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WINTER 2018

Lawrentian THE

FINDING THE TIME EXAMINING STUDENTS’ PACE OF LIFE

8 HARKNESS TO GO!

22 THE INN CROWD

24 PERIWIG PIONEER


FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

24 On the Cover: Examining students’ grinding pace of life

24

MORE THAN A NAMESAKE

Lewis Perry, Class of 1894, whose surname helped inspire the Periwig moniker, was influential well beyond the stage.

Illustration by Øivind Hovland

30

SETTING THE PACE

How can Lawrenceville create time and space for a more a reflective, measured existence for its students?

2 FROM THE HEAD MASTER 3 EDITOR’S NOTE 4 A THOUSAND WORDS The hills are alive with the sound of Harkness.

6 NEWS IN BRIEF Ottaway fêted with Leopold Award, Big Red rolls Hill, Architect chosen

12 ON THE ARTS Gala and glitz for Guys and Dolls as Periwig celebrates 125 seasons

14 SPORTS ROUNDUP 16 GO BIG RED! Brittany Sun ’19 and Abby Dichter ’18 are squashing the competition.


ON THE ARTS

18 TAKE THIS JOB AND LOVE IT Premium-fur phone cases have people talking about Nina Cheng ’04.

20 TABLE TALK Q&A with English master Pier Kooistra P’19

22 ASK THE ARCHIVIST A pre-Revolutionary tavern, Belknap House was also a home to the School’s honors students.

39 TIME WAS… 80 BY THE NUMBERS Lawrenceville’s iconic Bowl is being completely rebuilt this year.

81 STUDENT SNAP

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ALUMNI 40 ALUMNI NEWS 42 CLASS NOTES

TAKE THIS JOB AND LOVE IT

ASK THE ARCHIVIST

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KEEP UP WITH LAWRENCEVILLE EVERY DAY! YOU CAN FOLLOW MORE THAN 25 LAWRENCEVILLE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS! GET CONNECTED TO ALL OF THEM AT LAWRENCEVILLE.ORG/PAGE/SOCIAL-MEDIA/DIRECTORY.


FROM THE HEAD MASTER LAWRENCEVILLE STORIES

I "In the coming months and well beyond, you will continue to hear about the strategic plan and a series of exciting projects that are emerging. On so many levels, the School is on a roll, and it is rather exciting. And yet, none of it matters unless we continue to focus on the deeper culture, the heart and soul of the students we send out into the world. "

2 T H E L AW R E N T I A N

like to collect stories. I look for snapshots of day-to-day life at Lawrenceville, glimpses below the surface that help me keep my finger on the pulse of the School. Some are obvious and right under my nose; others are more subtle, but these anecdotes and vignettes offer a measure of our heart and soul, of our enduring culture, and, invariably, they make me proud. At alumni gatherings, I am often asked, “How is Lawrenceville really doing?” I sometimes describe initiatives coming from our strategic plan, but as often as not, I help them see the School through the lens of these narratives, these Lawrenceville stories. Here are a few that I shared recently at a gathering. We kick off the year with House Olympics – it sets the tone for the fall, bonds the Houses, and generates an outsized dose of good will and organized mayhem. You have to be there to believe it, but from the torch-lighting kickoff with School President Bri Thompson ’18 in toga, to the epic tug-of-war duels, to the final, tire-screeching, daredevil, climactic tricycle race around the Circle, it was one huge display of House spirit. Cleve won by points, and it was a mighty show of force – though judging by sheer volume of raucous cheering, the girls of Stephens were right up there. On a more sober note as September wore on, students organized a candlelight vigil to sponsor dialogue about the late-summer events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cosponsored by the Young Republicans and the Young Democrats, it was a well-attended gathering that featured a range of reflections, readings of original poetry, and impassioned pleas for dialogue and understanding. It was an effort to reach across a divide and seek common ground. Then of course there are moments when athletic competition reveals something about our students. I saw the boys’ varsity water polo team take on a perennial powerhouse rival recently. Trailing by four goals at one point with time on the clock evaporating, we surged back and tied it with fourteen seconds left. The boys were focused and played with a calm intensity. Well into overtime, we scored from the outside as the shot-clock expired. The referee allowed the goal, but our coach informed the official, who was watching the shot,

that indeed the goal should be disallowed. We wanted to win, but not that way. The opposing team began to show frustration as Lawrenceville scored again to pull ahead. In the final dramatic moments, their best player fouled out of the game and their coach was thrown off the deck with a red card from the official. Composed, calmly confident, and looking as if they could have played another quarter, our guys shook hands and got ready to cheer on the junior varisty match. Finally, we had one of the most moving School meetings I have ever attended. Our all-School read this summer was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, an African-American attorney who has spent his career shining a light on patterns of bias and injustice in our legal system. The narrative is wrenching, focusing on the most vulnerable members of society. To invite further discussion, we invited Anthony Ray Hinton to speak to the community. Mr. Hinton was wrongly convicted of murder and spent thirty years on death row before being exonerated with the aid of Stevenson. Mr. Hinton’s talk was emotionally riveting and deeply powerful. The students listened with rapt attention, and you could feel an extraordinary connection in the Kirby Arts Center auditorium. The standing ovation and extended warm applause for Mr. Hinton said it all. In the coming months and well beyond, you will continue to hear about the strategic plan and a series of exciting projects that are emerging. On so many levels, the School is on a roll, and it is rather exciting. And yet, none of it matters unless we continue to focus on the deeper culture, the heart and soul of the students we send out into the world. As I reflect on these Lawrenceville stories, and many others I collect, I could not be more confident that indeed this deeper, enduring culture of our School is thriving. Sincerely,

Stephen S. Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21 The Shelby Cullom Davis ’26 Head Master


THE LAWRENTIAN WINTER 2018 VOLUME 82 | NUMBER 1

PUBLISHER Jennifer Szwalek EDITOR Sean Ramsden ART DIRECTOR Phyllis Lerner STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Paloma Torres

PROOFREADERS Rob Reinalda ’76 Linda Hlavacek Silver H’59 ’61 ’62 ’63 ’64 GP’06 ’08

CONTRIBUTORS Alvaro Barrera ’18 Michael Branscom Andrea Fereshteh Eden Fesseha ’19 Lisa M. Gillard Hanson Jacqueline Haun Barbara Horn Joel Kimmel Donnelly Marks Divya Sammeta ’20

The Lawrentian (USPS #306-700) is published quarterly (winter, spring, summer, and fall) by The Lawrenceville School, P.O. Box 6008, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, for alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends. Periodical postage paid at Trenton, NJ, and additional mailing offices.

The Lawrentian welcomes letters from readers. Please send all correspondence to sramsden@ lawrenceville.org or to the above address, care of The Lawrentian Editor. Letters may be edited for publication. The Lawrentian welcomes submissions and suggestions for magazine departments. If you have an idea for a feature story, please query first

FROM THE EDITOR

P

utting together each issue of The Lawrentian is always a pleasure, but it comes with its challenges, too. The periodical you’re holding is one of a relatively small number of magazines with a readership ranging in age from 18 to 98 – and even beyond – of both men and women who are scattered around the globe. You represent varied cultures, with many wildly different interests and lifestyles. The one unifying characteristic among our readers is your affiliation with The Lawrenceville School, and fortunately, it is a very strong bond among people. Even that common denominator has affected you in many different ways, however. Though the School’s guiding principles have not shifted in a major way during any of our lifetimes, the Lawrenceville of today is different from what it was even twenty years ago. It was also not quite the same twenty years before that, and so on into the past. Shifts in culture and technology cannot help but exert their influence on institutions, even those as steady and purposeful as these venerable old halls. Thus, everyone’s Lawrenceville experience is, at least in part, a product of his or her own time. When I began interviewing people for this issue’s cover story, “Setting the Pace,” I explained that as much as the demands on our students have always been exceptionally rigorous, there are today more stimuli competing for their attention than ever before, and I wondered if our alumni readership was aware of this. Every day, teenagers are besieged by an avalanche of information – media, social networks, general connectivity – in unprecedented ways, from the time they wake up until their heads hit the pillow again. And that says nothing of their regular classwork, which, as you know, is … well, demanding. In turn, some of my interview subjects asked me if I ever receive feedback about the School examining ways to tame the “pace of life” at Lawrenceville without sacrificing rigor. Editing Class Notes does often provide me a glimpse into what some alums are thinking about the news we report, and I must admit, I do not recall any “back in my day” flags of generational pride being planted atop that particular hill. Then again, we’ve never featured it in this way. I would be curious to know your thoughts on today’s “pace of life” at Lawrenceville after reading this piece. In researching it, I discovered a lot of eye-opening information that really helped me appreciate the contemporary student, even more than I already did. What do you think? All the best,

to The Lawrentian Editor. Visit us on the web at www.lawrenceville.org. www.lawrenceville.org/alumni/the-lawrentian

Sean Ramsden Editor sramsden@lawrenceville.org

POSTMASTER Please send address corrections to: The Lawrentian The Lawrenceville School P.O. Box 6008 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 ©The Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, New Jersey All rights reserved.

Setting the Record Straight Our thanks to Jay McGowan ’57 and Jo Brewster Devlin H’56 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’66 ’67 P’71 for their gentle reminders that Sean Flynn ’60 was lost in Vietnam working as a photojournalist, not a combat soldier, as was reported in the fall 2017 issue of The Lawrentian. The School’s music, dance, and theater programs were integrated following the arrival of former performing arts chair Christopher Cull P’20 in 2001, not in 2005, as was reported in the fall issue. The editor apologizes for these errors.

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A THOUSAND WORDS

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE…


These lively Lawrentians took the classroom on the road for a Harkness Travel Program expedition to Germany. Weighed down by backpacks but buoyed by camaraderie, the happy hikers approached the Kärlingerhaus mountain lodge in a rural valley within Berchtesgaden National Park. Learn more about “Harkness to go” on page 8.


NEWS IN BRIEF

ARCHITECT CHOSEN FOR FIELD HOUSE/DINING HALL PROJECT L awrenceville’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to select ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge to design the new field house and dining center complex at the heart of Lawrenceville 20/20: A Vision for the Future, the strategic plan

adopted in fall 2016. Based in Boston, ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge is a nationally recognized, awardwinning architectural, planning, and design firm with distinctive experience in the renovation and design of athletic and student life

facilities. The firm has worked extensively on independent school and college campuses, and in particular has completed recent and compelling projects for Phillips Exeter Academy, St. Paul’s School, Deerfield Academy, Milton Academy, Noble & Greenough School,

! Students, board members, faculty, and staff showed their gratitude to Joe Tsai ’82 at a “Thank You, Joe!” pep rally in October in Lavino Field House. The anchor gift from the Joe & Clara Tsai Foundation allows the School to proceed with the ambitious field house and dining center project.

