As a school community, we love to honor commitment, dedication, generosity, achievement, and excellence. We place a high value on contribution and leadership in all areas of school life – in our classrooms, on our teams, casts, and ensembles, in clubs and activities. Whether it is the academic awards assemblies, the sports assemblies, or Prize Day at the end of the year, as a community we love to celebrate the good that we are doing and the people who are doing it.
The same is true, although on a perhaps less frequent basis, for our teachers. One of the most visible ways we honor these qualities in our teachers is by the awarding of faculty “chairs.” Past graduates, parents, and friends of Middlesex have established a number of faculty “chairs” honoring great people and great work, to serve as an public statement of how we value our teachers and to inspire both our teachers to greatness and future generations of students, families, and friends to continue to honor teachers in this way. On December 8th, we had the pleasure of honoring three faculty members who will accept the honor of serving in a named chair.
Senator Joseph S. Clark ’19 Chair in History (Ken Whitlock)
Established in 1999 in honor of Joseph S. Clark of the Class of 1919, member of the Board of Trustees from 1930 to 1951, and president from 1939 to 1949, by a gift from his son Joseph S. Clark, Jr. of the Class of 1947, member of the Board of Trustees from 1969 to 1972; income to provide for the salary of a senior member of the faculty in American History.
Ken Whitlock became a member of the Middlesex faculty in 1986. Known for his tremendous intellectual and personal interest in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, as well as for the way his own experiences during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s informs his teaching of American and African-American History, Mr. Whitlock has been a highly valued colleague and beloved teacher at Middlesex and a fine representative for the School in his participation as a guide with the Lexington Historical Society in the summer.
David F. and Judith W. Sheldon Chair (Carrie Bolster)
Established in 1990 by gifts from alumni, family, and friends in honor of David F. Sheldon, Headmaster from 1964 to 1990, member of the faculty from 1957 to 1990, and member of the Board of Trustees since 1964, and his wife, Judith W. Sheldon.
Since she first came to Middlesex in 1983, Madame Bolster has done almost everything – teacher, advisor, beloved coach, director of curriculum, and more, all the while sharing her love of France and all things French. She was a tremendous support to Middlesex’s first generation of female graduates in the late 1980s, and her commitment to excellence in her teaching has been extraordinary throughout her career.
Harrison S. Kravis Memorial Chair (Cal Hitzrot)
Established in 1991 in memory of Harrison S. Kravis of the Class of 1990 by gifts from alumni, family and friends; income to provide for the salary of a member of the faculty in history or economics.
The child of a long-time teacher who had a boarding school upbringing himself, Cal Hitzrot came to Middlesex in 2005. His intellectual interests are broad and sweeping, from ethics to poetry, from African history to current politics. Under his leadership, third girls soccer has become known as “the Sisterhood,” and the track team benefits enormously from his field event coaching. Atkins House is his domain, and in his first year as head of the History Department, Mr. Hitzrot enjoys the respect and affection of colleagues and students like.
In accepting his chair, Cal told the community how his sons reacted to the news of their father receiving a chair. His oldest son replied nonchalantly, "that's cool, Dad." His youngest son, Ben, was a bit more skeptical: "Why a chair, Dad?" Searching for an analogy that would satisfy Ben's curiosity, Cal appealed to his son's love of soccer: "It's kind of like a trophy." Ben thought for a moment and then replied, "Oh! So it's like in the World Cup, when Italy won, and they held the trophy up over their heads!" Cal had to laugh, and at assembly he had to hoist his "trophy" in the air.