Phillips Academy Campus Welcomes Visitors for Grandparents’ Weekend

Joining their grandchildren for Saturday classes, over 200 grandparents convened on campus last weekend for Phillips Academy’s annual Grandparents’ Weekend. The event also included athletic competitions, as well as musical performances from the Fidelio Society and Gospel Choir. To begin the weekend, the visitors enjoyed breakfast in Commons and received their grandchildren’s schedules for the day. The academic schedule began at 8:50 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m., as grandparents accompanied their relatives to their third and fourth period classes. After class, many students chose to host a tour of the campus for their grandparents, taking advantage of the pleasant spring weather. Grandparents then proceeded to Ropes Salon in Commons, which was specially reserved for visitors interested in having a quiet lunch with their grandchildren. “It’s a great pleasure to see grandparents spending time with their grandchildren,” said Alice Tung, coordinator of the Grandparents’ Fund for the last 15 years. Many grandparents then attended a reception in the Addison Gallery of American Art from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The reception, hosted by Phillips Academy Head of School Barbara Chase, also included a performance by a string quartet comprised of four Andover students. After the performance, Ms. Tung presented Mrs. Chase with a check from the Grandparent’s Fund for $19,150, the sum that the fund had raised this year. Mrs. Chase then spoke briefly about how Andover helps students to “find [their] voices” in terms of their “core.” A short speech by Student Council President-elect Allegra Asplundh-Smith ’04 followed Mrs. Chase’s speech. Asplundh-Smith spoke of the important role her grandparents play in her life. According to Asplundh-Smith, her grandparents met during World War II, an event which, “showed [her] what it means to serve something bigger than [herself].” She also mentioned that her grandparents are entirely responsible for paying for her Andover tuition; she explained that they were the primary reason she is currently attending the Academy. A tour of the Addison Gallery followed Asplundh-Smith’s speech, giving grandparents the opportunity to explore the new exhibitions displayed in the gallery, including “Miracle in a Scrapheap: The Sculpture of Richard Stankiewicz,” “The Park Avenue Cubists: The Work of Gallatin, Morris, Frelinghuysen and Shaw,” and “Colorsound,” by Jim Hodges. Beginning at 1:00 p.m. and continuing into the early evening, grandparents watched their grandchildren and their fellow students in 13 athletic contests, which featured tennis matches, a track meet, baseball and lacrosse games, and a crew race against Phillips Exeter and Tabor Academies. Commons was open for special hours for dinner, serving from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to accomodate the grandparents. However, most grandparents chose to join their grandchildren for dinner at local restaurants instead. Some Andover grandparents ended their Saturdays with the Gospelfest, a performance led by the Academy Gospel Choir, which commenced at 7:30 p.m. in the Cochran Chapel. For those grandparents who decided to stay overnight, there were a few events on Sunday morning in which they could participate. A Roman Catholic Mass began in Cochran Chapel at 9:45 a.m., with a Protestant service at 11:00 a.m. The Protestant service, hosted by Rev. Michael Ebner ’70, included a Mother’s Day celebration, with Instructor in Music and School Organist Carol Skelton on the organ and songs from the Academy Gospel Choir. The weekend ended with two Senior recitals, both in the Timken Room of Graves Hall. Jeff Wessler ’03 performed on the flute at 1 p.m. and Anne Snyder ’03 performed on the piano at 4 p.m.