After 33 Years, Rotundo Looks To Return to His Passion for History Research

After teaching for 45 years, 33 of which were spent at Andover, Edward “Tony” Rotundo, Instructor in History, will leave his basement classroom to pursue his passion for research and writing history further.

“This place is where I spent the majority of my adult life; this is where I got married, became a parent of two, raised my children and made many friendships that I will treasure forever. I will always have deep feelings for this place,” said Rotundo.

During his years at Andover, Rotundo most frequently taught History 200 and 300 classes, as well as an elective course on gender studies for Seniors. He has also served as Chair in History, Course Head of History 200 and Co-Head of History 300 with Vic Henningsen ’69, former Instructor in History.

Aside from his roles within the History Department, he has also spent 10 years as the Co-Director of the Brace Center and 15 years as the House Counselor of Stuart North House in Pine Knoll.

Rotundo believes that one of his most profound contributions to the school was in the mid 90s, when he served as a chair of a steering committee that the Trustees had appointed to try to determine what the future program for the next 20 to 25 years at Andover should look like.

“We discussed the academic, residential, athletic and extracurricular aspects of Andover and the ways that they all connected and related to one another. Some of the changes we’ve proposed had been put into place and created important changes. The strategic planning committee that’s at work right now is using a lot of our ideas in their work. That was probably the greatest collaborative experience I’ve ever had,” said Rotundo.

Rotundo’s long history with Andover began when his wife, Kathleen Dalton, Instructor in History, started teaching at Andover in 1980. Rotundo was hired a year later, and for 15 years they were also co-workers in the History Department.

“It was really great that the school was able to offer us that model. Our idea was we would use the extra time we had to write and publish our books, but when our kids were born, we ended [up] using the extra time to look after our kids,” said Rotundo.

Rotundo believes that his greatest accomplishment was managing his family life amidst the hectic lifestyle that Andover demands.

“Talk to any [Andover] couple and they’ll tell you that it takes a lot of work and patience to make things work and work well. My marriage has been a source of just endless pleasure, and my kids — who both went to [Andover] — are just great people. They’re interesting and funny, and I truly love spending time with them,” said Rotundo.

In the next chapter of his life, Rotundo will devote his time as a historian to research and writing, particularly on “how masculinity for white men changed in the second half of the 20th century and how that connects up to politics and the lives of political conservatives.” This will be his second time writing a book, following the publication of his first book, “American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity From the Revolution to the Modern Era,” which is still being taught in college courses today, in 1993.

However, he will also devote time to his friends and family.

“I have lots of close friends from before coming to [Andover] that I don’t spend as much time with anymore and while we’re all young enough to be healthy and visit each other, I really wanted time in my life to enjoy those kinds of things,” said Rotundo.

Though Rotundo is eager to pursue his passion for writing, he said he will miss the classroom and the daily interaction with his students and colleagues.

“I’ll surely miss the everyday social contact I have with my students and getting to meet a lot of really interesting and cool people in my classroom each year. I’ve also got a lot of really exciting, interesting and enjoyable colleagues that I will miss,” said Rotundo.

“But I definitely won’t miss those big stacks of papers on my desk, screaming at my conscience that it’s time to get them corrected, and the feeling of always trying desperately to catch up and never getting caught up,” he added.

Throughout his time at Andover, one of Rotundo’s most memorable experiences was outside the classroom, when he helped sell a box of 500 “Feminist” t-shirts with his students involved in last year’s feminism movement, in addition to having profound conversations with students regarding issues of race, gender and sexuality.

“We ordered a box of 500 t-shirts and they were all gone after 15 minutes. I got home at the end of the day and thought to myself: ‘Did that just happen?’ During that time I also enjoyed having conversations with students and faculty on race and gender, which have always been great concerns of mine,” said Rotundo.

Christopher Shaw, Instructor and Chair in History, said, “Rotundo has forged a new path for teachers and scholars at Andover. He almost single-handedly established a new sub-discipline from his groundbreaking work, [‘American Manhood,’] in men’s studies within the broader discipline of gender and women’s studies.”

“For 33 years, he has been an unrelenting advocate and inspiration for his students and a creative and generous colleague in the Department of History and Social Science,” Shaw added.