6 T H E L AW R E N T I A N

Episcopal School of Dallas, Princeton Day School, Boston College, Middlebury College, Harvard University, and UMass Lowell, among others. The decision, which was made by the board at its October meeting, marked the culmination of a six-month selection process that began with the consideration of 10 major architectural firms. A 21-person steering committee composed of trustees, senior administrators, and faculty narrowed the field to five leading firms, which subsequently submitted conceptual proposals. Following in-person, in-depth reviews of the five firms, the steering committee selected two for final consideration. Due diligence on the two firms included site visits to their offices and relevant completed projects.

“We were particularly impressed by ARC’s extensive experience with our peer schools, and they demonstrated an immediate grasp of our campus and our School ethos,” said Head Master Stephen S. Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21. “We look forward to working with them to design a facility that showcases our values as a community and functions as a defining center of gravity on campus.” A gift last spring from Joe Tsai ’82 and his wife, Clara, through the Joe & Clara Tsai Foundation, will serve as the anchor gift for the field house and dining center complex and has enabled the School to move forward with the project. The Board of Trustees expects to consider design concepts for the facility at its May 2018 meeting.

- Barbara Horn


DIGGING DEEP ON

BIG RED GIVING DAY The Lawrenceville community dug deep once again to surpass the challenge on Big

‘G,’ WHAT AN HONOR! Athletic Trainer Mike “G� Goldenberg

“To be recognized by your alma mater

H’96 ’97 P’05 ’10 was inducted into the

in this way and to have your name listed

Plymouth State University Athletic Hall

on the wall with the many great athletes

of Fame in October. The 1984 Plymouth

that have come through Plymouth over

State graduate has been at Lawrenceville

the years is overwhelming,� he said. “I

since 1989. It is not the first enshrine-

wouldn’t be in this position if it was

ment for Goldenberg, who was named

not for the support I received from The

to the National Athletic Trainers’ Associ-

Lawrenceville School community that

ation Hall of Fame in 2016 and Athletic

allowed me to volunteer and give back

Trainers’ Society of New Jersey Hall of

to a profession that I truly love.�

Fame in 2005.

Red Giving Day. Alumni, parents, and friends made 1,022 gifts and pledges over a 24-hour period on November 2, totaling $1,111,909 to support The Lawrenceville Fund/Parents Fund. Lawrentians easily met a generous Trustee Challenge, which promised $50,000 for each twohundred gifts or pledges, up to $200,000 for 800 gifts, with a bonus of an additional $100,000 if the number of gifts exceeded one thousand. This brought the total dollar amount for the day to an outstanding $1,411,909.

$OYDUR%DUUHUDĹ–ĹĄThe Lawrence

FIVE NAMED NATIONAL HISPANIC SCHOLARS

Five Lawrentians were selected as National Hispanic Scholars by the College Board. Jorge Casero Lopez ’18, Olalla Duato ’18, Emilia Figueroa-Valik ’18, Alondra Moreno ’18, and Sonia Shah ’18 scored among the top 2.5 percent among Hispanic and Latino PAST/NMSQT test takers in the region and have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year.

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HARKNESS TO GO!

T

he Lawrenceville School is known worldwide as a premium educational experience, but that doesn’t mean it stays anchored to the campus at 2500 Main Street. The Harkness Travel Program (formerly known as International Programs) takes the School’s House- and Harkness-driven mission into the field, traversing the globe to offer students the opportunity to lead, learn, serve, and discover through meaningful spring and summer travel experiences tied to Lawrenceville’s curriculum, service program, or other co-curricular initiatives. Several students shared their recent Harkness Travel Program reflections during School Meeting in late September, providing peers with their insights about what they learned through service, scientific research, cultural exchange, artistic performance, historical inquiry, or engagement with the natural world. In some cases, they were pushed to limits they said taught them to adapt to and overcome adversity. Lizzy Gracey ’18 described her group’s two-week trip to Iceland, where they spent the first ten days doing

day hikes and camping before the intensity was turned up.

really found my inner grit.” Sarah Long ’18 and her fellow travelers to

“The four last days, we hiked along a bigger

Tanzania spent time connecting with girls at a

trail, a 32-mile trek, and the second day was the

school there, staying in a house on its campus.

hardest day ever in my life. It was physically and

“We spent every minute we could hanging

mentally exhausting, and I was crying the whole

out with the girls; we made a million bracelets,

time,” Gracey said. “But then Mr. [John] Hughes

learned their games, sang and danced, and had

[director of Experiential Education Programs]

a great time with them,” Long said, before de-

said ‘Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!’

tailing the service component of the trip, which

And I thought, Wow, this is going to be a great

included working with local farmers and helping

theme for my senior fall, and it totally is. I feel like I

teachers in classrooms. The 15-hour flight back


DIVERSITY COUNCIL HOSTS WEEK OF REFLECTION

to the United States gave Long and others time to reflect on what they had done in the eastern African nation. “I reflected on what different types of service are,” she explained, “and I realized … the service of giving people the happiness and the hope that they deserve, especially for these girls who don’t have much; being there gave them an outof-the-ordinary couple of weeks.” Each Harkness Travel program is led by three faculty members who share their expertise and commitment to mission as facilitators of the School’s larger experiential learning objectives, according to Hughes. Lawrenceville’s travel focus, then, is not on leading students through a place and telling them what to know, but rather on empowering them to make sense of the experience for themselves. In this way, the Harkness Travel Program turns the world into another Lawrenceville classroom with opportunities to gain a deeper and broader understanding of substantive knowledge through guided reflection and dialogue. The spring/summer 2018 Harkness Travel Program will bring students to 19 countries and four continents over the course of 15 separate experiential-learning trips. Destinations include Brazil, Ghana’s Gold Coast, Greece, and Nepal.

'LY\D6DPPHWDŖšThe Lawrence

The Diversity Council, in conjunction with the Religious Life Council, Young Democrats, and Young Republicans, hosted “Charlottesville Week” in September as a way for the School community to reflect on the clash that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. “When we came back from the summer and had our first Diversity Council meeting, the members expressed that they wanted to do something about Charlottesville,” explained Tran Kim-Senior, coordinator of intercultural programs. Reponses to the question, “What are your thoughts, feelings, and/or questions about the events that took place in Charlottesville this summer?” were posted to a “reflection wall” in Irwin Dining Hall to begin the week. “We left the question pretty open-ended, because we wanted all opinions, regardless of political views, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background, to be reflected,” explained Tiffany Thomas ’18, co-coordinator of the Diversity Council. Students also screened the VICE News/HBO documentary Charlottesville: Race and Terror during a Lunch & Dialogue session. Describing the clip’s impact on her, Victoria Dugan ’20 explained, “I knew what happened, but I never physically saw [the events], so seeing them left me in shock that something like that could happen.” The week of reflection continued with a Q&A session featuring Marcus Mabry ’85, CNN director of mobile news programming, who helped students process and understand what they had seen. - Eden Fesseha '19 WINTER

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BREAKING NEWS:

OTTAWAY EARNS LEOPOLD AWARD

B

y the time David B. Ottaway ’57 P’86 ’91 retired from the investigative unit of The Washington Post in 2006, his career in journalism had taken him around the globe. Ottaway didn't have to travel far, however, to understand the essential barrier standing in the way of reporters’ efforts to expose truth. “Censorship is the sworn enemy of journalists,” says Ottaway, who originally encountered this nemesis while writing on the staff of The Lawrence as a student in the 1950s. An editorial he had written, in which he called for racial integration at the School, was spiked for fear of antagonizing an influential board member opposed to the idea. The decision, he says, helped shape his future. “It was my first encounter with the suppression of news,” recalls Ottaway, who returned to Lawrenceville in October to receive the Aldo Leopold Award, conferred annually upon an alumnus or alumna of the School who represents “brilliant, lifelong work in a lifetime endeavor. The medal is dedicated to the memory of Aldo Leopold, the distinguished environmentalist and author who graduated from Lawrenceville in 1905. Ottaway’s interest in racial integration stemmed from a religion class taught by Robert S. Wicks ’41 and a discussion about social justice. “Both of us were just talking about the state of the School and the lack of diversity

10 T H E L A W R E N T I A N

! Head Master Stephen S. Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21 and Alumni Association President Ian S. Rice ’95 flank David B. Ottaway ’57 P’86 ’91, who was presented the Aldo Leopold Award in October.

as an adjunct to a discussion of issues – religious issues – and ‘the search for God,’ as I used to call it,” he says. Ottaway’s four-plus decades as a journalist, 35 of them with The Washington Post, took him to Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern and Southern Europe. In that time, he covered some of the era’s most significant events, including the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and the release of South African anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela from prison. A threetime winner of the Overseas Press Club award and twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Ottaway won the Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and the George Polk Award for investigative reporting. His long career in journalism provides Ottaway a long-term perspective through which to view the current political climate in the United States, particularly as it pertains to the press. “The media and the White House have this strange relationship, kind of a mutual addiction,” he says. However, while President Donald Trump is, in Ottaway’s mind, “obsessed by the media,” the current antagonism between the press and the nation’s chief executive is not a recent phenomenon. The rupture, he believes, began during the Vietnam War.

“That’s when I think the major break came in the relationship between the media and the White House, when the media discovered this constant lying to the American public,” Ottaway says. “That’s where I date the kind of contemporary inborn skepticism of the media for the White House.” Since then, the issue has continued, he says, transcending political orientation and affiliation. “Even [President] Obama; his administration turned down more Freedom of Information Act requests than any president before him,” Ottaway explains, though adding that the antagonism between the media and the president has “become much more acute, much more dangerous, and consequential” under Trump. However, even that has come with an upside, Ottaway believes. He cited a Reuters poll indicating that 48 percent of Americans have confidence in the press, a 10 percent rise from fall 2016, and adds that donations have been pouring into the Foundation for Investigative Reporting, on whose board Ottaway sits. “I am greatly encouraged by that,” he says. “We can thank President Trump for revitalizing interest in investigative reporting.”


PROVIDING ACCESS TO FUN

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP UNVEILED ITS NEW INCLUSIONARY PLAYGROUND LAST SUMMER, SUPPORTED IN PART BY A

$100,000 DONATION FROM THE LAWRENCEVILLE SCHOOL. THIS CUSTOM PLAYGROUND IS UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY, REGARDLESS OF PHYSICAL OR COGNITIVE ABILITIES. “WATCHING CENTRAL PARK EVOLVE FROM DRAWINGS TO AN ACTUAL PLAYGROUND – ACCESSIBLE TO ALL CHILDREN – HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE,” SAID HEAD MASTER STEVE MURRAY H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21. “WE CELEBRATE AND REINFORCE THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR ON- AND OFF- CAMPUS COMMUNITIES, SO WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER WITH THE TOWNSHIP.”

