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BULLETIN S U M M E R • 1 9 9 6

Volume 66

Number 4

In this Issue SPOTLIGHT

2 ALUMNI DAY The Weekend in Pictures Page 2

10 106TH COMMENCEMENT Talks by Gib and Pamela Harris, Lance Odden, and Brian Smith ’96

19 LOOKING BACKWARD A Landegger Scholar Reflects on Her Year at Taft By Klara Skrivankova ’96 Page 10 On the cover: Front: The Class of 1996 anxiously awaits the awarding of diplomas at Taft’s 106th Commencement exercises, held in Centennial Quadrangle. Back: Bill and John Matthews, sons of Lizy Lewis Matthews ’81 are greeted by the school mascot on Alumni Day. 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! Now you can send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor to us via e-mail. Our address is TaftRhino@aol.com. Of course we’ll continue to accept your communiqués by such “low tech” methods as the fax machine (860-945-7756), telephone (860-274-2516), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you!

21 THE WAY WE WIRE Teaching and Technology in Watertown By Bill Morris ’69

24 MANY NAMES OF TAFT Graduation Prizes

DEPARTMENTS 26–FROM THE ARCHIVES 27–NEWS OF THE SCHOOL Annual Fund, Potter Exhibit, Taylor Elected to Board, Grandparents’ Day, Stone Retirement Dinner, Big Red Scoreboard

34–FALL SPORTS SCHEDULE 36–ALUMNI NOTES 60–FORMER FACULTY NOTES 61–MILESTONES 62–ENDNOTE By Bernard Pagenstecher ’25


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ALUMNI DAY The Weekend in Pictures

The men of the 50th Reunion Class of 1946 join the Old Guard. b Richard Bell ’71 brings his son Connor and his daughter Cuyler back for his 25th Reunion.

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Top: Headmonitor-elect Dan Trombly ’97 and Headmonitor Roo Reath ’96 lead the Alumni Day Parade. Middle left: Bill Waldron ’31 (father of Arthur ’66) talks with lawyer/author Philip Howard ’66 after Howard’s presentation on Saturday morning. Middle right: Bill Watters ’33, left, came all the way from California for Alumni Weekend—his first visit to Taft since his graduation. Here, he catches up with class secretary Henry Becton and Nate Cortright ’33. Bottom: Jack Bennet ’26 and his wife lead off the Old Guard in the parade.

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Bill Risley is awarded the Alumni Citation of Merit

William H. Risley Class of 1935

Top: Classmates Roger Hinds, Jack Broome, and Otis Guernsey ’36 reminisce over old photographs. Middle: Phil Snyder ’38 talks with former headmaster John Esty at the Alumni Day luncheon on Saturday. Bottom: Muff Potter ’43 visits with Grace and Bob Johnson ’43

Always you have answered society’s call to service. Your life’s journey has brought you to Taft, Dartmouth, the University of California at Los Angeles, and then to Bronxville, Toronto, and Litchfield. In each community, you selflessly and energetically worked to enrich the lives of others. As president and chairman of the White Memorial Foundation, director of the Grafton Pond and Land Trust, and trustee of Old Sturbridge Village, you have preserved and made accessible our natural and historical treasures. As church volunteer, Dartmouth representative, and civic leader, you have by example and deed given expression to excellence and commitment. Nowhere has the depth of your concern for others been more evident than in your loyalty to your alma mater. As a trustee and member of the Planning Committee, your vision was pivotal in shaping the beauty of Taft’s campus. As chairman of the Old Boy Challenge, you have rallied Mr. Taft’s graduates to support the Campaign for Taft in a fashion unprecendented at the secondary school level. Leader and friend, just as you have found beauty in nature and purpose in its preservation, you have elicited the best in people and their institutions and have found lasting meaning in nurturing them. How proud the King must be of one of his Old Boys for exemplifying with such distinction the motto he chose for his school, non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. For your life of service, we bestow upon you, William H. Risley, Class of 1935, Taft’s highest honor, the Alumni Citation of Merit. Taft Bulletin

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Top: Senior Dan Ryan leads the 50th Reunion class in the parade. Middle left: Classmates John Krick, Larry Munson, and Chip Silzer ’46. Middle right: Ann and Roy Guild ’46 visit with Ted Herrlinger ’46 after the memorial service at Christ Church. Bottom left: Classmates Sandy Tearse and John Welchli ’46 visit with the Oddens on Friday night. Lower right top: Faculty emeritus Ted Greene with Joan and Sam Howell ’46 at the Old Guard Dinner. Lower right bottom: Sally and Peter Sneve ’46 at the Old Guard Dinner on Friday night.

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Upper left: The Potter family gathers at the reception on Saturday for the Legacy of Artists exhibit in memory of Mark Potter ’48. Among those pictured are his wife, Bobbie; brother Muff ’43; and children Steve ’73, Barbie ’79, and Jeff ’80. Upper right top: Tom Chrystie and Laning Harvey ’51 check out some old class photos in Lincoln Lobby. Middle: Alumni, family, and friends gather in front of the Alumni Office to dedicate a tree in memory of Joan Atwood. Upper right bottom: Brad Laube ’51 visits with Lance Odden before the memorial service. Bottom: Alumni brave rain and thunder to parade up the hill to the luncheon. Taft Bulletin

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Top: Rocky Gaut leads the Class of ’56 in the parade. Middle left: Lance Odden greets Carol and Joe Petrelli ’56, wondering if the weather will clear in time for the parade. Middle right: Lance and Patsy Odden welcome former headmaster John Esty at the Service of Remembrance at Christ Church.

Bottom left: Despite the rain, brave alumni marched, umbrellas in hand, in the traditional parade. Bottom right: Lyn Herrlinger Feldman, left, and daughter Leigh hook up with David and Kitty Herrlinger Hillman ’76 at registration.

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Upper left: Lizy Lewis Matthews ’81 returns to Taft for her 15th Reunion with husband Will and sons Bill and John. Upper right: Kelvey Richards ’91, Al Reiff ’80, Jen Blomberg ’97, Jessica Riggs ’97, Teddy Crispino ’95, and the husband of Heather Thompson ’86 compete in the 18th Annual Fun Run on Sunday. Middle left: The Alumni Baseball Team Middle right: Seniors Molly Hall, Caroline Murphy, and Suzanne Tranguch (in disguise) greet visitors on Alumni Day. Bottom: The victorious Alumni Lacrosse Team

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or the past fifteen years, Taft’s tradition has been to ask a parent of a member of the senior class to speak at Graduation. We do so because we recognize that this is a family event, that abstract speeches given by distant personalities have little meaning. We also do so to recognize the fact that parents are very much a part of our school community. That without your support, without your care and commitment, Taft could not be what it is today. 10

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Pam and Gib Harris have been part of our school community for fourteen years; they have had three children and one daughter-in-law attend and have themselves seen hundreds of athletic events, witnessed innumerable artistic performances, and have become virtually part of the fabric of this place. They have been co-chairs of the Parents’ Fund for the past two years—establishing an unprecedented record among independent schools of 95 percent parent participation this year—host to innumerable house parties, friends to countless Taft students and faculty, and leaders who have made a vital difference to the life of this school. —Lance Odden Gib Harris I’d like to start with a true story as reported by the chief of naval operations, Pacific, concerning an incident which occurred on October 15, 1995. The actual radio conversation went as follows: Operator #1: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid collision. Operator #2: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid collision. Operator #1: This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert your course. Operator #2: No, Captain, I say again, divert your course. Operator #1: This is the United States Aircraft Carrier Enterprise. We are a large warship. Divert your course now! Operator #2: This is a lighthouse. Your call, captain.

What is the point of this story? Well, it might be that this world seems to have lots of surprises for us all whether we be captains of aircraft carriers or Taft students. And indeed, it does. It occurs to me that you often imagine that we parents have led very orderly lives and that we are well equipped at dealing with life’s issues. If I may be so presumptuous as to speak for other parents, it’s just not so. No specific course I ever took in school prepared me, for example, for the joys of the teenage years of my four children, nor more recently, for the issue of a sick parent entering a nursing home. Since neither physics nor French nor history have specifically prepared any of us, how do we deal with life’s many decisions? We can use our brains, or we can seek counsel from friends and family or we can utilize analytical techniques. But all of these will regularly shortchange us if a most important ingredient is not added to the equation. That ingredient, in my opinion, is our values. Values help us make the decisions of life right—right for us and right for our society. It is the influence of a Taft education on your values that gives you a special perspective and a special advantage.

