Andover magazine - Winter 2019

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A POINT OF LIGHT Remembering George H.W. Bush ’42

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PA Giving Day 3.27.19




12 Alumni Award of Distinction

Four honorees reflect on their formative high school years and the truth of finis origine pendet. 14 Pipe Dreams

The love of music, performance, and students fuels Abbey Siegfried, school organist and musical director.

10 7

16 A Point of Light

Student, soldier, statesman. Andover remembers the life of President George H.W. Bush ’42 and the many lessons he imparted.

DEPARTMENTS: From the Head of School 3| Dateline Andover 6| The World Comes to Andover 9| Sports Talk 10| The Buzz 30| Alumni Calendar 31| Andover Bookshelf 32| Class Notes 33| In Memoriam 78| End Note 82|

26 On Merit Alone

Why the Academy community is rallying to safeguard needblind admission for students today—and tomorrow.

CLOSE-UPS: Dick Durrance II ’61: Through the Eyes of a Soldier 48| Kristina Guild Douglass ’02: Searching for Answers in Madagascar 70|

28 Enduring Connections

Two Knowledge & Goodness campaign gifts highlight the Andover ties that bind.

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Andover | Winter 2019



WINTER 2019 Volume 112, Number 2 PUBLISHER Tracy M. Sweet EDITOR Allyson Irish DESIGNER Ken Puleo ASSOCIATE EDITOR Rita Savard CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, Matthew Bellico, Nancy Hitchcock, Barbara Landis Chase, Allen Lessels ©2019 Phillips Academy, Andover, MA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

“A Secret Life in Letters” (fall 2018) reminded me of a talk that English instructor Dudley Fitts gave to the school in 1965, after T.S. Eliot’s death. I obtained a tape of that talk, which was, well, memorable. In addition to reading from Eliot’s work in his inimitable voice, Fitts reminisced. Among those reminiscences was the story of an occasion when Fitts disagreed with—perhaps disparaged—an interpretation of an Eliot poem advanced in class by one of his students. The next day, the student raised his hand and, when recognized, said something on the order of: “Mr. Fitts, T.S. Eliot said to tell you that you are all wet.” Fitts sheepishly admitted that he told the student to leave the class only to discover later that day or the next that, indeed, Eliot had said that his interpretation of the poem was “all wet.” Fitts explained that, during visits to Ms. Hale, Eliot would occasionally give readings at Abbot, but that, due to his agent’s concerns, they would receive rather indirect publicity, such as: “J. Alfred Prufrock will read from his poems on Wednesday at 4 p.m.”

Steve Burbank ’64 Trustee Emeritus

Andover, the magazine of Phillips Academy, is published four times a year by the Office of Communication at Phillips Academy, 180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810-4161. Main PA phone: 978-749-4000 Changes of address and death notices: 978-749-4269 Phillips Academy website: Andover magazine phone: 978-749-4677 Email: Periodicals postage paid at Andover MA and additional mailing offices. Postmasters: Send address changes to Phillips Academy 180 Main Street Andover MA 01810-4161 ISSN-0735-5718


Andover | Winter 2019

Jill Clerkin

Letters to the Editor Policy Andover magazine welcomes letters of 200 or fewer words from members of the Andover and Abbot communities addressing topics that have been discussed in the magazine. Letters will be edited for clarity, length, and civility. Opinions expressed in the Letters to the Editor section do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the editorial staff or of Phillips Academy.

A Peek into the Past A hard-hat tour near the midpoint of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library’s 15-month renovation revealed excellent progress to date—as well as an interesting structural relic. Exposed in the attic (looking east toward Pearson Hall) is the library’s original interior roofline. Designed by architect Charles Platt, the OWHL was completed in 1929. During its 1987 expansion, a new roof was constructed over the old one. The reimagined OWHL, slated to open in late August, will house the Tang Institute, quadruple the size of The Nest makerspace, and provide adaptable, interactive teaching spaces—all while preserving the building’s rich history and beloved Freeman, Dole, and Garver rooms.



In the days following the passing of George H.W. Bush ’42, I found myself pausing longer than usual to admire the White House tree he gave to Andover in 1989 to commemorate 200 years since George Washington’s visit to campus. I paused in Flagstaff Courtyard, the American flag at half-mast. I thought about the depths of President Bush’s service and leadership, and continued to those campus places that contribute to an expansive view of his lifelong devotion to non sibi. I made my way to the Trustees Room in George Washington Hall where George Bush’s name is engraved on the wall, honoring 17 years as a charter and alumni trustee. Not only was he a strong voice in the boardroom, he was accessible outside those oak-paneled walls and never missed a chance to represent his school. Remembering the president after his death, as so many did on social media, an Andover parent recalled a chance encounter: “We met 41 at a @phillipsacademy event insecure about our son leaving home. #GHWB reassured us and shared the positives of boarding school as a student and parent. We were touched how he instantly related to and supported us.” His manner as a trustee was a refined version of his fair-minded, inquisitive nature as a student. An affable leader and accomplished student-athlete, he was the senior who looked after underclassmen during an era when bullying sometimes went unchecked. He was the confident voice for good in the room. On September 30, 2015, he returned to the Trustees Room with Barbara Bush. After joining us at All-School Meeting, the former first couple enjoyed lunch with our Bush Scholars. At 91 years old, the president was eager as ever to hear their stories. As you’ll see on page 25, there are many Bush Scholars who are grateful for his correspondence to them and for his steadfast belief in the rising generations. I asked the president if there was anything else he’d like to do before departing. A visit to the baseball field? Of course! With a

cool mist in the air, we took a golf cart from G.W. to Phelps Park. His eyes grew wide as the field came into view. The president’s love of the game is well known, from Andover to Yale to Texas, but former Big Blue pitcher Owen Tripp ’97 had a special sense of just how deep that affection ran. His tweets captured their interaction on the bench: “On a cool, early New England spring day, he came to watch his former team play. Rather than sitting in the stands, he asked if he could sit with the players in the dugout…We sat next to each other and talked about the flow of the game, the defensive positioning, and the movement of runners on the bases…I watched how he treated people with kindness and genuine curiosity. He seemed incredibly present with the game, the fans, and the feeling of being alive for that very moment.” The field was vacant when we arrived on that fall day in 2015; still, President Bush was overjoyed to revisit a place that had shaped his Andover experience. Growing reflective during what would turn out to be his final visit to campus, he shared, “The lessons learned and the relationships forged here have meant so much throughout my full and adventurous life. I could wish nothing more for every student who is blessed to walk this campus.” I will forever be inspired by President Bush’s devotion to Andover and his heartfelt interest in the lives of students across generations. What an extraordinary privilege to have shared that special day with President and Mrs. Bush, and for so many in our extended community to have known him as a friend, a classmate, a fellow veteran, and our country’s 41st president.

I will forever be inspired by President Bush’s devotion to Andover and his heartfelt interest in the lives of students across generations.


John G. Palfrey P’21

Andover | Winter 2019


Sunset Serenade A gorgeous pink sunset was the backdrop for this drone photo taken in early January. With the Memorial Bell Tower in the foreground, Bishop House is aglow in the center.


Andover | Winter 2019

Jessie Wallner

Andover | Winter 2019



Two Alumni Among 2018 Nobel Laureates


Introducing the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies This past fall Andover introduced its newest academic department. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies aims to strengthen the school’s commitment to integrative learning and foster greater connections across the curriculum around topics of identity. In addition to supporting faculty efforts to create new experiences for students, the department is hosting a public presentation series and “ped-pods,” opportunities for faculty to gather in small groups to share teaching methods, challenges, and innovative approaches. David Fox, instructor in English and art history, is chair of the new department. Fox says the subject matter and teaching methods will touch on Andover’s strategic principles of creativity, empathy, equity, inclusion, and innovation. “Good integrative learning demands that students interrogate what they are learning as well as how and why they are learning it,” said Fox. “Such interrogation lies at the heart of a liberatory approach to education and fosters the skills and dispositions of discernment that students need to become thoughtful and engaged citizens of the world.”

