The 2019 Winter Trustee Weekend at St. Mark's took place on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26. Members of the Board met as various committees as well as all together, they interacted with students and faculty, and they attended a special Friday service in Belmont Chapel, featuring music from Lora Xie '20 and presentations from VI Formers Caroline Dawson and Matt Hart. The major highlight of the weekend, however, was Friday evening's Distinguished Alumni Induction Ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall, before an overflow crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends. After a beautiful violin prelude by Waverly Shi '21, concertmaster of the St. Mark's orchestra, the Rev. Barbara Talcott, the School's head chaplain, gave the invocation. Head of School John C. Warren delivered opening remarks, and then introduced SM trustee Matthew Chamberlin '84 to present on behalf of the Alumni Executive Committee.
Chamberlin introduced faculty member Jeanna Cook, chair of the St. Mark's Classics department, who reflected on the life and career of Mason Hammond. She was followed by veteran history teacher David Lyons, who spoke about the Hon. C. Boyden Gray.
Following these reflections, Chamberlin moderated a series of questions posed by students to each of the inductees present that evening. Rosanna Zhao inquired of George Putnam, who stated that he "had a passion for service." Luc Cote questioned Edward Taft, who asserted that "education is the best response to the dangers of technology and social media." Rwick Sarker '19 addressed William Ewald about the independence of the Supreme Court during such sharply divided partisan times, and in response Ewald conducted an inquiry through cross-examination to discover the answer. Truman Chamberlin '20 questioned Michael Boulware Moore, who spoke eloquently about his work on behalf of the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, and of his debt of gratitude to St. Mark's. Laura Drepanos '19 asked Chrysanthe Gussis about the importance of curiosity in the establishment of new businesses. Gussis replied that curiosity attracts her to new ideas and helps her choose the innovative businesses that she will help develop.
There followed the presentation of the awards to the new inductees. Mason Hammond's youngest daughter, Elizabeth Llewellyn, accepted on behalf of her late father. Alys Reynders Scott '85, president of the St. Mark's Board of Trustees, accepted on behalf of the absent Ambassador Gray.
The ceremony was followed by a special dinner for the inductees, trustees, and guests in Taft Hall.
THE 2019 ST. MARK'S CLOISTER OF DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI INDUCTEES
Mason Hammond '21
Mason Hammond '21 was many things over the course of his career: a historian, a teacher, an expert on the Latin language, and a published author. To these accomplishments can be added his work during World War II to help save the cultural and artistic patrimony of Europe.
Hammond was born and raised in Boston before attending St. Mark's. Upon leaving Southborough, he studied at Harvard University where he graduated in the Class of 1925 with a bachelor's degree summa cum laude. He attended Bailliol College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a second B.A. and a B. Litt. In 1928 Hammond returned to Harvard, where he taught Latin and Roman History. In 1937 he had a leave of absence for two years to become director of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome, a position to which he subsequently returned several times.
His background in academia and history prepared him quite well for the work he did in his military service from 1942 to 1945. During World War II, much of the fighting took place in and around immeasurably valuable sites of the past, and the theft or destruction of priceless art or historical landmarks was taken as a symbolic sign of victory. To combat this erosion of European history, the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) Office of the Allied armies was created to aid in securing historical, cultural, and artistically valuable objects and sites during and after the chaos of the war.
Hammond, who originally entered the Army Air Force as an intelligence officer, was sent to Algeria to prepare for the Allied invasion of Italy. He became the first "Monuments Man" when he entered Palermo in August 1943 with the Allied Armies, as advisor on monuments and fine arts (the MFA&A was formally established a few months later). He immediately set to work to help with the restoration and repair of monuments and libraries in the badly bombed city. He continued this work briefly in Naples, and then was transferred to England to help plan for the work the MFA&A would do in Europe at the fall of Hitler: the saving and recovery of priceless artifacts which had been stolen or hidden during the war. Hammond received several foreign honors, including the French Legion of Honor, for his service with the MFA&A in securing the history and heritage of the war-torn nations.