As you leave Taft you are clearly armed with all the requisite skills— sound minds recently stretched, sound bodies able to perform great moves on the dance floor, and a string of extraordinary successes. But what you also take with you are the Taft experiences—the wonderful safety net of faculty and friends that lets you celebrate the sports victories and the cast parties and cry through a team cut or yet another 3.0 grade from a misinformed teacher. I have always viewed the character of Taft as a laboratory—one in which you have been permitted to fail and permitted to succeed. From those cumulative experiences, along with your home life, has come your set of values and attitudes. All this sounds rather grandiose, and hopefully at a somewhat higher level than Yogi Berra’s advice to a graduating class when he said, “Whatever you do in life, 90 percent of it is half mental.” But I do hope that you will pause to reflect that very few young people have had this opportunity to mature under the watchful eye of a caring community like Taft. My graduation wish for you is that you capitalize on this opportunity by relying heavily on the values you have developed Taft Bulletin

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here to select your particular roles in our society, whether they be in service to others, or in academia, or in business, or elsewhere. They are good values and you can count on them being dependable gyroscopes. Be willing to accept the responsibilities of leadership. Demonstrate to yourself and to others your ability to make consistently sound decisions. Remember it is easy to tell right from wrong and far more challenging to distinguish between more right and somewhat more right. I am confident that this class, the first college graduating class in the next century, will rely on the values learned at Taft and will take leadership risks.

Pamela Dixon Harris It is very difficult, on graduation day especially, to have a full appreciation for your years at Taft. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t gain a true perspective of these years for some time to come. However, you can now recognize that while at Taft you have done some things you may never have a chance to do again: Never again will you know a school community like you have here. You have lived with your teachers, you’ve known their families, you have had them seek you out when you have needed help. You will be among the last students at Taft to have benefitted from such wonderful faculty as Shep, the Joneses, Mr. Boothby, Mr. Comiskey, Mr. Drake, Señor Pagan, and Coach Stone. Happily there are many more great teachers remaining. And be assured that Taft’s excellence will attract the best of new educators in the future. As seniors, you have excelled on varsity teams; you have sung on concert tours half way around the world; you have performed Taft plays in front of audiences as large as 1,500 people; you have written and edited a newspaper that has been entertaining, informative, and editorially meaningful; some of you have become devoted volunteers, continuing your self12

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less work for others outside of Taft’s bounds. You have performed dance recitals, chamber music, and jazz concerts. You have become academic scholars and have learned a great deal about life. What a talented group you are! And Taft has let you use and broaden your talents. Looking toward your future, Taft has given you a strong foundation. It has challenged all of you, each in different ways. By choice or by chance, some have faced greater challenges than others, and some have experienced more failures. Perhaps those who have had a more difficult time have learned more than those who have had a smooth ride of successes all the way through. Facing the challenges of the future may be less difficult for those who have experienced failure because their expectations are not for complete success every time; they may be more willing to take chances. It is important to remember, if you accept a challenge, that any inroads you make toward your goal are successes— even if you don’t make it all the way. If you don’t accept the challenge, you have accomplished nothing. Life isn’t always easy and certainly isn’t always perfect. Things go wrong, but

we must deal with unexpected situations. In college, think twice before dropping out of courses that seem too tough, or before avoiding classes taught by difficult professors. Don’t decide prematurely to transfer to a new college because the one you chose isn’t quite what you had expected. Find value in where you are and what you are doing, work harder to make it right and to do well. Taft has prepared you to do this. I found a wonderful passage in an Outward Bound book of readings that I would like to share with you: “To those who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties they won’t disclose to those who make no effort. And, it is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly to those who wrestle with them that men love the mountains and go back again and again…. The mountains reserve their choicest gifts for those who have struggled to stand upon their summits.” My wish for all of you is that you will attempt to climb the paths to many summits and have the pleasure of enjoying the vistas along the way.

The Harris family at Dixie’s graduation from Taft: Keyser with her husband and son, Gib ’95, Pam, Dixie ’96, Chris ’88, and Gib.


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Upper left: Valedictorian and Aurelian Award recipient Geoff Deschenes also won Taft’s Chemistry Prize and a Dresser Foundation Scholarship through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. A talented runner and captain of the Cross Country Team, Geoff received a Senior Athletic Award as well. Upper middle: Independence Foundation Chair in English Robin Osborn congratulates Rachael Zichella. Upper right: Headmonitor Roo Reath. Middle left: Construction of the new science and mathematics center creates a futuristic backdrop for the graduation ceremonies. Middle right: Biology teacher John Crosby awards Sophia Hudson the Alvin I. Reiff Biology prize. Bottom left: Director of Instrumental Music Alexander Nagy presents Patrick Lai with the P.T. Young Music Prize. Bottom right: Patsy and Lance Odden update Ivy Wu on the construction of the Ivy Kwok Wu Science and Mathematics Center. Ivy was at Taft for her nephew Philip Lo’s graduation.

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The End of the Beginning THE 106TH COMMENCEMENT OF THE TAFT SCHOOL By Lance R. Odden, Headmaster

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raduation is one of the most significant rituals of modern society. In a secular world, graduation from high school is second to marriage as a symbolic passage from youth to adulthood. Pride and euphoria fill the courtyard. Below the surface, there are complex and mixed emotions which permeate the place. For the faculty, graduation is a day when we rejoice in your triumphs, for they are many. For us, it is also a day of sadness, for we say good-bye knowing that although you may return, we will never know you as fully again. For parents, even as you delighted in paying Taft’s last tuition bill, you should realize that as you face four more years of tuition from this point on, the expenses will be yours, but the grades will go to your children, symbolizing the fact that they are largely on their own. College faculties will not be your allies in helping your children grow up. They will not be in loco parentis. Your children will be on their own, and you will not know whom to call when you want help. Taft’s commencement is the end of the beginning. For seniors, graduation is a day of pride in your accomplishments, paralleled for some by sadness at missed opportunities. It is a time to delight in your prospective freedom even as you fear leaving your friends, the faculty, and the security of this place. It symbolizes the passage of the friendships of youth to those which will endure forever. Some will but not all, a painful truth. Always, though, you will share with your classmates a sense of place, a set of values and a way of looking at life which will unite you whenever you meet.

For the past year, you endured the essential questions: “Where do you want to go?” and then, “Where are you going to college?” Soon, these questions will be replaced by “What are you going to major in?” “What is your preprofessional plan?” And later, “What are you going to be?” When your parents and I were young, college years were for intellectual and personal exploration. A time for discovery and wonder. The pressures of today’s economic insecurity tends to deny that opportunity to you unless you fight for it. I urge you to do so, to read widely, to study abroad, to explore diverse summer jobs, to discover what you like to do, which is the best route to finding out what you want to be. If you are an engineer, I urge you to read literature. If you are a history major, to study science. Whatever your discipline, learn about other cultures. Never again will you have the chance to expose yourself to the full range of humanity’s search for truth. Do not be driven by the pre-professionalism of our era. Reflect on what it is to be human, to find meaning in life. As you leave Taft, so do an unusual number of wonderful teachers. I urge you to carry their examples with you in your hearts and minds in the years ahead. From Emily and Gordon Jones,

from Chris Shepard, take to heart their courage to make bold ventures to distant places to serve and to lead. From Hector Pagan, take a pastoral spirit and a belief in others whatever their circumstances. From Eric Drake, take rugged individualism and the ability to be absolutely devoted to others, as he was to the boys of his corridor. From Bob Boothby, take a clear commitment to a life of learning and intellectual discovery. From Larry Stone, take the knowledge that total preparation and commitment to excellence prepares you for any challenge in life. From Dan Comiskey, take a restless mind ever searching for meaning and truth. From our beloved Potter, take the passion to engage life to its fullest, finding goodness in the beauty of man and nature. Let us realize that the essential message of these lives, which is the essence of The Taft School, is that happiness comes from serving others. If you remember this essential truth throughout life, you will do well, you will be happy, and you will make our world a better place. Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret.

“Always, though, you will share with your classmates a sense of place, a set of values and a way of looking at life which will unite you whenever you meet.” Taft Bulletin

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Upper left: Cristin George, right, with her sister Bridget ’94 and Lance Odden Upper right: Cuyler Applegate ’96, center, with his mother, True; sister True and her husband, Lee Edwards; sister Liz ’88; brother Will ’92; and his father, Sam Applegate ’60. Lower upper left: Molly Hall ’96, center, with her sister, Samantha ’00; her brother, Jamie; her parents, Patty and Jim Hall; and Patsy and Lance Odden. Lower upper right: Laura Field ’96 with her brother, Evan ’94, and her parents, Searle and Lauralee Field. Middle: The Tremaine family at Whitney’s graduation: Babs, Tyler ’95, Lance Odden, Whitney ’96, and Tony Tremaine. Bottom: Class Speaker Caroline Murphy ’96 with her extended family including her parents, Peter and Debbie Murphy; sisters Jennifer ’95, Keely ’00, and Christine; grandparents Dudley ’44 and Barbara Blanchard and Barbara Murphy; cousin Doug Blanchard ’97, and uncle Kirk Blanchard ’68.

