Thayer Magazine 2023-24, Iss. 1 - Civil Discourse Issue

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Scene at Thayer SNAPSHOTS




M. Fortunato JD, MSW P ’26, ’28
Terry PHD
Kahn P
Tuthill Forger ’92 P ’25, ’28, ’29 DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT & ENGAGEMENT
F. Grant, Ryan Thompson CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Irvin Bailey; Tara Corcoran ’88 P ’19; Noreen Dougherty; Renee Forsythe; Wendi Happ P ’30; Gabrielle Hart; Kelly Hines P ’18, ’19; Marchelle Jacques-Yarde P ’29; Emmett Knox ’04; John Murphy; Brad Peterson 11; Rachael Rouvales Vassalotti ’79 P ’07, ’11, ’12; Tim Whelan CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Godfrey Maddocks; Timothy Patrick McCarthy PHD CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Noreen Dougherty; Porter Gifford; Paul Kahn P ’27, ’30; Alison Terry PHD ADDITIONAL IMAGES Adobe Stock Thayer MAGAZINE 2023-24: Issue 1
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 3 IN THIS ISSUE Scene at Thayer i-2 Letter from the Head of School 5 Chris M. Fortunato JD, MSW P ’26, ’28 Around Campus 6-21 - New Faculty & Staff 6 - West Point Trip 6 - Dig Pink Fundraiser 7 - Faculty News & Notes 7 - Homecoming 2023 8 - Arts Night at the Middle School 9 - Friday Night Lights at Thayer 10 - De Leon Author Visit 11 - Media Internship Program 12-13 - Brave Talk - Global Speaker Series 14-15 - Resident Scholar Jin Kim 16-19 - Meet Jeff Dwyer P ’31 20-21 FEATURE STORY: The Challenge of Civil Discourse 22-23 - Teaching & Modeling Civil Discourse 24-25 Alum Profile 26-27 - Lis Tarlow ’66 26-27 Thayer Athletics 28-29 - Fall 2023 Sports Highlights 28-29 - Record Breakers 29 Thayer Arts 30-37 - The Prom - Upper School Fall Musical 30-31 - Music I & II Concerts 32 - Dance & Musical Theater Winter Concert 33 - Middle School Greek Myths 34 - The Final Dress Rehearsal - Grade 5 Play 35 - Frozen - Middle School Musical 36-37 Alumni News & Notes 38-43 - Reunion 2023 38-43 - Alumni Recognition & Hall of Fame Dinner 40 - Reunion Class Photos 42-43 Class Notes 44-51 - Thayer Weddings 48 In Memoriam 52-57 The Final Word 58 - The Clock Tower




James Coughlin P ’24, ’26, Chair

Michael Joe P ’17, ’20, Vice chair

Leigh King P ’21, Secretary

Michael McNally P ’22, ’24, ’27, Treasurer

Julaine McInnis, Assistant Treasurer Thayer Academy CFOO


Danya Abrams Sr. P ’20

Tavares Brewington P ’25

Donavan Brown ’01

Rachel Card P ’27, ’29

Michael Curry P ’26

Guy Daniello P ’22, ’26

Elaine DeLuca P ’20, ’21

Rob DeMarco ’86 P ’19, ’21, ’26

James Dowden P ’26, ’28, ’30

Joseph L. Farmer P ’23

Jennifer Havlicek P ’18, ’21, ’21

Teresa Hsiao ’03

Greg Lally ’92 P ’22, ’25, ’26, ’28

Jeanine Murphy P ’24

Chris Sullivan ’95

Kenny Carberry ’08

Ex officio as President of the Alumni Board

Chris M. Fortunato JD, MSW P ’26, ’28 Head of School



Leigh King, Michael McNally, Danya Abrams Sr., Donavan Brown, Rachel Card, Michael Curry, Rob DeMarco, James Dowden, Teresa Hsiao, Chris Sullivan

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TOP ROW (L-R): Guy Daniello, Joseph L. Farmer, Greg Lally, Jennifer Havlicek Michael Joe, Elaine DeLuca, Jeanine Murphy, James Coughlin, Kenny Carberry, Tavares Brewington

From the Head of School


Dear Thayer Community,

The experience of coming together as a community remains one of the great gifts and strengths of our amazing, nearly 150-year-old Academy. Across our students, faculty and staff, families, alums, trustees, visiting scholars, and friends of Thayer, we gather together in so many ways — in celebration, collaboration, scholarship, leadership and service, competition, performance, artistic expression, and more. This issue of Thayer Magazine brings to life the rich tapestry of experiences in which we’ve convened and engaged with one another; these include thrilling performances on our stages and on our athletic fields, thought-provoking Global Speaker Series sessions, homecoming and reunion events in which we shared and created new memories, and a Sports Hall of Fame ceremony that honored some of our most talented former teammates.

But as the title of this magazine edition, “Brave Talk,” affirms, we are also called to join together in another way — namely, with integrity and humanity in genuine civil discourse which by its nature includes disagreement, debate, and dissent. By creating a culture and practice in which all three of those elements live in healthy and robust ways, we are in fact bridging rather than widening the divisions that are, sadly, tearing at the fabric of society in and beyond the United States. To be a leading educational institution in 2024 that truly promotes the common good and places engagement and excellence at the forefront of all that we do, Thayer (and I would hazard to say all great schools) must boldly and thoughtfully teach and model for our students what it means to bring one’s authentic self to learning, what it means to lead with genuine curiosity, and what it means to respect the dignity and humanity of all. That’s a tall order, but it is the order of our time, and Thayer is exceptional at doing hard things and doing them with excellence and great care.

Thus, we have embarked not on an initiative but rather a more enduring institutional imperative rooted in our mission in which we more fully discover, explore, define, and practice civil discourse and civic engagement. This is in service of our commitment to more fully know, connect, and prepare our students for the evermore complicated world that awaits and needs them. I am grateful that our campus community is joining together to grapple with how to do this work well at a time when we see too many public examples of where many are visibly falling short. To that end, a task force of faculty and administrators has been convening to further set the course of our curriculum, pedagogy, and rules of engagement to train our students more fulsomely in the art of civil discourse. We have welcomed the counsel and wisdom of a diverse array of scholars and practitioners who are encouraging openmindedness, deep listening, and a commitment to thinking for oneself in developing one’s world view. And importantly, we have created more avenues for students and adults to come together to share their personal stories, such as in our recently launched TA Talks series, to build stronger bonds of empathy and understanding across our community.

The work that lies ahead on this front will necessitate courage, humility, mutual respect, and a daring willingness to navigate through both uncertainty and human messiness. And in pursuit of fulfilling our mission, engaging our students, and serving as a model for modern learning excellence, I invite us to come together and to bring our uniquely different perspectives, experiences, and identities to bear, all the while bound by our enduring connection to Thayer, Thayer forever.

Warm regards,

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New Faculty & Staff 2023-24

West Point Trip

In early November 2023 the eighth grade class traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, continuing a Middle School tradition that dates back to the early 2000’s.

“Students really enjoy seeing the campus,” said Middle School Director of Activities and Athletics John Reid, an organizer of and a chaperone for the annual overnight trip; he added that students are always shocked by the sheer size of the academy’s infrastructure. One highlight, he said, is when the bus heads down the road of a small mountain and eighth graders can look out the bus windows to see a full overview of the West Point campus.

This year’s class was able to watch, from roughly 100 yards away, a skydiving team practice taking off and landing, but Reid said each year’s trip offers a somewhat different experience.

Cadets share their daily routine with the eighth graders, and some Thayer students are surprised to find out that military training is only one part of a cadet’s rigorous schedule. That said, Reid noted

that the disciplined lifestyle of cadets can be “a head-turner” for a few of the younger students.

“Though not for everybody,” said Reid, “the trip has definitely sparked future interest in the academies.” He also pointed out that, for many of the students, this is their first tour of a college campus.

Academically, the trip connects to the 8th grade theme of Leadership and Citizenship. It also connects well with the 8th grade history course, especially lessons about Benedict Arnold.

And, of course, the annual trek deepens student understanding of General Sylvanus Thayer, who transformed the military academy during his tenure as superintendent and is known as “The Father of West Point.” A bequest in General Thayer’s will led to the founding of Thayer Academy in 1877 in his hometown of Braintree.

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TOP ROW (L-R): Ellie Goldrick, Lynda Chikwendu P '27, '30, Jeff Dwyer P '31, Edward Ogundeko THIRD ROW (L-R): Stephen Moran, Noreen Dougherty, Brynn Wartman P '30, Peter Brooks SECOND ROW, (L-R): Molly Sacco, Jaclyn Sanford, Senai Sahle, Tim Hirsch P '29, Abigail Offei-Addo FRONT ROW (L-R): Kayla DiBari, Emily Kana, Misharra Hefler, Iliana Correa, Sinead Williams, Nai-I Finney, Sara Abdelrahim (no longer on staff) Emily Goodridge, Jimmeka Love Harris, Nick Hill, Nate Melo, Elizabeth O'Connor, Christina Paul, Ray Reichenbach, Kyle Spenser FACULTY/STAFF NOT PICTURED AND/OR WHO STARTED LATER IN THE FALL SEMESTER:

Varsity Volleyball's "Dig Pink" game fundraiser a success!

The varsity volleyball team raised $2,100 in the fight against breast cancer through its Oct. 21 “Dig Pink” game and bake sale event. Funds raised support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Hats off to captains Elise Reinhard ‘24, Abby Greenough ‘24, and Rowan Mottau ‘25 along with the entire squad for all their hard work. Job well done!



Pottery Instructor Steven Branfman P ’00, ’02 was recently elected to the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC), one of the highest regarded ceramics organizations in the world.

Founded in 1952, the Geneva-based IAC seeks to foster friendship and communication among ceramicists across the globe. There are fewer than 1,000 individual members worldwide and only 85 Academy members from the United States.

It’s been a busy time for Branfman, who began his teaching, coaching, and advising duties at Thayer in 1978. The potter was recently featured in the 2023 Taiwan Chawan Festival, an exhibition of internationally significant chawan (Japanese-style tea bowl) makers. On a related note, the Henry Luce III Center for Arts & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., purchased one of Branfman’s chawans for its permanent collection.

Other activities of note include an appearance on the K12ArtChat podcast as well as an invitation to exhibit work at the upcoming Indian Ceramics Triennale International Invitational Exhibition in New Delhi, India, in January 2024.

Looking a bit further down the road, “50 Years Above the Wheel,” a retrospective exhibition of Branfman’s career, is slated for the winter of 2025 at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury.

Branfman specializes in Raku ware, a pottery technique with its origins in 16th century Japan and the tea ceremony; the technique is characterized by fast firing and quick cooling of the ware.

“I speak the language of clay, and Raku is my dialect,” says Branfman in an artist’s biography where he notes that his work is influenced by the visual elements of the environment.

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Homecoming 2023

Thayer celebrated its 2023 Homecoming with victories on the playing fields, family fun under the Big Tent, and camaraderie among the entire Thayer community.

Held inside due to inclement weather, the annual cornhole competition still proved a crowd-pleaser, as did a petting zoo, face painting, and balloon animals for the children. The Sept. 23 event saw a strong turnout, especially within the TAPA Big Tent, which offered a bake sale, complimentary concessions, and one-of-a-kind Thayer merchandise. Food trucks also helped to satisfy the hungry crowd.

Around Campus

Arts Night at the Middle School

Arts Night celebrated the different Middle School arts programs for the first term of the school year. Gallery-style presentations displayed student work in photography, painting & drawing, sculpture, film & animation, architecture, printmaking, and graphic design. The night also included performances from the 7th grade music classes (bucket drums & djembes), Middle School Ensemble, and the 5th grade drama classes.

9 Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1
Lily Fallon ’28, Middle School Arts Faculty Destiny Palmer, Andrew Hernandez ’28 & Alex Turgeon ’28

Friday night football is a first for Thayer

Thayer Academy recently played its first home varsity football game under the lights, and judging by the reaction of players, coaches, families, and fans, the well-attended contest was truly a night to remember.

Dubbed the “Friday Night Lights” game in a nod to both the television series and the book extolling the passion of high school football, the Tigers hosted Belmont Hill on the evening of Oct. 20 with a ring of rented light towers encircling Ward S. Donner P ’59, ’63 Memorial Football Field. It rained during the first quarter, but the rest of the night was cool and clear.

The only other item which slightly dampened the evening was the final score, as a strong Belmont Hill team defeated Thayer 34-12. The Tigers fought hard all night, however, and were cheered on by a large number of fans, many of whom remained until the last play of the game.

One highlight of the night was the “Blackout Section” where students dressed all in black as a show of school unity and stationed themselves as one long line along the back of the far end zone. Their enthusiasm never waned, a demonstration of Tiger pride worthy of the “Un-Un-Un” team — Thayer’s famed 1964 football team which went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon. In fact, several members of the “Un-Un-Un” squad were on hand for the game as guests of honor for the ceremonial coin toss.

