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Remembering C. Lambert Heyniger
and Marion S. Heyniger

Ned Groth, August, 2011


Note: A supplement to this remembrance, based on a phone conversation Ned had with Alan Mayers '50, appears at the end of this piece, here.

Note: Also appearing below, is a personal remembrance written by Dave Griswold, here.

Note: A note from Don Sutherland about Mr. Heyniger is attached as well, here.

(Author’s note: Unlike other memorials here, this one is based only minimally on yearbooks, communications from classmates, and my own recollections. Mr. Heyniger died our Junior year, so those of us who began as freshmen at Darrow knew him for just the last two years of his life. To flesh out this memorial, I relied on people who knew him before we arrived on the scene. Special thanks go to Nick Heyniger, Arthur Savage, Dick Nunley, and Princeton’s alumni archivists, Amanda Pike, Daniel Linke, Charles Greene and Ben Primer. As any head of school would agree, the sustaining support of a devoted spouse makes most things possible, and I have given Mrs. Heyniger almost equal billing in this memorial—as Lamb did in yearbooks of our day. My goal has been to create an honest and loving portrait of our former headmaster and his wife. While I’ve striven for factual accuracy, I take full responsibility for any errors.  –NG)

C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Mrs H, 60 YB.jpgC:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Boss Close-up 60.jpgHe was “The Boss.” I recall the first time I heard a teacher—probably Larz Anderson, my housemaster—use that moniker, with reverence-tinged respect.  It was early in my freshman year, and I’d met Lamb Heyniger for the first time at opening ceremonies just a few days before. But I knew instantly to whom the phrase applied. It fit him perfectly: Towering, at 6’7” and 265 pounds, with his booming bass voice, white hair framing a cragged face, The Boss personified authority derived from wisdom and experience. He was, in many ways, not just The Man In Charge; in a real sense, Lamb Heyniger was Darrow School, for its first 22 years.

But we’ll get to that, in due time. Before he became “The Boss,” before he realized his dream of heading a private boarding school for boys, Lamb had quite a “back story,” and much of that is worth telling here.  He was born May 1, 1892 in Corning, NY, the third son of William Sinclair Heyniger and Bertha Rogers Maltby. His father was a wholesale grocer who, although he had not himself gone to college, was successful enough to send all three sons to Lawrenceville and two of them to Princeton.

Lamb grew up in Corning, where he attended public schools—and struggled. In those days, concepts like learning disabilities or “different learning styles” were decades in the future, and most schools could not cope with intelligent students who did not fit the mold. As Lamb put it years later, in a speech that deplored the “wasted years and wasted lives” of failures in education, he himself lost “three scholastic years because of inadequate educational influences before I was sixteen.” He had grown physically—he was tall, but also heavy, and his nickname was “Pudge.” He needed a change of learning environment. At the age of 16, in 1908, Lamb enrolled as a freshman at Lawrenceville.

At Lawrenceville, Nick informed me, his father discovered singing. He had a wondrous, deep, basso-profundo voice. He joined the glee club and choir, and soon found a passion for vocal music that would last his lifetime. He also enjoyed acting, and appeared in school plays. The combination of his maturity (he was three years older than most of his classmates), his physical size, and the structured learning environment at Lawrenceville, with its attention to the needs of individual students, enabled Lamb to flourish. He began to stand out among his peers.

By his senior year at Lawrenceville, Lamb was a member of the football, basketball, track and swimming teams. He was in the glee club and the school orchestra, on the debating team, and was elected President of the student body. At graduation, he was awarded the Thompson Prize for “the best student among all-round athletes.” He was graduated in 1912, and headed up the road a few miles to enter Princeton that fall.

Nassau Herald 1916Lamb found immediate success at Old Nassau. He was elected president of his freshman class.  He joined the glee club, and was its president his senior year. He sang so well that, while still in college, he tried out for and was offered a contract by New York’s Metropolitan Opera (he turned it down). His sophomore year, he joined the Triangle Club, an undergraduate musical comedy theatrical troupe known for its high production values and for casting men in its female roles, often with hilarious effects. (Imagine Lamb Heyniger in a tutu; you’ll get the idea.)

Lamb was also a student-athlete at Princeton. He went out for the freshman football, basketball and track teams (he was a shot putter), played JV football his sophomore and junior years, and was a starting guard on the varsity his senior year. He joined Tiger Inn, an eating club popular with athletes. He took part in the campus political debating society, joined several campus service committees, was his class’s “master of ceremonies,” was a member of the senior council. He described himself in the Nassau Herald—the the senior class yearbook, from which the portrait above is taken—(Photo from Princeton University Library, used with permission) as an Episcopalian and a Democrat. In his senior year, he was voted “best all around” and “done most for Princeton” in the class poll.

That’s the official history from the Nassau Herald, but Nick recalled some of the stuff you wouldn’t glean from the yearbook. His senior year, Lamb was President of the Triangle Club. Writing the lyrics for most of the shows’ original numbers during those years was a rather talented fellow in the class behind him, one F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17. Scott was a remarkable writer, but not a reliable one. He’d miss rehearsals, or show up late and often inebriated. Lamb had no tolerance for drinkers and drunks, and his senior year, he “fired” Fitzgerald—kicked him out of Triangle Club. Soon afterward, Fitzgerald dropped out of Princeton for the remainder of his junior year. For his offenses, Lamb was the model for a stodgy, somewhat brutish football player in This Side of Paradise. “That didn’t bother him a bit,” Nick laughed.

If Princeton had a hard-drinking element in those days, Lamb wanted nothing to do with that. Both of his older brothers had drinking problems. His brother Sinclair (William S., Jr.) was a star baseball pitcher at Lawrenceville, and then at Princeton, but he partied too much and flunked out, twice. Lamb—even when at Lawrenceville—had occasionally been summoned by his parents to haul one of his bingeing brothers home from a saloon. As a result, Lamb himself was a committed lifelong teetotaler.

Though he didn’t drink, Lamb was not against having fun, and from all signs he enjoyed his Princeton years immensely. From time to time during those years, he, and selected other Princeton men, would be invited to “socials” at the home of professor Allan Marquand, the founder of Princeton’s Art and Archaeology Department. Professor and Mrs. Marquand would host dances at their off-campus home, to which they would invite eligible and socially acceptable young women as well. One of those young women was Marion Eyre Savage, from Chestnut Hill, PA, a neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her father, Charles Chauncey Savage and her five brothers all went to Princeton; several brothers were there while Lamb was. Lamb and Marion met at one of those parties at the Marquands’, and they must have made an impression on each other, although the full import of their meeting would not be clear for several more years.

