THE BULLETIN SPRING 2012
Alumni in College Prepare to Graduate Giving Back to Create Future Opportunities Transforming Residential Life For Alumni, Parents & Friends of Westminster School
An image of the Westminster campus after the Oct. 29 snowstorm taken by Alexa Armour ’14 as a part of her Independent Study in Photography with photography instructor Jane Toner P’02. To achieve this impression, Alexa set her digital SLR camera to f/22@1/4 second with ISO 200 and zoomed in as the shutter was released.
3On the cover, members of the Class of 2008 who are featured in an article about their college experiences beginning on page 16.
TRUSTEES 2011-2012 John S. Armour ’76 Emeritus Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Elisabeth M. Armstrong P’04, ’06, ’07 Cherry Hills Village, Colo. Beth Cuda Baker P’09, ’12, ’15 New Canaan, Conn. Susan Werner Berenson ’82 Bethesda, Md. C. Andrew Brickman ’82 Hinsdale, Ill. Daniel Burke III ’87 Winchester, Mass. Trinette T. Cheng P’08, ’11, ’13 Kowloon, Hong Kong Abram Claude Jr. ’46 P’71, ’80, ’84, GP’02 Emeritus North Salem, N.Y. John A. Cosentino Jr. P’00 Simsbury, Conn. Lori P. Durham P’13, ’15 Denver, Colo. William C. Egan III ’64, P’92, ’95, ’00, ’02 Emeritus Skillman, N.J. Colin S. Flinn ’82 Sanibel, Fla. Heather Frahm ’86 Weston, Mass.
Joseph L. Gitterman III ’55, P’86, ’90 Emeritus Washington Depot, Conn.
John C. Niles ’81, P’14 Marblehead, Mass.
David E. Griffith ’72, P’06, ’10 New Hope, Pa.
J. Pierce O’Neil ’76, P’10, ’12 New Canaan, Conn.
David H. Hovey Jr. ’78, P’09, ’11, ’14 Ex officio Simsbury, Conn.
William V.N. Philip P’06, ’09 Headmaster Ex officio Simsbury, Conn.
Leigh A. Hovey P’09, ’11, ’14 Ex officio Simsbury, Conn.
C. Bradford Raymond ’85 New York, N.Y.
Jeffrey E. Kelter P’12, ’14 Locust Valley, N.Y.
Allan A. Ryan IV ’78, P’06, ’07, ’12 Palm Beach, Fla.
George C. Kokulis P’07, ’12 Simsbury, Conn. Seonyong Lee P’08, ’09, ’13 Seoul, Korea Peter B. Leibinger ’86 Schwieberdingen, Germany Scott B. McCausland ’87, P’14 Ex officio Burlington, Conn. Andrew D. McCullough Jr. ’87 Houston, Texas Charles B. Milliken P’77 Emeritus Bloomfield, Conn. T. Treadway Mink Jr. ’77, P’11 Chairman of the Board New Canaan, Conn. Anne K. Moran P’06, ’09, ’12 Unionville, Pa.
Moyahoena N. Ogilvie ’86 West Hartford, Conn.
John Sherwin Jr. ’57, P’83, ’89 Emeritus Waite Hill, Ohio N. Louis Shipley ’81 Andover, Mass. C. Evan Stewart ’70, P’11 New York, N.Y. Samuel Thorne ’46, P’74, ’76 Emeritus Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. Gregory F. Ugalde P’05, ’07, ’10, ’12 Burlington, Conn. Armistead C.G. Webster Ph.D. Hartford, Conn. Sara L. Whiteley ’91 West Chatham, Mass. D. Scott Wise P’11 New York, N.Y.
WESTMINSTER BULLETIN SPRING 2012 Published by:
Westminster School 995 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT 06070 (860) 408-3000 This magazine is produced twice a year by the Marketing & Communications Office. Address Class Notes to:
Beth Soycher Westminster School P.O. Box 337 Simsbury, CT 06070-0377 Or submit via e-mail: email@example.com To update contact information ONLY: firstname.lastname@example.org Westminster School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin or sexual orientation in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other schooladministered programs. EDITOR Darlene Skeels, Director of Publications and Communications email@example.com DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Ken Mason PHOTOGRAPHY Douglas Allen, Richard Bergen, Newell Grant ’99, Ken Mason, David Pope, Darlene Skeels, Scott Stevens, Jane Toner and David Werner ’80 CLASS NOTES COORDINATOR Beth Soycher DESIGN John Johnson Art Direction & Design Collinsville, Conn.
WESTMINSTER | W S PI N R ITNEG R 2 0 1 21 | B U L L E T I N
THE BULLETIN SPRING 2012
Independent Science Research . . 36
Hill Headlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Supporting Westminster . . . . . . 38
Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Martlets on the Move . . . . . . . . . 54
Alumni in College . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Transforming Residential Life . . . 26
Closing Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Giving Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Alumni in College
Hill Headlines Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Page . . . . . . . . . 16
Athletics Page . . . . . . . . . 13
Transforming Residential Life
Page . . . . . . . . . 32
Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Science Research Page . . . . . . . . . . 36
Martlets on the Move
Page . . . . . . . . . 38
Page . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Class Notes Page . . . . . . . . . . 58
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Dear Members of the Westminster family,
“… all campus master planning, including any proposed new buildings, must be intentional and must be measured against our core values which remain the rock on which this school rests.”
In my view, the people who comprise our school community — whether students, faculty, alumni, parents present and past, trustees and other friends of the school — remain our most precious resource. Westminster School continues to flourish because of their many talents, passion and loyalty. Our core values of community, character, balance and involvement as well as our motto of Grit & Grace highlight the personal qualities that continue to distinguish members of our school community. In this context and in the wake of an enormously generous gift from an anonymous donor to revitalize campus residential life by replacing Andrews House and Squibb House, I feel strongly that we must be sure that all new construction complements these defining qualities, as celebrated in our core values and motto. In fact, all campus master planning, including any proposed new buildings, must be intentional and must be measured against our core values which remain the rock on which this school rests. Now, from the perspective of three years since Armour Academic Center opened, we know that we successfully designed a building that emphasizes community. Instead of assigning each academic department to different buildings scattered around the campus, we sought to design an academic building which would bring the school community together on a daily basis, with a large space for regular school meetings at the center, adjacent to a library which would support teaching and learning. Each and every day, students and faculty, across academic disciplines, interact with each other in this space in both formal and informal ways. In the case of the new student and faculty residences, the design seeks a less institutional, more domestic setting, with ample common room space, and multiple points of access to faculty apartments. The long, barracks-like corridors, with dormitory rooms on both sides of the corridor, have been replaced by a more homelike, less congested setting, designed to enhance personal interactions between and among students and faculty. In the process, the central quad will assume a more coherent and gracious appearance. Simply put, with the new residences, we are seeking to make the same difference for residential life that Armour Academic Center made for teaching and learning. In a similar spirit, the new turf field, while offering an improved surface for field hockey, lacrosse and soccer, also offers a significant enhancement to our community ethos. Alumni will recall that one of the joys of the winter season was attending night ice hockey and basketball games, occasions where the entire school gathered to cheer on our teams. In the fall and spring, because games occur simultaneously in the afternoon, we don’t enjoy opportunities for these powerful community moments. In fact, in recent years, we have been renting evening field time at area high schools and busing students to these venues to cheer on our teams. Now, we will be able to host these occasions on campus, which, in my view, is the most exciting aspect of this turf field project. Crucial to these construction projects is an active design team that involves architects, construction managers, engineers, facilities specialists and, most importantly, faculty and trustees. Significantly, you will find a plaque in Armour Academic Center thanking that building’s design team and listing the names of all who participated in the effort. From the first stages of the design process right through construction, the priority of our core values remains front and center. In the process, we are able to inject quite a bit of grit and grace into our bricks and mortar.
William V.N. Philip P’06, ’09 2
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Westminster Hosts Teaching Symposium Westminster hosted its first annual Westminster Teaching Symposium on Oct. 21 titled “The Many Ways of Assessing Student Learning,” which was attended by 32 guests from area schools, as well as numerous Westminster faculty members. The daylong event was held in the Armour Academic Center and featured eight experienced classroom teachers as presenters. “We have chosen the topic of assessment for today’s symposium because we believe it is not just a buzzword, but is, in fact, at the heart of what we do as educators,” said Tim Quinn ’96, director of the Westminster Teaching Initiative, in his opening remarks. “We give assessments so that we can determine what our students have or have not learned, and so that this may inform further instruction, both with the same students and with future students. Hence, both what we assess and how we assess are of tremendous significance to our teaching practice.” The symposium was organized by the Westminster Teaching Initiative (WTI), an organization formed in fall 2010 to enhance teaching and learning at Westminster by encouraging collaboration and dialogue about curriculum and pedagogy, and to facilitate the sharing of these ideas throughout the school. After a year of successfully sharing ideas at Westminster, the symposium was planned to widen the circle of sharing and allow teachers from area schools to come together, converse and learn from one another.
Counterclockwise from above, Head of the Westminster Language Department Sara Deveaux P’14 gives a presentation about assessing language skills and encouraging divergent thinking through essential questions; participants in a session given by Bill Williams of Pace University’s theater department about using theater as the medium for a hands-on look at methods of assessment; and Director of the Westminster Teaching Initiative Tim Quinn ’96 during his opening remarks.
Those attending the symposium had an opportunity to attend three presentations of their choice, as well as observe Westminster classes, attend chapel, and have lunch with Westminster faculty and students. The presentation topics and presenters included “The Use of Student Response Systems (“clickers”) as an Interactive Formative Assessment Tool” by Scott MacClintic of Loomis Chaffee School; “Applying Research Skills in Collaborative Groups and Individual Projects” by Tom Drake of the Hotchkiss School and Eric Styles of Loomis Chaffee School; “Do We Value What We Measure? Do We Measure What We Value?” by Bill Williams of Pace University; “How Do We Assess New Media?” by Jeff Schwartz of Greenwich Academy; “Assessing Language Skills and Encouraging Divergent Thinking Through Essential Questions” by Jason Cummings of Greens Farms Academy and Sara Deveaux P’14 of Westminster; “The Harkness Discussion and its Role in Student Assessment” by John Corrigan of Pomfret School; “Encouraging and Assessing Student Understanding Through Collaborative Writing” by Charlie Griffith P’11, ’14 of Westminster; and “Presentation and Reflection as Tools for Student Learning and Teacher Assessment in the Arts Classroom and Beyond” by Whitney Barrett of Westminster. “The WTI and the symposium represent a deliberately bottom-up model for professional development, one that relies not on keynote speakers, outside experts, professors of education, educational theorists or even administrative direction, but rather on the wisdom, the experience and the ideas of the true experts, the classroom teachers who are in the trenches every day,” explained Tim. “It was insightful and humbling to spend the day looking at what people are doing in their classrooms, and it revealed the true complexity of teaching and learning.” 3
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Serving the Community Westminster students and faculty boarded vans and buses early in the morning on Oct. 3 to visit 19 locations in Connecticut as a part of the school’s annual Community Service Day. Among the places they visited were Camp Chase, Camp Horizons, Reggio Magnet School, the Manchester Soup Kitchen, Community Meals, Covenant Preparatory School, the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Holcomb Farm, the Farmington River, St. Elizabeth’s House, the Foodshare Regional Market in Hartford, the Simsbury Housing Authority, Eno Memorial Hall, Phelps Tavern Museum, McLean and Gifts of Love. Among the activities the volunteers performed were cleaning and painting camp facilities, raking leaves, assisting children in their classrooms, moving cartons of food, preparing and serving meals, cleaning guide dog travel vans, planting flowers, picking up trash on the riverbanks, packing food for mobile delivery trucks, weeding garden beds, entertaining senior citizens with songs and games, escorting nursing home residents outdoors, and unpacking bags of donated clothes and household items for distribution. “Westminster’s all-school Community Service Day makes me proud to be associated with a community of genuinely concerned young people and colleagues,” said Gloria Connell, director of community service at Westminster. “Service to others is the truest secret to success in life.” 4
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Students Named WALKS Scholars The WALKS Foundation has named Westminster students Atesha Gifford ’12, Ashlee Robinson ’13 and E.J. Dejoie ’15 as WALKS Scholars for the 2011-2012 academic year. WALKS is an acronym for five Hartford-area schools — Westminster School, Avon Old Farms School, Loomis Chafee School, Kingswood Oxford School and Suffield Academy. In its 55th year, WALKS’ central purpose is to enroll in its five member schools, students from Greater Hartford whose horizons are limited by family income but whose talents, commitment and energies promise community leadership in the coming years. Atesha Gifford ’12, a resident of Manchester, Conn., is a returning Sorenson Pearson Scholar and a Steppingstone Scholar. She is a member of the Prefect Board and a dorm prefect. She also participates in the Multicultural Student Union, the EcoTeam, the Cook Nook, Seniors as Sisters, Model United Nations, basketball and dance. Off campus, she volunteers at the Community Farm of Simsbury and at her local library. Ashlee Robinson ’13, a resident of Hartford, is a returning Gummere Scholar and a Steppingstone Scholar. She participates in the Dance Ensemble, the Multicultural Student Union, field hockey and basketball. E.J. Dejoie ’15, a resident of Hartford, is a General Scholar and a Steppingstone Scholar. He plays on Second Football. Prior to attending Westminster, he won an award for outstanding achievement in math, performed in his school’s drum band, and played for the Manchester Jets and his school’s basketball team.
In addition to the three WALKS Scholars, Isha Garg ’12 was named a recipient of the Barnes Service Award in recognition of her volunteer service and leadership with Serving Our Neighbors, the MS Walk, the Angel Tree Project and Red Cross donations. She also has performed volunteer work at McLean and in India. She has worked on Westminster News and the yearbook, and is a member of the Belles. The students attended the annual WALKS Scholars luncheon Oct. 18 at the Hartford Golf Club, where Atesha gave remarks about gaining confidence and living life to the fullest. (Please see related story on page 72.)
Atesha Gifford ’12, E.J. Dejoie ’15, Headmaster Bill Philip, Isha Garg ’12 and Ashlee Robinson ’13.
New Strategic Planning Process Begins At its January meeting, the Westminster Board of Trustees launched a strategic planning process for the school that will result in the creation of a new strategic plan by January 2013. “The timing for our strategic planning effort seems especially appropriate and auspicious,” said Headmaster Bill Philip. “We approved our last plan 10 years ago, and next year will be Westminster’s 125th anniversary.” Chairman of the Board Trustees Tread Mink ’77, P’11 says it will be a “far-reaching and inclusive effort that will lead Westminster to become an even better version of itself.” The planning process will be overseen by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee that will be co-chaired by trustees Susie Werner Berenson ’82 and Brad Raymond ’85. Its members are trustees Peter Leibinger ’86, Anne Moran P’06, ’09, ’12, Jay Niles ’81, P’14,
Moy Ogilvie ’86 and Greg Ugalde P’05, ’07, ’10, ’12, Assistant Headmaster Nancy Spencer P’13, ’15, Third Form Dean Kathleen Devaney, Director of Admissions Jon Deveaux P’14, Director of Studies Greg Marco P’08, ’11, Director of Development Maggie Pinney P’01, ’11 and Director of College Counseling Greg Williams. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Tread Mink and Headmaster Bill Philip P’06, ’09 will serve as ex officio members, and Linda Campanella of SOS Consulting Group will serve as the committee’s facilitator. During the yearlong planning effort, the committee will provide input, feedback, counsel and direction. At the January board meeting, Brad and Susie explained how the process will require broad participation by the school’s key constituents including trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents, so they will feel invested in its outcome. Taking a significant
step to launch the process, the board voted to reaffirm the school’s current mission statement and core values, signaling that these pillars will serve as the foundation for the plan. “Westminster embarks on this planning process from a position of enviable strength,” said Linda Campanella. “In developing the strategic plan, our objective will be to build on that strength and position the school to fortify its reputation for excellence.” Major steps in the planning process will include a situation audit to gather data from key constituents about critical issues and aspirations, creation of a vision statement for the school that represents how Westminster hopes to be better and stronger in five years, and identification of goals that align with that vision.
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Researching Environmental Change in an Ecuadorian Cloud With feet planted firmly on the ground, Westminster Chemistry and AP Environmental Science teacher David Pope P’12, ’14 spent his summer in an Ecuadorian cloud — the Santa Lucia Cloud Forest Reserve. David was the recipient of a grant to study climate change with the Earthwatch Institute, which engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. A generous Westminster family, who wishes to remain anonymous, funded the grant. Through Earthwatch’s program “Canopies, Birds, Mammals and Carbon Capture,” David traveled to Ecuador and worked with worldrenowned scientists to take part in study that most people only read about. Under the guidance of Dr. Mika Peck of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, David and his fellow researchers engaged in invertebrate collection, bird observation, photography and carbon capture. Following his arrival in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, David took a two-and-a-half hour bus trip to the base of the reserve and then a twoand-a-half hour hike to the lodge, with burros carrying gear and backpacks up the steep elevation. At the lodge, he joined a group of teachers and researchers from across the United States, Canada and Australia. The Santa Lucia Cloud Forest Reserve conserves more than 1,800 acres in the Chocó Andean Bioregion, designated a biodiversity hotspot. The reserve acreage is primarily
David helps collect insects, other invertebrates and even some vertebrates in pipe traps.
Faculty member David Pope P’12, ’14, third from left, participates in a bird survey during his trip to Ecuador to study climate change with the Earthwatch Institute.
protected forest, along with coffee and banana plantations. It is home to some 394 species of birds and 45 species of mammals, including pumas and the endangered spectacled bear, and thousands of tropical plants native to the region, including a variety of orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytes. Those birds, plants and animals became the subjects of David’s research. Among the work he and his teammates completed was the continuation of a five-year study of bird species on the reserve. Twice each day, they collected data at nine separate locations. “We’d record everything about the birds, including their species, their sex, what they were eating and what we heard,” said David. In just 10 days, the group identified more than 300 birds and 40 different species. But birds weren’t the only flying objects with which they worked. They also collected insects from invertebrate traps, and separated and preserved the contents for future study. The method used to collect the insects was cumbersome, and Dr. Peck solicited suggestions to improve the process. David suggested using nested Tupperware — a method that would be tried later in the summer. “Not a lot of scientists would listen to a layman,” said David. David and his team also cleared paths and set up motion cameras to capture photography of mammals on the reserve. Once paths were cleared, the team set out stakes as visual benchmarks and took detailed notes about area topography. The motion cameras captured images of dozens of animals, including a spectacled bear that played with the camera. “We saw the bear, then the bear’s eyes and then the camera was off in the woods,” he explained.
