Honoring Twiggs: A Living Legend
A celebration for a living legend kicks off Reunion Weekend 2012 on May 11. Faculty, students and trustees in attendance will be on hand as the lobby of Berkshire Hall, the school’s crown jewel, will be dedicated to longtime teacher and coach Twiggs Myers. Mr. Myers, who taught here from 1953 to 1995, is today the school’s archivist and a member of the Berkshire’s Board of Trustees.
The son of a Philadelphia attorney, Mr. Myers attended Haverford School and Princeton University, then entered Harvard Law School. But one year in Cambridge was enough, and in the summer of 1953 he drove across the state in hopes of getting a teaching job at a small boys’ boarding school on a former farm in Sheffield.
In those days Berkshire had a student body of 150 and a faculty of 18 men, most unmarried, and one female, who taught art. Berkshire Hall was here, of course, and old Allen, and Chase House, and Senior House. A new gym, today Geier Library, had just been built. But Eipper, De Windt, Godman, Spurr, and Buck dormitories didn’t dot the campus landscape, and the idea of a separate building for math and science was as foreign a concept then as putting a man on the moon.
Upon arriving on campus, Twiggs was sent up a trail to assistant headmaster Art Chase, who interviewed him while clearing brush. Twiggs got the job and taught history under the Mountain for the next 42 years. Because he was named after his great great grandfather, David Emmanel Twiggs, a Confederate general from Georgia, it is not surprising that Twiggs’s specialty was the Civil War.
Twiggs’s accomplishments at Berkshire were many: among them, longtime chair of Berkshire’s history department….housemaster in Allen and Buck….coach of the ski and track teams…and, in 1966, founder of the school’s cross-country running program. In 1994, his final fall as coach, Twiggs racked up his two hundredth victory in the sport.
On the occasion of its 25th reunion, the Class of 1957, whose members Twiggs entered Berkshire with in 1953, named him an honorary member of the class and in 1995, Twiggs was named Honorary Distinguished Alumnus, the school’s highest honor. Several members of that class will return for their 55th reunion, with their former teacher and honorary classmate the star of the show.
The dedication will be streamed live on the website. To watch, please click here at 11:30 AM on Friday, May 11.
We have created a forum on the website to collect stories about Twiggs. To read or to submit your own anecdote, click here.
-- James Harris, Director of Communications