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(L-R): Athletic Director Bobbi Moran, Varsity Football Coach Jeff Toussaint ’82, Seany Toland ’24 (captain), Conrad Langenhagen ’24, Nate Austin-Johnstone ’24 (captain), Malachi Mcclean ’24, honorary captain Jim Heller ’67 P ’94, ’95, Head of School Chris Fortunato P ’26, ’28, honorary captains Bob Wagner ’65 and Bill Wagner ’67 at the coin toss. Heller, Wagner, and Wagner were members of Thayer's "Un-Un-Un" team in 1964.

Around Campus


De Leon read an excerpt from her novel Don't Ask Me Where I'm From during a Monday morning assembly at Thayer in October

Benelli Visiting Writers Series: De Leon details the power of story

Award-winning Latinx author Jennifer De Leon was a 19-year-old college student when she read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. It was the first time she had read a book by a Latina author and the first time she felt parts of her own experience reflected in a novel’s pages.

That changed everything.

“I had never read a book like this,” said De Leon, who added the experience reinforced a belief that she, too, had stories to tell. And, as guest author of the Benelli Visiting Writer Series, she addressed an Oct. 23 Upper School assembly and encouraged students to share their own stories.

De Leon read an excerpt from her young adult novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From before fielding questions from the audience. She emphasized the importance of learning — “Education is a set of keys that can unlock countless doors,” she said — before advocating for a variety of voices in storytelling.

“The single story creates stereotypes,” she said.

After addressing the assembly in the morning, De Leon led a writing workshop with 8th graders at the Middle School in collaboration with Middle School Librarian Blodine Francois and Middle School English Faculty Brian Cibelli. To finish

the day, in coordination with DEIB Director Matt Ghiden, De Leon shared lunch and conversation with the Mi Gente Latinx student affinity group.

According to Upper School History Faculty and Benelli Writing Center Director Karen Jersild, who created the visiting writer series several years ago and has run it ever since, this fall marked the first time a series author has visited the Middle School and the first time a series author has met with affinity groups.

“It’s exciting to extend the series in new directions,” said Jersild, who added her appreciation that student groups had the opportunity to meet with such a distinguished author.

Ghiden agreed.

“Ms. De Leon's visit was a significant opportunity to provide ‘windows and mirrors,’ allowing our Latinx community members to see aspects of their own identities reflected (mirrors) and offering insights into diverse identities, experiences, and motivations for the larger community (windows),” he said. “Ms. De Leon’s meeting with Mi Gente was an awesome chance to make further connections.”

De Leon teaches creative writing at the collegiate level. Her works are available through Porter Square Books.

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How Suite It Is


The word “legacy” often evokes thoughts of decades or even centuries, but the Class of 2023’s Senior Legacy Gift made an impact in a matter of months.

The class gift, totaling over $200,000, helped to build a multimedia production suite in the lower level below Southworth Library. The studio opened in the fall of 2023 which, in turn, led to an informal group of students and faculty working together on media projects across campus. That informal collaboration quickly evolved into an official Media Internship Program consisting of 12 Upper School students led by Digital Media Coordinator Emmett Knox ‘04.

“The new recording studio is the home base for the media internship,” said Knox. “It provides space for us to meet, ideate, develop skills, and complete projects.”

The studio allows students to refine their media production skills by focusing on filming, recording, and editing their own work. The 12 current interns run soundboards, set up cameras, facilitate interviews, record podcasts, and edit video. They meet after school for a total of three to five hours per week and receive Afternoon Program activity credit for their efforts. The goal, said Knox, is that students not only master media production but also enhance their understanding of consumed media.

"I'm hoping for them to become empowered media facilitators," said Knox. "I want students to know when they’re in an audience or at a meeting that someone was there making sure all of the elements were in place to bring that message to them. Any media they encounter doesn’t just pop out of thin air — it comes from someone’s care and effort.”

Making Campus Connections

Thayer’s investment in its media production suite and in its students paid dividends almost immediately. In the fall of 2023, the media interns began regularly lending their support to TA Talks — an Upper School initiative in which a student, faculty member, or staff member shares a 20-minute story every Wednesday morning in Hale Theater. For instance, when one student spoke on the challenges of learning to read with dyslexia, the interns used overlain text to create a graphic representation of what a book cover might actually look like for someone with dyslexia. When Chef Doug [Foss P ‘23, ‘26] used his TA Talks time to discuss the value and joy he found in cooking, the interns filmed Foss in action, sizzling onions and chopping tomatoes as he spoke.

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“The interns themselves are like the production team for the audiovisual components of TA Talks, and that’s something that didn’t necessarily even start as part of the internship,” said Knox. “It was just a natural place to involve them.”

Later that fall, as the students gained experience managing media projects independently, they began applying their skills by working on projects for individual clients in the community seeking assistance. One such project involved creating a video to promote note-taking strategies for the Hale Learning Center, which offers additional support to students with academic challenges. This video enhanced metacognitive thinking for the entire 9th grade class.

The interns also filmed example classes for the graduate work of Thayer’s Penn Fellows, contributing to the fellows’ studies and their professional development as educators. Among other projects, interns facilitated live sound setup in the gym for the Homecoming pep rally, heightening the energy of the occasion.

Real-world Opportunities

Perhaps the most vivid example of the synergetic success of the new media internship program is the Boston Children’s Hospital Benefit Concert, which was held this past October in the Hooley Courtyard. The entire concert, which featured over a dozen performers, was organized by Jack McCarthy ‘24 and Eli Lukens ‘24, two media interns who also happen to be members of the band Dirty Water Blvd.

Supported by faculty and staff, the two used their newfound media production skills and the volunteer efforts of fellow classmates to organize, promote, and eventually perform in the benefit concert. The show raised more than $10,000 to support Seacrest Studios at Boston Children’s Hospital; the state-of-the-art multimedia studio produces and broadcasts programs on the hospital’s closed-circuit TV network. The studio, one of 13 in the country established by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, is dear to the heart of McCarthy, who credits Boston Children’s Hospital for saving his arm when he was in junior high.

“Eli and I couldn’t be happier with how this event turned out,” said McCarthy, who spent more than a month with Lukens organizing the benefit concert.

Around Campus



 ~700 sq. ft of space

 main control room

 WhisperRoom (at right)

 3 isolation booths

 Behringer X32 mixer

 a full speaker system

 lots of headphones

 a 70-in TV screen

a turntable with a growing vinyl collection

 a comfy couch

 good vibes

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Cassia Porciatti ’27 sings during the benefit concert Nye Small ’25 testing out the WhisperRoom
The command center of the control room

Andrew H. Card Jr. GP ’27, ’29

Mr. Card is the second-longesttenured White House chief of staff, having served in that job under President George W. Bush from January 2001 until April 2006. In that role, he coordinated the priorities of the administration and, following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led a government-wide reorganization to best allocate resources to deal with the aftermath and respond to the new terrorist environment. Mr. Card’s distinguished career includes serving in senior government roles under three U.S. presidents. He began his political career in his native Holbrook and is a proud grandfather to two current Thayer students.

Michael Curry P ’26

A member of Thayer’s board of trustees, Mr. Curry is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience and results in civil rights advocacy, health reform, and health equity. He currently serves as president & CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. He is the immediate past president of the Boston branch of the NAACP and has provided over 25 years of service to that organization at the city, state, and national levels. He served as co-chair of the Massachusetts Health Equity Task Force, which sought to address the health disparities realized and magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout his work, Mr. Curry has earned the reputation for being the equity voice in the room.

‘Brave Talk’ highlights importance of civil discourse

Not one of the three panelists taking part in the most recent installment of the Thayer Global Speaker Series said that engaging in dialogue with someone who doesn’t share your beliefs is easy.

But all three agreed it’s critical for our students, for our school, for democracy, and for the world.

“Pluralism is the juice of democracy,” panelist Andrew H. Card Jr. GP ’27, ’29 told those gathered Oct. 19 in the CFA’s Hale Theater for “Brave Talk: Civil Discourse in a Divided World.” Card, a Holbrook native whose career in politics included serving as chief of staff for President George W. Bush, was joined on the panel by Michael Curry P ’26, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in civil rights advocacy, and Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow ‘66, who retired from a professional career in academia and now commits herself full-time to the nonprofit sector. Dr. Timothy Patrick McCarthy, an award-winning professor at Harvard who is also one of Thayer’s resident scholars, served as the night’s moderator.

The evening’s discussion touched upon many issues, from the double-edged sword of social media to the increased polarization of current politics to the crisis in the Middle East, but there was clear consensus that a lack of engagement and dialogue only exacerbates hate, fear, and division. In his opening remarks, Head of School Chris Fortunato P ’26, ’28 introduced the event as part of the launch of Thayer’s amplified commitment to civic engagement and civil discourse, which he noted are deeply connected to the school’s mission and values. Those sentiments and concerns about the divisiveness in our society were echoed by the panelists.

“We don’t have conversations in the world, and it frustrates me,” said Curry, president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, former head of the Boston NAACP, and a member of the Academy’s board of trustees. “The conversations are breaking down.” Drawing from his personal and professional history, Curry said he wants people to develop the skills necessary to have those tough, emotional conversations while remaining civil and respectful.

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For Tarlow, who served for 20 years as the executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, truly listening, feeling uncomfortable, and even making missteps are all part of the dialogue process.

McCarthy emphasized the importance of schools as intergenerational spaces where people could argue about the things truly worth arguing about. He also noted that, in a sense, arguing was a form of common ground.

“If you’re fighting with someone, at least you know you both care about something,” McCarthy said.

At one point in the evening, Card shared stories of his grandmother, a woman who told her family that “We” — as in “We the People,” the start of the Preamble to the Constitution — is the most important word in that document even though the “We” clearly didn’t apply to her for much of her life.

“We,” said Card. “It’s our government. If it’s not working well, it’s our fault.” He then urged audience members to “answer the invitation” of democracy and get involved in the process in any way they could.

Fortunato also invited the greater Thayer community — students, faculty/staff, families, and alums — to join in this work with humility, humanity, and resolve “so that Thayer may lead the way and develop the next generation of leaders.” He noted that authentic engagement is the foundation of learning excellence, and that Thayer would always promote such engagement across lines of difference even when things got difficult.

“This is messy and complex work in which there are many opinions on how to do this right and many examples of how to do it badly. This is hard work. But we’re Thayer Academy. We can do hard things,” Fortunato said.

The Thayer Global Speaker Series brings thought leaders, innovators, and differencemakers to the Thayer campus to engage the community in issues that matter to the world.

Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow ’66

Dr. Tarlow, a member of Thayer’s Class of ‘66, is retired from a professional career in academia and academic administration in the field of Soviet/ Russian Studies, including 20 years as executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Since 2012, she has been committed full-time to service in the nonprofit sector, placing a particular focus on higher education and the arts. Dr. Tarlow currently sits on the boards of Tufts University; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Harvard’s Davis Center. In 2019, she received the Woman of Valor Award from the AntiDefamation League.

Dr. Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Dr. McCarthy is a resident scholar at Thayer focusing on leadership, communication, and human rights. An award-winning professor with a joint faculty appointment at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Dr. McCarthy is a noted author and frequent media commentator. He also serves as the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History and Academic Co-Director of the Boston Clemente Course, a free college humanities course for lower income adults in Dorchester. In 2015, he was a co-recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. He is the proud uncle of a current Thayer student.

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Scan the QR code to watch the full conversation from this event and learn more about other installments of the Thayer Global Speaker Series.
Around Campus

A Passion Burning Brightly

As a scholar in residence, Jin Kim brings his energy and expertise to Thayer to build its orchestra and its choral program

’86 P ’24

Resident Scholar

Jin Kim is many things, but no definition of the man is truly complete unless it describes him as a conductor.

“As in ‘conducting electricity,’” Kim, music director of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (ASO), is quick to point out.

Kim likens his role to that of a player/manager of a baseball team. The “player” part stems from the fact that, as conductor, he himself is an instrument of the orchestra — “I’m showing the music,” he says. “I’m playing the instrument of my hands, my arms, et cetera.” The “manager” part is because, like Tito Francona or Sparky Anderson or any baseball skipper worth his salt, a conductor needs to communicate signals in real time but — and here’s where years of experience and a trained ear come into play — just before those signals are actually needed.

Put another way, Kim is an expert in timing, and he recently accepted an invitation to become a scholar in residence at Thayer because he believes the time is right to build an orchestra and a choral program at the Academy.

“I see tremendous potential in the music program here at Thayer,” says Kim, thanking both the school’s leadership team and its existing music department for their support. “It’s already very good, and there’s an opportunity for much more.”

That “much more” was made possible by violin virtuoso and grateful alum Charles “Charlie” Castleman ‘57. It was Castleman, currently the professor of violin at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, who recently made a commitment to sponsor the Charles Castleman ‘57 Orchestral Program for a six-year pilot period, allowing Thayer time to develop and scale the program. Castleman also made a separate gift to support the Campaign for Thayer; in grateful recognition of that donation, the Middle School’s Room 226, the music room, now bears his name.

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“Playing in an ensemble is definitely an important life experience,” says Castleman, a child prodigy who appeared as a soloist with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra at age 6. “It lays the foundation to approach music, art, and literature.”

