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The Magazine of The Thacher School * Fall 2008


Out of the Box

How students celebrate individuality, embrace community, and discover their niches at CdeP

Also in this issue: Marvin Shagam: 50 Ways to Laud a Teacher Talking Your Way into the Forbidden City Geeks Bearing Gifts: Do Nerds Make Better Teachers?

Fall 2008 * Volume 2, Number 2


10 • Armchair Wanderings

Find out how two recent graduates translated their Chinese skills into behind-the-scenes roles at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

12 • Out of the Box

Although the myth of the frontier was built around larger-than-life characters and a don’t-fence-me-in spirit of independence, tight-knit communities and strong interpersonal ties also played (and continue to play) more than a supporting role. In this issue, we explore the social ecology of Thacher and what it means to find a niche here..

on & off campus

Alumni & community News

01 • View From Olympus

24 • Gatherings

Cool or uncool, niche or mainstream, great teachers know how to connect with students.

02 • Up Front About this issue.

03 • Readers Respond


Events and news involving the extended Thacher community.

26 • Class Notes, etc. Class notes, milestones, and news from faculty, staff, and friends.

39 • In Memoriam

We read your letters.

04 • The Pergola An assemblage of noteworthy School and community intelligence.

41 • The Best We Can Do What difference does it make to give?

FRONT COVER The cubbies outside the Hills Dining Hall offer a visual metaphor of Thacher’s diverse social matrix. Behind the cover, this issue surveys the campus environment through the trope of an ecological niche, with its overtones of adaptation, evolution, and interconnected community.


BAck COVER Eva Batalla-Mann ‘12 and her horse, Dot.

view from olympus…

“Why are good teachers strange, uncool, offbeat?....Because really good teaching is about not seeing the world the way that everyone else does.… Good teachers perceive the world in alternative terms, and they push their students to test out these new, potentially enriching perspectives. Sometimes they do so in ways that are, to say the least, peculiar.” — Mark Edmondson, The New York Times


Edmundson sounds a popular theme here, and there is a good deal of truth in the notion that good teachers do indeed ask their students to see the world in different and unconventional ways. Good teachers are not wed to the moment nor to conventional wisdom; and time spent in the classroom with a teacher whose interests and passions transcend the here and now is one of the greatest experiences a student can have. Blinders are ripped off and fresh perceptions blow the cobwebs out, dislodging ignorance, challenging mythologies, and expanding vistas. But Edmundson asserts that good teachers are “strange, uncool, offbeat” and one is tempted to agree prima facia. Who among us has not studied with the crazy professor or eccentric wizard? But a moment’s reflection challenges this assertion. Consider the Thacher Faculty: So many are graced, elegant, and totally in the flow—in a word: cool. Where to begin? We’ve got » an ex-Exum guide, surfer, nature photographer, and environmentalist » a powerhouse PhD who is also a competitive runner and swimmer, not to mention a savvy dresser » the reigning champion of the Extreme Cowboy Race National Finals, recently described by a student as “the epitome of Western cool” » a crazy-smart, sports-car driving, jazz piano-playing math teacher. I could easily list many more faculty members who every day prove themselves to be excellent teachers and anything but uncool or offbeat. Instead, I want to question Edmundson’s easy assumptions about what counts as hip (or dorky) in the first place. Perhaps the best way to do that is to examine our own embodiment of the Edmundson thesis, our epitome of the cool uncool, Mr. Marvin H. Shagam. Think of 12 students crammed into his apartment: surrounded by thousands of DVD’s, videotapes, and stacks of books. His very bearing and presence transforms the atmosphere: two scarves, three watches, the tattered tie, the deep, probing questions, the laser-like focus that says to each student—as Michael Kong CdP 1983 recently put it: “What you are saying is the most important thing I have ever heard,” (or, in years past and under different circumstances: “Don’t even think about lying to me!”). Mr. Shagam is eccentric to a tee. But he also hones right into the deep recesses of the teenage mind. He will not accept shoddy thinking, speaking, or writing. But Marvin is not alone. How about our linguist and administrative orchestrator, Roger Klausler? The man drives a vintage Volkswagen bug and loves Spam, Jell-o, and colorful polyester clothing of all kinds. Look

back just a couple years and you have the outstanding David and Phyllis Johnston who demanded the highest standards of writing, thinking, and class participation of their students. Each of these great Thacher teachers (like many others I’ve spared from this spotlight) embody Edmondson’s notion of wizardly wonkishness, and are therefore totally hip in the way a Head of School actually wants a teacher to be. However, far from confirming Edmondson’s thesis, these examples from Thacher confirm that great teaching transcends style altogether; it is unrelated to geek or cool. Great teaching goes right to deep passion for the subject at hand, an insistence on high standards of expression and content, and often an unbridled joy for learning. But here’s the point we miss by focusing on style alone: Great teachers are always authentic—in what they care about and who they are. Kids smell hypocrites a mile away, and it is one reason that those who are offbeat and peculiar appeal to kids: it is affirmation of authenticity. All of our Thacher teachers— offbeat or not—are passionate, committed, and deeply authentic. And it’s this personal authenticity that allows Thacher teachers to begin where all great teachers begin: by developing trusting, fun, thoughtful, sensitive, meaningful relationships with students. In fact, boarding schools are, in my opinion, fertile ground for the best teaching in the world. Why? Because students learn through and because of relationships, relationships that take root in community life beyond the classroom— in sports, camping, riding, formal dinners, the dormitory, and the myriad other forms of shared activities and experiences that give rise to our rich lives at Thacher. Those relationships start with an excruciating hike up the moonscape of Mount Langley followed by the efforts to cook a satisfying meal as the stunning Sierra cold is settling into everyone’s bones. They happen on the steep and scary trail rides and the breathtaking pole runs when the teacher is alongside the student for coaching. They happen with the dormitory discussions on honor and discipline, the midnight dodge ball games, and the long van and bus rides to games and events. Those relationships are built every hour of the day throughout all of the work and play. And the point is this: teens open their minds to intellectual pursuit when they first come to trust their teachers. So, to come back to the beginning: Are good teachers “strange, uncool, offbeat”? Well, sometimes, but style is not what good teaching is about. Good teaching, nay, great teaching is almost always about building authentic relationships with students and then linking, via the relationship, to the world of ideas, academic rigor, and passion—and that is how worlds and people are really transformed. Kids listen and learn when they trust—and that has nothing to do with individual style.

Michael K. Mulligan, Head of School

The Thacher School 1

up front…


Looking at Thacher and Its Western Character(s)

What does it mean to be a school with (as our admission materials promise) “a distinctive Western tradition and pioneering spirit”? That, of course, depends on what you think the West signifies. In 1893, as Sherman Day Thacher was beginning to realize that Casa de Piedra was more school than fruit ranch, Frederick Jackson Turner famously declared the frontier closed and posited that the idea of the West—“this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society”—had fundamentally shaped the American character. One can see echoes of Turner’s thesis in the way Mr. Thacher presented his character-building school to potential students as he invited them to “come west and let these books, these hills, and these horses be your teachers.” Think of it as Mr. Thacher’s take on Herbert Spencer’s then influential dictum that “education is a repetition of civilization in little.” In this sense, Casa de Piedra’s “grow west, young man” pitch suggests that that the proper education of an American boy might follow the formation of the American character itself. Mr. Thacher shared with his era a view of the West resonant with discovery and self-reliance. But he also saw it as home to “more humanity and a saner view of certain values.” Writing to Horace Taft, his good friend in the East, Thacher hazards that “the Westerner seems to look a little more at the values of things from a human standpoint.” Do these ideas of the West and Thacher’s place in it still hold water?

For this issue of Thacher, we thought we’d examine some of these Western values at ground level, or, to borrow Mr. Thacher’s phrase, “from a human standpoint.” To do so, we adopt the ecological concept of a niche to explore the intersections of individual and community—organism and ecosystem—and ask what it means for members of the Thacher community, past and present, to find or create a niche at Thacher. Starting off our features is David W. Lavender CdeP 1976, who picks up a three-generation family tradition of reflection on the meaning of West and gives it a distinctly Thacher inflection. Next, Mike Cahill CdeP 1980 interviews some current Thacher students to find out how they experience the Thacher community and the latitude for self-discovery and expression they find here. Next, we celebrate Marvin Shagam, a man whose abundant humanity—as celebrated in 50 reminiscences and photos—embodies Mr. Thacher’s Western ideal “of more humanity and a saner view.” Rounding out this sampling of perspectives of and in the West, several students share views of their Thacher niches and a sample from the Oral Histories Project offers thoughts from an earlier time. Elsewhere in the issue, we hit the road with David Oxley CdeP 1979 and friends. And lest we be too occidental in our focus, Jennie Tucker CdeP 2004 and Claire Shaw CdeP 2000 wander east for the Olympics. Enjoy the issue. Christopher J. Land, Editor

Left to Right: David W. Lavender CdeP 1976, Mike Cahill CdeP 1980, and Marvin Shagam.

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readers respond…


The Magazine of The Thacher School Volume 2, Issue 2 Fall 2008 Editor Christopher J. Land

A Myers Memory I … hope that you will telegraph to the staff that the current issue of Thacher is the best I’ve seen. It is very well put together in terms of layout and content and is visually very pleasing. I was sad to learn of John Myers’ death.  He was my father’s best friend from the time they met at Thacher, through Stanford, and for the rest of their lives. They learned to fly together, hunted together both in California and Nevada, and were partners at Pacific Airmotive. Thacher could have filled an entire issue with all the things he did in his life that were worth writing about.  His stories of WWII and flying missions as a civilian were jaw-dropping.  Robert R. Marble CdeP 1966

photos (top): jilly wendell

Addendum From a Son Thank you very much for the copy of the Thacher magazine. Of course, I read the In Memorium piece on my father first. It was a nicely done blend of information from different sources. Thank you. It was so appropriate to read the words taken from the Archivero: “quiet versatility” and “great dependability” were certainly good descriptions. He always did the things that needed to be done, quietly and without fanfare, leading by example rather than lecture. He was always a teacher, even long after retiring. During his 30+ years of retirement, he frequently coached fellow tennis and paddle tennis players on how to improve their game—going so far as to paint footprints on his garage floor to help others understand the proper placement of their feet for various strokes and footwork for the transition to be ready for the next one. A few other bits of trivia: it was mentioned that he was one of the best tennis players at the time, and it was during his time at Thacher that he gave tennis lessons to Lana Turner one summer. We kids all got a great kick out of this when we found out, hobnobbing with Hollywood stars, but he was typically understated in talking about that event. He did always want to fly, and eventually earned his pilot’s license when he was in his mid-seventies. In typical Kumler fashion, he did not tell my step-mother that he was doing this until he showed her the photographs he had taken of their house while on his solo qualification flight.

After reading the memorial, I went through the entire issue, which I enjoyed very much. A strong sense of community and caring comes through in every page. I was particularly interested, though, in the letter from Robert Rex about his classmate, Lance Ignon, breaking both arms after missing a jump to a rope swing. It reminded me of a visit that my older brother and I went on with our Dad to Thacher, in 1958 or ’59. He was there to talk with a few people, and we were more or less turned loose to play in a large barn (at least it seemed large to a five-year-old) that was across a campus road from the building where he was. I remember it as mostly being empty except for some hay bales, piles of loose hay, and a long rope swing hanging from the center roof beam at the top of the barn. I’m sure that neither of us jumped for the rope from the second floor, but I do remember having quite a good time swinging and jumping into the hay piles. I have often wondered if that barn and the rope were still around—and it looks like it was still part of the campus at least through the early ’70s. Roger Kumler Son of Robert Kumler CdeP 1941

A Second Opinon O Festus dies, the recent arrival of Thacher magazine is a wondrous betterment on the magazine I was so frothy about last fall. Last week I had a nice visit with Bob Miller (faculty emeritus). He enjoyed the magazine too. He is far more literate and trained in the English language than I. He is more trained in the written word than I. Bob felt it was the best CdeP publication in a “’coon’s age.” (Not his words.) So we doff our virtual hats to you and your colleagues. I look forward to meeting you in person the next time I’m in the Ojai East End. Tom May CdeP 1952 Faculty 1956-61 Trustee 18 years Grandparent, Hailey Everett ‘12

Associate EditorS Amy Elmore Jane D. McCarthy Alumni Editor Suzie Nixon Bohnett Class Notes Editor Amy Bransky Archivist Bonnie LaForge Design Charles Hess, design director Susan Landesmann, designer Contributors Mike Cahill CdeP 1980, David W. Lavender CdeP 1976, Kurt Meyer, Claire Shaw CdeP 2000, Jennie Tucker CdeP 2004, David Oxley CdeP 1979, and Marganne Winter Oxley CdeP 1978 Photography and Illustration Phil Channing, Charles Hess, Bennett Kissel CdeP 2007, Robert Leiter, Brian Pidduck CdeP 1992, Joy Sawyer-Mulligan, and Jilly Wendell Head of School Michael K. Mulligan Director of Development Rick Wilson Director of Admission William P. McMahon Thacher is published twice a year by The Thacher School, and is sent free of charge to alumni, parents, and friends of the School. Every effort is made to ensure that contents are accurate and complete. If there is an omission or an error, please accept our apologies and notify us at the address below. Third class postage is paid at the Oxnard Post Office. POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to the following address. Editor Thacher Magazine 5025 Thacher Road Ojai, CA 93032 805-640-3201 x264 Send Class Notes to: 805-646-1956 (fax) Thacher is printed by Ventura Printing using an environmentally friendly waterless printing process, soy-based inks, and recycled paper.

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The Pergola… Campaign KEEPs DELIVERING


YEAR AFTER the offical close of The Campaign for Thacher, the generosity of campaign donors continues to make a material impact in the classroom and around campus.

Derick S. Perry CdeP 1983 (English, coach of basketball and track, Dorm Head) and Gallia K. Vickery (mathematics and dance) were recently honored with teaching chairs. Derick is the first faculty member to be awarded The Bonnie Moon Robinson Faculty Chair. Assistant Head of School Peter Robinson noted that the chair in his wife’s memory was a good match for Derick’s “strong sense of authenticity and sincerity.” The Sidney W. Treat Great Teaching Chair was awarded to Gallia for her “bright, energetic, vibrant, multi-talented, adaptable, and creative work” in both the classroom and as one of the finest teachers of dance at any high school in America. When the new Hill Dormitories are complete, there will be no visual evidence of the most difficult stage of the project—the infrastructure beneath the ground. More than 40 pipes and conduits, key to the entire campus’s water, sewer, gas, electrical, and data systems, had to be replaced before major dorm construction could commence. With infrastructure work mostly complete, the buildings are now gradually taking shape. The Hill Dormitory will include a cluster of buildings, including faculty homes, dorm rooms, and a common area.  When this magazine was sent to the printer, framing on the common area was nearly complete, and foundations for the faculty homes were being laid.  The project timeline and budget are still on target, with an estimated completion date of August 2009. 

Top: Gallia K. Vickery, recent recipient of the Sidney W. Treat Great Teaching Chair. Bottom: Derick S. Perry, new holder of the Bonnie Moon Robinson Faculty Chair.

Mr. mulligan re-laxes


his past spring, Head of School Michael Mulligan accepted the challenge of competing with 60 other Middlebury College lacrosse alumni at the Vail Lacrosse Tournament for former Division I players. Middlebury assembled four teams, of which Mully was a part of the most senior, Grandmasters (age 50-plus), which went to the championship finals, where they ultimately lost (13-6) to a wiley team with great face-off artists. “To play again with a few of my former ECAC Championship teammates in a serious tournament was a surreal experience to say the least,” Mully explains. “We weren’t re-living old experiences by storytelling; we were making new ones and ended up playing pretty good lacrosse.” Although he was the oldest Middlebury player, he scored five goals (three in the finals) and notched two assists over the course of three games. Mully moves the ball.

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M. Mulligan: Bill Rexford; Derick Perry:; Gallia Vickery: Phil Channing

A LETTER TO HER OLD SCHOOL Dear Friends, I write to you from one of the most beautiful places in the world. The gorgeous green of the Ojai Valley is spread out before me and cloudless blue sky spans as far as you can see. Smiling, eager kids run across campus to get to their next class, to have a discussion with a favorite teacher or maybe grab a delicious snack from the dining hall. This place is a sanctuary, a safe place to challenge yourself and succeed…or fail and try again. Every person on campus is rooting for you. Curiously enough, this magical school is only an hour from Los Angeles...depending on how fast your parents drive. In only 16 days here, I have backpacked 20 miles with 40 pounds on my back, cantered after only three days on a horse, learned how to care for an animal ten times my size, already made lasting connections with close friends (camping together for a week without a shower can do that), played tennis with buddies and gone swimming countless times, spoken French with intimidating multi-lingual upperclassmen, danced under the stars, been challenged to take math to a new level, cheered the School on to victory (so far we’re 2-0). I’ve attended a banquet…not unlike the Hogwarts banquets, served breakfast and Formal Dinner, eaten homemade birthday cupcakes, and astoundingly, throughout all this activity, I haven’t missed my parents. We don’t experience a loss—on the contrary, we experience an enormous gain. We are all three of us so happy that I am expanding my horizons in my high school

Zoey (second from right) and freshmen classmates, (L to R) Eva Batalla-Mann, Lili Haggard, and Chris Yih smile their way through an Assembly moment.

rather than spending the next four years cynically preparing to get into college. Instead I am living more fully and challenging myself more than I ever imagined. I want to assure you high school can be fun. One of the greatest benefits of living here is being surrounded by your friends and peers. They are your family and your community. You play together, work together, and most importantly, grow together. The academic life at boarding school is beyond anything you can imagine in terms of depth and focus. You don’t have to ask your

parents to drive you to any of these enriching educational activities—you live them. I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to take dance class—at 12 o’clock this Tuesday I am already signed up. Anything is possible here, truly. Don’t be afraid of boarding school. Take the leap, challenge yourself, and love your high school years. — Zoey Poll ’12

Cam Schryver Earns Extreme Cowboy Bragging Rights…Twice


fter coming out on top in last year’s season seven of the Extreme Cowboy Race (RFD-TV ), Cam Shryver, director of Thacher’s Horse Program, was invited to the national championship, where he competed against other season winners (including Jennie Sawyer Wentworth, sister of Joy SawyerMulligan). Once again, he rode off with the title as Extreme Cowboy National Champion. You can find video podcasts of the competition at Mr. Schyrver and his extreme stallion, Sticks, make like Pegasus—sans saddle.

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The Pergola… Scoreboards Spring Sports


Fall Extra-Day Trips


Photos above (clockwise): Sunset captured by Lee Farese ‘09; a glassy Lake Sonoma paddle as seen by Mariah Gil-Herhart ‘09; Joy Sawyer-Mulligan snapped this bristlecone pine in the Golden Trout Wilderness; Mackenzie Boss ‘11 catches Anna North ‘09 and Laura Ammons ‘10 enjoying a little lakeside yoga in the Sierra sunset.

