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BU L L E T I N SUMMER•1999 Volume 69

Number 4

SPOTLIGHT His First Draft ............................................................ 2 Patrick Kerney ’95 Joins the NFL

By Andrew Everett ’88 The Natural ................................................................ 7 Katey Stone ’84 Coaches Crimson Hockey to a National Championship

By Steve Palmer It’s Her Label and She’ll Sign Who She Wants To ...... 11 Bettina Richards ’83 gets high praise for her independent record label

By J. Pareles, The New York Times Calling America to Conscience ................................. 14 Commencement remarks

By Headmaster Lance R. Odden Surfing 101 ............................................................... 19 Teachers take their classes to the Web and beyond

By Julie Reiff Alumni Weekend ...................................................... 48 Photo album of a few memorable days in May

DEPARTMENTS Alumni in the News .................................................. 20 Alumni elections and awards, Japanese pen pals, baseball connections, champions, and timeless trips...

Around the Pond ...................................................... 25 Seminars completed, faculty happenings, visiting artists, new monitors, and ISP turns 35...

Sport ......................................................................... 31 Spring wrap up by Peter Frew ’75, Big Red Scoreboard

Chip Spencer ’56, with the help of the Litchfield Hills Pipes and Drums, guides the Alumni Day parade.

A Fund to Remember ............................................... 35 Parents break new records; McGee ’89 to head Annual Fund

Endnote .................................................................... 37 By Christy Everett ’90 On the Cover 1908 Medal winner and headmonitor Ned Smith marks the end of the millennium with the class stone at this year’s graduation ceremonies. 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@TaftSchool.org. 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.TaftSchool.org or www.TaftSports.com. The password to access alumni or faculty e-mail addresses—or to add your own—is


HIS FIRST


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Patrick Kerney Joins the NFL By Andrew Everett ’88

While Taft has long been known for producing MDs, PhDs and CPAs, the class of 1995’s Patrick Kerney is making the school’s first foray into the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons selected Kerney, a three-sport star at Taft, with the 30th pick of the first round of the 1999 NFL draft. That selection marked an amazing four-year run that saw Kerney go from a lacrosse recruit and walk-on football player at the University of Virginia to a first-team All-American defensive end and a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation’s best defensive player. b Patrick Kerney’s combination of size, speed, and hard work caught the eye of UVA coaches. Kerney became a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He tied the Virginia single-season sack record with 15 in 1998. Photo by Pete Emerson/UVA

DRAFT

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“Because of his work ethic, What makes Kerney’s success story ironic is that he came to Taft to further his dream of a professional hockey career. “He persuaded me to send him there to make it to the N-H-L, that’s the National Hockey League,” said Kerney’s father, John. To compound the irony, football— his future career choice—was not even an area of interest. “When he got to Taft, he was prepared to play hockey and lacrosse,” John Kerney said. But he was told he had to play a fall sport, which he wasn’t prepared really to do at all, because he was such a scrawny kid.” Kerney, who now packs 270 pounds onto his 6-foot-6 frame, was more than 100 pounds lighter when he arrived in Watertown. He was a gangly 6-foot-4 and 160 pounds, which prompted his

Watch for No. 97 The Falcons‘ first televised game, against Tennessee, of the upcoming season will be broadcast on August 27 at 8 PM on ESPN. Three other Falcons contests are scheduled to air on ABC’s Monday Night Football throughout the season.

friends to label him “Beanpole.” That physique also left the Taft football coaches unimpressed. They cut Kerney from the varsity and only brought him back up after a starring role in the first JV game. “He’s been kind of a walk-on all of his life,” his father said. “I guess Patrick had this really great game at defensive end and they brought him up. He didn’t even want to be playing football. He started every game, though, for the three years he was there after that.” The major reason Kerney became first a solid player and then a standout was that he began forging a new physique in Taft’s weight room, a place that became a second home during his three years in Watertown. “I can’t picture it now, but I certainly must have been pretty skinny,” the now-massive Kerney said with a laugh. “Them calling me ‘Beanpole’ got me into lifting pretty fast.” He had an “absolute belief that you could transform yourself,” explained Taft lacrosse coach Jol Everett, who saw Kerney beef up to 225 pounds by his senior season to become the biggest, strongest, and fastest player on his team. “He has grown into quite a body,” is the way his father puts it. “God gave him his height, but not necessarily his broad shoulders and his weight.” To a man, Kerney’s coaches at Taft say the dedication he brought to sculpting his body in the weight room was

matched by his efforts every second in practices and games. “Because of his work ethic, he was a leader on the team,” assistant lacrosse coach Steve McKibben said. “And that was something that didn’t just come up when you were running sprints at the end of practice—it was every single drill that he was going hard. And, as a result, he raised the level of play.” “If you were not going hard in every drill and you came up against Kerney,” McKibben added, laughing, “you were going to get killed.” This combination of size, speed, and hard work was what caught the eye of Dom Starsia, the University of Virginia lacrosse coach, at a camp held at Williams College after Kerney’s upper-mid year. “I remember him blotting out the sun in that camp,” Starsia said with a laugh. “He came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I want to introduce myself. My name is Patrick Kerney, and I’m very interested in Virginia.’ And I remember—the story I tell anyway—that I just responded by saying, “Look, son, I don’t know who you are, but we are very interested in you coming to the University of Virginia!’” Starsia proved interested enough to offer Kerney a partial scholarship, and when Kerney expressed an interest in walking on to the football team, Starsia also promised to pass along game tapes to the football staff. Their response was basically, “Thanks, but no thanks; we don’t think you can play at this level.”

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he was a leader on the team.” When Kerney showed up for preseason, though, their tune quickly changed. “When I got back from vacation in late August,” Starsia said. “I was hoping that Patrick would be in my office whimpering and crying and trying to get out of football practice. Instead, the football coaches came in and said, ‘Dom, I think he’s the best prospect in the class.’” Starsia knew right there that football’s gain would be his loss. Kerney honored his commitment to the lacrosse program for two seasons, but eventually the need to attend spring football—not to mention the possibility of a full scholarship—pulled him to the gridiron full time. As at Taft, Kerney’s unquenchable desire and incredible work ethic made an immediate impression on the UVA football coaches. “The thing I liked so much about him is that he was starved to death to learn football,” said Ty Smith, Virginia’s defensive line coach. “When he realized he was beginning to learn some things, his hunger for learning more was just tremendous.” “Generally, when other guys were standing around waiting for practice to start, he would already be out on the field and get in 10 minutes of work before practice actually started. And if we were in a part of practice where we were working on special teams or something, he would go over and work on individual skills.” As those skills developed, Kerney

“If the Falcons need any more convincing about Kerney’s character, they just need to ask any of the nine Taft friends—[standing] Tyler Tremaine, Peter Becker, Jonathan Evans, Patrick, Trevor Hanger, Jon Wright, Jamie McVicar, [front] George Cahill, Tony Pasquariello, and Brad Demong—who joined him for draft weekend.”

became a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He tied the Virginia single-season sack record with 15 in 1998, including three-sack games against Maryland and Florida State. His performance earned him firstteam All America honors, consideration for the Bronko Nagurski Award, and high praise from his coaches and NFL scouts alike.

“He will have left a legacy here for other players to chase in terms of total dedication to trying to improve himself,” Smith said. “The way I see Patrick, he’s just now learned how to play the game so his real development is ahead of him. He compares most favorably with a lot of (NFL) guys.” The Falcons, who felt fortunate to still have Kerney around when they se-

for other players to chase trying to improve himself.” Taft Bulletin

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lected at No. 30, couldn’t agree more. “I think that we got a quality player,” Atlanta head coach Dan Reeves said. “He has a tremendous motor. He goes full speed all of the time.” Added Falcons defensive line coach Bill Kollar, “I didn’t think there was any chance we’d get the guy, but we’re really pleased that we did. I think he’s a heck of a kid. You can’t get enough guys that are not only good football players, but good individuals—good human beings that are enjoyable to be around. And

sent the group an e-mail telling them how much it would mean to him to have his Taft buddies in attendance. He may have become one of the highest-profile players in college football, but Kerney remains true to the friends that know him best. “Any time my head starts swelling a little bit and I start thinking that I deserve all this stuff, I look back at my senior year at Taft and think where I was and where I’ve gotten to,” he said. “It brings me right back down to earth.

started making plans to get together again for his first game as a Falcon.” For the recent college grads, there will likely be a lot of talk at that game about entering the “real world” and starting careers. Kerney, though, will be the only Taftie entering truly uncharted waters. Andrew Everett ’88 lives in Seattle, Washington, and writes for NFL.com. He is the son of Jol and Susan Everett, who retired this year.

“I think that we got a quality player. He has a tremendous motor. He goes full speed all of the time.” that’s the type of guy he seems to be.” If the Falcons need any more convincing about Kerney’s character, they just need to ask any of the nine Taft friends— Tony Pasquariello, George Cahill, Jonathan Evans, Trevor Hanger, Tyler Tremaine, Brad Demong, Brad Wright, Jamie McVicar, and Peter Becker—who joined him for draft weekend. “It was a celebration of Patrick’s accomplishments,” said Demong, who drove to Charlottesville from Burlington, Vermont, with Tremaine. “I was excited just to be there and be part of it.” Demong was initially concerned he might get in the way during what was sure to be a busy weekend, but Kerney 6

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Guys who know me real well know that I’m just a goofball; they always remind me that I’m a dork at heart.” Demong and Evans disagreed with that assessment, saying, instead, that Kerney is a gentleman at heart. “The day after we got back from Charlottesville, he sent us all another email thanking us for sharing in one of the biggest days of his life,” Demong said. “He had been busy meeting with the team and media in Atlanta, but he still found time to thank us.” Added Evans, “After he got drafted, he wanted a photo of everyone in the backyard. He spent the rest of the day with a perpetual smile on his face, and we all

Honored At UVa’s graduation ceremonies in May, Patrick received the John Acree Memorial Trophy, “given to that athlete who exemplified the highest qualities of leadership, cooperative spirit, and unselfish service in the interest of athletics at the University of Virginia.”


