Category Archives: Reunion Speech

Athletic Hall of Fame Intro: Charles Lindbergh “Lindy” Hanson ‘48

Editor’s note: Charles Lindberg “Lindy” Hanson ’48 was inducted into the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 7, 2014 during Reunion weekend.  Athletic Director Mark Conroy gave the following introduction during the ceremony.

Charles Lindbergh HansonIt is my great pleasure to introduce Charles Lindbergh “Lindy” Hanson as an inductee into Williston’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

It was during my first year at Williston in 2000 when I first became familiar with the name Lindy Hanson. A ceremony that included past classmates, teammates, and family members took place in his honor on the “other side of the bridge” when a plaque was erected in his memory next to Sawyer Field. I remember thinking at that time that this must not only be a special athlete but a special person for folks to return to Williston to honor him 52 years after his graduation!

While Lindy was undoubtedly one of the finest athletes in our school’s history, I would soon learn that he was also one of our most beloved. Lindy graduated from Abington High School in eastern Massachusetts in 1945 where he was an All Scholastic athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. Following his graduation, he served his country in the US Navy during World War II before arriving at Williston Academy in the fall of 1946.

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Athletic Hall of Fame 2014 Intro: Joseph Lynch 1910

Editor’s note: Joseph Lynch 1910 was inducted into the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 7, 2014 during Reunion weekend.  Archivist Rick Teller ’70 gave the following introduction during the ceremony.

Joseph LynchI’m here to present Joseph Lynch, Williston Seminary class of 1910, for the Athletic Hall of Fame. Joe was an Irish kid from Holyoke, who attended Holyoke High School before enrolling in the Middle Class — what we would now call the 10th grade — at Williston. Other than that, we don’t know much about him. I’d like to say that he presented the prep school ideal of the scholar-athlete, but I’m afraid that his grades don’t bear that out. The archives actually have a paper that he wrote, about the financier Edward Harriman, that is reasonably literate and shows some insight. Other than that, there’s not much. His 1910 classmates elected him “Best Athlete,” as well as “Merriest,” “Biggest Rough-Houser,” and “Biggest Bluffer.” His yearbook notes that he was “a lover of nature,” and a member of the F. C. Fraternity, about which we know little, and something called the Vigilance Committee, about which our ignorance is probably a blessing.

Joseph Lynch excelled in sports. He played right guard on an intramural football team, but he was in his element in baseball and basketball. Joe was the first baseman on the Williston Nine for three reasonably successful years — although interestingly, Holy Cross turned him into a pitcher. And there is a suggestion that he struck out more often than his friends and teammates might have liked.

But in basketball, Joe Lynch was unstoppable. Standing six-foot-one, towering over his teammates in an era when kids were simply shorter than today, he was an ideal center. His long arms and quick feet made him a defensive monster. And he was a scoring machine. Over his career, he scored 394 points in 28 games. Before you exclaim, “but that’s nothing!”, remember that the game of basketball, invented only 17 years before Lynch arrived at Williston, was very different. Dribbling, for example, was rare; players moved the ball primarily by passing. Players thus tended to spread out more, playing what we would now call zones. Most shots came from a distance, so scores were lower — and of course, the three-point shot hadn’t even been dreamt of. Foul shots were rare, and the free-throw line was 20 feet from the basket. Even the metal hoop and net, which replaced a bottomless peach basket, had been introduced only as recently as 1906.

So let’s look again at Joe Lynch’s numbers. In 1908, his sophomore year, he scored 132 points. All of his opponents together scored 189.

In 1909, the totals were Lynch, 152; every opposing player, 156. Joe must have refined his defensive game.

In 1910, it was Lynch 110, everyone else 115. And those 1909 and 1910 teams, which he captained, went undefeated. His total 394 points represented roughly one-third of the Williston teams’ total scoring. MVP? Oh, yes.

Joseph Lynch left Holy Cross after his sophomore year to help manage his father’s construction and brickmaking company. He served overseas in World War 1, then returned to his native Holyoke, where he was a prominent businessman, community leader, and golfer. He died in 1947.

Since we were unable to identify any surviving descendants, I invite Head of School Robert Hill to accept this citation inducting Joseph Edward Lynch, class of 1910, into the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame.

