September 29 marked the dedication of the Great Quads as the Richard T. Greener Quadrangle. Faculty, alumni, and students gathered in front of Samuel Phillips Hall to commemorate the renaming of the Quad.
Head of School John Palfrey deemed the Greener Quad as “our school’s most precious patch of land” during the ceremony. According to Palfrey, the dedication of the Quad was made possible by an anonymous donor and funds gathered by Andover’s Knowledge and Goodness Campaign.
According to Andover’s website, Richard T. Greener studied Latin, Greek, and English at Andover before graduating in 1865. Greener went on to become the first African American graduate from Harvard University in 1870. He then became the first black professor at the University of South Carolina. As both a writer and speaker on racial equality, Greener held his tenure as a Dean at the Howard University School of Law.
During the dedication ceremony, Linda Carter-Griffith, Assistant Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness, described Greener as “one of the most eloquent and effective voices of racial equality.”
The convocation consisted of an introduction by Griffith, followed by acknowledgements from Palfrey and Reggie Hayes ’93. Gospel Choir concluded the convocation with a performance.
“[The dedication is] historic and one of the most important things that Andover could do to make the most important place where the community gathers into honoring someone who really lives the values of the academy. I just think it is overwhelming and perfect,” said Karen Humphries Sallick ’83.
During his speech, Hayes acknowledged what he thought of as Andover’s most important aspects.
“I view this day not only as a tribute to Richard Greener, but also as a tribute to this little school on a hill… the first is [the] commitment to Non Sibi, and the second is the school’s perpetual quest to evolve. I hope today is just one additional step in Andover’s perpetual journey to build a culture of diversity,” said Hayes.
Several students among the audience recognized the dedication as a significant event for Andover. Some students acknowledged the furthered diversity that they thought the dedication promoted.
“I thought it was a very special moment, especially for the history of [Andover]. If you look around, you can see that not many buildings are dedicated to people of African-American race, so I think dedicating a whole Quad to him is very impressive,” said Jonathan Aziabor ’22.
“This intentional commitment to diversity is not simply a bullet point on brochures, but something I see every day on this campus,” said Thaddeus Hunt ’19, co-president of Afro-Latinx-American Society.
Donald Abbott, former faculty member and organizer of the dedication, thought the dedication promoted inclusion at Andover. He emphasized the importance of inclusion from a broader outlook as well.
“It’s a marvelous day. It’s a day that taps into some of the most important values of this school. Inclusion is what we are not only all about, but what we still have to be better at, and especially better at the times we are looking at in America today,” said Abbott.