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Taft Portrait of a Graduate COMMENCEMENT REFLECTIONS ALUMNI WEEKEND ALBUM

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B U L L E T I N Summer 2003 Volume 73 Number 4 Bulletin Staff Director of Development John E. Ormiston Editor Julie Reiff Acting Editor Linda Beyus Alumni Notes Anne Gahl Jackie Maloney Design Good Design www.goodgraphics.com Proofreader Nina Maynard

Bulletin Advisory Board Todd Gipstein ’70 Peter Kilborn ’57 Nancy Novogrod P’98, ’01 Bonnie Blackburn Penhollow ’84 Josh Quittner ’75 Peter Frew ’75, ex officio Julie Reiff, ex officio Bonnie Welch, ex officio Mail letters to: Julie Reiff, Editor Taft Bulletin The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. [email protected] Send alumni news to: Anne Gahl Alumni Office The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. [email protected] Deadlines for Alumni Notes: Fall–August 30 Winter–November 15 Spring–February 15 Summer–May 30 Send address corrections to: Sally Membrino Alumni Records The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. [email protected] 1-860-945-7777 www.TaftAlumni.com This magazine is printed on recycled paper.

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FEATURES

Annual Fund News

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Sport

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Satisfaction in the Journey—113th Commencement 22

Spring season scoreboard and photo essay By Steve Palmer & Peter Frew ’75

Remarks by Rear Admiral Richard T. Ginman ’66, P’03, Willy MacMullen ’78, Anton Yupangco ’03, Taylor Walle ’03, and James Blanchard ’03

On the Cover Ted Squires ’28 is greeted by Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 on Ted’s 75th Reunion. PETER FINGER

The Taft Portrait of a Graduate

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Defining the characteristics of a successful education and personal excellence By Debora Phipps

Northern Exposure to Native Arts 35 Susan Heard ’77 and her quest to find and share the work of Alaskan Native artists with the lower 48 states. By Linda Beyus

Alumni Weekend Album

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Photography by Peter Finger

The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in February, May, August, and November, by The Taft School, 110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100, and is distributed free of charge to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. E-Mail Us! Send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor via e-mail. Our address is [email protected] We continue to accept your communiqués by fax machine (860-945-7756), telephone (860-945-7777), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you! Taft on the Web: News? Stocks? Entertainment? Weather? Catch up with old friends or make new ones, get a job and more!—all at the Taft Alumni Community online. Visit us at www.TaftAlumni.com. What happened at this afternoon's game?—Visit us at www.TaftSports.com for the latest Big Red coverage. For other campus news and events, including admissions information, visit our main site at www.TaftSchool.org, with improved calendar features and Around the Pond stories.

DEPARTMENTS

From the Editor

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Letters

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Alumni Spotlight

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Don’t forget you can shop online at www.TaftStore.com

Four new members of the Board of Trustees, Citation of Merit awarded to Nobel Prize winner, farmer exchange with Kazakhstan, beekeeping around the world, award to Romano

Around the Pond

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Potter Gallery, the Taft rhino, historic Torah dedication, DuBois speaker, Habitat for Humanity, Missa Gaia performed, faculty news, engineering contest, alumni offspring

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䉳 Bagpipers lead the parade on Alumni Weekend. Photo by Peter Finger

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From the Editor The past year has flown by while I’ve sat in the editor’s seat. The themes I see having emerged from Alumni Weekend and Commencement particularly are celebration and affirmation. Alumni gathered together to affirm each other as with the Citation of Merit award, or, as with the Class of 1953, for the largest contribution and most participation to the Annual Fund campaign. Yet there were other forms of affirmation—learning that a fellow alum now has grandchildren in their life, or that a classmate’s children have gone on to schools of their choice, or that a classmate one hasn’t seen in years has had a completely different career than might have been imagined. Maybe they sailed their boat to the Caribbean and happily made a new life there. Others are artists, lawyers, parents, fundraisers, doctors, writers, publishers, or as in the case of John Rodgers ’55, farmers. Women and men who have gone on to fully live their lives and Taft has often provided them with the springboard to soar. Celebration filled the air on Commencement Day with graduates surrounded by family, friends, and faculty. One parent said it was a mixture of joy and wistfulness as their child moved on to the next stages of young adult life. On this day too, affirmations were part of every class speaker’s words at the podium, echoed by Headmaster Willy MacMullen naming the achievements and uniqueness of the Class of 2003. Finally, I want to welcome Editor Julie Reiff back from her sabbatical. Her ongoing dedication to sharing all of your stories in the Bulletin is something to affirm and celebrate as well. Thank you all for staying in touch this past year. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.

I read with great interest the article on Jonathan Selkowitz ’84 in the Spring Bulletin. The origins of the Ski Club [mentioned in the Selkowitz article] are a little imprecise. In 1978, I was sick of all the boring intramural activities for the winter and wanted to ski so I went to Coach Stone and inquired about skiing as an intramural sport. Not being a lover of non-“American” sports, he told me I’d need at least 30 names. The other individual involved in this legwork was Tim Post ’79. We came back a few days later with at least 60 names, a bus contract for travel to Mt. Southington a few days a week and a package deal for passes from Mt. Southington. As a result, he couldn’t say no. Tim Post and John Gagne did all of the legwork getting skiing recognized as a winter intramural sport in 1978 or 1979. I was so involved in skiing that I began to teach at Okemo Mountain in Vermont in 1979, and was excused from Saturday classes because the learning experience of teaching was considered so valuable. As one can see in the Class of 1980 Annual (p. 184), it was already a very large group in its second year of existence! So when Taft starts winning state championships, I’ll be very proud to have given it its beginnings.

—Linda Beyus, Acting Editor

—John R. Gagne ’80

We welcome Letters to the Editor relating to the content of the magazine. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and content, and are published at the editor’s discretion. Send correspondence to: Julie Reiff • Taft Bulletin 110 Woodbury Road Watertown, CT 06795-2100 U.S.A. or to [email protected]

Taft’s ski club in 1980

Ski Club

Super Bowl and Sermon In reading of the dedication of Walker Hall, I was reminded of having been placed on a student-faculty committee in the fall of 1968, under the direction of then Chaplain Phil Zaeder, where our findings resulted in the abolition of the school’s long-standing compulsory church attendance requirement. How happy we

were! Abolition would also sound the death knell for the dreaded Sunday suit requirement. At one of the final required services, the sermon coincided with the broadcast of the third Super Bowl, prompting a few boys to secrete transistor radios into the church, so as to follow the game surreptitiously on earphones. “The Strazette Gazzee,” a short-lived underground student newspaper, recounted this event as follows, which I have abridged to protect the guilty. Super Sandman’s Sermon Awakens Tafties Today the Taft School was liberally put to sleep by a certain Reverend “Sandman.” This was the only required church gathering to hear the Super Bowl this term. The service started out with the Jets in field goal range, leading 10–0. As the prelude ended, the Jets had scored against the Colts, putting them ahead 13–0. After the “convocation” sang a hymn, Reverend “Sandman” talked for an hour and a half on ‘up-tightness.’ Many Tafties guarded their radios, while others tried in vain to tackle the point of the sermon. As the game ended, “Sandman’”conveniently finished his sermon, with the score 16–7 Jets, quite an upset to go along with an upsetting service. The author of that piece, incidentally, was labeled by the school as having an “N.A.” (negative attitude), a prevalent student syndrome in those turbulent years. He was soon thereafter tried and convicted for the crime of smoking a Camel Filter in his dorm room (as witnessed by a Master through his window from across the CPT courtyard) and was sentenced to a year of hard labor at Loomis. He is now a schoolteacher. —Bob Foreman ’70

ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT

Alumni S P OT L I G H T

New Members Elected to Board of Trustees Roger H. Lee ’90

Outside of work, Roger is a coTaft, Roger has served as head Class Agent At the annual Alumni Day luncheon at for the Annual Fund and started the John founder and board member of the Schools Mentoring and Resource Team Taft on May 24, Headmaster Willy Alexander ’90 Memorial Scholarship. Roger earned a B.A. from Yale Uni- (SMART), a 5-year-old nonprofit orgaMacMullen ’78 announced that Roger H. Lee ’90 has been elected by the versity and graduated with distinction in nization that provides a wide range of school’s graduates as the new Alumni political science. He was a member of the educational and social services to povertyTrustee. Roger will serve a four-year term soccer team, worked at the Investments stricken children in San Francisco. Roger lives in San Francisco with on the Board of Trustees, ending in 2007. Office at Yale, and also studied abroad at Roger is employed with Battery the London School of Economics. Roger his wife Clarissa where they spend free Ventures, where he is actively investing also serves as a member of Yale’s Univer- time with friends, skiing, and exploring northern California. in and advising entrepreneurs. His own sity Committee on Distance Learning. entrepreneurial career began during his junior year at Yale. His first company, NetMarket, developed security software and conducted some of the first secure commerce over the Internet. In 1997, Roger cofounded Corio, a provider of outsourced information technology services. During his four years at Taft, Roger played varsity soccer, varsity tennis, and junior varsity hockey. He also served as both a school monitor and dormitory monitor his senior year, graduating cum laude. Following his graduation from Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 welcomes Alumni Trustee Roger Lee ’90 to the Board. PETER FINGER Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT

Dyllan McGee ’89

William O. DeWitt III ’86

Irene C. Chu P’99

At the April Board of Trustees meeting, Dyllan McGee ’89 was appointed to serve a four-year term as a Corporate Trustee. She has been an ex-officio member of the Board for the past four years during her term as chair of the Annual Fund. Currently, Dyllan is the senior producer for Kunhardt Productions, a company specializing in historical documentaries, which she joined in 1993. Recent documentaries include HBO’s Emmy-award winning In Memoriam: New York City 9/11/01 and the 8-hour PBS series, Freedom: A History of US. While at Taft, Dyllan served as a school monitor her senior year. She was the director of Hydrox both her uppermid and senior years and a member of the Taft Repertory Theater, playing various leads. Dyllan received a B.A. with honors from Trinity College in Hartford in 1993, majoring in theater arts. She was the director of the Trinitones, an allfemale a cappella singing group, and continued acting and directing throughout her college career. She is a member of the Blue Hill Troupe, an amateur acting group in New York City that raises money for local charities. Dyllan lives in Katonah, N.Y. with her husband Mark and son Max.

William O. DeWitt III ’86 was appointed a Corporate Trustee by the Board of Trustees in April. Bill is the vice president of business development for the St. Louis Cardinals. In this capacity he helps manage the financial planning and design process for the proposed $350 million new ballpark and Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis. He also oversees concessions and merchandising projects and is team liaison for the Cardinals/Marlins spring training joint venture in Jupiter, Fla. At Taft, Bill played varsity ice hockey for three years, and varsity golf for four, co-captaining the golf team both as an upper mid and as a senior. He greatly enjoyed studying art with Mark Potter and excelled in AP art his senior year, winning the Art award at graduation. After graduating from Taft, Bill went on to major in art history and graduated cum laude from Yale University. While at Yale, Bill played on the varsity golf team and captained his intramural hockey team. Upon his graduation, he served as staff assistant for the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for three years. Bill is president of the board of Emergency Children’s Home in St. Louis, and director of Cardinals Care, the charitable arm of the St. Louis Cardinals. He and his wife, Ira Aldanmaz DeWitt, live in St. Louis with their children Natalie, 4, and Will, 1.

