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Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage
PAID Permit No. 8
P. O . B O X 8 0 0 LAKEVILLE, CT 06039-0800 (860) 435-2591 w w w. h o t c h k i s s . o r g
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THE HOTCHKISS FUND
PHOTOS: ANNE DAY P’09, ’11, ’13
Cert no. BV-COC-013529
The Hotchkiss Fund provides 12% of the School’s operating budget. The Fund supports a range of critical resources: academic programs, financial assistance and scholarships, faculty compensation and professional development, athletics and student activities, health services, and facilities maintenance. These are real priorities and tangible needs. If you have questions or would like to discuss your gift, please call Electra Webb Tortorella at 860-435-3145. If you would like to make a gift online, please go to https://www.hotchkiss.org/alumni/makea gift.asp. We thank you.
SUPPORTING CURRENT NEEDS
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THE HEAD o f s ch o o l
“ C E L E B R AT I N G
When I speak with my own, true voice, confident in a sense
of my individual identity, I am able to create space for others to try to do the same. When we are rooted in our own community,
we can reach out to others whenever the need arises.
PHOTOS: JONATHAN DOSTER
If we know where we come from and are secure in that knowledge, we can go anywhere and welcome anyone, everywhere. But many never find their voices, and so they spend their lives always clearing their throats. Communities are fractured and do not provide fertile soil for their members to plant themselves deeply. And home can be a distant memory, if not a figment, for those many who wander in search of security. This was my internal dialogue that I pondered as we celebrated Martin Luther King
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Day on Monday, January 18. MLK Day at Hotchkiss is a fine celebration. This year, in addition to remembering and honoring Martin Luther King Jr., the organizing committee, comprised mainly of students, took ‘celebrating our community’ as the major theme for the occasion. How did we do this? We began on the Sunday night with advisees having supper in the homes of their advisors. Judith and I entertained, and were entertained by, a lively group whose advisor was away and who skipped across the snow
and ice to get to us. We all drove back to Main afterwards to a riveting production of “Enemy of the People” by the Aquila Theater, watched attentively by the entire school. Themes of community, finding your voice, standing up against deception, and ostracism were all relevant to the Monday’s events. When did MLK Day really start for us? I said that we began on the Sunday evening. Perhaps we began on the Friday night, when Mamadou Diabate, a thrilling kora player from Mali, played solo to a rapt audience. A few days later, at the Grammy Awards, he won the Best Traditional World Music Album. Our visiting artist concert series is generously endowed, and this enables us to offer thrilling performers to the School and surrounding community without charge. On this occasion, our students decided to appeal to the audience to make a voluntary contribution to the Hotchkiss effort to help the relief work in Haiti. We took in just short of $1500. That was our community in action. Or maybe we began during the preceding week, when Lou Pressman gave two stirring chapel addresses on the Civil Rights movement. In describing the brave and extraordinary sacrifices of young people, he reminded us all that where you go to school does not matter nearly as much as what you do and how you act with the education that you receive.
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OPPOSITE PAGE: The all-School audience on MLK Day FAR LEFT: Lloyd Zuckerberg ’80 with the catalog of MLK papers LEFT: Presenting the catalog to Malcolm McKenzie for the School BELOW: Having the chance to sing with Hotchkiss a cappella groups
So to Monday, and a whole-school gathering in the morning addressed initially by Lloyd Zuckerberg ’80. Lloyd spoke to us about his passions and interests, about how difficult it was to become part of the Hotchkiss community when he first arrived here, and about the magnitude of Dr. King’s impact on our world. He reminded us that “the most racist word in the English language is ‘they.’” He spoke beautifully of the power of difference and the rewards of struggling to understand and connect with those who are different from us: “in order to expand and grow you must find people that you disagree with.” Following on from this, we listened to students and adults talking about deeply personal experiences of finding and sometimes losing their sense of community. One member of the faculty shared a complex and demanding family situation. He told us how he had informed a class about this and of the responses from some of the students who opened up to him with their own stories of hardship: “my candor inspired their candor.” The rest of the day was devoted to workshops offering a wide array of activities and to a period of “reverie, rest, relaxation” before athletic practices. In a Hotchkiss variant of the website PostSecret, many individual yet anonymous comments about our school and community were posted in the Main Building. Some were negative, others positive; some truly personal and moving, others apparently exaggerated, perhaps even
invented. One student said of this: “There were things that I could relate to. It laid out Hotchkiss for everyone to see, bringing us together rather than apart and showing us what Hotchkiss is and what our peers think.” The workshops were indoor and outside, and many participants tried new activities for the first time. Here’s just such an account: “ I had the opportunity to sing with the Gospel Choir in the afternoon. About forty people were crammed in the front of the chapel, ranging from preps to senior faculty members. Despite the small pitch deficiencies for many of the amateurs, including myself, we belted out ‘We are the World,’ led by Michael Brown, the Director of the Gospel Choir, for the sole purpose of enjoying our-
selves. Surrounded by my friends and teachers, the Hotchkiss community had never seemed so tightly knit.” We are a powerful community, and we become ever stronger by sharing our travails, by opening ourselves to and learning from each other, and by coming together from time to time to sing in unison, knowing that there might always be those ‘small pitch deficiencies’ but belting it out nevertheless.
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BACK TO THE WOODS:
A New Generation Discovers the Wild Heart of Hotchkiss
BY DIVYA SYMMERS PHOTOS
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of 1952, when Chuck Jarecki and his father arrived in Lakeville from their home in rural Pennsylvania, Headmaster George Van Santvoord told them stories about the Woods Squad he had founded 20 years earlier, which was then reaching a peak of popularity. Its primary activities – building cabins, clearing trails, and cutting firewood – were part of a robust outdoor tradition going back almost to the dawn of Hotchkiss time, when second Headmaster Huber Buehler kept a log cabin in the woods for entertaining friends and faculty. “I couldn’t wait to get to Hotchkiss so I could go out and chop down trees,” Jarecki remembers. “Woods Squad was my passion.” Of everything that makes Hotchkiss one of the world’s outstanding independent secondary schools, the Beeslick Brook Woods are the most quintessentially New England. Also known as the Hotchkiss Woods, this 200-acre span of hemlock, white pine, oak, ash, cedar, and sugar maple that lies south of Route 112 is the School’s wild heart, where deer forage, ferns grow from rock clefts, and yellow trout lilies bloom at brook side. Like so much of northwestern Connecticut, it’s also where layers of history peel away to reveal stone pasture walls built by 18th-century farmers, old railway ties from the Central New England Railroad, and even – unique to Hotchkiss – a group of structures created by hardy Grateful Dead fans of the 1970s: Mars Hotel, Terrapin, and Shelter from the Storm. It makes sense, then, that for generations of Hotchkiss students the Woods have provided shelter of one kind or another: Mysterious, inspiring, educational, and restorative, they serve as a respite from the pressures of academic life and a living laboratory whose unique value is increasingly recognized. “There are traces of the environment the way it was 25, 40, 80 years ago, and clues that help you read the history of the landscape and discover how the forest there now came to be,” points out Instructor in Biology Chris Oostenink, who teaches Introduction to Chemistry and Biology, popularly known as bio-chem, a core class for Preps and Lower Mids. “If they’re city kids, a walk in the woods is just a walk in the woods; they have no idea why a particular tree species exists in a particular place. No real sense of how the historical human impact on the landscape continues to shape it. But if you can get them to a point where they can start seeing, just opening their eyes to a different way of seeing the world, that’s a pretty incredible thing.” Part of a greater campus ecosystem comprised of newly acquired Fairfield Farms, the still-incipient Arboretum, and shimmering Lake Wonoscopomuc, the Beeslick Brook Woods have long been a resource for teaching students to see what they might otherwise miss. The practice likely began with George Van Santvoord ’08, the School’s fourth headmaster, “an
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amateur naturalist and a great lover of the out of doors for its own sake,” according to Into the Woods: 1893-1950, written by Archives Assistant Joan Baldwin for an in-depth, eponymous School exhibit in the spring of 2008. Van Santvoord organized the Woods Committee – a dozen or so students and a handful of hardy faculty members – to appeal to boys “with interest in outdoor exercise” and “experience in woodcraft” but little interest in regular team athletics, according to The Record of November 1932. Rules were established for the construction, maintenance, and ownership of cabins, deeds to which could be transferred to lowerclassmen when seniors graduated. Over the next two decades, a thousand pine trees were planted, a pair of ski jumps constructed, apple trees were pruned, and geese and swans kept. A few students even tried their hand at beekeeping. In the mid 1950s, English teacher Blair Torrey ’50 began offering an elective for seniors dedicated, as a Hotchkiss Magazine story on his retirement noted, “primarily to the business of seeing and the close observation of nature.” Today’s nature elective carries on in the same spirit, thanks to Geoff Marchant, the L. Blair Torrey ’50 Chair, who reports that after the
OPPOSITE: Students joined a supervised walk in the Hotchkiss Woods on MLK Day in January. BELOW: Richard Brinckerhoff ’37 drew this beautiful map of the Woods when he was a student. Brinckerhoff went on to chair the science department at Exeter and publish two textbooks.
BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOS AND THIS MAP OF THE WOODS WERE PROVIDED BY THE HOTCHKISS SCHOOL ARCHIVES.
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March break his kids are almost never indoors. Using a verb favored by Henry David Thoreau in his essay Walking – one of Torrey’s perennial favorites – Marchant writes: “We saunter at least once a week. Each student has binoculars, hand lens, and bird and wildflower guides. We track the entrance of spring, starting with skunk cabbage and hepatica, and follow it right through columbine and marsh marigolds. On a good day, we will hear or see pileated, red-bellied, and downy woodpeckers, ovenbirds, Carolina wrens, ospreys, and great blue herons. The idea really is to get the seniors to look up, look around, and listen.” In addition to Thoreau, assigned reading material now includes contemporary essayists such as Michael Pollan, Annie Dillard, and Wendell Berry. But the tradition of granting an A for the course to any student who identifies a particularly rare plant or flower continues, though so far no one yet has spotted either a scarlet-crested cladonia (Torrey’s choice) or a pink ladyslipper (Marchant’s). Still, each spring Marchant brings his students to the edge of the Woods to tap sugar maples, just as Blair Torrey did until 1984 when he abruptly, and some feel mysteriously, stopped. “He’ll say it’s because he and his wife, Ellen, started going up to Maine during the spring break so he didn’t have time any more,” Marchant confides. “But the real reason is that his favorite Irish tweed hat fell into the boiling syrup when we were dumping it out.” Rare or endangered species observed in the Hotchkiss Woods encompass bog turtles, walking ferns, and tiny freshwater mollusks as well as unusually dedicated English teachers. Art and philosophy classes do their own sauntering in good weather, while physics and bio-chem students conduct field studies that include an annual measurement of the carbon stored in the trees and how it offsets overall Hotchkiss energy consumption. From spring through fall a multitude of delicate wildflowers are identified and photographed, especially along the Long Pond Trail, where Geoff Marchant and his students – assisted by School carpenters John Worrall, Hugh Curtis, and Chuck Luminati – have built walkways and small bridges. Last spring they replaced an observation platform (ideal for spotting the occasional eagle) built by Blair Torrey and his seniors more than 20 years ago. Another time they constructed a raised extension over a marshy place on the Beaver Pond Trail originally blazed by Jim Morrill and a pair of independent-study students in 1992. “We’re on the verge of doing a much better promotion of this trail, which nicely illustrates the ecosystem of the Woods,” says Morrill, who began teaching at Hotchkiss in 1972 and started the first Field Ecology course here a decade later. “We’ve developed information sheets for six pedestals we’ll be putting in as soon as the frost comes out of the ground.” Ensuring that major trails in the Woods – which run from behind the golf course to Long Pond – are easy to follow was also a goal of this year’s Outdoor Leadership
group coached by Gap Year Coordinator Elsie Stapf. “We wanted to simplify the trail network and let some of the land recover,” she noted at the end of the group’s fall semester. “Basically, we want to mark them well so that people stay on the trail, and so that the forest can recover in places that may have been overrun.” The six students who chose this particular co-curricular activity in lieu of sports met four to five times a week, rain or shine. “Some days it was drizzling and cold. Some days, when they had tons of homework,
they didn’t necessarily feel like going out in the Woods to learn how to light camp stoves,” said Stapf, who spent several years prior to Hotchkiss leading experiential education programs for the YMCA and other organizations. “But everything they learned, from trail blazing to tent pitching to map reading and route planning, was based on the group’s specific goals, including knowing when and why to cancel a trip because of weather conditions.” At least one member of Outdoor Leadership was an Eagle Scout, but two were city girls whose only previous exposure to the great outdoors may have been a few weeks of summer camp. “I’ve always been a city person, so going into the woods was a completely new experience for me,” admitted Lamia Faruk ’12. “I learned a lot about outdoor survival.” Fellow New Yorker Monique Grocia ’13, who calls the Woods “a quiet, relaxing, beautiful place,” was even inspired to lead her mother and her grandmother on a hike to Beeslick Falls during a fall visit. “It’s not a straight shot: you have to take multiple trails to get there,” Elsie Stapf points out. “But she did it comfortably, and she had fun, and her mom was proud of her.” Not far from Beeslick Falls, on the shore of Long Pond – also known as Lake Wononpakook – sits Ranger’s Cabin, the oldest of three vintage Hotchkiss cabins still standing and by far the best preserved. Used for cookouts and occasional overnights by the School’s Outing Club, it was built close to the original cabin
ABOVE: In this Archives photo, Blair Torrey’50, right, joins Geoff Marchant in the sugaring work. OPPOSITE: Students consult their maps of the Woods, aided by Instructor in Physics Stacey Nicholson.