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his fall our Extra-Day Trips represented a truly diverse offering. There was horse-packing in the High Sierra, adventurous transSierra backpacking, more relaxed meandering treks through the coastal redwoods of Northern California, a kayaking adventure on Lake Sonoma, flyfishing trips to high alpine lakes and streams, the freshman trip to the Cottonwood Lakes Basin, and a sea-kayaking flotilla down a section of the Southern California coastline.  Lately we have been taking a close look at our Camping Program in light of current environmental issues and considering how we can continue to maintain a robust program while pursuing camping trips that have less of an impact and that take advantage of the wilderness that surrounds our campus.  We have a long history of camping in the Sierra Nevada, which we intend to continue, but the varied coastline, islands, and coastal mountains of California offer a number of opportunities that we can better utilize. The core values of our Camping Program continue to guide us in the type of trips and how we undertake them: to travel lightly on the land under our own power and in a wilderness setting. These values provide the best learning opportunities for our students and result in campers well versed in self-reliance and understanding of the sanctity of the natural world. — Brian K. Pidduck CdeP 1992

VARSITY Girls Record: 9-5 (2-2 league) Captains: Sarah Brown-Campello ‘08 and Audra Horton ‘08 Highlights: The most notable victory was over Palos Verdes, which employed the combined strength of impressive low defenders, solid and balanced goalkeeping, passionate midfielders, and decisive and driven attack players. JUNIOR VARSITY Girls Record: 8-1 (3-1 league) Captains: Eliza Childs ’09 and Ali Espinosa-Setchko ‘09 Highlights: This was the most successful season (including record ground balls, goals, and assists) for this level of play in recent memory. Defeating OVS and Cate twice each was exceptional, but coming from behind to beat Midland during the last few moments on their Family Weekend was one for the books. VARSITY Boys Record: 9-8 (5-3 league) Captains: Tim Brown ’08, Chris Thomas ’08, and Danny Waldman ‘08 Highlights: Drastic improvement of every player, continually supportive leadership, deep physical defense, incoming potential, and potent attack allowed this team to play a harder schedule than in years past. The easy victory over Malibu during their second match-up (13-5) is indicative of the team’s advances, especially after having lost in overtime earlier in the season. JUNIOR VARSITY Boys Record: 4-4 Captain: Emmo Gates ‘08 Highlights: Steady improvement during the season and good teamwork avenged the opening loss to Midland with the closing win against the same team. Every player participated in each half of each game making for good camaraderie and spirit. FRESHMEN Boys Record: 4-2 (4-2 league)

VOLLEYBALL Varsity Girls Record: 9-4 (league 5-4) Captains: Gaby Karefa-Johnson ‘09 and Anne Turner ‘09 Highlights: Notching important victories over Rio Mesa, Cate, and Villanova before advancing to the CIF Southern Section play-offs. Junior Varsity Girls Record: 4-10 (league 3-6) Captains: Ebony Davis ‘11 and Anouk Ackerman ’12 Highlights: Three, come-from-behind-to-win games against Fillmore on the road and Dunn at home.


BASEBALL Record: 8-9 (6-4 league) Captains: Max Pillsbury ‘08 and Griffin Triplett ‘08 Highlights: This young team revived Thacher’s oldest rivalry by playing against Santa Paula High School, the first interscholastic match that SDT lined up in 1893.

TENNIS VARSITY Boys Record: 12-3 (4-2 league) Captain: William Oberndorf ‘08 Highlights: This team capped off their season with a thrilling 10-8 victory over LaSalle of Pasadena to clinch the CIF Division V Championship, in no small part due to complete sweeps for both the number 1 singles player (McCoy Becker ‘10) and number 2 doubles (Sean O’Brien ‘09 and John Lehrkind ‘09). JUNIOR VARSITY Boys Record: 0-5 (0-5 league) Highlights: Despite having only four players, progress, camaraderie, and good-natured play were evident on the lower courts.

TRACK Highlights: The boys’ team came in third in the League Championships, but there were several great individual performances. Jay Harman ‘08 won the 300M IH and the 110M HH. In addition, he got second in the discus and third in the long jump. Albert Perez ‘10 won the discus. The girls’ team won the League Championships for the first time ever. It was truly a team effort. As we won by two points, every performance was critical.

Photos left and above: Audra Horton ‘08 sets for a faceoff as Mr. Vickery officiates; Will Callan ‘11 (left) and Joel Reimer ‘10 grind up the final hill.

DANCE ENSEMBLE Highlights: On their weekend trip to the Dance Educators of America competition in Escondido, the Ensemble took jazz, lyrical, and modern classes at dance studios in Santa Monica and Escondido. Then, at the competition, the performance of the modern dance “Nines” earned the Platinum Award.

ROCK CLIMBING Most Valuable Climber: William Peterson ‘80 The rookie award goes to Brannon Cavalier ‘08 and Alex Macmillan ‘09 Highlight: A great trip to Joshua National Park, where William led climbs such as My Laundry and Solid Gold on South Astro Dome in the Wonderland of Rocks, as well as Illusion Dweller on the Sentinel. Probably the best climbing trip Bo Manson and Brian Pidduck have ever taken with students. Such good climbers, so responsible and such wonderful companions. Fantastic! fall Sports

CROSS COUNTRY Varsity Boys Record: 4-0 (league 3-0) Captains: Chris Allison ’09 and Will Strachan ’09 Highlights: After completing rigorous individual summer training programs, the runners won the Brentwood Invitational, where 15 schools competed. They enjoyed an undefeated season, in which they earned the 2008 Condor League Championship. In post season, the team placed fourth in the CIF Southern Section and seventh in the State Championships for Division V. Varsity Girls Record: 3-0 (league 3-0) Captain: Kristen Findley ’09 Highlights: With the team split evenly between experienced, fast competitors, and committed neophytes, designing practice workouts was a challenge. Nevertheless, the team won all of the Condor League meets and even won the heat at the Mt. SAC invitational.

Varsity Record: 10-2 (league 3-0) Captains: Josh Jackson ‘09 and Joe Tobin ‘09 Highlights: The team set a new threshold for wins on the road and wins at night; advanced to CIF Southern Section play-offs; beat Calvary Chapel (69-22); beat undefeated Sierra Canyon (30-15) under the Nordhoff lights; and finally lost in the Semifinals to Faith Baptist (14-18). Junior Varsity Record: 7-0 (league 4-0) Captains: Jonathan Schell ‘10 and Mark Whitley ‘10 Highlights: This well-balanced and strong team won three very tough games against Faith Baptist, Sierra Canyon, and OVS. Part of their success came from multiple kick returns, interceptions, blocked kicks, and fumble recoveries that resulted in touchdowns.

TENNIS Varsity Girls Record: 8-3 (league 3-3) Captain: Alex Simon ‘09 Highlights: Twice this season, against Cate and Laguna Blanca, the teams tied in sets and the outcome was decided by counting games. Unfortunately, the Toads came up short, but, overall, tied for second place in the Condor League, and, ultimately lost in the first round of CIF playoffs in a hard fought battle against Arroyo High School. Junior Varsity Girls Record: 4-1 Captain: Hannah Yelton ‘10 Highlights: This small, but committed team split matches with Cate (both 11-7), winning on the Mesa as the sun set, and losing the final match on a warm autumn afternoon.

ROCK CLIMBING Most Improved: Carey Jonker ‘09 (climbs barefoot!) Most Valuable: Wils Dawson ‘09 and Nicky Wilder ‘09 Often the group objective was to put skills to the test, but “we found ourselves enjoying the simplicity and beauty of our surroundings.” Bo Manson led two camping trips to Joshua Tree, where they climbed on a number of formations, including the Thin Wall, Hall of Horrors, and a sunset romp up Headstone Rock.

YOGA AS A LIFESTYLE No one person stood out; the group was marked by a cheerful interest and dedication. We successfully built up to doing headstands, shoulderstands, handstands, and “Crow”: balancing on the hands with the feet off the ground, knees bent, and shins supported by the upper arms.

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The Pergola… numeracy: not your average table talk Ten individuals sit around a circular table and each privately chooses a number. Each person then whispers his number to the individuals immediately to his left and right. Thus, each player has three numbers: one he chose and two he received. The players then announce the average of the numbers they recieved. In one remarkable play of this game, the announced numbers around the table, in order, were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. What was the number chosen by the player who announced “6”? Send your solution to Kurt Meyer via e-mail (kmeyer@, or via U.S. mail at the School address.

Answers to the Last Puzzle Winner is Dean “Kip” Witter III CdeP 1964 with a thorough and rigorous development of his result by breaking the paper-folding problem into three parts and assembling the parts for the final answer. His answer of 1.29903 is correct!

blurb & squib PREMIERES, LAUNCHES, RELEASES, AND OPENINGS MUSIC English and Western Ballads Back in the fifties, Jack Huyler recorded some cowboy songs on an LP. Now, William Sweney has made a CD of some of these favorite songs, including “Zebra Dun,” of which Jack says, “I’m spending my life trying to prove what this fellow proved”; “High-Toned Dance,” about an old-time cowboy who went East with a shipment of cattle but wrangled an invitation to a dance a little out of his league; and another familiar tune, “Willie the Weeper.” Although this CD is available through Amazon, William will fill mail order requests that will benefit Thacher: sweneyw@gmail. com or The Sweney Group, Inc., P.O. Box 129, Jackson, WY 83001.

PERFORMANCE In August 2008, Bruno Ferrari CdeP 2008 accepted an invitation to join the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic in performing the first movement of a Grieg Concerto.

TELEVISION SERIES Coming to a television set near you in February 2009 is a new sci-fi/adventure series on the Disney Channel entitled Aaron Stone. J.P. Manoux CdeP 1987 has been living in Toronto filming this series that features him playing an android named Stan who “is indestructible…however, remains...destructible.”

OPENING and BOOK If you’re in San Diego, consider visiting an exhibition of work by Steve Huyler CdeP 1969 at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The show is titled: “India Adorned: Selections from Mingei’s Stephen Huyler Collection” and will run through March 2009. And, Steve’s fifth book was just released; Daughters of India: Art and Identity has been his labor of love for the past eight years. Learn more at

Five new trustees joined Thacher’s Board of Trustees this fall. Sarah Lavender Smith CdeP 1986 is the granddaughter of David S. Lavender (taught English at Thacher, 1943-70) and daughter of David G. Lavender CdeP 1951, who worked as director of development in the 1970s. Sara is a writer and editor who received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and master’s at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She and her husband, Morgan Smith CdeP 1985, have two children, Colly and Kyle, and live in Piedmont. W. Stacey Cowles CdeP 1978, a graduate of Yale University (economics) in 1982 and Columbia University (MBA in finance) in 1986, is the publisher of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. Stacey and his wife, Anne, have two children, both at Thacher: Margaret ‘12 and John ‘11. After serv8 fall 2008

ing as last year’s co-president of Thacher’s Parents Association with his wife, Sharon, Philip L. Pillsbury, Jr. CdeP 1967 began his first three-year term as a Trustee this fall. Phil is a graduate of Middlebury and received his law degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark. He is a principal of Pillsbury & Levinson LLP, a law firm in San Francisco. Phil and Sharon live in Ross, California; one of their sons, Max CdeP 2008, began studying at Dartmouth this fall. Following Thacher, John S. Gates CdeP 1975 attended Colorado College, and then received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1979, and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver in 1985. He is a registered a*rchitect in Colorado and has had his own architectural firm,

FROM THE ARCHIVES 100… 50... 25... 10... years ago at Thacher


A Backward Glance Through the Pages of CdeP Publications

100 (1908) It is in the shacks that some of the most joyous hours of school life are spent. Here it is, on a Friday or Saturday afternoon, that a small company of good fellows will bring their sleeping bags, will cook a dinner too good for any but very honest men, and will eat it with a zest that is typical of camp life. Here it is that after the well appreciated dinner, the same company of good fellows will spread their sleeping bags before the flame-filled open fireplace (if there is one) and spend a long evening in conversation reading aloud or rough-housing. Then, after a night on beds more or less hard, they will eat a breakfast invariably capped by as toothsome flap-jacks as ever graced appreciative stomachs. (El Archivero 1908)

50 (1958) October 9: Miss Buell: “Would the boy who tied his horse outside my house please see me immediately after this assembly with a shovel?” (El Archivero 1959)

25 (1983) The Thacher Notes reported that on the weekend before finals the Thacher Library restricted its hours because three reference books were missing, despite the general request that they be returned. The Thacher Notes cautioned: “We all must remember how important it is to not take the honor code for granted.” (v. LXII, 1/26/82.)

10 (1998) No longer will Thacher students awaken only to omelets and waffles on Sunday mornings, but also to luscious, cold, and delicious fruit smoothies made in the Dining Hall’s new self-serve blenders. (The Thacher Notes, 1998 v. CVIV, n. 3)

Who needs the four-in-hand team pictured in the above undated archival photo when you have Pancho and Pedro? Below, our powerful Percherons keep the teamster tradition alive at Thacher, whether pulling campus tours in the Emerson carriage or by pulling for the Toads at athletic events.

Thacher’s Board of Trustees at the Fall 2008 meeting.

Gates Architecture LLC for 15 years in Aspen, Colorado. He is the father of Emerson CdeP 2008 and Jesse ‘12. Abby and Henry Wilder are serving as this year’s co-presidents of the Parents Association. Abby is a graduate of Harvard University and holds an MBA from Stanford University. She served as the Director of Admission at Crystal Springs Uplands School until last spring. Henry is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and also holds an MBA from Stanford. Henry is a self-employed venture capitalist; previously, he was the CEO and President of EOSports and served on the Board of the Filoli Center. They have three children: Willy CdeP 2005 (a senior at Bowdoin), Mary, and Nicky ‘09 and live in Woodside, California.

The Thacher School 9

armchair wandering… How Two Recent Grads Translated Language Skills into Tickets to the Beijing Summer Olympics Found in Translation: The Best Summer Yet by Claire Shaw CdeP 2007


rowing up in Anchorage, Alaska, did not present many opportunities to interact with celebrities. Miss Alaska 1997 was my saxophone tutor in sixth grade, but that was the extent of my experience with the rich and famous. So as I looked across the aisle of a 7:00 a.m. bus heading to the Olympic Village at Tyson Gay, at that point a contender for two gold medals and one of the most high-profile athletes of the American delegation, I couldn’t have been more tongue-tied. Being star struck and speechless are not valuable traits in a translator, which was precisely my job. But before I could silently gawk for too long, I got a call from the U.S. swim team manager, Lindsay Mintenko. The swim team was in need of a gigantic coffee maker, a team physiologist was ready to be picked up from the Water Cube, and Dara Torres needed to be at the Olympic Village at 3:30, not 3:00. I jotted down the list as fast as I could and called the swim team driver, relaying to him the same information, only in Mandarin. My third day as the translator for United States swimming team had begun. So, how did I get this demanding, amazing, stressful, chance-of-a-lifetime, unpaid job? Last spring, a student in my Chinese class told me about an online application to be a volunteer with the United States Olympic Committee in Beijing. I figured that with my background in both Chinese (I began taking classes six years ago as a freshman at Thacher) and competitive swimming, I might have a shot. I applied, and in April, to my absolute delight, I was informed of my acceptance as an “official volunteer” of the USOC. I was told soon after that I would be working at the USOC headquarters at the Beijing Hilton. But as thrilled as I was to be going to the Olympics at all, I was somewhat disappointed that my position would not afford much interaction with the athletes. Ten days before the games, I was sitting in my rented Beijing apartment when I received a phone call from a friend of mine working at the U.S. High Performance Training Center. Apparently, the USOC had underesti-

mated how many translators it would need for operations to run smoothly, and as more and more athletes and coaches arrived, translating issues were becoming a significant problem. It was ultimately determined that assigning each sports team its own translator would be the best solution. My friend, knowing my interest in swimming, called to ask if I would be interested in working exclusively with both the men’s and women’s teams. He correctly interpreted a series of ecstatic shrieks as an enthusiastic “Yes.” Describing exactly what I did every day is a little difficult. Typically, Lindsay would call with a list of the next day’s assignments. These ranged from taking a group of swimmers to a press conference to searching the whole of Beijing for salad dressing. When I wasn’t assisting the swim team, I spent most of my time at the Training Center, where there was never a shortage of things to do. I took athletes on tours of the facilities, helped with any immediate translating issues, and even washed the jerseys of the women’s volleyball team. Down time was relished, and also gave me a chance to meet some of the athletes. My favorite team was, by far, men’s volleyball: a group of gentle, hilarious giants. I helped a javelin thrower (you may have seen him as the American Gladiator “Hurricane”) negotiate the number of buttons on his suit with a Chinese tailor, and later made sure his teammate was reunited with a javelin he’d left behind. When Michael Phelps asked where the bus to the Olympic Village was, I was there to say, “Out the gate, to the left.” It goes without saying that being at the Olympics, in any capacity, is very stressful. As well organized as they are, accidents often happened and were easily compounded by the ever-present language barrier. Although my participation in the Olympics was minimal, knowing that I helped in any way at all is an amazing feeling. I’m not sure whether I’ll ever have another experience quite like it…then again, London is only a few years away!

Scorpions at the Night Market and a Huge Stack of Dishes: The Exotic and the Banal in Beijing by Jennie Tucker CdeP 2004

Bird’s Nest and water cube: alberto alerigi


hough it may not have measured up to a Pink Moment in the Ojai, the sight of Beijing’s Bird’s Nest and Water Cube juxtaposed against an unexpectedly blue sky inspired in me a familiar sense of wonder. The Olympic Green was the epicenter of much of the world’s attention from August 8 to 24. And fortunately I was amid it all. I was working for NBC’s Today Show. Little did I know when I walked into Ms. Li’s introduction to Chinese class in the fall of 2001 that seven years later I would use skills cultivated there to navigate Beijing’s streets with the U.S. men’s gymnastic team, pick out furniture at IKEA for the green room, and help Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira buy scorpions at the Night Market near Tiananmen Square. No two days in Beijing were alike. Some found me picking up Brian Williams from the airport or entertaining Secretary Paulson’s family for two hours, helping to orchestrate and carry out shoots with producers, or ushering Olympians from the Athletes Village to the set of the Today Show. Other days were not as exciting. I washed the stacks of dishes that were used for cooking segments and argued endlessly in Chinese with security guards and drivers. Some of those contentious dialogues yielded small victories, such as securing passage through security for a set of knives that belonged to the world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud, or for Secretary Paulson’s armed security detail. I worked a minimum of twelve hours a day, seven days a week, stumbling every morning into the NBC News workspace, my eyelids drooping under the accumulating weight of six sleep-deprived weeks. Regardless, I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I was going to seize every moment of it. One of the most ethereal experiences of my summer was driving into the Forbidden City (which one cannot normally do) before it was open to the public. We had access to rooms of the historical site never before seen by tourists. As a Chinese history enthusiast, I reveled in this experience. No athlete or star made my jaw drop or my heart skip a beat like wandering the bedchambers of some of China’s most storied emperors. I was truly humbled. The visit to the Forbidden City was not only one of my first days on the job, it was also the first day I met Matt Lauer and the show’s executive producer, Jim Bell. After wrapping the shoot, Jim asked if I would be his and Matt’s personal assistant. Every day, along with my normal tasks, I took Matt and Jim to cultural outings and dinner, ushered them to athletic events and shoots. Their wit, charisma, and entertaining personalities provided great relief from my other tedious or stressful duties. Live broadcasts often appear seamless and effortless. In reality, they are a result of an enormous amount of work. Even something as simple as

obtaining the aprons Matt, Meredith, Al, and Ann wore proved unbelievably complicated. This task took me to the far outskirts of Beijing, to an actual sweatshop compound reminiscent of Cultural Revolution-style factories. The aprons looked terrific, but the experience was harrowing. As the world knows, China took extraordinary measures to prepare for these Olympic games, and the evidence of their efforts was visible everywhere. Beijing morphed into a cosmopolitan city with five-star hotels and restaurants. Its streets were bizarrely sanitized. When I was in Beijing just a year before, the streets had been saturated with beggars, Nigerian drug dealers, prostitutes, and street vendors, all of whom had somehow vanished. I could not help but wonder where they all went. I also questioned where all the performers for the opening ceremony came from. I will never forget the silver-dressed drummers, not only because of their extraordinary choreography but also because I got caught in a tsunami of them when they were entering the stadium. Completely surrounded by hundreds of shimmering gowns and massive square drums, I was mesmerized. The opening ceremony proclaimed China’s intention to be a major international player on the world’s stage. Yet, China’s bifurcated politics and public policies constantly hindered positive relations with foreigners. Even when planning the NBC News wrap party, I encountered China’s duplicity firsthand. I started hanging two Chinese flags from the doorway when the hotel’s manager told me I could not do that. A government spy, who was eyeing my actions, instructed the manager to stop me. Despite its supposed openness, China clearly continued to monitor everything and everyone, and prohibited anything it deemed counter to China’s best interest. Because of these many and varied experiences, good and bad, unnerving and exhilarating, I hope to work in an American company’s corporate social responsibility department in China. I want to promulgate the values of honesty, fairness, kindness, and truth to better a country I so dearly love.

