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BULLETIN S U M M E R • 1 9 9 7

Volume 67

Number 4

In this Issue SPOTLIGHT

2 AFTER APARTHEID By Jonathan Gyurko ’92 and Molly Simmons ’96

10 LOOKING FOR MEGALOPTERA Page 2

Environmental Science Students Getting Their Feet Wet By Janet Reynolds

14 ALUMNI WEEKEND Alumni Trustee, Citation of Merit, Annual Fund Awards

23 COEDUCATION A Discussion About 25 Years of Change Moderated by Debbie Phipps

26 Page 7 On the covers: Front: Litchfield Hills Pipes & Drums pipe in the Class of 1997 to this year’s commencement exercises. Back: The wisdom of Horace Taft, as etched in a window of the new library reading room, was never more appreciated than on Commencement Day. Photos by Eric Poggenpohl. The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in March, 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@Taft.pvt.k12.ct.us. 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!

107TH COMMENCEMENT Remarks by J. Irwin Miller ’27

34 THE MANY NAMES OF TAFT Rockefeller Field

DEPARTMENTS 36—NEWS OF THE SCHOOL New Chair Holders Announced; International Competition; New School Monitors

40—BIG RED SCOREBOARD 41—FALL ATHLETIC SCHEDULE 43—ENDNOTE By Head Monitor Daniel Trombly ’97


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After Apartheid By Jonathan Gyurko ’92

T

he edge of the Kalahari is a frontier between Namibian red sands and the riches of Johannesburg, a savannah separating the unsustaining and the luxurious. This flat and rocky landscape is interrupted only by an infrequent thorn tree, whose three-inch spikes caution the intrepid explorer. Here, maize farmers struggle from season to season, hoping for a storm cloud to open with blessings of pula. It is a divided place where people live between desert wastes and society’s decadence. Within this boundary, though, the earth rises, giving view to a horizon not of emptiness but of potential. Here, two springs quench thirst, irrigate fields, and water the humble kareebos, whose low arching branches provide some necessary shade. Stately eucalyptus trees, with their blue-green boughs and bone-white trunks, announce that this is a natural kgotla, a place for gathering.

Back in the bakkie again By Molly Simmons ’96 I arrived at Tiger Kloof as the school let out for a ten-day break. Since there was little to do in Vryburg (there are hardware stores and butcher shops scattered like 7-11s but not one bookstore), I was whisked off to Botswana to see where I would live in January. Fellow Taft graduate Jonathan Gyurko and I drove the school’s bakkie, a smaller version of a pick-up truck. After some trouble getting it started, and later being pulled over and fined for a blown indicator light, we arrived at Maru a Pula in Gabarone, getting slightly lost only once. To my great surprise, one of the first people I saw

It is to this kgotla that the London Missionary Society came in 1904, to found Tiger Kloof Educational Institution. They traveled on Cecil Rhodes’ rail line which still carries trains past the front gate. No strangers to frontiers, the LMS sponsored David Livingstone, whose call for the “three Cs,” Christianity, civilization, and commerce, began the “Scramble for Africa.”

b Jonathan, who is creating a drama enrichment program at Tiger Kloof and neighboring schools, with some of his students outside the grade 8 dormitory. Taft Bulletin

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was my freshman biology teacher at Taft, Rich Kassissieh, who had just finished up a two-year contract at Maru a Pula. There were two significant events during our stay in Botswana. The first was an interview I had at a nearby elementary school where I will be working when I move here at the end of the year, and the second was a trip to the Mokoldi Game Reserve. I was in the back of the bakkie with Cameron, the 9-year-old son of Maru a Pula’s headmaster; Jonathan was driving. When we were at what must have been one of the farthest points from the lodge, Jonathan stopped the truck when he realized the temperature gauge was in the red zone; we checked to see if we had enough water in the radiator. We did, and all was fine until he tried to start the engine—nothing. We considered our options: 1) we could push the bakkie back to the lodge—a few miles away. Nope, it was mostly uphill. 2) One of us could run back to the lodge. “It is very dangerous,” reported Cameron, who had been in the reserve many times before. “I think there are cheetah and rhino!” It may have been an exaggeration, but two native Connecticutians were not up for the risk. Or 3) Smoke signals. I was thinking that a dry, windy

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During the fifty years that LMS operated Tiger Kloof, they conquered new territory for the status and quality of black African education. As the state provided no education for this majority, mission schools filled the void and left a legacy that is hard to rival. Tiger Kloof trained Seretse Khama and Ketumile Masire, the first two democratically-elected presidents of neighboring Botswana; Ruth Mompati, the South African ambassador to Switzerland; Archie Mogwe, Botswana’s ambassador to the United Stated; not to mention Desmond Tutu’s mother. All spent their formative years here and attest that Tiger Kloof ’s excellence was founded on a commitment to instill pride, respect, self-esteem, and selflessness that still flashes in their eyes. The school achieved this by providing competent academic and commercial training coupled with a deep respect for human dignity. By 1945, Tiger Kloof comprised nine schools including elementary, secondary, and teachers’ training schools, a seminary, and five technical schools. Furthermore, every building at Tiger Kloof was constructed and furnished by the students themselves, such as the chapel, which Mark Irvine describes in Optima magazine as “a miniature cathedral, [with] superb masonry of dressed sandstone; the carved wooden pulpit and pews; a magnificent altar tapestry; large slate flagstones and the stained glass windows.” Because students shared the work of this great endeavor, current principal David Matthews believes, “There cannot be many schools that empowered its pupils more than Tiger Kloof did. It was enormously relevant and important to those who went through it, for it altered their lives irrevocably.” Unfortunately, Tiger Kloof would be altered irrevocably by the Bantu Education Act of 1953. The act foreshadowed Tiger Kloof ’s end, but it was the London Missionary Society rather than the state that chose

The newly-restored Main School Block in 1997. The London Missionary Society constructed the first buildings in 1905. to close its doors. As principal Matthews continues, “This act limited what might be taught to the black people, thereby safeguarding the technical skills for whites, and directed much of its venom toward destroying the missionary schools which were busy creating a pool of independent black thinkers.” The LMS refused to accept a system that would prepare black South Africans for menial labor only. Tiger Kloof ’s future became an agonizing concern for then-principal Aubrey Lewis. He regretfully predicted that Bantu


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animal reserve was not necessarily the best place to build a fire, but Jonathan was determined. I stood by with piles of sand ready to kick onto any stray sparks. Jonathan also began to lean on the bakkie’s horn, trying to attract attention. It turned out that it was his faithful SOS that finally brought some park rangers to our rescue. The first thing they asked was why we had built a fire. I later asked the rangers if it was safe to walk in the park, and they reassured us that it was indeed perfectly safe. If we did come across a rhino, we ought to move slowly behind a nearby tree as they are near sighted. Good to know. It was an interesting afternoon. We saw zebra, ostrich, kudu, wart-hog, giraffe, two white rhino, and much more.

Education would erode the school, graduating demoralized and untrained youths. For these reasons and more, Lewis stood on the student-built altar and addressed the school for the final time. He ended with “May God be with you until we meet again,” not knowing when that day would be. The inspiring campus, home to more than 600 people, was abandoned.

• • • The government razed some buildings, but many stood as defiant reminders of Apartheid’s ravages. Vandals broke nearly every pane of glass while birds, snakes, and wasps became the sole resi-

dents. Doors swung wildly in the wind, banging against their peeling frames, as if demanding attention and restitution. Curious visitors found rusting tin roofs, decaying mattresses, and gardens seeded with thorn. The deserted veld, which had been conquered and planted by Tiger Kloof, vengefully surrounded the vacant buildings and consumed the connecting roads. The walls, though, built with more than a mason’s skill by students who were acquiring more than a trade, stood as if in wait. The wait ended forty years after Reverend Lewis’s last service, when the former principal returned to the chapel’s altar for the official reopening

That old swimming hole... It is November and the swimming pool was cleaned and made ready just as the hot weather began. Being one of the few people on the staff who a) could swim and b) had nothing more important to do in the afternoons, I volunteered to lead the swimming lessons. No big deal, I thought to myself; I did this sort of thing all summer. True, the five-foot deep pool would be

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more attractive if I could see the bottom, but I’ll not think too much about that. Well, three hours every weekday afternoon plus a free swim on weekends got old fast, especially the 7:00 AM wake-up call on Saturdays from the group that wanted to get their names in first. I was outdoors, though, and most of the time I got a kick out of the different swimming styles and the boys who would turn blue, shivering from the cold, but refuse to come out of the water. Interestingly, the boys and girls do not swim together, except on rare free-swim occasions; the girls are so self-conscious about being seen in their swimming costumes that many refuse to get in the pool until the boys are at least 50 meters away.

A book of a different color I had an interesting visit to the local library recently. Before you can truly understand the story, you need to realize the ultraconservatism of Vryburg. The Group Areas Act and Bantu Education Act in the late ’40s and ’50s separated people into certain sections in towns and into segregated schools. Those acts have been lifted, but in Vryburg there has been little change, especially in regard to where people live.

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Jonathan, center, enjoys a quiet moment beside the school’s vegetable patch with some grade 8 and 9 boy boarders. of Tiger Kloof. With tears in his eyes, he blessed a new congregation as all felt the moment’s poetry: the grass had been cut and the veld reclaimed by newly-planted flower beds; the red tin roofs had been freshly painted; most of the resident snakes had been driven out, replaced by a new class—seventysix grade eight students. The event was shared by four thousand “old Tigers,” dignitaries, teachers, new students, and friends who joined to celebrate the school’s resurrection, breaking bread together in a service led by Archbishop Tutu. The significance of that day and the re-opening is best articulated by Irvine: “This is a school which represents something immeasurably larger than a single institution. It symbolizes all that the new South Africa has fought for, and much that it can and should strive to achieve.”