Ilustrations: Niklas Elmehed. Copyright: Nobel Media AB 2018

The 2018 Nobel Prize winners included not one, but two, Andover alums (and one from Exeter too!). George Smith ’58 and William Nordhaus ’59 were honored last October by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for groundbreaking work in the fields of chemistry and economics, respectively. Smith, Curators Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, was among a trio of researchers honored. His research, described as “harnessing the power of evolution,” has led to the production of new antibodies used to cure metastatic cancer and counteract autoimmune diseases. The honor for Nordhaus is a reminder that the Andover-Exeter rivalry is not always cantankerous; it can also lead to some positive collaboration. Nordhaus, a professor at Yale University, and Paul Romer PEA’73, a professor at New York University, received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for designing methods to address some of society’s most fundamental and pressing issues: long-term sustainable growth in the global economy and the welfare of the world’s population.

Congratulations to Lisa Joel, who will become PA’s next director of athletics this summer. A veteran faculty member, varsity coach, and director of enrollment management, Joel brings to the position an exceptional skillset honed during 26 years of working with students, families, and colleagues. “I look forward to continuing to develop an athletic program that emphasizes skill-building as much as character and team culture,” she said. Currently the director of enrollment management in the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, Joel is also the liaison to varsity coaches and coordinator of the postgraduate program. As head coach of girls’ varsity soccer since 1998, she has worked with hundreds of Andover athletes, guiding their individual growth and team development. A graduate of Amherst College, where she captained the women’s soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams, Joel twice earned the Friends of Amherst Athletics award, given to the scholar-athlete who contributes most to team and college. Joel follows a string of legendary coaches and educators who have served as AD during the past three decades. She will succeed current AD Leon Modeste who is retiring from PA in June after 32 years at the Academy. Previously, Mike Kuta (2007–2014) and Martha Fenton ’83 (2000–2007) served in the role and remain current members of the Department of Physical Education.

—David Fox, Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies


Andover | Winter 2019

Jill Clerkin

Jessie Wallner

“Good integrative learning demands that students interrogate what they are learning as well as how and why they are learning it.”

CHECKMATE Meet One of America’s Top Female Chess Players

Carissa Yip photo/John Gillooly

Her focus is sharp and steady. Her hand, intentional and swift. It has to be. Because the world spread out before Carissa Yip ’21’s fingertips holds complex characters in an all-out war replete with conflict, death, and victory—and this 15-year-old rules it all. At age 10, Yip became the youngest female chess player to beat a “grandmaster.” At 11, she won the title of youngest American girl to become a national master. And her winning streak continues. Last year, Yip crushed the competition at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship; she now has her sights set on the 2019 U.S. Women’s Championship, making it her third trip to the prestigious tournament. “The best thing about chess is that it’s an intellectual game,” says Yip. “It’s a battle of the minds, and there’s always a certain satisfaction in winning—and feeling like you’ve outsmarted your opponent.” A day student from Andover, Yip was 7 when her father taught her how to play the game. Within a year, she was beating him and at age 9 was named the youngest U.S. Chess Federation expert in history. Much like her favorite piece on the board—the queen—Yip is positioned to go anywhere she wants. Her next move? Maybe becoming the U.S. Women’s champion and, quite possibly, the World Women’s champion. Her proudest moment to date, she says, is winning the title of co-champ in the 2015 World Youth Championship. She enjoyed that, “partially because it was my first international title,” she explains, “and partially because it was my first time realizing I could compete with the best in the world.” —Rita Savard

David Fricke

Andover field hockey continued its dominance in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council this past fall winning its third New England Class A title in four years. The team finished with a perfect 17–0 record, sealing their championship with a 2–1 win over Hotchkiss in November. Boys’ swimming and diving had a dramatic open to their 2018–2019 season, setting a new national high school record. During their first race of the first meet, Jack Warden ’19, Neil Simpson ’19, Lance Freiman ’19, and Arnold Su ’20 swam for 1:41.15 for the 200 Medley Relay in short-course meters. Andover’s time beat the previous record of 1:43.97 held by the Baylor School of Tennessee.

David Fox


Big Blue for the Win

Andover | Winter 2019



Davis Scholars Aim for Global Impact Since 2008, 219 students—including 49 Andover alumni—have benefited from the Davis International Scholars Program. This unique program aims to enhance the global and socioeconomic diversity at U.S. boarding schools by providing funds for high school and post-secondary education. At a special 10th anniversary celebration last fall, students from Phillips Acdemy and the five other affiliated high schools (Emma Willard, Lawrenceville, Taft, Westminster, and Milton Academy) held a three-day conference to connect with other students and alumni, and celebrate the success of the program.

Bob Falcetti

Current Davis Scholars, back row: Manqoba Ngcobo ’19, Kotryna Andriuskeviciute ’20, Misha Bilokur ’20, Zakeiya Yusuf ’21, Irura Nyiha ’20, Igor Barakaiev ’20; Front row: Lance Odden ’57, Davis Scholars coordinator; Olwethu Ngubo ’21; Mariana Kovalik Silva ’20; Emily Ho ’20; Andreea Procopan ’19; and Jill Thompson, Andover director of admission.


Neil Evans


Andover | Winter 2019

Andover recently explored this question through the Addison Gallery of American Art, taking part in the country’s largest public art project. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s paintings of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—the national “For Freedoms” project uses art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values. Founded by artists Eric Gottesman ’94 and Hank Willis Thomas, the 50-state, nonpartisan civic engagement project aimed to deepen respectful public discourse on civic issues and core values. More than 800 members of the Andover community and visitors responded with handwritten signs dotting the lawn of the Addison Gallery. Popular themes included: Freedom to Love, Freedom to Be Me, Freedom from Stereotypes, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Choice, Freedom to Cry, and Freedom to Fail. “This was an incredibly empowering project, giving voice to all,” said Judith Dolkart, the Mary Stripp & R. Crosby Kemper Director of the Addison. “The signs proved an interesting way to involve the community in a process of thinking about principles that they find important for a vibrant community and democracy.”



mong the many notable visitors to Andover this past fall, the following speakers enlightened the community on subjects ranging from mental illness to immigration to achieving Olympic success.

Personalizing the Immigration Crisis

Immigration, a topic of continual political debate, is the subject of a new book by Valeria Luiselli who presented “Humanizing the Immigration Crisis” to the campus community. Luiselli’s book, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, is based on her experience as a U.S. immigration translator. Luiselli, who lives in New York City, was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa, and India. Book critic John Powers has said of the author, “Not surprisingly…her first three books…are bursting with ideas on dislocation, national identity, and knowing where you belong.”

Diversity and Inclusion— More than Just Buzz Words

Increasingly common topics in corporations and educational institutions, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of Anthony Jack’s research. A sociologist and assistant professor of education at Harvard University, Jack has been cited by news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and WBUR. His PA presentation “Paradox of the Privileged Poor” is also the theme of his most recent book, The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students.

Mental Health Advocate Empowers PA Community

Hakeem Rahim, an internationally recognized mental health advocate, shared his personal story of success and failure during All-School Meeting. Rahim earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard and two master’s degrees from Columbia University; he also published a book, Magenta Your Conscience. Despite this success, Rahim says his biggest accomplishment is accepting who he is and sharing his experience. “I am not my meds nor my doctor appointments. I am not bipolar—I am acceptance, I am Hakeem Rahim.”

Olympian Serves Pointers to Students

A Brazilian Olympic medalist in beach volleyball, Monica Rodrigues visited campus for a week this past fall to work with the varsity and JV volleyball teams. Rodrigues won the silver medal in the 1996 inaugural beach volleyball competition in Atlanta. Now a professional player, coach, and educator in Brazil, Rodrigues spoke about her athletic career and how sports can empower all, especially women and girls.

Encouraging Discomfort in Academia

Free speech on academic campuses is critical because it provides an arena from which to learn how to confront complex challenges in all aspects of society. So posited University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer in a conversation with Head of School John Palfrey P’21. In 2016, a letter from the Universary of Chicago dean to incoming students set off a national maelstrom as the letter eschewed the trend toward trigger warnings and safe spaces on campus, arguing instead that academic institutions should be a place where individuals confront and respectfully discuss different perspectives.

