Remembering Former Dean of Admissions P. Terence Beach

Paul Terence Beach H’14, who served The Hun School of Princeton for forty-two years, passed away on November 23rd in Pennington, New Jersey. Mr. Beach was a prominent leader in the School’s history who touched the lives of thousands in his role as dean of admissions. He was seventy-four years old.
Mr. Beach worked at Hun from 1968 to 2010. He became dean of admissions and financial aid in 1974, a position he held until his retirement in 2010. In that role, Mr. Beach molded The Hun School culture in ways that are still felt today. In the admissions process, he prioritized students with strong moral character and a curious mind.
                      
“In his forty-two years at The Hun School of Princeton, Terry embodied the very best values of the School; his kindness and integrity are legendary among the thousands of students and colleagues who knew him,” said Headmaster Jonathan Brougham. “As director of admissions, he painstakingly shaped a student community whose distinctive goodness and talent we have inherited today.”
 
Mr. Beach was known to say, “First and foremost, I look for children who are kind, children who I would like to have my children sit next to in the dining hall. I want students to bring something to the community that makes us a family.”

Mr. Beach and his wife, Bonnie, were first introduced to The Hun School by their Marietta College classmates and close friends, Jim ’62 and Susan Byer. At the time, Dr. Byer was a history teacher at The Hun School (he would later return to serve as headmaster from 1994-2009) and Mr. Beach was pursuing a master’s degree at Michigan State.
 
“We met in college,” said Dr. and Mrs. Byer. “We were four individual teenagers who grew together; Terry and Jim in the gym, on the basketball court, Terry speeding in and out on his crazy legs, Jim sweating off weight in his rubber suit perfecting his hook shot. Terry always played to win, quick and wily, such fun to watch. We grew into young adults still laughing, traveling with our families. Terry could be a hard nose when he believed strongly, but he was all heart. We loved the boy and then the man as a brother.”
 
The Byers put them in touch with then-Headmaster Dr. Paul Chesebro H’14 in 1968, who invited them East to interview. Soon thereafter, Mr. Beach joined The Hun School faculty as a biology teacher, basketball coach, and dorm parent.
 
Mr. and Mrs. Beach enjoyed living in the dorms and had a special affinity for the international student community. He believed that all students benefited from exposure to different cultures and he traveled the world to recruit the best students he could find. Mr. Beach worked with faculty member Arthur Rozas to develop the International Student Program, which saw Hun’s international population grow from eleven students in 1973 to forty-eight students from twenty-one countries in 1979.
 
Working with Sr. Rozas and later with Dianne Somers, Mr. Beach developed practices to support the unique needs of international students studying abroad. Much of their work still serves as the basis for Hun’s international reach today.
 
Mr. Beach was also personally invested in the success of the international students he recruited. He would painstakingly manage all aspects of their enrollment from airport pick up to course selection. He kept tabs on their well-being and communicated regularly with their parents. He attended their plays, concerts, and sporting events, as well as hosted countless dinners, all in an effort to support and mentor them.
 
“One area where Terry was relentless,” said Mrs. Byer, “was in his attention to and care for the international students. He always said, ‘Can you imagine what it is like to put your child on a plane alone to go live and study half way around the world?’  That thought guided Terry when he and Bonnie often picked international students up at the airport, intermittently took them out to dinner, frequently had them stay in their home when school would close. The Hun School as an institution and its people have greatly benefitted from Terry's giving nature.”
 
Mr. Beach once said, “(Becoming Director of Admission) made me look into the School’s principles and analyze how our core philosophy could be implemented for students who attended,” said Mr. Beach upon his retirement. “Every parent who comes in here is looking for the best for their child, and we in the Admissions Office have to do right by both the child and the School as a whole.”
 
Kevin Tylus ’73, former chairman of the Board of Trustees, said, “Terry Beach was someone who dedicated his whole life to giving people a new opportunity … He called us, Ginger and I, countless times to inquire about applicants. He always asked about both the student and the family. He wanted the families, as much as the students, to become an integral part of the community.”
 
Mr. Beach grew up with three siblings in a Midwestern salt of the earth family. He retained and maintained the Midwestern values of integrity, honesty, and industriousness throughout his life along with a love of life, people, nature, and learning. He had a terrific sense of humor and loved a good prank.
 
