespeare’s hidden language… The hidden level

traditional sacramental life of the country, threatened in his day with extinction.... Historically, this hidden level still holds a vital significance for England, providing a first - hand, authoritative counterbalance to the ‘Great Myth’ created and perpetuated by Protestant historians. Above all, it throws light on the genesis

Speakers will include: Dr. Glenn Arbery: The Problem of Catholic Piety in the Henry VI Plays

of some of the greatest plays ever written. It reveals that it took

Clare, Viscountess Asquith: As You Like It and the Elizabethan Catholic Dilemma

not only intellectual brilliance but exceptional courage and constancy to produce them.”

Dom Aidan Bellenger, Abbot of Downside: The Blasted Heath: The Death of Catholic England Rev. David Beauregard: Shakespeare and Religion: the Catholic, the Protestant and Secular Dimensions Dr. John Cox: Are Shakespeare’s Prayers Catholic? Dr. Gerard Kilroy: “Changing Eyes:” Faith and Fluctuation in Romeo and Juliet Rev. Peter Milward: The Catholic King Lear

Etching of London showing Shakespeare’s Globe Theater (center, lower bank)

Mr. Kevin O’Brien and Mr. Joseph Pearce in a Theater of the Word production of Hamlet’s Agony ... and more to come. For more information and to register please go to or contact Cindy Waterman at (401) 643-1244 or


William Shakespeare: International Man of Mystery by Dr. Michael Bonin, Head of English Department Others abide our question. Thou art free. We ask and ask-thou smilest and art still, Out-topping knowledge. Matthew Arnold, “Shakespeare” Almost halfway through Henry IV, Part 1, Prince Hal, in high spirits, gives us the key to his character: I am now of all humours that have showed themselves humours since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o’clock at midnight. Hal feels as if all possible human traits and moods ever experienced, from Adam’s awakening in Eden to this very moment, are now coursing through him. This exhilarates him, and indeed his uncanny power to assume whatever identity a situation may demand is what makes Hal, soon to be Henry V, Shakespeare’s most successful king. He can be a wastrel wit with Falstaff; an electrifying warlord for his outnumbered army at Agincourt; a common thief; a contrite prodigal son with his father; a devastatingly charming lover with Katherine of France; a gruff foot soldier around the fire, disguised as he checks his troops’ morale; an icy, almost reptilian monarch, his clipped and absolute dictats frightening the French herald, Montjoy. In some scenes Hal is virtually telepathic. As he says in his first soliloquy, “I know you all.” He can re-enact, almost word for word, a private con-


versation between the rebel Hotspur and his vexed wife. At the siege of Harfleur, he intuits those atrocities the city fathers most fear, and expertly appalls their imaginations to compel surrender. He sees through the vice-ridden souls of his pub-crawling mates and foretells their fates. As we track his shape-shifting and mind-reading through three plays – Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, Henry V – we learn that, for Shakespeare, Hal is great because he is complex and multiple. He refuses the confines of any one identity. Hal immediately came to mind when I saw this year’s Portsmouth Institute topic, The Catholic Shakespeare? I have a definitive answer to that coy question mark. Was Shakespeare a Catholic? Absolutely. And a Protestant. And an agnostic. A nihilist. A feminist. A sexist. A reactionary propagandist for the oppressive Tudor monarchy, except when he was a crafty subversive exposing the empty fiction of kingship. Gay. Straight. Bi. A queen. No, the Queen. The Swan of Avon. An illiterate, unable to spell his own name the same way twice. All of the above. To quote Vince in Pulp Fiction, “That’s a bold statement.” But not when you consider all the daft identifications of Shakespeare which have inexplicably made it onto the printed page. I direct you to Washington, DC. There, right behind the Supreme Court Building, you’ll find the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of research on the Bard. Present even the most laughable of academic credentials and the Folger staff will permit you to visit their


labyrinthine stacks. Scan the book spines as you hike these vast holdings, and you’ll soon find that every profession, religious sect, and ideology has claimed Shakespeare as one of their own. On this shelf, lawyers turned Bardolaters argue that only a man trained in the law could describe the savage millstones of Renaissance justice so accurately. Two shelves below, retired naval officers insist that only a mariner, a man who literally knew the ropes, could so convincingly convey the wonders and terrors of the open ocean. Professional diplomats claim that only a fellow-courtier could be so attuned to the lethal subtleties of English and European courts. But one shelf over, Latin teachers point out that only a schoolmaster could draw so deeply from his Ovid. From the most tediously-footnoted scholarly monograph, paralyzing the reader’s respiratory system like a curare blow-dart, to the looniest pamphlet written in crayon and published from a post office box in Hoop and Holler, TX, you are presented with inarguable proof for Shakespeare the Freemason, Shakespeare the Anarchist, Shakespeare the Occultist. I am not making this up. No author has generated more bizarre biographical speculation, more special pleading dressed up as scholarly argumentation, more historical trivia contorted to sustain specious conclusions. Now, nearly all of the genuine documentary evidence for Shakespeare we possess involves mortgages, wills, grain purchases and tax fines. So I’m personally convinced that Shakespeare was a CPA, author of the nowvanished Much Ado About Amortization. My essential article is forthcoming in the Portsmouth Review. But before we depart the Folger, let’s draw a veil of decent silence over those bedlamites who, like the Ancient Mariner, stoppeth one of three and, with that certainty available only to the mad, insist that Shakespeare never wrote the plays at all. Yet they – the Anti-Stratfordians, Marlovians, Baconeers, Oxfordettes – they too have their shelves in the Folger, groaning under the weight of their demented books. Shakespeare? He’s whoever you want him to be. Fair enough, you may say, but glib. I do have a serious answer to the riddle of Shakespeare, based, I am proud to declare, upon no scholarly evidence at all. I possess no strangely-neglected document to decode before the eyes of gaping experts. Instead, as Hamlet rightly says, “the play’s the thing.” After nearly forty years in a classroom with Shakespeare’s plays, I must agree with Coleridge, who called Shakespeare “myriad-minded.” What makes Shakespeare Shakespeare is his multiple, protean nature. Keats, who kept a small portrait of Shakespeare on his desk when he wrote, thought Shakespeare’s genius was his “negative capability:” the power to vanish into any human personality, belief, or emotion. Shakespeare is not just all things to all men; he is all men, and all women too, as his plays require. He remains forever uncategorizable because he erased his person to become dramatis personae. Like Hal, he defies those who would reduce him to one identity, confine him to one creed, or eagerly claim him as a member of their club. Shakespeare? He’s whoever he wants to be.

I can only rely upon the plays and poems. Can his own words convince me that Shakespeare was Catholic? Well, the Ghost in Hamlet seems to be Catholic. The Ghost tells the quaking Hamlet that he comes from Purgatory, where he is “confined to fast in fires,/Till the foul crimes done in [his] days of nature/ Are burnt and purged away.” By Shakespeare’s time Protestant theology had done away with the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. In most Protestants’ view, God’s predestining judgment consigned all his children either to Heaven or Hell, with no third option. The Ghost, or at least his afterlife, must be Catholic. However, if the Ghost is, as he claims, a soul atoning for its earthly sins, why would he return to urge his son to commit the direst of sins, bloody, vengeful murder? And why would God permit the penitent to make such a request? Because the Ghost is no penitent soul, cries the Protestant – the Ghost is a demon seeking possession of Hamlet’s soul. Hamlet himself suspects as much: The spirit that I have seen May be a devil; and the devil hath power T’ assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy, As he is very potent with such spirits, Abuses me to damn me. Consider all that treachery and slaughter have done to Elsinore by the end of the play. To quote another tragedy, Macbeth, “Chaos now hath made its masterpiece.” If the Devil is at work in Hamlet, he must be very pleased with how it all turns out. So, is Shakespeare taking a Protestant position here? Notice, though, that Hamlet mentions his “melancholy,” a disease much studied in the Renaissance. Hamlet worries that his mental state leaves him vulnerable, susceptible. Severe melancholics were subject to auditory and visual hallucinations. Though several characters in the play see the Ghost, Hamlet alone hears it, and indeed his frightened mother, who cannot see the Ghost, fears for Hamlet’s sanity: Alas, how is’t with you, That you do bend your eye on vacancy And with th’incorporal air do hold discourse? To what extent is the Ghost a product of Hamlet’s “heat-oppressed brain,” like the floating dagger whose existence Macbeth, nearly unhinged by horror, questions? Shakespeare offers evidence for a Catholic Ghost, a Protestant Ghost, and even an early-modern psychological Ghost, a delusion and symptom rather than a spirit at all. Shakespeare, who always loves questions more than answers, does not resolve the conundrum. Perhaps a different issue will help us discover the real Shakespeare. What was his attitude towards women? When I read the great romantic comedies such as Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, or As You Like It, I am convinced that Shakespeare must be the greatest of feminist authors. Beatrice, Rosalind, Portia, Viola – what in-



william shakespeare   B


telligent, clever, self-aware, resolute, and independent women! They are bewitching, and clearly superior to the dullard men in the plays, who must be taught by these women how to grow up and behave and love. Yet I can’t help but notice that at the end of all these plays these extraordinarily daring and thoroughly modern women resume the traditional gender role, marry, and rejoin an arrantly patriarchal society. And if I then turn to The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s feminism starts to look terribly shaky. Here is a woman, Kate, literally tamed like a wild animal. Petruchio locks her up, starves her, abuses her, breaks her will. What could be funnier? And when she is broken, she submits to her master and marries him. At the end of the play she addresses all women and urges them to submit to their husbands, in terms so abject that even St. Paul might be taken aback.

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign . . . . Such duty as the subject owes the prince, Even such a woman oweth to her husband.

Of course, that kind of sexism may not surprise us if Shakespeare was gay and really preferred men after all. The first twenty or more of the immortal Sonnets – perhaps even 100 of the 154; the pronoun references get more ambiguous as the sequence proceeds-are addressed to a beautiful and aristocratic young man. If you don’t believe this, read Sonnet 20, where he explains how his beloved, though beautiful as any woman, was at the last minute “prick’d out” and thereby made a man by the doting goddess Nature. As the speaker remarks, that complicates everything. We can only agree. Yet almost all of these ardent sonnets to the young man end by urging him to marry and have children – not quite the sentiment one would expect from a gay lover. What’s more, the language of friendship in the Renaissance was quite different from what we regular-folk ‘Muricans employ with our buds or the gals. In the conventional closing of a letter, where we would say “Yours,” or “Sincerely,” meaning nothing intimate by it, the Renaissance letter writer would say “Thy lover,” meaning nothing intimate by it. Maybe we, like Hamlet, are seeing things that just aren’t there. To deepen our confusion, Sonnet 126 begins “O thou, my lovely boy,” and then Sonnet 127 introduces us to the Dark Lady. We are suddenly plunged into a different relationship: carnal, addictive, tormenting, hateful. But wait, there’s more! The Dark Lady and the lovely boy go on to have a fling together, too. This stretch of the Sonnets concludes with a couplet cursing the Dark Lady, and no wonder. Everyone ought to memorize these lines, because sooner or later you’ll need to say them to someone:

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

Shakespeare seems to have led a complicated love life-a wife back in Stratford, at least one rich boyfriend, a raven-haired mistress, an involuntary ménage-a-trois. Yet what if we could somehow summon Shakespeare back for an interrogation, and demand that he clear this erotic biography up for us?


I think he might reply, in exasperation, “Biography? These poems aren’t about me. They’re miniature dramas, 154 character sketches, voice experiments. Does the pathetic, wheedling, manipulative creep facing death in Sonnet 71 sound like the mature, wise, and serene philosopher facing death in Sonnet 73? They’re not me, or at least not the biographical me. Have you read my plays? Do you think that I am a suicidal Danish college student? Or a fourteen-year-old Veronese girl in love? A murderously jealous Moor? A marooned magician? “The one thing you do know about me is that I am a pretty good creator of characters, right? I can change personalities the way you change your socks. How? I use my imagination. Sheesh. Catholic? Protestant? LGBT? You know what I am? I’m a writer.” There’s a little throwaway line in King Lear that is worth calling to mind when we try to pigeonhole Shakespeare. In Act V, Lear’s army loses the battle and Edgar runs onstage to rescue his blind father, Gloucester. Gloucester despairs at the defeat, but Edgar counsels perseverance: “Men must endure/Their going hence, even as their coming hither:/Ripeness is all.” Evocative words, perhaps even words to live by. But as Peter Saccio, a scholar at Dartmouth, points out, it is Gloucester’s brief, almost shouldershrugging reply that is quintessentially Shakespearean. Gloucester simply says, “And that’s true too.” As Saccio explains, it’s the “too” which makes all the difference. Gloucester grants Edgar’s point, but without withdrawing his own assertions of despair. He allows that there are any number of true things that might be said in any human situation, all kinds of attitudes available for adoption. They are all “true, too,” because men and women may well, and indeed have, believed them. From all that the plays and poems can tell us, Shakespeare believed in truths, plural. He believed in truth with a small “t.” Capital “T” Truth is the province of theology and ideology, and its sharp, certain edges excluded too much true-that is, actual, real-life-human variety and contradictoriness to suit Shakespeare. He espoused no doctrine and pledged no allegiance. Literature, to Shakespeare, should show us that the world teems with human truths: life as it is lived, and as we are. Shakespeare saw that there are as many provisional truths and identities, as many ways of understanding and living life, as there are individuals attempting to do so. He set out to put all those personalities and their truths on stage and into poetry. Myriad-mindedness constituted his genius; why would he wish to be single-minded? He was able to fill his works with so many familiar characters, while remaining unknowable himself, because, like Hal, he can say, “I know you all.” He would be amused at our attempts to declare him a Catholic, or a monarchist, or a skeptic, or any one thing. To all of our narrow labels he would reply, with an enigmatic smile, “And that’s true too.” Michael Bonin, Ph.D., is Head of English at Portsmouth Abbey School. Contact him at


T H E O F F I C E O F A D M I S S I O N S and t h e

Tim Daniel was Director of Admissions when the School made the transition to coeducation in 1991.

tr a n sition to co e d u cation

In 1991, the The Gregorian highlighted the announcement of coeducation as follows: “The sixty-fifth school year opened in September with the announcement that the Abbey would enroll girls as day students in the fall of 1991. Although this marks the passing of a distinct tradition, it will greatly enrich and broaden the focus of the school... the school would become a coeducational boarding school in September of 1992. The ideal student body would consist of 313 students with eighty percent boarders, sixty percent boys and forty percent girls...the school anticipates both rewards and challenges of coeducation.” A year earlier, Portsmouth Abbey’s total school enrollment was 207 boys and there existed an opportunity to strengthen the School. Whether a school would remain single-sex or become co-educational was often a topic of consideration at many of the single-sex schools, and we were among those having this conversation. The admission statistics of the schools that had recently adopted coeducation revealed that making this change increased the applicant pool, thus strengthening the quality of the enrolled students. Portsmouth’s admission statistics indicated that while there were approximately 400 families looking to have their sons apply, the National Association of Independent Schools data showed the average inquiry pool of other boarding/day schools to be 937 families. Clearly the invitation for girls to apply was viewed as a way to enhance Portsmouth’s applicant pool, thus allowing greater selectivity while simultaneously increasing the overall enrollment to closer that of our peer schools.

