Haverford — Winter 2013
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Giving Back/Notes From The Alumni Association
Alison Rooney

Deborah Lafer Scher ’80 Helps Fords See the World

After working abroad early in her career, Deborah Lafer Scher ’80 knew that she wanted to give Haverford students the opportunity to gain a wider view of the world.

For more than two decades, Deborah Lafer Scher ’80 has made possible a unique summer scholarship opportunity for Haverford students—one that grew directly out of her passion for travel. The success of the Deborah Lafer Scher Internship Fund in International Relations lies at the intersection of the Haverford experience and the worldly perspective that comes from travel abroad. Open to any Haverford junior or sophomore interested in pursuing an academic, professional or service opportunity internationally, the fund provides a stipend to assist the interns with travel and living expenses.

“The range of projects over the years has shown a lot of creativity,” says Donna Mancini, dean of international academic programs, who administers the internship on campus. “There is a ‘discover the world’ quality to the program,” which has included trips to St. Petersburg to photograph historic churches, internships at the British Parliament, work with the Fulbright Commission in the U.K. and work with HIV/AIDS patients in Africa. “The students see it as a highly prestigious award,” Mancini adds, “and as a result the quality of the applications is extremely high.”

In 2012, the internship went to Christopher Flores ’13, who took the opportunity to attend the Moscow State Academy of Choreography (also known as the Bolshoi Ballet Academy). For four weeks, his instructors spoke to him entirely in Russian and he maintained the grueling schedule of a professional dancer. “When one begins to live a ‘simple’ life of breakfast, class, class, dinner, class, supper, rest,” Flores says, “he finds that he begins to approach life with a ballet attitude. In this way I became more gentle, firm, elegant, polite, focused and respectful. … These characteristics are tangibly evident in photographs on every wall of the historic building where we study. It is almost as if the ballet is imposed upon the individual.”

Mancini’s relationship with Scher extends back to the late ’70s, when— barely out of college herself—the young dean was mentoring what she describes as a truly remarkable group of young women. After a year at Tufts University, Scher became one of 18 women who transferred to Haverford in 1977—part of the College’s transition toward admitting women to the incoming freshman class starting in 1980. Scher says that, for her, it was love at first sight: “I felt that Haverford was one of the most special places in the world.”

“Deborah’s commitment has been constant ever since she first set foot on campus,” Mancini says. Scher has served on the Alumni Association Executive Committee, including as its president, and on the Board of Managers for 11 years, playing an active role in campaigns and committees, and chairing the Board Council for Women. Scher has led a successful career as a senior strategy and operations executive, building several successful health care organizations. Today she is chief operating officer of Novel Ingredient Services, a New Jersey company that imports and manufactures ingredients for health care supplements in the nutraceuticals field.

“When I graduated, I knew I intended to contribute to the College financially for many years,” Scher says. After earning an M.B.A. from Columbia University, she worked as a director of planning and acquisitions for Dun & Bradstreet. When she was assigned to D&B’s international division, she traveled abroad for the first time—spending half her time working in cities throughout Europe.

“The experience gave me such an exciting perspective,” Scher recalls. “It truly challenged everything I had come to know about education, finance and political systems. When I realized what a gift this experience was, I knew that I wanted to support Haverford students in gaining this wider view of the world.” She was thrilled to learn that D&B offered its employees a generous 4-to- 1 matching gifts program that would help her make an impact on the College by establishing an endowed fund. Scher and Mancini then began a series of conversations that would shape the internship, which was established in 1988.

The idea was to expose students whose academic demands might not permit a semester or year abroad to a similarly enriching summer experience. “We don’t require a grand project, or even an academic one,” says Scher. “The only criterion is that the student take this experience and more global perspective and bring it back to campus.”

Flores still feels the profound effect of living in another culture. “While our [weekdays] consisted of ballet, our weekends were dedicated to experiencing Moscow. The city was beautiful, and I felt at home there, like I was part of the community,” he says. “Attending the Bolshoi has become a defining moment in my life.” Mancini emphasizes that this is exactly the spirit the internship is intended to inspire—one she has been pleased to see the interns realize, summer after summer.

When they return, interns write a short essay, which Scher is always delighted to read. Students also send her photos and mementos from abroad, which can mean a Ziploc bag of fresh coffee from a recent trip to Central America showing up in her mailbox.

“In some ways, this idea was the precursor to the College’s highly successful Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, which is central to the Haverford experience for so many students,” says Mancini. “This internship honors at once Deborah’s passion for enrichment through global experience and her longstanding commitment to Haverford. It has been an honor to work with her to broaden so many lives of our students.”

Upcoming Events

Discover the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities

Center for the Arts and Humanities Staff from the Center will lead a conversation about innovative interdisciplinary initiatives and Haverford’s role in the digital future of the liberal arts. This event will feature Laura McGrane, Koshland Director of the HCAH and associate professor of English, and James Weissinger ’06, HCAH associate director.

