Pingry's 157th Commencement Exercises on June 10 were marked by thoughtful words from students, faculty, and administrators. Here are a few, featured excerpts, followed by a slideshow of memorable moments.
More than 300 alumni returned to the Basking Ridge Campus for a fun Reunion Weekend on May 18-19, including members of the Class of 1968 to celebrate their 50th Reunion. Among the traditional highlights were the Middle School Pen Pal Program, this year for the Class of 1968 and Class of 2023 (Grade 7); 50-Year Club Luncheon and the induction of the Class of 1968; Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; Magistri Induction Ceremony; Annual Meeting of Alumni; Alumni Lacrosse Game; Big Blue Lobster Bake & BBQ; and Class Parties, held on campus in the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center.
For the Middle School Pen Pal Program, members of the 50th Reunion class met their Form I pen pals and visited their classrooms for a fun question-and-answer session. Prior to the classroom Q&A, English teacher and Form I Leader Mike Coakley thanked both groups for their thoughtfulness in their letters. He also gave a presentation that contrasted 1968 and 2018 in music, movies, fashion, technology, current events, sports, and cost of living. Specifically referring to Pingry, he said, “The School has changed, too—coeducation, its location—but let’s consider the Pingry community outside of all these changes. The values of the School are the same.”
After a one-year hiatus due to last year’s dedication of the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center, the Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony returned, with two firsts: the first Hall of Fame ceremony to be held in the athletics center, and Pingry’s first female coach to be inducted—long-time field hockey and swimming coach Judy Lee. Her fellow inductees were three-sport athlete and lacrosse All-American Andrew Houston ’00 and the undefeated 2001 Field Hockey Team. Presenters who spoke on behalf of the inductees were Hall of Fame field hockey player Kim Susko ’97 and Hall of Fame swimming coach Bill Reichle (Judy Lee); coaches John Magadini and Mike Webster (Andrew Houston ’00), and Coach Lee, Jessica Saraceno Carroll ’02, and Lea Salese Mirabile ’02 (the 2001 Field Hockey Team). Among the remarks:
For Judy Lee:
“She was a true leader—consistent, fair, and disciplined. She provided the tools we needed and then said, ‘Go play,’ giving us options to be creative on the field. I also remember her fun slogans, like ‘Whip Whippany!’” – Kim Susko ’97
“I saw someone who enjoyed coaching, helping her players improve, instilling sportsmanship, and running well-constructed practices. She was dependable and reliable, no-nonsense, and caring.” – Bill Reichle
For Andrew Houston ’00:
“Andy is the best goalie I ever coached. He made it look easy with his ability to anticipate a shot and his interaction with the defensemen. He was respected by his teammates, opposing coaches, and referees.”
– John Magadini
“He not only played three varsity sports for four years, but excelled at all three. I always talk about ‘head, heart, hustle’—Andy made good decisions, cared for his teammates, and ran non-stop. He never tired.”
– Mike Webster
For the 2001 Field Hockey Team:
“Every team has a personality, but this team had personalities. They worked through adversities in the world and on the team. They did it all, and did it together. It was a fun season.”
– Judy Lee
“There is nothing more rewarding than recognition for our undefeated season leading us to Pingry’s second state championship and first win against Shore Regional...We would like to thank all of our teammates and coaches for giving us some of the best memories we have from our four years at Pingry...Thank you for making ‘breaking records’ so much fun.”
– Jessica Saraceno Carroll ’02 and Lea Salese Mirabile ’02
The Magistri Induction Ceremony welcomed Music Department Chair Dr. Andrew Moore into the distinguished “Magistri Maxime Laudandi” as a faculty member who has taught at Pingry for 25 years. The festivities included a surprise performance by the Balladeers and Buttondowns of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to represent the collective sentiment that “Dr. Moore has always been there for us, and we’ll always be there for him, even through the toughest times.”
During the Annual Meeting of Alumni, the PAA surprised Alison Malin Zoellner ’83 with The Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award—recognizing her 35 years of service, and counting, on Pingry’s behalf—and, for the first time, the Student Body President addressed the alumni. Michael Weber ’18 shared how the tradition of Senior Prank Day became taboo this year. In addition, Headmaster Nat Conard provided a state-of-the-school update and requested a moment of silence for Honorary Trustee William S. Beinecke ’31, one of the most important figures in Pingry history, who passed away in April.
Reunion Weekend concluded with what many consider the highlight: Class Parties, on campus in the athletics center, for classes ending in “3” and “8” (1948 through 2013); many alumni utilized and appreciated Pingry’s complimentary transportation to and from Manhattan. The event was a lot of fun: it included a photo booth and dance floor, and having all class parties in the athletics center allowed teachers to see so many of their former students, and it enabled alumni from all years to mingle.
To view photos from Reunion Weekend, visit Pingry.org/Reunion, scroll to the photo link, and enter the password pingry1861.
Recent Column from the National Review on Reunions and the Power of Nostalgia (June 3)
Further coverage of Reunion will appear in the summer issue of The Pingry Review.
Contact: Greg Waxberg ’96, Communications Writer, email@example.com