Leopold Expert Returns to Faculty and Farm Stephen Laubach, author of Living a Land Ethic: A History of Cooperative Conservation on the Leopold Memorial Reserve, has rejoined Lawrenceville’s faculty as a science master. He returns ready to lend his notable expertise on renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, Lawrenceville Class of 1905, to both the classroom and the Big Red Farm as the Farm’s program manager. Laubach spent the past ten years with the Earth Partnership program at the University of WisconsinMadison Arboretum, co-

founded by Leopold and formally dedicated in 1934. He has also done extensive outreach, education, and consulting work for a number of environmental organizations, including the Aldo Leopold and Sand County Foundations. Now, Laubach, who previously taught at Lawrenceville from 2000 to 2007, is enthusiastic about sharing what he has learned with Lawrentians. He is teaching Inquiries in

Biological and Environmental Science and Honors Environmental Science this year, planning to link those classes to experiential learning opportunities at the Farm. The School has convened a committee to explore ways the Farm can become part of the curriculum across disciplines. “I’ve already

FIELD HOCKEY CLAIMS TRIPLE CROWN

While Hill Day provided many thrills in November, Big Red field hockey topped the list, taking a 2-1 victory over the Blues to claim the Mid-Atlantic Prep League title. The M.A.P.L. crown came on the heels of a shutout win at Blair for the state championship three days earlier, and a 5-0 blanking of Princeton High School in the Mercer County Tournament final on October 21. By going three for three in title matches, field hockey earned the rarely accomplished triple crown of team achievement for the 2017 season.

talked to a number of community members who have personal connections to farming, and they see ways to tie the Big Red Farm into what they do,” Laubach said. “I want to do a lot of listening, see what ideas are out there, and then decide with the Farm leadership team which ones are the highest priority for the vision that we develop.” – Brittany Sun ’19

HILLMAN AMONG TOP PROSPECTS MEG HILLMAN ’19 WAS RANKED NO. 27 ON THE 2017 INSIDE LACROSSE TOP 30 YOUNG GUN JUNIOR RANKINGS LIST IN SEPTEMBER. PLAYERS ARE SELECTED BASED UPON THE ANALYSIS AND EXPERTISE OF THE MAGAZINE’S STAFF, ALONG WITH INPUT FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND CLUB LACROSSE COACHES.

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ON THE ARTS

12

T H E L AW R E N T I A N

GALA AND GLITZ FOR GUYS AND DOLLS


ith searchlights reaching high into the sky outside the Kirby Arts Center, hundreds of guests – including dozens of Periwig alumni who returned to celebrate their club’s 125th season – walked the red carpet en route to their seats to enjoy the premiere of Guys and Dolls amid a gala atmosphere in October. Inside, the highly touted performance did not disappoint. The curtain rose after months of preparation that began in the fall preseason with set-building, costume-making, and endless rehearsals. Even acclaimed set-designer Hugh Landwehr ’68, a former Periwig president who has enjoyed a long career conceiving and creating sets, both on Broadway and off, lent his considerable skill to making the stage come alive. The dual romances that developed over two acts were the product of vibrant performances by Alan Lin ’18 and Emily Li ’18, who played high-roller Sky Masterson and city missionary Sarah Brown, respectively, and Bert Getz III ’18 and Drew Korn ’18, who portrayed small-time gambler Nathan Detroit, and his long-suffering fiancée, Miss Adelaide. “Seeing people grow into their characters and make them their own has been amazing,” Korn said. “And we [had] such an awesome cast this year, which has made it so fun.” Supporting cast members also drew repeated bursts of laughter and applause for breathing life into the rollicking tale of life just beyond the bright lights of pre-World War II New York City. Charlie Christoffersen ’18, Ben Cunningham ’18, and Paul Thomas ’18, close friends in real life, made their final fall-musical appearances playing a trio of wiseguys working in the service of Nathan Detroit, earning some of the evening’s most enthusiastic responses. All agreed that the camaraderie they’ve crafted over the years serves them well on stage, even as they are playing roles, but there is no substitute for dedication to the craft. The most challenging part, Cunningham said, “… is learning how to show up to every rehearsal and immerse yourself completely in the process. One has to forget about everything else going on and commit to the moment.” Landwehr, who, along with his classmates will celebrate his 50th reunion this spring, drew inspiration for his set design of Guys and Dolls from a Lawrenceville alumnus who predated him on campus by another fifty years. “I had always thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to do the play using, as a starting point, the paintings of Reginald Marsh?” Landwehr said of the painter, a Class of 1916 graduate whose interpretations of New York from the 1920s through the ’40s highlighted the dinginess of the Bowery and the bawdiness of the city’s burlesque scene – both of which are on display in Guys and Dolls. “He painted New York City and its people and its locations and sort of teeming crowds of those eras.” Following the show’s final curtain, Periwig alumni were summoned to the stage for the Parade of Stars, an opportunity for nearly fifty former players and crew membersto take one more bow before an enthusiastic audience. Lisa M. Gillard Hanson and Hunter Korn '19 contributed to this report.


SPORTS ROUNDUP " BY KARLA GUIDO

FALL SEASON STATS


Boys’ Cross Country Record: 3-3 Coach: Chris Hyson P’14 ’16 Captains: Robert Enck ’19 Elias Salander ’18 Cameron Wenzel ’18

Girls’ Cross Country Record: 5-1 Coach: Melissa Clore Captains: Jesse Brewer ’18

Field Hockey N.J.I.S.A.A. Champions M.A.P.L. Champions Mercer County Champions Record: 16-5 Coach: Lisa Ewanchyna Captains: Lauren Cloughen ’18 Lizzie Gracey ’18

For the most current athletic news visit www.lawrenceville.org/athletics.

Football Record: 4-5 Coach: Harry Flaherty Captains: Mohammed Diakite ’18 Alex Mauro ’18

Boys’ Soccer Record: 5-10-1 Coach: Blake Eldridge ’96 H’12 Captains: Tom Ehret ’19 Jefferson Mott ’18

Girls’ Soccer Record: 6-6-2 Coach: Jessica Magnuson Captains: Kaeli Huesman ’18 Alondra Moreno ’18 Grace Xiong ’18

Girls’ Tennis Record: 13-0 Coach: Dave Cantlay H’89 ’91 ’93 ’94 ’15 P’07 ’09 ’11 Captains: Nicole Lim ’18 Khatumu Tuchscherer ’19

Girls’ Volleyball Record: 13-9 Coach: Katey O’Malley H’07 Captain: Amanda Avery ’18 Kyra Henry ’18 Calee Schmidtberger ’18

Boys’ Water Polo Garden State Tournament Champions Record: 18-12 Coach: Julio Alcantara Martin Captains: Matthew Haumann ’18 FJ Husic ’18 Yash Tanga ’18

Girls’ Water Polo Record: 5-9 Coach: Stefanie Harrison Captains: Sara Essig ’18 Anoushka Kiyawat ’18

Big Red Flattens Hill Lawrenceville’s teams played the unkind host to its rivals from Pottstown, rolling up a 9-2-1 record against Blues on Hill Day on November 4. In all, Big Red was 10-5-1 against Hill last fall.


GO BIG RED

SQUASHING THE COMPETITION

A PAIR OF NATIONALLY RANKED COMPETITORS HAVE THE GIRLS’ SQUASH TEAM COURTING ANOTHER M.A.P.L. TITLE

T

o meet Abby Dichter ’18 or Brittany Sun ’19 is to be impressed. They are poised, professional, and intelligent. Ask them about their accomplishments, whether academic or athletic, and they are steadfastly demure. Just to be clear, however: They will show you no mercy on the squash court. “I hate to lose,” says Sun, who is ranked in the top 30 in the nation* by US Squash in the Girls Under-19 division. Dichter, a top-40 player in the Under-19, sees things very similarly. “The competition and intensity of squash kind of gives you a high,” she says. Sun began playing the sport at age 10 and won her first US Squash Girls Under-13 tournament the following year, quickly reaching the top 15 in her age group. She enjoyed her ascent. “I really liked playing squash competitively,” Sun says. “My coaches saw that I was putting in * as of October 18, 2017 16

T H E L AW R E N T I A N

By LISA M. GILLARD HANSON

my best effort. I always worked my hardest and didn’t give up.” Compared with Sun, Dichter was a latecomer to the game, first picking up a racket as a sixthgrader at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and then at Fairmount Athletic Club in nearby King of Prussia. “I really only started playing at a high, intense level in high school,” says Dichter, who nevertheless rose quickly through the ranks, finishing ninth at nationals last year after a season that saw her ranked as high as eighth in the Under-17 division. “I played well because I was relaxed, and I really had fun with it,” she says. “That’s when I realized how much I love to play the game. I was thinking about points and working angles and strategy. It felt more like a game than a competitive sport.” Both Dichter and Sun play smart – and slightly wicked – games. “I think my strength is just mixing it up and being deceptive,” Dichter says. “Some coaches tell you that you need to just keep playing drives and

outlast your opponent. That’s not fun to watch or play.” Sun is a fan of what she calls “cool, trick shots,” her favorite being a drop shot – a low, gentle volley that slows the ball so much that it dies close to the front wall. It’s nearly impossible for opponents to return. “And that’s why I love it,” Sun says, a devilish grin spreading across her face. In addition to competing for the Big Red squash team, the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Prep League champs, both girls travel around the country for tournament play. Excellent time-management skills, along with Lawrenceville’s supportive faculty, allow the girls to maintain their high academic standards. For the past two years, Sun was selected as a US Squash Scholar Athlete, an award recognizing high school students who excel both in the classroom and on the squash court. Next year, Dichter will attend Brown University where she will compete for the Bears’ squash team. “It’s a really great, rigorous school, and I love


the open curriculum,” she says. “Their squash team is pretty good, and I really wanted to play in college, so Brown was perfect.” As a Fourth Former, Sun has yet to select her next academic stop but also has high aspirations. Both girls acknowledge that it can be difficult to balance schoolwork with nationally competitive squash, but both are more than game for the effort. When away at a tournament, Dichter, who won the Big Red Effort Award for Lawrenceville’s girls’ squash team last year, will often return to her hotel room between matches to complete assignments.