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Hill Headlines Finally, the team conducted carbon collection, placing bands around trees to measure how much carbon a tree captures in a year. “If we don’t measure, we’re just making guesses,” said David. During brief periods of downtime, David kept a journal, spent time reading and relaxing, and even played Bananagrams with his fellow researchers and local residents working on the reserve. “The locals understand the importance of this project,” he said. “When you think everyone is different from you, you find they’re not.” David knows future researchers will use the work he completed. “Part of making decisions is understanding what happens in the environment,” he said. “Without data, we’re not making sound decisions. I know I helped.” In January, David delivered a presentation to the Westminster community in the Werner Centennial Center about his research trip. “Through Earthwatch, I witnessed the science, saw it on the ground and now understand it far better than I ever did,” he said. “The experience has enriched my teaching. It was a great adventure, and I’m very grateful it happened.”
The Place to be on Friday Nights Friday nights in the Gund Reading Room of the Armour Academic Center have become a popular destination for students, faculty and members of the local community to hear lively presentations by guest and campus speakers on a variety of topics. The Friday Night Readings Series, which is in its third year, features readings given by guest writers and Westminster students on selected Fridays during the academic year. Most recently, humorist, novelist, essayist and radio talk show host Colin McEnroe was the featured reader on Feb. 24. The student reader was Sixth Former Kathleen Gudas whose short story was the winning entry in the Senior English Short Story Writing Contest. The Westminster Lecture Series features Friday night presentations throughout the academic year by Westminster faculty members related to their areas of expertise. Westminster librarian Pam McDonald P’96, ’04, who has conducted research about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in Simsbury and has studied Kingian Nonviolence, gave a public lecture on Feb. 10 titled “Dr. King: Champion of Agape Love and the American Dream.”
David gives a presentation to the Westminster community about his research trip.
125th Anniversary Planning Underway Westminster School will celebrate its 125th anniversary, also known as its quasquicentennial, during the 2012-2013 academic year. A series of events and activities will kick off in September of this year and will culminate with a celebration in fall 2013. A planning committee, which is co-chaired by trustee Sara Whitely ’91 and ex officio trustees Leigh and Dave Hovey ’78, P’09,’11,’14, has been meeting for months to plan the celebration. In addition, Alan Brooks ’55, P’89, ’91, ’96 came out of retirement in January to work part time to manage all of the communications and event responsibilities. He brings to the initiative more than 50 years of experience at Westminster in development, admissions, athletics and nearly every area of school life. A schedule of activities will be announced later in the year.
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Grandparents Visit Campus It was smiles and hugs all around as 200 grandparents visited their grandchildren at Westminster on Sept. 28 to participate in Grandparents’ Day. Grandparents met their grandchildren early in the day to attend classes and tour the campus. Afterwards, they were able to eat lunch together in the dining hall, and many grandparents stayed the afternoon for various athletic events. Barbara and Terry Shine, who are from New Jersey, were visiting Westminster for the first time to spend the day with their grandson Keegan Giordano ’15. They said they loved sitting in on Keegan’s Modern World History, Physics and Geometry classes. “The teachers were fabulous,” said Barbara. Gard and Mary Rand of Damariscotta, Maine, attended English and Spanish classes with their grandson Erik Rost ’14 and said they “could hardly wait to have lunch with him.” And George and Marcia Gowen enjoyed the chance to visit their grandson George Crawford ’15 who gave them “a wonderful tour,” including his dormitory room and the playing fields. They said they were struck by the school’s setting on Williams Hill and liked George’s “very lively” history class.
During his welcoming remarks, Headmaster Bill Philip thanked everyone for visiting and emphasized the importance of community at Westminster. He talked about the “depth of relationships that define the school” and about community activities such as assemblies, chapel and family-style dinners, adding, “Always at the core of this school is the feeling of community.” He also explained how the school’s community “extends beyond Williams Hill and around the globe.” He introduced Director of College Counseling Greg Williams, Director of Theater A-men Rasheed and Form Dean Kathleen Devaney, who each gave an overview of their areas of responsibility. Following the presentations, grandparents had an opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of school life.
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War Hero Shares Lessons From Famous Battle Retired Army First Sergeant Matthew P. Eversmann, whose actions were immortalized in the epic 2001 film “Black Hawk Down,” gave a presentation to the Westminster community on Jan. 7 about his Army experiences. His presentation was made possible through the generosity of John Timken ’99, who is Eversmann’s friend and thought Westminster would benefit from having him visit the campus and share his message. Matt was a member of a team of elite soldiers sent into Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993 as Above, Matt Eversmann gives a presentation in the Werner Centennial Center part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation and a and, below, talks with students in an AP Psychology class. mission to capture a warlord and his clan. Eversmann was placed in command of Ranger Chalk Four, his first command. During the operation, two U.S. Black Hawk In summarizing, he added, “What is great about this story as future helicopters were shot down and three others were damaged. Young leaders is that you have a great visual about how to get through strategic Rangers and veteran Delta Force soldiers were outnumbered and shock. You see courage and people putting others’ needs before theirs. surrounded for 18 hours in the most hostile district of Mogadishu until a Do the right thing when no one is looking. I ask you to think about how rescue convoy could be mounted to retrieve them. you are going to get through your own strategic shock.” Matt began his presentation by showing excerpts from the film and Following his presentation, Matt answered questions from the encouraging the audience to think about members of the armed forces at audience and met with members of Shawn Desjardins’ AP Psychology war today and what they do selflessly. “Veterans have given us this great class, which was studying motivation. The students asked Matt about freedom,” he said. “I’m only here because of our veterans.” things he wish he could have changed about his experience in the He also talked about “strategic shock, when unexpected bad things Mogadishu battle, how people learn selflessness and how he learned to happen that are not your fault,” and how to get through those situations. manage fear. “When you do dangerous things, you trust your men and “You get through by investing in your people,” he said. you trust your equipment,” he responded. “You need to trust that the He recounted the events leading up to and during the Battle of other guy will do the right thing.” Mogadishu. “The definition of selfless service is putting the needs of Matt first enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in 1987. In 1992, others first,” he said. “To be a champion, you need selfless service. This he reenlisted and was assigned to the Third Battalion, 75th Ranger was a tremendous revelation. Going to war was doing for others what Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He then spent eight-and-a-half years in the they couldn’t do for themselves.” Ranger Regiment, serving as squad leader, weapons squad leader, battalion air operations sergeant, battalion liaison sergeant and platoon sergeant. He also was the officer in charge of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Pre-Ranger Course that helped train future leaders to pass the grueling Army Ranger School. For his distinguished service in Somalia, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, honors he holds in addition to numerous other awards and decorations. After serving 15 months as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he retired with honor from the Army as an Infantry Company First Sergeant, following 20 years of active service. Today he continues to serve others in his civilian capacity as the founder and president of Freeman Phillips LLC, a personnel development company that aims to inject values-based leadership ideals into every facet of American enterprise.
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espite a change of production dates due to a late October power outage in Simsbury, Westminster Dramat’s production of “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl completed a very successful run Nov. 14–16 in the Werner Centennial Center.
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estminster Dramat also presented “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Feb. 17–19 in the Werner Centennial Center. The musical within a comedy played on Broadway in 2006 and won the Tony Award for best book and score. Bob Martin and Don McKellar wrote the book, and Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison wrote the music and lyrics.
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New Director of Athletics Named Headmaster Bill Philip has announced the appointment of faculty member Tim Joncas ’00 to the position of director of athletics. He will assume the position at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, following the retirement of Dennis Daly P’01, ’04, who has held the position for 11 years during his 22-year Westminster career. At Westminster, Tim has served eight years as associate director of admissions and five years as head coach of First Boys’ Hockey. He will retain these responsibilities in his new position. Westminster’s three-season athletic program includes 53 teams, which compete in 15 sports, many in the highly competitive Founders League. “Through his years of service, Tim has demonstrated a strong commitment to the mission of Westminster School and the role that athletics plays in the life of the school,” said Headmaster Philip. “He has been an excellent ambassador for Westminster in our Admissions Office and as a coach, while also serving as a student advisor and Edge House corridor supervisor. He will bring experience and enthusiasm to his stewardship of our athletic program.” While a student at Westminster, Tim was an outstanding tri-varsity captain in soccer, hockey and lacrosse, and received awards for his sportsmanship, leadership and athletic accomplishments. After graduating from Westminster, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College. While there, he was co-captain of the men’s varsity hockey team and won the Trinity Hockey Coaches Award for outstanding leadership. He has also coached high school and youth hockey and worked as a strength and conditioning intern at Trinity and ESPN. In 2004, Tim returned to Westminster to work in the Admissions Office, where he had been a popular tour guide as a student. He was named head coach of First Boys’ Hockey in 2007. The team plays a 25-game schedule in the Founders League, generally recognized as one of the best high school leagues in the country. Many of Westminster's players go on to attend some of the nation’s best colleges while playing hockey. “I am honored to assume my new post as the director of athletics,” said Tim. “Westminster and its athletic program have shaped me in so many ways, and to be able to now help steer and shape something that is so near and dear to me is a dream come true. I look forward to working closely with Bill Philip to advance the athletic program, while always preserving our school’s core values and mission. “I would be remiss to not thank Dennis Daly, not just for his many years of service to the school as our athletics director, but also as someone who has been a wonderful mentor and friend during my time as a student and faculty member on the Hill.”
Davis Scholar Recognized Nationally and Internationally in Squash Ahmed Abdel Khalek ’12, a Davis Scholar from Egypt, made Westminster proud, as he emerged victorious from the U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships in December. The tournament, which was held at Harvard, included some of the very best junior players in the world. In the championship match, Ahmed was victorious in four games, 13-11, (7-11), 11-5 and 11-5. Soon after, the World Squash Federation ranked him number six in the world for boys under 19. During his two-years competing as a Martlet on First Boys’ Squash, Ahmed was undefeated, compiling an impressive 26-0 record this year by winning every match 3-0 except for one 3-1 victory. Last year, he was 27-0, winning every match 3-0 except the last one, which he won 3-1. He completed his career at Westminster by repeating as New England Interscholastic Class A Champion at No.1. Ahmed will be attending Bates College next year, where he will continue to compete against the leading collegiate players in the country. Above right, Ahmed Abdel Khalek ’12 was undefeated during his two seasons as a Martlet. Below right, First Boys’ Squash coach Peter Doucette with Ahmed who was the Boys Under 19 Champion at the U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships in December. 12
| SPRING 2012 | BULLETIN
Sports Information Director Betsy Heckman takes a look back at the fall and winter athletics seasons.
Fall Season Highlights FIELD HOCKEY In what has become a tradition for First Field Hockey, the team once again advanced to the Class A New England Tournament. Earning the No. 3 seed, the Martlets faced No. 6 Deerfield at Suffield Academy on a very wet day. In a tight game, the Martlets emerged victorious with a 2-1 decision, which propelled the team into the semifinals against No. 2 seed Greenwich Academy. In another defensive battle, the Gators proved to be the better team and knocked the Martlets out of the tournament with a 2-1 loss. Over the course of the season, Westminster compiled an impressive 12-4 record. Individual honors went to Rachel Kennedy ’12 and Kat Pate ’14, who were named to the New England Class A All Tournament Team, and Kennedy and Alli Devins ’13 were WNEPSFHA All Stars. FOOTBALL First Football had one of its best seasons in recent memory, despite being challenged by a number of unusual scenarios that played havoc with the team’s schedule. In Lee Huguley’s first season as head coach, the team finished with a 5-3 record that included wins over Tabor Academy, Wilbraham & Monson, the Gunnery and Pomfret. A number of players earned special recognition for their outstanding play. Kadeam Ward ’12 and Kashden Naraine ’12 received All New England honors. They were also selected to the All Colonial League First Team along with Tim Lyons ’12 and Franco Serrao ’12. Dillon Tiner ’12, Andy Dines ’12, Mike Natale ’14 and Miller Steinle ’12 made the Second Team. OTHER AWARDS In First Girls’ Soccer, Iris Dayton ’13 received a number of awards including All WNEPSSA, Connecticut All State, the Xara Coaches Award and Boston Globe All Star. Laura Moore ’14 was also recognized as All WNEPSSA. For First Boys’ Soccer, Stan Sandoval ’13 played in the WNEPSSA All Star game and the NEPSSA Junior All Star Game and was named to Connecticut All State and the WNEPSSA Select Team. Greg Jarvis ’13 and Jack Zaykowski ’12 were chosen as WNEPSSA Select Team Honorable Mention, and Zaykowski played in the NEPSSA Senior All Star game. In cross country, Emmet Shipway ’12 earned All Founders League Recognition.
| SPRING 2012
Winter Season Highlights BOYS’ SQUASH First Boys’ Squash had another incredibly successful season. After losing a number of talented Sixth Formers to graduation, many doubted the feats of the previous year could be repeated but they were, and perhaps surpassed. The team led by captain Michael LeBlanc ’12 compiled an 18-2 regular-season record and finished in seventh place at the High School Nationals out of 96 teams. In the final week of the season, the Martlets secured the program’s first Founders League title with a 4-3 win over Taft. Finally at the Class A New England Tournament, the team finished third behind Brunswick and Belmont Hill. Ahmed Abdel Khalek ’12 completed his undefeated career at Westminster with a championship in the No.1 flight. LeBlanc was the runner-up in the No. 2 flight as was Ben Shively ’14 at No. 6. Harry Ganek ’14 advanced to the semifinals in the No. 5 flight and came home with a third-place finish. Beau Orchard ’13 and Alvin Heumann ’14 both went 4-1 for the weekend as well, with tough losses to eventual finalists along the way. It was another season for the record books, and while Sixth Formers LeBlanc and Abdel Khalek will be greatly missed, a young, experienced crop of players will be ready to compete among the best in the country again next year. GIRLS’ SQUASH First Girls’ Squash took third place in the Class B New England Tournament held in Westminster’s own Kohn Squash Pavilion. Each player finished in the top half of her draw, and everyone had at least one memorable match. The top finisher for the Black and Gold was Lauren Darnis ’12 in the No. 5 draw who made it to the finals where she ultimately lost an incredibly close and entertaining match in four games. Eliza Worcester ’13 at No. 6 and Cricket di Galoma ’14 at No. 3 advanced to the semifinals and placed fourth in their respective brackets. Ginny Durfee ’15 at No. 2 and Alex Regan ’13 at No. 4 finished strong, winning their last two matches in controlled fashion to place fifth in their flights. Christi DeSimone ’12 and Lindsay Hanau ’13 battled hard in their matches, winning come-from-behind five-gamers en route to eighth-place finishes at Nos. 1 and 7 respectively. ICE HOCKEY Both the First Girls’ and First Boys’ Ice Hockey teams earned a trip to post-season play once again this winter. The girls with a 17-5-3 record and another Founders League title landed the No. 3 seed in the Division I New England tournament. The boys found themselves in a dogfight in almost every game this season with a number of contests going into overtime play. With a 14-10-3 record, the Martlets competed in the Martin/Earl Large School Tournament. Both the boys and girls were defending titles from 2011, and strangely enough, both found themselves losing in overtime in the quarterfinal round. It was heartbreaking for both teams, which were hoping to relive the glory of last season but this time it was not meant to be.
Visit www.westminster-school.org/scores for the latest game results and team schedules or scan this QR code with your smartphone. 14
| SPRING 2012 | BULLETIN
SWIMMING AND DIVING It was a season for the record books, literally, for Westminster’s swimmers and divers. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams had spectacular individual and team results at end-of-the-season championship meets. Westminster also had the opportunity to shine in its own pool as the Martlets hosted the inaugural NEPSSA Division II Championships. The 2011-2012 Boys’ Swimming and Diving team proved to be both deep and fast this season. After compiling an 8-3 dual meet record, one of the best in many seasons for the Martlets, the team went on to compete at the Founders League Championships and New Englands. Westminster swam away with a number of accolades at both meets. The team was led by a number of talented and hardworking Sixth Formers. Co-captain Josh Kokulis ’12 led the way, winning the Founders League and New England title in the 500 Freestyle. He also came in second in the 200 Freestyle in both meets. Emil Henry ’12 was a double New England champion for Westminster in the 50 Freestyle and the 100 Freestyle. Jake Cahill ’12 also earned a top-three finish in the 200 IM. Two Martlet relay teams broke school records at New Englands. The 200 Free Relay of Henry, Kokulis, Patrick Holowesko ’12 and Conor Mullen ’12 set a new record of 1:30.62, earning second place, and the 400 Free Relay of Cahill, Kokulis, Mullen and Henry clocked a 3:20.46, for third. With these impressive results, along with a number of other top-16 finishes, Westminster placed third at New Englands. Kokulis’ inspired performance, leadership and sportsmanship, combined with his dominating victory in the 500 Freestyle, earned him distinction as Westminster's first-ever Babcock Award winner. Each year, the coaches give the award to the outstanding athlete of the New England Championships. It is the highest honor bestowed upon swimmers and divers in the New England Prep School Swimming Association and is meant to recognize the athlete who best exemplifies the values of the league. A small but mighty girls’ team had a number of impressive accomplishments of its own. In both the Founders League Championships and New Englands, the team was off to a good start, thanks to the strong diving of Sarah Dimmitt ’12, Kayla Foley ’13 and Caroline Brady ’12. Dimmitt broke the six-dive school and pool record and the 11-dive school record over the course of the season. She earned a Founders League title and placed second at New Englands. Foley finished third at New Englands, and Brady came in sixth. Only five swimmers competed in the swimming portion of the New England Championships, but they made every race count. The 200 Medley Relay consisting of co-captain Natalie Biedron ’12, Emily Kunsman ’14, Sarah Holmes ’14 and co-captain Emily Teschner ’12 started the team off well with a third-place finish. Teschner went on to not only finish third in the 50 Freestyle but also set the school record in 26.08. Kunsman and Holmes finished fourth and fifth in the 200 IM, while Kunsman earned a second-place medal for her performance in the 100 Breaststroke, and Holmes secured sixth place in the 100 Fly. Teschner earned more points for the team with a sixthplace finish in the 100 Freestyle. In the final event, the 400 Free Relay, the Martlets’ mighty four swam their fastest of the season and hit the wall in fourth place, simultaneously earning fourth place in New England. Coach Grant Gritzmacher says he could not have been more proud of his teams as they delivered beyond his expectations, swimming the races of their lives.
