Page 1

Lawrentian THE

Winter 2014

Departments 2 From the Head Master 3 Editor’s Note 4  1,000 Words

F e at u r e s 22 I Do! (But I'm Doing It My Way.)  On the Cover: Students bask

Attitudes towards marriage are evolving like never before. What do these changes say about us?

in the splendor of the newly renovated Pop Hall. Photo by Michael Branscom.

30 a proud patriarch  The renovated Fathers Building turns heads.

Periwig meets elephant-eyehigh expectations.

6  News in Brief Ryan accepts the Leopold, Gong tickles the ivories, and Houses get spirited.

10 Sports Roundup Fall sports stats.

a p r o u d pat r i a r c h

12  On the Arts An artist’s lens captures Afghanistan.

14  Cover to Cover Sze finds his spiritual center.

16  How To Do Everything (Part 7) Jhala helps you to catch a college’s eye.

18  Take This Job and Love It Schell’s foundation swings for the fences.

20  Ask the Archivist When The House System was Hamill.

76  Caption This  hink you’re funny? Prove it T and win a prize.

77  Student Shot Lin witnesses China’s construction boom.






Alumni 38 Alumni News

39 Class Notes

9 From the Head Master


ne of the feature stories in this issue of The Lawrentian is about weddings and in particular Lawrentians’ involvement in the wedding industry. Learning of that story reminded me of both my own wedding and the start of the school year. Each fall, on their first day at Lawrenceville, just after the boarding students have said goodbye to their parents and families, I have dinner in Abbott with all the new second formers to welcome them to the School. I always begin my brief remarks by asking the students to look around the room at their classmates, which they do cautiously at first, but then, after a little encouragement, with more confidence and curiosity. “There are people in this room who will be at your wedding,” I predict, which brings at first puzzled looks, after all the students are just 14 or 15 years old and they’re just starting at a new school, which can be unnerving enough without scary, adult-sounding talk of marriage and weddings. Gradually, however, the students begin to smile in understanding. “No, you won’t all marry each other, though a few of you might,” I tell them. “But all of you are likely to attend each other’s weddings and even be in each other’s wedding parties, because among the most important gifts you’ll gain from Lawrenceville are lifelong friends.” I can make that prediction with confidence because of my own experience. When my husband, John Gutman ’79, and I got married in Princeton, we invited about a half-dozen Lawrentians to our wedding. His friends were living around the world, from the East Coast to the West Coast and even Hong Kong. John was well into his 30s when we got married, and his friends had busy lives with young families and burgeoning careers, so I assumed – especially given the distance many would have to travel – that most would not attend. I was wrong. They nearly all came, even if that meant spending almost as much time in transit as at our wedding celebration. Their attendance speaks to the strong friendships forged at Lawrenceville, friendships that endure throughout Lawrentians’ lives. In fall 2012, after I made my remarks to the second formers, I sat down to eat. The boy I sat next to turned toward me, shook my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Philip. My father was at your wedding.” And he was right, Tres Arnett ’79 was there, and Philip had grown up substantially since I had last seen him as a child. Throughout my decade at Lawrenceville, I’ve also had the pleasure of welcoming to the School other children of our wedding guests, including the three sons of John’s friend from Hong Kong, Crawford Jamieson ’79, as well as the daughter and son of Geoff Ho ’79. I hope after reading this issue of The Lawrentian, you’re reminded, as I was, not only of your own wedding or weddings you’ve attended, but also of the cherished friends you made at Lawrenceville, who continue to be an important part of your life. Virtus Semper Viridis, Sincerely,

Elizabeth A. Duffy H’43 The Shelby Cullom Davis ’26 Head Master


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Lawrentian THE

From the Editor


Please send address corrections to: The Lawrentian The Lawrenceville School P.O. Box 6008 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

always loved weddings. Even as a little kid, I loved them. And when I (finally) had my own, I, of course, loved it most of all. I wouldn’t describe my reception as unique exactly. It was picturesque; our reception hall overlooked a beautiful bay on three sides. The food was fantastic; the fine chefs baked wiener dogs to my heart’s content. And everyone went home happy – especially my new wife and I. But that’s not really unique, is it? The centerpieces were lovely, but they were comprised of flowers, not foliage found while hiking through the woods. My wedding album is a joy to look through, but my wife and I are not pictured running from a Tyrannosaurs Rex. My beautiful wife looked resplendent in her gown, but the gown wasn’t the same kind worn by a Disney mermaid or a sparkly, mopey vampire. And the wedding failed to have a theme related to our mutual interests such as hiking, or reading, or our frequent trips to Pennsylvania Dutch Country. (That said, I think, “We love each other very much and want to get married!” is a darn good wedding theme. It is not, however, a particularly unique one.) I suppose I’m a wedding traditionalist. And traditionalists are a dying (or, at least, aging) breed. Over the course of only a couple of generations, everything about weddings has changed. The internet provides ample evidence of this. There’s the guy who proposed to his girlfriend by making a movie trailer starring Muppets. There’s a couple whose reception was a combination wedding/masquerade party. And those rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex photos are everywhere. (Go ahead. Google it. I’ll wait.) With the aid of social media, countless blogs, and photosharing sites like Pinterest, weddings are experiencing a kind of creative renaissance. If the mind can dream it, a pair of lovebirds out there is willing to give it a whirl. The ceremonies aren’t the only things that are changing about marriage, either. Major psychological and sociological trends are also revealing themselves. These observations and more are discussed in the feature, “I Do! (But I’m Doing It My Way.)” (page 22), whereby wedding vendors, sociologists, and marriage counselors weigh in on how our attitudes toward marriage are evolving and what the consequences of these changes might mean. Speaking of change, you may want to check out this issue’s cover story, “A Proud Patriarch” (page 30), which shows off the top-to-bottom renovation of the Fathers Building. It’s a remarkable transformation, one that somehow manages to seamlessly merge traditional and modern designs to create a satisfying whole. Like a contemporary wedding reception, it is a testament to the creative spirit. No rampaging dinosaurs, though.

©The Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Warmest wishes,

Winter 2014


Volume 78 Number 1

publisher Jennifer Szwalek p'16 editor Mike Allegra art director Phyllis Lerner proofreaders Rob Reinalda ’76 Linda Hlavacek Silver H’59 61 ’62 ’63 ’64 GP’06 ’08 Jean Stephens H’50 ’59 ’61 ’64 ’68 ’89 P'78 GP’06 contributors Karla Guido Lisa M. Gillard Hanson Jacqueline Haun Liluye Jhala ’97 Alexander Lin ’14 Ronald Mangravite ’68 Sonal shrivastava '15 Selena Smith Paloma Torres JASON ZHANG '15

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 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 to The Lawrentian Editor via email ( Visit us on the web at Postmaster

All rights reserved.

Mike Allegra Editor




9 1000 Words

The Sooner State Sings! Oklahoma!, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, came to the Kirby Arts Center this past fall. Here, Curly (Sam Gilson ’14) wistfully chats with Aunt Eller (Chandler Huggins ‘14) about her niece, Laurey – the girl the

Photograph by Paloma Torres

shy cowpoke hopes to take to the box social.

9 News in Brief

Ed Poreda: Still Running Strong

G F rom left: Head Master Liz Duffy H’43, Coach Ed Poreda, and Athletic Director Mike Goldenberg P’05 ’10 on Hill Weekend.

