Quad Spring - Summer 2021

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photograph taken by Riverdale students using a remote telescope


Learn more about our new Alumni Affinity Groups


Cover: STEM Education at Riverdale


Old Dogs Learn New Tricks by Larry Johnson ’57

23 The Smoke by Mieasia Harris-Edwards ’96


Alumni Creators


Class Notes

Letter from Dominic A.A. Randolph Head of School


Evergreen Dear Riverdale alumni, As we reflect on another school year — one marked by tremendous challenge and uncertainty, and yet demonstrating our community’s adaptability and perseverance in the face of unprecedented change — I have found myself considering what makes Riverdale Riverdale. I believe our greatest strengths lie in our connection to our founding values and heritage, while we simultaneously push ourselves to reconsider and redesign our approach for relevancy. As you know so well, the pine tree is central to the seal of the school. It speaks to our strong belief that nature and the outdoors are an essential part of the Riverdale learning experience. It speaks to our perennial values and beliefs — respect, diversity, empathy, and caring — that are key to young people’s development and are at the heart of effective learning. It speaks to the concept of growth over time, of having our students understand themselves and thus their own development as they move through the years and become agents of their own invention. They become evergreen — continually reinventing themselves over the years as they become their true selves. Riverdale, like the individuals who make up our community, is a dynamic place that aims to make the essential human act of learning engaging, interesting, valuable, and durable. We believe in the perennial

acts of getting young people to develop their minds, build their character, and create community. This commitment is evergreen for us. While what we do remains steadfast, the how of Riverdale is constantly shifting and always fresh. How our students form their own beliefs and how they learn changes as we discover new information about how people develop, and apply these concepts to our educational program. We are both stable and dynamic, and that makes Riverdale both comforting and exciting at the same time. At our core, we want the young people in our care to nurture their curiosity, to develop a sense of and a capacity for purpose, and to feel and create belonging for themselves and others. So, as we look back into our history for inspiration, we also consider innovations of the future to craft a bespoke experience for young people. And, as you think back on your Riverdale years and our verdant campuses, I hope you will recognize the evergreen elements of your experience in the Riverdale of today. Yours,


riverdalians celebrate a reimagined reunion ’20 Riverdale alumni from class years ending in 0 and 5 participated in an entirely virtual Reunion on October 17, 2020. Whether in New York or Uganda, alumni were able to join the festivities from the comfort of their own homes. Traditionally, the school campuses are abuzz with activity during Reunion weekend, which also coincides with Homecoming. While Covid-19 restrictions prevented that from taking place this year, it did not hinder the Falcon spirit as many classes took the opportunity to renew friendships, celebrate together, and participate in a full day of virtual events. “We tried to provide a variety of online offerings that alumni from different decades and with diverse interests could enjoy,” remarked Ann Grasing, Chief Development Officer. “Although select events were exclusive to classes celebrating milestone reunions, many opportunities were enjoyed by the entire Riverdale community.” The morning activities kicked off with a “wake-up” yoga session hosted by Stephanie Simpson, Riverdale’s director of performance coaching and Middle and Upper School dance and yoga instructor. A mid-morning magic show with celebrating-alumnus Magical Dave Nieder ‘95 was also a big hit with the under-12 crowd. Upper School English Teacher Shelby Stokes headed a compelling discussion about the book Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, which prompted alumni from different generations to share their own experiences.

clockwise from top: dominic a.a. randolph, milton sipp, kelley nicholson-flynn The State of School Discussion with Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph, Assistant Head of School Operations Kelley Nicholson-Flynn, and Assistant Head of School and Head of Middle School Milton Sipp


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launched the afternoon events as they discussed the start of the 2020-21 school year, including the school’s shift to hybrid learning and continued DEIB efforts, as well as announcing this year’s alumni award recipients (see p. 5 for an overview of the winners). Kelley spoke of how the school had to increase nursing staff, install air purifiers, upgrade the HVAC systems, screen students and employees for Covid symptoms, and look into surveillance testing and contact tracing devices. Additionally, Kelley reviewed the ongoing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) work the school is doing. Over the summer, members of the faculty and administration met with many school groups including students and parents of color. The Riverdale Community Engagement Team also initiated focus groups to work on culture shifting. “In each case we have focused on listening and acknowledging the experiences that may have been difficult for someone,” Kelley said. In addition, she outlined a few of the updates that have emerged from these conversations such as a Board of Trustee Diversity Committee, redefined DEIB work, and focus on institutional equity. Milton shared an overview of how Riverdale admissions have been faring this year. “[A record] 1,217 students are fully enrolled in this year’s hybrid program and the admission office is continuing to provide virtual open houses for prospective families,” he said. He also shared, “Though classes are taking place mostly in outdoor tents, the academics are still as strong as ever.” He mentioned that athletics had to be somewhat reimagined, but that the “Riverdale team spirit is still alive.” Lastly, Dominic spoke about the school’s operating budget, the importance of the Annual Fund, and the completion of the R+ Campaign, which raised a total of $100 million for facilities, financial aid, and new and existing programs. He ended the discussion with remarks about the future of the school and reflected on the important skills that Riverdale students need to thrive in a world that is challenging and volatile. “As we move forward, we will continue to look at our commitment to financial aid and to innovating our educational program,” he added. Also on the virtual schedule was a panel discussion regarding the impact of Covid-19 on higher education.

The event was moderated by Upper School History Teacher Jenny Eskin and panelists included Dr. Deborah Freund ’70, professor at Claremont Graduate University; Dr. Jacqueline Kapelman Barton ’70, the John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology; and Dr. Rachel Hadas ’65, poet and professor in literary masterpieces, creative writing, and mythology in literature in the English Department of Rutgers-Newark.

Bowl in 1969, 1972, 1973, and 1974. He also played in Super Bowls V and VI. Calvin reflected on his first day on Riverdale’s campus, arriving as a freshman: “I was a scared boy, but I was lucky to have people like Mr. [John] Jones and Coach [Frank] Bertino to help me.” Calvin also shared that he had never played football prior to coming to RCS. “I was originally a baseball player,” he noted. “I had never even seen an organized football game prior to arriving at Riverdale.” Calvin lauded Coach Bertino as one of the best coaches he ever had. He shared how Coach Bertino taught him discipline, something he has relied on through college and his professional career. “He was an offensive genius; he was a real teacher of technique and a remarkable man.” He also spoke endearingly about then-Headmaster John Jones: “Mr. Jones taught us to think of others first, to have empathy for the other person. He was like a father figure to me and had a great effect on many students.”

top: dr. deborah freund ’70, dr. jacqueline kapelman barton ’70 bottom: jenny eskin, dr. rachel hadas ’65 The panelists spoke about how their professional lives have changed while working under Covid-19 guidelines. Jackie felt the biggest issues with working remotely are the lack of feedback and contact, adding, “Also, in terms of science, being in a lab is important, and that has not been easy for many students.” Deborah felt her classroom experience has translated well while working virtually. “On Zoom, you can’t just lecture, you need to keep your students involved and engaged. I have done this by having my students work virtually with some of our community organizations,” she remarked. Rachel added that in some cases it is also easier to bring in guest speakers. “I have also been able to get closer to some of my students,” she said. In addition, all three noted the impact that Riverdale had on their careers. “Many of the experiences I had at Riverdale formed who I am today,” said Deborah. Jackie agreed, “Oddly I never took chemistry in high school but having the strong foundation that I received at Riverdale, and later at Barnard, gave me the confidence to move forward with the work I loved doing.” Director of Athletics John Pizzi had the opportunity to interview Riverdale alumnus and football icon Calvin Hill ’65. Calvin was a star varsity athlete at Riverdale and then completed his education at Yale University. That same year, he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the NFL College Draft. He earned NFL Rookie of the Year and All-Pro honors that year, a first for the Cowboys. Calvin’s athletic career continued with the Hawaiian Football Club of the World Football League, and the then-Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns of the NFL. He was selected to participate in the NFL Pro

l-r: calvin hill ’65, john pizzi He also remarked on how today’s NFL players have come together to share their support of Black Lives Matter. “There have been many activists in athletics over the years, but I [now] see it being taken to the next level. Athletes know they have a platform to talk about a cause that is greater than themselves.” Dominic concluded the discussion by praising Calvin for his incredible spirit and sense of character and community. “When I start thinking of Riverdale, I get misty-eyed,” Calvin said. “Riverdale has been such a special place to me.” Reunion concluded with a wine presentation by hospitality professional and wine connoisseur Zach Siegel ‘11 as well as class-specific gatherings on Zoom. Some classes invited speakers and even organized virtual entertainment, while others met informally and were able to chat and catch up with one another. The one common thread was that, even though they missed celebrating in person, all participants were thrilled to be able to take part in their virtual celebration. As we look ahead to opportunities to gather — in person and virtually — next year, we hope everyone will save the date of Saturday, October 16 for the 2021-22 Reunion! More details will be coming soon. 




alumni award presentation

Riverdale’s State of the School Discussion culminated with the virtual Alumni Awards. Kelley began the ceremony by presenting the Ernest McAneny Alumni Spirit Award, which is given each year to a member of the alumni body in recognition and appreciation of consistent, broad, and substantial service to Riverdale that has had a distinct impact on the school. Ernest McAneny wore many hats at Riverdale. He was a member of the Class of 1925, a well-loved and respected teacher, the school archivist, and even a coach to many students in the patter of Gilbert and Sullivan.

further when I was invited by Paul and Ann Taylor, parents of my classmate Joe, to live with them after my own parents died while I was at Riverdale. I have tried to demonstrate my gratitude to both the school and the Taylor family by devoting much of my life to tutoring and mentoring students, initially at P.S. 81, then for 18 years as a parish priest in the South Bronx.”

andrew lustgarten ’95; then and now

s. keith outlaw ’75; then and now This year’s recipient was S. Keith Outlaw ’75. Keith was born and raised in Harlem and attended public school before enrolling in Riverdale for grades seven through twelve. He received his B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine and his Master of Divinity from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. Keith served on both the Riverdale Alumni Association Executive Committee, and later, the Board of Trustees. He is also a former board member of The Society for Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, NY; the Lutheran Human Relations Association in Milwaukee, WI; the St. Joseph’s (Catholic) Seminary in Yonkers, NY; and Marymount Manhattan College. As Keith noted, “Giving back to society has always been a high priority [for me], which I believe stems from Riverdale’s generous scholarship that allowed me to receive such an excellent education. The desire to give back was deepened even


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Next, Milton presented the Alumni Achievement Award to Andrew Lustgarten ’95. This award is conferred to a distinguished Riverdale alum, who has demonstrated exemplary service and outstanding personal achievement within their chosen field or endeavors and, in so doing, has earned the recognition of peers and the entire Riverdale community. As President of The Madison Square Garden (MSG) Company, Andrew oversees MSG’s entertainment and sports bookings and production businesses, as well as all aspects of the business operations of the company’s professional sports franchises. In addition, he drives the company’s corporate development activities, including new strategic opportunities, initiatives, and partnerships, which include plans to build state-of-the-art venues, called MSG Sphere, in Las Vegas and London. Before being named President in 2017, Andrew served for three years as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy and, during that time, was responsible for a variety of critical areas, including its bookings businesses

at all of its iconic venues. In addition, he was responsible for diversifying MSG’s portfolio of live offerings, including overseeing MSG’s acquisitions of controlling interests in TAO Group (co-owned by fellow alumnus, Jason Strauss ’93). Prior to MSG, Andrew worked in various capacities at the National Basketball Association for seven years, in finance at Cablevision Systems Corporation, and in investment banking at Bear Stearns & Co. In March 2014, Andrew was named to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list of the most influential executives in sports under 40 years old. He is on the board of directors of TAO Group, Boston Calling Events, Counter Logic Gaming, and Tribeca Enterprises. He is also on the boards of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization that works closely with all areas of MSG to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles, and the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the nation’s largest private supporter of pancreatic cancer research. In addition, he serves on the board of governors for the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League on behalf of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. The final award, presented by Dominic, was the Reunion Class Award, conferred each year to a class that has united to display unsurpassed dedication and enthusiasm. This year’s recipient was the Class of 1970, which was recognized for their strong and meaningful connection to one another and to Riverdale.

As Class Correspondent, Bob Kahn reflected, “The Class of ’70 has been in many ways a group that was shaped by the culture and politics of the late 1960s in America. During our high school years, the Vietnam War was raging, the first Earth Day was established, the EPA was founded, four students were shot at Kent State, the term

‘hippie’ was coined, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy were killed, and pop music was changed forever [by] the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and many more. At Riverdale, our [grade] saw the first co-ed classes, the elimination of the coat and tie dress code for the boys, and much more. The lessons learned vary by individual, but we all shared a sense that we were about to grow up into a fragmented world where the status quo no longer existed.”

Classmate Amy Davis added, “We were a pretty remarkable group—and we still are. I would not begin to know where to start a history of the transition from the old to the new RCS, but we were there at the heart of it. Faculty and students worked together to end the 1970 spring term early and essentially invented senior projects as we went out to try to create a better world in the wake of protest and death. We were a group who reached out on its own during our years at Riverdale Country School for Girls, to expand the number of opportunities available, for helping those in need—especially, but not exclusively, younger students who had none of our opportunities. We took part as an extant group and courageous newcomers when the school took its first steps to include more students of color in our community. We joined Mr. Rudie and Clara Longstreth in creating a remarkable musical presence. In time, we became the people our parents and the school wanted us to be—we [now] serve others across a wide spectrum of peoples and activities.” The Class of 1970 has continued their strong bond with one another by staying in touch during good times and bad. Together, they have mourned the loss of nine of their classmates and have jointly celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and many other milestones. Congratulations to the Class of 1970. 



“Throughout the year, I have had the opportunity to speak with some of the alumni who participated in the program,” shared Robin. “Some people indicated they had felt initially reluctant to join, but were happy they did and have appreciated having a space where they can share and speak freely about issues of race or gender identity.” We will continue to offer these affinity groups in the fall and hope to expand the program by adding even more affinity groups and establishing an alumni mentoring program that will connect corresponding student and alumni groups in the coming year. We asked a few of our alumni leaders to answer questions about their interest in the affinity groups and describe their experience. We are sharing excerpts of their answers in the hope that their perspectives will provide insight into the affinity spaces and inspire future engagement from an even greater cross-section of our alumni body. 


The alumni office collaborated with Riverdale’s Alumni Community Engagement Team and the Directors of Institutional Equity to offer three spaces this year: AWARE (Alliance of White Anti-racists Everywhere), BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to selfidentify). These groups have been led by professional facilitators in cooperation with Riverdale alumni volunteers who participated in training to prepare for facilitation.




