THE FIRST three months of 1933 were traumatic for Phillips Academy. In January Professor James Hardy Ropes, President of the Board of Trustees, died suddenly. At about the same time Al Stearns's letter of resignation was received, and though the Trustees had known that it was coming, it was a shock to the Andover community as a whole. On March 12 Charlie Forbes died of a heart attack. Thomas Cochran was in poor health, and although he had been able to attend the dedication of the Cochran Chapel in May of 1932, he never returned to Andover after that, and his driving force was missing from the Board. Finally, in the spring James Sawyer became ill and was unable to carry out the duties of his office for a year. It seemed as if some malign spirit were trying to destroy the Academy.(1)
At this critical juncture the Trustees turned to Claude M. Fuess, who had been teaching English at the School since 1908 and had performed many other services as well, such as editing the Bulletin, serving as Secretary to the Alumni Council, and arranging for the Sesquicentennial. Fuess had never considered the Headmastership; indeed he was at the time seriously considering accepting the post of Professor of Biography at Amherst College, where he would be free to write and conduct a few classes. When he explained this, Judge Bishop, who had just been elected to succeed James Ropes as President of the Board, replied, "Nonsense! You've just got to help us out here." "Do you mean to say," Fuess asked, "that I've got to be Headmaster whether I want to be or not?" "Not necessarily Headmaster," replied the judge. "This doesn't mean that you're not going to be Headmaster; on the other hand it doesn't mean you're going to be."(2) Fuess allowed himself to be persuaded, and the next morning took the Headmaster's position in Chapel, with, as he freely admits, his knees shaking. He had been elected Acting Headmaster, and the Trustees were now faced with the necessity of deciding who the new Headmaster should be-- -Fuess or some man from outside the School. Just how thoroughly the Trustees canvassed the field outside the School is impossible to say. In mid-April a list of thirty possible candidates was circulated among them that was broad enough in scope. It included such people as Frank Boyden of Deerfield, President James Phinney Baxter of Williams, Henry Kittredge of St. Paul's, Professor Kenneth Murdock of Harvard, Louis Zahner of Groton, George Van Santvoord of Hotchkiss, and a number of other headmasters and college administrators.(3) It is hard to believe that the Trustee Committee entrusted with the task of recommending a Headmaster to the full Board could have interviewed all these distinguished people in the space of a little over a month. They doubtless decided early on that they should stick with someone whom they knew and respected, someone, furthermore, who knew Phillips Academy thoroughly and whose election would reassure the Andover community. In any event, at the Trustee Meeting of 28 May 1933 Claude M. Fuess was elected Headmaster. Writing to judge Bishop about the choice, Jim Sawyer said, "Not for years have I been so contented as far as the school situation is concerned. With all my heart I believe we have a fine leader and under him the school will go forward to greater heights and prestige. The enthusiasm of every member of the Board over this appointment was certainly very gratifying . . .(4)
The man who was to serve as the Tenth Headmaster of Phillips Academy had been born in Waterville, New York, on 12 January 1885, the son of Louis Philip and Helen Augusta Moore Fuess.(5) From the very beginning he had trouble with his name. No one seems to know why his parents picked "Claude," but it is certain that neither he nor his friends liked it. During his youth in Waterville, N.Y., he acquired the nickname "Dutch," and he was discouraged later to find that the tag had followed him to Amherst College. When he became engaged to Elizabeth Goodhue in 1910, she gave short shrift to "Claude," announcing firmly that she was going to call him "Jack"; and thereafter his friends knew him by that name. Students at Andover often referred to him as "Claudie," or, after he became Headmaster, "B.D." (Bald Doctor). Apparently Jack Fuess had no objection to his middle name of Moore, but he often bemoaned the wildly varied pronunciation of Fuess. As he put it, "I have become accustomed to Fuss, Few-ess, Fuse, Feis, and Foos," and finally someone wrote a bit of doggerel to illustrate the problem:
He'll exclaim, "Oh what's the use!"
When he hears you utter "Fuess."
And he'll like it even less
If you say it's Mr. Fuess.
If you want to hear him cuss
Just be sure to call him Fuess.
All his wonted calm he'll lose
If perchance you murmur "Fuess";
But he'll thank you on his knees
If you will but call him "Fuess."(6)
Despite these difficulties, he resisted steadfastly the suggestions of friends that he simplify the name; it was an honorable one in Germany as well as in the United States, and he was content to bear it in its original form.
Jack Fuess's grandfather, Jacob, was a native of Annweiler in the Bavarian Palatinate who had emigrated to the United States after the Revolution of 1848. He settled first in New York City and did well enough to send back to Germany for his sweetheart, Johanna Valeria Woerner. After the Civil War the couple bought a farm outside Waterville, and members of the family have lived there ever since. Jack remembers his grandfather as a dreamer with an Imperial beard who always spoke English with a pronounced foreign accent. His grandmother, with white lace collar and lace cap, reminded him of a Rembrandt Portrait. He remembered particularly the Christmas celebrations, with a gorgeous tree, German cakes and cookies, and the singing of such songs as O Tannenbaum. But the German traditions vanished with the next generation. Jack's father Louis had a typically American education, going to Waterville High and then reading law in the office of a local lawyer and continuing his studies at a law school in New York City. He then hung out his shingle in Waterville, married Hannah Moore, who came from a long line of New England clergymen and magistrates, and began raising a family. Jack Fuess had an uneventful upbringing in Waterville. He enjoyed what he called "the democratic atmosphere of a New York country village" and followed his father's example by attending Waterville High, where he did well enough to win the chance of a college education. Friends of his father had gone to Amherst College, and one of his own best friends planned to go there. As a result, Jack applied for admission and was immediately accepted. It was a fortunate choice, and Amherst was to be one of his great enthusiasms for the rest of his life. He liked to tell the story of his saying good-bye to his Mother as he was leaving for college. According to his report, she said to him: "Claude, you certainly are homely, but you may do well."(7) Mrs. Fuess's prophecy was more than borne out by Jack's record at Amherst. As a member of the Class of 1905, he excelled in his studies, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. But he was no mere grind. He joined Alpha Delta Phi, one of the strongest social fraternities in the college, and soon became a leader in the organization. Nor did his interest in his fraternity end with graduation; he was a loyal supporter throughout his life and was at one time president of its national organization. But it was the friendships and student life that endeared Amherst to him and led him in later years to serve as President of the Alumni Association, to write a history of the college as well as countless articles for its alumni magazine, and to serve as one of the great presiding officers of all time for many college meetings. Jack's relationship to Amherst was clearly a love affair.
According to Jack, he first decided on a scholarly career when he heard the Amherst College professor George Bosworth Churchill read Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" to his class one gloomy November afternoon in 1904. In any event, after graduation from Amherst he proceeded to Columbia graduate school to pursue the study of English. He spent two years there, getting an M.A. along the way and passing the dreaded orals that were a requirement for the Ph.D. On the advice of Professor William P. Trent, his mentor, he decided to take a year off and try his hand at teaching, which he did at the George School, a Quaker institution outside Philadelphia. His experience there convinced him that he did indeed want to follow a teaching career, though he emerged with serious reservations about coeducation---the George School being a coeducational institution.
After a summer of canoeing in the Canadian woods, he went back to Waterville, intent on returning to Columbia to finish his doctorate. Much to his surprise he received one day a telegram from Alfred E. Stearns asking him to come to Boston to discuss a position as instructor in English at Andover. He wired back that he was not interested. Another telegram came asking him to meet Stearns at Springfield. Again Jack said no. A third telegram suggested that a meeting be held at Albany. Jack's father suggested that this man Stearns must be pretty much in earnest about his offer and urged Jack to go to Albany. This he did and found that Al Stearns was offering him $1200 with room and board, which was pretty good for those days. But Al's trump card was a telegram he had from Professor George Carpenter at Columbia, one of Jack's teachers, urging Jack to accept the Andover position. As a result, thirty-six hours later he was ensconced in Draper Cottage to start an Andover career that was to last forty years.
In Jack's early years at the School he continued to work on his thesis, which finally was published as "Lord Byron as a Satirist in Verse" and which was accepted for his Ph.D. in 1912. In 1911 he had married Elizabeth Cushing Goodhue, a member of an old and distinguished New England family, and in 1912 their only child, John Cushing Fuess, was born. From the very beginning Jack did much more than carry a full teaching load. He was active in the alumni association and served for many years as the editor of the Phillips Bulletin, which became a distinguished publication under his leadership. In 1917 he published his first important book---a history of Phillips Academy entitled An Old New England School. That same year he was commissioned a major in the army quartermaster corps and spent an instructive time at a camp in Jacksonville, Florida. But it was not long before he was back in Andover to play a leading part in the fund drive of 1919-20. And when the Sesquicentennial celebration was being mounted, he had a responsible role to play. Considering the many ways in which he had served the school over the years, it is not surprising that the Trustees should turn to him when they needed someone to head Phillips Academy.
Jack's many peripheral activities should not be allowed to hide the fact that he was one of the great teachers of English in his generation. John U. Monro, '30, currently a Trustee of the Academy, said of his teaching:
From Jack Fuess, in his big sunny classroom in Pearson Hall, I learned the joy and the basic skills of writing. Jack Fuess cared about writing, knew about it, and worked at it; and he liked students and wanted them to know, too, and he was crisp and good-humored and civilized about it all, and so he got through. I thought then, and I still think, that Jack Fuess was one of the two great school teachers of my time. His manner was to stand straight before us on the low platform, hands cocked on hips, heels together, a knee twitching, now and then the flat of a hand brushing back nervously over the bald head; his smile was broad and confident, his voice quick and firm; here was a friendly, lively, interested man, keen to have you share with him the fun, the work, and the importance of clear, expressive, disciplined writing. For most of college and all my working life I have thought of myself as dependent for survival mainly on writing, and the solid growing pleasure I take in the use of language I trace back easily to Jack Fuess.(8)
Another alumnus remembers his teaching:
Among my own recollections of him as a teacher, one of the most vivid is of his reading poetry to us---Milton, Shakespeare, Keats, Swineburne, Frost, and many others. He had a voice that could thrill his listeners; and while the emotional message of the piece he was reading always came through loud and clear, he never slopped over into sentimentality. He had the somewhat old-fashioned notion that it was good pedagogy to make his students learn yards of poetry by heart, and I still think of him whenever I read "To hear the Lark begin his flight / And singing startle the dull night" or "Thou wast not born for Death, immortal Bird." As for prose, he was especially gifted at interpreting Boswell's Johnson to us, and seemed to enjoy immensely reading the great Doctor's replies to his Scotch friend's queries. "'SIR,' said Johnson," Jack would boom, and we could all but see the Lexicographer standing before us. Hardly a class went by when we were not treated to an example of Jack's sense of humor, and he enjoyed nothing more---then as always during his lifetime---than turning a joke on himself. On one occasion we were all made to write some heroic couplets; much to Jack's delight one wag turned up with the following:
I see the bust of Plato on the shelf,
Methinks that Claudie should be there himself.
Another of his favorites was:
Her lips were red, her neck was like the swan,
And that's the neck I do my necking on.
Yet one should not get the idea that Jack's classes were mere vaudeville acts. He could be a brisk disciplinarian and on occasion would burst out with a long jeremiad on the stupidity of Andover seniors. And he could be savage with a sloppy theme. I well remember the bloody remains of a composition I wrote on Samuel Johnson in which I had spelled the name "Johnston" throughout. In short, Jack could combine a rigorous discipline in writing with a contagious enthusiasm for literature in the same English course, and make his students respect the one and respond to the other. It is small wonder that few of his boys ever forgot their work with him.(9)
This, then, was the man who took over as Acting Headmaster in March, 1933, and as Headmaster in his own right the following May. He was to continue in office for the next fifteen years---and they were difficult ones too. It was Jack Fuess's lot to preside over the School during the Great Depression and World War II, and this, almost by definition, meant that opportunities for innovation would be limited. One student of Jack's term of office after 1940 has characterized it as a "Holding Operation" and indeed this term could well be applied to all his years as Headmaster.(10) To be sure he was able to accomplish some useful things in the 1930's and generally to change the tone of the School in important ways, but there could be nothing like the excitement of the Cochran years. He succeeded in bringing about a major revision of the curriculum, but the change did not last much beyond his own Headmastership. He vastly improved the health services provided for the undergraduate body. In what was undoubtedly his most daring stroke, he attempted to abolish the School's secret societies, only to be stymied when alumni reaction proved too powerful. His major achievement was to modify the "sink-or-swim" policy that had been characteristic of the Academy for many years. He used to tell the story of a Faculty meeting that took place in the 1920's. As the meeting came to a close, one member of the Faculty remarked, in amazement, that not a single student had been fired. At this point a senior member roused himself, determined that the School's reputation for toughness should not be compromised, and announced, "Well, I have a candidate." He then proceeded with a short synopsis of the unfortunate boy's sins. Without further discussion-and apparently, according to Jack, with a good deal of relish-the Faculty then fired the boy and adjourned.(11) Under Jack such a cold-blooded procedure would have been impossible. From the start he insisted that each boy be treated as an individual, and that each boy's welfare be considered, as well as that of the School, when problem cases came up. Under Jack a much more detailed system of reporting on boys was instituted, so that a student would no longer be at the mercy of the whim of a single Faculty member.