After the war, Hammond returned to Harvard and resumed his teaching career. In 1950 he became the Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, a position he held until his retirement in 1973. He then devoted himself to researching and writing about aspects of the history of some of Harvard's monuments and ceremonies. Over his career he wrote many books on the subject of Roman history and Latin literature, some of which are still in use today.
Hammond was a gifted academic, historian, and teacher, as well as a loyal son of St. Mark's. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 28 years, from 1947 to 1975. During his tenure, he co-chaired the St. Mark's Planning Committee with William W. Barber, Jr., producing a strategic plan called "St. Mark's Looks Forward." But perhaps his most unusual achievement was his service with the MFA&A where he worked to ensure that the great historical and artistic creations of the past were not lost, but were restored and repatriated, after the devastation of war.
George Putnam '45
A truly versatile man of business and an exemplary corporate and community leader, George Putnam lives a life of service and leadership that embodies the St. Mark's motto, "Age Quod Agis." Following his graduation, Putnam served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He then earned his AB degree from Harvard College (magna cum laude) and an MBA from the Harvard Business School (with distinction). He has been awarded honorary degrees by Harvard and Bates Colleges, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He currently serves as chairman emeritus of Putnam Investments and each of the Putnam Group of mutual funds. He joined the company in 1951 as a security analyst for the George Putnam Fund of Boston. During his tenure he served as director of the Putnam Management Company, executive vice president, and as president and chief executive officer. He went on to become chairman of the trustees of the Putnam Funds and chairman of the newly named Putnam Investments. He retired in 2001 after his 50th year with the company. During that half century the company grew from one fund with assets of $45 million to more than 100 funds with assets of $370 billion.
Putnam is a former overseer and treasurer of Harvard University and founding chairman of the Harvard Management Company. His most significant contribution to Harvard not only transformed their approach to financial management, it set a new fiscal standard for many schools and universities across the country. In the 1970s he made what was considered an audacious recommendation: establish a management company to oversee all investment operations. The creation of the Harvard Management Company separated investment decisions from the influence of school policy while also yielding higher returns. These high returns enhanced the ability for many schools and colleges to attract more diverse student bodies, implement stronger academic programs, and operate under more sustainable financing.
On the national level, Putnam was a governor and past chairman of the Investment Company Institute, a past public governor of the National Association of Security Dealers, and a member of the National Market Advisory Board. At the state level he was a founding member of the Massachusetts Education Loan Authority and chairman of the Governor's Committee to Select Judges. He also served in leadership roles at the local level, as well as a director for many public corporations.
In keeping with his rich diversity of interests and commitment to service, he is a trustee of the Peabody Essex Museum and an honorary trustee and former chairman, president, and trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and its Museum School, past chairman of the trustees of the WGBH Foundation and a trustee emeritus of Wellesley College. He is a former overseer of Northeastern University and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and serves on the council of both the Massachusetts Historical Society and New England Historical Genealogical Society. He was a trustee for many years and is now an honorary trustee of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Vincent Memorial Hospital, and the McLean Hospital, whose board he chaired for a quarter century. He is also a past trustee of more than 10 other nonprofit organizations.
A loyal St. Marker, Putnam served the School as treasurer and trustee from 1961 to 1976, and remained an active participant in conversations about school priorities and planning. He was a driving force behind the arts facility at the School, now known as the Putnam Family Arts Center. Through his business leadership, philanthropy, and volunteer service, George Putnam has lived a life of consequence that sets a powerful example for all St. Markers to emulate.
C. Boyden Gray '60
C. Boyden Gray has personified the spirit of public service throughout his life. Along with a successful 50-year career as an attorney, he has served as both a diplomat and special advisor for two U.S. presidential administrations, and he has used his legal skills to promote and advocate for the environment.
