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Thacher News


2005 2006 Winter

Architects and Their Craft Margaret N. A. Huyler (1919-2005) Dedicating the Performing Arts Building

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iÜÃ Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 Volume XVIII, Number 2


Editor Jane D. McCarthy

From the Dean of Students

Design Timothy R. Ditch and Jane D. McCarthy

  3 Celebrating New Facilities

Contributors David V. Babbott, Amy W. Elmore, Gregory T. Haggard, John S. “Jack” Huyler, Sanford C. Jensen, Bonnie LaForge, Christopher J. Land, Richard J. Mazzola, Kurt R. Meyer, Joy Sawyer-­Mulligan, and Peggy Whyte Photography Phil Channing, Christopher J. Land, Elizabeth Reynolds Ma-­ honey CdeP 1988, Julie Manson, Jane D. McCarthy, Leslie Vallee-Miller, Jenny KEB Morrill ’06, Joy Sawyer-Mulligan, Amanda K. Nonomura ’06, and Elena M. Penny ’06. Cover Photo Performing Arts Building dedication night. Photo by Phil Channing Inside Cover Photo Trusses in The Commons.  Photo by Christopher J. Land

The Thacher News magazine is published twice a year by The Thacher School, and is sent free of charge to alumni, parents, and friends of the School. In preparing this ­report, every effort was made to ensure that it is accurate and complete. If there is an omission or an error in spelling, please accept our apologies and notify the Head of School’s Office at The Thacher School, 5025 Thacher Road, Ojai, California 93023-9001, call (805) 646-4377, or email ­ Third Class postage is paid at the Oxnard Post Office. POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to the preceding address.


C Environmentally friendly waterless printing by Ventura Printing using soy-based inks on recycled paper.

Campus Activities   5 Fall Play  Scapin   6 Fall and Winter Sports   8 Family Weekend 10 Remembering Margaret Huyler 12 Winter Musical  Peter Pan

20 Ross S. Anderson CdeP 1969  Designing Unique Places 22 Thayer Hopkins, Jr. CdeP 1970  Translating Thacher Lessons into Architecture 24 Peter W. Pfau CdeP 1973  From Making Art to Green Architecture 26 Nicholas A. Noyes CdeP 1976  Honoring the Spirit of Place 28 Peter A. Matthews CdeP 1976 Seeking Dynamic Equilibrium

13 Numeracy Puzzle

30 Michael R. Blatt CdeP 1977 Spatial Choreography

Architects and Their Craft

32 Stanley L. Chiu CdeP 1982 Convergence of Disparate Paths

14 Introduction 15 Historical Society  Patton’s Cabin 16 Barton Phelps  Creating the Heart of the Campus 18 David Hertz  “Leave No Trace” Learning and Living

Alumni News 34 Class Notes 42 Losses to the Community

Giving to Thacher 43 Remembering Thacher:  Retirement Plans


From the Dean of Students

Celebrating New Facilities How Student Life Has Changed

by Sabina L. McMahon

the grandeur of the theater, and the lighting, sound, and technical aspects will complement their performance and help bring it to life. The new dance studio is particularly nice—it has suspended flooring, wooden barres, and little cubbies for us to store our dance gear. It is fantastic to have an area entirely devoted to the pursuit of the art we love.

Douglas Land ’08 Having performed on the new stage in Peter Pan, I can say confidently that this addition to the Thacher campus will benefit both new and old Toads. From its sprawling black stage to the hum of students below in the dressing rooms, the excitement felt with the completion of this project has everybody on their toes. Having this space for theater, singing, and speakers will enable Thacher’s students to express themselves creatively.


s The Commons and the Performing Arts Building come on line, new opportunities and experiences arise for students on Thacher’s campus. For the first time in the School’s coed history, students have the ability to share time and Sabina McMahon space together, regardless of gender; relaxing, laughing, playing games, or just “hanging”— out of the elements—are huge additions to life on campus. Watching a movie on a Friday night on comfortable couches, participating in a pool tournament after dinner before study hall, or engaging in an intense game of foosball with their prefects have become commonplace. Beyond these additional extra­curricular activities, The Commons serves students’ practical pursuits: checking mailboxes, creating computerized-photo moments with friends, e-mailing messages, or visiting the Student Store. These important moments allow students to share time together—deliberately or spontaneously—and on any weeknight, one can be sure of finding something of interest while traversing The Commons. The Performing Arts Building (PAB) offers a dynamic space for lectures, concerts, and, most

Ellie Wilkinson ’08 I love the new buildings; they’ve definitely improved my Thacher life. The PAB has at last provided the Thacher Chorus and Chamber Singers with a practice room with good acoustics, ample storage room, and even a beautiful view out the high windows. The PAB has also been incredibly useful for presentations—I’ve really enjoyed the singing groups, independent projects, and Assemblies I’ve attended there.

importantly, student performances. As students file in for an event—be it an Assembly or a lecture by the Head of School—the anticipation is palpable and enhanced by the distinctive surroundings. Beyond the buzz of student excitement for the rich potential of what the PAB brings to campus is what it brings to the entire Community. Choral groups, musicians, and dancers finally have dedicated spaces in which to practice and to perform; the Thacher ­Masquers have a stage on which to act that suits the caliber of their capabilities. No one The Commons has been just as awesome. can better express the value of these new facili- When I entered The Commons for the first time, I was amazed by the Student Store, the ties than those who spend time there: mini-kitchen, and the games room. It’s been really successful with the students. A lot of Aubrey Wynn ’06 I feel so lucky to have such people go there just to hang out, relax, and sit a wonderful Performing on those comfortable couches and chairs. Arts Building, and am delighted to be one of the Peter Thom ’06 first performers on the new The Commons has prostage! The auditorium, vided a great place to sostage, dance studio, and cialize and has given many choral rooms are spacious and well-equipped, students a great place to not to mention the new dressing and costume hang out, as the old sub rooms! It is very much a real theater, with was quite lacking; however, excellent acoustics, professional lighting, and as head tech, my interest a good visual layout. The excitement before lies more in the theater. The state-of-the-art a performance is augmented by the fact that Performing Arts Building is extremely impresthe actors, dancers, and singers know that sive for a school of our size, and with all of

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 

the new and top of the line equipment, it has completely changed my job. It has taught many people how complicated it is to run a production in a full-blown theater and how many behind the scenes jobs go into making it work. Productions can no longer be run by just a few people as they were before, and our capabilities are so much more than they ever had been. Take, for example, Peter Pan, which would have probably been close to impossible to pull off in the old Lamb Auditorium. All of the electronic equipment in the booth—the mixer, the lightboard, etc.—is digital, which is a fairly new concept, and gives the equipment so many new and interesting aspects of functionality that were nonexistent with analog equipment. This theater has completely changed the way Thacher productions work. Jedidiah Harris ’07 The new buildings on campus have accomplished the jobs for which they were built: to bring this community closer together in order to continue the voyage that Sherman Day Thacher embarked upon. Kaggie Orrick ’06 The Performing Arts Building has been a huge and wonderful addition to our School; we are finally able to work and perform in something that we have only dreamed about for the last few years is spectacular. Compared to the Auditorium we had before, the PAB is a palace. The dressing rooms, the loading dock, and the music practice rooms made Peter Pan that much better. The Commons is the building that Thacher should have built a long time ago. Before this building, different classes never hung out together; they only congregated near their respective dorms. Now we have Seniors and Freshmen playing Foosball, ping pong, and shooting pool together, which never happened my freshman and sophomore year. This integration of classes really makes a difference. The Commons is definitely the central location of the whole school. I can barely remember what it was like without it.

And from their teachers: Greg Haggard The new music rehearsal room is a joy and inspiration to work in. The acoustics allow students to hear each other with great clarity. The placement of the room and window as designed by Barton Phelps is magnificent. I  The Thacher News

have had to stop class in order to encourage periods. We’ve even enhanced the program by students to look out the window at the view starting an en pointe class. And what a beauand the Valley. tiful space! I’ve never been in a dance studio with such a magnificent view, to say nothing of I love the arrangement of the theatre with the no more travelling to town to a rented studio, music and dance rooms behind it. It allowed nor taking down 200 auditorium chairs or for some very flexible rehearsing during the dancing outside in inclement weather. We have musical. The acoustics in the theatre are ex- a studio with room to create, a stage on which cellent. The pit allowed us to have a small to perform, and a real theatre—including a ensemble that didn’t drown out the singers. raked audience ­ chamber—allowing for creThis is now a first-rate facility that will provide ative choreography. For me, it’s a dream come a great opportunity to the students in the per- true. For the musical, we actually rehearsed forming arts. The Chorus also enjoys singing the choreography for one song in the dance in the stairwell! studio, while another group learned a song in the music room and a third group ran through Under The Commons we have three music lines or blocked on stage. It all came together practice rooms and an electronic music studio/ beautifully! recording studio. Having the practice rooms double as recording rooms is a big plus. Claire Kendrick CdeP 1999 As I sit here in the new Sandy Jensen Performing Arts Building We have entered a new era looking at the stage from at Thacher. We may not the vantage point of the be getting any younger, as brand new tech booth, surin Peter Pan’s Neverland, rounded by state-of-the-art but we are growing in the equipment, I find myself articulation of the human reminiscing about the old Lamb Auditorium. spirit: The Performing Arts! Though Lamb will always have a dear place in This dialog continues from an incredible new my heart for having the notorious distinction stage revealing the imagination and talents that of being where I personally was first bit by the breathes within all Thacher students. theater bug, aside from the big dance space it provided and the marked absence of the scent Gallia Vickery of crowded, rain-dampened Assemblies that The new Performing Arts any student of the era will surely remember, I Building truly validates think the campus is managing without it. This the dance program. For is especially true when it comes to theatrical dance—perhaps more than bygones. Gone are the days of standing tipfor theatre or music, which toe on the top of a scaffolding some 20-odd had places for classes—we feet in the air to focus a light; the tech table, now have a space we can barely raised above the audience, crammed call our own. I can choreograph during free with techies straining to hear cues; the same periods; dancers can use the studio during free set of folding backdrops, used year after year with more layers of paint than can be counted; and the days of endless chair folding and unfolding. In its place, we have a tech booth with a clear view of the stage that has a monitor system piping in the sounds below, a genie lift to effortlessly bring someone up to a light to focus it, moving lights to control from the light board, and an entire fly system to bring the lights down to change, or a backdrop in to use for a show. As well, we find ourselves with offstage space that is larger than that of Lamb Auditorium, including separate dressing rooms for boys and girls so they don’t have to change in the alley beside the Admission Office! Overall, having a college-caliber theatre, complete with computer-controlled lighting and a digital sound system, as well as the manual systems still in use in the Outdoor Theatre, will give Thacher students the opportunity to experience both the old and the new, as Thacher itself does, offering both tradition and innovation.” e

Play Campus Activities


Comedy Cushions the Show

Scapin Cast (in order of appearance) Octave Billy Irwin ’06 Sylvestre Coulter Woolf ’06 Scapin Belle Bueti ’06 Hyacinth Caitlin Wyman ’06 Argante Emmo Gates ’08 Geronte Nick Brownell ’06 Leander Alex Kaneko ’08 Zerbinette Isabel White ’06 Nerine Olivea Callender-Scott ’07 George, at the keyboard Mark Wolcott ’07 Messengers/Gendarmes/Porters Anna Reeser ’07 and Elizabeth Woolf-Willis ’07 Crew Director Assistant Director/ Understudy Head Techie Stage Manager

Sandy Jensen Leslie Sligh ’07 Peter Thom ’06 Kaggie Orrick ’06

by Christopher J. Land


prawled among the cold boulders of the Outdoor Theatre, waiting for the curtain to lift on Thacher’s fall play, we in the audience couldn’t have been blamed for siding with Moliere’s father, who had fondly hoped that his son would take over the family business and become an upholsterer. By the time the final curtain dropped, however, we had ample evidence that fathers don’t always know best, and that sons who subvert paternal authority can sure make us laugh (and help us forget, among other things, our uncomfortable seating).

The fall production of Moliere’s Scapin made the most of the rich comedic talents of this year’s crop of Thacher Masquers, bringing down the house of rock three nights running: November 10, 11, and 13. Based on a farce by Terence, Scapin is the hilariously convoluted story of two Neapolitan sons who insist on marrying as they will and not as their fathers wish. After numerous (and humorous) twists and turns, the young lovers get their way and the fathers are appeased, all thanks to that clever rascal of a servant, Scapin. Unupholstered as the Outdoor Theatre is, you can’t really tell the aisles from the seats, but I’m pretty sure we were rolling in them. e

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 

Campus Activities Girls’ Cross Country Coach: Theana Hancock Captains: Alyssa Tennant ’06 and Kaggie Orrick ’06 Season Record: Qualified for CIF Preliminaries; placed 9th out of 14 in the Southern Sectional Most Valuable Runner: Kathryn Turner ’08 Most Improved Player: Alyssa Tennant and Kaggie Orrick

Sports Fall Sports Girls Varsity Tennis Coaches: Jane McCarthy and David Babbott Captain: Sophia Ouyang ’06 Season Record: 2-6-0 Most Valuable Player: Sophia Ouyang Most Improved Player: Lexie Cook ’08 Most Inspirational Player: Kaja Johnson ’06

Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Coach: Jason Burt Captains: Gillian St. John ’06 and Caitlin Wyman ’06 Season Record: 14-13-0 Most Valuable Player: Gillian St. John Most Improved Player: Audra Horton ’08 Most Inspirational Player: Lauren Church ’06 Playoffs: Beat New Roads; Lost in Second Round

Coaches: Jeff Hooper, Aaron Snyder, and Eric McCarren Captains: PJ Benner ’06, Billy Irwin ’06, and Jordan Reiff ’06 Season Record: 7-3-0 Most Valuable Player: PJ Benner Most Improved Player: Billy Irwin Playoffs: Won First Round CIF at Christian, Lost Second Round (Quarter Finals) vs. Riverside Christian

Girls’ JV Volleyball Coach: Chris Vyhnal Captains: Sarah Brown-Campello ’08 and Hannah Rich ’07 Season Record: 2-11-0 Most Valuable Player: Hannah Rich and Della Taylor ’07 Most Improved Player: Amber Lakin ’08 and Moizee Stewart ’08

Girls’ JV Tennis Coach: Peter Sawyer Captain: Amanda Nonomura ’06 Season Record: 1-5-0 Most Valuable Player: Stephanie Winter ’09 Most Improved Player: Adriana Meza ’08 Most Inspirational Player: Amanda Nonomura

Boys’ Cross Country Coaches: Fred Coleman and Dan Henry Captains: James Allison ’06 Season Record: Second Place in Condor League; Ninth/94 at Mt. SAC Most Valuable Runner: James Allison Most Improved Runner: Thomas Waltcher ’08 Most Inspirational Runner: Dallas Swift ’06  The Thacher News

Boys’ Varsity Football

Winter Sports Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coaches: Toby Elmore and Kara Hooper Captains: Logan Morrow ’06, Rachel Munzig ’06, and Kaggie Orrick ’06 Season Record: 11-3-2 League Record: 6-0-2 Most Valuable Player: Martha Gregory ’06 Most Improved Player: Anna Walter ’06 and Aubrey Wynn ’06 Most Inspirational Player: Logan Morrow Playoffs: Won Condor League. Beat Grace Brethren (2-1) and St. Monica (2-1); Lost in Quarter Finals to St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano (0-2)

Most Inspirational Player: James Allison Best Sportsman: William Peterson ’08 Playoffs: First Round beat Desert Christian 0-0 (4-3, PKs) Lost to Fillmore 0-7

Boys’ JV Soccer Coach: Eric McCarren Captains: Ian Boneysteele ’06 and Nick Brownell ’06 Season Record: 0-7-1 League Record: 0-4 Most Valuable Player: Nick Brownell Most Improved Player: Tom Johnson ’07

Girls’ JV Basketball Coach: Rich Mazzola Captains: Sophia Ouyang ’06 and Isabel White ’06 Season Record: 0-9-0 Most Valuable Player: Victoria Lowe ’08 Most Improved Player: Maddie Sowash ’08 Most Inspirational Player: Isabel White

Co-ed Third Team Soccer Girls’ JV Soccer Coaches: Andrea Breau and David Babbott Captains: Mary Connolly ’07 and Kensey Pease ’07 Season Record: 1-5-3 League Record: 1-4-2 Most Valuable Player: Kensey Pease Most Improved Player: Allie Barbey ’08, Adriana Meza ’08, and Claire Vinson ’07

Coach: Peter Sawyer League and Season Record: 2-2-2 Most Valuable Player: Eric Elias ’06 Most Improved Player: Josh Cornwell ’06 and Drew Smith ’06 Most Inspirational Player: Alex Louie ’06

photo by Leslie Vallee-Miller

Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coaches: Jason Carney and Aaron Snyder Captains: Max Barbakow ’07 and Marc Fuller ’06 Season Record: 7-14-0 League Record: 3-5 Most Valuable Player: Chris Thomas ’08 Most Improved Player: Trevor Currie ’09

Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach: Fred Coleman Captains: James Allison ’06, PJ Benner ’06, and Bob Kamuyu ’06 Season Record: 4-5-4 League Record: 3-2-1 Most Valuable Player: Billy Irwin ’06 Most Improved Player: Andrew Fair ’06

Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach: Derick Perry CdeP 1983 Captains: Erica Pucetti ’06 and Danielle Vega ’06 Season Record: 13-5-0 League Record: 6-2-0 Most Valuable Player: Erica Pucetti ’06 Most Improved Player: Moizee Stewart ’08 Most Inspirational Player: Danielle Vega ’06 Playoffs: Second in Condor League; won First Round vs. Newbury Park Adventist (68-12); Lost against third-ranked Mesa Grande Academy (46-62)

Boys’ JV Basketball Coach: Ben Farrell Captains: Mason Feldman ’06, Dackory Hill ’06, and Kennon Zhong ’06 Season Record: 3-10-0 League Record: 3-5-0 Most Valuable Player: Alex Krey ’07 and Quinn McMahon ’09 Most Improved Player: Simon Wu ’07 and Joseph Wyatt ’07 Most Inspirational Player: Dackory Hill

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 

Weekend Campus Activities

Family Weekend 2005 Potpourri of Activities

On Friday night, families, faculty members, and students gathered to eat and greet at class barbecues before heading over to the Outdoor Theatre for an evening sampler courtesy of the School’s ample reserves of talented singers, dancers, musicians, and thespians. Here, the JazzFunkSkaBand pulls out the stops.