For many years the person in charge of student records had been a sweet, birdlike woman named Alice T. Whitney. She kept account not only of the student's academic record, but of his cuts as well, and a large amount of her time was devoted to tracking down culprits who had failed to show up in class. And she performed this onerous task with a gentleness and understanding that made the whole School love her. When Dr. Willet L. Eccles became Registrar, after the death of Cecil Bancroft, he introduced a much more modern and scientific reporting procedure, so that a boy's entire record could be easily reviewed from a single small card. The result was that whenever the Headmaster or the Faculty wished to know about a boy, the record of his achievements and sins was easily available for all to use.
One of the most important achievements of the Fuess regime was accomplished before his election as Headmaster, while he was still only acting in that capacity. This was a major overhaul of the curriculum that was put through in the spring of 1933. For some time the Phillips Academy curriculum had been criticized by alumni and various college officials as not having kept pace with educational changes in the country. While adequate for college admission, it did not, it was charged, prepare the boys to meet the problems in the world around them---it was out of touch with life. The difficulty was that it lacked flexibility, variety, and proportion. Jack Fuess summed up its deficiencies for Judge Bishop, President of the Board of Trustees, as follows:
It devotes relatively too much attention to foreign languages and to language study in general. It asks for too large an amount of mathematics, to the exclusion of other equally valuable subjects. It does not supply sufficient instruction in science, in history, and in the fine arts.(12)
Individual members of the Faculty had been concerned about these problems for some time, and the eight Class Officers appear to have been considering curricular reform as well. Jack Fuess himself was one of the leaders of this movement long before he became Acting Headmaster. But there were various roadblocks: the uncertainty following Al Stearns's illness and Charlie Forbe's position as Acting Headmaster militated against moving ahead in such an important area. And it may well have been that Forbes did not want to push a program that would seriously weaken his beloved Latin. One of the recommendations of the reformers was that American history should become compulsory for all Seniors. The then President of the Board, James Ropes, said that American history would become compulsory over his dead body. And that, as Jack Fuess was wont to point out, is exactly what happened.(13) With Ropes and Forbes both dead the way was at last open, and at the Faculty Meeting of 23 March 1933, Acting Headmaster Fuess appointed a curriculum committee consisting of Dean Lester Lynde as Chairman, Freddie Boyce of the Physics Department, Archie Freeman of History, Allan Heely of English, and Horace Poynter of Classics.(14) Curriculum revision usually involves long and acrimonious debate, with the gutters running with blood, before something is finally hammered out. This committee finished its job in about six weeks, and when its report was presented to the Faculty on 9 May, it was approved 46-0, with Allen Benner and Frank Benton, two Classicists, abstaining.(15) That such a fundamental change could be accomplished in such a short time and with such unanimity by the Faculty indicates that a great deal of discussion must have preceded the formal action.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the new curriculum was the introduction of a compulsory four-year History program.(16) In the past it had been possible to graduate from Andover without having taken any history at all, though there were elective courses in ancient, English, and American history. Now history was to be required each year, with the particular subjects to be studied following the recommendation made by the Secondary School committee of the American Historical Association back in the early years of the century. The juniors (9th Grade) were to have a three-hour course in ancient history, presumably to complement their study of Latin or Greek, which most of them were beginning. In the Lower Middle year (10th Grade) there was a two-hour course in European history, focused on the Middle Ages, at a time when most of the class would be starting French. In the Upper Middle year (11th Grade) a three-hour course in English history was to be offered, again to complement the study of English literature begun in that year. And finally the Seniors (12th grade) would take a five-hour course in American history that would familiarize them with their country's past and its present problems. Before 1933 it was also possible to win an Andover diploma without having had any science at all. The new curriculum made the taking of one course in science a requirement for the diploma and provided for an introductory course in science for all juniors. Finally, there was concern that the Phillips Academy students of the day would be illiterate in art and music. Accordingly, a course in these two subjects was to be required for most Upper Middlers. Obviously if these new courses were to be added to the curriculum, some of the older requirements would have to yield, and it was in the language area that the requirements were reduced. For the first time since the founding of Phillips Academy in 1778, Latin was no longer a required course. Now the student could choose from among Latin, Greek, French, and German and was required, in most cases, to take three years of one and two years of another. By the same token the old four-year requirement in mathematics was reduced to three. Yet these shifts were not sufficient to meet the demands of the new curriculum. As a result, the total number of hours a boy was to take was raised from eighteen to twenty or twenty-one. It was promised that the increase in hours would be accompanied by shorter homework assignments. The new curriculum provided for more variety and more choice on the part of the student; yet four of the required courses and a large number of electives were one- or two-hour courses in which it would be difficult to accomplish a great deal.
The new curriculum was a step in the right direction. The reduction in mathematics and language requirements and the inclusion of science and art and music as necessary for the diploma were all long overdue. The history program, however, failed to realize what had been hoped for it. Ancient history, taught in a fairly conventional fashion to the juniors by Kenneth S. Minard, never meshed with the beginning classics courses as had been planned; indeed, the whole concept of the course bore testimony to the difficulty of establishing interdepartmental relationship between courses. The European history course, taught by the redoubtable Kilbrith J. ("Count") Barrows had similar troubles. In the first place, Barrows had six sections of two hours each, and after the first four or five sessions the bloom began to wear off. Nor did medieval France have much to do with starting the study of French. Barrows certainly did his best; he used to pep things up by calling the roll and conducting a brief conversation with each student; he introduced material on American railroads, a specialty of his; and he was regularly voted Favorite in the Classroom by many of the classes of this era. But the subject matter was wrong, the amount of time for the course was too short, and the students soon found themselves studying Barrows rather than Medieval France. The three-hour course in English history was something else again. The students in this course were more mature and thus more able to deal with historical material, and the techniques of the course were modeled on the Senior one in American history---taking notes in a notebook from assigned readings from books on reserve in the library. The course was designed to prepare for the Senior one and as a result emphasized British colonization, British constitutional history, and other subjects related to the United States. It was taught primarily by Leonard F. James, an Englishman by birth, who developed it into a truly meaningful learning experience. When the history sequence was abolished in the early 1950's, it was unfortunate that this course was not kept, for it served the dual purpose of acquainting the boys with the British past and of preparing them for the Senior courses in American history. This course, known for years as History 4, was the culmination of the history program and the most terrifying experience in the entire curriculum for most boys. The driving force behind History 4 was Dr. Arthur B. Darling, a former Professor at Yale who had come to Andover to succeed Archie Freeman, who was about to retire. When Darling took over the American history program, it was with a vengeance. He demanded extraordinarily high standards for all the students taking the course and soon became famous for the number who failed their diplomas in June as a result of failing American history. He was a brilliant teacher for able boys ---challenging, incisive, exciting, and at the same time erratic, emotional, and at times confusing. He was the despair of slow students, who never understood what he was talking about a good part of the time. One year he had a so-called slow section of nine students whom he used to call the Nine Old Men and was forever bemoaning their stupidity. A graduate returned one year and asked where Darling was. "He was the greatest teacher I ever had," he said. When a member of the Faculty asked why this was so, he replied, "Because he was so god-damned unreasonable:'
And he went on to say that he had run into many unreasonable things in life, but none that could touch Darling. Another graduate remembers the time when Darling read aloud what he considered a good final exam. The class wanted to know what grade the exam had received. "80," said Darling, as the class moaned. But then he went on to say, "I'd have only got 85 myself." Darling's standards could be really rough; one June he failed 23 out of 70 boys, all of whom missed their diplomas thereby. Yet year after year he stood high in the Senior polls as "Best Teacher" and for those who could get his message, the experience was unforgettable. In addition to Darling, Bill Bender, later Dean of Harvard, and Miles Malone taught American history during these years, and although they were not as tough as the "Doctor," they, too, made the course sing for many students. This, then, was the new curriculum that, with minor adjustments, was to constitute the School's academic program until the early 1950's.
Jack Fuess became Headmaster in the depth of the Great Depression, shortly after Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the Presidency. Despite the desperate condition of most of the country, the School managed to weather the hard times very well. Yet the Trustee Records indicate that there were problems. In 1932 Horace Poynter, for reasons of economy,(17) voluntarily gave up a sabbatical due him. In the same year, in an effort to help the town, the Trustees voted that all manual labor to be employed by the School be recruited in the town.(18) Tuition charges were a heavy burden on parents, and the Trustees recognized this by voting eight additional tuition remissions for "good" candidates.(19) Since, in the School's Constitution, Samuel Phillips had forbidden the reduction of teachers' salaries, the Trustees could not save money in this area, but they considered asking the Faculty to take voluntary reductions. Nothing was ever done about this, and actually the Faculty, most of whom were receiving salaries that had been set in the 1920's, lived very well during this period. It is interesting to note that when five new Faculty houses were built in 1938, each had a maid's room and bath, on the assumption that the teachers would continue to have maids, as they did in the 1930's.(20) As far as the financing of the School itself is concerned, the Trustees succeeded as well. Though there was a deficit of some $4,500 in 1934, the next three years showed surpluses of over $6,000. The years 1938 and 1939 were bad, however, with deficits of over $40,000 each year; but 1940 saw a return to a surplus. Considering the problems that other educational institutions were having, the record of the Trustees was praiseworthy.(21) Nor was there a falling off in the size of the student body. From 1931 to 1934 the number of students hovered around 650, but after that there was a fairly steady rise in numbers, the 700 mark being passed in the year 1936-37. By 1941 the number had reached 742, about one hundred more than ten years before.(22) What may have been a contributing factor in the School's growth was the introduction of a flat-rate, all-inclusive charge in 1934. Up until this time the charges for tuition, room, board, and other expenses had been computed separately, the dormitory rooms in particular varying a great deal in price according to their facilities and size. Now a rate of $1100 was established for all, regardless of where they roomed.(23) One effect of this decision was a program on the part of the School to improve some of the less desirable rooms so as to make them more nearly equal to the superior ones. The total of $1100 for room, board, and tuition was a bargain, even in the 1930's, and this flat-rate charge undoubtedly appealed to parents. All in all, the School weathered the Depression very well, and the institution was in general stronger at the end of the decade than at the beginning.
Perhaps the most important improvement accomplished during the Fuess years was in medical services. Before the twentieth century Phillips Academy had, in effect, no medical program. When boys got sick, they (as noted) stayed in their rooms until they got well, occasionally calling on physicians from the town if their condition became too desperate. Things changed for the better in 1902, when Peirson S. Page came to Andover as Director of Athletics and School doctor. From the beginning he devoted more of his time to the development of a strong program in physical education than to medical practice as such. He introduced compulsory physical examinations for each boy and a series of physical fitness tests that included such rigorous exercises as the rope climb, 'belly grinds," and swimming and running events. Many an Andover undergraduate, attempting to do the arm-over-arm rope climb, will remember Doc Page saying, "Using your feet---F." Boys who were unable to meet these fitness tests were put in special classes for special training. This group was known variously as "P.I. 's" (physically inefficient) or, the favorite undergraduate designation, "P.W.'s" (physical wrecks). In 1912 a great step was taken in the area of student health when Miss Flora Isham gave the School a small infirmary. For the first time in its history boys who were sick had a place to go where they would receive adequate medical care. Dr. Page dealt with relatively simple ailments---sprained ankles, acne, colds, stomach upsets, and the like. When the complaint was more serious, he would turn to the town doctors or, in truly serious cases, to Boston specialists. Dr. Page's favorite remedy for any kind of abrasion was to "paint it with iodine" and this became one of his nicknames. He also was concerned about the prevention of a common athletic ailment called "jock itch" and used to lecture the whole School on the subject at the start of each year. The remedy, according to Doc Page, was to take "a clean pocket handerchief" and place it between the jock strap and the body. One alumnus remembers an epidemic of pink eye (conjunctivitis) that ran through the School in the winter of 1931. Even though it seemed to be having little effect on the infection, Dr. Page had everyone putting Argerol in his eyes, with the result that everyone looked like a raccoon and was unable to go to class. In short, as Director of Athletics, Peirson Page did a fine job; as a medical doctor he left a good deal to be desired.(24)
All of this changed in 1934 when J. Roswell Gallagher, the most distinguished physician in the history of the School, came to Andover. It is always difficult for an institution like Phillips Academy to attract a topnotch doctor. Most of the diseases of adolescence are hardly those to challenge a highly trained, aggressive physician. After a while athletic injuries begin to pall. Ros Gallagher came to Andover, in part at least, because he was interested in studying the adolescent boy and in establishing norms for the physical and psychological make-up of boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Gallagher soon introduced the concept of the doctor-patient relationship, much to the rage of some of the Faculty. In the past a Housemaster had always been able to call the infirmary and find out what was wrong with one of his charges. Now he was met with a blank wall, for Gallagher believed that this was not the housemaster's business. He would talk with the parents if they wished to call up, but not to the School staff. In like manner he wanted the boys to feel free to talk with him about their problems, and thus it became understood that nothing would go outside his office, even if it involved the breaking of rules. Two examples of Ros Gallagher's modus operandi follow. He once wanted to talk to a boy who, he thought, was seriously disturbed emotionally, but he knew the boy would never come to see him if he called him in to his office. Accordingly, he called him up after chapel, together with a group of other ailing students. After asking how one boy's toe was, how another's cold was, he came to his boy and said, "What are you doing here?" The boy said he was told to report. The Doc looked in his book and then said, "Oh, your X-rays didn't come out. Come down sometime and we'll take some more." When the boy finally came down, Gallagher proceeded to take a lot of X-rays, without any plates in the machine, all the while talking to the boy and accomplishing his original purpose. The other example came as a result of a contagious disease that appeared in the School. Gallagher did not wish the boys to swim in the pool, but he did not want to alarm the school community. Accordingly, he went to the janitors in the gym and asked them what could go wrong with the swimming pool. They were puzzled at first but finally one said that the chlorinating system could break down." "It's just broken down," said Ros, and proceeded to put a notice to that effect in the School bulletin. All of this was a far cry from the health care that Phillips Academy students had had before the 1930's, and in 1935 the facilities for health care were further enhanced by the construction of a large wing on the rear of the old Isham Infirmary. Not only were additional beds made available but complete laboratory facilities as well. As a result, the Phillips Academy infirmary was recently classified as a hospital, and on the basis of its equipment it well deserves the designation.