The political watershed of 1994 revitalized the country, including Tiger Kloof. The 1995 reopening was thanks to the initiative of alumni and local businessmen, the generosity of the Genesis Foundation in the United States, AngloAmerican and De Beers Chairman’s Fund (as well as many other South African corporate funders), and the inspired leadership of principal David Matthews, one of the founders of Maru a Pula School in Botswana. The school is being rebuilt on the foundation that was so squarely laid by the LMS, that of coeducational, academic, and commercial training coupled with a respect for human dignity. The curriculum spans the “three Rs” to languages, business proficiency, computer literacy, the arts, and building and catering skills. Sports fields have been cleared around the rock outcroppings,


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community service programs are beginning, and religious faith remains integral to the school’s spirit. Principal Matthews and the Board of Directors of this newly-incorporated non-profit company have outlined a number of principles to which this restored Tiger Kloof is dedicated. It will be “an adult center as well as a school,” providing invaluable training for those

most affected by Bantu Education. Through short, modular courses, Tiger Kloof has already graduated a number of tradesmen to reconstruct their own communities. Another principle aims to “work closely with the Department of Education,” to assist the reshaping of education in the North West Province. Another goal is to be a “learner-centered institution,” encouraging students to

Those who are in nice areas do not want to move, and those who are in not-so-nice areas generally cannot afford to move. There is still plenty of racial tension in Vryburg, and it is obvious. Phil Price (another American volunteer) and I had taken three students with us to the local library since there is no library yet at Tiger Kloof. There was no problem at all; we just sat quietly and did our work. As we were leaving, the girls ran ahead and the librarian said to us, “It is perfectly all right if they come in here.” Phil and I looked at each other a bit confused. “Do you mean the girls?” he asked. “Well, yes,” she said. “As long as they follow the rules. Usually we have a Setswana speaker here to help them find what they need, but unfortunately he is not here today.” Phil, a bit shaken, left her with, “Their English is very good. I don’t think you need to worry, but thank you.” We chuckled once we were outside for the fact that she not only felt she had to let us know the girls were allowed in the library, but also that she must have felt so very progressive. Not just that, either, she was being quite progressive! Many people say things here that would be considered rude or racist at home—so awful sometimes that it is not likely you would hear

Forty years later, restoration begins as Robert Jantjies, an adult trainee, repairs the courtyard sundial after the ravages of Apartheid. Taft Bulletin

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them. This is a farming town in the Northwest province, not a hotbed of integration or acceptance, so please do not base your sense of all of South Africa on it. The country does still have a long way to go, as do many places in the United States.

It all comes out in the wash On a lighter note, I correctly learned how to wash my clothes by hand. I usually filled the tub with water, dumped my clothes in with some detergent, and stirred them around, hoping the dirt would jump out of them. One night I was simultaneously washing my socks and helping one of the girls study for her business-economics exam. I had just finished washing my socks when she stopped reading and looked into the basket at them. “Ma’am,” she asked, “have you washed those yet?” Looking back at my still quite gray but not as smelly socks I uncertainly told her yes. She then called a couple other girls in to look, and they all just looked at me and sadly shook their heads and mumbled the disappointed, “Oh no, Ma’am.” A bit annoyed that I had missed out on this whole clothes washing secret, I asked them to show me the correct way to wash socks. So four

learn by doing, most apparent in the skills-training curriculum. A final principle is that Tiger Kloof “must become a center of resource, upliftment, and empowerment for the entire Vryburg community;” the Drama Enrichment Program which I organize is one such example, as it operates at five Vryburg schools. In all of these principles, we are trying to challenge the established frontiers of intellect and ability far beyond the borders of our campus and deep into the minds and hearts of our learners. It is easy to romanticize Tiger Kloof ’s resurrection, but it is not exempt from the difficulties facing South Africa’s redevelopment. I also couldn’t help but be struck by the similarity of issues facing Tiger Kloof and those Lance Odden outlined in his Mothers’ Day address at Taft: “The external legal and commercial worlds challenge us in unprecedented ways.” For example, the new Schools Act requires that a Parent, Teacher, Student Association be the supreme governing body of the school. While the intention to

foster local ownership and involvement is sound, it has the potential to destabilize a long-term vision because it focuses on short-term demands. Simone Weil asserts, in her The Need for Roots, that rootedness “is the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” The architects of Apartheid clearly recognized this; they displaced communities and alienated people from relationships, places of birth, productive land, and habitable environments. In addition to the social ills that this has caused, it has eroded any sense of identity for countless numbers of young black South Africans. Many of our students have adopted the look, walk, and talk of American “gangstas” as seen in music videos and movies. A search for identity and the adoption of what are, for the most part, empty symbols, influences and interferes with the learning process. Students don’t want to study their history; instead the talk is of new “individual rights,” “personal freedom,” and “political empowerment.”

The markerstone of the main school block, erected over ninety years earlier. 8

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu preaches to the four thousand gathered for the grand reopening ceremony in 1995. As Apartheid denied the majority of the population any access to wealth, many now desire immediate economic and material enrichment. This has created a dangerous egocentrism and an ethic of entitlement which are undermining the values that formerly united communities. This egocentrism makes the creation of a cohesive school community incredibly difficult. Furthermore, a desire for immediate gratification undermines any appreciation of the sacrifice and work needed to build a truly equitable society. These are just some of the challenges facing Tiger Kloof; all are found against a landscape blighted by years of unemployment, apathy, increasing crime, a reluctance to change, and more covert forms of racism.

• • • As Tiger Kloof was restored from the wastes of Apartheid and enjoyed the euphoria of that first democratic year, it is now soberly challenged by the same issues facing the nation three years later. In response, we are committed to continue the revival of this scarred community. In doing so, the values we seek to instill include “a reverence for

God, respect for human life and dignity, respect for property, conflict resolution as an alternative to violence, [and a] respect for and celebration of individuality and diversity...to grow tolerant, principle-centered, independent thinkers who know that their purpose in life is to build, not destroy; to serve, not command; and above all to know that learning is life long.” Thankfully, we have a rooted foundation from which to grow: the might of those chapel walls, weathering for so long the onslaught of Apartheid, is a testament of conviction, faith, and resolve. The same strength keeps us dedicated to our task, as we look into the sand of civilization’s end, carefully watch society from this frontier perspective, and seek to plant a garden on the desert’s edge. Jonathan Gyurko graduated in 1996 as a Morehead Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last year, he received a Genesis Foundation Grant to initiate and conduct a drama enrichment program at Tiger Kloof and other Vryburg schools. He is currently writing a drama handbook for teachers and students of drama.

of them crouched around the tub with me and showed me how to get the sock really soapy: hold some soap in the fist of my left hand and—grabbing the top of the rest of the sock—scrub it along from my knuckles to above my wrist. I have never seen socks get so white; I couldn’t believe it. I never realized how insanely spoiled I am by the washing machine. The girls asked how I did my socks at home. They were astonished: “You put your socks in the washing machine?” Another girl said, “My mother told me that I had to learn how to wash my own clothes and especially my own socks because what if I did not marry a rich man and did not have a washing machine.” It made perfect sense to me, and I felt quite inferior to these four thirteen-year-olds who had a far greater knowledge in ways that I never would have thought. I think the girls were really happy to have a chance to teach me something important besides their own language. Molly Simmons was one of last year’s Poole Fellows. Instead of using her grant for a summer project, Molly chose to take a year off before going to the University of Wisconsin so that she could volunteer, teach, and travel in South Africa. The stories above are from her monthly newsletters.

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Looking for

Seniors Dave Jenkins and Brian Telesmanic scour some river rocks to collect insects in their water monitoring project. The types of insects they find will help them evaluate the health of the river. 10

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Megaloptera

By Janet Reynolds

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t’s a brisk May morning, the nippy air more like early April than mid-May. Dark gray clouds stripe the sky, ominous reminders of yesterday’s rains and hints of showers still to come. The students gathered along the Bantam River seem unaffected by the cold, damp weather. Bundled up in polar fleece and sweatshirts, they’re focused on the task at hand—collecting data on the Bantam River for the state Department of Environmental Protection. Welcome to Bill Zuehlke’s Environmental Science class. An elective for 16 juniors and seniors, the class often takes place indoors. But on this particular Saturday the students are taking part in Project Search, a statewide river and stream educational monitoring project sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Science Center of Connecticut. Project Search is finishing up its third year in a five-year program. To date 172 teachers in 96 Connecticut high schools have been trained to teach more than 3,800 students how to collect physical, chemical, and biological data from the state’s waterways. Taft joined the program two years ago, one of only a handful of private schools statewide, after Zuehlke attended the one-week summer training program. Teachers get a small stipend to attend the intensive training. Schools then receive about $2,500 in testing equipment free of charge. The $2.5 million program is funded by the National Science Foundation, the D.E.P., and the Science Center.

Project Search fills a vital gap for the D.E.P., which originated the unique program. Currently only about 900 of the 5,830 miles of Connecticut’s streams are routinely assessed by federal and state agencies. Project Search enables the

D.E.P. to get information on about 300 miles of rivers and streams that would normally be ignored by the D.E.P. “A lot of smaller streams are ignored,” says Michael Beauchene, water resource biologist for Project Search.

Environmental Science teacher Bill Zuehlke confers with Mike Beauchene of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, which sponsors Project Search. Taft Bulletin

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“Students give us a set of eyes out there

so we know what’s going on rather than assuming what’s going on.” So far the news from the data collected by students is fairly reassuring. Of 53 streams sampled, four percent had excellent water quality, 54 percent had very good water quality, 39 percent had good water quality, and 7.5 percent had poor quality. The Bantam River falls in the upper categories. But while Zuehlke is interested in the environmental benefits of Project Search, he joined the program because it gives him yet another opportunity to

put into action his belief about teaching: that a hands-on experience is worth a thousand classroom lectures. “I believe in field science over dry science,” the eight-year Taft veteran says, noting he takes classes outside as much as possible. “There’s no use for kids sitting in front of a computer simulating what a squirrel does. I would much rather take them out and show them a squirrel doing it.” The students agree. “It’s nice to get out of class and do something,” says Kathy Savino ’97, who will attend Boston College this fall. Echoes Heather Lambert ’97, “We learn better when we’re out in the field.” That the field is not a place for dozing is clear this particular Saturday. Everybody scurries to finish the long list of tests and data they must compile for the report they will send to the D.E.P.

One duo works on dissolved oxygen tests, while others measure the water’s pH, hardness, and check for nutrients such as nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates. In the river, a trio of male students dressed in hip-high waders measures the Bantam River’s physical parameters, such as stream velocity, erosion, bank stabilization. They measure the stream’s width, its average depth in three spots, and then time a tennis ball over a known length. Later they’ll plug that information into a formula to determine the amount of water flowing per second. That stream flow can then be used to figure out nutrient loads and sediment loads carried by a river. All tests are done three times to make sure the information is correct. Beauchene, who visits most samplings, also performs certain tests himself in the field to corroborate the students’ infor-

Seniors Doug Blanchard, Brian Telesmanic, and Ben Pastor measure the width of the river to help determine stream flow. 12

