“Dad told us never to get into the shoe industry,” says Jeff Shuman ’07. “Of course we ignored him. I mean, it’s our last name!”
In 2010, Shuman and his younger brother, Jason, were at college and searching for the perfect pair of boat shoes. Jason wanted to customize them with his fraternity letters. Out of that simple desire evolved Category Five footwear, a company that sells customizable premium leather boat shoes and driving moccasins.
Shuman and his brother started the business with three of their best friends. All five were still in college. A finance major at Bentley College, Shuman oversaw operations and finances while Jason served as the CEO. Another friend handled the marketing. They found a manufacturer who could make the product and ship it to Category Five’s headquarters in Boston. There, the young men would customize the shoes with fraternity letters or country club logos.
Demand took off as word spread among millenials, college kids, and anyone looking for a comfortable, well-crafted, classic shoe. The shoes are available online and sold in nearly 50 independently owned men’s clothiers, mainly in the southeast.
As if peddling shoes weren’t enough, Shuman also sells high-end specialty condos and homes in Boston. “Thank God that T-P helped me get organized and taught me how to manage my time. It also gave me the confidence to take risks. Those are life skills!
“I’m not sure where the shoe business will end up. Who knows, we may sell out to a larger company. But whatever happens, this experience has taught me so much about responsibility, communication, marketing and branding.
“You can sit in a classroom and learn about spreadsheets, but it really means nothing until you’re staring at your inventory and studying your company’s cash flow,” Shuman reflects. “Learning is theoretical until you add real-time experience.”
Take it from the Shoe-Man.
Trinity-Pawling knows how to plan, and there’s no more important task ahead than planning for a smooth Headmaster transition.
Arch Smith and Bill Taylor have communicated throughout this school year to prepare for the changeover. With deep roots at Trinity-Pawling, Taylor is ahead of the game. Between 1988 to 2001, Taylor served as a history teacher, dorm parent, and coach of varsity tennis and JV basketball. He later worked in the Admission office and ultimately served as Associate Headmaster. Bill and his wife, Jennifer, raised their two children (Wilson and Allyson) on campus.
“It’s been fun to collaborate again with Bill,” says Arch Smith. “We spent nine years in adjacent offices, and it’s comforting to know that he will pick up the mantle of leadership. I feel great confidence in his ability to move the School forward.”
Taylor has been on campus several times to meet with faculty, administrators, and trustees. He remains impressed with the student body. “I went down to brunch one Sunday and wandered table to table. Each boy offered a firm handshake and looked me in the eye. That speaks of their maturity and bodes well for the years ahead. T-P is known for the strong interaction between students and faculty, and it’s wonderful to see that bond again.”
Taylor was also gratified to see the structural changes across campus, such as the Arts Center, Scully Hall, faculty homes, and the athletic facilities. “This is what we dreamed of in our 2000 Long Range Planning Committee, and it’s terrific to see it come to fruition.”
The Taylors will move to campus in late June. Over the summer, Taylor and the faculty will read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. The book examines how one’s mindset plays a role in learning, growth and achievement. It also reflects on our attitudes toward effort—a timely choice as the School prepares to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Effort System next school year.
The trustees have established a transition committee, which will orchestrate Taylor’s formal installation ceremony on October 10, during Reunion Weekend. “I can’t wait to return to this community where I began my career in education,” Taylor says. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve this School once again.”
Have you heard? Henry B. duPont ’86 through the Nor’easter Foundation has pledged $100,000 if 1,000 other donors will support the Trinity-Pawling Fund between now and June 30, 2015. Our community is coming together in record numbers because we understand that Trinity-Pawling is an irreplaceable, life-changing experience. When we give, we make that experience a reality for more boys.
The challenge launched last week. Hundreds of donors have joined the cause. Stay tuned on email, social media, and see who’s giving now.
We are up to the Challenge! Join in today.
Spring sports at Trinity-Pawling have kicked off in great fashion. The nice weather is finally upon us, and many teams have seen success early this spring. Baseball, under Mike Webber in his inaugural season as head coach, has got the boys rolling with key wins over Kingswood-Oxford, Westminster, and Hotchkiss. Lacrosse was able to find some offensive success as they managed to beat Canterbury 22-4. Lax narrowly lost a great all-boys school battle between the Pride and Salisbury. Track has some key contributors to the squad this year, as they look for success early on. Golf has managed to start the year 3-0, earning big wins over Kent, Hopkins, and Berkshire. They look to keep the momentum going as they head into the heart of their season. Tennis has added many new players to the team this year, and they are all battling for the top spots.
Caught on film: Pride lacrosse undertakes Judgment Day on March 25.
Visit Trinity-Pawling Athletics for more scores and details. Go Pride!
Over March break, Trinity-Pawling faculty members Tim Pillsbury and Ben Kafoglis traveled to Peru with ten students as part of the School’s service learning program. Over the course of 10 days, destinations included Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Lake Titicaca, and many sites in between. The itinerary introduced students to diverse geography, from desert to mountain to lakeside, rising from sea level up to 14,500 feet.
“We want to spark a love of travel in our students,” explains Pillsbury. “We want them to come back from trips like these with a greater understanding of the amazing breadth and diversity of experiences and cultures to be found in our globalized society. We also want to give them opportunities to serve and help others, just as we do in our school community back home.”
