Classmates of Amanda Crosby '93 shared a reflective moment during their 25th Reunion celebration in June, and invited Amanda's parents, John and Betsy Crosby, to join them in the Meadows at a bench dedicated in her memory.
"It was a moment in time that was very special for our class," remarked Heidi E.V. McCann '93, who, along with Liz Robertson Sheehan '93 and Lucy Mayo '93, helped bring everyone together on Saturday, June 16.
Amanda passed away in February 2002, and the class originally dedicated the bench the following year during their 10th Reunion Weekend in June 2003. Since that time, Amanda's bench had been re-positioned and enjoyed by the community in various places around campus.
As class Reunion Committee members made plans for the weekend events, an extensive search for the bench found it in active use by players and spectators alongside the tennis courts on Faculty Row. The elements had taken their toll over the years, and the bench was in need of repair. A plan was set in motion to have the bench refurbished, and Chuck "Bruno" Vernon, Amanda's prized ice hockey coach and accomplished woodworker, was asked to help with a copy of the dedication plaque.
The previous winter, John and Betsy had opportunity to meet several individuals with Loomis Chaffee connections in their Vero Beach, Florida community — including Bruce Alexander '61, Harvey Struthers '60, the parents of Scott Morton '93, and Liz's parents, Prue and Russ Robertson. Upon learning of the Crosby's serendipitous meetings, Liz suggested inviting John and Betsy to the class gathering and re-dedication of the bench on Reunion Weekend.
John, Betsy, Heidi, Liz, Lucy, and more than 20 others convened at the restored bench overlooking the Cow Pond — one of Amanda's favorite places on campus — for an informal gathering in the enduring light of the late spring afternoon. Betsy, Lucy, and Heidi each said a few words about the significance of friendships that begin at Loomis Chaffee, especially because they are forged at a pivotal time in a young person's life, and of the wonderful setting the Island provides for establishing lasting relationships. Heidi presented the mounted plaques to the Crosbys as a keepsake.
"It was a very special time in [Amanda's] life," Betsy later remarked about the years her daughter spent as student at Loomis. "John and I loved the extended Loomis Chaffee community both at that time and now."
Heidi reflected that as she observed her classmates re-connecting and sharing stories from the past 25 years she thought to herself, "This is what this weekend is truly all about. And, Amanda would have loved it."
Photo: Back row, left to right: Tom Pettus '93, Dan Gertsacov '93, Faith Model '93, Peter Bepler '93, Will Caramella '93, David Pouncy '93, Winston Binch '93, Adam Bean '93, Julie Vacek Wilde '93, Liz Robertson Sheehan '93, Heather Herson Burris '93
Middle row, left to right: Ruthanne Marchetti (former faculty), Helen Powers Textor '93, Liz Kohn '93, Sara Hutchinson '93, Heidi E.V. McCann '93, Sara Wicks '93, Delynn Hall '93, Jen Hefner Carbone '93Front row, left to right: Lucy Mayo '93, Betsy Crosby, John Crosby