This year’s reunion was once again a great success! More than 150 alumni returned for reunion events throughout the day on Friday, May 9 and attended class parties on Saturday. Whether you were a part of the festivities or not, take a look at some of the exciting things that happened at reunion weekend.
A special note: These reunion highlights were written by one of Beaver’s newest alumnas, Riley Nelson ’14. An aspiring journalist, Riley is attending the University of Michigan in the fall.
Luncheon honoring the 50th and celebrating all alumni
Pictured: 50th reunion Co-Chairs Cally Wendell Abdulrazak ’64 and Alice DeNormandie ’64
The luncheon was the first official event of Reunion 2014. People from a variety of classes mingled and reconnected with old friends, while others met for the first time.
The room was full of laughter and one alumnus commented, “The friendships that were established at Beaver are long-lasting.”
During the luncheon, Head of School Peter Hutton addressed alumni. Beaver has undergone some exciting changes – both structurally and internally – over the past few years, and Hutton shared what makes Beaver special.
Beaver is the one and only school in the Boston area – and one of the few in the country – that knows where education needs to be headed to prepare students for this very different and very exciting world, and we are the only school that just doesn’t talk about it; we act on it. Our vision is to expand the very nature of school for students and teachers. – Peter Hutton
Design Thinking: A Conversation with Beaver Faculty
Design thinking is an action-oriented approach to teaching and learning that favors solution-based projects, empathy, creativity, and collaboration.
At Beaver, design thinking is not something that is necessarily concrete or tangible, rather it is a philosophy or mindset that encourages teachers and students to work together on authentic challenges. The teachers take issues in the world and let the students try to solve them. For example, in calculus class, students are asked to build a road with the fastest route to the airport, taking both time and distance into consideration. Design thinking is not a one size fits all idea, but rather a culture.
The Genius of Marian screening and discussionPictured: Banker White, son of Pam Steele White ’65 and creator of The Genius of Marian, speaks to alumni about making the documentary.
Banker White, son of Beaver alumna Pam Steele White ’65 and director of the documentary, The Genius of Marian, introduced his film to alumni in the Black Box Theater. The documentary tells the story of Pam’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease as she attempts to write a book that tributes her mother, artist Marian Steele. Alumni had the opportunity to ask questions after the film and to visit with Pam, who will celebrate her 50th Beaver reunion next year.
Alumni reception and reading by author Jonathan Soroff ’83
At the reunion reception Friday night, Jonathan Soroff ’83, a social columnist for The Improper Bostonian, read from his hilarious new novel, Crimes of Fashion. He also discussed the process of getting published as well as his upcoming sequel. After the reading and presentation, alumni were able to purchase a signed copy of his book.
Click here to purchase a copy of Crimes of Fashion by Jonathan Soroff.
Distinguished Alumni Award: Nova Spivack ’87 is a technology futurist, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and one of the leading voices on the next-generation of search, social media, and the web. He also co-founded a startup incubator, nVention, which launched Siri. His most recent venture has led him to be the CEO of Bottlenose, a big data mining company that identifies online trends for any word or phrase, which he has since allowed Beaver students and faculty to access, free of charge.
“I’m willing to bet Beaver is one of the foremost innovative schools in the country, and I’m proud to call it my school,” Spivack said. Watch Spivack’s award speech here.
Service to School Award: Dr. Henry Feldman ’85 is the assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a board certified attending physician in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In addition, he does everything he can to serve Beaver including serving as an internship host, an Alumni Board member, an incorporator, a reunion volunteer, and a guest lecturer in anatomy and physiology classes.
Not many high school students get the opportunity to hold a human heart, to assist on an autopsy, or to give a pregnant mother her first ultrasound, but thanks to Dr. Feldman, I was able to experience these things. Regardless of what I do in the future, this internship will always be a source of insight, particularly the moments that challenged me and caused me to reflect.
– Amani Hayes-Messinger ’14, 2013 summer intern at Beth Israel
Driscoll Award for Social Responsibility: Matt Meyersohn ’99 spent eight years with the Boston Celtics, leading the Community Relations and Player Development departments. This year he joined the US Fund for UNICEF Team as the senior director of sports partnerships. He also serves as a volunteer youth basketball coach and mentor to first generation college students at UMass Boston. Upon receiving the award, Matt urged Beaver students to find their passion and to make a positive change in the world.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award: David Ready ’97 worked his way up through Hollywood to become the vice president of development and production at di Bonaventura Pictures, which produced Transformers, the Red film franchise, and the thriller Man on a Ledge, among others. David is now the senior vice president of the 20th Century Fox-based company, Chernin Entertainment.
“My creative bug started at Beaver with a teacher telling me I was good at something: storytelling. And now that’s what I do every day as a movie producer, I find stories that I love. That’s how powerful a school and a teacher can be,” Ready said in his award speech.
Read more about the awards and this year’s recipients here.