Coming Home: Reunion Reports
Members of 16 SPS forms returned to the School for Anniversary Weekend to celebrate five-year anniversaries, reflect, and reconnect
Form of 1939: 80th Reunion
Willard Hunnewell proudly represented the Form of 1939 at Anniversary Weekend, leading the Parade of alumni through the School grounds on foot. That Saturday, June 1, also marked Willard’s 98th birthday. He enjoyed the tradition of the bagpipers leading the way with their enchanting music and said he has returned to St. Paul’s for many reunions because he enjoys reliving old memories and making new ones. “I’m so pleased with myself,” he said, “that I was able to walk.”
Form of 1944: 75th Reunion
Three stalwart 93-year-old survivors of the great Form of 1944 arrived at SPS on Friday night, May 31, in time for a get-together and dinner at Coit, better known to us as the Upper. Attendees included Rick Hunt from Concord, Mass., Kent Young from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and Bob Read from Pittsburgh. They were seated at a table among other reuniting SPS graduates, along with three extra seats for daughters Helen Hunt Bouscaren ’75, Honore Young, and Priscilla Read Reynolds ’73.
Saturday offered different activities that were enjoyed separately or together on the beautiful campus. The Memorial Service in the Chapel recognized classmate Clive Runnells among those alumni who died in the previous year. Lunch at the Matthews Hockey Center gave Rick, Kent, and Bob a chance to recall off-the-record stories of classmates such as Elzey Burkham, Sandy Otis, John Pemberton, and others too numerous to mention. This was followed by the Alumni Parade that, according to Bob, “we had expected to be leading as the oldest class, but were rightfully replaced by one alumnus from the Form of 1939. Therein lies a challenge: Who is up to coming to our 80th reunion five years from now?”
The afternoon provided time to visit locations such as the new Fine Arts Building and Ohrstrom Library. A trip to the Boat Races and the Flagpole Ceremony were welcome traditional events. Saturday ended with dinner at the Rectory and a welcome and prayer by Interim Rector Amy Richards, who had to leave for other engagements. The Form of 1944 was joined by her husband, Frank, who shared some of his feelings about their year at St. Paul’s. “The weekend was thoroughly enjoyable for all of us,” said Bob, “made more so by the presence of our daughters, who provided stimulating conversation and served as chauffeurs and chaperones.”
Form of 1949: 70th Reunion
The Form of 1949 came close to leading the Alumni Parade this year, preceded only by the Form of 1944 and a 1939 graduate celebrating his 98th birthday. The six returning members and their spouses included Chris Beels, Barbara and Tim Colt, Trig and Sam Cooley, John Scully, Peter Van Doren, and Jean and John Wagley. Charlie Hoppin, Charlie Lewis, and Holly Low planned to attend but had to cancel because of health issues. Unfortunately, several other formmates were unable to make it to Concord because of health or mobility issues.
In his note regretting his inability to attend, Dick Cunningham mentioned his new illustrated book coming out in November, Unframing the Nude, while Sandy Holmsen sent a copy of his poem “Of Course You Know…” that was enjoyed by those who gathered for Anniversary. On Friday evening, the form enjoyed dinner at the Upper, together with those forms celebrating their 55th reunions or higher. The dinner provided attendees their first real opportunity to renew old memories. Interim Rector Amy Richards welcomed the group and spoke of SPS today. According to Sam Cooley, “Age-enhanced weariness discouraged us from attending after-dinner events.”
On Saturday morning, form members attended the Alumni Memorial Chapel Service, where names of alumni who had died during the past year were read, including four members of the Form of 1949. The familiar anthem and hymns dampened the eyes of many in the Chapel that morning. The Parade to Matthews Hockey Center followed, where alumni gathered for lunch and to applaud the graduating members of the Form of 2019.