 The Thacher News

by Christopher J. Land and Jane D. McCarthy


amilies of current Thacher students, some from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, journeyed to Ojai last October for the whirlwind that is Family Weekend: barbecues, classroom visits, performances, and gatherings—formal and otherwise. Sunny skies and pleasantly crisp evenings set the stage for the usual flurry of hurried introductions, happy reunions, abbreviated updates, and, somehow, in the midst of the frenzy, moments of genuine connection and reconnection. Class barbecues across campus offered students and their families the opportunity to meet and greet classmates’ families. Before heading to the Sampler at the Outdoor Theatre, some families ducked into the newly completed Student Commons to view student artwork, rack up the bil-

Mrs. Moffitt and her daughter Liz Herr peruse student creations on display in The Thacher Commons

liard balls, view the more formal Thacher Room, and purchase Thacher gear in the Student Store. Under the oaks, wrapped in blankets, families heard musicians and choral groups perform and were enticed to return to campus for the Masquers’ presentation of Moliere’s comedy Scapin in November.

Thacher’s Chamber Singers lend their voices to Sunday’s ecumenical service at the Outdoor Chapel

life, to know that high school is important for what it does for us, but it is also significant in and of itself, and it is to be enjoyed.” Mini-classes followed and then it was on to athletic matches at venues across campus. Finally, families enjoyed the traditional Mulligans’ Open House that featured jack-oHighlights of Saturday included an Assemlantern carving in anticipably where Head of School Michael Mulligan tion of Halloween. shared his thoughts on the challenges and joys of nurturing teenagers into adulthood unscathed. He spoke of how this weekend’s To begin Sunday’s Chapel Service, the Chamber varied offerings give a glimpse of the heady Singers sang a cappella “Tallis’s Canon;” scat- Throngs of sideline supporters cheer the Toads mix of “thoughtful challenges and intelligent tered about the circumference of the Outdoor to a 66-26 victory over LA Lutheran risks” that social biologists and brain research- Memorial Chapel, each singer gradually joined ers say adolescents need: “Think climbing, to harmonize this eight-bar canon tune written dance, sports, horses, public speaking, acting, by Thomas Tallis in the 16th century. In a messinging, Senior Exhibitions, foreign language sage entitled “spirituality acquisition, higher mathematical thinking, and at Thacher,” Will Wyman so forth.” It’s no coincidence that, before the CdeP 1978 contrasted his weekend was over, Thacher families had sam- Thacher days with those pled quite a lot of the above. As Mr. Mulligan of his daughter’s, Caitlin summed it up, “We are fortunate to be together ’06. Riders saddled up to here, to share this time together, to celebrate demonstrate their newly attained equine skills set to music as diverse as their riding styles at the Gymkhana Field. The six-student Teamsters along with faculty-member Jake Jacobsen—who typically attend to feeding and other chores for the Horse Department—circled the field in their specially-made wagon hauled by matched Percherons, Pancho and Pedro.

The Thacher Dancers participated in Friday evening’s Sampler

The last essential ingredients that made this weekend complete were the smiles and hugs shared by students and their families. e Liz Hamp ’09 rides in Sunday’s horse demo Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 

Memories Campus Activities

Remembering Margaret Huyler A Gentle Friend and Loyal Supporter


by Jane D. McCarthy

argaret spent the last few months of her life at the Huyler family’s Rocking H Ranch in Jackson Hole, WY. On the ceiling above her bed, Jack had placed 185 photos of their 67 years together; Margaret loved it, pointed and giggled about some long-ago memories, and spoke of their lives together until just a few days before her death on September 11, 2005.

loyalty, willingness, enthusiasm, and, finally, grace, the last of which she embodied even in her struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Ruth and her two daughters, Hillary and Allison, sang a cappella, “All Around Me Peaceful” just before the closing hymn, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” a particularly appropriate piece that Korean Christians sang in defiance of their Japanese rulers as the Appenzellers left Korea in the forties. [Margaret’s missionary grandparents and parents—the Appenzellers—established Christianity in Korea in the late 1800s.]

The first of several celebrations of Margaret’s life was a small, private service for family held at the Chapel of Transfiguration in Grand Teton National Park. With a spectacular view of the Tetons behind the altar, the family shared a calming blend of communion, hymns, and liturgy that reflected on nature’s beauty, its refreshing and strengthening powers, and the hope it brings with each passing season. It was raining lightly as the family entered the chapel; a rainbow hung over it as they exited.

Early in the afternoon, family members gathered at the natural forest cemetery in the foothills of the Teton Mountains, where a huge, lichen-covered boulder chosen by Margaret, Jack, and John had been placed. Under its overhang, they buried her ashes to await Jack’s, listened as a guitarist friend played and sang “Mi Amore, Mi Corasone,” and heard the poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” all in celebration of a unique life. Later that evening, 200 family and friends gathered at the Ranch to dine on kalbi and kimchee (marinated Korean beef and pickled cabbage, respectively) and to share humorous and poign­ ant reminiscences of Margaret.

Jack returned to Ojai just before Thanksgiving Afterwards, the family drove to and began planning the December 10 service the large log church in Jackson, where 300 for the Thacher Community. Over 400 people people celebrated Margaret’s life. All three attended the Outdoor Chapel service that was Huyler children honored Margaret’s mothering similar to the one in Jackson, but contained and attributes, along with the unique love that a few memorable twists. Martha Gregory Jack and Margaret shared: John CdeP 1963 recited a very fitting e.e. cummings poem that he’d discovered while a student at Thacher; with love and humor, Ruth shared stories of her mother’s life and character; and Steve CdeP 1969 summarized some of her fine qualities—beauty, intelligence, open-mindedness, irreverent sense of humor, athleticism, vivacity, thoughtfulness, Michael Mulligan remembers Margaret’s life at her Memorial Service

10 The Thacher News

’06 and Adri Ryberg ’06, two accomplished Thacher riders, rode the colors of the Korean and United States flags as a friend of Margaret’s and Jack’s, Sangkee Lee, spoke of the extensive work and impact that the Appenzeller family had on the people of Korea. Thacher’s Chamber Singers sang the traditional spiritual tune, “I Want to be Ready,” and faculty emeritus Bob Miller recited Psalm 121, a most fitting passage for this setting and occasion.

abode in the deepest recess of the partner’s domain; each resolved himself and herself by the circle that surrounded them: that circle which was known to them and all who knew them Michael Mulligan called Margaret the most as unbounded and “saintly a person [he has] ever known.” He enthusiastic love spoke of her outstanding character, astound- for each other, for ingly selfless life, loyal devotion to her family, their family, for and of how hard it is to imagine Jack without their friends, for Margaret at his side. He then focused on the yin this School. and yang symbol depicted on the Korean flag “that so poignantly expresses the beauty of Jack “Truly, to know and Margaret’s relationship…the opposites that Jack and Margacomplement each other exactly—and represent ret together was the fullness of life together: active and passive; not to know op- Jack attributes their long, happy marriage to, among other things, “kissing light and dark; summer and winter; male and posing halves but, Margaret daily, so she knows she’s been kissed” female. Huston Smith—the famed Berkeley rather, balancing partners. Jack—the gas pedal—in his frank, of a woman whose example and grace seem Professor of World Religions wrote: outright, ‘I know what I know and, by the virtually unmatchable.” But though the halves are in tension, they way, I am happy to share that with you’ and are not opposed; they complement and balMargaret, with the complementary brake— The service continued with many of the same ‘Now, Jack…’—always of- ingredients as the one in Jackson Hole, along fered with calm, reassurance, with the addition of “Amazing Grace” sung but unmistakable, and not to in Korean by alumni of the Pai Chai School in be tampered with, strength. Seoul, accompanied by the keyboard and metal saw. As guests filed out of the Outdoor Chapel, “Margaret’s departure chal- the Huyler granddaughters gave wildflowers to lenges all of us to remember ladies to stick in their hair or hat and packets that which is real and true and of wildflowers to the gentlemen to spread on good about Margaret cannot a walk, both as a tip of the hat to Margaret’s be diminished by her physical grace in the wilderness. All were invited to departure. Indeed, as the flag’s the Margaret Huyler Courtyard at the library symbol suggests, Jack and for lunch and to share favorite memories of Margaret inevitably have sent her life. As was often repeated in those repart of themselves with the membrances and appears on the brass plaque other: their love transcendent, on that lichen-covered boulder in Wyoming, traveling in uplifted flight; Margaret was “Grace Personified.” e M a r g a r e t ’s example of patience and grace lifting each day by The Huyler Family poses in the Sespe for their Christmas photo in our simply the mid-1950s recalling it. ance each other. Each invades the other’s “It is here where the tension of hemisphere and takes up the abode in the the symbol of complementing deepest recess of the partner’s domain. And opposites is resolved: We are in the end, both find themselves resolved by one by virtue of our common the circle that surrounded them, the Tao in understanding that Margaret its eternal wholeness. In the context of that brought such a healing light to wholeness, the opposites appear as no more this world—expressed by her than phases in an endless cycling process, abiding love for family, a deep for each turns incessantly into its opposite, compassion for those who sufexchanging places with it….It bends back fered, her profound example of upon itself to come, full circle, to the realChristian devotion and charity. ization that all is one and all is well. We know all is well by virtue of “How magnificent and rich a symbol, and our very presence here today: how perfect an emblem of Jack and Margaret’s A reunion of friends and famastounding relationship: Each balanced and ily from across this country, complemented the other, each took up the joined together in celebration Margaret’s grave marker near Jackson Hole, Wyoming Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 11


Campus Activities

Peter Pan

Neverland Comes to Thacher


hacher’s Performing Arts Program soared into the future this spring with three dazzling performances of Peter Pan that brought parents, alumni, and Trustees to campus. Presented by the Thacher Masquers and debuting the School’s brand-new theatre, the performances marked a major milestone in Thacher’s capital campaign and in the School’s 100-years-plus tradition of performing arts.

Peter Pan Cast

Caitlin Wyman ’06 Douglas Land ’08 Annie Sawyer ’08 Ariel Wang ’06 Martha Gregory ’06 Aubrey Wynn ’06 Ian Boneysteele ’06 Isabel White ’06 Nick Brownell ’06 Cameron Kemp ’09 Martha Gregory ’06 Lucy Bosche ’07 Lilly Heilveil ’07 Julia Fiske ’07 (Curly), Alex Kaneko ’08 (Nibs), Amanda Nonomura ’06 (Twin 1), Ethan Nonomura ’08 (Twin 2), Kathryn Padgett ’07 (Slightly), Alessandra Waste ’08 (Tootles) Indians Heather Back ’07, Olivea Callender-Scott ’07, Alina Everett ’08, Lilly Heilveil ’07, Victoria Lowe ’08, Jenny Morrill ’06, Barrie Sterling ’07, and Aubrey Wynn ’06 Pirates Jedidah Harris ’07 (Jukes), Catherine Robinson ’06 (Noodler), Alex Dotson ’07 (Cecco), Lucy Phillips ’08 (Starkey), Ian Boneysteele ’06, Jeffrey Chen ’08, Lauren Church ’06, Matt Eilar ’08, and Emmo Gates ’08

Wendy John Liza Michael Nana Mrs. Darling Mr. Darling Peter Pan Captain Hook Smee Crocodile Tiger Lilly Jane Lost Boys

The production, which involved nearly one-third of the student body (30 actors, 20 stage hands, and 20 musicians), showcased a talented cast, six of whom were clipped onto cables and sent flying to Neverland and back again. Guiding cast and crew through the months of preparation were directors Sandy Jensen (drama), Greg Haggard (music), Gallia Vickery (choreography), and Claire Kendrick CdeP 1999 (tech). To bring James Barrie’s story to life, elaborate sets were transported from Louisville, KY, and reconstructed on stage; flying coaches from Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby’s company ZFX spent four days teaching the actors (and their burly behindthe-scenes counterparts) to fly; and all but a few costumes were designed and made by students and community members.

The Orchestra Dan Willard (concertmaster, clarinet), Liz Watts (violin), Paula Moraga (violin), Celia Moraga (oboe, English horn), Jack Perr (trumpet), Noah Trescop (cello), Katy Bartzokis ’09 (harp), Alice Blayney ’09 (violin), Morgan Brown ’06 (bass), Yeda Choi ’08 (flute), Kaja Johnson ’06 (violin), Logan Kroloff ’08 (trombone), Alex Min ’07 (flute), Julia Oh ’06 (piano), Will Sturgeon ’08 (drums), and Chuck Warren (trombone)

Master Crew Head Techie and Sound Board Peter Thom ’06 Stage Manager Kaggie Orrick ’06 Assistant Director Leslie Sligh ’07 Chris Gordon ’07 Light Board Operator Fly Captain Eliza Cope ’07 Wardrobe Master Amanda Nonomura ’06 Jo Kingery ’06 Props Master Spotlight Operators James Burton ’07, Nick Wiltsie ’06

Costume Crew Kendra Carter ’09, Eliza Childs ’09, ­Elizabeth Knutsen ’07, Abby Volkman ’08, Alessandra Waste ’08, and Connie Zhang ’08.

Flying Crew

Hair and Make-up

Ted Brown ’06, Quinn Hacker ’07, Nick ­H ubbard ’07, Andrew Jordan ’07, William ­Peterson ’08, and Drew Smith ’06

Adri Ryberg ’06, Kelly Singco ’06, and Elizabeth Woolf-Willis ’07

Stage Crew Jack Eastburn ’08, Bruno Ferrari ’08, ­Alexander Krey ’07, Sam Lino ’07, John Neville ’08, Adri Ryberg ’06, and Ruth Sawyer ’06

12 The Thacher News

by Christopher J. Land and Jane D. McCarthy

Crew Director Sandy Jensen Musical Director Greg Haggard Choreographer Gallia Vickery Technical Director Claire Kendrick CdeP 1999

Not to be upstaged was the venue itself, with its striking design features, impressive acoustics, and comfortable seating for 450. The performing arts at Thacher have never had such a home. Sherman

Day Thacher staged readings of Shakespeare in the rustic Outdoor Theatre, or, when shelter was a must, the library. Between 1949 and 2004, the Lamb Auditorium better served this purpose, until it was demolished in 2004 to make room for the new Thacher Commons. Despite the new building’s increased capacity, Friday night’s performance drew standing-roomonly crowds. The threenight run—March 30, 31, and April 1—culminated in a dedication dinner honoring the donors, architect, and construction team, who made the new building possible. President of the Board Justin Faggioli CdeP 1969 spoke at the dedication ceremony, as Justin Faggioli well as Chair of the Development Committee Bill Obern­dorf and Head of School Michael Mulligan. In the end, the crowd was on its feet and clapping madly, not just for Tinkerbell, but for cast and crew, for the building itself, and for everyone who made the production and Dedication dinner in The Commons prior to the evening come together so magically. e performance of Peter Pan

As a reminder, last magazine’s puzzler, which a. Without twins: 2, 3, and 6 = 11 was offered by Paul Bressie CdeP 1986, was: 1, 4, and 9 = 14 1, 3, and 12 = 16 Euclid and the Clueless Mailman 1, 2, and 18 = 21 A mailman is politely chatting with Mr. ­Euclid. During the conversation, the mailman asks Euclid the age of his three daughters. Mr. ­Euclid, a lover of math, replies, “the product of their ages is equal to 36 and the sum of their ages is equal to the number of the house next door.” To which the mailman replies, “But I missed one clue!” Mr. Euclid replies, “You are right! I forgot to tell you that the oldest one has freckles.” How old are Mr. Euclid’s daughters? Mike Martin CdeP 1944 is the grand prizewinner for his great—and prompt—solution that arrived just after publication of the last magazine: “There are four possibilities, with the sum of their ages as shown:

b. With twins: 1, 1, and 36 = 38 2, 2, and 9 = 13 3, 3, and 4 = 10 1, 6, and 6 = 13

Michael K. Mulligan welcomes donors, construction crew, and others to the Dedication Performance of Peter Pan in the Performing Arts Building

In the quadrilateral ABCD the bases of length a and b are parallel and the non-parallel sides are congruent. In terms of a and b, find the value of x, the length of a segment parallel to the bases as shown, if (in separate cases): 1. x contains the midpoints of the non-­parallel sides 2. x  divides the quadrilateral into two similar trapezoids 3. x  divides the quadrilateral into trapezoids of equal areas 4. x contains the intersection of the diagonals of the quadrilateral.