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TOP: Archival photo of “Winter Cabin,” a photo from the 1938 Mischianza ABOVE: As a senior, Charles Whittemore ’77 designed and built the cabin now known as the Mars Hotel. When he died in 1989, friends, family, and fellow alumni contributed to a fund in his honor. The fund is used for maintaining cabins, trails, and bridges in Beeslick Brook Woods. OPPOSITE: Students visit Ranger’s Cabin, the oldest of three vintage Hotchkiss cabins still standing.
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belonging to Headmaster Buehler and donated in 1948 by the widow of former history teacher Alfred Hall. (In accepting the gift from Mrs. Hall, George Van Santvoord proclaimed that it was an ideal spot for entertaining “fellow members of the faculty…under delightful conditions.”) By the early 1950s, when membership in the Woods Squad reached a record high of 35 boys, the trails were in constant use, from spring brush-clearing to winter cross-country skiing, recalls Chuck Jarecki, a former Montana cattle rancher and active pilot. “Woods Squad was where you could do projects that lasted and there was no drive to win or beat anyone. The skills we learned have lasted a lifetime,” he said. Voted the most uncivilized member of the Class of 1956 because he spent so much time spent outdoors, he notes proudly that he and two classmates – John Cowan and Dave Northrop – were given a special Woods Squad award at graduation that year. “They built a bridge across the Beeslick Brook at the bottom of the ski jump there, using old quarried stones that had been dumped near the ’49 Fields,” explains retired Instructor in Mathematics and Science Bob Royce, who took over as Woods Squad advisor from Van Santvoord. “Just the three of them by themselves. Hard-working kids. Great kids.” Royce remembers students’ cutting tangled tree roots and maintaining the old hockey ponds (“it was a constant battle, patching the dams and shoveling snow and ice”) although their primary job was cutting firewood. “You get tired. It gets cold in winter. The wood gets hard. And axes bounce,” he says. “I chopped my leg once. The Duke did, too. But he held Chapel the next day anyway. He was a good man.” Time passed, the old ski jumps were dismantled,
A G A Z I N E
and Woods Squad gradually lost its cachet, although it was occasionally revived in less ambitious incarnations. For a few years beginning in the late 1990s it was reborn as the Green Corps, organized by Jim Morrill and Lynn Mattoon, wife of former headmaster Skip Mattoon. “We were basically doing trail maintenance, and we helped build some of the bridges that are out there now, though Geoff Marchant has repaired them,” says Morrill, for whom the Woods are an invaluable living museum and a required destination for at least two fall field trips by his AP Environmental Science seniors. “For a lot of them it’s the first time they’ve been in there. And their reactions range from ‘I didn’t know these things existed in our own woods,’ to ‘I never understood how rewarding natural history could be.’” Today’s Outdoor Leadership participants have inherited the spirit of yesterday’s Woods Squad even if they don’t spend their time repairing cabins or cutting girdling tree roots. The trails they’ve blazed – this spring with help from Students for Environmental Action (S.E.A.), the on-campus group that sponsors Eco Day cleanups of invasive species and other projects – will ultimately end in the installation of new signs and displays at trailheads and a new map for students to carry with them. All of this is destined to encourage greater exploration while still protecting what a 2005 report by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies terms “an extraordinary educational and ecological resource that has made a significant, positive impact upon generations of Hotchkiss students and faculty.” The report, which recommended clearing trails but leaving the rest of the Woods as natural as possible, might be considered a kind of delayed response to a 1933 article in the Hotchkiss Alumni News, in which concern was expressed that the rules of the Woods Committee would result in over-organization “and the old wildness and freedom of the woods would vanish.” In fact, easier access simply means more students will experience the delights of sauntering, be better informed about the interdependency of forest, lake, stream, and farm, and become more attuned to the collective memory of this particular place. Peel back a few layers and the Buehlers are offering sherry to friends on winter weekends; a few more, and farmers are grazing cows on open pastureland on sunny spring mornings. Go back far enough and you may catch a glimpse of the Wawyachtonoc tribe that local histories say held regular gatherings by Lake Wononpakook. “If students can visualize what this forest looked like a hundred years ago, then they can apply those same rules to imagine what it’s going to look like a hundred years from now, or even just when they come back for their 50th reunion,” said Chris Oostenink, calling the Hotchkiss Woods an essential extension of the classroom experience. “It’s a wonderful and complex ecosystem, a critical resource and laboratory, and it’s right here.”
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Winter Life on Campus:
Rich and Sustaining
WITH A CAMPUS DESIGN THAT REINFORCES THE TIGHT COMMUNITY THAT IS
WINTER'S CHILL HAS LITTLE EFFECT.
THE DORMITORIES, THE
A. WHITNEY GRISWOLD SCIENCE CENTER, OR ON THE CAMPUS'S SNOWY SLOPES, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS FIND COMFORTABLE SPACES FOR CONVERSATION OR STUDY, FOR LECTURES AND READINGS, AND FOR FUN.
DAY HOLDS ITS SHARE OF WARM
ENCOUNTERS, EVEN WHEN THE THERMOMETER SAYS OTHERWISE.
P H O T O E S S AY B Y A N N E D AY P ’ 0 9 , ’ 1 1 , ’ 1 3
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BELOW: Just after 7 a.m. on a January morning, the sunâ€™s glow finds Coy Dorm.
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B BELOW: It’s not the food at this “dorm feed” in Buehler – chips and dip. Clearly, it’s the company that’s the star attraction.
ABOVE: At the International Dinner for the Prep class, speaker Ian Pounds talks with students at his table.
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BELOW: The Bulls by Peter Woytuk catch the eye of passersby in every season.
O OPPOSITE: Grammy Awardwinning kora player Mamadou Diabate performed in what became the Schoolâ€™s first fundraiser for Haiti relief.
RIGHT: A little downtime and conversation in the Main Building hallway
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RIGHT: In a comfy spot in the Edsel Ford Memorial Library, this student warms to his work.
BELOW AND OPPOSITE CENTER: Speaker Orville Schell Pâ€™11 stands before one of the illustrations for his talk on disappearing glaciers.
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LEFT: Novelist and memoirist Susan Cheever drew a large and attentive audience for her talk in the Faculty Room.
A ABOVE: Dormmates in Buehler take a break from studying on the weekend.
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100 YEARS OF
HOTCHKISS HOCKEY By Molly McDowell, with Robert Johnson ’38, writer of early Hotchkiss hockey history
evening in late autumn, and voices ricochet around Schmidt Rink, just as an errant puck bounces off the boards that surround the ice. Twelve girls skate circles around each other, ponytails poking out from beneath their helmets. The game is frenetic, pingponging from one end of the rink to the other. After a scramble in front of the Hotchkiss net, an opposing player tips in a goal; the red light goes on. It’s a setback, but as the clock runs out, the Bearcats skate off the ice and into the locker room unbowed. The game is the latest page to be written in the rich history of Hotchkiss hockey. It’s one that was first authored on the hockey pond several generations before, by boys who braved the New England winter chill to play a sport that existed for them as little more than a passion. In the first half of the last century, hockey at Hotchkiss involved the toil of ice maintenance by the players, far-flung contests sometimes derailed by poor playing conditions, and no payoff beyond the joy of the game – very few young men went on to play in college. Today, Hotchkiss figures prominently in the New England prep school tradition of top-notch hockey. Both male and female players frequently go on to play at top colleges, and recent years have produced NHL players (like Matt Herr ’94
Action on the ice, circa 1960, when grooming the ice was part of the game
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Bystanders brave the cold to cheer on the 1938 team.
