JOURNAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
The Makers Issue
Celebrating the Installation of US’s 8th Headmaster Ben Rein Fitbit CEO James Park ’94 & Other Alumni Makers
JOURNAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
www.us.edu The University School Journal is published two times a year by University School and its Alumni Association for the alumni, parents and friends of the School. Letters and suggestions for future articles are welcomed. Correspondence should be addressed to: The University School Journal, 2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022, or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR: Susan Schervish Director of Marketing & Communications CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Jonathan Bridge Assistant Headmaster for Advancement Marcia Grant Class Notes Editor Colleen Melena We Remember Editor Fiona Reilly Writer
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR We are nearing the conclusion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of University School, a school year in which we are celebrating 125 Years in the Making. In this issue you will find stories about the makers influence on US teachers, students and alumni. The Makers Movement has been gaining much attention from educators in recent years, and US teachers had the opportunity to share their Makers philosophy when University School hosted the International Boys’ Schools Coalition’s Boys as Makers Conference. You can read about how our teachers, with the help of their students, taught other professionals in workshops and lectures during the conference. This issue celebrates our Maker alumni and you can read profiles of alumni who have found influences that their US education is making in their careers. In addition, we have stories about two recent graduates who used their senior year at US to pursue research of their own making. All evidence that the tradition of teaching boys to solve problems through innovating and making continues today. But first, we report about the kick-off of the school anniversary in September when the entire student body, kindergartners through seniors, came together for an exciting Founders’ Day headmaster installation event, unlike any other in the history of the school. The spirit of community was palpable throughout the day that concluded with a formal Board of Trustee dinner reception for the Rein family. You can read more about this and enjoy the many photos on the following pages.
Sue Schervish Editor
Lori Hollington Smith Director of Gift Planning Jay Pease ‘86 Director of Alumni Engagement PHOTOGRAPHY : Joseph W. Darwal Rob Pesicka Susan Schervish DESIGN: Erin Brain Stead dfmi designs University School operates an open admission policy in the belief that the optimum educational environment is one that is as broad and representative of American society as is practical for an independent college preparatory school. Decisions on acceptance are based on personal and intellectual criteria without regard for race, religion or place of national origin.
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SENIOR BUDDIES This year the senior class initiated the buddy program, in which each senior is paired with a kindergartener, first or second grader for activities and events throughout the school year.
4 14 20 32 also in this issue:
F E AT UR E S US Celebrates New Headmaster & Anniversary For Ben Rein, University School’s new headmaster, “the boys come first,” so it is no surprise that the entire US student body played a big part in his big day. Headmaster Rein’s installation on Sept. 17 as the school’s eighth headmaster coincided with Founders’ Day, a beloved tradition for students that celebrates the founding of the school in 1890.
125 Years of Teaching Makers US had the chance to share its Makers philosophy when it hosted the International Boys’ Schools Coalition Boys as Makers Conference. Teachers and administrators from all-boys’ schools from across the globe came to University School’s campuses to roll up their sleeves and learn how US teachers incorporate the Makers philosophy into their curriculum.
Alumni Maker Profiles Cleveland is blessed to have hundreds of examples of US alumni and parents involved in making things. This story looks beyond Cleveland to alumni who are making in their own way and focuses on five who live on different coasts of the country.
Woodshop Mentoring Defines Careers Joe Brown ’85 received his start as a maker as a youngster in the US Day Camp. Later, in the Upper School, he connected with his life-long mentor, long-time US staff member Dan Dickson. Today, Joe and his brother Jim ‘82 are co-owners of Hartzell Propeller, a global leader in aircraft propeller design and manufacturing technology.
From the Valley to the Heights Class Notes Athletic News We Remember An Evening with Tony Doerr ‘91
ON THE COVER: Fitbit CEO James Park ‘94 shows off one of his devices as he poses for photos outside the New York Stock Exchange, before his company’s IPO, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Fitbit makes devices that can be worn on the wrist or clipped to clothing to monitor daily steps, calories burned and grab other data. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL Celebrates New Headmaster & 125-Year Anniversary
For Ben Rein, University School’s new headmaster, “the boys come first,” so it is no surprise that the entire US student body from kindergarteners to seniors - played a big part in his big day. Rein’s installation on Sept. 17 as the school’s eighth headmaster coincided with Founders’ Day, a beloved tradition for students that celebrates the founding of the school in 1890. More than 800 boys in kindergarten through grade 12 gathered for camaraderie and friendly competition with each House of students enjoying battleball, tug-owar, relay games, capture the flag, soccer, and a picnic lunch together. September 17 has a special significance because it was on this day, 125 years ago, that University School held its first day of classes at the original building on Hough Avenue in downtown Cleveland. “This day is not so much about me, as it is about honoring those things that make this school so great,” said Rein. “The traditions, the history of excellence, the boy-centric learning, and the depth of the relationships that happen here are the things that matter. It is amazing and humbling to be ‘officially’ installed as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of US. What better way to do this than to involve the US community, and especially our students, in the moment?”
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Headmaster Ben Rein and his sons Max ‘27 and Jackson ‘24 join Pettee House Prefect Cole Goldberg ‘16.
Teacher and artist Pam Spremulli and her students present a composite painting highlighting the Lower Schoolâ€™s theme curriculum.
Assistant Headmaster Bill O’Neil announces the start of the Founders’ Day games and competition to the students, grouped by Houses.
Board of Trustees President Brent Ballard ‘74 congratulates Headmaster UNIVERSITY SCHOOL JOURNAL 6 Rein Ben at his installation.
A CELEBRATORY EVENING
HONORING BENJAMIN REIN WITH THE US BOARD OF TRUSTEES
In the evening, the Board of Trustees held a reception dinner for Ben and Claudia Rein and their sons Maxwell ’27 and Jackson ‘24. After dinner, Headmaster Rein conveyed his gratitude to Trustees and guests, saying: “I stand before you tonight humbled by your kind words, appreciative of the opportunity before me, and grateful to be honored as the 8th Headmaster of University School. I hope that many long years from now, when my boys are long grown, my hair is grey or gone, and the time has come for me to take my leave, people both in the room tonight and out will look back on my tenure at US, and they will share this simple thought: He served us well. As with the seven men who came before, I am well aware of the magnitude and significance of the responsibility before me. One cannot look back over 125 years of our school’s history and not be in awe of what University School and its graduates have accomplished in the world. But while this high regard is appropriate and well earned over time, I do not stand before you intimidated or frightened by the work to come. I am inspired by both the challenge and the opportunity to help shape our next generation of graduates
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as they prepare to enter and navigate a fast and often messy world, and to do so without ever losing sight of the enduring tradition of responsibility, loyalty and consideration that has long made our boys into men and our men into leaders. Men of substance and compassion, who are not just good workers, but good fathers, good partners and good friends. As both a father and the headmaster, I am now proud to call University School my home. Opportunities and success in life come for many reasons, but I have lived enough and learned enough to know that we do not accomplish anything alone. We tread in the footsteps and stand on the shoulders of those who have come before, who either openly or unwittingly have offered guidance and support along the way, who have opened doors, or perspectives to new ways of thinking, and who have allowed us to reflect on who we are, how we operate, and what we want to do in this world. There are far too many people for me to thank tonight who have helped guide me to this place in ways both large and small, but I do want to offer some specific words of thanks and appreciation.”
I am honored, appreciative and grateful TO BRENT BALLARD, the selection committee, and the Board of Trustees â€“ thank you for your faith in me. I am honored, appreciative and grateful in ways I can never adequately express. TO MY BOYS, JACKSON AND MAX. You are the best kids a father could hope to have. I am proud of you and I love you more than you will ever know. TO CLAUDIA, MY WIFE AND PARTNER, who has hitched her cart to my wagon and willingly and supportively lived the often itinerant school leadership life with grace, class and constant support. Our family does not work without you, and without our family I do not work. For your care, love and support on our journey I am eternally grateful. TO MY FATHER, for providing me opportunities in life I could never imagine or repay, for never wavering on your expectations for excellence in character and work ethic, while also allowing me the flexibility and freedom to leverage your gifts to follow my dreams, thank you. I am the man I am today both because of the things you told me to do, and for the times you said nothing at all. TO MY MOTHER, who passed away my senior year in high school but who never left my heart. Thank you for always reminding me that people matter most, for allowing me to be kind, and for helping me to always find the best in the people around me. I take your work and your wishes for the world with me wherever I go.
in ways I can never adequately express. 9
1. Claudia and Ben Rein, Ann Ballard, Life Trustee Eddie Motch ‘46, Life Trustee John ‘56 and Mary Herrick 2. Alumni Association Council members Ken Surratt ‘91, Jack Nestor ‘90, Brian Edelstein ‘96 3. Miesha Headen, Suzanne Smythe, Trustees Ray Headen ‘78 and Chris Smythe ‘78 4. Parents Association President Jeannine Voinovich presents a House banner from the lower and middle school parents. 5. Alumni Association President Scott Goldberg ‘79 presents a vintage spirit banner to the new headmaster.
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6. Eighth Headmaster Ben Rein addresses the Trustees and guests at the reception on the evening of his installation day. 7. Regi Cash ’00, Silvia Perez and Headmaster Ben Rein.
8. Trustee Vice President Larry and Julia Pollock 9. Beatrice and Larry Pace ‘71 congratulate the new headmaster. 10. The group applauds Headmaster Ben Rein’s guest of honor, his father Bert Rein.
11. Life Trustee Peter Adams ‘57, Dave Cowan ‘49 and Life Trustee Jack Turben ‘53 12. Helen Rankin Butler, president of the Parents Association, presents a gift from the upper school parents.
13. Trustees Rick Horvitz ‘71 and Marques Torbert ‘02 14. Headmaster Rein invited Keith Evans, president of the Westminster School in Atlanta and former head of school at Collegiate, to speak to the guests at the reception.
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15. Parents Trustee Hoby Hanna, Treg Balding and Joe Kubic 16. Headmaster Ben Rein and Life Trustees Bill Seelbach ’66 and Lee Chilcote ’60 17. Headmaster Ben Rein shows off his vintage letter jacket. 18. Trustee President Brent Ballard ‘74 and Trustee Vice President Marc Byrnes ‘72 19. Life Trustee Jim Biggar ‘46 and Trustee Steve Terrell ‘75
CELEBRATING 125 YEARS OF TEACHING MAKERS by Nicole Barhorst
The Makers Movement has been gaining a lot of attention from educators in recent years, but for University School, teaching boys to solve problems through tinkering, innovating, and making is a 125-year-old tradition. We were founded on the idea that for boys to become successful leaders, fathers, husbands, and makers, they need creativity and a little elbow grease. In the 1930s, metal shop students built the wrought iron fence and gates encircling the Shaker campus. In 1987, students volunteered with other school community members to construct the Sally Findlay playground in a single weekend. And today boys are making now more than ever. University School had the chance to share its Makers philosophy when it hosted the International Boys’ Schools Coalition Boys as Makers Conference last spring. Teachers and administrators from all-boys’ schools from across the globe came to University School’s campuses to roll up their sleeves and learn how US teachers incorporate the makers philosophy into their curriculum — from welding three-piece mobiles to creating new religions to designing sustainable model homes. Third grade teacher Steve Siegel said getting
boys excited about what they are going to create is at the heart of the Makers Movement. “It’s about letting them use their own minds instead of having somebody else telling them what to do step by step, and encouraging them to have a growth mindset, so that when they come to a problem they don’t crumble and they don’t stop,” Siegel said. “They are going to continue to work on that challenge and overcome it.” In addition to hearing from three keynote speakers and making onsite visits to The Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Center and a creative production factory, several University School teachers led workshops and presentations to teach the conference participants how they encourage innovation and creative problem-solving through making.
Combining Old-School and Modern Techniques US’s artistic excellence was demonstrated by Upper School faculty members Rex Brodie and Enrique de la Mata and two of their design students in their presentation in which they took teachers through the process of turning two concepts into final products: a luminaire and a laser-cut box.
TEACHING MAKERS Teachers from boysâ€™ schools across the country had the opportunity to learn from US teachers throughout the three-day conference.
Computer Assisted Design teacher Enrique de la Mata shows other teachers how his students take a concept to final product.
Upper School Arts Chair Michael Starinsky demonstrates welding techniques to another teacher who is creating a steel mobile.
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Upper School Outdoor Programs teacher Terry Harmon has been teaching US boys since 1970. Here he demonstrates his students’ work in the trout hatchery.
In their workshop “Making Good Use of Our Maker Space,” US teachers Mike Starinsky and Reinhold Friebertshauser, who have 60 years of combined experience, explained how US’s state-of-the-art design and art spaces were created to facilitate making using both old-school and modern techniques. In their workshop, 13 teachers with little to no welding experience learned how US students blended physics and art to create mobiles from steel rods, and then gave it a try after getting a crash course in welding from two US students. Middle school design technology teacher Rob Lovell and 7th grade science teacher Kathy Osborne connected the past to the present in their presentation called “Design Technology: 3D Sustainable Model Home Design and Development.” They described their contemporary approach to the traditional furniture building methods US instructors have been teaching for more than a century. Using SketchUp 3D software, Lovell’s and Osborne’s middle school students designed sustainable homes, then used reclaimed wood to build miniature replicas. They made the homes operational based on what they learned about circuitry, voltage, and solar technology. Lovell said the Makers Movement is about letting students expand upon their projects according to their interests and learn for themselves what works and what doesn’t — a skill that will come in handy for a lifetime.
Making Good Use of Space Starinsky and two faculty colleagues worked with the Hunting Valley campus’ architects to ensure the design technology labs were open and modifiable. Workshop participants were impressed by the space, and some invited Starinsky to visit their schools to provide counsel on how to better outfit their design spaces.
“A big part of this Makers Movement is that the space can adapt into whatever the big problem of the day requires,” Starinsky said. “It’s really about making spaces that are conducive to the type of work that bubbles up as a result of the curriculum.” Incredible discoveries take place in boys’ minds when they start with an idea, make drawings and plans for how something should look, and then build and innovate. “We put things into perspective and provide context for what boys are studying in other parts of the curriculum,” Starinsky said. “It’s a very beautiful and truthful series of events that takes place when boys go from a concept that is nothing to something that actually sits on a table someplace that can be utilized or just be decorative. I think we lose track of that if we let the digital world take over.”
Middle School boys explain the process of designing working model homes.
Middle School design technology teacher Rob Lovell describes a contemporary approach to traditional furniture building.
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An evening reception was held in Gallery One at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a revolutionary, innovative, hands-on art space.
Design Thinking Upper School history teacher Sam Thomas discussed how he incorporates the Makers philosophy into his curriculum in his presentation, “Design Thinking and the History Classroom.” To get his students thinking about the relationship between religion and society in the ancient world, Thomas had his students research an ancient civilization and design a religion that fit. Giving students a problem to solve instead of information to memorize is what the Makers Movement is all about.“It allows students to take a much more active role in their own education,” Thomas said. “They’re not receptacles of wisdom dispensed from on high; they are active learners in a number of different ways.” Lower School Director Gail Stein uses a similar approach on the Shaker Heights campus. “It’s not about sitting surrounded by four walls at a desk working by yourself and learning one subject at a time,” she said. “Boys can connect and learn from each other by building something together and making mistakes.” Third grade teacher Steve Siegel and fourth grade teacher Brady Hurley discussed the science behind developing a hands-on curriculum around themes and getting boys emotionally invested in their
“IT ALLOWS STUDENTS TO TAKE A MUCH MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THEIR OWN EDUCATION.” learning in their presentation, “Boys Constructing Knowledge Through a Theme-Based Curriculum.” Siegel and Hurley said they found sharing their work with other teachers at the conference exciting and empowering. “The way in which we teach is pretty unique — it gives people new ideas,” Hurley said. “In many ways it is not about teaching young boys to be makers; instead, it is about providing them with the opportunity and structure to be makers.”
