In what was likely the largest group of undergrads and alumni to attend and/or participate in our annual undergrads vs. alumni Commencement Rugby match, the term “it’s not about the rugby” was never more appropriate. The Reunion classes showed up in force with the Class of 1985 (25th reunion) leading the way. The game played out as most do with a small but spirited group of seniors and a few undergrads who had stayed around campus to give the seniors a good sendoff. The rest of the squad had already split for their summer breaks in all corners of the world.

The alumni, in contrast, were at least three teams deep with many who had trained a bit for a brief trip down memory lane. Also there were some who had not planned to play but were thrilled to put in a few minutes and relive their pasts. There had to be at least 50 alumni present and a partial list is enclosed for posterity. If you were in attendance and did not get mentioned, email the writer and we will include you in the archives of this event.

Posts have been missing from the field for the last two annual matches which made the game dependent on tries (5 points each). However, for those spectators watching their sons, siblings, friends and relatives play for the first time, the field was a bit barren without posts at each end.

The match was three periods of approximately 30 minutes and the alumni won the day with a 40-25 victory. However, the winner was not clear until the alums pulled away in the third period. Weather was picture perfect and the crowd was a wonderful testament to the game and the players.

In the first 30 minutes the slow starting seniors put themselves in a deep hole with Sean Kitchner’08 scoring twice, and Adam Emerich’08 and Matt Gelb’07 each scoring once, putting 20 alumni points on the board to one try from senior Ben Mossbarger.

After a bit of soul searching, the undergrads came roaring back in the second period, with seniors Brad Arlington and Hao Li and junior Greg Karwaski each scoring to reach 20 points. But Matt Gelb’s second try kept the alums ahead 25-20.

Senior stamina gave way as the waves of alums wore the young guys down with graduates Dave Bosch’90, Simon Salgado’07 and Matt Gelb again with his “hat trick” scoring 15 points to only a single try by sophomore Taylor Peak for the undergrads.

Head coach Dave Laflamme and assistant Danny Saccoccio seamlessly handled the coaching and refereeing with trainers Kelly Teixeira and Amanda Moran doing a terrific job with tape and ice to keep the old guys on the field.

Here is a list of all of the rugby alums in attendance who “signed in”:

Bob Sedey’70, Todd Mulder’85, Jeff Turi’85, Ross Fabricant’03, Scott Adams’90, Kent Swig’83, Warren Boothman’73, Josh Lehman’09, Jabari Jason Phipps’05, Mark Odgen’85, Mike Grecky’85, Bernie Plansky’85, Jeff Margulies’07, Shawn Kitchner’07, Michael Fraser’05, Dan Levine’08, Ethan Brown’07, Gus Crothers’07, Winston Mi’09, Chris Manatis-Lornell’08, Dave Mahan’72, Matt Bubley’09, Brendan Warner’09, Kevin Chamberlain’88, Nik Logan’09, Win Bennett’09, Adam Emerich’08, Han Hui Ling’09, Sam Das’00, John McMahon’65, Nick Stoker’09, Nipon Das’95, Vikesh Sing’95, Davis Harris’80, John LeClaire’79, Murray Danforth’77, Andrew Barbour’85, Johan DeMuinck Keizer’85, Peter Cirenza’85, Andrew Smiles’90, Scott Adams’90, Patrick Moynihan’87, Jonathan Steinberg’90, Jon Nelson’90, Mike Hobey’95, Kris Whalen’95, Frank Cardin’95, Joe DiCola’73, Terry Walsh’65, Steve Kliewer’85, David Bosch’90, Paul Fitzpatrick’95, Sean Ferris’00, Ward Richmond’00, Matthew Gelb’06, Dele Atoro’09, Will Corrin’92, Jeff Stasz’07, Sam Caspersen’95

After a picture of all participants was taken, Jay Fluck’65, Director of Rugby, presented his annual player certificates and the winners of the three annual individual awards were presented.

The Class of 1991 Award, voted on by the players last fall, saw First XV Sam Rabb’10 and Rall Walsh’10 along with Second XV Dan Levine-Spound’12 awarded medals. This award is for dedication, contribution to leadership and good humor.

The Dawson Award, named in honor of Henry Martin “Tinry” Dawson’95, was created upon Tinry’s untimely death in 1996 and honors a senior who not only represents the best on the field, but also provides exceptional leadership. The winner this year is Hao Li’10

The Coach’s Award has been in existence since 1986 and is given to the best senior player and this year is awarded to Bob Forrester’10.

As the day wound down and many stayed on to reminisce and reacquaint, it was very clear that the game was very secondary to the spirit of Brown Rugby and the wonderful memories that we all carry from our years on the Brown Rugby field and within the squads with which we played.


You can see all of the Commencement 2010 rugby pictures by visiting and clicking on the Photo Gallery link. Once there, you can watch the slide show of “Spring 10 Commencement Rugby”. If you want to print or order pictures, click on the lower right hand corner of the picture border where the Picassa icon is. On the screen that emerges, click on “brownmensrugby” which will bring up all of Brown Rugby's photo albums. Then click on the album "46 - 2010 Commencement match". On the subsequent screen, click on the picture you want to print. Now click “download” and select “download photo” from the dropdown menu. Now click “open”. A full view of the picture should appear on your screen and you may print it. Alternatively, you might just want to order a number of pictures through Picassa and pay for them.


Don’t forget to save the date of October 16, 2010 when we all will gather for our 50th anniversary Gala. We play Cornell on the day with a dinner a full program at night. Make your plans and reservations now for this once in 50 years event. An invitation will be forthcoming. Also, talk to team mates and friends to be sure your class will be well represented.


In such a banner 50th Anniversary year, we have only had 58 donors out of 801 rugby alums, or 7.24%. Brown’s fiscal year for donations ends on June 30, so we are looking for your support.

In my view, annual giving is not about a few alums giving large gifts but many alums supporting the club and each other. Attached is an electronic pledge form. Please fill it out with whatever you can afford today.

It would be wonderful to see the percentage participation rise to 50% so that we are in this together. Brown Rugby will only survive with the passion and commitment of more than a few. Please help us keep the program financially strong.