Left (L to R): Bird’s Nest; Water Cube.; Track Meet; Claire Shaw CdeP 2007 in front of pool in the Water Cube. Above (L to R): Jennie Tucker CdeP 2004 and news anchor Matt Lauer on a Today Show shoot in the Forbidden City; Jenny and friend Mary Healy at the news desk with the Bird’s Nest as a backdrop; Bird’s Nest.

The Thacher School 11

Niche Play:

How We Fit Individuality Into Community Like ecosystems, human communities afford a variety of niches to their inhabitants. Some niches are confining and limiting pigeonholes, others are places of discovery and challenge—footholds to individuation and evolution. How does this idea play out at Thacher? In the pages that follow, we present some perspectives on what it means to carve out and occupy a niche at Thacher. David Lavender CdeP 1976, grandson and namesake of the historian and faculty member, reflects on Thacher’s Western roots and the balance of individualism and community. Mike Cahill CdeP 1980 wonders how he’d fit in at Thacher today as he compares field notes with some current Toads on social pressures and niche-finding. And the community as a whole shares its appreciation for Marvin Shagam, who has excavated for himself a niche at Thacher to rival Plato’s cave (but with a much better view). Finally, we round out this section by showing how today’s students depict their own niches at Thacher, alongside the reflections of an alum and former trustee. 14 fall 2008


Delight in Each Other: Toward a More Nuanced Appreciation of Character and Community in the American West

by David W. Lavender CdeP 1976



grandfather, David S. Lavender, who taught at Thacher for almost 30 years, attended Princeton in the late 1920’s, not long after F. Scott Fitzgerald graduated from the University (which provides the backdrop for his wildly successful first novel). I mention this only because it is hard to consider American Individualism or its counterpart, the myth of self-reliance (and self-invention) that is so deeply rooted in the American psyche, without a nod toward Fitzgerald’s better known novel, The Great Gatsby. Though a tragic love story set among the “white palaces” of Long Island, readers will recall, as its narrator at one point observes, that it is also very much “a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.” It has always seemed to me that The Thacher School has, like Fitzgerald’s characters, harbored a certain ambivalence about its Western roots. To be sure, the School has reveled in its own rusticity since the days of its founding, and properly so. We’ve embraced the bucolic as a signifier of what sets us apart—but apart from whom? Here the specter of those East Coast preps creeps in—the Andovers and Exeters and Choates—along, perhaps, with a subtle undercurrent of concern that our horses and our high jinks out here in the hinterlands, precisely because they have been so formative, may have permanently barred us from admission to the East Coast elite. This is ridiculous, of course. But so, too, is the facile equation that links the American The Thacher School 13

West exclusively with rugged and relentless individualism. To be sure, Thacher’s Western setting has informed its mission from the outset; but this dynamic is much more nuanced than it appears at first blush. In order to understand it, one must understand the West; and I think few people knew the West in all its complexities as well as my grandfather. I would never presume to try and address these complexities in so short an article as this, but I will (somewhat shamelessly, I’ll admit) recommend that readers obtain a copy of the new edition of One Man’s West (see side bar). It’s a story of maintaining high spirits in hard times—an especially Western trope— but, like so many stories of the American West, has less to do with individual pluck than with shared resolve. In many ways, the story of Western community has been too-often upstaged by its largerthan-life characters. Indeed, over the course of his career as an historian, my grandfather wrote a number of widely acclaimed books on towering individuals who figured prominently in the opening of the West: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Chief Joseph, William Bent,

Collis Huntington, William Ralston, and many, many others. In each case, however, my grandfather, even while celebrating these individual achievements and the character traits that made them possible, managed to place them in the wider context of the emerging communities that supported these advances. Nowhere is the supportive interplay between the individual and community that provides the real history of the West more delightfully apparent than in One Man’s West. Certainly, the characters featured in this memoir are less well known than those mentioned above, though the communities they forged were spread across the same sparsely populated landscape (requiring that friendships be stubbornly maintained over distance and time). But while the everyday feats of extraordinary self-reliance One Man’s West chronicles are, indeed, inspiring, the lasting impression left by the book is not so much the celebration of the Self as it is the deep appreciation of the Other (the original edition ends with a collection of far-flung frontier types gathering for a Christmas celebration). Ronald Reagan, the consummate cowboy

president and undying champion of rugged individualism, was fond of describing America in terms of Jonathan Winthrop’s phrase (itself an allusion) about a “shining city upon a hill” (which I’ve always considered an apt description of Thacher, perched on its aerie in the east end of Ojai). But Winthrop, there off the coast of Massachusetts, was very much a pioneer confronting a frontier of his own (the same “fresh, green breast of the new world” that Nick imagines toward the end of The Great Gatsby). As my grandfather would be quick to point out, establishing a city in that frontier would not require just the pluck and courage of the individual, but the support of the community. “We must,” Winthrop told his followers, “be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities…We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together.” This is the true spirit of the frontier that my grandfather captures in One Man’s West, and I’d like to think that this is the real Western ethos that my grandfather brought with him to Thacher and which he instilled in successive generations of its students.

The Lavenders, Thacher, and the West This book, One Man’s West, which my grandfather penned just before joining Thacher’s faculty in 1943, remains my favorite of the more than 40 books he published in his lifetime. In it, readers will find a fascinating, utterly authentic, and thoroughly readable account of a real life lived in the real West at a time when the myth, a long time in the making, was beginning to establish permanent sway in our nation’s consciousness. This new edition (Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press), nests the original text between an engaging new forward and afterword, written by my father, David G. Lavender CdeP 1951. Drawing on personal letters and diaries made available to him after my grandfather’s death, my dad manages to place his own father’s memoir in the context of a larger range of memories, many of which will prove of particular interest to readers associated with Thacher. In the case of Princeton, for example, it turns out that my granddad, the hayseed, did just fine. He even managed to snag an East Coast bride, whom he stole from Newt Chase, Thacher’s future headmaster, in a delightful twist that is but one of the many absorbing anecdotes in my father’s addenda to the new edition. This bride, my grandmother, Martha “Brookie” Lavender, eventually went on to become Thacher’s much loved librarian, but not before learning to handle a horse, pitch in with ranch chores, and just generally immerse herself in a Western landscape that she came to love. In the new edition, my father chronicles my grandparents’ meeting and marriage (a much happier love story than Gatsby’s), along with their early years together in southwestern Colorado, in a way that provides a rich backdrop for—and a new appreciation of—an already classic memoir. - David W. Lavender CdeP 1976

14 fall 2008

Subspecies: contendis beneficas Common Name: Katy Bartzokis Distinguishing Characteristics: competes to be the kindest competitor


Even if I Could Get In, Would I Still Fit In? An Informal Longitudinal Survey of Thacher’s Social Ecology


by Mike Cahill CdeP 1980

arrived at Thacher as a junior in 1978. My previous school made manifest the kind of terrifying Darwinian landscape of jocks and nerds, stoners and babes that a four-year Thacher graduate might be forgiven for assuming exists only in movies and on TV. But let me assure them, it was all too real. And as I was not aligned with any of the abovenamed collectives—my lack of affinity for computers or chess assured that even the nerds rejected me—in my two years at that institution, I went from reasonably well-adjusted eccentric to the kid who clutched his knapsack in the back of the bus and never spoke to anyone. For some kids, just keeping quiet is safer, because if you don’t say anything, no one can put you down. Coming to Thacher, then, was an experience I perceived as not dissimilar to that of an adolescent chimpanzee relocated from a Chicago zoo to the Brooklyn Zoo. I spent my first weeks waiting for the dominant male to sink his teeth into my shoulder, showing me how things were going to be, or for the breeding females to chatter derisively as I made my first shaky attempts at tool-use. I kept my head down and waited, trying to identify who would come at me first. But in spite of my wariness, people kept coming up to me and talking to me, and listening. That is, when I got up the nerve to speak to them. Confound it, I thought, what is wrong with these people? What is with this place? I grew suspicious, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Somehow, I thought, I had found myself in some kind of high school backwater, a place where the rules of peer engagement had not been imparted. Was it something in the water? Perhaps it was the isolation? It took some time, but by Thanksgiving of my first year I stopped listening for that other shoe to drop. And in time, like that Lowland Chimp,

I learned the ways of the locals, and spent two very happy years at Thacher. But I have never stopped wondering what it was about the place that allowed me to be myself and still fit in when I was unable to do so elsewhere, so when I was asked by the Thacher magazine to write an article exploring “the ways students discover and occupy their own niches within the social ecosystem of Thacher,” I accepted with enthusiasm. The dictionary I was given when I arrived at Thacher—it’s old enough to note De Witt, George, Henry, and James Clinton, but not Bill— defines “niche” as, among other things, “A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s abilities or character.” It sounds like such a nice place to find oneself. But if one finds oneself outside of a niche, free-floating, as it were, does a niche begin to look more like an exclusive clique? Before interviewing students and talking to faculty, I wondered if the School could still be as accepting of differences and eccentricity as it was when I attended. In short, could someone like me still fit in? In my interviews with students and conversations with faculty, I listened carefully for the telling remark, the slip that would expose the darkness beneath the well-adjusted exterior (I can’t help it). I asked if there was a hierarchy, if any students who belonged to prestigious groups or teams denigrated those who did not, and all answered in the negative. The catch-phrases of high school popular culture seemed to have no weight here. “Mean Girl Syndrome?” Lauren Zakarian-Cogswell ‘10, who experienced both home-schooling and an independent day school before coming to Thacher, laughed at that idea and said, “No, not here.” “Jocks and Losers?” Alex Macmillan, a junior from the East, rolled his eyes at that one, saying, “I don’t think people really care about that here.” Tolerance and acceptance seem to rule the day. At least five students The Thacher School 15

A Field Guide to Some Varieties of Bufo Thacherensis

Subspecies: jockus cantarensis Common Name: Joshua Jackson Habitats: migrates constantly between gridiron, stage, and Pergola

have pulled off the astoundingly niche-defying stunt of playing on the football team and performing in last year’s musical production of Les Miserables. For God’s sake, in Hollywood a fortune was made from High School Musical, a film whose central premise involves the peer pressure that makes it nearly impossible to be both an athlete and a stage performer, at least without a hard-fought battle against the forces of high school intolerance. Weren’t these kids paying attention? The students I spoke to all described a very fluid culture where involvement, or lack thereof, in any number of activities and groups did not exclusively define their experience. They described a warm community in which they were able to be themselves. It’s too late, I thought. What have they done to you? I wanted to ask. I kept after them, but at least on the subject of peer acceptance, cliques, and exclusivity, nobody cracked. The School these days seems to be an excellent place for a young person to grow in all kinds of ways, without many of the peer-generated obstacles found elsewhere. In this way, for me, the interviews evolved into a simulacrum of my first experience of Thacher, viz: Things can not be this good/Oh, they really are this good. I did find something interesting when I asked if anyone felt pressure to conform. “I think everyone here does,” replied Katy ­­­­Bartzokis, a senior from Los Angeles. “We’re teenagers. There is a lot of competition here, but it’s never malicious.” I learned from the Admission Office that today’s secondary school field is highly competitive. I take that to mean that schools compete for the best applicants because the best applicants go on to the best colleges, and the best applicants want to go to the schools that get them into the best colleges. Or something like that. Consider, then, what it must take for a student to be admitted to Thacher in this competitive culture. Unless those SAT scores, grades, and extracurricular stardom were achieved in a vacuum, it follows that those who are admitted are pretty competitive kids who, in obedience to the laws of human nature, have taken some pleasure in achieving more than their peers. It is unlikely that they are going to give up those competitive ways once they’ve arrived at Thacher, or that they are going to stop feeling the pressure to achieve. Not pressure to excel at dating, mind you, or body-piercing, or having the most Facebook friends, but pressure to achieve academic excellence. There is a downside to this, of course, as with everything. There is plagiarism, but it is a rare occurrence. “It comes from the workload we have,” says School Chair Josh Jackson, one of those equally at home on the stage 16 fall 2008

Subspecies: animus volatilis Common Name: Alex Macmillan Behavior: disobeys gravity, physically and temperamentally

and the gridiron, who adds, “the one thing you don’t get a lot of is sleep.” But the competition does not seem to have created a dog-eat-dog mentality. The communal atmosphere seems to engender a sense that all the students are competing together. As Josh told me about his first horse camping trip in freshman year, “They break you down,” suggesting a benevolent version of the Marine Corps boot camp crucible. Not having arrived at Thacher until my junior year, I missed this rite of passage, but perhaps benefited from the communality it had engendered in my classmates. There’s no way around it, the School is a tough one, and always has been. In earlier days, the top students had their names posted on the kiosk each month, and were rewarded for their efforts. Thankfully, that practice has gone the way of the Rough-House. In my time at Thacher I struggled academically, really struggled, and I was glad grades were no longer posted. But was there pressure to succeed academically when I was there? I’m sure there was. Did I feel it? Not really. Which brings me to that other shoe, the one I waited for when I first arrived at Thacher in 1978. Long after I had stopped listening for it, it did finally drop, but not in the form I expected. It seems that those two years of enforced isolation and ridicule at my previous school had created a need to make up for lost time. Time spent in fun. So it came that I found myself in front of Thacher’s Judicial Council. The charge: having had too much fun. After check-in. In the girls’ dormitory. But that’s another story. Time has passed. There’s Internet in the dorms now. And football. And the Judicial Council now rarely hears any cases other than those involving academic dishonesty. But I believe Thacher is still a school that I could find a place in, happily. I would just have to work a lot harder. In reading this over, I find that there is very little in it to do with niches. For this I must apologize. I find also that I have a second apology to make, and one complaint. First, I must apologize for the way I described my first high school. In fact, I must express gratitude to that establishment, for it was in its furnace that my propensity for tormented, isolated introspection was formed, something that has proved of great value to me over the years. Which leads to my one complaint, for if all schools were like Thacher, from whence would flow the tormented writers? If all schools were to promulgate healthy student interaction and peer acceptance as their modus operandi, then who would retreat to their lonely garrets and write novels and films? But this is a small complaint. Mike Cahill CdeP 1980 is the author of the novel A Nixon Man and the writer/ director of the film King of California.


A Field Guide to Some Varieties of Bufo Thacherensis

Subspecies: pluribus culturensis Common Name: Lauren Zakarian-Cogswell Special adaptations: organizes symbiotic relationships


Times New Roman: Thacher’s Font of News, Knowledge, and Compassion

photo/illustration credit here

On October 4, 2008, more than 600 students, colleagues, and friends of a certain man of letters gathered under a huge tent on the Upper Field to honor a half-century of dedication to The Thacher School. Measured by tenure, nobody comes close to Mr. Shagam. Mr. Thacher himself logged 42 years, Denham Lord 46, but fifty years! That’s 18,250 editions of the New York Times. In the following pages, we­—really you, as submissions from readers form the bulk of it—take the measure of one who holds a unique place within a unique community. And, finally, we set the record straight, parsing fact from fiction to reveal the true Marvin Shagam. The Thacher School 15

Marvelous: Fifty Ways of Celebrating Mr. Shagam’s First Half-Century at Thacher I

One doesn’t ordinarily expect to find a huge white tent on the upper field in the middle of October, but it was no ordinary evening as Head of School Michael K. Mulligan welcomed more than 600 students, colleagues, and friends of Marvin M. Shagam for “an absolutely unique and distinctive part of the history of The Thacher School:” Never before in the School’s history have we gathered to honor and pay respect to one of Thacher’s great faculty members. I’m exceptionally happy to have current students, alumni, parents, Trustees, and friends of the School here to not only pay tribute to an exceptional human being and teacher, but to remind all of us of the relevance and importance of teachers’ work. On these pages, we itemize this celebration in words and photos, stopping for obvious reasons at 50 (though we are happy to note that Mr. Shagam has already moved beyond that number).