Activist Educates on LGBTQ History

Bringing queer history to life, activist and educator Sarah Prager is the author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World and the creator of Quist, a free app for youth about LGBTQ history. Prager kicked off the 30th anniversary celebration for Andover’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). Among Prager’s accomplishments and awards, she was named one of 13 Red Hot Entrepreneurs by GO magazine and was invited to the White House in 2013 to discuss LGBTQ tech issues.

Professor Offers New View on Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is one of the most famous U.S. judges and one of the most widely cited U.S. Supreme Court justices in history. In a recent talk at PA, John M. Kang, a professor of law at St. Thomas University, discussed the research behind his new book, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Fixations of Manliness. Kang’s thesis is that Holmes, obsessed with manliness or physical bravery, stressed that it took courage to protect our free speech and to maintain a civilized society.

Family Drama and Other Topics

Author Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, Everything Here Is Beautiful, landed on numerous best seller lists, including Goodreads Choice Awards 2018. Her book is a cross-cultural family drama about two sisters who struggle with one’s mental illness. Issues of sisterly devotion, immigration, marriage, interracial relationships, health care, and the bonds of love punctuate the book and formed the basis of Lee’s talk on campus, along with a discussion about the writing process. —Nancy Hitchcock

Andover | Winter 2019



SPORT by Allen Lessels A bunch of teenagers running around in a field. Probably barefoot. Wearing tie-dyed T-shirts. That’s the image most folks back in his ski village hometown of Waitsfield, Vt., have of his chosen sport, figures Chris Ward ’19. Not everyone, he knows, completely gets ultimate—once known as ultimate Frisbee—a disc-throwing sport admired by a growing number of participants and followers for the value it places on sportsmanship, camaraderie, and athleticism. “They don’t understand how competitive it can be,” Ward says. “That doesn’t always come across.” Ward and his teammates emphatically deny this laid-back, hippy image. This is not your father’s Frisbee. Phillips Academy Ultimate goes by the nickname Blue Steel. The coed team started as a club and was elevated to varsity status in 2006, due in large part to the hard work and dedication of coach Scott Hoenig, who also teaches mathematics. Ultimate features seven-on-seven games with handlers and cutters. Handlers are like quarterbacks and specialize in throwing the disc; cutters act similar to football receivers as they work to get open and help the team advance the disc and score. “I feel like it’s a combination of every sport I’ve ever loved,” says Blue Steel team member Isaiah Lee ’19.


Andover | Winter 2019

“I love the fluid nature of it, the way plays can develop one after another, with seemingly no stops or starts, says Lee. “The art of throwing and catching a disc is something separate from any other ball sport, but it still has the same sort of movement of basketball or the strategy of something like football and soccer where you work as a team to move the disc down the field.” Lee and Ward will captain Blue Steel in spring 2019 and look forward to continuing the team’s success, which includes a New England Prep School Ultimate League Championship in 2017 and sending a steady stream of athletes on to play in college and beyond on various semi-pro, national, and elite teams. A sampling of PA ultimate alumni includes Piper Curtis ’13, who played women’s soccer and ultimate at Dartmouth College. Curtis won two national championships with Dartmouth and competed on the U20 and U24 USA National teams that won world championships. Charlotte Doran ’13 played at Vanderbilt and now competes with Boston Siege, and Jonah Guerin ’07 went to the Division III National Championships while playing at Connecticut College; he is now operations manager at the Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance. Ben Feng ’07 played at Georgetown and on semi-pro and elite teams, coached national championship youth club teams, and covered the 2018 National Club Championships in San Diego as a journalist. Coach Hoenig and his wife, Jennifer, have long lived the ultimate life. The couple played ultimate together at Bowdoin College and after that with various club teams in Portland, Maine, and in Boston. Their boys, ages 11 and 7, are playing now.



Players, Coaches, Fans Love the Spirit of the Game

Primer for Ultimate Newbies

• The sport is played seven on seven and the goal is to advance the disc—called a disc basically because Frisbee is a trademarked term—down the field and into the end zone. • As in football, the end zone is the promised land and by getting there, you score a point for your team. Games typically go to 15 points, unless the game hits a time limit first. • The disc must arrive in the end zone by air. Ultimate is a passing game; advancing the disc by running is strictly prohibited. Photos by David Fricke

“They like throwing the disc and being active outside with other kids—they have a lot of fun with it,” Hoenig says. “It’s cool that my boys have the opportunity to play at such a young age.” Hoenig not only passes along ultimate strategy to his boys, but Ready to huck, also likes that they are learning some of the unique aspects of hammer, the sport, with its emphasis on and flick? sportsmanship and camaraderie. Ultimate is There are no referees in games or tournaments. Players must the sport settle their differences and make for you! rulings on their own. It’s one of the things that Hoenig and Leon Modeste, PA football coach and director of athletics, say they love about ultimate. “Players have to know the rules,” Hoenig says. “We go over them every day. They have to make calls on the field and trust their opponent is doing their best to make fair calls as well. Players have to be able to keep a calm head if there are disagreements. Coaches are not allowed to interfere.” “It’s a great game that requires lots of athleticism, cardio, strategy, and everything else we love,” says Modeste. “And it doesn’t have officials. Instead of looking to officials for calls, ultimate is more like, ‘You take this one, we’ll take the next one.’ It’s fantastic.” Modeste calls ultimate “a beautiful game to watch.” He’ll get no argument from Ward, Lee, or any other Blue Steel alum. “I love it,” says Feng. “Playing ultimate was one of the best decisions of my life.” 

Ready to huck, hammer, and flick? Or perhaps making a cut and laying out is more your style? Ultimate includes all of the above. And more.

• Huck, hammer, backhand, and flick are all terms for throwing the disc. A backhand is probably the first way you threw a disc and the most common. A flick is a forehand throw. A hammer is thrown over the head. A huck is a long throw. • Handlers are the throwers of the discs. Cutters are the players who make their moves and try to get free for passes • Here’s another thing to know about ultimate: as much as points, scoring, and wins are sought after, so too are Spirit of the Game awards, which are voted on by fellow competitors and given to the team in a game or tournament that best exemplifies respect, adherence to the rules, and sportsmanship.

Andover | Winter 2019



Honorees Reflect on Formative High School Years by Allyson Irish

Tamar Szabó Gendler ’83 ENJOY THE JOURNEY


Andover | Winter 2019

Andrea H. Chermayeff

ale University’s inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Tamar Szabó Gendler is a noted educator and researcher whose work combines philosophy, psychology, and other social sciences. Her father, Rabbi Everett Gendler, was a long-serving chaplain at Andover and Gendler recalled many happy hours spent playing in Cochran Chapel as a child in her father’s office. “I have spent my life as a teacher,” Gendler said, using her All-School Meeting speech as more of a seminar, asking students to consider a theme in Homer’s Odyssey. “We should treat every moment as if it were simultaneously a step along a path to our destination and as if it were the destination itself,” Gendler said. While on campus, Gendler met with the director of the Tang Institute, attended two classes, and was interviewed for a PA podcast. “Think of this as you leave this room when you walk along the paths of this glorious campus,” she stated. “They are taking you somewhere. At every moment on the journey do not lose sight of the fact that there is somewhere else that you want to go. But at each moment along the path notice the beauty of where you are. This is the moment you are here. This is now.”

Peter Chermayeff ’53 NURTURING IDEAS eter Chermayeff arrived on the Andover campus in the fall of 1949. A wide-eyed 13-year-old, he described himself as an outlier who was often teased for his small stature. “I was quite uncertain about what was in store for me in this bastion of high expectations,” he said. But all was not horrible in high school. Chermayeff developed a strong relationship with his Will Hall house counselors, Audrey and Diz Bensley, and eventually assisted his photography teacher in making slide tapes that he called an “important nursery for future ideas.” Introduced at the AAAD ceremony by his great niece, Su Chermayeff ’21, the internationally-renowned architect discussed his career designing aquariums all over the world, including the New England Aquarium in Boston, which opened in 1969. Chermayeff spent time on campus touring the Addison Gallery, meeting with students in a visual studies and an architecture class, and being interviewed (by daughter Maro Chermayeff ’80, a noted filmmaker who received the 2015 AAAD award) for a PA podcast. “Many might say that stubborn tenacity in pursuit of an idea is crazy when the results are so likely to be disappointing,” he said. “But I would posit that the pursuit of an idea is everything, and I thank PA for being a nurturing place and an early builder of confidence.”

