Dining Hall Master and Sports Information Director Joseph Morsman ’55 and his wife Director of Alumni Relations Mimi Morsman are legends.
Some alumni remember Mr. Morsman as a teacher and even a classmate. As a teacher, Mr. Morsman taught U.S. history and senior electives.
“My teaching style in the classroom was work hard and have fun,” he recalled.
Mr. Morsman has been associated with Deerfield since 1951, when he arrived as a student. He joined the faculty in 1960, when Headmaster Frank Boyden offered him an appointment; since then, he has worked for five headmasters: Mr. Boyden, David Pynchon, Robert Kaufmann, Eric Widmer, and now Margarita Curtis.
Mrs. Morsman, from her office in Ephraim, commented on the values and changes each head of school has brought to the community. “Dr. Curtis is encouraging professional development as a teacher, coach, and resident in the dorm. Mr. Pynchon encouraged the arts; Mr. Kaufmann campaigned for coeducation. And, Mr. Widmer pushed for globalization,” remembered Mrs. Morsman.
As they look back over their time here, memories of the Boydens stand out.
“Hands down, the two most outstanding educators are Mr. and Mrs. Boyden,” said Mr. Morsman, explaining how Mr. Boyden wanted each student to be well rounded. Then, chuckling, he pointed towards the bushes near the Main School Building where Mr. Boyden accidentally crashed his golf cart one day.
“There are a lot of things Mr. Boyden would be happy about,” reflected Mr. Morsman. “We still have sit-down meals, school spirit, a dress code, and school meeting. And, the faculty really cares about the kids.”
At the same time, he noted the significant changes. “Individual athletic teams have many more games and meets than they did twenty-five years ago. Today, the life of a Deerfield student is much busier. There are many more opportunities in academics as well as extracurriculars.
When I was here you studied for a test on Tuesday during Saturday morning study hall. Friday night you were studying in your room,” described Mr. Morsman. As a student, he was also a cheerleader, which explains how he knows the locomotive cheer.
Mrs. Morsman added that “The number of families on campus has also changed, which I think is good. Before, men ran the dorms and were known as masters.”
Mrs. Morsman knows one thing that has remained constant and always will: “The kids are happy here. There is a certain something in the woodwork, something genuine and unique to Deerfield.”
“Deerfield isn’t perfect, but we do it better than everyone else,” finished Mr. Morsman.