Kim praises Castleman’s generosity and commitment to the orchestral program at Thayer but makes clear that, unlike “Charlie,” he was no wunderkind.

“I was a child prodigy in the sense that my mom said I was going to play piano and there was no two ways about it,” Kim says with a smile.

A soccer-loving boy growing up in Seoul, South Korea, Kim nonetheless listened to his mother. He practiced the piano for one hour a day; that daily practice time soon grew into two, three, and four hours. The practice made him quite skilled on the piano, but the motivation was purely external.

The family moved to Minnesota when Kim was 11, and he soon rebelled against a life of only music. He played football — “a bench warmer” Kim avers — and ran track in high school. His interest in playing the piano slackened. Yes, he returned to the study of music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, but much of the motivation came from enhanced scholarship opportunities. He was 100% certain that, post college, he would never be involved with professional music again.

“Ever since then, I never say ‘never,’” says Kim.

As a college student, Kim focused on multicultural issues and was president of a diversity group on campus. There were very few people of color at St. Olaf at the time, and he remembers his first year there when he performed as a member of the school’s Viking Chorus.

“I found that very ironic,” Kim says of being part of such a Scandinavian-sounding singing group. He adds that he was already struggling with training in classical music, a tradition of the Western World strongly associated with the colonial empires of Europe.

This is the start, and I’m hopeful this will be the catalyst for bigger and better things.
- Jin Kim

A social activist, he graduated college and knew that community organizing at a nonprofit was somewhere, somehow in his future. Still, he needed to pay the bills, so he started performing music professionally as well as teaching piano. Then, at a concert one day, he looked around the room; he was immediately struck by the multicultural atmosphere around him comprised of people from all walks of life.

“I realized it was community organizing through music,” says Kim. He adds: “I never looked back.”

An accomplished professional singer, an active chamber musician, and an award-winning pianist, Kim is equally adept at orchestral and choral genres. He studied piano with Rebecca Penneys and orchestral conducting with David Effron at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He continued his studies at Boston University as one of only two orchestral conductors ever admitted to its prestigious artist diploma program. He is a former member of leading professional choruses including the Robert Shaw Institute Singers, the Dale Warland Singers,

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and Minnesota Opera Chorus. As an orchestral conductor, Kim has appeared with the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.), National Arts Centre (Ottawa, Canada), and Korean Symphony (Seoul, South Korea) orchestras. He has served as music director of Empire State Youth Orchestras (New York State) and has led orchestras at Boston Conservatory and Boston University, where he taught instrumental conducting and served as a visiting conductor. Since 2015, he has also led orchestral seminars in Boston as music director of Harvard Musical Association Reading Orchestra.

And Kim, who lives on the South Shore with his family, is now in his 26th season as music director of ASO, Thayer’s orchestra-in-residence, which under his leadership has become one of the premier regional orchestras in New England.

“I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing,” Kim says of his tenure at ASO.

The Charles Castleman ‘57 Orchestral Program was introduced this fall and has grown steadily ever since.

“The orchestra started with two people and became 14 to 15 people within a month,” says Kim. “Every week we keep adding students. What’s really great is that students are now bringing other students.” He adds that the choral program is also going well and will ramp up once the Middle School and Upper Schools musicals have finished.

“My goal is to bring a substantive and very active orchestral and choral program to Thayer Academy,” he says.

Both the orchestra and choral ensemble are open to all Upper and Middle School students, and those who participate will fulfill their Afternoon Program requirement. In addition to daily immersion in orchestral and choral performance, participating students will perform in concerts, work with professional musicians, and have the

Resident Scholar

While this is Jin Kim’s first year as a resident scholar at Thayer Academy, the accomplished singer, pianist, and conductor is no stranger to 745 Washington St.

The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has been the Academy's orchestra in residence since the CFA and its Hale Theater opened in October of 2008. In fact, the ASO performed that night with worldrenowned violinist Charles Castleman ‘57 and award-winning composer and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani ‘64

A regional orchestra located on the South Shore, the ASO is recognized among the most artistically regarded in New England.

option of participating in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Solo Festival.

“We are thrilled to provide an opportunity for Thayer students who are passionate about choral and orchestral music to further their capacity as musicians,” says Assistant Head of School for Academics Peter Brooks.

Kim encourages singers and musicians of all abilities and experience levels to consider joining the programs.

“You don’t have to be a professional musician to get something out of playing music,” says Kim, pointing to life lessons such as discipline, organization, and intellectual curiosity.

And for Kim, the benefits of these new programs, musical or otherwise, are just beginning.

“I’ve been having an amazing experience with the students here,” says the energetic conductor of his first few months at Thayer. “This is the start, and I’m hopeful this will be the catalyst for bigger and better things.”

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Building the Future

Inaugural Director of Enrollment Management

Jeffrey “Jeff” Dwyer P ‘31, Thayer’s director of enrollment management, is enthusiastic about and well-versed in finding talented, highly motivated students and student-athletes who want to succeed at the next level and then helping them get there.

A former professional hockey player who was drafted in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, Dwyer transitioned from playing the sport to a career scouting top players nationwide. He then worked for more than a decade at St. George’s School, an independent boarding school in Rhode Island and a fellow member of the ISL. There, he served as both director of financial aid and associate director of admissions, helping to craft the school’s student body while also serving as head coach of the boys varsity hockey team. Along the way, he earned his MBA from Brown

Ushers in a New Admissions Season

University, building on his bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University.

He joined Thayer this summer, bringing his talent and passion for connecting students to great schools, and is excited to take on the new role and responsibilities that will bring Thayer and his professional achievements to new heights.

“Coming to Thayer in a newly created role after 10 great years at St. George’s allows me the opportunity to stretch myself and try something new,” Dwyer said. “And having competed against Thayer as a hockey coach for 10 years, I had an incredibly positive view of the school and a lot of respect for the people I knew there.”

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Dwyer is excited to take on the enrollment management role, which includes hosting events for prospective families and helping them better understand Thayer’s mission and culture. He also communicates regularly with enrolled families about financial aid and their children's academic and athletic experiences. He remains impressed with the unique opportunities that Thayer provides its students.

“A number of years ago, I initially knew Thayer as a school with really strong athletics. What I’ve come to realize — as I get this question a lot when I speak to families — is the depth, breadth and engagement of our academic, arts, and leadership programs and just how much we have to offer,” he said. “The fact that a student could be on the football or field hockey team but could also be a part of a musical and Model UN— that doesn’t happen everywhere.”

Now a part of the community, he sees the school’s strengths even more clearly, including the Academy’s commitment to teaching forward-thinking and critical leadership skills such as public speaking, authentic relationship building across lines of difference, collaborative problem-solving, and ethical decisionmaking. These are the skills, he said, which can’t be replaced by artificial intelligence, even as Thayer invests in its growing robotics and computer science programs. Best of all, Dwyer said, Thayer allows students to take risks in a supportive environment, which in turn helps students to find and then develop their passions.

"We're not looking for one thing when we look at a student, but the one common denominator among all of our students is that they’re motivated and want to be engaged,” he said.

One common denominator among all of our students is that they’re motivated and want to be engaged.

While most independent schools like Thayer enjoy topnotch facilities, Dwyer said the people inside Thayer’s buildings and classrooms truly make all of the difference — from the students to the faculty and staff.

“I have the chance to meet a good number of students who come through the admissions office and give tours for us, and they’re just truly wonderful people,” Dwyer said. “As the father of a fifth grader who attends Thayer, I go home at night and rest my head easy, knowing that these are the folks he’s surrounded by.”

“They want to be successful, but success for each of them will look different. It makes for a great learning environment when you're surrounded by kids who want to do well and push and support one another.”

Dwyer and his wife, Kathy, have three children: Declan, who attends the Middle School; Gordie; and Frankie.

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All communication is about relationships.

For nearly 20 years, I have started every one of my leadership and communication classes with this truth. That said, communicating effectively with one another is no simple proposition. It requires curiosity and humility, empathy and understanding, vulnerability and courage – and constant practice and reflection. This is hard and essential work.

The good news is that we can teach this and learn it.

This moment in history requires all of us to become better communicators. It is no secret that we are living through tough times. We all know the challenges before us: we live in an increasingly diverse and intensely polarized society; we spend too much time on screens and in echo chambers; our capacity to pay attention is shrinking as our appetite for misinformation is growing; and we can’t seem to agree on facts or truth or much of anything else. In such a fractious and contentious culture, communication – to say nothing of what we might call civil discourse – is a great challenge.

At its core, civil discourse is the practice of respectful discussion aimed at deepening understanding and expanding knowledge to achieve a larger public good. This does not simply mean being nice to one another and agreeing with one another. On the contrary, civil discourse often comes with intense passions and fierce dissent. In democratic contexts, where freedom of speech is both a right and responsibility, this involves public deliberation in the face of political disagreements. During a 2011 convening at the U.S. Supreme Court, participants described civil discourse as “robust, honest, frank, and constructive dialogue and deliberation that seeks to advance the public interest.” In

other contexts – including educational and artistic institutions – civil discourse involves fostering inclusive cultures where diverse peoples and perspectives are both valued and heard. As the great writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin reminded us long ago: “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” Our capacity to live together in community depends on a robust recognition of all these things.

We can start by welcoming this work in the following ways:

Embrace diversity

Because schools are incubators for the rising generations, diversity (and institutional efforts to promote and sustain it) must be embraced as a pathway to endless possibility rather than some kind of problem to be solved. And here, I mean all kinds of diversity — of backgrounds, identities, experiences, and perspectives. Schools should grow and change over time, especially if they take seriously their responsibility to prepare students – and faculty, staff, and parents, too! – for living in a multicultural world.

Listen before speaking

The Buddhist monk and human rights advocate Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022) developed a concept called “deep listening” that I find very useful for communicators. He writes: “We communicate to be understood and to understand. If we’re talking and no one is listening … we’re not communicating effectively.” Hanh believes that deep listening “must come first” – before speaking – because it “has the power to help us create a moment of joy, a moment of happiness, and to help us handle a painful emotion.”

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Feature Story

Share our stories

We all have stories to tell because our lives are filled with encounters and relationships worth sharing. Stories are the connective tissue of our common humanity and different human experiences. They help us know others and help us make ourselves known. When we share our own stories and listen to each other’s stories, we have a much better chance of developing deeper empathy and understanding for one another.

Practice mutual respect

Every major faith tradition has some version of what my Catholic parents called “The Golden Rule”: treat others as you would like to be treated. This has implications for communication. At a recent panel discussion at the Radcliffe Institute, legal scholar and past president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen described the “Golden Rule of Free Speech” as “not having freedom for speech we love if we don’t have freedom for speech we loathe.” In response, the moderator asked, “Just because we have the freedom to say what we want, ought we?” This is an important question for those of us who seek to communicate – and build community – in ways that aren’t disrespectful. The best antidote to this is to think before we speak, to wait to find words that do not intentionally (or even unwittingly) harm others in some way.

Feature Story

Build common ground

The strongest communities – be they families, schools, or nations –share core values. These can be sources of pride and belonging in the best of times. But they can also be lifelines in times of struggle or conflict. Whenever I teach “contentious communication” – how to keep your cool when things get hot – I talk about “finding common ground on contested terrain.” Too often, we focus on the conflict, the root of the disagreement, without trying to figure out if there’s anything that still connects us. It may be that we’re on the same team, in the same class, or part of the same social group. It may only be that we care about an issue so fiercely that we’re willing to fight about it. But that something isn’t nothing. The harder we work to find common ground – especially in crucibles of conflict – the better chance we have of sustaining and staying connected to our community.

Schools can play an indispensable role in modeling civil discourse and building better communicators. While colleges and universities are mired in controversy and caught in the crosshairs of the culture wars, secondary schools like Thayer have a unique opportunity to meet this moment and rise to this challenge.

Developing Rules of Engagement

Thayer’s Civil Discourse Task Force began a process this year of exploring and developing a more explicit framework for civil discourse in the classroom through dialogue with Middle and Upper School faculty and an examination of practices and principles beyond Thayer. As the task force prepares the first public iteration of what will certainly remain an evolving document, their work is guided by principles that already inform much of our teaching and learning at Thayer and will be considered and infused into the final version of these rules later this year.

Meaningful student engagement is our top priority at Thayer and is the key to learning excellence. For our students to truly be engaged (to find meaning, purpose, relevance, and joy in their experiences at Thayer), we are committed to our students being and feeling known, connected, and prepared. And as such, we are guided by a learning philosophy and practice that includes commitments to:

Listening and inquiring respectfully and with genuine curiosity

Promoting balanced and inclusive conversations that empower our community members to share their authentic and diverse views and identities

Thoughtfully critiquing ideas rather than judging or attacking individuals

Being true to one’s values and beliefs while being willing to hold opinions with flexibility

Embracing humility and humanity in a way that recognizes that we are always learning and that honors the dignity, unique identities, stories, and worth of all

Prioritizing learning and growing over being right, even in the midst of discomfort and strong disagreement

Recognizing and working to address the assumptions, biases, or limitations that may impede real learning and connection

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Teaching & Modeling Civil Discourse

Civil discourse is almost unassailable as an abstract ideal, but it’s much harder to apply in a real world of strongly held beliefs, polarizing opinions, competing agendas, different backgrounds, and longstanding prejudices. The practice, in short, needs practice. Below are a few ways the Thayer community is implementing the tenets of civil discourse in its everyday culture.