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Alumni in College As They Prepare to Graduate As members of the Westminster Class of 2008 prepare to graduate from college this year, nine have shared some of their college experiences, the ways Westminster helped prepare them for college and what might be next in their lives. They have attended a diverse range of colleges and have been involved in a breadth of extracurricular activities. Some hope to pursue graduate studies, while others look forward to launching their career.
Why Holy Cross?
Andrew Polio ’08 HOLY CROSS Major: Chemistry, with a pre-med concentration
became a chemistry major in my sophomore year because I really enjoyed taking organic chemistry my freshman year, and the faculty members in the department were a great group of people with whom I could see myself working the next few years. I’ve wanted to become a doctor for some time, so I declared pre-med when I entered Holy Cross. While I was at Westminster, I was more into history and English than I was into science and math. I can’t really point to a specific reason why I went the other way once I got to college. I will say that Westminster teachers Charlie Griffith, Dennis Daly, Betsy Heckman and Brian Ford were a great influence in getting me excited about the learning process and academics in general, which is something I’ve carried into my new field of study.
Extracurricular activities: I play club soccer, club lacrosse and intramural softball. I am the president of the Student Advisor Committee for the Chemistry Department, which assists the faculty in appointing tenure positions and hiring professors. I also volunteer at the Nativity School in Worcester, tutoring fifth to eighth grade inner-city boys in a variety of academic subjects in the hope they will be accepted at private high schools and eventually go to college. For work, I am a research student in a total synthetic organic chemistry lab at Holy Cross, where I attempt to come up with efficient syntheses of natural
product targets. Last summer, I interned at Hartford Hospital in the Transplant Department. I spent half of my time completing a clinical research project titled “Combined Liver-Kidney Transplantation: Indications, Outcome Analysis and the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program Experience” and half my time in the operating room observing procedures.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? I always played sports during my career at Westminster, so soccer and lacrosse were definitely outgrowths of my Westminster experience and something I wanted to continue in college. The other activities aren’t necessarily things I did at Westminster, but I can definitely see how the core values stressed at Westminster have influenced me to become involved in the activities I have chosen at this point in my academic career.
Proudest achievements: My proudest achievement is having my chemistry research accepted by the American Chemical Society for presentation at its national convention in Anaheim, Calif., last March. Getting to present my research at the symposium and see what other chemists were doing in their various fields was really interesting.
Holy Cross was always on the college list for me because both of my parents and my brother went here. That being said, I think Westminster does a great job at making sure students know what type of college they want to attend and what type of college experience they want to have. Even though Holy Cross was on my list because of my family, I knew it was the place for me because Westminster had really helped me focus on what I wanted, and I knew that I could get that at Holy Cross. Essentially it was a gut decision. I could really see myself as a student there, while I was touring the campus. The fact that it has a great pre-medical program didn’t hurt either.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: Two ways Westminster helped me would definitely be self-discipline and time management, especially related to study habits. When instantly granted all of the freedom in college, it was beneficial for my GPA to have the selfcontrol not to go out every night. Also, having the close relationships with teachers at Westminster better prepares students to interact with adults, which definitely gave me a step-up on my peers when the time came to develop relationships with my professors.
Post-college plans: I’m beginning the application process for medical school, but I’ll be taking a year off between graduating from Holy Cross and entering medical school. I plan to spend that year skiing out west. Working last summer at Hartford Hospital really sparked an interest in surgery, so I’ll see if that interest holds during medical school.
Dream job: I would like to specialize in something and have my own private practice, but balance the private practice with teaching.
Corey Starbuck ’08 EMERSON COLLEGE Major: Marketing Communications
arketing communications will allow me to dive deep into consumer behavior and prepare me for creative and strategic planning in multiple industries. The many divisions of marketing provide possibilities for multiple career directions and chances to try new things. It is really great to see campaigns and ideas come to life to advance a company. Although I didn’t really have any marketing experience or classes at Westminster, I knew I always wanted to study some aspect of business development or management.
JetBlue. I was in New York City for the summer, and they asked me to stay on. I have been commuting back and forth between Boston and New York City.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? At Westminster, I was part of Black and Gold, and Dramat, and was editor of the yearbook. All of these activities helped prepare me to be a part of group organizations in college.
Proudest achievements: Extracurricular activities: Extracurricular activities have consumed my college life. I was involved in orientation for new students and Core Staff, a yearlong position where eight students planned orientation and hired all of the orientation leaders. My junior year, I was student government executive treasurer, managing the budgets of 90 student organizations. I also have served on several committees for big events such as the Emerson Recognition and Achievement Awards and Family Weekend. I have worked in the Student Life Office, for a catering company in Boston and joined Emerson’s coed professional fraternity. Since June, I have been interning in the brand division of
My proudest moment in college has been seeing the weeklong orientation events succeed after planning them for a year. It is great to know that you can have an impact on 1,000 new students and 160 orientation leaders.
Why Emerson? Westminster’s College Counseling Office was the most helpful during the college application process. It really pushed me to excel and to think hard about where I wanted to go. At the time, I was set on going to California, so my advisor helped me find the right fit for colleges there. Although I started my college career at the University of Redlands, I realized during the first
semester that I wanted to return to the East Coast, so I began a new search myself. I could not have done it without the experience I gained from Westminster. I chose Emerson because of its emphasis on students taking classes in their major during their freshman year and gaining hands-on experience in their field.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: My Westminster experience really made the transition to college smooth by teaching me time management, multitasking and how to live away from home.
Post-college plans: Right now, my goal is to work in the airline industry in a marketing or product development capacity. I am open to many different airlines, so wherever the job is, I will relocate there.
Dream job: My dream job would be to get a group of people together and begin an airline.
left Westminster loving all subjects — math, science, French, English and history — but finished my freshman year at Hamilton confident I would never take another math or science class. I had great history teachers at Westminster — Mary Pat Gritzmacher, Charlie Griffith, Betsy Heckman and Nancy Spencer — who inspired me to embrace a liberal arts education and spend four years reading, writing and reading some more.
Extracurricular activities: I work in the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center at Hamilton. I help run two programs: Students Helping In the Naturalization of Elders (SHINE) and Friends Without Borders. They bring Hamilton students into Utica, N.Y., to assist the refugee population with their English. I am so fortunate I have been able to work with refugees of all ages from all over the world who come to the United States after incredible journeys. I have learned so much.
I knew my teachers so well; their families and their pets are included in the memories I have from high school. At Hamilton, the relationships I have had with my professors have exceeded my expectations. I babysit for their kids, go to their homes for dinner and attended one professor’s wedding.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: I was never shy about participating in class in college. I knew how to write, and I could easily approach my professors to ask for help. Westminster expects a lot from its students, but teachers are always there to help if you work hard and are organized. The skills I learned at Westminster have led me to a successful
career in college and will help me once I graduate.
Post-college plans: Finding a job! I would love to go into advertising or marketing. Over the past few summers, I have held internships in marketing departments and really enjoyed those experiences. After growing up in Simsbury and going to college in Clinton, N.Y., I am ready for something more urban. I am really looking forward to life after college. It is all very exciting!
Dream job: My dream job would offer opportunities to meet new people all of the time.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? At Westminster, I volunteered with Todd Eckerson and the Westminster Crossroads Learning Program (WCLP) in the summers. The program introduced me to many wonderful people and encouraged me to help people in the community. Like Hamilton’s proximity to Utica, Westminster is so close to Hartford. WCLP offers invaluable advising to students in the community who strive to do better.
Proudest achievements: Finishing my senior thesis. At the suggestion of one of my professors, I wrote about female war correspondents during World War II.
Why Hamilton? I wanted to continue my education with small classes in all disciplines and great professors. I visited Hamilton and knew it was the school for me. I was attracted to it because of its size but not its weather! At Westminster, I loved that
Emily Cranshaw ’08 HAMILTON COLLEGE Major: History 19
uring my two years at Westminster, I had two very inspiring and challenging English teachers: Michael Cervas and Joanna Ro. In both of their classes, I read novels and stories that really influenced my writing style and analytical approach to literature. Writing became both an academic and emotional outlet for me, and, at Skidmore, that has continued. Skidmore’s wide range of English courses has further developed my writing skills and personal voice.
Extracurricular activities: I’m an editor of Palimpsest, an online student literary journal. I’m also on the board of Element Fashion, a club that puts on an annual fashion show of student-designed clothing and accessories, and am a member of Bare, a literary publication and forum that discusses issues of sexuality and gender. I work as an administrative assistant for the English Department and have spent past semesters as a tour guide and student ambassador. Last summer, I had an internship with Time, Inc., working as an editor and writer for Time for Kids magazine.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? I can attribute my academic success, most particularly within my major, and related extracurricular activities, to my teachers and friends at Westminster. I devoted most of my energy at Westminster to writing and theater. While I no longer act in college, my performance background has provided an excellent foundation for the critical and creative thinking I’ve done at Skidmore. It has made me more articulate and confident, two skills I really hope to hold on to as I leave college. My two years at Westminster were the most transformative years of my life thus far, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.
Proudest achievements: I found out quickly at college that it is a time to find your passions and to live them to the fullest. I’m proud I discovered my academic and personal interests within the first couple of
semesters and have continued pursuing them wholeheartedly. There are so many invaluable resources and inspiring people at school, and I’m proud that I’ve taken full advantage of all of them. The spring semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Amsterdam. The whole experience was one of the best things I’ve ever done and challenged me in entirely new ways.
teaching me how to be realistic and productive with work. On the Hill, the rules were always clear, and the expectations high. I learned how to keep myself in check and maintain focus and diligence. Some things I can say Westminster did not prepare me for, however, are free time and general idleness. I don’t know how to be bored!
I had a fantastic internship with Time for Kids magazine last summer and would like to pursue a career in magazine journalism, but there are so many things I would be happy doing. I suppose anything under the literary and arts umbrella: publishing, writing nonfiction essays or children’s books, editing for some type of journal or review, or working for a museum. I’m planning to move to New York City once I have the means and just go from there. There’s only so much you can plan for, so I’m going to keep an open mind and stay determined. I know everything will work out just fine in some way or the other!
Being among only 100 other Sixth Formers at Westminster gives each student an exceptional amount of personal attention. Each teacher understands the type of student you are and in what learning environment you’ll thrive, so I feel the advice and encouragement I received from my Westminster teachers put me in the right direction once I began the college search. The College Counseling Office was also highly realistic with college proposals. I never felt like I was setting unreasonable goals and kept a pretty cool head throughout the process. Westminster also taught me how much I valued community. I loved seeing the same people every day, forming friendships within my classes, and feeling nurtured and cared for by the people around me. Skidmore echoes many of these same values as a small liberal arts college. Its creative approach to just about everything provides for a highly liberal learning environment that has been beneficial. I wanted a college where I could march to the beat of my own drum. Skidmore has not only allowed me to do that, but it has taught me how to build the drum. Now that I’m almost at the end of this journey, I can wholeheartedly say that Skidmore was the perfect fit for me.
Dream job: A job that inspires me and makes me happy.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: My father always says about my time at Westminster that I “came as a good student and left as a great student.” Vain as it may sound, I agree with him. Westminster helped me finetune my study skills and taught me how to prioritize and structure my day. I still set up study hours during specific times of my day, and I thank Westminster for
Cameron Keady ’08 SKIDMORE COLLEGE Major: English Literature
Khadija Ahmed ’08 CORNELL UNIVERSITY Major: Sociology, with a concentration in business
have a lot of different interests, so at first, it was hard for me to find a major that would allow me to study all of them. I’m really interested in inequalities, social stratification, and how people work and interact with each other. Most of the classes that addressed these things were in the Sociology Department. After taking a few sociology courses, I really started to love it. Since it is also such a broad field, I’m still free to study a variety of things and keep my options open for the future. I actually bounced around a lot before finally choosing sociology. At Westminster, Scott Berry’s biology and human anatomy classes definitely played a big role in my interest in science, which led me to start out as a biology major. I think simply being at Westminster contributed a lot to my choice, though. Being in a place with so many people from all around the world piqued my interest in group dynamics and how people from such diverse backgrounds live and work together.
Extracurricular activities: I’m a student manager for Community Center Programs, an organization that plans and puts on programs and activities promoting community and diversity among students and faculty. I’m also a research assistant in a social memory lab, president of the Track and Field Club, and a member of Black Students United and the Sports Marketing Group.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? Most, if not all of my extracurricular activities, are outgrowths of things I did at Westminster. I captained the track team my Fifth and Sixth Form years, so I was excited to be able to continue in college. I was also co-president of the Student Activity Committee (SAC) and the Multicultural Student Union (MSU) at Westminster. SAC is quite similar to my current job at the community center, and MSU has goals similar to Black Students United at Cornell.
Proudest achievements: I’m really proud of the work I’ve done with Community Center Programs. I stepped into the manager position last year and was given the freedom to plan some events to promote cultural awareness and acceptance on campus. Planning every detail and actually setting up events are pretty time consuming and can be frustrating. But hearing the feedback from the events makes it well worth it. The feeling that I may have helped change the way people think about other cultures and people different from themselves — for the better — really makes me proud.
Why Cornell? I loved the small-school experience I had at Westminster, but I wanted to experience a large-school environment for college. And since the university is
split up into seven different colleges, I felt that in some ways I could still feel like I was at a smaller school. I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do when I was applying to schools, and Cornell has so many programs of study that I felt I could really explore a variety of fields before choosing. Plus, the campus is beautiful! The college search process at Westminster was very helpful. The counselors know so much about schools and the process, so as my counselor and I got to know each other better, she was able to suggest schools that I might like, which helped shorten my list. I was able to get advice about things like the Common App and how to make mine stand out. I really don’t know how I could have done it without the help of the college counselors.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: I think that just being a boarder at Westminster prepared me a lot for college. I’ve been away from home since I was 13, so I really learned how to be independent, and what to expect in a dorm setting, things that a lot of people struggle with during their first year of college. My days at Westminster were pretty structured, so prioritization and time management were always very important. These have definitely proved to be very valuable skills in college.
Post-college plans: I’m looking for work at nonprofit organizations that deal with social justice and inequalities. I’m also considering research positions in the social sciences. I want to take one or two years off to gain some experience, and then I plan on heading to graduate school.
Dream job: My ultimate goal is to lessen the disparities among people of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Essentially, I would like to bring attention to these issues and find a way to level the playing field.
started in bioengineering as a freshman, but I quickly realized I didn’t actually enjoy studying math and science, especially physics. I took some courses in different departments to figure out what I did enjoy. An English class I took my freshman spring semester was my favorite course at the time. I loved studying something that didn't have a precise answer and differed for everyone, and the professor for that English course, who is now my major advisor, was such a great teacher.
I always enjoyed English classes at Westminster, but I assumed I should major in a science in college. Looking back, I think I preferred the round-table discussions in English classes as opposed to the lectures for the sciences and math. Also, having had discussionbased English classes at Westminster, it was much easier to adjust to seminarstyle classes in college, which most English and art history classes are.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience?
Major: English, with a minor in art history
Proudest achievements: My proudest achievement so far has been finding a major I love. Staying with bioengineering or another science major might have proved more profitable in finding a job after college, but I’m glad I decided instead to study a subject I enjoy, instead of a major that would give me better odds of finding employment.
Extracurricular activities: I participate in the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, in which Penn students help elementary through high school students by tutoring them in various subjects and serving as mentors. I was also a tutor for the Neuroscience Pipeline program, which teaches high school students about the basic concepts of neuroscience. Students who do well in the program have the opportunity to participate in a more in-depth program at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. I’ve also organized a fashion show for the Koreans at Penn/Korean Student Association Culture Show, and I plan to do it again this year. In the summer, I’ve interned at the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation in South Korea, as a research intern for the documentaries and current affairs department. I was responsible for finding various global issues that warranted in-depth coverage and for organizing production schedules for overseas filming. I also worked at Shinwoo Law Firm in Korea, where I learned about and assisted in various practices of law, including contract law, immigration law and civil suit litigation.
Michelle Yoon ’08 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
I had the time to join those organizations instead of playing sports.
My interests changed significantly in college. The volunteer tutoring projects were something I always meant to try to start at Westminster, but I never found the time because I played sports almost every semester. When I came to college,
Why the University of Pennsylvania? I chose Penn because it was completely different from Westminster. It is a large school in a city with students from diverse backgrounds. At first, it was difficult to adjust to such a new environment, but I think I learned much more and met so many different people than I would have if I had chosen a smaller school. I actually didn’t search much for a college because I had done a summer program at Penn before my Sixth Form year at Westminster, and I had already decided that Penn would be my first choice.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: Having been a boarding student at Westminster, I learned to be selfsufficient and responsible in time management before I started college. I did not have much of a transition period, where I had to learn to plan to do my work, in addition to everything else.
Post-college plans: I plan on going to law school after college.
Dream job: I would like to be a human rights lawyer for an international organization such as the International Court of Justice.
y freshman fall at Vassar, I took a modern European history class and loved the class and the history faculty with whom I interacted. I continued to take classes in the History Department and I was hooked! I liked that the professors were open and willing to work closely with students, and that the department emphasizes challenging accepted truths and asking lots of questions. I had awesome history classes at Westminster too. In particular, AP U.S. History with Mary Pat Griztmacher sparked my love of American history. She created assignments that highlighted the many voices that are part of America’s history. The many layers and perspectives present in American history are fascinating to me, and have kept me engaged and excited as I’ve continued my studies at the college level.
