Woodstock School Quadrangle 2022

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Woodstock School Alumni Magazine Volume CXV 2022

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Dr. Craig Cook

Editorial team

Katie Jo Walter

Sanchali Chakraborty

Kenton Beachy ’78

Aditya Manral

Special thanks to

Monica Roberts

Anne Lind

Lauri Coulter ’81

Will Ferguson

Layout and design

Randhir A. Malhan ’88

Front cover

Hanifl Centre Alumni Trek Leadership Team Member, Saurabh Bartwal

Back cover

Jaemin ’24



The Quadrangle is published annually in digital format by the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office of Woodstock School. It is distributed free of charge to alumni. We welcome input from the community associated with Woodstock School. Limited print copies are available upon request.


Mussoorie, UK 248 179


Advancement and Alumni Relations Office alumni@woodstock.ac.in www.woodstockschool.in

Woodstock’s Year of the Winterline Dr Craig Cook, Principal 2 From the Editor’s Desk Katie Jo Walter, Editor 4 Graduation 2022 Back on Campus, Finally! 6 Awards 2022 7 Class of 2022 Arcadius Class Photo 8 Where They Went 9 Graduate Spotlight: 2022 Valedictorian Aman Singh 10 Around the Sundial 11 Stories of India’s 1st Independence Day at Woodstock School 24 Alumni Remember Where They Were in 1947 27 Lyre Tree Timber 31 Alumni Spotlights Yu Sung Eo, Armaan Bindra, and Jo Touthang ’11 32 Kate Forbes ’08 33 Saksham Garg ’13 35 Ajai Thandi ’09 37 Articles Centre for Imagination................................................................41 45 Years of the Woodstock – St Olaf Connection 43 Li Chun Chu Wu ’50: My Years at Woodstock 46 WS Distinctives and 2023-28 Strategic Objectives 54 Advancement Office Update 57 Interview with Vidur Kapur ’00, Woodstock Admissions Director 60 The Agarwalas: Generations at Woodstock 62 The Hanifl Centre’s 2022 Alumni Trek 65 Alumni Give a Boost to Student Business Competition 67 Woodstock Alumni Ambassador Programme 69 Getting the Band Back Together 70 Alumni Bike Tour Around Nag Tibba 73 Woodstock Comes Together in Support of Its Employees 74 Woodstock’s Evolving School Infrastructure 76 Alumni Affinity Groups 79 Woodstock School FWS/WOSA Virtual Reunion 2022 81 WOSA Asia Updates 83 Woodstock Activity Week 2022 84 The Road to Delhi 88 Back of the book Gatherings...................................................................................89 Distinguished Alumni 104 The Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence 106 Staff Arrivals and Departures 2022 107 In Memoriam 2022 109

Woodstock’s Year of the Winterline

In your time at Woodstock, like me you’ve no doubt witnessed our amazing Winterline attributed to a refraction of light unique in all the world to only parts of the Himalaya and the Swiss Alps. This past year has been our year of the Winterline as we’ve stood in the ethereal horizon looking below at Woodstock’s rich history and traditions and also looking beyond into the expanse and strategically planning for Woodstock’s promising future. As the pandemic recedes in our rearview mirror, and we embrace our place as global citizens in an increasingly interconnected world, we feel the need for a common Woodstock identity along with shared vision and direction to guide us in planning for the future.

Our alumni who span from the past to the present have played a central role in our present strategic planning process and are also positioned to impact Woodstock into the future. Nearly two years ago now, a Boardcommissioned Strategic Plan Guiding Group comprised of Board and General Body (GB) Members, alumni, and staff, wrote and administered a comprehensive survey seeking input from Woodstock stakeholders across

the globe that generated more than 450 responses. The Guiding Group was asked to explore questions such as What is the Woodstock identity? How well suited is the school to adapt to the future of education in an everchanging world? How can Woodstock’s vision and mission be adjusted to reflect our identity more accurately and with increased clarity with an eye to the future?

Informed by the survey results and led by core leadership from the Strategic Plan Guiding Group, four working groups then formed and drew in additional team members from associated alumni, faculty, administrators, Board/GB Members, parents, and students. The working groups, including Teaching & Learning, Safety & Wellbeing, The Woodstock Experience, and Sustainability & Development, continued engaging and gathering feedback in the form of small group discussions, individual interviews, and follow-up surveys.

The research findings illuminated eight Woodstock distinctives (see the graphic on page 54) that in turn were used to develop a strategic plan that was


reviewed by the Board at its September 2022 meeting. Subsequently at the December 2022 Board meetings the fully operationalized strategic plan was approved.

I believe our successful path forward will stem from a “both/and” approach as we now implement the strategic plan in the Woodstock community, reflecting the core values and practices of who Woodstock has been through the decades, while also innovating towards the future. These multifaceted approaches take us forward rather than getting stuck defending one way of the past or proposing only one way for the future. As a community we want to recognize the impact and value of the Woodstock identity which our alumni treasure and which has made you who you are, while also working with our current students in preparing them effectively for their futures. In her paper prepared as part of the strategic planning process and arguing for the timeless identity of Woodstock School, Woodstock General Body Member and alumna Dr. Kathleen Hawthorne poignantly describes the belonging Woodstock engenders in student and staff alumni.

“[We] were often permanently changed by our experience there,” she writes. “We took on elements of the identity of Woodstock and it became part of our own identity as individuals. This is what unites us many years later no matter what our later life experiences or where or how

our cultures or outlooks differ – we recognize in each other something very familiar. It’s not that we just lived in the same place for a time in our past. Woodstock made us into adventurers, pioneers, explorers. We value others less fortunate than ourselves; we prize service to others. We are readers, critical thinkers and inquirers, we feel spiritual connections. We often feel different from the crowd. We have a love for mountains, for nature, we miss the sound of the wind in the pine trees.”

Woodstock was of course formed in 1854 as a Protestant Girls’ school established by four women from the London Society for Promoting Female Education in the East. The rise of the British Raj and the 1872 purchase of the school by US missionaries imprinted from its earliest years the Christian missionary underpinnings of the school. It was in 1911 that Woodstock became a training college for teachers. In this milieu the international education movement took hold, with Woodstock becoming a leader in international education. Changing times brought other impactful events and influences including Indian independence, the departure of formal mission work and personnel, India’s broader economic liberalization, and the worldwide expansion of international education opportunities. Through all of this, and now a pandemic, too, Woodstock has maintained its commitment to excellence in international education.

It’s in this context that I ask you to consider our five-year strategic plan as approved by Woodstock’s Board and General Body, which is responsible for making strategic decisions determining vision, mission, and planning for the future. Woodstock’s distinctives are framed as growing trees and further operationalized as strategic objectives with four vision priorities and associated goals.

These strategic plan objectives that were derived from the identified Woodstock distinctives will guide our efforts towards global citizenship and intercultural learning as we navigate the residential education landscape of Woodstock’s near-term future. The plan also strengthens Woodstock’s continuing ability to equip graduates to make individual, local, and global impact.

The beauty and enigma of the Winterline draw us together, and our openness to working together in a “both/and” paradigm is crucial in determining our success. This year's Quadrangle was also created in this paradigm. Thank you to our new Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations Katie Jo Walter and her entire team for shepherding this work diligently. I hope you enjoy reading this edition that will bring you back to Woodstock in many ways – to the hillside, to the striking Winterline, and to the heart of what it means to be a part of Woodstock's community of lifelong learners.


From the Editor’s Desk: Woodstock Origin Stories

Dear Woodstock Alumni Community,

The Woodstock experience is what all students and staff – current, past, and present – have in common. For nearly one year now I’ve had the privilege and honour of learning about your experiences while also forging my own relationship with Woodstock’s worldwide family. Woodstockers are an extraordinary community of self-aware, service-oriented individuals with not only a penchant for recognizing value and potential in themselves and diverse others but also the drive to maximize that value and potential through challenging work, mentorship, and service.

You knowing me: A helping hand

I’ve experienced this in the welcome received since first arriving at Woodstock in mid-February 2022, sharing my newcomer’s determination, enthusiasm, and ideas for Woodstock’s Advancement and Alumni Office. I immediately got involved in the new strategic plan shared in this issue of the Quadrangle (see page 56). Monica Roberts, Ady Manral, Will Ferguson, and Aastha Bhakhri immediately started offering me foundational knowledge, history, connections, and advice – what has worked well before and what hasn’t. David and Connie Wheeler at Friends of Woodstock School shared these same things from their own perspectives.

Woodstockers from across eras, cultures, roles, and relationships with the school have been incredibly generous with their time and advice. This has included all the former Woodstock School Development Directors, along with numerous alumni and current and former staff and board members.

Several of you have taken the time to share your optimism regarding my ability to benefit the school and its community, taking positive note of my fortuitously diverse background that includes cross-cultural volunteering, research, and instruction in India (including language study in Landour) as well as International Alumni roles at the University of Oregon. I hope to do you proud!

Many Woodstockers have hosted me in their homes and shared their own stories and reflections made years later. Others have shared their concerns for the school as we work through the aftermath of two years of disruption due to the pandemic. All along the way, the spirit of mentorship and support has been the most solid I have ever experienced. You want to see me succeed, both as a champion for the future of Woodstock and as an individual. This inherent drive to serve and mentor is one of the many qualities that make you truly special, and I’ll be forever grateful to you as I continue in this role, hopefully for many, many years to come. I see myself as a servant of our school and its worldwide family as well as a steward of Woodstock’s legacy – your legacy. I want you to know that, like you, I’m always available to serve and mentor our community. And like you I’m always ready to learn and grow. Please let me know if anything from our office comes across as either short-sighted or an oversight, knowing that such inevitable occurrences are never intentional.

Me knowing you: origin stories

In seeking to better know those of you in the Woodstock family, I’ve found the concept of the origin story extremely useful. In comic books and other entertainment, an origin story is broadly defined as a backstory or background narrative that informs the identity and motivations of a particular character. This concept includes room for the varied cultures and experiences – with all their heroes, villains, and other players – that have moulded who you are.

Your life, learning, and work at Woodstock were sometimes undertaken with extraordinary joy and sometimes with great difficulty. Some of the most powerful and memorable of your emotions were likely experienced in silent conversation with the environment. Woodstock’s Himalayan surroundings sometimes inspired wonder, excitement, and frivolity, while at other times they offered solace and the opportunity to reflect. Sometimes they simply bore witness to powerful and difficult emotions like anger and utter loneliness.


There are also the teachers, dorm parents, and role models who guided and inspired you and kept you on the right track, sometimes with solemnity and sternness and sometimes with humour. They taught you, helped you discover your strengths and weaknesses, and coached you in developing your talents. They pushed you to do things you didn’t feel inclined or ready to do; some things you grew to appreciate, some things you happily left behind, and some things you may struggle with even today. Sometimes these elder figures were painfully boring or hurtfully overbearing or unintentionally funny. Many times they modelled compassion and caring and stood by your side through tough times.

They were parents, confidantes, and champions for you. They, too, left their imprints and influences.

Your schoolmates were there, too. Those who lived alongside you and went through struggles and joys that connected with your own in endlessly interesting ways. Those with whom you shared secrets and hatched schemes. Those with whom you traded or fought over things not so easily found on the hillside. Their circumstances could range from refugee to royalty. They were your family even though they came from so many different places and mindsets and communities.

Your neighbours from the hillside community were there as well. Working on campus and living nearby. They welcomed you into their shops and homes. They hauled your things, sewed your clothing, and prepared your food. They helped you repeatedly in all kinds of situations, had a watchful eye out for your safety, and offered friendliness and goodwill.

Chapels, Activity Weeks, and sporting and other events unfolded throughout the course of each year. These occasions offered opportunities for spiritual exploration, creativity, socializing, and finding quiet corners for confessions and scandal. Related to these events and in other ways, too, the campus played its own role. The maze of spaces. Parker Hall. The Quad. The Tea Garden. Hanson Field.

Quadrangle: A legacy highlighting our community of lifelong learners’ vital connections and roles in Woodstock’s past, present, and future

No matter what distinct patchwork of cultures, eras, and other influences form who you are, you have this wide variety of experiences in common with every other Woodstocker. Having this shared experience, you can and do instantly connect with each other, even when meeting vastly different alumni for the first time. You’ve emerged on the other side of Woodstock as an alum with an incredible origin story and an incredible life that continues to unfold beyond your time here.

I view the Quadrangle as a unique opportunity for sharing and learning that celebrates this common origin story among Woodstockers along with the amazing variety of lived experience that can follow it. It’s also a space to share Woodstock’s role in the lives of its current students and most recent alumni. Many things change, but many things do indeed remain the same. In this edition of the Quadrangle, you’ll see that several alumni are coming to campus, getting directly involved to experience this for themselves and connecting meaningfully with those of us currently on the hillside. I encourage you to do the same when and if you can. I know many of you have gone in and out of periods of engagement with the school, and we here on the hillside know that life is full of twists and turns and changing perspectives. We want you to know you’re always welcome to re-engage in any way that may appeal to you.

The school, too, has gone through a variety of phases as it has continued its striving. As much as Woodstock has always been very accepting of many kinds of diversity, the Woodstock School and the students of today have been observed as more welcoming and accepting than any previous generation; I’ve loved hearing from alumni on campus and at events who have remarked positively about this.

You continue to play a vital role in the Woodstock of today. My hope is that this issue of the Quadrangle highlights that, connecting you in some way to each of the vital pieces of your Woodstock origin story I mentioned here and more while eliciting pride and optimism for who we continue to be here at Woodstock. Thank you again for your involvement and care! Stay in touch, and Palma Non Sine Pulvere.



Graduation 2022

Back on campus, finally!

The class of 2022 swayed together as they sang the above lines. It was one of their last experiences as students at Woodstock. A class that lost most of its time together to Covid chanted a plea to repeat high school all over to make up for lost experiences and lost time with one another.

Graduation was a bittersweet ending to this chapter of their lives, each one proud of the other for all their accomplishments that almost felt incomplete in a sense, as was emphasized by Aman Singh in his valedictory speech.

Dr Cook commenced the ceremony by acknowledging long standing staff members whose connections with our students made the learning dynamic at Woodstock so powerful. He declared this event a transitioning step and commended the class on persevering through tenuous times. He expressed confidence in the class’s capability to face the next phase of their lives and their ability to be visionary while doing so.

This was followed by a musical

performance by Mr. Aloke Maiti on the tabla and Aman Singh on the sitar. An impressive performance indeed, that had audience members on their feet.

Aman Singh’s valedictory speech followed. He delved into farewells that had come too soon for Arcadius. When the pandemic hit, as a new student anticipating his arrival in the welcoming hills he was met instead with a computer screen. Pixels couldn’t make up for the real thing. Like many other Woodstock arrivers in the eleventh grade, he spent only four months out of his two years on campus. He believed Arcadius deserved to be wrapped up in this cocoon for a little while longer.

Aman thanked everyone who supported the graduating class in their endeavors as well as the people who truly helped transform Woodstock into a real home. He concluded that what makes the Woodstock experience special is the people. Those relationships are born here but only strengthen when they leave. He described the class as an unbreakable community of 80 people who accomplished the impossible.

2022 Valedictorian

Aman Singh is an outstanding student who entered Woodstock with a record of being a school topper in Grade 10. In Woodstock he was an astute learner, sustaining his enthusiasm and love of learning and acing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme by excelling in all six subjects with a total grade point of 42 out of 42 in the Mock Examination and 43 out of 45 in the Final IBDP Examination.

He has a multifaceted personality with varied interests in song writing, singing, film making – a creative genius in his own right. He is the personification of the learner profile trait: balanced intellectually, physically, and emotionally who believes in achieving well-being for himself and his peers.

“ Give me some sunshine. Give me some rain. Give me another chance. I wanna grow up once again.
Mousumi Basu, Academic & IBDP Coordinator

Awards 2022

Valedictorian Aman Singh

Salutatorian Asta Banerjee

Best All Round Student Award Aman Singh

Student Government Award Nysa Bhatia

Pratap Chatterjee Memorial Science Award

Jaekyung Sung

E.E. Miller International Award Nysa Bhatia

Poad Music Shield N/A

Mubarak Masih Indian Music Shield N/A

Cassinath Drama Award Raymond Patrick Robert Chirwa

Cassinath Writing Award N/A

Cassinath Art Award David Laldina

W. Lowrie Campbell Memorial Hiking Cup for Boys N/A

Karen Krenz Hiking Cup for Girls N/A

Initiative Awards Kimaya Mehta, Naavya Jain, Samichi

Rungta, Asha Michael Torczon, Arjun Menezes

Carrie Sue Fordham Endowment Award for

Excellence in Writing Asha Michael Torczon

Citizenship Awards

Grade 9 Anaahat Tung, Yug Shaileshbhai Riziya

Grade 10 Asha Michael Torczon, Aarya Deepak


Grade 11 Oneeka Constan Jesuraja, Shivom Sood

Grade 12 Nysa Bhatia, Aman Singh

Journalism Awards – Writing Asha Michael Torczon

Journalism Awards – Production Caspar Conrad

Stevenson, Xinyue Wang

Audio Visual Award Jayant Basnyat

Stagecraft Award N/A

Advanced Mathematics Award N/A

Outstanding Achievement in a Discipline

Visual Arts – Grade 10 Rinzing Khampa

Visual Arts – Grade 12 Asta Banerjee, Raymond

Patrick, Robert Chirwa

Mathematics – Grade 10 Shome Kafley

Mathematics – Grade 12 Aman Singh

Science – Grade 10 Integrated Science Aditi Gaur

Chemistry – Grade 12 Rushi Dipalbhai Faldu

Biology – Grade 12 Ananyashree Mishra

Physics – Grade 12 Aman Singh

Environmental Science – Grade 12 Vir Kanwar

Design – Grade 10 Asha Michael Torczon

Computer Science – Grade 12 Kwanghyun Jo

MYP I & S – Grade 10 Aarya Deepak Chiripal

Global Politics Award – Grade 12 Mesalenuo


Psychology Award – Grade 12 Ananyashree


Economics Award – Grade 12 Vir Kanwar

History Award – Grade 12 Asta Banerjee

Hindi – Grade 10 Isha Maini

Hindi – Grade 12 Aman Singh

Spanish – Grade 10 Atreya Koirala

Spanish – Grade 12 Pari Soni

French – Grade 10 Pritika Nemani

French – Grade 12 Ananyashree Mishra

Korean – Grade 10 Sunwoo Chung

Korean – Grade 12 JaeKyung Sung

Orchestra – Grade 10 Asha Michael Torczon

Orchestra – Grade 12 N/A

Choral – Grade 10 Diya Bubber

Choral – Grade 12 Mehar Jay Mehta

Indian Music – Grade 10 Arav Srivastava

Indian Music – Grade 12 Aman Singh

Solo Instrument – Grade 10 Sakurako Mishima

Solo Instrument – Grade 12 Ananyashree Mishra

English – Grade 10 Asha Michael Torczon

English – Grade 12 Aman Singh

Drama – Grade 10 Vivaa Parikh

Film & Media – Grade 12 Asta Banerjee

Book of Excellence Jayant Basnyat


Class of 2022 Arcadius Class Photo

First row (L to R): Swastik Kunwar, Manas Verma, Vansh Agarwal, Sindhur Bansal, Raghav Agarwal, Aadil Khurana, Rahul Kapadia, Ishpuneet Singh, Darsh Aggarwal, Aaman Sujay Shah, Marshal Bikram Karki, Samichi Rungta, Manya Anand, Xinyue Wang

Second row (L to R): Ms Alpana Pathak, Ms Drishti Bhasin, Maanasa Muppala, Asta Banerjee, Rhea Sasha Kassam, Bishalakshmi Bagchi, Lidoweii Mero, Amaanat Dhindsa, Syna Sharma, Reya Vani Gupta, Nayantara Batra, Kashvi Sikka, Vama Dharmesh Gathani, Lavana Dixit, Taruna Kakkar, Tawishi Dogra, Nehi Malla, Ms Aanchal Negi

Third row (L to R): Vaidhai Chaudhary, Anishka Joab, Mesalenuo Tsurho, Rewa Tsomo Nyangmi, Pritha Anand, Sentirenla Jamir, Riya Gupta, Nysa Bhatia, Ira Ahuja, Kalsang Yangchen, Mahima Angelina Peters, Kimaya Mehta, Pari Soni, Riya Chouhan, Keerat Kaur Uppal, Parineeta Aggarwal, Mr Manoj Aggarwal

Fourth row (L to R): Ms Maria Rodriguez, Mehar Mehta, Jae-Kyung Sung, Veer Kanwar, Advait Aggarwal, Avi Bhaveshkumar Lad, Luke John D’Souza, Kwanghyun Jo, Rohan Maity, Jordon Rhys Lobo, Dhruv Sanjaykumar Khanpara, Keya Ali, Rajveer Saharan, Sanhitha Narayan, Ms Katerina Vackova

Fifth row (L to R): Mr Mukesh Srivastava, Mr Andrew Plonka, Arya Karwa, Jigme-Kinley Dorjee, Sukhmanpreet Singh Bhatia, Vyan Sachdeva, Neil Mahajan, Raymond Patrick Robert Chirwa, Kushagra Madan, Siqi Chen, Naoki Goto, Meto Seldon, Mr Agustin Silvadiaz

Sixth row (L to R): Amar Rathore, David Laldina, Rushi Dipalbhai Faldu, Rahul Bhawnani, Tenzin Namgyal Norbu, Aman Singh, Oscar Flett Stevenson, Abhirup Chand Thakuri, Yondhen Tshering Tuladhar, Mr Harsh Bajaj


Where they went 2020, 2021, 2022


Deakin University



Monash University

University of Sydney


Brock University

Carleton University

Concordia University, Montreal

Huron University

McGill University

Memorial University Of Newfoundland

Mount Allison University

Ryerson University

St. Francis Xavier University

Trinity Western University

University Of British Columbia

University Of Calgary

University Of Guelph

University Of Toronto

University Of Victoria

University Of Waterloo

Western University

York University


St. Georges University School of Medicine


Zhengzhou University


Architectural Institute In Prague


Essec Business School

Sciences Po

Parsons Paris


Bard College Berlin

Jacobs University


City University Of HK

Hong Kong University Of Science And Technology


Pecs University

University Of Veterinary Medicine


Ashoka University

Christ University

Flame University

Indian School Of Business & Finance

National Institute Of Fashion Technology

St. Joseph's College

Whistling Woods International Institute


John Cabot University


University Of Canterbury

University Of Otago

Victoria University Of Wellington


Georgetown School Of Foreign Service


Lasalle College Of Art

SP Jain School Of Global Management

Yale-NUS College


Ghent University Global Campus

Handong Global University

Sungkyunkwan University


Ie University

Esade Business School


Geneva School Of Diplomacy

Les Roches


ArtEZ University of Arts

University College Maastricht

University of Amsterdam

NHL Steden University Of Applied Sciences


Aberystwyth University

Birkbeck University of London

Bournemouth University

Brunel University

Central Saint Martins City University, London

Coventry University

Goldsmiths, University Of London

Institutio Marangoni London

King's College, London

Lancaster University


University College London

University of Aberdeen

University of Brighton

University of Bristol

University of Cambridge

University of East Anglia

University of Edinburgh

University of Exeter

University of Glasgow

University of Kent

University of Manchester

University of Newcastle

University of St Andrews

University of Stirling

University of Surrey

University of Warwick

University of Westminster


American University

Babson College

Bard College

Baylor University

Beloit College

Bentley University

Boston University

Brandeis University

Brown University

Bryant University

Calvin College

Carnegie Mellon University

Case Western Reserve University

Centre College

Chapman University

Claremont Mckenna College

Clark University

College Of Wooster

Columbia University

Connecticut College

Dartmouth College

Duke University

Emerson College

Franklin & Marshall College

George Washington University

Goshen College

Grinnell College

Harvard University

Hendrix College

Hult International Business School

Indiana University At Bloomington

Johns Hopkins University

Knox College

Loyola Marymount University

Luther College

Miami University, Oxford

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

New York University

North Carolina State University

Northeastern University

Otterbein University

Pace University

Pennsylvania State University

Pitzer College

Purdue University

Rochester Institute Of Technology

Rutgers University, Camden

Rutgers University, New


Santa Clara University

Sarah Lawrence College

Savannah College of Art and Design

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

School of Visual Arts

Smith College

Stanford University

Syracuse University

The Cooper Union

The New School – Parsons

School Of Design

Trinity College

Tufts University

Tulane University

University of Arizona

University of California, Davis

University of California

Los Angeles University of California

San Diego University Of Chicago

The Ohio State University

University of Delaware

University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign

University of Maryland

University of Maryland –College Park

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Massachusetts, Boston

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

University of Michigan

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

University of Richmond

University of Rochester

University of San Francisco

University of Southern California

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Washington and Lee Wellesley College

Wheaton College, MA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


2022 Valedictorian Aman Singh

There are still moments when I look back and wonder if it was all a dream. Every time I tell someone that I went to a boarding school in the Himalaya mountains, where every day I had to hike up to school through a rhododendron forest chased by monkeys, I find myself disbelieving my own words. Woodstock tends to elicit that reaction. It’s an almost mythical place, something only heard about in stories, untouched by time, untainted by the world outside. Even now, a whole six months later, I catch myself reminiscing about the mountains. It’s seven o’clock back home as I write this. Mr Pholkan and Mr Huten must be conducting check-in. I would have just gotten back from dinner, walking down the ramp to Hostel, lamps lighting my way. I might stop to chat with Mr and Mrs Peters or maybe go upstairs to check if my clothes have dried.

Of my two years at this school, I only spent four months truly being a Woodstock student. The pandemic meant three semesters of virtual school, sitting in front of my computer at home. So it didn’t feel right when I had to say farewell. Some of my friends had been at Woodstock for as long as they can remember, and I know I speak for them when I say that we left too soon. However, what I’ve come to realise

is that Woodstock gives a little piece of its heart to us. It pours a little bit of its soul into the empty vessels that we are, moulding us, nourishing us, preparing us for the world ahead. We end up leaving this beautiful, unshakeable paradise, walking down that mountain with a part of it in our hands (I actually stole a little piece of the wall from the Quad dining hall, so

you could interpret this both literally and figuratively. You decide). So we never really say goodbye, do we?

I miss the people. The times we bonded over setting off the fire alarm at two in the morning by burning grilled cheese sandwiches. The times we pulled coffeefueled all-nighters to complete IB assignments and ended up so delirious we couldn’t help but laugh at anything and everything. I miss the sanctuary, the safety net that was created for us; we knew that if we fell Woodstock would pick us back up. I miss Woodstock’s sense of permanence — its old walls and wise rooms. And maybe most of all, I miss the simplicity, the life that was clear and laid out for us. Because the world outside Woodstock is a scary place for us eighteen-year-olds, uncertainties weighing us down. There are times when I’ve wished I was back home in Hostel, wrapped up in its safe cocoon. And then I remember what we’ve done to get to where we are. Woodstock stands tall behind us, to this very day, giving us strength. Woodstock did so much more for us than give us a home and an education — our teachers, our dorm parents, and everyone on that mountain prepared us for the inevitable. Now, more than ever, I am ready.

Graduate Spotlight
“ Woodstock stands tall behind us, to this very day, giving us strength
Want to make a donation to Woodstock? For details on how to donate, depending on your geographic location, tax relief options, and modes of payment: Web: www.woodstockschool.in/support-woodstock-school/ Email: advancement@woodstock.ac.in Phone: +91 135 2639163 10

Around the Sundial December 2021 to November 2022

2021 December 2021 ↑ ↓ Festival of Ideas is a CFI hosted event showcasing ideas or initiative within the Woodstock community

Research Bootcamp lays the foundations for research skills in

February 2022

Turning anxiety into excitement

IB MYP → ↑ Helping students adjusting to the new normal
Laying the foundations for research skills in IB MYP →

March 2022

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is part of a holistic approach to education; pictured here is a CAS Workshop ↑ → Holi at the Quad ↑ Grade 11 students at the Hanifl Centre participating in 20 hours of intensive Wilderness First Aid Training ↓ April 2022 Friendship Day celebration ↑ → Dedication ceremonies of new spaces on campus ↓ →
Dedication ceremonies of new spaces on campus ↓
Woodstock is back with Goal-a-Thon ↓ →


Earth Day Exhibition by Grades 4 & 5 ↓ →
Alumni Artist Residency ↓ ↑
Mental Health Awareness Week by the Early Years
↑ MUN passage trip to Hyderabad for Harvard MUN 2022
↑ 17
Colours of India celebration with the Early Years Marking 75 years of Indian independence in style ↓ Meher John ’23 hoisting the National Flag on Independence Day ↑ Korean National Day ↓
Early Years Wool Symphony during Indian Culture Week ↑
September 2022
Don’t Shut Up by Alison Grieg ↓
Dot Day
Hindi Week ↑ 19
Hindi Divas celebration with Antakshari in the Quad dining hall ↑ ↑ Mrs Sanjaya Mark, Chaplain and Director of Community Engagement, offers a prayer to dedicate the Amphitheatre ↑ Woodstock Board Members & leadership at the dedication of the Amphitheatre ↓
The Woodstock School choir singing at the dedication – the first of many students who will perform on this new stage →

October 2022

Onam celebration in the Quad ↑ Pookalam (flower rangoli) with visiting Board and General Body Members →
Win Mumby Basketball Tournament 2022


Nag Tibba hike ↓ ↑
UY Talent Show ↑
Rolling Onward with cycling club members who went out on their bikes and tested out their new team jerseys ↑ morning yoga during Activity Week ↓
River rafting in the Ganges during Activity Week ↑
November 2022 Book Fair – Woodstock loves reading ↓
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Surprising facts

Jai Hind! Stories of India’s First Independence Day at Woodstock School

Independence Day celebrations have been a favourite memory of our alumni ever since we started celebrating in 1947. We collected stories from alumni who were at Woodstock 75 years ago when India gained independence and our very first celebrations took place.

Independence Day Drama


Alumni who were there in 1947 remember the play they performed about the light of freedom and its travel through the ages to reach India and Her people. The play ended with a prayer for independent India followed by the Indian national flag being brought to Parker Hall's centre stage:

Long may Her freedom endure! God grant her peace to progress in freedom! God bless every Indian – man, woman, and child, with the priceless privilege of every sort of liberty in body, in mind, and in spirit.

(CURTAIN. Singing of “Sara Jahan se Achcha, Hindustan Hamara” as the flag is brought up the aisle to the front.) See the next page to learn who had the honour of ushering the Indian flag into Parker Hall for the first time. Today at Woodstock, the honuor of hoisting the Indian flag goes to the student of Indian citizenship who has been at the school the longest [see Sundial for images].

The Food and Festivities

Alumni who were there in 1947 also remember that the first Independence Day at Woodstock included a special feast for school employees and Indian cultural performances - two other traditions that we still carry on proudly.

Ashoke Chatterjee '51 shares:

“That first Independence Day took place in pouring rain. We assembled at the Gate and took off from there to the Mussoorie flag-raising at Library Bazaar. The Chief Guest was Govind Vallabh Pant, the first Chief Minister of UP in independent India. We were all soaked but exuberant.

From the Woodstock School Archive: Original Script of 1947
Ashoke Chatterjee, front row, third from the left with his Sixth Standard Class in 1947 Peggy Ewing, front row, fourth from the right with her Fifth Standard Class in 1947

Kavi Singh '47: The First to Usher in the Indian National Flag at Woodstock

Kavi Singh ’47 was the proud bearer of the national flag in 1947 and an ardent follower of the leaders of the freedom struggle. While studying at Woodstock Kavi participated in student government and Supreme Court, becoming Chief Justice. He was an avid photographer and keenly interested in international affairs. He excelled in track and tennis. He later studied at St. Stephen's College and worked in advertising, eventually founding his own agency. After retirement from advertising he took up teaching at Mirambika School in Delhi.