In Professional Development

Upper School History Department Head Krista Ferraro, a member of the Civil Discourse Task Force organized by Assistant Head of School for Academics Peter Brooks, said this year’s focus on the subject feels particularly relevant given the state of such discourse today.

“People are bitterly divided on everything from how issues involving race are discussed to the war between Israel and Hamas,” she said. “Students need the tools to engage in discussions on divisive issues with people who disagree with them.”

And that includes, she said, concrete guidelines for approaching a topic as well as the mindsets and values which enable civil discourse in the first place, among them: curiosity and open-mindedness, an ability to confront evidence contrary to one's beliefs, respect for multiple perspectives, and a willingness to resist the urge to universalize one's own experience or point of view.

A teacher of history and government, Ferraro underscored the importance of civil discourse.

“Democracy requires citizens to discuss, debate, and deliberate to share in the enterprise of governing,” she said.

Ferraro emphasized that faculty and staff need support to better practice these skills, too, and bring civil discourse more into the classroom. In August of 2023, McCarthy, in his role as resident scholar, opened up the yearlong discussion by leading a faculty/staff professional development session on the importance of civil discourse. Later, Ferraro led a shorter professional development session and highlighted three modes of discourse: discussion, which is an exchange of ideas; debate, which involves advocacy and logical persuasion; and deliberation, which weighs pros and cons while seeking common ground; most discussions fall into one of these three general categories. The workshop then asked faculty and staff to practice civil discourse themselves by having teams discuss whether or not Thayer should require teachers across all grade levels and disciplines to teach civil discourse.

“The goal of practicing this as adults in a school community,” said Brooks, “is to prepare us for facilitating these types of discussions with students in our classes, during community time, etc., in the future.”

This fall, TA Talks debuted to great success at the Upper School. The weekly speaker series takes place for 20 minutes each Wednesday morning as a student, faculty member, or staff member shares their story with the community. The topics run the proverbial gamut: one student discussed art, adoption, and his multicultural identity; another student talked about athletic injury and anxiety; another shared his challenges with dyslexia; and yet another student spoke of navigating the college application process as a first-generation college student. One faculty member — yes, from the math department — even wowed his audience with an informative and impassioned paean to compound interest.

“There’s a beautiful simplicity to it,” said Upper School English Department Head Kate Hayman, a member of the TA Talks Team along with Digital Media Coordinator Emmett Knox ‘04, Upper School English Faculty Misharra Hefler, Upper School Math Faculty Justin Maloney, and Upper School Performing Arts Faculty Kelly Hines P ‘18, ‘19. “We sit, we listen, and we learn. No one’s phone is out; no one else is talking — all eyes are on the student or teacher game enough, brave enough, to get up on stage and tell us something meaningful about themselves.”

The TA Talks initiative, said Hayman, builds empathy and thus inspires civil discourse long past the talks themselves because it connects students who didn’t know they had things in common with peers outside their friend groups. The larger goal, in fact, is to better connect the entire Upper School community.

“It’s much harder to close yourself off to someone once you know their hopes and

dreams, their struggles and defeats, their hard-won wisdom or triumphs,” said Hayman. “Every time our students hear a new story, we hope that their hearts and minds expand a bit, that they see the world as more nuanced, and that they understand all folks are worthy of compassion and most perspectives worthy of consideration.”

With its Global Speaker Series

The Thayer Global Speaker Series — which brings thought leaders, innovators, and difference-makers to campus to engage the community in issues that matter to the world — devoted its first three installments of this academic year to the need for, and power of, civil discourse. In late October of 2023, “Brave Talk: Civil Discourse in a Divided World” featured panelists Andrew H. Card Jr. ‘27, ‘29, former chief of staff for President George W. Bush; Michael Curry P ‘26, a current Thayer board member and an attorney with decades of experience in civil rights advocacy; and Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow ‘66, who retired from a career in academia and now commits herself full-time to the nonprofit sector, in a discussion moderated by McCarthy (see p. 14).

Just before Winter Recess, Patriots great Julian Edelman visited both the Upper School and Middle School for “Brave Talk: A Conversation with Julian Edelman.” He invited students to engage in civil discourse to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. Much of the discussion centered on Edelman’s attempts to “call in” rather than call out fellow professional athletes when they’ve said something hurtful. Edelman, who is Jewish, focuses on dialogue with such athletes; he believes that path leads to mutual growth.

“You have to be comfortable having an uncomfortable conversation,” Edelman told students.

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Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 25 CIVIL DISCOURSE

Bridging the Divide

Lis Tarlow ’66 Seeks Conversation & Common Ground

Dr. Lisbeth “Lis” Tarlow ’66 believes in following her passion, and on July 20, 1969, her passion for new experiences and new challenges had brought her to Leningrad University in the Soviet Union. There, the Smith undergrad — taking part in a cultural exchange study program sponsored by the U.S. State Department — watched grainy images of the Apollo 11 moon landing on a small black-and-white television set in her dormitory living room. With her that historic night were fellow exchange students, new Russian acquaintances, and Minnesota Senator (and onetime presidential hopeful) Eugene McCarthy.

That unforgettable moment is but one highlight of Tarlow’s summer in the Soviet Union, aka “The Evil Empire” as President Reagan would later dub it; the transformative visit reinforced her belief that connecting to people in real dialogue is the best way to move past the rhetoric and propaganda to understand another culture.

Of course, she recalls, there were drawbacks to being an American in the USSR; she and her fellow students were easily identified as Americans and were constantly followed; Russian friends who came to visit them at their dormitory were required to leave their passports with authorities at the front desk and risk being followed or even beaten up upon leaving.

“On the night before we left Leningrad for an excursion to Moscow, an unexpected visitor appeared in our dormitory room to remove the listening devices that, unbeknownst to us, had been secured in the ceiling. That was the Cold War.”

Forward to 2024 and the Cold War, at least in that earlier iteration, has been consigned to the history books, replaced by today’s challenges of global instability, regional conflict, the threat of terrorism, Russian revanchism, and more. Tarlow remains committed to the need to build bridges of understanding through scholarship, cultural connection, and civic dialogue.

A Brockton native, Tarlow began her Thayer experience as a seventh grader at Thayerlands (the predecessor to today’s Middle School). Her apprehension about a change of schools and a more rigorous curriculum soon relaxed into a love of the academic challenge. “I felt at home,” says Tarlow, whose two older sisters — Wendy (Tarlow) Kaplan ’61 and Jane Tarlow ’64 — were already students at Thayer.

“There were many outstanding teachers,” she adds. Tarlow credits her former Latin teacher, Lillian Sleeper Lane, and her former French teacher, René Biber, for fostering her love of foreign languages and cultures. Pursuing that interest, she

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enrolled in a course on Russian history at Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School the summer before her junior year. “After that course, I was focused on learning everything Russian — history, government, language, and culture,” she says.

When she returned to Thayer, her English teacher, future Head of School Peter Benelli P ’75, ’80, ’81 GP ’09, supported her newly discovered interest and encouraged her to write class papers on Russian literature even though it was outside the required curriculum. “He really empowered me,” she says of Benelli. “I devoured Russian literature: Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev; I couldn’t get enough of it.” As a result, by her senior year when she was applying to colleges, she had already identified her intended major.

Tarlow earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Slavic languages and literatures. She then earned a master’s degree in Soviet Studies from Harvard University before obtaining her PhD in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

A professional career in the field of Soviet/ Russian studies followed, including 20 years as executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (formerly the Russian Research Center) at Harvard. Her tenure at Harvard coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent need to revise the Center’s mission as well as the curriculum of the Soviet Studies degree program to reflect the new configuration of Russia and Eurasia. While the Cold War had its proxy wars and

flashpoints (think the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968), Tarlow notes that the two superpowers, both armed with nuclear weapons but constrained by the nuclear doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction, had a vested interest in maintaining some semblance of the status quo.

Tarlow worries about the lack of constraint today because of rogue states and rogue actors with little interest in playing by any rules. And she believes Russia itself, led by authoritarian Vladimir Putin, is determined to recreate the Soviet empire, as evidenced by his current target of Ukraine, with no concern about how many bodies are sacrificed by either side to attain his goal.

Since 2012, Tarlow has been committed full-time to service in the nonprofit sector, with a particular focus on higher education and the arts. Her interest in higher education is reflected in her past service as chair of the Advisory Board of the Fletcher School, and as current member of the Board of Trustees of Tufts University and of the Advisory Committees of the Davis Center and of the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. Her focus on the arts is reflected in her service as Trustee and Board Chair of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and member of the Advisory Board of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. Tarlow received the Woman of Valor Award from the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League in 2019; the award recognizes women leaders “who have made an extraordinary impact on their communities and exemplify the distinguishing values of integrity, leadership, and commitment.”

As a firm believer in the importance of engaging in conversation with those of differing viewpoints, she was honored to take part in “Brave Talk: Civil Discourse in a Divided World,” an October 2023 installment of the Thayer Global Speaker Series. (see p. 14)

“Thayer is taking the lead among its peers in its programming on civil discourse,” says Tarlow, who applauds Head of School Chris Fortunato P ’26, ’28 for making it a priority for students to learn to engage in the difficult conversations necessary to resolve today’s unprecedented challenges.

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Profile LIS TARLOW ’66
Lis Tarlow ’66 receiving the Alumni Achievement Award in 2022
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 28
Nina Mathelus ’27 Kenzie Murphy ’25 Jaden Smith ’24 John Brice ’25 & Jake DeVries ’25 Arnaud Dugas ’25 & Nate Austin-Johnstone ’24 Annabel McNamara ’25, Chloe Catalano ’25, Erin Greene ’25 & Lily Heaton ’25 The girls varsity soccer team celebrates its game-winning goal in the semifinals that sent them to the NEPSAC championship game. Eli Jean-Baptiste ’24 Clement Scott ’24


Award-Winning Fall Athletes

Boys Cross Country

ISL Honorable Mention

Charlie Gavin ’24

Girls Cross Country

ISL All-League

 Kenzie Murphy ’25


 Kenzie Murphy ’25

Field Hockey

ISL All-League

 Celia Benson ’24

ISL Honorable Mention

 Dakota Adams ’26

All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention

 Celia Benson ’24


ISL-All League First Team

Nate Austin-Johnstone ’24

Conrad Langenhagen ’24

ISL Honorable Mention

Arnaud Dugas ’25

 Angel Perez-Gonzalez ’24

 Drew St. Pierre ’26


 Nate Austin-Johnstone ’24

All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention

 Conrad Langenhagen ’24

Girls Soccer

ISL All-League First Team

 Emily Pimentel ’24

Maddie Parrott ’25

Riley Roycroft ’25

ISL Honorable Mention

Nadia Cassamajor ’24

 Nina Mathelus ’27


 Maddie Parrott ’25

 Emily Pimentel ’24

 Nina Mathelus ’27

All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention

 Riley Roycroft ’25

 Nadia Cassamajor ’24

Lauren Grattan ’24


ISL All-League

Annelise Reinhard ’24

ISL Honorable Mention

 Shayna Hailey ’25



Arnaud Dugas ’25 broke single-game passing records for completions, attempts, and total yards against Milton with 28 completions on 46 attempts for 365 yards. He also broke the single-season pass attempts record with 204; the previous record had been 180. Dugas tied the single-season completions record with 112.


The squad finished with the best regular season record overall as well as best record in ISL play in program history. They were 14-1-1 overall and 11-1 in the ISL.


The team finished with a 7-10 record, earning the most wins in program history. Sixteen individual school records were also broken. Josette Chenaur ’24 set records for career kills (200), single-match kills (14), and single-match solo blocks (4). Shayna Hailey ’25 set records for solo blocks (25), single-season kills (114), single-season solo blocks (21), and single-season block assists (20). Annelise Reinhard ’24 set records for career digs (553), career aces (152), single-season digs (219), single-season aces (60), single-match digs (30), and single-match aces (9). Abigail Greenough ’24 set the record for career block assists (33), and Rowan Mottau ’25 set records for singleseason assists (189) and single-match assists (27).

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Elsa Landy ’25, Celia Benson ’24, Courtney Tucker ’24, Adeline Wiesel ’26 & Dakota Adams ’26 Josette Chenaur ’24, Reilly Fraga ’25, Rowan Mottau ’25 & Annelise Reinhard ’24

Directed by Kelly Hines

P ’18, ’19, The Prom, Thayer Academy’s Upper School fall musical, delighted audiences with its message of love and acceptance and its terrific performances from start to finish.