Irene C. Chu has been appointed to the Board of Trustees as a Corporate Trustee. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Irene attended NYU receiving both her B.S. in accounting and management and her M.B.A. in finance. Upon her graduation, she worked for public accounting firms in Hong Kong and New York, specializing in taxation and finance. In 1984, Irene cofounded Eastbank, a commercial bank based in New York City, where she is on the board of directors and serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Active in civic endeavors, she is particularly interested in the areas of health care and education. For the last 20 years, Irene has been a member of the board of directors of Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, and is currently the board’s vice chairperson. She also chairs the Center’s finance committee, and until recently, served on the board of overseers of NYU’s Stern School of Business. Irene is married to Alexander F. Chu ’66, a former trustee (1987–91), and they have two children, Lauren ’99 and Jonathan. The Chus reside in New York City and enjoy traveling, golfing, and ballroom dancing.

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ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT

Alumni Citation of Merit Awarded to Dr. Alfred G. Gilman ’58 tion, Gilman stated of the Alliance and its research, “Our goal is to generate data—to identify pieces of the signaling ‘puzzle,’ and then see how the pieces fit together…What we will primarily offer to the community is free access to our data and insights into how signaling systems are built and organized.” Their findings will be put in the public domain through the Internet. In a 1995 Bulletin interview Gilman said, “Taft taught me how to study, but more importantly, Taft taught me how to think, [and] how to go on learning for the rest of my life. The foundation I got there has carried me through until now.” Gilman has received numerous professional awards including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1989, the Richard Lounsbery Award in 1989, and the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology in 1975. In addition, he has authored over 100 scientific papers for professional journals. PETER FINGER

This year’s esteemed Alumni Citation of Merit was awarded to Nobel Laureate Dr. Alfred G. Gilman ’58 who serves as professor and chairman of pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Gilman is their Regental Professor and holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology. In 1994 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, along with co-winner of the $930,000 prize Martin Rodbell, for the discovery of G proteins and their role in signal transduction in cells. Understanding the “wiring diagram” of a molecule’s “switchboard” is key in enabling drugs to work most effectively. G proteins were discovered in 1980 by Gilman and other colleagues who have continued to pursue research on the critical role these play within cells. Since that time, they have worked to form an alliance that will foster sharing of research on cell

signaling, creating a database by which a “virtual cell” might be constructed. Gilman now serves as director of the Alliance for Cellular Signaling. In a 2001 issue of Molecular Interven-

The 2003 Alumni Citation of Merit States: Alfred Gilman, humanitarian and renowned leader in the scientific community, your life’s singular quest to understand and unravel the secrets of nature for the benefit of mankind was forged at Taft where, as a cum laude society inductee and recipient of the Rensselaer Alumni Medal for excellence in mathematics and science, you “learned how to learn.” Earning your bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Yale University and doctorates of Medicine and Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University, you applied your knowledge in pursuit of unlocking the

mysteries of genetics and biochemistry as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Virginia. But it was during your tenure as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that the culmination of your prodigious contribution to science was noted. Hailed for your landmark discovery of the G-Protein component of basic cellular function and communication, you were recognized as a 1994 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Uncompromising and impassioned in your commitment to excellence, innovative and principled in your research,

humble and unselfish in your eagerness to share your success, your seminal work has been transformational, engendering hope, inspiration, and enrichment across the globe. Alfred Gilman, you have lived a life of purpose and achievement always dedicated to upholding and preserving your Alma Mater’s most cherished ideal: non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. You have gracefully held aloft the torch lighted by our Founder, and it is with the greatest pride, respect, and admiration that we bestow upon you Taft’s highest honor, the Alumni Citation of Merit. Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT

Dairy Farming from Pennsylvania to Kazakhstan

John Rodgers ’55 (fourth from right) in Kazakh barn with dairy farm director and employees

John Reed Rodgers ’55 is a seasoned and dedicated dairy farmer, owner of Plum Bottom Farm in Pennsylvania. Although John barely knew where Kazakhstan was, he says, let alone its spelling, he is now committed to an ongoing farmer to farmer exchange with Kazakh and U.S. farmers. Rodgers’ involvement with the American Forage and Grassland Council, as a board member and president, allowed him to serve beyond his own farm’s boundaries. Through this group and Rotary International, he met a number of interesting people—word soon got out about John’s farming expertise. In 1993, a representative of Winrock International, an organization that administers the Farmer to Farmer Exchange program, invited John to go to Kazakhstan on one of its trips to share his farming knowledge. John initially said no to the invitation—he felt he had already traveled enough, having visited many countries for pleasure and having served in the military in Europe including Scotland. Winrock didn’t give up. The turning point, John 䉴 Supper in a ute in Kazakhstan (John in center) 8

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

says, was when they told him he’d be the first American farmer the Kazakh farmers had ever seen. Because his family was always doing things for others, he also knew his parents would be thrilled he was doing the Kazakhstan exchange program. Since his first trip to Kazakhstan, John has been back seven times. He has facilitated trips in which 34 Kazakh farmers came to learn U.S. farming techniques and also saw scenic sights. Ten more will come in summer of 2003. Hosting the visitors at his Plum Bottom Farm, John says they branch out to visit Cornell, Univ. of Maryland, Wisconsin’s U.S. Dairy and 4-H Research Center, and take trips to

California and Idaho. Like Rodgers, many Kazakhs are dairy farmers. One of his Kazakh farming friends came to the U.S. upon John’s invitation and worked for five months on John’s farm. This farmer-friend couldn’t speak a word of English but now John says they can communicate very well—“Our natures are the same.” John truly enjoys the farmers he’s met in Kazakhstan and those who have come here. John’s next trip is scheduled for this fall when they will hopefully implant U.S. embryos in Kazakh native cows, with the objective of strengthening their herds’ genetic base. After studying at Taft, John went on to study dairy science at Penn State. He always knew he wanted to continue the family tradition of dairy farming. “My uncle and parents said the first thing I wanted as a child was a pair of boots so I could wade in the manure,” he laughs. He has a dedication to both farming and to the farm that has been in his family since 1754. He feels a deep sense of stewardship to the 375 acres (of an original 1,000) that have been given to him. “As a young man I slowly became aware that the land I was farming had been in our family a long time,” John states. “This burden of stewardship became an integral part of my thinking. Being the eighth generation, I felt and still feel a drive to pass the property along through the family that has been here since the 18th century.”

“Over the 45 years of actively managing the land my thoughts have been stewardship, conservation, preservation and perpetuation. Our goal is to leave the land better than when we started,” he affirms. “Both what is best for the land and the economics of operating a profitable dairy farm have been foremost in my planning.” John was honored this year for his skills and accomplishments as a farmer when he was inducted into the Master Farmers Association, an esteemed association of approximately 450 farmers (developed over 70 years) that inducts only four to six farmers annually from the Middle Atlantic states. It is apparent that John has both the willingness and sense of duty to serve far beyond his own farm in this country and others, exemplifying Taft’s motto. To learn more about John Rodgers’ Plum Bottom Farm, see its Web site at www.plumbottomfarm.com.

Award to Romano The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) presented former Director of Development Jerry Romano with the prestigious Eleanor Collier Award this spring. The 2003 Achievement and Awards Ceremony was held in New York City at Tavern on the Green before 500 education professionals from CASE Districts I and II. Jerry was recognized for his extraordinary 17 years of service to and performance at Taft. Under his leadership, Annual Fund giving doubled and the Parents’ Fund, the most successful in the country, boasted a participation rate of 95 percent. He directed the Campaign for Taft from 1994–99, raising $133 million, far exceeding the original goal of $75 million. He was honored for his devotion to the school, his leadership of staff and volunteers, and his tireless efforts to make Taft one of the finest secondary schools in the nation.

Emily McNair ’99 (far right) at a Kathmandu Tibetan refugee center, visited by her sister Annie ’02 (hidden from view at left) and brother Roody ’04 who took this photo.

Studying Beekeeping Emily McNair ’99 will soon be studying beekeeping around the world. As one of 60 U.S. college graduates who have been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, she will study the ecological, historical, economic, and social aspects of beekeeping, visiting Malta, Slovakia, Tunisia, Argentina, New Zealand, and Vietnam. Emily graduated from Bard College this year majoring in anthropology, with a concentration in environmental studies. The idea for this project came about when Emily was living in Nepal (her third trip there), doing research on development issues. Emily has a long-standing interest in environmental justice, land reform, and land rights and as a result, she met with squatter camps of Kamaiya, emancipated bonded workers living in the Bardiya district, who are struggling for land reform. Much of this region is now a national park where locals have been excluded from land ownership and use of the land and its resources. And because Maoist rebel fighting has been going on in that area, all international NGOs have left leaving locals who have been dependent on them for employment desperate for work. Emily says that the Kamaiya are now inter-

ested in sustainable agriculture ideas, more in line with their agrarian roots. Her interest in Nepal began while she was a student at Taft, participating in a program of ecological work there. A friend invited Emily to visit a Nepali friend who is director of the Lalitpur Beekeeping Concern in the Kathmandu Valley. “It hit me,” Emily says, “Beekeeping—the perfect project for the Kamaiya community.” At the Lalitpur beekeeping project, she learned what was needed to make a collective work and have high yield honey production. In Bardiya, the clearing of jungle land for rice paddies has significantly reduced the bee population so apiaries will need to be constructed, ideally, out of local materials and using local bees for honey production. Because the Watson fellowship requires that a recipient visit countries where one has not already spent significant time, Emily will not be spending her project time in Nepal. She’ll learn how beekeeping is done in a number of countries, and how it can be applied with simple technology elsewhere as a viable project for fostering sustainable agriculture for agrarian communities such as those in Nepal. Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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AROUND THE POND

pond 䉴 Ralph Lee ’53 with students Colin Fenn ’05 (left) and Renier Van Breen ’05 (right), surrounded by Lee’s puppets SAM DANGREMOND ’05

Potter Gallery Hosts Ralph Lee’s Puppets and Creatures The whimsical and exceptional work of Ralph Lee ’53 was shown in the Mark W. Potter ’48 Gallery in May. Ralph is a freelance creator of masks, fantastical props, puppets and giant figures for a wide spectrum of dance and theater companies ranging from the Living Theatre to the Metropolitan Opera to Saturday Night Live. A recipient of a Fulbright 10

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

Scholarship, Ralph has studied acting and mime and has performed for many years in the theater. Ralph and his wife, Casey Crompton, are co-directors of the Mettawee River Company of upstate New York, formed to bring theater to rural communities. “We choose material that excites us and speaks to us no matter how ancient or remote the original may

be,” Ralph says, “Trickster tales, Sufi stories, folk tales, and superstitions. These stories often contain events of epic proportion, which can be made manifest through the use of masks and strong visual elements.” He has taught at a number of colleges including Amherst, Bennington, Hampshire, and has been on NYU’s faculty since 1988.