“The Natural”

ECAC Coach of the Year, Katey Stone ’84, Coaches Harvard to a National Championship By Steve Palmer Photographs by Justin Ide, Boston Herald


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aft has had its share of “naturals,” those uniquely gifted athletes who dominate a season or succeed in any athletic arena, much like Roy Hobbs, in Bernard Malamud’s classic baseball novel The Natural. One of the most gifted is Harvard’s ECAC Coach of the Year, Katey Stone ’84. Unlike Hobbs, who loses sight of his ideals, the simple concepts of dedication, persistence, passion, and team loyalty have defined Katey’s personal success as an athlete and her current rise as one of the nation’s leading college coaches. These are ideals generated at home, nurtured at Taft, and realized over the years as a coach on her own, and they were a very important part of what was an unforgettable experience for her players at Harvard this year. Katey has enjoyed many personal triumphs as an athlete [see below], but none have stacked up to her experience this year as the head coach of the NCAA Champion Harvard women’s ice hockey team. This past winter the Harvard women followed Coach Stone’s formula to set a new standard for success in college hockey, finishing with a 33-1 overall record, the coveted ECAC and NCAA championships, and a number 1 ranking in the nation. It was not easy, as both championships were decided by one goal in tense overtime games; but, in the end, Katey Stone and her team stood at the pinnacle of college hockey with a record of success that places them side-by-side with the most accomplished teams in Harvard

history. In fact, Harvard boasts only three NCAA championship teams: men’s hockey in 1988-89, women’s lacrosse in 1990, and now women’s ice hockey.

The Family Legacy The Stone legacy goes back over three decades at Taft. Few alumni have not heard of her father, Larry, a legendary baseball and football coach and long-time athletic director, or her sister, and two brothers, who were just as athletic as Katey herself. Katey came to Taft with athletic ideals already in place, having grown up in the midst of athletic success. All four Stone kids enjoyed significant athletic careers at Taft and beyond: younger brother Jimmy ’83 went on to play baseball at North Carolina and is

Success is Written in Stone Katey’s own honors as 1999 ECAC Coach of the Year, as well as the team’s ECAC title and national championship, are just another installment in the legacy of success that started long before her coaching career. Winning the Makepeace Award as Taft’s outstanding female athlete, Katey earned eleven varsity letters in four years, playing field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Captaining all three teams, she set new standards for scoring on the ice and led the 1983-84 ice hockey team to an undefeated 17-0-1 record. She went on to be part of three national championship teams in ice hockey and lacrosse at UNH and was captain for both teams.

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currently the athletic director at Blair Academy; older brother Mike ’74 played professional baseball and now coaches the team at UMASS; and sister Kelly ’76 went on to play three varsity sports at UNH and then to coach many champions at Hotchkiss. Katey vividly recalls the connection between personal attributes, a coach’s passion for the sport, and athletic success through her dad’s example: “My dad loved his career, and what a great example to his kids. He worked hard, enjoyed the success, and left his job at the office.” She proudly gives credit to both her parents for passing on the “competitive spirit… that has driven us to excel.” Indeed, Katey’s future in sports seemed to be set in stone, but that did not leave any sense of entitlement or arrogance when it came to her own teams and efforts. That was obvious when she ventured into the boys’ youth hockey ranks in the mid ’70s, the first girl to do so in the Watertown area. And, Patsy Odden remembers her as the first “impact player” for girls’ athletics at Taft.

For the Fun of It Katey Stone made a mark for herself from day one at Taft with her hard-driving style and competitive seriousness.


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But, according to Coach Odden, Katey also knew how to have fun playing sports: “She was a joy to coach, a very passionate captain and athlete, but she also made it great fun, for herself, the coaches, and the whole team.” And this is something Katey has carried with her into her coaching ca-

reer; she views team camaraderie as an essential element to any successful program: “Even my college hockey experience reinforced for me that players must enjoy what they do in order to capitalize on their talents.” This approach seems to be one element to the great success of this year’s

Go Big Red Did you know that Taft Red was originally chosen as Harvard Crimson? An article in the Taft Papyrus during the school’s 50th anniversary describes the selection. One of the first graduating classes decided to vote on school colors. There were ten graduates that year; the nine going to Yale voted for blue. As the story goes, they felt sorry for their classmate bound for Harvard and decided to add crimson. Thus the school’s official colors became blue...and red.

As comfortable on the field as on the ice, “Natural” athlete Katey Stone ’84 throws out the first pitch at Fenway Park. Crimson’s assistant ice hockey coach Kate Schutt ’93, far right, looks on.

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Harvard team, and both co-captain AJ Mleczko ’93 and assistant coach Kate Schutt ’93 described their coach’s emphasis on enjoying what you are doing as something central to Harvard hockey. The winter season can be a “long one,” said Mleczko, but Stone’s ability to “have fun and laugh is very important

for the team’s state of mind and success. She has a very good personal relationship with her players.”

Planning Ahead Her hopes for the future have not changed following this stellar season and national championship. With four of the top five scorers in the nation, three returning for next year, Katey Stone’s crew will be shooting for it all Taft Bulletin

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Patsy’s Players Katey wasn’t the only one with the Harvard team to cut her skates on Mays Rink. Part of the Crimson’s success this year depended on four recent Taft graduates who each played a significant role in the season. AJ Mleczko ’93, Tammy Shewchuk ’96, Courtney Smith ’96, and assistant coach Kate Schutt ’93 were also part of Patsy Odden’s Lady Rhinos. Co-captain AJ Mleczko ’93 and Tammy Shewchuk ’97 skated together all season as two-thirds of the most formidable front line in college hockey—and along with Canadian Olympian Jen Botterill, they have been described as the best line ever in the college ranks. Certainly they are the most prolific in terms

Katey Stone ’84, AJ Mleczko ’93, Patsy Odden, Courtney Smith ’96, Tammy Shewchuk ’96, and Taft assistant coach Jessica Clark ’94. Photo courtesy of Bambi Mleczko.

of scoring, with Mleczko 1st (114 pts.), Shewchuk 2nd (105 pts.) in the nation in scoring at the end of the season. Mleczko also won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the outstanding college hockey player in the nation. Also a crucial part of the team was former Taft forward Courtney Smith ’96, who made the transition to defense this year at Coach Stone’s suggestion. Finally, another of Patsy Odden’s stars and a former head monitor at Taft, Kate Schutt ’93, finished with her playing eligibility, helped out on the bench as one of Katey’s assistants. “My connection to Taft is scattered throughout our roster,” said Katey, “and few prep school programs have produced more Division I college hockey players.” 10

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again next winter: “The goal for this program is to be contending for the national title every year.” Her ambition and determination are echoed by her players, as departing Mleczko sees the success of this year’s team carrying over for several years to come: “Coach Stone has created a cycle of bringing in good players who know how to enjoy success… hopefully it will become somewhat of a dynasty.” “You try to bring out the best in each athlete, to exceed their expectations, and to achieve collectively with the team,” Katey said. “Everyone wants to succeed immediately, but it takes time, and over the past five years I have learned to be more patient.” That is a crucial lesson not lost on her players. Even with former Olympians and young talent as good as ECAC Rookie of the Year Jennifer Botterill and Tammy Shewchuk ’96, there will be plenty of competition out there next year. Women’s ice hockey has exploded in popularity, in the US and in Canada, partly due to the exposure from the Olympics. And, with Harvard’s success this year, Katey Stone has been busier than ever on the phone, writing letters, and planning for another campaign next winter. “I’ve had some of my best moments getting to know great people who happen to be good hockey players,” said Katey. You can be sure that the young women skating for Harvard next year will be working just as hard, their passion and ambition mirroring that of their coach. But, if another national championship does not materialize, Katey Stone will be by their side, patient and supportive, reminding them of the value of dedication, trying your best, and having fun. Steve Palmer is a member of the English Department and, as Patsy Odden’s former assistant coach, is someone familiar with many of Katey’s players.


It’s Her Label and She’ll Sign Who She Wants To By Jon Pareles, The New York Times Bettina Richards ’83 started her own record company, Thrill Jockey Records, in 1992. The company releases records she cares about and lets the musicians decide what to release, how to package it, and how to run their careers. Photo by Sam Prekop


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hen Bettina Richards was an artist-andrepertory executive for big recording companies, she didn’t like the way they treated musicians. Her favorite bands were ignored if they weren’t best sellers; one lead singer, who went on to make a gold album, was told he shouldn’t be singing at all. “I wasn’t happy,” Ms. Richards said. “I was making money, but I couldn’t talk to anyone about the great show I saw last night or the great record I found. It was a job.”

“I wanted a company where the artists’ expectations and the labels’ abilities were in line…”

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So in 1992, she started her own company: Thrill Jockey Records, named after a gang of delinquents in a B movie. It would release music she cared about and let the musicians decide what to release, how to package it and how to run their careers. “I wanted a company where the artists’ expectations and the labels’ abilities were in line,” she said. “I don’t think major labels are inherently evil or out to destroy the world. I just don’t happen to use music that fits their system.” That music, Ms. Richards said, is simply “what I like.” Thrill Jockey is a leading outlet for what some critics have named “post-rock”: instrumentals that elude categorization as jazz, pop tunes, or dance music. The label’s bestselling band is Tortoise, whose most recent album has sold nearly 100,000 copies worldwide. But Thrill Jockey has also released albums by the neo-Appalachian duo Freakwater, two women who sing about hard times; the electronic group Oval, which has built compositions on the sounds of skipping CD’s, and the Nerve, a peppy alternative-rock band. “It’s kind of freaky, left-of-center stuff that she puts out, but at the same

time there’s a big enough audience so that she can make a living,” said Nic Harcourt, the creative music director of KCRW-FM in Santa Monica, California, and the host of the station’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, a program that the music business on the West Coast follows closely. In six years, Thrill Jockey has released 60 albums (both as CD’s and old-fashioned vinyl LP’s), singles and EP’s. All but three releases have broken even or turned a profit. By contrast, 80 percent to 90 percent of albums from major labels post losses. But Thrill Jockey works on a grassroots scale, seeking sales in thousands rather than millions; its typical release breaks even with sales of 1,500 CD’s and 500 LP’s. And while Thrill Jockey’s profit last year was probably less than what Columbia Records spends on catering, it is a success story in independent rock. Until last year, Ms. Richards, who is 33 years old, did everything herself, from signing talent to lining up band interviews. Now Thrill Jockey has three other full-time employees and one part timer and is about to buy its own small building.