The official history tells us little about Lamb’s academic achievements at Princeton. He completed a normal course of study and graduated in four years. While his schooling at Lawrenceville had accelerated his progress in many respects, Nick reports that his dad’s  preparation in Greek and Latin was still insufficient for him to matriculate at Princeton as a candidate for a liberal arts degree, so he majored in Civil Engineering instead. His training in that field would later serve him exceptionally well, as he guided restoration of Shaker buildings and their conversion to academic uses.

There is also nothing in the official record of Lamb’s four years at Princeton about the singular activity that most prominently defined his relationship with the university. Like other colleges, Princeton has its cheers, its fight songs, its alma mater, all created to be yelled or sung in unison, by undergraduates and/or alumni, at athletic contests, reunions and other occasions of mass celebration. Someone has to stand in front of the crowd and lead them in cheer or song. Someone 6’7” with a booming voice, musical talent and experience as stage a performer would seem a natural for the role, and before he had left college Lamb was known as a song leader par excellence. By tradition, Princeton men (and today, women) sing “Old Nassau,” the alma mater, at the end of football games and other events. Lamb was so good at leading the masses in this solemn/joyous bonding ritual that the university asked him to do it at Reunions each year. Almost every year, for more than 40 years, Lamb returned to campus the weekend before Commencement each spring, to lead the alumni in this tradition.
PAW 19380001For those who’ve never been to Princeton reunions, the weekend includes the “P-Rade,” a unique spectacle. The alumni line up by classes, oldest first, and march through the campus, dressed in their orange, black and white costumes, carrying placards and banners. In Lamb’s day, the P-Rade ended on the baseball field, where it was followed by a traditional varsity game against Yale. The alumni assembled on the field, class by class, until the final group, the seniors about to graduate, had joined them. They were saluted by the university President, the deans and faculty elders, on a nearby reviewing stand. The alumni then returned the salute to the University by singing “Old Nassau.” Year after year, Lamb led them in that song. This photo, from the cover of the Princeton Alumni Weekly of July 1, 1938, shows him in peak form. (Photo from Princeton University Library, used with Permission.)

Tens of thousands of Princeton alumni thus knew who Lamb was, recognized him on sight. He was easily the most “visible” member of his Class. A few alumni groused at his demand that they sing all three verses of “Old Nassau”—everyone knew the first verse, but many learned the other two from Lamb—but he also left an indelible impression. In fact, Nick noted with a chuckle, because his father stood out in a crowd, literally, and was so often the focus of attention at the ends of events, many alumni would say to each other as the crowd was dispersing, “I’ll meet you at Lamb Heyniger in a few minutes.”

To return to the “back story”: In June, 1916, Lamb Heyniger and the rest of the Class of 1916 took their place at the end of the P-Rade and marched through the campus to join the ranks of alumni. According to the Nassau Herald, Lamb expected to “take up Law” at Harvard after graduation. But life had other, greater things in store for him.

China croppedInstead of heading off immediately to law school, Lamb and three of his classmates boarded a steamer in San Francisco and sailed first to Tokyo, which they explored briefly, then to Korea, where Nick says Lamb was appalled by the poverty and suffering of the people. Their ultimate destination was Beijing, then called Peking, China, where Princeton ran a school and Lamb and his friends had signed up to teach for a year. He taught English there, and also taught English, math and mechanical drawing and coached the track and basketball teams at the Higher Normal College of Peking. He found he enjoyed teaching very much. This photo, from the web site of the modern-day Princeton in Asia program (used with permission), shows Lamb towering over most of his basketball team. He was also the subject of an article in 1916 in a newspaper back in the States—the Boston Traveler—with the politically incorrect (by today’s standards) title, “Six Feet Seven, He Gives Japs a Few Thrills.” The gist of the story was that the Japanese and Chinese had never seen a man as large as Lamb. Crowds would follow him through the streets, and when he’d leave his shoes outside his room at night when staying at an inn, “marveling natives would pick them up and pass them around for inspection.” Nick recalls a few other elements of culture shock. Some of the students on Lamb’s track team, when they could tell they were not going to win a race, would simply vanish into the bushes, rather than “lose face” by finishing behind another runner. He also found that young men from wealthy families had such long fingernails—to show that they did not engage in manual labor—that some could barely grip a pen or pencil for writing.

In uniform0001While Lamb was in China, World War I heated up, and on his return to the US in 1917, he, like almost every other male his age, was expected to enlist in the armed forces. Nick reports that he had a hard time of it. Both the Army and the Navy rejected him because he was too tall. Eventually he persuaded a recruiter to let him join the Air Force—then a part of the Army. They accepted him on the condition that he never climb into a cockpit. On October 1, 1917, he enlisted as a PFC, went through officers’ training school at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and sailed for France in early December as a newly-minted First Lieutenant. He was stationed at Clermont-Ferrand, in the Auvergne region south of Paris. He spent a relatively uneventful year on the ground there; his letters home (those preserved at Princeton) complain mostly about delays in delivery of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. He was promoted to Captain in August 1918, and two months later, after going through additional training, he transferred to the heavy artillery division. He returned to the US unscathed and was discharged in February 1919. (Photo from Princeton University Library, used with Permission.)

With his itch to see the world scratched and his military service behind him, Lamb turned back to thoughts of a career. He tried law school for a while—only a semester or so, at Columbia, not Harvard—but decided it was not for him. He felt drawn to education, and went back to Lawrenceville, briefly, to work for a year or so as its first alumni secretary, creating an alumni organization for the school. Lamb later wrote that he took that job “with the intention of devoting my life to schoolwork, hoping some day to become a head master.” During this time, he was also reconnecting with Marion Savage, who was teaching at the Westover school. Nick thinks she may earlier have had a beau, who died in the war, but by the time Lamb returned from France, she was free. They dated for a couple of years, and were married in April of 1921, in Chestnut Hill.

With a future wife and family to think about, Lamb turned to the business world, and took a job with General Motors in 1920. Within a year, he was a zone sales manager in the Chevrolet division, working in the corporation’s New York offices. In 1930, he was promoted to be manager of the eastern region for the Cadillac Division. He worked with and for some of the giants of the auto industry at that time—Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering among them. He showed a great deal of business acumen and rose swiftly through the corporate ranks. During this period, Lamb and Marion lived at first in East Orange, NJ, then in Tarrytown and later in Irvington, NY, up the Hudson in Westchester County. Soon they were raising a family. Anne King Heyniger was born in July of 1922; Marion Eyre Heyniger came along in December of 1928; and Lambert (Nick) Heyniger joined his sisters in September of 1930.