and Torrey Mitchell ’04) and Olympic medal winners (Caitlin Cahow ’03 and Gina Kingsbury ’00 join August F. Kammer ’30 and Fred Pearson ’40 as Olympians). THE EARLY YEARS Like every great success story, Hotchkiss hockey has grown out of hard work and humble beginnings, and a time when, writes former goaltender Robert Johnson ’38, “we seemed to spend more time maintaining the ice than playing on it.” In fact, ice maintenance figures in Johnson’s hockey memories as much as gametime heroics. In a narrative called “Skating on Thin Ice” that serves well to illustrate the nascent Hotchkiss hockey program, he recalls, We relied solely on nature’s whims, and even then it could mean an awful lot of work to get a practical skating surface. It seems that winters on the whole were harsher in those days, with ponds and lakes freezing over sometimes even in early December. However, a great deal of physical labor was needed to maintain the skating surface. Shovels, scrapers, and brooms seemed to be in constant use, mostly handled by team members, leaving limited time to improve skating, puck handling, and shooting capabilities. After each period, we would all grab
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tools to make ice serviceable for the next period. There were no Zambonis in those days; this was true even at indoor artificial rinks, such as Madison Square Garden. There between periods, four men on skates would come on the ice with shovels to take off the accumulated snow and shavings, followed by two guys pushing a barrel on wheels full of warm water, which froze quite quickly. This was not done on natural ice because most times it would not freeze fast enough. I don’t think Zambonis were a practical phenomena until the mid-’50s. After a heavy snowfall, removal of same was always a problem; the hope was that the ice was thick enough to support a tractor with plow or similar machine, or even in some areas a team of horses pulling a dumper. Indicative of the conditions we were often faced with, in our 1938 yearbook (Mischianza) there is a picture in the hockey section of our team manager, Meyers, wielding a shovel in the snow – if leaning on the handle of the shovel can be considered “wielding.” Anyway, all I know is we seemed to spend more time maintaining the ice than playing on it. But we still had a lot of fun. These days, Hotchkiss employs a talented rink staff to groom the ice, while teams receive pep talks in the locker room. Between periods, a
Zamboni motors around the playing surface, transforming chewed-up ice into a sheet as smooth as glass. Leaning on a shovel is not as much of a concern for team managers as are making sure water bottles are filled and sticks are properly aligned behind the bench. Although the maintenance of Hotchkiss’s Tom Schmidt and Andrew K. & Martin Dwyer III Rinks now takes place independent of the blustery chill that envelops this corner of Connecticut, the rink staff is still an integral part of keeping the teams at their best. Former head coach Jeff Kosak related how Frank Marino, a familiar, affable figure to anyone who has set foot in Mars Athletic Center, was an invaluable resource to him in keeping team dynamics positive. “Each day when I ran into Frank in the gym, I would ask him, ‘Frankie, what do I need to know?’ He would quickly explain little dissatisfactions, unhealthy rivalries, and issues of the day. Sometimes it was simply, ‘All ok!’ Often I could make changes without the players’ ever knowing how I had anticipated problems." Much of the early history of hockey at Hotchkiss can be gleaned from the Mischianza, which traces the history of the sport at the School from its beginnings on the hockey pond, Baker Field, and other outdoor venues, to Bierwirth (the School’s first artificial surface) and to the School’s current rinks. 1901 marked the first mention of a hockey team in the Misch; however, the team’s evolution was stalled due to an outbreak of scarlet fever in 1904, when the School closed in the winter months. In the first half century of play, when hockey was elevated from a minor sport to a major sport alongside football, track, and baseball, Hotchkiss teams battled Taft, Kent, Lenox, South Kent, the Princeton freshmen, Loomis, Berkshire, Pawling, Choate, and others. Writes Johnson about this evolution: One might wonder when and how
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hockey became a formal sport at the School. A search of School archives reveals in a Mischianza that the first mention of a hockey team was in 1901. That is interesting, because while hockey is supposed to have started in Montreal around 1875, the International Ice Hockey Federation was not founded until 1908. References to hockey are shown in the Misch through 1903, but nothing again about the sport until 1911; however, not in 1912. The following year, 1913, the Misch shows a team, with a list of scores for games against other schools. 1913 seems to be the year that a consistent program was launched. It was considered a minor sport until 1931 when it assumed the same status as football, baseball, and track. As a matter of interest, an 1899 Hotchkiss Record carries an article about Yale’s joining a newly-formed intercollegiate hockey league, no doubt influencing similar interest at Hotchkiss. In those days Hotchkiss was a preparatory school almost exclusively for Yale. Not immune to world affairs, the hockey team suspended interscholastic play in the early 1940s. A world war being fought on two fronts meant that gas for travel was scarce. With the exception of contests with Kent School, games were intramural, played between dormitories. Today Hotchkiss hockey players feed not just Yale’s teams, but many top college programs. A visit to the office of girls’ varsity hockey assistant (and former head) coach Robin Chandler ’87, daughter of former Headmaster (and former Hotchkiss goalkeeper) Rusty Chandler ’53, reveals a wall peppered with photos of alumnae who have thrived at the collegiate level. Chandler played for Dartmouth, part of a crop of particularly talented female varsity athletes who skated for Hotchkiss in the 1980s and went on to collegiate success. Still, she insists that the last decade or so of Hotchkiss girls’ hockey has produced the most all-around talent. When speaking of her favorite Hotchkiss hockey memo-
ry, she speaks not of her accomplishments, but of traveling to Torino in 2006 to see alumnae Kingsbury and Cahow win their respective gold and bronze medals. “In the last 12 years, the studentathletes who have played girls’ hockey have been incredible citizens of the School,” she said. “Many have been prizewinners, and a lot of them have gone on to have stellar college and post-college careers. The girls who play hockey are not only phenomenal hockey players, but are those elusive three-sport athletes who strengthen the teams outside the hockey team.” The boys’ teams have also fed players to many storied programs. But head coach Damon White battles the junior hockey developmental leagues to place talent at Division Ischools. He states, “Colleges are more willing to take the bigger, more mature 20-yearold who’s played in Junior leagues than the 18-year-old Hotchkiss graduate who is academically prepared and emotionally ready for these institutions and the challenges of Division I hockey. We have kids who go play in Division III because they aren’t willing to play juniors for a year.” As the Hotchkiss hockey program has developed, a constant has been the athletes’ commitment to academics. Says Jeff Kosak, head coach from 1984-1998, “In our time together, Blair [Torrey ’50], Damon, and I never promised a position to a potential student-athlete. A number of them decided to go elsewhere, where they were promised a slot on the varsity team should they be accepted and enroll. We wouldn’t do that, and in a strange way, it became one of the strengths of the program. “On one occasion, a young goaltender, highly thought of and justifiably so, came for a revisit after being accepted. The boy and his father were particularly interested in how Blair saw him fitting into the varsity program. Blair settled back in his chair, lowered his glasses, and responded, ‘Son, it’s very simple here. If you’re good enough to make the varsity, you
will. If you’re not, you won’t.’” The boy enrolled, had a great career at Hotchkiss, and then matriculated to a Division I program at a top college. During the 1980s and ’90s, the mighty triumvirate of Torrey, Kosak, and White led a program that achieved great success not because they recruited the strongest, most skilled players, but because they took on what Kosak called “meat and potato players” – boys who knew hockey, knew academics, and knew where they wanted to head after Hotchkiss. The coaches encouraged the players to round out their experience at the School with courses in theater, art, and music. The three coaches also used their scholarly wisdom with teams. During one practice, Torrey was working with a goaltender he felt had a poor attitude and work ethic. Frustrated, he skated across the ice to Kosak, who taught French, and said, “Kosak, how do you say sieve in French?” “Passoire,” replied Kosak. Torrey zipped back to scold his young player. “Son, you think you’re terrific, you think you don’t have to work. Do you know what you are so far? A passoire. That’s French for sieve!” Having been chastened in two languages did the trick. The young man had a successful career at Hotchkiss before playing Division I hockey. “We tried to emphasize excellence
On a frozen Lake Wononscopomuc, from left: Coach Jeff Kosak, JV Hockey Captain Chris Crane ’08, and Coach Chris Oostenink
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1947 Team: row 1: T. Keresey, J. Kittredge, H. Woodhouse, J. Zabriskie, F. Kittredge; row 2: Pat Howe, Jr., R. Bryan, D Fenton, D. Lufkin
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more than winning,” says Torrey. “We did win our share, and a mystique grew around Hotchkiss hockey, but we kept our players in line. The emphasis was always on academics first and athletics second. We were a good part of Hotchkiss, but only one part of Hotchkiss. “Character was what it was all about. I coached a kid who would run through the boards for me. He wasn’t a great skater, didn’t have a great shot, but he had a great attitude,” Torrey recalls. Sheer grit often took solid, but not outstanding, players deep into tournament play. The 1991-92 team was not expected to do very well in the postseason, but won the New England Championship by “slamming the door” on their final round opponent. Tied with Westminster after two periods, head coach Kosak was faced with a locker room full of exhausted players. He said, “Here you are in the third period. We need to jump out, score a quick goal, and then slam the door on them.” The players snapped out of their thousand-yard stares and focused on their coach. He continued, “Do you know what a door sounds like when it’s slammed?” He grabbed one of the old metal doors on a locker and slammed it shut. “You do it,” he commanded. And so they did, creating a thunder that reverberated through the cinder blocks between their locker room and Westminster’s, M
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rattling their opponents with the din. The Bearcats took the ice. Matt Herr scored right away. Another Hotchkiss goal came. And another. White, working one door on the players’ box for line changes, slammed the door each time he opened it. Thus in 1992, the tradition of Hotchkiss slamming the door on opponents began. The boys’ varsity head coach for more than 10 seasons, Damon White’s history with the program is lifelong. His father, former Headmaster Arthur White, coached basketball from 196064 and again from 1983-85, and baseball from 1961-83. Basketball was the catalyst for the younger White’s love affair with and great success at hockey. “I was young, holding my father’s hand on the way to the gym, when I saw the outdoor rink. The ice was glimmering. That was the last basketball practice for me,” recalls White, laughing. After Hotchkiss, White attended the University of Maine, where he played and coached the first two teams of a program that has gone on to national prominence. He returned to the School in 1983 to teach English, coaching the junior varsity team for a season before becoming an assistant to new head coach Jeff Kosak alongside Torrey, who gave up head coaching to work as a goaltending specialist. Says White of Torrey, “Blair Torrey was the original architect of modern-day hockey at the School. He took on a moribund program and garnered a reputation for excellence by the 1970s. Since then, Hotchkiss has consistently been a force in prep school hockey.” Like Torrey, Kosak was a coach whose style was steeped in the mystique and mythology that weave through Hotchkiss hockey, drawing players back to the places in their minds where their playing-days memories live. “Jeff was good at getting his players to balance being a good player with school and becoming a good man,” said White. One such former player is girls’ varsity assistant coach and English teacher Jason BreMiller ’99. A former forward
for the Bearcats (and brother of former girls’ player and captain Alana BreMiller Collins ’01), BreMiller remembers his Hotchkiss playing days as much more than a series of drills; for him it was greater than an exploitation of power and skill. “Coach had a litany of phrases he’d repeat, cementing them in our heads,” says BreMiller. “Those phrases would manifest during games, and we’d look at him like he was a prophet. He knew the power the mind had to affect play. Playing for him was one of the best experiences of my hockey career – he was philosophical and cerebral, and he got us all to buy into his way of thinking about sport, to believe in ourselves. “He’d gather us and have us raise our sticks to the ceiling to ‘paint’ our contributions on the blank canvas of the white ceiling. ‘You are all artists!’ he’d say. Coach was big on metaphors, and there we were, lolling at center ice painting an imaginary image with imaginary hockey stick paintbrushes, while other teams were undoubtedly getting skated into the ice. But it worked.” BreMiller recalled how the team would stand on the boards in front of the home bench, looking down onto the ice where Kosak stood. He wanted his boys to understand what it felt like to be larger than their opponents, and then to play with the tenacity, strength, and poise that such size would imply. “When you donned the Hotchkiss uniform, you felt a part of something bigger than yourself—you felt the weight and expectation of tradition holding you accountable to something better. I was proud to play for Hotchkiss; it made me feel like I was participating in something that transcended the moment.” Ten years later, BreMiller is one part of the two-thirds (BreMiller ’99, Chandler ’87, boys’ assistant Mike Traggio ’91, White ’71) of varsity coaches who are Hotchkiss alumni. The girls’ hockey program, while decades younger than the boys’, has
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similar pluck, verve, and cohesiveness that has helped elevate their level of play. The first girls’ teams organized with the same spirit expressed in Robert Johnson’s musings: girls joined the boys’ club teams (Baker, FortyNiners, Hoyt, Monahan, and Taylor), and the female lines were matched against each other during play. The next year, 1977, 22 girls were led by faculty member and inaugural girls’ varsity head coach Sally McLaughlin to an 0-5 record as an unofficial team. The following season, Hotchkiss girls’ varsity hockey made its official debut, with Eliot Ammidon ’81 scoring the team’s first-ever goal in a 1-4 loss to Stuart Country Day School. The 1980s ushered in the era of feeding players to post-secondary programs. The ’80s also brought Christy and John Cooper to Hotchkiss, with Christy replacing standout head coach Kelly Stone for eight successful seasons before handing over the reins to Chandler in 1997. When Chandler stepped down in 2000, John Cooper became head coach. “The girls’ team has come so far since its inception, and even since Christy and I arrived here,” said Cooper. “In 1988, we had six kids who could play, and six figure skaters whom we taught to play hockey. The rest learned how to skate and stickhandle when they joined the team.” Today’s girls’ hockey landscape is dramatically different. Despite having the premier Polar Bear tournament in Connecticut, which draws 4,000 girls to the region, he finds himself on frequent scouting trips. “I started off as a student volunteer coaching alongside Christy’s dad (the late Bernie McKinnon) at St. Lawrence [University]. Hockey owns me now,” says Cooper, also a dedicated mathematics instructor, chuckling. “Our players are the most organized, motivated people I know,” he says. “They have to travel throughout their childhoods to play hockey, so they’ve learned to sacrifice. They’re well-balanced people and contribute
to every facet of Hotchkiss life, not just to the hockey team. Though I often tell the girls that ‘heroes are born on the backcheck,’ they’re loyal Bearcats, which makes them all heroes in my book.” Cooper sums up the allure of girls’ hockey: “It’s cool, because these girls are powerful and assertive; they’re not meek. The kids who play are very driven. There’s a great loyalty to our program here, and I think a lot of that is owed to Robin. She’s a strong female role model for our girls.” The passionate words expressed by the coaches about their players and the contributions those players have made to the program are reciprocated in the many ways Hotchkiss hockey has impacted the lives of former Bearcats. Writes Robert Johnson, After returning from WWII, I played hockey in a New Jersey commuters’ league, first on nearby lake ice surfaces using 4”x 4” timbers to enclose a semblance of a rink. On this kind of open rink we spent a lot of time looking for and retrieving pucks, and obviously did not have the boards to confine the game and use for checking. My brother recalls playing in a game that had to be terminated because they ran out of
pucks. It wasn’t until early 1960 when I, along with others, was instrumental in getting an outdoor artificial rink installed in our neighborhood. With our new rink I even took up figure skating so that my wife and I could do some ice dancing. It helped a lot in my overall skating ability. A certain amount of dedication and love for the game of hockey was vital in those days as it probably is today. Hockey gets into our blood, and I played every winter until I was 52 years old, when I broke my neck playing in a commuter league game… We’ve come a long way at Hotchkiss from ice on that little pond down near the golf course to two super indoor artificial ice facilities, with those gadgets invented by Zamboni. I hope current Hotchkiss skaters, and those of the past half-century or more, appreciate how lucky they are and were to skate on such fine, easily cared-for ice. The newest chapOUR THANKS GO TO ROBERT JOHNSON ’38 AND HIS CONTRIBUTORS TO
ter in the story –
“SKATING ON THIN ICE AT
HOTCHKISS”: ED CISSEL ’39, VINCE
hockey – has
CARPENTER ’38, FRED GODLEY ’38, COLLISTER JOHNSON ’35, AND FRANK
SPROLE ’38. THE FULL TEXT OF
glory to the
JOHNSON’S ESSAY CAN BE FOUND AT: WWW.HOTCHKISS.ORG.