Finis origine pendet. It can be difficult for students to imagine “the end” when they are smack dab in the middle of their Andover experience. Yet this is exactly what Andover’s motto calls them to do and what the recipients of the Andover Alumni Award of Distinction (AAAD) so succinctly exemplify each year. Looking back at their high school experiences, the four 2018 AAAD recipients all recognized how the quality of their education, the strength of their friendships, and the counsel of their teachers and other important adults played a pivotal important role in shaping their lives and careers. As AAAD committee vice chair Chris Auguste ’76 so clearly articulated, “Nary a day goes by that I don’t think of the good fortune that I had from attending Andover.”

presidential historian and author, Michael Beschloss traces his passion for history back to his high school. “I owe a lot of what I have done professionally to the excellence of the Andover history department,” Beschloss said. A regular columnist for the New York Times and the author of 10 best-selling books, including Presidents of War, Beschloss recalled several history classes that were fundamental to his nascent career, including Families, Schools, and Police taught by former headmaster Ted Sizer. Beschloss recounted: “The course was scheduled at the start of the morning and Sizer did not find the students to be very awake or alert, so he moved the location for the duration of the course to his house, with a buffet breakfast always served; the rate of attendance and attention suddenly soared.” During his recent visit to campus, Beschloss met with members of The Phillipian staff and members of the history and social science department. He also led an evening discussion titled “The Ethical Responsibility of a Historian in the Age of Disillusionment.” “When I think of Andover, I think of excellence from beginning to end—faculty, students, campus, aspiration,” he said. “There is no better school of its kind on earth, and that means that all of us lucky enough to go there have a large obligation to show gratitude for that experience by what we do later in life.”

Since 2012,

27 Phillips Academy and Abbot alumni/ae have been recognized with the AAAD.


Eileen Christelow ’61 KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS n award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, Eileen Christelow said her love of writing blossomed at Abbot Academy under her “wonderful” English teacher Barbara Sisson. Though she initially disliked the all-girls school, she grew to enjoy her time at Abbot and the rigorous, traditional curriculum. Christelow recalled many of the arbitrary Abbot rules of the late 1950s, including the requirement to dress formally for dinner and the restriction on slacks for girls, unless it was Saturday. Once a year, Abbot girls and Phillips Academy boys had a coed dance where the students were paired by height. “So,” she exclaimed, “if you didn’t meet the guy of your dreams who happened to be the same height, too bad!” During her visit to campus this past fall, Christelow met with students in a drawing class, was interviewed for an Andover podcast, and read from her children’s books, including Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, for a Graham Hall story time. Though initially drawn to writing, Christelow found herself interested in architecture and photography in college, eventually combining all of her talents into a career as an author/illustrator. “I think all of life is like this,” she said. “You see something that interests you and you ask the question: ‘How can I do that?’ Keep asking the questions.” 

Andover | Winter 2019


by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe


bbey Siegfried was 8 years old when her grandparents bought a mobile home to travel in during their retirement. Before selling all their earthly possessions, they gave each of their children one object from their childhood home. Siegfried’s mother got a 1980s electronic organ. The story goes that once Siegfried started playing, that was that. Today, Siegfried is the school organist; conductor of the Fidelio Society and the Phillips Academy Chorus; a music department faculty member; faculty advisor to the a cappella groups and the Academy Gospel Choir; musical director for Academy musicals; a house counselor; and liaison to the Abbot Academy Fund. She is also the recipient of the F.C. Robertson Instructorship.


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Tell me about your childhood. I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa—a university town. My parents were both educators, both doctorates. My dad is an environmental scientist who helped write the Clean Water Act. My mom wound up in educational administration. The University of Iowa has a big music program, so I was thrust into all sorts of big situations early. I took lessons with people affiliated with the graduate program, and, in middle school, I was playing for the doctoral seminars. Were you ever intimidated? The thing that the organ teaches you, because it’s so big and so loud, is that you can never be afraid. If you make a mistake, everybody can hear it. It’s an awesome metaphor. What inspired you to become a teacher? I always say that I love music—obviously, I’m a musician—but I love people more than I love music. I could have followed a performance trajectory, but for me, there always has to be a human connection. Which teacher inspired you most? My teacher in Germany, Zsigmond Szathmary. [As the winner of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, Siegfried attended the University of Music in Freiburg, Germany.] He was Hungarian and he fled Hungary right after World War II, before the Iron Curtain went down. His career was centered on new music, and he premiered all kinds of new pieces by European composers. I played a lot of contemporary music with him, and I became very

Photos by John Gillooly

“The thing that the organ teaches you, because it’s so big and so loud, is that you can never be afraid. If you make a mistake, everybody can hear it. It’s an awesome metaphor.”

passionate about it, especially championing music by American composers. I try to do the same with the choirs here. The organ is such a historic instrument and you’re always burdened by history with it. My teacher liberated it and made it something new. What’s the first piece you remember playing, mastering, and falling in love with? When I was young, my teacher was very good about letting me play pop music in addition to classical music. I played the classical pieces every organist starts on, like Bach’s Little Preludes and Fugues, but I also played Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Huey Lewis’s “The Power of Love” from Back to the Future. Happiest teaching moment? Tuesday nights here in the chorus room. It’s electric. It’s loud and there’s energy bouncing off the walls. Every night that I conduct, I leave happy. Toughest teaching moment? Grappling with the plot of Ragtime with the cast. I had the most phenomenal discussions with those students about the fact that while this story takes place in the early 1900s, all of the issues it wrestles with are present in our lives today: racism, immigration, the power dynamics of class. The students had to act some really ugly characters and stories, but they made it OK for each other, the heroes and the villains. They held each other through that process. Favorite place on campus? Walking into Cochran Chapel in the morning when no one’s here. There’s a stillness and a

quiet. I like to imagine that this was the place where all the boys used to gather—and now it is the place where everybody gathers. You get to invite three Andover people to a dinner party. Who do you invite? What do you talk about? Carl Pfatteicher, the first official school organist. He’s kind of considered the grandfather of the music department. Sue Lloyd. She did many things at Abbot and Andover, but chief among them was music teacher and conductor of Fidelio. Fidelio came from Abbot and is an Abbot tradition. And finally, William Thomas, who was a beloved faculty emeritus and former music department chair. I never got to meet him. I would talk to them about what music meant for students at Andover and Abbot and then the merged Andover. How do you juggle the many roles you have on campus? Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that I love it all. I’m in a place in my life where I’m just happy to be doing what I’m doing. And that’s kind of the gift of Andover. What have you learned from your students? That everyone has a story. That every story is worth taking the time to get to know. And that there is hope for the world. 

To watch a video of Siegfried playing the organ, visit

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Photos courtesy of George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, John Gillooly, Phillips Academy Archives, The Phillipian, Jessie Wallner, and Dave White

A POINT OF LIGHT Looking back on milestones and memories of

George H.W. Bush ’42  Long before he became the 41st President of the United States, before his name was synonymous with global politics, “Poppy” Bush was a lanky first-year student at Andover, racing between classes, pulling all-nighters studying, and struggling to survive the rigors of American history and Latin. Bush himself regularly noted that his first year at Andover “tested his grit,” but he rolled up his sleeves, dove into schoolwork, and by the second year began to find his footing. In a 1989 visit to campus, Bush, reflected on his high school days: “I loved those years. They did indeed teach the great and real business of living…its lessons of honesty, selflessness…and the importance of friendships.” When Bush died on November 30, 2018, those whose lives he touched at Andover—old friends and new—shared their thoughts in an outpouring of letters, emails, and social media tributes, reflecting not on the politics of the man but on the important life lessons he imparted—lessons we all can learn from. by Rita Savard & Allyson Irish

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“The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.” —George H.W. Bush ’42

