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BU L L E T I N SUMMER•1998 Volume 68

Number 4

SPOTLIGHT Never Surrender .......................................................... 2 Varian Fry ’26 Rescues Intellectuals and Artists from Vichy France

By Julie Reiff Collegium in China .................................................... 8 Taft’s Premier Singing Group Goes on Tour

Alumni Weekend ...................................................... 14 Coming Back from Near and Far

Commencement ....................................................... 20 Remarks by Susan Graham, Head of the Gunnery School Annual Fund ............................................................. 26 New Facts, Figures, and Faces

DEPARTMENTS Alumni in the News .................................................. 28 Citation of Merit, Alumni trustee, Saving Penn Station, Tennis in St. Louis, Alumni author, Dinner in Florida, and more...

Around the Pond ...................................................... 33 Odden honored, New faculty chairs, DuBois Fellowship, Field day, Visiting artists, Speaker series, NAALSA conference, Jazz concert, Student awards, and more...

Sport ......................................................................... 40 By Steve Palmer Endnote .................................................................... 44 By David Bartlett, Yale Divinity School

On the cover Front: Lance Odden leads the Alumni Day parade with this year’s Citation of Merit winner, Lee Klingenstein ’44, and his wife, Daney. Back: Lacrosse coach Jol Everett and Chris Watson ’88 prepare for the Alumni vs. Varsity contest in May.

The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in February, May, August, and November, by The Taft School, 110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100 and is distributed free of charge to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. E-Mail Us! Now you can send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor to us via e-mail. Our address is TaftRhino@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 (860-945-7777), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you! Visit Taft on the Web to find the latest news, sports schedules, or to locate a classmate’s e-mail address. www.Taft.pvt.k12.ct.us


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NEVER SUR By Julie Reiff

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ver since the Russian Revolution—in fact, even before—France had been the haven of Europe’s exiles. Whenever a change of government in another land, or invasion by a foreign power, had obliged men to flee for their lives, France had opened her arms to them.” —Varian Fry ’26, from the introduction to his autobiography, Surrender on Demand

It was 1940, and France had fallen to Hitler. The armistice decreed that France must “surrender on demand” any German refugees wanted by the Gestapo. France was also divided into occupied and unoccupied regions, the unoccupied zone being run by the Vichy French government in cooperation with the Gestapo. And so what has been called the largest manhunt in history began as thousands of politicals, artists, and intellectuals from across Europe who had fled Hitler’s regime sought refuge in the South of France on their way—hopefully—to some place safer.

At age 32, a journalist named Varian Fry took a one-month leave of absence from his job as an editor at the Foreign Policy Association to go to Marseilles (with $3,000 taped to his leg) and smuggle out two hundred of the most famous intellectual refugees. By the time he was done, over a year later, he had helped over 1,200 men and women out of France. He did all this with little or no help from the U.S. government, which was still trying to stay out of the war and to cooperate with the Vichy French government. The U.S. Consul in Marseilles

c Surrealist André Breton and wife, Jacqueline Lamba Breton, are shown here with Varian Fry in his office at the American Relief Center as a legal cover for his secret operation. 2

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RENDER

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THE EVENTS 1935 As a journalist, Varian Fry travels to Berlin and witnesses the first pogroms where Jews are dragged into the street and beaten by Nazi storm troopers. France increasingly becomes home to artists, writers, musicians, scientists, educators, Jews, and antiNazis from across Europe.

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repeatedly warned Fry to leave France. In response to a cable from the French National Police, the U.S. State Department wrote, “This government cannot countenance the activities reported of Dr. Bohn [who was trying to help several European labor leaders] and Mr. Fry and other persons in their efforts in evading

the laws of countries with which the U.S maintains friendly relations.” Under those laws Marc Chagall and Hannah Arendt might well have been sent to the gas chambers. And so Fry’s work went increasingly underground. Where once he had tried to obtain visas and exit permits legally,

“Reminiscent of Casablanca, forgeries, bribes, smuggling routes through the mountains, illegal ships on night missions to North Africa now became part of the everyday life of this Harvard classics major and son of a New York stock broker.”


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he soon undertook all means necessary to help get much of the artistic and intellectual talent of a generation to safety. Reminiscent of Casablanca, forgeries, bribes, smuggling routes through the mountains, illegal ships on night missions to North Africa now became part of the everyday life of this Harvard classics major and son of a New York stock broker. At first he knew nothing about underground work, having agreed to take on the assignment only when the Emergency Rescue Committee in New York could find no one else. He quickly learned from Bohn and others whose support he enlisted early on. The refugees Fry worked with were amazed that one man, an American, would accept such a task by himself. They

throughout the unoccupied zone. “Word had apparently spread,” Fry wrote, “...that an American had arrived from New York, like an angel from heaven, with his pockets stuffed with money and passports and a direct connection with the State Department enabling him to get any kind of visa at a moment’s notice.” Fry was besieged with nearly two thousand refugees, only a few of them on his list. Each night he and his new colleagues evaluated cases, deciding which had merit and who was in most need of help. But the need was too great. He soon set up the Centre Américain de Secours (American Relief Center), both as a cover to their underground operations and to help some of the thousands

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JUNE 1940 Paris falls to the Nazis. The new Vichy government in “unoccupied” France signs an armistice that promises to “surrender on demand” every non-French refugee wanted by the Gestapo.

AUGUST 1940 Varian Fry is sent to Marseilles by the Emergency Rescue Committee.

FALL 1940 He moves to a villa outside town, which becomes a temporary home for several Surrealists.

DECEMBER 1940 Fry and his colleagues are imprisoned on a boat in Marseilles harbor for three days.

JANUARY 1941

“Fry was besieged with nearly two thousand refugees, only a few of them on his list. Each night he and his new colleagues evaluated cases, deciding which had merit and who was in most need of help.” were surprised both by his idealism and his naïveté. Fry wrote later in his autobiography that he took on the project out of deep political conviction, gratitude for the pleasure those artists’ work had given him, and first-hand experience of Hitler’s oppression. As a young journalist he had traveled to Berlin in 1935 and witnessed the first major pogrom against the Jews. He saw elderly men knocked down and kicked in the face, women dragged crying down the streets, and Jewish businesses smashed while “Nazi toughs chanted their terrible song: When Jewish blood spurts from the knife, Then everything will be fine again!” Within a week of setting up at the Hôtel Splendide in Marseilles in 1940, refugees began arriving in droves from

of refugees trapped in Marseilles. They rented a storefront in town, feeling the hotel was getting a little too public after several Gestapo checked in. Within a few months, the chaos that followed the occupation gave way to even stricter travel regulations. Even for those refugees able to obtain visas to enter the U.S. or some other country, French exit permits became almost impossible to obtain. Increased pressure from several quarters for Fry to stop his work eventually led him to rent a house outside of town where he could occasionally escape the ceaseless demands on him. The long-neglected villa quickly earned the nickname “Château EspéreVisa, since half its inhabitants were waiting for proper papers to leave the country.” At any other time it would have

With increasing pressure from the Vichy government, the U.S. Consulate confiscates Fry’s passport until he is willing to leave the country.

APRIL 1941 Marc Chagall is arrested, along with other Jews staying in Marseilles hotels. Fry intervenes, saying, “The whole world would be shocked, Vichy would be gravely embarrassed, and you would probably be severely reprimanded.... If he isn’t out in half an hour we’ll call up the New York Times and give them the news.” Chagall is released.

SEPTEMBER 1941 Fry is arrested. The reason: “Because you have protected Jews and antiNazis.” He is forced to return to the United States by the Vichy government and the U.S. State Department.

DECEMBER 1942 Fry writes an article in The New Republic entitled, “The Massacre of the Jews.”

1945 France is liberated, and Fry can safely publish his book, Surrender on Demand, without endangering his former colleagues still in Europe. It receives critical acclaim but little public notice.

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The following is only a partial list of those Fry and his confederates helped to escape. Some are household names, and all are evidence of one man’s compassion and conviction to follow through with a seemingly impossible task. Hannah Arendt, political scientist André Breton, artist Marc Chagall, painter Marcel Duchamp, artist Max Ernst, painter Lion Feuchtwanger, writer Konrad Heiden, biographer of Hitler Heinz Jolles, pianist Edgar Alexander-Emmerich, Catholic writer Fritz Kahn, scientist and educator Otto Klepper, former prime minister of Prussia Wanda Landowska, harpsichordist Jacques Lipchitz, sculptor Heinrich and Golo Mann (Thomas Mann’s brother and son) André Masson, artist

been idyllic, Fry wrote, but war rations, lack of central heating, and police searches detracted from its splendor. It was clearly the company that more than made up for any detriments. Here, Fry was able to spend time with some of our century’s great artistic talents he was hoping to rescue. André Breton and his family moved in and held reunions of the Surrealist crowd on Sunday afternoons. Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold and socialite Peggy Guggenheim stayed for awhile, as did Max Ernst (who would later become her husband). Imprisoned once and brought in for questioning several times, Fry was eventually forced to leave France. Authorities refused to renew his passport until he was ready to leave, and then escorted him to

In 1942, with information from his recent contacts in France, he wrote frightening accounts of the Nazi atrocities—slow starvations, human cattle cars, gas chambers, death camps, mass executions—accounts most people in this country were still dismissing as exaggerated wartime propaganda. Again, he pleaded for the U.S. to “offer asylum... to those few fortunate enough to escape from the Aryan paradise.” But his tenure at the magazine didn’t last long. He resigned in 1945 because, wrote Alfred Kazin, “he could not bear the lingering Popular Front sentimentality about Stalin at The New Republic.” Before the war he had been an editor of The Living Age and Common Sense magazines. He was also the

“…Fry was able to spend time with some of our century’s great artistic talents he was hoping to rescue. André Breton and his family moved in and held reunions of the Surrealist crowd on Sunday afternoons. Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold and socialite Peggy Guggenheim stayed for awhile, as did Max Ernst (who would later become her husband).”

Walter Mehring, writer Otto Meyerhauf, Nobel physicist Bernard Reder, sculptor Bruno Strauss, art critic Franz Werfel, writer Others, such as André Gide and André Malraux, refused to leave their homes. Among those Fry did help were professors, poets, journalists, trade union leaders, economists, musicians, artists, and intellectuals of every sort. He worked with the British as well to help a number of their trapped soldiers.

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the border. He used the opportunity to check out escape routes and contacts in Spain and Portugal first hand. But his work for the committee was finally over.