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e i r a ’1 2,

For someone who is hesitant to come to our meeting, all I ask is that you come with an open mind. Starting from a point of not knowing is actually a good thing! There have been lots of great books written about anti-racism, and I have found them important as I move from my ‘child-of-the-’60s’ view of ‘everything will work out’ to the realization that there is work to be done, small things, everyday things, that will move us forward. So don’t hesitate; come with your unintentional ignorance, with your frustration, with your wish that things could change, and with the intention of finding some incremental movement and to growth.





Building off of the robust affinity program on campus for current students, Riverdale’s Alumni Office felt strongly that the school should continue to support community members in a similar way after they graduate. Director of Alumni Affairs Robin Gottlieb noted, “We felt it was important to provide a safe space for alumni who are joined by similar aspects of their identity to gather, share their experiences, and explore the impact of those experiences. Affinity group sessions are not intended to segregate people based on their identities, but rather offer a space for people who have had similar experiences to convene. The ways in which they are organized, the questions they consider and explore, the outcomes that they seek may vary among groups, but the impact on the participants can be similarly powerful.”

The Riverdale community doesn’t end after graduation, and I believe the affinity spaces help foster the ongoing community of Riverdale...Everyone’s experience at Riverdale was different, especially for queer alumni. Some of us were out, some were out to a few friends, and some remained closeted throughout their time at the school. Whether or not people were out, their sexual and gender identity influenced how they moved throughout Riverdale, from the friends people made to the activities they participated in, and this could affect how they felt about the school even after graduation...We’ve created a space where we can heal from our past experiences (in and out of Riverdale). We’ve given each other advice and have started to cheer on je one another. +


alumni affinity spaces

Identity-based affinity spaces for students, parents, and faculty have existed at Riverdale for many years. Two of the earliest groups, Power (People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism) and BOSS (Black Organization of Student Strength), date back to the 1970s. Currently, student affinity groups at Riverdale have expanded to include Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever (GLOW); Hispanic Organization for Latinx Awareness (HOLA); Multiracial and Multiethnic Students (M&Ms); Jewish in NY (JiNY); Black Student Alliance (BSA); and Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE). Whether formally or informally, marginalized groups have long carved out time to come together and share their triumphs, struggles, and experiences with one another.


” RE A e n s ’6 9, AW

BIP O C ’9 6,







4, 1 ” ’ k a y la s o m a r


m ie asia h a

To read more about Mieasia’s experience as a Riverdale student, see p.23 for her personal reflection entitled “The Smoke.”



” -e s i rr

I would love to see the BIPOC alumni affinity space interact with the other affinity groups. I think we all have a lot that we can teach each other and share with one another. I know that speaking with BIPOC alumni would have been very beneficial to me as a student so I also would love for us to connect with the current Riverdale students in the future. BI


The ability to connect with someone with whom you have shared values, experiences, and/or characteristics can be very affirming and support one’s development in different types of spaces. Oftentimes, when someone is in an environment where they perceive themselves as different or ‘other,’ and/or they are perceived as different or ‘other,’ they become more inward as a way to protect themselves from their lack of ‘belonging.’ Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx/o/a communities have to navigate terrain in America, a white-dominant, hegemonic society where schools, and various other institutions center everything around the same. How then do people of color establish a sense of belonging in these spaces? While some are able to establish authentic connections based on other variables, others cling to sameness, anchored in race, interests, and other identifiers. Affinity spaces can be where people who are underrepresented in a community come together to feel a U O sense of connection, belonging...and less isolated, R in a safe way. CG

m ie a s

”rds ’96, BIPO

i a h a r r i s - e d wa




STEM STEM riverdale pages 11-12

Creating the Space to Fail Exploring Riverdale’s emphasis on experiential education in STEMbased curriculms.


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photograph taken by Riverdale students using a remote telescope

pages 13-14

Influencing the Future with Computer Science Students explore the possibilities of Computer Science through dynamic courses uniquely designed to inspire creative solutions.

pages 15-17

Women in STEM Riverdale alumni shared about their STEM careers in a virtual Q&A, abridged and transcribed for QUAD.



creating the space to fail astrophysics

Approaching his sixth year at Riverdale, science teacher Alex Laing leads an astrophysics research project where students have the chance to study variable stars in the classroom and take their knowledge and research into the field to collect data using remote telescopes. This research is particularly exciting because, as amateur astronomers, Riverdale students have the ability to contribute meaningful data to the scientific field by reporting their findings to AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers). This year, the group will be headed to the Catskills to collect their data and will alternate between this location and the Rocky Mountains in the future.


rachel cox

“This research just really takes learning to the next level because students enter the world of an authentic research scientist. It’s not an experience where anyone knows what the outcome is going to be or what the end is going to look like because scientists don’t know that when they start. The students are working side-by-side with scientists figuring stuff out as we go. The day in the life of a scientist always involves between 60 and 600 small problems that you need to surmount: you run out of something, you forget something, a piece of equipment isn’t working, the sample that you got isn’t big enough, the sample that you got was eaten by a moose. It’s a lot of step-by-step problem solving and the students really love that because it’s fun and it’s being on a team.”

alex laing “There is a big difference between learning about science in a classroom setting and actually doing science. In this program, student researchers get the experience of tackling all the parts of a research question and figuring out how those parts fit together. Doing science work in a real-world setting involves messiness and frustration at the best of times. Learning to handle setbacks and deal with obstacles is an incredibly valuable experience for our students, and it makes the wonderful products of their research all the more meaningful.”



As the Director of Science Research at Riverdale, Dr. Rachel Cox oversees the Lisman Laboratory for Molecular Ecology and facilitates summer research, partnering with scientists at Columbia University and Black Rock Forest. Under the supervision of Dr. Cox, students explore mechanisms of adaptation utilized by wild populations that face environmental stressors related to urbanization and climate change. Since 2009, Riverdale students and alumni have worked alongside ecologists in this research that will inform future understanding of the ways in which humans negatively affect vital ecosystems and the ways in which we can work together to mitigate or reverse the effects of severe environmental stress.

Experiential Education is a cornerstone of the Riverdale experience. Whether it is in the classroom, on Riverdale’s sprawling 27.5 acres, or through domestic and global travel, there is no substitute for learning by doing. STEM teachers Rachel Cox, Alex Laing, and Vanessa Vazquez share current projects and their thoughts on how Riverdale students benefit from the connections and learning outcomes associated with experiential learning.

“Experiential education is a pedagogical process by which educators engage students through a cycle of direct experience, reflection, analysis, and experimentation.”


Inspired by the Peg+Cat story of Hot Buttered Lightning, the derby car made of junk, Grade 1 classes worked with the technology integrators and made their own box cars. The students practiced their hammering skills, decorated their cars, and added lots of pizzazz. The culmination of the project was the Riverdale Falcon 500 race. The students estimated the distance that the cars might travel, and then measured the actual result.

independent schools experiential education network

vanessa vazquez “Experiential Education gives students the ability to put into practice the concepts and skills we have been teaching them about in the classroom. It transforms learning from being a theory to being a reality! These experiences give students the opportunity to connect their learning to a moment, a feeling, an emotion, making the concepts memorable. Students do not walk around saying, ‘Remember that measurement lesson we did in first grade?’ However, they will never forget racing and measuring the distance their boxcar went in the Falcon 500. Watching their little faces light up when they are successful at accomplishing their goal. You know, without a doubt, that they will always remember that moment.”


Woven into the very fabric of Riverdale is the belief that students should be continuously challenged to think critically about the world around them. Leading with this philosophy, our Upper School Computer Science program has become a cornerstone of the Riverdale experience, providing students with dynamic opportunities to break down complex problems, ask thoughtful questions, and develop the necessary skills to devise ingenious solutions. “Our message to students is that they don’t have to wait in line,” says Andrew Abate, computer science chair and member of the Upper School mathematics department. “There are things we can do right here and right now to help students launch their ideas.” Whether on a micro or macro level, all learners are encouraged to use their unique strengths and talents to delve deeper into the possibilities of coding, programming, Artificial Intelligence (AI), app development, and their ability to contribute to a plethora of real-time results. Despite an unusual school year, two transformative computer science courses paved the way for our students to realize their visions by sparking an inventiveness to create an impact that extended beyond the classroom. A Level II yearlong in-depth course, iOS App Development with Swift/XCode, provided a platform for Aidan Friedsam ’21 to employ his passion for computer science to amplify a vital part of our school community — The Riverdale Review, RCS’s student-run newspaper. “At first, my goal was to create an iPhone app that displayed our website — very simple but very effective at making our articles easier to access,” said Aidan, also past head of digital media and most recent website editor for the paper. “Once I got that working, the gears check out the riverdale review app just started turning, by scanning this qr code! and I started making improvements and additions.” Designed to introduce advanced programming concepts using Swift and the use of iOS development tools such as XCode and Swift Playgrounds, this particular computer science course built upon Aidan’s prior coding knowledge, helping him tackle a common accessibility problem with this monthly printed piece. “The app has become an amazing and effective platform to disseminate time-


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sensitive information and upcoming student events,” emphasized Aidan when asked about the impetus of this initiative. “With an app, we can upload articles and send out notifications 24/7. Earlier this spring, I sent out a notification regarding on-campus voter registration opportunities happening that day. Without an app, we would have no platform to get that sort of information out without sending an inbox-clogging email.” Changes to the school’s learning environment during the Covid-19 pandemic boosted the need for timely delivery of information, particularly as we navigated new forms of class instruction and ways to remain connected. Already on Volume 107 and now available in the Apple App Store, it was important to Aidan that The Riverdale Review was accessible and convenient for those wanting to remain in the Riverdale loop, particularly as he himself transitions out of our student body. “I am both honored and proud that I built something that I believe will continue to be used by students, faculty, alumni, and parents for many years to come,” said Aidan when reflecting on the app, the first he’s ever created. “I believe the app will continue to play a massive role in The Riverdale Review for the rest of the paper’s existence.” Another opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and understanding of computer science, the CS Capstone Developer Project, roots itself in social entrepreneurship, inviting students like Mari Caffey ’21 to apply coding experience to the development of socially relevant projects that educate and inform an audience. Inspired by the rise in activism and social awareness on social media last summer and recognizing the overlap in users, Mari partnered with co-creators Tess Whitman ’21 and Adriana Pizzillo ’21 to construct a centralized space for all community members to find, support, and interact with socially conscious operations.

“Ethicolor is a web-based platform that hopes to connect conscious consumers to small sustainable

businesses, and those owned by people of color, that reflect their values,” said Mari about their yearlong project. “We felt it could be complicated to research a company after seeing it on Instagram and knew there had to be a better way to promote those businesses.” From pitching their idea to workshopping prototypes and collecting user feedback, the team designed their site with brands and customers in mind, aiming for a product that was visually appealing, user-friendly, and accessible. The site quickly gained traction to the surprise of the creators who admittedly didn’t expect to collaborate with any companies for some time: “We were very excited when Girlfriend Collective, a sustainable clothing brand, responded to our outreach on Instagram, and allowed us to use their information as the first partnered company on our website. That was definitely a great milestone.” In June 2021, Mari and her Capstone peers presented their projects to a virtual gathering of family and friends, taking them through the process of designing platforms that spanned the social scope and of how they provided specific support for others. Demonstrations brought to fruition ideas ranging from portals to quick tech fixes, financial literacy resources for teens and adults, mental health support for families, milk donation access for farmers, and media ratings by news curators — all examples of the many ways computer science serves as a linchpin for advancement and change. Both Aidan and Mari approached their respective senioryear assignments with the future in mind, whether that of our school or of the larger community. These two courses planted the seeds for ideas that have undoubtedly influenced their next steps. “I have known for multiple years that I wanted to pursue computer science in college and afterward, but my experiences with App Dev and this project have further solidified that decision,” said Aidan as he looks forward to his fall semester at the University of Michigan. “These lessons apply to all facets of life, not just CS.” Mari, considering the goal of her final submission and its trajectory, shared, “I plan to minor in Computer Science at University of Chicago. This Capstone project was a great first dive into what the huge world of CS can look like, and I am excited to continue to explore the hard work and creativity necessary to rise to the top in our digital world.” At its core, our Upper School Computer Science program aims to present students with opportunities to explore the intersectionality of their interests and the computer science space with the goal to build something meaningful. “Students are so driven to put their ideas into action,” observes Andrew, “and to help them bring those ideas to life, and then encourage them to take those ideas a step further, has been an amazing process for everyone involved.” Design thinking and the support of dedicated faculty continue to serve as the foundation upon which these courses flourish, making way for a new generation of visionaries.

All students study computer coding for at least one semester. Most students satisfy this coding requirement in Computer Science 10 (once-per-week, pass-fail). Students may also satisfy the coding requirement with a minicourse or a full academic course in computer science.

computer science class offerings Computer Science I: Object-Oriented Programming There’s more to computer science than ones and zeroes. This Level I yearlong course introduces computer science terms, skills, and understandings, and is a foundation for future work in this discipline. In this class, students will learn programming methodology, algorithm analysis, data structures, and abstraction to make amazing projects. Computer Science I: Game Design with C# This Level I yearlong course introduces students to the principles of game design and development as well as fundamentals of programming methodology. Advanced Computer Science This Level II yearlong course will cover common ways to organize and store data in computer science, why those structures are important, and what projects can be created with those structures. CS Capstone Developer Project This yearlong course will expand Computer Science knowledge and understandings by applying them to solve real problems through developing authentic programming scenarios. In CS Capstone, students will create meaningful and socially relevant projects that educate and inform an audience. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning What does it mean for a machine to think? From IBM’s Jeopardy-winning computer, Watson, to their amazing chess-playing program, Deep Blue, it often seems like machines can be more intelligent than humans. In this Level III yearlong course students will learn how to write programs that use Big Data to predict, strategize, reason, plan, and evolve. iOS App Development with Swift/XCode App Development with Swift is designed to teach you the skills needed to be an app developer capable of bringing your own apps to life. In this Level II yearlong course you will learn advanced programming concepts using Swift, use iOS development tools such as XCode and Swift Playgrounds, as well as utilize industry best practices.

Are you working in computer science or app development? Do you have experience in social entrepreneurship or a startup? If you are interested in sharing your knowledge with the next generation of Riverdalians, please contact alumni@riverdale.edu or 718-519-2745, and we will connect you with Andrew and his students.



This spring, Middle School girls’ science club, RABBIT, and their faculty advisor, Shabari Lasrado, spoke with an amazing assembly of alumnae panelists — Natasha Cohen ’07, Magdalene Moran ’93, Ashley Rainford ’09, and Pavithra Vijayakumar ’11 — about their personal and professional experiences while pursuing STEM in school and in their careers. The panel members shared the distinct challenges facing women in STEM, a field typically dominated by men, how they overcame them, and what they hope for the next generation. This an abridged transcript of the virtual Q&A.