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Showtime By Brian Smith ’96

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t might be my love of music, or merely getting on stage, but I have always thought of my life as a performance. I pictured graduation as being the great cessation to a wonderful show. In my four years, I looked toward this day as being the culmination of my life, as I never looked beyond it. Only now do I realize that we have really only been tuning up our instruments in preparation for the true performance to follow.

under five minutes. In saying this, I do not We have learned to celmean to discount what we ebrate success and to accept have done here. For preparafailure. tion in any form is the most We have learned what it important aspect of success. If means to be friends and role a violinist has practiced scales models. for four years, once he reaches We have learned what it a scale in the score, he flourmeans to be respected and the ishes. Likewise, the difficult sometimes awesome responsiparts of the performance will bility that comes with such rebe mastered as long as the viospect. linist has spent the time to gain The lessons learned on the skills needed to succeed. this campus are innumerable Taft is a preparatory school, and although the mean- Class Speaker Brian Smith with his brother, Mark; and his and are different for each of us. But that education—these ing of the word has changed father and stepmother, Bill and Susan Smith. over the years, it still holds true that the institution is dedicated lessons—are what will guide our performance through the to preparing us for what lies ahead. We have learned how to live rest of our lives. Our show here is just the beginning; the in a fast-paced, competitive, stressful environment. We have stage has been set. We leave in grateful appreciation for our learned how to be challenged, how to stay up all night and not wonderful teachers, coaches, and friends at Taft who have complain. We have learned what it means to have honor, and, devoted so much time to fulfill our education. We leave relike those who went before us and those who will follow, we specting and cherishing the love and support of our parents have learned what it means to pledge that honor every time we and families. I wish the undergraduates the same fortune we are evaluated. We have learned that our word is our bond, a as a class have had. Our practice here at Taft has made us one bond held together by words, like dignity, commitment, ser- step closer to whom we each intend to be. It is an honor to be a member of the Class of 1996. The vice, honor, and respect. We have learned how to use time well, as most of us can shower, get dressed, eat a well-balanced break- curtain is opening; I wish you all the best of luck in your fast, write a solid conclusion to a paper, and make it to class in performances. Taft Bulletin

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Top: On the verge of becoming alumni, this group of senior boys stops to inspect the brick pathway in which their names are now immortalized. Lower left top: Joanna and Ferdie Wandelt ’66 with their son, Christopher ’96, and daugher, Alison ’91. Middle right: Senior Andrew Wigton with his mother, Dede (far left); sister Tyler ’93; grandmother, Ann Wigton; and his father, Bill. Lower left middle: Emily Israel with her parents, Tom and Barbara. Lower left bottom: Leslie Vars with her parents, Trey ’63 and Barbara, and her grandmother Nancy Breslin. Bottom right: Senior Will Kopelman with his sister, Jill ’92; his parents, Coco and Arie Kopelman; and his grandfather, Herzl Franco.

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Looking Backward A Landegger Scholar Reflects on Her Year at Taft By Klara Skrivankova ’96

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t is May. This time of year I usually have in mind one thing: spring. I enjoy the first warm days and like to look at the trees in bloom. This spring is different. I do not notice the changes from winter to spring that much, because there is one thing on my mind. I do not feel like writing this article, because it feels as if I am saying farewell. I realize how relative time is. The school year usually tends to be too long and holidays too short. I would like this school year to last much longer than it will. Not only was it shorter than the usual ten-month school year at home, but it was also full of surprises and new things that shortened the time as well. I am about to graduate from The Taft School—a school of which I thought when I first saw it: “It cannot be a school. Look how beautiful it is.” It was astonishing to me when I woke up the first day and glanced out of my window at the campus. I saw reddish brick buildings, a pond, and trees. Everything was so big, and I was looking forward to exploring it all. It took me about two weeks to get used to my new surroundings, and I slowly stopped noticing the new as it became part of my daily routine. Taft Bulletin

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My first semester at Taft went by quickly because the first part was filled with adjusting to the pace of the courses, to the ways things work in this country, and to hearing English twenty-four hours a day. I thought that in the second semester I would concentrate on everything and pay absolute attention to everything. Looking at it in retrospect, it did not work out that way. With the end of the year coming closer and closer, more things came to my mind that I should have done but did not. It is too late now to explore the school library in depth. I should have borrowed more than just the books I used for my term paper or in my classes. As a senior, I did not have to attend school meetings in the spring. Of course I did not go often, even though I thought it would be good at least for my English. I am not trying to say that the only thing I did during the spring was to regret what I had not done. There were some things I decided to do to enlarge my involvement in school activities. I found out that although my recorder is not exactly a classical chamber ensemble instrument I could become a member of our school chamber ensemble. I am not a sports person, and as a senior I was not very encouraged to join intramural sports, so I decided to take on an Independent Study Project and through it examine my musical skills. It was a challenge, and at one point I did not even think I would be able to complete it, but this week I played my solo part in the final concert. As I always wanted to know as much as possible about the country I am visiting, I took a course called Race, Class, and Gender in American Society. I have learned lots of facts and things Americans are not very proud of, but I was also taught how to value a human being regardless of differences. Sometimes people wonder why I chose a course that tries to solve problems that are not really mine, since I do not live in such a diverse society. It does not matter where 20

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you live, because the problems still exist and can come up in the least diverse society as well as in the one with a number of minority groups. Still, I often think of the time I spent here, and I usually come up with an idea how I should have acted or what I should have done differently. It is not because I made mistakes. I just figured out a better way. In times when you have to decide quickly about something, there is not enough time to be pensive. At the beginning I did not even know about all the possibilities. If I only had asked. I did not want to look dumb, since when you ask too many questions people assume that your intelligence is not very high. It proved to be untrue in this community. By asking questions you reveal an interest in a given subject. No teacher ever refuses to answer a student’s question. The relationship between teachers and students is much closer. The relationship is friendly, and the teacher is very helpful and willing to give extra help in the evenings. It does not destroy their mutual respect. Never before have I wanted to stop time so much. I know that I will probably never have such a great experience in my life again. I am trying to find out how to perpetuate everything from here. I know that it is impossible. The people I met here will go their ways, and I will be lucky if I see one of them ever again. Eventually, I will forget some of those little words or expressions that were connected only with random moments. It is inevitable. On the other hand, what is most important will remain forever in me. These nine months have affected me and enriched me greatly. I have learned very valuable things about life. For nine months I was the one who had to make all the decisions and was responsible for the consequences. I had to face situations as well as problems I had never come across before, and it was up to me to find the right solutions. Every step I took required a great deal of consider-

ation. I had to think far ahead and to see the possible consequences. I have learned many things just from daily interaction with my fellow scholars. Living with fifty other girls under one roof takes a great deal of patience. I have learned that every person has to be approached differently and then a dialogue is smoother. There have been great contributions to my individual development. I was given the opportunity to try new things and to explore all aspects of life. Through that I became more mature and gained confidence. I know that you should never believe in stereotypes unless you see for yourself. You have to respect others and their lifestyles, and they should be able to respect yours. Your life is unpredictable, but, fortunately, different situations tend to repeat themselves. Once you go through something you can think about it later and learn from it. Next time you will be better prepared to handle it than before. I have had the opportunity to live through a number of different situations, and now I feel more ready for life than ever before. This year has been, above all others, a school of life. Something no one could teach you. You can only be shown the beginning of the path, but it is you who have to live through the experience and take from it as much as possible. You have to grasp your courage and maintain a certain perspective on the way. However, do not forget to look around and notice other people because they are a source of your knowledge too. It is impossible for me to say how grateful I am for the chance to be at The Taft School. It has been the best experience of my life, and I will always be thankful for it. Klara was one of three Landegger Scholars at Taft this year. She lives in the Czech Republic. The Landegger Cultural Scholars Program, created through the generosity of George F. Landegger and his family, provides financial aid to students from Eastern Europe with preference to those scholars from the former Czechoslovakia.


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TheWayWe Wire I

nternet. Java. RISC. World Wide Web. T-1 line. Band width. E-mail. Intranet. The lexicon of the information age represents a new language which reminds us all that we must continue to learn in order to function in the modern world. At Taft, the imperatives of the information age have pushed us to examine how technology can enhance teaching and learning. Five years ago, the ad hoc Technology Committee convened and created a blueprint for bringing technology to the school.