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mation. He also takes a nab a megaloptera is besample back for the state cause the insects are huge. Department of Health to They can be as long as four verify as well. inches. The duo responsible But while both Zuehlke for the oxygen dissolving and Beauchene tout the test wait expectantly as educational benefits of Beauchene checks their Project Search, each test. “10.6,” Beauchene a g r e e s t h e p ro g r a m says, as they sigh with reprovides innumerable lief. That’s the average for intangible gains as well. their three tests. “So far It broadens students’ they’ve hit it on the horizons, according to money,” says Beauchene Zuehlke. The Bantam of the Taft tests he has River, for instance, replicated. looks fairly clean, but The waders, meanthen the kids take out while, have moved on to huge bugs, and think insect collection. Five “Oh my God, I swim in male students grab nets that! It’s an eye-opening and place them downexperience,” he says. stream from large rocks. Beauchene agrees. As one holds the net, an“It’s a tremendous asset other reaches in and rubs for the students,” he says. the rocks clean in front of “Depending on where the it. The stream then students are, different pushes whatever insects students can get different are harvested into the net things out of it. In some downstream. urban schools just going While those shivering into the water is a life-alonshore are sure it is too Molly Rosenman ’98 (newly-elected head of the Taft Environmental Aware- tering experience. cold for bugs to be out and ness Movement) and Heather Lambert ’97 conduct nutrient testing, looking “Kids like doing real for nitrates or phosphates in their water samples. Elevated levels of either about—the water temworld activities,” Beauchene perature, after all, is a could mean potential polution from fertilizers or detergents. adds. “When they’re out chilling ten degrees centithere they don’t feel like grade—Beauchene, whose license plate The waders, who must complete a they’re in school. They feel like it’s a job.” reads Bug Boy, dispels that myth. “No total of 11 collections across the river, That Zuehlke and Beauchene have way,” he says. “This is the best time of get a caddis fly in one of their first a point is clear at the end of Saturday’s year. You can still catch them in the wa- sweeps. “That bodes well for the overall sampling session. Done with the task at ter before they come out in the air.” water quality,” says Beauchene. hand, senior Brian Telesmanic begins Zuehlke explains the integral part bugs He’s interrupted by the river boys wandering upstream, looking intently play in measuring the health of a water- yelling “Whoo hoo, we’ve got the into the water, overturning rocks here way. “Insects are a great monitor of water megaloptera!” They bring their and there. Told it’s time to leave, quality,” says Zuehlke. “Some insects hate prize to shore. It turns out they’re he turns and says, “I don’t changes in the ecosystem and either die or wrong. It’s really a stone fly. want to go home.” leave.” Stone flies and may flies, for instance, Still, Beauchene is imare fairly intolerant to poor water. The pressed. “Just to hear them Janet Reynolds is a “Michelin Man” caddis fly, so named for saying those names is pretty freelance writer and a its puffy tire-like body, has zero tolerance impressive,” he says, adding regular contributor to the for any kind of pollution. that the reason they want to Litchfield County Times. Taft Bulletin

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Alumni Weekend

May 22-25, 1997


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Patsy Odden welcomes Sophie Griswold ’87 and Claire and Amanda Cluett Stanton ’82.

Alex King ’47 talks with classmate Ed Couch after the Memorial Service.

Chip Spencer ’56 with Jim Loomis ’31 at the Old Guard Dinner.

Sharon Richardson, wife of Bruce ’82, with their daughter.

b Members of the Class of ’32 lead the Old Guard in the parade including Birger Johnson, Deke Warner, and Bill Hatfield, accompanied by Headmaster Lance Odden on the right. Taft Bulletin

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George Reichenbach ’47 and Jean Murdock, wife of Bob ’47.

Classmates Birger Johnson and Deke Warner ’32.

Alumni Trustee Jennifer Reed ’78 A school monitor and class committee member at Taft, Firkins lettered in field hockey and ice hockey and during her senior year was co-captain of the ice hockey team. Firkins graduated cum laude and received the Cunningham Award. She served as class agent for three years. Firkins received her BA degree from Harvard-Radcliffe in 1982, where she was a three-year co-captain of the ice hockey team. She earned an MA in English from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English in 1987 and an M.Ed. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 1991. Firkins currently teaches for Urban Scholars at the University of Massachusetts - Boston, an academic enrichment program serving talented inner-city youth in the Boston public schools. For two years, she was the program’s high school coordinator, responsible for overseeing curriculum development, hiring teachers, and recruiting students. She has worked as program coordinator for Magic Me, a non-profit providing intergenerational, community service programming to youth and elders in Boston’s urban neighborhoods. From 1987 to 1994, Firkins taught English and was director of college counseling at Walnut Hill, a high school for 16

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the visual and performing arts. She currently serves on Walnut Hill’s board of trustees. From 1990 to 1993, she was a teaching fellow at Harvard College for Dr. Robert Coles in his course, “The Literature of Social Reflection,” for which she three times received the Bok Award for Excellence in Teaching. Firkins began her teaching career at Taft, where she taught English, worked in Admissions, and coached ice hockey, field hockey, and thirds lacrosse from 1983 to 1985. Firkins has also worked internationally. She spent two summers in Kenya doing volunteer development work and, during a nine-month solo-journey through Asia in 1986, worked in refugee camps in Thailand. In 1990, she returned to Thailand, leading a group of American high school students who built a rural school and taught in refugee camps. She has continued her work with refugees, helping The Women’s Commission for Refugees develop curriculum on human rights issues and, most recently, as a member of The Knitting Project, a non-partisan group which sent over twenty-five tons of wool and knitting supplies to women in the former Yugoslavia. Firkins lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, Dennis Barr, a psychologist and educational researcher.


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A record number of emeriti and former faculty return for the Old Guard Dinner, including the Curries, Makepeaces, Lodges, Noyeses, Sandy Sargent, Lovelaces, Tanny Reiff, Stones, Bobbie Potter, Ted Green, and David and Trudy Miller.

Bryon Lyons (guess what year) readies for the parade.

Participants in the Annual Fun Run—Alex King ’47, Al Reiff ’80, Marian Reiff Cheevers ’74, Ted Crispino ’96, seniors Jessica Riggs and Jenn Blomberg, and middlers Jocelyn Green and Julie Feldmeier. Taft Bulletin

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John Orb ’37 and Clark Burton ’37. Classmates Walt Redel and Alan “Salty” Peters ’47.

Nobby Holmes ’57, Bruce Bartels ’57, and Chip Spencer ’56.

Paul Foster ’33 and Nate Cortright ’33. 18

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Molly Baldrige ’72 with children Perry, Mac, and Bry.


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The headmaster welcomes returning alumni and their families at the luncheon under the tent.

Citation of Merit William A. Waldron ’31 ing unselfishly and with disOne of Mr. Taft’s “scholarship tinction at the municipal, state, boys,” you fully embraced your and federal levels. The Comyears in Watertown and were monwealth of Massachusetts recognized by your classmates prospered by your work as comas an energetic leader and conmissioner of administration scientious friend. A school monitor, letterman in three and finance, special counsel to sports, Papyrus editor, and rethe Joint Committee on Rules of the General Court, and dicipient of the Class of 1908 rector of the Special medal awarded to the student Commission on the Structure who has done the most for the school, you wrote a distinof State Government. As the first full-time general counsel of guished record at Taft. The Committee Chairman Gino Kelly ’55 presents Bill the Massachusetts General same was true at Union ColWaldron ’31 with the Alumni Citation of Merit— Hospital, part-time teacher, lege, where you were honored the school’s highest honor. and committed volunteer for as a Phi Beta Kappa member, varsity athlete in football and track, and Bailey Cup recipi- non-profit organizations and your community, your life of ent for the member of the Class of 1935 who has done the service to others honors your school’s motto: non ut sibi most for the college. A graduate of Harvard Law School, ministretur sed ut ministret. Today, we honor you with Taft’s you chose the unconventional role of citizen-lawyer, serv- highest award, the Alumni Citation of Merit.

Taft Bulletin

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The Alumni Lacrosse Team.

Phyllis and Rib Hall ’33 and Richard and Ruth Davidson ’33.

Lance Odden greets Rod ’62 and Alice Moorhead on Alumni Day.

Tom Cassidy ’46, center, with Jerry Cassidy ’47 and Bess Riccio.

Gordon Mannweiler ’37 visits with Brigitte and Duke Wooters ’37.

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1996-97 Taft Annual Fund Report A critical measure of a school is the level of support generated by its constituents. The results of the 1996-97 Annual Fund indicate that Taft’s alumni/ae, parents, parents of graduates, grandparents, and friends believe deeply that their school is outstanding, and they are committed to maintaining its excellence. In reaching $2.2 million in Annual Fund gifts, Taft surpassed its goal by 10 percent. Led by the reunion classes, which contributed $422,463, our alumni/ ae had their best year as 41 percent (2,648 donors) gave over $1.2 million. Dick Hulbert, the Class Agent for Taft ’47, raised $111,471 in total commitments for the 50 th reunion gift, and won The Snyder Award, awarded to that Reunion Class Agent whose Class contributed the most dollars to the Annual Fund. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees Award, presented to that Class, less than 50 years out, with the highest percent participation was awarded for the second consecutive year to George Hampton, and the Class of 1960 for hitting 80 percent participation. I would also like to acknowledge Woolly Bermingham, Ross Legler, and the Class of 1943 as 100 percent of that class supported their school this year. Taking the helm of this year’s Current Parents’ Committee, Toni and Chuck Peebler, parents of Todd ’99, led the way to another record-setting finish by raising $804,530 with 94 percent participation, and an average gift of $1,619. This outstanding effort speaks to the quality of the Taft education and our parents’ overwhelming endorsement of Lance Odden and his faculty. What a wonderful tribute. Equally impressive are the 429 parents of graduates and grandparents who continued their generosity by giving $218,964. It is a mark of our school’s broad-based support that gifts are received from families whose children graduated thirty or forty years ago as well as from those whose association with Taft has just begun. The dollars are extraordinary, and significant; their impact is even more so as the beneficiaries of such generosity are Taft’s students. Every single Annual Fund dollar is allocated to the school’s current operating budget and ensures that Taft can sustain its first-rate education. I am deeply indebted to 250 alumni and parent volunteers and 3,572 donors for their tremendous loyalty. On behalf of the Taft Board of Trustees, I thank you all for helping to make this year the most successful in our school’s history! Thank you.

Geoffrey W. Levy ’65 Annual Fund Chair

Class Agent Fundraising Awards Snyder Award Largest amount contributed by a reunion class Richard K. Hulbert ’47 - $111,471 Chairman of the Board of Trustees Award Highest participation from that class less than 50 years out George M. Hampton, Jr. ’60 - 80% Participation Increase Award Largest increase in percent participation over last year (in raw percentage points) Heaton A. Robertson III ’61 James B. Taylor ’40 - 16 points McCabe Award Largest amount contributed by a non-reunion class William A. King ’44 - $87,726 Young Alumni Dollars Award Largest amount contributed from class less than 10 years out J. Kingman Gordon ’88 - $8,705 Young Alumni Participation Award Highest participation from class less than 10 years out Dyllan W. McGee ’89 - 43% Class of 1920 Award Greatest increase in support from a non-reunion class Warren L. Hall ’33 - $9,160 Taft Bulletin

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Laura Biddle ’77 entertains the younger set after lunch.

The 50th Reunion Class parades past the new building. 22

Summer 1997

Keith Fell ’72 arrives for Alumni Weekend in Big Red style.