Extracurricular activities: I am a writing consultant at Vassar’s Writing Center, where I lead one-on-one conversations with students about assignments at all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to polishing a paper. I learn so much reading papers from across many disciplines. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know younger students. I have also worked continuously at Poughkeepsie High School as a tutor and mentor for English Language Learners. I work with Spanish-speaking students, helping them with homework assignments and attending history classes with them to help clarify class material. I have also volunteered at New Hope Community Center, which runs an after-school program for elementary school children. Being a part of the Poughkeepsie community has been an amazing part of my Vassar experience.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience? My love of writing was fostered at Westminster. My wonderful English classes with Michael Cervas, Brian Ford and Bryan Tawney provided a strong foundation for my continued interest in
Sarah Marco ’08 VASSAR COLLEGE Major: History
writing and the writing process. Also, helping Todd Eckerson with the Westminster Crossroads Learning Program fueled my interest in working in urban educational environments. More generally, Westminster’s focus on community has informed my desire to be an active participant in both the Vassar and Poughkeepsie communities.
Proudest achievements: I am very proud of my work at the Writing Center, especially my work in the position of Freshman Writing Seminar Fellow, in which I served as the designated writing consultant for two freshman classes. I taught lessons about peer editing, revising and researching, and worked weekly with students to improve their writing skills. I am also proud of my time abroad in Chile during the fall semester of my junior year. I worked at an all-girls’ school in Santiago, teaching English and Chilean women’s history. It was very challenging teaching in Spanish, and I was definitely pushed outside of my comfort zone.
a sense of community, close interaction with professors and discussion-based classes. Also, I think Vassar’s long history as a women’s college (until 1969) has created an environment that produces strong women and places special emphasis on issues of social justice.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: Westminster’s rigorous schedule prepared me to manage my time in college. After years of Saturday classes, my college schedule seemed like a breeze! Westminster prepared me to be a strong reader and writer, and instilled in me the importance of having a good work ethic. Also, Westminster stressed the importance of forging strong bonds with peers and teachers and that has been invaluable throughout my college career.
Post-college plans: I am applying to graduate programs for a master’s in education.
Dream job: Why Vassar? The first thing that attracted me to Vassar was its unbelievable beauty. But beyond aesthetics, I was drawn to its flexible core requirements and emphasis on independent thinking. I found Vassar’s small size appealing because it allows for
I’m hoping to teach history or social studies at the middle school or high school level. I would love to work at a bilingual school someday, but I am excited about any and all of the possibilities in front of me.
Emma Beck ’08 COLBY COLLEGE Major: Geology
fter loving geology my Sixth Form year at Westminster with teacher Nick McDonald, when I saw that it was offered my freshman fall at Colby, I was quick to enroll. I got along really well with my professors, both in lecture and lab, and found that it was a really close-knit major where I could grow. I was perpetually curious about every subject raised in class and wanted to know more. I knew geology was where I wanted to be almost instantly.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: Westminster teachers Peter Ulrich, in Pre-Calculus, and Tony Griffith, in BC Calculus, taught me how to work hard on something and still love it, even if I struggle. They also encouraged me to take a chance by answering a problem, even if I was not completely sure if I was right. Mr. McDonald and geology are synonymous. He so clearly loves the subject and makes his students psyched about it too. When I wanted to learn more, he was as ready and as eager to teach, as I was to absorb.
Extracurricular activities: Within the Geology Department, I am a teaching assistant for the introduction to geology laboratory section. I help students work through difficult
concepts during the lab periods and grade lab assignments. I am also a tutor for introductory and 200-level geology courses. I have interned with the U.S. Geological Survey, working to create a more complete and comprehensive geographic information system (GIS) database for the state of Maine. I am on the Independent Study Committee for the Student Government Association, which reviews independent major applications and determines whether the students will be getting everything they can out of their Colby experience. I also am a mentor with Colby Cares About Kids, a program that has given me the opportunity to work with the same seventh grade boy during the past four years. Finally, I am a member of the women’s varsity squash team, which makes my winters seem a little less cold and a lot more fun.
As an undergraduate, two projects I have worked on have been published in several different journals. My research has also been presented at the Geological Society of America National Conference the last two years in Denver and Minneapolis. Attending the conference was not only an honor but also an incredibly eye-opening experience to the opportunities available in the field of geology. Talking with individuals from all over the country with all levels of education was really inspiring. Every conversation made me sure I had chosen the right academic path. Also, winning the award for excellence in mineralogy was not only a surprise but also very gratifying. I worked incredibly hard in that class to identify the difference between calcite, quartz, orthoclase and gypsum and to remember various crystal systems and how they alter the mineral’s optical properties. All things that seem trivial and completely uninteresting to others were intriguing to me.
Why Colby? I have always loved Maine, after spending every summer there since I was an infant. I love the outdoors and being active, so a place that could let me do both in all four seasons was ideal. It probably helped that I toured the campus on a beautiful day. Something just clicked, and I went with it. The college counselors at Westminster were all very helpful during the college search process. Meeting several times with my college counselor, Joyce Wilson, and using the resources available in the College Counseling Office, helped inform me of my options and critically weigh the pros and cons of my choices and where best I would fit.
Were any of these activities an outgrowth of your Westminster experience?
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college:
I learned how to play squash my Third Form year at Westminster. None of my other activities directly correlate, but the idea of being involved and being an active participant in your school definitely carried over to my interest in extracurricular opportunities at Colby.
Time management. It is a dreaded phrase in college because it is generally the reason something doesn’t get done until the last minute. Luckily, Westminster taught me how to deal with free time and how to balance sports, classes and extracurricular activities. Even
study hall had its benefits. The self-inflicted punishment of spending extra time in study hall if your grades are suffering or your work is piling up is definitely beneficial. Westminster also taught me to say “hello” to everyone and to hold doors open. Little acts of kindness that get lost in everyday life are very prevalent on the Westminster campus, and they are something I am glad to have engrained in my subconscious.
Post-college plans: I plan on taking a year or two off before going to graduate school to get my master’s degree in geology. I am hoping to get a job either doing field work or as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm. I am looking to get my hands dirty and to apply everything I have learned in school to real-world challenges. Alternative energy has always interested me. I would like to approach the subject from any number of angles, either working for a major oil company in research and development in their alternative energy sector, or for a small nonprofit working to incorporate sustainable energy practices in countries or communities that are just coming on the energy grid.
Dream job: I would like to teach others about the Earth, its past, present and future, our impact, and the ways we can keep from destroying it. I have an immense passion for geology and would get a lot of satisfaction from sharing that curiosity and interest with others.
fter leaving Westminster, I had no idea what I wanted to study but had a number of teachers and coaches tell me the most important thing to do is explore areas of study that I would find interesting. After exploring many areas of study at the academy, I chose engineering because I thought it would be both challenging and interesting. Also, in today’s economy, career opportunities in engineering seem more abundant. This major focuses a lot on how the body interacts with the brain. It has a good balance of technical engineering and behavioral science, which are the two fields in which I am interested.
Extracurricular activities: The first two years at the academy, I was on the club ice hockey team. In my third year, I started a rock climbing team and have been climbing with the team the past two years. During my free time, I am able to take advantage of what Colorado has to offer and do a lot of skiing, hiking, rock climbing and skydiving.
Proudest achievements: My proudest achievement was being selected as group commander of the academy’s Combat Survival Program. In this position, I led 1,000 cadets through a threeweek survival training program, where they spent one week training on base and two weeks on their own in the mountains
finding their own food, creating their own shelter and evading capture. Additionally, I was selected as a group honor officer for my junior and senior years. In this position, I oversee honor education for 10 squads with approximately 100 cadets each. In the event that someone does break the honor code, I lead the investigation and, ultimately, the character panel in which either a disenrollment or probation recommendation is reached.
Why the United States Air Force Academy? While I was going through the college selection process, I visited a lot of colleges, and they all seemed similar to me. When I visited the academy, it was something different and that intrigued me. Also, since when I graduate I will be serving in the Air Force, I was attracted to the fact that I would be committed to something bigger than myself and have the opportunity to serve our country. Had it not been for Westminster, I probably would not have attended the academy. Westminster’s approach in the college process was to encourage me to have an open mind and to explore all opportunities. Following that advice, I looked much more into the academy and realized that it was the best fit for me.
Ways Westminster helped prepare you for college: Westminster helped me develop time-management skills, which have aided me in being successful at the USAFA. Since Westminster is very challenging academically, I also felt better prepared for the academic work.
Post-college plans: Once I graduate, I am committed for a minimum of five years to the Air Force, where I will be a developmental engineer.
Dream job: Currently, I would like to get my master’s degree in human factors engineering or cognitive engineering and work for a small engineering firm.
Brian Smith ’08 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY Major: Systems Engineering, Human Systems 25
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Transforming Residential Life
ollowing on the success of Westminster’s $52.7 million Building Grit and Grace campaign
which ended in 2010, an anonymous donor stepped forward last summer to inspire the
campus community with the offer of a $10 million gift to transform the residential experience at Westminster for both students and faculty. The gift is the second largest in the school’s history, following only the $33 million bequest by Walter Edge Jr. ’35 in 1996.
The Westminster Board of Trustees enthusiastically responded to the donor’s challenge and approved plans at its September 2011 meeting for construction of two new student and faculty residential facilities, beginning this spring. “Our anonymous donor’s vision promises to transform the residential side of our campus for students and faculty, just as our recently constructed Armour Academic Center transformed the east side of our campus,” said Chairman of the Westminster Board of Trustees Tread Mink ’77, P’11. “Responding enthusiastically to this unique opportunity, alumni, parents and friends of the school have already committed an additional $6 million toward the project.” “Improving residential facilities on campus has been a long-standing priority of the school’s master plan,”
said Headmaster Bill Philip. “The project will not change enrollment totals or ratios. Westminster remains committed to its present school size of 390 students and to enrolling boarding students and day students.” Approximately 70 percent of Westminster’s 390 students are boarding students and the remainder are day students. Graham Gund ’59, a Westminster alumnus and president of Gund Partnership, an award-winning architecture firm in Cambridge, Mass., has designed the new buildings. He also has developed the school’s master plan and designed numerous other campus facilities, including the school’s Armour Academic Center, the Werner Centennial Center, the Sherwin Health and Athletic Center, the Kohn Squash Pavilion and Edge House.
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Keying Off of Cushing Hall The new three-story, Tudor-style student and faculty residences will bring Westminster’s housing up to contemporary standards. The dormitories they will replace, Squibb House and Andrews House, which were built in 1949 and 1953 respectively, were designed with student rooms lining long, institutionally-scaled corridors with minimal common space and little natural light. The new buildings are similar in design but larger than Edge House, which was built in 1996 as a prototype for future student housing. At the time, it was considered a very progressive approach to student residences, with clusters of bedrooms grouped around shared common areas. “Edge House was designed more like a cottage and breaks down the scale,” explained Graham Gund. “The siting for Edge was very important because the master plan called for additional new student housing to be built in phases. It was also important to have its look and scale be consistent with Cushing, since the style for
Graham Gund ’59, president of Gund Partnership, has designed the new student and faculty residential facilities.
Cushing becomes the basis for cohesion. At most independent schools, there is a consistent look with red brick, white trim or something that is consistent, so you get a sense that you are on a campus. We now have a chance for not just a more cohesive campus keying off of Cushing, but one that better utilizes the top of the hill. The result will be very dramatic. People will have a clearer idea about what the school is about architecturally, and I think that will be significant.” The planning for the new buildings included research to determine what has worked well in Edge
Opposite page, the exterior design of the new student and faculty housing; left, an early image of Cushing Hall; and below, Edge House.
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Floor Plan for the New Student and Faculty Residences
â€œA hallmark of our residential experience is community among our students, and among our students and faculty.â€?
A building elevation looking south from the entry drive shows a new student and faculty residence on the left, and the carriage house on the far right.
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House and what could be improved. “We have made improvements in both the student and faculty areas,” said Graham. “The buildings are designed as 100-year buildings, so we are thinking out a long ways.” The two new residence halls, one for girls and the other for boys, will each feature 49 student beds with both single and double rooms and four faculty apartments ranging in size from one to four bedrooms. Each floor will have a large common room with a pantry that includes a microwave and a refrigerator, two student study rooms and two bathrooms. A large recreation area and sizable rooms for storage and laundry facilities will be located on the lowest level of each building. The buildings will each have an elevator and be fully ADA accessible. The faculty apartments will have their own entrances, terraces, gas fireplaces and spacious kitchens overlooking open, light-filled living and dining areas. Each apartment was designed with a faculty study, which will be easily accessible to students from the corridors and will support faculty and student meetings. “There has been a lot of thought about how students can interact with faculty in a comfortable way without necessarily being in the faculty member’s apartment,” said Graham. “A hallmark of our residential experience is community among our students, and among our students and faculty,” emphasized Headmaster Philip.
Green Design The new facilities will have an Energy Star-rated design and feature recycling systems, water conservation strategies and large windows to cut down on the need for artificial light. “Many of the rooms take advantage of
corners, so you get a sense of the light moving around the space during the day,” said Graham. The buildings will be heated and cooled with geothermal heat pumps and wells similar to the geothermal heating and cooling system that exists in the Armour Academic Center. There will be approximately 18 wells that reach a depth of 500 feet located in green spaces surrounding each building. Each student room will also have its own controls for heating and cooling adjustments. “Use of geothermal systems is a unique way to heat and cool these buildings,” said John Prokos, managing principal of Gund Partnership. “We also will be looking at ways to use sustainable materials and locally sourced materials to minimize transportation costs.” The need for additional storage space for faculty families prompted the idea to include a carriage house as a part of the project. It will include a three-bedroom faculty apartment on the upper level, with five parking spaces and large storage spaces below for faculty who are living in both the carriage house and the nearby new residences. Additional carriage houses are planned in future phases of construction. Two new garages will serve faculty living in Edge House. Currently, faculty members living in the dormitories do not have covered parking or places to store such things as bikes or children’s toys. “The carriage house will have the same scale as some of the older homes on the quadrangle, which will be replaced, so there is a mixture of not just the larger-scale dormitories but the smaller-scale carriage house, much like you have now but in a more logical and coherent way that really redefines that space as the main residential area of the campus,” explained John.
An aerial view of the repositioned roads and new buildings, in blue, as they will appear after the project is completed.
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An aerial rendering of the residential quad area looking west and showing an expansive lawn and the new buildings.
An Expanded Lawn Area All of the new buildings will face an expanded lawn area and will have less rectilinear placements on the quad. “You will get a sense of a village of buildings,” said Graham. “Rectilinear quads are more suited to urban schools.” Landscape architects from Olin Partnership in Philadelphia were brought into the project to plan the landscaping and repositioned roads and paths. “When Perkin Memorial Drive arrives at the top of the hill, it will have a wider swing and a more rounded configuration,” said Graham. “You will get a sense of the whole campus in a way that you don’t right now. The curved roads will give a more pastoral sense to the quad. I think it will be a more pleasant experience, not just for the people who are living there, but also as you arrive and get a sense of the whole campus.” The landscape architects bring a vision for what the campus landscape could look like in the future. “They are going to do an inventory of trees and pay a lot more
attention to what is planted and how that relates,” said Graham. “The school has added buildings and some plantings here and there, and I think it is important that it all add up to something. The landscape is very important to an academic campus.”
Opening in Fall 2013 Construction of the new facilities will be completed in time for the opening of school in 2013, at which time Squibb House and Andrews House will be taken down. During the construction process, all of the construction sites will be fenced off, and construction traffic will be confined to the sites. The school’s Construction Committee has been meeting for months to coordinate the planning. “It was quite a complicated process to lay this all out,” said John. “Westminster has a unique process in that regard, really the best I have seen, where it has a dedicated building committee that meets biweekly throughout the design and the construction processes.”
“You will get a sense of the whole campus in a way that you don’t right now.”
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New Synthetic Field to Open in Fall Westminster will open a new synthetic field in time for the beginning of school in September. Construction began on the field in the winter, following approval by the Board of Trustees at its September meeting. “Almost every school against which we compete has a synthetic field,” said Headmaster Bill Philip. “This has created a competitive disadvantage for us during athletic contests and for enrolling top athletes in field hockey and lacrosse. For field hockey, we could no longer host tournament play. With a team of our caliber, we need a field to match our success.” The estimated $2 million cost for the field is being funded entirely from philanthropy. The field will be named Hovey Field in honor of David “Hov” and Jenks Hovey, parents of Dave ’78, Kim ’80 and Sam ’83, and grandparents of Davey ’09, Tommy ’11 and Katie ’14. The Hovey family has been involved with the school for more than half a century. During Hov’s 37-year Westminster career, he taught math and English, and served as dean of students, corridor supervisor, head of the work program and coach of numerous sports including head football coach and head boys’ lacrosse coach. Many Westminster alumni and parents, and friends of the Hoveys supported the project through generous gifts to the school.
Synthetic fields are low maintenance since they do not require mowing, fertilization or irrigation. They also require minimal grooming. A synthetic field system has been designed specifically for Westminster, taking into account piling height fibers, striping and a customized Westminster crest. The field’s primary users will be First Girls’ Field Hockey in the fall and First Boys’ Lacrosse in the spring. Lower teams and soccer will also use it as schedules permit. The field also will provide opportunities for community events during the fall and spring. “We will be able to host wonderful community events under the lights in our new facility,” said Headmaster Philip. “This project is going to be transformative for our athletic program and for our community.”
New Site Selected Rather than building on an existing field, a new site for the field was selected adjacent to the lower fields and existing parking. The new field will feature sloped lawn seating, four light towers for nighttime games, an enhanced roadway and sidewalks. “It will be in a beautiful venue for athletics,” said Headmaster Philip. “It is not just going to be a turf field; it will be a turf-field venue.” Due to the dramatic changes in synthetic field products available in recent years, the school has been working with Dick Webb P’07, a senior landscape architect with SMRT of Andover, Mass., as a consultant to ensure that its needs are met. David and Jenks Hovey P’78, ’80, ’83, GP’09, ’11, ’14. 31
Giving Back to Create Future Opportunities T. Treadway Mink Jr. ’77, P’11 assumed the position of chairman of the Westminster School Board of Trustees last September, following decades of involvement with the school. He and his wife, Elise, live in New Canaan, Conn., and are the parents of Tyler ’11, who is a freshman at Furman University, and Graham, who is a junior at St. Luke’s School. A graduate of Ithaca College, Tread has worked in the financial services industry for 30 years. Tread’s commitment to Westminster runs deep. He has served as a class agent, reunion chair, vice president and president of the Alumni Association and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1996 until 2008, and 2010 to the present. Although he prefers “behind-the-scenes” volunteer roles, on a recent visit to Westminster, he talked about his new board responsibilities and why Westminster is such an important part of his life.