After graduating from Harvard in 1964, Gray served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He then attended the University of North Carolina Law School, earning his J.D. in 1968. He clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and then joined the firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where he became a partner in 1976.
Gray took a leave of absence from the firm in 1981 to serve as legal counsel for Vice President George H. W. Bush. He also served as counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, chaired by Vice President Bush. Gray later served as director of the Office of Transition Counsel for the Bush transition team, and then as White House counsel from 1989 to 1993. During this time, Gray was one of the main architects of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments that suggested market solutions for environmental problems. He was also closely involved with enacting the bipartisan, groundbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act and was in charge of overseeing the judicial selection process. In 1993, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian award in the United States, for "exemplary deeds or services performed for his country."
Gray returned to Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where his practice focused on a range of regulatory matters with an emphasis on environmental issues, including those relating to biotechnology, trade, clean air, and the management of risk. He also served as chairman of the section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association, and as co-chairman of the conservative and libertarian advocacy group Freedom Works. In 2002, he founded the Committee for Justice, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to screening judicial and U.S. Justice Department nominees.
In January 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Gray to the post of United States ambassador to the European Union. In 2008, he served as special envoy for European affairs and special envoy for Eurasian energy at the Mission of the United States to the European Union.
Gray is a founding partner of the D.C.-based law firm Boyden Gray & Associates LLP. He is a member of the board of directors at the Atlantic Council, the Federalist Society, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and the Reason Foundation. In addition, Gray has served as a member of Harvard University's Committee on University Development and on the boards of the Washington Scholarship Fund, the National Cathedral School, and St. Mark's School.
During his time as a St. Mark's trustee, Gray served as president of the board and currently serves as a Trustee Emeritus. A loyal Lion, in 2011 he committed $1.5 million to establish the C. Boyden Gray Colloquium, a speaker series designed to engage St. Mark's students in an exploration of one complex global issue each year. Students hear from outside speakers with varying viewpoints, participate in small group discussions, write about and debate the issue, and take part in community events. St. Markers, Gray believes, "should think in big terms and be inquisitive about the outside world," and his hope is that tackling these topics in an intensive fashion "will inspire students to serve their country and the world."
Edward A. Taft '69
Edward Taft's passion for computer science was ignited while a student at St. Mark's, where he spent countless hours exploring a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8 computer. This technology acquisition was cutting-edge for a secondary school at the time.
"Early in my St. Mark's career, I was fortunate to have Dick Rader as my advisor and mentor," recalls Taft. "Dick pioneered student computing at St. Mark's. He provided the inspiration, encouragement, and guidance to spark my interest in computing."
At Prize Day in 1969, Taft received St. Mark's highest student honor, the Founder's Medal, and then went on to earn an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics at Harvard University. Upon graduation, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and was employed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), known as the birthplace of numerous personal computing inventions taken for granted today. "PARC served as graduate school for me," says Taft, "thanks to the many talented computer professionals with whom I associated every day."
In 1984, he went to work for a tiny startup company—Adobe Systems—which would grow into a multinational software company with more than 10,000 employees. At Adobe, Taft's main accomplishments were in the development of the PostScript programming language, a key technology that enabled desktop publishing, and the Portable Document Format (PDF), now a household acronym. He retired from Adobe in 2014 after 30 years with the company.
A third generation St. Marker, Taft served on St. Mark's Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2012 and has played a key role as an advisor to the School's STEM Initiative. "My particular interest was in helping to integrate STEM skills throughout the entire curriculum, not just in science and engineering," noted Taft. "St. Mark's has created a faculty position—director of academic technology— to help the faculty in this process."
The Taft STEM Fellowship program was named in recognition of his support, reflecting his belief in the power and importance of the faculty-student mentoring relationship—as he had with Dick Rader. Through an annual competitive application process, students seeking to apply their research to real-world challenges are selected for this signature independent study course to design and conduct their own experiments. Throughout the fellowship, students are mentored by members of the School faculty and experts in the field. Since the program's inception, numerous Taft STEM Fellows have earned honors at regional and state science fairs, and some have advanced to the prestigious International Science and Engineering Fair. Edward Taft is an innovator and leader who has made a powerful impact on the upward trajectory of St. Mark's School and in the daily lives of people all over the world.