Under Ros Gallagher the definition of health care was greatly expanded. No longer was it limited primarily to diseases and athletic injuries; every aspect of the adolescent was examined and tested in an effort to make his experience at Phillips Academy as rich and rewarding as possible. For example, Gallagher spent a lot of time testing boys for reading disabilities. He was convinced that in many cases---the national figure was 10 percent---failure in School was due to reading disability rather than to lack of academic ability, and he cited the case of a boy who had great difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling---for example, he always used very short words that he could spell---and yet scored 126 on the Wechsler-Bellevue test, one that puts little emphasis on reading and writing skills. This score indicated that he was in the top 3 percent of the country as far as basic intelligence went, even though he was having great difficulty with work that demanded verbal proficiency. If boys were tested early so as to discover language disability, remedial classes in language training could do much to correct the difficulty before the problem became acute.(25) Al though Gallagher did a great deal of work trying to establish norms of various kinds for adolescents, he was under no illusion that there was such a thing as a "normal" or "average" boy. He was strongly opposed to attempts to establish rules for physical and mental development on the basis of age. For example, he cited the case of Sam, who was fourteen years old, weighed 150 pounds, was 5 feet 10 inches tall, was shaving regularly, but who seemed listless and was difficult for his parents to deal with. In contrast there was Billy, who had an upbringing almost identical with that of Sam, who at sixteen weighed 115 pounds, was 5 feet inches tall, and had no reason at all to shave. He, too, was having trouble at School and was very hard to reach. Dr. Gallagher's point was that while neither of these boys was average, both were normal. The average weight of one group of schoolboys was 127 pounds, but the range was from 80 to 199 pounds. And his plea was that parents should stop worrying about averages; if they would only hide their anxiety, exhibit a great deal of patience, and above all give generously of their affection, the vast majority of the boys would sooner or later attain manhood.(26) Finally, during the war, under a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, Ros Gallagher studied the physical fitness of Andover boys and developed a program to promote it. He was convinced that too often the term was too narrowly defined. It included, he believed, medical fitness, which had to do with the condition of the eyes, heart, teeth, and so forth. It also included dynamic fitness, which had to do with the functional ability of one's heart, lungs, and circulatory system to respond to work. Finally, it included motor skills fitness, which had to do with the degree of skill, coordination, and strength with which one performs such acts as climbing, jumping, and swimming. Only if a boy were strong in all three of these areas could he be judged physically fit. In determining medical fitness Gallagher developed an elaborate set of physical examinations, conducted in large part by outside consultants at the Infirmary, that included dental X-rays, lung X-rays, blood and urine analyses, and many others. To determine their dynamic fitness, boys were required to take a step test, after which their heart rate was measured. And for motor skills testing, a pole climb, fence vault, jumping, and swimming were used. The whole program was an extraordinarily inclusive one and made a signal contribution to the health and welfare of the school.(27) Unfortunately, Ros Gallagher left Andover in 1950, first to go to Wesleyan and later to serve as Head of the adolescent unit at the Children's Hospital in Boston. But he left behind him a tradition of medical excellence that has been carried on by his successors down to the present day.
During the 1930's another interesting development on Andover Hill was the establishment of the Andover Evening Study Program.(28) Conceived by Alan R. Blackmer, who in the course of a long career was to make many important contributions to the school, with a strong assist from the Reverend A. Graham Baldwin, this program sought to provide the means for a continuing education for the inhabitants of the Merrimack Valley. The Directors insisted that their project must be completely distinct from Phillips Academy. To be sure they did use Phillips Academy buildings, but all other expenses---catalogues, advertising, janitorial services, and the like---were to be borne by the program itself. All of those teaching the courses---at the start they were almost all Phillips Academy Faculty---would contribute their services without charge, and the program generally was completely innocent of any commercial considerations. Particularly in its early years concerted attempts were made to attract factory workers from Lawrence and other industrial communities, and although this part of the program never achieved what had been hoped for it, the effort indicates clearly the highly idealistic aims of the founders. In its initial year, in 1935, 252 adults from the Greater Lawrence area took ten courses in such subjects as current events, modern art and literature, science, English, and German. The following year the program introduced what was to become a feature: a symposium entitled "Famous Men," with a series of lectures each given by a different instructor. Another very popular course was effective speaking, taught by Roger W. Higgins. Roger told the story of a young girl who was tongue-tied on her first essay at speaking and was unable to do more than give her name and address. In an effort to encourage her to continue, a male chauvinist in the back of the room cried, "What's your telephone number?" One of the decisions the directors of the program had to make was whether to insist on homework for the courses. A course in a modern language, for example, would be difficult to teach unless the class had done some preparation. Generally speaking, the courses that demanded preparation did not fare so well; it soon became apparent that most of the students preferred a passive role---to come to class and listen to someone talk. With the coming of the war, the curricular emphasis shifted to subjects that might be useful to the war effort---mathematics, science, first aid, and the like---but with the return to peace the program became once again strongly academic, with such subjects as "The Story of Russia," "State Government," "Seven Rebel Thinkers," and Art and Mathematics." During this postwar period the number of students doubled, with 500 more or less enrolled each year. About 1952 the emphasis began to shift from purely academic courses to more practical ones. During the next ten years, for example, such courses as "Coastal Piloting," "Spanish Conversation," "Blueprint Reading," "Laboratory Botany," "Chinese Cooking," and "Drownproofing" were offered. Though this shift represented a departure from the original goals of the founders, it may well have been what the community wanted. In any event, 753 people enrolled for the program in 1962. As the enrollment increased, the income from the program did likewise, providing the Directors with a surplus each year. They chose to distribute this money---over $11,000 in twenty-six years---to various worthy institutions---local libraries in the Greater Lawrence area; WGBH, the educational television station in Boston; and similar enterprises. In recent years the program has expanded its activities by joining forces with the Andover public school system and by including on its staff many teachers who are not members of the Phillips Academy Faculty. It is always difficult to measure the effect of a program of this kind---either on the individuals taking courses or on the community as a whole---but the chances are that Alan Blackmer was right when he spoke of "an enormous amount of good will" that had been gained, and added, "In short, it is our opinion that, in recent years, through no other single activity has Phillips Academy gained so much at so little cost."
The 1930's were certainly not a good time to raise money for plant expansion and new projects. Yet the School moved ahead during this period, though not, of course, with anything like the achievements of the Cochran era. By means of a bequest from the estate of Mrs. Fannie R. Dennis it was possible to build a large addition to the Infirmary, as has been mentioned; in addition, the bequest was large enough to make possible the construction of Rockwell House, a new dormitory for juniors on the West Quadrangle. Williams Hall had never been large enough to hold the entire junior Class, which had in recent years been increasing in size. Now it was possible to do so, with the older and more mature juniors living in Rockwell, the younger ones in Williams Hall. In each case the purpose was to develop dormitory programs particularly designed for younger boys. In 1938, as a result of a gift from Edward Harkness, Bulfinch Hall, the former dining hall, was completely remodeled by Perry, Shaw, and Hepburn as a building for the English Department. The small classrooms, several with round tables rather than just classroom chairs, a handsome debating room, and individual studies for members of the English Department soon made this building a showplace on the Hill. Harkness also provided the money for the construction of five small Faculty houses beyond Hidden Field in what came to be known as "Little Siberia." These houses were constructed by Perry, Shaw, and Hepburn without the benefit of Faculty advice and as a result had very inadequate studies. Dudley Fitts, who lived in one, took over the master bedroom for his study and put a member of his family in the maid's room.
A matter that had been of concern to the Trustees for some time came to a head in the mid-1930's---namely, pensions or retirement allowances for the Faculty. When the Faculty was small, retirement did not present serious problems. There were seldom more than two or three Faculty members in that status, and in addition there was no compulsory retirement age, with the result that many teachers continued to teach after sixty-five, the present retirement age. George T. ("Pap") Eaton, for example, taught for fifty years at the Academy and retired in 1930 at the ripe old age of seventy-four. When there were only a few retired teachers to take care of, the Trustees simply dealt with each case on an individual basis and paid the pensions out of general funds. With the substantial increase in the size of the Faculty and in the number of teachers who were nearing retirement, a more comprehensive plan was required. Accordingly, the Trustees negotiated with the T.I.A.A. (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association) a contract that would cover the Faculty as a whole. According to this arrangement both the individual teachers and the School would contribute regularly to funds that would provide teacher pensions. At the same time a compulsory age of sixty-five was established. Special arrangements had to be made for teachers who were close to retirement and who would not have time to build an adequate equity in a fund.
The compulsory retirement age angered some teachers. Allan R. Benner told Jack Fuess that he was as good as ever and that retirement would kill him, which it did. But the program was long overdue and was generally accepted with enthusiasm. In an effort to raise enough money to put the plan in practice---particularly for the older men---a fund drive was mounted under Lansing P. Reed of the Class of 1900. The goal was set at $750,000, and although this objective was never quite reached, a sufficient amount of money was contributed to enable the School to start the Retirement Program as of 1 July 1937.(29) The problem of pensions for the non-teaching staff remained, and the Trustees continued their old practice of handling these cases individually, providing pensions for retiring janitors, for example, of from $300 to $400 a year. It is interesting to note that while all this was going on, Headmaster Fuess, perhaps at the instigation of the Trustees, was working actively in opposition to the extension of the Social Security Act to private institutions.(30)
Phillips Academy survived the Depression with relatively little difficulty. There were, of course, special problems to be met, but no serious threat to the basic program of the School presented itself. Nor did World War II produce any basic change. Again, important modifications were made in certain areas of School life, but for the most part the Academy clung to the belief that the best preparation for a soldier was a solid secondary school training in the liberal arts. The School could feel close to the war because of Henry L. Stimson, President of the Board of Trustees and Secretary of War during the conflict. Though Stimson had been a Trustee since 1905, his public duties as Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as Secretary of War in the Taft cabinet, as Governor General of the Philippines in the 1920's, and as Secretary of State under Hoover had prevented him from taking an active part in the life of the School. With his retirement from public service in 1933, for the first time in many years he had an opportunity to devote himself to Andover affairs, and in December 1934 he spent four days at the School speaking and talking to various groups. That same year judge Elias Bishop, President of the Board, died, and after talking with Alfred Ripley, Ernest M. Hopkins, and other members of the Board, Jack Fuess went to New York to ask Mr. Stimson to become President. Stimson said that he was an old and tired man but that since his public life was apparently over, he would accept if he did not have to assume too much responsibility. At the next meeting of the Board he was elected President unanimously and enthusiastically. Since he was without question the most distinguished living Andover alumnus, the Trustees might well have believed that they had made a ten-strike. From that time on, Henry Stimson became a frequent visitor at Andover. Unlike most of the Trustees, he enjoyed visiting classes, sometimes to the consternation of the instructor concerned. Miles S. Malone, Instructor in American history, remembers one unnerving time as he was discussing the Manchurian Crisis of 1931 when there was a knock at the door, and, as Miles put it, "the Stimson Doctrine walked in in person." But Miles was not to be fazed by this; he asked Mr. Stimson to take over the class and for the rest of the period the boys got a first-hand account of Far Eastern problems. Arthur Darling had a similar experience when lecturing on the Pullman Strike. He believed the Federal Government had used the blocking of the mails as an excuse to intervene in the strike and thus planned to discuss that topic at the end. But Mr. Stimson broke in in the middle with "Don't forget the mails." Then as always throughout his lifetime Stimson enjoyed walking, and often he and Jack Fuess would go off for walks together around the School and in the Andover countryside. It was clear to all who came in contact with him on these occasions that Phillips Academy had a man of parts as President of its Board.(31)
With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, Mr. Stimson became more and more concerned with the course events were taking. He was convinced that if there had been strong action by the United States and other nations at the time of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, more recent aggression by Mussolini and Hitler could also have been checked. Speaking at the Andover Commencement, on 13 June 1940, with the fall of France imminent, Henry Stimson delivered the most important speech ever given on Andover Hill. He said in part:
Today our world is confronted by the clearest issue between right and wrong which has ever been presented to it on the scale in which we face it today .... The world today is divided into two necessarily opposed groups of governments. These governments are divided both by irreconcilable principles for international behavior without their borders as well as by irreconcilable principles of human rights and behavior within their borders. One group is striving for international justice and freedom, both without and within, while the other recognizes only the rule of force, both without and within. Over eighty years ago, Abraham Lincoln pointed out that a nation could not endure permanently half slave and half free. It would have to become all one thing or all the other. Today we are faced with that situation in the outside world, and the world has become so small that there can be no doubt of the truth of Lincoln's prophecy. The world today cannot endure permanently half slave and half free . . . . In this great crisis, and in the decisions which you will have to make, you will carry with you the confident hope and faith of us who have the welfare of this academy at heart.(32)
Five days after this speech was delivered, Henry L. Stimson was appointed Secretary of War in the Roosevelt cabinet. It should not be assumed that the speech had any direct connection with the appointment, for Grenville Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and others had been pushing for the Stimson appointment weeks before the speech was delivered.(33) But for the President to appoint to a key cabinet post a man who had made such a strong policy statement left no doubt as to where the administration stood, and in that sense it became a kind of national policy statement. Another Andover graduate, John D. M. Hamilton, called Stimson "a traitor to his party" for accepting the post,(34) but most Andover men supported what the President of the Board had done. The heavy new responsibilities that he had undertaken would mean that he would have little time for Andover for the duration; it would be up to others to see that the School kept strong.
