Fall 2003 Taft Bulletin

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Rick Davis

Rescuing Art After World

War II

ONLINE with a BIG communicator









B U L L E T I N Fall 2003 Volume 74 Number 1 Bulletin Staff Director of Development John E. Ormiston Editor Julie Reiff Alumni Notes Linda Beyus Anne Gahl Jackie Maloney Design Good Design www.goodgraphics.com Proofreader Nina Maynard

Bulletin Advisory Board Todd Gipstein ’70 Peter Kilborn ’57 Nancy Novogrod P’98,’01 Bonnie Blackburn Penhollow ’84 Josh Quittner ’75 Peter Frew ’75, ex officio Julie Reiff, ex officio Bonnie Welch, ex officio Mail letters to: Julie Reiff, Editor Taft Bulletin The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. ReiffJ@TaftSchool.org Send alumni news to: Anne Gahl Alumni Office The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. TaftBulletin@TaftSchool.org Deadlines for Alumni Notes: Winter–November 15 Spring–February 15 Summer–May 30 Fall–August 30 Send address corrections to: Sally Membrino Alumni Records The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. TaftRhino@TaftSchool.org 1-860-945-7777 www.TaftAlumni.com

This magazine is printed on recycled paper.

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Tom Frank ’80, Newsday’s Washington Correspondent, went to war in Iraq embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division. He experienced the war in all its vivid detail: dust, sleeplessness, camaraderie, and moments of sheer terror on his way to Baghdad.

Online With a Big Communicator

On the Cover Deane Keller ’19 oversees the return of the great bronze statue of Cosimo de Medici by Giambologna, which was hidden outside Florence, Italy, during World War II. His story, told through photographs from Yale University’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives, begins on page 26.


For 28 years one alumna has been watching, and listening to, elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. Now she’s making sure they’re heard. By Joyce Poole ’74

Collateral Damage


A Day of Service to Others


Amid the chaos of World War II, Yale art professor Deane Keller ’19 had one job: to put masterpieces of Italian art back where they belonged. By Catherine Roach, Yale Alumni Magazine

A Brilliant Mind and a Passionate Heart 34 A tribute to the late Richard Marshall Davis ’59 By Headmaster William R. MacMullen ’78

The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in February, May, August, and November, by The Taft School, 110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100, and is distributed free of charge to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. E-Mail Us! Send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor via e-mail. Our address is TaftBulletin@TaftSchool.org. We continue to accept your communiqués by fax machine (860-945-7756), telephone (860-945-7777), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you! Taft on the Web: News? Stocks? Entertainment? Weather? Catch up with old friends or make new ones, get a job and more!—all at the Taft Alumni Community online. Visit us at www.TaftAlumni.com. What happened at this afternoon's game?—Visit us at www.TaftSports.com for the latest Big Red coverage. For other campus news and events, including admissions information, visit our main site at www.TaftSchool.org, with improved calendar features and Around the Pond stories.


From the Editor


Alumni Spotlight


Remembering the astronauts, a London show, onstage in L.A., one athlete’s final glory, new books on art, travel, history, and more

Around the Pond


Brodhead’s address, new faculty, college choices, Potter Gallery events, Poole and Kilbourne fellows, a sabbatical in statistics

Don’t forget you can shop online at www.TaftStore.com

䉳 Katie Fisher ’04, on the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland, was one of a dozen Poole Fellows who traveled the globe last summer. See page 9.




We welcome Letters to the Editor relating to the content of the magazine. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and content, and are published at the editor’s discretion. Send correspondence to: Julie Reiff • Taft Bulletin 110 Woodbury Road Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. or to ReiffJ@TaftSchool.org

Editor Julie Reiff tube feeds a young sea lion near San Luis Obispo, Calif., for the Marine Mammal Center, where she volunteered during part of her sabbatical leave. For more on the center, visit www.tmmc.org. MARY MORTLOCK

Authors, television producers, playwrights, athletes, artists, Taft alumni are an inspiring group, but after being away on a yearlong sabbatical, I needed to get up to speed with all your latest activities, and quickly. Acting editor Linda Beyus, who is continuing on the Bulletin with Alumni Notes, graciously put me in touch with Joyce Poole ’74, whose ongoing work with elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, and now on the Internet, has always fascinated me. Deane Keller ’58 fortunately alerted us to an article in Yale Alumni Magazine about his father’s efforts to rescue precious works of art in Italy after World War II, which we’re reprinting in this issue along with his photographs from the Sterling Archives. And finally, over breakfast, my husband, Al Reiff ’80, passed me the latest copy of Wesleyan University’s magazine (which I had shoved his way the day before, saying, “This is a great issue; you 4

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

should read it.”) and said, “I think I went to Taft with this guy.” He meant Tom Frank ’80, of course, but the name is common enough that I’ll admit I doubted him. Well, let’s just say that I’ve forgiven Al for the summer he received all those e-mails by his classmate Chris Shaw from

the slopes of K2 and never forwarded any to me. Tom was kind enough to allow us to reprint his article as well, and even agreed to come to campus to talk with students in November about his experience in Iraq as an embedded reporter. So now that I’ve taken all the mystery out of how the alumni magazine is put together…. On a personal note, I am happy to be back after my year’s leave, during which I immersed myself in the culture of California’s central coast and spent time learning to rescue marine mammals. (Somewhere swimming in the Pacific is a young elephant seal named Mr. Taft.) As always, the Bulletin is a place to share your stories, so let’s hear from you. —Julie Reiff, editor

Corrections: Our apologies to Edward F. Herrlinger II ’46, Katharine Herrlinger Hillman ’76, and Daniel M. Hillman ’06, for whom we failed to include Roth F. Herrlinger ’22 in their alumni lineage. Also, we mistakenly identified Will Morris ’97 as his brother David ’99 (who was not pictured) on page 13 of the summer issue. Our apologies also to members of the 2003 golf team, whose record was omitted from the scoreboard in the summer issue: Team captains: ............................................ Andrew Foote ’05, Chris Pettit ’03 Captains-elect: ...................................... Andrew Foote ’05, Joel St. Laurent ’04 Record: ................................................................................................... 10–3 Galeski Golf Award: ............................................... Veronica Aguirrebeitia ’03



Alumni S P OT L I G H T

Magnificent Seven

16 Days: Columbia’s Final Mission, an intimate portrait of the shuttle’s crew of six Americans and one Israeli astronaut, aired in June on the Discovery Channel. Sue Becker Norton ’82 served as executive producer. “Over the past several years I have come to know many in the NASA family,” said Norton, who was NASA liaison for Discovery Networks and an executive producer of space-related programming. “I was present at the launch of Columbia and mission STS107 and, upon hearing of the loss of Columbia on February 1, I knew immediately that I wanted to produce a tribute film celebrating the astronauts and their all-science mission.” Featuring footage from the crew’s onboard cameras, the program reveals who these astronauts were as people and what they were working on during the mission. With experiments geared towards everything from curing cancer to fighting fires, the astronauts were working in orbit to better life on Earth. The seven-member crew had been waiting almost three years to blast into orbit. With each delay came more rigorous training sessions added to their already aggressive regime, making them one of the best-trained crews in NASA history. Viewers can see that these astronauts were at the top of their game, fulfilling their lifelong dreams of going into space while making great strides in scientific research.

“I knew that the news and other media would focus on the tragedy, and I felt it was important to let the public know not only what amazing people

these seven astronauts were, but also the reasons they were willing to risk all for their quest to explore space and further the mission of scientific research.” (Continued) Taft Bulletin Fall 2003




More Than the Numbers “After a year of working hard to get myself into some kind of condition to tackle this beast,” writes Matt Donaldson ’88, who competed in the Lake Placid Ironman in July, “I learned a bit about what would actually get me through the day while the good doctor was drawing race-day numbers on me. ‘Doesn’t quite look like the body of an ironman,’ I said. To which she replied, ‘I have been working the medical tent for six years and getting through the day has little to do with the shape of one’s body.’ This gave me a sigh of relief, until I was left with the question of what would actually get me through the day?” He describes the race: “Salmon run: Imagine 1,800 people treading water waiting for the big bang. And out of the blue, all hell breaks loose. People kicking, punching, swimming over you—absolute anarchy. I picked the

worst place—in the middle, in front of the pack—where I was squeezed by swimmers on both sides at each bottleneck turnaround. I was pummeled for an hour and 16 minutes. Out of the water they strip the wetsuit (thankfully I remembered to put my briefs underneath) and I was off for stage two: 112 miles on the bike. “Red Baron: The bike ride reminds me of something the old fighter planes used to do, without the live ammunition of course. Flying down hills at 45 miles per hour in the rain, with bikes passing and jockeying for position. The key for the ride is to keep eating and drinking— which the body wants none of. The conditions were how I like them, torrential downpours with about a 20-mile headwind for the last 10 miles of each loop (which are uphill). “Turtle shuffle: After 112 miles on a

Write Before You Leap

Arnold Margolin ’54 and Kelly Wiles in the Los Angeles production of Leap. DENNIS J. KENT

In Arnold Margolin’s new play, Leap, an angel and a devil fight over the soul of a former TV comedy writer, Bob, played by Margolin. “Leap takes a perfectly hackneyed sitcom-style plot,” writes Sharon Perlmutter for TalkinBroadway.com, “and manages to take it in a totally unexpected direction.”

