Rivalries between boarding schools in physical proximity, or that compete for the same students, manifest themselves in the obvious places- athletic competition, one-upsmanship in academics, one-upsmanship between students and alumni in perpetuity.
But, here’s an extended rivalry I’ve never seen before.
Westtown School and George School also compete annually in the Loyalty Challenge for the Machemer Cup. The Loyalty Challenge is a competition between each school’s development office and alumni body.
The best story here is that the Loyalty Challenge grows out of what we call in our neck of the woods “a house divided.”
A house divided is a family in which- husband, wife, kids- have competing loyalties to each others’ rivals- with some combination having attended rival schools or colleges. The Loyalty Challenge is sponsored by the divided house of Pam Rea Machemer (Westtown ‘64) and her spouse Paul (George School ‘65).
Here’s how it works:
“Westtown and George School are coming together again asking alumni from both schools to show their support of their school! There is a new opportunity for alumni to express their Westtown pride through the Westtown Fund — the Loyalty Challenge, sponsored by Pam Rea Machemer (Westtown ‘64) and her spouse Paul (GS ‘65), provides a competition of head-to-head class giving participation percentages. The participants include the senior class and the 20 previous years of graduates from each school. When each class is compared, the class with the highest participation percentage wins a loyalty point which, when added together, indicates the winner of the Machemer Cup.”(WS)
Current tally for the 2011-2012 Loyalty Challenge:
George School: 4