Read about science and female role models; A safe space to talk about gender experiences in STEM; Builds confidence in women in STEM; Breaks the barrier of femininity in STEM; Initiate change!; Teaches about different branches in science

how did your experience at riverdale help you arrive where you are today? Magdalene Moran ’93

I am the president and chief scientific officer for a biotech company. The goal of my job is essentially to lead a team to develop new medicines for things like Parkinson’s disease. I think one of the things that was really important about Riverdale for me was, of course there [were] excellent academics, but there was also just a comfort in talking to anybody. I think that’s probably one of the most important things for me in the business arena, not only the rigorous training, but also the confidence to present and talk in front of large groups of people and explain what [I] do.


Natasha Cohen ’07

Riverdale’s probably been my best instruction on how to write. Especially in a highly technical field, if you can also communicate clearly and write well, your career just shoots up because for so many people that’s not a skill that they have perfected. In my career, whether it’s been in the defense industry, in technology, as a consultant, or as a government official, the ability to write well, write clearly, in various different forms, has really helped my career, helped the country, helped the various organizations I’ve been a part of, and I can really thank Riverdale for a lot of that training and rigorousness.

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Pavithra Vijayakumar ’11

As you go on [in science], it becomes more about thinking critically and finding gaps in the knowledge and coming up with questions that are interesting to you. Riverdale definitely helps you do that. I still remember that cations are positive because Mr. Pike dressed up as a cat with plus signs all over him for Halloween one year. I think the education at Riverdale definitely emphasizes that science can be really interesting and fun, and that it really affects every part of our life.

Ashley Rainford ’09

Riverdale was my first real interdisciplinary experience. I was able to really think critically. I took my first psychology course at Riverdale so that got me really interested in the field and was a really forming experience for me. Riverdale always [offered] many opportunities, whether inside the classroom or outside, that got me thinking critically about ways in which our identities or experiences may show up and being able to talk comfortably about that. I remember going twice to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, which was an experience that I was afforded through Riverdale, and really being able to have these conversations was really what shaped me and put me on this path, and I thank Riverdale for that.

“Yes, I wear four-inch heels, and yes I can still have a good conversation, and yes I am still in charge of this team.” magdalene moran ’93 if at all, how did the coronavirus and resulting quarantine impact your job and your studies? AR: It’s been a big adjustment; our clinic and practice has moved completely online. Sometimes coming to an in-person clinic feels like a refuge or a safe space. Especially when working with children, having privacy and having space to really talk about things away from their family [can be critical]. Another difficult thing is just not being able to fully engage in the same way. Sometimes it’s really difficult for children to just sit and talk about their feelings, [so] playing is sometimes more helpful. But apart from all of that, I think it’s been amazing to see how resilient we are as a people and how we can really be flexible and make things work when we are up against a wall and have all of these obstacles in our way. PV: I would also say that the Coronavirus really highlighted a lot of the disparities in access and the way that science and technology is distributed in our society and can help different people in our society differently. The biggest thing that we’ve dealt with at our free clinic is making sure that, in all of the chaos, our patients do not get lost in that shuffle because they are extremely vulnerable, uninsured, [and often] undocumented individuals. I think overall science is getting better at acknowledging some of these ways that you can have all of the technology and innovation that you want, but it doesn’t necessarily matter unless people have access to it. The Coronavirus has definitely pushed a lot of those issues to the front of it more, which has been positive overall.

Natasha Cohen ’07 is the senior liaison to the National Security Agency for Cyber from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Natasha has a background in senior management for policy, compliance, risk management, and management consulting, having worked for and advised companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations on strategic solutions, cybersecurity, regulatory issues, and operations. She has also served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, where she worked on counter-terrorism, defense, and security issues. She was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service while working at West Point in 2009. Magdalene Moran, PhD ’93 is a leading scientific researcher in the discovery and early development projects in multiple disease areas. She is a noted expert in the Transient Receptor Potential family of ion channels. Previously, Magdalene was senior vice president of biology at Hydra Biosciences, where she was part of the scientific team for more than 15 years. She led discovery and early development projects in pain, pulmonary, central nervous system, and renal diseases. Before Hydra, she served as a researcher in the laboratory of ion channel expert Dr. David Clapham at Children’s Hospital in Boston, where she studied the basal transcription machinery and cloned several novel ion channels. Magdalene received her bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in neuroscience from Williams College and earned her doctorate degree in neurobiology from Harvard University. Ashley Rainford, MA ’09 is a fifth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology PhD program at CUNY, City College. She has worked in women’s mental health clinical research for more than seven years as a research assistant and now as a graduate research clinician at Columbia University Medical Center. She is a graduate student clinical trainee at the Psychological Center in Harlem, where she works with children, adolescents, adults as well as in couple’s treatment, in addition to co-facilitating mindfulness-based stress reduction group courses. She is a college counselor at the CUNY, Brooklyn College Personal Counseling as of fall 2020. Pavithra Vijayakumar ’11 is a fourth-year medical student at Yale School of Medicine applying into obstetrics/gynecology, with interests in health equity, administration, and policy. She has been involved with research in insulin affordability and placenta metabolism, as well as some community-based participatory research projects. She served as one of the executive directors of the student-run HAVEN Free Clinic, where she was involved with both qualityimprovement initiatives and advocacy for the uninsured patient population within the broader health system. She has stayed on as a senior clinical team member for the Diabetes Care Pathway, working to improve care coordination for individuals with complex chronic conditions. As an undergrad, she studied public policy and global health, and worked for a year at the National Institutes of Health before starting medical school.



what stereotypes have people assumed about you because you are female? how did you combat people who did not take you seriously? MM: To me the best way is really to power through it and not worry that you’re a woman in science, worry that you’re doing the best job you

heels on the floor, and it makes people laugh. I’ll walk past people’s desks and they go “Hey, Natasha!” and it’s like, hey, I’m here. Yes, I wear four-inch heels, and yes I can still have a good conversation, and yes I am still in charge of this team. There’s nothing more to it. I’m also into a bunch of male-dominated hobbies, including scuba diving. I am half the size of everyone that I dive with and I own it. Sometimes I’ll wear a bright

the structural ways in which those stereotypes trickle down into keeping you out of places. AR: I’ve been in a lot of situations and a lot of spaces that have been multidisciplinary, and I’m working with different teams as a psychologist on the team, [and]sometimes it can feel like my voice isn’t really well regarded or my perspective may not be as acknowledged or maybe I

that is so important, and it deserves to be in the room. PV: Don’t let people or conceptions discourage you from pursuing something you’re interested in, and also don’t be afraid to change your mind. I think, particularly, in science, people will start off in one field or area, and end up in a totally different one. Sometimes it feels like “oh I have to start over and learn all of this stuff,” but that’s

“It’s been amazing to see how resilient we are as a people and how we can really be flexible and make things work when we are up against a wall and have all of these obstacles in our way.” ashley rainford ’09 can. One of my good friends is a CEO of a company that’s developing new diagnostics to figure out how you treat different forms of cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, and she runs a fashion business. I think you start to see people who can do both, and the more diversity is out there, the more people recognize that [being] a scientist does not mean you’re wearing a lab coat and a pocket protector. Though, glasses do seem to be common. NC: I think the only thing I would add is use it, own it. I’m a tech person, I work in technology, and I wear four-inch heels every day. I walk down the hall upstairs in our secure facility, [and] everybody knows that I’m coming. They can hear the


pink wetsuit. Whatever you want to do that makes you feel like who you are, standing out is a good thing sometimes. PV: I would also say that as you’re getting to that point of professional schools or graduate programs, as you’re going through the processes, find places where you do feel supported and feel like, if you were to face some of these challenging situations, there are people around who you trust. That there are structural things in place where you know that you’re not going to be penalized for whatever these stereotypes are. It is good to personally be able to face some of these things, but it’s also nice to have support and have groups, finding people around you that can change

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can feel dismissed in those spaces. My advice to everyone is just to find your voice. That is something that, when I was younger, was really difficult -- to show and showcase my own experience and my own story. It’s my perspective and it’s my narrative, and I do have something valuable to add to any space. Having your voice being heard and being seen is so important.

what advice would you give to young women interested in STEM? MM: Don’t worry about being a woman, just go for it. AR: Your experience and your voice is valuable. You have so much to add. You have a unique perspective

part of what makes your perspective really valuable -- bringing in all of that stuff, bringing in interdisciplinary interests, or any other interests you might have, into your field. NC: If anyone tells you that your career needs to go in a straight line, tell them that they’re not correct. You can start doing anything and the lessons that you will learn will make you better in the next thing that you try. Go after what you’re interested in. If you’re passionate about something, go try it, go experience it, go after something that will help you grow just for the experience. Don’t be afraid to try something that you find is inspiring to you. 

By Garrett Chalfin ’23 and Andrew Kingsley



Old Dogs LEARN

New Tricks

by Larr y Johnson ’57

Despite the many obstacles the past year or more has presented, including the challenge of distance and isolation from one another, many Riverdale alumni have found new ways to connect and create community that we hope will endure beyond the pandemic. The Class of 1964 has been meeting regularly on Monday nights (see p. 37 for more details), as have both the alumni from the girls’ and boys’ schools of the Class of 1957 (see p. 35 and below). Here, Larry Johnson ’57 shares a reflection on his class’s weekly gatherings and the impact they have had on him and others. Over the years, Riverdale classmates have used numerous means to preserve the friendships formed prior to graduation, while discovering new friendships in the process of staying in touch. While the Covid-19 pandemic has, for the present, inhibited physical visits and shared outings to restaurants, theatre, and the like, members of the class of ’57 have benefited enormously from technologies unimagined when we were at Riverdale to compensate for the recent lockdowns, quarantines, and general feelings of confinement. Even before the pandemic, classmates of RCS ’57 were doing their best to keep in


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touch. For several years, between one and two dozen members from both the boys’ and girls’ schools (largely separated on the Hill and River Campuses when we were there) have maintained an informal email listserv that we have used, with varying regularity, to exchange news of friends and families, discuss matters of mutual interest, and bemoan (or, for some, rejoice in and justify) the state of national and world politics. Good as that is, it lacks the personal touch, such as seeing, with mixed emotions, that our classmates are becoming “old geezers” just as we are.

Then came Zoom to the rescue. As Covid-19 spread, the Class of ’57 fought back, using technology familiar to our children and grandchildren but largely foreign to us, given our actual ages. A half dozen or so ringleaders started a Zoom call on Sunday afternoons, starting at 5:00 p.m. and lasting for about an hour each week. Maarten Meckman hosts the call, and Jeff Fisher receives suggestions for topics and prepares an informal agenda (sometimes followed inconsistently) and acts as a de facto moderator, making sure that everyone who wants to participate is heard. Our class includes doctors, lawyers, architects, poets, authors, and a wide variety of entrepreneurs and business people. The breadth of our classmates’ knowledge, interests, and experience, outside of their own career fields, is extraordinary. Anyone can suggest a topic and nothing is “off limits.” By implicit but mutual consent, differing points of view are welcomed and received respectfully, and disagreements registered without personal vilification or ad hominem responses. This has proven generally true even, believe it or not, with respect to Presidential politics! The Zoom group (including some, but not nearly as many as we would like, from the girls’ school), which started with about a half dozen, has grown steadily, and there are now over twenty members

of the class who participate from time to time, with an average of about fifteen at any given session. One result of this is that our faces, as they appear on our monitors, are small enough to be hard to make out, and thus, mercifully unembarrassing. There have been interesting discussions of topics involving science, the arts, food, travel, photography, philosophy, the Constitution, economics, and many more. Developing the ability to listen, look for, and appreciate the good in others is an important part of education. Our time at Riverdale laid a foundation for that ability, too, in addition to English, mathematics, history, and the rest of the more obvious subjects that we learned in our classrooms. We also shared experiences and values to which we easily relate over sixty years after graduating. We may seem

The Class of 1957 on campus for their 60th Reunion.

like Neolithic relics to the members of this year’s graduating class (when we graduated, the equivalently ancient class would have been the class of 1897, had the School existed then) but, notwithstanding, we are still learning. 



T his past winter, Riverdale introduced FalConnect,

a new resource through which alumni can share their professional or college experience and expertise with fellow alums and current students seeking employment, internships, mentoring in a specific industry, or help deciding on a college. These connections provide alumni with the opportunity to form meaningful and lasting relationships with fellow Riverdalians across generations and locations. Whether a seasoned professional interested in helping guide other alumni on similar career paths or an alum who is seeking a bit of professional direction, the mentoring program can be a worthwhile tool. As Covid-19 restrictions took hold in spring 2020, it became impossible for current RCS juniors and seniors to physically visit colleges of interest. In order to support these students, the Riverdale alumni and college offices collaborated to connect current students with college-age alumni who were willing to speak to students about their experiences.

“The connections I formed throughout my Riverdale experience have been some of the most fulfilling friendships in my life.”

motivations, desires, and needs as they transition to the next phase of their lives. High school is a time when individuals’ identities are beginning to solidify and working to understand how different colleges might align with their values and help them to blossom in their continued development.” Now a volunteer through the FalConnect Mentorship Program, Sarah adds, “Staying connected with Riverdale alumni is important to me from both a personal and professional perspective. The connections I formed throughout my Riverdale experience have been some of the most fulfilling friendships in my life, and as I transition into the professional world, I have come to realize that the Riverdale alumni network is a wonderful group of people with shared experiences who are willing and excited to mentor younger alumni. I hope to do the same for the current Riverdale students and for recent college graduates as I progress in my career.” Tiffany Austin Liston ’94 also feels passionate about contributing to the mentorship Program. “Looking back, one of the best things about Riverdale for me was exposure to so many diverse and rich experiences and mentors. And I wholeheartedly believe that for young people, you have to ‘see it to be it.’” She adds, “If I can play a part in helping an RCS alum on their path, inevitably scary and wonderful and bumpy, it would mean a lot to me.”

sarah horne ’15 Sarah Horne ’15 was happy to participate: “The college admissions process can be stressful, daunting, and also exciting, and navigating it is a challenge for every student, no matter how successful or prepared they might be on paper. I know that students at Riverdale face a lot of external pressure and expectations regarding where they might attend college, and I am happy to be a source of support for those students, helping them to get more in touch with their internal


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“Looking back, one of the best things about Riverdale for me was exposure to so many diverse and rich experiences and mentors.” tiffany austin liston ’94

“Every RCS student I have had as an intern over many years has proven to be intelligent, articulate, self-motivated and eager to learn....They invariably prove to be an asset to my company, and the people who work for me are always hoping to be assigned to work with the RCS student interns.” tony melchior ’73 Tony Melchior ’73 has been offering internship opportunities to current students for many years and finds the experience to be extremely gratifying. Tony notes, “Every RCS student I have had as an intern over many years has proven to be intelligent, articulate, selfmotivated and eager to learn....They invariably prove to be an asset to my company, and the people who work for me are always hoping to be assigned to work with the RCS student interns.” Tony also had many of his Riverdale interns return to work at his company in the years following their first experience: “They have become more and more valuable as time goes on. I now work with a few Riverdale alumni in a completely professional capacity, and that is a testament to the merits of the internship program.”