Kavi and his wife Devika (co-founder of the 50-plus-year-old, acclaimed NGO Mobile Creches) remained deeply connected to the hillside, sending their two children to study at Woodstock and supporting many activities undertaken by the school. At Woodstock School's 49th Indian Independence Day celebrations in 1996, Kavi was the Chief Guest.

Kavi was a regular supporter of the Mussoorie Writers' Mountain Festival, and he and Devika led service learning activities for alumni as part of Woodstock School's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2004.

Kavi's wife Devika stayed on the hillside for seven years while their children were attending. She was a volunteer teacher of English as a Second Language and an active member of the Woodstock Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Along with other PTA leaders, Devika spearheaded important community-wide efforts toward a cleaner, greener hillside – the waste segregation practices we now follow on campus are thanks in part to this work, as are the trash bins we now see along the roads of Landour. Kavi and his company helped with procuring the bins and making logos for the waste management campaign.

When Kavi passed away after a brief illness in 2016, the Mussoorie Writers website wrote a touching tribute to him:

Our community still remembers Kavi fondly – for his enthusiastic sharing about that day he got to bring the Indian national flag into Parker Hall that first time, for his love of golf and his magazine Golfingly Yours, and for his constant curiosity and camera shutter snapping.

I remember the khana that was arranged for all of the school support staff and with us as host serving them a sit-down meal on the floor of one of the big spaces – was it the Hostel gym? Our Hindi teacher D N Sharma was in full charge, with a warning to us that samosas and jelebis were not to vanish before our guests were served.

There were song and dance including a desi folk dance by the principal’s wife Mrs Ewing. None of us knew she had this skill and costume. Had the costume been tucked away somewhere in the Principal’s Cottage, waiting for this day?”

Peggy Ewing Devine '52, daughter of Rev RM Ewing, Woodstock Principal in 1947 answers this question:

“Mother loved Indian dance and would dance whenever possible! She had an extensive collection of Indian outfits and jewellery — especially those from Indian village women. I recently found a large box of her Indian jewellery — what fun!”

The Freedom Fighters and Leaders of Newly Independent India – the Pandit sisters at Woodstock Alumni who were there in 1947 remember the celebrations for the newly independent nation of India. Many celebrated knowing that Indian independence was hard-won and relied on years of struggle on the part of India's freedom fighters – some of whom were right there at Woodstock.

Independence Day Woodstock Employee Lunch, 2022 Late Kavi Singh ’47: The first to usher in the Indian national flag at Woodstock

Chandralekha Mehta ’40, Nayantara Sahgal ’43, and Rita Dar attended Woodstock School from 1936 to 1940. Their mother Vijayalakshmi Pandit was India’s first ambassador to the UN; their uncle Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister; and their first cousin Indira Gandhi was India’s third Prime Minister.

Chandralekha, or "Chand" as she was affectionately called, was the only of the three sisters who was able to complete her studies at Woodstock. In her final year of studies, Mohandas K. Gandhi had begun to promote individual satyagraha protests. Those holding protests were to inform the District Magistrate ahead of time, but Chand's parents Ranjit Sitaram and Vijayalakshmi Pandit - as well as her uncle Jawaharlal Nehru - were pre-emptively jailed.

Chand visited her father and uncle that year at Dehradun Jail. Her sisters Nayantara and Rita finished their studies in Allahabad (now Prayagraj).

Two short years after her graduation from Woodstock School, another round of arrests was made in Chand's family, this time spurred by the All India Congress Committee's Quit India resolution. Several days after her parents were taken in, Chand too was arrested and imprisoned at Naini Jail outside Prayagraj.

"... I was taken to the foreboding gate of the women's section, and on entering the yard I could see Mummie and Noradi (Purnima Banerji) looking out of the grating of the barrack to see who was coming in .... When I proudly told them of my arrest, their faces showed utter amazement! To them I was still a child, not yet of an age for adult activities such as jail going!"

Another close associate of the Pandit family active in the freedom struggle was Sarojini Naidu, who came to speak at Woodstock not long after the first Independence Day celebrations in 1947. Ashoke Chatterjee '51 shares:

“Following school Independence Day celebrations, we were visited by one of the most inspiring figures of the era: Sarojini Naidu. She was a poet and a close associate of Mohandas K. Gandhi. She had been imprisoned many times during the struggle for independence, and now she was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She was a frequent visitor with Chand's family and was herself a Woodstock parent.

She spoke to us at Parker Hall about her experience as a Woodstock parent stuck in British jails. She shared that during her imprisonment she gained assurance from knowing her daughters were in the loving care of Woodstock School.”

Chand wrote about her family's involvement in the freedom struggle in her book, Freedom's Child, for which a book launch was held at Woodstock. This article is based in part on excerpts from that book, which contains a wealth of first-hand accounts from Chand about her family, about Sarojini Naidu and other heroes of India's freedom struggle, and about Chand's memories of her time at Woodstock and on the Landour hillside. Chand became a Woodstock parent, too, sending her daughter Manjari Mehta '74 to attend. Chand's sister and author Nayantara Sahgal '43 is a Woodstock School Distinguished Alumna.

With thanks to Devika Singh, WS spouse and parent, Steve Alter '74, Ashoke Chatterjee '51, Marlin Schoonmaker '67, Manjari Mehta '74, Devika Singh, wife of Kavi Singh '47 and mother of Simran Malhotra '90 and Harbir Singh '95, Peggy Ewing Devine '52, Janie Wallbrown '52

Chand, Nayantara, and Rita in 1932, four years prior to joining Woodstock Chand Pandit in the 1940 edition of the Woodstock Whispering Pine yearbook
Chand Pandit in the 1940 edition of the Woodstock Whispering Pine yearbook

Tara Kapur ’05 Works with Netflix on Government Film Series Celebrating 75 Years of Indian Independence

Tara Kapur ’05, who just finished a stint as Co-Lead, Series Marketing at Netflix India, got to work with Netflix’s Public Policy team to create a series of stories celebrating 75 years of India’s independence with Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan in partnership with the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Netflix partnered to create a series of videos called Azadi Ka Amrit Kahaniyan that celebrates India @75. Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan aims to bring out stories of inspirational Indians in the iconic intiative on various themes including women’s empowerment, the environment, history, sustainability, and more. The diverse set of stories seeks to motivate and empower Indians from every corner of the country.

Set to appear in seven instalments, the second series of videos was recently released at The International Film Festival of India and looks at stories of freedom fighters during the first war for independence in 1857. “It feels so good to have these stories screened in front of such a massive audience,” says Tara.

Tara, congratulations on your work with this series, which is sure to provide inspiration and spark pride for many years to come!

You can watch one of the videos here: bit.ly/3GpNXYj

75 Years Ago Alumni Remember Where They Were in 1947

In 1947 India and Pakistan achieved independence amidst great hope but also amidst great violence. 75 years later our alumni who were there offer us glimpses of what they remember about that time — for them, for their families, and for Woodstock and the hillside. They were children at the time of independence, and here they share their reflections on what occurred.

Special thanks to Janie Downs Wallbrown ’52, who upon our request collected and shared many of her classmates’ stories along with her own.

After collecting the stories, Janie wrote to her classmates on Independence Day: “I found all of your stories to be so interesting. At the moment, I'm sitting at my balcony desk, looking out as our apartment complex in Hyderabad is in the process of raising a huge Indian flag and singing Jana Gana Mana. 75 years. We were there at year one .… Thank you for sending in what you remembered. I had no worries about family or other major concerns. I had my friends around me. It was school as usual. Perhaps that's the reason I remember so little?

Love to you all ... Janie”

Raksha Mehta Talwar ’52

I lived in Saharanpur near the border with Punjab. My father was a leading freedom fighter of the area. He and the head of our town’s police (who went on to become his dear lifelong friend) had already worked for months before to sustain the amity that existed between the Hindus and a very large community of Muslims. They organised citizen groups to make sure there was security and no riots and killings. This was an unusual achievement at that time.

My mother organised ladies into help groups so that when refugees began to pour in there were free kitchens in shelters the locals had set up. Within a few weeks sewing and embroidery centres provided fabric, machines, etc. where refugee women could work to earn daily wages. The products were sold at a cost within Saharanpur and in neighbouring towns. I recall at age 11 I was also roped in with other children … we had to measure and mark fabric for cutting, fold the pieces, and sort thread spools and embroidery skeins by colour.

Crèches for children were opened where we sang and played with them and distributed pencils,

crayons, and paper. The first Independence Day flag hoisting happened at midnight. My sisters and I who had been taught the new anthem led the citizens in singing! 75 years ago!

Jai Hind! Friendship to all!


Peggy Ewing Devine ’52

We were on furlough in 1945-46. We got back to Lahore in October of 1946, just in time for the mission to reassign Daddy (Rev Rhea Ewing) to be principal at Woodstock. I attended six weeks in 4th standard, so I was able to be in 5th standard in ’47. I didn’t get put back a year as so many of the returning kids had been. My parents were pretty low-key about the dangers and uncertainties of the situation in front of me, so I just carried on.

During part of that time our cook Anwar was held at a camp at the far end of Mussoorie for his safety. He hated it there, so after a couple of weeks, he showed up at our door. He had hiked all that way through bushes and scrub just to get to us. So we hid him in the attic at the Principal's Cottage until it was safe for him to be back at work with us. He stayed with us until my folks were assigned back to Lahore at which point he returned to his village in India.

Our bearer Aziz was from Kabul and was on the same train returning to Woodstock as several of our 10th standard boys. Somehow they all got together and realized the danger Aziz was in, so they made him lie down and put a bedroll over him, and one of them pretended to be sleeping.

Stella Acton Green ’58

I attended Woodstock from February ’54 till graduation. I was in Mussoorie with my parents and sister in the summer of 1947. My father was the pastor of the church in Kulri bazaar during our two-month holiday from the heat of the plains. We had travelled from Lahore in Punjab and expected to return at the beginning of September. We did leave the hillside that month but with uncertainty as to how long it would take to get back to our homes. There were about 70 or so of us travelling together - men, women, children, infants, and pets.

The trip to Saharanpur by train went all right, but there our fortunes changed. When the stationmaster saw our group, he was not willing to grant us tickets to go farther west across the newly designated border. He did not want the responsibility for the welfare of foreigners travelling along rail lines where so much carnage was being wrought daily. The outcome of his


decision was that we were put in five old bogies on a siding in the rail yard. The cars leaked with the daily rains of the monsoon, and our food ran out.

After five days of this a train pulled into the junction carrying British troops assigned to help curb the uprisings and violence in the area. Hearing of our predicament, the officer in charge offered to escort our party through to Lahore. We were going home!

The memories so far have been reinforced by the telling and retelling of my parents. I was six, and my sister was four that summer. But the next episode is still ingrained in my memory:

As we were travelling the rails westward, my father called to me to come to the window of our compartment. Mother was not happy about his decision, but he replied that he wanted me to remember the atrocities that man can inflict on his fellows. So I went to the window and knelt on the seat to look out. Along the tracks were mutilated bodies left from the last train which had passed and been derailed with the passengers killed. I have not forgotten.

Thankfully our group of travellers arrived safely at Lahore. We were home and others almost so. My parents aided in the refugee camps set up on the outskirts of the city and had many more memories of that difficult time.

Bob Stewart ’52

My family went on a furlough to the U.S. in the winter of 1946-47, so I was not at Woodstock close to the actual date in August 1947. When we returned, our home was in Pakistan, and there were now a border and two customs stops between Lahore and Amritsar. I was a 14-year-old high school freshman at Woodstock at the time.

Our mali (gardener), a Hindu, was no longer at our place, and no one knew what had happened to him. Arif Alam ’51 was no longer enrolled at school. He had been a friend. He had just moved away somewhere and was (and perhaps still is) okay.

Many of the large Sheesham trees that bordered the Grand Trunk Road that ran through town were dead. This happened because refugees fleeing on foot from farther north chipped away at portions of the trees that could be reached for wood to cook with. This girdled the trees, killing them.

Dita Kashyap Hollins ’52

My memory of Independence Day itself was of a pageant held in the space in front of Parker Hall. Our Hindi teacher Mr Sharma played the part of Gandhi, and I think we all might have been wearing Indian clothes, although I don’t know how we would have had them at school with us. We had been practising the national anthem Jana Gana Mana and sang it with gusto as the new tricolour flag was raised.

Of the aftermath of Independence and the riots after Partition, my strongest memory is of the fires burning on the hillside as the houses of Muslims were set on fire by previously friendly neighbours. They frightened me then as a ten-year-old and became a symbol of the whole tragedy of Partition for me. We heard horror stories of what was happening down on the plains where our families were. My father came from the Punjab, where so

many Hindu families were uprooted, but his job had taken him to Lucknow, so my parents were not directly affected.

Most of the rest of my father’s family lived in different cities in the Punjab. His older brother lived in Lahore with his wife, most of his eight children, and his elderly father. He had a flourishing and well-known textile store called Banbasi Stores. Overnight they had to pack up and leave their home and business.

Like so many others, my uncle’s large family headed for Delhi, where they hoped to start a new life. One of my cousins told us the story of their escape by train. While en route, the train stopped and for some reason that I can’t remember exactly my uncle and his family left the train. Later they heard that a bit father along the train had been stopped and all the people on it killed. They had good friends who had brought over some of their valuables and helped them find accommodation in Delhi. Eventually most of the family ended up there in Delhi and found new beginnings, but my uncle was never able to start up his business again.

Roger Minchin ’52

My dad was working in the Indian Medical Service. He had been with the Indian Army in the Middle East when he had some marital problems and a divorce and went back to India. After this was settled he got us three children and later remarried at Ridgewood. A routine medical checkup revealed a “shadow on a lung,” and he was given six months of sick leave after a spell in a military hospital outside of Bangalore. Dad then took up a temporary position teaching at Woodstock while my stepmother assisted in running Hostel. After a few years at Ridgewood, I stayed with them.

Dad told me of murders and assaults in Mussoorie. He lost his job with the Indian Government and decided to move to New Zealand sight unseen. We left Woodstock around October 1947, travelling in a military armed convoy to Bombay. There were two or three British soldiers in each lorry. I can’t recall how far the military took us, but it was likely to have been Delhi.

Dad got a job at Bombay Hospital while the family stayed at Camp Colaba and swam in the sea. After a couple of months a boat going to Australia arrived. This dropped passengers at Fremantle/ Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Sydney was to have been the final port of that voyage. However, the boat which sailed between Sydney and Wellington had recently run aground at Wellington, so we continued to New Zealand.

We arrived in Wellington on January 30, 1948, the day Gandhi was shot. Normally it would have been the time for school to start for the year, but a polio epidemic caused a one-month delay. This meant another month on the beach – this time at Paraparaumu while Dad looked for work and a school for me.

Leila Singh ’52

My mom, grandma, brother Dip, and I were in Model Town in Lahore. I was in the Jesus and Mary Day School. There were rumblings of unrest in the north. My uncle JJ who lived in New York got concerned and wanted Dip and me to get out of Lahore.

Uncle JJ got in touch with Woodstock Principal Rev Rhea Ewing and managed to get us admitted. Mom took us to Landour and we were left there while she went back to Lahore. Those of us in school didn’t know much of what was going on. I don’t think any of us were aware of the deadly massacres that were happening to Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs.

Once again Uncle JJ arranged with the help of the Red Cross for Mom and Beij (grandma) to be airlifted from Lahore to Dehradun to safety. We were fortunate to come out alive. We lost our ancestral property in Abbottabad and Lahore. My mom and grandmother eventually went on to Calcutta where my dad was working as an engineer in Budge Budge.

Josie Thoburn Herndon ’52

We were on furlough during the partition for two years since my father was working on a graduate degree. We left our home in India and came back to the same place which was now Pakistan. We missed all of the dramatic events but heard all about them from a distance.

We were still living in the Forman Christian College experimental residence built by my father with tunnels underneath, pumping cool air from the tunnels up into the house during the summer. In the winter the same air was warmer. Our neighbours had all been Hindus before; now they were Muslims.


Thoburn Sheather ’52

My parents lived in Jabalpur in the centre of India. Muslims and Hindus met and decided there would be no bloodshed, so there wasn’t.

It was quite different for us at Woodstock. I remember looking across the valley to the bazaar and seeing smoke from houses which had been set on fire. Of course we couldn’t go into the bazaar. I heard stories of how people who wanted to bring their staff up to the hills protected them by having them lie down on the bench, spreading their bister rolls on top of them, and sitting on them when they stopped at stations. It was a very hard time for India. But I don’t remember feeling unsafe where we were even though we knew what was going on.

Barbara Clark ’52

This topic brings back vivid memories.

A good memory is learning the new Indian National Anthem and vigorously singing it together. In October and November it was not so good. We hung over the railings in the Quadrangle watching the smoke from the fires in Mussoorie as businesses were burned and looted. There were occasional gunshots.

Food was getting iffy. A low point was the dinner of boiled channa, powdered milk with scum on top, and a vitamin pill. Another unusual menu was chapatis with ghur syrup and a dessert of unripe watermelon. At least it was filling. Woodstock looked after us the best they could. It was worrisome that there was no mail from our parents for many weeks.

When it was time to go home through Landour to catch our buses to go down to Dehradun, it was sobering to see Mussoorie for the first time


in many weeks (we had been confined to school grounds). The destruction and blackened, burnedout buildings made us wonder what we would find at home.

The Bombay party travelled with no threatening incidents that I know of. How glad Margaret (Clark Ward ’51) and I were to see our family again. It had been mostly peaceful in Mandleshwar, which was almost entirely a Hindu community.

Then came the shock of Gandhi’s assassination. There was grief, anger, and fear of what would happen next. Some of Gandhi’s ashes came to our village Mandleshwar on the north shore of the Narmada River. Fittingly his ashes were being scattered in all of India's great sacred rivers. My father was asked to join the procession. It was a time I remember with sadness still.

Liz Sutherland Rees ’52

We left India on furlough in December 1946. As we prepared to travel to New Zealand, tensions must have been rising already because the sailing of our ship from Calcutta kept being postponed. Eventually our parents decided to make the train trip as planned from Punjab to Calcutta and stay there until we could sail.

When we arrived we moved into a small boarding house where we “hid out” for the best part of a week. We children were kept in complete ignorance about the political situation (I think there had been rioting and bloodshed a few months earlier in Calcutta), but I still distinctly recall the atmosphere of tension surrounding those days. We were not allowed outdoors, and we literally “laid low,” keeping away from windows, etc.

Eventually we were quietly transported to the small ship and sailed down the Hoogli. Dad returned to India the following year, 1947. I read that "the mission personnel were heavily involved in the refugee camps," but he never spoke to us girls about those years. We later heard that our lovely Muslim cook lost his life on an ambushed train.

Jim Taylor ’52

I had left India before Partition and Independence. We left in January 1947 – there is no one left alive to confirm that date – so all I can recall is the year before Independence.

And of that all that comes back to me is standing on the hillside somewhere near Oakville with my father. We could hear, distantly, the sound of crowds somewhere in Mussoorie chanting, "Jai Hind! Jai Hind! Jai Hind!"

I asked what the shouting was all about. My father explained, "They want India to be an independent country governing itself."

"Why?" I asked. "Don't they realize that the way things are is good for them?"

My father, with greater wisdom than mine, said nothing.

At that age I had no idea of the pros and cons of independence. I was unaware of some of the atrocities of British imperialism or the way the Empire had robbed India of its resources to make


Britain wealthy. I probably was not even aware of my privileged position in society simply because I was a white foreigner. I assumed that the way things were was the way things should be.

Janie Downs Wallbrown ’52

I remember that our food was scant and bad during those years. Sometimes we ate whatever vegetables/plant life that could be gathered from the hillside. We learned that the problem was due to something about the meatwallas all being Muslim and the doodhwallas all being Hindu. Those from different groups were killing one another, so great care needed to be taken to get

any food to the school. My brother got typhus in September of 1947 (after Independence Day but before Gandhi was killed in January 1948), so my mother stayed over an extra month with us out of boarding.

When my mother finally left for Calcutta, the first of several legs of travel to reach our mission station, trains were running out of Dehradun only sporadically. Mother had to sleep on the train platform until a train got through to the station.

Her train was attacked. I forget if it was Hindus dragging off all the Muslims or vice versa, but they came to my mother's cabin. She was terrified. She

said she was a Christian. They left her alone. Even so she witnessed people being dragged off the train and slaughtered with knives.

Finally arriving in Calcutta, Daddy met my mother at the train. They had a hard time getting back home. Gandhi was fasting in Calcutta trying unsuccessfully to bring about peace. People were packed into the city with much rioting and bloodshed.

Getting back to our mission station in Tura, Meghalaya, from Calcutta required a train, boat, ox cart, and bus. My parents were much exposed, and it was a very scary time for them.

Did you know that you can include Woodstock School in Your Financial Planning?


The Lyre Tree Society is named after the beloved tree, now gone, that overlooked the Doon Valley on the Woodstock School campus. Membership in the Lyre Tree Society is open to anyone who simply notifies us (Woodstock School, Friends of Woodstock School, or Canadian Friends of Woodstock School) that they’ve taken formal steps to support us through their estate or gift planning and can provide administrative information about their plans. Your membership in the Lyre Tree Society will inspire your fellow alumni and friends to take steps to ensure this benefit to Woodstock School now and in the future.


Planned Giving, also referred to as gift planning, is a method of supporting non-profits and charities that enables philanthropic individuals or donors to make larger gifts than they could make from their income. While some planned gifts provide a life-long income to the donor, others use estate and tax planning techniques to provide for charity and other heirs in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on the donor’s estate. Common planned gifts include Charitable Gift Annuities and Trusts, bequests, gifts of retirement plans, gifts of life insurance policies, and more. Please consult your attorney or financial advisor for further details on these gift types.

Woodstock School, Friends of Woodstock School, and Canadian Friends of Woodstock School, including their staff, representatives, and board members, do not offer legal or financial advice. We strongly urge prospective donors to consult with their attorneys, financial advisors, estate planning professionals, accountants, or other appropriate professionals before making any material decisions based on information we provide through our website, printed materials, or other written or verbal sources.

You can work with us or supporting fundraising institutions such as Friends of Woodstock School and Canadian Friends of Woodstock School to include Woodstock School in your financial planning.
Sculptures carved from the Woodstock Lyre Tree by former Art Department Head Nanda Kumar
JOIN OVER 100 WOODSTOCKERS WHO ARE INCLUDING WOODSTOCK IN THEIR FINANCIAL PLANS! Contact advancement@woodstock.ac.in today to learn more about becoming a member of the Lyre Tree Society 30

Lyre-tree Timber From Saharanpur to the US!

When Katie Jo Walter asked her upcoming, short-term alumni host in the U.S. if she could bring him anything from the hillside, Marlin Schoonmaker ’67 replied, “There is one goodie from the hillside that would please me more than anything from the hillside. I hope it exists. Actually, it’s a long shot.”

Marlin wanted a piece of lyre-tree wood in a specific size, cut, dried, and cured. Its purpose?

Tim Larson ’67, who holds a PhD in forestry and wood products, was ready to carve the lyre-tree wood into a work of art to be auctioned off at the 2023 Friends of Woodstock School reunion. Katie Jo told Marlin she would try and left it at that. After Woodstock graduation she travelled with her husband Bob (consultant in the Woodstock Archives) to Saharanpur, where the wood from the lyre tree is being stored in the woodcraft workshop of Sabir Ali Khan, parent of former Woodstock School staff member Meenu Khan. (Mr. Khan says that over 20,000 people in Saharanpur earn their livelihood through woodcraft.)

Sabir graciously prepared the wood in the size requested and showed Katie Jo and Bob some ideas for items to be made from the lyre-tree wood: cup racks, small folding tables, wall hangings, pen holders, small boxes, and more.

When Katie Jo arrived in Seattle and presented Marlin with the lyre-tree wood, she got the pleasant surprise factor she was hoping for. That precious piece of the lyre tree even got to be a guest of sorts at a small Woodstock gathering Marlin held at his home with classmates including Gordon Van Rooy, Lloyd Claassen, Ken Waldock, and Max Marble.

If you are in or will be in the U.S., plan to attend the Friends of Woodstock IN-PERSON reunion in Tempe, Arizona October 27-20, 2023, and get ready to bid on Tom Larson’s lyre-tree wood art!

NOTE: Woodstock’s Advancement Office is currently working with Mr Khan’s workshop to prepare more lyre-tree items to sell with proceeds to benefit the school. Do you have ideas on the types of items you would like to see? Write us at alumni@woodstock.ac.in with the subject line Lyre-Tree Wood.

Katie Jo Walter, Bob Shoemaker, Sabir Ali Khan

Yu Sung Eo, Armaan Bindra, and Jo Touthang ’11 Got Tea: An Alumni Family Affair!

Meet Armaan Bindra, Yu Sung Eo, and Jo Touthang all Class of 2011, founders of Delhi-based bubble tea company Got Tea. Founded in 2019, Got Tea’s story is as Woodstock as it can get and is truly an example of how our school experiences continue to inspire our lives outside in the world.

The idea for Got Tea was born during a return visit to Woodstock by Yu Sung and Armaan in 2018. The vision? To build a small community around a space offering bubble tea and more where people can engage with South Korean culture at an intimate level. Got Tea’s second store opened in Gurgaon earlier this year, and additional stores in Delhi and Gurgaon are in the works. The founders have exciting plans to launch many more stores by 2025.

With Woodstockers at the helm and so many more committed to the business idea, Got Tea is truly a Woodstock Alumni Family Affair. Going through their company blog you’ll learn about more than half a dozen other Woodstockers who’ve been directly involved in Got Tea: Ajai Thandi ’13, Ariella Blank ’12, Tariqa Tandon ’11, Rishabh Bhasin and Taditraj Hazarika ’10, and Jagrato Roy ’09 have all lent a hand in one way or another. At the link below Sehar ’23 transcribes a video conversation with Yu Sung, Armaan, and Jo in which they talk about how their time at Woodstock impacted their approach to their business venture Got Tea.

Got Tea Website: https://gottea.in/


More about Got Tea’s Bubble Tea

Got Tea is a company that serves bubble tea, a cold milk beverage served with tapioca pearls. Tapioca pearls are made of tapioca flour made from the cassava plant. Got Tea has a variety of vegan options as well made from water- and soda-based drinks to almond milk alternatives. They use 100% sustainable items like reusable can-shaped glasses and stainless steel reusable straws.

“What was your favourite part about Woodstock, and how has it helped you in life after graduation?

Jo: Studying at Woodstock, a school with people from multiple backgrounds, has really broadened our perspective. There were a lot of different things that we learned from school. It opened my perspective to different cultures, which has really played a big role in setting up Got Tea.

Yu Sung: My favourite part of being a Woodstock Tiger is that I was part of that community. When you talk about Hanson field, Char Dukaan, and so many other hillside things - you instantly connect. When we started this company we wanted to create that kind of community. People from diverse backgrounds come in and enjoy the experience. Because of the perspective that we have gained from school, we are on the same page. That has really pushed us to think bigger in terms of not just creating a business but also building a culture.

Armaan: My favourite part about being at Woodstock was that the focus wasn't


always just on academics. We all went for activity trips, hiking all around Mussoorie, care activities where we were helping the local community, and just fun clubs like baking. I really felt like we got involved in a holistic experience living with our friends in the dorms, going to school, and studying. Always looking forward to the next day, we found the whole experience Woodstock gave to every individual really connects them on a much deeper level. I realized that a lot of my friends from Woodstock have been long-lasting friends, and I am still really good friends with them. We are constantly connecting, and whether we meet up after one year or ten years it feels the same. For example, the three of us have known each other for 10 to 15 years and have now started a company together. I think it is because of the way the Woodstock experience is and the way it brings everybody together.

Kate Forbes ’08

Scotland’s Finance Secretary

Kate Forbes is a Member of the Scottish Parliament for an area of the Scottish Highlands. She also holds a post in the government as the Secretary of Finance.

Having attended Woodstock from the seventh to ninth grades, at the age of 25 in 2016 Kate Forbes was the youngest person ever elected to the Parliament. She talks about her experiences at Woodstock and how these experiences have helped her in her job and life in general.

Yu Sung: I think Woodstock has given me a high level of critical thinking. Studying liberal arts at Woodstock and also at college has deepened my understanding of how to evaluate, observe, and experiment. I think that’s what we are built on. Even Got Tea, for example – we didn’t start our venture right away. First we tested things out, saw what was working and what wasn’t with the product, thought from the customer’s perspective, and thought critically about that. That’s how we are built, and it has brought us success thus far. Of course we are trying to build more and understand our audience at a deeper level.

Armaan: The core values, diverse perspectives, and everything we learnt at Woodstock stuck with us and influenced us. We share this with our team and with our customers. We hope to grow this company as we share bubble tea culture and the values of Woodstock with the rest of the country and possibly more as we grow.

Yu Sung: We want to build bigger communities. Just as people love us, we love them back and are trying to build a fun and engaging community.

“How did you find your way into your current work?

I stood for parliament in 2016. I was 25 years old at the time. I didn't expect to get elected. But the election came, and I was duly elected. Over the next few years, I ended up in a number of different roles, first as a junior Minister in government after two years, and then most recently, and somewhat unexpectedly, I found myself in the more senior finance role, because my predecessor had to resign on the very day he was due to give the budget. So it's been a baptism of fire, and then we had Covid as well. So certainly the last two years have been supercharged. I am currently on maternity leave but intend to go back to the job.

“How did you get involved with Woodstock, and what was your experience like?

I loved Woodstock. Absolutely loved it. I don't think that our words are strong enough to capture my affection for Woodstock. It was perhaps three of the happiest years of my life. I was there from the ages of 12 to 15, seventh to ninth grades. I was in India a total of eight years because of my father's work. He worked among students for a Christian organization. He was the finance manager for Emmanuel Hospitals Association managing a number of different hospitals across India, including LCH in Mussoorie. We went to a local Indian School for a number of years and then to Woodstock. I threw myself in, learned so much in the years I was there, and still hold a grudge against my parents that they took me away.

“What memorable experiences come to mind when you look back at your time at Woodstock?

It doesn't really work in Scotland to explain that the monkeys made you late for band practice at 7:00 AM. I remember seventh grade Activity Week because I had the entirety of my possessions taken one year when we were out camping in a very remote part of the Himalayas. Yet it was still a good week. I was a day scholar and enjoyed the music, sport, and activities. I tried to convince my parents, probably on a daily basis, to let me board; they wouldn’t let me as my mom had grown up going to a boarding

“How has your Woodstock experience helped you develop your company?
Transcribed by Pritish and Jaiveer Class of ’24 from an Interview by Kenton Beachy ’78

school. I was always very jealous of the fun that others had.

Woodstock prepared me extremely well for my current job. If you think politics is, to put it mildly, a bit of a mess, just know it's a very toxic environment across a number of different jurisdictions, certainly in Scotland, the UK, North America, and across Europe. It's toxic because of an inability to communicate well and an inability to see the value in another human being. During my time at Woodstock I learnt the art of communicating with people who came from fundamentally different backgrounds, outlooks, perspectives, religions, cultures, languages, ethnicities. Some people who arrive at Woodstock are unable to speak English, and that's the kind of bridge-building that sets you up for any job description, which requires you to understand where the other person is coming from.

I cannot do my current job without being able to build bridges with people who fundamentally disagree with me and who come from a different background perspective worldview. I think politics is in desperate need of a training ground for people so they don’t just assume that because somebody else is different they’re wrong. They have much to learn, and there's a richness and a wealth in diversity.