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Ms. Richards started Thrill Jockey while working four days a week at Pier Platters, an alternative-rock record store in Hoboken, NJ. She ran the label from her third-floor walk-up apartment on Avenue C in Manhattan, carrying mail-order CD’s to U.P.S. because she didn’t ship enough to qualify for a pickup. Her business advisers were people who had started their own labels. “I was constantly asking advice from people: cheaper places to press things, ways to cut corners,” she said. “One thing about independently distributed record labels is that you don’t get this competitive feeling. As long as you are willing to reciprocate with information, people are happy to give it.” In 1995, Ms. Richards moved from New York to Chicago, where her main manufacturer and distributor, Touch and Go, is based. Rent and taxes are considerably lower than they are in New York, she noted. Many independent companies are stepping stones for bands that hope to be discovered by major labels. By contract, the smaller labels then share in the profits from the major-label releases. “I don’t want to spend my time as a farm label,” Ms. Richards said. “From a business standpoint, it would be better to have bands bound to contracts so I’d get a piece of their future. But I don’t want to make money from a system I don’t support.” Thrill Jockey makes unusually generous deals with musicians. Once an album breaks even, the label and the musicians each get 50 percent of the gross receipts. “When the net comes

down, they actually get more than me,” Ms. Richards said. Contracts are often literally a handshake. Ms. Richards chooses bands that, she thinks, can benefit from the scale of her company and will stay. “If becoming famous is their primary focus, then we’re not the right label for them,” she said. “But if they want to continue to make music and live off that, then that’s a goal we can achieve.” Thrill Jockey records most albums for under $3,000, one three-hundredth of what a band like U2 spends, and advertises sparingly. Video clips tend to be made by friends of the bands or as projects by art students, though they have been shown occasionally on MTV. Thrill Jockey depends largely on the unpaid promotion of college radio stations and reviews in the press, but it also uses club disk jockeys and skateboarding magazines to reach consumers. “Each record is totally different,” Ms. Richards said. “It’s not as if I sold a really great new garbage can or a nice clock. Your most popular band this year could be completely unpopular next year. My company has to be flexible and adapt. “I want my company to stay in business and do well,” she said. “But the creative stuff was always the motivation that sparked it. It wasn’t, I see a way to make money better. It was, I can make this artist’s experience better. “This is a lot of work,” Ms. Richards added. “But it never feels like a job.”

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“If becoming famous is their primary focus, then we’re not the right label for them…”

Reprinted with permission from The New York Times.

“It’s kind of freaky, left-of-center stuff that she puts out, but at the same time there’s a big enough audience so that she can make a living…” Taft Bulletin

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Calling America to Conscience 109th Commencement Remarks By Lance R. Odden, Headmaster May 29, 1999 14

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Left:1999 School Monitors. Standing: Katie Percarpio, Molly Barefoot, Chuck Crimmins, Laura Stevens, Alex Dickson, Peter Walke, Mythri Jegathesan, Andrew Bostrom, Cathy Schieffelin, Ned Smith-head, Katie Bienen, Jossie Green. Front: Kenny Clark, Taj Frazier, Eyram Simpri. Below left: Danielle Perrin received the Maurice Pollak Award, the David Edward Goldberg Award for outstanding independent work, as well as scholarships from the Siemon Company and the Watertown Foundation. Below center: Nicole Robertson is the first recipient of the newly dedicated Harry W. Walker ’40 Non Ut Sibi Award. Below right: Stephen Dost needed help to carry his many prizes home; he received the Mathematics and Spanish Prizes along with the David Kenyon Webster Prize for Excellence in Writing, in addition to being named joint valedictorian with Seth Caffrey.

“If I don’t speak for myself, who will? But, if I speak only for myself, who am I? And, if we don’t speak up, who will? And, if not now, when?” —Rabbi Hillel

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our parents, grandparents, faculty, and I grew up in a time where the constructs of morality were clearer, where the issues were large and certain, and where it was easier to choose goodness. Opposing fascism, communism, and standing up for civil rights for all Americans were certainly easy issues compared to the tenuous and convoluted issues of our times. Taft Bulletin

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Top left: Seth Caffrey was named joint valedictorian, the first time in the school’s history, along with Stephen Dost. Seth also received the Sherman Cawley Award in English and the Bourne Medal in History. Above: 1999 Graduate Max Montgelas, front, with his sister, Caroline ’97, parents Rudy and Beth, and grandparents, John and Betty Dean. Left: Patsy Odden, Irene Chu, Lauren ’99, Lance Odden, Alex Chu ’66, and Jonathan.

Your generation faces far more complex issues, where right and wrong may not be the defining equation, where the choice may be between two values, which reasonable people can agree are important but chose differently, thereby bringing themselves to be at odds. The controversy over abortion illustrates this point. All of us would stand behind the woman’s right to control her biological destiny, even as we would a child’s right to be born. The difference between us falls in the scientific and moral dilemmas associated with conception and the beginning of life in utero. Tragically, the debate is cast in the larger, more absolutist terms of righteousness. 16

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In general, the majority of Americans avoid this controversy in public, holding our opinions to ourselves. Perhaps, we do not have clear convictions, but more likely because we do not want to choose publicly between two competing rights. In the years to come such choices will expand significantly—the sanctity of life versus the right to die, the drive for medical knowledge versus our historic aversion to genetic engineering, attention to individual rights and accomplishment versus affirmative action, the drive for environmental protection and the need to provide economic expansion for jobs, freedom of speech and our desire to pro-

tect youth from pornography and the influence of violence, and on, and on. As we sit here today, one of the great moral crises of our lifetime is playing out, unexamined, undefined, and calling into question the United States’ moral leadership of the world. Of course, I refer to the crisis in the Balkans, Yugoslavia, and Kosovo. I put to you briefly just a couple of large questions. Why are we there? Is it for moral or geopolitical reasons or is it just politics or the polls? What is our purpose? What principles or policies of involvement are being formulated for the future? Put another way, why did we decide to intervene on behalf of Kosovars,


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Bill and Anne Kneisel with Jamie ’97 and Tyler ’99.

Brenda and Bernie Percarpio with Robert ’98 and Katherine ’99.

Anne, Meg ’95, Will ’99, Braden ’92, and Will Cleveland.

Perry and Louise Cooke with Matt ’93, Nell ’99, and Peter ’98.

and not the citizens of Rwanda? For a small intervention there would have saved tens of thousands of lives. The head of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, has pointed out that in both world wars and wars between nations in the 20th century about 35 million people have been killed. In contrast, 150 million have been killed in cold blood by their own governments in internal actions similar to those occurring in Yugoslavia today. Inevitably, these internal struggles will continue, and we have to ask how the United States will elect to make decisions about intervention in these barbaric struggles in the future, in your lifetime. What principles guide us?

Over the next four years, you have the unique opportunity to explore the ethics of life, your responsibilities as a citizen, and the responsibilities of our nation. Each of you will discuss and study these topics, particularly as they are articulated and defined in the disciplines you choose as majors. To this day, I interpret and try to understand the world influenced by the ideas I learned at Princeton University in a course taught by George Kennan, one of the architects of our post-war containment policy. You will have equivalent experiences in biomedical ethics, in exploring issues of the media, race, gender, poverty, environmental and economic

justice. Your generation must make the most of your studies, for just as our world hungers for a new definition of justice in the conduct of foreign affairs, so too does it for all the essential questions of living. Presently, American society is disengaged from matters of public policy, from politics. We have become a nation of viewers or bystanders, unwilling to be publicly involved in the difficult issues of our times. Throughout American history, it has been our youth who have called us to conscience. You have learned this for yourselves in your study of the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s, and the anti-war movements of the ’60s and ’70s. Taft Bulletin

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Chuck Crimmins and Class Speaker Jossie Green received the Joseph I. Cunnigham Award, recognizing those who have “worked selflessly for the betterment of the entire school community.” Commencement speaker and retiring history teacher Jol Everett, right, received the William and Lee Abramowitz Award for Teaching Excellence.

Advice from Jol Everett:

Aurelian Award winner Laura Stevens and Class Speaker Taj Frazier.

And so, I challenge you over the next four years to begin to form your world views, your politics, and your sense of right and wrong about the essential issues of human justice. Never again will you have the luxury of considering these problems in depth. Yes, I am urging you to take on the challenge of calling America to conscience once again. We are far too complacent in our present prosperity. Our preoccupation with human weakness and personal scandal at the expense of consideration of the larger ethical issues of our time is of itself inherently immoral. At Taft, you have been generous in spirit and principled in relations with 18

Summer 1999

First, make every effort to find and keep that special person you want to spend the rest of your life with, because, for the most part, nothing is more fulfilling than being happily married and raising a family. Second, make every effort to find a job after college that you will enjoy doing and that will give you a sense of accomplishment, for in the long run that will be more important than making a lot of money. Finally, here is a piece of advice given to me by my father just before I went off to college: In the four, or more, college years ahead of you, take advantage of all that your college offers you but have fun doing it, for you will never have a second chance.

others. You have made this a great year, and ours, a better school. Going forward, you enter worlds more self-segregated, more selfish, places where there will not be the same sources of adult counsel and support, and where it is going to be harder for you to remain as giving and idealistic as you have been here. I pray that you do so, for just as our world cries out for consideration and leadership on the large issues, so too does it on the small matters of human decency and care. How we treat others defines who we are, which is why empathy—the ability to put yourselves in the shoes of another person—is the simplest, surest route to being a good person.

This is what I hope for all of you— that someday you will be recognized for having done your part to make the world just a little bit better place. This you have already done here; and now, I challenge you to go forth and do so in a broader, more complex world. As you go forth, remember always the words selected by our founder, Horace Taft, who framed so wisely the responsibility of each of us—non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret—Not to be served, but to serve. In helping others we find ourselves. Remember this always, and you will do well for our world. Photography by Eric Poggenpohl


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Surfing 101 Two teachers take their classes to the Web and beyond The Internet isn’t anyUnlike textbooks in which thing new to most Taft information can become students, but the way out-of-date overnight, the some teachers are using it Internet offers teachers in the classroom has and students the opportugiven the World Wide nity to find the latest Web new meaning. information. Geography and hisAnother benefit of tory teacher Fran Bisselle electronic texts is that and astronomy and they can be customized physics teacher Volker for specific courses. No Krasemann have traded in longer do teachers have traditional textbooks for to search for that one perelectronic resources, fect textbook. “I have to many of the them on the update my class presenInternet. Along with extations, which I do in ternal web sites, both Powerpoint, all the time teachers have also writ- Volker Krasemann and Fran [Bateman] Bisselle supplement traditional tools as new discoveries are ten their own “web pages” of the trade with more electronic information. Photo by Eric Poggenpohl. made in astronomy,” to present class material Volker said. “I couldn’t in efficient and entertaining ways. deconstruct web pages.” do that with a textbook. I also created a “There’s a lot of junk out there,” “And you do this best by learning sample site for students to see what I Volker said. “One of the things I do is how to construct them,” Fran said. am looking for. It’s based on the Star locate some of the more meaningful sites Electronic research is an important Wars movies, to get them interested.” and help them to learn the difference. new skill for today’s students, and Fran “There’s a lot of information out When they first start searching they’ll makes sure her students learn how to do there, and it’s changing the way students come up with thousands of sites for ev- it well. A major part of the geography learn,” said Fran. “We need to teach stuerything from places that will sell you course she designed (including sections dents how to deal with the overload, how plots on the moon to university sites with taught by other members of the depart- to evaluate information and make sense the most up-to-date information. I try ment) is the creation of a web page. of it. So it makes sense that it’s also startto speed that process up for them.” Working in groups, students are required ing to change the ways we teach.” Traditionally, students read text to research a given topic and to present Peter Relic, president of the National books and analytical essays to get their it, not through a traditional research pa- Association of Independent Schools, has information. “Now there is the Web, per, but in an interactive web page. said that “the dirty fingernails curricuwhere information is marketed to “The advantage to web pages,” Fran lum is as important as the technology them,” Fran said. “It combines persua- said, “is that students can connect related center.” He is right, but it will be more sive mass-marketing-type tools—with information in many ways.” and more difficult to differentiate becolor and images. It is easy for them to In astronomy as well as in geography, tween the two as time passes. believe everything they see, thus the another asset of web-based instruction is necessity for teachers to learn how to that materials can be updated instantly. —Julie Reiff Taft Bulletin