“It’s difficult, because your body just wants to relax, but you have to prioritize the work. School comes first,” she says. Sun sometimes photographs her textbook pages and later studies the photos to avoid hauling heavy books to matches and tournaments. “If I miss Friday and Saturday classes, I have to learn everything by myself or ask my friends and teachers,” she says. “For assessments, I come back during consultation or after school to make everything up.” Tournament play is great, but both Lawrentians really enjoy being a part of the Big Red

squash team. “They are my sisters,” Sun says. Dichter concurs, adding, “It’s so nice cheering for other people and having your friends come and cheer for you.” Squash, Sun says, has taught her to “push through, persevere, and never give up,” extending her will to improve and succeed into the classroom. “If I’m struggling with an essay or test, I know that if I keep going at it and put in my best effort, I can do it,” she explained.

# Brittany Sun '19 and Abby Dichter '18 are chasing another Mid-Atlantic Prep League squash title.

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TAKE THIS JOB AND LOVE IT

PREMIUM-FUR PHONE CASES HAVE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT NINA CHENG ’04.

A REAL CONVERSATION STARTER

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o be sure, Nina Cheng ’04 knew her idea for was going to be big before it received the nod from Vogue. Cheng’s fun if fanciful products – furcovered smartphone cases and accessories – earned a reception that was anything but fuzzy from the fashion pages of The New York Times and stores like Bergdorf Goodman, though that wasn’t the moment, either. Cheng, a former investment banker and private-equity professional, was sure she had a winner on her hands – but it wasn’t for sale. Not yet. “I made a prototype for myself, because I needed a phone case and it was cold outside, so was literally a way for me to stay warm while using the phone,” says Cheng, who lives in Manhattan. Checking into a fashionable city hotspot with a friend one cold January night, the furry sample in hand, she was besieged by curious fellow patrons wanting to know more about the cozy curiosity.

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“Everyone was asking me, ‘Where can I buy it? Who makes it? Can I take a picture of it?’” she recalls. “Everyone was just so excited. Complete strangers were coming up to me saying, ‘What? What is this?’ There were a lot of emotional reactions.” It’s not that Cheng had no intentions of taking her furry phone cases to the market before that night. On the contrary, she was already developing ideas for a startup, even as she still had one foot in private equity. “I had this idea that was starting to get some traction,” says Cheng, who early on had created an Instagram account to tout the brand, which led to several offline conversations with retail buyers and fashion editors. “One of the things that people kept telling me was that I needed a ‘proof of concept’ – essentially, I either needed my first paying customer, or further evidence that someone would be a buyer of whatever it was I was selling.” Cheng wasn’t set up yet for production or marketing. What she had, however, was

consumer interest. Her chilly night out with friends convinced her of that. Over the next few months, she continued to refine the design and was prepared to debut her website in October 2016 when she received a phone call from a New York Times reporter who wanted to feature Wild and Woolly the next week in her September 21 column. “I launched the website early in order to link to that feature,” Cheng says. “It was pretty much the more fortuitous start ever.” The Times reporter, Erica M. Blumenthal, captured it well: “Basically, they’re fur coats for your phone,” she wrote in the first of a series of press hits Wild and Woolly would see over the coming months. Once the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail published a photo of Kim Kardashian using an authentic Wild and Woolly phone case, the product’s meteoric ascent began in earnest. “Kim was really huge for the business, because the Daily Mail is the most widely read news outlet in the world, apparently,” Cheng says. “And Kim is definitely the most recognized celebrity in


injection molding. Furs are cut and assembled by professional fur craftsmen, also in the city. In an on-demand world, however, the relative difficulty of procuring a Wild and Woolly case has stimulated the luxury appeal of the brand, and Cheng has managed to sell more than five thousand Wild and Woolly items to consumers worldwide and to more than forty stores in fourteen countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. People, she

says, recognize her creation now, even if they don’t necessarily recognize her. “Recently, when I was in London, a girl saw that I had these mink earrings on, and she said, ‘Oh, I know someone who makes fur phone cases,’” says Cheng, who was too modest to let on, content to let the moment pass. “But then my friend next to her said, ‘Yes, that’s her!’” See what the ‘fuzz’ is all about at wildandwoollyNY.com and at stores worldwide.

# The reception to Nina Cheng’s ’04 Wild and Woolly phone cases and accessories has been anything but fuzzy.

Photograph by Donnelly Marks

the world, whether we like it or not.” With the sixth-largest following in the world on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media site, there is no doubt that Kardashian injected Wild and Woolly squarely into the consciousness of her fans. Images of her furry phone went “viral.” The effect was amplified when younger sister Kylie Jenner requested a phone case, which she used on her reality TV show, The Life of Kylie. “They definitely legitimized the whole brand as a bona fide ‘it girl’ product,” Cheng says. “Along with a slew of other celebrities in the fashion world – street-style stars – it kind of helps the brand grow in terms of getting something that’s luxury and really fashionable. It sort of justifies the price too, because it is rather expensive ... fur in general makes things expensive.” Ah, yes, the cost. Cheng readily admits her Wild and Woolly phone cases and accessories such as furry earrings, scarves, bag charms, and cardholders, are priced at a point that is not accessible to everyone. That’s the consequence, she says, of using premium, sustainably sourced beaver fur purchased from the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Western Alaska and from the Certified Collection of Saga Furs of Finland, a designation requiring its member fur farms to meet thirtytwo rigorous standards for environmental management and animal well-being that extend well beyond the European Union standard. Prices for the twenty-five varieties of phone cases start at $310 for the Walla Walla, and climb to $415 for the Fontenelle. A plush, reversible Daniel Boone scarf will set you back $1,440. “I’ve had people who are extremely opposed to fur approach me about it, and then once they learn our process, they start to come around because it’s not just something needless and extravagant,” Cheng says, explaining the Yup’ik’s traditional, aboriginal lifestyle of hunting and fishing for subsistence. Their entire economy is based on salmon-fishing and fur-trading. In the winter, selling fur is their sole source of income. “It’s definitely not the most cost-effective way,” she explains, “but I feel like if I’m going to do this, and especially using a material that’s controversial, then I want it to be done as a way that has integrity.” The small-scale, handmade production process also makes Wild and Woolly items relatively scarce, keeping prices at a rather lofty level. Wild and Woolly’s protective “jelly” cases are 3D-printed, individually, in Brooklyn – a costlier and considerably slower process than

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TABLE TALK

Q&A

LISTENING WITH HUMILITY By his own admission, Pier Kooistra P’19 was a middling, undisciplined student before transferring to a boarding school after two years of high school and colliding headfirst with Harkness. For Kooistra, the awakening it brought not only focused his efforts in the classroom, but provided him a map for life. Now the Robert S. and Christina Seix Dow Distinguished Master-Teaching Chair in Harkness Learning, Kooistra explained to The Lawrentian how a dose of humility helped hone his ability to think dialogically. Your academic discipline is English. What drew you to this subject? Were you much of a reader as a child? I loved it more than anything else, and loved paying attention to language, but the serious discipline required of a genuine high school student was not something I was interested in. I spent my freshman and sophomore years at the local high school, doing almost nothing. I was on the fast track to nowhere.

That’s hard to reconcile with what we know of you now. What changed? I remember hanging out at a pizza joint one night with a bunch of my buddies and not feeling at all well. I literally fell out of my chair with searing pain in my gut, and it just hit me in an instant. I’m 15 years old, and on the surface I’m Mr. Easygoing. Everything is great, not a care in the world. But all of a sudden, it hit me: I was on

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the path to nowhere. I had these very ambitious images of college, and I suddenly realized, I’ve created no path. In fact, I’ve created a path in the opposite direction.

That’s quite a revelation for a 15-year-old. How did you reverse course from that point? When I got home, I said to my parents, “Mom and Dad, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m such a liar; I’m doing nothing in school. I haven’t done anything! Is there any chance that I could restart my academic life by going away to boarding school?”

How did you know that was what you needed to do? In about a three-year period, I had one bolt of insight and that was it! I just thought, I’ve got to start fresh. But I was so staggeringly immature. I had all these friends who were getting great

educations at our high school, and I said, “For some reason they’re more mature, and I am attracted to every distraction.” I asked for a strict boarding school, and I finally found one. I thought it was just perfect, and for some reason, they let me in [to St. Andrew’s School in Delaware].

What changed for you besides your setting? Was it your introduction to Harkness? It was utterly transformative, in part because we sat at Harkness tables. Having been this arrogant, lazy, class-clown figure at high school, I found myself in a situation in which you always had to listen, because people were engaging in a much different level of discourse.

What in particular about Harkness resonated with you? All of a sudden, it became clear to me: I couldn’t hide anymore. There was no hiding. There are no passengers; everybody’s supposed to be crew, to borrow that wonderful Marshall McLuhan line. We all have responsibilities that we have to meet. That was such a difference-maker for me.

You must have had a lot of catching up to do. I felt like in terms of some raw intellectual talent, I could hang with these kids if I worked as hard as they have, but the basic message I got from listening to them was I’m at the bottom of the pile. If I’m going to catch up, the only way is through work. I’m going to have to learn to listen with a tremendous humility. I’m going to have to learn


to observe their habits of mind, and I’m going to have to feel comfortable and confident about the value of that.

You said “listening with humility.” If you boil Harkness down to its essence, isn’t that very much what it’s all about? I think that’s exactly right. You could engage in lots of different acts of distillation, but you really might say that it boils down to those few words. Fundamentally, participation is really about listening. You’re going to have to get used to the notion that you’ll spend vast majority of your time listening to other people’s thinking rather than giving voice to your own.

And that can be a difficult impulse to tame for some students? Many people think class participation is speaking up, but the kids who are most effective in this model are the ones who learn that participation is fundamentally about taking parts of what others have said and using those to arrive at a much more carefully, fully synthesized understanding of some complex question or problem.

That seems like a skill that will serve them well in their careers as they make the transition from the Harkness table to the conference table. It’s interesting that you mention the conference table. I’m no expert in the biography of Edward Harkness, but one thing I can’t resist saying is he would be acutely uncomfortable knowing that we refer to what he called a “conference method” as the Harkness method. He referred to this as the “conference method” and was interested in seeing this as a conference table, reminding people the whole idea is to confer.

! Pier Kooistra P’19, the master teaching chair in Harkness Leaning, says the method demands the full attention and participation of students to be successful.

experiences … you do end up thinking differently.

Students from rather varied socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds sit at these tables, which would seem to lend itself to an increasingly varied set of perspectives.

Does this broad set of perspectives function similarly to fiction, providing students a lens into the experiences of others?

It does, and the reality is that Harkness and diversity are … they’re fraternal twins. They’re not identical, but there’s a tremendous amount of overlap between the two of them and they are mutually influential in a very positive way.

Yes. In fact, one of the things that I marvel at is at exactly the moment that huge bodies in scientific literature talk about the decreasing capacity for empathy in contemporary teenagers, we see the opposite in these kids.

