On Friday, September 29, Berkshire honored Hans L. Carstensen III '66 as he stepped down from the Board of Trustees after 27 years of service. His wife, Terry, joined him at a celebratory dinner hosted in Berkshire Hall's atrium, along with fellow trustees, faculty, staff, and friends.
The dinner was filled with revelry and roasts, as fellow trustee and friend of 55 years Vernon Taylor '66 recalled Carstensen roping him into joining the audit committee. In facing future decisions without this longtime steward, fellow board members joked about adopting the slogan, "What would Hans do?" Amping up the playful ribbing, trustee Jim Hooper '69 passed out rubber bracelets with the motto.
Carstensen has had a 55-year-relationship with the School. In 1966, he was awarded the Berkshire Cup for having "done the most for Berkshire" as a student. He joined the board in 1990, serving and chairing numerous committees, including chair of the board from 2003 to 2010. Carstensen also served as a Reunion committee chair and on the Hail Berkshire Campaign Committee, and he's a 25-year donor to the Annual Fund.
At the dinner, Board of Trustee Chair Alice Cole '76 was quick to point out that as a trustee, "Hans's talents have shown most brightly. His perseverance, resilience, and leadership guided the board through a lofty and demanding set of goals in our long-range plan."
Among his credits, Carstensen was recognized for securing funding for major renovations and buildings on campus, as well as elevating Berkshire's talent pool of faculty and applicants. At the board meeting on Saturday following the dinner, Head of School Pieter Mulder expressed gratitude for Hans's "firm directness on what leadership is and what is required of us moving forward, even from our great position of strength."
Among his many accomplishments, Carstensen helped lead the renovation of Berkshire Hall, secured funding for the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center, recruited highly qualified faculty, raised the bar of Berkshire's applicant pool, elevated the School's financial and academic standing, and built a forward-thinking board.
At his final board meeting, Carstensen credited the entire board for their accomplishments over the last few decades. "There is no way in the world that one person could possibly do all the things you have all been kind enough to say I've done," he said. "Without everybody else here, and not here, who has had a hand in this, it never would've happened."
In honor of Carstensen's service, tremendous leadership, and to recognize his passionate commitment to building the School's financial aid endowments, Mulder announced at the dinner that a group of trustees and friends have established the Hans Carstensen '66 Scholarship Fund. In just a few short days, the fund reached a quarter of a million dollars and continues to grow, Mulder added.
Berkshire's first fully funded scholarship endowment will support the tuition needs of a talented and deserving student each year. Terry Carstensen shared that her husband's biggest concern has always been scholarship support, and they were both thrilled that the fund addresses the School's critical endowment need.