Grandparents Visit Classes and Galleries as Part of Grandparents’ Day Programming

Grandparents from all across the globe arrived on campus for a day packed with lessons, speakers, athletic competitions and food. Grandparents’ Day, held last Saturday, welcomed over 300 grandparents to campus, entertaining them with mock classes and a talent show.

Greeted with a light breakfast and coffee at registration in the Underwood Room, grandparents checked in at 9 a.m. and signed up for classes of their choice. Visitors had the option to choose astronomy, ornithology, English or Russian classes held in their respective academic buildings. They also had the opportunity to explore the art collection at the Addison Gallery of American Art or examine skeletal remains of a supposed German mercenary at the Robert S. Peabody Museum. They also signed up for a student-led campus tour.

“For Grandparents’ Day, my grandmother on my mother’s side came to visit, as well as my aunt. I hadn’t seen them in a few months, so it was great to spend some time with people who I don’t usually get to see,” said JayShawn Fuller ’17.

Many grandparents made the trek to Gelb Science Center to learn about Andover’s astronomy program in the Observatory Deck. Looking through the state-of-the-art telescope, grandparents examined the rays of the sun through the lens.

Afterwards, Paresky Commons opened its doors for a hearty brunch, featuring baked ham, scalloped potatoes and plates of chocolate chip cookies. At 1 p.m., Head of School John Palfrey came to greet the grandparents in the Underwood Room. Soon after, grandparents were treated to a Student Showcase, featuring performances by a number of clubs and organizations. Azure and the Yorkies, two of the Showcase’s main acts, filled the auditorium with a cappella music.

Addressing the grandparents before the Showcase, Palfrey said that Grandparents’ Day is one of his favorite occasions of the year, adding that he loves the opportunity to meet grandparents and share the special day with them. In his remarks, Palfrey expressed his gratitude for the many ways that grandparents contribute to their grandchildren’s educational experiences.

To finish the day, grandparents ventured out to the athletic fields and watched a number of home athletic competitions. From lacrosse to crew to cycling, almost every sports team went head-to-head on behalf of Andover: Blue Key Heads even encouraged some grandparents in the crowd to chime in with their loud cheers.

Stacy Gillis P ’15, ’17, ’19, Associate Director of Parent Development, who has helped run the event for the past two years, said that over 1000 grandparents were invited and over 100 students had grandparents attend.

“Grandparents’ Day is always one of the most enjoyable events on campus, because grandparents are so excited to have the opportunity to share in their grandchildren’s Andover experiences and are always so proud,” said Gillis.