For the many Riverdale alumni who may have a job opportunity in their place of employment, it could be another worthwhile way to stay connected to Riverdale. Whether it is a position for a recent college graduate or a seasoned professional, knowing that you may be helping a fellow Riverdalian can be very gratifying. Dr. Rebecca Skolnick ’03 has listed a job opportunity within her practice, noting “I feel confident that Riverdale alums are driven, smart, organized, independent and high-achieving.”

“I feel confident that Riverdale alums are driven, smart, organized, independent and high-achieving.” dr. rebecca skolnick ’03 Robin Gottlieb, director of alumni affairs and institutional engagement, concludes, “With the expanded opportunities now offered through FalConnect, we hope that our Riverdale alumni community will take advantage of this resource and find new ways to forge strong connections with one another and the school.” 

falconnect can be found on the riverdale alumni portal. for further information, you can reach robin at




The smoke was thick. I watched it until it was no longer visible. The smoke came from the exhaust pipe of my father’s used Grand Marquis as he drove away leaving me in this unfamiliar place...where no one looked like me...talked like me...walked like me...or smiled at me. It was not for me. I knew this was not a place where I belonged, yet it was there that I craved a sense of belonging. It was not a place that reflected my culture, yet, I wanted to be a part of its culture. It was not a place where I felt loved, though I wanted to be loved...and not just loved, but accepted. I walked up the Grand Hill and marveled at the beautiful, yet stoic scene. I hadn’t ever seen anything like it. I came from streets, often described as mean streets in Harlem, NYC in the 80s filled with skyrocketing crime...but still...I always felt safe on those streets. This place was different...it was known as one of the safest parts of New York City, in Riverdale, N.Y., however… here…I DID NOT...FEEL...SAFE. I opened the tall, massive, and heavy wood door that was the quality of African Blackwood, at $100 per board foot. The wood was African and belonged, but my African skin did not belong. Ironically, I can’t say that I had ever felt African, or that I had ever felt American...but there, I proudly identified as an African-American, defending and reclaiming my space in that place. And they...they were white…white, rich, and affluent...I thought to myself... Why did they leave me here? I shut the African door and ran down to the edge of the street. I looked down the road hoping to see my Dad making a U-turn. Hoping he was coming back... At that moment, I noticed my cheek felt cold and crusted. So distracted by my inner turmoil, I hadn’t

noticed the tears streaming down my face. My head dropped...and my heart was heavy. I would never forgive them...How could they leave me here? Why did they enroll me in social and cultural calamity? When my Dad dropped me off, he said, “Remember, you are brilliant and amazing, no matter what. Don’t ever forget that... you are strong and you will thrive wherever you are. You hear me...”. I heard him…but I am sure I wasn’t listening...The high school campus proved to be where I advanced academically, but it was where I regressed culturally, emotionally, and socially...was it worth it? As a 17-year educator who served students in many roles, teacher, principal and now, principal coach in a district of more than 8,000 students, I know firsthand how school-building culture creation is intentional. Did they intentionally want me to feel isolated and lack a sense of belonging? I am unsure. Perhaps my comfort was not the focus, rather the comfort of the majority, the dominant group, of which I was not a part of. I am still clouded by the smoke from that place, and the exhaust pipe…but I am now the parent…who is willing to drop off the child, in the place with the massive African door...with the hope that my daughter will feel like her beautiful Afro-Caribbean-American skin belongs. “Remember sweetheart, you are brilliant and amazing, no matter what. Don’t ever forget that...you are strong and you will thrive wherever you are. You hear me...” I hope she will be listening...

a note from the author: “Although my experiences at Riverdale were imperfect, as an educator, I believe in the importance of a quality education, access and opportunity. I believe Riverdale will afford my daughter, who will be attending Pre-K in the Fall, opportunities to participate fully in a sound academic program where she grows along with her peers. I grappled with the decision to apply for my daughter initially, but after reconnecting with the Riverdale community and under the leadership of the Head of School, Dominic A.A. Randolph, I am very excited about Riverdale’s authentic plans to engage in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and BELONGING for all students, where representation matters in classrooms and among faculty.”


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alumni Actor, producer, and writer, Alexander Klebanoff ’01 executively produced and starred in crime thriller The Decipio, a film about an undercover agent who becomes unhinged as he discovers that things aren’t exactly as they seem. Recently released, the film will be distributed to prominent film festivals.

The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg ’89 will be adapted into an Amazon limited series with Bill serving as an executive producer. This story of two teenagers, strangers to one another who are set on jumping from the same bridge at the same time, explores the intersection of lives, perspectives, and possibilities.

Unanimous Media’s Pathways Alliance to produce the feature film adaptation of Wes’s bestseller, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. Based on a true story told through alternating narratives, this authentic and compelling book explores the lives of boys trying to find their way in a hostile word.

In Balanchine’s Classroom, a film by Connie Rosenberg Hochman ’72, is slated for release in September 2021, starting with an exclusive engagement at the Film Forum in NYC. The film chronicles dancers of legendary choreographer George Balanchine during the 1960s and 1970s, set against their present-day efforts to keep his legacy alive. Featuring neverbefore-seen archival footage of Balanchine at work during rehearsals and classes, this film captures interviews with his adored and adoring dancers.

Wes Moore ’96 is teaming up with Stephen Curry and


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Solange Rizon ‘18 starred in Gaggle - The Voices and Stories of Chinese International Students in the U.S, a new virtual documentary theatre play, created by Xiaojin Niu and Qian Wu and produced by Emily Schorr Lesnick ’07. The cast of Gaggle joined Riverdale for a special performance for Upper School students in April 2021.

creators everlasting night, transforming all living creatures into monstrous shades and leaving the only path to survival dependent on artificial light.

Josh Appelbaum ’91 acted as producer on Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan and Jodie Turner-Smith, digitally released in April 2021 on Amazon Prime. Based on Clancy’s 1993 novel of the same name, this action thriller tells the story of a Navy SEAL set on avenging his wife’s murder before finding himself in the throes of a much larger conspiracy.

Following the success of the first four editions, Scott Snyder ’94 released the fifth installment of his graphic novel, Nocterra, in early July 2021. The highly anticipated comic tells the tale of a world plunged into an

Emily Schorr Lesnick ’07, Oleander Shamar Furman ’11, and Jordan Officer ’18 have joined forces as members of the Board of Directors of Rebel Playhouse, an educational children’s theater company committed to empowering, educating, and entertaining audiences through dynamic performances and classes designed to foster creative development.

Nashville Ballet returned to the Ascend Amphitheater stage for their first live performance of the season featuring classical and contemporary works and live music performed by Louis York, including Claude Kelly ’99, and The Shindellas.

Newly published picture book The Extraordinary Life of HH The Fourteenth Dalai Lama by Rima Fujita ’83 was released worldwide on June 8 featuring her original illustrations with narration by The Dalai Lama. Telling the story of his life, this book includes never-before-shared details of his journey as one of the most revered spiritual figures of our time.

Released earlier this year, George Liebmann ’56 authored Vox Clamantis In Deserto: An Iconoclast Looks At Four Failed Administrations, a collection of short provocative op-ed articles, book reviews, and historical essays providing critical commentary with an informed perspective on political events from 1995 to 2020.



riverdale bids farewe ricky lapidus After 15 years at Riverdale, Dean of Faculty Ricky Lapidus is leaving to lead the upper school at Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA.

“I like to do this thing at the beginning of each class. It is called an evocation,” Mr. Lapidus said. Then, daily and with each one of us, he asked how we were feeling and what was going on in our lives. I felt seen as a student and person. I have never experienced such genuine care for students’ lives in and out of the classroom. That said, I was unsure what to expect when Mr. Lapidus showed up on my sophomore schedule for English II. During Mr. Lapidus’s illustrious 15 years at Riverdale, he has been an English teacher, homebase teacher, health teacher, advisor, Constructing America teacher, the English department chair, and now the Dean of Faculty. In other words, through the eyes of a 15 year old, he was a really important and maybe intimidating person. In fact, Mr. Lapidus has played a critical role in so many different ways at Riverdale and has touched the lives of many. I was nervous to take a class where we would read one of the most iconic Shakespeare plays, Macbeth. But on day one, I found a quick-witted, sometimes-silly man who embraced teaching through honesty and laughter. Mr. Lapidus’s love for life and learning, as well as his candor about his thoughts on books, writing, nature, children, and family created an environment that was conducive to engaging and nuanced discussion. As students, we felt supported taking risks and possibly being wrong. As we read books like God of Small Things, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Macbeth, The Albanian Virgin, and Intimate Apparel, we dug deep, and I learned how to find even more joy in reading and discussing literature.


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by sloane ptashek ’21

ell to I remember exploring irony with Mr. Lapidus. He introduced us to “Ironic” by Alanis Morrisette and had a serious problem with the song. As he pointed out, none of it is actually ironic. It is just, to quote Mr. Lapidus, “a song in which Alanis repeatedly misstates what irony is...over and over again.” The class sang the song in unison, and now, whenever I hear it, I reminisce about our togetherness and the hilarious videos our class made on that day, with Mr. Lapidus in the background, laughing and rolling his eyes. Through Mr. Lapidus, I discovered that reading and writing were not a chore; rather, through these exercises, we learned about nuance and specificity, as he encouraged us to explore beyond the obvious. I enjoyed going outside, even in the freezing cold, to write in the journals he gave us about a specific piece of nature on Fieldston Road. Mr. Lapidus taught us that we can discover and share so much about a tiny piece of the world. In the same way we learned literature and writing skills from him, we learned that the classroom is a safe space to explore ourselves as students and people. Lila King ’21 agrees, “Mr. Lapidus truly cared about his students. He created a community full of students who were eager to go to class, whether we were writing creatively or sitting outside to discuss the latest novel we were reading.” Mr. Lapidus made us feel so comfortable in class that some of us would take our shoes off or discuss things other than the books we were reading (he also happily helped himself to the food we brought to class). When Mr. Lapidus brought his children in, we were lucky to see a

side of him that we typically do not see in our teachers. We got to know Mr. Lapidus as a friend, confidante, and someone on whom we could rely. We did and still do. Mr. Lapidus has this unique talent of being able to infuse every moment with joy and to create relatable analogies. I looked forward to every class on the top floor of 9/10. I do not go up there anymore, but I find myself wistful about my time with Mr. Lapidus. He made every class a fun, safe, and enlightening space for everyone. As Mr. Lapidus goes off to lead the upper school at Head-Royce School in Oakland, we wish him luck. I am beyond grateful for all that he taught me, not only about English but about how to love learning and to trust myself in the process. The English II class of 2018-2019 will always remember his funny remarks, enthusiastic speeches, and his love for teaching. We always yell to him across the cafeteria when we see him walking by, or stop by his office whenever we can, even if it is out of our way. We will miss doing that next year and for the rest of our lives. We are incredibly lucky to have had him for all of our time at Riverdale.

sloane ptashek ’21 Sloane is a graduate of the Class of 2021, and has been at Riverdale since she started Kindergarten in 2008. She is passionate about and dedicated to the performing arts, social justice, and history. She will attend the University of California Irvine starting this fall, with an intended double major in Drama and American Studies.

We love you and will truly miss you, Mr. Lapidus! Here’s to more fly fishing, dystopian novels on the beach, squash, and fun with Juniper, Cormack, and Niko in sunny California. You will have an enormous impact on the lives of even more students, and they will be as lucky as I am to have learned from you. 




2020-21 virtual events

Homecoming and Reunion ’20: A full day of online events for alumni, students, parents, and faculty including book and panel discussions, interviews, and class gatherings. The first virtual Lower School Book Fair includes guest appearances by several authors and illustrators, including Jason Chin, Justin LaRocca Hansen, Veera Hiranandani, Caron Levis ’96, Mary O’Keefe Young, and Supriya Kelkar.

OCT 2020

Riverdale Community Action Day: Participants celebrate our longstanding community partnerships with hands-on service projects that can be done from home and directly support local organizations.

The Lower School, with support from the International Parent Committee, celebrates Diwali with a 15-minute full school movement break. Students are led in a Bollywood-style dance by a dancer located in Dubai, Ekta Mehta.

Author Paria Hassouri joins Assistant Head of School for Operations Kelley Nicholson-Flynn in a discussion about Found in Transition: A Mother’s Evolution During Her Child’s Gender Change.

Jeffrey Hollender ’73 and Executive Director of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) Michael Partis discuss the economic sustainability of the Bronx.


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NOV 2020

Jolli Humanitarian Award Winner Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an environmental and indigenous people’s advocate and activist from Chad, speaks to Upper School students with passion, honesty, and care on ways in which traditional indigenous understandings of the environment can be married with scientific understanding in order to combat climate change and its unequal impact on indigenous populations around the world.

Tim Lloyd ’05 joins students virtually from a U.S. Naval base in Japan in honor of Veteran’s Day. He describes the many traits that he has learned while serving in the Navy for over 10 years and details his work as part of the Watch Team within the Seventh Fleet, which oversees the Asian Pacific region.

Monthly meetings of the AWARE, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ alumni affinity groups begin.

JAN 2021

Kelley NicholsonFlynn leads a conversation with writer Amy Julia Becker about her memoir, White Picket Fences.

Lisa Birnbach ’74 moderates a discussion of the U.S. political system and electoral process framed by the recent election with panelists Tina Polsky ’86, Ron Kim ’97, and Cameron Koffman ’15.

FEB 2021

APR 2021

The Lower School hosts an Institutional Equity Roundtable focusing on representation and racial diversity in the River Campus curriculum.

Mikki Kendall, author of Hood Feminism, speaks to students and faculty, who flood the Zoom chat with comments describing it as the best assembly they have attended at Riverdale.

Karen Gantz ’68 and Cynthia Wachtell ’85 discuss the book The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I, written by Ellen La Motte and edited by Cynthia.

MAR 2021 Lovia Gyarkye ’12, associate editor of The New York Times for Kids, a monthly print section made for the newspaper’s youngest readers, speaks to students about the inspiration behind her work and goals, both personally and professionally, and experience as a student.