• • • Fry spent 13 months in France, longer than he stayed at Taft. (He spent one semester here after an unhappy career at Hotchkiss but wound up graduating from Riverdale Country School in New York.) Upon his return he got a job at The New Republic.

author of War in China and other books on political and economic problems published as Headline Books by the Foreign Policy Association. The rest of his life was surprisingly quiet. Max Frankel wrote in the New York Times, “Fry lived on obscurely to age 59 with the art, letters, and books of his former clients but little of their friendship.” He dabbled in a number of other endeavors, including a small motion picture company that made mostly radio and television commercials. He remained active as a member


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“[Fry] was an American, and he gave us the impression of something particularly American: that confidence in man which we, in Europe, had lost between two world wars.... He represented the ‘Promise of America’ and, without being delegated and sometimes even in conflict with diplomatic officials, he made himself a delegate of the true spirit of his country.” of the boards of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union and the International League for the Rights of Man. Shortly before his death he took a job teaching high school Latin. In 1967, he received the French Croix du Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. In 1991, he was posthumously awarded the Eisenhower Liberation Medal, and in 1996 he was honored at Israel’s Yad Vashem as the first American “Righteous Among Nations” (one of only three gentiles, along with Schindler and Wallenberg). Hans Sahl, who came to America under the auspices of Fry’s committee, remarked, “[Fry] was an American, and he gave us the impression of something particularly American: that confidence in man which we, in Europe, had lost between two world wars.... He represented the ‘Promise of America’ and, without being delegated and sometimes even in conflict with diplomatic officials, he made himself a delegate of the true spirit of his country.” One of Fry’s co-workers later wrote, “I should confess here that I and the other ‘Europeans’ on the committee occasionally criticized him for being a ‘typical American,’ an ‘innocent abroad.’ But we had it all wrong. That seeming innocence turned

out to be precisely his strength. Had he known from the outset the odds he was up against, he might never have achieved what he did.”

• • • Va r i a n’ s book, Surrender on Demand, has been reprinted by Johnson Books with the United States Holocaust Museum. Scholastic Inc. has released Fry’s revised version for young readers, Assignment: Rescue: An Autobiography by Varian Fry. An exhibit, “Assignment: Rescue: The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee,” was organized by the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and traveled to the Jewish Museum in New York City, and the Field Museum in Chicago. A videocassette of the same name is also available, narrated by Meryl Streep and produced by Richard Kaplan.

FURTHER READING Assignment: Rescue: An Autobiography by Varian Fry Scholastic Inc. Surrender on Demand By Varian Fry ’26 Johnson Books Taft Bulletin

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Collegium in China For eleven days during March break, 32 Taft singers performed in schools, colleges, and universities throughout China. Beginning in Hong Kong and moving on from there to Shanghai, Guangzhou (Canton), and finally Beijing, the group peformed a “primarily American program with a few twists.” They sang hymns, spirituals, classical pieces including Howell’s “Magnificat,” a contemporary medley by Duke Ellington, and songs of the sea, featuring faculty member Amy Bernon’s original composition, “Where Sky Meets the Sea.” Director Bruce Fifer hopes to keep in contact with some of the schools they visited; he was especially impressed with the conductor at the Experimental Middle School in Guangzhou, whom he described as world class. b At the Great Wall. Front Row Left to Right: Bruce Fifer, Jason Donahue ’00, Elson Liu; 2nd Row: Christof Pfeiffer ’00, Emily Piacenza ’00, Winnie So ’99, Amy Bernon, Shaun DePina ’99; 3rd Row: Emily Garvan ’99, Nicole Dessibourg ’00, Emily Smith ’00, Kelly Ohman ’00, Rachel Brodie ’98, Zach Stanley ’99; 4th Row (standing): Bryan Moore ’00, Kate Parkin ’00, Ginger Stevens ’99, Sara Lin ’99, Mariya Chhatriwala ’98, Mythri Jegathesan ’99, Danielle Perrin ’99; Behind Mariya and Mythri: Addie Strumolo ’98, Molly Rosenman ’98; Back Row: Nicole Robertson ’99, Zach Heineman ’99, Eileen Fenn ’98, Stephen Sandvoss ’98, Andrew Bostrom ’99, Taylor Smith ’98, JR Young ’98, Ribby Goodfellow ’00, Abby Fifer.

This is the first Collegium tour under the direction of Bruce Fifer, who came to Taft last year. With the help of Lance Odden, who has traveled extensively throughout China, Bruce scouted out the possibilities of a tour there. According to Bruce, “Taft parents were an invaluable asset in planning the trip, and it is they who finally made it happen.” During their travels, the Collegium were hosted at New World Hotels by Henry and Katherine Cheng,

parents of Adrian ’98, Sonia ’99, and Brian ’01. The Chengs also hosted the group for an evening of dinner and karaoke on their yacht, Sonia, in Hong Kong harbor and set up most of the school concerts. Patricia Chow and Lady Ivy Kwok Wu put together a lovely luncheon for the group at a scenic revolving restaurant. Senior Rachel Brodie’s parents, Maureen and William Shenkman, hosted a dinner for the group at Café Deco, overlooking Hong Kong harbor. Taft Bulletin

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c Combined choirs at the Guangzhou Experimental Middle School. b Averie Wong ’01, Serena Lam ’98, Nick Kotewall ’01, Neville Kotewall ’99, Karen Kwok ’01, Winnie So ’99, Clayton Chen ’98, Rex Lo ’00, Justin Mak ’98, and Evan Chow ’00 with mothers of Taft students who joined the group for lunch.

Many students called this “the trip of a lifetime.” Between concerts and social gatherings came some unforgettable sightseeing: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Chinese Opera, and Beijing Acrobatic Show. With some upperclassmen of the group having participated in Collegium’s earlier trip to Australia, this group is becoming truly “world class.” 10

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“We sang at the Guangzhou Experimental Middle School and had the exciting chance to listen to some of the most beautiful singing and instrument playing of all the concerts we attended while on tour.” —Ribby Goodfellow ’00

“The section of the Great Wall we visited twisted up the side of a sizable mountain. Those who reached the top first were extremely excited by the great view—so excited in fact that they broke into a rousing chorus of ‘Oh Sing Joyfully’ by Benjamin Britten, one of Collegium’s most highly acclaimed pieces.” —Danielle Perrin ’99


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. At the Sun Yat Sen Memorial in Guangzhou. m Collegium and the choir of Shanghai High School at Fudan. . Taft chaperones Bruce Fifer, his daughter Abby Fifer, Amy Bernon, and Elson Liu.

“Tiananmen Square is almost exactly how it looks on TV, except bigger. Almost one million people packed into a single area. It is difficult to imagine thousands of students demonstrating here and hundreds being killed because they asked for simple freedoms we take for granted.”

“Although we only ventured within China for eleven days, we were absorbed by the friendliness and hospitality of everyone we met. China has left an indelible mark on the Collegium travelers’ hearts, never to be erased.” —Ribby Goodfellow

—Zach Heineman ’99

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m On the bus to the airport at 5 AM, the busy itinerary takes its toll.

m Oriocos pose by the pagoda at Beijing Middle School: Andrew Bostrom ’99, Adrian Cheng ’98, Bryan Moore ’00, Stephen Sandvoss ’98, Taylor Smith ’98, JR Young ’98, and Zach Heineman ’99.

m Bruce Fifer with Katherine Cheng on the Cheng’s yacht, Sonia.

“We perform our last concert at Middle School #4 in Beijing, but, for me, the highlight is not our singing but other odd moments. The Oriocos [those with dual membership in Collegium] pose for a picture in the pagoda. Barefoot and ties in pockets, five of Collegium’s finest hoopers square off againt #4’s in a game of halfcourt pick-up ball.” —Zach Heineman 12

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“At rehearsal today in the hotel restaurant, the sea songs had a magical quality as the kids sang looking out over the misty Hong Kong harbor.” —Amy Bernon, faculty


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c In front of the floating restaurant in Hong Kong: Sara Lin ’99, Mythri Jegathesan ’99, Ginger Stevens ’99, and Nicole Robertson ’99. b At the final dinner in Beijing, everyone shows off the traditional Chinese attire they’ve purchased. Abby Fifer, Emily Smith, Amy Bernon, Bryan Moore ’00, Rachel Brodie ’98, Katie Parkin ’00, and Eileen Fenn ’98.

Photography by Elson Liu.

“I went with a friend to the harbor, which our hotel overlooked. After seeing the neon light glowing incessantly against the foggy night sky and hearing the water slap against the protective walls surrounding the building, we decided it was time to shop.”

“Along the way we heard hauntingly beautiful Chinese music, ate strange and exotic fruits, and met strangers who felt like close friends after an hour.” —Amy Bernon

—Ribby Goodfellow

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ALUMNI WEEKEND

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50th Reunion Chairman Dave Fenton (holding sign), Harvey Zeve, and Directory Chairman Don Post ’48 lead their class in the parade.

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m Members of the Class of ’43: George Parr, Dick Dirkes, Woolly Bermingham, Sam Marsh, Betsey Whittelsey, Doug Demarest, and Dawn Parr. c Arnold Wolk, Doug and Lois Purdy, Al Jeandheur, and Robert Keane ’48. . The men of 1948.

ever has the sun shined so well nor so long for returning alumni and their families. From the golf tournament on Friday afternoon to the fun run on Sunday, hardly a cloud came by to dampen the festivities. This year, Taft was honored again to have her “old boys” and “old girls” return from around the world to visit their alma mater. From Hong Kong and New Zealand, Germany and England, Texas, California, and Connecticut, you came back in the spirit of reunion and celebrated friendships renewed and others once-again sustained. You were taken by the beauty of the campus and the talent of today’s students, but mostly you enjoyed yourselves in the fun of the moment. Happy reunion one and all! Taft Bulletin

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ALUMNI WEEKEND

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m Lois and Steve Ruskin ’47 visit with faculty emeritus Ed North.

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m Michael Sandifer ’68 (the eventual winner), Al Reiff ’80, and Mark Deschenes ’99 await the start of the fun run. b Evie and Doug Cochrane ’35 with Allen Hubbard ’33. . Visitors enjoy a panel discussion of “Future Trends in Investments and Medicine.”


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m All the way from New Zealand, Bayard ’39 and Sylvia Sheldon chat with Mike Tenny ’43, center. b ’93 Classmates Ron Gonzales, Tyler Wigton, Henry Simonds, Jim Stanton, and Liza Crowell at the barbecue on Saturday. . Dan Searby ’53 with classmates Michael Brenner and Jim Ayer.

m Ed Barakauskas ’48 and Don Post ’48. c The Alumni Lacrosse Team. . Loretta and Claude Williams ’73.

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ALUMNI WEEKEND

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m Lance and Patsy Odden welcome the Klingenstein family. From left, Al ’72, Lance and Patsy, Lee ’44, Daney, Jo ’78, and Paul ’74. b The weather is perfect for a little al fresco dining at the barbecue on Saturday night at the Oddens’. . Eric Mendelsohn ’88 catches up with classmate Rachel Vickers, who flew in from London for the reunion.