S P O T L I G H T

Coeducation A Discussion About 25 Years of Change Moderated by Debbie Phipps

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he following excerpts are taken from a panel discussion held on Alumni Day this year in honor of the first coed 25th Reunion Class. The discussion was also the culmination of faculty member Debbie Phipps’ multi-year study of coeducation at Taft, which included detailed surveys of thirty alumni classes and the entire student body. ○

Pecky Gould Lodge Pecky began working at Taft in 1970 to act as the coordinator of girls’ activities during the first few years of coeducation. She stayed on part time in the Admissions Office until 1977. Her first husband, George Gould, was also a member of the Taft faculty as a math teacher and varsity soccer coach. Pecky still lives near Taft on It seemed that some of the older members of the faculty had varying degrees of enthusiasm for coeducation. At the bottom of the various groups I think was Ed Douglas, the head of the Math Department. He said that girls were not capable of doing math. He thought we’d have to change the standards to something much less rigorous. The first year that he had girls in his class, the class gave him a surprise birthday party, and the girls made a cake. Ed Douglas was almost in tears. He was so moved and excited about it that I don’t think he minded having girls in class.

Hamilton Avenue with her husband, Tom Lodge. Pecky is the mother of three children and two step-daughters and has nine grandchildren. She is chairwoman of the scholarship committee of the Watertown Foundation and is active in The Congregational Church of Watertown and Highfield Club of Middlebury.

Panelists Marion Makepeace, Pecky Gould Lodge, Claire and Amanda Cluett Stanton ’82, Sophie Griswold ’87, Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75, and Molly Baldrige ’72. Taft Bulletin

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Marion Makepeace Marion came to Taft in 1971 to spend the next ten years as the assistant director of athletics and to coach girls’ varsity field hockey, squash, softball, and tennis. Following Taft, Marion coached girls’ varsity tennis at Pomperaug High School in

Southbury. A graduate of Skidmore, she is the mother of five children, including David ’66 and Seth ’76. An avid tennis, squash, and paddle tennis player, Marion and her husband, John, live in Naugatuck.

I was hired because it was such a male bastion that they wanted somebody to come in who had a soft touch. I was supposed to say, “Here, I’m sure we can find something for you to do.” I remember they had about 80 girls. So we had field hockey. I remember, it was funny, the girls would come up to me and didn’t feel well or something and I’d say, “Oh, why don’t you take the afternoon off. You don’t have to do your sport if you’re not feeling well.” Molly set me straight; she was a senior. She said, “You have to get tough. They must have an infirmary excuse.” So I changed, and I sort of grew up with Molly’s help. The teams were very strong. The original girls that came to Taft were very strong, competitive, and sure of themselves, their athletics, their studies. ○

Molly Baldrige ’72 As a member of the first coed graduating class, Molly was also the first female school monitor at Taft. Molly went to Yale, where she earned her B.A. and a master’s degree in public and private management. Her professional career has focused on agricultural real estate investment. She has worked for several organizations, including Prudential, the Farmers’ Home Administration, and US Agricredit, Inc.,

where she was a vice president working with rural banks to use the federal agricultural mortgage pooling program (Farmer Mac). Presently, Molly is working for Homegrown Herbs in Hygiene, CO, as a business manager for the handcrafted herbal extract manufacturer. The mother of three children, Molly was an alumni trustee for Taft and a directory chair for her 25th Reunion this year.

I think my voice was listened to just because we were such an odd commodity that nobody knew what we were going to do. So it was, “What is she going to say now?’ I think Lance gave us a lot of credibility and really made everyone listen to us. I think John Dant, who was the head monitor, was really supportive. I felt I was listened to, probably more than was really comfortable. It was like being up on a pedestal. I just wanted everyone to stop paying so much attention to us. Here, take my opinion with the same grain of salt that you take everybody else’s. There was a little bit more pressure than there is now because we were being examined from all angles. You had to make sure that what you said was absolutely right. ○

Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75 A member of the first four-year class with girls, Jean continued her studies at Yale, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She returned to Taft in 1983 as the dormitory head of Mac House with her husband, John, who teaches math. Now residing off campus, Jean teaches

math, runs the Mid Forum program, and oversees issues of residential life while pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Jean has four children. Her oldest daughter, Emily ’00, is the first child of an alumna to attend Taft.

I think on some level the girls that were here at the beginning were ones who were likely to rise to the challenge, whatever it happened to be. In the classroom, male teachers began to think, “Oh, they have brains, that’s good. We’ll choose them more. We’ll talk with them more; we’ll listen to them better.” Male faculty members began to understand girls a little bit better, and girls put themselves forward in a more competitive way. I actually recall being extremely competitive in the classroom and girls really pushing themselves in a way that they may not now because they aren’t trying so hard to be appreciated. There were those among us who were naturally competitive; that was a very good thing I think. Looking back on it now as a teacher, I think there are certainly girls in my classroom who would not have been comfortable then. 24

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Amanda Cluett Stanton ’82 Amanda graduated from Princeton in 1986 and worked in Chase Manhattan Bank’s lending department for three years. In 1989, she married William Stanton and moved to San Francisco. There, she became vice president at First Interstate Bank, where she worked for five years. Two years

ago, Amanda and her family moved back east to Pennington, NJ, where she is caring for her two daughters. She is involved with several volunteer activities (including being the 15th Reunion co-chair) as well as working on a mean game of tennis.

We had a great class. We all got along terrifically. There were few problems with social interaction; we were an extremely positive group. I would say, as a parent now, if I were considering coeducation versus single-sex schooling, I would always go with coeducation when we reach that point. What’s nice about a boarding school is that you have the coeducational environment in the classroom and the playing fields, but at night you have the benefit of the single-sex environment where you can really build that camaraderie—eating gross amounts of ice cream in your pajamas or whatever it is. You have the benefit of both worlds. ○

Sophie Griswold ’87 Following in her grandfather and brother’s footsteps, Sophie came to Taft as a lower middler in 1983. In addition to being a three-sport varsity athlete, she served as editor of the Annual and as a school monitor. She then went to Dartmouth, where she majored in Asian Studies and continued the work in Chinese she began at Taft. During two semesters abroad, Sophie studied in both Beijing and Taiwan, where she later moved

after college. For two years, Sophie taught English to children while continuing her Chinese studies. For the past four years, she has worked as the production manager for a cashmere sweater company in New York City. Her job takes her to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia several times a year. Sophie is the class agent and class secretary for her class, which is celebrating its 10th Reunion this year.

Our class was unique. We didn’t seem to bond as well as the classes that came before or after us. There was always competition in the classroom that was evident but not really brought to the forefront very often. We all knew that we were competing for a certain number of spots in colleges and that kind of thing. The competition that I saw between girls and between boys was more on the social scene. The time that we had in our busy schedules to interact socially was quite limited. It was basically the Jig hour—after study hall and before lights when everybody would pile down to what then became the new Jig. For those who were very self confident (or were able to pretend they were) it was probably quite a happy time. I think there were also a lot of kids who didn’t react well to that competition and felt that their ability to create relationships with the opposite sex was stifled at Taft because there was so much competition and such limited time to interact socially and to meet boys. In terms of competition between the sexes, I don’t remember that being so evident in our class. ○

Debbie Phipps, moderator Debbie came to Taft in 1983 as a Mailliard Fellow, received her master’s from Yale in 1986, and has done a little bit of everything, but has always taught English. Last year, part of her job entailed evaluating

coeducation at Taft. A graduate of Williams College, Debbie lives on North Street with her two sons, Matthe w and Michael, who won’t be of Taft age for another few years.

Responses from surveys were almost exactly equal in terms of the numbers of responses from men and women. We don’t do very much to distinguish girls’ ideas from boys’ ideas, because we really sees ourselves as a unified student body, not a boys’ group and a girls’ group. Because of that, we thought we ought to celebrate, or look at separately, the influence of women such as Winnie Taft or the women who are up here today, but not in any way at the exclusion of men. Taft Bulletin

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Road Signs Commencement Address

By J. Irwin Miller ’27 J. Irwin Miller ’27

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hese are unusually unstable and rapidly changing times. The shape of the future is hard to discern. You seniors will see, therefore, that I am addressing you as if the next four years had already passed and as if you were already out in the world of the next century, and on your own. It is not too soon to consider what awaits you. The future will come upon you before you know it. Consider, then, my remarks a compliment to your maturity, and consider them also as my best efforts at suggestions for the next four years and perhaps even an early warning or two.

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As a point of departure, if you graduating seniors were offered a ride in a time machine to take a brief look at your own future, say at age fifty, how you had spent your time between now and then, what you had by that time achieved on your own, would you accept? My guess is that most of you, when it came right down to it, would refuse the ride because in your deepest unconscious you are unsure of what you might see. The truth, however, is that you can’t reject the ride. You are taking it this morning. Look at us, parents and relatives. If you know your history, there is little reason to suspect that the majority of you will be all that different from us when you reach our ages. You carry our genes. All of us exist in a strong and ancient river of history, and few of you will in any sustained way fight the current, as few of us did. You


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Fred and Kay Krehbiel with Jay ’97.

Steve Whitaker with children Amy ’87, Lee ’97, Judy ’93, Chad ’86, and wife Cindy.

Christopher Barnes

Douglas Blanchard

Heminway Merriman Award Senior Athletic Award School Monitor Varsity Basketball Co-captain Logan Basketball Award Varsity Track Co-captain Hampden-Sydney College

Class of 1981 Award Senior Athletic Award Varsity Soccer Co-captain Ski Racing Captain Carroll Soccer Award Ski Racing Award Boston College

will float along, for the most part not thinking much about what is ahead for you just around the bend. Let me give you an example. I live in southern Indiana. Those of our counties which had Underground Railway Stations in slavery days still vote Republican today, even though most of us in 1997 have scarcely ever heard of the Underground Railway.Those counties which had units of the Confederate “Knights of the Golden Circle” during the Civil War still can be predicted to vote Democrat, again without knowledge or opinions about “Copperheads.” You too will be swept along in the current, dominated by history and by traditions. We are all children of tradition, ruled in our thoughts by traditions of which we have never heard, which in some cases even historians have forgotten.

When you leave your formal education, most of you, like most of us, will be somewhat less than curious to discover your inheritance: Why you are what you are, whether you have chosen to be what you are, or whether you have simply let it happen. Your education will have stopped. For you, Dear Abby will all too soon take over from Augustine and Socrates and the good Bishop Berkeley. The first word then which we adults might have for you is the reminder that you are not necessarily educated when you leave Taft—or even when you leave college—and that the times ahead will be stranger and more demanding for you than they were for us. Are you acquainted with the finest of books about our marvelous language, Modern English Usage, by H. W. Fowler? How does he describe a liberal education? Listen to him:

“A liberal education is neither one in which expense is unlimited, nor one in which enlightened methods of teaching prevail, or even one that instills broadmindedness, or rather it is not so called because it is any of these. It is the education designed for free persons and is opposed on the one hand to technical or professional training and on the other to education that stops short before manhood and womanhood is reached.” Mr. Fowler, who wrote in the first quarter of this century, may be forgiven his sexist language, (which I have tried to clean up) but we, who have survived so many decades, have discovered that “manhood” and “womanhood” are never reached, and hence that education never stops. You, as we once were, will be tempted to equate education with college, with a curriculum, with courses, above all with grades (whether you like Taft Bulletin

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John Dayton ’64, Lucy Dayton, Arlene, Chad ’93, and Whitney ’97.