I remember coming back to Scotland when I was 15 and being struck by the amount of training and education dealing with racism, and rightly so. And then looking back, I realised at Woodstock we never knew racism. We grew up from a very young age with people who were from different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. And they were my best friends. It was the clash between a world like Woodstock where you learn to live, work, and love people of different backgrounds, compared with a world where we seem to have forgotten that. There are many other challenges in my day job, not least in this current era of rising inflation, cost of living crisis, people really struggling, and constitutional change.

I think at the heart of my politics there is the ability to love somebody else who is fundamentally different in their outlook or perspective — that's what Woodstock teaches you. Perhaps we should send all our politicians for some training at places like Woodstock.

“Have you come across any Woodstockers in your constituency?

You’d expect in the Scottish Highlands that there'd be very few people who know much about Woodstock, and yet I'm amazed how many people I do come across – a number of constituents who know Woodstock and have been to Woodstock. People in my constituency have set up businesses and live and work here who have been to Woodstock. And I think if you have been there, there is that sort of instant connection and understanding, particularly if they loved Woodstock, and the people that live here do.

“What challenges have you experienced, and how did Woodstock help prepare you for managing them?
See the video interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-Ph7kUe1kw
Woodstock visits Alumni at Whispering Pine Lodge at Loch Lochy, Scotland (L to R) Dr Craig Cook, Katie Jo Walter, Former Woodstock School Staff Andrzej Plonka, Rochita Plonka '98, alumni Sebastian and Lex Plonka, Sanjay Narang '81, Nabil Sheber '81, Kenton Beachy '78, Kate Forbes '08
I think at the heart of my politics there is the ability to love somebody else who is fundamentally different in their outlook or perspective — that’s what Woodstock teaches you.

Saksham Garg ’13

Woodstock: A Writer’s Muse

Saksham Garg ’11 recently published his first book, Samsara: Enter the Valley of the Gods. Sahiba interviewed Saksham about his book that draws much inspiration from the area around Woodstock. Sahiba and Saksham also discuss other reflections on Saksham’s time at Woodstock as well as his experiences as an editor at Penguin Random House India and a first-time author.

debut novel. I’ve mentioned this on the author bio page of the book as well.

“How did the Woodstock living and learning environment help you in your journey as a writer?

Reading is an essential part of the Woodstock community with various libraries and bookshelves in the dorms, with DEAR time in elementary school and the focus on writing in high school. I’m not sure I would have ever started reading and writing if not for my time there. The learning environment, too, played a massive role – it was the Religious Education (RE) class with Mrs Wildman in ninth grade at Woodstock that introduced me to the Vedas of Hinduism, a littleknown but important aspect of the religion that later allowed me to differentiate Samsara from the other mythological fiction novels in the country.

“We saw that Shashi Tharoor praised your book. How have you felt about the reviews after the book release and his comment?

“What are your core memories of Woodstock?

Playing football at Ridgewood. Running at Hanson Field. The various open houses. Playing violin in the Advanced Orchestra. Reading in the middle school library. Swimming in the Hostel pool. Activity week hikes. Saturday bazaar visits. Sunday chapels. And many more. It’s one big happy cloud of memories.

“As a writer what was your go-to place on the Woodstock campus?

I only started writing in college, but several locations from my time in Woodstock have influenced Samsara. While not technically on the campus, the Chakkar (specifically Lal Tibba) from where I could see the snowcapped mountains would go on to serve as inspiration for the setting of my

Dr Tharoor provided an endorsement which talks about the mythology and fantastical adventure in the book. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reviews. Long before publication I requested my friends (editors, authors, bookstagrammers, as well as non-readers) to provide their thoughts, and it was only after incorporating all of their feedback and learning from their praise that we decided to go ahead and publish Samsara. The subcontinent has truly understood the essence of the book, with readers constantly quoting from my favourite chapter (29 - Indra), which presents a bold take on the idea of God. I’m inundated with messages asking about Book 2 in the series and cannot wait to dive back into the writing routine and the magical world of Vanyasa

“What inspired your book?

Woodstock did. After reading Percy Jackson in middle school I was disappointed when Rick Riordan jumped from one mythology to the next but actively failed to make his way to Hindu mythology. After reading Harry Potter in middle school I was keen on receiving that letter from Hogwarts. Finally the magical world that Samsara needed came together in ninth grade during RE class (where I realized that the focus would be the elemental gods of the Vedas) and the way around the Chakkar (where the physical setting of the valley started to take form).


“How long have you been working on your book?

It’s been ten years since I decided I was going to do this and wrote the first chapter (which is nothing like the final version). I was still in school then. And right after college, three years later I picked it up again. I worked on it patiently, rewrote full drafts many times, and sought feedback from all levels of readers and writers. Midway through this journey, after a short two months at Siyahi – a literary agency, I joined the commissioning editorial team at Penguin Random House India, where I have worked both as a proofreader as well as a structural editor. I would make sure to incorporate all daily learnings into what was back then just “Samsara the manuscript.” There was so much to understand about positioning a book, capitalizing on a market gap, having a clear target group, the cover – so, so important, and the two other verticals: the marketing and the sales techniques. Not to forget metadata for online selling. Finally after four years Penguin felt it was ready to bring it out in September this year around the festive period.

“As this is your first book, how do you feel after seeing it published in person? Proud, nervous?

It’s been two months since its release, and I’m still at a loss for words. I’m elated, and I’m scared. I have so many people to reply to and talk to about Samsara, to get their ideas for Book 2 in the Samsara series. To thank them for meeting me in my magical world. To engage with me in a 65,000word, 298-page long conversation. Honestly every day is an emotional rollercoaster. But,

and I know this sounds very cliched, I have unwavering support from family, friends, and colleagues that allows me to balance the marketing of Book 1 and the writing of Book 2.

“How has your role at Penguin Random House India helped you understand the publishing industry?

I’ve been lucky to package, edit, and work with the other departments in marketing and selling many fiction and nonfiction books. I’ve tried to apply all techniques and learnings from these projects to Samsara. The four years of experience at Penguin India also completely transformed my understanding of writing, and having worked on multiple high-profile titles as an editor I learnt invaluable lessons about how to take the potential of the ideas I had and restructure the narrative to make it more approachable to the current generation of readers.

“What was it like taking to the stage to read from Samsara for attendees of the Delhi Worldwide Woodstock Day event?

It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. I felt transported to the “Woodstock bubble” after so long. It would have been the icing on the cake if there were others from the class of ’13.

“Would you like to share a message with our current students?

Do not underestimate how much of Woodstock will stay in you long after leaving the Himalayas. And know as you step out into the world for college that you will have a competitive advantage, so chase your dreams without hesitation.

Watch for a digital version of the Joy Rugh Memorial Bookshelf with links to alumni publications in 2023!

Do not underestimate how much of Woodstock will stay in you long after leaving the Himalayas.
Watch Saksham read an excerpt from his book just for Woodstockers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw4bV-7A55E

Ajai Thandi ’09 Upping India’s Coffee Game with Sleepy Owl

Ajai Thandi Class of ’09 gave up his corporate career as an investment banker to co-found one of India’s most popular coffee brands, Sleepy Owl Coffee. In this interview Ajai shares how Woodstock School’s holistic educational approach helped him develop strong self-analysis and multi-dimensional thinking skills. He fondly remembers his time at Woodstock and talks about his many experiences of the dorms with some of his closest friends. Featured in Forbes India’s 30 under 30 list in 2020, Ajai describes his idea of success and his company’s ongoing mission of making coffee one of the largest consumed beverages in India.

“How would you describe your Woodstock experience?

I think Woodstock for me was one of the best two years of my life. I made some of my best friends at Woodstock and was fortunate to have been taught by some great teachers. I played a lot of sports, barely studied, and just had a great time in general. I was at Woodstock for eleventh and twelfth grades, and some of my fondest memories in my life are from that time. Some of my closest friends in life are from Woodstock, and I am very grateful to have been a part of the community.

“Looking back at your time at Woodstock, what would you say is your most favourite memory?

Back in twelfth grade when the dorms were getting renovated. They shifted all of us twelfth grade boys to Rokeby Manor. We were quite the rebellious bunch. We were very far from Midlands and had no interaction with our other classmates, so we would get up to mischievous things all the time. I remember a few things. First, all the boys shaved their heads in protest of being put in Rokeby in our senior year instead of Hostel. One day we went to school, and all the boys were bald. That was pretty funny. I believe a random guy started it, and it was like a domino effect. Everyone wanted to shave their head.

Second, in twelfth grade we were not given a Diwali break, and we decided to protest against that, too. We refused to leave our dorm, and so the head of high school, vice-principal, principal, everyone came and asked us to go to classes, but we just sat there silent. Another fond memory of mine is senior skip day. We did not have a senior skip day, but we decided as a class to get together and bunk. Some of the people that were scared went to class, but the rest of us went to Flag Hill and had a great day. Most of my memories about Woodstock that I cherish are to do with having fun and the different adventurous and rebellious activities we did back then.

At Woodstock the learning is not purely academic. You get educated holistically in a community of diverse students and teachers, and that opens your mind as to what life is beyond goals, grades, jobs, and money.

“What inspired you to start a coffee brewing business like Sleepy Owl Coffee?

After Woodstock I went to study in the U.S. at the University of Southern California. After that I worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan. I guess you could say that I took a pretty traditional path in life. However, I have always liked coffee. Ever since my school days I have had this fascination and love for coffee as a beverage. I was surprised that whenever I was home in India, the only options we had were instant coffee brands. So, I felt that it was only a matter of time before the whole coffee industry changed in India.

India has some of the best coffee farms and plantations in the world, and we are also one of the largest exporters of coffee globally. If you are sitting in a cafe in America or Europe you can order a cup of coffee grown in India. Nonetheless, Indian consumers never really get to experience that. So, I identified that

Sleepy Owl Co-founders: Ajai Thandi, Armaan Sood, Ashwajeet Singh.

as a major problem, and I as a consumer who was always looking for a good cup of coffee at home decided that the only way to address the issue was to create my own product. I got together with a couple of my friends, and we started this coffee company to just simply provide Indians with some good coffee. Luckily for us a lot of customers rally around our product, and today Sleepy Owl Coffee has become a successful brand across India.

“How was the experience of switching careers for you, and would you recommend it to others?

It really is a major career switch, but at the same time I believe that it is a matter of perspective. Once I went to college I was more focused on my studies and goals, and I really enjoyed finance as a subject. Also, after college some of the best jobs were in banking and finance. Investment banking especially was very tough. Given that I was quite ambitious at the time, I put my head down, studied, and made sure that I reached there.

Soon I started questioning and thinking about life. My journey in becoming an investment banker widened my perspective on life, what my purpose is, and what I wanted to do. I feel like such things come from your early days, and Woodstock was where I originally learned to self-analyze. It is where multi-dimensional thinking was instilled in me. At the point where I decided to switch I realised I would be doing a disservice to myself by continuing on my banking career instead of focusing on my passion.

From a young age I was very entrepreneurial and had a desire to start and run my own company – a strong business that would create value for not only the stakeholders involved but also for society and communities at large. Once I had this clarity I decided to move back to India and work on my life’s purpose of creating something of value. That was the drive, and coffee was just the means to accomplish that.

In terms of recommending a career switch, I would say that it is really tough, and it is not for everyone because it requires a lot of discipline and time management, and you need to be able to deal with high levels of stress. However if there is something out there that you are truly passionate about –the world is your oyster. Especially in this day and age, the only thing stopping you from achieving what you want is yourself.

“Could you tell us more about your journey in setting up such a business and how you approached the risks and challenges that came with it?

Given that I had a college degree and solid work experience, I always knew that I had a fall-back option. Once I knew what exactly I wanted to do, every day was focused solely on achieving my goals. There were ups and downs and effects on my personal life, but that is just a part of the process.

Setting up a business taught me a lesson in flexibility. Sometimes you may have an idea, but it may not necessarily resonate well with your customers, your team, or the market conditions. I also learned the importance of feedback. You have to take feedback and accept that you do not know everything and that you have to learn as you go. In school you get feedback from academics, grades, ranking, and report cards. Similarly in business you get feedback through numbers on a spreadsheet. And in life you get it through your personal triumphs and failures. It is about how you adapt and wear your failures on your sleeve. These are the things and reminders I feel were most important to me. They are constantly needed along the way. In business you are constantly challenged, and sometimes it is important to step back and remind yourself of how far you have come so you have more clarity on your vision and

mission. It also gives you the courage and confidence to continue on your journey. This is especially helpful if you feel down. If you feel arrogant you can always compare yourself to someone doing something better than you. To summarize, focus, clarity, and determination are what helped me deal with risks and challenges while setting up my business.

“Could you tell us about any changes in your lifestyle and quality of life? And do you prefer one lifestyle over the other?

Running a business is a 24/7 job. There are two things to it. First, you have absolute control over your time, and it is the best feeling in the world. Second, when you are running a business you are the captain of your ship, and you need to be paying attention and be plugged in all the time. It is an oxymoron, per se. Whereas in a traditional job you clock in, you clock out, and you make sure your work is complete. The routine becomes very dull. For me my business does not feel like work. It is just life. If I am not doing it then I feel like something is wrong. I love what I do. Every single morning I wake up, and I am excited about it. Whether it be tough times or easy times, I always say bring it on and that I will deal with it. It is a major transition, from being on a day-to-day grind to being plugged in all the time. But the best thing about being an entrepreneur is freedom, and nothing is greater than freedom of time.


“Can you share with us one key life lesson you learnt at Woodstock that has been helpful to you and your career/ business?

The key life lesson I learned at Woodstock is to not take yourself too seriously. Life will give you enough opportunities where you will need to be serious, stressed, and tense. You can either choose to deal with it with a smile on your face, or you can choose to do it with anger and aggressiveness. Woodstock had this idea of life where you could get through most things without being too serious and wound up. Focusing on the task at hand, giving it a hundred per cent, and not worrying about anything else. This lesson has been incredibly helpful, and even just knowing that most things will take care of themselves allows you to live without stress and anxiety.

To be honest, success to me means happy customers. The greatest joy I feel is when people come and tell me, “Hey, I started drinking coffee because of Sleepy Owl,” or “Hey, I always have your coffee stocked up at home.” I am on a mission to make more and more Indians drink coffee. We are not a coffee-drinking country. We are a tea-drinking country. Anytime I hear that customers enjoyed our products … nothing is sweeter than that. I do not describe myself as successful. I feel my hard work has paid off in certain aspects, but I still have a long way to go. We are trying to make coffee one of the largest-consumed beverages in India. This will benefit coffee farmers and plantations across the country. So, once again, I still believe that I have a long way to go before I consider myself successful.

Do you have a nomination for the Distinguished Alumni Roll?

“If you could offer one piece of advice to students currently at Woodstock, what would it be?

You are living the best days of your life. No matter what anyone tells you and no matter what you tell yourself, make sure that you cherish your time at Woodstock. Enjoy every moment, and go out there and make memories. This time is not going to come back. Be naughty, be adventurous, make mistakes, do not be afraid of failure –everything will make sense in the end. Just continue to have fun.

Woodstock’s Alumni and Advancement Office and the Delhi alumni community thank Ajai for gifting all Delhi Worldwide Woodstock Day attendees a Diwali gift hamper from Sleepy Owl!


“What does success mean to you, and would you describe yourself as successful?
We’d like to hear from you – alumni@woodstock.ac.in 39

Centre for Imagination

Igniting Minds and Pursuing Passions

Life at the Centre for Imagination has been busy over the past 12 months! Our beautiful new building is bustling with life and has allowed us to cultivate an inviting, welcoming space where creativity, community, and self-reflection can flourish. We have learned from our experiences during the pandemic, expanding our programming by joining in-person activities with livestream and hybrid technologies that allow us to connect with Woodstockers around the world. As we grow, we have focused on listening to the interests and needs of the community in order to build upon our three foundational pillars: CFI is 1) an interdisciplinary hub, acting as an incubator and accelerator for projects that do not fit neatly into existing school structures; 2) a collaborative meeting space for the worldwide Woodstock family; and 3) a window to the world where we offer exposure to inspiring new ideas and opportunities.

Over the past year CFI has had the opportunity to include students, staff, and alumni as both speakers and guests at a variety of events. Our annual Festival of Ideas is a showcase for interdisciplinary exhibitions from across the school, including Theory of Knowledge and

Creativity-Activity-Service projects from our IB curriculum, science fairs, service learning, performances, virtual reality, and more. We help develop student-led initiatives, providing time, space, and resources for activities ranging from social advocacy to environmentalism and entrepreneurship. Our student interns are empowered to engage deeply with CFI programming, learning through doing in the areas of their interest such as event planning, communications and graphic design, healthy food creation, greenhouse management, and early childhood development. We work with staff members to bring their creative ideas to life, hosting events including Music Nights with an all-staff band, sharing sessions on Innovative Teaching Practices, and a staff book club (we’re currently reading A House Called Askival, by Woodstock alumna Merryn Glover ’87).

Mary Girard ’76 held a session about Self-Publishing and her journey of publishing about her family’s lineage in India The CFI Team: Jamie Williams, Priya Rollins, Renu Oberoi, Priyanka Nagalia

One of our most cherished collaborations is with the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office, as we work together to provide opportunities for former Woodstock students and staff to share their experience and expertise with the community. We have been fortunate to engage with alumni across the generations on a wide variety of topics, including historical art, international relations, self-publishing, environmental advocacy, developments in cryptocurrency, and exciting finds from the Woodstock archives. Together with the Woodstock alumni-led organization Art for Change, we hosted an Alumni Artist Residency in May, connecting alumni artists with current students in workshops and open-studio sessions. Our new series, Tiger Tales, highlights stories from the school in years past and reminds us of the rich legacy Woodstockers share.

We have exciting plans for the future! In the coming year, keep an eye out for innovative projects from our students, staff, and alumni partners, including a collaboration with the Living Waters Museum, directed by Sara Ahmed ’81; new forms of engagement with our Scholars for Peace program; a retrospective on the CFI building, formerly known as Tafton House, with Mark Windsor ’78; a staff residence composting project; and much, much more. You can stay in touch with all that’s going on at CFI through the Woodstock Alumni and CFI social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook and can watch our livestreamed events on the Woodstock YouTube channel. We’d love to brainstorm exciting new ways for you to get involved with student and staff activities at CFI, so please reach out – we'd love to hear from you!

Coffee House is a favourite event amongst WS students Former Art Teacher Frank Wesley’s son Michael Wesley shares about his father’s life and work Raymond Class of 2022 shares his art at the Festival of Ideas Alex Manton ’84 connects with students to talk about the importance of setting goals as a part of Priyanshi’s Realistic Resolution Series The Greenhouse Cafe Interns whip up some berry smoothies to share during this year’s Goal-a-Thon
We have exciting plans for the future! In the coming year keep an eye out for innovative projects from our students, staff, and alumni partners.
Students showcase their projects at the Festival of Ideas

45 Years of the Woodstock – St Olaf Connection

The Woodstock Student Teacher program that began in 1977 and continues to this day was the brainchild of late St Olaf College Professor Joe Iverson. The program was nurtured by subsequent St Olaf Education Department Chairs, the late Professor Myron Solid, Professor Mark Schelske, Professor Maria Kelly, and today’s Professor Elizabeth Leer, who have each enriched and deepened the educational pedagogy of both schools.

In 1974 when Professor Iverson, a Fulbright Scholar at University of Pune in India, returned to the St Olaf College campus in Northfield, Minnesota, he strongly advocated for an international student teaching program in India. The idea of “going abroad” and “international study programs” was a new, popular concept spreading across the American higher education landscape at the time. It has since become a point of pride for St Olaf College, which has been ranked for many years as the top undergraduate institution in the U.S. for the number of students who study abroad (Star Tribune, November 29, 2006). Ansgar Sovik, a welltravelled St Olaf religion professor and co-founder of the International and OffCampus Studies programmes, knew of this special boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas and facilitated an introduction to Woodstock School for Professor Iverson.

In that age before email Professor Iverson started up vigorous handwritten correspondence with Woodstock Principal Alex Bean, Assistant Principal David Kibblewhite, and Superintendent Bob Alter on how such a novel idea could be put into practice. His tenacious persistence paid off when in 1977 the first group of four student teachers from St Olaf headed to India, including Joe Iverson’s son and Maureen Hofrenning (who spoke at the Friends of Woodstock School’s 2015 Khana Banquet).

St Olaf started a total of seven international student teaching programmes, including at Kodaikanal International School in Tamil Nadu and at schools in New Zealand and East Asia. However, the two programs in India are the only international student teaching programmes still operating today.

Professor Iverson reminisced that early

reports coming back from the student teachers were that Woodstock used a lecturestyle teaching model in which the students were largely silent receptacles of knowledge. The student teachers were able to introduce cutting-edge teaching philosophies to Woodstock staff, successfully engaging their students with the course material. The mutual institutional exchange deepened with the late Prof Mark Schelske and Woodstock staff member Kathy Hoffmann, who helped organize the “St Olaf Staff Development” programme at Woodstock. The programme designed to take place every other year was held two times with the help of Prof Elizabeth Leer and others before Woodstock entered into collaboration with the University of London in 2013. To date over 80 student teachers have spent a semester on the Garwhali hillside, immersing themselves in the Woodstock community and educating students in a variety of subjects under the guidance of master teachers.

Ten St Olaf professors have visited Woodstock to oversee the student teaching programme or to offer professional development to Woodstock staff members. Nine Woodstock graduates have gone on to St Olaf College for their undergraduate studies, and eight former student teachers from St Olaf have returned to Woodstock as full-fledged staff members upon graduation. In 2022 two more St Olaf women embarked upon another chapter in the warm legacy between the two educational institutions by joining the

Woodstock living and learning community for the fall semester. Ruby Reyes (English) just completed her student teaching assignment and hopes to return to the hillside soon. Greta VanLoon (Mathematics) will be extending her stay at Woodstock to cover the maternity leave of our Mathematics Teacher Ms Kalpana Singh (congratulations, Kalpana!).

The late Professors Joe Iverson and Myron Solid were educators who passionately believed in the benefit and opportunity of international exposure. Strong supporters of Woodstock School, Iverson and Solid worked hard to create an academically vigorous educational experience for the young teachers and send Woodstock the best talent within their student body. Myron spoke proudly of the notable difference of returned Woodstock student teachers: “These brave young men and women not only weathered culture shock but also the challenge of standing –perhaps for the first time - in front of a classroom with 30 pairs of expectant eyes looking only at them. The level of maturity of the returned student teachers was remarkable.”

The original group of St Olaf student teachers at Woodstock School in 1977 (L to R): Jon Iverson, Dick Malokty, Kris Maland, Maureen Hofrening

Such a relationship as St Olaf College and Woodstock School have is unique and special, and it is fitting that we take time to reflect on this success. With the vision of Prof Iverson and the continued enhancements and hard work of Myron Solid, the late Mark Schelske, Maria Kelly, and Elizabeth Leer, the Woodstock Student Teacher Programme is thriving for the benefit of all.

Special thanks to Lorrie Doman-Sheydayi ’87 for providing the 2015 article that was used as the basis for this piece. Thanks also to Sue Couture, St Olaf College Coordinator of Licensure and Field Experiences, for her assistance in providing initial information on the history of the St Olaf Student Teacher programme when the original version of this article was published in 2015. We appreciate her help and memory for details. Finally, thank you to Kathy Hoffmann, former Woodstock School English teacher and Academic Dean and current Woodstock School Board Member for providing important updates to this article.

2022 St Olaf student teachers Ruby Reyes and Greta Van Loon share about their time at Woodstock

Greta (Mathematics):

“What have you enjoyed most about being here?

I enjoy the freedom of the IB curriculum and the way it helps us to care for the whole student. In math it's so easy to boil everything down to the individual mathematical skills, but here I've been able to work on different overall parts of student thinking within math.

“What is one of your favorite accomplishments while teaching on the hillside?

Being able to reach more students through office hours. I started holding office hours during lunchtime and after school on certain days, and this has really helped me to get to know my students better and to give them the help they need. Sometimes it's so chaotic in the classroom that not everyone gets to ask their questions, so it's been great opening up to students over email and in office hours so that they can really feel like I am here for them.

“What do you want to tell others considering student teaching at Woodstock?

My advice would be to ask lots of questions when you get here! Ask questions of people in charge, other teachers, dorm parents, and students. Everyone has a unique

The Soviks and the Lindells: Origin of the St Olaf – Woodstock Connection?

Ansgar Sovik (1917-2007), co-founder of St Olaf’s International and Off-Campus Studies programmes, suggested Woodstock School as the site of a St Olaf student teaching programme in India. He was born in Hangzhou, China, to Lutheran missionaries and attended the American School Kikungshan (ASK) for his elementary education before entering high school in Northfield, MN and attending St Olaf. His sharing of a familiar personal story with many Woodstock and Kodaikanal Third Culture “Mish Kids” has aroused curiosity around who Ansgar’s connection at Woodstock was.

Lorrie Doman-Sheydayi ’87, whose 2015 writing on the history of the Woodstock – St Olaf connection forms most of this article, recently received this information from Naomi Lindell States ’67 about her family’s potential role in bringing Woodstock to Ansgar Sovik’s attention:

“The connection likely started in China, where Ansgar Sovik and his cousin Margaret Sovik attended ASK. The three brothers, Paul, Jonathan, and David Lindell also attended ASK around that time. Paul Lindell eventually married Margaret Sovik in Minneapolis and became director of World Mission Prayer League under which his brother Jonathan Lindell and his family went as missionaries to Nepal. Jonathan’s children attended Woodstock School.

Jonathan and Evelyn Lindell’s children are:

Nancy Garrison ’64

Naomi States ’67

Rachel Nelson ’74

Bethany Friberg ’77

David Lindell was a missionary in South India, and his children attended Kodaikanal International School. Two of their children attended St Olaf. Margaret Sovik’s brother Edward Sovik was in the same class at ASK as Jonathan Lindell. Edward also taught at St Olaf for many years in the Art/Architecture department.

It is entirely possible that this tight network brought Woodstock to Ansgar’s attention. The Soviks and Lindells knew each other at ASK and had the same vision of international outreach and service to the Lord.”

perspective and unique knowledge about what makes this school work, and I've learned so much just through conversations with other people at Woodstock. It's a very niche community here, and you have to ask around to be able to understand it better. After I go back home I'd like to write up important information about Woodstock for future student teachers because this is a much-needed resource for student teachers preparing to live, teach, and learn at Woodstock. There was a lot I needed to know in advance that I didn't even know I needed to know.

But help is everywhere: teachers I have met here have helped me with everything from getting things fixed in my house to classroom management. They are full of great wisdom and experience that have helped me survive the semester.

Ruby (English):

“What have you enjoyed most about being here?

My favorite part about being at Woodstock

School would definitely be the community! It is so incredibly rare to find such amazing people all in one place, and that makes me think about how special Woodstock is to have gathered such a group. I've really enjoyed creating beautiful memories with the teachers and students at this learning community, and the breathtaking view definitely helps make it an even more memorable time. I've learned so much from my short five months on the hillside. From lessons on becoming and being a classroom teacher to becoming and being a human being who makes the most out of every gift life has to offer.

When I applied to student teach in India, I comprehended how terrifying it would be at first, how nerve wracking the first class I taught would be, and how stressed out I would get trying to stay on top of things. But I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined all the amazing things that I would be part of in and out of the classroom.

I could have never imagined the feeling I


was going to get after reading an amazing short story a student wrote and the laugh that escaped me as I read it. I could have never imagined the awe I would feel as I witnessed the Winterline for the very first time. I could have never imagined the happiness and joy I would feel gathered around a dining room table with the most amazing educators I know as we shared a meal – talking about life and learning. I could have never imagined how familiar the Edgehill path would become and how happy I would be going down it to see my students first thing in the morning with some ginger + honey + lemon tea from the Tangerine Boxx in hand. I leave knowing each moment was well spent! It feels like a lifetime has passed and not just a semester studying abroad. I am so grateful for my time at Woodstock.

“What was one of your favorite accomplishments/interactions with a current student or staff member?

It happened during activity week. It had been an eventful week with Grade 10. We were on this beautiful hike in Dhanaulti after spending three months together in the classroom. We had decided that our group needed a rest day at the second base camp after two hectic days of navigating dirt roads and zigzag paths. On my end spending time with students outside of the classroom was a gift.

It was a time when I didn't have to make sure they were paying close attention to learning how an allusion functions as a literary device. It was a time when I didn't have to pour all my energy into getting them to stay quiet for more than five seconds of instruction. It was a time when I didn't have to circle the classroom dozens of times to make sure they were actually working on their laptops instead of watching a new Netflix series that in my personal opinion wouldn't help them edit the multitude of run-on sentences still haunting their pieces of written text.

Finally this was the moment when we could

just leave Language and Literature behind for a little bit and focus on all the beauty around us. Of course our carrying fifteen-kilo backpacks and their phantom itch to check the phone they left behind at dorms didn't aid in creating this nature moment I was ready to have with them.

On this fateful day, though, the sun was high up in the sky, and the morning had been spent going on casual walks and taking cat naps on the grass. The afternoon came, and everyone was either fully knocked out in their tents or suffering from a bad case of boredom. At mid-afternoon I awoke to the sound of laughter and singing coming from the other side of the hill. I followed the familiar voices of five of my students lying in the grass on a slope among the trees and actually enjoying nature. I asked to sit with them, and we stayed there for about an hour or so just talking about life and getting to know each other.

It's a simple memory, really, but one I think I will cherish forever if only for the reminder of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. I wanted to be a teacher not only because I don't quite mind teaching them how allusions function or how to help their run-on ghosts (sentences) pass onto the other side (off the page preferably), but because I enjoy moments like these. Moments of connection and humanity that help truly build a space where we can become a learning community that can acknowledge each other as people who can learn from each other in many contexts.

“What do you want to tell others considering student teaching at


I would say go for it! Woodstock is an amazing place to grow and learn. I came in with close to no expectations, and I think that served me well. Let yourself truly experience Woodstock for yourself without other people's memories or experiences of it impacting too much of your first steps

there. Prepare to walk a lot, to be terrified of the monkeys a lot, to eat a lot of new things, to cry a lot (either from laughter or a tiring day), to be human a lot (student teaching can bring that out of you), and also prepare to surprise yourself a lot because you will. You will be surprised by how much you grow, how much you thrive, and how much you learn when you truly let yourself be part of everything that is happening on the hillside.

It's not going to be perfect, but hopefully you will find the community just as warm as I did, and you will find yourself looking forward to lunch in the Quad with coteachers and teatime conversations with students. Hopefully even in the crazy, busy schedule you will be subjected to during student teaching you'll find the time to look around and appreciate the sun, the sky, the trees, and being somewhere so incredibly different from what you know.

In the ’80s Kathy Hoffmann (Woodstock School Board Member and former teacher and Academic Dean), who hails from Minnesota, had become an important liaison for the St Olaf programme. For student teachers she was a comforting link to things familiar in an otherwise new and challenging Indian environment.

Prof Myron Solid saw in Kathy an excellent educator with a Minnesotan Teaching License who could ensure the high standards expected of a collegiate student teaching programme.

In 2008 Prof Schelske formalized her role as an Adjunct Professor for St Olaf, involved in

administration of the program and directly corresponding with the St Olaf Education Department. Upon her retirement from Woodstock School in 2009 Kathy returned to Minnesota and joined the St. Olaf Education Department, teaching education courses and supervising student teachers.

Ruby Reyes (L) and Greta Van Loon (R), 2022 St Olaf visiting teachers

Li Chun Chu Wu ’50 My Years at Woodstock

Li-chun Chu ’50 came to Woodstock School along with her brother TZ ’52 and sister Li-chiang ’59 in 1949. Li-chun went on to study at the University of California at Berkeley, earning an Associate of Arts degree in biology. She then transferred to Simmons College in Boston where her then-boyfriend Robert Wu was completing his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Li-chun received a Bachelor of Science degree from Simmons College in 1955. After graduation and marriage Li-chun and Robert returned to China, the land of their birth, to help “New China” develop science and technology. They were away for twenty years, and Li-chun lost touch with many of her Woodstock School contacts. Through family members who had maintained many close ties with the school Li-chun was eventually able to reconnect. Now living in California, here Li-chun shares about her path to Woodstock and her time on the hillside.