The clue about the freckles is of no help to the postman except in the two cases whose ages add up to 13. One of the houses next door is therefore numbered 13, and the correct answer for the ages is therefore 2, 2, and 9 because there is no oldest daughter if Mr. Arrange these four values of x in ascending Euclid has 6-year old twins. order of magnitude. a

The New Puzzle This puzzle is not meant to be a trap, although it may appear so....

x b

Send your solution to Kurt Meyer in the Thacher Math Department via e-mail at, or via US mail at the School address. Good luck!

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 13

Architects and Their Craft


ince the early days of Casa de Piedra, campus building designs have been kept simple yet functional, rustic yet comfortable, in keeping with the natural setting of the School. After Sherman Day Thacher hauled logs to his 160-acre homestead claim to erect the first three-room, onestory abode (read “hut”), he turned to indigenous stones for the second building in hopes of defying Ojai’s heat and fire potential while reducing expense. When a fire in the summer of 1895 decimated the campus— except for that rock structure, which later became a barn—SDT reoriented the campus southeast to its present site. Using his brother Edward’s designs, the Main Building (now the Hills Building) housed the parlor with a large fireplace, dining room, and kitchen, along with dorm rooms for younger students on the second floor. The adjacent building, now the Middle School dormitory, included recitation areas and classrooms, SDT’s office, and dorm rooms and piazza upstairs. 14 The Thacher News

Various buildings were added through the years as the student body and faculty grew, and to replace structures destroyed by fires in 1910 and 1933. SDT engaged Austen Pierpont CdeP 1909 to rearrange the roughly strewn boulders at the Outdoor Theatre in the early twenties; later, Austen and others drafted a master plan for the campus. Thacher contains the largest body of Austen’s work, including dormitories, barns, and The Lamb Auditorium (replaced by the new Performing Arts Building), all in Spanish Colonial or Monterey Revival styles. As David Lavender wrote in 1953, “During an intermittent quartercentury of rearranging the physical face of Thacher, Austen Pierpont has, more than any man, given to the School the outward shape by which most alumni will remember it.”

and technology), renovation or replacement of dormitories, athletic facilities (another field, fitness room, track), guest quarters, more faculty residences, a student commons, and a performing arts center to adequately support performances and indoor seating for the entire community. Most of these projects have been completed—save work on three dormitories—with an emphasis on comfortable and functional styling and employing as many natural materials as possible. As future buildings are designed, sustainable and “green” building features will be incorporated.

Because these additions have changed the School’s appearance and program considerably, we chose to focus on architecture for this issue. Profiles of architects Barton A Long-Range Development Plan Phelps and David Hertz appear along for the campus was undertaken in with their designs of The Commons the early 1990s and a Strategic and Performing Arts Building, and Plan was completed just before the new Lower School, respectively. the turn of the century. These Seven graduates of Thacher who studies identified specific areas for have become architects share their improvement, including infrastructure philosophies, designs, and how their (lighting, paths, sanitation, utilities, time at CdeP affects their work.



Historical Society Patton’s Cabin Timeline

1889 1898

Sherman Day Thacher founds his School.

Clarence Patton constructs a crude hut on his homestead near the confluence of the Sespe and Piedra Blanca creeks. Thacher backcountry trips begin grazing horses in his pasture.


November 3, 1900: William L. Thacher and companions fry trout over a fire at “Old Man Patton’s dilapidated log cabin.”

1904 1917

Clarence Patton leaves the Sespe to live in LA.

During the Great Fire of this year, Margaret Hunt, Director of the Horse Program, leads a string of pack mules into the Sespe to evacuate homesteaders (including the remaining Pattons, who never return to the property).


Fire destroys Kimball’s Cabin, leaving only the stone masonry standing. No longer interested in the property, Kimball gives it to his friend Helen Roberts, aunt to Mrs. Thacher.


The Thacher Alumni Association purchases the stone Cabin and surrounding acreage. After repairs and improvements, campers and horse packers make regular use of the Cabin, especially when caught in inclement weather.


Jack Huyler and friends unearth several fancy wrought iron fixtures the Pattons buried near the Cabin before evacuating ahead of the 1917 fire. That same year, reunion organizers surprised alumni gathered at the Cabin when they unveiled a “silver screen, hidden generator, and presented a complete talking movie, produced especially for the occasion.”

by Christopher J. Land


Students (led by David Williams, CdeP 1960) successfully pack in 72 eggs and prepare Baked Alaska for 24 members of the Pack and Saddle Club.


Jack and Margaret Huyler truck students to Patton’s Cabin for annual Easter egg hunts.


Steve Carter and a student crew haul new roofing felt on pack horses out to Patton’s Cabin and install a new roof. They sign their names in the asphalt and haul back out some non-functional, heavy ironstove components.


“The Pack and Saddle is continuing its program of improvement on Patton’s Cabin which went so well last year… Water has been trucked over quite often for the young shade trees.” Thacher Notes, October 31, 1950.


George Kimball buys 25 acres of Patton’s land and plans to build a cabin where “he and the boys” can take refuge from their wives.


Head of School Michael K. Mulligan launches a restoration project noting, “The rock walls and foundation were solid and attractive; it just needed… everything else.”


Kimball’s building project is beset with difficulty as one worker cuts off his big toe, many suffer from poison oak, and an overloaded packhorse survives a 30-foot fall off the trail.


Alumni gather at the Cabin for baseball and a “superb barbecue” pepared by George S. Wheaton III CdeP 1951 and friends. Dinner is followed by “music, skits, and masterpieces of improvisation.”



Rusty Thacher, youngest son of SDT and a friend, John Pascoe.

A School camping trip clearing brush at the Cabin takes time out to rescue two small children from the Piedra Blanca crags. Also that year, photographers from Life magazine tag along on a horse camping trip that is one of many to wait out a storm at the Cabin.

All photos are from the Thacher Archives, except the 2006 photo which is by Julie Manson.



Students and faculty pitch in by making countless trips to the Cabin lugging building materials and helping Paul Hoornbeek transform Patton’s into a welcoming backcountry refuge. Improvements include a raised ceiling with clerestory windows, new metal roof, gas lamps, wood-burning stove, new bunks and a sleeping loft, kitchen upgrades, a solar-powered water system, secure windows and doors, and a two-holer outhouse. e Editor’s Note: Some records about the Cabin and its provenance contain inconsistencies. If you have information or photographs to add to our archives, please send them to

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 15


Barton Phelps Creating the Heart of the Campus

by Jane D. McCarthy

ents to see individual buildings as working components of a distinct collective landscape. Confiding in the Building and Grounds Committee that the terrain around Thacher reminded him of Greece, where ancient temples are carefully aligned with significant mountains, Barton creatively united the two different buildings into a single composition that links daily patterns of use and movement with selected distant views. When The Thacher Commons was dedicated at Assembly during this fall’s Board Meeting, Barton shared that his “goal in designing these buildings was to work with nature, to admit the mountains into the space, and to animate the buildings with the beauty of the landscape.”


lthough Thacher became a co-educational school more than a quarter century ago, no buildings had been constructed to allow students of both genders to play, converse, or gather together comfortably. Beyond this gap, the Lamb Auditorium had standing room only for large gatherings on campus, let alone inadequate lighting, audio, wardrobe, dressing rooms, and set space for large productions, concerts, or lectures. Thacher’s strategic plan addressed these program deficiencies and spawned a plan to create a vibrant heart of the campus adjacent to the Hills Dining Room and The Pergola. After three years of planning, and another year and a half of cacophonous sawing, hammering, and back-up beeping, the new Thacher Commons abuts The Pergola and draws folks through an airy gallery, across a rock-studded piazza, and into the Performing Arts Building. Students and faculty have made good use of The Commons and celebrated the Grand Opening of the adjacent Performing Arts Building when The Thacher Masquers presented Peter Pan at the end of March.

At Thacher, Barton’s design approach also works to maximize the usefulness of each building component (one large set of rest rooms to service both buildings, for instance) while creating more chance interaction opportunities between students and the faculty (mail boxes make The Commons come alive, for example). His work also gives special attention to the space between buildings as extensions of interior space and a means of expanding and enriching the program for the project. Juxtaposing rustic and natural finishes with polished surfaces, the designs use durable and easily maintained materials throughout. Carefully positioned skylights flood The Commons with natural light and expansive windows capture stunning views from both buildings.

The Thacher Commons The glass entrances of The Commons invite guests into and through a tall, skylit corridor that runs diagonally through the building to divide living, dining, and game space from the mail alcove, student store, café, a sculptural announcement kiosk (which Barton has dubbed “The Toad”), and restrooms. This space is designed to double as a gallery for student art and as a reception and intermission space for the Performing Arts Building. Immediately off the gallery, floor-to-ceiling windows, glazed corners, glass doors, and tall ceilings with heavy timber trusses are combined to form an airy “living room” that houses a piano, leather couches and chairs, and ping pong tables. Beyond this space, a canopy-covered balcony cantilevers to the west to take in a long view of the Ojai Valley. A paneled game room offers foos ball and billiards. For more formal occasions, The Thacher Room in the southwest corner of this building includes a rock fireplace built from the old fireplace in The Alumni Room. Below this space, tucked into the sloping site, are music practice rooms and a digital recording studio.

The Performing Arts Building The axis of the Performing Arts Building parallels the diagonal path from the front parking lot and the historic Upper School Lawn, and takes advantage of the descending slope to the west to house the auditorium’s seating. Three “garage doors” at the back of the seating can

These magical buildings were designed by Barton Phelps and Associates, Architects and Planners, a Los Angelesbased firm whose principal, an adjunct professor at UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture for twentytwo years, encourages cli- View of The Thacher Commons looking south across the Forrest Cooke Lawn 16 The Thacher News

landscape design. His varied projects—the renovation of Royce Hall—UCLA’s landmark performing arts center, a series of libraries for the City of Los Angeles, expansion of its Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a thousand-acre retreat in the Missouri Ozarks, and planning for the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan have garnered national and regional design awards and been published around the world. In 1993 he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects for his contribution to architectural design. After receiving a BA with honors in Art from Williams and a Master of Architecture degree from Yale where he assisted historian Vincent Scully, Barton helped design the British Library in London with Sir Colin St. John Wilson and then joined the office of Frank Gehry in Santa Monica. He taught at the Rice University and was appointed Assistant Dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. As Adjunct Professor there, he has linked practice with teaching The Performing Arts Building windows shows a reflection of The Commons and Twin Peaks design studios and the cultural geography of be opened to provide natural ventilation and used for receptions and intermissions, and the American-built environment—a field where lend an indoor-outdoor ambiance. The house creates a new movement pattern to link the his research has won fellowships from the Graseating is divided into two sections by a wide upper and lower parts of campus. It is aligned ham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the cross aisle and a separate pattern of overhead with the front stairs of the Upper School dorm Fine Arts and the National Endowment for the lighting. The lower section of 300 seats ac- to form a new view corridor down the Ojai Arts. As National Chair of the AIA Committee commodates the student body and faculty for Valley towards another set of daily, intimate settings such as Assembly, while cleft peaks to the west. Drawthe additional upper 150 seats will handle ing further connections to the overflow for larger gatherings such as Family surrounding foothills, landWeekend and theatrical productions. Fly space, scaping includes California sophisticated lighting and audio systems, back- natives (oaks, olives, ceanostage passageways, and an orchestra pit that thus, and manzanita), dry can be elevated to become part of the stage, rock beds for water run-off, will make professional-level performances extensive rock walls created possible. Articulated to a more north-south from rocks unearthed during axis (as are most of the other buildings on construction, and clumps of campus) are music and choral practice rooms boulders that create casual (with commanding views of the Ojai Valley seating alcoves. and Twin Peaks), dressing rooms, costume storage, and office space. This complex of buildings was a long time in comThe space between The Commons and the ing, but it beautifully fulfills Performing Arts Building is a boulder-strewn dreams of creating an active, Dancers prepare for practice in the Dance Studio, housed in the PAB ­piazza that frames views of the Ojai Valley vital heart of the campus below and the Twin Peaks above. It will be while providing comfortable environments for on Design, his symposium series, Changing various members of Thacher’s American Landscapes, surveyed altered patCommunity and stunning terns of use in everyday built landscapes along views of the Ojai Valley. the Mississippi River Valley and became the subject of his published journal, Views from Exploring the potential of the River. contemporary forms to interpret landscapes, and argu- Mr. Phelps has served on the Faculty of the ing strongly for physical and NEA Mayors’ Institute on City Design, juries social contexts as primary for national AIA Honor Awards in Architecgenerators of built form, the ture and the US Presidential Design Awards architecture of Barton Phelps 2000, and the editorial board of Architectural ranges from university build- Record. He currently serves on the Architecings and concert halls and in- tural Advisory Board for Overseas Building dustrial plants to houses and Operations of the United States State Department, the Design Review Committee at UC Santa Barbara, and the Mayor’s Design AdviThacher’s Chamber Singers re­ hearse in the Vocal Music Room sory Panel of the City of Los Angeles. e Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 17


David Hertz “Leave No Trace” Learning and Living

proach to incorporating “green,” environmentally friendly methods in his designs. And, fortunately for Thacher, David was equally intrigued with doing a project for Thacher. “I was struck immediately with the beauty of the site and how Thacher integrates the equestrian and natural world into the educational process. By designing a building that incorporates ecological ideas and is in harmony with nature, those who live in it will learn how to ‘live green’ and spread the word about environmental sustainability.”

by Jane D. McCarthy

ing natural ventilation and ambient light to the maximum extent possible, the structure maintains a strong connection to the exterior and its locale. David’s commitment to sustainable building practices ensures that the connection with nature goes beyond design features. The new Lower School will take advantage of a long list of technologies—some old, some very new—derived to minimize its environmental impact:

• energy-efficient lighting sources; To gain some insight into the lifestyle of Thacher freshmen, David stayed overnight • thin, durable SIPS walls (Structural Insulated in the Lower School dorm, mucked and rode Panel, a sandwich of wood and polystyrene horses, attended classes, and chatted with the foam) that are fire and termite resistant, infreshman boys. “Stepping on cold cement sulative, sound dampening, and lacrosse ball floors when getting out of bed, watching dent-proof; boys use mashed potatoes to repair wall dings caused by lacrosse balls, overhearing conversa- • wide overhangs facing the central courtyard tions through walls and ducts, and spending a that provide shade, privacy, and rain protecgood part of each day taking care of and riding tion; four-legged equine pets, strongly influenced my raditionally, the measure of how well a design for this building. These kids work and • exterior views plus natural lighting through building harmonizes with its setting has play hard in their dorm; the materials must monitor windows, Dutch doors with windows been narrowly aesthetic, to be evaluated withstand their roughness and creativity, while in the top half, and external windows; by the senses. Increasingly, however, archi- still being good for the environment.” tects are looking for more than just a pretty • natural cooling through cantilevered roof façade and adding new measures of harmony Keyed into Lower School’s proximity to the and monitored clerestory window vents; to the mix. These architects wonder whether barns and Thacher’s rural and Western heriany building, no matter how gorgeous, can tage, David’s design comprises a four-sided • non-toxic and natural paint finishes and be said to harmonize with its environment if terraced building surrounding an inner courtreuse of oak flooring salvaged from the dethe building itself—its construction process, yard with two faculty residences. Incorporatmolition of other campus buildings; materials, and systems—embodies an ethos that ultimately threatens that environment. For some, like architect David Hertz, the answer is a resounding “no.” David, the architect chosen by Thacher to design the new Lower School dorm, makes sustainability a key component of his projects, incorporating sustainable materials and methods as much as possible, even if that calls for (as it has) developing a new building product or repurposing a mothballed 747. The result? A career now two decades old that has produced projects that earn aesthetic acclaim while embodying an ethic of environmental sustainability.


