The Magazine of St. Christopherâ€™s
THE ARTS IN ACTION page 12
ON THE COVER: Briggs Ireland '24 in the Middle School play, "The Lion King"
IN THIS ISSUE ON THE COVER 12
The Arts in Action
Reinventing the Library
Welcome New Board Members
Letter from the Head of School
Faculty Voice Robert Johns
Student Voice Justin Jasper ‘18
Faculty & Staff News
STC Magazine Staff EDITOR | Kathleen Thomas VISUAL CONTENT EDITOR | Cappy Gilchrist PHOTOGRAPHERS | Martha Branch, Tyler Hutchison ‘19, Jay Paul, Jesse Peters GRAPHIC DESIGN | Merry Alderman Design CONTRIBUTORS | Mimi Burke, assistant to the director of alumni affairs and annual giving; Susan Cox, director of marketing and communications; Paul Evans ‘01, digital communications specialist; Alice Flowers, archivist and assistant to communications; Lisa Brennan, Middle School librarian; Cary Gresham ‘64; Marsha Hawkins, Upper School head librarian; Justin Jasper ‘18; Robert Johns, Upper School math teacher; Deborah Kelly; Mason Lecky, head of school; Stephen Lewis, director of sports information; Kinloch Nelson ‘18; Mike Platania; Massie Ritsch ‘94; William Rodriguez ‘18; Lucinda Whitehurst, Lower School Learning Commons coordinator/librarian
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Letter from the Head of School
Arts Flourish at StC In a former life I taught Ancient World History to (mildly enthusiastic) ninth-graders in Washington, D.C. While the subject matter was not exactly my topic of choice — my undergraduate studies had focused on 20th century U.S. history — with time, as I developed some semblance of expertise, I came to enjoy and fully appreciate teaching and learning about ancient Sumerians, Babylonians and Greeks.
We are, perhaps, the most well-informed (or at least most exposed) generation, thanks to advances in technology and the broad diffusion of knowledge. Still, we must question how well we and our children are invested in aesthetic pursuits. Do we joyfully pursue them or do we begrudgingly schedule them, out of some sense of obligation, amidst our harried pace?
Within our study of ancient Greece, we spent several weeks learning about the Minoans, a remarkably progressive Bronze Age people who accomplished great feats in architecture, urban infrastructure, economic development and art. This last category of sophistication always stuck with me, as the Minoans, (and later, the more famous Athenians,) valued art not for some utilitarian or pragmatic purpose, but simply for the pleasure and beauty it provides.
The arts are thriving at St. Christopher’s for all types of boys. Through curricular innovation, scheduling creativity and investments in programs and people, they are fully woven into the fabric of our boys’ experience. They are woven in a co-curricular, not extra-curricular, fashion, so that every boy, even those who feign “no talent,” receives just the kind of exposure and encouragement needed in today’s world that values creativity, collaboration and adaptability as among the most desirable attributes for academic and professional success.
“Art for Art’s Sake,” a phrase and concept gifted to English speakers from the French approximately 200 years ago, is perhaps as relevant in 2018 as it has ever been in human history. Has there been a time — in our lifetimes certainly but even before — when adults and young people alike have been more pulled in competing directions, more overscheduled, more overexposed to information, media and the endless demand of data-driven analytics and pragmatism?
It is with great pride that I can state that the arts are joyfully alive and well at St. Christopher’s. Our boys participate in record numbers in the performing arts (more than 50 percent) and in the visual arts (nearly 90 percent), remarkable for any school, but particularly an all-boys environment that too often in the 20th century, at least, was known to elevate athletics above what was seen as the “less masculine” pursuits of the arts.
It is my sincere hope that, with our continued emphasis on the role of the arts in a well-rounded 21st century education and with continued partnership and complementary offerings with St. Catherine’s, our boys will view their arts classes just as they view their education in other “core” subjects. In so doing, we will dispel the notion that creativity and artistic expression are somehow finite attributes that one either possesses or does not, and, importantly, we will inspire in this generation of students a passion and appreciation for artistic beauty, a beauty that transcends time and place and connects us with, among others, our able Greek predecessors.
Mason Lecky Head of School
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Cling to what is good FALL 2017
This past weekend I went rock climbing with my girls at a local rock climbing gym. We do this from time to time, and we all love a good challenge. On this particular day, I found myself on a particularly challenging route that was testing my limit. I got to a spot, and I was stuck. I was not really sure how I was going to continue and was just about ready to throw in the towel when the person who was belaying me said, ‘There is a really good hold just to your right. If you make it to there, you will make it to the top.’ A good hold in climbing terms is one that gives you a really great grip either with your hands or your feet, and you can use it for leverage. Often a good hold is the difference between making it to the top or not. The problem is that there are often bad holds as well, ones that might look nice but are just not stable or good enough to get you to the top. In fact, they often get in your way and keep you from making it to the top. “When Paul is writing to the church in Rome he says as much: ‘Hold on to what is good, not just hold on but cling to it.’ Paul knew that the only way we are moved forward in our life is if we hold on to things that are good — relationships, friendships, beauty and caring for one another. When we hold on to things that are good, things that are of God, it moves us forward, it calls us higher. Unfortunately, when we hang on to the bad, the opposite happens. When we hang on to hate, judgment, non-forgiveness — those things pull us down. They keep us from realizing our own potential. “Recently, we have seen with Hurricane Harvey that even in the midst of a terrible situation where people have lost everything, they are still holding on to the good. People are helping one another, giving to one another and are there for one another. They could hold on to the bad, but it is not going to move them forward, it is not going to pull them higher. Cling to what is good and be devoted to one another in love. We need to do more holding on to the good. “So I reached my right hand out and, sure enough, there was a good hold. I grabbed, I clung to it, and I was able to continue up the face. I made it higher than I ever had. I made it to the top. May we be people who cling to what is good and allow God in Christ to lift us higher!”
The Rev. Joe Torrence, Lower School chaplain Lower School chapel, grades 3—5 | Sept. 5, 2017
For videos and printed scripts of the chapel talks in their entirety, go to: stchristophers.com/chapel 4 | StC Magazine
“For me, the hard part is to look in the mirror and wonder if I have shown that love to others. ... When we go through challenges, have we supported and sustained each other, even if we don’t condone all the choices that each of us makes? “It’s a daily struggle for me and progress is slow, but you are young and learn faster than I do, so my message for you is this: don’t miss out on an opportunity to show you care, even if you disagree with every choice other people have made in their lives. Open your arms wide so that there is no mistaking that you are welcoming that soul — it might just be you someday.”
Karen Wray Upper School French & religion teacher Upper School chapel | Oct. 16, 2017
“I treasure this opening chapel where we gather in worship and offer a prayer for the new school year, a prayer for the St. Christopher’s community, a prayer that we can be part of putting the broken pieces of our world together, one boy at a time, one mind at a time, one heart at a time. A prayer that we would be hands-on participants in an integral restoration, helping to bring each of our students to the fullness intended by their Creator, helping to bring each other to our intended fullness. And not just in our classrooms only, but in our city and beyond.”
“… I am grateful for this place, for this rock of faith that I was born on and yet needed to discover for myself. I am grateful for the people here, the ones God put in our lives who care so much about us, even when we are convinced that we are fine on our own. May God bless this place and all who feel like they have to take on the weight of suffering alone. May the repetition of prayer and hymns open all of our hearts to God.”
Quinn Bundy ’18 Upper School Thanksgiving service Nov. 20, 2017
The Rev. Durk Steed Middle School chaplain Opening chapel for faculty/staff Aug. 22, 2017
“ ... So I will ask each of you for one thing. Thank a service member or a veteran when you see them. It will feel awkward at first, but overcome that fear and just say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ Some of these soldiers and sailors are younger than you seniors. It means a lot to them. It meant a lot to me when I wore the uniform, especially coming from someone young, where you least expected it. It also forces you to place yourself in that person’s place for a brief second. In these contentious political times, never lose faith in the people who would lay down their lives for what they believe in.”
Marshall Croft ’98 Veterans Day Upper School chapel | Nov. 10, 2017 Marshall Croft ’98, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a lieutenant who served our country for five years. After serving, he graduated from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, worked at Harris Williams & Co. for eight years and joined Tailwind Capital as operating executive last August. Winter 2018 | 5
Leave it better than you found it A Reflection on Stewardship
ROBERT JOHNS This Upper School math teacher chairs the computer science department and handles all scheduling for Upper School students.
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An English teacher, a history teacher and a health teacher stared at the dining hall table left littered with dirty dishes, wadded napkins, spilled liquids and remnants of the day’s lunch selections. Each of the three teachers shook his head slowly. The English teacher said, “An essay on personal responsibility would do some young men good.” The history teacher remarked, “This type of thing never happened in the old days. That past is not a prologue to this present.” The health teacher chimed in, “Yes, but at least the food they left uneaten is bad for them — so it could have been worse.” The teachers sadly walked to the counter to pick up their lunch, each thinking, “Someone ought to do something about this mess.”
How many times have you heard, or thought, or said this or the equivalent, perhaps in reference to crime, poverty, politics, politicians, traffic, urban decay, disrespectful attitudes or what have you. Like our three semi-imaginary teachers, when we notice something amiss, too often we sadly shake our heads and sigh, “Someone ought to do something.” I would humbly suggest that despite the seriousness with which we shake our heads, despite the indignation with which we loudly complain, even taking into account the depth of our disgust, if this is all we do, we aren’t doing enough. Whether young or old, student or teacher, parent or child, if truly making a difference and not just wishing for a difference is what we strive for, we are called on to do more. Now, I know that St. Christopher’s has a litany of second century leadership characteristics — honor, integrity, responsibility and strong work ethic, to name a few. These are important, the ones we most often educate about and plan symposia around and market ourselves on, the ones that make us proud. But such public, personal virtues are not all that we are called to, especially if we want to make a positive difference in the world and in those around us. I would suggest a different focus: “Wherever you find yourself, leave it better than you found it.” It’s simple, too simple for a marketing campaign, perhaps too modest for fundraising and recruiting, not photogenic enough for a glossy magazine cover. It doesn’t take grand strategies and impressively named committees and year-long studies with consultants and “educational experts.” It only requires that you and I decide that when we see something that could be better, and we have the opportunity to make it better, we do. Returning to the opening vignette, what would it have cost the teachers to clean up the table themselves? Or make a dent in the mess? Each could have picked up a plate, walked to the dish return and left the table in better condition than he found it, requiring less than a minute of their day. Now some might argue that the offenders wouldn’t learn their lesson, and some might question, “Aren’t we here to teach?” Well, I’ve got news for us all — the offenders aren’t learning that lesson that day because they fled the scene. They made their statement about who they are, and how little they value, not necessarily the rules, but all those around them. In this way of thinking, “teaching a lesson” is not even the point.
Leave it better than you found it — and you’ve done your job. Perhaps a few others may see, and may realize that this is what people in community do. They look for ways to strengthen the community, and they take action. Now, leaving it better than you found it certainly doesn’t begin and end with dirty dishes in the dining hall. Run into some trash around campus? Pick it up and toss it away. See a mess left on the senior porch or in the game room? Straighten it up. Notice books and papers scattered in the chapel pews? Pitch in. Extend this approach even to the most human interactions of life. Find yourself involved with others not focusing or taking the work seriously? Lead by example and encourage them to do better. See someone having a bad day? Offer a kind word. Drop into a conversation that veers to poor taste, offensive language or mean-spiritedness? Refuse to be dragged down by the crowd, and remind others that the easy wrong isn’t the worthy path. See or hear of someone being picked on or bullied? Stand up and make a difference.
Whether young or old, student or teacher, parent or child ... we are called on to do more. Every day, in ways small and large, at St. Christopher’s and wherever you find yourself, look for ways to leave things better. You’ll find that it’s a habit that will become easier and easier, and eventually a part of your character, as you lead your life. Now, you’ll have to pay attention to the world around you a bit more closely, for these opportunities won’t come with flashing lights and neon signs. You’ll have to endure some folks looking at you quizzically and wondering why you are dealing with something that isn’t “your problem.” You won’t always get credit, but that’s okay. You won’t even always be noticed. But knowing that you have made a difference is far better than realizing that you could have and didn’t, no matter the thoughts and opinions of others. And in the end, you might find that life is all about leaving things better than you found them — in small ways, in personal ways, and perhaps in large ways as well. It’s the making things better that is the key — the giving, rather than the taking; the building, rather than the destroying; the helping, rather than the harming; the connecting, rather than the ignoring.
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Living into the men we are meant to be
The Rev. Whitney Edwards asked me to speak in chapel about the importance of service. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t intimidated. How do I explain why it is important to help other people? It might seem like a pretty simple question to answer: ‘We serve others because that’s what good people do, and it makes the world a better place.’ But I can’t really say that because that would take about three seconds. What I can do is tell you a story that some of you may have heard which is the perfect picture of not only why we serve, but how we should serve. “According to legend, Christopher was a simple Canaanite who wished to serve ‘the greatest king of them all.’ He began serving the King of Canaan who ruled Christopher’s homeland and everything in it. But one day Christopher saw the king cower at the sound of the devil’s name. Figuring that the devil must be even greater than the ruler of Canaan, Christopher left to search for him. Christopher met the devil in the desert and began to serve him and enjoyed all the power and privileges that came with it. “Then he came to learn that the devil feared but one being, and that was Lord. So having finally found the greatest power of them all, Christopher settled down and began to serve God. Christopher was a tall, strong man from years of hard work, and he used this gift to help travelers cross a nearby river. It was his form of service. One day Christopher came across a child trying to cross the river. Christopher lifted the kid on his shoulder and began to walk across the river. As he walked across the river, the child began to feel heavier and heavier on his shoulders, and the trip across the river became dangerous for both Christopher and his passenger. When they reached the other side, Christopher looked at the child and said, ‘I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were,’ and the child replied, ‘You had on your shoulders not only the whole world but Him who made it. I am Christ your king whom you are serving by this work.’ “Christopher is now a saint, our saint, a man of plain origin. He had no extraordinary gifts. He only wanted to serve and in that service was deservedly blessed. It is not his willingness to cross the river that makes St. Christopher’s service so impressive, but his inclination to reach out to those around him, those who owed him nothing and from whom he could gain nothing. “This is our model as St. Christopher’s students and as growing young men. Going out into the greater community with the goal of meeting new people and forming relationships that will make a positive difference is the highest achievement of service. The heart of service is not the action, but the people involved, and
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when focusing on others is the goal, the act through which you serve becomes something that both people learn and grow from. “Everybody serves somebody. Whether lending a helping hand or receiving one, teaching or being taught, giving or receiving, we become blessed through service. “This idea of mutual service, being served and serving, brought to mind our football team’s annual service with the Buddy Ball program in which we pair up with special needs kids and have fun helping them through a flag football game. “One year I didn’t partner with just any kid, I was buddied up with CJ, a great kid who is funny and energetic. He had fun that day, but I honestly had more fun than he did. We were running routes and celebrating touchdowns, and it didn’t feel like I was supposed to be helping or serving. We were just two friends playing some football. After the game ended, we were messing around and recorded a video of us dancing to ‘Juju on That Beat.’ It was a pretty popular dance, and the video kind of went viral on Instagram, but that’s not important. What really matters is that I didn’t let my role of serving CJ get in the way of forming a friendship. I came out of that day with more than just hours of community service. I felt like I had learned something and had fun, and I hope CJ got as much out of that day as I did.
“We don’t have to do something amazing. We just have to show up. Take the little risk in offering to help, and let the power of service do the rest.” “We’re in a place that creates tons of opportunities to serve and be served. And even as busy as we are, there is always time. Check online on the community service page, reach out to the Rev. Edwards or any faculty who are always doing volunteer work in and around the city. Check with your coaches. Think about serving during X-Term this year. You can travel around the world to meet people from all different backgrounds and cultures and experience a different way of life while serving. There are opportunities through clubs and programs like Saturday Academy and City Saints where you can form friendships and connections with people that you would not normally cross paths with. And there’s always a way to help within the Missionary Society as we organize service initiatives and community outreach opportunities for students. “We don’t have to do something amazing. We just have to show up. Take the little risk in offering to help, and let the power of service do the rest. It’s all about blessing others and being blessed in the process. It’s about living into the men we are meant to be.”
JUSTIN JASPER ‘18 The 2017-18 Missionary Society president delivered this chapel talk in January.
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On Stewardship “ … In Joseph’s scripture reading for us this morning, from Second Corinthians, Paul the Apostle tells us that in God’s view, ‘The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.’ “In this instance, Paul, and God, are using a farming metaphor to tell all of us — farmers or not, Christians or not — that there is a direct relationship between what we give in life and what we receive. This is true in planting and farming, just as it is true in friendship. It is true in academic, artistic and athletic pursuit and also in how we treat the physical and spiritual world around us. It’s really quite simple — the more we give, the more we offer of ourselves, the more that we receive. “And this giving of ourselves should be done, gentlemen, with delight, with God’s love, not solely out of a sense of duty, though I do believe we are duty-bound to give in this manner. Paul continues in his letter, ‘Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ What a wonderful sentiment, ‘God loves a cheerful giver,’ — a phrase at once approachable and biblical. “Ladies and gentlemen, I hope it is abundantly clear to all of us that we have much to celebrate here at St. Christopher’s — a caring and dedicated faculty and staff; bright and hopeful students, future
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leaders of our city, state and world; supportive parents, alumni and friends; and one of the most magnificent grounds on which to teach and learn that I have ever known. Take a moment, look around — make note of the trees, the plants and flowers that embrace us, the buildings that sustain us, and acknowledge the furnishing and the technology that support our learning endeavors. “I mention these things to you now, gentlemen, to underscore a message and a theme I wish for us to focus on during the 2017-2018 school year. It is a message of stewardship. Each of us — student, teacher, parent, head of school, board member — is a steward of St. Christopher’s. We are not owners of St. Christopher’s, nor are we simply its tenants. No, we are stewards, caretakers of a trust that is ours to maintain and develop for too short a time — 14 years for some of you lucky students, five years, 10, 20, 50 for us lucky educators — but our time here is finite, limited in duration, for sure. “Our sacred responsibility is to lovingly care for this place, for its physical, moral, even spiritual well-being, and to leave it for the next generation of learners in even healthier condition than the condition in which we found it … ”
An excerpt from Head of School Mason Lecky’s remarks at the all-school opening service Sept. 5, 2017.