My parents

My father Vico Chu was born in Hangzhou China into a silk textile family and was educated in Lyon, France. My mother Tseneko was Japanese, born to an aristocratic Viscount family in Tokyo. Her heritage was from two shogun families –Ashikaga and Tokugawa. Her grandfather was the younger brother of the last shogun. Her mother’s side was related to the largest Buddhist sect of Japan. I am learning about my Japanese heritage in my old age.

Leaving Shanghai in December 1948

Like many elite families in China, father decided that we should leave China before the Communist army took over Shanghai. Toward the end of 1948 the Chinese Communist army was pushing toward Nanjing, some 170 miles away from Shanghai. Father contacted Messageries Maritimes, a French merchant shipping company, with which he did a lot of business in exporting silk to France before World War II. Messageries Maritimes were also agents for Air France in Shanghai. They promised to bring a small plane from Saigon to take our family of five, along with the Toan family, from Shanghai to Calcutta, India where father had already obtained an Indian visa. Mr. Toan was the chemist in the silk degumming factory managed by my father. He was an

orphan, as his father was a revolutionist martyr killed in the pre-republic Qing Dynasty. Fellow patriots sponsored to send him to be raised and educated in France. He married a French woman, and their three children all went to a French school in Shanghai.

We left Shanghai with only some suitcases on December 29, 1948. The plane stopped in Hong Kong overnight, as airplanes did not fly at night. We then stopped in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), which was then under French colonial rule. When we left Shanghai we were wearing heavy winter clothing and had to shed it as we got to Hong Kong and Saigon.

The hotels in Saigon were under French military requisition, so we Asians were put up in the French army barracks, sleeping on soldiers’ bunk beds for two days and two nights. Meanwhile the Caucasian passengers were allotted rooms in the Palace Hotel. This was the first time I experienced discrimination against Asians. However, we had meals at the hotel and were treated to a sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinner.

The next day on January 1, 1949, Messageries Maritimes, which paid all our travel expenses, treated us to a tour of Saigon city with visits to museums and the zoo. On January 2nd we boarded a plane to Calcutta and then a one-engine plane from Calcutta to Bombay, where my father’s business partner Mr. Karanjia was living.

Woodstock becomes an option

Father soon enrolled both me and my brother Tao-zeun (TZ) in a Catholic day school for girls and boys, respectively. As the weather in India’s plains would become very hot, my father’s friend advised us to attend a missionary-run school called Woodstock School in the Himalayan foothills. In the meantime my father also saw Woodstock School’s advertisement for tuition-paying students.

Reverend Rhea Ewing was the school principal who interviewed us for class

Li-chun Chu ’50 with her parents Vico and Tseneko Chu and her siblings Li-chiang and Tao-Zeun (TZ) Chu

placement. He said that since there was no opening in the sophomore class he would place both me and my younger brother Tao-zeun in the same freshman class. My tears immediately flowed! I had almost finished my first semester of junior year at McTyeire Girls’ School in Shanghai, yet Mr. Ewing was going to demote me two grades lower to be in the same class as my

brother! I was too hurt. Mr. Ewing then immediately said I could enrol in the junior class.

Mr. Toan’s younger son John followed us and attended Woodstock as a junior also. He was popular in school as the captain of the tennis team who helped Woodstock win matches against other schools, but he did not keep contact with the school after graduation.

In the beginning I had to allow more than half an hour longer than any of my classmates to go up Jacob’s Ladder and get to class on time. I had to stop several times along the way, huffing and puffing to catch my breath, as I had grown up on the plains and was not used to the high altitude. The long hike from the dorm to the classroom was also a strenuous exercise for me. But gradually I became more acclimated and eventually played halfcourt basketball and ran the 100-yard dash and hurdles on Sports Day.

The first winter I was at Woodstock there was a landslide triggered by heavy rain that nearly took down the high school classroom building but raised the high school playground more than twenty feet, changing the landscape and creating several levels of terraced garden. Rocks and debris partly covered Hanson Field. Boys

cleared up the track and field part so that Sports Day could continue in 1950.

Like many who attended Woodstock I have fond memories of my days in school there. We were surrounded by natural beauty and received an excellent education. We participated in rigorous outdoor and many other extracurricular activities in music, art, dramatics, and sports. Living with students of different nationalities and cultures had broadened our minds with an international world outlook. We built warm and lasting friendships from living together in a close-knit and caring community

Unsettling periods at Woodstock before we came

The history of Woodstock School is about not only the school but also about larger stories of the community of Mussoorie and the country of India during this time. Woodstock School had experienced two world wars, Partition, and Indian independence. There were unsettling periods just before we started at Woodstock.

During World War II Woodstock School accommodated child refugees from Burma (now Myanmar), Thailand, and Malaysia and provided a haven for those escaping from the Japanese invasion of their countries until they could get back to the

to R): Stone steps to high school classrooms; Landscaped terrace created after landslide in the previous winter; West side of high school building
The history of Woodstock School is not only about the school, but larger stories of the community of Mussoorie and the country of India.

U.S. or UK. British soldiers undergoing convalescence during the war had stayed in Woodstock’s Midlands and Ridgewood dorms and participated in many Woodstock community social activities. In 1947 the partition of former British India into the separate countries of India and Pakistan brought violent riots, mass casualties, and the displacement of nearly 15 million people. Between 250,000 and 1,000,000 people on both sides of the new borders died in the violence. One of my classmates Indra Dutt ’50 was from one of those families displaced from Lahore to Delhi, as Lahore became part of Pakistan.

During the violent partition period the school was isolated from the outside world for one month for safety concerns. Those students living in the Woodstock dorms could see the fire and riot across the valley in the town of Mussoorie. The physics teacher was a colonel in the Indian Army Reserve. He gathered a troop and set up a camp to protect the Muslims from school and the surrounding area until he got buses to safely transport them to Pakistan. Classes at Woodstock school continued, although without Muslim students and servants who had departed during partition.

Many students’ missionary families also found ways to protect Muslims on the hillside, as Ann Leeder Pickett ’47 and Peggy Ewing Devine ’52 wrote in the book Living on the Edge. In January 1948 shortly after independence Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. And through it all Woodstock School survived.

The student body composition during my time

During my time at Woodstock most of the students were kids from missionaries’ families working in India. Many were born in India, spoke Hindi fluently, and were known as “mish kids.” Most of them had more emotional attachment to India than to their parents’ countries. They were being exposed to two different cultures during their childhood development age, absorbing

them to experience a third culture that was their own. Many returned to teach at Woodstock in their adult years.

There were a few “gov kids” during my time in Woodstock whose parents had assignments in South and Southeast Asia, working in embassies and various international government agencies, private foundations, and businesses. Embassy kids and gov kids were differentiated from the mish kids by how much American chewing gum they consumed, as mish kids usually had less pocket money to spend.

In 1950 Virginia ’52 and Robert ’54 Service came to Woodstock with their mom Caroline, waiting for their father and U.S. diplomat John Service to arrive for his post in India. However, John Service never made it, as he was detained by the U.S. House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee hearings. He was accused by U.S. Senator McCarthy of being a communist and was blamed for the fall of China to the Communists. He had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court, and although he was cleared and reinstated in the State Department he was never promoted. He quit the State Department in 1962 and became a curator of Chinese language at the UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Study, as he was born in China of missionary parents working in Chengdu, Szechuan, China and was proficient in Chinese. His oral history interview is kept in the Berkeley Bancroft Library.

Other students were Anglo-Indians who were Christians, spoke English as their mother tongue, had a historical link to both Europe and India, and whose families wished for them to receive a British International Baccalaureate degree or American education to prepare for college abroad.

The minority were like us, not belonging to any of those groups.

We were one of the first few Chinese students in Woodstock in 1949. The

following year Mary Chu and her brother John joined us.

Dorm and residential life

Sally Hazlett ’50 (nicknamed Cookie) invited me to be her roommate with open arms extended to a newcomer foreigner and a Chinese person. Later we became good friends and promised that we would be each other’s maid of honour when we married, but both of us somehow got married on the same Saturday when we graduated from college. She became the class secretary, connecting classmates through regular class letters, and submitted jottings to the Quadrangle before she passed away and was succeeded by Lois Duerksen and Lili von Tucher. Although Lili invited me to succeed her as class liaison, I declined as English was not my mother language, and I had been at Woodstock for only two years. But now we have no representative to tie us together as the number of our classmates has dwindled.

The high school girls’ dorm was called College during my time. Its name came from the time when there was a women’s Teacher’s Training College, with Midland Estates equipped to house the College starting in 1921. Midland Estates and many other properties were purchased by Woodstock School, at the time Allen Parker was principal. The Teacher’s Training College closed in 1934 and became part of Woodstock School to house high school girls.

My steamship trunk occupied a big area of our room, making it crowded. This trunk followed me from India to the U.S. and China. The dorm rooms opened onto a wide veranda with a roof where we moved our beds in the summer as insulation under the galvanized tin roofs was minimal, and there was no AC. The rooms became too hot for us to sleep inside. The veranda became a large communal sleeping quarter, mixing students together with the dorm’s residence assistants. My classmate Princess Bhavenesh Kumari of Patiala was full of mischief. She captured a couple of toads

“ ...students were kids from missionaries’ families working in India. Many were born in India, spoke Hindi fluently, and were known as “mish kids.” Most of them have more emotional attachment to India than to their parents’ countries.

and hid them in the young residence assistant’s bedding. When the residence assistant had finished her round of inspection and was getting ready for bed, as she lifted her sheet the toads jumped out and made her scream. We had a good laugh under our covers but did not tell the tale of who was the troublemaker. Years later Bhavenesh regretted that her antics could have caused a heart attack. The matron of the girls’ dorm was an English matron, Ms Herringbone. Bhavenesh stole her corset, which was a peculiar item to us young girls, from her private laundry line and exhibited it publicly to embarrass her. Sometimes the boys would come to the forest underneath the girls’ dorm and imitate a Langur’s cries or the roar of a leopard just to scare the girls.

For the Woodstock 150 Campaign the Chu family - including Tao-zeun (TZ) and Irmgard, with Li-chiang being one of the major donors along with me and my husband Robert - donated funds to renovate Midlands and honour our parents Vico and Tseneko Chu.

More about Bhavenesh Kumari of Patiala

At Woodstock Bhavenesh was a tall, lanky girl who excelled in sports and student government. She was the captain of the girls’ basketball team, the attorney general of the student government, and a mischievous tomboy.

She went on to become a groundbreaking female attorney in India, earning her law degrees from India and Yale University. She practised law as a public service. She was presented with the Woodstock Distinguished Alumna Award in 2006, having served on the Woodstock School Board and having helped sort out the legal complexities of property rights vital to Woodstock's sustainability. She also drafted the School Constitution and the Principal’s contract which no one else had done before. She donated a complete set of more than a thousand volumes of annotated Shakespeare plays to the

Woodstock School Library. Bhavenesh addressed the Woodstock class of 1997, saying that Woodstock had provided her the most stimulating and significant influence of her life, where she learned the meaning of personal freedom and the responsibility that has helped her throughout her life.

In our senior English class the teacher wanted us to practice debate with the theme of democracy vs communism. Everyone was very serious and chose democracy. Daringly, Bhavenesh and I teamed up and opted to argue for communism as otherwise there would not have been a debate. It was a dubious attempt, as she is from an Indian royal family, and I had just left Communist China. Neither of us knew anything about communism. Besides, we had no idea how to conduct research, and there was no

Google search at that time. Our only go-to reference was the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Of course we lost the debate, but perhaps it helped set Bhavenesh up for her future legal career.

When we were in school Bhavenesh was active in sports and dramatics. This continued in college as well. While she was at Miranda House, University of Delhi, she came face to face with the Labor Movement and became famous for leading college strikes. She declined judgeship offers from two states because she wanted to continue serving the public. She is truly worthy of receiving the Woodstock Distinguished Alumna Award, and I am fortunate to have her as my classmate and friend.

Student life

When I first arrived at Woodstock I auditioned for the music director who

Chinese students and John Toan at my graduation in 1950 Chinese students at Woodstock 1950 (L to R): Me ’50, John Toan ’50, Li-chiang Chu ’59, TZ Chu ’52, Helen Poon ’58 , Mary Chu ’52
Trinity College of Music, London Senior Division Student’s Certificate

was piano teacher Ms Dorothy Sowers. She picked a sheet music piece which I had learned with Ms Liang in Shanghai. At that time I had not yet learned French, so I don’t remember the title of the piece nor the composer. It is possible that it was Ravel’s Jeux d’eau which had many black keys. Ms Sowers approved of my playing and accepted me as one of her students. She also enrolled me in the London Trinity College piano certificate exams program. The examiner came to school, and we had to play several required pieces, including a Bach Fugue and Chopin Minute Waltz. I got a certificate for passing the Senior Division with honours.

Every day an hour was set aside for piano practicing, and my piano playing improved. There was a row of Music Cells at the foot of the covered passage near where the Woodstock School front gate used to be, where we all practiced. Now it has been converted to administrative offices. Although there were no formal student recitals, I had played at the school assembly several times, so I was known

in the whole school. But lower classman Stanley Unruh ’56 was the best pianist, and he was the piano accompanist for the school orchestra. I often wonder whether he became a professional pianist.

Even though I left Woodstock more than seventy years ago, when I find YouTube videos playing Woodstock songs the tunes immediately come back, although I do not remember the words. I was in the school choir and part of the Senior Sextet. We sang those songs countless times at school assemblies, and the tunes seemed to have become imprinted upon my memory.

As I already had algebra at McTyeire, I was excused from the class. I was able to solve one algebra problem even the teacher had difficulty with. I was regarded as a math wizard and voted to be the class treasurer the next two semesters. I was incredulous because I thought I would fail teacher Tiger Wong’s math class and would not graduate from junior high school at McTyeire. Being the Treasurer of the class was my very first time serving as any class officer.

I received a very high number of votes from the whole school when I ran for Student Government office, as I was well

known in school. My two campaign posters composed and drawn by classmate Lois Deurksen ’50 no doubt had also helped. At that time the whole school population got to vote. As Minister of the Interior I oversaw organizing the school’s May Day Celebration festival, which I at first knew nothing about. The May Day Celebration was a tradition started by the class of 1949 with the May Queen and her court and others holding colourful ribbons cavorting around the May pole.

The May Queen was voted by the whole school, and several girls in the running cornered me in the dorm, pressuring me to tell them who would be Queen before the general announcement. Since the May Queen had to be dressed up in formal wear, the winner wanted advance notice to be well prepared. My roommate Sally was the May Queen in 1950.

Senior year the drama club performed two plays: Arsenic and Old Lace, and Cat and the Canary with Ellen Alter serving as drama coach. I remember that David Griffiths played one of the leading male roles. Those two plays were highly entertaining and enjoyed by the whole school.

In reading the Whispering Pine of 1950 I was reminded that I was the manager of the Girls Athletic Association, of which I have no memory of at all. I played forward in basketball intermural games with Bhavenesh leading as the captain. The highlight of the season was that we played against the Hillside team every Saturday night during the summer season and won. There was no gymnasium then. We played on the open-air court with cheerleaders cheering on the side and onlookers sitting on the bleachers. Sports Day was always a full-day affair at Hanson Field with the whole school participating in various races. I ran the 100-yard dash and 110 hurdles.

There were only three of us competing in the hurdles, so we were guaranteed to finish. TZ was running fast and was by far in the lead in the 100-yard dash when unfortunately he pulled his groin muscle with intense pain. With a grimace, tears running down his face, and great determination he hopped on one foot to finish the race in second place.

For Indian Independence Day we had an Indian style banquet and all dressed in Indian costume: the boys wore white Gandhi caps, pointed in front and back with a wide band, while the girls dressed in beautiful saris. We all sat on the floor, using our fingers to eat chapatis and curry

May Queen Sally Hazlett ’50 and her court with sister Lichiang as one of the younger attendants, top row second from the right Certificates of Hobby Show Stamp Collections – first prize in 1949 and 1950
Doll made by Madame Vodicka, sent by her son Peter

from the low tables. Indra Dutt loaned me one of her saris and helped me to dress by gathering the fabric and tucking it in at the waist so that the pleated sari would not fall apart. We sang the Indian national anthem,

One of the extracurricular activities I participated in was the stamp club. We exchanged stamps to expand our own collection, not only with the fellow students but also with the hillside members. We learned geography, biography, history, culture, and art along the way. I got first prize for my display of stamps at the Hobby Show, in both 1949 and 1950. I started collecting stamps when I was younger in Shanghai and vowed to keep that hobby into my retirement. I seem to have lost the patience for arranging stamps into stamp books in this fastpaced modern age. I got a collection of Swiss stamps which my father received as repayment after he had loaned his friend fifty dollars in the early nineteen twenties. When my classmate Jeff Conser had a stamp shop in Boston, I did not have any discretionary funds to buy anything from him. My father supported my stamp collection hobby by saving all the stamps and buying specialty stamps.

Our French teacher Madame Vodicka, a refugee from Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), told us the stories of her ordeal of surviving a Nazi concentration camp during WWII by making dolls from discarded stocking and other material. She later emigrated to Australia with her husband, a medical doctor, as Czechoslovakia became one of the communist countries. She made dolls for her granddaughters and had her son Peter, an eminent international lawyer, send me a doll from Australia in 2015. Madame Vodicka and my mother had shared the same experience of having to leave their home countries to escape communist control.

As she was not used to the informal and relaxed atmosphere of kids in the American School, she was strict with the students, punishing them for disrespect shown to the teacher. The class of 1952 boys pulled a prank on her during the free period at the Study Hall when she was the supervising teacher. They attached small firecrackers to her desk and were gleeful when the firecrackers exploded. But so, too, did she. Three students confessed and were punished by having to write 500 times in one week, “As a student loyal to Woodstock, I know better than to let off firecrackers in the school buildings,

especially in a crowded study hall. I apologize to Mme V and to the school in general for my poor conduct.”

High School Superintendent Dr Robert Fleming was also our sociology class teacher. He took us touring in India to visit important Indian sites and learn about Indian history and culture, including beautiful Kashmir, the disputed territory between India and Pakistan since 1947, and Amritsar, the preeminent spiritual site of Sikhism’s Golden Temple where the military operation was carried out, forcibly removing the Sikh leader and leading to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by one of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. We visited the Ganges River, where Hindu faithful bathe in the river before dawn, as they believe the water is holy. There were also the emaciated hermits who rubbed their bodies with ashes and paints. After graduation father took the family to tour the Taj Mahal in Agra and the golden temple in Amritsar, after which we stayed in a houseboat at a lake in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. We bought Kashmir felt rugs with embroidery, which I have brought with me from California to Boston and to Beijing, China.

Although Woodstock School is a coed school, there was not much social interaction between boys and girls. We were in class together, but we ate separately in the dining hall. There were no school dances like at the American schools, but we had a dress-up, formal Junior-Senior Banquet, with sophomores serving as the waiting staff - a highlight to our school year. To the envy of the whole junior class of girls I was the first one to be asked by a senior boy, the most popular Bob Forsgren, as his partner. Mother had to hastily make a two-piece formal dress out of fabric which she had in the trunk.

Shortly after our sociology field trip the nicest boy in class, Kenneth Fordham, asked me to “go together” with him, meaning to be his girlfriend. Going together was nothing but the boy carrying the girl’s books up the hill from the dorm, as we did not have book bags or backpacks, and there was no movie or ice cream parlour for couples to hang out. I don’t remember whether we had walked on Frivolity Lane, a windy path around Midlands beside Alter Ridge to Woodstock College where in the forties and fifties couples would walk. Ours was a short relationship as we graduated soon after and went our separate ways. The last we saw each other was on Going Down Day at the Dehradun railway station, eating jalebis

His family belonged to a strict mission in which only one boy of the family, his older brother Ernest, could leave the mission to attend college in the U.S., while the others had to stay with their parents in India doing missionary work. Kenneth later accompanied Dr Fleming trekking in the Himalaya and Nepal before all the missionaries had to leave India. He worked in insurance, but his brother Ernest was a medical doctor and provided funds for a writers’ workshop in memory of his daughter, an aspiring writer who passed away young.

When I developed alternately high fever and shivering cold it was presumed that I had contracted malaria and was hospitalized in Landour Community Hospital where Dr Bethel Fleming, wife of Dr Bob Fleming, was the chief medical doctor. Dr Bethel Fleming had taken care of countless Woodstock students sick with measles, mumps, and whooping cough before vaccinations against those childhood diseases were available.

One day Ray Smith ’54 killed a ten-footlong King Cobra snake within the vicinity of the campus. Dr Fleming skinned it and ordered the kitchen to cook it into hundreds of bite-sized small sandwiches, so that everyone on the campus could get a taste. It tasted like chicken, but some students gagged after learning that it was cobra instead of chicken. Cantonese in China and Hong Kong have a snake banquet, which is considered an exotic but not uncommon feast.

My mother found a rental house in Landour through the school at Edgehill Villa, while my father was staying in the hotel in Bombay before he moved to Bangkok, Thailand. With the increase in school enrollment, Edgehill Villa was acquired by Woodstock School and expanded to house lower grade students. Mother hired a cook and a sweeper. My mother taught the cook to marinate beef in soy sauce and sherry Chinese style and invited all the Chinese students and sometimes other students, too, for a Sunday dinner of Chinese-style steak. That was a big treat, as we never had any beef in the school’s dining hall, for the cooks and waiters were all Hindu.

My mother renewed her cooking skills from the cookbooks she got from Hong Kong and her handwritten recipes from the classes she took in Shanghai earlier. Her recipe book had travelled with her from China, India, Thailand, France, and the United States and was inherited by my sister. My mother became known in the

At the Harvey home in Los Angeles 1997 1950 class flag of flying horse made by mother for the Sports Day Parade Li-Chun Chu’s Woodstock school graduation certificate Certificate of Merit for Music (Choir and Piano) Visiting the Taj Mahal (L to R): Li-chun Chu, Late Li-chiang Chu ’59, Late TZ Chu ’52 with wife Irmgard
Reunion with my Indian classmates, Bhavenesh Kumari and Sheila Berry in New Delhi, in 2007 almost 60 years after graduation

hillside community as a wonderful cook and gracious hostess, as she socialized with the community. She added new varieties of spices to the Christian community. She maintained lifelong contacts with some of the staff through yearly Christmas card exchanges.

The Owens, who were at Shanghai American School before the Communists took over China, became principal of Woodstock School after the Ewings left in 1950. The Harveys, the religion and music teacher who later played piano voluntarily at Southern California’s Nordstrom

Department store every Sunday for twenty years, came to mother’s memorial service, driving from Los Angeles.

Mother would sneak a sip of sherry to boys coming for Halloween treats, purposely breaking the rule of no alcohol allowed on campus. She was severely reprimanded by the principal. She tried to make Chinese salted eggs but failed and dumped the rotten eggs down the deep gully, stinking up the whole valley, as there was no garbage collection. Years later, at Woodstock local alumni curry club gatherings old alumnus Joe Chacko ’49 would relate the story, as he was my

mother’s “handyman” and “electrician on call.” He said he would be rewarded by my mother with weird Chinese food that he was suspicious of.

Mother made our class flag, a red horse with wings on a white background, carried by the class marching on the school’s Sports Day. The boys wore long white pants and white tops, while the girls wore red shorts with white tops.

When we graduated there were 27 of us with photos in the Whispering Pine. All the parents came to see us graduate from high school, including my parents, with father coming from Bangkok, Thailand. He took a great many pictures with his Rolleiflex camera as he was an avid photographer. I inherited the camera when I left home for Berkeley, and I had it with me in China.

60 years later

In 2008 almost sixty years after my graduation, when TZ received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, he invited both my sister Li-chiang and me to visit Woodstock and tour Northern India. We visited Delhi and the palaces and forts of Northern India including Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur.

After attending TZ’s Distinguished Alumnus Award ceremony at Woodstock I visited Bhavenesh’s comfortable home for tea and met up with her and Sheila Berry in New Delhi for lunch. Sheila Berry came from a large Calcutta family where 13 of her family members had attended Woodstock.

I could recognize both Sheila and Bhavenesh right away as they seemed to look exactly as they looked fifty years ago but more mature and dignified. That day Bhavenesh was ready to go to the Supreme Court after lunch, so she was dressed in an all-white lawyer’s outfit.

Here are some of my father’s photos of the hillside, of which five of them were included in the class of 1949 Whispering Pine. I remember that his photo was also the feature photo for the class of 1952 yearbook, but that issue is not digitally available to confirm.

Fathers’s photos taken 1949-1950

Advancement Office Update Partners for Life

At Woodstock School’s Advancement and Alumni Office, Alumni Relations Manager Ady Manral, Alumni Office Coordinator and Data Specialist Sanchali Chakraborty, Archives Consultant Bob Shoemaker, and I work to serve the current and long-term interests of our school and our community. We take a service-minded approach as we work to create and sustain a global network of thriving professionals and lifelong learners providing mutual support to each other and the school. We work with you, our global family, based on an amazingly simple premise: We care about you. We care about what you care about. And we want you to be a voice in our community.


Our Woodstock Distinctives on pages 54 and 55 illustrate our shared values and interests related to Woodstock. As part of the Strategic Plan Guiding Group, I worked with Jamie Williams, Director of the Centre for Imagination, to define these distinctives based on the feedback of hundreds of Woodstock stakeholders (see Dr Cook’s message at the beginning of this edition of the Quadrangle).

I’ve gained an understanding of and appreciation for who we are as a community and for what we need to do if we are to bring that community to its greatest potential in service to the world in which we currently live. The Woodstock Distinctives are already a big part of who we are, and the school and its stakeholders need to work in committed partnership to optimize them and keep them at the forefront. Here I’m sharing what we need to do and how you can be involved.


We look to all our community members to sustain Woodstock’s culture, both with current students on campus and across our global community of lifelong learners. Some

outstanding examples are the Alumni Artists Residency, Entrepreneurship Fest, and many sessions with alumni that have been facilitated via the Centre for Imagination, as well as our burgeoning Alumni Affinity groups initiated by Sharon Seto ’79 and facilitated by Ady. Write to us at alumni@ woodstock.ac.in to share your interests and ideas.

Reunions and gatherings - whether in person or virtual, on campus, or around the world - remain exciting ways to reconnect, to get to know new Woodstockers, and to create new memories. Attendees can network with others with similar interests while learning and finding new areas to be excited about. Woodstock School once again partnered with FWS for a virtual reunion this past summer, and we plan to host the next one in 2023. FWS, too, has an exciting annual reunion full of the enriching sessions you have come to know and love, coming up next fall. Our next round of milestone reunions on campus will also be something to celebrate, as Mela, Homecoming, and the Hanifl Alumni Trek are back in 2023.


Woodstock’s value is not easily communicated through concise marketing materials, and we love that about ourselves. YOU, as alumni who have been and remain part of our global living and learning community, are our greatest communications asset - and yes, that includes our alum and Director of Communications Kenton Beachy ’78. You are best situated to speak to potential parents as well as faculty and other professionals about choosing Woodstock.

We’re also enthusiastic for you to work at Woodstock and/or send your own children to Woodstock. One particularly exciting venue for you to do this is Woodstock Summer School, a 10-day program for high school-aged students that gives them a glimpse into living and learning on the hillside. You can come, too, and enjoy the hillside while your young family members are with us. Alumni receive a 20% discount on Summer School fees, and we have a category of financial aid designated for

Advancement Alumni Team

alumni demonstrating financial need. Our commitment is there, and Director of Admissions Vidur Kapur ’00 is ready to help. Reach out to admissions@woodstock.ac.in or summer@woodstock.ac.in for details.


Woodstock School can currently cover its annual expenses, but like any nonprofit educational institution needs continued philanthropic support to meet its goals. The growth areas discussed below can be covered in part by the school. However, if we’re to ensure the ultimate successs and long-term viability of our Woodstock Distinctives, we need additional funding support from our community. We need you to be a part of the aspirational evolution of our school by including us in your giving as and when you can.

Recently: The Renovations

During the pandemic we turned crisis into opportunity as we undertook the building and renovation of our new spaces, keeping faith that our community would not only survive but thrive as well. We’re proud of our new spaces and, as future building and renovation needs present themselves, we’ll be seeking support to maintain the quality, community-driven, and sustainabilityfocused heritage architecture that has characterized our recent upgrades and provided livelihoods and skills development for local labourers.

Even More Recently

Several of our latest renovations in the High School and Quad Music Block still need support. Parker Hall is also due for renovation that is both in keeping with its iconic status and capable of meeting the needs of a modern performance and event space. While Woodstock covers a portion of these costs, the school cannot fund these upgrades completely.

Now: Attracting and Keeping Students, Teachers, and Staff Who are the Right Fit

Now that we can again confidently encourage students, faculty, and staff in more distant locations to consider coming to live and learn at Woodstock, our focus is turning toward scholarships and attractive compensation packages to attract and retain bright, diverse individuals who are the perfect fit for Woodstock.

Our Scholars for Peace Endowment, which provides full tuition for high-need, highperforming students from fragile states or conflict-affected regions, is one notable example. Again, Woodstock is putting

resources into these areas, but for them to succeed fully and thrive, they need philanthropic support.

We are also reinvigorating our local community connections and reinforcing our commitment to our employees. The Community Engagement Fund and funds such as the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund, Luminescence Fund, and Employees’ Benevolent Fund can all use added support. Our current Woodstock community efforts around the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund are highly encouraging.

Going Forward: Securing Woodstock’s Future

We also need to establish longer-term support mechanisms for our bigger goals. It’s unusual for a school like Woodstock with such a long-established legacy to lack a school endowment. We need to grow an endowment so that Woodstock can continue to build upon its strengths and optimize its unique contributions for years to come. We also need to build our contingency fund. If a tragedy such as another pandemic were to halt all operations at Woodstock and force the return of current year tuition, within a short amount of time the continuation of the school would be imperiled.

I want to work with you so that your support goes where you care about most. All amounts are welcome and help us achieve our goals. Please see our Woodstock School ways to give website to learn more (https:// www.woodstockschool.in/ways-to-give) or write to me at advancement@woodstock.ac.in or katiejowalter@woodstock.ac.in


We creatively help identify and facilitate communications, collaborations, and activities – whether on the hillside or beyond, in person, or on line - that allow for continued social connection and professional networking as well as teaching and learning across and between our community’s various cultures, generations, and areas of experience and expertise. Initial networking connections can be established by writing to alumni@ woodstock.ac.in, as well as through our alumni portal AlumniConnect (see https:// woodstockalumniconnect.com/).

We also enthusiastically celebrate and support the endeavours and achievements of our community members, conscientiously stewarding their legacies and promoting their long-term interests. We hope to continue to do this via events such as our

Delhi Worldwide Woodstock Day, where around a dozen alumni and their companies and other endeavours were showcased as part of the program. On-campus events highlighting alumni are becoming more frequent and have been live-streamed for the community to enjoy. Alumni Connections Newsletter, our social media platforms, and Alumni Connect all serve as venues for our ongoing recognition and celebration of outstanding alumni.

My husband Bob Shoemaker has recently joined as a consultant working in the Woodstock School archives, and he manages several information requests each week as part of his work. We’re aiming to share a wonderful exhibition from the archives as part of our 175th celebrations that are only seven short years away.


