By Dominic Moross
On August 30, Ivy opened for the Fall Semester with an informal cookout that was thoroughly enjoyed by our undergraduate members, who were thrilled to be back in person. This was followed by a M y ko n o s – t h e m e d members-only event, and Lawnparties. The calmness and camaraderie within Ivy is such an important and welcome balance to the intense life of Princeton students. Perhaps the silver lining of last year is that, for many, these defining qualities of our club are appreciated more than ever.
After 22 years, our beloved Betty Rascher has decided to retire at the end of this calendar year. Betty encapsulates all the attributes of a successful Steward: patience, tough love, sensitivity, surrogate parenting (when required), confidante, part-time therapist, and occasional disciplinarian. She has been a rock for our Board, and she has impacted generations of members in whose hearts she will be warmly remembered. We shall miss Betty and wish her well in her retirement. After an impressive and thorough search process spearheaded by Governor Bill Ughetta, we chose Phil Vicino to take over as our new Steward and General Manager. Phil is a veteran of the hospitality sector and brings with him a slew of creative ideas. We are all looking forward to this next chapter in Ivy’s long history. I hope that you will be able to stop by the Club to meet Phil.
Much has been going on within and around the club, including fall bicker, which brought us 10 impressive new members. In June, we officially closed the sale of our parking lot to the University, and, with the help of Governors George Knight and Ryan Salvatore, we have begun work to create a new parking area and construct a more useful and beautiful back yard. Our Precept Room on the second floor has been handsomely renovated, thanks to the generosity of Charlie Scribner ’73 and his wife Ritchie Markoe Scribner, a cousin of Francis McAdoo ’38 in whose honor the room has been renamed. The room now has full video conferencing capability.
We always receive interesting news from our alumni, but worth highlighting are Fred Vyastel ’16 and Hannah Scott ’21, both of whom competed in the Tokyo Olympics. An interview with Fred, who won a bronze medal, is featured in this publication, and a podcast interview of Hannah is available here: (https://m. soundcloud.com/alanna-boudreau-136403602/ interview-with-olympian-hannah-scott-21).
As I reflect on the past year, the Covid period tested us all. We faced the existential threat of meeting financial commitments and juggling social pressures while having to meet the Club’s operational and maintenance needs, together with the rapidly rising number of members needing financial support. I am proud to say that, on balance, we have emerged stronger as a club with our values intact. Through the generosity of our board and graduate members, we continue to have the most generous financial aid program. When the Club was closed, we provided the highest rebate on the Street to our class of 2020, whose spring term was abruptly ended, and meaningful financial support to our loyal staff. The pandemic further highlighted the importance of friendship, keeping an open mind, and civil discourse to reach a balanced, fair assessment of all issues.
I must thank Betty and her team for successfully maneuvering us through this strange period. The enthusiasm and optimism within our club is as strong as ever. That said, we continue to face serious inflationary pressures, especially in food and labor costs, and very much rely on your graduate dues to help maintain our landmark home. If not already done, please ensure your membership is in good standing by paying your dues as soon as possible (https://theivyclub.org/graduate-member-dues/).
As we look toward the beginning of a new year, I wish you and your families a very happy and festive holiday season.