AROUND THE POND

Why a Rhino? How the rhino became Taft’s mascot is a story of a popular movement, and it never would have happened were it not for two unusual circumstances. In the late 1980s, there was a Taft student who ended up with the nickname “Rhino” because of the way he ran while playing soccer. Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 coached the soccer team then, and recalls that this student was funny, spirited, and well loved. Around the same time, student monitors did a poll to come up with a school mascot, which Taft didn’t have at the time. Other private schools were choosing mascots then and Tafties wanted one of their own. They were, as Willy says, “looking for the Big Red what?” And though no one saw the poll as particularly serious, students took interest.

The big beast welcomes all inside the Donald F. McCullough Athletic Center. “The Taft Rhino” is a gift of the Classes of 1999 and 2000. SAM DANGREMOND ’05

PETER FINGER

One of the many ideas, some almost too gruesome to name (the Big Red Bloodworms, for instance), was the Big Red Rhino. After the student poll, the results were announced in an assembly and the winning mascot name would be chosen by applause. When the “Big Red Rhinos” was named the audience went wild with cheering, chanting, and clapping. In fact, the students came up with the mascot name as somewhat of a joke. Nothing was ever official about the choice of the rhino, nor was it formally announced. “It wasn’t an instant hit,” Assistant Head-

master Rusty Davis pointed out. “It took a few years to take off—it died and then came back as an idea.” Some time after the student poll, rhinos began appearing all over campus—on T-shirts and posters. “Part of the reason it caught on,” said Davis, “was that no team is known as the Rhinos. They might be the Tigers, the Bulldogs, but not the Rhinos.” “The fact that it began as a joke and became ingrained spoke to how perfect it was,” Willy notes. “It became the Taft rhino not by some conscious design,” Willy added, “but by stories and rituals passed down. It became part of the cultural fabric of the school and took on a life of its own.” The rhino choice actually spoke of strength, power, and humor, although it’s likely none of that was factored in when the students adopted it. By 1990, at the Centennial celebration, the rhino suit made its appearance. Soon after the rhino was everywhere— on hats, T-shirts, books, stationery, yearbooks, and suited up at sports events. Looks like it’s here to stay. Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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AROUND THE POND

The Dedication of Taft’s Torah and Ark

The calligraphy of the historic Taft Torah and yad (pointer). PETER FREW ’75

On May 21, a ceremony to dedicate a historic Torah scroll was held at Walker Hall. The gift of the Torah was made possible through the generosity of Edgar Bronfman. Mr. Bronfman is the parent of alumnus, Adam Bronfman ’81, who donated the ark to the School. Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 observed, “At Taft, and in a world in which it is increasingly vital to understand and celebrate diverse beliefs, the Torah offers something powerfully educational. Once a school of one faith, we are now one of many. Once a school without a Torah, we now house one. I am inspired by the Bronfmans’ commitment to Taft and the way they have made ours an even better school.”

Front row, left to right, Sylvia Albert P’77, ’79, ’82, Eric Polokoff, Andrea Britell P’03, Willy MacMullen ’78, Adam Bronfman ’81, Philip Hiat, Eric Albert ’77, P’06, Jan Albert P’06, and Rachel Albert. Back row, Burton Albert P’77, ’79, ’82, Jonathan Albert ’79, Paul Ehrlich ’62, P’06, Peter Britell ’59, P’03, and Michael Spencer. BOB FALCETTI

Rabbi Philip Hiat, an expert in Torah scrolls and a well-known specialist for the Reform Movement and who helped orchestrate this fine acquisition, estimates that this particular Torah is between 150 and 200 years’ old and can be traced back to Tashkent (now Uzbekistan).

Rabbi Philip Hiat reading the Torah attended by, left to right, Adam Bronfman ’81, Assistant Chaplain Rabbi Eric Polokoff, and Chaplain Michael Spencer. BOB FALCETTI 12

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Tashkent was an active Sephardic Jewish community in the early twentieth century and a major area of refuge for European Jews fleeing the Holocaust. The scroll is written in Ashkenazic calligraphy on vellum, signifying a European origin, and is a valuable piece of Judaica that survived the Holocaust— in all probability shepherded to Tashkent by Eastern European Jews during World War II. Containing the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), the quality of its artistic detail suggests the authorship of an accomplished scribe. Chaplain Michael Spencer commented that the Torah is “a valuable archival acquisition for our school that carries an intriguing history and has symbolic value beyond any monetary sum.” Spencer noted, “This is an unprecedented gift in the boarding school world that is treasured by the Taft community and underscores our commitment to diversity and multifaith dialogue.”

AROUND THE POND

DuBois Medal Recipient

Adam Bronfman ’81 with the Taft Torah BOB FALCETTI

The Torah is housed in a special ark built by a Woodbury, Conn., craftsman. The ark is a movable storage unit that supports the Torah and is constructed to complement the architectural design of the altar and podium in Walker Hall, Taft’s sacred communal space for spiritual, musical, and intellectual reflection. Accompanying the Torah and ark are a mantle, crown and pointer, and an eternal light. The mantle is a cloth inscribed with Hebrew text that adorns the top of the Torah during storage and is visible during worship. The crown and breastplate adorn the Torah during storage and are visible during worship, while the pointer is used during the reading of the sacred text. An eternal light given by Paul Ehrlich ’62, P’06, hangs near the ark signifying its uniqueness. The adornment of the Torah was made possible by the generosity of Andrea and Peter Britell ’59, P’03, Sylvia and Burton Albert P’77, ’79, ’82, Jan and Eric Albert ’77, P’06, and Rachel and Jonathan Albert ’79. Headmaster Willy MacMullen, Chaplain Michael Spencer, Associate Chaplain Rabbi Eric Polokoff, Rabbi Philip Hiat, and Taft’s Jewish Student Organization led the dedication at Walker Hall. A reception followed the moving ceremony that was well-attended by alumni and their families, students, faculty, and members of the extended Jewish community.

Judge James E. Baker, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces by President Clinton, spoke at Morning Meeting in April on the subject of honor. Judge Baker’s visit was funded by the Rear Admiral Raymond F. DuBois Fellowship in International Affairs from which he received the DuBois Medal. Willy MacMullen ’78, who attended Yale with Judge Baker, gave a warm welcome, remembering that he and Judge Baker had enjoyed canoeing in the Everglades and whitewater rapids trips in Canada. Willy noted that Judge Baker’s capabilities are made even more impressive by the fact that he is the youngest appellate judge in the nation. Having served as special assistant to the president and legal adviser to the National Security Council (NSC) (1997–2000), Judge Baker advised both on U.S. and international law. In 1999, the NSC awarded Judge Baker its highest honor, the Colonel Nelson Drew Memorial Award. He also served as deputy legal adviser to the NSC (1994–97) and as counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board. In the late 1980s,

Judge Baker served as legislative aide and acting chief of staff to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The topic of Judge Baker’s speech was honor as a moral compass for high school and beyond. “Honor is a sense of responsibility of how we conduct ourselves in our public and private lives and not just about the choices we make,” he stated. “We may not always know what is right, but honor is a compass that helps us find true north and then helps us to find the courage to follow its course…[It is] putting the common good before oneself.” As to where students might find their own moral compass, he suggested some sources for guiding one’s conduct—law, literature, religion, and everyday heroes (such as teachers and parents). Pointing out that honor is not blind to context, he recounted a childhood incident. “A gang of boys who followed me home one day in New York were not impressed when I turned on them and offered my sixth grade insights on Gandhi and nonviolence before surrendering my body to their fists. My track coach would have been a better model at that time,” he admitted.

Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 greets Judge James E. Baker.

PETER FREW ’75

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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AROUND THE POND

PETER FREW ’75

Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) Performed

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Thirty-two Taft students participated in the TEAMS competition held in March at the Univ. of New Haven. TEAMS, or Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science, is sponsored by the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), a national nonprofit organization that works with high-school students interested in engineering, technology, mathematics, and science. Students met once a week for the month preceding the competition to prepare for it, under the guidance of physics teacher Jim Mooney, who has been entering Taft students in the competition for more than 10 years. Three of the four teams of eight students each, advanced to the national level this year, with the Varsity teams placing second and third in their division, and one Junior Varsity team placing third. PETER FREW ’75

On May 9 Taft hosted the Missa Gaia, a spring concert celebrating creation, in the First Congregational Church in Watertown. The Missa Gaia, or Earth Mass, has been performed for over 20 years as part of the St. Francis Day Celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Collegium Musicum, led by Arts Department chair Bruce Fifer, performed the monumental work based on the songs of whales, seals, and wolves and included performances by acclaimed gospel singer, Theresa Thomason, award-winning composer, Paul Halley, and the New York African dance company, Forces of Nature. Missa Gaia was the culminating event to the school’s yearlong discussion of environmental ethics and awareness which began with the school’s reading of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael.

Taft Competes in JETS Engineering Contest

Faculty News Jonathan Bernon, school counselor, recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Connecticut. Among other things, the criteria for licensure included 3,000 hours of post-master’s degree clinical practice that he accumulated at Taft over the past two years.

Departing Faculty

Habitat for Humanity in Mexico Twelve members of the Taft Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, led by Baba Frew (front center), Director of Community Service, traveled to Mexico in June to work on a week-long build in the state of Morelos. Taft’s active chapter of Habitat also works on local builds in New Milford and Washington, Conn.

Erik Berg, Science Jim Binkoski, Mathematics Alison Binkowski, Mathematics Constantine Demetracopoulos, Science Aissatou Diop, French Athena Fliakos, English Laura Harrington, Photography Stephen Jackson, English, College Counseling Jonas Jeswald, Spanish Jennifer Bogue Kenerson, Mathematics David Kim, Science Lauren Lambert, English Camilla Moore, Mathematics William G. Morris ’69, Dean of Academic Affairs Julie Palombo, French Gina Sauceda, History Lynette Sumpter ’90, Admissions, Director of Multicultural Affairs Leonard Tucker ’92, History

Faculty Awards The Shoup Award to William G. Morris ’69 The Abramowitz Award for Excellence in Teaching to Michael Spencer Davis Fellowship Award to Steve Schieffelin

Grandparents’ Day Harrison Fraker enjoys Grandparents’ Day with grandchildren Jillian ’05, Antonia ’04, and Keegan ’06, all cousins. Harrison’s son, Ford (left), is the father of Antonia.

