Abbot Grants to Fund 28 Projects on Campus

For its 40th anniversary, the Abbot Academy Association granted a total of $237,392 to 28 projects out of 32 submitted proposals. These projects include a mug borrowing initiative, a summer session scholarship program for Lawrence High School Students, a travel-study trip to France and an Andover Movie Makers Club movie festival. Richard Gorham, House Counselor in Andover Cottage, received the largest grant from the association , which totaled $75,000 to fund three years of the Urban Scholars Program from 2013 to 2015. The program is an extension of the Front/White Scholars Program to help Lawrence High School students attend Phillips Academy Summer Session. “The Urban Scholars Program will enable us to support the Lawrence High students and to document the program and its impact… We look forward to creating the Urban Scholars Program [and] to advancing Phillips Academy’s mission as a private school with a public purpose,” said Gorham. Christiana Nguyen ’13, Patricia Russell, Sustainability Coordinator, and Michael Giampa, Food Service Director, received a grant of $3,500 to launch a new campaign called “Borrow a Mug.” The campaign will allow students to borrow mugs from Paresky Commons, use them and then drop them off in marked bins in academic buildings. The mugs will then be brought back to Commons, where they will be washed so that other students can reuse them. Ngyuen said that the program will help reduce the number of paper cups used for hot drinks. Suzanne Wang ’13, Elaine Sohng ’13 and Jordan Boudreau ’14 received a $6,150 grant for Clutch Collaborative to host a Spring 2013 conference about social change. “Clutch [Collaborative] is all about empowering high school students to take practical action and to meaningfully and responsibly engage with the world. In particular, we focus on how people are tackling social issues in innovative way,” said Wang. “We can take advantage of our education and then put it towards improving the world. Clutch Collaborative and this conference will hopefully inspire the PA community to take this action,” said Boudreau The conference will be open to both Andover and local high school students and will include small workshops with local entrepreneurs, according to Sohng. The grant will also help cover the cost of bringing a speaker to campus, though the guest is still undecided. Claire Gallou, Instructor in French, Nile Blunt, Instructor in History and Ryan Wheeler, Director of the Peabody Museum of Archeology, received a grant of $59,384 to provide financial aid for students to participate in the Piette Program, an interdisciplinary summer program in France, for the next three years. The program, to begin next year, will focus on French, History and Archaeology. Each student will pick a research topic, which they will work on during their 16-day trip in France, according to Gallou. “The Piette Program is an amazing opportunity for PA students to explore 30,000 years of human history through the culture, prehistory, history, and geography of France,” said Wheeler. Students in the program will visit small French villages, as well as explore historical events such as the World War II D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach, participate in an archeological dig at an open excavation site and participate in behind-the-scenes tours at two national museums, according to Wheeler. “The original inspiration [for the program] was the French Paleolithic collection at the Peabody, including several painted pebbles found in an ancient cave and loaned, many years ago, to our museum by an archaeological museum in France,” said Wheeler. Other funded projects include an OptiShot Golf Simulator, a visit from the “Men in Masks” Hip Hop troop, a Monday meditation practice, Italian language tables, Wi-Fi for the ice hockey rinks, a Broadway theater trip, an Andover music publication, a Model United Nations trip to a national conference and student participation in the National Debate Tournament. Applicants submitted an online application and budget proposal and presented their proposals at the Abbot Academy Association dinner on November 15, according to Mimi Won Techentin, President of the Abbot Academy Association. The board of the Abbot Academy Association, comprised of 11 Andover and Abbot alums, then discussed and voted on which projects would receive grants and how much they would receive, according to Techentin. The Abbot Academy Association meets twice a year to discuss potential Abbot grants, according to Natalie Schorr AA’62, Faculty Coordinator for the Abbot Academy Association. Techentin said, “The ideas [for grants] are a great indicator of the rich landscape of life at Phillips Academy. I really consider it a privilege to be on this board and thoughtfully consider how best to honor the spirit of Abbot Academy through these grants.” “The Abbot Academy Association works in cooperation with the school to support innovation. The grants as a whole help the school to move forward and they encourage students to become change-makers,” said Schorr. The Abbot Academy Association began funding proposals after the Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy merger in 1973. The Association was created with $1 million from the Abbot endowment, according to a previous article in The Phillipian.