“Hun changed my worldview and broadened my way of thinking,” said Johnny Fung ’77, a Hun School Trustee. Apparently, it also broadened his palate, since he tasted his first-ever hamburger thanks to former dean of admissions and financial aid, P. Terence Beach H’14, who took him to McDonald’s shortly after landing at JFK at age fourteen. Mr. Fung was one of many international boarding student alumni who attended a virtual reunion on May 12th that reunited old friends and connected new ones.
This is not the first virtual reunion The Hun School has hosted during the pandemic, but this one was special indeed. Boarding students form lifelong bonds with their teachers and peers, and most spoke of the deep friendships they have maintained since their time at Hun. They hailed from all over the world, now living in places as far from Princeton, New Jersey as Australia, Jordan, Venezuela, Hong Kong, and Japan. However, the adage of “it’s a small world” rang true, especially when Eugenio Rothe ’75 shared the story of his decades-long friendship with former faculty member, Mr. Arthur Rozas.
“He was my mentor and he kind of adopted me,” he said. Years later, following retirement and a move south, Mr. Rozas received treatment at the very same hospital where Dr. Rothe was a faculty member. Several alumni shared that the relationships forged here helped make them who they are today.
Ola Bseiso ’83 is now the director of operations at King's Academy, a boarding school in Jordan. She credits her time as a boarding student at Hun as helping to inform her career.
“I always have something to relate to.” Tae Sup Lee ’05, pursuing his Ph.D. in agricultural and bioengineering at Purdue, plans to teach after graduation. “I’m looking forward to integrating my Hun experience into my career.”
Other students, such as Joshua McGilvray ’14, shared heartwarming stories of Hun’s strong community. “One month into my arrival at Hun, Hurricane Sandy hit, but there was a fleet of cars with friendly Americans [Hun day parents] saying we should go and live with them. I spent eight days with the Kannambadi family and it was wonderful.”
George Koh ’71 and his daughter, Yvonne Koh ’09, joined the virtual reunion together from their home in Hong Kong. Ms. Koh elicited a smile from others with memories of trips to Hoagie Haven and Tiger Noodles in Princeton, but it was the community that fed her soul. “I miss it a lot. It was a small community and you knew everyone.”
Whether it was cooking instant noodles in the dorms, anxiously awaiting a fresh batch of cookies baked by Mrs. Meghan Kreger Poller ’95, or the pure joy of experiencing snow (and snow days) for the first time, the alumni boarding community reveled in fond memories from their living rooms and kitchen tables across the world.