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The ensemble in "You Happened" Alexa Hartman ’24, Matt O’Connor ’24 & Linda Murdock ’25 Matt O’Connor ’24, Josette Chenaur ’24, Alexa Hartman ’24, Eli Lukens ’24, Summer Perry ’24 & Jack McCarthy ’24 Matt O’Connor ’24 with the Godspell Kids Julia Fiorello ’24 & Linda Murdock ’25
Scan the QR code to view the complete program from The Prom
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 31 Arts THE PROM
Scan the QR code to listen to the cast’s rendition of “Unruly Heart” - recorded during a rehearsal in the Hale Theater Alexa Hartman ’24, Matt O’Connor ’24, Josette Chenaur ’24, Summer Perry ’24 & Jack McCarthy ’24 The ensemble in "Unruly Heart" The full cast & crew Julia Fiorello ’24
Jane Richard ’24
Renee Martel ’25 Lily Heaton ’25 Clare LaMattina ’24
Shayna Hailey ’25 Ana Sullivan ’27
Austin Archabal ’27

to something different: led by Scholar in Residence Jin Kim, strings and orchestral music joined the mix with an assortment of classical arrangements.

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The Hale Theater stage was rocking as usual with its talented student combos playing songs from the likes of Radiohead, Coldplay, and Noah Kahan. But this year's Music I & II Concert audiences were treated
Scholar in Residence Jin Kim leading the Charles Castleman ’57 Orchestra Ryan Noreke ’24 Omar Naanaa ’24, Cat Sheehan ’24, Summer Perry ’24 & Bridget Farley ’26 Alexa Hartman ’24 & Josette Chenaur ’24 Paige Johnson ’26 & Ashley Johnson ’24 Connor Cigna ’27 Roman Chenaur ’26 & Katie Cedrone ’27 Abbie Dupie ’26 Shaanveer Gupta ’26 & Manny Chikwendu ’27 Ana Sullivan ’27 Rocco Monfredo ’30, Connor Keleher ’28 & Aaron Baker ’28
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Thursday, December 14, 2023 7:00 P.M. Hale Theater Center for the Arts
CONCERT Austin Archabal ’27 & Julia Looker ’26 Clare LaMattina ’24 Michael Sheehan ’27 & Ana Sullivan ’27 Upper School Dance Director John Crampton Mikayla Barry ’26
Scan the QR code to view the complete program from the Winter
Cat Sheehan ’24 & Alexa Hartman ’24
Period G Dance Class performs Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" Musical Theater Classes D & G perform "What I Did For Love" from A Chorus Line


Micah Wartman ’30




the QR code to view the complete program from Greek mythology plays

Taking their turn at a Middle School tradition, 6th graders performed Greek mythology plays before their parents and guardians Nov. 16 in Thompson Hall.

As part of the curriculum, 6th graders apply their knowledge of Greek mythology to design personalized masks which, after weeks of cold reading and rehearsal, they use to perform the plays. The plays were directed by Middle School Theater Director Tara Corcoran ’88 P ’19

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The Plays: Leto, Dionysus, Ariadne, Artemis & Niobe, Athena, Hermes, Demeter & Persephone, and Prometheus & Pandora P
Payton Bryson ’30 Shannon Kyller ’30 Shivani Anand ’30 Tommy Whittle ’30 Isabella Chikwendu ’30 Ellie O'Connor ’30 Shivani Anand ’30, Teagan Brandt ’30, Xavier Ardayfio ’30, Tim Curran ’30 & Ben Petrie ’30 Antonio Lazzari ’30 Scan
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 35 Arts GRADE 5 PLAY 745 Washington Street • Braintree, Massachusetts 02184 781.843.3580 by jack frakes
30, 2023 Thompson Hall directed by tara corcoran ’88 P ’19
Thursday, November
Solwazi Browne-Vargas ’31 & Will Herbst ’31 Hannah Kennedy ’31 & Katherine Murphy ’31 Sheamus Newhall ’31
Soumayä Fort ’31
Cunningham ’31 Cordelia Forrest ’31
Scan the QR code to view the complete program from The Final Dress Rehearsal
(L-R): John Smallwood ’31, Sloane Belcher ’31, Ekaksha Joga ’31, Zeke Berube ’31, Lucy Donlan ’31, Griffin Menard ’31, Savannah Goff ’31, Jackson Hamann ’31, Whitney Purtell ’31, Christina Casal ’31, Claire Walsh ’31, Gracie Winters ’31, Noah McKinnon ’31, Declan Dwyer ’31 & Hailey Evans ’31

Scan the QR code to view the complete program from Frozen

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 36
Katie Fortunato ’28 & Hannah Currie ’28 Andrew Hernandez ’28 & Amelia Crespo ’29 Hannah Keleher ’29, Liv Talabi-Oates ’29, Kate O'Donnell ’28 & Claire Kelly ’28 Shivani Anand ’30 & Isabella Chikwendu ’30 Claire Dowden ’30 Ekaksha Joga ’31
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 37
The full cast of Frozen "Let it Go" led by Katie Fortunato ’28 Andrew Hernandez ’28
Ollie Berdik ’28 Elsa Hancock-Happ ’30 Micah Wartman ’30 & Matthew McGuirl ’30

Reunion Weekend took place Sept. 22 & 23 and for the first time in school history was paired with Homecoming. On Friday, the Evening of Alumni Excellence Awards were held in Cahall Dining Hall. The Alumni Memorial Service was held Saturday morning followed by the annual Reunion Luncheon held in Southworth Library for those celebrating their 75th, 65th, 55th, and 50th reunions. Later that night, the 50th Reunion Dinner for the Class of 1973 was held in the recently renovated Middle School.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 38
(L-R) : Dr. Ameer Shah ’03 & Elizabeth Iannessa Trofatter ’03
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 39
(L-R) : Ian Thompson ’18 & David Moscoso ’18 The Class of 2013 share some laughs as they reconnect at Reunion. (L-R) : Robin Resevick Hoffman ’73, Candace Ford ’73 & Sandra Colman ’73 P ’18 Wayne Annsun-Donner ’63 Retired faculty member Norma Atkinson GP ’07, ’11, ’16
Scan the QR code to view this year’s memorial service program SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2023 THAYER ALUMNI MEMORIAL SERVICE
Thayer alums reflect and remember during the memorial service.

As part of Reunion 2023, the Thayer Academy Alumni Association held its Evening of Alumni Excellence awards dinner Sept. 22 in Cahall Dining Hall. The first part of the evening saw achievement, loyalty, and humanitarian awards presented to alums celebrating reunions that fall.

The second part of the night saw two individuals and one team inducted into the Thayer Academy Sports Hall of Fame as its Class of 2023.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 40
Matt Evans ’08 Amy Smith Wright ’90 The 1991-92 Boys Varsity Basketball Team (L-R): Head of School Chris Fortunato P ’26, ’28, Douglas Troupe ’93, Carmelo Travieso ’93, Kyle Snowden ’93, José Edwards ’92, Head Coach Rob Dixon ’79 P ’03, ’16 & Athletic Director Bobbi Moran Jamie Cashman ’73 P ’19, ’21 Sandra Colman ’73 P ’18 Dr. Ameer Shah ’03
6:00 P.M. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 CAHALL DINING HALL An Evening of Alumni Excellence Friday & Saturday September 22-23, 2023 Amy Smith Wright HALL Matt Evans FAME INDUCTEE 1991-92 Boys Varsity Basketball Team FAME Jamie Cashman ’73 1973 ACHIEVEMENT HUMANITARIAN Ameer Shah OF 2003 Sandra Colman 1973 AWARD
Scan the QR code to view the full program
of Alumni Excellence”


Margery Hunt Price ’48 (Former Girls Athletic Director) and Nancy Haynes Kruger ’48 shared the distinct honor of celebrating their 75th Thayer Reunion together.


Thomas Mastricola ’83 from Petaluma, CA (3,100 miles)

Brian Corrigan ’68 from Corona del Mar, CA (3,000 miles)


Marshall Litchfield P ’78 celebrated his 90th birthday during the Friday Evening of Alumni Excellence awards dinner.


The Class of 1973 and the Class of 1983 tied for the most number of classmates in attendance.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 41
(L-R) : Names (L-R) : Lauren Blake Mahoney '02, Kenny Carberry '08 & Ifeanyi Chukwujama '11 (L-R) : Jamie Cashman '73 P '19, '21 & Neil Wilson '73 (L-R) : Lisa Fiorini Venier '73, Heather Lyons Wakelin '73 & Betty Bynoe Scott '73 (L-R) : Lee Oliphant '73, Charles Walker '73, Jamie Cashman '73 P '19, '21, Candace Ford '73 & Eric Limont '73 Marshall Litchfield P '78
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 42
BACK ROW (L-R) : Ray Tedeschi, Charles Walker, Eric Limont, Lou Shames MIDDLE ROW (L-R): Heather Lyons Wakelin, Lisa Fiorini Venier, Tom Harrington, Robin Resevick Hoffman, Candace Ford, Jim Walker FRONT ROW (L-R): Heather Graham-Oliver ’74, Janice James, Betty Bailey ’63, Betty Bynoe Scott, Jamie Cashman, Sandra Colman, Lee Oliphant, Neil Wilson, Allan Cohen (L-R) : Anna Howley, Sam Rando, Eben Swett, Max Wagner, Pat Shiel, Dave Moscoso, Eoin O’Sullivan, Stephon Kindle, Maggie O’Donnell, Arianna Sougarides, Rachel Kraan, Natalia McGlowan, Diana Flynn, Katherine Stanwood, Leanne Hayden, Marianna Tsoumbanos, Sean Kennedy, Niamh Griffin, James Kotoupolous, Jack Pulgini, Garrett Jones, Mike McDonough, Matt Charleston, Julia Cochran, Ian Thompson
Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 43
(L-R) : Steven Branfman P ’00, ’02, Stephanie Leggett Rando, Mark Tierney, Carol Jackmauh Blake, Andrew Berman, Liz Frado Mazzola, Bill Gerety, Sandra Morrissey, Chris Gong, Norma Atkinson GP ’07, ’11, ’16 (L-R) : Mike Foley, Robin DeVito, Deb Jones Melkonian, Karlyn Marini Folan, Peter Scahill

Class Notes

19 59

Joyce DiBona ’59

Joyce, an Alumni Board member, volunteered at this fall’s Reunion and Homecoming celebration. She also spoke at the memorial service to honor those who are no longer with us. This was the first time Reunion and Homecoming events had been combined.

19 65

Robert Wagner ’65

Bob, along with his brother Bill Wagner ’67 and teammate Jim Heller ’67, joined the current varsity football team as honorary captains for the coin toss at the “Friday Night Lights” game vs. Belmont Hill on Oct. 20.

19 66

E. Warren Pierce III ’66 P ’03

Warren enjoyed coffee and conversation after a half of a century with Bruce Ellard ’66 in July 2023. On another occasion, members of the Class of ’66 enjoyed an end-of-the-summer dinner at Ann

Hoffman Scott's family house on Scraggy Neck. Dessert was Martha Stone's award-winning cheesecake! From left: Martha Stone, Polly Lamson Brown, Warren Pierce, Ann Scott, and Bruce Ellard.

Renny MacKay ’66

Getting in touch with his roots in September! No report of how much haggis he consumed.

19 67

Jim Heller ’67 P ’94, ’95

Jim, along with teammates Bob Wagner ’65 and Bill Wagner ’67, joined the current varsity football team as honorary captains for the coin toss at the “Friday Night Lights” game vs. Belmont Hill on Oct. 20.

19 70

Laura Shea ’70

19 73

Sandra Colman ’73 P ’18

Congratulations to Sandra for the recognition given to her at the Class of 1973’s 50th Reunion Evening of Alumni Excellence with the Alumni Loyalty Award. The award reads: “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of your graduation from Thayer Academy, the Alumni Association presents you with this Loyalty Award to recognize your exemplary commitment to Thayer. You have served your class as an active alumna, a class agent, and a dedicated member of the Alumni Board. Your energy and enthusiasm for all things Black and Orange have kept your classmates close to the Academy and to each other. In the spirit of the Thayer Academy mission statement, you have truly risen ‘to honorable achievement’ and contributed ‘to the common good.’” See p. 40 for coverage of the Evening of Alumni Excellence. PAGE 40

Laura’s latest novel, Murder in Two Acts, has been published. This is the fourth book in her Erica Duncan Mystery Series.  

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45  PAGE 10 
45 
10 
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(L-to-R:) Deb Girello '12, Danielle Mahar '14, Kristen Vassalotti Slusarz '07, James Mahar P '12, '14, Paula Becker P '12, '14, Chris De Thomas, Cassandra Mahar '12, Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13, Angela Vassalotti '12, Karen Koskores P '10, '13

Jamie Cashman ’73 P ’19, ’21

Congratulations to Jamie for the recognition given to him at the Class of 1973’s 50th Reunion Evening of Alumni Excellence with the Alumni Achievement Award. The award reads: “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of your graduation from Thayer Academy, the Alumni Association proudly presents you with this Achievement Award in honor of your outstanding achievement in the field of marine construction, equipment, and transportation solutions across the world. Your leadership and dedication to your work serve as exemplars of Thayer Academy’s mission statement that inspires students to ‘rise to honorable achievement and contribute to the common good.’” See p. 40 for coverage of the Evening of Alumni Excellence.