 LESSON 1: Above all things, be kind “Leave the kid alone.” In September 1941, those words saved Bruce Gelb ’45’s hide. Hazing new boys was common then, and Gelb, a “newbie” on his way to lunch, was singled out by an upperclassman who demanded Gelb perform the impossible—move an oversized lounge chair from the lawn to a dorm room. When the bulky piece of furniture wouldn’t budge, Gelb’s right arm was pinned behind his back and his tormentor started applying painful pressure. Gelb, who shared the vivid memory with a film crew for the documentary 41 on 41, said Bush, who happened to be walking by, wasn’t having any of it. By that time, Bush was captain of the baseball and soccer teams and had earned a reputation among his peers for being tough on the field but also a caring friend and mentor to many. On Bush’s order, Gelb was immediately released. When Gelb asked who had come to his aid, someone replied “Poppy Bush…the best guy in the school.” In Bush, Gelb added, “I had a hero, who has been a hero for my whole life.” Those who knew him at Andover said these small acts of kindness defined Bush’s character—a winning combination of grit and grace. Following a bumpy first year, one of Bush’s most demanding instructors, American history teacher Dr. Arthur Burr Darling, became a favorite mentor. Bush also discovered a home away from home on the athletic fields and, with that, acquired a second family among his coaches and fellow classmates— many of whom relied on Bush as a shoulder to lean on when the going got tough. When retracing Andover’s memorable ’41 season for an article in Soccer America magazine, writer Brian O’Connor interviewed Bush’s beloved coach, the late Frank “Deke” DiClemente. “You hear so much garbage about this so-called leadership quality, but George led his team by example,” DiClemente said. “He practiced hard, he played hard, and he engaged the competition. He was a very slight kid, over six feet tall and skinny, like a 1-iron, but with remarkable drive.”

While having dinner with President Bush, presidential historian Michael Beschloss ’73 asked him why he was so particularly close to Andover. Bush said that by the time he got to Yale, after World War II, he was married and had a son. “He didn’t get to know his college classmates as well as his Andover pals and coaches,” said Beschloss. “There’s a good chance that if he hadn’t gone to Andover, he never would have become president,” Beschloss said. “Not only did it shape his values, but it was at PA that he decided to sign up for the Navy, which led to World War II heroism that helped lead to his success as a political candidate.”


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 LESSON 2: Act with courage June 12, 1942, was Bush’s 18th birthday, his high school graduation, and the day he chose to answer the nation’s call to service by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Bush eventually became the youngest naval aviator at the time to earn his wings. The following essay was written and published in the fall 2011 issue of Andover magazine for its tribute feature story, “Andover remembers World War II.” I distinctly remember December 7, 1941. I recall walking across the campus there at Andover with several friends when we heard the news—and like everyone, I remember feeling stunned that someone would attack our country. President Roosevelt had navigated America along a course of neutrality, trying to keep us out of the building conflagration in both Europe and Asia. Pearl Harbor settled that policy debate with horrific clarity, erasing any question of whether we could remain above the fray. Feelings of shock, of course, soon gave way to a national sense of outrage—and a determination by millions of Americans to do their part to defeat the aggressors. Another sentiment soon took hold, too—that of patriotism as our nation came together as never before and built the wartime infrastructure necessary to defeat fascism. I recall how a beautiful young girl named Barbara Pierce of Rye, New York, did her part during the war working in a factory as a “Rosie the Riveter.” Six months after Pearl Harbor, I received my diploma at Andover. Secretary of War [and Andover board president] Henry Stimson, himself an Andover grad, delivered the commencement address. He told members of my class that the coming war would be a long one, and though America needed fighting men, we would better serve our country by getting more education before getting in uniform. By then, I had already decided that college would have to wait. Given my love of the sea dating back to my earliest childhood summers spent in Maine, I was determined to become a naval aviator—and the sooner I could enlist, the better. Still, after the graduation ceremony, my father approached me in the crowded hallway outside the auditorium. Dad was an imposing figure at six feet four inches, with deep-set blue-gray eyes and a resonant voice. My respect for him was complete. “George,” he said, “did the Secretary say anything to change your

Ever the Navy man, Bush wrote a letter in March 2014 about Lt. Cmdr. Erik Kristensen ’91, a Navy SEAL who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. In the letter, which was given to Kristensen’s parents during an Andover event to honor their son, Bush wrote: “Today it is said that we have no heroes. Not so! We do have heroes, and Erik—an American of clear purpose who put service ahead of self—is a hero in the truest sense of the word.”

“There can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. Find something to do. Get off the bench. Don’t sit there whining, sucking your thumb. Get in the game.” —George H.W. Bush ’42

“I met President Bush in 1987 when he and Mrs. Bush visited Phoenix. I was the Commander of the Arizona Air National Guard and responsible for meeting VIPs at the Air Guard facility in Phoenix. In addition to the Andover connection, I had also flown single-engine carrier aircraft for the Navy about 15 years later than President Bush’s wartime service. We had a lively conversation.” —John Almquist ’50

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mind?” “No, sir,” I replied. “I am going in.” Dad nodded and shook my hand. On my 18th birthday, I went to Boston and was sworn into the Navy as a Seaman Second Class. Not long thereafter, Dad took me to Penn Station to put me on a railway coach headed south to North Carolina and pre-flight training. As we parted ways that day, it was the only time I ever saw my father shed a tear. Driving this decision to forego college and join the war effort immediately, I am sure, was my Dad’s own service in World War I—but there was more to it. I was also heeding the Andover motto, Non Sibi, and as I say, our country was united. United in outrage, to be sure, but united also in a noble purpose to defend our homeland and defeat the forces of fascist imperialism that threatened the world. There wasn’t anything unusual about this decision, mind you. Millions of Americans put their lives on hold to serve their country and selflessly placed themselves in harm’s way. Far, far too many of them never came home to their families. Together with the martyrs of freedom at Pearl Harbor, they gave that last full measure of devotion so that America and our allies might remain free. May Almighty God bless their memory so that future generations understand both the blessings and burdens of liberty.

 LESSON 3: Always say thank you “The time he spent writing countless letters to so many people shows a deep commitment to public service.” —Caleb Warren ’68

Baseball glove used by Bush at Yale


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Never underestimate the power of friendship. Whether in good times or bad, Bush came back to this credo time and again. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re President of the United States or a senior at Phillips Academy or just beginning here…friendships matter,” Bush said to a crowd assembled on the Great Lawn in November 1989 during the Bicentennial Convocation commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s visit to Andover. “The friendships you make here last you for the rest of your life, and I’m grateful for that...I’ll go back to work tomorrow feeling uplifted in knowing that I have the friendships that really make a difference.” Nurturing those friendships was high on Bush’s

Forty years after Mort Dunn ’44 played against Bush and the Yale baseball team, Dunn was honored in Connecticut for a lifetime of coaching. Bush heard the news and put pen to paper. “On this evening, when countless friends gather to salute your years of coaching American Legion baseball, I want to extend my warmest best wishes,” Bush wrote. “I think back to our college years when we played baseball against one another. My senior year, you and your Harvard team beat us Yalies 2–0 in what was one of the best college games people had seen in years. Playing baseball was a real treat for both of us. You made sure to pass the favor on to others. Congratulations for helping so many young men develop their baseball skills and love of sport, qualities which inevitably transform them with a life’s supply of self-confidence, courage, and sportsmanship…”



1. Answering questions from students reporting for WPAA radio • 1987 2. Head of School John Palfrey and wife Catherine Carter with Barbara and George following a surprise All-School Meeting visit • 2015 3. On a visit with former Head of School Ted Sizer (center) • 1981 4. Bush often noted his favorite part of returning to PA was meeting with students • 1981


5. At home again in the classroom • 1973 6. An old-school selfie with Maria Elias-Williams ’82 • 1997 3



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BUSH SCHOLAR RECALLS VISIT WITH 41 It was a warm, sunny fall day. The perfect kind of day to skip school and take off to the beach. For Tantum “Teddy” Collins ’08, his visit with President George H.W. Bush in Kennebunkport that September 25, 2007, was a defining moment in his Andover experience and a memory he will cherish for the rest of his life. The 2007–2008 school president, Collins was also a Bush Scholar that year. David Chase was Andover’s director of stewardship at the time and had chosen the bright and affable Collins to visit the president with him and represent the scholarship students. With his interest in Chinese language and penchant for cufflinks, the youngster was sure to get along with President and Mrs. Bush. The visit included a seaside lunch at Barnacle Billy’s, a tour of the Bush compound at Walker’s Point, and a gift set of presidential cufflinks. According to Collins, the experience was like a scene out of a Michael Bay action film, complete with Secret Service agents and an “exhilarating and somewhat terrifying” ride on the president’s speedboat, Fidelity III. Reflecting on the visit after the death of President Bush, Collins says what he remembers most was how down to earth and kind the political giant was. “What he wanted to talk about, really, was what is life like at PA these days. He really was this very genuine, very considerate person. He seemed like someone who was curious about people and curious about the world.”