Next came toasts—heartfelt and sometimes hilarious—from Randy Labbe CdeP 1960, Michael Kong CdeP 1983, Andrew Shakman CdeP 1990, and Joy Sawyer-Mulligan. Listen to them online:



Why all the hoopla? Joy Sawyer-Mulligan had the answer: Marvin was and continues to be at the very center of school life. He’s been a classroom teacher (iii), a faculty advisor (iv), a Third or Fourth Team (one year, JV) soccer coach (v) who, counter-intuitively, inspired his athletes by reading poetry—not to rile them up but “to disarm them, to calm them down.” Marvin’s been faculty advisor to the JC and the Polar Bear Club, Lower School and Upper School dorm head (vi), inventor (vii) of the Peace Games and the Latin Banquet, presider (viii) over the Breakfast Club’s political discussions, grammarian (ix) extraordinaire, occasional pianist (x), founder (xi) and keeper of the Sir Winston Churchill Debating Society, community service advocate and activist back when it didn’t have a name. He put thousands of miles on many a Toads bus, served as surfing team monitor (xii), and cross-country booster (xiii), and chauffeur (xiv). He built windmills in will be commemorating my second 50th year rural Mexico, shepherded 28 juniors from the here, if you all promise to be present, I promise then all-boys Thacher to New York to spend a to prove that I have learned something and will spring term among the girls of Emma Willard be less awkward in what I have to say to you.” School—which put him on the vanguard of ThSome of what Mr. Shagam characterized as his acher’s march towards coeducation and in the “awkwardness” could be attributed to the fervor rank of First Order of Varsity Chaperonage. that he has clearly inspired in his devotees. We too, it seems, always have one or two more points to make in our appreciations. In addition to the toasts you can hear at www.thacher. Mr. Shagam had the last word that night. Anyorg/magazine, you can also find the scores of body who has watched Marvin Shagam speak written tributes sent in by students, alumni, has seen him count out his points on his fincolleagues, and friends. gers. This night was no exception. He counted off the teachers who had made a difference to him; he counted off the three things he learned from students; and the four things that make … as a Head of two schools over 19 years, I Thacher students “the nicest people.” And there realize that if a school did not have a Marvin were more points to be made and an audience Shagam, it would have to invent one. waiting to hear them: a “final thing…two more —John Meehl CdeP 1958 things…next to last…” But he did draw it to a self-deprecating close: “Finally, and I mean it this time, finally… In the year 2058, when we



14 fall 2008





Thank you for enduring our outpouring of love and appreciation. - Randy Labbe CdeP 1960


Discussions with Mr. Shagam were usually both stimulating and delightful. At first, he appeared intense, serious, and cerebral. As we became more involved in the conversation, he became more lively and animated. Then, without any warning, and barely cracking a smile, he would come out with some outrageous joke or painful pun…. —James C. Whitney CdeP 1960


Mr. Shagam had arrived in our midst. We were mostly tailor-made young cowboys, stretching new, wide-brimmed hats over wide-eyed heads, stretching new, fresh leather

pointed boots over rounded feet, stretching new hemp or nylon ropes around corral gates. And now we were being asked to stretch our acceptances to a most unusual new teacher. After the dust settled we saw Mr. Marvin Shagam—his welcoming smile, his pigeontoed, somewhat awkward stance on a skinny frame, a peculiar Scottish styled cap covering hair combed forward to cover a balding head, thick glasses. This was hardly the image we expected at a rough-and-ready, shovel-yourown, rattlesnake-tested boys’ school. —Chris Ferrer CdeP 1961


have available a few masters of many years experience, one of whom was Marvin Shagam. —Chuck Warren (Faculty emeritus)

Marvin Shagam enriched our lives in so many ways it is hard to enumerate them. He always was integrity incarnate, yet never lost his sense of humor and has the quickest mind of anyone I know. One of his biggest gifts to us …Marvin taught me that it was OK to be gentle, was to encourage us to question authority and smart, and funny, and that is no small thing. not believe everything we read, but to try to —Kristian Meisling CdeP 1971 find out as many sides of any issue and then make up our own minds. —Bruce Donnell CdeP 1963 Memory from my first year: You and I sitting in my study of an evening pondering how to handle the latest crisis. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” I remember returning from a camping trip in —Ted Sanford, Former Thacher Headmaster, Marvin’s VW …. As we were coming back down parent of Timothy CdeP 1972 (circa 1969) the Matilija Pass, we found ourselves behind a pick-up truck with another bunch of rowdy teen-aged boys piled in the back. They started spitting at us; some of their efforts splattered No celebration of Marvin Shagam would be on our windshield. As [we] contemplated retali- complete without a discussion of his famous ation (I am not sure what we could have had “Laughing Test.”…Here we were, five of us, sophin mind), Marvin, without a word….calmly omores or juniors, standing in the apartment turned on the windshield wipers. of this legendary, highly respected Thacher —Woody Halsey CdeP 1965 icon and he’s dressed up in this outrageous costume, dancing around and screaming like a madman. I lasted maybe eight seconds before bursting into uncontrollable laughter. It is valuable for a young teacher to have a “sea—Ed King CdeP 1977 soned master” available for mentoring. Upon arrival at Thacher in 1969 I was fortunate to





The Thacher School 19






I loved his political science classes so much that I decided to major in it in college, only to find that none of the classes could compare to his and I changed my major my sophomore year. —Laura Johnson CdeP 1983

Although I no longer chant Latin verse every night, your lessons of life are still with me. —Randy Bessolo CdeP 1983



He isn’t a teacher. He isn’t an advisor and confidant. A coach. A wise man. A Thacher legend. He is Mr. Shagam, and he is in every way unique and dear to me and to all of us here tonight. - Andrew Shakman CdeP 1990

How can you not love a teacher who reads war poetry to the freshman soccer team to get them fired up before games! ….Marvin Shagam is not of this earth. —Kenyon Phillips CdeP 1994

Fifty years is an incredible and rare milestone. I congratulate Marvin and thank him for … in walks Marvin wearing, well, exactly what inspiring all who have crossed his path to be he’s wearing tonight: comfortable tweed jacket, open thinkers and to be interested in the curdriving cap and light scarf around his neck, deMPENDA rent affairs of our world. He has also inspired spite the 80 degree late summer weather. He drove an old Volvo station wagon and many of us to travel the world, if only a small -Michael Kong CdeP 1983 somebody asked how old the car was. I don’t percentage of the amount that he does! We love remember the answer, but I do remember Mr. his postcards from far-flung places! Shagam saying that he didn’t know how many —Marganne Winter Oxley CdeP 1978 As a student at Thacher, I thought that Mr. miles were on the car because the odometer had flipped over and re-started from zero (maybe Shagam’s entertaining wit and mischiefs, and more than once)... Many people take vacations, his charisma, were essential sources of his or slow down at various times in their lives, but great teaching. Now I wonder how a great When given the opportunity to take his legteacher such as Mr. Shagam could happen to be Mr. Shagam is like that odometer; he seems to endary “Current Events” class I felt very forhave gone past ordinary limits and started over. so witty and mischievous. tunate. The end of the Vietnam War and the —Matthew Schuman CdeP 2000 —Kevin Grant CdeP 1984 fall of Saigon dominated current events in the spring of 1975. Marvin Shagam taught what I consider to be the first history of Vietnam class within the context of that current events class. The Mystery of the Middle Name Only a true master teacher could place those Finally, in response to my pleas, Mr. Shagam important current events within a historical promised to reveal the secret on my last context and do it in real time every day. day at Thacher. One of the rumors about Mr. —Catherine “Katie” Keggi Hunter EWS 1978 Shagam’s middle name was that the “H” stood for “Huckleberry,” and when my final day came, Mr. Shagam informed me that this was, in fact, his middle name, but that it was pronounced Your gentle, thoughtful manner has always HOO-kel-bear-EEEEE. been a guideline for me when searching out This was clearly preposterous, but Mr. great people and great minds. Thank you for XLviIi Shagam imparted this information with such your special gift. —Kathelee Banister CdeP 1979 earnest solemnity that I suppressed my laugh. And then he fixed me with an unblinking look of grave import, which he maintained so far Mr. Shagam is the man. beyond the point of social comfort that I began —Gavin McClintock CdeP 2001 to waver in my conviction that he was teasing me. To this day, I am still not entirely sure that his “secret” was in jest, and even as I write this, …the daily breakfast scene, with Marvin eating I have the tiniest concern that I am betraying healthily, dispensing copies of the NYT to all, his confidence by revealing the contents of our and overseeing exchanges on every political conversation. and economic topic under the sun. What a way —Stacey Lee (formerly Anderson) CdeP 1985 for all of us to start the day! —David Johnston, Former Faculty








20 fall 2008

mpenda: bennet kissel ‘07





I think of Marvin as the conscience and heart of the School. —Marcia Edwards, Faculty Emerita (1980 - 2001)


Robert Louis Stevenson once said “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” I can think of no one that took this more to heart than Mr. Shagam. …I’ll always keep that postcard he sent me from Bratislava. --Alexander R. F. Marlantes CdeP 2006


Photos capture the many aspects of Marvin: inspiring the soccer team (XLI); “only three more points to make” (XLII); the old Lower School days (XLIII); at the barbeque (XLIV); in the classroom (XLV); making a fine distinction (XLVI); Mr. Shagam’s table (XLVII); mpenda: Swahili for “one who loves” (XLVIII); the living room as classroom (XLIX); still presiding over the corner table (L).

Man or Myth: Revealing the True Marvin Shagam Rumors and legend hover around Mr. Shagam like the ghost of Upper School, and the recent celebration in his honor did little to sort fact from fiction. The following quiz will test your knowledge and finally put to rest a half-century of speculation. (Turn to page 22 for the truth.) 1. 2. 3.

class at home: jilly wendell; mr. shagam’s table: phil channing

4. 5.


7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

In Burma, during the Second World War, Mr. Shagam interrogated prisoners of war. In the 1950s, Mr. Shagam drew upon his hand-to-hand combat expertise to disarm and subdue a would-be bankrobber in Ojai. An early proponent of sustainable energy, in 1966, Mr. Shagam and a group of Thacher students brought wind power to the small village of Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico. Mr. Shagam’s middle name is “Hussein.” Mr. Shagam’s frequent visits to southeast Asia derive from strong ties to several remote Montagnard (Degar) villages in the central highlands of Vietnam where, in the early 1950s, he organized resistance to Vietminh incursions. In 1994, one of these villages was renamed Shakam-Duc in his honor. On sabbatical in the 1960s, Mr. Shagam looked forward to spending several months on a remote South Pacific island, living among what were purported to be the most peaceable people on Earth. What he found instead was a culture rife with physical and psychological violence. He left early. On an extended camping trip in Alaska and the Yukon, Mr. Shagam and the students he was with had to earn their way back to the U.S. by fighting forest fires. Mr. Shagam was one of three people to have questioned Lee Harvey Oswald at police headquarters in Dallas minutes before he was shot by Jack Ruby. As Thacher’s surf team monitor for four years, Mr. Shagam taught students to hang ten. In 1991, Mr. Shagam lunched with President George H.W. Bush. Within days after 9/11, Mr. Shagam made a brief trip to Afghanistan for reasons that have never been adequately explained.

The Thacher School 21


My Niche* at Thacher The editors held a contest, inviting Thacher students to depict and explain their own niches at CdeP. Here we share some of the most noteworthy entries. *Niche, n. a situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature…the function of an organism within an ecological community...…the particular area within a habitat occupied by an organism.

First Place Horseback riding. Arguably the biggest part of freshman year. I spent almost every afternoon riding, and it became a part of who I am. Grace Lowe ‘11, from Excelsior, Minnesota, rode into her Thacher niche last year on the back of Whirlwind.

Third Place The Thacher pool is a great place to go on the weekends to relax and enjoy yourself. These pictures (I couldn’t decide on just one) show my point by depicting Thacher students enjoying themselves at the pool, where they are free to goof off a little. Lee Farese ‘09 and his friends carve their aquatic niche with a jackknife, among other dives. Lee is from Kentfield, California.

Man or Myth: answers 1. 2.

Second Place Ink stained hands. Physics notebooks filled with secrets and conversations. A voice that is hoarse with disuse. I am the girl that can’t talk. Some might say I’m unlucky. But after all, the pen is mightier then the sword. Liza DiNizio ‘12, who does not speak, has inscribed herself indelibly into the Thacher community. She is from Chicago.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


22 fall 2008

True. Little truth. Mr. Shagam counseled Ribobn Bard CdeP 1964 a former student and unwitting acomplice in a robbery (he drove the getaway car), to surrender to police. True. False. His middle name is Rapunzelitro After Dien Bien Phu, little is known about thes claimes, but someurther detail is not. Essentially true. True, but this was before Thacher. False, though evidence that Mr. Shagam holds important docs remains unconfirmed. He held the title of coach, but made no pretense of teaching skills. True. Bush and Shagam were joined by then Director of Studies, Marcia Edwards, and the Secretaries of Education and of Health, Education, and Welfare to honor Thacher’s recognition as an “Exemplary School.” Meanwhile, Head of School Willard G. Wyman, Jr. opted to go camping in the High Sierra with students. In actuality, reords obtained via the freedom onf act has, which has been confirmed via off-the-record statements by figurs #17, a low-level attaché to Hamid Karzai.

My Niche Honorable mentions I go to the Outdoor Chapel to think, to sit, or simply to watch the sun gently set over the Ojai Valley. The sunset is unlike any I have ever seen; as the sky splits open, I bask in the silence, hoping I will always have a place like this. Alex Simon ‘09 is from Laguna Beach, California.


My Niche is skateboarding in the area between the Milligan Center and the Commons. This is the place where I skateboard. Whether alone or with friends, I enjoy skateboarding and experiencing the creative freedom that comes with it. I really like to skateboard there because of the smooth ground and the breathtaking view. When I am skating there I am at peace. In the big picture though, Thacher is my niche because I skate everywhere. However, as you can see in the picture, this spot is perfect. Shawn Keyani ‘10 is from Tehran, Iran.

My desk: 1. The particular area within my dorm room habitat that I, a high school junior organism, occupy. 2. Functional workspace and showcase for souvenirs and nostalgic memorabilia. 3. A place that reflects my personality and is perfectly attuned to my needs. Jane Fisher ‘10 is from San Luis Obispo, California.

“Thacher encourages individuals to be individuals, and Thacher looks at people for what they’ve got that is good.”

Excerpt: An Individual Perspective on Individualism Marshall Milligan CdeP 1969 Interviewed by Cricket Twichell Twichell: There’s a lot of room made here for the individual ... here at Thacher, somehow we all seem particularly proud of our kids who are—I don’t want to say eccentric, but they have their own drummer they’re listening to. Milligan: Whether or not they come here feeling like they have their own drummer, they find the opportunity to explore things that are of interest to them without feeling a strong need to conform. I think that is one of the real strengths of the place. In subsequent years, when I’ve spent a lot of time going out and visiting with alumni, ...I find that the Thacher alumni are very interesting individuals. They’ve done a whole lot of different things. They aren’t necessarily organization people. They aren’t necessarily people who like the limelight. They’re just people who choose interesting things that appeal to them. I think that speaks well for the School.

About The Thacher Oral History Project This excerpt is taken from the The Oral History Project, an undertaking of The Thacher School Historical Society. Cricket Twichell is one of several trained volunteers and staff members who have interviewed more than 60 alumni and past administrators of the School. The purpose of this project is to compile a supplementary history of the School by gathering memories, impressions, and stories about the Thacher experience. To learn more about the project and obtain access to its publications, contact the Thacher Archives (

The Thacher School 23

gatherings… The Thacher Motorcycle Trip was a Blast!

by David Oxley CdeP 1979 and Marganne Winter Oxley CdeP 1978


e had a great trip up the California coastline this past summer! With seven motorcycles and one support vehicle (i.e., the “extra stuff hauler”), we cruised a total of 1,375 miles in six days. Our group vroooomed our way up from Ojai to San Luis Obispo, on to Carmel followed by Fort Bragg, and then through the Napa Valley as our northern-most stop. Heading south, we stopped in Sonora (in the western foothills of the Sierras) on our way back in Ojai, via many windy, twisty roads—perfect for true Toad Road Warriors. In San Luis Obispo, our casual reception with “Friends of Thacher” at Mother’s Tavern was especially enjoyable due to the attendance of the entire Wynn Family (Greg, Tori, Aubrey CdeP 2006, Sarra ’10, and their siblings) and Fred and Shannon Bond (parents of Kaitlin ’09) who joined us in celebrating our first stop on the way. In Carmel, we enjoyed seeing Bruce Poole CdeP 1974 and his wife Melinda and their sons, Stewart Allen CdeP 1979, and Liz and Skip Lord CdeP 1954 on the deck of the beautiful Mission Ranch. The next day we wound our way from the

Golden Gate Bridge to the coastal town of Stinson Beach where we were hosted by Cecilia Herbert, “Thacher Mom” and current Trustee, and her daughter Deirdre Herbert CdeP 2006, for a fantastic lunch. That night, in Fort Bragg, our motorcycle group relaxed together, reveling in the enjoyable rides and stops so far. Included in our riding group were John Clarkson CdeP 1979, Jeff Carr CdeP 1974, Steve Smith CdeP 1978, Brandon Chase (father of MacKenna CdeP 2004 and Lauren CdeP 2006), Mona Wilson and her husband, Rick Wilson, director of development, and, of course, the two of us. When we stopped at Don Giovanni’s restaurant in the Napa Valley the next day, we enjoyed the company of many friends including Tom May CdeP 1952 (grandfather of Hailey May Everett ’12) who plied our road-weary group earlier in the day with fine cheese, lemonade, and fresh peaches just off the tree at his Napa Valley home. Michelle and Will Wyman CdeP 1978, and Liz Herr, mother of Lucy CdeP 2006 and Alex CdeP 2005 and wife of Andrew Herr CdeP 1973. Great wine and food were enjoyed by all!  Heading south from the Napa Valley, we were

John Clarkson, David Oxley CdeP 1978, and Rick Wilson enjoying some time with Tom May CdeP 1952 at his home in Napa

very pleased that Steve Smith CdeP 1978 joined our motorcycle group riding his cool BMW motorcycle. Sonora was hoppin’ as we enjoyed the local fare at the Outlaws BBQ & Steakhouse. Overall, the weather was friendly and the scenery fantastic! Some additional highlights included visiting the sea lions at San Simeon and viewing the high cliffs of the incredible northern California coast. One wistful alum who did not get the chance to ride with us (but who said he would love to join us next year) participated from afar by graciously donating five, top-notch motorcycle helmets from his workplace, Spar X Helmets. Very cool! Many thanks to John Kim CdeP 1989!!

Would you like to join us next year? Whether for the whole week, just a day, or for an evening are welcome to become a summer Toad Road Warrior! Keep an eye out next spring for a Toad news bulletin with itinerary for summer 2009. In the meantime, many happy trails and trips to you!

24 fall 2008

Left: Redgie Collins CdeP 2007, Lucy Bosche CdeP 2007, Brannon Cavalier CdeP 2007, Alex MacMillan ‘10. Right: Peter Farquhar CdeP 1956.

Adventure Creates Memories Worth Revisiting


Golden Trout Camp, Summer 2007 by Paul Hoornbeek, Facilities Manager

ach summer at Golden Trout brings a series of reunions and introductions. People return from varying distances in time and space, and new people arrive to see the place for the first time, most hoping it won’t be the last. The views remain the same: Langley, The Mesa, Wooly Back, Trail Peak. Wild flowers grow in a predictable sequence, and when it rains, mushrooms pop up and people hunt for them. The Camp offers this comfort of the familiar as well as exhilarations that are new each day. Where else can you find a sky so blue, stars so bright and plentiful, and shooting stars so purple in the green grassy meadow? The Camp is always the same and always different, as Cam Spaulding and Nick Tranmer—both CdeP 1992—demonstrate again and again on the hikes they lead around the basin, showing new and experienced visitors alike the plants, animals, habitat, and history of this amazing place. Herodotus might say “You can’t visit the same Golden Trout Camp twice,” which is as good a reason to come back as any.  Anyone who hasn’t been to Golden Trout Camp for a while ought to make a point of com-

ing. The place is a palimpsest of all the memories of the past decades of new students and faculty and alumni and friends learning the Thacher songs under the stars while marshmallows burn in the fire. One returnee this year was Peter Farquhar CdeP 1956, who worked a ropes course on the first Thacher program at Golden Trout Camp. Ever nattily attired, a story attached to every piece of gear, Peter carried an iPhone with photographs generously detailing his travels around the world since the last time he’d set foot here.  The happy, hardworking staff of alumni and students diligently focus on the annual summertime tasks designed to make the camp safer and more comfortable, cleaner and better-working—that is, between afternoon dashes to the top of Langley, or to Windy Gap for long phone calls, or to toast various items on the stove in the Staff Lounge—while leaving the basic and best attributes of the place unchanged. Golden Trout Camp is truly an outpost in the outback, requiring effort to get to and continual adjustments and adaptations worthy of adventures worth revisiting.

Community Connections & Opportunities photo: Marganne Winter Oxley CdeP 1978, Paul Hoornbeek

Many thanks to all who participated in the Gatherings this summer and fall. We are grateful especially to our hosts! David Oxley CdeP 1979 and Marganne Winter Oxley CdeP 1978 for anticipating every turn of the wheel in the summer Toad Road Warrior Motorcycle Trip.

Margo Blair, Trustee and parent of Alexandra CdeP 1998 and Alden CdeP 2001 for hosting in Chicago at the Raquet Club.

Emily Hancock CdeP 1983 and her family for hosting the annual Los Angeles area gathering in their home in Pasadena.

Reza Zafari CdeP 1978 for hosting a Phonathon at his office in Los Angeles.