19 76

James Andreassi ’76

Jim was delighted to return to Legacy Theatre in Stony Creek, Connecticut, and be part of its production of A Christmas Carol

Jim has performed in theaters across the United States including Palm Beach Dramaworks, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Rep of St. Louis, Cleveland Playhouse, Shakespeare & Co., Pioneer Theatre Co., Lyric Stage of Boston, Merrimack Rep, Actors' Shakespeare Project, and Elm Shakespeare Co., among many others. In NYC he has performed at the Mint Theatre and the New York Theatre Workshop. Jim has taught acting, Shakespeare, and theater studies at Southern Connecticut State University, Yale University, Quinnipiac University, and the Yale Center for British Art. Jim is the founder and artistic director emeritus of the Elm Shakespeare Company in New Haven, Connecticut. He lives with his wife Margaret; their cats, Bambi and Rocco; and their exceptional dog, Winston, in Palm Coast, Florida.

Class Notes

19 80

Larry Levin ’80

Larry and his wife are proud grandparents to their four granddaughters: a 5-year-old, a 2-year-old, and twins ages 8 months. The entire family spent Thanksgiving together at his daughter's home in Florida.

Gregory Apostol ’81 P ’27

Greg’s son, Nick ’27, started at Thayer's Upper School as a 9th grader this fall.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1
19 81 CLASS
1950 s -1980 s
PAGE 40 See Andreassi ’76 | Photo by: Sam Bibbins See Levin ’80 See Pierce ’66 See MacKay ’66
    45
See DiBona ’59



Sandra Somerville ’84

Sandra works as a mobile crisis clinician and a private practice clinician, working with clients from Maine and New Hampshire. She expresses her gratitude to Thayer for instilling personal responsibility and care for the community and to a few teachers, including Upper School history teacher Larry Carlson P ’02, ’05, ’10 whose encouragement helped her to succeed as a therapist.

Burmeister ’87

Andrew Burmeister ’87

Andrew writes: “I was lucky enough to spend some time with Anja (Horowski) Schaefers ’86 in Switzerland this winter. After connecting with her, I was able to host her son Konrad for a weeklong internship with me at the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York City. Konrad was able to see how my team and I make decisions about how to allocate the city's capital budget to benefit the cultural sector. We also got to tour some interesting construction projects and catch a few shows. We were especially fortunate to link up with a group of Thayer students and alums in town to catch A Beautiful Noise at the Broadhurst Theatre.”

Robert McGee ’89 P ’27

Rob's son, AJ '27, started at Thayer as a 9th grader this fall.

Amy Smith Wright ’90

Amy was inducted into the Thayer Academy Sports Hall of Fame this fall at the Evening of Alumni Excellence on Sept. 22. Amy was a multisport athlete at Thayer, playing field hockey, track & field, and lacrosse. She was a multi-award-winning athlete at Cornell in both field hockey and lacrosse. Amy was inducted into Cornell's Hall of Fame, Class of 2007, for both field hockey and lacrosse. See p. 40 for coverage of the Thayer Sports Hall of Fame ceremony.

19 91

Christopher Hall ’91

Congratulations to Chris, who was inducted into the Brockton Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 25, 2023.

See Hall ’91

Thayer reunion at the Pats game... in Germany!

Three Thayer graduates reunite at the Patriots game in Germany: Jeff Connors ’89, Lizzie Frado Mazzola ’88, and Dave Shrager ’89 list of alumni below:

On Oct. 10, 2023, the Dave Gove Memorial Golf Tournament was held at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston in honor of Dave Gove ’96.

The event featured many former Thayer hockey players in attendance for the inaugural event. Dave’s son, Cullen, was in attendance. Special thanks to Ray Bourque and the Ray Bourque Foundation for the opportunity to make the event happen.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 46
PAGE 40 
Thayer alums in attendance: Mark Wainwright ’92, P ’29; Dave Wainwright ’93; Jake Borden ’96; Jeremy Converse ’95; Jed Sheehan ’96; Kevin Perry ’96; Geoff Wilkinson ’95 P ’25, ’27; Mike Phalen ’96; Tom Welby ’96; Brad Mills ’97; Dan Najarian ’94; Kevin Caulfield ’96; Mike Mottau ’96 P ’24, ’25; Scott Perry ’98; Craig Paster ’98; Brooks Orpik ’98; Mike McGuirk ’98; and Ryan Thornton ’93 CLASS OF
19 89
19 90
19 87
      Connors 89, Frado Mazzola 88 & Shrager 89

19 93

Elizabeth Marshall Murphy ’93

Beth’s daughter, Katherine ’31, became a Thayer Tiger this fall as a 5th grader in the Middle School.

19 94

Louie Bello ’94

Congratulations to Louie on his nomination for the 2023 Boston Music Awards for Country Artist Of the Year!

Brad Shone ’94 P ’27

Brad's daughter, Sophie ’27, joined the Upper School as a 9th grader this fall.

19 98

Kate Nedelman Herbst ’98 P ’31

Kate’s son, Will ’31, started at the Middle School as a 5th grader this fall.

19 99

David King ’99 P ’31

David’s daughter, Alexandra ’31, started at the Middle School as a 5th grader this fall.

Class Notes

Banjineh (Op) Browne ’95 P ’31

Op’s son, Solwazi ’31, joined the Middle School this fall as a 5th grader.

Jason Cohen ’95 P ’27

Jason’s son, Jonah ’27, joined the Upper School as a 9th grader this fall.

David Donlan ’96 P ’31

David’s daughter, Lucy ’31, joined the Middle School as a 5th grader this fall.

Sarah Cochran Taylor ’00

Sarah and her husband Justin held the second annual fundraiser to support their T-Bird Foundation, which provides grants to give back to others with spinal cord injuries during their first year of recovery. One of the silent auction items included a week at Camp Thayer. A link to the foundation:

Lauren Blake Mahoney ’00

Erin Lyall ’97

Erin spoke to students, faculty, and staff via Zoom from her hotel room in Israel on Oct. 10, 2023, just three days after Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas coordinated a surprise attack on Israel. Erin informed students of what was happening on the ground and answered questions for an hour.

Congratulations to Lauren for being elected to the Alumni Association Board. Lauren visited campus several times, cheering on her fellow Tigers at the Hall of Fame ceremony, volunteering at Homecoming, and attending the OMEGA potluck.

Jonathan Earle ’01

Jonathan and his wife, Maleena Lee, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Lyla, born in December 2022. Also this year Jonathan celebrated his 40th birthday with some Class of 2001 classmates. (L-to-R): Paul Badger, Eric Martinson, Michael Montani, Jonathan Earle, Rob O’Leary, Brian Mahoney, Steve Pratt

Kendra King ’02

Kendra, vice president of the Alumni Board, continues to encourage her classmates to visit campus and join her in volunteering with the Thayer community during events such as Homecoming weekend and OMEGA potluck.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 47
1980 s -2000 s
19 95
19 97
See Kenny Carberry 08, Kendra King 02 & Lauren Mahoney 00 See Cochran Taylor ’00
       
See Jonathan Earle ’01

Class Notes

Sherwood Tondorf ’02

Woody moved back to the East Coast in July of 2021 with his wife, Kaitlin, and their two young boys ages 3.5 and 7 months old. He recently accepted a new job at NBC Sports Boston and volunteered to mentor Independent Science Research (ISR) students interested in the game lab / development space.



Ameer Shah ’03

Congratulations to Ameer for the recognition given to him at the Class of 2003’s 20th Reunion Evening of Alumni Excellence with the Alumni Humanitarian Award.

The award given to the good doctor that night reads: “On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of your graduation from Thayer Academy, the Alumni Association proudly presents you with this Humanitarian Award in recognition of your contributions to medical education and charity work in underserved locations worldwide. You have dedicated your life’s work in support of others, and for that, a grateful Academy thanks you. In the spirit of the Thayer Academy mission statement, you have truly risen ‘to honorable achievement’ and contributed ‘to the common good.’” See p. 40 for coverage of the Evening of Alumni Excellence.


Ryan Gould ’04

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Ryan graduated in May 2023 from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (Class of 2023) with a DMD. He is currently in a one-year residency program at Rhode Island Hospital. He resides in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, with his wife Becca and son Liam. 40 
2004 CLASS
Kathleen Marini ’10 / Harrison Slutsky ’08
Cassandra Mahar ’12 Samantha Lyons ’12 See Gould ’04 Newlywed? Please email your wedding information and a high resolution photo to:  
Christine Healy Pittman ’09

Kenny Carberry ’08

Kenny, president of the Alumni Board, volunteered at this fall’s Reunion and Homecoming celebration. He spoke at the memorial service to honor those who are no longer with us. Kenny also came back to campus in November to support the OMEGA potluck.

Matt Evans ’08

Matt was inducted into the Thayer Academy Sports Hall of Fame at this fall’s Evening of Alumni Excellence on Sept. 22. This was also the 15th anniversary of Matt's graduation from Thayer. After a very successful and award-winning football career at UNH, Matt is currently the national scout for the New England Patriots' College Department. See p. 40 for coverage of the Thayer Sports Hall of Fame ceremony.

Jonathan Culpepper ’09

Jonathan and his family welcomed John “Johnny” Timothy Culpepper, who was born on April 6, 2023.

Christine Healy Pittman ’09

Christine Healy Pittman ’09 married Adam Pittman on June 3, 2023, on Cape Cod. Thayer alums joined in the celebration including Matron of Honor Grace Davis Fitzgerald ’09; Groomsman Thomas Healy ’10; and Wedding Planner Kate (Hannigan) Harrington ’10

Robert Costello ’10

Rob married Courtney Ingard in Beverly on Aug. 19 at the Long Hill Estate.

Julia Kavolius ’10

Executive Member of the Alumni Board, Julia Kavolius and her husband John welcomed baby girl Isla on Sept 22.

Kathleen Marini ’10

Kathleen writes: “Harrison Slutsky (Class of 2008) and I got married in Dec. 2023 at The Newbury Hotel in Boston!”

Ifeanyi Chukwujama ’11

Ify, a new member of the Alumni Board, attended the Evening of Alumni Excellence & Reunion this fall to reconnect with the Thayer community.

Safia Khan ’11

Congratulations to Safia for being elected to the Alumni Association Board!

Brad Peterson ’11

Brad and his wife Carolyn had their first baby in Aug. 2023, a son named Jack Gregory Peterson, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

Evan “Emmy” Giarrusso ’10

On Oct. 27 Evan came to campus to speak with students in their jazz combo classes and then she (as Evan Giia) performed a live concert in honor of her uncle, who passed away from a brain aneurysm. Proceeds from the concert were given to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to support their incredible work of educating the public and funding brain aneurysm research.

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2000 s -2010 s
Class Notes
PAGE 47  PAGE 40  PAGE 41  PAGE 48  PAGE 48  20
OF 20
OF 20
See Kavolius
See Culpepper ’09
Peterson ’11      
The ThayerNetwork platform allows you to connect with fellow alums who have similar interests, careers, and locations; promote your business; search for job opportunities; and join a mentoring program. Don't forget to check out what's happening on ThayerNetwork, our very own networking community! Sign up today at

Sean Kennedy ’12

Sean writes: “As a product builder, software engineer, and entrepreneur with a passion for helping start-ups grow at the intersection of ideas, community, and democracy. I love building products and working with data that helps bring people together. I've spent 7+ years as an engineer, consultant, studio director, and CTO for early-stage start-ups and start-up communities in Cleveland, New York, and Boston. I build products I believe in, and I support entrepreneurs by giving them tools they need to organize and manage product teams — locally and remotely.”

Julia Budde Hilton ’12

Congratulations to Julia for being elected to the Alumni Association Board!

Samantha Lyons ’12

Congratulations to Samantha on her marriage to John Michael Carey III on Nov. 18, 2023, at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle, New Hampshire.

Cassandra Mahar ’12

Cassandra married Christopher De Thomas on Oct. 7, 2023, in Edgartown at the Harbor View Hotel. Her bridal party included her sister Danielle Mahar ’14 and Angela Vassalotti ’12

Sean “Chip” Kennedy ’12

Chip volunteered to mentor students from the Independent Science Research (ISR) class interested in the start-up machine learning - AI space.

Megan Greeley ’12

Congratulations to Megan as she heads off to the University of Georgia to pursue a law degree.

Daniel Costello ’13

Congratulations to Dan and Linnea Nordgren ’13 on their engagement! A Fall 2024 wedding is planned.

Linnea Nordgren ’13

Congratulations to Linnea on her engagement to Dan Costello ’13. They are planning a Fall 2024 wedding.

Isabella Pizzi ’14

Isabella shares: “This past spring I graduated and received my Juris Doctor (JD) from Brooklyn Law School.”

Alexandra McGrath ’14

Ali is engaged to Sean Mathews and planning a Fall 2024 wedding.

Alexandra Rooney ’17

Alexandra was promoted to internal sales director in the Government Core Sales Market at Empower in July of 2023.

Darby Melia ’17

Darby writes: “I am happy to announce that I have been elected as regional delegate of UNE COM Chapter of the American Medical Women's Association! AMWA is an organization which functions to advance women in medicine and improve women's health.”

