In 2018, American Friends of Stowe (AFS) continued to fulfil its mission of connecting the School with its many alumni, friends, and supporters across the Atlantic. With nearly 400 members and growing, the organisation offers a variety of social, educational, and fundraising programs all aimed at supporting the School and its community abroad.
One of the highlights of 2018 was the 15th Fall Cocktail Party in New York City. The 60 attendees included Old Stoics, Stowe Harvard Fellows, friends of the school, parents, and members of staff. Headmaster, Dr Anthony Wallersteiner was the honoured guest, along with Michael Deeley (Bruce 50), recipient of the 5th Annual American Worthies Award. Each year, the American Worthies honour is given to a member of the US-Stowe community who has made exceptional contributions to society. A film producer and Oscar winner, Michael has produced more than 25 films. His credits include such classics as the The Italian Job, Blade Runner and the multiple Academy Award winner, The Deer Hunter.
After the Headmaster gave an enthusiastic update on the School’s recent achievements, he was joined on stage by Michael, who shared some behind the-scenes stories from Notably. Michael also credited his time at Stowe as first-class grounding for his Oscar winning career.
Until recently, most American Friends of Stowe activities have centred around New York City. Last year, the organisation made an exciting leap to California with its first-ever West Coast AFS Event. Organised and hosted by Christopher Dean (Chandos 79), it was held at his restaurant in San Francisco in the evening, and was generously sponsored by the American Friends of Stowe. There are over 70 Old Stoics living on the West Coast, most of them situated in California, in either Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay area. Christopher was delighted to be able to host about 20 out of the 70 for drinks and dinner.
Yet another 2018 highlight was the annual banquet at the School celebrating the Stowe-Harvard Fellowship. For more than two decades, American Friends of Stowe has sponsored one Harvard graduate to spend one year teaching and living at Stowe, fully immersed in the School’s academic and pastoral activities. The 2018 Fellow, Tasnim Ahmed, gave an inspiring speech reflecting on her year at Stowe and the many ways she affected, and was affected by, the Stoics she met.
The community of Old Stoics in the US is always growing and we want to stay in contact with as many as possible. Any Old Stoics or friends of Stowe who find themselves in the United States, we invite you to contact us via our Facebook page so we may include you in our events and communications.
Brian Hecht (Former Stowe/Harvard Fellow 1992-1993)