In the evening, form members dined at the Rectory with the Form of 1944. There, they had a chance to speak with Amy Richards’s husband, Frank, who is related to former master John Richards, who retired in 1949 and is memorialized in one of the Form of 1949 plaques. During dinner, the group reviewed several reunion form photos brought by Sam Cooley and dating back to 1959. They also paused to remember the 10 formmates who have died since the last reunion in 2014. After dinner, attendees gathered at the motel for a nightcap, fond farewells, and hopes to meet again in 2024.
Form of 1954: 65th Reunion
A hearty 13 members of the Form of 1954, plus spouses and companions, sprinted, limped, or otherwise made it to Concord for the 65th Anniversary. Several more had made it their intention to join but were thwarted by circumstance. The traditionalists among the group were happily greeted by familiar surroundings and events, including Friday night cocktails and dinner at the New Upper (now Coit); the Parade on Saturday; the Boat Races, where it was a Halcyon day (in every definition of the word) at Turkey Pond; the Flagpole Ceremony; and dinner again on Saturday night.
For those who appreciate change, the fare was laced with it, according to Ed Harding. Saturday Chapel featured a full-blown Service, complete with hymns (“For the Splendor of Creation”; “Last Night Hymn”; “Love Divine”; “O Pray for the Peace”), Lessons (with Jay ably reading, despite his total disagreement with the choice of scripture), and memoriam for those who have passed since last Anniversary (Ted Achilles, Jimmy Bishop, Chris Brookfield, Ford Moreland).
Many of the group attended the Community Conversation on Saturday afternoon, featuring Board President Archie Cox ’58, Interim Rector Amy Richards, and incoming Rector Kathy Giles. “Just understand,” said Ed Harding, “these are three of the most articulate souls who ever graced one stage. Be assured the School is in very capable hands.” Saturday dinner was an exclusive event for the Form of 1954 in the rotunda of Sheldon Library (now the Office of Admission). Somehow the evening turned into a confessional of all the misdeeds committed on the campus by form members during their SPS days.
The weekend concluded with Sunday lunch at the Hardings’ home in York Harbor, Maine, featuring lobster and clam chowder. Peggy came up with an ancient CD of Chapel music at Millville. Likely it was McKim on the carillon (attending) and Eppes (missing) performing the solos in “Wings of a Dove.” Those who could not attend were sorely missed. “I wonder,” mused Ed,” if the students today realize that they will never in their life live in as beautiful a place as this.”
Form of 1959: 60th Reunion
With 36 formmates attending, the Form of 1959 was only four short of matching the record for a 60th SPS Anniversary Weekend. In terms of spirit, the reunion, which included 19 spouses, went beyond that measure.
The group began its festivities on Friday afternoon, with what is becoming a tradition, a gathering in a large circle to share thoughts on where life has taken everyone and how St. Paul’s has influenced their paths. That was followed by a dinner with fellow alumni that have passed the 50th reunion threshold. What might have seemed a remote and somewhat unnerving prospect not too many years ago now felt almost comforting and, in fact, joyous, the only exception being Mike Garfield’s sudden indisposition. But he was whisked out with such rapid and effortless dispatch by the School’s EMT crew that some did not even realize anything had happened. All were relieved to hear that it had been a case of dehydration that was quickly cured at Concord Hospital.
On Saturday, attendees moved through the familiar program, including the Memorial Service, marked this year by the absence of Joe Ingersoll; the march down Rectory Road and; the meeting in Memorial Hall with Board President Archie Cox ’58, Interim Rector Amy Richards, and incoming Rector Kathy Giles. Many watched the Boat Races at Turkey Pond, where eight members of the form shuffled into a shell and attempted a victory lap to a smattering of applause from the crowd gathered on the bank. All attended the famous Sydney Waud clambake, held this year in the comfort of Coit in a room that opened out onto a courtyard.