After the Stimson speech of June 1940 Phillips Academy became more and more involved in the war, even though the formal entry of the United States into the conflict was still over a year and a half away. In the fall of 1940 the School admitted a number of English boys who had been sent overseas to continue their education in places that would be safer than England in the time of bombing raids. The tuition for these boys was raised by alumni and friends of the School. At about the same time, the first members of the Faculty began to leave for the armed forces. Some were members of the reserves, others simply volunteered. Early in 1941 a comprehensive new work program was introduced for all boys. No longer would janitors make the boys' beds; this was now the responsibility of each student. No longer would waiting on table in the Commons be done only by scholarship boys; now all would take their turn. It seems likely that the administration used the war as an excuse to introduce reforms that had been considered desirable for some years, for it is hard to see how making beds and waiting on table had much to do directly with the war effort, but regardless of motive the effect was salutary. As in World War I, the undergraduates contributed money to purchase a Phillips Academy ambulance, to be used in England to serve people who were victims of air raids.(35) In the fall of 1941 the Trustees voted to allow boys who had their parents' permission to take flying lessons. One adventurous student, mistaking the Shawsheen River for the Merrimack, ran out of gas, and wound up landing on the lawn of the Tewksbury Asylum. Far from being reprimanded for the unexpected end to his flight, he was praised by his instructors for the intelligent way he had acted in time of crisis.(36) And thus the School, like the country, drifted into war, almost without realizing it. There is no evidence that the School community questioned the fact that the cause of Britain was the cause of the United States. There was some criticism of Winfield Sides, who had a German wife, and of Walter Hasenclever, who was himself a German, but nothing much ever came of it, and early in 1942 Jack Fuess reported to the Trustees that the two were completely loyal.
All this was changed after 7 December 1941. It became imperative to put Phillips Academy in step with the rest of the country in an effort to win the war as quickly and efficiently as possible. And the plans for a wartime program that the administration developed were eminently sensible. Drawing on the experience of World War I, those in charge decided that any kind of military training per se would be a waste of time and that the most important thing the School could do was to turn out graduates who had been taught to think for themselves and who were in topnotch physical shape. Time enough to study the specifics of military science when they had actually joined the armed forces. As a result, the School's program remained much as it had been, with a few important modifications. Believing that mathematics was an important study for anyone about to enter the armed forces, the authorities stepped up programs in this area, putting fresh emphasis on basic mathematics and offering more advanced courses as well. Yet Mike Sides, Head of the Mathematics Department, insisted that the basic courses that had been given in the past were more than adequate for wartime preparation. There would be no need for "Victory Geometry" or "Defense Algebra," he said.(37) The same was true of the Sciences. Physics Instructor John S. Barss wrote, "In the selection of illustrative material [for Chemistry] preference is, of course, given to direct military applications: and the boys who are enrolled in the course this year will be somewhat better acquainted than usual, for example, with the manufacture and properties of the noxious gases, liquids, and smokes which some think the Axis may use before it is defeated. Where numerical problems [for physics] used to refer to baseballs and motor cars, they now sometimes talk of bombs and tanks."(38) The Phillipian reflected the change in curricular emphasis with the following comment:
So help us we ran across a scared-looking fellow the other day who isn't taking Math, Physics, Chemistry, Communications, or Navigation. He figures that with so many guys concentrating on these courses, there will be a minimum of men who can really peel potatoes, so he spends his activity hour over in the Commons. He's getting so he can carve a mighty mean spud.(39)
In foreign languages there was a pronounced shift from the study of grammar and composition to learning how to speak the language. Under the leadership of Dr. James H. Grew a series of new courses were developed the aim of which was to make the student competent in speaking French so that if he should find himself in France, he would be able to communicate with the French. Since Dr. Grew had always thought that French should be taught this way, the war provided him with an opportunity to put his theories into practice. To complement the academic program, a large number of practical courses were offered on a voluntary basis. Over a hundred boys took a rigorous course in first aid; a larger group practiced every evening on the Rifle Range; others studied camouflage at the Addison Gallery; some took gasoline engines apart; still others learned to type. All concerned with the war program were agreed that Andover graduates should be physically fit at the time when they would be entering the service. Accordingly, a comprehensive program to develop physical fitness was introduced for all students. This involved a series of toughening exercises---walking up and down steps, climbing cargo nets, vaulting over high obstacles, running long distances. The effectiveness of programs like this is difficult to measure precisely, but the fact remains that the entire undergraduate body was put through its paces regularly throughout the year. In short, the specific modifications in the basic Phillips Academy program occasioned by the war were few and slight; the advice of all knowledgeable people was that the best thing the School could do was to graduate its students in the normal way and let them get their military training after they had entered the armed services.
Far and away the most important innovation of the war years was the establishment of the Andover Summer Session in 1942.(40) Although it was billed as a war measure, much of what happened there would have been valuable in peace as well, and the fact that the Session has been going strong ever since is proof that the program was not transitory. Its purposes as a wartime institution were very similar to those of the regular curriculum---emphasis on math, science, and foreign languages, a rugged physical educational program, and various activities that would be useful to prospective soldiers. Exeter and many other schools had had summer sessions for years, and in a sense the Andover move was simply catching up to the others, Many Phillips Academy people had long bemoaned the fact that the beautiful Andover plant should lie idle for a quarter of each year. The first session was placed in charge of Wilbur J. Bender, a popular American history teacher who had a rare gift of working with people. A staunch New Dealer, Bender had antagonized and alarmed some of the School community by his outspoken defense of the Roosevelt program, but with the coming of the war that was mainly forgotten. Bender insisted that the Summer Session should be democratically run. Accordingly, he held regular Faculty Meetings before the session started at which basic matters of policy were determined by majority vote. All the teaching staff, which was made up almost entirely of regular Phillips Academy teachers, would receive the same compensation and have the same amount of work to do. A man who happened to live in a dormitory would not, as in the regular session, have full responsibility for his charges; two other Faculty members, in each case, would be attached to his dorm so that each of the three would proctor two nights a week and every third weekend. This proved a great shot in the arm for Faculty morale. What was true of the Faculty was equally true of the students. Though a few monetary scholarships were offered, no distinction was made between scholarship boys and fullfreight-paying customers. All were required to make their own beds, keep their rooms neat, and take their turn for a week of "KP" in the Commons. The only exception to this policy of equal treatment for all was in the case of boys who for minor disciplinary infractions were given an extra dose of "KP." Yet the disciplinary problem proved to be minor: of the 197 boys who enrolled only one had to be dismissed during the course of the summer.
The first Andover Summer Session proved to be larger than anticipated. The Director and his staff had expected somewhere between 125 and 150 but the School opened with 161 boarding students and 36 day students. Without adequate staff and no precedents to go by, the first days were chaotic; indeed it took two or three days to find out who were actually enrolled. But after that things shook down well, and the program proceeded smoothly for the remaining eight weeks of the session. The rules were few and simple; no "cuts" of any kind were allowed; all boys were to meet all their appointments, do their share of work in the Commons, and be in bed with lights out at ten thirty. As far as the curriculum was concerned, most boys took a major course, which met two hours a day, six days a week, and was roughly equivalent to a year's work in a particular subject. As previously noted, the emphasis was on the so-called war subjects. In addition, each boy took an "Activity" after lunch in a program that was, again, modeled on the voluntary courses of the regular session. Morse Code, coastal piloting, first aid, navigation, map interpretation, and practical electricity were some of those offered. After the Activity hour every boy reported to the field near the Cage for a half hour of body building. In the Summer Session this part of the program-partly because of the size of the student body-could be carried out more effectively than in the regular session, and bicycle and step tests, conducted by Dr. Gallagher at the end of the session, indicated that remarkable gains had been made by almost all the boys. The thin boys were fatter and the fat were thinner, for example, and the generally high degree of physical fitness of the undergraduates was borne out by Infirmary statistics that showed no contagious diseases, no injuries, and almost no patients during the entire session. At the start of the summer an obstacle run had been developed as part of the physical fitness program, but at the beginning it consisted of little more than a cross country run across the playing fields. By the end of the summer a boy would start by vaulting onto a platform, then drop off and turn three somersaults, repeat the process on another platform, "duck-walk" about one hundred feet, then climb a fifteen-foot rope hand over hand, then run backward for two hundred feet, crawl under four hurdles and jump over four more, climb to the top of the baseball grandstands, and finally climb two sets of steps and drop to the ground on the opposite side. And all this was done after twenty minutes of rigorous exercises. After body building there followed a conventional sports program, with volleyball achieving a surprising popularity, except for a few boys who made arrangements to work on neighboring farms, where labor was very scarce. All in all, the first Andover Summer Session was an outstanding success; apart from the war training given, the program put the Academy plant to good use at a time when it had previously been lying fallow; since many of the students came from schools other than Phillips Academy, it served to spread the School's reputation and led to many summer students applying for admission to the regular session; finally, it provided a means whereby prospective Andover students could test themselves for the coming regular session and acquire whatever additional training might be needed. And---though this was still in the future---the Summer Session could become a laboratory in which members of the Faculty might experiment with new programs they might be considering for use in the regular session.(41)
Increased emphasis on math, the sciences, and modern languages, the development of a more rigorous physical education program, and the establishment of the Summer Session---these were the major changes at Andover during the war years. For the rest, the wartime School was much like the Phillips Academy of the 1930's. The Summer Session made it possible for some boys to accelerate so that for the first time in its history a group of Seniors was graduated in February 1944 and for two Februarys after that. There was no sign that the excellence of an Andover education was being diluted by the war; in 1943, for example, 68 out of 69 Phillips Academy applicants qualified for the Navy's V-,2 program.
A matter of continual concern to the Headmaster was the volunteering and drafting of members of the Faculty. It was not always possible to replace those who departed man for man, with the result that for many teachers more students, bigger sections, and additional responsibilities became the order of the day. Any teacher who entered the service was promised his position on his return, a policy that was to cause further difficulties after the war. The School played a leading part in the town of Andover's Civil Defense program. Leonard F. James of the History Department became Chief Air Raid Warden for the town and proceeded to organize a highly efficient organization. In addition he was active in many Civil Defense organizations and did a good deal of speaking and writing on the general subject. Many other members of the Faculty held subordinate posts in the Civil Defense organization of the town under Len James. As the war neared its close, the Office of Defense Transportation issued an appeal to cut all nonessential travel for the duration. In 1945, after checking with Colonel Stimson, Jack Fuess proposed to the Faculty and students elimination of spring vacation and an early graduation. In that way some seven hundred boys would not be utilizing travel facilities in March. The plan was received with general enthusiasm. A member of the Student Council said, "Why do we go home at all? Can't we just stay here and attend classes as usual? Then we'll all get out that much earlier in the spring." Jack had more trouble with other Headmasters. When he called several of them to propose their joining Andover, the response was to question the real need of such a drastic step, and the final result was that Phillips Academy went it alone. Fortunately, the weather in March was dry and sunny and the whole plan went off smoothly.(42) It was only after the boys had left in May and the heating plant had been shut down that cold weather descended to make the lives of the Faculty uncomfortable.
The only new building project considered during the war years was a Student Union, plans for which were prepared in the last years of the war. As will be seen in the next chapter, this project became involved in the difficult question of Dr. Fuess's attempt to abolish the school's secret societies, and eventually nothing came of it.