By Sonal Shrivastava ’15

When you love what you are doing, keep doing it. This has been the guiding philosophy of Ed Poreda who recently celebrated his 60th year as the head coach of the boys’ varsity cross country team. First hired by the School in 1954, Poreda never saw the need to do anything else. Lawrenceville was where he belonged and where he wished to stay. “The cooperation I get from the faculty and the students is fantastic,” he said. “This is a beautiful place to be.” During Poreda’s tenure, his teams have chalked up 60 N.J.I.S.A.A. championships, 24 undefeated seasons, and 880 wins. He was inducted into the Lawrenceville Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and has been named “Coach of the Year” by the Trenton Times on several occasions. Poreda is now 86 years old, but his work ethic and dedication to the sport and to his student athletes remains unchanged. He works out several days a week and frequently asserts that “health is wealth.”


t h e l aw r e n t i a n

The ideals that he holds himself to are what he tries to instill in his athletes, too. “I have this mantra that I tell to myself and my team: ‘I feel great!’ It’s amazing how this actually makes you feel better. Just thinking about it makes you change your attitude and makes you believe that you can do it.” The School has changed since Poreda began at Lawrenceville. “When I first started out, of course, there were no girls. When the School [became coeducational in 1987], I was the first girls’ cross country coach. It was a new experience since I had only coached boys before that.” The sport itself has changed, too. “When I started coaching, running five miles was a really big accomplishment, but now, it’s the norm in cross country. Kids are also much more passionate. And that’s good. The more passionate you are, the better you will get.” Poreda is proud of the athletes he has trained over the years and he feels great doing it day after day. One of his goals in life is to embrace every day with a can-do

attitude. “Tell yourself, ‘I can do it.’ And sure enough, you probably will. If you keep telling yourself you can’t, you’ll never get there,” he said. “If you can imagine yourself doing something great, you will do great things.” Coach Poreda is living proof that this is true.

Guelzo Addresses Gettysburg

Gong Gets Gold

The 2013 Weeden Lecture commemorated not one, but two meaningful anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the 15th anniversary of the Weeden Lecture itself. In recognition of these milestones, Lawrenceville welcomed Dr. Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and director of the college’s Civil War Era Studies Program, to campus to speak on the significance of the Gettysburg Address and to share his knowledge of Lincoln and the Civil War with selected history classes. Quickly dismissing the myths surrounding Lincoln’s most famous speech — that it was penned in haste on the back of an envelope, that Lincoln wrote it as an afterthought on the train to Gettysburg — Guelzo focused on the deeper meaning of Lincoln’s language and message. He pointed out that 190 of the speech’s 272 words consist of a single syllable, and only four words attain






Lincoln’s brevity and simplicity with the twoand-a-half-hour speech given at the same ceremony by classical orator Edward Everett. Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, like most of his orations, was deliberately aimed at the midlevel listener; in Guelzo’s view, the Address was all the more remarkable for its ability to take a great idea and adapt it to “middle-class speech.” And what was that great idea? It wasn’t the abolition of slavery, and it wasn’t the veneration


ompeting against some of

tion in 2012, and the Pre-College

the best 14- to 18-year-old

Bachauer Competition in 2010. He

pianists from around the

recently performed on NPR’s From

world, Elbert Gong ’15 took

the Top, and has given many solo

top honors in the Sixth An-

recitals and chamber performances,

nual Julia Crane International Piano

including shows at some of the na-

Competition, held at SUNY-Pots-


dam’s Crane School of Music. Per-

Steinway Hall, Yamaha Piano Salon,




of an isolated battle. For Lincoln, the Civil War

forming “Ondine” from Gaspard de

Merkin Hall, and, yes, even Carne-

was about the survival of democracy, “a test of

la Nuit by Maurice Ravel, “High Ve-

gie Hall.

whether democratic regimes can endure,”

locity” by Mark Lanz Weisner, and

He also plays in less prestigious

Guelzo said, and whether any people was truly

“Toccata in C Minor” by J.S. Bach,

venues such as local senior centers,

capable of self-government. “The genius of the

Gong won the competition’s $3,000


Gettysburg Address lay not in its language,”

first prize as well as the Audience

residents. “Some of the people can’t

Guelzo explained, “but in its repudiation of the

Prize and Peer Jury Prize.

move much, so I hope I can provide

enemies of democracy.” At a time when

Gong began his piano studies at

a comforting atmosphere for them

“Europe’s leaders were hoping for the demise of

age 4 and has been a Julliard Pre-

when I play. I perform my best

democracy, the Gettysburg Address was a

College student since 2008 under

pieces for them.”

reminder that democracy is worth dying for.”

the tutelage of Julian Martin. He has

Gong averages two hours of

After a dramatic pause he added, “We could use

won numerous competitions, in-

rehearsal a day on top of a

it again today.”

cluding the AFAF International Con-

demanding school schedule. “I try

The Weeden Lecture series is dedicated to

certo Competition in 2013, the

to get all of my school work done in





bringing prominent American historians to

Kaufman Music Center Internation-

whatever spare time I have so I can

Lawrenceville’s campus. The series honors the

al Youth Competition Jury Award for

get more time to play piano,” he says. “Music has a healing power, a

late History Master Chuck Weeden H’65 ’92 P

Best Performance of a Baroque

’77 ’79 ‘87 and is presented through the

Piece (Senior Division) in 2013, the

changing power to create your own

generosity of Walter Buckley ’56 P’96 ‘99.

Don Bosco Young Artist competi-





Bob Ryan Honored With Aldo Award Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan ’64 seemed to be the only person in the Kirby Arts Center to feel that he was undeserving of the Aldo Leopold Award, the School’s highest alumni honor. “What am I doing here?” he asked the giggling crowd of students, faculty, and staff moments after reaching the podium. “The truth is that Lawrenceville ran out of judges and presidents of South American countries.” The remark, a winking reference to two past Aldo winners – U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson ’63 and former Hondoran President Ricardo Maduro ’63 – proves that, indeed, Ryan is in good company. One look at Ryan’s résumé, however, proves that this is the kind of company he should be keeping. A columnist for The Globe since 1969 and the author of 14 books, Ryan has covered everything from the Celtics to the Olympics and has been described as “the quintessential American sportswriter” by his peers. He has earned armloads of accolades during his career including the Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism (2006) and the AP National Sportswriter of the year (2000), and was a four-time nominee for the NSSA Sportswriter of the Year (2000, 2007, 2008, and 2009), winning the honor in 2000. He is also a TV staple, regularly serving as a panelist on the ESPN shows Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption. His memoir, Scribe, will be out in fall 2014.


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G A  lumni Association President Tim Wojciechowicz '78 P'06 '10 '12 congratulates Bob Ryan '64 on his well-deserved honor.

So, yes, Mr. Ryan, you’re a good fit for the Aldo. In his speech, Ryan spoke with characteristic zeal as he waxed nostalgic. “I embraced the Lawrenceville experience totally,” he said with a wide smile. “Nobody got more out of his experience than I did. Nobody!” He got so much out it, he explained, because of how much he put into it – which was everything. This was a practice he continued when he went to Boston University and later, when he began his storied – near mythic – career at The Globe. “The greatest constant for me was The Lavino Field House,” he said. “It’s a gem, a treasure. I spent many, many hours there – mostly shooting baskets.” Ryan, who was a member of Lawrenceville varsity basketball squad, the manager of the football team, and the sports editor of The Lawrence, certainly had many reasons to be in Lavino. But as he later explained, Lavino was more than just a sports facility during

his era. Ryan, who happily admitted that Lawrenceville’s Language Department turned him into a Francophile, recalled that French Club feeds were held in Lavino’s lounge. On weekends, movies were shown on one of the basketball courts. “I first saw Dr. No right there!” As his speech continued, it seemed as if there was nothing about Lawenceville that Ryan didn’t love. “Except the math classes,” he said, noting that his most memorable moment on campus was when his irritated mother (who was the secretary for Head Master Bruce McClellan H’57 ’60) confronted him on the campus golf course to announce that he had failed geometry. As for advice, Ryan had only one tidbit to offer: “Going here is a fabulous opportunity,” he said. “Don’t squander it. Appreciate it now, because you’ll appreciate it even more five, 10, or, in my case, 50 years later.”

That’s The

Spirit! Setting bonfires, clubbing piñatas, wearing pajamas to class, and a whole lot of people shouting “Woo!” can only mean one thing: Spirit Week. In anticipation for the athletic juggernaut that was Hill Weekend, students had little trouble finding both the will and the way to show their undying support for Big Red.