Leap played at the Elephant Asylum Theatre in Hollywood in May and again this November at Los Angeles’s Theatre West. Margolin has spent 35 years writing for television, including the Mary Tyler Moore and Andy Griffith shows, That Girl, Love American Style, Growing Pains, Private Benjamin, and a number of foreign-language sitcoms, as well as such TV movies as Between Love and Honor, A Family for Joe, A Good Sport, and He’s Not Your Son. Although he appeared in the feature films Exit to Eden and Young Doctors in Love, this is the first time Margolin has acted in a play he wrote. In fact, he writes, “It was the first time I had been onstage in 46 years. The last play I acted in was the original Broadway production of Diary of Anne Frank in 1956–57, playing the role of Peter van Daam. I am going to keep trying it every 46 years until I get it right.”

tiny bike seat, everyone is thrilled to be running—at least for the first few miles. Once I realized that I was exhausted— and had 24 miles left to run—well, that’s when the doctor’s advice hit me. The downpours continued, so I kept cool. I had two goals at this point: don’t be lapped by my training partners on the run, and make it to the barn before dark. I am pleased to say that I met both, although I was a bit frosted when they turned on the power-generated lights while it was still light out.” Donaldson was one of 55 athletes who competed in the event as part of the Janus Charity Challenge, and raised the third highest total to benefit the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute for his mother. “I had a blast,” writes Donaldson. “I can’t wait to get out there next year and torture myself again. Just 13 hours and 40 seconds of a smiling big ol’ time.”

Magnificent Seven—continued The one-hour documentary aired along with Falling From Space: The Challenge of Re-Entry. Norton also served as NASA liaison on the first program. She originally produced the one-hour documentary tribute film for The Science Channel, one of the Discovery Networks, and is currently an executive producer and head of production for The Science Channel, Wings Channel, and Home & Leisure Channel.



Final Glory On May 10, Brigham Olson ’81 was inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame. He died the same day. Although Olson lost his battle with the malignant brain tumor that claimed his life, he had many accomplishments both on the soccer field and off. He was recognized for his contribution to Colorado’s “golden era” of soccer, when the team compiled a record of 58–28–7 and earned bids to the NCAA tournament all four seasons he played. A four-year letterman, Olson served as co-captain his junior and senior years, when they advanced to the

national quarterfinals; he was named to NCAA All-Midwest honors both years and still owns the school record, 91, for most career starts. A four-time all-conference selection, he was also named to the NCAA All Far-West Team and had the dubious distinction of receiving the informal “purple heart award” for most career stitches. Before Taft, Olson excelled in many sports both at The Orley Farm School in England and at Brentwood School in West Los Angeles, where he earned letters in basketball and baseball as well. Olson earned nine letters at Taft, cocaptaining the basketball team, receiving the Carroll Soccer Award, and being

Modern Man The latest play by Roger Kirby ’65, Modern Man, premiered at London’s New End Theatre last summer and was hailed as a “witty, thoughtful play,” by Robert Shore in Time Out London, that “charts the course of just ‘a few minutes’ in the life of Edouard Manet.” “Kirby’s point,” writes Shore, “is that Manet was so absorbed in the world of his imagination that at the end of his life he couldn’t separate fact from fantasy— in this sense, suggests Kirby, he was the first ‘modern man.’” “The biography is also interesting,” writes Peter Lathan in British Theatre Guide, “as it depicts Manet as a heartless man unable to commit himself to other human beings in the same way as he can to his art. Kirby makes the artist speak very portentously about his work and his beliefs and it is left to the women to anchor his life.” “This play,” said Kirby, “explored selfabsorption. Hopefully it will appear in New York next summer as part of a fringe festival.” Meanwhile, a filmmaker has expressed some interest in it, and an effort is being made to transform it into a screen-

play, with much darker erotic themes. Kirby’s play Natural Inclinations, which was also performed in London, in 2002, examined “the tension between the wish to do the right thing and one’s primitive desires.” He has two more plays in the works. “One is a take on financial scandals set to rock and roll music,” he said, “and the other sets Medea in the contemporary Middle East.” Both are scheduled to open in 2004, one in London, the other in New York. A New York City lawyer, Kirby said that combining his two interests can be “very difficult. The kind of law that I do, litigation, requires the ability to arrive at the essential point, or at least something that looks like it, and to do so really fast. Playwriting, most fiction really, is happier if approached in a more meandering naturalistic fashion. That has been the highest hurdle so far.” 䉴 Kate Steavenson-Payne as Berthe Morisot (foreground), and the rest of the cast of Modern Man at the New End Theatre in London in July. “Hopefully,” says author Roger Kirby ’65, “it will appear in New York next summer.” SHEILA BURNETT

named to the All-State and Western New England All-League teams. After college, he built a successful business in Orange County, married his college sweetheart, Leslie, and was the proud father of three children. A brief tribute appears on page 55.



Schooled in History The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945–2002 William I. Hitchcock ’82 Doubleday, 2003

When I heard Will Hitchcock speak at Yale in June, I was impressed with the intelligence of his talk. When he sent me his most recent book, The Struggle for Europe, I was even more impressed. (Full disclosure: I am not a historian; I was Will’s English teacher and adviser at Taft.) I found the book fascinating. Reading the first part, I was keenly aware of the irony of having my student teach me about the era of my childhood. Half-remembered names and events came to life. As the book moved into the late ’60s and beyond, the insightful clarity of Will’s presentation gave my recollections structure and sense. The Struggle for Europe deals with the political and economic history of Europe and Russia from the last days of World War II through the European Union of 2002. It presents a vast amount of material concisely, logically, and clearly. As John Lewis Gaddis notes on the book jacket, “Shrewd, comprehensive, elegantly written, always convincing in its arguments,

it is without question the most successful analytical synthesis of recent European history now available.” Most of the book is factual and quite objective, though Will’s opinions occasionally come through when describing recent history: for example, he calls Mikhail Gorbachev “supremely confident, breathtakingly naïve, and humane to the end” (p.343) and the Bosnian Serbs “a band of bloodthirsty thugs” (p.401). This personal voice, part of Will’s fluent style, makes the book very interesting reading, even for the non-

historian. As a text for a history course on modern Europe, it would be superb. This is the longest piece of writing I’ve ever received from a student, and the best. —Robin (Blackburn) Osborn Will Hitchcock received his B.A. from Kenyon and his Ph.D. in history from Yale; he teaches modern European history at Wellesley College.

Random Acts of Kindness The Kindness of Strangers Don George ’71, editor Lonely Planet Publications, 2003

“The premise of this book,” writes Don George ’71 who edited the collection, “is that when you travel, inevitably you fall into some kind of predicament—you forget your wallet somewhere, you get lost, your car breaks down—and equally inevitably, someone miraculously emerges to take care of you and to save you.” The book features an original preface by the Dalai Lama and original tales by 26 contributors—including Simon Winchester, Dave Eggers, Tim Cahill, Jan Morris, Pico Iyer, and Alice Waters—of 8

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

being saved on the road. From London to Afghanistan, buying underwear in Argentina and being kidnapped in Tunisia, these are heartwarming stories of travelers and the fascinating people they meet. Like Amanda Jones who gets lost in the Sahara, or Douglas Cruickshank who leaves his cash in a

London cab, the writers find what they need, and come away richer for the random acts of fate that bring them together with altruistic strangers. The moral of these stories, writes George, “is that human beings care about each other…. Just about everyone everywhere wants to be good to others.”


Best of American Marine Art Bound for Blue Water: Contemporary American Marine Art J. Russell Jinishian ’71 Greenwich Workshop Press, 2003

In Bound for Blue Water, J. Russell Jinishian has created an authoritative collection of the best American marine art of the 20th and the 21st centuries. Greenwich Workshop calls it “the first book to highlight key movements in today’s marine art and to identify its most important artists with detailed discussions of their unique contributions.” Jinishian, former director of Mystic Seaport’s Maritime Gallery and publisher of the Marine Art Quarterly, is considered the nation’s leading authority on the subject. He provides an insider’s view of today’s American marine art in this showcase of nearly one hundred artists including John Barber, Christopher Blossom, Willard Bond, William Davis, Don Demers, Carl Evers, Thomas Hoyne, Paul Landry, Richard Loud, Ian Marshall, Victor Mays, John Mecray, William Muller, Randy Puckett, John Stobard, Kent Ullberg, Robert Weiss, and many others.

