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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

Saints Family Gets Together Once Again for “Jumbo” Reunion Weekend 2022
Liz Torrey

Over the weekend of June 10-12, 2022, we were thrilled to host our first in-person, on-campus St. Andrew’s Reunion since 2019. The school welcomed home more than 600 alumni and their families for this three-day “jumbo” Reunion that celebrated not only the current Reunion cycle (class years ending in 2s and 7s), but also the previous two Reunion cycles (class years ending in 0s, 1s, 5s, and 6s) who were unable to celebrate together in person at that time. The Classes of 1972 celebrated its 50th Reunion, while the Class of 1997 celebrated their 25th Reunion. Weekend events included an alumni “futurecasting” panel; a “Tribute to a School” theatre production featuring a cast of alumni actors; a celebration of former Head of School Tad Roach and former Dean of Teaching & Learning Elizabeth Roach, including the unveiling of their portrait, which will be hung with portraits of other past school leaders in the Dining Hall; a faculty-guided tour of the “new” Amos Hall (which reopened in the fall of 2019 and thus has not been witnessed by many, if any, of the school’s alumni); and hours of good old fashioned St. Andrew’s fun on the Front Lawn and Noxontown Pond.

The most senior alum in attendance at Reunion Weekend was Stephen Baldwin ’55—although Walt Liefeld ’54 made a late-breaking appearance as well. Fun fact: Stephen and Walt were both on campus to witness the construction of the “new wing and tower” of Founders Hall. Hugh Cameron ’92 and Breffni Kehoe ’86, visiting from Australia, traveled the furthest distance to attend Reunion—but we welcomed international travelers from Chile, China, France, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. (A Class of 2022 graduate, who will share future Reunions with this particular cycle, hailing from Ukraine was also in attendance!) During the weekend, 21 alumni parents and their adult alumni “children” were in attendance, as well as 30 Class Agents, 12 Trustees, and 9 former Alumni Board members. The class with the strongest showing at Reunion was the Class of 2017, with 60% of the class attending!

Chair of the Board of Trustees Scott Sipprelle ’81 (on campus to celebrate his 40th Reunion a year late) and Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 (celebrating her 30th Reunion) presented the following Reunion giving awards at a ceremony in the Sipprelle Field House on Saturday morning:

The Fishers of Men Plate honors the Reunion Class with the highest participation rate in giving to the Saints Fund during the current fiscal year. Recognizing the difference in various Class sizes and other factors, there are two plates given annually: one to a Class from the first half of the school’s history, and one to a Class from the second half. The pre-1977 Fishers of Men Plate was awarded to the Class of 1952, with 60% participation in giving to the Saints Fund this year. The post-1977 Fishers of Men Plate was awarded to the Class of 1997, with 85% participation in giving to the Saints Fund. The Class of 1997 also broke the 25th Reunion participation record held for the last 32 years by the Class of 1964, due in large part to a $25,000 matching gift challenge offered to his classmates by Rox Veghte ’97 during the school’s annual Day of Giving earlier in the month. 

The Class of 1997 also received the Giving Bowl Award; the Giving Bowl recognizes the Reunion Class that has contribute the largest total amount of gifts to the Saints Fund (as of Reunion Weekend) in the current fiscal year. The Class of 1997 won the bowl with $177,198 in total Saints Fund giving commitments as of Reunion Weekend. This total broke not only the 25th Reunion Saints Fund giving record, held for the last 15 years by the Class of 1981, but also the all time Reunion Class Saints Fund giving record, also previously held by the Class of 1981. 

Alumni giving is also honored with a third award: the Founders Cup. Instituted in recognition of the school's 75th anniversary in 2004, the Founders Cup recognizes the importance of alumni support of every kind, and is given to the Reunion Class that has given the greatest total support to the school (Saints Fund, capital and endowment giving, and planned gifts and pledges) since the prior Reunion. (Prior to 2018, the Founders Cup was given to the Reunion class who had the great total giving to the school during the current fiscal year.)