We know that our Advancement Office has several areas in which it needs to continue growing if we are to serve you better and optimize the potential partnerships that can be realized between Woodstock School and its community of well-wishers. Our focus areas include 1) continuing to engage all alumni with each other and the life of the school in ways that are meaningful to them, 2) diversifying our venues for seeking external funding, 3) improving our communications and data, 4) improving our approaches to potential and current donor relationships, 5) strengthening our relationships with fundraising institutions that support Woodstock School, and 6) building a culture of involvement and philanthropy among current students and young alumni.

I have been working with the Woodstock School Advancement Committee headed by Woodstock School Board member Jonake Bose ’81 and made up of Woodstock School Board President and former Woodstock School Principal Hugh Bradby as well as Woodstock General Body Members Rajesh Kohli ’84, former staff Danny Lacy, and Deirdré Straughan ’81. This group has been providing their historic insights, expertise, and volunteer efforts in support of our goals to improve the quality and scope of our work serving the school and its community.


It’s such an exciting time at Woodstock, where we’re building up our community and refreshing our sights that we always set exceedingly high. We always want more –from ourselves, from each other, and from


this school - and we all have the heart and drive to make our visions into reality. The articles that follow this piece demonstrate some of the amazing things that can happen when we mobilize our unique skills, experiences, and resources in support of our community. I hope they’ll serve as an

inspiration for you to reach out and share how you want to be involved. We welcome all of your ideas.

Get in touch with us to partner in the ways you care about as we move forward in our pursuit of lifelong education for a world of

difference. Thank you to all of our partners and well-wishers everywhere who are helping us bring our Woodstock Distinctives to life so that they can shine brightly from the hillside across the world!


Interview with Vidur Kapur ’00 Woodstock Admissions Director

“What has your experience been like as an alum joining team Woodstock?

Overall it's been wonderful being back at Woodstock School in this capacity. I get to work with Mr Andrew Das, who was my dorm parent back when I was in Hostel, and I’ve had the opportunity to connect with several of my classmates and other alumni both on the hillside and around the world. It's also been very rewarding working with students and staff on various initiatives and enjoying amazing team outings as we reach out to various communities, both local and International.

“What do you love most about having your family here on the hillside?

My wife Lotte, my daughters Zara and Leah, and I are fortunate to be living in such a diverse multicultural community. We’ve made special friendships with so many incredible people on this hillside and couldn’t have asked for better, especially when it comes to our beautiful surroundings. My wife runs a few local businesses; we feel privileged to be able to give back to the wider Mussoorie community, especially by employing and training local staff from this area. Our girls have just come back from Activity Week and have been eagerly sharing about all the adventures they had, from swimming in a river and petting an elephant to bonfires and lots of song and dance. It made Lotte and me realize how blessed we are to have our girls experience this unique community and education. Personally I've enjoyed being on my motorcycle exploring this breathtaking mountainous region at every given opportunity and am so happy to have fellow alumni and colleagues share in this passion. I can't wait to continue introducing this lifestyle to my family and keep exploring all Mussoorie has to offer.

“What are some of your biggest accomplishments so far?

As we begin to normalise after the uncertainties Covid has brought upon us the past two and a half years, we’re seeing renewed demand from prospective students and parents around the world for a holistic educational experience at Woodstock School. I attribute this to many factors, but I would say our demonstrated commitment to all Woodstock stakeholders is what has put us in the favourable position we are currently enjoying. We have done this by

1. Quickly and thoughtfully pivoting to online environments during the pandemic to provide continuity in learning and sustain ties within the community. This has built trust with parents and positive word of mouth that has spread to prospective parents and students.

2. Taking a phased, team approach to outreach. Our office was joined by Dr Cook as well as members of the Communications and Advancement & Alumni offices, and we worked together on events not only for prospective students but also for current parents and alumni. This largely successful outreach, which began with neighbouring countries and less represented states in India, is now extending farther afield as travel restrictions are eased worldwide. I am a strong believer that our team approach to these events has been more impactful than any of our offices could have done on their own and should continue for increasingly impactful results and eventual return on initial investments.

3. Involving our current parents and alumni as valued members of our community who know us best. Alumni, current parents, and other supporters have been connecting

us with recruitment platforms and institutions, introducing us to potential students and parents, and lending financial support to sustain scholarship opportunities. Because of this support we’re increasingly financially well-placed and operationally well-equipped to take our plans forward.

I want to thank all of those who’ve engaged with us and extended their trust to us as partners committed to the uniqueness of living and learning at Woodstock and what it can offer to all of our stakeholders. These people are the reason for the increase we are currently seeing in all our enrolment statistics, including diversity.

“What challenges are there?

We do face significant challenges, especially when keeping our longer-term objectives in mind. We need to be very intentional in how we manage student intake and in how we further focus our attention on meeting our diversity objectives. The Communications and Advancement & Alumni Offices are helping Admissions in the following areas vital to maintaining our positive momentum:

1. Communicating effectively across geographic markets.

2. Marketing and communications that extend our reach and virtually connect prospective students and parents with our campus and community.

3. Creating a strategy for expanding diversity via merit scholarships which are not need-based.

4. Supporting Scholars for Peace as a flagship programme emblematic of Woodstock's commitment to diversity, its history as a home for those fleeing conflict, and its aspirations as a centre for peacebuilding.


1. We’ve seen a year-on-year increase in applications, enrolled students, and nationalities and a reduction in student withdrawals.

2. Our grant budget utilization has seen a 19% (INR 2.22 crore) year-onyear increase, which demonstrates the strong intent to use these funds responsibly to increase student diversity, especially taking into account prospective students’ socioeconomic circumstances.

3. We have four Scholars for Peace students on campus this year in comparison to one last year, representing Nigeria, Kenya, and Syria. Following a visit from the Consul for the Ukrainian Embassy in India, we’re ready to add two Scholars for Peace from Ukraine next year and are seeking funding from our community to support more Ukrainian students next year.

4. We have five students from India and the U.S. being supported by Friends of Woodstock School’s named scholarships, plus approximately another 80 students receiving some form of financial aid.

5. A revised Financial Aid Policy has been approved that allows us more flexibility in meeting our diversity objectives.

1. Contribute to Woodstock School’s Scholars for Peace Endowment so we can host more high-need, high-performing students from conflict-affected regions. Currently we’re restricted to eight Scholars for Peace students in any one given academic year due mainly to funding constraints. The current SFP students are being supported by our tuition income; 13-14% of Woodstock's entire annual budget is going to support financial aid. If donors wanting to provide additional funding come forward, I can safely say we can add at least ten additional Scholars for Peace recipients within our current framework, which means Woodstock can take an even bigger role in ensuring that this amazing institution continues to be a place of refuge and growth for those who need it most, is culturally diverse, AND is fiscally healthy.

2. Help promote Woodstock admissions via the Alumni Ambassador programme. Thanks to the initiative of Jonake Bose ’81 in partnership with Ady Manral in the Advancement and Alumni Office, we have a group of alumni ambassadors from around the world forming with the intent to support Woodstock not only in Admissions but also in other efforts.

’90 are taking leadership roles in this initiative, and the Admissions Office is ready to support them in the coming months with special information sessions and training. We welcome alumni and community volunteers, new or returning, to get involved. Anyone interested in taking part can reach out to Katie Jo (katiejowalter@ woodstock.ac.in) or Ady (adityamanral@ woodstock.ac.in).

3. Consider Woodstock as a potential option for your young family members. We work with individual alumni and friends to ensure issues such as credit transfers and more can be met. If you’re considering Woodstock for a member of your family or even if you just want them to enjoy a glimpse into the Woodstock experience, consider having them join our ten-day Summer School programme – you can even come and enjoy the hillside as well while they are here. Alumni families enjoy a 20% discount of summer school fees.

“Speaking of other scholarships, I understand it’s now easier than ever for alumni to avail of needbased scholarships in support of their children attending Woodstock. Can you share about that?

Absolutely! Alumni who need this support for their children’s educational needs can put their request forward to admissions@ woodstock.ac.in or vidurkapur@woodstock. ac.in, and we’ll do everything we can to offer the best possible financial support. The school’s financial aid policy recognises alumni as a separate category but is also clear in its requirement for demonstrated financial need. For those who may not need additional funding, it’s our hope you’ll appreciate that your payment of full fees can be seen as an investment in the education of students who most need financial support.

“What are some of your office’s recent wins?
“How do you see alumni being best able to support your efforts?
Admissions Director Kapur ‘00 with classmates Arjun Sikand, Dok In Kim, Joel G Haokip, Tenzing Tekan
We have four Scholars for Peace students on campus this year in comparison to one last year, representing countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Syria.

The Agarwalas Rajesh ’96, Sparsh ’24, and Sarthak ’27 Generations at Woodstock

“Can you tell us about how you came to Woodstock?

My association with Woodstock dates to 1994 when I joined Woodstock in grade 11. Having been raised in a sheltered environment in a conservative family from Kolkata, the transition to Woodstock was chaotic. The adjustment process was extremely challenging and at times stressful. However, at the end of my short 24 months at Woodstock I emerged as a confident young man who could stand on his own feet and was no longer a pushover.

“What did you value most about your time at Woodstock?

In hindsight I distinctly remember my school experience in Kolkata as being traumatic. Hence, when my two sons were born I was sure of sending them to Woodstock at the earliest available opportunity. One of the many ways Woodstock is unique compared to many schools in India and outside is that meritocracy was never the sole factor in student admissions. The Woodstock philosophy has always been and still is to find students who offer a large runway for transformation and who can contribute to the diversity of the school community, both academically and otherwise. Learning at Woodstock has never been confined to classrooms, and after all these years I realize most of my learnings came from outside the classroom rather than inside.

In 2019 my elder son Sparsh joined Woodstock in grade eight, and a year later my younger son Sarthak joined in grade six. I still regret not sending Sparsh in grade six, primarily since I was not financially ready. Both adjusted to their new school far away from home like fish to water partly because they had heard plenty from me about Woodstock and partly because Woodstock offers large room for personal

freedom and expression, something which is rare in traditional schools here in India. I have never been a huge fan of the rote learning that takes place in many Indian schools. I was keen on my kids evolving into free-thinking individuals who aspire to be global citizens. I was also keen to see them actively participate in sports, music, hiking and other outdoor activities that continue to be a cornerstone of Woodstock education in addition to the academics. To that effect I feel happy and reassured when I see Sparsh challenging himself with various

day and overnight hikes and encouraging other students and staff as well to join him and when I see Sarthak doing well with his piano lessons. Sarthak seems to enjoy celebrity status at Ridgewood with other students and their mothers since he has learned the art of preparing delicious grilled cheese sandwiches that he enthusiastically shares with other young boys in his dorm. Thankfully food has seen a major transformation since my time at Woodstock, although children still find reasons to crib. Classrooms and dorms have seen a major

“When did you enrol your sons at Woodstock, and how have they fared on the hillside?
Woodstock has helped me develop my interests and discover new areas of interest. I think the best part of Woodstock is its inclusive nature which has helped me be involved in various activities apart from just academics. I think this aspect of Woodstock differentiates it from other residential schools in India.
Sparsh ’24

makeover and are now comparable to some of the best schools globally. Putting Sparsh and Sarthak at Woodstock has brought me closer once again to my Alma Mater. My wife and I find one excuse or the other to go back to the mountain and spend some time on campus and interact with employees, staff, and students. One of my personal favourites at the Quad is the newly opened café Tangerine Boxx which serves some of the best and largest variety of hot and cold coffee and tea.

Engaging with Faith: Student and Staff Opportunities in 2022

Chaplain Sanjaya Mark and the Chaplaincy Council at Woodstock have been busy! In fall/winter 2023 alone they organized and helped facilitate:

– Weekly community prayer time for faculty and staff on Wednesdays at 8:00 AM

– Weekly Friendship Club meetings for Early Years

– Devotions at weekly assemblies for Upper Years, Middle Years, and Early Years

– Weekly Bible Study for Upper Years (voluntary attendance)

– Weekly Sunday Morning Worship Services on campus (voluntary attendance)

– Retreat for grades 4, 5, and 6 on November 11 and 12 (voluntary attendance)

– Monthly All School Chapels (required attendance) – with alumni speakers on occasion

– Christmas Chapel for entire Woodstock Community with guests from extended community

– Christmas Lunch for Woodstock Community

– Christmas programme and High Tea for Employees and their families.

– Fundraiser for tutorials for CBSE students at the MGVS School in Kaplani

– Special events and meals on Onam, Diwali, Eid, Dasherra, August 15th, Navrose, Losar, and Guru Jayanti

Having spent a good 2.5 years at Woodstock, I find engaging in the many activities at Woodstock the most interesting part. I have developed and strengthened in studies as well. I feel very happy and proud to study at Woodstock.”
Sarthak ’27

Support Students in Need – Support Peace – Support Diversity – Support Woodstock

Woodstock’s Scholars for Peace initiative enables students from fragile states or conflict-affected regions to join our international community. Part of our wider financial aid programme, Scholars for Peace provides full financial support to deserving students who can demonstrate merit and financial need. The initiative was launched in 2010, when a generous alumnus and his partner funded two students from Afghanistan.

With your help we can bring additional Scholars for Peace students to campus, including recent applicants from Ukraine.

With more Scholars for Peace growing and contributing to our campus community, Woodstock can take an even bigger role in ensuring this amazing institution continues to be a place of refuge and growth for those who need it most, is culturally diverse, AND is fiscally healthy.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TODAY! Contact advancement@woodstock.ac.in to learn more and help fund our Scholars for Peace initiative

David McCulloch ’70

Hanifl Centre’s 2022 Alumni Trek

This offered us the unexpected pleasure of enjoying a homestay in Agora – the home village of Hanifl guide Satveer. I especially enjoyed walking out in the morning as the village was waking up and conversations were beginning to spring up here and there – it was lovely.

It was something special for me to go to Dodital. It had never been open when I was on the hillside. My father had been there in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. In the 60’s Indo-China war tensions caused the area to be closed off. Even for our trek the Hanifl Centre had to arrange permits.

Hanifl Centre is offering alumni treks – not only during Woodstock peak campus visitor months of October and May but also on demand for anyone who can gather a group of six or more adventurous souls longing to (re) connect with the Himalayan foothills.

A small group of alumni joined a Hanifl trek to Dodital in October, and David McCulloch ’70 took the time to share about his experience on the trek:

“Who went on the trip?

Four people joined the trek this time: Phil Bretsky ’88, David Rand ’80, along with his wife Raquel, and me. Hanifl Centre staff Satveer, Vipul, and Saurabh guided us, and we had six horses and three wallahs to carry our gear. There were also a cook and his two helpers. We were very well supported, and I’m grateful the decision was made to conduct the trek with our small group after some participants had to cancel not long before the trek started. The trek was memorable!

“What was your itinerary?

We had some early setbacks due to one of our members becoming ill, but the Hanifl team quickly responded and adapted our plan. Rather than following the original plan of Dayara Bugyal - Dodital - Darwa Pass –Hanuman Chatti, we rerouted to spend two nights at Dodital and then backtrack and exit through Agora.

“Did participants find the trek difficult?

There was a lot of up and down on the trek. The highest was 12,400 feet or 4,000 metres at Darwa pass. It was a challenging hike but a good one. All participants had to acclimate to the high altitude. We were all from places in California and Washington state in the U.S. that are close to sea level. I came a week early to begin acclimating to the altitude. It froze on the second night when we were at 11,500 feet, but the Hanifl Centre team was great and provided us with good support to stay warm and healthy throughout the trek. Overall the weather was fantastic.

“What did you do during that week of acclimatization on the hillside?

My wife Julie and I had some interesting opportunities to engage with the school and other people on the hillside. We happened to be here during the Entrepreneurship Fest, and Julie got to ask questions of students from local schools who were delivering business pitches.

Sanchali Chakraborty in the Advancement and Alumni office gave us a nice tour of the school, and it was great to have someone take us through the many renovated spaces. While roaming the hillside we were invited for tea at Tom’s Cabin with Bob Shoemaker who manages the school archives and went

for dinner with Tsering Choden at her home off the Chakkar.

My classmate Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger ’70 arrived two days before we left for Punjab. I had an afternoon at Ivy Bank with her and later enjoyed a walk in Jabarkhet Nature Reserve with her and Judy Crider '69. We enjoyed good times on the hillside!

“What advice do you have for alumni considering joining a future Hanifl Alumni Trek?

The weather and views are amazing, and it’s a great experience. However, you’ll need to prepare well. The trek is strenuous. If you’re at all susceptible to altitude, get sufficiently trained.

The Hanifl Centre has found the Alumni Treks to be a great learning opportunity. They foster an understanding of Alumni's profound attachment to the school and the enduring legacy of a childhood spent exploring and celebrating the Himalayan environment.

Though the Centre wasn't a part of Woodstock education for many alumni of decades past and was established much later (through alumni funding in fact), it has modelled itself to sustain these inherent values and develop responsible citizens. A yearly check-in with our Alumni enriches us and reinforces the values we want our current students to imbibe. It also helps us remain clear in our vision to provide education about the Himalayan outdoors for all. Our alumni care deeply for this hillside and its people, and I would love for more alumni to come to learn about ways our programmes are creating more such connections with the hillside for our partners from across India and around the world.

Akshay Shah, Hanifl Centre Director

(L to R): Tulika Prakash Pabrai (‘76) Julie McCulloch, Mary Feierabend Girard ('76), David McCulloch ('70), Sandhya Shrinivasan ('76)

Join Our Next Hanifl Centre Alumni

Trek – or Create Your Own!

The next trek is set for just after our Milestone Reunions and Worldwide Woodstock Day!

October 29 – November 4, 2023

You can also make your own trekking plans led by Hanifl Centre’s expert-trained, local guides. Possibilities that the Hanifl Centre team are excited to share with you include:

• A trip to Ladakh exploring the monasteries and looking at their culture and Buddhism while staying at Homestays (best season is September)

• A white-water rafting trip with Jungle Safari at Corbett National Park

• Exploring for the elusive Snow Leopard (in winter)

Just gather at least six people to join and send your ideas to haniflcentre@woodstock.ac.in and alumni@woodstock.ac.in


Alumni Give a Boost to Student Business Competition

Entrepreneurship Fest had the Support of India and UK Alumni and Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs

Introduction by Rajesh Kohli ’84

I joined the Advancement Committee because of what I got from my time at Woodstock. Like many alumni, I want to see Woodstock remain a place of high integrity and meaningful impact. I knew serving on the Advancement Committee would be a great opportunity to be a resource and an advocate. However, being a member of the Woodstock School Advancement Committee has also given me the chance to really connect with the students and the campus of today. While the times and students are very different from when I was there, I have really enjoyed my interaction, and after attending the 2022 fall Board meetings I felt energized and optimistic.

At the Board meetings Katie Jo both connected me with some very driven student interns in the Advancement and Alumni Office who were interested in business and suggested I play a role in a first-ever business pitch event students were organizing to take place the following month. I was eager to lend a hand with this initiative for many reasons – to give Woodstock students a chance to interact with and receive feedback from a variety of voices beyond the hillside, to help the school raise its profile in the area of business throughout India and around the world, and to create stronger ties between Woodstock and its alumni, parents, and friends working in business and entrepreneurship.

As an added bonus, I saw the opportunity to make this event a collaboration between two alumni communities to which I belong: Woodstock School and Harvard University. Much to my and the Woodstock students’ delight, Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs lent their support to this event as a knowledge partner.

The business pitch event – that the students have named Entrepreneurship Fest – was an exciting one as you will learn from the accompanying article. It was great for the students and for me to hear from alumni of different eras sharing how their Woodstock experience paved the way for their business successes in one way or another.

I shared my own talk as well, stressing the need to adapt, to realize that life beyond Woodstock will present new challenges, and to always work hard with full dedication. I see a lot of this hard work and dedication at Woodstock today and look forward to supporting Entrepreneurship Fest for its second iteration in spring 2023.

Please get in touch with the Advancement and Alumni Office (alumni@woodstock.ac.in) if you’re involved in business and want to support or participate in this exciting event that is expected to grow in leaps and bounds over the next few years.

On October 15 Woodstock School’s firstever Entrepreneurship Fest was brought to culmination. Student teams from Woodstock and local schools delivered business pitches for Woodstock School alumni and staff judges in a final round for award selection. Awards included Best Junior Team (under 15 years) business pitch as well as Senior Team (aged 15 and older) business pitch in the categories of Best Idea, Most Creative Idea, and Most Social Impact. Participating schools included Woodstock School, The Asian School (Dehradun), Mussoorie International School, Aryan School, Shri Ram School, and Tula’s International School (Dehradun).

This student-driven event that was quickly brought together in just over one month saw great support from within the Woodstock community. The Centre for Imagination and Woodstock’s Advancement and Alumni Office collaborated with Business faculty Tilak KC and the student organising committee to support this event’s success.

Student pitches featured businesses focused on a variety of goods and services, including online sports organising, feminine hygiene products, clothing and footwear recycling and upcycling, innovations in composting, online learning, urban gardening, and childcare. Presentations were often inventive, using questions and skits to engage the audience. Given that the entire competition took place over just one month, many business plans were impressively detailed with thorough budget projections and insightful assessments of competing companies.

Woodstock General Body Member Rajesh Kohli ’84, Director/Founder at U&I and VR-1 Group, championed the event. He served as an in-person judge and brought Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs (HAE) on board as Entrepreneurship Fest’s knowledge partner. Joining Mr Kohli in judging the event were fellow alumni entrepreneurs and business leaders Rahul Amin ’71, Woodstock School Distinguished Alumnus and Chairman and Managing Director of Jyoti Group; Dr Vivek Tandon ’88, Founder and CEO of revalyu Resources; Manav Mehra ’96, Director at Turnaround Ventures; Ronjoy Rao ’00, Owner and Managing Director at SNEHA Doon; and Yu Sung Eo ’11, Co-Founder and CGO/CFO at Got Tea Bubble Brew Co.

Rajesh Kohli ’84 addressing the students at the fest


During the day’s programme most of the judges delivered talks sharing their own lessons learned while pioneering their businesses and organisations. Many alumni talks traced back to Woodstock and/or included stories of collaborations and mentorships that emerged from the Woodstock network.

The alumni talks elicited much excitement and reflection among the student and faculty attendees from the region. Meanwhile, the alumni judges enjoyed lending their support and suggestions to a variety of young entrepreneurs while returning to campus, whether in person or on line.

Following student pitches, serial entrepreneur Dr Vivek Tandon ’88 remarked, “I loved the passion of some of the presenters. It comes across strongly that they believe in what they’re doing, which is wonderful!” Dr Tandon, who attended Woodstock in fourth and fifth grades, began his talk with his time at Woodstock.

He shared his business ideas and lessons learned from dealing in the Indian goods he would take home to Uganda with him as well as rhododendrons and rhododendron jam on the hillside.

With the pilot of the Woodstock Entrepreneur Fest a decided success, plans for the next one are being discussed. Shivom ’23, one of the student organisers, wants Entrepreneur Fest to be added to Woodstock School’s annually calendared events: “With entrepreneurial passion rising across the nation, we were thrilled to launch a business competition for like-minded entrepreneurs and feel strongly that it needs to continue. From hearing and ideating to developing a business proposal and presenting it about causes that matter, our organising team envisioned this as a highly impactful experience for student entrepreneurs across India.”

Business faculty Tilak KC is also eager to build Entrepreneurship Fest as a way to encourage students’ opportunities for receiving motivation and feedback from

both peers from across the region and those who have already established their own businesses. Following the event, Mr KC shared his hopes for the event’s future: “I would like to see Entrepreneurship Fest occurring with the same kind of scope and involvement as the pan-India Win Mumby basketball tournament at Woodstock. It would work beautifully as a multi-day event bringing together young entrepreneurs from across the country.”

Rajesh Kohli, too, expressed great enthusiasm for the potential of this event. He urged all attendees to begin planning for the next Entrepreneurship Fest and spreading the word about it. Meanwhile, he’s set his sights on attaining greater involvement from Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Woodstock community members involved in business, and other partners and sponsors.

Katie Jo Walter gave special thanks to Mr Kohli for his efforts with this first Entrepreneurship Fest. She committed her office to helping attain the increased involvement Mr Kohli envisioned by conducting greater outreach to Woodstock alumni, former staff, and parents involved in business and facilitating their contributions to Entrepreneurship Fest. “Woodstock is known as a dynamic place that produces and attracts ingenious, bold trailblazers from highly varied communities and backgrounds. Many of them have established successful business ventures across the country and around the world. I look forward to optimising ways they can share their expertise and incredible personal examples to inspire and educate young entrepreneurs.”

Congratulations to the Entrepreneurship Fest business pitch contest winners!


Participants 68

Our Alumni Ambassador Programme

Reinvigorating Regional Networks and Support for Woodstock

Our alumni community continues to remain one of the most critical and active pillars of support for Woodstock. Individuals have volunteered in a variety of ways to ensure that Woodstock’s legacy, mission, and spirit thrive. The Alumni Ambassador Programme was recently formed to reinvigorate regional support efforts, bringing together engaged volunteers from around the world to serve in areas where the school has identified a need.

The Ambassador Programme is creating action plans and building networks in support of current Woodstock strategic priorities. Priorities include student and staff recruitment (with a focus on diversity) and fundraising towards important future-facing initiatives to establish a school endowment for scholarships to attract diverse students to Woodstock. Priorities also include funding ongoing work to provide staff and students with ample, up-to-date campus infrastructure while maintaining heritage structures and optimizing environmental sustainability. Ambassadors carry out several additional important volunteer activities such as providing internships to current students and recent Woodstock graduates and helping the Woodstock Advancement and Alumni Office build community among alumni and get alumni reconnected with the school.

Palden Tshering ’91 (based in Bhutan) and Lauri Coulter ’81 (based in the U.S.) are spearheading the programme and are

excited to hear from anyone interested in becoming a Woodstock Ambassador. Palden, who is a WOSA Asia committee member, shares his assurance that anyone wanting

to help can be connected with volunteer opportunities that are the right fit: “To be identified as a Woodstock Ambassador lets me give back in my own way. To anyone

Student interns interact with the Advancement Committee

The reputable and helpful members of Woodstock’s Advancement Committee arrived on campus at 8:30 on a bright Monday morning on September 5. Our interns welcomed them with open arms, and we all introduced ourselves to them. Following the introductions we were divided into groups, with each group having two interns interview a committee member.

The committee members provided us with some extremely insightful information and recommendations once we split up into groups. Advancement Committee Chair Ms Jonake Bose '81 went over her journey through Woodstock, her life in college, and how this school helped her develop, giving her a reason to give back to the school. She

talked about what Woodstock was like in the past and her experiences with her teachers. For example, once they dissected a monkey for her biology class. She went over her experiences beyond Woodstock and how Woodstock helped her make the most of later opportunities, deepening her connection to and appreciation for this school.

The interview with Woodstock School Board Director and former Principal Mr Hugh Bradby focused on his ongoing involvement with Woodstock. He shared his ideas about student and staff diversity at Woodstock and the financial support Woodstock needs to achieve its diversity goals. His thoughts and ideas about fundraising include the belief that more of the younger alumni should learn

about Woodstock’s fundraising needs and take part. He also believes that Woodstock should fundraise in as many countries as possible due to our global alumni community.

A few days after the interviews the Advancement Committee members’ time on the hillside drew to a close. After their eventful stay at Woodstock School they were sent off with an assembly held for them on September 9. At the outdoor amphitheatre the school held a dedication ceremony, and we were once again able to connect briefly with the Advancement Committee members.

WS Advancement and Alumni Office with student Advancement Office interns and WS Board and General Body Members of the Woodstock School Advancement Committee at the inauguration of the new outdoor amphitheater (L to R): Aditya Manral, Jaiveer ’24, Deirdré Straughan '81, Pritish ’24, Rajesh Kohli '84, Hugh Bradby (Former Principal and WS Board President), Katie Jo Walter, Kanishka '24, Danny Lacy (Former Staff), Jonake Bose '81 Jaiveer and Pritish ’24

who thinks back about their time on the hill, just reach out. All we need to do after that is open a dialogue and see it through.” Lauri, who was the Alumni Director at Woodstock from 2016-19 and was also on the WOSA Asia Committee until she recently moved back to the U.S., is excited to be involved in this new initiative: “It’s all about finding ways to connect more alumni from around the world with opportunities to engage with each other and to support the school we all love so much.”

The programme will equip ambassadors with the knowledge, context, and content necessary to successfully carry out their roles. More experienced volunteers and Woodstock School leadership are ready to provide strong mentorship, foundational information, and impactful school publications.

Jonake Bose ’81, Chair of the Board Advancement Committee and one of the founders of the programme says, “It is rarely the efforts of one person that can improve things. It is the strength of all of us working together that makes a difference. Our goal is for it to be a ‘winwin’ experience for all of us working on this initiative.” To this end, the Alumni Ambassadors are eager to work with all WOSA members, class representatives, and volunteers around the world. Anyone who has helped in the past can regain momentum by joining or otherwise engaging with our Alumni Ambassadors.

The Advancement and Alumni Relations Office will play a central role in providing the assistance, guidance, and support required for stable functioning of the Ambassadors Programme. Katie Jo Walter says, “We have so many alumni, former staff, and friends around the world who want to support us, and I’m excited about equipping them with the best tools possible for doing so. Ady Manral and I are ready to help this programme reach its full potential. One important consideration for us is making sure we have at least two ambassadors in each area so work can continue if a volunteer has a family emergency or experiences burnout. We want support for everyone involved built into the system.”

Getting the Band Back Together Mr Cameron Bradley

Interviewed by Rachel ’24 and Katie Jo Walter

Accompanied by his wife Leandra, Cameron joins as a Woodwind specialist in the Music Department. He comes from Concord Community School in Elkhart, Indiana, U.S., where he was a Woodwind Teacher and Assistant Band Director. With over 10 years of experience teaching band/woodwinds to American and multicultural students of varied ages, he has regularly instructed, co-taught, led rehearsals, and conducted student musical performances for concert band, jazz band, marching band, and spring musicals. Cameron holds a B.S. in Music Education from Indiana Wesleyan University, U.S.

Music is making its comeback post pandemic. Music teacher Cameron Bradley shares about his work to make it happen.

“Can those of us who have been waiting now safely say that the band is back together?

Yes! The Fall Concert was the first concert for the band since Fall 2019. We started recruiting at the beginning of the 20222023 academic year. Starting with fewer than ten returning members who last played in their seventh and eighth grade years, we now have 41 members on the roster across seven instrument groups.

“How did the preparations go?

either the quantity or quality of music at Woodstock, and I'm happy to say the students have been stepping up in positive ways in order to create the future of the band programme here. The hope is to retain these students and split them up into more skill-appropriate ensembles over the next year. There has also been some interest in reviving the jazz band, which would give students the opportunity to practice and perform music within a different style and would be completely voluntary.

“Where are you from?

I grew up in Indiana, America, and that’s where I’ve been teaching for the last ten years. And now we’re here!

To express interest or learn more about this programme, please reach out to us at alumni@woodstock. ac.in or contact Palden Tshering at palden_t@yahoo.com or Lauri Coulter at lauricoulter@hotmail. com

Because the band is made up of mostly beginning students who range from sixth through twelfth grades as well as some returning members, it was a fun mix of students coming together over three months’ time with hopes of putting on something cohesive and enjoyable for the Woodstock community, not to mention promote ourselves in order to bring in new members. The environment was positive and productive, and I'm very proud of the students who took on something new. We also had the opportunity to push small groups of students with a bit more musical experience to take on features for the Fall Concert and Christmas Chapel, as well as recitals throughout the semester.

“What’s next?

I think we're in a space and time where Covid is no longer a real impediment to

“What instruments do you play?

I’m best at woodwind instruments. Saxophone is my thing. I grew up playing saxophone from sixth grade, and I now teach saxophone, clarinet, flute, etc. But now the other band teacher is not here yet, so I’m also teaching trumpet, the brass instruments, and percussion.

“What is different about Woodstock from the last school you were in?