Arthur Savage, who served on the Darrow Board of Trustees for 40 years or so, including the years when Dave Benson, Frank Rosenberg and I were each trustees, was the school’s attorney. He was also Marion Heyniger’s nephew and godson. Arthur knew Lamb from his earliest childhood. He describes the Savage clan into which Lamb had married as “a large family, and a close one.” Arthur remembers family gatherings at his grandparents’ home near Philadelphia for Christmas every year, with Marion, her two sisters and four surviving brothers. Arthur shared with us the marvelous picture below, taken on the occasion of Marion’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. From the ages of the three Heyniger children, I’d estimate this was probably taken in 1936 or 1937. The fresh-faced lad in the dark blazer, seated on the ground in front, is young Arthur.


Lamb of course stands out in any crowd. Marion is the second adult from the right in the row of chairs; Eyre is behind her mother’s left shoulder; Anne is standing at the far left rear; and Nick is the leftmost of the four children seated in front. Arthur’s father, William, is directly behind Arthur. The Heynigers are blown up individually, below.


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For several years around the time of this photo, Lamb and Marion were reinventing their lives. The Great Depression had hit the auto industry hard, and by 1933, after a dozen years with GM, Lamb was getting restless. He wrote a letter to one of his classmates, Gordon Sykes, who worked at Princeton (as the crew coach), expressing his growing sense that he needed a change. He told his friend that all Cadillac regional offices had recently been closed “and I am now on the bench, hoping that [GM] will soon send me back on the field to play with another GM team.” But he added, “Marion and I are not sure we want to stay in the automotive business in any capacity.” He said they had decided they’d like to live in Princeton, and asked Gordon about possible jobs at the University, “regardless of salary,” where he could do something he “felt was really worth while.” Lamb wrote, “I want a wagon to pull, a wheel to push, a cause to battle for.”

The end of the road at GM came, Nick told me, when the company asked Lamb to move to Detroit to continue his upward path. Marion was not at all interested in living there, and Lamb himself by then was leaning in a different direction. He left GM and spent a year as Secretary of the Industrial Advisory Board, at the National Recovery Administration in Washington. He tried selling insurance for a short while with one of Marion’s brothers, but “That didn’t work out very well,” Nick recounts.

For years, going back to his time in Peking, Lamb had felt his true calling was in education. He had passed up several earlier opportunities. In 1920, before they were married, he and Marion had been offered positions at Prince Royal Christian College in Siam, now Thailand. (Imagine, it might have been “Marion and the King of Siam.”) While at GM, he had been approached as a possible candidate for head at several private schools. Starting in 1926, he had begun thinking about “building a new school.” He had maintained his ties with Lawrenceville, and in 1934 was being considered for the head’s position there. Throughout this period, Lamb had built up a network of connections with seasoned, wise educators.

He was not appointed head of Lawrenceville, but returned there anyway, to learn the school business from the inside out. From 1936 to 1938, Lamb taught English and served as assistant headmaster at Lawrenceville, and soaked up every aspect of running a school.   In 1938, he heard from Frank Boyden, the head of Deerfield, that a small boys’ school, the Lebanon School, was in financial trouble. After consulting with heads of Taft (Horace Taft), Hotchkiss (George van Santvoord) and Lawrenceville (Allen Heely), Lamb felt his moment had come. He went to his mentors at GM and got an interest-free loan of $50,000 from Sloan and Kettering, and he purchased the school outright, assuming the roles of headmaster and President of the Board of Trustees.

Meeting House0001One of his first decisions was to change the school’s name to Darrow, naming it after David Darrow, an elder of the early Mount Lebanon Shaker community. He spent time with the school’s founders, who included Charles S. Haight, “an old friend of the Shakers,” and “a group of interested men from Pittsfield and the neighborhood” as Lamb later described them. He also consulted Boyden, Taft and Heely. Nick commented, “Since he owned the school, he appointed his friends to the Board of Trustees.” They included men with several lifetimes of experience in boarding school education.

Nick, who was seven at the time, recalls that their first task was making the headmaster’s home, Whitaker House, habitable. Ed Schilling and Henry Hoffay (both still there in our day) were already on staff, and did most of the work under Lamb’s direction. They were paid 10 cents an hour. “My mother, my sisters and I spent most of that summer in the pond behind the house,” Nick recounts, clearing out muck and vegetation. Just in time, too; a severe hurricane just before school opened that fall flattened trees, washed out roads, flooded river towns and put the campus drainage system to an extreme test.

In a 1943 address to the Independent School Association of Boston, Lamb introduced himself by saying, “I am not a scholar, I am not an experienced teacher, and I am not really a professional educator.” But, he confessed, “For years, when in business, I wanted to be head of a boys school.” He continued, “I thought I knew something about what a head master did. I knew, for example, that he preached in chapel, presided at faculty meetings, received parents, taught and worked with boys; but I did not know that he might also have to shovel plaster, wash dishes, drive trucks, paint barns, saw wood, carry trunks, and clean out cellars.”

For Marion, too, being a headmaster’s wife was a major lifestyle change. As Nick puts it, “She was a Philadelphia debutante whose favorite activities had been riding horses and fox hunting. So she was somewhat astonished one day to find herself driving a car back to campus from Pittsfield with an entire side of beef, to feed the school, sitting in the back seat!” But they both adjusted. Marion played an important role building the school’s social network in the “neighborhood,” attending luncheons with ladies from prominent Pittsfield families. She also formed liaisons with the head mistresses of girls’ schools such as Fox Hollow, Miss Hall’s and Emma Willard, and from time to time would arrange social events bringing some of those girls together with Darrow boys.

Art Savage, whom Lamb invited to join the board “during my very first year of practicing law,” around 1952, recalls that the early days were always touch-and-go, financially. At first, there was the Great Depression, then World War II to contend with. As Art recounts it, “Lamb would make an annual pilgrimage to visit Alfred Sloan. And Sloan would ask, ‘So how big a deficit have you run up this year?’ Lamb would state a figure, and Sloan would write a check.” Lamb also plowed almost all of his own modest salary and any other wealth that came his way back into the school.

Chapel0001Building the school we knew in the late 1950s from the one Lamb bought in 1938 was a slow process. Sixteen of the Shaker buildings were gutted, redesigned and rebuilt into school facilities, while 19 others, too far gone to save, were demolished and scavenged. Most of us, and many generations of earlier Darrow Boys, contributed our labor to that task. One of the Shaker Neale sisters—whom Lamb met when the school was very new—is rumored to have told him, “Young man, if you are as good at building up as you are at tearing down, your school is going to last a long time.”  One of Lamb’s top priorities was realized when the school chapel, formerly the Shaker tannery, was opened, through the generosity of the Whitehead family of Dalton, MA. Dorms, faculty apartments, classrooms, labs, a library soon followed. The landmark Shaker Second Meeting House, with its shipwright-crafted high curved ceiling and rows of bleacher-like benches, was transformed into the gymnasium.