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m Cricket Laun, Orin Lehman ’38, Joan Rivers, and Louie Laun ’38 at the luncheon on Saturday.

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m Janine Flohe ’88 returns to campus from Germany, along with Alexander Francke, for her 10th Reunion.

b The headmaster congratulates 50th Reunion Chairman Dave Fenton. The Class of ’48 received the Snyder Award for the largest dollar amount contributed by a reunion class. . Dick Dirkes, center, leads his class in the parade.

. A future generation of Tafties tests the limits of gravity against helium.

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Commencement By Susan Graham

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n 1943, Albert Einstein received a letter from the president of Swarthmore asking him to be the commencement speaker. He replied: “Sincere thanks for your kind invitation. Regrettably, I must decline. I find that I have nothing to say.” Two and a half years later, after the United States had dropped two atom bombs, the president of Swarthmore received a letter from Albert Einstein. It read, “I write to inquire if the invitation to speak at commencement is still open. It seems as if I have quite a lot to say.” Although I was at first tentative about accepting the honor to address the Class of ’98, I, too, find that I now have a lot to say. 108th Commencement Awards The William and Lee Abramowitz Award for Teaching Excellence at the Taft School A teacher who has made the subject matter come alive and thereby induced enthusiasm and a love of learning among her students. Robin Osborn

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The Aurelian Award

The 1908 Medal

For sterling character, high scholarship, and forceful leadership.

The senior whose influence has done most for the school.

Adaline Rose Strumolo

Devin Brooke Weisleder

The Heminway Merriman Award The seniors whose gentle concern for others best reflects qualities of Junie Merriman ’30. Ernest Obeng Kwarteng Jonathan Knight Wood


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Susan and Daniel Christman with Catherine ’98

Penelope Eaves, Christian ’98, Peter ’95, and Lasse Becker

We are gathered here this morning to honor the transformation of young lives and to salute them as their grand odyssey begins—gathered here together in this extraordinary place—the place now, to borrow a metaphor from Shel Silverstein, “where the sidewalk ends.”

And there the grass grows soft and light And there the sun shines crimson bright And there the moonbird rests from flight To cool in the peppermint wind.” (Shel Silverstein)

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends And before the street begins

As Taft graduates you are bound by much more than a place, though. You are bound by a powerful legacy, a legacy informed by three common values which stand as

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The Class of ’98 enjoys perfect weather that day in the Centennial Quadrangle.

tight compass for what lies beyond the sidewalk’s end.

New Chaplain Michael Spencer watches seniors process into the quadrangle in his first graduation at Taft.

The Berkley Matthews Award Young women whose gentle concern for others best reflects qualities of Berkley Matthews ’96. Alison McCann Coope Melanie Adrienne Royster

The Class of 1981 Award For most overall improvement during his or her years at Taft. Rachel Dawn Brodie

The Joseph I. Cunningham Award The seniors who have worked selflessly for the betterment of the Taft community.

First, COMMUNITY. Above all else Taft is a model of an almost ideal academic community, prizing intellectual adventure. Your success or failure in college will depend on whether you build on this and continue to learn as much as possible, honing the skills of analysis and assessment while sustaining the capacity for creativity. Fencing masters instruct their students to grip the sword as you would a sparrow. If you hold it too tightly, it cannot breathe. If you hold it too loosely, it will fly away. Good thinking bears analogy to the fencer’s grip. It combines control with freedom. The 21st century will be no time for mediocrity or tentativeness. By 2002, the

The Maurice Pollak Award

The Roberts Scholarship

$1000 aid to a deserving member of the graduating class.

$1000 aid to a deserving member of the graduating class.

Eileen Elizabeth Fenn

Sarah Mirium Akhtar

Courtney Christensen Camp Timothy Babson Kirkpatrick

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Class speaker Courtney Camp received the Joseph I. Cunningham Award.

year most of you will graduate from college, the rate of change will challenge even the most able thinker. To survive you’ll need: • To be quick. The digital convergence has revolutionized technology, creating 10,000 times more bandwidth capacity. Warp speed sets the pace. • To be clear. The complexity of the modern world begs for order, clarity, sequence. Truth must be separated from technology. • To get beyond your borders. As citizens of the world and future members of transnational companies, fluency across cultures will be your greatest ally. • To be resilient. The accelerating change which is upon us demands bounce and endurance.

Valedictorian Matthew Gabriel Allessio Salutatorian Mariya Khuzem Chhatriwala

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Chloe, Renee ’92, JR ’98, Laura ’94, and Mark Young

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

Taft is also a model of an experiential community, dedicated to the education of the whole human being. Learning here never stops at 3 PM. And it’s the late-night lessons which often demand the most. The lessons about honor, tolerance, justice. The lessons gleaned from conflict, managed dynamically as part of the educational process. And Taft is a model of global community, offering both context and

content to your understanding of rapidly changing, increasingly complex world and fragmented world. There’s a troubling transience and isolation in this world today. The value of community has diminished, and the communication it once fostered—the one-on-one, person-to-person discourse— has fallen short, despite all of the promised technological enhancements. The news is full of glaring examples every day.

Addie Strumolo is given the Aurelian Award for outstanding scholarship and leadership.

Cum Laude Society October Inductees: Matthew Allessio, Timothy Carter, Daniel Chak, Adrian Cheng, Mariya Chhatriwala, Anthony Guerrera, Johannes Haushofer, Byung Huh, Elizabeth Macaulay, Michelle O’Brien, Joseph Petrucelli, Stephen Sandvoss, Adaline Strumolo, James Robert Young, and Jonathan Wood. June Inductees: Georgie Grace, Wayne Lai, Jane Li, Katherine Penberthy, Taylor Smith, Warangkhana Songsungthong, Carolyn Starrett, Benjamin Steele, Prapun Suksompong, Chad Valerio, and Anna Wilkens

The Sherman Cawley Award

The Bourne Medal in History

Excellence in English scholarship.

In honor of Edward Gaylord Bourne, roommate of Horace Dutton Taft at Yale College in 1883.

Stephen James Sandvoss

The David Kenyon Webster ’40 Prize Excellence in Writing. Georgie Grace

Matthew Gabriel Allessio Elizabeth Rodger Macaulay


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Dads and Grads: Alumni fathers and their soon-to-be graduates at the Friday dinner

Kip Kinkle, a child in the margins whose anger exploded in the horrifying murder of family and friends. Obviously, he lost the ability to communicate. Or maybe nobody was listening. India’s— and then Pakistan’s—stunning decision to detonate nuclear bombs. Some pundits propose that India needed to be heard, needed to grab attention and to weigh in as a bold nation with a role in the international conversation. Indonesia’s recent riots led primarily by students frustrated with an autocratic and arbitrary president, who for too long didn’t listen to the people. And the disconnection last week of 40 million Americans from their satellite pagers, wreaking havoc on households, businesses, and hospitals. Listen to your friends and your parents—and always listen to your enemies. Tell them what you think, and why you think it. I believe that Carol Gilligan is right that all morality begins in attachment, that the most important benchmarks of your lives will be those that measure your relationships with others. As you move into a world inextricably bound through technology but surprisingly out of touch, the Taft com-

The Daniel Higgins Fenton Classics Award Elizabeth Rodger Macaulay The John S. Noyes French Prize Katharine Wiley Sands The German Prize Timothy Wild Carter

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Steve Schieffelin presents the Sherman Cawley Award to Georgie Grace.

munity will serve as an alternative model—a model of compassion, justice, and hope for the future. Robert Bellah writes in Habits of the Heart that “the virtues of friendship” are not merely private; they are public, even political, for a civic order is above all a network of friends. Treasure this community. As Yeats said, “Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say your glory was you had such friends.”

COMMITMENT is the second value— the second directional marker. Taft has demanded commitment and you’ve delivered. But commitment alone can be bleak. My hope for you all is not only that you commit yourself to things that matter but that you go for broke. Enthusiasm literally means “to be inspired, to be possessed by a god.” And when enthusiasm accelerates into PASSION it mimics the divine.

The Spanish Prize Lauren Elena Mestre

The Mathematics Prize Anthony Guerrera

The Chemistry Prize Anthony Guerrera

The Bill Waldron Memorial Prize

The Chinese Prize Stephen James Sandvoss

Computer Science Prize Daniel Chak

The Physics Prize Prapun Suksompong

The individual who has contributed most to the technical aspects of drama.

The Japanese Prize Adrian Chi Kong Cheng

The Alvin I. Reiff Biology Prize Warangkana Songsungthong

Theater Award Damon Paul Cortesi

Scott Peter Britell

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Headmaster Lance Odden congratulates Valedictorian Matt Allessio.

No greater model for this exists than your headmaster, Lance Odden. His passion to create a school which is a model of what all good schools should be has literally trans-

Susie, Julia ’01, Sarah ’98, and Jim Graham

Alex ’98, William, Carol, David, Will, and Christopher Browne

formed Taft into one of this country’s preeminent independent schools. Without question, the greatness of this institution lies in the lengthening shadow of one man and is a tribute to his passionate commitment. It is with a continuing salute that I consider him my most valued mentor. As Neil Simon said at Williams many springs ago, “Passion is the superbowl of enthusiasm. To have passion for life is not only to wake up in the morning and hear the birds singing, but it’s taking the time to open the window to see where they’re perched. That’s one

of the side effects of passion; you pay attention to the details, and it’s the details that determine the quality of life.” Commitment and its companion piece, passion, take courage, and success in life is proportional to courage. Take a chance, entertain risk—and failure. Think back on your experiences here at Taft. I suspect that for many of you it was the triumphs in the areas you were initially afraid of that, in the end, have meant the most. Don’t be afraid of failure—but don’t be afraid of success. We actually suffer from a national ambivalence about success. Even

Cully Platt receives the Non Ut Sibi Award from Volunteer Program director Baba Frew.

Mark Potter Award in Art Excellence in studio art. Lindsey Marie MacDonald

Abramowitz Award winner Robin Osborn with Dean of Faculty Linda Saarnijoki.

Thomas Sabin Chase Award in Art

The Dance Award Alison Morgan Hanger

Significant perception, originality, and developing talent.

