Alumni Happenings

We turn this space over most Thursdays to news for and about our alumni, who are such an important part of life here at Liggett.

The past week was host to two awesome alumni events.

Carol Peters ’75 and Head of School Joe Healey in Chicago

Carol Peters ’75 and Head of School Joe Healey in Chicago

First, alumni gathered in Chicago for our annual regional event. About 30 alumni who live in and around Chicago gathered to enjoy a night at theWit hotel. The event was a casual meet-up at the rooftop restaurant. Guests from graduation years spanning 30 years attended the fete. They enjoyed live music, food, cocktails and the opportunity to mingle with fellow grads.  Head of School, Joe Healey was also there to greet alumni along with Liggett staff members Kelley Hamilton and Cressie Boggs.

Alumni Board of Governors members (from left to right) Samina Qureshi '91, Anne Hildebrandt Tranchida '92, Booth Platt '96 and Abby McIntyre '91 at the Red Crown event.

Alumni Board of Governors members (from left to right) Samina Qureshi ’91, Anne Hildebrandt Tranchida ’92, Booth Platt ’96 and Abby McIntyre ’91 at the Red Crown event.

Just a few days later, closer to home, Liggett hosted an end-of-the-year bash at the new Grosse Pointe Park restaurant, Red Crown. About 40 alumni and members of the University Liggett School staff attended. The event saw alumni guests from classes 1939 through 2007. Alumni enjoyed hanging out with friends and trying the eatery’s special party menu that included build-your-own pulled pork and brisket sliders, fried pickles, pub cheese, chicken wings, and other home-style food.  New Alumni Board of Governors president Booth Platt ’96 created the crowd and talked about the year ahead in alumni programming. All in all it was a causal and fun evening.

Thanks to all the alumni who made it out to these two great events. See pictures from both events online at the University Liggett School Alumni Facebook page here.

Want to attend our next alumni event? Stay updated by signing up for the alumni e-newsletter, Knightline. Email Savannah Lee at slee@uls.org and indicate that you would like to subscribe.

By Savannah Lee
Alumni Relations Manager

Don’t let summer bore you! Volunteer

By Annie Grech
Liggett Volunteer Corps

Volunteer work is a rewarding way to spend your idle summer days. Each of these organizations does great work in our community, and deserves any time you can give them.

If you have any organizations you would reccomend to be included on this list please contact Annie Grech, agrech@uls.net. And check back here often for more information.

Belle Isle Conservancy

Saturday Stewardship Days- Invasive Plant Removal. Meets 9 a.m. to noon at the Nature Zoo Auditorium on the following dates: June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16. http://www.belleisleconservancy.org/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/

Arts & Scraps

In-store volunteer. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Contact Suzan: 313-640-4411, ext. 5.

Habitat for Humanity

Re-store: In-store volunteer, Tuesday -Saturday, must be 14 or older; office volunteer, must be 15 or older; construction opportunities, must be 16 or over and come with a supervising adult. http://www.habitatdetroit.org/volunteersignup or call Crystal Bell, 313-521-6691, Ext. 106.

Greening of Detroit

Summer in the City volunteers needed June 26-Aug. 17. Hours needed are 9 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays to help paint, plant and play with kids. You must register: http://www.summerinthecity.com/ Carpool sites: http://www.summerinthecity.com/carpool

Capuchin’s Earthworks Urban Farm

Workers needed for urban farm Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays 4:45-7:30 p.m. No registration necessary. Call 313-579-2100, Ext. 204. http://www.cskdetroit.org/EWG/get_involved/volunteer

Grosse Pointe War Memorial

Teen volunteers needed to help at summer camps. Call 313-881-7511, Ext. 114 for an interview.

Services for Older Citizens Grosse Pointe

A wide range of volunteer opportunities available. See what and sign up at http://www.socservices.org/volunteer.htm

Focus: Hope

Senior Food Delivery Program volunteers needed to pack and deliver food to local seniors. Contact: 313-494-4270 or volunteer@focushope.edu and http://www.focushope.edu/page.aspx?content_id=5&content_type=level1

Gleaners Community Food Bank

Variety of service opportunities centered around food packing. Contact and volunteer information avaliable here: http://www.gcfb.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pg_volunteeropportunities

Senior Project: Michigan Science Center by Tori Wuthrich

Our seniors spent the last three weeks of school in the real world, working somewhere of their choosing as part of our Senior Project program, our 41-year-old capstone of a Liggett Education. We’ve asked a few to reflect on what they are doing. Here is another installment.

Tori Wuthrich

Tori Wuthrich

For my senior project, I worked as an intern in the education department of the Michigan Science Center, located in downtown Detroit. My interest in science and engineering, along with many enjoyable visits to the museum as an elementary school student, led me to choose this project.