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priority list, as evidenced by the thousands of notes and letters he wrote over the course of his life. Even after becoming president, Bush was known for retreating to his private study where, between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m., he would write. To friends, political allies, even strangers. The missives were an opportunity to show appreciation, spill some kindness into the world, make friends across borders, and sustain relationships across land and time. Politics is a battle over the dividing line of conflict. In a two-party system, strong wills can test friendships— and sometimes break them. Caleb Warren ’68 said a difference in political ideology post-high school prompted his father, George “Red Dog” Warren ’42, to pull back from his lifelong friend. The two Georges were best buddies growing up together in Greenwich, Conn. When Warren’s father suffered financial ruin in the stock market crash of 1929, Bush’s father, Prescott, contributed to Warren’s private elementary school tuition so the friends could stay together. The boys then both attended Andover. They were PA roommates and ushers in each other’s weddings. But years later, when Bush was running for president, a fierce difference in political views changed their relationship. Warren declined the invitation to Bush’s inauguration and often, Caleb said, spoke negatively about Bush to the press. On Warren’s 80th birthday, he was in the latter stages of Parkinson’s Disease. A mutual friend relayed news of Warren’s birthday to Bush, who put pen to paper in celebration of his old pal and to salve old wounds. The letter was read aloud at Warren’s birthday party. “It was gracious, friendly, even loving,” Caleb said. Following Warren’s death, Caleb received a letter of his own, filled with warm sentiments and fun anecdotes about his father. “It speaks volumes about the way he treated friends and, whether you agree with his politics or not, the time he spent writing countless letters to so many people shows a deep commitment to public service.” One letter at a time, Bush left behind something of himself that was tangible. Something to remember for always.

PATCHED WITH PRIDE Calling George H.W. Bush “perhaps the most iconic figure” to ever don the Andover baseball uniform, coach Kevin Graber plans to celebrate the president’s legacy on the ballfield with a special varsity team patch. The commemorative patch, designed by Graber, will make its debut on the team’s jerseys for their season opener against Bridgeton Academy on Saturday, April 6. It’s no secret Bush loved Andover’s ballfield, which he made a point of visiting anytime he returned to campus. “I think perhaps visiting our baseball diamond brought back fond memories from his youth out there on the field with his best friends, in that uniform, representing the school he loved so much,” Graber said. “That’s what I hoped to capture with the sleeve patch—not so much the presidential Bush, but the teenage, boyish, baseball-playing Bush in that uniform he loved so much. I think he would’ve really enjoyed that.” Bush captained the 1942 baseball team and earned praise in The Phillipian as “a very dependable hitter and a really slick fielder.” At Yale, he led the Bulldogs to back-to-back trips to the College World Series; the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas, is named in Bush’s honor. During what would be his final visit to campus in 2015, Bush once again visited the diamond where he met Richie Ciufo ’16 who was alone on the field, hitting off a tee. Bush shared anecdotes from his own baseball days, and signed Ciufo’s bat. “Honoring President Bush on our uniforms seemed like such a natural because he is so closely associated with our program,” Graber said. “It’s also a very cool opportunity to connect our current players with the tradition and history of the program.”

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‘I FEEL BLESSED TO HAVE KNOWN HIM’ by Barbara Landis Chase, 14th Head of School I met George H.W. Bush in the fall of 1994, soon after I arrived at Andover as the new head of school. The Bushes had invited me to Walker’s Point, where they welcomed me warmly. We chatted about family, about the Maine the Bushes loved, and about Andover, to which they were both devoted. Some male alumni were not convinced that choosing a woman to lead PA was a good idea, but George Bush was not one of them. Among the many traits I came to admire in him were his fundamental fairness, his openness, his genuine curiosity about people and how he saw the best in them, and his loyalty to important institutions. All of those virtues were evident on that first visit; others revealed themselves over the years. On a surprise visit to campus in the spring of 1996, he and I went to watch baseball and softball games. The students were delighted to meet the former president and Andover athlete. Bush chatted enthusiastically and posed for photos. I was a jogger then and so was the president. He had brought workout clothes, and together we ran laps in Case Memorial Cage as bystanders cheered us on. It was Grandparents’ Weekend and President Bush offered to join my husband, David, and me for a reception in the Addison Gallery. As we walked under the Elm Arch and neared the Addison, President Bush stopped suddenly and recalled that we were at the very spot where he had first heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, nearly 55 years before. It was as if he were reliving the moment, and we felt honored to share it. After a few moments, we walked on to join the grandparents reception. Bush introduced himself as the “man married to the most famous woman in the world” and added that he and Barbara were now “big into the grandparent business.” The crowd loved it. Years later, while I was visiting with the president in his Houston office, he


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“This largeness of spirit—the ability to forgive, to empathize, to work together—were part of the man’s fundamental makeup.” told me a story that would become a vivid and unforgettable memory. He had recently traveled to Chichi Jima, the island near which he had been shot down in 1944. There, he met with Nobuaki Iwatake, who had grown up in Hawaii and held dual U.S. and Japanese citizenship. Conscripted into the Japanese Army in 1941 while visiting Japan, Iwatake was stationed on Chichi Jima—there, he had secretly come to the aid of an American prisoner. He also witnessed the downing of Bush’s plane and his rescue by the U.S. submarine Finback. The president wanted to thank Iwatake for

caring for the American prisoner (who happened to be a Texan) and simply to meet him all those years later as a sort of closure. In a similar vein, just a month after his inauguration, President Bush had chosen to lead the American delegation to Japan for Emperor Hirohito’s funeral. George H.W. Bush, the man and the president, saw the need for old enemies to come together, to forgive, to forge a path forward peaceably. Old grievances should be set aside. This largeness of spirit—the ability to forgive, to empathize, to work together—were part of the man’s fundamental makeup. His passion to serve, his courage and loyalty, his keen intelligence—as well as his wonderful sense of humor—these were what I admired most about George H.W. Bush. I feel blessed to have known him.

 LESSON 4 Give something back Bush never paid lip service to the idea of giving back. He walked the walk, going as far as to join forces with former political foes to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 tsunamis in Southeast Asia. “Points of Light” was first heard by the world in Bush’s 1988 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. The phrase, used to emphasize the president’s vision of volunteerism, materialized into the Points of Light Foundation in 1990. Today, the nonprofit has become the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. His penchant for giving back started at Andover. During his senior year, Bush presided over the Society of Inquiry, which was founded in 1833 as a student religious organization. The students collected more than $3,000 and donated it to the Red Cross and the Andover Guild. After graduation, Bush served as alumni trustee from 1963 to 1966 and charter trustee from 1967 to 1980; he was the national honorary chair of Campaign Andover from 1996 to 2002. In 1989, Bush honored the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s campus visit by gifting the school with a tree planted along the path between the Addison Gallery of American Art and the Great Lawn. Bush regularly wrote to admitted students from Texas, encouraging the youngsters to “say yes to Andover!” He also wrote to recipients of the George H.W. Bush Scholarship, a fund set up as a surprise for his 60th Reunion. The scholarship looks to “encourage the example his life represents” by providing financial assistance to students who have an academic record of high achievement, qualities of outstanding character, and leadership potential. During his final visit to campus in September 2015, the president met with seven Bush scholars, including awestruck first-year student Jenni Lawson ’19 (photo below). “It’s definitely empowering and inspiring to know that at age 14, someone like George Bush believes in you and thinks you have leadership potential to accomplish great things in life. That has been intense motivation going through my time at Andover,” Lawson says. 

“We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose other than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light…” —George H.W. Bush ’42

GEORGE H.W. BUSH SCHOLARSHIP The George H.W. Bush Scholarship was established in 2002 as a surprise for the 41st president’s 60th Reunion. The scholarship was announced during the annual alumni meeting by fellow Texan and close friend David M. Underwood ’54, then president of the board of trustees. In response to the establishment of the fund, Bush wrote to then Head of School Barbara Landis Chase: “I am truly honored by the scholarship. So many so-called ‘honors’ are not that at all. This one is truly an honor.” Now in its 17th year, the scholarship has benefited 55 students, many of whom received personal notes from the president.

