Trustees Engage Students and Alumni for Strategic Plan Input

School governing bodies congregated on campus this weekend for the Fall Trustees’ Weekend. The Board of Trustees, the Alumni Council, the Andover Development Board (ADB) and the Annual Giving Board (AGB) each convened individually throughout the weekend to explore the development of the new Strategic Plan, discuss the construction of the Rebecca M. Sykes Health and Wellness Center and engage in conversation with students and alumni. “This past weekend was one of the most jam-packed ever in terms of events, meetings, receptions and more casual opportunities to engage with students, faculty and fellow alumni,” said Tracy Sweet, Director of Academy Communications, in an email to The Phillipian. The Strategic Planning process was the focus of several presentations and meetings during the weekend, including a joint session of the Board of Trustees and the Andover Development Board. “[Strategic Planning] is a very transparent and collaborative process, and what we really need right now is for students in particular to take very seriously the request for information,” said Corinne Field ’83, three-year alumni trustee and Strategic Planning Committee member. “We’re really asking you where you would like to see this school in three or five years,” she continued. The trustees also used the weekend to update the community on the progress of the new Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center, to be completed by December 2015. The Board looked at plans drawn up and presented by representatives from Shepley Bulfinch, a design company. They confirmed plans to move forward with architectural renderings featuring geothermal heating and cooling as well as a green roof and an energy dashboard. “A preliminary design has been approved for the wellness center. They got the program together, building designs, and we’re now in the fundraising stage,” said Robert Campbell ’66, a two-year charter trustee. The goal of the Board of Trustees is to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) energy silver certification for the new wellness center. Peter Currie ’74, newly-appointed president of the Board of Trustees and ten-year charter trustee, said that this weekend was centered on creating more opportunities for the trustees to meet with more groups of faculty and students. One of such groups of students were those who participated in global programs in the past year. The ADB and the trustees met with students who went to Niswarth, BASK in ASK, HUACA, South Africa and Arts, Brazil PLACES and Russian language immersion in order to hear about the impact of off-campus educational experiences. A small group of female alumni and trustees also met with the Girls’ Leadership Project to discuss gender matters on and off campus. The women at the event sparked conversation about the Andover/Abbot Academy merger. Elizabeth Powell AA’56 was a charter trustee for 20 years. She became a trustee in 1980 and was the second female to join the Board of Trustees. Upon returning to campus, Powell noted the differences between Trustees’ Weekend now and 30 years ago, highlighting the progress that Andover has made in the past three decades since the merger. “This weekend was just huge in welcoming back Andover and Abbot people and in re-engaging them, so to speak, trying to bring them up to date, and let them see what Andover is now in 2013,” said Powell. On Saturday morning, the Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Henry Cho ’83, Susan Urie Donahue ’73, John Kane ’63, Kuni and Michael Schmertzler ’70, Constance Wright and David Stoldt P’07 ’09 and ’12 and Yichen Zhang ’82, according to an Andover press release. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to alumni who showed exceptional commitment to Andover in various ways that include playing a philanthropic role, community building or volunteer service. “This award is our most important award for the Andover volunteers. Each year we give the award to five or six individuals or couples who demonstrate the spirit of non sibi by giving back of time, treasure, and talent,” said Tom Beaton, newly appointed Alumni Council president and first year trustee. The dinner hosted on Friday night ended with the announcement of the dedication of the new wellness center to Becky Sykes, former Associate Head of School, and the celebration of exceptional teachers and retiring trustees. Instructorships and foundations, each generously supported by endowed funds, were presented at the dinner by Pat Farrell, Dean of Faculty. Judith Wombwell, Clyfe Beckwith, Elly Nyamwaya and Leon Modeste earned the Ammi Wright Lancashire Teaching Foundation, the George Peabody Teaching Foundation, the Sumner Kates ’38 and Marshall Kates ’39 Instructorship for the Humanities and the Independence Foundation respectively.