William B. Ewald, III '72
An internationally recognized scholar in legal philosophy and the philosophy of mathematics and a former St. Mark's trustee, Bill Ewald models a passion for intellectual inquiry and analysis that was fostered at St. Mark's, and notably by the teaching of Jay Engel. From Southborough he went on to study at Harvard College. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and a simultaneous A.M. in mathematics, both in 1976. He was awarded a Knox Fellowship to Oxford, where in 1978 he earned his doctorate in mathematical logic. From Oxford he returned to Harvard to take a law degree in 1981, then joined the Oxford philosophy faculty, working both in the philosophy of mathematics and in the philosophy of law.
From 1984 to 1987 he was a Humboldt Fellow at the University of Göttingen in Germany, initially to work on the history of law. But Göttingen had been a world center for mathematics, and he found the attractions of the mathematical archives irresistible. The immediate result was a two-volume work, From Kant to Hilbert, on the history of the foundations of mathematics in the 19th century.
In the process of researching that book, he and a colleague from Oxford stumbled across a remarkable collection of documents. The greatest mathematician of the 20th century, David Hilbert, had been active in Göttingen from about 1895 to 1933. He laid the foundations for much of modern mathematics, and was at the center of the scientific developments of the early 20th century: relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and the early theory of computation. His copious notebooks had been deposited in the mathematics library during the war. In 1985 they were forgotten, locked away in an old cupboard. They turned out to be a treasure trove. They provide a detailed record of the development of Hilbert's ideas, and of the emergence of modern science. Ewald's accidental discovery has enabled a substantial rewriting of the history of modern mathematics, and since then he and an international team of experts have been editing and publishing the Hilbert notebooks.
In parallel with this work, he pursued his work in philosophy of law. He published a sequence of articles on comparative legal systems, including a well-known essay on the animal trials of the Middle Ages called "What Was It Like to Try a Rat?"
In 1991, Ewald joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, with appointments in law and in philosophy. At Penn, he became interested in James Wilson, a Scottish immigrant who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and who lectured on law and philosophy at Penn in the 1790s. Ewald's archival discoveries have placed Wilson at the center of the drafting of the Constitution—a subject on which he was invited to give the annual historical lecture at the Supreme Court in 2017. He is at present completing an intellectual biography of Wilson.
Bill Ewald's distinctive combination of interests—philosophy, mathematics, and history—was formed at St. Mark's, which provided the foundation for lasting contributions to scholarship in each of these fields.
Michael Boulware Moore '80
Michael Boulware Moore is a seasoned business and community leader, brand strategy consultant, advisor, and board member with Fortune 500, middle market, and entrepreneurial experience. After graduating from St. Mark's, Moore earned degrees from Syracuse and Duke Universities. He managed the iconic Jell-O brand at Kraft and the Coca-Cola brand at Coca-Cola USA. He has experience leading a boutique consulting practice and served as chairman and CEO of Glory Foods, Inc. Prior to Glory, Michael led a boutique consulting practice where he successfully advised CEOs on complex marketing and brand strategy issues. Moore is the author of Bridging the Gaps: The Love of Marketing (2014).
But perhaps Moore's most important work has been his leadership of the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina. A trustee of the museum since 2013, Moore was named IAAM's first president and CEO in 2016. It is a project with a unique claim to history. "This new museum," says Moore, "is being built on the former site of Gadsden's Wharf in Charleston, where almost half of all enslaved African-Americans took their first steps on the North American continent." It is one of the most sacred sites of American history.