TEACHING AND TECHNOLOGY IN WATERTOWN By Bill Morris ’69, Dean of Academics

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Since then, we have followed that initial plan closely as we have built and updated state-of-the-art computer labs in the Arts and Humanities Center and the math/science buildings, established a Language Resources Center based on computers and a language lab, automated the card catalogue and CD-ROM distribution in the library, and established the position of technology coordinator to facilitate the integration of technology into the curriculum. Our planning has always focused on teaching and learning first, hardware and software last. Consequently, a visitor to Taft today will see technology in action across the curriculum. All papers are word processed. Science students use computers for modeling in physics, for collecting data in all classes, and for gathering information from the outside world via the Internet. Language students review grammar and vocabulary using computers, and geography students create HyperCard projects, a multi-media alternative to the traditional research paper. In math courses above Algebra II, students use the graphics calculator, and art and photography students create and manipulate images with powerful software programs. The editors of The Papyrus and The Annual use desktop publishing programs, and students in the theater use a CAD (computer assisted design) program to design sets. This small sampling of the use of technology in the classroom does not include the many ways in which computers enhance day to day operations of the school, but it does show that technology has become an essential part of each student’s education. The last phase of the Technology Committee’s plan called for the networking of the campus and distributing the Internet. So, for the last two years, we have been planning for and designing this network, and installation is under way this summer. In the minds of the faculty and Board of Trustees, the question has never been whether or not to network, 22

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but rather, how to network in a way that makes educational and financial sense. We have understood that a Taft education must teach students not only how to use the tools of technology which they will encounter later, but also, and more important, how to use information efficiently, effectively, and responsibly. Further, many students arrive in Watertown already exposed to the possibilities of the information age and expect to be able to continue their explorations. Finally, we understand that, for better or worse, technology is changing the dynamics of education, and we need to give the faculty the resources—time, training, and tools—to explore how technology should become part of a student’s education. To help us with the planning and design process, the school contracted with Trellis Communications Corporation of Manchester, NH, a recognized leader in data network design and implementation, and with Stevenson-Royce Company of New York City, experts in telecommunications. With these two firms, we sought an integrated solution to our voice and data needs by modernizing our phone system at the same time that we cabled the school for data communications. Working with the Board of Trustees and the Technology Committee, the two consultants have helped us arrive at a three-stage plan. Rather than immediately bring voice and data to

each student’s room, we have opted for an evolutionary and incremental roll out of the network so that we can gradually adjust this revolutionary and powerful change in our teaching and learning environment. In Stage I, which is being completed for the opening of school this year, the conduit and the fiber optic and copper backbone will be installed according to the highest industry standards. This basic utility will connect all of the buildings, allow for distribution of the network to any location in the school, and have the flexibility to meet our needs for fifteen to twenty years. The library, the computer labs in the Arts and Humanities Center and math/science building, the Language Resources Center, and a small lab in the Faculty Room will be connected to the network, which will offer full access to the Internet, an e-mail system, and the various software programs used in courses. HBM Technology Group in Hartford, consultants in network applications and integration, is advising the school on the actual use of the network, including the e-mail system, operating system, servers, and compatibility of current databases and software packages with each other and different computer platforms. All together, students will have available some 70 computers to access the network, and teachers will use the lab in the Faculty Room. In addition, with the new phone system, each student will have a voice mail box so that their families can better communicate with them. Because the first stage of the network connects only public areas of the school, the faculty will be able to evaluate the impact of this new technology on the total learning environment, academic and non-


S P O T L I G H T

academic, at Taft and thus to plan for the final two stages of implementation. In Stage II, targeted for September 1997, all classrooms and offices will be connected to the network. This step will broaden the impact of technology on the learning environment because faculty will be able to bring the resources of the network directly into the classroom on a daily basis. Faculty will also be able to immerse themselves more fully in the network when it is available in their office spaces. By September 1998 at the latest, full voice and data connections will be available to each student’s room in Stage III of the project. Because the unique feature of Taft is the frequent and close personal contact and communication between all members of the community, the faculty want to assess carefully the impact of technological innovation on the culture of the school before extending the network into dormitories. This final step will present the biggest challenge for the school and will require much further thinking and planning in the coming year. The challenges of bringing technology to Taft have shown once again that tradition and time-honored values can live comfortably side by side with innovation. Five years ago, the Technology Committee stated that a Taft education first and foremost had always offered motivated and bright students the opportunity to interact closely with a caring, inspirational, and well-prepared faculty who would help each student achieve personal and intellectual growth. The committee saw technology as a powerful tool to enhance teaching and learning, but computers would never replace the essential connection between teacher and student. As we cross a new technological frontier with the installation of a new, school-wide network, we are as committed as ever to these wellfounded educational principles, just as we are convinced of our responsibility to prepare Taft graduates to be productive citizens of the 21st century.

Weathering the Internet How is technology used at Taft to enhance teaching and learning? In the fall of 1995, math teacher and technology coordinator Jonathan Bernon and science teacher William Zuehlke offered a new course in atmospheric science to upper school students. The course explored a wide range of topics, ranging from ozone depletion to storm formation. Students could examine near real time data on a computer designed specifically for viewing meteorological data. Connected to a satellite dish on the science building, students could view surface observations and infrared satellite pictures which were updated hourly. Further, they could view and zoom in on radar images which were updated every fifteen minutes. By looping the information (that is, viewing a series of pictures put into motion), the students were able to watch storms forming and dissipating over a time frame of several hours. In addition, Bernon and Zuehlke downloaded considerable data over the internet from sources such as Purdue University and the University of Illinois. Maps and text from these universities (derived from computer models run on supercomputers at the National Weather Service in Washington) were saved and loaded onto the computers at Taft, so that students could view them from any machine in the computer lab. Students were challenged to view maps depicting conditions at various layers of the atmosphere and use them to predict the weather. This coming year, students

will be able to view products from the internet without having to wait for teachers to download the data first. In addition, students will be able to examine the weather at Taft by using our new SchoolNet station. In conjunction with Channel 8, an ABC affiliate in New Haven, and made possible by a gift from Drummond Bell ’63, Taft maintains weather observation equipment that can be accessed by Channel 8 and other SchoolNet stations over a standard phone line. Taft’s observations are regularly seen on the air. Further, students in Taft’s Meteorology Club, use all of the above mentioned technology to produce weather forecasts for the Watertown area twice a day. In the coming months, Taft will be the first secondary school in the nation to become a sponsored participant in the Unidata Program, a program funded by the National Science Foundation to empower universities and colleges to use atmospheric and related data in a way which will enhance education and research. Yale University’s Department of Geology and Geophysics will sponsor Taft and relay through the internet a constant stream of data to us. At Taft’s end, a high-powered computer workstation will ingest the data, and create customized maps. The workstation will also allow students to overlay and loop satellite, radar, and surface observations. In ways that would have been cost prohibitive or impossible in the past, classroom instruction in being greatly enhanced through the use of technology. Taft Bulletin

23


S P O T L I G H T

The Many Names of Taft COMMENCEMENT AWARDS

I

n this issue, we bring you the fourth installment of this series, proposed by Ted Squires ’28. So many names are part of the fabric of graduation, above all the names of the graduates themselves. But graduation is a time of remembrance, too. Witness the names of the prizes that are given out each year.

William and Lee Abramowitz Award The Edith Cruikshank Award Wife of the school’s second headmaster, she served the school for Teaching Excellence selflessly for 27 years, from 1936 to 1963.

Established in 1991 by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Abramowitz ’68, the award is presented annually at graduation to that teacher who made his or her subject matter come alive and thereby instilled enthusiasm and a love of learning among his or her students.

Bourne Medal in History Given in memory of Edward Gaylord Bourne, roommate of Horace Dutton Taft at Yale College in the Class of 1883 and later a professor of history at Yale. His four sons attended Taft.

Thomas Sabin Chase ’50 Award in Art At Taft he “gained fame as an artist of no mean skill” and illustrated numerous school publications.

24

Summer 1996

The Joseph I. Cunningham Award Longtime director of admissions, French teacher, and head of the Modern Languages Department, he served Taft from 1937 to 1976.

Daniel Higgins Fenton Classics Award Established by the family of Daniel Higgins Fenton, who for twentytwo years, both as chairman of the Classics Department and as director of studies, made an unusually significant contribution to the school from 1934 to 1956.


S P O T L I G H T

David Edward Goldberg ’62 Memorial Awards This award was established in 1964 by his classmates, parents, and friends to recognize outstanding independent work at Taft.

Shoup Award in memory of James P. Logan Established by Jonathan H. Shoup ’64 in memory of James Paynter Logan, Taft master from 1933 to 1969, the award is given to an outstanding faculty member to be used in his or her work with students in keeping with the high standards of schoolmastership set by James Logan, who taught physics and mechanical drawing and coached basketball and soccer for many years.

Marian Hole Makepeace Award The award is given to the person who contributes the most to girls’ athletics, in honor of Marian Makepeace who served the school from 1971 to 1981.

The Heminway Merriman Award This award is given to that senior whose gentle concern for others best reflects the qualities of Junie Merriman ’30, a caring physician, father, and friend.