The awards for farthest traveled went to Motoi Okubo and his wife, Yumiko, all the way from Japan, almost 11,000 miles, and Hartmut Keil, 6,000 miles from Germany. Victoria Fay and Eddie Leonard, Mary and Tony Carpenter, Mike Gagarin, Nick Orr, and Tina and Eliot Scull were not too far behind. Motoi shared his reflections on his career in his country’s diplomatic corps, his service in the Imperial Household as deputy minister of ceremonies, and the advantage of having SPS formmates to facilitate his arranging, in 1996, for the then-Crown Prince (now Emperor) to play on the royal tennis court of the Racquet and Tennis Club of New York.
As might be expected, members of the form showed up in various stages of repair, but were most touched by the appearance of Loring Catlin at the march and photo session, aided by his wife, Susie; Nick Orr, on crutches after the effects of a cycling accident some years ago; and Coley Burke, who still speaks with the same eloquence and humor of yore. The presence of Lang Marsh, recovering from a recent operation, was also felt through a letter read at the clambake that spoke to his wonder at having a family of mixed heritage and his concern over “a world that needs urgent care and long-term rehabilitation.”
“The rowing was certainly a high point of the reunion for me,” said Ridge Hall, “but another very high point was our gathering in a circle on Friday to discuss what we are doing in our lives and what SPS has meant to us and other significant reflections. This is in many respects the high point of the reunion because it allows all of us to reconnect. We learn things about each other that we had never known before, which in turn strengthen the bonds of friendship.”
Form of 1964: 55th Reunion
The gathering of the Form of 1964 to celebrate its 55th anniversary turned out to be a fairly modest, but most pleasant affair – no fireworks, said Rufus Botzow, and nobody jumped out of a cake. “I came back because this place tries to get people to understand that there are some very important values,” said Terry Lichty, “and that having a community of people who share that is very important. So it’s sort of like a refuge from what’s going on in the world.”
Anniversary Weekend is always a busy time of year, but unfortunately attendance numbers were further reduced at the last minute due to medical and family matters of various members. The success of the weekend was due almost entirely to Bob Claflin and his wife, Kyri, who organized a fine dinner at The Common Man in Downtown Concord on Saturday evening. In addition, they hosted a Sunday morning brunch at their splendid hilltop home, with its view of Turkey Pond in the distance. In addition to Rufus and the Claflins, attendees included Alex Shoumatoff, James B. Cummins, Jr., Michael Howard, Susan and Terry Lichty, Liz and Fred Morris, Jad Roberts, Jim Schutze, Nancy Collins and Rick Sperry, Anne and Robert Walmsley, Joe Wiley, Peter Gerry, James Goodwin, and Janet Oberto and Ted Landesmark. Alex Shoumatoff, down from his home in Montreal, attended reunion twice; so anxious was he to participate, he got his dates confused and appeared at the School all primed the previous weekend.
“We will all be forever grateful,” said Rufus, “that he returned on the correct date to entertain us mightily, both at dinner Saturday and at the Claflin brunch on Sunday.” Rufus added that, in addition to the well-deserved title “class raconteur,” the title of “class jongleur” should be added to Alex’s distinctions. “His demonstration of a schoolboy’s morning walk down the Chapel aisle would do John Cleese or Peter Sellers proud. Surely it should next be put to music and choreographed,” Rufus said.
Unfortunately, Bob and Anne Walmsley were obliged to leave Saturday to attend their daughter’s engagement party. Bob confided that he had offered his daughter a considerable sum to elope so he could attend the whole of reunion weekend, but (wisely) she declined. Peter Gerry, however, unable to join the Friday festivities, appeared in time for the Parade, thus partially filling the void. The other very good news is that Rick Sperry will be the next form director. Rick’s organizational skills and enthusiasm were on display for the 50th reunion.
Form of 1969: 50th Reunion
Fifty-one members of the Form of 1969 presented themselves to mark five decades since graduation day, with loyal, patient, and curious spouses bringing that number to 86. They came from as far as Edinburgh and Bogota, California and Colorado, and even crossed the greatest barrier of all – a first-time return for some. Five days together seemed barely enough to get a few rare minutes with each, making a few years together in Millville seem like a luxury belonging to temps perdu. But five days were just enough to reclaim much, and make up for even more.