Together these artists pay homage to the rugged men and vessels that make their living from the seaports of New York and New England, to Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco, and the Northwest. Pictured in it are the magnificent traditional clipper ships and classic sailing yachts; historical and modern seaside villages as well as the tranquility of coastal landscapes and the thrill of sport fishing. The book features over 140 color reproductions of paintings, scrimshaw and sculpture, most never before published. Jinishian studied art and art history at the Sir John Cass School of Art in London and holds a BFA from Cornell University. He served as program director for the nation’s oldest Guild of Artists (Silvermine) in New Canaan, Conn. He


Books by Alumni Across the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail Laton McCartney ’59 Free Press, 2003

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Your Children’s Allergies and Asthma: Simple Steps to Help Stop Attacks and Improve Your Child’s Health Paul Ehrlich ’62 and Larry Chiaramonte Warner Books, 2003

The Collapse of the Common Good: How America’s Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom Philip K. Howard ’66 Ballantine Books, 2002

Michael Henry Flesh ’66 Akashic Books, 2000

Additions to the Hulbert Taft Jr. Library’s Alumni Collection are welcome. Please send books, sound recordings, or other published works to Julie Reiff, editor, Taft Bulletin, The Taft School, Watertown, CT 06795, for inclusion in this column and they will be forwarded to the collection. was the art columnist for the Connecticut Post, art reviewer for Art New England, and as a contributing editor, wrote the popular “Bridge Wing” column in Nautical World Magazine. His writing has appeared in many publications including Sailing, Sea History and American Artist. He operates the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery in Fairfield, Conn., and lectures nationally on marine art and collecting. Taft Bulletin Fall 2003



pond Living Where You Learn


“With a residential education,” Professor Richard Brodhead told faculty during their opening meetings in September, “living your whole life in the province of school, then different phases of daily life become the agencies of education.” Brodhead, dean of Yale College since 1992, has become well known as an eloquent advocate of the benefits of residential college life.

“The nature of a community of students is a profound education in itself,” he said, emphasizing that diversity is part of the importance of a residential community. “Learning to live with students with whom you have nothing in common,” is critical, he said. “You are not required to like the students you live with, but you must learn to get along with them.”

Brodhead also told the faculty that students often come away with something of great value of which we are unaware, or which we do not intend. They will use knowledge, he said, in ways it was not originally intended, in ways seen and unseen, in ways programmed and unprogrammed. “I marvel at the process by which students begin to care about something, take something external and make it internal. No deep human education takes place without that.” The important thing, he said, is for us to “provide lots of opportunities, then stand back and let the miracle of personal growth and education take place. The space you give them is what enables students to become themselves.” A specialist in 19th-century American literature, Dean Brodhead is the author and editor of books and essays on Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, and William Faulkner. He has also lectured widely on the role of literature in 19th-century culture.


Traveling the Globe, Changing Lives Every summer, select students embark on adventures around the world, sponsored in part through the school’s Robert K. Poole ’50 Fellowships. Their stories enrich our community and inspire others to make a difference. All members of the Class of ’04, five of them share the highlight of their experience and what made it worthwhile.

Kaitlynn Fisher: “I met major political leaders like Gerry Adams and saw the famous Belfast and Derry Murals,” writes Katie, who spent five weeks in Ireland with twelve Americans and one Brazilian. They spent 17 days in Belfast volunteering in both Catholic Nationalist as well as Protestant Unionist communities in hopes of learning more of their struggle. “I learned that the conflict in Belfast is much deeper than politics, paintings, or speakers. It is in every person. It was in the eight-year-old who walked away from me when she learned I was Catholic, it was in the men rioting in the middle of the night outside my hostel, and it was

in the officer that pulled the trigger to shoot a young boy with a rubber bullet. “I did not just read the legislation to ban rubber bullets. I did not just see the murals of the children murdered by these weapons. I saw the boy, and I heard the shot. I did not just learn of the conflict, I was affected by it. The people I met in Belfast, though—the people who hated each other so religiously—were some of the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met. “This trip was more than five weeks volunteering in a foreign country, it was inspiration to spend a lifetime working with and for people.”

Janice Chen: “I walked near the bed of Mataya, a girl who has been fighting her sickness for years and was now approaching the last few months of her dreadful struggle,” writes Janice, who worked with the HUGS organization in Hawaii, which is designed to help seriously ill children and their families. “Despite what was imminent and inevitable, Mataya would laugh and joke with me like any other healthy person. She always told me she wanted to enjoy, to appreciate, and to learn something new every day to keep her last moments of life less painful and more interesting. Although reality finally hit when she was too sick to leave her bed, Mataya’s strength provoked the one question I come back to often: Is there value in persevering in a doomed situation? I answer ‘yes,’ but only with hope and an approach to life that is positive and productive, will that be possible. She had adequately proven that. If we do not give in and give up, we can move on and forward.”

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


Lucia Piacenza:

Erica O’Neill: “The most rewarding part of my trip to Guatemala was finally opening the library,” Erica writes. “The other group members and I had been working on fund raising and book drives since November. “We spent four days organizing and cataloging the books before the trip. When we set it all up and invited local teachers in for a workshop on how to use the library, their reactions to the new books told us that our efforts over the past months were finally bearing fruit. “The classrooms in the village of San Andrés have no books for the teachers to use, so the library we brought will provide much-needed educational resources. It’s really an ongoing project, and we’re continuing to raise money and run book drives over the course of this year.”

“I am extremely frightened by sharks,” writes Lucy, who studied coastal and jungle ecology. “So when I decided to go to Belize and do a community service/ecology trip I promised myself that I would do my best to avoid them. It seemed safe for the first few weeks; there was no ocean in sight. Then we spent the last week on an island off the coast of Belize and took a snorkeling trip. Our guide assured me over and over that I would not be in close enough proximity to the sharks that they would feel the need to bite me, and that we mostly saw nurse sharks (‘friendly’ sharks, if there are such things). “I was so seasick by the time we arrived that I was the first to jump into the water. I was trying to orient myself when I saw our guide waving her arms frantically and pointing behind me. I turned

around as quickly as my flippers would let me and came face to face with a pack of bull sharks, about six or seven of them. “I’d learned about these creatures during ‘shark-week’ on the Discovery Channel; they were pretty vicious on the show, and as my life flashed before me, I wondered what they were thinking. They seemed to be looking at me like a Thanksgiving turkey, trying to decide who wanted light meat and who wanted dark, and who got the first piece. I was too scared to move, so I just floated there, listening to the Darth Vader breath that happens when you breathe through a snorkel, watching them contemplate my doom. Then, as if they decided they simply weren’t interested, they turned and swam away. That, of course, insulted me immensely. What, was I not good enough for them?”

Gordon McMorris—Quebec Labrador Foundation “For my Poole grant I went up to Harrington Harbor, a small fishing village in Northeast Quebec,” writes Gordon, “and spent a month working with schoolchildren between the ages of five and fifteen. We taught not only how to play games and listen to stories, but also how to interact with each other, something which the lack of organized sports in the area had failed to do. 12

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

“Perhaps the greatest moment of my time in Canada was my very last day, when we had planned a big barbecue and picnic, with games and prizes, for the whole town. For days I was terrified that the kids would be unable to even get through the morning, forget the whole day, but we pulled it off. As trivial as this may sound, the greatest triumph of the

day was getting the children to actually organize themselves into teams and play a successful game of football. “I will always remember my time in Harrington, above all for the perspective I gained on people and cultures that, on the surface, may seem similar to my own, but in reality are quite different, and should be celebrated as such.”


Other fellowship recipients include: Dan Furman Teaching volunteer at Beijing Normal University Lindsey Gael Creating a documentary on sturgeon fish in the Caspian Sea Andrew McNair Global Routes community service project in Thailand Johanna Pistell The Redeemer Honduras Medical Mission

Amy Rose Operation Crossroads in Africa

Lauren Rowntree Experiment in International Living in Mexico

Torie Snyder Rustic Pathways in Costa Rica

Kilbourne Fellows “While learning technique was a priority,” writes Veronica Torres, who spent five weeks at Parsons School of Design in New York City as one of Taft’s Kilbourne Fellows, “the emphasis in class was placed in finding a voice. I was encouraged to take risks to visually communicate a thought or emotion. As I printed in the darkroom, my teacher would peek up behind me and question each detail in my pictures. In the beginning I would blush and say that I just liked the lighting, or that I thought it was a touching visual image. “As the class progressed I not only became aware of what I was shooting and how it would look printed, but I also knew what I wanted to tell my audience. While it wasn’t until the last roll I worked on at Parsons that I got one image that broke the barrier between visual impact and symbolic impact, it was worth my 25 rolls and five weeks of straight photography classes.” Thanks to the generosity of John Kilbourne ’58, five Taft students were again awarded Kilbourne Summer Enrichment Grants in the Arts. Other 2003 Kilbourne Fellows are Jon Acquaviva, who attended National Guitar Workshop, Ashley DeMartino who attended the Rockport Photo Workshop in Maine, Antonia Fraker who spent four weeks at Nantucket Island School of Design and Art, and Julia Tyson, who attended Yale Drama School. All are members of the Class of ’04. This cityscape is a digital print by Veronica Torres ’04 taken on 12th street between 3rd and 4th avenues in Manhattan while she studied at Parsons School of Design on a Kilbourne Fellowship. Taft Bulletin Fall 2003



Sabbatical in Stats Al Reiff ’80 spent his sabbatical year from Taft teaching in the Statistics Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Some of the highlights of his time away included working alongside four of the major authors of Advanced Placement Statistics textbooks. Al also attended the College Board’s annual grading of A.P. Statistics exams (his sixth year) with other members of the Cal Poly department, pictured here. Outside of class, Al was able to find the time to run a marathon, act in a play put on by the local community theater, and write a one-act play. Al, Julie, and their son Alex also spent a good deal of time exploring the wonderful sights that California has to offer.