Dick Stevens ’69 with Linda, Shep ’97, Laura ’99, and Don Tuttle.

Jennifer Blomberg

Tavi Fields

P. T. Young Music Prize Cum Laude Society National Merit Certificate of Commendation Siemon Company Scholarship Senior Athletic Award Day Student Monitor Varsity Cross Country Tri-captain Varsity Track Co-captain Cross Country Award Beardsley Track Award University of Virginia Jefferson Scholar

Cunningham Award Class Speaker School Monitor Wesleyan University

to admit it or not), and most of you will cease to pursue your education on commencement day four years hence. If that happens, Mr. Fowler will assert that you will, therefore, never be free men and women. For most of you as for too many of us, your education will be like dieting, something you are going to take up again tomorrow. The Prophet, Isaiah, gives one hint as to how you may be free: “Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance! Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were digged.” Why this counsel? Because it is only through a profound acquaintance with the achievements and the follies of all those who have preceded you that you can discover your own inherited weaknesses, your own given capacities, your own priorities in life. Your own 28

Summer 1997

personal experiences are never enough by themselves. I am bearing down rather hard on you here, for I sense among many of your peers an alarmingly casual, even an unexamined approach to your coming lives in this very strange new world. You cannot predict the events of that world, but there seem to us elders, in retrospect, to be some navigational aids, even in the strangest terrain, that should be learned, embraced, and never forgotten. If you were planning to cross the Alaska wilderness for your very first time, and had at your disposal all known maps and charts, and in addition had an opportunity to visit with someone who had just made the trip, would you consider it prudent to talk with that traveler before you set out? I think so. As you begin your travels through your twenties—with your thirties, forties,

fifties, and sixties to follow—there are available persons from this and every century who have been there, and they can answer your questions—a few in person, many more in books—as to what it has been like, and where you might be most likely to miss the road. Have you forgotten what it was like to enter first grade, or to turn thirteen? You will answer me that those memories, pleasant and painful, are still vivid in your minds. So it is for us who are further down the road, who are now sixty, who have been fifty, and forty, and thirty, and only five minutes ago, it seems, were twenty-five. We have been all those ages, and still are all those ages, and if compassionately pressed or thoughtfully read, can summon them back, each one. Let me then, as one who has traveled very far down the road upon which you must now embark, call your


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The Atwood family: Chad ’94, Charlotte, Charlie, Char ’97, and Paul ’95.

Rod Moorhead ’62 with Clay ’98, Roddy ’97, and Alice.

Luke Johnson

William Morris III

Non Ut Sibi Award David Edward Goldberg Memorial Award for Independent Work National Merit Certificate of Commendation Connecticut College

National Merit Finalist Cum Laude Society Spanish Prize School Monitor Papyrus Editor-in-Chief Varsity Squash Co-captain Squash Award University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Morehead Scholar

attention to four travelers’ advisories, or road signs. The first is the one you will meet all too soon. This road sign says “no more grades.” In my own company we have for a very long time hired a number of able college graduates each year. In the transition from college to corporation these young people experience a variety of shocks, but no shock seems to be more universal or difficult to cope with than that of “no more grades.” For the past twelve years, despite your assertions that “grades aren’t everything,” success and failure for you has been measured by regular grades. Grades have determined whether you got into the college of your choice. Grades will determine whether you get into graduate school, and grades weigh heavily in first job interviews. You have been for most of your lives focused nearly exclu-

sively on yourselves; you have received regular and frequent reports on how you are doing; and even the adults with whom you most frequently and intensely associate (your teachers and your parents) are themselves focused on you, your progress, your learning, your grades. Most of you do not yet realize the degree to which you have come to depend on this. Regardless of what you say, grades and personal attention to you have become an addiction, your security blanket. As we all know, addictions are hard to overcome and security blankets are difficult to discard. I have watched your predecessors as they are thrown into their first jobs. Nobody seems to tell them where anything is, where to find paper clips, or relevant files, or even the mail room. In your first job you will do your work for weeks, even months without comment from anyone, or so it seems.

Of course, there are “merit reviews” required infrequently of your bosses, but these are for the most part perfunctory. The boss is uncomfortable doing it, and in a hurry to get back to his job. There is a hard truth in all this. In this new world which you are all too soon to enter, you will no longer be the center of focus. Your boss has a difficult job to do. You are there to help, and not take up his time unnecessarily. He is not there primarily to train or teach you. The fact that you, your career progress, your happiness on the job is no longer a major concern of those around (and especially those above) you will be hard to accept. You will be truly, frighteningly on your own. A second signpost on the road just ahead, one which many of your generation seem especially prone to disregard, is shaped like a warning sign Taft Bulletin

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Susie, Becky ’97, Andrew, and Ward Belcher.

Commencement speaker J. Irwin Miller ’27 with his grandson Zach Schiller ’97 and son Will Miller ’74 (Zach’s uncle).

Richard Possemato III

Jennifer Shilobod

Salutatorian Mathematics Prize Daniel Higgins Fenton Classics Award Alvin I. Reiff Biology Prize Chemistry Prize Cum Laude Society National Merit Certificate of Commendation Math Club Founder Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Edith Cruikshank Award George Morgan Choral Music Award Sherman Cawley English Award Daniel Higgins Fenton Classics Award Cum Laude Society Northwestern University

and says, “Money is dangerous stuff. Handle with care.” One of the discoveries that will surprise you as you count off the decades of your life is that money is not for real. Absence of money is for real, but money in the hand seems never to bring anything but the conviction that, if only I had a little more, I would be happy. Your generation seems to us to focus more on money goals than have many in the past. From a surprising number of your peers we no longer hear the familiar unrealistic, but very American goals: “I want to be president of the USA, or chairman of General Motors, or President of Harvard.” Instead we hear things like this: “I want to have a million dollars by the time I am thirty. I want time off in the winter as well as the summer.” The television advertisers who study you carefully think they know 30

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what you want to hear. To the amazement of most of us adults, TV commercials advise the young • to relax • to enjoy life (You owe it to yourself.) • to pamper yourselves with expensive purchases (I’m worth it.) “Live for right now,” they say. Of course that takes money right now—for Volvo station wagons, VCRs, and annual skiing trips. Today there is often more concern about beginning pay and about vacation time off than about job opportunities. At the same time there appears to be less concern about the future, because there is a strong conviction that “I am certainly not going to work the rest of my life in any one place.” There are a few more road signs which you will meet very much sooner

than you expect. These, too, are in the shape of information signs, and the first one now may appear to you to be a long way off but in fact it will seem as though it comes tomorrow. This sign will say, “You are now thirty-five (or forty) years old.” And a warning sign could tell you today that you are already almost half way there. It is difficult for me to count how many hands I have held through the shock of this event. Having myself long since passed this sign, I think I can understand the cause of this shock. It marks for so many of us the end of fantasy and unrealistic dreams. It marks the day when one first says to oneself, “This is it. What I am doing now, the life I lead today—or something very like it—is what I will probably be doing for the rest of my active life.” Under this light, ski vacations and a week on the beach suddenly become a little chipped and tarnished, the Volvo


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Brook Johnson, Christina ’97, Senter ’00, Nicky, and Lynn and Charles Johnson.

Barbara Blanchard, Keely Murphy ’00, Doug ’97, Ellen and Kirk Blanchard ’68, Emily ’00, Dudley Blanchard ’44, and Debbie Murphy.

Wickliffe Shreve II

Daniel Trombly

Valedictorian Sherman Cawley English Award Cum Laude Society National Merit Certificate of Commendation Brown University

Headmonitor 1908 Medal Crew Captain Boston College Dan’s remarks appear on page 67.

less important, and almost for the first time the forty-year-old looks at the content of his work and career, at its meaning or lack of meaning. He also looks at the last twenty years and asks what he did with them, for he makes a discovery: More often than he likes to admit, he has bet on the wrong things. You still have the chance to spend those years betting on the right things. But statistically most of you can be predicted to bet—rather without thinking—on those items which your peers, your times, TV, the magazines, identify with “success,” and suddenly, for the first time at thirty-five or forty, the one, only, and truly priceless ingredient will stare you right in the face. That ingredient is not money nor is it any kind of possession... It is your personal allotment of time on this earth. This may be a strange thing to say to an eighteen-year-old person. The

allotment of time to each of us, however, is finite. Once spent it is not to be regained. It is as valuable to the pauper as to the prince. I think perhaps the unforgivable sin, if there be one, is to be bored. We have invented the phrase “to kill time”—an obscenity if there ever was one. As quasi-religious persons we serenely contemplate eternity, yet have difficulty passing a quiet Sunday afternoon alone. Why does one finally come to think of this time allotment as the one pearl of great price? It is not entirely fear of death. Life at any price has never been totally attractive. I think it is because, only by means of conscious, intelligent use of your time allotment • can you discover how much you have in yourself to do, • can you exploit yourself to your limit, • can you risk failure in order to achieve.

When you think what Mozart had already done when he was no more than your age, what Einstein did with only a pencil and clean sheet of paper, what my college classmate did when he stood up to Hitler and was hanged for it, the real importance of an immediate six-figure salary and regular weeks on the beach begin to be understood. In all this does it sound as though I am urging you to be increasingly and intensely self-centered? In no way. The Biblical statement that, if you want to save your life, you must lose it, is neither an impossible ideal, nor is it a cute religious phrase, nor is it even something you do not understand. It is a profound human truth. To violate it is to incur as severe a penalty in the spirit as is the physical penalty of violating the law of gravity. You yourself already know that you are happiest on those occasions when you Taft Bulletin

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Whitney Davis ’97 with her parents, Jeff and Sandy.

Lucy ’97 and Mary Firestone ’95.