Dr. Rebecca Skolnick ’03 and Dr. Khadijah Cyril present to alumni on how anxiety and depression in teens has been impacted by this past year and what can be done to offer support and resources.

Nate Irving ’11 shares with students his experiences as a student at the River Campus and Hill Campus, leading his baseball team at UVA to the College World Series, being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014, and now as a coach and bullpen catcher for the Cincinnati Reds.

Middle School Project Day, typically a week-long event, offers students a one-day course in an area of their interest. Course options included Civil Disobedience: From Ancient Greece to the Present Day, Let’s Cook a Meal!: Chemistry in the Kitchen, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Fundamentals of Business, and Fashion History: Use the Past to Redesign the Future.

MAY 2021

JUNE 2021

The Class of 2021 celebrates their graduation during an intimate on-campus graduation that is livestreamed by nearly 300 virtual participants.



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Joining us from her own kitchen, Chef Lauren -- classically trained chef, former host of AOL’s cooking series Pantry Challenge, author of three critically acclaimed books including Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft and an award-winning children’s book, Eat Your Breakfast or Else! -kicked off the evening by sharing useful kitchen tips and tricks utilized by all professional culinarians and cooks alike. Chef Lauren’s segment was the perfect pairing for the upcoming conversation about the future of food and can be viewed, along with the restaurant panel, by logging on to the alumni portal. Tim and Nina Zagat, founders of Zagat Survey and inductees to the the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America, welcomed attendees to hear from a cadre of talented alumni connected by their passion for their work in the food industry. “I want to go back for just a second to Riverdale and its food when I was there,” recalled Tim, setting the scene, “corned beef hash, chicken a la king, and a dark brown gravy sauce on some kind of meat…that was Riverdale in those days, and frankly, that was food in New York in those days.” Going on to acknowledge how the landscape has since changed — both in regard to flavor and concept — and the deep impact this past year had on restaurants across the


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country, Tim and Nina invited panelists to share how this tumultuous time affected their businesses and the challenges they face moving forward. Colin McCabe ’93, co-founder of Chop’t Creative Salad Company among other endeavors, noted the unfortunate and painful reality of having to conduct layoffs and furloughs, not knowing what was in store for the “fast casual” chain of 75 restaurants located around the U.S. Rent costs accumulated with little to no flexibility from landlords despite the absence of indoor dining and newly instated online-ordering service fees took a substantial portion of profit due to the influx of takeout and delivery demands. Colin explained, “It puts a lot of pressure on margin using third-party platforms. Going into Covid, we were probably 35% digital, and at the height of Covid we were 80% digital, and that is just going to wear away those margins.” Sakura Yagi, former COO of the TIC Restaurant Group which served 12 different types of Japanese cuisines at 16 independent NYC locations pre-COVID, agreed noting the sudden burden placed on businesses to strengthen their online presence paired with a disruption in supply chain due to restrictions on imported goods contributed to the growing list of setbacks. “Everything came to a screeching halt. [Even now], it’s just so hard to get things, so prices go up because demand is up...I can’t get

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More than a year has passed since the initial spread of the virus and restrictions continue to lift as we make our way through the summer months. When asked to reflect on lessons learned and how this experience will shape their next steps, all panelists echoed that this has served as a milestone moment for businesses to reassess and reset. Jason Strauss, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and co-CEO of TAO Group Hospitality and newly acquired Hakkasan Group, emphasized the crucial role of innovative thinking when analyzing the most fundamental aspects of his business: “To be whittled down to almost the core and then rebuilt, it’s really showing what a company we are. That was major learning for us.” Colin added that the quick implementation of ideas with a focus on rehiring and creating professional-growth opportunities was key to strengthening the culture of his company. In tandem with filling essential in-house positions, newly formed partnerships and reinvestments paved the way for diversifying portfolios leading to a surge of new business.


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[my] hands on shisito peppers, plastic containers, paper bags, or saké,” says Sakura, also sharing that these are difficulties smaller operations will continue to face in the coming years as they try to bounce back. Having had to close six businesses in the midst of New York’s pandemic shakeup, Sakura is no stranger to the compounding pressures placed on familyowned businesses tasked with quickly redirecting initiatives. While government-issued grants and loans, such as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, provided some relief, support was reliant on certain factors and came with the potential of increasing financial debt. Across all levels of the industry, considerations had to be made in spite of the uncertainty of coming times leading many to shutter their doors as others formed mutually beneficial alliances.


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On Monday, May 10 RCS hosted nearly 150 alumni and current families for a dynamic demonstration by Chef Lauren Braun Costello ’94 followed by our 10th annual career panel: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Restaurant Industry featuring an eclectic mix of speakers including moderators Tim ’57 and Nina Zagat, and panelists Colin McCabe ’93, Jason Strauss ’93, Benjamin Berg ’96, and Sakura Yagi ’05. Sponsored by the Alumni Association Career Committee, this evening served as another opportunity to educate, inform, and connect community members, gathered to share in a common interest.

Benjamin Berg, based in Houston, Texas, and founder and CEO of Berg Hospitality, pointed out that results of this business boost will depend on market and location: “[With restaurants] in Texas, they’re becoming an entertainment source and you’re partnering with your landlords so, in some ways we have the upperhand down here. It’s been all about your partners, raising money, and knowing we’re in this together.” Another shared sentiment was a collective appreciation for community and the acknowledgement that it was in connecting with others, whether over shared troubles or triumphs, that made the difference in their ability to weather the storm. When it came to the survival of the “mom-and-pop shop” in particular, Sakura stressed that collective brainstorming, pooling of resources, and finding ways to give back were key to making it through those defining moments. “What really stuck with me was this community-building feeling….especially in the East Village area, not just Japanese but [all] Asian restaurants, [with] independent owners, banded together to make things happen,” said Sakura. “And whether it was business or delivering food to hospital workers, we took tips from each other and tried to survive by leaning on each other.” Audience questions ranged from current gaps in employment and the resurgence of the customer service industry to changing menus and takeout options -- and the panelists’ responses affirmed that, although the future remains unclear, strides are being made in the right direction. Businesses across markets will continue to consider how they can support employees while increasing the services they provide with a goal of expanding, when possible. With a note of gratitude and an abundance of positivity, Tim concluded the evening by advising, “People are very excited to go out as soon as they feel it’s safe, so get ready!” 



Class Notes 1937 Lawrence Ferlinghetti — acclaimed poet and longtime proprietor of City Lights, the San Francisco bookstore and avant-garde publishing house that catapulted the Beat Generation to fame and helped establish the city as a center of literary and cultural revolution — died on February 22, 2021, at his home in San Francisco.

1950 Peter N. Gillette, M.D, passed away at his home in Larchmont, NY, on December 27, 2020. He was surrounded by members of his family. In a tribute distributed to the medical staff of Downstate University at the time of Peter’s death, the Chairman of Medicine Dr. Moro Salifu wrote, “His contributions to our teaching programs have spanned over 60 years. He touched so many patients, trainees, and colleagues. He had a selfless zeal for work – no hours, no days, simply no calendar. He was ubiquitous on the floors. You


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needed him and he was right there, and he would work through solutions by teaching patients and their caregivers with love and affection.” Peter is survived by his beloved wife, Nedra Phelps Gillette; their daughter Ann Gillette Parsley and her husband Don, and their son Alexander; his daughter Louise Gillette and her husband Chip Clofine; and his daughter Becky Gillette and her husband Randy Fox.

I somewhat blossomed academically at Ohio Wesleyan. My late younger bro Dick Miller ’51 was a Pre-K through 12 Riverdalian who went to Wesleyan and pitched for their baseball team. He eventually became an English professor and a notable jazz pianist. He died about three years ago, and I miss him terribly.

From John Miller: Came home from Korea and worked as a reporter for the Miami Herald, the AP, and the NY World Telegram & Sun; two years as curator of publications for the NY Zoological Society; 20 years at NBC News, and finally a decade-plus writing documentaries for public television. Retirement for many years in NW CT. I was a wanting student, although I enjoyed my years at RCS playing on the tennis team behind Bob Nagao and Ed Koerner ’51 and later on my college varsity for four years, and then getting quite good post college. I think as a student at Riverdale I had ADD before they had a label for it, but

Lt. Col. Karl R. Heiser, a retired Marine and dedicated dad, died on Monday, January 18, 2021, of Covid-19. At Riverdale, he was a four-sport athlete on the football, basketball, track, and baseball teams. Karl was a captain and all-conference football player. One of his fondest memories as an athlete was Riverdale’s undefeated season in 1948. He went on to attend Wesleyan University for two years where he continued playing football. Karl had a successful twenty-two-year career in the Marine Corps, completing tours and dutyrelated travel across the world. He was a devoted husband of twenty-five years to


Nancy Ann Baron and had two sons, Karl Robert Baron and William Lee.

1954 Class Correspondent Nancy Bomeisler Nightingale passed away on January 3, 2021, from Covid-19. Nancy was predeceased by her beloved husband of 65 years, William L. Nightingale. She is survived by her two daughters, Vicki Nightingale of Katonah, NY and Jill Burstein (Dan) of New Hope, PA; her grandchildren, Katherine McGinn (Trevor), Alison Burstein, and Sam Hettich; her great-granddaughter, Margot McGinn; and her sister Carol Levy (Michael). Nancy will be fondly remembered for her vibrant spirit, her style, creativity, generosity, and devotion to her family and friends. She loved helping people and was an avid volunteer for the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop and the City Gardens Club of NYC. She was a dedicated supporter of National Jewish Health for decades.

1955 Classmate Margo Krasne reported the sad news that Allan Chasanoff passed away on October 18, 2020. John F. Murphy passed away on February 4, 2021. John served on dozens of boards and held a variety of advisor roles, but all of his professional accomplishments pale in comparison with the pleasure he got from mentoring young colleagues and law students, the love he shared with his wife, and his dear friendships, many of which dated back to his high school and college years when he played football. He is survived by his wife, two children, three stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

1956 Stuart Rose shares: I only have the fondest memories of my 14 years at Riverdale. One exception, having Mr. Cowling as my 9thgrade algebra teacher. I fondly remember Mr. Gardner in Geometry. I especially liked Mr. Klue in the Lower School, who turned me on to Camp Riverdale. I loved being on the track team, where my best was 10’3” in the pole vault. I never did beat Pete Aldrich ’53 at 10”6”, but I really enjoyed traveling to various meets. I went to Amherst and then to med school at Columbia University College of Physicians

and Surgeons. I spent my fourth-year elective in Tanzania giving immunizations to the Masai with a traveling medical unit in the bush. Climbed Kilimanjaro and visited many game parks when I was there. Unforgettable! I also volunteered in Haiti in 2010. I did a rotating internship and medical residency from 1965 to 1969 at San Francisco General Hospital. I have been very fortunate in the places I have worked. I went into Emergency Medicine ... it suited my restless nature since I didn’t have to sit at a desk most of the day but was up and about seeing a variety of cases. I got my pilot’s license (with instruments), but I have not flown for many years. I also did sport parachuting (89 jumps) at one time. I remarried in 1979 to Waltraud, an Austrian lady who is also an expert in antique and oriental rugs; she had come to my house in Amherst to appraise a carpet I inherited. She also came with my now-stepson, Nicholas, who is the joy of my life. I also have two wonderful sons (John and Justin) with my first wife, Annabelle. I haven’t worked in the ER for many years, so we have lots of time to travel, visit our kids and grandkids, grill in our backyard, walk every day, and take local drives around this beautiful area. My wife still has her house in Austria where we go annually, except this year because of the pandemic. I had open heart surgery in February at Mass General to repair a leaky mitral valve and the surgery was successful. Luckily, I have no restrictions on my activity and feel quite well, all things considered. Not bad for 82.

intoned “applesauce” when I offered an excuse for not doing my math homework [and] Mr. Renhack’s advanced French class with five students where we regularly got terrorized by “put your notebooks and textbooks away and take out a half a sheet of notebook paper” upon which we then took dictation of a grammatically abstruse sentence, which we then had to translate into French. And poor Mr. Luby, my devoted and beloved Latin teacher with a vest-pocket hearing aid that he turned up to max on cue when we mercilessly lowered our voices to a whisper until he turned the aid on high at which point, we all found our voices. And from the Girls School archives a toecurling story related by my father after a PTA meeting at which the Head of the Girls School extolled the virtues of the Girls’ School curriculum by saying “Our curriculum, just like Gaui, is divided into four parts! Of course, thanks to Mr. Luby I knew that Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres!” Barbara Berger Goldman writes: It’s been a really strange year. We haven’t been anywhere. We get groceries delivered. Just started to get take-out. But not often. Hope to go to Maine this summer. Craig really misses it. And I do too.

Bob Samuels reports: My wife Linda, 2 dogs and I are enjoying our retirement in Stuart, Florida. I often think of my years spent at Riverdale. From Jim Bernstein: It has been a long year with lockdowns occurring as I celebrated my 81st year. I have managed to escape time’s relentless arrow and am in excellent, immunized health with a few scars on my chest to indicate repairs and replacements. I am working harder than ever on my latest company, Eniware (eniwaresterile.com). I have had a new grandson arrive and a granddaughter soon to arrive. I have two more grandchildren that are impending adults. It is a time when I wonder how many of my Riverdale classmates are still beating their oars against the tide! I remember RCS well, particularly Irene Guiney who managed to throw textbooks against the blackboard next to my head with unerring aim as she

george bemis ’56 George Bemis writes: I thought I would pass this along in case the class does not know that John Lawrence passed last June in Thompson Fall, MT. John and I [had] been in touch over the years and he was very successful in running his companies. Over the past several years John developed a progressive pulmonary disease that eventually took his life. Other



news as you may remember, my wife Nancy passed of acute ALS in 2017. This past February I remarried a Leah Meyer raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and was living in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Leah was married for 52 years to Stan who passed on March 16, 2016, and Nancy and I were married for 58 years and she passed on March 16, 2017, one year after Stan on the same day. Leah is a retired fourth-grade school teacher that taught in the St. Louis, MO. area I trust that all is well with you and stay healthy as we hopefully wind down from this pandemic. Ken Deitch reported the very sad news that classmate Ben Lambert passed away on January 30, 2021. Ben was the founder and Chairman of Eastdil Secured, which he founded in 1967. Over the course of his 54-year career, he was involved in some of the most iconic real estate transactions. The firm operated as a subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank from 1999 [to] 2019. In 2019, the firm went private and solidified its position as the premier independent real estate investment bank. [In addition to] those influential roles, Ben served as a member of many boards of directors including, the Irvine Company and Hilton Hotels Corporation, Wells Fargo Mortgage and Equity REIT. He leaves behind his wife, Linda; his daughters, Alexa, Lauren and Hilary; his brother, Henry; his stepson, Oliver; and six grandchildren.

finance agency.

