Reunion 2012 was an overwhelming success with a record number of alumni gathering for events on and off campus. We’ve captured some of the highlights from the weekend on this page.
Thanks to everyone who joined us and helped make Reunion 2012 a special event. We can’t wait to see everyone next year for Reunion 2013!
The first official event was the Reunion Luncheon. Head of School Peter Hutton spoke about Beaver today and presented Joan Rosen Marks ’47 with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Joan was the director of Sarah Lawrence College’s Human Genetics Program for 26 years. She defined the role of the genetic counselor and shaped it into the essential force that it is today in the field of medical genetics. In 2006 Sarah Lawrence named the program the “Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics” in recognition of Joan’s contribution to the field. There are now nearly 3000 masters level Certified Genetic Counselors in the US as well as 43 graduate programs in this country based on the Sarah Lawrence model. In 2003, Joan was the first woman and first non-M.D. to receive the Excellence in Human Genetics Education Award given by the American Society of Human Genetics.
Nancy Tucker Barnes ’62 then spoke on behalf of the 50th reunion class of 1962 and reminisced about the classes’ time at Beaver and how things have changed in the years since.
After the luncheon, classes gathered in the front circle to have their official class pictures taken and then headed out on campus tours to revisit their favorite spots on campus and to see new areas since their last visit.
Our 50th reunion was even better than I had hoped for! After making the fifty year leap and finding our old classmates in their newest forms, I thought that we were even more interesting and fun than we had been all those years ago! I think most of us will work hard to stay reconnected. -Jo Drummond ’62
Alumni had the special opportunity to meet with three members of Beaver’s faculty: Middle School Science teacher Michelle Wildes, Global History Department Chair Kader Adjout, and Upper School English teacher Robin Neal. The faculty shared their work with students at Beaver today.
Our session with the faculty was very special! I very much commend [them] for the warm, inspiring curriculum and teaching that we saw in action. That environment is evident throughout the school! -Joan Rosen Marks ’47
Beaver continues to be a leader in innovative methods of education and this was evident in Mr. Adjout’s description of how his students participated in Skype video conference conversations with students in Afghanistan and Pakistan this year to engage in profound discussions on issues such as the United States’ presence in the two countries. Mr. Neal illustrated how his students use video and graphic design to support their work(Watch a student-produced video PSA below). Ms. Wildes, working with the Middle School, spoke about using her background in marine biology to work with students on a collaborative project between the science and art departments writing and illustrating children’s books about New England invertebrates (See illustrations below).
Over 200 guests attended the cocktail party in Bradley Hall to celebrate reunions and faculty milestones.
Guests applauded faculty members Rodney Yeoh, Ed Nicholson, and Jeff Anderson for their five years of service to the school and Larry McKinney ’90 for 15 years service. Head of School Peter Hutton was recognized with a unique rap by members of the Board of Trustees for his 20 years leading Beaver.
It was great to reconnect with my classmates and reminisce about our time at Beaver, but it was even more impressive to see how much the halls of Beaver have changed since we were there. The new science wing and athletic center has improved the campus immensely since 2007. -JoJo Gutfard ’07
Alumni awards were presented to three incredible alumni:
Service Award: Sonja Rudder Spears ’82
Sonja Rudder Spears ’82 is a member of Beaver’s Board of Trustees and an active parent in the Beaver community. As a trustee, Sonja serves on the Executive Committee, the Governance and Leadership Committee, which she has chaired for the past two years, and is also a member of the Nuvu Committee. For Beaver’s Parents’ Association she has served as a liaison with the Admissions Office. We are very grateful for the wise counsel, balanced approach and ability to gracefully reach consensus with any group that she has brought to the many and varied volunteer activities she is involved with at Beaver.
Outstanding Young Alumna/us: Will Van Dyke ’02
Will Van Dyke ’02 is a New York City based composer, lyricist and musical director. Will currently serves as the musical director/conductor for the critically acclaimed 2011 revival of RENT. Other Broadway/Tours include The Addams Family, Wicked, Grease, 9 to 5, and The Book Of Mormon. As a composer Will has written songs for Pages, Winnie The Pooh KIDS!, The Girls I’ve Like Liked, That Pageant Show, We Three Kings, The Grass Is Always Greener, as well as the forthcoming The Lion King KIDS!/JR., The Gospel According To Stevie B, and Magnificent Climb (with Rick Elice). Will has been heard on television on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The CBS Early Show, as well as the final broadcast of LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. Recordings include Chasing The Day: The Songs Of Will Van Dyke and Daylight(with Matt Doyle) which debuted on iTunes Pop Charts in the top 40.
Driscoll Award for Social Responsibility: Jacob Mnookin ’97
Jacob Mnookin ’97 is lead founder and executive director of Coney Island Prep Charter School in Brooklyn, NY. Upon graduating from Middlebury College in 2002, Jacob joined Teach For America and taught for three years. Following graduation from Princeton with a Masters in Public Affairs and a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning, Jacob received a fellowship from Building Excellent Schools, a full-time, comprehensive training program in charter school leadership that trains individuals to design, found and operate high-performing urban charter schools. With this fellowship, he founded Coney Island Prep which opened its doors in 2009 to 90 fifth graders.
The evening was capped by preview of the Upper School Musical, Urinetown.
Saturday brought off-campus gatherings for reunion classes.
- Class of 1962 at Lynn Palmiter’s home
- Class of 1967 at Betsey Moore’s home
- Class of 1982 at Create a Cook
- Classes of 1987 & 1992 at Panificio
- Classes of 1997, 2002, and 2007 at Union Street in Newton
Here are a few pics from some of the events.
The reunion was a wonderful opportunity to see how much Beaver has changed but also to experience how so much of Beaver’s core has not changed – specifically, the school’s focus on providing an excellent learning environment. So much of what I associate with my Beaver experience are the teachers, whose passion for Beaver is only matched by their passion for teaching. -Thilo Henkes ’87