December 2018


If the frigid temperatures, endlessly cheery music on the radio, and innumerable flashing decorations around my neighborhood are any indication, the holidays are upon us. At Gilman, we will be taking some time off to celebrate the season with family and friends, and hope you will do the same. As a prelude to this respite, we invite you to enjoy our annual holiday video card, which you will see below. Also in this issue: a recap of Startup Experience, two recent staffing announcements, a spotlight on Chris van Bergen '93, who is helping to run a non-profit aimed at empowering craftspeople around the globe, Roger the Elf, and much more. Happy reading and, moreover, happy holidays to you and yours!

Nathaniel Badder '94

Director of Alumni Relations & Outreach





Attendees of 50th Anniversary Recognition Celebration

What do you get when you lock 25 students, seven alumni and parent mentors, and two facilitators in the McCarthy Room overlooking the Finney Arena for two straight days? Seven impressive business pitches presented to a panel of alumni "sharks," of course! The Startup Experience, Gilman's annual two-day deep dive into entrepreneurship was held on December 6-7. See a photo gallery and video summary of the workshop.




After 15 years as the head coach of the varsity lacrosse team, Brooks Matthews '87 has announced that he will step down at the conclusion of the 2019 season. During his tenure, the Greyhounds posted an overall record of 140-89 for a 61% winning percentage, including two MIAA Championships. Brooks's passion, dedication, and commitment to the School will be long cherished by the hundreds of young men who have had the privilege of calling him "Coach." Brooks will continue to teach history and coach JV soccer.



Director of Development Kate Ratcliffe has announced that she will retire at the conclusion of the First Things First Campaign on June 30, 2019. In her 29 years at Gilman, Kate has made an immeasurable impact on the School through her leadership and guidance. Here is a look at Kate's career by the numbers:

  • 5 headmasters (Finney, Montgomery, McGill, Schmick, and Smyth)
  • 3 capital campaigns (First Things First, Character Leadership Commitment, and The Centennial Campaign) 
  • $140 million raised through capital/endowment campaigns and The Gilman Fund

Please join us in thanking her for her service to the School and wishing her well in her future endeavors.



If you or your company are looking for top talent, your Gilman network is a great place to start your search!  And what better resource to share job listings than on The Gilman Network? If you have a job to fill, you can post the listing directly to the site. Or, you can send it to Nathaniel Badder. You can even connect him with your director of human resources to share postings directly. Not on the platform yet? Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to log in for the first time.



Chris van Bergen '93

When we visited New York last month, Chris van Bergen was unable to attend the reception. He wasn't out of town. Far from it, in fact. He was just a few blocks away at the Redbury Hotel.

Chris, the COO of Nest − a non-profit founded by his wife, Rebecca – was hosting 15 artisan leaders from nine countries at its annual Artisan Leadership Summit, an initiative created to give promising artisan leaders direct exposure to the Western marketplace. Nest is focused on increasing global workforce inclusivity, improving women's wellbeing beyond factories, and preserving important cultural traditions around the world. Nest partners with public and private sector collaborators to develop programs that are bringing radical transparency, data-driven development, and fair market access to a fragmented industry, unlocking handwork's unmet potential. This year alone, Nest reached more than 160,000 hand-workers across 92 countries and increased both supply and demand for responsible handcraft. Click here to learn more about Nest and the Artisan Leadership Summit.



  • Thanksgiving Convocation: This Gilman all-School tradition culminates in the perennially popular Turkey Tango. Here it is, with an introduction by Headmaster Henry Smyth, who offers a wide-ranging list of things he's thankful for. For those who can't wait for the dance, fast forward to 3:50 when Prep-One − and their colorful tails! − take the stage.
  • D.C. Alumni Reception: More than 50 Gilman men from as far back as 1951 gathered on the rooftop of D.C.'s City Market at O. Learn more and see a photo gallery
  • Basketball Alumni Reception: Players from the 1960s through 2000s huddled up in the McCarthy Room overlooking the Finney Center for the annual Bristow Tip-off Championship game. Unfortunately, this year's team fell to a talented West Nottingham team 74-66.


Bridges at Gilman is still seeking alumni for summer internships, life coaching, and weekend/summer field trips. Learn how you can be a part of this impactful program.



Kimball Byron '74 set a record for the most runs in America's oldest ultramarathon. Jason Finkelstein '94 has become a contributing writer for Forbes magazine. Erik Atas '97 has been selected as a Ravens Community Quarterback for his pro bono work. Brandon Copeland '09 and Darius Jennings '11 exchanged jerseys after a game. Find details of these stories and more on Buzz Worthy.





"'Twas the day of vacation and throughout Carey Hall

The students had hit the proverbial wall.

They were frantically trying to get their work done,

And looking quite forward to holiday fun." ~ Roger the Elf, 2008

For a generation of Gilman students, the approaching winter break meant one thing: the gift of Roger the Elf's poem at assembly. For 15 years, Roger crafted a holiday poem for the Gilman Upper School that whimsically included all the names of the senior class. Listen to former Headmaster John Schmick '67 explain the origin of this Gilman tradition to his classmate Mac Barrett '67 during an oral history. And you can click here to read to all 15 of Roger's poems.


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