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Alumni Help Haiti through Ties with Volunteer Organizations
…we can and must all do something…
The imperative to help Haiti links people in every corner of the world. In Lakeville, the Hotchkiss community responded with energy and imagination, finding fundraising opportunities at school events and creating new programs where more money could be generated to help the Haitian people. Beyond Lakeville, alumni turned their energies to the life-sustaining effort, sometimes working through organizations with which they have been involved for years. In a January letter to alumni, Head of School Malcolm McKenzie described the efforts of students and faculty and staff members. The Hotchkiss Help for Haiti initiative began just two days after the earthquake struck on January 12. In his letter, McKenzie mentioned three organizations working on the ground in Haiti that had links to the Hotchkiss extended family. These are Partners in Health (http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti), the CRUDEM Foundation, an acronym for the Center for the Rural Development of Milot (http://www.crudem.org/), and the International Rescue Committee (http://www.theirc.org/). In all three organizations, Hotchkiss graduates either work, volunteer, or play leadership roles. Here are the stories of those three organizations and the alumni who support them.
W H AT E V E R C A N B E D O N E M U S T B E D O N E .
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THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: WINSTON LORD ’55
Founded by Albert Einstein, The International Rescue Committee (IRC), is a leader in humanitarian relief. Its mission is three-pronged. First, it extends relief to refugees uprooted by civil unrest and persecution. This organization provides shelter, clean water, healthcare, and education to displaced people, so that they may live out their exile in dignity and begin new lives. Second, the IRC resettles refugees within the U.S., where they can have a fresh start and work toward self-reliance. Third, the IRC defends the rights of the displaced by advocating for them with the Congress, the administration, and the media. It has 23 offices in the U.S. and a presence in over 40 countries, including Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. (http://theirc.org/our-work) The Hon. Winston Lord ’55, former U.S. Ambassador to China under President Reagan and a key figure in the restoration of relations between the U.S. and China, also served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under President Clinton. His work led to extensive travels abroad, where he saw firsthand some of the complex problems in other parts of the world. This exposure served him well in his work for the IRC. A member of the IRC’s Board of Directors for an impressive 22 years, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he was Co-chairman of the Board and Co-chair of the Overseers. He is currently Chair emeritus. As a Board member, Lord has often traveled overseas and throughout the U.S. to supervise IRC programs. Although the IRC normally responds only to manmade disasters, leaving natural catastrophes to the Red Cross, it deployed its Emergency Response Team to Port-au-Prince. “We felt it was such a huge tragedy, and we already have a history with Haiti (the IRC has in the past settled Haitian refugees in the U.S.), and we have a particular experience working with displaced people,” said Mr. Lord. The Emergency Response Team includes experts in emergency health, shelter, and children’s welfare who are working with local
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OPPOSITE: Liz Bird ’03 worked for Partners in Health. RIGHT: Michael Gillis ’75 with children in Haiti
aid groups. One such endeavor is the partnering between local agencies and IRC child protection experts. According to Rebecca Chandler, one such expert on the ground in Haiti, “Tens of thousands of Haitian children are homeless, traumatized, disoriented and distressed, and those who have been separated from family members are especially vulnerable.” Children and teens can find healing, recreational and learning programs, food and other basic services in large, tented “childfriendly spaces” across Port-au-Prince. These tented spaces are staffed with case workers who also serve as community coordinators in efforts to identify, register, and assist separated children— working closely with outreach workers who are already searching the streets and settlements to identify separated children and other kids with special needs. With the use of an inter-agency database managed by the IRC, efforts are underway to trace the children’s families and hopefully reunite them in a standardized and coordinated way. (http://www.theirc.org/news/international-rescuecommittee-steps-aid-and-protection-haitian-children-6814) Lord reports that IRC President, George Rupp, with the support of the Board and Overseers wrote to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking them to support the effort to extend special protection to Haitian nationals residing in the U.S. “It is evident that the infrastructure in Haiti is not adequate to support the safe return of Haitian nationals at this time,” he wrote. Rupp pointed out that Haitians who were granted the right to work would send funds back to their needy relatives, enabling them with the resources to rebuild. The IRC received word from Secretary Napolitano that Haitian immigrants who were already in the U.S. when the earthquake struck would be offered temporary protected status for 18 months. (http://www.theirc.org/news/irc-supports-protectionhaitian-nationals-us-6732) The IRC has also committed to raising $5 million for reconstruction work in Haiti over the next year. In addition, the IRC is supporting members of the Haitian-American community who are in the process of organizing a major response. Many of them are refugees who were resettled in the U.S. by the IRC. Winston Lord’s commitment to the work of the IRC was inspired by the service of his mother, Mary Pillsbury Lord. A dedicated public servant, Mrs. Lord was ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and a delegate to the United Nations. Mrs. Lord served on the board of IRC from the 1950s
until her death. Winston Lord continued his mother’s service to honor her memory and also because the IRC is “the gold standard.” When Lord was a student at Hotchkiss in the 1950s, service was not a focus. But he adds, “To Hotchkiss’s great credit, there is more emphasis on community service and global issues. The School community’s concern with Haiti reflects both.” CRUDEM: MICHAEL GILLIS ’75
In January of 2008, Michael Gillis ’75 made an “impact trip” to Haiti. That trip, of such consequence in his life, came about after he became involved with CRUDEM, a nonprofit organization working in Haiti. He learned about CRUDEM through the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Catholic religious order. CRUDEM, an acronym for the Center for the Rural Development of Milot, was founded in 1968 by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of the Montreal Province. By 1983 the Brothers had built roads, schools, wells and several cooperative ventures. The people were desperately in need of healthcare services, and so in 1986, the Brothers constructed a hospital – Hôpital Sacré Coeur. The largest private hospital in the North of Haiti, the 73bed hospital has provided uninterrupted service for 23 years. (http://www.crudem.org/) “I had always talked about assisting such a charity; I never acted upon it,” Gillis recalls. After contacting the Foundation, he was invited to join a group who would be traveling to Haiti in January 2008. “There were 100 excuses not to go, family, work, expenses, etc., but something beyond myself was forcing me to go forward with the trip.” “Once you are there, you can’t walk away. Once you see the situation, it’s tough not to do something about it,” says Gillis. When volunteers arrive, they want to jump in and start helping. But CRUDEM encourages people to observe life in Haiti and soak in the culture. This allows volunteers to think about the complex situation in Haiti, and link those thoughts to their actions.
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PHOTO: ELLEN O’CONNELL, IRC
LEFT: Winston Lord, right, visits an IRC agricultural demonstration project in Afghanistan in 2003.
In Haiti, Gillis observed the Haitians’ friendliness and personal pride. He toured many of CRUDEM’s service centers and assisted in a few during his stay. While other hospitals in Haiti require patients to purchase their own supplies for medical procedures, Hôpital Sacré Coeur provides all the necessary equipment. A pharmacy distributes medications as basic as children’s aspirin and iron pills for pregnant women. In a journal he kept from his trip, he noted of HSC, “We would never take our families to a hospital like this at home, but they line up in their best-dressed outfits for hours in order to be treated here.” In fact, the poorest of the poor will not come to the hospital for treatment because they do not have any good clothes. As a result, HSC formed a mobile clinic to go out and serve the people in the countryside. A nutrition center serves children who have been diagnosed with malnutrition. “Approximately one in three children in Haiti suffers from malnutrition before the age of three, and 118 of every 1000 children will die before the age of five due to malnutrition or related diarrhea and dehydration,” Gillis says. Another organization started by CRUDEM, Aziole, provides a home for abandoned elderly people and also houses deserted children, many of them physically or developmentally handicapped. “The homes are badly overcrowded and understaffed, but we are told that it is the most rewarding work,” he says. Michael’s most emotional experience of the trip came at the Asile, an orphanage run by Missionaries of the Poor, with whom CRUDEM has a close working relationship. He wrote, “The site is gutwrenching. In the first room are about ten cribs, each with an infant that is cuter than the next. One of the other members of our group put a baby back in her crib, and she immediately began screaming. I felt so badly that I picked her up, and within a few minutes, she was silent. Just holding her brought tears to my eyes. It was one of those experiences, like so many on this trip, which are beyond words.”
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The CRUDEM Foundation assists with many other projects as well. Project Vénérable Pierre Toussaint serves children living on the streets by providing a residency program where they can have meals, a shower, academic classes and vocational training. Mothers who want to work while being home to care for their children are provided fabric by a local church, which is then sewn into scrubs for the ER at HSC or items for tourists. Following the catastrophic earthquake, CRUDEM ramped up its mission to provide much-needed help. Since Hôpital Sacré Coeur is not located in Port-au-Prince, where the epicenter of the earthquake was, its building is intact. However, HSC has been the primary triage center in Port-au-Prince for patients airlifted by the U.S. Navy. The hospital has taken over a soccer field, two schools, and nutrition center for less critical patients, increasing its size from 73 beds to 400. It is projected that the hospital may expand to 1000 beds, for which it has taken over area high schools and set up a portable facility. This is possible due to the philanthropy of people who have made donations. Gillis believes, “..we can and must all do something. Whether it is financial contributions, talking about our trip in hopes of getting others involved, educating others about the reality of the Haitian people, sending clothes to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, conserving resources – whatever can be done must be done.” He raises funds to support CRUDEM and the people of Haiti through planning and hosting of an annual “Taste of Haiti” Dinner in Boston. A member of the St. Luke’s Society while at Hotchkiss, Michael is aware that the School today has expanded its service opportunities. He hopes students will be involved in community outreach – perhaps by making their own “impact trip” one day. PARTNERS IN HEALTH: LIZ BIRD ’03
Elizabeth Bird ’03 fell in love with biology and physiology in Instructor of Science Jim Morrill’s A.P. biology class. After graduation, she went to Brown University, intending to study pre-med. Her plans changed with one question, asked by her professor in a class called “Burden of Disease in Developing Countries.” The question was: What is perhaps the most fundamental determinant of health? “True to my scientific mind, I tried desperately to conjure up the ailment that was apparently so important,” says Bird. The answer, however, is poverty. “This discussion marked the first moment I realized that health and disease trends were dependent on more than a microbe or bacteria. I began to see the need to examine broader issues such as
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RIGHT: On campus, students wrote letters to children in Haiti.
