In February, Berkshire honored several members of the community for their contributions to the School by formally dedicating spaces within the Soffer Athletic Center.
One of two basketball courts was named in honor of longtime basketball coach Peter Kinne, and his wife Lynn, the School's registrar. In announcing the naming of Kinne Court, Head of School Pieter Mulder remarked that the pair had spent a combined 71 years at Berkshire.
A large crowd of parents, students, and alumni was also on hand for the re-dedication of Duryee Court in honor of the late Bill Duryee, another longtime basketball coach. Bill's wife, Nancy, a former veteran teacher at Berkshire, was among the more than two-dozen members of both the Kinne and Duryee families who attended the event.
"Today we come together as a school to honor the legacy of two families who have touched the lives of countless Berkshire students and to acknowledge the tremendous generosity of the families who have made the new squash courts a reality within the Soffer Athletic Center," said Head of School Pieter Mulder. "It's a great day for Berkshire and for our students and coaches who benefit from the commitment and loyalty of our remarkable community."
In speaking at the dedication of Kinne Court, Billy Grace '82 explained, "When I arrived at Berkshire, the Kinnes embraced me wholeheartedly." Grace continued, "They are a large part of what made my experience so special and rewarding, and they are truly emblematic of all that is good about Berkshire."
The special day was a family affair for Burr Duryee '92, son of Bill and Nancy. "To have Debbie and my three children, Crispin, Piper and Campbell, share in a tribute to their Grandpa Billy, whom they never had the chance to meet," he said, "was an experience, I hope, that they will never forget."
Following the gym dedications, Berkshire formally recognized five families whose names now adorn the facility's new squash courts. Berkshire is tremendously grateful for the generosity of the Hamilton family, the Lee/Tenenbaum family, the Morse family, the Allen family, and the Koenigsbauer family. The generosity of these families made the new squash facility a reality.
With ten courts, the new facility allows Berkshire to host tournaments for the first time, showcasing the school and the squash program to new audiences. During the weekend of February 25-26, Berkshire welcomed 15 other teams for the 2017 NEISA Class B championship. According to Girls Varsity Coach A.J. Kohlhepp, hosting tournaments is, "a point of pride for our players who feel great about representing Berkshire and sharing this space with some of our fellow schools in New England."
As part of the Soffer Center dedication ceremony, Berkshire also hosted a professional exhibition match between former World #1 Canada's Jonathon Power and Sweden's Gustav Detter, former Trinity College national champion.
The Soffer Athletic Center, named and newly renovated thanks to the generous contributions of Jeffrey Soffer P '16, '18 and Kimberly Faze Soffer P '16, '18, opened in the fall of 2016 and, in addition to the squash courts and refurbished basketball and volleyball courts, is home to athletic training areas, locker rooms, and meeting and office spaces. The 50,000-square-foot facility also features a dance studio, a 25-foot climbing wall and a fully equipped weight training area.