George H. Morgan Award

Daniel Anthony McArdle Melanie Adrienne Royster

Contribution to the success, effectiveness, and well-being of Taft singing organizations. Adaline Rose Strumolo

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The P.T. Young Music Award Contribution through leadership, personal achievement, and dedication to music at Taft. Timothy Wild Carter

The David Edward Goldberg Memorial Award For outstanding independent work. Melanie Adrienne Royster


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Henry, Adrian ’98, and Katherine Cheng

Gillian, Laura ’98, Christina, Eduardo Mestre ’66, and Edward

education generally asks too little of students. Checkout counter journalism and talk TV flourish, highlighting failure, mediocrity, indiscretion and moral relativism. Shortcomings, not achievement, feed the leviathan of popular culture. Many of you have probably been reading about the baseball player, Mike Piazza. His is an all-American success story of the first degree. This guy came out of nowhere. He was picked up in the 62nd round in the June ’88 free agent draft—the 1,390th player chosen. Needless to say, his fortunes have changed. “When I began in ball,” Piazza said, “my father gave me two pieces of advice. One was don’t be afraid to fail. The other was don’t be afraid to succeed. Some people are just happy to be in the middle of the road. I wanted to give 110 percent and not to have to look in the mirror years later and have regrets that I could have given more.”

there on my desk was a framed copy. I believe it’s attributed to Coolidge: “Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is legend. Education alone will not; the world is full of Headmonitor Devin Weisleder gets ready to set the cornerstone for the Class of ’98. educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” So here we are at the edge—at the place where the sidewalk ends, values intact, path ahead.

The third big sign at the curve in the road reads “PERSISTENCE.” The first headmaster to hire me had a quote hanging in his office—a quote which I remember reading as I sat nervously trying to convince him of my worth as a young English teacher. When I walked into my office at The Gunnery for the first time,

“Non Ut Sibi” Award For service and work outside of Taft which best exemplifies the school’s motto. Thomas Collier Platt IV

Now— “It’s time to leave this school where the wind blows green And the dark path winds and bends Past the Jig and the Wu where the new trees grow. You shall walk a walk that is measured and slow And watch where the chalk white arrows go To the place where the sidewalk ends. Yes, you’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow And you’ll go where the chalk white arrows go. For the children, they mark, and the children they know This place where the sidewalk ends.” (Adapted from Shel Silverstein) Welcome to the world beyond the sidewalk—the world which so needs and waits for you. Susan Graham is head of school at The Gunnery. She has three children, including Sarah ’98 and Julia ’01.

Marion Hole Makepeace Award

Lawrence Hunter Stone Award

Senior Athletic Awards

The girl who has contributed most to Taft athletics.

The person who has contributed most to boys’ athletics.

Besnard, Camp, Coope, Coppola, Costanzo, Fenn, Fields, Hills, Johnson, Kawecki, Kozel, Leibowitz, Macaulay, Merck, Oneglia, B. Otto, S. Otto, Pettit, Ramich, Skovran, Starrett, Stover, Strumolo, Swiderski

Adaline Rose Strumolo

Christopher Steven Fields

For six or more varsity letters.

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1997-98 Taft Annual Fund Report Snyder Award Largest amount contributed by a reunion class David W. Fenton ’48 $162,730 Chairman of the Board of Trustees Award Highest percent participation from a class less than 50 years out George M. Hampton, Jr. ’60 86% Class of 1920 Award Greatest increase in support from a non-reunion class Henry G. Brauer ’74 $25,239 McCabe Award Largest amount contributed by a non-reunion class Henry G. Brauer ’74 $86,124 Young Alumni Dollars Award Largest amount contributed from a class less than 10 years out J. Kingman Gordon ’88 $15,543 Young Alumni Participation Award Highest participation from a class less than 10 years out Daniel D. Trombly ’97 64%

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aising $2.1 million in Annual Fund gifts is a singular accomplishment. To exceed that milestone by 10 percent during a $100 million capital campaign speaks to the extraordinary generosity and commitment of the Taft family. I am deeply grateful to Taft’s alumni/ae, parents, parents of graduates, grandparents, and friends for their tremendous dedication in sustaining the first-rate education that our school provides. Thank you for your wonderful loyalty. Alumni/ae support topped $1.2 million, and alumni participation was 42 percent. Reunion classes made a critical difference by raising $402,519—20 percent of the alumni total. Dave Fenton, class agent for the 50th Reunion Class of ’48, raised $162,730 in total commitments and won The Snyder Award, presented 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 third consecutive year to George Hampton, and the Class of 1960, for hitting 86 percent participation. I would also like to acknowledge Woolly Bermingham, Ross Legler, and the Class of ’43 and Rib Hall, Class of ’33, as perennial leaders in alumni participation for all classes with 90 percent and 96 percent participation, respectively. Taft’s current parents, led by Toni and Chuck Peebler, parents of Todd ’99, continue to respond to their children’s school in extraordinary fashion. By raising $818,061 with 94 percent participation, our current parents have broken last year’s record and have once again sent a clear message that they strongly endorse the work of Headmaster Lance Odden and his faculty. What a magnificent way to show that support! The generosity of Taft’s alumni and current parents is remarkable. However, without our parents of graduates and grandparents, the Annual Fund goal would not have been met. For the fourth consecutive year, that group raised over $200,000—10 percent of all Annual Fund gifts—and the 332 donors deserve special recognition for their terrific response. If you have visited Taft recently, then you have seen your contributions at work. Every single Annual Fund dollar supports a dedicated faculty who provide excellence in education to a talented, diverse student body. A strong Annual Fund ensures that our school will continue the mission of Horace Taft to “educate the whole person.” On behalf of the Taft Board of Trustees, I thank you for making that goal possible. Thank you.

Geoffrey W. Levy ’65 Annual Fund Chair


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Faces of the Annual Fund

Joyce Romano ’92, Assistant Director of the Annual Fund

Paula Murphy, Parents’ Fund Coordinator

Ann Ruegg, Gifts Officer

Sally Membrino, Alumni Records

Olivia Tuttle, Annual Fund Director

Olivia Tuttle As of July 1, Olivia Tuttle will be the new director of the Annual Fund, replacing Bob Campbell ’76. After eight years in the Alumni Office, Bob is joining the Dean of Students’ Office to work with Rusty Davis. Olivia came to Taft in 1994 as director of alumni relations. For the last few years, she has been working on The Campaign for Taft, running regional dinners and working with the headmaster as he solicited alumni and parents. With the highly successful campaign as a training ground, she looks forward to tackling the challenges of the Annual Fund. She is excited about meeting as many class agents as possible and working with them, trying to involve more of their classmates and to increase class participation in the Annual Fund. Olivia plans to hold receptions around the country where alumni can meet and learn more about the great changes that have occurred at the school. She is the mother of Spencer Tuttle ’98 and Beecher Tuttle ’00.

Joyce Romano ’92 Joyce Romano ’92 is the assistant director of the Annual Fund. Her job entails processing all gifts of securities and preparing and distributing fundraising assignments to 250 volunteers. She will work with Olivia trying to increase alumni participation by focusing on the younger classes.

has worked in the Development Office for 17 years and is the mother of Roger Ostrander ’87 and Amy Ostrander ’89.

Ann Ruegg Ann Ruegg is in charge of processing all gifts to the Annual Fund and The Campaign for Taft. She has been at Taft for 18 years.

Paula Murphy

Sally Membrino

Paula Murphy coordinates the Parents’ Fund. Under her guidance, the fund has consistently raised gifts from 94 percent of the constituency, leading all other secondary schools. Paula

Sally Membrino handles all name and address changes for the entire Taft constituency, a body consisting of over 13,000 members. She has been at Taft for 10 years. Taft Bulletin

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ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Alumni IN THE NEWS

Jim Taylor ’40 named to Aviation Week Laureates’ Hall of Fame

Citation of Merit Lee Paul Klingenstein ’44 The Taft School praises one of her finest for a life well-fashioned from the spirit of her very motto: non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. You have fully taken to heart and nobly answered Horace Taft’s charge to his students to get out of themselves, to work for others, to go into things and make them work. For selfless service to the idea that the trail to growth passes through rigor and challenge, you have earned Outward Bound’s highest acclaim, the Kurt Hahn 28

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Award. Taft friend and trustee exemplar, you have served your school with distinction over four decades. Steward of resources, tireless worker, wise counselor, always you have put into practice your personal credo that commitment is key and overcommitment to the things which matter is crucial. All that you have done for others you have done with consummate skill, deep personal regard, loving devotion, and your trademark good humor and

James B. Taylor was named to Aviation Week Laureates’ Hall of Fame, which honors individuals whose careers epitomize the values of the global aerospace industry. Jim was cited for his “leadership, honesty, integrity, dedication, and his ability to put together great teams.” An executive in the commercial aircraft industry, he was CEO of Canadair and Gates-Learjet Corporation, and for the past six years has been an advisor to VisionAire. As a “Laurel Legend,” he joins eight other aeronautical giants, including Igor Sikorsky. The Carrier Test Pilot Hall of Honor, aboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC, is named after Jim’s father, a Navy test pilot. twinkle in the eye. All that you have done has brought great honor to your alma mater. It is therefore with great affection and appreciation that we confer upon you Taft’s highest award, the Alumni Citation of Merit.


ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Albert ’79 Elected Alumni Trustee During his four years at Taft, Jonathan was an honor roll student, lettered in wresting for four years, and was co-captain his senior year. He was a member of the photography staff of The Annual and The Papyrus and graduated cum laude. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1983 with a BA in international relations. In 1986, while working full time in New York City, Jonathan attended The Wharton School’s executive MBA program and earned his degree in 1987. Jonathan is currently a director and officer of Albert Brothers, a fourth-generation family-owned metal recycling business that was started in 1895. Since 1992, he has spearheaded a diversification program into real estate acquisitions and food and beverage operations. He is the chairman of Fusion Enterprises, which owns exclusive rights for Burger King in Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Recently, he formed Jump Higher with NBA star Michael Jordan to develop, license, and operate Michael Jordan restaurants nationally and internationally. He is president of Cornerstone Management, which supplies management and consulting services to companies such as Hyatt Hotels, Suissotel, and Designation Hotels and Resorts. Prior to joining his family business, Jonathan was a managing director and partner at Dean Witter Realty, responsible for the acquisition and development of hotels, parking garages, and high-rise residential projects. Jonathan is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a member of the Board of Directors of AAMCO Transmissions. He is a member of the UJA National Young Leadership Cabinet, a trustee of his local Jewish Federation, chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Waterbury and Northwest Connecticut’s endowment fund, a member of the King David Society, and a board member of a newly-formed local synagogue. He has assisted in fund raising at Amherst and was on the committee for the Watertown Area Campaign For Taft. Jonathan lives in Middlebury, CT, with his wife Rachel, and two children, Sarah and Jake. He enjoys relaxing with his family, skiing, traveling, and photography.