More Than Just a Movement For 125 years, University School boys have had access to expert teachers and state-of-the-art facilities. But more than that, they have been given the freedom to learn by making mistakes, solving old problems in new ways, and developing a makers’ mindset that will help them in every facet of life. “Nothing takes the place of actually working with your hands, building and creating,” said Stein. “You see it from kindergarten all the way through grade 12 — boys working with their hands. It’s one of the things this school was founded on. It’s what we do best.”
BUILDERS INVENTORS FOUNDERS 20
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Alumni Makers By Jon Bridge, Assistant Headmaster for Advancement Cleveland is blessed to have hundreds of examples of US alumni and parents involved in making things. We have entrepreneurs, builders, inventors, and creators. The Journal looks beyond Cleveland to visit alumni who are “making” in their own way. As we looked for subjects, we were gratified to find that hundreds of alumni are involved in making on a number of levels. Here, we focus on five. We start in California where James Park ’94 is making a new market in the health tracking industry by founding Fitbit. This serial entrepreneur has found a mission that will capture his attention for a long time. Across the country in New York City, Brian Offutt ’83, while leading a successful life in the entertainment industry, finds time to help renovate a building to make a space for the Center, a place to gather those involved in the LGBT Community. Uptown, John Demsey ’75 is involved in all aspects of the cosmetic giant Estee Lauder’s growth including the building of the MAC Cosmetic brand where he was also deeply involved in the design and manufacturing of product. In San Francisco, Jon Kaplan ‘91 is taking on a new post as the global sales leader for Pintrest. He just completed a stint helping Google reimagine itself as a place that uses technology to solve problems moving from predominately a search company to one that makes things both virtual and material. Finally, in the outskirts of the District of Columbia, artist Walt Matia ’71 sculpts daily making an imaginary world come to life in three dimensions. We hope you enjoy these profiles.
THE POWER OF MAKERS
JAMES PARK ‘94
Name: James Park ‘94 Position: Founder and CEO of Fitbit Born: Korea College Attended: Harvard
For me, making is part of what really gets me excited every day about what I do. UNIVERSITY SCHOOL JOURNAL
How important was your US education in your trajectory? I really enjoyed my time at US. I found it to be really challenging. I joke with people that my intellectual horsepower peaked in high school and has been downhill from there. When I started US coming from a public school I was a little intimidated and unsure about how I would do. I then got more comfortable over time. I had a really smart class and I felt really fortunate to be admitted to Harvard where I studied computer science.
We have to do both sides really well for us to be successful. There are a lot of excited connected-device companies like Fitbit and GoPro that are redefining what a new generation of hardware and software companies look like. You obviously enjoy the hands-on aspect of running a new company. Tell us about your beginning, your growth, and your involvement.
What from US do you take into your day-to-day life at Fitbit?
We started Fitbit in 2007. It was challenging. We had no experience in hardware. Understandably investors were wary. We had to struggle to find our first round of investors, which we did from friends and family (about $400,000). It was a tough first few years. We had to find hardware engineers, find manufacturers in Asia. By the time we launched our first product we had five or seven people. We launched our product at a tech conference. We weren’t sure what the reception to the product would be. My partner had guessed we would have five (preorders), and I guessed we would have 50. We developed a preorder page and after we did the demo we had several thousand preorders. It was validating and we knew we were on to something.
I’ve never been a big fan of mottos or slogans and when I was a teenager, like most teenagers, I probably thought of those things even more cynically. Now, though when I think back to US’s motto of Responsibility, Loyalty, Consideration, I realize those are really great ideals to live up to. At Fitbit, those values really distill down to doing the right thing. Every day, we try to do the right thing in the way we treat customers, partners, and most importantly, in the way we treat each other at the company.
We started delivering in 2009 and in that year we had $500,000 in sales. The following year we did $5 million. (They then grew to $15 million, $76 million, $270 million, and $750 million in annual sales.) It has been fun to grow the business in both revenue and people. I used to write code and now I spend more time on management. I now work with a lot of talented people and work with them to make products on a rapid scale. I really enjoy seeing ideas become products very quickly.
What does the Making theme mean to you?
It seems like you are headed in a wellness direction. What is next?
Who were the individuals who had an impact on your life: Kevin Kay in English, Mr. Keith Green in German, and Mike Franc in calculus. I also enjoyed having Doc O’Neil in cross country for four years. My running career was not distinguished. I am a faster runner now than I was in high school. I could have trained a lot harder. I do feel guilty about that!
For me making is part of what really gets me excited every day about what I do. What energizes me is the ability to think about a problem that the world is facing, or that you are facing personally, and then have the ability to create a solution for it. That is why for most of my career I have been doing start-ups. I have felt that the fastest and best way to make things and build solutions is to have a small team of dedicated people who are passionate about a problem and a solution and work really quickly to build and make something. Eventually the team gets bigger and bigger. Fitbit started as a small company and we were able to move fast. We are a lot larger now but what I find exciting is because of the scale we are able to do a lot more. It is a different kind of excitement. There seems to be a movement from virtual companies to hard-goods companies, companies that make things. Where do you see Fitbit balancing between hardware innovation and software innovation? Fitbit is a unique company in that we are a hybrid of the two. A lot of people think of us as a hardware company but what we really focus on is the software side of the business.
We are in the early days of consumer and technologydriven healthcare advancements. The mission of the company reflects that. We are all about how do we use technology to help people get healthier and more active physically by giving them more data, inspiration, and guidance to reach their goals. What do you think of University School’s direction in giving students hands-on learning opportunities in maker’s spaces and opportunities in entrepreneurship? It is difficult to build anything meaningful if you don’t know how to make the solution. You end up being at the mercy of others to do things for you. That is not the best place to be, especially in the context of entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurship depends upon the ability to recognize a problem, think of a solution, and have a meaningful stake in building the solution yourself. It gives you credibility if you know how to build the things you are selling people.
THE POWER OF MAKERS
Brian offutt ‘83
MAKING THINGS IS THE MOST COMPELLING WAY TO SPEND YOUR LIFE.
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Name: Brian Offutt ‘83 Position: Volunteer Board Chairman of The Center, NYC’s home for the LGBT Community Born: Cleveland College Attended: Harvard You have held professional leadership positions in organizations as disparate as Broadway Video – Lorne Michaels’ Production Company – Nickelodeon and Viacom (Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer Fame), and Combs Enterprises – the holding company for Sean “Diddy” Combs – yet you find time to lend your expertise to non-profits about which you are passionate. The Center in New York has been an important part of that. You have essentially helped to MAKE a non-profit space. Tell us about that. I have been involved since 2003. I have been on several boards ranging from the arts to health care to social services and The Center has been the organization I have cared the most about. To me the work that I am able to do through the Center has been the most satisfying. It is the second largest LGBT community in the world. The Center takes care of 300,000 unique visitors each year. We have youth and family services for kids who are struggling to find their identity, programs for parents who want to create LGBT families and find communities for their kids, and health care, counseling for substance abuse and mental health, and a lobbying group. We just renovated a beautiful building in the West Village that was built in 1844 as a public school. We recently did a $9.7 million renovation to make it even more welcoming and connected to serve our community better. The Center has become a cultural icon in the city. It is a profound joy to be part of this mission. Why did you get involved? When I was growing up I was not connected to this very fundamental part of my identity. There were no resources like The Center. I was happy growing up and yet I wonder sometimes how I might have evolved if I had access to a place like that. I love the fact that this place exists where individuals can get the help, advice, and knowledge they need. Being able to help this organization to accomplish that is really cool. What are the parallels between your work day to day and your work in non-profit in the context of making something? Being heavily involved in a non-profit as a volunteer requires the same functions as running a business. You are a thought partner and strategic partner with the executive director who is a visionary trying to change the world. It is the same as being a creative partner with a Lorne Michaels or a Sean Combs. The skills that one has in one’s career become directly relevant to working in the non-profit setting. In the world of entertainment you make whatever your final product
is, whether it is a television show or a movie or an album, by crystalizing the vision and bringing it to life by getting it funded. If you find yourself in an intense role as a volunteer in a non-for-profit you are doing exactly the same thing. Our theme for our anniversary this year is 125 Years in the Making. What does this theme mean to you? Making is about evolution. It is about a group of business and academic leaders in Cleveland coming together and saying what we need as a school. Making is a process. You are never done making something. It is never good enough. It is never the best. It can be beautiful. It can be great. It can be effective, but it can always be honed and refined and shaped further. In fact, it has to continue to evolve to remain beautiful and effective. It has to respond as the world changes around it. You are nearly a Lifer at US. How important is it for you to have spent almost your entire pre-college education at US?” Those years I spent at US were essential in the making of me. My values, my esthetic, my comfort with discourse, my propensity to want to surround myself with really sharp, thoughtful, educated people were heavily influenced by my years at US. I know to this day that a lot of aspects of my personality and the way I think about the world were developed during the period that I was made at US. I had a huge number of brilliant influencers in my life. What from US do you call upon in your work and life? Three things. The values that I have are the values that were instilled at US: Responsibility, Loyalty, Consideration. Those have allowed me to be successful in my job or in my non-forprofit work. Those are the key factors that enable me to be good in the jobs that I have held. I also call on the learning and the stretching of my mind because I constantly have to learn new things. I learned how to learn at US. The third thing I call upon is my US network. I have an amazing network of friends that I met at US – and through my friends at US – that to this day I call upon because of University School. My summer job in college, which became my first full-time job after business school, was at IMG, and was arranged through Jay Lafave ’51. That is an example of how US connections took me in a certain direction in my career. Final thought? If you were to ask what is the best use of one’s time, it is to make. It is to make a difference and to make the world better. Making things is the most compelling way to spend your life.
THE POWER OF MAKERS
jon kaplan ‘91
Name: Jon Kaplan ‘91 Position: Vice-President of Global Sales at Google (Just appointed Head of Global Sales, Pinterest)
The world needs Born: Evanston, IL
College Attended: Ohio Wesleyan
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Book that has the greatest impact: All the Light You Cannot See by classmate Tony Doerr ’91 because I am amazed by Tony’s talent and success. Music: Mumford and Sons or Taylor Swift, depending upon whether I am alone in the car or with my eight-year-old daughter. Proudest Involvement: Being part of a team to acquire Double Click for Google. It was the first technology company that invented online advertising dating back to the 1990s. They created the pipes for online advertising and we acquired it in 2009 and I worked on their transition to Google. It was a big bet and a risk. It was a $3 billion acquisition, but along with Android and YouTube has become our most strategic purchase for our advertising business and now has become a multi-billion dollar business for us. If you see where the world is going in terms of advertising, Double Click is at the center of online and offline advertising. It was a big bet that has become a big part of our business. When you see the advertising on the NewYorkTimes.com or the Wall Street Journal or ESPN, all those companies are using Double Click to serve the advertising on those sites. What do you look for when hiring people at Google? We look for people who are tinkerers. Those are people who just go build a hacky product that just looks terrible and then keep iterating over time. I think that is an interesting profile. That’s something I think a lot about with my kids and what I get them into. I want them to work with their hands and experiment with stuff. It was great for me to see the new making spaces at US because the skills developed there are what companies are going to be looking for in the future. The world needs more doers. What does the Making theme mean to you? As I think about advertising, I would use the word remaking. I think every few years we need to remake or rethink the business that we are in. When you think about where we were with this company 12 years ago as a desktop search business and how we have evolved into a $75 billion revenue company, it’s by hugely remaking and rethinking everything that we do. YouTube is an example of a company that went from a spot to host video to a true competitor to TV. Now, as we think about our products we have to think in a mobile-first society. Now 50% of our traffic to Google is from mobile devices so we are rethinking how we make our products relevant for a mobile screen and how we make a business out of that.
Google has recently transitioned from a virtual company, one that lives on the web, to a company that makes things. What is the philosophy behind this? There are engineers and product managers off making incredibly interesting, never-been-done inventions. I am inspired by our founder Larry Page who said that everybody in the world is thinking about the next 10% improvement in a product or service. But what he focuses on is a 10x improvement in these products so they can leapfrog what is currently available. There is very little competition from a radical new idea. This permeates throughout Google. One example is in our life sciences division. The idea is where can you apply technology to an industry to provide breakthrough improvements? In one case we invented a new contact lens that is connected to the internet. It has a microprocessor on the lens. It allows you to monitor your glucose through your tears. It is a dramatic improvement for someone who is a diabetic and has to prick his or her finger several times a day. All you have to do with this product is close your eyes and your lids will show red, yellow, or green to help you determine your glucose levels. We signed a partnership with Novartis to manufacture this and it will come to market in two years. You will also see our work in energy, robotics, and city planning. We will work on anything where the application of technology and computer science can provide breakthrough change. What US teacher had an impact: Doc Thomas was one of the first teachers that incorporated a round-table learning environment. He taught through film. He made you think. There weren’t presentations. You were forced to think critically. I also thought Gordon Wean was a great teacher and turned into a great friend. What from US do you call upon in your everyday work and life? I learned how to prepare and how to study. As I think about all of the speaking engagements, client meetings, and internal presentations, how you prepare dictates how well
you are going to do in those situations. The preparation is the one thing I call upon on a daily basis. In US terms it was
how to study. In my life it is how to prepare for my next day, my next week, or my next meeting.
Loyalty is also something that means a lot to me. I feel a real sense of obligation to fulfill the responsibilities before me. Also, some of my closest friends in life are still my US buddies. These are people who mean a lot to me and help me through tough decisions or just to lighten up the challenges of work.
mor e doers.
THE POWER OF MAKERS
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john demsey ‘75
Name: John Demsey ‘75 Position: Group President, Estee Lauder Companies Born: Mount Sinai Hospital, Cleveland College Attended: Stanford Book that was the greatest influence: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Music: The Weeknd
In business you are faced with challenges every day. You can see the glass half empty or half full. I have learned that being a half full kind of guy is a better view of the future. Making something is making the most of what life presents to you. Who in the US community had the greatest influence on you:
Biggest Achievement: Turning MAC cosmetics from a professionals-only brand to the largest commercial and professional cosmetics brand in the world. Working with Tom Ford to start the Tom Ford Beauty Brand from scratch. MAC looks to discover talent and grow the talent with the brand. Who were your biggest discoveries: Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. We also have had great success teaming with Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, who were already known entities. How the brand became big: The unique consumer experience at the point of sale was most important, since make-up artists were the users and heroes of the brand and shared their enthusiasm and talent in-store. Other essential factors include channel diversification, building retail store presence, product development, fast-fashion dynamic, speed to market, creativity, globalization, a focus on philanthropy with the MAC AIDS Fund, and a commitment to people, product, and the experience between the two. Maker Involvement: Responsible for the standards of the product, product development, research and development. Ran the factories at MAC when it was acquired. What does the Making theme mean to you? It is not just about physical objects or creativity. It is the ability to seize an opportunity, seize a market, seize a need, seize the moment to make something out of it.