The story of Andover graduates in World War II deserves a volume of its own and fortunately an admirable one was written by Leonard F. James and published in 1948.(43) The record is one in which all Andover graduates can take pride. One hundred and forty-two men died in the service of their country, while over three thousand were in the service in one capacity or another. And the number who were decorated for distinguished service, from the Medal of Honor on down, is impressive. If a main aim of the Academy is to develop leadership among its students, their record in World War II indicates that they were accomplishing this purpose.
So Phillips Academy came through the war years with flying colors. There were, to be sure, occasional alarming developments. In 1939 a communication from the State Department suggested in a veiled way that no more German exchange students be accepted. A more disturbing episode came in 1942 when an energetic Navy Lieutenant named Durgin threatened to close Andover and Exeter and use their facilities for the armed forces. Dr. Fuess wrote Secretaries Knox and Stimson and before long, apologies came in from every quarter, including Durgin's commanding officer.(44) But these were minor irritations; the main point was that the School had gone through the war years with relatively little change, kind as a result reconversion would be easy. When the Academy opened in September 1945, all the special war courses were gone, and while the physical education program remained in an attenuated form, it no longer received the same emphasis. Of all the wartime programs, only the Summer School would remain as a permanent fixture in Phillips Academy.
An interesting aspect of reconversion was the appearance on campus of some twenty veterans, who enrolled at the School under the G.I. Bill of Rights. They had entered the armed forces without finishing their secondary schooling and needed a year to win diplomas. Obviously, special arrangements had to be made for this group. Most were over twenty, had had two or three years of army life, and would not thrive under a regime that required them to be in their dormitory by eight o'clock and to refrain from drinking or smoking. So the veterans were all placed on the periphery of the campus, in Mike Sides's house on Bartlet Street, and promptly began to exercise an extremely beneficial influence on the rest of the School. As one Faculty member put it, "They knew why they wanted to be here and they worked like dogs."(45) If a twenty-year-old man took his work seriously, maybe there was something to it after all, the younger boys reasoned. A more difficult problem was dealing with the Faculty. When Andover teachers left for the service, they were promised, like other Americans, that they could have their jobs back when they returned. Jack Fuess added a gimmick in some cases by promising them that they could have the same houses as the ones they had left. Yet the School had to be staffed during the war years, and as a result many older men were hired to teach, many of them highly competent pedagogues. For several years this situation was extremely difficult particularly as regards housing. The Headmaster wrote one friend that all he could offer a returning veteran and family was the maid's quarters in one of the dormitories, and he wrote another Headmaster whose school was not fully staffed to see if he would not like some of Jack's cast-offs."(46) In the end the problem was eased when a large number of bachelors who had left in wartime either decided or were persuaded not to return. Generally speaking, however, reconversion problems were relatively minor, and were soon replaced by more immediate and pressing ones that the postwar period was to bring, not only to Andover but to the country as a whole.
During the last three years of his Headmastership---from 1945 to 1948---Jack Fuess did little more than conduct a holding operation, as far as the School was concerned. He was still bruised from his ill-conceived attempt to abolish the societies; until he married Lulie Anderson Blackfan in 1947, he was a lonely widower; and finally his sense of hearing began to be seriously impaired. It is therefore not surprising that he rested on his oars. Yet a serious problem developed that had to be dealt with-namely, the increasing deficit under which the School was operating. For the first of the war years, as during the Depression, Phillips Academy managed its financial affairs quite effectively. There were deficits in those years, but they were all under $10,000. In 1943-44 the deficit jumped to $44,000 and continued in the same amount the following year. As postwar inflation developed, the situation grew worse. in 1945-46 the deficit was $89,000 and for the following three years it was $135,000, $184,000, and $98,000. In fact, during the years following the end of the war, Phillips Academy accumulated a deficit of some $5 00,000.(47) Fortunately, long before this figure had been reached, a group of Alumni and the Trustees moved to meet the problem. One of them describes what happened: On a pleasant spring afternoon in 1945 three class secretaries, William T. Kelly, Jr., '24, Joseph T. Hague, Jr., 25, and Carl Sandberg, '26, were sitting on the porch of the Andover Inn talking with Jim Gould, who was then Treasurer of Phillips Academy .... In the course of discussing the affairs of the school Jim Gould referred to the very serious financial problems the school faced which had now reached a point that he was finding it necessary to utilize principal from the endowment fund in order to meet the expenses of operating the school. This to us was shocking news and presented a problem that required prompt and positive action.(48)
The three secretaries proceeded to write the Headmaster and urge that the tuition be raised, that the size of the classes be increased, and that a new and more vital alumni organization be formed to enlist alumni support in meeting this problem. The most important thing to come out of this meeting was a thoroughly reorganized alumni organization---a new Alumni Council that was charged with interpreting the School to the alumni body and at the same time enlisting alumni aid for the institution.
The first step in building a more effective alumni organization was the appointment of an alumni secretary on a full-time basis. The School had never had such an officer before. Under Cecil Bancroft and at the start of Al Stearns's administration the Headmaster had the responsibility for whatever work with the alumni was done. After Jack Fuess joined the Faculty, he soon became interested in alumni matters and was able to relieve Al Stearns of much of his responsibility in this area. Jack edited the Alumni Bulletin, did a good deal of speaking before alumni groups, and finally was appointed Alumni Secretary as well. But it was still very definitely a part-time job. After Jack became Headmaster, much of this work was taken over by Scott H. Paradise, one of the School's most competent English teachers. Next to Jack Fuess, Scottie Paradise knew more about the history of the School than anyone else on Andover Hill, and he wrote extensively in the Bulletin on the School's past. His book Men of the Old School is a charming series of sketches of some Andover men of old. Yet Scottie never considered giving up his teaching, and for him, as with Jack Fuess, the job of Alumni Secretary was always a part-time affair. Now, with the war over and with the School in serious financial difficulties, the time had come to find a man whose primary responsibility would be to work with the alumni. The man the Trustees selected was M. Lawrence Shields, for some twenty years one of the most popular members of the Andover Faculty. A native of Westchester, Pennsylvania, he had attended Pennsylvania State College, only to have his studies interrupted by World War I, in which he served as a sergeant in the army. Completing his college course and doing graduate work in biology at the University of Wisconsin, he came to Andover in 1923, bringing with him a reputation as one of the great college milers of his generation. From the start Larry proved to be one of the liveliest personalities on Andover Hill. He had been hired to teach English, but he never enjoyed the work, mainly, he said, because he could not spell. According to his account, Al Stearns used to fire him regularly and then relent and take him back. He and Ray Shepard, the football coach, and Rocky Dake, then teaching math, enjoyed playing practical jokes on one another, with Shields always in the lead. He had an almost compulsive interest in fires, memorized the call numbers of all the fire alarm boxes in Andover, and, when the fire whistle blew, would take off. One of his proudest boasts was that he often arrived at the fire before the fire engines did. In 1926 someone woke up to the fact that Larry was no English teacher but an accomplished biologist, and he organized that department. Before long he put the biology course on a par with physics and chemistry and had developed a program that was really of college caliber. One day Larry arrived in class with a cage in which he said he had a rare Mexican lizard. He went on to say that the lizard would often sit motionless for hours on end, but if a student watched carefully and quietly, he might see it move. After several days of watching the class discovered that the lizard was a wax model.
There were some who thought that Larry's course depended too much on learning by rote and that the problems and theories of biology were slighted, but his students certainly learned a lot of biological material. In the meantime, he pursued research at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, in the Sargasso Sea, and in northern Labrador. In May, 1942 he had been commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and later that same year had married Ruth Noyes, a widow of some means. Now he was back from the wars with his wife, eager to assume the responsibilities of developing a more effective alumni organization.(49)
At about the same time as the Shields appointment an Alumni Steering Committee of eight was formed to draw up plans for a new alumni organization to be called the Alumni Council. By the fall of 1946 this group had presented a new constitution for the Andover Alumni Association and were gratified to have it approved.(50) "The purpose of the Association," said the constitution, "shall be to advance the interests of Phillips Academy and to increase its usefulness by promoting a closer relationship and better understanding between the Academy and the Alumni." Any one who had ever been a student at the School automatically became a member of the Association after his class had graduated. The management of the Association's affairs was given over to an Alumni Council of twenty-four members, six of whom were to be elected by the Association at large for three-year terms each year, and two of whom would be elected for similar terms by the Council itself. This was the first time in the history of the School that the Alumni had been given a share in the selection of their officers. In addition to the twenty-four elected members, the Council would include the School Treasurer, the President of the Class Agents' Association, the President of the Class Secretaries' Association, the Alumni Secretary, and three members of the Board of Trustees. There followed articles on officers, meetings, and amendments, and then a set of By-Laws, which listed the various committees. An Executive Committee of the Council was to consist of between seven and eleven members appointed by the President; its mission was to carry out whatever programs were entrusted to it by the Council as a whole. There was, of course, a Nominating Committee and various Standing Committees on such matters as scholarships, athletics, the library, and the Bulletin. The organization was logical, if conventional; what was new was the election of Council members by the Alumni at large. One of the major purposes in reorganizing the Alumni Association was to get it in shape for the fund drive, which was announced in the fall of 1946. As originally conceived, the drive for $3,500,000 was to include two million for general endowment, hopefully to check the deficits that had occurred with dreary regularity over the past years; one million for a new gymnasium; and half a million for a new dormitory. The dormitory project was later dropped, and the sum for endowment raised to two and one-half million. John P. Stevens, Jr., '15, was made chairman, and he moved purposefully to establish an effective organization. On 6 November 1947, in some thirty cities throughout the country, special dinners were held at which Bishop Hobson, Jack Fuess, Al Stearns, Jack Stevens, and others spoke to the guests by long distance telephone. The campaign got off to a fast start. At the time of the dinners $1,840,000 had already been contributed; three months later, on 11 February 1948, Chairman Stevens could announce a total of $2,365,000. Yet he was careful to point out that only 1100 of Andover's 11,000 Alumni had contributed, and he urged the rest to participate if the goal were to be reached. But the campaign languished. Over a year later, at the Alumni Luncheon in June 1949, Chairman Stevens said that there was still $750,000 to be raised and that he hoped it could be raised during the next year. The presumption is that this last amount did finally trickle in. The total that was contributed was immediately applied to endowment, with the result that the deficit for 1948-49 was cut to half of that of the preceding year. By mid-century, then, the Trustees, with Alumni support, had moved decisively to meet the financial problems of the School and had developed a new Alumni organization to tie the Alumni more closely to the School.(51)
In the mid-1940's Andover received country-wide publicity when two articles on the School appeared in national magazines. The first article appeared in Fortune in 1944; the second, written by the distinguished American historian Henry F. Pringle and his wife Katherine, appeared in 1947 in the Saturday Evening Post. Both articles were extremely favorable to the School, and it was clear that the writers were impressed with the institution and what it was trying to do. The Fortune writers entitled their piece "Andover: A Study in Independence" and added, "It is blessed with a freedom rare even among private schools." They thought the atmosphere of the School more like that of a small college than a secondary school and were particularly impressed with the School's scholarship program. In 1944 close to $100,000 was awarded to deserving boys in the form of cash grants and jobs, and 183 boys---about one fourth of the undergraduate body---were being aided. Fortune concluded: "Andover is not particularly a rich boy's school, but it is a rich school and has all the opportunities that institutional opulence has thrust upon it. If boys' boarding schools are really democratic internally, not only should more scholarships be given, but able boys from really poor families should be drawn in through substantial scholarships." The Fortune writers were impressed with the School's academic strength---100 percent success on one Navy examination, for example. They were impressed with the health program and the work of Dr. Gallagher, particularly the number of discipline cases that were referred to him. And they commented particularly on the work being done in art by Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr., and Patrick Morgan. The main criticism the Fortune writers levied against the school was its lack of pioneering work in curriculum and pedagogy: "Beyond the solid excellence of its instruction, is there not a place for educational research, frankly pioneering in aim, to exist side by side with the traditional system-much in the manner that pilot plants exist for technological research? . . . The result of such a pioneering program might well start a healthy ferment in secondary education that would have far-reaching effects on public as well as private school teaching." And they concluded: "The instructors who now want Andover to teach social responsibility, to serve the country even better than it has in the past, may be discouraged about the lack of visible effects on the students. The majority of Andover's students are still very conservative. But Andover is teaching the boys that the world moves and that they have a responsibility for the direction of things. It seems probable therefore that the boys will change too, even if only through a delayed reaction."