Wednesday instantly warmed all with a banquet for 40-plus at the form’s pre-Anniversary getaway: New London, resplendent with inns, lakes, and the great attraction right next door in Springfield – Star Lake Farm, magnificently assembled and cultivated for conservation, crops, and herds by Dan Thorne since the 1970s. Thursday: Packed with hiking, fishing, skeet shooting, golf, and lunch and dinner under the tent at Dan’s, the last brilliantly embroidered by Pete Flynn’s epic attic of fascinating trivia, a Jeopardy! of lore, culled from every School publication of the time and matched by the astonishingly clear, spontaneous, and humorous recall of many, and to the delighted surprise of even more.
This sublime retreat gave way to a Friday migration to the Concord Marriott, espresso bar and all, and then group bus rides to the grounds. David Levesque of Ohrstrom Library had ready a magnificent display of the form’s years at SPS, constituting a diorama perdu that set the mood for the memorial service immediately following in the Old Chapel. The event commemorated the 11 deceased formmates, each of whom was spoken about by the living. Form members were then immediately received at the Upper (Coit) dining hall by Interim Rector Amy Richards and a host of present and past faculty, including the ever-welcome George Carlisle. With the names of previous generations carved into the wall panels, and portraits gazing down from above, Richards received thanks for her stewardship of the School during a present that can sometimes seem incomprehensible.
Saturday was lovely, marked perhaps most by the enthusiasm of the 50th reunion crew, who bear mention: Hunt, Vail, Flynn, Hickox, Birchard, Scribner, Taylor, Bradshaw, and coxswain Chris Ross. It is said they bunged on down, and returned victorious with none overboard. A good day at the races! Another delightful bus ride took attendees to Henniker’s Colby Hill Inn for dinner in the barn, where fantastic courses and huge long-lost photos stimulated table after table of camaraderie, giving way to speeches (oratory prize: Sergio Uribe) and an auction of the late Joe Walker’s SPS memorabilia to raise more funds for SPS, as he would have wished.
On Sunday, Bob and Annie Rettew hosted a horde of 30 for lunch at their home in Concord, their bronze, eternal garden pelicans being just the thing for final group photos. “It felt like we were just getting started,” said Tom Iglehart. “And, in a way, we are. We had a 49th reunion in Charleston. Be prepared for a 51st.”
Form of 1974 45th Reunion
A weekend of celebration of the Form of 1974 began on Friday morning, May 31, with nine members participating in a golf outing at Concord Country Club, courtesy of John Sullivan. The group expanded to 25 that evening, with a party at The Common Man in Downtown Concord, where the form lingered until 1 a.m. The following morning, that number ballooned to 45 graduates of 1974 marching in the Alumni Parade. On Turkey Pond during Anniversary Saturday, there was a superb showing for the annual Boat Races (won by Halcyon), where the form sent a boat out onto the water.
Other weekend highlights included the first-ever AA meeting at Anniversary, sponsored by Henry Hagerty on Saturday morning, and dinner at the Red Blazer in Concord on Saturday night that featured 65 formmates and guests for a night of dinner and dancing. Music came from a great band, led by Ben Rice and Tom Wiggin, and backed up by Alter Ego. Attending faculty included Bill and Marcia Mathews, the Tenneys, the Clintons, and Sue Fortier. Guest appearances were made by Bill Kissick and Mary Jo Hansen of the Advancement Office and Interim Rector Amy Richards.
We are pleased that Whit Wagner has agreed to take on the 50th reunion celebration in 2024 as form director. All present agreed it was a strong choice.
Form of 1979: 40th Reunion
The Form of 1979 enjoyed a wonderful Anniversary Weekend, with a total of 50 attendees. Members traveled from near (Dave Stevenson and Dave Ross, Manchester); far (Bill Martin, Stockholm; D’Arcy Carroll, Sao Paolo; Lili Cassels-Brown, Vienna; Michel Helm, Carol Bryant and Jamie Barrett, California; Mike Doherty, Colorado; Kate Koeze, Grand Rapids; Ed Ives, Seattle; Helen Taws, North Carolina); and points in between.