It was the summer of 1990 that the Monastic Council, with the unanimous endorsement of the Board of Consultants, agreed to invite day girls to apply for the 1991-92 academic year, followed by the invitation to boarding girls in 1992-93. Within the first year of coeducation, 21 day girls were enrolled – 12 in the Third Form, three in the Fourth, four in the Fifth, and two in the Sixth. That spring the Class of 1992 graduated the first two Abbey girls – the “pioneers” for the girls to come. Within the next five years, the admission office was contacting well over 700 families, receiving 243 applications and enrolling over 100 new students annually. Admission statistics clearly demonstrate the positive impact coeducation had on the enrollment and culture of the School, but as important is how the people involved in carrying out this change remember this period. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Timothy (Tim) Daniel, who was our then-Director of Admissions; he clearly remembers the day he was told that, in the coming year, his staff would enroll day girls and that, within the next admission cycle, they would also enroll as many boarding girls as the school would accommodate. Tim was delighted to speak about this period in his admission career, and though this certainly was a serious challenge, Tim firmly believes the School made the right decision and coeducation enhanced the School. Here are Tim’s responses to a few of my questions: As the Director of Admissions in 1990, what did you see as the benefits of going coeducational? There was a fair amount of speculation among most all of the boys’ schools about allowing girls to apply when other well-known boys’ boarding schools like Lawrenceville and



Deerfield were going co-ed in the mid-to-late 80s, but when I first arrived at Portsmouth in April of 1990, coeducation did not appear to be a particularly “hot” topic. But just before the 1990-91 school year began, the Headmaster (Fr. Francis Davidson) and Monastic Community announced at a faculty meeting that, beginning that academic year, the admission office would begin recruiting day girls for the fall of 1991. The benefits of this decision were, of course, the potential for a larger applicant pool and a more selective admission process. Both of these advantages allowed Portsmouth to continue the richness of its programs and enhance the School in many ways. Was there a specific strategy to attract girls? Because some other schools had been down this path very recently, I was able to seek advice from colleagues as to what was needed for such a transition. My counterpart in the Deerfield admission office at the time, Michael Cary, was especially helpful by advising me to make sure that there were girls in all grade levels (forms) during the first year – even a few “one-year seniors.” The thought was that the older girls would need to be mature and strong characters – ”pioneers,” if you will , who would serve as good role models and mentors for the younger girls, who, in turn, would want to emulate these older girls who were “blazing the trail” for them. Another strategy to help in the actual recruitment was to hire more women in the admission office who could speak to the benefits of becoming part of this new era at Portsmouth. Susan Wells was hired in late summer of 1990, and the following year Kathleen McKelvey (Burke) came on board, bringing her own personal boarding school experiences and enthusiasm to attract not only day girls but boarding girls as well. What was the major change in the School’s messaging, and how was it received in the market? I believe there was a brochure that spoke of Portsmouth’s reasons for going co-ed, describing the advantages and plan. We continued to use the messaging that we had used for the boys, but we were pretty direct and told the girls that it might not be easy. We told them we had a special brand of education and we wanted girls to have the same opportunities. The intellectual, spiritual, athletic and social aspects of a Benedictine school were important not only to boys but to girls as well. One thing was clear: they (the first girls to attend Portsmouth) would be the leaders of this new era and it would be an exciting time that would shape


them as young women. We were lucky that we had a good, strong local market that already had recognized and valued our program, and many people were thrilled that we were now opening up this opportunity to girls. Was there any special moment you remember during this transition? Yes. The first group of ninth graders (Third Formers) who had attended for the full four years and were graduating with the Class of 1995– that was a big event. I remember that we had a special meeting with them before they graduated. We wanted to thank them for how they had impacted the success and the transformation of the School. Looking back on it, they may have done more for the School than any other specific factor. We spoke about all their contributions and how important and significant they were to enhancing the School. These girls were smart, competitive, fun, high achieving, and their stories were instrumental in encouraging girls to apply and enroll. One story I still remember using over and over again was something said by Suzi Krafft when I interviewed her as an 8th grader. I was speculating how the girls “handle it” should she come to Portsmouth and learn that not all of the boys were thrilled to see her attending “their school.” She said, “Maybe they’re afraid of a little competition,” and I recall thinking, that’s exactly the kind of spirit we want and need from our first girls! Today the Admission Office continues to tell the stories of our students and how their experiences shape their future. What was written in the original brochure about the advantages of coeducation continues to hold true today: “Being a coeducational School will help Portsmouth to maintain and improve its academic program and reputation by ensuring that the quality of the applicants measures up to the traditional demands of our program.” Notably in the year we are celebrating our 20th year of coeducation, we have three more girls than boys among our enrolled students to help us tell the Abbey story! – Meghan Fonts, Director of Admissions Tim Daniel came to Portsmouth in the spring of 1990, and served as the School’s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid until 1992, when he became Director of Development. For one year  (1993-94), he returned to the admissions office to serve as acting director. In 1997, he left Portsmouth to become Head of School at The Leelanau School in Michigan, and he is currently Head of School at Brenau Academy (which is, ironically, an all-girls’ school) in Gainesville, Georgia.



Creative Writing Film & Culture Newport Beaches Latin for English Environmental and Marine Science Martha’s Vineyard Landscape Painting Horseback Riding

sunday, june

26 – saturday, july 23, 2011

SUMMER PROGRAM 2011 excellence and enrichment for rising

7th - 10th graders

Six Flags Boston’s Freedom Trail Friends for Life Economics Newport Mansions and more...

Portsmouth, Rhode Island – 7 miles from Newport

Campaign Q & A Brings Effort Into Focus . . . Capital Campaigns have become ubiquitous across the non-profit and educational landscape during the last 20 years. In numerous ways, this proliferation of “campaigning” has been a positive development benefitting organizations, those served, and donors. Throughout this period of active friend- and fundraising, Portsmouth Abbey School has been engaged in a campaign pursuing significant institutional objectives, but not as publicly as have many organizations. This Winter Bulletin 2011 provides the opportunity to shine a spotlight on recent and current Capital Campaign activity. The following Q&A offers questions about which you may have wondered and answers that will shed light on Portsmouth’s efforts.

The Strategic Plan’s scope is extremely broad, and the related preliminary cost estimates attached to the more-than 100 specific implementation steps surpassed the $100M level in 2004. Careful review of the plan and discussion of the School’s needs produced a more focused set of objectives for Portsmouth Abbey. The clear facilities priorities as laid out in the School’s Strategic Plan included: W

Building additional detached faculty housing to attract and retain the best faculty, staff and administrators to the school


Building new girls’ and boys’ Houses to accommodate an increase in the boarding/day mix to greater than 70% boarding students and 30% day students


Adding classroom space and improving the Science Center


Completing needed restoration of the Abbey Church


Accelerate renewal and replacement activities


In parallel with these facilities aims, the School was committed to increasing its endowment to support scholarships and faculty chairs as well as to become less dependent on tuition as its primary source of revenue.

Is Portsmouth Abbey School in a capital campaign? Yes, the School is presently in the midst of Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School. Portsmouth Abbey has been quietly and steadily pursuing the Campaign since July 1, 2004. The School has adopted a staged approach to the effort with Phase I running from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2008. The School is currently in Phase II of the Capital Campaign. What are the Campaign’s objectives? The Campaign is focused upon a set of objectives that are rooted in the School’s 2003 Strategic Plan. Under the headings of People, Programs, Plant and Patronage, the Strategic Plan ratified by Board of Regents in September 2003 charts a comprehensive and aggressive path. Of the plan, then-Chairman of the Board of Regents David Moran ‘71 wrote, “This Plan forms the guideposts by which we will lead the institution over the next seven to ten years... it forms the roadmap that Portsmouth will follow to attain its ambitious goals in all areas of School life.”

Has the Campaign achieved its goals? Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School has achieved several of its aims, most notably: the construction of St. Brigid’s House; major renovation of the Abbey Church of Saint Gregory the Great; establishment of 16 new scholarship funds within Portsmouth’s endowment; the creation of two faculty chairs in mathematics and history; growth of unrestricted giving; and expansion of the Annual Fund. How much has the Campaign raised for Portsmouth thus far? Between July 1, 2004, and December 31, 2010, the Campaign has raised $34,441,896 in cash and pledges. Apportioned among objectives the total figure breaks down as follows:


Annual Fund




Restricted Gifts


Benedictine Fund (Board designated) $2.2M

Dom Andrew Jenks with Anthony Bessinger ‘77 and Joseph Scanlan ‘77




Who has supported Portsmouth’s Capital Campaign?

Can anyone participate?

Alumni, parents and friends have generously funded the Campaign. All segments of the Portsmouth Abbey constituency have participated, and many new friends have stepped forward to aid the progress. The parents’ category includes parents of current students as well as parents of graduates. The School’s alumni have contributed over 60 percent of the funds raised to date. Foundation support has been an important catalyst for activity, particularly in connection with the renovation of the Abbey Church.

All members of the Portsmouth Abbey community are warmly welcome to participate in this important endeavor. The vast majority of people have participated in the Capital Campaign, or will do so, through support of the Annual Fund. This is appropriate as the Fund impacts every aspect of life at Portsmouth and truly touches any dimension that may be valued by an alumnus/a, parent or friend. Along with support of the Annual Fund, all are welcome to provide for the School’s long-term financial health through endowment gifts and to change the campus’s landscape by donating to capital projects.

Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School has expanded the School’s base of support. Eighty-nine individuals, families and foundations have made gifts of $50,000 or greater. These donations surpass $27.4M in value and equal 80 percent of total funds raised by the Campaign. Impressively, the results include 15 gifts of $500,000 or more and a leading Campaign donation of $5.5M – the largest gift ever donated to Portsmouth Abbey School. When will the Campaign conclude? A definitive closing date is not yet known, but the School anticipates that several more years remain before all goals are successfully achieved. Institutional progress, not pages on the calendar, is the primary factor that will determine the Campaign’s closure. What remains to be achieved in the Campaign? In the area of capital projects, several building projects remain. During 2011, the School anticipates that the construction of the boys’ dormitory will commence and several faculty families will move into new residences on campus. The remaining major building work is the construction of a new science center. A preliminary construction plan for the building is presently being reviewed, and a decision on the suitability of the concept is anticipated by mid-2011. The building may be the most significant construction project undertaken by Portsmouth Abbey. Beyond bricks and mortar, the School expects to fund at least one more endowed chair and to raise additional endowed scholarship funds, potentially in support of Portsmouth’s merit-based awards program. Finally, further Annual Fund growth remains fundamental to Portsmouth’s financial health. Optimally, the Annual Fund would underwrite 10 percent of yearly operating expenses, or approximately $600,000 more than the Fund’s $1.2M result. In total, the School anticipates that at least an additional $20M will be needed to successfully achieve the goals of Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School.

To discuss participating in of Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School, please contact Patrick Burke ‘86, assistant headmaster for development, or Senior Development Officers Anna Jones and Jamie MacGuire ‘70. Will successful completion of this effort impact Portsmouth’s future? The simple response is YES. Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School is designed to preserve and enhance our distinctive School and its ability to successfully fulfill its unique educational Mission. Under the banner of this broad goal, success will reinforce Portsmouth as a boarding school, provide increased resources to attract and retain highly qualified students and lay faculty, strengthen financial flexibility, and sustain and augment Portsmouth Abbey’s commitment to faith and reason grounded in a particular Catholic Benedictine ethos. In the months and years to come we look forward to shining an ever-brighter light on Growing in Knowledge & Grace: The Campaign for Portsmouth Abbey School. Through print and electronic media there will be numerous channels by which Portsmouth Abbey’s alumni, parents, and friends may stay current on the latest campaign news. Portsmouth Abbey’s Capital Campaign has produced consequential positive results for the School and Monastery; through ongoing efforts, this campaign will strengthen Portsmouth Abbey as a place of unbounded and enduring achievement. – Patrick J. Burke ‘86, Assistant Headmaster for Development



BOOK REVIE W Last Night’s Fun by Ciaran Carson Review by Bowen Smith, Head of History Department


For devotees of Irish traditional music, the seisiún quest never ends. I half recall nights in New York when the search for that perfect confluence of instrumental knack and transcendent craic drummed me on, bodhrán case over my shoulder, through four boroughs, a carousel of pubs, and close calls with less disciplined addicts on deserted subway platforms before ending with a mazurka or Kerry slide by the light of English smokes in some shuttered East Village dive at sunrise. The restless romance of it all I wrote off as unwritable until I found Ciarán Carson’s evocative Last Night’s Fun: In and Out of Time With Irish Music.