The Pringle article in the Saturday Evening Post was equally laudatory; like the Fortune writers, the Pringles were impressed by the scholarship program and the attempt on the part of the School to destroy the reputation for exclusiveness and snobbishness that plagued almost all private schools. They quoted Dr. Fuess's seven deadly sins of independent schools---snobbishness, bigotry, provincialism, "reactionarism," smugness, stupidity, and inertia and added, "During a fortnight's visit to the school . . . we saw few, if any, indications of the seven sins cited by Dr. Fuess." The Pringles could not agree with Dean G. G. Benedict's disgust at food throwing in the Commons and thought the boys were acting "like high-spirited youths everywhere." They listened to undergraduate complaints---American history was too tough, some Faculty members were rude, the marking system handicapped graduates in college admissions, and the like. They wondered if Phillips Academy had always been as tough in the past at its alumni claimed, and cited the case of a math teacher some years ago who changed a failure into a pass on condition that the boy would not take math in college. Unlike the Fortune writers, the Pringles took a position on the society issue. Commenting on the "unbelievable row" that was touched off in 1943 when the School attempted to close the societies, they went on to say that the Trustees had been right and that the Societies were a detriment. After a good deal of material on the history of the School, the Pringles concluded: "In these days of crowded public schools, nobody can deny that the best private schools supply superior secondary education. What Andover is seeking to accomplish is to provide that education to the boys of the United States who really want and deserve it, not to those who can merely afford it." The whole Andover community must have been heartened to have writers from such distinguished publications place an imprimatur of approval on what they were trying to do.(52)
A student's view of the School during the Fuess years is provided by the correspondence of Arleigh D. Richardson, III, of the Class of 1940 with his family. Dick Richardson was a one-year Senior who had the highly commendable habit of writing his family twice a week, and his letters are invaluable in revealing what the life of an undergraduate of this period was like. Indeed, had the School been able to acquire these letters at the time they were written, the Admissions Office could not have done better than use them for public relations purposes, for they show an undergraduate doing all the things it was hoped that Andover students would do while at the School. Dick arrived at Andover in September 1939 and was placed in Foxcroft Hall under the superintending care of Herbert Kinsolving of the Mathematics Department. He was prepped a bit, but generally enjoyed it; senior preps were treated pretty easily, he thought. He thought also that he was lucky in his Housemaster: "He is just swell. His rooms are very attractive. I know we are going to be good friends .... He goes to Fisher's Island and knows Bishop Hobson pretty well. We had a grand talk." A little later: "Mr. Kinsolving said I could use my electric shaver, in fact he is in favor of electric victrolas, and had a big argument with the powers that be over it this fall, but unfortunately he lost." Three weeks later: "The Yale Club tobacco is here too, and I am enjoying it. Mr. Kinsolving has us all in for a smoke almost every night, so that is when I use it the most . . . . Mr. Kinsolving plays the viola and Dick Richards, a fellow upstairs, plays the flute. Right now they are having a duet, and confidentially they steenk." In February: "Mr. Kinsolving had a waffle supper for us last night after the movies. It was really swell. We had waffles, bacon, coffee, milk, and potato chips. You know if you can I think it would be swell to send him a cheese. I know he would appreciate it." Clearly Dick was happy with his Housemaster, and the presumption is that the feeling was reciprocated. One of the most attractive things about Dick Richardson's letters is that they show him liking almost everything he experienced---" The fellows in our Hall are all pretty nice." "I like all of my teachers too." Fortunately, he was a conscientious and able student, receiving honors in everything but history.(53) The cost of books came as a shock. "I don't remember reading that we had to buy our own books, but we sure do. So far, however, I have had plenty of money so don't worry." A high point of the biology course he took with Bernie Boyle was a monkey named Jiggs. "He will untie your shoe and then take the laces out if you let him. They keep him very clean and wash him every day because monkeys do not know how to take baths and they get very dirty." The Andover countryside was beautiful: "The rolling countryside was so peaceful in the twilight. I'll never cease enjoying this country as long as I live. . . Every day something happens to make things interesting." But not everything was perfect: "Bernie Boyle is getting under my skin. He's been nasty all term and today he gave me a demerit for throwing a snowball at a building when I didn't even do it in the first place. I will admit I was just going to, but hadn't." Yet it was not all that bad, for apparently Bernie never turned the demerit in. Things must have improved with Bernie for in June, Dick's mark on two comprehensive biology exams was the highest in New England.
Dick Richardson had many outside interests at Andover, but his first love was music, and his experiences in the field show how much was available to an interested undergraduate. In one of his first letters he wrote, "I am nuts about Dr. Pfatteicher. . . . He is a peach." Carl Friedrich Pfatteicher, in addition to being head of the Music Department, was an organist and musicologist of note, and the choirmaster. Dick made the choir and was enchanted with the robes: "You ought to see the classy robes that the choir wears in chapel on Sundays. They are all black with a square blue collar, a real rich blue and quite big with a small white stripe around it. They are really the stuff." And later: "The organ is wonderful, and it is a privilege to hear Doc. Pfatteicher play it. He is really supposed to be one of the best in the world, and so is the organ." Dick was in a very musical dorm, which prompted him to send on for "Pop's violin." Herbert Kinsolving had promised to give him lessons in the fundamentals. "Almost everyone here plays something. You never saw the like. There are two trumpets, a flute, a clarinet, a viola, and a trombone on our side of Foxcroft alone." By the middle of October he had signed up for symphony tickets in Boston. "We all sang and had a grand time in the bus both ways .... They played Debussy's 'La Mer', which was wonderful and they topped it off with Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in C-Flat Major, the 'Eroica', which is one of my favorites. Koussevitsky is a marvelous conductor. I have never seen one so graceful. Boy! we got a real glimpse of Boston society. It was the first night of the season, and they were all there. I saw some of the most attractive girls I've seen this year there." Meanwhile, Pop's violin had arrived, and the redoubtable Dr. Pfatteicher had taken it to Boston to be fixed. In the meantime, Dick practiced on Mr. Kinsolving's viola. The more he saw of Dr. Pfatteicher, the better he liked him. He used to spend Sunday afternoons at his house listening to the Philharmonic. Late in February the Don Cossacks sang in George Washington Hall, and Dick was enthralled. "I never heard such low basses and high tenors. You'd swear it was a mixed choir, their falsettos are so good, and the volume is unbelievable. They just open their mouths and their beautiful church music rolls out and fills the room so that it goes right through you." Finally, early in April Dick went in to Boston to hear the Metropolitan Opera's performance of "Lohengrin," with Kirsten Flagstaad and Laurita Melchior. Although he enjoyed the whole "immensely," parts were boring and over his head. "I never before saw two such hefties, however, and it was really funny when they were making love, and trying to be kittenish. It was just what might happen if the Normandie and the Queen Mary got together." All in all few students have taken fuller advantage of the musical opportunities available at the school than did Dick Richardson.
Not all his concerns were on such a lofty plane, however. Like many Andover undergraduates of that era he mailed his laundry home rather than entrust it to the mercies of local button-shuckers, and the problems that developed in this arrangement were never-ending. Early in October he reported: 'My laundry came on Friday, and I guess you sent it on Wednesday, so that is not so bad. I am quite mad, however, because I got it all ready to send back Saturday morning, and Herbie (the janitor) told me that the Express man stops every day, and will take it if I leave it in the hall. He never got it Saturday, however, so I am waiting for him today." Apparently the Express man continued to prove unreliable, for later in the year Dick speaks of taking his laundry to the Post Office. One advantage of sending laundry home was that a boy's family could send back various goodies along with the clean clothes. Dick frequently mentions how much he has enjoyed cookies, nuts, cakes, and the like. A new crisis developed in February: "By the way, what on earth has happened to my underwear shorts? Six shirts came yesterday, and only two pairs of shorts. I really change shorts as often as shirts. Has Hanna swiped them for dust rags?" More trouble in April: "Did you send any laundry last week? I am very much afraid that if you did it is lost. I expected it Friday as usual, but it has not come yet. I waited until today to write you because often the old drunken express man brings it late, but when it didn't come yesterday I began to worry . . . . If it doesn't arrive, and you did send it, we'd better start sueing or something. I'm anxious to know." Similar problems were encountered in decorating his room at the start of the year. Dick's Mother had promised to make curtains for him, and there were the usual complications about measurements. When his Mother wanted to know the color of the rug in his room, furnished by the School, Dick wrote: "Our rug is many different colors. To be exact it is red, green, gray, blue, tan, and black, so you see that I can't exactly say." On the basis of this information Mrs. Richardson settled on green, and when the curtains arrived Dick was ecstatic. Other moves to improve his room included chipping in for a second-hand studio couch and purchasing a new set of andirons and fire tongs. Soon some pillows arrived from home for the couch, and by the middle of the fall term Dick and his roommate were very snug indeed.
In the meantime, Dick was becoming increasingly active in extracurricular activities and social affairs. He joined the Outing Club and reported a splendid trip to Kennebuck, Maine, where George Sanborn, the Faculty adviser of the Club, had a summer home. A Kenneth Roberts enthusiast, Dick was delighted to see the Arundel country at first hand. In October Cornelia Otis Skinner performed at Andover; "Everyone was in stiches," Dick reported. A little later he paid his first visit to Abbot: "I did not have a bad time, but I can't say that from what I saw, any of the girls are particularly attractive." Early in November came the first tea dance: "Dickie came over yesterday and brought with her a swell gal and we fixed her up with some of my friends. We all sat together at the football game in which we beat the Tufts Freshmen 19-6. The tea dance afterwards was swell and after the dance we had the girls stay for the Saturday night movies, and put them on the 10:33 train. Dickie invited me to a houseparty Thanksgiving weekend, but it is out of the question." One of the virtues of membership in the Glee Club was the chance to have concerts and dances with girls' schools. Early in December came the one with Rogers Hall: "they were a swell group of girls. We really had a marvelous time. After the concert they had a nice dinner for us, and a very enjoyable dance afterwards. Dates were hit or miss, but I was fortunate to get one whom I liked very much from Kentucky. She was grand." As vacation approached, Dick became concerned about the attire that he should bring with him for the Christmas parties at home in Columbus. Should he bring both his Tux and his tails, or only one, and in that case which one? The big social event of the Winter Term was the Prom, and Dick was determined to enjoy it to the full. Some of his friends had had trouble getting dates, so he ran a kind of dating service and lined up various Columbus girls who were at School in the East. The program promised to be lively. First came a tea at the Headmaster's, then a dinner at A.U.V., the Society that Dick had joined early in January; then the dance itself; then escorting the girls back to the dormitories where they were staying, with "breakfast in the beanery" the next morning. After breakfast Dick and his date would go to Boston together, where they would part.
Not all Dick's activities were social, however. One cold April morning a janitor picked up Dick and a friend and drove them to a pond in the Harold Parker forest to try their hand at fishing. Even though they left at five o'clock, by the time they arrived they found hundreds of other fishermen with every conceivable kind of pole and tackle engaged in the sport. One woman kept getting her fly caught in a tree overhead, others rushed to and fro looking for good positions, and pandemonium reigned general1y. Apparently nobody caught any fish, but the experience was memorable.
Most Andover boys of that period paid little attention to what was going on in Europe, and Dick was no exception. There are only very occasional references to the world outside in his letters. In October he wrote one of his longer comments: "It seems to me that the foreign situation becomes more of a mess every day. Old Hitler was in too much of a hurry over the Polish Affair and his alliance with Russia. He scrambled onto the wrong horse and now it's running off with him. I have always thought of Russia as a place where nothing worked right and no one had any brains, but much to my consternation I find that I must change my opinion. . . If only the two [Germany and Russia) could be played off against each other wouldn't it be swell? Oh well, this is probably boring so I'll stop." When the Headmaster spoke on the war, Dick was outraged: "Claudie gave a horribly sentimental and impassioned speech. . . . Everyone is very angry. He practically told us that it is our duty to go right over now. He said it is no longer a war of political philosophies, but a war between right and wrong. He continued in this vein for about five minutes, and then one of the students booed him." Finally, early in June, with the fall of France imminent, this comment: "The war is surely bewildering. I just can't understand how the Germans could be so much better than the allies .... The only thing for us to do is wait and take what comes. The world appears to be in a horrible state, but I still feel that things are no worse than they must have seemed many many times before in history. The Napoleonic years couldn't have been very comfortable ones for the people who didn't believe in aggression. All we can do is try to think sanely and if we get in, well, we just do that's all." And so Dick Richardson finished his year at Andover with much of the rest of the world crashing down around his ears. He had tried his hand at almost everything the School had to offer and had distinguished himself in many areas of activity. Above all, he had demonstrated that he was a boy of character and principle.(54)
Undergraduate life at Andover had its lighter moments during the Fuess years. One of the most famous episodes concerned a boy named Roger Kiley and "A. Montague Fitzpatrick," a fictitious student Kiley invented. Kiley had come to the School in 1935 and for his first year lay fallow. In 1936 he hit his stride, returning with a bicycle he used to ride furiously around the School while wearing a Napoleon hat. When told that he could not keep the bicycle in his room, he put it on the fire escape with a flashing red lantern attached. According to Kiley this was to ward off low-flying aircraft, in compliance with a state ordinance. But his main claim to fame was the creation of "Fitzpatrick." At first he proceeded slowly with his hoax. Fitzpatrick would sign in at the library, stay an hour, and then return to his dormitory and sign in there. Miss Alice Whitney, the sweet lady who had charge of cuts, had no reason to doubt Fitzpatrick's authenticity. The next day Fitzpatrick was excused from athletics to play in the School band, though suspicions might have been aroused when his name was greeted with much laughter by the students. Then Fitzpatrick really went wild. He signed out of Adams Hall, indicating his destination as the Sailor's Rest. He went back and forth among dormitories signing in at one before he had left the other. Meanwhile, he was handing in English themes and meeting various other appointments. Miss Whitney became greatly distressed by all this, all the more so as no one seemed to be able to find Fitzpatrick's class schedule. In desperation Miss Whitney turned to Dr. Fuess. The Headmaster said, "Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick. I seem to recall seeing him somewhere. Fine boy." Of course with the passage of time the hoax was revealed, and Miss Whitney's life became more placid again. But the tradition of A. Montague Fitzpatrick remained strong in the School for many years, and his story is revived from time to time right down to the present.(55) Though it happened long after the Fuess period, a similar spoof was worked in the Summer Session in 1967 when two Faculty sons who were working in the Summer Session office managed to get a fictitious character named Clinton LaGorce Mamorewski, III, actually admitted to the Session. Mamorewski came from Moose Factory, Saskatchewan, Canada, and was from all the evidence, which the boys forged, a very promising candidate. Since the boys were working in the office, they could intercept all the letters, and the rest was easy. One member of the Admission Committee wrote, "Looks great" on his folder, and Clinton was duly admitted. Not wishing to prevent some deserving boy from coming, the pranksters finally wrote that Mamorewski had changed his plans and would not be able to attend.(56) Like Kiley, they had a great time blowing birds at the system.
