Knocking thrice on the wood of the 300-year-old elm tree to reveal an entryway lit by the eternal fires of the damned, Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students and Residential Life, led the Dean’s Circle into the underworld for their tenth annual department bonding retreat. To commemorate the trip’s anniversary, Elliott invited a reporter from The Phillipian to join. Here is his account:
As we entered the gates of hell, smiles spread across the deans’ faces as they caught up with old friends and cries echoed out, both from the reunion scene and from the pool of eternal despair below. Beelzebub ’94, Lord of Flies and Ruler of the Underworld said in an interview, “Yeah, it’s sad, we just don’t get to see this bunch that much anymore. The meetings each year are too short, it’s been a long while since I’ve had a solid talk with Jen [Elliott].” Wiping a tear away, Mr. Lord of the Flies recounted stories of his old classmate—who he described as a “good old chum,” and, “always tough in the fire pits.”
After they graduated together, Elliott and King of Darkness spent a brief time as colleagues as Elliott began her Andover administrative career painstakingly crafting the EBI curriculum in the off-campus hell office. Digging through a pile of archives which smelled of sulfur and broken dreams, much like the current Dean of Students Office, I found old photographs of the Empathy and Balance team the two co-directed in a matching set of ironed jean jackets (from left to right): Aeshma, Emperor of Wrath P’21, Astaroth, Great Duke of Hell GP ’19, and Mr. Rajesh Mundra P’18 P’20, Instructor in Biology and Associate Dean of Students.
As the weekend’s programming began, I got a brief glimpse of the initial meetings. Addressing a circled crowd of colleagues, old, current, and ancient, Dean Elliott began her speech with a question: “What are you thankful for?” For a brief moment, the only noise in the room was the eternal wail of the cursed and broken. Then, from the crowd, a timid hand rose, and Amaymom, Prince of Lies ’04 volunteered, “I’m thankful for my mom,” to a group of smirks and snickers that were met with cruel and swift punishment at the hand of Satan in the flogging fields.
At press time, Vivien. Mallick, Director of Admission Operations, could be seen corralling Belial, Andover Class of 1826, Judge of the Accursed and God of Pain, and Jerry Thomas ’14, Intern, for an Instagram photo: #NumbersAfterNames!