Rotary Log for Meeting of May 11, 2017
By Mark Lorusso
Photos by Jim Rini
Today, we ventured back to a time before the effective ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. More on that later.  President James presided over our meeting and began by welcoming back longtime member, Peg Millar. All gave her a rousing applause. Peg, said James, is currently not able to drive and welcomes any help with transportation.
Visiting guests/birthdays.
Guests and visiting Rotarians were Heidi Chase from Friends in Action, Heather Johnson, Ted Bedford and Matt Randal. Other guests included Linda Underhill, Tiffany George, Lori Waltz-Gagnon, Kathy Beebe and Olivia Petersen.  We had two birthdays--new member Tony Pirri and noticeably absent old member Dan Hoefle (31 years in Rotary).  As the two were not present, we refrained from singing Happy Birthday—maybe next week.
Leo Gagnon spoke about Vocational Awards, a time-honored annual club tradition. The program recognizes individuals in our community who quietly go above and beyond in their self-less service. Please provide the names of any candidates you may have by the May 25 deadline.  The awards will be given at a club meeting in June. Click this link for a pdf file of nomination form.
 Leo also reminded us about the upcoming Rotary social event at Tuscan Chicken next Monday between 5:30 and 7:30 pm.  All are welcome!
Marcie Berger is recruiting for a special edition, all-women Habitat for Humanity building project in Middleton…
Communication Committee Co-chair, Susan Gold, gave an update about our Facebook page….
Nancy Clayburgh wants to see you at the Middle School gardening project this Saturday. It’s funded by a Cash Committee grant. 
Joanie Dickinson updated the can top fundraising drive. She also invited volunteers to assist the Interact Club with its Wallis Sands beach cleanup. Both the gardening project and beach cleanup are happening this Saturday from 9-11 am. All this, of course, on top of the hands-on Chase Home project also scheduled for Saturday, 8-12 pm.
Peter Grace gave us a golf tournament update.  Donna Harvey is running the silent auction that will include generous donations from Ted Alex and Joannie Dickinson.  More stuff is needed, including 20-25 smaller items such as golf balls, etc.  Eighty-five golfers are signed up and there is room for 25 or 30 more.  Please sign up!  Rotary teams from other clubs are welcome and are eligible to win the coveted Rotary Cup.
New Members
New member Ryan Carter was introduced to our club by a calorie-deprived Justin Finn.  Following an urgent eating delay, Justin informed us that Ryan apparently has set a record. He’s the longest new member-in-waiting, hiding in the wings since October 2016. Our newest Rotarian checked out other local clubs. Ultimately, when President James was cleared by former FBI director Comey, Ryan felt it safe to join us. Educated in New Hampshire, Ryan first worked for Bank of America. Now he’s a Bank of New Hampshire wealth management specialist. More would have been written about Ryan, but Justin’s mastery of mastication drowned out the details.  In any event, welcome Ryan!
James presented a $1,000 check awarded by the Basic Needs Committee to Kathy Beebe and Lori Waltz-Gagnon. They represent Haven, New Hampshire’s largest violence prevention agency.  Haven provides services to students in K-12 and has serviced more than10, 000 students last year alone. The agency gave first and second graders some 3000 coloring books that address sensitive violence related issues. The volumes have been well received.
For those who know him, former club president Bill Hurley is a whirlwind of Rotarian activity.  He never attended a committee meeting or Rotarian function he didn’t like. And Bill seems to attend them all—still!  In recognition of his tireless and enduring service, James awarded our former President a Distinguished Service Citation.  Congratulations and well done Bill!  See you at the next committee meeting, whatever it might be.
Happy Dollars
Happy dollars were received from Trish Cummings. She was delighted after watching Bill Mortimer do a top hat and cane routine at the Edgewood Karaoke Center.  Cousin Ritchie coughed up a dollar for the Congressional Comey Investigation?  And last, but not least, Jim Rini gave $2. One buck was for Nancy Clayburgh’s help with cleaning out his closest. The second recognized Craig Taylor’s assistance with Jim’s clogged computer.
50/50 Raffle
The 50/50 raffle for $63 was won by Barbara Miller, but no match.  There was a faint sound emanating from the front of the room about “that’s only one pair of shoes.” Still, the tone was far too hushed to know for sure.
Guest Speaker
Our guest speaker was Dr. Lisa MacFarlane, the current and 15th Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy. Dr. MacFarlane covered the bases early on, graduating from Phillips Andover Academy. She received her masters and Ph.D. degrees in American Culture from the University of Michigan.  She was a member of the UNH faculty for more than 25 years before taking the helm at PEA.  Her two daughters are alumnae of PEA.
According to Dr. MacFarlane, Exeter was founded by John and Elizabeth Phillips with Elizabeth’s money in 1781. The Academy’s mission was to educate the country’s future leaders. That was before it was known whether or not there would be a country independent of England.  Fun fact—New Hampshire was the 9th signatory of the U.S. Constitution in 1788, putting the document into effect for the ratifying states. 
There are approximately 1,100 students currently enrolled in grades 9-12. They hail from 28 states and 34 countries.  The student body is highly diverse with minority groups making up a large segment of the population. Tuition is currently approximately $50,000 for boarded students and $40,000 for non-boarded students.  Accessibility and affordability are issues the academy strives to address. To that end, a large percentage of the students receive $20 million in financial aid per year. That amounts to almost $40,000 per student recipient. 
The subject of recent unfortunate news regarding sexual assault, Exeter strives to be proactive in addressing the issue.  As explained by Dr. MacFarlane, the Board of Trustees endeavors to do the right thing rather than the easy thing.  The Academy also has partnered with New Haven to develop a multi-layered prevention protocol.  The school has been the benefactor of an Exeter-deeded gift. It’s premised on a mission to serve youth from every corner of the globe. Most especially, those kids coming from families of limited means.  Kindness and goodness are fostered in the academy’s halls. One’s background is not seen as a barrier or impediment to advancement.
About two thirds of Exeter’s students participate in social service assignments. These challenges run the gamut from recycling to teaching American Sign Language.  A social innovation challenge has been developed to promote social service.  One group of students proposed a plan to purchase second tier food from local supermarkets. The still edible goods are then used to prepare meals sold to white collar workers in Boston.  The proceeds are turned around to fund a mobile food pantry. 
PEA alumni luminaries include Daniel Webster, John Irving, Nina Russel (Gates Foundation) and Mark Zuckerberg. One of Abraham Lincoln’s sons attended. The Academy became co-ed in 1971 and graduated its first female class in 1975.  A well-publicized gender-neutral dormitory is currently in the works. It’s a dorm that will address current gender issues including those experienced by members of the LBGT community.
In sum, this was an impressive and interesting presentation. And for all that, Dr. MacFarlane received a coveted four-way test pen.  Next week—Rotary Scholarships.
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso