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Hands-On Learning Stories of experiential education

Higher Learning and LIFE Caitlin Farquharson ’10 reflects on the experiential pilot program

Plugged In Dr. Curran Crawford ’96 on renewable energy and cutting-edge engineering

2015 Distinguished Alumnus The Honourable Michael Code ’67 discusses real-world problem solving

How many different articles can you spot in this display created by archivist Brenda Waksel?


7 8 16

Indelible Lessons Bob Snowden on the incredible benefits of experiential learning.

School News Visual updates from our bustling campus.

Higher Learning and LIFE School Ties takes a close look at the new cutting edge experiential program for all Grade 10 students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 18

To Learn, To Lead, To Serve A story of one of the seminal events in school history from Ian Mugridge’s newly published history of the school.


The Hyde-Lay/ Ibell Scholarship A remarkable gift pays tribute to a remarkable mentor.


Alumni Updates Alumni news from around the world.

Alumni Weekend 2016 Field Guide 4

Your guide to experiencing the best of our largest alumni event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 26

CREDITS School Ties is distributed to more than 5,000 members of the St. Michaels University School community, including current families, friends, and current and past staff and students. The goal of the publication is to communicate current activities and initiatives and provide articles and reports on the alumni community. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this publication, please email schoolties@smus.ca Published by the Advancement Office St. Michaels University School 3400 Richmond Road Victoria, British Columbia Canada V8P 4P5 Telephone: 250-592-2411 Admissions: 1-800-661-5199 Email: schoolties@smus.ca

In Conversation From his inspiration to his toughest challenge, Dr. Curran Crawford ’96 talks with Head Boy Jasper Johnston ’16 about the future of transportation . . . . . . . . . . . P. 24

School Ties magazine and archive copies can be found at smus.ca/alumni/school_ties If you are interested in attending alumni events, visit the online Calendar of Events at smus.ca/alumni Editorial Team: Laura Authier, Gillian Donald ’85, Peter Gardiner, Kyle Slavin, Kelly Sodtka Managing Editor: Darin Steinkey Art Directors: Sandy Reber and Jordan Clarke Contributors: Laura Authier, Jennifer Bateman, Nicole Edgar ’10, Sarah Hudson ’00, Ian Hyde-Lay, Jasper Johnston ’16, Kyle Slavin, Bob Snowden, Darin Steinkey, Brenda Waksel, Rob Wilson, and SMUS community members. We apologize for any omissions. Photos: Keith Allison, Gordon Chan, Brady Doland, Kent Leahy-Trill, Kyle Slavin, SMUS Archives, Darin Steinkey Design and Layout: Reber Creative Printed in Canada W by Hemlock Printers, Burnaby, BC This issue of School Ties was printed on Opus 30% postconsumer recycled fibre paper. By selecting this paper, the following resources have been saved: 9 fully grown trees, 15,871 litres of water, 4 million BTUs of energy, 127 kg of solid waste and 351 kg of greenhouse gases.

The Honourable Michael Code ‘67 Lawyer Sarah Hudson ’00 sets up the case for our 2015 Distinguished Alumnus . . P. 36

On the Cover: Sisters Emma (left) and Sarah (right) Loughton ‘15 show off their scientific knowledge during an AP Chemistry science experiment showcase.


BIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS START WITH DREAMS. A St. Michaels University School education is a dream education — and making that dream a reality always includes you, our valued alumni. By supporting our annual fund, you help SMUS put the ‘icing on the cake’, supporting unique projects, scholarships, programs and learning experiences that push the boundaries of what our students can achieve. Please join us in helping our students do big things in school and in life. Support our Dream Big Fund.

Visit smus.ca/dreambig to make an online donation or for further information. 6


Never let schooling interfere with an education.” These words

of Mark Twain began the article in which I last wrote about experiential education, in School Ties in 2007. The fact that this was seven years ago and that the words are more than 100 years old conveys that experiential education is far from the novelty it is often made out to be. Experience has always taught deep lessons, usually by accident. How do we replicate the lessons of experience in deliberate ways, so that mathematics, biology or history are also the domain of deep lessons? When I speak to alumni at gatherings (most recently in Toronto, Calgary, London and Hong Kong), I usually provide the predictable updates on athletics, academics and notable retirements. Unpredictably, I have also begun to talk about the most prominent themes driving our pursuit of excellence at SMUS. These days, experiential education is one of these. Since 2007, our exploration of experiential education has developed substantially. The best example is our Grade 10 program. For the past eight years, we have implemented and tweaked an “experiential pilot,” which allowed students to sign up for a different approach in the spring term. It meant they were free to follow a timetable of academic work in the morning and a diverse menu of service, life skills and outdoor activities in the afternoon. The term was capped off with an extended outdoor expedition on the West Coast – an expedition founded on the notion that lessons reinforced by the consequences of real life are indelible. The response to the pilot program was consistently positive. These students also performed as well as or better than expected in the compulsory, external provincial exams in English, Mathematics and Science at the end of Grade 10. So we asked ourselves the question: Why wouldn’t we extend these benefits to the entire Grade 10 class? Two years of discussion and planning culminated in the adoption this year of a comprehensive implementation of experiential education across the entire Grade 10 curriculum. The concept is based on the notion that students will learn better if their learning is reinforced by the impact of life and the world outside the classroom. The fundamental pattern of experiential education

is simple: students should have a direct experience (rather than a theoretical, textbook experience), upon which they reflect in a structured way, which then motivates some intentional action on their part. They then bring the consequent personal and intellectual growth to their next experience, when the cycle begins again.

Visit blogs.smus.ca/head It is possible to remain true to this pattern with any academic subject. This year, every single Grade 10 course must include a meaningful experiential component. Teachers have been provided professional support in developing these components; in every discipline, a “champion” of experiential learning has been identified to support the work of colleagues. The timetable has been overhauled to allow students to pursue academic areas of passion and interest outside the classroom. There are two extended sessions out of school, one of which is an outdoor experience. As you can expect with something that works, teachers in the rest of the School are jumping in: the project-based learning we see in the Middle School, and the Reggio-inspired approach in the Junior School are entirely consistent with experiential work. Before long, if any of our students go back to former, more “textbook” styles of teaching, they will find it frustrating, limited and unexciting. In fact, the impact of experiential education, which is being recognized throughout the educational world, will be such that in 10 years’ time it won’t be described as “experiential” – a novel experiment – it will be mainstream. It will just be “education.” 7

School News Meanwhile, back on campus‌

The following pages are highlights from The SMUS Review, the St. Michaels University School official blog page where we capture the energy that is our school and give voice to the community. Hundreds of posts, videos, photos and social media streams are all just a click away at smus.ca/join-in.

Bree lends a helping hand during a pop-up apothecary at the Middle School. Dr. John Lee from Camosun College led the science experiments as part of SMUS Reads week. 9




05 01 Rower extraordinaire Liz Fenje ‘09 (left) returns to campus in the fall with her Pan Am Games gold medal, to speak with this year’s SMUS Crew and to catch up with coach and friend Susanne Walker Curry (right). 02 Puroshini Pather ‘15 conducts her classmates in a performance of her piece, “Quicksilver,” which she wrote as an homage to her time at SMUS. She and the 60-piece string orchestra performed the piece at the spring Concerto Concert.

05 (From left) Ben Edwards, Jamison Sch u l z - Fr a n c o a n d A m r i t Sa i n i represented BC at this summer ’s National U16 Cricket Championships. All three performed exceptionally well, with Jamison being named team captain and leading Team BC scoring through the entire tournament. 06 Swiss boarder Dennis Siegrist celebrates a goal in the annual pumpkin shootout at the boarding Thanksgiving dinner.

03 Garry Gu and his fellow Bolton Penguins give it their all during a tug-of-war competition during the final House Olympics of the 2014-15 school year.

07 Retired astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield digitally visits SMUS in May to chat with students about space travel, music and the importance of education.

04 Andrea Chan ‘15 holds up a 3D-printed prosthetic hand, which was part of her award-winning project for the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Her project focused on creating an affordable and efficient way to significantly improve the gripping ability of the 3D-printed prosthetic limbs.

08 The Senior Boys 1st XV rugby team completes the Triple Crown of provincial victories with a win in the AA finals. As noted in the fall issue of School Ties, the Senior boys’ soccer and basketball teams also brought home provincial titles in a historic year in senior athletics.
















03 01 Lizzy rolls a bocce ball down the crick et pitch as Jenna and Mr. Danskin ‘98 watch during an exploratory class. 02 Students react to a messy egg-drop challenge during Brain Awareness Week. 03 Georgia (left) and Anna (right) organized a fundraiser by selling prayer flags to support relief efforts in Nepal following the devastating earthquake on April 25.