I was very influenced by French and French Literature. Roger Yedid was really the teacher who took me under his wing and exposed me to life outside of growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The experience of being taught by him led me to a world of possibilities and the fact that that world was a much bigger place. Back in the Jurassic years when I went to US, there was no internet. You developed your sense of imagination by reading a foreign periodical and all that the study of French exposed me to. There were other iconic educators like Rowland McKinley and Geoff Morton who influenced all of us. What from US do you call upon in your everyday work and life? US gave me a framework for how to think about things and approach things with integrity and with creativity. I zoned in on the classics at the same time I was looking to the future. To me US was the foundation on which I have built my entire adult life. Last word on Making: If you look at the notion of how US was started – having an artisan’s approach to creating things that are both useful and reveal creativity – and apply it to the broader construct of what education is about, the idea of making is critical. It focuses us on making the best of our lives, our families, and our careers. It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day what you do, as long as you make the best of it. I have always used that as the guiding philosophy of everything that I do.
It is the ability to seize an opportunity, seize a market, seize a need, seize the moment, to make something out of it.
THE POWER OF MAKERS
WALT matia ‘71
Making is about training the whole person. It’s about training their hands and training their heads and training their hearts to be open to things. 30
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Name: Walt Matia ‘71 Position: Sculptor and former Worldwide Land Management director for the Nature Conservancy Born: St. Luke’s, Cleveland College Attended: Williams College Favorite Book:
Describe your day:
What’s Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies
Every day I go to work. I am here every morning at 8:00 and I am here until 5:00. It is my job to work. If I don’t work, those moments of “brilliance” don’t happen. My world has transitioned into a head game. My work now is only as good as I can think. It is no longer a question of can I do it, it is whether I can think it.
Favorite artists: It tends to be whatever I am looking at at the moment. I grew up in Cleveland and I had access to the Cleveland Museum of Art and we used it. I now live in Washington, DC, so I have the National Gallery. Those two institutions set incredibly high standards for what is on their walls. There is always something to fall in love with when I am there, and I do. The work of John James Audubon was influential in making me think about the relationship between accuracy and composition and making sure that the story did not overwhelm making something truly beautiful. Music while you work: My world is a fairly silent world and I like it that way. I need silence more than anything else. Where did your interest in art begin? When I came to US in the second grade. All kids have an interest in art until they go to school and they are told they don’t. The difference between the kids that have the joy in moving on with art and those that don’t is their first art teacher. In my case at US we had a teacher by the name of Lucille Dalzell who was fabulous. I can say that with great knowledge because she was my art teacher for four years. There was both a level of encouragement and an honest belief that it is a discipline that you have to pay attention to. She was that perfect combination of the joy of discovery and insistence on a certain level of craft. That continued throughout my time there. There was a string of really good teachers under Roland McKinley’s watch. When did you know you had become an artist? I went to work for Larry Izard, the taxidermist at the display department at the Museum of Natural History, as part of my senior project at US. He became my closest friend in the world and I worked for him for seven years throughout college and after. Larry was a very fine sculptor and I learned much of my craft from him. I think I knew at that point that this was something that I would be doing for a long time. I didn’t know that I would do it for a living. That didn’t occur until I was 36.
Our theme for the year is 125 Years in the Making. What does the making theme mean to you? Making is about training the whole person. It’s about training their hands and training their heads and training their hearts to be open to things. I was so gratified when we did the installation at US to tour the new arts wing and to be so thrilled at the good weight that the school is giving to training hands with the heads. US is 125 years of making the whole person. It is a hard thing to do. It takes discipline to remember that training the whole young boy is important to giving them choices in their lives. They don’t need to be tied to any one thing. Walking around the labs, walking around the art studio, walking around the woodshop, seeing the welders made me happy for those kids. They are going to be entering the world with lots of skills and their choices will be open to their own imagination. Tell us what goes on when you work: The truth of all great art is not in the conception it is in the editing. Whenever I am working on a piece I have a theme that goes through my head that says if it looks like it was sculpted get rid of it. Things have to be seamless. If you are sculpting a bird in flight, it has to be weightless. It is holding those disciplines that make it work. Final Thought: Moving to become a full-time artist was important to me. You need time to make lots of mistakes.
Mentor Dan Dickson watches a demonstration by his former student Joe Brown ‘85 at Hartzell Propeller.
by Lorie Hollington Smith Director of Gift Planning
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL JOURNAL
Joe Brown ‘85 gives long-time Facilities staff member Dan Dickson a tour of Hartzell Propeller.
US Woodshop Mentoring Defining Careers When one thinks of Dayton, Ohio, it’s common to conjure thoughts of its two famous brothers who were pioneers of flight. Down the road from where the Wright brothers began their historical journey, two US brothers are making their own impact on the aviation industry in Piqua, Ohio. If you’ve ever flown in a light aircraft or airline turboprop you’ve most likely depended on propellers made by Joe ‘85 and Jim Brown ‘82, co-owners of Hartzell Propeller, a global leader in aircraft propeller design and manufacturing technology.
They started with jobs on the shop floor and worked their way up. In the early 2000s, Joe and Jim took over the reins of Hartzell Propel ler and have since added several acquisitions to their business portfolio. The Browns have enjoyed the opportunity to reinvent themselves every few years and say the ability to take on new and different challenges has kept their work interesting. Joe, who is now president of the company, believes his years of manual arts at US and Dan’s mentorship have been important keys to his success.
Joe received his start as a maker at US in the woodshop, first as a youngster at US Day Camp and throughout his time as a student. From a very young age, Joe loved woodshop and was passionate about working with his hands. Joe was an eager student. He would start projects at home in his basement shop and would bring them to school to consult with shop teachers Robert Osolin and Ralph Howarth about how best to proceed. Joe excelled, and was awarded the Middle School Shop Award.
The Browns have assembled a thoughtful, smart, highly trained shop floor team that develops the innovations and efficiencies on which Hartzell Propeller thrives. Dan attributes much of Hartzell Propeller’s success to the fact Joe and Jim have created a culture of loyalty and trust. Joe explained, “We try hard to collaborate, we believe in continuous improvement and, over time, we’ve all gotten comfortable with persistent change in what we do and how we do it.”
At the Upper School, Joe connected with life-long mentor and long-time US staff member Dan Dickson and continued his journey as a maker. Dan took Joe under his wing as an apprentice in his contracting business. As Joe proved himself, Dan gave him more responsibility and more complex jobs. Joe worked for Dan at US and started a woodworking business of his own outside of school. Dan reports Joe was “never worried about taking on anything.” Dan would help Joe plan and execute jobs, and was always ready to lend necessary tools.
Despite working in a highly technical and engineering-based field, Joe has been able to leverage the liberal arts education he received both at US and Middlebury. Joe and Jim believe that great ideas take flight at the intersection of liberal arts and technology. “Put a couple of political science majors in a room full of engineers, you’ll see right away that the thought processes and questions that drive the discussion have different origins -- that often leads to better outcomes.” Joe explained. Both Jim and Joe consider themselves fortunate to be working with each other and in a family-owned company. They, and by extension Hartzell Propeller, take their roles seriously as community leaders in their company’s home in Piqua, Ohio, a small community near Dayton. Hartzell Propeller is one of the top employers in the area and prioritizes the well-being of its employees and the greater community, echoing the motto of Responsibility, Loyalty, Consideration.
Joe described a moment when he was on a job for Dan and had spent a number of hours installing spindles for a handrail but was off by ½ inch. He was crushed to let Dan down and waste job time. Joe reports Dan showed up, heard about the mistake, just smiled and said, “We’ll have that taken care of in no time.” Although Dan shakes off the praise, Joe said it was Dan’s quiet support and guidance that taught him to take risks and not fear making mistakes. When Joe visited Hartzell Propeller for the first time after his father acquired the company in 1987, he invited Dan Dickson along so they could tour the factory operations together. They both recognized the company presented both potential and opportunity, and Joe joined Hartzell Propeller full time in the fall of 1990, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College. Joe felt right at home on the factory floor thanks to the many experiences that University School and Dan Dickson afforded him. Joe’s brother Jim joined the company three years later. Through out their careers at Hartzell Propeller, Joe and Jim have filled many different roles in the business, including that of pilot.
Joe views his experience in the US woodshop program as life-changing. He is thankful that the school allowed, and even promoted, the non-traditional connection he had with Dan, through which he found a mentor, lifelong friend, and groomsman. US allowed Joe to indulge his passion for working with his hands and hone his technical skills over a decade. Joe learned to view the world through a different lens and be exposed to new opportunities thanks to the value University School placed on boys as makers. Joe is excited about the possibilities presented by the Manual Arts and Design Center at US, and thrilled the school remains committed to embracing boys working with their hands. He looks forward to watching the US curriculum further incorporate the new facility and to expand its offerings in engineering and robotics.
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS A REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE WITH PROSTHETICS
Is it possible to change your life in two weeks? For Akshay Bhardwaj ’15, an internship in India proved the answer to that is a resounding “yes.” While working with patients at the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) in Jaipur, the world’s largest organization serving the physically disabled, Akshay gained a new perspective on life and realized how lucky he is. “There is a lot to learn from those who persevere through hardship and circumstances more dire than any I have ever had to face,” he noted. “I will never forget the courage and resilience of the people whom I met.” BMVSS provides prosthetic limbs, crutches, wheelchairs and rehabilitation free of charge to anyone in need. Since its founding in 1975, the organization has assisted 1.3 million amputees and sees nearly 50 new patients every day. Akshay interviewed new patients to determine the causes of their amputations, and documented their occupations and other characteristics to create patient profiles. He found that the most common causes are road accidents and machine-related
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trauma. In India, chaotic and unruly roads result in a multitude of accidents, and many of those injured have little access to health care. “When I learned of the sheer number of people helped by BMVSS, I was fascinated by the organization’s creation and use of inexpensive prosthetics,” said Akshay. “Every prosthetic is fabricated in the same building in which patients are fitted and rehabilitated. The BMVSS was the first to incorporate highdensity polyethylene pipes in the creation of prosthetics, the use of which cuts both production time and costs.” Akshay’s own fear of losing a limb, combined with a family member’s experience, led him to the BMVSS. “Losing a limb has always been one of my worst fears, and those who suffer such a loss must be desperate to regain as much functionality as possible,” he said. “I knew working at BMVSS would satisfy my interest in the field and allow me to dedicate my time toward improving the lives of others.” Akshay, who is a freshman at Northwestern University, plans to study biological sciences and have the opportunity to work with prosthetics in the future.
RUNNING INJURY INSPIRES RESEARCH PROJECT Stephen Gillinov ‘15, was sidelined from running during his freshman year of high school because of injuries. That is when fellow runner and Upper School biology teacher, Dr. Sara Laux, recommended that Stephen read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. The book chronicles the prolific running of the Tarahumara Indians in the Mexican Copper Canyons and reveals a surprising key to the Tarahumara’s extraordinary endurance: their lack of footwear. Stephen was immediately hooked on an idea. Inspired by the minimalist running movement, he designed an experiment to test the effects of different types of running footwear on biomechanics and efficiency. After purchasing a high-speed camera and recruiting 15 of his cross-country teammates, Stephen started his experiment. To determine how certain running shoes affect a runner’s biomechanics and performance, he observed variables such as foot-strike pattern, ground contact time, stride cadence, and knee flexion angle. Testing runners on a treadmill in traditional running shoes, minimalist running shoes, and barefoot, Stephen discovered that minimalist footwear is associated with superior biomechanics when compared to traditional, heavily cushioned running shoes.
“Effect of Minimalist Footwear on Running Efficiency: A Randomized Crossover Trial,” was published in the scientific journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. In April of 2015, he presented his complete findings at The Ohio Academy of Science. Stephen credits University School’s Anderson Scholars and Strnad Fellowship Programs for playing a crucial role in allowing him to a carry out the project. “I truly appreciated the opportunity to conduct this experiment at US through the Anderson Scholars Program,” he said. “Dr. Laux, my Anderson Scholar project advisor, used her expertise to help guide me through this process. As a Strnad Fellow, I received the necessary funds to purchase the equipment for my testing.” Stephen, a National Merit Scholar last year, plans to continue analyzing the biomechanics of running at Harvard University, where he is in his first year studying biological sciences.
“It has been most fulfilling for me to use experimental evidence to solve a personal conundrum,” he said. “Being unable to run due to my ankle tendonitis was challenging for me, and during my time off I resolved to do everything in my power to prevent future injuries,” said Stephen. “Now, thanks to my research, I am running pain-free in Brooks minimalist shoes. Furthermore, I relish being able to share my findings with other runners, hopefully helping them to continue running efficiently and injury-free.” Stephen’s full report, entitled
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS JUMP ROPE FOR HEART Fifth grade boys joined their kindergarten buddies as the Lower School kicked off its annual Jump Rope for Heart Program. Contributions raised helped fund lifesaving research for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 & No. 5 killers of children and adults. They also fund educational programs to teach children the importance of staying fit, eating well and keeping a healthy heart.
US RECEIVES OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERISM AWARD US received the Morrie Sayre Founder’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism at the annual Shoes and Clothes for Kids Heart and Sole Luncheon. The honor was given as a result of US boys and the Bishop family donating more than 4,300 pairs of socks, and unpacking, sorting, and repacking more than 9,300 items of clothing last spring. Director of Community and International Partnerships Nicole Lawrence and James Bishop ’17 accepted the award on behalf of the school. US was in good company that morning as David Griffin, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, also accepted an award for the Cavaliers’ work with and generous donation to the Shoes and Clothes for Kids organization last year. Also in attendance was Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon who congratulated US boys for all that they did and continue to do for children in the city of Cleveland.
David Dolansky ‘17, James Bishop ‘17, Daniel Accordino ‘18, and David Davis ‘18
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8TH GRADERS FILL EMPTY BOWLS With a goal of making three bowls each, the 8th graders hoped to change the world around them. Over the winter months, the boys learned the art of pottery, and the completed bowls were sold at the Jan. 21 Empty Bowls charity event on campus. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Cleveland Food Bank. “The empty bowl serves as a reminder that there are people in our community whose bowls are empty all year long,” said middle school art teacher Brooke Littman, who is leading the initiative. “The event is designed to show our emerging adults that what they do in school matters. A 13-year-old is capable of affecting social change through the work done in the classroom.” Each of the 86 students worked diligently through every step of the process, from clay molding and working to the technical skills involved in using the pottery wheel, kiln baking and glazing.
Proceeds from bake sales also supplemented the charity donations. These delectable treats were created at home and then brought to the school for purchase. US has a focus on community involvement and requires each middle school student to complete four hours of on-campus service and two hours of off-campus service annually. Many of the boys have worked at the Cleveland Food Bank in the past, so they had first-hand knowledge of the population served and the need for more funds. The community at large was welcomed to the event. It was a powerful evening that will not soon be forgotten by those in attendance.
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS NATIONAL MERIT COMPETITION The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced four seniors as finalists in the 2016 Competition for National Merit Scholarships. The finalists are Henry Ettinger ‘16, Mason Lovell ‘16, Henry Shapard‘16, and Sean Thellian ‘16. These young men are among those earning the highest scores on the 2014 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Three of the finalists started their US journeys as kindergarteners.
Mason Lovell, Henry Shapard, Henry Ettinger, and Sean Thellian
Across the country, National Merit finalists compete for 7,400 National Merit Scholarships and the prestigious honor of earning the title National Merit Scholar. Commenting on the announcement, William Daughtrey, co-director of the Upper School, said, “These young men should be praised for such a noteworthy achievement. They have distinguished themselves in the classroom and beyond, and well deserve the national recognition for their academic excellence.” “Henry, Mason, Henry and Sean are among our best and brightest students in this year’s senior class; we are so proud of all they have attained during their years at University School,” added Jennifer Rohan Beros, director of College Counseling. “Reaching Finalist status in the National Merit competition has given us another reason to celebrate their abilities and we look forward to seeing all they will accomplish in college and beyond.”
