MB and Friendship: The Class of 1982

With MB’s return to coeducation in 1976, the 1980s was the decade when students joined together as classmates and friends in the school’s first full decade of coeducation in 50 years. Students forged bonds quickly. “At one point or another, every person in our class shared a class, was on the same team or in the same club,” recalls Sara Ades Goodwin ’82. “Being with one another day after day for 4+ years (some longer) in MB’s close-knit community, it’s impossible not to become friends!” And then there’s all that comes after classes are over, on the weekends and time off. Those shared experiences were what forged friendships for many.

Since then, the Class of ’82 has gone in wildly different directions, from Maine to Tortola. Though many go years without seeing one another, when there’s a reunion, the Class of ’82 goes right back to their MB days as if it was yesterday. “It’s a wonderful thing that I cherish and look forward to every five years,” Sara comments. “We had — have — a great class. I have always felt connected and know I can call and count on any of my classmates, if needed. MB is that kind of school. You stay connected, no matter how many years go by.”

Peter Ramsden ’82 P ’16 ’19 underscores the chemistry found in this special class.

“As I dredge up memories from my MB days, the word chemistry comes to mind and I am not talking about Jamie German’s class!” he says.

“The class of 1982 had great chemistry. We had so many unique personalities but somehow they all mixed together into a fun and supportive environment. In the case of Tom Gagnon and Walter Capone and other 12-year vets, the friendships literally span a lifetime. But for most of us, the friendships were forged over our four upper school years. As I recall it, we arrived as a particularly cocky class. We had some gifted athletes that almost immediately stepped into the limelight. Bill Baker, Owen O’Neil, Larry Blau and Andy Barrengos in football. Perry Blossom, John Rosen and Ben Rhodes on the soccer field. Owen, Andy and Perry on the track. Tom Cotter and Lee Goff in wrestling. Billy and Mark Janigian on the ice. Tom Gagnon, John Rosen and Billy on the lacrosse field. Don’t forget Ashley Haffenreffer and Sara Ades making their mark on the tennis court, Kristen Murray in softball and Heather Gregg in sailing.

“Of course, there are others, but I think these leaders out on the field, court, rink and track gave us a real source of pride.

“With that pride over time, our class grew a real sense of confidence. Everyone seemed to have a part and contributed in their own way. Back then, MB gave us a fair amount of freedom and we certainly took advantage of it. Free periods on Thayer Street and quick drives to Bagels East were very much a part of the MB experience. As it is for most classes, graduation was the pinnacle of our growing class pride. So much growth was achieved in four years and I think we knew we were all on a good path. In some cases (like Rosemary Boghossian and Phil Blazer), we already knew their trajectories would take them far. As I looked around on graduation day, I felt like I was surrounded by friends who would always have my back. Although I don’t ‘test’ those friendships too often these days, I believe they are still there for me.”

Peter’s classmate Kristen Murray Porcaro ’82 P’11 also reflected recently on the enduring friendships found in the Class of 1982, as they count down to their 40th Reunion: “As Moses Brown alumni, we are forever tethered to 250 Lloyd Avenue in a myriad of ways,” she comments. “In the fall of 1976 when Moses Brown became co-ed once more, there were merely 16 of us girls in the entire middle school, forging an undeniable unbreakable bond between us. … So many connections have been made in our class including to this day, as classmates continue to connect, no matter how far we travel in the world. We update each other on life’s bizarre occurrences and share hilarious jokes as well as our worst foibles as if no time at all has passed—yet it has been 39 years since our MB graduation.”

Kristen relished her MB experience so much that she sent her son, Vincent “Sonny” Porcaro, Jr. ’11 to MB, as well, giving her another reason to once again dwell among “The Shadow of the Elms” and develop additional friendships at MB. Kristen met her best friends as an adult at MB and says, “I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”