04 Allistair barges down the field during a rugby game in the spring. 05 Markus (left) and Stefan (right) perform during the Middle School Talent Show at the end of the school year. 06 Louis looks at the shell of a sea urchin, without its spines, under a microscope.




01 (From left) Sienna, Bryn and Maggie show off the fruits of their labour – cupcakes. The trio of Grade 4 students organized a cupcake sale at the Junior School to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital. 02 Lachlan shows his mom the night vision goggles he made in art class during Kindergarten student-led conferences.

03 Patrick flies through the air during the long jump at a fun Track & Field event at UVic. 04 Sara uses a magnifying glass to explore the natural world at the Junior School. 05 Daniel gives an inspiring talk during the Grade 5 Leader ship assembly at the start of the school year.









To Learn To Lead

To Serve


University School, St. Michael’s School, and the Creation of St. Michaels University School

This fall saw the publication of Ian Mugridge’s history of SMUS. In this excerpt, Ian tells the story of one of the seminal events in the school’s history, the building of the chapel.

Right: Putting the finish ing touches to the chapel interior short ly before its dedication by the Archb ishop of BC on 20 May 1962.

To Learn, To Lead, To Serve Until the chapel was built, morning assembly was held in the assembly hall at the top of the then existing half of the Challenor building and boarders often trailed off to St. Luke’s Anglican Church at Cedar Hill Cross Road for Sunday services. The idea that emerged in 1961 was that a chapel should be built with funds raised by the boys and using primarily their labour. A committee of staff and senior boys was established to direct the project, and J.J. Timmis, one of whose characteristics was that he was willing to consider projects – even apparently fanciful ones like this – put forward by his staff, particularly those he referred to, with a mixture of pride and patronage, as “the young masters,” agreed to let it go ahead. Its completion by the summer of 1962 was a triumph and provided the school with a building that still endures (though I, for one, on coming into the driveway will never be surprised to see that it has fallen down). The boys raised almost $50,000, a great amount for the early sixties, and very few failed to take part in the fundraising effort. The art master, Adrian Greenbank, produced a design which was stamped by an engineer; and, upon approval by the municipality, building began with two longsuffering professionals, Ed Logan and Harry Jay, to guide the work of student labourers. Many boys helped to lead the project, and the staff members Top: Before building

Below: The chapel was dedicated by the Archbishop of Britis h Columbia, the Right Rev. Harold Sexton, on 20 May 1962. This picture shows him with staff and boys of the Chapel Com mittee.

Right: Putting the finishing touches to the chapel interior shortly before of its dedication by the Archbishop BC on 20 May 1962. Below: The chapel was dedicated by the Archbishop of British Columbia, the Right Rev. Harold Sexton, on 20 May 1962. This picture shows him with staff and boys of the Chapel Committee.

on the committee – Carey Creek, Nicholas Prowse and Ian Mugridge – tried to do so, too; but it has to be said that the chapel would have been neither Right: Putting the finishing touches to the chapel interior shortly before conceived nor built without the leadership of Peter its dedication by the Archbishop of BC on 20 May 1962. Caleb, who was relentlessly brilliant in carrying Below: The chapel was dedicated by the Archbishop of British most of the project’s management. Nonetheless, Columbia, the Right Rev. Harold Sexton, on 20 May 1962. This throughout, it truly was a school project picture shows him with staff and in which boys of the Chapel Committee. almost everyone participated. It figures in a major way in the recollections of the students who took part; and, if a new ethos was emerging in the school, the construction of the chapel provided the primary example of this. hou There can be little doubt that the school was management. Nonetheless, throug figure almost everyone participated. It improving in these years. Both students and if a n management. Nonethe the students who took part; and, less, throughout, it truly wasthe the chapel provide of a scho ction almost everyone participa constru ol proje ct in whic h staff have attested that, as numbers and perhaps ted. It figures in a majo r way in the recollections the students who took ofthat the scho part; and, if a new etho can be little doubt There s was eme rgin the cons g in the school, attested that, truction of the chapel quality increased, so too did the atmosphere and have provided the primary students and staff example of this. Theron e can be little doubt that school spirit improve. Students commented the school was improvin g in these years. Both students and staff have attested that, 1948–1970 School, Univers numity 68 as bers and perhaps quality incre the importance of resident staff staying longer, ased, 68 rsity School, 1948–197 0 providing consistent role models,Univeshowing a more human face, a more caring attitude. This, added to the fact that the school was smallmanagement. enoughNonetheless, so throughout, it truly was a school project in which almost everyone participated. It figures in a major way in the recollections of that everybody knew everybody, had its effect the students who took part; and, if a new ethos was emerging in the school, the construction of the chapel provided the primary example of this. on the boys. In the words of one interviewee, There can be little doubt that the school was improving in these years. Both University School – having never really made it students and staff have attested that, as numbers and perhaps quality increased, into the major leagues – was showing distinct 68 University School, 1948–1970 signs of becoming a good school. In many ways, the chapel was indeed the manifestation of all this; but, at the same time, as one observer has noted, there is a sense in which the chapel, extraordinary project though it was, was “both the making and the breaking of the school.”

could begin, the site for the chapel near the western end of Brown Hall prepared. These two pictures show had to be cleared and boys at work on the site.

Below: University School boys at work on the interior of the chapel in 1961. Two professional builders work on the chapel and carried out supervised many of the skilled tasks; but most work as well as most of the fundrais was undertaken by the boys themse ing lves.

Mounting the chapel tower, Fall 1961.

Until the chapel was built, mornin g assembly was held in the assemb ly hall at the top of the then existing half of the Challenor building and boarders often trailed off to St. Luke’s Anglican church at Cedar Hill Cross Road for Sunda y services. The idea that emerged in 1961 was that a chapel should be built with funds raised by the boys and using primarily their labour. A committee of staff and senior boys was established to direct the project, and Timmis, one of whose and had to be cleared characteristics was that he was end of Brown Hall near the western site for the chapel willing to consider projects – even could begin, the site. ding the buil re on k Befo wor Top: boys at sed show ervi ures sup pict appare ders two ntly fanciful ones like this – l buil prepared. These . Two professiona raising of the chapel in 1961 put forward by his staff, particularly as most of the fund k on the interior most work as well School boys at wor skilled tasks; but to be cleared and Below: University those he referre n Hall out many of the ied Brow d to, carr with a had and end of mixture el near the western work on the chap es. of pride and patronage, as “the site for the chapel the boys themselv in, the beg g ld rnin cou mo site. ding lt, was undertaken by the builwas bui repel : Befo cha boys at work on il the young masters,” agreed to let UntTop two pictures show l buil itders supervised prepared. These in the assembly . Two professiona el in 1961 go ahead. the fundraising assembly was held of the chap t of Itskcompl as mos by the ting as welletion exis work on the interior n wor at t s the mos boy the but ool of s; Sch topersity at the skilled task summer of 1962 was a triump w: Univ hallBelo h and g out many of the ldinied Mounting the chapel towe buicarr orand llenel the chap on Cha r, Fall 1961. of kthe halfwor themselves. boysoff the led ken by erta und n trai was ofte built, morning rs rde was boa pel cha and 66 University School, 1948–1 Until the 970n church at lica in the assembly held was to St. Luke’s Ang ly mb asse Road for Sunday then existing Cedar Hill Cross provided the scho at the top of the hal oll with a building buistill a that emerged in ldingendures (thou services. The ide I, for one, on comhal the Challenorthat gh f of be ing uld into sho the driveway led off pel never be surprised 1961 was that a cha rders often traiwill to see that it has falle andnboa boys the dow by at n). ed The rch rais boys n chu raise lica d almo Ang st $50,0 e’s built with funds a 00, grea Luk t St. amo unt fortothe early sixties, y their labour. and for Sunday and using primaril part in the fundraisi Hill Cross Roadvery few failed to take Ced ngareffor d in t. The art mast f and senior t eme er, rge Adri an Greenbank, A committee of staf . The idea tha produced a designserv ices the ct whic dire h was stamped should be hed to ; and, boys was establis upon approval by the was that a chapelby an engineer 1961mun ose wh of s one icipa , the lity, mis by begaboy build eding n with two project, and Tim long-suff uilt with funds rais

g that still endur provided the school with a buildin ay will never b I, for one, on coming into the drivew boys raised alm to see that it has fallen down). The , and very few fa a great amount for the early sixties art master, Adria part in the fundraising effort. The ed by an engin produced a design which was stamp , building began upon approval by the municipality Logan and Harry long-suffering professionals, Ed boys helped the work of student labourers. Many on the committe the project, and the staff members dge – tried Mugri Ian and e Creek, Nicholas Prows would have be but it has to be said that the chapel ship of Pete conceived nor built without the leader carrying most of who was relentlessly brilliant in 67

University School,

The chapel was first used for the Christmas carol servic e in 1961. The interior was unfinished and unheated, requiring the congregation to be well insulated against the sub-zero temp erature.

