Deerfield Tragectories

It is not likely that two bullets fired toward each other will actually meet, but it can happen! This seems to be somewhat the case that has Jerry Shively, class of 1946, living next door to John Behlke, class of 1959, in the rural Dordogne valley in France. A further interesting coincidence is that Jerry’s brother Bob, class of 1950, was teaching at Deerfield during John’s time there! The two “J’s” met at a cocktail party and discovered their joint educational past. Since then, many more dinners and drinks have passed, but seldom without some discussion about the “Old School” and what it has meant to them–in particular the impact that Headmaster extraordinary Frank Boyden had upon each.
The similarities are interesting, in that John was a four year student and Jerry only his senior year. Herewith is Jerry’s brief history and impressions, now over seventy years later! It is, in my opinion, impossible to have met Mr. Boyden without being fascinated and impressed. After a half hour discussion with Mr. Boyden and my mother, the “Head” thought there would be room for me in the class of ’46 as a “new boy”. We were, of course delighted but my schoolteacher mother had no idea that yearly fee for Deerfield would be her yearly salary. Aware of this, I’m sure Mr. Boyden simply asked my mother what she thought it cost to feed me. Upon hearing this, he simply asked her if she could provide that! A few months later I hitch-hiked to Deerfield and began one of the most interesting and formative periods of my life. –Dr. Boyden, as he was sometimes called, was a diminutive physical presence, but a towering presence. To be called before him for some misdemeanor, however large or small, terrified all, though his admonishments were seldom severe and always delivered to respectful recipients. –Spending my last year of “high” school in the presence of interesting and challenging teachers and staff and a remarkable collection of bright young men made an enormous impression on me and I’m sure moved me toward a better, and frankly, a more ambitious direction in life. I will ever be grateful to Dr. Boyden for my “Deerfield experience”.
Enjoying my close association with fellow alumni, Jerry Shively, here in the Dordogne part of France where we are both retired. Good company with numerous discussions and memories of Deerfield, so long ago for us both.

John Behlke’59

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon graduating from Deerfield, alumni enter a diverse network of former Deerfield students. Deerfield alumni have ventured into almost every area of employment, and many are at the top of their respective fields. The advantages of this vast network are numerous and significant, as every member of the Deerfield family receives the following:

Alumni are also eligible for alumni awards, such as the Ashley Award, Heritage Award, and the Mimi Morsman Award.

There are no membership fees or dues for members of the Deerfield family, but Deerfield does ask for assistance in a few areas. First of all, in order for Deerfield to have the most up-to-date records possible, we encourage members to keep us apprised of their current contact info. Alumni are also urged to direct all concerns and suggestions regarding Deerfield’s operations through the Executive Committee, the governing body of the Alumni Association. The committee acts as the voice of the alumni body, and works closely with the school administration. In order to keep tuition affordable and the quality of a Deerfield education at its highest, the Academy depends upon the continuing support of alumni and their families. This support can take the form of annual or capital gifts, or time spent volunteering on behalf of Deerfield.

There are regional events in many major American cities. Please visit here for more information on regional engagement. 

Of course! Be sure to read the latest issue of From Albany Road in your email’s in-box for current news of what is happening on campus. As we also send out periodic invitations, it’s always best to make sure we have your current physical address. And if you do plan on visiting campus, why not tell us ahead of time?

Contact the Office of Advancement

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 306
Deerfield, MA 01342