Brad Snyder ’88 and Marc Engelsgjerd ’88 partner in children’s book publishing company


1988 snyder, engelsgjerdBrophy alumni Brad Snyder ’88 (photo right) and Marc Engelsgjerd ’88 (photo left) are launching a children’s book publishing company called “Need To Know Publishing” ( The first three titles, which came out this month, are being carried by major bookstores nationwide, including the bookstore at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The official book launch event is next week in downtown Phoenix, and it is open to the entire community. More information:

Brophy alumni and current students swim to Alcatraz

Men for Others never stops.

Click image to enlarge

1984 Ashton, Marc_alcatraz swim (wp)On Sunday, September 29th, 11 Brophy students and alumni will be embarking on a historic swim from Alcatraz. The alums and students will be the sighted guides for 3 blind swimmers as they swim the 1 ½ mile channel between Alcatraz and San Francisco in 59 degree water. The three blind swimmers, including Brophy senior, Max Ashton, will be the first ever to swim the channel in Alcatraz Invitational’s 18 year history. “I want to swim Alcatraz because I want to prove to the world to not count me out just because I can’t see like everyone else. Brophy didn’t count me out. These Brophy Alumni aren’t counting me out. I hope Harvard, Stanford and Columbia won’t count me out, either.”

The idea to swim Alcatraz came from Alumni Jim Drake ’84 who, after guiding a 12-year-old blind student rim-to-rim across the Grand Canyon in 2010, knew blind students could swim Alcatraz. “I swam it in 2009. I knew if a blind student could do Rim to Rim in a single day, he could swim Alcatraz,” said Drake, who is now Arizona’s Assistant Secretary of State. “I pitched it to Marc Ashton and here we are.” Marc Ashton ’84 is the CEO of the Foundation for Blind Children and Max’s father. “Once Jim Drake convinced me our kids could do this, I reached out to my Brophy classmates Mike Tiffany ‘84 and Tom Palmer ‘84.” Mike Tiffany, a four-time veteran of Alcatraz, and one of Max’s sighted guides was nervous at first, “Alcatraz is hard. It’s very cold. The water is very choppy and the currents are strong, but I know Max is determined. Heck, he is the youngest blind person ever to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. I’m proud to be on his team.”

“This is what Brophy instills in our students,” said Brophy Regent Tom Palmer ’84, one of Katie Cuppy’s sighted guides, “We graduated from Brophy 30 years ago, but here we are being the eyes for those without vision. Men for Others never stops.”

To follow their historic swim, please go to Foundation for Blind Children’s website

Photo left to right: Jim Drake ’84, Craig Machen ’87, Ben Drake ’17, Jim Mooney ’84, Eric Stelzer ’16, Katie Cuppy (blind swimmer), Marc Ashton ’84, Max Ashton ’14 (blind swimmer), Tom Palmer ’84 (Brophy Regent), Tanner Robinson (blind swimmer), Mike Tiffany ’84, Ed Hendricks ’87, Jim Stelzer ‘84

Peter Rutti ’89 appointed Director at architectural firm

1989 ruttiBrophy alumnus Peter Rutti ’89 was recently appointed to a Director position at Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL) in Central Phoenix. In addition to Phoenix, WRL has offices in Cleveland, Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles. The firm was ranked #1 in Sustainability, #6 Overall, by Architect Magazine in 2012.

Rutti said over email today, “…24 years later…I now overlook my alma mater from my office window. Small world!”

More about Westlake Reed Leskosky…

Philanthropy at the heart of an alumnus, Werntz ’87

1987 werntz (fb)On March 1st, Scott Werntz ’87 began a epic journey to honor his friend David Hatfield. David has been courgeously battle a rare and deadly form of Lymphoma since September 2012. His mission? Run 1,000 miles in 1 year to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in David’s name. LLS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

In 18 days, Scott ran 59.99 miles, raising $5,130. Keep up to date with Scott at

Jaime Clarke ’89 publishes novel

1989 Clarke, JaimeRoundabout Press will publish Clarke’s novel “Vernon Downs” in April 2014. Clarke wrote in an email, “I’ve always been a proponent of small press publishing and as a co-founder of the literary magazine POST ROAD, I know how hard it is to be a publisher.”

Clarke is giving all pre-order royalties directly to Roundabout to aid them in their mission to discover and promote writers and their work. “So many small publishers fail after a couple of books because they run out of money and so I’m really trying to get the word out.”

Read more…

About the Book…

“Vernon Downs is a gripping, hypnotically written and unnerving look at the dark side of literary adulation. Jaime Clarke’s tautly suspenseful novel is a cautionary tale for writers and readers alike–after finishing it, you may start to think that J.D. Salinger had the right idea after all.”
—Tom Perrotta, author of Election, Little Children, and The Leftovers