A Trail Tale

By Jason Zhang '15

The Lawrenceville School recently celebrated the completion of part of the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail on the School’s campus with a ribboncutting ceremony. A 22-mile bike and pedestrian recreational trail, it runs around Lawrenceville, up to Hopewell, and back down near Pennington.

The path that runs through Lawrenceville’s campus is just under a mile in length. It begins at the guard house off Route 206 and runs behind the Crescent Houses. It then emerges from behind the ice rink parking lot, runs up the service road across Woods Field, and across Lewisville Road, where it moves onto neighboring Bristol-Myers Squibb property. Construction of the trail, which began 12 years ago, is still about four miles from completion. Conceived in 2001 by employees of Educational Testing Services and the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (both of which have their headquarters in Lawrenceville), the two organizations created a charity and a board of directors that would overlook the completion of the trail. Shortly after Head Master Elizabeth Duffy H ’43 took office 10 years ago, permission was granted to allow path to cross through Lawrenceville’s campus. The trail is open to the public, acts as “a safer alternative to roadways” and encourages “healthy lifestyles” and “alternative modes of transportation,” according to the trail’s mission statement. Duffy has already reported enjoying biking, running, and walking this and many other parts of the trail. “It is,” she says, “a beautiful oasis.”




9 Sports Roundup

Boys’ Cross Country M.A.P.L. Champions Record: 8-0 Coach: Ed Poreda Captains: S hubhankar Chhokra ’14 Robert Daniels ’14 Daniel Goldman ’15

Girls’ Cross Country M.A.P.L. Champions Record: 6-3 Coach: Alison Easterling  aroline Doll ’14 Captains: C Nikki Zhi En Hwa ’14

Field Hockey Mercer County Champions Record: 13-7-1 Coach: Lisa Ewanchyna Captains: Madison Jones ’14

Galen Ogg ’14




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Record: 5-3 Coach: Danny O’Dea Captains: Matthew Apuzzi ’14

By Karla Guido

Aurelio Ayala ’14 Nolan DeMarco ’14 Randall West ’14

Boys’ Soccer Record: 10-7-1 Coach: Blake Eldridge ’96 Captains: Jack Martin ’14

Komron Shayegan ’14

Girls’ Soccer Record: 6-8-1 Coach: Joaquin Gonzalez Captains: A bigail Goodrich ’14 Caroline Shaw ’14 Janell Spigner ’14

Girls’ Tennis N.J.I.S.A.A. Champions M.A.P.L. Champions Record: 13-1 Coach: Penny Foss Yasmeen ’14 , Captains: Jane Hamill '99, Mahayni Pirate Jenny Oil on canvas. Megan Norris ’14

Girls’ Volleyball Record: 10-6 Coach: Katie O’Malley  laire Crowley ’14 Captains: C Jacqueline Klotz ’14

Boys’ Water Polo Record: 22-10 Coach: Ramon Olivier Captains: R amon Olivier ’14 Samuel Walker ’14

Girls’ Water Polo Record: 14-5-6 Coach: Hal Wilder Captains: K irstin Carter ’14 Annam Iyer ’14

For the most current athletic news visit spring 2013 11

9 On the Arts




t h e l aw r e n t i a n

Lawrenceville’s Hutchins Gallery recently played host to “Return, Afghanistan,” an exhibit of the photography of Zalmaï. Born in Kabul, Zalmaï left his native Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in 1980. He traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen. Following his passion for photography, which he discovered very early in life, Zalmaï pursued combined studies at both the School of Photography of Lausanne and at the Professional Photography Training Center of Yverdon. In 1989, he began to work as a freelance photographer, traveling around the world from Indonesia to Egypt, from Cuba to the Central African Republic, and eventually returned to Afghanistan, where he continues to document the ongoing war and plight

of the Afghan people. Zalmaï’s work has been published in a number of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times Magazine, Time, Le Temps, Newsweek, and La Repubblica. He has also worked for a number of international and non governmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the UN Refugee Agency. His work has been exhibited around the world in museums, galleries, universities, and cultural centers and has earned him several international awards, the latest being the Visa D’Or from the Visa Pour l’Image International Photojournalism Festival and a grant from Getty Images.

s u mm e r



9 Cover to Cover



Arthur Sze ’68 embarks on an eternal poetic journey.

by Ronald Mangravite ’68


n the pre-dawn darkness of northern New Mexico, Arthur Sze ’68 emerges from his house with a thermos of coffee and a mystery to unravel. By the light of the stars above, he heads west to his studio. It’s a short trip, only 100 feet, but for Sze, an internationally renowned poet, this brief journey has multiple meanings. It’s a simple walk to work, of course, but it’s also a pilgrimage to a primal creative source to encounter and reveal the immediacies of being alive. Poetry has been Sze’s sole career, garnished with a long list of honors: Guggenheim Fellowship, American Book Award, Lannan Literary Award, two NEA writing fellowships, and, most recently, the Jackson Poetry Prize, a major event in the literary world. Author of eight books of poetry, Sze is also a translator and editor of The Silk Dragon, a collection by classical and modern Chinese poets in English translation, and was the first poet laureate emeritus of Santa Fe. His ninth book, Compass Rose, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in May 2014. “The compass rose is the map symbol that helps geographically orient the reader. I am trying to identify the yearning for spiritual centering, to locate, to root ourselves,” Sze explains. Inside the studio, there’s quiet except for the low hum of a small refrigerator. The coffee’s redolent aroma fills the room. The view from Sze’s well-worn desk embodies the clash of time and cultures found in his


t h e l aw r e n t i a n

work: in the western darkness, the high-tech Los Alamos lab looms from a mesa, its light “like white crystals emanating into space.” To the north, the reddish backcountry of the ancient Pojoaque Pueblo is slowly revealed as the sun begins to rise. The land’s details – rocks, hills, vegetation – begin to emerge. So, too, does the poetry. “It takes me a month to write a short poem. I usually make a mess, fragmented images, odd musical phrases. That goes on for days. Eventually I get a start, some phrases that feel ‘charged.’ I like poems to leap, to discover. I feel this urgency to find out what the poem means, why the images have arisen. It’s a mysterious journey.” Sze’s westward journeys began when he left his family’s home in Garden City, NY, to enter Lawrenceville, following the path of his brother, Karl ’64. “My parents were from Beijing and came to the U.S. for college. They spoke Mandarin at home but wanted us to focus on English during school years. At Lawrenceville, I was strong in math and science but a literature class with James Waugh H’85 ’88 P’68 ’70 ’72 ’74 ’76 introduced me to modern poetry. I entered MIT to study chemical engineering, like my father before me, but I took an unexpected detour in my first semester. In an advanced calculus class, I suddenly began to write a poem. After class I kept writing and didn’t stop.” By coincidence, Denise Levertov, one of the poets he studied at Lawrenceville, came to MIT as a guest lecturer.

students, Native Americans on reservations, and prisoners in maximum security – with one on death row. “My job was to help people to express themselves. I would sit on the cold concrete walkways in front of the prisoners’ cells, listening as they read their poetry. I worked in this program for 10 years.” A long stint followed as director of the creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where he is a professor emeritus. Native American and Asian cultures influence Sze’s poetry. Time and transformation are basic themes. On a recent trip to the

city of Chengdu in China, Sze encountered old men in a park at dawn painting on flat, black rocks. “I discovered they were painting with water, writing out entire T’ang dynasty poems which would evaporate as the sun rose.” This experience inspired Sze to write his current book project, Water Calligraphy. “I am intensely aware of time passing and the brevity of our existence. I have a need to describe events and moments, to name them.” So, in the little mountain studio facing west, the work of describing the ephemeral essence of life continues.