In 1938, Lamb’s first year as head, 25 boys were enrolled. In 1940, a small item in the Princeton Alumni Weekly  reported that Lamb’s school had 60 students, 18 of whom were sons of Princeton graduates. That year, Lamb also missed his Princeton reunion for the first time in decades, to stay on the job at school. By 1943, enrollment had grown to 70. Art Savage recalls that Lamb’s educational philosophy was based on that of the English educationist Sir Richard Livingstone. “He had all his books,” Art recalled. Livingstone was an advocate of classical liberal education. Drawing on his personal experience, Lamb believed that every boy could succeed in the right educational environment. We all heard him repeat his mantra, “It’s not what you are, but what you may become.”

To implement that educational philosophy, Lamb hired some remarkable teachers. The Van Vorsts joined the faculty in 1942; Jack directed the glee club and the choir and taught music appreciation, while Dotty gave voice and piano lessons. In keeping with the Wednesday Night Sing, 1950splace of music in Lamb’s life, the VV’s lived in the Shaker Dairy, at the campus center. Of course, Lamb did not leave all the musical action to the VV’s. In the 1950s, Wednesday night was “song night” (photo), with Lamb as song leader. By our day, in 1958, the songfest was part of Friday evening School Meetings. Lamb would lead us in a few rousing ballads (as I recall, “Danny Boy” and “Men of Harlech” were among them), and then shift to a series of choruses of “Good Night, Poor Harvard,” with each Darrow team’s Saturday opponent replacing Harvard in turn. (Yes, The Boss borrowed a Yale fight song, but in all honesty, Yale’s is much more singable than Princeton’s.) It was exhilarating to see The Boss so animated, and inspiring to hear his marvelous voice.

During the early years, Lamb hired many other talented teachers, some of whom spent most of their careers at Darrow. Harold Howe, who later served as headmaster at Andover and was a top education official in Lyndon Johnson’s administration, taught at Darrow fresh out of Yale in 1940, but stayed just two years. Ed Wilkes arrived to teach ancient and modern European history in 1943; when he departed to pursue other career interests in 1945, Charles Brodhead filled his spot (see CDB memorial). (Mr. Wilkes returned to Darrow in 1957.) Harry Mahnken also came to Darrow in 1945, after long coaching the 150-pound football team at Princeton, to head the athletics and phys ed programs. Lamb’s faculty typically blended long experience and youthful energy; in our day the faculty included wise elder statesmen like Guthrie Speers and Fred Wheelock, and brash youngsters like Jim Wright and John Spencer. For some odd reason, more than a few of our instructors had Princeton degrees. So did our “school doctor” (on call when needed): “Dr. Cris” as we called him, Modesto Criscitiello, a surgeon in Pittsfield, was a friend of Lamb’s from their Princeton undergraduate days.

I asked Dick Nunley what it was like to work for Lamb. Dick replied, “He was a builder, an enabler, not a classroom teacher. He was not particularly impressed by professional ‘credentials.’ He hired people he had a hunch would inspire boys as Lawrenceville teachers had inspired him. He left the teaching to the discretion of the teachers. He looked to hire people with unusual individuality. Not infrequently those he hired were mildly but memorably eccentric; often they were the most effective.”

Dick recalls how he himself came to be hired. “One day toward the end of my two-year stint as a draftee, I received a 40-word telegram in Kansas, where I was stationed at Fort Riley. It was from Mr. Heyniger, offering me a job—sight unseen. Throughout college, I had no firm idea what I wanted to do as a career, but I knew what I did NOT want to do, and that was teach. But what the heck, I thought, never having heard of Darrow. I figured it would give me lots of free time to look around for a job worthy of my talents. So I signed up. Needless to say, in a short time I had caught the bug.” Dick says the contract he signed specified classroom and other campus duties and included a clause that read “…and do anything else necessary.” And teachers accepted enthusiastically.

Dick attributes the faculty’s enthusiasm largely to the force of Lamb’s personality—his salesmanship, the persuasiveness of his character, his physical size. “In five minutes he could leave one eager to sign on to his vision and help him build the school. He had a sense of the dramatic, and that was a key element of his persuasiveness.”

ComediansDick also recalled a theatrical side of The Boss, a comedy routine he and Dr. Cris occasionally performed, which they apparently polished at Princeton reunions (photo). Cris was all of 5’2” and he and Lamb made quite a pair. Cris would play a fast-talking immigrant making excuses for his “little brother Louie”—“He’s a just offa da boat”—while Lamb would hulk there nodding and making faces like the dumbest galoot alive. “Side-splitting” was  Dick’s descriptor. (Photo from Princeton University Library, used with permission.)

Archival Image PB 1992We don’t have many archival photos of school life from the early days. This one, from the 1940s, shows Lamb standing by the Shaker gatepost in front of the infirmary. The woman in the hat is Evangeline Ritter, and the young woman seated at right is Julie Brodhead. The ladies were identified for us by Julie’s brother, CDB Jr., who noted that Mrs. Ritter mentored the “Art Club,” teaching oil painting and ceramics, while her husband, Henry Ritter, one of Lamb’s typical outstandingly qualified faculty recruits, taught science. Nick Heyniger recalls that in those days, the school was too small to support a football team, but the boys played soccer, and were pretty competitive. Once the chapel had opened, devotional services were held daily, and twice on Sunday. Nick said that Hands to Work was begun during WWII, initially just as “work days,” and only later linked with Shaker tradition. Some early HTW crews harvested corn and picked apples in the school orchards; the best crews got extra ice cream.

Nick and his sister Eyre attended public school in the valley, which was “pretty awful in those days.” Big sister Anne went off to boarding school. For one year, when he was about 10, Nick and a couple of English boys his age whose parents had come to Darrow to escape the bombing in London were taught on campus. Nick remembers that during the war, school was in session during the summer, too; this “accelerated” education was intended to get boys through high school before they turned 18, at which point they would be drafted into the armed forces.

If your memory is intact, you no doubt recall how casually people took risks 50 years ago. Lamb was no different. Nick says he used to load 25 boys into the back of an open school truck, and drive them into Pittsfield for a movie. Other social breaks included dances with Miss Hall’s and Emma Willard, and in winter, skating parties on Tanner’s Pond and hayrides in a huge horse-drawn sleigh rented from a farmer in the valley.