Elisabeth Walke Aurelian Award Cum Laude Society National Merit Certificate of Commendation School Monitor Senior Athletic Award Crew Captain Crew Award Middlebury College

have lost yourselves in an undertaking which is worth your doing, which involves risk, which stretches you to your limit, and which contains worth and value for others, and not alone for yourself, an undertaking to which you have made a wholehearted commitment. And here comes my final point. So many of you may be afraid to make a commitment. You will be afraid to make a commitment to your job. Let me give you a most typical example. A young MBA has the strongest possible feeling as to the strategic program the corporation should adopt. He makes his pitch to management, and, after hearing him out, management rejects his program and chooses another path. Does our MBA, in commitment to his peers and the enterprise, then work with all his heart for the chosen plan, to do what he can to make it a success? More often 32

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than not, our MBA feels no commitment at all. After all, it wasn’t “his” plan. Let “them,” make it work if they can. He disparages “their” plan to his peers, gives lukewarm or perhaps no cooperation in its implementation, and will be secretly overjoyed if it fails. He feels little commitment to anyone other than himself. To such persons I often feel like asking “If you were now boss, and you had all your personal wealth in your firm, would you hire yourself to work for you? The success or failure of you and your enterprise will depend on the voluntary commitment, cooperation, and effort of so many whom you cannot either direct or see. Would you trust an organization composed of unseen persons who had your level of dedication and commitment?” Many of you will be afraid to make a commitment to marriage. Pastors tell me that today marriage agreements are al-

most as frequent as marriage vows. Vows are an expression of commitment to one’s spouse. Agreements are an expression of the limits of that commitment: how much time I get to play tennis, how are my earnings to be handled, whose turn it is to stay with the kids, or cook, or do the dishes, or even buy the toothpaste? Look around you. So many marriages today break up at the very first quarrel, or over the claims of competing careers. So many of you will be afraid to make a commitment to your children. Your nervousness about whether they flunked sand pile will be rightly understood, even by the very young, as concern more about your own image than about the child’s difficulties in a strange and frightening world. When you will argue with your spouse about whose turn it is to play golf or stay home with the children, your offspring will understand all


S P O T L I G H T

too well which you both consider first choice and which second choice. In all this fear to commit, to risk, in all this guarding of oneself, there is no happiness, there is only loneliness. And in loneliness there is no freedom, only bondage. Freedom is possible only in community, where others give freely to you, and you give freely to them, with little thought of self, and the unsuspected by-product of losing your life, of risky commitment, of giving freely, that byproduct, to the great surprise of all of us, is the happiness that we have never been able to find by direct pursuit. Most of us elders who sit here today will confirm this, as you too will confirm it to your children twenty years from today. Most of us elders will also confirm it in sadness. We have learned it the hard way. We have our self-centered failures to bear in our memories.

We would like, therefore, to speak to you before you have gone very much farther in your own travels, while there is still time, to tell you what our road has been like, where we too often took the wrong turns, but also, marvelous to relate, once or twice we took the right turns too, and that has really made up for everything. At any rate, good luck. Work very hard...to learn. Never play it safe. Take the big risk. Failure is not the worst of things. Lose yourself in commitment to others, never counting cost. And always be ashamed, in a world which God loves, to be bored. Born in Columbus, Indiana, Irwin Miller has lived most of his life there. As a young man, he was sent east to Mr. Taft’s School, and, of course, he graduated just seventy years ago, providing a special symmetry with his grandson Zack Schiller ’97. After Taft,

Yale and Oxford University followed, and then he returned to Indiana, where for over fifty years he led Cummins Engine Corporation, making it one of America’s best and most principled companies. A number of years ago, Fortune Magazine featured him as America’s most moral leader. Countless universities and civic groups have enlisted his services as a wise statesman. He has been president of the National Council of Churches and the recipient of over twenty honorary degrees. As a trustee, he has helped to build such diverse institutions as Yale, the Mayo Clinic, and the Museum of Modern Art. In his introduction, Lance Odden said, “I have known Irwin Miller for thirty years. Always, he has been the same. Kind, concerned, principled, devoted to justice and to doing what is right. In my mind, he is unique, for he lives what he believes. He has long been one of my heroes, a man I admire as much as any one I have ever met.” Taft Bulletin

33


S P O T L I G H T

The Many Names of Taft Rockefeller Field and Track

H

ere we present the seventh installment in the series devoted to those whose names have become part of the fabric of our school. From the beginning, the search for better playing fields has been a constant, as the school moved, expanded, and offered more choice of sports. When Mr. Taft founded the school in Pelham Manor it lacked both gymnasium and ball fields. The move to Watertown afforded new fields, but of poor quality. [They were so poorly drained that there is an early tale of a boy tackled in a football game who cries out from the bottom of the pile, “Let me up; I’m drowning!”] The first major improvement was the Rockefeller Football Field and Track, constructed in 1922. In his memoirs, Horace Taft writes, “A few years after the Armistice, the generosity of Mrs. William Rockefeller provided us with our new athletic field.” Actually, it was at the urging of her sons, Sterling ’24 and Stillman ’20, that the new field came to be. A charming correspondence between a mother and a headmaster reveals the story:

April 18, 1922 My dear Mr. Taft, Sterling writes me everything is “slick,” and the spring term is “fine.” I hope you have the same impression. I am wondering if you would let me give a bit of a present to the school? I am wondering if the surface of the foot-ball field could not be put in a little better condition and the bill be sent to me? Or you tell me about what it would cost and let me send you a cheque. The boys tell me it is a very bad field for legs, for knees and ankles. Then they add—of course our Mr. Taft would not allow you to do much, but he might let you do a little. They tell me Hotchkiss has a much better field—why can’t we have just as good a one? Of course it is just the kind of thing I should love to do. You may think it none of my business. I can’t help being tremendously interested in the boys’ athletics. And here is quiet little Stillman [now at Yale] rowing beautifully—they tell me. I am so afraid he won’t stay in the boat, and then I am so afraid he will! Trusting you are feeling much better and are enjoying life this spring. Believe Me— Very Sincerely— Elsie S. Rockefeller.

John Sterling Rockefeller

34

Summer 1997


S P O T L I G H T

A persistent woman, she wrote again on May 2:

“I am coming to spend Saturday night in Waterbury. Thank you for your very nice letter. Do you think we could have a little talk about the foot-ball field? Maybe you would invite me for lunch on Sunday at the school? If you are going to be in Watertown on Sunday which is the best hour for you? Yours very sincerely, Elsie S. Rockefeller

In her May 9 thank-you note, after her visit, she made her winning pitch:

“...Many of your boys are longing for a good field, some of your masters too. Don’t call me a criminal for going with the crowd this time.”

Twenty-five acres were soon purchased with access to the new field from Guernseytown Road. Not an ungrateful man, Horace Taft thanked Mrs. Rockefeller repeatedly for her gift. On October 6 he wrote:

My dear Mrs. Rockefeller: I have been to much rushed to think of anything except the daily task. Even now I have hardly got my head above water. On looking at The Papyrus, however, I am reminded of you and am wondering why you do not come up to see us and get an idea of what your generosity has meant for the school.... Come straight to the school and let us take care of you. We will let you be as independent as you please.

He writes again after Sterling’s graduation in 1924, expressing his thanks and enclosing the final bill:

My dear Mrs. Rockefeller, I am off today for Murray Bay, where my address will be c/o Honorable William H. Taft, Pointe-au-Pic, PQ, Canada. Miss Welton has made out the statement in regard to the Rockefeller Field and I enclose it herewith. In sending this last item I can only repeat how grateful I am to you for your generosity. It is a lasting benefit and pleasure to the school, and I feel sure that it will be a great gratification to you also to know how much you have contributed to the welfare of this institution. Personally it has been a great pleasure to me to know you so well. I hope that we shall see each other occasionally and that we may be able to have a family reunion, so to speak, when these good boys of yours can come up here. My hearty congratulations on the splendid record Stillman’s crew has made. They have made a clean sweep on this side and I have no doubt will give a splendid account of themselves on the other side [at the Olympic Games in Paris]....

Very sincerely yours, Horace D. Taft

Very sincerely yours, Horace D. Taft And on September 13:

My dear Mrs. Rockefeller Thank you very much for your letter and for the check enclosed.... I can only repeat how grateful we are to you for your generosity. The new field is a delight and will always be a reminder of that generosity and friendship. You may well say that Stillman’s crew did nobly. What an astonishing record it made and what a fine trip you had and what a great experience you gave those boys.... Please remember your promise to come up and see us.

My thanks, once again, to Ted Squires ’28, who proposed this column, and to our archivist, Anne Romano, whose ability to unearth information from the coldest of leads gives us a history of our school that is richer every day. JSR

Very sincerely yours,

James Stillman Rockefeller

Taft Bulletin

35


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

New Holders of Faculty Chairs Announced At the May faculty meeting, Headmaster Lance Odden announced the appointments of Jim Mooney, physics teacher, and Steve Schieffelin, English Department head, as the new recipients of the Independence Foundation Chairs. They succeed Bill Nicholson and Robin Osborn. Bill retired this

spring after 28 years at Taft; Robin is now teaching part time. The Independence Foundation Chairs were established by the Independence Foundation in 1962 and in 1981 to recognize the service of two faculty members whose duties are primarily teaching and not administrative. Ted Heavenrich,

head of the Math Department, now holds the Mary and Robert Stott Chair, established by Donald Stott ’56 and Robert Stott, Jr.’48, in memory of their parents. The chair is awarded to an outstanding member of the faculty for excellence as a schoolmaster. Ted succeeds Eric Drake, who retired last year.

Economics Speaker Dr. Beltran-del-Rio, a leading Mexican economist, talked to the school community on April 24 about economic 36

Summer 1997

forecasting. He is the uncle of Alex Barney ’97. He also attended several history and economics classes at Taft.

Pictured here are Lance Odden, Alex, Dr. Beltran-del-Rio, and History Department Chair Jol Everett.


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

Cuban Competition Varsity soccer coach Willy MacMullen ’78 led a group of soccer students to Cuba over spring break. They traveled through Intersport, a Waterbury-based organization that brings teams together in the spirit of friendship and competition. Intersport has brought soccer teams to the US before; Taft has played teams from Vietnam, South Africa, and Uzbeckistan. “This time, John Salvatore (Yale assistant coach and Intersport coach) and David Tallemelli (director of Intersport) approached me and asked me to co-coach on a trip to Cuba, and I eagerly accepted,” Willy said. Willy led four Taft players as well as players from four other schools—a prep school All-Star team of sorts. The Taft players were senior Doug Blanchard (cocaptain of the 1996 team) and juniors David Ramich, Peter Cooke, and B.J. Hodsdon (captain of next year’s team). They played three games against the Cuban Junior National team—the team of under twenty-year-old players who are training to make the Cuban Olympic team. “Despite being incredibly talented,” added Willy, “the players were not well equipped—they had old, donated cleats and uniforms given to them by a Canadian team. But they played superbly. They had been training together for six months, six days a week, and not surprisingly, the Intersport team lost all three matches in the 85-degree heat. But the play was spirited and intense, and the camaraderie shown by the players during and after the game was touching. Events like this make you believe firmly that human goodwill can triumph over borders—you just need the kind of common language and shared experience that the soccer provided.” Separated only by ninety miles of ocean and governmental policies which many in both countries feel to be archaic, the players discovered that they could share much: they took photographs together,

B. J. Hodsdon, Doug Blanchard, David Ramich, Peter Cooke, and Willy MacMullen ’78 at the National Stadium before their game with the Cuban Junior National Team. helped each other up when knocked down, exchanged shirts, and stood respectfully for each other’s national anthems. The president of the Cuban soccer association met with them often, and at a pig-roast banquet on the final night, the Intersport team presented him with two bags full of used uniforms and equipment, including shirts donated by the Taft athletic department— a gift he said was sorely needed and a symbol of the goodwill between the nations. “The Cubans were wonderful, proud, friendly hosts,” said Willy, “and it seemed to me that it is only a matter of time before we normalize relations with the country. Free market capitalism is popping up every where there, much of it with Castro’s blessings, and the American dollar is welcomed, where as only five years ago possessing a single dollar could have a Cuban thrown in jail. Further, the island is a vacationer’s dream. Although much of it is run down—buildings need paint and repairs, cars break down everywhere, roads need improving, and so on—it is beautiful. The team went to two spectacular beaches and toured Havana, sight seeing

at the 17th century castle that guards the harbor, eating at Hemingway’s favorite restaurant, and touring Revolutionary Square and the beautiful cathedrals. We were welcomed everywhere we went, and scores of Cubans told us that they eagerly await the day when Americans can come and visit as freely as thousands of Canadians, Mexicans, and Europeans do now. “This was the most interesting trip I have ever been on. The four players from Taft were intensely aware that they were seeing a country in the midst of monumental social, political, and economic change. They came to see that they were watching history unfold. David Talamelli, who has been there nearly forty times in the last five years, pointed out the many recent changes he noticed: the first car dealership, the accepted use of the dollar, the market for cellular phones, the boom in tourism. There is no doubt that Cuba will look nothing like this in five years, he concluded. So all of us felt fortunate to have a glimpse into this nation, a chance to play against the best, and an opportunity to reach across the waters.” Taft Bulletin

37


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

Girls’ Hockey

The high-scoring senior line after the last game in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kathy Savino, Jen Buckley, and Laura Hays.

