Departing Faculty Honored During Trustees Weekend

The Board of Trustees gathered for its annual spring meetings two weekends ago to honor members of the Andover community, including Temba and Vuvu Maqubela, who will leave Andover for Groton this summer, and Steven Ho ’74, who is finishing his term as an Alumni Trustee.

Other prominent events included a review of upcoming campus renovation projects, including the construction of a new Health and Wellness Center to be located on Salem Street, and a discussion of the school’s plan after the conclusion of the Campaign for Andover this past January.

Five departing administrators and faculty members were honored at a dinner for faculty, alumni and friends of the Academy in the Smith Center, according to an Andover press release.

Head of School John Palfrey offered personal gratitude for the warm welcome and mentorship the Maqubelas gave him and his family as they immersed themselves in the Andover community. He also read a sample of the dozens of heartfelt reflections sent in by alumni, according to the press release.

To celebrate retiring faculty members, Palfrey asked individual teachers to speak about their colleague’s contributions.

Therese Zemlin, Instructor and Chair in Art, spoke about Gail Boyajian, Instructor in Art and Architecture, Chris Gurry ’66, Instructor in History, spoke about Vic Henningsen ’69, Instructor in History, Elizabeth Mayer, Instructor and Chair in Classics, spoke about David Pottle, Instructor in Classics, Caroline Odden, Instructor in Physics, spoke about Kathy Pryde, Instructor in Physics, and Peter Merrill, Instructor in Russian and German, spoke about Natalie Schorr ’62, Instructor in French, according to the press release.

Retiring faculty members, whose combined Andover service and leadership total 139 years, will also be featured in the spring issue of Andover Magazine, according to the press release.

Prior to the dinner, trustees, faculty and alumni marked the final chapter of The Campaign for Andover by re-dedicating Bulfinch Hall to Jean St. Pierre, Faculty Emeritus in English. The rededication included interactive classroom sessions followed by an outdoor ceremony on Tuesday, according to the press release.

Members of the Dean of Students Office, the House Counselor Committee and the Community Health Team joined the trustees for discussions focused on residential life at Andover. Peter Currie ’74, President of the Board of Trustees, requested that the board discuss topics such as the 40-year-old cluster system, support for struggling students, the challenges and benefits of a residential program in a diverse community and the balance of work and life for both students and faculty.

In a similar vein, plans for a new Wellness Center, to be located on Salem Street near Shuman Admission Center, Brenner House and Bulfinch Hall, gained momentum over the weekend. The trustees determined that funds for the $10 million project must be secured by April 2014 in order to begin construction in summer 2014, according to the press release.

Shepley Bulfinch of Boston will work with trustees and members of the campus community on design specifications over the next several months, according to the press release.

Trustees also reviewed a number of campus renovations. Larry Muench, Director of Facilities, said that Bishop Hall will undergo a major renovation, its first since 1966. The project will include a new slate roof, new windows and masonry work. Interior improvements will include new electrical and heating systems, a sprinkler system and refurbished dorm rooms and faculty apartments.

As part of a broader plan to improve campus-building security, a card access system is going to be installed in Borden and Memorial gyms. With completion scheduled for June, the new system will serve as a pilot program during Summer Session, he said.

Muench also reported on a sustainability effort that would dramatically reduce electrical costs at Harrison Rink. The Academy will finalize an agreement with Nexamp to install a large array of solar panels on the roof of the ice rink. Nexamp would pay for installation and maintenance of the panels, which would generate 35 to 40 percent of the rink’s electricity, according to the press release.

Peter Ramsey, Secretary of the Academy, updated the board on his office’s post-campaign plan. He said that the endowment and annual giving remain critical components of the Academy’s overall budget projections and that gifts to the Andover Fund continue at a steady pace, though slightly behind last year’s numbers.

He continued discussing upcoming “mini-campaigns.” These campaigns include fundraising for the Wellness Center, outreach programs and a targeted appeal to partially endow The Phillipian.

Tracy Sweet, Director of Communications, made a presentation on the evolving communication environment. She engaged trustees in a generative discussion about future messaging and positioning to support the upcoming strategic plan. The framing question: “What do you want the world to know about Andover?” prompted a brainstorm of phrases and descriptors, the first of many future conversations that will also involve faculty, staff, alumni, parents and students, according to the press release.

Sally Holm, Director of Publications and Editor of “Andover Magazine,” received a round of applause for her four years stewarding all print publications and transforming the magazine. Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, who will succeed Holm as both Director and Editor in July, joined her, according to the press release.

Sean Logan, Director of College Counseling, led a discussion on the college admission landscape and informed the board of his office’s efforts to educate Andover families much earlier in the process.

According to the press release, the board approved the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which will continue to preserve need blind admission and will include boarding tuition of $47, 200 and day tuition of $36,700.

Steve Carter, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, reported on the academy-wide project to replace Datatel, the current software operating system used by the school. Led by Dominic Veneto, Director of Technology, this process has drawn on the expertise of faculty and staff across administrative and academic departments, Carter said. The vendor selection process is expected to conclude in the coming weeks, according to the press release.