Every morning, between 800 and 1,300 students enter the museum, usually as part of a school group. My first task in the morning is to help groups enter the building, drop off their lunches, and get to their first scheduled event on time. Most of the students who visit the Science Center are between first and fifth grade, and I enjoy seeing their excited expressions when they walk into the museum.

Later in the day, I teach in one of the Science Center’s several classrooms. In the Cell Lab, which is typically used for Biology experiments and activities, I showed students about owl pellets, and helped to dissect them.

Physics and Chemistry demonstrations are usually held in the Centennial Lab, my favorite place to work in the museum. Here, I had the opportunity to show visitors various experiments with dry ice, which seemed to be a favorite with many students. I also taught school groups about how the copper on pennies reacts with oxygen in the air, and how the white coating that forms over time can be cleaned with acid. Students seemed to really enjoy seeing a formerly dirty penny turn shiny as they swirled it in lemon juice.

I enjoyed my senior project, and was pleased to accept an offer of employment for the summer. On Monday, I started training for summer camps, which begin the following week. I enjoyed the opportunity to share my interest in science and engineering with the students, and I look forward to continuing my work at the Science Center this summer.

Senior Project: Focus: HOPE by Taniesha Williams

Our seniors spent the last three weeks of school in the real world, working somewhere of their choosing as part of our Senior Project program, our 41-year-old capstone of a Liggett Education. We’ve asked a few to reflect on what they are doing. Here is another installment.

Taniesha Williams

Taniesha Williams

I recently completed my senior project at Focus: HOPE.  My project advisor, Amy Costello (’04), runs a program for high school kids in metro Detroit called Generation of Promise, which promotes leadership and inclusion of diverse cultures.

I had previously attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and I was a leader of the Student Diversity Leadership Club.  So, when I learned about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance. I had also moved from going school in Detroit to going to school in Grosse Pointe which gave me a set of experiences that made me more interested in issues of diversity.

My duties at Generation of Promise consisted of preparing materials for the new class that will be starting on their journey in Generation of Promise this summer. I made phone calls to admitted students, created nametags, stuffed folders, and logged evaluation information from the past class on the computer.

The preliminary work that it took to create the program was time consuming; however, I did have the opportunity to learn some things for myself. I offered my opinions on what kids might want to talk about to be more accepting of each other by creating a multicultural resource guide. I was also able to research a lot of interesting books and articles about the improving race relations (a lot of which  have made it to my reading list this summer).

Although I was unable to be a part of the actual program, I really enjoyed my time at Generation of Promise. Going into the office every day helped me realize that we need programs like this in the city (and the surrounding suburbs) to really become a community across racial lines, religious practices, and ZIP codes.

By Taniesha Williams

Liggett’s heading to the Windy City

Once a week we turn over this space to news for and about our alumni, such an important part of life at Liggett.

The Alumni Office is nearing the end of our season of regional travel. We are headed to Chicago on Monday to meet and greet alumni in and round the Chicago area. Are you close by? We’d love to see you!

Michael LaHood ’95 and Kara Feemster ’96 at the 2012 Chicago event.

Michael LaHood ’95 and Kara Feemster ’96 at the 2012 Chicago event.

At 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, we are hosting an alumni reception at ROOF at theWit. It’s a rooftop lounge on the top of theWit hotel in downtown Chicago.  We already have more than 30 alumni registered to attend the event. There are groups coming from the classes of 1980, 1996 and 2006 and many other years. Registration is required and can be found here. Sign-up and come enjoy networking, cocktails, appetizers, an update on Liggett and some fun!

Want to take a look at last year’s Chicago event? Check out the photos we took during our Cubs vs. Tigers baseball game event on the alumni Facebook page here. Many of our alumni guests last year will be joining us again this year at theWit.

Raymond Cantrell and George Wines graduated from University Liggett in 2006. Here they are at the 2012 Chicago event.

Raymond Cantrell and George Wines graduated from University Liggett in 2006. Here they are at the 2012 Chicago event.

Be sure to check-in online at our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on alumni events and programs!

Are you a local alumnus? Join the Alumni Board of Governors on Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m. for a cocktail party at the Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park. Have you been trying to get a table at this new hotspot for a while, but haven’t had much luck because of the huge crowds? No need to worry, Liggett has the restaurant exclusively for our event that night! Join us on the patio, dining area and bar for some local networking and fun. The cost for this event is $40, and registration can be found online here.

Whether you live in the area, or out-of-state we want to connect with you! Keep checking back for details on events at home, and around the country. We hope to see you soon!