Phil Howard ’66 works to save Penn Station As a student at Taft, Phil Howard remembers the train ride from the hills of Kentucky to arrive at New York’s Penn Station, that was already in the process of being demolished. “I was dragging a trunk,” he told The New York Times, “and I remember the chaos of being in a building that was obviously grand, and that for some reason was being torn down all around me. I knew that something bad was happening.” He may have been powerless then to stop the destruction of Penn Station, but as a best-selling author and influential New York lawyer, he has joined forces with the Municipal Art Society, as chairman, to help bring it back. The Municipal Art Society, which led the fight for the Landmark Preservation Law and later saved Grand Central Station, has brought forth plans to turn the General Post Office, which stretches from Eighth Avenue to Ninth, into a new Penn Station. The neoclassical building was designed by McKim, Mead & White, as was the original Penn Station. Under the new plans, the station would have a ticketing hall and a seating concourse each the size of Grand Central’s. But support for the plan is not unanimous. Several city, state, and federal agencies have worked together to create their own plans, and many of the original proponents of the idea favor a more modest plan than that drawn up by the Municipal Art Society. The Post Office has only agreed to give up one fifth of the building, so far. Source: The New York Times Lawyer and best-selling author Phil Howard ’66 has turned his energies to saving New York’s Penn Station.

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Frank Thompson ’35 Establishes Tennis Center

Jim Driscoll ’96 Takes Major Golf Tournament UVA coach Mike Moraghan is calling Jim Driscoll “one of the finest collegiate golfers in the country.” No surprise when Jim, a sophomore, “put up some numbers in Las Vegas that were quite impressive, even in a town that is not easily overwhelmed.” In March, he won the prestigious Golf Digest Collegiate Tournament, finishing 9 under to win by one shot. His final round of 64 put him 7 under par on a day when only three of the 73 players broke 70. “It was the strongest play of any tournament until the NCAAs,” said Moraghan, “and it’s probably the best stroke-play tournament for him since he won the New England Amateur in 1995.” The Las Vegas tournament put Jim on a national stage. Moraghan called this UVA’s biggest win in nine years.

Frank Thompson is proud that St. Louis has produced so many tennis champions and has spearheaded the construction of the Thompson Tennis Center (in memory of his father) and St. Louis Tennis Hall of Fame to spread the word. So far 28 St. Louis players have been named to the Hall of Fame, including Jimmy Connors and the late Arthur Ashe. Frank has enlarged and framed a number of photographs from his own collection, which looks at fashion and personalities of the sport back to 1885, for the center. Frank earned a few trophies himself, including six national senior doubles championships and only gave up playing at 78 after bypass surgery. He won his first national championship in 1960 and continues to supervise training for about 100 players each summer in the Youth Foundation Tennis Center, which he founded in 1966. He is also a director of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. Source: Marianna Riley, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo: Wayne Crosslin, Post-Dispatch

Sources: Ron Balicki, Golfweek; Jim McCabe, Boston Globe Photo: Boston Globe Staff Photo

Jake Fay ’96 NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year A sophomore at Wesleyan University, Jake Fay received the school’s Bacon Award as the team’s most valuable player as well as the New England Small College Athletic Conference [NESCAC] Offensive Player of the Year award. Jake was the starting quarterback in seven out of eight contests, missing one start due to an ankle injury. Connecting on 113 of 211 attempts 30

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(53.6 percent) for an individual seasonal team-record 1,906 yards, he tossed 14 touchdown passes while being intercepted just four times. He was named NESCAC offensive player of the week three times during the year and was chosen for the Eastern College Athletic Conference [ECAC] New England Division II weekly honor roll once. With his 147.5 passing efficiency ra-

tio, Jake finished 17th in the country among NCAA Division II players and first among New England quarterbacks. His rating was the 11th highest ever recorded by a New England Division III player. His 1,799 yards of total offense also represented a Wesleyan team record. The Cardinals posted a 7-1 record for the season, the squad’s strongest showing since going 8-0 in 1969.


ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Defining Success with Disabilities

A very trusting A.J. Mleczko ’93 does a little show-and-tell with her gold medal.

Getting a Good Look at the Gold Taft students got a good look at an Olympic gold medal when A.J. Mleczko ’93 [Spring 1998 issue] came to Taft this spring. After her victory in Japan with the US women’s ice hockey team, A.J., like her fellow teammates, took time to speak around the country about their unforgettable experience. While at Taft, she gave a morning meeting talk, and spoke with students afterward about hockey, the Olympics, (whether or not she really sleeps with the medal), and what her plans might be for the future. She told how it was at Taft that she first learned women’s ice hockey would be an Olympic sport in 1998 and began to think about that as her goal. She downplayed her own sacrifices to make it to the Olympics, highlighting instead what other members of her team gave up and how much those risks and the intense preparation paid off. “What is so inspiring,” said her former coach Patsy Odden, “is that AJ is not necessarily the most gifted hockey player to come through this school. She took the talent she had and with incredible commitment and drive, became a world-class player.” A.J. is continuing her studies at Harvard this fall.

John Dunham ’59 Reaches 300th Win at Trinity Trinity College’s Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach John Dunham won his 300th career game this past winter. The championship game victory over Amherst College in the Ben McCabe tournament brought his career record at Trinity to 300-214-18. Under his direction, the Bantams have had twelve play-off appearances and four ECAC North/South Championships. The men’s ice hockey team finished 11-11-2 and lost in the first round of the ECAC East Tournament, 3-1 at UCONN.

Henry Reiff ’71 and two colleagues recently published Dr. Henry Exceeding Expectations: Reiff ’71, Successful Adults with co-author of Learning Disabilities. To Exceeding write the book they inter- Expectations. viewed 71 people who overcame learning disabilities to excel in their careers of choice. Among the subjects there are a paleontologist, a biomedical engineer, a corporate executive, a psychologist, and more than one professor. Twenty-nine hold doctorates. In the process of their interviews Henry and his co-authors learned that perseverance was the key to success for many, but that adaptability and “learned creativity” allowed them to perform well when they had difficulty with the usual methods. “They learned to develop various systems,” he writes, “that played up their strengths.... They learned that there were many ways to solve most problems, and that their idiosyncratic method was equal to anyone else’s approach. They did not just cope—they creatively excelled!” While the book is thorough enough for people in the field, it is also accessible to the average reader. The interviews themselves and anecdotal information throughout are interesting and often poignant, particularly when interviewees talk about growing up with learning disabilities and the challenges they faced. Henry is associate dean of academic affairs and professor of special education at Western Maryland College. He is also the author, with Paul Gerber, of Speaking for Themselves: Ethnographic Interviews with Adults with Learning Disabilities (1991); and Learning Disabilities in Adulthood: Persisting Problems and Evolving Issues (1994).

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Florida Dinner During Spring Break, Lance and Patsy Odden joined seventy alumni, parents, and friends for dinner at the Riomar Country Club in Vero Beach. Hosted by Sis and Del Ladd ’44, GP ’99, the elegant dinner gave the headmaster an opportunity to discuss The Campaign for Taft and to comment on the architectural changes that have occurred to the campus in the last few years. Patsy Odden also gave a fascinating account of her trip to the Olympic Games in Nagano, where she cheered on her former player A.J. Mleczko ’93, as the women’s ice hockey team won the gold medal. Many thanks to the dinner committee, headed by Sis and Del Ladd: Linda and Nobby Holmes ’57; Ann and Allen Hubbard ’33, P ’59; Noreen and Van Midgley ’40, P ’66; Marilyn and Bob Smith ’48; Heidi and Bob Stott ’48; Carolyn and Bill Stutt P ’86; Fran and Bud Travis ’39; Thea and Harry Walker ’40, P ’74; and Nancy and Chic Young ’35.

Nobby Holmes ’57, Linda Holmes, and Chris Davenport ’56.

Ann and Allen Hubbard ’33, P ’59 with Jean McLeod GP ’91, center.

Sis Ladd GP ’99 and Bill Hatch ’48.

Judy Prosser P ’93, David Culbertson GP ’01, Bob Prosser P ’93, Helen Culbertson GP ’01, Marilyn and Bob Smith ’48.

Roy Cheney ’40, P ’69; Geg Buttenheim ’40, P ’73, ’77, and Peg and Jim Taylor ’40, P ’67.

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pond Odden Doubly Honored Headmaster Odden was twice honored in May. First, he received Princeton Country Day School’s highest alumni award. The award is given for excellence in one’s chosen field and for service to community. In addition to his 26-year headmastership of Taft, Lance [PCD ’54] was recognized for his broader leadership in education, including his work as a trustee of six other schools, as a member of the Executive Board of Governors of the National Association of Independent Schools, trustee of the Mattatuck Museum, former chairman of the board and member of the Executive Commitee of A Better Chance, and as past president of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Headmasters’ Association, and the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. Lance was similarly honored by Hamilton College, where he was named doctor of humane letters. A graduate of Phillips Academy and Princeton University, Lance received his master’s from the University of Wisconsin in 1967. He was

named headmaster of Taft in 1972 at the age of 33, making him the youngest headmaster of any New England boarding school. Under his leadership, the

school’s endowment has grown from less than $2 million to over $90 million, and $40 million of new construction has completely renovated our campus.

Lance Odden receives an honorary degree at Hamilton College’s commencement exercises in May. Taft Bulletin

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New Faculty Chairs Established The Holcombe T. Green Chair of English, established in 1998 by Holcombe T. Green, Jr. ’57, is awarded to an outstanding member of the English Department. Debbie Phipps will hold this chair. The John B. Small Chair, established through the bequest of John B. Small, Taft master from 1951 to 1987, and through the support of his students and friends, is awarded to a member of the faculty whose devotion and inspiration challenge students to find and appreciate their unique strengths. Steve Palmer will hold this chair.

New chair holders Steve Palmer, Debbie Phipps, Willy MacMullen ’78, Yen Liu, and Bruce Fifer.

Willy MacMullen now holds The Edwin C. Douglas Chair with the retirement of former chair holder Don Oscarson ’47 from teaching. Oscie continues his work with student services at Taft.

Four new faculty chairs have been created at Taft thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, and other friends of the school. The Harold and Elizabeth Marvin Chair, established in 1996 through the bequest of Dr. Harold Marvin and the generosity of his son, John T. Marvin, Class of 1946, is awarded to an outstanding member of Taft’s Music Department. Bruce Fifer is the first recipient of the chair. The Kathryn Wasserman Davis Chair of Distinguished Teaching, established in 1998 by Gale and Shelby M. C. Davis in honor of his mother Kathryn Wasserman Davis, grandmother of Lansing A. Davis ’97, supports the study of East Asian language and history in recognition of the essential role that Chinese culture and economic vitality play in international affairs. Yen Liu is the first recipient of this chair.

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Traveling Exhibit of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame The Taft Library hosted the Traveling Exhibit of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame during the month of April. The mission of the Hall of Fame is “to honor and give formal public recognition to Connecticut women, past and present, who have ‘broken new ground’ or have emerged as leaders in their fields of endeavor.” The exhibit consists of 54 pieces which contain the images and biographies of Connecticut women of great achievement past and present. Included in the exhibit are women writers, legislators, suffragists, philosophers, archeologists. Ella Grasso, Katharine Hepburn, and Sarah Porter are a few of the women honored. Writer Annie Dillard will be one of this year’s inductees. “We are pleased,” said librarian Carolyn White, “that so many people joined us in celebrating these women and their extraordinary achievements and contributions as leaders and pioneers.”


