Nearly 150 alumni of The Storm King School returned to the Mountain for the 2018 Sesquicentennial Celebration and Reunion Weekend which took place on Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10. Alums hailed from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom to closer locations like New Jersey and Connecticut to help their alma mater celebrate 150 years of history, reunite with old friends, stay in their old dorm rooms, and reminisce about their time once spent here. Alumni who hadn’t been back since their graduation commented on the state of the campus, saying “it never looked better.”
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The festivities began Friday evening with a Welcome Reception held at The Homestead, the headmaster’s residence, where old friends enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks accompanied by the music of a live jazz ensemble. As more alumni and their families arrived, the sound of laughter rang out over the lawn as old memories were relived and friendships rekindled.
Saturday, June 9, began with a delicious breakfast prepared by our chefs, followed by a memorial service on the lawn before Memorial Rock remembering Storm King alumni who had passed away over the last year. Following the service, many alumni walked up to Ogden Hall to participate in the annual Alumni Association meeting led by the newly-formed Alumni Council. The Alumni Council is made up of 14 alums with class years ranging from 1954-2014.
After the meeting, guests enjoyed a BBQ lunch held on Ledoux Terrace, where alumni had the opportunity to socialize and meet current Storm King faculty and staff. After lunch, some alumni took guided tours of the campus where they saw the new additions and improvements made over the last several years. Throughout the afternoon, alumni could be seen tossing Frisbees on the athletic field and competing leisurely in cornhole matches.
In the late afternoon, attendees gathered in the Walter Reade Jr. Theatre where Headmaster Jonathan W.R. Lamb showed a retrospective of historical slides and narrative including information about the exceptional state of the School today and visions for the future:
“Welcome home, all of you, and to Storm King School’s Sesquicentennial Reunion Weekend and Celebration. The last five to eight years have shown a dramatic move forward by our school. This is due to the incredible gathering of talented people that come to the Mountain over the last ten years in the form of faculty, Board members, staff, alumni, students, and friends. I am fortunate to be Head at a time when the School is truly moving in this direction and have a chance to bear witness and share this success with all of you and all of those who have been responsible for this progress…but we are not, by any means, done. At the same moment we honor our first 150 years, we must turn our view to look ahead toward the future…We must remain in the continuous improvement mode.”
Mr. Lamb’s narrative was followed by the presentation of the 2018 Alumni Awards, beginning with Sports Hall of Fame (SHOF) inductions: SHOF members Daniel Loh ’52 and Richard Broughton ’54 presented the induction of William Perry ’53 for baseball, soccer, football, and basketball; past staff-member Karen Hayes Szvoren (1979 – 1993) and SHOF member Chad Merrill ’84 presented the induction of Steven Bluth ’83 for soccer, baseball, basketball and tennis; and Marc Eisenshtat ’98 presented the induction of Cara Castronuova ’98, a Golden Gloves boxer and fitness athlete who got her start on the SKS wrestling team. The Margaret Clark Faculty Excellence Award was presented by former faculty Chris Oostenink (1988 – 1993) to Scott Chrysler, dean of students, lacrosse coach and English teacher from 1989-1997.
The Alumni Awards were followed by a gathering at The Homestead and the much-anticipated banquet dinner held at Orr Commons. The banquet was kicked off by Development Director Tom Fogarty, who talked further about the School’s capital campaign and future plans to build a new Academic Center. Then, members of the classes of ’60 and ’63 – John Garrett, Bob Cory, B. deRacey Gilbert and Balazs Szabo – introduced the naming of the Warren Leonard Lobby that will be constructed within the new Academic Center. The lobby will serve as a focal point to welcome students, faculty, and visitors to the building, honoring their late Headmaster. The group raised over $100,000 to name this new space. Szabo revealed his original painting of Warren Leonard that will be hung in the lobby.
With the conclusion of the presentations, the guests turned their full attention toward the food, fun, and one another for the rest of the evening. The atmosphere in Orr Commons was jovial as old and new friends laughed, reminisced, and shared memories, making the Sesquicentennial Reunion 2018 a great success. Many thanks go out to all who were involved, especially our returning alumni and their families.
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