By Savannah Lee
Alumni Relations Manager

Senior Project: The DIA by Amanda Walencewicz and more

Seniors are spending three weeks in the real world, working somewhere of their choosing as part of our Senior Project program, our 41-year-old capstone of a Liggett Education. We’ve asked a few to reflect on what they are doing. Here is another installment.

walencewiczThis week, I finished my senior project, working as a curatorial intern at the Detroit Institute of Arts. My supervisor was Jane Dini, the assistant curator of American art at the museum (as well as a Lower School parent here at Liggett).

I wanted to work at the DIA because although I am unsure of the specific career I would like to pursue, I do know that I would like to work with the arts in some way. I hoped that while at the museum I could learn more about the “behind the scenes” work of the DIA, like mounting an exhibition, curating the collection, and interacting with visitors.

My project met all of my expectations and more. While there, fellow Liggett senior Mallory Jamett and I had a variety of experiences, like attending lectures and docent training, viewing storage and conservation, and getting to know the various departments of the museum and the way they all work together.

But our most significant task was observing Dr. Dini plan an upcoming exhibition and helping her with her preparation. We researched many of the artists who will be included in the show, a task that is needed for establishing the narrative of the show and explaining the importance of certain objects. We also gathered information like dimensions and location for the pieces in the show, a necessary step in creating the exhibition checklist, which is used in the composition of loan letters and grant proposals.

My time at the DIA was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about how the museum operates on a day-to-day basis.

By Amanda Walencewicz

And here are a few more photos from seniors and their senior projects:

Clarissa Dixon did her senior project at the historic Pewabic Pottery on Jefferson in Detroit. Clarissa is making objects that will be taken to schools for children to paint. In the fall, Clarissa will be heading to the College for Creative Studies to major in Computer Graphics.

Clarissa Dixon did her senior project at the historic Pewabic Pottery on Jefferson in Detroit. Clarissa is making objects that will be taken to schools for children to paint. In the fall, Clarissa will be heading to the College for Creative Studies to major in Computer Graphics.

Emma Bandos' Senior Project was at Arts and Scraps. Emma assisted in organizing items in the retail store and setting up the facility for art instruction to school groups. Emma is a wonderful artist and this experience is giving her insight into the other aspects of art teaching. Her supervisor at Arts and Scraps described Emma as a great help to their program.

Emma Bandos’ Senior Project was at Arts and Scraps. Emma assisted in organizing items in the retail store and setting up the facility for art instruction to school groups. Emma is a wonderful artist and this experience is giving her insight into the other aspects of art teaching. Her supervisor at Arts and Scraps described Emma as a great help to their program.

A day of honors and goodbyes

Empty walls mean student work is going home.

Empty walls mean student work is going home.

“Life’s a casting off,” says Linda Loman in “Death of a Salesman.” It’s a dark quote for a last-day-of-school blog post, but nowhere is that a more apt description than at a school on the last day of the year.

For the past several days the school has been clearing out. The walls, once colorful with student work, are shockingly naked. The hallways seem lonely without their violins and their skating bags and muddy boots and backpacks and sports equipment and books and sweatshirts waiting to be reclaimed by their forgetful owners. In the Lower School there’s a section of hallway that actually echoes, so empty is it.

The fifth grade bowling shirts were donated by the Deimel family.

The fifth grade bowling shirts were donated by the Deimel family.

Cubbies and lockers have been emptied of their pencils and texts and flyers that were supposed to go home months ago and those lost library books and that homework sheet the kids remember turning in but for which the teacher gave them a zero. The lockers, so carefully decorated just nine months ago, have been stripped of their wallpapers and their mirrors and their photos. The doors  swing open like saloon doors in a town in the old west.

Fifth graders looking dressy for their advancement to Middle School.

Fifth graders looking dressy for their advancement to Middle School.

Most of the Upper School was gone today, only a lucky few had exams today. The other two divisions came together to honor students and to say goodbye. The fifth-graders sang a song known as “Cups,” the recurring theme of which is “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”  Of course most of them are just moving to a different wing next year, not to a different campus. Head of Lower School Sheila Chaps told them to remember to say “hi” in the hallways, the teachers who loved them in the Lower School will still love them when they’re in Middle School. Then they headed off to a bowling party, all in matching shirts.

In the Middle School, locker cleanout was built into the day, as was an extra long break spent on the back lawn before an assembly in which students were honored for various achievements from great work academically to being a

The great Middle School locker purge.

The great Middle School locker purge.

positive influence on the school and their fellow students. Tonight, the eighth-grade will host its class day, a time for the same thing, but dressed in nicer clothing and with a dinner and party afterward.

Amid all this casting off, though, there was still some learning going on. The first graders, who had been studying insects, watched praying mantises hatch from a pod a student brought in earlier in the week. They didn’t know what it was, but when dozens and dozens of tiny green insects started coming out, they quickly discovered that it needed to be outside. Students were dispatched to catch the hard to see creatures and place them

A praying mantis pod burst suddenly to life in the first grade.