A bronze sculpture cast by Chas Fagan ’84 depicts Bush in flight gear as a young WWII Navy aviator. The artwork was purchased by Oscar Tang ’56 in 2011 during a fundraising auction for scholarships and re-donated to the Academy.

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On Merit Alone

Securing the Future of Need-Blind Admission Anthony Minickiello ’20 will never forget walking across the Andover campus on a warm late summer afternoon. He had moved in early to French House and was meeting with his cross-country team for the first time. “I realized that there was no one else in sight,” says Anthony, who hails from Swanzey, N.H. “For a few seconds I stopped walking, overcome by the magnitude of the place. The brick buildings, the Great Lawn rolling and green before me, the Bell Tower. “I began to grasp the tradition that Andover represents, and I realized that I was now part of it. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life.” It was a defining moment as well—and as for many other students, it wouldn’t have occurred without financial aid. Anthony, like 47 percent of his classmates, receives a scholarship grant. The Academy’s investment in this vital priority is significant, with total financial assistance rising to nearly $24 million this academic year. This level 26

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of support ensures that Andover remains the only boarding school in the nation to offer need-blind admission—enabling the Academy to accept the world’s most promising students, regardless of their families’ ability to afford tuition. During the Knowledge & Goodness campaign, Andover aims to endow 80 percent of its student aid program, a considerable jump from the current level of approximately 60 percent. Meeting that ambitious goal will help guarantee need-blind admission in perpetuity.

“ My scholarship means that I’m able to pursue a challenging educational path that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.” ANTHONY MINICKIELLO ’20, Phelps Scholar

The Academy aspired to need-blind admission in the 1960s and 1980s, but the efforts proved financially unsustainable. As the cost of an Andover education rises, the current policy could be placed in jeopardy without the proper funding.

so many others. We are building the foundation of something very special here.”

Flanagan views such financial aid gifts as “intrinsically tied” to the school’s non sibi values: “Andover has an impressive reputation, but with that comes a big responsibility. Need-blind admission is the Academy’s way of walking the walk. We must guarantee that any talented student can apply to Andover and then attend based on their merits alone.”

For students like Anthony Minickiello, that journey is just beginning. “My scholarship means that I’m able to pursue a challenging educational path that wouldn’t be possible otherwise,” he says. “The depth of my gratitude is difficult to articulate. But I understand the responsibility inherent in the Andover experience—to use this gift to help others.” 

More than 20 new scholarships have been established since the launch of Knowledge & Goodness. Over 3,750 Andover alumni, parents, faculty, and staff have made gifts of all sizes to financial aid as well.

Make a difference at Or contact Nicole Cherubini, director of development, at 978-749-4288 or

Photos by Yoon Byun

Donors like Sean Flanagan ’84, P’21, are working to safeguard the Academy’s distinctive commitment for future generations. “Need-blind admission changes the trajectory of families’ lives,” says Flanagan, who recently established an endowed scholarship. “We wanted to pave the way for one very deserving student to attend Andover, and for that to happen each and every year.”

While need-blind admission becomes more secure with each additional endowed scholarship, there will always be the need for annual donors to close the financial aid funding gap that exists every year.


Sandra Sanchez ’00 is one such loyal supporter. She’s a past scholarship recipient herself and has given to student aid each of the past four years. “I donate because my scholarship meant so much to me and because I want to help other students get the same chance to attend Andover,” says Sanchez. “Every annual gift helps. It all adds up to something much greater.”


There is also an exponential impact to this generosity that extends well beyond Andover. “In the coming decades these students will graduate and contribute to our society in unbelievable ways,” explains Flanagan. “The lives we touch at the Academy will in turn touch


Consecutive years of need-blind admission Students who rely on financial assistance


Average grant for returning students


Endowed scholarship funds


Loans issued by Andover

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Enduring Connections Latest Campaign Investments Highlight the Andover Ties that Bind One gift was forged by a formative experience, the other by ideals that reverberate across generations. Both Knowledge & Goodness campaign commitments will spark new opportunities for self-expression— and speak to the ways campus connections can grow stronger with time.

Energizing Andover’s “Public Purpose” Andover Bread Loaf has transformed lives since its founding in 1987, and now a transformative gift will permanently endow the literacy and language arts outreach program.

Gil Talbot

The $4 million donation arrived from one of the initiative’s first student volunteers, Keith Flaherty ’89, who ventured into local classrooms with founder and PA English instructor Lou Bernieri three decades ago.


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“Lou’s teaching on social justice stuck with me and pulled me back to PA when I moved to Massachusetts nine years ago,” said Flaherty. “Seeing the creative process light up young students in Lawrence inspired me to get more deeply involved.” His family’s commitment was also driven by the gifts of Mike Cahill ’84, John Henry Moulton ’88, and Sturgis Woodberry ’84, who first established the Andover Bread Loaf endowment. The result is that ABL’s mission is secured—and all future contributions will now serve to broaden and deepen the program’s grassroots work in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. “I am speechless,” said Bernieri of the gift, “and for an English teacher that says a lot.” Head of School John G. Palfrey P’21 also expressed his appreciation for the exceptional philanthropy and leadership legacy enjoyed by ABL. “People choose to be part of Andover for life

because of our core values, such as non sibi and private school with a public purpose—and because we aspire to educate students beyond our own campus,” said Palfrey. “I can think of no better tribute to Lou than this endowment.”

Expanded Horizons for Dance This campaign momentum continued as the Abbot Academy Fund recently established a $2.5 million leadership gift to name the dance suite in the highly anticipated Pan Athletic Center. “Guided by the traditions and ideals of Abbot Academy, we wanted to be intentional about our purpose in this historic campaign,” said AAF President Aisha Jorge Massengill ’88. “Abbot Academy brought dance to Phillips Academy when the schools merged in 1973. Forty-six years later, it is fitting that Abbot will bring dance to this magnificent new building.” With this investment, fundraising for the athletic center stands at $31 million toward a $34.5 million goal. The center will house dance, swimming, diving, wrestling, and the Athletics Hall of Honor. The 70,000-squarefoot facility will be situated near the Snyder Center and is the second building of a three-phase approach to enhance the school’s athletic facilities.

“ Abbot Academy brought dance to Phillips Academy when the schools merged in 1973.… It is fitting that Abbot will bring dance to this magnificent new building.” AISHA JORGE MASSENGILL ’88, AAF President

The Abbot Academy Fund provides support for members of the Andover community to develop projects and programs consistent with the traditions and ideals of Abbot Academy. Since the first grant was awarded in 1973, there have been more than 1,500 proposals accepted and nearly $11 million distributed.  For more information on Andover Bread Loaf, visit Explore the dance suite at

Stanmar Inc./Dimella Shaffer

“What an extraordinary act of generosity by a group of deeply devoted alumnae and alumni,” said Palfrey. “Their gift presents new possibilities for our dance program and is an inspiring connection from Abbot to Andover today.”

Andover | Winter 2019



the Buzzzzz


Not many TV writers and comedians can also pen catchy original pop tunes like “Ponderosa with Omarosa,” but then Ziwe Fumudoh ’10 is not your typical writer/comedian. Recently profiled in Forbes, Fumudoh talks about her budding career writing for The Onion and BET as well as her social media presence and podcast, Hysteria.

John Hoffmeyer ’15 was named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars for 2018. Currently studying at Princeton, Hoffmeyer is a talented musician and plans to spend his time at Oxford pursuing a degree in modern languages and continuing his research on the interplay between music and literature.

If you’ve ever wondered how to put together that oh-so-perfect holiday applique tablecloth, Billy Kheel ’92 may be your guy. Kheel was one of eight contestants on the new NBC crafting show Making It, which aired this past summer.

Charles Forelle ’98 continues his editorial rise at the Wall Street Journal, recently being named financial editor. Having been at the news outlet for 17 years, Forelle was acknowledged by the editor-at-large for being a “genuine polymath, a journalist who has repeatedly demonstrated his facility with breaking news.”

