2015 McKeen Award
November 13, 2015
Kathy Dalton arriver at Andover in 1980, hired by Ted Sizer, as the first woman Ph.D. in the history department. Tony came a year later, in 1981, when the Dean of Faculty Jack Richards offered him the opportunity to “split a full-time instructorship with his bride-to-be, Kathy Dalton.” From the beginning, they were activists for gender equality. Kathy helped form a supportive Emma Goldman society in the history department, and Tony was an ally in those efforts.
The early years of coeducation at Andover were not easy for people interested in gender equality, and Kathy and Tony were trailblazers in many respects. With 75% of the faculty being male when they arrived, and a culture that demeaned the Abbot legacy and put the agenda of male faculty and students well above that of the female ones, Andover was a challenging place to live and teach. Kathy and Tony continuously pushed the administration to address of sexual harassment and discrimination in its admissions, hiring, salary, and housing policies. And slowly, with the help of a few likeminded colleagues and a supportive series of heads of school, they started to make a difference. They organized a support system to encourage women to speak during faculty meetings- something that was frowned upon at that time. Tony also helped run a yearlong Headmaster’s Symposium on gender for all seniors during Don McNemar‘s administration.
Gender equity was not Kathy and Tony’s only goal; they pushed to end discrimination on all fronts, with Tony working in the early days of the CAMD office to help develop mandatory anti-racism training for the faculty and collaborating first with Cathy Royal and then with Becky Sykes to support students and colleagues of color. Tony was on the Life Issues committee, which started the course that later because PACE, and he an Maggie Jackson pioneered the curriculum of date-rape prevention on campus. He also advised Men’s Forum and worked tirelessly with male faculty and students on male gender issues. More recently, Tony partnered with Frank Tipton to initiate the very first conversations about transgender issues on campus and push for support of our trans students. In the meantime, Kathy started the first history department gender studies course in 1981, and both Kathy and Tony taught it off and on until 2000, when it became Tony’s course. After Kathy published the Coeducation Study in 1986, she con-founded the Women’s Forum with a group of students and faculty and later partnered with Becky Sykes to create the Girls’ Leadership Project.
Together, Kathy and Tony were instrumental in the efforts that led to the founding of the Brace Center for Gender Studies in 1996. Their dedication to and impact on the center’s mission and programs extend well beyond the years when they served as center directors. We are honored to present the 2015 McKeen Award to Kathy Dalton and Tony Rotundo in recognition of their commitment to gender equity and diversity, and inspired and dedicated leadership in education.