Class Notes

Caitlin Hayes ’21 & Melanie McCue ’21

Caitlin Hayes ’21 and Melanie McCue ’21 were both selected for a group of just 17 students to attend the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric & Earth Science's (RSMAS) study abroad program in the Galapagos Islands next spring. They will take classes in the mornings and be in the field (land and water) in the afternoons. It’s worth noting that their love of marine sciences started at Thayer along with Beneath the Waves.

Samuel Okunlola ’22

Congratulations to Sammy for his commitment to transfer from the University of Pittsburgh to the University of Colorado.

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2010 s -2020 s 2013 CLASS OF 2021 CLASS OF 2022 CLASS OF 2017 CLASS OF 2014 CLASS OF
2012 CLASS OF PAGE 48  PAGE 48   

In Memoriam

Virginia and Robert raised their children

Virginia Becher P ’93

Virginia Cornelia de Ronde Becher, 82, of Hamden, CT, and formerly of Marion, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 24, 2023, at her home after a prolonged illness.

Born in Manhattan on Feb. 17, 1941, to Marguerite Tansey de Ronde and Richard Peter de Ronde, Becher grew up in Bayport, NY, alongside siblings Richard and Denise. In her early teens, Becher lived in the Netherlands with extended family, learning Dutch, attending school, and sparking a lifelong love for the country of her ancestors. Returning to the United States, Virginia graduated from Bayport High School in 1959. She pursued higher education, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Keuka College in 1963 and a Master of Library Science from Pratt Institute in 1964.

She established a rewarding career as a librarian at American Education Publications, publishers of My Weekly Reader, from 1965 to 1967 in Middletown, CT. In 1967, she married Robert MacAdoo Becher at Saint Ann's Episcopal Church in Sayville, NY. Following a move to Massachusetts and Robert's establishment of a general surgical practice in Southeastern Massachusetts,

Katherine and Robert ’93 in Canton, eventually moving full-time to Marion, where they had previously spent summers since 1984.

Becher was an active member and leader of many charitable, community, educational, and ecclesiastical organizations, including Thayer, Saint Gabriel's Episcopal Church, The Fortnightly Club of Brockton, The Beverly Yacht Club, Blue Hill Montessori School, Noble & Greenough School, The Park School, Fuller Craft Museum, WGBH Boston, Faith in Serving Humanity, and the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church.

Becher is survived by her husband, children, and siblings; son-in-law Marc de Mul and daughter-in-law Daniela Hochreiter; and grandchildren Willem and Eleonor de Mul and Franziska and Otto Becher.

James O'Brien P ’93 James W. "Jim" O'Brien, 77, of Hingham, passed away peacefully on Dec. 8, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Boston, O’Brien was the son of the late William and Helen O’Brien (Davis). Jim grew up in Weymouth and

spent most of his adult life on the South Shore, raising two children in Hingham. He graduated from Boston College and began his career at Thermo Electron Corporation, which led to work commercializing medical technology at Harvard Medical School and the Texas Heart Institute.

O’Brien spent the second half of his career in the investment banking industry, where he was a principal at Beacon Hill Financial, which served as an advisor to many of the world’s leading private equity investors. He continued this work at Bare Cove Financial, a firm he founded in 1998.

Jim was committed to his family and would do anything to support his children, from attending lacrosse and soccer games across New England to obtaining his pilot's license. He was passionate about providing educational opportunities to those in need and served on the Board of Trustees at Thayer and Rhodes College.

Beloved husband of Candace O’Brien of Hingham. Loving father of Scott O’Brien ’99 and his wife Laura of Arlington, VA, and Meredith O’Brien Tierney ’01 and her husband Ryan of Newburyport. Cherished grandfather “Pa” to Harper, Julianne, Riley, and Tatum.

Thayer Magazine /// 2023-24: Iss. 1 52

19 44

Marilyn Brooks Wey ’52

P ’82, ’85

Marilyn Brooks Wey, 89, of Hingham, passed away peacefully on July 27, 2023.

Born in Brockton and raised in Wollaston, Wey graduated from Thayer and Colby College, maintaining close ties with friends from both institutions. After college, she married and moved to several different states while her husband served in the United States Air Force. It was in Florida she gave birth to her first daughter, Beth. She settled in Rye, NY, where her second two daughters, Margie and Alison, were born. While busy raising her family in Rye, she also got her real estate license. In 1972, the family moved to Hingham where Wey started her own interior design business and displayed her talents at several decorator showcase events. She was involved with the Hingham Garden Club, Hingham Historical Society, and Hospice. Wey served on Thayer's Board of Trustees, acted as a class agent, and was a member of its Board of Visitors.

Wey enjoyed going to the Boston Symphony and Hingham Conservatory, playing bridge with her many friends, and attending book club gatherings. She was never without a dog or two by her side. An active member of the St. John's Episcopal Church in Hingham as well as Hingham Yacht Club and Cohasset Golf Club, Wey will be remembered for her kindness and beautiful smile and will be missed dearly by all.

Wey is survived by her three daughters, Elizabeth Lyons and husband Michael of Duxbury; Margie Wey Reis ’82 and husband Rob Reis ’82 of Larkspur, CA; and Alison Wey Wright ’85 and her husband Michael of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. She leaves behind seven grandchildren whom she adored: Corey and Christopher Lyons; Parker and Kevin Reis; Andrew, Maggie, and Harry Wright; and the latest addition — her great granddaughter, Sofia Reis. Wey is predeceased by her loving husband of 61 years, Harry Wey, and her parents, Roy and Vineta Brooks.

Paula Valicenti Bruneau

P ’87, ’91, ’98

Paula Valicenti Bruneau, 80, of Weymouth, passed away peacefully at her home on Dec. 4, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.

Bruneau, daughter of the late Paul and Carmela (DiLillo) Valicenti, grew up in Weymouth and attended Archbishop Williams High School. She graduated from Boston University and received her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Bruneau was a career educator, first in Weymouth and then at Thayer, where she taught middle school for more than 20 years and chaired the English department. At Thayer, she advised the literary magazine, cultivated her students' ability to appreciate and analyze classic and contemporary works, and fostered writing skills while remaining a stickler for grammar rules. Inspired by her love of history and desire to explore, she organized European excursions for Thayer students and families, which continued after her retirement in 2009.

Bruneau was devoted to her family and friends. She nurtured friendships through travel, book club, yoga, and mah-jongg. She loved to invite her community to gather in her home on Whitman's Pond, where her holiday decor was legendary and there was always an extra plate of lasagna for anyone who needed a place to celebrate. Her greatest joys were Christmas and her grandchildren, who will dearly miss their Mimi's hugs.

Beloved wife of the late Paul F. Bruneau. Loving mother of Paulette Bruneau Brooks '87 of Tyngsboro, Anthony P. Bruneau '91 and his wife, Amanda, of Barrington, RI, and Valerie Bruneau Stone ’98 and her husband, Matthew, of Arlington. Cherished grandmother of Carolyn, Amelie, Angelo, Noah, and Anna. Aunt of Stephen Bennett of Rochester, NY.

Anne Downey Aluisy ’44

Anne Aluisy, 89, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, passed away on Dec. 3, 2016, surrounded by her loving family.

During her time at Thayer, Aluisy was a class officer and involved in chorus, field hockey, and basketball.

Aluisy was predeceased by her husband, Frederick R. Aluisy, and daughter, Katherine Ketchens. She will be lovingly remembered by her family, including her daughters, Brenda Wiggs (Mike), Mary Vaughan (Tom), Elizabeth Warnick (Chuck), nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Brother Peter Downey ’49 and sister Polly Conway ’45 survied her but have since passed away.

19 45

Pauline Downey Conway ’45

Pauline "Polly" Conway, 91, of Norwich, CT, died on April 6, 2020, at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born in Hingham on Oct. 1, 1928, the daughter of the late Willis and Katherine (Buttimer) Downey. During her time at Thayer, Conway was involved in student government, chorus, field hockey, and cheerleading. She worked as an elementary school teacher for over 20 years before retiring and enjoying winters in Punta Gorda, FL. She loved to play bridge with her friends, golf, and travel far and wide with family and friends.

Conway was predeceased by her husband, Judge Michael P. Conway, who died Feb. 23, 2006. They were married for 52 years. Conway is survived by five children and their spouses: John Conway (Claudia Conway); Mary Driscoll (John Driscoll);

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Betsy Conway (Rob Kudej); Margaret Walker (Dave Walker); and Michael P. Conway Jr. (Cheryl Conway) as well as 12 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her sister Anne Aluisy ’44 and her brother Peter Downey ’49.

19 53

Jay Lewis Marden ’53

Jay Lewis Marden, 87, passed away peacefully on May 14, 2023, at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton, NH, from heart and kidney failure.

Marden, born on Nov. 16, 1935, in Boston to Wallace Raymond Marden and Marjorie Maclary Marden, grew up in Hingham and Hanover, often spending the summer months in Chatham. Marden graduated from Thayer in 1953, where he was a member of the football and tennis teams. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1957 where he was a member of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, the Senior Skulls Honor Society, and Army ROTC. Stationed at Oakland Army Base in California, he then served in the reserves, retiring as an Army captain.

From 1959 to 1964 he worked at MIT in Cambridge as director of auxiliary services. In 1965, he assumed the running of the family real estate business begun by his father. They remodeled, owned, and managed over 700 apartments in Boston and Cambridge while developing industrial parks and subdivisions on the South Shore of Boston. As president of Heritage & Company, he remodeled and owned 12 buildings on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, then owned and remodeled several downtown Manchester, NH, buildings, including the Hill's Department Store. On June 12, 1965, he married Dorothy (Dot, Dottie) Hatton from Orlando, FL. They lived on Beacon Hill and in Scituate before purchasing in 1971 the Gregg Mill Farm - est. 1740, in New Boston, NH.

Marden’s family includes his wife of 58 years, Dorothy; two sons, Kurt Maclary Marden (wife Jacqueline), their two daughters Leanna and Kylie of Boxborough, and Brett Alexander Marden of Washington, D.C.; a daughter, Karen Marden Roach (husband James), their daughter Marlena of New Boston; and a brother, Lee Bradford Marden ’61 of Concord, NH, and Chatham. He was predeceased by his brother Bruce Marden ’58

19 55

Gordon R. Sullivan ’55 Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, the 32nd Army chief of staff and former president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA), died Jan. 2, 2024. He was 86.

Sullivan was born Sept. 25, 1937, in Boston and grew up in Quincy. A proud New Englander, he attended Thayer where he played football and basketball and was involved in school publications. Sullivan later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Norwich University and was commissioned a second lieutenant of armor in 1959.

In 1991, Sullivan received Thayer’s Alumni Achievement Award at the celebration of the 35th anniversary of his graduation. In 2005, he was Thayer’s Commencement keynote speaker, where he spoke about the vision of the school’s founder, General Sylvanus Thayer; the school’s mission; and the special elements of a Thayer education that often go beyond the confines of classroom walls.

If you asked him what he did, he would answer, “I am an American soldier.”

“Gen. Gordon Sullivan was a true American hero and an Army legend. He was an inspirational leader of integrity and compassion who served his beloved Army and country selflessly for decades,” said retired Gen. Bob Brown, AUSA president and CEO.

Sullivan served two combat tours in Vietnam, four overseas assignments in Europe, and one overseas assignment in Korea. He commanded the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, was deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and was assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School. He later was deputy Army chief of staff for operations and plans and Army vice chief of staff before becoming the Army chief of staff.

Sullivan also served in a variety of other command and staff positions, including eight years in joint and allied assignments. He held a master’s degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire, and his professional military education included the U.S. Army Armor School Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.

During his tenure as the Army’s top general, Sullivan oversaw the downsizing of the Army. He did it while attempting to maintain morale and a sense of purpose while also seeing the Army deploy on unexpected contingencies to Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and the Balkans as well as in response to Hurricane Andrew, then the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history.

He is credited with keeping the Army trained and ready and opening the door to information-age technologies. He also always kept his focus on taking care of soldiers. In his 1996 book, Hope is Not a Method, which he co-authored with Michael Harper, Sullivan chronicled the enormous challenges he faced in transforming the post-Cold War Army.

Sullivan retired from the Army in July 1995 after more than 36 years of service. His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (Army); Distinguished Service Medals from Navy/Marine, Air Force, and Coast Guard; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Army Achievement Medal; Combat

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In Memoriam REMEMBERING ALUMNI FROM THE 1940 s - 50 s

Infantryman Badge; and awards from France, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and other nations.

After retiring from the Army, Sullivan led the AUSA for 18 years. He also served on the board of the Army Historical Foundation. As chairman, he led the capital campaign to build the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, VA, which opened in 2020. Sullivan served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Norwich University, his alma mater, and was chairman of the board at the Marshall Legacy Institute. He was a member of the MITRE Army Advisory Board and the MIT Lincoln Labs Advisory Board; he was also a life trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

In 2003 West Point presented the general with the Sylvanus Thayer Award, given annually to an outstanding citizen of the United States whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify personal devotion to the ideals expressed in the West Point motto “Duty, Honor, Country.”

In 2021, Sullivan and other military leaders were honored by their shared hometown of Quincy. The city’s new bridge and park, called Generals Bridge and Park, features a 7-foot bronze statue of Sullivan.