Bill Morris ’69 accepts the Shoup Award upon his departure with his wife Sue and children Cassidy ’02 and David ’99. PETER FINGER

AROUND THE POND

Alumni and Their Offspring 2003–04 Great-Grandfathers Elias C. Atkins* ’15 ......................................................... Spencer T. Clark ’05 Thomas W. Chrystie* ’21 ....... Peter H. Wyman, Jr. ’05, Henry T. Wyman ’07 Eugene W. Potter* ’17 ....................................................... Steven B. Potter ’07 Samuel F. Pryor, Jr.* ’17 .................................................. Antonia R. Pryor ’07 Henry C. Robinson* ’20 ................................................... Reed E. Coston ’06 Grandfathers Russell E. Aldrich* ’38 ................................................ Andrew P. Garrison ’04 Bernhard M. Auer ’35 .......................................................... Cody E. Auer ’05 Thayer Baldwin* ’31 ................................................... Jacob B. L. Baldwin ’07 Edward Madden Bigler ’40 ........... Paul G. Bigler III ’04, Marika K. Bigler ’06 G. Renfrew Brighton, Jr. ’43 .............................. Renfrew M. Brighton, Jr. ’05, Whitney Z. Brighton ’06 John B. S. Campbell* ’34 ......................................... Susannah M. Walden ’06 Robert A. Campbell* ’34 .. Randolph H. Lamere ’04, Robert A. Campbell ’07 Page Chapman* ’29 ....................................................... James H. Wheeler ’05 Ronald H. Chase ’54 .................................................. Hillary N. Simpson ’06 Thomas L. Chrystie ’51 .......... Peter H. Wyman, Jr. ’05, Henry T. Wyman ’07 Marshall Clark ’40 ........................................................... Mary F. Graham ’04 Charles A. Coit* ’35 ..................... Charles M. Coit ’04, Caroline M. Coit ’05 David W. Fenton ’48 ............................................. Elizabeth W. Shepherd ’05 Edward F. Herrlinger II ’46 ......................................... Daniel M. Hillman ’06 Herbert S. Ide, Jr.* ’21 ........................................................ Thomas S. Ide ’05 Robert G. Lee* ’41 ...................................................... Emily C. Monahan ’04 William M. Miller ’42 .................................................. Malcolm B. Miller ’06 Condict Moore ’34 ........................................................... Emily L. Moore ’07 James I. Moore ’41 ............................................................ Emily L. Moore ’07 Thomas F. Moore, Jr. ’43 ............................................. Samuel M. Smythe ’05 Scott Pierce ’49 ................................................................... Pierce M. Brix ’04 William A. Pistell ’44 .................................................... Johanna M. Pistell ’04 John S. Potter, Jr. ’49 ................................................ Michael S. Bruno III ’06 Mark W. Potter, Sr.* ’48 .................................................... Steven B. Potter ’07 Samuel F. Pryor III ’46 .................................................... Antonia R. Pryor ’07 Thomas E. Rossin ’52 ................................................... Jonathan Bouchlas ’04 Edward Van V. Sands, Sr.* ’14 ............................................ Diana P. Sands ’06 William Shields, Jr.* ’29 ............................................. Katherine M. Squire ’04 Spyros S. Skouras ’41 ................................................ Spyros S. Skouras III ’05 Cheves McC. Smythe ’42 ............................................ Samuel M. Smythe ’05 J. Chester Stothart* ’37 .................................................... Peter T. Stothart ’06 Gordon B. Tweedy* ’24 ... Gordon B. McMorris ’04, Elisabeth T. McMorris ’05 Harry W. Walker II ’40 ........... Webster C. Walker ’05, Holland E. Walker ’07 John S. Wold ’34 ...................... Claire W. Longfield ’06, Allison M. Wold ’06 Parents George B. Adams, Jr. ’74 .......................................... George B. Adams III ’06 Eric D. Albert ’77 .......................................................... Lindsay C. Albert ’06 Thayer Baldwin, Jr. ’58 ............................................... Jacob B. L. Baldwin ’07 Paul G. Bigler II ’74 ...................... Paul G. Bigler III ’04, Marika K. Bigler ’06 Renfrew M. Brighton ’74 ................................... Renfrew M. Brighton, Jr. ’05, Whitney Z. Brighton ’06 John S. Brittain, Jr. ’77 .................................................. John S. Brittain V ’06 Fred X. Brownstein, Jr. ’64 ...................................... Vanessa R. Brownstein ’06 Robert C. Campbell ’76 ............................................. Robert A. Campbell ’07 June Pratt Clark ’72 ......................................................... Spencer T. Clark ’05 Robert T. Clark ’72 .......................................................... Spencer T. Clark ’05

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David M. Coit ’65 ........................................................... Charles M. Coit ’04 Carlotta Shields Dandridge ’74 .................................. Katherine M. Squire ’04 Hugh W. Downe ’73 .................................................... Edward R. Downe ’07 Paul M. Ehrlich ’62 ................................................... Benjamin A. Ehrlich ’06 Jeffrey Foote ’73 ............................................................... Andrew J. Foote ’05 Peter A. Frew ’75 ............................................................. Amanda L. Frew ’05 Alexis D. Gahagan ’74 .............................................. William D. Gahagan ’06 Michael D. Gambone* ’78 ........ Ashley I. Gambone ’05, Kyle S. Gambone ’06 Gordon P. Guthrie, Jr. ’62 .... Gordon P. Guthrie III ’04, Joseph S. Guthrie ’07 Laura Weyher Hall ’78 ..................................................... Caroline C. Hall ’06 Elizabeth Christie Hibbs ’78 ............................................. Carter E. Hibbs ’05 Katharine Herrlinger Hillman ’76 ............................... Daniel M. Hillman ’06 Douglas G. Johnson ’66 ........................................ Douglas G. Johnson, Jr. ’04 H. Craig Kinney ’68 ....................................................... Jane I. E. Kinney ’06 Andrew J. Klemmer ’75 ............. Arden Klemmer ’05, Austin G. Klemmer ’07 Daniel K. F. Lam ’75 ................................................... Adrienne P. Y. Lam ’07 Brian C. Lincoln ’74 ................. Gray B. Lincoln ’05, Lysandra D. Lincoln ’07 Sharon Gogan McLaughlin ’73 ................................ Laura R. McLaughlin ’06 Peter H. Miller ’72 ........................................................ Malcolm B. Miller ’06 Laird A. Mooney ’73 ....................................................... Clare E. Mooney ’05 James I. Moore, Jr. ’74 ...................................................... Emily L. Moore ’07 Frederick F. Nagle ’62 ..................................................... Kierstin A. Nagle ’04 Cassandra Chia-Wei Pan ’77 ................................................ Nicholas Chu ’05 Kenneth A. Pettis ’74 ....................................................... Kendra B. Pettis ’06 Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75 ..... Lucia M. Piacenza ’04, Thomas F. Piacenza ’06 Steven B. Potter ’73 .......................................................... Steven B. Potter ’07 Samuel F. Pryor IV ’73 .................................................... Antonia R. Pryor ’07 Langdon C. Quin III ’66 .......................................... Langdon C. Quin IV ’05 Peggy D. Rambach ’76 ......................................... Madeleine E. R. Dubus ’05 Peter B. Rose ’74 ................................................................... Amy B. Rose ’04 Edward Van V. Sands ’65 .................................................... Diana P. Sands ’06 Kenneth A. Saverin ’72 ................................................... Hilary C. Saverin ’06 Roy A. Schonbrun ’68 ............................................ Zachary S. Schonbrun ’05 Lynn Creviston Shiverick ’76 ..................................... William L. Shiverick ’04 Spyros S. Skouras, Jr. ’72 .......................................... Spyros S. Skouras III ’05 John L. Smith* ’66 ............................................................. Emily T. Smith ’06 James L. Smythe ’70 .................................................... Samuel M. Smythe ’05 John P. Snyder III ’65 ............... Torie T. Snyder ’04, Mackenzie M. Snyder ’05 Peter B. Stothart ’76 ........................................................ Peter T. Stothart ’06 Taylor J. Strubell ’63 ...................................................... Emma T. Strubell ’07 Tom R. Strumolo ’70 ......... Andrew C. Strumolo ’06, Harriet E. Strumolo ’07 Bridget Taylor ’77 ............................................................. Reed E. Coston ’06 Samuel W. M. Thayer ’72 ........................................... Katharine T. Thayer ’07 C. Dean Tseretopoulos ’72 .................................. Denisia K. Tseretopoulos ’07 Karen Kolpa Tyson ’76 ........................................................ Julia B. Tyson ’04 George D. Utley III ’74 ................................................. Hannah D. Utley ’07 Elizabeth Brown Van Sant ’75 ................................... William R. Van Sant ’04, Elinore F. Van Sant ’07 John B. Wallace ’72 .................................................... Nicholas T. Wallace ’07 Sally Childs Walsh ’75 ....................................................... Mary C. Walsh ’06 Christopher C. Wardell ’69 .................................... Clayton C. H. Wardell ’06 John P. Wold ’71 .............................................................. Allison M. Wold ’06 Michael S. C. Wu ’73 .......................................................... Mercer T. Wu ’05 W. Dewees Yeager III ’75 ............................................ Benjamin B. Yeager ’07 * deceased

ANNUAL FUND REPORT

Volunteers Raise $2.6 Million 2003 Class Agent Awards* Snyder Award Largest amount contributed by a reunion class Class of 1953: $307,217 Class Agents: Geo Stephenson & John Watling Chairman of the Board Award Highest percent participation from a class 50 years out or less Class of 1953: 86% Class Agents: Geo Stephenson & John Watling McCabe Award Largest amount contributed by a non-reunion class Class of 1974: $65,660 Class Agent: Brian Lincoln Class of 1920 Award Greatest increase in dollars from a non-reunion class Class of 1975: $12,496 Class Agent: Rob Barber The Romano Award Greatest increase in percentage support from a non-reunion class less than 50 years out Class of 1975: 40% Class Agents: Rob Barber Young Alumni Dollars Award Largest amount contributed from a class less than 10 years out Class of 1995: $9,826 Class Agents: Dan Oneglia & Tony Pasquariello Young Alumni Participation Award Highest participation from a class 10 years out or less Class of 1998: 33% Class Agent: Devin Weisleder *Awards determined by funds raised as of June 30, 2003

John Watling and Geo Stephenson, Class of ’53 Agents, accept fundraising awards. PETER FINGER

Annual Fund This has been a great year for the Annual Fund. In total the Taft family has collectively raised $2.6 million for the School, only $40,000 less than last year. I am deeply grateful to all the alumni/ae, current parents, former parents, grandparents and friends for their generosity and loyalty to Taft. Of this total, 38 percent of alumni raised $1.35 million. Thank you so much to all the Class Agents who worked so hard this year to raise these funds. I know this has been a difficult year for fundraising, and your efforts are truly appreciated. Special kudos goes to Class Agents Geo Stephenson and John Watling and the 50th Reunion Class of ’53 for winning both the Snyder Award and the Chairman of the Board Award by raising $307,217 with 86 percent participation. I would also like to recognize Class Agents Woolly Bermingham and Ross Legler for leading the Class of ’43 to 100 percent participation for the fifth year in a row! Well done! It has been my privilege to chair the Annual Fund for the last four years. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know so many dedicated and loyal alumni and parents. It is my pleasure to announce my fellow alumnus and classmate Dave Kirkpatrick ’89 as the new Annual Fund chair. I hope you all welcome him as he leads the Annual Fund to new heights! Sincerely,