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Admiral Crowe Addresses School Through DuBois Speaker Fellowship On Thursday, April 23, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at Morning Meeting through the auspices of the newly-formed Rear Admiral Raymond F. DuBois Fellowship. Admiral Crowe has had a distinguished career. A graduate of the Naval Academy, he took his master’s degree in education at Stanford and his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. His military career had many points of distinction. He served in submarines, was a naval attaché to President Eisenhower, and a senior advisor to the South Vietnamese Navy. As rear admiral, a commander of U. S. Naval Forces in the Persian Gulf, and then commander-in chief of NATO forces in Southern Europe, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Forces, the largest geographic command in the U.S. Military, and ultimately the eleventh chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appointed by President Reagan in 1985, he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs until October of 1989. Since then, he has been American ambassador to the United Kingdom and chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, while managing to author the distinguished book The Line of Fire in 1993. Ambassador Crowe has been decorated by twenty-six foreign nations, holds the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Air Force Medal, among other great American awards. Raymond DuBois ’66 helped established the fellowship in memory of his father, Rear Admiral Raymond F. DuBois. When Ray was an undergraduate at Taft, his father, an admiral at that time in the Navy, talked to the student body about the issues before us in Viet Nam. “It was a riveting speech,” said Lance Odden, “one which all of us present will remember always. It is fitting that his colleague Admiral Crowe should be the first speaker through this fellowship.” After morning meeting, Admiral Crowe met with history classes and talked with students about his experiences during the Cold War, and particularly his ground-breaking discussions with his Soviet counterpart.

The Meaning in Meeting Chaplain Michael Spencer brought a series of speakers to school this spring for Morning Meetings. The first was Professor David Bartlett, academic dean of The Divinity School at Yale University, as well as an accomplished Biblical studies scholar, professor of preaching, and an ordained Baptist minister. He offered his “Reflections on Easter” and was accompanied by the Collegium Musicum. (See Endnote, p 79.) On April 30, Rabbi Eric Polokoff from B’Nai Israel Synagogue in Woodbury shared his thoughts with the Taft community on “The Meaning of Israel” in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. The Collegium also performed. Mrs. Joyce Willig, Connecticut’s first recipient of a liver transplant, spoke the following week on “Organ Donation and Transplantation: The Gift of Life.” Michael Spencer said that in the years to come he plans to continue the practice of inviting distinguished speakers into our community to speak on topics pertaining to the religious, spiritual, and ethical life of the community. When possible, speakers are encouraged to extend their time at Taft to meet informally for discussion with students or to visit classes.

Ray DuBois ’66, Rear Admiral Crowe, and Lance Odden Taft Bulletin

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AROUND THE POND

First Climbing Competition at Taft Wall Taft 209-Berkshire 178

AP Environmental Science student Julie Feldmeier ’99 works with first graders from Baldwin School in Watertown during a field day her class planned.

First Grader Field Day AP Environmental Science students, under the direction of Bill Zuehlke, hosted an ecological field day for the entire Baldwin School first grade on May 21 at White Memorial Conservation Foundation in Litchfield. The AP class organized all of the activities for the day, which included nature walks, pond and stream studies, birds of prey activities, plant identifications, and other games and activities. The Baldwin first graders were very excited about their day in the woods. One of their teachers, Mrs. Orsini, wrote, “I can only stand back and admire the enthusiasm, dedication, and expertise that you exhibit as you have so unselfishly given of your time and talents to my first grade class this year.... Each of my students came away from White Memorial with memories of a wonderful experience.... It is truly exhilarating to hear the children tell what they learned. You’d be surprised!” Bill said he has hopes of making this an annual event. 36

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On May 6, the Taft climbing team hosted the first climbing competition ever held at Taft. The Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program climbers from the Berkshire School faced off against Taft climbers Mike Reilly, Molly Rosenman, Bino Cummings, Brooke Carleton [cover girl of the winter issue], and Ryan Burns. During eliminations, climbers attempt to climb four different routes and are awarded points based upon the highest hold reached. Mike managed to onsight (no falls without prior knowledge of moves) all four of the elimination climbs. Molly onsighted three of four, and Brooke, Bino, and Ryan two of four. The top Berkshire climber onsighted three of the four elimination climbs, falling on only the last move of the final climb. The top three climbers from each school advanced into the finals, during which the climbers were isolated so that they could not see anyone attempt the route before their turn. Again Mike managed to onsight the route for a perfect score of 87 (first place), while all other climbers fell off the route somewhere below the half way point. Brooke and Molly competed in the boys’ division. Also, Taft had all five of its climbers in the top six after the elimination rounds.


Rockwell Visiting Artists Richard Benson, dean of The School of Art at Yale University and “the world’s expert on photomechanical/photo-electronic reproduction,” gave a lecture in the Woolworth Faculty Room on Thursday, April 2. His remarks touched on the history of photography as well as his career as a photographer, MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient, and other exploits. On April 28, Bernard Chaet came to Taft as the third Rockwell Visiting Artist for the year. [Potter Elizabeth MacDonald was the first.] He gave a lecture entitled “Drawing: What it is” at Morning Meeting to the whole school, and spoke again in the afternoon about works of the Great Masters. During the day he gave critiques in painting classes taught by Jennifer Glenn Wuerker ’83. Mr. Chaet taught art at Yale University beginning in 1951 and is the author of three books on materials and drawing. He retired from Yale in 1990 as the William Leffingwell Professor of Painting. He also received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teaching of Art Award in 1986. Mr. Chaet is a painter of modernist landscapes and exhibited his work at the M. B. Modern Gallery in New York City in April. The Rockwell Endowment for Visiting Artists at Taft was originally proposed by veteran art teacher Gail Wynne and created by brothers Sherburne B. Rockwell, Jr. ’41 and H.P. Davis Rockwell ’44.

Visiting artist Bernard Chaet gives a critique in the art studio as part of the Rockwell Visiting Artists program.

Alex Nagy, right, with Señor Antonio Moya Tudela from the Majadahonda Conservatory.

Student Musicians From Spain A group of 35 musicians from the Majadahonda Conservatory of Madrid, Spain, came to Taft for several days in April. Together with the Chamber Ensemble they gave a concert in Waterbury as well as a concert in Bingham. They also gave a series of lectures on Spanish art, poetry, nationalism, and Spanish flamenco. They visited some Spanish classes and participated in other school activities. Jen Ferrara, a senior violinist, told The Papyrus, “It is really interesting playing with these people from Spain because not only do we experience a part of Spain but they also teach us to play music better.” The Spanish group was very interested in Taft and in finding out more about the workings of an American private school. Upon their return, their headmaster wrote, “For our pupils, and of course for all the faculty, the few days spent in Watertown in the marvelous facilities of The Taft School will be unforgettable.” The visit was organized by Taft’s director of instrumental music, Alex Nagy. Taft Bulletin

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AROUND THE POND

Malcolm Lee Speaks at Minority Leadership Conference On April 4 and 5, Taft’s Native and African American and Latino Student Alliance [NAALSA] students hosted a leadership conference for students of color. Students kicked off the weekend with a D.J. dance. Several peer schools brought students from their multicultural groups; nearly 100 attendees were on campus for the dance or Sunday workshops. On Sunday, NAALSA welcomed independent filmmaker Malcolm Lee to give a presentation and screening of his film Morningside Prep, which has won numerous awards, including Warner Bros. post-production award for excellence in filmmaking. The film depicts the issues faced by an African-American student at a predominately white prep school as he attempts to negotiate living within two very different worlds; it is provocative and

challenges the viewer to examine his or her own stereotypes and assumptions. The film sparked great conversations, but the students moved beyond the film to discuss issues of race relations, multicultural education, inter-racial dating, and more. Eyram Simpri ’99 said the leadership weekend “was the most productive thing NAALSA has done in my three years at Taft.... [It was] a time for minority students to get together to talk about issues at their [respective] schools.” Lower mid Khayriyyah Muhammad said, “I thought [Taft] was a secluded school, but now I know that there are others that feel the way I do.” Shaun DePina ’99 added, “It was important because students of color from boarding schools got together and found out there are common issues. We talked about solutions [to the problems we experience].”

According to NAALSA advisor Mennette DuBose San-Lee ’87, “The sentiment that was repeated most often was that this weekend allowed the students of color to meet others who share similar experiences on their respective campuses. It was an opportunity to network, to form a larger community, and to understand that they are not alone. Many times adolescents feel that their experiences are unique to them, which may cause a sense of isolation. This can be particularly true for students of color when they are obviously in the minority on campus and have few, or in some cases, no faculty with whom they can readily identify. This weekend gave the students an opportunity to come together,” she said, “not only to socialize, but to really talk about what their experiences are like as a minority on a prep school campus.”

Big Band Diva Jazzes Up Bingham Diva, an exceptionally talented 15-member, all-female, hardswinging big band, came to romp and stomp on Sunday, April 19. “Steeped in the history of jazz but infused with the progressive harmonies of today,” the band is self-described as “grooving in the classic traditions of Buddy Rich, Count Basie, and Woody Herman orchestras.”