Sometimes a spoof would involve the headmaster. A graduate writes: "I can recall a student prank taunting Jack Fuess. He was known to have had an aversion to a neighboring dog which belonged to Grenville Benedict. At about 4 A.M. on the morning following a twelve-inch snowfall a group of students living in Benedict's house filled a container with tea and poured it carefully on the snow carpet in front of the headmaster's house---spelling the dog's name. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the dog's name." Another time a boy dressed up as an East Indian potentate. He called himself Raja Ramchandrah and proceeded to take in the whole Andover community. First he went to the Art Gallery, where he was given a tour; he thought the pictures "rather good for American art, but by no means extraordinary." He got a similar tour of the library and concluded, "Rather handsome building, I guess, but the libraries in India are much better." Finally he mounted the steps of Dr. Fuess's house and rang the bell. The Headmaster greeted him warmly, insisted that he stay for tea, and wound up spending most of the afternoon with him. It is generally believed that Dr. Fuess never did find out that his leg had been pulled.(57)
One of the great Andover institutions during the Fuess years was the hash house on Main Street run by Leon ("Doc") Davidson. Here is a fine nostalgic piece, by Richard Woodbridge, '35, on going to Leon's on a Sunday morning in winter:
Imagine waking up on a frigid, winter morning and finding the first snow of the year. Through the narrow back window of Bishop Hall the whiteness goes on forever. One stares at it and notices how immense is the silence. It is Sunday morning! There is absolutely no sound.
Sunday morning! There is a sudden feeling of release! A sensation of confinement passes from one's shoulders. For a few hours there is freedom from academic apprehension and scholastic concern. And then dressing---and the warm overcoat and muffler and galoshes and the Andover Numeral Hat so proudly worn, dark-blue wool turn-down-all-the-way-around with 5 in small white letters (worn in the back). And then be-gloved out into the snow down the uncleaned paths of whiteness where no one had trod----the fresh snow going 'qurinch, qurinch, qurinch" under heavy foot-out to Main Street---slowly down past the Headmaster's House---down to the warmth, tropical humidity and bright lights of Leon's with its Nickel-plated coffee urn and the smell of frying sausage-and Leon himself behind the counter. Leon was short, baldish and brown-of-eye. White-aproned Leon was well fed. His smile welcomed students, townspeople, faculty and all.
Honey (just crystallizing) on a hot waffle, with sausage on the side and a cup of the most delectable, aromatic coffee the Gods could brew---the thought will last forever. And then to pick up a copy of the Sunday New York Tribune to carry back to the room in Bishop Hall.
And on the cold way back (with icicles like illuminated drips of sun-filled glass from the tree twigs) to catch a smile from a feral Abbot girl all bundled up from her red wool pull-down cap to her plaid skirt with her red nose and pink chapped knees---well it made for a comfortable Sunday Chapel reverie much later in the morning.
Early in the Fuess years, in an effort to improve the generally barbaric conditions in the dining hall, the School hired a strong and very attractive woman to act as a kind of hostess there. An alumnus writes of this effort:
I can provide one incident which contained much of humanity and humor. The central figure had been engaged by the Academy to serve as a kind of hostess in the Beanery. The idea was to lend tone to the cheerful but noisy environment in which we bolted down our food, and her time of testing came on the very first evening of her new job. She was a tall woman with a posture that was almost regal, and she swept into the Commons that evening in an elegant dress to begin her work of uplift. The din was normal, the cynical greetings unpromising. Suddenly a bun was thrown from several tables away in her general direction.
But her three sons had trained her well in games played with balls of various sizes and shapes, so she knew what to do about the approaching bun. She caught it. An eerie silence fell in the crowded dining hall as she stood there, her dignified composure somehow not shaken, holding the bun in her hand. It seemed a very long silence, every young face turned to see what would happen next. Then she wound up and threw the bun back at the table whence it had come. Spontaneous applause greeted this athletic performance, and she was established as a good guy. From then on, when she walked into the Beanery, the noise level abated and boys would whisper of her exploit to guests and new arrivals.
Sex was naturally an area of great interest to the undergraduates of this period---as of all periods. One alumnus remembers a boy in his dormitory who had a book entitled Flossie, a Venus at Fifteen, which was one of the most sought-after volumes in the whole institution. Those who could get in to Boston often went to the Old Howard, then at the heighth of its popularity, with such strippers as Hinda Wassau leading the way. Individual exploits by more mature undergraduates were narrated by less sophisticated members of the student body when these lotharios returned from Boston and other spots. And there was, as always, an intense interest in Abbot girls.
It is usually assumed that undergraduate bull sessions take place at night. Here is a variation on that theme.
Doc Chase's half of Bishop Hall was occupied by an essentially nonscholastic group. We had a number of athletes and we had people from the most diverse backgrounds, so that the conversations in that Hall, which went on for hour after hour at any time of day or night, while not always on an intellectual plane, were certainly racy, stimulating, and in their own way provocative.
Our principal area of solving the problems of the nation, the world, and to a lesser extent Phillips Academy, were sessions at 10 o'clock in the morning, which lasted for an hour on the third floor. The fulcrum of these discussions centered around the use of one of the old, ugly, but reasonably comfortable, Morris chairs, with which the rooms were adorned and in which the back would be tilted. One of the school's leading athletes would sit back on that with a sheet around his chest and neck and one of his friends would lather him up and shave him with a straight razor. The athlete was old enough to need a shave every day, being then around twenty-one.
There wasn't much we didn't discuss and there weren't many problems we didn't settle with finality .... No work was done, no studying accomplished, and I am sure the authorities would have frowned upon these sessions. Nevertheless, they are clear in my memory as part of the school.
The School had what were called "P.I." tests, designed to measure physical efficiency. A student had to make at least a minimum record in such things as high-jumping, running the half mile, and swimming one hundred yards. Some boys had a lot of trouble qualifying.
There was a boy, a little on the plump side, physically extremely soft, and totally uncoordinated. He failed all his tests at first but finally got the minimum in all but high-jumping. His first efforts were totally unavailing, but a senior finally got him to the point where he believed that if the boy could move both legs together at the right time he could make it. The boy couldn't seem to solve this, and after an hour of trying, he was nearly in tears. The senior finally solved the problem by using a broom. As the boy approached the bar and took off, the senior hit him in the backside with the broom. This caused the expected reaction; there was a slight lift in the rear end and the boy cleared the bar. By this time he was actively crying, but everybody was crowding around him, shaking his hands, patting him on the back and treating him like a fellow who had made the winning touchdown in the Exeter football game.
Undergraduate opinion of Headmaster Claude M. Fuess varied a great deal; on balance there were probably more who respected him than who did not. Some samplings:
My memory of Claude Moore Fuess is of a remote, formal, aloof head whose professional life went well beyond the day-to-day operation of Andover as a school .... I found it hard to think that at one time he had been a member of the teaching faculty . . . . He was rather the headmaster, appearing in the center chair at daily chapel, making well prepared and pompous comments on the state of the world and the state of the school, appearing rather incongruously to say things about an approaching athletic contest, but out of his element when that topic came before him .... In chapel, where my memory has him always appearing in a fashionably tailored suit, precise and elegant, he spoke with left hand invariably in his pocket, his right hand used for a series of small gestures that emphasized this assertion or that.
And the writer went on to describe his resentment against Dr. Fuess for not allowing the Catholic students to attend a special service at the Catholic Church down town. Another writes:
One thing is definite, however. He hadn't the slightest interest in boys. Out of roughly 700 boys at Andover, I would doubt that Mr. Fuess could name a hundred. Fifty had parents so rich that he could not ignore them in his money raising activities. Fifty were such hell raisers that he couldn't ignore them. I was in the latter category.
Another more favorable comment:
I personally liked Jack Fuess. He was a tough disciplinarian and remained, by and large, aloof from the students, but he ran a good school. My classmates and I felt that more responsibility should be given to the student council but the good doctor never bought the idea.
From a student who saw quite a bit of him:
I probably saw more of Dr. Fuess than most boys, since one of my scholarship jobs was to sit in the ante-room to his office and act as an office boy and messenger for 35¢ an hour. And yet I cannot remember anything significant about him. He was always cordial and pleasant with me, and wrote laudatory letters home to my parents about me, so that I was well disposed toward him.
I don't remember that there was any serious faction among the boys that disliked him. He was generally referred to as the 'B.D." (bald doctor) and his mannerism of taking off his glasses and blinking rapidly was widely imitated. However, he was an authoritarian figure, difficult to draw close to.
From one who worked with Dr. Fuess on the Student Council:
He was responsible for the school atmosphere and for the calibre of men that were on his Faculty. They could have taught elsewhere, at college level say, but they stayed at Andover. The administration must have been doing its job well. Perhaps a good administration is one you are never aware of---it does its job well, so well it is silently in the background.
I recall my first meeting as a junior on the Student Council at Dr. Fuess's house. He greeted me as "Jack," my brother's name, and for two years called me that. He made it clear that the Student Council was to take care of dances and such, was not to cause him trouble with wild ideas, was to set an example for the others and was to leave the running of the school to him. It was no nonsense and very direct and sobering. And I do believe correct.
A classmate of mine was given a cut in Chapel for sleeping. He wore sun glasses the next Sunday and got hell again. His revenge was the alarm clock that went off Monday in Assembly when Dr. Baldwin was in the midst of a Bible reading. Dr. Fuess lifted not an eyelash, evinced no response whatsoever, but his eyes silently took in everyone with a single message: "Anyone who laughs will really get hell." It was a masterful demonstration of self control with enough left over to supply adequately 700 of us. Remarkable!
And another pro-Fuess statement:
We thought Claudie was born to be a college president ... and I think we admired him for putting up with the likes of us so patiently and so affably while he was waiting for the lightning to strike. I have no idea what his "policies" were. I just know he always performed as we thought he should .... I can see him now, dressed like a banker with pince nez in place, standing in the middle of a gym floor crowded with students, saying just the right thing. The charisma was several layers down, but it was there, and we knew it was there, and we loved him for it.
From an alumnus named Jack:
I managed to do an incredibly good job keeping a comfortable distance between me and Dr. Fuess for four full years .... I remained so remote that when I did graduate (by the skin of my teeth), Dr. Fuess looked me smack in the eye and said, "Congratulations, Bill." It could be that I did not impress him. My ego would prefer to believe that he was a touch vague.
Dr. Fuess and the Phillipian:
I suppose I was a fairly "cooperative" Phillipian editor. The paper did do things Fuess didn't like, however, and I must say that his expressions of displeasure were always gentle, never heavy-handed. And they always came after the fact. There was no effort to censor the Phillipian and for that I was (and remain) grateful. I think my sense of the meaning of a free press began to develop at Andover.
My deepest conviction today is that America can survive only as the First Amendment survives. Jack Fuess, Andover and the Phillipian played a part in developing my thinking on the subject.
Dr. Fuess and a bicycle accident:
One day I was riding down the path in front of the museum and I ran over Dr. Fuess with my bike .... when I ran over him, he immediately fell apart . . . . his pince-nez glasses fell off, his watch dropped on the ground, he dropped all sorts of things, and I had knocked the wind out of him. It was just a terrible disaster. You couldn't imagine anybody looking more discombobulated than poor Dr. Fuess at that time. Anyway, I got off my bike, picked him up and sat him on the bench in front of the museum and took all the various pieces that had landed on the ground and put them back where they belonged and had a nice chat with him. And he really didn't know who I was, which of course was his normal state, since he never seemed to know the names of anybody. What amounted to total terror in having flattened him faded quickly as soon as it was clear that even Dr. Fuess was human and breathed even though I had knocked the breath out of him, and that he was rather gentle behind his clipped and abrupt way of speaking. Moreover, he seemed quite interested in me.