1957 We’re sad to report that two members of the Class of 1957 have died. Bob Glauber, our “Head Boy,” passed away peacefully in February. Bob, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Business and Law Schools for over 50 years. Among his many achievements, he was the Chairman and CEO of the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD), [was the] Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance under President George H.W. Bush, and served as the Executive Director of President Reagan’s task force on the 1987 stock market crash. Marc Weinberg passed away this March as a result of a fall trying to recover his drone video camera. Marc had been a leading international travel photographer for among others, The National Geographic Magazine and Lindblad Expeditions over many years. His work, involving all six continents and over 120 countries, was widely published. He was also a lifelong sailor, avid hiker, amateur Ham Radio operator, airplane pilot, and ski instructor. After college, he served in the Airforce and held a number of management consulting jobs focused on improving corporate morale. Both Bob and Marc had been active in the RCS Class of ‘57 Sunday Zoom reunions over the past year and will be deeply missed.

ben lambert ’56 Harry Gould has been reappointed by Mayor DeBlasio as Vice-Chairman of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYCHDC) for another fouryear term. This makes the 11th, four-year appointment/reappointment, by every NYC mayor since 1976. NYCHDC is the USA’s largest affordable housing


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Members of the Riverdale School for Girls also have been meeting on Zoom. Yvonne Payne Daniel, Smith College Professor Emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies, has taken the lead. The Zoom group met following the presidential election and again post the January 6 insurrection. Attendees have included Sue Jacobs Schaffzin, Judy Austin, Heather Fowler-Salamini, Karen Jacobson Sack, Judy Klieger Degelsmith, and Carolyn Monro. Ed Schaffzin is proud to announce that his oldest grandson, Ian Odland, was accepted at SUNY Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn. SUNY Downstate is nationally recognized for its emphasis on public health and research in biomedical science.

Wall Street Journal columnist Michelle Slatalla writes in the Feb 24th, 2021 article “10 Crucial Home and Garden Design Books for Beginners” that the numberone rated book is Time Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning co-authored by Marty Zelnik. “Every beginner needs an absolute Bible that defines all the elements of interior design,” said Toronto interior designer David Thomas. “Mine is this 1,160-page tome, which describes interior elements and gives rules for designing them. Thousands of illustrations help the reader identify architectural features…” Susan Szekely Edmiston writes: I continue to be a happily ensconced spinster in my 20-story apartment building with outdoor swimming pool, indoor gym, and tennis courts located approximately equidistant [amid] Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. The little book I wrote with Tucson friend Leonard Scheff — The Cow in the Parking Lot: a Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger —continues to sell very well 10 years after publication and has helped many people. There are 14 foreign editions including Hebrew, Turkish, and Chinese, as well as the usual European ones. I am now working on a book about love. I would be most happy to visit with any of my classmates who come to the Bay Area. Vera von Saucken Haldy-Regier shares: Like most of us, I have been in “stationary mode” all year, excepting some weekend car trips from Hastings to our cottage in Woodstock, NY, where we are equally stationary, raking leaves, planting bulbs, and tending flowers over the summer. As at least one of our classmates knows, being in nature and working the soil is healing and rejuvenating. In one lone sense, the year has been fruitful as I have turned inward and pondered the preciousness of time, as I had more of it. Once we are without our many outside activities, we may also have been able to sort out what is important and what is “chaff” that formerly may have filled the hours. In the first half of the year, much verse came to me and I published my fourth small collection of poems, Songs from Solitude, which Tim Zagat so kindly sent to members of our class on his own ever generous impulse. Now, I am somewhat drained and casting about for new projects. Some editing work has come my way and that has helped, particularly as I feel the pain of several dear friends

who are ill or depressed. Feeling productive is, after all, key to the sustenance we need to support others. So, I have little to report outside of my interior journeys. Thank you, class friends, for your active sharing of political and other thoughts. I am ever so grateful to be a part of our exceptional and cohesive RCS group! Sue Jacobs Schaffzin reports: It’s wonderful that the “Hill” class of ‘57 has stayed so in touch this year. Now the ’57 “Girls” are reaching out too as the distractions of the pandemic and election left little time to dwell on aging! I am happy to report that Ed [Schaffzin ’57] and I are well, and we stay out of trouble by playing bridge online, logging on to classes from One Day University, and taking weekly Central Park virtual tours. We walk 2-3 miles a day. Ed is still working and stays in shape by working out at a gym. Carolyn Monro writes: The pandemic has been a double-edged sword for me. Three neurologists have examined me at length and assured me I will never walk again, except on the arm of my son, or with the help of a walker. I am spending hours at my computer writing stories, partly from memory and partly from my imagination, in order to keep my brain as lively as possible. The pandemic has given me more time with my son, and it’s been a true lifeline. We do have a lot in common. I hope all my classmates are in good health and not feeling isolated by this strange world we are finding ourselves in.

Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan. In 1999, he received the First Citizen Award from the City of Corvallis, recognizing his many contributions of service to the community. In 2007, he received the Rotary Meritorious Service Award for his work to enrich the lives of area children. He is survived by his beloved wife; his “favorite” brother, Dick ’51; his two children, Bill (Jen) and Betsy (Bob) Cooper; and his four grandchildren, Raine, Ben, Ezra, and Joe. From Robert Rendell: I’m still living in Dallas with my wife. We are doing fine having survived the freeze and Covid (we are fully vaccinated). We moved down here in 1985 (from Larchmont) when I received a good offer from a Dallas law firm. Best thing I ever did. I am now retired, having practiced law for over 50 years. We travel a lot (or used to before the pandemic); I enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at SMU and take courses in whatever interests me: Italian Renaissance, Military History, Astrophysics, etc. Dallas is actually a very good place for music—we have an excellent symphony orchestra; several chamber music groups and a number of cabaret clubs.

on YouTube. So far we’ve been featured in two “The Burns and Allen” shows and “The Lives of Harry Lime” featuring Ed French, who does a remarkable Orson Welles imitation. Go to sperdvac.com for the latest. In addition, I’m continuing to interview interesting folks for Phil & Ted’s Sexy Boomer Show at sexyboomershow.com. You can hear our funny chats with Penn Jillette, Weird Al Yankovic, Alison “Little Bitch on the Prairie” Arngrim, John Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Laraine Newman, and others. Alex Garvin sent in the following: For my 80th birthday, my friends organized a Zoom event for 30 students, friends, associates, and relatives. Paul Brest and Mike Piore and their significant others attended. Dan Silver writes: My “wife equivalent” Sydne Simon and I are enjoying our new life in Boca Raton, FL. We also visited Linda and David Frankel at their beautiful home on Star Island in Miami. We had a wonderful lunch of stone crabs and key lime pie while reminiscing about our Riverdale days with Farnsworth, Cobb, etc. Jim Marrow sent in a photo of himself along with classmates George White and Alex Garvin taken in 2018 while celebrating their 60th Riverdale Reunion in Cambridge, England.

1958 Riverdale received the sad news that classmate Bob Bernhard passed away on March 11, 2021. After graduating from Cornell in 1962, Bob signed on as an officer in the US Air Force. He served a tour in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Bob and his wife, Peggy, moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he managed student cafeterias at the University of Tennessee. He enjoyed a decades-long career as the director of food service at various universities around the country and in 1983, he and Peggy moved to Corvallis where Bob became the director of the College Inn at Oregon State University. Bob was an active Boy Scout leader, member of Kiwanis, president of the local chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), coordinator of the SMART Reading Program at Mountainview School, and involved in the

phil proctor ’58 Phil Proctor reported: I and my talented wife, Melinda, have been appearing recently on a series of videos we contributed to from our home “studio,” called the Online Radio Theatre, created by Gregg Oppenheimer (whose dad, Jess, created I Love Lucy). These are faithful recreations of the Old Time Radio Classics that we used to perform “live” at conventions, but are great fun to watch

jim marrow ’58 From Paul Jablow: At our age, being there is something...getting my second vaccine shot on Wednesday, hoping to see my daughter Cara in person for the first time in a year. Class Correspondent David Lahm adds: My own news involves turning a page. Our house in NY is sold, likewise Nancy’s B&B in Harbert, MI. We plan to move to the



West Coast of FL, between Ft. Myers and Naples. Frankly, I don’t know what musical opportunities I will find but I am hopeful. The house sale in NY consumed many stressful months, so after we get settled in FL, I may just take a breath and decompress for a while.


On November 11, 2020, Joe Pickard and Allen Rosiny raised a glass to celebrate their 12-6 win over Poly Prep sixty years ago, to win the Ivy League Championship against all odds: “This has been an annual event that Allen and I started several years ago in honor of my brother, Derek ’61, who was the hero of the game.”

1959 From Geoff Howard: A note to everyone in ’59 Land (and beyond): Hoping you’re emerging from this period of COVID difficulty. And definitely check out the message at the end of this column. Mike Otten has been a busy guy in this year of “unbusyness.” He recently completed his annual seminar on CrossCultural Management with his INSEAD students in Paris and spent a lot of time navigating the complexities of distance learning with a 6-hour time difference thrown in. In addition, Mike has been deeply involved in various aspects of Election Reform, including such tricky areas as Ranked Choice Voting in NYC and Redistricting and Gerrymandering on the national level. Heady — and important! — stuff. Chris Hobson writes that he has had a trying year at Old Westbury, combining a year of remote teaching — “twice as much work” — with a stint as Department Chair — “an insane amount of work!” He notes that he’s “definitely looking forward to at least some resumption of face-to-face living” … to which we all say “Amen!” The Marathon Man of the Class of ’59 is unquestionably Ron Winston. At an age when most of us are slowing down, kicking back, and remembering the good ol’ days, Ron is fixated firmly on the future, dividing his time between rocket science and cancer research, among other challenging projects. As if that weren’t enough, he has just completed writing the book, King of Diamonds, based on his father’s life and his own. Ron is planning to host another Class Reunion afternoon for the Class in July at his Westchester home. He is hoping — as are we all — that our vaccinations will have taken hold by then and that the COVID green light will be on for gatherings like this. And remember, this is part of a very long tradition: the first class reunion was held at this very home about 6 hours after we graduated 62 years ago!


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mind was in high gear to analyze the events and trends of the Trump years with his friends. His untimely death leaves a vast hole in their lives.

bob kenas ’60 Bob Kenas sent in a photo of his newest grandchild and her twin brothers. Bob comments, “Photo of my son David’s new one-month-old with her ‘big’ brothers. New total now of 7 grandkids. I know I played 3 sports [at Riverdale]. How can I have become this old?”

1962 Peter Lichtenstein and Tony Sager sent in the following tribute: Ross Fisher passed away January 30, 2021. Ross lived in Italy and worked as a journalist for 40 years before returning to NYC permanently in 2012, when he came to his RCS fiftieth reunion. He went to Riverdale from First Form in 1956 until graduating in 1962. He loved sports, especially football and baseball, and was the class wit and prankster, joyfully irritating the faculty. Ross was a jazz aficionado and an accomplished drummer. Over the years he was a correspondent or producer for the BBC, “Sixty Minutes,” The Manchester Guardian, CBS, and more. He produced a public broadcasting documentary on Eurocommunism, was at one point a Vatican correspondent, and knew many of the greats of journalism. In Italy, he lived in Siena and Rome, was friends with Vieri Salvadori ’61, became fluent in many Italian regional dialects, and socialized with many of the world-famous opera and symphonic stars he covered. He brought his love of opera, history, art, world literature, and schmoozing with friends and strangers, back to NYC. He continued to talk and email with his friends in Italy and upon his return resumed friendships with many of his RCS classmates, including John Jablow, Bruce Schlechter, Dan Valahu, John Tabori, Paul Geiger, Peter Lichtenstein, Tony Sager, and his devoted lifelong friend Peter Boasberg who also helped Ross to manage medical problems. Ross’s informed and questioning

1963 Peter Philip passed on the following message: Ritch Goetz and his wife Lehn extend an invitation to lunch for fellow classmates and RCS alumni at their winery Rancho-Coyote in the Russian River Valley, Windsor, CA 95492. I have had the pleasure of sampling their wines and you will find them excellent. If you cannot get there, order up a case or two! Their website is Ranchocoyotevineyards.com.

1964 George Igel writes: “Since the start of the Covid pandemic our class has been holding a Zoom meeting every Monday and it’s been a wonderful way for classmates to connect, reconnect, support each other, and reminisce and gossip about our memories of RCS and the teachers and experiences we had there. It’s been hosted by David Woodsfellow. The group has really developed in a wonderful way. I think it exemplifies many of the values we learned at RCS, and I think the group is very appreciative of what the school has given to them.” John Jiler agrees, noting: “A kind of amazing thing is going with the Class of ’64, pictured here at our fifty-fifth reunion. Shortly after this shot, Jerry Williams and Abdul Jamaludeen, two of only three African-American members of our class, spoke to us candidly about the experience of being Black at Riverdale, and in America generally. It was eye-opening and ultimately bonding. We left vowing not to let another 5 years pass… but of course Covid interrupted that. Instead, we’ve spawned a Zoom relationship that we’ve come to treasure. We began by continuing the Civil Rights conversation and devouring a reading list suggested by Jerry and Abdul (‘Skip’ to us). Slowly it evolved into something else. We began

inviting guest speakers, and finally settled on our current, remarkable format……taking turns narrating our life stories, personal and the professional, warts and all. So now we meet on Monday nights and tell each other the truth as we face old age and mortality…”

john jiler ’64 Augie Boehm has been named to the IBPA (International Bridge Press Association), after having his 10th bridge book published, Masterpiece Deals. Also, a superb pianist, Augie was forced by Covid to miss his last two Carnegie Recital Hall May concerts, a rite of Spring for many of us. He hopes to be back in 2022… Those of us who misspent part of our youth at the racetrack will envy Rick Koplik, who reports that Mucho Macho Man, the gifted colt of which he’s part owner (3rd in the Kentucky Derby, winner of the Breeder’s Cup Classic) is currently standing at stud in Kentucky. The New Press just released Eric Kingson’s book (co-authored with Nancy Altman), Social Security Works for Everyone! Protecting and Expanding the Insurance Americans Love and Count On. Eric, a professor at the Syracuse University School of Social Work, lives in Manlius, NY. Don Marcus has completed his remarkable project with his son, Ted, and his wife, Lisa, a full-length documentary called Lucky Milo, a stunningly powerful film about PTSD and the true cost of war. We’re all very proud of the Marcus family. Shami Jones McCormick ’71 sent in the following note: “In the fall of 2020, I lost one of my best friends--my brother, P. Jeffery Jones. Jeff, the rascal of the family, had a huge impact on my life, guiding me to Kenyon College and, later, to marrying his good friend and fellow marathoner, Daniel McCormick. The world was more luminous for his presence.”