Excerpted from Ian Mugridge’s newly published book, To Learn, To Lead, To Serve: University School, St. Michael's School, and the Creation of St. Michaels University School. You can order the book online at Amazon.com. 17


Higher Learning and LIFE This September the school took a big step forward in offering a Grade 10 experiential program that blends into everyday classes, applies the lessons in real situations and challenges students to try something new. Kyle Slavin takes a close look at the studentdriven evolution of a landmark program.

Grade 10 math and pre-calculus students applied only their math skills to solve a forensic mystery. 19

Grade 10 students take a break from hiking the West Coast Trail during the pilot year of the Grade 10 experiential program in 2007.

When Caitlin Farquharson ’10 thinks back to her time at SMUS, there’s one highlight that really stands out: her Grade 10 year. That was the year, 2007 to be exact, that the school launched a pilot experiential program. Taking a group of Grade 10 students out of the regular curriculum for ten weeks in the spring, the pilot’s first group of 20-or-so student participants had


the opportunity to expedite their in-class learning to make way for some unique experiences, like hiking the West Coast Trail, learning how to repair a bicycle and writing songs to perform as part of a rock band. “The outdoor element was what attracted me to it. I came to SMUS from Banff, and I really enjoyed that part of my education there, so to be able to have that

opportunity in Victoria with the school was pretty enticing,” says Caitlin, who graduated in 2010. “I liked the different experiences you’d get to have, while still being in an academic environment. Also, the timing of that program was pretty interesting: you’re right on the cusp of really having to buckle down for academics for university, but you’re still academically

Building a go-kart using principles of physics, math and creative thinking was one of the afternoon expeditions offered in the fall.

advanced enough that taking a semester of an experiential program isn’t detrimental.” The pilot program was deemed a success and continued to attract a capacity group of students in subsequent years. While the outdoor element was just one piece of the experiential program, feedback from students who didn’t sign up indicated they, too, wanted out-of-the-classroom learning, but there was a misconception that outdoor education was the focus and they didn’t want to spend so much time learning in nature. Becky Anderson, Director of Leadership Development, recalls those students telling her, “I like the idea of getting out of the classroom and exploring different areas, and I really like the idea of being with my classmates in a different environment,” but not everyone gets excited at the prospect of spending a week sleeping in the wilderness. “So we asked, ‘What are you interested in then?’” Becky says. “We learned there are kids who really know what they’re interested in and they would just like to spend more time out of the classroom getting to focus on that. And there are lots of kids who have no idea what they’re interested in, and they’re having to make pretty big decisions

in a couple of years that guide them into possible future careers, but they haven’t really had too much exposure beyond their academic experience.” While the original Grade 10 program, which ran until the 2014-15 school year, became known for its outdoor education offerings, its scope reached far beyond that. Students participated in experiential afternoons to gain hands-on skills, such as bike mechanics, sewing, organic gardening and painting. The outdoor expeditions were another part of that experiential learning piece, as students gained firsthand leadership, teamwork, perseverance and goal-setting skills. “I didn’t take away a huge academic benefit from it, but the educational value in terms of being a human being, and getting life experience, and learning how to problem solve, and learning life skills that aren’t easily taught in a classroom far outweighed what I may have missed in a math unit,” says Caitlin, now 23 and working for an investment firm in Vancouver. This September the school took a big step forward by offering an experiential program to all Grade 10 students. The new Grade 10 Experiential Program

“I’m definitely trying to use this year as an opportunity to experience as much as I can so that I better understand what I enjoy, what I’m skilled at and what I want to keep doing.” – Saje Griffith centres on providing students with a variety of opportunities to get outside of the classroom to learn and to apply what they’ve learned in a classroom setting to real-life experiences (and vice-versa). “It’s about exposure to interest areas and making real-world connections with the academic foundation that students have been given,” Becky says.

Victoria counsellor Chris Coleman talks about governing, compromise, how City Hall operates and several other politics-focused topics on the Campaign School afternoon expedition to the council chambers.


Macy Weymar learns how to create a garment beginning at the design stage at the Pacific Design Academy.

What that means is students can choose to pursue opportunities that are based on their interests or curiosities. Experiential learning is being applied in myriad ways, from a weeklong outdoor trip earlier this year to integrating an experiential unit into all the Grade 10 subjects. “We’ve had math teachers taking kids outside to learn trigonometry by applying their skills in real-world situations,” says Math teacher Steve Bates. “All the Grade 10 science teachers are collaborating on creating an experiential forensics unit in June. They will set up crime scenes around campus, and students will be tasked with solving these crimes using the skills they’ve learned throughout the year in Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The students will have the academic background to solve these crimes, but they’ll be expected to build upon their communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills.”

Building a biosands water filter destined for a community that has no clean water applies math, physics, social entrepreneurship and service.


The highlight of the program, however, is the 16 afternoon expeditions and a weeklong trip in June, when students get to leave campus to immerse themselves in real-world activities and environments to learn by doing. These experiences – from living and working on an organic farm to spending a week at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School to learning how to build an electric guitar – are designed to be multidisciplinary and to impact students in a meaningful way. “A student might choose a woodworking experience, which brings in the geometry they’ve been studying in math, and uses

physics to look at the strength of the wood. Now all of sudden going back to Math class and Physics class creates an additional level of meaning for them because of that experience,” Becky says. “The way a guitar makes music is all about the properties of physics put into practice. The students learning how to build a guitar are going to be kids interested in music and physics. They’re not just building a guitar, they’re learning the science behind it, too.” The concept of experiential education is not new to SMUS, and it’s certainly not new to the teaching world. In fact, experiential learning has been going on in some capacity at the school for more than a century. Former Biology teacher Peter Gardiner recalls a time in the early ’70s when University School informally offered some experiential opportunities. “One year we built kayaks – we had the use of a mold and we taught the students who were interested how to make fiberglass white water kayaks. They really enjoyed that,” Peter says. From a pedagogical perspective, the benefits of experiential education have been well researched over the last 40 years, much of which has been documented in the academic Journal of Experiential Education. Robert Kolb, an educational theorist deemed one of the fathers of experiential learning, emphasized in his writings the benefits of experiencing something firsthand versus an education solely focused on content and outcomes. “Learning is the major process of human adaptation. This concept of learning is considerably broader than

that commonly associated with the school classroom. It occurs in all human settings, from schools to the workplace, from the research laboratory to the management board room, in personal relationships and the aisles of the local grocery. It encompasses all life stages, from childhood to adolescence, to middle and old age. Therefore it encompasses other, more limited adaptive concepts such as creativity, problem solving, decision making, and attitude change…,” he wrote. As the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence succinctly explains: experiential education is “learning that is based on students being directly involved in a learning experience rather than their being recipients of ready-made content in the form of lectures.”

While the formalized grade-wide experiential program is still in its infancy at SMUS, Becky believes that the benefits of the program will pay off for Grade 10 students in the coming years. “Our goal is to give our students a timeout from what can be an all-consuming march toward university so that they can get to know themselves and the world that much better. By exposing them to a wide variety of experiences at this important juncture in their lives, we’re giving them a strong foundation on which to make the important decisions that are coming their way,” she says. Already, only a few months in, feedback from Grade 10 students participating in this pilot year is positively pointing in that direction.

“Our goal is to give our students a time-out from what can be an all-consuming march toward university so that they can get to know themselves and the world that much better.” – Becky Anderson “I’m definitely trying to use this year as an opportunity to experience as much as I can so I better understand what I enjoy, what I’m skilled at and what I want to keep doing,” says Saje Griffith. “It’s easy to see the point of the program is to help us experience things. Even if it doesn’t explicitly fuel my career choices, at least I’ll have more life experiences and I’ll know more about myself and my passions when I’m making decisions after high school.” Reflecting on her Grade 10 experience, Caitlin agrees entirely. She says it was during the experiential program when she forged some of her closest high school friendships and when she learned the most about herself as an individual. “I think it allowed people who normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become close to develop really meaningful relationships in an environment where that’s really possible because people were discovering who they were; it was a very genuine experience,” she says. “Really take advantage of the opportunity the school’s giving you,” Caitlin offers as advice to the current and upcoming Grade 10 students. “Use it as an opportunity to do something that is your passion or something you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do. Look at options to broaden your horizons. Appreciate the fact that you’re still learning and you’re still learning about yourself.”

Tayte Gossling presents her TED-style talk.