Carson, the celebrated Belfast poet, ambitious translator of the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, and wandering prisoner of an Alexander Liddle D’Almaine flute of mid-Victorian lathing transports us into the psyche of the trad player via a train of sensory impressions so vivid we often lose our balance and slip deep into memories of our own. Fittingly, somehow, Carson’s nocturne begins at its inevitable end... with breakfast: We will contemplate it briefly before eating it: the wavy bacon and the frilly-crisp, flipped-over eggs; the puckered burst seams of the sausages; the milk-tooth bits of fat in the black pudding. It all glistens under a glaze of melted lard, ornamented by the fadge and soda cut in neat triangles. Tendrils of steam rise from the six odd cups. No words are spoken as we ruminate and gulp. Then plates are pushed away, cigarettes lit. Like the seemingly rigid mathematics of jigs and reels, the ancient laws of the fry contain infinite wiggle room for subtle local variation, improvisation and art. Carson knows better than to try to define the essence of this tradition passed down aurally from one generation to the next and realized in impromptu seisiúns in bar banquettes, family kitchens and high streets around the Irish globe. In his fascinating riff on Pascal’s Pensées, “The Stan-


dard,” he assures us that “1. There is no standard.” An excerpt of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s exacting guide for adjudicating competitions follows immediately to remind us that this hybrid disco music of the Georgian Age stays frisky on a liquid diet of paradox. For clarity here, we might try the venerable musicologists Francis O’Neill and Breandán Breathnach; but our poet swims the Mystery at midnight. This sensibility and the pungent verbal videography that pours from it entice us into his clock-defying uprising. We live music in the moment and in memory simultaneously. So, Carson’s “Marking Time” clobbers the calendar and leads us in through the back of O’Looney’s séibín, an overgrown, derelict Shell station near Miltown Malbay where the cognoscenti, by secret signs and passwords, have congregated for a prized post-festival seisiún. He guesses it’s 1980-something, the Guinness toucan in the promo declares it ‘53, and the turf fire haze beneath the starry holes in the thatch tastes centuries older. When are we? Beyond chronology, stimuli past and present trigger our synapses in rhythmic and harmonic communion: This is not an audience, but a gathering which invents its programme as it goes along, navigating through the night by dint of many pilots. And the lulls are purposeful, asterisks in time which point eight different ways, like the eight bars of a reel with all its variations. Contracts are made within these temporal nodes; the room becomes an internet. In his own compulsive pursuit of the true circle, Ciarán Carson has revealed the little illicit factories where Irish culture is actually made. Just don’t ask him to find them again in the daylight. Bowen Smith heads the History Department and uses Carson for medicinal purposes only with the Irish History Seminar.



David Allard Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, by Ruben Martinez. This book chronicles the lives of the Chavez, a large Mexican family from the Chiapas region of Mexico. Many of the members of this clan are trying desperately to cross the border from Mexico to the United States. This book chronicles the journeys of this family from life in southern Mexico to life in the United States as undocumented migrant workers. Through his investigation of one family, Martinez does an outstanding job describing the culture of undocumented workers in the United States. Rick Barron World Without End, by Ken Follett, set in the fictional English town of Kingsbridge during the 14th Century. The story revolves around a mystery over the death of the current king of England. It involves five characters who live in the town and are a part of initiating the town’s revival and the restoration of the Cathedral. The story explores the far- reaching impact that politics of the royal court and the church have on a small town and its people. The story follows the main characters’ lives from adolescence to adulthood as they live, learn, and discover the reason behind the king’s death. Michael Bonin The Motives of Eloquence, by Richard Lanham, my old teacher at UCLA. Though it is a study of Renaissance literary style in works by Shakespeare, Castiglione, and Rabelais, what makes this a great book is Lanham’s engaging description of “the rhetorical ideal of life.” By this he means the intense training in (and appreciation for) the word, which lay at the heart of humanistic education, literature, and leadership from the Greeks and Romans all the way up through the 19th Century. Lanham himself is that rare creature, a scholar who is a pleasure to read. Patrick Burke ‘86 Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow – A onevolume cradle-to-grave portrait of George Washington by the noted biographer. The story takes us through the formative events of America’s founding in a manner that is familiar, but also new. Derek Gittus After completing my master’s degree, and all of the mandatory reading that went with it, I am enjoying getting back to books that have been gathering dust on my shelves. My long-term goal is to read all eight volumes that make up the Oxford History of the United States. I’ve already read two of them, and I am currently working on Robert Middlekauf’s The Glorious Cause: the American Revolution 1763-1789. All of the authors in this series strive to write scholarly narrative works that are also accessible to popular audiences. I would say that they have succeeded, because they are quick reads for such voluminous works. Roberto Guerenabarrena Potosi 1600, by Ramon Rocha Monroy. A mix of history and fiction from colonial times in Bolivia.

J. Clifford Hobbins Recently I have been blessed with some excellent reading material: The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II - The Victory of Freedom, and the Last Years, the Legacy, by George Weigel. George Weigel does an outstanding job in this second volume of his biography of Pope John Paul II. There are so many ways to read this work. The theologian, the philosopher, the historian, the Christian, and the person interested in religion will all find satisfaction in fascinating book. Take a tip from old Cliff: Anything that George Weigel writes, read. You won’t be sorry. Among the Mad, by Jacqueline Winspear. If you love the works of P.D. James, you will love the works of Jacqueline Winspear. Set in post-World War I England, this is a first-rate mystery. Our heroine Maisie Dobbs gets her man and prevents a first-class tragedy from devastating London. I loved it! I hope you do, too. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. How many books can a person read about the Civil War and Old Abe before the person becomes catatonic? Well, I don’t know, but if that person doesn’t read the above, he is missing one of the truly great works of history and biography that has been written. I started this book with a certain amount of skepticism, but it has caught hold of me and I can’t let it go, and it won’t let me go! Bravo, Ms. Goodwin! Joshua Horsch The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, by Alex Ross. This book, a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction, is a voyage into the labyrinth of modern music. The narrative goes from Vienna before WWI to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. It follows the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. The end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music. The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow – The three central questions of philosophy and science: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other? No one can make a discussion of such matters as compulsively readable as the celebrated University of Cambridge cosmologist Hawking (A Brief History of Time). Jamie MacGuire The Catholicism of Shakespeare’s Plays, by Peter Milward, S.J., in preparation for the 2011 Portsmouth Institute on The Catholic Shakespeare? Fr. Milward reassesses The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear and The Winter’s Tale in light of the accumulating scholarship in recent decades that Shakespeare’s “Lost Years” were probably spent



in part as a tutor at Houghton Hall in Lancashire, a Catholic stronghold, and may imply Shakespeare’s Catholic allegiance. Mary McDonald Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese – The story of twin boys, born of a nun at a Catholic missionary hospital in Addis Ababa and raised by their adoptive parents, Indian physicians living and working at the hospital (referred to by the natives as Missing Hospital). The story begins in 1947 with the mother leaving Kerela, India, to serve as a nurse-missionary in Africa, and continues into the adulthood of the twins. It is a rich and marvelous novel.

RECENT READING IN THE MONASTERY The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church, by John L. Allen, Jr. John Henry Newman, by Avery Dulles America’s Bishop: The Life & Times of Fulton J. Sheen, by Thomas Reeves Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens, by Jerome Loving Churchill, by Paul Johnson

Nick Micheletti I am reading the The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s pretty good. Murder, clues, Dr. Watson, and maybe (but probably not) a giant demonic hound. It takes place on a moor, which I’ve since gathered is some kind of gloomy swampland. It’s a 7 out of 10. If you want a 10 out of 10 try The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, by Michael Chabon.

Dom Damian Theatre & Religion: Lancastrian Shakespeare (Eds Dutton, Findlay, Wilson) – This important collection of essays focuses on the place of Roman Catholicism in early modern England, bringing new perspectives to bear on the question of whether Shakespeare himself was Catholic.

Bob Rainwater I alternate between classics and modern popular stuff. During the past summer, (summer is when I get to do most of my reading), I read The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck – the life of a farmer and his family in rural China in the early 20th century. I recently finished Le Rouge et Le Noir, by Stendhal – the adventures of a talented young man in the France of 1830. Next, I plan to read the recently published Towers of Midnight, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson – a sword-and-sorcery fantasy adventure in an imaginary world. My nephew got me started on Robert Jordan’s books. I try to read at least some of what my children and students are into.

All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time, by Robert Ellsberg. This praised and best-selling daily reader presents comprehensive bios of 365 saints and spiritual masters from Christianity and other faith traditions – men and women, ancient and contemporary, who gave themselves completely to their vocations.

Christine Sahms Illegal, by Terry Greene Sterling. Sterling, a bilingual Arizonian gringo journalist, explores Arizona’s immigration war.

Father Ambrose I’m reading the novels of Paul Horgan, a 20th-C. American author. Whether the characters are from Buffalo or Santa Fe – whether they be cowboys, Indians, or West Point cadets – they portray the powerful richness of humankind at its fullest, noblest.

Kale Zelden The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember, by Nicholas Carr – a sobering take on the use of technology, especially the Internet and “smart” phones and what they do to our brains. Most apologists maintain that technology remains a delivery device. Carr suggests, with a chapter on neuro-plasticity, that the Internet (and the kind of reading it fosters: superficial skimming, then on to the next click) actually alters the way in which we think. Climbing Mount Parnassus, by Tracy Lee Simmons – an apologia for the continued vitality of the classics in educational formation. Harry Potter (again) – I read them at night before I fall asleep. They get better the more I read them. Fred Zilian Greeks and Romans Bearing Gifts: How the Ancients Inspired the Founding Fathers, by Carl Richard. Not only ancient Athens, but also ancient Sparta and, more than either, the Roman Republic served to inform and to caution the founding fathers. Geri Zilian The Widower’s Tale, by Julia Glass. A story of family and relationships, told with humor, pathos and enormous insight. Seventyyear-old widower Percy Darling, a retired librarian who lives in an upscale historic Massachusetts town, cherishes his family but comes to learn that the world is changing a bit too quickly for him. Some very interesting characters, plus Percy’s two adult daughters struggle to understand one another through life’s unexpected complications. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking read.


Shakespeare, by Michael Wood

Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger – A collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger released in April 1953. It includes two of his most famous short stories, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor.”

I especially like the Richard series: Everything to Live for, Things as They Are, and Thin Mountain Air – yes, a trilogy! Currently, I’m reading A Distant Trumpet. Dom Edmund Adams The Wine of Certitude (A Literary Biography of Ronald Knox), by David Rooney. Excellent. Joseph Andrews (1747), by Henry Fielding; re-re-reading it! Pringle’s 1939, two-volume biography of William Howard Taft. Extremely well done, despite being as large as its subject. Benedict XVI: Church Fathers and Teachers from Leo the Great to Peter Lombard - The fourth collection of Benedict’s weekly talks on Scripture and Patristics. Fr. Julian Essential Writings, by Chiara Lubich; excellent practical advice. The Ulysses Flight, by Paul Wankowicz ‘43 – A classmate of mine (‘43) published this year a thriller with great historical and human interest, about WWII in the Pacific immediately after Pearl Harbor. Jesus Shock, by Peter Kreeft (who lectured here at the 2010 Portsmouth Institute). A concise (160-page) masterpiece. For example, on the subject of “ essential human need,” he writes, “Our world is rich, efficient, powerful, clever, knowledgeable – and ugly.” That led me to John Saward’s The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty.



when girls joined the ranks of Portsmouth Abbey student-athletes... PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT PETERSON

by Mindy Urick, Assistant Director of Athletics

In 1991, the first year Burke ‘86) had the of coeducation, there opportunity to coach were few options for the very first Lady female students to play Ravens’ basketball sports at Portsmouth and softball teams. Abbey. The 14 memThe first girls’ soccer team in the fall of 1991 Although the teams bers of the first girls’ socwent into every game as cer team did not have uniforms – they wore old football jerseys the definitive underdogs, the imbalance of talent never crushed and gym shorts. The girls on the first basketball team told the their spirits. The first girls to attend the Abbey knew they were coach their preferences of playing offense or defense. In the special, knew they were making history, knew it was going to fall of 1991, the boys’ locker rooms had no walls. The “rooms” be difficult, and knew that in order to overcome the daily chalwhere male athletes changed and showered after practice were lenges, they had to stick together and support each other in evwide open and situated directly alongside a co-ed walkway ery facet of the School. Mrs. Burke distinctly remembers the caleading to the fields. Male athletes in their most vulnerable maraderie, solidarity and work ethic amongst the players on her state lay victim to a great many pranks pulled by devious female teams. “We worked on defense, as any potential offense comes athletes on their way to and from soccer or basketball practice. off of a good defense. Wow – could these girls play a mean 2-3 zone! This group of 13 girls learned how to defend their area, A few short years later, in 1994, the very first girls’ varsity basand certainly how to be aggressive... the smiles on their faces ketball team took the court with a Third Former named Kim when they scored a basket was priceless.” For these girls, sucTaylor leading the charge. Many people called this team young cess did not lie in their win-loss record, but in their individual and inexperienced; however, by the time Taylor graduated in achievements and in reaching their goals along the way. 1997, she was the recipient of back-to-back MVP recognitions, as well as All-League, All-State and New England Prep All-Star awards - not to mention she set a career points record that has not been broken to this day. In those early years of coeducation, Kim and her teammates not only established a solid foundation for girls’ athletics at Portsmouth Abbey School, but they also set a standard of excellence for their successors to emulate. Taylor recently reflected on the progression of girls’ sports at the Abbey: “It’s truly exciting to hear how dominant the girls’ programs are at the Abbey now. I remember what it was like when we were the underdogs each season. In some sports, we barely had enough girls to field a team!” Kathleen Burke, a former Portsmouth Abbey admissions officer (and wife of Assistant Headmaster for Development, Patrick

This is not to say that these girls were not competitors! Numerous members of the first few classes of females went on to play sports at a very high level in college. Heather Hawes (now Heather Dwyer), a three-sport athlete in the class of 1996, played both lacrosse and field hockey at Bowdoin College where, according to James Caton, the sports information director, “She was one of the best athletes in the history of the women’s lacrosse program.” While there, Heather garnered multiple All-American honors, numerous All-New England honors, as well as 1st Team All-NESCAC and NESCAC Player of the Year awards. Standout runner Audrey Shea (now Audrey McKernan), class of 1994, competed on both the cross- country and track teams at the Abbey. In high school, Audrey earned



when girls joined the ranks... cont’d.