Grateful thanks to Sarah Newton for being the form’s accountant, boat organizer, and official den mother (the hospitality suite was awesome), and for providing the gorgeous flower arrangements at Saturday dinner. Thanks also to George Schwab, who put together a playlist of 11 (!) hours of music from the form’s era; to Dave Ross, for recruiting friends, helping to gather updates, and suggesting the Friday night service; and to form director Liz Robbins’s faithful “minions, Dede Moubayed and Melissa Solomon ’80, for overseeing the schedule, marshalling swag, and keeping me on track throughout.”
Friday night began with a memorial service in the Old Chapel to honor nine formmates who have died, including Paul Bushong, Darryll Bolduc, Ames Cushing, Erik Glasco, T Grand, Tobie Hazard, Brett Love, Betsy Fairman, and Peter Claudy. Afterwards, attendees adjourned to the Athletic and Fitness Center for dinner, then to the hospitality suite at Room 202 Fairfield Inn. Saturday began with morning Chapel, followed by the Alumni Parade, luncheon in the hockey rink, alumni games, and Boat Races, featuring an all-1979 boat stroked by the irrepressible and very patient Ed Ives. The rest of the boat included Dave Stevenson, Kimball Halsey, Bill Martin, Jeanette Richmond, Sarah Newton, Amy Feins, and Kate Koeze.
Saturday’s buffet dinner at The Hotel Concord, Downtown Concord’s new boutique hotel, featured streaming photos from the yearbook, a visit from Board President Archie Cox ’58, Helen Bonebrake’s extraordinary photo album, and curated 1970s music from George Schwab on 100-watt speakers. Some went to the boathouse to catch the tail end of Alex Timpson’s band playing for 1984 (hopefully Al will play for his own form next time), and a robust group gathered at the (now infamous) Room 202 Fairfield until 2 a.m.
Evie Gurney and Helen B, whose fathers went to St. Paul’s, were roommates during most of their SPS tenures. They enjoyed reuniting for their 40th and spoke of the special feeling they get when they return to campus. “It’s not even so much about the physical space,” said Evie, “it’s the personal connections. We were talking about how the adolescent brain has these imprinted memories that just are so much more intense than what we’re remembering now.”
Form of 1984: 35th Reunion
Extracting oneself from the daily routine to come up to St. Paul’s for the weekend can be a challenge. Happily, about a third of the form pulled it off and had a great time. It’s amazing how quickly old friends settled into easy conversations. “Truly,” said Jane Kalinski, “some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had have been with formmates at reunion, and this one was no different.”
Many first connected on Friday afternoon at the hotel. People trickled in, greeting formmates in the Hampton Inn lobby, hanging out and chatting. Truman Seamans set an example by going for a post-travel/pre-dinner run. All were having awesome conversations, so fun in fact that it kept them from getting to the Friday dinner at the Athletic and Fitness Center on time. Chris Forbes and his wife, Susan, met the group there as did Erik Ross, who was back at school for the first time in 35 years, making a splash by riding his motorcycle all the way from New York City. Attendees continued the catch-up in a more relaxed fashion at the hospitality suite at the hotel. Diane Dwyer worked her magic and turned that utilitarian hotel hospitality suite into a comfortable hangout space. Alex Maybank, Kipp Sylvester, and others kept the room, well stocked. Conversations continued into the wee hours.
The form reconvened Saturday morning over breakfast in the hotel lobby, welcoming Tim Wray and his wife, Erica. Heather Flewelling and Lynn Hawley (with daughter Greta) joined the Parade as did Greg Selch, wife Nathalie, and daughters Beatrice and Addie ’22. Though he was there Friday night, Luke Smith had been visiting with Dave McCusker in Concord and zipped in for lunch. Chauncey Dewey headed over to Brewster after lunch to help his daughter, Catherine ’22, pack up her room before exams. Mary Robins showed her speed at the women’s alumni lacrosse game and Tim Busler made it up from his daughter’s field hockey tournament in Connecticut just in time for the men’s game. They were cheered on by Maja Paumgarten-Parker, Posey Saunders, Elizabeth Murray, and Susie Freehafer Frazier.