In Conversation In each issue of School Ties, a soon-to-be grad interviews a member of our alumni community to gain insight on what may lay ahead both in life and their career. Below, Head Boy Jasper Johnston ’16 talks to University of Victoria Mechanical Engineer Dr. Curran Crawford ’96. BY JASPER JOHNSTON JJ  What were you most passionate about during your time at

SMUS? CC  I was almost a lifer at SMUS, joining in Grade 2, so my focus

throughout those 11 years certainly evolved. The constant throughout was art – especially sculptural work – starting with clay pieces in Middle School and progressing through to wood, metal and concrete pieces through my final years. I took up photography for the yearbook in Senior School and still continue to some degree with these media today when I get the time. I also really enjoyed the non-standard sports available like sailing, archery and biking. JJ  What or who inspired you to enter the field of engineering? CC  For many years I thought I’d go into naval architecture, as I did quite a bit of sailing growing up and loved jury rigging boats. I don’t think I was really aware of engineering as a career until I met a few family friends who introduced me to the field. In my upper years I also really enjoyed physics and applications of math. Combined with the shop work I’d done with my dad, I realized engineering used all my interests, from functional form and design through to detailed quantitative analysis. I picked mechanical engineering because it covered a huge, exciting range of applications, but it really took me right through my graduate student days to realize the sub-areas of most interest to me. JJ  You are currently working on powering plug-in electric vehicles in BC with renewable energy. Why is this work important to you? CC  The overarching objective in my group’s research is to decarbonize our energy system. Here in BC, passenger vehicles account for around 15 percent of BC’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The goal of this project is to look at how plug-in vehicles, which travel at least partially on electricity stored from the grid, can potentially reduce these emissions. The key is that the extra electricity must come from low or zero GHG sources to have maximum benefit. What makes BC really interesting is that we trade with Alberta and the US, so we have to develop quite complicated models to tease out the true GHGs associated with plugin vehicle operation in BC. We also know that the new generation of plug-in stations will be required to serve increasingly large vehicle fleets, so we want to look at how renewable generation (e.g. wind, tidal, wave) could be built. In addition, incentives are needed to queue charging at the


right time and help buffer that renewable generation. There are big opportunities for plug-in vehicles to lower our overall emissions though, so it’s worth the effort. JJ  What do you love most about your job? CC  The best part about being a professor is the freedom I have to work on interesting problems with smart and eager students. Undergraduate to graduate students always come into their work with fresh, new perspectives. We strive to develop solutions to challenging problems around avoiding climate change, and the output of our research has real impact. Moreover, as students graduate, they go out into the world to make a difference in a whole range of different jobs, from engineering to management and policy, continuing to tackle what I think is one of the key challenges of this century. JJ  What is the toughest challenge you face in your work? CC  My biggest challenge is keeping on top of all the different projects I have going on. There are so many exciting topics to work on it’s hard to say no to opportunities. That means I get involved in a wide range of application areas, with a bunch of students involved, on top of the regular teaching and administration roles I’ve got. At the same time, it’s also what makes the job rewarding, in that I’m always learning and working on new things. JJ  Do you have any advice for students looking to enter the field of engineering? CC  First of all, you have to push through the hard math and science, but keep in mind the end goal of being able to apply those analytic skills to solving real-world problems and doing design. Don’t specialize too early; it’s probably a bad idea to pigeon-hole yourself before you figure out the sub-area that really interests you. Look carefully at the programs you’re applying to and make sure they teach you how to learn throughout your life, not just get you a degree in a sub-area. Co-op is a great opportunity to try out different fields. Get involved in a team project or research project as they’re both great outlets for applying what you learn and for opening doors to future opportunities. Finally, realize that getting an engineering degree is more than just a technical qualification. Engineers move into careers ranging from design to management, law, medicine, policy, and a whole host of other areas; they’re sought after because an engineering education ultimately teaches you how to tackle ill-defined challenging problems in a systematic way.

UVic Photo Services

The best part about being a professor is the freedom I have to work on interesting problems with smart and eager students.



I N D M 6 1 N 0 U 2 , E L A EE9K– May 1 WApril 2

ur ar. o s is e ye ld m o t f th a fie fun! t o n t wa even es are ll the t ’ on mni pag ng a w i You est alu owing rienc e ll larg he fo o exp T de t gui



Grad Bear Toss On Saturday, come help hand out Grad Bears and meet students of the Class of 2016. Don’t leave before the annual Bear Toss photo op!

The official Class of 2015 Grad Bear sits atop the classic SMUS scarf and wears a US Boys prefect tie from 1967.

Members of the

their 50-year Class of ’65 enjoy

e Union Club.

celebrations at th

Class Reunions Come join the party for the weekend and meet up with classmates from many different years. Special celebrations are held for classes ending in ’1 or ’6, and we’d love to see alumni, friends and family from all grad years! 28


A well-used cricket bat donated by the Greenwood family, students at St. Michael's School 1955 - 1960; an official SMUS rugby ball; a field hockey stick and ball from the 2015 season.

Sports Alumni Weekend is a great chance to catch numerous sporting events. It’s also your chance to play against the current Senior teams in field hockey, rugby, cricket and soccer. Email gillian.donald@smus.ca if you want to join one of the teams!

Board of Governors Pancake Breakfast Come fuel up on Saturday with a hearty pancake breakfast served by the Board of Governors. There is lots for the kids to do and cultural entertainment happens around Christine Duke Theatre!


ALUMNI WEEKEND Traditional Korean masks brought back from Seoul and tiny tinkling bells from the Caribbean.

Cultural Marketplace It has become a lively and fun tradition at Alumni Weekend for the school to host a cultural marketplace. There are lots of souvenirs donated by boarders up for sale, or you can sample some of the amazing array of foods, take a whack at the piñata or get your hair braided!

The Harvey Rifle was presented by brothers and sisters of Captain RV Harvey for the best shot at University School from 1923 - 1969; this amazing sports sweater was worn by Charles HW Helgesen ’21; one of the famous bugles used to rouse the boys of boarding was donated by Wilf Lund ’59.


Archives One of the great treasures of campus is the Rob Wilson Archives. Walk through more than 100 years of rare artifacts and have a chat with our archivists, Rob Wilson and Brenda Waksel. You’ll be amazed at what the school has on display.

Hyde-Lay/Ibell Scholarship A Fitting Tribute to a Remarkable Friendship During a moving ceremony at the Alumni Celebration of Basketball, Simon Ibell ’96 and his family announced an extraordinary gift that pays tribute to an inspiring teacher and coach. BY LAURA AUTHIER

It all began with a mother’s simple pledge:

“my son is going to live a life of inclusion.” Marie Ibell was under no illusion that this would be easy. Her son, Simon, had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mucopolysaccharidosis II (MPS II). The disease was interfering with the development and functions of Simon’s skeletal and cardio-pulmonary systems, stunting his growth, restricting movement in his joints and causing respiratory problems. As Simon approached his teens, the physical differences from other boys his age became more evident. Marie looked for a school that would give Simon the space to be who he was while helping him develop the skills he would need to live his challenging life to its fullest. St. Michaels University School became that place. Now more than 20 years later, Simon is back at the school, with Marie by his side and sister Olivia ’99 cheering on from her home in Toronto. Simon has returned many times since graduating in 1996 but this occasion is special. Tonight he is bringing his SMUS experience full circle. He starts by acknowledging the people whose attention and care in those SMUS years made all the difference. Then he makes an announcement: Simon, Marie and Olivia are funding a scholarship that will make his experience available to the students who need it. Having lived a life of inclusion at SMUS, Simon and his family are now making the school more inclusive for future students. These two stories bookend a library’s worth of narratives, telling a tale of perseverance, determination and of friendship – the lasting bonds built with the people who made a life of inclusion at SMUS real for Simon. Although there are many characters in Simon’s story, the one who appears most often is teacher and coach Ian Hyde-Lay.