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ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Alumni IN THE NEWS

New Alumni Trustee Ken Pettis ’74

As a four-year student at Taft, Ken participated in band, the Annual, and Masque and Dagger Society. In addition, he was a corridor monitor and a member of the Committee on Student Life and the Press Club. Ken wrestled for the varsity for two years and also played lower school and j.v. baseball as well as j.v. squash. After Taft, Ken went on to Brown, where he graduated with an AB in Economics in 1978. Following Brown, Ken spent eight years with Bankers Trust Company of New York. He left his position as vice president and moved to Chase Manhattan, where he worked for eight years as a vice president and senior structured sales officer in syndications. In 1990, Ken joined Barclays Bank PLC, where as director and senior structurer he was responsible for structuring transactions for clients in the telecommunications industry. Until recently, Ken was a vice president in loan syndications for JP Morgan Securities in the field of media and telecommunications. Since 1992, Ken has been the co-founder and president of both the Hillcrest Road Block Association and the Hillcrest Neighborhood Association in his hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey. He joined the Maplewood Zoning Board of Adjustment in 1993 and is also a member of the Maplewood Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. In 1996 he was a founding member of the Maplewood/South Orange (MSO) Racial Balance Task Force. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the MSO Community Coalition on Race and a co-chair of the Coalition’s Ordinance Committee. In addition, Ken is an editor of the group’s newsletter. In 1998, Ken joined the Outreach/Role Model program for male students of color at Maplewood Middle School. Ken and his wife, Karen, have a daughter Kendra, age 11, and a son Kristian, age 5. Currently, Ken is embarking on a major career change after twenty years in the banking industry. He and Karen are setting up their own furniture repair, restoration, and refinishing business in Maplewood. Ken’s other interests include civic activities, freshwater tropical aquariums, woodworking, gardening, amateur bodybuilding, kiting, and golf. 20

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Walker Prize Established

Some graduation prizes are an honor in themselves, some carry a little extra funds for college, but for the first time at Taft, one award will go to help a charitable cause. The school’s Non Ut Sibi award is amended this year to honor Harry Walker ’40, whose gift has “transformed this award to make it one of the most important of Commencement,” according to Headmaster Lance Odden, “making it a true inspiration to the community.” The Harry W. Walker Non Ut Sibi Award recognizes a senior whose service to the community outside Taft best exemplifies Horace Taft’s motto, Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. “Give them a prize now,” Harry said, “and for the rest of their lives the prize will be to serve other people.” Nicole Robertson ’99 is the first recipient of the newly dedicated award, which gives $250 to the student for her education and $750 to the charity of her choice. Nicole, who spent much of the year raising awareness of and funds for bone marrow transplants, designated her gift to the New England Marrow Donor Program. Community service is a way of life for the Walkers, something their families have believed in for generations, a commitment that serves as a legacy for their children and their grandchildren. “People play tennis and golf all their lives,” Harry told the Westover School magazine, where he and his wife, Thea, created a similar prize. “They’re what we call life sports. Well, community service should be a life sport, too. It’s something you’re going to do for the rest of your life.” Harry has chaired Piedmont College’s Board of Trustees, served on the board at Taft, on the Yale Development Board, the YMCA, and for a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was a director of both the Rotary Club and the Visiting Nurse Association. He continues as secretary of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assemblies in North Carolina. “This is something we do,” he said. “We feel it is important.”


ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Citation of Merit Don McCullough ’42 was honored with this year’s Alumni Citation of Merit. The following tribute was delivered at the Alumni Luncheon in May. “At age sixteen, a Taft graduate, heading off to Yale, your commitment to strive for the best was early in evidence in your singular accomplishments as a school monitor, letterman in football and track, and undefeated wrestler. In a lifetime of corporate leadership, you built one of the nation’s great enterprises and advised others of equal stature. As an officer in the United States Navy, trustee of Philadelphia College, director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and trustee of the Boy Scouts of America, you have given selflessly of your energies for the benefit of others. To your alma mater, you have given more, much more. Donald F. McCullough, you have sailed your beloved Taft into an astounding new era. As a trustee spanning four decades and board chairman for the nineties, you stood boldly at the helm, steering a course that transformed and beautified our campus, generated a more than ten-fold increase in endowment with the unparalleled success of the Campaign for Taft, and affirmed Taft’s preeminence among independent schools. All this you have done with your characteristic charm and sparkle in the eye. Mentor and friend, you have nobly embraced and fulfilled Horace Taft’s most cherished wish for his students: Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. Today, with affection, gratitude, and admiration, we bestow upon you Taft’s highest honor, the Alumni Citation of Merit.”

Yale Honors Will Hitchcock ’82 Yale honored six faculty members this spring as outstanding teachers, among them Will Hitchcock ’82, an assistant professor of history. Will received the Sarai Ribicoff [Yale ’79] Award for the Encouragement of Teaching at Yale College. The citation honors Will for his renown among students as a masterful lecturer, a superb seminar leader, and a devoted advisor. According to the citation, his “lectures on modern European diplomatic history are models of clarity and organi-

zation—brightened with unexpected humor and enlivened by uncanny impersonations of such figures as Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle. In various seminars focusing on the experiences of Europeans as colonists on other continents or as victims of occupation during the Second World War in their own countries, [he] makes all [his] students feel the importance of formulating and expressing their own points of view. “Students in [his] classes feel inspired not just to study harder, but to

learn more. As one of them remarked, ‘he has taught us how to be historians’ and ‘left us excited by the prospect of research.’” His example as a scholar and his “reputation for friendliness and helpfulness” have brought him an unusual number of senior essay advisees, who respect him for the high standards he sets and praise him for the “many ways in which he helps them meet those standards.” Source: Yale Bulletin & Calendar Taft Bulletin

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ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Of Pain and Penpals

Yuko Tojo Iwanami, granddaughter of General Tojo, is greeted by ex-marine Corydon Wagner ’43 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo by Barry Wong/The Seattle Times

Cordy Wagner ’43, an ex-marine who lives near Tacoma, Washington, played host in April to the granddaughter of General Hideki Tojo, the Japanese wartime premier who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor. The friendship is an unlikely one: Yuko Tojo Iwanami long harbored ill feelings toward the U.S.-led Allies who executed her grandfather for war crimes; Cordy saw some of the fiercest action of the Pacific at Peleliu and Okinawa [“Cordy’s Ridge,” Winter 1996] and lost many friends at the hands of the Japanese. Six years ago, Cordy went back to Peleliu to find the last Japanese command post of that battle. Inside, he found the bones of two Japanese soldiers who had committed suicide rather than surrender. They had been discovered since the war, but never moved. Cordy arranged to have the bones returned to Japan. The gesture led Iwanami to write to Cordy and express her gratitude. An exchange of letters began. During that time, Iwanami’s heart softened toward Americans. She was touched by Cordy’s “largemindedness,” she said. Reconciliation is the reasonable response of responsible people,” Cordy said. “Humanity and feelings for people ultimately win out over hate.” “For a long, long time, the war was so horrible you never thought about it,” Cordy told the News Tribune. “Now, I think about it a lot. I think about it almost every day. You think about the friends you made and lost.” He said his friendship with Iwanami prompted some soulsearching at first: “I never would have dreamt this. I just kind of have to hold myself back and think it through—am I being disloyal to my beliefs or friends that I served with?” But Cordy said he’s convinced that his friendship with Iwanami can serve as an example of how bitter foes can reconcile, regardless of what has happened in the past. “We’re a small, shrinking world,” he told the Seattle Times. “We must get along better than we have in the past. These episodes maybe are there as part of some grand design…. There’s some healing in all this. They used to be the enemy. It’s a wonderful end to World War II for me.”

Jonathan Read ’74, chairman of Park Plaza Worldwide Hotels, meets with Yasir Arafat this spring to sign a joint venture for five hotels in Palestine.

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Source: Jake Batsell, Seattle Times, and Dani Dodge, The News Tribune


ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Virginia Lacrosse Wins NCAA Title When the University of Virginia Cavaliers won their first NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse championship this spring—the first since 1972— two of Taft’s finest were at the heart of it all: Courtland Weisleder ’95 and Dave Jenkins ’97. The number 8 seeded Cavaliers were 13-3 when they downed seventime champ Syracuse in front of a crowd of 25,000. Virginia won the game 12-10, despite five consecutive goals in the fourth quarter by Syracuse. Courtland is a member of the defense, and Dave plays midfield. Dave, a sophomore, is the team’s lead face-off man, finishing second in the nation with a 64 percent record, and led the team in ground balls with 91. “In the last two years of David’s career he could play an even bigger role for us,” Coach Dom Starsia told the Daily Transcript. “He will play an important role in our program. He’s already a leader—more in deed than in word right now, but that too will come as he gets older.” Court made the NCAA All-Tourney team.

William DeWitt P’86, Darren Bragg ’87, and Lance Odden at spring training in Florida.

Spring training with the Saint Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, FL. From left, William DeWitt III ’86, Edward Travers ’86, Darren Bragg ’87, and Winston Lord ’87.