Dr. Fuess and the war:
Back in World War II, there was a song that became popular entitled "There'll be Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover." One morning in chapel, Fuess chose that song as the subject of his remarks and expounded at length and with some heat on what a terrible song it was. "There won't be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover," he said, "and there won't be love and laughter and peace ever after." Instead, he told us, after the war we should look forward to years of continued struggle, hardship and danger. Fuess's efforts did not have the desired effect. His audience was taken totally by surprise and sat there in amazement. As we left the building, I heard someone say, "Who ever heard of anyone getting so excited about a song?"
And on the other side:
I can say very briefly that I am a tremendous admirer of Claude Fuess, whom I view as one of the truly great headmasters.
Jack Fuess's policy for dealing with his Faculty was unorthodox, to say the least. Once when Harold Gores, formerly Superintendent of Schools in Newton, Massachusetts, was asked how it was that the Newton High School produced so many National Merit Scholars, he replied wryly: "Well, we just kept out of their way." Jack must have had some such policy in mind for dealing with the Faculty: certainly it is hard to imagine a place with more academic freedom than Andover under his leadership. Emory Basford, for many years Head of the English Department, emphasizes this point in writing of his early days at Andover:
My reception was casual; nobody took much notice of me. I was left to find my way around as best I could. There was little, if any, guidance or help from the administration. Fortunately, I had taught for six years before coming to Andover and had a fair command of my subject and some competence in schoolmastering. But I did not know how Andover wanted Paul Revere [a senior dormitory) administered and nobody told me. More surprisingly, nobody told me what texts to use in the classrooms. In my early years here there was never a department meeting, never any planning of work together. Everybody was friendly, to be sure, but everybody went his own way. There was a tacit assumption that men who came to Andover to teach knew what they were about and had best be left alone. Everybody had the maximum of freedom and independence and opportunity to experiment. I cannot recall that anyone ever asked me what or how I was doing or that anyone ever visited my classroom or criticized my work. Obviously so independent a way of life had grave weaknesses, but it had virtues too. The wonder is that it did not lead young teachers to extravagant and foolish experimentation. But there was always the sane influence of a group of great teachers. Without them the freedom of Andover might have been a heady tonic indeed. As it was the life was exhilarating. I liked it. (58)
By the end of Jack's term as Headmaster, some of this, at least, had changed: departments were more highly organized; younger teachers received more supervision; and there was a general tightening up. Yet Jack's basic conviction never changed---that his job was to find a promising teacher, lure him to Andover, and then let him teach what he liked in the way that he liked. The result was a Faculty community in an almost continual state of ferment. A scholar and a man of books himself, Jack never failed to encourage scholarly activities on the part of the Faculty, and he was genuinely proud of the intellectual achievements of his colleagues. His policy of hiring teachers was cut from the same bolt. He was much less impressed with a man's previous training than with his personality, his enthusiasm for teaching, his originality and élan. And he was always on the prowl for the kind of teacher he wanted. On one occasion a friend expressed surprise that he would travel a long distance for what appeared to be a minor ceremony at another school. "Oh, I'm not going down for the ceremony," he replied. "I'm hoping to steal the head of one of their departments." While Jack's unorthodox policy of recruiting teachers occasionally resulted in bizarre appointments, his batting average was very high, and he once said that his memorial would be the Faculty he had assembled at Andover. When it came to dealing with individual Faculty members on such practical matters as housing and salaries, the Fuess policy was well-nigh disastrous. There was no salary scale as such; there was wide variation in the amount paid members of the same general age group; and some older members of the Faculty had their salaries frozen for years. Harper Follansbee, recent Head of the Biology Department, remembers going in to see the Headmaster after the war and suggesting that his prewar salary was not impressive. "Well, Harper, we'll just double that," Dr. Fuess replied, and it was done. And the same doubling process occurred when Harper got married.(59) Generally speaking, those who demanded higher salaries got them, while the more timid teachers advanced slowly, if at all. The assignment of Faculty housing was equally without system; on one occasion the Headmaster apparently promised the same house to three different people, with results that were fatal for Faculty confidence in his word. The effect was low Faculty morale. Many teachers could never be sure where they stood. Suspicions were aroused that the Headmaster played favorites, as indeed he did. Dr. Fuess was not always able to command a united Faculty. It was strange that a man generally sensitive to other people could administer his office so insensitively. Jack Fuess must be given top marks on academic freedom, imaginative recruiting, and encouragement of academic excellence; but his disorganized administrative procedures did much to counterbalance his virtues.
Claude Fuess was never completely happy as Headmaster. He used to tell his friends how he would sit in his office before Assembly and read Macaulay's essay on courage before going out to face the troops. "I often wonder," he once told a visiting speaker, "what I would do if they all started swarming over the footlights and onto the stage right in the middle of Assembly." While he could be delightful in conversation with individual students, boys in the mass often alarmed him and made him appear stiff and stuffy. Alan Blackmer, who knew him very well, said about him:
"He was a paradox; he did more than any of his predecessors toward adapting education to the individual, intellectually and emotionally, but he did not know the kids any better than they did before him."(60) And he was very poor at names. There is a story told of his attending a dinner for Andover graduates at one of the leading colleges. The toastmaster was a distinguished member of the previous senior class who had worked very closely with Jack on student government. His name happened to be George, but during the evening Jack insisted on calling him Bill. But George took the last trick. At the end of the dinner he said, "Thank you very much, Dr. Perry, for coming down. And be sure to remember us to all our friends at Exeter." A more serious weakness than his inability to remember names was Jack's unwillingness to say no. Members of the Student Council during the early years of his Headmastering remember how he used to pretend to approve some of their suggestions for the School but would then go to a Faculty meeting and urge the Faculty to turn them down. He apparently hoped, rather wistfully, that he could keep everyone happy all the time, and often made promises to both students and Faculty that he was later unable to keep. This sometimes led to the very bitterness and misunderstanding he was trying to avoid. His instincts were of the best, but at times he simply was not tough enough or honest enough.(61)
Claude Fuess's effectiveness as Headmaster may well have been limited also by his determination to continue his career as a writer in the midst of the cares and burdens of office. By the time he became head of the school in 1933, he had an impressive number of books to his credit. In addition to An Old New England School, a history of Phillips Academy published in 1917, he had produced a large number of English texts, some in collaboration with Arthur W. Leonard, Head of the English Department. These volumes included selections of English letters, of essays, and of short stories, not to mention a spelling book, a rhetoric, and a manual on précis writing. In his spare time he wrote three books for boys---All for Andover, The Andover Way, and Peter Had Courage. Though these volumes may seem unsophisticated to today's youth, they are still read with pleasure by younger boys. It was as a biographer, however, that Jack Fuess made his reputation in the literary world. Before 1933 he had written four---the lives of Caleb Cushing, Rufus Choate, Daniel Webster, and Carl Schurz. Though some professional historians attacked some of these books, particularly the Webster, as not being scholarly enough, the general public received them well and Jack became one of the best biographers in the country. In addition there were countless articles, book reviews, pieces for the Phillips Bulletin, and papers read before historical societies. When he became Headmaster, he had already agreed to write a history of Amherst College and was negotiating to write a biography of Calvin Coolidge. Rather than drop these projects and devote all his time to the Headmaster ship, he chose to finish both of them, a task that was completed by 1940.
One marvels that he was able to do so. Throughout his life, he was able to accomplish a prodigious amount of work, mainly because he was highly organized and methodical. A book would progress from individual research cards, to clusters of cards arranged topically, to a first draft, to a finished product. More important, he got an early start on his work each day, usually being at his typewriter by five or six o'clock in the morning. Before he became Headmaster, he arranged to have no classes before eleven and was thus able to put in five or six hours before most people got started. He told his friends that he used to start writing immediately, even though he might have to discard some of the first material. As he warmed to the task, words would begin to flow and the book would begin to write itself. Yet Jack had no magic formula for composition; the true secret of his extraordinary output as a writer was his tremendous capacity for sheer hard work. He was only half joking when he once remarked that his epitaph should read: "He worked like Hell."(62) Still and all, though his writings undoubtedly brought renown to Phillips Academy, he might have been more successful as a Headmaster had he devoted all his time to the School. In short, any assessment of Claude Fuess's Headmastership is bound to be a mixed bag. There were some things that he did extraordinarily well; there were others that he did very badly. On balance he piloted the School through the difficult times of Depression and War and at the end of his term was able to turn over to his successor an institution that was stronger than the one he inherited in 1933.
In 1947 Dr. Fuess determined to retire the following year. He would have completed fifteen years as Headmaster, with another twenty-five as a member of the Faculty---in all forty years of service to Phillips Academy. The ostensible reason for his decision to retire was his increasing deafness. After a 1947 Trustee Meeting he told the new President of the Board, Henry W. Hobson, that he had not been able to hear much of what went on at the meeting and that he thought he should leave. The Bishop persuaded him to stay on for a year, which he did with the help of a hearing aid. Yet deafness was not the only reason for the decision. The Headmaster was still bruised from the controversy over the School Societies (the subject of the next chapter), and there is reason to believe as well that the New York research organization that the Trustees had hired to make a survey of Andover alumni for the coming Fund Drive had turned up a substantial amount of opposition to Fuess as Headmaster. Finally, Jack Fuess had been very happily remarried in 1945 and may well have wanted to be relieved of the burdens of office so as to be free to spend more time with his wife. In any event he finished his last year with the help of his hearing aid, retired in June to the plaudits of his friends, and was given a handsomely appointed testimonial dinner at which the Faculty presented him with the fanciest typewriter on the market as an aid to future literary production.
On his retirement his old friend Colonel Poynter wrote a letter to him that reviewed his accomplishments.(63) Horace Poynter thought first of all that Jack's insistence on full freedom of discussion at Faculty meetings was a signal achievement. No teacher had ever suffered for anything he said at Andover, even though on many occasions Faculty sentiments were most distasteful to the Headmaster. And the Colonel added wryly that it must have been a great comfort---as Jack became deaf and got a hearing aid---to be able to turn it off during Faculty meeting discussions. The second achievement that Colonel Poynter stressed was what Jack had done for the health program at the School. With a new and modern hospital and an outstanding School doctor and staff, a revolution had been accomplished in this important area. Third, the curricular change of 1933 was significant. The Colonel regretted the passing of the Latin requirement and thought too much history had been introduced, but he recognized the inevitability of change and congratulated Jack on engineering it. Finally, Poynter was high in his praise for Jack's insistence on treating boys as individuals, in abandoning the "Sink or Swim" policy of an earlier generation, in opposing an arid rigidity in the enforcement of rules, and in discipline generally. Pieces like the one Poynter was writing approach their subject with a kind of de mortuis nihil nisi bonum attitude; it was not to be expected that the author would deal with the less successful aspects of Jack Fuess's Headmastership. Yet the four achievements the Colonel stressed were real; no one could take them away from the retiring Headmaster.
The period after Jack Fuess's retirement was probably the happiest of his life. His first wife, Bess, had represented for him all the best of New England virtues. His second, Lulie Anderson Blackfan, brought all the warmth and charm of her native Kentucky, and the years that she and Jack spent together were an idyll. During the last fifteen years of his life the stiffness and seriousness that had hitherto characterized his speaking mellowed and his sense of humor took over, until he became one of the most sought-after speakers in the East and certainly one of the great toastmasters of all time. As always throughout his life, Jack enjoyed making jokes at his own expense. No better example can be given of his gifts as a speaker than the remarks he made at the dedication of the Claude M. Fuess dormitory, a year before his death. He started off by assuring his audience that the rumor that he had given the money for the dormitory on condition that it be named for him was without foundation. He then went on: "I may as well confess with undisguised humility that I never expected to have anything named after me in my lifetime---no cigar, like Henry Clay, no highway, like Daniel Webster, no rose, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. As for a dormitory, and a dormitory like this, that was beyond my most extravagant dreams." Then followed a moving account of the growth of Phillips Academy and of his own affection for the institution. His conclusion was: "Today this school is more respected and admired than ever before in its history. And both the respect and admiration are well-deserved. Let us, as loyal Andoverians, admit all this, meanwhile offering up our fervent prayer, 'Lord, have mercy upon us and justify the high esteem in which we hold ourselves!' " As usual, Jack had a perfect story for the occasion:
After Melville W. Fuller, in 1888, had been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he made a sentimental journey to his native city of Augusta, Maine. Getting off at what was always called the Dee-Po, he hired a decrepit cab to drive to the hotel. Thinking that he recognized the ancient driver, he asked, "Do you know who I am?" "Yep, you're Mel Fuller." was the reply. "Do the people here know that I've been made Chief Justice?"' 'Yep". "Well, what did they say?" "Oh, they laughed!"
If any of my schoolmates at the Waterville High School or at Amherst College were here this morning, they would certainly laugh. And if any of my former pupils wants to laugh, now is the accepted time. If I myself laugh, it is "with a tear in the middle," as James M. Barrie once wrote, grateful for what Phillips Academy has done and is doing for me.
The dedication was a completely appropriate climax to Jack's long association with Phillips Academy. And how fortunate that he could be there to enjoy the honour! Less than a year later he was dead. Thus closed a long career of service with distinction. The epitaph on his gravestone in the old Phillips Academy cemetery reads: "Wit graced his learning and generous warmth his friendship."