Gesta Nostrum - Our Stories

Boys' Latin has earned the noteworthy distinction of turning great young boys into wonderful and accomplished young men.  Since 1844, Boys' Latin has educated statesmen, soldiers, research scientists, doctors, lawyers, journalists, intellectuals, artists and businessmen.  We are proud to share Gesta Nostrum - Our Stories.

David Brotman - Class of 2007

After graduating from Fairfield University in 2011, David Brotman, Boys' Latin Class of 2007 alumnus, received news that will count among the highlights of his life: He was named a Fulbright Scholar.

His Fairfield studies laid the groundwork for a medical research endeavor that will take him to Switzerland next month. There, the Baltimore, Maryland native will conduct research at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne using two unique Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methods to explore the blood vessels which exit the heart and supply the brain with oxygen rich blood.

"I will be specifically looking at atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid arteries, which contribute to stroke and heart disease," said Brotman, who was a student in Fairfield's College of Arts & Sciences. "It is my hope that my research will provide information which will contribute to finding new modalities to help decrease stroke and heart attacks among people worldwide."

Brotman and Sarah Borton, who graduated in 2010 and has been awarded a Fulbright to Cyprus, bring Fairfield's number of Fulbright recipients to 59 in the past 18 years. Borton, who played field hockey for the Stags, will research the role of women in conflict resolution through Hands Across the Divide, a bi-communal women's organization, and through the Cyprus Hockey Association. (Visit fairfield.edu/press/pr_index.html?id=3144)

Janie Leatherman, Ph.D., director of the International Studies Program and professor of politics at Fairfield, said Fulbrighters are among "the best and brightest of their generation," with heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, university presidents, and Nobel Prize winners among its alumni. "That so many Fulbrighters have come from Fairfield University speaks highly of the professional development and faculty mentoring of students on campus, and their intellectual and personal commitments to be of service to others that is so much a part of the Fairfield tradition," said Dr. Leatherman, who directs the Fulbright program at the university.

Brotman, 23, graduated cum laude with a degree in physics and a minor in mathematics. An important undergraduate opportunity helped pave the way to the scholarship and whet Brotman's appetite to study abroad. Under Fairfield Professor David Winn's guidance, he was among a group of students who travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to work on a project concerning proton particles and the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator.

While at Fairfield, Brotman also learned the value - and untapped potential - of MRIs to explore the human body. Unlike X-Rays that can do damage inside the body, MRIs are a harmless, non-invasive technique to detect illnesses in people and conduct research, he said. This fascinated him.

It was Matthew Coleman, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, and Jack Beal, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering, who recommended Brotman for the Fulbright. "Instead of taking the undergraduate course in partial differential equations, David happily chose to dive right into the graduate level course," Dr. Coleman remarked. "He was quite successful, and I'm sure that his willingness to be challenged, and his resulting interaction with graduate student classmates from various fields, will serve him well in his research endeavors."

Beal calls Brotman "different than the usual physics major." He explained that Brotman was really interested in how the field of study could extend into biomedical/biophysical topics. "He carried out internships working with a group at Yale in the fields of biophysics and software development for biomedical applications," Beal noted.

In between classes at Fairfield, Brotman performed research on the heart using MRI with Yale School of Medicine faculty member Dr. Smita Sampath. This research led him to further explore other areas of disease concerning the heart.

Brotman didn't have to look far to learn that a life in the sciences could be a fulfilling one. His father, Steven, earned both a M.D. and a J.D. and works in the field of medical imaging. His mother, Patricia, is a retired pathologist.

"Through my experiences and various interactions as a Fulbright grantee, I look forward to making long lasting relationships and forging future opportunities for international collaboration in the near future," shared Brotman, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. "I was very excited upon hearing that I was selected, and can only imagine the experiences and opportunities that this grant affords me. My family was also surprised and thrilled."  Learn more...

Tommy Bonn - Class of 2009

Tommy Bonn earned high honors throughout his Boys’ Latin career and served with distinction as the valedictorian of the Class of 2009. Described by many as a Renaissance man, Tommy was selected as National Merit Scholar Finalist, and earned the top score of 5 on each of his 8 AP Exams thereby qualifying him as an AP Scholar with Distinction. In addition, Tommy authored his first play, Fountain of Dreams, which became the Boys’ Latin Theater department’s Senior Production in the spring 2009 and wrote a book of 100 poems to fulfill his Senior Internship requirement. Tommy is an undergraduate at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland pursuing the Great Books program of study.

