Grapevine December 2010

By Kristin Sanderson

Don Rasmussen, Miquon principal 1955-1965 wrote: “Friends at the Miquon School: next month (November) I celebrate my 94th birthday. I still hike a few miles each day and added up it comes to almost 800 miles a year. And looking back at the old year, in the early part of the summer I travelled to Santiago, Chile with three of my granddaughters, where they could meet the remains of Lore’s family which are related to their ancestors. On return, naturally I camped a couple of weeks in Manhattan, where son Steve keeps an apartment. And after a couple weeks in Berkeley, I took off for Nova Scotia where I still have my old home, from which I can view Newfoundland across the water. And after a while in California, I took off for Beijing, China where son Peter keeps an apartment. I am still remembered in China for my contributions to the production of Chinese school books so I get some banquets where I can meet many old friends. And that is the news from old man Rasmussen on his summer adventures. Sorry I didn’t get to Philadelphia. Love to you all, Don.”

Jenna Snyder-Phillips ’96 is living in New York and making her way as an artist. She has sold 16 paintings in the last year … some to high-end Manhattan stores. Check her list out at

Erica Frenkel ’93 is in her second year at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School getting a masters in public affairs in global health and development policy. She spent last summer working in Liberia with the Clinton Foundation.

Paul Gardner ’91 writes: I finished business schooling at Babson College in Boston in 2003 and joined the hospitality industry. I worked with Orient Express Hotels primarily in the U.S. for over five years. From there, I took a position as hospitality director for a high-end art exhibitions group; we did events like the AIFAF in Palm Beach as well as several events on board a custom 228ft. mega yacht. Ultimately, my passion is in hotels and I’m working on a re-branding and renovation of a boutique property in Los Angeles. Most importantly, I’m enjoying the west coast lifestyle.

Samantha Hesser ’04 will be starting in January as an Art student at Maui College, University of Hawaii.

John Stern & Melissa Dribben send news of their kids: Avery ’04 is a freshman at Tufts University; Chad ’99 attends Tyler School of Art, and Ariel ’96 is finishing up her Masters in clinical psychology at Temple and is getting married next year.

Robin Herskowitz-Heald ’67 runs a pre-K program of music and art, and writes children’s books.

From the Agre family: Sam ’07 is a sophomore at Penn Charter and playing lots of soccer. Ben ’02 is a junior at MIT and playing lots of computers. Both boys are thriving and their parents are surviving. Love to all at Miquon!

Emma Scott ’00 graduated from Bates College in May 2010 and is working in Washington, DC for a small nonprofit devoted to teaching youth how to use photography to advocate for school reform. She is teaching in 3 public schools and is getting to know the arts/photography community in DC.

From Merle Halpern: “Lilia ’81 and Fred’s son Julian (4½ ) and Abel ’79 and Helen’s daughters Chiara (11½), Ines (9½ ), Gisella (7½) and Alina (4) all continue to grow, charm, and amaze us with delight.”

Tobey Ross ’63 dropped by to bring some old movie footage of Miquon from the 60s and even earlier. He has fond memories of his time here and believes that the seeds of his career as a civil engineer may have been sown at Miquon. Tobey’s mother was Mary Anna Ross Cowper, an active parent and president of the Board in the 1960s.

Nick Brown, also class of 1963, rode his bike from Center City to join us at a reception in November to celebrate the purchase of the Maguire property. He was inspired to re-connect by our recent efforts at planting 150 new trees and shrubs. His father did something similar for Miquon when he was a parent here. And Nick carries on that tradition tending trees in the urban environment of Old City. Nick says that Miquon is still remarkably the same as he remembers it.

Recent weddings …
Rachel Fitzgerald ’94 married Jonathan Light in October 2010.

Babies galore … since the last Grapevine we have heard the joyful news of the arrival of these babies:

A son, Asa Max, to Adina Segal Shapiro ’87 and husband
A son, Lev, to Noga Newberg ’92 and Andrew Zitcer.
A son, Gregor, to Carla Hetzel ’90 and Joel Neigh.
A daughter, Eve, to Alice Pope Walters ’91 and Marcus Walters. a grand-daughter for Arabella Pope, Director of Communications & Alumni
A son, Nicholas, to Ann Chahroudi ’86 and Guido Silvestri, brother for Clara and Giovanni.
A daughter, Naomi, to Fran Northcutt Green ’87 and Noah Green, a grand-daughter for Miquon’s PE teacher, Bill Northcutt