Ian first appeared in Simon’s Grade 8 year, when he became the target of peer bullying. It was an agonizing period that whittled away at his sense of belonging. But one day, Simon found himself on the receiving end of a friendly greeting and an extended conversation with two of the school’s most respected senior athletes – Milan Uzelac ’92 and Steve Nash ’92. What Simon didn’t learn until much later was that Ian, playing deus ex machina, encouraged his two star basketball players to show Simon support. Despite a four-grade difference, that first meeting with Milan and Steve turned into a camaraderie that helped Simon make a confident transition to Senior School the following year. At Senior School, Ian became a regular part of Simon’s school life, starting with Phys. Ed. classes in Grade 9. Marie remembers one occasion when she was watching her son’s class do laps around the field as she waited to pick Simon up at the end of the day. She could see that Ian was challenging Simon, calling out to him repeatedly: “You can do it!” She could also see that Simon’s respiratory issues were making it a struggle for him to keep going. But he kept going. Later, he would tell her about the class and about Ian, saying with elation, “Mom, he believes I can do anything!” What he wanted to do more than anything was to be part of team sports at SMUS. At first Simon couldn’t see a way for that to happen, but something Ian told him made him think about the problem differently. Ian had said: “If you believe playing happens only on the court, you need to change your attitude.” Flipping through the 1993-94 yearbook will show you how that particular story ended. In the team photo of the Junior boys basketball team, first row, far right, you’ll see Simon, the team manager, dressed in

his uniform but assuming the same pose as the rest of his row: backs straight, elbows at the side and palms resting on knees. A few pages later, he appears again, this time as manager of the Colts rugby team. Simon looks happy and proud in these photos but above all, he looks like he belongs. That is the incredible gift he received from Ian Hyde-Lay, he says. Now, on an evening in November, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of students, parents, staff and alumni, Simon presents his own gift to Ian: the new scholarship is called the HydeLay/Ibell Endowed Scholarship Fund and the basketball court in the large gym will be called the Hyde Lay Court. For Simon, these represent a fitting legacy for the man who has given him and others so much. “Not everyone is going to be a Steve Nash, but the values that Ian instilled are the ones I take most to heart: determination, respect, enthusiasm, attitude and motivation. Taken together they spell ‘dream.’ We can all dream big – Hydes taught us that.” 31

Images from the


youtube.com/SMUSTube 32


Sui Generis: Steve Nash ’92 Retires From Professional Basketball by Ian Hyde-Lay

On October 20, 2014 I found myself in Toronto, ready to attend the Canada

Photo by Keith Allison, Baltimore

Sports Hall of Fame induction for Gareth Rees. Still, my thoughts that evening were with another SMUS sporting legend, Steve Nash. He had just replied to my text message, one which wished him well as he readied for an 18th NBA season. Instead, I learned that there was to be no triumphant return from the nerve damage that had seriously impaired his two previous years with the Los Angeles Lakers. While his official retirement was not announced until a few months later, his basketball career was over. For me, the disappointing news sparked a kaleidoscope of memories, of a young boy from Victoria who chased his dream with remarkable passion. First picking up a basketball in Grade 8, he embarked on a simply magical journey, claiming – against overwhelming odds – a staggering list of accomplishments and leaving an inspiring legacy. Steve attended SMUS from 1990-92, leading what many hoop aficionados still regard as the best BC high school team of all time. Superbly skilled and blessed with an unparalleled work ethic, he was named the province’s Most Outstanding Player. He was an equally key piece of the school’s championship 1st XV, as an elusive runner and ridiculously accurate place kicker. Most people know what subsequently followed, as Steve went on to graduate in sociology from Santa Clara University while directing the Broncos to three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament appearances. A two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year, he crowned an excellent college career by becoming a National Basketball Association (NBA) first-round draft pick in 1996, selected 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns. Two years in Phoenix were followed by five with the Dallas Mavericks. Then, in 2004, Steve returned to the Suns, proceeding to resurrect a moribund franchise and, even more significantly, the sport itself thanks to his combination of leadership, talent, humility and selflessness. If not the greatest player of his generation, he was certainly the most influential, as he redefined point guard play. Sick of slow, stodgy, isolation-based basketball, fans worldwide embraced the new style with


“I simply want people to remember me as a competitor and a great teammate.” — Steve Nash ’92

its emphasis on tempo, teamwork and ball movement. In Canada, thousands of young men and women looked to follow Steve’s example, as the game exploded in popularity across the country. In typical self-effacing fashion, Steve made light of any individual recognition

Steve high-fives his son Matteo after an event at Educare Arizona, one of the many charities the Steve Nash Foundation supports.

and instead looked to laud his teammates for their support and achievements. But two NBA Most Valuable Player awards, eight All-Star selections, third all-time in assists, and four times a member of the “50-40-90” club* tell their own story. Even if he had to endure more than his share of Olympic and NBA playoff heartbreak, he could and can point proudly to multiple provincial and national Athlete of the Year awards, as well as other distinctions, including the Order of Canada. Furthermore, he was a torch bearer at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and recently named to the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor. He will, without question, be a first ballot Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Of course, a true superstar also makes a massive impact off the court. Though recognized in many quarters for his service and philanthropy, his greatest contribution remains the Steve Nash Foundation. Founded in 2001, the charity focuses on under-served children affected by poverty, illness, abuse or neglect. Creating opportunities for education, play and empowerment, the Foundation has raised and distributed millions of dollars to charities all over North America and the world.

Ventures include Steve Nash Youth Basketball, neo-natal care and pre-cancer screening treatment in Paraguay, and the Gulu Walk Youth Centre for Sport, Culture and Reconciliation in Uganda. Other examples are Educare Arizona, which teaches early childhood education best practices, and the Centre for Youth Assists, a Toronto-based after-school initiative building hope through hoops. Steve has also branched into the film industry, through his independent company Meathawk. His ESPN “30 for 30” documentary titled “Into the Wind,” about his childhood hero Terry Fox, received particular acclaim. Steve has also never been afraid to take a strong political stance, as evidenced by his opposition to both the 2003 US war in Iraq and the 2010 Arizona Bill 1070, which at the time of passage in 2010 was said to be the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in a long time. A committed family man, he dotes on twin daughters Lola and Bella, as well as son Matteo. Competitor and a great teammate? Absolutely, in addition to so much more. Sui Generis!

* 50-40-90 indicates a great all-around shooting performance in a single NBA season. Some consider it to be the ultimate standard for shooting. Nash has the most at four, two more than any other player.

The 1991/92 “AAA” BC Champion Blue Devils. The team was possibly the best high school basketball team in BC history. Back Row: Stuart Kerr; Ryan Van Roade; Edward Crothall; Mark Grist; Mr. Ian Hyde-Lay; Jeremy Harris; Mr. Bill Greenwell; Yan Schmidt; Jamie Miller; Brendan Barry; Ryan Green; Aaron Clark; Renton Leversedge; Matthew Franklin (Geddes). Front Row: Hywel Jones; Martin Nash; Milan Uzelac; Chris Isherwood; Steve Nash; Damian Grant; Brent McLay.


Real-World Problem Solver: In a classic story of humble beginnings, human potential and hard work, lawyer Sarah Hudson ’00 uncovers the passion that fuels our 2015 Distinguished Alumnus in Law, the Honourable Michael Code ’67.



Now a sitting judge of the Ontario

Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Code ’67 has had a career as rich as any lawyer could hope for. Although he had no premonition or inkling of a legal career during his school days, the foundation for his success was established early on. The young boy who studied hard and gave 100 percent at sports became a law student who articled twice (with the Defence and the Crown) because he wasn’t satisfied he was ready for practice after just one set. In time, he became a lawyer, law professor, and judge defined by his tireless work ethic and dedication to the law. For these reasons the SMUS Alumni Association selected him as the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award. Michael came from the prairies to University School with his brother in 1958. He was 8 years old – the youngest in the school. School patriarch Reg Wenman had helped piece together bursary support for the brothers to attend as boarders – an opportunity Michael has not forgotten or squandered. Although the school suffered hard times after the war – with too few students and too little money – Michael remembers the leadership of J.J. Timmis and the advent of wonderful teachers, in particular Rob Wilson, Carey Creek, Nick Prowse, Ian Mugridge and Peter Caleb. These familiar figures have shaped the

Michael Code, second from right, as part of the chapel officials in 1966/67.

school SMUS is today and who, as Michael recounts, made their impression on him as well. With their arrival, the environment transformed from a militaristic boys’ school (complete with rifle practice in the quad and rounds in the boxing ring!) into a dynamic place of learning, strong in both academics and athletics. Today SMUS is a much larger school, with greater resources, diverse courses and more plentiful extracurricular offerings than existed in Michael’s time, but he says that “the same emphasis on good character, loyalty and hard work in sports and in studies remains.” After graduating from University School in 1967, Michael attended Atlantic College in Wales to take his A levels before returning to Toronto to take the first of three degrees at the University of Toronto (U of T). Following three years of an undergraduate English literature degree, Michael remembers feeling the urge to have a greater connection with the day-to-day workings of the world and people’s lives. It was ultimately this instinct that drove him to law. He applied to only one law school – U of T – and was accepted. He fell in love with the subject and the place he studied it. Michael’s connection to the U of T Faculty

Prize Day 1961: Michael receives an award for Lower School Arithmetic from Lt. Gov. George Pearkes.