Thacher’s Architectural Review Sub­committee—an outgrowth of the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee that considered over a score of architectural firms before engaging David—was impressed with his creative concepts and energetic ap18 The Thacher News

A rendering of the Lower School Common Room

Southwest residence of Lower School

• solar-powered hot water for showers and washing machines with gas back-up;

As far back as elementary school, David has felt a strong connection with the natural world— whether surfing, backpacking, or just being outside. As an architect, he has combined his outdoor interests with his keen interest in building things and drawing. And his creativity is nourished when Syndesis is tapped to design buildings for various companies. For instance, when Rhino Record Company needed a new headquarters, David hired some inner-city gang members to demolish discontinued CDs and vinyl records that became Rhino’s corporate flooring. For a Venice Beach home on a narrow lot, he employed refrigerator panels from walk–in coolers for the walls.

nature of our society. Billions of dollars in research went into that plane and after its life, it is devalued to the price of aluminum. Better than recycling or down-cycling is reuse.” The idea is catching on. David has received calls from people in Northern California who want to build a wine cave from a fuselage and some others in Texas are interested in using plane parts to create various residential structures. “In its flying role, a plane can withstand huge fluctuations in air pressure, temperature, and wind; its insulation and strength properties make it an ideal building medium.” Although Thacher’s new Lower School dormitory will employ more earth-bound materials, David’s design has met well the needs of students, their parents, faculty, and the environment. While some may miss the drafty, dank, and destructible cinderblock Lower School, faculty members and students look forward to inhabiting a dorm that better reflects Thacher’s mission to teach students to live for their own greatest good and for the greatest good of their fellow citizens. A more energy-efficient dorm will allow students to transfer our “leave no trace” camping approach to everyday living in the dorm.

• metal roof that will last the life of the building and help to gather water runoff for col- Perhaps the most unusual components David lection in a cistern for gray-water irrigation has used are from a mothballed Boeing 747 Construction on the Lower School is set to plane for a 55-acre ocean-view lot in the Santa begin during the summer of 2006. If you would and fire suppression; and Monica Mountains. The • c oncrete floors with embedded radiant property’s owner asked for a “feminine and curvilinear ­heating. house, something resembling David is the founder and president of Syndesis, a wave;” the wings will serve Inc., a multidisciplinary group that focuses as an overhanging roof for the on design and construction of residential and 5500-square-feet main resicommercial buildings, product and furniture dence; the tail will be a viewdesign, and public sculpture in addition to ma- ing platform; the horizontal terial development and manufacturing. Synde- stabilizers will serve as the sis created Syndecrete, an innovative pre-cast roof for the master bedroom; lightweight concrete material that is extracted the first-class section of the from society’s waste stream to become a highly fuselage will serve as part valued product and an alternative to limited or of the guest house; and the nonrenewable natural materials such as wood plane’s roof will become an or stone. Like standard concrete, Syndecrete art studio. A circular engine is chemically inert, but incorporates 41% re- component will be turned cycled or recovered materials from industry into an overflowing founand post-consumer goods. Fly ash (a powder tain; first–class chairs will residue from the combustion of coal in electric be brought into the library; Main approach to Lower School from the south power generating plants) is added by 15% to and the nose cone will be an displace the cement base while polypropylene open-air meditation pavilion (28 feet in diam- like more information on the new Lower fiber is incorporated to increase the product’s eter and 45 feet tall). As David says, “Finding School Dormitory and how you can support tensile strength and give it a physical property another role for an outdated airplane com- it, please visit The Campaign for Thacher webmunicates the obsolescence and disposable site: e similar to wood.

View from the west: two faculty residences sandwich the Common Room Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 19


Ross S. Anderson CdeP 1969 Designing Unique Places

by Jane D. McCarthy

­ nderson/Schwartz Architects for over a deA cade and having taught architectural design at Yale, Columbia, Carnegie-Mellon, and the Parsons School of Design. Although it is a firm of only 15 based in New York, AA has completed various diverse projects nationwide. Some examples of assignments: 1. Headquarters for Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) in Columbus, Ohio: Develop a master plan incorporating office space for designers, a distribution center, and parking on 300 acres while considering state-defined conservation zones and site-specific wildlife, highway access and future development. Understanding that the office has become more than just a place to work and emphasizing access to the landscape including several lakes, trails, and a forested site, AA designed a communal “street” (not named) to connect more than one-million square feet of design studios, offices, meeting facilities, gallery/exhibition space, distribuhe website consists of Dispation center, dining areas, and a rate Facts—a recipe for cowfitness facility. By incorporating boy coffee (brown gargle); by extensive and un-programmed counting cricket chirps for 15 secinformal spaces—both indoors onds and adding 37, one can apand outdoors, including fireproximate outdoor temperature places—along with open-air in degrees Fahrenheit; by weight, work environments with few there is more squid flesh on Earth walls and even fewer doors, than any other type. There are AA sought to inspire employSliding Images—flying machines, office space, ees and foster interactions within and between building exteriors, and people. And then there departments. “We designed unspecific spaces are Dissolving Words—utility, oasis, synergy, knowing that over time uses would be developtimism, vitality, essence, layers, and random. oped for them. This allowed Abercrombie to [] really complete the design themselves without us,” explains Ross. Designing multiple buildRandom? Yes, but these components represent ings that could twist and turn to fit the landwell how Anderson Architects (AA) approach scape also avoided extensive tree removal and projects. “Our website is similar to a deck of created lively spaces between the buildings. cards: shuffle it, deal it, and see what hand it yields. It will be different every time,” Ross Anderson reflects. “The words describe project features; the images are examples of projects or interesting concepts.” And the facts? “These random facts are similar to unexpected occurrences when designing a project. Instead of letting them derail our work, we try to incorporate them and enjoy the challenge that they offer to enhance the creative process.”

This campus has also helped A&F to recruit designers out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York and transfer to Ohio. “If you look at A&F’s main covered indoor space, you’ll notice similarities with Thacher’s demolished Rough House, once my favorite building on campus,” Ross says. “It’s big, open-beamed, and rustic that yields a casual, playful place to hang out and yes…work; even the wooden stairway is reminiscent of the Rough House.” AA’s original design received the 2002 Business Week/Architectural Record award for achievement for successful collaborations between client and architect, design, and business along with several other awards. Presently AA is designing more office, retail, and design space to accommodate the expanded A&F product lines including Hollister (California-inspired, colorful, “surf and soul” wear) and Ruehl 925 (a more upscale “older” brand). The new spaces will further develop earlier building themes, materials, and color palette, and continue to


Ross founded ­ Anderson Architects in 1996, after having been a partner for Abercrombie & Fitch headquarters in Columbus, Ohio 20 The Thacher News

should take advantage of the mild climate and gorgeous setting by emphasizing outdoor living spaces that won’t overwhelm the small-island setting. They can be all of those things and still be filled with magic. We will insist on letting the landscape dominate whatever architecture occurs here…there is power in the small…and the un-built.” Throughout the design process, AA tailors structures to fit their clients’ specific needs while accommodating a “loose fit” architecture—including un-programmed space—that can respond to inevitable growth, multiple uses, or other unforeseen opportunities as they arise. “The key to any project is lively collaboration,” Ross explains. “It is essential in establishing the goals and functions so that we can create a unique ‘place’ where strong connections are made between the project and the site, the project and its inhabitants, and the project and the larger historical landscape. We come with no predetermined aesthetic ‘look’ or style…it is discovered over time. It is important that what we build reflects both the time and place of conception…and is in that sense modern.” Working closely with the client, AA develops a dynamic environment for work, study, viewing, and/or performance and strives to reflect the culture of the client for whom they are designing. They actually enjoy constraints—confined budget or aggressive schedule, for instance—because they shape the creative process and create real focus. These strategies and style of work are successful; Ross’s work has won awards from the AIA/ New York Chapter every year since 1994 with the exception of 1997.

Ravenswood Winery

incorporate natural lighting and ventilation in offices and other passive “green” features. 2. Ravenswood Winery in Northern California: About a decade ago, the “No Wimpy Wines” winery chose a “No Wimpy Locale” for its new winery in the Carneros region of Sonoma County. Ross’s Thacher classmate Justin Faggioli (former executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Ravenswood) envisioned converting a basalt quarry nearing closure into a winery site in a win-win scenario: recovering the quarry land in a manner consistent with Sonoma County General Plan, while taking advantage of the gaping hole to create a unique lake setting amongst the rock and utilizing pre-existing established truck access routes. Combining the operations required coordination of trucks arriving empty and leaving full of rocks while other trucks arrive full of grapes and leave empty, common use of the existing truck scale, mutual water supply, dust control using reclaimed winery wastewater, and public safety concerns. Keying off the local rural setting of barns and sheds, AA designed a building that settles into the ground and blends with the landscape: “It’s not a ‘look-at-me’ type of building; it’s oriented to the south to take advantage of passive solar lighting and heating, and shield against the prevailing westerly winds; the main entry is under an unusual ‘bite’ out of the otherwise plain, long roofline; concrete floors are stained a wine-color that will fade with time.”

turtles, or watch the sunset are easy;” says Ross. “Fitting in the other elements—housing sites, marinas, stores, infrastructure—without harming the environment is more difficult. We will discourage the super-sized mansions that so many people build now. Since these are mostly second homes, they should be informal, low-maintenance and comfortable but they

After Thacher, Ross matriculated at Stanford University, where he earned a degree in biology. He trained as a carpenter and fabricator, and built wood-framed houses and fiberglass kayaks in Northern California before working for visionary architect, Paolo Soleri, who formed concrete into an imagined city in the desert of Arizona. Ross then attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he received his Master of Architecture in 1977. He then interned at the office of MLTW/Turnbull Associates in San Francisco, and focused on site and material issues relevant to land planning, winery and residential architecture. e

3. A coastal island, due west of Tallahassee, Florida: Without overbuilding and damaging the beautiful and ecologically-sensitive 800acre island, AA is helping determine how the Island should be developed. “Designating the best places to kayak, fish, snorkel with the Conceptual house design for a coastal island in Florida Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 21


Thayer Hopkins, Jr. CdeP 1970 Translating Thacher Lessons into Architecture


ver a 30-year career, Thayer Hopkins has been the architect for a variety of corporate, professional, commercial, office, retail, and educational clients, and a designer of interiors and furniture. Beyond designing more than 60 residences in northern California and the Western US, his portfolio includes work on the Chalk Hill Winery Pavilion; the Crypt Master Plan, Conference Center, and Theater in the English Gothic Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; the Library Renovation, Art Center, and Gymnasium for the Cathedral School for Boys; and the design of interior spaces on an aircraft carrier. From the time Thayer was ten and his family visited the Space Needle in Seattle, he wanted to be an architect. Tellingly, upon returning home to San Francisco he constructed his ideal home: a space needle made from pie tins and matchsticks. Growing up listening to tales of five relatives who came to Thacher (including grandfather L. Arundel ­Hopkins CdeP 1897, father Thayer CdeP 1935, and cousin Tom CdeP 1960), he dreamed of attending a school that incorporated camping and riding along with strong academics. “Thacher chose me,” Thayer says, and he arrived in Ojai ready to take 22 The Thacher News

by Jane D. McCarthy

advantage of every opportunity. According to • Learning mechanical drawing from maththen-college counselor Jack Huyler, “Thayer ematics teacher Fred Whitehead, who had cut a wide swath in the arts at Thacher as a taught this course at another school and ofpainter, woodworker, ceramist, sculptor, and fered to teach it on his own time; glass blower, all in which he displayed imagination, talent, and technique.” Upon gradua- • Crafting furniture in the Woodshop; tion, he was given, not surprisingly, the Darrah Corbett Studio Award for the arts. • Constructing a telescope and grinding the four-inch reflecting mirror for a physics projThayer credits the fundamental nature of the ect; Thacher experience, and the particular and powerful way that opportunity contributed • D esigning, drawing, and building a 36″ to his growth in pursuing a life in design and model class sailboat from scratch; visual arts. “Perhaps those of us who went on to careers in architecture were simply • D  eveloping life drawing skills by observing too literal in our interpretation of the often nature and especially from riding and living repeated, ‘Build thee more stately mansions, around horses; oh my soul,’ but being at Thacher clearly has a deep sensory impact on a young artist. • L  earning the basics of silkscreen, copper enamel, Located at the edge of a wilderpainting, acrylic and cast resin sculpture, ness, evolved out of a tradition woodblock printing, slab clay sculpture and of independence, with an open throwing pots on a wheel, and experimenting attitude toward adventure with numerous glazing techniques including and an emphasis on learning traditional outdoor Raku ceramics. through hands-on, empirical experience, Thacher’s particular presence of place, the history, the pure physicality of the land and the equestrian tradition are all lasting influences. Camping in Los Padres, riding in the hills, learning that one must fix things and work together to cope in the wilderness, experiencing the exuberant arrival of spring in an orange orchard, weathering forest fires and digging out of torrential floods, and watching changing light on the surrounding landscape are memories that leave indelible impressions. The San Francisco townhouse whole environment became a large designed for a narrow lot classroom with more than sufficient space to encourage imagination and These lessons gave invite experimentation.” Thayer an extensive portfolio And as Jack intimated earlier, Thayer took that he submitted advantage of numerous opportunities to learn for admission to empirically, including: the Rhode Island School of Design • B uilding an outdoor brick catenary-arch (RISD). “Equally kiln with Ty Pike CdeP 1973, fabricating important though was Thacher’s emphasis on the gas burners, and watching as an expert writing, expression, and critical thinking skills, welder from the Maintenance Department without which I couldn’t have pursued an eduperformed a hot-tap weld into a high-pres- cation in architecture and visual arts,” reflects sure underground gas pipe to fuel the kiln; Thayer. RISD was, in part, another empirical

learning experience. In addition to studying and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, he also earned a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. He designed furniture in a variety of materials manufactured in countries around the world. He studied theater and set design, an interest sparked at Thacher while working with Don McDougall, and collaborated on productions with the Bear Valley Summer Opera. After working for architecture, corporate planning, and design firms in San Francisco he began his own practice in early 1990, remaining affiliated with a studio of architects for whom he had previously worked. Thayer Hopkins Architects do not design in a particular style or with predetermined solutions, believing that every client and project is unique and best served by a fresh approach. They begin by asking questions and defining organizing geometries on the site and in plan; identifying patterns of flow, circulation, and movement; and locating corridors for view and axes for sightlines. They also explore the sense of a place Park City, Utah, home designed for Bettina and Ty Pike CdeP 1973 and the people, both in response to the specifics of climate and topography, as well as historic “Transparency is maintained from the late sixties we were privileged to hear both entry through the dining room and Krishnamurti, the famed theologian, and Alan kitchen to the rear yard,” Thayer says. Watts, noted author and philosopher, speak at “It defies normal expectations.” the School. It was Watts who said, ‘The peculiar and possibly fatal fallacy of civilization Thayer recalled the distinct and dif- is the confusion of symbol with reality.’ One ferent time in which his class attended of the great gifts of the Thacher experience is Thacher. “It was the late 1960s when the pure physicality and grounding presence the School reflected the turbulence of the total Thacher learning environment; it and polarity of the nation, which was is distinct from others and it is a particularly a new and unaccustomed challenge influential passage for anyone pursuing a life for the entire community,” Thayer in design and visual arts.” e recalls. “We weathered the Vietnam War, witnessed the massacre at My Lai and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, saw the National Guard shootings of students at Kent State, and lived in a time of national protests, take-overs and Computer massing study of San Francisco’s Grace shutdowns. The substantial equine Cathedral Close (with Fee Munson Ebert) population of the School provided the only ameliorating influence of calm context and memory. They incorporate energy- and ration; this placid constituency was, unefficient sustainable design into the planning fortunately, lacking in other institutions of of their buildings, with an emphasis on light. the day. However turbulent the times, out of “Architecture is first and primarily experienced that intensely charged and provoking moment through the sense of light,” Thayer explains. “It came an exciting creative energy manifested is the prime medium that communicates form in some thoughtfully produced work, and the and is the source of energy and of being.” An permanent and intrinsic aspects of Thacher’s example of these principles is in the townhouse underlying ethos survived.” they designed for a narrow urban lot. To expand the feeling within the small space, they aligned “I cannot imagine a similar quality of educaspatial connections with openings to expand tion occurring at another place, and it is clearly views from every room, admit light, and bring apparent how the environment of Thacher the exterior view into the interior area. This continues to manifest its influence on its gradusame notion was used for a residence featured on ates. Now, in this age in which much of our the cover of the January 2006 edition of House information about the world is experienced Beautiful. The familiar problem of “a house vicariously through screens and monitors, and San Francisco residence featured on the cover too small in a neighborhood the family doesn’t we become ever more subject to the abstrac- of January 2006 House Beautiful. Courtyard want to leave” was solved by nearly doubling tions of virtual reality and its symbols, the furniture is from Tissage Collection by Thayer the size of the existing house while creating a fundamental nature of the School becomes Hopkins Architects, American Society of light-filled courtyard between the two wings. increasingly important for students. In the Furniture Designers Pinnacle Award winner. Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 23


Peter W. Pfau CdeP 1973 From Making Art to Green Architecture

by Jane D. McCarthy

nia at Berkeley was the convergence of Peter’s interests and his building skills: “It was inevitable that my career would be in this field, although it took eight years to earn that degree.” His circuitous path included sculpture, painting, jewelry making, philosophy, film, and sociology, but, as he remembers, “I loved it all.” After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA with honors in architecture, Peter migrated east to New York City. He earned a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and worked with the Design Collaborative and Architectural Studio for a short time before returning to California.