What brought you to Westminster as a student? I grew up in Bristol, Conn., where my father, Townsend Mink ’46, was born and raised. As a freshman at Kingswood Oxford School, I found myself spending more time in the car commuting back and forth to school than in the classroom, so I came to look at Westminster. My best friend Bob Bristow ’76 was at Westminster at the time, and one thing led to another, and I made a choice to attend Westminster as a Third Form boarder. Did you have a favorite Westminster teacher? My favorite teacher was Mike Jackson ’49, P’75, ’82. He helped me get through Physics and, in all honesty, probably a lot of other things. He was the mentor with whom I could talk. He gave me opportunities I would not have had elsewhere and encouraged me to branch out. In which student activities did you participate? I played football, tried hockey and put in a lot of time helping out at the rink. My Fifth Form year, I actually drove the Zamboni, cleared the ice and even got jeered at when I missed a spot. I also played lacrosse and was involved with videotaping school activities, just when videotaping was becoming popular. I was a member of the John Hay Society and Black and Gold, and especially liked giving campus tours.
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What memories stand out from your student days on the Hill? Playing stickball in Memorial, Squibb and Milliken would be one. As long as we did it with a tennis ball and didn’t get carried away, we were O.K. We were told not to do it periodically, especially at 10 o’clock at night. Hanging out with friends at school would be another. I also liked volunteering to flood the upper rink at 3 o’clock in the morning when the weather got cold enough. My strongest friendships today are still with the people with whom I went to Westminster.
Management in Midtown Manhattan and managed a hedge fund specializing in the financial industry with two other partners for three years. I then decided to leave there to make a lifestyle change and spend even more time with my family and give back by volunteering in the community. Today, I am still actively involved in the financial sector with RP Partners, a family business that manages a pool of assets. The flexibility I have today allows me, at times, to drive the boys to school or crew, or to catch a game with them. These opportunities to be with them are ones I will never regret.
What are your favorite Westminster traditions? The Senior Lawn, weekend hockey games and Candlelight are my longtime favorites.
What do you and your family like to do for fun? We like the outdoors. We enjoy skiing out West, spending time on Lake Champlain in Vermont and, lately, attending a lot of crew races. We also go hiking and backpacking, and enjoy adventure travel.
Following Westminster, why did you select Ithaca College? I chose Ithaca College because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to major in communications or finance. I was able to take classes in both areas, and then I narrowed it to a major in finance with a minor in economics. I played lacrosse for three years and studied abroad in London.
“I not only believe in Westminster School, I believe in the team of people with whom I work: the faculty, the staff and the other trustees. We have developed a bond over the years, and because of them, I accepted the position when I was asked, although I prefer not to wear a title.”
When did your interest in finance develop? The interest developed when I was at Westminster. My father and both of my grandfathers also worked in the industry. I also met at that time Gene Bruyette P’77, ’78, whose son, the late Brian Bruyette ’77, and I were very good friends. Brian and I played football and lacrosse together and lived on the same corridor our senior year. Gene was a founder of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW), a company that specializes in the financial services industry. He gave me an opportunity to do two summer internships with KBW. Following college, I interviewed at a few other firms and then accepted a position with KBW in Hartford. At the time, it was a small firm that had offices in New York and Hartford. I was a salesperson/analyst when I started and then went into equity sales.
What were your major career steps after that? At 25, I moved to San Francisco to open up a new office for KBW and stayed there for nine years, becoming office manager and a senior vice president. I then moved to the company’s New York office and worked there another 10 years, before deciding (after two back surgeries) I was spending too much time away from my family and needed a break. After taking a year off, I joined North Haven
What has your community volunteer work included? For our church, I have served on the youth pastor search committee and helped determine financial support for community outreach programs. I also have been a scoutmaster for both the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts. Both of my sons have been involved with scouting, and Graham just became an Eagle Scout. I have to thank my sons for how they pushed me out of my comfort zone to learn new things and grow from the experience because I was never a scout. I enjoy the great group of families and individuals with whom I work and the chance to see fifth graders through 12th graders grow and evolve.
What led to your chairmanship of the Board of Trustees? I not only believe in Westminster School, I believe in the team of people with whom I work: the faculty, the staff and the other trustees. We have developed a bond over the years, and because of them, I accepted the position when I was asked, although I prefer not to wear a title. I like being involved in giving, while managing is not something I love to do. I don’t view it as managing, however, because it is a team working together. We work as a group. I have the title, but it is all of the members of the board who are truly the ones doing the heavy lifting, and it is their passion, input and ideas that collectively come together. It is also exciting to work with Bill Philip and share in his enthusiasm for the school. When you are given an opportunity to work with people like that and the rest of this board, you feel fortunate.
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What impact will the construction of new student and faculty housing have on the campus? When people think about new student housing going up, the first question they will often ask is whether we are growing the school. The answer is, “no.” The desire to do this is not just bed driven; it is life driven. A whole area of campus will open up and will dramatically enhance the living and social community for faculty and students. The new facilities will create a greater sense of community on the corridors and an environment that reinforces the role faculty members play in students’ lives. Students will also feel like they are living in a more home-like setting. A really exciting aspect of the project is that the school’s long-term master plan laid out the possibility of new student housing years ago. When people come forth who share a passion for the school and the school has a menu of priorities, gifts fit right into place. This is leading from strength, and I truly believe that has been going on for the last 15 years and has encouraged giving to Westminster. The generous $10 million gift we received for new student housing is based upon that. We also went out and raised another $6 million toward the project in a six-month period. I think success creates momentum. As the school makes its alumni, parents and friends more proud, they want to be part of it. As a trustee and as an alumnus, I could not be more thrilled seeing this take place.
What are some of the key areas on which the board will be focusing in the near future? Strategic planning is number one. The last time we did a strategic plan was about 10 years ago. We have retained an outside consultant and officially kicked off the effort in January. As a part of the planning, we will be reaching out to trustees, faculty and the community to get an idea of how Westminster is perceived in various areas. We will be truly taking a step back and looking for honest evaluations and input into the school. The strategic plan will be tactical and will identify areas on which we will want to continue to focus and areas where we want to improve. And of course, the financial well-being of the school on a long-term basis will be key. Trustees Susie Werner Berenson ’82 and Brad Raymond ’85 will be leading this effort, which we hope to have fully endorsed and wrapped up in January 2013, in time to be unveiled during the school’s 125th celebration. The timing is very exciting.
What is the biggest challenge currently facing the school? In a world that is constantly changing, one of the challenges we face as a school is to stay true to our core values and mission statement. We need to continually develop new programs and tweak old programs that reinforce what our charter means, how community makes a difference to our success, and how involvement and balance come together to make our students better prepared to tackle life’s challenges both on the Hill and in their future lives.
“As the school makes its alumni, parents and friends more proud, they want to be part of it. As a trustee and as an alumnus, I could not be more thrilled seeing this take place.”
What are some of your goals as board chairman? I want Westminster to continue to be Westminster and be comfortable with that. We will also maintain our emphasis on people. Although we have some very exciting news right now about new campus facilities that will greatly benefit students and faculty, growing the financial aid and faculty support portion of the endowment remains critical in giving others the opportunity to have a Westminster experience from which they can then benefit.
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When you really get down to it, the school is in great shape, and we have so much to offer. I often pick up the phone and call families of prospective students who have been accepted and ask them if they have any questions. Almost all of the time, the response I get is, “We have read the material, we have been to the campus, and it seems like you practice what you preach.” They certainly appreciate the phone call. At Westminster, faculty members know the students personally and that makes the school what it is. We are proud of that, and we don’t want to change. What makes Westminster stand out from other schools? Many schools out there are trying to reinvent themselves and figure out what they are. I think Westminster is very comfortable knowing what it is and its goals. People have always been its most important asset. The school respects and encourages everyone on the Hill. The school’s mission statement, its core values and its motto, Grit & Grace, have been with it for a long time. These do not need to be changed.
it and grew a program to the point where it is accepted by the Hartford community and is now under our umbrella. It is a great example of our faculty volunteering to do more than they already do on campus and helping others in our own backyard. What has motivated your decades of involvement with the school? I want to be part of it. My fondest memories are of the people: my friends, the faculty and the staff. Whenever I come up on the Hill, I feel welcomed and like I am coming home. Over the years, I have realized more and more how much of an influence Westminster has made in my life. My father will say that Westminster really helped define who I am. I want to give back so others will have the same opportunity to be a part of something that will change but also will remain true to itself.
“I think Westminster is very comfortable knowing what it is and its goals. People have always been its most important asset. The school respects and encourages everyone on the Hill.”
Why do you consider people to be Westminster’s most important asset? When I am on campus, I always like to go out and talk to everyone throughout the organization. People are at the heart and soul of the school and what makes it tick. During the trustees’ weekend last fall, I spoke with a custodian who used to work at another boarding school, and she told me how Westminster students always treat her with respect and appreciation. To hear an unsolicited comment like that points to our core values, especially character. Character is also when you walk around and see someone holding a door or saying “thank you.” It is old-fashioned stuff, but in today’s age, I don’t mind having some of the old-fashioned things because I don’t think there is enough of that out there. The Westminster Crossroads Learning Program in Hartford is another example of the importance of people at Westminster. Here was a faculty member, Todd Eckerson, who had an idea, stepped forward, presented
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New Course Enhances Science Research Skills A desire to improve students’ understanding of the true nature of inquiry-based science and to enhance their laboratory research skills led three Westminster science teachers, Lee Zalinger P’05, ’07, ’09, Greg Marco P’08, ’11 and Mark de Kanter ’91, to create an Independent Science Research (ISR) course this year for Westminster’s top science scholars. ISR meets on Tuesday evenings for two hours and is offered as a one-half credit, pass/fail course to Fifth and Sixth Form students who are already taking AP or honors science courses. A key component of ISR is that no work is required outside of the class because the students already have a full load of regular coursework. During ISR meetings, the students work collaboratively in groups on experiments in biology, physics and chemistry and present their findings to one another, hoping to draw logical conclusions. Oftentimes, they will spend two to three evenings on the same experiment, a luxury not possible in their other science laboratories that are more constrained because of the curriculum. This spring, they will even have an opportunity to develop a research project of their own and design their own experiments. “We were surprised by the interest in enrollment,” said Lee, who also serves as head of the Science Department and
teaches Physics and Physics Honors. “It is a big time commitment. The students discover as they go along. Every experiment creates additional questions.” When a physics experiment comparing the efficiencies of different types of light bulbs caused temperature probes to malfunction, the teachers were not upset. “This was something we didn’t anticipate and had to explain,” said Mark, who also teaches Chemistry, AP Biology and Physics Honors. “That is how science really works. The students see science for what it really is: many times things do not work but lead to more interesting questions that need answering.” The hope is that some of the students will pursue science in college and even in their careers. “There is a big difference between high school science, college science and science in graduate school,” said Mark. “Hopefully, this will give them a more realistic view of what science is all about.” Greg, who also serves as director of studies and teaches Biology Honors, describes the course as teaching in its purest form. “There are no grades and there is no agenda,” he said. “Rather, it is just a bunch of curious students taking the class because they are interested in science. They like to feed ideas off of each other. We expose them to a variety of disciplines and a variety of laboratory skills and equipment. We wanted this to be an enhancer, not a hardship.” The students are enthusiastic about the benefits of the class, which they chose to squeeze into their already hectic schedules. Will Stevens ’12, who is also taking AP Environmental Science and is considering a career in medicine, says he welcomes the chance to increase his laboratory experience. “Last year, my AP Biology class was not able to conduct many labs because of the rigorous curriculum,” he explained. “This class is familiarizing me with different instruments as well as different processes. The research is fascinating and often exciting.” Isha Garg ’12, who is also taking AP Environmental Science, and Human Anatomy and Physiology in addition to ISR, is thinking about a career in biomedical engineering and likes working on science in a casual environment with some of her closest peers. “I love balancing the seriousness
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Above, members of the Independent Science Research class on a field trip to Trumpf Inc. in Farmington, Conn., in February to learn about advanced laser technology.
and knowledge of the labs with the close student-teacher relationships,” she said. “The class will prepare me for college-based labs and scientific experiments and, hopefully, give me a slight upper hand in that I’ve already been introduced to an independent laboratory environment.” And Ronald Yeung ’13, who looks forward to a possible career in the health sciences and also is taking AP Chemistry, appreciates the opportunity for scientific exploration. “ISR provides a hands-on approach to reinforce the curriculum from previous or current classes, but it also allows students to learn without a set curriculum, pushing our imagination, innovation and intuitiveness,” he said. “The most interesting part of the class so far is the freedom the students are given during the labs. Oftentimes in regular classes, much of a lab is prepared beforehand, and students only execute the steps on the lab sheet. In ISR, we do much of the finer steps ourselves, do extra research on a particular step and don’t know what to expect, so we expect everything.” All three teachers appreciate the team-teaching opportunity presented by the new course and say seeing students enjoy scientific research is very rewarding. “We don’t need to worry about graded assessments, and the students come eager and ready to go each week,” said Greg. “It has really been fun.”
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A Living Legacy The legacy of the late Brian T. Bruyette ’77 lives on at Westminster in many forms. Following Brian’s untimely death from cancer in 1977, just months after his Westminster School graduation, his parents Kathy and Gene Bruyette P’77, ’78 established the Brian T. Bruyette ’77 Fund at Westminster to honor his memory. As a Martlet, Brian distinguished himself in the classroom and on the playing field. He played on the First Football, First Boys’ Hockey and First Boys’ Lacrosse teams, sang in the choir and was a member of the John Hay Society. His sister Barry Bruyette O’Laughlin is a member of the Class of 1978. “We established the fund to cover unbudgeted expenses of the athletic program because the athletic program was such an important part of Brian’s life,” said Gene. “We know that a high-quality sports program has a significant impact on the lives of all of the students.”
Making Enhancements to the Athletic Program Possible Over the years, the Brian T. Bruyette ’77 Fund has permitted purchase of enhancements for the Westminster athletic program, ranging from training room equipment to scoreboards to team benches. The gifts are outside of the scope of the school’s normal operating budget. They can be recognized around the Hill by the specially designed presentation of the BTB medallion. Faculty member Dennis Daly P’01, ’04 originated the BTB logo shortly after he was first appointed director of athletics in 1991. Some of the most visible items purchased through the fund are travel bags for every Westminster athlete. While the bags vary in size by sport, all the teams carry the same bags, which include the school’s name and the BTB logo.
“Since 2005, every athlete has carried the BTB logo on his or her bag to both home and away games,” said Dennis. “This allows us to carry Brian’s memory with us wherever we compete. We never could have afforded the bags without this generosity.” Other recent purchases have included digital A photo of Brian T. Bruyette cameras for coaches to ’77 from the 1977 Spectator use at practices and yearbook. games, portable scoreboards, padded seats for the basketball court and a golf cart. The golf cart facilitates movement from the different athletic departure sites and between game fields for the athletics director and assistant athletics director, maximizing contact and presence in the least amount of travel time. It is also used for assisting visiting teams taking water from training rooms to the fields, plus transportation for alumni, grandparents and parents in need of assistance at various events. “Anything that is permanent and enhances athletics, the Bruyettes have funded,” said Dennis. “I can’t imagine what Westminster athletics would look like without their ongoing support.” The fund has received numerous contributions over the years from family members, members of the Class of 1977 — often for their reunions — employees of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, of which Gene Bruyette was a founder and former chairman, and the Chairman of Westminster’s Board of Trustees Tread Mink ’77, P’11, a classmate, teammate and close friend of Brian’s. “What really made Brian stand out was his enthusiasm, drive, sense of humor and sportsmanship,” said Tread. “He exemplified Grit and Grace. Westminster students have benefited, perhaps far more than they have realized, from the Brian T. Bruyette Fund. Gene and Kathy have always wanted people to benefit immediately from the fund and that has been a driving force behind it. They care a great deal about Westminster and the community.”
Recognizing Excellence and Character Another tribute to Brian occurred when the Brian T. Bruyette ’77 Senior Athletic Award was created. It was initially funded by Gene’s partner Harry Keefe, founding chairman of Keefe Bruyette & Woods. It is Every Westminster athlete carries a travel bag that includes the BTB logo.
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given annually at graduation to the Sixth Form boy and girl who not only exemplify excellence in athletics but also contribute to the character of the team. It is given “in memory of Brian, whose enthusiasm, sportsmanship, effort and skills, represented all that is best in his school.” Last year’s recipients were Bradley D. Woodruff ’11 and Amanda L. Boulier ’11, who are now both collegiate athletes. A wooden wall plaque displaying the BTB logo hangs outside the director of athletics’ office. The list of the annual recipients of the Brian T. Bruyette ’77 Senior Athletic Award is located in the Hovey Trophy Room.
Soaring Sounds of the Verdin Carillon The Bruyettes also honored Brian’s musical interests by donating the magnificent Verdin Carillon in Andrews Memorial Chapel, which was installed in 1978. The soaring sounds of the carillon have been heard on the Hill ever since. It is programmed to chime in the morning before classes and at noon. At 5 p.m., it plays a few verses of preprogrammed familiar hymns. And during December, holiday music adds a festive feeling to the campus, and a “harp” sound is often included along with the bells. “I occasionally play the carillon as students are entering chapel on Tuesdays and Fridays and will use music specifically written for carillons, or play reflective versions of hymn tunes,” said Director of Music David Chrzanowski, who also serves as the chapel organist. “I often improvise melodies based on those tunes. I also play the school hymn
Among items purchased through the Brian T. Bruyette ’77 Fund are a golf cart, portable scoreboards and padded seats for the basketball court. Director of Athletics Dennis Daly, above, and others often use the golf cart to facilitate quick transportation between game fields.
on the carillon immediately after the commencement chapel service and right before the graduation ceremony. I will also toll the bells on special holidays like Veterans Day.”