Taft is Cardinal Red Most people know that Mark McGwire plays for the St. Louis Cardinals, but how many know the two Taft grads that are part of the organization? Darren Bragg ’87 was signed this spring after appearing in 129 games with the Boston Red Sox. Darren, a left-handed hitting outfielder, has career totals that include a .261 batting mark, 30 home runs, 175 rbi, and 38 steals in 469 games played. He was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1991. Elsewhere in the St. Louis organization is Billy DeWitt ’86. Billy serves as head of business development and merchandising for the Cardinals. Also connected to the Taft family is Billy’s father, William DeWitt, the Cardinals’ principal owner. Taft Bulletin

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ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

A Sound Trip Andy Larkin ’64, a Varsity Club Hall of Famer who owned the six seat in Harvard’s undefeated 1966, 1967, and 1968 heavyweight varsity crews, lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. This spring, he wrote of his trips on the Connecticut River for Harvard’s rowing newsletter, first to Long Island Sound; years later, down river and on to Mystic, Connecticut. After packing his bags with extra clothing, a tent, food, and water, and stowing an extra pair of oars in his Alden ocean double, Andy set out to row “gently down the stream.” “When I passed the point where I usually turned back,” he wrote of his first trip, “there was a sense of newness, uncertainty, and exhilaration.” After nearly missing a takeout at the Enfield dam, Andy experienced his first white water rowing experience in the miles of rapids that followed, but made it safely to the Sound. In 1995 and 1996 he extended the trip to reach his sister’s house in Mystic, a total of 110 miles. In 1997 he made the trip again, but this time when he reached the Sound he was met with 3- to 4-foot swells and a tail wind, the landing point engulfed in surf. The chop increased and the boat swamped and capsized, throwing him into the water a half-mile from shore. Fortunately the boat did not sink and the oars stayed with it. “Life became very simple,” he wrote. “I had the rest of my life to row ashore, and happily I did.” “Had John Small been alive when I did my trips to Mystic,” Andy adds, “I most certainly would have stopped in at his home in Groton Long Point. I could imagine landing at the beach and walking to his house to say hello. He was certainly instrumental in my rowing career. Years earlier, John and I had rowed the same waters when I first had my Alden and took it over to Groton Long Point to row with him. I can think of few people with whom it would be more pleasant to share the adventure I would have been completing.” Source: Harvard Rowing Newsletter

Andy Larkin ’64 heads down the Connecticut River. 24

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Heritage Sculpture Pete Peterson ’54 co-founded a new venture this year with celebrated sculptor Will Reimann. Together they have created Heritage Sculpture, whose line of beautifully detailed bas-relief panel carvings debuted at Boston’s New England Flower Show in March. “I was initially drawn to Will Reimann’s sculptural artistry as a collector,” Pete said. “A shared passion for cultural diversity and ancestral history led to our current collaboration. We believe there is great promise for enduring art of cultural significance.” Their unique works for the home or garden are rendered in granite, slate, or glass from patterns, mythical imagery, and icons as diverse as the cultures they represent. Pete lives in Acton, Mass., and is the CEO of Digital Products, Inc.


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pond Senior Seminars Nicole Robertson’s blood and bone marrow drive [see Spring ’99] was only one of the new senior seminar projects to make news in the area. Sixteen students in the program presented their final reports in May to review panels made up of faculty students and outside experts in the field. Below are two more newsmakers.

Stevens Becomes EMT Senior Laura Stevens, daughter of Linda and Richard Stevens ’69 of Middlebury, CT, has recently become an Emergency Medical Technician. Since September, Laura attended classes every Monday night and almost every Saturday afternoon for four hours. A total of 120 hours of training are required to prepare for the practical and a written tests necessary for EMT certification. The training consists of lectures on cardiac emergencies, respiratory emergencies, soft tissue injuries, and spinal injuries, and practice treating emergencies by splinting bones, stabilizing people on long boards, and administering oxygen. “I had the idea to take an EMT class last spring,” Laura said. “Being an EMT is something I’ve always been interested in because one of my parents’ friends was

an EMT, and I was fascinated by it even when I was little. I didn’t think I would have a chance to take the class anytime soon until I heard about the senior seminar, so then it all just worked out.” “I didn’t always like having to connect the work in my [EMT] class to work here at school. I felt the EMT class was something I was doing for myself and for people outside of Taft. It was hard to have eight additional hours of class a week and then be expected to hand in journal entries or a paper about my work. But I did become interested in critical incident stress debriefing while I was writing my 21-page paper for the seminar; this is a topic I would have otherwise never learned about and it was interesting.” Laura is certified now. She passed the practical exam and the written exam.

She plans to join the student-run ambulance service at Brown University, where she will be a student this fall. “I am really excited to work with other EMTs,” Laura said, “and to help people who are injured or in pain. The reason I wanted to get into this work is that I don’t like feeling helpless when I see people who are injured. I want to be able to help people if I have the chance.” Source: Michael Blomberg ’00, Taft Press Club . Laura Stevens, left, prepares for her EMT certification as part of her senior seminar fieldwork.


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Threads of Meaning, Stitches of Hope Two years ago, when Taft seniors Jill Giardina and Nell Cooke felt that the Taft community was sorely lacking in AIDS awareness and education, they did something about it; they founded TAAP: Taft AIDS Action Program. Since then, with the help of the school’s chaplain, Mr. Michael Spencer, and a spirited group of 36 students, their efforts have culminated in the arrival of the AIDS Quilt on April 20. The program of events TAAP cre-

ated around the quilt’s visit was titled “Threads of Meaning, Stitches of Hope,” According to Jill, TAAP was born to provide education as a kind of preventive medicine for AIDS: “We learned that our age group (18-25) is the most at risk, and that by preparing the younger generations, we can avoid problems in the future.” Last year, with the help of Mr. Spencer, Jill and Nell began the arduous process of applying to the National High

School Quilt Program in hopes of getting sections of the Quilt to Taft. Since few private secondary schools have displayed the Quilt, TAAP was thrilled to learn that their detailed proposal had been accepted. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is the largest on-going community arts project in the world. Each of the over 41,000 colorful panels in the Quilt was made to remember the life of a person lost to AIDS. Panels are 3 feet by 6 feet—the size of a human grave—and there are 8 panels in each 12 x 12 ft. section of the Quilt. As the epidemic claims more lives, the Quilt continues to grow. Two sections, or 16 panels, were on display at Taft. In conjunction with the Quilt’s arrival, a number of events were planned, including the presentation of Taft’s own two quilt panels and the planting of trees in memory of Taft alumni, Al D’Ossche ’69 and Russ Pais ’66, who died of AIDS. Guest speakers, discussion panels, music, and a dance performance were also scheduled that week. “Though there are many aspects of AIDS that should be conveyed to youth, the main one that Jill and I have tried to focus on,” said Nell Cooke, “is that it can happen to you.” Source: Taft Press Club

Seniors Jill Giardina and Nell Cooke and Chaplain Michael Spencer prepare to hang the two sections of the AIDS quilt on display at Taft. Photo by Mike Healey ’99

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New Faculty Sarah W. Dickinson B.A., Dartmouth Teaching fellow in biology.

Laura E. Harrington M.F.A., Muhlenberg, Syracuse Photography. Previously adjunct professor at Syracuse.

Michael D. Hill Ph.D., Howard, Harvard English. Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard; received Distinghuished Teaching Award at Harvard, 1996.

David B. Hinman ’87 Ed.M., Hobart, Boston University Admissions, mathematics. Previously at Rippowam Cisqua for six years.


AROUND THE POND

Year-Long Senior Seminars

In Brief Dance Workshop

[For more information, see “For the Love of Learning” Spring 1999] c Taj Frazier with his panel expert, Yale Chaplain Jerry Streets.

Kate Bienen ............................................................................ The Holocaust Andrew Bostrom ..................................................... Christian Faith in Action Charles Crimmins .............................. Minority Students at Boarding Schools Taj Frazier ........................................... Black Americans’ Conversion to Islam Danielle Perrin ........................................................................ Music Therapy Nicole Robertson ............................................ Bone Marrow Transplantation Peter Walke ..................................................................................... Wetlands Laura Stevens ........................................Critical Stress in Emergency Workers Sarah Sicher ......................................................................... Women in Islam Bea Ogden ............................................................. Environmental Education Lauren Henry ................................................................. Self-Esteem in Girls Julie Marmolejos ..................................................... Latino Culture in the US Emily Lord ........................................................................................... Twins Cathy Schieffelin ........................................ Manic Depression and Creativity Jill Giardina ......................................................................... AIDS Awareness Michael DeMarco ................................................................... Scripts in Film

Everetts Retire After 31 Years Over 200 alumni, parents, and friends joined Jol and Susan Everett at their retirement dinner in Riverside, CT, on May 13. The Everetts, who came to Taft in 1968, were surprised by the presence of their daughter, Christy ’90, and son, Andrew ’88 (both of whom have articles in this issue), who flew in from Seattle for the occasion.

Ellen B. Hinman M.A., Dartmouth, Boston College Classics, assistant director of college counseling. Previously at Rippowam Cisqua two years.

Steven M. Laufer A.B., Harvard Teaching fellow in physics.

Andrew D. McNeill M.A.L.S., Lawrence, Wesleyan Co-director of college counseling. Previously worked for Lawrence University, The Gunnery, and Choate as college counselor.

Dance master Richard Hill, a guest fellow at Yale University and master teaching artist with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, gave a two-hour master class in Salsa dance. The workshop, held in the Woodward Dance Studio, was open to the entire Taft community as well as to dance students. Richard Hill has researched and taught African and Caribbean music, dance, and culture for twenty years and did extensive field work in Ghana and Haiti.

Piano Concert World famous Hungarian pianist György Oravecz gave a solo piano concert in Bingham Auditorium on April 19, performing music by Chopin, Liszt, and Bartók. He spent the afternoon giving a piano workshop for Taft students.

Choir Visits The Occidental College Glee Club, with Chris Eanes ’94, traveled from California to perform in the Choral Room on Tuesday, May 18, as part of their East Coast tour. Chris, who recently graduated with a degree in choral conducting, conducted two of the songs on the program, including one with the vocal offshoot group, The Accidentals, which Chris helped form this year.

Holly H. McNeill M.S. Ed., University of Pennsylvania Admissions. Previously worked at Canterbury and at Choate; worked at Taft in admissions and as class dean from 1989-97.

Juan A. Ortiz Bulnes M.A., Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain Spanish. Taught at American School of Madrid for 16 years; here for one year to cover Baba Frew’s sabbatical. Taft Bulletin

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Spring in Nepal

Visiting Artisit Hans Neleman, a commercial photographer from Holland who lives and works in New York City, came to work with Taft students on April 8. He is well known for his majestic lighting techniques, and the majority of his work is still life compositions focused on the advertising industry. His clientele includes many diverse companies such as Eastman Kodak, Levi’s Jeans, Macworld, and The Gap. He has also directed several videos for the musical group Toad the Wet Sprocket and various artists for MTV Europe. He has begun to dabble in the area of film direction and production. His current body of work is a group of portraits of the Maori natives of New Zealand.