reating things—either physically or in his mind—has been central to Peter Pfau’s life for as long as he can remember. “My Dad [George CdeP 1942] showed me how to be handy in his shop when I was young. One of my earliest memories is making a sculpture in that shop and being very involved in the process.” Peter spent his first three years of high school at Thacher, excelling in art classes including ceramics, industrial art, drama, and music. Peter remembers, fondly, many long hours in the ceramics and art classrooms at Thacher. At 16, while working for the deYoung Museum in San Francisco, he parlayed his ceramics talent into a teaching assistant position, a promotion from his job sweeping floors. After high school, Peter attended art school at California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC,) where he studied painting and sculpture. Then, feeling something was missing, he worked as a carpenter and contractor for a few years until he realized he wanted to pursue a career in architecture. “I thought I could design more creative buildings than what I was building, and I hated all the dust,” he recalls. Studying architecture at the University of Califor24 The Thacher News

In the same year as the Challenger space shuttle disaster—1986—Peter became a partner with Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones (HHPJ) in San Francisco. This firm earned international prominence and vari- Astronaut Memorial at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ous awards for technically inspired designs, such sign.” The Memorial was dedicated by Vice as the Astronauts Memorial President Dan Quayle in 1991, and was later at Kennedy Space Center in designated the 25th National Monument by Florida. Selected from 149 designs submitted Congress and President George H. W. Bush. by companies nationwide, HHPJ’s design combines science and art: a computer and electrical In 1991, Peter established Pfau Architecture controlling system calculate the sun’s position (PA), a San Francisco-based firm of 18 that and command large motors to tilt and ro- has earned a reputation of designing extremely tate a mirror’s surface to capture sun rays which illuminate the lost astronauts’ names carved through an upright slab of granite; in the event of cloudy days and for evening viewing, powerful lights flood the names. “Visiting the Memorial and seeing people cry, affected me,” recalls Peter. “That project works because we took the emotional impact that all of us felt from the Challenger’s demise and translated it into the project’s de- Lick Wilmerding School’s “Workyard”

designated one of the 10 greenest schools in ­America. Since completion, the design has earned PA the AIA Best of the Bay Design Excellence Merit Award and the AIA CC Design Award Merit Award in 2004. These examples demonstrate PA’s “design strategy that grows naturally from a research process into a deeper understanding of place, systems, use, and the nature of materials,” Peter explains. “The experience of the building gives rise to its shape. Later, in a process we call ‘the patient search,’ these notions are gradually refined into a set of ideas that drive the design.”

creative and unique structures that are environmentally sensitive and span the gamut of business offices and school buildings; restaurants; multi-media buildings; exposition, museum, and performance spaces; residential and multi-unit housing projects; and religious buildings. An example of a recent project that Peter believes is “the firm’s best work because it successfully combines research and intuition while knitting all facets of the campus together” is an addition for San Francisco’s Lick Wilmerding High School. This 380-student, coed, college-preparatory, day school had outgrown its current shop, food service, and performing arts facilities, and had limited space available for expansion. Four other firms competed with designs sited on the lawn, a criterion Lick wanted to avoid.

Peter’s firm is currently working on an impressive array of projects, all of which incorporate innovative green building principles. In addition to carefully chosen single family houses around the state, they are working on multi-unit housing at Hunters Point in San Francisco. Their growing reputation for previous K-12 schools has led to current work with Town School, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, and, most recently, the San Francisco Friends School. They are also in Lick Wilmerding High School quad, above, and the process of designing the new San Francisco theatre entrance, left Planning+Urban Research Association (SPUR) Urban Center, a new chapel for Dominican Peter’s firm designed a 17,000-square-foot University of California, a library for the Unisubmerged building that not only preserved versity of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, campus views, but actually improved the visual a day care center for UCSF, a Federal Building image and physical connectivity on campus. re-invention for the General Services AdministraThe new building houses various state-of-the- tion (in Richland, WA), and the Grand Canyon art shops, a multi-purpose room, Mac lab, Village Interpretive Center. server space, and two conference rooms arranged around a central open court known Peter mixes all of this with his ongoing efas the Workyard. Stairs and an elevator con- forts as an adjunct professor of Architecture nect it to the new 6,000-square-foot cafeteria, at CCAC, his alma mater, which, as he says, which rises above the sunken buildings western “always brings a fresh perspective and energy extremity. The roofs of the shops are “green” to take back to my practice.” Whatever Peter sodded roofs, which add extra insulation, re- is doing, it seems to be working; in addition to duce temperature fluctuation within the build- other awards, he was named Designer of the ing, and still offer the popular lawn area for Year by Contract magazine in 2003. e other functions. The roofs of the glass shops have 900 square feet of photovoltaic solar panels installed as a means of teaching students to appreciate the benefits of solar e n e r g y. T h e s e panels are the first step to a larger alternative energy program that PA is designing for Lick: a series of windmills will be sited on the eastern edge of the campus later this year. As a result of PA’s efforts, Lick Wilmerding was Chapel for Dominican University of California Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 25


Nicholas A. Noyes CdeP 1976 Honoring the Spirit of Place

Nick founded his own firm in 1992. The nationally-recognized firm concentrates on new residential construction and residential renovations, and is noted for consistently producing work that is both rich in formal clarity and expressive of the material nature of construction. With a geographically diverse range of projects, Nick finds that his musings about “place” honed at Thacher always serve him well. “When working in very different locales, the challenge is to understand what it might mean to dwell in that particular place in an authentic way.” Nick recalls the architectural historian and theoretician Christian Norberg-Schulz ick Noyes came to archidefining dwelling tecture through a love of as the following: landscape. “Be it urban, sub“First, it means urban, or rural,” Nick asks, “how to meet others for Private residence on Ocean Beach, San Francisco does one shape his or her enviexchange of prodronment to their purposes while ucts, ideas, and at the same time living up to the experience life as parent and relevant to Nick as he approaches potential that that particular ena multitude of possibilities. each new project. vironment affords? What role do Second, it means to come to cultural, communal, or individual values play an agreement with accept a set of Nick spent three years of his childhood on the in this process? And how does one come to common values. Finally it means to be oneself, island of Sri Lanka and he credits much of his understand and honor what the ancient Greeks in the sense of having a small chosen world of early architectural inspiration to the influential referred to as the genus loci or the spirit of our own.” The parallel between Schulz’s idea local architect Jeoffrey Bawa. Historical influa place?” of dwelling and the Thacher ideal is always ap- ences on Sri Lanka were rich and ranged from


These are questions that Nick says are never far from mind as he practices architecture. “I often find myself lost in thought, back at Thacher, pondering the intangible: that somewhere between the gridded order of the orange groves, the mystic presence of the Topa Topa ridges, and the abandon on the Gymkhana Field lies the spirit of Thacher. Certainly the shared values of the community, the wisdom, generosity, and enthusiasm of its faculty and students, and the unpretentiousness of its campus are also elemental to that spirit.” After studying architecture at Berkeley and Yale and working for several firms in San Francisco for five years learning the craft, 26 The Thacher News

Model of Courtyard House (under construction in Taos, New Mexico)

the arrival of Buddhism in the third century, to the influences of merchant traders from Greece, Rome, and the Arab world to the west and China to the east, and eventually to colonialism in succession by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. Nick was impressed that Bawa had the ability to marry the complex issues of history, site, and climate, and blend those with the local architectural vernacular while at the same time expressing his own work in a uniquely modern architectural vocabulary. Bawa spoke of “the whole range of effort” that history had laid out before him and embraced and transformed those lessons to inform his work. Nick states that similarly, “Thacher instilled in me a respect and love for history and the critical ability to question what has come before us. Understanding the history and the cultural geography of a place are always an integral part of my working process.” By way of example, Nick describes a project of his that is currently under construction in Taos, New Mexico. Designed for clients who currently live in Madison, Wisconsin, the house is sited at the edge of a river gorge in the high desert south of town. The site has expansive views of the gorge, the high desert, and the surrounding sacred mountains and is bordered on one side by Native American reservation land. The culture of Taos is rooted deeply in a history influenced by Native Ameri-

Private residence in Sussex Shores, Delaware

can, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo cultures. Modern cultural influences on Taos have included Carl Jung, D. H. Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, and Thornton Wilder, and Taos has also supported a thriving counterculture of communes and communities of those interested in alternate energy sources, alternate building technologies, and sustainable lifestyles.

“This was a challenging site,” Nick jokes, “as it was essentially a site in the wilderness that came complete with a lot of cultural baggage—so how does one find one’s place in the wilderness?” After many sessions spent discussing the clients’ aspirations and program, he settled on a modified courtyard scheme for the house. One side of the courtyard is left open to the landscape beyond a low wall allowing the clients to feel connected to the landscape while at the same time the courtyard allows them to feel that they have captured a small place of their own in the high-desert landscape. The courtyard type has direct precedents in the Spanish and Mexican traditions of the area, yet Nick modernized and animated the type by making each side of the courtyard different. One side of the courtyard is an environmentally sound rammed earth building that has a corrugated pitched metal roof of the Anglo Territorial style, two sides of the courtyard are made of low pueblo-style buildings that are constructed of pumice crete—a locally devised sustainable building technology—and each of these wings has uniquely constructed portals (covered walkways) that respond to the passive solar opportunities of their orientations. The fourth side of the courtyard is the low garden wall. Nick hopes that the home will allow the family to feel secure in the landscape and yet remain connected to the geographic and cultural diversity of the region. “Like all Thacher graduates I am very fortunate,” Nick states. “Lessons learned at Thacher sustain me daily in my career and life. A love of learning, a deep appreciation and respect for the wilderness, and, most importantly, an understanding of what it means to be a part of a community are the treasured learnings that always take me back to The Ojai.” e

Private residence in Santa Barbara, California Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 27


Peter A. Matthews CdeP 1976 Seeking Dynamic Equilibrium


n second grade, Peter Matthews knew he wanted to be an architect. No wonder. He grew up in a family of artists—painters and advertising men who deliberated art and all things visual. He credits his mother, a gifted colorist who paints abstract oils, with introducing him to the fascinating “dance between abstraction and figuration.” His grandfather built an advertising agency with offices from LA to Rome, and his father, who nearly joined the circus as a clown, made Foote Cone & Belding’s San Francisco office a creative hotbed. As a child, Peter built sprawling sandcastles on Carmel Beach, designed yachts and trains, and worked in the family seaside garden. His early passions were as diverse as Japanese-garden design and New Yorker cartoons. He religiously followed the ShipsIn and Ships-Out listing in the Chronicle so he would know when his favorite ships were in port. On a trip east in the fourth grade, he was wowed by the huge locomotives he saw, and overwhelmed by his visit to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. He was equally captivated by the bizarre Fun House at Playland and, in morning chapel at 28 The Thacher News

by Jane D. McCarthy and Michele Hyams

Cathedral School, by the awesome Gothic During his years at Princeton, Peter earned space of Grace Cathedral. both undergraduate and graduate degrees, magna cum laude, in Architecture and Urban Arriving at Thacher as a freshman, Peter took Planning. With an emphasis on history and the School by storm, indulging himself in the theory, the small school is a leading forum for School’s many offerings. A student that ­relished critical thinking in architecture. In 1984 (“the the insights and connections that learning Orwellian Year”), based on his premise that offers, he balanced academics with artistic technology should be considered in cultural pursuits both on campus and independently. terms, Peter designed for his master’s thesis a He passionately explored Humanities stud- science museum for a site next to Stevens Instiies with Marvin Shagam, Ted Hayward, and tute of Technology on Hoboken’s waterfront. Peter Robinson, and was mentored by Edgardo The design, published in American Institute Catalan in the studio and by Chuck Warren in of Architects Journal, was cited by the jury as the mountains. During the exchange program “both celebratory and ominous.” with Emma Willard School, Peter was inspired by Edward Larrabee Barnes’ integration of “I was very fortunate to study closely with the modern Library and Arts Building into the architects such as Michael Graves, Raphael collegiate Gothic campus. At Emma Willard, Moneo, and Alan Colquhoun, one of the most Peter prepared designs for a school gym, and highly regarded critics in our field,” Peter later would work in Pittsburgh ­recalls. Graves is currently seen on TV adverwith Peter Bohlin, the gym’s tisements plugging “good design” for Target architect. For his Senior Proj- and has been credited with moving Ameriect, he designed an Arts Center can architecture from abstract modernism to for the Thacher campus that post-modernism. Madrid-based Moneo, who was planned around an asym- recently completed the new Catholic cathedral metrical hillside court, open- in Los Angeles, is known for developing “an ing to the sublime landscape awareness of place.” Peter also enjoyed indeof the nearby rocky barranca pendent reading courses with David Coffin, riverbed. noted Renaissance art historian, and with the pre-Columbian archeologist, Izumi Shimada. Under the guidance of friend According to Peter, “Whether considering an and coach Geoff Bird, Peter urban or natural site, these fellows were all for was Thacher’s top runner for rooting the building in its surrounding landthree years, earning him the Heffelfinger Track scape. This is a concept I thoroughly embrace.” Shield. He ran for three more years under Olympic Track Coach Larry Ellis on Princeton’s Cross Country team that for years dominated the Heptagonals (Ivy League plus Army and Navy). Senior year at Thacher, Peter served as School Chairman with a “strong sense of beauty and harmony and the New Jersey Museum of Science and Industry desire to build a positive community,” as one teacher wrote. At gradu- He spent five months in South America, sketchation, he was awarded the first Headmaster’s ing and photographing the pre-Columbian Award. Presenting the award, William Wyman ruins of Peru, where he witnessed remarkable said that Peter “best exemplified qualities the solutions to building in the landscape and deschool encourages: scholarship, creativity, con- veloped a sensibility that would lead him to cern for others, and the unpretentious kind industrial archeology, the history that precedes of courage that make for true individuality.” today’s electronic revolution. Peter is inspired To his friends, with whom he shared survival by Lewis Mumford’s writings about the dehuinterests, it was Peter who successfully negoti- manizing effect of the machine and by Siegfried Gideon’s complementary Space, Time, and ated for the much-appreciated Salad Bar.

experience designing and building a range of residences and commercial projects for extreme conditions. He drew inspiration from his family’s Quaker sea-captain history and from historical traces left by the island’s ­native peoples. Playing with scale and unlikely combinations of materials and using arbors and trellises to engage the natural seaside setting, he reinterpreted Nantucket’s vernacular architecture.

Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon

Architecture, in which “dynamic equilibrium” is proposed as an ideal for a modern age that combines both constancy and change. After grad school, armed with experience and education, Peter joined Peter Bohlin (architect of the popular Apple Stores) at his Pittsburgh office to design the Software Engineering Institute, a Reagan “Star Wars” project, at ­Carnegie Mellon University, where he also taught a graduate design studio. The finished building, which, interestingly stands in the shadow of a Gothic church, won numerous national awards and was featured on the cover of Architectural Record, entitled “Soft Machine.”

use zoning; he helped lead a community initiative for a long overdue island-wide master planning process. In his architectural practice, he gained vital

Peter returned to New York, and under the tutelage of veteran modernist John Lee, architect of the IBM building in New York City, worked Affirmation Arts on a variety of large-scale commercial projects and served as Project Architect on conceptually unifies the theater, dance, and a waterfront office building for the infamous music programs with a play of dynamic forms and curtain-like materials to inspire the Harry NY developer, Sam Lefrak. Potter demographic. Several years later, Peter started Matthews ­Architects (MA) with a focus on education- and Peter has maintained his ties with Thacher via arts-related projects. Located in a downtown the NYC committee and social gatherings. storefront, MA’s shingle hangs from a yellow When then-Director of Development Terry pencil “as a reminder of the days before the Twichell mentioned to Peter that Thacher was computer existed,” he explains. “We embrace “off to the races” planning the Commons and the computer, but not to the exclusion of the Performing Arts Building, Peter convinced past, as some current architectural thinking then-Thacher Board President Marshall Milligan CdeP 1969 and Head of School Michael tends to do.” Mulligan to form an Architectural Review Committee of alumni involved in the industry to select a suitable architect for the project that would define the Thacher experience into the future.

