Alumni Day 2017
Hackley Review Winter 2017-18: By Margie McNaughton Ford ’85: On a spectacular, sunny fall day in October, generations of alumni from classes 1949 through 2013 returned to the Hilltop to celebrate milestone reunions, cheer on our varsity teams, tour the Walter C. Johnson Health and Wellness Center, and reconnect with one another as well as former and current faculty, staff and coaches.
The day began with an alumni soccer game on Saturday morning, while outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed a morning run/walk on the Hackley trails. Later that morning, alumni, faculty, and friends gathered in King Chapel for the Annual Meeting of the Hackley Alumni Association (“HAA”). HAA President, Christie-Phil- brick-Wheaton-Galvin ’00, welcomed alums home and spoke about the importance of being connected and engaged with their alma mater.
Head of School Michael Wirtz spoke about his first year and plans for the future. A new slate was elected for the Alumni Board of Directors, including new members Zan Variano ’09 and Katie Philpott ’11. A highlight was the induction of Mary Anne McNaughton as Honorary Alumna by Alumni Board Director, Ali Kelman ’01. Mary Anne felt honored and touched by the gesture. This past year, the Hackley community lost two legends, Kathy Szabo (biology teacher and Science Department Chair) and Randy McNaughton (science teacher, coach, and Chief), and we remembered them with tears and laughter during the memorial service.
After lunch, alumni were treated to master classes with Hackley faculty. English teacher Anne Siviglia had former students writing about Mallomars in her Writing Workshop, and History teacher Vladimir Klimenko taught a Contemporary Issues class. Children created “Leaf Print” compositions with Middle School Art teacher Monica Carrier, and Dianne Fahy ’92 led The Mathematical Mystery Tour, exploring Hackley architectural design features through a unique mathematical lens. Alumni previewed the Walter C. Johnson Health and Wellness Center in “hard hat” tours and were amazed by the expanded facilities it will offer. Alumni from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were thrilled to have their former Ecology teacher, Art King, join them on a nature hike with AP Biology teacher Tessa Johnson. Mr. King loved being back in the Hackley woods, and even taught Ms. Johnson a few things. Later that evening, Mr. King, still vigorous at 95, joined the Class of 1962 at the 50-Plus Club Dinner.
Following exciting athletic events, alumni and friends headed to Allen Memorial Hall for the Head of School Reception to mingle and catch up. Classes celebrating special reunions met for individual dinners in various locations on campus. Members of the 50-Plus Club, boasting record-breaking attendance, had cocktails at Gage House, the Head of School’s residence, followed by dinner in the Middle School Dining Hall. 50-Plus Club Chair Toby Dunn ’58 congratulated alumni from the Class of 1967 on their new status as members of the 50-Plus Club. Actor George Hamilton ’57 returned for his first campus visit since his student days, and he shared memories of his Hackley experience and the valuable lessons he gained on the Hilltop.
It was a beautiful day to roam the campus, and alumni enjoyed reliving memories in the hallways and telling stories about their Hilltop days. Though Hackley’s appearance has changed, the feeling of family remains the same. Returning to the Hilltop is like coming home.