1965 Class correspondents, Gail Hart and Melissa Gordon, share the following note with the class: We are thinking of each other during these extraordinary times and many of us enjoyed a satisfying and cheering reunion Zoom meeting. We hope to continue to stay in touch and to support each other going forward. Please stay safe and healthy and continue to share any news. From Jim Fuld: I am sad to report that our classmate, Roger Einiger, passed away from pancreatic cancer last December. Though undergoing treatment for a number of years, Roger always kept his sense of humor and concern for others. I was fortunate to have lunch with him just prior to Covid-19 where we shared about our Riverdale and Penn experiences. Roger had a long and impressive career at Oppenheimer & Co. before retiring to devote his time and energy to many philanthropic endeavors. Our class extends its condolences to Roger’s wife, Carol, his son, Josh, daughter-in-law, Julie, and grandson, Josh. Robert Krulwich adds: Roger Einiger was one of those quiet ones, the guy who knows more than you think, moves with small steps, gets things done without making a lot of noise. He lived in my building when we were growing up and was good at math. I wasn’t. I had to take the elevator to him multiple times a week. He’d coach me; we’d build movie sets with his poker chips, pour coke into whiskey glasses and stage knock-em dead cowboy fights. Later he became a managing partner in a Wall Street firm, organized the merger of two gigantic municipal hospitals, married a woman even more accomplished than he was, and became a grandpa. Up close he was full of heart. Step back and he’d blend in softly. That was his gift; to make changes and leave only a gentle trace. Dick Aronson writes: I continue working with passion at Amherst College. I advise, mentor, and teach students who are passionate about health and healing. My vision is to inspire in the future generation of health professionals a holistic, interdisciplinary, socially conscious, and deeply humane and empathetic approach to health care. A few of my students over the years went to Riverdale! Personally, our lives have been mixed: the exquisite

joy of our first granddaughter, Nina Aronson, born to our daughter-in-law Caroline (married to our son Toby) in 2018 in Burlington, Vermont; and the ongoing anguish of our daughter Angela’s struggle and suffering with long-hauler Covid. From Rachel Hadas: My book of poems Love & Dread is due out from Measure Press later this spring, and a book of prose selections, Piece by Piece, will be published by Paul Dry Books in July. Also, my recent article “What Goes Around Comes Around, Or What Greek Mythology Says About Donald Trump” was published in Rutgers University’s online publication The Conversation. John Siffert wrote in with some good news: “Our youngest son, Matt, [was] married on May 22. In pandemic tradition, it [was] outdoors with 10 guests in attendance.” Matt is a singer-songwriter. His fiancée, Delaram Takyar, is a secondyear law student at Yale. Chris O’Sullivan reported: The last time I saw Beth Waithe was when I spent a night at her mother’s house in the Bronx. It must have been around 1968. Then I lost her. Through the wonders of the internet, I found her a few years ago, and we spoke on the phone once, for a few hours, a marathon catch-up. I went to her Facebook page earlier this month, to wish her happy birthday (her birthday was around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, easy for me to remember, approximately). She had died! Don’t know of what. Here is the little I know about her life. After her mother died, she lived in her mother’s house with her son for a few cold years, finally selling it and moving to New Orleans. She was evacuated to San Antonio after Katrina and stayed there. She listed her occupation as “Crofter.” She had a wonderful group of lefty friends from her neighborhood and summer camp, Lincoln Farm Work Camp. We hung out in Greenwich Village, went to Jones Beach, wrote bad poetry, played the guitar (Beth played bongo drums and imitated Alan Ginsburg), and sang badly. Beth introduced me into her world, which was creative, fun, and warm.

1968 John M. Davis sent in the following note: Because we knew that we would be unable to fly to Argentina this year, we decided to rent a townhouse in Charleston, South



Carolina, since we could drive there. Part of the incentive was to spend time with my lifelong friend, Neal Popper and his wife, Margaret. Neal and I met when we were 10 years old in the lower school. We shared piano teachers, first Mrs. McClanahan and then Mrs. Rudie. He was my partner during Sunday four hand concerts at the music school.

when we were lined up next to one another at Riverdale Country School. Carlos didn’t like Riverdale at all, but even then, he had a “big” personality, and he and I (and Tony Adler) began a friendship which lasted a lifetime. My parents adored Carlos. He always called my parents by their first names. ‘How are Betty and Arnold?’ he would ask. He died suddenly of cancer at age 71, on September 24, 2020, in San Francisco. He leaves behind his son, James.


neal popper and john m. davis ’68 John adds: Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbaum [also] has been a very close friend of mine since we were both 10 years old. My nickname for him has changed from “young man “to “Gramps,” because he and his wife, Nancy, have three grandchildren. I used to visit them annually when they lived in Cleveland; however, recently they moved to Charlotte, North Carolina...so, because we are in Charleston this month, we both decided to meet for lunch in Columbia, South Carolina. The funny part about all this is that he and Neal Popper rode the school bus together to Riverdale.

john m. davis and jeffrey rosenbaum ’68 Lastly, John shares this additional note: I first encountered Carlos Davis at age 11,


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john heyman ’70 John Heyman shares: I am living in West Palm Beach now, having moved here in 2000, and have two daughters (one married), two stepdaughters (both married), and four step-grandchildren. I retired from my career in public accounting in 2012, having served a term at the Securities and Exchange Commission, having been the national director of SEC practice for BDO USA, and then having run my own boutique SEC consulting firm. My wife, Kathy, and I were traveling some before the pandemic, and we have gone to England, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the South Pacific islands, Australia, and most recently on safari in South Africa and Zimbabwe. In retirement I have taken over running the family investment entities, tried to recover some of my golf game, and have gotten involved in volunteering as a rules official for the Florida State Golf Association and the United States Golf Association. Not getting as many birdies as I used to, but I can still get in the 70s. Here is a photo of me with Jack Nicklaus. I was a rules official at the qualifying for the US Senior Open (note the radio and stopwatch) and Jack and Barbara

Nicklaus had come out to watch their son Gary try to qualify (he made it - last spot in a playoff). Afterward Jack was kind enough to pose for pictures with some of the rule’s officials. Deborah Freund writes: I stepped down from being a college president in 2015. I am on lots of boards and love being back in public health and forming research and student alliances with community organizations. Ken Davies and Margrethe, his wife of 35 years, are settled in Uganda since his retirement from the UN WFP in 2015. Ken is farming vanilla and Margrethe is the volunteer staff doctor at Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja (raysofhopehospicejinja.org). Their five kids are scattered between Bangkok, Cairo, Virginia, and Chicago. Ken would love to hear from former classmates - his email is kendavies52@yahoo.com. Amy Davis reports: I am delighted and deeply honored to have received an honorable mention for the Auburn University Witness Prize, which is given in memory of the fine poet Jake Adam York. My poem, “As Company,” has now been published online by the Southern Humanities Review, and you can find it here: southernhumanitiesreview.com/ awpp-honorable-mentions-amyelisabeth-davis.html.

1971 Shami Jones McCormick continues to live in Orlando, Florida, with her husband Daniel. They are ecstatic to announce that their first grandchild, a boy, Rhys Daniel McCormick, was born in August 2020. Shami works part-time at Universal Studios in Orlando at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She is the Wand keeper at Ollivanders Wand Shop. When not being a Wizard, Shami does a bit of theatre and rescues injured ducks. In the Fall of 2020, Shami lost one of her best friends--her brother, P. Jeffery Jones ’64. (See p. 38 for her tribute to him.)

1972 Connie Rosenberg Hochman’s laborof-love film, In Balanchine’s Classroom, is now official: it is slated for release in September 2021, starting with an exclusive engagement at the Film Forum in NYC. The film chronicles some of the

dancers of legendary choreographer George Balanchine during the 1960s and 1970s, set against their present-day efforts to keep his legacy alive. It includes never-seen-before archival footage of Balanchine at work during rehearsals and classes, along with interviews with his adored and adoring dancers. (See p. 25 for more.)


husband started over 10 years ago, along with several others. Patty reported: “We are now working on replication around the country. Erica was a big supporter of Sweetwater Spectrum. My son Chris lives up there and since Erica was his godmother, I thought that was a perfect location to honor her memory. She was my best friend for 46 years and will forever be in my heart.”

susan ephron ’80

Tony Melchior shares the very sad news that classmate Maco Stewart passed away at his home in Los Alamos, NM, on January 29.

1977 Class Correspondent, Fran Hoffinger reports: In this time of Covid I have been in touch with a number of RCS classmates and friends, just to catch up and check in on each other, including Susan Freyberg Wolfert, Judy Scheuer, Travis Epes, Wendy Barasch ’78, Cassandra McGowen, Valerie Aubry, Patricia Friedland Templeton, Jonathan Goodman (he and I grew up in the same building on the Upper West Side as did Mark Neuberger), Steven Friedlander, and Andrew Barovick. If there is any silver lining in this past year, which can only be described as surreal and horrible, Zoom and other streaming platforms have made possible all sorts of meetings and introductions which might have been difficult if not impossible previously. For example, Steven Friedlander recently invited my daughter Rebecca, who is a journalist and author of a book of essays entitled Good Things Happen to People You Hate, to speak to his magazine class at the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media. With Zoom, she was able to attend without leaving her living room. In any event, she was very happy to be asked to speak with budding writers and to connect with Steve, who continues to write as well as teach. Steve’s daughter, who works at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT in Cambridge also attended, courtesy of Zoom. I also heard from Patty Brenner Jackson who sent photos of a bench she arranged in memory of Erica Lindenbaum Tishman. The bench is located at Sweetwater Spectrum in Sonoma, CA. Sweetwater is a supportive living, residential community for adults with autism that Patty and her

to visit.

in memory of erica lindenbaum tishman ’77

in memory of erica lindenbaum tishman ’77

David Roberts wrote in some exciting news as well: My daughter, Lauren ’06, was married last March just as the pandemic was starting. My son Andrew ’08 is the CEO of a “re-startup” shoe company, Del Toro, and my son Michael ’12 is working at the Robin Hood Foundation on a special project with CEO Wes Moore ’96 (honorary degree ‘12) on the Racial Wealth Gap. My wife, Deborah, just completed creating and helping to direct a Passover musical video for Project Kesher. I included the link below. It’s getting a lot of views and praise. kveller.com/this-cover-of-debbiefriedmans-miriams-song-is-so-inspiring/ (The video is not a solicitation, but a celebration of a song (“Miriam’s Song”) written by the late, great singer Debbie Friedman as a Passover tribute to strong women). Peter Doyle shares an update on friend and classmate Adam Klein: Good news about Adam! He survived his surgery and a stroke and is recovering gradually. He recently moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Theo Spilka reflected on our recent virtual reunion cocktail party and I reiterate his remarks: “All good and awaiting a vaccine. : ) It was so nice seeing a few of us a few months ago. It really made me smile.”

Susan Ephron writes: I think the last time I provided a class note was when I moved to Seattle in 1996, so it’s probably time for an update. After practicing law in various forms for the last 34 years, I’m retiring. My company announced an early retirement opportunity that was too good to pass up, and my last day of work is July 30! It’s a strange time to be moving on to the next chapter but I hope borders will start to open and we’ll be able to travel internationally. For adventures closer to home, we bought a Sprinter van and named him Jean Claude. He loves the open road. We’ll still be based in Seattle if anyone is in the neighborhood and wants

Earle Fisher who says he “hasn’t been in the sports game for a few years now” (you can catch a glimpse of Earle in The Last Dance!) was discovered by Ken Fischer to be in the brownie game now! Earle fell into a family business startup thanks to his ingenious son. This news came to me not from Earle but from Ken who has been indulging: “So....I’ve been waiting for a nice sunny day to take a photo of me eating some of Earle’s family-run ‘Da Bomb Brownies’ but the Lord of Light has not looked favorably on my gluttony of late. Seriously, these brownies are amazing, and I highly recommend them as the first Covid cure-all!!! When asked, Earle shared:

Here’s hoping for a safer and healthier 2021 and that we are all able to get together in person soon.



“It’s a neat story... My son started selling brownies out of a locker at school to raise money to buy a car two years ago and I won’t bore you guys with all the details, but we now ship nationwide and are trying to figure out next steps in terms of growth.”

earle fisher ’80 And I lifted the below photo of Niki Vorhaus Thran welcoming spring from a text chain. It gives me hope.

global legal publication). Working on a new TV show with a #1 rated producer, numerous documentaries, setting up record labels, animal law for zoos, book publishing, famous brand licensing, sports management, trademarks, social media influencers, etc. Very exciting. RCS alums in this arena, please feel free to contact me for any “friendly” advice! From Michele Alfano: Trained as an architect, I have put my focus in reinventing interiors that evoke an emotional response — memorable spaces that calm, energize, up-lift, and create happiness. Known for my trademark signature Poetic Modernism®, I can help clients transform the way they live and thereby take on the world. Especially in these difficult times, I believe that our spaces are so important and can make a difference in our lives. My projects have been featured in Forbes magazine in a 2020 Forecast in Kitchen and Bath design, a 3-part series; honored as Top Innovator on the inaugural list for Kitchen and Bath News and selected for the American Standard/ DXV Design Panel to re-imagine the modern movement; the spa bathroom design was featured in such publications as the New York Times T Style, Luxe, Interior Design, Elle Decor, Vanity Fair, Metropolitan Home, Metropolis, and Architectural Digest. I also feel strongly about the importance of giving back and have, since 2012, participated both as a designer, steering committee member, and Brand Ambassador for DIFFA’s Picnic by Design. This charity event redefines the concept of a traditional picnic where 20 designers come together to create innovative picnic-basket experiences on an urban NYC rooftop.

We became New Mexico residents last month and are looking forward to a totally new life in the hills. FUN times to come!

1999 Rebecca Levy Anikstein and her husband Darren Anikstein welcomed their 4th child, Jack Philip Anikstein, on 7/15/20! Congratulations!

2001 Alexander Klebanoff who is an actor, producer, and writer living in West Hollywood, CA, recently executive produced and starred in a crime thriller movie titled The Decipio. The plot is about undercover agents infiltrating an organized crime ring run by women. The film will be distributed to prominent film festivals. In addition to an actor, he is also a guitarist and has been playing since his sophomore year at Riverdale. He recently founded his own business called the Kleb Guitar Experience, providing virtual guitar lessons to beginners of all ages. His website is klebguitarexperience.com.