George H. Morgan Award Instituted by the Class of 1963, this award recognizes the man who led the school’s Music Department for forty years.

John S. Noyes French Prize This award honors a man who spent 39 years at Taft as an outstanding teacher of French and longtime head of the Modern Languages Department.

Maurice Pollak Scholarship

Alvin I. Reiff Biology Prize A biology teacher and later assistant headmaster, he held many major posts in the school from director of college counseling to dean of studies and dean of faculty between 1959 and 1988.

Harley Fish Roberts Scholarship Founded by Mrs. J.W. Hill in memory of her brother, a master at Taft from 1897 to 1930. In the early days of the school, he was Mr. Taft’s main aide and colleague, in addition to being part owner of the school. The scholarship was established at his death to aid a deserving Taft senior through college.

Lawrence Hunter Stone Award This award was established by the 1967 baseball team with the support of the student body and faculty to honor the longtime coach and athletic director who served the school from 1962 to 1996.

Bill Waldron ’72 Memorial Award Bill was an enthusiastic member of the Masque and Dagger Dramatic Society, and this award is given annually to a student who, through his or her interest in the stage, has contributed most to the technical aspects of drama as was exemplified by Bill Waldron.

David Kenyon Webster ’40 Prize This award remembers David Webster, a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal who had numerous articles published in national magazines before his death in 1961. It is awarded annually for excellence in writing.

Philip T. Young Music Prize This award was created to recognize the contributions of P.T. Young, who taught instrumental music at Taft from 1949 to 1965 and whose “good humor and challenging approach enabled many students to achieve their utmost.”

Established in 1992 by Henry Pollak ’40 and his mother, this scholarship serves as a permanent memorial to his father, Maurice Pollak.

Mark Winslow Potter ’48 Award in Art This award was established by the Class of ’96 in memory of Mark Potter who inspired art students at Taft for 40 years.

Taft Bulletin

25


FROM•THE•ARCHIVES

The Cherry Blossoms of Washington and Watertown By Anne Romano, Archivist As I watch, longing for the first sign of spring, the graceful limbs of the Japanese cherry tree at the easternmost corner of Charles Phelps Taft Hall begin to swell. In a matter of days, this tree of ancient pedigree will transform itself into a pink mass of cherry blossoms, much like those woven in ancient oriental silks. This tree, the only one of its kind on campus, is truly an exquisite sight for winter-weary eyes. One can easily understand the sensation that thousands of such trees cause in Washington, DC, every April. Horace Taft’s sister-in-law, Nellie Herron Taft, is responsible for turning the swampy tidal basin of the Potomac into the internationally-acclaimed scenic park it is today. As first lady, she devoted nearly four years to this project. On a trip to Japan with her husband, William Howard Taft, she was dazzled by the sight of these splendid flowering trees. Upon her return home, she suggested that all Japanese cherry trees in this country be uprooted and sent to Washington for planting. About one hundred trees did arrive in the nation’s capital, and in the spring of 1909 she had them planted between the polo grounds and the Tidal Basin. Sadly, the trees did not do well. Hearing that most of them had died, the mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, quickly arranged a gift of two thousand cherry trees to be sent to Washington via Seattle in December of the same year. However, a second disaster struck Nellie’s project when it was discovered that the trees were diseased and ordered destroyed by the Department of 26

Summer 1996

Agriculture. Nellie, an avid gardener and a woman of iron determination, was undaunted. She caught the ear of Secretary of State Knox, who immediately presented her wishes to the Japanese ambassador, Yasuya Uchida. Tokyo sent three thousand trees this time! They arrived in Washington in February of 1912. On the morning of March 27, 1912, Nellie Herron Taft planted the first of the cherry trees in Washington. When precisely was the cherry tree planted near Bingham Auditorium, which was itself only completed in 1930? Any recollections of the tree or of its planting would be most welcome. Source: Taft Talk. Issue No. 10 May 1986)

The Japanese cherry tree outside Bingham Auditorium. The Japanese cherry trees planted by Nellie Taft transformed the Washington Tidal Basin.


N E W S • O F • T H E• S C H O O L

1995-96 Taft Annual Fund Report

Annual Fund Chair Jim Goulard ’60 For Taft, the last decade marks a period of unprecedented growth and a renewed commitment by alumni, parents, and friends to build their school into one of the best in the country. Nowhere is that growth more apparent than in the extraordinary success of the Annual Fund. In 1985, the Annual Fund hit $1 million. The 1995-96 Annual Fund, for the second consecutive year, passed the $2 million mark, a feat unimagined just a short time ago. As impressive as the number itself is what it means. Every dollar of

Annual Fund support is dedicated to Taft’s operating budget, enabling 549 outstanding students to benefit from a first-rate education. I am deeply grateful to the 3,684 donors whose generosity and loyalty have made a significant difference. Thank you. Alumni support surpassed $1.1 million with 44 percent participating, an achievement few of our peer schools can match. Leading the way was the Class of ’46. Class Agent Chip Silzer spearheaded the 50th Reunion gift effort by raising $104,000 and won the Snyder Award, going to that reunion class agent whose class contributed the most dollars to the Annual Fund. George Hampton, class agent for Taft ’60, won the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Award, going to that class, less than fifty years out, with the highest percent of participation. Taft ’60 hit 82 percent. Hal Whiteman ’37 edged Woolly Bermingham ’43 with the highest participation of any class, with 94 percent compared to Woolly’s 93 percent. Taft’s current parents continue to redefine leadership at the secondary school level. Led by Pam and Gib Harris, parents of Chris ’88, Gib ’95 and Dixie ’96, and an exceptional Parents’ Committee, this group raised $730,000 with 95 percent participating. No school in the

country can match Taft’s parents in dollars given or rate of participation and again, it is the value of the children’s education which is the driving force behind the parents’ generosity. As impressive is the commitment shown by parents of graduates and grandparents who raised $190,000. In many ways, the strength of this constituency epitomizes the concept of stewardship and gives Taft the broad base of support which is critical to success. Taft is fortunate indeed, to have the loyalty of this group. My thanks to all the volunteers for their hard work and enthusiasm and to all in the Taft family for their generosity to their school and to the Annual Fund. We have had a tremendous year! Thank you.

James E. Goulard ’60 Annual Fund Chair The Taft School thanks Jim Goulard ’60 for his dedication over the past two years as the Annual Fund chair, and Pam and Gib Harris for their work as heads of the Parents’ Committee. All three are stepping down, having raised $4.3 million in Annual Fund support since they began. They have done an extraordinary job.

Taft School Honored for Fundraising Performance The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) cited Taft as a winner of its 1996 Circle of Excellence in Educational Fundraising. Taft was one of three schools in its category to be selected for “Overall Fundraising Performance” and was one of 58 institutions chosen among 1,033 nationally. This is the second consecutive year that Taft has been so recognized by CASE and it is an achievement that speaks to the exceptional loyalty of the Taft alumni, parents, and friends.

Taft Bulletin

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N E W S • O F • T H E •S C H O O L

A Legacy of Artists:

Mark Potter ’48 and His Students The Potter Memorial Exhibit was a collective tribute to the remarkable influence of Mark Potter ’48—professional artist and teacher at Taft from 1957 until his fatal illness a year ago. Mark had shared his high-spirited talent with nearly 2,000 students in drawing, painting, and art history. Thereafter, he had followed many of their careers, measuring much of his success by theirs. Inspired by Mark from the beginning, a number of them became professional artists in their own right, men and women who continue to draw on their memories of “Potter’s” personal attention, humor, and passion for all art. Small wonder, then, that this band of individualists is known as “Potter’s painters.” On Alumni Weekend, many from this fraternity gathered to complement a selection of Mark’s work with paintings of their own. Perhaps what gratifies this community, beyond its ability and drive, is the persistent variety of styles. The exhibit celebrated regeneration—the flight of seeds, the earth they hold in art, and their bountiful source of light. —Barclay Johnson ’53 28