A highlight was the Saturday dinner at the Boathouse, where Edith Pepper Goltra, Tom Lena, and his wife, Shakti, joined the group and Johanna Neilson Boynton rejoined. Lynn Cross Keach donated the floral arrangements that graced the tables. Johnny Gates gave a toast and remembered six formmates who have died – Joey Letourneau, Charles Villee, and Henry Whittlesey – and particularly those who died since the last reunion – Peter Ambrose, Bridget Mahoney, and Hollas Rivera (known at SPS as Lisa Purcell). The awesome band Alexandra Strawbridge Maurer found, the Mosquitoes (headlined by Alec Timpson ’79), had everyone up and dancing. The Boulder boys, David Ingalls and Eric Sorenson, snuck in a late-night dip before jumping on the bus back to the hotel. There was more hanging out in the hotel lobby with the Form of 1989.
“At one point,” said Jane, “I checked my phone and Smokey Rashid, grateful beneficiary of a new heart last year, told me ‘Be here now.’ Maybe a good motto for us all?” There’s something about the shared experience of living and learning at a boarding school as teenagers that keeps alumni connected. Enormous thanks to form agent Eloise Clark Patterson, Jane’s partner in crime, who “made the last five years and all the planning for reunion not only a great excuse to get together but also really fun.”
Form of 1989: 30th Reunion
It was great to see so many members of the Form of 1989 back in Millville for the 30th reunion – 44 members, to be exact. The weekend was (hopefully) just a warm-up to an even more amazing turnout for the 35th in five years. Highlights of the weekend included late nights at Chen Yang Li, the Chinese restaurant across the street from the Hampton Inn in Bow, N.H. According to Laura Munro, “Even a T-shirt or two were purchased from the restaurant to seal the experience in wearable memory.”
Saturday night’s dinner at the New Hampshire Audubon was lovely. It was especially nice to have Colin Callahan as the form’s faculty guest that night, and everyone enjoyed a visit from Interim Rector Amy Richards as well. After dinner, 1989 attendees returned to Chen Yang Li and, once they got kicked out of the restaurant at closing time, the form moved back to the Hampton Inn, where they ended up connecting with members of the Form of 1984, sharing the hotel “board room” they reserved, and staying up way too late trading SPS memories with new friends.
Other highlights included runs around the pond (for those feeling athletic), watching the alumni lacrosse games, taking in the Boat Races, and meandering around the campus, marveling at how fortunate they were to have attended such an amazing school. Andrew Leonard enjoyed reconnecting with formmates, those he sees often and those he sees only at Anniversary. “We have a good connection in our form,” said Leonard, whose father, Ed Leonard ’59, was celebrating his 60th reunion. “It’s just nice to all be together in the same place and see how everyone is doing. Everyone has a strong connection to the place. I think there is [also] a lot about [St. Paul’s] that brings people back together.”
Form of 1994: 25th Reunion
The Form of 1994’s 25th reunion was a certified blast, made possible by the excellent turnout and great lengths to which many folks went in order to be there. Friday evening’s events included an initial gathering at the Rectory hosted by the School. It included friendly faculty faces and flashbacks from many years ago of Saturday nights filled with topical chatter and poppyseed cake. I believe the esteemed Board President Archie Cox ’58 somehow got looped into clearing dishes for us, which was perhaps a testament to the gravitas of ’94. In attendance was our form’s four-legged, unofficial-but-Official Mascot, El Guapo, who was first bestowed with that honor during our 20th. He appeared to be a particular fan of the chipped beef. A detour on the way home meant that the majority of us ended up in the basement of The Barley House, where we mingled with other forms and showed the whippersnappers that the older forms could still shake their bones.
