Andover For Life

No matter how many years it’s been since graduation or how many miles from Andover Hill you’ve traveled, stepping back on campus for reunion is like coming home. Time disappears and you are transported back to your dorm room, giggling late into the night. You relive sharing meals in Paresky Commons, cheering for Big Blue at A-E games, studying (or not!) in the library, and trudging to early morning classes.

In these stories, alumni share special PA memories and reflect on the bonds they formed here, from budding campus romances to lifelong friendships and family ties.

Stories by Jane Dornbusch & Allyson Irish
Headline illustration by Molly Magnell ’14

2006

Paul Engelhardt ’06 and Carlisle “Carly” Williams Engelhardt ’06

Once classmates and now a couple married for two years, Paul and Carly Engelhardt have fond memories of their Andover years, many of which relate to their nascent romance.

“Paul and I met on the first day of orientation our freshman year,” said Carly. “Our orientation groups went to [Paresky] Commons for lunch at the same time. We happened to take seats across from each other at those long wooden tables. We felt a spark the first time we saw each other, and 14 years later, we were married. PA has played a huge role in our lives. It’s where we met, dated, shared successes and disappointments, and sat side by side at graduation.”

For Paul, attending prom with his future wife is a favorite Andover memory. “I’ll never forget how beautiful Carly looked that day and how lucky I felt to be her date. Both of our parents and Carly’s grandmother were there, and we even had the honor of leading the Class of ’06 at the front of Promenade.”

1976Cheryl Ancrum, Sandra Pate, Margaret “Peggy” Dolgenos, and Kristen “Kris” Manos, Class of ’76

“These are some great ladies!” said Sandra Pate, “and that’s why I attended reunion. The best time of my life was at Andover, and to have such beautiful memories reframed by time and by friends that I am so blessed to have in my life—both then and now—has been refreshing.”

Dolgenos described reunion as “kind of a ‘make new friends and keep the old’ situation.” She and Pate have kept in touch on and off through Facebook and rented a house together during Reunion Weekend. She was not as close to Ancrum or Manos while at Andover, but found common ground at reunion discussing careers and similar personal interests.

“This was a great group of women to talk with,” Dolgenos said. “I really respect and admire each of them; it was only one of many such serendipitous gatherings.”

1991

Roxane Williams, Millicent Channell, Martha Frahm, German Acosta, Tiffany Corley, and Victor Mejia,  Class of ’91

Roxane: “I came to PA as a new upper in the fall of 1989. Tiffany Chanel Corley and I were in the same dorm, Isham. She and I have remained friends ever since, including through a shared college experience at Wesleyan. Tiffany, Victor, Millie, and I were all in Af-Lat-Am together, too. Though I’m not a traditional American minority, I’m a coal miner’s daughter from Appalachia who didn’t fit in quite as well with the kids who looked more like me. Af-Lat-Am welcomed me with open arms; most of my best friends came from there.

“Andover is home—maybe because it’s the first place we went away, or because we were children there together. We have a shared love for our PA home.”

2006

Dina Burkitbayeva, Jeffrey “Jeff” Zhou, Andrew Park, Jennifer “Jeni” Lee, Rajeev Saxena, and Benjamin “Ben” Levenback, Class of ’06

Jeni: “I think the greatest thing that is shared among this group of friends is the diversity—I actually think [former advisor to Asian Society] Aya Murata influenced all of our lives in one way or another! For instance, I worked with Dina on the Asian Arts Festival productions, and Jeff and I were part of the Chinese Taiwanese Student Association. Rajeev was part of Indo-Pak. Andrew was a new upper and was close to Ms. Murata, as she was onboarding many of the uppers.”

Jeff: “Andover is where we all became friends, and it will always be the glue that keeps us together. We share this amazing Andover experience that’s impossible to fully describe to others.”

6-11-16-ANDOVER, MA Phillips Academy Reunion

Jon Noll ’66, P’01, and Ida “Pinky” Cattley Noll ’66, P’01

“Robbie Brown ’66 introduced us in September of 1965 after a service at Cochran Chapel,” said Pinky. “We spoke, and I think we made arrangements to meet again the following Sunday after church.” The future Mr. and Mrs. Noll had sparked a romance that has lasted 50 years.

The pair went to sporting events and dances at Andover and took walks downtown and around the Abbot Circle. “It is difficult to recollect or appreciate the constraints upon us at that time,” said Pinky. “Abbot had a well-deserved reputation for diligently monitoring and supervising the interactions of boys and girls. Male visitors were allowed on Sunday after church only. We occasionally carved out ‘alone time’ at the local book store, but those moments were few and far between. Looking back on it, it’s amazing we stayed together! We would never have met had we not been at Andover and Abbot.”

TakavorianRonald “Tak” Takvorian ’66 and Sarah Takvorian ’06

As her father played the piano in Cochran Chapel Reunion Weekend, Sarah Takvorian looked on with pride. “This is my first time seeing my father play publicly and it’s pretty special.”

Though the two attended Andover decades apart, Sarah says she is grateful for their shared Andover experience, which “surpasses almost all others that we’ve had together.

“My dad tells stories of the 1960s Andover boys throwing butter onto the ceiling in [Paresky] Commons to see if it would stick and putting on a ‘faculty car showcase’ as their senior prank. Those things didn’t exactly fall within my Andover experience 40 years later. But frankly, much ultimately seems common across our two experiences: The non sibi culture, a commitment to excellence, an astounding diversity of opportunities available to students, and the extended community that endures and strengthens long after graduation.”

Lassater

Garland “Gar” Lasater Jr. ’56 and Mollie Lasater ’56 with nephew Miles Lasater ’96 (son of Gar’s brother, Ike, ’68); Miles’s wife, Elizabeth “Liz” Lasater ’96; and their three children

Mollie: “Gar and I met through our families in San Antonio, well before Andover. We were in the same class, which has made our relationship with Andover a lot more fun. What got me involved with Andover was the bicentennial campaign, in 1978. Headmaster Ted Sizer was very influential; I thought he was wonderful, and Garland and I started coming back for reunions.

“Between both sides of our family, 19 family members have gone to Andover. Garland IV would be the fourth Gar to go to Andover. He’s 10, and he’s primed to go!”