The three Heyniger children grew up at Darrow and eventually moved off to lead their own lives. Anne went to the Weston School, then Bryn Mawr. She  served in the OSS during WWII and its aftermath, stationed in Germany. While in the service she met Harold Willard, a Yale athlete and a medical doctor who had been a captain in the army. Anne and Harold were married in the Darrow chapel on June 12, 1946—a week after commencement. Nick recalls that Lamb issued an edict, “No liquor at the wedding.” That did not go over well with the guests, many of whom were OSS pilots, and the Infirmary was the site of an all-night private party.
Eyre was, briefly, the first girl to enroll at Darrow, but she then transferred to Westover, her mother’s alma mater. Nick says she was determined not to follow in her big sister’s footsteps, so next she headed off to Queen’s College, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  In August of 1950, the chapel was the site of her wedding to Ian William Robertson, a Canadian Navy reservist who was then teaching at Loomis. They later lived in Canada and Paris before settling down in Vermont.

Nick did follow in his father’s footsteps, first to Lawrenceville and then to Princeton. At Princeton, he was a member of  the Triangle Club and president of the Nassoons, one of the college’s a capella song groups. After graduating in 1953, he did a stint in the army then entered the Foreign Service, and was posted in several interesting spots around the world before returning to Washington. Nick was married in Washington DC, where his bride, Anne Sedgwick Coe and her family lived, in 1958; Harold Willard was his best man and Arthur Savage was an usher. Nick later on served on the Darrow Board of Trustees, and he and his sisters remained in touch with Darrow all their lives.

C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Portrait.jpgAs Darrow grew, matured and developed its own traditions, the school’s character took on many traits of its founder. Sunday evening vespers, where we absorbed Bach fugues and other classical organ works, blended Lamb’s devotion to music and the classics with Jack Van Vorst’s talent. The fall “long weekend”—the first vacation of the year, a four-day break in early November—always fell on the weekend of the Princeton-Yale game. (As Arthur Savage recalls, Lamb—and Marion—loved to go to Princeton football games, to lead the cheers and mingle with their friends.) Darrow’s prohibition on student drinking—enforced so sternly that we lost a couple of classmates to it—was pure Lamb. Even the football team’s reliance on the single wing, long after other schools had adopted the T formation, mirrored Princeton’s approach, and most likely reflected a joint preference of Harry’s and Lamb’s. In dozens of ways, The Boss shaped the school in his own image. The reverse was true as well. As Lamb wrote in a 1940 letter to his Princeton class secretary, “This fascinating opportunity has absorbed us completely.”  On an alumni questionnaire he returned to Princeton in 1947 Lamb wrote, “For nine years I have confined my interests to Darrow School.” Being The Boss pretty much consumed his every waking moment.

By the time the advance patrol of the Class of 1962 arrived on campus in 1958, Darrow was thriving. Enrollment stood at 148; with the opening of Brethren’s Workshop in 1960, it swelled to 166. The campus was still a work in progress: the Dairy barn was rebuilt during our first year, and Brethren’s followed the next year. Medicine Shop was the only building on the main campus still as the Shakers left it; that would be rebuilt in 1963. The North family buildings would be acquired much later. As it had since the start, the campus drew its character from those elegant buildings and the remarkable way they had been transformed, through Lamb’s vision, the craftsmanship of Mike DiMaina and Ed Schilling and others, and the manual labor of hundreds of students and faculty.

As I recounted in the memorial for Charles Brodhead, I enrolled in Darrow before I met Mr. Heyniger. My first impression that fall was that he was pretty awesome. “The Boss,” a dominant presence at school functions, looming in his trench coat on the sidelines at athletic events, a stern disciplinarian (I was a bit intimidated). But he also radiated love for the school and for his “fine Darrow boys.” You knew he was on your side.

C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\CLH at Soccer Game.jpgAs the school year progressed I developed a more nuanced sense of life in Lamb Heyniger’s benevolent realm. My first week, I was on Dick Nunley’s Hands to Work crew, one of several cleaning out the Dairy Barn for renovation.  I was one of about 10 kids carrying a rafter (a one foot square by 30 feet long Shaker marvel) out of the building when The Boss happened by. He looked at me (I was about 4’10” and weighed around 85 pounds then) and sort of shook his head. The next week my HTW assignment had been changed to the Library Committee, an indoor crew led by Des McCracken that included Harry Savage and Jonathan van Vorst. I felt overprotected, as if The Boss had taken away my chance to prove I could work as hard and as well as the next kid. I did not, however, have the gumption to go and tell him that. I accepted my library duty and worked there in HTW for four years, avoiding rain, cold, snow, ice and heavy lifting.

While (as Dick has said) Lamb left the classroom teaching to the teachers, he was nonetheless a powerful and omnipresent educator, offering almost daily character lessons. At Friday night school meetings, in Chapel, at the assemblage before Hands to Work each Wednesday, there was The Boss, laying down rules (“When must you be back?” Chorus: “5:15!”), setting out expectations, chiding us for our collective shortcomings. Here are just a few of my favorite memories:

Sophomore year, there was a particularly ungainly, socially awkward freshman kid who had grown too tall too fast. He had enormous feet, like an overgrown puppy. His shoes (size 15 loafers) kept getting stolen and the nickname “Bigfoot” was in the air, as the boys systematically badgered this poor kid for several days. That week, at the pre-HTW assembly, The Boss said something like, “I’ve heard there are stories going around about big feet… Does anyone know who has the largest feet in this school?” [silence] “I do. Size 16. Now, I think that’s the last we need to hear about big feet.” Art Savage chuckled at that story, and recalled how Lamb once talked his way out of a speeding ticket on the Taconic State Parkway. “Officer,” he said, “please look at my feet.” After the officer did so, Lamb cracked, “When they’re that big, they just keep falling off the brake.” He got a laugh and a warning to just slow down.

Then there was a wintry Sunday when, as we sat in Chapel, Tanner’s Pond was freezing over, and the half dozen ducks who inhabited the pond were swimming in a smaller and smaller circle of open water, until that too began to freeze, and the ducks were getting stuck in/on the ice. The Boss got up quietly from his place on the dais, signaled to the chaplain to continue with the service, slipped out the side door of the Chapel, got a long pole and some rope from his basement across the pond, and gently dragged the ducks to safety, one by one, as the school watched through the Chapel windows.
Other memorable moments in the chapel include, of course, his basso profundo rendering of “O Holy Night” at the candlelight service that ended the fall term each year. (Art heard Lamb sing it at family Christmas gatherings, too, and occasionally Art accompanied him on the piano.) Then there was his chapel talk about petty theft and vandalism, stressing that some stC:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\The Boss at HTW 1959.jpgudents seemed to think it was all right to steal traffic signs from local communities, but that this was not acceptable. At the end, to drive his point home, he said “I have one word for you,” and held up a “Stop” sign, taken that morning from Gene Cook’s room during a dorm inspection. Gene asked The Boss how stealing from him was supposed to show us that stealing was wrong, but he lost that argument.