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“To know that you made something that is meaningful gives you more confidence than most things you can imagine.” — Spencer Cox ‘18
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The Arts in Action By Kathleen Thomas Spencer Cox ’18 finds that painting, singing and acting stretch his brain differently than his core curriculum load. He finds inspiration and relaxation in such pursuits. This member of three StC singing groups, the theater group Ampersand and an AP music theory class says, “I’ve definitely had days before rehearsal that have been really stressful, [but] once I have a chance to sing and explore my character, I can actually just take a deep breath.” Numerous studies extol the role of arts in developing skills needed to succeed in today’s world. Such skills relate to creative thinking, technological savvy, intellectual risk-taking, empathy and collaboration. At St. Christopher’s we celebrate and embrace the arts in the pursuit of educating the whole boy. Cox says he’s learned new ways of thinking by considering his audience and the effect his creative choices might have on others. Most importantly, he believes the arts breed confidence. “To know that you made something that is meaningful gives you more confidence than most things you can imagine,” Spencer says. “That’s an important aspect for underclassmen and anyone in high school trying to find out who they are.” Throughout the past decade, St. Christopher’s has amplified its arts offerings and solidified its commitment. An Upper School
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Mr. Greg Vick works with Harrison Coble ‘21.
coordinate program with St. Catherine’s provides benefits too. While St. Catherine’s focuses on the traditional arts (ceramics, drawing and painting), StC electives have broadened to include Photoshop, digital photography, digital video, 3D Makerspace, a songwriting class, a cappello Beaux Ties singing group and the Jazz Band.
“The arts unleash a side of boys that needs unleashing.” 14 | StC Magazine
FACULTY PERSPECTIVE Back in the days when Dick Kemper served as athletic director (1964 - 2006), he gave some boys a pass from the afternoon athletic requirement to pursue artistic venues. “We felt performing, whether it was in Ampersand or Glee Club, was just as important a form of expression as performing on an athletic field,” he says. “If this person had a passion, we felt we should give them the avenue to pursue that.” Mr. Kemper, a football, basketball and baseball standout at GW High School in Alexandria, also played clarinet in the marching band. He learned firsthand the value of both artistic and athletic pursuits.
When Glee Club Director Greg Vick joined StC in 1998, he had 16 boys on his roster, compared to 55 today. He believes the arts “unleash a side of
boys that needs unleashing.” While the programs most appeal to certain boys, Mr. Vick stresses the importance for all to be exposed. “Here it’s just a part of their school life,” he says. “While some boys discover who they are through the arts, others flourish unexpectedly. ”
An award-winning drama director, Rusty Wilson joined StC in 2005 as a part-time Ampersand director and the next year became a full-time Upper School arts faculty member. His Creativity Through the Arts class started in 2008 and is a requirement for all freshmen. Class projects involve design, drama, visual art, music, creative writing and critical thinking. “The arts require students to think on multiple planes, so they have to learn, understand and manipulate information so they can turn that into new information,” Mr. Wilson says. “They have to think on many levels all at once.” His students must step outside their comfort zones and view the world from others’
Matt Sovich ‘24
perspectives. “The art classes are there to open the doors of possibility to all of our boys,” he says. “Students might have a perception of themselves one way, but by the time the class is done might see themselves differently. They might see themselves successful in a realm they might never have allowed themselves to consider.”
The Lower School visual arts program expanded a few years ago to offer ceramics and photography in conjunction with general art, an alternative to choir, strings and band. Art Teacher Melissa Taylor believes students can find different ways of expressing themselves through different mediums. “Giving them that time to delve into technique and process starts to build the boys’ interest in pursuing something visual,” she says of the new ceramics and photography classes. “It also helps build interest in pursuing more visual arts classes once they get in Upper School. … I think art can be used as a different way for boys
“Art classes open doors of possibility to all of our boys.”
Preston Cochran ’26
to express what they know as opposed to the standard applying pencil to paper where there’s a right answer. The arts can show you there can be multiple answers to the same question.”
John Winn, a Pollak prize winner for excellence in the arts who joined StC in 2004 as Jazz Band director, says that research showing that music is good for the brain shouldn’t be the reason for offering music. “You do it because you like it,” he says. “It is one of the times in the day when you’re not just in lockstep of ‘Here’s how we do this, here’s how we do that,’” he says. “In the arts, there is always room for improvisation and personality. There is a certain amount of thinking outside the box.” He also highlights the critical thinking and collaborative team aspect to playing in an ensemble. He looks back on his music theory class and performing ensembles in high school as his favorite time of the day, a relief from academic pressures.
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Art also teaches people to be creative in problem-solving, says Middle School Art Teacher Marshall Ware ‘81. “It introduces new approaches for attacking questions or tasks beyond just the aesthetic pleasure one gets from a well-executed piece, whether it’s someone else’s or yours. When you can find a way to a solution because you have been taught there are different ways to go about things, you’re opening up doors to take chances and do things in other venues.”
Amanda Livick, teacher of Upper School digital photography, digital video and Photoshop, likens today’s visual arts to research projects. “A photographer who takes aerial-view photos of places full of trash can be informative and beautiful,” she says. “It also explains what’s happening in the world. Art today is very much studying and capturing issues.” Visual artists have to understand what is happening, what to look for and how to capture it. They often have to assimilate into someone else’s culture and view things through other people’s eyes to determine what is important. “You have to empathize with other people to really tell their story,” Mrs. Livick says. “If you’re a photojournalist, you have to come in and listen and be present.” The arts are important to integrate into all curricula, and Mrs. Livick works with various Upper School classes to help with lesson plans. She worked with a science class to make infographics in Photoshop to illustrate physics concepts, for example. “It takes a lot to understand it enough to translate information into something visual for people,” she says.
ALUMNI PERSPECTIVE Wells Hanley ’93 finds it troubling when the arts are thought of as being limited to entertainment and disputes the notion that only the experts have the right to be creative. “Specialization is great for a brain surgeon, but the arts are just different,” he says. “It’s not just going to turn on radio to see what the music experts have created. It’s not just turning on HBO to see what the story-telling experts have created. It’s the idea that creative things are just on the verge of coming into existence at every moment at every place. If more people could have that attitude, that everyone could create something, I think the world would be better place.” Wells is a classical/jazz/rock musician and teacher. All jazz majors at Virginia Commonwealth University take his class that has less to do with the technicalities than developing a creative attitude. He is in the process of starting a business, Scores for Life, that will use music “to enhance the personal stories of regular people” as he looks for ways to create music outside traditional paradigms.
Opera singer Will Ferguson ’95 describes the challenge of his life calling as interpreting the composer’s notes, allowing them to live and breathe and have life. Skills required are applicable to any pursuit, the tenor says. “Whether you’re in sales, marketing or management, you constantly need to be more creative in reaching your audience, Marshall Ware ‘81, Middle School art teacher
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Leslie Long leads Middle School Band practice.
Will Ferguson ‘95
“Creating an opportunity where the student can put aside any preconceived notion and allow himself to be affected and even disarmed by it is so important.” or your customer. Arts training is definitely helpful in teaching you to be intuitive and open to what others are experiencing.” This Richmond native always relished performing. He took voice and piano, participated in Ampersand and all the StC choral groups before going on to The Juilliard School. “I was drawn to music,” he says. “It was in me.” He is appreciative of the outlets StC provided and teachers and administrators who gave him the opportunity to pursue his passion. In his experience, people skeptical to the merits of arts education are those who have never really experienced it. He believes a critical component is keeping an open mind. “Creating an opportunity where the student can put aside any preconceived notion and allow himself to be affected and even disarmed by it is so important.” Will echoed others in saying the arts teach confidence in putting your work out there and empathy in connecting with others. “I connect a score to an actual event in my life or to something that contains the same emotion and feeling … so that the song and message can live within me and then connect to an audience.” Wells Hanley ‘93
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Will has sung with the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Australia, New York City Opera, Festival Opéra de Québec, Virginia Opera, Dallas Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, among others. Concert performances have included the LA Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, BBC Orchestra (London), Boston Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (England), New York Philharmonic and Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. Will was nominated for a 2006 Green Room Award (Melbourne) for Outstanding Male Performer in an opera. A few summers ago, he got his sommelier certification, another creative pursuit that involves describing the taste and aromas of wines and pairing them with food.
Claiborne Gregory ’68 is a self-taught artist largely inspired by landscape painter John Constable. He spent untold hours studying his style and form, and about 10 years ago, while visiting the Tate Gallery in London and studying a Constable painting, he announced to his wife India that it was fake. While the brush strokes, color and design appeared in keeping, Claiborne’s intuition detected that something was off. Four years ago Claiborne’s claim was justified when the painting was revealed to be a forgery, the work of Constable’s son. Claiborne, who worked 20 years in banking, said these same skills came into play in his former profession, where he’d review highly complex deals and often rely on gut feelings, sometimes going against what his partners or the financial statements supported. Finely honed banking skills apply to his art, and art skills are relevant to his business as a commissioned artist. “If I am painting a painting, I know when there’s something wrong,” he says. “Sometimes it relates to balance or emphasis, or sometimes it’s instinctively analytical, where calculus and other math comes into play.” He despised all mathematics other than plane geometry and is grateful for Upper School Math Teacher Jim Boyd’s patience and instruction. “You as a painter have to get the perspective down properly to paint a bridge with 20 arches that curves around the river,” he says. “It involves calculus, and it certainly involves geometry.” Understanding
Chamberlayne Hall (1998) by Claiborne Gregory ‘68
and reading clients is also key, as are negotiation skills, keeping budgets and overseeing finances. In his day at StC, arts were barely on the radar, with limited classes and exposure, but still he loved his experience. “It was a real home for me. … It’s wonderful the school has the resources now to expose boys to things they might not have been able to do a long time ago.” While Claiborne had burning ambitions to run a banking company, once he found himself there, he was miserable working 16 hours a day, six days a week. He and his wife, both Richmond natives, moved back here from Washington, D.C., in 1992 and since then he has focused solely on his art. His work is represented among museum, public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. His painting of Chamberlayne Hall resides there, and he hosted a one-man art show at StC in 2012 and taught classes to students. His son Claiborne graduated from StC in 2007.
Claiborne Gregory ‘68
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Grayson Goldman’s photograpy
While studying for his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and MBA degree, Grayson Goldman ’02 knew he needed a creative outlet, so he bought a camera and started snapping pics at concerts. “Living in the middle of nowhere can be boring,” his website says about Lincoln Memorial University, the home of DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee. “A camera gave me something to do.” He earned some street cred along the way and now is getting access to the pit (the area between the stage and the fans) to photograph such big-name bands as Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers and Third Eye Blind. Some smaller bands have used his photographs on album covers and social media. To check out his work, go to www.graysongoldman.com. He’s grateful, he says, for his well-rounded StC experience with a whole-boy focus on academics, sports and arts. Grayson is now in the last year of his emergency medicine residency at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
John Winn directs the Jazz Band.
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Composer of the Year MASON BATES ‘95 Remembering his early days at StC By Kathleen Thomas Hope Armstrong Erb had just stopped to take a break from a long drive on I-85 last August when Mason Bates ’95 rang to brainstorm ideas for a Richmond Symphony concert that will debut this spring. Her former student was seeking inspiration for a theme both historical and spiritual. “I don’t know anyone more spiritual than the Native Americans,” Mrs. Erb suggested. Mason took to the idea, so she arranged for him to meet her friend Sharon Sun Eagle, director of a grassroots charity that helps Native Americans in poverty. Out of that meeting at the Mattaponi reservation in King William County came inspiration for one movement of the multifaceted concert featuring stories about creation that will debut May 12. “I watched the way he interacted with Sharon, his gratitude, respect and humility in the way he met her and spoke to her,” said Mrs. Erb, who taught Mason piano, theory and composition and directed the StC singing groups in which he took part. “The truly great people are like that, the people who really make a positive difference in the world.” Mason certainly has made a difference, carving an indelible legacy with his wildly creative, energetic work that includes electronic elements he often supplies from a computer as he stands amid percussionists onstage. Musical America, founded in 1898 and the oldest American magazine about classical music, recently named him the most-performed composer of his generation and the 2018 Composer of the Year. His stint as the first composer-in-residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has just been extended to 2020. The Juilliard- and Berkeley-trained composer also works in dance clubs across the country, performing as DJ Masonic. His opera, “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” was hailed as one of the bestselling productions in the history of the acclaimed Santa Fe Opera, and he has also composed for films, including The Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts.
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In a recent video interview, Mason discusses lessons learned with Mrs. Erb when sharing his first compositions with her. “I think she was was sufficiently impressed at least with the effort that went into it, if not the pieces themselves,” he said. She told him that if he studied piano and learned discipline, she would be his compositional mentor, a key moment for her young protégé. “My son takes piano, and I’m not sure he’ll be a musician, but he definitely needs to learn the relationship between discipline and results,” Mason said in the video. “Music is a great and fun way to learn that connection. It’s kind of like sports as a field that is all about training your muscles, working with scales, working on singing and seeing how you get better.” Mrs. Erb, who is known for her passion, drive and setting a high bar, says his determination set him apart. “I have had other students with a good sense of line and creativity, but at a very early age Mason was willing to put the time and effort into writing them down.” The StC campus sometimes served as his refuge and his workshop. He practiced composition on the development office computer and often sneaked into the Middle School at night through an open window. Upper School English Teacher Ron Smith remembers Mason as “earnest, tongue-tied, eager, completely charming and honest.” “I believe I first met Mason when this very shy and awkward ninth-grader came into my classroom and asked if I would read something he had written,” Mr. Smith said. “I said yes and pretty soon he dropped a thick stack of papers on my desk and said, ‘This is my novel.’ A week later he retrieved it and said, ‘I hope you haven’t read it. I’ve revised it.’” Mason credits the StC writer-in-residence, who met with him weekly, for encouraging him “to write what you know.” “That approach ultimately bore fruit in surprising ways, as my subsequent career as a symphonic
“Whatever we end up becoming, those experiences in the arts, the performing arts in particular, are crucial in shaping us.” — Mason Bates ’95 composer displayed my long-running interest in narrative,” Mason said. “Creating large orchestral palettes around dramatic ideas, instead of abstract notes and rhythms, has pushed my music into new sonic territory, and I owe that direction very much to the guidance of Ron Smith.” Former Chaplain Melissa Hollerith remembers Mason as her freshman advisee looking much as he does now, with a runner’s body and boyish haircut. “He made all A’s, was elected to represent his class on the Honor Council and spent his afternoons running with Señor Nystrom,” she says. One day he approached her asking to go home during his free period, the last period of the day, saying he had a symphony playing in his head and needed to write it down in a quiet place without interruptions. Knowing his passion, the school acquiesced. “In 30 years of teaching that has never happened again,” Mrs. Hollerith said, “but I now have the great joy of saying I know the Composer of the Year. He was my advisee writing symphonies before cross-country practice.” When Mrs. Erb and her husband Martin watched Passage, a symphony celebrating the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth, her former student publicly recognized her during the Kennedy Center premiere. “He’s got the gratitude attitude,” Mrs. Erb said. “I think that’s part of his success. He recognizes the people who helped him along the way.” At the debut, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house among those who lived through Kennedy’s election and assassination, Mrs. Erb noted. “Afterwards, people came up to me and thanked me for the gift of Mason Bates, which is such a tribute to him. It says a lot about Mason and the power of his music.”
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Photo by Ryan Schude
Mason Bates ‘95 will speak in Upper School chapel May 9, a few days before the premiere of his special composition for the Richmond Symphony’s 60th anniversary celebration on May 12.
AROUND CAMPUS — LIBRARY
Reinventing the Library A generation ago, students relied on silent library spaces with study carrels for memorization and endless stacks of books for fact retrieval. Today you’ll find students in the library collaborating on movie-making, recording a foreign language assignment, locating copyright-free images or accessing digitized historical newspapers. While school libraries continue to serve as the hub for research and reading, all are evolving.
