Encounters of the Alum Kind

Push come to shove, the best part of my job is watching what our students do after they go out into the world. Sometimes it’s a display of individual initiative like the examples below.  Sometimes it is in the group spirit and outpouring of support that was in evidence last month when the entire Hyde community paid our respects to Rob Schuller ’78, RIP.  There have been a number of exciting encounters just in the period since the current school year began.  Let’s see, there was (in no particular order)…

The package I received from Mike Folan ’80 containing a supply of Cold Brew by Infinit, the company founded by Mike that bills itself as “the world’s only 100% all-natural custom sports fuel company.” Check out the shout-out Outside Magazine gave Infinit this fall:


And if you went to school with him, you will not be surprised to know that Mike is one heckuva pitchman for all of his company’s products!

Mike Folan ’80

Speaking of ’80, Mike’s classmate Al McClain was honored by the Boston Celtics this fall for the decades he has spent helping 1000s of Boston kids better their lives through basketball and countless activities and opportunities. At the T. D. Bank Garden ceremony, Al was joined by lifelong mentor, friend, and NBA Hall of Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier. (As an aside, those who attended Hyde during Al’s time may well remember the excellent pastel portrait he did way back then of Frazier in his Knicks uniform.)

Al McClain ’80 (wearing hat) w/Walt Frazier at T.D. Bank Garden this fall

Isaac Brower ’09 has spent a few months volunteering as a teacher and fund-raiser at The Orkeeswa School in rural Tanzania, Africa. Isaac told me that 95% of his students are members of the Maasai tribe and noted that the community faces a range of challenges including lack of access to clean water, arranged marriages, gender inequality, and severe poverty. What they do have, he says, are some of the most curious and inspiring young people he has ever encountered.

Isaac Brower ’09 w/students in Tanzania

How did he end up there? He explains, “One night while lying in bed I had an emotional moment where I felt like I was not giving back and was just taking from the world. I felt like I was getting caught up in consumerism and was not serving anybody but myself.” What can I say? How about, Great Stuff!?!

If you have dined in any of San Francisco’s best restaurants, chances are you have done so on tableware designed and created by Mary Mar Keenan ’92. She recently opened her second retail location for MM Clay at 69 Gough Street in the heart of SF.  Pay her a visit there or on-line at https://www.mmclay.com/

Mary Mar Keenan ’92 in her new MM Clay retail location in San Francisco

I met up with Octavius Prince ’97 and his wife Mary Katherine in DC. He has been producing and acting in some critically acclaimed independent films including The Preppie Connection (2015, executive producer), Perception (2019, starring role and executive producer), and the forthcoming Roe v. Wade. Great to catch up!

Mary Katherine & Octavius Prince ’97

Staying in the late 90s, Jason Warnick ’98 was recently named Head of School at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Jason was our longtime Director of Admissions at Hyde-Woodstock, a position he has held for the last few years at The Ross School (LI, NY).  He is the fourth former faculty member to be named a head of school within the last year. (The 3 others: Jeff Burroughs, Kevin Folan, and Matt Newberg.) Very cool.

Jason Warnick ’98

Speaking of Jasons, Jason Stewart ’93, newly elected president of the PTA at NYC’s PS 20, The Anna Silver School — where his two young children attend — recently invited me to talk with administrators and parents about possibly offering some Hyde elements to the program. It was a very uplifting morning. (And great fun to tour the school with Jason and his wife, Lisa.)

Lisa & Jason Stewart & Fam

On that same trip to New York, Laura, Scout Gauld ’10 and I spent some time out at Hyde-Brooklyn where we did some Biggest Job training for parents and celebrated the school’s 10-year birthday at a Holiday party. So great to see what Marion Holley ’04 is doing with kids and parents as a key member of the school’s leadership team. (And don’t forget, Marion, I want one of those t-shirts that the student seated behind you is wearing!)

Marion Holley ’04 at Hyde-Brooklyn

When a major paper like the Miami Herald begins an article with “The world can’t get enough of Jimmy Murphy,” and the Jimmy Murphy they’re talking about is none other than one of our own, you gotta check it out.  If Hyde has ever had an answer to Notre Dame’s Rudy, it’s indisputably Jimmy Murphy of the Miami Hurricanes.  In November, Jimmy was nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, given each year to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a Walk-On and has shown outstanding performance on the field. What a story this young man has lived. And he’s just getting started!


Jimmy Murphy ’15 celebrating his touchdown for the ‘Canes against Bethune-Cookman

Here’s the aforementioned article:


Out on the west coast this fall, Ali Stern Simard ’89 received the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Award as Democrat of the Year in her L.A. district.  Ali is also the founder of Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (C.L.A.W.) an organization committed to working to protect and restore the environments of wildlife of Los Angeles and California from dwindling open spaces. Talk about taking community service “beyond the gates!”

Ali Stern Simard ’89

And finally, one from The Small World Department…

Archie Smart ’90 James Ferrari ’83

Lindsay Mischel and I had a delightful lunch with Archie Smart ’90 last month in DC. Among a variety of topics, he spoke of the timely work he has been doing with the News Literacy Project (NLP), a fascinating national non-partisan and non-profit organization that works with educators and journalists to give students the skills they need to discern fact from fiction and to know what to trust in the digital age. Then, a couple weeks later, I had dinner with James Ferrari ’83 and he started talking about the same idea.  Before long, we all came to realize that Archie and James both serve on NLP’s National Leadership Council and have never known of their mutual alma mater: Hyde.  So, I sent both an email, noting that they have at least two things in common and, who knows what else?  They have since connected and shared stories. Small world, indeed!

Onward, Malcolm Gauld

PS: Would love to hear from any and all alums about what is going on in your lives. (Maybe this could become a regular feature?) You can reach me at mgauld@hyde.edu.