In the Potter Gallery Taft Faculty in Art September 9 through October 18 Opening reception September 11 Megan Craig ’93, Rockwell Visiting Artist October 23 through December 10 Funded in part by an endowment in memory of Andrew R. Heminway ’47 Taft School Visual Arts Student Show January 8 through January 24 Opening reception January 9 Langdon Quin ’66, Rockwell Visiting Artist January 29 through March 6 Opening reception TBA

䉴 New photography teacher Nick Riggie at the faculty art show with Rob Kneip ’04 and Nancy Townsend ’05 SAM DANGREMOND ’05


Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

Student Art Competition A juried show of student art from Taft and some of our peer schools April 2 through April 24 Opening reception TBA

Independent Study Exhibition April 30 through May 7 John Richard Whitton Bria ’69 May 13 through June 4 Opening reception May 14



New Faces on the Faculty Michael J. Aroesty Admissions; Teaching Fellow in Psychology Williams, B.A.

A. Irene Jenkins Teaching Fellow in Religion and Philosophy Colgate, B.A.

Juan Ortiz Bulnes Spanish Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, M.A.

Amory A. Bradley Maillard Teaching Fellow in English Bowdoin, B.A.

D. Brian Kirby History University of Essex (U.K.), M.A.

Nicholas Riggie Photography Bowdoin, B.A.

Ellen C. Brown Teaching Fellow in Science M.I.T., B.S.

Cheryl Larson Mathematics Yale, M.A.

Thomas Cesarz Director of the Library Simmons, M.L.S.

Steven Le English University of Maryland, M.A.

Gregory Emerson Science Yale, B.A. Colin Farrar* History Brown, B.A. Joseph Freeman English Hamilton, B.A. Jacqueline Fritzinger French Middlebury, M.A.

Alyson Lindquist Carpenter Teaching Fellow in History Colby, B.A. Molly MacKean History Harvard, A.B. William Orben ’92 Mathematics Lehigh, B.S.

Frank Santoro Science The University of Chicago, B.A. Jonnifer Vasse French Middlebury, M.A. Felecia Washington Williams ’84 Admissions; Director of Multicultural Affairs Atlanta, M.S.W. Amy Wion College Counseling Harvard, Ed.M. Anthony Wion Mathematics Yale, M.B.A.

*Not pictured

Popular College Picks Members of the Class of 2003 are attending over 75 different colleges and universities this fall. Among their top picks this year were the following schools, listed with the number of classmates there. Cornell .................................... 10 Georgetown ............................. 6 Bates ........................................ 4 Harvard ................................... 4 Middlebury .............................. 4 University of Colorado–Boulder .. 4 Yale .......................................... 4 Amherst ................................... 3 Babson ..................................... 3 Boston University .................... 3 Colby ....................................... 3 Duke ....................................... 3 New York University ................ 3 Tufts ........................................ 3 Union ...................................... 3 Williams .................................. 3 Taft Bulletin Fall 2003



Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

䉳 Members of the 3rd Infantry Division are driving into Baghdad after the city fell. Tom Frank ’80 left the blue chair to take the photograph.


he broad outcome of the war in Iraq may not be known for years, but in one aspect the results are already clear. The long-standing antagonism between the military and media over war coverage is dramatically changed. The Pentagon’s experiment with attaching an unprecedented 775 reporters to military units has been so widely hailed by both sides that it is guaranteed to become a fixture of future military action. Reporters, angered at their sideline status in the 1991 Gulf War, had almost unfettered access as they lived with military units marching across the Iraqi desert. The military, frustrated that its success stories weren’t being told, was rewarded with tales of bravery, drama, and humanity. There were problems, naturally. Some embedded reporters worked under substantial restrictions imposed by media-hostile commanders. Television broadcast extensive combat footage, often with too much cheerleading and too little context. “Unilateral” reporters working on their own were often shunned by military personnel, alarming some that embedding was another way to control access and coverage. Perhaps the most significant change was in the media’s tone. Stories were told

through the eyes of military personnel, often with empathy. One reporter witnessed Marines killing three unarmed Iraqis but didn’t lead his next story with the incident. Rather, he said, he “was careful to put it in the context of scared young men trying to protect themselves.” I was one of the fortunate journalists. I spent one month with an Army helicopter brigade whose commanders invited me to combat briefings, showed me cockpit videotapes, and encouraged me to talk to every soldier. Their candor enabled me to describe the pilot who cheered in his helicopter while blowing up an Iraqi tank, the private who resented giving medical treatment to Iraqi fighters, the warrant officers who quickly realized that Iraqis resented their presence. It was war in vivid detail.


March 2, 5:17 a.m.

I’m lying in a hotel bed awake—not wide awake, but groggy-awake. Annoyedawake. Awake when all I want to do is sleep because I’ve been up for three hours and asleep for only 90 minutes before that. I’ve tried stuffing foam plugs in my ears, snapping a sleep mask over my face, watching Kevin Bacon movies with Arabic subtitles. Useless. I arrived in Kuwait three days ago, and I suppose I could tell myself this is jet lag. But jet leg does not jar you awake, heart thumping with fear, mind racing in horror. I am about to join the U.S. Army division that will lead the SGT. CRAIG CLARK/NEWSDAY


By Tom Frank ’80

Newsday Washington Correspondent Tom Frank went to war in Iraq as an embedded reporter armed with a laptop, a satellite phone, and a digital camera. Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


invasion of Iraq with 20,000 soldiers blasting a hellstorm of missiles, rockets, artillery, and tank rounds against an enemy widely expected to unleash chemical and biological weapons whose gruesome potential terrifies even the most tattooed infantry grunt. I will carry a notebook and pen. I am a reporter. I am going to war. My main qualification for this assignment, as best I can tell, is that I don’t have a life. I have no wife, no kids, no girlfriend—no one whose absence would cause me pangs of homesickness over two months or generate pleading calls for an expedited return. I stress this point to Newsday’s foreign editor one day in mid-February when I heard war correspondents were being sought.

“I don’t even have any pets,” I added for cocky effect. The next day I was told to start getting ready.


falls into four categories whose importance corresponds directly to their cumulative weight: gear that keeps me clothed, clean, alive, and employed. The heaviest category, by far, is the last. I have: a laptop computer with power adapter; a laptop-sized satellite phone with spare battery, a cable that connects to the laptop for e-mailing stories, a power adapter, and a compass to figure out where to point the contraption; a hand-held satellite phone with a spare battery, earphone, connector cable

and power adapter; a Nikon 4500 digital camera with two spare batteries, two flashcards, battery charger, and lens paper that proves no match for desert sand; a shortwave radio that consistently loses reception as the Alistair Cooke hour transitions to BBC News, six spare batteries and an attachable antenna; a 200-watt DC-to-AC power inverter the size of a thick paperback that plugs into miniature alligator clips that fasten to a car battery to power any of the aforementioned items; a half-dozen American-to-European or European-toAmerican plug converters; an extension cord; a small tape recorder with four minicassettes and four spare batteries; a brick of 12 reporters’ notebooks and four pens—one blue, one red, one black, one green, which I alternate each day to organize my notes. THOMAS FRANK/NEWSDAY

I separate the items by function, cram them in Ziploc bags and stuff them into a large daypack. It weighs 36 pounds. The remaining 47 pounds of gear so thoroughly fills an internal-frame backpack that I remove ANY nonessentials—comb, spare pants, deodorant. A bulletproof vest with inch-thick ceramic plates in front and back and a Kevlar helmet occupy most of the space. There are two bottles of NATOapproved decontamination powder, six chemical safety lights and a flashlight and headlamp with red filters required by the military to block white light visible to enemy snipers. To this stockpile the Army adds a charcoal-lined chemical-protection suit that I will wear every day for a month

䉳 Embedded reporter Tom Frank ’80 photographed these 3rd Infantry Division soldiers listening to BBC News on a shortwave radio one morning in Jalibah, Iraq in Iraq, and a gas mask that will remain permanently strapped to my side in a green canvas case with three atropine shots to be (self!) administered in case of exposure. There is a fourth shot for Serious Circumstances so beyond anything I can fathom that the explanation shuts down my brain.


in late February and early March, I live in the seaside Kuwait Hilton with fellow reporters neurotically testing satellite phones, neurotically debating whether to get vaccines for smallpox and anthrax (I get neither) and neurotically trying to relax at parties that are single-sex and alcohol-free. Then, I am embedded.