The inevitable headache of Saturday morning was softened by another day of great New Hampshire spring weather. Isabelle Smith Margulies was thrilled to be back on the cross country course at 8 a.m. Later, the 1994 group gathered to strut its collective stuff for the Parade. Form members dispersed to participate in alumni games (only minor injuries reported), strolling the grounds, admiring the new facilities, frelking in the woods, and swimming in the pond. Others ventured into town in a stroll down memory lane to literally consume nostalgia in the form of Hermanos.
We loaded onto the bus in the evening for the quick trip to Concord Country Club, and the air of anticipation was palpable. CCC had no idea of the energy and fire we were bringing, but it was clear we were there to eat, drink and have fun. Inspiring theme music was kindly provided by DJ Ned Rauch, who impressively sported a legacy t-shirt dating back 25 years ago commemorating FordFest. The dinner line was held up as we wistfully watched a slideshow of photos from our yearbook, with a range of reactions dependent upon just how flattering, unflattering, or perhaps scantily clad people happened to be in said photos. El Guapo stole the show and tore up the dance floor, and the Health Department was summoned to review the club’s license, given his preference of eating on top of the tables.
It was at this point that John Harden passed along the remarkable news regarding the total dollars our form had raised for our 25th, which was within spitting distance of the record. We also announced the anointment of our new form director, Allison Devine Bardeen. The knob got turned to 11 back at the hotel, and I am comfortable in speaking for all of us when I say we were all pleasantly surprised by the hotel’s accommodation of our antics and preferred volume levels. Probably one of the best hotel lobby hangouts ever, at least in my somewhat limited experience. Looking at the kids in the school over the weekend, it was a rather incredible reminder of just how young we were when we first came together more than a quarter of a century ago. It was heartening to look at smiling faces and twinkling eyes and see how much fun and joy it brought to everyone to gather once more.
Form of 1999: 20th Reunion
Approximately 40 formmates traveled from near and far to participate in the Form of 1999’s 20th anniversary. Among the highlights of a weekend of fun: The form filled an alumni boat for the annual Boat Races on Turkey Pond; five members of the Form of 1999 played in the alumni lacrosse game; (Dewolf Emery scored a goal and had an assist, despite playing with a lifetime of injuries); Peter Pachios played in the alumni baseball game; Brian “Bub” Chen, formerly “Mr. Lacrosse of New Hampshire,” missed three shots one-on-one against the keeper and dropped a pass from John Imbriglia that would have led to an easy goal.
Friday night featured steaks and wine at O Steaks & Seafood in Downtown Concord. At the Saturday lunch at Matthews Hockey Center, everyone was perplexed by how and why St. Paul’s stamps the School logo onto the apples served at the event. According to Ben Bleiman, Form of 1999 attendees spent an inordinate amount of time standing in the parking lot of Best Western, talking into the wee hours of the morning. Formmates traveled from the East Coast, Denver, Seattle, Michigan, San Francisco, and Montana to be there. Remarkably, almost everyone in the form left their children at home, which made for extra fun late nights. Ben sent special thanks to Arielle Greenleaf, who stepped up and helped with all the details of Anniversary Weekend
“It’s amazing to me,” said Ben, “that we can go for years without seeing each other, but the moment we’re back together in a room, it’s like no time has passed at all. I mean, except for the missing hair, added cellulite, and other horrifying evidence of how fleeting our time is on earth and how entropy is the only consistent force in the universe, it’s really like no time has passed at all.”
Form of 2004: 15th Reunion
With so many members traveling from near and far, the Form of 2004 enjoyed a wonderful weekend back together in Concord. “The enthusiasm and excitement to be back on SPS grounds was mentioned numerous times by our class over the weekend,” said Mae Karwowski, “as was how beautiful the School looked.”
