Fall Colors

When Labor Day is done and summer turns to Fall I am filled with the memory of a boy walking down tree lined Albany Road, suitcase in hand. He was on his way from the train platform behind Davenport to a New Boy meeting with “Red” Sullivan, the Headmaster, and Henry Poor in the Commons Room at the John William House in the heart of the school campus. The new schoolboy had set foot in New England for the first time only one week earlier. There would be three more New Boy Septembers to follow, and four more falls to enjoy as the New England hills abandoned their summer shade of green in a weeklong display of outrageous fall colors.

He had lived the first thirteen years of his life in a small-secluded rural community of 1,750, nestled in a valley between a coastal mountain range and the fertile foothills of Northern California. His only introduction to his new school had been through a local high school football all-star who was going to this new school taking an extra year off before college to improve his chances of acceptance at a Division I university. At the clap of a hand, the high school all-star along with the group of New Boys sat down and were introduced for the first time to Frank Boyden, the headmaster of Deerfield Academy.

It had been a four day train trip from West Coast to East Coast, a once in a lifetime opportunity for a West Coast boy to experience the wonders of the Great Salt Lake, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and the rolling Appalachian hills and valleys of the East. Little did the schoolboy know at that first New Boy meeting that it would be twenty-one years later and a seven-hour plane ride before he would return to his hometown in Northern California. Instead of a “…welcome home…” he was greeted as an outsider…a New Englander.

Every fall the former schoolboy remembers the Headmaster’s clap before addressing classmates as they sat on the floor for their evening meeting. He knew in the fall we would be sitting amidst the changing colors of the New England Hills where the smell of fallen leaves smoldering in little piles filled the air along Albany Road. Decades later during his daily walk in the Wetlands of the Mojave through the early morning mist, he can still see the Headmaster close the student-evening meeting with a clap as a fall evening descended beneath the trees of Albany Road.

Today as fall lingers near, his eyes turn to the East and the rising sun…searching for a glimpse of tomorrow. He finds inspiration in the sun’s colorful misty morning warmth and the crisp Fall outline of the nearby hills…and remembers an earlier day when schoolboys were walking along Albany Road towards John Williams house past fallen leaves, and the Headmaster ended a student meeting with a final clap while reminding his audience of nature’s hillside pallet and for inspiration “…look to the hills…”

Peter Bolles ’54

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