socioeconomic status, gender relations, and risk perception,” said Liz. Instead of continuing on the pre-med track at Brown, Liz decided to enroll in a global health abroad program through the School for International Training in South Africa. In South Africa, a country still struggling with the aftermath of apartheid, and in her continuing studies at Brown, she learned about health from human rights, economic, and anthropologic perspectives. Bird focused on access and utilization of contraception while in South Africa, where the HIV epidemic was highly visible in the townships. “During that time, I started thinking and reading about the predominant rhetoric of HIV prevention, which focused on education and ‘behavior change’ interventions. Given the amount of resources that were being spent on HIV prevention programs, I wanted to take a critical look at these interventions on the ground and see how they were impacting young people.” Liz received a Fulbright grant to carry out research in Malawi on HIV prevention for adolescents. About 14 percent of the country’s adult population is infected with HIV, and hundreds of thousands of children have been orphaned by the disease. (http://www.pih.org/where/Malawi) Before Bird began her work in Malawi, she had known about an organization called Partners in Health and believed in their approach to health care delivery. Her path in Malawi led her to working with Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (“Partners in Health” in Chichewa, the local language.) She managed the community health worker program, which hires community members to monitor and support people on TB and HIV treatments. Part of her work involved making sure services and support systems reached the poorest and most marginalized. In addition, Liz worked on expanding the model for community health workers to include maternal health and primary care. When she left PIH in December 2009, 200 community health workers were visiting over 20,000 people monthly, tracking pregnant women and children under five, referring individuals to the health centers for services such as antenatal care (pre-natal care), health center deliveries, and vaccinations for children. She worked through the public sector to provide medical care, an important part of the PIH model. The Partners in Health model is a successful one, driven by a passionate vision: Whatever it takes. The PIH Website declares, “At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well – from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of
our own family – or we ourselves – were ill.” After having worked for PIH, Liz has full confidence in its model of providing health care services. “PIH believes in a community-based model of care, one that utilizes community resources, such as community health workers to help improve the health and lives of patients. It also works through the public sector to strengthen and enhance the existing structure so as not to create a parallel system. This type of work is difficult and takes a long time. PIH has never left a country that it has worked in. Eventually, as is the case in Haiti where PIH has worked the longest, the goal is that local nationals run the programs in conjunction with the local government structures,” Bird says. A string of natural disasters, beginning with the hurricanes that hit in September 2008 and the January earthquake, has forced PIH to assume the role of an emergency relief organization in Haiti. “PIH is fortunate in that it has worked in Haiti for over twenty years and already had a staff of over 4000 on the ground when the earthquake hit. For that reason, they were able to mount a quick and efficient response to the needs in Port-au-Prince and will continue to work to improve the health and lives of Haitian communities for many years to come,” says Liz. When did Liz’s interest in community programs begin? A Sharon native, the daughter of Hotchkiss Director of Health Services Nancy Bird, she wanted to stay connected to the community outside of School. She assisted with Sharon Center School’s special education program, and with a very small non-profit that provided arts and music opportunities. However, it was through Hotchkiss that Liz was able to have her first international experience. Using a grant from the School, she spent part of a summer in Western Samoa. “Perhaps this is what got me started on my career in global health work. Certainly, it exposed me to a type of poverty that I had not witnessed before and to the benefits and challenges of living and working abroad.” W i n t e r
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ABOVE: The Class of 1959, with spouses and partners, paused in the chapel for the class photo. Thirty-two classmates attended the Reunion, of the 92 in the class.
Two Classes Celebrated Milestone Reunions in October THE CLASS OF ’49 RETURNED FOR ITS 60TH REUNION ON THE FIRST WEEKEND IN OCTOBER, AND THE CLASS OF ’59 CELEBRATED ITS 50TH REUNION THREE WEEKS
LEFT: Dick Ehrlich ’59 traveled to Hotchkiss by motorcycle from his home in Texas, stopping frequently along the way to take photos of some especially scenic vistas.
LATER ON THE LAST FULL WEEKEND IN OCTOBER.
Both Reunion classes had a full program of events, visiting classes and catching up with former faculty members as well as with classmates. Class of ’59 Reunion Social Chair Jon Rose observed in his post-Reunion letter to the Class: “Those of us who attended classes on Friday and Saturday came away profoundly impressed with the quality of the students and faculty. Most of us thought we would have had serious trouble competing with the students now there. And ... all of them seemed to feel happy and privileged to be there.” Members of the Class of 1949 set a 60th reunion record for attendance: 28 classmates (47 percent of living
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class members) and 52 people. In considering their history, members of the Class noted that four from ’49 have received the Alumni Award, and four members of the Class have served as trustees of the School.
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FAR RIGHT: Steve Bolmer greets a member of the Class of 1949. RIGHT: Al Sly, right, talks with a member of the Class of â€™59. BELOW RIGHT: Robert Hawkins, center, speaks with former students before dinner. BOTTOM: Members of the Class of 1949, with spouses and partners, stand for a class photo on the steps of Monahan, the former gymnasium, before going inside for dinner.
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ALL PHOTOS: JONATHAN DOSTER
THE GREENING of a blue campus
T H E S C H O O L ’ S C U R R E N T E N V I R O N M E N TA L I N I T I AT I V E S By Henry McNulty
OSH HAHN HAS BEEN ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL AND DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES SINCE JULY 2009. RECENTLY, HE SAT DOWN WITH WRITER HENRY MCNULTY TO TALK ABOUT HOW THE SCHOOL IS ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES.
HM: There are so many environmental initiatives at Hotchkiss right now. Where do you want to begin? JH: The logical place to start is with the power house – and note, I didn’t say ‘power plant.’ It’s much more than that. As part of the Residential Life Initiative, Bissell Dormitory is slated to come down. The current power plant, which produces steam heat for most of the campus, is attached to Bissell, so we looked at it, too. It was determined that the steam plant has run its course; the equipment is at the far end of its expected life, and the space is cramped and difficult to work in. So we re-examined the idea of central steam, and what it means to power the School in general, and as we looked at it more and more, it made sense to replace the plant. That created an opportunity to do something really interesting with energy generation on campus. HM: How will it differ from the present facility? JH: First, we are leaning toward biomass energy production – that is, energy produced from a renewable
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source, in this case, wood instead of No. 2 diesel oil. But an important factor is that we want to build something that’s not just a place that produces steam, but inspires students to think about energy use and all the issues – ecological, geopolitical, conservation – that surround energy in the 21st century. A changing energy market, and energy sources, are central to the future that our kids are facing. So the building will likely include some program space that is specifically focused on student interaction with energy, rather than what we currently have, which is basically a bunker that nobody wants to go into and is not a part of any student’s experience. The idea that energy is produced “away” is a misconception that is important for our students to understand. In fact, the idea that there is no “away” is a critical concept for all of us to grapple with. We want to think of Hotchkiss as being a place that is not just consuming, but is actually generating energy – not just consumer-oriented, but a place of public
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purpose … a place that is regenerative, in that it can be a catalyst for new ideas, inspiring creativity in our students rather than just looking at current practices. And, obviously, we want it to be cost-competitive. We think this biomass solution meets all those criteria. HM: Another initiative involves Fairfield Farms? JH: Yes. Fairfield Farms is a 280-acre piece of farmland, not quite contiguous to the School, about a quarter of a mile down the road toward Sharon. We have an agricultural easement, which means it can be used for farming but not much else. It’s an important part of Hotchkiss; the School has manicured, beautiful grounds that are the traditional academic campus; conservation areas; wetlands; woodlands and trails; and now, we have a working landscape – a laboratory, and I think an important one. We’ve been working on developing programs there that are aligned with the ethos of the Hotchkiss Plan. These include crop management studies – what can be grown, and where – and increasing support for already-existing programs such as the Fairfield Farms Environmental and Adventure Team. Some of what the students grow is used right here. In 2009, students grew enough potatoes at Fairfield Farms to last us through the middle of this past January. And we grew kale and squash. Again, this is tied into that regenerative education concept – the idea that the School itself can be producing food, not just consuming food. This is not a place where we just absorb costs, but we can actually produce something that has added value, and that includes student leadership. We are also exploring ways that the farm can be a resource for the local community. Again, this relates to the regenerative concept we were discussing earlier. The School can at once produce food, build soil, and generate energy, and that promotes creative, generative thinking on the part of our students and faculty.
HM: But there are still the traditional outdoor programs, aren’t there? JH: Oh, yes. There are wilderness hikes, and Outdoor Leadership, which can be taken as a sport in two seasons. Its curriculum is leadership-based, expeditionary-based, and skills-based: What sort of skills do you need to lead an expedition? These range from practical skills such as lighting a stove and cooking your own food, to plotting your course off-trail in the wilderness. We’re trying hard to think about how to make those programs more robust, give them the infrastructure that they need, the human resources that they need, and the equipment that they need. They exist now – what we’re trying to do is to improve them and increase participation in them. HM: And indoors? JH: We teach about environmental issues in all sorts of courses, from ecology and environmental science classes to poetry and art. The trick is transferring those theoretical classroom experiences into behavioral actions. I have a great partnership with Assistant Head of School and Director of Global Initiatives Manjula Salomon. We’re constantly exploring the synergy and paradox of global and environmental issues. There aren’t clear answers to how you reconcile a school that wants to be both global and local in scope, but the fact that the School is wrestling with those issues is quite important, and certainly one of the issues that our students are going to be grappling with in the future.
OPPOSITE: Harvesting potatoes in the fall BELOW: Assistant Head of School Josh Hahn, left, and Instructor in Biology Chris Oostenink at Fairfield Farms
HM: So for some Hotchkiss students, a part of their education is actually getting out and farming the land? JH: That’s right. Some of us in the environmental field feel that students today have lost touch with the land. Certainly, a lot of our students have taken a wilderness trip or have gone camping, but the idea that humans and the land can interface is really critical. We can work the land. What the impact is through that work, and how we can be restorative, are questions we want our students to wrestle with. You can teach about the energy embodied in food, but that concept is truly apparent to a student who has planted a seed and seen it grow.
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conference, and it was illuminating to hear all the different ways our peer schools – Deerfield, Choate, Exeter, St. Paul’s, and so forth – are addressing environmental issues.
RIGHT: In September, students did weeding at Fairfield Farms as well as harvesting.
HM: And long-term?
Manjula and I sponsored two major speakers on campus this year. The first was Peggy Liu, one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2008. She has done a lot of work on US-China climate change relationships. The second talk involved a Hotchkiss parent, Orville Schell P’11, who’s the director of US-China relations at the Asia Society and one of the leading people in that field, and David Breashears, who is one of the world’s best known mountaineers. They have joined forces on the Glacial Research Imaging Project. It involves comparing old and new photos of the ice mass of the Tibetan Plateau, 50,000 glaciers that feed Asian rivers. They will use new technology to compare images of these glaciers from the past and from today, pixel-to-pixel, to understand better the rate of ice melt there. HM: What about collaboration with other schools? This winter, four of us went to Seattle to participate in the Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), a network of people who are thinking about how to integrate experiential learning theory – hands-on learning – into more conventional school curricula. For example, it involves taking the theory of learning from organizations like Outward Bound or the National Outdoor Leadership School and trying to get the best out of that and integrate it into our classroom practices. ISEEN has become a real hub for conversations about leadership, service learning, global education, and environmental education at private schools. It’s those areas that Hotchkiss is looking to develop in the future, and in many ways we’re already a leader. And in late January, we hosted the Eight Schools environmental coordinators group. It was a two-day
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JH: We are about to embark on a climate action plan that will help us with decision making on lots of different fronts, based on our greenhouse gas emissions, and project forward for us ways that we can reduce our greenhouse emissions to meet our goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. Every major undertaking like this requires not only human and economic resources, but also cultural buyin, a cultural recognition of what resources are around us, or what food we can grow here. Each of these things is designed to bring people closer to the place, even the power house. Someone might ask, why aren’t we doing more with solar power here? Because of place. Forests are abundant here; solar power might be appropriate for Arizona. The farm is another example, the idea that we’re at once looking globally and giving students tools so they can understand this very place, then go to other places and transfer their understanding there. We give them a lens to view energy generation or food production or water conservation in a developmentally appropriate way, which is their everyday life. We give them local tools, so we can succeed in our global mission of having kids be prepared for different environments all over the world. One key to this is understanding limits – that resources are not infinite. HM: What’s the reaction from students to all this? JH: Kids are hard-wired to think about this. They have been learning about conservation and ecological issues since they were in kindergarten. Global warming has been talked about for their entire lives; it’s not something in the future for them, it’s real-time. I think kids see our expansion of environmental initiatives as a natural evolution of the School. It’s almost, ‘What’s the big deal?’ It’s similar to the advanced technology we have on campus. Adults are wowed by it, but not the kids. Hotchkiss has a tremendous number of really interesting programs, classes, activities and experiences, related to the environment. They are happening all over the place. The challenge for me is: How do you take all these really engaging experiences and assure that some kids aren’t falling through the cracks? We want to be sure it’s not just happening in some classes or for some kids; a comprehensive program will ensure that certain concepts are made known to everyone.
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Alumnae Bring Home Olympic Medals in Ice Hockey B Y
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For Gina Kingsbury ’00 and Caitlin Cahow ’03, the Vancouver Olympics represented a chance to meet again, as they had in Torino in 2006.
