October 5, 2005


Deerfield Academy classmates pledge $1M to 'one of the guys' (Cris Carl, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 10/5/05) (Registration required)

Nearly 100 alumni of Deerfield Academy's class of 1980 have pledged to raise $1 million to help a classmate - King Abdullah II of Jordan - create a similar school in his native country.

Alumni announced their intentions at a special dinner during a trip to Jordan in August. Abdullah had invited them and family members for a weeklong visit. . . .

Abdullah assumed the throne of Jordan in February 1999. He attended a class reunion at Deerfield Academy in June.

The Class of 1980 Fund, as it is to be called, is intended for a broad range of needs such as scholarships, teaching chairs, facilities, student awards and exchange programs.

The perpetual fund, which will be raised over five years, will augment the target endowment of $100 million for King's Academy, of which $45 million has been raised, according to a statement from Abdullah's staff. . . .

Abdullah has recruited Eric Widmer, headmaster of Deerfield Academy, to be the founding head of the school, which is expected to have 600 students in grades 9 through 12.

In a statement, Abdullah said his vision is ''to attract the most promising students from across the Middle East, regardless of socioeconomic background, religion, or gender.''

He said the school will be a place where students can set aside differences to learn and grow together while ''embracing personal and community values that include dignity, honesty, tolerance, and compassion.''

Abdullah said the new school would be critical to educating the next generation of ''enlightened leaders.'' ''Nothing is more vital to the future of Jordan and the entire Middle East,'' he said. . . .

Daniel Junkis, an alum from Boston, said, ''The Jordanian people have wonderful hearts.'' Junkis, who loved his experience in the country, said one of their tour guides told them, ''The oil of our country is our people.''

With luck, the system can do for their elite what it has done for ours.

Posted by David Cohen at October 5, 2005 6:48 PM

Neuter them?

Posted by: pj at October 5, 2005 6:56 PM

Ding * Ding * Ding

Posted by: David Cohen at October 5, 2005 6:58 PM

Oh! Wrong Abdullah. I thought they would have a chair for Wahabism, too.

Posted by: obc at October 5, 2005 9:45 PM

When are they going to learn?

It's not the quality of the elite that matters but that of the ordinary citizen.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at October 6, 2005 6:01 AM

''The oil of our country is our people.''
And this school will be their refinery?

Posted by: Genecis at October 7, 2005 10:31 PM