On Tuesday, October 19 more than seventy alumni, faculty, friends, and students gathered on campus to honor the life of beloved teacher, friend, and advisor Pam Machemer. During the ceremony, a bench was dedicated to Pam’s memory, a charge led by boys’ varsity soccer player, Bill Becker ’22.
“Upon learning of Pam’s passing, I felt an urge to do something for the family, since the history between my family and the Machemer families dates back to the 1960s,” said Bill. Bill’s grandfather and Pam’s husband, Paul Machemer ’65, were George School classmates.
The location of the bench, near Walton Auditorium overlooking Machemer Field, was selected as a nod to Pam’s love of music, theater, and sports. “Everyone’s mother,” as Pam is remembered by many, was a supporter of all aspects of George School student life and was often heard laughing in the audience during theater productions or cheering on the sidelines at sporting events.
“Mom would be deeply, deeply touched by this dedication,” said Pam’s son and current George School math teacher Robert Machemer ’92. “This would have overwhelmed her in an absolutely lovely way. And it pleases me to think of her standing here, crying and smiling, and laughing her great big laugh seeing so many people, that she cared so much about, here to show their love for her.”
Bill and the boys’ soccer team launched the fundraising initiative to purchase the bench, which included donations from soccer alums and George School community members. “I thought a bench would be an appropriate way to honor Pam, who watched soccer games for decades, but also to honor Paul and Robert, whose impact on the boys’ program here has been nothing short of tremendous,” said Bill.
“I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor Pam than this bench and its placement to ensure that she can continue watching over the community and the team,” said Joe Davidyock ’91 as he spoke during the ceremony. “This bench symbolizes that you have someone in your corner watching, supporting, and pushing you to be the best you can be as she did for me and countless other students.”
The dedication event, brought together alumni and friends spanning several generations. “It was wonderful to see so many people come together to honor Pam,” said one attendee. “Pam had a way of bringing people together, and even after her passing she is still doing that. It was wonderful.”
Pam retired from George School in 2015 after forty-five years of loyal and dedicated service. She taught history, English, and mathematics. In addition, she served in the dorms and in College Counseling. Even after her retirement, Pam remained a valued presence in the community, and was usually on the sidelines at soccer games, which her husband coached for more than thirty years.
In a very fitting end to the day, the varsity boys’ soccer team defeated rival Westtown 3-2 in a double overtime match played in Pam’s memory. The team wore black arm bands with Pam’s initials (PEM) during the match.