All-New England status and won the mile event at the NEPSTA Championships. She continued her career running at the Division I level at the University of Connecticut. After leading the Portsmouth Abbey varsity girls’ basketball team through its first four years, Kim Taylor then proceeded to play basketball for four years at Davidson College. Kim currently continues to find ways to teach young girls the importance of athletics in their lives. During a speech she gave last spring to both the Sixth Form athletes and the captains-elect, she described her volunteer work with an orphanage in Honduras, and how she helps underprivileged girls find “their inner athlete.” With the inclusion of girls into the athletics department, Portsmouth Abbey began to undergo many changes, both physical and philosophical. Four new playing fields were cleared of trees and made level. The visiting football team locker room was divided into several smaller girls’ locker rooms and bathroom facilities. The downstairs gymnasium became the new home for the girls’ basketball team. Additionally, the administration prioritized the hiring of female faculty to serve as dorm parents and coaches. With space to play in, women to coach them, and the support of the administration, their parents, and the faculty, the girls on campus took a vested interest in not only playing sports, but working hard to constantly improve. By 1996, both the girls’ soccer and girls’ lacrosse teams captured the Southeast New England (SENE) League Championship, while the girls’ lacrosse team repeated their title for the next three years. The girls’ track team wore the SENE crown from 2002-2007, and the softball team reigned as back-to-back champs in 2004 and 2005. In fact, the girls’ track team won the New England Division III Track & Field Championships in only their eighth season of competition in 1999, and followed up with an undefeated season and another New England championship in 2000 after the School built a track in the summer of 1999. Abbey girls captured a third track & field title in 2004.

teams have an opportunity to play in a league, participate in post-season tournaments, and be recognized with league honors. Both Olivia Fay (cross-country, 2007) and Kathleen Timmons (basketball, 2010) earned EIL Player of the Year honors for their exemplary performance throughout their seasons. Last winter, Mrs. Burke walked into the gymnasium with her daughter, Caitlin, a middle schooler and basketball player. There she found Elizabeth Benestad, the current varsity girls’ basketball coach, sitting with her team on a Sunday afternoon breaking down film of their last game and preparing for their upcoming competition with the Lincoln School. Even though it was early in the season, the team was going into every game knowing that if they played well enough, they had a good chance of making the New England Basketball Tournament; the team was both focused and determined to make it happen. Overcome with a sense of pride, Mrs. Burke asked if she could address the team. She thought it pertinent to make the girls aware of how far the program has come since the early nineties, and give them a sense of the larger picture. She explained how her first basketball team was a group of, “smart, strong, supportive, feisty, fun pioneers.” Thirteen girls composed her team, only one of whom had ever played before. “Each [member of the faculty] asked so much of these girls, and in return, they delivered.” The current team gained some perspective from Mrs. Burke’s words, and had a much better understanding of how they fit into the history and tradition of the program. Although the girls’ basketball team was not chosen to play in the New England Tournament last winter, they have won three consecutive Eastern Independent League championships; Sixth Former Kathleen Timmons was awarded EIL MVP honors in 2010, tied Kim Taylor’s career points record, and is currently attending Trinity College, where she will play both basketball and lacrosse.

In 2007, Portsmouth Abbey left the SENE and officially became a member of the Eastern Independent League (EIL) with athletically similar schools in the Boston area. This transition was especially beneficial for girls’ sports; now more than ever, girls’ The members of the girls’ cross- country team in the fall of 1994



The face of athletics at Portsmouth Abbey has significantly transformed since the inclusion of girls in 1991. However, the spirit, the determination, the glowing smiles, the increased confidence, and the innumerable successes of the Lady Ravens remain unchanged 20 years later.

fall 2010 awards

Cross-Country Boys’ Coaches Award: Ed Kielb ‘11 MIP: Joe Yates ‘13 Captains-Elect: Peter Geraghty ‘12, Will Parsons ‘12 Overall Record: 11-5; EIL: 6-2 (3rd place, EIL Championships) Girls’ Coaches Award: Kaitlin Patton ‘12 MIP: Ligia Vela ‘11 Captains-Elect: Ceara Bowman ‘12, Broghan Zwack ‘12 Overall Record: 10-6; EIL: 5-4 (4th Place, EIL Championships) Field Hockey Field Hockey Trophy: Tiernan Barry ‘11 MIP: Jesse Bessinger ‘12 Captains-Elect: Sarah Auer ‘12, Taryn Murphy ‘12, Kelly Plageman ‘12 Overall Record: 4-11; EIL: 4-5 Football John M. Hogan Football Trophy: Nicholas Albertson ‘11 MIP (Coen Award): Henry Mullen ‘11 Captains-Elect: Matt Brigham ‘12, Doel Jarosiewicz ‘12, Drake Kreinz ‘12, James McField ‘12 Evergreen Conference Record: 5-3 Boys’ Soccer Williams Franklin Sands Memorial Soccer Trophy: Daniel Welch ‘11 MIP: Connor Kelley ‘12 Captains-Elect: Fergus O’Farrell ‘12, Dylan Pexton ‘12 Overall Record: 8-8-3; EIL: 8-5-3

Ed Kielb’ 11 received the Coaches Award for crosscountry and rounded out the fall season with All-League and All-New England honors.

Junior Varsity Awards The Portsmouth Abbey Junior Varsity Award is presented to the team member who best exemplifies the spirit of Abbey athletics. The award recognizes hard work, individual improvement, sportsmanship and a willingness to do what is best for the team. Boys’ Cross-Country: Peter Barlow ‘13 Girls’ Cross-Country: Dorothy Dickmann ‘13 Field Hockey: Joanna Grabert ‘12 Football: Sean Knowlan ‘13 Boys’ JVA Soccer: Alejandro Vinas ‘12 Boys’ JVB Soccer: Connor Wray ‘14 Girls’ JV Soccer: Amelia Gray ‘12

Girls’ Soccer Girls’ Soccer Trophy: Brigid Behan ‘11 MIP: Annie Kirscht ‘13 Captains-Elect: Devon Hogan ‘12, Caitlin Villareal ‘12 Overall Record: 9-7; EIL: 8-2 Boys’ Golf Boys’ Golf Trophy: Chris Correia ‘11 MIP: Garin Tracy ‘13 Captains-Elect: Darren Colbourne ‘12, Phil Rizzuto ‘12 EIL Record: 13-2 (Tri-Champs, Regular Season; 3rd place, EIL Tournament) EIL Coach of the Year: Shane McCarthy

All-League player and trophy recipient Tiernan Barry ‘11 connects with the ball in a fall season match against Newton Country Day, while teammate Catherine Fairhurst ‘11 is ready to assist.

Photos by Louis Walker:



fall 2010 awards

Boys’ Cross-Country Ed Kielb’ 11: All-League and All-New England Jake Flynn ‘11: Honorable Mention Andrew Sgarro ‘11: Honorable Mention Girls’ Cross-Country Kaitlin Patton ‘11: All-League and All New-England Sara Stratoberdha ‘11: Honorable Mention Field Hockey Tiernan Barry ‘11: All-League Kelly Plageman ‘12: All-League Callie Taylor ‘13: Honorable Mention Boys’ Soccer Coleman Clark ‘13: All-League Fergus O’Farrell ‘12: All-League Dan Welch ‘11: All-League, Providence Journal Independent All-State East vs. West Prep All-Star Game Adam Crimmins ‘11: Honorable Mention Chris Weber ‘11: Honorable Mention Girls’ Soccer Jasmin Amaral ‘11: All-League Brigid Behan ‘11: All-League, Providence Journal Independent All-State Katie Sgarro ‘11: All-League Epi Minondo ‘11: Honorable Mention Maddie Savoie ‘11: Honorable Mention Tori Sgarro ‘11: Honorable Mention Boys’ Golf Chris Correia ‘11: All-League, Providence Journal Independent All-State Darren Colbourne ‘12: All-League Jeff Heath ‘12: Honorable Mention Phil Rizzuto ‘12: Honorable Mention EIL Coach of the Year: Shane McCarthy EVERGREEN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE ALL-LEAGUE SELECTIONS Nick Albertson ‘11: All-League, Providence Journal Independent All-State Matt Brigham ‘12: All-League, Providence Journal Independent All-State Liam O’Farrell ‘11: All-League Donovan Reyes ‘11: All-League Mitch Green ‘11: Honorable Mention Doel Jarosiewicz ‘12: Honorable Mention Ogochukwu Obijiofor ‘13: Honorable Mention Photos: Top, All-League golfer Darren Colbourne ‘12 studies the green during an EIL match vs. Concord Academy Middle, All-League and Providence Journal Independent All-State running back Matt Brigham ‘12 carries the ball for the Ravens vs. Dexter School in November Bottom, student-made posters for the VI Form football players at the final home game

Visit our athletics photo gallery at gallery PAGE 48


Photos by Louis Walker:


alumni spotlight B  JAIME WILSON ‘72

Justin Richards and Jaime Wilson at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Celebration of Life event.

BELIEVE IN MIRACLES Jaime Wilson ‘72 Gives the Gift of Life by Tom Anderson ‘73

The embrace that lasted minutes seemed like an eternity. Donor and recipient locked in an emotional, back-clapping clasp of heartfelt gratitude, with the recipient repeatedly uttering the tearful words “thank you” in front of a well-attended press conference of family, friends, hospital staff, four television crews and members of the print media at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. It’s May 2010 and this gathering came to celebrate the greatest gift of all – the selfless donation of one’s bone marrow to save the life of the recipient who had been battling cancer since he was five years old. One can hardly imagine the circumstances that brought together Jaime Wilson ’72, donor, and Justin Richards, recipient, a precocious and fun-loving teenager who was in his third recurrence of acute lymphatic lymphoma, or ALL, a form of cancer. And the time it took for them to finally meet this fine day in May. The story actually starts 12 years earlier, in February 1998, when Jaime and his family responded to a call to action in his community. A fellow Bishop Hendricken High School student of Jaime’s son, Scott ‘01, was diagnosed with cancer and a drive was mounted to register members of the community as bone marrow transplant donors. A quick swabbing of the inside of the cheek is all that is required to register in the National Marrow Donor Program (www.bethematch. com) which then becomes the lifeline to those who desperately need a bone marrow transplant to save their lives. While Jaime didn’t prove to be a suitable donor for the afflicted student, Patrick Lynch, Patrick eventually found a donor and today he is married, with children and is leading a normal, healthy life. Fast- forward to July 2007 and a telephone call comes to the Wilson household while Jaime is out having dinner with his wife, Debbie. The call is from the Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) requesting whether Jaime was still interested in being a bone marrow donor. Since the donation process is completely anonymous, all Jaime was told about the recipient was that he was a 15-year-old male living somewhere in

the world who needed a bone marrow transplant. Jaime responded to this appeal, and over the next several months he engaged in in-depth interviews, extensive physical testing and examinations while being given the option by the RIBC to bow out at any time. But as Jaime explains it, after the repeated interviews and testing, one knows there is another life on the other end depending on him to finish what he’s started. Once the final commitment of the donor is made, the recipient, in this case 15-year-old Justin, begins a set of week-long procedures in Phoenix that break down his immune system to afford him the best chance to receive the transplant and avoid rejection, known as graft vs. host disease. On October 18, 2007, Justin Richards, with a 10% chance of surviving before the transplant, received a new lease on life – he was treated with the life-saving bone marrow from a 55-yr-old devoted husband and father from Rhode Island, “A genetic match made in heaven,” as Jaime describes it. After the transplant and months of being quarantined to stave off the risk of infection, Justin made steady progress and the transplant took, much to the delight of his parents, Geri and John, and only sibling, Jennifer. After 13 years of recurring bouts of cancer, Justin was beginning to recover and lead a more normal life. As Jaime tells the story, he feels he is no life-saving hero. In a matter-of- fact manner, he did what he felt was right, pure and simple. Patients like Justin lead heroic lives, enduring sickness over insurmountable odds. Rather, the real story is getting the word out to thousands and millions of people about the importance of registering as a potential bone marrow donor and offering life- saving hope for thousands of cancer and anemia patients. There are misunderstandings among the public about bone marrow donation as a painful process with a long recovery. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, there are two primary ways to make a bone marrow donation from healthy donors. The more commonly known procedure (but used only 20% of the time) is the bone



alumni spotlight B   JAIME WILSON ‘72

Below: Jennifer, Geri, Justin and John Richards with Jaime and Debbie Wilson at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Celebration of Life event.

marrow harvest which takes place in a hospital operating room, usually under general anesthesia. A needle is inserted into the cavity of the hip bone, or “iliac crest,” where a large quantity of bone marrow is located. Several skin punctures are usually required in both hips to extract the requisite bone marrow for transplantation purposes. While the amount of bone marrow harvested depends on the size of the recipient, it is usually no more than 2% of one’s bone marrow, which the body of the healthy donor quickly replaces in about four weeks. Donors may only spend an overnight in the hospital and quickly recover from the discomfort at the harvest site in a few days to resume normal activities. Most marrow donors are back to their normal activities in two to seven days.

