Phillips Academy Grandparents Attend Classes, Meet Faculty, and Tour New Science Center

Phillips Academy grandparents arrived on the Andover campus last weekend for the annual Grandparents’ Day. After a breakfast and registration at Underwood Room, the visitors joined their grandchildren for classes and enjoyed the springtime beauty of the campus. The weekend’s events, which began with two Saturday classes, included a special lunch for grandparents and students in Ropes Salon, a reception with Mrs. Chase in the Addison Gallery, and sports games. The new Gelb Center was open for visitation all day, and the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library gave special presentations on the resources available to students. The weekend, which usually draws about 200 people, most of whom live nearby, had a surprisingly good turnout this year. According to Assistant Director of the Parent Fund Alice Tung, who coordinated the program, about 300 came on Saturday, although it is difficult to know the exact number since many did not register. The Office of Alumni Affairs mailed invitations to all grandparents, although Ms. Tung concedes that it was probably the beautiful weather that drew the crowd. Pointing out the highlights of the event, Ms. Tung said that the reception at Addison went very well. The grandparents enjoyed meeting Mrs. Chase, who gave a speech and then greeted attendees in the Addison. During the reception, which lasted from 1-2 p.m., student musicians performed and food was served. Also, Ms. Tung says that grandparents always enjoy going to their grandchildren’s classes with them, meeting their teachers, and seeing their friends. Many grandparents, especially alumni, enjoy the athletic games, both to watch their descendants do well for themselves and to witness the rivalries between schools that were alive when they were students. Though several teams had home games, many teams had away matches, some as far away as Loomis or Choate. Although Ms. Tung spoke with the Athletic Office to try to arrange more home games, she found it difficult even for the special weekend. Although Grandparents’ Day is not a fundraising event, the Office of Alumni Affairs runs a Grandparents’ Fund. This year, their goal was to raise $30,000. As of now, they have raised $16,000. Although the Alumni office did benefit from several donations, Ms. Tung says that the idea of the weekend was not to raise money from the grandparents but to let them visit and learn about the school. The grandparents of Margaret Kelly ’06, who came all the way from Virginia to attend, enjoyed visiting campus for the first time. Mrs. Kelly said, “I had a great time going to all of Margaret’s classes. Returning to a campus really brings back memories, and it is wonderful for me to see my granddaughter doing so well and to see for myself that she is in a such a good school.” After lunch, Mr. and Mrs. Kelly drove all the way down to Loomis to watch Margaret play on the Varsity Tennis Team. Many other grandparents made the trek to away games. The grandparents of Parla Alpan ’06, who plays on the Girls’ Water Polo team, and the family of Liz Slaughter, ’06, met in the stands of a game at Deerfield. Between cheering loudly for the Big Blue, they discussed Andover and the classes they had attended. On Sunday, grandparents were invited to the Catholic and Protestant services held at the Chapel and brunch at Commons. Many of those who stayed overnight chose to attend with their grandchildren. After the event, Ms. Tung said, “I think it went very well. Grandparents are very appreciative and enjoy being with their grandchildren. Grandparents’ Day is a very exciting event because they get to see all that their children are accomplishing at PA, and learn what the Andover education is all about.”