Becky and Ted Swift, parents of Dallas CdeP 2007 and Natalie ’10, for hosting at the Valley Club in Santa Barbara. Paul and Maggie Moss Tucker (parents of Jonathan CdeP 2001 and Jennie CdeP 2004) for generously opening their home in Boston.

Jonathan Tucker CdeP 2001 for inviting young alumni to join him at the latest West Hollywood Hot Spot: the Crown Bar. Peter Oberndorf CdeP 2004 for organizing a young alumni holiday party in San Francisco at Otis. Sheela Murthy, mother of Nick Kohli ’10, for hosting a holiday party in her home in Telluride.

Top: Caitlin Wyman CdeP 2006, Jenny Morrill CdeP 2006, Claire Shaw CdeP 2007, Lucy Bosche CdeP 2007, and Andrew Jordan CdeP 2007 at the Pasadena event. Left: Kevin Berigan, Sherry Rosenfeld, Karleanne Rogers, Lauren Rosenfeld ‘10, Toby Elmore, and Charlie Elmore in Portland. Right: Korzu Taplin CdeP 1996 and guest enjoy the Pasadena Gathering.

The Thacher School 25

class notes…



INDICATES REUNION YEAR CORRESPONDING PHOTO ABOVE Some of the following Class Notes have been edited for length. For the most current—and complete!—Class Notes, log in at







26 fall 2008

CHARLES TUTTLE writes in June that he is “fast becoming a great-grandfather, through great grandsons.” He continues: “Had a pleasant get-together in Marin County with RICK LYTTLE, DICK DENNER, JOE BORROUGHS, and their wives or lady friends. We played bocce ball at Rick’s house.”

mate goal of reaching all schools in the state, K-8, or 76,000 schools reaching 11 million children. Check out for info on internships and school trips and send Lawrie a message!



Looking forward to Reunion!


BROOKS CRAWFORD and his son, Peter, traveled in Nepal and climbed Gokyo Ri (19,000 feet) and Imja Tse (20,305 feet). “The first was easy,” says Brooks, “the latter a bit more challenging with a 300-foot ice wall to ascend before the final knife ridge to the summit. The views from both were striking; Everest was very close as were many of the other 8,000meter peaks.” TOM LOMBARD, writing in October, sends greetings from sunny Arizona. “My wife(Colleen) and I,” he says, “are very fortunate to be living near our son, JUSTIN ’89, his wife Traci and our two beautiful grandchildren, Amanda, 7, and Jordon, 4. It has been quite a trip to be part of their life. Colleen and I are fortunate to have good health and happiness, especially at this time of our lives. We send our very best wishes to all of our Thacher friends.” JOHN CARVER and his wife, Sue, “somewhat reluctantly moved to a stairless condo at the end of July. We have been unpacking ever since,” he writes. From DANIEL CROTTY in September: “When my cardiologist said, ‘You need a valve job’ the term took me back to the days in Mr. Griggs’ motor mechanics class, where we actually had hands-on experience doing such work on an old flathead six engine. As I am writing this missive eight months later, it was a success.” THOMAS RUSSELL reports in September that “KATE ‘99 graduated from medical school in June and will do a surgical residency. I remain Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons.” LAWRIE CHICKERING concludes from his own and many others’ research on the subject of educating girls that “educated women are the most powerful agents of social change in developing countries.” As a result of this research, Lawrie founded Educating Girls Globally, which has developed a powerful program for promoting girls’ education in developing countries by reforming government schools, particularly in rural India. The program has been successful because it promotes a strong sense of ownership by both the people in traditional villages and by the government. In Rajasthan, India, the state government is beginning to expand the initial EGG project (in 50 pilot schools in two districts) towards the ulti-

*1964 1965 1966 1967


After having served for many years as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Republic National Bank of New York, BILL SLATTERY joined the Atlantic Legal Foundation in 2000 as President. “What we do can be found at www.atlanticlegal. org,” Bill writes. “It has been a stimulating and rewarding experience, and it has kept me busy. Last week, for example, we honored Bill Weldon, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, with Atlantic Legal’s 21st Annual Award at a dinner at the Harvard Club of NYC; and, the next day, we co-sponsored a full-day conference on corporate litigation with the New York City Bar Association.” Bill’s wife, Margaret, continues to teach Spanish at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Conn. Their older daughter, Cristina, was visiting last fall from Barcelona, where she lives and teaches, in order to share some time with her sister, Susie, who married Pieter van den Berg on Dec. 6. Susie and Pieter both work in New York, Susie at Google and Pieter at the Boston Consulting Group.


Looking forward to Reunion!

WOODRUFF HALSEY II says, “I am enjoying my job even more since NELSON CHASE ‘66 joined School Year Abroad as executive director in 2007. It’s been almost 50 years since he pitched and I caught, but we still work together very well!”


BOB ISAACSON and his wife Sally traveled in Alaska last summer and attended the wedding of MARK WEAVER’S daughter, LUCIA ‘98, in Palmer. RICHARD ANDREWS shares extensively about the works of son BRYCE ‘01 (see 2001 notes), and adds, “As for me, I recently stepped down as Director of the Henry Art Gallery after 20 years at the helm. Time for a change and new adventures!” JAMES MUNGER retired as headmaster of Dunn School in June 2008. He and his wife, Esther, have moved to The Sea Ranch, a coastal community two hours north of San Francisco. He writes: “We are enjoying getting settled in our new digs and meeting our new neighbors. Please come by if you are wandering this way. It’s a beautiful place well worth a trip!” In recognition of his tremendous contribution to San Diego’s rich tennis history, WILLIAM KELLOGG was inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame on Aug. 23, 2008 at the Balboa Tennis Club. Bill has been president of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. since 1989, the fourth generation Kellogg family member to serve as president of the family-ownedand-operated company. Previously, Bill was also awarded the


Photos (L to R): Brooks Crawford climbing in Nepal; Bob Isaccson and Mark Weaver in the Chugach Mountains while traveling in Alaska for the wedding of Lucia Weaver ’98; members of CdeP 1949, members of CdeP 1964.

MILESTONES Eve Kraft Community Service Award by the U.S. Tennis Association, an award given to individuals who demonstrate the ability to create, organize, and carry out recreational tennis programs for people of all ages and ability levels. He and his wife, Tricia, live in La Jolla and have two daughters. STEPHEN P. HUYLER has lots of news to share: After 37 years of anthropological field research in India, he has donated his extensive collection of Indian folk art to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park. A current exhibition, entitled “India Adorned: Selections from Mingei International’s Stephen Huyler Collection” will be open through August 2009 and features several hundred pieces. This exhibit will overlap with another of his during this summer so visit in July/August to see both. His fifth book was released in September 2008: Daughters of India: Art and Identity is “a survey of the strengths and dignity of spirit exhibited in the face of adversity by India’s women.” Check out his website for details and dates of exhibit, including at the Fowler Museum at UCLA:


*1974 1976


In October STEPHEN SCOTT writes that “The Scott family is on track to finally spring children out into the big bad world and let the ‘folks’ begin to kick back. Daughter Stephanie is enjoying her second year of law school at the University of Colorado, where her grandfather taught law. Son Tyler is currently eyeing colleges while enjoying his senior year at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. (It’s looking like a ‘beach’ school is in the works—hope his scores and grades work for him!)   Spouse Lynne is working for an East Bay state assemblyman and totally enjoying the politics (hummmm), and I’m plotting retirement from a career in city planning in the S.F. Bay Area.”  BRYAN BECKHAM reminds classmates: “Put our 35th Reunion on your calendar! June 12 to 14, 2009. Rush to get a room in Ojai unless you are planning on staying in the dorms. Rooms are selling out fast. See you in Ojai.” Karen and DAVID W. LAVENDER were in Ithaca, N.Y. in May to celebrate their son Brendan’s graduation from Cornell. Daughter Siobhan, a junior at Pitzer College, spent a semester studying environmental and land management issues in Botswana, Africa. Meanwhile, David and Karen have left Hawaii’s Big Island behind and are now empty-nesting up on the appropriately named Last Dollar Road (“Those tuition payments are a killer!”) in Telluride, Colo., where David teaches English in the local high school and Karen serves as the school’s college counselor. “If any ‘76ers are hankering for a little down time in the Rockies,” they write, “We’d love to play host!” “Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree,” philosophizes DR. ANDREW HOLMAN, whose son, Jonathan, 18, attends college in Ohio, with no interest in his father’s alma mater,








LORNE GREEN ’83 married Rachel Johnson on June 29, 2008, in New York. Many classmates were on hand for the celebration! (photo 1: Groom Lorne Green ’83 with classmates Randy Bessolo, Bobby Henshel, Jon Blinderman, and Derrick Perry.) After 10 years of togetherness MARK HORWITZ ’85 and Jennifer Michelle Mount married on July 29, 2007 at Bella Victorian Vineyards in Camarillo, California. They are expecting the birth of their first child on December 31, 2008. WINSLOW BURLESON ’90 and Camilla Nørgaard Jensen were married on Aug. 3, 2007. WENDY LIN ’90 married Bergt Heinz Jurgen Bieler on Jan. 26, 2008 in Santa Monica. The reception was held in Marina Del Rey. ERIN BROWNE MONTOYA ‘90 sang at the ceremony, which was also attended by JENNIFER UTMAN SOMMER ‘90 and her husband Mark. (photo 2) In the summer of 2008, TONY HERNANDEZ ‘93 married Sarah McIntosh in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. (photo 3) WILLIAM ABBOTT ’95 married David Paige on October 24, 2008 in Carpinteria, California. (William and David are also in the wedding photo of Kathryn Cox Bonney and Steven Bonney) (photo 4) OMAR ABOU-SAMRA ’95 and NANCY MOSER ‘96 were married on Oct. 11, 2008 at her grandmother’s farm in Sacramento. An announcement from KATHRYN COX BONNEY ’96: “The major event in our life was in the summer of 2007. Steven and I got married on June 16, 2007 in Sacramento, Calif. We had two Thacher alums in attendance, WILLIAM ABBOTT ’95 and Maid of Honor ELIZABETH BOSWELL ’95.” (photo 5: L to R David Paige, William Abbott ’95, Kathryn, Elizabeth Boswell ’95, Steven) LUCIA MARY HALLE ‘98 and CHARLES “BRAD” CRAVEN ‘98 were wed on June 28, 2008. Lucia says: “We were lucky to share the joyful occasion with several fellow Toads, including (from ’98) MARGARETHE JAVELLANA, CYNTHIA LEE, CHARLEY MEDIGOVICH, and ALEXIS MACDONALD. My mother officiated at the ceremony and we held the reception on the farm in Alaska, where I grew up, frolicking the night away under the midnight sun.” (photo 6: L to R Margarethe Javellana, Cynthia Lee, Lucia Craven, Charley Medigovich, and Alexis MacDonald (all ’98))



The Thacher School 01

class notes… MILESTONES Marriages CONTINUED


SARAH SAWYER ’99 met her new husband Alain Mathaukot while they were working together in the Congo. They were wed in January 2008. (photo 7) BROOKE MACDONALD ’99 married Rodman Moorhead (a Taft alumnus!) on July 12, 2008. “It was such a joy to celebrate with so many close Thacher friends,” she writes. (photo 8) SHANNON HASTINGS ’99 and Quinn Baker were married in July 2008 with several of Shannon’s Thacher classmates in attendance. (photo 9) PETER HARTNACK ’00 announced, “I was married on June 14 to a wonderful girl, Ann Pepi, in Napa, Calif.”

Bowdoin. Madeline, 13, wants any high school except “Dad’s school,” and Kate, 16, is a state-level 100-meter hurdler who wants a track program. “My medical research/patent licensing business ( thrives,” Andrew writes, “and patients with complex pain still consult me, but none of my children enjoy science. Sounds like the world will get a few more lawyers (like my mother, father, sister, two uncles, cousin, and grandfather). At least, my black Lab listens (I think) and I have an exceptionally wonderful wife, Joan.”



Engagements & anniversaries


KATIE KOCHENDORFER ‘97 is engaged and will be married in 2009. RYAN MEYER ‘98 is engaged to ELIZA GREGORY ‘99. The wedding date is set for June 27, 2009. Ryan’s brother TODD MEYER ‘00 is also getting married next summer. Todd and fiancée Priya Patel are planning a ceremony in Portland, Ore. on Aug. 7, 2009. CLAY PELL ’00 and Jacquelyn Kung were engaged in 2008 and traveled from Beijing to Africa to celebrate. EMILY DACHS TAYLOR ’01 and husband Chad celebrated their first wedding anniversary with a trip to Europe.


How to Submit Digital Photos • Shoot using your camera’s best photo setting. • Files should be 200k or larger. • Save photos as JPEG files. • Identify every person in the photo, state time and place, and suggest a caption. We can accept good, old-fashioned prints as well. Unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or images from magazines or newspapers. Two ways to submit photos: 1. E-mail digital files as attachments to 2. Mail prints or digital discs to: The Thacher School Alumni Office, 5025 Thacher Road, Ojai, CA 93023 28 fall 2008


DANIEL R. MILLER is sorry he couldn’t attend the 2008 Reunion. He was in New York with his wife, Jen, and the kids (Sarah, 13, and Ben, 8) “to show the latter our old stomping grounds, see some old friends, etc. I missed seeing you all and catching up on what’s happened since the 20th. My short report: I’m editing Macworld magazine, but trying to figure out my next career move. It’s probably time to remove ‘editor’ from my job title, but don’t know what will replace it. Sarah’s eagerly headed to Berkeley High next year, Ben’s thriving in third grade, and we’re more settled than ever in Berkeley. I manage to get away for a backpacking trip at least once a year (I’m tackling the John Muir Trail in sections; at this rate, I’ll be on top of Whitney in September 2011), and all is pretty darned good.” Surf’s up in Santa Barbara for WILL WYMAN, who recently was hired as the Director of Development at Laguna Blanca School, overseeing their annual fundraising programs and managing a major capital campaign in recognition of the school’s 75th anniversary. Once he and Michelle sell their house in St. Helena, she will join him to get the family settled in sunny Santa Barbara. In the meantime, Will is enjoying seeing Thacher friends in the area such as Joanie and TED RHODES ‘65. Will also hopes “to continue his ‘Fickle Fermenter’ garagiste winemaking somewhere in the Santa Ynez Valley, so don’t despair toady wine enthusiasts! Cheers!”


Looking forward to Reunion! GLENN GLASS posts in July 2008: “Hope all are doing well. Things are status quo with Lisa and our family of four boys, one dog, one bearded dragon, one gerbil, one box turtle, and various fish tanks. We are still enjoying life in Cary, N.C. If you have a child who might enjoy having a ten-year-old pen pal, please send me a note via Thanks!” We received news from DAVID HEARD in June that “My family and I are headed back to the U.S. after having lived 19 years abroad, in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Japan. We will move to Miami, where I will be working in AIG’s Latin America headquarters. Our son Andre starts at University of Redlands in August, so we’ll have plenty of reasons to be getting back to California, and hopefully now I’ll finally make it to a reunion!”


JAVID JANANSHAH writes in early November: “On my road trip to Mexico I decided to make a little detour. I saw the signs for Ojai on HWY 101 and drove up to the School I

Photos (L to R): Javid Jananshah and Mr. Shagam together again; members of CdeP 1979; members of CdeP 1984; Sophie Brown Twichell at the front door of the historic Ryerson home outside of Chicago, the administrative center of the Friends of Ryerson Woods; Marc Ganz Audi PCO Victory (top); members of CdeP 1989 (bottom).

had not seen for 32 years. In 1976 I was a freshman from Iran and stayed at Thacher for only a year but my memories have remained strong. When I got to the entrance gate, I saw one of the female students standing there. It was the first sign of change I noticed. The year I was there was the last when it was all boys. There’s a new, beautiful, massive audio/visual center and some of the dorms have been rebuilt or renovated. Other than that, the School looks remarkably the same, and meticulously well kept. Even some of my teachers are still there. It was a thrill to meet and say hello to history professor Mr. Shagam, who recently celebrated 51 years of teaching at Thacher. What a remarkable person and career! Alumni Relations Director Suzie Nixon Bohnett kindly gave me a tour and brought me up-to-date on the transformations. I took lots of pictures and will be featuring them soon on, an online community I started 13 years ago for Iranians living abroad. I’m so glad I dropped by. What an incredible institution...” MARTHA LAVENDER HOWARD and family recently moved to New Jersey, where her husband, Brian, is working as instrumental director at Moorestown Friends School, “a wonderful, old Quaker day school,” Martha writes. Son Alex attended the seventh grade there and plays basketball and baseball for the school. Daughter Merritt, age 17, is in the professional division of the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia and studied at the Kirov Academy last summer. “She’s on her way to a career as a professional ballerina,” Martha says. “I’m a part-time private voice instructor and a full-time driver-of-my-kids. Life is good and we’re enjoying our new home and the four seasons of the East Coast.”

*1984 1985

charter school here in Napa. It’s a fabulous program serving over 600 children of both languages and cultures, and despite the challenges that ‘No Child Left Behind’ has imposed, the school is still producing amazing results. I’m secretly hoping that RAUL (PACHECO) and his band will come to Napa and play for these kids who work so hard en español y en inglés! Meanwhile, my husband Dan is running a winery here in the valley called Darioush—for those architecture and history buffs, if you haven’t seen it yet, it won’t disappoint (and neither will the wine!). I wish everyone well, and if you happen to find yourself on the Silverado Trail, send an e-mail to us at”




See you at Reunion! DIANA CALLAHAN shares that “all is well in Sonoma County! We are busy with our two sons Connor (age 8) and Will (age 4). Busy with work—plenty of cheese and yogurt. Looking forward to our 25-year Reunion!” MARK HORWITZ wed Jennifer Michelle Mount in July (see Marriages) and they are expecting the birth of their first child on Dec. 31, 2008. Mark wrote: “Macy’s continues to offer plenty of advancement, but I still volunteer for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department’s Disaster Assistance Response Team.” J. ERIC GROSS writes in September, “I ran into Señor Miller and MOLLY PERRY in Ojai last summer. I attended MORGAN SMITH’S birthday dinner in Piedmont.” SOPHIE BROWN TWICHELL returned to Cuba in October for a birding and conservation trip with some representatives from the Friends of Ryerson Woods (, where she serves as executive director.


photo/illustration credit here

JULIE HUNTINGTON DE POLO writes: “I want to send a huge thank you to Molly and MARK GAMBLE for hosting alumni from 1980-86 at their beautiful home in Ross—what a feat, and much appreciated! This year, I’m heading up the school board of my children’s dual-immersion Spanish-English public

JAIME ARAUJO-BEZIAN shares this joyous news: “I’m happy to report the birth of our daughter, Angèle, who arrived July 3 (see Births). Her big brother Aidan is (mostly) happy about her arrival, and Stéphane and I are thrilled (if a bit sleep deprived). CARRIE JOHNSTON sends “Greetings from Berkeley, Calif. We’ve just moved here from Oakland, having bucked national trends when we decided to buy our first house in September (!). We’ve also been busy with other projects (see Births)— Martha, 2 1/2, just became a big sister to Thomas, born in July. Toads in the area who want to contact us should do so at; also, check out our blog: http://” (photo)


See Group Photo. ADAM GEYER recently opened a solo dermatology practice in Tribeca. His website is www. “Come by if you’re in the city and need a dermatologist!” he writes. Some recent adventures of MARC GANZ include a visit to Thacher: “I connected with Mr. Mulligan this summer, as my family spent our fourth consecutive summer in Montecito. I paid a visit to CdeP during the summer with my kids Grant (10) and Riley (8), as I was in Santa Barbara all summer competing in the Pacific Coast Open at the Santa Barbara Polo Club for the Audi Polo Team.  We went the entire season undefeated en route to claiming the Pacific Coast Open.” 