Also known as “No Man’s Band,” Diva is comprised of professional female musicians with years of experience in other big bands, and in other genres of music. Led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, the band performed its first concert in March 1993 and has since released two CDs: Something’s Coming and Leave it to Diva. Diva plays contemporary, mainstream big band jazz arranged by band members and renowned musicians. Among its many concerts, Diva has played (a sold-out performance) in Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at The Academy of Music with Peter Nero and the Philadelphia Pops. They have also made their mark internationally, performing in Italy, Finland, and the Caribbean. Appearing twice on CNN and featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Diva has been praised by critics and reviewers. According to The Jazz Times, “The band punched, kicked, roared, and swung with a disciplined abandon and an unaffected joie de vivre.” The Hartford Courant noted, “Diva’s ensemble sound crackles with clarity, precision and power.... The all-female band strikes a mighty blow against the sexist stereotype that women can’t cut it in the male-dominated jazz world.” Source: Taft Press Club

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AROUND THE POND

Upper Mid Awards The Dartmouth Book Prize Intellectual leadership and postive contribution to extracurricular life. Jocelyn Elizabeth Green The Holy Cross College Book Award Sincere concern for others and a responsible attitude in all endeavors. Mythri Jegathesan The Smith Book Award Academic achievement, leadership qualities, and concern for others. Marcella Therese Szablewicz The Brown University Award Ability in English expression, both written and spoken. Seth Ian Caffrey The Bauch and Lomb Honorary Science Award Outstanding work in science. David James Morris Laura Ives Stevens The Hamilton College Prize Excellence in communicating ideas and raising the level of class discussion. Seth Ian Caffrey

The David Edward Goldberg Memorial Award Outstanding independent work: A solo dramatization of three women of 20th century China. Marcella Therese Szablewicz The Michael’s Jewelers Citizenship Award Contribution through volunteer service in the community. Mara Gabriela Ardon Marjorie Miller Barefoot Robert Keyes Poole Fellows Upper mids Zach Bernard, Ben Cirillo, Alix Connors, Sara Lin, Bea Ogden, and Elizabeth Petrelli, and middlers Emily Blanchard, Emily Kaplan, Irina Magidina, Krissy Scurry, Emily Smith, and Jason Tucker have received Poole Fellowships for summer volunteer projects. Source: Taft Press Club

All-State Music Competition Clarinetist Tim Carter ’98 and tenor Adam Krug ’98 both attended the Connecticut All-State Music Festival. Both scored very high in their auditions: Adam in the top 10 percent of all tenors who auditioned throughout the state, and Tim in the top 1 percent of all clarinetists. According to Arts Department Head Bruce Fifer, “Tim is probably one of the best clarinetists to come along in the state for a while, especially if you combine this All-State honor with his recent acceptance to Julliard School of Music in New York, as well as to every other conservatory he auditioned for. He was offered the only clarinet spot available at the Cleveland Institute of Music.” The All-State Festival took place at Norwalk High School in early April.

Corrections: Missing from the last issue [Around the Pond: “Testing, Testing”] were the names of Alexander Nagy, Taft’s director of instrumental music, who is also a reader for the College Board’s AP program, and Jim Mooney, who was a former reader of the Physics exam. Our list was far from complete. Research in the archives has turned up the names of Taft faculty who read for the College Board as far back as the 1920s.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal Excellence in mathematics and sciences. Sonia Chi Man Cheng The Harvard Book Prize High scholarship and character. David James Morris The Xerox Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding work in humanities and social sciences. Tyler Geoffrey Doyle The John T. Reardon Prize in United States History Best essay in history: The role of the media in the rise of McCarthyism. Julie Mather Feldmeier

Bill and Christy Camp help the Taft crew dedicate its newest boats in honor of Christy Camp and in memory of Rolf Sandvoss, father of Steve Sandvoss ’98. Taft Bulletin

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sport Boys’ Tennis The boys’ tennis team finished the season with a 7-8 record and a fourth place finish at the New England Tournament. After some disappointing losses, the strong finish at New Englands—one of Taft’s highest in the past 15 years—was an encouraging sign. Throughout the season the team was led by the powerful strokes of Tyne Brownlow ’99 at #1 and the relentless drive of senior captain Kris FitzPatrick at #2. This was perhaps the strongest 1-2 punch Taft has enjoyed in many years: their combined singles record for the season was 23-3, and both won their respective Founders’ League titles—the second year in a row for

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FitzPatrick. At the big New England tournament, Tyne finished fourth in the #1 draw, and Kris closed out his remarkable tennis career at Taft with a stirring come-from-behind 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory in the #2 draw. In addition, Kris also earned the Founders’ League sportsmanship trophy, and there could be no worthier recipient. According to coach Peter Frew, “Kris has an extraordinary dedication to the game. He is the most committed player I have seen, and he is an impeccably honest competitor.”

Girls’ Tennis An early 4-3 win over a powerful Miss Porter’s team set the stage for a spectacular season for the girls’ tennis team. In the end, their 12-2 record was good enough for second place in the league. For the past four years, the team has been led by standout Elizabeth Merck ’98 in the #1 spot. Merck is the first to play four straight years in the top spot for Taft, and this year, finally, she was selected as an All-League player. The team should continue their winning ways as they return nearly all of their top players, including a number of talented middlers. At the core of next year’s squad will be the duo of Jessup Sheen ’00 and captain-elect Lindsay Tarasuk ’99, who were undefeated all season as the #1 doubles team.

Softball The softball team had a rollercoaster season, ending at the peak with stirring wins over league leader Hopkins and rival Hotchkiss. After a slow start—3 wins in their first 8 games—the team went 5-1 over the final six games to finish with 8 wins and 6 losses. Among those 5 victories was one of the most exciting games in recent memory against a very strong Hopkins team. At 12-1, Hopkins came into the game as the leader in Western New England, but the game was a closely-fought battle from the first inning. Hopkins evened the score in the top of the seventh, but Taft came back for the 12-11 win when senior captain Jenny Ferrara singled in the winning run with one out. The Big Red then went on to crush Hotchkiss in their final game, 20-13, to end the season on a high note.

Girls’ Track The girls’ track team enjoyed another strong season with a 6-2 record and a fifth place finish at the Division 1 New England Meet. Senior captain Kristen Kawecki led the team all year and placed in both hurdle races at the New Englands, fifth in the 100m hurdles and second in the 300m hurdles. However, this was a team loaded with young talent, notably


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freshman Chrissie Murphy, who ran undefeated all year in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m, and placed first in the 800m and second in the 400m at the New Englands. The 4x400m team of Karla Timmons ’00, Heather Lindenman ’00, Falguni Mehta ’99, and Murphy also set a school record in placing second with a time of 4:12. With most of the team returning, including captain-elect Nicole Robertson, the girls’ track team should be a leading contender next year.

Boys’ Track After losing seven of the top ten scorers from last year’s squad, the boys’ track team looked to fill some holes and did so with steadily improving performances through the season. Though the team won only one of their last three meets, they put together their best team efforts in nearly every event versus league leaders Loomis and Choate. The highlight of the season came in between those two losses, a convincing 91-54 victory over rival Hotchkiss—a meet that looked to be close before the start. The team finished with a 5-5 record and a seventh place at the New England Meet. At that meet, senior sprinters Michael Jordan and Ernest Kwarteng placed third and second in the 100m and 200m respectively. And the season ended on an exciting note when the 4x400m team of Chuck

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Crimmins ’99, Mark Deschenes ’99, Kwarteng ’98 and Nick Kyme ’99 set a school record of 3:28 to place fourth in the final event. Captain-elect Crimmins set the one other school record of the season in the 300m low hurdles and will look to improve on that mark next year.

Girls’ Lacrosse Before the season began, coach Jean Maher knew that she had a talented group, but she did not imagine that this year’s girls’ lacrosse team would live up to and beyond all expectations. In the end, this tough, spirited team left all others in their wake on the way to an undefeated season (13-0), the Founders’ League Championship, and the Western New England Championship. Most of the opponents were no match for the allaround talent of this team, which scored 205 goals while giving up only 84 goals. Senior All-American goalie Liz McCarthy anchored the defense with a .680 save percentage, and captain-elect Emily Townsend and senior All-American Sarah Otto led at the other end of the field with 45 goals and 40 goals respectively. There were a few close games, however, and the highlights of the season were a hard-fought 12-10 overtime win over Andover and an impressive come-frombehind victory over arch-rival Greenwich Academy—always one of the top teams

in New England. The Big Red got off to a slow start in that game, falling behind 2-8 late in the first half before storming back for a convincing 17-11 victory. This perfect season was a fitting close to a phenomenal run by a team that has not lost a game in three years; some of the seniors on this team have a combined record of 42 wins, 0 losses, and 2 ties over those three years—a record that resembles the undefeated streaks of the girls’ soccer teams of the late ’80s and the girls’ ice hockey teams of the early ’90s.

Boys’ Lacrosse With some key injuries and a couple of tough losses early on, the boys’ lacrosse team seemed to be fighting an uphill battle all season. The team dropped an 11-9 heartbreaker to eventual league champion Westminster, yet coach Jol Everett saw his squad come together under adversity. They closed out the season with two solid wins, 8-4 over Trinity Pawling and 10-7 over Kingswood. According to Everett, “This was a team that played with a lot of heart, especially when things could have fallen apart.” The offensive attack was led by senior Clay Moorhead, who finished his career with 70 goals, sixth on the all-time Taft list. Taft’s defense, again the strength of the team, was anchored by two-year standout Chris Hills in goal and captain-elect Brad D’Arco ’99, who was a Western New England All-Star selection. Taft Bulletin

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out of the 21 teams at the K.I.T, making up for some of the inconsistencies earlier in the season.” In fact, Taft’s team score of 407—their low score for the year—placed them within 5 strokes of second place. Senior Jay Mann also had a career day, posting a season best round of 75 for fourth place overall out of 126 golfers. Throughout the spring, senior Andrew McNerney’s steady play earned him AllLeague status, and he finished with an 85 stroke average for the entire season.

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Girls’ Crew It was a strong season in the smaller races but a disappointing one in the big regattas for the girls’ crew team this spring. At 9-3 and 5-1 respectively, the first and second boats posted impressive records for the regular season races. Yet, some bad luck and stiff competition prevented them from advancing past the first round at the Pomfret Regatta and the New England Championships. According to coach Al Reiff, “We won the races we should have but couldn’t quite pick off any of the leading teams.” Throughout the season, the team was led by three highly competitive, accomplished rowers: Carolyn Starrett ’98 was a strong stroke for the #1 boat, Courtney Camp ’98 was the consummate team captain, and Annie Stover ’98 was perhaps the most improved as the stroke of the #2 boat.