In the midnineties, Peter served on the Nantucket Planning Commission, where he advocated for the Village Plan, an infill concept that required Performing Arts Center at The Dalton School revising the island’s land- MA was recently selected from a field of established architectural firms to design a new Dining Room and Commons for the Dalton School. Known for its progressive educational philosophy, Dalton is an independent K-12 co-educational day school of 1300 students on Manhattan’s upper east side. “Our design approach is based on the imagined premise of an urban student caught in the ‘concrete jungle’ and daydreaming of playing in the park,” explains Peter. “At the center is a green plot, suggestive of a New England village green or commons where the Dalton community can congregate. To capture a playful, park-like setting, we’re bringing nature indoors.” MA’s design for a Performing Arts Center for Dalton Nantucket residence

Peter’s design for Affirmation Arts, a four-story arts foundation on Manhattan’s West Side, is currently under construction. The program brief called for a place to house both art-­production studios and artviewing galleries. The design differentiates between the orientation of lower-level galleries with the street and upper-level studio spaces facing the river, supporting his conviction that balancing “real-world constraints with creative freedom” will provide an inspirational stage for creative endeavors. The street façade and adjacent side facing the river will be enlivened by two 40-foot-tall ivy trellises that are part of a larger composition of sliding metal panels and framed space that are intended to combine in “dynamic equilibrium.” “As we become further entwined in the electronic age, it is essential that we embrace technology without being dehumanized by it. Architecture is a reflection of the world around us, and we can recognize its potential to simultaneously represent static truths and dynamic change.” e Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 29


Michael R. Blatt CdeP 1977 Spatial Choreography

by Jane D. McCarthy

and community oriented designs. Their work has been published in seven countries and is the subject of a newly released monograph published by The United Asia Art & Design Cooperation in Beijing. Fung + Blatt believe good design must primarily consider how people actually inhabit and relate to their spaces, especially through time. By raising questions that challenge conventional patterns of space utilization, they challenge clients to look beyond their typical lifestyle patterns in order to redefine how they interact with their physical environment, how light and climate affect their routine, and how tactile and acoustic qualities of materials affect the experience.


ichael Blatt first learned about architecture while he was a student at Thacher from old copies of Arts and Architecture magazines that he purchased from Bart’s Books. “They cost a quarter each and I would buy an issue a week. The magazine published stories about the future of mass-produced housing together with art reviews and essays about jazz. It seemed wonderfully naïve but it was also very exciting.” From these magazines Michael learned about “modernism” as a movement that was capable of offering a comprehensive, worldview that integrated all of the arts into a common mission. “I became very enamored with the idea that good design should improve people’s lives.” After studying fine arts in college and architecture in graduate school, Michael worked as a structural designer for an engineering firm while designing and building his first project, a studio for his father. On receiving his second commission in 1990, Michael formed Fung + Blatt Architects with his soon-to-be-wife, Alice Fung. Starting with modest residential additions, the firm has gone on to develop an international reputation for innovative residential 30 The Thacher News

The architects create buildings that tend towards a modernism rooted in the responsible use of resources, and in the expression of material and structure as an integral part of how the environment is made. For them, resource conservation begins with building only what is needed and extends to creating flexible, efficient spaces that can evolve to ensure longevity of use. Their buildings incorporate such features as solar heating, convective cooling, recycled and low

impact materials, and window orientations designed to capture natural resources and exploit the microclimates of the site. A primary example of this process is the home that Michael and Alice designed for their family on a 50-by-100-foot urban lot on the northfacing slope of a shallow canyon in the Mt. Washington section of Los Angeles. Their primary goals included creating a flexible and expandable environment that could evolve to meet the changing needs of a young family, while conserving resources and maintaining a budget. The result is an energy- and space-efficient armature of concrete and steel that plays off volumetric contrasts. Though built into the hillside, all living spaces open to patios or decks. An open plan allows rooms to borrow visual and psychological space from each other while creating a wide array of visual and spatial experiences. The main living space soars above the rest of the house to culminate in south-facing clerestories that provide ample light and passive cooling throughout the day. The master bedroom, while overlooking the living room, connects to an attic/loft that could be expanded to function as a retreat or studio with access to a roof terrace. A tall, light-filled garage will, in time, house a mezzanine for various creative activities. Various pathways weave around and through the home and gardens to create multiple Living room in the Fung + Blatt residence

Terraced back yard

was also drawn to the straightforward lines and simple, honest use of materials, as they played out in buildings such as the Upper School and the Dining Room. “Unstructured time in this rustic, somewhat austere setting allowed me the opportunity to consider some of the extremes of what creates shelter and what defines space. Living in different dorms each year also gave me the opportunity to see what kinds of spaces worked well what didn’t. It gave me a great appreciation of how good architecture and honest structure can work really well, making superficial finishes or stylistic embellishment unnecessary. I look forward to coming back to Thacher to see a new generation of buildings that continue the School’s best building traditions.” e Fireplace in the sitting room

Entrance to the Fung + Blatt residence

circulation patterns and opportunities to use and enter the spaces. This functional, creative residence comprises a modest 1600 square feet that, as ­Michael says, “we feel privileged to live in.” Recalling his days at Thacher, Michael says “My art teacher, Betty Saunders, gave me tremendous support and had me spend countless hours drawing the buildings on campus. I was fascinated with the ambiguity of how

Thacher’s built environment interwove with the natural landscape, in the numerous courtyards and in places such as the Outdoor Theatre and the Study Hall with its carefully framed view of Twin Peaks. I Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 31


Stanley L. Chiu CdeP 1982 Convergence of Disparate Paths


etween trips—surfing in Baja California and business in Minneapolis—Stan shared thoughts about his life at Thacher and his path into a career in architecture. In the process, he drew some parallels and connected some dots between these two eras and focuses, and spoke of why both are so engaging. Working Thacher’s stage crew, Stan helped determine lighting effects, design sets, and build props for productions including As You Like It, The Marriage of Figaro, Madwoman of Chaillot, and HMS Pinafore. “Although our time was directed, it was rather unstructured and unsupervised,” he recalls. “Together we developed a vision and design for the set, emphasized the natural setting, and then constructed everything with limited quantities two-by-fours, plywood, and paint. We learned more from this process than when I attended Wesleyan; there the stage crew received plans already drawn up with instructions for construction. It was a more professional, organized environment, but not nearly as creative or fun.” Stan began his Wesleyan career in pre-medicine, but after a few years of slogging through science and math courses, he shifted gears 32 The Thacher News

by Jane D. McCarthy

and double majored in neuro-psychology and ceramics art. Following graduation, he worked as a draftsman for a year before applying to architecture school. After three-plus stimulating years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Stan applied for a Tamaki Fellowship with a proposal to study traditional and contemporary architecture design processes with an idea of finding connections to mingei (common art). He won the grant, took a three-month crash course in Japanese at Middlebury, and moved to Tokyo to work with Itsuko Hasegawa. After winning a competition to design a concert hall for Niigata, Japan, Stan, Ms. Hasegawa, and the project team departed on a whirlwind tour of concert halls in England, West and East Germany, and Prague in the Czech Republic. Beyond learning about acoustics for vocal, ensemble, and orchestral groups, they focused on what it felt like to be a part of the audience with various seating configurations. Stan was particularly struck with the Berlin Philharmonie. Instead of feeling lost in a sea of seating, the hall is divided into units of seating. The configuration creates a sense of community—each group shares its space together, much like the new Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

return to the States in the early nineties, the economy was depressed and architectural jobs were few. A Minnesotan who had designed a house and was now building it employed Stan, a good match since, once again, they worked from minimal construction drawings.

Another aspect of Thacher’s environment that Stan valued and appreciates even more with time is the underlying theme of self responsibility, even while taking advantage of new opportunities and expanding one’s abilities. “There’s a vast space between the minimal requirements to get by at Thacher and the huge array of opportunities that students can delve into and discover.” In time, Stan realized this was a major life’s lesson. At Thacher, Stan ventured into rock climbing, surfing, winter mountaineering, and ceramics, pastimes he’d never tried before but continues to enjoy today. Similarly, Stan’s mentors at two large architectural firms where he worked (Ellerbe Becket in Minnesota and Perkins & Will in Los Angeles) assessed what he could do and then added a little more Armed with experiential data of to his job what worked best, Stan worked list, thereby ten-hour days, six days per week, for nine months letting him with the project team designing the perConcert Hall in Niigata, Japan forming arts center that includes a 1900seat concert hall, a 900-seat theatre, and a 375-seat noh (traditional performance art) theatre. The last three months of the internship, Stan worked as a carpenter on a house on Awaji-shima (an island off Kobe known for traditional arts and crafts), following the Japanese method of constructing from drawings with minimal details specified, much like Stan’s stage crew days at Thacher. Upon his

For nearly two years, Stan has worked for Hammel, Green and Abramson, Inc. a 50-year old architectural and engineering firm based in Minneapolis (with other offices in Milwaukee, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, where Stan is based) that specializes in designing buildings for higher education, the arts, and healthcare. Recently the firm won its fourth American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for the Bigelow Chapel, located on the Twin Cities campus of the United Theological Seminary. Currently under construction is a 14-story 300,000-square-foot addition to the Oregon Health & Science University campus in Portland that Stan designed while at Perkins & Will. His plate is replete with other projects including the renovation of a plaza and lobby for a commercial building in Century City, a satellite healthcare clinic in Fairfield and an oncologist’s clinic in Beverly Hills, a 750-seat music hall and a 30,000-square-foot three-story student union building for the Vanguard University in Orange County, California, and a study for an 80,000-square-foot research lab along with a 35,000-square-foot renovation of the teaching portion of USC’s School of Dentistry. If those projects weren’t enough, Stan and his wife, Alison, are pondering the addition of a second floor to their home in Venice Beach, a bungalow that they’ve continually renovated since moving in six years ago. If they wait long enough, perhaps their sons, James (3) and Henry (1), can learn construction by doing, just like their father. e

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

“gradually learn to swim in deeper water without drowning.” These mentors also helped him avoid the drudgery of many entry-level architects’ days where they spend endless hours drawing toilets, reflective ceilings, and door openings. Thinking back and comparing his experiences at Thacher with those in architecture, he finds that the parallels converged into his career. “At Thacher, we hung lights from trees at the Outdoor Theatre, trimmed branches to maximize illumination on the stage, dealt with unsteady floors and rickety surfaces, all while constantly dealing with limited resources. We had to be creative to meet the requirements. Designing a space is very similar because architectures must work with constraints—lighting, site, client preferences, circulation patterns, and economics, for instance. Determining what to accentuate or downplay, and turning features into advantages adds to the creative process and ultimately results in a better design.”

Oregon Health & Science University

The Museum of Horticulture in Yamanashi, Japan Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 33

Alumni News



In reading the Spring/Summer ’05 issue, John Barnard greatly enjoyed Mr. Mulligan’s “What I Love about Thacher,” but was disappointed to find no Class Notes earlier than 1940. He realized it was because no one had sent any in, so here is his contribution. He and his wife Jan returned from a great trip to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. When at home in Washington, they are active in the affairs of their co-op, where they helped start a “Concerned Shareholders” group and got three new board members elected. Jan heads the Social Committee and the Book Discussion Group, and John serves on the Budget Committee; both are part of the resident “Network” that assists residents in a variety of ways. John recently joined the Cosmos Club, which has members all over the country and remains active with “Widowed Persons Outreach” which he helped to start after his first wife, Lovelle, died in 1992. He serves as co-facilitator for a bereavement support group and serves on the Sibley Hospital Volunteer Council. If all that weren’t enough to keep him busy, John is finishing his memoirs at the request of his next-generation family, “who want to know about the old days. Naturally, there is a chapter on Thacher!” John keeps up with Bill Piper and Dana Wood, but would like to know what’s going on with other classmates.   

Class Notes


Although Robert (Shovel) Thomas couldn’t get to the 65th Reunion last June, he was pleased to get his class cap, and wants his friends to know that his absence was due to a scheduling problem, not poor health.

David Garden was named Napa County Conservationist of the Year by the Natural Resource Conservation Service for his efforts to prevent soil erosion along Sulphur and Heath Creeks. “For the last seven years, Garden and his neighbors have worked with local conservation agencies and engineers to complete a series of projects to cut soil erosion and—it’s hoped—allow steelhead salmon to spawn again in the same way they did decades ago, when Garden fished along nearby Heath Canyon Creek as a boy.”


 Chrissie and Brooks Crawford with Catherine,

Peter, their spouses, and offspring.

Representative Joe DiGiorgio sent along some news in February:


34 The Thacher News



 Nan and Norm Rosenblatt with their family: Amanda, Eli, Coby, Kate, Ali, Josh CdeP 1976, Sarah, David, Martha, Darcey, Brooke, Marc, and Benjamin.

extended family.




 Anita and Paul B. Fay, Jr. surrounded by their

by Jane D. McCarthy

John Clise loves retirement, especially traveling throughout the Southwest which he gets to do regularly. When he gets an urge to work, he does some volunteer consulting and mediation work, or finds some time to play golf and he was recently a lead in a local “sit-com” movie.

“It has been fun to check in with some of you in the New Year, and frustrating because I couldn’t reach others. Here are the expurgated versions of what I learned: “Let’s start with John Carver, our formerly disreputable and now-respectable School board director. Last fall he traveled with Thacher senior staff and alum reps to nine cities. He says it was wonderful meeting so many alums—young and older—who are remarkably loyal to Thacher. No one gave him the hook so I guess he did okay. He was able to visit with Toby Briggs while in NYC. “Adelle and I spent a month on Whidbey Island over the holidays—pretty much the first time we’ve stayed so long. Though we didn’t see them weaving past as we drove up December 22, ‘Lyn and Lee Follett were on the same highway the same day going in the same direction to the Oregon coast for some quiet time followed by an onslaught of their kids and grandkids.

“Bill Nigh reports from Oregon that four of his and Polly’s eight Welsh Terriers are champs, and points are being accumulated so that they can compete in national competitions such as Westminster, if they should decide to travel that far. “Guys—it’s fun to talk with you, but hard to reach you. We don’t want all the 411 to be about the few classmates I get to see. You can help make this effort worthwhile to all by giving me news—not necessarily earthshaking stuff, just stuff. I always close with a reminder of our 55th early in June 2008—exact date TBA. It’s in my calendar; I hope it’s in yours as well.”


1969 Michael Peletz was awarded a fellowship to spend the 2005-06 academic year pursuing research at The Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton. He is completing work on a new, interdisciplinary book focusing on gender pluralism in Southeast Asia since early modern times. After his year at Princeton, he will be joining Emory University as Professor of Anthropology. His sons are Zach and Alexander (21 and 16 respectively). He would enjoy hearing from his classmates!

1970  Rod Turner

David Behnke is happily retired in Cincinnati. Grandchild #7 was due in February. He sends his best to all Thacher folks.

1963 In September 2005, Lorance (Larry) Lisle retired as Master Planner of Fort Belvoir, VA, and then in December 2005, he became treasurer of the Collingwood Foundation in Alexandria, VA. Collingwood Foundation owns and operates Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism and is the home of National Sojourners, Inc., a Masonic organization of present and former military officers.

continues to enjoy his work at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica; he focuses on histopathologic diagnosis of cancer and moderates the Tumor Board discussions of cancer treatment options. He and Michele log many miles driving to Ojai to watch Kathryn (sophomore) and Anne (freshman) in various athletic and equine pursuits at Thacher.

1971  Kimberleigh and

Paul Gavin with their dogs Claude and Chloe (both 7).

Kristian Meisling is living in Houston with his wife Ginger von Wening, working for BP America Production Company, and exploring for gas onshore US and Canada. Their daughter Sarah is working on a doctorate in Psychology at UC San Diego. Ginger and Kristian have a jazz trio (flute, guitar, percussion) in which he plays the steel guitar and dobro. They’ve had lots of gigs in local country honky-tonks this past year, but they’ll take out time to attend reunion this June.

1973 The Tatla Lake ranch in British Columbia where Walt Foster, Jr., and his family live and work is featured prominently in a new IMAX movie coming out this summer: www.ridewithcowboys. com.

1974  Denise and Ben Carter’s children at Benden Farms: Brian CdeP 2005 and Kendra ’09

1965 Carter Beise and his family are living in Wilson, WY, although they recently purchased a small house in Santa Barbara when the weather gets too cold! They hope you’ll look them up when in the area!  Joni and Ted

Rhodes and their kids Jesse and Rachel ran the rapids economy style in the Grand Canyon.



 Now that both kids are

 Carol and Ned Cahill celebrated their Sil-

ver Wedding Anniversary along the Loire River Valley in a chateau with its own gourmet chef. They navigated from the Normandy coast to the countryside along the rivers of France all the way down to Marseilles. From there, they flew to the island of Corsica to hike and try local cuisine. Congratulations on 25 happy years! They also enjoyed a trip to China in June with 17 family members, a treat from Carol’s mother. Pictured here on their China trip are Kevin, Ed, Carol, Ned, Kim, Matt, and Chris.

at Thacher—Redgie ’07 and Casey ’09—Susie and Kittredge Collins are on campus more frequently.

1967  Toni and Bob

Hopkins with their children Whitney and Emmett CdeP 2001.


 Thanksgiving at Lake Nacimento? It sounds

 Laura and Ned Banning

don Santa hats for their ­annual photo. The exciting news for Ryan Wood is the birth of his daughter, Kylie (now 2.5), and the publication of his first hardback book, Majic Eyes Only: Earth’s Encounters With Extraterrestrial Technology ( His day job is as president of an energy conservation firm specializing in sales to big box retail energy managers. “It’s hard to imagine as a student at Thacher the twists and turns of life,” Ryan reflects, “from degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science at Cal Poly, to marketing jobs at Intel, to computer sales at Digital Equipment, to engineering management at Toshiba, to Silicon Valley start-ups, to energy management in Colorado. It’s all fun!”

pretty cold, but Newlin Hastings still water s­ kied.

