Tang Institute Officially Launches

Donning a navy suit and an Andover tie, Oscar Tang ’56 took the stage in front of a collection of trustees, faculty, administrators and students at the official launch of the Tang Institute at Andover on Friday in Tang Theatre.

Tang donated $15 million to fund the base grant for the Tang Institute, which addresses issues of access to resources at Andover and how these resources can be made available to students beyond campus.

Originally named the Andover Institute, the organization was recently changed to the Tang Institute at Andover as a result of Tang’s financial and personal commitment to the Institute’s goal of educational outreach, according to Peter Currie ’74, President of the Board of Trustees.

“Given [Tang]’s aspirations for Andover to be the private school with a public purpose and given how neatly that maps to what the Institute is doing, I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to [Tang] than to put his name on it,” said Currie.

According to Currie, Tang joined the project in the spring of 2014 and helped lift it off the ground. At that point, the Tang Institute had been in the developmental phase for around a year.

“[Tang] really understood what the goal was. [He] got excited enough to really give it the boost it needed to get off the ground,” said Currie.

Regarding the goals of the Tang Institute, Currie talked about the constantly developing nature of both the Tang Institute and Andover as a school.

“I think the goal of the Institute is not an end state — there’s not a thing, there’s not a conquering moment, there’s not a moment of victory. If the Institute can create a culture of experimentation, … that process will be a total victory,” said Currie.

The Tang Institute will channel its resources, including the grant from Tang, into a variety of programs that will help facilitate learning and innovation both on and off campus.

These programs include the nearly completed Khan Academy BC Calculus course, the development of an astronomy web portal for star discoveries and many other experimental initiatives across campus.

Although Andover plans to launch new initiatives under the umbrella of the Tang Institute, some of the projects affiliated with the Tang Institute have already been in existence for years.

“[The Tang Institute] is a process of innovation, it’s a process of learning and it’s actually a cultural phenomenon that’s not foreign to the school, but we’re just organizing it a bit differently than it’s been organized before,” said Currie.


[Read _The Phillipian_ Q&A with Oscar Tang.](