Just barely out of Andover, Cecelia Vieiras ’18’s creative nonfiction essay was recently published in the well-respected literary journal The Threepenny Review. The essay on fishing was originally written for an Andover English class led by instructor Kate McQuade.

In alumni sports news, U.S. rower Olivia Coffey ‘07 won gold at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria; she also competed in 2018’s The Boat Race event helping Cambridge triumph over rival Oxford on the River Thames.

Former Florida governor and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush ’71 met with Arun Saigal ’09 and the staff of his company, Thunkable, this past fall. Based in San Francisco, Thunkable is a startup DIY app-building company targeting non-coders.

Miranda Haymon ’12 received the 2018 Theater Honoraria Award from the Princess Grace Foundation. The award is for emerging artists and recognizes Haymon’s work as the artistic development associate at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City. Ryan Gaiss ’11, a project engineer at Consigli Construction Co. working on the library renovation project, gave a tour of the construction this past fall to Kayla Lawson ’07. Lawson’s dad, Roger Lawson, is PA’s campus capital project manager. Kayla lives in NY and is a special projects coordinator for Accion, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs.

The Buzz features recent notable accomplishments by Andover and Abbot alums and faculty. Please email suggestions to


Andover | Winter 2019


Congrats to cellist Rainer Crosett ’10 who received the prestigious 2018 Pierre Fournier Award, given to a talented cellist age 30 or younger. Crosett graduated from Harvard and the New England Conservatory of Music and is the cofounder of Project LENS, an organization that uses performance to explore the connections between music and the world.


Submitted Photos

Alumni Council, Andover, MA


Denver, CO

March 15

Hong Kong

“Inspired Education” with Head of School John Palfrey P’21

March 16

Los Angeles, CA

Andover Spring Fling

March 18


“Inspired Education” with Head of School John Palfrey P’21

April 12-14 Global

Non Sibi Weekend

May 9


“Inspired Education” with Head of School John Palfrey P’21

May 25

Exeter Campus

Andover/Exeter Weekend

June 2 Madison, VA

Wine Tasting, Tour & Luncheon at Early Mountain Vineyards, with Wanda Mann'90


GSA 30th Anniversary Celebration

May 11

Grandparents’ Day

June 2


June 7–9

Reunion Weekend For the most up-to-date alumni listings, visit

Boston, MA

New York, NY

San Francisco, CA

Darien, CT

Andover | Winter 2019



Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly ’84 Simon & Schuster Overworked. Underpaid. Too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Too dowdy or too made-up. Too big or too thin. Women are angry, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. In Rage Becomes Her, Chemaly argues that women’s anger is not only justified, but also an active part of the solution. Women are so often encouraged to resist their rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Approached with conscious intention, anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice, and a catalyst for change. Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss ’73 Crown Publishing From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times comes a groundbreaking and often surprising saga of America’s wartime chief executives. Through 10 years of research and writing, including interviews with survivors, original letters, diaries, and once-classified national security documents, Beschloss brings us into the room as these leaders make the most difficult decisions. Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, Humor by Tanya Sheehan ’94 Penn State Press Sheehan takes humor seriously in order to trace how photographic comedy was used in America and transnationally to express evolving ideas about race, black emancipation, and civil rights in the mid-1800s and into the 20th century. By treating racial humor about and within the photographic medium as complex social commentary, rather than collectible curiosity, Sheehan enriches our understanding of photography in popular culture. Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most ’61 Berghahn Books An award-winning screenwriter, Most offers a captivating, refreshingly heartfelt exploration of how documentary filmmakers and other storytellers come to understand their subjects and cast light on the world through their art. Drawing on the author’s decades of experience behind the scenes of television and film documentaries, this is an indispensable account of the principles and paradoxes that attend the quest to represent reality truthfully.

All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf by Katharine Smyth ’99 Penguin Random House Following her father’s death, Smyth turned to her favorite novel, To the Lighthouse, as a way of understanding her own grief. Smyth’s story, which braids memoir, biography, and literary criticism, moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf’s Cornish coasts and Bloomsbury squares, addressing universal questions about family, loss, and homecoming. All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut and an elegant reminder of literature’s ability to clarify and console. Wright and New York: The Making of America’s Most Famous Architect by Anthony Alofsin ’67 Yale University Press We think we are familiar with America’s most famous architect, but this book tells the unknown story of how New York City brought Frank Lloyd Wright from personal nadir in the 1920s to the zenith of his career in the 1950s. The city is the lens that reveals both the transformation of the man and the evolution of modern architecture in America as Wright, the international style, and art deco all vied for dominance. Bully Big Mouth: A Fishy Thriller by Moira Shaw and Bert Shaw ’52 Fifty-Fifty Publishers Pearl Cove is a pristine sea paradise where little white pearlfish live “invisibly” on the bottom of the cove among luminous pearl stones. By blending in with the pearl stones, the little fish are safe from Bully Big Mouth, who regularly swims into the cove looking for something to eat. One dreadful day a storm breaks up a garbage boat and scatters trash all over the pristine cove—and the little pearlfish are no longer invisible, putting their lives in peril. What happens next in this delightful children’s allegory about evolution will surprise readers young and old. Startup Cities: Why Only a Few Cities Dominate the Global Startup Scene and What the Rest Should Do About It by Peter Cohan ’75 Apress Why do only a handful of cities host successful startup hubs and the rest fail? Startup Cities explains the factors that determine local startup success based on a detailed comparison of regional startup cities—pairing the most successful and less successful cities within regions along with insights and implications from case studies. The book highlights factors that distinguish successful cities and presents implications for stakeholders that arise from these principles.

If you would like your book to be considered for publication, please email a high-resolution image of the book cover and a 75-word summary of your book to Books will be included at the discretion of the editor.


Andover | Winter 2019


rs in So e t s i S ng


Andover | Winter 2019


The year was 1959 and Margaret Elsemore Sipple ’60 was a senior at Abbot Academy. Maggie, as she was known, was president of student government that year and sang with the Miss Chords octet. She loved singing and was also part of the Chapel Choir and Fidelio Society under the direction of Miss Kate Friskin. That fall, a middle school girl traveled from Connecticut with her parents to tour Abbot. During lunch, it was announced that the Miss Chords would perform. Eight Abbot girls, including Maggie, walked to the head table in Draper dining hall and started to sing. The young Gwyneth Walker ’64 was transfixed. “As a young girl who had always loved singing and composing, I was thrilled to see and hear these singers,” Walker said. “I remember almost leaping out of my chair, saying to myself ‘This is what I want to do! This is who I want to be!’” Though Walker only saw the Miss Chords from a distance, the experience was life changing. She immediately knew that she wanted to attend Abbot and be just like them. And she did. Walker entered Abbot Academy the following fall, a few months after Sipple graduated. Walker took part in various Abbot singing groups including the Chanticleers and Fidelio. After Abbot, she majored in

Gwyneth Walker and Margaret Elsemore Sipple

A chance encounter 60 years ago inspired composer Gwyneth Walker ’64 to track down Margaret Elsemore Sipple ’60. What time and distance had once separated was erased by a short 60-minute drive, reuniting two women whose lives have been filled with music.

music at Brown University and went on to earn her doctorate in music composition at the Hartt School of Music, later working full time as a composer. Among her many awards, Walker recently received the 2018 Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts New England. After Abbot, Sipple went on to Wellesley College, where she sang in the college choir and the Madrigal Group. Though she never pursued music professionally, Sipple and her husband participated in a variety of singing groups, including the New York-based Kairos ensemble, which gave Walker a clue as to Sipple’s whereabouts. After hearing her sing in the dining hall, Walker never saw Sipple again. But she thought of her often and of her beautiful voice. After some online sleuthing, Walker found Sipple and her husband, Peter, through the Kairos website. Much to Walker’s surprise, Sipple lived only a short drive from her home in New Canaan, Conn. The Abbot singers were reunited in the summer of 2018. “It makes me so happy to think I might have had a tiny role in helping Gwyneth choose Abbot, followed by her distinguished career as a composer,” Sipple said. “Sometimes we plant a seed we never know we’re planting. This has been one of life’s happy surprises.” 


by Allyson Irish










PA Giving Day 3.27.19


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