“This year's Founders Cup winning Class gives us another perspective on philanthropy and what our giving means to St. Andrew’s,” said McGrath during the awards presentation. “This year’s winning Class has only five [living] members. However, the Class has six members who each made a provision for St. Andrew’s in their wills. Sadly, each of these alumni has died since their last Reunion in 2017, but their legacy gifts live on in the school’s endowment, both for scholarships and general support, and their names as enduring members of the Cornerstone Society. I am honored to announce the winner of the 2022 Founders Cup: the Class of 1947, with a total of $2,319,316 in gifts to St. Andrew’s.” Peter McCagg ’71 accepted the award on behalf of his father Pete McCagg ’47. 

Finally, this year's Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Perry Yeatman ’82. The Distinguished Alumni Award celebrates the alumna or alumnus who has distinguished themselves professionally, personally, and in service to the community and country with strength, commitment, and perseverance. The Distinguished Alumni Endowment Fund was created by the Class of 1959 at its 50th Reunion in 2009, and the award brings the recipient to campus during the following school year to deliver a Chapel Talk on Founders Day, and to visit classes and speak with students, teachers, and staff.

“Over the past three decades, Perry has built a track record as a seasoned global business leader, successfully working at the intersection of business and society, leveraging her breadth of experience across sectors, industries and markets to help clients capitalize on opportunities and solve problems in ways that simultaneously deliver economic, social and environmental benefits,” McGrath said during the awards presentation. “In addition, Perry has leveraged her experience to become a recognized expert on women’s career development and advancement. By combining award-winning books, blogs for leading publications, a popular podcast, and a successful consulting and coaching practice, Perry has helped thousands of women not only survive but thrive in their careers. Currently head of corporate partnerships at Save the Children, Perry combines focus, determination, hard work and personal sacrifice with appreciation for the generous support of others in her life’s work to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.”

On Saturday afternoon, two departed alumni were recognized for their immense contributions to the school. 

In the Head of School’s common room, alumni and families gathered for a dedication of a portrait of Tom Hooper ’71. One of the earliest students of color to attend St. Andrew’s, Tom Hooper was the first Black school president, trustee, and trustee emeritus. Through his service both as a student and in the decades following his graduation, Tom fundamentally shaped the school’s approach to diversity. The portrait of Tom, painted by Rob Seyffert ’71, classmate and lifelong friend, was presented to the school by the Class of 1971 on the occasion of their 50th Reunion. The class has also established an endowed fund at St. Andrew’s, named in memory of Tom to support in perpetuity his work to recruit and develop students who go on to become compassionate leaders and advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

Shortly thereafter, alumni and their families gathered on the lawn behind Trapnell House. Formerly known as Alumni Point, this area of campus overlooks the Noxontown Pond course finish line, and has hosted crew tailgates for most of the school’s history. The point has been renamed “Brownlee Overlook” in honor of Bill ’44 and Sheila Brownlee
P’73,’75,’77,’79 GP’05,’09,’14,’17 and their lifelong dedication to St. Andrew’s and the school’s rowing program. Naturally, alumni crew practice immediately followed the dedication ceremony.

“After this weekend, I think that I realized more than ever that the school itself is a connector of amazing people,” reflected Luke Baer ’98 following Reunion Weekend. “There is an energy that flows through the campus, through the student life, through the faculty that binds us all together. The campus itself and the school, like anything in life is flawed, isn't perfect, but the experience that we shared there, our connection to each other now because of that shared experience is something to remember, something to celebrate, something from which to grow and enrich our lives.”

We are so grateful to all of our alumni who came back to campus for this “Jumbo” Reunion Weekend 2022! If you weren’t able to make it, please know that you were sorely missed by your fellow Saints. You can view photos from Reunion 2022 here, and watch a video played during the awards presentation here