Middle school boys from US and girls from Ruffing, Laurel and Hathaway Brown presented the musical Shrek Jr. this spring. Shrek, Jr., based on the Dream Works’ film Shrek, was performed by a large cast to filled auditoriums during its two-night run.
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8TH GRADE SPEAKING CONTEST Marty Ellis ’20 won first place for his speech, “The Atrocity of Factory Farming,” about American meat suppliers and animal living conditions. Rigzin Lhatoo ’20 received second place for “Rap Gets a Bad Rap,” and JohnShaw Moazami ’20 won third place for “Forced to be Free in the Middle East.” Jimmy Donohue ‘20, Alex Richter ’20 and Sukhm Kang ’20 were also finalists. The contest was judged by Terry Moir, director of marketing, programming and sales marketing for WKYC; Victoria Wright, retired US middle school English and social studies teacher; and Jonathan Cohen ‘16, Eighth Grade Speaking Contest winner in 2012.
Headmaster Ben Rein and Shaker Campus Head Bruce Wilhelm join the finalists: John-Shaw Moazami, Alex Richter, Jimmy Donohue, Sukhm Kang, Rigzin Lhatoo, and Marty Ellis
SHERMAN PRIZE SPEAKING CONTEST Karchen Lhatoo ’20 won first place for his speech, “Being From,” in which he spoke about his experiences with racial ambiguity. Chaz Whitfield ’20 received second place for “Tired,” and Derek Stamberger ‘20, won third place for “What’s Wrong with Me?” Will Frankel ’20 and Tyler Krantz ‘20 received honorable mention awards. Rafiq Sitabkhan was also a finalist. The contest was judged by Rev. Jawanza Colvin, pastor at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church; Chris Grant, leadership consultant at Summit Groups; and Terry Thiele ‘72, director of sustainable product strategies at The Lubrizol Corporation, and winner of the Sherman Speaking Contest in 1971.
Sherman Prize finalists: Will Frankel, Tyler Krantz, Chaz Whitfield, Derek Stamberger, Karchen Lhatoo
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS
FRESHMAN LAUNCHES PRODUCT TO PRESERVE CARVED PUMPKINS Sawyer Zak ‘19 launched a product designed to make carved pumpkins last longer. The product, called Pumpkin Potion™, uses a spray bottle application and is meant to combat the mold that quickly rots a pumpkin once it has been carved. The spray solution was developed after multiple tests of different formulas in all types of weather, and results have shown pumpkins last 17 days longer if the solution is applied before mold develops. A display with graphics that shows the progress of treated pumpkins compared to untreated pumpkins accompanies each store supply. “We’re pleased to see the success of one of our students and we applaud his entrepreneurial endeavor. When a student conceives of an idea, develops it, and takes that idea to market, it’s an impressive achievement,” said Greg Malkin, director of US’s Young Entrepreneur Institute.
Sawyer Zak '19
Zak came up with the idea after growing tired of seeing his pumpkin carvings rot away soon after his hard work was completed. Zak credits US and the Young Entrepreneur Institute for helping him learn about the practical applications of business in the real world. He used his developing sales skills to convince several locally-owned venues to sell his product alongside their pumpkins this past fall.
LAKE KILROY SERVES AS OUTDOOR CLASSROOM Last Fall Dr. Sara Laux’s ecology class teamed up with Cleveland Metropark Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec to learn more about fish population dynamics in Lake Kilroy. The class collected data on species type, size, and age to be used later in class to determine overall species diversity, calculate growth - rate
curves, and document predator-prey dynamics in the lake. The class caught more than 200 fish! Most fish were returned back to Lake Kilroy, but others were removed to stock fishing ponds in Cleveland Metroparks.
SHARK TANK INVESTOR INSPIRES ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATORS The Young Entrepreneur Institute at US hosted Enspire 2015, a conference to inspire entrepreneurship educators from Northeast Ohio. The conference welcomed a host of main-stage speakers, most notably Daymond John of the television series “Shark Tank.”
the Young Entrepreneur Institute. Congratulations to Danny Andreini ’16 and Anish Ganesh ‘19 who were two of the five finalists and appeared on stage with Daymond. Enspire 2015 was made possible through a generous grant from Burton D. Morgan Foundation.
Following his keynote, Daymond moderated Teen Tech Tank, a regional high school business pitch competition created by
YEI team, faculty and student volunteers, and Headmaster Ben Rein with Daymond John at the Enspire 2015 entrepreneur educator conference.
TECH CUP TITANS The third annual US Tech Cup Pitch Competition finals were held in December. Tech Cup participants were required to formulate an idea for a technology business and create a 60-second elevator-pitch video. Ten finalists were narrowed down to three winners based on the originality and feasibility of the idea, quality of video, and live presentation. Akash Salgia ’18 received first place for Safe4Play, an iPad app that can be used on the sidelines at sporting events to identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion Nathan Kim ’17 received second place for Find My Sticker, a fun and colorful
sticker embedded with a radio-frequency chip that could be used to locate items. James Koch ’16 received third place for BeLingual, a website app that would virtually transport a language classroom across the globe, immersing students in a different culture with the click of a button. Oliver Arruda ‘16, Anish Ganesh ‘19, Neil Sehgal ‘17, Connor Kadlic ‘16, Karchen Lhatoo ‘17, Eric Scholem ’18 and Rafiq Sitabkhan ’17 were also finalists. Judges Adam Blumenthal ’94, Geoffrey Frankel ’82, and Doug Kertesz were impressed with the knowledge and creativity displayed in the presentations.
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6TH GRADER EARNS 100% ON ACADEMIC TALENT TEST Arthur Li ’22 earned perfect scores on the EXPLORE test administered by Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search. NUMATS uses above-grade-level assessment to test gifted children so that parents and teachers better understand their students’ educational needs. Arthur took the test at the end of January. He received 100% in all subjects, including English, reading, math and science. The 12-year-old has been a student at US since kindergarten. “This is a great achievement for Arthur,” said Patty Dowd, coordinator of Student Enrichment. “The Talent Search is a well-respected program in gifted education so we are particularly proud of his accomplishment.”
Arthur Li ‘22
NUMATS allows eligible students to take internationally recognized tests before the grade levels at which they are normally administered. The EXPLORE test, designated for students in grade 8, is administered to students in grades 3-6.
CELLIST WINS CONCERTO COMPETITION
Brandon Wang ‘17
Cellist Brandon Wang ‘17 won The Lakeland Civic Orchestra’s concerto competition in the senior division (ages 14-18).As the winner, he performed Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor with The Lakeland Civic Orchestra in April. Brandon is in his second season as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO). This past summer, he joined the ensemble on a concert tour to four cities in China. Prior to joining the COYO, Brandon played with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for two years. A student of Pamela Kelly in the preparatory department of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Brandon has played the cello since the age of nine. He is auditioning to be a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.
LOOK UP TO CLEVELAND
Adam Gurary ‘16
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Adam Gurary ‘16 has been selected to join the Look Up To Cleveland Class of 2016. Look Up To Cleveland is a program of the Cleveland Leadership Center and is supported by corporate, foundation, and community sponsors and alumni. High school students learn about Northeast Ohio, develop leadership skills, cross traditional demographic boundaries, and see first-hand how they can make change and contribute to the community.Their experience takes them across the community and has a lasting impact on their lives.
7TH GRADER IS YOUNGEST TO RECEIVE LOCAL MLK AWARD For Toussaint Miller ‘21, Martin Luther King Day will always have a special significance, because he became the youngest person ever to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. The award is presented by The Cleveland Orchestra and Greater Cleveland Partnership, in cooperation with the City of Cleveland. Toussaint joins Judge Jean Murrell Capers and Congressman Louis Stokes (posthumously) as recipients of the 2016 award, which honors individuals who are positively impacting Cleveland in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. King. “I felt especially honored to share the stage with the memory of the works of Congressman Louis Stokes and the Honorable Jean Murrell Capers,” said Toussaint. “Being the youngest person in the history of this award, to receive this great honor makes it even more special for me. I am deeply humbled and inspired to continue the work of Dr. King’s Dream.” A group of local dignitaries, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, presented the awards at Severance Hall prior to an annual celebration concert honoring Dr. King. Toussaint, who dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon, was selected for his exemplary academic record and past involvement in the gifted and talented program at Chambers Elementary School. In 2015, he received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the Superintendent of the East Cleveland School District.
Toussaint Miller ‘21
Outside of academics, Toussaint is actively engaged in community service by sharing his musical talents on the piano, drums, and trumpet with residents at local nursing homes. He serves on a youth mentor advisory board and is an active member of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award is given to selected individuals who demonstrate one or more of the following qualities: promotion of social justice, promotion of diversity and inclusion, leadership in community building, advocacy for educational excellence, and involvement with music and the arts to promote greater understanding and acceptance.
JUNIOR HONORED AS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Justin Walton ’17 has been a busy volunteer! In August, out of 100 volunteers,Justin was named Montefiore Junior Volunteer of the Year for his “dedication, maturity, and responsibility.” Since the sixth grade he has served nursing home residents by helping in just about every area of the program, from cooking to bingo to transporting residents throughout the building. In addition to his volunteer work, Justin was selected to join the Cleveland Leadership Center program, Look Up To Cleveland Class of 2016. Justin Walton ’17
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS SENIOR PRESENTS ADVANCED EYE RESEARCH Working with Dr. Suber Huang, CEO at Retina Center of Ohio, professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University School trustee, and the inaugural Anderson Scholars program science advisor, and Dr. Tristan Levey, a recent medical school graduate, Alex Cha ’16 contributed to research focusing on how to best deliver stem cells to the retina. Using rats as test subjects, the team found that directly injecting the cells into tissues of the eyeball may be a superior and more targeted approach to treating the disease. In November, Alex presented this research at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s national conference in Las Vegas. The annual meeting is the world’s largest ophthalmology meeting and features the latest advances in eye care diagnosis, treatment and discovery.
SPENCER LECTURE POSES INTRIGUING QUESTION Michael Scharf, dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, was the featured speaker at the 13th annual Spencer Lecture Series. In his presentation, “Is our War on ISIS Changing International Law?” Scharf discussed the United States’ response to ISIS and explored its legality and perceived justification under international law. His lecture intrigued the audience as the boys asked some tough and pertinent questions about the US response in Syria, as well as the mass exodus of refugees into Europe. The Spencer Lecture Series is named in honor of George “Twig” Spencer III ’69, the only known University School alumnus to perish in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Headmaster Ben Rein, Poppy and Geoff Spencer ‘75 (brother of George), and Michael Scharf
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ROBOTICS TEAM ROLLS In their rookie season, 15 members of the US Robotics Team competed in the First Tech Challenge qualifying tournament in January at Cuyahoga Community College. There were 25 teams at the tournament from Ohio and Indiana. The morning and afternoon was spent passing the technical and safety inspection, being interviewed by the judging team, and competing in the qualifying rounds. We were cheered on by parents and faculty and led by the driving team of Mike Letterio ‘18, Tiree Walker ‘17, and Arjun Ramachandran ‘17. After four hours of qualifying rounds, US ranked third, and earned a spot
in the semifinals where the team was victorious against Hawken School and advanced to the finals. The team finished in second place to Aurora High School, last year’s runner-up at the World Championship. The judges were so impressed with the US team that they presented them with the Judges’ Award for being a rising star in the robotics community. “The boys worked very hard in their rookie season to get this far and are looking forward to many good years to come!” said Peter Sweeney, their coach and Upper School Computer Science teacher.
DEBATERS EXCEL AT DISTRICTS, QUALIFY 5 FOR NATIONALS The US speech and debate team had a successful run at the National Speech and Debate Association’s Northcoast District Tournament with 26 students _ the largest number US has ever sent _ competing in the event. Five students qualified for this year’s NSDA National Tournament, which will be held in Salt Lake City, UT, in June. Omer Ashruf ’17 was one of three national qualifiers in LincolnDouglas Debate from the Northcoast District. In addition, Omer was chosen to debate at the City Club of Cleveland’s High School Debate Championship in March. This is the ninth consecutive year that a US student has competed in this prestigious event. In Public Forum Debate, the team of Geoff Schoonmaker ’16 and Will Taber ‘16 and the team of John Mino ’16 and Akshat Chowksey ‘18 qualified for nationals. This will be Geoff’s third national tournament, and John’s second. The team of Ben
Wesorick ’16 and Will Frankel ’17 was named the second alternate to nationals. In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Andrew Gilmore ’17 was named the second alternate to nationals and Isaiah Paik ’18 was named the third alternate. Ashwin Veeramani ’18 was the third alternate in International Extemporaneous Speaking. In addition to the individual awards, the US Speech and Debate team won two team awards: the Larry Banks award for winning the most debate rounds in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and the NFL Debate Sweepstakes award. Peter Paik is the head coach of the team. James Lewis ‘00 is the assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate and Humzah Quereshy ‘13 is the assistant coach for Public Forum debate.
VALLEY TO HEIGHTS US ARTISTS WIN 57 SCHOLASTIC ART AWARDS University School had another impressive year at this year’s annual Regional Scholastic Art Awards Competition, with students receiving 57 awards at the event. This marks the fifth consecutive year that US has achieved such a strong representation at the competition.
are a critical part of any discipline, especially the arts, so it’s very satisfying to do so well in this prestigious competition.” Starinsky said that when students enter several competitions throughout the year they develop extremely solid portfolios of works in a variety of media.
University School students won 7 gold keys, 17 silver keys, and 33 honorable mentions. Gold Key winners continue to the national competition in New York City in June.
“These portfolios serve them well for competition, but perhaps more important, they serve as supplements to their college applications,” he noted. “We hear back from many universities saying that the digital portfolios the students submit help form a clearer and well-rounded image of the student and enable them to more easily make a distinction between candidates of promise with a wide variety of skills.”
Commenting on the students’ achievements, Michael Starinsky, chair of the Upper School Department of Art and Design Technology, said, “I am extraordinarily pleased and very proud of the work of our students. Our studio and lab faculty expertly guided them, and their craftsmanship and attention to detail are qualities we get compliments on every year. Exhibiting, presenting, and hearing the reactions of varying audiences
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This year, more than 1,600 area students in grades 7-12 participated in the competition and submitted for judging more than 3,000 pieces of artwork and writing samples.