LOWER SCHOOL LIBRARY EXPANDS BEYOND WALLS By Lucinda Whitehurst, Lower School Learning Commons coordinator/librarian Picture an elementary school library 30 years ago. You may see children reading at tables or a librarian helping students look up information in encyclopedias and dictionaries, sharing a story or advising which books to check out. Finding a book requires consulting the card catalog, and checking it out involves cards and “date due” stamps. Technology is nowhere to be found. Return to that library in 2017 and you may find second-graders learning the Dewey Decimal System with a game on the Kahoot! website, third-graders using Chromebooks for research and fifth-graders creating book trailers with iMovie on iPads. Today’s library resources expand far beyond the physical walls. A web-based catalog system gives students the ability to search the library collection, place holds and read e-books from any location with many devices. The school subscribes to online databases, supplying information from traditional sources like encyclopedias, full-text magazine and newspaper articles, specialized databases for specific subject areas, images without copyright restrictions and educational videos. Even the youngest students benefit from digital resources such as BookFlix and TumbleBooks, audio-enhanced e-books that let children hear and read along with the stories. In the words of the Beatles, the library can now be “here, there and everywhere.” Library services constantly evolve. The Lower School library now is part of the school Learning Commons team. With increased access to digital tools and resources, information literacy is an essential skill. With the Learning Commons, the librarians combine their skills with those of the technology coordinator and the instructional technologist to collaborate with classroom teachers. Wireless internet access and mobile devices mean the librarians could be teaching at any time, anywhere in the building. Despite the value of technology in the library, printed books definitely are not dead. Lower School boys are comfortable with digital tools, but they also are actively reading traditional texts. Hundreds of books are checked out each week during lively library visits. Author/illustrator visits, book fairs, joining the Library Club and entering reading competitions like Battle of the Books and Dads Read are excitedly anticipated each year. No matter how students access information, no matter how many online resources are available, the most important elements of the library program are the connections made between students, teachers and librarians. Solving an information need, watching a child develop knowledge, seeing the elation on a boy’s face when he checks out a favorite book, hearing students discuss and recommend books to each other — the library is the place for it all to happen.
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A LOVE FOR LENDING Lucinda Whitehurst By Kathleen Thomas Books have always ranked high among Lucinda Whitehurst’s prized possessions. As a teenager, she queried friends and loaned out novels she thought they’d enjoy from her collection. Mrs. Whitehurst studied English at the College of William & Mary and then landed a full scholarship from the University of Illinois to pursue a master’s in library and information science. After graduating, Mrs. Whitehurst worked in the Washington, D.C., and Henrico public libraries before joining St. Christopher’s, where she now serves as librarian and coordinator of the Learning Commons team that collaborates with classroom teachers on library and technology projects. Since 2004, Mrs. Whitehurst has taught children’s literature online for the University of Virginia, and for the past six years has supervised interns for UVA at Wise Library media certification programs. In both arenas, Mrs. Whitehurst enjoys the sharing of ideas and student responses. Through the years she has volunteered with the Association for Library Services to Children, work that has led to significant roles in choosing winners for the prestigious Caldecott and Newbery awards, serving on the committees in 2010 and 2015, respectively. The 2015 Newbery Medal was awarded to The Crossover, a novel told in verse by Kwame Alexander, whose lively, interactive talk that same year to Lower School boys offered inspiration to read and to write.
Q&A WITH LAURA SABO
As a committee member, Mrs. Whitehurst enjoyed getting students involved. She filled boxes with books in the running for Lower School boys to read and fill out checklists for feedback. Lower School Library Club participants wrote critiques.
What is your favorite book?
Mrs. Whitehurst also stays busy writing book reviews for the School Library Journal, a monthly publication, and Booklist, a bimonthly. “I want to stay involved,” she said. “I always want to learn about new books and new things we can do in the library.”
Above: Lower Schoolers in the library; Below: Laura Sabo and Lucinda Whitehurst
Lower School Learning Commons librarian What’s the best part of your day? “The time I spend with the boys in Hawkins’ Hideaway, a cozy retreat for reading. A good story can keep even the most active class fully engaged. I love to watch their expressions as I read and am continuously surprised and delighted by their thoughtful comments and questions.”
“When I was a child, my favorite book was Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. One of my adult favorites (or in the top five) is Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.” What is the strangest thing you’ve ever found in a borrowed book? “On occasion boys return books in less than pristine condition. For example, some look like they they were enjoyed over a good snack, some suffered from a major water bottle leak, and others endured weather elements after a night on the playground. We don’t worry! We’ve got all sorts of cleaning supplies on hand and tricks up our sleeves. Did you know if you put a wet book in the freezer, it can smooth wrinkled pages? Never underestimate a librarian!” Winter 2018 | 23
AROUND CAMPUS — LIBRARY
MIDDLE SCHOOL LIBRARY CULTIVATES READER IDENTITY By Lisa Brennan, Middle School librarian Libraries have always been designed to serve the needs of their communities, and middle schoolers are a unique group. Only a Middle School librarian might find herself shelving an armload of books that includes The Life of Pi along with Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Within the realm of reading, it’s never been a better time to be a teenager. If you are 40 or older, you probably remember finishing the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew series only to be handed titles by Ian Fleming or Agatha Christie. Middle grade and young adult collections weren’t part of our lexicon. Today’s teens benefit from a wide variety of choices. Our job is not just to give them a book, but to get to know each student, ask questions about their interests and help them to discover titles that propel pleasure reading. We also have the advantage of offering students books in print and e-book formats. While print remains most popular, an increasing number of students like the “on demand” immediate availability of e-book downloads. The primary goal of the Middle School reading program is to cultivate a sense of reader identity. Real readers can identify favorite genres and authors and even preferences for types of conflicts or literary themes. Familiarity allows students to search our digital catalog for titles and explain to any librarian (or bookseller) what type of reading experience they seek. For our monthly “BookTalks” all Middle School students visit the library with a content-area teacher. These 40-minute sessions are fundamental to our reading culture, which relies on book access and freedom of choice. Peer-focused teens are eager to try books that friends endorse, and when a teacher recommends a book, our boys take notice. For students who seek further reading enrichment, we organize at least four author Skype sessions each year. In addition, student-organized reading groups meet periodically during study halls, and a student-run eBook Executive Committee led the launch of our eBook website last year by selecting titles and training friends in how to use the system. In a world where pleasure reading time competes with sports, music lessons, homework and video games, we strive to ensure that all students have opportunities to connect with books that parallel their interests and promote positive attitudes toward reading. Within the realm of research, the time-honored process still follows the same cycle: question, seek information, take notes, compose, revise and submit. Today’s information-seeking process, however, is dramatically different, with databases and Google providing immediate access to information. As a result, students need a new skill set that includes strategic keyword searching, database familiarity, limitations by publication date or source type and critical assessment of web-based sources.
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While the old-school, handwritten notetaking phase was laborious, it also discouraged excessive verbatim copying. Today, it’s simple for students to forget that they copied and pasted a passage directly from a digital source. Students now benefit from guided practice with digital note-taking, instruction on paraphrasing, database navigation and specific examples of text passages that are plagiarized. Whether students are in the library for research or reading, their experience relies upon relationships — feeling connected with their librarian, teachers and peers. For a middle schooler, that means it’s okay to ask for help, request a “short book” or admit that they totally didn’t get part of an assignment. We want library visits to yield confidence and propel curiosity. Our libraries serve as a place where students can trust that inquiry will be matched with information, quirky ideas welcomed as creative sparks and challenges overcome with collaboration.
BOY-TO-BOOK MATCHMAKER Lisa Brennan By Kathleen Thomas As Lisa Brennan’s 40th birthday approached, her husband asked if she might like a trip or party to celebrate. Her response: “Thank you, but all I really want to do is pursue a second master’s.” The high-energy self-starter majored in psychology and education at the University of Richmond, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After college, she taught first grade, pursued a master’s as a reading specialist and worked as a third- and fourth-grade resource teacher. After her second son was born, she opted for a part-time gig at StC teaching two sections of language arts and got the itch to return to school. After combing through online opportunities, she opted for Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s library science program. Located near her hometown, it provided summer opportunities for classroom learning and easy access to family lodging. Her innate love for school overrode the challenges of balancing family, teaching and graduate work. “I loved every class in my program, especially marketing and, of course, the reading-intensive class in young adult literature,” she said. She completed the program in 2009, the same year an opening for Middle School librarian arose; she applied and got the job. Mrs. Brennan devoted her first summer to revamping the space — rearranging existing furniture and shelves to offer the vibe of a cozy bookstore, and updating the fiction collection with new titles that targeted interests of Middle School readers. A focus was establishing a pleasure reading program, which the American Library Association awarded Best for Teens in January 2016. A highlight of the program is school-wide book talks, where Middle School faculty rotate to involve every Middle School student in lively discussions. She sees her best attribute as being known among the students as a boy-to-book matchmaker. “Reading is key,” she said, “but it’s framing questions to identify boys’ interests that leads to making a good match.” Mrs. Brennan asks boys about their favorite video games, movies or television show to find inspiration for an appealing book or series. “Every time I read a book, I start it by thinking, ‘Who is going to like this? Who are the first three boys I might suggest it to?’” In her spare time, she does yoga, serves on the board of Friends of the Richmond Public Library and writes articles for the Association for Middle Level Education. She reviews books on Amazon and Goodreads, which led to an opportunity to review advance reader copies of books released to booksellers and librarians before the general public. She also serves as advisor to the Middle School online newspaper, PaperBoy, an initiative she launched to encourage student voice through recreational writing.
Above: Lisa Brennan; Below: Mrs. Brennan works with Middle School students.
Her passion for her work is evident. “I love talking to the boys one-on-one, the sound of the boys in the hallway walking through, having doors open and having boys wander in, watching them grow between sixth and eighth grade,” she said. “I like engaging in discussion with boys who are overtly conversational as well as I enjoy building relationships with boys who are less likely to initiate dialogue on their own.”
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AROUND CAMPUS — LIBRARY MEMORIAL LIBRARY PROMOTES LITERACY IN AN AGE OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD By Marsha Hawkins, Upper School head librarian Since 1928, Memorial Library has been a place for boys to study, work together and find great reads, but its outreach now extends to the classroom. With the advent of digital information, the Upper School library aspires to preserve the bookish culture of the past while cuttingedge research and information literacy programs prepare our boys for the future. Studies show that the “sweet spot” for mastering research and information literacy is when it’s relevant to students. Working with subject area teachers, we build research and information skills that are foundational to college and real-world readiness. So far, collaborative projects in Bible studies, physics and history have creatively infused learning goals with research and design skills. Digital Arts Teacher Amanda Livick and Academic Technologist Carey Pohanka provide other skill sets in working through projects such as researching, designing and printing infographics that demonstrate a common physics concept. Last year, we worked with Upper School History Department Chair Andy Smith to design a project where students used digital archives and a 3D modeling program to redesign historic buildings as they once existed. Traditional research-writing methods will always be required in college, but we know that universities and employers require students to know how to find, evaluate and ultimately use information creatively and ethically. This information literacy and its role in the learning process has evolved into a crucial foundational skill. Spurred on by the digital information revolution’s astonishing growth, teaching students to navigate and verify this burgeoning landscape is critical. In fact, the amount of digital information currently doubles every two years. One only has to consider the current “fake news” morass to grasp that the state of our information world has spawned a crisis in critical thinking. Last year, a Stanford University study revealed that even college students had trouble critically evaluating Google search results. Many higher-education publications and librarians echo this concern, encouraging a call to action for college preparation. Our goal is to graduate students with the skills they need to wade through mixed and myriad sources to find reliable, accurate information. The Upper School library works to understand how boys naturally navigate digital research. During the past year, we conducted focus groups and studied how boys went about their information-gathering — from quick Google searches all the way to big research paper assignments. We used what we learned from boys’ search habits and applied digital user experience practices to improve their involvement with our library resources. This included designing a digital landing page for students and teachers that captures the complexity of digital research in a user-friendly environment. We also introduced a large-scale Discovery Service that allows students to search our entire print and digital collections from one search box. This has been transformative in fully utilizing our top-notch collection, including 14,000 books and DVDs, thousands of streaming movies and more than 100 research databases. Not only does our Discovery Service allow students to practice complex search skills across all formats of our collection, but it serves as a great stepping stone to use and simplify massive university library collections. Students may not all publish in scholarly journals, but all will need to work through complex information to communicate, inform and persuade. Our mission is to share the tools essential for accurate, trustworthy communication.
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BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Marsha Hawkins By Kathleen Thomas Talking with her running partner during a Seal Team Physical Training summer workout, Upper School Librarian Marsha Hawkins was stunned to learn her friend had enrolled in firefighting school. Mrs. Hawkins could not believe a woman of such small stature and mature age would choose to climb ladders carrying 200 pounds of equipment and risk death at every call. Her friend’s courage to face challenge midway through life made her start thinking about reinventing herself, a seemingly daunting task for an 11-year stay-at-home mom. “It was strange how many limits I put on myself, how entangled I felt about pursuing something that was interesting to me,” she said. “When my friend graduated from firefighting school, it was sort of a drop-the-mike moment for me.” After some soul-searching reflection she decided the library was her calling. “Not only is it a cool place to be, you also get to serve people,” she said. “It’s given me a sense of place my whole life. Everyone is welcome in there.” At the time she was volunteering in the St. Catherine’s School library and in earlier years had organized a 2,000-book collection at her children’s preschool. Years before, the Moultrie, Georgia, native studied journalism at the University of Georgia. She worked in marketing communications for BellSouth in Atlanta and as a freelance telecom writer, jobs where she found fulfillment in using her writing skills to simplify complex topics. “The one thing I loved was pleasing my clients,” she said. “Now I get to help people in their quest for knowledge.” While pursuing a master’s in library and information science, Mrs. Hawkins served as a long-term sub for Lower School Librarian Lucinda Whitehurst. After finishing her degree, she worked as a librarian for The Steward School before joining St. Christopher’s in 2015. Her focus now is building relationships. Mrs. Hawkins moved her desk from a secluded space into the main hub of the library to be more accessible to students, who do not all jump into research with enthusiasm. “Yes, occasionally we hear some groans but our goal is to change that,” she said. “I think that as I’m getting to know each boy, I’m hoping to discern what he cares about and use that to help change his mindset about the project. There is nothing better than being witness to that ‘Aha!’ moment when a boy realizes that his interests and research can exist in one.” She has learned that if you don’t allow freedom for curiosity, kids will only hunt and peck and look for information that supports their thesis. “I want the boys to think, not just gather,” she said. Mrs. Hawkins has connected with students in other areas too. She helped supervise the fly-fishing X-Term cohort and works with the track team and school yearbook staff. Outside of school she is a Seal Team Physical Training instructor and avid trail runner. She also enjoys gardening, paddleboarding and, of course, reading.
Top: Marsha Hawkins; Below: Ginny Stone
A Q&A WITH GINNY STONE Upper School librarian What’s the most difficult part of your work? “It’s always challenging to keep up with new technologies and resources, but that’s also what makes the work interesting.” Did you have to go back to school when you decided to move from teaching to library science? Where did you go? “I went to the University of Maryland for my graduate degree in library science. It was a great experience since I was able to learn from wonderful professors and fellow students.” How would you describe the learning opportunities that your career in libraries has provided? Did it meet your expectations? “The learning opportunities for librarians have far exceeded my expectations. One of the great things about our work is that we learn something new every day. The challenging questions, as well as the variety of patron interests we encounter, gives us new ideas to explore, and the resources and tools we use change constantly.”
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What children's book changed the way you saw the world and how? Upper School Head Librarian Marsha Hawkins posed this question to Upper School faculty and staff. Here are some responses.
Upper School Head Tony Szymendera “I remember reading The Little Engine That Could countless times at my grandparents’ house and being inspired by the message that heart and determination could help you to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. I also loved the sound the language made to imitate the train — ‘I-think-I-can. I-thinkI-can. I-think-I-can.’ Who doesn’t like an underdog showing the world what he can do!”
Science Teacher Bucka Watson “I remember reading Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant after my childhood dog passed away. It is such a comforting book for all dog-lovers who have lost a furry friend.”
Librarian Marsha Hawkins “My mom read The Lion’s Paw by Robb White to my sisters and me, which was special since she usually worked nights at the hospital. While the book lacked in pictures, it succeeded in entrancing me with masterful storytelling. But it wasn’t the story that changed me; it was that for the first time ever, I became aware of my mother, her voice, humor, empathy and warmth. Before that, I must have just thought of her as ‘Mom’ or the person who took care of me. But at that moment in time, my mother came into focus as a person separate from me.” 28 | StC Magazine
Math Teacher Emmett Carlson
History Teacher Stuart Ferguson
“The lesson of Malke’s Secret Recipe: A Chanukah Story by David Adler has always stuck with me. Malke makes the best potato latkes but won’t share her recipe. One woman asks her husband to peek through Malke’s window as she cooks and write down exactly what she does. When he returns, he gives his wife the recipe, but she changes each ingredient to reflect the way she had always made latkes. Much to her surprise, her latkes come out just like they always have — and nothing like Malke’s. I often think of this story when I am trying to improve myself in some way. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet this is the pattern into which many people seem to lapse — and then they wonder why things never get any better. As Einstein once stated, ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ This story has helped me to be more introspective, more adaptable and (hopefully) more creative.”
“Hope for the Flowers puts a new spin on an old, even clichéd, metaphor. Yes, there is a change symbolized by a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly, but it is so much more. This book helped me to redefine happiness and changed my way of looking at what I want out of life. Currently, I use it in my Moral Philosophy class to help define happiness with students. This book is definitely worth the few minutes it takes to read. It will make you smile, think, and maybe even question your own life goals.”
Academic Dean Jim Jump “If I Ran the Circus — the first Dr. Seuss book I ever encountered (and owned) — opened my eyes to the wonder and fun of language, whimsy, irony. Not so serious — Jim Jump by Betty Ren Wright, is about a horse — but I liked the title.”
Assistant Head of School Sarah Mansfield “Being the oldest of six kids with a father who was a fireman and a mother who stayed home with us, I never felt that we were poor, but I knew that we wore hand-me-downs, played with used toys much of the time, and we didn’t have money for extravagant things. Then I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and I learned about actual poverty. I realized the lengths some families had to go to to provide food for their children. It also made me want to be a teacher even more so that I could help kids utilize their education to pursue their dreams.”
