2008 McKeen Award
January 18, 2008
One of the first women to teach in the English Department after the merger between Phillips and Abbot Academies, Carole arrived in Andover in 1979 with her (then( young son and stayed until her retirement in 2006. Over the years, she managed to combine the demands of teaching many sections of writing-intensive courses with her passion for theater, eventually becoming a successful playwright. Carole’s string of senior elective courses, which included sections onJewish women writers as well a on female playwrithts, gave a distinctive gendered focus to the English curriculum at a time when such offerings were few and far betwween, Dubbed “Braverperson” by colleague Lynne Kelly, Carole was also a role model fr the many women in the faculty who struggle daily with the pressures of a demanding workload coupled with the needs of small children.
Ada’s presence graced our campus from 1983 to 2007, many of us are still not reconciled to the idea of losing her to Deerfield. ADA was influential in all areas of the school; her caring and compassionate personality, her generosity of spirits, and her utter inability to say “no” to anyone made her endearing to generations of students, as well as to countless staff members and colleagues in the faculty. In the ?English department, among many other accomplishments, Ada was a visionary in participating in many curricular activities, such as the study of films as literary texts, the current English 300 scheme, and electives such as the groundbreaking “Images of Women:)which she and Mary Fulton alternated teaching for many years) as well as her and Peter’s interdisciplinary “Words and Music.” Outside of Bullfinch, her contributions were numerous, some of the included mentoring Asian and Asian-American students, creating “The Secret Garden” behind SHED as a memorial to Abbot Academy alumna, and advocating for benefits such as paid maternity leave, which have significantly improved the quality of life of many younger women in the faculty.
After teaching at NMH and St. Paul’s, Mary arrived at Andover in 1985 to join a growing number of women faculty in Bullfinch. A proud Anglophile, she quickly made her mark in the department with courses such as the electives on Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, which have become perennial favorites. Until 2006, Mary was the section head of English 300, helping develop and sustain . the focus on literature that is the greatest strength of the course. Among her colleagues, Mary is famous for her photographic memory- she is able to quote entire passages from any Austen novel or Shakespeare play, not to mention countless old movies and TV shows- as well as for her unwavering political positions. We are grateful that not even a recent string of lovely grandchildren has persuaded Mary to think about retirement, and we hope to enjoy her talents in Bullfinch and in the school at large for many years to come.
Lynne arrived at PA in 1986, after teaching for a few years at Newton North and then at Andover High- a career that itself didn’t get started until she had spent some time at home, raising her sons. What Lynne had missed in teaching time, however, she more than compensated for with innovation and quality. Her by now legendary course “The Empire Strikes Back” included in the curriculum many voices that up until then had not been represented in our teaching: it became an instant hit. Even in apparently more traditional courses, such as her current elective on Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Lynne has made sure to deconstruct the streak of male dominance that seems to permeate the texts, opening up many interesting avenues of exploration for the “girl-women” that flock her classes. Outside of the classroom, Lynne has been a mentor to countless young women in the department – from teaching fellows to new faculty members – all of whom she has inspired and befriended in special ways.