So, it’s a way in which the oft-touted benefits of diversity becomes reified?

Your role has you observing and partnering with other faculty to discuss best practices – what’s working well and what isn’t. What can you share?

The incredibly hard work that the School has done over the last generation to diversify has done so much to realize much more fully the potential of Harkness learning. To turn “conference method” into a real congress of people from different backgrounds and

Here’s one example: I’m working with the newer members in the English Department this term, and they’re talking with one another with such generous candor about the struggles

they’re having. I love acknowledging that and saying, “Listen, you’re not having these struggles because you’re new. These struggles are the classic challenges that any Harkness teacher faces.” I love being able to say to them, “I’ve been immersed in this work for twenty-five years, and part of its richness is its difficulty.”

What has the role taught you? I’m supposed to be this master teacher, but what I really am is the master pirate. I remember telling a group a couple years ago that I get to go into all their classrooms and see them in action more than anybody else does, and I become the No. 1 mimic-in-chief. I see all the great moves they’re making, and I very quickly go back to my classroom and think, hold it, I’m struggling with these guys, but I just saw somone do this amazing thing. I’m going to try that. And guess what? It works.

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ASK THE ARCHIVIST

BY JACQUELINE HAUN

In With the Inn Crowd

Now faculty housing, Belknap House was a pre-Revolutionary tavern

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mong today’s students, Hamill House holds pride of place as the oldest student residence on campus, but throughout more than two centuries of Lawrenceville School history, students have occasionally lived in Houses of even more ancient vintage. One of the most historic of these buildings is Belknap House, located at 2481 Main Street in the Village of Lawrenceville, which predates the School’s founding by nearly seventyfive years. The original house, still visible as the smaller section of the home located farthest to the south of the property and distinguished by its visible fieldstone foundation, was built in the late 1730s, according to architectural experts. Early township records show that in 1756, John Anderson purchased a license for the building as a tavern on the King’s Highway (now Main Street/Route

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206), the main thoroughfare between New York and Philadelphia in what was then Maidenhead, now known as Lawrence Township. In colonial America, taverns and inns were more than just the equivalent of modern restaurants or hotels for travelers along the road; they also served as community centers that hosted local government assemblies and often functioned as the courthouse, post office, tax office, and polling place, all in one. Because taverns were often the location for such government business, tavern owners often became prominent individuals in their community, and John Anderson was no exception, having served as the township clerk at one point. In 1766, Benjamin Brearley purchased the building and expanded the tavern, adding what is now the middle section of the house and commemorating that addition by adding the date “1767” to the brickwork of the chimney. According to legend, less than a decade later, the British took control of the tavern during

the American Revolution for use as temporary headquarters. Although the legend never specifies when nor under which leaders this occupation took place, it may have been in January 1777, when eight thousand British troops under Gen. Charles Cornwallis moved from Princeton toward Trenton to do battle with American Gen. George Washington. While fifty-five hundred of the British troops marched onward towards Trenton, the remainder remained behind in Maidenhead under the care of Gen. Alexander Leslie. Cornwallis himself had stayed in the village a month previously, on the night of December 8, 1776, and noted of the occasion that, “One night in Maidenhead was more than enough,” but took his lodging at nearby John Moore’s inn, opposite the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, rather than at the Anderson tavern. Whether the British troops at Anderson’s tavern found the village more entertaining is lost to history. Following the Revolution, the tavern passed through the hands of several other owners until


Left: Lawrenceville acquired the 200-year-old Belknap House in 1946; it soon became home to 15 students. Center: A significant renovation to the house in 2012 revealed what was beneath the familiar white clapboard siding. Right: Now a faculty residence, Belknap looks every bit as proud and stately today as at any time in its history.

that was once home to the School’s honors students. it came to Phillip Hendrickson, who purchased the land and a tavern license in 1791. The house and extensive acres of land on which it then sat would remain in the Hendrickson family for onehundred fifty years, although it is not clear when the house ceased being a tavern and became simply a family home. Sometime during the Hendrickson family’s ownership, the final additions to the house were made on the most northerly side of the building and the stone exterior was covered (per the fashion of the day) with wooden clapboards. When Sering D. Wilson bought the home from the Hendricksons in 1941, he fully modernized the house for the first time, although he left standing an ancient fieldstone smokehouse, still visible near the foot of the driveway. It was not until the end of World War II that the dwelling came into the possession of The Lawrenceville School. In the fall of 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, a recordbreaking 583 students arrived at Lawrenceville,

including 229 new students, 23 of them returned veterans anxious to complete their Lawrenceville educations. With 158 Fifth-Form boys to house (up from 115 senior students in 1945) and Upper House at capacity with 88 residents, the administration purchased the old Hendrickson homestead and renamed it as “Belknap House,” in honor of Waldron P. Belknap, Class of 1891 and president of the Lawrenceville Board of Trustees from 1930 until 1943. In addition to the fifteen students housed in Belknap, an additional nineteen students lived in Kinnan House and smaller numbers in Wayside, Wagner, and other campus buildings. For the next thirty years, Belknap remained a unique House. For one, it served as an “honors” House for scholarly Fifth Formers, a fact reflected in its persistent ranking as the board leader for house grade averages when such things were routinely printed in The Lawrence. Belknapians were also excused from the regular campus work program. That is not to say that Belknap

residents did not have to work as hard as other students. On the contrary, they had their own independent work system for maintenance of the House and grounds, driven by their relative isolation from campus, and perhaps a certain special House pride, as exemplified by the House motto, which proclaimed Belknap as “The House where excellence is not only encouraged – it is a minimum requirement.” Belknap’s last year as a student residence was 1973, when the School’s administration decided that, for safety reasons, students would no longer be housed in buildings on the far side of Main Street from campus. Since that time, it has remained a faculty house, shared by two faculty families. In 2012, the history of the House was literally laid bare for several weeks, revealing the brick and stone underpinnings of the House’s many stages as the building was renovated. With its structure strengthened and improved, there is hope that Belknap House may stand for another three centuries.

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Not Just a


Namesake

LEWIS PERRY ’94, WHOSE SURNAME HELPED INSPIRE THE PERIWIG MONIKER, WAS INFLUENTIAL WELL BEYOND THE STAGE.

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By RONALD MANGRAVITE ’68 P’18

hen the Periwig Club first began in 1892, few if any of its original members could have predicted what effect they might have on the generations of Lawrentians to follow. One founder had a particularly enduring impact: Lewis Perry, Class of 1894, was a driving force behind Periwig as a student before returning as a teacher, a housemaster, and Periwig faculty advisor. Years later, as the renowned principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, he spread the gospel of the House system and created the Harkness conference teaching method. Regarding three core Lawrenceville concepts – Harkness, House and Periwig – Lewis Perry was integral to them all. Perry arrived on campus in January 1891 as a 13-year-old transfer student from Phillips Academy Andover. The youngest of six children, he had grown up in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in a lively household headed by his father, Arthur Perry, a professor of political economy at Williams College. The young Perry had followed in the footsteps of an older brother and enrolled at Andover that fall, but quickly fell behind in his Latin class. When Andover advised the Perry family to hire a tutor at their expense, Arthur Perry abruptly withdrew his son from Andover halfway through his first term. “My father became so angry that he told me I couldn’t go back to Andover, but that I could go to any preparatory school I chose,” Perry recalled in later years. In need of a new school, Perry chose Lawrenceville, where a couple of friends were enrolled. Lewis found Lawrenceville “a friendly, happy place, with good teaching and insistence on work and character. It was a good place to grow up in.” Head Master James Cameron Mackenzie had initiated the House system at Lawrenceville in the previous decade, a striking innovation unique among American boarding schools. Modeled after Rugby, Harrow, Eton, and other leading British schools, the Lawrenceville houses offered a close, genial, residential life that must have felt familiar to Perry, who grew up amidst the bustle of his large family back in Williamstown. Perry dived into campus life, signing up for clubs and athletic teams and making an immediate impact. Mackenzie termed him “an attractive young boy; his skill at tennis, dramatic gifts, and all-around ability made him an outstanding figure in the class of 1894.” A solid but not outstanding student and an indifferent baseball player, Perry made his mark on the tennis courts and at The Lawrence, where he was named managing editor in his Fifth-Form year. His passion for theatre also spurred him to co-found the Lawrenceville Dramatic Association in February 1892, becoming one of the original eighteen students in the membership.

The Class of 1894’s Lewis Perry (second from left, seated) was one of the founding members of the Periwig Club, and served as its second president. (Courtesy Phillips Exeter Academy Archives) WINTER

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Perry made his acting debut in the lead role in the club’s first major production, As You Like It, Up to Date, which was staged in the old gymnasium the following year. The production was deemed a triumph, and by the time Perry graduated in the spring of 1894, the drama club was an established part of Lawrenceville culture. After graduating from the School, Perry returned to his hometown to attend Williams College, where he continued to pursue the passions he had followed at Lawrenceville – theater, tennis, and even Lawrenceville itself, serving as president of Williams’ Lawrenceville

alumni club. He also led the drama club and found time to oversee the student dramatic program at the local high school in Williamstown. Intent on following a career in the academy, Perry returned to New Jersey to earn an M.A. in English literature at Princeton. There, his mentor was Professor Woodrow Wilson, soon to become the president of Princeton and afterward, of the United States. With a graduate degree in hand, Perry joined the Lawrenceville faculty in 1899 for a twoyear stint as a teacher of English and elocution, assistant master of Dickinson, and, coach of tennis

PERRY MADE HIS ACTING DEBUT IN THE LEAD ROLE IN THE CLUB’S FIRST MAJOR PRODUCTION, AS YOU LIKE IT, UP TO DATE, BY THE TIME PERRY GRADUATED IN THE SPRING OF 1894, THE DRAMA CLUB WAS AN ESTABLISHED PART OF LAWRENCEVILLE CULTURE. 26

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and baseball. He was also the new faculty advisor of the drama club, which the membership had dubbed “Periwig” the year prior. School lore has it that the name had been chosen as a nod to Perry, but the original notice of the name change in the June 21, 1898, edition of The Lawrence makes no note of this intention. Regardless, Perry brought the club he cofounded to an even more prominent level with the production of The Private Secretary, a sprightly comedy which, in his words “made the greatest hit which any play had made up to that time.” Perry’s years as a teacher and housemaster at Lawrenceville profoundly shaped his views on education. He began to see how the School’s emphasis on community and extracurricular learning, the core principles of the House system, could balance and enhance the rigor of the classroom. Years later, in 1935, in a speech made during the School’s 125th anniversary celebration, he looked back on the time: “I came


