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A Letter from a GA Lifer

"As a proud “GA Lifer,” I had the pleasure of experiencing so many wonderful teachers in my
fourteen years at the Academy. The history of the school and the honor of being a student at GA were
impressed upon me at an early age. The one teacher, and best friend, with whom I spent the most time
was my father, Peter [McVeigh 1760]. Our rides from Oreland to Fort Washington, and back home at night, over those many years provided a quick chance for us to focus on the day, athletics, the studies that I was
passionate about, and a lot more time on those classes in which I struggled, or was challenged, as I
would say. I have said this before: my fourteen years at Germantown Academy prepared me for the rest
of my life. That is why my wife Denise and I are so excited that our son Jake will be entering his first year
on campus this September as a seventh grader. After I graduated my father asked me this question:
“Ian, name the three teachers who made a profound impact on you while on this campus.” I thought
about that request and besides my Dad I had to name four. 
First was Bobbie Crane. Bobbie was a tough, but fair kindergarten teacher. Her mantra, during
finger painting in Pre-K, “a little dab will do ya,” has always echoed in the back of my mind. Whether it
pertains to my business or life at home, “a little dab will do ya” reminds me that “easy does it” and “one
day at time” are lessons to live by.
My aunt Maggie [McVeigh 1760] in sixth grade had a profound impact on me because, and although I hated it at the time, she treated me like every other sixth grade student and not her nephew/godson. There were
no favorites in her room, and her mission was to make us better, and better she made us. She would tell
me that my writing needed a lot of work and in order to do that, “Ian, you must read more in your free
time.” I’ve taken that advice, and I am so thankful for it. 
Dr. Jack Pickering 1760 will go down as one of the toughest teachers/professors I have ever had. His
command of the classroom, with his presence and brilliance, was daunting. Once, when I received a C+
on an English paper, my father asked for a parent/student/teacher conference. Pete opened the
meeting by saying, “Jack, I’m not gonna lie. Ian worked his tail off on this paper, and we both thought it
was good. With all due respect, it wasn’t a C+. Ian and I spoke; he’s disappointed, but admitted he’s
having a tough time with the material.” Dr. Pickering looked at me with a wink and replied, “I’m having a
tough time with the material too, Ian. You got the highest grade in the class. Congrats.” I wasn’t too sure
what to think of that moment until a few years later. GA and its teachers have taught us to do absolutely
everything you can to give your best effort. Anything less than 100%, in anything you do in and out of
the classroom, is unacceptable.
Finally, Jim Fenerty 1760. Coach Fenerty taught a rag tag bunch of basketball players that although we
came from many different backgrounds, we were blessed with the opportunity to attend such a great
institution. He strongly felt that we were put together by God’s will to do something that would connect
us twelve young men for the rest of our lives. In giving our all, day in and day out, we’d make our school
forever proud of what we accomplished in 1992. 
Words can’t describe how excited I am that my son will soon have that “GA Experience” next
year. To say I’m jealous would be an understatement. How lucky he is. How lucky we alums all have
been to attend such a wonderful school."
-Ian J. McVeigh '92




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