RIGHT: Members of the girls’ varsity ice hockey team were filmed watching the championship game by the Hartford NBC affiliate, Channel 30. BELOW: Screen shots of the exciting action, where Gina Kingsbury and Caitlin Cahow won Olympic medals
This time, they met as competitors in the exciting championship game on February 25 between the U.S. and Canada. For Kingsbury, a forward, the script ended exactly as it had four years ago: with her wearing Olympic gold. The Canadian women’s ice hockey team defeated Team USA, on which Caitlin Cahow ’03 played defense, by a score of 2-0. The contest featured intense, physical play on both sides and excellent goaltending, and marked Canada’s third consecutive Olympic championship. The margin came on two first-period goals by young forward Marie-Phillip Poulin, who scored her first goal at 13:55 and then scored a second goal at 16:50 following an American penalty. The matchup provided the heavyweight tilt that most fans had been anticipating, given the incredible dominance of the American and Canadian women’s hockey programs. The U.S. and Canada have met in the finals of every IIHF women’s championship and three of the four Olympic finals. Still, it would have been impossible for either team to overwhelm the other in the same way that the two teams had marched through the four games leading up to the final. Instead, the game featured the incredibly physical play and numerous scoring chances that one would expect from two archrivals. Both Kingsbury and Cahow played important minutes in the game. Kingsbury was frequently involved in the Canadian power play, finishing the game with three shots but no points. Cahow, who plays defense, also played well, making numerous key stops, including foiling a Canadian 2-on-1
chance late in the third period. Cahow also featured prominently on the American power play, including a good scoring chance on the power play in the first period that was gloved by Szabados. Both goalies played at an exceptionally high level, as they were under assault nearly the entire night. For most of the first half of the game, it seemed as if Team USA was controlling the tempo, despite being down 0-2. By the end of the second period, the Americans had outshot the Canadians 23-18. But as the clock wound down, and the Americans were forced to take more chances, they began to have more difficulty controlling the puck, and Canada slowly tightened its grip on the gold medal in the third period. By the end of the game, the Americans were not able to get Vetter off the ice for an extra skater because Canada would not surrender the puck. At Hotchkiss, members of the School community followed the game with enthusiasm. The girls’ varsity ice hockey team members watched the game while having dinner after the day’s practice session. A television crew from the Hartford NBC affiliate, Channel 30, filmed them during the game and interviewed the girls for their reactions. Just seven years ago, Caitlin Cahow had been playing on the varsity team, as they are now. After Hotchkiss, Kingsbury graduated from St. Lawrence University. Cahow graduated from Harvard. Congratulations to these Olympic medalists and thanks to them for the distinction they’ve brought to the School!
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LEFT: Rhys Bowen in the classroom
RHYS BOWEN ’78: SHOWING SCIENCE STUDENTS THE VALUE OF FIELDWORK AND LOVE FOR HIS LIFE’S WORK By Andrea Tufts By all accounts the naturalist intelligence was alive in Rhys V. Bowen ’78 from a very young age. Instructor in Science James Morrill recalls that Rhys as a child was “an expert catcher of frogs in the hockey pond, which were used for the senior frog races.” The young Bowen lived on campus, the son of the late Gerry Bowen ’42, a much-loved English master who taught at Hotchkiss for 36 years, and Anne Bowen, who worked in the Edsel Ford Memorial Library. Morrill keeps in touch with Rhys Bowen, who is now a leading ornithologist. In January Bowen gave a talk to students in Morrill’s A.P. Environmental Science class. Fortunately, Rhys has returned frequently to lecture at Hotchkiss since receiving his diploma cum laude in 1978. After graduating from Harvard College with a major in biology, he returned to Hotchkiss to teach biology from 1982-1984. He then embarked on a long and fascinating journey of doing fieldwork while
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at the University of California-Davis, where he earned his Ph.D. Since then, he has studied orangutans in Borneo and wild dogs in Botswana, and created a use and management plan for a national park in Pakistan. His real passion is birds, specifically the Northern Harrier, and he has spent the last decade studying this magnificent creature. Bowen’s talk in January, “A Case Study in Protecting Endangered Species: The Northern Harrier in Massachusetts,” focused on data he has collected during 12 years of ardent fieldwork on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Tuckernuck Islands, and Martha’s Vineyard. “To love the bird, you need to get out in the field and see it in its natural splendor,” Rhys told his audience of engaged students. Behind him illumined slides of the slender, graceful flyers. An underlying theme in the talk was biodiversity loss and especially, how the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act works
to protect the Northern Harrier. There are many characteristics of the Circus Cyaneus that make it worth preserving. The male is grey, while the female dons rich brown feathers, which is unusual in hawks. Very efficient flyers, Northern Harriers log 60 miles of flight per day and do not spend a lot of time perching. Perhaps the most impressive display of the Northern Harrier is the aerial prey transfer. During the nesting season, the male hunts while the female incubates the eggs full-time. As he approaches with his catch, the two birds become like perfectly timed acrobats. The female flies up toward her mate, rolls over with her talons up, and catches the prey he has dropped for her. She returns to the nest to eat. “You feel like an angel has appeared. It is fantastic!” said Rhys. The Northern Harrier first became listed on the Massachusetts Endangered Species list in 1995. It was thought that changes in its natural habitat caused its numbers to decline. Post-colonial Europeans cleared a great deal of the wooded landscape for agriculture. Birds such as the Northern Harrier, who prefer this type of habitat, flourished in Massachusetts. Then agriculture moved out west, and the land closed in once more as forests grew back. To counteract the decline of the species, Massachusetts prescribed the restoration of open grasslands. The object of Rhys Bowen’s field research was to gather and apply his data in guiding the management of the restoration process. Beginning in 1998, Bowen observed the species to determine its population size, spatial distribution throughout the state, habitat selection patterns, and breeding success, and to witness any changes in its numbers. He showed the A.P. Environmental Science students some of the methods he used to collect his data. These were: census
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taking by counting individual territories, not birds; mapping nest locations (made easier by the use of GPS); classifying nest sites by vegetation habitat; and counting the number of successful nests. He presented his data to the class, and the findings were surprising. In contrast to what was previously believed about a declining Northern Harrier population, Bowen documented 87 nesting pairs. He found that the count of 30-50 pairs of Circus Cyaneus statewide was an underestimate. He posed this question to the students, to be discussed during his visit to the A.P. classroom the next day: “How does this affect
our thinking of whether the bird is endangered or not?” In addition, Rhys found the majority of the birds in habitats such as scrub oak and the very dense coastal shrub land on Nantucket, not in open grasslands. “Reducing forest cover in New England is needed for the Northern Harrier, but the target is shrub lands, not grasslands,” said Rhys. One student asked about the controversy in reducing the habitat for some animals in order to preserve another. Rhys promised to discuss this issue, and that of predator control as a possible conservation method, in class the next day.
The students came away from the lecture with the realization that there is no substitute for the rigorous, thorough collection of field data, especially when it will be applied to the management program for endangered species. “You don’t know until you go,” said Rhys. This is all in a day’s work for Rhys. He wakes up at 4:00 a.m. with excitement and works from dawn to dusk, eating on the fly. He incorporates balance into his 12-hour days by going for a run. He works at this pace from April 1through August, at which time he takes a holiday at home. “But you can’t beat spending a whole day with Harriers!” said Rhys.
Search Underway for a New Associate Head of School, Dean of Faculty With the announcement by Dean of Faculty Steve Albert that he has accepted a position as the Head of Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Head of School Malcolm McKenzie began the search process for a new dean. He initiated discussions with faculty members at the endof-term meetings in December to gather opinions useful to the search, and he engaged Larry Becker, Hotchkiss faculty member from 1964-1986, whose tenure included service as Assistant Head/Dean of Faculty, to be a consultant in the search. The former Head of Brooks School, and now working with Carney Sandoe, Becker recently assisted the Westminster School with its search for a new head of school. Becker spent several days at Hotchkiss in January and February, talking with faculty members about the dean of faculty position. Candidates from outside Hotchkiss are being considered for the position, as well as current faculty members. “Hotchkiss is looking for a Dean of Faculty,” said McKenzie, “who will inspire our teachers to become better and better at the craft of
teaching. We want our community to feel the joy of learning, to seek to use that learning for a public purpose, and to question independently and inquisitively.” Steve Albert will leave Hotchkiss at the end of the current academic year. During his 17 years at Hotchkiss, he has been an instructor in science, served as a coach and as the advisor to Hillel. As Dean of Faculty, he has recruited outstanding new faculty and overseen the professional development programs available to all faculty members. In his letter to the Hotchkiss community about his new position, he expressed his gratitude for “the support and assistance that I have received from all of you in so many ways throughout my 17 years at Hotchkiss,” adding, “I will miss this community greatly.” Serving on the Search Committee are Anju Taneja, Tom Drake, Juliet Henderson, Chris Burchfield, and Malcolm McKenzie. Finalist candidates for the Dean of Faculty position will have interviews on campus early in the spring term.
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Adam Bernstein ’92: Loving a job that’s not everyone’s cup of tea
BY HENRY MCNULTY
Adam Bernstein ’92 makes one thing clear when he meets people for the first time:
“I’m not a medical examiner,” he says.
His need to clarify is understandable. Bernstein is the obituary editor for The Washington Post – a position he finds “incredibly interesting,” but one that can raise an eyebrow or two among those not in the journalism business. “People either run away from you, or else they get it,” he says. “Reaction can be polarizing, in that some people find the job macabre.” A properly written obituary, he insists, is “not only a good feature story, it’s a definitive summing up of a life. Anybody who loves profile writing, which I do, and loves learning about people of all walks of life, should appreciate obituaries.” At Hotchkiss, Bernstein showed not only a talent for writing, but also a knack for making a story compelling, says his former teacher, English instructor Geoffrey B. Marchant. “When Adam was in my class, it was an era where they were trying to figure out how to do health education,” Marchant recalls. “They wanted to hold health-ed sessions, and they had the idea that English could be optional for a week, so the kids in my class would go to health-ed instead. I wondered out loud what went on there, and
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“I don’t have corpses on my desk.”
Adam, who was always up for a laugh, said, ‘Why don’t I find out?’ And I said, ‘OK, why don’t you find out, and then you can use it for some daily themes.’ “So he reported on the sessions, but his reports took the form of an old-fashioned radio play. He wrote it as a ‘Guy Noir private-eye’ sort of thing. It really didn’t have much to do with health education; it was just sort of a playground for his muse. Once
Adam would get on a roll with an idea, he’d just run with it.” After Hotchkiss, Bernstein earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, where he reviewed plays for the student newspaper. “The theater scene in Charlottesville was not terribly vibrant at the time,” he recalls, “so they hadn’t done a lot of stage reviews. It was from there that I was sucked into the world of journalism.” He earned a master’s degree at Columbia, completed an internship at the Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, and in 1997 began work for The Gazette, a small newspaper in suburban Washington. Two years later, he joined The Washington Post as a reporter and copy editor on the television desk. In the meantime, Bernstein’s interest in obituaries was growing. In the mid-1990s, his parents had sent him The New York Times’ account of the life and death of Harold C. Fox, described by the Times as the man credited with creating, as the newspaper put it, “the zoot suit with the reet pleat, the reave sleeve, the ripe stripe, the stuff cuff and the drape shape that was the stage rage during the boogie-woogie rhyme time of the early 1940’s.”