Summer 1996


N E W S • O F • T H E• S C H O O L

MARK POTTER ’48 AND HIS PAINTING Mark was often asked whether he considered himself more a teacher or a painter. In his mind—and in the minds of those who knew him best—there was no doubt. He was a painter who taught. The distinction is important because his consuming need to paint kept him free and relaxed when it came to teaching. As he got older, Mark’s painting technique sharpened, but it was his teaching that kept his painting free and alive. His need to paint was nourished by testing it and sharing it with his students. He would never have been as free, or as accessible in his paintings, had he given up teaching to deal with the business end of the art world. Mark started teaching at age 23 in order to survive while he painted. He continued longer than he thought he would, to allow his five children the education he himself had had. And when all the kids were grown and he might have retired at the age of 50, he realized he was enriched by contact with his students. The theater of the classroom assuaged the loneliness of the studio. He was happy when teaching. He couldn’t live without his studio. Before he died in December of 1995, Mark spent what would be his last artistic burst of energy finishing Before Nightfall at Judson Farm, a painting he had worked on for 12 years. It was in early September that he came in from the studio and said, “It’s done. I hope it’s not my last picture, but I think it’s my best one.” The fact that he didn’t turn it to the wall....that he was pleased with it....and that he didn’t hover over it making infinitesimal changes visible only to him, spoke volumes to me. I realized that the man who always thought himself immortal, who always thought he could improve on everything he did—from his fore-

hand to his slapshot to his paintings—had come to terms with his mortality. The last two months of his life he tried to organize his work for a show and to sort through a lot of unfinished work. But his energy was low. Since December, I have had the task—which has been my comfort and salvation—of finding, cataloguing, and framing a treasure trove of his recent work. I thought I would attempt to say a few words about his art, despite Mark’s distaste for the preemptive analysis in contemporary art catalogues. He thought the pictures should say it all and he always said “Just use your eyes…just look. You don’t need words to tell you what you see.” He never quite understood that some of us do…. So, when looking at Mark’s work, I see light…sometimes serene…sometimes explosive…almost always the major content of the painting. And there is mystery, not just in forms but in shadows, as in the granite rock’s reflection in a dark pool of water. In his oils and temperas, Mark labored for years to solve the puzzle of balance. He changed and rearranged forms – breaking up interior space and perimeters – to keep the viewer’s eye at once uneasy and within the edges of the picture. This was a far more analytic task he set himself – and a more challenging one – than the task of handling watercolors with technical versatility. Mark grew to value his watercolors, but they came so easily to him…without the problems and challenges presented by the finished oils and temperas. His greatest joy came when he felt he had fully dealt with the challenge. —Bobbie Potter Mother of Mark ’72, Steve ’73, Andy ’75, Barbie ’79, and Jeffrey ’80.

MARK POTTER AND HIS STUDENTS - A LEGACY OF ARTISTS Kirsten Nixa, Curator Exhibitors Mark Potter ’48 Deane G. Keller ’58 Richard S. duPont ’60 Christopher Youngs ’62 Carl Wies ’64 Jefferson B. Riley ’64 Fred X. Brownstein ’64 Roger Rogan ’65 George Lamb ’65 David Armstrong ’65 David Staber ’66 Langdon Quin ’66 Kenneth Rush, Jr. ’67 Charles F. Gronauer ’68 John R. W. Bria ’69

Barnaby Conrad ’70 Chad Tennant ’70 Richard N. Wies ’71 Peter Wiehl ’72 Mark Potter, Jr. ’72 Shirley Reid ’73 Mark Chabot ’74 Joe Sinsabaugh ’75 Paul H. DeVries ’75 Juli Kirk-Thompson ’76 Karen Tuck ’76 Bridget Starr Taylor ’77 Michael Stasiuk ’78 John Iorio ’79 Wendy Weaver ’79

Debra Zawadzki Heagerty ’80 Robert Whitmer ’80 Clare Sullivan Adams ’81 David Faust ’82 Chris Faust ’82 William Hudders ’82 Jennifer Glenn Wuerker ’83 Jo Goldberger ’83 John Carver ’83 Robert Stark ’84 Christopher Armstrong ’85 Bill DeWitt ’86 Nicole Tietjen Derosier ’86 Stacey Sapper ’87 Leslie Banker ’88

Kathryn Jellinghaus ’89 James Schaaf ’91 Kate Schutt ’93 Harrison Marshall ’93 Tory Sansing ’93 Josh Kilbourne ’94 Annick Magac ’95 Tilden Daniels ’95 Jeff Borkowski ’95 Juliana Gamble ’95 Brett Madden ’96 Matt Pinney ’96 Nick Emmet ’96 Alison Sauter ’96 Chris Tucker ’96 Taft Bulletin

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N E W S • O F • T H E •S C H O O L

Stone Retirement Dinner Friends and former players of Larry Stone, longtime football and baseball coach and athletic director at Taft, gathered at the Harvard Club on April 9 to help celebrate his retirement this spring.

Lu and Larry Stone with Lu’s sister Barb and her husband Bill Holbrook.

Jim Stone ’83, Chris Lynch ’76, and Dwight Hopewell ’76.

Fellow coaches Steve McCabe and Jack Kenerson ’82 with wives Sue McCabe and Jenn Bogue Kenerson.

John Welch ’76, and Rob Barber ’75.

Former teammates Doug McDermott ’86, Nick Durant ’86, RJ Jacoby ’85, and Ted Andel ’86.

Save the Dates October 11 November 9 November 13 December 16 January 12 30

Grandparents’ Day Fathers’ Day NYC Telethon Holiday Party in New York Alumni Games at Taft

Summer 1996

February 15 February 26, 27 May 24 May 31

Mothers’ Day NYC Telethon Alumni Day Commencement


N E W S • O F • T H E• S C H O O L

Taylor Elected to Board At this year’s Alumni Day luncheon, Headmaster Lance Odden announced the election of Don Taylor ’76 as this year’s alumni trustee. A four-year student at Taft, Don earned five letters in football and lacrosse, played hockey for three years, and was the assistant coach of the girls’ varsity hockey team his senior year. He was a corridor monitor for two years, wrote for The Papyrus and was on the Student Life Committee. Following Taft, Don attended Denison University, where he lettered in lacrosse for three years, captained club hockey, and was a student advisor his junior year and head resident of Denison’s largest dorm his senior year. Don received his bachelor’s degree in geology in 1980. He has been involved as a volunteer for fourteen years, having served eight years as head class agent, three years as an assistant class agent, and three years as a class secretary. Don works for CUC International Group and is currently the managing di-

rector of CUC Europe. Under his management, CUC Europe has grown from sixty employees in three European countries to 400 employees in seven countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and has quadrupled its revenues. Before his transfer to London, Don was a senior vice president and national sales manager for a CUC subsidiary in Nashville, Tennessee. While there, Don served on the board of the Nashville Child Center, working to provide low-cost daycare services for single, underprivileged mothers seeking employment. He also served as a fund raiser for the United Way and the Girl Scouts. Don lives in London with his wife, Kristin, and two sons, Chase and Brooks. He is an avid tennis player, has completed a marathon and several triathlons, and hopes that his million-plus frequent flyer miles can be transferred to renewal of his pilot’s license, which has lapsed. Don and his family hope to return to the United States in 1997.

Day Student First To Be Elected Head Mon This spring, Daniel Trombly ’97 became the first day student elected to the highest student leadership position at Taft, head monitor. Dan is an experienced member of his class committee and his leadership skills were likewise recognized by his fellow rowers, who elected him captain of the crew team for the coming year as well. The son of Assistant Business Manager Ned Trombly and librarian Sue Trombly,

Dan is also the first faculty child to be head monitor. He will be joined by school monitors Charlotte Atwood, Michael Berens, Whitney Davis, Tavi Fields, Ben Gross, Crystal Meers, Caroline Montgelas, Ryan Osborn, Ben Pastor, Steve Porter, and Bibba Walke. The following students were also elected to class committees: upper middlers Luke Coppedge-chair, Courtney Camp,

Tom Chandy, Alison Coope, Louis Costanzo, Morgan Hanger, Ben Steele, Addie Strumolo, Carrie Swiderski, Devin Weisleder; and middlers Eyram Simprichair, Molly Barefoot, Charles Crimmins, Alex Dickson, Taj Frazier, Jossie Green, Katie Percarpio, Cathy Schieffelin, Ted Scholhamer, Laura Stevens, and Peter Walke.

Taft Bulletin

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N E W S • O F • T H E •S C H O O L

GRANDPARENTS’ DAY April 30, 1996

Joe Toce, right, and his namesake, Joe Toce ’98.

Margaret Field at her 14th consecutive grandparents’ day (not all at Taft) with Lauralee Field, and Laura ’96.

Zach Schiller ’97 with his grandparents Irwin ’27 and Xenia Miller.

Senior Ryan Raveis with his grandparents Ronnie and Bill Raveis.

Lauren Chu ’99 with her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chu (parents of Alex ’66) and her mother Irene Chu.