Photograph by Eric Swanson

Levertov recognized Sze’s poetic potential and advised him to transfer to Berkeley’s world-class literary program. At Berkeley, Sze continued writing and took advanced Mandarin to be able to study and translate the classic poets of the T’ang Dynasty. Legendary professor/poet Josephine Miles mentored him, had him read Rilke and Neruda, and encouraged him to publish his work. Upon graduation, Sze traveled to Santa Fe, where he accepted a position in the Poetry in the Schools program, which took him all over New Mexico, working with

9 How to Do Everything (Part 7)



By Liluye Jhala ’97

As an admissions officer at Brown University, my job was to fit the pieces of your college application together – transcript, recommendations, test scores, extracurriculars, interview, exceptional circumstances, accomplishments, noteworthy supplements – in order to create a mental picture of a living, breathing student. A successful application tells a story, the pieces support each other, and a coherent sensibility emerges that, strangely enough, makes the reader feel connected to the faraway student. Arguably one of the best ways to create that special connection is, to many, the most dreaded and daunting aspect of the college application process: the personal essay. I feel your pain. Here are a few tips to make your essay the very best it can be.

Brainstorm A good way to generate essay topics is to create a one-page timeline of meaningful moments and turning points in your life. Such topics might include moving to another country, reading your favorite book, realizing you could do something


t h e l aw r e n t i a n

you didn’t think you could, relearning an everyday skill after an accident, discovering a beautiful piece of music, or achieving a goal. The specific experience doesn’t matter all that much; what matters is how that experience affected you. One of my favorite essays was written by a young man who described the view from the small mountaintop by his home. He wrote lovingly of the river and the changing leaves, and there was a quiet reverence in his prose tempered with philosophical insights that clearly demonstrated he was well read and passionate about studying the environment and philosophy. Another student ironically structured

her essay around failure. She was involved in many activities but held no top leadership position. Nevertheless, every year she ran and, despite repeated losses, found a way to stay motivated and committed. She tied this perseverance into the experience of moving to the U.S. and learning English. It was clear that she would be a fighter, a student with innate tenacity and drive to seek out academic opportunities at every turn.

Make Us Feel Special Make each essay unique to the school to which you are applying. Do your research online and in person, and remember to

Do Your Own Work Your essay is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. The admission officer is a discerning reader and is looking for consistency across the application. Remember, we are also evaluating your teacher recommendations and writing scores. If there is any doubt about the authenticity of your essay, you will be in big trouble.

Ask for Help High school seniors possess a strange mix of overconfidence and insecurity that can result in essays that are underworked and ill-conceived on the one hand or inauthentic on the other. Use a support person to brainstorm ideas with, help you structure your essay, point out typos, etc. Most important, your support person can tell you objectively if the essay sounds genuinely like you.

Ilustration by Sara Tyson

include specific reasons for your interest in a given school. If you can substitute in the name of more than one college and the essay still works, rewrite it. If someone asked you out, you would want to know the reasons why, right? And the reasons better be good ones. “You’re cute and happen to live next door,” just won’t cut it. So when we at Brown read, “the campus is beautiful and you’re near New York and Boston,” how do you think that made us feel?

Don’t Be Tone Deaf The tone of your essay is vital. I liken the personal essay to a first impression – you want to offer a firm handshake and a bright smile. Don’t be depressing. Don’t be obnoxiously self-promoting. Be sure to stay away from “first time topics” that relate to substance use or sexual relations (you’d be surprised how many students use the personal essay as a confessional). And be careful about addressing emotionally loaded subjects, such as the loss of a loved one, which are difficult for anyone to grapple with articulately. Your admissions officer is not your psychologist, motivational guide, or best friend; you don’t want her predominant feeling about you to be sympathy or concern, nor do you want to repel her by pitching yourself as the best thing since sliced

bread. Keep the tone positive and modest. Remember, an offer of acceptance is a long-term investment for the college; every school is looking for applicants who have the capacity for sustained growth and the emotional maturity to handle the rollercoaster of college life. Admissions officers try to build a community of good people who are optimistic and supportive of one another. Let your essay reflect those attributes. So go out there and write something wonderful. I wish you every success. Liluye Jhala ’97 is an artist and independent private college counselor in Cambridge and a former admissions officer at Brown University. She now provides independent college application guidance services for aspiring students.




9 Take This Job & Love It

A League of their



12-year-old with an overactive imagination changed the trajectory of Mike Schell’s ’01 life. Schell was volunteering at the Steppingstone Foundation, a nonprofit designed to help underserved kids to navigate a path to college, when he first met Carlos. “Carlos knew that I was a former baseball player at Holy Cross and that I was involved with a lot of organizations to recruit college baseball players,” Schell says. “Well, just about every time I saw him, he would talk about his baseball team and all the plays he made on the field. Carlos was telling me these great stories, so finally I asked him, ‘What league are you playing in? What’s your team?’ And that’s when I learned that the whole thing was just a fantasy in his head. “I’ll never forget it,” adds Schell. “He said, ‘Oh, this is just me, Coach. This is what I would be doing if I were playing. But I don’t have a team anymore.’” That conversation brought into sharp relief just how few opportunities were available for inner-city scholar athletes. Years ago, if a student – any student – showed particular promise in baseball, he could sign up for a town team. The tournaments these teams played would attract college scouts. In recent years, however, the recruitment process has changed in a big way. “By the time you are a sophomore, when you have what is identified as ‘College Skill,’ the recruitment process becomes privatized.” Schell explains. “Now you have to be on club teams. That means you have to pay to play.” Club team players must shell out thou-


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Mike Schell ’01 lets inner-city scholar athletes swing for the fences.

sands of dollars to get a chance to take part in the high-profile, national tournaments that attract today’s scouts. Such a system, of course, automatically disenfranchises the vast majority of players: those from the middle class, the lower-middle class, and the inner-city. Kids like Carlos. In that moment, Schell had his epiphany. He turned to Carlos and said, “Give me four or five years. Give me some time and I’ll get a team for you.” Schell was true to his word. The Cannonball Foundation – named after Negro League standout and community leader Will “Cannonball” Jackman – was born in 2010 and with it, came the Cannonball Prospects, an independent team made up of high school juniors and seniors who play in the high-profile tournaments that were, once upon a time, off limits. The recruitment process to become a Cannonball Prospect is a rigorous one; baseball skill is only one of many things that are considered. Schell also looks at an applicant’s academic record, extracurricular activities, SAT scores, community involvement, and family background. He also looks for things that are less tangible. “I can assess in two minutes where someone is skill-wise. I am much, much more interested in the composition of a player’s character.” Schell says. “The Cannonball Foundation is about so much more than baseball. Baseball is a means; the end is to help a person shape a vision of success in his life, to find purpose, to learn to lead in his community, and not to accept the low bar that has been set by his circumstances.” So in addition to a rigorous spring and

summer baseball schedule, all prospects are required to take part in the College

to heroin and Oxycontin cost him his NBA career and very nearly his life. The Cannonball Foundation, which is financed entirely through grants and private donations, is free to all comers, though the foundation does expect all participants – and requires all members of the Cannonball Prospects – to donate their time to charities and community programs as a way of giving back. “Some say, ‘We don’t know how to thank you.’ And I say, ‘Thank me in four years when you walk down that aisle, being the first person in your family to graduate college. Thank me by knowing how to lead yourself and others throughout your adult life.” Though the program is only a few years old, it has already provided tangible results. Members of the first Prospects teams have

been selected to attend colleges around the country. Buoyed by this success, Schell is inspired to do much more. He is looking to create a Cannonball Prospects team in the Trenton and Philadelphia-area, a region, he insists, is in great need. Another goal Schell has is more modest but no less important. Carlos, that 12-yearold, is now a high school sophomore and about a year away from being eligible to try out for The Prospects. Schell is determined to make good on the promise he made four years before. “When Carlos is the right age,” he says, “I want to make sure he can hit a curveball on the field. But more importantly, I want to make sure he knows how to get the best education possible.”