Athletic Hall of Fame 2014 Intro: 1973 Boys Swimming Team

Editor’s note: The 1973 Boys Swimming Team was inducted into the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 7, 2014 during Reunion weekend.  Coach Duff Tyler ’63 gave the following introduction during the ceremony.

Boys Swimming 1974Thank you, Jeff, and as coach of this ’73 team I am honored and pleased to be able to be here today. Before I begin the introductions, I would like to tell why they are deserving of this honor. Of course the 12-0 duel meet record tells one story, but who they beat tells the real story: Beating Andover, Exeter, Hotchkiss, Mt. Hermon, and super rival Deerfield, and along the way beating West Point plebes, Coast Guard cadets, and freshmen teams—Dartmouth, Harvard, Williams—and a victory over our nemesis Yale!

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Remarks by Gordon Cadwgan ’63 at Reunion 2013

Editor’s note: Gordon Cadwgan ’63 presented the following remarks on June 8, 2013 at Williston Northampton School’s Reunion.

I remember reading that President Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of a piece of scrap paper on his way to Gettysburg on the train. Other speakers at that memorial service rambled on for hours saying little. Then last to talk Lincoln delivered one of America’s greatest speeches in 10 or 12 minutes. When he finished the crowd was silent. He thought the speech was a bust. We all know it was so powerful everyone was speechless. So I have attempted to do the same. I wrote these remarks on the plane coming from West Palm Beach—on a scrap of iPad.

Why would I want to give one million dollars to Williston Northampton to build a bigger, better science building? Heck, I could buy a big house, a boat, and a fancy car—and have enough left over to hire someone to take care of them for me! Let me tell you why I chose the former.

Number 1. I love science. I grew up during the Sputnik space race era. As kids in Rhode Island, we were experimenting with homemade rockets, fabricating the aluminum body tubes, fins, and nose cones in high school metal shop—and ordering chemicals for propellants that would put us all in jail today. We launched them in local playgrounds—hiding in the concrete block bathroom when we pushed the launch button. This hobby led to an interest in all science. I went from Williston’s Doc Phillips’ chemistry classes in this very building, to UNC Chapel Hill—graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. After a short stint in the army, I returned to Massachusetts and got a PhD in analytical chemistry from UMass Amherst. I did my work career at Union Carbide and DuPont. I never made any great discoveries, but I had a great time working along with the scientists who did.

Number 2. Generosity, sharing one’s good fortune with others, has been instilled in me by my father and mother. My father started from nothing, but became a highly successful investment banker working in that capacity for almost 70 years. Ruth and I say he gave away more money than he earned. Think about that! My mother—when I was at UNC and in the service— would give to Williston’s annual fund in my name because she knew at some point a continuous or almost continuous giving record would be something I would be proud of. And on this topic of giving, my Dad always said “why wait until you are dead to give your money away? Give it away to good people, good causes, so that you and your family can help others and enjoy doing it while you are still alive!” Lots of common sense in that statement.

Number 3. I love Williston. It set me on the road to college and graduate school. It nurtured my creativities and honed my abilities. It kept a tight rein on a kid who had too much energy, and channeled that energy away from non-productive escapades to productive endeavors. Study, sports, activities…. all here for the taking. But wait…can you love a school? A school is a thing. Love is reserved for family, friends, and close acquaintances. Yes, you can love a school because Williston, and now Williston Northampton, is a family. Nowhere else will you find more dedicated, caring teachers and staff than at Williston. They care about their students. They want them to learn the 3R’s of course, but more importantly they want them to learn how to be good citizens in an increasing complicated and challenging world. They see in their students’ successes their own successes.

Finally, I have great confidence in—and admiration for—Bob Hill, Eric Yates, Jeff Pilgrim, and Bill Berghoff and their staff. Eric and Bob visited Ruth and me in Florida a number of times, and did a great salesmanship job. Not because they want a new science building, but because Williston wants and needs a new science building—and I can tell they love Williston too.

So that’s it. Why did we give a million dollars to Williston to build a new science building? Sounds like a perfect fit to me. I see only great things in the future for Williston Northampton. And hopefully in the future more of it will be in Science.

Thank you!