Andrew Thaler - Class of 2003
Andrew Thaler first became interested in Marine Biology as a Boys’ Latin student intern at Baltimore’s National Aquarium. Andrew served as an Aquarist Assistant rearing seahorses, an experience he describes as “my first real chance to design my own experiments.” This research was part of the Syngnathid Breeding Program, and some of the seahorses Andrew bred are still swimming around aquariums throughout the world. Soon thereafter, Andrew spent a semester during his junior year at The Island School in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. These experiences set the stage for Andrew’s matriculation at Duke University and his decision to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology. Andrew graduated from Duke in 2003 with a B.S. in Biology and is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the prestigious Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. 
Andrew's current research is in the structure of populations of deep-sea organisms from hydrothermal vent near Papua New Guinea. He also writes for the popular science blog Southern Fried Science (southernfriedscience.com). 

 David Marcus - Class of 1988

David Marcus graduated as co-valedictorian of the Boys’ Latin Class of 1988. David also distinguished himself at Boys’ Latin by being voted “Most Accident Prone” by his classmates! David Marcus is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. He is a Senior Writer for The Deal.com, a publication principally for corporation lawyers and financiers (bankers, arbitrageurs, venture capitalists) in the United States and Europe. David reports on mergers and acquisitions (a lot of action takes place in the Delaware Courts), on shareholder litigation and corporate governance. David insists he doesn’t write the headlines to his own articles, but the way multi-billion dollar deals come to sound like celebrity gossip has all the marks of Marcus wit: “Goldman Dines at Friendly’s,”  "Blackstone accused of cold feet,” “Restless in Wilmington,” “LeBoeuf, Dewey to tie knot,” and the flirtatious, “Curtis Mallett gives Flextronics a buzz.” One does not need to be a heavy student of current economics to enjoy, “Bear should expect no sympathy.
When David is not writing, he is writing. He covers men’s lacrosse for the Princeton Alumni Weekly. In his four years at Princeton, David was Manager for the men’s lacrosse team, a role he was prepared for by four years as Coach Shriver’s lacrosse team manager at Boys’ Latin. David may be among the lacrosse world’s most knowledgeable non-players—“often wrong, never in doubt.” David also writes stories and reviews on whatever interests him (a piece on a website for Dante scholars, a story on the new Robert Hollander translation of Paradiso, a profile of Princeton Lax coach Bill Tierney).
When David is not covering mergers and acquisitions or men’s lacrosse, he is writing a book on American worship practice. This project was begun when Marcus noticed a sign down the block from his Brooklyn apartment. He didn’t know what Greek Melkite Catholic meant so on Palm Sunday he went in. Since then he has been visiting all kinds of church services in what he calls, “my experiment in religious voyeurism.”

The book, for which Marcus seeks an agent and a publisher, is part history, part cultural geography, part sociology, and six year personal quest.

“I wanted to experience what people of various denominations hear, see, and touch when they go to church. I was curious about the history of religious observance: when hymns were composed, how liturgies were written and translated (or, in the case of much American Protestantism, abandoned entirely), how church interiors came to look the way they do. I wondered how religions change, how the composer of Cats could unseat Charles Wesley in the musical program of a Methodist church.”

When David is not writing, he is reading. His classmates and friends joke about his “Proust Period” or “that Gibbons Roman Empire thing.” When will he get past Shelby Foote?   Ariosto, Cervantes, DeLillo—if it catches his eye, he devours it. When David is (finally) neither writing or reading or watching lacrosse, he is eating. He will advise you on restaurants from New York to New Orleans to Paris. David is into cuisine, not grub. But if you want the best pizza in NYC? DiFara in Midwood, Brooklyn. “Not to dis the Greek places in Astoria.”

Keiffer Mitchell, Jr.- Class of 1985  

Keiffer Mitchell now serves as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the  44th Legislative District.  Baltimore native Keiffer Jackson Mitchell, Jr. was born into a tradition of public service. His great grandmother, Lillie Jackson, led the NAACP's fight against segregation in Baltimore. His grandfather, Clarence Mitchell, Jr. was a civil rights trailblazer whose sense of social justice strongly influenced several Presidents. Juanita Mitchell, his grandmother, was the first black female attorney in the state of Maryland. And Parren Mitchell, his uncle, was the first African-American elected to the U.S. Congress from Maryland.