J. P. MANOUX is “living in Toronto these days, working on a new sci-fi/adventure series for Disney called Aaron Stone. The android character I’m playing is indestructible. J.P. Manoux, however, remains…destructible. Tune in to watch a bald Cirque du Soleil acrobat/stuntman make me look cool when the show launches in Feb. 2009.”


Newlyweds WENDY LIN and Bergt Heinz Jurgen Bieler (see Marriages) are living on the west side of Los Angeles and she continues to work as an attending emergency medicine physician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. From JENNIFER SOMMER in October: “Mark and I are enjoying life with two girls—Talia is now 6 and in first grade and Elle is 10 months already and on the move! Tali just started riding lessons this The Thacher School 29

class notes…

past summer and we go to Topanga Canyon once a week for our getaway and a bit of fresh horse air. She loves it (and even found it funny when I was thrown recently just before a jump), so we may have a future Toad on our hands. While at Thacher, my parents always told me I should ride as much as possible while there and that I would regret not doing more. Boy, were they would be a lot easier now if I’d stuck with it! I am still working at Food & Wine magazine and just taking it day by day learning how to juggle work and family but really can’t complain as it makes all the difference that I have a fun job that involves eating out a lot and drinking great wine!” And from WINSLOW BURLESON we hear the following great news: “My wife, Camilla Nørgaard Jensen, and I were married Aug 3, 2007 and are living in Tempe, Ariz., spending summers on the edge of the Limfjord, in northwestern Denmark. I finished up at the MIT Media Lab in 2006, where I developed an Affective Learning Companion to help students persevere through frustration. I then moved to a Senior Scientist / Post Doc position with Deutsche Telekom in Berlin. We are now working at the Arts, Media, and Engineering graduate program at Arizona State, where I am an Assistant Professor in Human Computer Interaction and Camilla is a design researcher. We are inventing all kinds of engaging experiences (see Motivational Environments web page: http:// robotic pets, astronautrobot-mission simulators, a project called ‘Game as Life—Life as Game,’ and researching individual and team creativity. We’ve been traveling to conferences in Beijing; Guadalajara; Oulo, Finland; and Saragossa, Spain. After a chance encounter in Copenhagen, in June, we are now enjoying meeting up with RYAN MEYER ‘98 (pursuing his PhD in the School of Life Sciences) and his fiancée ELIZA GREGORY ‘99 (pursuing photography and working with the university president’s office) for weekend brunches and Phoenix’s ‘First Friday’ art exhibits. If you come to Arizona or Denmark, let us know: Winslow.”

Gideon Davis and son Levi celebrate their Thacher visit with a song.

Revisiting Thacher: Letter from Gideon Davis CdeP 1990, summer 2008

30 fall 2008


KRISTINA ALLEY has moved to Santa Fe, N. M., and is running the wealth management division of a regional bank. Husband Tim Farrell is managing property for a commercial real estate company. Son Nicholas is turning five and daughter Linnea is one. “They love being closer to their grandparents!” Kristina says. And from WILL REDFIELD in October, a hearty “GO TOADS”!



ELIZABETH “LIZA” SEIBEL LORENZ and husband Kevin announce the arrival of their first child, Harrison Partner Siebel Lorenz, born in the summer of 2008 (see Births). Liza writes in July: “We are spending this year living on Balboa Island (walking distance to family and the beach!) and are very much enjoying our first summer with him.” SHARON KARLSBERG and husband Craig Sakowitz celebrated the Jewish New Year with the arrival of their first child, Zachary Rubin (see Births),

photo/illustration credit here

It’s been over 18 years since I graduated from Thacher during the summer of 1990, and last Sunday I had the chance for an impromptu visit to campus with my family. What an incredible feeling to bring back my wife, Tricia, and our two sons: Levi, age 5, and Ezra, 3 months. Although I had not been back to Thacher for more than five years, it was almost as if my car drove itself and as soon as I drove in, it was like I had never been gone. Being a hot Sunday in the summer, the campus was a ghost town, which added to the mystique for me. It was amazing to see how much had changed, and in a strange way, how much it was exactly as I had remembered when I received my diploma from Mr. Wyman in 1990. Despite the incredible new performing arts center, I half expected to see Mr. Lamb come slowly shuffling out for Assembly wearing his floppy hat pulled down over his eyes. Despite the fancy new makeover to the Lower School dorm, I could still remember Mr. Shagam in his wool scarf and hat standing on the porch outside his second floor apartment, looking down at us crazed freshman boys. The memories were everywhere— walking into the French classroom, remembering Mr. Bird (or Mr. Oiseaux as we called him) saying bonjour; or the music room, seeing Mr. McDermott’s animated expressions as he conducted our chamber group; or the gym, thinking about Friday nights watching my friend Peter Everett slice through the basketball court past guys a foot taller than he was. As I sat with my family in the dorm room I had lived in as a sophomore, I couldn’t walk out without opening the medicine cabinet above the sink to see if there was still the hole through which my friend Rob Williams and I used to talk to each other late at night. The hole was no longer there, but the memory of this was just like it was yesterday. So much has changed in my life since Thacher, and so much has changed on the campus, but despite this it was really like nothing at all had changed. As we drove away, it was clearer to me than ever before that what makes Thacher Thacher is not the incredible campus, fancy new dorms, or performing arts center, but the people. Halfway out of the gate, my wife Tricia turned to me and said, “Do you realize how lucky you are to have had this experience?” “Yep,” I said. I may not have realized it then, but 18 years later I certainly do.

Photos (L to R): Peter Bray ‘90 at the Great Wall of China; Will Redfield ‘91 and son Ian, 2; members of CdeP 1994.


on Sept. 25. Sharon says, “I’m grateful to have a few months off of work to stay home with Zachary full time. Craig’s enjoying a new job with Gap, while I’m still delighted to continue my sales and marketing consulting for biotech companies with ZS Associates. Please drop us a line if you’ll be in San Francisco anytime soon!”



photo/illustration credit here


AWELE OKOBO-OKIGBO and her family moved back home to Lagos, Nigeria, last August after many years in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Patrick, have a two-year-old son, Arinze, and a one-year-old daughter, Amara. “After working for the International Monetary Fund in D.C. for many years,” Awele writes, “I am enjoying being a stay-home mum ... for the moment. It’s great to be back home in Nigeria after being away for over 18 years! Our children are growing up with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, and countless cousins!” Big changes for TONY HERNANDEZ recently. He moved from the Bay Area to the NYC area and married Sarah McIntosh in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. (see Marriages)





See you at Reunion! FREDERIKA HOWE TOLL describes her family’s busy spring 2008: “NATE ran the Boston Marathon in April. We are now settling into our new home in the Salt Lake area. We love being back in the mountains. Nate likes his new job for Rio Tinto. Adelaide and Josephine are keeping me a busy Momma.” As Hurricane Gustav approached New Orleans in September, CATE PEIRSOL-SCHIPPER, husband James, and their two dachshunds evacuated to Memphis for the duration of the storm, after their hospital went into disaster mode. James is a third-year cardiology fellow and Cate works as a nurse practitioner on the cardiology hospital service. In August, VICTORIA MCHEDLISHVILI-KROEHL and her husband Howie welcomed son Alexander into their family (see Births). “We’re still in the Seattle area,” she says. “I am still practicing accounting, and was recently promoted to senior manager in the tax department of a large regional firm. With the recent military events in Georgia I heard from quite a few of my Thacher classmates which was very nice. Hope to make it to the Reunion next year but as of yet our schedules haven’t settled, so I’ll just say I hope to see everyone soon.” WILLIAM ABBOTT shares that “I married my love of seven years, David Paige, on October 24 (see Marriages). It was a small ceremony in Carpinteria surrounded by immediate family, and under the embrace of a 300-year-old Coast live oak. We are immensely happy that our love and commitment for each other can be recognized by our community through traditional civil marriage, and we are saddened for those couples who have now lost that civil right. No honeymoon yet; maybe in 2009! I am still working as conservation director for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, and David is the cultural geography editor for ABC-Clio.  Our dairy goats are our only children to date.”




A son, Thomas, joined the family of CARRIE JOHNSTON ’88, husband Adrian Martin, and big sister Martha in July. (photo 1) On July 3, 2008, JAIME ARAUJO-BEZIAN ’88 and wife Stéphane greeted a new member of their family: daughter Angèle. (photo 2) The stork has landed!! VICTOR WYKOFF ’88 and his wife Carla Piñon are “thrilled to announce the birth of our healthy baby boy, Patrick Anthony Piñon Wykoff, born on Sept. 19, 2008 in Singapore; 3.58 kg, 53 cm (for you U.S.-centric folk, that’s 7 lbs. 14 oz., 21 inches). Only time will tell if Patrick is up to Thacher’s academic and extracurricular challenges.” (photo 3) ELIZABETH “LIZA” SEIBEL LORENZ ’92 and husband Kevin welcomed their first child, Harrison Partner Siebel Lorenz, into the world on June 18, 2008. SHARON KARLSBERG ’92 and Craig Sakowitz celebrated the Jewish New Year with the arrival of their first baby, Zachary Rubin Sakowitz, on Sept. 25. He was named for Craig’s grandfather, weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs.14 oz. and measured 20 inches in length. (photo 4) Annie Jane “Janie” was born June 2008 to J.J. Eklund McGawn ’93 and husband Mike. (photo 5) VICTORIA MCHEDLISHVILI-KROEHL ’94 writes in October: “My husband Howie and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy named Alexander into this world on Aug. 10, 2008.” (photo 6) BETSY CARNEY ’97 wrote to announce “the exciting arrival of our daughter, Lucia Lauder Carney, in March 2008!” (photo 7) ELIZABETH WALLACE ’96 and JAIME BURNSFRANCE ’97 welcomed Coraline Lea Christine Wallace-France to the family on May 26, 2008. (photo 8)



The Thacher School 01

class notes…


A Global Brigade volunteer is swarmed at triage.

From Don Osborne CdeP 1976: College Students Recognizing their Personal Power The work the nonprofit organization is doing in Central America is by far the most important work I have ever been involved with. The mission of Global Brigades brings together two groups: college students and desperately impoverished communities within Central America. The students who participate in Brigades, almost exclusively undergraduates, feel a deep passion to create sustainable solutions for communities in desperate need. Often, these individuals feel a strong desire to serve, yet struggle to connect to an organization that empowers and supports their immediate, direct action to contribute to change. Global Brigades raises awareness of the power of personal action possible for North American college students. We are feisty, entrepreneurial, grassroots, and proudly organic. We have a seven-person Board of Directors, and 20-odd Executive Committee members, yet we have never had any paid staff in the United States, and most likely never will. Instead, all of the money—mostly donations raised by the students themselves to support their travel to Honduras—goes to support our in-country nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners, where it does the most good. The results so far—over 2,000 college students have spent at least a week creating and running mobile medical and dental clinics, and we have seen over 50,000 patients. Our Water Project team focuses on rebuilding the dilapidated water and sewage systems; our Public Health project team constructs cinder-block stoves to take the cooking fire off the floor, where smoke inhalation is one of the major causes of respiratory illness; our Business Brigaders work on creating micro-finance enterprises similar to the work started by Muhammad Yunus. This is a labor of love, contribution, and support, and the work we do speaks powerfully to sustainable community development for the most impoverished communities in Central America, primarily in Honduras, where per capita income hovers between 25 cents and US$2.50 per day. And it’s what I believe is meant by the lyrics: “until the best we can do is all done.”

32 fall 2008




In April KATIE McCAMMACK LOPEZ writes: “As of late I have been thinking of Thacher. Most recently was last week at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., where I saw KACEY PERKINS ‘95. I am assuming that she is a doctor in the Pediatric ER because that is where she was when I saw her! I was in with my 18-month-old son, Ethan, so it wasn’t the time to try to stop her as she was walking past the room, but the doctor who treated Ethan told me that she is ’amazing’ — which I don’t doubt! By the way, my son was fine—just stumbled in the kitchen and got a huge knot on his head. It makes him look tough. My husband, Eliseo, and I were married a few years ago at my alma mater, LMU. We bought a house in Torrance and now I stay home full-time, singing, and blowing raspberries (amongst other things) with our son.” CATHERINE PINKERTON KEELING shares in September, “Travis and I just converted our 2002 Jetta to run on vegetable oil. We drove from Ithaca, N.Y. to St. Louis, Mo. without using a single drop of diesel fuel! Who needs foreign oil?” From AMANDA JOHNSON in May, 2008: “Hey! I just thought I would pop on here, I just moved across the country to Arlington, Va., and thought I would post an update. If anyone is out this way please pop me an e-mail; I don’t know many people in the area, and would love to see some familiar faces!” CHRISTOPHER LABBE tantalizes us with this, in October: “Just offering a quick update to the Thacher family. Life has gotten a bit warmer for Tiff and me as we have ventured to Hawaii for work. If any CdeP swings through, please call and visit. Take care ALL!” MARGRIT A. L. PARKER reports that she graduated from the University of Colorado Law School, Class of 2008. She is now spending one year as law clerk to United States Magistrate Judge William C. Beaman (District of Wyoming). HANNAH PEPPER ATTWOOD has moved back to Ojai with her husband and two children, Hunter and Sadie, after living in Australia for the last six years. SARAH LOW had to leave the Reunion too soon, and later shares: “I just wanted to tell all those of you at the Reunion that I really enjoyed seeing you! I regret that I had to leave suddenly —work called (while I was on a horse no less), and I had to go back to L.A. to deal with it. I would have rather stayed and hung out with all of you wonderful people.” We hear from CAROLINE F. WHITE that “After graduating (finally!) from Harvard in the spring of 2007, I moved to Santa Cruz to live with my sister HILARY ‘02. I’ve been selling wine, cooking professionally, pursuing some writing interests, and generally soaking up Northern California. I’m now applying to law school, so who knows how long this bliss will last!” London life is going well for NORA CARNEY JENKINS. “I’m still working at Christie’s and enjoying life on this side of the pond.”


CLAIRE KENDRICK posts at the start of Thacher’s 200809 school year: “I’m beginning my fourth year as a member of

Photos (L to R): Claire Kendrick and Thacher classmates, circa ‘99; At the wedding of Brooke Macdonald and Rodman Moorhead from L to R: Erin Campbell ’99, Alexis MacDonald ’98, Coventry Burke ’99, Mollie Gardner ’99, Eliza Gregory ’99, Ryan Meyer ’98, Brendan Bechtel ’99, Robert Grether ’99, Brooke, Lauren McCloskey Elston ’99, Rodman, David McCloskey ’96, and Brady Johnstone ’99

the faculty at Thacher. Who knew?! I am still working with the Horse Department, am head of the Theater Tech Department, and now I’m co-teaching Latin with Mr. Shagam.” She adds: “Please put Reunion on your calendar. That’s June 12 to 14—our 10th! And, hey, post your class note while you’re at it!” BRENDAN BECHTEL finished his third and final year of grad school at Stanford (MBA ‘07, MSEng of Construction Engineering & Mgt ‘08) and is working for Bechtel. “I’m conducting interviews and focus groups domestically and internationally for a leadership initiative until November,” he writes. “Then I’ll be based in our Houston office until I head to Angola (southwest Africa) in Jan./Feb. ‘09 to spend a year managing construction contracts on a remote liquid natural gas project there.” From SHANNON HASTINGS in October: “Hi everyone! I’m already counting the days until Reunion and am so, so excited. I’m still living in Reno and newlywed life is wonderful. (see Marriages) I have a great fifth-grade class this year, but Quinn and I are planning on a move to California next year (hopefully). Since everyone we know seems to live in the Bay Area, we are drawn. It has been amazing to follow everyone’s recent life events, babies, marriages, moves...Reunion is going to be great! See you all there!” BROOKE MACDONALD married Rodman Moorhead last summer (see Marriages). “We are living in New York City on the Upper West Side,” she reports. “I am an interior designer working with my mother, Lucinda Lester, on projects on both coasts, and Roddy works in finance. I miss California, but love NYC. Roddy is a born-and-raised New Yorker, so we’ll see what the future holds.” SARAH SAWYER writes: “I met up with THOMAS COLE and his wife in Uganda for a day when I was in Kampala. They were absolutely wonderful, and have two adorable children. ALDEN BLAIR ‘01 later e-mailed me because he was also coming to Uganda, and although I wasn’t able to meet up with him, I passed him the Coles’ info, and I think they met up as well! CHERYL LYNN HORTON ‘00 was just in Kampala for the summer doing an internship at Mulago hospital and was able to meet up with a few of my friends who live there, which was nice, because I’ve been missing Uganda a lot recently, and I felt like I got to live vicariously through her. Thacher connections are so wonderful around the world! I’ve just returned from a summer in Cameroon doing a feasibility study for my future Ph.D. work. I came back from Uganda last year and started a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy, and management here at UC Berkeley, and am now in my second year. I’m studying conservation biology and wildlife ecology and, for my dissertation work, I hope to study landscape connectivity and habitat corridors for the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (CRG), which is found only in Cameroon and Nigeria. There are thought to be fewer than 400 CRG left, living in 10 or 11 different sub-populations, so connectivity between the sub-populations is an important conservation issue. I spent three months this summer walking around the forests in CRG habitat in Southwest Cameroon, just to be-

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Peter Frykman CdeP 2001 and local farmer in India; driptech irrigation technology in use.

Class of 2001: Designing for the other 90 Percent Studying product design and engineering in college, I learned that 90% of the world’s products are designed for 10 percent of its inhabitants. Cars, clothes, computers, and other consumer electronics are all primarily marketed towards the wealthy people of developed nations. As a mechanical engineer, I have had the opportunity to design useful products for domestic markets but, ultimately, decided that I am unsatisfied with such a limited impact on the world around me. Faced with the issues of global food and water scarcity, I prefer to design for the other 90 percent. Inefficient use of water is the principal reason that hundreds of millions of subsistence farmers are stuck in the cycle of poverty. For such a farmer to rise out of poverty, he needs a way to grow high value crops during the dry season using only extremely limited water resources. Experts agree that the most water-efficient method of irrigation is drip irrigation, which delivers the precise amount of water directly to the plants using a system of tubes and emitters. Over the last decade, International Development Enterprises (IDE) developed a low-cost drip irrigation system purchased by 85,000 small farmers in India. However, instead of expensive commercial emitters, the IDE system uses micro tubes that make the system difficult to install and maintain, severely limiting widespread adoption. My company, driptech, was developed at Stanford University by a group of MBA and graduate engineering students. We improved upon the current IDE product by eliminating all micro tube emitters, using uniform holes in the irrigation tubing instead. The result is the most cost-effective and easily used product to date for small farmers in developing nations. A $5 Family Survival Kit will produce enough vegetables to drastically improve a family’s diet, and a $20 Cash Crop Kit enables the average farmer to double his annual income by growing vegetables in the dry season. IDE has supported the founding of driptech as a separate entity to design and manufacture drip irrigation. To begin, we will stage a pilot study in India to prove the new product’s effectiveness in the hands of poor farmers. At the same time, we will be scaling up our manufacturing capabilities to provide our product in high volume to IDE and other global distributors. As demand grows in different regions of Africa, Asia, and South America, we will set up local manufacturing to create jobs and reduce shipping costs.