James Sheeler ’17
Rohan Garg ’17
Michael Carr ’17
Jackson Pollock’16 Will Johnson ’16
Gold key recipients are:
Honorable mentions in the following categories:
Rohan Garg ’17 - photography Will Johnson ’16 - drawing and illustration and design (2 gold keys) Jackson Pollock ’16 - digitial art (2 gold keys) James Sheeler ’17 - photography Brendan Slabe ’17 - design
Digital Art: Henry Boeschenstein ‘16 (2 mentions), Hunter Goldberg ‘16, Ryan Gorbett ‘16, Eli Kaufman ‘17 (2 mentions), Ryan O’Malley ‘17, and Matthew Wesorick ’18 (2 mentions)
Silver key recipients are: Fletcher Barton ’18 - photography Michael Carr ’17 - digital art (2 silver keys) and photography (1 silver key) Henry Frontini ’17 - sculpture Rohan Garg ’17 - digital art Pierce Hamilton ’16 - design David Karakul ’16 - design Quinn Kennedy ’17 - sculpture Neil Malte ’17 - sculpture Jackson Pollock ’16 - digital art (2 silver keys) James Sheeler ’17 - design Dante Sudilovsky ’17 - photography Will Swain ’16 - art portfolio Adam Tropper ’17 - design Tiree Walker ’17 - design
Painting: Matthew Holland ‘17 and James Ruhlman ‘17 Architecture: Brendon Slabe ‘17 Printmaking: Will Swain ’16 (2 mentions) Art portfolio: Jackson Pollock ‘16
Sculpture: Charlie Hollington ’18 (2 mentions), Quinn Kennedy ‘17, and James Sheeler ’17 (2 mentions) Drawing and Illustration: Will Ellis ’18 and Will Johnson ‘16 Photography: Max Adelstein ‘17, Henry Boeschenstein ‘16, Herbert Crowther ‘17, Henry Deering ‘18, Drew Krantz ‘17, Matthew Locker ‘17, Jackson Pollock ‘16, Cooper Ross ‘18, and James Sheeler ‘17 Mixed Media: Will Ellis ‘18
Design: Emanual Fetene ‘16
NATIONAL SQUASH CHAMPS!
The University School Varsity Squash Team traveled to Philadelphia in January to participate in the High School National Championships. They returned home as the Division V national champions. This is the second national championship for the team in three years. In 2014, the team won the Division IV title. The team arrived close to midnight Thursday night and learned that their first contest was Friday at 8:00 a.m. After defeating Darien High School’s second team 6-1, they defeated second seed Radnor High School also by a 6-1 margin. On Friday US beat the Berkshire School 5-2, which qualified them for the division finals on Sunday where they played the second team from Belmont Hill. They clinched a 4-2 lead and finished with a 5-2 victory.
RUNNERS SET NEW RECORDS AT NATIONALS Elite runners Joseph “JP” Trojan ’16 and Nick Gannon ’16 posted top times at the 2016 New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship at the Armory in March in New York City. JP came in sixth place in the championship 5K race setting a new personal and school record of 14:59.10 seconds. His finish earned him the distinction of All American. JP has the fifth fastest time (and the fourth fastest D1 time) in the 3200 meter in Ohio. Nationally, his time of 9:19.02 is the 30th fastest in the 3200 meter. JP signed a national letter of intent to pursue athletics at The College of William & Mary, which competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level. Nick came in twelfth in the Emerging Elite mile race, setting a new personal and school record of 4:22.12. He has the twelfth fastest time in the 1600-meter run and the eleventh fastest D1 time in the state. Nationally, Nick's 4:19.60 is the 48th fastest time in that race.
SENIOR EARNS PLAYER OF THE YEAR Ryan Gorbett ’16 was named the 2015-16 Great Lakes Hockey League Player of the Year. Ryan, captain of the team, was also honored as the 2016 News-Herald hockey player of the year.
consecutive year with wins over Holy Name and St. Edward. In 30 career GLHL regular season league games Ryan scored 53 points on 18 goals and 35 assists.
Ryan graduates as the all-time leading scorer in the GLHL’s three-year history, and was a first-team forward on the inaugural coaches’ All-Ohio squad. He scored four points (2-2-4) in the first two games of the 2016 Cleveland Cup, helping US reach the title game for the third
Ryan, one of the “smoothest puck handlers in area lore,” according to the News Herald, scored 35 goals and assisted on 44 others for the state finalist Preppers. He is the eighth straight US standout and eleventh since 2002 to earn the top News Herald honor.
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PREPPERS FINISH SEASON STATE RUNNER-UP After clinching the Kent District title against Shaker Heights in early March, the US hockey team’s next stop was the Ohio High School Athletic Association state semifinal game in Columbus. Hundreds of US students, alumni, parents and faculty traveled to Nationwide Arena to watch the Preppers defeat Dublin Coffman, 3-2, in a second sudden-death overtime battle. Two days later, US faced Great Lakes Hockey League rival Saint Ignatius in the state championship game. The Preppers trailed early, but came back strong in a gallant effort the last period. The outcome was not decided until the final seconds, with US coming up short, 4-3, in one of the most exciting championship finals ever.
SENIOR NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-STATE David “Will” Karakul ’16 has earned 2015 Academic All-Ohio honors from the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. Will was among 101 young men of 35,000 players in Ohio who were recognized for their academic excellence. University School was also named an Academic All-Ohio team. US was selected based on the combined GPAs of the top 22 academic players on the team who have earned a varsity letter.
SWIMMERS CONTINUE DISTRICT TITLE SUCCESS The Preppers took home the Division II District title for the 8th straight year, scoring 510 points. Leading the team was David Motch ’16, who swept the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and anchored the team’s winning 200 medley and 200 free relays.
Swim Team Winning Stats: 200 Medley Relay: Scott Bowman ‘17, Roee Perry ‘16, Maxwell Steffey ‘16, David Motch ‘16 50 Free: David Motch ‘16 100 Free: David Motch ‘16 200 Freestyle Relay: Zachariah Halawa ‘18, Charles Stewart-Bates ‘16, Sam Darwish ‘16, David Motch ‘16 100 Backstroke: Scott Bowman ‘17
ATHLETIC NEWS 125TH HOMECOMING ATTRACTS CROWDS
University Schoolâ€™s 125th Homecoming weekend was full of fun and excitement. A crowd of nearly 1,000 came to the Hunting Valley campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for a variety of events. Our wonderful Food Service team prepared a delicious lunch including Prepper chili, hotdogs, and apple cider. The Fall Family Festival had children bouncing around on inflatable rides for hours, rocket car riders were left breathless, and the football and soccer teams had fans cheering loudly. The US community support for this annual tradition was fantastic, and a great time was had by all.
Hail University! 50
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CLASS NOTES 1952
The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County inducted BRUCE AKERS into its President James A. Garfield Hall of Fame. He was selected for his years of public service, and at the induction ceremony he was specifically cited for his 20 years as mayor of the city of Pepper Pike, preceded by his 16 years on the Pepper Pike Council, chief of staff to Cleveland Mayor Ralph J. Perk in the mid-‘70s, president of the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association, cochair of the Citizens Committee for the new charter form of government, which the voters of Cuyahoga County adopted overwhelmingly in 2009, and chair of the County Charter Review Commission in 2012-2013. He also serves on the executive, central, policy and platform committees of the Republican Party in the county.
Anyone who watched the sub-zero Seahawks vs. Vikings NFC playoff game in January can thank FRANK FLOYD for keeping the players warm with his Dragon Seats. In an ESPN article about the keeping the players warm during frigid temperature games, “Best Seats in the House,” Frank talks about inventing the heated bench and starting the business with the Cleveland Browns in the 1990s. Today, his Dragon Seats firm supplies heated benches and helmet posts to 18 NFL teams and many college football programs.
Members of the Class of 1978 had a mini-gathering at GREG STEIN’S ‘06 wedding in Greensboro, NC withCHRIS SMYTHE, DR. GARY WHITMAN, GREG STEIN, JOHN KUNDTZ and TOM SANNA. 1981 CORTNE PAPPAS sent us this picture of WESLEY HATCH ’07 with JASON WHITE ’85 at Jason’s concert in Atlanta. Jason wrote the hit song “Red Rag Top” which Tim McGraw performed and took to #5 in 2002.
Golfers KIRK NEISWANDER, SCOTT FRIEDMAN, JIM NAYLOR and JIM GASCOIGNE who won the Bill Conway/ United Way tournament at Sand Ridge Golf Club.
1958 In a Vietnam Television (VTV) documentary “Kỹ vật chiến tranh: War Memento” about returning American artifacts from Vietnam to the United States, a Vietnam villager discusses the crash of JOHN SHERMAN’s jet, his burial, his guiding the U.S. MIA team to the burial site in 1993, deciding to return the artifacts (watch and knife) by getting help from VTV to identify Capt. Sherman and locate his family. 1960 VIN FIORDALIS writes, “I met up with two former students, both now MDs, while attending a family birthday party in Columbus, OH. MAZEN AWAIS ‘97 and BIJESH MAROO ’93 are both now successful cardiac surgeons in the same practice! Mazen just celebrated his first wedding anniversary and Bijesh has a son and a daughter.“
Mazen Awais ‘97, Vin Fiordalis ‘60, Bijesh Maroo ‘93
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Cortne Pappas ‘81, Wesley Hatch ‘07, Jason White ‘85 1982
Scott Friedman Kirk Neiswander ‘72, ‘72, Bill Conway ‘45, Jim Naylor ‘72, Jim Gascoigne ‘72 1973 TOM HOLLISTER, who has a 35-year career in banking and global financial management, has been named Harvard’s chief financial officer and vice president for finance.
Tom Hollister ‘73
DOUG ZURN has been designing and building boats with singer Billy Joel for years. Their latest creation - a 57’ commuter yacht named the “Vendetta” is now for sale. 1983 DAN BERCU reports that US gym classes prepared him well. For his 50th birthday he ran 135 miles through Death Valley. The run began at Badwater, CA, the lowest point in North America, and went to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental U.S. Dan’s ultra-run started the wheels in motion for an event he is calling Uberman, an extreme “world’s most challenging” ultra triathlon in late October. The Uberman will feature a 21mile swim, 556-mile run and 400-mile cycling challenges. “There are people who are looking for something to push themselves in, a bucket-list type of event, but they may not have the time or money to go and do something like climbing Mount Everest,” Dan said.
Dan Bercu ‘83
1984 Cowboys head coach and former NFL quarterback JASON GARRETT spoke to the Yankees at their spring training facility when rain forced the workouts to be held indoors. Jason, a former Ivy League Player of the Year at Princeton and Kerry Collins’ backup with the Giants from 2000-03, addressed the Yankees as part of their motivational speaking program. 1986 ART KLEIN and his wife, Ingrid, welcomed Maya Sally Klein into their family in May. She weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 20 inches long.
JIM ABBOTT reports, “We had an informal class get together at SEAN WATTERSON’s Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern. I figured it was just about the halfway point between our 25th and 30th reunions, so a perfect time to get together. Plus, it’s great to see how well Sean’s endeavors are going. We had a good turnout for a blustery December night, and saw the following class members; RICK AINSWORTH (who gets the prize for greatest distance traveled, having come from Columbus specifically for this event), PETE BROOKS, MATT CRAWFORD, RICH COCHRAN, DAVID SELMAN, KYLER WEST, MIKE KLAVORA, MIKE WELLMAN, DAVE LUM, STEVE MILLER, SANDY HRIDEL, PETE VANOOSTERHOUT, and RYAN WENGER. After beers, hotdogs and tater tots at the Happy Dog, a few of us even headed to the Colony to continue the night. Great to see everybody, and will try to do it again, soon!”
DON GRAVES was chosen by Vice President Joe Biden to lead the National Cancer Moonshot task force, a $1 billion Obama administration initiative to provide funding necessary for researchers to accelerate the development of new ways to detect and treat cancer. Graves said his main mission as coordinator of the new initiative is to convince cancer researchers and advocates to put aside the self-interested politics in favor of faster progress.
DAVID SAMPLINER’s film, “My Own Man,” was directed, produced and filmed by David. His Yale friend, actor Edward Norton, was the executive producer. The film, a journey of selfdiscovery David embarks upon when he learned he was going to be a father, is available through Netflix.
Vice President Biden and Don Graves ‘88 1990
Brad Grant '90
Maya Sally Klein, the daughter of Ingrid and Art Klein ‘86 JASON KOROSEC and his wife moved to Connecticut as part of his role leading the Business Intelligence team for MasterCard.
David ‘87 and his father Dr. James Sampliner ‘55
Director of Amateur Scouting BRAD GRANT discusses the Tribe’s draft strategy, and taking a calculated risk with their number 1 pick.
SEAN WATTERSON’S Happy Dog hot dogs will be offered at Progressive Field next season - including a Breakfast Dog with eggs, bacon and Fruit Loops!
CLASS NOTES 1991 The Ohioana Library announced TONY DOERR’S novel All the Light We Cannot See as the 2015 Ohioana Book Award winner in fiction. The awards, established in 1942, honor Ohio authors. The Pulitzer Prize winning author spoke at US in October.
Congrats to JAMES PARK, co-founder and CEO of FitBit, who was named to Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 ranking of the most influential young professionals. Fellow Prepper alums BRAD STONE, CHUCK MYERS and ERIC STONE ‘95 joined James at the annual celebration party in San Francisco!
Ricky Smith ‘96 talks to US students about #RAKE. 1997 SHAWN PHILPOT‘S thoughtful article about the Cleveland Browns/Josh Gordon situation appeared on cleveland. com. IKE KARIPIDES married Deanna Palermo last fall in Cleveland. Fellow US alumni attending the wedding included JJ COSTELLO, CHRIS STAKICH (officiant), JOSH STAPH, PIERRE YARED, JOHN REED and GRAHAM VEYSEY ’00. Tony Doerr '91 spoke to a full house at the Shaker campus during his visit to Cleveland in October. 1992
NICK PETTY, principal at Ginn Academy in Cleveland, was quoted in a New York Times article suggesting that we need to get a better system that monitors students on more of an individual basis when evaluating the success of the No Child Left Behind law.
CARL JOHNSON writes, “I’m living near Saint Johnsbury, VT, and I teach middle school science at Gilman. With about 40 students in the building, I believe Gilman may be the smallest public middle school in the country. Getting a chance to work so closely with my students is a privilege. I live with my wife and two children in an old farm house that I am renovating, and I enjoy hiking, skiing, and going to our neighbor’s farm for milk straight from the source.”
1994 DAVID KAVAL was named the SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 list. Dave is the president of the San Jose Earthquakes and was influential in the construction of their new stadium in the Bay area. Before making the move to Major League Soccer, Dave was founder and CEO of the independent Golden Baseball League. ERIC MYRICKS aka Elijah Rock, debuts his jazz album, and the “Gershwin For The Soul” Indiegogo campaign.
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It was great to see RICKY SMITH back on campus for a RAKE (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere) event for our freshmen and seniors in October. 1997 SHAWN PHILPOT‘S thoughtful article about the Cleveland Browns/Josh Gordon situation appeared on cleveland.com.
1999 DAVID EDELMAN published his first book, Thriving with Diabetes. It is a guide that empowers you to live better – and enjoy life on your terms. It begins with a four-step process that helps simplify diabetes, balance blood sugars, and leads to lifelong success. SASHA KOEHN and his business partner, Erik Schnakenberg, appeared on the ABC television show Shark Tank where they turned down a $300,000 offer to buy a stake in their Americanmade clothing company, Buck Mason. Congratulations to GRAHAM VEYSEY and his business partner and wife, Marika Shioiri-Clark for their recognition as People to Watch in 2015 from The Plain Dealer. They plan to work on additional real estate projects and launch new businesses after their successful Hingetown neighborhood project.
Marika Shioiri-Clark and Graham Veysey ‘00 2003 KYLE SWENSON’S piece of investigative journalism in 2011 was the first break that led to the exoneration and release of Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman after 40 years in prison. Kyle appeared on “CNN Tonight” to tell his story. 2004 University of Texas at Austin astronomer ANDREW MANN discovered a new planet in a nearby star cluster which could help astronomers better understand how planets form and evolve. This planet, called K2-25b, is four times the size of Earth and orbits a red dwarf star.
in Jersey City - Dick Ainsworth ’60, US alumni at Tim Horburgh’s ’04 wedding Rick Ainsworth ’87, Mike Barry ’69, Henry Marshall ’02, Rick Marshall ’69, Andy Neff ’04, Chase Marshall ’04, Tim, Drew Hoffman ’04, Tom Barry ’62, Bill Barry ’60, Joe Keller ’04 2006 ALEX FALBERG and his band, PigPen Theatre Co., made a surprise visit to Hunting Valley to play a few songs for the boys. They were in town in October to play a gig at NightTown in Cleveland Heights. 2007 MARC HOWLAND competed in the Wall Street Decathlon at St. John’s University. Marc earned the Top Male Athlete award in the 20-29 age division and raised $5,000 for pediatric cancer research.