The Girls’ Varsity Hockey Team traveled to Europe once again over March Break. This year, the squad visited Germany, Austria, and Swtizerland for some hockey and sight seeing, including a sobering visit to Dachau. Upper mid Anna Felton graciously hosted the group of twentyfive in her hometown of Munich, where the team spent four days. While there they visted the 1972 Olympic Park, BMW Museum, and Schloss Nymphenburg. They also played the Tigers Konigsbruhn and the Planegg Penguins in Ottobrunn, winning both games easily. On their way to St. Gallen, Switzerland, they detoured to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Bavaria, the inspiration for the Disney castle. Built by King Ludwig II, “it is absolutely amazing,” said coach Patsy Odden, “even the fifth time.” On to St. Gallen, a lovely old town known for its lace, where the team played two games: one against a boys’ Midget team (which Taft won by a goal) and the second against Cosmos Damen, which they won easily. “The coach asked me if any of our players would like to spend a year playing for them!” Patsy said. “We also participated in closing day ceremonies of the St. Gallen Hockey Association, which was an amazing event...all day games, food, beer (for the Swiss), and music. The rink was outdoors and it was so warm they almost lost the ice. We played five mini-games against teams made up of men, women, and a few children.” While there they also traveled by train to a nearby folk village called Appenzell— the first train ride for some members of the group. A final five days of skiing in Austria to wrap up the trip culminated in an enormous three-day blizzard that dumped about four feet of snow, probably more in the mountains. Patsy added, “The skiing was tough with visibility almost nil most of the time. A good sense of humor was needed as we all tumbled in the deep powder.”

The Results Are In The competition is the New England Math League (NEML). There are 6 contests, about one per month, from October through March. There are six questions on each test, and the top five scorers that month determine the school’s team score. Some of Taft’s top test takers were Rich 38

Summer 1997

Possemato ’97, Jon Cheng ’99, Tony Guerrera ’98, Jim Murdica ’97, Jeff D’Amelia ’97, and Bryan Huh ’98. The Math Team had its strongest performance ever this year with 152 out of 180 possible points! Here is how Taft stood up against other prep schools in CT:

In our region we edged out Kent (150) by two points on the strength of our fine showing on the last contest. Hotchkiss scored 125. The competition gets a little stiffer when you look at all of New England, where we finished in a tie for 25th out of over 180 schools competing.


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

New School Monitors Elected Upholding a tradition that goes back to the earliest years of the school, this spring, the rising senior class elected eleven of its members for school monitorship. Together, these class leaders will accept a large share of the

responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of the school’s affairs, along with assisting in the supervision of the dormitories and implementing the Honor System. The new monitors for 1997-98 are Devin

Weisleder—head monitor, Courtney Camp, Alison Coope, Luke Coppege, Louis Costanza, Morgan Hanger, Tim Kirkpatrick, Molly Rosenman, Ben Steele, Adeline Strumolo, and Jonathan Wood.

Taft Hosts International Athletes The Taft School participated in two international athletic competitions on Wednesday, April 24, as teams from Zimbabwe and England visited the campus. Harrowgate Ladies College of Yorkshire, England, played the Taft’s girls’ varsity and junior varsity lacrosse teams. The British athletes were on a two-week tour of private schools along the East Coast. The Taft varsity team beat Harrowgate 11-8, and Harrowgate defeated Taft’s junior varsity squad 5-1. Taft varsity lacrosse coach Jean Maher commented, “We were thrilled, of course, to be hosts. The excitement is not so much in the game itself, but in the opportunity for kids from different worlds to be brought together by the love of a shared game. The game itself is the ambassador.” This was Harrowgate’s second visit to Taft; they were previously hosted in 1993. Next, nine players from the Chisipite Sr. School for Girls, the best players from Zimbabwe, faced off against Taft’s best male and female players: Christina Hale, Whitney Dayton, Nick Kyme, Matt Bastien, Chris Olsen, Ryan Byrnes, Will Morris, Max Montgelas, Devin Weisleder, Seth Taylor, and Rob McLean. Fresh off the track, the golf course, the baseball diamond, and the tennis courts, Taft’s players were rusty but prevailed 9-3. Matched against Chisipite’s #4 and #5 players, both Hale and Dayton lost in three, and Weisleder lost 3-1 against #7 Laura Varkevisser. At 23 years old,

Chisipite’s #1 tested Kyme’s concentration, but could not keep up with Nick’s unusual number of boasts and drop shots. Bastien, Olsen, Byrnes, Morris, Montgelas, and McLean all won handily. “We were honored to host this team from Zimbabwe,” said Taft varsity squash coach Peter Frew. “Their visit underscores the international nature of squash and provides an opportunity for

young athletes from diverse backgrounds to compete with each other. This was a fun event, and at dinner, we were entertained with interesting stories about the fate of the rhino (Taft’s official mascot) in Africa. Apparently there is some optimism about the battle against poachers.” Both teams toured the school, dined with their hosts, and spent the night on campus.

The combined Chisipite and Taft squash teams.

The Harrowgate coaches and captain with Taft co-captains Lucy Firestone ’97 and Sarah Banister ’97 and Taft lacrosse coaches Jean Maher and Jennifer Kenerson. Taft Bulletin

39


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

Spring Big Red Scoreboard Baseball

Boys’ Tennis

Head Coach: ............................................................... Mark Davis Captains: ........................... Matthew Finerty ’97, Peter Mahler ’97 Record: .................................................................................... 9-7 Stone Award: .................................................... Toby Crabtree ’97 Captain-Elect: ....................................................... Chris Fields ’98

Coach: .......................................................................... Peter Frew Captain: ............................................................. Tucker Green ’97 Record: .................................................................................. 5-11 Man Tennis Award: .......................................... Kris FitzPatrick ’98 Captains-Elect: .................... Kris FitzPatrick, Charlie Spalding ’98

Softball

Girls’ Tennis

Head Coach: ........................................................ Steve Schieffelin Captains: ................................ Peggy Ficks ’97, Mairead Duffy ’97 Record: .................................................................................... 3-9 Softball Award: ............................................................ Peggy Ficks Captain-Elect: ..................................................... Jenny Ferrara ’98

Coach: ....................................................................... W. T. Miller Captains: ..................... Rebecca Belcher ’97, Whitney Dayton ’97 Record: .................................................................................. 10-5 Gould Tennis Award: .......................................... Whitney Dayton Captains-Elect: .................... Elizabeth Merck ’98, Justine Rice ’98

Boys’ Track

Golf

Head Coach: ........................................................... Steve McCabe Captains: ................ Christopher Barnes ’97, Richard Genoval ’97 Record: .................................................................................... 4-7 Captains-Elect: ................. Onaje Crawford ’98, Gordon Faux ’98, Matt Johnson ’98

Coach: .................................................................... Jack Kenerson Captain: .............................................................. Shep Stevens ’97 Record: .................................................................................. 14-3 Galeski Golf Award: .................................................. Shep Stevens Captain-Elect: ................................................... John Frechette ’98

Girls’ Track

Crew

Head Coach: ........................................................... Steve McCabe Captains: ............ Jennifer Blomberg ’97, Katharine Mangione ’97 Record: .................................................................................... 5-5 Beardsley Track Award: ........ Jennifer Blomberg, Katharine Mangione Captain-Elect: ................................................ Kristen Kawecki ’98

Head Coach: ..................................................................... Al Reiff Captains: ................................ Dan Trombly ’97, Bibba Walke ’97 Record: ................................................................................ 34-19 Crew Award ............................................................... Bibba Walke Captains-Elect: ..................... Courtney Camp ’98, Doug Lake ’98

Boys’ Lacrosse Head Coach: ................................................................. Jol Everett Captain: ............................................................. David Jenkins ’97 Record: .................................................................................. 11-5 Odden Lacrosse Award: ........................................... David Jenkins Captains-Elect: ........................... Peter Cooke ’98, Chris Hills ’98, Clay Moorhead ’98

Girls’ Lacrosse Head Coach: ................................................................ Jean Maher Captains: ............................ Sarah Banister ’97, Lucy Firestone ’97 Record: ............................................................................... 14-0-1 Wandelt Lacrosse Award: ................ Sarah Banister, Lucy Firestone Captains-Elect: ................. Sarah Graham ’98, Addie Strumolo ’98 40

Summer 1997

Lacrosse All-Americans Lucy Firestone ’97 and Dave Jenkins ’97.


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

Fall Athletic Schedule 1997 This schedule is subject to change. If you would like to verify the time and location of any game, please contact the school at 860-945-7706. Boys' Crew 9/20 (Sat)

9/27 (Sat)

Girls' Cross Country

JV Field Hockey

8:00am Riverfront Regatta Connecticut River Hartford

9/20 (Sat)

3:45

Canterbury Invit.

9/17 (Wed) 3:30

Pomperaug H.S. H

9/27 (Sat)

3:30

Hopkins, K-O at Choate A

9/20 (Sat)

Ethel Walker H

3:00

9/24 (Wed) 3:30

NMH H

10/1 (Wed) 3:30

Hotchkiss A

9/27 (Sat)

Loomis H

10/4 (Sat)

Loomis, NMH A

10/1 (Wed) 4:30

Greenwich Acd H

10/8 (Wed) 3:15

Berkshire H

10/8 (Wed) 4:15

Berkshire A

10/11 (Sat) 3:30

Kent H

10/11 (Sat) 3:45

Choate H

10/15 (Wed) 3:00

Loomis Invit.

10/15 (Wed) 3:15

Greenwich Acd A

10/18 (Sat) 3:30

Williston A

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire, Litchfield H Gunnery, Litchfield H

10/12 (Sun) 9:00am Head of the Connecticut Middletown, CT

3:00

3:45 4:00

10/18 (Sat) 3:15

Deerfield A

10/18 (Sat) 3:00

Litchfield H

10/25 (Sat) 2:30

Williston Invit.