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It was “the obituary that defined the course of my life,” Bernstein says. “I thought, ‘Wow! You can have fun with journalism, even obituaries.’ Later, I read the Associated Press version, which was dull and routine. I thought, ‘Gee, if I’d read the AP version instead of the Times’, I never would have gone into obituary writing’.” Then one of the Post’s obituary writers died, and Bernstein applied for the position. “I leapt at it,” he says.“They put me through about 12 interviews, but I got the job.” The favorite so far among the obituaries he has written is that of Edward von Kloberg III, a powerful lobbyist who committed suicide by leaping from a tower in 2005. The story began: “As part of Washington’s image machinery for more than two decades, Edward von Kloberg III did his best to sanitize some of the late 20th century’s most notorious dictators as they sought favors and approval from U.S. officials.” In 2008, Bernstein was promoted to obituary editor; he oversees a staff of three or four writers. “The Post policy,” he explains, “is that we have to have an obit for every person in the Washington area as long as they’ve lived here 20 years or more. Which means that we’re writing three-inch stories about church volunteers and 100-inch stories about national figures. It’s an enormous volume.” Writing obituaries, he says, is “no longer the province of has-beens and drunks, the old stereotypes. But at times, it can feel a little vicarious. For the most part, you’re not interviewing living people, you’re writing about them after the fact.” And as in other parts of the news business, obituary writers must keep on their toes. “The worst thing you can be,” he says, “is not prepared when a major figure dies. Look at the Michael Jackson scenario. I guess one could have predicted that he had a fatal lifestyle, and we should have had an obituary ready, but we’re so busy thinking about very accomplished people in their 90s that somebody in his 50s doesn’t always get on the radar.”
In the mid1990s,
his parents had sent him
The New York Times’ account of the life and death of Harold C. Fox, described by the Times as the man credited with creating, as the newspaper put it,
“the zoot suit with the reet pleat, the reave sleeve, the ripe stripe, the stuff cuff and the drape shape that was the stage rage during the boogiewoogie rhyme time of the early 1940’s.” Bernstein, the son of Richard Bernstein M.D. ’64, Chief Medical Officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, is married to Marina Walker Guevara, a native of Argentina, who is an award-winning investigative reporter for the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity. As deputy director of its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, she has written on a wide range of subjects, from cigarette smuggling to courts and human rights. The couple has a two-year-old son, Santiago. And although he calls being the Post’s
obituary editor “the best job I can imagine,” there is still the problem with new people. It is, he says, “like going to a party and telling someone you’re a doctor or a lawyer – you’re always getting consulted in one way or another. Sometimes the people who want to talk with me are even angling for a better ‘take’ on their life when the time comes!” TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ADAM BERNSTEIN’S OBITUARIES IN THE WASHINGTON POST AND HOW THEY WERE WRITTEN, VISIT HTTP:// BLOG.WASHINGTONPOST.COM/POSTMORTEM/
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The Hon. Victor Ashe ’63, P’11: Exemplifying a life of public service
BY ROBERTA JENCKES
Like so many Hotchkiss students, Victor Ashe ’63
often paused in Luke Foyer on his way to the dining hall. There he would study on the wall before him the plaque
bearing the names of the School’s Alumni Award winners.
These were especially accomplished graduates, people very prominent in American life: Bill Scranton, John Hersey, Archibald MacLeish, Paul Nitze and many more. They contributed mightily to their fields – literature, government, and others. Those who worked in government especially impressed the young Tennessean. Victor Ashe was headed for a career in public service; that was clear, even at Hotchkiss. “Even when he was young, Victor had a very clear vision of himself, how he should conduct himself, and where he was going in the world,” says his good friend, Leighton Longhi ’63. “You talk about a shaker and an organizer … You could see he knew where he was going. It’s not an idle statement.” Ashe retuned to campus in the fall for the all-School meeting where he was presented with the 2009 Alumni Award, the School’s highest honor. Each recipient has, through personal achievement, brought honor and distinction to himself and the School. Ashe, who served for 16 years as mayor of Knoxville, became the longest serving mayor in the city’s history. Then in 2004, President
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George W. Bush named him Ambassador to Poland; he served longer in that post than any other U.S. ambassador to that country. In a career that began right after his graduation from Yale, Ashe set many historic markers, giving further weight to the rightness of the course that he chose early on.
ABOVE: Ashe, center, with his family at the presentation.
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RIGHT: John Armstrong ’63 introduced his classmate and friend, offering anecdotes that brought laughter from the audience and from Head of School Malcolm McKenzie and Victor, right. BELOW: Alumni Association President Katie Berlandi ’88 made the presentation of the Alumni Award.
Ashe arrived at Hotchkiss in 1961, transferring from Groton after an incident there that spoke to his interest in the behind-thescenes workings of power. He and two skilled cohorts were found to have arranged the tape-recording of a Groton faculty meeting. What led the young Ashe and friends to arrange this stunt? “Curiosity and incredible boredom on weekends,” says he. Coming to Hotchkiss as “a disciplinary refugee from another school,” Ashe found a welcoming home. “My brother had graduated from Hotchkiss in 1958, and he had a great experience there. Bill Olsen was nice enough to take a chance on me and let me in. I’d had a good academic record at Groton, and he knew a faculty member up there who did a background check on me. He wanted to know that I wouldn’t do the same stunt again at Hotchkiss. “The school was quite liberating,” he recalls. “I’d come from a rigid and strict environment to a larger school, and it was much more relaxed, I felt, in terms of the atmosphere. I took away a sense of service, and hopefully the award recognizes that.” Ashe, whose yearbook page announces “Goldwater in ’64; Ashe in ’88,” wrote a political column for the Hotchkiss Record and
was active in the Current Events Club. Like so many young people in the early 1960s, he was inspired by President Kennedy. “He was such a contrast to Eisenhower at the time. I knew I was interested in what was happening in the world,” Ashe says. And Ashe’s mother had been active in civic affairs in Knoxville. In addition to learning from great teachers like Allan Hoey, David Demaray, and
Tom Stearns, Ashe felt a sense of purpose and made friendships at Hotchkiss. After graduation, along with 16 of his classmates, he matriculated at Yale. Leighton Longhi remembers a politically active campus at Yale where men like George Pataki, Lanny Davis, and John Kerry, who would later rise to national prominence, were active in the Yale Political Union. Victor W i n t e r
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FAR LEFT: In the 1963 Mischianza, Victor Ashe selected a quote that closely anticipated his future course. LEFT: Ashe’s senior photo in the Misch
wrote for the Yale Daily News from 19641967, serving as political editor, associate editor, and columnist. He was also press secretary of the Conservative Party and chairman of the program committee of the Yale Republican Club. A history major, he was a member of the debating team for Branford and was elected to the Skull & Bones Society and the Aurelian Honor Society. He was also a delegate to the 1966 Model United Nations. “Any time Victor talked, you got a very structured answer or comment, nothing lightweight. He was not afraid to speak up, whether he felt everyone would agree or not. He was very true to himself,” Leighton says.
OFF TO A RUNNING START While at Yale, Ashe worked as an intern in the office of Congressman Bill Brock, where he helped to write a tax sharing for education bill. In 1967, the year he graduated from Yale, he served as a staff assistant in the office of then-Senator Howard Baker. He received his law degree in 1974 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. At age 23 he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, one of the youngest ever elected. He was elected to the
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State Senate at the age of 30, the minimum age required, and served there for nine years. With his election to mayor of Knoxville in 1987, he began the 16-year tenure that would set a record in the city’s history. He also was named president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1995. As mayor of this city of 180,000, Ashe is credited with achievements in a number of areas: improving the city’s bond rating, increasing greenways from 5 to 34 miles, adding 800 acres of new parkland, leading the effort for waterfront development, and establishing a police civilian review board. He received awards for his work on improving race relations and for growing Knoxville’s parks and greenways. It’s the work he did on the latter that most pleases Ashe, who is an avid hiker. “Tripling the parks and the greenways and improving the quality of life for people were most satisfying as mayor,” he says. “You know the parks and greenways will forever stay. With other changes that a mayor might make, your successor might well go in an opposite direction. “Being ambassador was very different,” he observes. Maintaining close ties between Poland and the U.S. was his top priority for
the five-plus years when he was ambassador. “The ambassador represents the President. Poland is our best ally in Europe after the U.K.,” Ashe says. “It’s the sixth-largest country in Europe, and its location is quite strategic. There’s a great deal of American investment in Poland.” The assignment in Poland brought great delight to Ashe, his wife Joan, son J. Victor, and daughter Martha. “It was a wonderful experience. We traveled to over 200 Polish cities. We’ll always remember it. The Poles are very friendly, very hard-working, have lots of shared values with us, and have lots of history, some heroic. Poland was invaded 70 years ago from the west. World War II started and ended there. Twenty percent of the Polish population died in World War II. “Its borders were a curse. It’s a flat, fertile land, one that has been invaded countless times. Armies would come and stay for 20 years. Poland has only been independent for 40 of the 90 years since it was declared a republic. Poles are independent and freedom-loving. Even in Communist times, it was different from other countries. Communism was never able to shut down the church, which was the focal point for human rights. It’s a country that has produced great world leaders – Copernicus, Lech Walesa, John Paul II, Marie Curie, Daniel Fahrenheit,” he says, the affection he feels for Poland and its people quite evident.
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RIGHT: Students came up to Ashe after his speech to talk with him. Earlier in the day, he held an informal session, where he met with students and answered their questions.
“Victor’s success as our ambassador to Poland is evidenced by his lengthy tenure,” says The Hon. Clark T. “Sandy” Randt ’64, who served until recently as Ambassador to China. “He was one of two political appointees to be asked to stay by the new administration. Poland is one of the United States’ staunchest allies in Europe. The Embassy’s electronic newsletter that Victor developed was a model for others.” Martha Ashe, an upper mid at Hotchkiss, has observed her father’s career over many years of her young life. “I think that the biggest thing I’ve learned from my dad is to keep in touch with the people I meet,” she reflects. “It’s something that I try to follow. It wasn’t until last summer when I worked as a summer-hire at the embassy that I realized just how demanding my dad’s job as ambassador was. When I was working as an office management specialist in the political section of the embassy and I saw firsthand what his daily schedule looked like, I was amazed. And yet somehow, despite his busy schedule, he managed to set aside an hour every day to eat lunch with my brother and me at some little restaurant around the corner.” Last fall, as he prepared to leave Poland to make way for his successor, Ambassador Ashe spoke his mind, offering some sensible criticism of the “fortress-like” feel of the American embassies that have been built
since 9-11. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said, “The type of embassy you might build in Pakistan has a different set of security needs – which in that case would be substantial – than an embassy you might build in Reykjavik, Iceland, or in Warsaw, Poland. While security is important, he said, he believes that fortress-like buildings can send the wrong message to the host country’s citizens. And they’re extremely expensive. “The cost to the taxpayers if these standards are implemented worldwide will be huge,” he noted. Leighton Longhi recalls how Ashe tried to “go to bat with the state department” on behalf of young Poles applying for visas. The visas were expensive, Longhi says, and if the visa was declined, the student didn’t get the money back. Ambassador Ashe lobbied the state department to come up with a different solution. “He’s never lost his sensibility toward the people furthest down the ladder,” this friend says. “These are things that Victor thought were terribly important.” In his remarks at the Alumni Award presentation, Ashe shared Poland’s history with the students; he also encouraged them to
consider public service for themselves. This could be through elected or appointed office, he said. It could also be by being a school teacher. “The state department is one avenue, but there is also work in the military, intelligence, commerce, agriculture. Hopefully, a great percentage of you will give some of your time to public service. Leave a better community,” he said. Recently nominated by President Obama to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Ashe continues his service on several nonprofit boards such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Rivers Association. Beyond those commitments, he is “taking some time off” for six months to decide on his next steps. Victor’s lifetime achievements come as no surprise to Longhi. “There should be more people like Victor in public service,” he says. “‘One’s greatest obligation is to one’s conscience.’ Victor fits that. He’s never, ever changed.” TO WATCH VICTOR ASHE’S ALUMNI AWARD ADDRESS ON THE HOTCHKISS WEBSITE, GO TO: HTTP://WWW.HOTCHKISS.ORG/ALUMNI/ ALUMNI-VIDEOS/INDEX.ASPX.
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MEET THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS N e w s f ro m t h e A l u m n i A s s o c i a t i o n THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS (BOG) WORKS WITH THE OFFICE OF ALUMNI AND PARENT PROGRAMS ON BEHALF OF ALL ALUMNI TO ENCOURAGE SUPPORT OF AND CONNECTION TO HOTCHKISS. MEET THE 25 CURRENT BOG MEMBERS: CHRIS BECHHOLD ’72, P’03
Home: Cincinnati, OH Occupation: Attorney, ThompsonHine LLP BOG: Vice President, Executive Committee, Nominating Committee (Chair, Subcommittee for Membership) “Hotchkiss made a meaningful and significant contribution to the person that I am today, and the success that I have had in my career; so when the Board of Governors asked me to join, I was pleased to accept and pay back part of the debt that I owe the School.” LANCE BEIZER ’56
Home: Canaan, CT Occupation: Attorney (retired); Episcopal Priest (volunteer at St. John’s Episcopal Church) BOG: TBD “I joined the Board of Governors because, frankly, I am convinced that my Hotchkiss education provided the primary motivation for my life-long interests in religion and ethics that has played itself out in my work as both lawyer and priest.”