This next memory was reconstructed with help from Peter Golden. Many of us may recall that there was a small but virulent nest of Nazis in the student body in 1958-60. Led by Larry Walsh and Owen Kelly, they hung a huge Nazi flag on their wall in Ann Lee, played Wehrmacht marching songs out their dorm windows, and were openly anti-Semitic, verbally harassing the Jewish students. I wondered myself why The Boss allowed this, but did not speak up or take any action. Peter, however, was hurt by it personally, and wrote an “impassioned” theme about anti-Semitism for Ron Emery’s class. Ron called his mom, and they had a long conversation. Pete suspects that Ron also brought the subject up with The Boss, because, a couple of weeks later, at the pre-HTW gathering, he gave a speech about how all men are created equal, and how discrimination is wrong and destructive. The two of us figure that The Boss could not bring himself to abridge free speech, even hate speech, but he could and did find a way to draw lessons from it and pass them on to us.

While he enthusiastically encouraged participation in the dances and other social events Marion and the Social Committee arranged each year, The Boss would “patrol” the dance floor with a flashlight, visually calibrating the space between male and female bodies as couples danced, intoning quietly, “Six inches, six inches.…” It almost seemed as if he was spoofing himself, sometimes.

My most dramatic encounter with The Boss came about during fall of our freshman year. Several of my dorm mates in Valentine Cottage and I discovered that the rubber bands that held our soccer shin guards on made excellent slingshots when mated with a bent coat hanger. We sought a target to shoot at, and the windows of the Medicine Shop, behind Valentine, beckoned. Shooting from our dorm windows, within a few days we had broken every pane on the Valentine side of the building. One afternoon (far too late), our house master, Larz Anderson, noticed what was going on and came up to confiscate our weapons. Dave Benson, Scott Leake, Robin Humphrey and I ‘fessed up (a couple of others maintained a diplomatic silence). Later that day, the four of us found ourselves sitting around the large table in The Boss’s office, with Mr. Anderson at one end, and Mr. Heyniger at the other.  The Boss was quiet for a long time. His demeanor gave me a new appreciation of the word “seethe.”

Eventually, he spoke up. He asked if we knew what we had done. A couple of us said, sheepishly, “We broke some windows, sir.” He then told us, quite calmly considering the circumstances, “Those were not just windows you broke. They were Shaker windows. Most of the glass in those windows was the original glass used by the Shakers when they built the building, more than a century ago.” More silence followed, while we began to wonder if we were going to be expelled for our colossal stupidity. Finally, The Boss spoke again. He said “I’ve always believed that the punishment should fit the crime.” He gave us a penalty-hours HTW assignment: The four of us were to replace every broken pane in the Medicine Shop. We would skip soccer and practice glazing instead, with Mr. Anderson supervising. The materials—glass, points, putty—would be charged to our Student Drawing Accounts. And so we spent the next week or two, going through the building one floor and one window at a time, taking down the sashes, cleaning out old glass fragments and putty, putting in new panes. We did a pretty nice job, we worked as a team, we learned new skills, skills most of us used later in our lives. In the end, it didn’t feel as much like punishment as like a lesson the Boss was teaching us.

I had less contact with Marion Heyniger. She and The Boss invited each new boy, in groups of four or five, to Sunday brunch at Whitaker House, early in their first year at school, to get to know each kid a little more as an individual, and, it seemed to me, to provide a touch of “polite society” from the era in which the Heynigers grew up.  I took part in one such event but no longer recall anything specific about it. My only other contact with Marion was on one or two occasions when The Boss was the faculty member at my table in the dining hall, and she attended Sunday dinner. I asked Arthur how Marion liked life at Darrow; he said it was probably not a life she would have chosen for herself, but she loved Lamb and she loved the school, and they were both quite happy in their 22 years there.

By our sophomore year, although I was not particularly aware of it, it was becoming obvious to those paying close attention that The Boss was ill. That winter, he spent a month in a hospital in New York City, having and recovering from surgery; although I’m sure we noticed his absence at the time, I can’t now recall any discussions about it. The idea that Lamb Heyniger, who was the school, so larger-than-life and alive, could be taken from us was probably too frightening to contemplate.

Lamb kept his health worries largely to himself. In a letter to his class secretary for the Princeton Alumni Weekly in the spring of 1960, he wrote: “For five years I have had trouble with my right arm. On January 21, I entered a New York hospital for [surgery] which it was thought might involve the loss of my arm. [But] the surgeons did a beautiful job and saved my arm. It is in quite good shape now and my doctor seems fully satisfied with the results. I returned to school on Feb. 20 and went back to work immediately.” He never mentioned the word “cancer” or hinted that he had any unresolved health issues. His class secretary added comments to the effect that they’d heard some scary rumors and that it was great to have such good news.
C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Ned1.jpgIn this picture, which I took on commencement day in June 1960, The Boss is introducing Charlie Emerson ’61, just elected President of the school for the coming year, to the assembled parents. (My apologies for the fold that left a line through Charlie.) Looking at the picture now, it’s clear that Lamb’s face looks gaunt and that he had lost weight.

That school year ended, and we all went home. During the summer months, The Boss oversaw the completion of the renovation of Brethren’s Workshop and staged an auction of Shaker artifacts that had filled the Medicine Shop—to raise money and to clear out the building for its planned later conversion to a dormitory. When we returned in the fall, The Boss was a felt but largely unseen presence. I don’t recall if he took part in the opening ceremonies. He spent his final weeks at home, in Whitaker house, surrounded by his family. He died on October 28, a beautiful autumn Saturday; it was parents weekend, and a football game was in progress a hundred yards away. The school was given the news at chapel the next morning.

A memorial service was held in the chapel on November 1; the school community was joined by a large contingent of Lamb’s Princeton friends. Marion and the trustees announced a capital drive to support completion of Lamb’s last visionary re-imagining of a Shaker building: converting the no-longer-a-gym Meeting House into a new school library, which would now be named in his memory. The fund quickly drew many donations from Lamb’s Princeton classmates. The work proceeded apace, and the C. Lambert Heyniger MC:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\MSH w JFJ & DLM 1976.jpgemorial Library was dedicated in October, 1962. Marion cut the ribbon and was the first to enter the building.

