News From Masters

Alums Gather for Reunion 2017 Weekend
Posted 05/23/2017 02:00PM


Members of the classes ending in 2s and 7s, along with other alumnae/i, enjoyed an event-packed Reunion 2017 Weekend at The Masters School on May 19 and 20.

The weekend’s activities began with the Estherwood Society Luncheon, hosted by the Estherwood Society at Estherwood Mansion on Friday, May 19. Later in the day, the Alumnae/i Association held its traditional Welcome Party for the Class of 2017 at Estherwood. 

Some alumnae/i tried their hand at printmaking during a workshop conducted by Upper School art teacher Cheryl Hajjar. Later in the day, attendees mingled at an opening reception for the Alumnae/i Art Show in the Wenberg Art Gallery at the Fonseca Center. The exhibit features paintings, prints, fiber arts and photos created by nine alumnae from classes ranging from 1954 through 1999. While in the Fonseca Center, alums also explored “Meraki,” a multimedia installation created by Emma Rubinson ’17. 

On Saturday morning, alums enjoyed a varied and delicious buffet meal during a Jazz Brunch at Estherwood. Afterward, they gathered in the quad to watch past and present members of the Dobbs Athletic Association dance around the Maypole – a longtime Reunion tradition. During a State of the School address later on at the Fonseca Center, Head of School Laura Danforth and Alumnae/i Board members shared what changes are on the horizon for the School. 

Attendees could choose from a variety of activities throughout the afternoon. They could reminisce while visiting their dormitories or explore the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) and other locations on campus during tours led by Gold Key student guides. Or they could go “back to school” by attending a classroom session.

In one session, alums tapped their inner actors during an improvisational theater workshop conducted by Chris Briante, Chair of the Drama and Dance Department. In another, John Chiodo, Director of Innovation, Engineering and Computer Science, described the programs offered in the IEC.

At the Wine & Cheese Reception late Saturday afternoon, alumnae/i, faculty and staff paid tribute to Art Department Chair Madeline Wilson, who is relocating after 20 years of service, as well as Community Service Director Amy Atlee and Academic Dean Chris Goulian, who are retiring after a combined 54 years of service at Masters. Ms. Atlee and Mr. Goulian are also former members of the Masters faculty.

Twenty members of the Class of 1967 attended the reunion, gathering together on Saturday for a Memorial Tree Planting on the lawn in front of Masters Hall, and later for 50th Reunion cocktails with Laura Danforth.

Among the 60th reunion attendees was Marilyn Miller Harris ’57, who said she enjoyed spending time with her classmates at a special dinner at a Dobbs Ferry restaurant on Friday evening. One of her priorities on Saturday was to take a tour of Estherwood Mansion so she could walk through the halls of the building that had been her dormitory. 

Jayda Leder-Luis Siegler ’07 and Charlie Siegler ’07, meanwhile, were among the roughly 30 alums celebrating their 10th reunion. The couple, who had been close friends throughout their Upper School years and began dating while in college, got married in August 2016. 

Ms. Siegler, noting that it was her first time attending a Masters reunion, said she decided to come “because it was the 10th. Also, because we were so recently married, I wanted to show off my new name!” She joked that she and her husband had a “mixed marriage” because she was a Phi while Charlie was a Delta. 

Alexander Gluck ’02 had missed his 10th reunion, so was determined to attend this year’s gathering. As an Upper School student, he was involved in music and drama events held on reunion weekends. “It always seemed like such a nice day for the alumni,” he said. “I’m happy that I was able to make it to this reunion.” 

Classmate Heather Duffy Shaughnessy ’02 returned to Masters five years after attending her 10th reunion – this time with sons Liam, 6, and Donovan, 3, in tow. “I like bringing my kids to see where I went to school,” said Ms. Shaughnessy, now a public school teacher in Bedford, NY.

As a former Glee Club member, she was looking forward to participating in the Glee Club Sing-Along on Saturday afternoon in Doc Wilson Hall. “It’s always fun to sing songs I haven’t sung in years,” she said.

The day’s events culminated with a Banquet Dinner in the Fonseca Center gymnasium. During the dinner, the 2017 Reunion Award Honorees were recognized. Louise Millholland Cecil ’57 received the Richmond Bowl, Dr. Joanne Liegner ’73 received the Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award, and Dr. Eileen "Lee" Dieck received the Anna Howe Faculty Award.

Because Louise Millholland Cecil was unable to attend, her sisters, Carol Millholland Strasburger ’54 and Allaire Millholland Warner ’60, accepted Louise’s award on her behalf. Treasure Brooks ’17 presented the award to Carol and Allaire.

By special – and secret – arrangement, Dr. Dieck’s daughter Chelsea Dieck ’09 surprised her mother by presenting the Anna Howe Faculty Award to her.

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