Poole Fellows Sixteen Taft students received Poole Fellowships this spring. Grants ranged from $500 to $3,000 depending on the scope of the projects, which range from a two-week glacier study in Iceland to three weeks reforestation in Costa Rica and three weeks community service in Fiji. Students receiving fellowships are rising seniors Sarah Barnes, Adriana Blakaj, Lauren Bonenberger, Blake DiMarco, Jason Donahue, Lisa Ehrlich, Harold Francis, Samantha Hall, Kathleen Liu, Janelle Matthews, Avery Moore, Kathryn Parkin, Scott Rickards, Joanna Wolffer, and Paul Zhang, and rising upper middler Alex DiCicco.

Charles A. Parker A.B., Princeton Teaching fellow in history. Elizabeth U. Schenk A.B., Princeton Teaching fellow in computer science and mathematics. 28

Summer 1999

ally isolating,” Emily said, wanting to travel on her own this time. “I had a wonderful time with 16 of the most fascinating people I’ve known, but I didn’t want a group umbrella over me the whole time. There were moments I wondered what I was doing though.” Emily traveled for a month before starting to teach, meeting more Nepalese people and Europeans who had been in the country longer. One family practically adopted her and took her to all the relatives’ weddings while she was there. “Family is the most important thing in Nepal.” Through her new conEmily McNair ’99, left, sari shopping with a friend. tacts she found “the most Emily McNair ’99 also took a new ap- amazing school”—the Blue Sun School in proach to senior year. By completing all Kathmandu. For the next two months she graduation requirements at the end of the taught 15 students who ranged in ages first semester, along with the senior semi- from 2 to 10 years old. “There are over 36 nar, Emily was able to spend much of the recognized languages and distinct dialects spring term teaching English in Nepal, one in Nepal,” she said, so conversing with her of the poorest countries in the world. pupils was occasionally a challenge. Inspired by a summer 1997 commuYet, her experiences were not all nity service project she participated in positive. Walking with a friend early one there, Emily contacted her friend morning, the girls were approached by Shankar and said, “I want to come to a woman and her young daughter. Nepal for three months. What can I do?” “Lanas Sita,” the woman called, hold“Being with a group can be cultur- ing the girl out to them. Learning from

Lindsay B. Stanley ’93 B.A., Vanderbilt Teaching fellow in economics and mathematics.

Lynette Sumpter ’90 A.B., Brown Admissions, psychology, diversity planning. Has worked in business and as a facilitator and instructor at The Wight Foundation for four years.

Noteworthy Laura Erickson has been named head of the Science Department at Taft, replacing Bill Zuehlke (see Departures).

Jack Kenerson ’82 has been chosen to head the History Department, following Jol Everett’s retirement.


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a passerby that she was asking them to take her daughter with them, “It hit us in the face that she saw this as the only way for her daughter to have a decent life.” Emily is already thinking about going back. “I’d like to work for a women’s group there, starting small businesses, such as soapmaking, to help raise their status and their level of independence.”

Study Published

Shristi, Raj, and Swapnil at the Blue Sun School in Kathmandu.

The results of a study by Taft faculty member Mennette DuBose San-Lee ’87 are soon to be published by the National Association for College Admission Counseling as part of its MIAPTA Monograph Series. Focusing on three independent schools, the study looked at the social and intellectual coping methods Black and Hispanic students use in their transition to college. “Minority seniors were similar to their majority peers,” she wrote, “in the range and average of quantitative predictors of college success; they differed in the number of colleges they applied to and perceived difficulty of the application process.”

Day of Service

THE WOODLAND SCHOLARS, Larry Allen, conductor, performed in the Choral Room on TUESDAY, APRIL 13. This professional choir of 16 voices from Hartford presented a one-hour concert of choral masterworks, which concluded with a piece sung jointly with Taft’s own Collegium Musicum.

Fran [Bateman] Bisselle is head of the Western New England Prep School Field Hockey Association.

Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75 earned her MSW at the University of Connecticut in May.

Dean of Academic Affairs Bill Morris ’69 has been named head of the Board of Trustees at St. Margaret’s-McTernan School in Waterbury.

Taft’s fifth annual Community Service Day was held in April this year, instead of the fall. One new feature this year was “kids’ community day” in which 150 Watertown children came to campus to learn a little about pottery, theater, physics, weather, soccer, and other activities organized by Taft students. Other Tafties spent the day cleaning up a vacant lot in Waterbury, clearing brush in the town cemetery and junior high, planting flowers, helping with the local foodbank, and helping other community organizations. “I think our kids gain as much as anybody,” Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75, event organizer, told the Waterbury Republican. “It helps them understand that there are people for whom life is a lot more complicated.”

Departures Jol and Susan Everett Retiring to Cape Cod. Mark Davis Director of College Counseling, Phillips Exeter Academy.

Bill and Elizabeth Kerney Zuehlke ’82 Maine Coast Semester Program at Chewonki, where Bill will be head naturalist.

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AROUND THE POND

35th Anniversary for Independent Studies Program

School Monitors Head monitor Ned Smith ’99 and Headmaster Lance Odden welcome rising head monitor Price Bell ’00. Other school monitors are Emily Blanchard, Ribby Goodfellow, Meredith Morris, Keely Murphy, Kim Noel, Tim Pettit, Jessup Shean, Emily Smith, Nicole Uliasz, Demetrius Walker, and Ryan Byrnes. Photo by Vaughn Winchell

Rock of Ages Workers clearing brush in the Mattatuck State Forest this spring came across a vine-hidden bronze tablet dedicated to Harley Fish Roberts [assistant headmaster and part owner of the school with Mr. Taft]. Roberts was instrumental in preserving the land, which lies on the Watertown/Thomaston line, and donating it to the state [“Hooray for Harley’s Woods,” Spring 1995]. The plaque, mounted in a stone outcropping over 20 feet high, once graced the entrance to Black Rock State Park and the adjoining state forest. The entrance was moved at least thirty years ago, when Route 6 was rerouted. Although we knew the monument existed, its now-wooded location was unknown and few had any idea of its actual size.

Mennette DuBose San-Lee ’87 Sage Hill School, Orange County, CA. Director of admissions at the start-up day school to open in September 2000.

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Tom Woelper Head of Ake Panya School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Pearl Chin PhD program in English at the University of Illinois.

Amy Wilson University High School, San Francisco.

Kate Sullivan To work in publishing in San Francisco.

The Independent Studies Program held its annual spring exhibit on May 13. The ISP, now in its fourth decade, offers the chance for students to pursue interests outside of the curriculum. The exhibit is the culminating event and an extraordinarily exciting time for the school; the completed projects are eagerly awaited. Students and faculty come by the score—indeed audiences have been over 100 in many cases— to hear a recital, see a photo exhibit, watch the launching of a rocket, observe a student-built laser, or hear a poetry reading. “Projects are less ambitious than senior seminars,” explains director Barclay Johnson ’53, “because an ISP student takes on the project in addition to a full course load. The project receives no credit, and so participants have the right to fail, which is very important to the program. It’s impressive what these students have done. Barbu Mateescu ’00, for example, wrote a 200-page novel that is technically clean and ready for publication.” This year 56 students participated in the Independent Study Program, with 30 volunteer faculty acting as advisors and committee people. Some of the many, varied projects were rebuilding a motorcycle, creating an artificial, self-sustaining coral reef environment, thermophotovoltaics, clothing design, a batik quilt, a cello recital, oil painting, studies in vocal technique, and a study in quantum teleportation and computation. Significantly, students undertake an ISP simply because they are personally motivated toward creative production and wish to show others and themselves what they can do, largely on their own. Source: Taft Press Club

Peter Bogue USC Law School. Lisa Jackier Other teaching opportunities.

Valerie Klein Brearley School in NYC; studying at Teachers College, Columbia University.


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sport Spring Wrap Up by Peter Frew ’75 Generous with sunshine and temperature, this spring sported Taft athletes to week after week of perfect practice afternoons. Highlighted by the golf team’s New England Championship and Taft’s first New England Boys Tennis Champion, Taft teams won over 66 percent of their contests, in many cases saving the best for last, and handing several opponents their only loss of the season.

Baseball In the battle for the Colonial League title, the baseball team tied Avon for second place, but the best game of the season—professional, college, or high school, according to those lucky enough to have been present—was departing coach Mark Davis’s swan song against Choate. In the final league game of the season, senior Jed Richard pitched a three-hitter, but Choate’s two-hitter preserved their undefeated season with a 1-0 win over Taft. The team was propelled by the pitching of Mike Martinez, who went 6-1 from the mound, striking out 52 batters in 40 innings. Two Taft batters stayed hot all season: Jed Richard averaged .464, and Devin Haran, “the best hitter in the league,” according to Coach Davis, hit .433 while driving in 24 runs. In a memorable 12-3 drubbing of Loomis, 3rd baseman Haran hit two homers. The first was a grand slam, giving Taft a healthy lead in the first inning. He then connected on a mammoth shot that cleared not one, but two home-run fences, landing in Taft’s softball outfield!

With a combined score of 388 (breaking the previous Taft low of 391 set in 1986) Taylor Moore, Max Montgelas, Ross Koller, and Geddes Johnson (pictured above with the full varsity squad) won the Kingswood Invitational—Taft’s sixth—by a record margin of 17 strokes. Photo by Eric Poggenpohl

Scoreboard can be found on page 34. Taft Bulletin

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Softball For the second year in a row, softball forged a winning season under coaches Steve Schieffelin and Sara Beasley. Great pitching from Emily Pettit kept the infield from being tested often, but silky smooth, four-year shortstop Cathy Schieffelin made every play look easy. Against Hotchkiss in the final game, Pettit struck out a season-high 14 batters, and catcher Ashley Cecchinato and Hillary Peet scored to finish the season with a sweet 2-0 victory. Leaving big cleats to fill are

power-hitting league all-star Kitty Gilbane, versatile co-captain Sam Page, and co-captain Cathy Schieffelin.

Girls’ Crew What looked to be a “building year” proved to be something of a very different nature. Rowing hard right to the finish, Crew’s last meet was their best. Squaring off against Gunnery (to whom we’d lost twice), Berkshire, and Litchfield, the girls’ first boat won what many consider the small school championship, by two tenths of a second. Taft’s second and

third boats also came through, completing the sweep. Led by seniors Lauren Jacobs and Whitney Morris, the highly successful first boat finished the season at 10-3. Stellar performances by the undefeated second boat (9-0) and an 8-2 third boat bode well for the future.