The more frequently used (approx. 80%) and less traumatic procedure, peripheral blood stem cell transplant, or PBSCT, is a procedure not unlike a blood transfusion and is the procedure Jamie went through. The week prior to the stem cell harvest, the donor is subjected to a series of injections that stimulate the immune system. On the day of the harvest procedure, a continuous intravenous (I.V.) line is administered in both arms, and blood is taken out of the body, harvested for its stem cells, and the remaining blood products are then returned to the donor’s body. After six hours of the procedure, enough stem cells are harvested for the transplant. This may be either a one-or two-day process. After the procedure, the donor feels a bit fatigued, with cold-like symptoms which quickly resolve in a couple of days. Today, PBSC transplants now outnumber the traditional hip extraction by almost four to one. There are almost eight million names in the National Marrow Donor Program database. Approximately 20,000 transplants (bone marrow, PBSC, or cord blood transplants) are performed annually worldwide, and approximately 4,800 patients are transplanted annually using unrelated donors or cord blood units through the National Marrow Donor Program® and its Be The Match Registry. Still, 70% of potential recipients who need a bone marrow transplant can’t find suitable donors. Justin is lucky to have Jaime as a donor.


In January 2010, Jamie and Debbie were in Florida on vacation with friends when he received another call from the RIBC. “Would you like to make contact with recipient?” the voice on the other end of the phone asked. With non-related donors, bone marrow donation is an anonymous process where names of donors and recipients are not mutually disclosed. Since the harvest procedure, Jaime had no idea whether the recipient was alive or not. “Charlie,” the name Jaime and his family gave the anonymous recipient, was alive and doing very well. He immediately accepted the opportunity to make contact. After a number of emotional telephone calls to the Richards residence in Phoenix, and through the Banner Healthcare Group, Jaime and Debbie were invited to meet Justin and his family at the Celebration of Life event at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center held on May 2, 2010. As they embraced for the first time, Justin handed Jaime a letter that Jaime had written to him the night prior to the marrow donation. The last line of the letter spoke of praying that his bone marrow was “the right stuff ” – apparently, it was. Today Justin is a living away from home for the first time ever, attending the University of Arizona in Tucson and experiencing all of the excitement of being a freshman student in college. As Jaime shared so eloquently in his speech, “Justin, it is perhaps I who have received the greatest gift of all. I am blessed to have made a difference, saved a life, and added purpose to my own life.” Justin presented Jaime with a beautiful platter that he and his mom made depicting a starfish and cactus, symbolizing the two states in which Jamie and Justin reside. The inscription on the platter reads, “BELIEVE IN MIRACLES – October 18, 2007.” When asked when his birthday is, Justin simply responded, “I have two birthdays, but my real birthday is October 18, 2007.” For more information about being a bone marrow donor and how you can make a difference in a person’s life: National Marrow Donor Program: ( Rhode Island Blood Center: ( For more information about bone marrow transplantation: National Institutes of Health: article/003009.htm Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center: dept/medicine/bonemarrow/bmtinfo.html National Cancer Institute: factsheet/Therapy/bone-marrow-transplant


This plate, handmade and painted by Justin and his mother, Geri, was given as gift to Jaime. The starfish represents Jaime’s connection with Rhode Island and the cactus with Justin’s life in Arizona. The cross signifies the Richards’ thankfulness and abiding faith that somewhere a miracle would, in fact, save Justin’s life. The National Bone Marrow Donor program became the conduit for that miracle.


Fred Aziz ‘93 married Babylonia Marcus in 2010

Sean ‘89 and Rebecca Spicer’s daughter, Kathryn Rigby

1989 A girl, Kathryn Rigby, to Sean and Rebecca Spicer January 3, 2011 1995 A girl, Madeline Grace, to John and Brandi Foley September 14, 2010 A boy, Stefan Londono, to Amanda and Alvaro ’96 Londono August 18, 2010 A girl, Siena Valentina, to John and Marina Plummer June 15, 2010 1996 A boy, Gregory Ammon, to Bernadette (Pine) and Gregory Cizin September 19, 2009 A girl, Norah Odille, to Jessy (Berretto) and Adam ’95 Donaldson May 22, 2010 Gregory Ammon, born to Bernadette (Pine) ‘96 and Gregory Cizin


1998 A girl, Micaiah Jordyn-Inez, to Alandra VanDross July 13, 2010

1980 A boy, Jack Hurley, to John and Erin White August 28, 2010

1999 A boy, Wyatt Christopher, to Justine (Reeber) and Chris Button September 18, 2010

1985 A boy, Jack Kenneth, to Charlie and Kim Murphy July 7, 2010

A boy, Jacob, to Candice McCarthy July 12, 2010


1976 Frank Tietje to Margaret Madigan July 18, 2010 1987 Michael Riordan to Kathleen Gallagher October 10, 2010 1993 Fred Aziz to Babylonia Marcus April 2010 1997 Meghan Pettit Cooper to Brian Louis Beaupre July 10, 2010 Marika J. Kamimura to Peter Hand September 30, 2010

2002 A girl, Parker Cecelia Helie, to Erin Sullivan and Law Helie April 6, 2010 A girl, Piper Elizabeth, to Mia (Vachon) and Reed Choate May 19, 2010

Faculty/Staff A girl, Lindsay Anne Baker, to Aileen and Brian Baker September 24, 2010

Lindsay Anne Baker, daughter of Aileen and Brian

A girl, Siena L. Mitchell-Chenoweth, to Clarence Chenoweth and Rhonda Mitchell January 30, 2011


Jason Weida ‘98 married Kyley Wallace Lyon in June of 2010



The wedding of Frank Teitje‘76 to Margaret Madigan on Cape Cod included, from left, Mary and Ted ‘76 Mahoney, Nick Murray ‘76, Margaret and Frank, and Elizabeth and Joe Gallagher ‘77.

Angela Chen, Kat Maltarp, Marika Kamimura, Triona Mahon, and Patrick Walters, all from the class of ‘97, at Marika’s wedding

Alexandra Monti ‘02 on her wedding day in November

2001 John T. Kraper to Emily Page Culp September 18, 2010 Elisabeth LePage to Sean Mohammed September 18, 2010 Fernando Kriete to Stephanie Keilhauer January 15, 2011

Below: French teacher Christa McDougall’s wedding to Chris Vaughan included, l-r, Nick and Polly Antol, Liz Cotta, Clarence Chenoweth, Nancy Brzys, Cecilia Schilling, Christa and Chris, Cliff Hobbins, Megan Williams and Erica Hoff


2002 Alexandra Monti to J. Doug Nisbet III November 6, 2010

FACULTY Christa McDougall to Christopher Vaughan November 13, 2010

Below: Newlyweds John Kraper ‘01 and Emily Page Culp



NECROLOGY Patricia E. Almon Grandmother of Robert ’10 and Madeline ’11 Savoie September 11, 2010 Andre J. De Bethune Friend October 30, 2010 Diane C. Bonanno Mother of Philip C. Bonanno, Jr. ’88 October 27, 2010 Elizabeth H. Bonner Mother of Emmett ’64 and Mark ’65 Bonner September 30, 2010 William Harrison Brown Father of Alfred W. Brown, Director of Athletics January 7, 2011 Geoffrey M. Coughlin ’78 April 1, 2010 Henry P. “Hank” Dougherty ‘55 Brother of Louis J. Dougherty ‘45 K Father of Lauren Palik ‘95 January 14, 2011 Louis J. Dougherty ’45 Brother of Henry P. Dougherty ’55 K September 19, 2010 Marco DiMare Brother of Thomas DiMare ‘11 December 1, 2010 Rosemary B. Fagan Former Faculty Member Wife of Peter S. Fagan ’55 Mother of Keith L. Fagan ’85 Aunt of Robert L. Rohn ’79 November 19, 2010 Barbara L. Furtado Friend January 5, 2011

Mary A. Gleason Grandmother of Thomas ’05, Gus ’07, and Luke ’10 Gleason and Cornelia Vaillancourt ’07 December 7, 2010 Margaret Vanderpool Grace Wife of Charles M. Grace ’47 Mother of Charles ’74 and James ’77 Grace Sister of Jerry Vanderpool ’53 K July 2, 2009 William P. Holowesko Father of Mark ’78, William ’84 and Stephen ’85 Holowesko Grandfather of Christopher Dunkley ’02, Ashley Hall ’05, Geoffrey ’07 and Christopher ’10 Larson November 12, 2010 Peter Huntley-Robertson Father of Stephen ’79 and Andrew ’81 Huntley-Robertson September 5, 2010 William E.D. Jantzen, Sr. ’41 April 13, 2010 Beatrice G. Kearney Wife of Pierce M. Kearney ’44 Mother of Nicholas Kearney ’86 Sister-in-law of Dom Damian ’45, Edward ’45 K, Gerald ’48 K, and David ’50 Kearney July 27, 2010

David Pickman ’37 Father of David E. Pickman ’66 July 4, 2010 John M. Regan, Jr. Father of Mac ’68, Peter ’71 and Chris ’73 Regan Grandfather of Caroline E. Regan ’07 January 10, 2011 Andrew H. Robinson Father of Joseph ’74 and John ’79 Robinson October 8, 2010 James M. Shriver, Jr. ’45 September 27, 2010 Cousin of Clinton ‘41, Bernard ‘44 and Charles Macsherry Edna R. Soraghan Grandmother of Clayton ’89 and Edward ’85 English and Robert Poirier ’90 September 21, 2010 Cortlandt M. Van Winkle Brother of Dom Leo Van Winkle, O.S.B., ’39 K August 16, 2010 John M. White ’43 Brother of Francis ’41 and Ronald ’52 White December 18, 2010

Molly L. McKenna Daughter of Timothy ’76 and Mary Ellen McKenna Niece of Paul ’71, Stephen ’79 and Robert ’82 McKenna Cousin of Paul McKenna ’01 October 4, 2010 Iren A. Pantaleo Grandmother of Taryn E. Murphy ’12 October 20, 2010 Amado A. Pereira Father of Kathy ‘08 January 6, 2011




Rosemary at Portsmouth Abbey Commencement exercises in 2006.

Rosemary Fagan P ‘85

Neighborhood Association in Newport. She was an active member of St. Joseph’s Parish and volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister at Newport Hospital. She also became involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She was an avid gardener and tennis player, and loved being in the company of her grandchildren.  Rosemary was also proud of her military lineage, and valued tradition, respect, and service to others, qualities she felt Portsmouth Abbey imbued in its students. Her grandfathers, Lt. Gen. Robert Lee Bullard and Brig. Gen. Edmund B. Bellinger, served in WWI. Both men, along with her father, were graduates of

Longtime Portsmouth Abbey faculty member Rosemary Fagan passed away in Newport, RI, on November 19, 2010, after a lengthy illness. Rosemary, who held the position of Study Skills Specialist at Portsmouth for 21 years and was a vibrant member of the School community for three decades, was the wife of Peter Fagan ‘55. Born in New York City, Rosemary was the daughter of the late Brig. Gen. John B. Bellinger and Rose (Bullard) Bellinger. She attended Eden Hall, a Sacred Heart boarding school outside Philadelphia, and Manhattanville College. She began her teaching career in New York City at St. David’s School and later taught at Rhode Island College. Rosemary’s long association with Portsmouth Abbey began in 1976, when Peter returned to School as assistant headmaster, admissions director, and head of the Summer Session. The Fagans lived on campus while Rosemary raised their three children and completed her master’s degree in education at Rhode Island College. She began tutoring students at Portsmouth and, in 1985, was offered the School’s first faculty position as Study Skills Specialist, a job she saw as “...multi-faceted; a coach, consultant and tutor to students, but as importantly, a listener and advisor to parents, and a resource and facilitator for teachers and administrators.” Rosemary was also a big supporter of the School’s decision to become coeducational in 1991. “With the addition of girls,” she recalled, “the School has grown in positive, gender-neutral ways that otherwise would not have been possible.” Rosemary retired from Portsmouth Abbey’s faculty in 2006. “During her three decades on campus, Rosemary was a source of understanding and compassion for our students and an unfailing example of these virtues to her colleagues,” said Headmaster Jim DeVecchi. “Her presence as a skilled mentor and student advocate was deeply appreciated by the students and their parents, and her wit, charm and good humor were legendary; she was indeed full of life. She will be missed by all of us at the Abbey. The Fagans are a special part of our Abbey community, and our thoughts and prayers are with Peter and the Fagan family.” Dom Damian shared the following recollections: “One of Rosemary’s many memorable traits would have to be her cheerful disposition stemming from an always-positive outlook and a lively sense of humor. Who can forget her ability to smile and give a friendly greeting on any kind of day and at any time of day? To monks, faculty, staff and students, she invariably showed a genuine concern and desire to help in any way she could.” Rosie, as she was known to her many friends, was involved in a number of civic organizations, including the Top of the Hill


the U.S. Military Academy. Rosemary’s daughter, Hilary, said, “She had an uncanny ability to relate to people. She was social, empathetic and a great communicator. I have never met anyone who enjoyed life so much! She was completely engaged and seemed to enjoy whatever she set out to do. I will never forget how strong and brave she was in life, and throughout her final days.” “Being with Rosemary was energizing; she loved life and people,” said Peter. “Her faith in God was so strong that she often felt His presence by her side, especially the last months of her long illness. She never complained even when she was so terribly sick, and she encouraged her dear friend, Martha Cole, as she prepared for the full Ironman event to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Rosemary died just a few days after Martha completed the event). Former students came to the wake and spoke of how she had encouraged them to persevere and gave them the strategies to help them achieve success. Tennis friends came and described how she made every match fun even as she hammered them with her incredible net game.  Former colleagues, book club friends, neighbors, and extended family came to thank her for touching their lives. She inspired people to reach out to others and look for the good in one another. The beautiful service at the crowded Abbey church was a fitting tribute to a life filled with love and dedicated to service.” In addition to her husband of 44 years and her daughter, Hilary, of Providence, Rosemary is survived by her sons Keith, Class of 1985, of Boulder, CO, and Peter, Jr.; her grandchildren, Eric, Elizabeth, Harrison, Alexis, Maxwell and Lilah; and her brother, Edmund B. Bellinger of Staten Island, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in The Church of St. Gregory the Great at Portsmouth Abbey on December 18 with Abbot Caedmon Holmes, O.S.B., concelebrating. The Portsmouth Abbey School and Monastery mourns the passing of this compassionate, skilled member of our community, and we offer our most sincere condolences to the entire Fagan family.