Left: Both personable and sociable, Lewis Perry began his 32-year tenure as principal of Phillips Exeter Academy in 1917. Right: The innovative Perry, who helped found the Periwig Club at Lawrenceville as a student, tried unsuccessfully to establish his alma mater’s English-style House system to Exeter. (Photos courtesy Phillips Exeter Academy Archives)

back to teach, but in reality I came back to learn. These were important years for me. I learned that [people] were more important than methods. I learned that the essential quality of every good school is its teachers. I learned the importance of play in a school. I learned that a good school must be a place of understanding. What makes a school an understanding place comes from the waitresses and workmen on the grounds, as well as teachers and patrons. We who are alumni, we who are teachers, and we who are parents and friends share alike in this belief that great teachers make great schools and that the tradition that the teachers of Lawrenceville have made has looked toward liberation of thought and nobility of character.” In 1901, Perry accepted a teaching position at Williams College, but his departure did not end his relationship with Lawrenceville. The importance of the community and communication in education he learned there would have profound consequences in years to come. His back-and-forth path between Lawrenceville and Williams caused Perry to fear that he was following too narrow an educational path, but his eleven years at Williams proved fruitful. He gained a tenured professorship and became well known for his lively, personable teaching style. Perry’s growing reputation drew the attention of the trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy, who, in search of a new principal, offered him the job. Excited by the challenge of leading a prominent prep school, Perry became Exeter’s eighth principal in 1914. Although Exeter was renowned as a stern, proud place, one rather formal and rigid in its rules, Perry brought a warmth and a willingness to forgive when students went astray. His eventual successor, William G. Saltonstall, commented on one such act of mercy, when Perry overrode a faculty choice to deny a student his chance to perform in a school play due to a poor grade. “It reflects two aspects of Perry as principal. One was his confidence to do what he believed was right, to stand up for his own educational


PERRY’S INTEREST IN PEOPLE NEVER WANED. HE JOINED MANY SOCIAL CLUBS, SERVED AS A TRUSTEE ON SEVERAL BOARDS, AND BEFRIENDED PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. EVEN RETICENT PERSONALITIES OPENED UP TO HIM. A CHANCE ENCOUNTER ON A TRAIN WITH SHY, MODEST EDWARD S. HARKNESS RESULTED IN A LIFELONG FRIENDSHIP. principles,” Saltonstall said. “The other was his accessibility to students, a willingness to meet with them and to work sympathetically to solve their problems for their own benefit and for the good of the school.” Perry’s interest in people never waned. He joined many social clubs, served as a trustee on several boards, and befriended people from all walks of life. Even reticent personalities opened up to him. A chance encounter on a train with shy, modest Edward S. Harkness resulted in a lifelong friendship. The men were an odd pairing: Harkness was soft spoken and insular, while Perry was expansive and sociable. Harkness was immensely wealthy, the heir of a vast Standard Oil fortune; Perry lived sparely and insisted on paying his share when the men dined together. One of America’s foremost philanthropists, Harkness gave over $2 billion (in today’s valuation) to many of America’s great cultural institutions. By 1930, Harkness had funded the construction of a new House system for Harvard, followed by a similar project at Yale. It is difficult to imagine how Harkness became so enamored of the House system without the knowledge gleaned from his friend, Perry, sharing his experiences at Lawrenceville. However, Perry did not approach Harkness for any major project support for Exeter. This ongoing reticence finally prompted an outburst from Harkness: “Damn it, Lewis, don’t you know I have money? Everyone else asks for it; why don’t you?” Later, Harkness wrote Perry, “If you will get up a scheme, I’ll give you all the money you need to put it in operation.” But Perry’s modest plans – more student advising, some minor renovations, a series for guest speakers – did not impress Harkness.

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“You are thinking of improving an existing institution by building on what you have got now,” the wealthy benefactor wrote. “I am thinking of something much more radical than that.” What Harkness wanted was to rethink the basic educational delivery system, the lecture-based model that required a one-way exchange from teacher to student. As Perry later wrote, “The possibilities of Mr. Harkness’ proposal were so staggering that it was difficult at first to either get or give a clear idea as to what we wanted.” At the urging of his friend, Perry set about to reinvent preparatory education in the United States at Exeter. As his old head master, Mackenzie, had done before him, Perry turned to the British boarding schools as models. He traveled to Britain to visit the great public schools and returned to create what became known as the Harkness System, in honor of its patron. Perry’s proposal of 1930 called for the famous oaken oval tables to create a conference style of peer-based discussion in tandem with a residential House system. The proposal had significant expenses. The Harkness tables were not in themselves costly but they seated only ten to twelve students, which meant smaller classes and more classrooms, which doubled as the masters’ offices. The plan also called for more teachers on salary with reduced teaching loads. The residential houses were also smaller in size than dormitories, with more costs for reconstruction and additional ongoing maintenance. Unfazed, Harkness accepted Perry’s plan and provided complete funding amounting to $5,840,000, or upward of $85.5 million in today’s dollars. Exeter began the transition to the Harkness conference table system in 1931. Soon after, the nearby St. Paul’s School, Harkness’ alma mater,

followed. Lawrenceville Head Master Mather Abbott scheduled a meeting with Harkness to discuss funding support. Precisely how this came about remains in the realm of speculation. It seems probable that Perry initiated the contact; another possibility is that Harkness, a devout Presbyterian, was drawn to Lawrenceville’s reputation as the nation’s most prominent Presbyterian boarding school. Abbott’s encounter with Harkness was a misfire, however; a clash of personalities. The reserved Harkness was prepared to discuss underwriting the expansion of Perry’s new educational system to Lawrenceville, but the fiery Abbott had other plans. Instead, the head master was intent on building out Lawrenceville’s campus, and he wanted money for bricks and mortar. He came away empty-handed and Harkness turned toward other projects. After Abbott’s unexpected death in 1933, his successor Allan V. Heely H’97 ’27, took up the cause. According to Jacqueline Haun, Lawrenceville’s archivist, Heely negotiated with Harkness primarily through Malcolm Aldrich, a staff member of Harkness’ Commonwealth Fund who became its president after Harkness’ death in 1940. After the gift was approved in 1936, financing was arranged, building construction and renovation began, and Harkness tables arrived at Lawrenceville the following year. Ironically, Perry’s proposed reinvention of Exeter did not quite come off. The Harkness conference table system was quickly and fully adopted, but the residential transformation of the Academy was not, despite having funding in place. Similar results occurred at other schools. Only at Lawrenceville was Perry’s original vision – the pairing of House and Harkness – fully realized. Lewis Perry died in 1970 at the age of 93, but even today, those elements continue to be the backbone of Lawrenceville and, together with Periwig, remain central to the student experience. Ronald Mangravite ’68 P’18 is the author of American Prep – the Insider’s Guide to U.S. Boarding Schools.


“Lawrenceville’s resources

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO CONSIDER A PLANNED GIFT!

afforded me opportunities I never thought possible, and I am extremely grateful. There are so many teachers and coaches to whom I am indebted for their guidance and support.”

Tom Tesauro ’08 grew up in Lawrenceville and has readily embraced the School and its traditions his entire life. Since graduating from Villanova, which he attended on a baseball scholarship, Tom has pursued a career in finance at Goldman Sachs, earning an M.B.A. from Villanova along the way. He became the youngest member of the John Cleve Green Society when he named Lawrenceville as beneficiary of a portion of a life insurance policy. “The least I could do is pay it forward to, in my opinion, the best institution on earth,” Tom says. An enthusiastic volunteer, he now serves as young alumni/ae chair for the John Cleve Green Society, as well as president of The Lawrenceville Finance Society.

For more information on leaving a bequest to Lawrenceville or for other planned giving opportunities, or if you’ve included Lawrenceville in your will but not yet informed the School, please contact Jerry Muntz at the Lawrenceville Office of Planned Giving at 609-620-6064 or jmuntz@lawrenceville.org, or go to www.lawrenceville.planyourlegacy.org.


How can Lawrenceville create time and space for a more reflective, measured existence for its students?

A

By SEAN RAMSDEN • Illustrations by Øivind Hovland

lthough she knew that serving as School president would require even more of a Lawrenceville student’s most precious commodity – time – than she was used to surrendering, Brianna Thompson ’18 had no idea the demands of the office would permeate nearly every free moment of her life, settling into the gaps like a fog. “I recognized that it was a huge time commitment and a monumental task,” Thompson says, “but I had never really thought about all of the moving parts that go into it and all of the obligations that would take precedence over other things that I want to do.” Don’t be misled, though. Thompson is managing just fine in her highly visible role, one she enjoys. In her swirling world of academics, friendships, athletics, and other extracurriculars, the Fifth Former from Kingston, Jamaica, is a picture of efficiency. With an

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uncanny poise that belies her youth and her frenzied schedule of commitments, Thompson hardly hesitates before answering any questions about an issue that has bedeviled Lawrenceville students for as long as anyone can remember: the grueling pace of life at the School. Talented, ambitious students, seeking the ultimate prep experience, are drawn to the notable rigor of Lawrenceville, but often perceive themselves as being locked in competition against their peers and themselves. Framing that entire conflict is the twenty-four-hour limit a single day allows to get things done. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like enough time. “Being at Lawrenceville, you see what you’re doing, and separate from everyone else, you could look at it and say it’s enough,” Thompson explains. “But when you start comparing yourself to kids who do five billion things and are still managing to get the grades that you wish you had, you're like, Well, I guess I just need to do more things, and that digs you into a hole that you don’t know how to get out of.”


Such pressures, whether they are internally driven or fueled by real external forces, have increased over the years, reaching what many agree is an all-time high. In fact, the pressuredriven health risks are considered to be significant enough that the School convened a Pace and Quality of Life Task Force last spring to learn more about the strongest points of stress and to recommend strategies for relieving them. Yet if Lawrenceville has forever been seen as a proving ground for some of the brightest, most motivated students seeking admission into the nation’s top colleges and universities, why has the issue of “pace of life” only now become a point of action? And how does the School open pressure valves for students without abandoning the academic culture that makes Lawrenceville what it is?

“As I spent my first year at the School listening and putting my finger on the pulse, it quickly became clear that we have a grinding pace of life that needs some alleviation,” says Head Master Stephen S. Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21, who began his role in July 2015. “But of course as you dig in, it is not so simple. People are here, adults and students, because they are eager to work hard and to make the most of the opportunity.” Capitalizing on that opportunity can be defined in various ways by different audiences, however. Though Lawrenceville offers a breadth of experiences and opportunities for exploration and self-discovery that extend well beyond the Harkness table, many parents see the School primarily as their child’s ticket to the college of their choice. For a variety of reasons, though, that is no longer as simple as it once seemed,

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even in an age when many parents opt to spend as much as $20,000 for external admissions consultants and standardized-testing prep courses that often absorb another three or four hours a week from students’ packed schedules.