Dyllan McGee ’89

David Kirkpatrick ’89 Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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ANNUAL FUND REPORT

Parents’ Fund Raises $1.03 Million 93% Participation We are delighted to announce that the 2002–03 Parents’ Fund, led by Leslie and Angus Littlejohn, closed with extraordinary success, having raised $1,032,726 from 93 percent of the current parent body. “This achievement,” according to Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78, “could not have happened Parents’ Fund Chairs Leslie and Angus Littlejohn P’03, ’05

without the untiring efforts of not only the Littlejohns and a dedicated Parents’ Committee, but also the hundreds of parents who have given so much to this great school.” For the fourth time in the past five years, over one million dollars has been raised for the Parents’ Fund. Just as notable is the 90 plus percent parent participation for the eleventh consecutive year. A parent body that supports a school so unanimously speaks to the strong belief that academics must remain strong, athletics competitive, and the arts flourishing. We look forward to another year with Leslie and Angus once again serving as Chairs of the upcoming 2003–04 Fund. 18

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

2002–03 Parents’ Committee Leslie & Angus Littlejohn, Chairs Leslie & Samuel Acquaviva Dale & Dick Ahearn Rosanne & Steve Anderson Sallie & Scott Barnes Sandra Bisset Ann & Alan Blanchard Cindy & Larry Bloch Sandi & Glenn Bromagen Howard & Barbara Cherry Gail & Daniel Ciaburri Peg & John Claghorn Donna & Chris Cleary Kate & Dan Coit Susan & Bill Coogan Mary & David Dangremond John Deardourff Marguerite & Tom Detmer Emily & Steven Eisen Julie & Michael Freeman Louise & Dan Gallagher Pippa & Bob Gerard Katy & Tiger Graham Susan & Chuck Harris Lisa Ireland Linda & Bill Jacobs Sally & Michael Karnasiewicz Kathryn Kehoe Kim & Dave Kennedy Anne & Reid Leggett Janet & Paul Lewis

Robin & James Little Bridget & John Macaskill Mary & Joe Mastrocola Dale McDonald Jane Perry & Barclay McFadden K.T. & Alan McFarland Clare & Howard McMorris Anne & John McNulty Pat & Patrick McVeigh Virginia Mortara Hattie & Bill Mulligan Lois & Larry Nipon Ann & William Nitze Wendy & Fred Parkin Rosemarie & Scott Reardon Sera & Tom Reycraft Ann & James Rickards Lindsay & Edgar Scott Jean & Stuart Serenbetz Margi & Michael Sermer Debbie & Michael Shepherd Charlotte & Richard Smith Jane & Tom Steele Maria & Glenn Taylor Margaret & Joseph Toce Jane & Bill Waters Sandra & Rick Webel B.J. & Ed Whiting Patty & Bill Wilson Alice & Peter Wyman

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sport Spring 2003 Highlights PETER FREW ’75

PETER FREW ’75

䉱 Teammates Adam Kowalsky (pitching) and Nick Kehoe (scoring) in action during a key win at home against Salisbury. These seniors led the Varsity

Baseball Team to a 12–6 record. Kehoe compiled a 5–1 record, with a 2.33 ERA, and 42 strikeouts in 36 innings. Kowalsky earned a 3–1 record with a

䉴 The Girls’ Crew Team enjoyed its most successful season yet, with all four boats scoring at the Founders’ League race to earn 2nd place. The first boat of Zita Vimi ’03, Jenn Sifers ’03, Katy Wilks ’03, Shannon Sylvester ’03, and cox Nancy Townsend ’05 placed second at the Founders’ League race, while the third boat (Meg Gallagher ’03, Meaghan Martin ’05, Lucy Piacenza ’04, Alexandra Lauren ’06, and cox Catherine Bourque ’05) medalled by placing third in the Grand Finals at the New England Regatta.

2.45 ERA. Four-year starter Steve Richard led the team in batting average (.442), home runs (4) and RBIs (24).

PHOTO BY SPORTGRAPHICS, INC. SEE MORE RACING PHOTOS AT WWW.SPORTGRAPHICS.COM.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER FREW ’75

䉱 The Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team ended the season on top again with a 13–1 record thanks to a stunning 11–7 victory over previously undefeated and

䉱 Senior co-captains Kirsten Pfeiffer (hurdling) and Marisa Ryan set new school records at the New England Track Championships this year. Pfeiffer broke her own record in placing second in the 300 meter hurdles (46.38), and Ryan set records in winning both the 3,000 meter and 1,500 meter runs. 20

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

nationally ranked Hotchkiss at the end of the season. Senior George McFadden (making save) made the transition into the goal and helped set a new school

record of 3.43 goals allowed per game. All-League players Robbie Madden and Tanner Fogarty (with ball) were central to the team’s league-leading defense.

䉱 Senior Kofi Ofori-Ansah holds the school record in the triple jump (46´4˝) and helped the Boys’ Track Team to a 6–2 record this year.

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䉱 Coming off their New England championship last year, the Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team finished 10–0–1

this year. Co-captain Katherine O’Herron (left) has been the number one player for this incredible run,

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and Katie Franklin (right) made it to the finals of the New England Tournament in the number two flight this year.

Scoreboard Varsity Baseball

Girls’ Varsity Crew

Captains: ........................... Nicholas J. Kehoe ’03, Steven G. Richard ’03 Captains Elect: ............ Brian C. Baudinet ’04, Henry W. Coogan III ’04, Keith S. Shattenkirk ’04 Record: ........................................................................................... 12–6 Stone Baseball Award Winners: ............................ Nicholas J. Kehoe ’03, Steven G. Richard ’03

Captain: .................................................................. Jennifer E. Sifers ’03 Captain Elect: ..................................................... Fiona F. McFarland ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 4–4 Crew Award Winner: .............................................. Jennifer E. Sifers ’03

Varsity Softball Captains: ............................ Samantha K. Hyner ’03, Randi J. Lawlor ’04 Captain Elect: ........................................................... Randi J. Lawlor ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 0–9 Softball Award Winner: .................................. Abagail E. Cecchinato ’05

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Captains: ..................... Nicole Mandras ’03, Alexandra T. Woodworth’03 Captains Elect: .......... S. Tucker Marrison ’04, Katherine U. Simmons ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 7–8 Wandelt Lacrosse Award Winner: .............. Alexandra T. Woodworth ’03

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Captains: .................... Robert W. Madden ’03, George S. McFadden ’03, Todd R. Ogiba ’03 Captains Elect: ........................... Todd Johnson ’04, Rory T. Shepard ’04, Nicholas J. Smith ’04 Record: ........................................................................................... 13–1 Odden Lacrosse Award Winner: ....................... George S. McFadden ’03

Boys’ Varsity Crew Captain: .............................................................. Alexander W. Bisset ’04 Captain Elect: ..................................................... Alexander W. Bisset ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 5–6 Crew Award Winner: ....................................... Anton P. L. Yupangco ’03

Girls’ Varsity Tennis Captains: ................ Victoria B. Ilyinsky ’03, Katherine M. O’Herron ’03 Captain Elect: ........................................................... Bettina L. Scott ’04 Record: ....................................................................................... 10–0–1 Alrick H. Man, Jr. ’09 Award Winner: ........... Katherine M. O’Herron ’03

Boys’ Varsity Tennis Captain: ........................................................... Alexander T. Ginman ’03 Captain Elect: ................................................ Christopher L. Carlson ’04 Record: ............................................................................................ 7–8 George D. Gould Tennis Award Winner: ........... Alexander T. Ginman ’03

Boys’ Varsity Track Captains: .......................... Matt W. McIver ’03, Kofi O. Ofori-Ansah ’03 Captains Elect: .................... Francois Berube ’04, Camden J. Bucsko ’04, Anthony J. Rodriguez ’04, Tyler J. Whitley ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 6–2 Seymour Willis Beardsley Track Award Winners: .................................... Matt W. McIver ’03, Kofi O. Ofori-Ansah ’03

Girls’ Varsity Track Captains: ..................... Katherine S. McCabe ’04, Kirsten E. Pfeiffer ’03, Marisa A. Ryan ’03 Captains Elect: ....... Sha-kayla M. Crockett ’05, Lauren C. Malaspina ’04, Katherine S. McCabe ’04 Record: ............................................................................................. 4–2 Seymour Willis Beardsley Track Award Winners: .................................... Kirsten E. Pfeiffer ’03, Marisa A. Ryan ’03

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Five speakers share their thoughts about the journey of an education and growth within a gifted and dedicated community.

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Rear Admiral Richard T. Ginman ’66 P’03

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BOB FALCETTI

Commencement Speaker There are three groups of people represented here today—parents, faculty, and graduating seniors. I plan to address each in turn. To the Parents: We all took a risk and entrusted our children to the Taft School. Some of us knew Taft because we had been here ourselves, some had entrusted other children to Taft, and for some this was a first introduction to the school. For each of us, it was a big step. I hope each of you feels it was a decision well made. I’ve seen the unbelievable endeavors of your children displayed in the halls and art studios, in the concerts given on parents’ weekends, in the athletic contests, in the plays, and in the student’s thoughts expressed in the Papyrus. With each visit to Taft, I’ve seen a vibrant community; a community that your children make possible. I only wish that all children had the opportunity that ours have had here. To the Faculty and Staff: I’ll come back to the school’s motto, “To serve, not to be served” later, but it seems so appropriate to mention it now. Taft is the faculty and the staff. Each of you, individually and as a group, serves our children. You make a difference in their lives each and every day. You push them

to excel, you praise their successes, and you’re there to support them in their failures. You have done this as a team, working together to make the educational and personal development of each student the best it could be. The tangible part of your performance is obvious. The facilities of Taft are impressive. They are a testament to you and all those who have gone before you. Because of your collective desire to excel as teachers, the school has been able to raise the funds from alumni, parents, and friends that enable this school to continue to thrive and be the excellent institution it is. The intangible part is less obvious, but even more important. It is the vibrant, young students with a desire to excel and to serve others that you have developed. You need only look at the seniors assembled in front of you to know you have excelled in your work. For the Students: Thirty-six years ago I sat in Graduation Court—I bet most of you don’t even know where it is—and listened to a number of speeches. I’d like to say I remember every word, but I don’t. I’ve even given a few and I don’t remember those either. I do, though, remember Taft well and I’d like to share with you why. The faculty of Taft made me work harder than I had ever worked before. They challenged me to go beyond what I thought my limits were. They caused me to look into academic areas I’d never considered. They made me question my

Rear Admiral Richard T. Ginman ’66, Commencement speaker with son Alex ’03

beliefs. They made me express my opinions and then defend why I thought the way I did. They took an interest in me and worked hard at finding ways to make me excited about the work. “To serve, not to be served.” I suspect few of you graduating seniors know what you’d like to do in life, and I can’t help with you with that decision (unless you’d like to consider military service after college, an option I’d encourage you to consider). I can tell you that you won’t find long-term satisfaction in your own achievements; you will find satisfaction in the journey that brings you to those achievements. I’m also certain your achievements will be made possible because of the efforts of others. Focusing on their needs and helping them achieve their goals will not only allow you to achieve your objectives, but will bring you great pleasure in seeing them achieve their goals and the organizations that you are a part of achieve theirs. Seniors, in a long Navy tradition, I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Journey

Remarks from the 113th Commencement, 2003

in the

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Willy MacMullen ’78 Headmaster Class of 2003, do you recall your first day, perhaps just nine months ago, perhaps nearly four years? You were sitting in a folding seat in Centennial Quad, nervous. In those opening weeks, you may have felt what my favorite poet, William Wordsworth, felt when he came to Cambridge as a young man at the turn of the 18th century. The similarities are many—like him, you came brimming with promise, and you entered a school of thrilling energy. Wordsworth wrote: I was the Dreamer; they the Dream; I roam’d Delighted through the motley spectacle…. For hither I had come with holy powers And faculties…. I was a Freeman; in the purest sense Was free, and to majestic ends was strong.