David Pickman

James McSherry Shriver, Jr. ‘45

David Pickman, Class of 1937, died in Bedford, Mass., on July 4, 2010. He was 89.

James McSherry Shriver, Class of 1945, died September 27, 2010, in Maryland of injuries sustained in an auto accident. He was 82.

Born in Bedford, David attended Portsmouth Priory, graduating at the age of 16. He then spent a year at Phillips Exeter Academy before entering Harvard, where he studied English and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1942. While at Portsmouth, David played the clarinet in the orchestra, participated in dramatics, was a member of the Current Events Club, and played football, hockey and baseball. He was also a prefect.

Born on February 19, 1928, in Baltimore, Md., Jim was the son of the late James McSherry, Sr., and Helen Brogden Shriver. A fifthgeneration member of the Shriver family that has lived at Union Mills since 1797, Jim was raised at the Shriver family home in the Union Mills compound and lived there until his death.

David began his career with a brief stint at a chemical company in New York City. There he met his wife, Elizabeth Van Ausdel, at a church social gathering. The Pickmans returned to Bedford, where they raised six children. David worked as a reporter for several Boston-area newspapers, and as a reporter and editor for United Press International, before joining two public relations companies. He spent several years in the PR office of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and then became the community relations officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston, where he worked until his retirement in 1986. David was active in his later years, doing some freelance writing while volunteering as a writing coach at Bedford High School and a driver for Meals on Wheels. He also delved into local politics, gaining expertise in planning matters and working on the campaigns for John Volpe, who became Massachusetts governor, and Elliot Richardson, who was elected the state’s attorney general. A committed Republican, he switched parties in the late 1980s prior to the election of George H.W. Bush, having become disillusioned with Republican ideology. A lover of the written word, David was a prolific poet, writing both serious and funny poems for every occasion. He was a lifelong baseball fan, loved jazz and classical music, played the piano and clarinet, and enjoyed travel with his wife and friends. He loved meeting other people, and once took a cross-country bus trip to visit a son in British Columbia. David’s 61-year marriage ended with Elizabeth’s death in 2007. Extremely devoted to each other, they said the rosary together every night, and he wrote her countless poems over the years. “Retirement is bliss,” he penned in 1992. “I make a little music, read poetry, write haphazardly, fight nature, watch birds, raise a little money, play three-cushion billiards with an eminent historian, and, too infrequently, thank God.” “He enjoyed the adventure of life, each and every day,” said his son-in-law, Ted Monahan. “He was a serene and knowledgeable man who left a marked impression on people who met him.” David is survived by his children, Susan Sargent; David ‘66; Timothy; Stephanie Monahan; Elizabeth Flanagan; and Edward; 16 grandchildren; his brother, Anthony; and his sister, Martha Baltzell.

At Portsmouth, Jim was a four-year member of the Boat Club and a leader of the stage crew in the Dramatics Club; he was the football manager and also a prefect. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949 from Pennsylvania State University. He was in the ROTC while in college, and during the Korean War was called to active duty and served stateside, attaining the rank of captain. During his college summers, Jim worked at the B.F. Shriver Co., which had been established by his grandfather. Jim’s father was president of the B.F. Shriver Co., and after graduating from Penn State, Jim worked full time in the business, which grew and canned green beans, corn, peas, fruit and tomatoes as well as juices. He succeeded his father as president and CEO of B.F. Shriver Co. and operated the business until it was sold in 1976. In 1958, the Shriver homestead was left to Jim and other family members, who established the Union Mills Homestead Foundation and began operating the old home and grist mill as a museum. Jim was a former president of the foundation and a presence at the Homestead until his death. Jim’s cousin and Executive Director of the Homestead Foundation, Jane Sewell, said, “He had a marvelous sense of humor, a quick wit and was just a great person to be around. He knew the Union Mills Homestead like the back of his hand.” She said Jim was the “keeper of the Shriver legacy” and that he’ll “be greatly missed.” Longtime friend Ned Cueman added, “Jim was the salt of the earth. He was always pitching in, and was well liked and respected.” A well-known lecturer on the agricultural history of Carroll County, Jim was an avid community volunteer. In addition to his work with the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, he was founder of the Parks Board, a forerunner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, of which he later became chairman; founding board member of the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster; past president of the Westminster Rotary Club; and board member of the Historical Society of Carroll County and Carroll Hospital Center. He was also member of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution, a passionate gardener, outdoorsman and hunter, and a loyal Penn State football fan. Jim’s last visit to Portsmouth was for Reunion 2007, after a 62-year hiatus. He caught up with old friends, attended Fr. Damian’s “Back to the Classroom” session, and was “very happy to be back.” Jim’s wife of 55 years, the former Esther L. Schrecengost, died in 2006. Surviving are sons James M., III, and David M. Shriver, and their wives; daughters Louise S. Moran and Nancy S. Christman, and their husbands; a brother; four sisters; and 11 grandchildren. Jim was a cousin of Clinton ‘41, Bernard ‘44 and Charles ‘52 Macsherry.




William Paul Holowesko, J.D., P ’78, ’84, ‘85

Having married into one of the oldest recorded families in the Bahamas, and through his work in the Church, Bill became fascinated with Bahamian history and genealogy. He enjoyed golf, tennis and reading, but his greatest joy was spending time with his family. He considered himself fortunate that all of his children returned home after their educations to live and work in the Bahamas and blessed that they frequently organized family gatherings at his home. His children describe him as a quiet “rock” who made “extraordinary sacrifices” for them.

William “Bill” P. Holowesko, father of three Portsmouth Abbey alumni and friend of the School, died on November 12, 2010, at his residence in Lyford Cay, Bahamas, after a long illness. Bill was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1933 to William B. and A. Netty Holowesko. He attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn., then The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he met his future wife, Lynn Pyfrom. Bill received his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, his Bachelor of Laws, and his Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America. He was admitted to both the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, D.C., in 1959; was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975; and was called to The Bahamas Bar in 1991. While in Washington, Bill worked at the Commerce Clearing House, Inc., was editor of the U.S. Supreme Court Bulletin, and was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Upon moving to Nassau in 1960, Bill joined the Chambers of William McP. Christie, and then opened his own company, Bahamas Title Research Company Limited. He founded Holowesko & Company with his wife in 1997 where he practiced until 2009. Bill was an active supporter of the Catholic Church in the Bahamas, beginning when he first moved there in 1960. He served as the first chairman of the Catholic Board of Education and was a frequent chairman of the Annual Catholic Diocesan Bazaar; was chairman of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, chairman of the Parish Council at St. Anselm’s Church, a member of the Board of Advisors at St. Augustine’s College, and was the author of the Catholic Board of Education Constitution. Bill served as legal advisor to Bishop Haggerty, Archbishop Burke, and Archbishop Patrick C. Pinder, a close friend. In recognition of Bill’s service to the Church and his sponsorship of many Bahamian students, the library at the new Aquinas College (a local high school) campus in Nassau was dedicated to him in October 2009. Bill also served as chairman of the Board of Directors at St. Andrew’s School, was on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board of Governors at The Catholic University of America, and on the Parents’ Committee at Portsmouth Abbey. He was chairman of the Baillou Rugby Football Club, secretary of the Royal Nassau Sailing Club, and president of the Nassau Lawn Tennis Club. His colleagues have widely described him as a “person of integrity,” who “epitomized honesty and fairness.” Archbishop Pinder said, “If you sought Bill’s advice, like it or not he always told you the right thing to do. It remained for you to have the courage to do it. He had a sincere compassion for others and an equally sincere willingness to help others. He never announced his many acts of kindness. He just did them.”


Stephen said, “We had a beautiful week as a family with dad during his last days. Through that time, without much ability to communicate, dad gave us a remarkable example of courage, faith and grace. For this we are grateful and know how fortunate we are to have experienced this together as a family. Having the opportunity to spend his last days together as a family in prayer and grief and love, in the comforting embrace of our large family, was his last gift to us, and one we can only grow to appreciate. In all his years of illness he never once complained, but prayed often. Remarkably, on the day he died, the hymn that began that day in the Magnificat started with the verse: ‘Awake, oh sleeper, rise from death, for Christ will give you life.’”  Stephen said his father cared deeply about Portsmouth Abbey and that the School “holds a significant place in our family.” In addition to his three sons, three of Bill’s grandchildren, and two of his nephews, attended Portsmouth Abbey.  Surviving Bill, in addition to his wife of 55 years, are six children: Diane Dunkley, and her husband, Philip; Susan Larson, and her husband, Gary; Mark Holowesko ’78, and his wife, Nancy; Ann Marie Hall, and her husband, Andrew; Billy Holowesko ’84, and his wife, Linda; and Stephen Holowesko ‘85, and his wife, Alessandra; 16 grandchildren, Christopher ‘02 and Zoe Dunkley; Geoffrey ’07 and Christopher ’10 Larson; Lauren, Peter, Meaghan and Patrick Holowesko; Ashley ‘05, Bruce and Anabel Hall; Michael Holowesko; Liam, Ella, Siena, and Teo Holowesko; his sister, Sister Irene Holowesko, RSM; and nephews Ted ’87 and Matthew ‘01 Pyfrom. He was predeceased by his son Geoffrey in 1966, and his sister Elinor H. Giard. A funeral service was held on November 16 at St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church, in Lyford Cay. Attendees included Bahamian Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham, and his wife. In his eulogy, Fr. Kendrick Forbes, pastor of St. Paul’s Church, said of Bill, “His love for the Church and the quality of his faith was evident.”



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70 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Nagle Jackson ‘54

B. Hugh Tovar writes: “I am happy that our class of 1941 can have our seventieth reunion next year.”

43 Dom Julian Stead shares the following: The Ulysses Flight, by Paul Wankowicz, Terra Sancta Press, Melbourne, FL ISBN 97809653467, “Familiar with his subject, as a veteran of the Polish Air Force with the R.A.F. in World War II, and with Southeast Asia in later service, Paul has published a thriller with great historical interest. The radio in the common room, after Pearl Harbor, told that the Japanese has sunk a British battleship, the Prince of Wales, and British troops were ‘mopping up’ enemy infantry who had landed on the coast of Siam (Thailand). We were not told (until) later (the) fact that they had sunk the whole British fleet in the Pacific, and would sweep through to Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The story is about two airmen, one American and the other English, and an Australian woman civilian, who had to deliver three Curtiss P-40 fighter planes to the Philippines, not an easy task through battle with the Air

Force of Imperial Japan, described with respect. The clever and heroic stealing of the Japanese military code, delivered with the airplanes, adds to the excitement - enabling the Allies to intercept the Japanese advance at the Battle of Midway. Not one but two love stories are woven into the adventure; they add human interest. The adventure is not so exciting in the very beginning, unless you have enjoyed piloting airplanes. But soon they get to Rangoon. The story begins and ends in a London club. ‘Absolutely brilliant,’ I said to myself, when I came to the end.”

54  I Nagle Jackson writes from Paris where he recently had lunch with Richard Riley and Basil Carmody, “The second time we’ve gotten together during my annual Paris sojourn.” Nagle is still busy directing and writing. He reports, “Backers’ auditions are underway for a play of mine to be produced in New York next season. Eight of my plays are now published and performed around the country, in Europe and Asia. And I still direct a couple of shows every year, though I no longer run a theater of my own - thank God.” Nagle and his wife, Sandy, live in Princeton Junction, NJ, and look forward to their 48th anniversary next September. Both of their daughters are thriving as are their grandchildren.

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55 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Fr. Joe Healey wrote in August: “Hello from Heathrow Airport in London. Surprise! I met Brigid Behan ‘11 and Garrett Behan ‘11 in the Nairobi Airport and we flew here together on British Airways. They now fly to Boston and I fly to Newark. They had a great time at the Flying Kites Orphanage in Nairobi. Tell Bill Haney ‘80 and others that these two Portsmouth Seniors


The Hall Manor Society honors those who have invested in the future of Portsmouth Abbey School, by including the School in their estate plan. Create a permanent legacy at Portsmouth Abbey – in support of a program or person you believe in deeply. An array of gift opportunities are available through planned giving: F Wills F IRA/Retirement plans F Insurance policies F Charitable gift annuity (will pay you income) F Charitable remainder trust

Many Hall Manor Society members choose to support the School’s endowment, specifically, financial aid for student support. The impact is significant: “I cannot be thankful enough for the aid I have received; if it weren’t for such generosity I would not have continued my Abbey education this last year. I do not know for certain what would have become of me, but I can say with all confidence that I would not be the same student who I am now.” (Scholarship Recipient) For more information visit: or call 401.643.1280.



Fr. Joe Healey ‘56 ran into Haney Fellow cousins Brigid ‘11 and Garrett ‘11 Behan in Nairobi.

Rob Henery ‘64, “...still The Peever....”

are great representatives of Portsmouth. An inspiration! We have so many connections. They are classmates of my distant, distant relative Claire Allman ‘11. Brigid and Garrett will look up my brother Tommy when he comes to Portsmouth for his 50th Reunion in October. By the way we had a good laugh when I told them that I chose Brian Kelly, the new football coach of Notre Dame, to have dinner with (along with Jesus Christ and St. Therese of Lisieux).”

60  I

Dave Panciera ‘62

Jaime Urrutia reports, “I’m now retired, mostly in Santiago, Chile, but part of the time in Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia. My last stint lasted some 27 years, with Hunter Douglas, maker of shades, blinds, and metal architectural products - for the last 20 I was president of Latin American operations. Although somewhat limited by arthritis, I continue enjoying many things, starting with four kids and nine grandchildren, who reside in New York, Bogotá, and Santiago. My three sons graduated from the Portsmouth Abbey School, and now my daughter’s son, Mauricio Posada ‘11, has begun his Sixth Form year, and her two daughters, Luisa and Laura, were at summer school during 2010.”... Thomas “Tip” Deegan sends his regards from out West. “Hi Guys, here’s an update: For the last 15 years I’ve been a nurse doing hospital work in the Southwest: UCLA Santa Monica, Yuma, Santa Fe, and presently holding down the ICU in Raton, NM. I built a strawbale cabin in a mountain town in Colorado named Crestone which is my homebase. At work on a health care reform book A View from the Trenches. Best to all!”... Tom Healey is a 2010-2011 Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. The Fellows programs is designed to provide fresh perspectives as the center helps examine and develop policies at the intersection of business and government.