Brooke Henry ’96 with her grandparents Don and Jeanie Henry. John Skovran ’98 with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Skovran and Mr. and Mrs. William Hassel. 32

Summer 1996


N E W S • O F • T H E• S C H O O L

Big Red Scoreboard Baseball

Girls’ Lacrosse

Coaches: ................................................. Larry Stone, Mark Davis

Coach: ......................................................................... Jean Maher

Captain: ....................... Ryan Raveis ’96, Christopher Wandelt ’96

Captain: ................................................................. Molly Hall ’96

Record: .................................................................................. 13-3

Record: ............................................................................... 15-0-1

Stone Award: ................................................ Christopher Wandelt

Wandelt Lacrosse Award: ............................................. Molly Hall

Captains-Elect: .................. Matthew Finerty ’97, Peter Mahler ’97

Captains-Elect: ................... Sarah Banister ’97, Lucy Firestone ’97

Softball

Boys’ Tennis

Coaches: ........................................ Steve Schieffelin, Mimi Duran

Coach: .......................................................................... Peter Frew

Captains: .......................... Laura Dickman ’96, Emily Getnick ’96

Captain: ........................................................ Cuyler Applegate ’96

Record: .................................................................................... 8-8

Record: .................................................................................. 11-4

Softball Award: ..................................................... Laura Dickman

Man Tennis Award: ............................................. Cuyler Applegate

Captains-Elect: .................. Margaret Ficks ’97, Mairead Duffy ’97

Captain-Elect: .................................................... Tucker Green ’97

Boys’ Track Coaches: ............. Steve McCabe, Bob Campbell, Barclay Johnson, Karla Palmer, Steve Palmer, Mike Townsend, Ethan Frechette Captain: ............................................................... Donnell Bell ’96 Record: .................................................................................... 6-3 Beardsley Track Award: ................................. Geoff Deschenes ’96

Girls’ Tennis Coach: ............................................................. Suzanne Campbell Captain: .............................................................. Alison Sauter ’96 Record: .................................................................................... 8-4 Gould Tennis Award: ................................................ Alison Sauter Captains-Elect: ............ Rebecca Belcher ’97, Whitney Dayton ’97

Captains-Elect: ....... Christopher Barnes ’97, Richard Genoval ’97

Golf

Girls’ Track Coaches: ................ Steve McCabe, Barclay Johnson, Steve Palmer, Mike Townsend, Karla Palmer, Ethan Frechette Captains: ................... Penny Thomas ’96, Caroline Van Meter ’96 Record: .................................................................................... 5-3 Beardsley Track Award: ............................. Caroline Van Meter ’96

Coach: .................................................................... Jack Kenerson Captain: .............................................................. Mike Osiecki ’96 Record: .................................................................................. 12-4 Galeski Golf Award: .................................................. Mike Osiecki Captain-Elect: ..................................................... Shep Stevens ’97

Captains-Elect: ... Jennifer Blomberg ’97, Katharine Mangione ’97

Crew Boys’ Lacrosse Coaches: ............................................ Jol Everett, Steve McKibben Captains: ................................. David Jenkins ’97, Rob Hodge ’96 Record: .................................................................................... 7-7 Odden Lacrosse Award: ................................ Glen McLachlan ’96

Coaches: .............................. Al Reiff, Sheila McGrath, Sam Hsiao Captains: .................... John Jankowski ’96, Whitney Tremaine ’96 Record: ................................................................................ 30-26 Crew Award ..................................................... Whitney Barry ’96 Captains-Elect: ....................... Dan Trombly ’97, Bibba Walke ’97

Captain-Elect: .................................................... David Jenkins ’97 Taft Bulletin

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N E W S • O F • T H E •S C H O O L

Fall Athletic Schedule 1996 This schedule is subject to change. If you would like to verify the time and location of any game, please contact the school at 860-274-2516. *Fathers’ Day, Saturday, November 9* Boys’ Varsity and JV Cross Country S, Sept. 21 S, Sept. 28

W, Oct. 2

3:00 3:00

3:00

Canterbury Invitational Choate/Hopkins/ Kingswood/TrinityPawling H Hotchkiss/Salisbury H

S, Oct. 5

3:00

Loomis/Northfield Mount Hermon

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Berkshire

A

S, Oct. 12

3:00

Kent

A

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Williston

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Williston Invitational

S, Nov. 2

Founders League Meet at Hotchkiss

W, Oct. 16

3:15

Greenwich Ac.

H

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Deerfield

H

S, Nov. 9*

New England Meet at Exeter

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Westover

A

S, Oct. 26

3:30

Kent

A

W, Oct. 30

4:15

Westminster

A

Varsity Field Hockey

S, Nov. 2

3:45

Hopkins

H

Playday at Loomis

W, Nov. 6

3:15

Kingswood

A

W, Sept. 18 3:00

Greens Farms

H

S, Nov. 9*

1:45

Hotchkiss

H

S, Sept. 21

Ethel Walker

A

S, Sept. 14

2:00 2:30

W, Sept. 25 3:00

Northfield Mount Hermon A

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Loomis

A

W, Oct. 2

3:15

Greenwich Ac.

A

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Berkshire

H

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Choate

A

W, Oct. 16

3:15

Williston

H

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Deerfield

H

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Westover

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

Girls’ Varsity and JV Cross Country

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Westminster

A

S, Sept. 21

Canterbury Invitational

S, Nov. 2

2:30

Hopkins

H

W, Nov. 6

2:00

Kingswood

A

Choate/Hopkins/ Kingswood

S, Nov. 9*

1:45

Hotchkiss

H

S, Nov. 2

Founders League Meet at Hotchkiss

S, Nov. 9*

S, Sept. 28

New England Meet at Exeter

3:45 3:00

W, Oct. 2

3:30

Hotchkiss

S, Oct. 5

3:30

Loomis/Northfield Mount Hermon

W, Oct. 9

3:30

Berkshire

A

S, Oct. 12

3:30

Kent

A

W, Oct. 16

3:30

Loomis Invitational

S, Oct. 19

3:30

Williston

S, Oct. 26

2:30

Williston Invitational

34

Summer 1996

Girls’ III Field Hockey W, Sept. 25 3:00

Hotchkiss

A

W, Oct. 2

3:15

Greenwich Ac.

A

S, Oct. 5

2:30

Westminster

H

W, Oct. 9

4:00

Simsbury HS

H

S, Oct. 12

3:45

Choate

A

W, Oct. 16

3:00

Rumsey

A

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Deerfield

A

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Canterbury

A

S, Oct. 26

2:30

Hopkins

A

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Canterbury

H

S, Nov. 2

2:30

Greenwich Ac.

A

W, Nov. 6

3:00

Choate

H

S, Nov. 9*

1:45

Hotchkiss

H

H

H

J.V. Field Hockey W, Sept. 18 4:15

Greens Farms

H

W, Sept. 25 3:00

Northfield Mount Hermon A

S, Sept. 28

3:45

Loomis

A

W, Oct. 2

4:30

Greenwich Ac.