There he is, a 17-year old from a small town in the Lake District, and he is crackling with excitement at this “motley spectacle,” as you no doubt were when you walked down the Main Hall bustling with students or sought to find your seat in the din of your first School Meeting. He feels a “holy power,” and who knows the “majestic ends” of which he dreams. You had such dreams. But above all, he feels free, and there he and you were alike on that unforgettable first day. You were free that moment—to reinvent yourself, to start anew, to discover new passions, and to face new challenges. Such a life-moment is thrilling, and frightening; and you may never again feel it as intensely as you did when you came here. You parents know what I mean by this; so many of you remarked on it at dinner last night: the girl or boy who walked into this Quad on that first day is gone. Someone else will be accepting a diploma. It would be a mistake to think that what distinguishes this class was what they

did. What finally marked them singular was who they were. With them, you think less of talent and more of character. I think finally it was their humanity that marked them unique. One teacher said, “I know it’s an old-fashioned word, but they were just so darn nice.” We peered out on the world and saw international relations among too many nations too often marked by chilly impatience or arrogant xenophobia, relations among peoples marked by apathetic inaction or fanatical violence. We read of ethical violations at the corporate level that dwarfed even the stupendous wrongdoings in the late 19th century. We had daily reminders that this walled city on the hill, formed on timeless ideals of respect, service, and integrity, could not isolate itself. We were inextricably interconnected to the world. Here we were given hope for a better world, and it came from some 150 young men and women who treated each other, and their faculty, and the traditions of the school, with respect, humanity, and

Peter Granquist

Cathy Marigomen and cousins

Ryan Ahearn, center, winner of the Class of 1981 Award, with his family

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Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

understanding. They came from small towns and large cities, from America and a score of nations; they were black and white, far right and radical left. They had a mutual respect that led to robust, re-

spectful debates in coffeehouses, School Meetings, electronic forums, classrooms and dorms. They had strong opinions and were anything but moral relativists— they were principled and often staked out

Proud new graduate Henry Siemon

Alexandra Peterffy with her family

lonely positions. But they listened to each other and treated each other as all the world’s religions advise: as we wish to be treated. There were many rooms in this house. We adults should do as well.

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Anton Yupangco ’03 Head Monitor As I look back on my years here at Taft, I can’t help but remember how it all began. The first time I ever set foot on the campus was in the winter of 1999. I was a ninth grader at the Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Mass., and had stopped by Taft in the middle of my grand touring sweep of all of the New England prep schools. I am sure that all of the students and parents here remember doing something similar—driving up and down Connecticut and Massachusetts, cramming in two school visits in one day, grabbing lunch on the road. Practicing what you were going to say in the car, with your mom in the driver’s seat pretending to be the admissions officer. Personally, by day four it all became one large blur. I had already done the Choate-Deerfield thing. Andover and Exeter, Loomis, Lawrenceville, Hotchkiss—Ugh.

And then I got to Taft. Let me just say that the weather wasn’t spectacular, to say the least. It was cold and rainy. Snow and ice covered every inch of ground—there was nothing green in sight. We pulled in through the heavy iron gates and around main circle. I looked up at the towering red brick buildings with heavy wooden doors, thick dark clouds looming overhead. Leafless trees that looked like they were dead lined the pathway and all in all the scene was— well, for someone from southern California—the scene was terrifying. I stepped out of the car—hesitantly—and slowly proceeded to enter, fully expecting to see Count Dracula waiting inside to give me my tour. But instead, I kept meeting friendly person after friendly person. At first I didn’t know why these people were so happy, and I thought that maybe the faculty I met were friendly because they had to be. But then I went on my tour. Every corner I turned, hallway I walked down, and classroom I visited I saw people

smiling and laughing. In my mind it came down to either one of two things. One, there was something in the water. Or two, the more likely one: that these people were genuinely happy. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a part of this place. I don’t know how best to describe it, but I got a vibe. Here I was in a place where despite how awful it looked outside, how terribly cold and gloomy it was, people on the inside were still full of energy, still full of life, still smiling. On a nice day like today it’s easy for someone to feel the energy and life of this place, but it took something special to shine through on that day. Taft shone through for me on that day. I’d like to thank the people who make learning at Taft happen. The amazing men and women standing behind me: The faculty. For without them, none of this would be possible. Thank you for your guidance, and leadership not just during our final year here, but from day one. You have always been, just as you are now, behind us

George McFadden with his parents

Isatta Jalloh (back center) with her family members

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Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

all the way. You have been incredible teachers, talented coaches, inspiring mentors, and true friends. You have instilled and nurtured a love for learning within us. Thank you for bringing your passion for teaching to every class, rehearsal, and game. On behalf of every student of the Taft School, I wish you a heartfelt thank you. Secondly, I would like to thank the other group of adults that has made this experience possible: Our parents. From the very beginning you have been with us. Every moment, guiding us as we took our first steps and urging us to continue when we faltered. You have continued to do the same even through our years here at Taft. The care packages, cards, e-mails, phone calls are appreciated more than you know. Today we stand in front of you, products of your love and caring. We hope we have made you proud. To the senior class—to 153 of the brightest, most incredible, most talented, most caring people I have ever

Head monitor Anton Yupangco displays the class stone.

known. You, my friends, are the unforgettable people we dreamed and planned great futures with, who accepted us as we were, and encouraged us to become

JONATHAN WILCOX

all that we wanted to be. When you leave here, it is my hope that you bring with you that energy, that life, and take it with you wherever you go.

Chaplain Michael Spencer accepts the Abramowitz Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Will Blanden (center) with his family

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Taylor Walle ’03 Class Speaker I came to Taft three years ago as a new sophomore and have since considered this to be one of the best decisions I ever made. In so many ways, Taft has helped me to become the person that I am today and, in turn, Taft has become an integral part of who I am—for it is here that I have both discovered and pursued my passions, here that I have made friends with whom I will never lose contact, here that I have grown up so much. My teachers and friends have brought out the best in me, and one of the things I love most about our class is that we bring out the best in each other. We’ve all grown up a lot, but the point is that we’ve done it together and that we couldn’t have done it without each other. Consequently, our friends, classmates, and teachers have all become a part of who we are as much as we have become a part of them. And so, our experiences are no longer solely our

Class speaker Taylor Walle (second from right) and family

own, but rather part of the collective experience of those around us—and what an incredible experience ours has been. I firmly believe our class to be one of the most talented and accomplished classes Taft has seen in a long time, and I’m so proud to have been a part of it. I have no doubt that we will go on to do great things with our lives, and I can’t wait to see how all of our various talents will manifest themselves in the world outside of Taft. For the past three years I have defined myself largely by my role as a student here and my place in our com-

munity and our class. Everyone and everything here has held an unprecedented importance to me, and the prospect of leaving all of this has been unthinkable… I have realized that it is the very strength of my attachment to this place and these people that makes me so ready for the next step. When all of us have gone our separate ways, we will remember our experience here. We will remember our teachers, our classmates, and of course our friends—and in so doing will we be better prepared to face all the challenges that lie ahead.

Angus Littlejohn III with his parents Angus and Leslie and sister Lindsay ’05

Glenton Davis (at right) with his family

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James Blanchard ’03 Class Speaker When I first came to Taft I was scared. Everyone seemed so much more experienced and confident than I was. I’d never lived away from home or gone to school with girls. Everyone seemed to have their group of friends already, whether from being here freshman year or from coming early to preseason. I wasn’t the best at making new friends, and my initial plan of using my incredible athletic ability to make me more popular failed when I was cut from JV soccer. Academically, I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone I had met seemed so smart that it made me doubt my own ability. I decided to take only regular level classes because the idea of taking an honors level course at a school with so many intelligent people just petrified me. After losing academics and sports, my former two sources of confidence, I didn’t know what to think of myself.

However, despite my lack of effort I was still gradually making new friends. I was being accepted by people without even trying. Others more confident than I were making the effort to help out someone who was desperately looking for their acceptance. Looking back on it now, I’ve realized this is what has defined our class in my mind. We are in- James Blanchard ’03, class speaker, and family members nately good-hearted and good-spirited. We are accepting in na- most insecure years of a person’s life. It’s impossible for me to express ture and nonjudgmental of our peers. You could have taken that 130 how much you all have meant to me and pound non athlete, nonscholar and even more impossible for me to imagimmediately labeled him as an outcast ine going to school without you. For all but instead you made him appreciate of that there’s nothing I can say except himself for what he was. You became thank you. We’ve made the best possible my source of confidence—both the of this year and I have no doubt in the reasons how and why I did the things future that we will all make the best of I did. You gave me security during the wherever we go next.

The family of Meghan Gallagher (center) celebrates her graduation.

Ryan Ahearn and Veronica Aguirrebeitia

The preceding excerpts are taken from actual speeches given in May. Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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The Taft

Portrait of a Graduate By Debora Phipps

Portrait of a Graduate

C

hildren often ask why they have to do things—make their beds, eat their broccoli, write thank-you notes—and sometimes, depending on the frustration level of the parent, they receive the quick reply, “because I said so.” If this occurs, they might eat the vegetable or pull up the sheets, but they won’t understand the reasons for doing so—making it less likely that they’ll learn much from the exercise or perform the action voluntarily in the future. In the same way, students ask, “Why do we have to do this?” Experienced teachers know the predictive signs: the escalating grumbling as an assignment sheet or quiz circulates the room, the shuffling of feet as students reposition themselves, lingering glances at the clock, and ultimately, the heavy sigh which prompts a classmate to ask the critical question. The query, though, is a good one. Without a sense of its purpose, students may complete an assignment without learning much from doing so. And without a shared sense of what she will learn, the design of the assignment, the student may find herself completing it only to earn a grade. Just as importantly, she might be unable to see how her learning is connected to the learning she experiences elsewhere on campus. The following italicized examples—all taken from students’ real experiences— describe various instances in which students exhibit behavior described by the “Taft Portrait of a Graduate,” a document the faculty have created to identify the school’s educational aims. They illustrate the ways in which our daily behavior and attitudes reveal what we really learn and act on, rather than what we’re merely compelled to do.