Dr. Kim Hudson, director of the Center for the Study of Boys and academic resource teacher “I am coloring outside of the lines here, as The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell is not one I read as a child, but one I received as a gift as an adult from a friend. The simple text and drawings make the book appealing, but it was the message that stuck with me. I am as guilty as the next person of wanting things I don’t need, and this beautiful book is a reminder that the best gift is the gift of ‘nothing’ — which is quite simply ‘everything.’”
Resource Teacher Laura Lanois “The Giving Tree has always been my favorite children’s book, and I suspect it always will be, as someone who is happiest outdoors. I love the simplistic message where a boy becomes a teenager and then grows old, all the while maintaining a relationship with the living, giving tree. I love the selfless nature of the tree supporting and growing alongside the boy despite his disregard as a teenager.”
French Teacher Elsa Woodman “In worlds where anything can happen, I was transported by the limitless possibilities of the imagination in The Crimson Fairy Book (and the red, green, yellow and blue ones) by Andrew Lang. I cried, laughed, was terrified, but always was comforted by the justice delivered in the end. If only the real world worked this way!”
Math Teacher Frank Kiefer “I remember the impact Treasure Island had on my idea of good/ evil/gray. I had been a pretty black-and-white thinker as a kid, and Long John was the first gray character I can recall impacting me. Also, the sheer adventure in the story was a revelation. I started reading sea stuff a lot and a pirate’s costume became my go-to Halloween outfit.”
Academic Resource and Science Teacher Casey Torrence “The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein was part of an assignment by my middle school English teacher who always encouraged us to question the world and seek knowledge. She allowed us to find our awkward, unique ‘missing pieces’ through our educational and social journeys of middle school.”
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FALL FESTIVAL 2017 AN ANNUAL TRADITION
FUN FOR ALL
A Friday night Oyster Roast and Saturday morning one-mile Fun Run kicked off Fall Festival weekend.
Daytime highlights included the usual cake walk, grilled burgers, games, inflatables and diversified marketplace vendors.
Varsity soccer and varsity football capped off the day with victories against Paul VI Catholic High School (27-0) and St. Anneâ€™s-Belfield School (3-1), respectively.
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WEâ€™VE GOT SPIRIT Student Council organized a week of spirit-related activities leading into the early November weekend. After a morning pep rally, Friday afternoon delivered a soccer victory (2-0) in the first round of the VISAA tournament against Trinity Episcopal High School. Saturday highlights included a welcome talk by Head of School Mason Lecky, the annual barbecue near Knowles Field and a nail-biter overtime win against arch-rival Collegiate School (13-10). Winter 2018 | 31
50 Years of Ampersand An alumni/faculty reflection on the fall reunion By J.D. Jump ‘05
On Sept. 22 and 23, about 100 alumni, alumnae and former faculty returned to celebrate 50 years of Ampersand, the joint theater company of St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s. As both an alumnus and current adult supervisor of the schools’ theater program, I was amazed. A theme kept popping up in conversation throughout the weekend. Numerous attendees mentioned they would not come back for a class reunion, but they would not miss an Ampersand anniversary. What is it about Ampersand that engenders this kind of loyalty?
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Ampersand directors past and present: Rusty Wilson, Jackie Mason, Carolyn Paulette, Maury Hancock, Patty Sauls, Joe Knox, Kendall Neely
I would suggest two things — the experience and community. The Ampersand experience is one of empowerment. The main goal is to teach skills and help students understand their potential. While we generally do put on impressive productions, producing shows ultimately is secondary to creating a welcoming, thriving community. If you ask any former member about a memorable Ampersand experience, many would share an “Aha!” moment. Mine happened during the spring of my ninthgrade year when I was assigned to work on one of the huge dimmer packs, the staple of Ampersand lighting work for decades.
Ampersand members past and present
The Addams Family costars Spencer Cox ‘18 and Laney Yoo ‘19
Doug Camp ‘87
I completed my assignment and found Maury Hancock to have him check my work before I closed up. Maury responded, “No, I don’t need to check your work. I trust you.” These few simple words had a profound effect. Ampersand gave me and many others the confidence to pursue their passion, be it theater or something else.
accurate to call Ampersand the “peninsula of misfit toys.” We may not be in the mainstream school community, but we are certainly connected. Ampersand is, as it has always been, the place where people who don’t belong anywhere else can find a home. But Ampersand is not exclusively for those people. All are accepted as long as they are open to what they find there. When reconnecting with numerous alumnae/alumni, it is clear this open community is something that we carry and remember long after we leave.
students interact with those who came before. It was a “worlds-colliding” moment for me. The alumni/ae got to hear about the work students are doing and reminisce about how much and how little things have changed, while students had the opportunity to mingle with people who were once in their shoes and have gone on to lead successful lives.
I have heard Ampersand referred to as the “island of misfit toys,” a description we embrace. In the past, this has meant that Ampersand was viewed within and without as being apart from the greater community. I believe this sentiment has changed during the last few years. It might be more
Perhaps the coolest part of the weekend for me was seeing the current Ampersand
J.D. Jump ‘05 works at StC as the Upper School multimedia and technology specialist. As a student, he was part of Ampersand for four years and now advises its tech crew.
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MOMENTS FUEL FILMMAKERS’ PASSION By William Rodriguez ’18
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From dilapidated shacks in the Guatemalan rainforest to the crowded tents of the Jordanian desert, visionary filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci have traveled to poverty and strife-stricken areas of the world to experience and document conditions that many Americans cannot fathom. The two men, young in face yet already well-traveled by anyone’s standards, spoke to Middle and Upper School students on Oct. 5 as part of the Center for the Study of Boys Journeys to Manhood Speaker Series. A week prior to the visit, students grades 9-12 watched Temple and Ingrasci’s first documentary, Living on One Dollar, which chronicled the hardships undergone and relationships forged by the pair and two other filmmakers trying to live in rural Guatemala on $1 a day. Afterwards, the student body discussed the stark differences between our lives and those of dire poverty. Before Temple and Ingrasci took the stage, the assembled students were treated to the preview of their new documentary, Salam Neighbor. The trailer showed sadness, starvation and lack of basic necessities, but people who were hospitable, welcoming and resourceful. The lesson Temple and Ingrasci imparted was one of powerful simplicity: Syrian refugees are human, just like us. The people in the documentary whom they met wanted most of all to return to their former lives and homes destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists. At the end of their presentation, Temple and Ingrasci left our school with two final messages. The first was that dialogue is critical to breaking down barriers. “If we can make the effort to learn about others, find out what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes, then [we can] make really positive changes together,” said Temple. The second message was to pursue your passion once you find it, no matter how spontaneous. Both men’s parents expected them to graduate from college, get a job and settle down, but at first neither of them had known what they really wanted to do and what impact they would leave on the world. For the two young filmmakers, their desire to make Salam Neighbor came from meeting a Palestinian refugee and simply wondering how her family rebuilt after fleeing their home. They then channeled that interest, that wonder, toward the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. “A passion starts with a ‘Wait, what?’ moment,” said Temple. “It’s anything that interests you, that makes you stop and ask about a situation. One conversation sparked a journey.”
William Rodriguez serves as co-editor-in-chief of the student publication, The Pine Needle. This is an excerpt from a story that ran in its November issue. After spending the day at school with students in all divisions, Temple and Ingrasci gave an evening presentation that was open to the Richmond community. Winter 2018 | 35
CAMPUS LIFE “RICHMOND ON THE JAMES”
BEAUX TIES SING AT 9/11 MEMORIAL EVENT IN GOOCHLAND The Beaux Ties, StC’s a cappella group, sang the national anthem at the Goochland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad’s 9/11 memorial service. John Waechter ‘96, the uncle of Beaux Ties member Michael Chapman ‘18, built a memorial at the station. Many Saints have volunteered with the squad, including Science Teacher Billy McGuire ‘85 (28 years), J.P. McGuire ‘12, Lukas Geissbuehler ‘12, Baylis Brown ’13 and Sallie Gilmore (St. Catherine’s) ‘16.
Cliff Dickinson led the Chamberlayne Scholars program this fall, titled “Richmond on the James 1700-1860.” The Middle School history teacher, who came to StC in 1984, completed his graduate work in Civil War history and traveled to every major U.S. battlefield as part of his summer coursework. He spent 15 summers as an interpreter and ranger with the National Park Service and for nine summers worked for the Museum of the Confederacy cataloging maps and manuscripts. The Chamberlayne Scholars program for alumni, parents and friends provides opportunities for lifelong learning.
EIGHTH-GRADE SERVICE PROJECT SUPPORTS TROOPS IN IRAQ St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s eighthgraders packed about 40 care packages for an army base in Iraq. The group also spoke via FaceTime with Wilson Mustian ‘97, a National Guard reservist stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Wilson gave a shout-out to Cliff Dickinson, his favorite history teacher.
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SECOND-GRADE BOYS PRACTICE STEWARDSHIP ON THE JAMES Second-grade classes visited Pony Pasture this fall to learn firsthand about stewardship. James River Association educators taught lessons on watershed and the impact of pollution and how to be good stewards. The trips are part of the Lower School service learning program headed by Lower School Chaplain Joe Torrence. The boys collected money in chapel to donate to the James River Association.
SAINTS HELP HURRICANE HARVEY VICTIMS StC partnered with the VCU Rams basketball team, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Hilldrup Moving and WTVR to sort through and load more than four trailers of donated relief items to help the people of Houston following Hurricane Harvey in September.
SAINTS HELP BUILD A BETTER RPS
LESSONS & CAROLS
Upper School Spanish Teacher Elsa Woodman is sponsoring a new club, Building a Better Richmond Public School, through her work with a coalition bearing the same name. Students from St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s volunteered this summer at three public schools. This fall they gathered at Greene Elementary School where they weeded, mulched and broke down old wooden compost stations, and at Woodville Elementary School where they helped with landscaping, replacing ceiling tiles and painting doorways.
St. Christopher’s Lessons and Carols service, held Dec. 5 at River Road Church, Baptist, provided inspiration and grounding for the season with student group performances from all divisions, biblical readings and carols sung by all. Winter 2018 | 37
VARSITY BASKETBALL GOES TO WASHINGTON While in Washington, D.C., for a tournament, varsity basketball players visited Congressman Donald McEachin ‘79 and the office of Sen. Mark Warner where they spent time with Senior Policy Advisor Marvin Figueroa. Later that morning, they connected with Christian Alcorn ‘13, a recent graduate of Williams College who is serving as a legislative intern in Mark Warner’s office and led them on a tour of the U.S. Capitol.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGINEERING AND MATH WHIZZES
LOWER SCHOOL BOYS RAISE MONEY FOR THE PULSERA PROJECT
Middle School Math Teacher Mark Holloway took six Middle School boys to the University of Richmond for a day of engineering and math competition. The St. Christopher’s team, consisting of Charlie Aghdami ’23, Cameron King ’23, Jack Nystrom ’23, Kellen Welch ’24, Captain Worrell ’24 and Liam Wright ’24. won the engineering competition.
Fifth-grade boys partnered with the Pulsera Project, a nonprofit that connects Central American artists with students in more than 1,900 U.S. schools through the sale of colorful handwoven bracelets, “pulseras” in Spanish. The effort, spearheaded by Lower School Spanish Teacher Isabel Shealy, raised $1,610 for artists in Guatemala and Nicaragua.
VIRGINIA SECRETARY OF ADMINISTRATION VISITS MIDDLE SCHOOL Virginia Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodriguez spoke to sixth-grade boys in September about her life experiences as a first-generation American and her career in public service. Secretary Rodriguez, one of 12 secretaries in Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s cabinet, spoke to support the Global Thinking program, “Changing the Role of Women in Society.”
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WINTER WONDERLAND As snow fell throughout the Richmond region, Saints of all ages celebrated the season the second weekend of December with the annual holiday Parents Association fundraiser. Highlights of Winter Wonderland, which took place in Luck Leadership Center, included a pancake breakfast, gingerbread village created by Saints children and families, and the Fawn Shop for children to shop for inexpensive prewrapped gifts. Other items for sale included Brunswick stew and Willie Byrd chocolate sauce.
REVAMPING MURRELL BOOKSTORE At Fall Festival ,Craig Chewning spotted a cool StC trucker hat worn by StC parent Shannon Weiss. Wanting one for himself, the Middle School math teacher and director of student conduct inquired where she got it and learned she had it made it through her company, Atlantic Embroidery Works. Mr. Chewning then connected her with Janine Davila, director of StC Summer Programs and bookstore, who placed an order. The new merchandise is one of several recent changes for Murrell Bookstore, which occupies a historic building on campus. Female apparel has been added to the mix, along with a mobile cart that sells StC merchandise at home varsity games. New employee Nica Lewis has joined Bookstore Manager Cathy Johns, extending hours from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no closing for lunch. Meanwhile the store is placing more orders for trucker hats, StC wrapping paper and options for graduation gifts.
HONORING MLK Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Reggie Gordon, Richmond’s director of Community Wealth Building, spoke with Upper School Saints Jan. 11 to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. The community leaders addressed the challenge of poverty in Richmond,as well as their own experiences as public servants. Mayor Stoney encouraged students to take part in service projects around Richmond.
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The Arts Highlights from the auditoriums, music halls and art classrooms. Fisher Bredrup ‘21
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Students Explore Creative Process StC photography classes start with building a foundation with a focus on the technical aspects of photography, knowing the camera inside and out, said Mrs. Amanda Livick, who started the Upper School program in 2010. Higher-level classes move into more creative aspects of the art.
Hays Talley ‘21
Ryan Fortner ‘18
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Maxwell Wallace ‘21
Raleigh Burger ‘23
Charles Lange ‘26
MJ Crocker ‘26
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THEATER Outré entertains with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
“The Addams Family” Production Draws Rave Reviews
By Jack Ireland ’22
Ampersand, the coordinate theater program of St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s, presented The Addams Family Nov. 9 – 12 at McVey Theatre. The rocking musical comedy featured the infamous family of Gomez (Spencer Cox ’18), Morticia (Laney Yoo ’19), children Wednesday (Caroline Lynch ’19) and Pugsley (Hannah Jennison ’20), along with Uncle Fester (Darren Badley ’19) and Grandmama (Liddy Wade ’20). Ian Garrabrant ’18 was Lurch, with Grayson Walsh ’18 and Emily McDermott ’18 playing the parents of a normal boy named Lucas (Charlie Whitlock ’19), who becomes engaged to Wednesday.
The Middle School Saints joint theater group Outré performed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving for the fall play. A young, cowardly schoolmaster by the name of Ichabod Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow to teach. While he’s there, he falls for the lovely Katrina Van Tassel. But another man wants her as well. Abraham Van Brunt, known as Brom Bones to the townsfolk, also fights for her love. But Brom’s not the only thing Ichabod fears, as the Headless Horseman haunts Sleepy Hollow looking for his next victim. The play featured Jack Ireland ’22 as Ichabod Crane, Ewan Cross ’22 as Brom Bones, Luke Gresham ’22 as Baltus Van Tassel, Mac Ware ’22 as Jeb, Max Buono ’23 as Dwayne, Jay Munson ’23 as Jethro, Marc Revilla ’23 as Bill Sanders, and many sixth grade boys as students, trees and townsfolk.
This story appeared in the fall edition of Paperboy, the Middle School online newspaper.
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Winter One Acts Showcase Student Talent By Kinloch Nelson ’18 In early February, Ampersand staged its annual Winter One Acts, a series of short plays that never fails to entertain and often delivers a lesson in morality. Here’s a quick recap of each. The musical 21 Chump Street depicts the ethical dilemma of an undercover police officer who persuades a lovesick high school student to break the law and buy drugs on her behalf — and then arrests him. Professor Know-It-All, written by St. Catherine’s Middle School Teacher Jim Astrove, tells the story of an anxious, insecure, self-proclaimed genius doing improv. A Marriage Proposal is an endearingly frustrating play, highlighting the frivolousness of personal disputes and how they can get in the way of forming relationships with others. Words Words Words is a spin on the classic Infinite Monkey Theorem, the idea that monkeys clattering on typewriters into infinity will eventually produce the complete works of William Shakespeare. In Crafty, a woman unveils her life’s highs and lows through her obsession with making crafts. Untitled, a play written by Virginia Nelson ’20 (St. Catherine’s), portrays three women in a complicated triangulated relationship that results in two murders. Canker Sores and Other Distraction focuses on a man and his ex-wife, both down on their luck, who are trying to reunite in an attempt to improve their fortunes. Their attempt is thwarted as they realize what caused them to separate in the first place. The Most Massive Woman Wins, the longest play of the night, follows the stories of four women in the waiting room of a liposuction clinic who share powerful life stories about body image, eating disorders and feminism.
Kinloch Nelson is co-editor-in-chief of the student publication The Pine Needle. Winter 2018 | 43
FALL SPORTS RECAP
The undefeated 2017 JV football team poses for a group shot.
The varsity team finished 20-3-2, falling in the state final to Cape Henry Collegiate School. Alexander Levengood ‘19 achieved a school record with 40 goals on his way to Prep League and VISAA Player of the Year awards. John Flood ‘19 and Bridger Thurston ‘19 were also named All-Prep. Flood made first-team All-State.
The gridiron boys made their first trip to the state playoffs since 2014 and finished in a three-way tie for the Prep League title with Collegiate School and Woodberry Forest School. The Saints beat the Cougars 13-10 in the regular-season finale to earn the honor and finished the season 7-3 overall.
The runners pulled off an impressive double, winning the Prep League and VISAA meet. Neal Dhar ‘20 (2nd place), Wyatt Campbell ‘19 (third place), Miles Mullins ‘21 and Sully Beck ‘20 earned All-Prep honors. The foursome also were named All-State, with Dhar finishing third and Campbell 10th overall. The team also beat Douglas S. Freeman High School for the first time in more than 40 years.