“There was the Hun fundraiser where the faculty played the NY Jets in a basketball game,” recalled Mrs. Byer.” In the locker room, Terry pumped up the faculty players to the point of frothing, Jim (Byer) among them, said something like, "Lets go get them." He opened the door to the packed gym and when Jim ran out bouncing the basketball, Terry held everyone else back. So, for a few seconds, there was Jim dribbling by himself and Terry is cracking up at the door.  We laughed about that for years."
 
“Terry always retained that playfulness, with his friends, with students, in sports and with his children and grandchildren. Time with Terry was quality and memorable time,” said Dr. Byer.
 
No account of Mr. Beach’s contributions would be complete without mention of his equally dedicated wife, Bonnie, an impactful school leader in her own right. In 1972, Hun started a program designed to support students with mild learning differences, a unique concept at the time. Mrs. Beach, who was teaching Spanish at Hun part-time, became one of three faculty members charged with teaching students in the Learning Center. From then on, she worked to stay on the cutting edge of learning difference instruction. She advocated vigorously for the complete academic integration of students with learning differences and like her husband, saw personally to their success. Mrs. Beach became head of the program in 1980 and remained at the helm until 2010.  Today, the program is known as the Bonnie Beach Academic Learning Center. It offers services such as the Study Strategies Program, the Peer Tutoring Center, and the Residential Coaching Program.
 
Mr. Beach is survived by his wife, Bonnie; his daughter Danielle Beach Schellscheidt ’87 and son-in-law Karl; his son Dale Winters Beach ’90 and daughter-in-law Rebecca; and his grandchildren June ’16, Gunnar, and Karson Schellscheidt.
 
The Hun School flag is being flown at half-mast the week of November 27th in honor of P. Terence Beach.
 
Members of The Hun School community who wish to share their memories of Mr. Beach may write to: rememberingmrbeach@hunschool.org

Below are some of the remembrances we've collected about Terry. They have been edited for length.

In all my years of schooling Terry Beach was one of my favorite teachers (In this case Biology) of all time. He not only took the time to teach, he took the time to know each student. Even after I graduated from college, I continued to think of Terry as a great teacher and then as a friend.
Pixie Conn '76

Sir Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In the annals of the Hun School history it will come to be written (if not already so) that one of those giants was Terry.
Duncan Wallace '79

The opportunity to attend the Hun School as a boarder from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was a complete treasure and launching point that elevated my intellectual and artistic understanding of the world as a whole. I can thank Mr. Beach for making this incredible journey a possibility in my life. He had an understanding for our sheltered yet international American community in Arabia. I remember our interview so clearly, how he saw past my nervousness and fear of being misunderstood. He was kind and understanding when I went on and on about never having seen a fall leaf. He made me feel welcome and assured me that I would fit right in. I am so grateful. Thank you Mr.Beach, you were the one who facilitated my life into such a positive direction. I’ll never forget it.
Cassie (Long) Moore, '02

Truly, I find it difficult to put into words the impact Terry Beach has had on my family's life, in particular, that of myself and my son. Because of Terry's insight, kindness, and compassion, he knew that Hun was the perfect place for us, and for the last 17 years, we have been the grateful recipients of his vision, as we continue our membership in this precious community. ​ I will be eternally thankful to Terry and feel so very privileged to have known him.
Patty Garrison, Hun Parent and Faculty Member

Terry, Bonnie, and I joined the Hun faculty the same year. They lasted 42 years, and I only one. I remember Terry as always sunny and positive, and am not surprised he did well in attracting a wide range of students in his years as Director of Admissions. From my student days, I thought the international students, mainly Latin Americans and King Faisal’s sons, added a lot to the place. I’m glad Terry expanded and supported the international program. May Terry rest in peace.
John D Lane ‘62

So sorry to learn of Mr. Beach’s passing. He represented the Hun School well; he was smart, affable and approachable. I got to know his daughter while on the crew team as fellow coxswains while at Hun, and always felt their family’s presence to be warm and inviting.
Kathy Thelmo ‘88