Oh, a lot. Everything. Well, the campus for one, is totally different. I’m used to teaching only inside, um, with no monkeys and with a much less diverse student population. So the student population I had been working with for the last decade has been, I would say, 50% Caucasian American


and about 40% from Latin America and 10% a mix of African American and Asian. So, here it’s been interesting to get to know people from around the world. It’s totally different and great, and I think that’s why we came, right? To do something different like this. It’s also different because everybody has their own rules. You know, you move here and you learn what you can and can’t do or say. And what your schedule is like, it’s all completely different. I was super busy back in the States. For 10 years I would work nights and weekends all the time with the marching band. And the schedule here has been nice because the band is just now starting out again, and so I feel like I get time to just pull back and figure things out, which is nice.

“You said you were from Indiana. How are you getting accustomed to the culture here?

It’s a lot of getting used to here. It’s a lot of getting used to boarding school, for instance. It’s very different. Walking to school every day for 20 minutes has been something to get used to physically – quite the challenge actually. Honestly everything, and the people have been awesome.

“What are your goals for this year?

I want to leave everything better than I found it. And the band is ripe for growth because we haven’t had one in two years. Leaving it larger and better than nothing I think is going to be attainable because of that very reason. So my goal this year is to let kids experience something fun again, to get involved with something they enjoy, and to let those numbers grow. I don’t want this to be something that struggles. My goal is for it to be enjoyable and productive, so people stick around, and we get more and more friends to join the band.

Personally my wife and I came here because we wanted renewal. And for the last few years I’ve been really dragging because at my last school I was working all the time. It got to a point where we needed renewal with our friends. We needed it in our jobs. We needed renewal in our geography, something different to look at. And so we came here to kind of just find a new life.

“What are some fun facts about yourself?

I write and record my own music, so it’s on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Another

thing is that I love to travel. And I think you would have to unless your parents made you come here. I feel like you have to have that open-mindedness as well, and, yeah, that’s a fun fact about me. I love to travel.

“What is one thing you like about Mussoorie?

I think it’s been really nice, stopping in at some of the cafes. Landour Bakehouse is a five-minute walk, maybe, from my place. It’s really nice. So that and Char Dukaan, Savoy Cafe up at Lal Tibba, Tavern, Lotte’s, etc. We’ve been trying all the places, so that’s been really fun finding cosy spots.

“What is one thing you have noticed about Woodstock students?

They are very – I would say the ones that I have encountered are very kind. They’re very respectful and also very diverse. I think those three have been the biggest things. And people know how to speak. People make eye contact when they speak with you and they know how to communicate well. That’s not what I’ve experienced in the States with students. I think having those communication skills is something that Woodstock students seem to do pretty well; they know how to speak to adults.

“What is your personal teaching philosophy?

When I was interviewing, I was asked what I hoped to get done with the band as it starts up again, and I said the first

thing is to make people feel comfortable and to build a rapport with students. I want people to feel like they know me and that we know each other, and then it’s a comfortable environment, and they’re having fun. Fun means a lot of different things to different people I think. To some people it means having no rules, but I don’t mean that kind of fun. It’s like being good at something, enjoying what you’re doing, and trusting the process and the people around you. I think my philosophy is positive and efficient, and it’s a long game. We’re not just here to learn a song or to play the drums or whatever. We’re here to build relationships and to have an experience together.


Support a Woodstock Distinctive Music

Nurture confidence in practice and excellence in performance by giving towards our future-facing Quad Music Block in the heart of the historic Quad.

Consider giving a personal, company, or group gift towards our new music spaces with provisions and technology on par with or superior to comparable institutions. Our new music spaces:

• Retain the historic character of the spaces and harmony with the greater campus and hillside

• Reinforce building structural stability, including the ability to sustain seismic forces

• Re-use building materials and furniture where appropriate

• Meet energy efficiency and other sustainability standards

• Include state-of-the-art technological upgrades, soundproofing, and acoustic treatment of the walls

Now is the perfect time for our community to help Woodstock bolster our legacy music programming, bringing music facilities fully into the 21st century and amplifying Woodstock’s music culture throughout the school’s global communities.


Note that currency conversions are approximate and current as of December, 2022

Phase One of our three-phase plan to completely renovate the Quad Music Block includes named funding opportunities for 17 practice rooms (full funding at USD $12,000 or INR 9,90,942 per room); a renovated passage for the practice rooms; a black box theatre (full funding at USD $160,000 or INR 1,32,51,600); a recording studio (full funding at USD $65,000 or INR 53,83,465), and four faculty studios for teaching, testing, and office work (full funding at USD $40,000 or INR 33,03,240 per room).

Contact us today at advancement@woodstock.ac.in to get involved. We want to partner with you!

While the current renovations include the opportunity for naming new spaces in honour of donors and Woodstock community members, those who supported the 2003 music facilities upgrades will continue to be honoured with signage as well. Those donors are:

Edward H Wiser ’48

The Class of 1945

In honour of Peter and Betty Ann Dykstra Summers ’45, Doug and Ann Leeder Pickett ’45, David and Corrinne Scott ’52 and family

Dorothy Koenig Powers ’44

E. Jean Downie ’52

In memory of Maxine & Gerald Downie

Alice Wright Conkey

In memory of Muriel Tendruff Powell and Edith Iles

Dan and Anne Lind (Former Staff)

In honour of Mubarak Masih, Muriel Ternduff Powell, Sybil Meaney

The Class of 1959

Giving in honour of Vance George (Former Staff)


Alumni Bike Tour Around Nag Tibba

On October 10, 2022 three alumni made the most of a clear and beautiful day on the hillside together by taking a motorcycle tour around Nag Tibba. One alum was making one of many return visits to campus to shoot promotional videos for the school. One alum joined team Woodstock twenty years after graduating in 2000. And one alum came back to the hillside in May of 2022 to join team Woodstock after being away for 35 years.

Alex Manton ’84, Woodstock Director of Admissions Vidur Kapur ’00, and Woodstock Director of Communications Kenton Beachy ’78 took to the road early morning and completed the 225 km circuit around Nag Tibba in 11.5 hours.

“It was a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Himalaya, reconnect with my love for road touring, and build alumni friendships,” says Kenton. “We encountered breathtaking scenery on the crystal-clear day on which you could see for miles across the mountain ranges. Some very nice roads along with some quite rugged ones kept us ultra-focused on the day’s riding. Stops for chai and roti with eggs at different points along the way replenished our energy and provided ample opportunity for swapping stories and getting to know each other better.”

Vidur was glad to join the ride. “It was the first ride of the season for me,” he says. “It was incredible to be out with good company while enjoying the landscape. For me the trip was a reminder of how great it is to live here and how the mountains and the people continue to impact me in such amazing ways.”

The journey which included spectacular views of the Banderpunch Range and the Yamuna River Valley inspired awe and gratitude – as well as the desire to take to the local roads again as soon as possible.

“The dark along Tehri Road on the last leg of the day’s ride offered a perfect ending to a perfect day,” Kenton attests. “You know you’re hooked on riding in the Himalaya when no sooner do you finish the ride than you’re planning the next one!”

For Kenton the next trip is his Woodstock-Goa round trip tour which is serving as an opportunity to raise funds for Woodstock employees’ children’s education. You can visit https://bit.ly/Kentonbikefundraiser to learn more about joining the #willymakitwillynot challenge being organized in partnership with Woodstock School’s Advancement and Alumni Office.

Katie Jo Walter shares, “We’re thrilled to support this effort and

are excited about the energy coming together around it. We expect the #willymakitwillynot challenge to bring awareness and support to our funds supporting employees’ family educational and medical expenses that go beyond school provided funding and insurance. This bike tour will also set the stage for future alumni bike tours, the proceeds of which will go to funds supporting school employees.”

NOTE: For the past several months, the Advancement and Alumni Office has been discussing the potential for a Woodstock School Bike Tour with proceeds going to funds supporting school employees’ education and healthcare costs beyond school provided benefits. This ride has kicked those plans into high gear for a bike tour on the hillside in November 2023. If you’re interested in learning more and possibly joining, please shoot us an email at alumni@woodstock.ac.in. And be sure to include your phone number if you’d like to join the WS Alumni Bike Tours WhatsApp group.

Write to us to share your interest and ideas at alumni@woodsock.ac.in. Join our Woodstockers Bike Tour WhatsApp group to share your rides from wherever you are and take part in the discussions about our upcoming tour: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GIgXONEKgleHEkl4spSMG7 73

Woodstock Comes Together in Support of Its Employees

motorbike tour to raise awareness about and generate donations for the Employees' Children's Education Fund (see https://bit. ly/Kentonbikefundraiser for more details on supporting this fundraiser).

These efforts and more are supported by the Woodstock Employees' Charitable Funds Advocacy Team. The team includes current students Jayant, Dyumna, and Rehaan ’23, Katie Jo Walter, Finance Director Shailesh Garg, and Senior Account Office Assistant and Mailroom Employee Vinod Kumar.

Recently the students answered a few questions about what drives their involvement:

“What motivated you to get involved with fundraising towards charitable funds benefitting Woodstock Employees?

The Employees of Woodstock are the backbone of our hillside community. Their commitment and service to Woodstock often go unnoticed. Some of our Employees have served Woodstock for decades, and some families have for generations. By helping this fund, we aim to empower the families of our Employees and instill a feeling of being valued. Furthermore, we hope this fund promotes our guiding principle of compassion and leads to achieving holistic excellence within Woodstock and its larger community.

Employees are those providing vital support to our entire community in roles including but not limited to security, office assistance, kitchen work, cleaning, and building maintenance. Woodstock School currently has three funds dedicated to assisting its Employees with educational and medical expenses that exceed their Woodstock wage and benefits packages: the Employees' Children's Education Fund supporting K-12 education expenses exceeding the Woodstock-allotted stipend; the Luminescence Fund assisting high-need, high-achieving employee children with their higher studies; and the Employees' Benevolent Fund providing for medical costs exceeding Woodstock School provided insurance benefits.

All three of these funds are currently in need of additional support. Woodstock needs your help to continue offering this additional assistance to the families of Woodstock's valued Employees. Woodstock campus

stakeholders have been joining forces to shore up the financial resources needed to maintain our legacy of providing assistance and opportunity to Woodstock Employees. Our initial efforts are focused on seeking support for the Employees' Children's Education Fund, which needs replenishment to be sustainable. You can learn more about this fund and how to give at: https://bit.ly/childreneducationfund.

Those recently involved include alumni, especially from the classes of 1970 and 1973, who made this funding a giving priority in 2019 as well as the class of 1972 who this year gave towards Employees’ children’s education as part of their 50th reunion celebrations. Woodstock School administration is also getting involved, donating and coming up with creative ways to draw attention to and garner support, such as Kenton Beachy ’78’s purposing of his 4,600 km 2022 Winter Break

“What are you hoping to accomplish in your fundraising campaign over the next few months before graduation?

An endowment for the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund is one sustainable way to prevent funds from needing constant replenishment. While we look to establish the endowment with at least INR 26 lakh or USD 31,600 this year, to attain true sustainability we’ll need the endowment to be built up to approximately INR 2.5 crore or USD 305,000. This amount would generate INR 20 lakhs annually (based on 8% interest from savings). Based on previous years, these 20 lakhs would sufficiently meet our average annual distribution while considering inflation and fee increases. Consequently Woodstock will be able to go beyond the next few years of funding provided by the class of 1970 and support the education of 22-25 Employees’ children each year going forward.

The Woodstock Employees’ Charitable Funds Advocacy Team (L to R): Dyumna ’23, Rehaan ’24, Katie Jo Walter, Jayant ’23, Finance Director Shailesh Garg, Senior Account Office Assistant and Mailroom Employee Vinod Kumar Students Give in Support of Employees’ Charitable Support Funding and Call Upon Community to Join the Cause

In addition to fundraising for all charitable funds supporting Employees, we’re focusing on establishing a greater awareness of these funds through focused, creative outreach that includes hearing from Employees who’ve benefitted. We hope to shed some light on all of the Employees’ Charitable Support Funds through smaller campaigns and conversations with the larger Woodstock community with a special focus on current parents and alums.

“You raised over two lakhs (approximately USD 2,600) from the student body to support the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund during Goal-a-Thon this year. Can you explain how those charity funds are pledged? And what contributed to your success in raising this amount?

Goal-a-Thon is Woodstock’s annual indoor football charity tournament. The tournament takes place on a long weekend, and this year's edition consisted of upwards of 26 teams. The teams must collect a minimum amount in sponsorships from staff and students to participate and are encouraged to exceed the minimum amount. Before the event the funds are either pledged to a chosen charity in coordination with the Community Engagement Department or to a fund within the school. Considering the diminishing numbers of the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund, this year’s Student Council found it crucial to pledge all the money raised to this fund.

Once in-person classes started on campus, the role of Employees at Woodstock

became more prevalent. Student-employee relationships developed as the student body finally gained the opportunity to interact with the Employees and experience first-hand their significant contributions to our community. When we pledge funds to charities off campus, sponsors usually don’t know the people we’re supporting, and they don’t get to witness the impact of their contributions. When this year’s Goal-a-Thon funds were pledged to the Employees’ Children’s Education Fund, students and staff felt more comfortable sponsoring teams, as they had a connection with the people they were helping and understood the need for it. Moreover, they would be allowed to witness the impact of their contributions directly.

“Who are some of your favourite Employees on campus with whom you interact? What’s the best part of knowing some of these people and having them at Woodstock?

We don’t have specific favourite Employees at Woodstock, as all of them are the most humble and selfless people we’ve ever met. They proactively support the community, work hard to maintain the Woodstock spirit, and provide the comfort we seek. They never complain about their jobs and are always willing to help. The Employees routinely do the right thing; their work is always thoroughly done. The best part about knowing Employees is that there is much to learn from them. Selflessness and a high work ethic are qualities students can hone by observing and interacting with Employees. Employees have become an integral part of

our community. They understand the values of our institution, they know the Woodstock of the past, and they play an important role in preserving our traditions and heritage. Having them at Woodstock adds to our family atmosphere and enables us to be more effective as an institution.

“What message do you have for alumni and other supporters about why they should support charitable funds established to support Woodstock School Employees?

The Employees have been there for you and us, and they’ll be there for Woodstock in the future. They’ve always offered assistance and have never backed down from a challenge. They always have smiles on their faces no matter the hardships faced. It’s only right that we honour their legacy and empower them by giving back through the funds established to support Woodstock School Employees.

“What, beyond giving money, can people do to support

your efforts?

In addition to donating, people can support our efforts by helping us create greater awareness of the funds supporting our Employees. Woodstock has a vast alumni and parent network. People can help us utilize these networks effectively by informing their friends and family of the importance of giving back to the Employees and their families through the funds established at Woodstock to help and empower them.

4,600 km (2,860 miles) | 130 sponsors @ INR 1 or USD .012 per kilometre

Equals approx. INR 600,000 or USD 7,250

Equals one year of additional school funding for 20 Woodstock Employee Children.

Let’s do this! https://bit.ly/Kentonbikefundraiser

Make your pledge today toward Kenton ’78’s bike tour #willymakitwillynot and help change lives on the hillside!

Deirdré Straughan ’81 Woodstock’s Evolving School Infrastructure

Jonake Bose ’81 and I travelled to Mussoorie in September 2022 for the Woodstock Board meetings. Our classmates Sara Ahmed and Yuti Bhatt also came up, so we had a minireunion. The school is in good financial health and is being well managed both financially and academically. Much beautiful renovation work was accomplished while the campus was emptied by the pandemic. Woodstock is beginning to keep pace with and even outshine other top campuses on the hillside and beyond (yes, competition is stiff!). The latest campus renovations have been submitted for the 2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The continued strengthening and updating of heritage buildings, the constant challenges of the hillside environment (particularly with the intense weather induced by climate change), and increased focus on sustainability mean that campus construction projects will continue; there is always more work needed to bring these old buildings into the modern age and meet safety requirements.

The renovation work carried out during

the pandemic lockdowns included the classroom that our class raised funds for last year, on the top floor of the Quad building. At least half a dozen of the new classrooms are still in need of sponsorship. Reach out to the Advancement Office (advancement@woodstock.ac.in) if you know of any individuals, groups, or classes who may want to fund a named classroom (total cost for a classroom sponsorship is USD 30,000).

The Quad top floor is now connected to the other Quad buildings via new doors and corridors, and there are a bridge and stairs from the top level up to the gym area, saving everyone a lot of stairs. The areas that used to be Upper Dorm and Long Dorm are now elementary and middle school classrooms, student lounges, etc.

In the high school there are four new state-of-the-art lab classrooms, two for chemistry and two for biology, with adjacent supply/storage rooms. The science staff has a delightful office in what used to be a dark, dingy room under the eaves opposite the Parker Hall balcony (where we used to go to pick up our textbooks). A skylight has opened up the space and

made it light and pleasant. This is just one example of the creative, intelligent (and award-nominated) architecture that has gone into making the school buildings modern, safe, and fit for purpose.

The Center for Imagination (CFI) and flagpole area are stunning. The new Amphitheatere was dedicated while the Board was on the hillside. CFI served as an interactive, interdisciplinary space for many of our interactions with students and the community during our visit. Many sessions from CFI can be viewed on the Woodstock YouTube channel.

The quality of both materials and workmanship is amazing. Local labourers have been doing the work, building skills and knowledge that bring them into high demand across the region, so the school’s investments are also helping to improve local livelihoods.

The school even has its own sewage treatment plant now, down the hillside between Ridgewood and Hanson Field. (I didn’t get to see it – had a bit of monkey drama - the rhesus have become extremely aggressive.) Water treated at the new


/ furniture

energy efficiency, planning for solar energy production and rainwater harvesting.

plant is used to irrigate Hanson Field. My classmate Dr Sara Ahmed, Founder of the Living Waters Museum, acknowledges that this is a huge step towards better water management and overall sustainability at Woodstock. The Woodstock Estates Committee is very focused on sustainability and actively reducing waste, reusing building and furniture components, pursuing energy efficiency, and planning for solar energy production and efficient rainwater harvesting, to mention just a few.

The music area renovation is still to be completed and is another area of needed support. Those who contributed to the 2003 music block upgrades will continue to be honoured in the new spaces along with those who help with this phase of improvements. (So, if you’d like your name on a music area ….)

The next big project will be the renovation and modernization of Parker Hall, seeking to retain the historical character of the space while improving green room and setbuilding facilities, lighting and sound, and overall seating capacity.


We would love for you to make a challenge gift and/or gather your classmates to help fund one of these special places on campus for Woodstockers of today and tomorrow. Naming opportunities are available.

Contact us at advancement@woodstock.ac.in to discuss funding a space in full or in part. We stand ready to partner. Alumni in business, please note that we’re ready to work with your business, too.

Main Gate Guard House Classrooms

Black Box Theatre

Music Practice Rooms and Faculty Office

Teaching and Testing Studios Quad Lounges

See a virtual tour of our new and renovated spaces: https://youtu.be/tl9rB5iKSE8

See our Dedication of New Spaces event: https://youtu.be/FcvMOVGQsLo

Science Department Head Scott Britton conducting an experiment in one of the new laboratories during the Dedication of Spaces ceremony in April
Woodstock is focused on sustainability – reducing waste, reusing building
components, pursuing
Indian Classical Music Performance at the Centre for Imagination for the Dedication of Spaces ceremony in April

Thank you to everyone who made a recent new space possible!

We want to thank the over 200 alumni, former staff, and friends who gave to make the below renovations possible. Friends of Woodstock School (FWS), thank you for providing funding to match the donations given towards our new spaces!

The spaces were inaugurated at a beautiful dedication ceremony event held in April 2022. A recap of the event can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/FcvMOVGQsLo

The T.Z. Chu Science Block Laboratory renovations were funded by a generous donation of $500,000 from Rick Downs ’79 which was matched by $500,000 from FWS, with Woodstock School putting $200,000 towards the project.

$140,000 in donations from the community were matched by FWS allowing Woodstock School to cover the cost of renovating 10 classrooms:

• HS20 – Bill and Dorothy Whitcomb Classroom funded by their children Catherine, John, Patricia, and Robert

• HS21 – Graham and Ruth Hilliard Classroom funded by class members of ’52, ’60, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’72, ’73, ’81, ’95

• HS22 – Saroj Kapadia

Classroom funded by members of the class of ’79

• HS23 – Sybil Geisinger

Classroom funded by

members of the classes of ’62, ’63, ’67

• HS24 – Janette Cowan Blair Classroom funded by members of the classes of ’67, ’68, ’87

• HS25 – Bob Morris Classroom funded by donations to Canadian Friends of Woodstock School

• QS34 – Woodstock Support Staff Classroom funded by donations from members of the classes of ’83 and ’01

• QS37 – Savitaben Amin

Classroom funded by Rahul Amin

• QS30 – Almira Leslie

Classroom funded by the Estate of Almira Leslie

• QS35 – FWS Classroom in celebration of its donors funded by Friends of Woodstock School

• QS39 – Class of ’81

Classroom funded by members of the class of ’81

The Woodstock community thanks you for your generosity!


The Artist Affinity Group (AAG) feels like a one-and-a-half-yearold who has learned to run. Birthed during the 1st Virtual Woodstock Reunion in July 2021 when a panel of eight alumni artists presented their work and reflected on Woodstock’s influence on them, the AAG now boasts a network of almost 100 visual artists, film-makers, writers, and music producers.

With the goal of running events to both showcase and network Woodstock creatives, the AAG has since organized two more panels to share their work with the wider alumni community and has newly launched a regular “Artists Hang.”

One of the highlights of the last year-and-a-half was Woodstock’s first-ever Alumni Artist Residency organized in May 2022 in collaboration with the Centre for Imagination, the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office, and the Woodstock Art Department. Eleven alumni artists spent three weeks on campus making sense of their memories, the school, the town, and the Himalayas through the prism of their art.

Spanning 43 years between the earliest and latest graduating classes represented, the residency was a profoundly intense experience of alumni connecting with each other as well as with their surroundings. Through a process of collective reflection and individual work the residency met its goal of engaging the student body and wider community, ending with an exhibition of contemporary art. We encourage other artists and alumni interested in joining our group to complete this form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1 FAIpQLScSdcPh7PavS02sjBepj29IJcqDsOgQSDjL6InTLg8MrLvMw/viewform

Alumni Affinity Groups Art, Sports, Environment, & More!

Upcoming Artist Affinity Group activities to plug into –

1. A Woodstock Alumni Writer’s Residency tentatively set for April 2023, designed to end with the Woodstock Literary Fest, the culminating event for the school’s focus on writing this year.

2. A professional Artist Residency June 1-17, 2023, as a collaboration between the Centre for Imagination, the Hanifl Centre, Woodstock Summer School, and an alumni-run arts organization called Art for Change. The theme “The Nature of Difference” will explore difference and diversity in the Himalayan ecosystem as a window into making sense of human difference in an increasingly fractured world. Six of the eighteen seats are reserved for Woodstock Alumni.


Environment Affinity


Aditya Manral

This year saw the creation of the Alumni Environment Affinity Group. The group aims to bring together alumni, staff and friends of the school having a common interest in or affiliation with the environment, whether through profession, hobby, or avocation. Interested alumni who represent the field have met a couple of times virtually and are eager to connect with others from our community. Darab Nagarwalla, Class of 1980 and former staff, is one of the regular attendees and a naturalist who talks about his association with the group.

I was excited to discover that a Zoom meeting was being organized by the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office to initiate the Alumni Environmental Affinity Group. The first virtual interaction allowed many alumni spanning all the way from the 60’s to a current senior at Woodstock to share a brief introduction about themselves and speak about their interests.

It was heartwarming to experience the enthusiasm and passion with which all the members of the group spoke. I was excited to discover the wide range of work fields represented in my fellow alumni including forestry, community forest management, water and gender, water management, climate change, political advocacy and solid waste

Sports Affinity Group

Sports Affinity Group Committee Members

The Alumni Sports Affinity Group was formed this year. Picking up from the virtual sessions on sports that took place in 2021 and 2022 during the FWS/WOSA virtual reunions, Jamie Alter ’99 and Suheil Tandon ’06 took the idea of forming the Sports Affinity Group along the lines of the already established Artist Affinity Group and met with other alumni interested in forming the group.

The group is still in its infancy and would welcome more participants from the

management, among others. The range of work experiences and expertise on offer was also exciting. After some general discussion we focused on how we might potentially initiate some collaborative projects with the school on and around the school campus and Landour hillside.

We came up with some potential themes around which smaller groups could be formed with common interests for ease of functioning. The themes suggested were forest management, wildlife/biodiversity, water heritage, climate change, waste management, and campus/ school sustainability.

The second virtual interaction was taken up almost entirely by a slide presentation which had been earlier made to the Board by the Director of Estates showcasing the various campus sustainability initiatives undertaken over the last few years. It was an eye-opener for many of us, and I found it satisfying to see some very positive, environmentally-sensitive changes to the campus infrastructure.

Please write to: alumni@woodstock.ac.in if you’re interested in joining the group or would like to find out more.

alumni community who either represent sports professionally or have an interest in the field. The steering committee for the Sports Affinity Group represented by Former Head of Sports Ajay Mark ’71, Jamie Alter ’99, Suheil Tandon ’06, and Prithvi Ramakrishnan ’06, would like to invite other members of our community who are interested in contributing towards leading this group to reach out and join the committee.

"We’re excited to initiate the Woodstock Alumni Sports Affinity Group and view it as a unique platform to get together alumni with a shared interest in sport. As we continue to develop the group and ideate about how we want to engage with the school and alumni network through sport, we encourage all those alumni who have an interest in sport, work in sport, or love

Coming Soon!

Watch your Alumni Connections

Newsletter and social media for news about the Sports Affinity Group’s Sports Weekend to take place on the Woodstock School campus in April 2023

participating and following sport to come join us and grow this group together."

Anyone interested in joining the group please sign up using this form: https://forms.office.com/r/xd8im6eVSY


FWS/WOSA Virtual Reunion 2022

Woodstock Tigers: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow was the theme for the second virtual reunion.

Over the weekend of July 29-31, 2022, over 500 alumni from 25 different countries congregated virtually for FWS/ WOSA’s second virtual reunion. Friends of Woodstock School (FWS) and the Woodstock Advancement and Alumni Office worked closely together on this project. Thanks to all of you who participated, whether it was on the committee, on a panel, or as a participant. It was successful because of the goodwill that you brought to the experience. The planning committee met every other week beginning in January 2022 and thoroughly enjoyed working together.

Committee members who worked hard developing the program and recruiting moderators and panel members were Helen Arnott ’60, Kim Gingerich Brenneman ’79, Priyanka Das ’13, Bruce Davis ’73, Mary Feierabend Girard ’76, Suzanne Hanifl ’63, Sue Crain Lewis ’82, Aditya Manral, Max Marble ’67, Sharon Seto ’79, Katie Jo Walter, David Wheeler, and Connie Wheeler. David Shastry’s ’09 tech expertise was vital for coordinating and building the platform that we all were able to seamlessly access throughout the weekend.

What a brilliant time we had gathering together, catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, and talking about our time spent at Woodstock. Reminiscing about our experiences brings Woodstock alumni together, regardless of graduation year. Whether it’s recognizing athletes from our own class (thanks to Max Marble’s video of Woodstock Tigers in Sports: Past and Present) or talking about classes, hiking, or dorm life.

Priyanka Das ’13 described in her panel Dorm Life: Forged in the Foothills, “Lifelong friendships are forged here, and for many dorms are where extended families are found. No matter where we go, students and dorm parents alike carry fond memories of adventures shared among friends.” We laughed heartily as some of you “came clean” with pranks you pulled. How fascinating it is to hear about the hijinx

from all generations of Woodstock alumni. Certainly a creative bunch of people!

The creativity and variety of skills and expertise of Woodstock alumni are staggering. This talent remains constant over generations, as evidenced by those who

participated in the panels. The live concert, which surely would have been met with a standing ovation had we been in person, was moving. The artists in residence, who worked directly with students at Woodstock this past May, shared their experiences of returning to school where their interests were cultivated.

Lifelong friendships are forged here, and for many, dorms are where extended families are found.
A montage of the virtual reunion attendees

Ashoke Chatterjee ’51 and Sharon Seto ’79 opened up the weekend with a conversation about the history of Woodstock in terms of whom it has served and its impact in India and more broadly. We learned about the Garhwal Mountains that were so much a part of our lives at Woodstock and heard how this setting had an impact on alumni studying ecology and conservation. Max Marble’s In Memoriam was also a very moving highlight of the weekend.

Several themes such as service, diversity, and values-based education arose and were visited over the weekend. Thanks so much to the hard work of Katie Jo Walter and Aditya Manral for putting together the prerecorded videos which helped us feel as if we were at Woodstock again. How much fun it was to see the landscape of Woodstock change over the years. While the campus is upgraded (classrooms, dining hall), and innovations

such as the Centre for Imagination are realized, excellence in educating students continues.

FWS 2023 Annual Meeting & Reunion

your calendar, do it now! The FWS WOSA reunion Planning Committee has been working hard, and it will be wonderful to be able to meet in person once again!.

Plus an optional Grand Canyon Tour – an FWS Alumni Enrichment Activity!

Date: October 27–30, 2023

Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix, October 27–30, 2023

Tempe, Arizona

Registration opens early 2023 at www.fwsfoundation.org
If you haven’t put October 27-30, 2023 on 82

WOSA Asia Updates

Over the past year WOSA Asia has continued its efforts to build community and connections with the Woodstock campus. One of the many enriching ways WOSA Asia members engaged with our current school community was by offering high school students internships: “WOSA Asia offered 15 positions over the year in various disciplines such as finance and digital marketing, and the target is to offer over 20 positions next year.”


Here are some of the key recent updates from WOSA Asia Committee Members that we’d like to share with our alumni community:

– In the recent Delhi Alumni Worldwide Woodstock Day gathering, WOSA Asia sponsored Woodstock School Tiger mugs for all attendees at the event and connected with alumni to encourage them to become a part of WOSA Asia.

– Palden Tshering ’91 and Manav Mehra ’96 are now part of the newly formed Alumni Ambassador Programme and have connected with other alumni ambassadors to support the school and its goals.

– Jamie Alter ’99 and Suheil Tandon ’06, with the support of the Advancement and Alumni Office, are building momentum around the Alumni Sports Affinity Group. A small core committee is in place to guide the groups endeavours, and they invite all WS alumni who have

a connection with sports to join the group (and core committee if interested). The first affinity group event on campus is being planned for April 2023. Get in touch for details.

– Manav Mehra ’96 also spoke to the students, helped judge the Entrepreneurship Fest organised by Woodstock School, and was able to share some experiences earlier this year.

– Priya Kapoor ’97 has joined the Woodstock School Board General Body this year.

Looking Ahead

WOSA Asia Committee Members are excited and looking forward to more connections in 2023. They hope to triple membership of WOSA Asia with more representation from other countries starting with Thailand, Korea and Singapore.

To learn more about WOSA Asia and joining, please visit https://www.woodstockschool.in/wosa-asia/ or write to alumni@woodstock.ac.in / manavmehra579@gmail.com

Woodstock Old Students Association ASIA

Join Today to Get Your Region Involved!

Founded in 2020, WOSA Asia is a dedicated organisation for Woodstock School’s alumni community on the Indian Subcontinent and across Asia. This community hopes to be a real asset to the school, not only because of its physical proximity to the campus but also because of its formidable network and immense goodwill towards its alma mater. WOSA Asia is an initiative led by a group of enthusiastic alumni who have volunteered their time and resources towards this endeavour.

Grassroots – Collaborative – School Supported

From India, Nepal, and Bhutan, our committee members hope to partner with Woodstock to expand the network even farther across Asia and establish a strong foundation for WOSA Asia in order for it to contribute to and support Woodstock in many meaningful ways.



