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2017 Featured Founders

As part of the annual Founders’ Challenge, NMH honors both the school’s founder, Dwight L. Moody, and other members of the NMH community who have founded businesses, enterprises, or other ventures. This year's featured founders are Sam ’88 and Mariah Draper ’89 Calagione P’18, two of NMH's most successful and generous alumni.

Sam and Mariah met at Northfield Mount Hermon when Sam was a junior and Mariah was a sophomore. Though they attended different colleges and lived in different cities, their love endured, and in 1995 they founded Dogfish Head, one of the fastest growing independent breweries in the United States.

Dogfish Head aims to bring “off-centered goodness to off-centered people,” and with this Founders’ Challenge, Sam and Mariah are bringing that goodness to NMH.

Sam and Mariah tell how NMH impacted their business:

What did you learn at NMH that most affected your career?

The concept of head, heart, and hand. The DIY work ethic that still guides us today. The concept that a business can be a force for good and not just a means to material wealth: a business can connect people in a sustainable and caring community, co-workers and customers alike. In the same way that we as students give back to our school (in our workjobs when we are there, in our donations of time and money after we leave), a business has a responsibility to give back to the community within which it operates. We are proud to have that benevolence component of Dogfish Head as a major priority, and it was instilled in us during our time at NMH.

What advice would you give to current NMH students?

In the words of Miles Davis, “Don't play what is there, play what’s not there.” Miles was talking about musical notes on his trumpet. In the context of NMH, I recommend students take advantage of the awesome resources and diverse group of people that take them outside their comfort zones. If the student is an athlete, she should check out the theater program. If the student is a photography buff, he should try out for Ultimate Frisbee. Taking risks and learning from people different from yourself are the best ways to grow, and NMH offers opportunities in these realms that are second to none. You become more comfortable growing into your adult self by confronting, exploring, and learning from the stuff that makes you uncomfortable.

Why do you support NMH?
It's where we grew into ourselves.

Nhu Hoang

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Gretel Schatz, Director of the Dance program, instructs a dance student.

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.


“The best thing about NMH is the connections you make.” 


“NMH challenges students to innovate and persevere while keeping in mind the effects of our actions on the community."


“This community gives me the resources to grow as a student and discover passions I never knew I had.” 


“I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed, thanks to NMH.”


"I love the freedom I have to explore what I am passionate about."


"NMH gives us space to experiment and gradually to grow into ourselves."


"I noticed how welcoming everyone was when I first came to campus.”


“The first step to excelling at NMH is embracing your own individuality.” 


“I appreciate the bond faculty and students have at NMH.”


"The community at NMH is unlike any I’ve ever known, and for that I am grateful.”


"NMH allows me to be myself in the classroom and ensures I am an articulate, curious, and courageous student.”


“I was initially surprised by how relaxed, yet academic, the environment is."


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”