When I remember Mr. Beach, the word that comes to mind is “impact”. Even though he was not one of my official “teachers”, he was one of the most impactful educators in my life. I had the distinct pleasure of riding to Hun every morning with Mr. Dippery at the helm, and Mr. Beach as the navigator. This life-changing experience lasted for more than 5 years. Yes, I’m sure most readers are quite jealous at this. How better to start any day than to witness the ongoing badgering of these two Hun stalwarts as we traversed our way to school each morning? It was like having a live Abbott and Costello skit every day.
Eric Gokcen, MD ‘80

It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of Terry. I lived in Russel Hall as a senior in the wing where Bonnie and Terry had their apartment. I was fortunate to have returned a number of times as an adult and once had the chance to chat with Terry in his Dean of Students office. He gave my wife Sandy and I a significant amount of his time. My mother always said that the lord takes the best of us young. Seems like that applies to Terry. I have nothing but the fondest memories.
Stuart Aizenberg, '71

I was so sad to hear the news about Mr Beach; I had fond memories with him when I first came to Hun many years ago. If I am to reflect back at my high school years, Hun was the best part; I loved it, miss it and remember it often as I am currently working in a boarding School in Jordan called King’s Academy. At the time I had to fly 12 hours direct with my brother Omar from Saudi Arabia to get to Hun, so truly I was going to the other side of the world, and if it weren’t for Mr. Beach and many others, it would not have been easy.
Ola Bseiso '83

You impacted my life for the better. May your soul Rest In Peace and may your legacy live on through all of us your students.
Barkue Tubman-Zawolo '88

Dear Terry, Your warm smile and kind ways made The Hun School the wonderful place that it was when I was a student, and that it is today. I loved when you pulled me out of class to give Admissions tours :) You will be missed greatly by your family and the Hun community.
Michele Falcey, '91

I remember having snowball fights with Mr. Beach. He was a good shot. Wonderful memories!
Richard Pan '88

I am so deeply saddened by this news of Mr. Beach’s passing. I loved Beach (Beachy) so much. I have so many memories sitting in his office in the Russell lobby, chatting. When I was bummed or in trouble, quietly sneaking off campus with him in his car to go to Thomas Sweets and the chicken wings place in Princeton; being privy to his strong, objective, but never preachy advice; getting that stern, but caring, look when I got suspended for smoking cigarettes in the dorm, when he said the dreaded, “I’m disappointed in you Miss Drogin,” but I knew he loved me anyway, no matter what I did. He was a true mentor, teacher and friend to me and my Hun besties. I will never forget him.
Marcy Drogin '83

Mr. Beach was the first person I met at Hun when I applied to middle school in 1977. His relaxed friendliness made the whole campus feel like a welcoming place in which I'd be happy. So many times in life it's that first experience that sets the tone for the whole experience. This was certainly the case for me at Hun. When I think of my earliest days on campus I appreciate Mr. Beach's natural kindness which was so important to my feeling like part of the Hun family. Clearly I'm not alone in remembering Mr. Beach as literally face of Hun.
Heather Farrell Bernard '83

Many wonderful memories of of Terry. Teacher, coach , Dean of admission, he always represented the Hun School with the upmost class and made the Hun community proud. He will be missed.
Greg Cortina, '71

Terry provided an opportunity for many students who needed financial assistance at Hun. He shared with me once that a student was going to have to pay more for the required books than to attend, needless to say the student received the books needed no charge. He additionally would reach out to teachers to help out struggling students and find ways for them to become successful. He enhanced the life of Hun and made this a better world.
Edward Sabol, science department faculty member from 1981-2015

I love that mustached, super peppy, preppy guy whose door was always open for this often troubled, defiant teen girl from Los Angeles. He was like my father away from home, always there with a shoulder cry on, or an unexpected trip to Mrs. Beasleys for a brownie, or just some wise words that made sense to a muddled teenage mind. I simply adored him at a time that I hated anyone in authority. I am grateful for the protection I felt he gave me and the promise he saw in me even when I couldn’t see it in myself. He is forever in my heart. I was lucky to cross paths with him when I did.
Jen Gruskoff '84