Golf Continuing Taft’s tradition of excellence on the links, this year’s team had depth and grit. With an undefeated J.V. at their heels, Taft’s varsity golfers performed best under pressure. With a combined score of 388 (breaking the previous Taft low of 391 set in 1986), Taylor Moore, Max Montgelas, Ross Koller, and Geddes Johnson won the Kingswood Invitational—Taft’s sixth—by a record margin of 17 strokes. The same week, they brought home the league title, beating Hotchkiss on their own course. After Ryan Sochacki shot a one-under-par 70 on Taft’s course, Geddes Johnson became the first Taft golfer in many years to break 70, shooting a 69 at Wyantanuck. At the New England Girls’ Golf Championships on Brae Burn’s difficult course, Chapin Hoskins, the first female to play varsity in a decade, shot an 87 to finish 4th out of 66 golfers. Coach Kenerson’s pride in his New England Championship team was based as much on their sportsmanship and conduct as it was on their prowess.

Girls’ Lacrosse Following in the wake of last year’s undefeated New England Champions, this very young team nevertheless fared well. Though noteworthy, beating Hotchkiss 13-7 in the final game took a back seat to handing Andover its only loss of the season. Similar to last year’s nail biter b Emily Townsend ’99 scored 55 goals and passed 26 assists this season, earning election to the All-American Lacrosse Team. Photo by Vaughn Winchell 32

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against Andover, we were down 10-9 with seven minutes left in the game. Sam Hall tied it up off a great pass from Victoria Fox, followed by offensive powerhouse Emily Townsend’s game winner with three minutes left. The only graduating player and one of Taft’s finest athletes ever, Emily scored 55 goals and passed 26 assists this season, earning election to the All-American Lacrosse Team.

Boys’ Lacrosse Retiring after 20 years of coaching lacrosse at Taft, Jol Everett led his team to a solid record, dealing Brunswick its only defeat, beating Canterbury by one goal, and suffering the agony of an unexpected loss to Choate. Inspired by the leadership of Brad D’Arco, whom Everett praised as “the finest captain I’ve had in 20 years of coaching,” the team’s ecstatic 10-9 win over Deerfield highlighted the season. Trailing in the 3rd period, three goals by David Browne tied the game at 7-7. Down 7-8 in the 4th, Ramsey Brame scored to send the arch rivals into overtime for the 5th time in this decade. Tim Pettit’s hard, high shot blasted into the upper right corner gave Taft the win. Defenders D’Arco, Chris Moxhay, and Andrew Goodwin shut down the Deerfield attack, while Jake McKenna came up with 19 saves. Christian Jensen led the offense with 43 points (24 goals, 19 assists). Dave Browne ended the season with a teamhigh 25 goals, and Tim Pettit led the team with 21 assists. With these three returning and an undefeated (13-0) JV feeding into next year’s team, coach Steve McKibben has a good shot at continuing the Everett lacrosse legacy.

Boys’ Tennis After close losses to Avon, Kingswood, and Loomis set them back early in the season, this young team improved and held its own to rebound from 2-5. With the emphasis on teamwork and aggres-

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sive volleying, Taft’s doubles play made the difference in several matches. Tyne Brownlow, “probably the best player ever to play at Taft,” according to coach Peter Frew, combined textbook strokes, devastating power, and mental toughness to achieve a remarkable undefeated (25-0) season in which he lost only two sets. After winning the Kingswood Invitational and the Southern New England Tennis League Championships, Tyne blasted his way through the opposition to become Taft’s first New England Champion.

Girls’ Tennis After a great season last year, coach W.T. Miller had high expectations for the Girls’ tennis team. Although outmatched against several opponents, Senior Tyne Brownlow blasted his way through the the team’s potential was opposition to become Taft’s first New England Champion. certainly realized in its Photo by Vaughn Winchell shut-out victory over a confident Greenwich Academy. Taft finished 7th at the New Englands, while played with resolve, easily sweeping the both Chrissy Murphy and Kim Noel first sets in all seven matches and cruis- placed in three events each, helping the ing to a shocking 7-0 win. At number girls to a 6th place finish. Several Taft one, Lauren Chu played her best match athletes set new school records this in a crushing 6-1, 6-0 victory. Likewise, spring. In their 78-67 win over at #1 doubles, Jessup Shean and Lindsay Hotchkiss, Mark Deschenes ran 1.58.6 Tarasuk found some of their old form in in Taft’s fastest ever 800-meter distance, and captain Charles “Diesel” Crimmins a flawless 6-0, 6-0 rout. set the school record for 300-meter low hurdles at 40.3 seconds. Captain-elect Track Venroy July ran the 110-meter high In its last year on Taft’s cinder track, this hurdles in 15.3 seconds, and in the pole team was remarkable for the dignity and vault, Meghan Stone jumped 8’6”. dedication with which the seniors com- Barely inching out the shot put record peted. Both the team and individuals held by Lynne Barker ’88, Kim Noel hit achieved excellence this spring. The boys 35’, 4.5” to set the new mark. Taft Bulletin

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Big Red Scoreboard Baseball

Softball

Head Coach: ...................................................... Mark Davis Captain: ........................................................ Ben Cirillo ’99 Record: ......................................................................... 10-8 Stone Award:.............................................. Devin Haran ’99 Founders League All-Stars: ...... Ed Cooney ’99, Devin Haran ’99 Captains-Elect: .................................... John McCardell ’00, Mike Martinez ’00, Mike Hogan ’00

Head Coach: ............................................... Steve Schieffelin Captains: ............. Samantha Page ’99, Cathy Schieffelin ’99 Record: ........................................................................... 7-6 Softball Award: ......................................... Cathy Schieffelin Founders League All-Star: ......................... Kitty Gilbane ’99 Captains-Elect: ............. Adriana Blakaj ’00, Hillary Peet ’00

Boys’ Tennis Girls’ Crew Head Coach: ............................................................ Al Reiff Captain: ................................................ Whitney Morris ’99 Record: ......................................................................... 10-3 Crew Award: ............................................... Whitney Morris Captain-Elect: ........................................... Nicole Uliasz ’00

Coach: ................................................................. Peter Frew Captains: ................... Charlie Baker ’00, Will Cleveland ’99 Record: ......................................................................... 10-8 Man Tennis Award: ................................ Tyne Brownlow ’99 Founders League All-Star: ............................Tyne Brownlow Captain-Elect: ................................................. Charlie Baker

Golf

Girls’ Tennis

Coach: ........................................................... Jack Kenerson Captain: .................................................... David Morris ’99 Record: ......................................................................... 16-5 Galeski Golf Award: ............................... Max Montgelas ’99 Founders League All-Stars: ..... Taylor Moore ’99, Ross Koller ’00 Captains-Elect: ...... Ryan Sochacki ’00, Geddes Johnson ’01

Coach: .............................................................. W. T. Miller Captains: ................... Lauren Chu ’99, Lindsay Tarasuk ’99 Record: ........................................................................... 8-5 Gould Tennis Award: .......... Pranisa Kovithvathanaphon ’00 Founders League All-Star: ................................. Lauren Chu Captains-Elect: ....... Pranisa Kovithvathanaphon, KP Parkin ’00

Boys’ Lacrosse

Boys’ Track

Head Coach: ........................................................ Jol Everett Captain: ..................................................... Brad D’Arco ’99 Record: ........................................................................... 9-4 Odden Lacrosse Award: ................................... Brad D’Arco Founders League All-Stars: ..... Brad D’Arco, Jake McKenna ’00 Western NE All-Stars: ............. Brad D’Arco, Jake McKenna, Tim Pettit ’00 Captains-Elect: ....... Eric Dalton ’00, Jake McKenna, Tim Pettit

Head Coach: .................................................. Steve McCabe Captain: ............................................. Charles Crimmins ’99 Record: ........................................................................... 8-4 Beardsley Track Award: ............................ Charles Crimmins Founders League All-Stars: ......................Charles Crimmins, Mark Deschenes ’99 Captain-Elect: .............................................. Venroy July ’00

Girls’ Track Girls’ Lacrosse Head Coach: ...................................................... Jean Maher Captains: .............. Samantha Hall ’00, Emily Townsend ’99 Record: ......................................................................... 10-4 Wandelt Lacrosse Award: ........................... Emily Townsend Founders League All-Stars: ................... Margaux Powers ’00, Emily Townsend Western NE All-Stars: ....... Samantha Hall, Emily Townsend Captains-Elect: .............. Samantha Hall, Kelly Sheridan ’00 34

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Head Coach: .................................................. Steve McCabe Captain: .............................................. Nicole Robertson ’99 Record: ........................................................................... 7-3 Founders League All-Stars: ..... Kim Noel ’00, Nicole Robertson Captain-Elect: ....................................................... Kim Noel

For more information on Taft sports, check out our website at www.TaftSports.com


A N N U A L

A Fund to Remember 1998-99 Annual Fund Report This has been a record-breaking year for the Annual Fund. The Taft family has collectively raised $2.7 million, $400,000 more than the goal established by the trustees last fall. I am deeply grateful to all alumni/ae, current parents, former parents, grandparents, and friends for their generosity and loyalty to the school. Alumni giving is at a record high, just over $1.5 million, with alumni participation at 46 percent, up from 42 percent last year! Reunion giving was also at an all-time high at $644,306, 43 percent of the alumni total. The 50th ReRetiring Annual Fund Chair union Class of ’49, led by Class Agent Dave Geoffrey W. Levy ’65, P’01 Penning and Gift Chairmen Scott Pierce and Walter Rosenberry, raised $825,000 for the school, a record in total class giving and total deferred giving. The Snyder Award for the most money raised by a reunion class went to Henry Brauer and the Class of 1974 with $171,786. George Hampton and the Class of ’60 won the Chairman of the Board Award for highest participation for the fourth year in a row with 82 percent. I would also like to congratulate Rib Hall ’33, Pat Westfeldt ’38, Woolly Bermingham and Ross Legler ’43, and Bob Barry and Mike Giobbe ’59 for their conNew Annual Fund Chair tinued leadership with 92, 84, 93, and 80 Dyllan McGee ’89 percent respectively. I would like to thank Toni and Chuck Peebler P’99, who, after three years of dedicated leadership of the Parents’ Fund (see next page) are handing over the reins to Joan and John Goodwin, parents of Andrew ’00. Special recognition should go to both the former parents and the grandparents here at Taft. I’d like to thank Pam and Gib Harris P’88, ’95, ’96, for their work with former parents, and Del Ladd ’44, GP’99, ’01 for his involvement with the grandparents. For the fifth consecutive year, this group raised well over $200,000 for the Annual Fund. Well done! It has been my privilege to chair the Annual Fund over the last three years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the Development Office, particularly Olivia Tuttle and Joyce Romano, for all their help, and special thanks to all our class agents for going above and beyond the call of duty. It is my pleasure to announce Dyllan McGee ’89 as the new Annual Fund chair. I hope all of you will welcome her and work with her as she leads the Annual Fund to new heights. Sincerely,