Woodstock Activity Week 2022 Memories And Friendships for A Lifetime

Talk about a logistical challenge. Four hundred forty students and 76 adult chaperones in 22 activity groups visiting 86 different locations over five days. You read that right – no typos. But logistics isn’t actually the story here, as challenging as the logistical numbers appear. In fact, there’s no “story” here at all.

Rather, Activity Week 2022 is about the real-life experiences of Woodstock School’s Early Childhood through 12th Grade students embracing transformational learning opportunities during one full school week of intensive, guided activities.

During one week in October, impressionable, hungry to learn, and motivated Woodstock students from three to 18 years of age –

– collectively trekked 150 hours over 200 kilometres reaching altitudes above 13k feet

– explored and learned about life in the Himalaya in both nearby locations and more distant villages and mountainsides

– rafted white waters to Rishikesh

– safari-ed, nature-hiked, birded, compass-navigated, took on ropes courses, even body-surfed, and learned from naturalists at national wildlife parks

– learned outdoor living skills, Wilderness First Aid, and CPR at our own Hanifl Centre

– participated in the education system of K-8 students at a local village school

– studied the arts at the Himalayan Society for Heritage and Art Conservation

– performed community engagement in schools and other educational institutions

– explored the Landour hillside, Mussoorie bazaar, and other local attractions

How do Woodstock alumni describe their own Activity Week experience years later?

Incredible Activity Week trips and Amazing lifelong memories, they tell us. Really, this is about real life and not about a “story.”

“There is not one Woodstock alumnus that I meet around the world,” attests Dr Cook, “who was not impacted positively by their engagement with our surrounding environment, which ultimately helps us meet our mission at Woodstock to prepare students for leadership and for life.”

Mukta Top Activity Week’s Himalaya treks pose some of the greatest challenges for both students and chaperones. “This was not an easy hike,” confirms Imtiaz Rai, Middle Years Programme Coordinator and primary planner for Activity Week and who led 15 Eleventh Graders and three other chaperones on their five-day expedition to Mukta Top. “Our students all did extremely well. This was their first experience of a hike and camping, and they were thrown well out of their comfort zone. We found ourselves in some pretty hard situations with the climb and the weather, and as chaperones we were so impressed that all our students rose to the occasion.”

Dayara Bugyal

The Twelfth-Grade trek to Dayara Bugyal covered 16 km over 22 hours of hiking. “The group was amazing,” says twelfth grader Chaitanya. “I bonded with people I didn't know very well, and it just made me a more caring person because walking with people in an open space gives you a lot of time to talk about anything and everything. I’ll remember every fall a person had, every situation we got stuck in, every moment when even the most unfamiliar faces started seeming like long lost buddies, all the ghost stories we told each other, and every time I helped anyone pack their tents and bags.” Fellow twelfth grader Eliya chips in, “Being with the group for a whole week was surprisingly lovely. I thought that maybe after a couple of days in uncomfortable

conditions together we might fall apart. I think this experience brought all of us much closer. I had a great time with everyone, and honestly it was something that will stick with me for years.”

Lead chaperone and mathematics teacher Theresa Joseph agrees, “At the end of the trip, everyone was so exhilarated. We were all pushed out of our comfort zones. So many of us could not believe we carried over 10 kg on our backs and walked uphill, slept on frost-covered grounds, and survived without toilets. To us the trek was about persevering. And I think that is what we all learnt at the end of the five days. I also loved getting to know the seniors, none of whom I had known before the trip.”

WOW training at Hanifl Centre

Not only those who travelled far away but also those who stayed nearby learned and grew with their activity challenges. Aradhana Chhikara, Environmental Education Coordinator and Diploma Programme Psychology Teacher, led the Week of Wilderness (WOW) activity group that learned outdoor living skills and Wilderness First Aid and CPR at Hanifl Centre. She emphasizes how WOW “… imparts essential skills in a fun, engaging, and practical format. The instructors were very professional and captured the attention of students with their knowledge and wit.”

Kenton Beachy ’78

“I will remember the first aid course for the rest of my life,” says tenth grader Nirbaan. “It was eye-opening to see a glimpse of the thought process of medical professionals in the field. It was also fascinating to see all the improvisations that could be made using different objects available to us.”

The WOW excursion also offered opportunity to develop new friendships and experience a memorable hike. Fellow tenth grader Jasleen gushes about the experience. “It was actually really great,” she says, “because there were a few people in my class who I’d never talked to before. We had two hours before our sleepover when we could do anything we wanted. So, I would just go to everyone and talk to them. That’s what everyone did. And the hiking part was the most amazing thing. There were people who liked to hike. There were people who had never hiked before. There were people who were scared of downhill hiking. There were people whose hands I had to hold and walk them through everything. It was fun.”

The fun took a lot of planning and care, though. "I think I got involved in leading Activity Week by accident, actually," admits

Imtiaz. "I was one of the few people in the current leadership team who was here when we had Activity Week before the pandemic. So when conversation started up I was really excited about the opportunity. I got Akshay (Shah) from the Hanifl Centre on board. There were a lot of people involved and a lot of moving parts in order to get that ball rolling."

"The outdoors provides us with a platform to expedite the learning of essential life skills," Akshay asserts. "It was heartening to see 520+ students and staff immerse themselves in the various activities assigned to them and get an opportunity to live out the school's guiding principles."

Early Years

Activities also included the Kindergarten through Third Graders. Early Years classroom teacher and chaperone Mayuri Barnhardt along with four other chaperones took 14 of their youngsters on day excursions around Landour. “It was fun to go to a new place every day,” she says. “It was a lot of walking, but no one complained. Everyone followed the rules and had a great time. Most of all

I’m glad everything went safely. We all grew in patience, friendship, and love and appreciation for nature, which is one of the most amazing things in Woodstock.” Everyone enjoyed visits to Cloud’s End, Chaar Dukaan, the Chakkar, Happy Valley, George Everest’s House, and Mausi Falls.

“We played a lot,” remembers first grader Rebekah. “We went to Cloud’s End – I thought it was actually the end of clouds. A cloud came down on us while we were there. My favourite was the thing that was spinning around.”

“My favourite was the bouncy castle,” counters Second Grader Sachit. “We had a lot of fun playing with our friends. I liked that almost all of the kids [in Grades K-3] came to play with us.

“We went to the Chakkar, and we got our own stuff at Prakash’s,” adds Rebekah proudly. "I liked that we all found sticks. And while we were going two people would hold the sticks, and one person would keep going under it or over it.”

They both agree that they’re looking forward to Activity Week again next year.

The fourth and fifth graders also explored the area around the school and then visited Kaaya Learning Centre in Dehradun where


they did birding and nature study, learned about the dairy cycle and local crafts, and went on a nature walk.

“I liked how we would walk a lot,” says fourth grader Leah. “At the Kaaya Learning Centre they made this mixture of mud and cow dung, and we would use it to make, like, flower designs and stuff on the wall of the house. In the evenings we would have bonfires and, like, marshmallows and stuff. I’ll definitely remember Silky the goat.”

“I liked how we could all go to different places,” adds fellow fourth grader Ceci. “It was like we and nature were one, connected. I’ll remember just being there. It was a nice experience. The huts made us feel like we were mini adults living in our own houses. I felt mature.”

Mooldhar Trek

Chaperone Nandini Ramesh from the Department of Science led 14 eleventh graders and three other chaperones on the Srikot to Mooldhar trek via Nag Tibba. “It allowed us to connect with students in a new light,” she recounts. “Students came out of their comfort zone and embraced life in the outdoors. During the week they persevered and overcame physical challenges and the fear of heights. The trek guides were knowledgeable and seized many teachable moments to draw attention to environmental preservation and treading lightly. Despite lamenting the loss of access to technology, unbeknownst to the students, their tents came alive with the sounds of conversation, laughter, and songs well into the chilly, starry nights. Those who started out with reluctance, apprehension, and doubts had changed their minds by the end of the week and felt ready for another overnight trek!”

Rajaji National Park

The park provided the perfect environment for 27 sixth graders and their four chaperones led by Brigitte Concessio, Languages Head of Department and Homeroom Head for the sixth grade, to interact with nature. “As a Homeroom Head I have to create situations to spend more time with Grade 6 since I don’t teach them,” Brigitte explains. “Activity Week gave me ample opportunity to experience their mischief, their camaraderie, and their eagerness to bond, putting aside all social apprehensions or past difficulties. I got to see them in all hues. The best was during our ‘Dog in the Bone’ game. Such joy and teamwork it brought and, from some, sheer wily tactics to grab the bone.” The week included nature walking, birding, safari-ing, meeting and getting to know pet elephants,

talent night-ing, walking along the Ganga, and interacting with the nearby Gujjar village community.

Jim Corbett National Park

The visit to the park provided students extensive interaction with nature and included a jungle safari through the park. "It was amazing," says Eighth Grader Eliza, "and most of the mini-groups got to see tigers." Lead chaperone and Hindi Teacher Amrita John says, "I personally loved seeing the beautiful elephants, but there was something in the trip for everybody. Bodysurfing through an old canal was unforgettable, with the thrilling turns and unpredictable drops. It was really a time to have all sorts of new experiences and make friends."


Eliza's classmate Prem says it also opened his eyes in an unexpected way. “One thing I’ll remember for years to come is the drive to and from,” he remembers. “Within a matter of hours, it felt as if we drove through three Indias. The Urban India which we consider developing. Agricultural India the media shows. And the poverty our lawmakers try to say isn’t prevalent anymore. I saw families of five on a motorcycle. I saw children working on stalls out of obligation. I saw banners selling dreams to the desperate. I saw degree mills that call themselves colleges. There are so many things hidden in plain sight that we fail to notice. Activity Week was an experience which will stick with me for life.”

Credit Imtiaz, Akshay and Woodstock’s Travel Office for bringing order and success to the logistical challenges of Activity Week. "We had the Hanifl Centre involved, helping a lot with the logistical pieces," Imtiaz recounts. "We had a lot of departments working together because we had cars going off in all different directions. We had students going off into all different parts of Uttarakhand. The Hanifl Centre did an amazing job working all of that out because I don't think I would have been able to manage that at all. They were such a huge help and really took the lead on this. I was just helping liaise."

But what Imtiaz points to in the aftermath is not the dozens of letters and emails, the transportation and lodging arrangements, and the last-minute emergencies to deal with before speeding off to lead her own activity group. Rather she emphasises, “Our students really learned that they are capable of so much more than they originally thought. And these are lessons that can translate to the classroom – just because something is hard it doesn't mean you can't overcome it or that it isn't worth it!”

“Activity week remains as one of the many jewels in our approach to educating students of all ages,” Dr Cook summarizes. “Taking advantage of our Himalayan context in these ways only enhances the impact of learning across disciplines for all students.”

Activity Week at Woodstock. Learning for a lifetime. Memories and friendships for a lifetime.


WS Community Engagement @Kaplani

Mrs Sanjaya Mark works diligently and with a heart of gold on Woodstock’s Community Engagement programming. Earlier this month she led a group of students to Village Kaplani to present PINK: Breast Cancer Awareness to a group of Twelfth Graders and their teachers at M.G.V.S. Inter College Kaplani.

A prior needs assessment and memorandum of agreement precede Community Engagement projects such as this to ensure best responding to the needs of each community. The Woodstock students presented a very effective, interactive training on early detection of breast cancer and options and resources for maintaining good health. The Kaplani students were very appreciative of the training and welcomed the Woodstock contingent with open arms. “The warmth of the girls and women who attended was heartening,” affirms twelfth grader Prisha Agrawal who led the presentation. “It was a wondrous experience talking to them and seeing them grow more comfortable throughout the session while discussing a topic associated with so much stigma.”

It was a wondrous experience talking to them and seeing them grow more comfortable throughout the session while discussing a topic associated with so much stigma.

The Road to Delhi Woodstock’s Music Department Travels to Promote New Music Spaces at Woodstock

In 2022 the timings of Diwali and Activity Week combined with ongoing concerns over Covid to push back campus-based Worldwide Woodstock Day celebrations yet another year. Just as Team Woodstock’s spirits began to sink, Ady Manral made an exciting proposal: “What if, at the end of the school break for Diwali, we host a gathering in Delhi? We can encourage staff travelling through on their way back to campus after the break to attend.”

Soon after the Music Department was brought into the conversation. Department Head Mr Ravi Arthur enthusiastically supported the idea to bring music and other faculty and staff to the Delhi event in order to perform for alumni while promoting the music programme and raising funds towards recent Quad Music Block renovations. Since Mr Arthur was unable to take part, all preparations from the Music department side were handled by Piano teacher Mr Milan Sudzuk.

The Worldwide Woodstock Day event in Delhi was attended by over 80 alumni and saw 21 Woodstock staff join in, many of them travelling nin hours by bus from the hillside to join the event. Woodstock couldn’t have found a better way to celebrate Worldwide Woodstock Day.

The staff took to the stage to perform music of all kinds throughout the evening, including Indian classical, Semi-classical, Rock, Pop, and Latin. Staff attending included Dr Cook, Jamie Williams, Sanjaya Mark (and her husband Ajay Mark ’71), Katie Jo Walter, Bob Shoemaker, Ady Manral, Sanchali Chakraborty, Aastha Bhakri, Milan Sudzuk, Aloke Maiti, Sherin Jacob, Nischith Moses, Theresa Joseph (with husband Vinith Kumar), Clara Astarloa, Maria Lusardi, Cristian Ruiz, Afroz Anjum, Brijesh Tyagi, and Bhaskar Bahuguna.

“I am grateful to all of the alumni and my new colleagues for giving us these three days full of magic and music. May it be repeated a thousand times!” exclaimed Eugenia Lusardi, newly-joined dorm parent

and sister of former Woodstock Choir Director Santiago Lusardi.

Sanjaya Mark, Chaplain and Director of Community Engagement, said, “As always it was wonderful for us to meet up with a significant number of Woodstock alumni. It's always so special to catch up on what our students are now doing. The warmth and affection extended to us by them whenever we meet and the stories they share about their lives make us feel privileged to be a part of the Woodstock family. Thank you WOSA India for a lovely, lovely evening. We look forward to your support in whatever way you can do so, for Woodstock. The Community Engagement programme will be most grateful for help towards its ongoing community

development projects. Thank you to the Advancement team for organizing this most enjoyable evening in a very magical setting.

We’re looking forward to more such events.”

Distinguished alumnus Ashoke Chatterjee ’51 who was at the event was impressed by the large turnout and took to the stage to help promote giving to Woodstock and supporting the latest Music Block renovations. Sharing a message from distinguished alumna Bhavenesh Kumari Patiala ’50, he spoke about donations the two of them made at the event and made a call to action for more young alumni to show their support for the school.




A local alumni gathering took place at the Principal’s Cottage on December 8, 2022. Community members and friends were joined by hosts Dr Cook and Jamie Williams as well as by many other alumni and current staff members. Woodstock’s music department faculty performed beautiful music, making the get-together even more special


Pune, Kathmandu, & Bangkok

In the earlier part of the year Dr Cook joined leadership and staff from Advancement, Admissions, and Communications for regional travel to meet current parents, alumni, and prospective students and parents. March saw a visit to Pune, events were hosted in Kathmandu in April, and in May events were held in Bangkok.

Bangkok, Thailand Pune, India
Kathmandu, Nepal

U.S. Summer Gatherings

Katie Jo Walter made her way from the West Coast (Seattle) to the East Coast (Washington., D.C.) in just under one month's time in June and July.

Each gathering took on its own unique tone with attendees sharing their Woodstock highs and lows, their involvement and support since leaving, and their hopes for the Woodstock of the future. Katie Jo got to spend extended periods of time with several long-term supporters of Woodstock - including major and sustaining donors, former Board Members, and former Development Directors - and receive their guidance and mentorship. At the same time she got to connect with several of the younger members of the U.S. Woodstock community who are also interested in being involved in our ongoing efforts to keep our global family of lifelong learners actively involved with campus and one another.

Chicago, IL, U.S.

Bangkok, Thailand

Woodstock Gatherings

Dr Cook, Katie Jo Walter, and Kenton Beachy '78 visited the UK last September to bring together and meet alumni while sharing the latest from campus. It was an interesting time as the travelling team from the school arrived just a few days ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

London alumna Dalia Majumder Russell '01 helped plan the visit and a wonderful dinner at Mumbai Square in Aldgate, London. Overall 30 attendees joined, some of whom, like Smita Biswas '89, were attending their first-ever alumni gathering. Alumni were amazed by Woodstock’s recent infrastructure upgrades and enjoyed browsing the UNESCO nomination book the visiting team brought along with them - with women from recent classes amused that they finally got to see what the boys' bathrooms look like.

Navya Sethi '20 and Shalini Bath '89 agreed to work to create more and increasingly interesting Woodstock connections in London. Realising the wealth of accomplishments and experience in the group, they’re hoping to host meetings featuring alumni guest speakers. They’re also eager to help organise London alumni to lend a helping hand to new Woodstock School alumni coming to the UK for higher studies and to assist the Woodstock admissions team in the UK.

The next day the team attended a fundraising luncheon for Pardada Pardadai Educational Society (PPES), a charitable organisation providing education for underprivileged girls in Uttar Pradesh, India. PPES was founded by the father of Renu Agarwal '88 and Ena Murphy '89, and Renu and Ena serve in various roles supporting the organisation. While there the Woodstock contingent met Dr Vivek Tandon '88 who, while having attended Woodstock School for only two years, showed enthusiasm for being involved. Dr Tandon subsequently served as a judge for the Woodstock School Entrepreneurship Fest.

Next the team visited Scotland, staying at the beautiful Whispering Pine Lodge where they were graciously hosted by Sanjay Narang '81. Mr Narang shared his latest work building his new Scotlandbased home and his company Black Sheep Hotels. It is impressive, to say the least. Mr Narang hosted a small barbecue gathering at Whispering Pine where alumni and former staff enjoyed fire and food by the lochside.

London, UK Austin, TX, U.S.
Woodstock visits Alumni at Whispering Pine Lodge at Loch Lochy, Scotland (L to R): Dr Cook, Katie Jo Walter, Former Woodstock School Staff Andrzej Plonka, Rochita Plonka ’98, alumni Sebastian and Lex Plonka, Sanjay Narang ’81, Nabil Sheber ’81, Kenton Beachy ’78, Kate Forbes ’08

Milestone reunions

30 Years Class of 1992

No. It can’t be. Meeting after 30 years? Meeting during the pandemic? Meeting during rumours of, and then an actual, war? Impossible! And yet it happened. We the class of 1992, also known as RIOT, pulled off what some say is the reunion of the century. Ok, maybe it’s only we RIOTeers who say it. But it’s true!

The Class of 1992 (RIOT) met in Istanbul, Turkiye, from August 13-18, 2022, for our 30-year reunion. The planning began months in advance to fix dates, the venue, and the itinerary. Any apprehensions that anyone may have had about meeting classmates after 30 long years were quickly brushed aside through what turned out to be an amazingly fun and meaningful time (perhaps it was fun because it was meaningful). We began with a welcome dinner in a beautiful rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus. We ended with an all-expenses paid farewell dinner in the Four Seasons, from an anonymous benefactor (if you are reading this, thank you!). The days in between were punctuated with several group lunches and dinners coupled with the freedom to “do your own thing.” We visited mosques including the beautiful Hagia Sophia. We visited the Basilica Cistern. The Topkapi Palace and Museum. The “Asian” side. Some of us went to the Prince’s Island on a 1.5-hour ferry ride. Some also went to a famous

club that sadly didn’t have a dance floor! Best of all, we spent an afternoon at a pool party in our classmate Barry’s sister’s home (Kathleen Hawthorne, class of 1990 and current Woodstock General Body Member). We all agreed that day was the best! But mostly we hung around together, hearing wonderful stories, admiring how each other had grown. And all this strangely without jealously or pride.

Leaving Istanbul we were tired but grateful and blessed. Many confessed that this trip was both a memorable and a healing time. We ended with the hope to meet more often. Ten years was too long to wait to reconnect with long lost friends. Friends who were long lost no more.

Memorial Gathering for David Chance (L to R): Marcia Smith, Dick Smith ’59, Margo Warner Curl ’67, Max Chance ’94, Rebecca Chance ’69, Willie Knierim ’59, Barbara Judy Bowes ’59, Kate Chance Plager ’90, missing from photo Norm Mundhenk ’59 The Netherlands (L to R): JJago Von Moltke `16, Raphaëlle Morzadec`19, Yeseong Kim`16, Isabella Vogel `13
Istanbul, Turkiye

56 Years Class of 1966

The class of 1966 had an “in-person” reunion for their 56th year, as they did not feel safe having their 55th last year due to the Covid pandemic.

Fourteen classmates and several spouses made their way to Amicalola State Park Lodge at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. See Jottings for more details and photographs.

Celebrate Your Milestone Reunions with Us!

We congratulate the following classes who will be crossing five-year Milestones in 2023. We encourage those who can to allow us to welcome you for a time of reconnection with each other, campus, and the hillside with events tailored to your group.

Those who missed their milestones during the pandemic are also invited to reach out so we can help you plan a special “makeup milestone.”

Contact alumni@woodstck.ac.in to start planning your milestone reunion today!

(L to R): Cate Whitcomb, Phil DeVol, Richard Friedericks, Suzy McCulloch Friedericks, Sherry Sergeant Cox, Carlton Hoke (behind), Frances Hillard Dawson, Karen Smyres Wolner (behind), Fritz Goeth, Linda Garst Gupta, Ruth Yoder Dyal, Wendy Millar Phillips, Warren Rees

50 Years Class of 1972

The Class of ’72 managed (with the hard work of Patricia, Gilman, and Stefania, see below) to gather for our 50th year reunion in Estes Park, Colorado. It was well attended as the photographs below attest.

Third row (L-R): Doug Wysham, Joe Fancher, Gil Halsted, Rodney Dyck, John Lowe, Andrew Hennessey, Andrew Jennings, Mark James, Woodman Taylor, Patricia Whitcomb Green-Sotos Second row (L to R): Rebbeca (Kose) Noah, Shalini (Prakash) Agarwal, Judy (Buckner) Beyer, Karla (Kirkwood) Johnson, Susan Moody, Joie (Morris) DeWolf, Kenyon
Erickson, Zahra Cox First row (L to R): Barbara (Phileo) Miller, Lois Kniss, Noel Seefeldt, Oreen (Long) Eddy, David Hall, Wolf Gruber, Mary (Nave) Davis, Mary Ruth Powell, Janine Clayton Missing: Ray Kawata

WWD 2022

Over 300 alumni and other members of our community met in 15 cities and regions representing more than 10 countries during October to celebrate Worldwide Woodstock Day (WWD). Many of you met over Indian meals, dressed in traditional attire, making sure that our diversity and the cultures that bind us together are celebrated to mark this important occasion. We’ve enjoyed receiving many updates and loved going through the pictures of your events. Enjoy these pictures below that you’ve shared from many different parts of the world,

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Worldwide Woodstock Day 2023.

We’re welcoming alumni to campus for WWD 2023 and will be reaching out to Class Reps from the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 who missed their milestone celebrations on campus with invitations to let us help organize their reunion trips to the hillside.

Alumni living in the U.S. or planning to visit should note the Friends of Woodstock School (FWS) Reunion planned for October 27-30, 2023. FWS is excited to return to an in-person reunion after four years (see page 82 for details).

Melbourne, Australia

"After trying to find an Indian restaurant for some time, we finally ended up settling on a BYO picnic at Jells Park, in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It was a massive risk with unpredictable rainy weather, but we were blessed with a magical day with plenty of sunshine while we were together (the rain was back shortly after we left, phew!).

In all there were 23 of us celebrating WWD in Melbourne, with a diverse mix of staff and students from Woodstock and Carey Grammar. A big thanks to Sujatha Harding for helping to pull it off and making the picnic a success. The barbecue was fired up, and we cooked sausages and marinated chicken. Everyone contributed to the food offerings, which were stupendous! We had deviled eggs, gluten free brownies, Indian meethai, puris and kebabs, orange and poppy seed bundt cake, pumpkin and gorgonzola quiche – mmm-mmm. There are some fabulous cooks in this group!

Meeting outdoors in an open space we were able to move around freely and chat and get to know each other. There were so many interesting connections, and we were also introduced to the families of our Woodstock members.

I was especially delighted to see Mrs Nima (Eusebius) Flora who I fondly remembered from my 12 years at Woodstock as quiet, gentle, and exceptionally warm.

We now have a WhatsApp group called ‘Woodstockers in Melbourne’ that I’m sure will grow over time. Next year’s event will definitely be bigger!" - Pankaj Singh '79

(L to R): Anouchka Chatelier '98 with Steve (husband) and kids, Jillian Stewart (Former Staff), Sujatha '85 and Andrew Harding (spouse), David (Former Staff) and Elizabeth Hamer (Former Staff), John Lewis (Former Staff), Howard and Jillian Wilkins (Former Staff), Pankaj '79 and Sujata Singh (spouse), Reis and Neema Flora (Former Staff), Yusuf '80 and Sangeeta Khan (spouse), Neeru Varese '93, Rosemary Flora '58, Paul (spouse) and Jill Bromhead '55

Bangkok, Thailand

Chukie-Om Dorji '98, Karma Tsering '95, KhanduOm '97, Kasang W '07, Gama, Namgyel '96, Chitso Pradhan '96, Chuki Norbu '10, Ritsen Gyaltshen '14, Palden Tshering ’91, Dugyel Jigme Tobgye '11, Yoesar Degyal Gyaltshen '11, Sonam Maekay Penjor '01

Thimphu, Bhutan (L to R): Nghia Doan '09, Raveena Manorattanawong '10, Maynica Sachdev '11, Nutcha Panaspraipong ’14, Rattapong Owasitth '15, Hassakol Panaspraipong '19, Bhumin Chotiwatanadilok ’12

Dallas, Fort Worth, U.S.

Denver, CO, U.S.
(L to R): Farhin Hasan '06, Maria Carpio Manickam, Samuel Manickam '83, Kathy Foster, Theresa Douglas '83, Jeff Douglas, Shari Barr, Vicky Sanford McGraw, Susanna Simon '96, Don Barr '65, Mahjabeen Hasan '95, S. David Simon
(L to R): Nesa Abraham '91, Vinaya Williams (Former Staff), Jeff Rollins '76 and Sue Rollins '77, Amit Lalvani '11, Bruce Johnson '54 and Carmen Johnson (spouse), Daniel Jantzen '62 and Betty Jantzen (spouse), and John Davis '71


Delhi, India
Front Row (L to R): Helen Arnott '60, Rod Rash '73, Janice Marriott, Janice Gamble, Susan Gamble Unger '73 Back Row (L to R): David Mayor, David Marriott ’72, Gary Gamble ’71, Terry Unger

Seoul, Korea

Kolkata, India
(L to R): Tulika Pabrai ’76, Nishant Pabrai ’08, Shilpa Pabrai (spouse), Sidhant Prakash ’08, Vidhi Prakash (spouse), Priti Agarwalla (current WS parent), Ratul Sood (current WS parent), Anshul and Prerna Jain (current WS parents)

Pune, India

Front Row (L-R): Peter Sotos (spouse), Sayeeda Mamoon, Patricia Whitcomb Green-Sotos '72 Back Row (L to R): Gilman Halsted '72, Mark Bauman ’75, Sara Bauman (daughter), Janice Bauman (spouse), Stefania Sani (Halsted) (spouse), Mary Feierabend Girard '76, Lee Feierabend '66

(L to R): Chayya Jindal '21, Adit Joshi '21, Devika Hastak '11, Siddhant Gupta '11, Anandita John '97, Curran Russell (Former Staff), Dechen Wangmo (Former Staff), Sonal Talaulicar (Former Staff), Darab Nagarwalla '80 (Former Staff), Vanalika Nagarwalla '17, Nazneen Nagarwalla (Former Staff)

Wisconsin, U.S.

Toronto, Canada

St Andrews, Scotland
Standing (L to R): Heather Hilliard '79, Jasmeet Singh '80, Marilyn Eadie Caillier '70, Ellen McIntosh '69, Barb Eadie Ruttle '78, Rohan Kumar '14, Rachit Kumar '09, Rachel Finney '64, Joy Garrison Schwindt '76, Mark Schwindt (spouse), Barbara Herman (Former Staff), Mary Self Skarsten '69, Doug Virgin '68 Seated (L to R): Joy Finney '69, Chris Mackey '86, Sunil Kumar (parent), Rosalie Howard (Former Staff), Alan Howard '81 & Former Staff, Natasha Cassinath '91, Anny Cassinath (spouse), Meherjee Cassinath '63, Val Virgin (spouse)
Anika Suares ’19, Priyansha Agarwal ’20, Akshaya Pradhan '19
Lacey, Washington, U.S.
Tucson AZ, U.S. Back Row (L to R): Tom Silliman (spouse), Cliff Rice '68, Richard Friedericks '66, Tom Rice '65, Lloyd Claassen '67, Gail Claassen (spouse), Ed Tegenfeldt (Kodai '56) Middle Row (L to R): Mary Beth Jantzen (spouse), Darlene Seaman Silliman '80, Suzanne McCulloch Friedericks '66, David Rugh '66, Norm Mundhenk '59, Lois Kniss '71, Margo Warner Curl '67, Margaret Tegenfeldt (Kodai '55) Front Row (L to R): Mark Wagner '67, Jon Jantzen '69, Jeannie Schoonmaker (spouse), Marlin Schoonmaker '67, Marg Groff '67, Marcia Smith (spouse and Former Staff), Dick Smith '59
Front (L-R): Mark Baur '72, Lorrie Doman-Sheydayi '87, Millie Franks Pais '88, Cheryl Beachy Paulovich '69, Edi Francesconi (parent) Back (L-R): Nishant Pabrai '08, David Weber (Former staff), Janet Allen Machula-White '59, Irby White (spouse), Margaret Ward '51, Jim Douthit (spouse), Devika Khosla '92, Lois Miller '81, Mary Nave Davis '72, Jane Pendley (Former Staff), Will Foster '78

Woodstock School

Distinguished Alumnus 2022

David Rugh ‘66


Woodstock School

Distinguished Alumna 2022

Daphne Wysham ‘79


Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence Awardee 2022

Monica Roberts

Established in 2019, the Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence in International Education recognizes individual staff’s outstanding contributions to teaching and learning at Woodstock School.

Marie Bissell Prentice loved India and was an inspired teacher in the New York Public School System. In addition to being a teacher, she was a potter, a singer, a poet, and a powerful social advocate for the causes she believed in. These same qualities are present in so many of the men and women who make Woodstock’s academics, enrichment, and residential life a transformative and holistic experience.

This award is given to Individuals or teams of individuals who have:

– Improved learning and life at Woodstock

– Consistently led academics, residential, or enrichment life at Woodstock

– Exemplified the school’s Guiding Principles, Desired Learning Outcomes, and International Mindedness

– Initiated or significantly improved opportunities for students to grow

Nominations are taken from the entire Woodstock community each year which are then reviewed by a committee including student, staff, and faculty representatives from different areas across campus.

Awardees to date include former CFI Director Ms Amy Seefeldt and Current Woodstock School Music Department Head Mr Ravi Arthur.

This year’s award was bestowed on Mrs Monica Roberts. The text of the speech given by Dr Cook announcing Mrs Roberts as the 2022 awardee at the Spring 2022 All Staff Banquet is being shared here.

Several of the 2022 nominees have contributed significantly to the areas specified by the award, and the selection process was not an easy one. However, the committee agreed on one person whose work seemed to touch lives in each one of their professional, living, and learning areas at Woodstock.

The 2022 awardee has impressively and consistently demonstrated and cultivated the three ever-enduring things I spoke to at the 2022 Baccalaureate Ceremony: faith, hope, and love. Faith, hope, and love were the foundation of this person’s long-serving role at Woodstock School.