We 85 journalists joining the 3rd Infantry Division climb into chartered city buses one afternoon at the hotel. We are driven past Kuwait City’s dreary cinderblock architecture and discount shopping sprawl, to a desolate highway running north toward Iraq. As dusk settles, the convoy passes through a U.S. military checkpoint and turns off the highway. We sputter across the flat, lifeless desert for a four-hour stop-andstart journey to the division’s bases. It’s nearly 10 p.m. when I am dropped off, with a photographer from the Agence France-Presse, at an Army base. Newly built Camp Udairi feels like a miniature city with grid patterns of platform tents, a hospital, a store, hangars, dirt roads and a mile-long tarmac stacked with helicopters. Two soldiers pile my gear in the back of a Humvee and drive me in the darkness to a 40-foot-long tent that will be home for the next week. I open the green canvas flap and step into fluorescent brightness. Seventeen soldiers, including two women, are lounging on their aluminum-frame canvas cots two feet apart enjoying what I would later learn are standard leisure activities: writing letters, sleeping and cleaning their guns. A blur of handshakes, friendly chatter and food offerings greet me. I am assigned a cot between two veteran soldiers, one wizened and wry, the other from South Dakota, both about my age. A major turns out to be from the small Pennsylvania town where I started my journalism career; we discover a mutual friend. The battalion commander, a lieutenant colonel who went to West Point with Dave Johnson ’80, is fully open with me and encourages the same of his troops. Another late-thirties soldier has a laptop that plays music. Sitting on his cot as we wind down my first night, he pops in a CD. Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” pipes out. I feel instantly at home.


operates Apache helicopters, the military’s premier attack helicopter. The Apache prowls 100 feet off the ground, skulking in the dark night for tanks and other armored vehicles to blow up with the eight laser-guided missiles and 34 rockets it carries under stubby wings. A gun perched under the nose fires 30-mm cannon shells at a rate of 600 per minute. I spend hours while stationed at Udairi hanging around the helicopters with pilots on the tarmac, wedging myself into the cramped cockpits, sliding on the tight headsets, gripping the left handle that aims the laser, fingering the right-hand trigger that launches the Hellfire missile. Each helicopter costs about $25 million, and as I gaze at the long hazy rows of some 200 birds my liberal instincts try to berate the extraordinary sums they cost and devastation they wreak. But those thoughts do not go far. Rather, I imagine an Apache hovering in the air, a sleek black missile curling up from under a wing before rocketing down to its target and blasting it in an explosive shower of flames. I want to feel outrage and fear as I circle the helicopters. But what I feel instead is giddy awe at their sheer, brute power.


two cockpit seats preclude passengers, so my first helicopter ride comes in the open cabin of a Black Hawk. I am with a dozen soldiers from the Apache unit’s sister battalion, sitting literally on top of each other and our gear. Each soldier rests his M-16 automatic rifle across his lap; 30round ammo clips are taped to the grips. We fly in formation with a dozen other Black Hawks, buzzing above the brown desert that stretches unbroken by any sign of life or vegetation. After an hour, we land in the middle of nowhere at an abandoned military airstrip, its Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


runways rubbled and cratered by bombs dropped 12 years earlier. A burly young private climbs out through the helicopter’s sliding side door ahead of me. He looks stern and alert. He steps on the pavement and silently slides a clip into his rifle. The war began one day ago. We are in Iraq. The war’s early stages make clear that the Apache battalion I’m with will see little combat. The Iraqi strategy of hiding in cities, trying to draw U.S. forces in, works against Apaches, which are vulnerable to small-arms fire—rifles and rocket-propelled grenades—that Iraqi fighters can unleash from close range hiding on rooftops and in alleys. But war comes to those nearby, and on our third day in Iraq a convoy of Marines passing through the city of An Nasiriyah 10 miles north is ambushed in one of the bloodiest attacks, during the war, on U.S. forces. Two Marine transport helicopters land at our airstrip and drop off wounded Marines for treatment at the field medical station, which is nothing more than a few litters quickly set up next to a small beige medical truck with a red cross. By night, one Marine is left, sitting on a litter in the glow of generator-run lights hooked to the medical truck. I start to approach him and stop. Back home, interviewing hospital patients typically requires clearance through a thicket of guards, flaks, doctors and relatives. Here, I only have to walk five feet. Nothing can guide me but instinct, which is torn between sympathy for what the Marine has been through and duty to report it. I find the battalion doctor, a 29-yearold resident, and say I’d like to talk to the Marine. The doctor chats briefly with him and motions me over with a nod. I am stunned to see a scrawny 19-year-old kid, no more than 125 pounds, with acne, glasses, a high-pitched voice and fear all over his bandaged face. He tries to answer questions with rambling tales of being hit by mortars, machine guns, 20

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heavy guns…a fire in the back of his amphibious assault vehicle…hiding under a bridge…Marine helicopters unloading everything. But he conveys one message with perfect clarity in his shaky voice. “That’s the worst shit I’ve ever seen,” he says. “I don’t want to do it again.”


from the airstrip to the next in-themiddle-of-nowhere desert encampment further north is repeatedly delayed. On the morning we are finally supposed to leave, a sandstorm sweeps in. I am lying on the airstrip next to the Black Hawk in which I expect to fly, and believe I had actually fallen asleep when a soldier pats me on the shoulder and calmly suggests I put on my body armor. An enemy company is three miles south. I stand up. I walk to the helicopter. I panic. My mind shouts, “Get me out of here,” as if I could be magically extracted. Then I ask a soldier what I should do. “Got a weapon?” he says, ripping a grenade out of a carton and stuffing it in his chest pocket. Of course not, I reply. “Then find one,” he says and rushes away to join the line of soldiers lying in the prone firing position on the edge of the tarmac, valiantly pointing rifles that suddenly seem puny. My instinct is in charge again, and this time it doesn’t have a clue. Back home I respond to trouble by assessing a scenario’s worst possible outcome and working my way back to a reasonable solution. But now the worst possible outcome is getting killed—a prospect that lurches me from panic to denial to horror and then…to calm. I climb out of the helicopter and begin taking notes. I chat with a medic loading her pistol. In a few minutes, another report arrives. The enemy three miles south were enemy prisoners. Under Marine escort.


moves north, skipping from encampment to encampment every few days, the source of discomfort begins to shift. The blast of artillery, so powerful I can feel it from two miles away, no longer rushes adrenaline. The sight of rocket launches, which initially sent me scrambling for my vest and helmet, barely merits my attention. One night at the midpoint of the war when 3rd Infantry Division armored units are storming past Karbala to within 50 miles of Baghdad, I lie outside in my sleeping bag on a cot and gaze at the starsplattered sky until my eyes go fuzzy and I fall asleep. A few hours later, I’m awakened by artillery blasts in the distance and roll over back to sleep. Several nights later, we are 20 miles from Baghdad and the evening is peaceful. Someone has a laptop, someone else has a “Spider-Man” DVD, another soldier has Jiffy-Pop. The laptop is plugged into a generator and set on a litter against the medical truck. Cots are set up in front of it, popcorn is passed around, and a dozen soldiers banter through a night at the movies as an Apache stands nearby, silhouetted by a sliver-moon. Yet after three weeks in the desert with no shower and no break from the sun that pushes the temperature above 100 degrees each day, filth has become egregious. The Middle Eastern desert is not sand but powder, chewed up by Army trucks and pelted by the incessant helicopter rotors. Dirt works into every pore of my skin, crusts my scalp and layers the inside of my sleeping bag. Under the dull light of my headlamp, the backs of my hands look like they belong to an 85-year-old blacksmith. My hand-held satellite phone and tape recorder are destroyed. My laptop screen is cracked internally and barely usable. I have eaten nothing but mealsready-to-eat for a month. Any source of relaxation does not exist. I am hanging

on. My editor suggests a day off, to which I reply, “And do what exactly?” I rejoice one morning hearing we are breaking camp and driving to Baghdad. Our convoy of about 50 vehicles joins with other convoys forming a slowmoving line several miles long. We rumble through villages whose residents line the one-lane road, some buoyantly waving, others skeptically glaring, many hoisting white flags. I ride in the back of an open-air truck strewn with knapsacks, bottles of water and MREs. Camelbacks hang from a thatch of straps across the top. There are 10 soldiers and me, all geared up in helmets and vests. We bounce along the rutted road. The soldiers point rifles with one hand and cameras with the other. They banter incessantly, spit tobacco juice and smoke. I drop my veneer of dispassion, laugh at their jokes and throw back one-liners. After a while I start to feel like grabbing a rifle and lighting up.


Saddam International Airport at night in the middle of a thunderous exchange overhead of rockets and artillery. It would turn out to be the last serious fight of the war. Within a day, the statue of Saddam Hussein is torn down in Baghdad. Realizing the fighting is over, I begin a desperate search for a ride into central Baghdad. After a few days at the airport, I stumble on an Australian TV crew with two SUVs and room for me but no time to wait. I bid a frantic and unceremonious farewell to a couple of soldiers and am gone. I arrive in Baghdad on a sunny afternoon with hundreds of journalists who are suddenly free to enter the country without a visa and work without the oversight of government minders. The two main Western hotels are so packed that my offer of a $100 bribe cannot get me a room. I run into an old journalist friend who hands me her room keys.

Aided by a translator and driver who came looking for work outside my hotel, I spend the next five days traveling through the city’s neighborhoods, where goats eat garbage in the street, and report on people who had been liberated yet felt newly oppressed by looting, chaos and foreign occupiers. When my editor says it’s time to come home, I put up no fight. On the ride board that journalists have set up in the hotel lobby, I see a convoy is leaving for Amman, Jordan, in two days at dawn. The night before I go, the hotel generator has conked out. I pack in my dark seventh-floor room. Gunfire ripples outside. The moon glows on the murky Tigris River. I climb in bed and try to sleep. But my mind is charging, excited, alive—wide awake. Reprinted with permission from Wesleyan University magazine.