A praying mantis pod burst suddenly to life in the first grade.

outside, carefully, on flowers and bushes and anywhere else they thought would be a good place for a praying mantis to live and eat.

Tomorrow, it’s only seniors here, collecting honors in the morning, then receiving their cap and gown before rehearsing for Sunday’s commencement. They will also write a reflection on their senior project, which took them out of our halls for the last month.

There’s a unique type of joy that accompanies the last day of school. As excited as students are for the coming summer, there’s that nagging sadness of the goodbyes, the “let’s get togethers” that both know won’t happen and the thoughts that when school starts again, everyone will be a different person.

The school will also be different, not physically, but different because of the special talents and joys and relationships and personalities that go out the door today and are replaced with other special talents and joys and relationships and personalities in September.

So here’s a goodbye to the 2012-13 school year.  And a fond anticipation to starting it all over again in September.

By Ron Bernas

A little beach reading?

Ahh, summer break, the time of year students — and let’s be honest, teachers too — long for long lazy days, lemonade, aimless walks and — WHAT? I have summer reading?

Yes, you do. For the past several years, Liggett has given its Upper School students some homework over the summer. They have to read a book. The idea was that students would read the book and participate in a big book club-like discussion on returning to school in the fall.

“The idea is that, as a school, we want to provide an intellectual exercise for the summer,” said Upper School Dean of Students Peter Gaines. The books were chosen by the students, and the large discussion had moderate success.

Two years ago, the seniors thought it might be good to give the students a choice of several books to read over the summer, hoping to get more students to actually read. So last year, students encouraged the school’s clubs to choose books.

This change was important in a couple ways, Gaines said. First, it created such a varied list that every student was sure to find something they could read. It also provided the possibility of an entree into the club — and new friendships — for students new to the school. It also meant smaller, more engaged, groups for the book discussions come fall.

It worked well, Gaines said, and that is why they did it again for this summer. Not all the 15 or so school clubs chose books, but those that did and the book they chose are:

Middle School students also have books to read this summer, and they will be incorporated into several different class discussions. Rising sixth-graders have to read “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman, rising seventh-graders must read “Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson and rising eighth-graders will be reading “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer.

Other classes, notably the foreign language classes also have work to be done before school starts again.

But don’t fret, students: Teachers and administrators also have books to read this summer. These books will create a thematic center for the August staff development.

“All the books fall into categories that are important to us as a school — technology, diversity, innovation, learning styles, adolescent development — and contain ideas that we as educators will use,” Gaines said.

This summer, teachers will choose from “Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, “The Power of Resilience” by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein, “Who Owns the Learning” by Alan November, “White Like Me” by Tim Wise, “Generation iY” by Tim Elmore, “Writing the Playbook” by Kelley E. King and “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Homework over the summer? Yep. But it’s good for you.

By Ron Bernas

A quick primer on the Annual Fund

We have an Annual Fund because the tuition at Liggett, like that at most independent schools, does not cover the entire cost of a Liggett education. Our fundraising is designed to

Matthew and Lindsay Moroun hosted the Leadership Circle reception.

Matthew and Lindsay Moroun hosted the Leadership Circle reception.

bridge the gap between the 80 percent it does pay, and the whole cost. The Annual Fund provides current support for teachers, students and initiatives to keep the Liggett community connected and engaged.

This year’s goal is $1.15 million. That’s slightly higher than last year’s, which was the highest goal to date and one to which our donors rose admirably. Our donors are rising to this year’s challenge as well: We have just over $54,000 to raise before the end of the month to meet this year’s goal.

Director of Advancement Kelley Hamilton chats with John Boll at the Leadership Circle reception.

Director of Advancement Kelley Hamilton chats with John Boll at the Leadership Circle reception.

Recently about 50 of our most generous donors were treated to a reception at the Country Club of Detroit courtesy of Matthew and Lindsay Moroun. The invitees were members of what we call our Leadership Circle and the Legacy Circle. Members of the Leadership Circle are those who gave $1,000 or more to the school this year. Legacy Circle members have included the school in their estate plans. There are benefits to joining which can be seen by clicking on the links above.

The Leadership Circle, created this year to recognize and honor those donors, is made up of

Head of School Dr. Joseph Healey thanked the attendees, providing an overview of the school's plans for the next few years.

Head of School Dr. Joseph Healey thanked the attendees, and provided an overview of the school’s plans for the next few years.

alumni, parents, staff, faculty and friends of Liggett. Donations from the 134 members of this group put us nearly halfway to our goal this year.

There is still time to help us reach our goal. Donors can give online, in person at the school or over the phone at 313-884-4444, Ext. 412. If you have already given, consider an additional gift. Don’t worry about the amount, truly the only gift that is too small is no gift at all.

By Ron Bernas