The descriptive "international" in the museum's name acknowledges the global aspects of African-American identity, including the cultures from which the enslaved were taken, the economics of what was a worldwide slave trade, and the achievements of the African diaspora in places like Canada and Sierra Leone. When completed, it will encompass the African-American experience from before slavery right up to the present day. Indeed, the scope of the IAAM will extend from the 16th century right into the 21st.
"We have the unique opportunity to create an African-American history museum on the spot, largely, where African-American history began," says Moore. "We are telling the stories of those who landed there—of their incalculable sacrifices and contributions in the making of America." The museum is scheduled to open in spring 2021.
Moore has deep roots in Charleston and in South Carolina. He is the great-great-grandson of Robert Smalls, the Civil War hero who liberated himself and his family by commandeering the CSS Planter, a Confederate dispatch boat, in Charleston Harbor on May 13, 1862, and surrendering it to Union forces. He later served as a member of Congress from South Carolina from 1875 to 1886. At St. Mark's sesquicentennial celebration, Moore gave a TEDx Talk titled "The Audacity of Robert Smalls."
A loyal St. Marker, Moore served as member of the Alumni Executive Committee from 2009 to 2012 and was named a member of the School's Board of Trustees in 2012. He currently chairs the External Relations Committee and is an active supporter of the School's community and equity programs.
Chrysanthe L. Gussis '87
"I've always been a very curious person," says Chrysanthe Gussis. This curiosity has led her into distinctive and often fascinating fields of interest. After many years as a practicing lawyer and law partner in San Francisco where she helped companies buy, sell, and finance their assets, Gussis was an early hire at SolarCity.
Founded by Elon Musk and his cousins, the Rive brothers, SolarCity helped people lower their electricity costs and carbon footprint by going solar, and grew to become America's largest solar provider, transforming the way people get electricity. "This was a unique opportunity that just fell into my lap," says Gussis. "The company was small when I joined it. It was a totally new business model, solar was a new asset class, and there was no one on board who had experience financing assets on a large scale."
At SolarCity, Gussis led various teams, most recently as EVP and general counsel, where she reported to the CEO and managed a team of 65 professionals responsible for all legal, compliance, and risk functions. Her biggest contribution was on the finance side, where Gussis developed, structured, and negotiated more than $6 billion in equity and debt financings through an array of tax equity, cash equity, aggregated and revolving loans, securitizations, bonds, and other investments, deploying over $9 billion in solar assets at a low monthly cost to the customer. SolarCity was acquired by Tesla in 2016.
After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, Gussis clerked for the Honorable William T. Moore, United States District Court for the Southern District in Savannah, Georgia. During the Clinton Administration, she was a law clerk in the White House Counsel's Office, and clerked at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (Housing/Fair Lending section), in Washington, D.C. Gussis then went on to practice law in San Francisco, where she rose to partner during a 10-year career at Heller Ehrman LLP, a community-minded law firm that led legal projects ranging from the financing of the Golden Gate Bridge to the overturn of the state's ban on same-sex marriages. She came to all of this after earning her undergraduate degree in classics from the University of Pennsylvania, an interest fostered while studying ancient Greek with Bill Glavin.
During her time at St. Mark's, Gussis demonstrated academic and leadership skills in student government and as a Monitor and a Vindex editor. She was also the recipient of the Casimir de Rham Prize in French and a member of the Cum Laude Society. She was a talented athlete lettering in both field hockey and lacrosse. Gussis was also a financial aid recipient and she has a strong appreciation to this day for the importance of these funds to our School's success. As an alumna, Gussis has proudly served on the Bay Area Chapter of the St. Mark's Heads Advisory Council since its inception in June 2017.
It is the breadth of her various interests and experiences—classicist, lawyer, business leader—which distinguishes Gussis in her efforts today, where she invests in and provides business and strategy advice to start-up companies and serves on various nonprofit, government, and advisory boards. "I love learning new things, so I am really having fun helping new and disruptive businesses develop and grow," she says. Gussis lives in San Francisco with her husband and 6-year-old daughter, and paints during her free time.