of Law includes two degrees (Bachelor of Laws in 1976 and Master of Laws in 1991) and two decades of teaching. It was his last post before his appointment to the bench. In 2005, Michael left private practice and was appointed Assistant Professor of Law, spending a number of years teaching, conducting research, writing, and focusing on policy work. I was fortunate enough to be one of Professor Code’s students at the U of T from 2005 to 2007. He was a hugely popular professor and was nominated by our graduating class to receive the 2007 Mewett Award for Teaching Excellence. His lectures on criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence and ethics were always packed, often spilling over into hallways or office hours. As students, we came to him to discuss coursework, but also for coaching tips in advance of moot competitions, for advice about a client at the students’ legal aid clinic, or for career guidance. He took a keen and genuine interest in it all. His connection with his students was evidenced by several nominations to deliver the faculty Hail and Farewell speech at convocation – more of a “so long” than “farewell” in Professor Code’s case, because he still keeps in touch with

many of his students. When word trickles out that work commitments have brought him to Vancouver, a group of alumni descend on his hotel lobby bar to catch up. A self-described “junkie for the law,” Justice Code’s passion for his subject ignites the same in others. He also speaks from experience – lots of it. As a lawyer, Justice Code worked in private practice with leading criminal defence and constitutional litigation firms, as Crown counsel, and in public service. From 1991 to 1996 he was Assistant Deputy Attorney-General of Ontario, managing the province’s 500 prosecutors. He has argued some of the leading criminal and constitutional law cases in the Supreme Court of Canada and appellate courts across the country. Close to home, he acted as defence counsel in the Air India terrorism trial in Vancouver. He has also served as counsel to various public entities, such as the RCMP, Ontario Securities Commission, the Ontario Judges’ Association, the BC, Ontario, Manitoba and federal ministries of the AttorneyGeneral, and the Driskell Inquiry into a wrongful conviction in Manitoba. Just prior to his appointment to the bench, Michael was selected by the Attorney-General of Ontario to conduct

a policy review of the problems associated with long and complex criminal trial procedure and to make recommendations for change. The resulting report proposed various ways to make the criminal trial process more effective and efficient, placing emphasis on the need for high standards of ethics and professionalism among lawyers. In 2009, Justice Code was appointed to a courtroom of his own and yet another perspective on his profession. “This is where I always wanted to end my career,” he says. The human interest stories before him daily are a reminder of why he chose the law as his life’s work, which he now carries out from its highest post. “The law takes you out of yourself,” he says, “and into a problem-solving world that’s important to people’s lives.” This past October, Justice Code visited the school as the honoured guest at the Founders’ Day Scholars Dinner. He also had the opportunity to meet with students and talk to four Senior School classes on the impact of history on the law. A theme of his remarks was the importance of continuing to hire great teachers and providing financial support to qualified students who could not otherwise afford tuition – both of which, he says, were key to his success.

Justice Code chats with 2015 Best School Year Ever winner Lizzie Watson.

“The law takes you out of yourself and into a problemsolving world that’s important to people’s lives.” – Michael Code

Michael (back row, third from the right), credits sport among the elements that helped him succeed. This team photo is from the 1961/62 school year.

In 2016, we will recognize one of our alumni who has done remarkable work as an entrepreneur in the field of information technology. Nominees should demonstrate vision and innovation, dedication, achievement and accomplishment, as well as community involvement. Email nominations to Gillian Donald ‘86: gilllian.donald@smus.ca


Joseph Avio | Victoria, BC Rachael Benjamin | Victoria, BC Timothy Berntsen | North Saanich, BC Emily Berry | Monte Sereno, CA Samantha Biberdorf | Victoria, BC Vlad Bobrovnyk | Victoria, BC Amy Bodine | Saanichton, BC Rebecca Bosworth | Victoria, BC Matthew Bouchard | Canmore, AB Jamie Boyle | Victoria, BC Kasey Boyle | Victoria, BC Rylee Boyle | Victoria, BC Sophie Butterfield | Victoria, BC Lisset Cabrera Morales | Naucalpan, Mexico Karin Cai | Vancouver, BC Alexander Caton | Victoria, BC Angus Catto | Victoria, BC Liam Catto | Victoria, BC Michelangelo Cernucan | Canmore, AB Andrea Chan | Victoria, BC William Chen | Taoyuan County, Taiwan Natalie Cherrie | Victoria, BC Jane Chew | Taipei, Taiwan Emily Choi | Victoria, BC Keeley Copeland | Victoria, BC Andrea Cota Albo | San Jose del Cabo, Mexico Emily Cuell | Victoria, BC Ryan Cui | Victoria, BC David Cunningham | Victoria, BC Sean Deakins | Anchorage, AK Avnashi Dhillon | Victoria, BC Mike Edwards | Victoria, BC Harry Fong | Wu Kai Sha, China Sage Friswell | Victoria, BC Emmie Galler | Goleta, CA Sophie George | Victoria, BC Jansen Gibbs | Victoria, BC Harrison Giles | Victoria, BC Pedro Godoy | Rio Claro, Brazil Eva Grant | Victoria, BC Koby Grewal | Victoria, BC Renee Guan | Vancouver, BC Uma Hallea | Victoria, BC Aline Halliday | Whitehorse, YT Khadija Hammawa | Calgary, AB Stella Han | Victoria, BC Megan Harrison | Port Angeles, WA James Hayashi | Victoria, BC Kyus Hicks | Cranbrook, BC Airlia Hie | Shatin, Hong Kong Nathan High | North Saanich, BC Shelby Hoogland | Seward, AK Emily Hooton | Victoria, BC Alice Hua | Shanghai, China Claire Huang | Surrey, BC Graeme Hyde-Lay | Victoria, BC Brian Im | Victoria, BC


Congratulations to Slav Issayev | Victoria, BC Kara Jebbink | Ft. McMurray, AB Dylan Jones | Victoria, BC Emily Jordon | Victoria, BC Jiwoo Kang | Victoria, BC Carmel Katumba | Johannesburg, South Africa Athena Kerins | Victoria, BC Cindy Kim | Victoria, BC Anthony Kinahan | Victoria, BC Michael Kingsley-Nyinah | Amman, Jordan

Colin Knightley | Victoria, BC Siri Knudsen | Bainbridge Island, WA Prae Laothamatas | Mae Chan, Thailand Kieran Large | Victoria, BC Christopher Lee | Seoul, South Korea David Lee | Victoria, BC Kiki Lee | Vancouver, BC Marco Lee | Vancouver, BC Sara Lee | Victoria, BC Triton Lelewski | Victoria, BC Gabbi Leon | Kelowna, BC Matthew Leung | Hong Kong

the Class of 2015! Sean Li | Vancouver, BC Shelley Li | Shanghai, China Roland Liao-Briere | Victoria, BC Catherine Lin | Taipei City, Taiwan Henry Liu | New Taipei City, Taiwan Kenny Liu | Richmond, BC Brian Lou | Hangzhou, China Emma Loughton | Victoria, BC Nicholas Loughton | Victoria, BC Sarah Loughton | Victoria, BC Alex Lupin | Victoria, BC Phoebe Mai | Richmond, BC

Ann Makosinski | Victoria, BC Flora Manson-Blair | Victoria, BC Warren Marriott | Nanaimo, BC Alessandra Massa | Bastrop, TX Aidan McCleary | North Saanich, BC Matty McColl | Victoria, BC Callum Montgomery | Lantzville, BC Dante Morandin | Victoria, BC Elizabeth Morton | Victoria, BC Jonathan Mostovoy | Victoria, BC Alex Nesnidalova | Victoria, BC Mitchell Newman | Victoria, BC

Grant Nicholson | Vancouver, BC Peter Ojum | Port Harcourt, Nigeria Diego Olivares Cervantes | Guadalajara, Mexico Rachel Olson | Victoria, BC Leo Ou Yang | Vancouver, BC Song Panvichean | Bangplee, Thailand Puroshini Pather | Victoria, BC Kieran Patrick | Bainbridge Island, WA Douglas Peerless | Victoria, BC Sam Platt | Calgary, AB Max Pollen | Victoria, BC Noah Pryce-Baff | Victoria, BC Linchen Qu | Urmqi, China Jessica Que | Beijing, China Sophia Samson | Sidney, BC Nick Scholz | Bergisch Gladbach, Germany Isabel Scott | Victoria, BC Jason Scully | Victoria, BC Jennifer Shan | Victoria, BC Jack Sherrod | Victoria, BC Abdulraheem Shokoya | Calgary, AB Kenny Shokoya | Calgary, AB Christina Sipos | Victoria, BC Leif Skogland | Victoria, BC Carson Smith | Victoria, BC Michelle Song | Victoria, BC Camila Strasdas | Victoria, BC Hedvika Suchankova | Olomouc, Czech Republic Owen Sudul | Victoria, BC Amita Symons-Yu | Victoria, BC Kyle Tang | Victoria, BC John Throne | Seattle, WA Tiffany Tien | Shanghai, China Lana Tong | Victoria, BC Justin Tse | Victoria, BC Mackenzie Valentine | Victoria, BC Anderson Wang | Victoria, BC Edward Wang | Jiaxing, China Jean Wang | Chengdu, China Acacia Welsford | Concord, CA Claudia Wheler | Victoria, BC Isabel Williams | Victoria, BC Jake Wilmott | Victoria, BC Tegan Wilson | Victoria, BC Colleen Wong | Victoria, BC Christopher Wu | Jiaxin, China Yvonne Wu | Vancouver, BC Harrison Xu | Victoria, BC Rain Yang | Vancouver, BC Anton Yau | Happy Valley, Hong Kong Max Yong | Victoria, BC Jessie Zeng | Victoria, BC Queenie Zhang | Richmond, BC Blair Zheng | Richmond, BC Zishu Zheng | Dalian, China Kiko Zhou | Shenzen, China


