Monday, July 9, 2018

Pay what you can...

Yankee Magazine Profile from 1968; McPhee Biography.  Photo by Salt Water New England
Admissions to Deerfield have traditionally been in large part a subjective matter, since the headmaster for years required virtually all applicants to appear for a personal interview and then would rely on his own impressions.  If he liked a boy, he would admit him, and then ask the parents what they could pay.  This was not a rarity.  The academy's treasures and bookkeepers have never been able to establish a figure for expectable tuition money for an approaching year.  He has over a hundred boys there now whose parents have been told to "pay what you can."
- John McPhee, The Headmaster <http://amzn.to/2obG42j

7 comments:

  1. The golden age of YANKEE magazine. Wonderful glimpse of those days, literally and metaphorically. Thanks, Muffy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Deerfield hasn't changed much, unless you consider socially-ascendant hedge-fund manager's wives elbowing one another in an Upper East Site triplex in order to meet the Deerfield admissions representative somewhat unlike what McPhee described.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I taught one year at a private church run school after 30 years in public school. Was supposed to be the best in the city. The politics were unbelievable. I had gotten the school to offer AP European History, and loved teaching the class. But one year of the politicking was enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sayre's Law: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/08/18/acad-politics/

      Delete
  4. We are on our fourth of four prep school-attending children and can attest that the likes of Frank Boyden are long gone...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank Ashburn, founder and headmaster of the prep school I attended was a man of the same mold as Boyden of Deerfield. His last year was mine, too. As his Senior Prefect I met with him in his study every Sunday evening to discuss 'the state of the school'. It was a privilege I'll never forget. We'll not see the likes of them again.

      Delete
    2. I teach at a boarding school myself. Mr. Ashburn was an extraordinary man. His obituary is well worth reading to recall a bygone day in prep school education:https://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/09/nyregion/frank-davis-ashburn-94-school-headmaster.html

      Delete