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Welcome New Board Members William A. Krusen III BOARD OF GOVERNORS Will Krusen is president and founder of Falcon Affiliates, a Richmond-based private equity investment firm focused on partnering with and investing in entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses. Formerly a managing director with Raymond James Financial Inc., he received his undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University and his MBA from Harvard University. Will volunteers with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, the Association for Corporate Growth and the Young President’s Organization. He and his wife Elizabeth have three children, Lilly ’25 (St. Catherine’s), Bennett ’28 and Eloise, a preschooler at Tuckahoe Montessori School.
Marshall D. Tucker '02 BOARD OF GOVERNORS Marshall Tucker ’02, an associate at Troutman Sanders LLP, focuses on commercial real estate. He specializes in the multifamily housing industry, including lender representation in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transactions. He received his law degree from the University of Richmond and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Karen Horn Welch BOARD OF GOVERNORS Karen Horn Welch is director of investments for the University of Richmond’s Spider Management Co. She formerly worked for Stanford Management Co., the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard University and J.P. Morgan. Karen, who is a chartered financial analyst, received her undergraduate degree in economics and international relations from Bucknell University and her Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. She and her husband Tom have two children at St. Christopher’s, Kellen ’24 and Connor ’26.
Elliott Jones '06 ALUMNI BOARD Elliott Jones ’06 is a research analyst with investment firm Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley LLC. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in economics and from Wake Forest University with an M.A. in management. Elliott, a chartered financial analyst, formerly worked as a financial advisor with Union First Market Bank and also volunteers for JDRF.
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Student News St. Christopher’s understands how boys think, how they act and how to best develop and focus their intellect and physical and emotional energy. We call it educating the “whole boy,” and it doesn’t all happen exclusively in the classroom. Here are just a few highlights of what our students are doing outside of school.
J.P. Shannon ‘18 designed and sold T-shirts, raising $1,210 for the Red Cross Hurricane Maria Relief effort. Joshua Waite ’18 and his father, Upper School Math Teacher Jon Waite, took an eight-day mission trip to Managua and Rio Blanco, Nicaragua, last summer through Connect Nicaragua Ministries. Jack McGurn ’19 was honored at the Children’s Home Society last October for his Eagle Scout project. He, along with fellow Saints Henry Barden ’19 and Hoby Ballou ’20, helped with mulching, planting and weeding the grounds of the nonprofit that helps at-risk children and youth. The society dedicated a garden bench in Jack’s honor. Ralph Levy ’18 and Will Forrest ’18 founded the club MIND (Mental Illness Needs Discussion) with Middle School and Upper School Mental Health Counselor Sazshy Valentine serving as advisor. Oliver Gardner ’23 and Carter Lecky ’28 participated in this year’s production of Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Both children performed in the party scene.
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Killian Winn ’22 played Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk fame in the November SPARC production of Into the Woods. Graydon Patterson ’22 qualified for the Virginia Horse Show Association Championships in November in Lexington, Virginia. Mason Stanley ’23 qualified for the Junior Olympics in fencing. He also competed in a national tournament in Missouri in November.
Tommy Loughran ’24 and his father Ed placed first in the adult/junior category of a fall Priority Fishing Tournament and ranked third out of 200 overall for the Priority tournament season. At the awards ceremony, Tommy took the mic and thanked his dad, saying how much he had learned from him. Afterwards, he credited StC Society Days with giving him the confidence to speak before a big crowd.
Macon Moring ‘23, a student in Laura Dugan’s seventh-grade Spanish class, wrote a story that is featured in the first edition of Revista Literal, an e-zine for Spanish learners. Macon wrote and submitted the story on his own, after Mrs. Dugan offered students extra credit.
Bo Angus ‘25 qualified for the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association 2018 Team Trials at the National Championship Regatta, held last summer at Big Blue Sailing Academy at Old Dominion University Sailing Center. The trials will be held in Miami in April. Out of 14 regattas last season, he placed first in 11 and second in two.
Nikkos Kovanes ’22, Scott Neely ’22, Jack Nystrom ’23, Teddy Price ’23, Hunter Andrews ’17, Darren Badley ’19, Teddy Bannister ’21, Cameron Lovings ’19, Grayson Walsh ’18, Charlie Whitlock ’19 and Johnny Whitlock ’20 auditioned and were accepted into the Virginia Music Educators Association District Chorus, which is made up of students in Henrico, Richmond City, Hanover and New Kent counties.
In November, eight Upper School students were among 170 from 23 schools to attend the Virginia Center for Inclusive Community’s Diversity Dialogue Day. They included Tomas Castro-Albano ’18, Meyann Avele-Eya ’20, Kaleb Bey ’20, Joe Beck ’19, Mohamed Ismacil ’18, Will Hayes ’19, Hunter Meck ’18 and J.P. Shannon ’18. The topic of discussion was “breaking down bullying.”
After completing all levels of French at StC, Eli Rhodes ’19 is working on a French independent study. David Millman ’19 is researching methods for analysis of microplastics in riverine systems with Upper School Science Teacher Austin Sutten. He will present his findings at the Junior Symposium for Humanities and Sciences at James Madison University in March. Spencer Cox ’18, Mohamed Ismacil ’18, Gray Hart ’18, Hollis Cobb ’19, David Millman ’19 and John Fitzgerald ’19 attended the James River Writers Conference in October. They attended panel discussions about writing/revising/publishing fiction and nonfiction and poetry. Fisher Bredrup ’21 completed a time-lapse photography video for Richmond artist Leigh Suggs, a former resident artist at the Quirk Hotel & Gallery who is now represented in Virginia by the Reynolds Gallery. Will Farrell ’21 and his sister Lucy Farrell (St. Catherine’s ’19) made the October cover of Richmond Family Magazine.
Will Farrell ‘21 and his sister Lucy (St. Catherine’s ‘19)
One photo of hundreds Fisher Bredrup ‘21 took for his time-lapse photography project for Richmond artist Leigh Suggs
Upper School students at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Community’s Diversity Dialogue Day in November
Jack McGurn ’19 was honored at the Children’s Home Society last October for his Eagle Scout project.
Joshua Waite ‘18 with children in Nicaragua
Tommy Loughran ‘24 fishing with his father
Bo Angus ‘25 at the National Championship Regatta
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New Student Legacies
JK: Cabell Benaicha ’31, grandson of Wilson Randolph Trice ’68, great-grandson of E. Randolph Trice ’40; John Brumley ’31, son of Robert Haywood Brumley III ’90; Robert Holt Trice Jr. ’31, son of Robert Holt Trice Sr. ’87, grandson of Franklin Alexander Trice Jr. ’56
First grade: Spencer Blackwood ’29, son of Wade Kirkland Blackwood ’93; Will Tigani ’29, grandson of Cliff Bridges Fleet Jr. ’61
K: Matt Mattox ’30, son of Conard “Matt” Blount Mattox IV ‘98; Ware Beck ’30, grandson of Henry Stuart Gibson ’67, great-grandson of Ross Shackelford Gibson ’35; James Waechter ’30, son of John Munroe Waechter Sr. ’96; Sam Williams ’30, son of Samuel Taylor Williams ’96, grandson of Mason Miller Williams ’65, greatgrandson of Carrington Williams Jr. ’35; Guy Eubanks ’30, grandson of Henry Stern ’42; Palmer Ayscue ’30, grandson of Bruce Nash Ogden ’74; Daniel Basmajian ’30, son of Alden Daniel Basmajian ’01
Fifth grade: Paxton Coulbourn ’25, son of William Clark Coulbourn ’93, grandson of Thomas Edgar Coulbourn ’58
Ninth grade: Harrison Tompkins ’21, son of Seldon Taylor Tompkins, Jr. ’86, grandson of Seldon Taylor Tompkins ’62; Talman Ramsey ’21, grandson of Edward Armistead Talman ’50
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Sixth grade: Ashton Applewhite ’24, grandson of Henry Anderson Shield ’59, great-grandson of Thomas Stanley Meade ’24
Alumni Milestones DEATHS 1944
Claude Reynold Davenport Jr. of Richmond, Va., died Jan. 25, 2018. Survivors include his son Claude R. Davenport III ‘79.
William Martin Noftsinger of Richmond, Va., died Nov. 17, 2017.
Joseph Ross Newell Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va., died Dec. 1, 2017.
Roderick Doig Sinclair of Charlottesville, Va., died Nov. 25, 2017.
Robert Thomas Hoitsma of Daytona Beach, Fla., died May 15, 2017.
Eugene Massie Valentine of Richmond, Va., died Aug. 3, 2017. He is survived by his brother Henry L. Valentine II ’45, sons E. Massie Valentine, Jr. ’75 and J. Gordon Valentine ’77, and grandsons E. Massie Valentine III ’04, J. Gordon Valentine Jr. ’05, William I. Valentine ’11 and Corbin B. Ellington ’18.
Kenneth Francis Matthews Jr. of Richmond, Va., died Sept. 26, 2016.
St. George Tucker Grinnan III of Boca Raton, Fla., died Sept. 3, 2017.
James Otey Burke Jr. of Richmond, Va., died Sept. 28, 2017. He is survived by brothers Henry D. Burke ‘66 and Anthony A. Burke ‘67.
Joseph Latawiek Dennison Jr. of Richmond, Va., died Nov. 18, 2017. He is survived by his son Archer Clark Dennison ’91.
Barton Haxall Grundy Barrett of Richmond, Va., died July 2, 2017.
John Branch Burke of Alexandria, Va., died May 21, 2017. He is survived by his brother Robert M. Burke ’68.
Charles Harrison Wilson Jr. of Greensboro, N.C., died May 25, 2017.
Gordon Scarborough Jarratt of Oak Hill, Va., died Jan. 25, 2018. He is survived by his brother Benjamin F. Jarratt II ’78.
John Watkins Blanton of Richmond, Va., died Nov. 6, 2017. He is survived by his brothers Michael W. Blanton ’72 and Peter D. Blanton ’75.
Frederick Sterling Davis IV of Raleigh, N.C., died June 16, 2017.
Joseph Stettinius Jr. of Washington, D.C., died Feb. 1, 2018. He is survived by his brother Edward R. Stettinius ’81 and step-brother R. Roland Reynolds ’89.
Peter Cameron Parrish of Troy, Va., died Aug. 10, 2017. He is survived by his brother Robert G. Parrish ’90.
Glen Todd McMillan Jr. of Richmond, Va., died Jan. 20, 2017.
McDonald Wellford III of Richmond, Va., died Dec. 1, 2017. He is survived by his uncles B. Randolph Wellford ’61 and Ten Eyck T. Wellford ’70 and cousin Ten E. Wellford Jr. ’02.
Doris Dyer of Richmond, Va., died Sept. 13, 2017. She is survived by her son C. Lamont Smith. Dot worked for many years in food service at StC.
Ann Lane Green of Richmond, Va., died Jan. 25, 2018. Ann served as a Lower School teacher from 1982 to 2005. Survivors include her son-in-law C. Armistead Blanton ’96 and grandsons Charles A. Blanton V ’27 and J. Sheppard Blanton ’30.
Richard Gerard Hudepohl of Glen Allen, Va., died Jan. 3, 2018. Rich served as a math teacher and department chair, history enthusiast, coach, mentor and as a European tour director for numerous students.
Jane Hopper Ware of Richmond, Va., died Jan. 27, 2018. Jane served StC as an art teacher. She is survived by her son Alexander H. Ware ‘80.
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Alumni Milestones MARRIAGES 1993
Carleton Wallace Hines to Gabriella Taub Joffe, May 13, 2017
George Everett Reveley to Anne Randolph Tabb, June 3, 2017
Alexander Cameron Hoggan to Jen Johnson, June 9, 2017
Harrison Kendrick Hall to Stacie Marie Wiczulis, Nov. 25, 2017
George Douglas Hayden III to Mara Chavez-Murphy, Dec. 16, 2016
Adam Michael Lynn to Katelyn Wilcoxon, Aug. 12, 2017
Craig Cranston Whitham to Christine Luckey, May 6, 2017
Scott Wilton Copeland to Sarah Londrey, Nov. 18, 2017
William G. Sweeney Jr. to Elisabeth Anne Quintrell, Nov. 11, 2017
John Lewis Tucker to Ashley Sparkman, Sept. 3, 2016
Thomas Paul (TJ) Leonard Jr. to Sarah Pleasants Ailsworth, Sept. 16, 2017
Daniel James Russo to Katherine Idean Mullins, April 15, 2017
Adam Christian Foege to Amanda Kay Jobe, Dec. 10, 2016
Alexander Reese Ucci to Elizabeth Rose Magrath, May 27, 2017
Basil Magruder Jones III to Virginia Gaylord Longino, Oct. 7, 2017
James Charles Meadows Jr. to Stephanie Starr Robinson, Aug. 21, 2017
Pierre Berkshire Molster to Ashton Buchanan Ratcliffe, Sept. 23, 2017
Thomas Rutherfoord Brown Jr. to Claire Hartman Gano, Oct. 28, 2017
Jackson Lee Freeman to Anne Stewart Hazelgrove, Sept. 30, 2017
Katelyn and Adam Lynn ‘01 with Jack Johnson
Gini and Basil Jones ’07
Brett Robertson ’96, Brokie Lamb ’96, Sam Towell ’96, Ashby Price ’97, Tom Bayliss ’96, Frank Thorn ’96, Everett Reveley ’96, Rob Herring ’96, Anne Randolph Reveley, Taylor Reveley ’92, Shawn Mollen ’96, Nelson Reveley ’01, Wolf Joffe
Jen and Alexander Hoggan ‘96
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Mr. and Mrs. Neil S. Talegaonkar, son Philip Kiran Shantaram, Oct. 15, 2016
Mr. and Mrs. Robley D. Bates IV, son Robley Dunglison V, June 8, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. C. David Sands III, son Charles David IV, Jan. 31, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander H. Ayers, daughter Katherine Hamilton, April 8, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. T. Rhys James, son Thomas Rumsey, Nov. 3, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Turnbull, daughter Maggie Barbara, Nov. 21, 2016
Mr. and Mrs. Walter D. Coleman, son Wright Doley, Oct. 4, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. David S. Galeski, son Whitlock Salo, April 5, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick H. Schutt, son William Buford, Oct. 21, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. John S. White, son Henry Ernest, Dec. 13, 2017
Dr. and Mrs. Jacob E. Boone, son James Pearson, July 30, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. F. Tyler B. Brown, son John Spencer, Aug. 25, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel W. Hays, son Harrison Warren, Nov. 19, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Kempe, son William Smith, Dec. 1, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Paulette, daughter Mary Jane, Feb. 2, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Brendan M. Staley, son Mackall Patrick, July 9, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. W. William Wall III, son Nash Anderson, June 11, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. James Oliver Beckner, son James Oliver Jr., Oct. 22, 2016
Mr. and Mrs. John Hampton Hill Cronly, son John Hampton Hill Jr., June 9, 2017
Capt. and Mrs. Allen E. Johnson III, son Easley Foxwell, June 6, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Talbott V, daughter Claiborne McKinnon, May 24, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Granville G. Valentine IV, daughter Gray Elise, Aug. 19, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor S. Brannan, daughter Olivia Scott, Jan. 9, 2018
Mr. and Mrs. David J. Jennison, son David Jackson Jr., Dec. 1, 2017
W. William Wall III ’01 and son Nash Anderson
John White ’00 with his wife Jenny, stepdaughter Leila and son Henry
Jo and John Cronly ’02 with daughter Cece and son Hill
Winter 2018 | 51
Class Notes Alumni Scribes Keep it Classy By Massie Ritsch ‘ 94 With all the ways we can stay in touch these days, has the job of alumni magazine scribe joined the ranks of telephone operators and Fotomat technicians? Apparently not, since you’re reading this section of this magazine. And if you’re reading this section of this magazine, you have an obligation to contribute to it, either by sending in some news or by serving as your class’ secretary. For years — well, since the days of 35mm film — a heroic team on staff at St. Christopher’s compiled alumni notes by scanning newspapers and simply keeping their ears open. The longtime editor of these pages, Alice Flowers, was the Mark Zuckerberg of her day, holding in her head and files the whereabouts and doings of thousands of StC alumni. Now, in a very modern approach, StC is crowdsourcing the notes. The aim is for each class to have a scribe or two who will solicit and compile writeups for each issue. It’s a twice-a-year job, gentlemen. If you make it to the dentist as recommended and swap out your smoke-detector batteries when the clocks change, you can do this job. Writing now for my class and having chronicled my college class for 10 years, I’ve come to follow a few tenets: • Get outside your circle. Use your StC-issued press pass as a reason to reach out to guys you haven’t talked to in years. Unlike Facebook, class notes put updates in front of you from people you haven’t stayed connected with. • Everyone’s interesting. Get beyond the basic questions to draw out the good stuff. • This is not just a brag book. Let’s celebrate the good in our lives but be honest about the hardships. There’s a good chance another reader is going through the same thing. So, if you’re up for scribing or sharing news, raise your hand to StC editor Kathleen Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Time to think about next issue’s notes. Right after I fix my typewriter’s ribbon. Massie is the scribe for the class of 1994. His wife designs this magazine, so he had no choice. The communications and branding firm he founded in 2016, 5e, specializes in “strategic storytelling” for clients nationwide who are making change in education and other fields. Learn more at engage5e.com. 52 | StC Magazine
The 1960s 1964 CLASS SCRIBES Harry “Le” Leland Frazier Jr. ‘64 email@example.com Thomas “Bumby” Cary Gresham ‘64 firstname.lastname@example.org
1966 Jay Wilkinson ’66, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, was the recipient of the Rule of Law Award by the Virginia Law Foundation and the Virginia Holocaust Museum. His remarks upon acceptance were reprinted in the Nov. 4 Commentary section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a piece headlined “Historical memory and the rule of law.” Here is a brief excerpt: “The importance of historical memory has not lessened today. A rising tide of social alienation can still lead those who suffer to look for scapegoats, and to seize upon race or religion as criteria for persecution. A tableau of hatred has been on display in this freest of countries. It is impossible not to see the shoots of intimidation in mass gatherings across our great land. It is impossible not to hear the echoes of humanity’s darkest hours. Free speech is our precious value, but our values are not — and must never be — the vehicles of violence. The question is: Will the center hold? In America it will, but only if law as an instrument of order and human dignity is observed.”