When Lamb died, he held a mortgage on the school buildings; in his will, he forgave the school the money he had loaned it, in a final act of generosity. Marion, left homeless for all intents and purposes, lived for a time with her sisters Grace and Polly, and with her relatives on Lamb’s side of the family. She remained attached to the school, and in 1976 came back to deliver a commencement address, telling a new generation of students and faculty what Darrow had been like at the beginning. In this photo, from the Peg Board, Marion poses outside the chapel with then former head John Joline and current head Dave Miller, who had invited her to speak.

In late 1985, the Princeton Alumni Weekly reported on Marion’s 90th birthday celebration, staged by her three children and attended by them and her grandchildren. The party featured singing by grandson Brian Robertson, who “has a gorgeous bass-baritone voice with a promising professional future.” Marion died on February 15, 1987. A memorial service was held for her in the Darrow chapel that May 17. Chaplain Sheldon Flory, who presided, spoke of Marion (along with Lamb and the Neale sisters) as a “presiding spirit” of the school and recalled her 1976 address for “the sharpness of imagery, the tenderness of humor, and the depth of feeling in her…memoir of a Darrow now become legendary.” Charles Brodhead remembered “her gracious friendship, her beautiful alto singing voice, her fearless commitment.”

In closing, I offer this extended quote from the obituary for Mr. Heyniger that appeared in the 1961 yearbook. It’s unsigned but may have been written by the yearbook’s senior editors that year, who included Andy Wells and Gerry McGee:

“The clear and generous beauty of the autumn afternoon on which he died was akin to the nature of the man whose creation this school is. The cool simplicity of his ideals and of his character was warmed by a sunny kindness which suffused his life and work, just as the plain and orderly buildings he restored were made lovely with color.

“He was a man who did not rail against the difficulties he encountered nor easily admit another to his confidence. He chose rather to master and to build alone, leaving his actions and accomplishments to speak for him. His death was not an abrupt severance, because the school he built is the man himself. No wall, no door, no corner of this school is here that was not touched by his attention and care, that does not remind the passer-by of his mellow voice and laugh, the imposing dignity of his figure, the quizzical, blue-eyed glance that mingled the skepticism of practical experience with the trusting faith it conveyed and excited in others.”


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Portrait from the 1959 Yearbook.



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At right, a photo by Charles Brodhead, soon after he arrived at Darrow in 1945. Provided by John Brodhead.




Below, left, a traditional “Student Council” shot from the school catalogue, circa 1958. Included are Pete Wilmot ’59 and Bob Warner ’60, so this was probably taken in 1956 or 1957. At right below, the same shot from the 1959 yearbook, featuring Peter Gorday ’62, Pete Von Mertens ’60, and Pete Wilmot—the original “Three-Pete?”

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At left, Jon Horwitz ’60 chatting with The Boss in the Dining Hall. Below, the dedication of the Dairy Barn on opening day, 1959.


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Left, the Dance Committee from the 1960 yearbook: Jim Evans, Bill Low, Jay Powers and Mrs. Heyniger.  Below, an undated portrait from the school archives.

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At left, the start of the cross-country race at House Games, in November of 1958.





And finally, the Princeton Class of 1916’s inimitable song leader. Photo from the Princeton University Library, used with permission.

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Supplement to:

Remembering C. Lambert Heyniger
and Marion S. Heyniger

Ned Groth, August, 2011

(Author’s note: After I had already sent the Heyniger memorial to Carl for posting, got a call back from Alan Mayers, class of 1950. I had left a message for him a couple of weeks earlier but they’d been traveling. Once we connected, Alan had so many wonderful anecdotes and memories that I am writing them up as a separate document. While I took notes on our phone call and have striven for factual accuracy, I take full responsibility for any errors.  –NG)


Alan was graduated from Darrow in 1950, a little more than a decade before we were. He knew a younger Boss, a head man in his prime, who (as filtered through the kid Alan was at the time) seems to have been an even more imposing, less mellowed authority figure.

The first memory Alan recounted was based on a letter that he wrote to his parents (and he still has—aren’t mothers great sometimes?) during the spring of his senior year. It was a few days after the senior prom (Darrow had a prom then!), and Alan shared an adventure with his parents. He and three other boys and their dates had “wandered” (quoting from his own letter) over to the chapel after the dance in the Meeting House ended. The chapel, of course, was completely dark at that hour, with lots of empty pews. When they eventually arrived at the headmaster’s house (where the girls were boarding overnight), they found the Boss out on the front step, “growling.” “You people were supposed to be back here half an hour ago!,” he said, as he ushered them inside. There, they were greeted by Mrs. Heyniger, who said, in a perfect faux-naive tone, “Well, hello, Alan. How are you making out?” He had a hard time keeping a straight face in the retelling, let alone at the time.

Alan let on that he was a very immature kid, and made some dumb choices at Darrow. One of them involved a water pistol; they were a fad then, several kids had them. Alan had one with a very large reservoir. He got busted using it in study hall and was sent to the Boss’s office. Mr. Heyniger confiscated the pistol and was going to put it is his drawer, but it was still filled with water. So he went out in the hall and opened the fire escape door there, overlooking the Meeting House, and tried shooting the water out. But his hands were so big he could barely work the trigger. He growled (again) “How do you empty this damn thing,” and handed it back to Alan, who simply opened the plug and poured the water out. Alan recalled that “On graduation day I had the unmitigated gall to ask if I could have my water pistol back!” At that point, though, there were bigger concerns in the air. Alan’s father was not happy with his son’s state of maturity and suggested to Mr. Heyniger that a couple years in the Marine Corps should shape him up so he’d be ready for college. The Boss suggested a post-graduate year at Darrow instead. Which was what they ultimately did. A year later, Alan (still not very mature by his own measure) was admitted to Princeton. He says, thinking back, “The Boss knew me very well and he really did have my best interests at heart.” 

C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Lamb\CLH01.jpgAlan said it was Hands to Work that made him decide to come to Darrow in the first place. He visited for an admissions interview on a Wednesday, and he got to observe HTW (he recalls he saw a chicken get its head cut off). He remembers a particular Hands to Work project from his time, one that took most of a year. There was an old barn that ran along next to the athletic field, I assume roughly where the Joline building is now. It had been a shed for wagons and such in Shaker days, but was of no use to the school, so it was being dismantled. Alan was on a crew that took off the shingles and siding, piece by piece, saving what could be used, until all that was left was a frame made of 8-by-8 timbers. A heavy rope was tied to one end of the frame, then the Boss and “everyone else” took hold of the rope, and pulled. They surged, stopped, surged, stopped, until the old frame began to sway, and finally came tumbling down with a satisfying crash.  Like many of us, Alan retained a love for manual labor from his Darrow HTW experience, and now that he lives in a retirement community, he spends a lot of time in its excellent woodworking shop, crafting cabinets for Habitat-for-Humanity houses.