MATT TUFFUOR is creating a new lifestyle brand that combines professional networking with the hip hop culture in the Bay Area. Toasted Life, which started as an event and lifestyle brand, has since evolved into a positive catalyst for the social fulfillment of young professionals in the Bay Area. “Without intentionally trying to be that medium for young black professionals to connect socially we became that destination, mostly because our natural network was exactly that, young… black… and professional,” said Matt. 2010 KEVIN KRAJEWSKI graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, with Prepper classmate CHRIS HUTCHINSON holding the flag. While at West Point, Kevin concentrated his studies in engineering psychology. His cadet leader development training was at the British Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England. He was also an exchange cadet at the United States Air Force Academy.
Andrew Mann ‘04
Right: Kevin Krajewski ‘10 (front) and Chris Hutchinson ‘10
CLASS NOTES 2011 JACK BENTZ is mentioned in Terry Pluto’s article posted on cleveland.com about the Nance family. Jack, and his roommate Larry Nance Jr., guided the Wyoming Cowboys to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015.
ALEXANDER HUSNI graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, in December with a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering as a member of both Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and Sigma Gamma Tau, the aerospace engineering honor society. During his time at Embry-Riddle, Alexander served as president of the AcaFellas, an all-male a cappella group, and vice president of the Challenger chapter of Silver Wings, a national community service and professional development organization. He began his career with Textron Aviation in Wichita, KS this past February.
2013 U.S. under-23 men’s national team goalkeeper CHARLIE HORTON was just signed by D.C. United where he joins United defender CHRIS KORB ’06.
2012 Davidson basketball player JORDAN BARHAM had a dunk and lob pass that made SportCenter’s Top Play #3 in January.
Jimmy Brodell ‘11, Kyle Raymond ‘25, Andy Brodell ‘13
JIMMY BRODELL and his brother ANDY BRODELL ’13 ran into US third grader Kyle while their fire company was setting up a slip-n-slide for the Recreation Center in Bemus Point, NY.
LOOKING FOR AN EASY WAY TO SUPPORT US? WANT TO LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY? LIKE SAVING TAXES?
Charlie Horton ‘13
Consider supporting US with a gift from your IRA. Make US a Direct Beneficiary of your IRA or Make a Gift to US directly from your IRA If you’re 70 ½ or older, transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA to US. Gifts are tax neutral and will not be reportable as taxable income, and may qualify for your required minimum distribution. It’s Fast, It’s Easy. It’s Good for You! It’s Good for US! Contact Lorie Hollington Smith, Director of Gift Planning at 216.292-2142 or email@example.com
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Jon Lindseth ’52 Curates Hundreds of Alice Translations
Alice in Wonderland, one of the literary world’s most beloved and widely translated works, celebrated its sesquicentennial (150th birthday) in 2015. US’s own Jon Lindseth ‘52 threw quite a Mad Hatter Tea Party to celebrate. Jon, passionate collector of Alice translations, took on the herculean task of editing the three-volume Alice in a World of Wonderland: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece, which contains hundreds of translations of Alice in more than 174 different languages, some of which are no longer spoken (Old English), some of which are little known and faraway (Pitjantjatjara), and some of which are unexpected (Chinese). The collection represents the most extensive analysis ever done of translations of one English language novel, and includes an extensive bibliography and accompanying essays. Also in honor of Alice’s 150th, Jon co-curated an exhibit of Alice and its translations at The Grolier Club in New York City.
O frabjous day! Callooh!
Considering the extensive word play, sheer nonsense, and societal norms existing at any given time, translating Alice is no easy task, according to Peter Baker, an English professor at The University of Virginia, who translated Alice into Old English. For example, Baker converted the “Mad Tea-Party” into a “Mad Beer-Party” because there was no tea in England in medieval times and everyone (even children) drank beer. And he had the White Rabbit carry an astrolabe because no watches existed at the time, according to UVA Today’s Sept. 2 issue.
In an interview with the New York Times last fall, Jon said he was “particularly intrigued” by an episode in Alice in which she asks the Cheshire Cat which direction she should go. The cat’s response — that it doesn’t matter which way Alice goes, given that she doesn’t much care where she goes — was “an enormous lesson in life: You had better know what your objectives are if you expect to achieve them.”
WE REMEMBER THOMAS A. QUINTRELL ‘38 died March 3, 2015. Tom was a dedicated student-athlete at US and at Princeton University. During World War II, he received the bronze star for his service as a captain with the 7th Infantry Division. Upon return from the war he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1948. Tom began his legal career with McKeehan, Merrick, Arter & Stewart and George William Cottrell, later known as Arter & Hadden. During his long career, he served on several boards including the Cuyahoga Savings Association, the Board of Central National Bank (now Key Bank); a fifty-year member of the Court of Nisi Prius and a Life Member of the American Law Institute. Tom was also a member of the Fifty Club, the CMBA where he served on the Executive Committee, and the Ohio State Bar Association where he served on the Board of Governors. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Cleveland Law Library for 35 years and was its president for over 20 years. Tom was a dedicated and hardworking University School alumnus. He served as president of the Alumni Association and later as a trustee. He was instrumental in the acquisition and assembling of the Hunting Valley campus property, as well as in the negotiation of its architectural and construction contracts. Tom also organized the Cleveland Council for Independent Schools and served as president of the University School Board of Trustees from 1971-1974. Tom remained a hands-on and engaged life trustee throughout the remainder of his years, always encouraging his fellow board members to be open-minded and forward-thinking. After retirement, Tom became active in land conservation. He organized and was an officer/trustee of the Gates Mills Land Conservancy, the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc., and Grand River Partners, Inc. He served on the executive committee of the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts and was on the Ohio Advisory Board
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for the Trust for Public Land. He also served on the National Council for the Land Trust Alliance as well as on its Conservation Defense Advisory Committee. Tom was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he served on its vestry. In Cleveland, he belonged to the Union Club, the Tavern Club, the Kirtland Country Club and the Mayfield Sand Ridge Club, as well as the Gulf Stream Golf Club, the Gulf Stream Bath & Tennis Club and the Little Club in Florida. Tom is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ella Hornickel Quintrell; children, Lute ‘70, Margaret Madding, Josie and Edith; grandchildren, Clay Madding, Sara Madding, Ann Madding, Laura Quintrell, Anna Perina, Natalia Perina, Emma Wood and Sam Wood.
was an avid reader, a lover of art, and derived much pleasure from multiple collecting interests and listening to classical music. Bill, the son of legendary Cleveland philanthropist Harold Clark, was a staunch and loyal supporter of University School. One of Bill’s many gifts to US was accompanied by this note: “In remembrance of the time I spent at US and in admiration for the way the school has maintained its excellence over the many years since I graduated.” From his home in San Francisco, Bill kept in close touch with his alma mater with regular phone calls and kind notes. Bill lost his beloved wife Polly in January 2015. He is survived by his daughter Anne Clark Claman, son Richard H., five grandchildren, and one greatgrandson.
WILLIAM S. CLARK ‘38 died in October 2015 in San Francisco, CA. At University School, Bill played soccer and baseball and was a member of the Mabian staff and Edward Moore Society. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dartmouth College. A captain in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, Bill served with the 5th Amphibian Tractor Battalion that landed the assault waves of Marine infantry on Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. His unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its performance at Saipan and Iwo Jima. Bill spent his business career with the Standard Oil Company of California, the Farrington Manufacturing Company of Needham Heights, MA, and the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, WI. He was a past president of the San Francisco Life Underwriters Association. Bill felt strongly about a citizen’s responsibility to his community and served many years as president and board member of the Cow Hollow Improvement Association. He also served on the board of directors of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council. He was a member of the Olympic Club and Commonwealth Club. Bill
JOHN W. MURBACH ‘40 died June 24, 2015 at Wesleyan Village in Elyria following a brief illness. After his graduation from US, John enrolled in the Engineering School at Northwestern University. During his five year co-op course, he worked at Wright Aeronautical in Cincinnati and Ridge Tool Company in Elyria. John’s fraternity brother at Northwestern was the legendary Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham. John was a Navy veteran of World War II. In January 1944, John was commissioned an ensign, assigned to the USS Brazos AO-4 and spent two years as a division officer and navigator. His tour of duty included the Aleutians and Philippines. He was in the first wave of military in Okinawa. After his discharge from active duty in 1946, John returned to Elyria and join the family business, Murbach Coal and Supply Company. During his career there, John served as president of the company and later as chairman of Murbach, Inc., a corporation comprised of Murbach Building Supplies, Murbach Do-it Center and The Brickyard. John was a civic-minded and philanthropic. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Elyria and served
as president. As a Rotarian, he was a Paul Harris Fellow and a major donor to The Rotary Foundation. John was a trustee and president of the Elyria YMCA, and was a director and president of the Elyria Community Chest. He was also a member of the Elyria Memorial Hospital Company and served on its property committee. John was a director of Savings Deposit Trust Bank and First National Bank of Elyria that later became National City Bank and now is PNC. He was a director for the B-C Land Company. John was a lifetime member of the First Congregational Church, Elyria, and a former trustee and deacon. An avid golfer and tennis player, he was a longtime member of Elyria Country Club and served on the board of directors from 198183. While tennis, handball and racquetball were his favorite sports, he continued to play golf until the age of 91. He and his wife, Perry, had a passion for traveling and visited nearly every state and many foreign countries. John is survived by daughters Susan, Jane and Molly; grandchildren Shawna Stacey, Jonathan Stanley, Tyler Hunt, Adam Stanley, Erin Stanley and Vanessa Travis; eight great- grandchildren; and sister, Molly Murbach Chapman. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Ruth Marilyn “Perry” Murbach in 2005, and son John Jeffery in 2000. JOHN L. “JACK” CONWAY ‘41 died April 7, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. At University School, he played hockey, baseball, and was captain of the football team. Jack also contributed to the Mabian and served as an officer of the Cadmean Society. He exemplified the character of a US boy. Jack is survived by his children Daniel, Anne, John, Jr., Michael, Joan Marie, Mary Helen and Patrick; grandchildren Bridget, Suzanne, Catherine, Carolyn Robinson, Margaret, Nell Gonzalez, Mary, Mick Holsbeke, Will Combes, Mark
Holsbeke, Dan, Jennifer White and Michelle Houston; 10 greatgrandchildren; brothers Timothy J., Jr. ‘42, Richard D.’43, William E. ‘45, Gerald A. ‘49, M. Thomas ‘52, P. Terrence, Neil P., and sister Margaret. Jack was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Helen Callaghan Conway, and siblings Mary Conway Conley, Daniel R. ‘36, Robert F.’38 and James S.’47. LAURENCE H. “LARRY” LANG II ‘44 died May 28, 2015 at the home he shared with his wife, Rosalie. Larry’s brother, Tom Lang’47, submitted the following remembrance: Larry was a good and loving man whose greatest joy and commitment beyond his family were to his students and the young faculty to whom he gave unstintingly of his time and support. During World War II, Larry served in the navy in the Pacific on a seagoing tug and was in Bikini just after the dropping of the atomic bombs. He came home to Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH, and met his wife-to-be, Rosalie. Larry earned his doctorate in human development and family from Columbia University. He taught at Kansas State University, The Merrill Palmer Institute on Family and Children in Detroit, and, for 18 years, at the University of Connecticut where he was associate dean and associate professor of Human Development and Family. Larry had physical adversity in his life which he overcame and achieved much despite severe physical disability. He did so with grace and endurance which amazed all who knew him. ROBERT E. LINDEMANN ‘45 died Jan. 13, 2016. Bob graduated from Amherst College in 1951 and then served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Force in Japan. He settled in Columbus, OH where he was president of Good Realty Co. and a partner in Benua and Co. Bob was very involved in his church and community, having served
on the vestry and three search committees of St. Matthew’s Church in Westerville, and as president of the board of the Alfred Willson Children’s Center. He also was a member of Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club and The Athletic Club of Columbus. At the age of 57, Bob took up foxhunting. He came to thoroughly enjoy the thrill of the chase and the camaraderie among his fellow members of Rocky Fork Headley Hunt. In 2000, he was elected president of the board of RFHH and, in 2004, he was named a Master of Foxhounds. Bob’s survivors include his wife of 60 years, Polly; daughters, Leila Bacho and Emily Stuart; son, Peter; grandchildren Maryette, Benjamin and Peter Stuart and Peter and Christopher Bacho; brother-inlaw, Noble (Sherry) Carpenter ‘47, and sisters-in-law Anne Udy and Emily (Bob) Rutherford. Bob was predeceased by his sister, Ann Carpenter. RICHARD N. FRANCIS ’46 died in January 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ. After graduation from US, Dick left for Bozeman, MT to work on his family’s ranch, the Climbing Arrow. After a few years he left to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated with a degree in business administration. Dick served in the the United States Air Force as a first lieutenant at Rushmore Air Force Station in Rapid City, SD and as a military policeman in charge of guarding the nuclear weapons on the base. After discharge from the Air Force, he moved back to where he managed the Climbing Arrow. Besides ranching, Dick built a sawmill on the ranch, The Three D Lumber Company, and also owned and managed five photo-finishing companies. He was one of the founding members of The Museum of the Rockies and served as a board member for Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
