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JUNE 2017


A rear view of the three townhouses during demolition in June.

TOWNHOUSE TRANSFORMATION Students and teachers may be away from Sixteenth Street for summer vacation, but the campus is abuzz as the construction team works on dismantling and rebuilding the three townhouses. The following are a few facts about the work that is taking place this summer. • Twenty-five workers are utlizing small, electric hand hammers and saws to cut up joists and walls. • Two hundred and thirty-five tons of steel for the Townhouse Building will be transported from Canada on flatbed trucks. • A crane, erected on Sixteenth Street, will maneuver six steel columns through the windows of the Townhouses. The columns will form the main supports of the new Townhouse Building. • The Sky Field enclosure on the roof of Hunter Hall will be completed, including the installation of artificial turf. • The roof of the townhouses will come off around August 1. A webcam will then be installed to show the demolition and construction of the new Townhouse Building. • By time school opens in September, excavations for the foundations will have begun.



A Quarter of a Century Perspective


he values of a Friends Seminary education that first drew Jessica and Bill Koenigsberg to Friends in 1992 have proven to be formative and enduring. Bill reflects, “Friends has been more than just a school. It has put our family in a community with families, faculty and staff who value ethics, an inclusive community and the discipline of hard work. This has been true inside and outside the classroom. John ’04, Brian ’10, Megan ’20, Jessica and I have created meaningful bonds that we value greatly.” Following his passion for communications, Bill founded Horizon Media in 1989. As a successful entrepreneur, he has learned many lessons along the way, including the importance of learning from one’s mistakes, a key concern at Friends. Lower School head John Evans reflects, “From kindergarten through Grade 12, we focus on process, less on outcome. By doing this we create robust learners willing to experiment, take risks, make mistakes, learn and move forward.” Jessica, originally from the Netherlands, first came to the US as high school exchange

student. “My host family was Quaker,” she said. “It was my first introduction to Quakerism, which I have come to understand and value as a Friends parent.” Jessica is especially grateful for the ways Friends teaches students to be compassionate toward others, while at the same time instilling a sense of confidence to speak up for oneself and for important issues. Jessica and Bill have given generously to Friends and made a leadership gift to the Light the Future Campaign. Although the School has grown and evolved over the last 25 years, Bill observes, “The values remain strong, and it gives us a great sense of satisfaction to be able to have positive impact on a place that matters so much to our family.” Over the years, the Koenigsbergs have witnessed a steady improvement in the School’s facilities, which they believe has added to the sense of organization and strengthened the academic program. Jessica comments, “We are very excited about the Campus Redevelopment Project and believe that expansion of space will provide opportunities for the expansion of mind.”

From left: John ’04, Amanda Klein, Megan ’20, Jessica, Bill, Brian ’10, Lily O’Dare

A Gift of Gratitude

Teaching from a Higher Perspective World Language teacher Aude Singleman is thrilled to be in her new classroom on the fifth floor of Hunter Hall. Aude comments, “I am grateful that we were able to take advantage of the new spaces this year. It’s a joy teach in a modern classroom full of natural light!”

Rendering of Café ’17


t is a time-honored tradition at Friends that the senior class families—in gratitude to the School—give a collective gift to honor the graduating class. This year’s gift will be Café 17, which will be located in the new Upper School Commons and named after the Class of 2017. The Café will offer food such as bagels, muffins, fruit and snacks along with hot and cold drinks to Upper School students. The space will provide a much-needed space for the Upper School students to congregate and socialize. Alumni will be able to return to Friends at reunion or other events and enjoy their Café. Jamie Levitt, co-chair of the Senior Gift Committee said, “The Class of 2017 is excited (and a bit jealous) to give to the Upper Schoolers that follow it Café 17—a much-needed space to eat, hang out, study and collaborate.”

Rendering of entrance to new US Commons

Aude Singleman and Sylvie ’22

As a language teacher, whose students listen attentively to dialogue, Aude is especially concerned with sound. She reports that her new classroom with improved soundproofing has already created a better learning environment for her students. She cites a number of factors including better soundproofing between walls and new doors that help block noise from the hallway. Another key aspect is the installation of an integrated heating and cooling system that is significantly quieter and more efficient. When the Campus Redevelopment Project is completed in 2019, there will be subjectdedicated classrooms that will create a more immersive learning experience for students across all disciplines. Aude reflects, “I can’t wait to see spaces designed specifically for World Language instruction that will have an even better sound system, more space for writing and drawing on walls, and display materials related to our subject.”

Look what we discovered! CAMPUS REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT As of June 15, 2017, we’ve raised more than $22 million towards our goal of $29 million to fund the Campus Redevelopment Project.



AS OF JUNE 15, 2017

$29,000,000 OUR GOAL

To learn more about the Project and how you can support Friends, visit


FRIENDS SEMINARY 2 2 2 E A S T 1 6 TH S T R E E T N E W YO R K , N Y 1 0 0 0 3

During the interior demolition of the townhouses, layers of hidden wallpaper were discovered behind sheetrock. The paper showcases popular designs from the past century.

Profile for Friends Seminary

Light the Future Newsletter | June 2017  

Light the Future Newsletter | June 2017