Kathy and Gene Bruyette P’77, ’78 visit Westminster to see a custom-engraved stone inscribed with the words from a poem Gene shared with the school community in a chapel talk he gave in May 2007. He encouraged students to go out into the world and be“stepping stones.” The stone now rests near the entrance to the Armour Academic Center.
And in 2007, an etched stone with words from an inspirational poem that has been a favorite of Kathy’s for more than 40 years was placed on campus and resides near the entrance to the Armour Academic Center. When Gene spoke at a student gathering in the chapel, he encouraged students to go out into the world and be “stepping stones.” “The inscription on the stone says a lot about us and how we think,” said Kathy. The Sharon A. and Brian T. Bruyette Foundation, which was established by the Bruyette family to memorialize both Brian and his sister Sharon, who died at age 13 of leukemia, supports various charitable causes with emphasis on education, health and programs that help the disadvantaged. Kathy and Gene with daughters Barry and Chelle determine areas of support. Their grandchildren are A wall plaque displaying the encouraged to bring ideas to BTB logo. their attention and many of them have been supported.
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Staying Connected with Social Media by David Werner ’80, P’10, ’11 Director of Social Media Major Gifts Officer In the past two years, Westminster’s social media presence and involvement have grown significantly. Social media has taken on several different forms, five of which we use with regularity: the social networking site Facebook; the professional networking site LinkedIn; the “microblog” Twitter; and the content communities Vimeo and Flickr. All serve to keep alumni, parents, prospective families and friends of Westminster better connected to the school. Westminster is active on Facebook in two ways: feeding a fan page that allows any Facebook user a chance to see what is happening within the school community, and through a closed group that is limited to alumni and faculty. In the former, there are more than 7,000 visits per month, and it is here that fans or followers can read articles or see photos of life at Westminster. In the latter, more than 2,100 alumni have an opportunity to share memories, hear about regional events and reunions, and reconnect with old friends. Perhaps one of the most heartwarming responses to a post in the alumni group occurred last fall when longtime dining hall employee Pat Thompson retired, and nearly 300 Facebook members either “liked” the post or wrote a recollection of Pat. The LinkedIn network has grown to 525 alumni, with members occasionally posting job openings within their company or perusing the group for possible networking opportunities. Twitter serves as a vehicle to inform followers of on-campus events such as visiting speakers and Dramat performances, and off-campus events such as holiday athletic contests. Occasionally a “tweet” will be similar to a posting on the Westminster fan page. Through Vimeo and Flickr, Westminster shares videos and photos of all types of events that involve the school and its alumni. More than 2,300 photos and 19 videos have been posted in just over a year’s time. What is rewarding with Vimeo, Flickr and the Facebook fan page is the traction Westminster’s postings are getting with followers from countries all over the world: Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Taiwan and Turkey, to name just a few. Keeping alumni and parents better connected to the school and to one another is the primary goal of Westminster’s social media efforts. Striking the balance of when to post or tweet a story remains one of the challenges. As with sending emails to members of the school’s larger community, the school’s social media postings try to be balanced, relevant and occasionally humorous, while at the same time, avoid being overkill. Many alumni such as Tom Thimot ’84 of Silicon Valley have been very helpful in offering advice and suggestions about where conversations are taking place. Westminster has also “gone mobile.” Alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students can set up their mobile devices to access school news, the calendar, online giving, and team game schedules, scores and rosters. After signing in, the alumni directory can also be reached. Complete details about mobile access can be found at www.westminster-school.org/WestMobile.
To connect with Westminster through social media, please visit www.westminster-school.org/connect. 40
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Board Elects New Trustees The Westminster Board of Trustees elected the following five new trustees at its September meeting. Elisabeth M. Armstrong P’04, ’06, ’07 and her husband, Bill, live in Denver, Colo., where they own Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc. They are also owners/vintners of Epoch Estate Wines in Paso Robles, Calif. A graduate of St. Martin’s Episcopal School, Liz earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from Southern Methodist University. They have three children, Lindsey ’04, Jack ’06 and Leigh ’07. Beth Cuda Baker P’09, ’12, ’15 lives in New Canaan, Conn., with her husband, Todd, and their three children, Foster ’09, Ellie ’12 and Fred ’15. Following graduation from Kingswood Oxford School, Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and economics from St. Lawrence University, and a Master’s of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She then specialized in international private banking at both Chase Manhattan Bank and Banque Nationale de Paris.
Elisabeth M. Armstrong P’04, ’06, ’07
Beth Cuda Baker P’09, ’12, ’15
Jeffrey E. Kelter P’12, ’14
Andrew D. McCullough Jr. ’87
Armistead C.G. Webster
Heather Frahm ’86
Jeffrey E. Kelter P’12, ’14 serves as chief executive officer of KTR Capital Partners, in New York City. Jeff is a graduate of Trinity College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies. He and his wife, Jenny, live in Locust Valley, N.Y., and are the parents of Libby ’12, Katherine ’14 and Caroline. Andrew D. McCullough Jr. ’87 and his wife, Laura, live in Houston, Texas, where he manages the Asche Family Interests. They have two children, Lily and Colin. Following graduation from Westminster, Andrew earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Southern Methodist University. Armistead C.G. Webster is the headmaster of Renbrook School in West Hartford, Conn. Following graduation from Phillips Exeter Academy, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in religion from Princeton University, a Master of Arts in deafness education from New York University and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Colorado. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Hartford and are the parents of two children, Kiely and Steve. At its January meeting, the board also elected one additional trustee. Heather Frahm ’86 is the president and chief operating officer of Catalyst Online, located in Newton, Mass. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Hartwick College and an M.B.A. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. She and her husband, Bill, live in Weston, Mass., and are the parents of Lizzi and Will.
Class Establishes New Alumni Award At the Williams Hill Dinner on Sept. 24, the Class of 1966, in honor of its 45th reunion, announced the creation of the Alan F. Brooks ’55 Distinguished Alumni Award, which it has endowed to annually honor a Westminster alumnus or alumna “who exemplifies in thought, word and deed, the school’s mission and who practices Westminster’s core values.” The goal of the award is to reinforce the value of alumni in fulfilling the school’s mission beyond financial contributions; to encourage greater involvement of alumni; and to provide opportunities for alumni to share their wisdom, experiences, energies and talents, and thus support intra-generational learning across the Westminster community. “Having created the Keyes Award as our senior gift, we were looking for something with similar qualities and potential to impact the school in a positive way,” said Jeff Cook ’66. “We realized that there was not an alumni award to recognize the critical role alumni play, not so much by dollars, but by the example of the school’s mission and values. There are many inspiring alumni out there who can have a positive impact upon the school and its students and faculty. For this reason, the award includes a day on campus for the recipient to interact with the school community.”
Honoring a Legacy The award is named after Alan Brooks ’55, P’89, ’91, ’96, who has had a lifelong involvement with Westminster. As a student, he was a school prefect and participated in football, basketball, track, the John Hay Society, the Dance Committee and the yearbook. At age 23, he was appointed to the faculty and served in various capacities for 50 years, including English teacher, corridor supervisor, school fire marshal, admissions director, director of development and senior development director.
At the Williams Hill Dinner are, front row, left to right, Chris Williamson ’66, Jody Vaill ’66 and Don Geissler ’66. Back row, Will Holbrook ’66, Jeff Cook ’66, Alan Brooks ’55, P’89, ’91,’96, Brian O'Donnell ’66 and Bob Hawes ’66.
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“When Jeff Cook provided the inspiration for a prize to acknowledge the ‘above and beyond’ contributions of a Westminster alumna or alumnus, many of us, with no prompting or hesitation, thought instantly of Alan Brooks,” added Jody Vaill ’66. “For as far back as I can recall, Alan’s ubiquity as the ‘face’ of Westminster School has been as evident as his smile. Together they brilliantly reflect his deep love and tireless enthusiasm for Westminster and the core values we share in our school family.” Alan says he was “surprised, perhaps more like shocked, and honored, of course,” to be presented with the award in his name. “But quite aside from the recognition for me, it is wonderful that the Class of 1966 saw fit to establish and endow this much-needed award at Westminster,” he added. “There are so many alumni worthy of this tribute. It is so gratifying to know that each year, in perpetuum, we will be able to recognize one of them. How great will it be to see that huge commemorative board filled with the names of men and women who, in being honored, will bring great distinction to this award and to our school!”
Selecting Recipients The Alumni Association Executive Committee will present a slate of award nominees to an award committee made up of the headmaster, the school’s development director, a faculty member and the president and vice president of the Alumni Association, which will meet each year by Feb. 1 to vote on the recipient. The recipient will then be announced annually at the Williams Hill Dinner and will be encouraged to spend a future day on campus interacting with students, faculty and staff in a way that is of interest to the school and the recipient.
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Williams Hill Dinner Each September, the Board of Trustees invites members of the Williams Hill Society to a festive dinner on campus. The event provides an opportunity to thank and recognize the school’s most generous donors and to celebrate together the school’s achievements. This year, the school’s Chamber Choir provided musical entertainment and Headmaster Bill Philip P’06, ’09 and Board Chairman Tread Mink ’77, P’11 addressed and thanked the guests.
Kathleen Devaney and Tad Ryan ’78, P’06, ’07, ’12.
Joan Howard P’00, ’03, Julie Kim P’12 and Moy Ogilvie ’86.
Jay Niles ’81, P’14, and Kristen and Scott McCausland ’87, P’14.
Scott Berry P’11, Anne Moran P’06, ’09, ’12 and Andrew Brickman ’82.
Bill Philip P’06, ’09 and Dan Burke ’87.
Armistead Webster, Jenny Philip P’06, ’09, and Mary and Joe Sargent P’74, ’77, ’79, ’83, GP’07, ’10. 43
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1888: Greenwich On Jan. 24, 30 alumni and parents gathered at the Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Conn., for an evening of paddle tennis and good cheer. Curt Brockelman ’86 and Ellen Brockelman Bailey ’90 were most gracious hosts when chatting fireside with the Westminster faithful, yet showed that they still possess a competitive spirit when on the court! It was a perfect evening for paddle.
Curt Brockelman ’86, Dave Werner ’80, P’10, ’11 and Ned Burns ’84.
Chris Latham ’86, Scott Stevens P’07, ’09, ’12, Ned Burns ’84, Steve Boeschenstein ’84 and Nick Stevens ’07.
Blair Gallagher ’00, Stapley Russell P’14, Hillary Lavely Corbin ’98, Parker Corbin ’98 and Andrew Sullivan ’02.
1888: Boston Tim Egan ’00 hosted an evening of curling for alumni, parents and friends at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., on Feb. 14.
Front row, left to right, Thea Leach P’11, 13, Betsy Mayer P’13,’15, Maggie Pinney P’01, ’11, Molly Reilly, John Reilly ’91, Tad Mayer P’13, ’15 and Scott Stevens P’06, ’09,’11. Middle row, Tyler Hill ’93, Ben Roberts ’00, Allen Potts ’02, Katherine Rodman, Rebecca Smith P’13, Courtney Egan and Tricia Daly Frank ’77, P’11, ’15. Back row, Cliff Leach P’11, ’13, Cole Pinney ’01, Greg Carey ’07, Colin Campbell ’06, Derek Smith P’13, Will Ames ’05, Tim Egan ’00, Rees Pinney P’01, ’11, Helena Grant, Alan Brooks ’55, P’89,’91,’96, Mike Frank P’11, ’15, Mike Wiernasz ’94, Jay Niles ’81, P’14 and Newell Grant ’99.
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1888: New York Alumnae met on Feb. 8 in New York City at the home of Kirsten Sichler ’98.
Maggie Pinney P’01, ’11, Katherine McDonald ’88 and Sarah Alford ’89.
Robyn Netwig ’06, Olivia Robinson ’07 and Caitlin Romaniello ’07.
Kirsten Sichler ’98, Alexis van der Mije ’98, Jen Weisbrich ’03, Hanna Foster Robinson ’00 and Sarah Smith ’99.
Lindsay Leal ’01, Mercedes Fernandez ’01 and Emily Gailun ’04.
1888: Hartford Alumni, parents and friends enjoyed an evening of paddle tennis at the Hartford Golf Club on Feb. 8.
Front row, Catherine Gaffy P’06, Susie Kirkeby and Leigh Hovey P’09, ’11, ’14. Back row, Jim Eder P’06, ’11, Doug Hope P’11, Hope Wigmore P’07, ’08, Maggie Pinney P’01, ’11, Kathy Eder P’06, ’11, Kathy Hope P’11, Billy Mauke ’02, Matt Vendetti ’89, Vince Fioramonti P’06, Peter Reynolds P’10 and Jeff Scarcella ’99.
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Holiday Receptions Annual holiday receptions were held in Boston, New York and Hartford for members of the Westminster community.
Brent Hardenbergh ’00, Kirsten Ford Champlin ’00 and Jessica Cosentino Orthman ’00.
Brian O’Donnell ’66 and Johns Winship ’48, P’75, ’80, GP ’07.
Charles Fineman ’65, and Richard and Janet Gilmartin P’07.
Peter and Julie LeBlanc P’12, ’13 and Siobhan Ulrich P’09, ’10.
Michele Wiernasz ’00, Dave Puopolo, Helena Grant and Martha Payne ’94.
Kristen McCausland P’14 and Moy Ogilvie ’86.
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Charley DeLana ’83, P’14, Bill Philip P’06, ’09 and Bob Thorson ’84.
Mike Ball ’99, Colette Arredondo ’97, Amber and C.J. MacDonald ’98 and David Rush ’98.
Jenny Philip P’06, ’09, Emily Verone ’06, Lauren Eder ’06 and Brooke Davis ’05.
Bailey Harris ’05, Olivia Robinson ’07, Sarah Lobdell ’07 and Elsie Swank ’07.
Elias Miro ’86, Barry Deonarine ’86 and David Morocho ’86.
Tread Mink ’77, P’11, Spike Lobdell ’75, P’07 and Steve MacKenzie ’76.
Chrystal McKay ’85 and Rob Horsford ’89.
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Alumni Winter Games On Jan. 8 approximately 60 alumni returned to Westminster for spirited competition in hockey, basketball and squash at the 2012 Alumni Winter Games.
Alumni Hockey Front row, Tristan Rai ’14, Ryan Mowery ’13, Sean Orlando ’13, Evan Neugold ’12, Chris Izmirlian ’12, Zach Hamilton ’14, Ted Levine ’04, Dave Earl ’06, Tim Joncas ’00, Attila Koperecz ’90, Paul Spagnoletti ’90, Justin Wright ’04, Steve Theall ’83 and Nick Stevens ’07. Back row, Davey Hovey ’09, Mike Innes ’98, Shawn Desjardins, Colin Cross ’12, Patrick Spano ’12, Dave Hovey ’78, P’09, ’11, ’14, Vinny Gisonti ’13, Tommy Hovey ’11, Ryan Strange ’13, Will Stevens ’12, Michael Hallisey ’09, Mario Benicky ’14, Jake Bolton ’11, Rob Martin ’04, Tom O’Connor ’84, Chris Oetting ’04, Tim Quinn ’96, Scott Duddy, David Pope P’12, ’14 and Peter Briggs ’71, P’01, ’05, ’07.
Charlie Geitz ’11, Mark de Kanter ’91, Gavin McGovern ’11, Matt Leach ’11, Will Richards ’02 and Ned Reeves ’05.
Rebecca Brooks ’96, Corinne Werner ’10, Louise Marenakos ’11, Steph Piperno ’11, Michele Ribaudo ’08, Lyndsey Zavisza ’08, Jacqueline Grant ’10, Maria Leonardi ’05 and Dick Adams P’93.
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Alumni Basketball Front row, Alex Martin ’10, Mike Hom ’11, C.G. Grant ’07, José Ruiz ’94, Jerry Ruiz ’96, Jordan Smart ’14, Will Gould ’12 and Michael McNally ’14. Back row, Andrew Cummings ’11, Aaron Halfon ’10, Hector Gordon ’89 and son, Kevin Garcia-Ramirez ’08, Tony Griffith, Sean Kelley ’10, Peter Newman ’80, Rafi Rojas ’10, David Pringle ’05, Jeff Fransen ’99, Dillon Tiner ’12, Alex Tomashoff ’13, Dima Kaigorodov ’12, Brandon Kumnick ’12, Kevin Murray ’13, Tim Lyons ’12, Gordon Santry ’12 and Marquez Cummings ’12.
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Parent Receptions Beth and Todd Baker P’09, ’12, ’15 hosted a reception at their home in New Canaan, Conn., in September for new parents.
A reception for parents and faculty was held in the Armstrong Atrium of the Westminster Armour Academic Center on Feb. 17.
Matt and Jolie Johnson P’15, Bill Philip P’06, ’09, Maria Amiot P’13, Todd Baker P’09, ’12, ’15 and Jenny Philip P’06, ’09.
Lexann Richter P’13, Dennis Daly P’01, ’04, Vicky and Jamie Tomashoff P’13 and Andrew Richter P’13.
Laura Watt P’13, Amy Stevens P’07, ’09, ’12 and Beth Baker P’09, ’12, ’15.
Ann and Philip Glover P’15, and Drew and Diana Keir P’15.
Thomas and Carole Kelleher P’15, and Cynthia Crawford P’15.
Ken Mason P’11, ’12, C.J. Weinschreider P’13 and Kelly Kogut P’13.
Young Alumni Gathering Young alumni attending the University of Pennsylvania met for dinner in Philadelphia in November. Left to right, Lea Yoon ’06, Corey Smith ’11, Michelle Yoon ’08, Douglas Allen and Jae Kyung Ahn ’09.