WE REMEMBER In 1973, after selling his enterprises in Montana, Dick moved to Scottsdale, AZ where he was the treasurer of a small electronics technology company, Tri Sigma Corporation, until his retirement. Dick enjoyed his family and his pet dogs and volunteering for the Scottsdale Boys and Girls Club, as well as VICAP where he drove the elderly to their doctor’s appointments. Besides being an avid collector of knives, watches, pens, and cameras, he pursued photography as one of his main and favorite hobbies, and he was awarded numerous ribbons for his photographs. Dick was a devout Episcopalian, worshiping at St. James Episcopal Church in Bozeman and then at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church, where he ushered and served numerous terms on the vestry, and as the church’s senior warden. Dick is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ann Catto Francis; sons Richard and John; daughters Elizabeth Hansen and Sarah Stuckey; grandchildren Sarah Finazzo, Richard, Margaret Stearns, Elizabeth and Andrew Stuckey, Jack and Hayden Francis, Spencer, Cebron and Chelsea Hansen; two greatgrandchildren; and his sister Dorothy Ross. He was predeceased by his beloved son, Charles Dean Francis. WALLACE CLARK YOUNG ’46 died Aug. 13, 2015. Wally was a graduate of Dartmouth College. After serving in the Korean War, he enjoyed a successful and fulfilling career in finance with Pickands Mather and Parker Hannifin Corporation. Wally served on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations and as a counselor for SCORE. He was a loyal US alumnus and provided financial support for the Dr. Brainard Smith ’46 Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Bruce Griswold ’34 Chair in Mathematics. Wally was a true gentleman and will be missed. Wally is survived by children Linda Breece and Karen O’Hearn; grandchildren Nathaniel, Andrew and
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Jeffrey Breece and Matthew IV, Aileen and Haylee O’Hearn; brother James; and friend Lydia Champlin. Wally was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy, and brothers John Cremer and Frank. JAMES M. LAVELLE ’47 died March 16, 2015. Jim is survived by his wife Catherine; children Laura Ramella, Ann Enos, Timothy and Grace Hawkins; daughter-in-law Cindy; grandchildren Catherine Myers; Pat, Jim, Maribeth and Gerry Ramella Jr.; Elizabeth Papelino, Christine Collins, Bridgette Enos; Mary, Erin and Joe Lavelle; Claire, Connor, Maddy and Jacqueline Hawkins, and Adam Podway; and brother Eugene ’48. F. REED ANDREWS Jr. ’48 died March 9, 2015. After leaving University School, Reed graduated from Deerfield Academy and then Kenyon College in 1952 where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. Always upbeat and positive, he was a friend to all, beloved by his many relatives and friends near and far. At the time of his death, he was still an active stockbroker and financial consultant. “Speedy Reedie” was a passionate amateur car racer for 52 years, winning many races and driver of the year awards. He was inducted into the NEOhio Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame in 2014. He enjoyed tennis at the Cleveland Racquet Club, skiing, traveling, bridge, beaches, body surfing, and parties. Reed served on the Moreland Hills Council where he lived for 44 years. Reed is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara; children Elizabeth Haidet, Tracy Verma, and Fletcher R. Andrews III; grandchildren, Andrew Davis, Arjun Verma, Uma Verma, and Gianna Andrews. His sister, Jeanne Perkins, preceded his in death. University School lost a true friend and staunch supporter with the passing of GERALD A. CONWAY ‘49 on Jan. 6, 2016, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. A loyal US alumnus, Gerry served his alma mater in many capacities. A US
trustee, and a life trustee until his death, Gerry’s business acumen helped guide the school through several transitions. As an agent for the class of 1949, Gerry spent many years calling his classmates for donations to the Annual Fund. Gerry was an inaugural and then annual member of the Tower Society. In 2005, in recognition of his contributions to US and the community, he received the Alumni Association’s Man of the Year Award. In addition to being generous with his time, Gerry financially supported many US initiatives. He made major contributions to endowment funds including The Daniel W. LoPresti ’03 Philanthropic Fund, The Class of ’49 Faculty Excellence Fund, and the Donald C. Molten Chair in Athletics. Gerry helped transform the Shaker campus through his substantial support of a new theater facility in 2002. The auditorium was named Conway Hall paying tribute to the Conway brothers’ University School dynasty which included Gerry and his brothers Dan ’36, Bob ’38, Jack ’41, Tim ’42, Bud ’43, Bill ’45, Jim ’47 and Tom ’52; Gerry’s sons Kevin ’70, Neil ’75, and Brian ’77; and Gerry’s grandsons Jeffrey ’99 and Jeremy ’01. Upon Gerry’s death, his family published this loving tribute. A brand new baby brother! And he’s left-handed! He’ll play first base on our team!” This was the cry from Gerry Conway’s seven older brothers and one sister when they heard the news on the morning of June 17, 1931 that another member of the illustrious Conway clan had entered the world. Gerry was a shining addition to the family: His dad, Tim Conway Sr. was president of Fisher Foods; Mom, the great mother of 13 eventually, Margaret Nelson Conway; Dan, who perished too early as an Air Force pilot in World War II; Bob, a Marine who fought as an officer in that “exchange of views”; and Jack, an officer in the other theater of war, Europe, under General Patton. Then there was Tim, a Navy pilot during the same exchange of views, and
Bud, the fifth Conway brother in the armed services, serving as a WW II Navy Cadet. After the war there was no let up with the births of Bill, Jim, Gerry, Tommy, Terry, Neil and Peggy. Each Conway of this greatest of generations was born with special talents, but none had that unique sparkle of Gerald Anthony Conway. He was a gifted athlete, marketing genius, and always had a twinkle in his eye and good joke in his back pocket. At US in 1948, Gerry received the Most Valuable Player award, as the co-captain of the football team, a team undefeated in 22 straight games. Gerry went on to become a star halfback at Yale University, gathering academic honors along the way. He won memberships in the St. Anthony (Delta Psi) fraternity and the Thomas More Society at Yale. By far, Gerry’s greatest achievement at Yale was marrying his childhood sweetheart, Martine Vilas of Cleveland, Hathaway Brown and Vassar. Gerry and Marty’s strong marriage produced a fine brood: Kevin (Kelly), Stuart (Jenny Bramhall), Gerry Jr. (Kanur Srinivasan), Brian (deceased), Neil (Laurel), Paul (Elvia Arevalo), Martine (Tyson Bennett), and 12 much loved grandchildren. Gerry launched his own graphic arts business in the early 1960s which evolved into an innovative specialty firm focused on point-ofpurchase products: Fasteners for Retail, Inc. Gerry involved the whole family in the start-up effort. Many a visitor would find the Conway living room floor taken over by products and packaging - everyone chipping in to meet market demand. The business burgeoned thanks to Gerry’s leadership and keen marketing know-how and eventually earned him an honored place in the Point-of-Purchase Association Hall of Fame. Gerry was committed to helping others throughout his life. He held positions on numerous boards and was active in a wide range of social and community efforts, including University School, Plastic Safety
Systems, Stella Maris (a halfway house for those in recovery), SPEA, and P.L.A.N., while also helping many friends of Bill W. over 45 years. A life well lived. A man well loved. And a left-handed brother! JAMES O. BERRY ’50 died March 20, 2015 in Boynton Beach, FL. Jim attended US for two years after his family moved to Lakewood. He attended Dartmouth College and Ohio Wesleyan University. Following a brief stint in the U.S. Navy aboard a destroyer where he dabbled with a cartoon strip for the ship’s newsletter, Berry leveraged his degree in business administration in several ventures, including work as a management consultant in Manhattan. In 1961, Jim made a radical and risky career break by accepting a position as a staff illustrator for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His talent and industry were recognized almost immediately. He created an editorial feature called Berry’s World in 1963 and achieved national syndication within months. By the age of 33, Berry was a bona fide media celebrity with a daily reach of more than 400 papers nationwide, invitations to the White House, and had either received or was nominated for the highest awards that were bestowed by his peers in the industry. After moving to Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s, Jim launched a second, short-lived, feature called Benjy about an amiable hobo. In the early 1980s, settled in South Florida and equipped with a personal computer and a scanner, Jim had late-breaking material appear throughout the country in the very next print edition; qualifying him among the earliest creative telecommuters. By the 1990s, Berry’s World appeared daily in approximately 1,000 newspapers. After more than 40 years, and nearly 15,000 unique published works to his name, Berry retired in 2003 without having missed a single deadline. He was regarded by colleagues as one of the most
astute, insightful chroniclers of his generation. A five-time winner of National Cartoonist Society awards, winner of the National Headliners Club award, and past president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists were among his professional distinctions. Jim was an avid and lifelong sailor; a tough competitor in tennis and golf; a gifted painter and photographer; and an adventurous world traveler. Jim’s entire published oeuvre, as well as four decades of extensive correspondence, has been bequeathed to the archives of Ohio Wesleyan University. Jim’s wife Heather passed away in 2014. He is survived by sons J. Duncan, Alexander O., and grandchildren Charlotte, Hannah, Kendall, and James A. JOHN A. ELDEN Jr. ’50 died March 7, 2015 at Mill Manor Nursing Home in Vermillion, OH, after a lengthy illness. Jack graduated from Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School. He was an attorney, served the city of Vermilion as a municipal judge, and was a member of the Civil Service Commission. Jack also had real estate concerns, owning and operating Elden Properties and Firelands Security Management. Jack was a member of the Vermilion Boat Club, and a past member of the Catawba Island Club, Crew’s Nest, Rotary, and Masons. He enjoyed boating throughout the Great Lakes and in Florida. His true passion was racing. Jack owned EldenSprint Car Racing Team, where he won more than 30 World of Outlaws Races, a $50,000 Front Row Challenge, the inaugural $100,000 Historical Big One, and two Kings Royal crowns. Jack is survived by his wife of 49 years, Carol; children Elizabeth Gaule and John; grandchildren Clare Gaule and Jianna; and half-sister, Elizabeth Dozier. JAMES “JIMMY” H. SUTPHIN ’50 died May 8, 2015 after a short battle with
WE REMEMBER cancer in Hudson, OH. Jim had a long, rich history of service in Northeast Ohio. He contributed much to the printing ink industry and provided countless volunteer service hours with the Rotary and other civic and religious organizations. Jimmy will be remembered for his generous, thoughtful, positive and grateful spirit. The last award bestowed upon him by the Rotary Club of Hudson was the The Service Above Self Award. Jim is survived by his wife, Louise; children Mary Louise Sutphin, James H. Sutphin Jr., Ann Elizabeth Nock and Susan Bernadette Sutphin; grandchildren Allyson Marie, Ryan Christopher and Nicholas James Sutphin, Michael Charles and Madeline Mary Nock; Jane Leitch, Alberta Stoney and Cal Sutphin. He was preceded in death by his sisters Mary Sutphin and Carolyn Leitch. CLARENCE JEROME “JERRY” BARTUNEK ’52 died peacefully April 19, 2015. Jerry was the father of Salina “Sally” Andrews, John, and Peggy Fein; and grandfather of Tegan, Dakota, Luke, Jared, Josiah, Gabriel, Daniel, and Sophia Jerry’s classmate, Phil Brady ’52, submitted the following remembrance: Jerry Bartunek became a life-long friend of mine at University School in the sixth and seventh grade. By the eighth grade, Jerry and I started weight training secretly with Art Grabski, now Art Grayson, in his basement. All the coaches said, “Don’t,” because we would become muscle-bound and slow. By senior year, weight training helped make Jerry and me stronger, faster, and the best athletes in the class. Jerry excelled in football, swimming and especially baseball (Ted Barkwill was his catcher). One of my proudest moments was winning (barely) the All Around Athletic Contest. Jerry was a just a whisker behind me. During our senior year, Jerry and I used to go to a gym that had a boxing ring. Jerry didn’t have any boxing experience, and I was
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experienced and very good with my fists. At my behest, we got into the ring. He suffered a shiner and a fat lip. Soon after, after serious training as a light heavyweight, Jerry won the Golden Gloves v. tough opponents. He was to become a semipro while raising three children and being a trial attorney for Cigna Insurance. Needless to say his invitation to box again was never accepted by me. All through the years, Jerry and I maintained our friendship, corresponded and played golf. The golf outings often included three other US classmates: Dave Cunningham, Bill Davidson and Tucker Marston. I miss him, and there will always be a special place in my heart for Bart. EDWARD G.“TED” BARKWILL ‘52 died April 24, 2015. Ted graduated from Yale University in 1956. He served with the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959 in aerology. After Marine service, Ted joined his father at Cleveland Builders Supply Company and worked in the building industry until 1972. At that time he purchased O’Sullivan Lake Lodge, a fishing and hunting camp in Northern Quebec. Fishing was Ted’s lifelong passion, and he traveled extensively through Canada, the Northwest Territories and Mexico with friends in search of the big fish. Later in life he took up fly fishing as a hobby. Ted is survived by his daughter Betsy Barkwill Lewis and grandchildren Daisy Lewis and Rosie Lewis; and siblings Chuck ‘49 and Barbara Barkwill Larson. He was preceded in death by his son, Dean. CHARLES A. RANNEY ‘53 died Aug. 3, 2015 at his home in Tuscon, AZ. In his late teens, after his freshman year at MIT, Chuck contracted polio just before the vaccine was available. He made a remarkable recovery and completed his engineering degree at Case Institute of Technology, and later an advanced degree in psychotherapy at the University of Utah.
Chuck traveled and hiked extensively with his family to many parts of the world. He documented these travels with an impressive collection of scenic photos. During the last few years of his life, Chuck was physically challenged again and unable to maintain his active lifestyle. Chuck is survived by daughters Kip Martinez and Megan Tynan; three grandchildren; and brother Peter ’50. CHRISTOPHER JONES ‘55 died Sept. 3, 2015, in his home in Kimberton, PA. Chris earned a B.A. at Harvard College, and M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He was an influential archeologist of the ancient Maya civilization and research associate and consulting scholar in the American section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. His research focused on connections between historical inscriptions and evidence in the archeological record and he was particularly proud to have deciphered the Maya hieroglyphs for “mother” and “father.” Chris was deeply committed to sharing his knowledge of the past with a broad audience. He initiated and ran the popular Maya Hieroglyphics Weekend at the Penn Museum, and led tours of Maya sites in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico for the University Museum, Wilderness Travel and the Smithsonian Institution. Through his work with the Pikeland Historical Society, Chris led tours and research into the agricultural and industrial past of his own community. Chris is survived by his wife, Leslie; four sons, Edward, William, Frederick and Ashton; grandchildren, Moses, Carson, Gabriel, Zachary, Samson, Sebastian and Quinn; brothers, Peter H. (Hal) ‘52, and Nicholas ‘63; and sister-inlaw, Suzanne Ringler Jones, widow of former University School Lower School director, Stephen Jones ‘59. JOSEPH B. RICHEY II ‘55 died in November 2015. He attended Yale University and graduated from Case Institute of Technology in 1962.