C:\Users\Ned\Documents\Darrow\Faculty Memorials\Heyniger\Lamb\Wednesday Night Sing, 1950s Copy.jpgI asked Alan how many kids were at Darrow in his day, and he said 60 to 80—half the size of the student body in our years. He recalls that they’d have school meetings in the common room in Wickersham—everyone would crowd in there. “Many of us would be sitting, literally, at the Boss’s feet,” he recalled. “I remember looking at those feet—huge feet. And looking up at this enormous man.” He remembers “song night” very clearly, and also recalls that the Boss would recite the poem “In Flanders Fields” on November 11, which was known as Armistice Day back then.

A few of Alan’s other memories reflect ways the school changed in the decade between his years and ours. In his day, the “grotto” down under Wickersham—the brick-lined cave-like cellar in the rear—was a legal smoking area. Kids with smoking permission would go there to smoke, and kids without smoking permission would go there to inhale the second-hand smoke. The Boss, although he had grudgingly allowed smoking with parental permission as a concession to marketing realities back then, hated smoking. Almost as much as he hated drinking. He used to rail against the filthy habit. One Sunday he preached a sermon against the evils of smoking in chapel, and Alan recalls that an audacious student named Jay Clark put a cigarette in the collection plate. (O heresy! O apoplexy?) (Darrow had a collection in chapel back in those days?!)

Another of the Boss’s bugaboos was pornography, which he called “smut.” Alan says he used to talk about that too, in chapel homilies, “And you should have heard him pronounce the word ‘smut’!” This was pre-Playboy, but there were classic “girlie” magazines around. Lamb saw them as the epitome of evil, I suspect puritanical, not feminist reasons. In this regard, Lamb and Charlie Brodhead were kindred spirits, although Art Savage told me that lamb had “read Charlie the riot act” and made him stop proselytizing for MRA on campus. 

I asked Alan about Mrs. Heyniger, and he called her a “formidable woman.” He had a roommate named Mike Hall who used to try to frighten Mrs. Heyniger by sitting on the window sill of his dorm room in Wickersham and leaning out (backwards) as far as he could. (Presumably someone had a good grip on his legs inside the room). I’m afraid I didn’t ask why Mike would want to frighten Mrs. H.

Alan recalls one time when there was a dance scheduled with Miss Hall’s, and because it was mid-term week, most of the boys were not interested in participating. He recalls the Boss twisting arms to make sure Darrow had an acceptable turnout. “You don’t have to marry these girls,” Lamb reminded them. Alan remembers that he had three regular dates in those days whose names all had “van” in them, and as the Boss said, he didn’t marry any of them, but one remains his good friend 60+ years later. 

When he was at Princeton, Alan did see Lamb leading “Old Nassau” down at the baseball diamond, and the word picture Alan gave me fit perfectly with the photo at the end of our main memorial.

As a Class Agent, Alan has been back to school many times, and he recalls that he visited once in the year or so before the Boss died. He sat in on the faculty lunch, and it was clear then that the teachers knew that Lamb had cancer. Alan doesn’t recall who told him, but someone said the Boss had openly discussed his illness and told the faculty, “I’m going to beat this.” If only.

 Thank you very much, Alan, for sharing these memories with us. And if any other alumni from earlier classes see this and are moved to do likewise, we’ll happily add them to this memorial page.



Some Personal Thoughts About "The Boss"

by Dave Griswold

In thinking about The Boss, what stuck me most was his leadership skills in bringing together such a diverse team. Most leaders in business, politics, and education build a team around them of people who are very much like themselves. Same backgrounds, interests, views, work habits, and skill sets. Makes for an efficient way to operate. . . On the other hand, it can be a narrow vision and if the leader is wrong, no one will speak up. But it is comfortable and safe.

On the other hand, look at what Mr. Heyniger pulled together which allowed there to be someone for everyone. A remarkable group of talented teachers but their personalities:

The gruff Mahnken, the noble Wilkes
The conservative Durfee, the outrageous Bethards
The serious Van Vorst, the fun loving Spencer
The pious Brodhead, the condescending Goff
The intellectual Nunley, the boxer Aiken

Under most leaders, this group would have splintered off into factions unable to reach a consensus on anything. But Mr. Heyniger had the ability to keep this extremely diverse group together; all moving in the same direction. That is truly remarkable.

And think of the mark he made on so many lives. He ran the school for 22 years and the school has gone on for 50 more. If the average enrollment is determined to be 100 that would be over 7,000 young men and women who benefited from this man's dream. A dream requiring sacrificing a corporate career and personal income to help the shape the lives of so many--many of whom would never have realized their potentials without his vision. I know, for I am one.




A Note About Mr. Heyniger

by Don Sutherland

I didn't know Mr. Heyniger well. He hired me in the spring of 1960 and died just as school was opening in September. Before school started, he and Mrs. Heyniger invited Marie and me to breakfast at Whittaker House. It was very nice of them and we had a wonderful time. I remember him saying that it had been his ambition all his adult life to be headmaster of a boarding school. He had spent his high school years at Lawrenceville Prep in New Jersey where it had taken him six years to graduate. He said he was not a good language student and could not pass Latin. He was grateful to his teacher who took him under his wing and worked with him until he could master Latin and then go on to Princeton. He said the first sons went to Andover, the second sons to Exeter and the third sons to Darrow. He wanted to educate the third sons because of the opportunity for success he received at Lawrenceville.

He was a very large and impressive man, only sixty-eight when he died of cancer. Had an engaging sense of humor and had a fatherly way of handling boys in trouble or depressed. It's a shame that Ron Emery isn't still with us. He had many wonderful stories to tell about the "Boss." I remember one story of a boy who was a freshman and wanted to leave school; he had packed his bags and was ready to leave. He told Mr. Heyniger he was going home but didn't know where to catch the bus. Mr. Heyniger pointed down the road and said that everyone at school wanted him to stay, but if really wanted to go, he should carry his bags all the way to the highway and wait for a bus; then if he were lucky, one might stop and pick him up; he could then get on if he had enough money. It must have sounded like a very uncertain adventure with little chance of success. The boy changed his mind and stayed on to complete the year and later graduate.

I'm sure that many others have memorable stories. Ask Horton.

Best Regards,


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