Golf Before the season began, the golf team expected more than their 11-8 record suggests, but they did save their best play for the most important tournament, the Kingswood Invitational. According to coach Jack Kenerson, “We finally played up to our level of talent in placing fifth 42

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At the close of this phenomenal baseball season, coach Mark Davis summed up the secret of his team’s success in two words, “Character and heart.” The team faced a rough start to the season, losing key personnel and struggling through continued injuries, but in the end the Big Red went 10-2 to capture the Colonial League Championship for the first time in four years. At the center of their great season were two emotionally charged, hard-fought wins over league rival Avon Old Farms; both games were won, 4-3 and 6-5, in the final inning following spectacular defensive plays to keep the games within reach. Then, on a beautiful Alumni Weekend, the league

championship came down to one game versus a talented Choate team. Taft was overwhelming in the end, breaking open a close game with 19 total hits for a 10-5 victory and the league title. It was a fitting end to a great season, including a number of heroic moments in front of a throng of appreciative Taft students, faculty, and alumni. Senior Brent Kozel’s late-game double and RBI was one such moment, for Kozel had missed several games after having his jaw shattered in practice. But, with an extra protective batting helmet, Kozel delivered a crucial blow to Choate’s chances, beginning the surge of runs over the final innings. According to coach Davis, senior leadership was at the center of this team’s triumphs. Seniors Chris Fields, Rob Palleria, Jonathan Marlow, and Charles Cummins also played important roles, and PG Jonathan Lord was the “go-to” man on the mound all season. Lord started both games against Avon and the final against Choate, and finished with a 5-0 league record while batting .372 at the plate. Next year’s team will be led by two of this year’s strongest hitters, Jed Richard ’99 and Devin Haran ’99, who batted .500 and .386 respectively. —Steve Palmer


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Spring Big Red Scoreboard Baseball [Colonial League Champions]

Softball

Head Coach: ...................................................... Mark Davis Captain: ....................................................... Chris Fields ’98 Record: ......................................................................... 13-5 Stone Award:........................... Chris Fields, Brent Kozel ’98 Captain-Elect: ............................................... Ben Cirillo ’99

Head Coach: ............................................... Steve Schieffelin Captain: .................................................... Jenny Ferrara ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 8-6 Softball Award: ............................................... Jenny Ferrara Captains-Elect: Samantha Page ’99, Catherine Schieffelin ’99

Girls’ Crew

Boys’ Tennis

Head Coach: ............................................................ Al Reiff Captain: ................................................ Courtney Camp ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 9-3 Crew Award: ............................................... Courtney Camp Captain-Elect: ....................................... Whitney Morris ’99

Coach: ................................................................. Peter Frew Captains: ............. Kris FitzPatrick ’98, Charlie Spalding ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 7-8 Man Tennis Award: ...................................... Kris FitzPatrick Captains-Elect: .......... Charlie Baker ’00, Will Cleveland ’99

Golf

Girls’ Tennis

Coach: ........................................................... Jack Kenerson Captain: ...................................................John Frechette ’98 Record: ......................................................................... 11-8 Galeski Golf Award: .............................. Brian Leibowitz ’98 Captain-Elect: ........................................... David Morris ’99

Coach: .............................................................. W. T. Miller Captains: .................... Elizabeth Merck ’98, Justine Rice ’98 Record: ......................................................................... 12-2 Gould Tennis Award: .................................. Lindsay Tarasuk Captains-Elect: ...........Lauren Chu ’99, Lindsay Tarasuk ’99

Boys’ Lacrosse

Boys’ Track

Head Coach: ........................................................ Jol Everett Captains: ...................... Chris Hills ’98, Clay Moorhead ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 5-8 Odden Lacrosse Award: ...................................... Chris Hills Captain-Elect: ............................................ Brad D’Arco ’99

Head Coach: .................................................. Steve McCabe Captains: ................ Onaje Crawford ’98, Gordon Faux ’98, Matt Johnson ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 5-5 Captain-Elect: .................................... Charles Crimmins ’99

Girls’ Lacrosse

Girls’ Track

[Western New England and Founders’ League Champions]

Head Coach: .................................................. Steve McCabe Captain: ................................................ Kristen Kawecki ’98 Record: ........................................................................... 6-2 Beardsley Track Award: ............................... Kristen Kawecki Captain-Elect: ..................................... Nicole Robertson ’99

Coach: ............................................................... Jean Maher Captains: ................ Sarah Graham ’98, Addie Strumolo ’98 Record: ......................................................................... 13-0 Wandelt Lacrosse Award: .... Sarah Graham, Addie Strumolo Captains-Elect: ..... Samantha Hall ’00, Emily Townsend ’99

Team schedules will be available on the web after September 1. Scores and coaches’ commentaries will be posted after the first contest. Simply visit http://www.taftsports.com. Taft Bulletin

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—By David Bartlett I Here’s what we know. A child named Yeshua ben Yosef was born to a woman named Myryam in what turns out to be about the year 4 BC or four years before the common era of Christians and Jews. Because the earliest books about Yeshua were written in Greek people usually know him by his Greek name, which we call Jesus—and people usually know his mother by her Greek name, which we call Mary. Jesus grew up in Nazareth which was really at the outskirts of Palestine. When he was a young man he was associated with a prophet named John who was famous for condemning social injustice and for living a rather weird lifestyle— dressing in animal skins and eating bugs and honey. When people wanted to change their lives and become more just and upright they often came to John, who took them into the Jordan River and baptized them, dipped them down into the water and raised them up again. One day John baptized Jesus, and not long after that two things happened. John was arrested and killed as a rabble rouser, and Jesus set out on his own. Whatever else he was, Jesus was also a prophet, and he must have known when he heard news of John’s execution that he would not live a long life himself. As a prophet, Jesus called people to a radical devotion to God, a devotion that meant being less devoted to both political and religious leaders than people might otherwise have been. Both Jesus’ preaching and some of his anti-government actions got him into real trouble, and after he had been active for only a few years, he was arrested. He had gone to Jerusalem for Passover, celebrated a Seder on Thursday night, and later that night was taken by the police. Palestine was occupied by Roman 44

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troops, and the Roman leader was Pontius Pilate, who has a reputation in Roman sources as being something of a tyrant. Anyway, after Jesus was arrested Pilate tried him and condemned him to death. Like many people who had offended the Roman authorities, Jesus was crucified. That is, he was probably both tied and nailed to a cross. A cross was a vertical pole with a horizontal board across the top. Crucified people were put up in such a way that eventually they smothered to death under the weight of their own bodies. Today lots of people wear crosses as jewelry, but it’s worth remembering that the cross was really the first century equivalent of the electric chair—not pretty at all.

II Jesus was killed on a Friday, and on the next Sunday something happened that his followers would always remember. There are really two sets of stories about what happened on the Sunday. One set of stories stars the apostles who were Jesus’ closest followers. According to this story Jesus appeared to some of them, that is they saw him alive on that third day after his death. The first one to see him alive was apparently Simon, whose nickname was Peter, which is Greek for Rocky. At least from that day on Peter was one of the most important of the apostles because everyone remembered that he was the first to see Jesus after Jesus had died.

In those stories it is not altogether clear whether Jesus was supposed to have a body with flesh and bones when he appeared or whether what the apostles saw was more like a vision of Jesus. What we do know is that the apostles believed it really was Jesus they saw. The other set of stories stars the women who were also Jesus’ followers, but who did not become as famous as the men. In those days it was often the case that women did equal work but didn’t get equal glory for the work they did. At any rate, there are several stories about how the women, several of them named Mary, came to the tomb where Jesus had been buried on Sunday morning. They wanted to complete the hard business of embalming his body, and of course they also wanted to grieve for him. According to these stories, when the women got to the tomb they found that it was empty, and that a large stone that had been placed over the door of the tomb had been rolled away. In one version of the story angels talked to the women; in another version of the story it was a young man. In either case there was an announcement: “Jesus is risen.” The women rushed to tell the apostles, some of whom didn’t believe them. That Sunday when the tomb was empty or when people saw the vision of Jesus—or when both those things happened—that was the first Easter.

“‘Grace’ was Paul’s word for the absolutely unexpected, unpredictable, amazing, and wonderful way that somebody’s life can be turned altogether around.”


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III It is hard to get the details of the story absolutely straight. It may be that both sets of stories are equally true. Some saw visions and some found an empty tomb. What is indisputably true is that the lives both of the apostles and of the women changed on that Sunday. Friday and Saturday they were sure that Jesus was dead and everything he stood for had been lost. The men had already headed for the hills and their old jobs; the women who were braver had stayed longer but there was no doubt that they would soon be heading home, too. By Sunday night they were sure Jesus was alive and most of them would never head home again. They would scoot all over the Roman Empire telling everyone who would listen how important Jesus had been as a prophet—and claiming that he was still alive and would be present with people who believed in him and in the God who sent him.

IV There is one more thing those early Christians believed. They believed that since Jesus had risen from the dead, he was alive forever. Sometimes they said he was set loose in the world. Sometimes they said his spirit was set loose in the world. What they believed was that not only had he had the power to inspire and change people in his short ministry from the year 26 to the Year 29, he had power to inspire and change people still—in the year 51 and presumably in the year 451 and 1951 and on and on. And there are some amazing stories of people being changed and thinking that it was Jesus who changed them. Paul of Tarsus lived in the first century of our era, and he didn’t like Christians at all, nor did he like what he heard about Jesus. In fact Paul disliked Christians so much that he rode around like a kind of first century sheriff trying to round them

up and heard them off to prison for being disturbers of the peace. One day when Paul was heading off on just such a round-up of Christian suspects, he saw a bright light, a light so bright that it blinded him and threw him from his horse. Then he heard a voice that called his name. When he asked the voice who it was, the voice said “Jesus.” When Paul asked the voice what he wanted, the voice said he wanted Paul to stop persecuting Christians and to join them. To become part of that community of faith and to honor Jesus. That was Paul’s Easter. And for whatever reason, Paul was convinced. His entire life changed that day in the most surprising and lasting way. Instead of chasing down Christians, Paul became a leader of Christians and spent the rest of his life encouraging others to join him. One way Paul talked about what happened to him was to talk about the Risen Lord who revealed himself to Paul. Another way Paul talked about what happened to him was to talk about “grace.” “Grace” was Paul’s word for the absolutely unexpected, unpredictable, amazing, and wonderful way that somebody’s life can be turned altogether around. When Paul said that grace was everywhere he meant that since the resurrection Jesus still had the power to surprise people and turn them around in the most amazing way.

V Seventeen hundred years after Paul there was another traveling man named John Newton. Paul scurried around the Middle East trying to capture Christians. John Newton sailed back and forth across the Atlantic carrying newly-captured slaves from Africa to the American colonies. As far as we can tell, the fact that he ran a slave ship never bothered John Newton’s conscience one bit, and if he ever had a thought about God or about Jesus we

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don’t know what that thought was. Then one day there was a terrible storm at sea, and John Newton was quite sure that the ship was going to be wrecked and everybody on it die, including himself. So he prayed to God in Jesus’ name, and he said, “If you really are a good God and if there really is such a thing as your grace, save me, surprise me, and I’ll turn around, too. I’ll give up the slave trade.” The storm stopped, and the ship landed safely, and that was Newton’s Easter. John Newton not only gave up the slave trade, he became one of Britain’s leading abolitionists, working very hard to bring slavery to an end. John Newton wrote a song about the way in which his life turned around; it was his tribute to his belief in Easter, to his belief that Jesus, who showed up and changed people’s lives in the first century, was still showing up and changing people’s lives in the eighteenth century. Whether we believe Newton was right about that or not, we can acknowledge that there was a huge change in his life and that he wrote a great song about that change. Amazing grace, How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found Was blind but now I see. Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come. ’Tis grace that brought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home. That’s why Christians celebrate Easter; because they think that through Jesus God still brings us home. Professor David Bartlett is academic dean of The Divinity School at Yale University, as well as an accomplished Biblical studies scholar, professor of preaching, and an ordained Baptist minister. He offered his “Reflections on Easter” last April and was accompanied by the Collegium Musicum. Taft Bulletin

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Summer 1998 Taft Bulletin  
Summer 1998 Taft Bulletin