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 35





 Antonieta and

 Liz Westbrook (Emma Willard/ Thacher exchange ’75) plans to join Jan and Reilly Pollard for the Reunion Weekend. Looking forward to this! While in Utah on business, Liz spent a few nights with Jane and Tim Bowman CdeP 1977. Tim and Liz went cross country skiing and visited Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970 artwork in the Salt Lake).

Javier Arango’s family: Javi (9), Andy(5), and Thunder.  Coco Trumbull and Kirk Mueller with their children Paige and Will.

1978  Although Will

graduated from Thacher in June, David (CdeP 1979) and Marganne Winter Oxley continue their trips to Ojai to visit their daughter Sondra who is a freshman. Will and David spent several weeks at the beginning of 2006 working with Ojai’s CREW to fix trails that were badly damaged in last year’s epic rainstorms.

After nearly seven years overseas in Hong Kong and London, Cathy and James Hanley brought their family back to Woodside, CA. All of them ride periodically, and their sons are active in soccer, tennis, and lacrosse. They miss the Leydeckers in London, but look forward to meeting other future/past Thacher alumni in their new digs.

1980 Jill Komura returned to school (yet again) to complete a Masters in Divinity degree at Seattle University. She hopes to seek ordination and find work as a hospital chaplain and pastoral counselor. So far, she’s thoroughly enjoying the program.

 Caroline and Bruce Somers’ family: Violet (8), Camelia (10), and Chi-Chi.

After 4.5 years since moving back to Hawaii from San Francisco, Brian Marguleas and his family are firmly settled into their little cottage home in lush Manoa valley. His wife, Elizabeth, is now marketing strategist for CommPac, one of Hawaii’s top communications firms. Brian was “Super-Stay-at-Home Dad” to Mailie (2.5) and Melia (5), but in January he became Campaign Coordinator for Hawaii’s US Representative Ed Case as he announced his campaign for US Senate against incumbent 81year old Senator Daniel Akaka. Meanwhile, a dozen candidates scramble for Mr. Case’s open Congressional seat. It looks to be an exciting year for Hawaii politics. They have a three-month-old white Maltese puppy, Kea. “If anyone’s visiting Oahu, give us a call: 808-988-1438.”  Janie Carroll and Weston Richardson CdeP 1980 sons: Sam (6) and Jack (9).

1982  Rick and Phoebe

Twichell Peterson’s children: Cara (14), Steven (11), and Tommy (9).  Henry and Emily Williamson Hancock’s children on Nantucket Island: Charles, Sarah, and Ellie.

1979 Anna (Lele) Herron Galer wrote to say that all three sons (Alex, 15, Peter 12, Simon 10) are in a Quaker private school, but she is still doing art programs in the public school system, including huge murals with the students and other wonderful projects. Meanwhile, Brad is starting up his own pharmaceutical corporation.


Brian Kopperl joyously announces his wedding to Leslie Talmadge (originally from San Francisco and now from near Boston) on January 7. Here they are pictured at Stinson Beach. 

Denise Miller called with the happy news that Nicole Miller and Eric Jensen’s son arrived on December 21, 2005. Carver Robert Jensen weighed in at 7.5 pounds and measured 19″ long.  Mary and Jonathan Blinderman with Jack Padraic, Bridget, and Finn.

When Thacher students were in Baton Rouge over Thanksgiving week, Alison Terbell Nikitopoulos hosted everyone for dinner. It was a highlight of the trip! Marian Huntington Schinske is the administrative director of Novato Spirit, a new non-profit that she founded in Novato, Marin County to help low-income kids participate in well-established educational and recreational schools and training programs in the community.  Kris Andersen with

daughter Karina in Rocklin CA.

Ed Sanchez reports that his “midlife crisis got interrupted by a one-year tour as an Army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.” This spring, he’s looking forward to the readjustment to normal living. “Not too sure where life will take me next but I am eager for the adventure.”

36 The Thacher News

 Stacy and

Michael Kong with their three daughters: Isabella, Te s s a , a n d Phoebe.

1984  After two sons,

 Christmas came a little early this year for

Molly and Mark Gamble. On November 28, Henry Law Gamble arrived and weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and 20 inches in length. Big sister Lila loves taking care of Henry.  Claudia

and Paul Bressie with their sons: James (2.5) and Pierce (1).

Amanda Minami and David Chao happily welcomed Aime Elizabeth to their family. Her big brothers are David, Jr. (10) and Lukas (a first grader). Alexander Djordjevich sends his “best to all my friends and former teachers at Thacher (especially Mr. Shagam, Dr. Johnston, and Ms. Johnston). It’s scary to acknowledge that my daughter Maya could be at Thacher in about three years! ‘Time keeps on slipping into the future’ someone once said. I’m still practicing real estate, probate, and litigation law in Washington, DC. Maya is 10, going on 11, and Milan is 5. And, I’m 40. Enough said.” On February 4, Mary Kuechler married Paul Kick. Her daughter Elisabeth (5.5) was maid-of honor. Also in attendance was Alison Field, who is due to tie the knot next June. Mary also reported that Mike O’Toole and his wife Jennifer welcomed twins into their family—Taryn and Ryan—on December 6, 2005. The twins’ big sister is Rory (5).

1989  Barrett Lewis is looking forward to introducing son Patrick (5) to Golden Trout Camp this summer, while his wife Lisa looks after daughter Eliza who is now 16 months old.

Entertainment Weekly announced that Tracy and Noah Wyle welcomed a baby girl, Auden, to their family on October 15.

1990  Jennifer Utman and Mark Sommer with daughter Talia.

Kristopher Zierhut has a new job at Blizzard creating on-line computer gaming. He moved to Aliso Viejo, but his job is in Irvine.

1987 David Cline’s first book of history was published by Palgrave Macmillan Publishers in February. Combining his background in journalism with his new jump into the history profession, he used a series of vivid oral-history interviews to explore the world of underground abortion networks before the Roe v. Wade decision to write Creating Choice. He is completing a doctorate in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2004, he was named New Professional of the Year by the National Council of Public History. The website for his book is www.creatingchoice. com, or purchase a copy online at Amazon. He lives in Durham, NC, with his second wife and a #$@!load of animals (but no horses).

 Toby Maitland-

Lewis and Rie Reniers celebrated daughter Lucy’s first birthday in February. Pictured here is the Reniers Clan: Toby and Rie CdeP 1990 with daughter Lucy, Betsy and Bob, Maggie CdeP 1992, and Wil CdeP 1995.

 Zeth Campe, pictured with his mother Pamela,

Carson’s wife Vashti, Carson CdeP 1994, and father Jim.


 Jennifer and David Bressie are managing and

Thacher’s first “human” entrant in the Olympics is Sarah Konrad, who competed in Torino in both the Biathlon and cross country skiing events. Beyond this distinction, she was the oldest US female competitor and the only woman to compete in two different sports in the same Olympics.



 Morgan

(CdeP 1985) and Sarah Lavender Smith with their kids Colly (8) and Kyle (4).

running buildings, leasing space, surfing, and trying to keep up with Mackenzie (8), Gillian (6), Jacqueline (4).


1991 On April 6 in Oakland, CA, Carrie Johnston and Adrien Martin welcomed their 8 pound, 8 ounce daughter Martha into the world. Dr. and Mrs. J are thrilled to be grandparents.


 Jennie and

Ben Freeman with their children: Charles Vaughan (born August 12, 2005) and Sage Eleuthera (June 21, 2003).

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 37

 Joshua Jade recently got married! He and his beautiful bride, Hath­away Findlay, had an amazing celebration in Rhode Island which included alums Camillia Joy CdeP 1993 and Ben Freeman (who just happens to be Hathaway’s brother). Josh also recently started teaching for the Conservatory Lab Charter School which is a K-5 public school for learning through music.

 Serena and Alec

Perkins with their son Will.

Pat and Brittany Walker Conant are having a great time introducing their daughter, Josie Allen Conant, to the world. She was born on May 7, 2005, two months early, but is “growing like a weed and catching up to regular ten-month olds now. She’s an observant little one, with a deep laugh, and a penchant for grabbing necklaces.” Maggie Reniers and Jessi had a great year in Oaxaca, but they moved back to California in February. Maggie took a job with Sun Pacific to be the headmistress of a mobile school to teach employees English.

 Molly Wales

W. De­Young Jr. (bride is Mary Elizabeth).

Kerri and Danny Sonenshine welcomed their second daughter, Sarah Augusta, on January 2, 2006. Big sister Maggie (4) is very excited to play with her new sister and the already thoughtful Sarah has started letting her parents get a little bit of sleep. Danny left the practice of law a few years ago and started a company that opens and operates chicken wing restaurants in Southern California. Drew Denbo, Blake Grayson, and Jonathan Feldman CdeP 1990 stopped by recently and took advantage of their Thacher Alumni discount.

(faculty brat from 1978-1992) married Craig Cornett. Officiating was Maggie Reniers CdeP 1992, Molly’s prefect at Thacher, who traveled all the way from Oaxaca, Mexico, for the wedding!

38 The Thacher News

Rhode Island, then honeymooned in Belize, both in the mountains and at the beach where they SCUBA-ed. They are expecting a baby in July, just a week after Heather finishes her residency, and right before they move to California to start new jobs. Pictured here are Ron Phillips (father of Kenyon), Elizabeth Hieronymus, Cricket Twichell, Todd Wigert, Chris Nichols, Heather Nichols, Rika Howe Toll, Terry Twichell, Linda Phillips (mother of Kenyon), Nate Toll, and Devon Brown.

Weighing in at 7 lbs, 6 oz., and measuring 21 inches, Brady Arthur McGawn arrived on January 17, to thrilled parents, JJ Eklund and Mike McGawn.

 Lisa Wantuck

To a n a p p r e c i a tive and boisterous audience, ­ Michael Mulligan welcomed back Cam Spaulding in February, as he returns to coach lacrosse and teach a course on perspectives of nature. Since his departure last spring, Cam and a friend oversaw 70,000 acres of land and crosscut 70 miles of the John Muir Trail. Then he took 40 eighth graders to the Sea of Cortez to meet local students in organized activities, along with snorkeling and fishing during four weeks in Bahia de Los Angeles. Back in the states, Cam spent November in the deserts of the Southwest, exploring the Mojave National Preserve, and backpacking in desert ranges of Arizona. From December through February, he traveled to Costa Rica, where he bought a two-acre parcel that he hopes to turn into a sustainable farm.

 On May 7, Chris Nichols married Heather in

 Brian and Helen Holmes Gold’s son Henry.

1992 married Brian Emme on October 22, 2005 in St. Paul Catholic Church in Burlington, IA.

Mary Everett recently moved to Chicago, where she’s started at Northwestern’s physical therapy school. She loves Chicago, but she was scared about what winter would bring. Last May she got engaged to Jeff Conarroe, whom she met in Denver, CO, a few years back. He works for the University of Mississippi Men’s Basketball Team. They are planning their wedding for Labor Day weekend 2007 due to his busy job and her intense PT program. Brian Rowe and Ysette Reynolds Guevara married in Portillo, Chile, at the end of August. Take a look at their ceremony; they eloped and married on top of a frozen lake! ( brian-ysette/44056871/in/set-964047/) Ysette is still working towards her doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese Literatures at New York University (“It’s taking forever!); since they also live in Brooklyn, Ysette sees Jovi often.


 Mr. and Mrs. James

Now living in Brooklyn is Jovita Young Geraci; her husband Robert is a professor at Manhattan College. In addition to her son, Zion, they have a daughter, Liel Chanah-Siduri Geraci, who was born at home November 7, 2005. There are tons of pictures of both up on their website: www.

1994  Charlotte, daughter of

Kate Munzig CdeP 1992 and Eric Dachs. Michael Isaac wrote to say that he and his bride from 2001, Jessica M. Stevens, have two children (Zachary Tinker born 8/8/03 and Kate McGirl Isaac born 3/25/05). He’s working with his family’s tractor company Mac Brown Excavating in Carpinteria, CA.  Dermond Thomas happily introduces Olivia Capri, who arrived on December 23, 2005 at 3:04.

 Seana and Justin Stephens on their wedding day.

Meredith Bressie now drives pumpkin-colored Mini convertible and she is hoping to complete her architectural license this spring. She spent Thanksgiving on a trip to Paris with a girlfriend and her brother, and she’s improving her tennis. Heather and Josh Kurlinski finished their graduate studies in Las Vegas in December and were re-evaluating their job choices now that they have new masters’ degrees.

Now living in Brooklyn is Jovita Young Geraci; her husband Robert is a professor at Manhattan College. In addition to her son, Zion, they have a daughter, Liel Chanah-Siduri Geraci, who was born at home November 7, 2005. There are tons of pictures of both up on their website: www.



 Sonya and Bill

Henricks moved back to Lake Forest. They were expecting a special delivery in mid-January. After Zach Story and Elizabeth Hieronymus married in April, they did some soul-searching about what was right for their life together: “While I love the people in Ohio, the winters were starting to wear on me. We both knew that we wanted to be more active in our daily lives, so we decided to work in the fitness industry. Thus, we quit our jobs, rented out the house in Gambier, and moved out to LA (where my parents are) to start anew. Things are going great! We both got jobs as personal trainers at Spectrum, a super gym just 10 minutes from where we are living. We’ve been spending time at the gym, getting to know the people and facilities, and official training started February 17. We’re taking classes from UCLA, working towards our certificate program in Fitness Instruction. We are also busy studying for the National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) exam in April.”

 Dr. and Mrs. Kevin Madden (bride is Elizabeth Munzig) surrounded by the Munzig clan: Kate CdeP 1992 and Eric Dachs CdeP 1994 with Charlotte, Rachel ’06, Judy and Tom, Margaret “Moey” Osborn (Peter’s fiancée), Peter CdeP 1999, and Charlie CdeP ’03.

 Brian Bennett

Alexia Allen Stevens is enjoying her new fourfooted baby, an 11-yearold Bashkir Curly mare, a breed noted for its steady temperament. They ride bareback for hours on trails through the forest and down to the gas station to get the Sunday paper! Pictured here in December 2005 are Adrian CdeP 1999, Paula, and Alexia Allen in Belvedere, CA.

married Anne Tsai Bennett on February 19, 2005 at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, CA. The newlyweds are living in Washington, DC and have set up house in a hundred-year-old brownstone apartment building. They are busy with careers, Brian still with TIME and Anne with the National Democratic Institute, promoting democracy in countries around the world. You can often see Brian on TV, either on CNN or Fox News and others. He continues to cover Iraq as well as lots of other interesting stories; they were both on campus in January to talk about his career and put up a photo display on Iraq in the new Commons. Nate and Rika Howe Toll are getting used to their life in the desert of New Mexico. Nate works at Sandia National Labs and Rika is teaching K-1 at a charter school there. They are six months pregnant and are excited to meet their new bambito around June 14.

1995 Will Reniers is eagerly awaiting acceptance to the design school at California College of Art in San Francisco.

Amanda Johnson is back in Ventura for the time being, working at Barber Motors by the mall to save some money for going back to school. She volunteers tutoring English to people who speak very little, none, or just want to practice. In March she left for Florence, Italy, to take an intensive TESOL program through the Trinity College in Britain: “Hopefully I will be returning to Europe indefinitely to teach English and pursue an Art History Master’s degree. If you’re in the area I’d love to hear from you!”

Janelle Pietrzak graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA with an AA in Apparel Manufacturing in December, her third undergraduate degree! Ryan Foster is completing a business degree in tourism management in Vancouver, while continuing his mountaineering interests (recently climbing Mt. Combatant—third highest in the Waddington range) and operating an Adventure Experience business at the Foster Ranch (check it out:

 Rachel Werlin became Mrs. Lance J. T. Schum-

acher on November 5, 2005. Both Rachel and Lance are practicing law.

Jack Brown will be teaching at the University of Washington (State). 

1997 Daniel Lancefield is progressing at UCSF Medical School and is midway through his second year.  Maria became Mrs.

Ryan Kurlinski on July 9, 2005 in Brooklyn, NY. They continue to pursue graduate studies in Pittsburgh.

 Mr. and Mrs. Cameron Boswell (Cherilyn) at their May 22, 2005 wedding; also pictured are his parents Jim CdeP 1970 and Suzanne, Liz, Kate, and Dan.  Jessica Sawyer (left, with sister Sarah CdeP 1999) finished her Teach for America commitment in 2004, but stayed on for another year at Lynwood High School. This summer, however, she moved to Animo High School, a public charter school in Venice. She’s really enjoying teaching environmental science and living only a five-minute walk from her classroom. She also moved from her UCLA Rugby Club to the Santa Monica Rugby Club’s new women’s squad when the former went intercollegiate and had to say good-bye to its non-Bruin players. She earned her rugby coach certification, as well.