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class notes…

From Nikki Alex CdeP 2003: Here is a quick update of where I am these days. I am traveling like a madwoman and I’m exhausted. But, I enjoy every minute of it, because my work is so rewarding! I am now working for an environmental justice nonprofit, Black Mesa Water Coalition, in Flagstaff, Ariz. We are not environmentalists, tree huggers, or hippies. My people, the Diné, for centuries have been fighting to protect our land, water, and air for future generations, and we are simply continuing the same. The nonprofit consists of mostly Navajo women who are striving to preserve and protect Mother Earth and indigenous peoples’ cultures with the vision of building sustainable and healthy communities. Ultimately, we strive to empower young people while building sustainable communities. In case you do not know, the Navajo Nation has been a target by the U.S. for mineral extraction since the early 1900’s. The Navajo Nation holds most of the uranium and coal beds in the U.S., and we are fighting for no mineral extraction. If you get a chance, you should watch the documentary Broken Rainbow to get a better idea of the entire history. In the spring of 2008, a coalition of Navajo nonprofit organizations and concerned citizens began to organize the Green Jobs Initiative for the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Green Jobs Coalition strives to create energyefficient, low or non-polluting jobs for the Navajo Nation in hopes to achieve new and sustainable employment. My primary work has been with the Green Jobs Initiative, where I work as a youth organizer, traveling across the Navajo Nation and the broader U.S. to educate K-12 and Native college students about climate change, environmental racism, critiquing capitalism, and green jobs. The work I am doing involves the community, and I love it! I love working with the youth of my Nation, and they are astonishingly receptive to my colleagues and me. If you get a chance, check out our web sites, and I will be working in Flagstaff, Ariz. until the end of January. In February, I will be moving to San Francisco to join the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) where I will be a RAN Indigenous Fellow. I will be helping the Navajo Nation and Hopi Nation transition from coal and other dirty energy towards renewable energy alternatives on our traditional lands. I love work so much that I have decided to put grad school on hold for a year. The more time I spend at home, the more I realize that there is a great need for Navajo environmental law attorneys; so I plan on going to law school in the fall of 2010.

34 fall 2008



ERIN HAFKENSCHIEL moved to China in June with a Fulbright grant to do research on designing energy-efficient cities. She spent the summer at Tsinghua’s Inter-University Program in Beijing, doing intensive Mandarin language study. From September 2008 to June 2009, she will be based in Jinan in northern China. “You all are MORE than welcome to come visit at any point during the year!” she writes. BRYCE AN-

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Steffi Rauner ‘04, Cara Bonewitz ‘04, Bianca Kissel ‘04, Lauren Fiske ‘04, Whitney Livermore ‘04, Kelly Percival ‘04, Nikke Alex ‘03, and Sabrina Lee ‘04 enjoy a little reunion in Las Vegas in August.

come familiar with the place, meet some people, and explore what types of data I may be able to collect in the future. I have at least another year of classes here in Berkeley before I really get to delve into the field work, and I’m really excited for the Ph.D. to progress, although it will certainly be a long and arduous process. I also got married in January 2008, and am patiently waiting for my husband, Alain Mathaukot, to join me here in California. (We’re going through the immigrant visa process.) He is from Congo, where we met working on a chimpanzee rehabilitation and re-release project.” (see Marriages) MICHAELA ANDREWS spent three weeks in Japan this summer with the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program with 159 other teachers from all over the U.S. They learned about the Japanese education system, visited schools throughout Tokyo from elementary through university level, and then spent some time with a smaller group in Tanabe, Wakayama, a coastal village located on a south eastern peninsula of the main island and known for its many Shinto shrines and hot springs. Her husband Jan recently received his Ph.D. in Medical Science so he is now Dr. Bruder! He accepted postdoc position in a new lab at Brown so they will definitely be staying in the area for at least another year. “At Lincoln this past year,” she writes, “I taught all of the seventh-grade English, half of the sixth-grade history (ancient civilizations), and half of the sixth-grade English. I continue to love my work and feel energized by my students. I learn something new every day and I love watching the 98 girls in our middle school walk that awkward, exciting line between childhood and adulthood. At times, they stun me with a particularly insightful comment or kind gesture, and other moments I can’t help but laugh at how young they are, full of random questions and backpacks overflowing with crumpled papers. I always feel a deep sense of gratitude whenever I think of my years at Thacher and I know so much of that is due to the dedicated, brilliant, and down-to-earth faculty. Thank you.”   PETER HARTNACK and Ann Pepi were married in June (see Marriages), and he will begin teaching full-time in the fall. E. LUCINDA BROWN announces in September: “I’ve moved to Kuala Lumpur for work, so if anybody is traveling through Malaysia, give me a call! There’s a guest bedroom open...” CLAY PELL writes this past summer: “Jacquelyn Kung and I were recently engaged, and we are traveling from Beijing (for the Olympics) to Africa by land to celebrate. Now in Uzbekistan, awaiting visas for Turkmenistan” (see Engagements).

Photos (from left): Norman Livermore ’66 and daughter Whitney Livermore ‘04 with Peter Woodin ’66 (in blue shirt) along with other Williams graduates.

DREWS is midway through a master’s degree in environmental studies and creative writing at the University of Montana, and is teaching English composition to freshmen. His father RICHARD ‘67 sends the following update: “Prior to entering the master’s program, Bryce spent a year as a ranch hand on the Sun Ranch in the Madison Valley, a progressive enterprise focused on sustainable ranching and protection of critical species such as wolves and grizzly bears. This past summer he was hired by the Clark Fork Coalition to help manage a ranch in the Deer Lodge Valley, site of a massive Super Fund cleanup over the next decade. The Ranch is intended to be a model for ranchers in the valley for the overlap of ranching and restoration. His blog on the project gives a good sense of what he is up to and is a pretty good yarn to boot. See the blog at the New West Magazine website and also the Clark Fork Coalition site (‘Ramblings of a Ranch Hand’) at” In October, ELIZABETH SANSEAU tells us she is in the process of applying to medical schools and working in a genetics lab in Oakland. EMILY DACHS writes: “Chad and I went to Europe to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and I think it’s fair to say that I can’t wait to visit

Italy again! Perhaps my design career will take me there in the future, I hope!  I have two quarters left in my FIDM fashion design program in Los Angeles. The experience has been unbelievably challenging, but I’ve learned a great amount and I’m excited to be a part of the industry.” Last summer, LAUREN CERRE and TYLER MANSON decided to take a road trip across the U.S. to document what young people were feeling and thinking leading up to the historic election of 2008. “But we didn’t drive or fly,” Lauren explains. “Instead we took the BUS!  If you don’t have Current TV, you can watch the show online.” ( great_american_detour.”) HEATHER KELLY is enjoying her first year at Hastings Law in San Francisco and reports that husband BRIAN KELLY may also be on his way to becoming an attorney. ADDIE HEARST is in her second year at NYU medical school and is loving New York City.


EVAN DAWSON graduated salutatorian this spring from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. His major was forensic psychology. He writes: “It was an amazing honor and so much fun! I’d have never made it onto that stage if it weren’t

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JACEY ROCHE CdeP 2003: Letter from Limpopo In June of this year, Robert Cerda CdeP 2003 and I had the wonderful opportunity to work in South Africa as field biologists. We applied to work for a PhD student from the Netherlands, and she accepted us as two of her five field biologists to conduct research on Chacma baboons (Papio Ursinus). Upon arriving in Johannesburg, we took an eighthour bus ride to the northeastern province of Limpopo, where our host picked us up and transported us to the Lajuma Environmental Research Center in the Soutpansberg Mountains. The Soutpansberg are nothing like the mountains in the States; they are more accurately described as cliffs with shelf plateaus. Only rising around 5,000 feet from sea level, they are quite extraordinary. In the first few weeks our immediate task was to acquaint ourselves with the baboon troop,

and within a couple of weeks Robert and I were able to recognize by sight most of the adult baboons. Each of the baboons has unique characteristics like humans, and all of the adults had names, by which we identified them during our research. Our days consisted of waking before dawn, finding the baboons at one of their sleeping sites in the cliffs, and then waiting for them to get out of bed. Depending on their mood the baboons would either move up or down the cliffs and it was our job to follow them wherever they went. We would follow them all day, making observations, until the baboons returned to their sleeping site around sunset, and then we would hike our way back to the base camp in the dark. The days were utterly exhausting but extremely worth it.   We performed this work for about two months, when I was

informed that I was accepted into law school. Upon receiving this information we decided to take a quick tour around South Africa and then leave for the States. During the “vacation” part of our trip we first went to Cape Town, where we saw beautiful ocean sights and some unique creatures such as the African penguin. We also took the plunge and went cage diving with great white sharks, which was an absolutely breathtaking experience. After Cape Town, we spent four days at one of the biggest wild game

parks on the continent and managed to see four of the “big five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino) among many other wonderful wildlife species such as kudu, African eagles, hyenas, African wild dogs, and more.   Overall this was a once-in-alifetime experience that we will definitely do again. This land of contrasts between wealth and poverty, polluted and virgin landscapes, vibrant people and expansive vistas will always remain in Robert’s and my hearts.

The Thacher School 35 01

Members of CdeP 2004; Sarah Chamberlain on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle overlooking New Town and Leith.

class notes…

for Thacher. Now I’m doing research on deception detection and the psychology of innocence and guilt with world- renowned professors as I await news on my doctoral application to the Ph.D. program at John Jay in forensic psychology. Hope all is well in Ojai!”




JACEY ROCHE is getting his J.D. in environmental and corporate law from CU Boulder. (More from Jacey on page 35). From MELISSA VICKERY in October: “Hey everybody! I graduated last December with a degree in structural engineering from Cal Poly. I’ve been in Oakland ever since working at a consulting and earthquake engineering firm. I just took a job coaching Berkeley High girls’ lacrosse for the spring season and I’m headed to New Zealand for my masters next July.” LIZZY BREWER moved to New York City in 2008 to attend the French Culinary Institute and is “thrilled” to be there.


See you at Reunion! WARD SORRICK spent part of the summer of 2008 “cruising through the Caribbean and running around Disney World in late June with GRAHAM (DOUDS),” followed by a visit to a cabin in the Tahoe area, at “the little slice of heaven they call Echo Lake.” WHITNEY LIVERMORE sends “Greetings from Taipei! I’m here studying Chinese until June, but I’ll be sure to be back in time for our Reunion! I’m sharing an apartment with my classmate SABRINA LEE, and we are having a great time together. At my graduation from Williams last June, we had a relatively big Thacher crowd, with lots of coincidental connections! (photo) What a small world that my dad (NORMAN LIVERMORE III ‘66), and his Thacher classmate, PETER WOODIN, both had daughters in the same class at Williams!


2006 2007


SARAH CHAMBERLAIN shares her British Isles adventures: “I’m still studying history at the University of Edinburgh (but return to California on May 30 to eventually start my last year at UC Berkeley). My focus is British cultural history after 1945; I’ve been taking two truly excellent courses here, one on youth and modernity 1880-1970 and one on cultures and identities in Britain after 1945. The latter class is especially challenging to an outsider trying to understand the vagaries of British identity. From what I understand, it can be condensed into propensities to talk about the weather often, drink a ridiculous amount of tea, and queue (“get in line” for us Yanks) for no particular reason! When I have time away from academics, I’m DJing and writing for Edinburgh’s student radio station ( uk MONTANA CASET will be in Vail, Colo., from December 2008 until March 2009, and writes: “If anybody is going to be in the area, let me know!” From ELLEN ADAMS this past summer: “All is well here in N.J. Heading off to France for a summer working and then a semester studying there. Nervous but excited.” MARTHA GREGORY “spent six weeks this past summer in Australia, exploring and working on a ranch that took out commercial beach horse rides, near Byron Bay. It was amazing.” JOE WINTERS was inducted into the U.S. Coast Guard on Oct. 21, 2008. He is waiting for his first assignment (hopefully in Hawaii!) to commence early in Jan. 2009. Congratulations, Joe!

faculty, staff & friends… Faculty news The History Department boasts several great athletes: Sarah Del Vecchio raced the 200-meter breaststroke in the U.S. Master’s Swimming at Austin, Texas, and came in 11th in the country; next year’s race is in Clovis, where she hopes to break into the fastest ten in the nation. Chair Mike McGowan ran in the Big Sur Marathon in April with a finishing time of 3:46. As he recalls, “It was the windiest of the four I’ve run, but by far the most beautiful scenery to run through.” Math teacher Theana Hancock and English and Latin teacher Aaron Snyder tied the knot on August 2, 2008 at her family’s home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Various Thacher folks were on hand to witness the nuptuals. Returning from sabbatical in Bali, Belize, and Argentina are Greg (suitcase jammed with new musical compositions) and Tami Haggard, and daughter Lili who is a 36 fall 2008

freshman this year. Away for sabbatical this year are Austin and Alison Curwen and their three children in Bristol, England, where he is studying at the University of Bristol for a Masters in Maritime History and Archeology. Summer Studies History teacher, soccer and lacrosse coach, and Middle School Dorm Head Toby Elmore has completed over a third of the units required for a masters of arts and letters of science at Reed College; Chinese instructor Wei-Ying Lin is now halfway through her master’s in Middlebury College’s Chinese as a Second Language program; English teacher, basketball and track coach, and Lower School dorm head Derick Perry ’83 spent his second summer in New York at Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center’s Private School Leadership program where the students made practical sense of the theoretical work from last summer’s studies. In a kinder, gen-

Left to right: Pono von Holt ‘66; Marvin Shagam; Emily, Eric, and Hope McCarren; Toby and Amy Elmore; Ryan Meyer ‘98 and Eliza Gregory ‘99 (who was the official photographer); Martha Gregory ‘06; Cam Spaulding ‘92; Sabrina White ‘95; Diana Garcia ‘95; and Bianca Kissel ‘04.

tler environment, namely the rivers and streams near Manchester VT, English teacher and Riding Instructor John Lin worked on fly-casting skills, a pastime he teaches to campers during Extra-Day Trips each fall and spring. Art teacher Elizabeth Reynolds Mahoney ’88 spent two weeks at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, painting and meeting with top contemporary artists of today; meanwhile, Steve Carter studied life painting at The Salde School of Fine Art in London, and brought home new techniques for laying out the pallet and a helpful measuring system. Science teacher Heather Grant learned about geology in the classroom and then in Yellowstone National Park. She is so intrigued with this adventure that she hopes to pursue her master’s through this program. At Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Ga., Pete Fagan learned how to integrate Fathon Software into his stats and Math IV classes, which will allow for more independent projects. Assistant Librarian Bonnie LaForge took three more classes towards her master of library and information science degree from San Jose State University. History and Spanish teacher Jeff Hooper headed to Oaxaca, Mexico, for some Spanish speaking, soaking up culture, learning how to cook local cuisine, and tasting some exotic fare including boiled grasshoppers, ant eggs, and worms. Yum! Cecilia Ortiz traveled to Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain, where she studied some of the best Spanish novels published in 2007 for use in her advanced Spanish classes and identified films to engage students further in their studies. Master craftsman John Bueti became a raftsman this summer, as well. He floated—and sometimes rowed—the raft down the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in August. He survived heat and high water for 16 days in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, along with Golden Trout Camp manager, Paul Hoornbeek, and other friends on a private, non-motorized trip (see photos at right). The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, was the site for English and wood shop teacher Bo Manson to develop creative, free-form objects that function as both art and furniture. New Upper School Dorm Head Bill Omansiek attended a week-long workshop on counseling methods and ways to form deeper connections in daily interactions with students. Finally, for the third year, science teacher Peter Sawyer helped the College Board grade AP Exams, which helps him mentor students to achieve maximum scores; he also spent a month at The Exploratorium Teacher Institute in San Francisco which focused on helping teachers bring more hands-on activities into the classroom. More in-depth coverage of these summer activities can be read in the news story entitlted Ignition at New faculty Filling in for Austin Curwen during his sabbatical is April Word, a graduate of Bard College with a master’s in teaching history education. She most recently worked at the Julia Morgan School for Girls, where she served as assistant in admission, finance director, advisor, and volleyball coach. At Thacher, she is advising sophomore girls in the Middle School dorm and assisting with Girls’ JV Soccer. And substituting for Alison Curwen in Academic Support is Anita WilsonChisholm. Anita holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of San Diego and a master of science in special education from California Lutheran University. Beyond her study skills work, Anita is advising girls in Middle School and teaching an English course. Her daughter Erin is a new sophomore at Thacher, having transferred from Cate, where Anita was the director of academic services for four years. Thacher’s new E.E. Ford Fellow is Teddy Reeves, a graduate from Hampton University who majored in English arts and served as head resident assistant and student affairs office assistant. He is working with Jake Jacobsen in the English Department, and helping with the Indoor Committee and Chorus. He lives in Los Padres and advises sophomore boys. Taking over as assistant director of admis-

sion is Aaron Mieszczanski, a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in history. Beyond his admission work, Aaron is advising junior boys in Upper School and coaching Boys’ JV Soccer. The new director of the horse packing program is Rene Duykearts, a packer formerly based in the eastern Sierra, who is bilingual (French and English), an architect, and a horseman who has worked as a guide, cowboy, teamster, horseshoer, English riding instructor, and horse/mule trainer. The wife of History Department Chair Michael McGowan, Susannah, is now working as the student information system implementation manager and advising junior girls in The Courts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before earning a masters of education in instructional technology from the University of Virginia. Ann Merlini, wife of mathematics teacher Pete Fagan, is now helping in the Horse Department and advising freshman girls in Casa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from West Brook College in Maine. Also working in the Mathematics Department, as well as the Horse Department, is William Okin, step-father of Thomas WALTCHER ’08. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College, a master’s from UCSB, and he has nearly completed his doctorate in Geology from UCSB. Also working in the Horse Department, teaching veterinary medicine this spring, is Kristin Finch. A graduate of UC Davis in animal science, she took graduate courses in animal science at Cal Poly, before earning her doctorate in veterinarian medicine at the Atlantic Veterinarian College. Several new faces are in the Development Office. Amy BranskY (mother of Heather Ferguson ’01, who is married to Brian Kelly ’01) is the assistant director of annual giving; Diane Murphy works part-time entering data; and Karleanne Rogers (former Spanish teacher at Thacher 1984-85 and mother of Trevor ’09 and Lucas ’12 Currie) is the director of major gifts and planned giving.

The churning Colorado (left) and John Bueti at the oars during a calmer moment.

PAST FACULTY Emily and Eric McCarren welcomed daughter Hope into their home early in 2008. Carol and Chuck Warren paddled Lake Azichohos and then down the Magalloway River to Lake Umbagog in northern New Hampshire near its border with Maine early in October. They found that the summer crowds and insects had gone, and the leaves were starting to turn. They seem to be taking full advantage of the canoe Chuck received upon his retirement from Thacher.