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THE THRING SOCIETY
Hope as the Most Powerful Force As Tom McNichols ’67 reflected on his relationship to Westminster, he shared that “the heart is focused at Williams Hill. My view of giving is driven by hope as the most powerful force, especially when I try to be optimistic in circumstances which are known to be desperate, that is in educating young adults. … I am convinced that schools like Westminster, designed by visionaries like the Reverend Edward Thring, must survive and produce our leaders of tomorrow by successfully tapping financial support from alumni, friends, parents and other nonprofits.” Tom’s contributions to Westminster continued past graduation, when he served as a longtime class agent and a reunion chair, and also when he and his wife, Glenda, became parents of two Martlets: Eret ’96 and Ann ’02. In addition, Tom recently informed the school that he had made Westminster a beneficiary on a life insurance policy. He said, “I sincerely believe that if all alumni and friends of the school who’ve given something in the past were to look inside their safekeeping vault or bank safe deposit box, they would discover a potential trove of unused or forgotten assets that with a little attention could inure to the school. “I would say to not only my classmates but to the exceptionally talented other alums, Tom McNichols ’67. if you want to raise yourself to a higher level, however you define that level of nirvana, then lift up and help someone else.” Westminster is grateful to count Tom McNichols among the members of the Thring Society, and his creative giving highlights the generosity the Thring Society was founded to honor. The Thring Society takes its name from the Reverend Edward Thring, headmaster of the Uppingham School in England from 1853-1887. Westminster’s Board of Trustees established this society in 1991 to recognize any member of the Westminster community who has made planned gifts or bequests with Westminster as a beneficiary. For questions about gift-planning opportunities or to request additional information, please contact: Douglas Allen Director of Planned Giving (860) 408-3027 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Westminster School Web site: www.westminster-school.org and select “Supporting Westminster.”
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Classes ending in twos and sevens save the date!
May 11-13, 2012
Invitations were mailed in early March.
For the complete schedule and to register online, please visit: www.westminster-school.org/reunion For more information, contact Thea Leach, director of alumni and parent programs: email@example.com, (860) 408-6514.
COMMITTEES FOR EACH OF THE CELEBRATING CLASSES 1942
Tom Moseley Richard Oellers David Partridge
Dick Bondy Charlie Henry Tom McNichols
David Baldwin Dick Hoyt Steve Scott
Heather Lawless Robin Collinson Newman Katherine Strandberg Sawyer Jonathan Symonds Jeff Tindall Karen Burgess Woods
Kevin Farrelly Jess Healy Kristyn Keene Margaret Obermeier Lardizabal Matt Neidlinger Hallie Preston Jack Reigeluth Jacqueline Stahl Andrew Sullivan Courtenay Veenis Mark Zampini
John Barlow Dave Childs Tad Harvey Bob Hill Tony Palmer John Tunney
Peter Baldwin Bini Worcester Egertson Tricia Daly Frank Tom Hodson Nancy Watkins Shott
Ned Gow Doug Lawrence Peter Palin Joel Palmer 1962
Rob Carson Will Farnam Rob Gray Tim Stevens
Katy Drew Braiewa Randy Fernandez Maggie Whitman Righellis Marnie Davidson Rouse Robin Herrick Tesoro 1997
Chris Byrne Jake Clark Sarah Christel Scully Rennie Wilson Randrup Washburn
Colette Arredondo Courtney Bright-de Kanter Sean Broderick Seth de Kanter John Payne Lauren Bontecou Reichart Brian Thibeault
Leigh Armstrong Sky Biedron Mallory Coquoz Tim Gavrich Alex Gerson Joey Liberator Olivia Robinson Caitlin Romaniello Andrew Skipp Nick Stevens Elsie Swank Kelsea Wigmore Peter Williams
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Summer Science Experience for Middle School Students Last summer, veteran teacher and Head of the Westminster Science Department Lee Zalinger P’05, ’07, ’09 launched the first Summer Science Experience (SSE) at Westminster School. The program gives eager students who have completed sixth, seventh or eighth grade an opportunity to do actual scientific work in the stateof-the-art Armour Academic Center and at sites around Simsbury. For middle school students with a strong interest in science, SSE allows them to be immersed in developmentally appropriate scientific experiments, while enjoying exploration and discoveries with friends. The “summer campers” collect, process and present data in a relaxed, fun and supportive environment. Last summer, they conducted hands-on experiments in the Westminster biology and chemistry labs, and on field trips to local rivers, woods and fields. Lee has been teaching middle school and high school science for 26 years. He has served as a mentor to student teams in three award-winning solar and electric car races, the design and construction of a solar-powered dormitory room, and for a communitybased astronomy program. Assisted by high school counselors, he brings fun, excitement and professionalism to the summer camp experience.
Program Details for Summer 2012 This summer, SSE will be a two-week program, running weekdays, July 9–20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included in the cost of the program are lunch in the Westminster dining hall, all supplies, and transportation to and from local research sites. For additional information and registration forms, visit www.westminster-school.org/SSE or contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 335-2523.
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Doce días en el campo en Cuba (Twelve Days in the Cuban Countryside)
By Nesbitt Blaisdell ’47
As we landed in the Soviet-era passenger jet at José Martí airport in late May 2011, I realized I would be satisfying two long-standing dreams regarding Cuba and its 1959 revolution: first, to experience on-the-ground, present-day Cuban culture and its people, and second, to evaluate the relative success of the socialist experiment that had been taking place for the past half century 90 miles off the coast of Florida. I was with a delegation of 17 persons from the United States and Canada on a tour to study Cuban agriculture today. The delegation was inspired by the work of Food First’s Food Sovereignty Tours and Global Exchange, two organizations closely aligned to study and implement means of achieving a more fair agro-food system, largely through local food production. We 17 were a diverse lot in background, age and temperament, and included retired college professors, nutritionists, public health officials, a farmer and one brave undergraduate working on her senior thesis. A translator, a driver and a Food First representative added wisdom and continuity to our group. In 1989, the Cuban people were faced with a food crisis. After centuries of an agriculture based on colonial sugarcane and tobacco monoculture and the importation of everyday food, the 1959 revolution did little to alleviate food dependence, and the 1961 trade blockade imposed by the United States forced Cuba to accept help from the Soviet Union to prop up the Cuban agricultural economy. However, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 meant no more support from Russia, either as a customer for crops such as sugar, or imports such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This, plus a tightening of the United States blockade, led to serious food shortages affecting the Cuban daily diet. Though government studies of sustainability had taken place many years before, efforts to feed the country without imports did not occur in earnest until the 1989 crisis. Over the next few years, three major programs were set in place: land ownership policies were drastically changed, small-scale organic farming methods were developed and urban agriculture involving all city dwellers was encouraged. We had the opportunity to observe all three programs in action. On the first day of our journey, we boarded our new VW 20-passenger tour bus and set off into the Cuban countryside. Over the following two weeks, we met with campesinos (farm workers), farm owners and party officials, and even pulled weeds on a couple of occasions. To create small individual farms, large collective farms were broken into smaller units and given to individual farmers or cooperatives, who then contract with the government to grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock. A portion of the yield goes to the government. The farmer may then sell any surplus at private markets. Each farmer has the option to join Credit and Service Cooperatives, which serve member farmers with tools, seed and advice. Farms cannot be sold but can be passed on to family members. This new system of individual farms now includes 150,000 hectares (one hectare equals about 3.5 acres.)
Nesbitt Blaisdell ’47 with Jenny Matthews, his daughter, and another member of the delegation tending plants at a private farm that grows produce for a guest house on its property.
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We visited a number of small farms that were created post-1989: a hog farm, a tobacco farm, a fruit farm with 42 beehives and a pineapple farm with a pair of oxen. Oxen are a preferred method of tillage, though we did observe an occasional tractor. All of these farms operate with a minimum use of pesticides and with locally enhanced soils, all organically produced. This includes composted organic materials, manure and vermiculture (earthworms). We observed ingenious methods of insect control, examples of which include the use of decoy plantings and insect traps. In Cuba’s cities, urban farming is a hugely popular and successful operation involving 400,000 gardeners. The largest and most scientific enterprise we visited was a 23-acre layout within the Havana city limits with mesh-covered planting beds, expansive worm culture soil makers and a stockyard with rabbits, bulls and goats for the production of manure. It even boasted its own science lab. A workforce of 143 shareholders, enjoying established wages, hours and working conditions, runs the farm. Farm policies are set by a popular vote. Nesbitt with three farm workers listening to a lecture by Less elaborate, but equally important for total urban participation, the manager of a farm. were backyard and balcony gardens. We met a proud and enthusiastic local entrepreneur, a señora who had organized her neighbors into an expansive network of backyard gardens all integrated into the existing trees and shrubs. After visiting five such gardens, we all gathered on her back porch, drank fresh mango juice and listened to the woman’s 81-year-old mother relate her life story, contrasting her quality of life before and after the revolution. Our stops throughout Cuba included a cigar factory, a health clinic, a milk bottling plant, an organic restaurant, and a 19th-century coffee plantation. Throughout the visit, we were welcomed cordially, drank refreshing fruit juices and were ushered into well-kept but simple homes. For relaxation we visited jazz clubs, restaurants and Hemingway’s Cuban residence; listened to salsa bands; and took long walks through old Havana, including strolling along the waterfront boulevard, the Malecón. The efforts of these Cuban agricultural revolutionaries means that Cuba now produces 85 percent of its food, most of it healthy and nutritious and all locally grown, district by district. Before the crisis of 1989, Cuban farmers produced only 20 percent for local needs. Given the evidence, the people of Cuba have achieved something quite special. The government planners, the professional farmers, the farm workers and the city gardeners all have faced a challenge of feeding the country, and in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Cubans have taken an agriculturally dependent economy, producing next to nothing for local use, to feeding themselves at a level of 85 percent. Cuba and its people deserve strong recognition for their achievements: campesinos working the oxen in the vegetable beds and cornfields, farmers and co-op managers offering assistance, backyard señoras in the cities, and the bureaucrats pulling the whole operation together. Viva, Cuba y los Cubanos!
“The Cubans have taken an agriculturally dependent economy, producing next to nothing for local use, to feeding themselves at a level of 85 percent. Cuba and its people deserve strong recognition for their achievements …”
Nesbitt with the manager of a 23-acre urban farm within the city limits of Havana.
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Writing Around the Globe
Charles Graeber ’87.
Travel to tsunami- and earthquake-ravaged Japan and a book contract are just in a year’s work for writer Charles Graeber ’87. After chronicling the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster that struck Kamaishi, Japan, in a cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek last April, his true crime book about his relationship with the most prolific serial killer in American history has been slated for publication next March. Charlie is a National Magazine Award-nominated contributing editor for Wired and National Geographic Adventure magazines. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, the New York Times, GQ, Vogue, New York Magazine, Outside, Technology Review, American Cowboy, Haaretz and Kidney International. He has also been selected to appear in five different “best American writing” series anthologies. “Being a writer is difficult,” said Charlie, who has been writing professionally since graduating from Tufts in 1991 with a degree in English. “It takes years, and it’s incredibly unstable.” Charlie’s writing has taken him to locations around the globe, though for now he is based in New York City, where he is part of an urban writers’ colony. “It’s the first element of community I’ve had as a writer,” he noted. Charlie started his career with a brief stint as a writer for CliffsNotes. “I had the Hs: Hemingway, Huxley and Homer, which I read at Westminster,” he said. “I probably had more passion than insight.” At Tufts, he studied poetry and fiction with renowned poets Deborah Digges and Philip Levine, who is the 2011-2012 U.S. Poet Laureate. Charlie’s poetry study resulted in him taking second place in The American Poets Prize. His desire was to earn a living as a working poet, and he began traveling. He settled in Budapest and became a columnist for the Budapest Sun. “I found that my work was fulfilling many of the same poetic roles as poetry itself,” he explained. “I was using place as an excuse to talk about something more basic and human.” From Hungary, he moved to Cambodia and worked as a correspondent for the Cambodia Daily. Most often, Charlie travels alone. “I can stop and integrate with the culture,” he said. “When a group of reporters and photographers travels together, it creates an enclosed unit; it doesn’t invite welcome. When traveling alone, I can be invisible.” Such was the case when Charlie was dispatched to Kamaishi, Japan, last March. More than 1,000 of the city’s residents were lost or missing, and Charlie lived with refugees, sleeping on temple floors. The result was a 10,000word story, “After the Tsunami: Nothing to Do but Start Again,” published by Bloomberg Businessweek. The story has been nominated for the National Magazine Award for feature writing. Charlie has also given numerous lectures and presentations about his experiences in Japan. He will soon be back on the speaking circuit when his new book, “The Good Nurse,” reaches store shelves. The road to completing the book was a long one that began with a newspaper clipping he saw about serial killer Charles Cullen, who wished to donate a kidney from prison after having had a hand in the deaths of as many as 300 patients during a 16-year period at nine different healthcare facilities. Intrigued, Charlie sent a note to Cullen, who had long refused to speak to reporters. His inquiry stood out. Charlie’s father was a nephrologist, and Charlie had taken some postgraduate medical classes in an area of study that would prove beneficial in his research for the book. Cullen responded to Charlie’s note and thus began 18 months of correspondence between writer and killer. Written correspondence eventually turned to personal visits at New Jersey State Prison. At the penitentiary, no recording or note-taking devices are permitted. “I had to talk, listen and remember, and then go outside and talk into a recorder,” said Charlie. The resulting story was first published as “The Tainted Kidney” in New York Magazine in 2007. Cullen was dissatisfied with the article, and communication between he and Charlie ceased after its publication. “(Cullen is) not a stupid man,” said Charlie. “He’s manipulative by nature. We communicated only as long as he could see some use.” Nearly five years after the article’s publication, the story is the basis of Charlie’s new book. Charlie came to Westminster as a day student from Renbrook. He says that for him, Westminster was a launching pad to other things. “Much of the credit goes to the school,” he said. “The autonomy was not frightening. It was like going to college before college. I could gallop ahead and keep the lead. It allowed a measure of impracticality.” While at Westminster, Charlie was the cartoonist for The Westminster News, and illustrator and photographer for the yearbook. He also played lacrosse. Charlie expects that “After the Tsunami” will evolve into a book quite soon. When not writing, he consults as a creative strategist and tries to find time for diving and scalloping on Nantucket. “I like to wander and find pure, unstructured time,” he said.
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Everyday Inspirations Shape Design Trends Not sure what you’re going to wear tomorrow? Jenny Cooper ’85 already has a good idea about what your well-dressed children and grandchildren will be wearing during next year’s winter holiday season and beyond. Jenny is vice president of design for Crewcuts, a line of J. Crew apparel, shoes and accessories created just for kids — including Malia and Sasha Obama, who wore custom-designed Crewcuts outfits for their father’s presidential inauguration. Jenny finds inspiration for her designs right outside the doors of her Brooklyn, N.Y., home. “I’m always looking for something new,” she explained. “I can be just as inspired by a glimpse of someone on the street as I am by something on the runway. That’s the great part of living in N.Y.” Design was not Jenny’s first career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Trinity College in 1989 and settled in New York City, where she worked as an assistant at several art galleries. “But I found I wasn’t very good at the sales aspect of the gallery world,” she said. Dissatisfaction with the art world led her back to her longtime interest in design. Though her family expressed concern that a career in fashion would be “unreliable,” she began studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and subsequently earned an associate degree in fashion design. “I was excited to sink my teeth into something I was passionate about,” she said. After winning an illustration competition sponsored by Lord & Taylor, Jenny was offered a position designing suits for Elie Tahari. “It was one of the company’s smaller, less glamorous lines, but very challenging for someone just out of school,” she said. In 2000, Jenny was offered a position with J. Crew, where she enjoyed the freedom its designers are given to work hands-on developing samples and creating new designs. Jenny was working on J. Crew’s line of women’s sweaters (where she was the only designer with children) when she was chosen to join Crewcuts, which was then moving in the direction of creating original designs for kids, rather than just shrinking down its adult styles. “Working at J. Crew is an achievement,” said Jenny. “It’s the one place I’ve worked where everyone shares the same goal. There is a high level of communication and openness I’ve not found anywhere else.” Jenny attended Westminster her Fifth and Sixth Form years as a boarding student, having previously attended six schools in six years as she followed the career path of her father, James Nicoll Cooper ’52, a history professor. Jenny and her father are not the only Coopers to graduate from Westminster. Peter Cooper ’56 is her uncle. “At Westminster, I learned to speak up and not be afraid of saying what I think in a way that doesn’t hurt people’s feelings,” said Jenny. She participated in dance, diving and yearbook, and attended summer arts programs at Hotchkiss and Harvard. Her fondest memories, though, are of making pasta in her dorm master’s apartment and setting up an impromptu haircutting salon in the common room. “I gave haircuts for a minimal fee, and it was more of a social event,” she recalled. Jenny sported one of her early designs at commencement, making her own dress for the occasion. Though she says the dress resembled an Easter egg and laments her fabric choices, she says it was not her worst design. Jenny is married to German photographer Holger Thoss, whom she met when he was on assignment at a New York gallery. They are parents to Walker, age 9, and Miller, age 6, who have both been featured in Crewcuts family print catalogs with their mother.
Jenny Cooper ’85 with her children, Miller and Walker.
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In Memoriam 1936 Richard H. “Dick” Deming
passed away on Sept. 23, 2011, in Bloomfield, Conn. He was the son of the late Judge Richard H. Deming and the late Mary Fuller Deming. Dick was born in Hartford and was a longtime resident of West Hartford, Bloomfield and Squirrel Island, Maine. Dick graduated from Yale engineering school in 1940. He was employed by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft for many years, before becoming CEO of Accurate Threaded Products of Newington, a manufacturer of precision aircraft engine parts, and retiring in 1976. As a summer resident of Squirrel Island, he, at one time, was chairman of the Board of Overseers and a founder and president of the Squirrel Island Preservation Foundation. He also was a member of the Hartford Golf Club, and as an avid sailor, was a member of several yacht clubs. Dick was predeceased by his first wife of 62 years, Heath Hinsdale Deming. He is survived by his second wife of six years, Annette Brewer Hamlin Deming, his daughter and son, and two grandchildren.
1937 Leavitt Bissell Ahrens of
Suffield, Conn., beloved husband of Patricia (Mulford) Ahrens, died on Nov. 14, 2011. He was born on March 7, 1920, in Hartford, Conn., and was the son of the late Bernhard J. and Mary (Bissell) Ahrens. Lev graduated from Yale University, Class of 1941, with a B.A. in history and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1943.
