This morning I woke up to the sound of the rustling leaves and the chirping of birds as the soft glow of the morning sun began to break through my bedroom window. Like clockwork it happens every Fall, I find myself looking back over the decades to the early morning quiet of Albany Road and the coat of many colors of the New England Hills and Pocumtuck Valley. How could it be that so many years have passed since I hustled in the early morning Fall light to get my clothes on and head with classmates to the dining hall and the first check-in of the day.
In the dining room the heavy ceramic coffee pots were on their way as Red Sullivan said the morning prayer and then a chorus of voices broke out as breakfast was served. It was the start of another Deerfield day.
The routine was now familiar, after breakfast a run to the dorm and then to the classroom building where another four check-ins awaited us as we attended morning classes. Then another check-in, another prayer, another parade of ceramic coffee pots followed by platters filled with our midday meal. After lunch it was back to another check-in and an afternoon class. Classes over for another day we raced to the gymnasium.
Uniforms or work clothes on we scattered down the slope behind the gym, where another check-in waited for us and then practice, and scrimmages began. The fall colors received little attention as we went through our afternoon practices, whistles blowing, and shouts of enthusiasm echoing in the late Fall afternoon sun. Practice over it was a sprint to the showers and then the mailbox and a quick stop at the school soda fountain. Timed just right, the residents of the bank could get in a quick puff while the rest of us could leisurely stroll over to the dining hall where the faculty smokers greeted us through light wisps of smoke on the steps leading to dining room. Another prayer, another check-in, followed by a parade of ceramic coffee mugs, the trays filled with dinner just a few steps behind. After dinner it was over to Boyden Library and the evening school meeting. With a little luck the residents of the bank could make a quick smoke stop before it was check-in time…when it came time for the school meeting it was all hands of deck.
A clap of the hand and silence dominated the lobby of the library as the Headmaster made a few remarks. Faculty members spoke up if games had been played, won or lost, and there were special events on the horizon, like the annual Choate weekend with cross country, soccer, and football matches. Finally, the headmaster spoke of the changing colors of fall and reminded us to make sure we looked to the hills and their fall festival of colors. With a clap of his hands the meeting was over and we were off to the dorms and homework, and of course another check-in. At lights out at 10 PM another day at Deerfield had come to its last check-out, and another day was done in Pocumtuck Valley.
This morning at the opposite end of the county as I listened to the rustling leaves and the sounds of the birds I knew how much I missed the annual rhythm of the hills of Pocumtuck Valley and the ageless lane of Albany Road. I would return often to Deerfield not so much for the memory of check-ins and classes, but the lasting and lingering images of friends and classmates now departed and memories of a special spot, with structures from another century, streetlights on Albany Road echoing the past with their soft evening glow cast over fallen Fall leaves, and a Headmaster who reminded us to 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