1968 50th Reunion Garrett Epps ‘68 is a contributing editor for The Atlantic who recently penned two articles on the Monument Avenue statues. He also teaches constitutional law and creative writing to University of Baltimore law students. His latest book is American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court.
1969 John Harris ’69 was chosen as the Aug. 27 Richmond Times-Dispatch correspondent of the day for this letter to the editor: Regular Americans were at the ballpark Editor, Times-Dispatch: Where can we find the real America today — not the aberrant one on shocking display in downtown Charlottesville but the one in which citizens of good will lead lives of mutual respect in their pursuit of happiness?
Cary “Bumby” Gresham, Guy Horsley, Scott Campbell, Bob Purcell, David Satterfield
I saw that America on full display at The Diamond one week after the street fight in Charlottesville that left one young woman dead and our nation reeling. Nothing especially noteworthy happened at the ballpark. The Flying Squirrels, trying to avoid the cellar of their division for most of the season, won two games that day.
CLASS OF 1964 BONDS THROUGH SERVICE
I enjoyed watching the games, but what I enjoyed even more was observing my fellow fans spending a few hours at the ballpark.
By Cary Gresham ’64
I saw a kind usher assist a clearly concerned grandfather whose young grandson had become ill, perhaps from too much popcorn and soda. I saw an older couple move from seats in the shade to their actual seats in the late-afternoon sun when those holding tickets for the shaded seats turned up; the transition was a model of kindness and consideration by all involved. Spectators gave gentle applause to a succession of first-pitch hurlers; some earned loud cheers for the accuracy of their tosses. When a clearly pregnant woman gave an impassioned rendition of our national anthem, everyone stood at attention, and several fans near me sang along unprompted. A color guard brought the state and national flags onto the field before the performance of the anthem and was greeted with a respectful silence.
continued on page 54
The class of 1964 has been working the past six years on renovating and constructing houses in Richmond’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Each fall, a nucleus of about eight to 10 alumni come together to devote as much as three days to a project. This came about as a response to the school’s Second Century Vision and as an opportunity to get some guys together once a year to work on a project that might in some small way make a difference in the community. David Satterfield ’64 initially coordinated the effort with Rebuilding Richmond. Scott Campbell ’64 succeeded him and connected us with Habitat for Humanity. Bob Purcell ’64 writes an annual letter to the class announcing the project and seeking volunteers. He also handles scheduling. This year the class committed three days in early October to help Habitat build a new house on the far side of Church Hill. Due to a rainout, the group only worked two days. Skill level is not a factor. Our group encompasses a wide range, from engineers who know what they are doing to those who find it challenging to properly drive a nail. No roof or electrical work is allowed. This year’s group put up siding. We may have been slow, but we became quite proficient by the time we had finished. It is all very satisfying and reflects well on the school as a good community citizen. Volunteers are needed. Commitment can be for as little as a day. If you think that your class might be interested, please contact Davis Wrinkle ’81, email@example.com. Winter 2018 | 53
Class Notes Each of these scenes was characterized by an interaction between individuals of different races. These small events and many others occurred that afternoon and evening as the games played out. There were clearly more than two victories for Richmond at The Diamond that Saturday.
general development office director. In this role he oversees youth, citizen security, climate change, disaster relief, education and governance programs covering Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Ted recently took a well-deserved break from his duties to participate in Dragon SUP races in Barbados. This sport involves four paddlers, a 22-foot paddleboard and ocean surf. After four years in Barbados, Ted, his wife Claudia, and children Ellie (13), Enzo (11) and Dario (10) will move to their next posting in summer 2018. So far, Ted has lived and worked in Barbados, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Morocco, Ghana, East Timor, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Angola, Haiti, Sierra Leone, India and Kenya.
The 1970s 1973 45th Reunion Bruce Cann ’73 is co-owner and president of W.H. Stovall & Co. Inc., a Hanover County-based subcontractor specializing in exterior panels and glass. The company, which provides engineering and design layout along with leak repair, was one of the first in the area to fabricate aluminum composite panels. Projects include a Virginia Commonwealth University housing project, HCA Virginia Henrico Doctors’ Hospital medical office building, James Madison University’s dining hall and Bridgeforth Stadium and numerous car dealerships. Scott Harvard ’73 is CEO of Strasburg, Virginia-based First National Corp. and First Bank, which opensed its 15th branch this year in the former Virginia Federal Savings and Loan building on Patterson Avenue.
1974 John Moon ’74 played the role of Drumm in Virginia Rep’s production of da at Hanover Tavern last summer. He has performed locally in numerous roles and venues while recent film credits include playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Aftermath and a recurring role in this season’s House of Cards.
1975 Shortly before his death on Jan. 25, 2018, Gordon S. Jarratt ‘75 retired as senior director of information technology for Fairfax County, Virginia. Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova told the crowd at his retirement party that she was proclaiming Dec. 1, 2017 as “Gordon Jarratt Day” in Fairfax in recognition of his 22 years of public service to its citizens. 54 | StC Magazine
1976 Scott Andrews ’76 took over as Grantham University president and chief executive last spring. Scott, who attended Dartmouth College and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Virginia, has worked primarily in the financial sector. His work with the Fellows Program at the Halftime Institute, an Irving, Texas-based Christian nonprofit that teaches, coaches and connects middle-age adults, provided impetus to take the new job. Grantham University in Arlington, Virginia, was founded in 1951 by a World War II veteran whose vision was to make education achievable for military service members and veterans; its population has been broadened to all adult learners.
The 1980s 1983 35th Reunion CLASS SCRIBE Alexander Macaulay ‘83 firstname.lastname@example.org Ted Lawrence ’83 has been on the front lines of the international response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma as USAID’s mission disaster relief officer in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. He also serves as the USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean’s
Ted Lawrence ‘83 and family
Sam Proctor ’83 reports, in his usual understated way, that he has the “same job, Jen still likes me, and Stephen and Henry are in StC Middle School. And I have three dogs and no hobbies.” Well, that’s not exactly true since Sam serves on the StC Alumni Board, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Richmond Advisory Board as well as the Advisory Board for the Byrd Theater’s Native American Storytellers Film Festival which took place in November. In addition, he recently joined an adult soccer league with Jack O’Donnell, StC director of physical education and assistant varsity soccer coach. Robbie Huffines ’83 and his wife Lisa celebrated 26 years of marriage by completing
the Berlin marathon together. Robbie continues to serve as global chairman of investment banking at J.P. Morgan. Scott Davila ’83 continues to work as a public relations and marketing consultant at the Richmond office of the national PR firm Padilla. His wife Janine is director of StC’s summer programs and bookstore. Charles Bice ’83, who worked internationally for Philip Morris for most of his 17 years there, now runs a Richmond-area general contracting business (see page 59). In his downtime, he makes time to narrate audio books and write. He has published three novels: Vagabond’s Legacy, What Lies Beneath, and The Golden Inscriptions. A fourth, as yet unnamed, novel is in the works. He credits StC for giving him a solid writing foundation. “Being able to communicate clearly and concisely and coherently” has proved to have great value in his business career, he said. It factors into his hiring decisions too. “If you can’t write, you’ll get overlooked,’” he said. “People will move on to the next [resume]. It’s the difference between having an efficient interaction and something quite different.”
1987 Savvy Investor, a network for institutional investors, awarded Henry McVey ’87 the Best Emerging Market Paper 2017, “Asia: Leaning In.” In addition to being the head of Global Macro and Asset Allocation, Henry recently became chief investment officer of the KKR Balance Sheet as well as the head of Markets Risk at KKR, a global investment firm.
1988 30th Reunion Lee Chapman ’88, Davenport & Co. LLC president and chief executive, was named a trustee of the MCV Foundation Board. Graham Bundy ’88, a thoracic surgeon with HCA Virginia Physicians’ Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates, is the first surgeon in Central Virginia to perform 100 minimally invasive da Vinci robot-assisted lobectomies (surgical procedure to remove a lobe of the lung). The procedure is most used to treat lung cancer. Less invasive than continued on page 57
'81 '90 Tayloe Dameron ’81 and Carlisle Bannister ’90
PLANTATION PARADISE By Kathleen Thomas Buzz continues to circulate about Upper Shirley Vineyards that Tayloe Dameron ’81 and his wife Suzy opened two years ago at their historic home and equestrian farm. The distinctive property overlooking the James River, a 20-minute drive from downtown Richmond via scenic state Route 5, boasts an award-winning winery and restaurant. For the Damerons, its operation is a labor of love. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute, Tayloe served as a lieutenant in the army in Germany. “Some 33 years, two children, a Darden MBA and a 20-year finance career (mostly in Manhattan) later, they are here to share a genuine Virginia experience,” his website says. The property, known as Upper Shirley, was originally part of Shirley Plantation, founded in 1613 by the Carter family, who sold off the 100-acre parcel before 1900. The Damerons are the fourth non-Carter owners of that land. Integral to the operation is Chef Carlisle Bannister ’90, who oversees the Southernfocused cuisine that changes with the seasons. For the past 20 years, Carlisle owned and operated Culinary Connection, a catering business shuttered in January due to increasing demands from the Charles City restaurant where he is a partner. “It’s a beautiful place to go and work every day,” Carlisle says. “I’ve enjoyed building the business from the ground up.” He notes that connecting with local small growers for the freshest produce is also a highlight. Upper Shirley produces 3,500 cases of wine a year from its 23-acre vineyard. They are sold at its restaurant along with a handful of Richmond-area hot spots, including Shagbark (owned by Chef Walter Bundy ’86), Azzurro Restaurant, Acacia Mid-Town, Southbound and L’Opossum. Upper Shirley, which can be rented out for weddings and other special occasions, also offers vineyard horse rides and bike tours along a historic path. Five wines are paired with a four-course dinner and live music every other Thursday for a sophisticated culinary experience. Despite its 24/7 demands, Tayloe describes the venture as “the best chapter in his life for sure.” “We have great wine, great food and a great setting, but it’s the people who make it. I have a great staff, and we have some loyal customers now.” Winter 2018 | 55
Maximizing Cows' Genetics By Kathleen Thomas
About two times a week, Kevin McSweeney ’87 harvests unfertilized cow eggs. Stabilizing ovaries with one hand, he uses the other to manipulate an ultrasound transducer into the cow’s vagina. He then pushes a foot pedal that activates a vacuum pump attached to the needle in the transducer that pierces the ovary and sucks out the eggs, which drip into an external test tube. They are examined by microscope, cultured in an incubator, fertilized with a bull’s semen and seven days later transferred to recipients. Because dairy farmers can no longer rely on old-fashioned breeding methods, this Colorado veterinarian consults with them across the West and Southwest. “The dairy industry is one of the fastest-changing sectors there is,” Kevin says. “You can’t stay flat-footed and expect to survive. You have to stay ahead of the curve.” His current work includes cross-breeding to change the breed of complete herds. While it used to be difficult to identify cows with the top genetics, Kevin can now pinpoint them on the day of their birth. The goal is for dairy farmers to maximize cows’ genetics to be more profitable and produce healthier cows. In addition, certain breeds, Jerseys in particular, produce milk that’s in higher demand for greater levels of fat and protein. Kevin can also make use of industry technology that alters the sex ratio of bulls’ semen to produce more females. This Saint learned about raising and showing cattle from his father, a “gentleman farmer” in Powhatan. He says he caught the reproductive bug from his father’s vet and good friend, Dr. Nick Elam, who was involved in surgical embryo transfer. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Kevin received his veterinary degree and went on to earn a master’s in reproductive physiology from Colorado State University. He recognized great potential in devoting his research 56 | StC Magazine
and clinical practice to bovine reproduction. While the average western dairy operation tends to 3,000 to 8,000 cows, some bigger ones boast up to 35,000. Kevin started his own research/training dairy farm three years ago. He plans to grow from 150 to 250 cows within the next year, with expectations eventually to reach about 1,000 and to milk them with robots. Kevin credits many teachers at StC. Freshman Biology Teacher Townley Chilsolm provided the basis for all the science he’s learned and discovered since. George Squires, Liston Rudd and Ron Smith taught
him how to write and express his point of view, skills that he has found particularly helpful in his research work and writing for trades. Spanish teachers Sandy West and Bruce Nystrom taught him critical communication skills in an industry that runs primarily on Mexican immigrant labor. Away from the cows, Kevin enjoys downhill and cross-country skiing and road bicycling. He trains others specializing in the field and hosts interns and externs, vet students and undergraduates who have an interest in cattle. He encourages any interested students or alums to contact him.
Class Notes continued from page 55
thoracotomy, the da Vinci robot increases the precision and accuracy of the surgery by minimizing incision. Less trauma and blood loss to the patient as well as decreased risks of infection, less painful recoveries and shorter hospital stays are added benefits of this technique.
“As a successful business leader, you already recognize the kind of employees you need for that kind of effort — not just narrowly trained technicians, but people with imagination, who can think critically, solve problems, work with and understand diverse groups, and effectively communicate. These are precisely the skills the liberal arts and sciences are proven to teach exceptionally well, and they feature prominently in the Amazon ‘leadership principles’ you ask every employee to master … So Jeff, please consider Virginia. It will be a wonderful place for your employees to live and work and raise their families. Our colleges and universities will help fill your ranks not just with scientists but with citizens. We’ve been at this work for more than three centuries and are proud of our track record. We can do great things together.”
1993 Graham Bundy ‘88
1989 James Baber ’89 has joined the global financial services company Raymond James Financial Inc. as senior vice president of investments.
The 1990s 1992 Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Jethro Piland ’92 to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board. Jethro is chief of Hanover Fire Emergency Medical Services. Longwood University President Taylor Reveley ’92’s letter to Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos ran in September in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, urging him to consider Virginia for his second headquarters. He wrote, “I want to call your attention to one area where no other state can match Virginia, and which ultimately will matter more than any of the other factors you’re considering in helping your company reach its goals of truly transforming the world. For the workforce you will need to get you there, Virginia has the best assortment of public and private colleges in the country — in fact, on the planet.
Toks Ladejobi ’93 was named vice president of asset management at one of the nation’s largest privately held commercial real estate investment and operating companies, Madison Marquette in Washington, D.C.
1994 CLASS SCRIBE Massie Ritsch ‘94 email@example.com In my inaugural column as class scribe, I am pleased to share updates from classmates in Boston, New York and London — all of whom go by variations on the names they used in school.
James Kitces ‘94 and family
For all the warnings against alcohol that we got at St. Christopher’s, did you ever think the school would promote a cocktail? It’s happening, boys, and only because the essential spirit — spicy tequila — is manufactured by our own David Campbell ’94. His jalapeño-infused Tanteo brand is available at most ABC stores in Virginia, and two new offerings — chipotle and habanero — should become available this spring. David lives in Williamsburg — the one across from Manhattan, not the colonial place — with his fiancée, Lisa, their son, Jack, who was born in December and a 10-pound Havanese dog named Lucy. An investment analyst/tequila magnate, David works from home, which, if you remember field trips to the other Williamsburg, is what many tradesmen and artisans did in the 18th century.
Because his wife is named Jamie, James Kitces ’94 went more formal. He has finally made it to the hometown of his beloved Celtics, having moved three years ago to the Boston suburb of Andover. “I guess I have a thing for state capitals,” James says. “I’ve lived in Richmond, Atlanta, Austin and Boston.” The Jamies have three children: Austin (11), Sydney (7) and Alexander (4). James is a partner at the Robins Kaplan law firm, where he worked when they lived down south. Dave Campbell ‘ 94 with his son Jack continued on page 60
Winter 2018 | 57
Birck Turnbull ‘83 and Charles Bice ‘83 in a Roseneath Road building they re
Rob Long ’06 with Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival
ALUMS MAKE TRACKS IN RICHMOND’S HOTTEST HOOD Scott’s Addition is an eclectic mix of residential and commercial properties tucked away in the northwest corner of West Broad Street and North Boulevard near the Fan. Offices in Richmond’s most rapidly developing neighborhood showcase high ceilings, exposed mechanicals, polished concrete in lieu of carpet and reclaimed wood accents. The work environments aren’t structured for sitting at desks with computers, but moving around collaborative spaces with laptops or tablets. In addition to aesthetic appeal, historic tax credits have fueled the boon in attracting investors and developers. 58 | StC Magazine
Taylor Williams ‘96 (left) & Andrew Basham of Spy Rock Real Estate Group
ecently renovated, the new headquarters for Barber Martin Advertising.