J.B. was the director of Invacare Corporation where he retired from the board in 2013. He also served as a director of Steris Corporation, Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co. and Inservco. He was chairman, president and CEO of NeuroControl Corporation and served on the board of trustees for Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. J.B. was an inventor and innovator known worldwide for developing the first commercially available full-body CAT scan machine. He held more than 100 patents in the medical field. Thirty-five years ago, J.B. was a critical member of the small group of investors that founded Invacare Corporation. Invacare became a leader in innovation largely due to J.B.’s commitment to research and development. At Invacare, he was instrumental in the development of an oxygen system that allowed customers to refill oxygen cylinders at home instead of waiting for deliveries. He also helped develop gearless-brushless motors and digital controls for power wheelchairs, which revolutionized power wheelchair performance. J.B. and his Invacare partner, Mal Mixon, were longtime supporters of Case Western Reserve University, and in 2015 the university opened the Richey-Mixon Building, known on campus as the university’s “think box.” There, student innovators and inventors can nurture an idea from concept to commercialization. J.B. was preceded in death by his wife, Gayle. He is survived by his children Joseph, III, Judy Schuster, Laurel Richey-Abbey, and Jonathan; and grandchildren Lisa, Melanie, Mason, Kyle, Caroline, Elle, Rocco, Lorelei, Leo and Hawken. JOHN WITMER III ‘56 died suddenly on Sept. 16, 2015 in Hot Springs Village, AR. John was in sales management in the sports industry, past member of the Evening Lions Club, Masonic Lodge, past president of the HSV Shriners and a
member of Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church. John is survived by his wife, Sarah; three children, Wesley, Debbie Cone and Traci Hegedus; and grandchildren John and Katie. He is also survived by Sarah’s children, Blake, Christopher and Renee; and grandchildren, Nathan, Samuel, Kayla, Sarah Dalton, and Abigail. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 36 years, Carol. JAY A.“TYKE” NOLLMAN ‘62 died July 1, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. At University School, Tyke played baseball and captained the football team. After graduating from Northwestern University, Tyke established a career in lifestyle marketing. He was a founding partner in Partners Marketing Inc., a communications and media firm specializing in developing direct marketing campaigns to expecting, new and experienced parents. Tyke was a legend in Illinois and USA Rugby history. Passionate about rugby, he was a long-time member of the Chicago Lions Rugby Club and was the first president of the Illinois Youth Rugby Association. Although the Chicago Lions have played as a club since the late ‘60s, they have never had a home playing field. Just prior to his death, Tyke attended the dedication of the grounds now known as J. Tyke Nollman Field, the new home field of the Chicago Lions. Tyke’s wife, Jane, shared the following with us, written by Tyke in December 2014: Tyke’s Farewell I choose not to have a memorial service of any kind. I arrived in Brooklyn, NY 4/6/1943 with little fanfare. I depart Chicago, IL with not much more. I started with so little and ended with so much. There was love throughout - the dearest of all my treasures, my Mort, followed by family and dear friends. These are most cherished. All material things cast to the wind. My years fighting terminal cancer afforded time for me and many to exchange thoughts
and feelings of support and love. I participated in my own wake. I leave with few regrets. Hopefully most wrongs were righted. My only wishes are: If I hurt you, I’m sorry, forgive me. If you hurt me, I forgive you. I love you. I bid you farewell. Cheers. PETER NELSON BLOUNT ‘63 died Oct. 11, 2015. Pete received his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in materials science from Case Western Reserve University. In 1968, he joined the United States Navy Reserve as a naval aviator and served as a security officer and a combat information center officer with the VW-4 “Hurricane Hunters” based in Jacksonville, FL. After his discharge he served as a reservist, achieving the rank of full lieutenant. Pete moved to Fort Worth in 1974 where he worked as a test engineer for Bell Helicopter, Nordam and Vought. At Vought, he conducted fatigue tests of the B-2 wing, and the drop test of the F-35. He retired in 2011 and joined the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation, a volunteer group that restores historic Vought aircraft. Pete logged many hours in various small aircraft. He helped establish the local Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 670, and built and flew a VP-1 Volksplane. He also rebuilt a Woodstock glider and enjoyed flying it with the North Texas Soaring club at the Decatur airport. In addition, Pete was a skilled woodworker and draftsman, an avid reader, and a daily walker at Cross Timbers Park. He enjoyed guitar concerts, theater, travel and photography. Pete is survived by his wife of 45 years, Anne Marie; his mother, Viola; and siblings Stephen and Anne Sanford. ALLEN E. ”RUS” WALKER‘62 died peacefully May 11, 2015 with his family by his side. After attending Wittenburg College, Rus served with
WE REMEMBER the Air Force in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Upon returning, he moved to Denver and made his home in Evergreen for more than 40 years. In Colorado, Rus enjoyed the mountains, skiing and a career as a controller. He was a dedicated member of the National Ski Patrol at Loveland Pass Ski Area for more than 20 years. Rus was loved by many friends, neighbors, and family. Known for his helping hand, shining eyes, and gentle smile, he was a source of inspiration and friendly support to many. He is survived by sister Jannie Walker Larsson of Kungsängen, Sweden. WILLIAM H. SCHWEITZER ’62 died suddenly at his home in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2015. Bill graduated in 1966 from Trinity College and in 1969 from Georgetown University Law School. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington from 1970 to 1973, and then joined BakerHostetler. Bill developed expertise in election law and campaign finance issues, as well as sports law. He was chiefly known as a top Washington lobbyist for Major League Baseball for the past 20 years; initially as general counsel of the American League and later working with the office of the commissioner to represent the organization’s interests in Washington. He was credited with smoothing the way for the return of big league baseball to Washington, which lost the Senators to Texas in 1971. The Montreal Expos moved to the District in 2005, becoming the Washington Nationals. Bill’s legal interests in Major League Baseball extended beyond the playing field and included immigration, security and steroids, as well as taxation, telecommunications and antitrust matters. Over the years, Bill represented a variety of other clients, including Republican Party members, Harvard University and major trade associations such as the National Association of Home Builders. He spent many years as Republican
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counsel for the House Administration Committee. At the time of his death, Bill was a member of the University School Board of Trustees. Bill is survived by his wife of 42 years, Leslie; two sons, William H. Jr. and Arthur H.; and sister Barbara Lamade. His brother, Robert’67, passed away just a few months after Bill. JEFFREY D. FINCUN ‘64 died Jan. 18, 2016 after a sudden and brief illness. After US, Jeff graduated from Bucknell University in 1968 with a bachelor of science in business administration. After a brief stint with General Electric in Bridgeport, CT, he returned to Cleveland to study law at Case Western Reserve University. In 1973, Jeff joined the Cleveland law firm of Burgess, Fullmer, Parker & Steck. In 1987 the firm merged with Weston Hurd Fallon Paisley & Howley. As a partner at Weston Hurd, Jeff specialized in the fields of life insurance and financial services. Jeff and his wife were longtime residents of Lake Lucerne, a community near Chagrin Falls, OH. Among his fondest memories were the many family trips to Lake Winnipesaukee and hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Jeff also enjoyed handball, a passion he developed while in law school, and played regularly. Jeff is survived by his wife Leslie, and daughters Catherine and Elizabeth. ROBERT K. SCHWEITZER ‘67 died June 17, 2015 in Alexandria, VA. Bob was preceded in death by his brother Bill ’62, who died in March 2015. He is survived by his sister Barbara (Lawrence) Lamade, sister-in-law Leslie, and his four adored nephews: Teddy Lamade, Billy, Peter Lamade, and Arthur. J. MICHAEL TOWNER ‘67, known to friends as Michael, died April 21, 2015, while being treated for diabetic complications. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1971 with degrees in wildlife management
and business. Michael moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, where he was the director of economic development for the town of Bedford, and later director of The Bedford Waterfront Development. For the past 20 years, Michael had lived in Palm City, FL and worked as a realtor through his company J. Michael Towner P.A. He was an avid outdoorsman and especially enjoyed hunting and fishing. Michael is survived by his wife of 27 years, Janette Hopkins Taylor; daughter Aria Raphael; stepdaughter Kimberly Taylor Beckler; and sisters Tanya Towner Pfahl and Kristie Towner Kohl. W. JEFFREY FILTER ‘69 died peacefully at his home on April 10, 2015 after a year-long struggle with pancreatic cancer. Jeff attended the University of Southern California where he earned a B.A. in 1973 and M.B.A. in 1975. Jeff was a member and president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Delta Pi chapter, USC varsity crew and rugby teams, and a Trojan Knight. Jeff moved to San Francisco in 1975 and spent the rest of his life in the Bay Area. Jeff’s financial career spanned 40 years starting with Solomon Brothers, and continued with Hambrecht & Quist, Woodman, Kilpatrick & Gilbraith, Alex Brown, Campbell Cowperthwait, and Merrill Lynch. He was a past member of the San Francisco Bond Club where he received the Oliver V. “Hobbs” Merle Memorial Award in 2000. He was also a past member of the French and Olympic Clubs, as well as a member of The Bohemian Club, and Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary, where he established the award winning “Fiscal Fitness” program for high school seniors. Jeff’s biggest joys were playing music – guitar and piano - and bringing people together for great food, wine and conversation. He was the consummate storyteller and considered the “historian” for friends’ and club lore. He was a regular at Sam’s Grill and a true Bohemian.
Gus, and Rhiannon McKee, and Marty and R.J. Moore. She was preceded in death by her husband, James “Jim” Sr.
Jeff’s uncle, Paul Himmelright ’52, has established the Don Molten Sr. Endowment for Proffessional Development in memory of Jeff. Paul welcomes others to be involved as well. Jeff is survived by his wife Victoria Von Arx; children Elise and George; sisters Susan and Karen; mother Nancy Himmelright Wickes; and father William H. and stepmother Peggy.
for the Palm Beaches. He also was a supporter of Jewish Guild Healthcare and the Armory Art Center. Tom enjoyed membership in the Banyan Golf Club and a former member of the Palm Beach Country Club. He is survived by his father and stepmother, Lionel and Carol; daughters Malinda and Caroline; and brother Steven. He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy and a sister, Linda Beth.
JOHN C. GUYOT ’70 died Jan. 17, 2015. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, with a degree in theater. John spent his professional career at Medquest Communications as publisher and sales manager, but his love of theater endured. He was an active member, set designer, lighting designer, and former president of The Hermit Club in Cleveland – the nation’s oldest continuously operating private club devoted to amateur performing arts. John is survived by his wife Barbara; children Grace and David; mother Suzanne; and sister Suzanne Lyman.
COLTON D. HUDSON ’11 died March 15, 2016 in New York City. Colton spent his formative years attending Old Trail School in Bath, OH, where he was honored to be chosen by his classmates to deliver the commencement address at graduation. At University School he served as Hawley House prefect, and received the Ian Miller Award in recognition of his special gift for sincerity and capacity for friendship. Colton spent the following year studying and traveling in France. At the time of his death, he was a student at Hunter College in Manhattan, where he was studying French and Italian. Colton is survived by his parents, Dr. Robert Hudson and Ms. Audrey DeLong, of Hudson, OH; a brother, Hunter, of Costa Mesa, CA; his maternal grandparents and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. Friends wishing to honor Colton’s memory may send donations to any of the three learning institutions he loved.
ROBERT P. SCHWAB, former director of the Lower School died at his home in Leroy Township at the age of 93 on July 13, 2015. In 1957, a young Bob Schwab, armed with five years teaching experience, was hired by then headmaster Harold Cruikshank to teach seventh and eleventh grade English. In 1966, Bob was chosen to be principal of the Middle School at the University of Chicago, and the following year his duties expanded to include all lower school grade levels. Bob returned to US in 1970 when Headmaster Rowland McKinley asked him to head the Lower School after the Upper School moved to Hunting Valley. In the fall of 1980, Bob moved to the Hunting Valley campus where he taught English courses, headed the Curriculum Committee, wrote the Upper School News Letter, and become very involved with Terry Harmon’s Outdoor Projects program. McKinley then appointed Bob the US archivist and historian. Bob retired from University School in 1987. Bob is survived by his children George, Leslie Dolney and Gretchen; grandchildren Elizabeth and Emily Dolney; and several nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, brother Leslie and sister Elizabeth Evans.
JOAN O. BRESNICKY died Nov. 2, 2015. A native of Pennsylvania and graduate of Duquesne University, Joan joined University School as a typing teacher in 1977. When she retired in 1996, Joan had been teaching word processing and computer skills to seventh grade boys. She is survived by her children Mary McKee, James “Jim” Jr., Anne Bresnicky Moore and John “Jack,” and grandchildren Avalon,
DR. HOWARD D. SIRAK ’40, a pediatric cardiac surgeon and Columbus, OH philanthropist, died in January 2015.
THOMAS E. GREENBAUM ‘74, died Friday, July 11, 2014, at Wellington Regional Medical Center in Palm Beach, FL. Tom attended Emory University, where he graduated first in the class of 1978 from the School of Business. He went on to earn an MBA from New York University and was then admitted into the twoyear executive training program at Merrill Lynch in New York City. He later moved to Atlanta with his family and became a top stockbroker at Merrill Lynch. Eventually, Tom moved to Morgan Stanley as a senior vice president and was ranked as one of the nation’s top financial advisers. He retired at age 50. After moving to Palm Beach, Tom became active in the Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Service and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. He was a board member of the Palm Beach Film and Television Institute and WXEL PBS
W. DAVID RODGERS ’56 died Sept. 16, 2015 in Menlo, CA.
Pulitzer Winner Tony Doerr ‘91 Speaks at Shaker Campus University School and the Shaker Heights Public Library were pleased to present an evening with Anthony Doerr ’91, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See. The sold-out evening featured a lecture and audience Q&A, followed by a book signing. Tony is the author of two story collections, The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See, a New York Times bestseller, which was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Margaret Simon, Shaker Library PR coordinator, had a chance to talk with Tony prior to his visit. The following excerpt is reprinted with permission from Shaker Life Magazine.
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Q. Your mother was a science teacher and your father operated a small printing company. Obviously, there was a focus on science, nature, and the importance of the printed word in your early life. How did your parents’ careers influence your writing? A. My dad runs a small business in Chagrin Falls and he taught me so much about persistence, hard work, risk-taking, relationships, kindness, humor, and how to stay loyal to the Browns. My mom taught at Ruffing Montessori, and then at University School. To describe how important she has been to my writing in such a small space would be impossible. But here’s a try: first and foremost, she’s a reader – she’ll read from Rachel Carson to Anne Carson, from Darwin to Grisham. She helped me fall in love with books. She also taught me, through example, that it’s perfectly permissible to be interested in the sciences as well as in the arts, and that to suggest, especially to a young person, that you must choose between one or the other is a false choice.
Q. How did your Ohio upbringing help to form you as a writer?
Q. What writers have influenced your writing?
A. Growing up in Geauga County made me who I am – I learned to work hard, to pay attention to nature, to be loyal, to drive in the snow, the simple pleasure of reading a book under a tree. I still remember being six or seven years old and seeing my mom in a T-shirt that said, “New York might be the Big Apple, but Cleveland’s a plum.” That sense of having to justify ourselves as a city, of having to scrap for what others take for granted – that has never left me.
A. I love Anne Carson, Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, Jim Shepard, Denis Johnson, Bruce Chatwin, Ryszard Kapuściński, Tolstoy, Hilary Mantel... hundreds more. One of my favorite writers, Dan Chaon, lives right next door to Shaker Heights.
Q. Your wife, Shauna, is a huge supporter as evidenced by her packing up your newborn twin sons and heading off to Rome when you received a Rome Prize. The result was your book, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World. How has she supported your writing life? A. Oh, goodness, in every way imaginable. Shauna is a mother, an editor, an in-house psychologist, a sounding board, a travel agent, and a best friend. Perhaps most of all, she’s there to help me through the days and weeks of doubt that come anytime you’re trying to write a book. My wife is the biggest reason I never gave up on All the Light. She read pieces of the novel every few months, and believed in them, and every morning kept nudging me out the door and back to my desk. It’s amazing what you can get done when you have someone believe in you. Q. In All the Light We Cannot See, what drew you to the World War II setting? A. I wanted to set a novel in a time and place when radio was an allimportant technology. Once I discovered the seaside Breton town of Saint-Malo in France and started reading about its destruction in August of 1944, I decided to try to set my radio story there. 1. Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Doerr ‘91 fascinated the crowd at his lecture about his book, All the Light You Cannot See. 2. Tony Doerr ‘91 graciously met members of the audience and signed hundreds of books after his presentation. 3. All the Light You Cannot See, signed by Tony Doerr ‘91
Q. Both character and plot are critical to a book’s success. What comes first in your writing? A. Everything – action, character, image, metaphor, the sound of the language, the length of the paragraphs – comes together only over a long period of time. I have to compose, revise, and re-revise sentences just to understand what should happen in them. So my process involves a lot of trial and error. At first a story is just like a big gray glob of clay, and it’s only with each pass-over that I’m able to start carving out features, understanding what it’s about, etc. In early drafts I might describe, say, a bedroom, but I don’t know what is on the walls yet; or I describe a person, but don’t quite know what’s in her heart yet. It’s only through revision and time that those things start to become clear. Q. Do you see all of your accolades as a boost or a burden? A. I try not to think about that stuff too much. Once you’re 20 minutes into your writing day, things like the marketplace, critical reception, and expectations tend to fall away. When you’re working well, it’s just you, the desk, and the sentences. And maybe a gigantic pot of green tea.
4. Tony Doerr ‘91 and his parents Dick and Marilyn enjoyed their visit to the Shaker campus. 5. Tony spoke to a sold-out Shaker campus auditorium in October. 6. Tony Doerr ‘91 is reunited with his mentors: former US English teachers Gordon Wean and Nancy Lerner.
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