G I V I N G

1999 Class Agent Awards Snyder Award Largest amount contributed by a reunion class Class of 1974 ....................... $171,786 Class Agent ............... Henry G. Brauer Chairman of the Board Award Highest percent participation from a class less than 50 years out Class of 1960 ...................... 82 percent Class Agent .... George M. Hampton, Jr. McCabe Award Largest amount contributed by a non-reunion class Class of 1953 ......................... $36,558 Class Agent ...................... Leo J. Rocca Class of 1920 Award Greatest increase in dollars from a non-reunion class Class of 1956 ......................... $12,085 Class Agent .............. Leslie E. Gaut, Jr. Participation Increase Award Greatest increase in percentage support from a non-reunion class Class of 1956 ...................... 44 percent Class Agent .............. Leslie E. Gaut, Jr. Young Alumni Dollars Award Largest amount contributed from class less than 10 years out Class of 1993 ........................... $6,785 Class Agent .......... Katharine D. Schutt Young Alumni Participation Award Highest participation from class less than 10 years out Class of 1998 ...................... 53 percent Class Agent ........... Devin B. Weisleder

Geoffrey W. Levy ’65, P’01 Taft Bulletin

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G I V I N G

Current Parents Reach One Million Dollars Toni and Chuck Peebler, chairmen of the 1998-99 Parents’ Fund, have announced that $1,000,000 was raised from 94 percent of Taft’s current parent body, making this year’s annual campaign one of historic significance for Taft and for parent giving nation-

New Parents’ Fund Chairmen Joan and John Goodwin P’00

wide. This unprecedented achievement, which could not have happened without the outstanding leadership of the Peeblers and the Parents’ Committee, is an extraordinary endorsement of Taft. Toni and Chuck Peebler, parents of Todd ’99, have led the Parents’ Fund for the past three years. In that time, they have seen the Parents’ Fund grow by nearly 40 percent and have helped raise

Toni and Chuck Peebler P’99

over $2.6 million in cash for the school. Reaching $1 million during the 1998-99 campaign was an accomplishment of the highest order and set a record for American private schools that should remain unbroken for a long time to come. This fall, the Peeblers are handing over the reins to Joan and John Goodwin, parents of Andrew ’00.

1998-99 Parents’ Fund Committee Toni and Chuck Peebler, Chairmen Anne and Richard Adler Pam and Brian Barefoot Joan E. Bates Behrendt Sarah and Yancey Brame Carol and William Browne Marla and John Byrnes Suellen and Dennis Caffrey Leigh L. Carleton Kathleen and Richard Cirillo Anne and Will Cleveland Robert L. Cummings Maggie Davis-Steele Leslie and Vance Dell Nancy and Bob Downey Kathleen and Richard S. Fuld, Jr. Jannie and Campbell Gerrish 36

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Susan and James Goodfellow Joan and John Goodwin Carolyn and Tony Halsey Lynda and Luke Haran Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. and Cristine Russell Nicola and C. S. Brook Johnson Anne H. Kneisel Kathleen and Gregory Kraczkowsky Nancy and Woody Ladd Brigid Shanley Lamb Claudia and Morton Lane Nannette and Bud Lewis Vicky and Jim Linville Diana and Peter Madsen

Bonnie and John McCardell Mary-Beth and James McCormack Lynn and Michael McKenna Virginia and Michael Mortara Siri and Tony Mortimer Deborah B. Murphy Diane and Bill Murphy Pamela and Gary O’Connor Nancy and Daniel Paduano Wendy and Fred Parkin Mary and Dick Payne Brenda Percarpio Eugene A. Pinover and Diana Elzey Jane and Sumner Putnam Rosemarie and Scott Reardon

William J. Reilly, Jr. Ann and James Rickards Eric J. Schou Darenda and Edward Sheridan Nancy S. Sicher Charlotte and Richard Smith Elizabeth W. Smith Susan and Henry Smythe, Jr. Karen L. Tarasuk Patricia L. Thatcher Margaret and Joseph Toce Lawrence R. Uhlick Janice and Thomas Waring Sandra and Richard Webel Patricia and William Wilson Martin E. Zweig


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—By Christy Everett ’90 I had all kinds of freedom, growing up as a faculty child at Taft, and this whole place for imagination and creativity, but I also had clear boundaries, because I knew that if I were doing something wrong, I had many sets of “parents” who were going to tell me so. The world was wide open to me in one sense, but I was also learning that being a girl wasn’t as valuable as being a boy. In our group of girls we created these nicknames; some of us were girliegirls and some of us were girlie-boys. I was a girlie-boy, because I was an athlete and I liked to play soccer and kickthe-can, and to climb trees. Some of my friends we called girlie-girls because they wanted to play Barbie dolls all the time; they wanted to play inside more. Although I liked those things, too, I prefered to do things that were outside. What I realize now is that by age seven, eight, or nine, I learned that the word “girl” could be used as an insult, by calling my friends a girlie-girl, where I was proud to be a girlie-boy. I was proud to be a tom-boy. I can’t see many young men being proud to be a sallygirl. It doesn’t work the other way. I can remember not wanting to become a woman. It’s not that I wanted to be a boy; I liked being a girl. I just didn’t want my body to change, because the messages that I got as a girl were that when my body changed, it wouldn’t be something I owned anymore, it wouldn’t be something that I had control over, but would be something that other people out there would want—want to touch, want to grab, want to look at. At age ten I was dreading my body changing.

Going into junior high was very challenging for me. Suddenly, my life changed a lot. My mom used to say that when I discovered boys she lost her daughter. It wasn’t so much that I discovered boys, but that boys discovered me, and it was more that I went to a school that wasn’t safe, especially coming from here, a place of such warmth, such community, and such love. I was a really smart kid at that point. I was really studious, really athletic, and really preppy having grown up here. I got made fun of, I got pushed into lockers, I got beat up. One of the things I learned as a young kid was how to be adaptable and how to be flexible, so I quickly changed when I was in junior high in order to survive. I had the feathered hair, and I put on lots of make up and the tight jeans, and I tried to fit in. Mostly it was other girls who picked on me because boys liked me or

great—but instead he pushed me into the corner and stuck his tongue down my throat. That was my first kiss. At age eleven it was really scary. It wasn’t intimate, and it wasn’t what I wanted. He never actually asked me what it was I wanted or what it was I wanted to do, because he had been taught not to ask. He’d been taught about sex as something you were supposed to get, something you were supposed to get from a girl. It wasn’t a relationship I felt good about, and it was a time when I really lost my voice. A lot of studies have been done about girls and when they lose their power, and when they lose their voice, and it’s usually around age eleven. When I read those studies I feel like I’m reading about myself, because that’s what happened to me. I lost my voice, I lost my power; the one thing that was good that kept me going was sports.

“Usually around age eleven, girls lose their power and voice.” what not. I was eleven. I didn’t like “boys” yet. I liked to play, to be outside, to play soccer, but it soon became clear that the way to be safe was to have a boyfriend. And so, I had my first boyfriend in seventh grade. He was a nice guy, he was a good kid, but I wouldn’t say our relationship was a good one or a healthy one. I had always thought my first kiss would be like you see in the movies— there’d be music and we’d look into each other’s eyes and it would just be

I played soccer, and I played on the boys’ team in eighth grade, and that brought me a lot of power. Every time we’d play another team all the boys on the other team would make fun of our team, “Oh yeah, you got a girl on your team, you can’t be good, you got a girl starting.” If you think about that, and if you were to replace that with something else like, you’ve got a black person on your team, chances are the coach would interrupt it, because we’ve been taught to interTaft Bulletin

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rupt racism more than we’ve been taught to interrupt sexism. Racism exists, but we’re much more alert to it. The boys would shut up after a while because I was a really tough player, but it’s unfor-

trying to stand up to make an announcement in Bingham, being nervous and having all the boys go “tee-hee-hee, teehee-hee” when I would try to speak. I already didn’t feel very powerful about

“[AtTaft] We shared power, [boys] respected me for my athletic ability, they respected me for my voice, they respected me for what I had to say.” tunate that because I was a girl they thought it was okay to make fun of me. When I came here to Taft I discovered something that helped me in this struggle at the time, and that was alcohol. I liked the way drinking made me feel, because then I was out of my body and I was somewhat more free, at a time when I didn’t like my body and what I was told my body meant as a girl in society. So one of my first weekends at Taft I drank a fair amount and blacked out, and my friends were trying to take care of me and make sure no teachers saw me when we ran into this boy who told my friends: I know how to sober her up, don’t worry, trust me. And he locked me in the piano room with him and his way of sobering me up was by touching me and kissing me all over. My friends were pounding on the door, saying let her out, let her out, and it wasn’t until they said they were going to get my older brother that he finally decided to. And that was my initiation into Taft. While here I met many other boys who were like that. And I also had experiences on the soccer team going for a run as a team around the football field and having the football team moo at us, or 38

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my voice. I already felt it wasn’t strong, and to hear that only made it worse. But also when I came here, for the first time I had some amazing friendships with boys in my class. We shared power, they respected me for my athletic ability, they respected me for my voice, they respected me for what I had to say. So while here I also gained confidence and had relationships with men that I hadn’t had before. What I want to say to some of the young men is, when you hear people talk about sexism or feminism or dating violence or date rape, or any of those things, not to get defensive, and not to feel blamed. It’s not your fault we live in a

to the voices of the women in your life. I’ll bet that every young man here has some women in his life that he cares about. Whether it’s a sister, a girlfriend, a mother, an aunt, I can guarantee you that every single one of those women has been the victim of sexual harassment. One out of three will be sexually assaulted before she’s 18. One out of three will be the victim of dating violence— emotional, physical, or sexual control. One out of four will have an eating disorder before she graduates from college, and probably every single one of those women in your life has been on a diet at some point in her life or tried to change her body. So as a man, you have a responsibility to try to listen to them and support them. What I want to say to young women here is to trust your instincts and to trust your voice and not to be in competition with each other. What I want to say to the teachers is never underestimate the power you have with the lives of the young people that you are in contact with every day. Never underestimate the power of what you say and how that will have an effect on them, but also what you don’t say and how that will also have an effect on them.

“…trust your instincts, trust your voice and don‘t be in competition with each other.” society that is somewhat sexist, but to know that as a man you have more privilege in this world than I do as a woman and with that privilege comes responsibility, the responsibility to listen

Christy Everett is the daughter of faculty members Jol and Susan Everett. She lives in Portland, Maine, and is coordinator of the young adult abuse prevention program at the Family Crisis Center there.

Summer 1999 Taft Bulletin