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Westover H

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Gunnery A Lake Waramaug

11/1 (Sat)

Founders League Meet at Loomis

10/25 (Sat) 3:15

Kent H

10/25 (Sat) 3:00

Litchfield H

11/8 (Sat)

10/29 (Wed) 3:45

Westminster H

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Halloween Regatta at Choate

New England Meet at Choate

11/1 (Sat)

Hopkins A

1:00

3:15

11/5 (Wed) 3:15

Kingswood H

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

1:45

Varsity Field Hockey Boys' Cross Country

9/13 (Sat)

2:00

Play Day at Loomis

9/20 (Sat)

3:00

Canterbury Invit.

9/17 (Wed) 3:30

Green Farms Acd A

9/27 (Sat)

3:30

T-P, Hopkins, K-O at Choate

9/20 (Sat)

Ethel Walker H

10/1 (Wed) 3:00 10/4 (Sat)

3:00

Hotchkiss, Salisbury A Loomis, NMH A

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire H

10/11 (Sat) 3:00

Kent H

10/18 (Sat) 3:00

Williston A

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Williston Invit.

11/1 (Sat)

Founders League Meet at Loomis

11/8 (Sat)

1:00

New England Meet at Choate

2:30

9/24 (Wed) 3:30

NMH H

9/27 (Sat)

Loomis H

2:45

10/1 (Wed) 3:15

Greenwich Acd H

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire A

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

Choate H

10/15 (Wed) 3:15

Williston A

10/18 (Sat) 3:15

Deerfield A

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Westover A

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

10/29 (Wed) 2:30

Westminster H

11/1 (Sat)

Hopkins A

2:00

11/5 (Wed) 2:00

Kingswood H

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

1:45

3rds Field Hockey 9/24 (Wed) 3:00

Hotchkiss H

10/1 (Wed) 3:15

Greenwich Acd H

10/4 (Sat)

Westminster A

2:30

10/8 (Wed) 3:30

Simsbury H.S. A

10/11 (Sat) 3:45

Choate H

10/15 (Wed) 3:00

Rumsey H

10/18 (Sat) 4:30

Deerfield A

10/22 (Wed) 2:30

Canterbury H

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Hopkins H

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Canterbury A

11/1 (Sat)

Greenwich Acd A

2:30

11/5 (Wed) 3:00

Choate A

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

1:45

Taft Bulletin

41


NEWS•OF•THE•SCHOOL

Varsity Football

Girls' Varsity Soccer

Girls' JV Soccer

Berkshire Jamboree

9/20 (Sat)

9/13 (Sat)

2:30

Westminster Scrimmage A

9/13 (Sat)

9/17 (Wed) 3:00

Suffield H

9/24 (Wed) 3:45

Simsbury H.S. H

9/20 (Sat)

3:00

Andover A

9/20 (Sat)

2:30

Berkshire A

9/27 (Sat)

Loomis H

9/27 (Sat)

3:00

Deerfield H

9/24 (Wed) 3:30

Rye C.D. A

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Canterbury A

10/4 (Sat)

3:00

T-P A

9/27 (Sat)

Loomis H

10/4 (Sat)

Hopkins A

10/11 (Sat) 3:00

Choate H

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Canterbury A

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

Choate A

10/18 (Sat) 3:00

Avon A

10/4 (Sat)

Hopkins A

10/15 (Wed) 3:30

Williston A

10/25 (Sat) 2:30

Kent H

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

Choate H

10/18 (Sat) 3:15

Deerfield A

11/1 (Sat)

2:30

Loomis H

10/15 (Wed) 3:30

Williston A

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

11/8 (Sat)

2:00

Hotchkiss A

10/18 (Sat

Deerfield A

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Westminster H

10/22 (Wed) 3:30

NMH at Loomis

11/5 (Wed) 2:30

Kingswood H

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

JV Football

2:30

2:45 3:00

3:15

2:30 2:45 3:00

2:00

Berkshire A

9/29 (Mon) 4:00

Choate A

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Westminster H

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Cheshire Acd H

11/5 (Wed) 2:30

Kingswood H

10/15 (Wed) 4:00

Deerfield A

Boys' 3rds Soccer

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

9/20 (Sat)

2:30

Deerfield A

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Avon H

9/27 (Sat)

2:30

Avon H

10/27(Mon) 3:30

Kent A

10/30 (Thur) 4:00

Cheshire Acd A

11/5 (Wed) 3:30

Loomis H

2:00

Boys' JV Soccer

10/1 (Wed) 2:30

Westminster H

9/17 (Wed) 3:00

Westminster H

10/4 (Sat)

2:30

Salisbury H

9/20 (Sat)

Avon H

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Hotchkiss A

9/24 (Wed) 4:00

Deerfield A

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

T-P H

Boys' Varsity Soccer

9/27 (Sat)

3:00

Kingswood A

10/15 (Wed) 3:00

Gunnery (JV) H

9/13 (Sat)

Brunswick H

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Canterbury H

10/18 (Sat) 2:30

Salisbury A

9/17 (Wed) 3:00

Westminster H

10/4 (Sat)

Suffield A

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire A

9/20 (Sat)

Avon H

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire H

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

9/24 (Wed) 4:00

Deerfield A

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

T-P H

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Choate A

9/27 (Sat)

4:00

Kingswood A

10/18 (Sat) 2:30

Williston A

11/1 (Sat)

Loomis H

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Canterbury H

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Salisbury A

11/5 (Wed) 3:00

T-P A

10/4 (Sat)

Suffield A

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Berkshire H

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Choate H

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

T-P H

11/1 (Sat)

2:45

Loomis H

10/15 (Wed) 3:00

Gunnery A

Girls' 3rds Soccer

11/5 (Wed) 3:00

Hopkins A

9/20 (Sat)

10/18 (Sat) 2:30

Williston A

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

10/1 (Wed) 3:00

Hotchkiss H

10/22 (Wed) 3:00

Salisbury A

10/3 (Fri)

Simsbury H.S. A

10/25 (Sat) 2:00

Kent H

10/8 (Wed) 3:00

Gunnery A

10/29 (Wed) 3:00

Choate H

10/11 (Sat) 2:30

Choate H

11/1 (Sat)

2:45

Loomis H

10/15 (Wed) 3:00

Loomis A

11/5 (Wed) 3:00

Hopkins A

10/18 (Sat) 2:30

Westminster H

11/8 (Sat)

Hotchkiss A

10/22 (Wed) 3:15

Renbrook A

11/5 (Wed) 3:00

Choate A

42

2:30 2:30

2:30

2:00

Summer 1997

2:30

2:30

2:00

2:45 2:00

3:00 3:45

Deerfield A


E

N

D

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O

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E

—By Dan Trombly ’97

W

hen I wrote this speech, I had to choose between something I wanted to say, something someone else wanted me to say, and something else someone already said. Naturally I went with my own. This is my chance to share two experiences at Taft that have made such a strong impact on me that I actually remember them. I like to think that these memories represent the essence of everything good at Taft. The first of these experiences happened to me during my lower-mid year in Mr. Zuehlke’s biology class. Anyone who knows Mr. Zuehlke knows that he comes to class prepared. But prepared is used loosely in this sense because Mr. Zuehlke never needs any preparation no matter what the topic is. So... one morning we were all waiting in the classroom for Mr. Z. He came in and shut the door, then proceeded to tell us that he had stayed up late last night and he had not “prepared” for our discussion on the structure of a cell. He said that he had watched an old western movie on TV and that he used to love to play a game of cowboys and Indians. Here comes the weird part—Mr. Z then asked the class if we wanted to play cowboys and Indians on the blackboard. No hands went up in protest. We began the game with Mr. Z drawing the cowboys’ fort as a large circle and our task was to name all the parts we could think of that would go into the creation of a superior fort. I fell for it— what can I say, it was a game. We began yelling out things like “a headquarters, a hospital, a mess hall,” and Mr. Z would place them in the proper location within the fort. I thought to myself, “Yes! I’m not learning anything!” When it got to the point where we ran out of ideas that Mr. Z accepted, he asked the class to take a minute and study our completed fort. It was a mighty fort indeed. Mr. Z then called on one of the students and asked, “What does this fort resemble…? It looks really famil-

iar.” We just shook our heads—I mean after all we were playing this great game, then all of a sudden Mr. Z whips out a question that’ll make us think. I didn’t like that at all. When nobody had any clue as to what the fort looked like, Mr. Z said to the class, “How about a cell, remember what that is?” Never in my past four years have I ever experienced the level of complete silence that was achieved when Mr. Z dumbfounded the whole class. For nearly forty-five seconds I didn’t hear a sound. My classmates began to exchange blank looks of astonishment. That’s when someone (who may have been me) yelled out, “Hey, no fair, you tricked us into learning!” I was touched by this experience because not only does Mr. Zuehlke put the time, effort, and “preparation” into teaching us, but more amazingly he knows how he can get us to learn by enjoying and understanding. Thanks, Mr. Z. The other of the two experiences happened to me this year while working on the formal. It was 3:30 in the morning and we had been working since about 2 o’clock the previous day. I was exhausted and hoping to receive not just a second wind, but a third or fourth wind. Things were finally starting to take shape and the end of the massive project was near. Mr. Kelly, the school’s baker, came in to check on our progress and to inform us that he had prepared both fresh coffee and fresh bagels. I got my fourth wind. We went to the dining hall and were delighted just to be sitting down. Mr. Kelly brought out

the still hot bagels and we fueled up. At that moment I felt a unity, a bond among my co-workers, classmates, and friends. Everyone was in the same situation—we had a job to do and we had to work together to make it happen. For me, the efforts of working closely with my friends and peers in preparation for the formal, have always been a cultivation of resources—brains, muscle, and a healthy dose of faculty help can’t hurt. Now I’ll switch gears and talk about the present. I want to start off by thanking my family and friends who helped me through Taft, because I needed it. I want to thank Taft for introducing me to my friends, whom I know I will love for the rest of my life. I want to thank Taft in general and my class in particular for their support of me as their head monitor. I have had a full four years. Now they are over, but the lessons I learned, the situations I’ve been in, the friends I’ve met, the faculty I’ve interacted with, and even the fun I’ve had here has taught me one thing—thankfulness for such an opportunity. I like to think that I took advantage of Taft being the only place for me. I’m going to miss the safety I feel here, yet I am looking forward to the future experiences that Taft has prepared us for. If I can leave the Class of ’97 with one bit of advice, I say to you: Remember Taft. Remember everything good and everything bad about it. Remember what you learned here in four years—both inside and more importantly, outside the classroom.

“For nearly forty-five seconds I didn’t hear a sound. My classmates began to exchange blank looks of astonishment. That’s when someone (who may have been me) yelled out, “Hey, no fair, you tricked us into learning!” Taft Bulletin

43

Summer 1997 Taft Bulletin