Sullivan is survived by his wife, Lori Sullivan, and his children, retired Navy MNC John Sullivan and his wife, Eneliza, of Palihan, the Philippines; Mark Sullivan and his wife, Heather, of Leawood, Kansas; and Elizabeth Sullivan of Lenexa, Kansas; and three grandchildren: Christopher, Jack, and Samantha. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Miriam “Gay” Loftus Sullivan ’55, of Quincy; and his sister, Penny Sullivan Cohen, of Scituate.

A Mass was celebrated Jan. 12 at St. Anthony’s in Falmouth. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

19 59

Joan Bourdelais Francis ’59

Joan C. Francis, 81, died on June 3, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife of David Francis.

Born Nov. 27, 1941, in Worcester to Clifton and Josephine Bordelais, Francis graduated from Thayer and then the University of Miami in 1963. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Massachusetts before relocating to Florida, where she met her future husband. In Florida, she dedicated her teaching efforts to Cuban refugee children and later taught during the first year of school integration in Selma, AL. Her teaching journey led her westward to California, where she taught in two different locations. She then moved to Boston, supporting her husband's education at Harvard Business School. Francis finally settled in upstate New York, retired from teaching, and raised her two daughters.

Joan cared deeply for her daughters, her numerous elementary school students, and the animals that filled her homes throughout the years. In the initial part of her life, white toy poodles were a constant presence, often in multiples. However, her later years saw a transition to caring for special-needs cats. Francis forged lifelong friendships with individuals dedicated to caring for these special animals.

Francis is survived by her devoted husband of 58 years, David; daughters, Victoria Triffin and Amy Tebaldi; four granddaughters, Adella, Josie, Holly, and Aurora; brother David Bourdelais '73; and two beloved cats, Pinky and Rusty. In addition to her devotion to animals, Joan will always be remembered for her trademark large red heart-shaped glasses, her outrageous Betsy Johnson accessory collection, and numerous animal-themed handbags.

19 63

Joseph Levin ’63

Joseph Albert Levin, 77, died on June 26, 2023, from cancer.

Born on Aug. 31, 1945, in Boston to Philip and Anita (Kaplan) Levin, Levin graduated from Thayer, where he played soccer and baseball. He went on to earn a bachelor's and master's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College. He was an economist at the Federal Communications Commission for many years and lived in Bethesda, MD, before moving to Severna Park in the Round Bay community. He married Ellen Shapira on Sep. 4, 1966.

Levin is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, and daughters Sara Eisenberg (Eric) of Annandale, VA, and Rachel Levin (Jill Miller) of Amherst, and brothers, Arthur Levin ’59 and Malcolm Levin ’53 In retirement Levin's interests included boating on the Severn River, birding, gardening, and puzzles. He was a member of Congregation Kol Shalom in Annapolis, MD.

19 65

Jeff Burnett ’65

Jeffrey Sherwood Burnett, 76, passed away peacefully at home in Littleton on Nov. 28, 2023, after a long illness.

He was born in Rochester, NY, in Oct. 1947 to Janet Burnett (Palmer) and Sherwood ""Joe"" Burnett.

Growing up in Scituate, he attended Thayer where he was an honor roll student and a member of the Cum Laude Society. He was an all-around good citizen who made multiple contributions to the school

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community. He served on the first Prologue staff, played on the soccer team, served as manager of the hockey team, and was the manager of the Un-Un-Un Football team. He garnered the admiration of his teachers for the strength of his writing, his scholarly appreciation for literature, his aptitude for mathematics, physics, and biology, and his across-the-board enthusiasm.

Throughout his life, he connected closely with his classmates as their class agent and a member of the Alumni Board. In 2015, at his 50th Class reunion, he was recognized with the Alumni Loyalty Award for his dedication to the organization of Reunion celebrations, building support for the Annual Fund, and establishing a Class of 1965 Endowed Fund.

Jeff attended Dartmouth College where he earned a bachelor's degree. At Dartmouth, he enrolled in Navy ROTC. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1974, achieving the rank of commander. After honorably leaving the Navy, he attended Harvard Business School, where he received his MBA.

Burnett's career finally brought him to Open Geospatial Consortium, where for 20 years he was VP-CFO and served on the Board of Directors. He made many wonderful and dear friends here and globally during his many travels abroad.

Serving as scoutmaster for Littleton Troop 20, Burnett enjoyed many great adventures along with his son, Evan. These included High Adventures hiking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, sailing in the Abaco Islands, and canoeing down the Missouri River following the path of Lewis and Clark.

Susan Cutler Abelson ’68 Susan J. Cutler Abelson, 72, of Mashpee, formerly of Salem and Swampscott, died on June 5, 2023, at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. She is the beloved wife of Clifford “Kip” Abelson, with whom she shared 50 wonderful years of marriage.

Abelson was born on June 29, 1950, to the late Sydney Cutler and Lorraine (Reiser) Cutler in Quincy. She attended Thayer, where she was a field hockey player and cheerleader. After graduating from Thayer, she pursued her studies at Syracuse University, later earning her bachelor’s degree from Boston University. While attending BU, Abelson met the love of her life, Kip, at services on Yom Kippur. Following her undergraduate pursuits, Abelson went on to study at Northeastern University where she received her master’s degree. She then began what would be her lifetime career as a school counselor, but more notably as a fierce advocate for her students. She worked in both the Salem and Swampscott elementary and middle school systems for many years until her retirement just 10 years ago.

After retiring, the Abelsons moved down to their Cape Cod home full-time. Abelson was a congregant of Temple Sinai in Marblehead for many years as well as the Falmouth Jewish Congregation. She and Kip loved to travel and have been to every continent apart from Antarctica, a trip they had been planning. Her favorite trip was the African safari in Tanzania.

She is survived by her beloved husband, her daughters Rachael Harris, and her husband Brian, of Takoma Park, MD, and Naomi O’Brien, and her husband TJ, of Sudbury; her brothers Howard Cutler ’66, and his wife Wendy, of Canton, and Michael Cutler ’78, and his wife Debbi, of Newton; as well as her cherished grandchildren Ike Harris, Max Harris, Sydney O’Brien, and Holden O’Brien.

Michael Hayes ’68

Michael C. Hayes, 72, died on Aug. 21, 2023, two days shy of his seventy-third birthday.

Born to Miriam F. (Comfrey)

Hayes and Robert F. Hayes of Scituate, he was the youngest of eight children. Infected with the polio virus during the last surge of the epidemic in the United States in the summer of 1955, Hayes began a lifelong battle with the disease, which he fought with a quiet dignity. He walked with crutches and braces for 67 years, inspiring all that were lucky enough to have known him. Hayes graduated from Thayer in 1968 and took great pride in being the statistician of its 1964 undefeated, untied, and unscored-upon championship football team. He graduated from Boston College in 1972 and Suffolk Law School in 1975 and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

As a third-generation attorney, Hayes practiced for a time with his cousin John Hayes and with his brother Joe Hayes, and served as an assistant district attorney for Plymouth County. After spending some of his most cherished years traveling the country and living in California with his family, Hayes returned to practice law in Scituate. Hayes practiced law up until the day he passed, touching many with his compassion, tact, and legal expertise.

Hayes is survived by children Patrick Hayes and his wife Nancy of Scituate, Lucy Nesbet of Marshfield, and Fred Hayes of Scituate, and was father to the late Heidi Hayes of Scituate. He was also the brother of Nancy Sweetser '57 of Verona, NJ, Robert Hayes '58 of Duxbury, Ellen Hayes '61 of Scituate, Joseph Hayes '64 and his wife Kathleen of Scituate, Elizabeth Hayes Schrader '66 and her husband Scott of Aiken, SC, Michael's twin sister Patricia Hayes Gordon '68 and her husband Richard Gordon '68 of Barrington, RI, and the late Susann Hoke '57 of Shillington, PA.

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He is also survived by his beloved granddaughters Chelsea, Lena, June, Iris, and Willow, by his former wife Judy Mulcahy of Scituate, and by many nieces and nephews and their children. Finally, he leaves countless loving friends and associates.


George Spaulding ’73

George B. Spaulding, 68, of Andover, VT, passed away on Feb. 20, 2023, at Springfield Hospital from diabetes complications.

Born in Weymouth on Nov. 3, 1954, to John and Ann (Baker) Spaulding, he graduated from Thayer in 1973 and then attended Norwich University. Spaulding summered in Landgrove, VT, from age 3.

By the late 1970s, he was living full time at Lost Brook Farm and was an active farmer, mowing, haying, raising sheep and chickens, maple sugaring, and selling wood. The farm was sold in 1999, and he moved to Andover, VT.

Spaulding is survived by his older brother Jack '69 of Longmont, CO, his sister Martha Spaulding Martin '67 of New London, NH, and his nieces and nephews. Spaulding was predeceased by his father, John Spaulding '43, uncles, Archibald Spaulding '37, Charles Spaulding '37, and William White '46; along with aunts, Amy White '47 and Marian Field '50

Stephen Merrill ’74

Stephen Locke Merrill, 60, of Trenton, NJ, passed away on Aug. 18, 2016, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, NJ.

Born in Hingham, Merrill was a graduate of Thayer and went on to the University of New Hampshire. He moved to New Egypt, NJ, where he resided for many years before moving to Trenton. Merrill was a supporter of the arts in Trenton and was a member of a local photography group. Merrill loved the outdoors, enjoying activities such as windsurfing, running, and kayaking.

Son of the late Robert Merrill '43 and brother of the late Bobby Merrill '67, Merrill is survived by his three daughters, Stephenie Moschera, Hannah Merrill, and Olivia Merrill; his granddaughter, Harlow Moschera; his mother, Nancy Merrill; his brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Sophie Merrill; and the mother of his daughters, Sara Merrill. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.


Beverly Miller Coppin ’75

Beverly Miller Coppin, 52, of Canton, passed away on Oct. 16, 2010, after a brief illness.

Born in Boston, Coppin attended schools in Boston and later pursued her education at Thayer. She achieved bachelor's degrees from both Simmons College and Boston University and earned her master’s degree in management from Lesley College. She was an administrator and facilitator for the Davita Burlington Regional Dialysis Center for several years.

An avid reader, Coppin strongly believed in the value of education, something she learned from her late mother, Joyce Miller.

The beloved wife of Chester D; devoted mother of Taylor and Melissa Coppin, both of Canton; stepmother of Chester R. of Hyde Park, Donna of Dorchester, and Troy Coppin of Fall River; sister of Lorraine Miller of Tennessee.

Pierce Fitzgerald Norton ’05

Pierce Fitzgerald Norton of South Boston passed away suddenly on Jan. 11, 2024. He served with the Boston Police Department since 2013, received commendations for his dedicated service, and was a member of the Citywide Bicycle Unit since 2018. While at Thayer, Pierce was a member of Project DEEP and an accomplished member of the boys hockey team. His legacy extends to his college days at Providence College, where he played on the men’s hockey team and was drafted by the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004.

Survived by his parents, Lawrence and Maureen Norton of South Boston, and his wife, Britanni Smith. Norton was also a proud father to Pierce Salvatore Norton. Cherished brother of Lauren Wilson and her husband Michael of Braintree, Brian T. Norton of Boston, and Catherine Beaty and her husband Benjamin of Wellesley. Loving uncle of Charlotte and Jack Beaty. Pierce is survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends whom he loved dearly. Mr. and Mrs. (Nina) Richard Hayes of South Boston, Gerard. V. Fitzgerald of Falmouth, Mr. and Mrs. (Jano) Kenneth O'Brien of Milton, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph (Jody) Fitzgerald of South Boston, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Fitzgerald of South Boston, and Mr. and Mrs. (Mary) Romualdas Zukauskas of Weymouth.

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In Memoriam REMEMBERING ALUMNI FROM THE 1960 s - 20 05
20 05  Editor’s Note: Thayer was only recently made aware of Beverly’s passing thanks to the kindness of one of her classmates. While we apologize for publishing this notice so late, we feel it is important to remember Beverly and celebrate her legacy.

The Final Word

Thayer Academy’s tower is itself iconic, but it also contains another classic: a massive E. Howard & Co. tower clock built at a time when the Boston company was considered one of the finest in the world.

And, thanks to the skill and hard work of two trusted contractors — Ross Hochstrasser and Ed Warchal — the tower clock and its bell are once again telling time for Thayer and its Braintree neighbors.

The decision was made a few years ago to shut down the clock, which had rusty mechanical settings caused by weather, until more comprehensive renovations could take place. That work occurred this summer, roughly the same time the two craftsmen began their complete overhaul of the gravity-powered clock mechanism made of cast iron and forged steel and estimated to weigh between 350 and 500 pounds.

The E. Howard & Co. clock appears to be the original, first installed when the Main Building and its tower were built in 1876. The tower, however, is Tower 2.0, having replaced the original in 1910. Similar E. Howard & Co. clocks adorn South Station and Boston’s Custom House, but Thayer’s model predates both.

With repairs complete, the school’s bell rings hourly from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.; a night silencer keeps things quiet the rest of the time.

to view
in action!
the QR code
the clock mechanism
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