Chicago, Ill. – Thursday, April 11
Madison, Wis. – Friday, April 12

Haverford College Lawyers Network

Join alumni who work or have an interest in the law for a networking reception.

Philadelphia, Pa. – Thursday, April 11
San Franciso, Calif. –Thursday,April 25
Washington, D.C. – May (date TBD)

Women in Nonprofit Leadership Panel discussion featuring Becca Donham ’86, program officer at MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation; Bridget Rodriguez ’91, director of planning and collaboration in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education; and Tina Schaper ’89, volunteer for Girls Scouts and Women’s Lunch Place.

Boston, Mass. – Thursday, April 11

Volunteer With Sandtown Habitat for Humanity

Baltimore, Md. – Saturday, May 4

Event dates and details are subject to change. For the most current calendar, or to r.s.v.p., visit fords.haverford.edu.


The Alumni Association Executive Committee (AAEC) acts as the executive arm of the association, providing leadership and direction regarding alumni affairs. In its three meetings a year on campus, the AAEC addresses alumni interest in ongoing College affairs and discusses College policies to provide an alumni perspective.

The AAEC is responsible for proposing alumni nominees for service on the College’s Board of Managers and recognizing outstanding achievement and volunteer contributions to Haverford through an alumni awards program. It also plays a key role in building and maintaining lifelong relationships between Haverford alumni and the College, providing bridges across generations of Haverford graduates, developing valued services for classmates and friends and providing a helping hand to current Haverford students.

MAY 31- JUNE 2, 2013

Alumni Weekend at aGlance

Many classes are holding exclusive gatherings, and various departments and offices will be open throughout the weekend. Campus tours will be available as well.

Friday, May 31

■ Bi-Co All-Alumni Trip to the Barnes Museum 1–4 p.m.

■ ’63 Presents: Haverford Then and Now 2–3:30 p.m.

■ The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship Presents: A Continuing Education Experience on Social Change 3–5 p.m.

Interested in joining the ranks of alumni who are working for social change while holding down a full-time job, cleaning the house and schlepping the kids? Join us for a hands-on workshop on practical ways to apply Haverford’s Honor Code ideals in your community. Come prepared to share your stories and learn from fellow alumni, including Joe Prochaska ’82, Bill Toole ’82, Jonathan Snipes ’82 and Parker Snowe ’79.

■ '68 Presents: The Benefits of Charitable Giving 3–4:15 p.m.

■ Dedication of Bust of Greg Kannerstein ’63 4–5 p.m.

■ Photography Exhibit and Reception, courtesy of the Fogel Photography Fund 4:30–6 p.m.

■ Class of ’88 25th Reunion President’s Reception 5–6 p.m.

■ Class of ’63 Reception and Dinner 6–10 p.m.

■ Class of ’68 Reception and Dinner 6–10 p.m.

■ All-Alumni Welcome Dinner 6–8 p.m.

■ Bi-College Shabbat Service and Dinner 6–7:30 p.m.

■ Class of ’88 Dinner Following President’s Reception

■ Dessert Under the Tent, Featuring the George Urgo ’08 Blues Band 7–9 p.m.

■ Step Sing, Bryn Mawr 9–10:30 p.m.

■ After-Dinner Class Receptions and Parties

■ “Star Party” in the Strawbridge Observatory With Professor Beth Willman 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

■ Yoga With Dana Miller ’86 8:30–9:30 a.m.

■ A Healthy Life: Tips for Runners of All Levels With Coach Tom Donnelly 8:30–9:30 a.m.

■ All-Alumni Buffet Luncheon Noon–1:30 p.m.

■ Scarlet Sages Luncheon Noon– 1:30 p.m.

■ Jacob Jones Ice Cream Social 1–2 p.m.

■ All-Alumni Trip to the Barnes Museum 1 p.m.

■ A Talk and Discussion With Professor Sid Waldman: “God, Secular Humanism and Morality” 8:45–10:15 a.m.

In my book America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness, I concluded that what can be achieved in American politics depends on the morality and compassion of the American people. That led me to ask if there’s a way to facilitate that morality and compassion. I have mainly looked to religion and philosophy in trying to answer that question. My talk will include those subjects but will also focus on secular humanists, including agnostics and atheists and those who are not religious. My purpose in giving this talk and in the discussion that follows is to stimulate thought and discussion and to encourage people to think about their own religious and philosophical convictions—in particular, how they answer the question: Why are we here? Or, better yet, now that we are here, what should we do? —Sid Waldman

■ Community Achievement Celebration Honoring Interim President Joanne V. Creighton 10:30 a.m.–noon

Board of Managers Co-Chair Howard Lutnick ’83 will lead us in a celebration of Interim President Joanne V. Creighton’s leadership of the College over the past two years. AAEC President Elliot Gordon ’78 P’14 and other leadership volunteers will announce classes who have achieved outstanding results in Class Gift fundraising and participation efforts, and congratulate the recipients of the 2013 Alumni Association Awards.

