Head of School John Palfrey announced a $5 million gift from Peter Currie ’74, President of the Board of Trustees, to the endowment of the Tang Institute in a press release on January 28. Currie’s gift will be used primarily to fund the Institute’s endeavors under Caroline Nolan, the inaugural Currie Family Director of the Tang Institute.
Combined with previous support from Oscar Tang ’56, former President of the Board of Trustees, along with gifts from fellow trustees, alumni and parents, Currie’s donation brought the Institute’s total endowment to more than $20 million.
“We are tremendously grateful for [Currie’s] gift and humbled by the fact that two generations of trustee leadership have eagerly stepped forward to establish a solid foundation for the faculty-inspired work for the Tang Institute,” said Palfrey.
Currie said that one inspiration for his support of the Institute was the ideas outlined in Andover’s new Strategic Plan. “The Tang Institute is definitely part of that vision [in the plan] — a center devoted to the art, science and assessment of teaching and learning,” he added.
The Tang Institute has already collaborated with Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization, to create an online calculus course, support off-campus programs in places like India, China, Brazil and South Africa, facilitate student and faculty research of the science of learning and develop an astronomy web portal.
These initiatives have been propelled by partnerships between Andover faculty, students and off-campus educators and organizations and overseen by Nolan, who joined Andover a year ago after working as the Associate Director at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
“Having exposure to team-based projects that [are] mediated by global connectivity and experimentation will serve young people extremely well. The ability to test new ideas, iterate and adapt are highly sought qualities in today’s economy,” said Currie.
Palfrey added, “I see the Tang Institute as Andover’s contribution to what will be a highly distributed global conversation about the future of secondary education… The establishment of the Institute with such generous support marks great progress towards that vision.”