Photograph by Rick Freidman

and Career Matters program, consisting of classes and workshops that focus on the college application and essay, the interview, how to find a good college match, and the particulars of financial aid. The program also assists with college visits, arranges meetings between players and college admissions representatives and athletic staff, and provides career counseling and resume preparation advice. In addition to the Prospects program, The Cannonball Foundation also hosts a series of inspirational leadership talks that are open to the public. “We turn no one away,” says Schell. “Our goal is to do the most good for the most people.” One recent speaker, former Boston Celtics guard Chris Herren, frankly discussed how his addiction

9 Ask the Archivist


Old House The House system is such a deeply ingrained part of campus tradition that it seems almost inconceivable that there was ever a time in Lawrenceville’s history when it did not exist. But for the first 75 years of the School’s life there were no Houses. Or, to be more accurate, there was only one. From almost the very beginning, the core of the Lawrenceville School was Hamill House, then known as simply “The House.” Built in 1814 and celebrating its bicentennial this academic year, The House wasn’t only the School’s first dormitory, but also – for 22 years – the School’s only building. It served as both a classroom and home for Lawrenceville students. Dominating the first floor of the locally quarried stone building was one large room,

By Jacqueline Haun

the Oratory, which contained a large, pulpitlike platform from which the teacher in charge could monitor students seated in double rows of desks. In the earliest years, this space was a shared classroom used by all students regardless of level of study, but after the School House – today’s Haskell – was added in 1832 to provide more classroom space, the Oratory was used for public prayers (held in both the morning and evening), general assemblies of

An admirer of the British education system and its practice of having students live with masters, it was Mackenzie who suggested that the School adopt a House system similar to that in use by traditional British boarding schools such as Eton and Rugby. the entire student body, study hall in the evenings, and, during the winter months, as the place where the boys could bathe using washtubs. (In warmer weather, students could wash on an attached veranda that featured a water pump, or take a dip in the hand-dug pond.) Also on the first floor of The House were a dining room and two parlors for entertaining visitors. The second and third floors of The House consisted of the Head Master’s rooms and the open (and unheated) group dormitories for the boarders. A large bell on the back porch was used to alert students to waking, prayers, meals, and classes.


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The transition to the more recognizable Lawrenceville of today came in 1883, when the newly created Board of Trustees installed James Cameron Mackenzie as the new Head Master. An admirer of the British education system and its practice of having students live with masters, it was Mackenzie who suggested that the School adopt a House system similar to that in use by traditional British boarding schools such as Eton and Rugby. To this end, a new campus with five “masters’ Houses,” as well as a new recitation hall and other facilities, was proposed. In the original conception, all the old buildings associated with Dr. Hamill’s school would be torn down. Such a radical transition would take time, however, and the new Board was unwilling to suspend school operations while new buildings were being constructed. School began in the fall of 1883 with the same buildings and the same curriculum, but with largely different faculty and students on campus. Out of the 64 students enrolled during the final year under Dr. Hamill, only a dozen returned to the School under the new regime. Many of the departing students had no choice about the matter, as they had been informed that they no

longer met the rigorous academic standards of the new school. For those few boys who returned to the School after Mackenzie came into office, they found a drastically changed culture. The School had a new name, new faculty, more than 100 new students, new terms for class distinctions (“forms”), and a new emphasis on academic performance. The new buildings also were being erected, and it would only be a short time before the House system would also change the dynamics of campus.

G H  amill living accommodations circa. 1901.

Although the original plans called for the destruction of Hamill and Haskell, in practice, the old buildings proved to be useful. For the first two years of the Mackenzie administration, students continued to live in Hamill while the new houses were being built. By 1885, the first four Circle Houses (Cleve, Griswold, Woodhull, and Dickinson) were completed, but by then, the Board had determined that the oldest buildings on campus were worth repurposing. Hamill stood empty for two years while it was being renovated (at the cost of $10,637, the equivalent of close to $250,000 today), and then opened as a senior boys’ residence; Haskell was remodeled into a gymnasium. Even after Upper House was completed in 1892, Hamill continued to serve as an “overflow” House for senior boys, with several fifth formers sharing the House with younger students. In fact, there was such a significant number of older boys in the House each year that, in the interest of fairness, Hamill was not permitted to compete in House athletics until 1917. The practice of placing seniors there continued until 1944, when Hamill, like every other Circle House, became the exclusive home of the Third and Fourth forms.

G H  amill as it looked in 1900.






(But I’m Doing It My Way.)


By Mike Allegra

wenty years ago, wedding photographer Bill Wilson ’83 sat behind his secondhand Macintosh unable to stifle a laugh. On the screen in front of him was a photograph he had recently manipulated – that of a fisherman on a pier wearing both yellow waders and a cat-that-just-caught-the-canary smile. The reason for that smile could be seen to the fisherman’s immediate right, for dangling upside down from a hook as if she were a record-setting marlin, was his new, beaming bride, resplendent in a wedding gown and veil. This photo – actually a combination of three

photos – was very different from any of the images Wilson was working on just year or two earlier. A photography convention at New York’s Jacob Javitz Convention Center was the catalyst. While he strolled up and down the aisles, scrutinizing the new cameras, lenses, and filters, he stumbled upon the digital photography booth. It was, he remembers, the only computer in the entire show. “It was way in the back, just a little sign over this Macintosh IIfx computer.” Wilson says. “No one was even looking in that direction. So I watched this guy, probably using Photoshop 1.0 or something, goof around with the lasso tool, putting a photo of a banana into the mouth of a picture of a baby.”

A Amanda Sheronas Spencer '90 22

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Photograph by Michael Branscom

Photograph by Michael Branscom G B  ill Wilson '83

At the time, digital photography and digital photo manipulation was seen as little more than a novelty. But that silly little demonstration hit Wilson like a thunderbolt. “Right then I had a revelation that being able to manipulate pictures with a computer was going to change all the rules for the profession and photography. It was going to change everything.” Wilson embraced digital photography so early in its history that for a time he became almost an industry unto himself. His fishing photo was so unique that, when he used the image for his business card in 1993, he was soon inundated with calls. His services were solicited from photographers who, arriving late to the digital revolution, needed a consultant. More significant, Wilson was getting hired by young couples who were eager to use his photo manipulation skills to make their weddings extra memorable. Wilson’s timing couldn’t have been better. To many in the optimistic 1990s, it was


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no longer sufficient for a wedding day to be memorable to only the happy couple, it had to be memorable to everyone. To many future brides and grooms a wedding could – and should – be a celebration of the creative spirit. This is a far cry from the way things used to be, notes sociologist John Macionis ’66. “Weddings were very traditional social markers in the past. If you were a Catholic kid in an Italian neighborhood you got married in that local church in your neighborhood. The people who attended were your neighbors, your family. It was very class linked. It rooted you in social space. Similarly, if you were someone who lived in a wealthier area, you were going to get married in that Episcopalian Church and have a big reception. Yes, these two weddings represented two different social classes, but they also had a lot in common. For one thing, I doubt that either one of those couples brought a lot of creativity or individual imagination to those weddings. The ceremonies unfolded pretty much the way the

social rulebook of the time said ‘people like you’ ought to behave.” These days, with photos cropping up everywhere on the internet of wedding parties running away from zombies or rampaging dinosaurs, it is safe to assert that the cookiecutter ceremonies of old are gone forever. Traditional rules no longer apply. After all, who says a wedding gown must be white? Who says a reception has to take place in a rented hall? And who says that a blushing bride can’t be photographed as The Catch of the Day? Technology is partly responsible for this sea change, and photographers like Wilson aren’t the only ones who have been required to adapt. Amanda Sheronas Spencer ’90 was always interested in fashion. At one point she even contemplated becoming a fashion designer for plus-size models. Once she began to study design, however, her priorities quickly shifted. “You know how some people decide

to become a doctor and then they take certain classes and think, ‘Maybe I don’t want to be a doctor?’ To me that was fashion design.” So instead of creating dresses, she found her passion in promoting them. She started out at Schell and Stein, a Los Angeles public relations firm that represented local fashion and jewelry designers, but her desire to head back to the East Coast, where Spencer grew up, soon led to a job as the PR director at Alfred Angelo, a Philadelphia-based a wedding dress manufacturer. “When I first started at Alfred Angelo in 2007, brides-to-be were still very much looking at wedding magazines, not just for their dresses, but also for ideas for the entire wedding. Martha Stewart was the most notable name in the wedding industry to tap into. Now with the advent of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and an army of wedding industry bloggers, however, a bride has immediate access to thousands of ideas. They have a wealth of