Gene Ludwig ’68: Kannerstein Award for Sustained Service to the College

Charles Vincent ’77: Haverford Award for Service to Humanity

Gary Born ’78: Distinguished Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions in a Profession

Tim Ifill ’03 and Matt Joyce ’03: Young Alumni Award for Accomplishments in Leadership

Mitchell Cohn ’80: William Kaye Award for Volunteer Service in Career Development

Bill Kelley ’63: Charles Perry Award for Volunteer Service in Fund-Raising

Michael Fogel ’58: William E. Sheppard Award for Volunteer Service in Alumni Activities

John Cook ’63 and Steve LaMotte ’73: Archibald MacIntosh Award for Volunteer Service in Admission

Violet Brown: Friend of Haverford College Award

More information can be found at fords.haverford.edu.

■ ’58 Presents: Liberal Arts Education 1:30–3 p.m.

For demographic and economic reasons, larger schools are increasingly focused on the professional preparation of their students rather than communicating values. And the fastest growing segment of higher education is for-profit institutions. Where do liberal arts colleges, and Haverford specifically, fit into these trends? Featuring Kim Benston, provost, Haverford College; David Ellis ’58, former president of Lafayette College; and Zach First ’97, managing director of The Drucker Institute.

■ Class of ’73 Class Meeting 1:30–4:00 p.m.

■ Life After Haverford: Four Stories from the Class of ’63 1:30–3 p.m.

John Carroll, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, will lead a discussion with four of his classmates who represent a wide spectrum of vocations and experiences and who will share how they view some of the major cultural, political and social themes and events of the last half-century. Featuring: Corky Lipez, federal appeals court judge; Bob Ruberg, professor and interim vice dean, Ohio State University College of Medicine; Joe Taylor, astrophysicist, Nobel Prize winner and former dean of faculty at Princeton University; and Tony Walton, vice chairman, Americas, for Standard Chartered Bank.

■ Class of ’53 Plays Tennis 1:30–3 p.m.

■ Class of ’78 Games and Tennis 1:30–3 p.m.

■ Classes of ’88 and ’93 Havergames 1:30–4:30 p.m.

■ Class of ’98 Family Meet-Up/ Play Time 1:30–3 p.m.

■ Walking Tour of Campus Featuring Tritton and Kim Dorms 1:30–2:30 p.m.

■ Class of ’68 – Past, Present and Future 2–3:30 p.m.

■ Class of ’08 Drinks and Outdoor Games 2–4:30p.m.

■ Class of ’03 Outdoor Gathering 2:15–4:30 p.m.

■ HaverCamp Presents: The 15th Annual Family Fun Fair 2:30–4 p.m.

■ Class of ’88 Volleyball 3–4:30 p.m.

■ Class of ’83 Havergames 3–4:30 p.m.

■ Lambda Symposium: Haverford Life Then & Now 3–4 p.m.

■ Class of ’78 Memorial 4–5 p.m.

■ Office of Multicultural Affairs Open House 4–5 p.m.

■ Class of ’53 Memorial Service 4:15–5 p.m.

■ Wine and Cheese Reception with Faculty Members 5–6:30 p.m.

■ Class Receptions and Dinners 6:30–9:30 p.m.

■ After-Dinner Class Events

■ ’83 Presents: The Art of Making Art 1:30–3 p.m.

Live your artistic life vicariously during this engaging session with Broadway producer Larry Kaye ’83, whose recent credits include Oleanna, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the Tony Award-winning American Idiot; Henry Richardson ’83, a master glass sculptor, 2012 Design Centers of America Artist of the Year and one of only nine American sculptors in the first Miami Sculpture Biennial in 2010, whose larger-than-life works have been installed in public locations around the nation; and other alumni professionals in the arts.

■ MegaMixer: All-Classes Dance 8:30 p.m.–midnight

Featuring performances by The Shameless Eclectic Duck, Dingo and Tammany.

Sunday, June 2

■ What Does Haverford During WWII Tell Us About Wartime Service Today 7:30–10 a.m.

■ All-Alumni Brunch 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

■ Class of ’63 Memorial Service 9–10:30 a.m.

■ Class of ’83 Memorial Service 9–10 a.m.

■ Jerry Shotzbarger ’78 Memorial Tree Dedication 9:30–10:15 a.m.

■ Yoga With Dana Miller ’86 10–11 a.m.

■ Quaker Meeting for Worship 10:30 a.m.

■ Pick-Up Basketball 10:30 a.m.

■ Class of ’63 Brunch Noon

■ Catholic Celebration of Mass Noon–1 p.m.

View the complete Alumni Weekend schedule at fords.haverford.edu or call 610-896-1004. Online registration begins April 1.