Many formmates traveled around the world to join in on the festivities, including Drew Camarda and Calvin Ma from Hong Kong; Justin Douglass and Michael Zajas from California; and Jorge Rodriguez and Kate Williams from Illinois. Representation from New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., was high – as has come to be expected. Many more partners and children were introduced to Millville over Anniversary Weekend, adding additional numbers to the Form of 2004 family.
David Bates brought his wife and his 15-month-old daughter, Eleanor, to St. Paul’s. Standing on the Chapel Terrace with his little girl, he spoke of how great it feels to be back on School grounds, how in some ways it feels as if nothing has changed. David lives with his family in White River Junction, Vt., and often crosses over Turkey Pond on his way up I-89 to and from Boston. He also spoke of the lifelong friendships forged at St. Paul’s. For the Bates clan, St. Paul’s is a family affair as David and his three sisters all attended.
“It definitely brings us together, having a common set of memories,” David said. “And I’ve made lifelong friendships, friendships that have lasted through changes in interests and careers and educational pursuits. It’s the character of the people that keeps the friendships alive.”
Form of 2009: 10th Reunion
In the 10 years since the Form of 2009 stood next to Lower School Pond and graduated, much has changed. Members have dispersed to far-flung countries, discovered professional passions, and married the loves of their lives. Some future Paulies have even been born. But as form members descended upon Millville for Anniversary Weekend, the overwhelming connection to the School and each other made them feel like students again.
And just like students, they “sashed” on the Chapel Terrace in the warm Concord moonlight, lulled by the T-Tones performance on Friday night. They ran to Chapel Saturday morning (just like old times), sleep clinging to their eyes. They cheered on their boat clubs (Go, Shattuck and Halcyon) at the Boat Races on Saturday afternoon, all the while reveling in the beauty of the place they called home for four years. Of course, not everything was as they left it. Hargate (or, more accurately, the Friedman Community Center) is now Tuck and Tuck is the Crumpacker Gallery. The Lindsay Center looms majestically over the other buildings in the academic quad. Middle House is a boys’ dorm; Warren is a girls’ house. Last but not least, next year will bring St. Paul’s School’s first all-gender house, an incredibly important milestone in supporting students of every gender identity.
Perhaps the difference felt most deeply, according to Vicky Hetz, was the absence of formmate and friend Nick Gates. Form members did their very best to honor his memory on Saturday morning, reading prayers and sharing stories of his many accomplishments (and hijinks). But, in all honesty, said Vicky, no memory can truly do justice to his beautifully ineffable spirit. He is missed. Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the weekend concluded, and attendees began their weary travels back into the present. Time has continued to march on. The form has elected a new form director (congratulations, Liza Rollins, and to second-in-command, James Barker). “Coming back here, being on the campus, soaking up all the energy, and then speaking to people who are just fantastic,” said Roberto Avila, “is a beautiful thing.”
Form of 2014: 5th Reunion
Nearly 50 members of the Form of 2014 returned to Concord to enjoy a fulfilling five-year reunion. Most from the form are recent college graduates, with some having moved on to the working world or graduate school programs. Kate Spivey graduated this spring from the five-year co-op program at Northeastern University and has just begun a job in advertising in Boston. Karina Grand completed a master’s program, and will begin optometry school in the fall. Form members enjoyed catching up with one another throughout the weekend. The festivities began on Friday night with a gathering in Downtown Concord at The Barley House, where hugs were shared and acquaintances were renewed.
“It truly felt as if we had never left,” said Tekla Monson. Among the weekend highlights were Parker Clancy singing with T-Tones on Friday night; Dita Cole sharing a reading during the Alumni Chapel Service on Saturday morning; a boat of 2014 rowers reuniting on the water for the Saturday afternoon Boat Races; and, according to Tekla, “lots of swimming and chatting enjoyed by all.”
A weekend of joyful reunification culminated on Saturday evening in Downtown Concord at Tandy’s Pub & Grille for a bit of last-minute merriment before bidding farewell until the next time. “It was a wonderful reunion,” said Tekla. “I cannot wait for our 10-year.”