I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Beach's passing. I just counted way, way back and I believe I met Mr. Beach in 1984, when I was interviewing for the 6th grade. I don't remember what we talked about, except that I was blown away by the size of the door to his office. I would walk through that door many times over the course of my 7 years at Hun, because his door was always open to students who wanted to drop by after lunch to grab a piece of candy from the bowl in his office. Looking back with the perspective of adult eyes, it says a lot that he was so delighted to see us noisy kids swoop into his office every day, and that he always had a kind word and a friendly smile, when I'm sure his days must have been busy.
Abby Leafe '91

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity (and for taking a chance on a kid from Hopewell Township, NJ) to attend the Hun School and for having a direct, positive and profound impact on not only my life but for so many others who walked through the doors. You will be and already are incredibly missed….thank you for your kindness and patience during the admissions process back in 1991. The Hun School truly altered the trajectory of my life. Terry Beach along with so many others are what make Hun so special.
Steve Welham '95

I’ll always remember Mr. Beach pointing at me and saying, “Keep up the good work, Andrew.” I never knew if he was keeping tabs on me or he was just saying it as a friendly greeting. Either way, I didn’t want him to discover that I wasn’t doing my best, so I pushed myself just a little more.
Andrew Huppert '95

I was fortunate to work with Terry as his Assistant Director of Admissions from 1976-1981. I could have had no better mentor. His energy, knowledge, personality and direction were just what I needed in my mid-twenties to pull my own career together. He was kind and giving; he was patient and caring. He saw the good in everyone. He gave me the confidence to step into his shoes when he was traveling and to know that he respected my own decisions.
Eileen Godley Lewis

Along with every Hun student who ever had the privilege of being taught by Terry Beach, I remember very well his disarming combination of honesty and honor, wry humor, and commitment to excellence. When I think of Mr. Beach’s influence, the recent K.S. Rhodes song comes to mind: “I am who I am because you are who you are.” It is so for many of us who spent any time in Mr. Beach's arc. May his family know genuine comfort, and our treasured Teacher know peaceful rest.
Bruce L. Cohen ’74

I am heartbroken to hear of the loss of Terry Beach. I shutter to think where I would be had he not interceded for me to attend Hun and advocated for financial aid. What a loss for the community.
Jodie Klein '81

We were sorry to hear, from our youngest son and Hun graduate Arda Bozyigit, that we lost our beloved friend Terry Beach. We first met Terry way back in 1992 at a school fair. His devotion to students and school, together with his frankness, created a long-lasting relationship with him and Hun. Our three sons ended up at Hun, away from home thousands of miles. We knew they were safe with Terry around.
Mrs and Mr Bozyigit, Hun Parents

In Respectful Memory. We have learned from you for two generations. You have blessed us with enrichment through both our lives. Thank you, Mr Beach.
George Koh ‘71 and Yvonne Koh ‘09, Hong Kong

I met Terry Beach my freshman year at Hun. I was 14. Because he knew both my older sisters, he went out of his way to immediately make me feel like part of the family. Being that young and away from home, there was nothing I needed or appreciated (in hindsight) more. When I think of Hun, I think of Mr. Beach. He let me know when I was being a bratty kid, or when I surprised him with a point of view. He told the truth with humor and grace. He was a teacher and a mentor. He was the whole ball of wax. I have always thought of Mr. Beach and The Hun school together. And, after hearing of his passing, all I can think is: what a gift he truly was. He meant so much to a lot of people.
Emily Wachtel '83

I was heartbroken to hear about Mr.Beach’s passing. I entered the Hun School at the time that he became Director of Admissions and I was fortunate enough to have him as my advisor. His presence was seen everywhere on campus with his kind, nonchalant manner. Although his plate was full he often had the door to his beautiful office wide open and made time for me whenever I stopped by. I trusted him and I always felt that he was looking out for my best interest. I went to Princeton schools all my life but it was not until I was enrolled at Hun that I had an opportunity to see true diversity in the population of students. It opened up a whole new world for me. I am so grateful for that. Mr. Beach's legacy will be part of The Hun School of Princeton forever. I am so pleased to have been a part of it.
Mary Beth Place Evans ‘79
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The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school.  Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.

176 Edgerstoune Road, Princeton, NJ 08540  |  Phone: (609) 921-7600 | Email: admiss@hunschool.org