A

W, Oct. 9

4:15

Berkshire

H

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Choate

A

Varsity Football W, Sept. 11 2:00

Erickson Jamboree at Avon

S, Sept. 14

Westminster Scrimmage

A

2:30

S, Sept. 21

3:00

Andover

H

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Deerfield

A

S, Oct. 5

2:30

Trinity-Pawling H


N E W S • O F • T H E• S C H O O L

S, Oct. 12

3:00

Choate

A

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Choate

A

Boys’ III Soccer

S, Oct. 19

2:30

Avon

H

W, Oct. 16

3:30

Williston

H

S, Sept. 21

S, Oct. 26

2:30

Kent

A

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Deerfield

H

W, Sept. 25 3:00

S, Nov. 2

2:30

Loomis

A

W, Oct. 23

3:30

Northfield Mount Hermon A

S, Nov. 9*

2:00

Hotchkiss

H

Northfield Mt. Hermon

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Avon

A

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Westminster

A

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Westminster

A

S, Oct. 5

2:30

Salisbury

A

W, Nov. 6

2:30

Kingswood

A

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Hotchkiss

A

S, Nov. 9*

1:45

Hotchkiss

H

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Trinity-Pawling A

J.V. Football M, Sept. 30 4:00 W, Oct. 16

4:00

Choate

H

Deerfield

H

M, Oct. 21 4:00

Avon

A

M, Oct. 28 3:30

Kent

H

Boys’ J.V. Soccer

W, Nov. 6

Loomis

A

W, Sept. 18 3:00

Westminster

S, Sept. 21

3:30

Boys’ Varsity Soccer Su, Sept. 15

Captains’ Game H

W, Sept. 18 3:00

Westminster

A

S, Sept. 21

Avon

A

W, Sept. 25 3:00

Deerfield

H

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Kingswood

H

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Canterbury

A

S, Oct. 5 W, Oct. 9 S, Oct. 12

2:30

2:30 3:00 2:30

Suffield Berkshire

H A

Trinity-Pawling A

W, Oct. 16

3:30

Greenwich CD A

A

S, Oct. 19

2:30

Salisbury

H

Avon

A

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Berkshire

H

W, Sept. 25 3:00

Deerfield

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Kingswood

H

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Choate

H

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Canterbury

A

S, Nov. 2

2:45

Loomis

A

S, Oct. 5

2:30

Suffield

H

W, Nov. 6

3:00

Trinity-Pawling H

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Berkshire

A

S, Nov. 9*

2:00

Hotchkiss

H

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Trinity-Pawling A

S, Oct. 19

2:30

Williston

H

Girls’ III Soccer

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Salisbury

H

S, Sept. 21

2:30

Deerfield

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Hotchkiss

A

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Choate

A

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Gunnery JV

H

S, Nov. 2

2:45

Loomis

A

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Choate

A

W, Nov. 6

3:00

Hopkins

A

W, Oct. 16

3:00

Loomis

H

S, Nov. 9*

2:00

Hotchkiss

H

S, Oct. 19

2:00

Westminster

A

W, Oct. 23

3:30

Simsbury HS

A

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Northfield Mount Hermon H

2:30

Gunnery

H

S, Oct. 19

2:30

Williston

H

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Salisbury

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Choate

A

Girls’ J.V. Soccer

S, Nov. 2

2:45

Loomis

A

S, Sept. 21

W, Nov. 6

3:00

Hopkins

H

S, Nov. 9*

2:00

Hotchkiss

H

2:30

Berkshire Jamboree

W, Sept. 18 3:00

Suffield

A

S, Sept. 21

Berkshire

H

W, Sept. 25 3:45

Rye CD

H

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Loomis

A

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Canterbury

H

S, Oct. 5

3:00

Hopkins

H

2:30

H

Gunnery JV

3:00

S, Sept. 14

Deerfield

M, Oct. 14 4:00

W, Oct. 16

Girls’ Varsity Soccer

2:30

2:30

A

Berkshire

H

W, Spet. 25 3:30

Simsbury HS

A

S, Sept. 28

2:30

Loomis

A

Boys’ IV Soccer

W, Oct. 2

3:00

Canterbury

H

W, Sept. 25 3:00

Westminster

S, Oct. 5

3:00

Hopkins

H

W, Oct. 2

3:30

Indian Mountain A

S, Oct. 12

2:30

Choate

A

W, Oct. 9

3:00

Avon

H

W, Oct. 16

3:30

Williston

H

W, Oct. 16

3:00

Rumsey

A

S, Oct. 19

3:00

Deerfield

H

W, Oct. 23

3:00

Berkshire

H

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Kent

A

S, Oct. 26

2:00

Avon

A

W, Oct. 30

3:00

Westminster

A

S, Nov. 2

2:30

Suffield

H

W, Nov. 6

2:30

Kingswood

A

S, Nov. 9*

1:45

Hotchkiss

H Taft Bulletin

A

35


E

N

D

N

O

T

E

—By Bernard Pagenstecher ’25

O

n a Sunday morning years ago, something the minister said rang a familiar bell. It prompted a question I had asked myself many times over the years, as most of us surely have, and somehow never came to grips with: if somebody stopped me on the street and asked whether I thought I was leading a meaningful life, what would be my reply? Deep down I knew full well, and on many occasions had felt momentary pangs of conscience, always smothered, however, by the comforting thought that in today’s world the demands and pressures of everyday living are such that if my life seemed one that was pretty much self centered it was certainly not by choice. But with the move to Florida upon retirement my conscience would no longer accept that convenient rationalization, and the question became uncomfortably possessive. That Sunday I could not dismiss it, although there were sly subconscious efforts to escape by way of broad definition of “meaningful.” What did that word really imply, and wasn’t I…? And then, as though to tell me to stop that nonsense, the motto of the school I attended a half century ago flashed into my mind. I could see the words deeply carved into the stone above the entranceway, and it had taken all these years to give their challenge real meaning: Not To Be Ministered Unto But To Minister. As thoughts about this began to crowd in, I knew in my heart that for me this did not mean the mere sending 62

Summer 1996

of a check to help the poor in some ghetto or a mission in Zulu country. It meant the giving of myself by way of personal involvement—somehow a part of the action. But How…? What…? Where…? And then perhaps by coincidence (but perhaps not) as I was leafing distractedly through the Sunday paper, a plea for help caught my eye—a desperate need for volunteers for the county’s Big Brother-type program. Thoughts raced as I found myself impatient for the arrival of Monday to call for an appointment, wondering, however, whether I who had never had children could possibly qualify for work with youngsters with special problems— some already through the courts, others on a prevention basis. The interview with the director was reassuring and the truly critical need for volunteers convincing proof of the importance of the contribution I would be in a position to make. It would, of course, be necessary to undertake training, but this, in the doing, only served to heighten the excitement as staff members and counselors revealed an unusual sense of dedication and joy in their work. Indeed, I knew that before long I would be on the threshold of fulfillment. As I waited impatiently, my assignment concerns about my ability to do a good job filled the days, but these thoughts quickly passed as the call came to advise that I had been matched with a young boy just turned thirteen and classed in the prevention area. The situation was one that might well lead to delinquency

as recognized by the parent who had wisely asked for help. My heart skipped a beat as I entered the school to be introduced to Steven. First meetings under such circumstances are bound to be awkward and filled with anxiety. But fortunately, as we shook hands and sized each other up there was instantly that strange mystical something that made each of us feel the match would be a good one. So it was not surprising that as I drove home after a meeting at his home with his mother and with him, I experienced a feeling of elation impossible to describe. Communication is seldom easy between the young and adults, so I had to marvel at the ingenuity and persistence of my new little brother in finding a way to convey what he felt to be a most vital message. It was Christmas time, and not long after our first meeting, when I asked Steven’s mother for a gift idea that would be particularly pleasing. She said that Steven had been singing a song recently he seemed to relish and would surely appreciate having a record of it. By some detective work, I discovered the song to be “Ben” by the Jackson Five and from the movie that told a symbolic story of a young boy’s friendship with a rat named Ben. Overjoyed with this gift, Steven discussed the song and played it over and over again, insisting that I listen and probing for comment from me. I had never heard the song but recognized immediately what Steven was so eager to convey and to learn from me. Frankly, I was moved to tears as I listened.


E

Ben, the two of us need look no more We have found what we were looking for With a friend to call my own I’ll never be alone And you, my friend will see You’ve got a friend in me Ben, you’re always running here and there You feel you’re not wanted anywhere If you ever look behind And don’t like what you find There’s something you should know You’ve got a place to go I used to say I and me Now it’s us — now it’s we I used to say I and me Now it’s us — now it’s we Ben, most people would turn you away I don’t listen to a word they say They don’t see you as I do I wish they would try to I’m sure they would think again If they had a friend like Ben Overwhelmed by the depth of inner turmoil and need for help I felt certain must lie behind this display of anxiety and this cry for attention, I lost no time in searching my mind for ways to dem-

onstrate convincingly my own feelings and genuine commitment. Without hesitation I secretly called Motown, the producer of the record and found them only too happy to furnish me with a copy autographed by Michael Jackson when I explained what I had in mind. So it was not without a large lump in my throat that only a few weeks later I watched as county officials presented Steven with the record impressively framed together with the printed lyrics and a special commendation for having found a song that so perfectly expressed the spirit and goals of the county program—a song that would now become the official theme. The ensuing years were filled with the greatest experiences of my life as a very warm rapport and mutual trust developed—a period, however, not by any means devoid of wrenching intrusions, crises, and challenges. This was, indeed, being a part of the action, the giving of self in a hundred different ways and not infrequently, far beyond expected and reasonable limits. But when one sees how desperately these kids need a friend who cares, the challenge can never be set aside. Somehow one never thinks for long of the problems and frustrations—even heartaches.

N

D

N

O

T

E

One thinks only of the contribution one is in a position to make through the outpouring of love upon another less fortunate and thus helping to build the foundation for a happier life. As I continued to pursue with enthusiasm the challenges of social service, I have been astonished at the many who find it difficult to believe that any feeling of real accomplishment and contentment can result from relationships so transient and widely separated by age and status. Perhaps they would begin to understand had they been with me on Christmas Day years after my relationship with Steven had been officially over and circumstances had placed a long distance between us. The package delivered at the front door contained no card nor written message. Neither were necessary, for as I unwrapped the gift— there, cut into the wood against the mirror of a wall plaque were three letters, hand carved, I was sure, with a feeling of everlasting love and appreciation. Indeed, as one feels at first hand the warm glow and exhilaration that come with ministering to one’s fellow man, any doubts about a meaningful life vanish, leaving in their place the comfort of spiritual growth and inner peace that are its fruits.

“…‘meaningful.’ What did that word really imply, and wasn’t I…? and then, as though to tell me to stop that nonsense, the motto of the school I attended a half century ago flashed into my mind. I could see the words deeply carved into the stone above the entranceway, and it had taken all these years to give their challenge real meaning: Not To Be Ministered Unto But To Minister.” Taft Bulletin

63

Profile for Taft School

Summer 1996 Taft Bulletin  

Summer 1996 Taft Bulletin