Memories of My Senior Year of High School at St. Stephen’s in Rome

1972 was the year our class graduated. It was a challenging year for us all.

Dr. Howard Hall -- with his buzz-cut military-style hair -- was the Headmaster. I took his calculus class. He wrote the textbook himself -- he seemed to think that his was the only one good enough -- and we received it in the form of blurry photocopies. Indeed, it was good. The pages were hand-written. I'll never forget his handsome, unique calligraphy.

He also wrote a letter to my parents complaining about the length of my hair. His time would have been better spent fund raising.

The School went very nearly belly-up. There was no money to print a yearbook. This makes it hard to recall our classmates (though I have stayed in touch with several: Karen Bowie (now in Paris), Eric Richmond (now in London), Karen Schur (now in Thailand) and a few more. Mike Selig passed away. Pat Nahas took her own life. But I digress.

In May of 1972, the School couldn't meet payroll, and closed for the summer a month early. At the time, I was glad (hurray! we get out sooner!) but in retrospect I feel that we were shortchanged.

The good news is that today the School is on a more secure financial footing, though there have been bumps in the road. St. Stephens' endowment was one of the victims of the Madoff scandal. Subsequent heroic fund raising efforts have restored it. It is in better shape than ever.

The grim, remote Via Lungro site (to which the School relocated when, in 1970, it was evicted from its former Parioli splendor) where we had our senior year was abandoned decades ago for the prettier and better-located Aventina campus.

Warts and all, our wonderful School still deserves our pride!