Alma Mater Matters

“C

ollege pressures have changed. As difficult as it was ten years ago, ten years ago was harder than twenty years ago,” says Chris Cunningham P’14 ’18, assistant head master and dean of faculty. “Fifty years ago, to go from Lawrenceville to Princeton was … well, it wasn’t easy, but if you attended a school like Lawrenceville, you probably could expect a certain kind of outcome.” The statistics reveal that college admissions has indeed become a significantly more competitive process. Last year, Princeton University offered admission to just 6.1 percent of its 31,056 applicants for the Class of 2021. That’s less than one-fifth of the 32.5 percent acceptance rate for Princeton’s Class of 1964, when it admitted 1,264 of the 3,883 who sought entry, according to a New York Times report. Twenty-five years later, the university’s admittance rate had been nearly halved to 16.9, when 2,214 applicants out of 12,482 were admitted to the Class of 1992. Demography has also shaped the changing makeup of incoming classes. One-hundred percent of the Princeton Class of 1964 were men, but slightly less than half (49.6 percent) of the new Class of 2021 are. Graduating from institutions such as Lawrenceville also no longer virtually guarantees entry, with just 9.4 percent of new admits coming from independent boarding schools, while a whopping 60.5 percent earned diplomas from public high schools. Perhaps most revealing of changing trends is that 17 percent of Princeton’s Class of 2021 are the first in their families to go to college. Simply put, there are far, far more

students competing for seats in classrooms on Nassau Street – as well as at universities all across the country – than ever before. “Hence, it is harder now than it once was in terms of the competitiveness,” says Cunningham, who chairs the Pace and Quality of Life Committee. “Just look at the stats; you choose the school, and it’s harder to get in now than it was ten years ago, which makes everything that happens at Lawrenceville higher stakes than it once was.” The timing of the process has sped up as well, Cunningham adds, with many students opting for early admission and early action applications that seemingly increase the likelihood of acceptance but also accelerate the student’s need to polish his or her application by the fall of senior year. “There are schools now that will fill more than half their class based on early applications,” he says, “and that’s huge.” Although early admission can alleviate the strain of a student’s final prep year, the compressed timeline for early applications magnifies every grade and every activity … as well as every disappointing result along the way. The accelerated pace takes a mental and physical toll on students, especially those striving in demanding environments such as Lawrenceville. “One recurring, prominent theme we hear from students is ‘everything is at stake, all of the time.’” says Jennifer Lambert, Psy.D., a staff psychologist at the School who also served on the Pace and Quality of Life Committee. “Students are left feeling like every test, paper, leadership position, and decision could have an impact on their college admission and therefore, their future happiness,” she says. “They can become exhausted and overwhelmed by managing the constant worry that it could all fall apart over one potential misstep.” It’s not that students don’t expect a demanding and fast-paced learning environment at Lawrenceville; it is what draws them, after all. But what the Pace and Quality of Life Commit-


tee seeks to do is give students a framework through which they can reevaluate and reframe their understanding of success. “Parents don’t want their children to come here so they can luxuriate around the Circle. They want them to be busy and highly programmed and get the most out of the experience,” says G. Blake Eldridge ’96 H’12, dean of students and a member of the Committee. “But what are ways in which we can reframe what activity means?” All agree that the contemporary standards for

college admission demands a greater emphasis on extracurricular involvement, but the feeling of the Committee seems to point toward greater self-programming and student ownership of their time. Thus, such activities become a vessel of self-exploration and finding fulfillment. “We have kids who are going to dedicate themselves to the arts and to community service, and for them, those are their life-worthy experiences; they give them meaning,” Eldridge says. “In the ‘requirement vacuum,’ those are the activities the kids are still going to be drawn to.

So, our sense is not that we need to slow things down, but more in thinking about how we can encourage greater agency, autonomy, and selfdirection.” Lambert, who has counseled students at Lawrenceville for twelve years, agrees, adding that high achievement and productivity can contribute to the self-esteem and positive identity of a student, but that “it’s also important to have balance and to find sources of satisfaction and meaning separate from those traditional measures of achievement.”

Where Does Time Squeeze Most Tightly? Student insights surprised the Pace and Quality of Life Committee.

T

he eleven-member Pace and Quality of Life Committee met eight times from January to May 2017, typically for between ninety minutes and two hours to determine, “What do we mean when we say that our pace of life is unsustainable, and what does that look like for different people?” as well as a series of related questions. Chaired by Chris Cunningham P’14 ’18, assistant head master and dean of faculty, the Committee theorized on some of the issues driving the “grinding” pace of life at Lawrenceville. One hypothesis: that the Third-Form year was the “boa constrictor,” as Cunningham called it, a period in students’ academic experience that was producing a disproportionate sense of pressure. “The task force got curious about that and decided to ask students,” Cunningham says of the student survey, the results of which were compiled in early summer after polling students on a range of questions about their experience. The Committee sought feedback on sources of academic satisfaction, sources of academic stress and anxiety, and overall sources of satisfaction and fulfillment in life, as well as stress and anxiety, at Lawrenceville.

“We asked about tutoring. We asked about the hardest days of the week for them. And then we also asked them what are the three most stressful terms of your career,” Cunningham says. “We had a huge amount of data. We had a pretty good result.” What the Committee learned did not necessarily confirm their original hypothesis. “We discovered that Third-Formers thought that Third Form is more stressful than Second Form, that Fourth-Formers think that Fourth Form is much more stressful than the Third Form, and that the Fifth Form thinks the Fourth Form and the Fifth-Form fall [term] are more stressful than anything else,” he says of the findings. “We found that in fact – and this is probably what you want if you’re designing it – is that as they go on, the experience becomes increasingly difficult.” At the same time, Cunningham says, the students also disclosed that they found their Fourth- and Fifth-Form academic experiences to be more fulfilling and satisfying. “So, yes, students find the work more challenging, more stressful as it goes along,” he says, “but they also find it more academically and intellectually rewarding.”

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“I think it all came out for the better”

B

efore he graduated last May, Ghael Fobes ’17 could be found on almost any given night haunting the basement floor of the Fathers Building. As the founding anchor and managing editor of L10, Lawrenceville’s student-produced, ten-minute weekly video newscast, Fobes seemed to be as much a fixture in Pop Hall as the Spinario statue in the rotunda one floor up from the L10 studio.

“When L10 became a weekly show, I was spending a solid two or three hours on it a night,” says Fobes, who also served as co-editor in chief of the Olla Podrida. “So, that was ten or twelve hours a week.” For Fobes, however, it was time well spent. He freely admits now that he made some bargains with regard to his priorities, but they were also choices he believes will serve him better as he pursues broadcast journalism at the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. What’s more, they also filled him with a feeling of great satisfaction. “When I came in [as a Third Former], I knew that I wanted to start something new, because I loved broadcast journalism already, but I also knew that I needed to have something to call my own, in some way,” says Fobes, who spent a year at Boulder High School in Colorado before transferring to Lawrenceville. He maintained good grades despite his many hours creating and building L10, though he concedes they

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would have been better had he allocated his time differently. Fobes’ college counselor even advised him that while L10 would have some positive effect on his college application process, it would not completely carry him. His grades were still key. “At that point, I acknowledged that while L10 was going help me to a certain degree if I want to go into a broadcast related field, it was taking more time away from my academics, which meant that I wasn’t going to look as good to, let’s say, an Ivy League college,” he explains. “But, you know, we’re at 117,000 views altogether on YouTube now, and we really can’t find any other high school newscast that has that number of views. That’s what I’m most proud of. When I look back at it, I just think about all those late Thursday nights with L10 and I think, You know what, those were some of the best times I’m ever really going to have in journalism.” The message Fobes relates aligns with the one Murray often espouses on infusing opportunities for hands-on creation within the School’s curriculum through Makerspaces, as well as avenues for experiential learning and even entrepreneurism. “While we are looking to create space for a more a reflective and measured existence, that does not mean we seek to reduce options or the richness of the possibilities in the curriculum,” Murray says. “As the Pace of Life Committee looks at this, one thought is to impose fewer requirements on students so that their passions can increase engagement and drive their choices. That may be the key: When you are passionate about an issue, you dive right in, and that’s not stressful.” Indeed, these opportunities are one way in which the School’s curriculum has continued to evolve, according to Cunningham. “The reason students have particular classes in their earlier careers is that we’re providing foundational experiences in every single discipline for the first two years,” he explains, “so that they can then start to specialize and dig deeper into things that they really care about as


juniors and seniors.” However, the freedom to explore one’s interests places a greater premium on time management, which is not easy for students to achieve, given their obligations, including classwork, athletics, and other extracurriculars. “For the students, it really comes down to having far more to do in the course of a day or a week or a year than they ever really have time for. What our students are involved with now, compared to when I arrived here fifteen years ago, is quite different,” says David D. Laws P’21, dean of academics. “We have more than one hundred clubs that are active, and students feeling a combination of the need to be involved in things for a college application and the desire to be involved in other things.” Like his colleagues, Laws acknowledges that Lawrenceville students wouldn’t have it any other way. “We recruit or we admit highly successful, really strong-minded, thoughtful students who want to be involved, but that competes with their time,” he says. By SEAN RAMSDEN ŢPhotography: PALOMA TORRES

Wireless and Worried

P

erhaps the most significant tandem competing for students’ time today is mobile technology and social media. Even for many adults, these portable portals into seemingly bottomless data and entertainment can be seductive, but for children who literally do not recall a time before smartphones, the devices are, in effect, extra appendages. “Yeah, it’s slightly scary to say that, but also very true,” says Thompson, the School president, of the place phones occupy in her fellow students’ lives. “I think it’s definitely affecting the pace of life at Lawrenceville.” Students’ relationship with technology is most certainly on the radar of the Pace and Quality of Life Committee, according to Cunningham.

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“That’s one of the things the task force is thinking about and is working on now,” he says, adding that the issue is not unique to Lawrenceville or even confined to the prep level of schooling. “We want to do a little more research, how other schools are thinking and talking about technology.” As it is now, the School cuts internet connection in the Houses on a graduated scale: 10:45 p.m. for the Second Form, and 11:15 for Third and Forth Forms. Fifth Formers and postgraduates have unlimited Wi-Fi. Rather than feeling resentment, Thompson says it’s for the best.