information at their fingertips. They can cherry-pick and create their entire wedding on the internet and share it with their friends. Brides have more knowledge than ever before.” Corrente Schankler ’98, who founded Petal Design Studio, a floral design business, has also noticed the trend. “Things have changed in a big way over the last couple of years,” she says. “Instead of a binder with five pictures in it, brides now show me a Pinterest board that contains maybe 200 photos. What has changed is that people have become so much more invested in all the details. Wedding plans operate on a more micro level. They want this day to reflect their personality and so many things about their relationship.” Today’s brides know what they want and, now more than ever, they are willing to pay for it. Even in this down economy, the average cost of an American wedding is $28,400, the highest it’s ever been. And in places such as Santa Barbara, Chicago, and Manhattan,

those average costs can go sky high ($42,300, $53,000, and $76,000, respectively). Designers like Schankler (whose business is based in New York) are the principal beneficiaries of these bigger budgets. But those costs are often the result of a bride’s desire for personalization rather than her demands for overt symbols of wealth. “The challenge and opportunity of doing a wedding is that the bride and groom are very invested in the design of their event,” Schankler explains. “For example, one bride was getting married in the mountains and asked for some natural foliage to be incorporated into her centerpieces. I love this type of request. I happily hiked along the mountain trails near the venue, foraging for florals and foliage that I added into her bouquets and centerpieces. “I had another couple who was getting married at the Bowery Hotel last year. It’s a wonderful venue. They wanted a ‘vintage’

G Yes, you, too can be Cinderella, courtesy of Alfred Angelo and ©Disney Fairy Tale Weddings.




A C  orrente Schankler '98

Photograph by Michael Branscom

look which included lots of candles. But they wanted the candles to look well-used, covered with dripped wax. Most candles are designed now to burn without dripping. So, my team pre-burned all of the pillar candles and used an electric fan to achieve the desired drip effect. This is very difficult to quantify in terms of cost. It is still just a candle, and a used one at that. So, while I wouldn’t say that weddings are getting more lavish, they are definitely getting more intricate and thus more labor intensive for the vendors involved.” Gown makers, however, who provide a product rather than a service, aren’t seeing the benefits of the new spending surge. “In the dress industry, the numbers have been down,” Spencer says. “Last year was a very tough year for everybody. There are websites that sell designer samples. There are factories in China that will target brides directly, cutting out the U.S. retailers. And there are girls who will resell or donate their dress after wearing it; some brides won’t even keep the dress anymore. For some it’s no longer a sentimental purchase “Yes, there are a lot of brides willing to go all out for their weddings, but there are a lot more brides who are asking themselves, ‘Is my dress the most important thing? I’m only going to wear it for one day of my life.’” Despite this newfound competition, however, Alfred Angelo does have a few aces up its sleeve. One consistent winner is their officially licensed Disney Princess gowns, a line that seems to tap into something almost primal in every little girl’s wedding dream. “In some ways you’re not selling a gown, you’re selling a dream – to make a wedding fantasy into a reality,” says Spencer. “Most of the wedding is based around the dress. That’s who you are that day. You’re Cinderella. Or you’re Ariel. That’s why it is such a humungous emotional purchase that these girls are making. So much emotion is tied to this decision.” Other licensing opportunities didn’t work out so well for Alfred Angelo, however. Kristen Stewart’s wedding dress from the Twilight saga went over like a lead balloon. “It didn’t do well at all. Part of the problem was that you had to be supermodel thin to wear it well.” Another possible miscalculation was that Twilight is a young person’s movie – reflected in no small way by the packs of giggling teenage girls who came into the stores to try the dress on. These girls had no intention of get-

ting married – not yet, at least – they just wanted to dress like Kristen Stewart. Older brides wanted nothing to do with the dress and, these days, older brides are the wedding industry’s bread and butter. According to Pew Research poll numbers, in 1960 the average ages for first-time brides and grooms were 20.3 and 22.8 years old, respectively. Now the average ages are 26.5 and 28.7. To some sociologists this upward trend, in part, is rooted in the way contemporary American businesses do business. A recent report by The National Marriage Project posits that “the economic foundations that girded marriage in the mid-20th century have collapsed.” That is to say that the days of a man spending his entire career at a single company until his retirement are long gone. Decades ago, when such work environments were commonplace (mostly in the manufacturing sector), men and women could take more comfort in marrying young. Sure, the young couple might not have a lot of money on their actual wedding day, but if the husband had a stable job, it was taken for granted that more money would come later. With those expectations no longer realistic, marriages are now perceived as a “capstone” rather than “cornerstone” event – something that takes place only after one is financially secure, not before. This capstone theory could also explain why the number of marriages overall is plum-

meting. In 1960, 72 percent of all adults over the age of 18 were married; in 2010 the number was 51 percent. These numbers are going down among all demographics, but the most precipitous drop is on the lower end of the economic spectrum – those who have the most difficulty obtaining the aforementioned financial security. “In the sociological literature a number of researchers are making the case that mar-

riage is becoming more class linked. There is a pretty good amount of research to support this,” notes Macionis. “Many say that there is a greater gap in the rates of marriage between affluent and less affluent people than ever before. “This might be a possible reason for the rise of wedding costs,” he adds. “If upper-middleclass kids are getting married older, that means their parents are older, too, which, in general,




means that everybody’s earning more money and can afford a more expensive wedding.” Though the economic argument is compelling, the decline in marriage is very much a matter of speculation. “A left-leaning argument points to the importance of economic security,” Macionis says. “If they don’t have that security, men don’t feel like they are capable of taking care of a family and women don’t want to connect themselves to men they can’t count on. The conservative response is that the decline of marriage is symptomatic of an overall decline in respect for the family, the church – all that symbolic structure, which provides order and meaning.” Sociologist David Popenoe, the founder of the National Marriage Project (and the spouse of Katherine Popenoe, the former Assistant to Head Master Josiah Bunting H’37 ’88 P’88 ’97) once forwarded another theory. By observing the citizens of Sweden, Popenoe noticed an association between the number of government services and the strength of the institution of marriage. Swedes, who live in an all-inclusive welfare state, he found, are less likely to marry, have fewer children, and are far more likely to divorce. “I don’t think I ever stated flat out that it was cause and effect,” says Popenoe, who is now retired. “It was just an association.” Due in part to the controversial impact of his research, Popenoe founded the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, where he taught as a professor. (The organization is now headed up by others and headquartered at the University of Virginia.) “I felt it was important to have some group focused on marriage and families that was connected to academia in order to get better research done and to have a more solid say in regard to the media,” he explains. Though the organization covered a lot of ground reporting on marriage trends of all sorts, the group always placed an emphasis on marriage’s effect on children. “If children are not involved it really doesn’t, from a public point of view, matter a whole lot about what’s happening to marriage,” he says. “When children are involved – and they usually are – it is extremely important. So a lot of our work was pulling together research making that point.” So do the trends spell marriage’s doom? Not yet. For one thing, there is compelling circumstantial evidence to suggest that more