䉳 After the fall of Baghdad, Firas Hashimm and hundreds of other Iraqis spent days outside the city’s prisons, which U.S. forces took over, looking for relatives who had been missing for years. Hashimm was looking for two uncles who had been arrested in 1991 after they fought in southern Iraq in the abortive attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


with a

ONLINE BIG communicator


Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

When I close my eyes to think of elephants I For 28 years Joyce Poole ’74 has been watching, and listening to, elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. Now she’s making sure they’re heard.

feel enduring warmth: Sunlight reflecting off large bodies, amber eyes blinking in deep contemplation, soft footfalls on the pan, lingering exhalations of warm breath, and the comforting resonance of their voices. For more than 28 years these images and feelings have been etched deep into my psyche. 䉳 Observing elephants in Amboseli National Park at the base of snow-capped Kilimanjaro

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䉹 Our lab and office at the edge of Rift Valley, south of the Ngong Hills, an hour outside Nairobi 䉳 Echo, Erin, and Enid in deep discussion

FAMILY TIES Well-known for their intelligence, close family ties and social complexity, elephants are unusually long-lived and have the biggest brain of any terrestrial mammal. Like humans, elephants, living in a fissionfusion society, remember for years other individuals and places, forming close ties with individuals in social groups that form, split and reform in numerous combinations and in multiple layers of complexity. Relationships radiate out from the mother-offspring bond through families, extended families, clans, and populations creating one of the largest social networks of any nonhuman species. To add to this list of extremes, elephants are able to recognize, up to 1–2 kilometers away, the powerful infrasonic 24

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voices of more than 100 friends and relatives, and they can send strong vocal signals that may be detected acoustically by other elephants up to 10 kilometers away and seismically, through sensitive corpuscles in their feet, up to perhaps 30 kilometers away.

ONLY A CALL AWAY Most recently we have discovered that elephants are able to imitate the calls of other species and machines in their environment, making them the first terrestrial mammal other than humans to do so. Like us they may be using vocal imitation to mimic the voices of close family and friends thus enhancing the

bonds upon which the survival of these extraordinary individuals depends. The study of elephant communication is in a phase of rapid discovery and I believe that over the next ten to twenty years we will continue to uncover astonishing details that challenge the accepted view of the minds of animals.

ECHO I work with my husband, Petter Granli, in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, at the base of snow-capped Kilimanjaro with a family of 26 African savanna elephants led by 58-year-old matriarch, Echo. From a kilometer away I recognize her unmistakably slow and rhythmical stride that creates the characteristic swing of her crossed tusks; close up the knobbed pattern of

rough skin on her forehead, the cataract in her left eye, the abscess on her right hip are her distinguishing marks. Her calm and steady demeanor belies an arousing nature and a fierce loyalty to her family. In late April 2003 Echo’s eldest daughter, Erin, was speared by Maasai warriors 15 kilometers from their Ol Tukai Orok home in an area the family seldom visited. For over three weeks the family stayed within calling distance, visiting Erin from time to time to greet her in demonstrative vocal and tactile interchanges. I was with Erin and her family over the course of several days during this difficult period. On May 21, after a long and painful struggle, Erin collapsed and died of septicemia. At 34 years old she was the mother of three immature calves, Echeri (8), Erica (5),

and E-mail (20 months), two adult daughters, Edwina (21) and Eleanor (18), and three grandchildren. Her son Esau (12) had already left home. Only after Erin’s death did Echo and the extended family depart. Traveling southwest they walked across the border into Tanzania to a place Echo had not visited in 31 years. There they remained for several more weeks. When Echo and her family returned to Kenya they walked straight to the place of Erin’s death and stood touching and fondling her bones.

A FAMILY IN MOURNING What goes on in the minds of beings such as elephants? What kind of thoughts and

feelings can an individual as long-lived, as large-brained and as socially and emotionally complex as Echo have? Did she feel love and loss for a daughter from whom for 34 years she had rarely been separated by more than tens of meters? In remaining near to Erin through the course of her decline was Echo able to comprehend not only that Erin was unable to walk home, but that she probably never would? If not why didn’t she, or some of the others, simply go home and wait for Erin to follow later, as they normally would have done? These were some of the questions that Petter and I asked ourselves as we watched the drama on the plains unfold. It seemed to us that Echo remained with Erin because at some level she understood that her daughter needed her Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


䉳 Erin’s death was a grim experience. In 2002, during happier times, Erica plays in the mud by her mother’s side. 䉴 A family group bunches together after hearing a lion call; teamwork is a vital component of elephant survival.

presence and because she was able to comprehend that her daughter would probably die. It appeared, too, that Echo was able to communicate to other members of her family, perhaps through simple vocal signals, her insight as well as her intention to remain with Erin, for rather than splitting up as they usually would have done, they remained together in an unfamiliar place for weeks. The apparent ability of elephants to empathize and to have some understanding of death contradicts the conventional view of the minds of nonhuman animals. Are we correct in our conclusions or are there other simpler explanations for Echo’s behavior? These are the questions that continue to fuel my life’s work. Answering them may open a window 26

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into the minds of elephants, as well as provide us with deeper understanding of our own human origins.

GREAT COMMUNICATORS I have studied the behavior and communication of elephants over a period of 28 years as part of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project—the longest study of elephants in the world. While no species vocal communication can begin to compete with human language in terms of its richness and complexity, elephants have an extensive repertoire including over 70 different calls. Elephants call to advertise physiological or hormonal state, threaten adversaries and secure group defense, dem-

onstrate strong emotions, announce needs or desires, propose, discuss a plan of action, coordinate group movement, care for calves, elicit care or support from others, reinforce bonds between family and friends, and to reconcile differences. Elephant vocalizations are highly variable ranging from very low frequency rumbling sounds, or “rumbles”, to higher frequency trumpets, roars, barks, bellows, cries, snorts, screams, squeals, and groans. These different sounds vary over more than 10 octaves from 5 hertz (far below the level of human hearing) to 9,000 hertz. Indeed, within a single call an elephant may slide over 6 octaves—significantly better than an opera singer! In addition to this basic vocal repertoire, elephants produce a variety of idiosyncratic and novel sounds. Elephants

also communicate via a wide variety of visual and tactile gestures and displays and chemical secretions. A complex suite of these signals mediates the intricate teamwork displayed by members of an elephant family, including the kinds of decisions that Echo and her family took over the course of the weeks leading up to and following Erin’s death.

WORKING TOGETHER A couple of years ago Petter and I initiated the Savanna Elephant Vocalization Project (SEVP) to create a multimedia collection of elephant communicative signals and interpretive information easily accessible to biologists,

wildlife managers and conservationists around the world through our website, www.elephantvoices.org. The elephant communication collection, started in 2002 and hopefully to be completed in 2006, is being created in collaboration with scientists and institutions both in Kenya and around the globe. In Kenya our main collaborators are members of the 31-year Amboseli Elephant Research Project, of which I am scientific director, and the Kenya Wildlife Service, as well as a team of biologists and engineers at the University of Cornell and individuals at other academic institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Through the collection and our work with colleagues we aim to form a new scientific basis of understanding for the intelligence and behavioral complex-

ity of elephants, provide innovative tools to enhance their long-term survival, and inspire other people working with and for elephants. As among the elephants, longdistance communication is vital to the success of our project, and the Internet and e-mail are fundamental tools for us. The growing number of contacts and mail gives us long working hours, but also inspiration and deep satisfaction. A lesson we have learned from elephants: teamwork is a key to achievement! Our collective goal in the long run is a world where people, elephants, and other living creatures live together in relative harmony. To achieve that goal we need understanding. All photos by Joyce Poole ’74/Petter Granli

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


As a “fine arts officer” in World War II, Yale art professor Deane Keller ’19 helped to rescue Italian masterworks from the ravages of war. His efforts are documented in a remarkable collection of photographs in Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library.

by Catherine Roach

Collateral 28

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When the Allies invaded Italy in the summer of 1943, Yale art

landed in Italy on a different mission. The artworks that Keller

professor Deane Keller was among the troops scrambling ashore

had emulated as a student suddenly became his to preserve.

in Naples. In civilian life, Keller taught painting and created

As a fine arts officer assigned to the U.S. Fifth Army, Keller

portraits of Yale worthies that adorn dining halls to this day.

was responsible for protecting Italian cultural treasures against

As a young artist fresh from the Yale School of Fine Arts, Keller

the threats of combat and looting.

won the prestigious Prix de Rome, an award that sent him to

Over the next three years, Keller would encounter every-

study in Italy between 1923 and 1926. But 20 years later, he

thing from endangered Roman ruins to purloined Renaissance

Damage 䉳 Keller rests his hand on the forehead of the statue of Cosimo de Medici and contemplates the statue before its return to Florence.

䉱 Deane Keller had studied Italian art on a Rome Prize fellowship in the 1920s. The war brought him back to Italy to protect the country’s art, a task that included the rescue of masterpieces looted from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

䉳 Resembling a modern-day Trojan horse, the equestrian portion of the Cosimo de Medici statue is wheeled through the plaza as Florentine citizens look on. Restoring the massive statue was a huge undertaking requiring engineers as well as art experts. Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


Collateral Damage

䉲 A soldier poses with one of the many looted artworks discovered by the U.S. Army.

䉴 In Florence, crates containing priceless Renaissance marbles are carried down narrow streets and returned to the National Museum of the Bargello.