“Having the internet on all the time, or having it on really late, can start to really ramp up the pace of life, because students who are not making the smart decision to go to bed or to use the internet to do their homework, they’ll feel like their pace of life is sped up,” she says. “But at the same time, it’s hard to expect young people to be able to self-check themselves.” Laws admits this is true, and the School has taken other measures to lift the burden of selfdisciplined internet use from students, such as requiring Second-Formers to place their phones outside their doors during study hall. Still, it has its limits. “They’ve also got the laptop in front of them,

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so it doesn’t really keep them from Facebook, but it prevents them from doing a lot of the texting,” Laws says. “They’re supposed to be focused on their work. Duty masters will walk through and look and check, but it takes less than a second to click away, so it’s not always effective.” Lambert, the School psychologist, says the intrusiveness of mobile technology and social media platforms provides a major source of stress that simply did not exist in previous eras. “The boundaries are so different than twenty years ago. At any moment, you can be reached by text, email, or social media and thrust into the social sphere, but in ways that sometimes can miss the chance for real human connection,” she says. “For any teen, social media provides the chance to endlessly watch his or her classmates’ carefully curated posts on Snapchat and Instagram. This constant stream of images can leave students feeling inadequate and left out or feeling like they need to model their lives on a fabricated feed.” Even after dark, the creeping effect of the smartphone remains intrusive, according to Lambert. “It’s so common for people to sleep with their phones these days,” she says. “We know that the quality of their sleep suffers, which, in turn, has an impact on mood, anxiety, and academic performance.” For all its perils, advances in technology can also enhance students’ ability to effectively manage their time and communicate effectively – something the committee’s polling revealed students desperately desire. One recent innovation is the use of the Haiku software platform, a teacher-to-student forum that allows students more insight into planning their homework schedules, essentially functioning as their personal planners. “What do our students say they want more from faculty? They want clear communication about expectations,” Cunningham says. “What we see is that if we just do some things we know are good in teaching, that will help our students.

So, for example, we have this Haiku system, which is where all the faculty post assignments, and share resources. They can have online classroom chats and dialogue, and things like that.” Cunningham says the effectiveness of Haiku requires cooperation from faculty to make it effective. “That means making sure that that all information is there and up to date, making sure it’s accurate and complete. If I’m a student, and it’s Monday and I plan my week, I know that I've got a paper due Friday, and a test on Wednesday, and two tests on Thursday. If I know all that right now, I can start planning and preparing for that right now.” Laws says that while certain technologies present themselves as stealthy thieves of personal time, Lawrenceville’s best bet is to embrace the good it has to offer, as well. “I think it’s a combination of accepting that the technology is going to be there and it’s not going to go away, and then teaching students to manage their time, to encourage them to embrace the habits of mind that are important for both success and good health,” he says. “You can’t stay up until all hours of the night working on something. Cramming for tests isn’t great.” Neither is any sort of pace that deprives students of their sleep, something Thompson says constantly dogs her classmates. “Whoa, people do not get enough of that here!” she says. “I don’t know how to tackle that as a student, because asking teachers to give less homework and make the classes less challenging will keep Lawrenceville from being as competitive of a school as it is.” Perhaps Thompson’s choice of “competitive” as a synonym for “rigorous” reveals how deeply baked into the consciousness of students that mentality is, but in any case, sleep deprivation can have devastating consequences. “The one thing that stays in my mind is when I was a sophomore, the last president of academics, Connor Duwan [’16], said at School Meeting that if you are sleep-deprived, you have


as a School, have such high standards for our drug and alcohol policies,” Thompson says. “But the fact is that it’s not drugs and alcohol that are [our] problem most of the time; it’s just that the kids aren’t getting enough sleep.” Through student polling, the committee has already unearthed some extremely valuable data in its efforts to alleviate what Murray called the “grinding” pace of life at the School, but it is focused on learning more. “Student mental health is essential to the goals of any school, and prioritizing it only makes our School community stronger,” Lambert says. “If we can try to foster an environment where they find value and happiness in themselves, separate from and in addition to their academic successes, we will have been able to provide something critical for student well-being.”

WHO SERVED ON THE PACE AND QUALITY OF LIFE COMMITTEE? CHAIR: Chris Cunningham P’14 ’18, assistant head master and dean of faculty Matthew Campbell, performing arts master Alison Easterling P’20, assistant dean of faculty and history master G. Blake Eldridge ’96 H’12, dean of students Lorie Harding, head of instructional services, Bunn Library Jennifer Lambert, staff psychologist David Laws P’21, dean of academics

the same kind of mental capacity as someone who is legally drunk.” Indeed, plenty of research shows the similarity between alcoholic intoxication and sleep deprivation, with one study noting that after seventeen to nineteen hours without sleep, subjects’ performance was equivalent or worse than that of a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 percent. After longer

periods without sleep, performance reached levels equivalent to a BAC of 0.10 percent, the study said. Among the performance symptoms were impaired judgment and slowed reaction times, both of which are play significant roles in academic and athletic settings that require ethical decision-making and peak physical conditions, respectively. “I think about that all the time, because we,

Devondra McMillan, classics master Ilana Saxe, science master

Samuel Washington ’81 P’14 ’17, director of multicultural affairs Tripp Welborne P’21, director of athletics.

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2018 LAWRENCEVILLE SUMMER SCHOLARS PROGRAM BOARDING AND DAY PROGRAMS

GRADES 6-10

JULY 9-27, 2018

LIVE LEARNING LEARN LIVING

S U M M E RS C HO L A R S . L AW R E N C E V I L L E. O R G

30+

COURSES


TIME WAS... 75 Years Ago in The Lawrentian Winter 1943 Accelerating the Pace For the first time in its 133 years, Lawrenceville will add a summer session to its regular curriculum, to begin July 5 and to continue through September 4. The session is planned primarily as a means of enabling boys to complete their secondary education prior to induction into the armed forces, thereby making them more valuable to the war effort. Fifth Formers (seniors) attending the summer session will be graduated in February 1944, a semester ahead of schedule, and Fourth Formers (juniors) will be graduated in September 1944, nine months ahead of schedule. – From a news item appearing beneath the masthead of the winter 1943 issue.

50 Years Ago in The Lawrentian Winter 1968:

Folk-rock in Chapel … Electric guitars are nothing new in Chapel. Last year, choir-master Clyde Tipton scored a composition of his own to include electric guitar, but it is a departure to have an electric guitar “combo” featured. Such was the case this fall, however, when a group [that] calls itself Lenny and the White Knights, headed by Lenny Stone ’68, performed in morning Chapel. They sang “Turn, Turn, Turn,” a passage from Ecclesiastes set to music by Pete Seeger. The White Knights have been the School’s leading group for a couple of years now and are in wide demand for tea dances in the Houses. – From the “Echoes of the Campus” news roundup

30 Years Ago in The Lawrentian Winter 1988 A Hundred-Year Rival The first time they played, on November 21, 1887, the “Lawrenceville Football Association” beat the “Pottstown Hill School” by a score of 20-4. One hundred years later, on November 14, 1987, the Lawrenceville football team was beaten by the Hill School, 27-19. “It was a good game,” quarterback Peter Buckley ’88 said. “A fun game to be part of.” Lawrenceville still leads the series 49-26-10. The 100th anniversary of the Lawrenceville-Hill rivalry drew a crowd of thousands, who came back to see the nation’s fifth-oldest school rivalry. Brigadier Gen. Pete Dawkins, the 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, tossed the coin at the start of the game. – From the “Around the Campus” news roundup

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ALUMNI NEWS ! Matt Poss ’07;

Ivy Chen ’06; Emily Wilson ’05; and Scott Aland ’07, assistant director of Alumni Relations and director of Young Alumni, enjoyed a summertime gathering of young alumni in Chicago in July.

" Gina Mussulman ’00; Greg

Carter, director of Major Gifts and Asia Programs; Matthew Lloyd; Lauren McDermott ’02; Matthew Miller ’08; Robert Ogden ’67; Thomas Stewart; Molly Stewart ’02; and Francisco Soler ’63 P’93 ’95 enjoyed the Hill Weekend Reception in London on

# Recipients

November 4.

past and present of the Lawrenceville Northern Ireland Scholarship showed off some Big Red pride at the “Protégés of Peace” event at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast last summer. " Lawrentians gathered in Hartford,

Conn., for an alumni dinner in July.

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T H E L AW R E N T I A N


Stay connected with the

Lawrenceville

Alumni NetworkAPP The Lawrenceville Alumni Network app combines the scope of our alumni database and the power of LinkedIn to connect you with your fellow Lawrentians wherever you – and they – may be. Search by name, class year, profession, company, college, location, and more. For download instructions, go to www.lawrenceville.org and click "Connect and Network" on the alumni tab, or simply scan the QR code below.

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BY THE NUMBERS

Situated at the foot of the Fathers Building, the “Sunken Garden” designed

THE

by landscape architect Charles N. Lowrie, Class of 1888, was almost immediately

BOWL

dubbed “the Bowl.” Its now-familiar brick boundary was completed in 1931 and stood for eighty-five years before structural deficiencies necessitated this year’s project to replace it with an

The time, four days a week, the Archery Group conducted practice in the Bowl, beginning in May 1941.

identical wall.

1931

1972

Year the landscaping, including

1952

the brick wall, was completed.

3:45 to 5:15 p.m.

10

The year the Lower School

Years since the first Outdoor Carnival in

moved to Dawes and Raymond Houses,

the Bowl, featuring a moonbounce, a slide, a

on opposite sides of the Bowl.

wrecking ball, jousting, and sumo wrestling.

The first year the Hill Rally, under the direction of the cheerleaders and the “L” Club, was held in the Bowl.

$15,000

1

Sundial intended by Delano to adorn the center of the Bowl, but never installed.

Anonymous gift given by

William Adams Delano, Class of 1891, for “beautifying the Bowl.” Delano also designed the familiar brick wall that surrounds the Bowl.

1

Automobile, belonging to one of the subject masters, that was relocated from the Circle to the center of the Bowl on Halloween 1939, a prank that required the aid of a tow truck to remove the car.

53

Age of several American elm trees original to the 1931 Bowl beautification project that were removed in 1984 after succumbing to Dutch elm disease.

671

1,500

18

Number of American boxwood shrubs

Number of Lawrentians who

Number of custard pies thrown during

participatedin what was billed as

the battle, raising approximately $10,000

presented by Delano to the School in

“the World’s Largest Custard Pie Fight”

for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

1931 to be planted at different points in

in November 2010 in the Bowl, an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

and around the Bowl.


STUDENT SNAP: ALVARO BARRERA ’18

SPRING

2017

45


Lawrentian THE

usps no. 306-700 the Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648 Parents of alumni: If this magazine is addressed to a son or daughter who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please email us at vavanisko@lawrenceville.org with his or her new address. Thank you!

The Lawrentian - Winter 2018  
The Lawrentian - Winter 2018