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Hilltop Happenings

Legends in the Archives
Shana Stalker
Trustee Woody Rutter and students investigate a catcher's mitt from the archives.

During this year’s Legends Weekend, the Archival History class met with alumni from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s to talk School history. The students are part of a class co-taught by Jon Siff and James King, which empowers students to learn, communicate, and expand on Salisbury's history. The course is project-based and will result in student-led projects such as creating a historic timeline for display on campus and, ultimately, expanding the School’s written history to account for the last 40 years.

On Saturday, September 24, students and alumni met in the 1998 Room of Centennial Hall. After some brief remarks from Mr. Siff and Dr. King, everyone broke into groups determined by the graduation year of the returning Legends. Years represented ranged from 1957 to 1973. We were fortunate to have long-time administrators Woody Rutter and Ralph Menconi also return to share memories with the students. When we broke into groups, everyone went to a table with an archival box of materials related to the returning alumnus’s time at Salisbury. Items varied from yearbooks and Cupola newspapers to Woody Rutter's catcher’s mitt and a mysterious wooden club. After perusing the boxes, animated conversations began at each table, and the alumni’s vivid and often funny stories transported students back to the Salisbury School of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The connections between the generations were instant and visible, as sounds of laughter filled the big room and an hour-long class flew by.

When we returned to class the following Monday, the students warmly reflected on their time with the alums and discussed with each other what they had learned. Students shared some of their favorite stories and began incorporating those reflections into their research on the School’s history. Our class is fortunate to have a wealth of kind alumni who are eager to share their stories and help write the next chapter of Salisbury's history.