The Thacher School 37

in memoriam… SHELDON POWELL RILEY CdeP 1933 Sheldon Riley’s son Jim wrote, “My Dad passed away peacefully on July 3, three weeks short of his 93rd birthday. He had a very warm spot in his heart for Thacher, calling it ‘the best four years of my life,’ with a wink to Mom. Dorothy and Sheldon hosted several Thacher fundraisers at their home in Santa Barbara in the seventies and eighties, as well as a reception for his 50th year reunion class in 1983. I believe he was in the inaugural group to donate to the Nautilus Society and that Sherman Day Thacher was his headmaster his first two years at Thacher.” According to the 1933 Archivero, ‘Shel’ was “fun-loving yet ambitious and conscientious.” He captained the track team and was a member of the Indoor Committee, tennis, baseball, and soccer teams; he was manager and editor of the Archivero and on The Notes board; and he earned B Camper status. From Thacher, Sheldon matriculated to Stanford University and in 1937 he found employment in San Francisco, where he viewed the weekly launch of the Matson Liners to Hawaii. This siren call lured him to Honolulu, where his daily after-work surf sessions were interrupted when he became one of the first draftees into World War II in Hawaii. On December 7 at Pearl Harbor, he survived multiple strafings by Japanese Zeroes. At war’s end, he married Dorothy Dodge and they raised three children in Southern California, where he served as president of R.L. Kautz & Company, a pioneer in the self-insurance field. Sheldon was known for his irrepressible enthusiasm for life. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, son, James Sheldon Riley, daughter, Robin Martin, sister, Barbara Riley Degroot, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

JOHN BANCKER AYCRIGG, M.D. CdeP 1944 John Aycrigg of Denver, Colo., died Aug. 11, 2008. After growing up in Marysville and Yuba City, John attended Thacher for his senior year of high school. While at Thacher, John received commendations in physics and U.S. history; he played on the first soccer, basketball, and track teams. According the 1944 El Archivero, “John is marked by his height, his long strides, and his swallowed laughs. John is both taciturn and talkative by turns, his most voluble chatter concerning sports and airplanes.” In 1945, John began serving in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant and message center chief for the Pacific Air Command in Manila and Tokyo. He attended MIT from 1947 to 1951, receiving his bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering. John received his medical degree from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine in 1957 and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado. He considered himself privileged to serve people suffering from mental illnesses as a faculty member of the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, and in executive positions at the Fort Logan Mental Health Center’s Division of Correctional Services and Bethesda Hospital in Denver, where he was medical director. John was a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and an active member of the Colorado Psychiatric Society and the Mental Health Association of Colorado. John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marilyn; and five children: Charlotte, Benjamin, Jocelyn, Maria, and Victoria.

ROBERT E. WHITE, JR. CdeP 1938 Bob White died in Honolulu on May 20, 2008, following a brief illness. He attended Punahou School before arriving at Thacher for his last two years of high school. Bob served on the Cabinet, Committee of X, and Indoor and Outdoor Committees. He captained the baseball team, played soccer, and served as the stable shop manager, prefect, and member of the Pack and Saddle Club. According to the 1938 El Archivero, “In nature, he lives up to Lincoln’s ideal of ‘malice toward none and charity for all.’” He was known for “playing tennis in bare feet, winning a gymkhana, splashing through the tank far ahead of other racers, sweeping the girls off their feet with tales of the Hawaiian Islands, and reading a poem at the opening of School in faultless pigeon-English.” Bob matriculated to Yale University, where he graduated in 1942, adding a Harvard Business School degree in 1947. At Yale, he swam backstroke on its national championship swimming team. During WWII, he served as an aircraft carrier officer. A descendant of kama’aina families, Bob was assistant secretary for the Australian ranching investments of Amfac Sugar Co. and later Vice President. He was also founder and coach for the Aulea Swim Club, and, upon retirement, volunteer treasurer for the Institute for Human Services, the Hawaii Nature Center in Makiki, and Arcadia Residents’ Association. Bob is survived by his wife, Karen; sons Michael, Philip, and Robert III; daughter Mele Pochereva; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sister, Ellin Burkland. Karen wrote in June: “Sadly, I must report the passing of my husband. I’m sure he would have loved to join friends and classmates at the Reunion Celebration. The delightful hat was received in good condition. His granddaughter, Sabrina White CdeP 1995, and her grandpa were very close so I asked if she would like to have the cap. Thacher meant a lot to Bob as it does to Sabrina and their von Holt relatives.”

EDWARD ENGLE “NED” EYRE, JR. CdeP 1944 Ned Eyre died on Sept. 15, 2008, at his home in Washoe Valley, Nevada. He attended Thacher for three years, finishing high school at The Taft School. At Thacher, Ned enjoyed playing soccer, riding horses (as a member of the Bit and Spur Club), and camping. He graduated from Yale in 1949, and served in the U.S. Army from 1950-52. Soon after, Ned invented the first long-burning fireplace log, Pine Mountain Log. Subsequently, he formed Western Eleven States Marketing Corporation, which successfully utilized unique methods of marketing consumer products to the supermarket trade. After selling his business, Ned realized his dream of becoming a rancher and moved his family to Eureka, Nev., to raise crops and cattle. With help from the University of California, Davis, he developed a formula for selling hay to the dairy trade on a TDN (Total Digestive Nutrients) food-value basis, the method that is still used today. Ned was a member of the Bohemian Club, the Pacific-Union Club in San Francisco, and the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. A lifelong horseman and avid golfer, he was past-president of the Frontier Boys and a founding member of the Thunder Canyon Country Club in the Washoe Valley. Throughout his career, he served on many advisory boards, commissions, and associations including the National Cattlemen’s Association, Coalition to Support Nevada Water, and Nevada Ranch Open Space Commission. He was a Republican candidate for Nevada governor in the 1982 and 1994 primaries. Ned is survived by his wife, Carol, daughter, Janet, and son, Edward. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Janet Hartwell Dickie Eyre.

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RICHARD MATTHEW GRIFFITH, JR. CdeP 1944 Richard “Dick” Griffith passed away in his Belvedere home on Oct. 13, 2008, at the age of 81. He was born in Los Angeles and attended Thacher for four years. A knowledgeable ornithologist and lover of good music, he also enjoyed sailing, playing polo, and singing with Los Trobadores. Dick played soccer and ran track while at Thacher and served on the Outdoor and Indoor Committees, as well as on The Notes board. He once rode his horse all the way from Thacher to his home in Pasadena. After high school, he joined the Navy and graduated from Princeton in 1948. Just out of college, he served his country in Panama. Dick arrived in Belvedere in the seventies, where he enjoyed a great life with his wife Sallie “Glassie” Griffith for 33 years—or 43 years, if one considers the ten years of dating before they were married. Dick’s favorite employment was with the Maritime Museum in San Francisco. Many remember Dick as an outdoorsman, including duck hunting and fly-fishing. He was instrumental in building San Francisco’s Knarr fleet, where he was an active and highly successful racer for over 20 years, known as “Dick the Duke.” He was a longtime member of the St. Francis and San Francisco Yacht Clubs as well as the Pacific-Union Club. Dick was extremely well read and well versed in matters of history, particularly maritime history, and was an enthusiastic collector of marine art. Beneath the trademark smile, sense of humor, and contagious chuckle was a sincere listener and conversationalist with deep attention and interest in what others had to say. Dick is survived by his wife, Sallie; his daughter, Sara; his sister, Hannah Bradley; his brother, Jim Griffith CdeP 1953; and numerous nieces and nephews.

ROGG COLLINS CdeP 1946 Rogg Collins died on May 17, 2008, at his home in Los Angeles. At Thacher, Rogg became known as “one of the most versatile members of the class.” Beyond playing on the first baseball team and captaining it during his senior year, he played first-team basketball all four years and goalie for the soccer team as a senior. His classmates looked to him for inspiration and direction for singing and acting performances, for which he was awarded the Harry L. Bixby Dramatic Cup. Rogg was president of the Glee Club, sang with Los Trobadores, served on the Committee of X, The Notes board, and the Indoor Committee. He matriculated to Princeton, where he was member of the Dial Lodge and studied in the politics department. He graduated from Claremont Men’s College in 1951 and enlisted in the Air Force and served in Korea in 1953. The rest of Rogg’s career was spent with Northrop Grumman Corp. from which he retired in 1995. He was also particularly active in support of public and private elementary and secondary education and a variety of youth sports, including AYSO soccer, flag football, and the Wilshire Baseball League, for which he was the commissioner for seven years. Rogg delighted people of all ages with his athletic ability, quick wit, love of travel, geography, art (through painting for family and friends), and a good game of bridge with his friends, especially when he won! Rogg is survived by his wife of 52 years, Marie; his children, Rogg, Whitley, John, and Scott; six grandchildren; and his sister, Whitley.

WILLIAM MARSH FITZHUGH III CdeP 1949 William “Fitz” Fitzhugh III of San Marino, Calif., died on April 14, 2008, at the age of 76. His wife wrote: “He always spoke highly of your school and his many happy years at Thacher” where, according to the 1949 El Archivero, he was best known for “three things: his uncanny ability to break print in The Notes; his unique and often startling announcements in morning assembly; and the remarkable color of his face ‘Fitzhugh Red,’ following each and every one of those announcements.” He served as captain of the A Track Squad, Committee of X, and president of Glee Club. He had a reputation of “putting everything he’s got into whatever he has undertaken. ‘Fitz the Explorer,’ setting off on a camping trip complete with pith helmet and, on occasion, a radio.” Fitz earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Stanford and his law degree from Vanderbilt after a stint in the Air Force. He practiced for eight years in Memphis, Tenn., and then moved to San Marino, where he worked as a partner with Haight, Brown & Bonesteel until his retirement. He was active in the San Marino City Club and several other organizations. Fitz is survived by his wife, Frances; three daughters, Marion Maxwell, Elizabeth Guthrie, and Lee O’Brien; one son, William IV; nine grandchildren; one sister; and one brother.

HAROLD Q. “PETE” NOACK CdeP 1949 Harold “Pete” Noack passed away on July 10, 2007, with three generations of family by his side. Pete grew up in the Bay Area, spending summers in Twain Harte, where he met the mother of his three sons, Ann Crosby. He attended Thacher for his freshman year, excelling in English and history and enjoying baseball. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953 and went on to law school at Hastings College of Law where he made Law Review in 1958. He practiced law in the Bay Area for 10 years until his love for skiing, fly-fishing, and the outdoors in general brought him and his family to Boise, Idaho, in 1969. In the 37 years he lived in Boise, Pete practiced law and was involved in many clubs and activities. He helped start a cross-country ski club, enjoyed bird hunting, and was active in Planned Parenthood, the Idaho Heart Association, and Rotary Club of Boise. He especially loved dogs, cooking, gardening with his sweetheart Connie, and having lunch at Yen Ching with his friends and associates. Pete is survived by his sons: Steve, Peter and Drew; seven grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and his soul mate, Connie Hassan.

HUGHES RYAN CdeP 1972 Hughes Ryan died during an accident on Aug. 6, 2008, while working on the family home in Bolinas, Calif. While at Thacher, Hughes played lacrosse and soccer, and co-captained the track team. In support of his candidacy to Amherst, Headmaster Sanford wrote that Hughes was the “finest type of young man…a boy of great personal warmth, integrity, and sincerity…an engaging personality enlivened with a good sense of humor…independent but completely devoid of hostilities, genuinely interested in other people and their needs.” He used his humanitarian instincts and positive and constructive leadership when he served as school chair, member of the Discipline Committee, and dormitory assistant. Upon his return from Amherst, Hughes attended UC Berkeley and graduated in The Thacher School 39

in memoriam… 1977 with a degree in soil science. He continued his education at UC Davis, where he received a master of sciences degree in viticulture in 1983. While employed as the vineyard manager for Clos du Bois Winery in Healdsburg, Hughes met Ann Hollander Mitchell and they married eighteen months later. His Russian fluency led him to tour the grape-growing lands in the crumbling Soviet Union, and joint ventures in the Republic of Georgia. As a result, Hughes also found himself in the White House in Moscow with Boris Yeltsin and the Russian patriots during the siege of August 1991 that signaled the fall of the Soviet Union. He was always proud to say that he had signed the “new” Russian flag at the birth of the nascent Russian nation. Soon after, the family returned to the Napa Valley, where Hughes continued his career in the wine business, including ten years as an assistant winemaker at Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards in St. Helena. A true Renaissance man with lifelong interests in languages, computers, politics, philosophy, health, and literature, Hughes was recently teaching himself Mandarin and became conversant in Italian to relate to his daughter while she was attending school in Italy. Hughes is survived by his wife, Ann; their children, Walker and Rosalie; and his brothers, Ridgway and Diller.

at the little things he did for our amusement.” “James and I went on midnight walks around campus…those peaceful nights wandering are something that I will never forget.” “Pick in hand, bobbing head, fingertips on strings, playing the soul’s delight from a forever wellspring.” James is survived by his parents, Marion Farwell and Thomas and Karen Dibblee; and his brothers, Thomas Dibblee and James and Christopher Turner. A service was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ross, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2008.

CHARLES ROBERT FRANCISCO CdeP 1978 Charles Francisco died May 27, 2008. After spending his first two years of high school at the International School in The Philippines, Charles came to Thacher and hit the ground running. In his first year at Thacher, he earned academic commendations in three classes, played tennis, made a master film in cinematography, and went on the student exchange to Emma Willard. In his senior year, he served as a prefect for sophomores. Marvin Shagam, wrote of Charles: “tolerant, dedicated, and very efficient in making the dorm run smoothly.” Other teachers called him “bright and well-informed,” “conscientious and self-disciplined,” “has a sense of humor and wry wit that most charmed [us].” All of these attributes garnered Charles admission to Cornell, where he graduated in 1982. Most recently, he worked as a financial planner/analyst for The Davidson Group and lived in Incline Village in Nevada. An informal memorial service was held at Thacher’s 30th reunion this June, an event he was planning to attend.

Thomas Newlin Hastings CdeP 1934 Another of The Thacher School’s dynasty families was struck when Dr. Thomas Newlin Hastings CdeP 1934 died early in December 2008. The Hastings, the Bards, the Livermores, the Wheatons, and the Chickerings cover virtually the entire span of the School’s history from its founding in 1889 until the present. Newlin kept in intimate touch with Thacher until ill health precluded his doing so. During his four years at Thacher, “Snooks” was a scholar/athlete: “A Camper,” played on the varsity baseball, tennis, and soccer teams, “Top 5” in gymkhana, and member of Sherman Thacher’s “Cabinet” (Student Council). From Thacher, Newlin studied at Harvard, graduating in 1938; he earned his medical degree from Columbia University in 1943. More than a good rider, Newlin became—and remained—a horseman. He owned and rode fine horseflesh until shortly before his death, arising at 4:30 once a week to drive from his home in Santa Barbara to the Pickwick Stables in Burbank to meet with fellow club members for a pre-breakfast ride followed by a whopping breakfast and appropriate anecdotes, mostly horse oriented. It was both a privilege and an honor to attend one of those rides as Newlin’s guest. Annually, in early May, Newlin’s sons, Hill CdeP 1966, (internationally famous hand surgeon) and Newlin CdeP 1970 (California hay and cattle rancher), joined their father and 500 other riders on Los Rancheros Visitadores ride in the Santa Ynez Valley. It was quite a sight seeing those three— obviously top hands—riding down the trail together. It is unusual that both Newlin and his beloved wife were doctors: she practicing internal medicine; he, surgery. For a decade they brought with them for Thacher’s annual Alumni Reunion the finest steak any of the riders had ever consumed. We suspected that they had saved the life of some Pasadena butcher. Newlin leaves behind him his beloved wife Betsy; their two sons; two daughters, Anne Perkins and Kathryn Bradford; and grandchildren, Laurel CdeP 2001, Peiper, Shannon CdeP 1999, Jamie Hastings CdeP 2002; C. Elliott CdeP 1993, Kathryn CdeP 1995, and Sarah Perkins CdeP 1997; and Elizabeth CdeP 2002 and Kathryn Bradford CdeP 2005. Visit for an obituary submitted by the Hastings family.

JAMES FRANCIS FOSTER DIBBLEE CdeP 2004 James Dibblee passed away Aug. 26, 2008. James came to Thacher because of its “sense of community,” combined with strong academics, sports, and the outdoor program. (James reached the summits of 18 of 46 Adirondack peaks before arriving at Casa de Piedra.) At his graduation from Thacher, James was lauded for his leadership on the football, soccer, and lacrosse teams; his zeal for rock climbing and film-making; and his care of the “lower uppers” in Upper School dorm where he served as a prefect. Both his peers and faculty appreciated his unusually perceptive eyes; his intelligence and originality; his openness to everything; and his unassuming, sincere, sensitive manner that contrasted with his side-splittingly sense of humor. James matriculated to Colorado College, where he made many new friends. They joined Thacher students and faculty in expressing the impact James had on their lives and some of their favorite memories of him. “He was funny and always moved gracefully.” “One of the originals in life…I remember his amazing ability to analyze literature.” “James had a knack of making all of us smile 40 fall 2008

friends Louise Robbins, mother of J. Nash Robbins CdeP 1981 and Julia, died June 30, 2008. She endowed the Nash Robbins Short Story Prize, given in her son’s name for excellence in writing. G. Frederick Stork, who taught at Thacher in the late 1930s, died at the age of 95 in mid-June 2008, according to daughter Lyrinda Snyderman.

Editor’s Note: Shortly before going to print, we received the following Obituary from Faculty Emeritus Jack Huyler

the best we can do… Each donor to the Annual Fund helps Thacher in specific ways. Since Thacher relies on the Annual Fund for everyday expenses, sometimes it is hard to grasp where the money goes.  Below are some snapshots of a Thacher day and how Annual Fund gifts support these moments.

8:30 a.m.

U.S.History “Is he a hero or a villain?” In English and history classes, students need to supply more than just the facts. Teachers ask students to think critically about the characters and events they are studying. There isn’t always a right answer, but there is always a thoughtful answer. Gifts to the Annual Fund pay faculty salaries. 

10:40 a.m.

Meet with Doc V about independent project “I will never look at leaves the same.” Students are encouraged to follow their passions through independent projects and the Senior Exhibition program. Last year, a group of students worked with Caltech students to study climate change.  How?  By studying the isotopes in leaves collected on the Horn Canyon trail. 

11:30 a.m.

Lunch “Don’t forget to compost that.” From composting to installing more efficient lighting, Thacher is trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle more each day. Gifts to the Annual Fund downsize our footprint in the world.

1:00 p.m.

Math CLASS “My mom didn’t do math this way.” Education requires different tools today. Math assignments are just as likely to be completed on a computer as in a notebook.  Lessons may be projected on SMARTBoards, projects may be completed in Excel, and this technology is expensive. Gifts to the Annual Fund support technology on campus.

3:30 p.m.

Riding at the Gymkhana Field “Am I on the right lead?” Every student must take care of a horse. In fact, every student must pass the Rider’s Test, proving their horsemanship.  Most Thacher graduates will admit that in learning how to take care of a horse, they also learn how to better take care of themselves and others.  Gifts to the Annual Fund buy saddles, wheelbarrows, and horses. 

Gifts to the Annual Fund support new learning opportunities.

To learn more about giving opportunities visit, or call 805-646-4377.

7:00 p.m.

MUSIC Practice “I am ready to take the solo.” Students with the highest need receive scholarships for Thacher tuition, and, in some cases, scholarships for music lessons, cowboy boots, and backpacks. Small yet significant ways to enrich students’ lives. Gifts to the Annual Fund support financial aid and the Olympus Program.

The Thacher School 5025 Thacher Road Ojai, CA 93023 Address Service Requested


Thacher Magazine: Fall 2008  

Out of the Box: How students celebrate individuality, embrace community, and discover their niches at CdeP.