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Founders Day Celebration

November 30, 2011

November 30this a special day on the St. Andrew’s yearly calendar:  the date marks the formal opening of the School and the dedication and laying of the cornerstone outside my office in Founders

Members of the Class of 2015

Hall.  On this day in 1929, Alexis Felix duPont, Bishop Cook and Trustees joined Headmaster Walden Pell to give thanks for the creation of St. Andrew’s and to look forward to its future as an American boarding school.

Today on November 30, 2011, I met with Board Chair Kitten Gahagan and members of the Chichester Foundation as they conducted their annual meeting.  We toured the campus, celebrated the historic beauty of Founders Hall and the new Arts Center and Field House, and made special visits to the dining room and the Felix duPont Chapel.  We all appreciated the generosity of the Founders’ original vision and the spectacular undertaking of the mission over the past 81 years.  The Chichester Foundation continues to lead us as one of the School’s most generous supporters.

In Chapel tonight, we welcome architect Dick Meyer who intensively studied both the vision of the Founders and the spirit and methodology of the architect Arthur Brockie who designed the magnificent main building overlooking Noxontown Pond.  In his career, Meyer designed the new Boat House, the O’Brien Arts Center, the Genereaux Aquatic Center, the new Facilities Building and two new faculty homes.  He creatively renovated the library, dining room, Chapel, lower level of Founders Hall and common rooms in the boys’ dorms.

Most memorably, Meyer created the Strand, the beautiful path that leads the community seamlessly and naturally from Founders Hall towards Amos Hall, the O’Brien Arts Center and the Sipprelle Field House.  It was Meyer’s brilliant vision to reclaim and capture the paths and walkways our original students used to walk from the main building to the gym.  In so doing, he opened up new light and new windows into Amos Hall and magically brought the entire campus together.

Our Founders and our architects have always understood that our campus was intended to be a community in which students and adults live, work, study and play together.  Our campus now flourishes because we all are connected, united and joined by a common and noble purpose.

We celebrate Founders Day here today and thank all St. Andreans for their contributions to the flourishing of the School.

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