2006 Meredith Karp Franz sent in a photo of her adorable son, James, already showing off his Falcon pride!

niki vorhaus thran ’80

1986 John Erthein shares: I have continued to serve as a Presbyterian minister and am currently pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Bainbridge, Georgia. I was married from 2004 to 2016 and have three children: Matthew, Laura, and Lillian. I visited Alex Elman Foley last summer in Sarasota and had a blast! Michael Baroni reports: After 26 years as an in-house counsel, I started my own law firm. Then (perfect timing), I was named ‘Entertainment Lawyer of the Year – USA’ (by Lawyer Monthly, a


Spring/Summer 2021

meredith karp franz ’06 todd lustgarten ’86 Todd Lustgarten writes: My wife, Laura, and I rode out early Covid in a very sleepy Vail, CO, during which time we hatched a plan to move from Santa Monica, CA, to Santa Fe, NM, and subsequently bought a place about 3 miles from Kate Carswell.



Zoe Zetlin sent in this photo of herself with Josh Howard ’09 with the caption: “We got married!”

Brian Lebowitz has become Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the Franklin College Grizzlies.

2015 Victoria Gross reported: My husband and I welcomed our beautiful and healthy baby girl Emmanuelle Anne-Marie on December 18, 2020. We are so thankful for God’s great blessing. I live in England where I am currently completing my doctorate at the University of Oxford.

zoe zetlin ’08 and josh howard ’09

CELEBRATING REUNION 2021 1951 - 70th Reunion 1956 - 65th Reunion 1961 - 60th Reunion 1966 - 55th Reunion 1971 - 50th Reunion 1976 - 45th Reunion 1981 - 40th Reunion 1986 - 35th Reunion 1991 - 30th Reunion 1996 - 25th Reunion 2001 - 20th Reunion 2006 - 15th Reunion 2011 - 10th Reunion 2016 - 5th Reunion

in memoriam

Lawrence Ferlinghetti ‘37 Mary Lewis Wang ’40 Gita Landauer Finsen ’41 Sally Harrison Cochran ’43 Kenneth Blum ’44 Heidi Clarke Schultz ’44 Anne Forster Higgs ’48 Peter Gillette ’50 Karl Heiser ’51 Frank Rose ’53 James McLelland ’53 Nancy Bomeisler Nightingale ’54 Allan Chasanoff ’55 John F. Murphy ’55 Ben Lambert ’56 John Lawrence ’56 James Taylor ’56 Robert Glauber ’57 Marc Weinberg ‘57 Robert Bernhard ’58 Ed Gershey ’60 Tom Gilliard ’61 Ross Fisher ’62 Jeff Jones ’64 Roger Einiger ’65 Beth Waithe ’65 Carlos Davis ’68 Charles Pye ’70 Maco Stewart ’73 Ben Lewis Kaplan ’10 Julia Ghahramani ’12





Class Correspondents

Find your class’s correspondent and submit a class note! You may also submit a class note to Robin Gottlieb at rgottlieb@riverdale.edu or 718-519-2703. 1946 Patricia Arkin Gerdsen patfossillady@gmail.com 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 Become a Class Correspondent* 1952 Barbara Dean Schuler 914-337-2712 1953 William H. Gardner whginc@mindspring.com 1954 Become a Class Correspondent* 1955 Jane Samet Rogers jazzpiano77@verizon.net 1956 Barbara Berger Goldman barbaraandronnie@aol.com 1957 Judith Austin judyaustin40@yahoo.com Robert Johnson robert.johnson@mto.com Suellen Jacobs Schaffzin craftyme33@hotmail.com Martin A. Zelnik panzel1@aol.com 1958 David F. Lahm dflahm@gmail.com 1959 Geoff Howard howards@warwick.net Michelle Seligson meseligson@comcast.net 1960 E. Harvey Meer ehmeer@aol.com 1961 Lawrence Rosenbluth rosenbluth342@yahoo.com 1962 Tom Franklin franklinus@aol.com Joseph Pickard jpickard1306@msn.com 1963 Stephen R. Blank stephen.blank@att.net


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Peter W. Philip petersells@aol.com Paul K. Safer pksmd@msn.com 1964 John H. Jiler johnjiler@earthlink.net 1965 Melissa Gordon melmelg48@aol.com Gail A. Hart york86@aol.com 1966 Leslie Nathan Weinberger ljw429@gmail.com 1967 Carol Nathan McKegney carolrsp@yahoo.com 1968 John M. Davis johnmdavis3@gmail.com 1969 Nancy Duff-Boehm nduff611@aol.com 1970 David Asencio david102251@msn.com Robert S. Kahn bob@kahnconsulting.com Michelle Moye Martin theladymoye@gmail.com 1971 Jerry J. Fall fall.jerry@gmail.com Charlotte Jones McCormick shamimccormick@gmail.com 1972 Elizabeth S. Lasdon eslasdon@gmail.com 1973 Anthony Melchior melchprod@aol.com 1974 Donnamarie Barnes donnamariebarnes@gmail.com Roger Sherman rsherman@cyruscapital.com 1975 Jonathan J. Beitler jonathanjbeitler@gmail.com

Jeffrey J. Russell jjrussell@clearbridgeadvisors.com 1976 Daniel Easton mashfly007@aol.com 1977 Fran Hoffinger fhoffinger@hoffingerlaw.com 1978 William J. McGowan bill@claritymediagroup.com 1979 Lori Tarnopol Moore lori.moore26@gmail.com 1980 Dana Swinsky Cantelmo danaswinsky@me.com 1981 Elizabeth A. Holoubek-Sebok eholoubek@aol.com Lisa Burge Swotes lswotes@gmail.com 1982 Meryl I. Poster meryl.poster@superbentertainment.net

1983 Eric M. Yamin eric.yamin@ubs.com 1984 Eve Reppen Rogers evejewels@icloud.com 1985 Allison J. Unger Brody 1986 Sanford E. Cannold sandy.cannold@gmail.com 1987 Become a Class Correspondent* 1988 Stacy J. Grossman stacyjgrossman@gmail.com 1989 Allison R. Rouse allison.rouse@gmail.com 1990 Jeffrey L. Korenman jkorenman@hotmail.com Achikam Yogev achikamyogev@gmail.com

1991 Stefanie Firtell Donath sadonath6873@gmail.com 1992 Laura J. Kleinman kleinmanlaura@yahoo.com 1993 George D. Creppy gcreppy75@gmail.com Alexis Densen Higgins alexis.higgins@gmail.com 1994 Danielle J. Englebardt denglebardt@gmail.com 1995 Brittany Podell Levin bpodellco@gmail.com 1996 Lara Engelbardt Metz larametz@gmail.com Timothy F. Morehouse tim.morehouse08@gmail.com 1997 Jaime Benjamin Trichon jaimebenj@gmail.com 1998 Jessica Endelson Baum jessbaum@live.com 1999 Matthew C. Balaban mattbalaban1@gmail.com 2000 Lana Jacobs Edelman lanarose@gmail.com 2001 Samantha A. Acunto ac.samantha@gmail.com Adam M. Brenner adam.brenner@gmail.com Alex P. Horn alexp.horn@gmail.com David Rausnitz drausnitz@gmail.com 2002 Samara Fetto Gee samara.fetto@gmail.com Benjamin Z. Koblentz bkoblentz@gmail.com 2003 Adam R. Heller adamheller1@gmail.com Ariel C. Schneider schneider.ariel@gmail.com 2004 Brandon A. Cohen brandon.adam.cohen@gmail.com

Cristina E. Haley crissy.haley@gmail.com 2005 Daniel A. Perelstein dperelstein@gmail.com Amy R. Schneiderman amy.r.schneiderman@gmail.com 2006 Tracy Dansker tdansker@gmail.com Jordan Marin triplejmm@gmail.com Elise Michael emichael1014@gmail.com Eric B. Nusbaum ericbnusbaum@gmail.com 2007 Kate M. Lehrhaupt kate.lehrhaupt@gmail.com 2008 Michael Roberts roberts.r.michael@gmail.com Andrew J. Taub andrew.james.taub@gmail.com Zoe S. Zetlin zzetlin@gmail.com 2009 Daisy H. Hackett hackett.daisy@gmail.com Josh A. Howard jh1003@gmail.com Joshua S. Pearl josh@joshpearl.com Elizabeth G. Phillips egphilli@gmail.com Ashley M. Rainford ashley.rainford@gmail.com Danielle Suchman Sheptin Danielle.suchman@gmail.com Alyssa J. Smith alyssajaclyn@gmail.com 2010 Ethan Gracer edagracer@gmail.com Alexandra E. Kokot alikokot@gmail.com Allyson Peltz allyson.peltz@gmail.com 2011 Laura E. Berman laura.e.berman@gmail.com 2012 Jay B. Dessy jbdessy@gmail.com Chloe S. Getrajdman cgetrajdman@gmail.com

2013 Khari A. Dawkins khari.dawkins@gmail.com George S. Niedermayer niedermayergeorge19@gmail.com 2014 Travis R. Brady travisrenoirbrady@gmail.com Saranya Vijayakumar saranyav196@gmail.com 2015 Corey A. Morrison dactadeo@gmail.com Robert J. Proner robertproner@gmail.com 2016 Christian Eggers cde2117@columbia.edu Jake Fallek jakefallek@gmail.com 2017 Ava Levinson ava.levinson@gmail.com Luis Perez lp2755@columbia.edu Zoe Schwartzman schwartzmanzoe@gmail.com 2018 Jackson Harris jaxonlego@gmail.com Alex Karr ajkarr1@gmail.com 2019 Michael Maffezzoli mmaffezzoli01@gmail.com Jason Steiger jasonsteiger18@gmail.com 2020 Patrick Davidson patrickdavidson0@gmail.com Teji Vijayakumar tejasri.vijayakumar@gmail.com 2021 Andrew Lipschultz andrew@lipschultz.com Michelle Wen mwen2021@gmail.com *To become a Class Correspondent, contact Robin Gottlieb at rgottlieb@riverdale.edu or 718-519-2703.



Board of Trustees 2020-2021 Gwen Adolph Terri Austin, Secretary Bruce Beal, Jr. Ellen Nachtigall Biben ‘83 David Blitzer, Treasurer Edem Dzubey ‘07 Ebby Elahi Chloe Epstein Sandra Kim Hoffen ‘83 Mark Hostetter ‘77 Chris James ‘93 John Kao ‘68 Kass Lazerow Tiffany Austin Liston ‘94, AAEC President Susan Moldow ‘63 Tom Montag Anand More John Neuwirth Dominic Randolph, Head of School David Rhodes Dan Rosen ‘92, Vice Chair Jacqueline Rosen, PA President Deborah Sonnenberg

Philip “Tod” Waterman III ‘84 Roy Weathers David Westin, Chair Vanessa Wittman Kazumi Yanai TRUSTEES EMERITI Michele R. Cohen Thomas C. Israel Brad S. Karp Jane Lisman Katz ’65 Peter M. Lehrer Linda Lewis Lindenbaum ’54 William C.W. Mow ’55 David N. Roberts ’80 Harvey Schulweis Robert A. Staub ’52 Thomas W. Strauss Jeffrey N. Vinik ’77 Eugene “Tim” Zagat, Jr. ’57 Ada G. Zambetti Richard S. Zinman

Alumni Association Executive Committee 2020-2021 Samantha Acunto ’01 George Anagnos ’76 Harrie Bakst ’03 Jessica Endelson Baum ’98 Liz Strauss Clyman ’97 Stefanie Firtell Donath ’91 Edem Dzubey ’07 Lana Jacobs Edelman ’00 Tara Pfeifer Englander ’93 Danielle J. Englebardt ’94 Betsy Fields ’86 Joseph Goldschmid ’04, Vice President Paul Goldschmid ’96 Susan Golkin ’85 Maggie Heller Greebel ’99 Michelle Kirschtein Jacobs ’81 Tiffany Austin Liston ’94, President


Spring/Summer 2021

Deborah Yamin Manocchia ’87 Anthony Melchior ’73 Lara Englebardt Metz ’96 Philip R. Michael ’00 Shary Moalemzadeh ’89 Allyson Peltz ’10 Omari Ramirez ’05 Amelia Levin Relles ’87 Michael Roberts ’08 Carolyn Braun Rosen ’92 Daniel D. Rosen ’92 Peter R. Rosenblatt ’50 Jessica Elghanayan Shell ’95 Roger Sherman ’74 Andrine Wilson ’02 Jenna Langel Witten ’06 Ahmed Yearwood ’91

“...there are genuinely very few institutions that do as much good as RCS. We need to help those who have helped us.” Dr. George Igel ’64 has had many affiliations with Riverdale throughout his life. He is a parent to James ’89 and Brian ’95 and served on the Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1996 during which he headed the Student Affairs Committee. In addition, as a student, he proudly was captain of the football team and president of the student council during his high school years at the school. After graduating from Riverdale, George received his BA from Amherst College and his MD from Downstate Medical School. He has more than 49 years of experience practicing psychiatry in NYC. In addition, he has been an assistant professor at Weill Cornell, and was co-founder of the National School Climate Center.

We spoke to George about some of his other treasured connections to Riverdale, including why he decided to become a member of the Frank S. Hackett Planned Giving Society.

D r. G e orge I gel ’ 6 4 On joining the Frank S. Hackett Planned Giving Society For over 50 years, most of your classmates from the Class of ’64 have continued their close friendships with one another including staying in touch with weekly Zoom gatherings to chat about a variety of topics. Why do you think this strong class bond has lasted throughout the years? Part of it, honestly, is good fortune. Our class was somewhat unusual in that we were a very accepting and supportive group. It is also a group of “can do” selfstarters, some of whom (John Jiler, David Woodsfellow, and Eric Kingson for example) have taken it upon themselves to revive and continue our friendships over the years. The environment that our headmaster, John Jones, and the teachers of that time in the ’60s created, with “the other fellow first” ethos, actually affected many of us significantly — we cared about one another as well as other people and issues that were larger than ourselves. Riverdale has grown and evolved, but so many of its core values remain. As an alumnus who has stayed connected with the school, what has impressed you most about Riverdale today?

The happiness and friendliness around campus, the continued balance between intellectual and psychological development, the energy and sense of mission or purpose, and the caring about making the world a better place. What inspired you to become a member of the Hackett Society and include Riverdale in your estate plans? I feel deeply indebted to the school for the very important friendships I made there and the equally important life lessons that I learned. I also developed a pretty strong academic foundation and love of learning. What would you say to anyone who may be considering a planned gift to the school? If you are a procrastinator (like me) or getting older (like me), do it now so that you don’t forget. If you are neither, please do it anyway — paying it forward is a wonderful concept, and there are genuinely very few institutions that do as much good as RCS. We need to help those who have helped us.

Riverdale Country School 5250 Fieldston Road Bronx, New York 10471-2999 www.riverdale.edu


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