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Portsmouth roommates Thomas Weber ‘64 and Paul deGive ‘64 in Utah.


David Panciera reports: Though basically retired from R.I. state politics, I remain active on the community front in several local non-profits as well as serving on the


Westerly Planning Board. My smile is all the brighter for my frequent contact with friend (and family dentist) Portsmouth classmate Gene Renz...” Richard Gorman retired from the Federal Communication Commission, Washington, D.C., on June 3,  2010, after 41 years of service to the Federal Government.

63  I Bob Skinner writes that two new grandchildren are on the way and that the total will now be seven. Congratulations, Bob!

64  I Thomas Weber reports that he and Paul deGive, roommates in 1961-62, drove around Utah together in late May, after camping on horseback for some highaltitude fly fishing. “We actually caught several trout apiece.” Paul, who lives in Austin, TX, is spending a good deal of time in Utah, creating financial opportunities in clean tech. Tom lives with his wife, Anne, in Chicago, where for several years he has had an intertubes-based translation business and has also made forays into playwriting... Dana Robinson has completed A Parent’s Catechism: Passing on the Catholic Faith. When they met recently, Dana and Jamie MacGuire ’70 were amazed to discover that at different times they had both worked for Catholic Relief Services in Africa under the legendary Monsignor Wilson Kaiser... Alexander Lewis enjoyed a wonderful visit with Dom Philip Wilson at Portsmouth this summer... John Poreba welcomed his first grandchild, Clara Cedar Lieberstein, born in Los Angeles, CA, to daughter Janine and son-

Massachusetts State Representative Chris Walsh‘70

in-law Paul Lieberstein on May 27, 2010... Sam White published a new book in the late fall with Monacelli Press entitled Nice House, a compilation of diverse houses across the U.S. that are all linked by their livable scale and the architect’s commitment to creating spaces with a handsome and functional design... Rob Henerey reports, “I am still The Peever. Yes, I still like to blow minds or at least puzzle them. But yes, I have mellowed; I am content now with minor infringements, nothing as harsh as those days.”

65  I Oren Root attended festivities for his 45th reunion. He met up with his classmates for dinner at the White Horse Tavern Friday night and came back to campus early Saturday. From Portsmouth, Oren headed off to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, in Greenwich, CT, to take part in a memorial tree planting for his wife, Barbara.

68  I Paul Florian enjoyed a summer trip to look at the Rococco buildings of Balthasar Neumann in Bavaria. He won two honor awards from the American Institute of Architects in November and has recently been listed on Wikipedia.

José Delgado ‘73 takes a break while Hard Enduro riding in Bataan.

69  I John Harrigan continues as Managing Partner at Boxer & Gerson, LLP in Oakland, CA. “Happy to help re-elect Barbara Boxer, my partner Stewart’s wife, to the United States Senate for a 3rd term.”

70  I Chris Buckley looks forward to a threemonth sojourn in London this winter to work on his new novel about China... John Melia proudly reports that his daughter, Aidan Cook Melia ‘00, has been admitted to practice law before the Oregon Bar and several other states. Tom Danaher announced, “We’re launching in January, 2011 – the one place for all your home textiles. It’s young, sexy and intelligent, and I expect you all to buy there. I’ll arrange a plenary indulgence for all 1st-time purchases by alumni.” Chris Walsh reports, “After 20 years of having my own small architecture firm I am now changing careers. This November I was elected the Massachusetts State Representative from the 6th Middlesex District. I beat the incumbent in the Democratic (apologies to the bulk of the Abbey’s R-leaning alumni) primary and then went on to win against two indepen-


dent candidates in the general election by 70%. Hooaah – I owe it all to listening to EJ Dionne ’69 on NPR!“

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40 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Outerbridge Horsey wrote to say that he “is on the advisory council to Homewood House, once the seat of Charles Carroll of that ilk (as opposed to his cousin, the signer, Charles Carroll of Carrollton), and now the centerpiece of the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore.”

72  I Debbie and Jaime Wilson are thrilled to announce the birth of their first grandchild, Wilson Alexander Babij, born to daughter and son-in-law Holly and Garret Babij.

73  I Jose Delgado was recently on a Hard Enduro ride with some friends in Bataan very near where the Battle of Bataan happened during WWII. “Beautiful trail.” Jose also spent time inside a eucalyptus forest while doing a Hard Enduro Ride on small 125 cc Trail Bikes! “I welcome anyone to come over and try this sport!”... Tony Klemmer has been very busy with his work on the


Jan Schwarzenberg ‘74

phia that both trains and employs people with disabilities... In August John Carey paid a visit to the Abbey, and saw former teachers, Abbot Matthew, D. Ambrose, and Abbot Caedmon. He was accompanied by his wife, Stella, and their children, Lavinia and Francis. It was his first visit in a couple of decades. John teaches medieval Irish literature at University College, Cork, Ireland. His wife is an art historian at the Warburg Institute in London, where she and the children live. John spends a few days a week in Cork, and the rest in London at their home in Hampstead.

organization he created, The Center for Better Schools, the idea of a “West Point of Teacher Training” academy that has been gaining momentum. Tony reports that they are starting to work on curriculum design for High- Performing, Experienced Classroom Teachers.

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35 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Joe Robinson is getting ready to sail this summer to Crete from Kalamata, Greece, on his boat with Tom Keeley and company... Jan Schwarzenberg spent the last year in Afghanistan as the Commander of a 2800-person task force devoted to countering the Improvised Explosive Devices used by the insurgents to attack Coalition Forces. The task force encompassed both military and civilian personnel from a variety of NATO countries. Jan moves to the Pentagon in November to a counterterrorism position with responsibility for Asia and the Americas.

Shea Farrell wrote to say, “I’m single, fat, old and broke, and living the life of Riley in Los Angeles, working on TV shows like “Glee” and “Friends with Benefits...” Looking forward to a mini-reunion with Tom Keogh, Jeff Calnan, Tim McKenna, Rob O’Donnell and any other classmates and circa 1976 Portsmouth Abbey alumni who are in the NYC and Boston areas between December 19th and January 4th... come one come all! My two daughters, Sasha and Chandler however, are knocking ‘em dead in school. Straight A’s, just like their father. Jeff Calnan writes, “I recently started working with John Connolly ‘75 as a sales agent for his company, InspiriTec. InspiriTec provides call center services by employing people with disabilities. I am living in Winchester, MA, with my wife, Jo, and have three children who are so much better- behaved than I was at PAS. And yes, Mom, I’m still playing rugby.”

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78  I

Michael Alexander reports from Florida, “Hello all, I’m still in Marco Island, FL. I own and operate a lawn service business. I like to fish and go boating when I can. I have a small place in Hog Valley, FL, in the Ocala National Forest and love spending weekends there on the Ocklawaha River.” John Connolly was featured in the November 2010 issue of Catholic Digest. He was profiled as one of “12 Extraordinary Catholics” as the founder of a commercial non-profit IT firm, InspiriTec, in Philadel-

William Dembski co-wrote a book entitled, Intelligent Design: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy, about the discussion surrounding creationism and science today.

74  I


teach chemistry and AP Calculus. I’m also going back to school and getting my master’s degree in mathematics. Thereafter, I will be looking to supplement my income by teaching math at the college level as well.”

82  I Christian Louis shares: “David Fisher ‘83 was an excellent host on my recent trip to Malaysia. David looks the same and has a wonderful family!”

83  I James John: “I am still in the Windy City working with Midwest HealthWorks and doing our part in keeping U.S. industry competitive. My three boys are now 7, 9 and 11 and keeping me busy as always. All are welcome to reminisce and enjoy some masala tea!”... James Garman, a professor at Salve Regina University in Newport, spent the summer collaborating with the University of Massachusetts Boston and The Whitehall Committee of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in Rhode Island to study and excavate the land around the Whitehall Museum House in Middletown. This archeological survey was the first comprehensive study of its kind in the 280-year history of Whitehall.

84  I David Mazzella wrote, “I started my own derivatives brokerage company on March 1, 2010. The MZA Group is headquartered

80  I John Stebbins writes: “Hi everyone. I’m living in California now, with my wife, Denise, and our two daughters, Theresa, age 10, and Christina, age 7. I’ve been a high school teacher for about 13 years now. I


Michael ‘87 and Kate Riordan

Jaymes Dec ‘96 has been managing GreenFab, a National Science Foundation funded high school program in Hunts Point, South Bronx.

Jennifer Stankiewicz ‘98

87  I Michael Riordan reports: “I had a great time at the Abbot’s Reception here in New York where I caught up with classmate Jim Knight as well as Bill Brazell ’86, Greg Lundberg ’86, Chris Abbate ’88 and, of course, Dan McDonough. At the party I also had the opportunity to introduce them to Kate, who became my wife on October 10. I am still living in New York City and am preparing to launch my new business, Fit Tours NYC, in April.”

90  I in Chicago, Illinois, with operations on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. I would love to hear from any classmates or alums who trade futures and options! david@”... Brian Hetherington is the executive vice president and regional managing director of Wells Fargo Insurance Services in California. Brian became regional managing director for San Francisco and the South Bay in January 2009. He joined Wells Fargo Insurance Services in 2007, when it acquired ABD Insurance and Financial Services. At the time, he held the same title he had at ABD, executive vice president, Property/Casualty. When asked who his mentors were by the San Francisco Business Journal he said: “My dad, and some great mentors in high school and college, Cliff Hobbins and Barry Farrell, respectively. Cliff was like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.”

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25 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

David Cantin sends word that, “We moved again! Back to California with wife Kim and kids Jack and Lauren. I am still working for Johnson & Johnson, this time for newly acquired Mentor Worldwide, LLC – a leading aesthetics company. I will miss watching Cincinnati Reds games with Bob Castellini. Look forward to seeing classmates at 25th!”... Josh Kilroy writes, “This year (2010) I managed two candidates to victory and I am currently managing an aldermanic campaign in Chicago (far away from Brendan Reilly’s ’90 ward). My wife, Ann, and I are still living in downtown Chicago.”

Rob Poirier is the Clinical Chief of Emergency Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital with Washington University School of Medicine. He is also the president of the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians.

In prepping for Reunion, Alex Hart ‘00 sent in this photo from Abbey days with classmates Katie Bailey, Leah Murphy, Rachel Volk, Eleanor Sheehan Lynch, Martha Earp, Alex, Meredith Clark Puzio and Julia Campagna Feeley and Molly McCarthy.

93  I Fred Aziz is currently an attorney working at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., on international trade issues, and living in Alexandria, VA. He was married in April 2010 to Babylonia Marcus Aziz in Henderson, NV. “Wishing the very best to the Class of ‘93 and the rest of the Abbey family.”

95  I John Plummer and his wife, Marina, welcomed a baby girl, Siena Valentina Plummer, into their family on June 15, 2010. John is currently an attorney at Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein, & Peirce, in Providence, RI, and Marina is an attorney at Shechtman Halperin and Savage, in Pawtucket, RI.

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15 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Jaymes Dec writes: “For the past year, I’ve been managing GreenFab, a National Science Foundation-funded high school program in Hunts Point, South Bronx. We are creating and testing a new curriculum to teach science, technology, engineering and math skills through classes on physical computing and sustainable design. This fall, I am also teaching Technology Education as an Adjunct Professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at


Fernando Kriete ‘01 and Stephanie Keilhauer


Brendan Rok ‘03

Tisch Graduate School at NYU. Additionally, twice a week, I have the pleasure of teaching Lego robotics at a kindergarten after-school program. In my free time, I’m enjoying married life in Brooklyn and learning to play the ukulele.”

97  I Political scientist Mary Alice C. Clancy recently published Peace Without Consensus: Power Sharing Politics in Northern Ireland (Ashgate, 2010) and (co-authored with John Nagle) Shared Society or Benign Apartheid? Understanding Peace-Building in Divided Societies (Palgrave, 2010). Mary Alice’s work has been featured in The Guardian, The Observer, the Irish Independent, and El Correo. Her research has been critically acclaimed by the Nobel Laureate, Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, and her article on the Bush administration’s role in Northern Ireland was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary entitled, “The Price of Peace.” She completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast under the supervision of Lord Bew of Dongore, who was appointed to the House of Lords by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Her PhD was examined by Professor Brendan Simms, President of the Henry Jackson Society and a Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge. Mary Alice is currently a research fellow at the Centre for Ethno-Political Studies at the

in the world. She has brought more joy and delight to my life.” Christopher Shonting submitted: “I’ve been working as a freelance photographer for the past few years based out of NYC shooting music and fashion and working between NYC, Miami, LA and London. Shooting for clients such as Puma, Nike, and Jagermiester, and magazines such as Nylon, XXL, Vice, Maxim, i-D, Inked and Spin.” Shawn Montague is one-and-a-half years into a three-year commitment with the Tokyo Disney Resort in industrial engineering. He was married in 2009 to Brandy Heyde Montague... Jennifer Stankiewicz writes: “I’ve escaped Texas finally, and am substitute teaching in Albany, NY, to pay off our recent trip to Europe. Andy and I attended Spiel, the largest boardgame conference in the world, and wandered around the continent. I miss the awesome public transportation and social programs in Germany the most!”

