Winter Term Brings Weather Trials, Job Turnovers and HOSD Tweets

Bundled in winter coats, gloves and hats, students returned from Thanksgiving Break for 15 days of classes in the cold weather. During that short period of time, “Out of the Blue,” a 223-page book and Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) student project, was distributed to all students, faculty, administration and staff. The book, which includes poems, stories and essays, explores topics such as race, class and gender, conversations about which have permeated the Andover campus.

A few weeks later, instead of experiencing an easy travel back to Andover after Winter Break, nearly 100 students around the globe faced travel delays, missed flights and long bus rides as Nor’easter Hercules rampaged through New England with snow and icy temperatures.

As the month of January passed by, members of the Andover community celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Maria Hinojosa, four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. Hinojosa spoke at a special All-School Meeting (ASM), describing the stories of struggling immigrants in America and imploring students to educate themselves to help those affected.

Junius Williams, author and community activist, also visited campus this winter as the keynote speaker for African Latino American Society’s (Af-Lat-Am) annual Black Arts Weekend. Williams shared his experiences of living in a segregated country and then joining resistance efforts to combat such discrimination.

Andover celebrated Wellness Week in late January with another ASM speaker, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, who spoke about technology and the negative effects of social media. She urged students to limit their time spent with technology.

While Steiner-Adair cautioned against technology, Andover embraced it throughout the term. The Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) debuted an updated website featuring more organized information and resources for research. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, and Jessica Livingston ’89, founding partner of Y Combinator, visited campus to share their experiences and give advice based on their successful entrepreneurial careers working with the Internet.

Winter Term also brought many turnovers in positions. After Peter Washburn, Instructor in Math, announced a two-term leave of absence, the Crew program searched for a new director. Stewart MacDonald, two-time Olympian and father of Dylan MacDonald ’13, was tapped to take over the Boys Crew program. Additionally, Football Head Coach and Instructor in Physical Education Leon Modeste was chosen to succeed Mike Kuta as Athletic Director. After a national search, Thomas Lockerby was chosen to replace Peter Ramsey as the Head of the Office of Academy Resources.

In the middle of February, the school rejoiced when John Palfrey, Head of School, waved his squash racquet in Paresky Commons, declaring his second Head of School Day (HOSD). The announcement was preceded by much speculation and anticipation, as seen through a social media frenzy, mostly on Twitter, in which Palfrey himself took part. This year, HOSD was unique as it awarded a four-day weekend to a weary Andover community.

The success of HOSD inspired an addition of two four-day weekends to next year’s academic calendar, one in the winter and one in the spring.

The Addison Gallery of American Art also found a reason to rejoice in the dead of winter, when it completed its seven-year, $30 million fundraising campaign. The money will go towards museum renovations and the museum’s endowment, affording the museum financial security for years to come.