“Hotchkiss was a source of major developmental energy for me; I see my membership in the BOG as a means of returning some of that energy to the School.” C H A R L I E D E N A U L T ’ 7 4 , P ’ 0 3 (ex-officio) Home: Acton, MA Occupation: Real Estate, Bartlett Management, Inc. BOG: Past President; Nominating Committee
“My initial purpose in joining the BOG was to give back to the School that gave me so much, with the problem being the more time I spend on behalf of Hotchkiss, the more rewarded I feel, and the greater my debt to her.” PATRICIA BARLERIN FARMAN-FARMAIAN ’85
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Real Estate, Stribling and Associates BOG: Gender Committee, Nominating Sub-Committee for Membership “Being on the Board of Governors has allowed me to be back at Hotchkiss in a meaningful way and to be part of the excitement during the School’s evolution.”
BILL BENEDICT ’70, P’08,’10
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Finance, Alpine Meridan Inc. BOG: Communications Committee “Participation on the Board of Governors has offered me the dual rewards of working with Hotchkiss alumni and staying current with students at Hotchkiss.” KATIE ALLEN BERLANDI ’88
Home: Sherman, CT Occupation: Interior Decorating, Old Manse Designs BOG: President, Executive Committee “It is an honor to be a part of the Board of Governors and its mission of providing relevant and interesting outreach to the alumni body. It is a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated and innovative group in this effort.” KEITH BERNARD ’95
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Media, AT & T Inc. BOG: Nominating Committee; Co-Chair, Alumni of Color Committee
KERRY BERNSTEIN FAUVER ’92
Home: Minneapolis, MN Occupation: Finance, CarVal Investors BOG: TBD “The Hotchkiss experience goes so far beyond the years spent on campus. As a member of the BOG, I hope to help alums enjoy and appreciate what the Hotchkiss community can offer all of us throughout our lives.” QUINN FIONDA ’91
Home: New York, NY Occupation Finance, Scopia Capital LLC BOG: Communications Committee “Hotchkiss played a critical role in my adolescent development and for that I am always grateful - having the opportunity to serve Hotchkiss as a member of the BOG is one of the many ways in which I hope to be able to give back to the School that gave so much to me.”
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MEREDITH MALLORY GEORGE ’78, P’09,’11
Home: Darien, CT Occupation: At-Home Parent BOG: Alumni Services Committee “I joined the BOG after Malcolm McKenzie had arrived and while I still had 2 out of 3 children at Hotchkiss. As a current parent and an active alum, I felt it would be important and interesting to learn about the new directions that Hotchkiss would be taking and to be able to pass that information along to other alumni and parents.” BRENDA GRASSEY ’80
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Non-Profit Management, Baby Basics NYC BOG: Alumni Services Committee, Nominating Committee ED GREENBERG ’55
Home: Stamford, CT Occupation: Finance (retired) BOG: Vice President, Executive Committee, Chair, Alumni Services Committee “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve Hotchkiss as a member of the Alumni Board of Governors. I enjoy working with fellow alumni spanning several decades and members of the school administration. My Board involvement has brought me back to Hotchkiss at a very dynamic and interesting time in its history and given me valuable insight into current planning and its ever-evolving approach to education. I like what I see.” PETER HUNT ’57
Home: Los Angeles, CA Occupation: Director (Theater) and Filmmaker, Skiff, Inc. BOG: Communications Committee, Nominating SubCommittee for Membership “I chose to join the BOG because Hotchkiss had a remarkable and profound affect in my life, and beyond giving me the tools succeed in a complex world, it inspired me to pursue a career that I truly love.” SETH KROSNER ’79
Home: San Diego, CA Occupation: Medicine, Mercy Hospital BOG: Nominating Committee
efforts to enable alumni to maintain relationships with each other and with the School that are as vibrant as when we were on-campus.” JEN APPLEYARD MARTIN ’88
Home: Wellesley, MA Occupation: Attorney, Self Employed BOG: Chair, Gender Committee “I wanted to serve as a member of the Board of Governors to support Hotchkiss by connecting with fellow alumni/alumnae, continuing to have direct communication with the faculty, students, and staff, as well as giving back a little to a place which is very dear and special to me.” ALISON MOORE ’93
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Attorney, JPMorgan Chase & Co. BOG: Co-Chair, Alumni of Color Committee, Nominating Sub-Committee for Membership “Serving on the Board of Governors allows me to give back to an institution that has so greatly shaped my life and allows me to be a voice for both students and alumni of color.” ALESSANDRA NICOLAS ’95
Home: Philadelphia, PA Occupation: Finance, MetLife BOG: TBD “I wanted to be a BOG member because I felt it my obligation and duty to give, not just financially, to Hotchkiss but of my time and service. These are traditions I learned while attending Hotchkiss and I wish to pass them on.” D A N P U L L M A N ’ 7 6 (ex-officio) Home: Belmont, MA Occupation: Finance, McNamee Lawrence & Co, LLC BOG: Past President, Nominating Committee, Nominating Subcommittee on Membership P E T E R R O G E R S ’ 7 3 , P ’ 0 7 , ’ 1 1 ( ex-officio) Home: Columbia, MD Occupation: Computer Technology, MICROS Systems, Inc. BOG: President of The Hotchkiss Fund
“I serve on the Hotchkiss Board and BOG in order to serve our community. I was inspired in my time at Hotchkiss (1970ROGER LIDDELL ’63, P’98 1973) by the sense of mission that the faculty and board had in Home: New York, NY educating students to be future leaders. I serve as a sense of duty Occupation: Finance, Ingalls & Snyder but also because it is fun and fascinating. I am able to work BOG: Secretary, Executive Committee, Nominating Committee with extremely bright,In energetic, and interesting class members) and 52 people. considering its histo- alumni, faculty, staff and students at a world-class education institute. What is “The benefit of our Hotchkiss experience does not stop at gradury, members of the Class noted that from from ’49 memnot to likethe about this situation?” ation. I am delighted to work with the Board of Governorsbers in itshave received Alumni Award, and four members of the Class have served as trustees of the School.
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WENDY WEIL RUSH ’80
Home: Seattle, WA Occupation: At-Home Parent BOG: Vice President, Executive Committee, Chair, Nominating Committee “I enjoy working with other BOG members, alums, and Hotchkiss faculty and staff to strengthen and broaden the connection between Hotchkiss and its (9000) alumni. Having a child at Hotchkiss from 2003 to 2007 gave me a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the School and to appreciate the tremendous thought and effort devoted to maintaining and improving standards of excellence in academics, extracurricular programs, and, very importantly, residential life. “ PETER SCALA ’01
Home: New York, NY Occupation: Finance, Apollo Management BOG: Chair, Communications Committee “When I was approached, I chose to join the Board of Governors and remain active in the Hotchkiss community because of the friendships I made while at Hotchkiss and a feeling that I needed to try to give back to the School. “ JON SPROLE ’73, P’01,’03,’07,’09
Home: New Canaan, CT Occupation: Attorney
BOG: Nominating Sub-Committee for Membership “As far as why BOG, it is pretty simple. The BOG provides another avenue to stay in touch with Hotchkiss and hopefully, in a small way give back to the institution that has been such a positive influence on my entire family.” GEORGE TAKOUDES ’87
Home: Needham, MA Occupation: Architecture, martinBattarchitects BOG: Gender Committee “As a four-year Gordon Family Scholarship recipient, I consider myself most fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to attend Hotchkiss despite its being beyond my family’s means. I am honored to dignify my grant with my commitment to serve the School as Governor.” JANA WILCOX ’97
Home: Philadelphia, PA Occupation: Development and External Affairs, Young Scholars Charter School BOG: Alumni Services Committee “Hotchkiss was a huge part of steering my personal and professional life towards one of service. I find it rewarding to give back by acting as a link to the alumni community at large and helping to scope out the best way to keep us all connected.”
Above: B.O.G. members photographed at the February meeting are, from left: Back row, Edward Greenberg ’55, Roger Liddell ’63, Lance Beizer ’56, Keith Bernard Jr. ’95, William Benedict Jr. ’70, Christopher Bechhold ’72, and Quinn Fionda ’91; and front row, Alessandra Nicolas ’95, Wendy Rush ’80, Kerry Fauver ’92, Katie Berlandi ’88, Alison Moore ’93, Brenda Grassey ’80, and Jana Wilcox ’97.
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t u rn
“It is our virtues that matter.”
BY JELISAVETA CUIC ’11
Among the students and faculty members sharing their
stories at Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18 was Jelisaveta Cuic, an upper mid from Belgrade, Serbia. Her story added still more color and warmth to the day’s strong palette.
Hi, everyone. Though most of you know me by Ali, my full name is Jelisaveta Cuic. And I’m here today to tell you my story. The story of my country. The story about the first democratic Serbian prime minister after the Second World War. We are here to celebrate a great man, MLK, whose ideals spread throughout the globe and are still much present and alive in our world. His ideas of equality and combat for human rights inspired many individuals and movements around the world. My country, Serbia, is a country with a great democratic tradition which was abruptly cut after the Second World War, when communists came to power. The fight my people led against this oppressive force is too long for me to present in this couple of minutes, but I hope you will acknowledge the effect MLK’s ideals had on the people of my country, if I tell you a story of a great man, who much like MLK tried hard to bring integrity and equality to all people; who, much like MLK, tried to bring back hope to their lives. His name was Zoran Djindjic. Sadly, I have to say “was,” because he, too, was assassinated, and with his death the first prime minister of the new democratic republic of Serbia disappeared. Decades of his combat for a better society, for human rights, for a dream, were ended with two bullets. Yet today I proudly say that I can still acknowledge the presence of his ideas and visions in my country. In March, it will be seven years since he died, and yet his followers are getting more and more numerous day by day. He left behind an energy and enthusiasm that no bullet can kill. He left us the most
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important legacy: ideals and ideas that are gradually leading to a change in my country. His death did not end the change. His death boosted it. Much like MLK, he left a priceless legacy. I fear that over the years, new generations take this for granted and do not acknowledge the importance of our equality and how honored we are to have it. In our daily lives, we do take it for granted. When he was still a prime minister, Djindjic travelled a lot throughout Serbia, wishing to meet as many common men as possible and understand their plight better. He tried to grasp the extent to which my people were affected by the previous regime, by which we unfortunately became known worldwide. Because of the wars that my people had to go through, the world, and we with it, almost forgot the bright traditions of my people and our history. We ourselves forgot the contribution we gave to antifascist combat in the Second World War, and the sacrifice we made in the First World War. We fought then to bring the integrity, the equality, the sovereignty back, and now – now, we are trying to do that again. Therefore, Djindjic emphasized the importance of the change and how vital is the international cooperation in asserting a better tomorrow. He highlighted that every individual must wake up from lethargy and stop waiting for government and others to solve his problems. He tried to make people realize that democratic change means that each and every one of us must change, so that we all can advance and develop. Once, at the international conference at The Hague, he spoke about the importance of
delivering all war criminals to justice. Quoting an Indian adage he said, “If you have to swallow a frog, do not look at it much, but do it. And if you have to swallow a few frogs, swallow the biggest one first.” He was talking to young people. He was talking to us. He was saying that if we have any difficulties in life, we must immediately deal with them. If we have many difficulties in our way, we deal with the hardest ones first. People still remember today his speeches about the obstacles that we will have to face on our way to achieving a democratic country. Today already, Serbia is a country that more and more people visit. They leave us full of great impressions, unforgettable memories and new friendships. The ones who visited my country will tell you about the hospitality of my people. Political affairs are very time-consuming and take on a long-term track. But what we essentially want is to be perceived as an equal and integrated part of the world, much like our youth feel today. In the end, it does not matter how we look; it is our virtues that matter. It is our willingness to change that matters. It is the pursuit of our dreams that matters. Thank you.