School Life
Environmental Stewardship

Alumni Summit 2023

On April 14, 2023, we held the first of what we anticipate will become an annual event—the Millbrook Alumni Summit.

We welcomed more than 20 alumni back to campus to speak with students and faculty in a conference-style summit. Alumni presenters, all with careers or interests centered on stewardship of the natural world, presented on topics of their choice during three of four presentation sessions. In their free session, alums became members of the audience.

We were thrilled to welcome two keynote speakers. Rob Bierregaard '69, whose mentor was Dr. Tom Lovejoy '65, kicked off the day and spoke about his research in the Amazon and life and career since, and Hollis Stewart, a wildlife veterinarian and former Trevor Zoo apprentice, spoke in the afternoon about her earlier work with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia and current work with the Florida Panther Project.

Alumni Summit Schedule

Thursday, April 13
  • Dinner for participating alumni
Friday, April 14
  • 7:30 – Breakfast available in Casertano Hall
  • 8:30-9:10 – Opening Keynote Address, Rob Bierregaard '69
  • 9:15-10:00 – Session 1, presentation and Q&A
  • 10:15-11:00 – Session 2, presentation and Q&A
  • 11:00 – Sustainable lunch with locally sourced food
  • 12:20-1:00 – Afternoon Keynote Address, Hollis Stewart
  • 1:15 – 2:00 – Session 3, presentation and Q&A
  • 2:15 – 3:00 – Session 4, presentation and Q&A
  • 3:15 - 4:00 – Athletic practices/free time
  • 4:00-5:00 - Alumni reception & beer tasting, Anthony House
  • 5:00-on – All-school dinner with locally sourced food
  • 8:00-10:00 – Environmental film festival, Chelsea Morrison Theater
  • 9:30-10:30 – Stargazing, Turf Field
Click here to see all presentation times and locations.

Alumni Summit Keynote Speakers

Rob Bierregaard '69
Rob's passion for the natural world has always focused on birds; in fact, it was at the Trevor Zoo that he got hooked on birds of prey and became a falconer. Rob attended Yale after Millbrook, where he met Tom Lovejoy, Millbrook Class of '65. Rob’s first job in the sciences was coding Tom’s Ph.D. thesis data on birds Tom was studying in the rainforests of Brazil, and he later became Lovejoy's first field director of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments in Manaus, Brazil. He spent eight years in the field, leading this large-scale study of the effects of habitat fragmentation on tropical rainforest ecosystems.

After returning to the states, Rob worked for the World Wildlife Fund and then the Smithsonian Institution. He also taught ornithology and ecology as a distinguished visiting professor at UNC-Charlotte for 18 years. All along, he continued his interest in and research on birds, especially ospreys and barred owls. He is also the author of an awarded children's book, Belle's Journey, that tells the story of a young osprey’s first migration to South America and back.

Hollis Stewart
Hollis has been a wildlife veterinarian for over a decade, and she spends the majority of her time out in the field saving sick and dying wild animals. Millbrook School and the Trevor Zoo were fortunate to have Hollis as an attending veterinarian from July 2012-July 2013; she inspired students and zoo staff alike.

Her work since has taken her to all kinds of places, from rescuing cheetahs with Dr. Laurie Marker in Namibia to conserving panthers with the Florida Panther Project. Hollis also works with the local people whose livelihoods these animals can jeopardize.
Please reach out to Director of Alumni Relations Eliza Chapman '12 with any questions - or 845-677-8261 x134.

Millbrook's 2023 Alumni Summit Presenters

Learn more about our 2023 speakers HERE.

Peter Cook '76  Managing director, The Ashokan Center
Bridget Lawrence-Meigs '96  Farm manager, Fairfield Farm at Hotchkiss School
Hannah (Petri) Phillips '97 Manager of docents and interpreters, Saint Louis Zoo
Trevor McWilliams '01 Landscape artist, commercial & private commissions
Sierra Flanigan '05  Principal change agent, Living Lab
Jaeger Kovich '05  Golf course architect & owner, Proper Golf
Stuyvie Pierrepont '07  Vice president business development, Marsh & McLennan
Skye Flanigan '07  Director of Programs, Harvard Chan C-CHANGE
Alex Roberts '07  Reforest technician, Presidio Trust
Joanna Ehrenreich '08  Brand consultant, sustainable food & ag companies
Megan Butts '09  Veterinarian, Mid Hudson Veterinary Practice
Noah Leader '12 Product marketing, Google / Bread Alone, family-owned business
Ruby Ellery-Thornley '14  Marketing associate, Motor
Emily Keller-Coffey '14  Senior manager, Chemonomics International
Laura Mezzanotte '14  JD candidate in animal rights law, George Washington University
Harrison Bluestone '15 
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Emma Garschagen '15  Sailor and podcast host, 59 North
Alex Wattles '16 Climate change & sustainability consultant, EY
Tahrieq Koonce '17 Executive director, Be the Change Venture
Mac Grosscup '19  Student, Wake Forest University