Class Notes Birck Turnbull ‘83 & Charles Bice ‘83 The vibe is “both experiential and functional,” said Birck Turnbull ’83, who has partnered with Charles Bice ’83 in 10 Scott’s Addition buildings, including Gather and Richmond Wine Station on West Broad Street. He describes creative and cutting-edge technology companies dominating the neighborhood with workforces weighted toward millennials. Birck, who is a senior vice president at Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer, identifies the properties for acquisition and navigates financing and tenant procurement. Charles, owner of KB Building Services, serves as general contractor, handling all architectural/design/construction work, making sure the space is designed and renovated to client specifications. In the early years, the StC classmates bought several bank-owned properties, industrial spaces not suited for modern-day industrial needs due to lower ceilings, columns and loading limitations. Birck and Charles have repositioned five properties independently and five in conjunction with partners. Craft beer-centric tenants include Isley Brewing, Veil Brewing Co. and Three Notch’d Brewing, with a fourth brewery/restaurant/arcade to go in the former Bingo Hall on West Broad Street near the Boulevard. Partners involved in the former Bingo Hall project include Ted Ukrop ’83 and Richmond restaurateurs Jason Alley and Jay Bayer. Charles and Birck also created a Scott’s Addition home for Health Warrior, maker of “superfood” energy and protein bars, where alum Austin Harris ‘00 serves as chief financial officer.
Taylor Williams ’96 Taylor Williams ’96 is also on a roll in Scott’s Addition, with two completed projects and a third in the works. His company, Spy Rock Real Estate Group, founded nine years ago with partner Andrew Basham, first developed the Preserve at Scott’s Addition, which includes 194 apartments and 2,500 square feet of office space. A second project joined forces with John Neal ’98’s family, who owned a warehouse in Scott’s Addition for their company, Symbol Mattress. The warehouse was torn down to make way for a 60,000-square-foot office building, which includes the restaurant Brenner Pass, along with 202 apartments. Last year, Spy Rock acquired an 86,000-square-foot food distribution warehouse, the Dori Foods Industrial Building, on four acres, which will continue to operate there for the foreseeable future. Spy Rock is eyeing two other mixed-use projects in the area. “We love the city of Richmond,” Taylor said. “We feel it’s growing faster than it ever has and are optimistic about the future of Richmond in general.”
Rob Long ‘06 Anticipation is mounting for Rob Long ‘06’s high-end boutique bowling alley slated to open in April. The $5 million River City Roll occupies a two-acre plot between the Boulevard and the Cookie Factory Lofts and is part of the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association. The 25,000-squarefoot facility will include 150 parking spaces, 20 lanes, high-end food and beverage, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball, live music, an outdoor fire pit and 12 taps highlighting local breweries. A 4,700-pound pizza oven was delivered and put in place before the walls went up. “Growing up I had never heard of Scott’s Addition, but now that I live there I only leave for squash practice,” said Long, a former investment banker with BB&T Capital Markets. “The area has such a strong food and beverage scene, and we hope River City Roll will add a needed group entertainment option. The potential for this part of Richmond is limitless.”
Winter 2018 | 59
Class Notes continued from page 57
‘IT’S A GREAT ESCAPE’ A STATE DELEGATE’S SIDE GIG AS A WINERY OWNER By Mike Platania Depending on the season, Chris Peace ’94 spends most of his days writing legislation or planning estates. Peace is an attorney and state delegate for Virginia’s 97th District, representing parts of Hanover, King William and New Kent. He’s been serving in the House of Delegates since 2006. Now, the lawman is taking on a third profession: vintner. He and his wife Ashley are preparing to open White Plains Farm & Winery, a farm winery located off Old Church Road in Hanover County. The road toward opening a winery began in 2011 when the Peaces purchased and renovated a 200-year-old home on 50 acres. Ashley had taken a winemaking class at Piedmont Virginia Community College that planted the seed for their interest. In 2014, they planted literal seeds. “We now have fruit for the first time – it takes a while for that to happen,” Chris Peace said. On two acres, the couple planted 26 rows of grapes, which have harvested 1,400 plants of Voignier and Tannat grapes. Peace said they’ve got a Voignier and Cabernet Sauvignon already barreled. They’re applying for a farm winery license from Virginia ABC, and in the meantime building a 1,000-square-foot
tasting room on the property. Peace said he plans to model tastings after the type they experienced on a trip to the Tuscan region of Italy. “We’ll be doing it by appointment at the garden house. We wanted to do it as a hands-on experience,” he said. “(Italy’s) tastings are small and family-led, where you get to really compare two types of wine.” They hope to have the farm winery license this fall and begin tastings shortly after, but Peace said if that doesn’t work out they’d look for an early spring opening. He said they don’t have plans to distribute right away, but are not ruling anything out. With most of his days spent in a suit and tie – he has his own estate-planning and family law practice, in addition to his time each year in the General Assembly – Peace said he relishes the chance to work with his hands. “No pun intended, it’s like detox,” he joked. “You go from pushing paper and talking for a living, to rolling your sleeves up and getting dirty. It’s a great escape. We’re looking forward to sharing it with others.” White Plains will be one of the few wineries in a market flush with breweries, and won’t be far from some of its competitors. It’s about 10 minutes away from New Kent Winery and 15 miles from James River Cellars off Route 1. From Richmond BizSense, Sept. 6, 2017
60 | StC Magazine
You might think that in his line of work — the mysterious world of “business intelligence” — G Rainey ’94 would continue to use the single initial, like James Bond’s Q. However, he is known as Gordon in professional circles across the pond, where he lives in London with his wife, Alice, and their almost-2-year-old daughter, Sibyl. “Becoming a father has been the best experience of my life,” G says. “Coming to it a bit late, but loving every minute of it.” Professionally, G advises “companies, investors and the legal community through the collection and assessment of intelligence on a variety of matters … Most of my work,” he says, “is in the emerging markets, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia.” G’s advice for us in our 40s: “Exercise. Cherish the small pleasures in life. Don’t fret about your hair turning gray or falling out. Stretch.” My advice for you ‘94 classmates: Send me your news and photos so that I don’t have to make up something about you after one too many spicy margaritas. Marine Corps veteran Whitney Campbell, who was part of the Class of ‘94 in Lower School, is an EMT who worked with rescue efforts in Miami during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Will Massey ‘94 joined Davis Cheon, founder of Northeast Construction Inc., to become co-owner of Chesterfield-based NCI, Inc., a general contracting firm that specializes in commerical, institutional and government building renovation, roofing and siding services and renewable energy solutions. NCI completed building its first solar farm on a landfill at Fort Campbell, Kentucky last spring and is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to upgrade military solar systems all over the country.
1996 Chris Holliman ’96 was pictured in Henrico Today’s summer 2017 issue arranging books in the Libbie Mill Library. The Henrico County Public Library has found that neighborhood collections organized by theme instead of the author’s last name attract more young readers.
Class Notes T. Broderick Mullins ’96 has joined the Strategic Advisory Group at Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley LLC as a portfolio manager in Richmond. The Strategic Advisory Group provides investment management advice to individuals, families and regional institutions. Broderick earned his MBA from the University of Richmond in May 2017.
WTVR ran. “I love angles, colors and saturation.” He also loves “treasure hunts” for murals and artists. To follow him, go to https://www.instagram.com/cbs6/.
Thomas Jenkins ‘07 firstname.lastname@example.org
2000 Doug Hayden ’00 and wife Mara live in Spokane, Washington, where he is completing his final year at Eastern Washington University, getting his doctorate in physical therapy.
2001 CLASS SCRIBE Paul Evans ’01 email@example.com
Jack Thompson ‘96 and his wife Nicole
Style Weekly named Jack Thompson ‘96 one of the 40 under 40, which it describes as “40 people younger than 40 years old who blow far past the description of movers and shakers.” A Style October story explained that Jack’s mission as Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity vice president of construction and real state is broader than simply moving lower-income families into new houses. Much of his work is devoted to working with state and city officials to open the pipeline of homes that can be rehabbed in growing neighborhoods, the article said. Getting legislative approval for the city to sell tax-delinquent homes to organizations like Habitat was a milestone. Jack is motivated to help clients move into new, affordable neighborhoods where they can build equity and find opportunities away from distressed communities.
1999 Luke Witt ‘99 has taken over WTVR CBS 6 News’ Instagram account. “I try to capture the human element, not just sunrises and sunsets,” he said in a story
Jacob Boone ’01 reports that he, wife Liz, daughter Mattie (2) and new son James are happily living in Encinitas, Calif. He works as a urological surgeon in San Diego. Professional accomplishments this year include becoming certified by the American Board of Urology and being peer-selected as a top doctor by the San Diego County Medical Society. Jacob still plays tennis, and he surfs whenever possible. He invites any and all Saints to “come hang the next time you are on the West Coast.”
2006 San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach William Hardy '06 caught up with former Athletic Director Dick Kemper, who was in Phoenix visiting and attended a Spurs / Suns game.
CLASS SCRIBES Brelan Hillman ’07 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Marschak ’07 writes, “For the past year and a half now I’ve been living in Harbin, China. I teach English to mainly young children, but also to some middle school, high school and university students. It’s wonderful work. I initially planned on being here for six months to a year, but I now have no plans to leave in the foreseeable future.” Tommy Callan ’07 is pursuing a master’s degree in political science with a concentration in international relations at Loyola University Chicago. Paul Dandridge ’07 and his wife Emily Berg-Poff were in the ensemble of Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical, a Virginia Rep debut for the StC graduate. Paul and Emily were recently featured in a Style Weekly Valentine’s story “Hearts in the Arts” that explored the couple’s “reach from dance partners to life partners.” They met when they went to work for Richmond Ballet’s Minds in Motion program after college and then began appearing in the same local theater productions.
2008 10th Reunion Jimmy Meadows ’08 is associate director of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National company in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
The 2010s 2010 Members of the class of 2010 gathered on Knowles Field for a Turkey Bowl game against Collegiate grads from the same year. The Saints lost in a triple overtime. continued on page 62
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Class Notes continued from page 61
Pictured at right: Seth Wagoner, Chris Gill, Ted Gottwald, B Gottwald, Peter Partee, Dillon Wright, Rennie Merhige, Edward Custer, Hunter Johnson, Bryan Stanchina, Thomas Johnson. MIA: Alex Gannon whom Rennie took to the ER for a broken wrist
2011 CLASS SCRIBES Henley Hopkinson ’11 email@example.com Kurt Jenson ’11 firstname.lastname@example.org When dance and choreography legend Carmen de Lavallade coached the Richmond Ballet this summer as it prepared for the performance of Portrait of Billie (inspired by blues singer Billie Holiday), the feature article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch included a photo of Ira White ’11, as he received instruction on moves during rehearsal from the ballet icon. Henley Hopkinson ’11 is finishing an M.A. at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, studying philosophy and intellectual history. In 2015-16, he held a fellowship at Bryanston School in Dorset, U.K., teaching Latin, English and, more reluctantly, sex education. He intends to enroll in law school next fall. Nelson Mills ’11 lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and works for Newkirk Environmental, a small environmental consulting firm with a focus on environmental permitting large-scale development planning. In his free time, he enjoys camping and trout-fishing around Charleston and western North Carolina. Max Parks ’11 recently moved from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., where he works at NASA Headquarters on the Mars Exploration Program. In May he will begin a year-long research project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, studying the atmospheres of the planets and moons in our solar system. Ned Quinn ’11 lives in Boston and works as a senior investment consultant for State Street Global Advisors and SPDR ETFs. In his free time, he enjoys skiing in the winter
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Members of the class of 2010 gather on Knowles Field.
and summer weekends on Cape Cod and the surrounding islands. Additionally, his black Lab, Bailey, has taken the city by storm, although she still cannot swim. Ben Resnik ’11 lives in Washington, D.C., and works as a project manager at Swing Left, a liberal advocacy organization at the intersection of politics and tech. In his leisure time, he pursues writing, music and a surprising amount of French baking. Woody Stanchina ’11 lives in Richmond and works as an assistant underwriter for Continental Underwriters, a specialty insurance company, wholesale broker and managing general agent specializing in forest product risks from logging to manufacturing. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing and hunting and serves on several boards and in other leadership roles in the Richmond insurance industry. Will Valentine ’11 lives in New York City and works as an associate financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. Harrison Vance ’11 lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and works as a management consultant at PwC. He spends his weekends watching the Clemson Tigers and losing way too many golf balls. Trip Williams ’11 lives in New York City and works as a credit risk senior analyst at JPMorgan Chase.
Stephen Wood ’11 lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. A freelance journalist, he focuses mostly on politics, history and soccer, sometimes all three. His work has appeared in Jacobin Magazine, Paste Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and other fine publications, including Richmond’s own RVAMag. Connor Wood ’11 lives in Richmond but will move to New York City this summer. He currently works as an analyst at Harris Williams & Co., an investment bank headquartered in Richmond. Farrar Pace ’11 lives in San Francisco and works in technology sales for Oracle Corporation. In his free time, he pursues photography and hiking.
2012 Keaton Hillman ’12 returned to Richmond for the November Theatre production of Shakespeare in Love, in which he played the role of Robin (aka Lady Capulet). Keaton made his debut last year as the courier in 1776, and his performance credits include AJ James in Choir Boy (RIP/THETC), Ridley in the workshop performance of Dilemma of Escape (Firehouse Theatre) and a member of the ensemble in this summer’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie (Dogwood Dell).
SPIRIT N A C I R E THE AM 2013 5th Reunion Joe Dragone ’13 graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mary Washington in May 2017. He is now on a scholarship in the first year of a doctoral program in biomedical sciences with a focus in neuroscience/pharmacology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
2014 CLASS SCRIBES Alec Ball ’14 Alexander.R.Ball@colorado.edu Peyton McElroy ’14 email@example.com Sam Coltrane ’14 graduated magna cum laude from the College of Charleston in three years and is now enrolled in the college’s MBA program. Austin Fockler ’14 has been on the Hampden-Sydney College golf team for the past four years and was named captain this year. University of Virginia’s left tackle Jack English ’14 recognized Upper School Math Teacher Rich Hudepohl on the jumbotron at the Nov. 24 game against Virginia Tech that drew more than 48,600 fans. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound former St. Christopher’s School standout welcomed and nominated his former teacher saying, “Mr. Hudepohl meant a lot to me and a lot of other guys at St. Christ in terms of being a great teacher and giving a lot of great life advice.” Mr. Hudepohl was called out to the U.Va. field at halftime where he received a football with an Excellence in Education inscription.
From Garrett Taylor ’15: “Over the past few years that I️ have been at Penn State, my college experience has been one that I️ won’t forget. I️ have had the opportunity to play football in front of one of the best fan bases in the country. We were lucky enough to win a Big Ten championship last year and play in the Rose Bowl. Football has also given me the chance to get involved with some great organizations through community service. We help run Uplifting Athletes, an organization that hosts an annual lifting event to benefit those with rare diseases. I️ also took part in dancing in THON, a studentrun philanthropy that hosts a 46-hour dance marathon to raise money for kids impacted by childhood cancer. This summer I️ plan on interning for Forever Media, a local advertising company that runs all the marketing for the radio stations in State College.” Swayne Martin ’15 will graduate this spring from the University of North Dakota, earning his four-year aeronautical science degree in three years. This year he has continued to fly for Mokulele Airlines in Hawaii by commuting there every three weeks during long weekends or breaks from school. He recently completed his flight training at the University of North Dakota, earned all flight instructor ratings and as of the publication deadline in December had just 100 hours of flight time remaining of the 1,000 required to be eligible to fly jets for a regional airline.
Brewster Rawls Jr. ’08 traveled 950 miles to Fort Myers, Florida, when Hurricane Irma hit last fall to help his 97-year-old grandmother Emilie, who was in hospice, and her three caretakers, who are sisters. When the area was evacuated, one sister took Emilie to her home where they rode out the storm and inflated a kiddie pool to use as a life raft for her if needed. The house did not flood, but she and her sisters incurred significant property damage. Brewster Jr., who is a certified arborist, responded by recruiting a co-worker, loading two pickups with water, gas, ropes, chainsaws and other necessities and heading south to work in 96-degree heat clearing downed trees and flooded property. His father Brewster Sr., a Richmond attorney, wrote on a Sept. 13 LinkedIn post, “I am so proud of him. But there is a bigger message here: The American spirit, if you will. At times like this there is a tremendous impetus for us to come together and help each other. My son and his friend are textbook examples. Nothing prompted this action except their own initiative. The sisters who have taken such good care of my mother-in-law are another example. They took real risk to protect someone who is not their family. ... I just wish all this could occur without the incentive of a natural disaster. Be that as it may, for all the divisiveness of our present age it is refreshing to see that the American spirit is alive and well. Let’s try to live it even when there is not a hurricane.” Brewster Rawls Jr.’s grandmother Emilie passed away Oct. 5, 2017.
CLASS SCRIBE Fitz Fitzgerald ’15 firstname.lastname@example.org Matthew Allocca ’15, a junior at the University of Mary Washington, is president of the lacrosse club and will study abroad this summer in Wales. Brewster Rawls ‘08 with Vicki Meyers, one of his grandmother’s caretakers, whose property Winter 2018was | 63 hit by Hurricane Irma
New Faculty & Staff
Blair Belote joined in June as assistant database manager. She was formerly assistant to the dean at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Ms. Belote earned a B.S. in public policy and administration from James Madison University and a Master’s of Public Administration from VCU. Holly Braden teaches fourth-grade girls in Extended Day after substituting there last year. She has been involved at StC for years, with two sons who are alumni. Mrs. Braden earned a B.A. in social science from Hollins College. Shannon Clark, Extended Day JK teacher and nurse, earned a master’s in nursing education from East Carolina University, a B.S. in nursing from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Previously Mrs. Clark taught nursing at Central Piedmont Community College and UNC-Charlotte. Most recently, she was a preschool teacher at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond.