ALUMNI UPDATES Canadian chanteuse Cari Burdett ’92 brings a timeless blend of dramatic gypsy cabaret to the stage, taking listeners around the world through song and stories of the heart. Her first studio album, Magnolia, was nominated

as Best World Music Album in the 2015 West Canadian Music Awards. Jonathon Liang ’96 writes that he was married to Sibel in Istanbul, Turkey on September 19, 2015. “We both currently

live in Vancouver and plan on coming to my 20-year reunion next year. I am looking forward to seeing everyone.” Multi-instrumentalist Lucas Lee ’97 is proud to announce his new record Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown Sauce) has been released. The album features renowned virtuoso Tobias Ralph (The Crimson ProjeKCT, Adrian Belew Power Trio, ToPaRaMa) on drums, and Lucas on guitars, bass and keys. Megan Taylor (Volk) ’98 writes: “Michael and I, along with our daughters Nola and

Cari Burdett ’92 (photo by Kim Yanick Portraits)

Jonathon Liang ’96 and wife Sibel


James Robert Taylor

The new album from Lucas Lee ’97

Anna, welcomed a baby boy, James Robert Taylor, into our family on September 8, 2015. He weighed in at 10 pounds and 1/4 of an ounce and 22 inches long. Everyone is doing wonderfully and we are adjusting to life as a family of five.”

Aleksa Mrdjenovich ’02, Milica Mrdjenovich ’03, Steven Lobb ’96 (bride’s man), Amy Lobb ’03 (maid of honour), Elliana Lobb (flower girl and in Grade 2 at SMUS), Krystal O’Byrne ’99, and Donna Lee ’98.

Kim Lobb ’98 married Jordan Tessarolo in Whistler on July 13, 2015. SMUS alumni at the wedding included Milan Mrdjenovich ’99, Jelena Mrdjenovich ’00,

Stephan Chapheau ’99 writes that he and his wife, Samantha Welscheid, welcomed Arthur Pierre Antoine Chapheau to the crew on April 25, 2015.

(From left to right): Milan Mrdjenovich ’99, Amy Lobb ’03, Jelena Mrdjenovich ’00, Ellie Lobb (Grade 2), Kim Lobb ’98, Jordan Tessarolo (he taught in the SMUS summer ISPY program this year), Donna Lee ‘98, Krystal Cullen ’99, Milica Mrdjenovich ’03, Aleksa Mrdjenovich ’02, Steven Lobb ’96

Stephan Chapheau ’99, wife Samantha and son Arthur Pierre Antoine

Jelena Mrdjenovich ’00 was voted Canada’s favourite female pro boxer by fans of Canadian Boxiana! Corrina Vos (Mick) ’01 gave birth to a baby girl, Maeve, in June 2015. “She joined her big brother Calum to make us a family of four. We are currently living in Calgary where my husband Keith and I both work as engineers.”

Jelena Mrdjenovich ’00

Corrina Vos (Mick) ’01 and daughter Maeve


Mike Pyke ’02 announced he was hanging up the boots, literally, over Twitter with a photo of his boots hanging in his locker (below). Ending his career as a Sydney Swan in the Australian Football League (AFL), Pyke is the first Canadian national and the first former rugby union professional to play on an AFL premiership team. He also played pro for the French club US Montauban and represented the Canadian national side, famously scoring a try against the All Blacks. Steven and Emma (Brownlee) Shelford ’03 are pleased to announce the birth of their son Oliver Graeme Shelford on June 6, 2015. Claire Battershill ’04 is the winner of the KOBO Emerging Writers Literary Fiction prize for Circus. She is a former CBC Literary Award winner, having won in 2008 for the title story in this collection. Judge Miriam Toews found Battershill’s stories to be incredibly artful: “She writes in a plain-spoken way, with precision and such economy, while at the very same time expertly weaving layers and more layers of depth and detail and comedy and pathos.” Circus was excerpted in the Spring issue of School Ties. Priya Mulgaonkar ’11 tells School Ties that she’s “currently living in New York City, where I just graduated from NYU and have

H ow M i ke P y ke ’ 0 2 a n n o u n c e d h i s retirement on Twitter


begun working as a campaign organizer with Impact. We are a non-profit that runs grassroots campaigns for progressive social change on issues from climate change to public health to protecting democracy. In my first two weeks working on the NY solar energy campaign, I’ve already organized a press conference, helped canvas for more than 600 letters urging a governor to support the Clean Power Plan, and have begun hiring and training my own interns!” Priya says that Impact is running a recruitment drive for new campaign organizers and interns in 25 states across the US. “I highly recommend anyone currently living in the US with an interest in engaging professionally in politics to apply.” Details can be found at: weareimpact.org We recently heard from Remy Furrer ’13 who is at Hampshire College in Massachusetts: “This semester has been extremely busy. I am taking 8 courses and applying to graduate early. I’ve been studying social and cognitive psychology. From my first year, I got involved in research and since then I’ve been working in many different labs. Currently, I’m doing research in the social cognition lab and the morality lab at UMass. The social cognition lab looks at research on how emotions influence information processing. I run subjects and help design studies. I am also running my own neuroscience ERP research study at Hampshire College that looks at how the brain can process subconscious affective (positive/negative) images.”

Oliver Graeme Shelford

We recently received a photo of David Cunningham ’15 and Richard Cunningham ’13 showing their SMUS colours at Western University where David is in his first year of engineering. Richard is close by at the University of Waterloo, where he is studying environmental engineering.

David Cunningham ’15 and Richard Cunningham ’13

Zachary Klein ’14 checked in with this update: “I worked in Washington DC this summer for the political organization the Junior State of America. I had the privilege to sit in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, visited the Supreme Court and was also invited to the European Union, Iranian, Israeli and Saudi embassies. I attended a live session in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs when the Iranian Nuclear Accord was announced and had the honour of meeting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. I enjoyed meeting former United States Ambassador Tony Quainton ’46 as well. I am currently attending the University of Victoria majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish. I am a member of the Model United Nations Club and International Relations and Diplomacy Club. Working in Washington DC was a remarkable experience. I am very grateful for the opportunities St. Michaels gave me and plan to return to SMUS for a visit.”

Middle School teacher and current parent Nancy Mollenhauer was inducted into the newly established Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame in July. She competed in two Olympic Games (1984 and 1988) and won silver and bronze at the 1983 and 1986 World Cups respectively. “It’s a tremendous honour and one that I am deeply grateful for. It represents a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment, not just on my part, but on the part of my family, my teammates, coaches and supporters. Without all of these people, I wouldn’t be in a position to be celebrated for this honour,” Nancy said. “It feels really great to represent the sport and all of these individuals who helped me. My success is as much theirs as it is mine.”

Middle School teacher Nancy Mollenhauer

Past parent and current Admissions Associate Alexis Lang Lunn sent us a photo (right) she snapped in her back yard this summer, saying “I thought I’d share this photo with you as I think it’s so cool that these SMUS alumni make an effort to get together each summer, even though they now find themselves spread around the globe. All were boarders, except for my daughter, and are doing very well. They spent the night at the house and it was like a mini United Nations, the beauty of SMUS. They speak highly of SMUS and loved their boarding experience.”

Zachary Klein ’14

A photo from Alexis Lang Lunn’s back yard. From left to right: Ssanyu Sematimba (from Uganda studying in South Africa), Tori Lunn ’13 (from Victoria studying in London, ON), Lihani Du Plessis ’13 (from Canmore studying in Oregon), Judy Beestermoeller ’12 (from Germany studying in Victoria), Kali Salmas ’13 (from Hinton studying in Victoria), Ethel Kiggundu ’13 (from Edmonton studying in London, England).


PASSAGES Carey Creek (1928-2015) An excerpt from the eulogy, delivered by Rob Wilson

I am privileged to pay tribute to Carey.