Lev served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. He worked in the insurance and real estate industry for more than 38 years, during which time he was president of BrainardAhrens, Inc. from 19481976, and president and chairman of Ahrens, Fuller, St. John & Vincent from 1976-1986. He was active in the town of Suffield and served as a member of the Republican Town Committee, and was a member and past chairman of the Board of Finance. For 25 years, he also served as director of the Woodlawn Cemetery and Old Cemetery. A lifelong member of Second Baptist Church, Lev served as a past president, life deacon and trustee. He also was an avid golfer, and served as the past president and longtime director of the Suffield Country Club and a member of the Vineyards Country Club in Naples, Fla. He was a charter member of the Suffield Rotary Club, where he served as president, chairman of the Scholarship Committee and was the only Suffield Rotarian with perfect attendance at Rotary meetings for more than 60 years. Lev received two Paul Harris Awards and the Golden Rotarian Award from Rotary International for outstanding service to others. Above all else, Lev was a caring, loving and devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and greatgrandfather, who will be greatly missed. Along with his wife, Patricia, of 68 years, he leaves his son, Leavitt B. “Buzz” Ahrens Jr. ’61 and his wife, Joan, of
Atlanta, Ga.; daughters, Mary-Margaret “Debbie”
Jones and her husband, Robert, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Patricia “Patsy” Thalheimer and her husband, Charles, of Barrington, Ill.; his brothers, John B. Ahrens ’41 and his wife, Lois, of Duxbury, Mass., and Gilbert P. Ahrens ’56 and his wife, Christine, of Suffield; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Loomis H. Ahrens.
1940 Anthony Woodhouse Newton of the United
Kingdom passed away on July 28, 2011, after a short illness. Tony came to Westminster on an English Speaking Schools Exchange Program in 1939-1940. He went on to Trinity College.
1942 G. Morris Dorrance Jr., who
led CoreStates Financial Corporation into one of the nation’s top banking organizations, died on Aug. 11, 2011. Scion of one of the first families of Philadelphia, Morris cut his own path apart from the family business, Campbell’s Soup Company, or his father’s field, medicine, and became a banker. He led CoreStates Financial Corp. for 18 years, after starting at its Philadelphia National Bank subsidiary in 1951 as an assistant cashier. Within 12 years, he had moved up to become president of PNB, making him, at 40, one of the youngest bank presidents in the country. He became chairman and CEO in 1969. From 1969 to 1987, he oversaw growth from a single bank (PNB)
with $2.5 billion in assets to an interstate multibank holding company with $15 billion in assets (CoreStates), noted the 1987 annual report. Also under Morris’ leadership, in 1985 CoreStates first sponsored an annual bike race that has since become America’s top international cycling classic. In more recent years, he was busy with many civic commitments, serving on the boards of multiple organizations. His most enduring board position was with Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he served on the board for more than 50 years; and as chairman for more than 20. He also served as a trustee of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1949, the Eisenhower Fellowship, the Agnes Irwin School, Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the Exuma Foundation, and served as chair of the Philadelphia Visitors and Convention Center. His social organizations included the Gulph Mills Golf Club, the Pine Valley Golf Club, the Merion Cricket Club, The Rabbit, The Racquet Club and The Philadelphia Club. He also was governor of the State in Schuylkill, also known as the Schuylkill Fishing Company of Pennsylvania and the oldest social club in the country. Morris served on many corporate boards, including those of R.R. Donnelley & Co., Rohm & Haas, Kewanee Oil Co., Philadelphia Contributionship, Provident Mutual Insurance Co., Penn Virginia Corp., the
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In Memoriam Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. In addition to his involvement in the region, he maintained a home in Exuma, one of the remote islands of the Bahamas, where he enjoyed snorkeling and sailing in the crystal blue water. He also enjoyed vacationing and boating in Northeast Harbor, Maine. He served in the U.S. Air Force in England during the last two years of World War II. A resident of Villanova, Pa., he grew up on Delancey Street in Center City Philadelphia — a few doors down from his future wife. He and Mary Carter Dorrance, who shared a birthday and were married for 53 years, are survived by their two children, George Morris Dorrance III and Middy Dorrance, and granddaughters Mary Carter Dorrance and Anastasia T. Dorrance.
1945 Richard M. Grave,
manufacturer and community champion, died March 10, 2011. Born January 17, 1928, in New Haven, Conn., Dick attended The Putnam School and Yale University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1946-1947 in the 752 AAA Gun Battalion stationed in Saipan. After graduating from Yale, he was the third generation to enter the family cigar manufacturing business, remaining president and treasurer of F. D. Grave and Son for 60 years. Dick tirelessly supported the greater New Haven area in areas of mental health, business,
education and development. He was the first president and founder of Comprehensive Health Planning of South Central Connecticut; served on the Human Subjects Review Committee of Yale University School of Nursing and on the Priorities and Planning Committee of the Yale University Council. He was an advisory board member, Connecticut Mental Health Center; a board member, United Fund of Greater New Haven; a board member of Yale-New Haven Medical Center; president, Community Council of Greater New Haven; former trustee of the National Savings Bank; and advisory board member, People’s Bank of New Haven. He served as secretary of the New Haven Boys Club and president of The Foote School Association. He was a board member of the Guilford Library and Art Resources of Connecticut and also director, of the Guilford Land Conservation Trust and former board member, Guilford Library. A former treasurer and board member of Mory’s Association, in 1999, he was awarded the Mory’s Cup for service to Mory’s and Yale University. Dick spent 30 years advancing the work of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Appointed to its board in 1980, he continued as board chair from 1986-1987. After his board term, he served on the Finance Committee and as the chair of the Development Committee. To honor his work as interim director in the 1990s, the board established the Board of Directors Fund, used for general charitable purposes. In 1987, Dick and his
family established the Grave Family Fund to address health issues in the community. Dick cited the fund as a way of honoring his immigrant grandfather who was committed to the improvement of his adopted community and the opportunities afforded him in 19th-century New Haven. Dick is a former commodore of the Sachem’s Head Yacht Club. He published photography in numerous publications including “Shang: A Biography of a Decoy Carver,” and traveled yearly to Montana to fish with his son, Ben, and chase the elusive trout. He leaves his wife, Carol Pilkinton Grave; two children from his first marriage, Alexandra Grave Garfield and Benjamin Cornell Grave; and eight grandchildren.
1946 Ralph “Jeb” Howard of
Bern, N.C., formerly of Potomac, Md., and Matunuck, R.I., died on Oct. 10, 2011. He was the husband of 56 years of Patsy Howard. Jeb was a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School. After graduating from Yale, he served four years in the Air Force, stationed in Washington, D.C., with the Office of Strategic Intelligence. He was a retired attorney from the firm of Betts, Clogg and Murdoch in Rockville, Md. Jeb was an avid reader with a keen interest in history, enjoyed playing chess and loved dogs. Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, a nephew and six grandchildren.
1949 John “Jack” R. Thim Jr. of
Branford, Conn., husband of Nancy Eckle Thim, died June 8, 2011. He was born in New Haven, son of the Honorable John R. Thim and Mary Flom Thim. In addition to his wife, he leaves his grandson, Colby Thim, and brothers, the Honorable George N. Thim of Trumbull, Conn., and Paul R. Thim of Atlanta, Ga. He was predeceased by his son, Peter Brian Thim, his daughter, Polly Karen Thim, and a sister Mary Vernalee Sternberg. Jack was a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1953. He was a member of Psi Epsilon and the Dragon Senior Society. He had owned the Acton Metal Processing Corporation in Waltham, Mass., and for his distinguished involvement and years of dedication and service in the National Association of Metal Finishers, he received its 1993 Life Membership Award. A 1980 recipient of its Silvio Taormina Award, he had also served as president in 1977-1978 and as president of the Master Metal Finishers Association of New England. He was a trustee of the Metal Finishers Foundation, a member of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and a member of the American Society of Metals. Internationally, he served as chairman of the National Association of Metal Finishers study mission to Scandinavia and traveled through Japan and Europe as a spokesman for the Master Metal Finishers of New England. His employees and associates agreed that the contributions he had made to the surface finishing industry were
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In Memoriam astonishing. Upon his retirement from Acton Metal Processing, he continued to be an active lifetime member of the National Association Metal Finishers. Classmate Conrad Cowan writes, “We of the Class of 1949 have experienced the passing of numerous friends and classmates, and the rate of demise promises only to increase for us as time advances; but the news of yet another is always a shock. “Jack came late to Westminster to finish his secondary education. He quickly and easily joined the school family with his support academically and in athletics for both the final Class of 1949 years. He was partial to Ron Michelini and Henry “Doc” Doan, and interacted with the rest of the faculty with great respect and admiration. He also blended very well into the student population. “He and his wife, Nancy, suffered tragic losses of their two children — one from a catastrophic accident and the other from illness. But their long relationship and devotion to each other and raising their grandson, Colby, carried them through. “After graduation, Jack attended Dartmouth, then created and ran his own company throughout his career. In retirement, they wintered in Florida and spent summers in Branford, Conn. I visited them at both locations on my trips back to our 50th and 55th reunions. Jack and I have corresponded infrequently over the years, but he and Nancy always welcomed me with open arms the few times I was able to visit.”
1950 Guillermo J. Torruella
passed away on Sept. 28, 2011, after a short illness. He was from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Guillermo is survived by his wife, Ileana; his brother, Alberto J. Torruella ’51; his cousin, Felix J. Serralles ’52; and four sons and a daughter.
1960 John Miller Capito Jr. of
Atlanta, Ga., died Jan. 1, 2012. Born in Charleston on April 14, 1942, John was the first child of the late John Miller Capito and Dorcas Duling Capito. He was educated at West Virginia University. He moved to Atlanta in 1970, where he married Gail Armstrong in 1989. He was honorably discharged from the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1971. Following his father’s example and tutelage, John committed nearly his entire working life to the oil and gas industry in the Appalachian region, primarily West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Following his father’s early death in 1967, John managed the family-owned Falling Rock Company, an independent production operation based in Clay County. After moving to Atlanta, John founded predecessor production partnerships and enterprises, which later evolved into the Alliance Petroleum Corporation, now based in Canton, Ohio. At his death, John was managing partner of Black Crow Oil, LLC, another West Virginia oil and gas production company with executive offices in Atlanta. John was a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church,
Atlanta. He was also an active member of the West Virginia Oil & Gas Association; the Buckhead Rotary Club; and, until recently, a committed member of the board of directors and board of advisors of St. Jude’s Recovery Center. His avid interest in model railroading was vividly expressed by the Cabin Creek and Kanawha Railroad, which operates in his basement. He was an outdoors enthusiast, having accumulated hours on West Virginia and north Georgia whitewater rivers and streams, and one of the charter members of the Greater Rupert Annual Sporting Spectacular. John leaves behind his wife, Gail Armstrong Capito; brother, Charles Howard Capito ’64 of Knoxville, Tenn.; daughters, Stephanie Capito Nuesse and Ashby Miller Capito of Atlanta; and stepson, William Wallace Schoettelkotte and his wife, Patricia, of Wilmington, N.C.; and four grandchildren.
1962 Joseph T. Hall of New York
City died on Oct. 14, 2010. Grem attended Boston University and Yale University. While at Westminster, he was the Head Prefect and was involved in the Dance Committee, Choir, the John Hay Society (Vestry president), Discussion Group, varsity soccer and tennis, and junior varsity hockey.
1970 William C. McKay of
Lincoln, Mass., passed away on April 5, 2011. Bill’s classmate Piper Stevens
William C. McKay ’70.
wrote this obituary following the original story from the fall 2011 Bulletin: “The Westminster Class of 1970 lost one of its most singular, endearing and unpretentious members April 5, 2011, when Bill McKay succumbed in Boston to a sudden illness. He had been taken ill barely four weeks earlier, and passed away in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Following Westminster, Bill graduated from the University of Denver along with many of his class, where several lived with him in an off-campus house known simply as Race Street. After graduation, he moved to Cambridge, where he spent his early professional career as head of E. H. Hinds, a construction company later acquired by General Electric. He recently retired as Northeast manager. “Bill was a direct, generous and easygoing companion who enjoyed fine scotch, owned great dogs and was a passionate, skilled and patient fly fisherman. Throughout his life, he cultivated a conservative disposition, an acute sense of humor and fluency in Spanish. A
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In Memoriam sometimes-innocuous classmate in school, he easily topped the class poll in “Gets Away With Most.” He rose to the top of the company for which he worked following college. He met his future wife, Mary, at a collective birthday party for those born on March 5, and they married in 1996. “An extremely touching memorial, attended by over a dozen Westminster classmates, was held in the barn at the McKay home in Lincoln in May.”
1972 Robert Kent Moore, of Mill
Valley, Calif., passed away on Jan. 5, 2012. Rob graduated from Brown University in 1976 and from Columbia University’s M.B.A. program in 1978.
He worked in finance in San Francisco, before spending 18 years as senior editor of Latitude 38, a sailing magazine. He sailed in most of the big sailboat races on each coast and was instrumental in promoting local sailing on San Francisco Bay. Rob was an avid hiker, long distance backpacker and kayaker, and enjoyed several years of extensive traveling after retirement. He volunteered many hours at the local library and on numerous sailing committees. A neversmoker, Rob used his diagnosis to help raise awareness and funding for lung cancer, the number one cancer killer. He is survived by his wife, Leslie Richter, his mother, his sister and brother-in-law, and a niece and nephew.
Former Trustee Frank “Junie” O’Brien Jr.
of Boston and Edgartown, Mass., died on Feb. 2, 2012. An alumnus of Phillips Academy and the 1944 class at Yale University, he was a dedicated student and captain of their baseball teams. Junie taught English and coached varsity ice hockey and baseball at the Groton School for 33 years. He was a beloved teacher and coach, and then director of development and alumni affairs. In addition, he was a dedicated staff member at Keewaydin Camp in Ontario, Canada, for many years. Following Groton, Junie and his wife, Marianna (“Muffin”) pursued their love of education by founding O’Brien Associates, an
educational consulting business. Junie was a Westminster trustee, fellow and the father of Frankie ’81. He and Muffin, were honored in 1997 with the naming of the O’Brien Award, the faculty prize awarded at commencement. Besides his wife, Marianna Mead O’Brien, and his son, Frankie, Junie is survived by his daughters, Dede, Elsie and Louise, as well as several grandchildren.
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Closing Thoughts Vivre Sans Regret By Atesha Gifford ’12
Adapted from a presentation she gave at the WALKS Foundation luncheon Oct. 18, 2011.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when they have to choose between being who they think they should be and being who they truly are. My point of decision came my Third Form year at Westminster. As a girl new to the whole boarding school scene, I had a chance to reinvent myself and become the girl I’d always wanted to be. To my surprise, I ended up choosing to stay myself with one important change: confidence. In elementary school, as a second grader reading at a sixth grade level, life was rough. I was constantly teased and felt as though I was alone in the world. It also didn’t help that my speech impediment, my stutter, was exponentially worse than it is now. For years, I was plagued with a fear of
speaking, whether in public or just to a friend or family member. The everyday speech therapy would help for a few weeks here and there, but slowly, as my nerves got the best of me, the stutter would return, forceful and unforgiving. I began to believe that I could never function as a normal part of society because I couldn’t do certain things that normal people do, such as engage in spontaneous conversation about the weather or last night’s game. I had so much to say but no confidence to let it out. In middle school, I became a Stepping Stone Scholar through the Hartford Youth Scholar’s Foundation, which is a program that takes seventh graders and prepares them for prep school life. After two rigorous summers, a school year of extra work, the SSAT, tours of various schools, interviews, applications and the dreaded waiting period for acceptance letters, came my admission to Westminster. The school had called my mother a week before I received the letter to inform her of my admission and the scholarship I received. I was truly in shock. Like every protagonist in all cliché high school films, I was on a mission to finally gain the respect of my peers for which I had been searching in middle school; something I felt I was missing. As I began sifting through the new world I had entered as a Third Former, I began to realize the community on a hill was completely different from what I was used to. There were people from places around the globe I’d never heard of or even knew existed. This change in environment led to an extreme case of culture shock. I felt I was unlike many of my peers, not just on the surface, but also in how I thought, felt and operated. After realizing that fact, most people would say I had one of two choices to make: change myself to become the person who could easily thrive in such an environment or stay true to myself and
hope for the best. The answer, I can assure you is much more complex. I stayed true to my values and my goals but with a significant change. I went from a girl tormented by an aversion to speaking, which kept her from truly performing at her best, to a girl with confidence in everything she does. At Westminster, I’ve learned that as human beings, we dwell in a vast array of choices with only our moral compass to guide us down a path to the life we choose. As human beings, we also make mistakes, do things we know we shouldn’t, have things not always work out in our favor and have our own unique story to tell. These are the reasons why I believe that we should live life to the fullest of our ability, not only accepting our faults, but also using them as a guide to navigate us through both the high and low points of our lives. A lot of people spend the vast majority of their lives preoccupied with what they did yesterday, instead of focusing on how to live today. I try to live every day as if tomorrow might never come and yesterday is a distant memory. My Third Form year, I ran for student council and, to my dismay, I didn’t make it. Instead of giving up and never trying again, I kept on running and eventually made it my Fifth Form year. As a Sixth Former, I was elected to the Prefect Board. The determination and confidence I gained from having to get my name out to people to make sure they knew that voting for me meant they would get a person dedicated to her school is what drives me now. My journey down the path of enlightenment isn’t nearly over; it’s just found a new direction, one with dedication and willpower. Each day has challenges and obstacles I have to overcome, whether it’s giving an announcement in assembly or simply reading out loud in class. I do it without musing about the trials I have faced, but rather with the conviction that even if I stumble over a word or two, I will finish. Some people say I should regret the years I spent mentally locked away from others, but I think that those years of selfevaluation have only made me a much stronger and better person. I’ve learned that being physically alive doesn’t necessarily mean that you are living. Live every day as if you only have one life — because you do. Or as the French would say, vivre sans regret, loosely translated to “live without regret.”
“I stayed true to my values and my goals but with a significant change. I went from a girl tormented by an aversion to speaking, which kept her from truly performing at her best, to a girl with confidence in everything she does.”
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Scenes from the performing arts presentation during Parentsâ€™ Weekend.