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G Amanda Sheronas Spencer ’90

education can slow marriage’s decline. “Today you see that college educated people have a higher rate of marriages, more longlasting marriages, and fewer out of wedlock births than people who are less well-educated and less economically secure,” says Popenoe. Also, while the number of marriages is decreasing, the desire to marry isn’t. Among adults who have never been married, 61 percent still want to take the plunge as opposed to 12 percent who don’t. Marriage counselor Douglas Jardine ’62 is not surprised. “Humans need to create a primary emotional bond,” he says. “We’re built that way. We are not the rugged individualists we always thought we were. We have to have a person with whom we have an attachment relationship. When we have that security, that connection, that level of trust with another person, we live longer, our autoimmune systems work better, and we’re better able to do bold things and take on new challenges. “I think that in recent times,” Jardine adds, “more and more people are seeing a good marriage – or another kind of fully committed, good relationship – as essential to personal happiness.” Also, some of the new wedding trends do result in happier marriages. Couples who wait until they’re older to get married, for example,

divorce far less often. And this age increase is especially advantageous to women, who can now pursue their educations and careers in ways they could never have dreamed of 50 years before when they were expected to be anchored to a household. In fact, one might argue that the way people approach the institution of marriage has become as personal and individualized as the way they approach wedding receptions. Perhaps a floral arranger like Schankler will create a centerpiece that includes artichokes (and she has). Perhaps a photographer like Wilson will shoot an entire Halloween-themed wedding wearing a gorilla suit (and he has). And perhaps a bride like Spencer, who had spent the past five years of her career helping young women realize their fairytale dreams by matching them with the perfect gown, will set up her own wedding in an entirely different way. And she did. “I once thought I wanted one of those big over-the-top weddings,” she says. “But I got married when I was older and it changed my perspective a lot. So I had a small ceremony, followed by an intimate dinner for 50 people at a restaurant in our area. “My wedding was not what I thought it was going to be,” she says with a smile. “But it was exactly what I wanted.”

Giving Back Bequests and Life Insurance

Just like his father, W. Grant Hellar Jr. ’21, Grant Hellar ’54 P’87 came to Lawrenceville sight unseen – riding trains for three full days to get here all the way from Tacoma, WA. What he found when he arrived was both exhilarating and daunting.

“Lavino Field House had just opened,” says Grant. “That was awesome. But it took a while for me to adjust to the Harkness method of teaching and learning – looking back now I realize that is where I learned to think and to communicate my ideas.” Grant has great friends from Lawrenceville, including the widow of his Cleve housemaster Jim Howard, and has been a lifelong volunteer for his class and the School – serving as Alumni trustee from 2006-10. He has also arranged for two deferred gifts for Lawrenceville – a bequest and a life insurance policy.

G Grant and Eva Hellar

“Three generations of Hellars have benefitted greatly from the School. It’s up to all of us to do our part to see that Lawrenceville continues to be a great school, and I hope others who can will do so. Bequests and life insurance are simple to execute but important for the School and its financial strength.”

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, J.D. at the Lawrenceville Office of Planned Giving, at 609-620-6064, or go to winter




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A Proud Patriarch By Mike Allegra P h o t o g r a p h y b y m i c h a e l b r a n s c o m a n d pa l o m a t o r r e s


he architectural conceit behind Pop Hall’s new renovation sounds an awful lot like the title of an old Abbott and Costello movie: The Smithsonian Meets the Apple Store. Yet, unlike a lot of Abbott and Costello movies, this particular meeting actually works. The first and second floors of Pop, with their high ceilings and elegant woodwork, are Smithsonian all the way. These spaces house, as they did before, the Language and the Religion and Philosophy departments. To the casual observer, the changes are subtle – but appearances aren’t always what they seem. The more obvious changes can be found downstairs. That’s the Apple Store. The Lower Level (once upon a

time a dark, dank space that truly deserved the moniker “basement”) is now a sea of glass: glass walls, glass doors, as well as enormous windows to the outside world to let in as much light as possible. The overall feel is bright, cool, and modern, well representing the space’s new role as Lawrenceville’s technology hub. Along with language and computer labs, the Lower Level is the home of a video production studio, student publication offices, the School’s Communications Office, and the IT Help Desk. Down here, nothing resembles what came before, but considering what was here before, that’s a very good thing indeed. In short, Pop Hall pulled off a balancing act; in one building the traditional and the modern not only coexist but also mesh seamlessly.




This transformation was in no small part due to the largess of Sue and Mort Fuller ’60 P’89 ’01, who expressed their interest in the project during the early stages of Lawrenceville’s Bicentennial Campaign. Out of all the School’s campaign priorities, Pop Hall’s renovation was particularly meaningful to Mort; his grandfather was a member of The Fathers Association, the group that raised the money for Pop’s construction in 1925. He was, in a way, carrying on a family tradition. Pop Hall was a state of the art facility when it first opened, so the Fullers wanted to be sure that the building both respected its long history while also incorporating new technology. So, no, a fresh coat of paint would just not do.


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P o p ' s pa s t The Fathers Building all began with the Fathers Association, a sort of embryonic parents association. Unlike most parents’ associations, however, The Fathers Association didn’t devote much of its time volunteering; theirs was a group founded to raise money. Once the men set up shop in 1920, they wasted little time in doing so. Over the course of three years, the Fathers Association raised $200,000 to construct their namesake building. Built by W.A. Delano (of the Class of 1891) in 1925, the brick, colonialstyle building accommodated all the needs of a newly growing school, such as additional classrooms and administrative offices. It also had things that were somewhat less necessary, such as a basement Milk Bar “where at 10:30 every morning,” the 1925 Alumni Bulletin crowed, “milk and crack-

In the end, nary an inch of Pop’s first and second floors (which the Fullers financed almost singlehandedly) went untouched, be it new moldings, paneling, trim, fixtures, or fresh plaster. There is so much new in the “old” part of Pop that it’s hard to take it all in – but it’s worth the effort. Those three round mullioned windows facing The Bowl? Custom made. The cupola/clock tower on Pop’s roof? It now opens onto the first floor rotunda, filling the depths of the building with refreshing rays of natural light. (So that boy picking a thorn out of his foot can finally see what he’s doing.) Pop’s prettifying would mean nothing, however, if practical matters weren’t handled as

ers are supplied to 500 boys in 20 minutes.” And because the fathers felt they owed it to themselves, the Fathers Building also had a “Fathers Room” – that is to say a room for the fathers – which, the Alumni Bulletin observed, was “quite luxuriously furnished.” This was not the first time W.A. Delano, of the architecture firm Delano & Aldrich, had made his mark on The Lawrenceville campus and it certainly wouldn’t be his last. In addition to The Fathers Building, he

built The Bowl (1929); the McPherson Infirmary (1929, now McPherson House); Dawes House (1929); Raymond House (1930); The Mackenzie Administration Building (1937); and that living nightmare for many an introverted first former, Old Lower (1924 – which was demolished with little fanfare in 1992 to make room for the far grander Bunn Library). Pop Hall was renovated only once before, in 1936, and that was a special case. The new Harkness system of teaching had

well. Pop has a new heating and cooling system (stationed in the attic to reduce noise), an elevator, and every classroom was gutted and reconfigured to accommodate smart boards, audio systems, additional storage, and builtin furniture. Making these changes is where much of the money went. Buried in Pop’s walls is a half mile of duct work, a mile of piping, and almost two miles of electrical and IT cables. At about the time the restoration of Pop’s top two floors was being designed, Lawrenceville was wrestling with what was then seen as an unrelated problem: the location of The Digital Commons, a multifunctional home base

recently been adopted, and the large study halls found in both Pop and its neighbor, Memorial Hall, were no longer part of the School’s pedagogical plan. They were carved up into what were then called “Conference Rooms.” A benefit of this remodeling was that teachers now had their own classrooms. Unfortunately, a casualty of the 1936 renovation was the Milk Bar; from that day forward, students would have to secure their milk and crackers by other means.