I feel that I can call him an old friend and colleague, for I first met him here at what was then University School in 1959. We go back a long way to the days when young resident teachers (or masters) were involved in classroom teaching, daily sports, dormitory life and shared meals in Brown Hall. We got to know each other and boarding students very well. Carey was born and raised in England and, after two years of service in the British Army at the end of World War II, he went on to Cambridge University. After graduation in 1951 he spent a career of 42 years in education. It was a good choice for a fine teacher and role model. From 1951-59 he taught at his alma mater, Dauntsey’s School, before emigrating to Canada and University School. He was here for eight years and in 1967 he became Head of Athlone School in Vancouver. He returned to St. Michaels University School in 1973 and 20 years later took his welldeserved retirement with a memorable party to celebrate the occasion. During those 20 years he was Head of the Junior School and later the Middle School before finishing his career as a Middle School teacher. Carey had a long daily commute from Sidney to Victoria – so what vehicle did he drive? It was very large, had over sixty seats and was yellow. Yes – Carey drove one of the school buses. He was a versatile and enterprising man. He gave this school long and loyal service and was well-respected by everyone. One very appropriate feature of today’s gathering is that it is being held here in

An excerpt from a post on our Alumni Facebook page by Rob Potter ’89 Upon learning of Mr. Creek’s passing I have sat for many days reflecting on my memories of him and the gifts he gave so willingly to myself and the other students at SMUS. I was a boarder from Calgary, thrust halfway through Grade 9 into a new and confusing world. Mr. Creek was there right from the 46

the chapel. It is one of the highlights of our history that this chapel was built and funded in 1961 and 1962 by the enterprise and efforts of students, who were led by a group of young teachers. Carey was not only one of those teachers, he was the Chairman. He took an active role in construction work and developed skills that were put to very good effect a few years later when he assisted in the building of his own lovely home on Ardmore Drive. What is probably not known is that Carey was a fine athlete and one with good genes. His father was a distinguished soccer player for Triplow as an amateur on a team which was almost entirely “professional.” Carey’s best sports were field hockey and cricket. He also enjoyed skiing and sailing. Unfortunately, his athletic career was curtailed by hip problems, which led to hip replacement surgery, then in its early and less effective stage. This was certainly a loss for Incogs Cricket and Victoria’s field hockey community. I don’t know if parachuting comes under athletic achievement, but for the record, Carey did a parachute course during his army career! I have yet to touch upon the highlight of Carey’s life and to do so I must paraphrase the great story usually told by Ian Mugridge. This pivotal day was in later summer 1961 and Incogs were playing cricket against Oak Bay at Windsor Park. Carey was our wicket keeper, which can be a hazardous position, and on this day it was so. Carey was felled by a blow to the head from an errant cricket bat. He was taken to hospital and later brought

back to school. The effects of the blow persisted and indeed for the second time that day Carey was felled again – this time by the attractive young lady who had just arrived to begin work as the school nurse! Her name was Kixi Ferguson and the rest is history. Ian also insists that Carey never recovered from the second “felling”! Carey and Kixi were married in the summer of 1963 and everyone here knows that they were a devoted couple. They were long-time residents (1964-2002) of Ardmore where the family grew up: children Hamish, Ben, Nicola and Kanina. They have provided nine grandchildren for Carey and Kixi. This is a particularly sad time for the Creek family and I know that our sympathy goes out to them all at the loss of their husband, father and grandfather. I visited Carey in hospital three weeks ago and was amazed at his cheerful and upbeat demeanour. Life is all about attitude and Carey always had a positive one. He will be fondly remembered by so many: family, former students, teaching colleagues, neighbours and friends, as a pillar of our school community, a man of integrity and, to quote from his obituary “always a gentleman.”

start. He taught me geography but more important than the rivers in Germany was the lesson he taught me about not giving up. You see, without Mr. Creek, I would never have graduated. He taught me the value of perseverance. He never let me give up on the task at hand or on myself. I wrote a test on the geography of Germany. I failed miserably. He made me write that same test over and over every day at lunchtime until

I got 100%. To be honest this took many more times than I care to admit. He knows and I know. What is impressive to me is the fact that he gave up his time to help a child learn the value of hard work and keeping at something until you get it. He was a great man and he had a profound impact on my life both at SMUS and after. He will live forever in my memories and I cherish the gift he gave to me.

Christopher Collins ’63 (1944-2015) by Rob Wilson

Chris passed away June 10, 2015 in

Bellevue, Washington. He thoroughly enjoyed his four years at the School and as an alumnus remained loyal and supportive – with a passion. He will be particularly remembered for his involvement in the chapel building, for his keen sense of humour and for his involvement with the school. Chris graduated from the University of Puget Sound and spent a career in banking and asset management, as well as being involved in a variety of other Seattle-area civic and historical organizations. He was also a man with a strong and unwavering passion for this school, the University of Washington Huskies, duck hunting, black Labradors, Ford Mustangs and the Republican Party. Chris’ sense of humour was legendary: he was a natural mimic. Life, people and events of his time at the school were relived whenever the right audience was available. The top of Chris’ bill was his mimicry of

Reg Wenman; complete with voice, facial expressions, body language and Reg’s special choice of words. Fortunately, Reg especially enjoyed these performances. Seattle alumni reunions were always well attended, particularly by Chris and his contemporaries of the 1960s. On many occasions he hosted the event, either at his home or at the University Club. As an alumnus he was a longtime president of

Chris Collins ’63 speaks at the 1980 dedication of the Sabiston Tapestry to J.J. Timmis.

the Seattle Friends of University School and from 1974-76 he was president of the SMUS Alumni Association and a member of the Board of Governors. In 1980, he was the featured guest speaker at the graduation ceremony and also in 1980 at the Chapel ceremony when the Sabiston tapestry above the altar was dedicated to the memory of John Timmis. Personally, I spent a lot of time with Chris in both Seattle and Whidbey Island where he had a family farm with beach. It was there that Chris, family and friends enjoyed boating in the summer and duck hunting in the fall. Many of Chris’ friends were SMUS alumni, and at the celebration of his life there was a strong alumni presence, some of whom travelled a long way to pay their respects to one of the real characters of the SMUS community. “Being an alumnus is a lifetime membership.” Chris Collins was a living testament to that statement.

Doug Park (1956-2015)

Doug Park, our Manager of Buildings

and Grounds for almost 25 years, passed away suddenly on August 18, 2015. During his time at SMUS, he earned universal affection and appreciation for his hard work and commitment to his job and to the school. He never sought reward or recognition, and while he avoided the limelight, he deserved credit for the smooth

operation of the school day-to-day as well as our many special events. The following are excerpts from remembrances posted to the SMUS Facebook page: “Doug was one of many fabulous people at SMUS. He taught us generosity and reality. His job was unsung but through it he demonstrated to us the importance of humanity. He knew us and made us feel a part of a greater community simply by being true to himself. Thank you Mr. Park, I am honoured to have been able to call you Doug and to have had your support. Your next honeybun is on me.” – Humbly, a student that learned from your example “I remember Doug starting from Grade 7 at the Racquet Club. He made a huge impact on all of us kids, throwing change into the pool to dive for, challenging us to half-court shots for coins, teaching us how to work. He always got the job done. We miss you already Doug.” – Mathew Geddes ’93 This photo of Doug in his element is from our Centennial celebrations in 2006.

“Doug Park personified the culture of gracious service and wonderful competency at our school. The many parents who make up the Parents Auxiliary will miss him very much.” – Teresa Pryce “Doug was a pillar of calm and strength amongst the incredibly long list of events and tasks.He was a master and will truly be missed.” – Janet Morrice “Doug was the heart and soul of SMUS.” – Too many people to count “Doug: You were the keeper of the keys in so many ways…with your quiet, smiling and helpful ways. A key player and great leader who kept everything going. You will be terribly missed.” – Lindsay Lewis “Yes, Doug was one of the good ones. I remember him from the days at Racquet Club. He was great with all of us rink rats and put up with our crazy antics, always with a smile on his face.” – Christina Weidenmaier


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2016 Events Vancouver, January 28, the Terminal City Club Seattle, February 26, Location TBA New York, April 20, Location TBA Alumni Weekend, April 29 and 30

Are you interested in attending an alumni reception? Stay informed about upcoming events at the SMUS Alumni Facebook Page: facebook.com/smusalumni. You can also contact Gillian Donald ’85 to find out how to arrange a reception in your city.

Profile for SMUS School Ties

School Ties: The Experiential Education Issue, Winter 2015/16  

School Ties: The Alumni Magazine for St. Michaels University School. We're hands-on in this issue with stories about experiential learning....

School Ties: The Experiential Education Issue, Winter 2015/16  

School Ties: The Alumni Magazine for St. Michaels University School. We're hands-on in this issue with stories about experiential learning....


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