Although not a classroom teacher, our awardee has done extraordinary work improving learning and life at Woodstock School in her numerous roles, especially as a dorm parent, student advisor, homeroom head, and Development and Alumni Office administrator. She has exemplified the school’s Guiding Principles, Desired Learning Outcomes, and International Mindedness while consistently identifying and supporting opportunities for students, alumni, and fellow staff members and employees to grow. Employees deserve special mention here as many may not be aware our nominee has supported fundraising for and administration of funds providing emergency medical and education funding for Woodstock’s employees and their families. She remains strongly committed to supporting Woodstock’s efforts to further assist its employees and help them achieve ever better knowledge and quality of life through the generations.

Our awardee has relied on faith, proudly supporting Woodstock’s Christian valuesbased education. She has shown hope in ever brighter tomorrows for Woodstock School and for its students – especially the

naughtier ones! And she has shown great and vast love, especially for our students, both during their time at Woodstock and as they traveled, grew, and lived around the world. She continued to share in their joys and sorrows and serve the entire alumni community with this love.

This love-based work has taken place around the world; as editor of the Quadrangle and as a traveling representative of the school, she has brought Woodstock to our alumni no matter where they may be. She has also managed innumerable alumni visits and milestone reunions bringing alumni to Woodstock. She has been a true lynchpin of our global community of alumni, parents, and former staff. The greatest of these is love: and these were our awardee’s own words when she came before the upper years students to bid them farewell at their final assembly. After 43 years of service to the community, she said to the students, “All I can say is that I love you very much. Thank you, Woodstock.”

We thank Mrs Monica Roberts for sharing her love and supporting and transforming thousands of Woodstockers around the world. We’re pleased and honored to present her with this year’s Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence in International Education.

Woodstock would like to give special thanks to our donor for establishing this award in memory of his aunt, which allows us to incentivise and celebrate educational excellence in our community. Woodstock is seeking to create more such funds to help us bring highly talented and diverse educators to Woodstock via endowed faculty chair positions. If you would like to fund or help fund an endowed faculty chair position in a subject area you care about, please email us at: advancement@woodstock.ac.in


Staff arrivals and departures 2022

Staff arrivals

– Arvindanabha Shukla, December 1, 2021, Head of Upper Years

– Vishal Negi, January 1, 2022, Administrative Assistant – The Hanifl Centre

– Maria Clara Emilia Astarloa, January 1, 2022, Teacher – Languages

– Nalayini Nanthagopalan, January 1, 2022, Teacher – Drama & Theatre

– Pinky Chowdhury, February 10, 2022, Nurse

– Katie Jo Walter, February 15, 2022, Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations

– Milan Sudzuk, March 1, 2022, Teacher – Music (Piano)

– Vipul Vashistha, March 1, 2022, Outdoor Instructor

– Rajalakshmi Sivarama Krishnan, April 1, 2022, HOD – SEN

– Mayuri Barnhardt, April 8, 2022, Teacher – Early Years

– Kenton Beachy, May 15, 2022, Director of Communications

– Theresa Joseph, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Mathematics

– Joona Sheel, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Science

– Amitavo Roy, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Music

– Aishwarya SD, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Individuals & Societies

– Tilak KC, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Business Management and I&S

– Nishchith Moses, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Art

– Katherine Allison Dyche, July 1, 2022, HOD – Arts

– Sonia Nair, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Early Years

– Anusuya Vijaykumar Panchagatti, Jul 1, 2022, Teacher – Business Management & Economics

– Prabin Rai, July 1, 2022, Teacher –Economics

– S.H. Afroz Anjum, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Economics & I&S

– Maria Angelica Prieto Prieto, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Language (Spanish)

– Kouame N’Guettia Modeste Date, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Language (French)

– Shubhankar Roy, July 1, 2022, HOD –Mathematics

– Cameron Michael Bradley, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Music (Band)

– Prerna Shyam Gadve, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Science

– Ma. Chrisanta Tiongson Ely, July 1, 2022, Teacher – Special Education Needs

– Brijesh Kumar Tyagi, July 1, 2022, Audio–Visual and Technology Specialist

– Shaji Philip, July 25, 2022, Teacher –Computer Science & Design

– Mohammad Qasier Jamal, August 1, 2022, Residential Dorm Parent

– Shrey Nagalia, August 1, 2022, Teacher – Language and Literature

– Varsha Joab, August 1, 2022, Residential Dorm Parent

– Sabrina Anne Hartmann, August 12, 2022, Teacher – Language and Literature

– Lanie Mae De Juan Gaitan, August 27, 2022, Residential Dorm Parent

– Swati Bose Roy, September 1, 2022, Education Administrative Officer

– Sonam Thomas, September 1, 2022, Library Assistant

– Maria Eugenia Lusardi, September 24, 2022, Residential Dorm Parent

– Rajat Bhog, September 26, 2022, IB Admin & Examination Officer

– Ashish Luthra, October 3, 2022, Assistant Manager – Travel & Liasion

– Renu Oberoi Shah, November 7, 2022, Centre for Imagination Coordinator II

Staff departures

– Prashant Mathew, Language Acquisition Teacher, 2 years

– Amelia Lynn Mohammad Bagheri, Teacher – Science, 1 year

– Jonathan Robert Le Shana, Teacher –English, 1 year

– Sudha Rakesh, HOD I&S, 2 years

– Ritu Seth, Teacher – I&S, 2 years

– Arvindanabha Shukla, December 1, 2021, 1.1 years

– Andrew Plonka, HOD: English Language & Literature, 6 years

– Nandakumar Puthiyakovilakant, HOD: Visual Arts, 6 years

– Sonal Talaulicar, Registrar, 6 years

– Shivani Agarwal, Director of Human Resources, 6 years

Departing staff who served over seven years

During his 12.5 years at Woodstock Mr Jeffrey Doerfler was a central figure in the residential life of thousands of students. As Dean of Student Life, Jeffrey led provision of pastoral care, ensuring students had the emotional and social support they needed to thrive in a residential school environment. During Covid he also stepped up to take on the role of Interim Head of Upper Years.

He played a central role in Woodstock’s sporting life as well, coaching the Senior Boys’ Basketball Team. During his tenure the team won Win Mumby three times and finished runner-up four times.

Mr Steve Luukkonen dedicated his 12.5 years at Woodstock to keeping the community active. As Head of PHE he led academic studies in the field of physical education, but his efforts for the community’s health extended way beyond the classroom and Win Mumby Gymnasium. He founded and organised the Mussoorie Half Marathon, which drew runners from across India and beyond to challenge themselves in the Himalayan foothills. He also coached the Senior Girls’ Basketball Team to success in many tournaments. Whatever the activity, Steve always threw himself into it with his trademark boundless and infectious enthusiasm.

During her more than 40 years of service

Mrs Monica Roberts dedicated herself to the Woodstock School community. Working in various roles during her time at Woodstock, Monica is perhaps best known for her time in the alumni office where her knowledge and experience were invaluable in serving our alumni community. She is also fondly remembered as advisor to many hundreds of students and as Homeroom Head for the classes of 2009, 2019, and 2023. In May 2022 Monica was awarded a Citation for Distinguished Service.

For 28 years Mrs Subhashini Timothy supported student learning and development in her role as librarian at Woodstock School. Mrs Timothy was always actively involved in enabling students to make the most of the library’s facilities and the learning that could be found within. Beyond her library role, Mrs Timothy played an active role in student academic studies and enrichment activities, including many Activity Weeks. In May 2022 she was awarded a Citation for Distinguished Service.

During his seven years at Woodstock School

Mr Tarun Seth shared his passion for the teaching and learning of mathematics with countless students. As Head of Department, Mathematics, he led our team of math teachers as they inspired students to delve into the study of quality, structure, space, and change and their role in life and the universe. Tarun encouraged and enabled many students to participate in inter-school


conferences and competitions where they could meet students from other schools and share their passion and knowledge.

Mrs Tsering Chozom Malik touched the lives of countless students during her 23 years at Woodstock. Throughout she was committed to student wellbeing, initially working as a nurse in the school’s Health Centre before becoming a Dorm Parent at Edgehill Dorms. For the past 11 years Tsering was Dorm Parent at Midlands Dorm, helping our older girls navigate the wonders and struggles of teenage life. Her calm and caring demeanor meant Tsering was always someone students could turn to for advice and support, whatever challenges they were facing.


Eric Roberts

As Head of Woodstock’s Travel and Liaison Office, Mr Eric Roberts worked tirelessly to ensure that many thousands of students and staff reached their destinations safely and seamlessly. He joined Woodstock in March 1980 as Cashier Trainee in the accounts department and by July had been taken on as Cashier, a role he maintained for the next five years. In July 1985 Mr Roberts became Liaison Officer in the travel office, an area in which he would continue to serve Woodstock for a total of 34 years.


Subhashini Timothy

For 28 years Mrs Subhashini Timothy supported student learning and development in her role as librarian at Woodstock School. Whether students came to her for a book recommendation or for advice on the challenges of teenage life, Mrs Timothy was ever ready to share her knowledge and wisdom. She joined the Libraries Team in 1994, initially volunteering for six years while her daughter Smita Timothy from the Class of 2000 was studying at Woodstock. In July 2000 Mrs Timothy joined as a permanent Library Assistant, a role she continued for the next 22 years until her retirement in June 2022.

During her time serving Woodstock, Mrs Timothy remained a cornerstone of the high school’s Vira Marley Library, working under no fewer than eight Head Librarians whom she trained in the library’s systems and processes and steeped in the school’s vision and philosophy. Mrs Timothy was always actively involved in enabling students to make the most out of the library’s facilities and the learning that could be found within, whether by helping to organise book fairs or providing a helping hand with students’ research work – and especially when they were preparing for symposiums. Beyond her library role, Mrs Timothy played an active role in student academic studies and enrichment activities. She helped Middle Years students develop their culinary skills in her cooking passage and chaperoned countless groups of students during their arrival and departure journeys. Mrs Timothy was actively involved


emergency occurred, he was ready and willing to help. During these times his network and influence became apparent, as with a few phone calls to the right people Mr Roberts was able to resolve seemingly insurmountable challenges. If ever one was travelling, it was a great assurance that should something go wrong Mr Roberts would always be on hand to help, day and night.

His influence and guidance radiated beyond the Travel and Liaison Office.

In particular, he was a foundation stone for the Business Office. When there was a need for advice, Mr Roberts was on hand to share his wisdom and experience with other members of the Woodstock community. Throughout his tenure, he was guided by an unwavering Christian faith, just as he guided many thousands of Woodstockers on their own journeys. As he continues his own personal journey, one can be certain Mr Roberts will continue to be an important part of the Woodstock School community.





For nearly forty years, Mr Ajay Mark was a cornerstone of sporting life at Woodstock School. He joined the school in July 1981 as a teacher in the Physical Education (PE) Department and Head of Hiking. Ajay was the first member of the second generation of the Mark family to serve Woodstock, a family that has collectively contributed more than 140 years of devoted service to the school. From 1987 to 2011 Mr Mark was Head of Physical Education. In August 2011 he took on a new role as Head of Sports and Safety Officer. In 2017 he was given the additional role of Student Life Coordinator, with responsibilities encompassing the whole spectrum of student wellbeing. Mr Mark served in this role until his retirement in June 2020.

foundation stone to be laid for Win Mumby, Mr Mark and his colleagues in the PE Department dedicatedly managed for a decade without a school gymnasium, reorganising a full programme of sports and physical education by holding classes in the Quad, by the School Gate, and at Ridgewood Field.

Once work on the gymnasium was finally able to commence, Mr Mark was instrumental in developing the vision for this new home for sport at Woodstock. He also envisioned the perfect way to showcase Woodstock’s gymnasium and share the facilities with schools across India. The Win Mumby All India Basketball Tournament, founded originally and then continuously organized by Mr Mark over the next 20 years, brought together students from far and wide to determine the nation’s best team – all arrangements meticulously managed by Mr Mark. Crucially, Win Mumby was the first in India where girls’ and boys’ tournaments were granted equal status. At the time of this citation, twenty tournaments later, Win Mumby continues to be the most popular school basketball competition in northern India.

Mr Mark excelled in other sports as well. He coached thousands of students, helping them achieve their potential in track and field, cross-country, basketball, cricket, football, badminton, tennis, volleyball, and field hockey. He organised tournaments in these and other events and organized countless Sports Days and Inter House and Inter School Cross Country meets for students, as well as a designated Sports Day for Woodstock employees. He started a carrom tournament for both staff and employees. Mr. Mark also started the very popular five-a-side inter-school indoor football tournaments for boys, girls, and staff members, with schools from Dehradun and Mussoorie participating. In December 1975 Mr Mark entered the record books when he and a group of skaters broke the Asian long-distance roller-skating record by skating from Mussoorie to Amritsar, a record which still stands to this day.

Over the years many students benefited from being Mr Mark’s advisees. He was the homeroom teacher for the Classes of 1989 and 1997. But above all, Mr Mark’s geniality and outgoing nature made him a firm favourite with students and staff and an ambassador for Woodstock, building connections locally and across India that continue to benefit the school today. Mr Mark has expressed his gratitude to Woodstock for many happy memories that have been formed by current and former students, staff members, parents, employees, and everyone in Mussoorie associated with the school.


Esther Arthur


As a Woodstock School librarian for more than 28 years, Mrs Esther Arthur played a crucial role in the educational journeys of students. She first served as an assistant teacher in the Early Childhood Programme from February 1991 through June 1992. Then in July 1992 Mrs Arthur moved to the position of Library Assistant, a role she would make her own for the next 27 years until her retirement in June 2020.

Mrs Arthur became an indispensable part of Woodstock’s library team, efficiently administering the day-to-day processes and procedures essential to the smooth running of the school’s libraries. Working in both the Middle Years Library in the Quad School and the Vera Marley Library in the high school building, Mrs Arthur displayed a knack for cataloguing and processing books, ensuring that all the knowledge, learning, stories, and creativity within the library’s walls could be found by students no matter what they were looking for. Mrs Arthur’s informative and beautiful thematic bulletin boards were always a highlight for those visiting the library. The displays were a wonderful way for students to learn about the many library resources available to support their academic work, curiosities, and interests. No matter the tasks entrusted to her, Mrs Arthur worked quietly and diligently to get them done.

Her impact on school life radiated well beyond her role in the Libraries Team. An excellent cook, Mrs Arthur was much appreciated by husband Mr Ravi Arthur’s advisees and by his colleagues as well in the Music Department.

Mrs Arthur also made her own musical contribution to the Woodstock community as a talented singer.

Over the 28 and one-half years Mrs Arthur served Woodstock School, her work made a huge difference to many thousands of students and staff members who could always rely on her to help and care whenever they called upon her for support. Her contribution to the Library Team during her tenure was crucial in providing excellent library services in support of holistic learning at Woodstock. It is with much gratitude that Woodstock School recognises Mrs Arthur’s longstanding service.

Monica Roberts


Mrs Monica Roberts’ more than 40 years of service to the Woodstock community on both the hillside and well beyond made her a singular figure in the minds and hearts of Woodstock School Alumni who graduated across the past several decades. After being introduced to Woodstock by a friend from Mumbai working at the school, she joined the Woodstock staff, met and married her husband Eric here, and raised her daughters Becky and Aradhana, both of whom graduated from Woodstock.

Mrs Roberts joined Woodstock as receptionist and typist in 1979. Five years later she took a break before returning to Woodstock to provide substitute work in the dorms. She later served as a dorm parent and remained in that role for nearly ten years. Like the homeroom students she mentored until her final day at Woodstock, students from those years also recall Mrs Roberts fondly for her generous spirit and forthright guidance.

Mrs Roberts next moved to student accounts where she worked for twenty years. In 2006 she joined the Development (later Advancement) Office, where she played a critical role. She applied her previous experience with both students and accounts to great effect in support of several past development directors. As an editor of Quadrangle Woodstock School’s annual alumni community magazine, for more than the past decade, Mrs Roberts helped Woodstock alumni around the world continue their connections to the hillside and with each other.

In her last 16 years Mrs Roberts was the first point of contact for alumni visiting the Woodstock campus. Whoever walked into the alumni office knew that she would care – and have plenty of stories to tell about them! This connection with and deep knowledge about Woodstock’s alumni community could only have been developed over an irreplaceable lifetime of service.

Throughout her time at Woodstock, Mrs Roberts served as advisor for many groups and Homeroom Head for the classes of 2009, 2019, and 2023. She arguably found the greatest joy, amongst her many Woodstock responsibilities, guiding and nurturing many hundreds of Woodstockers and was able to have the greatest individual impact on so many of them.

Mrs Roberts remained steadfast in her faith, keeping God as her pillar and her guiding force as she contributed to a Woodstock School that the entire community will remain proud of into the future. In 2022, Mrs Roberts’ final year, Woodstock recognized her outstanding contributions by bestowing the Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence in International Education.

Two of Mr Mark’s greatest accomplishments
to Win Mumby – both
renowned basketball tournament. Waiting on
itself and the
Following a brief stint away from Woodstock beginning October 1996, he returned as Travel and Liaison Officer in July 1998, continuing until his retirement in June 2021. Mr Roberts handled the enormous logistical task of ensuring smooth travel for many hundreds of journeys. He expertly navigated the often complex and challenging waters of arranging Indian and international visas. The routine task of each arrival and departure day required his meticulous planning across numerous variables just to ensure the successful passage of each student. Each Activity Week sees students off on adventures, with journeys often involving some of the most remote and at times potentially treacherous terrain in the world. Anywhere such travels took students, Mr Roberts’ careful hand ensured they made it safely back to the hillside. When things went as planned, it was at times easy to forget all the effort invested in the outcome. When complications arose, however, it was impossible not to notice and be amazed by Mr Roberts’ expertise, which only increased as the years passed. When an
in Activity Week, chaperoning many groups on their adventures, and was instrumental in introducing a Community Service activity in collaboration with Herbertpur Christian Hospital, which enables students with medical ambitions to gain practical experience in volunteering at a hospital. Mrs Timothy tutored Upper Years students in Hindi, proctored examinations, and often acted as a substitute teacher when needed. She also organised Sunday School for Woodstock students at Kellogg Memorial Church. Perhaps Mrs Timothy’s biggest impact on life at Woodstock was her perennial ability to build connections with students, staff, and alumni and her role as someone anyone in the community could always turn to for guidance. She was always happiest surrounded by young people, helping to mould them in the right way. In any challenges faced, a person was always able to seek counsel in Mrs Timothy, who was happy to help and to share her perspective and words of wisdom – something for which all whom she encountered will continually be grateful. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WOODSTOCK SCHOOL RECOGNISES FOR HER YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO WOODSTOCK SCHOOL Citation for service Subhashini Timothy v1.3.indd 9/1/22 8:51 AM There are many ways for alumni to make an impact. Are you next? Contact us at alumni@woodstock.ac.in 108

In Memoriam 2022

• ANANT AMIN (’77) passed away on April 9, 2022. He is survived by his siblings RAHUL AMIN (’71) and NANDITA AMIN (’73).

• Joe Adams, husband of KATHY WARNER ADAMS (’60) and father of Betty Jo passed away on July 19, 2022.

• WALTER J BELL (’61) passed away on November 4, 2022. He is survived by his wife Mary Ellen Bell.

DAVID BARNHOUSE (Parent) passed away in October 2016. He is survived by his children KATHERINE BARNHOUSE PURGASON (’71), STEPHEN BARNHOUSE (’74), and DOROTHY BARNHOUSE (’76).

• MARY ALICE BARNHOUSE (Parent) passed away in February 2021. She is survived by her children KATHERINE BARNHOUSE PURGASON (’71), STEPHEN BARNHOUSE (’74), and DOROTHY BARNHOUSE (’76).

BRUCE BECKER (Former Staff) passed away in April 2022.

RICHARD BUKER (’41) passed away on June 29, 2018. He is preceded in death by his brother RAYMOND BUKER (’43) and is survived by his wife Jean Buker.

• BETSY ROSE CARR (’58) passed away on January 13, 2022. She is preceded in death by her sister CAROL CLARK (’62) and is survived by her husband Wes Carr, and siblings DOROTHY WEICHBROD (’64). Richard John Cebulak, husband of LAURANNE BARNARD CEBULAK (’67) passed away on October 4, 2022.

• ANGELA COWART CHEEK (’69) passed away in August 2021. She is survived by her husband Robert Cheek and sister JOY COWART BOUKNIGHT (’68).

• PEMA CHOZOM (’13) passed away on April 15, 2021. He is survived by his mother Ugen Chozom.

• Irmgard Chu passed away on April 20, 2022, wife of TZ CHU (’52), former Board Member and Distinguished Alumni, her husband preceded her in death. She is survived by her daughter Andrea, and grandchildren Olivia & Kyle.

• JONATHAN CRIDER (’02) passed away in March 2022. He is preceded in death by his sister BONNIE CRIDER (’98). He is survived by parents JUDY CRIDER (’69/ Staff) & DANA CRIDER (Former Staff), brothers ANDY CRIDER (’93) & PHIL CRIDER (’96), wife Ellen, and children Van & Charlotte.

GLENN DAVIS (’80) passed away on December 12, 2021. He is survived by his siblings JOHN DAVIS (’71), BRUCE DAVIS (’73), CAROLYN RUCK (’78), wife Mary and daughter Laura and son Jonathan.

• INDU DAYAL (’68) passed away on January 9, 2021. She is preceded in death by her sister MANJU DAYAL (’64) and is survived by ANJU DAYAL (’65), HARISHWAR DAYAL (’66), and VIJAY DAYAL (’70).

• ERL DORDAL passed away on May 11, 2022. He is preceded in death by his wife DOROTHY POWERS (’44). John Downs passed away in July 2022. He is survived by his wife BOBBIE JOE MACKAY POLANIK (’69).

• JOSEPH DUERKSEN (’45) passed away on January 15, 2022. He is preceded in death by his wife Mary Lou, and sister LOIS ‘DUERKSEN’ DECKERT (’50). He is survived by his sister CHRISTINE DUERKSEN WALTNER (’46), and son PHILIP DUERKSEN (’73). Retno Duewel, wife of JOHN DUEWEL (’62) passed away in August 2022. ANN ENSRUD ERICKSON (Parent) passed away in July 2020. She is survived by her husband, EUGENE ERICKSON (Parent), and her children KENYON ERICKSON (’72), STEPHEN ERICKSON (’74), JEFFREY ERICKSON (’77), KIRSTEN BANFIELD (’81), and AMY MASON (’82) and her grandchildren.

• PAUL FRIESEN (’41) passed away in May 2022. He is preceded in death by his sibling GRACE SLATTER (’41), EDWARD H FRIESEN (’37), and JOHN FRIESEN (’33). He is survived by his wife Wilma Friesen, and children, Kelvin, Janice, Eric, Gregg & Jennifer.

• LORITA SHULL FISHER (’39) passed away on May 26, 2021. She is survived by her siblings ESTHER SHULL RILEY (’57) and GORDON L SHULL (’41).

• JOHN ‘DICK’ GILSON (’55) passed away in June 2022. He is preceded in death by his siblings WILLIAM GILSON (’51) and RUTH ANNA NYCUM (’42). He is survived by his sibling LOIS DUFFIELD (’43), his wife Tura and his daughters Robin & Rebecca.

• ANNE REVIS GROSVENOR (’32) passed away on May 27, 2022. She is preceded in death by her sibling MURIEL HUBONA (’34). She is survived by her sibling SARA REVIS (’36).

• RACHEL JONES-GUARD (’81) passed away on February 2, 2022. She is survived by her husband Barry Guard.

LAWRENCE ‘LARRY’ HALL (’58) passed away on November 16, 2021. He is survived by his brother Gaylynne & John and daughter Emme Hall.

• MARVIN HARPER (’48) passed away July

13, 2022. He is survived by wife Judy Harper and daughter Kathy Harper.

• Michael Strumpen-Darrie, husband of ANN ‘HIGGINS’ STRUMPEN-DARRIE (’58) passed away on March 3, 2021.

• Graham Houghton husband of CAROL HOUGHTON (’63) and child DILKUSHA HOUGHTON-BARNARD (’93). passed away on February 15, 2022.

EVELYN HUNTER (Former Staff/Parent) passed away on August 27, 2021. She is preceded in death by her husband RICHARD BRUCE HUNTER (Former Staff/ Parent) and son KEITH HUNTER (’70). She is survived by her child IRIS HUNTER (’71).

• DAVID KAWESA (’92) passed away in January 2022. He is survived by his wife Anna Kawesa, siblings ETHEL KAWESA (’91) & ROSE KAWESA SANDY (’92). HL Kohli father of RAKESH KOHLI (’73) & RAJESH KOHLI (’84) and grandfather of MANAV KOHLI (’94) & HARIT KOHLI (’11) passed away on January 11, 2022.

• PATRICIA BANE LONG (’64) passed away on August 21, 2018. She is survived by her husband Robert Long.

• ANNE MASON (’65) passed away on November 12, 2022, in Portland. She is preceded in death by her sibling RALPH MASON (’67). She is survived by her sibling MARGARET MASON (’71).

CHANDRALEKHA PANDIT MEHTA (’40) passed away in February 2021. She is survived by her husband Ashok Mehta, and daughter MANJARI MEHTA ‘MANJU’ (’74).

• AVITSO MERU (’98) passed away on November 4, 2022. He is survived by his siblings DEVISIER MERU (’97), CUSINA NAKHRO (’95), and his wife Walunila Alem and daughter Changle.

• KIM PAES (’94) passed away in July 2022. He is survived by his siblings DEAN PAES (’99) and SHAWN PAES (’95). Jean Peters (Parent) passed away on February 25, 2022. She is preceded in death by her husband Thomas J. Peters III (Parent), and is survived by children CYNTHIA PETERS ’74, MARIAN PETERS ’75 & JEFF PETERS ’78.

• ANNE LEEDER PICKETT (’47) passed away in March 2022. She is preceded in death by her husband DOUGLAS PICKETT (’45). She is survived by her siblings JOHN LEEDER (’52) and STEWART LEEDER (’45).

DOROTHY POWERS ’44 passed away on October 8, 2022. She is preceded in death by her husband Erl Dordal, sibling JOHN KOENIG (’34) and ELIZABETH BULLMAN (’36).


DANIEL ARTHUR SANFORD (’57) passed away in November 2022. He is survived by his wife Marlene Sanford, siblings CONNIE TRAVAILLE (’54), and VIRGINIA MCGRAW (’63).

• DAVID SCHOONMAKER (’62) passed away on December 15, 2022. He is survived by his wife Eva Schoonmaker and his sibling MARLIN SCHOONMAKER (’67).

• Harry Sheather, husband of ELIZABETH SHEATHER (’52) passed away on September 13, 2022.

• VIOLET SHERRING, (Former Staff/Parent) passed away on November 6, 2022. She is survived by her children AJIT Sherring (’89), AMEETA Sherring (’90), son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren, and brother Clarence McMullen (Former Board Member).

• SUREKHA SEKHRI (Parent), mother of RAHUL SIKRI (’88), passed away on 16 July 2021.

• PHILIP SOMERS (’70) passed away in December 2022. He is survived by his brother DAVID SOMERS (’68).

DAPHNE SMITH (Former Staff) passed away on January 17, 2022. She is survived by her husband DAVID SMITH (Staff) and children CHRISTOPHER SMITH (’02), DAVID SMITH (’01), DANIEL SMITH (’06), and Julie and Tricia (’10).

• RAY SMITH (’54) passed away on April 29, 2021. He is preceded in death by his wife Elaine Smith and sister BETTY JEAN SMITH JESSER (’50). He is survived by his brother RICHARD SMITH (’59).

ELIZABETH ‘BETH’ EDLING TAYLOR (Former Staff) passed away on October 23, 2022. She is survived by her four children DAVID Livingstone, MARTIN Luther, CALVIN Knox and SUSANNA Wesley and their spouses and 16 grandchildren and 10 greatgrandchildren.

• LARS TOYBERG-FRANDZEN (’59) passed away on December 17, 2022. He is survived by his two siblings ELIZABETH TOYBERG-FRANDZEN PETERSSON (’56) and KLAUS TOYBERG-FRANDZEN (’63). Adewale Troutman, husband of DENISE TROUTMAN (’81) passed away on July 21, 2022.

• Michael Walmsley, husband of MARGRIT WALMSLEY (’54), father of Andrea and grandfather to Isabell and Caroline passed away on June 17, 2022.

• BARBARA WALTNER (Former Staff) passed away in February 2021. She is survived by her husband ROBERT WALTNER (’60).


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Articles inside

In Memoriam 2022

pages 111-112

Staff arrivals and departures 2022

pages 109-110

Marie Bissell Prentice Award for Excellence Awardee 2022

page 108

Celebrate Your Milestone Reunions with Us!

pages 96-107

Milestone reunions

pages 95-96


pages 91-94

The Road to Delhi Woodstock’s Music Department Travels to Promote New Music Spaces at Woodstock

page 90

WS Community Engagement @Kaplani

page 89

Woodstock Activity Week 2022 Memories And Friendships for A Lifetime

pages 86-89

Woodstock Old Students Association ASIA

page 85

WOSA Asia Updates

page 85

FWS/WOSA Virtual Reunion 2022

pages 83-84

Environment Affinity

page 82

Alumni Affinity Groups Art, Sports, Environment, & More!

page 81

Thank you to everyone who made a recent new space possible!

pages 80-81

Deirdré Straughan ’81 Woodstock’s Evolving School Infrastructure

pages 78-79

Woodstock Comes Together in Support of Its Employees

pages 76-77

Alumni Bike Tour Around Nag Tibba

page 75

Support a Woodstock Distinctive Music

page 74

Getting the Band Back Together Mr Cameron Bradley

pages 72-73

Student interns interact with the Advancement Committee

pages 71-72

Our Alumni Ambassador Programme

page 71

Alumni Give a Boost to Student Business Competition

pages 69-70

Join Our Next Hanifl Centre Alumni

page 68

David McCulloch ’70 Hanifl Centre’s 2022 Alumni Trek

page 67

Engaging with Faith: Student and Staff Opportunities in 2022

pages 65-66

The Agarwalas Rajesh ’96, Sparsh ’24, and Sarthak ’27 Generations at Woodstock

pages 64-65

Interview with Vidur Kapur ’00 Woodstock Admissions Director

pages 62-63

Advancement Office Update Partners for Life

pages 59-61

Li Chun Chu Wu ’50 My Years at Woodstock

pages 48-55

45 Years of the Woodstock – St Olaf Connection

pages 45-47

Centre for Imagination Igniting Minds and Pursuing Passions

pages 43-44

Do you have a nomination for the Distinguished Alumni Roll?

page 41

Ajai Thandi ’09 Upping India’s Coffee Game with Sleepy Owl

pages 39-41

Saksham Garg ’13 Woodstock: A Writer’s Muse

pages 37-38

Kate Forbes ’08 Scotland’s Finance Secretary

pages 35-36

Yu Sung Eo, Armaan Bindra, and Jo Touthang ’11 Got Tea: An Alumni Family Affair!

pages 34-35

Lyre-tree Timber From Saharanpur to the US!

page 33

Did you know that you can include Woodstock School in Your Financial Planning?

page 32

75 Years Ago Alumni Remember Where They Were in 1947

pages 29-32

Kavi Singh '47: The First to Usher in the Indian National Flag at Woodstock

pages 27-29

Jai Hind! Stories of India’s First Independence Day at Woodstock School

page 26

2022 Valedictorian Aman Singh

page 12

Class of 2022 Arcadius Class Photo

page 10

Graduation 2022

page 8

From the Editor’s Desk: Woodstock Origin Stories

pages 6-7

Woodstock’s Year of the Winterline

pages 4-5
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