The highlight of the trip came at Lake Titicaca, where the team stayed for two nights in an Aymara community at Luquina village. Students lived in groups of two with generous host families. During the day they worked with community volunteers to help build a concrete path from the lake up to the local school. Nights included dancing and soccer matches.
“The trip showed me that we should always think about what life gives us instead of what life takes away from us,” says Glyn Ge ’17. “Peru will become part of my best memories. Traveling for the first time with my T-P classmates and teachers, we helped each other, and that made me feel like we are actually one large family. I learned a lot.”
Trinity-Pawling history students enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity earlier this month when they were invited to join Joseph Califano for lunch on campus. Califano served as secretary of health, education and welfare under President Carter from 1977 to 1979, during which time he implemented Title IX. He was also President Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs from 1965 to 1967. In this capacity, Califano oversaw civil rights legislation and was present in the White House during the darkest hours of the Vietnam War.
The day allowed students to ask questions about decisive moments in American history from someone who shaped and experienced them first-hand. Read the full story of Califano’s visit on the Trinity-Pawling website.
“Finishing up my first year of college, I’m really grateful for the things I learned at Trinity-Pawling: hard work, organization, giving your all to whatever job you face. I’m making this gift because I feel prepared. And ‘cause I miss the Pride. Go Blue!”
Frankie Palmer ’14 came to Trinity-Pawling as a seventh-grader and graduated in 2014 as junior prefect and three-sport varsity athlete. A day student from Wingdale, NY, he’s now the kicker for the Division I Blue Devils at Central Connecticut State University.
This year marks a significant milestone in the history of environmental stewardship at Trinity-Pawling. The School has partnered with BQ Energy to build a 1 MW solar field in nearby Patterson, NY. The field, completed in January and approximately the size of two soccer fields, will provide roughly 60 percent of Trinity-Pawling’s electricity. BQ Energy has a history of building solar fields and wind farms in New York and Massachusetts.
The reduction of fossil fuel consumption is a key component of environmental stewardship, and an investment in solar power is an opportunity to educate students about sustainability. Andy Baker ’00, physical plant director, is in the process of finalizing details for a display on campus that will provide real-time data from the system. “Showing the boys stats like the School’s electricity usage and then calculating the energy savings from this solar field is a pretty dynamic teaching tool. Plus, we’re showing the boys that we’re doing the right thing. It’s a win-win.”
Reconnect with your Pride! Young alumni are meeting up tonight (Tuesday, April 28) in New York City and in Boston on Thursday, April 30. Events begin at 6:30; Chris Gillman ’05 and Ally Baker from the School will be on site to meet and greet. No more blue blazers required, but get ready to have some fun and reconnect with your T-P brothers!
New York (tonight): Houndstooth Pub; 520 8th Avenue
Boston (April 30): Back Bay Social Club; 867 Boylston St
“I send my gift to Trinity-Pawling with thanks to Slade Mead, director of college counseling; football Coach Nick LaFontaine; and dorm parent Colleen Dealy for all they’ve done for my son, Jesse, in helping him find a good college. I am grateful for the ways in which they involved themselves in Jesse’s life. At a pivotal point, they were passionate about his future and that makes all the difference.
“Every mother has dreams for her children. Trinity-Pawling made one of my biggest dreams a reality.”
Joy Jones is the proud mother of Jesse Jones ’15, three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and track and field) and member of the Student Senate, who will attend Rowan University next fall.
Since 1990, members of the junior class have joined in a rite of passage that is distinctly Trinity-Pawling: the “Ropes Course.” Over 2,000 boys have experienced this critical component of T-P’s hallmark curriculum in leadership.
Over several weekends during the spring term, the entire junior class will participate, in groups consisting of approximately fifteen students each. Groups travel to Lakeville, CT, where they engage in a series of physically and mentally challenging activities over two days. Both low and high ropes elements are designed to foster camaraderie and prepare students for leadership positions their senior year.
Low ropes elements on the first day include games, group initiatives, and trust-building activities. On the second day, high ropes challenges take boys twenty-five to thirty feet in the air, where they learn essential skills in communication and problem solving. Each boy is encouraged to participate to the best of his ability and to examine the different forms leadership can take. Over the last twenty-five years, the program has challenged and inspired the rising seniors to accept the responsibility of school leadership and to serve as role models for younger students—with genuine results.
Each group traveling to Lakeville is hand-picked to create a cross section of the student body that would not normally be engaged in activities together. In a recent Chapel Talk, junior Kyu “Paul” Paik of Seoul, South Korea, reflected on the power of this experience, and issued an open invitation to everyone in the chapel:
“Even though there was a foot of snow on the ground, and it snowed more as we slept, I consider this to be the best thing I have ever done at T-P. I made new friends and we realized that our experience at ‘ropes’ should be our experience at T-P every day…I want to transfer this energy into my daily life at T-P. Today I am going to make a table in Scully [Dining Hall] where everyone is welcomed. I am going to sit with someone from my ropes course…Join our table. Get out of your comfort zone. Meet someone new.”
All year long, we’ve been on a mission to share more stories of Trinity-Pawling alumni—from all professions, regions of the world, and walks of life. And we’re committed to that goal going forward. Class notes are a great way to let us know what you’ve been doing, and to give a shout out to the Pride as a whole.
Seize the moment; submit online now. Our worldwide community is waiting to hear your news, your perspective, your plans for the future. Your story matters to us all!