Portrait of a Graduate: A Taft education prepares its students in a community devoted to creating lifelong learners, thoughtful citizens, and caring people. More particularly, Taft graduates have exhibited that they • act with honor and integrity, and value both the Taft Honor Code and the School’s fundamental conviction that honesty and personal responsibility are the cornerstones of character and of community. • serve others unselfishly, reflecting and acting upon the School’s motto in both formal and informal contexts: Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret. • have cultivated a moral thoughtfulness through exposure to various ethical perspectives and ways of thinking. They have shown that they make informed choices after considering the possible consequences of their actions and decisions. • respect and appreciate diverse peoples and cultures, and they recognize the opportunities inherent in a diverse community. • make informed choices in living healthy and balanced lives. • apply the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind of all disciplines to framing questions and solving problems in the pursuit of understanding. Moreover, they see even the most formidable challenges as opportunities for growth. • possess intellectual curiosity and resourcefulness, and actively engage in the process of learning. • work cooperatively and collaboratively; they are willing to subdue their individual needs and desires in order to contribute to the collective efforts of people united in a common purpose. • work and think independently. They are self-reliant, disciplined, and courageous about taking risks in their thinking. • express themselves clearly, purposefully, and creatively in their speaking and writing, as well as other forms that they find effective and rewarding. • appreciate the arts and have explored their own capacity for creation in all of their endeavors. They apply imagination and inventiveness in the creative process. • apply appropriate technologies to the process of learning and understand the possibilities and limitations of various technological innovations. • reflect regularly upon their learning and themselves as learners, leading to greater awareness of themselves as individuals and of their places in the world in which they live.

䉳 Michael Karin ’81 Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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䉳 Graduation 1988

An upper mid, packing up her books after a class discussion on Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” asks her teacher whether the essay seems to predict America’s self-absorption today. In the spring of 2001, new Headmaster Willy MacMullen announced the formation of the Faculty Forum committee, charged with considering the academic life of the school. The purpose of this committee, made up of ten faculty members totaling over a century of experience, was to examine what and how we teach— specifically, to explore what we wanted a Taft graduate to know and be able to do. Two years later, after countless meetings whose records take up 4 1/2 inches worth of paper in my file drawer, we now have a “Taft Portrait of a Graduate,” a document that begins with this preamble: “A Taft education prepares its students in a community devoted to creating lifelong learners, thoughtful citizens, and caring people. More particularly, Taft graduates have exhibited that they...” followed by a list of those skills, attitudes, and habits of mind that define Taft students. A lower mid, struggling with a geometry proof in the Learning Center, relaxes when an upper-school student offers his help. On the third problem, the younger student suggests, “Wait. Let me try it on my own.” 32

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

When Willy first alluded to this Portrait in his Fathers’ Day talk last November, he expressed feeling both excited and daunted. To promise parents that their children would exhibit these characteristics requires enormous faith in the faculty as well as the students. That trust derives from the process through which the School designed the Portrait. Initially, each academic department met to identify those discipline-specific skills that each student should demonstrate by his or her senior year. The history department struggled to define the role of research, a concern shared by the Library staff. Foreign language teachers considered the importance of teaching an appreciation for native cultures in the classroom—and so on. Students enter the classroom with multiple copies of their essays, ready for peer critique. They understand that constructive criticism is a form of respect, and settle down to work collectively to improve each paper. These departmental statements were then shared with the Forum committee, which sifted through the material, identifying those skills and attitudes valued by more than one department. From eight, to four, to two, and finally, to one page, we honed the Portrait to include those overlapping and crucial descriptors that reflect what we value and, ultimately, what we want to be sure that all students learn. Though charged

with consideration of the academic program, many departments included qualities more traditionally associated with character education—evidence of a quality of the school often noted by alumni. At Taft, students learn as much about themselves as they do about math or science, and much of this character education occurs in the classroom. Whether it be ethical analysis of Hamlet’s decisions, consideration of the ways in which intolerance leads to conflict throughout history, or simply lower school teachers’ reminding students of the importance of getting enough sleep before a test, class discussion extends to issues much larger than a particular text or academic idea. Qualities such as honesty and integrity, an appreciation of community and diversity, understanding of the importance of healthy balance—these are as much a part of the academic curriculum as of the teaching that occurs in dorms, adviser meetings, athletics, arts, activities, and Morning Meetings. The teacher distributes a mixture of iron, sand, and salt; lower-mid science students, working in pairs, must find a way to determine the amount of each component in their sample. An art teacher assigns students to construct a clay structure: the only stipulation is that each piece must be 25 inches tall. All faculty members then discussed the Forum’s edited list, which went back to

Portrait of a Graduate academic departments as well as those groups responsible for teaching students in areas beyond the classroom: the admissions group, dormitory heads, the alumni office, the school counselors, the athletic directors. At each meeting, questions arose, spirited discussion ensued, and the Portrait evolved. The more we talked, the more we discovered ways that the Portrait will help guide the design of athletic practices, rehearsals, conversations in the hallways, residential life, and discussions at sit-down dinner. Dormitory heads spoke of redesigning their student evaluation forms to reflect the relevant qualities list in the Portrait. A play director chooses to allow students to select—and then swap—roles during initial rehearsals, including actors in the decisions guiding the production. A soccer coach includes in his “curriculum” a definition of sportsmanship derived from statements in the Portrait, those requiring respect for others, honesty and integrity, and unselfishness. Fifteen students gather in the seminar room to discuss their progress in their research for senior seminar projects. One offers guidance in narrowing an Internet search. Another, researching forensic science, reports that she’s secured an interview with Dr. Henry Lee. The class brainstorms about questions she might ask.

䉴 Nancy Demmon ’81

“Have exhibited” is a strong phrase to use in the preamble, one that prompted a number of discussions, and some doubt, among the faculty members who worked with this document. Questions arose: What if a student doesn’t demonstrate these qualities? Why not suggest that these qualities were ones we hoped to teach, rather than insisting that all students provide evidence of their acting according to this outline? Why was this important to our school if we felt that most students already, in fact, fulfilled this definition?

side theorem, or the importance of respecting classmates in discussion—only to encounter evidence (a set of bad quizzes, students’ continual interrupting) that demonstrates that they haven’t learned what we think we’ve taught. In these cases, the teacher must reconsider ways to help students learn the skill and to demonstrate their learning. The Portrait employs the same logic on a larger scale by asking students to provide evidence of their acting upon those characteristics listed in the Portrait.

A math teacher distributes a test and leaves to refill her water bottle while students complete the assignment.

A middler begins “That’s an interesting comment” and offers a summary of the previous speaker’s idea before disagreeing with a classmate’s comment about Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence.

It’s this insistence on “exhibited,” the necessity of students demonstrating their learning, that gives the Portrait its power. Many schools have a mission statement, a description of those tenets that they hope that teachers will instill in students. Our current Portrait inverts this more traditional statement: It instead defines what students will learn, rather than what we hope to teach. It requires that teachers provide opportunities for students to learn and, most importantly, to demonstrate their learning. Every teacher knows the feeling of believing that we’ve taught a skill—applications of the side-angle-

It’s in the classroom that the Portrait may exact the biggest change. Although the process affirmed the value of what we do and the way we currently teach, it also points towards ways we might refine our practices. The Portrait will guide teachers in creating more varied forms of assessment designed to measure particular skills. Lab practicals in science classes, foreign language oral exams, writing portfolios, graded class debates—these all reflect teachers’ designing alternative projects with the clear purpose of assess-

Portrait of a Graduate ing skills that aren’t measured on traditional written tests or papers. As teachers explain their designs to students, referring to those qualities of the Portrait that an assignment might draw on, learning becomes a responsibility shared between the teacher and students. A Jewish student invites a Roman Catholic friend to Shabbat dinner in the Living Room, a communal space outside the counseling and chaplain’s offices. Students at Morning Meeting listen to an upper mid explain his Independent Study Project on the conflict in the Middle East. None of the items in the Portrait are revolutionary. More, they refine and expand on the same ideals that Horace Dutton Taft first identified as goals for the school. The difference lies in the necessity of students’ exhibiting their understanding of these qualities—not through their work on any single test, but through demonstration in their daily actions. If a mid, noting a new student sitting alone in the dining hall, goes to sit with that new arrival and make him or her feel comfortable, that reveals an awareness of the importance of community and the active role of the school’s motto. A senior who independently researches the Biblical allusions in a James Joyce short story

and shares her findings in class demonstrates intellectual curiosity, respect for her classmates, and her willingness to work on her own to solve academic problems—even when those problems aren’t assigned by her teacher. We, as faculty members, will need to actively recognize these moments, to teach students to be aware of and reflect on the ways they exhibit these ideals every day. As they learn to recognize the Portrait in their own actions, they will more often recognize these behaviors in their peers, creating a stronger community with clearly defined and shared goals. While checking in lower-school students at night, a corridor monitor notes a tired mid nodding over his list of irregular French verbs. The monitor suggests that the student go to bed, and offers to wake him up early so that he’ll have time to finish studying before breakfast. As we continually remind ourselves, the current Portrait is a living document, one which should change and evolve in response to our experience in using it. Designing it has been an exciting process involving the entire faculty and guiding our work going forward. The task ahead—shaping curriculum to provide more creative

opportunities for reflective learning— already has faculty members thinking independently, sharing ideas, designing courses, and reflecting—exactly those behaviors that students will exhibit in defining our community. At her last class meeting before graduation, a senior writes a letter to herself—a required English assignment, but also a chance to reflect on her experience at Taft. She imagines walking across the stage at graduation, and considers the complex, shifting world she will enter. She’s ready, she knows, to meet those challenges, to lead positively and meaningfully. She knows this because she’s done so; she’s already exhibited those qualities that will allow her to continue to do so. She proudly seals the envelope, hands it to her teacher for a later mailing, and smiles. Debora Phipps is the new dean of academic affairs and holds the Holcombe T. Green Chair. She served as chair of the Faculty Forum committee that worked on the Portrait and will assume the position of academic dean next year. Faculty Forum committee members included Loueta Chickadaunce, Laura Erickson, Baba Frew, Bill Morris, Debbie Phipps, Linda Saarnijoki, Steve Schieffelin, Mike Townsend, and Jon Willson.

