Abbot Grants Awarded

Inspired by her father’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis and the difficulties he faced when visiting the Phillips Academy campus, Chloe Hurley ’05 looked to the Abbot Academy Association for funding to design a map of campus access points for those suffering from mobility impairments. She was not let down. Awarding this year’s fall grants, the Abbot Academy Association offered nearly $110,000 to students, staff and faculty of Phillips Academy. The money will be split among 14 different projects of all types, including Hurley’s reference map. Throughout its many years, the Abbot Association has helped to fund a diverse collection of projects, creating the Religion and Philosophy Department, the sabbatical program and Graham House. While the nature of the projects it supports often varies greatly, Association Head Ms. St. Pierre said that the Association is always searching for “innovation and passion…any proposals that will enrich the life of Phillips Academy.” Among the proposals that were accepted this year was a plan by Ada Fan, instructor in English, along with several other faculty members, to restore the abandoned Secret Garden in the Abbot woods. “I discovered it while I was walking my dog,” said Ms. Fan. “There is a circle of rhododendron and mountain laurel with a pool and two benches in the center. It’s a place of reflection to sit in the woods.” Cristian Chun ’05 and Stephanie Chan ’05 were also recipients of Abbot Grants. The money they receive will allow members of the Andover Science Club to coordinate participation in a number of competitions, including the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, the Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision Awards Program, and the Science Bowl. Also using Abbot funding to promote the sciences, Tom Cone and Marc Koolen, instructors in Biology, will refurbish the Green-Smith Bird Collection in Evans Hall and relocate it to a new home in the library and the Gelb Science Center. The collection, which was leased to Phillips Academy from Harvard in the 1930’s, will be displayed primarily in the Kendrick Gallery of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, but smaller displays will also be placed at the library entrance and in the biology wing of the Gelb. Teaching Fellow in Spanish Comfort Halsey and Teaching Fellow in Theatre and Dance Anne Zuerner will receive Abbot funds for Dance 400. The class will collaborate with Hope Street Youth Center in Lawrence to produce a multimedia show that will be performed at the conclusion of the class. Another recipient of this fall’s Abbot Grants was Instructor in Physics Clyfe Beckwith, who, along with Instructor in Russian Victor Svec and Interim Director of Student Activities Cynthia Efinger, plans to create a volleyball beachcourt to be used by faculty, students, and staff of the Academy. Mr. Beckwith expects that the court, which will be 50 feet wide and 80 feet long, will be used by Academy volleyball teams, cluster athletic teams, dorms, and the Student Activities office. “It will facilitate more outdoor use of the campus and more interaction between students and faculty,” Mr. Beckwith said. Teaching Fellow in History Christian Leckerling, Rachel Shack ’04, and Andrew Liao ’04 received a grant to increase the number of resources available to student tutors that help members of the Commons staff to improve their English. Associate Director of College Counseling James Hightower also received funding for a program that brings 15 admissions representatives to the Phillips Academy campus. Those invited to Mr. Hightower’s program would all represent historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States. The Abbot Association also awarded funding to Maria Lechtarova ’06 to help her initiate a Crafts Club at Phillips Academy. The funding will be used primarily for necessary supplies. Director of Class, Reunion and Parent Giving Ann Harris was granted funds to create a booklet that would depict the influence of Abbot Academy on present-day Phillips Academy. Abbot grants will also bring three speakers to the campus this year. Author and Professor Frank Wu will visit Phillips Academy as a part of a grant received by International Student Coordinator Aya Murata, and funds granted to Associate Director of Psychological Services Maggie Jackson and Dean of Students Marlys Edwards will bring two speakers to campus to talk to Uppers about sexual assault and related issues. Additionally, funding was given this year to Secretary of the Academy Peter Ramsey for the recently constructed Richard L. Gelb Science Center and to Directors of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Kelly Wise and Alexandra Cornelius to add to the IRT’s present endowment and facilitate future fundraising.