Above: Pat Wood, Katelyn Temple, Mark Gentry, Nicole Mumford, Blair Belote, Hanna Zhu Right Page: Alexis Turner, Hope Morgan, Sarah Warner, Isaac Jorgensen, Holly Braden, Janet Tyler, Shannon Clark Not Pictured: Nica Lewis and Maria Maltby
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Director of Facilities Mark Gentry joined StC in July. He formerly worked for Benedictine College Preparatory School, Bon Secours Stuart Circle Hospital and Commercial Mechanical Service Inc. His technical credentials include licensing and certification in plumbing, mechanical and HVAC.
Isaac Jorgensen, a Middle School Extended Day teacher, also supports the sixth-grade P.E. program. He recently moved to Richmond from Tampa, where he taught history at Cambridge Christian School. A graduate of Saint Anselm College, Mr. Jorgensen is currently a student in the DePaul University Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. After almost 17 years with Chesterfield County Public Schools, Maria Maltby now works with kindergarten and third-grade Extended Day students. She received an associate degree from Virginia Western Community College. Hope Morgan is an Extended Day first-grade teacher after serving as a long-term sub last year. She has worked in several roles at Camp Alleghany in Lewisburg, West Virginia, including head of the junior counselor program. With a B.F.A. in painting/drawing from Longwood University, Ms. Morgan will continue her work as an artist.
Extended Day Teacher Alexis Turner earned a B.S. in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and worked in afterschool programs at Norfolk Academy and the City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation. After a 36-year teaching career in Chesterfield County, Janet Tyler is helping first- and fourth-grade Extended Day students this year. This Longwood University graduate retired briefly before returning to the classroom at StC. Extended Day Kindergarten Teacher Sarah Warner also retired from Chesterfield County Public Schools, most recently from Gordon Elementary School. Mrs. Warner received her B.A. in elementary education from Virginia Tech.
Nicole Mumford serves as part-time Lower School administrative assistant. The Virginia Tech graduate formerly worked at St. Stephen’s Preschool and in marketing and corporate communications for The Martin Agency, Capital One and Unum Corp.
Pat Wood joined as the Kate Childrey Teaching Intern teaching Middle School English. This 2017 Bates College graduate was a writing tutor in the Academic Resource Commons and a student fellow in the Multifaith Chaplaincy. This past summer Mr. Wood was a team teacher and residential counselor at Salisbury Summer School in Connecticut.
Nica Lewis is the new assistant in Murrell Bookstore. After receiving her wedding planning certificate from Penn Foster College, she opened Every Little Detail, an event-planning company that has orchestrated more than 100 events. Nica has published articles online and in magazines about weddings and wedding planning.
The Kate Childrey Teaching Internship program was created in 2017 to honor the life and impact of Kate Childrey, a beloved JK assistant teacher at St. Christopher’s during the 2016-17 school year. It provides a novice educator with the opportunity to teach and learn during one academic year.
Database Manager Katelyn Temple formerly worked for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Home. She received a B.A. in political science from Christopher Newport University and her Master’s of Public Administration from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU.
Hanna Zhu is teaching Mandarin Chinese in both divisions. She previously worked as a substitute teacher at Collegiate School and earned a master’s in special education from Illinois State University, a master’s of divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond and a B.A. in English from Changsha Railway University in Hunan, China. Winter 2018 | 65
in Virginia Beach in November about integrative medicine and energy therapy.
Faculty News PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS Upper School Faculty Karen Wray and Kim Hudson along with Upper School Head Tony Szymendera led workshops at the Virginia Association of Independent Schools New Teacher Institute in late July. Dr. Hudson and Mr. Szymendera focused on relationshipbuilding, while Mrs. Wray and Mr. Szymendera discussed assessment. Upper School Spanish Teacher Kimberly Mayer received her diploma from the University of Salamanca Master of Spanish Language and Culture program in Salamanca, Spain. Lower School Nurse Annette McCabe attended the National Association of School Nurses Conference in San Diego, California, in June and spoke at the Virginia Association of School Nurses Conference
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Upper School Academic Dean and Director of College Counseling Jim Jump was quoted in early August in a Chronicle of Higher Education article about the University of California at Irvine cancelling enrollments this summer due to over-enrollment. He also served as a faculty member for Washington and Lee University’s alumni admissions weekend in June and was quoted in an October Washington Post article about why parents shouldn’t write or pay someone to write college essays for their children. Upper School Chaplain Whitney Edwards’ sermon on forgiveness, delivered at a preaching conference at Roslyn in June, was published in a collection compiled by the Preaching Excellence Foundation. Dr. Sarah Mansfield, assistant head of school, serves on the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) Professional Development Advisory Council and was co-chair for the Nov. 6 VAIS Leading Learning Conference whose theme was “Cultivating Curiosity and Joy.” Upper School Drama Teacher Rusty Wilson received a 2017 Artsie Award for best director for last season’s play, John, by Annie Baker at the Richmond Theatre
Craig Foster and Jack O’Donnell
Critics Circle Awards. It was his third recognition since the awards’ inception 10 years ago. He was also involved with Richmond Triangle Players’ fall production of Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill and directed Cadence Theatre’s winter show, The Christians by Lucas Hnath. Middle School Teachers Lisa Brennan and Laura Dugan attended an October conference, Overcoming Bias: Becoming Active Change Agents, hosted by the Virginia Diversity Network. Director of Academic Technology Hiram Cuevas completed his third term as a member of Blackbaud’s Advisory Board and was recognized at the annual users’ conference. Mr. Cuevas is also on the planning committee for the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) annual conference and is co-hosting a monthly webinar on issues related to G-Suite for Education. Eight faculty members and three students attended the NAIS People of Color Conference/Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, in November: Emmett Carlson, Cynthia Brown, Amanda Livick, Isabel Shealy, Keena Fitch, Jon Piper, Christie Wilson and Shawn Moore along with students Darren Badley ’19, Evan Knight ’19 and Jayden Smith ’21.
Cover of Ron Smith’s new book published last spring by Louisiana State University Press
The Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance tapped Jack O’Donnell as Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Craig Foster as Recreation Professional of the Year at its annual conference in Roanoke. Mr. O’Donnell, Lower School physical education teacher, attended the November event and made presentations on Creative Recreation Inspired Activities in P.E. as well as Lacrosse 101. Faculty Members Josh Thomas, Hamill Jones, Laura Ambrogi, Christie Wilson and Jen O’Ferrall, Associate Director of Athletics Andy Taibl and Assistant Head of School Sarah Mansfield attended the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute (gcLi) in Philadelphia in October. First-Grade Teacher Betsy Tyson completed the Mindful Educator Essentials class for teaching mindfulness to children and adolescents. Betsy also presented at the VAIS Leading Learning Conference in November on how to foster curiosity and joy in the classroom. Ron Smith’s fourth book, The Humility of the Brutes, was published last spring by Louisiana State University Press. The title was inspired by William Butler Yeats, who wrote that creators “must go from desire to weariness and so to desire again, and live but for the moment when vision comes to our weariness like terrible lightning, in the humility of the brutes.” The book description says that Mr. Smith’s poems “move beyond Yeats’s journey, using precise language and memorable phrasing to push through skepticism and guide us toward the mystical as we struggle to understand our past and our present.” Mr. Smith’s poems “Oracles” and “Home Front” were published in August in Plume with accompanying prose commentary. The StC writer-in-residence gave a poetry reading and ran five workshops in creative writing at Milton Academy in October. He participated in the Virginia Poets Laureate reading at the Williamsburg Book Festival and at the “In the Company of Laureates” event at the Hylton Performing Arts Center at George Mason University. Mr. Smith opened the October James River Writers Conference by reading two poems and moderated a poet panel discussion. He also served on a panel celebrating the
25th anniversary of the conference. As part of the “European Treasures” program in Amherst, Va., Mr. Smith’s sonnets “Orvieto” and “Dolore,” commissioned by Amherst Glebe Arts Response, were read aloud by documentary film producer Lynn Hanson. In November, Upper School Science Teacher Dan Fisher defended his dissertation “The Preparation and Application of Catalysts for the Stereoselective Reduction of Olefins and Photooxygenation in Continuous Operations: A Novel Method for the Production of Artemisinin.” In layman’s terms, Dr. Fisher researched how to use heterogenous catalysts and continuous flow chemistry to develop a more cost-effective process to the anti-malaria drug artemisinin. Dr. Fisher’s advisor Frank Gupton is founder of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute, recently established through a $25 million grant from the Gates Foundation to improve access to affordable, high-quality medicines. The dissertation caps off a seven-year journey for Dr. Fisher, who embarked on a Ph.D. program after graduating from the University of Richmond in 2007. Jazz Band Director John Winn served as music director for Virginia Repertory Theater’s Mary Poppins, which ran in November and December.
PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS First-Grade Teacher Paula Marks participated in one- and 2.5-mile James River races last summer, placing first in her age group for both. The open-water events were part of the SwimRVA and Peluso Open Water Race series. While in Fiji visiting a childhood friend this summer, Middle School Spanish Teacher Kathleen Hornik participated in the Suva Half Marathon and placed third overall. Middle School History Teacher Jon Piper participated in the Red Eye 10s International Play Festival in late September. This 24-hour event features six 10-minute plays produced in multiple theaters around the world. Players’ names are drawn from a hat, where they are assigned to a play and given about 24 hours to memorize their lines. Mr. Piper performed in Wendy Marie Martin’s Swim Forever in the Erne, playing a selkie, a mythical Celtic sea creature that transforms from seal to human. In November, he performed in CAT Theater’s Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire, a comedy about two women of opposing temperaments living together in the same room of a nursing home. Mr. Piper played the resident aide tasked with keeping them from killing each other.
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Faculty News Middle School Instructional Technologist Brian Zollinhofer and his team from Three Chopt Recreation Club won the USTA 7.5 Men’s Combo Regional Tournament in Virginia Beach in October. Lower School Administrative Assistant Nicole Mumford completed an Ironman competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in October. The triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. Director of Health Services Ann Vanichkachorn ran in the New York City Marathon in early November. It had been on her bucket list for a decade. She got a lottery spot in 2016 and raised money for Team for Kids, which supports children’s outdoor activities
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and started training in the summer. When school started that fall, however, the training stopped so she deferred the race to this year. Training was still limited, only running one day a week and she was out for three weeks with pneumonia. “It wasn’t pretty but I finished,” Dr. Van said. “We started in Staten Island, ran across the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn, then Queens, Bronx and ended in Manhattan. It was amazing to feel the support of the entire city, so many people cheering us on. Incredible. I’m proof if you run slow enough and pace yourself, you can run forever. Literally.” Competitors in the Anthem Richmond Marathon later in November included Upper School History Teacher Emmett Carlson (his first 26.2-mile event), Middle School Spanish Teacher Chris Carrier, who managed to cross the finish line of his 14th marathon sub three despite an injured foot and hip, and Cross Country Assistant Coach Tim Gruber, who finished fifth overall with a time of 2:28:25 (a 5:39-mile pace), earning him $250 as the fifth-place finisher and $500 as the fastest Richmond-area participant. Second-Grade Teacher Meredith Traynham married Taylor Smart in November.
FACULTY V. STUDENT BASKETBALL The faculty walked away with yet another victory in the annual game that pits faculty and staff against non-basketball playing seniors. Students have only won one game in the event’s history.
7 1. Logan Joseph was born Feb. 27, 2017 to Lower School Learning Commons Instructional Technologist Jessica Richards and her husband Paul. 2. Fourth-grade teacher Maggie Jones gave birth to James John April 21, 2017. He joins brother Jack, who is 5. 3. Chase Christopher was born July 31, 2017 to Upper School Spanish Teacher Asha Bandal.
4. Eloise Moncure, born Aug. 29, 2017 is the second daughter of Cappy Gilchrist, director of digital marketing and communications, and his wife Blair. Her sister Wells is 3. 5. Eva Ingrid Foster was born Sept. 12, 2017 to Upper School Chaplain Whitney Edwards and her husband Chris. Eva joins sisters Emme, age 5, and Georgia, age 3. 6. Evans Mayfield was born Oct. 4. 2017 to Extended Day Teacher Clare Wilkinson and her husband Charlie. â€œFieldâ€? joins brother Henry, age 3.
7. On Oct. 11, 2017 Easton Kade joined the family of Kasie and Zach Cressin and their son Tanner, who is 4. Mr. Cressin works in athletic grounds.
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Rich Hudepohl 1962 - 2017
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St. Christopher’s is mourning the loss of beloved Upper School Math Teacher Rich Hudepohl, who served the school for 30 years. The 55-year-old teacher and coach passed away after a stroke and car accident. Here are some excerpts from the eulogies given at a Jan. 20 service of remembrance at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
“ … Rich did not give faint praise or puffery … Once Rich told a ninth-grader that he had everything going for him — inside the classroom and outside the classroom — except for his attitude. Rich called him on it. The boy was disheartened and sulked for the better half of the year whenever he saw Rich. When the boy was a senior and had to write his essay for college, it was about Rich and the conversation he had with him when he was a freshman. It changed his life and the trajectory of his high school experience — for the better. That was Rich. Rich could have said nothing. But that’s not what someone does who is called to helping boys become men; that’s not what someone does who is called to be a steward of young lives.” — Melissa Hollerith Former Upper School chaplain “ … He was as caring for the welfare of his colleagues as he was for that of the students in his classes and the players on his sports teams. He looked out for the old as well as the young. I owe him a great deal. As I grew older and slower, oftentimes I found it very hard to adapt to the ever-changing technology and new ways of doing things. He looked out for me all the way, and as chairman of the department did the little things that kept me in the classroom, that happy place I had known for so many years.”
“I have always been in awe of Rich’s intellect (though I certainly never let him know that.) Despite walking into the faculty lounge covered in chalk dust, carrying an overworked coffee mug, one had only to glance at the material on his chalkboard and marvel at the high-powered math that was being taught and learned. However, he never carried an air of superiority; he treated everyone, students and adults, with respect, while always displaying a homegrown sense of humility.” — John Burke Upper School English teacher “While Rich and I interacted in many ways over these past 30 years, our most special time was coaching together on the basketball court. … He was a fantastic coach who connected incredibly well with players of all abilities. He successfully taught them how to be better players while demanding that they work hard every day. He also required that all players exemplify good sportsmanship in practice and during games while making the support of every teammate a top priority.”
“Like so many here today, my wife Jeanette and the kids have great memories of Uncle Rich showing them around Europe with his special brand of travel acumen: the one-hour museum rule; the 99 percent rule; his reverence for Normandy; a St Christopher’s medal for each. The first time they came back from one of those trips, they had questions like: “Dad, why do so many people know Uncle Rich as Ricardo in Florence?” “Dad, why do strangers stop Uncle Rich to ask for directions like he’s a local?” We imagined a Paris newspaper ad: “If lost, seek slightly crusty American with Tilly hat. He’ll be wearing khaki shorts and a white polo during the day. Khaki pants and a black polo at night.” The cool thing is he taught my kids how to travel, how to seek out the authentic. To not be just a tourist.” — Tom Hudepohl, Rich Hudepohl’s brother
— Cary Mauck ‘78 StC admissions director
— Mr. Jim Boyd ‘54 Retired Upper School math teacher
Gifts made to St. Christopher’s in memory of Rich will be added to the Richard G. Hudepohl Scholarship Fund to help students in need. Winter 2018 | 71
JOHN PAGE WILLIAMS ADDRESSES THE UPPER SCHOOL ON STC'S 75TH BIRTHDAY The following is an excerpt from John Page Williams’ comments during a September 1987 chapel: In spite of the simplicity of this chapel and its reminder of plain living and high thinking, it takes a little effort to imagine the morning 75 years ago when Dr. Chamberlayne called the school together for prayers at its first assembly. The 16 students, one of whom is present today (John Skelton Williams ’15), had gathered in the carriage house or stable behind the residence which still stands at 3211 Grove Ave. The 34-year-old headmaster and his new bride lived in the house with a few residents and the whole school had lunch there. The faculty consisted of Dr. Chamberlayne and Mr. Dabney Lancaster, afterwards the state superintendent of public instruction. “Dr. Chamberlayne had a barely visible two-inch scar on his right cheek. The legend in our day was that it was a dueling scar acquired along with his Ph.D. degree at a German university. It is pleasantly human to have received both a dueling scar and a doctor’s degree in two years’ time. … His scholarship was evident in his teaching. … He was a master of the English language. A clear example is the strength and relevance of the prayers he wrote, and we continue to use as well as the sermons, articles and poems — including lighthearted ones he wrote for The Pine Needle. Skill in language also came out in the epithets he could apply to students. Even in these days of students’ rights it would be hard for one to claim that his psyche had been hurt by the headmaster calling him (in public) “a numbskull,” “compound nincompoop,” or “pluperfect jackass.” There was a certain class about such phrases, especially when accompanied by the right twinkle. “He had a high sense of sportsmanship as you may gather from the athletic prayer. By his leadership, interest and spirit, he laid a firm foundation for the sports program, and the school has always had a reputation for this phase of its life comparable to its reputation in academics … “He was rather good at balancing a large baseball bat on the end of his little finger, and he may have even transferred it to the end of his nose. He joined in games of marbles, tops and the ancient schoolyard game of caddy. “Above all, his brilliance in the classroom, understanding the individual capacities of each student and holding him to his best, molded not only the lives and personalities of his students, but also the teaching of the men who worked with him.”
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SAVE THE DATE
REUNION WEEKEND MAY 4-5, 2018
stchristophers.com/summer • Boys & Girls, Grades Pre-K—12
The Magazine of St. Christopher’s
St. Christopher’s School welcomes qualified students to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies and athletic and other school-administered programs. Member of VAIS, NAIS, NAES and IBSC
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