still have fond memories of attending Fall Fair and Homecoming Day as a student back in the 1970s and 1980s. Playing soccer in the morning or afternoon, running around and having fun with friends after the game, and enjoying various culinary delights and snacks made those great days to be a Ram.
Four-plus decades later, the 2022 version of the annual autumn event brought back memories of the past. While the campus has changed and the members of the community are different from my generation as a student, it felt like old home week. For starters, we welcomed the graduates from the 1972 classes at Wardlaw Country Day School and The Hartridge School for the celebration of their 50th reunion. Meeting most of these alumni/ae for the first time was a privilege and a pleasure. Hearing the old stories and witnessing the warmth of their reconnection made me look forward to my own 40th reunion next year.
Later in the day, we hosted our first Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception since 2019. During my 14 years working at W+H, this has become my favorite event. I didn’t realize until Saturday how much I had missed this event during the COVID-induced hiatus. This year’s ceremony honored four old-time alumni/ae who epitomize the school’s proud heritage and tradition of excellence.
Congratulations again to Missy VanBuren-Brown ’72, who received the Distinguished Alumna Award. Missy, one of our most active and dedicated alumnae, rallied her Hartridge classmates for this special reunion weekend. It was wonderful to see her classmates and friends celebrate the award with Missy. Longtime Board of Trustees president and Emeritus Trustee Joe Bonk, parent of alumni Joseph ’94, Bryan ’98 and Chris ’02, delivered a fine introduction for Missy.
The W+H Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022 ranks as one of our finest to date. We began with the induction of Carole Horne Boyd ’69, daughter of former headmaster Prentice Horne. Carole was a three-sport standout who reflected on her years at Hartridge. I enjoyed catching up with her at the reception and shared some personal memories of Mr. Horne, who was the headmaster during most of my time at W+H. Beverly Baier Keur ’73, a W+H Hall of Famer, made a wonderful introduction on behalf of an athlete she admired in her school years and also today.
Next up was Roxane Brown-Campello ’79, arguably one of the most accomplished student athletes in school history. Roxane did it all, and her presenter, classmate Mitch Reider ’79, provided ample testimony. Roxane accumulated 15 varsity letters as a standout in field hockey, gymnastics, basketball and lacrosse. I was in eighth grade during Roxane’s senior year and still remember what an all-around star she was on this campus.
Last, but certainly not least, we inducted Matt Albano ’81 to the AHOF. Matt excelled in wrestling but was also a captain and leader on the soccer team and record-setting distance runner in track and field. Classmate Rob Berg '81 provided a respectful yet humorous introduction of his close friend and teammate. Matt graduated two years before I did so I rarely competed with him at W+H but enjoyed the chance to play intramural sports with him at the University of Notre Dame. We lived in the same residence hall, mostly because our beloved history teacher Doc Rud also lived there during his ND years, and we connected for a game-winning touchdown in a flag football playoff game back in 1984. Matt outran a defender, which is no surprise, and I fired a bullet for the decisive score on the last play of the game. The movie Rudy was not inspired by this play!
Celebrating with all of these folks, along with former teachers like Link Keur, Jim Howard and Doc, was a nostalgic experience to say the least. During my congratulatory remarks for Roxane, I mentioned that her mom, Helen Brown, was my first history teacher at W+H way back in seventh grade. Doc taught AP US History and was my last history teacher before college. Link and Jim taught math and coached me in a variety of sports.
I’ll never make the W+H Hall of Fame, but it sure was a pleasure to walk down memory lane with some of the finest people this school has ever known.