Northern Exposureto Native Arts

Susan Heard ’77 & the Alaska Native Arts Foundation By Linda Beyus

GRETCHEN SAGAN

SUSAN HEARD ’77

A Native doll

Iditarod race dogs resting at a checkpoint

From Taft to Teaching to Native Arts Susan Heard ’77 has a photo of herself taken on the Arctic Ocean—“The next stop is Santa Claus,” she laughs. How she ended up marketing Alaskan Native arts and following the Iditarod race after having been an East Coast kindergarten teacher is a story of serendipity plus commitment. As a Taft senior, Susan did volunteer work at the Watertown Montessori School that met in the front hall of CPT at the time. She fell in love with teaching, proven by the fact that she taught kindergarten for 21 years and also coached field hockey and lacrosse. Susan summers on Nantucket (about as removed from Alaska as one can get in the contiguous U.S.) where, for nine years, 䉳 previous page: Rainy Pass where the Iditarod usually runs when snow is adequate. PHOTO BY

SUSAN HEARD ’77

inset: Susan Heard ’77 on the Arctic Ocean holding a precious piece of Native art

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she ran a day camp for three- to six-yearolds. At her Taft 25th Reunion in 2002 Susan told fellow alumni she planned to leave teaching. Susan now works with the Alaska Native Arts Foundation where she is its marketing director for “the lower 48 states,” she says—work that is both gratifying and challenging. The Alaska Native Arts Foundation, founded in 2002, is dedicated to supporting Alaska’s Native artists. Works of art marketed through the foundation, one of Susan’s responsibilities, will generate donations from retailers that will subsequently fund grants for arts education among Alaska’s Native population. She is excited about the progress they’ve made so far. Susan became involved with her new work through a founder of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein from Nantucket. Alice had gone on a trip to Alaska, inspired by her son’s school, the Potomac School in Maryland, where third grade students follow the Iditarod dogsled race each year. Students track the progress of a musher through a computer. As Alice planned a

2003 trip to Alaska, She persuasively told Susan, “You have to do this with me.” So off Susan went to follow the Iditarod in person this past March. In November 2002, Susan was invited by Alice to meet the 2002 winner of the Iditarod, Martin Buser, who was speaking at the National Geographic Society and at the Potomac School. “After meeting him and hearing about the race,” Susan says, “I fell in love with the dogs, the adventure, with the whole thing.” At the same time, she was invited to work for the foundation, not hesitating for one minute in her decision. She had been looking for something different to do, having spent many years as a teacher and wanting a change.

The Iditarod Race If Susan was smitten by the Alaska bug when she first heard a lecture on the Iditarod, she was over the top when she witnessed her first race in person this

GRETCHEN SAGAN

Northern Exposure

An exquisite basket made of baleen

March, visiting rural villages to purchase Native art objects. The only way to travel from checkpoint to checkpoint as a race bystander is by plane, snowmobile, or dogsled. Susan and her traveling companions opted for plane travel in a ski plane flown by Alaskan pilots Terri Smith, a foundation board member, and her husband Terry. Susan traveled the race route with founding board member Alice and her son, along with another friend and his son. The ceremonial start of the Iditarod race was in Anchorage. “I left 32 inches of snow in Nantucket and flew to Anchorage where there was none!” she laughs. Since there was so little snow in Alaska this year, they trucked snow into the streets for the ceremonial start. The actual start of race was held later in Fairbanks. In fact, a whole new section of the course had to be created to provide a snow-covered route this year. The Iditarod mushers travel 1,100 miles over mountain ranges, completing the race in anywhere from 10 to 14 days. Stopping points, mostly for the dogs to rest and be fed, can be 60 to 90 miles

apart. Since mushers can’t carry all their supplies on their sled, the checkpoints offer tents for sleeping, hay bedding outdoors for the dogs, dog food, plus many veterinarians who check every single dog (as the mushers also do). Entrants usually keep a schedule such as six hours mushing and six hours resting. Interestingly, there is no doctor for the mushers themselves who are lucky if they can sleep for one or two hours at each stop since dog care and dog rest are the priorities.

herself, had listened to a radio scanner so she quickly knew Susan’s group was flying in. The names of the villages they visited evoke a Native Alaskan culture that the rest of the U.S. knows little about: Kaltag, Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Grayling, Eagle Island, and White Mountain. Susan and Alice purchased objects from the families of artisans they visited who sold the foundation beadwork, skinwork, and carved ivory. The foundation believes in paying fair and generous prices for the beautifully made works, knowing this is often the only source of income for many rural Native people. “They can’t go to K-Mart and buy a new pair of mittens,” Susan emphasizes. “They’ll make them out of skins—there is no fabric store down the street.” Rural Native houses might be built of plywood and look as if they’re barely standing up, but ironically, she says, they often have a satellite dish outside. “As you travel and meet the Natives they have artwork in their pockets,” Susan states. “They’ll pull a hand-carved object out of their pockets and say, ‘Do you like it?’” She equates the rural Alaskan stores that sell everything from milk to snow shovels to eyeglasses, with Vermont country stores. “There might be a little table with unbelievable artwork under glass. Someone will have made a polar bear carving from fossilized ivory and traded it for diapers,” she says. It’s a practical way to buy what they need and can’t make themselves.

Finding Native Artisans Hunting Flying to different checkpoints on the Yukon River, Susan and her colleagues met Native artists all along the race route and Gathering in very rural villages where the population ranges from 100 to 650 people. She says that when they arrived in each town, the word quickly got out as to whom they were—no trouble finding the local artists as a result. In one village, a woman they nicknamed “the mayor,” an artisan

Alaskan Native people still hunt and gather Susan points out. They hunt and subsist on whale, walrus, moose, caribou, seal, and fish. The whole animal is used where possible. The village of Shishmaref in the far north is known for its fossilized ivory of mastodon and wooly mammoth. Before Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

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GRETCHEN SAGAN

Northern Exposure

Bracelets made of fossilized ivory

the incredulity of this sinks in to an outsider, Susan affirms that the fossilized ivory is millions of years old. “They find it while digging in their gardens, or it washes up on the beach,” she says. Bearing blue veins, fossilized ivory (see photo above) gets darker with age and makes exquisite carvings at the hand of native residents. They also carve the ivory of musk ox, a descendant of the wooly mammoth. “Musk ox…are hunted for their fur which is softer and warmer than cashmere,” Susan states. “When we were flying to Shishmaref, we were looking for polar bears and saw a whole musk ox herd. They were just wandering around—about 15 to 20 of them. Our pilot told us that they travel in groups and if they feel threatened, they back into a big circle with the young in the middle and their big horns facing out. That way, their predators think that they are huge, scary beasts—that’s why they have survived since prehistoric days. So, as we flew over them, Terry took a turn over the herd and they did exactly that. They backed right into each other and stared us down!” 38

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

Showing the Artwork A marketing coup for the foundation is an offer from the Alaska State Council on the Arts to exhibit their collection of Eskimo dolls created by Native artists. “These beautiful dolls which depict indigenous life will travel the New England Coast this summer,” Susan says, and will be exhibited at nautical and whaling museums such as Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum in New Bedford, Mass., and Nantucket’s Whaling Museum. Historically, New England, Hawaii, and Alaska have had a connection due to the whaling industry. New England ships, for instance, ended up in Alaska so this former linkage makes sense for future exhibits. Susan is also happy to report that Native art from the foundation will be shown at the fall 2004 opening of the new Washington, D.C., location of the National Museum of the American Indian. Susan says the Alaska Native Arts

Foundation will soon have available for sale through retailers a wide range of artwork such as jewelry, dolls, carvings (in ivory, soapstone, alabaster, fossilized whale bone), hairpieces, wearable art such as gloves, mittens, hats, parkas, and some prints and paintings. To see some of the items, visit its website: www.alaskanativearts.org. Successful inroads to retailers include a showcase of Native art works at Neiman Marcus in their Tyson’s Corner, Va., location this September. The Neiman Marcus exhibit, Susan notes, “is serendipitous and it’s huge.” Also, Gorsuch Ltd. will showcase Native arts from the foundation in both their Vail, Colo., store and 2003–04 catalog. The Native artisans create very highquality carving and beadwork but have very few places in which to sell it. As a result, the foundation will help them sell their works of art by finding new avenues where it can be marketed. Some of the younger Natives have not been interested in continuing the tradition of artwork because they don’t feel that they can make a living with it. “The cultural heritage up there is spectacular,” Susan notes, highlighting the need for a Native arts education program so that the skills of elders can be transmitted to the next generation. An arts education program is in the planning stages with the Univ. of Alaska in Fairbanks—“spirit camps” for Native boys and girls (similar to Girl and Boy Scout camps) that will focus on doing hands-on Native arts, helping keep the traditions alive. “I’m an educator at heart,” Susan notes. “It’s in my blood. It’s not just about selling [Native works of art] but about educating the lower 48 about the people and culture of Alaska’s Native population.” She is after all, still teaching, only now it is about the richness of a Native people and their culture here in the U.S. Susan Heard is helping prove that there is so much more to Alaska than a cruise along its waterways.

Alumni Weekend began with a well-attended memorial service and an evening of class reunion dinners scattered throughout the area. Saturday’s forum with Headmaster 䉱 Send in the clowns.

Don’t Rain on Our Parade

PHOTOGRAPHY

BY

PETER FINGER

䉲 The high-spirited Class of ’53 marches up the hill.

TAFT ALUMNI WEEKEND

Willy MacMullen ’78 and student representatives preceded an enthusiastic, bagpiper-led parade of alumni (while all held their breath that the rain would hold off for a while).

䉱 The Class of ’53 stands in front of their 50th reunion gift, a connector to the new John L. Vogelstein ’52 Dormitory and two terraces. 䉲 John Watling, Barclay Johnson and Geo Stephenson, all Class of ’53, share a moment with Headmaster Willy MacMullen ’78 during their 50th reunion.

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Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

䉲 Despite foul weather, the parade goes on!

Alumni awards, such as the Citation of Merit for Dr. Alfred G. Gilman ’58, were given and graciously accepted at the alumni luncheon, held in 䉱 Lance Odden greets alumni lacrosse players before the game.

䉳 Tafties of the next generation enjoy alumni weekend.

䉲 Pam and Willy MacMullen ’78 join his class for the parade.

TAFT ALUMNI WEEKEND

the McCullough Athletic Center. The success of Taft’s Annual Fund Campaign was also reported to supportive alumni donors. The weekend culminated with the Taft lacrosse team taking on the alumni and 䉲 Class of ’43 members Renny Brighton, Woolly Bermingham, and Mike Tenney at their 60th reunion.

䉱 Clarissa Lee, wife of Alumni Trustee Roger Lee ’90, Dyllan McGee ’89, and Jessica Oneglia Travelstead ’88 at the alumni luncheon PETER TAFT ’53

䉲 Henry Becton and John Morrissey celebrate their 70th reunion.

䉱 The Service of Remembrance at Christ Church on the Green 42

Taft Bulletin Summer 2003

an evening dinner. The smiles on the faces of alumni and their families said it all—it was a weekend to celebrate friends and the school where these friendships began. 䉱 Paul Foster ’33 helps lead the parade.

䉳 Faculty emeritus Jol Everett prepares the alumni for battle.

䉲 Bagpipers lead alumni through Centennial Arch to the luncheon.

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Alumni Weekend May 14–15, 2004

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