According to her mother, Hallie Gordon has a flat in Notting Hill in London and has begun a doctorate program this year. In her spare time, she’s writing a novel.

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 39



 Another double Toad marriage: Felicity Howe

 Tzuki-Tsuki held a surprise pre-nuptial party

for Eric Morrill in Las Vegas during the last weekend of February, just three weeks shy of the wedding festivities in San Francisco. Pictured here are Andrew Barkan and girlfriend Polly, Ryan Meyer and Eliza Gregory CdeP 1999, Thomas Beatty CdeP 1999, Rafaelle and Eric Morrill, and Casey Muller and girlfriend Brooke.

and Justin Arnold were married September 24, 2005 at the Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, CA, during an intimate ceremony surrounded by their family and fellow Toads: sister and Matron of Honor Rika Howe Toll, her husband Nate Toll (both CdeP 1994—the first Toad marriage in the Howe family) as well as groomsmen Darren Bechtel, Jon LePlastrier, and Todd Meyer and bridesmaid Sarah Morrow. FYI: Felicity is not wearing a dress in the picture because her wedding gown was held hostage in Houston due to Hurricane Rita that happened the same week and the whole city shut down! She and her sister found her outfit the day before the wedding: “We were just grateful that we both made it and that we weren’t getting married in Houston. We are now living in Houston, TX with our golden retriever Paddington.”

1999 In January 2005, Sarah Sawyer returned home after five months in the Republic of Congo, where she helped a conservation organization resettle orphaned chimpanzees in a remote forest preserve. While back in the US she lived in the Sunland area, working with chimps for an organization that rescues and protects exotic animals. In July, she left for Uganda, where she is spending a year observing and studying a group of mountain gorillas as part of a long-term research project conducted by the German-based Max Planck Institute. Conditions in the field and at her base station in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are primitive, but she has a computer system for her work and e-mail access, and loves hearing from fellow Toads. Chris Holland moved to sunny Phoenix to work as a landscape architect.  Jeremy and Sarah Bruss

Gabrielson are living happily in Machias, Maine, with their son, Neill Allyn, who arrived December 11, 2005. Congratulations!

Along with his father Van Dyke, Richard Parks has a new business venture entitled Old Koton Industries. Visit their website to check out some great music: Seth Kurlinski remains in Boston but is considering a move west as he continues to contemplate his career goals. Wa y n e Chang and Erin Blankenship show off their medals after completing the New York City Marathon in November 2005. 

According to her mother, Lacey Gordon is finishing up at Pitzer this year.

 Martha ’06 and

Lucinda Brown is working as a petroleum analyst in Washington, DC.

Matt and Kim Cahill Peterson moved from Long Beach to Santa Monica, to be closer to UCLA-Drew Medical Center where she is a first-year medical student; it’s a better commute for Matt, too, who is in his second year of law school at USC. On September 9 in Sunriver, OR, Margaret “Moey” will become Mrs. Peter Munzig.

40 The Thacher News


According to his very proud mother, Cy BaderMenendez is attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he made the Dean’s List last year. He’s holding a solid A this year, as a junior majoring in music synth while he also continues his interests in production and film scoring. This semester he’s psyched about studying counterpoint and East Indian music, and he’s adding mandolin playing to his instrumental repertoire. He can be reached at cbader@berklee. net or 617-894-2439.  In May 2005 David Babbott graduated Cum Laude from Amherst College with a bachelor’s in Political Science. His years at Amherst included some student government, active involvement with the Rugby Club, a semester in Prague, and writing a thesis about the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and its effects on political discourse. He is now working as an analyst for Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking Group in Century City, CA.  Erin Hafken-

Katie Russell was always good with numbers. Says she, “I am 1/8 of a doctor.” Eliza Gregory at last May’s Gymkhana.


A year ago, Devon Tarasevic started working for the Campton Place Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco and soon received two promotions to Assistant Front Office Manager. She also interns at the art auction house Bonham’s and Butterfield’s. Beyond work, Devon found time to run a handful of half marathons, one triathlon, and the full Women’s Marathon last summer.

schiel and her family spent the holidays in Cancun: Joe, Cyn, Erin, and Alex. Nili Hirsh is the Assistant Editor for Mountain Biking Magazine. It seems that those bike rides with her father and English courses at Thacher have paid off. She can be reached at Kevin Cahill graduated from Johns Hopkins University in December and learned that he was accepted to USC School of Medicine while teaching kids to ski at Colorado’s Steamboat Springs. He continues to be an avid athlete: surfing, playing intramural softball and soccer.  Andrew “The Prince” DeYoung with his brother Jamie CdeP 1991 at the latter’s wedding.

If that fellow looked familiar in the LIFE Section of March 23’s USA Today, or in March 24’s Wall Street Journal for Black Donnolly’s under Media and Marketing, or even on Tuesday, March 28 evening’s “Law and Order,” you’re right. He’s our own Jonathan Tucker, who’s getting plenty of air time these days.


 Ed Cahill

An article in the January 25, 2006 edition of The Sacramento Bee focuses on light, fluffy pancakes and the memories they conjure up. One favorite memory was that of Hilary White when she and her dad made pancakes on many Sunday mornings. When she was applying to Thacher, she had to write an essay about the precious possessions she would place into a time capsule. Among them were her “childhood blanket (known as “Blankie”) and The Joy of Cooking pancake recipe, even though it’s so crinkled with batter that when you open the book, it opens right to that recipe,” recalls Hilary, now 21 and a senior at UCSC.  Erik Fiske

took a white water rafting trip with the Oxleys and Wilders before settling down in Stockton for eight months before starting as a freshman at Middlebury. He made good use of his time studying Italian, coaching part time for a nearby elementary school, and learning to surf while in Hawaii in July. Toads pictured here are David CdeP 1979 and Will Oxley, Justin Ouyang, and Edward Cahill on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho, in July 2005.

with sister Jacqueline ’03 and Julia ’07 and parents Karen and Chuck.

Reimers (1990-94): Molly and Stuart announce the birth of William Dow on December 20, 2005.  Marilee and John

Lin’s (both 1993-97) sons: Noa and Kai

 Sonday and Bill

Rexford’s son Henry.

lings Nicky and Mary.

Ben Babbott is a freshman at Amherst and is learning Rugby with the Rugby Club. He is also singing with the Zumbyes, an a cappella group that performed at Thacher in March.

Edward Tavernetti is a philosophy and math major at UCSB, and he expects to graduate in 2007.

Chris Cahill and his brother Kevin CdeP 2001 became ski instructors at Colorado’s Steamboat Springs this last year. When Chris returned to Dartmouth for his sophomore summer, he led a group of freshmen on their outing. He then took off the fall of his junior year on a Geology Stretch Program through six states and nine national parks, starting in Billings, MO, and ending in Death Valley, CA.

  Sarah and John

 Willy Wilder with sib-


John Babbott is now a junior at Amherst, majoring in English. He spent a semester abroad in Valparaiso, Chile, and lived with a local host family. He has translated a book from Spanish to English, and he has done a lot of traveling around South America. At Amherst, John runs cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Last winter, he was named a Division III All American for indoor track on the basis of his relay team’s third place finish in the NCAA Division III Championships

Former Faculty

 Jenny and Steve

Hauge’s (1976-81) Family: Jenny and Michael.

 Sara and Sandy Ballou (1989-90) with children Sandy and Grace.

Current Faculty Carol and Chuck Warren will retire at the end of this school year and move to New Hampshire, near their daughter Michelle CdeP 1985 who is a tenured professor at Dartmouth. Another baby boom is expected on campus this spring: Therese and Chris Vyhnal welcomed Jack Morey to their family on April 11. In June, Toby and Amy Elmore are expecting a son; so are Bert and Elizabeth Reynolds Mahoney CdeP 1988; and Kara and Jeff Hooper are expecting their second child.

 Dave and Eleanor

Tydings’ (1991-93) children: Sam, Jill, and Jay. e

2004 Evan Werlin is a sophomore at Brown University in RI, and is pursuing a future in medicine. Graham Douds transferred as a sophomore to Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

2005 Emma Werlin is a freshman at George Washington University and loves studying in our nation’s capital.

Fall 2005 / Winter 2006 41

Obituaries Alumni News

Losses to the Community Alumni and Friends Who Will Be Sorely Missed

James Lord Morrisson CdeP 1934 died in April 2005, after battling cancer for 2.5 years. Born in Chicago, Jim (Jamie) was tutored at home until third grade. He attended Thacher for his first two years of high school; he was an outstanding scholar, who, as SDT wrote to his mother, studied “with the absorption of a lawyer.” He transferred to Pomfret School in Connecticut, then studied at Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude. He enrolled at Columbia Law School, worked as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review, and graduated with honors. Next, he spent two years as law clerk to Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone of the US Supreme Court. Justice Stone recommended that Jim serve in the Operations Analysis Section of the Office of Strategic Services with the Eighth Air Force during World War II and he served in High Wycombe, England. Later he served in the Office of the Solicitor General and argued several cases of Constitutional significance in the US Supreme Court. He joined the Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Justice and worked with Robert Kennedy, along with others, to draft the Civil Rights Act of 1964; he also was an attorney for the Atomic Energy Commission. Jim took early retirement and pursued interests in music and drama, and taught government at a community college. He also performed solo song recitals in five languages, directed a church choir, and performed in plays. He helped found the Virginia Opera Association and played cello with a string quartet of US Government attorney and with a community orchestra. In his sixties, he became a Christian, earned an MA in Biblical Studies and wrote numerous articles for his website (; he also wrote the book Standing Firm in the Faith: Finding God’s Strength in Challenging Times. Jim is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Frances Freedman Morrisson of Richmond, VA; and three children: Maria, Robert, and Douglas.

John T. Snyder, Jr. CdeP 1936 died in August, 2005. John attended Thacher for two years (1933-35). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams in 1940. He lived in Bellevue, WA, and is survived by his wife, Vera. and their children: David, Laura, Ellen, and Susan.

42 The Thacher News

Henry Lapham Saltonstall CdeP 1941 died in December, 2005, in Mill Valley, CA. He attended Thacher for 1939-40 school year, having attended the Hanahauoli and Punahou Schools in Honolulu prior to arriving here. He excelled in mathematics and swimming, and made many friends. He received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1945.

Brayton Wilbur, Jr. 1952 died March 24, 2006. A native San Franciscan, Brayton spent four years at Thacher and became, “one of the liveliest members of his class,” according to the 1952 El Archivero. “When not enjoying an argument, Brayton can be found either upholding his position as a mainstay of the championship tennis team or ardently playing on the second soccer team, as well as profiting from the more cultural aspects of Thacher life such as Mr. Ignon’s Art Class, Dramatics, and the Glee Club.” He postponed matriculating to college by spending a year at Exeter, where he helped the tennis team. Brayton earned his BA from Yale in 1957, and his MBA from Stanford in 1961. In 1963, he married Judy Flood, and shortly afterwards, began his life-long career at Wilbur-Ellis, Co. (WE), a leading international marketer and distributor of agricultural and industrial products founded by his father in 1921. His tenure at Wilbur-Ellis was marked by the expansion of the company through the acquisition of Tide Products, Willamette Seed Co., and John Taylor Fertilizers and Soilserv Inc. He oversaw the creation of Wilfarm LLC, a joint venture in the Midwest with Farmland Inc. Beyond WE, Brayton served on various boards including the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, the J. David Gladstone Institute at UCSF, Safeway Stores, Chronicle Publishing Company, CropLife America, the World Affairs Council and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Brayton is survived by his wife Judith; four children: Jennifer Rowland of LA, Edward of Carmel, Claire Pollioni of Woodside, and Michael Wilbur of Bangkok, and their spouses; his mother, Dita of Hillsborough; and eight grandchildren.

by Jane D. McCarthy

years at Thacher, he stood out as “resilient, outgoing, full of fun and frolic, very kind, considerate, and good natured;” he excelled in history and the arts. He finished high school in Arizona. Later in life, Jim was known for being gentle, generous, stubborn, demanding, filled with fight and overflowing with compassion. He was a talented photographer and artist, who excelled at airbrush painting, collages, and architectural and interior design. He was a madman skier (primarily at Telluride; Sun Valley, ID; and Whistler, BC), lover of jazz and yachting (proud owner of two luxury crafts), and, in the 1990s, owner and operator of Eagle Eye Gallery on Capitol Hill in Seattle, that provided space for new and budding artists and many of his own works. From that role, he became a philanthropist by creating and exclusively funding the Raynier Institute and Foundation that supported health care, animal protection, the arts and music, with a focus on youth. Jim was preceded in death by his mother, Joan Ray, and his brother Eustis Paine. He is survived by his father, James Chandler Ray; two sisters, an aunt, two uncles, four nephews, two nieces; and Jupiter McPooch, his loyal and loving Corgi.

Friends of the School Richard R. Best, father of the late Craig R. Best CdeP 1980, died February 8, 2006 in Ventura, where he had practiced as a certified public accountant for 40 years. He enjoyed flying, traveling, hunting, and burro-packing trips; he and Craig climbed to the summit of Mt. Whitney. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Brigitte Ashe Best; daughters Marlis, Karen, and Brigitte and their husbands; and daughter-in-law, Danilyn Rutherford.

Mansfield D. Sprague died peacefully at his home in the East End of Ojai on March 25, 2006, at the age of 95. He practiced law in Connecticut, served in that State’s House of Representatives, and was appointed Department of Defense by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He and his wife retired to Ojai in the late 1970s, where he became involved in various civic organizations and participated in the sports he loved: tennis, golf, and swimming. He James Widener Ray CdeP 1971 died Octo- is survived by his wife Chilant, daughter Susan, ber 9, 2005. Prior to arriving at Thacher, son Dan and his wife Marie; three grandsons; Jim lived in Bozeman, MT. During his two and six great-grandchildren. e

Remembering Thacher:

Retirement Plans T

hink planned giving is complicated? Something only to consider in your golden years? Erin Archer CdeP 1996 disagrees. For her, planned giving started with her first job. At the time, her resources were limited, and her capacity to be philanthropic was equally restricted. However, she wanted to do something to show her gratitude to Thacher and to establish a connection as an alumna. Erin chose “a simple and relatively painless way to show [her] support.” She named Thacher as a beneficiary of her IRA. An increasing number of alumni, in particular young alumni, are ­realizing that designating Thacher as the beneficiary of their retirement plans— IRAs, 401(k)s, 401(b)s—is a powerful way to show their dedication to the School. It is also smart tax planning because designating a retirement plan to a charity avoids potential double taxation (income and estate tax). For Erin, who is young, single, finishing graduate school, and just starting her career, this choice made sense. She realized that if she passed away, her family would not need the funds. However, Thacher and several of her other favorite organizations would. Erin saw this as a vehicle for her “to make a gift that would impact the School in a meaningful way.”

Over and over again, I found myself supported by teachers, staff, and other students as I faced the rigors of growing up… Thacher encouraged me to find the very best within.

“Education has always been a primary focus of mine,” explains Erin, “both personally and to support education for those in less fortunate situations.” She devotes her philanthropic efforts, both annual and planned, to “increasing funds available for educational organizations.” Erin’s dedication to education links back to Thacher, where she feels she was well prepared for college and for life. “Over and over again, I found myself supported by teachers, staff, and other students as I faced the rigors of growing up…Thacher encouraged me to find the very best within.” Erin’s support of Thacher is how she expresses gratitude for her experience here. As Erin continues to move through her life’s stages, her personal and philanthropic goals may change. As they do, it will be easy for Erin to adjust her planned giving strategy to fit her needs. While her estate may become increasingly complex through the years, her first planned giving effort—naming beneficiaries to her IRA—will remain simple to adjust. She can add additional retirement plan beneficiaries on her own (no attorney necessary) simply by completing a “Change of Beneficiary Form” from her plan’s administrator. For more information about making a gift of a retirement plan or another planned gift to Thacher, please contact David V. Babbott, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, at (805) 640-3201 ext. 242, or e-mail

Erin Archer CdeP 1996 at home in Chicago

The Thacher School 5025 Thacher Road Ojai, CA 93023

Address Service Requested


Thacher Gatherings and Events

Spring – Early Fall 2006 Grandparents’ Days Tuesday-Wednesday, April 18-19 Senior Exhibitions Thursday-Saturday, April 20-22 Napa/Sonoma Gathering Saturday, May 6 Gymkhana Weekend Friday-Sunday, May 12-14 Spring Camping Trips Sunday-Friday, May 21-26 Commencement Saturday, June 3 Reunion for Classes ending in 1 and 6 Friday-Sunday, June 9-11 Golden Trout Encampment Sunday- Friday, July 16-28 Students Return Friday-Saturday, September 1-2 Fall Camping Trips Monday-Friday/Saturday, September 4-8/9 New Year’s Banquet Sunday, September 10 First Day of Classes Monday, September 11 Family Weekend Friday-Sunday, October 27-29

Nonprofit Org. US Postage PAID Oxnard, CA Permit No. 110

Fall 2005 - Winter 2006  
Fall 2005 - Winter 2006