for computer-oriented work. During the day the commons would serve as traditional classrooms. At night, however, the space would become an open gathering space for students to assemble informally to collaborate on academic and extracurricular projects. Initial plans to put the Digital Commons in the basement of Bunn Library fell out of favor after the School’s Stephens Archives was renovated. A few other locations were considered, but before long, CFO Wes Brooks ’71 P’03 ’05 and IT Director Bill Freitas began to contemplate the Pop Hall basement. Continued on page 37




pop's Plaza The buildings situated around The Circle – such as Woods Memorial Hall – are designed in the ornate Queen Anne Style. Those around The Bowl – such as The Fathers Building – are in the stately Georgian Style. Mario Plaza (named after Trustee Jeremy Mario ’88 P’16 and the Mario family) is nestled between Mem and Pop – the No Man’s Land where the two architectural movements meet. Because of this, the landscape architects, LRSLA Studio, chose to borrow from both styles to make the space work. “The paths and plaza are formally arranged to complement The Bowl

style of architecture and the materials of the walls and paving are carefully detailed rustic stone, which relate to the Memorial Hall style of architecture,” explains Brad Thornton, an LRSLA associate. “Material color was also chosen to complement both Memorial Hall and The Fathers Building. The wall stone is a gray base with veins of white and burgundy. Bluestone paving was used for consistency with other campus spaces. The goal was to blend styles, creating a space that feels natural and like it belongs with its context.” Even the greenery was specially chosen to suit the adjacent architecture,

with more ornate and “exuberant” plantings located on the Mem side, and more “restrained” plants decorating the slopes leading down to Pop’s newly revealed Lower Level. Sure, it’s pretty, but form means nothing without function. The Plaza has two purposes – and both are deftly handled. First, it serves as a byway to keep busy pedestrian traffic moving. Second, it provides an outdoor gathering space; chair-high walls form the perimeter of The Plaza’s Harknessshaped oval patio to create a seating area that is designed – like the table it mimics – to invite conversation.

t h e v e r s at i l e ta b l e With a new building comes new furniture. Though the Harkness system of teaching has served the School well since its inception some 75 years ago, even the table’s most diehard fans couldn’t entirely ignore its limitations. “In the lower level language classes, students do a lot of skits and collaborative group work, and it was hard to manage that around the table,” explains Language Master Helena Cunningham P’14. “As we looked to the future, our challenge was, how could we make the table both more flexible and also more responsive to new technologies and advances in pedagogy?” The answer arrived in the form of a snappy modular unit. When fitted together, the table mimics the shape and feel of a traditional Harkness (albeit one with a hole in

the center). But if a master needs additional floor space, or if an assignment requires students to work in small groups, the table can be separated into six pieces and arranged into

any desired configuration. It’s an elegant solution, but not one suitable to every class. The Religion and Philosophy Department, which was given the same choice of tables, opted to

stick with tradition. “We considered [the modular table’s] merits,” says Department Chair Phil Jordan ’85, “but decided that, for us, the old models still ably serve.

“As Confucius once said,” Jordan adds with a smile, “‘He who by reanimating the old can gain knowledge of the new is fit to be a teacher.’ (And a learner, too!)”

S tat e ly & S u s ta i n a b l e Pop Hall is now filled with environmentally friendly solutions, explains Wolf Arendt ’89, an associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, the firm that led the Pop Hall renovation. Seeking a LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Pop’s new features include energy-saving LED lights, low-flow and no-flow


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plumbing fixtures, and added insulation to the exterior walls and roof to reduce heating and cooling costs. All wood used in the renovation was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, and many of the interior materials have a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content, which improves air quality. The architects also

worked very closely with V.J. Scozzari and Sons, the general contractor, “to exploit the opportunities of the project,” Arendt adds. “Scozzari diverted 95 percent of the construction waste from landfills.” And as with every building on campus, more than 90 percent of Pop’s electricity will be generated from Lawrenceville’s own 30-acre solar field.

Continued from page 33 The basement was not a part of the original renovation plan, but Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), the architectural firm hired to redesign the first two floors of Pop, was more than eager to contemplate this new challenge. One thing was certain, for the basement space to work as a Digital Commons – a place where people would choose to gather – Pop’s basement couldn’t look like a basement. The answer, said BCJ, was glass. Lots of it. And BCJ knew a bit about glass; the company made a name for itself by designing the iconic Apple Store, which consists of little else. The architects argued that an Apple Store vibe could work at Lawrenceville as well. Incredulous eyebrows were raised, as were two questions: 1. Can so much glass in the basement support all the brick above it? 2. Wouldn’t an “Apple Store” in the basement result in a building that’s architecturally schizophrenic? As for the first question, engineering was on BCJ’s side. When Pop Hall was constructed in 1925, the building was overbuilt – almost ridiculously so. Pop was one of the first buildings in the country to have steel joist construction (the technology was so brand new that

the building broke ground the same year the metal joist was patented). In short, all the cement that was poured in 1925 was not needed to keep the building erect. Much of it could be carved away. The tiny basement portholes could be replaced with something grander. So the construction crews peeled back the earth and added large 5’ x 8’ windows. Also added was a Lower Level exterior entrance. This entrance wasn’t an afterthought; to get to that door one must descend a grand stone staircase off The Mario Plaza. With an entrance like that, anyone who was still calling the Lower Level a “basement” wasn’t paying attention. As for the second question, BCJ drafted plans to make the renovation appear organic and consistent with the building’s design. For the exterior, the solution was to apply a “muscular” marble façade that seems a natural fit with Pop’s original brick walls. To the uninitiated it looks as if the building was always that way. As for the Lower Level’s interior, old, structural brick pillars are incorporated into the design to provide a little historical context. The irony is that there is nothing old or structural about the brick pillars; they are merely a charming way to hide ductwork and wiring. The real reinforcement is in the metal poles,

which are exposed and painted bright red. After years of work, Pop Hall has transformed into something unique. As before, it is a place where one conjugates French verbs and debates the finer points of Kierkegaard, but it is also now a place to create and edit video. A place to get a computer purged of spyware. A place where student journalists work across the hall from career journalists. And where an academic space can, in an instant, become a makeshift student union. To put it another way, Pop Hall is now a place that is both modern and traditional – much like Lawrenceville itself.




9 Alumni Events

F Alumni gathered at the Phillies vs. Mets tailgate and game on September 21. From left: Peter Maruca ’82, Jim Gidicsin ’82 P’17, Randall Krongard ’86, John Lee ’86, and Jim Duffy ’85.

D Lawrentians and their guests celebrated Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

G Lawrentians Paul Mott ’47 P’73 ’85, Dick Sword ’71 P03 ’05 ’08, Michael Bowe ’81, Ken Kramli ’86, Dan Kramli ’88, Anand  Sudhakar ’01, and their families and guests attended the  Philadelphia Union Soccer game in May.

A Bill Rommel ’74, Nicholas Rommel ’13, Colleen Rommel, Chris Rommel ’03, and their guests gathered at the Audubon Circle Restaurant before the Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays game (the game was later postponed).


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We are pleased to report that the humoros photo caption contest that ran in fall 2013 prompted a plethora of excellent responses! After much deliberation, the winner is: Jim Crawford ’57!

G “What’s your next stop after Sarajevo, Archduke?”



Even though we retired the photo identification department “Photo Finish” nearly a year ago, we are delighted to report that another response has come in. Bill Davidson ’86 noted that the ID information for this photo, written in spring 2013 issue of The Lawrentian, was only partially correct. “It’s true that the gentleman seated on the left is Carty Lynch H’71 ’84. However, the young man seated across from him is none other than [Science Master] Ed O’Brien, playing ‘the quicktempered chauffeur’ in The Faculty Players production of Three Bags Full. The ‘aged somnolent butler’ giving Mr. Lynch a shave is [Foreign Language Department Chair] Tom Sharp.”

Congratulations to Crawford and Davidson!

Be sure to check your mailboxes for a valuable piece of Lawrentiana. You earned it!


Student Shot

Alexander CAPTION lin ’14 Last year I undertook a Welles Grant project focusing on the modern development of China through the lens of documentary photography. I spent two weeks in Shenzhen, China, photographing both the dazzling new metropolis and the construction sites full of dust and sweat. The above photograph depicts several workers standing on derelict living quarters with the hotel they're building rising in the background. Although the construction workers live a tough and grueling life, I saw in them a perseverance and hope for the future, an upright back, and a distant gaze.

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 e-mail us at with his or her new address. Thank you!

Profile for The Lawrenceville School

The Lawrentian - Winter 2014  

The Lawrentian - Winter 2014