䉳 American and Italian officials gather in Florence to celebrate the return of looted artworks.


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altarpieces. In places like Pisa, Keller and his fellow arts officers

them from bombing were later seized as spoils of war by retreat-

struggled to salvage shattered medieval frescoes. After the libera-

ing German forces. When the looted artworks were discovered

tion of Florence, they were greeted by empty museums. The

piled haphazardly in a carriage house near the Austrian border,

city, famed as the cradle of the Renaissance, had been a con-

Keller was in charge of seeing them safely back to Florence.

tested site in the war, and many of the artworks that had made

The photographs on these pages record some of the

Florence famous were missing. Works by artists such as Botticelli

most dramatic moments in Keller’s efforts on the cultural

and Duccio that had been removed from the city to protect

front of the war. Keller and his friend Charles Bernholz were

䉳 Workers gaze at Michelangelo’s David, which has just been freed of protective masonry coverings designed to protect it from bombing.

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Collateral Damage 䉴 Keller takes his turn chipping away at protective coverings to reveal Michelangelo’s Bound Slave.

䉲 Bomb-damaged churches, such as the one in the northern town of Treviso, became a familiar scene and restoration challenge for Keller and other fine arts officers.

䉱 An empty spot on an Uffizi wall reveals where Botticelli’s Madonna of the Magnificat once hung. The painting was one of many taken from the city by retreating German forces.


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authorized to take pictures of their duties, a commission that

years to come. By depicting familiar masterpieces in perilous

resulted in a remarkable collection of some 12,000 images

situations, they challenge us to rethink our concept of the

depicting heroic restorations as well as terrible damage.

eternal artwork, untouched and outside of time. Instead they

After his death, Deane Keller’s widow, Katherine H. Keller,

show us that works of art are human creations, and as such

donated his papers and photographs to Yale. Now in the col-

are subject to human conflict and human intervention. The

lection of the Manuscripts and Archives department at Sterling

photographs seen here testify to one Yale professor’s efforts to

Memorial Library, these records will provide a resource for

salvage these creations in the midst of war.

䉲 The great bronze statue of Cosimo de Medici by Giambologna was hidden outside Florence during the war. Keller oversaw its return to the main square, which U.S. Army officials hoped would boost the city’s morale.

Faces in the Hall A well-known artist at Yale and beyond, Deane Keller’s brush strokes are also familiar at Taft. Keller painted the portraits of Horace Taft, Harley Roberts, Sen. Robert Taft 1905, John B. Armstrong ’34 (for whom the dining hall is named), Paul Cruikshank, John Esty, and longtime school dean Andrew McIntosh, pictured (after whom the dorm is named). He also created the charcoal drawing of history teacher John Reardon that hangs in the faculty room. Son Deane Keller ’58 understood that painting portraits was part of an arrangement his father made with the school to pay his son’s tuition. Deane, of course, continued in the family business (Spring 2003) and was himself commissioned to paint the portraits of longtime faculty Al Reiff Sr. and Joe Cunningham.

Catherine Roach catalogued the Deane Keller papers while working for Yale’s department of Manuscripts and Archives as an undergraduate. The collection was a source for her senior essay, which focused on art theft during World War II. Copyright ©2003, Yale Alumni Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Photographs: Deane Keller Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003



Passionate Heart

A Tribute to Richard Marshall Davis ’59 May 2, 1941–September 25, 2003 By Headmaster William R. MacMullen ’78 A man who devoted nearly his entire life to teaching Taft students, Richard Marshall Davis, who died of kidney complications, taught hundreds of students in his nearly 40 years here. Rick Davis was many things to many people. For some of you, he was the teacher you have known only for two weeks. For the faculty, Rick was the slightly eccentric but brilliant teacher you never knew, or the colleague who one moment frustrated you and the next inspired you. And you feel the school has an emptiness now, a vast one. In the great history of this school, and a history filled with great teachers, we will be hard pressed to find someone who taught as well and for so long.

Perhaps with him will die the career of the person who devotes himself to a school for an entire life, embracing it as if it were family, flaws and all, but never letting it go. Let’s hope not. For Rick Davis, Taft was his life. Of his 62 years, only his youth and college days were spent away from these halls, in the dorm above us, and in the CPT classrooms, where he held court and dazzled, frightened, and inspired his students. I know, for I was one of them, as were several other faculty. Rick Davis came to Taft as an upper mid and graduated in 1959. He was a handsome boy and a very good student. His senior page tells the story of a hard-working intellectual: he was a

His travel was inseparable from his teaching of history. He simply could not live his life without learning about other cultures, and he traveled with an anthropologist’s eye, swiftly and hungrily observing culture and history, assembling it in that great mind of his, and then sharing it with others over coffee, in the classroom, or in his apartment. Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


Mr. Davis was one of the funniest and most captivating teachers I had, and he was one of those staple teachers who made you think “Taft” every time you passed them in the hallways. My parents both had Mr. Davis, I had Mr. Davis, my brother had Mr. Davis. One of the only shared experiences my family has to discuss when talking about our times at Taft is this teacher who made us laugh and taught us everything he could. I remember stories he told and the way he conducted his classes like mini plays—he would act out the parts of the key historical figures. I remember the voices he would use when talking about Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson. I know how many books Teddy Roosevelt would read in a day, or how little he slept. Mr. Davis didn’t just teach history, he performed it—he didn’t just try to impart knowledge on his classes, he tried to get us to care about it. He was one of the reasons that history is now one of my passions. Mr. Davis was one of the great teachers who could transform a student into an interested scholar. —Eliza Clark ’03


Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

member of the Biology Club, Radio Club, Masque and Dagger, and he was headed for Princeton. There he majored in history, and soon after he completed his master’s at the University of Michigan. In 1964, he was tutoring a young boy at a ranch in Texas, and he wrote Headmaster John Esty about a job. I find his letter, still on file, and on yellowed paper, haunting: “I am most interested in teaching history at Taft,” he wrote. “I plan to make teaching at the private secondary school level my career and would consider a position at Taft not only a fulfillment of my hopes but also a definite honor.” It is a wonderful letter: steeped in decorum, appropriately respectful, refreshingly idealistic, and above all, eerily prophetic. For nearly forty years he would honor the profession and the school. For all you teachers who knew him, I would add this: Naturally Rick did not make it easy for Headmaster Esty. He wrote several letters with questions and clarifications, and, after receiving a job offer, he wrote back yet again to say he was waiting to hear from Hotchkiss and Lawrenceville. Happily he began teaching at Taft that winter, and so began a marriage between an institution and a man, and one as complex, flawed, joyful, and intimate as any marriage. Rick brought to Taft a prodigious love of history and a brilliant mind. One recommendation remarked that “He is an interesting conversationalist. He will be an excellent teacher and will be creative and stimulating to his students.” He became the heart of the history department. During the Vietnam War, Headmaster Esty wrote the draft board every single year requesting a deferment: “He is a key member of the faculty,” he wrote. For essentially his entire career, Rick was the face of history at Taft, especially A.P. United States History. During his career, a number of great history teachers have retired or moved

䉱 For three decades, Rick Davis provided a home away from home for boys on his corridor, pictured here with Jim Gibson, Eddie Ofria, and John Briton, all members of the Class of ’77.

on; Rick was the constant force with whom everyone in the department had to deal. He brought stubbornly voiced opinions, a massive grasp of history, and a touch of eccentricity that for many students made him all the more interesting. Simply put, he was the most fascinating man on campus. In part, because Rick loved to travel. His travel was inseparable from his teaching of history. He simply could not live his life without learning about other cultures, and he traveled with an anthropologist’s eye, swiftly and hungrily observing culture and history, assembling it in that great mind of his, and then sharing it with others over coffee, in the classroom, or in his apartment. His travels are mind-boggling. In addition to Europe—which he traversed numerous times, taking in the great battlefields, cities, and museums—he received travel

How well I remember Rick arriving from tutoring at the King Ranch, filled with humorous stories of life with the wealthiest of Texans. He lived across the hall from Patsy and me on the fourth floor of CPT and quickly established himself as a firm but popular master. Equally quickly he became one the school’s most gifted lecturers, blessed with an unending reservoir of knowledge, a devastating sense of humor, and a complete devotion to history. Throughout his career he fought for the principles he believed in: Republican values, high academic standards, and opposition to political correctness. If he was somewhat of a throw-back,

grants from the school, and no one took more advantage of them. In 1967, 1976, and 1982 and through the ’90s he took summer trips—to Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Fiji, Polynesia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Greece, Italy, Russia, and on and on. His travels were a reflection of his mind: roving, restless, insatiable. On campus, he refused to be involved with anything athletic, but in his years here he would serve as a dorm head, chairman of the History Department, coach for the Debate Team, head of the Jobs Program, and adviser to Masque and Dagger. As a teacher, he introduced new courses almost every year—in Russian history, anthropology, Islam. But it was as an A.P. American History teacher that Rick Davis was most compelling, frightening, and effective. He seemed to know everything, and when you meet someone like that— and it is rare—you will find it a very exciting and unsettling experience. I know the feeling since I took A.P. history with him, and I am sure that