Keiffer’s interest in politics was evident very early in his life.  When he was three years old, he took part in his first political campaign, handing out flyers for the State Senate bid of his uncle, Clarence Mitchell III. His mother, Nanette, later told a magazine writer, "We didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't Clarence's district."  At age seven, Keiffer found himself chatting on the phone with President Gerald Ford who had called the Mitchell home to ask his grandfather to represent the United States at the U.N. These experiences helped spark Keiffer’s future activism.  At age twelve, while attending Baltimore's Boys' Latin School, he organized a "Kids-for-Carter" campaign. And as an undergraduate at Emory University, Keiffer volunteered at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta and demonstrated against the Ku Klux Klan in rural Georgia.

After graduating from Emory with a degree in political science, Keiffer went on to the District of Columbia School of Law, receiving his law degree in 1994. Outside of the classroom, he served as a White House intern during the Clinton Administration and as a law clerk for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Keiffer describes his employment with the Maryland Public Defender's Office and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as "tremendous learning experiences [about] how government works and how to make it work better.”

In 1995, Keiffer returned to his alma mater, Boys' Latin School, to teach classes in United States History, African-American History and Maryland History. In that same year, he was elected to the Baltimore City Council, serving as Chair of the Education and Human Resources Committee and Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee.  Both of these assignments were reflective of two of his primary concerns – education and public safety in Baltimore City.

As lead sponsor of the bill that created the Urban Education Reform Commission, he spearheaded efforts to replace jurisdictional squabbling over the school system with genuine accountability. Keiffer successfully fought for and secured a $3 million investment in modern computers for City schools. He also sought fiscal responsibility from our school system. When schools faced a looming fiscal crisis, a local paper dubbed Keiffer the "Man with the Plan" based on his leadership in securing a $42 million loan to the school system.  That loan has since been paid in full.

The impact of crime and drugs on once thriving neighborhoods led Keiffer to take a simple, but direct approach. Early one morning, he arrived at one of the city's most notorious drug corners with a card table, a pad of paper and a small placard reading Office of Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr.  He recalled that he was struck “by the young people caught up in drug use and trafficking that desperately wanted to get out but didn't know how." More than twenty people signed up for drug counseling that same day. Keiffer continued to set up his open-air office on other corners of the city throughout his tenure as a Council member.  At times he was joined by experts in job training, health care and senior services.

In 2000, Keiffer served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles and was appointed Chair of Baltimore's Human Services Commission. Two years later, he was re-elected to the City Council, named to the Democratic State Central Committee and appointed 2nd Vice-Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Keiffer left Boys' Latin in 2002 to complete his own financial education with the A.G. Edwards brokerage firm and later with Harbor Bank. After learning the ropes as a teller, he moved up to a key post in marketing and development. A longtime opponent of predatory lending, the position helped him appreciate "the challenge of financing new business in under-served areas of the city."

Encouraging business and community development has long been part of Keiffer's agenda. As Chair of the City Council's Tax and Finance Committee, he played a key role in structuring the tax package for the redevelopment of Mondawmin Mall as well as major projects in Charles Village, Locust Point, Harborview and elsewhere. His sponsorship of a lien release program enabled community development organizations to rehabilitate vacant, blighted properties. As an active and engaged member of the Baltimore City Council, Keiffer also took an uncompromising stand against decisions he believed ran "counter to the best interest of the community," from the city's investment in a Convention Center hotel to automatic salary increases for elected officials.

Keiffer was re-elected to his third Council term in 2004 and served as a member of the Judiciary and Legislative Committee as well as the Education, Housing, Health and Human Services Committee. In 1999 and in 2005, he was voted Baltimore's "Best Politician" by the City Paper.

In 2007, Keiffer returned to the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street, one of the initial sites of his "Take Back the Streets" campaign, to announce his candidacy for the Mayor of Baltimore. While the campaign did not result in being elected Mayor, Keiffer was successful in calling attention to serious public safety issues that existed in the City at that time as well as the persistent ethics issues and lack of transparency that had plagued city government in recent years.

From 2007 to 2010, Keiffer continued his efforts to support small business through his work at Wachovia Bank as a Small Business Banking Officer. Most recently, he founded the Mitchell London Group, LLC, to provide strategic counsel and advice to businesses and non-profits regarding government and community affairs.He was also recently appointed as a lecturer in the Political Science Department of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Keiffer remains an active member of his community, serving on the Board of Trustees at the Boys' Latin School and the Echo Hill Outdoor School Board.  He also serves on the boards for The Family Tree and Habitat for Humanity. Keiffer is a lifelong parishioner at Sharp Street United Methodist Church. He lives in Baltimore's historic Bolton Hill where he serves on the board of his neighborhood organization – Mount Royal Improvement Association.

Keiffer is married to childhood friend Nicole Kramer.  They are the proud parents of son Jack, age 8 and daughter Kenna, age 6. 

 










 

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