University of Exeter, UK. Among other things, Mary Alice and her colleagues work with the British Ministry of Defence’s Doctrine Concepts Development Centre in order to revise UK counterinsurgency strategy. Meghan Pettit Cooper married Brian Louis Beaupre on July 10, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Memorial Chapel, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. She is currently the director of marketing and communications at Longfellow Benefits, a consulting firm in Boston... Marika Kamimura-Hand writes: “I was married to Peter Hand on September 30, 2010, at City Hall in NYC and held a reception at the Kitano New York on October 2, 2010. Angela Chen, Katherine Maltarp, Triona Mahon and Patrick Walters celebrated with us...” Margaret Hogg Herr and her husband, Christopher, had their daughter, Isabel, christened by Dom Damian on December 19. Margaret and family have recently moved from Washington, D.C., to Jacksonville, FL, where Chris is a commander in the United States Navy.

00  I Aidan Cook Melia has been admitted to practice law before the Oregon Bar and several other states... Erin Olson starred in The Foreigner this summer at 2nd Story Theatre in Warren, RI.

98  I Alandra VanDross shares: “On July 13, 2010, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Micaiah Jordyn-Inez. She was 7 lbs. and 19.5 inches long. Motherhood has been exciting and exhausting at the same time! Yet I wouldn’t trade it for anything Adam Towler’s ‘05 father, Brian, and sister, Sarah, running the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA



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10 TH REUNION v SEPT 23-25

Fernando Kriete: Hi Class of 2001!! During the past five years I have been working hard on my company, Istmo Music, and simultaneously found the love of my life, Stephanie Keilhauer. We have been dating for more than five years and this past October 2nd we decided to take our relationship to the next level by getting engaged, so we’re getting married in January 2011!... Paul Yoon writes: “My wife, Jenny, and I are expecting our first child, a boy, in January. I left the classroom in June and am currently a graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education pursuing my second master’s of education and my principal licensure.” John Kraper shares: “All is well with John Kraper! “I was married on Sept. 18 to Emily Page Culp of High Point, NC, after 8 years of dating. We were married in Wilmington, NC, and were lucky enough to have plenty of our Abbey Family along for the ride, including Anthony ’82 and Beth Rondeau, Brendan Hewett ’03, Capt. and Mrs. Hewett P ’96, ’00, ’03, and Tommy Winter. My brothers (Pat and Ken) were my two best men. We spent 11 days in Kauai, HI, and have settled in nicely to D.C. for Emily to start her law career. Looking forward to catching up with alums in the area.”

02  I Mia Vachon Choate gave birth to a daughter, Piper Elizabeth Choate, on May 19, 2010. Piper checked in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 19 inches long.

03  I Tiffany Spencer, Elizabeth Colley ‘03, John Doolan ‘02 and Erin Sullivan ‘02 all attended Alexandra Monti’s ‘02 marriage to J. Doug Nisbet III on November 6, 2010. They married at the bride’s parent’s house in Jamestown, RI, overlooking the mouth of Narragansett Bay. Brendan Rok wrote to tell us: “I just returned from Kuwait where I spent seven months flying MEDEVAC missions for U.S. and coalition forces in Kuwait

and southern Iraq with the 2515th Naval Air Ambulance Detachment. The experience was eye-opening and extremely rewarding, however the desert summer heat (135 degrees on average) was enough to make me miss even the harshest New England winter. I will be back in San Diego with my squadron for the next six months for training, interrupted by the occasional Ra Ra Riot concert, before deploying again in May. I hope to be back home in RI for the holidays to visit some familiar faces and see all the great new facilities springing up around campus!”

04  I Gretchen McDonough is living in Lewisburg, WV, and teaching Spanish, Algebra, and Physical Education at a small Pre-K–8 Episcopal School... Whitney Connell wrote: “After an unforgettable five-year reunion, members of the class of 2004 traveled around El Salvador for our six-year reunion. Highlights included boating through mangroves, exploring Mayan ruins, sightseeing, water sports in a volcanic crater lake, partaking in the city nightlife, and catching up with good friends. Hoping to get a sevenyear off the ground as well for anyone that is interested! Top three destinations include New Orleans, Bali and Croatia. Start saving that vacation time and airfare now!”

06  I


Andrew Brainerd graduated from MIT in 2010 with a double degree in math and physics (and a minor in philosophy). He is a PhD candidate in theoretical physics at Columbia University... Julie Dufresne graduated with honors from Brown University, receiving the Rosalie Colie Award in comparative literature. She is currently working for Teach For America in New Orleans... Kayla Elliot writes that she is teaching multi-variable calculus at the Thacher School in Ojai, California. Kayla is also coaching soccer and lacrosse... Eli Leino connected with Fr. Jonathan DeFelice ‘65, president of St. Anselm College, in Washington, D.C., when Fr. Jonathan stopped by Congressman Charles F. Bass’ office for a meeting. Eli has been working for Congressman Bass as a legislative correspondent, handling responses to all the mail that comes in. Eli reports, “I write a lot of letters to constituents, which requires quite a bit of policy research. I worked for Congressman Bass during the campaign as a special assistant; driving him, staffing meetings, etc. I’ve actually met a few Abbey alums down here which is always nice.”

05  I Kacie Harrington just started her second year working for the Nutritional Science Department at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She also teaches a physical education class for the University... Rachel Wigton completed her first full triathlon on November 6, 2010, finishing second in the female 18-24 age division, after two years spent recovering from a July 2008 bike accident. She ran in memory of Ali Sacco K and Adam Towler  K and her story was featured in the Jamestown (RI) Press. Adam’s father, Brian Towler, also wrote in to say that Rachel had inspired him and others to run marathons in the name of Adam and Ali, and the photo at left is of Brian and Adam’s sister, Sarah, running the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA, last year in their “for Adam” t-shirts. Brian said, “We will not let Adam and Ali be forgotten.”


Eli Leino ’06 and Father Jonathan DeFelice ‘65 at the office of Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH). Father Jonathan, president of St. Anselm College, was in D.C. on behalf of the College, which is in Congressman Bass’ district.


Brian Kriner ‘07 is enjoying hockey in the new rink at Plymouth State University

children, on the outskirts of Nairobi, last July and August. Check out the organization’s new web site:

Quent Dickmann ‘10 celebrated with his sister, Dorothy ‘13, after he was sworn in as a Midshipman at the Villanova NROTC

10  I

07  I Bryan Kriner reports: “I am currently a junior at Plymouth State University, playing hockey. I am majoring in criminal justice. We just opened our brand-new state - of-the - art ice rink on campus and opened it in style, beating Southern New Hampshire University 6-0 in front of a sellout crowd.”... Alexandra Curran shares: “Moved from New York City to Los Angeles in July 2010 to study film at Columbia College Hollywood with fellow classmate Kyle Boston. Studying cinematography & production design...” Mary McDonough is enjoying her senior year at Saint Anselm College. This fall she was able to take a seminar on the Roman Great Books and got to read Virgil’s Aeneid and St. Augustine’s Confessions, two old favorites from humanities at Portsmouth Abbey... Kaitlin Chiumento was named to the Babson College Dean’s List for the spring semester of 2010... Caitlin Silvia was named to the dean’s list at Union College for the spring 2010 semester.

08  I Michael Behan was featured in the December 9, 2010, issue of Northeastern University’s student newspaper for the entrepreneurial and outreach work he is doing in Njabini, Kenya. A business major with dual concentrations in social entrepreneurship and finance, Mike started Njabini Apparel, a non-profit, fair trade business that sells handmade woolen products from Njabini. Long affiliated with philanthropic efforts in Africa, Mike came up with the idea for the non-profit while volunteering at Flying Kites, an organization that cares for homeless, orphaned and abused


(John) Quent Dickmann shares: “On September 28th, I was sworn in as a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy at the Villanova NROTC– been keeping me busy but a lot of fun!”... Lauren Brodeur wants everyone to know that everything is going well in Indianapolis!... From Cindy Ruiz: “Attending school in Boston has been absolutely amazing, although I’ll admit I was very nervous to be transitioning into such a large school like Boston University (about 18,000 undergrads alone) after attending Portsmouth Abbey (with a graduating class of about 100)... not to mention living in a city, but Boston has been remarkable. It is so nice to be living in a city surrounded by so many other colleges – it almost makes the city feel smaller. Even though there is much more “free-time” in my schedule, I hardly feel like I’m ever sitting around doing nothing. College keeps you busy and on your

Lauren Brodeur ‘10, second from left, enjoying some college football in Indiana.

toes. First semester has been interesting to say the least, but it’s been a rewarding transition. I really enjoy my professors and the pace of my classes. I am enrolled in one of the few colleges within the university that allows students to go abroad as early as next fall, which I am hoping to enroll in. So hopefully, I’ll be writing from London this time next year! Hope all is well with everyone!” Caroline D’Amario shared: “My family and I moved back to London at the end of the summer and within a few weeks I was off to Cork. I attend University College Cork (Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh) – I haven’t quite figured out how to pronounce it yet!– and I love it. The people and the university are great but it’s definitely a huge change from the Abbey. I cook and clean for myself, which makes me appreciate my mum a lot more! Academically, I now understand what alumni mean when they say that the first year of college is almost easier than the Abbey!”

Shop online in our School Bookstore: bookstore books i edible treats i accessories i furniture i home accents i jewelry i seasonal gifts i sale items


BOARD OF REGENTS Right Rev. Dom Caedmon Holmes, O.S.B. Abbot and Chancellor Portsmouth, RI Mr. John M. Regan, III, ’68, P ’07 Chairman Watch Hill, RI Mr. Thomas Anderson ’73 Annual Fund Chair Gwynedd Valley, PA

You can support ALL aspects of a Portsmouth Abbey School education today.

Dr. Margaret S. Healey P ’91 New Vernon, NJ Dr. Gregory Hornig ’68, P ’01 Prairie Village, KS

Monthly Recurring Giving Easier for You and Better for the Environment!

Mr. M. Benjamin Howe ’79 Wellesley, MA

Sign up for Recurring Giving and each month Portsmouth Abbey will charge a set amount to your credit card for as many months as you wish. That means one less item on your “to do” list and no more paper solicitations!

Rev. F. Washington Jarvis Dorchester Center, MA

Sr. M. Therese Antone, RSM, Ed. D. Newport, RI

Rev. Dom Damian Kearney, O.S.B., ’45 Portsmouth, RI

Dom Joseph Byron, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

Mr. Charles E. Kenahan ’77, P ’12, ’12, ’12 Swampscott, MA

Mr. Frederick C. Childs ’75, P ’08 Cambridge, MA

Mr. Edward G. Kirby ’83 Jamestown, RI

Dom Francis Crowley, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

Mr. Alejandro J. Knoepffler ’78, P ’12 Coral Gables, FL

Mr. Stephen M. Cunningham ’72 Greenwich, CT

Ms. Devin McShane P ’09, ’11 Providence, RI

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Cunningham ’74, P ’08, ’09, ’11, ’14

Mr. James S. Mulholland, III, ’79 Sudbury, MA

Co-Chairs, Parents’ Committee Dedham, MA

Mr. Robert A. Savoie P ’10, ’11 Bristol, RI

Mr. James D. Farley, Jr., ’81 Dearborn, MI

Ms. Kathleen Boland Stevens ’95 Wellesley, MA

Dr. Timothy P. Flanigan ’75, P ’06, ’09, ’11 Tiverton, RI

Rev. Dom Luke L. Travers, O.S.B., ’75 Morristown, NJ

Mr. Peter S. Forker ’69 Chicago, IL

Mr. Samuel G. White ’64 New York, NY

Mr. James S. Gladney P ’10, ’11 Barrington, RI

Very Rev. Dom Ambrose Wolverton, O.S.B. Prior Portsmouth, RI

Dom Gregory Havill, O.S.B. Portsmouth, RI

A. Greta Behnke ‘12 (Chris ’81); B. Kate Skakel ‘11 (Peter Flanigan ’41) C. Elisa Lonergan ‘14 (Tom ’71); D. Hadley Matthews ‘13 (Charlie ’84); E. Isabel Keogh ‘13 (Bill ’78); F. Corinne Cotta ‘12 (Steve ’83); G. Anne Magauran ‘14 (Tom ’81); H. Rachel Powers ‘13 (Jim ’79); I. Anna MacGillivray ‘13 (Mark ’80); J. Theresa Lonergan ‘11 (Tom ’71); K. Sarah Powers ‘13 (Jim ’79); L. Lani Griffiths ‘11 (John Dale ’65); M. Tiernan Barry ‘11 (Gordon McShane ’41); N. Emily Cunningham ‘11 (Tim ’74); O. Katie Glosson ‘13 (Todd ’80); P. Charlotte Cournoyer ‘12 (Peter ’80)


Diman Circle Sargent Society Abbot’s Council 1926 Society Headmaster’s Council Portsmouth Associates Red & Black Society

$25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $1,926 $1,000 $500 $100

$2,084 $833 $417 $161 $84 $42 $9


$25or more – College-age classes






Giving Society Minimum Monthly Gift Amount Payment (12 months)

$100 or more – Classes up to 10th Reunion


Cover: In our twentieth year of coeducation, Portsmouth Abbey is proud of our daughters and granddaughters of alumni who are carrying on the legacy:

By spreading out your gift over multiple months you can make a larger gift to Portsmouth Abbey or simply ease the stress on your wallet. Recurring Giving makes it possible for many donors to become members of one of the School’s giving societies.






Total minimum gift amount reflect a 12-month, July-to-June giving year. Donors who enroll during the giving year should choose a monthly payment sufficient to reach a giving society level by June 30. In the following year, donors can adjust their monthly payment for the next 12-month cycle.

. To get started today, visit or contact the Portsmouth Abbey School Development Office at 401.643.1204.


Go Green with Portsmouth Abbey today!

285 Cory’s Lane Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 3 Portsmouth, RI

Address Service Requested


Members of classes ending in 1s and 6s, please mark your calendars and plan for a weekend of fun on campus with faculty and classmates. WINTER BULLETIN 2011



Portsmouth Abbey School 2011 Winter Bulletin  

Portsmouth Abbey School 2011 Winter Bulletin

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