Jack Kenerson ’82, Greg Hawes ’85, and Jon Willson ’82 would share similar stories from their student days, as would any of the department who saw his great mind at work, and who worked with him, argued with him, and learned from him every day. Writing an essay for him was a daunting task: you knew that no matter what topic you chose, he would know more, and without ever picking up a book to check facts. It was impossible to find an area of history about which he did not seem extraordinarily, meticulously, lavishly informed. His department head in 1969 wrote, “He can almost overwhelm a class he teaches because he is so witty and so well informed. He is a master—his lectures are meticulously organized and proceed unerringly from point to point. He is a master teacher.” His effect on his students was enormous. Every year they scored brilliantly on the A.P. exams. Though he died only twelve hours ago, I have already had e-mails from students; one senior reported that her older sister burst into

he was proudly so and challenged many a student and fellow faculty member to reconsider their thinking. Over his long career, Rick did it all from housemastering, to debate, to club sports, to directing plays to teaching, but it was in the classroom that he left his real mark. I feel certain that every student who ever had Rick Davis remembers his powerful presence and command of his subject. —Lance Odden,

headmaster emeritus

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


My strongest and fondest memories of Rick Davis are of team-teaching “The Roaring Twenties” with him many years ago. It was a spring term senior elective in American history and English, with a silent film shown every Friday after the weekly paper was handed in. Rick lectured as always, I ran discussions, and we all had a fine time. The students thought the course quite easy, but we managed to get a goodly amount of work out of them. At the end of the course each year we taught the Charleston, even dancing it together, if one can imagine that. Rick greatly enjoyed traveling. One summer, on the spur of the moment, he and I went to Greece for a memorable three weeks. He was a magnificent tour guide: both of us would read the Blue Guide each evening, for the area to which we were about to travel; I would then forget everything, and he would lecture the next day right out of the book. Occasionally I caught him in a mistake, or making up stuff he had also forgotten, but on the whole I learned a great deal. My triumph, though, was in the ancient theater at Delphi during a performance of Oedipus Rex, in classical Greek, when he leaned over and actually asked me, “Do you know what’s going on?” I was able to reply, “Yes!” and proceeded to tell him the plot. What I had forgotten, I made up, of course. —Robin (Blackburn) Osborn,

faculty emerita


Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

tears when she heard. Who knows how many of his students chose history majors in college. Teachers on this and other campuses are teaching what they learned from him in A.P. workshops, professional associations, and office chats. Just this morning Mike Maher said, “My talk on Puritanism the other day? Rick taught it to me fifteen years ago.” As a student, you felt awe certainly; the sheer volume of his knowledge was intimidating. You asked one question— “Was Rasputin murdered?”—and you got 40 minutes of Russian history, geography, politics, and economy. And he told stories. His lectures—and he always lectured, remaining disdainful of group exercises and Socratic seminars to the very end—were filled with anecdotes, generally funny and often just a bit off-color, and told with his trademark nasally voice, and perhaps a few “Egads!” thrown in. He was charismatic, vital, exciting, and energetic. It was hard not to like history as he taught it, even as teaching changed so profoundly in his tenure and he felt out of step with cur-

ricular innovations. He was devoutly traditional and old fashioned in his pedagogy; his was not a seminar. There was no question where the class was centered. He refused to change: you walked into class, opened your notebook, got out your pen, and held on for dear life. But he loved students outside of class as well. I recall nights in his apartment, on CPT2, where he was corridor head both when I was a student and as a young teacher. I visited often. He was, as you would imagine, formal and picky. He had a lamp outside the door, with a typewritten sign telling you he was not to be disturbed if the light was off. Generally it was on. We all knew that Rick was an insomniac, and that meant on nights he could not sleep, he read or watched movies. His movie collection was staggering—from Hollywood classics to documentaries to cheap horror. And so on many a Saturday night, you would find 20 boys in his living room, bowls of popcorn and a tray of donuts, the lights off, and a great movie, with Rick chiming in with trivia about how

Rick Davis quickly became one the school’s most gifted lecturers, blessed with

It is amazing to think about how many

an unending reservoir of knowledge, a devastating sense of humor, and a

Taft students R.M. touched. Although I did not have him as a teacher, he also

complete devotion to history, pictured here in 1981. the movie was made. When the movie was over, you blinked your eyes, stretched, but didn’t get up to leave. Rick had put in awful thick orange carpeting—this was the ’70s—and some wonderfully comfortable, ugly chairs (his furnishing taste was plain awful!); and his walls were covered with fascinating memorabilia from his travels. Arabian muskets, Civil War guns, Asian tapestries, Maasai tribe shields— his apartment was a museum, and we would munch popcorn and ask him about some item we saw, and he would tell us its history. After an hour or two, a score of Taft boys would walk back to their rooms yawning, and a solitary, brilliant insomniac history teacher would finally rest. But Rick was a tough, no-nonsense historian, and he wanted the truth, even the gritty and sometimes not pretty truth, so he would not want me to end here. The truth is that Rick could be a prickly man, and not always an easy colleague to have. Over the past few years, he battled serious health problems, and this made him impatient with others and his teaching days more difficult. And he was always a tough man to read, extremely private and oddly shy, scathingly smart. Once when I wrote him a note questioning something he did, I got back a three-page essay; when Headmaster Lance Odden made some professional suggestions, Rick wrote back nine pages; when Walker Hall was opened up, he wrote angry notes to the grounds crew about the fact that they were driving their carts over his lawn. At one time or another, just about every administrator received one of these notes. Rick-O-Grams, we called them, but they were never mean-spirited:

touched those who never knew him in

he was mad, if he thought something was unfair, and he was not going to sit by quietly. He drove three headmasters and three deans of faculty crazy. But there was no mistaking the respect we all had for him. We knew that what he had accomplished in his life was something epic. Seeing him last night in his hospital bed was to gaze on a visage almost Greek—colossal, it was, and marble heavy, statuesque. Nearly 40 years, I marveled! And still as passionate as his first day! *** The average Taft teacher has four sections of about fifteen students each year; math tells us Richard Marshall Davis must have taught close to 2,400 students. There are about 7,000 living alumni.

the classroom. Before each corridor had its own common room there were no opportunities to watch TV or a movie unless a faculty member on corridor invited you into his apartment. R.M. was known for having a great movie collection (he may have been the only teacher with VHS tapes and a VCR at that time!) and often invited us to join him. What I remember was R.M. allowing a bunch of us from different teams to watch “psych up” movies before games—like Slap Shot during hockey season. The one time I remember vividly was before our first football game in the fall of 1981. R.M. was not a huge football fan, but he certainly knew


many of us on the team. The Friday

In 2002, he and I had battled about some issues, but this I wrote him in his appointment letter: “You are the quintessential schoolmaster. Your passion for history and your extraordinary intelligence have made you the kind of teacher who will go down in history at Taft.”

night before our first game he showed

And he will.

us The Warriors—a brawling New York City gang movie having nothing to do with football! I am sure it did little to improve our play the next day, but it got us excited about “smashing” the opponent. I believe we went out the next day and beat Hopkins 44–0.

To all of us, he was a symbol of how a brilliant mind and a passionate heart, wedded to the education of young men and women in a school brim-filled with intellectual energy, can lead to a life of great goodness, meaning, and nobility. All of us would be so lucky to have a teacher who cared so much about his subject, a colleague who devoted almost every deep breath he took to the school he so deeply loved.

He knew what we liked as teenagers, and he opened his house to us. Now with his passing, I think a number of us will realize how lucky we were to have known R.M. —Jack Kenerson ’82,

History Department head

Taft Bulletin Fall 2003


A Day of Service to Others More than 650 students and faculty fanned out through Watertown and the surrounding area to help out local nonprofit organizations on the school’s ninth annual Community Service Day. “Opportunities for service allow us to see, firsthand, the positive role played by charitable organizations in our extended community,” admissions officer Holly McNeill told the Town Times. Holly, who coordinated the day’s activities and transportation, estimates that the Sept. 29 event generated 5,200 volunteer hours in a single day. Projects ranged from trail maintenance and landscaping to painting, food collecting, and working with elementary-school children. On-campus workshops in arts,


Taft Bulletin Fall 2003

sports, and other activities were made available to local third and fourth graders. “Community Service Day is one of the most important events on our calendar,” said Headmaster Willy MacMullen, “and it is both proof and reminder of Mr. Taft’s motto, as well as a great way to maintain strong, enduring ties between Taft and the community.” Clockwise from left, a local school boy enjoys some time on Taft’s climbing wall [SAM DANGREMOND ’05]. Courtney Coughlin ’06 shares her love of dance with local elementary school children in an on-campus workshop [SAM DANGREMOND ’05]. Alex Bisset ’04 helps make a labyrinth for a Waterbury Church [PETER FREW ’75]. Students work to landscape an abandoned lot in Waterbury’s Crownbrook neighborhood [PETER FREW ’75].

join us for the fun 69th Annual Service of Lessons and Carols December 9 First Congregational Church, Watertown Holiday Party December 10 Yale Club, New York City Mothers’ Day February 21 New York City Telethon February 26 Williams Club Boston Telethon April 7 Grandparents’ Day April 16 Alumni Weekend May 14–15 114th Commencement Exercises May 29 For more information on any of these or other events, please visit www.TaftAlumni.com

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